2019 Bahrain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Every year, everyone -- including us this time -- goes crazy overanalyzing the results from Australia. Every year, those results are shown not to mean a thing. When will we ever learn?
TRACK: Very, very racy.
EVENT: Despite a larger crowd, still a worthless event. At least the racing is very entertaining.
QUALIFYING: Ferrari gets their speed back, the young one outdoes the veteran, Mercedes is meh, Sainz redeems Australia, McLaren hints at a revival, Gasly is ghastly, and Giovinazzi needs to worry.
RACE: A cracking race!
START: Vettel shows his veteran chops, Bottas picks up where he left off in Australia, Leclerc can't find grip, and Stroll punts Grosjean off the track and eventually out of the race.
LECLERC: Gutting. Absolutely gutting.
VETTEL: Once again, Sebastian chokes under pressure and spins. This time, he has to worry the team driver dynamic is going to flip.
FERRARI: They absolutely have to take the good parts out of the weekend. They got their speed, competitiveness, and mojo back. They need to take those into China.
HAMILTON: In the "old" days, wins inherited due to competitors reliability issues were relatively common. Nowadays, everyone feels guilty for the winner, including himself.
BOTTAS: Back to watching Hamilton's rear end drive off.
MERCEDES: They really do have their work cut out for them. And this time, it could be the engine which is the deficit.
NORRIS: A brilliant drive by the young rookie in all facets. Leclerc got all the headlines, but Lance is another star in the making.
MCLAREN: Do you think Alonso is thinking, "Son of a ..."?
RAIKKONEN: He always liked it at that team, no matter what name they go by.
VERSTAPPEN: Still banging into other cars.
GASLY: Once again, Pierre ran Toro Rosso speed in a Red Bull.
ALBON: A better race. And he nabbed some points, even if he backed into them.
RACING POINT: They have seemed to regress since ownership changed.
GIOVINAZZI: Still nothing to write home about.
KVYAT: This time Daniil got run into.
HAAS: Once again a great qualifying effort was wasted in the race garnering zero points.
GROSJEAN: And once again, Romain gets a DNF.
RUSSELL: George already looks defeated for the season after only the second race.
RENAULT: It's one thing to have engine reliability issues. It's another thing to have both cars go out on the same lap within seconds of each other due to engine problems. Embarrassing doesn't begin to define it.
FIA: It's way too early to start this conversation, but it is interesting to note that Bottas leads the championship by the one point he got for fastest lap in Australia.
F2: With Russell, Norris, and Albon graduating to F1, it leaves the opportunity for others to shine such as Nicholas Latifi (feature race winner) and Luca Ghiotto (sprint race winner). The problem is, these guys have been in F2 for awhile, more than a couple of years. Winning when everyone else leaves, isn't that impressive. It's the Jolyon Palmer syndrome.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Crushing.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 9 -- Or, rather a string of nines. Leclerc became the 99th driver in F1 history to score a pole. He did it in the 999th F1 race.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The previous youngest Ferrari driver to get a pole was Jacky Ickx in the 1968 German GP at the old Nürburgring. He held the overall youngest pole record for 14 years. He took that pole by 10 seconds in horrid conditions. Race conditions were no better, and it was won by Jackie Stewart (Matra-Ford) who beat Graham Hill (Lotus-Ford) by over four minutes. Jochen Rindt (Brabham-Repco) finished third. Ickx wound up fourth.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton, throwing a not so subtle dig at Vettel, when describing Leclerc's performance, "He was so much faster than his teammate all weekend. We have a lot of work to do to try and keep up with him!" Note, Hamilton did not say Ferrari or Vettel...
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: You have to hand it to Guenther Steiner, an Italian, to come up with a great English phrase describing the Haas race performance, as he was "Negatively amazed."
SCHEDULE: Which Ferrari will show up? Which Mercedes will show up? Will Vettel's head show up? Will parts for Williams show up? Will Renault reliability show up? We'll find out in China.
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