2019 France Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: We're speechless. Let's face it. The season is done. Not that F1 isn't still going to be fun and exciting -- at times -- to watch, but the season championship is done.
TRACK: Which is worse?
EVENT: Despite the typical second year letdown and the horrid traffic jams last year, they still got a very good crowd. It may not be great on TV, but apparently F1 fans like Paul Ricard in person.
QUALIFYING: Bottas dominates Hamilton in practice until it counts in qualifying, Leclerc continued to dominate Vettel on the weekend, McLaren is splendid, Vettel is way down, Gasly needed softs to get to Q3 and then does nothing, Renault gets mixed results, and Stroll continues to be mired in Q1.
RACE: Watching a race, at least on TV, from Circuit Paul Ricard is just a horrible, horrible experience. It may be a challenging track for the drivers, but viewers can't appreciate that. At least when you watch a "parade" at say Monaco, you still get to enjoy the scenario and most importantly can truly appreciate the unbelievable talent it takes to haul an F1 car around those streets at breathtaking speeds. At Paul Ricard, your brain is completely unable to understand what is going on. There is no way to spin this. Watching a race at Paul Ricard is a wretched experience. Even the trophies were ugly!
START: The top three do their thing, Sainz won't let Verstappen rest easy, Vettel suffers for his poor qualifying, and Perez drifts off into the wilderness.
HAMILTON: Once again, Lewis ratcheted it up.
BOTTAS: Apparently, Valtteri 1.0 got reloaded. At a track he tends to get the better of Hamilton, when it counted the most, he was nowhere to be seen.
MERCEDES: Don't blame them. Blame Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault, and even McLaren for their total inability to catch up.
LECLERC: Certainly, number one driver at Ferrari this weekend.
VETTEL: No drama. No results.
FERRARI: Maybe if you spent your energies on improving your car instead of arguing with Stewards, you might stop falling further and further back.
VERSTAPPEN: Certainly, the mature Max is to be praised. But when will he start losing patience with not having the ability to win?
GASLY: A horrid performance as Pierre is back to being completely outclassed by his teammate.
MCLAREN: A wonderful performance, as they now look to be the best of the rest.
SAINZ: Carlos delivered.
NORRIS: While Lance had an unlucky last lap.
RAIKKONEN: Back to beating up on the young kid.
GIOVINAZZI: Back to wondering about Antonio.
RICCIARDO: Daniel sure was feisty at the end.
RACING POINT: Continue to underperform.
HAAS: Good heavens! They are down in Williams range.
F2: The best start of the weekend was Nyck De Vries going from fourth to the lead sweeping around the outside of the first turn en route to the feature race win.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Zzzzzzzz.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 5 -- As in seconds. As in the very popular penalty used by the Stewards lately.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The old version of Circuit Paul Ricard held a number of French Grands Prix. The last three saw local hero, Alain Prost, win in 1988, 1989, and 1990. The first two driving for McLaren-Honda, the latter for Ferrari. Prost also won at Paul Ricard in 1983 for Renault, making him the most successful driver at that circuit. (Nigel Mansell won twice -- 1986 and 1987 -- and now Lewis Hamilton has won twice in a row.)
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton appears to be talking like fan, "If you say that it’s boring... I totally understand it. Don’t point the fingers at the drivers because we don’t write the rules. (You) should put the pressure on the people who are at the head, who should be doing the job. I think they are trying to but for many, many years they've made bad decisions."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: In one of Daniel Ricciardo's few quotes that are printable, "No regrets. I tried. Would rather that than be a peasant and watch."
SCHEDULE: At least we only have one week to recover from our disappointment as the first back-to-back weekends occur this year.
Copyright © 2019 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.