2019 Spain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: It's official. Any conclusions from pre-season testing is a crock of shit.
EVENT: 140,000 fans, but this race may be lost to Spanish politics.
TRACK: With all the testing they do here, can't they test passing maneuvers?
QUALIFYING: Bottas makes the biggest statement of the season crushing Hamilton, Leclerc struggles with another mistake, Max is right there, and Haas again is fast on Saturday.
RACE: Nap time. The excitement after the safety car was just to wake you up for the podium celebrations.
START: Hamilton makes up for yesterday, Ferrari battle their way behind Verstappen, Kimi rides the kitty litter, and Norris gets a horrid start.
HAMILTON: Lewis wasn't phased at all by Bottas' dominating qualifying performance. Not at all.
BOTTAS: Clutch problem or not, Valtteri has got to be disappointed despite his public comments.
MERCEDES: It's not their fault they are so damn good at development and getting it right. If they could only spare us the "woe is us" comments, we would be less mad at them.
VERSTAPPEN: No doubt Max is now the third (maybe second) best driver on the grid. Just think if Honda can make some huge strides, because Red Bull already have the chassis.
GASLY: He had new soft tires on for the final stint after the safety car, and couldn't do anything with them. Not a good impression for Pierre.
VETTEL: Give Sebastian credit. Despite the hole getting deeper and deeper, he gave a nice speech to his team after the race trying to keep their spirits up and put things in perspective.
LECLERC: We don't know what Charles must be thinking with all the strategy changes.
FERRARI: What a colossal joke. Major upgrades to the engine and aero. Nothing. And the pit wall decision making could be done better by someone who never saw a race. They even managed to screw up pit stops. Twice!
HAAS: Finally, they showed why everyone believed they were the best of the rest. However...
MAGNUSSEN: ...Kevin still tried his best to nearly knock both cars out of the race...
GROSJEAN: ...as Romain barely got his first point of the season.
SAINZ: Making his own contributions to the McLaren cause.
NORRIS: Not this weekend.
KVYAT: Daniil provided the most excitement during the race and for good reasons. His passes were absolutely spectacular.
RICCIARDO: Daniel's smile will soon wear off.
RENAULT: They are rapidly becoming the McLaren of 2019.
RACING POINT: Nowhere to be had in this race.
ALFA ROMEO: Ditto.
STROLL: Lance has looked more unhappy this year than at any point in his racing career. Disappointing daddy, after he spent millions, can do that to you.
FIA: We understand an infraction is an infraction, and the FIA has to hand out the penalties with consistency and according to the rules. However, giving grid penalties to Williams is like giving a convicted criminal a life sentence "plus 20 years." It's meaningless.
F2: Once again, the excitement (including a car going up in flames) and passing were in the F2 races.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Supremacy.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 5 -- The number of 1-2 finishes by Mercedes to start the season continues to grow.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Talk is now will Mercedes go undefeated this season? We all know the closest any team came was in 1988 when McLaren won 15 of 16 races, and the one they lost to Ferrari in Monza was a tale Hollywood could not have written. The most dominating performance by a single driver in terms of winning percentage was by Alberto Ascari who won six of eight races (75%) in 1952. Michael Schumacher came close to that number with a 72.2% winning percentage in 2004 winning 13 of 18 races, followed by Jim Clark in 1963 at 70% (seven wins out of 10).
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: We love Guenther Steiner. Who else can combine the perils of F1 boredom and his drivers' antics amongst themselves in one perfectly timed joke, "I think it spiced the race up a little bit because it was getting quite dull in the end. We should get some premium points for keeping people entertained. Bonus points! We get it for the fastest laps; we should get it for the best entertainment."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Steiner again, this time in a not so happy mood immediately after the race to his driver, "Kevin, the first one to come and see, is me."
SCHEDULE: Ferrari's engine appears to be strong, as they were the fastest in a straight line. All their time was lost in the tight corners. What does Monaco mostly have? Tight corners. Red Bull typically shines there. Is Ferrari going to suffer the humiliation of being relegated to the best of the rest?
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