2020 70th Anniversary Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Once again, the off track shenanigans overshadow the on track action in F1. The sport is always it's worst enemy. And after everyone worked so well together during the forced break to better the sport, Lord of the Flies broke out again over the Racing Point controversy.
EVENT: Obviously, this race wouldn't happen if not for the pandemic, but it still seemed weird to hold a 70th anniversary celebration with no guests.
TRACK: Same track. Different temperatures. Different tires. A whole different race.
QUALIFYING: This time Bottas is the Mercedes man, Hulkenberg impressively gets his form back, Renault surprises again with Ricciardo, Gasly is strong again, Ferrari is blah, Vettel is worse than blah, and Kimi is dead last.
RACE: Once the realization of what was playing out was apparent, this became an edge of your seat race, wondering if Red Bull could really pull it off or did Mercedes have something up their sleeve.
START: Bottas holds on, Hamilton hounds him, Hulkenberg's dream takes a dent, Stroll jumps way up, Leclerc bungles, and Vettel continues to drive like an amateur.
VERSTAPPEN: It's one thing to try a strategy like they did, it's another to have a driver be able to pull it off. Max did, superbly.
ALBON: Just think if Alexander qualified higher... Nonetheless, some mighty bodacious passing moves.
RED BULL: This is the type of strategy they wanted to try in Austria, but Verstappen's car failed early. They were able to bring this trick back out, and kept it wonderfully under wraps on Friday and Saturday.
HAMILTON: Even Lewis couldn't baby the tires enough.
BOTTAS: Through no fault of his team, he got "stuck" with a strategy that wasn't even good enough to hang onto second place. Valtteri deserved better this race.
MERCEDES: Everyone is talking about the Mercedes weakness in the car. Fine. But as a team, they also are sometimes weak in being able to change strategy on the fly. One area they are not weak in is learning their lessons, figuring out the problem, and coming back even stronger.
LECLERC: A few teams, shockingly, executed the single pit stop strategy. But only Charles was able to execute it with such a high finish. Truly a great, patient drive.
VETTEL: Good heavens! What else is there to say?
STROLL: As in Lawrence, the father, not Lance, the son. We've never seen him this mad before in public.
HULKENBERG: In the end, his two substitution drives raised his stock in perhaps coming back with a fulltime ride.
RACING POINT: They may be seeing more action in court than on the track.
OCON: Another one-stopper to make it work.
MCLAREN: Silverstone was just not suited for their cars.
KVYAT: Great recovery after a poor qualifying.
GASLY: The opposite direction after a solid qualifying effort.
RAIKKONEN: Is Kimi even having fun this year?
MAGNUSSEN: The lone DNF.
FIA: If you read the entire 14-page decision on Racing Point, it does make a little more sense. But, we just can't get over the thought the FIA still used semantics gymnastics to get there.
F2: Brit's Callum Ilott becomes the second driver to win two races this year, adding to his healthy 19 point championship lead.
F3: This time, American Logan Sargeant did not waste another pole position, leading every lap for a dominant first win. Despite getting knocked out in the sprint race, he leads the championship by just one point.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Strategy.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 178 -- The record number of races Nico Hulkenberg has run without a podium finish. For now, that number holds steady.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This race, of course, was celebrating the 70th anniversary of Formula 1, which started at Silverstone in 1950. It shouldn't be any surprise Silverstone, in eight different configurations, hosted 54 British Grands Prix plus this race for a total of 55. Starting in 1955, the British GP alternated between Silverstone and first with Aintree (five times total) then Brands Hatch (12). The four times the British GP was held before F1 were at Brooklands (1926-27) and Silverstone (1948-49). Britain also hosted the European Grand Prix there times, twice at Brands Hatch and once at Donington.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: ESPN's Nate Saunders: "Vettel right now is like the final Game of Thrones season. You remember - vividly - how good the show was, but it is just getting worse and worse every episode and nothing makes sense."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Max Verstappen grandma quotes never get old. This time, while being told to take it easy while chasing down Lewis Hamilton, he said, "I'm not just going to be sitting here like a grandma."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Sebastian Vettel's brutal comment on the Ferrari after qualifying, "We are where we are for a reason. We are just not fast enough."
SCHEDULE: There's a reason the Spanish GP is held in May -- it can get scorching hot in Barcelona in the middle of summer. Red Bull will be making sacrifices to the sun god.
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