2020 Spain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Sadly, it looks like that's it for the championship. Hamilton can almost already start cruising to his seventh title. The excitement will now be down the field ... and in the appeals court.
EVENT: It looks like we might have some fans later in the season.
TRACK: Never a fan of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Even more so when so much testing is performed there, and everyone has their cars so locked in. It leaves no room for unpredictability and the fun that comes from it.
QUALIFYING: Mercedes is well Mercedes, Verstappen is well Verstappen, Racing Point is well Racing Point, Vettel is well Vettel (even with a new chassis and new attitude), Raikkonen is back to being more like well Raikkonen, Haas is well Haas, and Williams is back to being well Williams.
RACE: Too bad the rain never arrived.
START: Bottas losses out on the dirty side, Stroll is outrageous, Verstappen is strong, Perez misses his opportunity, Gasly gains, Norris losses, and Hamilton begins to check out.
HAMILTON: Yeah, he was in the zone all right.
BOTTAS: Once again, new contract signed, heart of the season rolls around, and he can no longer keep up with Hamilton.
MERCEDES: They rarely make the same mistake twice. And Mercedes rarely aren't able to figure out what went wrong and fix it even with just a week between races. This is what makes them so unbeatable.
VERSTAPPEN: Max was still spectacular even if this was the best he could do. Which interestingly, he realized before his team. Usually, it's the other way around.
ALBON: Yes, he was put on a terrible strategy. But Alex needs to qualify better as the pressure mounts for him to keep up with Verstappen.
RED BULL: They still may have a trick or two up their sleeve, but they are going to need some luck as well.
STROLL: An excellent race for Lance. He feels very comfortable when the car is performing, and most importantly, handles the pressure just fine.
PEREZ: Need to pay attention to those blue flags, Sergio.
RACING POINT: No matter what happens in the International Court of Appeals, it's fun watching them topple the applecart.
VETTEL: Sebastian had every right to be pissed at his team.
FERRARI: Even when they are not in contention, they still have the worst strategists in F1.
GASLY: Once again, Pierre is extremely impressive.
RENAULT: They picked the wrong weekend to go backwards -- when their new CEO shows up for a race.
OCON: Still can't beat his teammate.
RAIKKONEN: Okay, Kimi probably had more fun this weekend.
GROSJEAN: That was a spectacular save.
FIA: Be careful what you wish for. If you eliminate the qualifying "party" engine modes, you may force teams to use just one mode during the race. Which could result in less passing!
F2: Japan's Nobuharu Matsushita started 18th in the feature race. And won! With some lucky help of well timed safety car periods.
F3: American Logan Sargeant took his third consecutive pole, but fell back for a third place finish. His closest championship competitor and teammate, Australian Oscar Piastri, won the second race after starting fifth plus grabbed the fastest lap bonus points. This resulted in Sargeant still leading the standings by the same amount as before the weekend -- one point.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Zone.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 156 -- Lewis Hamilton's record breaking number of career podiums. Along with a record 150 front row starts and 200 top four starts. While we're talking record numbers, Kimi Raikkonen has completed 53,903 miles in F1 races. That's a lot of miles.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The Spanish GP's future has been tenuous lately. This is the 30th time, all consecutive, it's been held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The first winner here in 1991 was Nigel Mansell in a Williams-Renault. He started second sandwiched between the McLaren-Honda team of Gerhard Berger on pole and Ayrton Senna. Mansell fell back to fourth early on in wet to dry to wet conditions, before working his way to the front. Ferrari's Alain Prost finished second followed by Mansell's teammate, Riccardo Patrese. One interesting note: before this race, Jordan replaced Roberto Moreno with an Italian rookie -- Alessandro Zanardi.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastian Vettel angry at his team for first telling him to push, and thus use up his tires, and then asking him if he can go the rest of the race with these tires, "For f---'s sake, I asked you this before."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Ferrari's Mattia Binotto on why they are following through with their appeal against Racing Point, "It is important to appeal, for clarity and tranparency." Wait, what?! Isn't Ferrari the team that refused to allow the FIA to release any information on what they found concerning the Ferrari engine after a legality investigation? Let us look in the dictionary here. Yep, just as we thought. Under the word hypocrite is a picture of a Ferrari.
SCHEDULE: Only the second break in this "speed dating" schedule. Then, another three in a row, starting with the famed Spa and Monza circuits.
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