2020 Steiermark Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The hardest part this year for the teams is they do not know what season long strategy needs to be applied when making decisions during a race because they don't know how many races are going to make up the season.
SILLY SEASON: And now Alonso is back. Back at his "home." Back to making promises of being a good team member which we all know he can't keep. Back to complaining about how slow the car is. But also back to driving the wheels off the Renault getting way more out of it than anyone else will be able to do.
EVENT: That was an interesting pre-race air show for no fans.
TRACK: On Saturday, the track sure seemed a lot different...
QUALIFYING: Hamilton saves his best lap for last, Verstappen is fast wet or dry, Sainz reminds everyone he is also on McLaren, Gasly is thrilled, Perez is devastated, a Ferrari once again fails to make it to Q3, and Russell experiences his first Q2 session and then just misses beating out a Ferrari.
RACE: Perhaps not as wild and crazy as last week, but still very entertaining.
START: Hamilton has no problem, Verstappen finally holds onto second, Sainz gives it all he has, and the Ferraris blow each other up again.
HAMILTON: Lewis wins pole by 1.216 seconds ... in horrid conditions. That's a Gilles Villeneuve lap. Winning the race was merely icing on the cake.
BOTTAS: Back to dutiful runner up role.
VERSTAPPEN: Max ultimately lost the battle for second, but my goodness his ability to fight back is outstanding.
ALBON: Nearly taken out again with another hit to the right rear tire.
RED BULL: They've done better at their home track before. Let's see if they can make it up at the Hungaroring.
NORRIS: The McLaren is so much quicker on a light fuel load, and once again Lando took brilliant advantage of it.
SAINZ: The fastest lap salvaged a disappointing finish.
MCLAREN: Need to work on those pit stops...
PEREZ: The drive of the race despite a slight touch.
STROLL: Lance was very racy, very confident, and very good. The sloppy pass on Ricciardo not withstanding.
RACING POINT: They are squandering points when this part of the season may be their peak.
RICCIARDO: Making the Renault look better than it is.
OCON: Esteban's turn to suffer the Renault mechanical DNF.
ALPHATAURI: Why in the world did they use the hard tires?
HAAS: Hey, both cars finished. That's the best we can say...
LECLERC: This time it was Charles' fault. He never should have thrown his car into a gap that was never going to last, especially on the crowded first lap.
VETTEL: Well, we suppose the consolation was it wasn't Sebastian's fault. If that's even a consolation...
FERRARI: It it looks like a midfield team, goes like a midfield team, and sounds like a midfield team, then it probably is a midfield team.
PROTEST: The fact Renault specifically chose the brake ducts to protest the Racing Point car, a.k.a., the Pink Mercedes, a part which just this year was placed on the "listed parts" list and is very difficult to copy by merely taking photos of it is very interesting. There are so may gray areas now for both sides of the argument. The FIA has their work cut out for them.
PODIUM: We were a bit perplexed last week when live humans were handing out the trophies on the spread out podium. That defeated the whole purpose of a socially distance podium. So, when we saw they corrected that with remote control trophy tables, we were hilariously amused.
F2: Four races. Four different winners.
F3: After qualifying third, American Logan Sargeant had his feature race start ruined by a faulty clutch. However, he made up for it with a runner up finish in the second race.
WORDS OF THE WEEKEND: Last Lap Lando.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 5 -- The total number of laps the entire Ferrari team completed.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Obviously, this year sets the record for the latest start of an F1 season. The record for the earliest start can never be broken -- January 1. Twice. In the same country, but at different tracks. The 1965 and 1968 South African Grand Prix were run on the first day of the year. First at Prince George Circuit in East London. Then, at the famed Kyalami Circuit. Jim Clark won both years, both times from the pole, and grabbed the fastest lap each time. In fact, except for the first lap in 1968, he led every lap of those two races. The 1968 edition was Clark's last F1 race as he was killed in an F2 race at Hockenheimring before the F1 season resumed.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Alexander Albon on almost getting knocked out of the race again, "I was having Lewis flashbacks."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: After a dismal qualifying, Ferrari's Mattia Binotto told it the way it is, "However we look at it, we are just too slow at the moment. The stopwatch doesn’t ever lie."
SCHEDULE: As two more races get added, it is fitting Ferrari will get to celebrate their 1,000th F1 race at the track they own, the Mugello Circuit.
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