2018 Belgium Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: As expected, a whole lot happened over the summer break. And then some. Force India has new owners. And technically it's a new team. Fernando Alonso is leaving F1. Daniel Ricciardo signed with Renault kicking in what will likely be one of the wildest silly seasons ever. Red Bull will promote Pierre Gasly. Carlos Sainz signed with McLaren. And a whole lot of seats still to be accounted for. But still no new set of regulations.
TRACK: Spa is already great to watch. Add in all kinds of neat camera angles, and it got even more mind boggling.
EVENT: The Orange Invasion once again made this another fun affair.
QUALIFYING: A rain shower in Q3 spiced things up, enabling Hamilton to steal the pole from Vettel,
Force India Racing Point to surprise the field, and Ferrari to screw Raikkonen.
RACE: For a race that didn't produce much after the first lap, it was still fun to watch.
START: Hulkenberg pulls a Grosjean sending Alonso flying over Leclerc and hitting Ricciardo who gives Raikkonen a flat, Bottas also brakes too late, and Vettel slipstreams by Hamilton with Ocon taking a look just before the Safety Car comes out.
VETTEL: Finally, Sebastian wins a race he's supposed to win.
RAIKKONEN: But Kimi once again gets the short end of the luck stick.
FERRARI: They finally cashed in with their superior power. Expect more of the same at Monza.
HAMILTON: Lewis not feeling so good without the best car on the grid.
BOTTAS: Sure, his car is much faster than Gasly's car. But that move Valtteri put on Pierre to pass on the outside of Eau Rouge and Raidillon, better car or not, took massive ones.
VERSTAPPEN: It wasn't that long ago we were all pounding on Max. Now, he's driving excellently.
RICCIARDO: Daniel can only shake his head.
RED BULL: Yes, the Honda is better than before, but we still don't see why Red Bull seems so happy to change to them next year.
PEREZ: Saved Force India with a gutsy move off the track. Gave them a great fifth place with a gutsy drive on the track.
OCON: Esteban had nothing to lose, so why not go for the lead with that move. At least he was smart enough to back off in time. It would be downright criminal if he is not in F1 next year.
FORCE INDIA: No points for you!
RACING POINT: They already passed Williams in just one race and are one point behind Sauber. They will easily catch McLaren soon as well.
GROSJEAN: A quiet but very effective drive.
HAAS: They were so lost on Friday, but figured it out when it counted.
GASLY: Pierre gave his bosses validation for their faith in him.
HARTLEY: Meanwhile, Brendon may end up keeping this drive simply because the Red Bull junior driving program doesn't provide them enough options.
TORO ROSSO: They will be collecting a lot of resumes in the next few weeks.
STROLL: Some fathers buy their kids a car. Lance's father bought him an entire Formula 1 team.
SAINZ: A step down going to McLaren next year.
HULKENBERG: While Nico didn't exactly convince everyone he should stay with the better seat.
VANDOORNE: Most likely gone.
ERICSSON: Could Marcus possibly be out of a ride next year despite his backers owning the team?
SIROTKIN: Still no points and possibly no ride.
KUBICA: Could he be on the cusp of a drive?
LECLERC: Where will Charles wind up? Right now, he's just happy to be okay.
ALONSO: Probably can't leave F1 fast enough...
WILLIAMS: At the bottom and losing Stroll's money.
MCLAREN: Could this be the most well funded worst performing team in the history of F1? Even more so than BAR? Well, at least at Spa their cars can fly...
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Halo.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 59 -- The number of points Force India no longer has because the original incarnation of that team technically no longer exists.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Ferrari has now won the Belgian GP 17 teams, more than anyone else (McLaren is second with 14). The first time Ferrari won was in 1952 by Alberto Ascari (who won it again the following year) from the pole. It was held on the 8.774-mile Spa configuration over 36 laps (315.864 miles) in 3:03:46.3 in the rain. He was followed by his teammate Nino Farina and then Robert Manzon in a Gordini. The podium finishers were the only cars on the lead lap.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Christian Horner enjoying Lewis Hamilton's despair: "...just to hear Lewis moaning about Ferrari, I nearly got my violin out!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Lewis Hamilton taken out of context when he said after the race about Ferrari, "They've got a few trick things going on in the car."
SCHEDULE: It might just be a three day turnaround, but that might be all it takes to see a bunch of driver movement, making the already printed programs obsolete.
Copyright © 2018 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.