2022 Spain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Like we said last week. Nineteen points seems puny. And now it's gone. Poof. Just like that. And both standings have flipped. Game on!
EVENT: A steller crowd harkening back to the days of Alonso's prime.
TRACK: Even Catalunya produced some great fights with this new rules package. Is there actually hope for Monaco? Okay, we'll come back down to reality.
QUALIFYING: Leclerc grabs pole under intense pressure, Verstappen losses power with a sticky DRS on his hot lap, Mercedes ... well, Russell ... are back in the club, Haas says we don't need no stinkin' upgrades, Alonso disappoints at home, and Aston Martin copycat turns out to not be such a good copycat.
RACE: A very intriguing and exciting race with various strategy calls, questions over when tires would go away, and some fantastic dices.
START: Rougher than last week, Russell jumps into third by tagging Perez, Magnussen goes into the gravel trap and Hamilton gets a flat by tagging each other, and Schumacher takes advantage of it all by gaining four spots.
VERSTAPPEN: Slides off Turn 4 into the gravel trap, DRS is tempermental, anger seethes under his helmet, but in the end Max pulls out a dramatic victory.
PEREZ: He would not have won with the strategy deployed, but the real story was how "surprised" Sergio appears to be over being the unofficial but everyone knows number two.
RUSSELL: Another race. Another top five. And showing everyone when the car gets a wee bit faster, he's going to be just as tough as anyone else to beat.
HAMILTON: Color us skeptical whether he really could have won the race if not for the first lap problem. However, color us impressed with his steller drive. When the car gets a wee bit faster, Lewis will be right back on top.
MERCEDES: Problem solved? Almost. But we're looking forward to absolute chaos when three teams and six drivers are fighting it out for the podium each and every race.
SAINZ: A gifted fourth place for a driver still stuggling considering the car and his teammate's performance.
FERRARI: Mattia Binotto is right. It happens. As long as it doesn't become a habit.
NORRIS: A hot, hot day. An okay car. Suffering from tonsillitis. And Lance still put in a commendable drive.
RICCIARDO: While Dan is going to have to do some real soul searching. He was thoroughly beat by a teammate who was terribly sick.
ASTON MARTIN: The copycat kings. However, this story may get very, very ugly. Very ugly.
ALBON: Time to switch from red hair to blue hair.
LATIFI: On the one hand, was slower on Friday than the FP1 fill in, Nyck de Vries. On the other hand, Nicholas did fairly well on Saturday and Sunday.
SCHUMACHER: Mick also did well over the weekend.
F2: It didn't matter where Felipe Drugovich started -- fourth in the sprint race, 10th for the feature. He won them both. The Brazilian now has a 26 point lead.
F3: The sprint race stole the headlines because native son David Vidales won from the reverse grid pole. Frenchman Victor Martins took the feature race and a slim six-point lead in the championship.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Reset.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 3 -- The proper number of pit stops strategy.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: There were a number of anniversaries for the Spanish GP. It's been nine years since Fernando Alonso won an F1 race -- the 2013 Spanish GP in a Ferrari. Ten years ago, Pastor Maldonado won his only F1 race -- the 2012 Spanish GP. It is also the last victory for Williams, so far. And six years ago, Max Verstappen won his first F1 race becoming the youngest F1 winner, a record which can never be broken, at the 2016 Spanish GP.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: Mercedes sending a tweet out before the race: "Can confirm: it's hot."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: A frustrated Max Verstappen when told to just press the DRS button once, "I'm pressing it 50 times!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: When Lewis Hamilton rejoined the race after the first lap, he said, "I would save this engine if I was you, guys." After a steller drive to fifth, should have been fourth, he said, "It was really unfortunate that I got that puncture. But we never give up." Oooooh-kaaaay.
SCHEDULE: Off to Monaco (for the last time...?) where the hometown boy, Charles Leclerc, has never finished a motor race. Any motor race.
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