2023 Great Britain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Sure, the numbers appear to indicate the competition is getting closer. However, various factors are making that more like fool's gold. It will still be quite a while before we really see a realistic threat for a non-Red Bull win. But, it is getting closer... At least, that's what we're holding onto.
EVENT: Just think, Bernie Ecclestone wanted to get rid of Silverstone. Though, it did force the facility into much needed upgrades which in turn now enables them to host nearly half a million people over the F1 weekend.
TRACK: Combined with lower temperatures, this track brought the field, from top to bottom, much closer in performance.
QUALIFYING: Rain threatened to dominate, but instead it just made made Q1 a nailbiter. Sun ended up dominating, and McLaren absolutely stole the show, outdoing Ferrari then Mercedes. Albon couldn't pull off the shocker himself while Aston Martin is disappointed.
RACE: It really came alive (behind Verstappen, of course) after the safety car period.
START: Lando sent the home crowd into a frenzy, Piastri is just as quick off the line but gets blocked out by his own teammate, Verstappen struggles and nearly losses it, Hamilton is all over the place and not in a good way, and Tsunoda gains the most spots.
VERSTAPPEN: His qualifying gaffe where he hit the pit wall coming out of his stall is proof that Max is indeed human. Albeit, very briefly during a relatively unimportant moment.
PEREZ: Once again, Saturday spoiled Sergio's Sunday.
RED BULL: Eleven wins in a row with a bulletproof car. Just who is going to stop them?
NORRIS: The darling of the British fans today. And proof just how good Lando can be when given a competitive car.
PIASTRI: Clearly deserved a podium. The safety car timing cost him that spot. And proof just how badly Ricciardo struggled in this car last year.
MCLAREN: More than doubled their points haul in just this one race. Let's see if they can keep that momentum going.
HAMILTON: Lewis' strategy paid off, but fell short trying to get second despite better tires.
RUSSELL: Should have been in his teammate's spot, but George's strategy failed him.
MERCEDES: Still have a lot of work to do, now that they are not the fastest Mercedes powered car.
ASTON MARTIN: Clearly no longer the second best car. Nor the third. Perhaps not the fourth. Possibly not even the fifth...
ALBON: One of the stars of the weekend. And a brilliant job passing Sainz, then holding off Leclerc.
SARGEANT: Also lost out on the safety car timing, missing out on his first F1 points.
WILLIAMS: Silverstone should not have suited them as much as Montreal. But cooler temperatures prevented overheating tires in the fast turns, and they did indeed excel.
MAGNUSSEN: It was Kevin's turn to grind to a halt. Twice.
HAAS: Why are they the ones suffering Ferrari engine meltdowns? Literally.
ALPINE: Another race with points pissed away.
F2: Points leader Frederik Vesti had mechanical issues in qualifying, but that put him on the pole for the reverse grid Sprint race, which he duly won. In the Feature race, polesitter Victor Martins flubbed the start and later got a five-second penalty, but he still came back to win.
F3: On and off rain played havoc with the tire decision for the Sprint race. Franco Colapinto chose wisely for the win. Oliver Goethe survived a two-lap restart on a dampening track with slicks to win the Feature race, his first.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Surprise.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 33 -- The consecutive number of times Carlos Sainz has made it to Q3, the longest current streak of anyone on the grid.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Much has been said about this being the first time two Brits were on their home podium in 24 years. That would be 1999 when locals took the top two spots on the podium -- David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes) and then Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) with Ralf Schumacher (Williams-Supertec) taking third. The front starting row of Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher failed to finish, as this was the race where Schumacher broke his leg at the start.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: Bryson Sullivan @NaturalParadigm tweeted: The fact that @LewisHamilton is now only five podiums away from a nearly unthinkable 200 is difficult to grasp. To put this into perspective, even a veteran racer like Nico Hulkenberg has less race starts than Hamilton has podiums.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lando Norris after missing out on pole joked (or was he...?), "Max ruins everything." Don't we all know it, Lando. Don't we all know it.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: How much of what Lewis Hamilton said was genuine appreciation versus a message to his own team: "That [McLaren] was rapid through the high-speed corners. I couldn't keep up."
SCHEDULE: A brief break and then onto Hungaroring, which is completely different than Silverstone and Montreal. Expect another shake up ... behind Verstappen, of course.
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