2023 Spain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Are we seeing the redefinition of the word domination?
EVENT: It's always better when a Spaniard is doing well. Otherwise, it's all about motorcycle racing in Spain, home of three MotoGP events.
TRACK: We went from an extremely tight track to a nice wide open, and made even more wide open by removing a chicane, track meant for F1.
QUALIFYING: Certainly not the excitement of last week as Verstappen easily won pole position partly thanks to big names constantly dropping out. The Mercedes inexplicably come together. Perez pulls another boner. Gasly keeps impeding and going backwards. And Leclerc goes from pole to next to last in one year.
RACE: All different sorts of strategies. That's about the only thing this race had.
START: Sainz gave it all but Verstappen didn't give in. Norris' great qualifying effort all goes for naught. Russell passes five cars off track and for some bizarre reason never gets penalized.
VERSTAPPEN: The only drama for Max was whether he would get time penalties for infringing track limits. Like that would have mattered anyway...
PEREZ: What we were all thinking just a few races ago? Yeah, never mind...
RED BULL: We knew this track was perfect for the Red Bull chassis. But wow, that was perfection.
HAMILTON: We don't think we've ever seen Lewis so happy to finish 24 seconds behind the winner.
RUSSELL: Nice recovery drive for George.
MERCEDES: No doubt, some gains made. Still have a long ways to go, but at least it appears they are now heading in the right direction.
FERRARI: Same old, same old with the race (lack of) pace.
ALONSO: Let's face it, he let Lance keep the spot ahead of him. Fernando sure knows how to play the political game.
ASTON MARTIN: And now they have to seriously contend with Mercedes.
OCON: It got bad enough when they were teammates, but that blocking move on Alonso was bush league.
TSUNODA: We lean towards the penalty being too harsh on Yuki.
DE VRIES: Was looking decent in qualifying, but once again got completely out raced by his teammate.
NORRIS: What might have been.
HULKENBERG: Another driver who had a strong qualifying effort which didn't amount to much in the race.
F2: The most exciting race of the whole weekend was the F2 sprint race thanks to the rain. Points leader Frederik Vesti impressively won it. Oliver Bearman took the feature race.
F3: Local Barcelona hero, Josep Maria Marti, won the feature race from pole. Fernando Alonso came over to give him a post race hug. Zak O'Sullivan took the sprint race.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Grand slam.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 16 -- The number of laps the rest of the field have led so far in 2023, while Red Bull has led 401 laps.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Madrid is trying to wrest the Spanish GP from Barcelona, an area which has hosted the event in four locations. Sitges-Terramar (1923 won by Albert Divo in a Sunbeam on a 2.0-kilometer high banked kidney shaped oval), Pedralbes (1951 won by Juan Manual Fangio in an Alfa Romeo and 1954 won by Mike Hawthorn in a Ferrari on a 3.9-mile street course), Montjuic (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975 on a 2.356-mile street circuit), and of course Catalunya since 1991.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From @f1shaderoom: Mercedes won't be officially back until Redbull lodges a complaint against their car.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Max Verstappen's engineer, "You've been given a black and white flag, so we cannot afford anything." The very next lap, Max sets fastest time.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: George Russell on Red Bull's dominance, "Red Bull could put no sidepods on their car and they'd still be the quickest."
SCHEDULE: Back to North America to the Great White North. But first, we all get to enjoy the Le Mans Centenary.
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