Flying Alonso in Spa – Belgian GP 2018
F1s returned from the summer break only to sadly provide us with another dull race, even if a few drivers did accomplish some truly excellent performances.
- Sebastian Vettel – Vettel overtook Hamilton at the beginning and defended his position on the restart after the safety car. The championship battle is still on.
- Lewis Hamilton – Apart from letting Vettel slip past him, no-one even touched Lewis this race.
- Max Verstappen – Verstappen continues to creep up the positions to battle for the title of Best of the Rest.
- Valtteri Bottas – Our most impressive rise from the back-lot by a mile considering that Bottas’s front wing was totalled during the first lap.
- Sergio Perez – The recently bought out Force India (now officially Racing Point Force India, but I’ll keep using the old name for now) drivers gave it their all. It’s a little sad Perez didn’t really come close to a podium this round but no flies on him.
- Esteban Ocon – Ditto.
- Romain Grosjean – Haas took a massive leap towards overtaking Renault in the standings with an excellent driver from both drivers.
- Keving Magnussen – Ditto.
- Pierre Gasly – We’ve admittedly seen better from the future Red Bull driver, but we’ve also seen worse.
- Marcus Ericsson – Ericsson defended Sauber’s honour admirably by fighting off Carlos Sainz, after his team-mate was taken out on the first lap. I’ve given the Swedish driver a lot of sh*t these past three years, but I have to admit that Marcus is finally driving on a level that perhaps deserves another season.
Golden Pineapple Award: Carlos Sainz, Renault
Renault had an all-round miserable time at Spa. Not only did one of their drivers not finish, Sainz failed to defend his position against Ericsson. This is Renault’s first non-scoring finish since Austria. They’d better shape up for Monza.
Drop-out count: 5
While three drivers were taken out on the first lap, all the retirements this round happened most likely because of the massive incident at the start of the race.
Nico the Hülk smashed into the back of Fernando Alonso‘s car, lifting it up and over Charles Leclerc’s Sauber and ending the race for all three drivers there and then. Hülkenberg received a 10 grid penalty for the next race for all his efforts. The crash also initiated the safety car.
Caught in the madness were also Kimi Räikkönen who suffered a tyre puncture and Daniel Ricciardo whose entire rear-wing was taken out. Both continued to race for a few laps more (Ricciardo being let loose two laps down from everyone), before finally retiring, most likely due to the damage both cars received.
Back of the Lot News:
Another incredibly sad outcome from the Williams drivers as Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll weren’t able to achieve anything. Finishing a rather paltry 12th and 13th. Brendon Hartley also fell back immensely which was sad to see as there was quite the battle between Hartley and Ericsson for 10th at one point. Hartley was 14th and second-to-last.
Dead Last: Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren has already been dead last once this season with Alonso, but I doubt that Vandoorne, whose at least reached 11th once this season is really all that happy about this race weekend. Here’s hoping Stoffel might manage to make the best of Monza.