8 September 2019

Five hours and 20 minutes after the race

We have had a great few months in Formula 1 with race after race being filled with action and excitement, despite the jonahs of the sport trying to convince us that the racing is dull. Far from it! The Italian GP was another gripper as Charles Leclerc battled with the two Mercedes to win Ferrari's home race. It was great stuff with Charles being rather more muscly than we have seen him in the past. Clearly this did not impress Lewis Hamilton much but the FIA has a new policy of "let them race" and so they can get away with more than previously. Leclerc was given a black and white flag, warning him not to behave in an unsportsmanlike manner more than once. Charles was left on his won in the fight because Sebastian Vettel made another unforced error, spinning off on his own at the Ascari chicane and, clearly angry at himself, rejoined in a dangerous fashion, nearly having a major accident with Lance Stroll. This earned Sebastian a penalty and meant that not only did he not score points, but he has now lost his position in the World Championship to his young team-mate. Sebastian is going to have to dig deep in the races ahead to re-establish himself as the team leader down Mraanello way.

The race marked an upturn in fortunes for Renault with Daniel Ricciardo and and Nico Hulkenberg finishing fourth and fifth to give the team a major haul of much-needed points, to pull them clear of the battle for fifth place in the championship and they are now closing fast on McLaren and another race like this and they will be going ahead. Red Bull expected to have a bad weekend at Monza and that did indeed come to pass with Max Verstappen starting at the back and picking up damage in the first corner. He fought back through to eighth, a good effort. Alex Albon was looking strong for the first couple of laps but was then elbowed off in the Lesmos by Carlos Sainz, although the Spanish got away with this because it was deemed to be racing and Alex could have backed out of an overtake on the outside through the fast corners... Later he would run overa chicane and pick up a five second penalty, which the team felt was not worthy of a penalty and so declined to tell Alex to give the place back. Alex charged again and fought his way back to sixth, trying to find a way to pass Nico Hulkenberg for fifth in the closing laps. Sergio Perez raced up from the back of the field to finish seventh, with Verstappen all over him in the final laps. The rest of the field were a lap behind with Antonio Giovinazzi getting a couple of points in front of his home crowd in his Alfa Romeo. The final point went to Lando Norris.

Thoughts at Spa »




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