2019 Brazil Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: This is why a race can be more fun when a championship is not on the line.
EVENT: There were concerns about this event when no Brazilians were left on the grid. There may have been a drop in attendance initially. However, the enthusiasm of Brazilian fans for F1 ultimately won out. Now, just imagine if a Brazilian driver does return to the grid.
TRACK: Make. This. Race. The. Finale. Screw Abu Dhabi's money!
QUALIFYING: Verstappen carries his speed through the weekend, Ferrari silences some of their cheating critics, Mercedes had no answer, Haas shocks everyone including themselves making it to Q3, Kvyat is disappointing, and Stroll is as usual...
RACE: What an insane, thrilling final 20 laps. Just nuts.
START: One of the cleanest starts in F1 history, Verstappen is spot on, Hamilton confidently goes around the outside of Vettel, and Norris turns his aggression level up to 11.
VERSTAPPEN: Max always appears determined. But, he was really determined this weekend to get that victory he felt was stolen from him last year by Esteban Ocon.
GASLY: The happiest man in F1 right now.
TORO ROSSO: Their best result since Sebastian Vettel won for them back in 2008 at Monza in the rain.
HONDA: The Japanese engines like the higher altitude tracks.
SAINZ: Probably doesn't care he didn't actually stand on the podium. Carlos is so happy anyway.
MCLAREN: Finally, a season worth shouting about. Fourth place in the constructors' championship. Can they make the next leap forward in the subsequent years? They are still way behind the top three.
HAMILTON: An imposter on the podium. Lewis accepting blame without question is worth noting. But, would he have been that magnanimous had he still needed the points in a championship fight?
MERCEDES: A rare strategy blunder. Pitting Hamilton during the last safety car period, despite their reasoning, was a mistake. Even they admitted it was dumb.
ALBON: Sure, you can feel for Alexander. But, he admitted he left the door wide open and only half heartedly closed it.
RED BULL: Interesting how two of their rejects ended up on the podium.
KVYAT: Daniil is getting completely outclassed by Gasly. This does not bode well for him after looking impressive for a season-and-a-half since his comeback.
ALFA ROMEO: All of a sudden, a solid race.
FERRARI: And there you have it. It finally happened. The red drivers took each other out. The intra-team war has now gone nuclear.
VETTEL: Sorry, Sebastian. That was your fault. (Is anyone really surprised?) You were the one who moved over. Ever so slightly, but that movement -- which wasn't necessary -- was just enough to cause the collision.
LECLERC: Charles must be smiling, knowing he is in Vettel's head.
HAAS: It looked like they were finally going to follow up a solid qualifying effort with a good race. Then, it all fizzled away.
RICCIARDO: This time, his aggression paid off even if he had to sit for five seconds.
WILLIAMS: Seriously? You had to (nearly) inject yourselves into the fight for the lead with the moronic release of Robert Kubica which nearly took Verstappen out. Know your place, Williams!
BOTTAS: A bit hot under the hood.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Redemption.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 2013 -- As in the 2013 USGP, the last time a podium did not have a Mercedes or a Ferrari on it. That podium had all Renaults on it.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time a team named Alfa Romeo did as well as the fifth and sixth they got this race was the 1951 Swiss GP on May 27. They took a 1-3-4-5 finish in that race held in the rain at the Circuit Bremgarten, a 4.524-mile motorcycle track. Juan Manuel Fangio from pole won the race along with the fastest lap. He was followed by three Italians, Piero Taruffi in a Ferrari, and then the Alfas of Nino Farina and Consalvo Sanesi, with Swiss Toulo de Graffenried in fifth.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: After qualifying displayed the Honda engine to be quite quick on the straights, Sebastian Vettel said with tongue in cheek (at least he had a wry smile), "It was a bit of a surprise to see them that quick on the straights, so... a little bit suspicious!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Pierre Gasly displaying his emotions, "I was pressing the overtake button, trying to get low inside the cockpit and I could see his front wing and I was like: 'please don't pass me on the light' 'cos I'm going to be so pissed off if it happens. I really wanted to keep that second place!"
SCHEDULE: We go from what should be the finale to a boring, no passing zone track. Did we mention what to do with Abu Dhabi money...?
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