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While many fans have been pointing out for years that F1 has become a boring spectacle with the same cars winning all the time, the truncated 2020 season has been anything but that. The first race at Silverstone came to a thrilling finish thanks to tyre issues for perennial champions Mercedes. They still managed to scrape through to victory thanks to a debatable strategy call from Red Bull to pit towards the end and go for the fastest lap. There would be no such respite this time around. Red Bull and Max Verstappen didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the entire race and they looked utterly unbeatable at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
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Formula 1 is boring…Damn, no!
It all began with Max Verstappen getting through Q2 on the hard compund. This allowed him to run much longer after getting the perfect start and jumping Nico Hulkenberg to slot behind the Mercs biding his time. It immediately became clear that Mercedes were having an awful day with tyre management. The race was a two stopper for most and Red Bull had both Mercedes drivers covered despite a rather long pit stop. Bottas would get the jump on Verstappen but all Max would need is a couple of corners to get back in the front.
Lewis Hamilton did his best to throw a spanner in the works by going extremely long on the second stint and for a few laps, it seemed like they would try to go for a one-stop strategy. However saner heads prevailed and Lewis pitted with a handful of laps to go. While the victory charge was gone, this allowed Lewis to get the jump on teammate Valtteri Bottas who was on aging tyres and didn’t have the pace or grip to do anything other than be a minor inconvenience for Lewis.
One doesn’t become a driver, but one’s born to being a driver
When all was said and done, Max won a famous victory at Silverstone with the last time being 2012 that they had accomplished this feat. The true winners were, however, the fans. In a season that has already had a couple of really good races, this one will stand out for multiple reasons. For starters, this proved that two-stop races will always give way to exciting racing up and down the field and maybe Pirelli and the FIA should ensure that this is a regular occurrence. The other important takeaway is that Red Bull and Max Verstappen cannot be discounted just as yet. This was perfectly on display from Red Bull’s second car being driven by Alex Albon. Had he started just a row ahead, he too could have been on the podium. It seems like race pace has been sorted for Red Bull and doing well on Saturday would make them firm contenders for both championships.
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Ferrari F1 car is not “that red car being ahead”
But special shoutout needs to be given to Charles Leclerc as he was the tyre maestro and managed to bring the car home in fourth after pitting just once. This, however, put Vettel under bigger scrutiny as he compounded his troubles by spinning on the opening lap itself. The radio tirade that followed and the scathing words during the post race press conference all point to a very messy end for the Vettel-Ferrari partnership.
Down the field, Racing Point managed to finally showcase their true pace by finishing sixth and seventh with Hulkenberg looking like a man on a missio. There were more solid drives from the likes of Ocon, Norris, and Kvyat. One man who really suffered in the midfield was Daniel Ricciardo as this turned out to be one of his worst showings till date. The Haas and Alfa Romeo cars continued to be listless.
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Pink Mercedes? Whatever, if it driving fast!
Racing Point managed to finally showcase their true pace by finishing sixth and seventh with Hulkenberg looking like a man on a missio. There were more solid drives from the likes of Ocon, Norris, and Kvyat. One man who really suffered in the midfield was Daniel Ricciardo as this turned out to be one of his worst showings till date. The Haas and Alfa Romeo cars continued to be listless.
Everyone has been waiting for this for so long!
Fans have been clamouring for thrilling racing and they have got that in small doses here and there already in 2020. The 70th anniversary race stood up to its name and was a worthy celebration of the longevity of the sport. Those wheel to wheel battles are still rare but at least Formula 1 is heading in the right direction. Red Bull has been playing second or third fiddle to Mercedes so far in the hybrid era but it finally feels like Red Bull has stepped up. That along with all the sub plots such Bottas’ displeasure and Vettel’s cluelessness should make this season one of the most exciting ones in a long time.
If this won’t impress you, I don’t know even then what!