Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter: Adam Macdonald (@adamac39)
It was always going to be an emotional day; the first death of a driver in over 20 years. Furthermore, to such a promising talent in such tragic circumstances made it hard to consider a reality. I can hold my hands up and admit there was a lump in my throat as I settled into my armchair before the race, made even bigger by the touching ceremony pre-race to the late Bianchi.
With this in mind, perhaps that would go some way to explaining the madness that ensued on track, drivers with their minds elsewhere. Massa not lining up properly, Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Maldonado all making very ‘loose’ starts (well actually no change with the Venezuelan then) – it begs the question of whether it was the best idea to do something so emotive before the start of a race?
Either way, what a race it was – a great send off for a man who held the respect of senior figures up and down the paddock.
On the Up
Lewis Hamilton may have had a bad day, but the team named after his pooch enjoyed a successful day. OK, 23% would not normally be something to shout bark about, but given the circumstances and the 11 place climb in the league it can looked upon as a triumph.
Even though it was a the first Russian podium ever, the Russian Team Osprey did not have a great deal to cheer about, amassing just 6% prediction accuracy and consequently dropping 9 places. Spa can only get better…
The only way is up
Another 6% score and another drop in the league standings. One cause for a smile, the home GP is only one race away for the Italian team, Kepler Racing. As anyone who has been will know, simply put, Monza is a special weekend (anyone considering going just do it!).
Nobody saw it coming
Well just about everyone was caught out by the Mercedes drivers losing their heads. Many predicted Williams would fare better than they did and Nico Hulkenberg’s race finishing early threw a spanner in the works of a few. Max Verstappen’s best race victory should be congratulated and celebrated, but the most shocking part of the day was a Daniil Kvyat podium – the Russian may breathe a little easier as he heads into the summer break, his race seat looking much more certain now.
Food for thought
Can Williams bounce back at a circuit that should favour them or will Red Bull be able to pull the same trick as they did last year and shave all the downforce off their cars?
One thing is for certain, McLaren’s loss will be Sauber’s gain. The fight between the two teams could be won and lost over the next two races, with the Swiss outfit needing to maximise their points haul at two circuits that should favour them more. Anyone brave enough to put them in your top 10?
In this section there will be a question each week to test your memory from GPs gone by. The idea is not to look it up but see if you can remember it first!
Felipe Massa’s misjudgement at the start of the race caused a phenomenon not often seen in F1 – an aborted start. When was the last time this happened, where and why?
(Answer will be posted in the next Predictor summary)
Last question’s answer
The question was: What is the one thing that would stop this London circuit from ever happening?
[The video of the lap around London was embedded here]
Answer: The drivers go through the central gate of Admiralty Arch, which is only ever opened to Royalty – though some would argue F1 drivers are racing royalty no doubt!