Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend, Round 3,
Mean Reader Score: 4.12 Ranked 3/3 races
This year’s mean race score of 4.12 was way lower than the 8.18 from last year and the 7.31 from 2017. In 2018, by the narrowest of margins, China was heading our leader board, being top of the polls. In 2016, this race saw the beginning of the demise of Kvyat as he scuppered Vettel’s race, last year it was Verstappen who sent Vette into a spin; whose turn would it be this year?
There was quite a lot of spinning on the formation lap, as both Verstappen and Kubica struggled to getting their tyres up to temperature.
There was a lot of hype around this being the 1000th F1 GP. Sadly, this race didn’t live up to even the lowest expectations. In short, it was rather dull. Bottas, as championship leader, took the 1000th pole position, ahead of Hamilton and the two Ferraris, In fact for only the second time in 1000 races, (Singapore 2011was the first) the cars lined up in team pairs for the first five rows (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault, Hass).
Bottas’ lead didn’t last long as, being just behind a huge white line on the track, he has massive wheelspin within inches of setting off. Hamilton overtook him, Vettel nearly rear ended him, and took evasive action which allowed Leclerc into P3.
The ‘torpedo’ (Kvyat) lived up to his reputation by taking out not one, but two Mclarens at the start, Leclerc was told to let Vettel past, Vettel and Verstappen gave us the best bit of racing in the GP, as Verstappen lunged down the inside of Vettel, taking P4, only to lose it again within seconds: and that was pretty much it for the next hour or so, before Hamilton won, Bottas came second, and Vettel the final podium place, ahead of Verstappen, Leclerc and Gasly (who, on the last lap, snatched the fastest lap point from Vettel). Who, then, won our Driver of the Weekend?
Driver of The Weekend: Alexander Albon: 49.01 % of reader vote.
Well, having had a pretty spectacular crash in the last few minutes of FP3, our Driver of the Weekend found himself unable to take part in qualifying, as he didn’t have a car. His mechanics, did a fabulous job of re-building it in time for him to start the race from the pit lane.
Every cloud has a silver lining- it meant he missed the ‘carnage’ at the beginning of the race. However, with one thing and another, he managed to work his way through the field and finish in P10, scoring Toro Rosso’s only point this race. Well done Alex! (Could he be a contender for Gasly’s Red Bull seat?)