The scores are in, and TJ13’s TheaJ writes up the readers scores for the weekend’s Grand Prix Formula 1 race.
Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend – Spielberg, Austria, 2020
Mean Reader Score: 8.04 Ranked 1/1
What is it about Austria that makes it so good? Apart from the score of 4.96 of 2017, this race has scored highly and provided drama for the past few years. Last year, it scored a (albeit unilateral) 9, coming in at 1/9. In 2018 it scored 7.96, (3/9,) and 2016 it scored 8.15. Each race provided its own drama, from the slugging it out between team-mates Hamilton and Rosberg for the WDC in 2016 and their final lap collision (not to mention the penalty given to Rosberg) to the abysmal start of Verstappen and his battle back to the front last year.
2017 saw Bottas being 0.001s too slow to have been deemed to have got a flyer at the start, and in 2018 we still had a battle for WDC, except this time it was between Vettel and Hamilton as they flip-flopped between 1st and second in the WDC.
By 2019, even though both championships had been pretty much sewn up (Mercedes for WCC and Hamilton for WDC) we had an excellent race.
So what would this year’s race hold? To be honest, the first (ahem) fifty or so laps were nothing much to write home about (except for the three safety car issues, Kimi losing a wheel, Verstappen retiring, Vettel spinning and Perez almost but not quite having an unsafe release from the pits).
The slugging it out between Verstappen (on mediums) v the two Mercedes at the beginning didn’t happen. The start was clean and fair, and Bottas took the lead from pole.
The ‘race’ seemed to be all but over when Verstappen took, not the lead, but the first retirement of this much-delayed season opener. The last ten laps or so were a different story completely.
By this time both Mercedes had been told to keep off the kerbs, their two significant gains had been obliterated by safety cars, Hamilton had ‘pushed Albon off the track’ gaining himself a five second penalty, Leclerc had moved into the defacto No 2 position and Lando Norris had overtaken Perez (who also had a five second penalty) and moved into P4.
Who then, won our much- coveted Driver of The Weekend?
Driver of the Weekend, Lando Norris, 54.16%of reader vote
Well, not only did young Lando Norris secure his best ever qualifying position in his F1 career (P4, 1:03.625,) but due to Hamilton getting a three-place grid penalty actually started in P3.
It seemed that Hamilton’s loss was Norris’ gain this weekend, as Hamilton took a second penalty (see above), which meant with one lap to go, Norris was only a couple of tenths behind Hamilton’s penalty adjusted time.
Well, on the last lap of the race, like a bat out of hell, the youngster put his foot down, went into qualifying mode, and not only pipped Hamilton to P3 but managed to win the fastest lap of the day award too.
Norris took his first ever podium and Mclaren were back on said podium yet again, building on Sainz’s late podium in Brazil last year. Well done Lando!!