Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend – Round 6, Spain, 2020
Mean Reader Score 3.29 Rated 6th out of 6 races so far this season.
Yet again Spain has scored the lowest ratings of the year so far. In fact this is low even for Spain: At 3.29 this is lower than last year’s 3.71, even lower than 2019’s 4.33 and way lower than 2017’s 7.65 and nowhere near 2016’s 8.65.
Without doubt this is by far the worst race of the year so far. Once again the top two places had been decided by turn 1 (i.e the first 500 metres of a 300km race) and the third podium place by turn 5 when Bottas finally got past Stroll, who took P4.
There was a pretty good scrap between Norris and Leclerc for P11 mid race which resulted in the retirement of Leclerc from the race (his Ferrari engine cut out). Raikkonen was nearly taken out, which would have been a pity, as on Lap 37 he had completed more miles of laps than any F1 driver in the history of the sport (some 53999 miles, twice the circumference of the equator).
Grosjean spun his car off track, and that was pretty much it. Except, of course for the interest provided by our Driver of the Weekend…..
Driver of the Weekend: Sebastian Vettel, 42.92% of reader vote.
Having failed to make it into Q3 by two milliseconds, Vettel had the luxury (starting from P11) of choosing his tyres for the start of the race and, not surprisingly, chose the slightly harder compound medium tyre.
Not that he had many advantages of their supposed longevity as he was pitted on the same lap (29) as team-mate (and chosen one) Leclerc, who was on the soft tyre.
Leclerc’s engine cut out leaving Vettel to score as many points as possible for the prancing horse. Well what happened next was a bit of a mystery: Vettel asked for advice on how the team wanted him to play this middle stint and , after initially being ignored, was then told there was no point in saving tyres, before being asked a few laps later if he thought he could get to the end of the race on his already old soft tyres.
Having explained to his engineer how to calculate the speed he needed to lap to get to the end of the race on those tyres, and still get decent points, he then drove very carefully to come in 7th, as he had nothing to lose by staying on softs.
This won him much praise within the F1 community globally, for as well as winning our Driver of the Weekend, he also won F1’s Driver of the Day. Well done Sebastian!!