Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend:
Mean reader score: 4.43 Rated 13/20races so far this season.
As this was the inaugural F1 GP at this circuit we can only say it’s the best score this circuit has had. At 4.43 this race ranked 13/20 races so far this season. As has often been the case, the outcome of the race was more interesting than the race itself. Although, being a very abrasive surface, and several drivers going for a one stop, we did have several delaminations during the race, (Russel, Latifi) and also in free practice, (Gasly). The kerbs were pretty brutal to the cars here (although, had the drivers stuck to track limits, they wouldn’t have been a problem – but that’s another story). Verstappen clung on to his lead in the WDC, and that all important point for fastest lap meant his lead has now been reduced to eight points. Mercedes, on the other hand, clung on to their lead in WCC by an even slimmer six points. Bottas failed to finish after suffering a puncture from his long first stint, meaning Mercedes only scored the points Hamilton brought home. Red Bull, with both cars on a two stop strategy brought home double points, but not a double podium. Red Bull, Alpine, Aston Martin and Ferrari all had both cars come home scoring points and provided some of the best racing of the event (Perez v Alonso, followed by Perez V Ocon later in the race). Who then, took the third place on the podium? It was one other than our Driver of the Weekend, who asked his team to ask his partner to ‘defend like a lion’…..
Driver of the Weekend: Fernando Alonso: 50% of reader vote.
Qualifying in P5 but (due to penalties) starting in P3, Alonso was in the thick of it from the start. But, moving up to P2 before dropping back to P4, he chanced his arm on a one stop and got himself back into P3. He ended up with podium and not a puncture, as he showed there was indeed life in the old dog yet. He may be 40, but he’s far from finished in F1. We had a glimpse of the Fernando of yore, the double World Champion we know and love. Well done Fernando!!