Okay so, let me start with a quick Race Recap!
Round 1: Bahrain
Max Verstappen won which, shouldn’t be a big surprise. Max is good. Really good. Seriously world class and the Red Bull he’s driving is VERY fast. Barring some surprises, Max is a good bet to win any race, any track. There will be issues and stuff will happen to keep him from a clean sweep of every race (this has never happened and likely never will) but he has a good chance to win any particular race.
Next up on the podium was Sergio Perez, who is my personal fave. Sergio is diligent wingman at Red Bull and proved why with a super solid, super consistent race.
And here’s a dude a I said would be super fun to watch, Fernando Alonso! Alonso had a mega drive. He made the best of good qualifying pace and patiently picked off everyone in front of him despite being hit by his teammate early on.
Looking further down I’m going to do this by team…
The other half of Aston Martin didn’t fare so well. Lance Stroll isn’t a remarkable driver but he looked to have a really good car so he finished 6th which is great for him (and his broken wrist).
Mercedes also had a pretty mid weekend. Mercedes has previously been DOMINANT to the point that it made F1 boring for several years. But ever since the new rules that started with last year’s cars they have no idea what they’re doing. Now a REALLY good team with great drivers totally making a hash of their car still gets them fifth and seventh on the grid. That’s how incredibly good Mercedes is. But that’s not good enough and this will likely be another year in the woods for them.
Ferrari had a Bad Weekend. The Scuderia (Ferrari’s other nickname) has a Bad Weekend any time they don’t place on the podium. That’s because Ferrari isn’t out here doing this because its fun, its because the history of Formula One is largely also the history of Ferrari. Carlos Sainz finished well (fourth) but only because his teammate Charles LeClerc had an engine failure and mechanical failure are a Ferrari hallmark in this era.
Alfa Romeo up next! Okay so Alfa has some weird stuff going on. They are not actually Alfa Romeo. They are secretly a team called Sauber but they have a branding deal. Bottas had a good race but the thing about finishing eighth is that no one cares or sees you on TV. Sorry Valterri. Same goes for his partner Zhou Guanyu. Except he finished 16th.
Alpine is another one of these branding cases. Alpine (pronounce Al-PEEN) is a branding effort of Renault. A car manufacturer most Americans are not familiar with. It’s okay. They’re an all French lineup of Pierre Gasly who finished a totally anonymous 9th and Esteban Ocon who didn’t finish and almost set a record for penalties.
Williams! Okay so I actually love Williams but that’s because I’ve been watching F1 long enough to have seen them when they were run by the Williams family and not Dorilton Capital. So good to see them getting points. Which you only get for finishing in the top 10. Alex Albon, a lost son of Red Bull, finished 10th, good on him. And Logan Sargeant (the lone American) finished 12th but also he finished so slow that he got lapped.
AlphaTauri is yet another weird team. Okay so they are sort of for sale right now and they are a fashion brand of Red Bull. They used to be called Toro Rosso which is…Red Bull in Italian. Yuki Tsunoda finished 11th but wasn’t lapped. Good for him. Bad for his team still.
Haas! Okay, Haas is the “American” team and they kind of used to be the Russian team by way of America. Weird setup that was! They’ve got one of the older lineups and didn’t have much to show with both drivers finishing a lap down. They look…okay? The car is quick but they’re going to struggle this year with how good Aston Martin is doing.
And finally, McLaren. McLaren should be much better than this but the care seems awful right now. They’ll get sorted and rise up to the middle but goals wise, they should really be fighting for best of the rest or 3rd occasionally.
Okay so I want to introduce a term to you and eventually I will build a glossary. Formula1.5. If you watched the race it really looks like the teams at the top are WAY at the top. Just way better than the rest. That’s because they are. Those guys are at the pinnacle of motorsport. The other 6ish teams will never get there. They’re sort of racing in what some people call Formula One Point Five and its because they’d be way to good to race in Formula 2 but there is a significant gap. Which is why you should pick a couple teams and drivers to root for!
So, what is coming this weekend? Well Round 2 is at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia. this is one of the fastest street races around and we’re likely to see some safety car action and plenty of yellow flags. Jeddah is a fast track. It’s not been on the calendar long either so some of the most experienced drivers don’t have a ton of experience with it. It’s also one of the many tracks mired in controversy because of the the massive human rights abuses ongoing in Saudi Arabia.
Also, if you want to play Fantasy F1 with me and some others, join our Grid Rival! You pick some drivers and teams and stuff and spend fantasy points.