Quali wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d started to hope it might be but still reasonably competitive - especially getting through the Q sessions.
Intrigued to see if the Ferrari decision to not run Leclerc again in Q3 pays off. It has merit to save a set of tyres for the run down to turn 1 and he was unlikely to get pole so I think it’s a good gamble for them to take.
Now, if only it wasn’t my little girls 4th birthday party tomorrow afternoon…at the exact time of the race
First race of the season and already they know they’re facing an inevitable grid penalty for Leclerc
How quickly will Max wrap it up?
Will Sainz actually challenge Le Fault?
Which driver won’t finish the season.
I enjoyed the race last weekend some good battles.
I hate to be a Pessimist but I think it’s already wrapped up for Max.
Sainz just isn’t quick enough consistently to compete with Leclerc.
Unless the Red Bull inexplicably turns into the most unreliable car of the season, probably safe to say he has it wrapped up already. And Perez won’t (be allowed) to challenge him.
In that respect it’s shaping up to be an incredibly boring season. Domination of first Vettel and then Hamilton seemed bad? Real ‘hold my beer’ time looming.
Fun will be looking at how the midfield will shape up. Will Ferrari manage to solve their reliability issues and also continue to develop the car? Will Mercedes be able to drag an absolute dog out of the gutter? Will Alonso have a stunning renaissance that sees him beat the rest to 2nd in an unprecedented and most un-Alonso-like manner?
Being a Ferrari and Leclerc fan is nothing but pain
Once again the FIA have covered themselves in glory today with the Alonso penalty farce!
Totally agree. It had the feel of another team raising it (probably Merc, although I’m not too fussed about given they all do it and it’s part of the sport) before the Stewards then investigated.
I just don’t understand how the Stewards hadn’t already ensured themselves that the penalty had been served properly.
Although as we found from the Aston Martin challenge, it’s really not clear what teams can and can’t do…which I expect they’ll tighten up rules on now which would be a good thing, but a bit late.
My understanding is the stewards rely on the team self-policing to make sure they serve the penalty properly, and if there’s an FIA observer at the box they’re at the front so wouldn’t have seen the jack touching the car.
I thought you couldn’t serve a penalty during the Safety Car period anyway? Or has that rule been got rid of now?
I think you’re right about the observer being at the front of the car.
Just seems like it’s open to being served incorrectly at the minute, accidentally or otherwise.
Seemed to be some confusion on this point as well actually - but I’m not sure if and when that changed. I don’t remember that kind of rule well enough.
It’s always been a bit iffy. I remember some years back when Hamilton was given a five-second penalty and the Mercedes staff member with the stopwatch was a bit too fast with it, so when the stewards checked later they decided it was under five seconds and made him serve it again.
Subsequently Mercedes over-compensated and at another race later that season it was about 6-7 seconds before they worked on the car because they were being too careful.
Pretty sure both instances had the commentators saying something at the time, so it’s not like the oddities were spotted massively later like this one.
It seems to me there are two issues with recent events:
The stewards initially applied an interpretation of the rules that was at odds with precedent. This teams at this point need to be told clearly what is expected of them and what would be considered a breach in future.
The FIA needs to decide if they/the stewards need to be more actively policing penalties served instead of leaving it up to the teams. Essentially, should this part of the game be brought up to more professional standards?
There’s possibly a third issue - should teams be able to cheaply serve penalties under a safety car? - but that’s going to be much harder to unpick, because if you legislate against that advantage, should you also legislate against other advantages? Should ‘no overtaking under the safety car’ included giving back places lost in pit stops?
Agree with all you’ve said. Including the point about penalties under the safety car being difficult to unpick - at least with rules the way they are.
If you have to serve the next time you come into the pit, you’d have to legislate around that at the very least.
I think for now all we’ll see is tightening up what constitutes not working on the car and whether you can contact the jack, which I don’t think you ought to be able to.
Maybe longer term they’ll look at whether you can serve under safety car. Or perhaps I’ll be surprised and they’ll look at it sooner.
Anyone else up early this morning to watch?
Full of action and excitement today, great race. Don’t want to say too much as people may want to watch it later on C4.
I set a 5am alarm but for some reason it didn’t vibrate or go off properly on my watch, so slept straight through what looked to be a great race
Waking up at 6am in a Premier Inn the morning after a wedding was well worth it