By: Cyril Nikitenko
Formula 1’s summer break gave F1 tweeps some time to relax, climb a mountain or two, fly into space or maybe throw a few wild yacht parties, the usual, you know. Me, I staged a staycation, just lying on me sofa in me living room and farting in everybody’s general direction. It’s a great opportunity to test wind tunnel theories I reckon.
Once we were searched by xessy female security guards at the Lisbon Luís Figo airport and cleared to take off, we immediately started tweeting. Flying over Belgium, everything felt distinctively Belgian, like me fave chocolate. Even Belgium’s own imitation of Oporto’s Francesinha had something Belgian about it (see this post’s header image).
Needless to say, Spa is an amazing place to test F1 turbo hybrids to the limit and their pleasant soothing exhaust note could not be heard in the media centre. I’m convinced it’s a win-win situation for the journos, especially older and fatter ones, the baby boomer corner was visibly delighted with the way things were going on the track.
And things were actually heating up for the rancor champs (#Seb5 and #blessed #teamLH) at Spa-Francorchamps; Vettel chose not to torpedo LH in the race, a smart move from the scheming German.
But let’s get our priorities right.
Ferrari seemed to be much closer to their oil-burning rivals in qualifying than usual; the mercurial Finns (2018 contractless Bottas and recently contracted Kimi) let their team-mates duel it out for the pole. Lewis was faster than Seb in the end, that Petronas oil must be a real marvel of chemical engineering! Malaysian chemical bros and sisters doing their bit for zee Germans, ja.
I say why don’t we ban engine modes? With all this road relevance palaver going on, why do we bother with tricks to let the same team win over and over again? Make it easier for the fans and spice up the action at the front.
It was yet another weekend to forget for the embattled Honda F1 effort: local hero Stoffel Vandoorne, courtesy of his powerless unit penalties, ended up P56 or P555 on the grid, dunno, while poor Alonso went medieval on Honda’s @ss over team radio once again and duly retired his orange Trump on wheels after a bit of afternoon testing at the back of the field on Sunday.
But forget Honda! Force India duo soon became the talk of the town after Sergio the Muchacho Pérez banged wheels with monsieur finesse Ocon once again and to similar effect as in Baku before! What a nightmare! I’m sure Vijay must’ve been furious with his team; why wouldn’t he be? Life isn’t so pink after all for him or his F1 squad. All is good now between SP and EO, apparently. Until one of them arrives headless at the first corner in Monza or something, hopefully not. Motorsport is dangerous, kids.
Race results would seem to suggest Renault factory team are heading in the right direction, at least with the mighty Hulk; despite Jolly Palmer’s improved performance, he’s nowhere near the German, once tipped by many to be a future megastar in F1. Nico’s a half-megastar in my world.
Renault’s other team had one of their usual post-2013 races: P3 for D-Ric and a DNF for Max33, with Ricciardo suggesting Max is treating his Red Bull with less respect than he ought to have done. Maybe. Certainly a frustrating chain of events for junior Verstappen who is ready to take on the championship. I’m sure RBR and Renault will sort it out sooner rather than later.
In F2 the “it is I, Leclerc” show continued with more pole positions, even if he got a big fat DSQ in race 1, which in turn promoted Rob Wilson’s Russian Time Russian pupil Artem Markelov to P1; the next best Brazilian offer on the market, Sette Câmara, bagged his maiden win in Spa’s sprint race. Força, Brasil! By now I presume no one doubts the French Resistance will win the title in F2. I’ll eat my pubic hair if Leclerc is only vice-champion in Abu Dhabi.
GP3 continued its latest trend with Alesi Jr winning race 2, while our favourite 2017 interviewee, G. Russell, took the honours in race 1, thus extending his lead in the championship standings over Aitken. Russell is currently sitting pretty on 137 points.
Next stop is Monza where Diego Merino will be covering Formula 2 and GP3, also F1, for your viewing and reading pleasure! Stay tuned!