I'VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY TO BE SO WRONG!
There are a lot of weekends where I feel that I still love formula one, but it VERY casually loves me back. Like the way a cat loves its owner, it knows it needs you, but that doesn’t mean you have to hang out. This weekend did show good promise at the end of Saturday with Carlos Sainz pushing his Mclaren onto the second row of the grid. Then I sat down and was treated to that, beautiful (chefs kiss), bellissima race, and my love was reaffirmed.
Right off the line Sainz took over P2 from Bottas who just fell down the grid all the way to P6 by the time he made it back to the line. Through the first lap it was Merc, McLaren, Mclaren, Racing Point, Renault, Mercedes, WHAT?! If that was the way they all came around in the end I would have been ecstatic but Monza had other ideas. Before 20 laps had passed we lost 2 cars from one italian team on the grid and I’ll let you take a guess… FERRARI!
Kevin Magnessen does a Haas and breaks down in a way that it affects everyone which closes the pit lane. Hamilton and Antonio both pit, causing them to get 10 second stop go penalties. We lose Charles Leclerc in Parabolica which red flags the session. We get a session restart that throws Hamilton to last and Pierre Gasly into lead followed by Sainz and Stroll. AND THAT'S HOW WE END IT. I MEAN I JUST COULDN’T BE HAPPIER WITH RESULT.
I think that this race should be used as a case study for the reverse grid argument. Two things that we definitely learned is that Mercedes are not built to overtake and mid tier teams can defend. I think that Bottas and Hamilton spent more time trying to get out of slipstreams than they did with the DRS open. They clearly have designed a car that is supposed to be in clean air. This is something that teams might be able to take advantage of IF they can somehow qualify higher. Manage to keep the Mercedes cars behind you for 4 laps and the engines will run hot and then you'll be golden. This was demonstrated by Mclaren. It was just clear that Bottas didn’t have the pace to get passed Norris and in most cases was getting left behind. It took Lewis not long to make it through the bottom cars but by the end of the race he was out of the slipstream and trying to cool as well, so it makes sense to expect the same.
All in all a great day for formula 1 and congratulations to Pierre Gasly.
React to the weekend below and tell me what you think!