The Q1 Cup: Round 10
In this series, I have created a mini-championship for the bottom three teams: Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas, Next round: Silverstone.
Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas on a typical race weekend see very little screen time unless they're being lapped by the leaders and we very rarely hear of their respective races.
I decided to create this series to shine a spotlight on these teams and to make the fight for the lower positions a bit more interesting.
So in short, this mini-championship ignores the other seven constructors and purely focuses on Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas. This takes place using an old points system: 1st - 10pts, 2nd - 8pts, 3rd - 6pts, 4th - 4pts, 5th - 2pts and 6th - 1pt, with an extra twist of the driver with the fastest lap also gets an extra point.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the drivers and constructors championships leading up the British Grand Prix:
1st, ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI - 76pts (2FL)
2nd, Kimi Raikkonen - 74pts (4FL)
3rd, George Russell - 49pts (1FL)
4th, Mick Schumacher - 37pts (2FL)
5th, Nicholas Latifi - 26pts (0FL)
6th, Nikita Mazepin - 17pts (0FL)
1st, ALFA ROMEO - 150pts
2nd, Williams - 75pts
3rd, Haas - 54pts
So, with the championship looking like a two horse race between the two Alfa Romeos and George Russell looking to cement third place, lets take a look at the results from the British Grand Prix.
6th (18th) - Mick Schumacher - 1pt
A disappointing weekend for Mick and only the second race this season he has been beaten by his teammate, Nikita Mazepin.
His race started brightly. Starting P18 Schumacher quickly managed to leapfrog Q1 cup rival Nicholas Latifi into P17 before the race was red flagged due to *that* incident.
On the lap 4 restart Mick was briefly promoted to P15 due to Sebastian Vettel's spin at Luffield, but was quickly dispatched by the lone Red Bull of Sergio Perez, as well as Nicholas Latifi, and by lap 10 he was back down in 18th place, but still ahead of his teammate.
Schumacher pitted on lap 25 for the Hard tyres, replacing his worn Mediums, and shortly after the teams pit stop phase he was passed by his teammate, dropping him to P19, until Sebastian Vettels late retirement moved him up to 18th and last place in both the race and our Q1 Cup.
"“It wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, we were struggling with tires and the approach that we had.... I will have to analyze how, as there was a lot of margin for me to go faster. We will have to learn from it and try and get back stronger in Budapest.” - Mick Schumacher via HaasF1team.com
Mick Schumacher in action at Silverstone. Photo credits: @Haasf1team on twitter
5th (17th) - Nikita Mazepin - 2pts
After contact with his teammate in the Sprint Qualifying relegating him to 19th place for the race, Mazepin had a point to prove.
Both starts before and after the red flag were unproblematic yet unspectacular. Max Verstappen's early retirement promoted Mazepin to P18 on the restart but was overtaken by Perez straight away, Vettels spin, however, meant that he kept hold of P18 until lap 8, when Vettel started fighting his way back up the field.
Pitting a lap later than his teammate, Mazepin also swapped his worn mediums for the Hard's and after a brief battle with Schumacher, he was up to P18.
After Vettel's late retirement, Mazepin was up to 17th where he ultimately finished the race and captured 5th place in The Q1 Cup.
“It was tough – very hot! The weekend has been positive. I was very happy with the balance that we managed to extract out of the car, but we were slow compared to other teams – we were not able to fight anybody today... I had to push very hard in the beginning to try and get in front because you know that this track is difficult to overtake on, and I used a lot of my tires but then I put in probably my best overtake in the last three years.” - Nikita Mazepin via Haasf1team.com
4th (15th) - Kimi Raikkonen - 5pts (Fastest Lap)
In a different world, this would be this weeks Q1 Cup winner. Photo credits: @alfaromeoracing on twitter
Kimi Raikkonen's 4th place finish is his lowest finish in the Q1 Cup this season, meaning he's dropped points to his teammate and title rival, Antonio Giovinazzi.
Starting in P13, Kimi was the second highest starter in the Q1 Cup and only one place behind George Russell. His opening lap was fantastic, gaining three places before the red flag halted the race.
The restart, however, wasn't so cool from the iceman, after being promoted to P9 due to Verstappen's crash, and even briefly running in 8th due to Vettel's spin, Kimi was quickly overtaken by both Ocon and Stroll which left him in P10 as the train started to form.
After the only round of pit stops, Raikkonen had dropped to 12th, losing places to Perez and Gasly in the process. Kimi did climb to P11 due to Perez's second stop, however, any celebrations were short lived as a battle with Perez ended in contact into Vale and resulted in Raikkonen spinning.
Dropping down to P16, Kimi did climb to P15, where he ultimately finished, thanks again to Perez's third pitstop to try and take away the Fastest Lap Point from Hamilton.
Today's race in the end came down to damage limitation for the Finn, finishing 4th in the Q1 Cup and gaining the fastest lap point with a 1:31.895.
“It wasn’t too bad a race until the contact with Perez. We knew it would be a difficult afternoon but we had a good start and were able to run in the top ten for a while... we had to do a lot of defending, we were still missing something to be in the points until the flag. Hopefully the next tracks will play a bit more to our strengths and we can be more competitive.” - Kimi Raikkonen via Sauber-group.com
3rd (14th) - Nicholas Latifi - 6pts
The Canadians best finish in the Q1 Cup this season.
Starting in P17, Latifi had a disappointing start, dropping a place to rival Mick Schumacher on the opening lap before the Red Flag.
His second start was slightly better, gaining two positions thanks to the spinning Vettel and Verstappen crashing, but lost a position to Perez almost immediately, before overtaking Schumacher a lap later, which resulted in Latifi running in P16 before the pit stops.
Like most others, Latifi had started on the mediums before switching to the Hard tyres on lap 19. After the dust had settled in the pitlane, Latifi was still in P16, holding off Sebastian Vettel.
With Vettel's retirement taking the pressure off him in the latter stages of the grand prix, coupled with the incident between Raikkonen and Perez, which sent Kimi into a spin, as well as Perez's very late pitstop. Latifi found himself in 14th where he ultimately finished the race.
A 3rd place finish for Latifi, combined with Mick Schumacher finishing last means he has cut the gap down to Mick in 4th to just 6 points. All to play for.
"I am happy overall with my performance and I think it was a decent race for the package we had. There are some positives to take away from the weekend and I’m now looking forward to Hungary." - Nicholas Latifi via WilliamsF1.com
2nd (13th) - Antonio Giovinazzi - 8pts
A fifth consecutive P2 finish for the championship leader!
Giovinazzi started in P15, two places behind his title rival Kimi Raikkonen and had a decent start climbing up to P14 before the red flag.
The Italian, like all the other drivers on this list, benefitted from Verstappen's crash and Vettel's spin, as well as overtaking Pierre Gasly by the end of lap 4, briefly promoting Giovinazzi to P11. A back and forth battle with Gasly ensued, with the Frenchman coming out the eventual winner, before a charging Perez relegated our championship leader to 13th for the only round of pit stops.
Giovinazzi went longer on his stint with the mediums than closest rival George Russell, which cost him dearly. Pitting on lap 24, he was jumped by both Russell and the Alpha Tauri of Yuki Tsunoda, who extended his stint on the mediums even further.
The rest of the race was undramatic for the Italian, he couldn't find a way past George Russell in front but did benefit from his teammate and title rival, Kimi Raikkonen's spin, as well as Sergio Perez's very late pitstop. This saw Giovinazzi come home in a modest P13 and 2nd in Q1 Cup, extending the gap to 2nd place Raikkonen to 6 points.
"It was a long race and not an overly exciting one for me, we had good pace but we couldn’t put it together when it mattered... We’ll need to learn from this and focus on Hungary. It’s a track with slow corners and no long straights, so it should fit us a bit better.” - Antonio Giovinazzi via Sauber-group.com
1st (12th) - George Russell - 10pt
This weeks Q1 Cup winner! Photocredits: @williamsracing on twitter
The Brit makes it three wins in the last four races in the Q1 Cup.
George Russell's race day started on a sour note after being given a three-place grid penalty for a collision with Carlos Sainz Jr, during F1's first ever Sprint Qualifying, relegating him to P12 for the start, but still started highest out of anyone in the Cup.
"It gets worse before it gets better" certainly rang true for Russells race. On the opening lap before the Red Flag he was already down to P15, losing places to both Alfa Romeo's. On the restart, however, he was back up to P13 after Verstappen's and Vettel's incidents, but was overtaken by Perez on lap 8 and sat in Giovinazzi's rear-view mirrors until his pitstop on lap 18.
Williams pitted Russell early in an attempt to undercut Giovinazzi and like most, changed from the Mediums to the Hards, this worked to perfection with Russell leapfrogging his Italian rival to P14 after the pit stops. Giovinazzi never found a way to get past Russell but stayed in his mirrors for the rest of the race.
Russell, like Giovinazzi, benefitted from Kimi Raikkonen's spin and Perez's late pitstop, which saw him come home in P12 and 1st in this round of The Q1 Cup!
"P12 was the maximum today for us... but we’ve been racing in the top-12 in the last four races, fighting for points in three of them, so we are making some good progress." - George Russell via WilliamsF1.com
So, without further ado, lets take a look at how the Drivers and Constructors Championship looks after the British GP.
1st, ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI - 84pts (2FL)
2nd, Kimi Raikkonen - 79pts (5FL)
3rd, George Russell - 59pts (1FL)
4th, Mick Schumacher - 38pts (2FL)
5th, Nicholas Latifi - 32pts (0FL)
6th, Nikita Mazepin - 19pts (0FL)
1st ALFA ROMEO - 163pts (+13)
2nd, Williams - 91pts (+16)
3rd, Haas - 57pts (+3)
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