One Race at a Time

One Race at a Time

Throughout this season we have seen that Mercedes and Redbull are far and away ahead of the remaining eight teams in Formula 1. There has been a lot of commentary about how it’s possible to switch out Verstappen and Hamilton for anyone else in the field and the cars would still perform. That argument is nonsense. Sergio Perez and Valterri Bottas are teammates of Verstappen and Hamilton respectively, and they are driving the same car for their respective teams. Yet the two teammates do not routinely finish top four. Hamilton is a seven world time champion for a reason. One, he has a great team. Two, he is the best driver. He has won 12 of the 34 tracks that he has raced on for the first time including the Qatar Grand Prix. That alone tells you what you need to know about his ability to drive. His prowess on the track is unmatched in Formula 1 and only Verstappen comes close to his level of talent. Perhaps George Russell and Lando Norris will end up in that conversation as their careers progress, but right now Hamilton is still the best.

Lewis Hamilton has won his 2nd race in a row. Slowly but surely, he continues to cut into Max Verstappen’s lead. Now, only eight points separate Verstappen from Hamilton. Most of the drama occurred before the race Sunday. After Verstappen secured 2nd for the grid start, he was hit with a 5-place penalty for failing to slow down enough during a double yellow flag during qualification. Similarly, Valterri Bottas and Carlos Sainz were hit with penalties but were only demoted three grid positions. So, the front row to start the race was Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly, with Fernando Alonso in third.

During lap one Verstappen jumped from seventh to fourth and a few laps later he was right back where he qualified: second place. As I mentioned earlier, most of the drama occurred before the race even started. Qualification was very interesting. For the first time this year Sergio Perez didn’t make it to Q3. He was only good enough to start eleventh. However, he finished fourth on Sunday. Similarly, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren also didn’t make it to Q3, starting 13th and 14th respectively. Of the two, only LeClerc finished in the top 10. Lastly, seven different teams made it to Q1 and were in the top 10 starting grid spots. There is a tremendous amount of parity amongst the teams once you get past Mercedes and Redbull.

The result of the race only included six teams including both drivers for Red Bull, Alpine, Aston Martin, and Ferrari. This left Lewis Hamilton at the top and Lando Norris in his McLaren at ninth. Finally, for the first time since 2014, Fernando Alonso earned a podium finish. This was the 98th podium finish for the former two-time Formula 1 Champion. Once again, we witnessed history as two champions stood together on the podium.

Lewis Hamilton continues to make history by winning his 102nd race. Will he set a new record and win it all for the eight time? There are only two races left to find out. On to Saudi Arabia!

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