The long wait (217 days to be exact) is finally over! I am not for a second suggesting the extended break was a good thing, but this weekend’s race was the perfect way to return to racing. It was an absolutely incredible race which entertained throughout with action from lights out to the chequered flag. The return of Formula One means that I can do my weekend review and ratings and this season I am going to be assisted by our newest addition to the Bats, Balls & Braking Zones family, Gary.
Technically speaking this was the perfect weekend for Mercedes as they qualified first and second and crossed the line in those positions. Their weekend was ruined by two penalties Hamilton got which in our opinion were deserved and completely his own fault and the main reason we’ve only given him a rating of six. The first was for not slowing sufficiently under yellow flags at the end of qualifying and the second was for his collision with Alex Albon in the closing stages of the Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, had a near perfect weekend which is kind of weird considering he ended qualifying doing “doughnuts” on the grass. He did, however, put his car on pole and then lead every single moment of the race to win his second consecutive season opener.
If you had offered Mattia Binotto and Ferrari a second-place finish and third in the constructors on Friday, they would have bitten your arm off. Even before Friday, Ferrari knew that they would be off the pace, but I don’t think they expected to be as far off it as they were. It also emerged this weekend that the official statement about Vettel leaving wasn’t true and that he was never offered a new contract. Vettel then had a terrible weekend as he was eliminated in Q2 and then struggled in the race before crashing into Sainz of all people and eventually limping to a solitary point. Leclerc did brilliantly to finished second given the machinery at his disposal, he didn’t have any spectacular moments but was rewarded for keeping his nose clean.