The summer break is over, back to work for the travelling circus of Formula One. What a place to return to as well. The luscious landscape of Belgium perhaps gave us an insight for the remainder of the season. It certainly gave us talking points, as Chris Fawcett reveals five…
Proof is in the Pudding
Following Nico Hulkenberg’s first corner misdemeanour, the outgoing Fernando Alonso was sent flying through the air. While incidents such as this are television gold, the reality is, this is when the sport is at its most dangerous.
There were a lot of critics over the introduction of the Halo device for 2018, including myself initially, that was until I looked into the research and saw that it can only be a benefit going forward.
It took until the 13th race of the season, but we got a definitive answer to why its use is absolutely crucial to the safety of the drivers.
For those who saw the aftermath of Charles Leclerc’s Sauber and Halo after Alonso took a trip over his head, will realise that without it, Leclerc would have been seriously injured, if not killed.
No one can argue otherwise.
Farewell Fading Ferrari
This time last year, a rejuvenated Lewis Hamilton had gone full on “hammer time”, couple this with a Ferrari package that could no longer take the fight to the Mercedes and you had a rather one-sided end to a season which began with so much promise.
Thankfully, 2018 is a completely different beast. The prancing horse and Sebastian Vettel have come back from the summer break in top form and look to continue the championship fight.
A win for Vettel around Spa was great for business, not only does it lessen the points gap at the top of the table, but it also means that come Monza, the Tifosi have plenty to shout about with their beloved Ferrari’s favourite for the race.
Lewis looked worried about that prospect at the post race interviews with Martin Brundle, and so he should, he’s not had a battle like this for a long time. He’ll relish it as long as he has the goods to compete. If not, expect a rather sullen figure for many of the remaining races this year.
An observation which may be music to the ears of Red Bull is how comfortable the Honda power unit looked around Spa.
Gone are the days of a lack of power and endless retirements, at times the Toro Rosso’s were exceptionally fast. So quick in fact, that Brendon Hartley had a titanic tussle with the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson for a number of laps on tyres which were well past their best.
If Honda can continue to develop their engine and everything that comes with it, Red Bull could be a threat next year.
Speaking of Red Bull, the interview with Christian Horner before the race was very revealing indeed. The rear wing had hardly any angle on it at all, meaning that drag reduction was their only way to compete in straight line speed with the Ferrari’s and Mercedes’.
What I didn’t expect was Daniel Ricciardo to take it to the next level by running only one rear wing element by the end of the first lap!
Rules are rules, and unfortunately he wasn’t able to drive around Spa with such minimalism, if he had, bet your bottom dollar he’d have been quickest through the speed trap.
Only joking it was a horrible weekend for the Aussie!
Ants in your pants
Keeping it light to finish with, go back and watch the footage from the podium holding room and tell me that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t got an issue with rubbing his backside.
Maybe the race suit cleaners used a different wash powder for Spa, but whatever it was, he couldn’t wait to give it a scratch once he got out of the car.
It explains why he couldn’t catch Vettel during the race, it’d have been hell on earth driving around with that playing on your mind.
We did and cringed! For someone as PR savvy as Hamilton it was surprising to see. Seemed to go on for aaages too! https://t.co/u1MVo2VbX1
— Badger GP (@BadgerGP) August 26, 2018