It was unfortunate Alonso wasn’t cleared to drive for this race but he looked like he did a great job as mentor to help his team succeed. And after the drama of is the new qualifying off, back on, off again, and then back on, well the new qualifying format flat out sucks. There’s zero strategy involved, just put in one amazing flying lap then wait. It’s barely worth watching.
The FIA needs to get its head out of his hindquarters, admit they made a mistake, and move on. I don’t like this half baked aggregate system they’re proposing, either. Mostly because it’s more like they’re digging in instead of admitting their idea to keep more cars on track more of the time didn’t work out.
As for the race itself, Vettel had some seriously shit luck to have his engine blow on the warm up lap. Both Mercedes were terribly slow off the line and Hamilton’s smashed front wing from Bottas hitting him in the first corner made a win nearly impossible. The first two laps looked more like a NASCAR race than F1. Hamilton got after it in the next 6 laps pulling himself back up to third. At least Bottas got a drive through penalty for that crash.
Hated seeing Button have to retire so early. Same for Gutierez for Haas. But Vandoorne in for Alonso had a hell of a drive getting after Hulkenberg. And Grojean getting around Massa was a great statement from Haas. With an exclamation point.
Lots of pit stop issues throughout the race, which is very uncommon for these teams. Tires stuck, cars falling off their lifts, it just seemed very chaotic and hard to fight through for the teams.
But it was brought home with Rosberg winning again, Raikkonen splitting the Silver Arrows, and Hamilton recovering well to get some points. Way to go Grojean turning in a 5th place finish.
Now is time for concern regarding Hamilton’s edge. Nico has brought it for now the last 6 races and Hamilton has had two terrible starts in a row after grabbing pole, not being able to do anything with it. Ferrari has a fast car but they’re having terrible luck with reliability. Everyone else still seems a bit too slow.
I supposed there will be lots of discussion about the next race’s qualifying, whether Alonso will be able to race, whether both Ferraris will be able to cross the finish line, and more. But at least I got to enjoy an Iceman interview this time around.