That has been a highly emotionally-charged weekend, so tragic and painfully sad.
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting with Anthoine Hubert who’d lost his life at the weekend, but he was an important element of the fabric of life for drivers and team members in the paddock. The Arden team he was driving .
Karun a meeting winner in Spa that is sombre
And not forgetting F2 driver Juan Manuel Correa also who faces a lengthy recovery from major lower leg injuries. Many drivers in the paddock could relate to that continuing challenge.
Injury and death in sport’s name is very difficult to accept. The challenge is at demanding race tracks, that the base of our game involves competitive and committed people driving very fast cars on the limit.
That’s the thrill of rushing driving in addition to spectating. It’s our goal of existing, pushing humans and machines . Despite large investment in cars and circuits and the best efforts there remains quite large level of personal danger.
We have become so conditioned to drivers stepping out of wrecks it gets even more shocking when they do not.
The cars have very strict regulations on crash-structure design all around the driver’s body, along with high-energy crash testing and careful management of liquids and wheels that are flying. The problem is that when they made them and so heavier the impact loads would be greater too.
Materials and manufacturing techniques plus experience will continue to enhance the integrity of their survival cell within workable weight and price limits.
The paths of the world change in layout and age, and especially the circuits frequently need solutions to match the space and topography available. In Eau Rouge and also Raidillon the steep climb up the rock face is really a challenge that is spectacular, along with the run-off includes the exit for the heavily-used older and next pit lane onto the side of the approach.
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The zone towards the right of corner was extended through the years, but the incline means you fly over the top unsighted and looking to the sky. The design of the area does tend to feed crashed cars back to the race trail. In the F2 race, a vehicle spun on the very surface of Raidillon because of a puncture.
I wonder should street-circuit style barriers because we used to have at the high-speed Blanchimont corner Spa, wouldn’t enable never hitting the barriers at angles and the cars to slip further away from risk. And possibly the lack of much run-off area will generate less desire and more caution to control through at speeds. But hard corners will remain thrilling and risky for all. We can not only race into level-straight lines.
Through all the pain and pain emerged Charles Leclerc to get Ferrari.
His rod position lap was slick smooth, his start and restarts perfect, and tyre direction improved. And at the final stages with all the ever-relentless Lewis Hamilton chasing down him he did not falter.
We have seen drive after the passing of his father and close buddies Jules Bianchi and Anthoine Hubert now at international level in hardship several times. He did this, while taking all at the age of 21 , and the Ferrari team in his shoulders.
I understood he was definitely really going to be helpful, but not that good. He as Sebastian Vettel fights to match his speed and command already the team leader, and he is still improving quickly. It’s difficult times for Seb, also also with this weekend’s events and having a look at his own life and achievements, he should be mulling over each of choices.
Vettel has the speed in him, but it is uncomfortable that it’s over a year since he won a race, which both Kimi Raikkonen and now Leclerc have won a race for Ferrari. But following his premature pit stop on lap 15 since he had been at risk from an undercut with Mercedes, by later delaying Hamilton a few minutes prior to losing second position to himit was a defining moment at Leclerc getting the breathing room to claim victory from the charging Hamilton.
Kimi was unlucky into turn one whilst linking with Max Verstappen. In lots of ways it was a Spa twist one incident in the race start. Kimi could have left a little more distance on the inside just in case, but he’d have had no opportunity to find the Red Bull in his mirrors charging up both lanes over.
Max recovered and was probably a little too impatient to repair that, presenting wheel and his front wing into a very perilous position.
Also caught up was Daniel Ricciardo in his hitherto Renault, along with different contacts. My heart stopped at this stage because following four breaking F1 races I feared we might have a steady one. We saw side-by-side and several impressive overtakes actions although admittedly once more the DRS back wing was rather too powerful.
Just how Albon shone on Red Bull debut
Lando Norris has been robbed of a excellent spot by unreliability. He navigated the corner and his pace was solid on a weekend where McLaren weren’t shining that much. I dropped a place driving for McLaren due to unreliability, and it still annoys me somewhat today. It’s horrible to be robbed on the previous lap after youaccepted the risks and’ve done the job.
Ground wasn’t made by alex Albon in his first Red Bull drive, but came to the end on soft palate to overtake most and sneak Norris’s fifth place. Timely, and well driven in his duel with Sergio Perez in the final stages, who had a fine race for Racing Point.
Hamilton extended his lead to 65 points with eight races to go. He had the step of everybody on Sunday except Leclerc, that matched the greats such as Jim Clark and Michael Schumacher in wining his debut GP at Spa that is powerful.
If you saw me out you will know I said that a number of the hurdles and protection you can find a bit’old school’. They may be made better, and also intensive investigations will be carried out by also the FIA and make improvements. But we have to maintain the likes of Spa about the calendar.
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