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From Jolyon Palmer
Former Renault motorist & BBC Radio 5 Live commentator
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, who abandoned Renault throughout the 2017 season, is part of the BBC group and provides insight and analysis
Formula 1 confronted a weekend that was sombre and tragic at the Grand Prix, and the way of the victory of Charles Leclerc was a fitting reflection of their resilience required from all involved at Spa on Sunday.
Following Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert’s death about the Saturday drivers stated following the race they had not wished to engage and I can entirely understand that.
I’ve been in a similar situation , back when Henry Surtees was killed in 2009.
If he had his injury in the old Formula two series, I was the car before Henry, and it really shook me. I got on with him and knew Henry. This is really a defining moment in my entire life and profession where I realised this type of thing could actually occur.
Every one these young drivers could have gone without believing they would get hurt, let alone be killed. You can not think any other manner.
Security is so good motorists and these days routinely walk. With the introduction of the’halo’ head defense device the cars are safer than ever.
But the reality is that the game still has.
After Henry was killed it woke me up. I could not have thought about driving the day, because I didn’t need to but I had been in another place to the drivers at Belgium on the weekend – another race was not for another month.
While the mood was still sombre when we turned to another race, and you get back in the car that bit more aware, it was really helpful to return into a clinic session again, dialling back in at your own speed, and on a entirely different circuit.
It had been in many ways a tougher task for its drivers last weekend.
To be aware of the severity and consequences of large accidents, have this preying in mind and go flat out from race terms from the off, and throughout the specific same corners where the accident occurred – which needs a large quantity of mental toughness which you can’t be ready for.
And that was the story of this weekend.
For Leclerc, this was for most. He understood Hubert nicely, having raced against him off and throughout his career, for example in his very first kart race. Nevertheless his drive was nearly perfect. His performance over the weekend was.
Despite taking another notable pole position, with a huge 0.7-second margin over his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, he had a lot of pressure going into Sunday.
Ferrari hadn’t won a race and the staff and drivers came under more pressure to get a combined half of the season.
With that background heading in the Grand Prix, Leclerc did all straight. He received a great start, and fundamentally had better speed than Vettel. He enabled him to take care of his tyres also gave him a buffer into the chasing .
Leclerc’s resilience wasn’t restricted to turning up and racing on Sunday. He had to be strong to win the race.
He has had two race wins slip through his palms and this was, since Hamilton upped the pressure to go.
But Leclerc held suffering that was strong regardless of his tyres .
The pressure was immense. It was a situation much like Austria, at which Verstappen had a fee and pinched the win from to go.
In Spa, though, Leclerc was able to keep just out of Hamilton’s reach, making no mistakes at all and being incisive through a lot of rear markers they had to lap at the closing stages.
This is a win for himin the toughest of conditions. He has the first win under his belt, so I feel it’s only a matter of time until the next follows.
Emotional strength is and F1 is different. Leclerc has shown he has this in abundance and he is stood by it in vibrant stead for the long run.
The fact he immediately pointed to the heavens and summoned the camera after the race into his tribute sticker for Hubert, rather showed where his head was at Spa. Yet he still produced a drive.
There were other people who showed in rough circumstances. Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly and alexander Albon completed with strong results.
Albon had a great deal of strain on his shoulders after his mid-season change to Red Bull. The strain was reduced by beginning from the rear of the grid because of an engine punishment. However, the scrutiny throughout his weekend was large, more than he would have confronted before, since he turned into the latest driver to find himself at a race winning car – and in only his 13th Grand Prix.
He was not going to have the ability to fight for even a podium or a win in Belgium. However a drive to fifth would have given a great deal of encouragement to Red Bull.
Not merely did he exhibit pace that is impressive sometimes throughout the weekend, however, also some excellent that could have excited the Red Bull bosses.
The man he replaced,” Pierre Gaslyhad a great deal of attention because of his move from the opposite direction. Switching back to Toro Rosso would have been demanding for Gasly on the back of a first half of this year at Red Bull.
It’s a dismissal, however, Gasly is still on the grid also has the capability to reveal if he could create some fantastic drives for their junior staff Red Bull they have been erroneous.
The driveway of gasly was strong, finishing in ninth place. He did wind up however, that has been largely due to plan. In addition to this, you can not ignore the Hubert backdrop, which appeared to affect Gasly more than understandably.
Gasly described Hubert as one of his allies, and they even roomed together on their way up the ranks. He put to be pleased with, although Because of him to race on Sunday was rough.
Hulkenberg found out in the week leading up to the Grand Prix he had lost his driveway into Esteban Ocon – yet another old adversary of Gasly Leclerc and Hubert.
With tension and a point Hulkenberg additionally put at a drive that is quantified to finish eighth.
He’s very likely to remain together with another group next season, in F1. Nonetheless, it’s uncomfortable for a motorist to be heading with your current seat and no drive for the subsequent year.
In general, this was a weekend from that no motorist would have left positive feelings, despite a few strong results.
A departure this near home can take some time to proceed out, and also to the drivers in the field, it may be a sharp wake up on the real perils that can exist in a sport we’ve got safe.
It does show, though, the mental resilience that they have, to race into situation that are challenging when most would go home and contemplate.
This weekend races in Monza, and the show will go on.
Actress Erika Rosenbaum explains her experience
Analysis and opinion from the chief Formula 1 writer of the BBC.
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