Another red bet. Mildly aggrieved this weekend. Two bets, both red. A qualifying bet that was 0.04s off, and a two-halves DNF bet which involved a driver crashing into someone else, and being ok to continue. Humbug.
Off the line, Hamilton easily held the lead but there was a tussle behind him which led to Vettel getting ahead of Bottas. Grosjean lost control in dirty air, his car spun (generating a lot of smoke) and he ended up taking out not only himself, but Hulkenberg and Gasly too. This prompted an immediate safety car (and pit stops for Sirotkin and Hartley).
That was mostly it as far as race excitement went.
Hamilton pulled away effortlessly from Vettel and retained total control throughout the race. Bottas failed to pass Vettel at the pit stop despite pitting later, because of a slow stop. However, in the latter part of the race Vettel pitted under the virtual safety car. Few others did, and he emerged (due to being delayed as Perez entering the pit lane meant he couldn’t be released) behind Verstappen, in 4th.
Leclerc and Alonso had a great, and prolonged duel, with the Spaniard eventually getting ahead. However, the driving prowess Leclerc displayed will do his career prospects no harm at all, and he eventually came home in 10th.
Verstappen, under the virtual safety car, ran into the back of Stroll, damaging his front wing slightly but not causing significant damage.
There were a number of reliability retirements, including Ocon and Raikkonen.
Hamilton got a flawless, and tedious, win, with Bottas in 2nd. Verstappen completed the podium, with Vettel 4th. Ricciardo and Magnussen are next, providing much needed points for both Red Bull and Haas.
Sainz and Alonso enjoyed their home race in 7th and 8th, with Perez nabbing 9th and Leclerc impressing again with 10th.
After that ‘race’ was finished, the drivers’ standings are:
The second race in a row that Vettel has lost points he probably shouldn’t’ve. In Baku, he cooked his tyres. In Barcelona, he stopped once more than the other frontrunners (although his tyre wear was high so it may be that it wasn’t entirely optional). The race was in cooler conditions, which seem to harm the Ferrari’s relative pace.
Red Bull 80
Force India 18
Toro Rosso 13
The very close tussle for the top has become rather less close, though it’s still early days. The contest to be best of the rest, however, remains ultra-competitive, with Alonso and Sainz both scoring whilst their team mates suffered DNFs. Magnussen’s strong finish pulls Haas ahead of Force India, and Leclerc’s point narrows the gap from Sauber to Toro Rosso to just 2 points.
The chatter about panic at McLaren and Toro Rosso doing really well appears to have died down.
On the betting front: red, yet again. Pretty terrible season so far. Frustrating to get close with numerous bets (and suffer clear misfortune at the first couple of races).
Next up is Monaco.