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Sports Articles: Formula 1: USA Talking Points

Formula 1: USA Talking Points
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Formula 1: Things To Think About After Race 18 In Austin


1. Mixed Up Grid

Bottas on pole with Vettel just behind in second, Verstappen 3rd, Leclerc 4th and Hamilton only 5th is about as mixed up a grid as you get in the modern F1 era without any inclement weather to shake things up. It was certainly odd that no one improved their time after the early runs, makes you wonder what happened.


2. Ferrari Pace

Verstappen hinted that the rules clarification regarding fuel flow had hindered Ferrari and cost them power, but Ferrari strenously deny that was the issue with their pace. It had been speculated that Ferrari's extra power came from boosting the fuel flow into the engine. The FIA has monitors in place to ensure the flow does not exceed the limits placed on it, but it only monitors intermittently. The other teams believed Ferrari had a system in place to increase flow between monitoring and so Red Bull asked the FIA for clarification on if that would be within the rules. The FIA said it would be illegal and Ferrari suddenly seem to have lost a lot of their pace. Was it because of having to use an old engine in Leclerc's car, as Ferrari said, or not? Only it did seem that all the Ferrari-powered cars were running slow.


3. Hamilton Makes It Six

He very nearly made it a 6th World Drivers' Championship with a win after an excellent drive to clinch second place. Suddenly he is driving like a cross between Alain Prost and Jenson Button, but faster. The hard charging, lightning-quick Hamilton is still there, but he can turn into a smooth, tyre-protecting fast cruiser when he needs to. It is very similar to qualities that made Michael Schumacher such a constant winner and Hamilton is now second only to Schumacher in total title wins. He could very well go on to eclipse Schumacher in time. You can only applaud him for what he is doing, even if you are one of those who do not like him.


4. Bottas

Finally starting to show why he is in a top car with his pace all weekend. Qualified pole and won, but it was a lot closer than it should have been, considering the advantage he had over Hamilton at the start. The Finn was clearly quicker than all the rest, but he always looks like a pale shadow of Hamilton and everything Bottas does is completely lost in the glare of the spotlight surrounding his teammate. Can he ever step up and compete with Hamilton?


5. Albon

While Verstappen was keeping the Mercedes on their toes at the front, Albon was climbing up the field to recover from a first lap clash which damaged his car. His drive to secure 5th was exceptional and must have put him a huge step closer to sealing his place for next season in the Red Bull. It was not a balls-to-the-wall chase. He was careful on his tyres while still overtaking car after car as he made his way up the standings. It is hard to see how they can replace him with better.


6. Vettel

From the start Vettel was complaining about his car understeering and then the rear suspension collapsed over a bump. Was it due to a first corner touch or just from riding the kerbs too heavily? Ferrari were not sure and asked Leclerc to avoid going over the kerbs. I do have to say it was good driving by Vettel to avoid a crash.

Written by Tris Burke November 04 2019 12:34:45