The Spanish Grand Prix: A Pleasent Surprise

By: Leona Stewart

For fans, the Spanish GP had been thought to be 66 laps of uneventful racing, as had been so in the past – but not this year. Moving onto an iconic weekend in Monaco, what can we take from a weekend in the sun?

The Barcelona circuit pushed the drivers under the scorching heat, we saw collisions, retirement and plenty of overtakes, alongside the first batch of rookies in FP1. With many fans on social media dubbing it the ‘most exciting’ race of the season so far, it had more twists and turns than we could have hoped for.  

George Russell stole the show this weekend in the W13, once again pushing the Mercedes onto the podium and currently securing 4th in the drivers championship. After a collision in turn one with the Haas of Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton gave a stellar drive to pull himself into 5th place, proving that the silver arrows have still got it and perhaps are a threat to the top two this weekend in Monaco. 

The biggest let down of the weekend of course was Ferrari. A home race podium just out of reach for Carlos Sainz and a DNF for Charles Leclerc whilst 15s ahead in P1, which dropped him to second in the championship. Leclerc’s engine failure is the first major reliability issue we have seen for Ferrari this year, who have been on top form since Bahrain, however ahead of his home race, Charles’ remains positive.

However, after crashing F1 legend Niki Lauda’s Ferrari at the Monaco Historic GP and a history of DNFs creating the ‘Monaco curse’ for the Monegasque, perhaps Barcelona was just an omen for the weekend to come. 

Of course our race winner, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had no easy weekend either. Qualifying in P2 on Saturday with his team mate Sergio Perez down in P5, both drivers were set for a push. Reliability has been an issue for both Red Bull’s all season, and Barcelona was no different.
After an early spin into the gravel, and 20 laps stuck behind the number 63 of Russell, frustration grew for the Dutchman as his DRS failed keeping him from overtaking. But with a fresh set of softs, a Ferrari engine failure and team strategy, the race win alongside a championship lead fell into the reigning champions lap. 

Perez however had no such delight, after team orders of inverting the cars lost him P1 and a potential race win. Verstappen had thanked his teammate post race, however Checo said it was ‘unfair’ and said that the team ‘need to talk about’ the incident. With over 10 years in Formula 1 and only two race wins, it’s uncertain how much longer the Mexican driver will be happy to make these calls. 

As preparation for the weekend in Monaco begins, fans can only hope the streets of Monte Carlo will provide excitement once again. 

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