F1 Race #2: Styrian GP

There is a lot of political stuff going on in the world today, and many, if not most sports, are on hiatus or flat out canceled. And I am certainly not going to let my poor brain turn to mush by exposing it to big media 24/7. I do that enough already! So I had to watch the Styrian Grand Prix this past weekend, the second race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship to get my sports fix.

Even though it was a differently named race, it was still at the same track as the first race of the season, the Red Bull Ring in Austria. But there were no shortage of storylines during and after the race. With his most recent win, one of the greatest drivers in F1 history inches ever closer to possibly breaking one of the sport’s greatest milestones. The sport’s most successful team finds itself in unfamiliar territory. And a relatively new Formula One team has an impressive showing by both drivers, bouncing back from last week. Let’s take a look!

Lewis Hamilton: Racking up the wins!

Ever since his debut in the sport back in 2007, Lewis Hamilton has established himself as the top driver of his era. With six World Championships under his belt, one shy of tying Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven, and a cool and calculating racing style, the 35 year-old Brit continues to chase down history. But he’s not only gunning for another championship, he’s also chasing Schumacher’s all-time win total as well. Michael holds the record for most wins in Formula One history with 92 Grand Prix victories. With his win this past weekend at the Styrian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton notched win #85. I knew Hamilton had a lot of wins under his belt, but I didn’t think he had THAT many!

Lewis Hamilton

If he keeps going at the pace he is currently on in terms of longevity, driving skill, and if Mercedes continues to be the dominant team that they are, I think Lewis WILL eventually break both of Michael Schumacher’s records. The man just knows how to win. Period. And he’s surrounded by an awesome team, led by Team Principal Toto Wolff. Many seasoned F1 fans seem to hate Lewis for how much he wins. They think he comes off as cocky, full of himself, and that he’s a snob. While I don’t really have a good or bad opinion of him, I will say that he almost has earned the right to be full of himself a little bit. When you win a lot, people start to hate you. But when is winning a lot a bad thing?

The Limping Pony?

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have been winning a ton over the past decade. The same cannot be said for Ferrari. Historically, Ferrari is Formula One’s most successful team, having competed in every F1 season since the sport’s inception in 1950. Over their storied history, Ferrari has won 16 World Constructors Championships, and 15 World Driver Championships. But the most recent trophies might be gathering a little dust, as Ferarri hasn’t won a championship of any kind since 2008. That year, they won the Constructors Championship with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen as their drivers.

The Prancing Horse was the “Limping Pony” at last week’s race though, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc both wrecking and experiencing irreparable damage early on in the race, forcing both of them to retire. I haven’t been an F1 fan for very long. I’ve only followed the sport seriously since March. But I’ve studied enough and learned enough since that time to learn just how high the standards are for Ferrari. I view them as like the Boston Celtics of F1: A team with a storied, successful history followed by a passionate and vocal fanbase. They’ve won a somewhat recent championship, but are now being consistently beaten by a better team for the current title.

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari

After the first two races of the 2020 season, Ferrari currently sits in 5th place in the Constructors Standings, and I can’t imagine that too many folks are happy in Maranello, Italy right now. If Ferrari doesn’t finish within the top three in the standings by the end of the year, it would not surprise me if current Team Principal Mattia Binotto was handed his walking papers and shown the door. That would definitely be adding insult to injury, since I have seen SO many memes about how the guy looks like Harry Potter! Binotto had better conjure up some serious magic, or he’s out!

On Point: Perez and Stroll

While watching the race, I was pleasantly surprised by how both drivers performed for Racing Point, a relatively new F1 team, founded by billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll in 2019. Last year in their inaugural season, Racing Point finished in the back half of the Constructors Standings, in 7th place with 73 points. While they certainly weren’t the worst team last year, Racing Point had an up and down season. Not to mention they had a bit of a rough start to this year as well, as Lance Stroll was forced to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez (left) and Lance Stroll (right), drivers for Racing Point

But last week Sergio Perez led the charge for Racing Point, finishing 6th and picking up 8 points while his teammate Lance Stroll finished right behind him in 7th place, earning 6 points. This was especially impressive considering both men really seemed to struggle in qualifying. Stroll started in 13th while Perez started in 17th. But they drove very aggressively, and made a number of clean and close passes while keeping up the pace with the front of the pack. Their car is definitely improved from last season. I’m still not sure what to think of a pink and white paint job. That’s a unique color scheme. But if these guys can build on the showing they had last Sunday, who am I to judge or complain?

If you want to get the full breakdown with race highlights, click here!

That’s two races down, and plenty more to go. Next up? The Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest on Sunday, July 19th. I’ve been entertained by the season thus far. Can’t wait to watch these guys go at it yet again!

2020 Styrian Grand Prix Results

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
  3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  4. Alexander Albon (Red Bull)
  5. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  6. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
  7. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
  8. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
  9. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
  10. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri)
  11. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
  12. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  13. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
  15. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
  16. George Russell (Williams)
  17. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
  18. Esteban Ocon (Renault, DNF)
  19. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari, DNF)
  20. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari, DNF)

World Drivers Championship Standings

  1. Valtteri Bottas (43 Points)
  2. Lewis Hamilton (37 Points)
  3. Lando Norris (26 Points)
  4. Charles Leclerc (18 Points)
  5. Sergio Perez (16 Points)
  6. Max Verstappen (15 Points)
  7. Carlos Sainz (13 Points)
  8. Alexander Albon (12 Points)
  9. Pierre Gasly (6 Points)
  10. Lance Stroll (6 Points)
  11. Esteban Ocon (4 Points)
  12. Daniel Ricciardo (4 Points)
  13. Antonio Giovinazzi (2 Points)
  14. Daniil Kvyat (1 Point)
  15. Sebastian Vettel (1 Point)
  16. Nicholas Latifi (0)
  17. Kimi Raikkonen (0)
  18. Kevin Magnussen (0)
  19. Romain Grosjean (0)
  20. George Russell (0)

World Constructors Championship Standings

  1. Mercedes (80 Points)
  2. McLaren (39 Points)
  3. Red Bull (27 Points)
  4. Racing Point (22 Points)
  5. Ferrari (19 Points)
  6. Renault (8 Points)
  7. AlphaTauri (7 Points)
  8. Alfa Romeo (2 Points)
  9. Williams (0)
  10. Haas (0)

Published by Luke Wickiser

Hi everybody! I'm passionate about many subjects, such as faith, history, politics, and sports. Stay tuned to Luke's Thoughts for updates on all these things!

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