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Trab Pu Kcip's Simpsons/Free For All/Misc. Blog

Reviewing the German GP: Summary

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Again, for the final time, more spoilers.
Well, this was a race that had some, but not a lot of action.
No big crashes, sadly, but plenty of incidents and retirements that shaped the outcome today.

The Racers:

Raikkonen:
Raikkonen made his 323rd race start - but it wasn't a stellar day for the Finn, who accidentally punted Russell into retirement and earned himself a 10-second penalty for that one, and wound up coming home just outside the points.

Vettel:
Likewise, his old team mate Vettel didn't have a great time out there. He had to take avoiding action early on to avoid collecting Raikkonen's team mate, which wrecked his tyres and condemned him to a two-stop strategy that didn't pay dividends.

Leclerc:
Leclerc though, started fourth and fought hard and fair throughout the 60 laps to come home a very respectable seventh.
Can Ferrari continue to bridge the gap to their rivals with upgraded parts? The Monegasque believes they are going in the right direction, but they are still some way back from competing with their old Mercedes rivals.

Sainz:
"Happy to finish as highest as we could with a good race. Lando on the old package, the car was performing solid so there's a couple of question marks there, there's some homework to do."

- Carlos Sainz, McLaren

The Spaniard certainly implied he wasn't happy with the direction the upgrades have taken after he ran them this weekend, so it will be interesting to see what they decide to do next time out in Portugal.


Norris:
Sainz's team mate though had a harder afternoon as he was forced to manage power unit issues for much of the race. But in the end Norris retired a very hot and bothered MCL35 which was smoking heavily, and that left him with no points for the second consecutive race.

Ocon:
After all that, with McLaren and Renault seemingly set for double points and Racing Point having super sub in situ, it looked like there could be a big swing in the constructors'. But Norris' retirement, along with Ocon's eased the pain for Racing Point who wound up as the only team with two cars in the points.

Hulkenberg:

Speaking of super sub, hats off to Hulkenberg today. It was still a tough ask and yes retirements fell into his hands but to make it up to eighth after starting 20th is impressive. Will he be back a third time in 2020? You can't rule anything out in this crazy, topsy turrvy season.

Grosjean:
So Grosjean opened his account today finally with two points for his ninth place finish, racing with a sore thumb after his was flicked with gravel after Raikkonen ran wide. That takes him ahead of his team mate to boot, Magnussen having just the one point earned back in Hungary.

Riccardo:
Rounding out with the top three though, and Ricciardo drove superbly for his first podium since 2018. He has seemed more and more at home at Renault this year, and you have to wonder if he regrets his decision to jump ship to McLaren next season, with the French team looking the pick of the two at the moment.



Standings:
Verstappen has narrowed the gap to Bottas in the stands, just 14 points between those two. but with that big swing today in Hamilton's favour, is this championship close to done and dusted?

Hamilton did match a very special record today. And the best part was he made a move for the lead stick out on track, rather than just inheriting the win from Bottas' reliability misfortune. If he is headed for a seventh world championship title, you'd be hard pressed to argue he doesn't deserve it.

So, looking ahead, with Hamilton matching Schumacher's record today, can he beat it next time out? The F1 circus heads back into the unknown with Portugal next on the agenda, another new track this season.

Red Bull are closing the gap, and Bottas will be smarting from his DNF today - they won't be rolling over anytime soon, but Hamilton so far this season has managed to raise his game whenever he needed to.
Even today, starting second, he pressurised Bottas into using up too much of his tyre life, leading to that lock up that enabled the reigning world champion to pass for the lead.

Who will come out on top in Portimao? Hamilton now has a 69 point lead in the championship over his team mate, and could retire twice in the remaining six races and still maintain an advantage. But he won't want to win by default - Hamilton will be going all out for victory in every race left on the calendar.



Portugal next up forms a double-header with Imola, which is a two day event. The drivers had a taste this weekend of how it works missing out on Friday practice time, and it certainly led to a mixed up race and a good deal of uncertainty. A new venue, followed by an iconic one? What's not to love from this incredibly unexpected F1 season.

If the circus hadn't been to the Nurburgring since 2013, then it hasn't decamped to Imola since 2006 - although of course, Raikkonen was in the field that day.

For the rating, I give it a 2.5/5. It's not the best but it wasn't the worst race this season.

So it is on to Portugal that the F1 circus goes, with a weekend off for Hamilton to soak up the emotions of equaling an iconic record of one of his heroes. Can he re-focus and bring his best game to Portimao?
He'll have the opportunity to beat Schumacher's record there, and of course it might not be long before he can turn his focus to matching the German's seven world titles. Can anyone stop him? We'll find out in a couple of weeks...



And that's all from me. See ya in 2 weeks time.

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