Formula 1 in 2018 is proving a thrilling spectacle
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku never failed to live up to its hype, it was an actioned packed race which kept fans in suspense right up until the chequered flag. It seemed unlikely Daniel Ricciardo’s stunning victory in China would be to be surpassed but this was an equally exciting spectacle, if not better.
So far in 2018 Formula 1 has had no reason to complain, the racing has been actioned packed and thrilling. It is reminiscent of the beginning of the 2012 season when seven different drivers won the first seven races.
Amongst that septet was Pastor Maldonado who made all from the front in Spain. He was driving a Williams which was outpaced in every subsequent race of that season and, truth be known, has never come close to winning since.
Unfortunately the Spanish Grand Prix, staged at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, is likely to give us another ‘made all’ winner in 2018. This circuit is renowned for processional racing where on-track overtaking is as rare as a blue steak.
Ferrari from the front in the next two?
Spain is the next stop on the F1 roadshow, Monaco follows. It’s another circuit where the top-10 will be neatly strung-out like washing on a line. The formbook indicates both race tracks should play to the strengths of Ferrari and their No.1 driver Sebastian Vettel. Let us not forget Vettel shone in two batches of winter testing in Barcelona and his car has been punchy enough to start from the front of the past three races.
But wherever the Ferrari’s finish, the Red Bulls should not be too far behind. Qualifying pace may be lacking but the team have been taking to affixing fresh rubber towards the end of their races and the car seems to come alive as it burns off its fuel load.
That’s providing their drivers make it to the end of the race. Ricciardo’s coming together with Verstappen in Baku took his DNF record to five from his last eight starts. Verstappen has finished eight of his last 10 starts but overall he has retired from nine of his last 22.
If you want reliability and consistency take a look at Lewis Hamilton’s form figures. They show the Brit has completed every single one of his last 29 races making 22 ‘podiums’ in the process.
As for short-term form Kimi Raikkonen stands out, he has taken six podiums from his last eight starts. Amongst those is last week’s silver medal which was claimed despite stopping for a new ‘nose’ after an opening lap incident and running as low as twelfth in the aftermath.