Shredded Beef - The 2020 British Grand Prix
A mostly boring Grand Prix until the last two laps, when every car seemed like they had their Sunday roast for tire rubber.
What a bizarre season we're having. There have been some Grand Prix that have been completely textbook until the last few laps. We've already been treated to an Albon vs. Hamilton clash, a Lando Norris masterclass and now the shreddening of the tires so far in this shorter 2020 season.
For much of the British Grand Prix, the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Valteri Bottas were smooth sailing. As soon as the lights were green they were gone and not to be deterred by the two early safety cars within the first 15 to 20 laps. Every time the safety car popped back into it's little safety car hole, the Merc's drifted off into the distance leaving a bored Max Verstappen to enquire if his mechanic was hydrated.
The fun came toward the last few laps of the Grand Prix. As it looked like Mercedes would sweep another 1-2 and cement their immortal status in 2020 and win the constructors before we get to Monza, suddenly drivers wheels started shredding like an under fire chef carving at a local carvery in Essex on a Sunday.
In many ways, the chain of events began on lap 48 when Kimi Raikkonen who used to be an F1 driver, paddling along with his shadow of an F1 car noticed his front wing snap. This caused him a small puncture and put his rather miserable weekend to bed. There was also this incident for Kimi, fair to say, he's having no fun this season:
...and just like that it was his fellow Finn's front left that was soon hanging like a poor piece of rubbery beef from the wheel rim. All of a sudden, other cars decided "Hey! That looks fun!" and before you knew it Carlos Sainz and race leader Lewis Hamilton were also giving it a blast. Unfortunately for Carlos who looked on for his best result of the season thus far, he fell down the order and out of the points.
Lewis Hamilton however, did only what Lewis Hamilton does. For you see, when he gets a problem like this, it's fortunately five corners from the end! Verstappen who had earlier pitted to get the fastest lap was left wondering if the Red Bull could have stayed out. In the end Max carved out the 30+ second gap to just a few seconds, one more lap and no doubt Red Bull would be looking at their first win of the season.
It was all set to be quite a disappointing British Grand Prix, but that ending summed it all up. F1 can change in a heartbeat and perhaps it came a little late, but better late than never.
Rounding up the Grand Prix, a few thoughts overall. George Russell did a solid and got a 12th place. 10 more laps and I'm sure a few more of the top 10 would have dropped like flies and he could have been on for his first points. Albon for me deserved driver of the day, despite his massive practice shunt, knock of confidence in qualifying, tangling with K-Mag and a 5 second penalty, he picked up some points. Eventful to say the least.
Charles Leclerc also did well to take that unsightly Ferrari to a podium and Grosjean decided to show everyone why he probably should be heading over to Formula E and freeing up a seat for some fresh blood. Also shout out the Kyvat, that shunt looked awful on first glance.
I think in a separate post it might be worth diving into the safety aspect of the Pirelli tires in all seriousness. It seems like they're not designed for the stints they say they can handle. This has been a problem in Formula 2 also so far this season, with unpredictability for all the teams and drivers. For the fan it's insanely fun to watch, but not when it robs a driver on merit.
But that's another story for another time.
Same again next weekend, let's hope the racing is a little closer for the majority of the Grand Prix.