Valtteri Bottas leads the championship heading into this historic Formula One,1000th Grand Prix.
Formula One has returned for what is most likely the most Netflix hyped season, and we thank them for it. Ferrari the staple of the sport is reeling to stay at the front of the pack, while rival Mercedes have proven time and again that they should be considered the best team in Motorsports. This weekend they head to China for the 1000th Grand Prix and a late night or later night on the east coast if your planning on staying up to watch April 14th.
The first race in Australia was won by Mercedes Driver Valtteri Bottas in what might have been his best drive so far in the Mercedes, while teammate and returning Champion Lewis Hamilton had a night to remember in Bahrain. Two races into the season and a Formula One Netflix documentary binge-watched, the expectations are that it’s going to be a tactical battle between Mercedes, Ferrari, and the Honda-powered Red Bull.
Ferrari’s Driver Duo
The Ferrari pairing of Charles Leclerc acquired from Alfa Romeo, the 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Leclerc most recently finished third at the Bahrain Grand Prix and proved the Ferrari-powered SF70H could win until an issue caused the car to lose power during the closing laps. After the race Ferrari said that cause was a “short circuit within an injection control unit”.
If a double DNF (Did Not Finish) for Renault drivers Hulkenberg and Riccardo had not brought out the safety car on lap 53 of 57, Charles’ night would have been epic as the first Ferrari driver to win this season. Leclerc fell from first to third and would have eventually been passed by the 4th placed Red Bull of Verstappen.
The race ended under a safety car and Leclerc’s third-place podium finish was sealed. Leclerc could contend for a championship in his first year at Ferrari and will be a driver to watch this season. If you have watched the Netflix documentary about the 2018 season, you’ve seen Leclerc’s journey. If you have not, he just graduated to the most coveted seat in Motorsports.
The 4-Time World Champion Vettel
The Ferrari driver that has been racking up race wins since he arrived from Red Bull in 2013 but has not won a championship since he left Red Bull Racing. His pace in the Ferrari has always been quick. But too often than not Vettel has gotten caught in traffic jams on track or driver battles against his rivals.
Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Coming off of his fifth World Championship
At the helm of the Mercedes W09, returning champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas have split Grand Prix wins already this season. Bottas returning from an offseason of rally driving and beard growing has managed to improve his pace against Ferrari and Red Bull, claiming the first victory in Australia.
The extra (1) point and the Formula One Standings
After two races Bottas leads the championship and Hamilton trails by just one point. But, they each have one race win this season. The one point advantage was re-introduced this season giving a driver in the top 10 the opportunity to score an extra point for achieving the fastest lap during the race.
If you’re not in a position to win a race, any driver in the top ten could potentially drive a blistering lap, to earn that extra point. The Fastest lap in a race could now decide the outcome of a championship. Somehow that makes perfect sense in racing.
The Formula One season heads to China this weekend for the third round of the season and 1000th Formula One Grand Prix. If you are in North America, don’t forget the race start time will be in the late hours of the night. Let us know your 1000th Grand Prix predictions in the comments below.