Soak it in because…FINALLY, the rain has found its way back to a Formula 1 racetrack on race day! There is nothing better than watching twenty cars struggle around every turn because the ground is wet.
It’s just hours of un-fastforwardable entertainment.
The German Grand Prix took place yesterday in Hockenheim and it was chaos. Oh, how I love chaos with my sports.
I don’t care that auto racing likes to show off fast cars that can get from Point A to Point B in the blink of an eye. I want there to be a struggle. I want every car to have a chance to run near the front. I want the unconventional and unlikely to happen.
I WANT RAIN.
Earlier this week, I added Hockenheim, Germany to my phone’s weather app for the sole purpose of checking to see if there would be rain this weekend.
Sure enough, THERE WAS.
It’s like I stubbed my toe and went to heaven.
If you don’t follow Formula 1, let me lay out this season for you very quickly.
It started with a behind-the-scenes Netflix documentary, which turned into Mercedes dominating every race, and Ferrari looking like bumbling fools at every turn, except in Canada where Vettel ran away from the cameras, but came back to put the first place sign in front of his second place car because wooo pettiness, but let’s not forget about Red Bull essentially being a one driver team, or the fact that Lance Stroll qualifies 18th for just about every race, while the Williams team is three seconds slower than everyone else.
That’s it, you’re caught up.
Needless to say, this season has been boring. There has been no doubt who has the fastest car and everyone is just driving in circles trying to get excited about a 7th place finish.
The great equalizer is rain. Anyone can spin off at any time and strategy comes into play multiple times throughout the race. It’s just mayhem and I love every second of it.
The German Grand Prix yesterday was the most entertaining race I’ve seen since I started following Formula 1 again in 2016. It was the first time, in a long time, I didn’t have to fast forward through any of it.
I won’t bore you with all the details – if you didn’t watch it, you won’t understand what I’m saying. I will list off some of my favourite moments, though.
1. LANCE STROLL WAS IN FIRST PLACE FOR ABOUT 45 SECONDS. I was laughing so hard. I still can’t believe it. Here’s a guy who is consistently 18th in qualifying, leading a race. The camera never showed his car while he was in first. I also found that funny.
2. Lewis Hamilton – resident golden boy – had a pit stop that was nearly a minute long because he hit a wall right before the pit lane and broke his front nose, so his team didn’t have time to prepare anything for him before he arrived.
I love unscheduled pit stops. They make my heart sing. The frantic scene that unravels, while the car sits still for way too long, coupled with the commentators voices getting more urgent – it’s just incredible.
3. The word, “Bollard”. Hamilton darted into the pit lane by crossing over the grass, instead of entering the lane properly on the right side of the BOLLARD. I just love that word and how the British commentators say it. BOLLARD.
4. Hometown hero, Sebastian Vettel, started in last place and finished second. Of course he did. Ferrari is really good at concocting a race strategy when they have nothing to lose. Time for new tires? Sure, why not! Let’s roll the dice!
He was so enthusiastic after the race in interviews. It sounded like he had fun for the first time in years. Hopefully, this sparks something in him and reminds him who he is and what he’s capable of.
5. Daniil Kvyat got his Toro Rosso on the podium in third place. When cars that aren’t supposed to be on the podium, get on the podium, I love it. Some people like greatness and enjoy seeing the same people dominate. I don’t.
6. If I had a dime for every time they said someone was off at the penultimate corner, I could probably sponsor the German Grand Prix and keep it alive beyond this season. I like when cars go off the track, as long as the driver doesn’t get hurt, obviously.
It normally leads to some sort of safety car and forces teams to make split-second decisions on whether to pit, or stay out. It just injects uncertainty into the race.
I didn’t enjoy seeing Charles Leclerc go off, but it was for the greater good. He’s young and will be around for the next decade. It’s fine.
7. The Haas drivers don’t play nice with each other and I love it. In a world where all every team wants is for their drivers to give each other space on the track, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean refuse to go an entire race without bumping into each other.
It’s like a square on a Bingo card at this point. Did the Haas cars touch? Yup! Cross it off.
8. Max Verstappen won the race. Red Bull is like the Alternative music genre. They won’t get the attention on the radio stations, but will sneak up on you and say, “Hey, we sound better than them!”
My loyalties are split between Ferrari and Red Bull, so it’s always good to see Red Bull do well.
9. Kimi Raikkonen’s car is the epitome of “old man strength”. All the young kids on the track are driving around in the rain for the first time, feeling things out, and there he is just cruising around like it’s no big deal.
He’s such a character. You can’t understand a word he says in interviews because he speaks on the same breath for the duration of his mumbled collection of sentences, but it’s endearing.
10. I thoroughly enjoy watching a team be the first to take a gamble on dry tires. It could pay off, like it did for Stroll and Kvyat, or it could be catastrophic. There is no in between. But as soon as the other teams see that dry tires are working…EVERYBODY INTO THE PITS!
If you can’t tell by now, I enjoy a busy pit lane.
11. Honourable mention to Ted Kravitz – pit lane reporter. For some reason (which I won’t get into), he isn’t at every race this year. It’s a shame because he brings so much joy to the broadcast. He transfers his passion and knowledge of F1 to each viewer at home.
Those are my favourite moments from the race. I’m probably missing some because the whole race was my favourite moment.
It’s a shame there won’t be a German Grand Prix next season. It’s a great track, which is surrounded by a gazillion trees. It’s quite the site/sight.
I enjoy the old-school feel to it, with grass on the side of the track, as well as different areas where you can pass. Plus, it’s Germany. How can you not have a Formula 1 race there every year? They basically make cars there for breakfast.
I’m still mad they aren’t going back to Malaysia, so don’t get me started on this whole “not returning to certain tracks because of money” thing.
That being said, if they find new countries with racetracks that provide great entertainment, I’ll shut right up and enjoy it. But the last thing this sport needs is more tracks where overtaking is impossible.
Anyway, I just wanted to write this post because the race was so much fun to watch. I hope there are more wet weather races this season. And if they aren’t, I urge F1 officials to set up sprinklers on the track to get it nice and wet.
Anything you need to do to bring out the wet tires, do it.
I still long for the days when they didn’t just have wet tires, but also monsoon tires.
Those two words still get me pumped up.
Tomorrow I’ll be adding Mogyorod, Hungary as a location on my weather app, to see if rain is expected for next weekend’s grand prix. Let us pray.
Thanks for reading!
What are your thoughts on yesterday’s German Grand Prix? What quirky aspects of your favourite sport do you enjoy?