Driving Away With It

The Formula 1 season always goes by so fast, which is surprising to me because on the weekends when there is no race, it feels like the next one is so far away. I guess that’s why F1 partnered with Rolex to keep track of time and not me. It’s fine, I’m not bitter.

The season started in March, with the release of, Formula 1: Drive To Survive – a 10-episode Netflix documentary chronicling the 2018 season. It was fantastic and you should watch it, even if you’ve never seen an F1 race in your life.

You’ll enjoy it. Trust me. I have no motive to lie, nor lead you astray.

Yesterday, the final race of the year was held in Abu Dhabi. It doesn’t matter who won.

The season followed the same pattern that racing fans have (unfortunately) grown accustomed to over the last few years.

It goes something like this:

1. Someone blows away the competition during Winter Testing (Ferrari).
2. Teams show up in Australia for the first race of the season, full of optimism.
3. Look at how many cars are passing each other during the race!
4. Wow! There might actually be a battle at the top this season!
5. How about this midfield battle? Extraordinary!
6. Mercedes is still the best, but the other teams are closing the gap.
7. Why did I stay up until 3:30AM to watch this race?
8. A hodgepodge of celebrities show up in Monaco.
9. Why is Vettel doing that?
10. Why is Red Bull only good at certain tracks?
11. Lance Stroll finishes 9th and is really happy about it.
12. Ferrari better get it together before they fall too far behind.
14. Alright, no one is catching Mercedes this year.
15. Kimi Raikkonen mumbles through an interview.
17. Daniel Ricciardo’s car stops on the side of the road. He’s frustrated.
18. Yeah, Mercedes is going to win the constructors’ championship again.
19. Lewis Hamilton is going to win the driver’s championship.
20. There are seven races left and they don’t mean anything.
21. Oh, what’s that, they’re making rule changes in 2021?
23. Now how will I spend my Sunday mornings?

So, if you or someone you know, want to become a fan of Formula 1, that’s basically what you can expect over the course of a season. Hopefully, that changes next year, but it probably won’t.

We won’t get real change until 2021, when the regulations change and the cars look different and Lewis Hamilton moves over to Ferrari.

At this time, I’m going to list each team and driver and say a bit about them. The number in brackets is where they finished in the team/driver standings.

If you sit through this and read all of them, you’ll come across some great commentary and jokes. 

MERCEDES (1)They won 15 of 21 races this year. What else is new?

He is a six-time world champion now – one behind Michael Schumacher – and has one year left on his deal with Mercedes. I feel like Schumacher had to fight harder for his championships, but then again, I was a child so my opinion could be skewed. Apparently, Hamilton had two meetings with the Ferrari owner this year and there is a chance he goes there in 2021.

Driving the same car as Hamilton, he feels like the only hope racing fans have for any competition at the top of the driver standings. But cheering for him means cheering for Mercedes and that’s not fun.

FERRARI (2): There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Nelson keeps saying, “Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.” That’s the first thing that came to mind when I thought of Ferrari. I’m so sorry. But stop hitting yourself, Ferrari.

He’s just a kid from Monaco, living his dream of driving an F1 car at the age of 22. Good ol’ Humble Chuck. Alright, no one calls him that…yet. His future is bright, but if Hamilton becomes his teammate in 2021, the bulb in that spotlight will need replacing every day. I think that makes sense.

With four world championships, he is one of the all-time greats. None of those have come with Ferrari, however, which must be frustrating because IT’S FERRARI. I feel like he needs a hug because he’s trying so hard to chase down a reliable, consistent Mercedes, with an, at times, not so reliable Ferrari. And while he’s doing that, Humble Chuck (is this catching on?) comes in and outperforms him in his first year with the team.

RED BULL RACING (3): Never the bride, nor the groom, yet always at the altar.

Formula 1 is returning to the Netherlands next season for the first time since 1985, which will be nice for all the Dutch supporters who, seemingly, travel to every race to cheer on Verstappen, while wearing bright orange t-shirts, so the cameraman can easily pick them out. Max is great, hopefully his car can be too.

He started the season with Toro Rosso, before swapping seats with Pierre Gasly. For his rookie year, he did quite well.

McLAREN (4): Welcome to McLaren, where the “L” stands for Laughter. (Not an insult)

Sainz, Sainz, everywhere a Sainz. This was his best season in F1 and I can’t say I saw it coming because McLaren was such a mess last year. He seems to have a lot of fun with his teammate, which always makes for wholesome content on the internet.

He sort of became the unofficial mascot of Formula 1 this year. I mean that in the best way. In 90% of his interviews and social media posts, he’s having fun, laughing, and bringing  pure joy to a world where people tend to look very concerned.

RENAULT (5): You know what it is, black and yellow, black and yellow. Sorry.

I can understand why he left Red Bull, but I feel bad that he landed with a team that is never in contention for a podium. By all accounts, he’s enjoying being with Renault. I’m just selfish and want to see him with a top team, but that boat might’ve sailed.

Again, another talented driver with a team that just doesn’t have the car to compete with the top three. It’s unfortunate. Renault is replacing him with Esteban Ocon next year.

TORO ROSSO (6): I was just about to say how pleasing it is on the tongue to utter the words “Toro Rosso”, and then I search it on Google and find out they are changing their name to Alpha Tauri next year. So, that’s timely.

He started the season with the parent team, Red Bull, but wasn’t performing the way they had hoped. So now he’s back with their B team, which is going to be named Alpha, and that doesn’t really make sense, does it?

Like his teammate, he also had his shot with Red Bull back in 2015 (at the age of 21) before being sent down to Toro Rosso the following season after four races. It feels like he’s in a really long game of musical chairs with Gasly and Albon for the second seat at Red Bull.

RACING POINT (7): I still refer to them by their former name: Force India.

He finished in the Top 10 in eight of nine races after the summer break. It was always hard for me to gage how good the car was because his teammate was consistently missing out on the Top 10.

He is consistently poor in Qualifying, which puts him behind the 8-ball, as well as about 16 other cars, come race day. That was a numbers joke. We’re here now.

ALFA ROMEO (8): Hold on, we’re going to have an Alfa Romeo and an Alpha Tauri on the grid next year? Can they just go back to being called, Sauber? You’re confusing the children.

He’s like the Jaromir Jagr of Formula 1, minus the mullet. Could you imagine Kimi with a mullet though? He’s old enough to be the Dad of at least four other drivers. This guy is going to outlast everyone currently on the grid, and he’s going to do it without saying anything any of us can understand. Never change.

His teammate is a legend and his car is not the best – it’s 8th. Again with a numbers joke. Stop it, Paul. That’s TWO many. STOP.

HAAS (9): Well, at least they were the highlight of the Netflix documentary.

Look, I don’t have much to say about either driver. It wasn’t a good season for them, after coming in 5th last season. The car was not good. You can’t turn chocolate pudding into chocolate cake.

This past weekend he said, “Let’s just say we’re looking forward to getting rid of that car and it won’t go into a museum!” I like that quote way more than I should.

WILLIAMS (10): Maybe next year.

The car was not good from Day 0 and was 3-4 seconds off the pace all year, but I’m glad Kubica got a chance to be on the grid again after a horrific crash in 2011 that partially severed his arm. He had signed a deal with Ferrari to race for them in 2012, but couldn’t. Next year, he is being replaced by a Canadian – Nicholas Latifi.

In his first year in F1, at the age of 21, Russell out-qualified his teammate in every race. Granted, they were normally starting last and second last. He has a lot of talent, though, and at times, made the car look better than it was.

Overall, it was a ho-hum season with not too many memorable moments, outside of Vettel’s hissy fit at the Canadian Grand Prix. I’m so glad that happened in Canada.

I don’t know what we’re in for next season. Is Mercedes just going to drive away with the championship again by the middle of the season? Are teams holding back until 2021, when the big regulation changes kick in, or will next season be competitive?

I’m not getting my hopes up, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be excited to stay up until 2AM to watch the first race of the season.

‘Tis the life of a Formula 1 fan.

Thanks for reading!

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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14 Responses to Driving Away With It

  1. Oh man, I’ve learned so much about Formula 1 racing just from this post alone (Post Malone?, lol). Paul, you a font of information, thank you even though I don’t particularly follow F1, but this was interesting…..stop hitting yourself!
    Love that! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Authoress51 says:

    As Bubba J. ..Jeff Dunham’s character…says about Nascar. “They’re making a left turn! Oh no, another left turn! Don’t get up, you might miss a left turn!” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. darthtimon says:

    Yeah… Ferrari, masters of self-defeat! Leclerc is clearly the future of that team, Vettel is a four-time champ, but place him under pressure and he snaps… Guess he feels he has a point to prove, and he’s trying too hard to prove it!

    Agreed RE Ricciardo. Great talent, needs a much better car. It’s hard to see Renault provide that for him any time soon.

    I think Hamilton has been imperious all season. His focus and drive (no pun intended!) is on a different level to pretty much everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I agree completely with what you said about Vettel. I wonder if he’d ever go back to Red Bull. A respectable car with a lot less pressure on him.

      Hamilton’s presence alone seems to defeat the other drivers. He shows up to every race with a winning mindset, whereas it feels like the other drivers show up just hoping to do well, or praying for a safety car.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I couldn’t wait fir this season to end … it was so predictable again .. so many races were follow the leader .. hoping the changes will make it more exciting to watch … But next season will be the same 2021 can’t come soon enough lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      There were so many races that were over by lap 25. Once the teams line up their pit stops and do them in breakneck speed, the race is over. I’m praying this changes in 2021 and fans like us are rewarded for staying with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree Paul , there wasn’t much excitement, a few were actually exciting and hoping this all changes in 2021.. but we have to sit through next year with much of the same 😂 but each race I still have hope

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Bryan Fagan says:

    This is a lot like watching College Football down here in the states. Of the 100 plus college teams the same ones seem to play every year.


  6. Jack Gatford says:

    As an avid F1 fan, I really appreciated this post, very entertaining read! I agree drive to survive was great, and I can’t wait for the next season depicting the 2019 season, and I feel the only way Lewis would go to Ferrari is if Toto Wolf jumps the fence too. But I suppose that remains to be seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for reading! Always good to come across F1 fans on here. Interesting thought re: Hamilton and Wolff. Only a couple of drivers have a contract for 2021 so I’m looking forward to finding out where everyone ends.


      • Jack Gatford says:

        I agree, I’m also looking forward to finding out. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that Vettel will retire at the end of 2020, he’s got 3 children now, and his performances have been declining for years. Maybe making way for Hamilton? Being a Hamilton fan, personally I’d like to see him eclipse Schumacher’s record of 7 championships, but I also want to see Verstappen win a title. Who’s your favourite driver?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Part of me thinks Vettel might want to give the new cars in 2021 a chance to see if that will propel him back into a championship hunt. Maybe he returns to Red Bull, or something. My favourite drivers right now are Max and Leclerc. They’re a breath of fresh and will probably be the Hamilton/Vettel of the next decade. I also like Lando Norris.


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