Return of the Torpedo has been Confirmed
Daniil Kvyat has had a challenging couple of years, but we were psyched when Toro Rosso announced he would be driving for them again after the promotion of Pierre Gasly to the senior Red Bull team in 2019 (expect his demotion or firing shortly…). From fourteenth on the grid, amid absolute chaos including two virtual safety cars (why do these even exist) and four legitimate safety cars, Kvyat managed to fight his way up to second, ultimately finishing third. This was his best finish since China 2016 the first podium for Toro Rosso since Sebastian Vettel won in the Toro Rosso at Monza in 2008.
Over the course of the 64 lap race, there was almost constant entertainment except for a few laps where nothing happened. A few laps where nothing happened until everyone decided to switch to slicks, maybe a couple of laps too early. At the checkered flag, in the top 10 were both Toro Rossos, both Haas’s, both Alfa Romeos, and one Lewis Hamilton on the outside looking in. A penalty given after the race to both Alfas demoted them out of the points, Lewis into the points, AND one Robert Kubica from Williams into the points. I’m pretty sure no one said at the beginning of the season Kubica would score points before George Russell did, or that either Williams driver would actually put that car in the points. There’s nothing like a wet race with ever changing conditions, six safety cars, and seventy-eight total pit stops, including one by Mercedes that was over 50 seconds.
Vettel has hopefully gone full circle from Germany last year and will turn things around. Lewis made multiple mistakes, probably the same number he made his rookie season, and the number he made between his rookie season and now. Even his mechanics made mistakes. Not to worry for all you Mercedes fans, they are champions and will come back from this even stronger than before. Max got his second win of the season and tied his old teammate Danny Ric for race wins (7). The answer to the question should have Ricciardo stayed at Red Bull seems clear now. No, he should not have. Despite their car being better in absolutely every way than the Renault, this is Max’s team completely and no one else’s. Marko has even come out and said not to rule out Max for the championship this year. This is absolute nonsense though. Hamilton will be back in full force in Belgium after the summer break, if not in Hungary. For Gasly though, don’t expect him to be around at the senior Red Bull team much longer. I’d be surprised if he was still in that car at Spa.
Best of the rest – Renault is an absolute joke. Poor Daniel Ricciardo. It would be great to see him fighting for race wins again, but it sure as hell isn’t going to happen this year. His teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, who for some reason is regarded as a good driver, is struggling horrifically. He knows the pressure is on and is not handling it well at all. He threw away a second place finish at his home Grand Prix Sunday which would have ended his drought (and World Record of things no one wants) of a podiumless career in F1 of 167 starts. While he won at Le Mans in 2015, he has proven he does not deserve a top car (not that his Renault is a top car). He will likely be dropped and back at Williams or in some other inferior form of racing in 2020. Speaking of Williams, they finally got a car in the points. Congratulations to them!!! That single point might save them for 2020. At Haas, Grosjean and Magnussen had another incident in Germany, absolutely infuriating Gunther Steiner (team principle). One of them or both of them will be gone soon. My money is on the Frenchman (leaving). Finally, Lance Stroll made it out of Q1 for the first time this season. While he was still last in Q2 (15th), it ended his horrific streak of 10 races being knocked out of the first session of qualifying. It had seemed he was completely complacent with his billionaire father as a boss and wasn’t pushing himself at all. Let’s hope this fourth place finish in Germany turns his season around.