Five talking points from the Tuscan Grand Prix

Another pretty decent race, at least behind the Mercedes, and we’re back for another talking points from another grand prix. Let’s get to it.

Oh so close Danny
Man. This was the race. This was the race that Daniel Ricciardo finally was set to score that first podium for Renault and his first since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. But sadly it once again wasn’t to be for Danny Ric, and he had to settle for his fourth fourth-place finish since joining the French team.

You have to think how he would’ve gone had there not been a second red flag, as he had the momentum in holding off Lance Stroll, who also had to contend with Alex Albon at the same time. Renault were on a seemingly better strategy and there was every chance he was going to try and push to the end of the race which could’ve secured him the taste of champagne as well as that tattoo for Cyril Abiteboul.

But alas, it wasn’t to be. With eight rounds to go of the season, as well as his career in black and yellow, let’s all cross those fingers and toes that a podium will still happen.

Daniel-Ricciardo-Renault-768x525
(Stephen Blackberry/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Bottas did nothing wrong
Romain Grosjean was quick to jump on the radio after the first restart, bemoaning the leading cars for slowing down so much that they bunched the pack up which he claimed led to the massive accident that took out Carlos Sainz, Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen and Nicholas Latifi.

Putting aside that moaning on the radio is about what Grosjean is best at, he was way off the mark in his assessment of the incident. After the safety car enters the pit, Bottas essentially becomes the safety car and he can control the pace however he likes.

Given there is no safety car line before the start/finish line, he maintained a pace he saw fit before eventually speeding off to restart the race. Everything he did was in the rules and there was no fault that could be put on him.

Yes, in the heat of the moment it’s easy to jump to conclusions, but come on Romain. Surprising that you didn’t blame it on Ericsson…

That’s more like it Alex
That was the result Alex Albon needed, and the result he should be getting in a race like this. It’s actually quite fitting of the Red Bull situation that I have to even make another point about this, because in no way should people be talking about how this is a race that he needed in order to stay in contention for the Red Bull seat in 2021.

This should be a given for Albon. When Max is out, he needs to be the capable driver who is easily able to secure a podium. And finally, he did so. Hopefully it will uncork a bottle and he can retain a level of consistency required for a Red Bull seat, otherwise sadly it’ll be a one off time that we can speak some positives about him before he ultimately faces that pressure torch once more.

Australia has a bright Formula One future
As a long-term Formula One fan, I remember the dark old days of growing up watching the sport without an Aussie to cheer for in Formula One. For those of us who remember that period, between 1994 and 2001 it was a barren time. Then Mark Webber came along in 2002, Ricciardo in 2011 and for nearly 20 years we have had representation on the grid.

And it’s safe to say we are set to continue that representation for many years to come if the junior formulae have anything to do with it.

Melbourne driver Oscar Piastri did enough in the weekend in the F3 championship to claim it and secure what is an important step up the ladder towards Formula One.

This will surely secure him a seat in the category directly below Formula One next year, Formula 2, which will bring him even closer to the main grid. And it’s not just Piastri who we have to keep an eye on.

As a proud Tasmanian it’s great to Tassie boy Alex Peroni have a solid season which netted him three podiums and a tenth-place finish in the championship, while two other Aussies in Jack Doohan (son of legendary motorcycle World Champion Mick) and Calan Williams also took part across the 2020 F3 season.

Keep a watchful eye on these four, as Ricciardo might have some compatriots soon to have a shoey or two with soon.

A forgetful Canadian weekend
I thought this was going to be back-to-back podiums for my man Lance Stroll this weekend. Everything was going his way, and despite being passed by Ricciardo with the undercut in the first round of pit-stops, he seemingly had the pace to close in on him in the middle stint and potentially could’ve had the pace to chase him down later on.

Either way, a third or fourth place would’ve been another solid result for Stroll and maintained his fourth place in the Championship. Instead a spectacular puncture sent him spiralling into barrier and crashing out of the race for his first DNF since the first race of the season.

A frustrating result after another strong weekend.

For Latifi it was a similar result, as he was taken out of the race during the massive crash on the first restart. In a high race of attrition it could’ve been a fruitful result for Latifi, but as with Stroll, it just wasn’t to be.

A week off next weekend before heading to a race that nobody looks forward to, the Russian Grand Prix. Personally, I’m a bit of a fan of the Sochi circuit, so I hope for once it can live up to being a tad underrated and produce a good race for once. Let’s wait and see.

This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here

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