Five talking points from the Russian Grand Prix

Well, we’re back to snoozefest central appears. Lewis Hamilton is back to his whiny best. And I can’t help but be excited for the future of the sport. How is all that possible? Read on to find out.

Classic Hamilton returns
From being moody and whiny, to thanking ‘the best fans in the world’, we were witness to some classic Lewis Hamilton this weekend.

Hamilton rightfully received ten seconds worth of penalties for his strange decision to do two practice starts in fairly dangerous areas of the track before the race, and then followed this up with a race full of complaining on his radio in what used to be a fairly characteristic showing by the multiple World Champ.

F1 Grand Prix of Styria
(Photo by Mario Renzi – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

What makes it all the more baffling for Lewis is that this was something completely of his own doing, and yet when given the opportunity after the race to explain why he did it, he completely baulked at the question posed to him by Johnny Herbert and went back into thanking ‘the greatest fans in the world’, something which I’m sure he was desperate to do.

This in itself is somewhat questionable considering Russia’s less than exemplary human rights record over issues Hamilton is known for speaking so prominently about, it really was a weird weekend for our soon to be World Champion yet again.

All on a weekend in which he was being hyped up over the prospect of him equalling Michael Schumacher’s 91-race win record, it was just odd and strange one for Lewis. But hey, we all like a bout of nostalgia from time to time right?

The Schumacher legacy lives on for now… and the future
As a self-appointed Michael Schumacher obsessed superfan, seeing Hamilton not equal the record was something of a happy moment for me.

Yes, it will happen next race. Or the race after. Or the race after that. It is, like Thanos famously said, inevitable.

But for now, the record remains intact. However one person who may just go on to break the new record Hamilton will eventually set is none other than Michael’s son Mick, who came out as the driver of the round in Formula 2 over the weekend with his second F2 race win of the season (third overall) and another podium to solidify his lead on top of the standings.

Mick has found himself in some strong form in the Formula One support category and looks set to get a call up next season to Alfa Romeo and bring back the Schumacher name to the sport nine years after it last appeared. And a telling quote from Mick in an interview on the weekend gave all of us Schumacher fanboys hope that the name will return to the record books in the future.

When asked about his thoughts on Hamilton potentially equalling his dad’s record on the weekend, Mick told reporters in Sochi “”One sentence my dad always used to say was, ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that. I think Lewis had a very, very good run. He had a very consecutive and positive run. It’s good for the sport. … the next aim would be then I guess for me, if I do make the step (up), to break that again.”

If that sentence doesn’t get any Schumacher fan excited, nothing will. Bring it on Mick, bring it on.

Bottas is an underrated character
So much do you read about how ‘boring’ Valtteri Bottas is. People claim he has no personality. That he is nothing but a whipping boy and solid number two for Lewis.

But there is just something about him that I can’t help but enjoy. From his slightly awkward but actually amazing social media posts (seriously, look up his boot transition post from the weekend) to his often awkward but gangsta race win quotes over the radio, Bottas is weirdly fun.

Sure, he isn’t probably as ‘cool and hip’ to the kids these days such as drivers like Lando Norris, George Russell and Alex Albon who have their own unique way of catching the eye of the young generation, but I can’t help but admire the way Bottas handles himself sometimes, especially with the constant pressure and criticism he gets.

He’ll never win the Mr Popularity award in Formula One, but I for one want to start advocating for his weirdly awkward and underrated fun personality, which clearly is a Finnish thing right? Just ask Mika and Kimi…

Valtteri-Bottas-755x515
Valtteri Bottas (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Ricciardo is all class
Can Lewis Hamilton take some inspiration from our own Dan? Seriously. Look at their two differing reactions to penalties this weekend.

Lewis spends a whole race complaining about it and then refuses to talk about in the race afterwards. Daniel Ricciardo owns up completely to a mistake, owns that he gets a penalty and promptly announces that he will simply “drive faster” in order to make up for it. Incredible.

The sooner Dan gets back into a winning car and has the ability to fight for the Championship, the better. What an ambassador for Formula One around the world he would be.

For the first time in my life I might be actively rooting for McLaren to succeed as of next year. Yikes…what is happening to me?

Stroll poleaxed, Latifi was there… I think
Sadly nothing much to report on my regular Canada watch. For my man Lance, it was a second retirement in a row through no fault of his own.

An absolute brilliant start from Stroll from, 12th to seventh was looking good for him for the race on lap one, however Charles Leclerc had other ideas, punting Stroll into the wall in an incident that was incredibly lucky not to receive a penalty for Charles.

For Latifi, well, he finished 16th, and beat his teammate George Russell. So, that was good right? That’s unfortunately all I have to add. Hopefully better luck will come their way in two weeks’ time.

For the first time this season we don’t have a back-to-back race to enjoy after a two-week break. Gives us enough time to hope for another exciting race in two weeks’ time at the Nurburgring! Bring it on!

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s