It has been an exciting 2018 Formula One season so far, the best in recent years. The season, after its 12th race at the Hungaroring on Sunday, is on a break till the last weekend in August, making its return at the Belgian Grand Prix. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton leads the Drivers Championship with 213 points, his closest rival Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel 24 points behind (the highest points lead at the top of the Drivers Standings so far this season) Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen is third with 146 points. Team Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport leads the Constructors Championship with 345 points, closely followed by team Scuderia Ferrari with 335 points. Aston Martin Red Bull racing is a distant third with 223 points.
Since the first race of the season in Melbourne, it has been an entertaining season, not lacking in race-defining moments, opportunistic moves, conspiracy theories, crashes, pit stop incidents, electrifying radio messages, etc. every weekend, from Free practice 1 to Main race.
Below are some observations so far in this blockbuster of a season, with nine races to go:
- Ferrari has a better package than other teams, and therefore the fastest cars on the grid
- Mercedes is better than Ferrari in wet conditions
- without DNFs, the season will go down to the wire between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel
- Red Bull can’t wait to ditch its Renault engines (Renault don’t care either)
- Valtteri Bottas is ‘unofficially’ Mercedes Driver Number 2
- If Kimi Raikkonen keeps finishing on the podium (8 podiums so far) regularly, he might keep his Ferrari drive for another year
- Charles Leclerc is undoubtedly a future star.
- Haas and Sauber have benefitted heavily from its partnership with Ferrari
- Williams is on a speedy decline and would end up last on the Constructors Championship
- Nobody notices the halo anymore after Australia and Bahrain
Since 2004, no driver has won the Drivers Championshipafter winning the Hungarian GP. Are we going to see an extension of that run or a break of the jinx? Who’s going to beat the other to a fifth drivers’ title at the end, Lewis or Sebastian? Would countrymen Valtteri Bottas or Kimi Raikkonen play their part in helping Mercedes or Ferrari clinch the constructors’ title?
As the drivers enjoy their deserved holiday, F1 fans worldwide are very pleased with the season so far, wishing it had been this way in recent years. F1’s popularity has risen significantly this season with lots of talking points after each race.
We can’t wait for our Formula One to return in Spa already!
By Ekwonye Osy Ernesto