2018 F1 season has been packed with a lot of actions going on in each and every Grand Prix. Starting on 25th March with the Australian GP and ending on 25th November with the Abu Dhabi GP, it has been an interesting year so far. The season ended and once again we saw Lewis Hamilton pick up the World Driver's Championship title and Mercedes AMG-Petronas Racing team as the Constructor's Championship winner.
So for you all guys to have a quick recap of what happened so far in this season and some interesting moments of F1, read this post further. So let's begin.
- Best Overtake of 2018: Lewis Hamilton
The World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, once again proved in the Bahrain GP why he deserves the title. Starting from the 9th position on the grid [although he qualified at 4th position but received a penalty of 5 positions for unscheduled gearbox change], he made his way to top of the podium finishing at 3rd position. But while making his way, he pulled off an amazing overtake move which I think only an experienced and pro driver like him can do.
After a dodgy start, on the lap 5 of Bahrain GP, on the straight between turn 15 and turn 1, Lewis who was at 9th position was up against Fernando Alonso in the Mclaren at 8th, Esteban Ocon in Force India at 7th and Nico Hulkenberg in Renault at 6th all charging up fast. As Ocon try to pass Hulkenberg for the 6th position, at the same time Lewis makes a move to pass Alonso for the 8th position. Which eventually at the end of the straight ends up in four cars being side to side as they are about to enter the corner.
Lewis Hamilton moves to the inner most side right next to the pit lane barrier, and Alonso on the outer most side of the track, Ocon on left of the Hamilton and Hulkenberg on right of Alonso, all cars move side by side at the extreme speed. As they all enter the corner, Hamilton sticks to its inner line and Ocon moves to the outer most side of the track crossing Hulkenberg and Alonso.
At the Apex, Hamilton is already out in front benefiting from its inner racing line, followed by Hulkenberg and than Alonso, on the other hand the outward move of Ocon lands him on the last position of this battle. Out of the corner 1, Hamilton once again proved that he is called "The Best" for this reason.
With sparks flying around and a tight and fierce overtake move, all I can say that's some precious moments in the history of F1 to watch.
2. Best Battle of 2018: Max Verstappen vs. Esteban Ocon
Now you guys must be asking, whats the difference between an overtake and a battle, in the unofficial glossary of F1, we call it a "Battle" when there is a fierce back and forth of drivers fighting for the position. While Overtake is just a great move from behind to the front, in Battle you can see drivers giving it all to beat the driver who just overtakes and regain the position, telling everyone "I am better than him".
So the best battle according to me was in the Abu Dhabi GP. After a crash between Ocon and Verstappen in the Brazilian GP, Verstappen was fuming with anger against Ocon. In the Brazilian GP when Verstappen was leading the race, and as he was lapping Ocon due to a little bump between Ocon and Verstappen, Verstappen's car spun off and resulted in him finishing second in the race.
On lap six of the Abu Dhabi GP, Ocon was on the 9th place with Verstappen ahead of him on the 8th place. On the straight after enabling the DRS, Ocon made a move and passes Verstappen for the 8th position, but the battle isn't over yet. At the end of the straight and heading into the left turn, Ocon pulls in to the inner side of the turn while Verstappen goes wide and on the outside line. As they are half way through the corner, Ocon gains a few meters on Verstappen, but Verstappen isn't gonna take this easily.
Out of the left turn and followed by a quick right turn, Verstappen closely following Ocon makes a move to regain his position. As he is behind now, Verstappen activates DRS and getting along side of Ocon as they both head down to turn 11. Man oh man, you can clearly see this rivalry is getting more exciting to watch. As they enter turn 11 Verstappen moves to gain the inner line through the turn and Ocon on the outside. Clearly Verstappen is not giving up and neither is Ocon.
So the battle ends with Verstappen on 8th position and Ocon on 9th. Aggressive driving in Formula 1 like this is always an interesting thing to watch.
3. Worst Crash of 2018: Nico Hulkenberg In Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Now, apart from the good old racing moments of the Formula 1, there are also some scary moments which can never be unseen. One such moment can be seen in the last race of the 2018 Season. While in the Abu Dhabi GP, on one right hand turn, due to a contact made with Romain Grosjean in the Haas Car, Hulkenberg's car flipped and ended up in the barrier.
In the first lap of Abu Dhabi GP, while entering through the turn 8, Hulkenberg takes the inside line with Grosjean on the outside, as they come out of the corner 8 and heads to the turn 9, Grosjean was behind Hulkenberg and as Hulkenberg try to get as close to the apex through turn 9, the rear right of his car touches the front left of Grosjean and the car suddenly takes a massive airborne flip and ends up in the barriers with the car upside down.
Now the interesting part of this crash is, the "Halo" means a three point roll cage kind of thing which F1 introduced to make sure that the driver is safe inside while the car is involved in a crash, but due to that Hulkenberg wasn't able to get out of the car. So Hulkenberg while he is unhurt from the crash, couldn't get out of the car and the car was in flames.
Luckily due to the marshals around they were able to extinguish the fire and got Hulkenberg out of the car unharmed.
But this also raises the issue, whether Halo is completely safe or not. As most people are doubting in an event of car flipping over and ending up in a situation same as Hulkenberg's, the driver won't be able to get out of the flaming car and if the safety team couldn't reach on time, it could result in a driver's death.
4. Best Race of 2018: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
While every race in F1 is fun to watch, I will pick Abu Dhabi GP as the best one. Not only its the last race of the season, but the action you can see between drivers is unbelievable. Let it be Hulkenberg's horrifying crash at the start of the race, fierce battle of revenge between Ocon and Verstappen or Kimi getting out of the race due to technical fault its all amazing to watch.
To summarize this GP, I can say, the crash of Hulkenberg at the start was horrifying. Battle between Ocon and Verstappen was butt clenching to watch. Three way battle between Ocon, Grosjean and Vandoorne is another favorite battle to see. Also the Battle of champions, Vettel vs Hamilton on lap 35 is thrilling to see.
All in all I can say, watch the race below and tell me that Formula 1 is no fun at all.
Bonus: Pitstop Crash: Kimi Raikkonen - Bahrain GP.
It is always a chaos moment when the car arrives in the pitstop. The driver wants to leave as soon as possible and mechanics have to do their job in mere seconds. Thanks to the latest technologies, the F1 pitstop time is now just 1-3 seconds. But sometimes when things goes wrong it could end up in horrible terror.
Same thing happened at the Bahrain GP when during a pit stop of Kimi Raikkonen one of his mechanic got injured. So what exactly happened in the pitstop?
Kimi enters the pit lane for a planned pit stop. While changing the tires the car was held up through jacks and the Ferrari's pit system showed a red light indicating that Kimi, the driver shouldn't accelerate out of the pit. Halfway through and as mechanics were changing, one of the mechanic Francesco Cigorini, was changing the rear left tire. But before he could finish his job, the Ferrari's pit system gave a green light and that made Kimi accelerate through the pit stop, which ended up the car's rear tire running over Cigorini's left leg and breaking it.
It was a horrific moment which makes us all realize that this sport demands a lot of attention and alertness and its not only the driver but anyone around can be harmed if they are inattentive.
In the end, Ferrari has been fined with 50,000 euros for an unsafe release of car from pitstop. Moreover, Cigorini was admitted into hospital where doctor said he suffered a fracture of tibia & fibula in his left leg. Apparently the lucky mechanic is recovering now and I am glad it didn't ended up in a life threatening situation.
So for the 2018 season of the Formula 1 has been a thrilling event to watch, it also reminds us how life threatening Motorsports can be. But scary things apart, I will always love to watch F1 on a regular basis.
So continuing this series will be @Kristyyd, posting about NFL in 2018. So please do check that out and don't miss it.
References : Formula 1 Official Channel