With 13 races completed in the F1 season, it only seems right to take a look back at the season before the teams come back from their summer break. From dominant victories to clueless strategies, this season has had everything. We will be looking at the biggest storylines, and what is yet to come for the remaining 9 races. Whether you’re a new fan looking to get into the sport or a veteran fan, this season will be one to remember. 

Ferrari’s Breakdown 

After the first race in Bahrain, the Ferrari’s looked like the best car on the grid. They had a comfortable lead over the Red Bulls, who also had mechanical issues, and really started the season on the front foot. Not only did Ferrari have a top tier machine, they had two of the best drivers on the grid. Charles Leclerc has already been tagged as  world champion material, and his partner Carlos Sainz has gone up and survived against the likes of Leclerc, Lando Norris, and Max Verstappen. It seemed like this entire season would be another titanic battle between Ferrari and Redbull, yet we have never really got the result that was promised after the first few races. This issue can almost directly be linked to the Ferrari pitwall/strategy and the occasional combustion of an engine in both the Ferrari and Redbull. Getting back to the strategist though, ever since races in Spain and Monaco this team has been constantly characterized by an inability to score points and deliver on the potential of this great racecar. This goes from messing up the pit strategy in Monaco to throwing hard tires on Leclerc in Hungary, and in each of these instances the team is throwing away chances to fight for victory. Ferrari has both the car and drivers to compete for the world championship, but have dropped 70 points behind the Max and 100 points behind Red Bull in the driver and teams championship respectively. Unless Ferrari pulls out a masterclass of performances throughout the next 9 races and Verstappen falters in multiple races, it seems as though the titles this year might already be decided.  

The Alpine Mess

For a team firmly at the top of the midfield, in terms of car performance, and heading into the summer in 4th place, it wouldn’t seem that Alpine had much to worry about. Alas, this sport is known for a driver silly season that occurs almost regularly during this summer break. Unfortunately, this silly season centered right around Alpine. And not in a good way. First off, they lost the two time world champion Fernando Alonso to a longer and more lucrative contract at Aston Martin. If this was the only problem, Alpine would be fine. They had prepared for this moment, and were grooming 2021 F2 champion Oscar Piastri to fill that very same seat. Alpine would be adding more youth to their lineup, and really setting themselves up for the next decade. The problem is that Piastri didn’t really like this plan. After Alpine announced Piastri as their driver for next season, he went onto social media and made it quite clear that he wasn’t going to be driving for Alpine next year. Not only had the French team lost their young star, but they had done it in front of the entire year. Piastri eventually announced that he would be signing for Mclaren, and the ending to this entire saga is most likely going to end in court. If I was Estaben Ocon though, I might want to practice driving both cars. 

Mercedes Masterclass

On the last major storyline of the summer, I will try and end on a good note. One of the teams having the best season with the machinery that they have. Mercedes has finished on the podium 9 times, highlighted by double podiums in both Hungary and France. This is a team that was getting stuck behind a Haas in Bahrain, and had Lewis Hamilton questioning his commitment to F1. It seemed like this team would have one of their worst seasons, and while they aren’t fighting for the championship it is definitely not their worst season. Not only are there consistent results that have helped this team get within 30 points of 2nd place, but it seems like the entire team is slowly starting to understand the car they have and how to best utilize it. Mercedes is entrenched in the third position, but have found some tracks where they have challenged the front two and this will become much more common as this team continues to find themselves. Their championship bid might not be this year, but they will almost certainly be competing for wins next season if not sooner. 

Top Image: Alpine F1 Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.