F1: Five Talking Points From The Russian Grand Prix

Photo Credit: USA Today
Photo Credit: USA Today /
Photo Credit: USA Today
Photo Credit: USA Today /

The F1 Russian Grand Prix has been a snooze-fest in the past, but the 2016 edition was anything but. Here are five talking points to come out of the weekend’s F1 race.

Daniil Kvyat/Sebastian Vettel Crash

It’s hard to believe that Kvyat and Vettel wound up in the midst of a second first corner conspiracy in as many races. Though the jury is still out on whether or not it was the Russian or the German which caused the ruckus in China, unfortunately for the Red Bull driver, the Russian Grand Prix shunt has been squarely put on him. I’m not Kvyat’s biggest fan, but nor do I hate the guy. Yet in the aftermath of Sunday’s race, his name has been wiped through the mud. Two incidents in two races is unfortunate but it shouldn’t define the young driver’s career, especially when one of them may not even be entirely his fault. Those which have called for his head on a spike may have gotten their wish as it’s being reported Red Bull will replace their driver at the end of the season with the up and coming Max Verstappen. This may have already been the plan, but if it wasn’t and is simply a knee jerk reaction to recent events then the decision is nothing but stupid.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button Take Home Some F1 Championship Points

Not much to say in regards to McLaren’s double points finish, but the team must feel absolutely relieved that both cars managed to break into the top ten. McLaren have appeared to been on the verge of doing so in each of the first three races this season but ultimately failed to convert their aspirations into reality. Fans of the team will be hoping that continued success will be in store for future races, and possibly a move a few runs up the ladder as well.

Lewis Hamilton’s String of ‘Bad Luck’

The reigning world champ hasn’t had the best of the luck in recent times, and team-mate Nico Rosberg has capitalised greatly on his misfortune. That bad luck continued in Russia with Hamilton having to sit out the last stages of qualifying due to an engine failure. This allowed Rosberg to take poll with ease, and subsequently the race win without any major concerns. Rosberg now sits 43 points clear of Hamilton, which essentially means that if he parked the car for a single race and scored not a single point, he would still be 18 points ahead if the Britain won. Of course, Rosberg will do no such thing which in turn makes Hamilton’s job of closing the gap that much harder. As such, Hamilton fans will be preying to the Formula One gods that all that ‘bad luck’ Hamilton’s been burdened with will swing over to the other side of the garage, sooner rather than later.

An Exciting F1 Russian GP

Many had feared that the Russian GP was the new Valencia. Their fears could be understood as both circuits share similar qualities; both are liked by the drivers; both are easy on tyres, and both can be extremely boring. After the 2014 snooze-fest that was the inaugural Russian GP, things picked up a bit the following year, but not enough to appease the dislike of those who had already made up their mind. I have to admit, I had my reservations about this year as I knew there would be no contest at the front once Hamilton’s car decided to spit out its engine. As it turned out there wasn’t a contest at the front, but that didn’t translate into a boring race. In fact, this year’s Russian GP was thrilling from start to finish. Yet it wasn’t the big boys at the front which provided the excitement, it was the middle of the pack which got the job done. Not in a while have we seen a tighter midfield, and the result of this is thrilling non-stop racing. Yes, Russia could’ve been a bore, but it was the men who get paid the least which gave us our money’s worth.

Red Bull’s Aeroscreen

Safety was a hot topic over the weekend once again with Red Bull debuting the Aeroscreen, their canopy cockpit protection screen. It must be said that it looks a lot better than Ferrari’s Halo system which was tested a couple of months ago. But putting that to the side, it still looks odd. However, this has to be expected given that we are all so used to an open-cockpit style. Either way, it seems that one of the two designs will be decided upon by July 1st by the FIA, and if I had to choose, I’d take the Aeroscreen any day of the week. Though it’s bulky and makes the car look like Francesco from Cars 2, it has potential to be quite an attractive design.

What were your favourite moments from this year’s F1 Russian GP? Comment below!