Clip The Apex
In one of Spike Milligan’s autobiographies he recounts a story of a speech given by one of the senior officers in the North African Campaign who told the troops that there would be “many hours of boredom with brief moments of excitement”. Welcome to F1 2017
Up until the mid-season break we thought we might have a title fight on our hands but from Belgium onwards Lewis Hamilton decided that he had enough of messing about with what was, without doubt, the best car on the grid and slapped all the other drivers back in to place, dominating the races in way we haven’t seen since Vettel in the all-conquering Red Bull RB9 in 2013.
In the early part of the season Ferrari flattered to deceive. Well, Vettel in the Ferrari did anyway whilst Kimi played the good No.2 to maximise Sebastian’s chances in the title race. The same could be said of Bottas at Mercedes as well but Valterri did at least manage to snaffle a couple of wins during the season. Kimi never looked like he wanted or was able to challenge right at the front. By being good boys for the season both have been rewarded with new contracts for 2018.
As Ferrari went backwards during the season so Red Bull moved forwards. Max Verstappen took a couple of wins and Danny Ric managed one. It has to be said that apart from in Malaysia Red Bull were only able to win when Merc and Ferrari failed and Vettel starting from the back in Sepang helped their cause enormously at that race.
2017 served us up a few good races, the destruction derby in Azerbaijan for example, and some absolute stinkers, Russia and Abu Dhabi spring to mind. I’m sure some of you will remind me that I gave Russia a 10 in the CTA poll but this was because it was the first win for Bottas not because I especially enjoyed the race.
So what were the stand out moments and events for me in 2017? Estaban Ocon looks like the real deal. The battle between him and Perez through the season was fascinating to watch and the way it was handled by Force India also intriguing. Kevin Magnussen was great value in the Hass, his total lack of respect for anyone and anything took me back to days or yore when drivers would bang wheels, make life difficult for the leaders when being lapped and say what they thought at press conferences. I believe he was told off by the authorities quite regularly in the sanitised world we inhabit today. Meh, suck my balls honey!