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As if to highlight the madness of a 21 race calendar, no sooner have the champagne bubbles dried on the Montreal podium and every team will be frantically packing to have their gear sent 5552 miles around the world to Baku in Azerbaijan. This must be without doubt the longest distance between back to back races in F1 history.
Azerbaijan is located in the Transcaucasia region between south west Asia and south eastern Europe. With a population of 10 million people it has a high rate of economic development and ranks on par with many European countries for human development, literacy and living standards. Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, sitting on the Caspian sea is a UNESCO world heritage site. A city that has grown through the discovery of oil, it is now home to over a fifth of the population of the country.
Quite how this race came to be given the European Grand Prix tag, I'm not quite sure. Azerbaijan did win the 2011 Eurovision song contest so this may have had something to...
So the consensus around here is that Hamilton's Monaco victory was somewhat hum-drum in the pantheon of his entire career. Who am I to argue with such a notion? The man does have literally dozens of remarkable Formula One wins, and it's obvious that people feel strongly about this topic, so why not examine it a bit more.
Battle for the drivers championship recommenced in Monaco and next we are off to one of Lewis Hamilton's favourite and most productive races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Only Michael Schumacher has won more races at this track than Lewis.
But wait, Red Bull are having a resurgence and back in 2014 Daniel Ricciardo recorded his maiden win. Only kidding, expect this to be a battle royal between the two Mercedes drivers for both pole and the race win. Lewis has exorcised some demons after Monaco and Nico looked to be back to the sort of form he had at the start of the 2015 season.
Red Bull are taking the fight to be "best of the rest" to Ferrari and with the upgraded Renault engine might even have gone past the Scuderia. Canada has not been a happy hunting ground for either Vettel or Raikkonen and it will be very interesting to see how the red cars stack up against the fizzy drink machines. What money on Max Verstappen have some sort of interaction with the...
Every decade there comes a point in F1 when we witness the start of the next superstar in F1 once they win their first race
Senna - Estoril 1985
Schumacher - Spa 1992
The two above stood above the rest namely because it was an era where drivers did not start F1 until they were 25 years old and raced until their mid to late 30's and got a longer career out of it so you had to be exceptional to be the next biggest thing to upset the establishment
Today it seems drivers start younger and they have a much shorter time to make it count in F1 before someone else gets their shot
Certain key moments I remember
2003 - F1 Magazine thought Alonso, Raikkonen and Montoya were the next generation of superstars
This was the first time for a few seasons that Schumacher ad some serious challenge to his supremacy and domination after Hakkinen's retirement
It also when Button was able to how his abilities when some thought his career was over when he was sacked by Renault (Flavio)
This Saturday see's Formula E land in Berlin for a second time only this year it has a more central location. The Alexanderplatz is a picturesque setting however whether the long straights and 90 degree corners lend to good racing I Don't know. With the news that the Moscow round has been cancelled it really ramps up the tension for the championship. With 3 races left (this and two in London) it is now an official straight duel between Di Grassi and Buemi for the title.
Di Grassi and Audi Abt are the form pairing and the team will be keen to get a win in home ground. Equally EDams would love to spoil that party like Abt spoilt their's in France. Let's face it Buemi needs to get his act together and fast. All he needs to do really is pull off a decent quali but he has not managed that all year. Di Grassi on the other hand is the height of consistency.
Interestingly Di Grassi hinted in an interview recently that him staying at Audi Abt is noted given and suggestion is he might sign...
After the excitement of Spain, with a new Grand Prix winner added to the list, we now move to the French Riviera for the jewel in F1's crown. It would appear that Ferrari's place as the next best team after Mercedes has been taken by Red Bull. I suspect we will see a reaction from the red team but do they have the capacity move back ahead?
Monaco hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Lewis Hamilton with only a single win back in his McLaren days. Nico Rosberg has won the last three races at what is, in truth, his home race. Sebastian Vettel has only won here once as well which shows what a lottery this race can sometimes be. Kimi Raikkonen hasn't won since 2005, also in a McLaren.
Mercedes will continue to be the class of the field but Monaco can be a great leveler where fractions of an inch can be the difference between winning and sitting in a pile of carbon fibre wondering what happened.
Max Verstappen must be on cloud nine, can he take this confidence in to the race...
I'm starting this thread early as the next couple of days are rather busy, and I may post to it from the mobile as I go, so having it here already might save a couple of thumb-swipes.
This will be the fourth Barca GP in a row - it's a weekend away with the same three mates each time, a break from the family and a chance to let our hair down, hopefully in the sun. Usually a Thursday to Tuesday break, with Saturday and Sunday at the track. I live half an hour from Gatwick so it's an easy trip – four days of mayhem then Monday spent doing absolutely nothing, back on Tuesday fresh as a daisy – well almost. This year however I've had to book another flight from Birmingham at 6.40am on Saturday as I'm attending a funeral there on Friday afternoon. Less said about that the better.
Anyway, that means a cab straight from the airport to the track, and if all goes to plan I'll be there in time for qualifying. Wish me luck.
Quite excited about the seats, first row with decent views of turns...
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