Hat-trick of Poles for Bottas but it’s a hat-trick of wins for Hamilton in Spain; 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Review

The Spanish Grand Prix at the 4.655 km, 16 turn Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is always an intriguing weekend. The teams and drivers return to the venue of pre-season testing and use it as a benchmark of where they are at. It is also an opportunity for the teams to bring big upgrades. For example, Ferrari brought forward an upgraded engine ahead of schedule while Renault, for example, were looking to ‘reset’ in Barcelona.

Despite the raft of upgrades brought to Barcelona, it was a familiar story in the timesheets. Mercedes have been the dominant force in 2019 despite Ferrari being tipped to have the quicker car. Indeed, the Ferrari was quickest at this circuit in pre-season testing bit it is Mercedes who arrived with four successive 1-2 race finishes and it was Mercedes who set the pace in Spain. The Silver Arrows topped all three practice sessions and all three parts of Qualifying before Valtteri Bottas claimed his third successive pole position by a storming 6 tenth margin. read more

Bottas gets his Baku redemption: 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Review

After the events of F1’s landmark 1,000th Grand Prix, it was to the streets of Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The fastest street circuit on the calendar has thrown up some chaotic races in the past two years but for 2019, that was a safe description for the weekend as a whole.

George Russell inspects his car after going over a manhole cover in first practice. [Image from Sky Sports].

There were crashes galore with Robert Kubica and Charles Leclerc landing it in the barrier at turn 7; the narrowest turn on the calendar in Qualifying while George Russell came a cropper as a result of a loose drain cover in the first practice session. A number of drivers had close shaves with the barriers and at the end of a much delayed Qualifying hour, it was not the Ferrari on pole position. Despite Ferrari bringing upgrades to Baku, it did not pan out well with Leclerc in the wall in Q2 as Mercedes locked out the front row again with Valtteri Bottas claiming his second successive pole position. read more