Good race, and good to see Rowland enter the championship battle with his win.
That last-lap manoeuvre from Sainz was very strange, though, I would like to see his onboard for the final couple of corners. Firstly it seemed that he had gotten by Stevens, but when the camera picked him up again he was just behind, and then he ran off the track for no reason that I could see. Out of frustration?
Honestly, I have never had much faith in Eurosport in general, but today was the umpteenth time FR3.5 didn’t start on time. Sure, the route on cycling took longer, but why replay the finish 5 times? Why have the usual cooling down in the broadcast? Of course, they cut 12 minutes of the race out, so they went live after replaying just the start. Because screw FR3.5, we can’t have some Snooker match start late. God forbid!
I’m dreading watching more Eurosport, so I hope I can find a decent ‘alternative’ soon.
That being said, the race was pretty good, but the director taking his focus off the most interesting battle to show the winner crossing the line and then NOT going back to the battle is something that happens way too much in motorsport. I can’t help but feel a decent broadcast would have made the race a lot more enjoyable for me.
Not too sure what to make of the Stöckinger incident, he seemed to just lock up under breaking, but even at that it looked rather optimistic. Some weird mistakes by Sainz as well, I think Gasly would maybe not have passed him were it not for his own mistake. Then again, Sainz passed Gasly because of a mistake, so yeah.
Top 3 drivers
1. Carlos Sainz, Jr. 62
2. Oliver Rowland 49
3. Pierre Gasly 45
I think Sainz lost time getting the power down on the inside line, so Stevens was ahead by the last corner and chopped Sainz to make sure of the place. Sainz ran wide in a last ditch attempt to carry speed and get back past. Stockinger looked to me to lock up and stray into the outside line, punting Buller. Unlucky for him, as they both could have scored good points and moved up the championship standings.
The good thing about the lack of a ‘top 8 reverse grid’ and having double qualifying means that the talent is really rising to the top of the scoreboard here, with a strong top 4 of Sainz, Rowland, Gasly and Stevens. I would say that they are looking almost ‘F1 standard’ now, with maybe Merhi or Sirotkin challenging if they can improve further.
The second Comtec is looking like a good car to get as well for the rest of the season – last year’s Comtec drivers must have been very underwhelming. But it’s good to see that the organisers will try and help the teams fill the grid, rather than dish out meaningless penalties.
Also, apart from being mentioned on the commentary, I’d totally forgotten about the prize fund for the winner – Renault could publicise that more as well. Lets hope Rowland gets it, as he needs the backing.. I can see Sainz, Stevens and possibly Gasly getting a run out for some Young Driver test days later on in the F1 season, unless RB keep all the time available for Sainz and give Gasly a go next year.