RACE DAY RUNDOWN: BARCELONA
SPANISH GRAND PRIX, CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA-CATALUNYA, 09 MAY 2021
Hey! Welcome to the first ‘Race Day Rundown’. We find ourselves in Barcelona for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. Anyone else excited after everything we’ve seen already this year? Two-one to Lewis… will Max take it today? Part of me hopes so, I really want to see a proper Championship battle this year, like all of us.
I’m literally just using this as a place for me to rant about the race as it happens. Who knows how long this post will actually be – I guess it depends on the excitement of each individual race. Clearly, I’ve got little hope for this race. It is Spain, after all…
Who doesn’t love a good rant, though?
The end of Quali yesterday wasn’t as exciting as usual, but I felt like that about Portimão last weekend. That traffic in Q1… ah, don’t get me started. Monza 2019 all over again, and what a race that was.
The Pit Lane has only just opened as I write this, and I’m already thinking about when I’ll go for my pre-race toilet trip. Every Formula 1 fan schedules that into their race day timetable, right? It’s not just me? I hope not. I’m also already thinking about those Lights Out nerves. Anyone else get really nervous when the lights start to go out and Crofty says those seven words? I can’t do anything during the first lap apart from watch the TV. So, don’t expect anything from me until at least lap three, unless we have some first lap chaos and the Safety Car comes out. Ah, I am so pleased it’s race day again.
‘It’s Lights Out and Away We Go!’ Max really said ‘see ya’ to the rest of the pack. I did not expect that start, but please, can Max win this race? I don’t want the Championship excitement to disappear. VER-HAM-BOT podium, I think. Unless Charles can pull something out of the bag, which would be amazing. He’s currently P3, so who knows? And also, Lewis out of Max’s DRS zone? This is chaos already, I don’t think I’ll calm down from this start yet. WOW!
Mick in P16… that’s what we love to see. I hate supporting half of the grid. It’s actually really difficult sometimes. Wanting to see half of the grid do well is just how it is these days though, right? Oh dear, Sky are showing the race start again. It was so good. I genuinely thought Lewis and Max were going to make contact, too. I thought they would both be out of the race. Crofty has literally just asked how they didn’t make contact. I find myself asking the same question.
What’s happened to Yuki? Yellow flag in sectors 2 and 3, I saw him slipping on the timing board. Engine stopped? Will he ever get a break? I just want to see Yuki do well, BUT, will this bring out the Safety Car? That might bring a little bit more excitement, you know, with another mini start? Yes, Safety Car deployed! Max vs Lewis again, but I think Max will have the upper hand, honestly. He’s usually quite good after Safety Car restarts…
Chaos in the pit lane for Alfa Romeo, oh dear. It’s all happening too fast, I have no idea what’s going on, or what to say. I’m just trying to take it all in and write at the same time, but that’s difficult. And now they’re stacking at Williams, it’s all too much for me to keep up with right now. I need a nap. I say that just as the Safety Car is ending. Chaos again. Let me breathe, for one second.
I feel like I’m Crofty and Martin in the commentary box, but I’m just typing everything down instead of rapidly speaking it. I could not be a commentator, it’s far too much stress for me. And a penalty for Pierre? My sister is clenching a fist as we speak.
Martin’s line – ‘after the safety car, no DRS for the first two laps’ – I swear it’s in his contract to say that line after every Safety Car. He says it every week, and it’s never Crofty, always Martin. I love it. Maybe there’s just a button that they press, and it’s a recording of Martin saying that line. Someone create the meme for me, please. You know, the button one? I don’t know the names of memes, don’t judge me.
‘Tyres are starting to drop’… Lewis says that every lap and he can always manage to keep everything going. One of the many reasons why he’s a Seven Time World Champion. I also can’t believe he hit one hundred Pole positions yesterday, that’s such a crazy number. I swear that’s his code phrase for, ‘my tyres have never been better’. However, that blister on his back right doesn’t look all too good. And now Pierre comes in for his pit stop, plus his five second penalty because of his incorrect positioning on the grid. :(
There’s actually quite a lot going on right now, pit stop wise. Bottas is pitting, more drivers are pitting. It’s really chaotic, especially for my fingers which are working so hard to type something up as it happens. Verstappen pits! 4.2 seconds for Red Bull, that’s so unlike them. Mercedes are definitely going to react soon, aren’t they? I never expected this much chaos in Spain… really?
FIA Radio, I’ve never seen that before and it is COOL. I like that. Blue flags for Mazepin, to let Lewis by. He’s still leading and there’s no sign of him pitting any time soon. Also, why does it seem like Mazepin is always ignoring blue flags? I swear he did last week, too.
Lewis is coming in! Chaos, chaos, and more chaos. A really good stop from Mercedes, too. Max has just taken the lead. There really is a lot going on. I keep saying that, but I can barely keep up! All I ask is that McLaren can score some good points today. Danny Ric is currently P5, Lando is P10 – if he can make some places, it would be a very successful day.
Just taking some time to breathe and enjoy the chaos… it’s needed.
The battle at the front is getting really intense. I’m just watching the timing, and watching the seconds increase, then decrease, then increase again… and decrease again. There is a serious duel going on here, and we all know what it’s for! Races like this are so exciting, even at Barcelona… yes, Barcelona!
Lewis is pitting! I wasn’t expecting this. I don’t think any of us were expecting this! I thought they would commit to a one-stop strategy. Ah, what does it mean for Max and Red Bull? It’s all too stressful!
Lando is so close to Ocon and I beg that he can overtake to grab a few more points. Just as Checo overtakes Daniel… we need those points! In Martin Brundle’s words, and in his voice, ‘yeehaw’. That’s my reaction to Checo’s overtake, but I’m also crying inside because I want those McLaren points! It’s getting to that point where the stress levels are higher than they were at the beginning.
Team orders at Mercedes, and Bottas is causing more chaos on track by not letting Lewis past. I genuinely thought Bottas and Lewis were going to come together. I expected him to get out of the way. Chaos, I told you, and now Bottas is in the pit. Fresher tyres for fastest lap, but Leclerc goes third, which is good… it would be nice to see him on the podium again. Ferrari are doing so much better than I ever imagined they would be after last year.
Striking distance in nine laps… there’s literally ten laps left. The defending at the end from Max is going to cause the stress levels to increase once again. Can I turn this race off now? Please? I can’t deal with it. @ F1, I have anxiety, you know?
Scrap the Leclerc podium thing… I didn’t say anything, I didn’t jinx it, what do you mean?
THREE SECONDS GAP!
NOW IT’S TWO SECONDS.
And George is so close to the points! I really, really hope he gets it. I am so desperate to see Twitter’s reaction to George getting his first points for Williams.
HALF A SECOND GAP, HELP.
I am not okay. I need to breathe.
Hamilton passes Max. Fourteen-point lead in the WDC if things stay the same, and three-one to Lewis.
I’m taking a moment to recover from the chaos, and to vote for Driver of the Day. I said this, and then there’s more chaos between Stroll and Alonso. Five laps to go, and I can finally breathe without stressing.
Almost time for the last lap. At least there’ll be no last-lap drama. I don’t think I could handle it after all the overtaking. But, it has been a good race, and Lewis' performance was pretty exceptional, too. It’s a fitting way to end the weekend on which he gained his one hundredth Pole position. Six Spanish Grand Prix wins, five in a row – Sir Lewis Hamilton!
Ah, finally, we can all breathe again. It’s been a pretty stressful race, if I may say so myself, especially after all the fighting for the front position. However, it’s made for a pretty exciting first ‘Race Day Rundown’, and I am really excited to continue with this mini-series. It’s just a nice place for me to rant about everything that goes on during the race, and how I feel about it. Most of the time, it’s stress, if you haven’t realised already. That’s just a personality trait of mine, though.
If you’ve made it this far, then you’re a real one. Thank you! I hope you enjoy reading my rants about a race we’ve all watched. There’s plenty more to come, considering this is only race four! I’ll be back again for Monaco, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty to rant about during that race, too. At least I’ve got some time to recover…
Oh, and I was right about the podium. I just got it in the wrong order...