2018 Belgian Grand Prix Blog

It’s arguably the most beautiful circuit on the F1 calendar, but Spa-Francorchamps’ location in the heart of the Ardennes also makes it one of the most difficult to access. This year we set out on a pilgrimage to drive from the UK, and what a fantastic adventure it was.

Before we get to the Grand Prix itself, some tips on where to stay. The town of Spa is 10km from the circuit and is used by most of the teams. It’s very convenient but hotel options are limited and can be expensive. Liege is the nearest city (60km) but it is quite industrial. Our preference is to cross the German border to the Spa town of Aachen (70km). Here you will find beautiful architecture, fine restaurants and a good selection of hotels. The Pullman Aachen Quellenhof comes highly recommended.

So onto Qualifying and rain at the start of Q3 gave us a mixed-up grid. Complements to Racing Point Force India. Their trucks looked forlorn in the paddock without any logos but on track both drivers did the business, Qualifying P3 & P4. The team’s quick thinking to change to intermediate rain tyres played no small part in this. They were rewarded by an 18-point haul from the weekend, which will have delighted the team’s ambitious new owners.

The main talking point on Sunday was Fernando Alonso’s dramatic crash with Charles Leclerc at the start. Halo prevented ‘fatal injury’ read the headlines in most UK papers. They may well be right. We’ll never know for sure, but Leclerc must be mightily relieved the new regulations were brought into place. He tweeted after the race: “Never been a fan of the halo but I have to say that I was very happy to have it over my head today.”

We didn’t need more proof, but Ferrari have the fastest car on the grid. Hamilton’s two victories in Germany & Hungary came against the run of play. This weekend the Brit once again qualified ahead of Vettel but the German made short work in passing him on lap 1, his superior straight-line speed proving decisive. From then on it was a routine race for Vettel as he cruised to victory.

Kimi Raikkonen’s luck deserted him (again). He should have joined his teammate on the podium and another DNF against the Finn does not read well. As it was, Max Verstappen took third place, to the delight of his thousands of fans in the crowd. Haas F1 Team also deserve a mention. Both cars looked quick as they recorded a double points finish, giving us further indication of Ferrari’s strength.

Should Mercedes be worried? The short answer is yes. Toto Wolff didn’t hide from their problems, saying afterwards: “I look at today’s race and I see many deficits… The deficits are the slow-speed corners and the traction. This is what I would summarise as the main weaknesses at the moment. Today we were clearly, compared to Ferrari, the Red Bulls and Force Indias, the car that was cooking the tyres the most.”

Good news for the Silver Arrows is that Monza is up next. It’s fastest circuit on the calendar and Mercedes have taken the chequered flag for the past 4 years running. Ferrari have improved but we expect that record to read 5 out of 5 come next Sunday evening.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 British Grand Prix Blog

This weekend we celebrated Silverstone’s 70th Anniversary. Everyone hoped the race would befit the occasion, and we were not disappointed. The last ten laps were probably the most exciting we can remember at any Grand Prix.

In the midst of a heatwave, 130,000 fans packed into the circuit on Sunday. Most of them were supporting local hero Lewis Hamilton, so were left dismayed as Hamilton’s wheelspin off the line allowed Vettel and Bottas to pass him. Worse still, Kimi Raikkonen clipped Hamilton’s right rear tyre at turn 3, sending the Mercedes driver into a spin and to the back of the pack. Raikkonen received a 10-second penalty but this would be of no comfort to Lewis.

What followed was one of the best comeback drives of his career. A series of overtaking moves, plus a couple of Safety Car periods, meant Hamilton clawed his way back up to second place by the end of the race. Title rival, Sebastian Vettel, won but this was about damage limitation and Mercedes managed to do what they could not in Austria and secure the maximum points that their situation allowed.

Conspiracy theories about Ferrari’s tactics started even before the chequered flag and Hamilton himself said on the podium: “Interesting tactics from this side… It’s two races in which a Mercedes has been taken out by a Ferrari. Valtteri and I have both lost out in those scenarios.”

Kimi Raikkonen defended himself saying: “I locked a wheel and we touched. We have been hit also. That is how it goes sometimes.” But the fact the stewards deemed it appropriate to hand out a 10-second penalty to the Ferrari driver leads us to believe that Mercedes may well have a point.

Sebastian Vettel also deserves some praise, he was controlling the race before the safety cars and stayed calm even when Bottas passed him at the final restart. Vettel earned this victory through merit and now takes an 8-point lead in the drivers’ standings.

What happened to the rest? Red Bull looked slightly out to their depth this weekend. The track at Silverstone has been resurfaced and scorching temperatures made it faster than ever. The truth is the Red Bull could not match the straight-line speed of either Ferrari or Mercedes. They would have finished P5 & P6, had Verstappen not been forced to retire with a gear box issue near the end of the race.

Well done to Force India, they had their best race for a while with both drivers finishing in the points. However, this was perhaps somewhat fortuitous because it was clear Haas had the fourth fastest car on the grid this weekend.

In practice on Friday Guenther Steiner stated, “It’s just a normal day at the office” as Romain Grosjean crashed, and Kevin Magnussen was hauled in front of the stewards for an alleged blocking incident. No-one was really surprised then that the pair crashed into each other on turn 3 at the start of the race, both loosing track position. Magnussen eventually finished P9 whilst his teammate collided again, this time with Carlos Sainz, meaning he (and Sainz) finished their races in a gravel trap. Gene Haas is within his right to expect more from his drivers and there are sure to be some serious questions asked in the debrief.

What next? After its first ever ’triple header’ F1 takes a well-deserved break this weekend but will be back in 11 days’ time at the German Grand Prix.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Austrian Grand Prix Blog

If you’re Daniel Ricciardo, or anyone linked with Mercedes, then you may have woken up feeling a bit down on Monday. But for everyone else, what a race!

The Austrian Grand Prix was a rollercoaster ride. As unpredictable as it was exciting. Mercedes started 1-2 on the grid, they had the fastest car all weekend and they were expected to take maximum points. What happened? Valterri Bottas got a bad start from pole and lost a few places. The Finn passed Verstappen and Raikkonen to get back into second before he was forced to retire on lap 14 due to a loss of hydraulic pressure.

Perhaps it was the shook of seeing Bottas out of the race, but Mercedes strategists failed to react to the VSC. Their rivals took advantage and left Lewis Hamilton in a scenario that meant when he pitted, he would come out behind Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo. Hamilton questioned this over team radio saying: “I’m not going to be able to pass these guys, we are just throwing away a win.” The reply from strategist James Vowles was intriguing, when he stated: “Lewis its James. I have thrown away the win today, but you have the potential opportunity to get back up. I’m sorry,”

Vowles should be commended for his honesty. It takes guts to admit that to an audience of millions that you are in the wrong. That said, it was a serious misjudgement on his part.

As it transpired Hamilton suffered a loss of fuel pressure with eight laps to go and retired from the Grand Prix. In the meantime, Sebastian Vettel finished third and took a one-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Lewis did not mince his words, saying afterwards: “This is definitely the worst weekend that I can remember for a long time.”

And the race winner? Well, looking out over the ‘Orange’ Grandstands, it seemed that most of Holland had travelled to the Red Bull Ring to support their beloved Max Verstappen. Some of you will remember the race last year when he crashed out on the first lap. But not this time! Fans were rewarded with a superb drive and a deserved victory.

Max’s father, Jos Verstappen, was quick to hit back at his son’s critics after the race stating: “It was said that he (Verstappen) had to change his driving style, but because of his driving style, he took the win… if Max had not made that pass on Raikkonen in the first lap, he would not have won. So, let’s not talk about that anymore.”

It was a very good weekend for Red Bull at their ‘home’ race. But the best team performance in Austria must go to the Haas F1 Team. We still don’t know how they did it, but Romain Grosjean finished 4th ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen in 5th place. This was an unbelievable result. Well done guys!

At the other end of the spectrum we have McLaren. Fernando Alonso managed a commendable 8th place, however, this was perhaps more down to the number of DNFs rather than his car’s performance. News today that racing director Eric Boullier has resigned took us by surprise but perhaps a reshuffle is exactly what this team needs to get them back on the track.

Silverstone is up next and it promises to be a block buster weekend to commemorate 70 years of the British Grand Prix.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Canadian Grand Prix Blog

70 laps around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, at least that’s what we were promised. In the event, model Winnie Harlow waved the chequered flag on lap 69 cutting the race short…

This mistake wasn’t Winnie’s fault, she was following instructions from an official on the start/finish stand. That man was ‘the starter’. He had one job, and quite how he managed to get it so wrong is still open for debate.

The drivers kept racing until lap 70 regardless, and as it happens the outcome of the race stayed the same. Only Daniel Ricciardo can feel slightly aggrieved because he lost out on his fastest lap title to teammate Max Verstappen.

The race started dramatically with Brendan Hartley & Lance Stroll crashing out. We’ve watched the replays several times and believe it was an oversteer from Stroll that pushed the Toro Rosso man into the wall. Luckily neither were injured.

A safety car ensued and when the race got going again Sebastian Vettel surged clear. Mercedes and Red Bull tried to close but the fact is the Ferrari was the fastest car on the day and Vettel never came under any real pressure from that point onwards. He was visibly delighted with the win, saying afterwards: “Perfect is a good way to describe it. I said yesterday how much this place means for Ferrari. To have a race like we have today is unbelievable.”

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff was less impressed and described the result as a: “major wake-up call”. Canada has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes in recent years. The fact they could not excel at this high-speed circuit is worrying, not least with Circuit Paul Ricard, Spielberg and Silverstone up next on the agenda.

Kimi Raikkonen put in another uninspiring stint. We know the Ferrari was the fastest car and his 6th place finish did not set the pulse racing. Kimi’s problems started on Saturday when a mistake in Q3 left him 5th on the grid. The race was no better and Ferrari should really have been aiming for a 1-2 finish here, which leaves the question, is the Finn the right man to partner Vettel next year?

If it’s any consolation to Raikkonen, McLaren & Williams had an even worse weekend. Alonso was forced to retire in his 300th GP. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished in P16, one place ahead of Sergey Sirotkin, who was last. Lance Stroll of course crashed out on lap 1. McLaren brought in an engine upgrade for Canada, which makes their result even more disappointing.

The lack of overtaking in this race didn’t go unnoticed. Lewis Hamilton picked up on this, saying: “I heard today there were less overtakes than in Monaco”. This should be a huge concern for Liberty Media. All F1 fans want to see exciting racing, and we hope the inaugural French GP in two weeks’ time serves up exactly that.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Monaco Grand Prix Blog

Monaco is the jewel in the F1 crown, it’s the race that every driver has childhood dreams of winning and it’s the most glamourous destination on the circuit. Sounds great right? The only problem is that this year the Grand Prix itself was a little bit dull…

Fernando Alonso described it as “probably the most boring race ever,” while Lewis Hamilton said the 78-lap race was “intensely boring.” When two drivers of this calibre are so openly critical you know you have an issue.

What was the problem? Overtaking in Monaco has always been difficult but with the wider cars this season it’s become more difficult than ever. Softer tyres exasperated this as we saw faster lap times but then drivers could not push to the limit as they tried to conserve their tyres. A two-stop race would have been suicide, and as a result we witnessed a procession.

There are calls to change the format of the race. Would a mandatory two-stop policy work? Or, should the circuit itself be changed? Lewis Hamilton suggested this saying: “I spoke to Prince Albert the other day and said maybe we should make it longer… There are more roads so maybe we can change this great track and make it even better.”

One man who was not bored is Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver suffered a loss of power – costing him 160hp – but he managed to defend against Sebastian Vettel for most of the race despite being around 20km/h slower on the straights. When asked where the race ranked in his career, Ricciardo replied: “I think it was definitely my best weekend and the most satisfying”.

Red Bull looked superb all weekend a really should have had a 1-2 finish in the race, were it not for Max Verstappen suffering a rush of blood to the head during P3 on Saturday. He damaged his car so badly that it could not be repaired in time for Qualifying, meaning he started last on the grid. Helmut Marko was not amused, labelling the crash as ‘unnecessary’.

Liberty Media’s primary focus is to increase the global following of the Sport. To do that you need exciting races, and we may well see some tweaks to the current setup in Monaco to encourage this.

Boring though it was, don’t be discouraged from booking a trip to the Monaco GP. It has the best hotels, best parties and the most beautiful setting in F1. If you can’t enjoy yourself in Monte Carlo, then there’s no pleasing you.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Spanish Grand Prix Blog

‘Sandbagging’. That’s what Lewis Hamilton accused Ferrari of after the Practice sessions. Come the race and one could surely accuse Mercedes of the same thing? The Silver Arrows were totally dominant at Circuit de Catalunya.

After the high drama in Baku, the Spanish GP had a lot to live up to. The start promised more of the same, as Romain Grosjean spun at Turn 3 and took out Nico Hulkenberg and Piere Gasly in the process, resulting in an early finish for all three of them. Grosjean was deemed culpable and has been handed a three-place grid penalty for Monaco.

When asked about the incident, Nico Hulkenberg did not mince his words: “He (Grosjean) didn’t look great in that scenario. Generally he likes spinning, but on the first lap is not a good time to do it with everyone there. He has to look at it and do some work on himself.”

Ahead of the melee, Sebastian Vettel had already managed to pass Valtteri Bottas and a Safety Car period meant immediate pressure for Lewis Hamilton with the German breathing down his neck. If Hamilton felt any pressure, he didn’t show it. Scooting clear at the restart the Mercedes soon had a comfortable advantage.

There was little danger from that point on and a bloodless victory ensued. Maximum points for Mercedes as Bottas came home in second place. Not a classic Grand Prix but Toto Wolff didn’t care, declaring his team: “back in business”.

What happened to Ferrari? It just wasn’t their day. Kimi Raikkonen retired from second place with an engine failure on lap 24. Retirements happen. But to Kimi they seem to happen more often than most… As for Vettel, an early pit stop forced Ferrari into a two-stop strategy. In hindsight this was an error, but Ferrari claim their tyre degradation made this the only option. In any case, a 12-point haul for Ferrari compared to Mercedes’ 43, was not a good day at the office.

It’s still fiercely competitive amongst the middle order teams. Local favourite Fernando Alonso put in a great shift. His pass on Estaban Ocon was spectacular and allowed McLaren to salvage some much-needed points from an unpromising position. Charles Leclerc also deserves a mention with another points finish for Sauber.

Williams have big problems and are already starting to look adrift. Robert Kubica got his first taste of the car in practice on Friday. His comments were less than flattering: “It’s difficult to say that it was enjoyable because our car balance was very bad and it was very difficult to drive,” They need to do something quickly before the season turns into a disaster.

Monaco is less than two weeks away now. The new-found pace of the Mercedes must surely make them favourites and Ferrari will be desperately trying to eek out some extra pace. It has been known to rain during Qualifying in Monaco too, and that would really throw the cat amongst the pigeons…

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Blog

Lewis Hamilton has broken his duck in Baku, but he will have been as surprised as anyone when he crossed the line to take victory in the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“That was just a brutal race and probably exactly the kind of Grand Prix that fans want to see, with twists and turns at every point,” reflected Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. He’s absolutely right. From a neutral perspective this was one of the most entertaining races we can remember.

A safety car was triggered on the first lap as Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon collided. Both drivers played the blame game, but for what it’s worth we think Kimi was perhaps the most at fault. Anyway, a very good restart from Sebastian Vettel followed and he quickly built up a lead over the chasing Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari look strong this season and few would argue that they have the quickest car. Midway through the race it looked for all the world that Vettel would take maximum points, but in F1 you have to expect the unexpected…

It came on lap 40 when Daniel Ricciardo committed the cardinal sin and crashed into the back of his team-mate, ending the races of both Red Bull drivers. Christian Horner was not amused, saying: “The most important thing is they recognise it is unacceptable. Both will take valuable lessons from it.”

But was is all Ricciardo’s fault? The fact the two Red Bull pit stops on the previous laps meant Verstappen ended up ahead of Ricciardo, despite the Australian pitting first, won’t have helped. Maybe Ricciardo let frustration get the better of him, but others believe Verstappen was the guiltier party. Niki Lauda commented that the incident was: “70% Verstappen’s fault because he moved too many times”.

Either way this was a disaster for Red Bull. After a double DNF in Bahrain, Baku has not proved any happier as a hunting ground. Four races in and already Red Bull can see their aspirations of winning the Constructors Championship slipping away.

The Red Bull crash prompted another safety car, where Valtteri Bottas pitted and was able to emerge in the lead. Vettel must have been seething at this point, especially as a bizarre incident followed when Romain Grosjean managed to crash whilst under safety car. This prompted a further delay, as a flat bed truck was sent to recover the stricken Haas.

The final restart saw Vettel make a desperate lunge to pass the Mercedes. This backfired as he locked up and overshot the first corner. Bottas now had the race at his mercy but in a cruel twist of fate he sustained a puncture from debris on the track with three laps to go, which ended his race. The Finn was gracious in defeat saying: “It’s just unfortunate and unlucky”. He must feel devastated on the inside having driven a near perfect race until that point.

So, Lewis Hamilton eased past his stricken teammate to take the most unlikely victory, which some National Newspapers have claimed to be the ‘luckiest of his career’. Lucky it certainly was but what a brilliant advert for Formula One. If you can’t get excited from watching a race like that, then we suggest you try a different sport.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Chinese Grand Prix Blog

Straight off the back of Bahrain and we find ourselves in Shanghai for the third race of the season, the Chinese Grand Prix.

To tell the truth, we thought Ferrari had this one sewn up after Qualifying. Kimi Raikkonen came close to snatching a surprise pole but Sebastian Vettel showed his class and pipped his teammate to start first on the grid. Both were well clear of their rivals.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Saturday got off the worst possible start. A blown engine in the final Practice session meant he nearly missed Qualifying. The Red Bull mechanics worked miracles to get the car out on track with only a couple of minutes left in Q1. Ricciardo did his part and ending Qualifying in P6, a place behind Max Verstappen.

Sunday came around and we had a grid pretty much in team order, two Ferrari’s, two Mercedes, two Red Bulls… Sebastian Vettel’s start raised a few questions when he angled his car to cut off his teammate. It was a move not dissimilar to Singapore. This time the result was different though as Seb scooted clear of the pack, whilst Kimi was forced to check and concede a couple of places.

The Grand Prix fell into a predictable rhythm and Vettel looked comfortable. But a strategy error from Ferrari allowed Valtteri Bottas to move ahead of the German during their only pit stops. A nice boast for Mercedes and they must have envisaged their man scoring maximum points. Indeed, Bottas commented after the race: “This is disappointing; today doesn’t feel like winning a podium but like losing a win.”

What happened? The unpredictable nature of our sport showed itself again, this time in the form of Piere Gasly. The Toro Rosso driver collided with his teammate at turn 14 and sustained sufficient damage to spread debris across the track, meaning a safety car was deployed. Toro Rosso blamed the incident on ‘miscommunication’. Gasly himself, who received a 10-second penalty, said: “I expected him to let me by”.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing reacted quickest to the safety car and brought both drivers in for new tyres. It was maybe down to track position, but Mercedes and Ferrari failed to do likewise. So, the race restarted with the leaders on old tyres and the Red Bull’s chasing them down on fresh rubber.

Unfortunately, Max Verstappen did not cover himself in glory. ‘Youthful Exuberance’ got the better of him again as he first ran out of track trying to pass Lewis Hamilton and then crashed into Vettel whilst attempting a move at the hairpin. Verstappen finished fifth. Christian Horner defended him publicly saying: “I’m fully confident that he’s a phenomenal talent and he’s smart enough to recognise areas that he needs to work on”. However, we suspect he’ll have had a quiet word in private.

All this opened the door for Daniel Ricciardo, who did what Verstappen couldn’t and quickly passed Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel and finally Bottas for a remarkable win. Ricciardo was as surprised as anyone and tweeted after the race: “Holy everything. Starting to come down.. Slowly. Thank you for the kind words. Today meant a lot”. This was one of the best drives we have seen from the Australian and he deserves the praise.

Where does this leave things in the standings? The Constructors battle is neck and neck with Mercedes on 85 and Ferrari on 84. Red Bull have also closed the gap and now have 55 points. Interestingly some bookmakers now make Sebastian Vettel favourite to win the Drivers Championship. Lewis Hamilton will not be pleased to see this…

The Chinese GP delivered one of the most exciting races in recent memory. Let’s hope for more of the same in Azerbaijan.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix Blog

It was billed as a ‘Duel in the Desert’ and Bahrain lived up to expectations. We were treated to a race that was dramatic, unpredictable, tense and highly exciting from start to finish.

How did each team perform? Let’s start off with Ferrari, who looked strong in Practice and Qualifying, so went into Sunday with big expectations. Sure enough Sebastian Vettel was rewarded as he hung on for victory in what was his 200th race start.

Kimi Raikkonen didn’t fare so well. A botched pitstop saw the Finn run over one of his mechanics as he was given the signal to leave too early. It was a horrible incident to watch, ended Kimi’s race and resulted in a €50,000 fine for Ferrari. The mechanic, Francesco Cigarini, who suffered a broken leg, posted: “Surgery ok. I have to thank all the people worried for me. Nothing else, just a big thanks. Hugs!”

Bahrain wasn’t the Lewis Hamilton show that people have come to expect, far from it, and at one point the Brit found himself kept out on track to back up Sebastian Vettel and help his teammate. This was a deliberate tactic and Toto Wolff admitted he thought their tyre strategy had given them a “90 per cent” chance of beating Ferrari.

Red Bull had a race they will want to forget. Until yesterday it was Korea 2010 when the team last had a double DNF. Daniel Ricciardo did nothing wrong, but Max Verstappen perhaps showed too much youthful exuberance. Christian Horner summed it up well: “A brutally harsh race for us today…”

For all Red Bull’s woes, their junior team stepped up to the plate and Toro Rosso produced a superb performance with the Honda power unit. Piere Gasly finishing P4 was surely beyond even Helmut Marko wildest dreams, who said afterwards the race had “made a man out of him”.

McLaren must be scratching their heads at Toro Rosso’s improved showing but the buck stops with them. They have the Renault engine they fought so hard for, now they need to make it work for them. Fernando Alonso summed up McLaren’s predicament, saying simply: “We need to find more pace”.

Sauber’s decision to put Markus Ericsson on a one-stop strategy was inspired and he rewarded them with a ninth-place finish. Frédéric Vasseur commented: “It was a very good first step for us and a reward for the hard work during the winter by the whole team.” How valuable could those two points be at the end of the season?

All in all, it was a highly entertaining Grand Prix, spoiled only slightly by a poor showing from Red Bull. Raikkonen’s pit stop needs further investigation and is not something anyone wants to see repeated.

After two legs Ferrari hold a 10-point lead in the Constructor’s standings. We move onto China next weekend. The Shanghai International Circuit has proved a happier hunting ground for Mercedes in recent years, and we may well see the scores change.

If you would like to join us at a F1 race in 2018, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com

2017 Brazil Grand Prix Blog

Starting with a sombre issue, but one that needs to be addressed, and that is security surrounding the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix. On Friday the Mercedes F1 Team Bus was held up at gunpoint leaving Autódromo José Carlos Pace. Organisers promised a heightened police presence over the weekend but despite this on Sunday evening criminals attempted to stop a car driven by Pirelli tyre fitters. Luckily they managed to escape. There have also been reports that Williams & Sauber were targeted during the weekend. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! Interlagos is a fantastic circuit but F1 can’t condone a race which puts people’s safety at risk.

Onto the Grand Prix itself and Qualifying started in dramatic fashion as Lewis Hamilton crashed out on his first flying lap. An uncharacteristic error from the Brit at turn 6 ended in the barriers. Valtteri Bottas was the man to take advantage and he started on pole ahead of the two Ferrari’s. It’s fair to say that Mercedes like Interlagos. Between them, Hamilton and Bottas set the two fastest times in all three Practice Sessions. One can’t help but feel it would have been a front row lock out had Lewis completed Qualifying.

So, if Mercedes were so quick, then how did Ferrari come to win the race? Sebastian Vettel got the drop on Valtteri Bottas and snuck ahead at the first corner. And that’s how it stayed with Vettel leading and Bottas in hot pursuit but never able to repass the German.

What happened to Red Bull? Prior to the race many had tipped Max Verstappen to follow up on his Mexico Grand Prix victory, but RBR looked off the pace this weekend and were never able to threaten the leaders. This allowed Kimi Raikkonen a place on the podium for his third consecutive Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton meanwhile had a much better Sunday and worked his way from 17th on the grid to finish in fourth place.

There was a case of déjà vu as Felipe Massa waved goodbye to the crowd, 12 months on from his first Formula 1 retirement. Nobody would begrudge him this though and Massa drove a superb race to bring his Williams home in seventh place, much to the delight of his home fans.

With just one race remaining there are still battles to be settled, most notably between Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas who have 53, 49 and 47 points respectively in the Constructors Table. There’s millions of dollars at stake for the team who can finish highest. Expect these guys to throw everything at the race in Abu Dhabi.

If you would like to join us at the F1 Season Finale in Abu Dhabi, please call us on +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email us at f1@edgeglobalevents.com