How did the drivers and teams sleep after the Belgian Grand Prix?

27-08-2018 12:55
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
How did the drivers and teams sleep after the Belgian Grand Prix?

After their rest in the summer, the drivers and team bosses were back on the job at Spa Francorchamps, and after an eventful race, some drivers will have slept better than others - here's how we think will have slept particularly well and bad!

Sebastian Vettel - Great sleep

It was clear after the race that the German was in an excellent mood, as, besides his impressive win, he knows he currently has a superior car compared to Mercedes. With Monza coming up this weekend, where Ferrari are likely to get another win, all the pieces are falling into place right now for the four-time champion. He still trails Lewis Hamilton by seventeen points, but Vettel's prominent smile after the Belgian Grand Prix tells us he knows he'll be on top soon. He was joking around a lot and quite literally had a spring in his step after climbing out of his car, so there's no question he slept like a baby last night.

Esteban Ocon - Bad sleep

Although the Frenchman had an excellent weekend at Spa, amazingly qualifying in P3 and finishing sixth in his Force India, he knows he probably will be kicked out of his seat at Force India any second now. Lance Stroll's arrival at the Pink Panthers is imminent after his father Lawrence was involved in buying the team, and despite Ocon being the obvious better driver, money talks in F1 right now.

We hope the Mercedes junior driver will end up at a top team further down in his career, because it's what the extremely talented youngster deserves. Stroll is an okay driver at times, but nowhere near Ocon's level, and no matter how many times the Canadian ploughs through gravel or parks his car in a wall, he'll be the one in a more competitive car next season. It's unfair to Ocon, but that's the 'paydriver' era for you.

 

Max Verstappen - Good sleep

The Dutchman finally got a good race at Spa Francorchamps. It's basically his home race, both because he was born an hour from the circuit, as well as because of the tens of thousands of travelling Dutch fans who travelled to Spa to see their golden boy. Last season, his race ended very early with a mechanical issue which saw him park his car right in front of a massive stand full of his fans, which was very sad for Max.

This season, he got on the podium, despite driving a fairly lonely race after overtaking both Force India's early-on in the race. It was a good, consistent drive from Verstappen, who continues the great run he's been on ever since his FP3 crash in Monaco. 

A podium in front of all his fans (on a track that doesn't favour Red Bull at all), he couldn't have asked for much more.

Stoffel Vandoorne - No sleep at all

It was a nightmare weekend for poor Stoffel. The Belgian has looked off all season long, and he probably had his worst weekend of the year at his home race, which is a nightmare scenario. He was the slowest man on the grid pretty much all weekend long, qualifying with the slowest time and ending the race in last place out of all remaining drivers.

The Belgian looks miserable, like someone who wants to be put out of his misery. He's been blatantly outperformed by the retiring Fernando Alonso all year long, with Vandoorne not beating the Spaniard once in qualifying. We feel bad for him, as we still believe he's a very talented driver, but it's just not coming out at McLaren. Maybe he needs a step back to a team that doesn't get as much media coverage next season, because he is worthy of the Formula 1. When it comes to sleep though, we think he didn't get any at all last night. He'll want to forget this weekend as quickly as possible.

Christian Horner - Decent sleep

Although one of his drivers had to retire once again from a race in Daniel Ricciardo, and although both Red Bulls couldn't qualify above P7 because of a poor strategical call, there were a lot of positives to take away for Christian Horner, team boss at the Bulls.

For instance, his pupil Max Verstappen once again drove to a podium finish without any problems, showing maturity which he lacked earlier in the season. Pierre Gasly, who'll be Verstappen's teammate from next season onwards, drove to a tidy P9 as well in his Toro Rosso, which is a victory in itself.

That's because Gasly, with his Honda-powered car, kept the Ferrari-powered Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and the Renault of Carlos Sainz behind him. As Spa is a power-heavy track, it shows that Honda, who will be providing engines for Red Bull for the next two seasons, have made significant strides in terms of power. With the better chassis of Red Bull compared to Toro Rosso's, the progression of the Japanese engines is something for Horner to be excited about.

Read more about: Belgian GP Formula 1

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