September 18, 2023
Hong Lau

Singapore (2 minute read)

Mario, Princess Peach go on a new adventure in the animated film, Super Mario Brothers

Oh how the mighty have fallen… not really

Well, for the first time this year, Red Bull Oracle Racing has not won a Grand Prix. This ends a massive streak for the team as Max’s dominance (record as well) of 10 races in a row has finally finished. The team looked weak from the beginning of the weekend, and I refused to believe it even leading up to qualifying. Well, it turns out they really struggled. The weekend could be summed up in a couple of words. “It feels like driving on Ice”. - Max Verstappen.

This could be due to a minor technical change imposed on the grid last weekend made to the wings and the floor, but Red Bull has refuted and stuck by the claim that it has nothing to do with the changes. We’ll continue to monitor and evaluate how this affects the rest of the year. Let’s make one thing clear: they will still win everything, barring a complete meltdown and collapse. They could have locked up the constructors this weekend with a dominant weekend, but they’ll look to do it in the home of their engine manufacturer, Japan!

What a performance by Ferrari. I’m a pretty happy Ferrari fan to watch our team get a win this year. It looked bleak at the beginning of the year, but the last two race weeks have shown that Ferrari has a very competitive car. Carlos Sainz was brilliant, to say the least. He showed real poise and an incredible understanding of the course and the race layout to secure his second career win. His allowing Lando to stick within DRS to stay ahead of the Mercedes is a move you don’t see too often. I’m not the highest on Carlos, but he’s seemed to continue to develop with the car over the last two years, and it’s been impressive to watch. It looks like Charles Leclerc may be checked out, or his head is somewhere else. It seems to be common knowledge that Charles is one of the fastest guys on the grid, but at times this year, he hasn’t looked that great. We’ll continue watching Charles’s performance as Carlos shines and he takes a backseat.

Mercedes had a golden opportunity to get a race win, and they squandered it. Now, was it a bad weekend by any means? My opinion would be no. They were the most competitive they’ve been all year with the rest of the grid (due to the track). They had a brilliant call on pitting both Lewis and George to give them a shot for the win (and they did have a legit chance), and the double stack pit was executed at a high level. They had a lot of positive signs as a team, and I think Mercedes fans should be happy with the weekend overall, other than George’s last lap. It was disappointing to see George make such a careless mistake. At this point, he’s a seasoned veteran in F1, and you expect better from someone of his calibre. Up to then, he had a phenomenal weekend, and you have to hope he continues to build on this weekend for the future. As always, I expect him to bounce back, and we’ll see a great Suzuka from him. Lewis looked a little slow this weekend, which was interesting as he has dominated George for most of the year. I expect Lewis to show out at the Japanese Grand Prix; he is that good, and that’s what champions do.

I’ll say it one more time in case you haven’t read the rest of my blogs. Lando Norris is F*****ing fast. He continues to impress and really show why I think he’s the second fastest on the grid next to Max. We won’t say much more about McLaren as they seem to be a legit contender for second fastest car (consistently) for the second half of the year.

Tough weekend for Williams (I think we all knew that) and Aston Martin. I don’t think the circuit really allows the Williams to perform at a high level. I will say that weekends like this are an excellent chance for Alex Albon to pull something out and prove why he is an elite talent (I don’t think I saw that). We hope Lance Stroll is okay and feeling better, but he needs to be out of that seat ASAP. Alonso’s weekend went from decent to worse after leaving the pitlane and taking a penalty to the horrid pit. We’ll see how they bounce back in Suzuka. I believe they’ll have a strong showing.

Till next Monday y’all