ell, after initial nervousness at the start of the season that this F1 season would just be another Mercedes domination, it seems that this one may be going down to the wire!
With both title contenders Hamilton and Vettel both trading off race victories in recent races, it's still Sebastian Vettel who has the slender lead in the championship. And let's not rule out Valtarri Bottas in the other Mercedes, as he is lurking too. However, I can't see Mercedes favouring Bottas over Hamilton if they are going to go for the championship. If Bottas has any hope, he needs a few DNF's from his British teammate.
Vettel has been impressive all season, but his main weakness if he has one at the moment is his temper when behind the wheel. He seems to lose control of his emotions quite quickly these days! We all know what happened in Baku, and it put Vettel on the brink of a race ban if he commits 1 more infringement, and to be honest I think he was fortunate not to get a ban from the FIA anyway for what he did.
However, if he can keep his temper under wraps for the rest of the season, and not do anything stupid, then my money, even as an Englishman, is on the German driver to claim his 5th World Title, and to match that of Juan Manual Fangio.
Other notable performances so far this season, include Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. The Australian's brilliant win in a chaotic race in Baku showed that he is not just there to make up the numbers, and will grab an opportunity if presented with it. His team mate however, the talented Dutch youngster Max Verstappen hasn't had the best of luck in recent races. A string on non finishes caused by various engine failures, and most recently a coming together with his team mate in Hungary, have left the young superstar increasingly frustrated. The rumour mill even suggested he was interested in a move to Ferrari for next season at one point. Saying that though, they've also said the same about Hamilton, and I don't think that's likely to happen any time soon.
On a less positive note, I have to say I think that British driver Joyleon Palmer's days in the Renault team are numbered. With former driver Robert Kubica having completed his first test in an F1 car since that horrific rallying accident where he nearly lost his arm and also his life, it would not surprise me at all if Palmer were to be replaced. Kubica impressed on his return at the Hungary test, where as Palmer has not so far this season, and has often found himself at the bottom of the standings both in qualifying and in the race.
And also, his post qualifying/race demena when being interviewed has also put several people off!
With the next race in Belgium still 3 weeks away, the teams and drivers have time to re-group, re-charge and re-evaluate their current positions not only the the prospective championships, but also in the crazy world of F1 as a whole. What changes need to be made to improve their chances, and also does a driver or drivers need to be replaced for the better of the team?
Only time will tell, and I for one cannot wait!!!
Next Time on Formula 1........Spa, BELGIUM.