Last week, the Formula One drivers and teams had a rare week off. It was much deserved because they had a stretch of three straight race weekends prior to that. They went from France to Austria to England and now will head to Germany for this Sunday’s race and Hungary next weekend. It will cap a stretch of five races in a six week span, all of which in Europe.
But, after Hungary, it’s the annual summer break for the teams as they won’t have another race until late August. But, after the break, it’s two more races in Europe (Belgium and Italy) before exploring other parts of the world to close the year out.
With all that being said, the string of European races have really tightening up the points championship. Currently, Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton by just eight points heading into his home race in Germany. That’s all due to some bad luck by Hamilton over that three race stretch. He likely should have swept all three races but was left instead with a win, a retirement and runner-up result.
That allowed Vettel to score a fifth, third and win himself respectively to take back over the points lead but hasn’t done enough to open the lead further. But, as you can see, the drivers each won just one race in that stretch. That means when Max Verstappen won in Austria, we had three straight different winners by three different teams.
If you go back to Monaco on Memorial Day weekend, Daniel Ricciardo won that race to give us four different winners in as many European races in 2018. That means Germany and Hungary could be wild.
Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have yet to win in 2018 and are driving for Mercedes and Ferrari respectively. They have the capability to win on any given race. Bottas, hasn’t scored a podium since Canada but he’s been fast. Raikkonen, has three straight podiums and looking for a fourth.
I think these next two races will be wild and when the championship is decided this fall, we will look back on this stretch to see why.