We had a pretty exciting race in America, but not always for the right reasons. We saw a bit of everything: masterful driving, but also dangerous actions and drivers who drove badly. It was a mix of anything and everything, but that’s what this show is all about.
When I talk about dangerous driving, I’m talking about Lance Stroll. He should be suspended for one race for the Fernando Alonso incident. The FIA has been very lax in both Formula 1 and lower classes with drivers swinging out on the straight when that is the most dangerous thing there is, and the last thing you want to see. It is pathetic and extremely dangerous.
By swinging out on the straight, you endanger other drivers – possibly fatally. Because you can cause a huge accident like that. And that’s because you consciously decide to do something like that, not because you’re making a mistake. So it’s really unacceptable.
The FIA needs to step up and hand out more penalties for this kind of action. Even if it doesn’t lead to an accident. Because we have been lucky that it didn’t go wrong before. And it already starts in the lower classes. In Formula 4 and Formula 3 you sometimes see guys driving like they are in a video game. But racing is dangerous and this has nothing to do with racing – or defending well.
Alonso was lucky that it ended well for him. In fact it was quite bizarre: he managed to bring the car back to the pits and after they sent it out with a new nose and new tires he was still able to compete and score points! That Alpine is apparently as sturdy as a tank… and Alonso drove impressively.
Someone else who drove impressively was Max Verstappen. Lewis Hamilton had a good pace in his Mercedes and Max didn’t really manage to get very far ahead of him at any moment. After his bad pit stop, Verstappen overtook Charles Leclerc with a good move and he then caught up with Hamilton first and cleverly overtook him.
However, Mercedes had made a mistake before by putting Hamilton on the hard tyre for the final laps. That was not the right choice. In particular because the Mercedes is economical with the tyres anyway and they would have been better off on mediums in the final phase, with light cars and a track with a lot of grip. Like Red Bull, which did make the right choice.
Max really went for the win. At some point I think we all thought Lewis would take his annual win, but Max denied him it. That must be very disappointing for Lewis.
Another thing I want to mention is how much the drivers complain about each other over the radio. How many times on Sunday did we hear someone complain that another driver is breaking track limits and should be punished? That complaining is getting annoying. It’s a bit over the top. Although it was funny on Sunday, because Lewis kept complaining about Max and Max did indeed get a warning flag. But just a few laps later Lewis got the same warning. He was so focused on Max going over the track limits that he didn’t realise he was making mistakes himself.