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From Jolyon Palmer
Former Renault driver & BBC Radio 5 Live commentator
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, that left Renault is part of the BBC staff and provides analysis and insight from the Viewpoint of the opponents
Formula 1 faced a weekend that was sombre and dreadful at the Grand Prix, along with the way of Charles Leclerc’s success was a fitting reflection of their resilience required from all involved on Sunday.
After the death on the Saturday, many drivers stated that they had not wished to engage and that can be entirely understood by me.
I’ve been in a similar situation myself, back when Henry Surtees was killed in 2009.
When he had his accident in the old Formula two series, I was the car before Henry, and it really shook me. Henry was known by me and got on with him. This is really a defining moment in my life and profession where I realised this sort of thing might actually happen.
Each these young drivers may have gone through their own careers without thinking they would get hurt be killed. You can not think any other manner.
Security is so good these days and drivers routinely wander away from enormous crashes that in years gone by would have been devastating. With the’ halo’ head defense device’s debut the cars are safer than ever.
But the reality is that the sport still has.
It woke me up to this fact After Henry was killed 10 years ago. I could not have thought about driving because I didn’t have to however I had been in a place to the drivers at Belgium about the weekend – the race was not for a month.
While the mood was sombre when we turned to another race, and you get back in the car that little more aware, it was really helpful to return into a clinic session , dialling back at your own speed, and on a completely different circuit.
It was in many ways a tougher task for its drivers weekend.
To know about the seriousness and effects of large accidents, have this preying on your mind and go flat out at race terms from the off, and through the exact same corners where the incident occurred – that takes a massive number of mental toughness which you can’t be prepared for.
And that was the weekend’s story.
For most, it was tougher than for Leclerc. He understood Hubert well, having raced against him and off throughout his career, including in his first kart race. Yet his drive was nearly ideal. His performance over the weekend was.
Despite taking another dominant pole position, with a huge 0.7-second perimeter above his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, he had a good deal of pressure going into Sunday.
Ferrari had not won a race and the staff and both drivers were coming under more pressure to get a combined first half of the year.
With that background Leclerc did all . He got a excellent beginning, and fundamentally had greater pace than Vettel. That allowed him to take care of his tyres better throughout the race and gave him a buffer Lewis Hamilton, who had been the larger threat.
The resilience of leclerc wasn’t limited to simply turning and rushing on Sunday. He needed to be strong mentally to win the race as well.
He’s had two race wins slide through his palms and since Hamilton resisted the strain with five laps to go, this was.
But suffering that was strong despite his tyres was maintained by Leclerc in the closing stages.
The pressure was enormous. It was a situation much like Austria, at which Verstappen pinched the triumph from underneath the nose using two or three laps of Leclerc to go and had a charge.
In Spa Leclerc managed to keep just out of Hamilton’s reach, being incisive through a bunch of back markers and making no errors whatsoever.
This is a triumph for him, in the most difficult of circumstances. Now he has the very first win under his belt, I feel it is only a matter of time until the second follows.
Emotional strength is something all athletes must have and F1 is no different. Leclerc has revealed he has that in abundance and it moves him in stead for the future.
The fact he immediately pointed to the heavens and summoned the camera after the race into his tribute blossom for Hubert, rather than getting caught up in the feelings of a very first F1 victory, showed where his head was in Spa. Yet he produced a drive.
There were many other people who demonstrated in circumstances. Alexander Albon, Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg finished with results.
Albon needed a good deal of pressure after his mid-season switch to Red Bull. By beginning from the rear of the grid because of an engine penalty, the pressure has been reduced. However, the scrutiny during his weekend was large, more than he would have confronted before, since he turned into the driver to locate himself in a race winning car – and also in only his 13th Grand Prix.
He never went to be able to fight at Belgium to get just a podium or a win. However a drive would have contributed a great deal of encouragement to Red Bull.
Not merely did he exhibit pace that is impressive at times during the weekend, however, also some great that could have excited the Red Bull bosses.
The man he replaced,” Pierre Gaslyhad a whole lot of attention. Switching back into Toro Rosso would have been tough for Gasly over the rear of a first half of this year.
It’s a dismissal, but Gasly remains on the grid also has the capacity to show if he could create some good drives because of their junior team, Red Bull they have been erroneous.
The drive of gasly was strong, finishing in ninth location. He did end up behind team-mate Daniil Kvyat, however, that has been largely as a result of plan. On top of this, you can not dismiss the Hubert backdrop, which appeared to influence Gasly more than – understandably.
Hubert was explained by gasly as one of his best mates, and they even roomed together on their way up the ranks. He put in a driveway to be proud of, although for him to race on Sunday was particularly rough.
Eventually, Hulkenberg found out from the week leading up he had lost his driveway to Esteban Ocon – another adversary of Hubert, Gasly and Leclerc for 2020.
With more stress and a point to show, Hulkenberg put in a drive that is measured to complete eighth.
He’s likely to remain in F1 next year. Nevertheless, it’s uncomfortable for a driver to be heading into September with no push for the year and your seat delegated to somebody else.
All in all, this is a weekend out of that no motorist would have left with positive feelings.
A passing this will require some time to proceed out, and also for the younger drivers in the area, it may be a sharp wake up to the actual perils that may exist within a sport we’ve so safe.
It does reveal, though, the resilience that they have, in such circumstances that are difficult to race when most contemplate and would go home.
This weekend races at Monza, and the show will proceed.
Actress Erika Rosenbaum explains her encounter
Analysis and opinion from the BBC Formula 1 writer.
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