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Five takeaways from the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Roar Guru
12th October, 2020
6

From Alex Albon to Ricciardo’s resurgence, here’s what we learned from the Eifel Grand Prix.

Alex Albon’s struggles on full display
It was an unforgettable day for Albon as he was poor right from the start. He started P5, had lost one place on the opening lap to Ricciardo and continued to fall off the pace.

Early on, he began to have tyre issues with flat spots and lock ups and had to pit twice as he couldn’t shake those issues.

It greatly affected his performance as he had taken out Daniil Kvyat’s front wing as well as almost running into Pierre Gasly. He ultimately retired the car with too many reliability problems.

But his poor day was capped off with a comment where he mentioned the opponents were “racing him too hard” as he battled with Gasly.

Daniel Ricciardo is on a roll right now
Ricciardo has finished in the Top 6 in five straight races and has now given himself some separation in the driver standings.

He is sitting comfortably in fourth and is 10 points of Sergio Perez in fifth. The Aussie can thank Lando Norris for a safety car which allowed Daniel to quickly pit and change to soft tyres to close the race.

However, his persistence, determination and ability to look after his car cannot be questioned. On the restart Norris’ safety, he faced an early challenge from Perez before pulling away beyond DRS range to secure a podium spot.

Only Valteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton have claimed more points than Ricciardo in the last five races.

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Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo

(Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

Ferrari are fortunate to have Charles Leclerc
Leclerc had himself a good weekend and showed his ability to maximise the car. He looked good in the practice session, qualified fourth and did some great defensive work in the race although he couldn’t hold on. He would end up finishing seventh.

Despite not having a highly competitive car this year, Leclerc has managed to claim two podiums. Additionally, in circuits where he was able to complete the whole race, he’s only missed out on the points twice.

If it weren’t Charles, Ferrari’s horror season could very well have seen them trail Alpha Tauri and run seventh in the constructor standings.

Nico Hulkenburg and Sergio Perez showcasing their abilities for 2021 with Racing Point
With Lance Stroll unwell with illness, Racing Point were forced to call up Nico Hulkenburg on late notice. It didn’t do him any favours as he got his first taste of the car and track during qualifying. He would end up starting from P20 for the race.

However, his experience, skill and determination saw him persevere to finish P8. Having five cars retiring from the race certainly helped his cause but credit to Hulkenburg for coming from the back of the grid into the points. It also landed him as Driver of the Day.

On the other hand, Perez has been on fire since it was announced he was leaving Racing Point. He has now finished in the Top 5 for three straight races perhaps showing the team what they are going to miss out on.

Overall, Hulkenburg and Perez are both going to be eyeing a Formula One seat in 2021. They both have certainly helped their claim having strong performances after Racing Point were expecting an average day at the Eifel Grand Prix.

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The midfield of the drivers and constructors battle is heating up
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have all but secured another championship. With six races to go, all eyes will be on the midfield and who will come out on top.

The battle for third in the constructors will be heating up between Racing Point, McLaren and Renault who are on 120, 116 and 114 points respectively.

Ferrari have fallen off the pack and looks like their battle will be trying to distance themselves from Alpha Tauri.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of action between individual drivers. From Perez who is fifth down to Carlos Sainz who is 11th, expect a lot of movement in the driver standings.

We’ve seen some entertaining duels and battles during races between the likes of Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly.

It will be intriguing to see where everyone ends up at the end of the season.