Thursday, April 11, 2019

What to watch this Weekend (April 11th - April 17th)

  • Formula 1 - Chinese Grand Prix; from Shanghai, China/Shanghai International Circuit. Practice1. Thursday @ 9:55pm - 11:30am (ESWN(HD)) live
  • The Grand Tour. Season 3 Episode 14. Season Finale. Friday (Amazon Prime) 
  • Formula 1 - Chinese Grand Prix; from Shanghai, China/Shanghai International Circuit. Practice2. Friday @ 1:55am - 3:30am (ESWN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Chinese Grand Prix; from Shanghai, China/Shanghai International Circuit. Practice 3. Saturday @ 10:55am - 12pm (ESWN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Chinese Grand Prix; from Shanghai, China/Shanghai International Circuit. Qualifying. Saturday @ 1:55am - 3am (ESPN2(HD)) live
  • WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. Saturday @ 5pm - 7pm (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Chinese Grand Prix; from Shanghai, China/Shanghai International Circuit. Race. Sunday @ 2:05am - 4am (ESPN2(HD)) live 
  • IndyCar Series - Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. Street track in Long Beach, California. Sunday @ 4:30pm - 6:30pm (NBCSN(HD)) live 
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Tuesday @ 7pm - 7:30pm (MotorTrendHD) replay
  • Motorweek. Tuesday @ 7:30pm - 8pm (MotorTrendHD) replay
  • Restoration Garage. Tuesday @ 10pm - 11pm (MotorTrendHD) new
  • Wheeler Dealers. 996 Porsche 911 Carrera. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (MotorTrendHD) new
What can you say about one of the most exciting and plot twisting races in quite a while, in the 2019 Bahrain GP? Poor Charles. He dominated all weekend, took pole position on Saturday, made a bad start Sunday, got back in the lead quickly, then he essentially experienced a dropped cylinder with about 15 laps left. This should've been his maiden grand prix victory, but it'll have to wait a bit longer. Hamilton, ever the opportunist, ran a strong race, was faster than his teammate, out dueled Vettel when team strategies lead to them going wheel to wheel, which put him behind Leclerc when his issue came up. The loss of that cylinder dropped his lap pace to over 3 seconds a lap under the field, which lead to him potentially finishing in 4th or 5th place -- but then the motorsport gods shined down upon him in the form of both Renaults breaking down with about 10 laps to go. It took so long to get Hulkenberg's car towed off the track, Ricciardo's remained through the checkered flag. Leclerc took 3rd under caution, which not only ensured his wounded car took third, but also ensured no one could break his fastest lap which came shortly before the engine problem. With these points he's leap frogged his teammate and put him fourth in the Driver's Championship. Vettel spun his car when Hams made the move to pass him (sound familiar?), but he salvaged the race by making his way back to fifth, behind Verstappen. I think what makes this season so great is that we have two young drivers on the top three teams which have the ability to compete for race wins and podiums; this is something we haven't had in a long time and it's mixing some things up. That said, things are looking up for Hamilton if he keeps turning out great results -- Vettel has a full on rival in his own team which will be limiting his ability to get max points everyweek. Bottas had a great first race, but didn't look as strong in Bahrain, so until we see more Hams should be the priority in silver. Verstappen will be a spoiler when the top two teams aren't strong enough which will further reduce the amount of points up for grabs. If Gasley could keep up with Max Red Bull would be an even bigger threat, but that isn't the case yet. Oh and Mclaren is still quick, with Norris taking 6th, but Sainz DNF'd again. This season is shaping up to be pretty interesting.

With the checkered flag dropped in Bahrain the current standings are as follows: Bottas, Hamilton (-1), Verstappen (-17), LeClerc (-18), Vettel (-22), Raikkonen (-34). This weekend's race in China is the 1000th F1 grand prix race, it's a track where power is rewarded with long straights and Merc will have their hands full once again trying to keep the red cars in check. If Leclerc takes the win in China will the team become his? We'll have to tune in to find out.

Enjoy your weekends.

Video courtesy of Autosport.

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