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The Spanish Grand Prix Podcast

NEWS STORY
18/05/2017

Was the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix the most exciting race of the Formula 1 season to date? Well, according to the Pitpass team of Chris Balfe, Max Noble and Mat Coch, yes, but when compared to the likes of Sochi that's hardly anything to shout about.

The battle between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel was enthralling, on that the team agrees, and that made for a welcome change following the snoozefest that was the Russian Grand Prix. However what Spain didn't provide the team with was a clear indication of the 'new' pecking order.

There was an abundance of updates up and down pit lane, but just how much influence did they have on the order? Very little from the Pitpass team's point of view.

One thing that's clear is that Red Bull remains the clear third best team, though Force India is punching well above its weight - as we've come to expect - and could mount a challenge to Red Bull if the Austrian outfit is not careful.

Force India's secret has been its driver combination, suggest Noble and Balfe, a strength not all of its midfield rivals can boast. Indeed there is a smattering of lopsided line-ups out there, and the team highlights two that need an urgent reversal in fortunes, or failing that a firm hand from management.

It's what's missing at Mercedes, suggests Balfe and Coch, after news that Hamilton has been racing without a drinks bottle in 2017 to save weight. Having come across the team radio with the breathless sort of voice you normally pay for by the minute, the post-race revelation prompted some fairly serious discussion among the Pitpass ranks.

While pleased with the stewarding over the weekend, Balfe laments the fact that the one driver who was punished was Pascal Wehrlein who drove a superb race, while our esteemed editor also ponders whether the example of little Thomas Danel, the heartbroken Ferrari fan who captured the world's heart, and ultimately got to meet his hero, might inspire parents to provide a multitude of team caps for their kids at races in anticipation of a similar first corner incident - Balfe opening that on current form a McLaren-Honda version seems the best bet.

Another subject up for discussion is Silverstone's uncertain future. Of course we've been here before, so much so it feels like we never left, all the while the future of the British Grand Prix hangs by a thread with Formula 1's new owners unwilling - or is it unable - to throw the BRDC a lifeline.

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