Jolyon Palmer column: Resilience wins day on tragic F1 weekend

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From Jolyon Palmer
Former Renault motorist & BBC Radio 5 Live commentator
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, that abandoned Renault provides analysis and insight from the Perspective of the opponents and is a part of the BBC staff
A sombre and dreadful weekend was confronted by formula 1 in the Grand Prix, along with the manner of Charles Leclerc’s victory was a reflection of the resilience required from all involved at Spa on Sunday.
Following Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert’s passing on the Saturday , several drivers stated that they hadn’t wanted to engage and that can be completely understood by me.
Sadly, I’ve been back when Henry Surtees was murdered in 2009.
I was really the car ahead of Henry when he had his accident in the Formula two series, and it really shook me. Henry was known by me and got on with him. This was really a defining moment in my entire life and profession where I realised that this kind of thing may actually happen.
Without thinking they would have hurt, let alone be murdered, all these young drivers have gone through their careers. You can’t believe any other way.
Security is good drivers and nowadays regularly wander away from crashes which in years gone by could have been devastating. With the‘ halo‘ head defense device’s introduction the cars are safer than ever before.
However, the reality is that the sport has.
When Henry was murdered it woke me up. I had been in another place to the drivers at Belgium around the weekend, since I did not need to, although I couldn’t have believed about forcing the day – the race wasn’t for another month.
While the mood was still sombre when we turned to the next race, and you get back in the car that bit more aware, it was really helpful to be back into a clinic session , dialling back in at your own speed, and on a totally different circuit.
It had been in many ways a more demanding task for its F1 drivers weekend.
To know about the severity and effects of big accidents, have this preying on your mind and go flat out in race conditions by the off, and throughout the exact same corners where the accident happened – that needs a huge quantity of mental toughness that you just can’t be ready for.
And that really was this weekend’s story.
For many, this was for Leclerc. He understood Hubert nicely, having hurried him on and off throughout his career, including in his first kart race. Yet his drive was nearly ideal. His operation over the weekend was.
Despite carrying another dominant pole position, by a massive 0.7-second margin above his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, he still had a great deal of pressure going into Sunday.
Ferrari hadn’t won a race the staff and and the two drivers came under more tension for a combined half of this year.
With that background Leclerc did every thing straight. He got a beginning, and fundamentally had speed than Vettel. That gave him a buffer to the pursuing and allowed him to look after his tyres better throughout the race Lewis Hamilton, that was the larger threat.
The resilience of leclerc was not confined to racing on Sunday and turning up. He had to be strong mentally to win the race.
He has two race wins slip through his fingers and this was another that might have gone that way since Hamilton upped the pressure to go.
However, Leclerc held strong despite his tyres suffering .
The pressure was enormous. It was a situation much like Austria, at which Verstappen had a fee and pinched the win from underneath Leclerc’s nose with a couple of laps to go.
In Spa, though, Leclerc managed to keep just out of Hamilton’s reach, being incisive through a lot of rear markers they had to lap at the final stages and making no mistakes whatsoever.
This was a tremendous triumph for himin the most difficult of circumstances. He has the very first win under his belt, I believe it is just a matter of time before the next follows.
Mental toughness is something all athletes should possess and F1 is not any different. Leclerc has revealed he has this in abundance and stands in brilliant stead for the future.
Actually he ushered the camera after the race to his tribute sticker for Hubert and immediately pointed to the heavens, rather revealed where his head was in Spa. Nevertheless he produced a drive.
There were other people who demonstrated in tough conditions. Pierre Gasly, alexander Albon and Nico Hulkenberg all finished with strong results.
Albon needed a whole great deal of strain after his mid-season change. Beginning from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty reduced somewhat the pressure. However, the scrutiny during his weekend was high, more than he ever would have faced before, since he turned into the driver to find himself in a race winning car – and in his 13th Grand Prix.
He was never likely to be able to struggle for a win or a podium. However a drive to fifth would have contributed Red Bull a lot of encouragement.
Not merely did he display impressive pace sometimes throughout the weekend, but also the Red Bull bosses.
The guy he replaced,“ Pierre Gasly, also had a lot of attention. Shifting back into Toro Rosso would have been tough for Gasly about the back of a tricky first half of the year at Red Bull.
It is a fairly humbling mid-season dismissal, but Gasly is still on the grid also has the capacity to show if he could produce some good drives for their group, Red Bull they have been erroneous.
Gasly’s drive was also strong, finishing in ninth place. He did end up behind Daniil Kvyat that is team-mate, however, that was largely due to plan. On top of this, you can not ignore the Hubert backdrop, which seemed to influence Gasly than – understandably.
Hubert was described by gasly among his best allies, plus they roomed together in their way. For him to race Sunday was rough, but he put in a driveway to be proud of.
Finally, Hulkenberg found out at the week leading up to this Grand Prix that he had lost his drive to Esteban Ocon – another old adversary of Leclerc, Gasly and Hubert.
With more stress and a point to show, Hulkenberg set at a measured drive to finish eighth.
He is very likely to remain in F1 next year, with the other group. Nonetheless, it’s uncomfortable for a driver to be heading into September with no push for the year and your seat.
Overall, this is a weekend out of which no driver could have left with positive feelings, despite some results.
A death this will require some time to proceed out, and also to the younger drivers in the area, it may be a wake up to the perils that could exist within a sport we now deem safe.
It does show the mental resilience they all have, in such challenging circumstances to race when most consider and prefer to go home.
They race this weekend at Monza, and the series will proceed.
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Analysis and opinion from the BBC Formula 1 writer.
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