ICYMI: The F1 #CanadianGP Edition Roundup.

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Loads of F1 fans made it perfectly clear they found the Monaco GP insufferably boring. Surely Montreal won’t disappoint? Well…

10 years after his first and only win in F1, Robert Kubica talked about that accident in Montreal, missing his trophy, wanting to buy the race-winning car, and more:

Some Canadian GP Fast Facts for the geeks:

Toro Rosso continue their legacy of fickleness with drivers, as they allegedly look to replace Brendon Hartley midseason:

Ferrari posted a pre-GP video on Twitter, and CBC Montreal called them out for not doing proper geographical research:

This weekend marked Fernando Alonso’s 300th grid appearance:

One of the many reasons fans love this GP:

Wanna see hometown driver Lance Stroll make poutine?

More changes being considered for F1… *cue loud groaning from fans*

Meet the official mascot of the Canadian GP: VROUM!

Drivers now have to give even more prerace interviews. I’m sure Kimi Raikkonen is thrilled to hear this.

Max Verstappen? He ain’t changing anything, so save your shade!

Also. He kinda wants to channel his inner Zidane…?

Contrary to earlier reports, Daniel Ricciardo didn’t take an engine penalty for the weekend:

Who would the Renault drivers invite to their dream dinner party?

FAO Danill Kvyat fans! Here’s your man clad in Ferrari gear, making his first appearance at a GP this year:

Fellow ex-F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein also visited the GP to lend support to the Mercedes garage:

Drivers who are on the verge of grid penalties: *dun dun dunnnnn*

FP2: Ricciardo’s car got taken apart by his team, sending his fans worrying:

Carlos Sainz Jr hit a wall and caused a Red Flag:

Stoffel Vandoorne also touched the wall and caused a Yellow Flag:

Ricciardo made it to the track though with 20 minutes to go. Talk about a close call!

Hang on. Did Romain Grosjean really hit a groundhog?

He did. The aftermath:

Romain had to go apologize to Vroum!

Thankfully, Vroum forgave him.

Brendon Hartley got fined for speeding in the pitlane:

Fernando Alonso is his own hype man:

Plenty of Austin Powers memes were used on social media when Stoffel Vandoorne couldn’t quite get his McLaren out of the escape road in FP3:

Did Sebastian Vettel really nick his ex-boss’ phone?! Sneaky Seb!

Qualifying: Nico Rosberg demonstrated to Ted Kravitz one of the many pressures/forces the bodies of racing drivers have to endure:

Romain Grosjean had a problem even before he left the pitlane, and look who was behind him…

Marcus Ericsson joined the party and made contact with the wall:

Meanwhile, his teammate Charles Leclerc tied yet another Sauber record by making it into Q2 for the 4th time:

He didn’t look to be a strong contender during the practices, but Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole, and registered the first Ferrari pole in Montreal since Michael Schumacher’s back in 2001!

Max Verstappen took P3, and could not resist giving his boss some sass on team radio:

Qualifying in 60 seconds:

Vettel gets his 4th Pirelli pole tire. He can now kit a go-kart with them!

Sky’s Crofty attempted to do The Floss, which really put off Alonso doing the same:

Leave the dancing to the kids!

F1 Teams (all barring Ferrari) gathered round for the much-anticipated annual raft race. Williams took a surprise victory!

Relive the raft race here:

Raceday: 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve drove his father’s Ferrari, and what a sentimental moment that was:

The opening lap brought a rather scary crash that took out Brendon Hartley and Lance Stroll:

Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez subsequently had a tussle, which sent Perez asking for Sainz to be black-flagged:

Nope, the tussle wasn’t anywhere near worthy of a black flag.

Not sure how many mirrors Alonso has broken recently, but his car continued to be uncooperative, and his 300th race ended in retirement.

Nico Rosberg wasn’t happy with the lack of on-track action, and so he decided to hold an #AskNico session on Twitter midrace and spilled some scorching hot tea, particularly on Fernando Alonso:

Savage. Check his Twitter account for his other hottakes.

Model Winnie Harlow became the subject of the race’s biggest talking point when she waved the checquered flag too soon:

Look at this close finish between P2 and P3. Had the checquered flag not been waved prematurely, we would have gotten a mega battle from Bottas and Verstappen!

Poleman Vettel did not put a foot wrong, and he got away with the most spoils this weekend:

Bottas and Verstappen both comfortably beat their teammates. Leclerc continued to impress by notching up a point and erasing his Monaco GP nightmare.

Race winner Vettel saw the funny side of the Checquered Flag-Gate:

Winnie Harlow explained her side, complete with the reference to the iconic Shaggy song!

Because of the snafu, Ricciardo’s Fastest Lap did not count and the official Fastest Lap went to his teammate Verstappen instead. Poor Dan!

Brendon Hartley was medically-cleared after his first lap shunt:

The Canadian GP in 60 seconds:

And the Tweet of the Race:

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We go into the “unknown” next: Can the Paul Ricard Circuit spring a surprise on us? For the meantime, go check out the numerous debates on the shortcomings of modern day F1 on social media. If for anything, you’ll get a laugh on how hilariously myopic and entitled some of the “fans” are. You’re welcome.

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ICYMI: The F1 #MonacoGP Edition Roundup.

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It’s the Glitz and Glamour Grand Prix! The one where we bemoan the lack of track action and overtaking, and roll our eyes at the numerous clueless celebrities taking up precious space at the paddock, and yet we still cannot bear to miss it. Then again, you already knew that, didn’t you?

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After 24 years of not having a Monegasque driver, Charles Leclerc’s presence on the grid officially made the F1 history books:

How’s your Monaco GP knowledge? Test yourself with this quiz:

For the stat geeks:

The grid girls (& guys) returned this GP, and the reigning World Champ was pleased about it:

Vettel and Hamilton as teammates…?! Could we actually see it happen?

It won’t be a proper Monaco GP if the drivers didn’t roll out their swanky, special edition helmets:

The most notable incident in FP1, care of the Dutch Whiz Kid Max Verstappen:

The Stewards’ decision:

Curiously, two other drivers also got fined for speeding in the pitlane:

2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg got a feel of the F1 car anew:

Er, that got a bit awkward in the end.

Also, he took to the Monaco track with his Dad, 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg:

Definitely the coolest Father and Son Moment in F1’s recent history!

Charles Leclerc met up with Philippe Bianchi, father of Jules, post-FP1.

Here they are at the Jules Bianchi Foundation booth:

Thousands of F1 fans got emotional. It’s tough not to think of Jules and all what-might-have-beens during moments like that.

The FP1 in 90 seconds:

FP2: Grosjean and Verstappen nearly collided at the hairpin. Yikes.

More speeding fines post-FP2. What’s going on with the twitchy throttle feet, guys?!

Friday. Party Time! Several drivers strutted their stuff at the yearly Amber Lounge fashion show:

Saturday. The incident of FP3 was Max Verstappen ramming his Red Bull car into the wall.

Compare that to his 2016 Monaco GP incident, and it’s almost eerily similar:

Red Bull had to change Verstappen’s gearbox, which incurred a 5-place grid penalty for him:

He never made quali and had to start at the back of the grid:

Verstappen’s season so far, in case you’re curious:

And he now has a website dedicated to his crashing– Has Max Verstappen Crashed Yet?

http://crashtappen.com

Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports F1 was really bothered by a misaligned line on Carlos Sainz’s car:

No shortage of stars/celebrities/sports personalities in attendance. It is the GP to see and be seen, after all…

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, aka Jaime Lannister of Game of Thrones:

Retired MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner:

Ducati MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo:

NBA Star Dwayne Wade and his actress wife Gabrielle Union:

Olympian Aksel Svindal:

Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:

Retired football star Francesco Totti:

Hugh Grant:

NFL player Tom Brady, model Bella Hadid, Kardashian Momager Kris Jenner, Game of Thrones actors Kit Harrington and Liam Cunningham:

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso:

I’m sure there were plenty more.

Newly-retired driver Felipe Massa has no regrets leaving F1 when he did:

Double World Champion and ex-McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen casually cruising around Monaco on a scooter is the content we all need:

The grid girls and grid guys, complete with “motivational messages” for the drivers, from #FanMessengers:

Thank goodness the grid kids will take over once again next race.

After much hoopla, the FIA and Charlie Whiting finally declare that the Ferrari car is legal:

Raceday: Max “started from the back” Verstappen beats the track record!

Verstappen also took the fastest lap award:

Makes one think what he could have done if he hadn’t binned it during FP3, no?

Lance Stroll got some flak from the fans for his childish Team Radio outburst:

Lad, if you don’t want to race, can you please let Robert Kubica have a go in Montreal?

Home hero Charles Leclerc’s first Monaco GP ended in retirement, after a front brake failure sent him ramming to the back of Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley:

Sudden loss of power? Gearbox not working properly? Tires starting to grain? No problem! Pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo managed all that and held off Vettel’s challenge to take his first Monaco GP win, and was voted Driver of the Day by the fans as well:

The drivers were explicitly told to avoid the royalty when spraying champagne, but of course Sebastian Vettel got trigger-happy and inadvertently doused the royalty during the podium celebrations:

Thankfully, he’s not banned from re-entering Monaco as of this writing.

Adrian Newey doing a shoey. Shall we call him Adrian Shoey now?

Dan promptly made good on his word and did a swan dive in the Red Bull Energy Station pool:

Fernando Alonso called this year’s race the most boring race ever.

Granted, fellow Champions Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen also called the race boring, but “the most boring race ever”? Hold the hyperbole now, Fernando.

The 2nd Edition of the Live F1 Show: Featuring Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg, the Game of Thrones guys, Charles Leclerc getting a consolation burger and fries, and more!

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That’s all, folks. Time to go back to our regular, non-glamourous lives.

ICYMI: The F1 #SpanishGP Edition Roundup.

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The rain in Spain falls mainly on the…well, certainly not on track, or else we surely would have gotten a better race.

The race weekend wasn’t short on talking points though, thank goodness!

Eight days after the Azerbaijan GP, Williams lodged a complaint and asked the FIA to review the incident where Fernando Alonso nursed his McLaren back to the pits after a problem with his tires, among others:

The FIA rejected it, though:

Remember the Kangaroo TV/F1 Vision? It’s baaack!

French drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon both attended the Cannes Film Festival, but their shadiness was revealed when it was found by fans that they cropped each other out of their Instagram pics:

Recap: Gasly revealed in an interview some weeks back that he and Ocon aren’t really friends anymore.

F1 officially launched its travelling Merchandise Superstore in Barcelona. Goodbye, money!

Before, it was Indy 500, but now the Le Mans 24hr race is now “the biggest race in the world” for Fernando Alonso…

And he likes the privacy of the F1 paddock compared to the WEC paddock:

I mean, 50 fans following you to the loo is kinda awkward…

McLaren unveiled their updates, including a new nose which polarized social media, to say the least:

Ferrari’s most obvious change/update was the halo-mounted mirrors:

The Red Bull drivers were helped by football legend and Catalan Andres Iniesta change tires in an event:

Iniesta politely turned down the chance to join the F1 grid next season, saying life on the fast lane is not for him.

Looks like we’ll have a second race in the USA from 2019. Bienvenido a Miami!

Daniel Ricciardo has commented on the rumor that F1 has trademarked the infamous “shoey”:

The most famous Pole in F1, the beloved Robert Kubica, had his first FP1 session since 2010:

Spainish GP? Is it because they’re in Catalan country…?

Track officials thankfully removed it after photos went viral.

Sauber driver Charles Leclerc joined Gasly and Hulkenberg in the Kevin Magnussen Non-Fan Club, after an incident with him in FP1:

Kevin Magnussen then received a reprimand for that daft move.

One of the more creative Kimi banners seen at a track. God Save the (Finnish) King!

Daniel Ricciardo had a strange F.E.A. message written on his helmet on the Friday:

Force India driver Sergio Perez had an incident on FP2 when his front left tire came loose after a pitstop and he had to park the car. The FIA fined his team for an unsafe release:

Guess who surfaced in the McLaren garage during FP3? None other than Martin Whitmarsh!

Remember last year’s famous crying kid? Thomas the adorable Kimi Raikkonen fan is back!

Here he is, reunited with Kimi:

Max Verstappen will earn a cool 150k for having an unapproved lookalike:

Other teams weren’t happy with Ferrari’s halo mirrors, so it has been banned from Monaco onwards.

We’ve seen it in Baku, and now Spain has also adopted the “pre podium interview”:

F1’s cameras found another tiny adorable fan, this time a Fernando Alonso superfan:

They tracked him down and got him to meet his Spanish hero! Joaquín, everyone!

Ex-Sauber/Ferrari/Williams driver Felipe Massa also attended the GP, and I think we can all agree that this photo of him with his ex-engineer and dear friend Rob Smedley is the heartwarming content we all need!

Raceday. That first lap crash that took Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly out of the Spanish GP:

RoGro was handed a 3-place grid penalty and 2 license points for that incident:

The Mercedes drivers got the new tires to work perfectly for them, and they took their first 1-2 finish of the season:

Max Verstappen kept his head down, and despite damaging his front wing after colliding with a Williams car, managed to take his first podium finish this year.

Charles Leclerc finished in the points again, breaking a 3-year record for a Sauber driver:

The Spanish GP in 60 seconds:

And the GP summed up in one tweet:

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Hasta luego, España!

ICYMI: The F1 #AzerbaijanGP Edition Roundup.

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The Azerbaijan GP is like a steak–it (the action) is either rare or well done.

With that horrible analogy out of the way, here are the talking points from a rather action-packed weekend:

Daniel Ricciardo has allegedly signed a pre-contract with Ferrari for 2019. This rumor started around the time of the Bahrain GP, and has resurfaced, this time with more…emphasis? No concrete sources have been named, so this remains a solid rumor (for now).

Red Bull have allegedly given Ricciardo until August to sign a new contract:

Ricciardo has also promised to do something very interesting if he wins the title this year:

Over to you, Sebastian and Lewis!

He also managed to squeeze in a minor lip surgery in between races. Yes, you read it right: a lip surgery.

It’s very tempting to put the blame on the infamous shoey.

Nico Hulkenberg (and Stoffel Vandoorne) got some unexpected comedy relief when they arrived at Azerbaijan…

Vandoome sounds like a comic book villain. Move over, Thanos!

Speculation spread like wildfire about that mysterious 3rd paddle on Sebastian Vettel’s steering wheel. What did he say when asked about it?

Whether or not you are a McLaren fan, try this tricky quiz to see how geeky you are when it comes to F1:

Baku’s F1 Drivers’ Wall has become quite popular/controversial, to say the least:

Those images are sort of difficult to forget. Well done, Baku.

FOM started superimposing graphics on the halo during FP1, and fans approved:

Both Charles Leclerc and Sergey Sirotkin made it into Q2 for the 1st time this season. The Battle of the Rookies is On like Donkey Kong!

Sebastian Vettel was unimpressive in both FP1 and FP2, but managed a strong FP3 and then snatched pole during Quali. And in case you’re interested, he only needs 1 more pole to complete a set of go-kart tires from Pirelli.

The Toro Rosso teammates both had a scare during quali. It could have resulted in a horrific crash but thankfully, some fantastic reflexes from Gasly prevented any accident.

Nico Hulkenberg admitted he uses (/used?) a dating app. Apparently, half the paddock is on it, too.

There really should be a dating app exclusively for motorsport personnel and fans alike. Get on it, developers!

Meanwhile, his teammate Carlos Sainz likes rap music, and already has his very own rapper name:

Raceday: Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon clashed during the 1st lap, which ended the Frenchman’s race. Ocon was definitely not happy with Kimi and had harsh words for him:

Perhaps the most shocking, and biggest controversy of the race, was when the two Red Bulls collided, effectively ending their race and steady march to a points haul.

Adrian Newey and his notebook were not impressed.

Ricciardo and Verstappen were ordered to apologize to the whole team:

Pierre Gasly was hugely unhappy with Kevin Magnussen after they tussled during the SC restart. He branded him “the most dangerous driver I’ve ever raced with”.

Gasly and Hulkenberg should form a club of Magnussen non-admirers.

Romain Grosjean was doing so well, he quietly made up tons of places and was on his way to a points finish–that was, until he crashed behind the Safety Car.

With that crash, Grosjean now holds a stat that isn’t something to be proud of:

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was on his way to his (and Mercedes’) first win of the season, until he ran over some debris from previous incidents which blew up his right rear tire and led to his retirement. He was understandably crushed, and this photo spoke volumes of his heartbreak:

(Some are even saying this photo is already a strong contender for the F1 2018 Photo of the Season.)

Bottas’ teammate, and defending Champion Lewis Hamilton then went on to take the win, but before appearing for the podium ceremonies, Lewis went to see his teammate and offered his consolations. Look at him sharing his #blessedness…

Force India’s Sergio Perez also snatched a sneaky P3, despite having had a 5-second penalty earlier in the race. This was Perez’s return to the podium after nearly 2 years.

The feel-good story of the GP: Sauber’s Charles Leclerc scored the first few points of his F1 career by finishing P6, and became a Driver of the Day as well.

The Monégasque also broke a 68-year old standing record!

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley also registered his first F1 points, thereby breaking a 42-year old standing record by a Kiwi:

The race was definitely not short on incidents. So here’s the “Reprimands! Sanctions! Penalties! No further actions!” Section:

The 2018 Azerbaijan GP summed up in a GIF:

Or, if you prefer a superquick recap, here’s the race in 60 seconds:

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Four races in: three different winners, plenty of on-track action and off-track debates. 2018 is shaping up to be a nail-biting season!

ICYMI: The F1 #ChineseGP Edition Roundup.

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Three words: What. A. Race!

However, let’s back up a bit, shall we?

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Kimi Raikkonen proved his unparalleled popularity in China yet again:

F1 driver or rockstar? You decide.

Bonus: Here’s Kimi saying ‘I love you’ in Chinese:

This is the content you never knew you needed.

Sebastian Vettel engaged with the fans at the airport, and encouraged them to sing Happy Birthday to his trainer Antti:

Fernando Alonso opened a branch of his FA Karting School in China. It’s a pretty huge step, and hopefully will help find a future Asian F1 Champion!

Lewis Hamilton officially launched his collaboration with American Fashion Brand Tommy Hilfiger. The logo actually looks quite cool.

Following the hoopla over Dickheadgate last Bahrain GP, Lewis and Max Verstappen looked to have cleared the air. Lewis said he will be more careful now over what he says:

Former McLaren and Red Bull driver, and now C4 F1 Pundit David Coulthard will have a new book out this May, focusing on the leadership, motivation, and business aspects of F1:

Remember Pierre Gasly’s Alonso-esque “Now we can fight!” radio message to his team post-Bahrain GP? He had to explain that it was meant to give credit to Honda, after some Spanish and Alonso fans apparently sent him negative/abusive messages on social media:

Come on, now. Leave Pierre alone!

The much-anticipated F1 TV will finally launch the weekend of the Spanish GP. Want to know if you can enjoy it from your country? Check out the list below:

Would you like to know the favorite songs of the Alfa Romeo Sauber drivers, Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc? Would you like to hear them sing? Of course you do.

Speaking of things that are difficult to forget, these F1 Driver…3D Caricatures(?)/Mascots are honestly something else. I for one cannot unsee them.

During Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel snatched pole from his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, and took the new track record at Shanghai.

Ferrari also broke a long-standing drought, registering their 1st back-to-back front row lockout in 12 years!

Nico Hulkenberg seems to have an affinity with P7, judging from his last 6 grid positions…

Raceday: Mercedes gave Ferrari a dose of their own medicine via Valtteri Bottas undercutting Vettel. How do you say “Take That!” in German?

The two Toro Rossos suffer a surprise collision, with Brendon Hartley’s car coming off worse and spewing debris onto the track. Pierre Gasly promptly complained on Team Radio about his teammate closing doors…

Polesitter and erstwhile race leader Sebastian Vettel was already trying to salvage a screwed-up race, but Max Verstappen thought he can make Seb’s race worse by diving for an overtake when there wasn’t enough room. The 2 cars collided and did synchronized spinning. Ferrari fans were not amused.

Overtake of the Race goes to Ricciardo on Hamilton. Scratch that, it goes to Ricciardo vs Bottas. Actually, let’s just have ALL of Dan’s overtakes as the highlights of the race. Bold, but clean–that’s how it should be done!

Dan “I don’t seem to win boring races” Ricciardo celebrated his victory by bringing back the infamous Shoey:

Kimi actually looked mildly amused on the podium! Sadly, Dan didn’t dare offer him a Shoey.

Meanwhile, fans who expected fireworks post-race were disappointed when they saw how calm Vettel and Verstappen were while discussing their ontrack tussle:

Max has admitted that he was at fault for the incident, and that he had already apologized to Sebastian.

Expectedly, Ricciardo also won Driver of the Day. There really was no contest!

This is basically the race in a tweetshell:

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The first three races have been mad in their own special ways–perhaps we need a nice, steady race to calm us down? Oh wait, Baku is up next…

Kimi Raikkonen and Dani Pedrosa: This Is Their Year.

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F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen and MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa have a lot in common and are actually more similar than meets the eye:

Both are economical with their words, yet they are also known for thought-provoking, insightful interviews once in a while.

Both are allergic to bullshit, but can play the diplomat/mediator when needed.

Both enjoy tightknit and incredibly loyal fanbases, which go to great lengths to travel with them around the world and to passionately defend their racing heroes on social media.

Both have been overshadowed by their prodigious, more extroverted teammates.

Both have experienced major criticism for lackluster on-track performances, and for hogging seats that many believe should have been relinquished to younger, hungrier racers years ago.

Both are unadulterated, absolute racers, who prefer to keep their heads down and prove their worth on the track.

I love and admire them and as much as I wish that they can go on racing forever, the reality is that they are both facing a daunting, make-or-break year this 2018.

Raikkonen is believed to be on a one year contract with Ferrari, which expires at the end of this season. He is currently the oldest driver on the F1 grid and has not won a race since 2013. Pedrosa, who has been with Repsol Honda for all his MotoGP premier class career, has not renewed his contract yet. He is the most high-profile rider who has not won a MotoGP title so far.

Plenty of F1 drivers and MotoGP riders are already being linked to their seats. The season has barely started but the pressure is undoubtedly on Kimi and Dani not just to perform but to perform exceedingly well.

Are they merely getting by because of their reputations? Are they being kept simply to play wingmen and to keep their teammates placated? Are they past the point of being Champion-material? Are they wasting their time with teams that may not have their best interests at heart? Think of a criticism and chances are, that has been hurled at those two multiple times already.

Forget their rivals. 2018 is the year of Raikkonen and Pedrosa.

This is their year to step up.

This is their year to overcome the pesky “Number 2” label.

This is their year to prove their critics wrong.

This is their year. But, they’ll have to work damn hard for it. No excuses, no margin for error, no half-heartedness allowed.

In an ideal world, pure talent will keep them in F1 and MotoGP, and make them shoo-in title contenders, but the reality is that it takes a hell of a lot more than that. Luck, unwavering team support and an almost-obsessive focus to win also come into play in the proverbial game of thrones: racing edition.

It is a Herculean task, which is entirely up to Kimi and Dani to overcome. The odds against them are overwhelming, their rivals are fierce and ruthless, but only Kimi and Dani can decide how to ultimately take control of their stories.

Admittedly, I am equal parts terrified and excited to see how their seasons will pan out. I have become way too emotionally-invested in their racing careers and there’s simply no turning back.

And so I implore my fellow Kimi and Dani fans not to take this season for granted, by any means. Savor every race. Appreciate what they bring to their respective grids. Love them or loathe them, you have to recognize the fact that both are incredible racers who changed racing history in their own way. We don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone, and all that.

My gut is telling me this is going to be–for lack of a better phrase–one interesting year.

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(Should Kimi stay in Ferrari for one more year? Should Dani renew his Honda contract or move on to another team? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box or tweet me @bouncebckbltrx)

ICYMI: The F1 #AusGP Edition Roundup.

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We’ve officially survived the season-opener!

While it’s easy to get lost in the hundreds of articles recounting the race and post-race events, I’ve decided to compile a list of raceday’s interesting and real talking points, you know, the stuff that truly matters most?

No need to thank me, I do this all for love.

Überraschungssieg means “surprise victory” in German. Which is a fitting description for Sebastian Vettel’s masterstroke. From P3 to P1 in a difficult-to-overtake-in track? Sorcery*! Now try to pronounce that German word quickly five times in a row. You’re welcome.

(*More like luck + a well-timed pitstop under the VSC.)

Speaking of Vettel, his “signature dance” from last year was notably absent from his post-race celebrations, but not to worry, The Finger made a very visible comeback.

Nico Rosberg officially began his punditry career in F1–with stints in both RTL and Sky Sports F1–and still managed to take the time to introduce himself to a young F1 fan who had no idea who he was:

The grid kids made their debut. Just look at them in their snazzy F1 race suits! Hopefully there will be more diversity in the coming races. And admit it, did you even notice the absence of the grid girls?

A sandwich bag may be at fault for Sergey Sirotkin’s retirement from his first F1 race. And no, I cannot confirm whether it was of Polish origin or not.

A faulty drink tube nearly made Carlos Sainz Jr. vomit inside his helmet during the race. The said faulty tube was forcing the poor guy to drink too much water, and coupled with the G-forces he was enduring, Sainz experienced nausea but thankfully overcame it in time. Todo bien.

Update: Sainz later claimed a “poisoned banana” was the cause of his problems during the race. Yes, you read that right.

Kimi Raikkonen thinks his P3 finish is “Ok”.

He also owned his brand by posting an Iceman pic on his IG story.

(You really should get Instagram by now–following Kimi is so worth it.)

Also, did Kimi’s wife just shade his team Ferrari in her own IG story…?

The new graphics were generally well-received, until the battle of Lastname vs Lastname appeared on the telly and made social media crazy. And yes, that became an actual trending topic. Lastname FTW!

Charles Leclerc’s debut was much-anticipated but surprisingly ignored by the race directors. As in he was never shown driving his Sauber during the race broadcast at all. Leclerc can take comfort in the fact he’s got the best pose in the new starting grid graphics, though. Can you say swag?

The Haas drivers were actually having a good race. As in P4 and P5 good. Until they didn’t, as a result of 2 botched pit stops. Romain Grosjean’s parenting skills took center stage as he took his time to comfort his colleagues, while Kevin Magnussen found a perfect book to console him.

Some people on Twitter actually believed that Haas sabotaged the races of both their drivers so Ferrari can win. Come on, guys. Seriously?!

Hometown fave Daniel Ricciardo overcame his grid penalty, made up 4 positions to finish P4 and took the 1st Fastest Lap Award. He had quite an exciting cat-and-mouse chase with Kimi Raikkonen and dropped another quotable line (Ricciardoism?) in, “I don’t wanna let him breathe”. Erm, if that is your kink Dan, we won’t judge.

Both McLaren cars finished the race. And in the points! Sadly, the Toro Rosso-Honda partnership got off on a rocky start, as Pierre Gasly had to retire due to a PU issue, and Brendon Hartley limped home bringing up the rear.

Red Bull Racing took the Fastest Pit Stop Award. Surprisingly, Mercedes only ranked 10th. A blip in the famous German Efficiency?

Someone not named Max Verstappen won Driver of the Day. Who could it be? It’s the Papaya King himself, Fernando Alonso!

Nico Hulkenberg still wants the grid girls back. And made a Tom & Jerry comparison to emphasize his point. Oh deer. Just let it go, Hulk. It ain’t worth it.

Nine out of the Top 20 Worldwide Trends on Twitter, within an hour of the race finish, were F1-related. And they say F1 Fans are losing interest?

Giant cardboard driver faces are a little bit terrifying, but also hilarious. Are those an in thing this season, now?

(P.S. Where do I get some?)

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Darn it, Bahrain is now going to feel like a lifetime away.