FormulaY Round 1 Power Rankings : Put Another Shrimp on the Barbie

German engineering; the stock market; that new job; your underwear. Things guaranteed to change but inherently fall into a pattern of same. The transition from Silly Season to Race Weekend marks change in the calendar, yet Australia Round One and early Ferrari and Haas success signals an undercurrent swiftly guiding us down familiar roads.

This season the Debriefs are out and Power Rankings are in. Change. Yet “we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

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With only one race in the books, the Power Rankings this week act as composite of Preseason and Post Round One opinion.

1 – Lewis Hamilton  blessedemoji

Reigning Champ who jet-sets the world all season hanging out with fashion models, musicians, Lions–you name it. Media members already complaining about his ‘attitude’ in interviews sideyeemoji. Despite the first round second place finish, Lewis is still THE power player of F1 and his reactions to the VSC made top Headlines.

 

2 – Toto Wolff  wolffemoji

More of a power broker than power player, Toto dominates coverage (what little ESPN coverage wasn’t scrubbed by commercials, that is) and has a hand in all. Part owner, team director, agent– Toto’s decisions not only divine Mercedes’ and their customer teams’ (Force India’s, Williams’) futures but, with a run of drivers and constructors titles, form the basis on which the rest of the sport responds. Torger’s “make everything a few degrees better” philosophy netted the presumable top car again.

 

3 – Sebastian Vettel  pufferfishemoji

Seb hadn’t looked the form of a #3 power ranking spot over the weekend–right down to the “Racer’s” bowl cut he’s sporting–until the VSC. Vettel is the Yin of Formula One’s first ever grid to feature two 4-time World Champions, and that yinyangemoji is the main story in F1’s play through the 2018 season. Vettel’s success matters greatly to many powerful people’s portfolios. Outside the Mercedes Machine, Vettel has the most powerful support. Can he manage to not puff up when the tension heightens? So far, he’s having the last laugh.

 

4 – Daniel Ricciardo  koalemoji

A few more laps and Danny Ricc could have been the first Aussie to stand on the podium in his home country’s Grand Prix. But this is all about change and #3 changed the narrative from last year’s DNF, and overcame Piss Poor  Judgement™ by race officials resulting in a Grid Spot Penalty for not slowing down sufficiently for a Red Flag during FP3. Keep smilin’, Danny Ricc, the world smiles back at you.

5 – Kimi Raikkonen  iceemojicoolguyemoji

Not just cashing a paycheck, the Iceman Cometh to win races. Arguably the best pace on Sunday, Kimi stood on the podium for the 92nd time. When Kimi hits 100emoji I will be unbearable. Intentionally or unintentionally was victim of Ferrari strategy–pitting first and getting stuck behind Hamilton whilst Seb hangs out for the VSC. One of the Best Radios volume-riseremoji in the business.

6 – Max Verstappen  mccaulcaulkinemoji

No patience, no chill. Riding with Max is a white-knuckle ride of awesome triumph or failure. Loose-Goosey Verstappen couldn’t side-step MAG early enough and that led to his back stepping out and over and through. But the drive was maturely rescued, a nod to change? Like on the track, Max should be throwing his weight up and down this ranking ambitiously.

7 – McLaren-Renault  sexypeachemoji

This week, I’m taking the easy way out and lumping Fernando Alonso, Zak Brown, and everyone and everything under that team umbrella together. 5th and 9th place finishes in what they claimed would be their toughest race on the schedule.  A lot of swagger around this team in the paddock that the Power Rankings noticed. They should feel good. Alonso with a few good moves, Waffle with a sturdy drive but the livery stole the show. It doesn’t need a big title sponsor–why cover up that body and paint job? Less is more, flirt a bit.

8 – Liberty Media  flyingmoneyemoji

Chase Carey (CEO) and group remind us that there is a good/bad value input on this rankings scale. In strict terms of power, Liberty should be at the top (it is their league after all) but the delay of the F1 TV launch, the logo changes and possible lawsuit brought by 3M regarding it, and the continuation of fan frustrating pre-race penalties drops them down spots by Monday.

9 – Will Buxton  tvemoji

Buxton was the best part of F1 coverage in Australia. Being best part of a coverage team isn’t new to Will, as NBC Sports was frequently held up on weekends with his gridwalks.  Low bar to clear, assuredly, but that makes his ability to draw in and resonate with fans important to the success of Liberty’s maiden F1 media project. He’s the face and voice of this season for those who take the plunge into F1 TV–an audience segment of high value moneybagsemoji for Liberty.

10 – Christian Horner  horneremoji

Red Bull Racing powered by Tag Heuer labeled Renault engines sponsored by Aston Martin Racing had to be in the top 10 in mega capacity. And they are pretty all over it. Dollar for dollar the deepest balanced driving duo on the grid. The underdog challenger to the infamous Goliaths. RBR is at such a fork in the road with regard to its future. Danny Ricc staying or leaving; Can they get Max the PU to stay; who will even be their PU supplier… the list grows. Horner is the Dos Equis’ most interesting bastard you want to at the center of it all. He even had a few good interviews on the ESPN coverage to help bump his stock.

11 – Haas F1 Team  rollercoasteremoji

What a cluster fuck. Where to begin. Ok, so Haas has a history of impressing at Australia. The brakes were in the zone, the drivers were in the zone. After turning heads all weekend, they are buzzing off the start. Backing up traffic a bit but defending their gained spots… and then

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At what point do you demand to get off the ride or severely alter the parts that make up the ride? Whether fan, driver, Guenther. The trend of Haas’ ride up and down the Power Rankings may soon tell us. Good standing for sportsmanship, and adversity points banked.

12 – Carlos Sainz Jr. sick

Sainz is in a good spot this year. He doesn’t have the pressure of being a number one but has a factory team and a, frankly, beatable teammate. His performance last year starts him so far up the grid and his defense down the stretch Sunday after radio-ing in that he felt sick gave him some bonus points. Swell guy, would support.

13 – Charles Leclerc springchickenemoji

Ferrari’s next big thing has powerful backing and was dominant last year in F2. Leclerc like many in F1 start off early with much hype and power but it is up to them to not be passing fad or passed over. Charlie Leclerc may sound like a left winger for the Ottawa Senators but he’ll definitely produce more.

14 – Renault Power Units greenbattery

The reliability of these bad boys are what is behind many of the top driver personalities in the paddock. Similar to RBR, Renault engines are the needed third party underdog challenger to open up the engine manufacturer field. Should they prove capable of winning races not only does it impact the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers’ point totals it also adds other teams into title contention, even if only for 2019.

15 – Esteban Ocon alienemoji

A promising young driver who stole headlines from his experienced teammate all of last year probably shouldn’t be this far down the Power Rankings. But Ocon needs to bring that up with Vijay. Force India needs an upgrade, and not one from Spain 2017. The “new” car never materialized for Australia. And if it did, that’s not good for the Frenchman as he was shut out of the points stuck behind an ailing Sainz.

16 – Alfa Romeo Sauber’s Livery artemoji

How do you improve upon the 25th Anniversary livery Sauber ran last year? It shouldn’t be possibleto look so good as a back marker but here we are in 2018, the year of our lord. I don’t have much to say. Over-reaction? Maybe. But it’s simple and crisp, and just really fits the team.

17 – Romain Grosjean croissantemoji

Romain is one to watch for. His experience and position as number one driver within Haas gives him a chance to earn serious points this year. But it is also a chance to show he is not on the decline, riding off into the sunset and deserves to not only stay with Haas but be an option for other teams even. Further, he seems to have real pull amongst drivers and officials around regulations and guidelines, and rallied the team after the bummer of  an error–bonus Power Points©.

18 – Nico Rosberg oldmanemoji

The retired old man finally returned to the track and F1 in a commentator capacity. Let us miss you, Nico. But have to respect a power move: got a job talking about the events pre and post race; hobnobbed with celebs and watched the race; went back to “work” when the fun was over. Power move. Not to mention, for a guy who hasn’t driven in a F1 race in over a year, his brand is enjoying its Zenith now. For that along he earns a spot.

19 – Nico stopwatchemojifranceemojiraceremojitrophyemojiHulkenberg

A big year for Nico. Starting to feel like if he can’t stand on the podium this year, he may not be given another chance. Sunday was a nice effort for him but the weekend as a whole needed more. He’ll need mental power to beat Sainz this year and to fight off the customer Renault teams for 3rd place scraps. Does the Myth die in Le Mans?

20 – Robert Kubica – trainemoji

Not ready to depart the Kubica Hype Train just yet. Shirotkin DNF-ed on a weird plastic bag incident and Stroll and the Williams team were at least held back by their tools if not entirely underfunded to cover their weaknesses. How quickly does the pressure and drama ratchet up in the Williams garage? If Kubica can set up a good car and stay out of the fracas, who knows what (or who) is on the other side of the Summer Break.

Choo-choo, mate.

 

 

KRU

 

 

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