Formula 1 Returned to Imola: The Highlights

Known for a lot of historical moments, especially for one that involved the death of the Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, Imola Circuit was chosen as one of the tracks to substitute Formula 1 tracks that have been skipped due to Covid-19. Formula 1’s latest race in this circuit was back in 2006, and fourteen years later, it made a return, and a lot has happened in this Grand Prix that attracted the media’s attention. The following is the Netray’s analysis of the topic from October 31 to November 3 explained chronologically.

Before jumping into the highlights of the race, the followings are the statistics of the topic in online news media as monitored by Netray.

Basic Statistics of the Topic

In total, there are 90 articles spread from the selected period of time, originating from 21 different sources. For a sport that is held across the globe, Formula 1 has little interest in this country, resulting in only 90 articles written regarding the sport’s latest race on Sunday, November 1.

The Peak Time and the Sentiment Trend Charts

It can be seen that the spread with the regards to the race was mainly seen from October 31 to November 2. October 31 being the day for practice and qualifying, and November 2 being the day after the race. Sentiment wise, this topic is dominated by positive sentiments, since a record in the sport has been broken, which will be explained later.

Pre-race: Mercedes Seeking to Break Record

Before race day, which was on Sunday, November 1, the online news medias focused on the most obvious possible outcome of the race, which is the winner of the Constructor title of 2020. Being ahead of the Red Bull by a large margin of points, Mercedes was only inches away from grasping yet another constructor title of 2020. Locking up the front row with a Mercedes 1-2 after qualifying, with Valtteri Bottas first and Lewis Hamilton second, the team’s confidence of grasping the title was high.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas after taking pole position

Other than locking up the front row of the grid after qualification, the Mercedes drivers also sat on the top three during free practice session, which was only held once instead of the usual three sessions. This made it harder for teams to gather the data since there was less time to do it. However, Mercedes proved themselves once again far superior compared to other teams even under the immense pressure of the tight time.

Pre-race: Checo in Search for a Seat

News regarding Sergio Perez’s future in Formula 1

A cliffhanger that is trending in the sport is Sergio Perez‘ future in the sport. Once again, Perez was asked by the media about it, since the chances of him continuing to drive kept getting smaller and smaller. There was a chance of an empty seat at Alfa Romeo, but that was no longer when the team confirmed that both of their current drivers will continue to drive for the team next year. There was also an empty seat at Williams, but the team, coincidentally, also announced that their current drivers are also driving for the team for next year.

The only seat that seems to be vacant up until this point is Max Verstappen‘s teammate at Red Bull. However, nothing is confirmed for the Mexican until now. Perez’s future remains uncertain.

Pre-race: Pierre’s Helmet, Formula 1 & Covid-19, and Hamilton’s Prediction

News regarding Pierre Gasly’s tribute to Ayrton Senna

Other minor events that attracted the media was the helmet worn by Alpha Tauri’s driver, Pierre Gasly. Gasly paid a special tribute to the legendary Ayrton Senna, the Brazillian driver that passed away in an incident in Imola, by wearing a helmet with its design inspired by the driver himself. “Legends are never forgotten,” Pierre says in his caption of his Instagram post of the helmet itself.

News regarding Covid-19 case in Formula 1

Another news from the paddock is related to Covid-19. In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, Formula 1 authorities have to be more strict in order to avoid further spread in the grid. Unfortunately, some positives were confirmed. The latest covid positive case in the driver of Racing Point team, Lance Stroll, along with six other personnel in the team. Both drivers had actually been tested positive for covid-19, but had gone through isolation and tested negative afterwards.

Hamilton’s prediction for the race

The last minor event that attracted media’s attention came in only minutes before the race, specifically originating from Mercedes. Moments before the race started, each driver from each team was interviewed by number of journalists regarding the race and their confidence in it. One particularly interesting statement was from the leader of the championship, Lewis Hamilton.

“What is unfortunate with this track is it’s so beautiful to drive but… I am pretty certain you’re going to see a pretty boring race tomorrow. You can overtake on this long straight but it’s quite narrow, and you can’t follow. Once you get into turn one it’s a train and there’s no single place to overtake anywhere else. So it’s going to be a challenge for people following.”

Lewis Hamilton

Post-race: Hamilton Won the Emilia Romagna GP, Mercedes Claimed 7th Consecutive Formula 1 Constructor Title

The event that attracted the most attention is, of course, the winners of the race, which were Lewis Hamilton and his own team, Mercedes-AMG. With a Mercedes 1-2 finish, Mercedes grabbed yet another Constructor title for the 7th time, the longest streak to ever exist, breaking Ferrari’s six streak that was claimed by Michael Schumacher. With 253 points gap between Mercedes and the second highest team on the grid, Red Bull, it is safe to say that Mercedes won by a large gap since there are only four races left on the calendar.

The celebration of this win was celebrated rather uniquely. With Daniel Ricciardo present on the podium, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton did a ‘shoey’ celebration on the podium, where he drank his champagne from Ricciardo‘s racing shoe.

Lewis celebrating his win with a shoey

Other than that, Mercedes’ celebration was celebrated with another uniqueness. Considering the pandemic taking place at the moment, Mercedes-AMG F1 team was reported to celebrate their achievement virtually.

News regarding Mercedes’ celebration for achieving 7th Constructor title

And that concludes Netray’s observation regarding the topic of Formula 1’s latest race in Imola Circuit at the Emilia Romagna GP. It was a race packed with actions and dramas as it should be in a track this legendary.

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