F1 2016 Season 1 Middle Leg
Posted on Monday 16th January at 10:49 AM
Following Beau's domination of the Flyaway Leg, several of the in contention drivers were keen to turn the tide and eat into his commanding lead. The European Leg featured the middle 7 races of the 21 race calendar, predictably all in Europe.
To the surprise of everyone, the European Grand Prix was dominated by Motors, who started dead last and took advantage of the Lap 1 VSC to maximise his 1 stop strategy. Indeed, he won easily from Spectre and Beau, the former recovering well from a chaotic turn 1 where he was spear tackled by Jono.
Onto the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and it was the return of Sam to the top step of the podium. In an inspired drive, he held on with badly blistered tyres to just pip Jono and Seth to the line. Beau suffered internet problems and had a huge lag induced crash which put him out.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone was action packed from start to finish. Seth and Motors battled hard at the start but the latter was to disconnect. Seth resisted everything his pursuers threw at him, even a late race safety car to take a commanding victory from an inspired Benny, and then Jono who suffered tyre issues throughout.
The race in Hungary was race full of controversy, first with Benny retiring on lap 1 after being trapped in between the two Renaults, which sparked a chain reaction of incidents. Fastboysmith was very naughty in this round, after several incidents in qualifying and indirectly causing the retirements of Sam and Motors, he was slapped with a 2 race ban. After the calamities, the two Red Bulls were well out in front, but Jono on the reverse strategy looked set to take the fight to them until he was taken out under blue flags and eventually fell to 5th. The Red Bulls engaged in a mighty scrap, ultimately settled on the final lap when Zharvs passed Spectre around the outside of turn 2 for his first win of the season. Seth recovered to finish 3rd, but it was to be his last good result of the leg...
Hockenheim was next and Benny struck pure gold, wiping the floor with the opposition with a terrific strategy and clutch overtaking. Seth and Razor collided with only a few laps to go, robbing each other of a podium finish. Beau eventually took second in front of Toranafan who started last, a truly fantastic performance. There was carnage behind them, with Spectre being spun out by a lapped car and Jono suffering behind Hatfield's Manor.
Onto Spa Francorchamps, and there was controversy right from the opening lap, where Warrior and Seth collided on the exit of Les Combes, with Seth out on the spot. This left Jono, Beau and Spectre to scrap for the victory. There was action aplenty, almost akin to a Formula Ford slipstream battle. Spectre attempted the undercut but lost time behind Toranafan. Beau was next to stop but put on the soft tyres again, meaning he would need to make one more for mediums. This then handed victory to Jono who came in 2 laps later for mediums, eventually winning easily. Motors jumped both Spectre and Beau to find himself in 2nd, until an unfortunate lag spike put an end to Spectre's race.
The final round of the leg at Monza finally produced the first wet race of the season. And with it the most controversial race of the season as well. Beau and Seth dominated, but a few safety cars brought Jono back into the game, who had been taken out several times. Once the first safety car entered the pits Beau and Seth consolidated their positions, while Jono passed 8 cars in one lap to move up to 3rd. Very quickly he caught the leading pair before another safety car came out, and was jumped in the pits by Spectre and Toranafan. Beau and Seth romped ahead while Hatfield held up Jono and Zharvs before yet another safety car was deployed. It was here then, that Jono and Zharvs races would both be destroyed by Toranafan's ghosted car, and were given a drive through penalty for falling too far back. This left Beau and Seth to battle it out for the win. Unbelievably, Beau made contact with the lapped Force India of CAGM and lost the lead to Seth, who then, on the penultimate lap, crashed on the exit of Lesmo 1 and retired on the spot. Beau took the chequered flag, but track limit indiscretions pushed him all the way down to 6th ahead of Jono who was taken out again. In a quite unbelievable finish, it was Warrior who took the win, becoming the season's NINTH different winner. Hatfield took a remarkable 2nd ahead of Knuckles, back on the podium after a long absence.
Overall it was Jono who took out the European Leg honours by 2 points from Beau. The European Leg cut the field into 3 main contenders for the championship, with Beau still retaining a decent lead, ahead of Jono and the extremely fast Seth. With 7 races to go, the title is still wide open, who will become RACEONOZ's first Formula One World Champion?
Writer: JonoStan96
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