Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) did better than at Sakhir and Jeddah, where they had traded first place with a little over-the-phone DRS. Their fight was beautiful, intense, clean, and the Monegasque made three clear maneuvers to neutralize the Dutchman. And we do not count the maneuvers in the rest of the peloton in these famous turns n°3 and 4.
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The winner: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
1 everywhere! Max Verstappen had won at Imola, and the Monegasque gave him back his own coin at Spielberg. Failed for five races for questions of reliability and twisted strategies, “Charlot” had the enormous merit of remaining mobilized, without wasting useless energy dwelling on his frustrations. Impeccable in qualifying but narrowly beaten on Friday, hampered by his teammate on Saturday, he quickly relegated the second F1 75 to a good distance on Sunday, and attacked his real opponent in an irresistible way, three times. Because he maximized the potential of the “medium” in a first stint and then kept this advantage with the “hard”.
A real masterclass in terms of driving and technical superiority that put him back in a dynamic. Even if he only took five points over the whole weekend from world No. 1 Max Verstappen, and he still has 38 points to fill in the world championship.
The beaten: Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
It’s rare to see such a contrast from Saturday to Sunday. The rather cushy 23 laps of the sprint did not resemble those of Sunday. As usual in these cases, he did not do half measures: “I couldn’t attack under braking, I couldn’t put the throttle on, I had no traction, and after two laps in each stint I lost a lot of speed.
His RB18 was especially not ready to run the “hard”, and he paid the price of his helplessness every time Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) honked behind his back.
At five points dropped, he is doing very well. “In difficult times, you have to score points and we did that.” Like at Silverstone.
They reap: Mercedes
An almost unexpected recovery in 48 hours, from the W13s dented and scattered like a puzzle in the gray garage on Friday evening to the weekend points record (38) on Sunday.
The big losers: Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Big disappointment for “Checo”, who paid cash for his collision with George Russell (Mercedes) in the first round. His Red Bull in poor condition, the team preferred to stop him to save his engine for the future. World No. 2 for three meetings, he was overtaken by Charles Leclerc (Ferrari).
As for the Spaniard, he saw himself from Silverstone in the shoes of a future No. 1 at Ferrari, but his delay on Charles Leclerc jumped from 12 to 37 points because of his retirement. Who will force him to drive, except miracle or recycling of old elements, with a new power unit at the Grand Prix de France and collect a burst of penalty on the grid.
The surreal moment: Fernando Alonso (Alpine) educates Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
The overheated driver: Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
Rebelote for the Rouennais. After the steering wheel on Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at the start of the sprint race, the Frenchman again miscalculated his blow by understeering in Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin at turn 4. Found guilty, he was punished with five seconds, and received another penalty of the same time for going off-road at No. 10.
“It’s a weekend to forgethe acknowledged. I haven’t seen the footage yet but I received a penalty so I think I’m responsible for the accident with Sebastian (Vettel). I tried to resist but it’s still difficult in this corner and he spun. Now we need a big fat reset. We have ten days to understand why we are slow and know what to do to improve.”
The bonus: Esteban Ocon and Alpine
A good top 5 and the status of “best of the others” for the Norman, a top 10 for Fernando Alonso. “We really maximized the speed of the car when needed.analyzed the Frenchman. It’s a great way to celebrate my 100th Grand Prix in F1! I had great battles on the track but at the end George Russell (Mercedes) was too fast. I am now 8th in the drivers’ world championship standings and (Alpine) tied with McLaren in the constructors’. We are going in the right direction and are on a good pace ahead of the French Grand Prix.”
The penalty: The behavior of some supporters
This Austrian stage will unfortunately also be that of lamentable applause and rejoicing from a frank public when the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell hit hard in Q3 on Friday. The fact that Max Verstappen was booed last week at Silverstone is in no way an excuse or an explanation for limitless stupidity, nor a lack of intelligence or even education. As if they had not had enough, some have spread invective and defamatory remarks on social networks towards other fans, or pilots.
Formula 1 said on Sunday morning that it had been informed of these actions since the first tests on Friday. “We spoke about it to the (local) promoter and the security servicesthe world championship promoter wrote in a statement. We will speak to those who have reported these incidents and we take this very seriously. This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All fans should be treated with respect.” The FIA and Formula 1 must find ways to put an end to this behaviour.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) is now the only driver to have seen the finish of 11 races this season.
The statement: Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
This is apparently the story of my season: as soon as I have a bit of rhythm, something goes wrong. We had to do the double easily.
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