To tell a Grand Prix you can use analysis and rankings, numbers and words. Images that converge in the most beautiful one: the podium celebrations, where the riders become children again and are covered in champagne. Reminding us that this, in the end, is a sport, and as such it should be interpreted: seriously, but having fun. A new format starts from the podium and from this spirit, where the three promoted and three rejected of the various F1 Grand Prix will be chosen: this is the turn of Le Castellet.
F1 | GP of Le Castellet 2021, the podium of the promoted
|1. Undercut to the Max|
|2. Lewis management||3. Mick’s Q1|
1. Undercut to Max. Three seconds and 104 thousandths. This is Max Verstappen’s disadvantage from Lewis Hamilton on lap 17, when both are still fasting for stops. In the space of two rounds the imponderable happens. Bottas’ pit stop forces Red Bull to stop Max to defend againstundercut. The strategy succeeds: Bottas gains a second, nothing more. If all went well (out lap better, faster pit lane passage), how much could the Finn gnaw? A second and a half? Two seconds? However, he would have been behind Max. That’s why in Mercedes they are calm: Lewis has +3.104 on Max. Only a disaster in the pits can put him behind the Dutchman. Or… or a sum of several factors. According to the data collected by Federico Albano, the big difference is the lap in which the rival goes to the pits: when Verstappen returns, Hamilton in T3 is 44.226; when Hamilton returns, Verstappen’s time is 42,846. One second and four clean. Plus another four tenths in T2, that’s 1.8. Let’s add the six tenths that Verstappen takes at Hamilton in the laps leading to the stop, there are seven to eight tenths that Lewis may have lost in the entry maneuver, considering that the Mercedes box is the first and is uncomfortable, given the particular shape of the pit. -lane of Paul Ricard. In short, if that gap of +3.104 crumbles, the merit is shared by sleeping beauty Mercedes and Max himself, who pulls the rabbit out of the hat when needed. Just like champions do.
2. Lewis management. He puts on his white glove and keeps rubber for 35 laps as children do with their piggy bank. Then comes the neighborhood bully, demolishes the pig with a hammer and greetings to the savings. Now he finds himself fighting with an opponent perhaps stronger than him, considering the packages available. And if this opponent is humble to the point of accepting the lessons you taught him when you were the strongest (Budapest, Barcelona) then the eighth world seal becomes more complicated. But Verstappen and Red Bull will have to sweat it out to Abu Dhabi if Hamilton makes Hamilton and Mercedes makes Mercedes. The problem is that lately either one is missing or the other is missing.
3. Mick’s Q1. It closes with a bang, just like in Monte Carlo’s PL3. Perhaps it also affects the race: oh well, yesterday was the Sunday of the children of art, but no one expected who knows what flash from Schumacher. It takes away the satisfaction of eliminating from qualifying not only the beloved mate Mazepin, but also Stroll (yes Aston Martin, you need to get on the track to qualify), Latifi, Raikkonen and Tsunoda, who is very good at getting out of the way. Not immediate results if you drive the Lol… sorry, the Haas.
F1 | Baku GP 2021, the podium of the failures
|2. Mercedes’ readings||3. Youth at the wall|
3. Youth at the wall. They are kids and must be expected: they must make mistakes, they made mistakes and they will make mistakes again. Of course, worry that they go against the barriers in a circuit where you have to pay the customs toll to go to the end of the escape route. And the sense of bewilderment due to the fact that it is Tsunoda and Schumacher who make mistakes is also disturbing, not Mazepin, who by comparison seems to be the driving school teacher.
2. The Mercedes readings. The champions of all of the hybrid era are not taking half. Under pressure they are more wrong than Stroppa’s Crotone in Serie A. I mean, you have the example of Leclerc, who with a undercut he devoured Ricciardo, Gasly and Sainz like sushi uramaki. And we’re talking about the Paul Ricard Ferrari, not the Millennium Falcon. They underestimate theundercut, the rain that fell in the morning and the wear and tear on the track “green“, That is, cleaned of all the rubber of the weekend. And so, they are affected by their own strategy. Then half a moment comedy in the pits, when Bono tells Hamilton “Verstappen should be a second and a half behind“, Only to add”Verstappen next to you”Two seconds later. Lewis silent, will have set yoga classes after Monte Carlo. First stress test passed great.
1. Ferrari. Without doubt the worst team in the Grand Prix. It was known that he would suffer in France, but for large parts Leclerc’s # 16 looks like a red painted Haas. Scenes that bring the Ferrari drivers back to Monza and Spa 2020, when the Mercedes, Honda and Renault engines had the Red cars as they pleased. This time there are no kilometer straights, but fast curves, not the daily bread of a car that has proven to be strong only in traction. And that must therefore bite his hands for how it went in Monte Carlo, other than cheering for Sainz’s second place. With a brace, or at least with a double presence on the podium, third place in the constructors’ standings did not belong to McLaren, a team that still knows how to cash in when needed, and then take advantage of every opportunity. Defense and counterattack are more Italian than Ferrari.
What are yours? And above all, why?