Üsurprise! With the Formula 1 world champion. That’s rare. And a sign of the new competitive quality, although Lewis Hamilton achieved the 99th pole position on Saturday on the way to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this Sunday (3 p.m. CEST in the FAZ live ticker for Formula 1, on RTL and Sky). “Wow, I wouldn’t have thought that,” said the seven-time world champion. To be faster than Red Bull.
Surprise for the challenger too. Because to the amazement of friend and foe, Max Verstappen is not standing diagonally behind the Silver Arrow driver at the start in the first row, but his teammate Sergio Perez, the new member of the team. Of course, he was also surprised: “Yesterday I made a mistake (accident / ed.) That made the team a lot of work,” said the Mexican: “I never expected to be at this point. I could even have got the pole position, but made a mistake in the last corner. ”Hamilton drove 0.035 seconds faster over the nearly five kilometers, a touch.
Verstappen was not happy with himself because of two minor mistakes in the last run, but believes there is a good chance of compensating for the defeat in the race in Bahrain with a view to the team performance: “We have two cars up front on different tires,” said the Dutchman. Perez starts on the soft tires. Verstappen on the harder one. This can be an advantage when the strategists are up to date.
Mick Schumacher: “I’m satisfied”
Especially since overtaking maneuvers on the narrow course are very difficult. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas doesn’t seem to be able to help the Brit at first glance. Due to a driving error, the Finn was only eighth at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. “We’re missing the second car,” said team principal Toto Wolff: “That is unpleasant.”
The German drivers will only be able to play a role if the mood of nature, the announced rain, washes them forward in the Grand Prix with a lot of luck. Sebastian Vettel finished 13th in the Aston Martin, Mick Schumacher finished 18th in the Haas, but left his team-mate Nikita Masepin, unsettled by spinning and accidents, behind him. The lag was 0.5 seconds. A small world in the premier class.
The fact that Williams’ driver, the direct opponent at the back of the field, managed to jump into the second round, indicated how difficult it will be for the German, who grew up on Lake Geneva, to leave rivals of other racing teams behind. “I’m satisfied,” said Schumacher, “even if I left a little time.”
Before qualifying, Formula 1 had ordered a minute’s silence in honor of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. All the teams, the drivers, the Formula 1 management, the President of the International Automobile Federation (Fia), Jean Todt, bowed their heads in respectful memory of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, who died last Friday at the age of 99 . Standstill in the pit lane for 60 seconds.
Then it went down to business for over 60 minutes. Right at the beginning, the acclaimed Japanese Yuki Tsunoda fell victim to his ambition. In the right-left combination “Varianta Alta” at 150 km / h, he lost control of his Alpha Tauri and crashed into the boundary. The Japanese climbed out of the coldly deformed company car, uninjured but annoyed. End of work for someone who could have landed far ahead with this car. “My mistake, I’m sorry for the team, the car was really good,” said Tsunoda. His team-mate proved it: Pierre Gasly finished fifth, 0.379 seconds behind Hamilton.
In the second race of the season, the density at the top and in the midfield was also noticeable. Only half a second separated the fastest from the tenth on the way to the third section. So there were surprises and disappointments. Carlos Sainz only finished eleventh in the second Ferrari, although team-mate Charles Leclerc ended up fourth on the second row of the grid.
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