Formula 1 lessons from Spain
Verstappen defies the DRS, Vettel wants a shower
May 23, 2022 at 7:23 am
Will the duel soon become a three-way battle? Thanks to the improved car, Mercedes anticipates its chances of winning the Formula 1 title. Max Verstappen in particular still has a clear advantage. German pilots continue to follow.
Max Verstappen has a six-point lead over Charles Leclerc after his sixth Formula 1 race of the year. Things are still tough for the world champion at Red Bull and the challenger at Ferrari. And after the hot drama in Barcelona, she is now in the home of Leclerc.
Next Sunday there will already be a drive through the narrow streets of Monaco. There, the 24-year-old wants to quickly forget his bitter failure in Spain. Verstappen could win the principality for the fourth time in a row after Barcelona’s victory.
Verstappen is skeptical even after four wins in six races
The fact remains: the world champion gets the most from Red Bull. And after three straight wins, that’s enough to lead the championship for now. However, in a long season, Verstappen could become a problem with his car being temperamental in nature. I’ve given up on the stealth completely twice in the race, and Spain’s DRS has become a nuisance. The folding wing did not succeed in the decisive stage of qualifying, in the race it worked only according to the mood. In the end Verstappen’s judgment was so moderate, he won in the end. But in the cockpit, he seemed shaken by the following difficulties. You do not become world champion with such problems.
Ferrari also has reliability issues
At first it looked like a march towards victory, but then it ended up bitter for Charles Leclerc. Due to engine problems, he had to park his Ferrari in the garage after 28 laps. Instead of cementing the lead in the World Cup, Monaco is now behind Verstappen ahead of their home game next Sunday in the principality. The defect should be closely examined at the Maranello factory. “The feeling the drivers had in the car was positive,” team principal Mattia Binotto said on Sky. “We’ve come up with the right approach, so we can still see the weekend positively.” This was Scuderia’s number one flaw, and Verstappen had already been eliminated twice in 2022.
Mercedes lurks more than ever behind the big teams
Looks like it wasn’t whistling in the woods. Mercedes has been talking big for the past two weeks, most recently in Miami and now even more so in Barcelona, but the results have followed suit too. George Russell put up a superb resistance to Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton swept the field with incredible speed after suffering an early crash and was voted Driver of the Day. Silver stocks were once again a factor in the title fight in Spain, albeit indirectly. If they confirm this rise, there could be regular three-way fights between the top teams this year. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, believes that the world champions will soon be able to win again on their own.
Vettel positive even without championship points in new Aston Martin
Sebastian Vettel has not had an easy weekend. He narrowly missed a championship point in 11th, and then there’s debate about his new car. As the overtaken Aston Martin looks eerily similar to Red Bull, there are allegations of cheating. Although the changes were approved by the FIA, the topic should keep the team from England occupied for a while. The 34-year-old prefers to focus on his job. The new package on his company’s car guides the way to a better future: “We’re making progress, we’re moving forward, that’s it.” After the race, he walked hard in the mixed zone. “I’m looking forward to taking a shower,” he said.
Mick Schumacher remains a mystery
For a session or two, it seemed like a big Sunday for Mick Schumacher. After an excellent start and a turbulent initial stage, he suddenly found himself in sixth place. But then Schumacher could no longer keep up with the pace in the upper midfield, and the strategy wasn’t perfect either. If the Haas had gone as they did last time in Miami, a lot would have been possible, but they were overtaken. It’s hard to judge whether this was due to the car or the driver in this case – due to Kevin Magnussen’s early crash, the reference value was missing. Haas and Schumacher missed the opportunity to score points again.