(Motorsport-Total.com) – If you look at the Formula 1 race in Spain until Charles Leclerc’s technical failure on lap 27, you can conclude that Ferrari with its update again had the upper hand over Red Bull and won the rest of the Formula 1 field because Monaco looked like The winner is confirmed by 12 seconds.
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Max Verstappen was behind Charles Leclerc at the start of the race
However, the opinion is different at Red Bull: “In terms of speed, we were faster than the Ferraris in the race,” motorsports consultant Helmut Marko says at ORF. The fact that Max Verstappen had been left behind until then was simply due to circumstances.
Because the DRS had confirmed that the Dutchman had started the race behind Leclerc and that he was stuck behind George Russell after his departure at Turn 4. At the time of departure, he was only two seconds behind Leclerc.
Behind him, Verstappen could not drive any faster because Red Bull had to reduce engine power a bit due to the high temperatures. “When we had free drive and full engine power, it was clear that we were the fastest cars in the field,” Marko stresses to Sky. “However, it was fortunate that Leclerc got out.”
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But the bulls also believe it was possible to beat Ferrari on the track: “If you look at the deterioration of the tires, Carlos [Sainz] “In the second half of the race we did really well,” says Team Principal Christian Horner. It must be said that Sainz’s car was damaged after hitting gravel.
Victory even without the failure of Leclerc?
On Friday it looked like Ferrari still had major long-term problems, but they were able to correct this again with some tweaks on Saturday. Despite this, Red Bull believe they are ahead of that statistic on Sunday: “I think we got a good summary compared to our opponents,” Horner said.
“I think our periods were very competitive and the condition of the tires was good in such harsh conditions,” the Briton said. “I don’t think anyone expected temperatures like this in Barcelona in mid-May.”
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So it was exciting to see how the battle for victory would have turned out. So Horner finds it unfortunate that there was no direct duel between the two World Cup champions after Leclerc’s exit: “I think it would have been very close between the two. Perhaps the three stations were against the work of the two planned stations,” he says. “I think the cars were very, very close to each other.”
But there was another team on Sunday that got the fastest car. Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff was convinced that Lewis Hamilton could have competed for the win had it not been for a collision with Kevin Magnussen on the first lap. His guide was the fastest race time after the first lap compared to Verstappen.
And what about Mercedes?
“They definitely took a step forward,” admits Horner. “But we still beat them by the number of seconds (33; editor’s note), and both of our cars beat the flagship Mercedes,” he doesn’t see the Mercedes as the fastest car.
“But as I’ve said throughout the season, it’s only a matter of time before they join the fight.”
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In the world championships, Max Verstappen took the lead for the first time in Barcelona (to world championship level), although he still struggled with a huge deficit after his third race of the season in Australia, which came from two retirements. “It just shows how fast things can go,” Horner says. “And that’s exactly why Mercedes was not written off either.”
Failures can occur, such as Leclerc in Barcelona or Verstappen in Bahrain and Australia, and will run out throughout the year. “They weren’t so lucky this time, and we weren’t so lucky twice before,” Horner says. “And as we heard from Mercedes, it was pretty close for them too. Pretty much everyone is at the limit.”