Formula 1 lessons from Spain: Verstappen defies DRS, Vettel wants to take a shower

Formula 1 lessons from Spain
Verstappen defies DRS, Vettel wants to go to the bathroom

Will the duel soon become a three-way battle? With an improved car, Mercedes expects its chances to win the Formula 1 title. Especially Max Verstappen still has a clear advantage. The German pilots continue to follow.

Max Verstappen is six points ahead of Charles Leclerc after this year’s sixth Formula 1 race. It’s still cramped for the world champion in Red Bull and the challenger in Ferrari. And after the heat drama in Barcelona, ​​it is now in Leclerc’s home country.

Next Sunday, there will already be driving in the narrow streets of Monaco. There, the 24-year-old will quickly forget his bitter failure in Spain. Verstappen can win in the principality for the fourth time in a row after Barcelona’s triumph.

Verstappen skeptical even after four victories in six races

The fact remains: the world champion gets the most out of what his Red Bull offers him. And after three wins in a row, that’s enough for the championship lead at the moment. For a long season, however, it can become a problem for Verstappen that his car has a moody character. Twice it gave up the ghost completely during the race, in Spain DRS became a nuisance. The folding wing did not work in the decisive phase of the qualification, in the race it only functioned as the mood took it. In the end, Verstappen’s verdict was quite mild, he had won after all. In the cockpit, however, he seemed directly shaken by the next difficulties. You do not become a world champion with such problems.

Ferrari also has reliability issues

At first it looked like a trip to victory, but then it ended bitterly for Charles Leclerc. With engine problems, he had to park his Ferrari in the garage after 28 laps. Instead of expanding the lead in the World Cup, the monegasque is now behind Verstappen ahead of his home game next Sunday in the Principality. The defect must be investigated further at the Maranello plant. “The feeling that the drivers had in the car was positive,” team manager Mattia Binotto told Sky: “We found the right approach so we can still see the weekend positively.” It was the first defect at Scuderia, Verstappen has already been eliminated twice in 2022.

Mercedes is lurking ever closer to the top teams

It obviously did not whistle in the woods. Mercedes has spoken strongly for just over two weeks, most recently in Miami and now even more in Barcelona, ​​but the results have also been followed. George Russell offered impressive resistance to Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton swept through the field with impressive speed after an early accident and was named driver of the day. The silver arrows were again a factor in the title fight in Spain, though more indirectly. If they confirm this recovery, there may still be regular triathlons between the top teams this year. Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko believes that the series world champions will soon be able to win again on their own.

Vettel positive even without championship points in the new Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel did not have an easy weekend. He barely missed a championship point in eleventh place, and then there’s the debate over his new car. Because the overtaken Aston Martin looks like Red Bull scary, there are accusations of cheating. Although the FIA ​​has approved the changes, the subject should keep the team from England busy for a while. The 34-year-old Vettel prefers to concentrate on his job. The new package on his company car shows the way to a better future: “We are making progress and moving forward, that’s what it’s all about.” After the race, he energetically entered the mixed zone. “I’m looking forward to the shower,” he said.

Mick Schumacher remains a mystery

In a round or two, it looked like it could be a big Sunday for Mick Schumacher. After an excellent start and a turbulent initial phase, he suddenly found himself in sixth place. But then Schumacher could no longer keep up with the pace of the upper midfield, and the strategy was not ideal either. If Haas had gone as well as it did last time in Miami, much would have been possible, but it was passed. It is difficult to judge whether it was more 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 chance to score points again.

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