This first part of the season has shown two sides of the same coin in Formula 1. Competetiveness and performance across the grid can chnge between Qualifying and the race. In fact, on the flying lap, there is a certain unity between the best cars and their pursuers.
However, when it comes to race pace and competitiveness on Saturday, there is one car above all that stands out with a great advantage over its competitors, and that is the Red Bull.
Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes and now McLaren have all had peaks of competitiveness and threatened the RB19 for Pole Position. Unfortunately for them, Red Bull always has something in hand for Sunday – the gap between Austrian team and their pursuers is important.
Red Bull: The RB19 is impregnable in the race, especially combined with Verstappen
The Milton Keynes’ team has done a great job. The developments made during the season have done nothing but improve the important qualities that the car has inherited from the RB18. The big advantage is the consistency on the tyres, which is destroying the competition.
The greatest connoisseur of Red Bull secrets is Pierre Waché, about whom there is a bit of mystery. Technical director since 2018, he has extended his contract, but the new deadline is not known. This has fueled some rumours, referring to Ferrari, by some of his French colleagues.
The Verstappen – RB19 combination is worthy of the best packages ever seen in F1. The remaining races can be a test for opponents hoping to catch up, and it is possible. But Spa has shown that Verstappen can start from more or less any position on the grid, his closest rivals having 3 development packages behind.
In the box on account, Perez went through his storm, after all – like him – Gasly and Albon were sunk in due time. Everyone then showed they were great drivers, but Verstappen was never undermined.
The Mexican has now understood that he cannot be a challenger for Max; however, with greater serenity, he can develop his task and guide him consistently.
Mercedes’ run-up to Red Bull continues, together with Hamilton
There is a lot of work to recover ground, and it continues. The engineers have transformed the base car closer to the trendy concept. Major interventions have been made to the sidepods, together with a new nose with revised front aerodynamics. Not to be underestimated is the clever modification to the front suspension.
There has been no miraculous improvement, but the recent changes to the W14 led to greater performance stability that offers a positive signal to the pilots.
Lewis Hamilton’s renewal is a bit slow in coming, but it will come because Hamilton is a Mercedes man. However, some time ago, he did not mind an interview with Elkann.
Aston Martin started with promise, but continue to regress
It is the current mystery, rather similar to what happened a year ago at Ferrari, but more brutal. The AMR23 immediately established itself as Red Bull’s best challenger. The car designed by Dan Fallows found a good 2” seconds compared to the old one, surprisingly.
The package brought to Spain did not give the desired results, starting a very expensive decline has been witnessed for some races. The most disturbing thing is that on tracks with opposing characteristics, there hasn’t been a strong reaction. It is not easy to hypothesize that it can return to second strength.
Ferrari: The goal is to win, but this takes time
The Italian outfit can be accused of many things, but a lack of ambition to win is not one of them. I’m not talking about Elkann or Vigna, but about the men and women who make GeS.
The problem is to create a way to succeed, and, yes, this is in the hands of the management.
2022 had started with important premises somehow maintained, so much so that a brace immediately arrived seasoned by Verstappen’s retirement.
It seems like a century ago, yet only a year ago, heading towards the summer break, Ferrari could have won in Hungary; there was no longer any talk of the world championship, but there was still a competition that seemed to be able to catch fire once it some problems were solved in Maranello.
The technicians were convinced that by working on its weak points, such as drag and reliability, the Rossa would have done its duty while considering the improvement of its main rivals.
However, the facts proved him wrong. The work in the factory was slowed down by the regulatory changes, a bit of lost time which contributed to complicated the choices.
The timing and the Cap budget prevented major modifications to be made to the chassis while the SF-23 was now running in the tunnel. The car never behaved in the race as it did in qualifying, creating stability and driveability problems for the drivers from corner to corner in the same stint.