We have just experienced a Grand Prix that at the beginning of this year was almost unexpected, even if the forces involved are at the moment Mercedes-Ferrari-Williams with a German Power-Unit command, as shown by Vettel-Bottas battle. Sebastian proved, once again, to be among the fastest of the Circus in lap time under the wall of 1’33 in Qualifying only with Hamilton.
The first three rows of the grid reflected very well the current values on track. We are experiencing a Formula 1 where the slightest mistake is paid heavily. We saw this especially with Rosberg and Vettel. The match was played on strategies – excellent especially for Raikkonen –, on all mistakes that drivers could commit and on reliability. Mercedes in the last laps suffered of brake problems, as stated after the race by Nico himself. With one-two laps more, Kimi could attack Lewis. The Finn was extraordinary, managing masterfully both the Soft and Medium tyres. Vettel, instead, paid the two mistakes, passing from the 2nd to the 5th final placement.
Mercedes confirms itself on command, as proved by Hamilton’s third win (of four races) that takes full advantage of his potential. Behind him, however, we have Ferrari in recovery, which must continue to work trying to put pressure on the opponents. We saw some good battles, overtakings and the true potential of many cars, such as Lotus and Force India that despite the problems won important points. Engineers and technicians are making us see unthinkable things, overturning technical situations. Sportingly speaking, we feel again Red Bull missing; it had to face once again the problems of Renault. Ricciardo crossed the line with broken engine, risking to repeat what happened to Verstappen in China, who was forced to retirement just three laps from the end. It went worst for Toro Rosso, which saw its two drivers withdrawn for problems.
Besides Button’s bad impression, who was unable to start, because of problems since Friday, McLaren is making some progresses in every race. Positive race for Alonso, even if the road is still long. The work, however, begins to bear fruit.
Now we have three weeks of relaxing, waiting for the Spanish Grand Prix. As per tradition, the first European event coincides with the most important innovations, including tokens for the engines.
Gian Carlo Minardi