With this win Ferrari showed that it is able to take up the task as soon as others make the slightest error and to make the others commit errors by putting them under pressure. It was a win built on its performance during the race. Ferrari had already shown it was in race form during Friday’s qualifying sessions. It is clear, as we saw, that Mercedes is still the car to beat, especially in the single lap in qualifying and by Lewis Hamilton’s attempt at coming back. We are talking about a gap of 0.4-0.5 seconds per lap in favour of the Germans.
Ferrari got its strategy right and Sebastian Vettel did not make the slightest mistake, taking full advantage of the material available to him, including the work in the pits. The move against Valtteri Bottas was the best overtaking manoeuvre of the Grand Prix (as well as being a determining factor in the final result)
Ferrari was also helped by an act of naiveté by Lewis Hamilton and by the excessive severity of the race officials. We may have seen a more combative end to the race between the two protagonists of this world championship. The Englishman confirmed that his weak point is in the start; subsequently he made himself the leading actor of an exceptional race with a number of laps in qualifying mode.
Nico Rosberg’s retirement brought a second driver to the team, as we understood also via team-radio. It is obvious that we will not have the jostling for position that we saw in recent years. The man in pole position disappointed us even though he finished in front of Kimi Raikonnen.
A number of teams had problems due to the heat. Verstappen’s accident may have conditioned Ricciardo’s race. Red Bull comes out in qualifying whereas in the race proper it still lags behind due to the power-unit.
The next appointment is in two weeks with the Russian Grand Prix.
Gian Carlo Minardi