As often happens, the starting grid was defined a few short hours before the start of the grand prix. Lately the marshals’ decisions have been very long, as well as questionable, but in the specific case of Verstappen it was correct. With the yellow flag you have to lift the foot off the pedal. Unfortunately, his casualness could have cost him very dearly, but he managed to limit the damage by also taking the point for the point for the fastest lap.
We could have witnessed a race with a number of strategies. In the first part of the race Hamilton went very strongly but with the pace he showed Verstappen could have stayed closer to him. We come to the last two races with a gap of only eight points between the two contenders. On the constructors’’ front, also thanks to Bottas’ retirement, Red Bull scored a major blow by bringing itself to only five points from Mercedes. Practically anything can still happen. We are about to experience a mini and intense world championship enclosed in two rounds. Reliability will be more important than ever.
Alonso entertained us by showing that age is only an aspect of the birth records. It is a pity that he does not have a higher performing car available. He must defend himself tooth and nail by jumping through hoops.
No praise and glory for Ferrari that defends third place at McLaren’s expense despite a really great and important gap from Red Bull and Mercedes. Third place will make it easier to digest the defeat.
Gasly made his fans dream by starting on the front row beside Hamilton but in this moment Alpha Tauri continues to “play” only with one driver and here in Qatar paid a heavy toll in comparison to its direct rivals in Alpine. Fifth place can still be reached but it will certainly not be easy.
In two weeks we will discover the circuit in Saudi Arabia, a very fast street circuit that could again favour Mercedes… But in this world championship nothing has yet been decided.
Gian Carlo Minardi