Despite a track that is not exactly exciting and only a few overtaking manoeuvres we saw one of the most exciting races of recent years, run at high rhythms. Right from the start Vettel and Bottas battled on the edge of tenths of seconds and with a dagger between their teeth. Specifically, from the 36th lap on the timing monitors were all coloured “fuchsia” – best lap times for the race – and “red” for the best personal laps by the drivers.
After Sebastian Vettel’s incredible pole position, Kimi Raikkonen made his mark with the fastest lap in the race. The constructors’ title is certainly within their reach but they need to continue along this path, denying the podium to one of the Mercedes’ drivers. The Ferrari is showing us that it is in the race and knows how to develop the car and to put the right pressure on their opponents.
Valtteri Bottas showed us at the start what this Mercedes is able to do, as well as outclassing Lewis Hamilton who could not keep pace with the times. At this pace the internal team truce could well end.
Ferrari’s only hiccup was the pit stop in which the German drivers lost four or five tenths of seconds which probably were a vital factor in the final result, as well as the misunderstanding when Felipe Massa was overtaken.
If these are the premises, then we can expect an exciting season, especially with the arrival in Europe and in Spain where the winter trials took place. We saw a true and clean race between two great constructors, open only to these four drivers since Verstappen (the first of the other drivers) crossed the finish line nearly 60” later.
Red Bull has a lot of work to do, not only on the French Power Unit but also on reliability. Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement early in the race was an important signal.
As we await the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend the second Historic Minardi Day will be in the spotlight at the Imola circuit. A weekend of motors, music and spectacle designed on what I would like to see during a Formula 1 weekend. Having just come out of a fantastic round of concerts on Saturday night Max Gazzè will give us a Live Music Show, as well as the chance to meet him together with other drivers that made motorsport history and in the presence of many Formula 1 cars that will makes us dream of its sounds and beauty. It will be a weekend under the sign of sport but above all of enjoyment and entertainment together with many other famous personalities.
Gian Carlo Minardi