We have come to the end of this very long season with another win for Max Verstappen (the 19th in 22 GPs) who “left” only two races for Sergio Perez and one for Carlos Sainz. The Dutchman took home the race’s fastest lap, and also set the record for the number of laps in the lead in a season (1,000).
Red Bul’s supremacy has been incredible. The sum of all the points taken by Mercedes and Ferrari does not reach the 860 points of Verstappen-Perez.
Until the final lap Mercedes and Ferrari fought for the title of vice-champion with Charles Leclerc (second) who tried everything. He really could not do more than that. Unfortunately, Sainz, whose weekend was affected by Friday’s mistake, was missing.
We saw a race without the entry of the safety-car which drew up the forces in the field this season. The gap of barely 17” between Verstappen and Leclerc could let us hope well for next season and can be read positively. Behind him there were three constructors enclosed within a gap of a few seconds. We know with certainty that some time ago Red Bull stopped the development of the car to concentrate on the new “weapon” which the rumours say is another step forward compared to the “RB19”… Faced with this rumour, but above all with the best organized team with the best technician, it is almost impossible to make forecasts.
Certainly, behind them we have a great turnover of performances with Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, and Aston Martin setting themselves up as the world championship’s second force. In the end, Mercedes prevailed over Ferrari, with McLaren finishing ahead of Aston Martin.
We are quickly approaching 2024 which will see an even more demanding calendar with 24 GPs. It will begin as soon as Tuesday with the end of season tests in which the teams will take to the track a first-string driver beside a young driver. We have already had a first taste during the first session of free practice with the teams which put up ten young drivers with interesting results.
It will be a long winter not only for the teams, but also for the Federation and Liberty Media which must review some regulations to avoid these continual changes, as well as carefully analysing the penalties, some very dubious, such as the last one given to Perez.
Gian Carlo Minardi