ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 26: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 performs donuts on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 26, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

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
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Forty-one years later Las Vegas once again hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix on a totally new circuit in both location and layout. A track that lived up to expectations by giving us an exciting race full of overtaking and duels in which the drivers certainly did not hold back.

An eventful initial phase: Verstappen (starting second next to poleman Leclerc) came wide receiving a 5” second penalty; Fernando Alonso spun and struck Lewis Hamilton forcing him to both a pit-stop and a nice comeback.

As it was easy to predict, the safety-car made the difference, especially on the second entrance during the 26th lap with some drivers having already made their stop. One of these was precisely Charles Leclerc who crossed the finish line with the tyres worn more having covered 5 laps more than Verstappen and Perez. The two Red Bull drivers had made their pit-stops precisely in the regime of the SC.

It was a last lap to be applauded by Leclerc who “snatched” second place from Sergio Perez also setting his best performance. It was a result that meant a lot for the driver from Monte Carlo, and also for Ferrari which reduced the gap from Mercedes to only four points. Ferrari completed the weekend with sixth place for Carlos Sainz, he too the author of a nice comeback after a penalty that I did not find very correct, starting from twelfth place on the grid after having finished qualifying behind his team-mate.

Once again, the track, in conditions with little grip and very fast, Ferrari managed to defend a fantastic pole position and second place behind the elusive Verstappen who scored his eighteenth win in twenty-one starts. For the first time, in addition to the title Red Bull placed both drivers in first and second place in the driver’s title.

It was an excellent race also by Esteban Ocon, fourth across the finish line, he too “victim” of the manhole cover and protagonist of a nice comeback from seventeenth place on the grid. From nineteenth place on the grid to tenth place for Oscar Piastri who was penalized by the tyre change. After two stints with the “whites” he had to mount the yellows in the final laps losing a few positions (partially recovered).

Nice comebacks also by Fernando Alonso (9°) and Lewis Hamilton (seventh) despite the initial pit-stop, with the Aston Martin taking 5° place with Lance Stroll.

The Las Vegas Circuit exceeded all expectations, despite an uphill start with problems during free practice which certainly conditioned the weekend of Sainz and Ocon. As always, in the case of new developments, the evaluations will be made at the end of the event. If, on the one hand, the show can be questionable (this is subjective), the circuit demonstrated that it is valid, giving us a lot of overtaking, duels and braking.

We are heading to Abu Dhabi with a hard-fought fight between Mercedes and Ferrari for second place and between Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz tied on 400 points each for fourth place. It is also an open battle between McLaren and Aston Martin for fourth place. The team led by Mike Krack reduced the gap to sixteen points.

Gian Carlo Minardi

@credit F1.com


© Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Interlagos and Brazil gave us one of the most exciting weekends of the whole season, starting from qualifying with a Q1 that saw 20 drivers enclosed within a second, an exciting sprint-race full of overtaking and a grand prix that did not disappoint with all the drivers very close in times. Luckily the rain, (which came only in the five minutes of qualifying, although very intense) did not overturn the plans, and above all the hierarchies and the rankings.

The usual Verstappen won, but once again Mercedes demonstrated that it is in the right direction, taking not only second place with Lando Norris, but also taking home the fastest lap of the race. Norris crossed the finish line with a gap of only 8 seconds. Certainly, an important and positive result which shows their progressive growth. Step by step, they are getting closer to Red Bull.

A decidedly important sign in light of the future. Without the difficulties at the start of the season they would have been in the middle of the fight for second place in the world championship. As of today, they are the real second force of the world championship.

It was a very nice duel for third and fourth place between Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez, finishing with the Spanish driver’s Aston Martin barely 53 three thousandths ahead. We saw all the experience and skill of Fernando who had found the precise point to recharge his batteries, in this way he managed to keep a safe distance from his direct rival. After a few grands prix in difficulty, here Aston Martin managed to get to the heart of the matter, as the Lance Stroll’s return to the points zone showed.

Ferrari must understand what happened to Charles Leclerc during the warmup lap, but Carlos Sainz’s sixth place can be seen in a positive light considering that they managed to reduce slightly the gap from Mercedes to twenty points. Mercedes was not able to go beyond eighth place with Lewis Hamilton, suffering from Russell’s retirement. There are still two grands prix left, with a little bit of luck and skill, Ferrari can aspire to achieve its personal result.

With ninth place Yuki Tsunoda brought the gap from Williams to seven points. Again, a positive result for Alpha Tauri that after Singapore has confirmed it is in constant growth.  Too bad for what happened to Ricciardo who was hit by the tyre lost by Magnussen which damaged his rear wing. Despite the lap difference, he managed not only to reduce the gap. but to come back to thirteenth place thanks to a high pace. He could have fought for Stroll’s position. Even for them there are positive signs while awaiting the last two rounds.

Now we wait with trepidation to know and see the event and track in Las Vegas.

Gian Carlo Minardi




In front of such a disarming supremacy in terms of both speed and above all reliability, and the competitiveness of Verstappen and Red Bull, I do not know what the direct rivals can do in the near future. Perhaps the only solution is to retire Adrian Newey.

We are faced with two planets: one the absolute property of Red Bull. And then there are all the others who fight to grab the support positions. Max Verstappen is driving with extreme calm, running all the laps within a space of 1-2 tenths of a second. This time the fastest lap slipped from his grasp, only because they did not expect the final push by Lewis Hamilton, an excellent second place.

A big applause goes to McLaren. They are probably the only team that at this moment can approach the performance of Red Bull. After being constantly competitive, inexplicably they got qualifying wrong with both cars, to then recover masterfully in the dace. Norris managed to climb back from fifth place, also finishing ahead of George Russell, in this way giving a present for Ferrari which, with the 3rd and 4th place of Leclerc and Sainz confirmed the twenty-two-point gap from Mercedes.

It was decidedly a positive weekend for Alpha Tauri and Daniel Ricciardo as well. Fourth in qualifying and sixth place in the race are excellent results, above all in terms of points. Too bad for Tsonoda’s mistake. With the failed attempt to overtake Oscan Piastri, he nullified the excellent work up to that point, and the possibility of bringing further points to the team. The car has certainly grown, especially after Singapore. Then it is up to the drivers to solidify all the occasions. At his second grand prix after returning from the incident, Ricciardo made himself the protagonist of an excellent weekend.

Sergio Perez confirmed he is not alert and calm. He certainly would have wanted to achieve a very different result in front of his public, but despite this “zero” I do not believe his future is far from Red Bull.

In a week they will return to the track, in Brazil, which will also be the scene for the last sprint-race of 2023.

Gian Carlo Minardi


We file away one of the most tactical races of the season. Once again Verstappen took the win (and his fiftieth personal win in his career) after having started from the sixth row. It was not an easy and agile a win like many others, having crossed the finish line little more than two seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Once again, the Dutchman and Red Bull took both the grand prix and the sprint race, leaving only the “crumbs” to the rivals.

It was a decidedly positive weekend for Mercedes and McLaren with Lewis Hamiton who took second place, consolidating second place amongst the constructors for Mercedes which draws ahead not only of Ferrari, but also McLaren that finished third today with Lando Norris. Hamilton reduced the gap from Perez for second place on the drivers’ ladder.

Ferrari did not go beyond fourth place with Carlos Sainz, but the real news was the diversification of strategies between the two drivers. A choice that I find absolutely correct. I am convinced that fourth place was the best result they could have aimed for. At the most, they could have brought home fifth place at Sergio Perez’s expense. Nothing more. Precisely for this reason it was right to try something different between Leclerc and Sainz.

Also to be pointed out was Tsunoda’s excellent tenth place, to which is added the additional point for the fastest lap set in the last lap. Excellent management of the race and the result optimized considering they find themselves in a battle with practically all the car manufacturers.

[Update] With the disqualification of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc for technical irregularities related to the flat bottom, the final standings are turned upside down with Ferrari nipping a few points on Mercedes thanks to Carlos Sainz’s third-place finish. Sergio Perez stretches over Hamilton among the drivers. Yuki Tsunoda climbs up to eighth place bringing the Alpha Tauri to just two lengths behind Haas, while for the first time Williams driver Sergent enters the top-10.

Too bad for Fernando Alonso. He started from pit lane and had to retire due to a problem with the car when he was in the top ten-

Gian Carlo Minardi


Formula 1 should be the maximum expression of Motorsport, but it is decidedly losing ground. We saw an intense weekend strongly characterized and conditioned by the penalties for exceeding the track limits, to which was also added the aggravating safety factor connected to the curbs.

I had the impression that the problem of exceeding the track limits is due to the layout of the track and the curves which are not optimal and lead the drivers to make mistakes. There really were a lot penalties and assigned to nearly all the drivers. Furthermore, the problem related to the curbs was added. All these aspects should be evaluated very carefully before issuing the approval.

We are in the presence of a track that must be subjected to careful analysis.

We always talk a lot about safety and then they force the drivers to also carry out four stops, carrying out four qualifying style stints as is shown by the Verstappen’s best time, barely a second slower compared to the pole position. All this goes against the safety of the drivers themselves who crossed the finishing line exhausted. Sargeant did not hold up. On the one hand, it is correct to set the maximum number of laps for each tyre to avoid unpleasant events, but on the other hand a dangerous situation was still created. This is not good.

Analysing the results on the track all the compliments are for Piastri, winner of the sprint race and an excellent second place in the GP, ahead of his teammate Norris. He absolutely does not look like a rookie. He did not make the slightest mistake despite never having raced on this track. McLaren confirms it is great form and it is preparing to overtake Aston Martin on the ladder.

It is certainly not a surprise, but Verstappen took out his third straight world championship, rightfully entering among the greats of history.

George Russell was also very good. From last to fourth ahead of Leclerc’s Ferrari. As Lewis Hamilton admitted, the seven times world champion exaggerated, compromising his race irreparably,

He was one of the very few on the soft tyres and had to recover quickly, but he also damaged his teammate who in any case was very skilful in recovering to reach the foot of the podium.

It was a difficult weekend for Ferrari which ran the race with only one car following Sainz’s problem which was discovered only an hour before the start. The regulations require refuelling the cars for the race only at a certain time. At that point it was too late to remedy the inconvenience on Sainz’s car which had been suffered during the sprint race. The gap from Mercedes increased slightly.

Aston Marting was also under the weather. Ok, it races with only one driver (Fernando Alonso), but it is not an easy car to drive.

Alonso’s mistake confirms this. Faced with this McLaren fourth place is at risk.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Max Verstappen went from words to deeds. After the difficult weekend in Singapore, he declared that they would have been ahead in Suzuka and that there was no problem. And so it was.

In Japan Red Bull returned to dominating with the usual tranquillity, relegating the first of the rivals, Lando Norris on a good McLaren, to more than 19 seconds behind. Seconds that rose (and went back to being so) to forty-five seconds in the case of Ferrari, fourth across the finish line with Leclerc.

After fourteen laps Verstappen’s lead on Norris was already ten seconds. At that point the Dutchman only had to administer the race, lapping more than 1” slower compared to his fastest lap (1:34.183 against 1:35.247 Lando Norris – 1:35.611 Lewis Hamilton – 1:36.187 Carlos Sainz). Without overdoing it, he won easily with a 19” second lead, also safeguarding the car.

It would be interesting knowing what happened in Singapore because such a problem cannot be resolved in so little time. Red Bull’s only real problem at the present time is Sergio Perez. The Mexican suffers fearfully the personality and competitiveness of Max Verstappen who confirms he is a “driver killer”. Today Perez again made a series of mistakes which are unacceptable from a Formula 1 driver, especially one as experienced as he is.

It was only a question of time, as it will be for Verstappen. Red Bull mathematically won the constructor’s title in Honda’s home. An important result also from the marketing point of view for both Honda and Red Bull itself.

Ferrari finished in fourth place and the result confirms its current potential, behind McLaren in outstanding form which can count on two young drivers, one of which is an excellent rookie: Oscar Piastri celebrated his first podium finish. He suffered a 17” gap from his teammate, but the strategy also intervened. From this emerges a positive image of a cohesive team that respects team orders. They are strongly on the rise and can still become a troublesome antagonist with six rounds remaining. They currently occupy fifth place, only 49 points from Aston Martin which did not go beyond eighth place with an anonymous Alonso. It was another race to forget for Stroll.

With 4th and 6th place Ferrari gained four points on the ladder at Mercedes’ expense taking the gap to only twenty points, but with this McLaren nothing can be taken for granted.

Also noteworthy was Liam Lawson’s good performance, finishing his third grand prix in eleventh place ahead of his teammate Tsunoda. Eleventh and twelfth place which gave no points to Alpha Tauri, but which highlights the Australian’s technical value. Despite Ricciardo’s and Tsunoda’s renewals Lawson earnt conformation as the reserve driver for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. An important sign for the starting drivers.

The next round is in two weeks with the Qatar Grand Prix.

Gian Carlo Minardi


On a weekend conditioned by a less than perfect Red Bull, we saw a very tight grand prix with four cars in full battle for the win. It was a very tactical race such as could be expected considering the characteristics of the Singapore track and during which there was no lack of turn arounds.

Ferrari surprised everybody by taking pole position and a win worthy of the best years. Carlos Sainz was the protagonist of a fantastic race in which he did not let up not even a millimetre to the competition despite a risky strategy.

There is a wonderful friendship between Sainz and Norris and they know each other very well., considering their past in McLaren, but I do not believe that in the final laps he willingly slowed down to give Lando the possibility of having the DRS to defend himself from the very aggressive Russell. At that moment he did not have complete control of the tyres having already raced more than 40 laps on the hards.

Mercedes attempted an aggressive strategy to try and overtake Ferrari and to aim at the win. Unfortunately, Russell made a serious mistake. In that moment in which he was marked by Lewis Hamilton he was determined to overtake him, and at the same time was trying to overtake Norris. At the 59th and 60th laps he was the protagonist of two fantastic laps putting pressure on his rival, and he approached too long and ended the race against the barriers leaving the podium in Lewis Hamilton’s hands. A serious mistake, which is part of racing, especially in such a tight race.

What happened in Red Bull remains to be understood. It inexplicably suffered a blow on a track which, on paper, was favourable to it. It remains to be understood is whether the cause is to be found in the introduction of the TD018 – the latest change in progress – or if there were technical reasons.

Once again, the pre-race predictions did not occur and this is certainly a positive aspect for the show.

Well done Lawson who with ninth place gave important points to Alpha Tauri and Kevin Magnussen which reached the top ten thanks to Russell’s exit. To be noted is also the good performance by Alpine with Gasly in sixth place behind Max Verstappen and ahead of Oscar Piastri’s McLaren. From Ocon’s retirement to the introduction of the VSC Mercedes’ decision to bring its two drivers back onto the track which giving us such a heart gripping finale.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium.
27.08.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Netherlands, Race Day.
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Despite the three-week summer break, Red Bull and Max Verstappen confirmed they are unbeatable in every track condition. Once again Verstappen took home the win without making the slightest mistake, outclassing his team mate on whom questionable tactics were adopted.

The 5” penalty on the Mexican helped Gasly (third across the finish line), who was also penalized, but thanks to the many pitstops and the red flag waved at the end, he managed to recover.

We are certainly experiencing a new era of Formula 1. In the past this grand prix would never have restarted. Precisely for this reason I believe it is wrong to compare results and statistics.

It was also an excellent performance by Fernando Alonso who found himself in second place on the podium. At the restart he tried to worry the leader who, as always when needed, put on show his worth and that of his car. In any case, he can console himself with second place and the fastest lap of the race.

Without the Dutchman we would have witnessed a hard fought and extremely lively world championship with a lot of interchange. Behind him we saw once again Aston Martin after a less favourable period. Fifth place for Carlos Sainz who once again put in difficulty his teammate who was the protagonist of a mistake in free practice. The retirement cancelled the mistake in the pitstop.

There were also mistakes by McLaren, but both Norris and Piastri managed to recover to still finish in the points zone. There was also a nice comeback carried out by Lewis Hamilton, sixth behind the Ferrari driver.

In Holland the New Zealander Liam Lawson made his debut with Alpha Tauri, finishing a difficult race despite absolutely absurd rules which do not allow training. Tsunada’s performance was also positive. With regard to the team, I was particularly pleased with the combination of the name “Minardi” in anticipation of the next change. It will not happen, but it would have been nice. Adding together the 340 GPs run by Team Minardi to those of Scuderia Toto Rosso and Alpha Tauri, we are talking about a reality that ranks fourth overall. Staying in Faenza, I am very pleased with the arrival of Laurent Mekies. I hope this can be a good omen for leaving last place behind them.

Gian Carlo Minardi


Hungary was the setting for the new qualifying format which saw the drivers face up to three sessions with the imposed compounds. A new experiment which requires further verdicts, but I find the signs decidedly positive. It can have a future. We saw a wonderful tussle on the edge of hundredths of a second. In Q2 sixteen cars were enclosed within a gap of barely 7 tenths of a second. In Q3 ten cars in little more than half a second with Hamilton, Verstappen, and Norris in 85 thousandths. It is easy to see surprises as happened with George Russell who went from the “rags” to “riches”. I am curious to see it repeated in Monza.

As far as the grand prix is concerned, what can I say? Max Verstappen was superlative, supported by a great Red Bull- They confirmed they are absolutely unbeatable. Verstappen crossed the finish line 33.7” ahead of Lando Norris, an excellent second place with McLaren, confirming the excellent evolutionary step already seen in Austria and England.

Oscar Piastri confirmed what I have been saying for some time, he is growing from race to race, above all since the World Championship has come to the tracks he already knew. More, now that he is also supported technically. He is possibly lightly punished by the strategies in favour of Norris, an English driver in an English car.

Too bad for Lewis Hamilton. With the imperfect start he denied himself the podium finding himself quickly behind not only Verstappen’s Red Bull, but also the two McLarens.

Sergio Perez completed his task, considering the car available to him. After a disastrous Saturday he recovered the podium, the minimum result. His teammates domination has probably demoralized him. Friday’s mistake was very serious, on the first lap on a wet track. A driver who aspires for the world championship cannot make these mistakes.

An equally serious mistake by Charles Leclerc in pit lane, even if it cost him little considering the 70” gap (which would have been 65 without the penalty) paid in regard to Verstappen. In any case, if you want to play for the world championship you cannot trip over such trivialities. A mistake also by the team, with the left rear. There is certainly great nervousness in Ferrari. The team cannot find a way out.

Today Red Bull also inflicted a lesson and moral, technical, and sporting slap to everyone with a pitstop that finished in 1.9” (Ferrari made 2.6”), to which must be added the best lap of the race by the Dutchman in 1:20.540. The only one to fall under the 1:21 barrier was Lewis Hamilton, the best of the others, who stopped at 1:21.601. Lando Norris 1:22.178. Charles Leclerc 1:22.469.

Now we only have to wait for Spa-Francorchamps before the summer break.

Gian Carlo Minardi


We saw a good grand prix with a marvellous public, as usual under the banner of an unstoppable Max Verstappen who can afford to let his tyres skid at the start, losing first place in favour of a very good Lando Norris to then calmly recover in the space of four laps.

From what we saw yesterday in the first laps, in addition to legitimizing more and more Red Bull, this let us understand how much this young man has matured, only two years ago he would have made Norris run to retake the lead of the grand prix quickly. This time he kept his cool and recovered a bit at a time to overtake him four laps later.

Undoubtedly, we must also applaud McLaren and its flagbearers, Norris and Piastri. Coming onto the well-known tracks Oscar’s performances have grown considerably. At Silverstone he too could count on the important updates and only a touch of bad luck tied to the entry of the safety-car denied him the satisfaction of his first podium in Formula 1.

A podium that was occupied with great obstinacy by Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes who consolidated second place in the constructors’ ladder at the expense of Aston Martin that seems to have lost its initial shine. Probably the scheduled developments of the car are not enough to keep up with the direct rivals.

Certainly, McLaren’s result on a truly demanding track such as Silverstone can relaunch them in the second half of the championship.

It was instead a step backwards by Ferrari with Leclerc and Sainz who finished ninth and tenth respectively behind Albon’s Williams. In the warm track conditions (as already happened in other occasions, including in Austria during Saturday’s sprint race) the SF-23 shows all its difficulties passing from the highs to the lows.

Amongst other things, I believe the Ferrari Power-Unit is not up to the level of Mercedes and Honda and has some problems as Haas’s failures showed despite the not demanding air temperatures.

We just have to wait to see what will happen in Hungary in two weeks, a traditionally very hot track with a very slow layout.

Gian Carlo Minardi


As was easy to expect, Red Bull and Max Verstappen hoarded away the points with pole position, the win in the sprint race and in the grand prix, as well as the fastest lap (snatching it way from Sergio Perez) with a pitstop on the last lap and mounting the softs.

With this move, which was also a little arrogant considering that even the team was against it, he wanted to give a moral slap to his teammate and Ferrari.

Ferrari showed an improvement, especially in regard to its direct rivals Mercedes and Aston Martin (not perfectly at ease in Austria). Both Leclerc and Sainz were protagonists of a good race and a solid weekend, particularly the Spaniard who fought with Perez trying to repeat Saturday’s result.

Too bad for the 5” penalty for having exceeded the track limit just when he was behind his teammate. Otherwise, he would have been able to keep third place. Excellent second place for Leclerc (paying however an average 5 tenths of a second gap per lap from Verstappen), even if the “stain” from the sprint race remains, finishing only in twelfth place.

Ferrari must work on precisely this issue: consistency to avoid running once more into Saturday’s problems with a cold track. They must run to become the second force of the world championship. It is useless and illusory to think anything else.

Sergio Perez took third place, but he is still passing through an uneasy period. There is an abyss between him and Verstappen, even if he may have the excuse of a not perfect physical condition.
We saw McLaren again with Norris who had a car with many new innovations, unlike Piastri with the traditional car. Fourth place is a good omen for the near future. Silverstone will be an important test for them as well.

Before we say goodbye, I would like to give some thought to the track limit rule. Perhaps it is time to think that not all rules are good on all tracks. It is really a scandal to award all these penalties in one weekend. It needs to be reconsidered, especially in view of the numerous penalties imposed five hours after the checkered flag concluded as a result of the complaint filed by Aston Martin that subsequently involved Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon, Esteban Ocon (as much as 30″), Logan Sargeant, Nyck de Vries (15″) and Yuki Tsunoda.

Gian Carlo Minardi


In an anomalous track such as Montreal, a semi-street circuit characterized by long straights and major braking, we saw an intense grand prix with fourteen drivers at full throttle and only four who paid a gap of a lap. The positions from seventh to tenth place were decided in a sprint.

For the first time in the season the first five drivers were enclosed within little more than 21”. Sergio Perez could have been there too, but he decided to make a pit stop to take out the fastest lap (and the point).

If first place was certainly not a surprise, with Max Verstappen equalling Ayrton Senna on the number of wins (scoring his 41st win and “giving” the team its 100th victory), the positive note of the ninth round of the World Championship was the reawakening of Ferrari which put up its best race with Leclerc and Sainz in 4th and 5th place respectively.

Beyond the final positions, they were protagonists of an important stint, especially with the “mediums”, then passing onto the hard, completing the seventy laps with only one stop. Making them smile were also the excellent times recorded (the first five practically lapped almost identically), as was the 18” gap paid by Charles compared to Verstappen. Too bad for the mistakes in qualifying that forced the two drivers to start from the middle of the grid. Recovering in these conditions of high competitiveness is not easy.

It was a very nice tussle between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso who were separated by a handful of seconds for all the grand prix. Nando’s overtaking the English driver was nice. A Mercedes that, since Monte Carlo, continues to improve and grow.

Montreal was not the best race on the part of Red Bull but, despite this, they won. This says a lot about the quality of the Dutchman who has decidedly has an edge over Perez. Without Verstappen they probably would not have won the last 3-4 races. He is certainly making the difference and he creates an unbeatable combination with the team.

It will be interesting verifying the competitiveness and compactness of the performances seen today in Montreal at the permanent circuits such as Red Bull Ring, Silverstone, Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps which will close the first part of the season.

Gian Carlo Minardi