Max Verstappen won again, but an excellent Lando Norris slipped in between the two Red Bulls. After having taken pole position of the Sprint race, thwarted by the first metres of the race, he was impeccable in the grand prix confirming that McLaren is on the rise and ready to “annoy” Ferrari.

Precisely Ferrari had to settle for fourth and fifth place, the fruit of hard qualifying, which confirmed the difficulty of the Hard tyres, paying a gap of almost half a second from the direct rivals from Woking. Major updates are needed to try and oppose McLaren’s attack and to try and get closer to Red Bull. The infighting between Leclerc and Sainz certainly made people talk, especially during the Sprint race. It was a fair tussle, it will certainly not be the first nor the last, but they will have to try to manage better next time, and above all talk about it within the team.

Verstappen continues to make the difference in Red Bull putting almost 20 seconds between him and his teammate, despite two safety cars. He only missed out on the fastest lap. It was set by an excellent Alonso (1’37″810), seventh across the line and the protagonist of a race, running constantly on the attack. Aware of the limits of his Aston Martin, he played the card of an extra pitstop, covering the final part of the race with a new set of Medium tyres, climbing up to behind Russell, sixth with the Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton also climbed back with a Mercedes showing some signs of growth. Starting from the rear (18th) he finished the race in ninth place, ahead of an excellent Nico Hulkenberg who gave Haas a precious point in view of the constructors’ world championship.

Perez, third across the line, was slowed by the second double stint of the second safety car caused by Stroll’s collision with Ricciardo. Racing Bulls finished the weekend with zero points, also following Tsunoda’s retirement caused by Kevin Magnussen.

There were also signs of recovery from Alpine after a disastrous start of the season with Ocon eleventh across the line. The points box is still empty, but we are beginning to see the fruits of the first developments of the A524.

Gian Carlo Minardi


We have left the first fifth of the championship behind and the forces in the field are emerging. Red Bull confirmed it is in command, and unapproachable at the present time. Behind it, Ferrari consolidates second place ahead of McLaren and Mercedes which, at the present time is the “big” most in difficulty at the moment.

They must certainly roll up their sleeves because even today both Russell and Hamilton suffered. Compared to the seven times world champion, Russell manages to make better use of his car. However, it must be considered that the most important developmental steps will be introduced by the Teams only from Imola. It will be interesting following the weekend at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit starting from Friday.

After the debacle in Melbourne, Verstappen and Red Bull came back ahead of everyone, showing all their worth (even if it was never in doubt). In the 51st lap Verstappen also set the fastest lap of the race,

However, a consideration must be made.

Last year the Japanese GP was held in the month of September as the sixteenth round of the world championship. Barely six months later it is incredible to see the developments and the improvements made by all the teams:

In addition to having made the fourth pole of the season, he improved his time by almost seven tenths of a second compared to 2023 (1.28.197 against 1.28.877);

Carlos Sainz (fourth in qualifying) went from his best time in 2023 of 1.29.850 (Charles Leclerc had set 1.29.542) to 1.28.672.

Therefore, Ferrari improves in both qualifying and above all in the long run, managing to halve the gap, even if it is still not enough to worry the leader. Precisely Leclerc built his comeback by managing the tyres very well covering 27 laps with the “yellows” before passing onto the hard “whites”. He went well beyond the window indicated at the start by Pirelli. Once again Sainz demonstrated his quality: with the same car, he is second to none.

We are watching a demanding world championship in which the slightest slip is enough to end up in the rear. On a major track such as Suzuka we saw qualifying with eight cars enclosed within 7 tenths of a second (between Perez – second – and Leclerc eighth there were barely 532 thousandths of a second) and a very technical and tactical race certainly conditioned by the red flag.

In the final laps of the GP Oscar Piastri and George Russell made themselves the protagonists of a fight for seventh position (which ended with the advantage of the Mercedes driver) with Russell finishing in the sights of the marshals. The British driver was certainly aggressive in a point of the track where two cars do not pass, but he was right to try and it was correct not proceeding with a penalty.

Having said goodbye to Japan, the next round will be in China, Shanghai on April 21st, which returns to the calendar after 5 years and hosting the first Spraint-race. The last appearance dates back to 2019.

Gian Carlo Minardi


The first win of the season and the first double for Ferrari that took advantage of Max Verstappen’s retirement in the best of ways. It was a breath of fresh air for Ferrari (and F1) that said goodbye to Melbourne with a number of positive signs dictated by a competitive car which in the end also set the fastest lap with Leclerc.

The first sign of fragility in the Red Bull came a few laps after the start, even if the problems of Verstappen’s car emerged right from the first bends, probably due to an imperfect assembly. This “fall” does not cancel the excellent start of the RB 20 and the Dutchman who remains the point of reference, but the 56” gap from the leader Sainz suffered by Sergio Perez could represent a further alarming sign.

We saw a tight grand prix for all 58 laps with a nice sequence of laps by the Ferrari and McLaren drivers. Norris made his best performance in the 50th lap, then definitively bettered by Leclerc in the 57th.

Reliability problems also for Mercedes with the retirement of both drivers. I believe the exit from the track in the end was the result of a technical problem because the rear the “bucked” on him.

And taking advantage of the situation were the two Haas which took the points zone with Nico Hulkenberg (9th) and Keving Magnussen (P10). It was an excellent race also by Fernando Alonso ahead of his teammate Stroll. First points for Tsunoda with the RB (8th).

It was also a positive weekend for our young men involved in F2 and F3. Andrea Kimi Antonelli taking fourth place brilliantly making up for Saturday’s mistake. I believe the team still has a good margin for improvement because they were struggling in the straight despite the DRS. Second and third place for Formaroli and Mini respectively. Certainly, a good sign for the future.

Gian Carlo Minardi

[UPDATE] With the 20″ penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso, considered responsible for triggering George Russell’s accident on the last lap, the Spaniard slips to 8th place with Tsunoda 7th and Stroll in 6th


Regardless of the top two on the ladder (Verstappen and Perez), we are faced with a very tight championship in both qualifying and the race, In the end the choice of Leclerc (who opted for a higher aerodynamic charge) paid off, finishing less than 18” from the winner Verstappen, also taking out the fastest lap, taking it away from Lewis Hamilton in the final lap.

This too is a result to be read as a positive sign since it was achieved with medium tyres that had already done 35 laps. In conditions with low fuel Ferrari showed that it has taken a step forward compared to last year, while on a full fuel load it is not yet on a par with the competition.

An excellent performance also by Piastri, as well as Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), while Mercedes under performed with Russell and Hamilton.

Very good Oliver Bearman on his debut in Formula 1 at the wheel of the Ferrari. In qualifying he missed out on Q3 by barely 36 thousandths of a second and in the race, he took seventh place. It was an incredible result considering the very little time available to him. He too set his best performance in the race in the final lap. A positive result for both Ferrari and FDA.  At this point some considerations are necessary.

It was also a positive weekend for Sergio Perez who finished barely 8” seconds from his teammate (which became 13” with the 5” penalty). A noteworthy improvement compared to the opening race of the season.

Tenth place by Hulkenberg is to be highlighted. This is a track that does not penalise those who have load problems and the Ferrari engine has certainly helped them. The situation at Alpine is very different.

Unfortunately, the result did not completely surprise me, since it is a team that has been subject to changes and strong instability for some months. Factors that then had consequences on the results on the track, Alpine/Renault are certainly not in F1 to be in the tail-end…

Gian Carlo Minardi


All according to the script? Almost. The 2024 world championship began as it had finished in 2023, with Red Bull winning with Max Verstappen, followed by his teammate Sergio Perez, ahead of the two Ferraris.

Verstappen confirmed all his peace of mind in the management of his car and race times. When he wanted to, he set the fastest lap to then manage the lead accumulated over both Perez (22”) and Sainz (25”).

This is precisely the news. As well as confirming itself as the second force, Ferrari confirmed the improvement that emerged during the collective tests in both performance and tyre management. In fact, the 2023 gap was significantly greater (48”).  However, all this is still not enough to achieve a win.

Red Bull did not show all its potential. In race management, Verstappen’s pace was better than his teammate by almost half a second. But, above all, throughout the grand prix he managed the car, choosing when to push.

The continuity of the regulations gave us an upwards compaction of the performances that was seen particularly in qualifying with fifteen cars enclosed within one second. The slightest mistake really is enough to nullify the work. We saw this with Leclerc in Q3. Due to a very slight slip, he did not repeat the time set in Q2 (1:29.165) losing pole position to Verstappen (1:29.179).

The result of the GP reflects what had emerged from the tests with Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin.

At the end we witnessed the exchange of positions in Racing Bull between Tsunoda and Ricciardo. An operation I, honestly, would not have made since Ricciardo had been behind his teammate all week. At least the Australian should have given back the positions to the teammate once he understood he could not have overtaken Magnussen. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

In a week’s time they will go back to the track (always on the Saturday) in Saudi Arabia where higher temperatures than those experienced in Bahrain are expected, with a slight change in the tyre compounds (C2-C3-C4).

Gian Carlo Minardi


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
@credit F1.com


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