Once again these young men kept us with bated breath until the last of the scheduled seventy laps. Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz challenged each other lapping constantly under the barrier of 1’16” with the Ferrari driver setting the fastest lap of the race with 1’15”749 crossing the finishing line less than a second behind the winner.
Verstappen drove a great race without making the slightest mistake. Carlos Sainz made his best performance in two years. At this time Ferrari cannot exploit its power-unit to the fullest. Despite the DRS the Spanish driver was unable to attack the Dutchman. From the chassis, aerodynamics and engine points of view Red Bull is perfect right now. What stopped Perez is to be understood.
With fifth place Charles Leclerc limited the damage bringing home a solid race. Certainly the 49 point gap from Verstappen is starting to weigh heavily, especially against a rival in such good shape even if he gained a lot on the Mexican. From here to the end reliability will dominate because three engines are too few and there is still a long way to go.
Lewis Hamilton returned to the podium, the author of an intelligent race supported by valid strategy by Mercedes’ men on the wall. After the Baku GP he was disheartened and this result could help him.
In qualifying Fernando Alonso showed he can still make the difference but in the long run the car’s difficulties came out, closing the race in sixth place (with Ocon) and seventh place. A result that reflects their real position. They probably could have let “Nando” return to the pits a few laps earlier instead of keeping him on the track. Also worthy of note was Zhou Guanyu’s eighth place, finishing behind his team mate Valtteri Bottas and ahead of Lance Stroll.
Gian Carlo Minardi