From pole to victory. It was the perfect weekend for Verstappen and Red Bull which consolidated the lead in the ladders. Max managed to patch up the mistake at the start by getting the better over Lewis Hamilton at the end, also helped by the excellent work by his pit.
Another mistake in strategy by Mercedes which suffered excessive wear of the tyres with both the medium and the hard mixes. I have the distinct sensation that there is not the necessary calm inside the team and that we could be faced with the end of an extraordinary cycle. At this moment Red Bull is ahead of Toto Wolff’s men. They are very well organized and can count on a fantastic chassis and a Honda Power-Unit in great shape.
Hamilton again made the difference during a weekend that was unfavourable to them, unlike Bottas who did not make the difference in regards to both Verstappen and Perez.
As was to be expected, after two poles positions there was a step back by Ferrari that even said goodbye to Le Castellet outside the points zone with eleventh and sixteenth places. From the early laps they suffered from excessive wear of the tyres with Leclerc making the first pit stop in the fifteenth lap. McLaren did very well taking fifth and sixth places with Norris and Ricciardo and once again took back third place. Ricciardo finally managed to keep up with his team mate.
It was also a positive weekend for Alpha Tauri, seventh with Gasly, and for Alonso and Vettel, with Stroll finishing in the top ten after having started from the back.
Contrary to what we thought, we saw an exciting grand prix with an incredible duel between Red Bull and Mercedes. Now we await the double trip to Red Bull’s home, Austria… The world championship could take a nice turn.
Gian Carlo Minardi