We are watching a show rather than a Formula 1 world championship. The entry of the safety-car for the retirement of Stroll (he had heated up his brakes too much during the warm up lap) was incomprehensible and even more so was the justification that was given. It is one of the few times in which the driver followed to the regulations to the letter, stopping the car not only at the point of total safety but in the area dedicated to the recovery in the case of necessity marked out by the red triangles.
If by doing this he impeded the exit and the passage of the safety vehicles then there is a serious problem with the approval of the track. Among other things, there was all the time and space to move the Aston Martin quickly.
Having said this we are watching an unchallenged domination by Red Bull with a cannibal such as Verstappen who did not respect team orders, setting the fastest lap (1:31.906) on the final lap at the expense of the winner Perez. The Mexican was very good, setting excellent times for all the race, recovering quickly after Alonso overtook him at the start. Just the Spaniard committed a carelessness at the start that is not typical of him, who risked paying dearly for the podium conquered on the track, to the advantage of George Russell. With the engines off, the Spaniard was given a 10″ penalty, thus bringing the Englishman from Mercedes to the podium, later removed by the race stewards themselves. Clear rules and more timely decisions would be needed.
Mercedes is reacting by setting itself as the third force of the world championship. Russell constantly lapped in the low 1’33”. Precisely the result of this grand prix best describes the forces in the field with Red Bull followed by Aston Martin, Mercedes, Ferrari and Alpine.
The Ferraris were very disappointing, finishing the race in fifth and sixth places. After qualifying Leclerc had made us hope for something more but the safety-car did not helpJust as in Bahrain here too in Saudi Arabia we saw very tight qualifying with 15 cars enclosed in barely 1”4 and the entire grid within barely 2”. Only a breath is needed to be cut out at Q2 or, worse still, from Q3.
Unfortunately, this result was not reflected in the race.
Gian Carlo Minardi