F1 | GP Russia, THE POINT by Gian Carlo Minardi

It was a very tight grand prix when Mercedes had to resort to all the possible strategies in order to beat a good Ferrari which can only regret giving 2-3 tenths of a second to its direct rivals. Once again Bottas sacrificed himself for his team mate (but I do not condemn the act) even though we saw the essence of the weekend in the fifteenth lap when Hamilton overtook Vettel.

Toto Wolff’s team found once more found the policy of the best times and Ferrari must regret its mistakes (in strategy and drivers) when the circumstances favourable.

Bottas was the weekend’s best driver and was perfect in both qualifying and the race when he managed to keep Hamilton’s rhythm. It was the perfect race for young Leclerc who finished in seventh place with the Sauber, just behind the two Red Bull drivers and so gave the team important points in the direct duel with Toro Rosso. The driver from Monaco set fantastic times, especial between the 34th and 42nd laps. Max Verstappen was very good in taking full advantage of his tyres by covering more than 40 laps. Pirelli should give us some explanations since these tyres are performing very differently from the expectations and the technical desires at the start of the season.

In a week’s time we will be back for a new duel between Vettel and Hamilton on the track of a circuit with a historic flavour like Suzuka.

Gian Carlo Minardi