Ferrari's best contribution

Bottas surprises Hamilton and Verstappen approaches Mercedes at Mugello, the circuit that the Italian team has brought to F1. Sainz, 13th with the McLaren.


It can be said that the incorporation of Mugello to the 2020 calendar is Ferrari's best contribution to this 2020 season. Great racing circuit, 3,000 fans in the stands, hard corners, unevenness, forces of up to 5G on the drivers' necks and an incentive, the gravel loopholes that do not forgive mistakes. It was suffered in his own flesh by Lando Norris, who sneakily stepped outside the piano and violently lost control of the McLaren to salute the walls and destroy a spoiler. He arrived at the garage on a motorcycle, as his idol, Valentino Rossi, would have done after the equivalent of an ear start. There were spins, mistakes, two red flags in one day and a certain sense of uncertainty that is not bad for modern F1. Mercedes commanded the free practice, yes, but it has not yet won the Tuscan GP and by this weekend it could go on to collect the trophy at other circuits.

The first surprise on the timesheets is up: Bottas ahead of Hamilton with two tenths of advantage. The Briton was choked on the premiere, he did not do better in the morning session either, and the distance is great if the yardstick is 2020. The second 'joy': Verstappen is with them, 39 thousandths of Lewis. Red Bull will be able to fight because the strategy is open, the soft tire degrades very quickly and the hard tire is not competitive. Two stops? Classification with the medium? Fortunately, there are not always answers for everything.

After the top-3 was Albon, closer to the midfield than to the podium. The Renault were the other positive note of the day with a fifth and sixth place for Ricciardo and Ocon in the classification to compensate for the Monza slump, which was more psychological than anything else. Pérez (Racing Point), Gasly (Alpha Tauri), Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Leclerc (Ferrari) closed the theoretical points squares.

Regular Friday for McLaren

It wasn't McLaren's smoothest Friday and not just because of Lando's crash. Carlos Sainz debuted a Mercedes-like nose in the morning session but the aim was to test it, not to incorporate it this weekend. It somehow took time away from filming to get used to an unfamiliar runway and the Woking team was in tow throughout Friday. The Madrilenian was 13th and Norris, 14th, both with an unconvincing first and last sector. The session was interrupted when Norris crashed and also by a touch between Checo and Kimi at the exit of the pit lane.

Similarly, it was not the most unfortunate Friday for Ferrari, coming from where they came (zero points at Spa and Monza for lack of performance). Vettel was 12th, one tenth behind his teammate, and some could cross the threshold of Q3. The few Tifosi who were able to access applauded Charles's fast laps, who in the first free practice was third unloaded with fuel. The burgundy red of his SF1000 in tribute to the thousand F1 races that Maranello reaches looks better live than on television. They have organized a perfect birthday in the circuit that is their property. Now it is up to them to be the protagonists at your party or to hand over the headlines to others.

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