Verstappen is to something else

He sends Verstappen at home with three tenths of a margin and Mercedes is not there yet. Alonso was fifth and his partner, third. Carlos Sainz, eleventh.


The rain forecast throughout the day exceeded 80%, but Formula 1 completed on Friday at Spielberg on a dry and pristine asphalt. The leader, Verstappen, commanded, and that is becoming the norm. The Dutchman led the rest by more than three tenths, many considering that the length of the Red Bull Ring does not exceed four kilometers and the lap is barely a minute. He has plenty of confidence and the times come out from the moment he leaves the garage, while in Mercedes doubts grow: Hamilton was behind Ricciardo and Ocon; and Bottas, 12th, also struggled. The Finn lost control of the car in the pit lane and came close to causing the most comical accident of the season.

According to the time table, Alpine and Aston Martin improve and McLaren progresses, which always is. Alonso was fifth, close to his teammate, and was one of the fastest on the Pirelli intermediate tire. At Paul Ricard, the main cause of his improvement was the engine change. But here they will have mounted the old power unit, the one on Fridays, and the two blue cars continue to approach the front positions. Good sensations for French and Asturian in a weekend that can be decided by that, by sensations: if it rained in qualifying or the race, the drivers will have to be guided by instinct and without references.

The blue progress coincides with the red step back, Carlos Sainz was eleventh and Leclerc, 13th. The Madrilenian had a scare in the morning and another excursion through the gravel in the afternoon training. In the Maranello garage they want to avoid a collapse like the one in France at all costs, especially when the weather says it will rain before the Styrian GP. When the water clears the rubber of the track and you have to start over, the SF21 disengages. So they are now focused on exploring the settings until they can find a solution to their problem.

Saturday will also be tense in the 'pit-lane'. On such a short circuit, traffic problems are constant and the day was rough, with protests on the radio among several drivers. In addition, penalties and erased times for exceeding the limits of the track are the order of the day in a layout with permissive pianos. The differences are minor, 14 drivers ended up separated by less than a second. There will be scares in Q1 and Q2, even on a dry road.

More dispatch problems

F1 confirmed that the Turkish GP is back, again, to replace Singapore on October 3. And the FIA sent a technical directive to teams that will affect pit stops and prevent mechanics from being 'too fast'. The decision does not sit well with the Red Bull environment, the best in that section. Coupled with the abolition of the flexible ailerons or the revision of the tire pressures, it seems that all the measures taken recently by the stewards have gone against the RB16B, and in favor of Mercedes. The paddock is heated.

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