Friday, September 22, 2023

The pulse of Red Bull and Ferrari is measured at the Australian GP

The albert park circuitin Melbourne, will host this weekend the Australian Grand Prix, third round of the Formula 1 World Championship to which the Monegasque charles leclerc (Ferrari) arrives as a solid leader and ready with his partner Carlos Sainz to keep the dutch at bay Max Verstappen (Redbull).

After the first two races in Asia, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, it has been possible to verify what was intuited during the preseason and what the regulatory change could bring. At the moment, the show is growing and, although the gap between the teams continues in many cases, more equality is suspected in a front part that is being the private preserve of Ferrari and Red Bullbut where you can’t wait for Mercedes to step forward.

The ‘Scuderia’ is living the dream start. After many years of hardship and unable to stand up to the ‘silver arrows’ and the ‘RB’, he is faithful to his story again. However, after confirming the forecasts with 1-2 in Sakhir, Red Bull and Verstappen made it clear in Jeddah that they are not as far away as Englishman Lewis Hamilton seems to be.

The seven-time world champion is still unable to be a threat. Despite the fact that he got on the podium in Bahrain, ‘helped’ in part by the abandonment of Verstappen and the exit of the track by Sergio Pérez, in Saudi Arabia he was frustrated and could only be tenth after not even making it to ‘Q2 ‘.

For this reason, the renewed urban layout of Albert Park, which returns tafter two years of absence due to the pandemic and who wants to increase the excitement with four ‘DRS’ zones, predicts a new duel between Mattia Binotto’s team and Chris Horner’s, although everything indicates that at some point, Toto Wolff’s, suffering with the new ‘porpoising ‘ (the aerodynamic effect that makes the cars bounce), it will take the expected leap and it will be much more competitive.

A Charles Leclerc arrives in the lead in Australia who this year is able to surpass his teammate, a Carlos Sainz who continues to search to finally find himself comfortable in the ‘F1-75’ and get the most out of it to finally be able to dream of that first victory in F-1 that can ratify his candidacy for the title.

The Monegasque leads with 45 points, twelve more than the Spanish and 20 more than the current world champion, anxious to recover as soon as possible the inopportune ‘0’ that he took from Bahrain. Hamilton is already more than one race away before facing a Grand Prix that strangely is not among the ‘best’ he has been given.

Alonso remains optimistic

And it is that in the dominating era of his team, the race that traditionally opened the season before was dominated four times by his drivers, but only once by the one from Stevenage and in 2015, which he adds to the 2008 one with McLaren. Two more went to Nico Rosberg (2014 and 2016) and one to Valtteri Bottas, on the last visit to Melbourne in 2019.

Verstappen has not been good either, with third place two years ago as the best result, while Ferrari comes hopeful because when he was not so competitive he was able to win at this track in 2017 and 2018, both with the German sebastian vettel, precisely one of the novelties of this Grand Prix and that will debut in the season with the Aston Martin after missing the first two due to the coronavirus.

Leclerc was fifth in his only participation at the wheel of a ‘red racing car’, while Sainz always scored except in 2019although his best result was an eighth place that he hopes to improve significantly this Sunday.

And also wants to improve Fernando Alonsowhose start to the season is not being as positive as he wanted. The Asturian driver had to leave due to a mechanical problem in his Alpine in Saudi Arabia when he was close to a valuable sixth place and in Bahrain he could only be ninth.

However, the two-time Formula 1 world champion remains optimistic about the performance of the single-seater and continues to think that they are more competitive than the results have shown so far. Now, it will be up to him to prove it on a circuit where he only won in 2006 and where he suffered one of the worst accidents of his career in 2016. Absent from the World Cup in 2019, he signed a great fifth place with McLaren on his last visit in 2018.

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