In that can be considered his second home due to his daily life, Lewis Hamilton put his hands on his 6th title getting closer to the total of 7 conquered by Michael Schumacher. Startinf fifth in the grid, the English champion demonstrated his innate speed carefully blended with the wide race view which characterizes the world-champions. Verstappen, despite a good race pace, cannot hold back the strength of Mercedes and finishes 3rd. The USA weekend was a true disaster for Ferrari, which seemed to step back to Hungarian performances.
Before the race analysis: what did we see on Saturday’s qualifying?
Thre’s not much to point out this time, all the 3 top teams where very close to each other. Maybe, we expected Ferrari to gain more advantage in the second sector given the presence of the long straight. Binotto said that engine performance has not been altered by any rumours/FIA investigation about the Italian poer unit. He added that the limited advantage had to be related to the setting of the car in order to compensate the lack of downforce.
Mercedes this weekend has demonstrated the reason why the Silver Arrows are dominating the last F1 years: top car performance, great team strategy and good drivers mixing. These are the main ingredients to obtain a successful season.
The unexpected 2-pit stops strategy.
The tyre wear was higher than the predicted in the free practise: Pirelli suggestion was for 1 pit stop (hard tyres) but the drop performance after few laps has forced the team to pit once more. The only one (of the top 3 teams) capable of managing the tyre to fullfil the one stop choice was Lewis Hamilton: that was the only chance to get the first position. Mercedes’ decision to differentiate strategy was the key point to exploit the potential of the W10 and keeping Max Verstappen behind.
Red Bull had a good and consistend pace but on the whole slightly slower than the one of Toto & Co., a small opportunity would have come at the end of the race if it wasn’t for the yellow flag.
Ferrari: a nightmare of the disaster.
Ferrari has to solve a lot of issues in order to compete at the same level of Mercedes in 2020. Maranello has shown flaws in every area as listed below:
- Reliability problems: in Free Practise, Leclerc was constrained to mount PU 2 because of the problems in the spec 3 of the power unit. The impact was accounted in 0.1 sec in qualifying (the gap the 16 had from the poleman Bottas).
- Structural problems: the rear suspension failure that kicked out Vettel during the race, considering that a mere curb may not damage the structural components of the car in that way.
- Tyre management problems: Ferrari has not yet found a configuration to mantain the tyre in the right temperature range. It one of the main causes of the lack of pace during the race.
- Strategy problems: during this season, the strategy was not the best card of Binotto’s & Co. (9 poles and 3 victories).
- Pit stop issues: I think there’s a price for the slowest pit stop since in last GPs, Leclerc and Vettel have lost several second in the pitlane.
Vettel: He has fought till the car abadoned him. Very good performance in Quali. His grade cannot be higher because of his retire. This time (not for his fault) he is the rodeo driver. GRADE: 6.5/10.
Leclerc: Very strong quali with the old engine. He arrives with 52 sec of delay from Bottas, but it’s not his fault. State of mind: a race in the desert of nowhere between tops and middle grid cars. Simply, the camel. GRADE: 6.5/10.
Bottas: He wanted and deserved this win. He had to overtake Hamilton two times and he did. Starte of mind: Woodman. GRADE: 9/10.
Hamilton: The skill joins his experience to do the right thing at the perfect moment to obtain the maximum result. This week the 6th time world champion is also our tyre-keeper. GRADE: 8.5/10.
Perez: massive recover after the mistake done by the team during the Free Practise that obliged him to start from Pitlane. Mood: always better than Stroll. GRADE 8/10.
Albon: despite the initial touch, he regains his position, the 5th. He is waiting for confirmation also for next year. State of mind: Please, Dr. Marko hurry up! GRADE 7/10.
M. Verstappen: his statements before and after the race will not make him the most likeable driver of the grid. Be aware! Teams and drivers does not forget! GRADE: 6.5/10.
Binotto and strategists: his mood after the race it’s not of one who has attended to a disastrous weekend. Ferrari needs more energy for 2020! The picture below depicts Ferrari’s current situation. GRADE: 3.5/10.
Do you agree? Let’s write us in the comments!