Race results. F1 Eifel GP.
Rite of passage
For some time now it had been understood that it was a matter not of ‘if’ but of ‘when’. In the end, Lewis Hamilton grabbed Michael Schumacher‘s record of 91 victories on one of the german driver’s most expensive tracks, the ‘housewife’ of the Nurburgring, the scene of some of the seven-time world champion’s most memorable successes. In celebrating this historic milestone, regardless of what the merit judgments of the two champions may be, the Mercedes driver has chosen to keep a low profile, on and off the track. He appeared rather touched by the gesture of the Schumacher family, who handed him a helmet of Michael to celebrate this day, as had happened with Senna when he reached his pole position number.
Ferrari on race pace is 2.5 seconds behind Mercedes
For Ferrari, the race saw a different music than qualifying. The problems of the SF1000 with full fuel are so obvious, that already in the short long run played in the third free session from Leclerc you could easily see how many problems of instability of the rear had the driver with high load of gasoline. The track of the Leclerc accelerator, in fact, was a continuous going to the bottom and raise, coming out of all the curves, with the rear that evidently suffered a significant lack of grip. Seeing how the qualification went, it is quite clear that, by loading the full fuel on the car, on the one hand you lose part of the aerodynamic balance, on the other hand in all likelihood, being in the game greater inertia, the suspension group responds inadequately to the load transfers, returning completely unpredictable reactions for the driver, especially at the rear. One example is Sebastian Vettel‘s head-on, with a car crashing into instability at the rear and blocking the wheels, starting at the front of the wheel as soon as the driver touches the brakes and transfers the load to the front. The rider has a certain responsibility because he cannot predict or manage the pendulum effect resulting from braking not in a perfect straight line, but the mechanism by which this reaction is triggered is a typical example of what does not work in this SF1000. Moreover, as is well known, the instability at the rear is precisely the thing that the four-time world champion knows how to handle less and the results are visible. It must be said that Vettel’s is beginning to appear more like a torture than anything else, with the driver totally demotivated that with the error of the headcoode has also undermined his alternative strategy of starting with medium tyres. The six remaining races are now a long way to go for the German.
“As for Sebastian, the spun in the early stages compromised his run and then there was little he could do, even in the finale, once the softs are mounted it is clear that we can not be satisfied with this result but we continue to work to try to improve the overall performance. In qualifying some progress has been seen but what is important is that the updates we are introducing seem to be going in the right direction, especially with a view to 2021. In this sense, we should have more news in the next race in Portimao.
Difficult race, mainly conditioned by the operating temperature of the tyres, we saw it especially with Charles who, after a good start, began to have granining on the Soft from the first laps. That kept him from pushing as he would have liked. So we had to anticipate his pit-stop, immediately focusing on an alternative strategy. When in the finale there was a chance to make a further stop in the Safety Car regime, we chose with him to stay out with the averages just because of what we had seen in the first part”.
What they said.
Otmar Szafnauer :
“Seb [our environment] will like it and I’m sure it will flourish,” added Szafnauer, who then explained that he expects above all a surplus of winning mentality thanks to the German champion’s team landing – I don’t think a 33-year-old driver will forget how to drive a Formula 1 car on the night. There must be something else. We will help him rediscover the qualities that made him a champion. He in turn will tell us the direction in which we need to develop the team and the car. What do top teams like Ferrari and Red Bull do differently than we do? This will help us take the next step“.
“I feel really honored to be mentioned in comparison to a pilot like Michael. What happened today goes beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t express my gratitude to all the fans and my fantastic team for being with me on this journey. “
“I was trying to stay close to Lewis, but throughout the race he was a little bit faster, I tried to stick as hard as I could, but in any case the pace wasn’t bad. Comparing it to everyone else behind there was a huge gap before the Safety Car. I think we maximised the result, I’m also happy with the point for the quick lap, it was kind of an extra bonus. Positive weekend overall, I’m happy with second place. The Safety Car was driving slowly to get everyone together, but first I don’t think it was necessary to get it out. They could do with VSC. I think they did it to make things more interesting in the end, because of the detachments that were there. But on such a cold track, in these temperatures, you have to warm up your tyres. It was pretty dangerous. Plus there were three or four cars behind the Safety Car and all the others could go, heating the tires because they were pushing. So an added unfair advantage for those behind it. But we’ll talk about it and see what can be done”
“We have seen many times since the beginning of the year that with little gasoline in qualifying on the dry lap we manage to extract the maximum from the car, but every time we put a lot of gasoline we make more effort. That’s what happened today. With averages we had a positive step, but on the softs we had graining right away. On this side it was a bit of a disaster. But the second part of the race was quite positive. On the occasion of the Safety Car I did not want to take the risk of putting the softs given the fatigue I did at the beginning of the race. What if we deluded ourselves yesterday? I think so, I expected a little more. Once again, however, the problem was the first stint, then the others went better.”
“The start was not bad, even in the first lap, when I had medium tyres and a mixture of disadvantage compared to the others. We lost another position with Alfa Romeo and we got stuck, it was very difficult for us. We took so many risks, maybe too many. After that it was difficult to reassemble. With the Safety Car there was a chance to get back in the points but I didn’t make it. The mistake behind Giovinazzi? As I said, we only made in the last part of the straight. When I was approaching I lost the car and I did not quite understand how. I probably took too much risk at that time. Updates? Hard to tell if they helped. I don’t think it was as much as we expected and we didn’t see much on the track. We lost positions in the race and we didn’t have the pace we wanted.”
“From the outside it may have seemed like an easy race, but from the inside it was not at all, on the restart I wasted time with Max and for very little Perez did not take advantage. I couldn’t afford to lose the third position, I defended myself strenuously almost not looking at what might have happened because I was sure Checo was there lurking. I am very happy for myself, for the team and for all my fans. The tattoo? Now I have a flight of an hour and a half, during the solo trip I will think what to reserve for Abiteboul.”
Hülkenberg, substitute for substance
The German driver got into the car on Racing Point three times in 2020, and his technical contribution was immediately highlighted from the first contact at Silverstone.
Nico Handelenberg is not just any substitute. Although in 2020 no one wanted to bet on him for a full-time season, the German driver who won at Le Mans has maintained close relations with the paddock, and in fact has already been recalled three times to race this season to replace the Racing Point drivers. With Perez’s covid-19 positivity and Stroll’s intestinal problems, he was able to demonstrate that in terms of pace and speed he has nothing to envy to the holders. In addition to the points, the German also made a strong contribution to the technical growth of the team despite the limited time available.
In fact, the suspension update that Racing Point recently introduced on the car has been prompted by the feedback of Hülkenberg’s own.
Amazing third place for the “honey badger”
The Australian driver was outstanding today, finally hitting a podium to the delight of Renault.
Daniel Ricciardo had the third position in the safe after overtaking Charles Leclerc on the tenth lap – beautiful – and the retirement of Valtteri Bottas. The Safety Car (absurd) sent to the track by the Race Directorate on the occasion of the retirement of Lando Norris jeopardized the podium of the Australian, who on the occasion of the restart also had the opportunity to attack Max Verstappen. The attempt to even put the face in front of his former Red Bull pit mate, however, almost cost Ricciardo the podium. Sergio Perez, in fact, was lurking and throughout the Mercedes Arena the Australian had to sweat cold and keep his nerve to defend against Checo’s attacks.
Race results. Our marks to the drivers.
C. Leclerc: Impressive in qualifying, in the race he has a pace too slow but he puts it all. Final Mark: 7/10.
L. Hamilton: He reached the victories of Michael, but in qualifying he was beaten by Valterri and in the race he took advantage of his teammate’s problems, nothing impressive. Final Mark: 6.5/10.
V. Bottas: Excellent qualifying, at the start is likely to lose position on Lewis but if he recovers from strength, too bad for the technical fault. Final Mark: 6.5/10.
Ferrari: After Saturday there seemed to be signs of recovery that instead turned in 2.5 seconds per lap from the first in the race…. Final Mark: 5/10.
S. Vettel: Once again out of the top 10 in qualifying, race in management and with the inevitable head-on and out of the points…. Final Mark: 2.5/10.
M. Verstappen: He tries to make the third inconvenient between the two Mercedes but they are too superior, weeekend perfect for him. Final Mark: 7.5/10.
N.Hulkenberg: Stratospheric. Drive an F1 machine without setup, without knowing the car well and little experience of the circuit. Last part and comes eighth, chapeau. Final Mark: 9/10.
D. Ricciardo: He managed to bring Renault to the podium after 9 years of abstinence. Final Mark: 8/10.