|F1 Sakhir GP| After the race: Perez hit to victory
Bottas in version ‘Barrichello’ suffers the talent of G. Russel
Leclerc-Perez: let’s analyse the first-lap crash.
Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Leclerc were running three-wide on the run to Turn 4 as the Red Bull driver braked earlier than his rivals, while Leclerc locked up in his attempts to get past Verstappen and ended up slamming into Perez’s Racing Point, sending the Mexican spinning around.
In his attempts to avoid a collision, Verstappen ran wide at Turn 4 but lost grip in the gravel and slid off into the barriers, joining Leclerc on the sidelines and out fo the race.
“The start wasn’t bad but of course Valtteri squeezed so I had to back out,” Verstappen said.
“Basically from there onwards it was all about just surviving between the cars, I don’t know why they were being so aggressive and so recklesss.
“We were all out in the front and at the end of the day three cars were a victim of that, two cars of course heavily. I don’t know why Charles especially dives down at Turn 4 like that, especially braking that late.
“Checo cannot see what is happening and he basically just locked up his front and went in, and because of Checo spinning backwards I just tried to go around the outside not to damage my car but there’s nothing you can do there.”
Leclerc took full responsibility for the incident, admitting he was to blame.
Leclerc takes full blame for the accident.
“I was in fifth and I was side-by-side or just behind Max and tried to overtake him into Turn 4,” Leclerc explained.
“I had seen Checo but I expected him to go round the outside of Valtteri and stay there but I think he decided to come back to the inside and I was there and it was too late for me to slow down.
“I don’t think it’s a mistake from Checo, I am not putting the blame on Checo, if there is anyone to blame today it was me. But more than anything I think it was unfortunate than a blame.”
Leclerc handed three-place penalty for incident in Sakhir F1 GP
A statement from the FIA confirmed Leclerc was to blame for the incident and will drop three places in next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mercedes mess at Pit-Stop ruins G. Russell’s win
Mercedes did not need to pit its cars but opted to make a safety stop which ended up being a calamitous double-stack as both drivers were heavily delayed following a tyre mix-up.
Russell had to stop again on the next lap after accidentally being put onto a mixed set of Mediums, while Bottas suffered a long delay as his crew had to re-fit his old Hard tyres back onto his car.
The error threw away a potential win as Bottas struggled to eighth, one place ahead of Russell, who recovered from a late puncture to claim his long-awaited first points in F1.
Car number 63 left the pit lane and returned after one lap in order to fit a correctly allocated set of tyres. As this is not in compliance with Articles 24.2 a) and 24.3 e), I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”
“Overall for us it was a colossal fuck up,” Wolff told Sky F1. “I know I’m not allowed to say that but it was.
“Simply one of the tyre crews didn’t hear the call, we had a radio failure in the garage and when the car came in they didn’t know we had the wrong tyres and this is why we exited with the wrong tyres.”
Asked if Bottas’ tyres being fitted to Russell’s car was the mistake made by Mercedes, Wolff replied: “Exactly. Then we had to obviously pit again but by then the race was not lost.”
The words of the driver: interviews after F1 Sakhir 2020 GP.
Valtteri Bottas :
” I knew that in the first stint with the medium tyre, the track position would be important, so obviously was unfortunate to lose that. But in the second stint, I was catching him at a pretty decent rate, so I knew everything is going to be open and most likely we’ll have a good battle. I still knew that everything was going to be to play for, especially towards the end of the stint on the hard tyres. In the race, I just tried to make the most out of it, and I knew that it’s going to be a long race ahead, so I don’t think about those kind of things. But now thinking about it, for sure, if you don’t know things, then I’d have looked like a complete c**t and a fool. So that’s not nice. It was a pretty bad race for me from that side, and it will be very easy for people to say a new guy comes in and beats the guy who’s been in the team for a few years. So it is not ideal.”
“It was nice to be in that position, to be leading the race, to be at the front, something that I’ve not had for so long,” Russell said when asked by Autosport about the sensation of leading a race again. But in an odd way as well, as a driver, apart from the fact that you want to win, you want to just get the best result possible with your equipment. My 18-month spell at Williams, we have some fantastic races which are coming home in a P12 or a P14. That is almost a victory for us in that position. Or qualifying into Q2, that’s a pole position for us. That buzz I get from that performance, it’s still massive. But ultimately, winning is another level. But I didn’t want to get carried away with myself. I was still focused on the job. Probably halfway into the race, I had like an eight-second lead over Valtteri. I thought, ‘this is too good to be true’. And turns out, it was too good to be true. Russell was able to fight past Bottas on the run to Turn 1, but admitted after the race the start was what he was most concerned about, given his traditional weakness and the fact the clutch paddles were designed for Hamilton. The start was a phase of the race that I was most nervous about all weekend to be honest,” Russell said.
“I was using Lewis’s clutch paddles that were moulded to his hands and fingers, didn’t fit me properly.
“I must have done hundreds of practice starts in our little rig that we have set up in my room, in the car just practice, practice, practice.
“I was super pleased just to get off the line, good start, down the inside of Valtteri.”
“I was upset because of my race”, says Max, who had to retire from the Sahkir Grand Prix after only a few corners, as a victim of the melee caused by Charles Leclerc. “In the first phase of the race I was careful and just tried to keep my position. When Bottas made a mistake, I ended up between both Mercedes. I did not want to take the risk and braked early. Eventually Leclerc came through on the inside, he braked late and went straight ahead. Then it was over.” After doing his interviews, Max returned to his hotel, where he watched the last twenty laps of the race. “It was quite dramatic”, notes Max with a sense of understatement
“It’s better say nothing about my race”.
“I already have some good options for 2022 so my best option is obviously to keep going on next year. But if I have to stop, then it’s not a disaster, I can come back in 2022. The regulations are going to change so much that, in a way, I don’t think it will hurt that much the driving side, to get up to speed.
Race results. Our marks to the drivers.
C. Leclerc: His mark os the average between the Qualifying and the Race. The spectacular lap done on Saturday colpletely vanish after few turns on Sunday. Too much aggressive. Final Mark: 5/10.
L. Hamilton: In a race weekend orphan of the 7 times world champion, Lewis may enjoy for the fact that Mercedes needs him to reach a win. Final Mark: 8/10.
V. Bottas: This version of Valtteri is much slower than the worse ‘Barrichello’ version during Schumacher era. He must re-discover his self-confidence. Final Mark: 4.5/10.
S. Vettel: It’s a Sebastian similar to Monza and Mugello. Ferrari suffers high speed track and he suffers even more. Final Mark: 5/10.
M. Verstappen: He tries to prevent the crash with Perez but he is not able to stop the car before touching the barriers? Did he accelerated too much in the gravel? Maybe. Final Mark: 6/10.
S.Perez: Capital race for the Mexican driver. Great tyre management and constant pace. Final Mark: 9/10.
E.Ocon: In low-downforce tracks, Renault shows it best results. Esteban has improved a lot since the beginning of the season and now his performances are comparable to those of Ricciardo .