And still the races that are excellent continue rolling in, ensuring we are the edge of our chairs.
Monza was a tense thriller with a fairytale finish. Charles Leclerc might seem to be Harry Potter’s considerate younger brother but in combat his elbows have blades that are razor, he grows horns at 200mph, and his head is apparently as powerful as the carbon fibre Ferrari chassis he led into a glorious victory on home floor in the front of the ecstatic Tifosi at Monza.
From pole position he just maintained the lead into turn one. And for the 53 laps he would need to absorb whatever the mighty Mercedes team could muster to outflank him, two against you as his Ferrari team-mate Seb Vettel made another error by then spinning off by rejoining dangerously attracting an effective punishment.
First off it was Lewis Hamilton seeming like the quicker combo and applying the pressure.
On a number of occasions Leclerc was quite robust in defending, pushing the limitations of several regulations. He had been fortunate to get a warning invasion as opposed to a punishment when crowding Hamilton to the flying section of the second chicane, having already been dance around throughout the prior flat-out Curva Grande.
A penalty was taken by max Verstappen last year with Valtteri Bottas in very similar situation in combat, and in times or with different stewards Leclerc might have been handed the pain. It was tough to predict, and I’m really supportive of the’let them race’ philosophy as it’s consistent and the drivers do not take liberties and spoil everything.
Mercedes pitted the undercut to try on fresh medium tyres. Ferrari just maintained the lead, and responded a lap later with Leclerc difficult compound tyres that were fitting.
And his tyres would burn prematurely in the turbulent air by Ferrari flying discarded, although still Hamilton wouldn’t give up.
Bottas had dipped eight laps later and closed in on the top two. It appeared Hamilton and Mercedes would certainly have to let through Bottas to have a crack at the Ferrari.
Hamilton went on the wheels into turn one and solved that conundrum, and so it was subsequently game on for Bottas. However, Leclerc was quickly off the last Parabolica corner and also quickly down the pit for either Mercedes to maneuver him.
In the end Bottas got a bit too deep to the first chicane as it mattered, and dropped a little ground, although he made a couple of mistakes of his own like a jump over the zone at the chicane.
Because his came in an unlucky 13th leclerc was dry and home and won by eight tenths of a moment. Vettel cruised through with no cursory look within to Leclerc adopting the Ferrari team as I waited to meeting with the victor from parc ferme. It turned out to be a critical day for his relationship in Maranello, and he now nursing nine penalty points on his own race permit for that return to the track.
Come Seb, you are much better than this…
With Hamilton creating an old pit stop to claim the fastest-lap tournament stage, and also seven races to go along with nicely over the equivalent of two race victories into his pocket, certainly a world championship is beckoning.
Ferrari and red Bull may take it in turns for the rest of the year to be the Mercedes challenger on circuit designs that are various, but also in reliability and all around performance Merc and Lewis should have it covered.
Renault had a weekend and with a fourth and fifth in the race to Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg package working a deal Monza battles. The struggle between the two teams that are Renault-engined will likely be tense at the final stages with McLaren using a comparatively miserable eight days giving off a package of points with both cars.
Alex Albon had another good race for Red Bull, once again stronger in the second half. He settled back into it nicely after a trip through the dirt optimistically trying to move around the exterior of Carlos Sainz at Lesmo 1, and then a punishment for finishing an rip-off course.
Max Verstappen in the other Red Bull has been the very last runner at location and started following engine penalties at the back. It may have been much easier without crunching touch in the corner for the second Sunday, however I felt sorry for him on that one as from the camera that he was obviously being very cautious. It seemed as though he locked the back axle, hard on the brakes as the bunch.
Antonio Giovinazzi scored a couple of things for Alfa. Antonio isn’t known by me but I did take a woman round the track in the Aston Martin Pirelli Hot Laps who jumped into the car and said’no speak English’. Giovinazzi Mamma’. I’ve met his mommy and she loved the trip.
I know a good deal of fans were less than impressed with the last qualifying lap before trying to start their lap, when all of bar Sainz timed-out a few seconds. We were all looking forward to potentially the fastest-ever lap around the circuit while remembering that nothing obliges any motorist in qualifying to get a run to move.
Deficiency of tons and overheating of aerodynamic drag from the cars meant a good slipstream at the ideal distance was worth around half a second. Nobody wanted to be more dragging round the rest of the area like the pioneer of a bicycle peloton, so they missed out.
There was a minimum time between two defined safety car lines which was met, and so that needs tightening up. However, ultimately data, strategy and bloody mindedness obtained in the method of high-speed and chance amusement. For the last time.
There are only seven flyaway races left this season as the European season came to a close Sunday. Where on earth has this year disappeared to? It is sounds inconceivable we can always expect such races, but there could be plenty of surprises, when you think Leclerc might have won Bahrain, Austria, and Germany with his successes in Monza and Spa.
And Red Bull fancy their chances in tracks such as Mexico and Singapore . Talents such as Verstappen have a tendency to be in a production, but we have Leclerc too as well as precocious stars and other young , even though F1 still needs a deeper pool of talent who will master these automobiles.
The shield is changing, but they cannot overcome King Lewis within a season.
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