Improving Red Bull Racing, constant Mercedes, a continuously growing Racing Point and a so far horrible Ferrari – these are the conclusions and the characteristics of the Styrian Grand Prix from Friday.
Let us start with the most important factor: According to the weather forecast tomorrow’s weather will be pretty chaotic, therefore the F1 has already come up with a plan B (Qualifying race on Sunday morning), should the initial plans need postponing. However, the postponed programs might not be held either, leading to a more significant FP2, the results of which may be used for establishing the starting grid.
The racers rolled in an intense-average mix of temperatures and the larger teams built their tactics by considering also the other possibility mentioned. Soon after the race started Daniel Ricciardo suffered an ugly accident, he crashed his car and because of this he suffered also a slight accident.
Following this mandatory break the pole position was occupied by the Racing Point drivers, while the others were unable to reach the Perez-Stroll duo for quite a time, contrary to using softer tires. In the meantime Max Verstappen faced again terrifying engine problems, thereby losing also a good part of this performance. The Red Bull Honda racing car refused to give in also with e Alexander Albon in the driver’s seat. After racing half the practice Bottas managed to overtake the pink racing cars, however his happiness did not last long. In a strong middle section Verstappen overtook him and won the training before the Finnish racer and Perez. This means, that under extreme circumstances, the starting positions may totally change, in which case we estimate that the starting grid would look as follows: Verstappen – Bottas – Perez.
Let us not forget Scuderia Ferrari either, who after after ages managed to pull up a so far unseen ‘performance’ – please take a look at the results’ chart below…
|1||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:03.660||27|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:03.877||+0.217s||43|
|4||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:04.241||+0.581s||43|
|5||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:04.333||+0.673s||45|
|7||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:04.437||+0.777s||29|
|8||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:04.541||+0.881s||31|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:04.757||+1.097s||37|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:05.050||+1.390s||34|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:05.152||+1.492s||23|
|14||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:05.365||+1.705s||36|
|15||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:05.588||+1.928s||34|
|17||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:05.655||+1.995s||49|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:05.790||+2.130s||36|
|19||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:06.096||+2.436s||38|
Photo: Steven Tee/ Motorsport Images