Sainz at the forefront since the start of the weekend
Very fast and efficient since the start of the weekend, Carlos Sainz pulled out all the stops to take pole position from Max Verstappen on the final lap, by just 13 thousandths. Enough to unleash the stands obviously filled with tifosis acquired for the cause of the reds. The battle was played out between Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc. The three drivers stand in a pocket handkerchief, with only 67 thousandths of a difference between the two Ferraris which sandwich the championship leader’s Red Bull.
Sainz made, according to him, the difference in Ascari and the Parabolica by perfectly taking these two complex curves, and thus snatching the 4th pole position of his career. Verstappen isn’t too upset, as he feels he has a “good car for the race”. Indeed, provided that everything goes without a hitch, how long will it take the Dutch ogre to bite his opponent?
Charles Leclerc had taken the provisional pole but was beaten for a breather, having had no draft. The Monegasque is doing well, after a difficult Friday, which forced him to completely change his settings today by taking those of Sainz. Perez being only 5th, Ferrari must try to play it fine tomorrow on strategy with 2 high-performance cars against a single Verstappen.
After the frustration at Zandvoort, George Russell took a fine 4th position, ahead of Perez and an excellent Alex Albon who confirmed both the progress of the Williams, from which we expected a good pace here with its low downforce design, and its return to the front of the stage. The veterans have to settle for the crumbs with Hamilton 8th and Alonso 10th.
Note the fine performance of the Alpha Tauri, with Yuki Tsunoda 11th at the gates of Q3, closely followed by Liam Lawson, who continues to make a good impression on his debut replacing Daniel Ricciardo.
Monza exposes Renault engine deficit
We feared it, and it is confirmed. Alpine is totally dropped at Monza, with Gasly and Ocon who were eliminated in Q1, 17th and 18th. The Alpine is not on its plate on this low downforce track and above all Monza, a justice of the peace for engines, has highlighted the obvious deficiency of the Renault V6 hybrid in terms of power. We talked about 30CV less than the competition, which really seems to be true here…