“It was an old school, edge of the seat Monza thriller,” says Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok as he displays on some classes from Leclerc’s win
Final Up to date: 11/09/19 12:37pm
There are solely sure days on this sport after we watch a driver win a race and it brings pleasure throughout all the paddock. Final Sunday in Monza was a type of days.
I do not suppose there was a single individual on Sunday evening who wasn’t blissful for Charles Leclerc – even Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Toto Wolff deep down gave the impression to be blissful for the younger Monegasque star!
Qualifying was totally weird and borderline comical. Each single driver was clearly chasing the slipstream, because it was price about half a second. However what was complicated was that when Carlos Sainz crossed the second sector line, he had about 30 seconds to the flag. We knew that the ultimate sector was about 26 seconds so it turned fairly clear that the remaining had been all going to overlook the flag. This was easy for us to see simply on the tv display screen so fairly how the groups with all their GPS software program received it fallacious is extraordinary.
Anyway, Sunday delivered a really good Grand Prix. As Martin Brundle put it after the race, Mercedes threw every thing at it with two automobiles within the battle in opposition to Charles, however he soaked up the stress fantastically. It was an old style, fringe of the seat Monza thriller with the highest three exhibiting some very high-quality driving.
Proper from the opening lap, Charles and the Mercedes drivers settled right into a high-speed prepare across the temple of pace. Whereas the primary stint was all about settling in and excited about who was going to blink first, the second stint is the place it actually got here alive. Mercedes selected their second to carry Lewis in completely however equally, Charles attacked on his in-lap and the Ferrari mechanics, with the entire of Italy watching them like hawks, delivered a fantastic pitstop.
The choice to run their respective tyres got here again to Friday, the teachings from Spa and normally the design philosophy of the 2 automobiles. The Mercedes inherently has extra downforce which implies that they will take care of their tyres extra. It additionally implies that they will put extra vitality into the tyres straight out of the pits and lightweight them up faster than Ferrari. The truth that Ferrari weren’t as aggressive on the mediums each in Spa and on Friday in Monza and endure extra degradation due to the decrease downforce led them to place the onerous tyre on Charles’ automotive.
That is when the race actually got here alive. Lewis on a set of mediums that had been totally warmed up for attacking, in opposition to Charles on a set of onerous tyres that also needed to totally gentle up. It was significantly high-quality driving from each the fellows.
I thought Leclerc was notably sensible on the Parabolica on each lap utilizing a line the place he went a bit deep, flirted with the sting of the monitor limits, however opened up the steering wheel and straightened the exit to launch himself onto the beginning end straight. He was enjoying to his and Ferrari’s strengths and knew that if he broke away just a few automotive lengths in the beginning of the straight, then regardless of the DRS and slipstream that Lewis would profit from, he could be OK.
Lewis received very shut on one event into the second chicane in fact, and I thought it was proper on the sting of what was an appropriate defence from Leclerc. I actually like the thought of the black-and-white warning flag from Michael Masi, the brand new race director for the season and the stewards, and it was a great choice to not break up the battle however simply warn Charles that he would not get away with such a strong defence frequently.
Mercedes performed a wise sport strategically by splitting their choices and getting Valtteri to go longer on the primary stint. After a number of laps of Lewis piling on the stress and Leclerc solely making one actual error into the primary chicane, it was the five-time world champion who made an error himself on the identical place. It confirmed simply how onerous they had been all pushing and the way difficult it was to cease the automotive on the finish of the lengthy straight in a bumpy braking zone. This error from Lewis allowed Bottas to select up the baton and ramp up the stress himself.
As soon as once more Leclerc simply soaked up the stress, did not waste vitality mirror-watching, and stored his head down. The Mercedes was visibly extra planted by means of the Lesmos and the Ascari chicane however the pink automotive’s straight-line pace was sufficient to maintain him in entrance.
Being beneath the rostrum at Monza is totally good. Watching Mattia Binotto and the workforce climb the fence and absorb the adulation from the Tifosi confirmed simply how a lot this meant to each single individual in pink on Sunday. Because the boss of F1’s most well-known workforce carrying the hopes of a nation, particularly at Monza, he is received the highest-pressure job in System 1. Sure, throughout the season the Ferrari is not a fast-enough automotive, and there is a good probability they will not win one other race this yr, however that makes Sunday’s victory all of the extra essential to take the warmth off him for the brief time period at the very least.
The one man in a pink shirt feeling much less joyous although could be Sebastian Vettel. His spin on the Ascari chicane was the newest in a run of errors that started again in Hockenheim final yr, however the way in which he rejoined the monitor and left Lance Stroll with nowhere to go was a critical misjudgement which might have had a lot greater penalties for each drivers. The truth that Stroll then did roughly the identical factor to the Toro Rosso stemmed from a annoyed younger man who had simply been robbed of an excellent consequence. I’m not making excuses for Lance however merely saying I can perceive it a bit greater than Vettel’s transfer.
It is onerous to consider that the European season is already over and we’re all off to Singapore subsequent for the flyaways to countdown to Abu Dhabi. I totally anticipate Max Verstappen and Purple Bull to be battling the Mercedes drivers across the streets of Singapore. Final yr, Lewis delivered one of many biggest qualifying laps ever seen in System 1, and I’m very excited to see if the Dutchman can beat him subsequent week!
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