the first chapter of an open novel. With two certain protagonists and a third still in the shadows. The smokescreen of the tests still remains dense a week before the first GP, again on the Sakhir track. But an intense, full red emerges from the desert, which had been missing for some time. Ferrari has covered the most kilometers of all between Bahrain and Barcelona (3,941 km): the record in itself counts for little but highlights the solidity of a car that is easy to drive and to configure, it never breaks. The impressions of the pilots and the awareness in the group of technicians that they have taken the right path are much more sincere than the compliments of the opponents in the classic blame game.
Max Verstappen concluded by honoring the number one on his Red Bull: it was a sought-after call, it served to mark the territory but also to confirm the goodness of the technical developments introduced on the final day of the preseason. A qualifying lap to overtake Leclerc. But the Dutchman’s best time trial also took off pressure on Ferrari itself, already at the center of a thousand attentions. Those who pursue have an interest in exploiting the surprise effect, it is said that the cavalry of the new engine made in Maranello was used with the dropper, that it was played with loads of petrol. The difference in the fight at the top is estimated at two to three tenths.
But Red Bull’s progression leads to caution in the red box. They are the favorites, together with Mercedes – explains Mattia Binotto, the team principal giving the team an 8 to prepare for 2022 -, we are the outsiders. The car performs well and the drivers “feel it”. With three teams very close, the conditions are set for a spectacular first GP.
the sense of balance of the new regulation, with Mercedes lagging behind for having chosen a technical direction completely opposite to that of the others. For Lewis Hamilton he will not be able to fight for victory in the first races. Is it to be trusted? Not much, but the difficulties were real, the seven-time world champion admits that the potential is great but a week will not be enough to unlock it. Other times Toto Wolff’s team has been able to correct the shot during the current season, in 2018 the first victory came by chance only on the fourth round and an extra budget was needed to bend Ferrari’s ambitions. But it was another F1, with no expense cap.
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In this reformed by Liberty dbehind the big three no big surprises are in sight: McLaren can carve out a role as a spoilsport, if they can solve the brake problems that take away confidence in Lando Norris. And Daniel Ricciardo’s positivity at Covid – in doubt for Sunday – is an obstacle. The Alpine a construction site open with many cracks to fix, and the forty year old Fernando Alonso alone it cannot work miracles. Mick Schumacher’s little miracle makes a smile: according to yesterday, in extra time, with Haas. We also needed his signature for the credits.
March 12, 2022 (change March 12, 2022 | 22:39)
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