GP Spain: analysis: the keys of the GP of Spain

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When Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided in turn 4 of the first lap of the race, no one could believe it. But what is certain is that that outcome provided us with a struggle to four for the win that was a long time that we didn’t have the pleasure of witnessing.

Since that time, the pilots of Ferrari and Red Bull became candidates to victory and, as a result of the great equality that was among them, their respective engineers decided to split strategies. Ricciardo and Vettel on one side with three stops and Verstappen and Räikkönen on the other, with two. Finally the second option was the winner, and the Dutch managed to impose on the Finnish, becoming the youngest driver in history to win a Formula 1 race.

On the side English, side, and cross, as Carlos Sainz rounded out an almost perfect weekend, but Fernando Alonso left for mechanical problems when shooting in the low area of points.

The stars

Max Verstappen

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the greater part of the press and fans seemed to be a madness to ascend to the very young pilot Dutch to Red Bull in place of Daniil Kvyat, but as usual in Max since his debut in Formula 1 last year, has been showing a maturity that spectacular.

Faced the weekend with realism, targeting to adapt to the new situation and make progress little by little. But if there is a main feature when we talk about pilots special, that is the ability of adaptation: all the great the have. Fulfilled in the classification, although far from his teammate in Q3 and in the race, immediately showed that he had pace to spare to follow in the wake of Ricciardo.

When they departed strategies to try to beat Ferrari, Max had as a mission to hold more than 30 laps with a set of medium tyres, with Kimi stalking its wake. And not failed. Kimi was unable to make a single serious attempt of overtaking and the Dutch knew how to conserve the tyres so neither Vettel nor Ricciardo could get close enough. masterpiece. Pilot master.

Valtteri Bottas

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the Finnish did not find enough consistency it is a pity, because the day that you are successful, becomes the clear reference of a team with such a need for stability in the results as Williams.

Such was the case in Montmeló, a circuit in which the team was aware of the high demand of aerodynamic efficiency would lastrarles. Fifth place -which would have been seventh in normal conditions – certifies that Williams is the fourth team from the grill and, incidentally, makes it clear that the finn got the best result possible in Spain. Unlike his companion, he missed the Saturday and finished off with a sober Sunday. Weekend flawless.

Carlos Sainz

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If we talk about a weekend of near perfection in the case of Bottas, the same can be said of Carlos Sainz. The Spanish dominated a hesitant Daniil Kvyat -still in phase of adaptation – and, in addition to getting the best possible result for the team, put the icing on with a couple of overtaking of merit in the first round placed third.

Subsequently, endured the Ferrari with a master’s degree without harming their own interests with braking damaging or excessive movements. Knew that their war was another, and, that matter of truth, the ran without blemish. It may be that Sainz is not a pilot as special as Verstappen. But one thing is indisputable: it is a pilot of Formula 1 with all the letters.

Force India

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Force India introduced on this Grand Prix what’s new on his car and the team took the leap necessary to be competitive at a circuit that, a priori, should be a major problem. Improved the aerodynamic efficiency of the set, but also the management of the tyres, one of its weak points until the moment.

The team has always had financial difficulties but, for some reason, get kept at a level difficult to maintain in formations so modest. There is so much talent in this team and, as it begins to be usual, was Sergio Perez, the manager of crystallize it into points. Hülkenberg, again mediocre in qualifying, improved in the race -something also common-but his car was not able to endure the entire race.

Marcus Ericsson

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A twelfth place finish doesn’t say much a priori, but if it is a Sauber and, above all, allows you to beat your team-mate, the two Renault and to the Manor, then the perception changes. The Swedish was the best in the group queue: what a maximum that can be achieved with a Sauber between hands.

He described this career as, possibly, the best from competing in F1, and they might be right. Chose a strategy of three stops, with the first very early, but in spite of everything managed to win his race. The six slowest cars of the grill.

The estrellados

Mercedes

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Literalmente, Mercedes crashed this weekend at Montmeló. The team that seems to be created with swiss precision failed miserably in the Grand Prix of Spain. Its two pilots were commissioned to mess up what clearly was going to be another weekend in which to score a double for the brand of the star. Obviously, all of this is detrimental to Lewis Hamilton, who has the same disadvantage, but a race less to recover it. It remains to be seen what consequences it will have in the future at the domestic level.

Sebastian Vettel

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to Hear Sebastian Vettel complaining about the radio beginning to be quite common and, in this race, we went back to watch it when Daniel Ricciardo tried to pass him at the end of the straight in the last phase of the Grand Prix.

But regardless of that, Sebastian returned to finish a weekend disappointed with the result. On this occasion, we had the pace to win and the chance of victory was unique, with the two Mercedes outside. But the strategy failed again. While Kimi was chosen for two stops, Vettel had to do work of three. That meant overtaking the Red Bull on track, something that, bearing in mind the difficulties that the Scuderia was having all weekend in the third sector, seemed to be already complicated in and of itself.

the icing on The cake came when, strangely, Vettel stopped on lap 29 to place soft used and again at 37 to return to the new media. In practice, that left him in almost the same position to Verstappen and Kimi -means to the end, but with only one and two laps less on their tires- and at a disadvantage with respect to Ricciardo, which did not stop until lap 43. At least was able to save the podium.

Daniel Ricciardo

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Was leader for a good part of the race, but at no time was able to get rid of Verstappen and, when they parted strategies, he had to deal with the less successful.

The lack of top-end speed of the Red Bull forced him to make any attempt of overtaking at the very limit with Sebastian Vettel, damaging his tires. And, one lap from the end, the left rear blew and the australian ended up as the only candidate on the podium that was out of him. Bad day for Daniel in the office. And now plays get out of the comfort zone in which Kvyat had allowed him to be installed to be measured with Max Verstappen. Almost nothing.

Fernando Alonso

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In recent times, the optimism of Fernando Alonso is inversely proportional to the sabbath-which is usually on Sundays. And that is, after entering for the first time in Q3, a new neglect because of issues with the engine, come down from the cloud to any.

Fernando knows that the car does not perform as it should in the race, but try not to be the discordant note in the discourse of general optimism that artificially has been installed in the McLaren. Or the reliability is bullet-proof yet, or the performance is optimal in the comparison classification/career. Surely come flashes as that of Russia, maybe in Monaco or any other circuit. But nothing indicates that is going to be the standard pattern throughout the year. Desperate.

Daniil Kvyat

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First race after his descent to Toro Rosso. You must adapt to change while his team-mate made a weekend flawless in his home race. In addition, Verstappen gets the first win of his career in F1.

Daniil entered the points, and meet is a little less, because everything else stood against her. He did not wrong the Russian this weekend, it is normal for a pilot who switches teams need a process of adaptation. The problem is that Red Bull looking for drivers special. And to be the first premise is to have a resilience greater than normal. Verstappen 1, Kvyat 0. Sainz 1, Kvyat 0. But, in reality, what Daniil will have to be aware of is that you need to call the attention of other teams from the grill because, whether fair or not, your history in Red Bull ends on the 27th of November.

The flash

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Williams has a lot of limitations, but in regard to the pit-stops, is the best team of the season long. Again, his mechanics became the most efficient in the pits, getting two stops faster of the race. Do you get to beat the barrier by two seconds? To see who dares to dismiss it.

The technical detail

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Personally, expected that Red Bull were the team chasing Mercedes at this Grand Prix, even ahead of Ferrari. My theory was supported by one of the signs of identidas of this circuit: the aerodynamic efficiency.

it Is well known that Red Bull have a chassis and an aerodynamic package bright, but an engine is much lower than that of Mercedes and Ferrari. And, although Montmeló do not let be a path in which the engine has its own, it also has fast corners and long, so that aerodynamics is becoming increasingly important.

Finally Red Bull has proven to be a pace very similar to that of Ferrari, something worse with soft and slightly better with media. And its exceptional performance in the third sector was the basis for the triumph of Verstappen on Räikkönen.

In contrast, other teams like Williams, suffer more than normal for the same circumstance, since they are a team with more limitations aerodynamic. When there is equality, the details make differences and, in this case, the path was one of the most crucial at the time of swing the balance in the two groups more alike from the grill. Red Bull-Ferrari on one side and Toro Rosso-Force India-McLaren-Renault on the other.

The dark area

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there Were many points of interest this weekend, but without a doubt one of the most controversial is the accident between the two pilots Mercedes.

In the snatch, Nico Rosberg managed to improve the output of Lewis Hamilton, but forgot to select the map right motor and, when the car went into recovery mode power on turn 3, he lost power and his companion fell over.

Rosberg was aware of this and, after changing the map engine in the steering wheel, turned quickly to the right to cover the hole towards which it was heading Hamilton. But it was too late, as the English had equated his wing and part of its front wheels to the rear axle of the German.

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despite this, Nico didn’t budge, continued to spin and forced Hamilton to get out to the grass, losing control and taking ahead of Nico. Hamilton could not believe what had happened and threw up her hands to his head as the race director ordered the entry of the Safety Car on the track and Mercedes called on all its relevant members to meet to discuss what happened.

Hamilton has the rules on their side and, in my opinion, also common sense. If we accept that these are racing cars and, therefore, not relaxing walks, to justify the defence of Rosberg, equally, we must accept that if there is a gap, small as it is, Hamilton is in his right to go for him.

But everything has a limit and, if Nico is not able to close it before the Hamilton goal part of your car in that gap, you should accept defeat and leave space. And, then, to find a way to prevent the overtaking in the braking or regain position below.

¿it Is smart of Hamilton to perform a maneuver so risky in the first round? Only he knows if he had enough pace to beat Rosberg with the strategy or on the track (something very complicated, as you could see Kimi and Ricciardo). If your superiority was doubtful or not sufficiently dominator, Hamilton knew that she had to take advantage of the opportunity, or probably would lose the race.

Premeditated or not, the fact is that Rorberg out of Spain, without penalty, with the same advantage, and a race less ahead. Play round. Do take cards in the matter Toto Wolff?