Montmeló 2015: No breaks, no worries
Only Fernando Alonso has won in Montmeló without starting from the front row of the grid. Ferrari forgot that, like many other things. The red one don’t learn and embarras themselves. They knew the importance of having track position and saw how Hamilton incapable of overtaking Vettel, but they chose to ignore what they had right in front of their noses, as usual, and continued with the set plan, as in Bahrain. They may have obtained the same end result, but if they had covered Hamilton in his second pit stop, the Englishman, instead of having had clean are to stretch his Mercedes’ legs, had had to overtake Vettel on track, and he failed to do that during the first half of the race…
Ferrari surrenders the advantage when having it, and does not pursuit it when in need. Montmeló made true the words Montezemolo and Alonso. As in 2014, they finished 45 seconds behind the winner, a Rosberg who seems to have reunited with his mojo. Ferrari must thank for the podiums harvested this season the misfortunes of others instead if its own virtues. Williams has stagnated, Red Bull has taken two steps back, McLaren goes about its own business and Lotus still need recovering from a disastrous 2014. Who remains to stumble upon the third step of the podium? … Ferrari.
To the red nonsense, McLaren’s added its own woes. Although the final result does not reflect it, McLaren-Honda continues improving steadily. Alonso’s race pace and strategy would had put him in eighth or ninth position at the end of the race. The protective visor that he sneaked into the cooling duct of one of the rear brakes had a different opinion. An unusual problem, the once on a hundred races kind, the brake fluid boiled and the fans froze. We will have to wait a little longer to see McLaren collect their first points. And Button? The poor grip on the Catalan asphalt this weekend surprised all drivers, and to Button more than to others. Everything points to a poor choice of settings, nothing wrong with his car either.
Who took then the responsibility for bringing in the excitement to the Grand Prix? Toro Rosso. Or rather, Verstappen and Sainz. Both drivers’ sons — though Sainz’s pedigree goes miles further — both debuted this season, both shone in Saturday’s qualifying — Sainz fifth, Verstapen sixth — ; but while Verstappen started the season surrounded by the start-in-the-making halo and got all the cameras pointing at him, Sainz sneaked in unnoticed, until he made things like what we saw on Sunday.
Both rookies battled throughout the race. They began suffering from Toro Rosso’s lack of top speed, conceding positions to those behind. Afterwards, the balance seemed to lean toward Verstappen’s aggressive strategy. But Sainz and his engineers had a plan. After stretching his second stint, the Spanish charged for the points in the closing laps. He catched Verstappenwith with ease; but the decaffeinated duel between Bottas and Kimi slipped in between them and he had to wait until they lapped the Dutch before he could try overtaking him. And overtaking the Dutch he did, without remorse or doubts. He snatched the last point and bruised his teammate’s pride. Not yet satisfied, he lunged for Kvyat. On the last lap, he axed the Russian. With white smoke, contact and no place on the track, Sainz won the ninth. The commissaries, in an unusual display of wisdom, considered that, at the time of the incident, Sainz had already overtaken Kvyat and the rest filed as racing incident. Two points for Sainz who may have risen more than one eyebrow at Red Bull and gave the rest of us something to rejoiced on.
Next stop: Monaco. Perfect for Honda to mask their lack of power. Will McLaren score this time?
Translation from the Spanish original published in Antibiographía on May 1, 2015 under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.