The tremendous appetite that moves the two drivers competing in the Formula 1 World Championship this season can be measured by the indifference that finishing a race on the podium provokes in both of them when that does not mean having won it. The second position that Max Verstappen won in Turkey could well be considered a triumph for the Dutchman, especially if one takes into account the inferiority exhibited by the Red Bulls this weekend in their particular duel with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. However, Verstappen’s face and words as soon as he got out of the car cast everything but glee. The apathy of the Hasselt boy, yes, was an outbreak of joy when compared with the enormous anger of the British, who with the passage of days was complicating life until leaving on Sunday completely unhinged.
If Verstappen maximized his potential in Istanbul, Hamilton squandered an unbeatable opportunity to hit a stretch that would allow him to take some margin in front of the championship. The rider from Stevenage (Great Britain) started the eleventh – he was penalized after changing the combustion chamber of his car – and finished fifth, after taking his time at the beginning and being prevented by Checo Pérez (third), who raised a wall in front of him and cut off his comeback when they fought for fourth place. An invaluable team effort that of the Mexican, completely dedicated to the cause of the red buffalo and its leader. On paper it was Mercedes who had prepared an ambush for Hamilton to reach Valtteri Bottas, and it turned out to be Red Bull who took advantage of the more coral strategy.
In very complicated conditions, the Finn came out first and right there crossed the checkered flag, with 15 seconds of margin over the second and without a trace of his workshop neighbor, engulfed in the peloton and doubting whether to enter to change tires or complete the entire test with them. It is the Nordic’s first victory in more than a year (Russia, 2020) and one of the last that he will achieve wearing the star manufacturer’s jumpsuit, once his signing for Alfa Romeo has been made official with a view to the coming year. .
On this occasion, Hamilton gave in to the warnings that came to him on the radio and got into the garage with eight laps to go, not enough time for the tires to get rid of the famous graining –The granules that adhere to their surface when there is a large difference between the temperature of the asphalt and that of the compound– and they function properly again. “I tried to stay out as long as I could, because what I was clear about was that I wasn’t going to have enough time to eliminate the graining. We lost some very important points ”, summed up the undisputed leader of the star brand, who after this result loses the baton of the general table, which again passes to Verstappen, now by six points.
The head of the race remained relatively stable, nothing to do with the skirmishes of the peloton tail. From the brawl of the rest of the world, the figure of Carlos Sainz emerged, a veritable whirlwind that engulfed 11 rivals – he started in 19th and finished the eighth -, more than anyone else, in a frenzied climb that earned him the award of pilot of the day for the first time in his career. The Madrilenian was left with at least that satisfaction after emptying himself on the track, much better taste in his mouth than the one that Fernando Alonso took away.
Alonso: “We didn’t hit the lottery one”
Placing fifth on the grid, his best starting position in the last seven years, the Asturian fell victim to the excitement that intoxicated Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman escaped his car and he slapped the Spaniard, who could not help but spin and stay facing the line. “When we go out in front we have the bad luck that they touch us from behind. And then we are 58 laps without anything happening ”, agreed Alonso, finally 16th. “We played the lottery and we didn’t match a number. I imagine that we will have an accumulation of luck for next year ”, the Alpine driver added.
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