A step away from the triple figure, from a record that who knows how long it will last. Maybe decades. Lewis Hamilton he always says he is not interested in numbers, but a performance. It was all engraved in the head of the brat who introducing himself to the ferocious Ron Dennis told him he would win in his car.
History and beyond, on the ups and downs of Portimao he can win the hundredth pole position. On Friday he took the measurements in free practice (1 time in the afternoon), he was not satisfied like every Friday: the treacherous smooth asphalt, the tires too hard, the wind. The usual whining, in short. The only credible thing is the very tight duel with Max Verstappen waiting for him. The generational clash, capable of igniting a season that was supposed to be a Mercedes monologue, will also be repeated in Portugal. Except surprises.
Gp Portimao, F1: Ferrari works on a new fund. Hamilton-Verstappen, war of details
Portimao, an ups and downs slope: medium-high load is needed
F1 needs many level replays and also a lively Ferrari, back behind the big names. Hamilton learned at Imola that against the Dutchman’s Red Bull – slightly better than Mercedes – pole is not a guarantee of victory, but if he were to achieve it, he would certainly enjoy it more than the others, rethinking the scope of the feat. Lonely hunter, for fifteen consecutive seasons he started at least one GP in front, like no one. Only at the wheel of the starry single-seaters, with and without a magic button, he signed 73. More than Schumacher’s 68, second in the ranking of the best poleman ahead of Senna (65). If the German was more of a racing beast, Ayrton’s magic on the flying lap — 27 years since the tragedy at the Tambourine corner — resists Sir Lewis’s steamroller. The eight starts at the pole in a row between 1988 and 1989, an unmatched record, like the dance between the Monte Carlo guardrails: five. Hamilton in two, the (few) critics of the British champion underline this fact. But they are nuances, they take little away from the greatness of the thirty-six year old fighting for the eighth World Cup.
Behind this hangover of numbers is a vital Ferrari, like in Imola. The indications are good on a track with favorable characteristics, the podium remains a complicated goal. Not that of being the third force, between the usual suspects and comebacks: McLaren in qualifying always dangerous, and Alonso’s Alpine is also revisited.
Fourth Leclerc in the morning and fourth Sainz in the afternoon. Both, taking turns, tried an evolution of the car bottom introduced in Imola obtaining the best time with the new floor. It will not be used in Portimao, but next week in Barcelona. The feedback from the track was needed to approve the production, they were good. But in the red box they are convinced that the contribution to performance is in any case limited, the difference in performance between the car that had it and the one without it is not attributable to the technical choice. Leclerc, who joined the social boycott against racism and violence, sees progress: We look competitive but we are all attacked. It will depend on who makes less mistakes.
April 30, 2021 (change April 30, 2021 | 22:12)
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