In the first training session, the seven teams that traveled to Barcelona with major modifications did not go as they wished. Especially McLaren-Mercedes and Alfa-Sauber woke up from a nightmare.
Alfa-Sauber: Not a good Friday
The Swiss team had long faces after 60 minutes: 13th Kubica (who was allowed to replace Zhou) and 17th Bottas. Boss Fred Vasseur wasn’t nervous yet, but openly admitted: “Unfortunately, we got bogged down in collecting data. There wasn’t much right.”
Before the second training session, former boss Peter Sauber (78) showed up as a guest with the Hinwil team. As a goddess of luck? Hardly, because after just ten minutes Valtteri Bottas rolled out at the end of the home stretch, parked the C42 next to the track and radioed: “Something broke!”
Bottas was 6th…
It’s these small defects that keep Alfa-Sauber from making a big leap in this season, which was nevertheless successful (31 World Championship points so far). This time, the eighth in the World Cup got caught after three laps – and by then he was already in 6th place behind Verstappen, Sainz, Leclerc, Hamilton and Russell. Understood?
The eight changes (only McLaren-Mercedes brought more updates to the track with ten) don’t seem to be working yet.
“I think it’s the engine!”
Blick met Bottas shortly after the drama in the team pavilion. Even in his civilian clothes. “I think it’s the engine. Because the engine cover had a big hole!”
It’s a good thing that in some teams the drivers or engineers involved don’t talk about the truth for long.
Well, it took teammate Guanyu Zhou 16 laps to get to Bottas’ time. And didn’t grab her even after 30 rounds! In such situations, an equivalent number 2 in each team is required.
Mercedes chases Leclerc
In the late afternoon at 31 degrees, after half an hour, a big fight broke out. Championship leader Leclerc was being chased – by the two Mercedes from Russell and Hamilton.
Sir Lewis: «If we finally find the direction for solving our problems, the World Cup will not be over yet!» The fans of the seven-time world champion will surely like to hear it.
Can Vettel benefit?
After 40 minutes, Sebastian Vettel also danced around the front for the first time with the controversial Aston Martin-Mercedes. A wonder?
Well, the green car caused a lot of excitement even before the first practice session. Did you see a clear copy of the Red Bull Honda? “Yes, a scandal,” raged in the bull camp. And demonstratively placed the green cans from the Red Bull range at the entire command post.
Aston Martin no bull copy
This time, the world association FIA reacted quickly to the allegations and declared the green car as legal. Aston Martin was apparently able to prove that the changes had already been tested in the wind tunnel in November 2021.
Sure, seven people from Red Bull had changed camp in 2021. And what you couldn’t take with you in your briefcase, at least stuck in your head. Or just legal espionage!
2020 gave 15 points deduction
It was different two seasons ago. Racing Point (now Aston Martin) simply copied the world champion car from Mercedes with precise documentation. The FIA reacted quickly there too: 15 World Championship points deducted. At the end of the season, Racing Point lost third place in the World Championship to McLaren!
And while we’re at the FIA: The old master Fernando Alonso (40, Alpine) asks for an interview. After his two penalties in Miami, the Spaniard called the FIA commissaires and the race director incompetent. The punishment (social commitment?) will follow soon…
Rest in peace, Niki!
May 20th may be remembered for the “rebirth” of Mercedes. But exactly on May 20, three years ago, Formula 1 lost the three-time world champion and Mercedes supervisory board member Niki Lauda († 70).
The Viennese died in Zurich after a month-long struggle of total organ failure. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff: “We miss him every day. Especially in difficult times he would have pushed us all forward.”
The other May 20th…
May 20, 2019 was not only a day of mourning for Austria. On the same date, Styrian Red Bull billionaire Didi Mateschitz celebrated his 75th birthday.
Nothing has been heard for weeks – not even after the red bull Max Verstappen’s world title on December 12, 2021 in Abu Dhabi.