Verstappen czar of the slopes, Hamilton monarch under siege – Corriere.it

Verstappen czar of the slopes, Hamilton monarch under siege – Corriere.it
Verstappen czar of the slopes, Hamilton monarch under siege – Corriere.it

Mexico and clouds (stormy) for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, Mexico and sun – bright in the clear sky – for Max Verstappen and Red Bull: the first round of the F1 rodeo in three breathtaking acts (the GP of the Brazil and Qatar) marks another success for the Flying Dutchman and his blue car. The points advantage of SuperMax over Hamilton has risen to 19, with three tests to go the World Championship has perhaps chosen the new king and explained that Mercedes can also lose the constructors’ crown.

Max Verstappen: 10

Veni Vidi Vici. According to tradition, Gaius Julius Caesar pronounced the famous phrase to announce the victory of Zela against Farnace II of Pontus. Max Verstappen, on the other hand, will use it to tell his grandchildren how he imposed himself for the third time in Mexico, achieving success number 19 in his career. The start of the GP on the Magdalena Mixhuca circuit was the scene of his perfect battle: decisive lunge, overtaking, primacy and escape towards triumph. Ruthless and surgical.

Sergio Perez: 9.5

He just missed the crowning of a beautiful race, that is the second place to give Red Bull a double that would have meant the first place in the constructors’ championship as well. Perez did not make it, but he challenged Hamilton to the last kilometers, automatically becoming the head of the people of a supporters with over 100,000 appearances who were ecstatic for his favorite. A third place in the racetrack dedicated to the Rodriguez brothers must still be something big for a Mexican. In some respects he is the driver of the day, also considering Sergio’s work at the service of the team and his teammate, to whom he gave up the healthy wing for the race.

Antonio Perez: 9

Sergio’s Pap: the weight watchers mark him on sight, his body is rather rounded and his age is no longer green. Despite this he performed in a remarkable sprint in the podium area to launch the pueblo wave for his son. Moving.

Red Bull: 8,5

She risked throwing away the underdogs on a track very suitable for her with an inadequate qualification and with the thrill of the taccone (due to lack of spare parts) on Verstappen’s rear wing. But in the moment of truth he was able to be quick and authoritative.

Lewis Hamilton: 8

Had it not been for him, the seven-time world champion, to defend that second place, Perez would have made it his. Pride looks like the last fort of a monarch whose kingdom is now under siege. For the second time in a row we heard Lewis utter a sentence (I didn’t have the pace to stay ahead) that seems like a sign of surrender and that has never belonged to the Lewis of the past seasons.

Pierre Gasly: 8

Excellent in qualifying, constant at a high level in the race: fourth place goes very close to the French from Milan, who manages to get 110%, indeed perhaps even more, from an Alpha Tauri that is Red Bull’s sister but who is not the Red Bull. Relegated perhaps too hastily from the main team, Pierre deserves to see the end of Purgatory and to return to a top team.

The 3 former Ferrari drivers: 7

We refer to Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, united by a discreet test where the sun does not shine in the high rankings. In particular, Vettel woke up – within the limits allowed by an Aston Martin which in relation to the expectations of the eve will be one of the most disappointing cars of the season – after some embarrassing GPs.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz: 7

Better the drivers of the car, or Ferrari (see dedicated item). Never fighting for the podium, they tried to tickle Gasly and court his wooden medal. Nothing to do: Leclerc gave up fifth place to Sainz when Carlos found himself with fresher tires to try the attack on the Frenchman. But when it was clear that the project would not be completed, Charles regained his position in the last corners (deserved thanks to a better start than his teammate).

Mercedes: 6,5

If in Austin he had messed up the strategy, in Mexico the idea that he could do better in the management of Hamilton was only a suspicion. But he wasn’t as fast as Red Bull and the team used to giving biblical wages on the defensive. Any drop of water now counts, for example chasing the fastest lap with Bottas knowing that the Finn, not being in the top 10, would not have forfeited the additional point for himself for the team. But if nothing else, he would have denied it to Max and Red Bull: if the black-silver Arrows still lead among the manufacturers thanks to that scraped barrel.

Ferrari: 5,5

Positive there is only the third place among the constructors regained, distancing McLaren by 8.5 points in the standings: the result of Leclerc’s fifth place and Sainz’s sixth. But overall the SF21 was disappointing on a track that was indicated among the favorable ones.

McLaren: 4

Ouch, ouch, ouch … The team that raised the crest with the 1-2 Ricciardo-Norris at Monza and cornered Ferrari in the fight for the constructors’ podium squandered its treasure and was ousted by the Red from third place world champion: in Mexico, only one point to the credit. The mango-colored cars seem to have suddenly withered.

Alfa Romeo: 3

It has been clear for some races that Antonio Giovinazzi (vote 7 at his excellent start, but 10 at fair play with which he endures the oppression) is on the soul of the Swiss team (alias Sauber) with Italian roots: poor Giovi will have to give way to a Chinese, even more so now that F1 has renewed with the Shanghai racetrack until 2025 For the strategy reserved for Antonio in Mexico (early pit stop without any reason) it was pure self-harm and cries out for revenge: in fact, the shaded dot area.

Valtteri Bottas: 0

From pole position to yet another disaster: he gets everything wrong at the start, he finds himself caught by Verstappen and Hamilton and, dying in the center of the track, he catches, as a nemesis, Ricciardo’s touch that marks his fate after a few seconds. The only thing he can take away from the point of the fast lap at Verstappen, but a detail in the midst of the atrocities. If instead of getting on the W12 he had played with a group of Mariachi, he would have made a better impression.

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