SPANISH GP: A report card with a hint of wittiness by Froldi

Ferraristas’ heartbeats (mine included). A rollercoaster, you know? It’s been a great Grand Prix with a clash of two titans. The qualities on the track now seem outlined.

Bottas. Score: 5. Mr. doormat or St. Submissive (I dreamed of him with a hat in his hands asking for a contract renewal to the Mercedes’ bosses, and he deserves it all) followed with way too much attention his team’s orders. It was so obvious that my heart went out to him (when I had a clear mind… since before that I got excited for that gorgeous overtake). I’m not shocked by the fact that those kinds of directives exist and that the loyal squire tries to damage his own rival (meaning: he tries to make his rival waste precious time). Everybody did it, and Ferrari also did it. Nobody is a prude, neither in this nor in other sports. The fact remains that Bottas made Vettel lose a whole lot of seconds that maybe, and I say maybe, would have allowed him to win.

Karma. Score: divine. Sometimes it knows what to do. Ask Bottas.

VSC. Score: abomination. I wonder what that wicked device is good for if it makes the seconds of distance change randomly between the pilots on the track. Gosh, we’re in 2017, that freaking VSC has a never-ending trial stage.

Kimi Raikkonen. Score: 5. The Ice Man of the good ol’ days (a nickname that doesn’t fit at all nowadays) melts away like snow in the sun when we need him. Kimi’s problem is always the same. In the decisive moment of a qualifying session he gets lost, and on average he doesn’t start well. If you add together those things then it is difficult to do well on the race. What a pity, his points would be useful. P.S.: There’s no need to do fast laps at the end of the race, like Mr. Bwoah often does, because that way you’re going nowhere. Let it be clear: I’m not against Raikkonen, quite the contrary, I’m pro him.

Ferrari’s pit stop. Score: 5 (I repeat it). When a race is so tight, even just losing a fraction of a second can determine a defeat. On Sunday it happened again, a pit stop far slower than the rivals (when Vettel was asked about it, he said that he didn’t know why it took so long)

Ferrari overall score. Score: 9. Ferrari keeps developing its single-seaters with improvements that seem to work. Not bad at all, it is a great change compared to the last years. They still need a little bit of slyness and ability to manage the pressure. Like Enzo Ferrari used to say, the problem is not getting to the top, but staying there.

Mercedes overall score. Score: 9 ½. They had to do some damage, they turned the car inside out (even by sight). The new specs of their super engine has debuted. Did it change a lot? No. That’s why they don’t deserve a 10. After all the qualities are the same (luckily for the audience). But they’re not used to win and they became skilful enough. They won the race with some strategy too (it isn’t a demerit at all). But please, don’t let Toto make fair play lessons or other nonsenses about how the pilots should behave on the track, or about the fact that there mustn’t be orders by the team etc. etc..

Hamilton. Score: 10. He’s an extraordinary champion, sometimes he’s discontinuous, but definitely a hammer, like his nickname suggests. A great show for the eyes and a heart attack for the ferraristas when he wins the duels against the Ferrari.

Vettel. Score: 10+. My humble opinion is that he’s more constant than Hamilton. My eyes are still shining for the great manoeuvre on Bottas (it is going to be on the annals), for having well-defended his position after the pit stop and, unfortunately, for withstanding Hamilton’s overtaking (even though he couldn’t do more in that tight spot).

Alonso. Score: 10. Give him a decent vehicle, and he does incredible things. I say it again (I know that it is a childlike dream): I would see him well in the Ferrari team with a decent single-seater.

Red Bull’s announcements. Score: 3. There’s one thing I like about Red Bull: sometimes they brag. And sometimes the things that they say don’t coincide with reality.

Max Verstappen. Score: Ungraded. He couldn’t do a lot, he has been hit by Raikkonen, which has been hit by Valtteri Stoppas (sorry, Bottas). Here, too, the Karma did his job (sooner or later the wheel turns against you). Poetic justice.

McLaren. Score: 6. And yet, it moves. Even though we don’t know if the Germans started to give some advice to Honda’s motor mechanics.
Monte Carlo is coming in two weeks… the track is anachronistic, ridiculous, it is almost impossible to overtake etc. etc… but that’s where the real talent counts.

P.S. I believe in Luca Dal Monte, the author of Enzo Ferrari’s definitive biography (Ferrari Rex, published by Giunti - Giorgio Nada editore), that I had the pleasure to interview for F1AT (the article is coming soon) and that says: Vettel is going to win the world championship.

Mariano Froldi

Translated by Isabella Lai

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