Red Bull Max Verstappen continued his incredible winning streak in the Brazilian F1 race on Sunday. First place was already the 17th of the season for the three-time World Cup winner.
McLaren driving a strong final season Lando Norris took his sixth second place of the season. Also the Aston Martin that drove very well this season Fernando Alonso returned after a break of seven races to the podium, being third.
Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas the race ended in suspension.
What solved it?
Starting from pole position for Sunday’s race Max Verstappen decided the race at the start. In the restart, he had no problem against Norris, who started from the second grid.
Sports expert Jukka Mildh says that Rengaskuluma once again played a big role for Red Bull.
– The race in Brazil is usually a tire race. The Interlagos track is hard enough for the tires. The cars that are in the right settings do the best. Here, Red Bull was once again completely superior.
Verstappen and Norris had no problems with their positions. Instead, Alonso and Red Bull fought fiercely for the last place on the podium by Sergio Perez in progress.
At the end of the race, Perez burned Alonso, who had been ahead for several laps. However, the 42-year-old champion driver had no problem defending his third place.
Perez got past Alonso in the penultimate lap, but the Spaniard regained the position at the beginning of the last lap.
In the end, Alonso crossed the finish line just a hair’s breadth ahead of Perez. Mildh shares praise for the driving performance of both, but special praise goes to the two-time World Championship winner.
The podium finish was Alonso’s eighth of the season. Descriptive is that the team mate With Lance Stroll there are none.
– Alonso was once again superior in his surprise and in the way he was able to bring out his best talents in the right places. This was another good demonstration from Alonso of how unbelievably tough and intelligent a driver he is. Incredible car control in terms of saving tires. Even though they were worn, he was able to keep Perez, who was driving a faster car, behind him.
– In particular, the driver decided the third place. The fact that Alonso is always able to think and execute one step ahead of others still makes him one of the most superior driver talents, Mildh praises.
Mildh singles out Williams as the toughest talking point of the race by Alexander Albon and Haas by Kevin Magnussen crash in the first start of the race. Due to the crash, the race was suspended for half an hour until the track was restored to racing condition.
Mildh sees that the two’s clash had the ingredients for a dangerous outcome. Both drivers were spared the biggest bumps.
The Interlagos circuit is an old-time formula circuit, which differs considerably in its profile from many of today’s racing arenas due to its narrowness.
– The start crash looked quite dangerous. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to widen the track. However, it is an old standard track. For some reason, the Interlagos track does not survive the seasons and is always in poor condition. The situation was overcome with surprisingly little damage, Mildh sees.
The title of the surprise of the F1 weekend goes to Aston Martin. The team that has been in top form since the beginning of the season recently received a new update package.
It wasn’t visible in the previous race in Mexico, but now the going was significantly better. In Friday’s qualifying, Lance Stroll and Alonso took positions 3–4 in cool weather. On Saturday, on the sprint day, the pace was lost again, but on Sunday it went.
Alonso was third and Stroll fifth. During the season, the team that fell from second place to fifth place in the manufacturers’ World Championship points got a juicy point pot from the weekend.
– They benefited from Friday’s qualifying sessions, where the weather played a significant role. However, they fell behind McLaren at the beginning, but the pace was still excellent in the race.
Mildh also gives Perez, who has been under a lot of pressure for the rest of the season, a surprise stamp. For example, the Mexican has not reached the podium for a long time and has otherwise received classless results compared to the superior equipment.
Although Perez is under contract for next season, his Red Bull driving seat is still seen as being in jeopardy. Among the rumors, Alonso has been taken to Perez’s place.
According to his own words, Alonso, who was not satisfied with the rumours, stated at the end of the weekend that the talks in question are stupid and that there will be sanctions. However, he did not reveal what the consequences mean.
It was the defeat of Perez in the battle for the podium that could only give new impetus to the rumours.
– If you consider that Alonso narrowly beat Perez with a much worse car, from Red Bull’s point of view, Perez failed. Somehow it seems that Alonso does not necessarily want to become Verstappen’s second driver. Alonso has a good contract with Aston Martin. He is able to bring all his know-how to the stable.
– Red Bull would be a much weaker organization for him to fulfill himself. I can’t believe that Red Bull wants to go along with that thing. However, Perez has to do a really good job so that he can keep his place in the team.
Mercedes’ performance goes to the flop. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were rattling with tires.
Mercedes won the previous two races in Brazil. Hamilton drove number one in 2021 and Russell celebrated his first career win last year. Considering that, the slowness was surprising.
– The car didn’t go anywhere. Hamilton was more than a minute off the lead at the end, which is alarming. A couple of races ago, Mercedes brought a new base to their car. It clearly matters that it didn’t work there, Mildh estimates.
What about Bottas?
Valtteri Bottas’ season has been difficult partly due to Alfa Romeo’s weak competitiveness. In the race in Brazil, however, Finns were seen doing cheerful things.
He struggled in the points and was in 11th place at the time of suspension.
– He has a lot of experience on this track, so it seemed that he handled the start quite calmly. He moved up several places at the start as cars dropped out in front. He drove like a confident driver. Once again, all that can be said is that he tried his best and survived the difficult places during the race, says Mildh.
The F1 season continues in two weekends with the expected Las Vegas race. Las Vegas returns to the F1 calendar after a gap of many decades.
This is already the third race of the season to be run in the USA. Others have been the Miami and the standard Austin.
– This will clearly be a new phenomenon in formula one. Let’s drive in the best possible way. In the history of Formula 1, there has probably never been seen such a great setting. Quite a show is coming, says Mildh.