If you are not familiar with the rule of three, it states that in any narrative, events that occur in the form of three give more satisfaction than any other number.
For Scuderia Ferrari, its own group of three – which includes unreliability, poor strategy and driver error – is not satisfactory for a team that currently has the fastest car in Formula One.
Last Sunday’s French Grand Prix gave Ferrari the chance to experience a whole host of problems, finding the team now had to worry more about tackling third-placed Mercedes than the threat from series leader Red Bull.
The reliability problem was a carryover from the previous race in Austria, when Carlos Sainz’s engine suddenly decided to grill itself – and much of the car, too. With racing without a motor not seemingly a viable option, last week Sainz was asked to exceed the annual limit for replacement units and land himself at the back of the grid to start the race.
While Sainz spent most of the race making his way to the front, Ferrari’s strategy research team managed to limit its lead to fifth, a good result but perhaps a point or even two less than would have been possible with better steering.
Sainz was one of the few racers with difficult tires to start with, slowing his progress across the field, and an early safety car pulled any advantage that strategy gave him by making staying outside while his rivals were impractical. Things went from bad to worse as Sainz seemed to lose his patience Absolute chaos coming over the radio As to whether he should stop again to remove the middle frames that were questionable to make it to the end.
Adding to his frustration, when Sainz finally got into the pit, he was asked to take a five-second penalty, which was incurred during the first stop when the team fired him into the lane of an oncoming car, narrowly avoiding a collision.
As a final insult, the team told him on the radio that he received a five-second “stop and go” penalty instead of just losing time, a bug that Sainz discovered at least this time.
But worst of all for Ferrari was a shocking leadership blunder by Charles Leclerc, which once again saw a potential win for the team shift to the DNF. Leclerc’s ringed cry broadcast over the team’s radio as his car lay motionless in the tire barriers said better than any words, as series leader Max Verstappen handed a relatively easy win and left himself 63 points behind in the standings.
As the team looks at what could have been a magical year slowly derailed by incident after incident, one wonders how long team manager Mattia Binotto can maintain his calm demeanor. In a post-race interview“There isn’t much to be said about (the incident), these are mistakes, and they happen,” Binotto said.
But Binotto’s body language seems to show a different feeling as frustration continues to build.
As for Red Bull, Verstappen’s victory may have been tempered a bit by teammate Sergio Perez who was defeated on the podium by two Mercedes, which saw the best team race of the year so far.
George Russell showed why he earned his place in this team with a superb pass from the restart to Perez after a safety car, which seemed to catch the Red Bull driver by surprise.
Lewis Hamilton, who was racing in his 300th Formula One race, has had his best performance as Lewis Hamilton this year, finishing 10 seconds behind Verstappen, but is clearly happy with his car’s improvement.
through the field
* After updating the car and having a solid qualifying day on Saturday, McLaren looked like it might be in a position to challenge Mercedes for Sunday’s race. Instead, McLaren looked far off the pace of the Silver Arrows, while Alpine overtook the British side on the track and in the standings.
Using identical tire strategies, every McLaren passed an Alpine car, and Daniel Ricciardo had to battle an active Aston Martin duo to finish ninth. “I expected a little bit more from us,” Norris said after the race, while he said the Alps were simply faster.
* Speculation continues that this will be the last race at Circuit Paul Ricard, and possibly in France altogether. Ideas for other potential French hosts, which include even if manIt was introduced to keep the sport alive in a country with some of the longest history in motorsports.
If last weekend turns out to be the last race in France for the foreseeable future, the two drivers in the country will come out with mixed results. Esteban Okun recovered from an early tangle with Alpha Touri’s Yuki Tsunoda (which would end Tsunade’s day) to finish in Very satisfactory eighth placeAs Pierre Gasly came in another Alfa Torri to his home track with what he hoped would be an improved car, only to finish a non-competitive day on the twelfth.
* While the Haas cars looked fast all weekend, they weren’t able to follow up on their solid results in the previous two races. Changing tires early hurt the team when a later safety car gave its rivals a quicker stop, and both drivers would be involved in the call.
Kevin Magnussen’s race ended in a collision with Nicholas Latifi, while Mick Schumacher drove home in the last of the running cars after breaking out from contact with Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, who received a five-second penalty and later retired due to problems with Ferrari. ). -Introduction) Engine.
In the other Alfa car, Valtteri Bottas couldn’t beat the poor start, which he attributed to a problem with the car, but he came off the weekend with cool hat.
Summer break looms, but not until next weekend’s trip to Hungary, which last year was marked by action-packed racing, including a major first lap crash, Lewis Hamilton’s solo start after the red flag, and Esteban Ocon’s first series. win over.