If the Australian GP was a dream race for Ferrari, the story changed in the fourth round of the championship in Imola, Italy. Red Bull better understood the difficult track conditions due to the weather throughout the weekend, had more pace, and won a couple of wins. Even more: Max Verstappen won all 34 points available this weekend as it was a sprint, and recovered part of the score lost due to two retirements in the first three races. Thus, the Dutchman left Imola in second place in the championship, 27 points behind leader Charles Leclerc.
Monegasque greatly disappointed Imola itself. He said he knew Ferrari was not as fast as Red Bull this weekend, but believed he might have a chance to overtake Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez, who finished second. Was on, and decided to push in less than 10 laps by the end. His attempt was to get as close as possible to the only real overtaking point at Turn 2. “I hit the curb in a way I hadn’t before, the car behaved differently and I turned around. It was my fault,” Leclerc explained. .. “I went to fight for second place and finished sixth.”
In fact, Ferrari suffered an illness over the weekend at Imola, which was its big advantage in the first three races of the year: tire wear, which this time exceeded both Red Bull in the sprint on Saturday, as on Sunday. It was not an easy weekend to fix the car, as the teams only had an hour of free practice to try to figure out what would be the best setup for the sprint classification, which was in the rain, Saturday’s mini-race, with warmer temperatures, and Sunday’s race, which started on a wet track and ended with a wet track.
In contrast to what happened in Melbourne, when the big difference between a Ferrari winning with Leclerc and Red Bull, who did not come with Verstappen, was largely due to the poor setup chosen by the Anglo-Austrian team, the GP. Emilia Romagna was the opposite.
It is also true that Red Bull brought Imola some new features to its car, while Ferrari chose not to risk upgrading equipment on such a difficult weekend because of the different format.
The fact that the two cars are very close in terms of performance, so updates and improved setups on a track-based basis make a huge difference.
On Red Bull’s part, it’s good news that both cars have crossed the finish line – with a couple of even more so, which hasn’t happened since 2016 – after fuel-related reliability issues that led to the two Took away points from the team in the race. First three races of the year. They were different and the second, which led to Verstappen’s retirement in Australia, was something very simple, so it’s not surprising, but the team knows they need to keep that tune in order to survive the championship fight. Is.
The Emilia Romagna GP podium was completed by Lando Norris, who was pleased with his performance over such a difficult weekend. “I’ve made good decisions and so did the team. Of course, in pure rhythm we wouldn’t be in that position, other guys got in the way, but also if we had started further back we could have been in their place. McLaren started the year very poorly, mainly due to problems with the brakes and low-speed corners, but now they are finding themselves and the Englishman’s results are showing: seventh, fifth in the last three races and in third place.
To add even more chill to the championship, the next stage will take place in Miami, in an urban circuit that will make its Formula 1 debut, where completely different weather conditions with sun and heat are expected. The test will take place in two weeks.