Tires give victory to Hamilton in Spain and condemn Verstappen … and Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso at the Spanish GP

Fernando Alonso at the Spanish GP
Fernando Alonso at the Spanish GP
XPB / James Moy Photography Ltd.

Lewis hamilton took the third victory of the season, fifth in a row in the Spanish GP, thanks to a brilliant strategic management by Mercedes. The champion team taught a lesson to Red bull, who played it to a stop, already Max verstappen, which dominated for practically the entire test until its wheels sank. The podium completed it Valtteri Bottas.

Fernando Alonso He could not give a show to the Spanish stands, since this race had a (limited) live audience. As happened to Verstappen, the Asturian sank down the stretch without tires and finished in a poor 17th place.

Fernando Alonso, during a tire change

Fernando Alonso’s Achilles heel on his return to Formula 1 is exposed at the Spanish GP

Better over Carlos Sainz, in a race without much trouble. He finished 7th, one behind what he classified. More points for the Madrilenian, who continues with the plenary session in Montmeló among the top 10, but still not very happy.

Verstappen beats Hamilton out

Max Verstappen showed his aggressiveness from the first meters. The Dutchman won the first position to poleman Lewis Hamilton with an overtaking at the limit of the accident, even brushing against the second corner of the first Montmeló variant. The other Mercedes, although in this case it is more common, also gave up second place with Charles Leclerc. Valtteri Bottas, again, disappointing.

For the Spanish it was a way out to minimize damage. Sainz lost two positions to roll in the first laps in 8th place, while Alonso sustained the pressure of the men from Aston martin. The Asturian resisted the 10th position in the first bars of the race.

Pedro de la Rosa, in a Eurofighter

The funny suffering of Pedro de la Rosa with a Eurofighter: “You have to hold on, you have to hold on …”

On lap seven there was the first incident of the race, at the new Turn 10. Yuki tsunoda he was stranded due to an engine problem, which caused the safety car to leave. Among those who pitted, surrealism in the Alfa Romeo box: one of the wheels that they were going to put on Antonio Giovinazzi was flat and there was a moment of chaos until they were able to get the correct tire out.

At the restart, Verstappen held the lead but not like this Fernando Alonso 10th place. The Asturian slightly went off the track – again, problems with the management of the colder tires – and could barely resist the attack with Lance Stroll, which sent him to the 11th position. Then started a defense with an old rival: Sebastian Vettel.

The fight was both on the track and in the pits, and in both cases Alonso was victorious. First, the Alpine mechanics did a much quicker tire change than Aston Martin’s, and then it resisted in the back zone as they passed slower rivals.

Red Bull fails in the pits, but not even for those there is emotion

One of the great advantages that Red Bull has over its rivals is that they tend to make pit stops much faster than the rest. This was not the case in this race, as Verstappen’s was much slower than anticipated and forced Hamilton to slightly modify his initial idea.

The Dutchman lost 4.2 seconds, but it was not enough for the seven-time champion to win the position initially, so an incessant chase began that even with DRS was not resolved. Montmeló has a serious problem if you don’t even see overtakings doped with this system.

Hamilton changes his mind

After nearly 20 laps trying to pass Verstappen, Hamilton decided he was wasting his time. From an initial strategy to one stop, he went to one of two, with new medium tires to try to hunt down the Red Bull in the final stretch of the track race.

This factor put some strategic excitement at the end, since in Verstappen’s case it was more difficult to decide, especially when he got rid of Bottas with 11 laps to go. That was when the tires began to decline, also at the back.

Fernando Alonso gets out of his car at the Spanish GP

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An example of this was what happened with the Alpine, especially that of Esteban Ocon. The French saw how Carlos Sainz, who had already had a good fight with the pilots of his former team, Mclaren, He took the 7th place on the finish line without rushing. It happened worse when overtaking Lando norris, good friend, who still made a change of trajectory earned him a black and white flag, an equivalent to a yellow card.

Verstappen tried to hold on to first place as best he could, but with six laps remaining, he fell for sheer weight: a Hamilton with much more traction than his rival regained the first place he had given up at the start.

Red Bull wasn’t the only team to be wrong. Alpine too, as demonstrated by the fact that Alonso ended up sunk in the final stretch of the race, without tires. The end result says it all: he was 17th, just ahead of the Haas.

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