The four-time world champion has a very bitter start to the season and quickly drops out of qualifying. Teammate Leclerc is also having a bad day. Mercedes dominates again.
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Very bitter start to the season for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari. The four-time world champion fell in qualifying for the Grand Prix in Q2 from Austria and only starts on Sunday from eleventh place in the race. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, on the other hand, took pole position for his teammate and world champion Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) finished third. Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc also had a weak day and only started on the seventh Sunday.
“I thought we’d be a little faster. The others managed to win more than Friday. The last round wasn’t the cleanest, it wasn’t good enough,” said Vettel at Sky. He wanted to cling to the first World Cup run on Sunday (from 3.10 p.m. in the live ticker on Chillreport) but not: “I think we are faster in race trim and can make up for it.”
Mercedes made an impression right at the start of the season
However, Mercedes should clearly set the pace. The World Champion racing team of the past six years, whose race cars are painted in black as a sign against Racism 2020, impressively supported his exceptional position. The pole position went to vice world champion Bottas in 1: 02.939 minutes, who distanced his stable colleague Hamilton (England) by twelve thousandths of a second.
The competition, led by the third-placed Verstappen in the Red Bull (+0.538 seconds), was far behind – and that on the shortest lap time lap in the Formula 1 calendar.
“I missed the feeling of pushing the car to the limit,” said Finn Bottas, who encouraged his twelfth pole. World champion Hamilton was satisfied despite the narrow defeat: “Valtteri did a great job, but it’s a good start to the season. I didn’t think we were that far ahead. We all push each other. That’s why we always make it to the front.”
Ferrari again in crisis
Like Vettel, his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc also disappointed, who was only seventh behind McLaren driver Lando Norris (England / McLaren), Thai Alex Albon in the second Red Bull and Sergio Perez (Mexico / Racing Point). In the only lap of 4,318 km, Leclerc’s backlog on Bottas was 0.984 seconds.
Ferrari is in a major crisis before the first ghost race in Formula 1 history. “I hadn’t expected them that far,” said Hamilton, “but I don’t know the reasons.”
With an explosive reveal on Thursday, Vettel himself had taken care of further explosives in the sensitive relationship with his still employer. Contrary to official language regulations, Ferrari never made him an offer to renew the contract, Vettel explained. The team’s decision to split up at the end of the year “shocked” and “surprised” him. Team boss Mattia Binotto gently confirmed Vettel’s version on Friday. Corona’s forced interruption at Scuderia led to reconsideration.
Not a single positive corona test
The appearance of the SF1000 was also disappointing. The proud team’s car was even worse than the good copy of the 2019 world champion Mercedes that Racing Point built in the winter.
The situation at Mercedes, which received good news at night, was completely different: the race officials interrupted a protest by the Red Bull team against the innovative DAS steering system. This may be used without any contradiction until the end of the season.
Formula 1 also had good news. Between June 26 and July 2, a total of 4,032 corona tests were performed on drivers, team members and other personnel. No test was positive. Further results are published every seven days.
More coming soon