Mugello (dpa) – Sebastian Vettel’s prospects are poor. In the first Grand Prix after his switch to Aston Martin became known next year, the four-time world champion has to start from far behind on Sunday (3.10 p.m. / RTL and Sky).
The 33-year-old from Hesse has been waiting for a victory for almost a year – it could be much longer before he can finally celebrate again.
Underdog Pierre Gasly’s victory in the Alpha Tauri a week ago in Monza was a welcome change for the series. In Mugello, however, there are many signs of the Silver Arrows’ next double success. Pole setter Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain and Valtteri Bottas from Finland start from the front row. On the high-speed track, overtaking maneuvers will be very difficult and remain rare. If the duo makes it well and quickly from the start, hardly anyone is allowed to pass.
Only Max Verstappen in Tuscany could at least annoy the market leader a bit. “It has been a very positive weekend for us so far. I can be very happy”, said the Dutch Red Bull driver. The reward is third place on the grid – and the gratifying realization: “We have a decent top speed here”. The third World Cup Verstappen can overtake Bottas in Italy with a top result in second place overall. Leader Hamilton is currently out of reach.
TRISTESSE IN RED
After a party to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the Grand Prix, no one is really in the mood for host Ferrari on the company’s own track. The four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is especially frustrated. His first podium this season is ahead of the World Cup 13, after being only 14th in qualifying and still struggling to handle his company car. With Charles Leclerc fifth, the prospects are slightly better. Under normal conditions, however, the SF1000 cannot keep up with the front runners over a full race distance.
FINALLY BACK (SOMETHING) VOTE
After all, nearly 3,000 spectators can attend the ninth round of the season. This is a first in the coronavirus pandemic. At none of the previous races fans were allowed to sit in the stands this year. The public is now divided over a total of three stands, hygiene rules must be observed. Formula 1 hopes that there will be more spectators on the tracks in the coming weeks and months and that the ghost races will come to an end.
POWER IN THE HEAT
The Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello demands a lot from the drivers. Many of the long corners are driven at full throttle, enormous forces are exerted on the drivers – this can quickly become tiresome in a race with expected temperatures of over 30 degrees. “I expected it to get worse, it’s a lot of fun to drive here,” said Verstappen. Hamilton himself does not expect any physical problems. “I don’t think we train for that,” said the Briton.