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Verstappen leads and Ferrari works in the shadows

When teams are determined to hide their potential, it is very difficult to draw conclusions. Even more so if a McLaren who normally saves most of his letters on Fridays, ends with Ricciardo in the second position. Or if Alpine puts his two cars in the Top-5, with Esteban Ocon in the third square and Fernando
Alonso in the 5th. This scenario only indicates that the times of this Friday in the Styrian GP Formula 1 They are very unrepresentative and this makes it impossible to predict what could happen this Saturday in a classification of which, the only certainty we can say, is that it will be tremendously matched. In the ‘quali’, the minimum details will be what they decide. And it is that on such a short track, with such an even middle zone and such an exciting battle for the first places between Red Bull Y Mercedes, we will talk about differences of thousandths. And to all this, we must add the probability of rain, the laps canceled for exceeding the limits of the track, something that happened on many occasions this Friday, and the high traffic that is expected on the track in the decisive parts of the classification. More emotion, impossible. And if we add to all that that Friday’s free practice sessions left fewer clues than the best offenders, the only thing that can be said is that everyone get ready to enjoy an exciting ‘quali’.

The teams tried to intensify their work program in FP1 due to the threat of rain for the second practice. The threatening clouds reached the Spielberg track, but finally, the water did not appear and this gave all the teams an hour more of dry tests that they did not expect. They all took the opportunity to carry out their qualifying and long-run simulations, but leaving little understandable times. The forecasts only got the fact that Max Verstappen He will lead the session, but for the rest we will have to wait for this Saturday.

Final classification of the FP2 of the F1 Styrian GP 2021

It was striking that the two Alpine will sneak into the top 5, with Ocon third at 0 ”378 of the best time of Verstappen and Alonso in fifth place at 0 ”415. It will not be their real position, since the French should have rolled more discharged of gasoline. But it could be an indication that the car’s performance is better than that of Paul Ricard. On France, Alpine He was fine on Friday, but dropped in the rankings when the real fire started. There, Fernando entered Q3 and managed to score some good points being eighth. The goal in Spielberg It should be the same, although the best performance of the French car could allow the Spaniard to fight for something else. And if it rains, the Spaniard will have the desired opportunity to surprise and maximize his result.

At Ferrari, focused on their problems with degradation

On the other hand, some Ferrari more sunk in the rankings than expected. But it has an explanation. The set of Maranello, after the disaster suffered in the race in France due to the enormous degradation that their two cars had, they spent 3 days working intensively on Maranello to try to minimize this problem. This Friday it was time to put into practice everything they had written down on paper. Therefore, both in FP1 and FP2, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc focused on a program focused on minimizing tire degradation and analyzing tire performance with various changes to the car’s settings. That is the only formula with which they can try to improve, since they cannot introduce new features in their car due to the limitation of evolutions.

At the moment, the sensations in Ferrari They were positive in the long run, showing a great race pace and improving the behavior of the tires, but it will be necessary to see if, like in Paul Ricard, the rain appears before Sunday’s race and thus leaves a track with much less grip to change it. all over again. That aspect can be key.

Carlos Sainz, at the 2021 F1 Styrian GPCarlos Sainz, at the 2021 F1 Styrian GP

In addition, it will be necessary to see if the change of car settings to improve the behavior of the rubber has affected the cars of Charles and Carlos in their performance one lap, something that, judging by what was seen this Friday, could have passed through the delayed place of both in the times table. Ferrari will focus on preparing the ‘quali’ in the free third.

Carlos SainzA very reliable rider with few errors, he spun in FP1 and another in FP2 as he put the wheel in the gravel and accelerated out of the corner. This could indicate that the Madrilenian is still not entirely comfortable with his car in this Grand Prix after set-up changes on a circuit where many drivers suffered the same setbacks, with many canceled laps and as many spins.

Verstappen and Hamilton, favorites for pole

In the lead, Verstappen led and Hamilton it was fourth at 0 ”384. It is impossible to predict anything in this fight, but both should be battling for pole shielded by Pérez Y bottas, respectively.

Bottas the bundle

bottas It has always been good on this track, but for the moment, this Friday had a bad day that was reflected in an unexpected and inappropriate spin in the middle of the pit lane that could have ended in tragedy. Luckily, the Finn, skidding in the pit lane, did not take a McLaren mechanic ahead.

“It was a test for the Olympics”

The Red Bulls look very difficult to beat in Styria