Tengoku
Tengoku British International School, Phuket
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Charles’ Championship back on track

Charles’ Championship back on track

FORMULA ONE: After three months of pummelling by Red Bull Racing, Ferrari has finally managed to strike back in the fight for the championship, though victory for Charles Leclerc at last Sunday’s (July 10) Austrian Grand Prix was bittersweet.

Formula-One
By Michael Lamonato

Friday 15 July 2022, 01:15PM


A thumbs up from Charles Leclerc after victory in last Sunday’s (July 10) Austrian Grand Prix. Photo: AFP

A thumbs up from Charles Leclerc after victory in last Sunday’s (July 10) Austrian Grand Prix. Photo: AFP

It was three months to the day since Charles Leclerc had last won a race, and at the Spielberg arena he finally took the chequered flag again to land a blow on Max Verstappen’s championship lead.

The points damage was marginal. Between the distant memory of his previous victory in Australia and Sunday morning in Austria the Monegasque had shipped a staggering 90 points to Verstappen to languish 44 points adrift. He shrank that by only six come Sunday night. His 38-point deficit is still comfortably more than a clear race win.

But the morale-boosting qualities of his drought-breaking triumph cannot be underestimated. After months of strategic howlers and unreliability, the season’s most realistic title challenger to the reigning champion was on the top step again.

“I definitely needed that one,” he agreed. “I mean, the last races have been incredibly difficult for myself but also for the team.

“To finally show that we’ve got the pace in the car and that we can do it is incredible. We need to push until the end.”

And this victory was decisive despite the 1.5-second margin at the flag. Despite Verstappen taking pole and skating to a comfortable win in the sprint, Ferrari easily had Red Bull Racing’s measure in grand prix conditions.

The Red Bull Ring is a traction circuit, and powering out of the corners has been one of the Scuderia’s key strengths all season. Combined with a skinnier rear wing to neutralise RBR’s top-speed advantage, the SF-75 was the track’s undisputed master on Sunday.

It was so much the case that Ferrari felt free to change strategies on the fly, switching from a one-stop to a two-stop race late in the afternoon just to guarantee Verstappen, who was forced to stop twice with high tyre wear, couldn’t come back late in the race.

It meant Leclerc had to pass the Dutchman on track three times, but he made it look easy on each occasion, his victory never really in doubt virtually from lights out.

But for all Ferrari’s Bull-beating speed, unreliability continues to hang over its race result and championship ambitious like a pall of dirty black engine smoke.

QSI International School Phuket

That smoke was emanating from the back of Carlos Sainz’s burnt-out car.

In the dying stages of the race, just as he was sizing up Verstappen for an overtake to form a dominant Ferrari one-two, Sainz’s power unit spectacularly exploded into smoke and flames that eventually consumed the back of his car.

It briefly caused a virtual safety car that enabled Verstappen to close onto the back of Leclerc and turn an easy win into a fraught one

It’s Sainz’s second power unit failure of the season and almost certainly guarantees him two rounds of grid penalties before the end of the year.

The stoppage came only three races after Leclerc suffered a similar failure at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Ferrari has been upfront about the fact it hasn’t nailed the origin of its reliability problem, and its strategy to hand Leclerc two new engines and associated penalties in Canada was an act of buying time by expanding his parts pool.

The engine that failed in Sainz’s car is the same specification Leclerc is reliant upon.

“I have to admit I was very nervous,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said afterwards. “I was so nervous that I stopped watching the race in the last three laps.”

While Ferrari and Leclerc managed to make up modest ground on the points table, there’ll be many more nervous races for Binotto this season until the team can figure out why its engines keep blowing themselves up.

Until then any championship hopes best be kept on ice.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Kamala to hold tsunami evacuation drill

@Oldguy...no, of course not. Have you ever heard the siren? And no...the buoys don't work...&quo...(Read More)


Bangla nightlife venues hold mass fire drill

Were the exits locked and blocked as they usually are? ...(Read More)


Phuket looks to tackle teenage pregnancies

Some Years ago I had a vasectomy so I wouldn't have children. When I got home afterwards, they ...(Read More)


Kamala to hold tsunami evacuation drill

Will the early warning buoys out in the Andaman be working? ...(Read More)


Kamala to hold tsunami evacuation drill

Does this mean the tsunami warning sirens will be working? ...(Read More)


Phuket Town police hunt beer thief

Silly beer thief. RTP catch him within 24 hours. 'Funny' crime doing. Unless it is a misun...(Read More)


New bill outlines limits on ganja use

This will not be the last bill. More relaxing bills will follow when the Officialdom panick dust has...(Read More)


Irate Thai tourists seek tour refunds

Do I understand correct that this is a article about illegal Thai business and Thai cheating Thai? H...(Read More)


Bangla nightlife venues hold mass fire drill

So, as 'key factor' in Tiger Discotheque was recognized, are all Phuket indoor night spots a...(Read More)


Phuket looks to tackle teenage pregnancies

Solution is simple. Start giving good sexual education in Mattayon-1. Classes with slides, film mate...(Read More)