The keys to the last Battle Hamilton vs Verstappen: Where to advance in Yas Marina?

The blow was so severe, so painful, that Toto Wolff went through the branches with calculations that did not convince anyone. "With that help he has won more

The keys to the last Battle Hamilton vs Verstappen: Where to advance in Yas Marina?

The blow was so severe, so painful, that Toto Wolff went through the branches with calculations that did not convince anyone. "With that help he has won more than three tenths," said Mercedes's head on Max Verstappen's pole. Actually, the Reburn of Sergio Pérez, being very important, was only to confirm Red Bull's superiority in Yas Marina, where Lewis Hamilton yielded 22 hundredths in the second sector and 34 in the last. No one, in his right mind, would have imagined something like that in the previous sessions, controlled with a certain clearance by heptacampeon. In spite of everything, although it costs to believe it, Wolff did not seem precisely panilt.

The Austrian, famous at Paddock for his Histrionics, believes to have other aces in his sleeve. Or that aims to make Christian Horner think, his Red Bull counterpart. Both today free the last battle of the World Cup, the only one who counts. And not only will it be the power in the engines, the management of the gums or the accuracy of the mechanics in the Boxes. This war, as in the 21 previous races, will also be played on the psychological field. The atmosphere is filled, if not of lies, yes of half truths, like that launched Horner after an ugly Flat of Verstappen on its left front wheel during the beginning of Q2. "It was not the initial plan, but is what there is, today the decision was the decision to 50%," the British slid.

The margins seem very narrow in Yas Marina, a track with few spaces for the overtaking. Despite the two areas of DRS and the modification of two of the slower sections, this track could be again scenario of a parade in Row India. In the two F2 races, which led to the title of Oscar Piastri, the difficulties to maneuver were manifest. Only the brand new champion left the seal of him with a great stuffed braking that allowed him to overcome a couple of rivals in the slower fork.

Perhaps, Mercedes prefers to entrust the success of his strategy with tires. Hamilton will depart from the grill with means and Verstappen with soft, so Wolff can leave his pilot more on track, trying to build him through overcut. "Max should stop soon, so we will have our opportunities, it is a slight advantage for us," warned the head of the silver arrows. Hamilton, in a low voice, implied on this same line: "Today we did not find a response to the great return of him, but I think we are still in good position."

According to some calculations that are handled in the paddock, reaching the turn 18 with soft rubber gums would mean a great strategic achievement. If VersaPpen reaches that border - which also aspire to the dules of Ferrari and Alpine, plus Daniel Ricciardo with the McLaren- he will simultaneously stop him with these rivals from the middle area and will be less hampered by them. "If we endure the soft up to that point, the one-stop plan may be possible," predicted Alan Stop, Technical Director of Alpine.

More or less Alien to these comments, Pirelli has preferred to limit himself to pointing out the hazardousness of the curbs, tall and sharp, similar to those who caused four punctures only three weeks ago in Losail. After a meeting with the pilots, the pianos of the curves 5 and 9 were softened during Friday night. Although they are now less aggressive, a gentle driving, without hurrying the limits of the track, craves as crucial as the speed itself.

The most attractive scenario, for F1 and for millions of amateurs, would be a hand by hand during 58 laps. A reissue of the show we attended in Jeddah. Or seen in another way, an update of that drama suffered by Fernando Alonso in 2010 against Vitaly Petrov, when the Asturian did not find a single hole where they exceed the Renault. Mercedes is playing DRAFT for the entire weekend, trying to convince the unquestionable power of Red Bull in the straights. "They have reduced the size of their ailerons, so they will have too much speed and will cost us a lot of advancing them," Wolff, not to mention, of course, that the rival of the rival of him implies a greater degradation of gums.

And without ever losing sight of it, the role of the secondary ones may be again relegated in the shade. Valtteri Bottas, who yesterday had to ride a unit of power with too many kilometers on his back, part from the sixth place, two behind Pérez, forced to take the exit with soft. "This is going to limit enough strategic options," he predicted Helmut Marko, great spiritual leader of Red Bull. The Mexican, however, will want to uncomfortable everything possible to Hamilton, as he a month ago in Interlagos. After three major awards in mechanical inferiority, the Austrian team has found that point of performance that levels the balance. And with all these tricks on the rug, there is no better outcome, nor more exciting.

Updated Date: 11 December 2021, 21:42

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