The pilots of “Mercedes” for the second year in a row took first place at the finish of the stage in Sochi. At this double victory they actually gave a Ferrari. Daniil Kvyat remained 12th.
FOUR POLES LECLAIR
– Looks like Ferraris – the perfect machine – lamented chief of Mercedes Toto Wolff. Already there were moments last year too, when the pilots “Scuderia” was driving fast. But now they have just ripped his speed on the straights! And to compensate for this lag is difficult.
Ahi, sighs, and lamentations boss “silver”, as their leader, Lewis Hamilton, about the advantages of competitors have become the subject for jokes fans. Similar comments appear almost every month, and in light of the fact that Mercedes dominated the Formula here for the sixth year in a row, usually cause only a smile (and sometimes irritation). But right now, Wolff was not cunning. First-“Ferrari” is really imposed themselves. Secondly, won three races (Belgium, Italy and Singapore, and in the latter case scored a brace). And thirdly- even in Sochi was noticeably faster! As in the practices and in qualifying. Where only a small blot Vettel did not allow German to be the second (in the end it was Hamilton). But LeClair won the fourth pole position in a row, what of the pilots “the Scuderia” could not be anyone – attention! – after Michael Schumacher… in the 2000 season!
Yes, Charles is not just considered a potential superstar.
The “Sochi Circuit” was always considered the track “silver”! Five previous Grand Prix of Russia (the first was held in 2014) ended with a victory of the Mercedes (and two of the Russian Grand Prix – pre-revolutionary era, 1913-1914 years, too). Hamilton has won here three times. Once distinguished , Bottas and Nico Rosberg. Moreover, the advantage over rivals as the rule was overwhelming. The fight could be for anything – for a place on the podium or in the points. But the winner was known in advance – 100 percent someone from the pilots of “Mercedes”!
And suddenly, everything changed dramatically…
THE SHOT RICOCHETED
To be exact – has changed the balance of power. But the result of Sunday’s race remains the same.
In fairness we have to admit that in the Ferrari did everything right. Never made a mistake in tactics or strategy. Clearly planned start and scheme of pit stops. They were just unlucky…
Barely went out red lights as Leclere, according to a team setting, hoisted himself on the tail of Vettel, giving the partner the slip-stream and opportunity at the expense of the best speed pass Lewis. The Germans, however, moved further ahead and Charles at the same time, than has caused bewilderment of a Monegasque citizen. “We will have a return exchange, right?” asked by radio monagas, alluding to the fact that Sebastian passed it is not quite fair.
“We think”, – said in the boxes. And let Vettel immediately said, “I would have still passed anyway”. He was traveling much faster, gradually breaking away from the Charles bridge “Scuderia” have decided to play all back. And held SEB on the track, giving the advantage LeClair at the pit stop. So after the change of rubber, the German got back behind the partner.
But that was not important.
Because immediately after that on the car Vettel engine failure, and he stopped the car in one of the security zones. On the track immediately entered the virtual safety car that played into the hands of the pilots of “Mercedes” – they have not yet managed to visit in the pits, so instantly rushed to the pit lane. Leclere same according to the rules simply could not go fast (pilots were required to reduce the rate of 40 percent). And eventually skipped ahead of Lewis. And then – and Valtteri. Here is the shot bounced off of the vanishing of the other… Attempts to regain ground in the struggle, after the restart, was a complete failure. Neither Finn, nor even an Englishman Charles pass failed. Remained on the third position.
Maybe the speed of the Mercedes is not enough. But with luck, with luck – a full order!
– For that we love racing – in fact you can win even without having the fastest car, grinned Wolff. – You can doubt their abilities, know their weaknesses, but to continue to cling to any hope – and sometimes it brings success. We are in shock, but we were lucky – and the gathering of Vettel gave us the victory.
NO HELMET, NO GLASSES
Home Grand Prix is always happy rider increased attention and support of the fans, but the native platform does not often lead to success. It happened with Daniel Cuatom. In Sochi. Again…
First, the Russians changed the engine, after which it became clear that in any case he will start last. Then burned and the new motor I had to change it again. In the end, Daniel missed two of three practices, and at the same time and qualifications. Not able to properly work with the settings. Started 19th (as Alex Mirel Albon broke the car on Saturday and the race is started from the pit lane). Even utimes not allowed to use specially prepared for the Russian Grand Prix helmet. According to the rules, change the design once per season, and Kvyat has done it in Italy. In reality, the drivers usually do not pay attention to it (the same as Vettel almost every Grand Prix holds in different hats, because the punishment for it is not provided). However, in the Toro Rosso decided to play it safe by making a formal inquiry about Kvyat in Russia. Was refused… And then it had nowhere to go – the Russians had had to wear old.
In General, everything went wrong, as I would like…
In the race Kvyat performed brilliantly! Had a great start, immediately after playing five positions. Gave a nice fight with Pierre went Out, putting the partner who was better in “Toro Rosso” (the French eventually lost on all counts). But until the points reach could not – did not allow the speed of the car. In the end, Daniel – 12th. Although don’t be this story with two substitutions of the motor, could be glasses.
But no luck, as you can see, not only Ferrari.
source: “Soviet sport”