These are the spots where Verstappen gained time over Hamilton

19-06-2021 20:24
These are the spots where Verstappen gained time over Hamilton

Red Bull Racing and Mercedes started the qualifying session at Paul Ricard with a different philosophy. Mercedes aimed for maximum downforce, while Red Bull Racing chose to flatten the rear wing. The latter obviously worked.

"In the first sector, the extra downforce of Mercedes allows Lewis to gain a lot of momentum in the first and second corners," said Karun Chandhok in his analysis for Sky Sports. "Both drivers use the kerbs in the same way. The positioning is the same up to three or four. At this point Hamilton is a little bit ahead."

"But this is what Horner was talking about, taking downforce off means straight line speed in the middle sector and that has helped Red Bull and Verstappen. At the 50m sign, Verstappen is slightly ahead and so has gained time back."

Verstappen also fast in twisty last sector

The RB16B apparently has so much grip in the corners that Red Bull can afford to take some downforce out of the car. In the twisty third sector, Verstappen didn't lose any more time. In fact, he's even a bit faster than Hamilton in that section.

"The last few corners Verstappen takes a tighter line and brings the front of the car back to the kerb. Hamilton doesn't get anywhere near that. The front of the car washes away, he can't get as much speed or position the car as well as he would have liked. So all in all, small differences in the lap, but mainly speed on the straights and a bit more grip in the last sector for Verstappen," Chandhok concludes.

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