Conclusions | Pit stops are a problem, Verstappen overcomes final hurdle

27-09-2021 07:38
F1 News
Conclusions | Pit stops are a problem, Verstappen overcomes final hurdle

The Russian Grand Prix provided a lot of spectacle in the last few laps. The rain caused problems for many drivers and teams, and that meant that everyone had to make a choice. When to go in for the maximum result? These are the main conclusions after this race weekend.

Raikkonen shows pain point of Giovinazzi

At Alfa Romeo, there is still one seat available for 2022, after Valtteri Bottas was already announced as the first driver. Antonio Giovinazzi still has a chance, but a race like the one in Russia will show why he is not suitable. If the old Kimi, who has already decided to retire, is able to take points here and qualify ahead of you in the rain, then you're just not the greatest talent.

Giovinazzi may have been lucky that Guanyu Zhou had a bad run in F2 this weekend. He drove off the track before the start of the first race, preventing him from starting. He is still second in the standings but saw Oscar Piastri disappear on the horizon. It's still a shame that the Australian is not in the picture at Alfa.

The pitstops of Red Bull Racing

Since the new pit stop rules where mechanics have to press a button when the tyre is actually on, Red Bull Racing have made unrecognisable mistakes. Verstappen's pit stop in Italy went horribly wrong and now Sergio Perez's pit stop has gone wrong again. The team will have to look at this if they don't want to make mistakes at crucial moments. But this is not just a Red Bull problem, it's happening up and down the grid. Including McLaren, as their pitstop hampered Ricciardo's race.

Alonso still has it

Fernando Alonso was laughed at by some when he came back to the grid. Surely such an old driver doesn't belong in F1 anymore? Nothing could be further from the truth though, because in the difficult circumstances he proved to be the man who can get more out of his material than anyone else, with an overtaking manoeuvre on Max Verstappen as the highlight.

While Alonso's car looked like it could compete in the sub-top, Esteban Ocon was nowhere to be seen. You could wonder if the contract extension of three years was early.

Verstappen has survived the final hurdle

Max Verstappen has been facing an engine change ever since the Silverstone crash, but the Dutchman has finally paid off that penalty. With seven races to go he can now go full steam ahead towards the end of the season. The fact that he managed to clear this last hurdle and finished second can be seen as a victory.

Not only was there still a penalty to come, but the circuit in Sochi is already a real Mercedes circuit and is actually the last one on the calendar. A number of races still to come are in Red Bull Racing's favour (Mexico, Turkey and Brazil), and the others neither is really a favourite. So the road to the title seems open for Max.

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