F1 | Belgian GP: Sainz saves the podium against two sidereal Red Bulls
It was the almost perfect grid, Carlos Sainz first and Fernando Alonso third, the dream of any Spanish fan of Formula 1. But one came face to face with reality, the enormous superiority of Red Bull and the extremely poor race pace of Ferrari; and the other bumped into… Hamilton. It was not the day to make history and even the final booty knows well, a third place for Sainz and Alonso fifth, first of the rest (and ahead of Leclerc, with a certain joke), after seeing the Mercedes take off, literally, on the wheels of his this time robust Alpine. But it matters little, both were secondary actors in the easiest comeback in history with victory for a sidereal Verstappen, 17 seconds behind Pérez, both at the wheel of a Red Bull from another planet who will win the drivers’ and constructors’ titles in 2022 unopposed. And whoever hasn’t found out yet, is already fourteen races behind.
Great start for Sainz, clash Hamilton-Alonso
The first lap was tense. At the front, Sainz started impeccably on the soft tires while Pérez got into trouble and fell to fifth position. Then came the clash of giants: Alonso was second, joined by Hamilton on the way to the first hard braking at Spa and dived on the outside at turn five, locking the Asturian on the inside. They touched, the Mercedes climbed up the Alpine’s tires and took height to later hit the asphalt violently. sir lewis, who assumed the error, abandonment. Fernando’s car, surprisingly, withstood the jolt and remained competitive.
Sainz saved the first wave and also the second, in the safety car exit to clean up an accident of Bottas caused by Latifi. But from behind an intractable Verstappen went up without disheveled. He started 14th, although the two Alpha Tauri got out of the way to start from the ‘pit lane’, suspicious. After eight laps he was already fourth, even though four had been lost behind the safety car. It didn’t take long for him to overcome Checo. Carlos’ first stop came early, on lap 12, because the two-pit-stop strategy was the best. Or the least bad.
Sangria on the beat of the Ferrari
But once gaps opened up and differences began to stretch, the Red Bull became a true steamroller. Sainz defended the lead after the first tire change of all, but first Verstappen, and then Pérez, arrived like planes, with up to three seconds per lap difference. Sunday’s heat did not revive Ferrari. Carlos was barely able to defend himself in two traced overtakings on the way to the ‘five’, conditioned by a devilish top speed in the RB18 to which the F1-75 has not yet been able to respond. In that order they crossed the finish line and climbed onto the podium, Verstappen, Pérez and Sainz, with a difference of 26 seconds between the Dutchman and the man from Madrid. It could have been worse, Russell’s Mercedes pressed threateningly until it reached two seconds behind the Ferrari, although it had a chance to fight for third place.
Alonso saved a Sunday that started with a scare, huge, when almost worn by a seven-time world champion. On the contrary, in the end he had a curious stroke of fortune: on the penultimate lap Ferrari decided to stop Leclerc in search of the fastest lap. Not only did they not achieve it, but also when entering to the pit lane the Monegasque exceeded the permitted speed limit and received a five-second penalty that sent him sixth, behind the Spaniard in the standings. So Fernando finished fifth, a good result after third on the grid crowned for Alpine by seventh for Ocon. It was not a race of strong emotions, although there were things. For example, Esteban overtook Vettel and Gasly in a spectacular way. The German planted eighth to the Aston Martin with pace on par with the Alpine. With this Red Bull, and this Verstappen, there will be plenty of time in the races to start looking at those things.