Max Verstappen, Monaco Ferrari, Eli Clare discussed on The Autosport Podcast
Personal best. He knew how far I had to come to. We knew he was ahead anyway, didn't need to be that completely on the limit of the final corner, but he went for it anyway. Just lock up because he hit the brakes at the same point, but you just took him a little bit too wide, got on the dust is a little bit slippery offline and he just tried to boot the power out and it put him in the wall and it's such a costly error because I really think it was happening and I started on pole tomorrow. He would disappear. I mean, there's still every chance he can win the race, given Mercedes reckons that actually he was half a second clear of their drivers, had he completed the lap, if that sort of pace advantage, he could still potentially win it, but yeah, as you say, Arianna, who knows what's going to happen with that gearbox. You talk about the reactions I could literally hear people's reactions from where I was sitting from other rooms and other areas of the paddock. You could hear the collective like as he hit the wall. It was just he was so on the limit, and like he said at times it looked a little bit out of control because he was clearly always pushing to be on the limit and then just lost it, but I mean, what a spectacular lap until that point. It was, it was just edge of your seat gripping really just going flat out to the real meaning of it. Fantastic, but ultimately a little bit over the limit but that is Max Verstappen. It's all or nothing. And unfortunately, not gone his way today. But still brilliant up until then we will see what happens with the gearbox. What do you reckon about that? Do you think that there will be potential gearbox damage and change or do you think that based on the impact that we saw in might be okay? It's very tough to say judging just looking at the impact. There are rumors coming out of the paddock today that rebel think it's okay. At this point, but equally, that was just based on an initial observation it could be that they're like with Ferrari and Monaco Ferrari done a deeper search of Eli Clare's car there, whether they would have found the hub damage, the driveshaft hub damage that meant he couldn't start that race. So we're all gonna have to do a comprehensive check. They said that if they do find damage that means you need a new gearbox, that won't hesitate. They will change it. They won't risk a DNF in the race. I wonder whether in the way that he stopped the car, he pulled over immediately because why wouldn't he? If you've crashed, you may as well stop it and if anybody's running behind you, then they can't improve. So it wasn't necessarily a case that you hit the wall in the drive shaft popped out or something happened with the gearbox that really, really wrecked it, but we just don't know, we'll find out tomorrow. Yeah, we'll stay tuned for that, but as you said, I mean no point risking a DNF so I think that they will definitely err on the side of caution if there is any indication that there could be something that could spring up. But what did you make of his qualifying session more generally? Because throughout he was looking strong actually it wasn't even just that final, that final lap. And coming into the weekend, everyone had been saying Mercedes were looking like a favorites at this track, but max was setting those purple sectors when it came to qualifying today. There's a few things there. I think I agree with that assessment that Mercedes was favored heading into the weekend. But arriving and over teams are finding that it's not all about power at this track despite it being very, very high speed. I think a key thing with both Red Bull Mercedes today was yes, Red Bull absolutely nailed it Verstappen, able to get on it on both types of tire, the soft tyre that was used in Q three and the starting Q one and the mediums in the middle, but that's what was really interesting. If you think about his performance, he only needed one run to get his time to go through. He delivered immediately Louis Hamilton took four laps to four flying laps to before he put his time in that actually topped key two. He'll start those times once more, but he just shows you that Mercedes were having a much, much, much harder time, building tire temperature, and that's what was crucial. Red Bull absolutely nailed it, just as they did in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2020 when they got that walk off victory that was so crucial, don't see that favors them going into the season finale. Anyway, we're not quite there yet. There's two things. I think Red Bull and Verstappen delivering, but also Mercedes, something really did undo them. And it's interesting there was a bit of wind that picked up temperatures, little bits of conditions changing Lewis Hamilton, not sure whether that was the problem or redwoods getting too fast, but they essentially what it seemed to be was the Mercedes just couldn't get the heat into its tires on either compound. And I think they were really trying to push on those laps by the end and it worked. They were getting quicker. It's all Lewis Hamilton, you know, he was like, you can't make any major car changes. He was able to change the little flaps on the front wing to dial out what understand, but it was understood over there. Everything seemed to be going wrong for him. And he said he had to compose himself, just not get too carried away with anything an absolute nail every corner whenever it came. And it did work very, very well on that final run, but he knows that Red Bull max was up on what untouchable today where it not for that crash. So it's a bit of both. Red Bull nailed it, Mercedes just something undid them, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Yeah, and I mean, we even heard Bono on the radio two Lewis when he was explaining that, you know, he had got poll, but XYZ, and even he was just admitting, you know, max was on fire before that. This weekend is certainly a lot closer than we were anticipating. But we have had many drivers talking about how difficult they think that overtaking will be here. Max lining up behind the two marks. What do you think that he is capable of from there? Well, essentially, I think if you think about to Mexico with reper wonder performing qualifying and end up behind a Mercedes front row lockout, that didn't stop him there. He was ahead of both of them by the first corner. So potentially, as we've talked about many times recently, Ariana and the Saturday podcast, there's a potential for flashpoint at turn one. It's got it's got a sort of it's almost got our mom's esque feel in the way that it's a long charge down there and then it's quite a tight, quite tight opening sequence that opens out into a long acceleration zone. So you could see something there. And I think if Verstappen does have half a second in hand and it genuinely is that the Red Bull is just completely dialed in now and there's nothing Mercedes can do. I think they're going to find it very tricky for him to keep the Mercedes cards going to find it very tricky to keep him behind. But this track is quite narrow, you know, by Formula One standards. I write a feature of auto sport dot com plus. Pointing out a few similarities with formula E tracks, which obviously I know.