Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen discussed on The Autosport Podcast
It was a dominant victory for Max Verstappen and Red Bull. And he had today's Belgian Grand Prix, a one two for the team, max finishing about two weeks up the road, starting not quite at the back of the grid because there were a lot of penalties to take into account, but a 14th grid spot technically even starting 13th and whilst he and fellow championship contender, Charles Leclerc did start at the back and both made good progress on lap one after that, with their days did diverge will get into that and why it was an amazing day for Red Bull and not a good one for Ferrari and the other winners and losers from today's event. I'm joined by Jess mcfadden. Hayden Cobb and Luke Smith, who is fresh back from the track and look what was it like getting back into Formula One after the summer break. Really, really good, thank you, Martin. It was a nice sort of back to school feel in Formula One. I mean, it's lovely in the paddock. You see lots of people, lots of lots of big sort of life events have happened over the past three weeks or so for many of our colleagues and their Formula One paddock members that's been very, very nice to see. And yeah, it was good to catch up after a little while. So yeah, that was all good. And then when we finally got into the on track action, obviously I think there was, yeah, a familiar result at the end of it. I think obviously we had to pick up on all the Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo Oscar piastre so much has happened on the news cycle, but when we finally got on track, it was a very familiar result at the end of it. And versa and I think delivering probably one of the most dominant displays I can remember in recent F one history, despite starting so far back. And I think a real death knell maybe for Ferrari sham ship hopes, if it had not already sounded, it does seem that yeah, this display is really, really put into perspective just how far clear of the pack Red Bull is right now. Yeah, Ferrari mentioned that Red Bull are really quick in a straight line, but also really quick in the corners, which is doesn't sound great. Sort of win win, isn't it, really? Yeah, exactly. Luke, in terms of your analysis of watching the race in person today, where do you think Red Bull have got it so right? Because, you know, clearly technical directive zero three 9 has not hobbled the teams that we all that some people thought it was some people even thought it was a conspiracy and aimed at slowing down the quicker teams, but after perhaps some worry a few weeks ago, Red Bull don't need to worry about whatever technical directives have come out because they were brutally fast today, but what in your mind was it that won it for them today? I think it just speaks to how good the RBA team car is as an all round package as you said, it was quick in a straight line and then quickest through the corners as well. So really there's no upside for Ferrari. The Red Bull RB 18 straight line speed, that's been its big asset so far this season where it's really taken a step ahead of the Ferrari. But as far as we know how important that is, it's a 1.2 mile run from when you exit last source all the way to Lake on, obviously through a rouge radion up the kennel straight. And that is where I think you would expect most of the lap time gains to be made by the Red Bulls, but it was actually through the second sector through all the twisty bits where Ferrari running there are high down force package compared to Red Bull this weekend would have been expected to take a step forward and maybe claw back some of that time. But that was actually where Verstappen in qualifying made his biggest gains, which is crazy. So it really just points to how good a groove he was in a weekend. He did one run in Q one, Q two and Q three, obviously had the penalty, but that was still good enough for pole position. And yeah, it's just hard to see any weaknesses in the package right now. One of the drivers passed a comment on I'm trying to remember he hang on. Charles Leclerc passed a comment on Saturday after qualifying saying that if the RB 18 had been designed for any track, it would seem like it's been designed for spa, which I thought was quite telling and also he said after the race that unfortunately Ferrari hasn't got any hope that it was purely a trap specific thing that was why they were so far behind this weekend. I think it maybe is exaggerated and exacerbated some of the differences between Red Bull and Ferrari. But overall, you just can't get away from the fact that that Red Bull package. It just seems better in every single area than the Ferrari right now. And yeah, that is very, very bad news if your name is Charles Leclerc because the title race just keeps getting bleaker and bleaker and that's before we bring in any sort of team strategy errors or on track mistakes or anything as we've seen over the past few years. Jess, Max Verstappen seems to have gone into the settings and turned the AI drivers to easy today because there was no competition. It was almost Brazil 2021 S wasn't it in terms of how easily Hamilton picked through the field last year and max seemingly so this year in spa and two very different tracks, two very different situations, but in terms of the ease at which they cut through the pack was pretty pretty incredible. Even just how quickly he made those positions up on spa as everybody listening knows and as crafty keeps liking to remind us longest circuit on the calendar. The gaps can open up and make if you don't get your passes done early and you don't get strategy right, then you can lose out quite massively. I think Verstappen was aiming for podium when we, when he was starting out because he thought that the likes of science in Perez, who Perez in equal machinery, you would imagine would be as far up the road as he could possibly get by the time that max would have been able to fight through the traffic and get within striking distance. So I think he was thinking a podium would be great, thanks.