Red Bull is out of reach, perhaps by more than half a second at all
It appears at the moment that last night’s forecast has no doubt as to who will lead the pack. It’s hard to find a better track than Silverstone for the RB19, with its long stretches and fast corners, where downforce, efficiency and lateral stability are the key features. features that are exactly the DNA of the Adrian Newey project, and from these initial results, it seems hard to think the competition could even come close to half a second By the Verstappen-Perez duo (with some doubts about the Mexican).
There will be a battle behind Red Bull
However, the battle behind it looks very exciting. Mercedes At the moment he seems to be in trouble, mostly with a very weak rear end that tends to escape suddenly in the middle of the corner, similar behavior on the W14s of both Russell and Hamilton. Team Wolf was the other team besides Ferrari Which in 2023 still suffers from aerodynamic liftback issues, and at the moment the Brackley-based team’s car is suffering a lot on that front. However, in partial confirmation of what was already seen in Austria, Sainz and Leclerc’s SF-23 seem to have taken a very important step forward on the recoil front, a phenomenon that is practically absent in the fast laps of the standard red holders. This allows for a lower, more solid car and first impressions were also of excellent initial balance and a front end that responded really well, surprisingly more quickly than slow. Let’s look at the Verstappen vs Leclerc vs Alonso comparison chart.
Leclerc struggles in the first sector, however, and has tried a few different paths to understand if there is room to “invent something”. In the central sector, the Red behaves in a manner equivalent to the Red Bull in Copse (Turn 9), where Alonso still has to put his foot up a lot, while in the sequence Maggots Becketts Chapel Leclerc should be more careful than the competition in the initial stage, but then approaching the exit of the Chapel and then the Hangar Straight in good order. And then the transition to the curve is really interesting stowhere Leclerc currently excels, is in a historically limited stretch for cars lacking in payload and balance. It is in these extremely fast corners that Alonso’s Aston Martin seems to suffer a lot from bottom speed, which recovers very well in traction. However, the strength of Stroll’s team car is the slow pace, with Alonso recovering most of the disadvantages accumulated by Leclerc in the fast corners and closing in around the same time.
It will be necessary to understand from session two whether there will be an evolution of values on the track, both to see if Mercedes will be able to tidy up the setup and be competitive, and in what now appears to be a zero-sum challenge between Aston Martin and Ferrari. Then the first step tests showed a Red struggles at first on the decline front, but then manages to find stability and return the windows to the correct playback window. We’ll see if the impression is also confirmed in the long-term practice of the second free practice.
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