F1 - Especiales

5 talking points from the Russian Grand Prix

Is the Leclerc and Vettel rivalry about to explode? Sergio Perez is underrated, Alfa Romeo in trouble plus more talking points from Sochi.

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5 talking points from the Russian Grand Prix
Fuente imagen: Jerry Andre - MotorLat

A civil war brewing at Scuderia Ferrari?  

Tensions had already risen following Monza and Singapore, but it went to another level in the race at Sochi yesterday.  

Sebastian Vettel made a great start from P3 and took the lead. However, Charles Leclerc didn't bother to defend and it soon became clear why.  

Ferrari tried to swap the cars as there seemed to be a pre-race agreement, but the German wanted to build a gap to Hamilton. Ultimately, he proved he was quicker and his team pitted Leclerc first so the Monegasque could get the undercut.  

It worked as Vettel rejoined just behind his team-mate when he pitted a few laps later. Ultimately, Vettel's car breaking down cost them victory, but it was a bad day for the Ferrari management as they failed to have any control of the situation.  

Tensions are rising and team boss Mattia Binotto has a big job on his hands to manage his two extremely talented drivers.  

Should drivers be barred from pitting under VSC conditions?  

Not for the first time in 2019, Lewis Hamilton massively benefitted from making a pitstop behind the Virtual Safety Car following Vettel's retirement.  

It propelled him into the lead and allowed him to take a comfortable victory. The same happened at Silverstone.  

Is it unfair? Yes. A VSC is meant to neutralise the race, but a number of drivers could make their only stop behind it yesterday and gained positions.  

It's something that needs looking at.  

McLaren break through the 100-point barrier 

For the first time since the 2014 season, McLaren has managed to score more than 100 points in an F1 season.  

Carlos Sainz drove another fantastic race to finish 6th; they were his first points since the summer break. The Spaniard is having his strongest season in the sport so far.  

Lando Norris finished 9th on the road but moved up a place thanks to Magnussen's penalty.  

McLaren signed an engine deal with Mercedes from 2021 onwards at the weekend. With two young, quick drivers in the team as well, things are looking up for the Woking squad.  

Sergio Perez is the sport's most underrated driver  

A pilot who never gets enough credit for his excellent performances is 'Checo'. Just like he has many times in recent years, the Mexican maximised his result at Sochi yesterday.  

Starting 11th, he avoided the chaos at T4 to move up to 7th. While the VSC did help him, he was on course for points anyway.  

A brilliant move on Magnussen late in the race saw him finish in P7. Suddenly, a top 10 finish in the standings looks possible. 

Considering how much Racing Point has struggled throughout 2019 after the turmoil of last year, that would be a big achievement. 

Alfa Romeo are struggling  

The return after the summer break has been very difficult for the Swiss team.  

Lead driver Kimi Räikkönen has made several errors and has yet to score a point since the action returned at Spa.  

Antonio Giovinazzi scored points at Monza and Singapore, but the deficiencies of the car are beginning to tell as they dropped to the back of the midfield in Russia.  

Is the loss of Simone Resta hurting them? Quite possibly. It's been a nightmare run of races for Alfa and they need to turn things around quickly. 

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