Nothing is always as it shows up: the appearance of a situation may distort our perception of it. Who could have said that Max Verstappen was on the way to win the 2019 German Grand Prix after the poor start he made from the second slot of the grid? Probably nobody. Even the other way around doesn’t work: who could have bet for a DNF of the Gasly’s car with only two laps to go? Probably no one. Or maybe one: Helmut Marko.
Just an amazing win! It was all about not making too many mistakes in these really tricky conditions. Big thanks to @redbullracing and @HondaRacingF1 for the right strategy and great car. Very happy! 👊🏻 #KeepPushing #GermanGP 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/N38G7mJyqi— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 28, 2019
The Dutch race started uphill: the Honda engine rattled when the wheels started spinning. Two positions lost was the result of one more nearly-stalled start of Max, something to care about during the break. After passing Kimi Raikkonen on the second lap, he returned to 4th two laps later: the first of his 5 pit stops was needed for moving from Full Wet to Intermediate Pirelli. The confidence with the drying track was going on when trying to catch up Valtteri Bottas he ended the hairpin braking sideways at 17th lap; the mutating situation was ending a dozen of laps later, when team decided to move on to a slick compound of Medium tyres, re gaining the 4th position once more. The drama was waiting at the end of the Motodrome section: an entire 360° turnaround included a touch on the kerb with chassis, could have meant a disaster for the #33 driver; luckily, he escaped well from the close call and after another pit stop for another set of Intermediate, he could go easily onto the 2nd place. Gaining the leadership from Bottas pit, from the 42nd lap until the end a maturity masterclass came out, bringing at Milton Keynes another trophy:
To come out on top after a race like that is amazing and for the Team to win for the second time this year with Honda is incredible. I don’t know exactly what happened at the start but it seemed that everyone on the right side of the grid had a bad getaway and low grip. […] It was hard to pass due to the dirty air and the tyres started to struggle as the track dried. From there onwards we always made the right decisions. Even though the first slick tyre was maybe a bit hard and I had a few moments, with a 360 spin, I luckily kept going. Once I was back on the Intermediates and in the lead I was able to control the race and really show the pace of the car. Once you are ahead you can take a few less risks and everything feels a bit nicer. The conditions were very tricky and it was all about survival. It was definitely not an easy race and very tricky with the changing conditions. The Team made all the right calls. They were giving me the right information and keeping an eye on all the other teams and sector times
A dramatic German GP has come to an end in Hockenheim. The rain that hit the track in spurts caused mayhem all over the field and brought to an unbelievable race classification. Some drivers took advantage from the situation to secure unpredictable results, other lost (even not for the first time) the chance of their life
Frenchman Gasly started in the same way the 64-laps race: in the early bits of racing he had to defend from the attacks of Charles Leclerc until he pitted as teammate at 4th lap for a fresher set of Intermediate green Pirelli Cinturato, but threw out of the window the new compound by having a close call (again) with the last turn gravel; luckily being one of the few survivors to that trap, he started climbing the pack: he started with Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo (during his retirement) and prosecuted with Romain Grosjean within few laps. After moving to Soft at lap 27, he took advantage of Raikkonen excursion and in claiming 5th position of Albon 1/3 of distance to complete; Pierre wanted to surprise the contender with fast moves after the hairpin but probably he put too heat for a 7th place he was fighting for; the battle with the Thai driver went until the clash between the front wing of #10 collided with the back of the Toro Rosso:
That was an insane, crazy race and it just had everything. […] Towards the end, I was fighting with Alex during the last few laps and we made contact, which took my front wing off and gave me a puncture, so I had to stop the car. I don’t know what to say but it’s annoying not to score points when you have a race like this. At the start, I had wheel spin so I was slow off the line and I lost a lot of positions into Turn One so it was quite hectic from there. In these conditions, it’s a gamble when to pit and when not to and sometimes you just need to get lucky but the pace was there so we will keep pushing and next week, we go again in Hungary
Heading to the last round before the summer break, Red Bull may have joined again the path lost at Silverstone; a very consistent Verstappen, probably maturing race after race without mistakes and without being mentally weak; Gasly shows one more time to suffer the high pressure conditions, even in Free Practice: the error at the end of the race while on 7th signifies a desperate desire for being considered when making the line-up of next year. Will we see you Pierre?