Still a matter of rubber. Again. The ‘Scuderia’ seems to have kept the serious issue with tyre management and degradation as the victory of Leclerc could have slipped from his hands in the last laps of the race; for Vettel the situation dramatically dropped when moving onto the Medium compound, loosing two places and been forced for another pit for a Soft set. The odd fact is that situation has deployed with cooler temperatures on track, no the other way around: a big warning for Monza, where all the work done on the PU power could vanish in the chicanes.
Coming to the winner, Monegasque Leclerc claimed a glorious win that secures his maturity level: it’d not have been easy to keep Lewis Hamilton behind for so many laps, knowing the gap was diminishing lap by lap. Nevertheless, when thinking what 24 hours happened up to the hill of Radillon:
“It is difficult to enjoy a first victory on a weekend like this. I grew up with Anthoine, and we competed in our first karting race together with Pierre (Gasly) and Esteban (Ocon) in 2005. These are memories I will keep forever. Losing him yesterday was a huge shock, not only to me but to everyone in motorsport. In a way, I am satisfied having won today to remember him in the way he should be remembered. He was a champion, and this victory is for him.
The race itself was good and nothing would have been possible without the amazing car the team gave me. We made good improvements in terms of race pace and tyre management this weekend.
The last few laps weren’t easy. I saw Lewis coming closer and closer in the mirror, so I put my head down and tried to focus on the work I had to do in the car. At the end, I managed to cross the line in first place and I’d like to thank the team for the hard work they have put in to make this possible.”
At the other garage door, Sebastian Vettel now urges deep analysis in order to establish the cause of what went wrong with his race: the German knew that a podium, or even the victory, were comfortably within his ambitions. The solution to the tyre degradation matters could probably give him the last chance of win around the straights running through the Parco di Monza next week. The spin at the Roggia chicane of last year still hurts:
“It was not by any means an easy race for me. At the start I managed to retake my position from Lewis but then I began to struggle with the tyres and I had to stop earlier than planned. With the medium tyres at first I managed to maintain a good pace, but then it dropped again.
I tried to keep second place but I couldn’t do it and at that point, the best thing to do was to pit once more for tyres and carry on without struggling so much.
We have to understand why my car had such high tyre degradation and we will do a full analysis of the situation to understand the reasons why I did not feel comfortable. It was definitely not a great weekend for me, but it was a great weekend for the team and that’s the main thing. So congratulations to all the guys in the team and well done to Charles for his first win!”