The McLaren team became the main star of the F-1 British Grand Prix: both in qualifying and in the race, the Orange turned out to be the closest pursuers of the Red Bull. How to explain the rapid advance of the team and what more important happened in the 11th Grand Prix of the season?
How did McLaren get so hasty?
In fact, in Woking, even before the start of the season, they warned: we will start more or less, but worthy news is already being prepared that will allow us to take a step forward. And yet it was thought that these upgrades would, at best, be enough to battle Alpin for the title of best middle farmer, but in practice, McLaren generally took and left behind all but the invincible Red Bull: shock!
Lando Norris successfully tested the new MCL60 at the Austrian Grand Prix: already at Spielberg, his car was third fastest. And yet it was thought to be a one-off, especially as the Brit is traditionally good at the Red Bull Ring. However, at Silverstone, McLaren not only maintained its previous level, but even took a further step forward, and Oscar Piastri, who first tested the updated car, fully supported Lando’s pace.
Russell: Piastri deserved to finish on the podium
What is the secret? An authorized columnist for The Race, Mark Hughes, noted that even not the most successful new-generation F-1 cars can easily cope with high-speed corners, so low drag and good work on the corners. slow corners are more important at Silverstone. On the second point, let’s take a look at McLaren at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but a good ‘top speed’ on the straights gave a huge advantage to both Norris and Piastri and the Williams drivers – the pace of this team at Silverstone also surprised. In fact, with ground effect, Silverstone’s high-speed corners become straight lines, which the two legendary teams are traditionally good at.
Now, we repeat, it will be interesting to watch the McLaren on the slow track of the Hungaroring, where “top speed” is much less important and the requirements for the cars are completely different. But at the Belgian Grand Prix before the summer break, it looks like you definitely need to put Norris or Piastri back on the podium.
Wolf reacted to the fact that Hamilton could not pass the “McLaren” Norris
Crisis of “Mercedes” and “Ferrari”
Despite Lewis Hamilton’s podium finish, it is unlikely that Toto Wolff and company can be satisfied with last stage. In fact, Mercedes is seeing it abruptly bypassed by the customer team, which until recently was teetering somewhere far behind. It turns out that the technical department of McLaren works much more efficiently than the engineers of the Silver Arrows?
Not surprisingly, Hamilton is already urging his team to urgently resolve everything, noting: look, while we tried to go our own way and then reluctantly began to copy individual decisions from Red Bull, McLaren took copy-paste much more actively. . and he played one second at a time. A logical question: are the Mercedes engineers, and at the same time Ferrari, becoming victims of their own arrogance? Do they have internal resistance to the decision to simply copy ideas already tested by colleagues?
The British Grand Prix was unequivocally a flop for Ferrari
Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Speaking of Ferrari. One must not draw too serious conclusions about the team’s pace: due to Leclerc’s problems on Friday, the Italians did not understand the work of the tyres, drew the wrong conclusions and acted too conservatively in the race. Excessive desire to save tires and early pit stops cost the Scuderia both speed and time saved by competitors coming out of the safety car.
You probably remember how, after an unsuccessful start to the season, Alpin boss Laurent Rossi severely criticized his own team. Among other things, the Frenchman then said that he was not going to take away the task of competing for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship. The goal already seemed fantastic, but Rossi said that his failure would be a failure.
Well, now “Alpin” is expected to fail in the square: judging by the progress of “McLaren”, the French do not have a chance to compete even with him. The factory team dropped back to sixth place, which, apparently, will end the season. We won’t be surprised if internal teardowns and layoffs start again at Alpin. And the big question is how effective is this style of management by Russia.
Bad news for the average
McLaren’s progression is bad news for the rest of the teams in the middle group. Given the incredible reliability of today’s F-1 cars, the middle peasants have almost no chance of scoring points. If nothing happens to the Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari drivers, they are guaranteed six places in the points zone. Add Fernando Alonso here and now, apparently, two McLaren drivers: that’s nine positions out of ten. Finally, in the individual Grands Prix, Alpin is clearly stronger than the middle peasants. And Stroll isn’t always bad.
So it turns out that the chances of the rest getting into the points zone become slim. At Silverstone, Albon was lucky: a timely safety car start and high “top speed” allowed Alex to pick up four points for eighth place. But such events are becoming rarer.
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What about the rules?
Unfortunately, the British Grand Prix was not exempt from strange arbitration decisions. Just on Sunday morning, we saw in a Formula 1 race how Victor Martins overtook an opponent by driving onto the side of the road and received a five second penalty for this. And another pilot, after a similar maneuver, immediately returned the position himself, realizing that otherwise he would be punished.
And what do we see in the F-1 race? Lance Stroll gets ahead of Pierre Gasly, driving completely on the side of the road, the judges start their investigation and…they decide that the Canadian did not violate the rules! How is that? Perhaps the stewards thought that the Alpin driver himself squeezed the Aston Martin to the side of the road, but something similar happened in Formula 2, but it was not an excuse to overtake the racers. Another judicial inconsistency is evident.
“If you go to the side of the road, then you need to return to the position, everything is simple. It’s just not fair that there is no consistency. Now it turns out that in the next race it is allowed to overtake someone off the track. And then you get a five second penalty. So I just can’t understand”, Pierre Gasly was surprised after the finish, and we shared these questions from the Frenchman.
There is only one conclusion: it is simply not to be expected that the decisions of the F-1 stewards will one day become understandable and logical.
Gasly’s full statement on the judges’ actions:
Gasly said about the inconsistency of the judges who did not fine Stroll