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Carlos Sainz and four other keys to understanding the World Cup


Carlos Sainz, in the previous press conference of the Bahrain GP.
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Carlos Sainz will become tomorrow the third Spanish driver in history to dispute an F1 race with Ferrari. Follow in the footsteps of Marquis of Portago (1956-1957) and Fernando Alonso (2010-2014) has not been easy for the Madrid, who needed 118 races, spread over six seasons, and two podiums with McLaren, to convince Mattia Binotto. Carlos’ consistency in long runs and his ability to score points in the most adverse situations made the Scuderia boss fall in love, determined to find a rider at the height of his career. Charles Leclerc. After strengthening the physique with Rupert Manwaring, his lifelong coach, Carlos inherits the technical team of Sebastian Vettel, with Riccardo Adami as a track engineer. In three months of work, he has captivated the people of Maranello with his impeccable professionalism. The power of the new engine and the talent of his young partner (25 years and three days on average) multiply the illusion at Ferrari.

Hamilton vs Verstappen

Max Verstappen, during free practice in Bahrain.
Max Verstappen, during free practice in Bahrain.
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The duel between the seven-time champion, 36, against the defiant Dutch genius, only 23, seems closer than ever. It is not just a matter of measuring their extraordinary capabilities, but of evaluating the progress of their cars. Two weeks ago, Mercedes already evidenced problems with the gearbox, while Red Bull I was flying a more predictable and stable car. The best possible news for Christian Horner, which in recent years had been forced to polish his car at full speed. “The engine has improved in power and reliability,” he warns Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda’s technical director in F1. In addition, Toto Wolff It will no longer be able to count on the DAS, the revolutionary dual-axle steering system with which Mercedes gained considerable advantages in 2020. Against this background, Hamilton needs to squeeze its strengths against the contender: its great efficiency in tire management and his incomparable fierceness in the classification of Saturdays.

Changes in regulations

The last World Cup before the radical regulatory change of 2022 will be marked by the crisis of the pandemic and the adjustments in the budget limit, reduced to $ 147 million per team. Cars will be a second slower per lap, not only because they increase in six kilos your minimum weight752 kg), but because they face regulatory constraints that affect notorious downforce. The cuts in the flat bottom, in the rear brake ducts and in the diffusers will force new solutions, for which the teams will only have two development tokens. Free practice duration reduced from 240 to 180 minutes, as the calendar expands dand 21 to 23 grand prizes. In addition, three short sprint races will be held. On those three Saturdays, one of them already confirmed in SilverstoneThe order of the starting grid for the traditional Sunday test will be decided.

McLaren’s growth

Lando Norris is paired with Sainz's Ferrari.
Lando Norris is paired with Sainz’s Ferrari.VALDRIN XHEMAJEFE

James Key, Chief Technical Officer at Woking, and Andrea Stella, Competition Director, seem to have hit the mark with the MCL35M, the car with which McLaren initiates the second alliance in its history with Mercedes. The enormous challenge of adapting the German engine to its chassis has been completed with another formidable aerodynamic discovery: a diffuser that takes advantage of gaps in the regulations to find that extra grip, decisive when cornering. While your competitors strive to imitate you, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris they show a splendid race pace and a lot of speed in the qualifying simulations. The other great strength of the team led by Andreas Seidl it is precisely its pair of pilots, more compensated than that of Aston Martin, Alpine or AlphaTauri, three of its direct rivals. After the two podiums in 2020, the goal in this championship will be to further reduce the gap with Mercedes and Red Bull.

Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher, at a press conference.
Mick Schumacher, at a press conference.HANDOUTREUTERS

Friday’s conclusions at Sakhir could not have been more dramatic for Haas, the team that has lost the most in race pace compared to 2020: almost two and a half seconds per lap. So the son of the Kaiser must focus on his duel with Nikita mazepin, his controversial garage buddy. The Russian, who arrives shakes the hand of his billionaire father, has already left several spins as a sign of his lack of skill behind the wheel. It will be a season of continual learning for Mick, 22, who is celebrated in F2 for his ability to absorb knowledge and to progress at a rate as inconspicuous as it is steady. Williams’ step in front seems to condemn the squire of Guenther Steiner to the last two places on the grid. And the only plausible goal of a car without balance or power will be to avoid the embarrassment of finishing 23 races without a single point on the box.

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