After staying at the gates of success in the inaugural event of the Formula One World Cup, three weeks ago in Bahrain, the Dutch Max verstappen runs again as the great rival of the British Lewis hamilton for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that takes place at the Imola circuit (Italy).
The pilots of Red bull Y Mercedes They staged a fierce fight in the first test of the 2021 calendar. They expressed their candidacy for the title on the asphalt, in a season that could gain in competitiveness, strength and attractiveness if the energy drink team confirms the good works of their car. The piloting of Verstappen is his main argument to try to end the dynasty of Lewis hamilton.
In Bahrain, the Englishman learned of his rival’s intentions. Max verstappen achieved pole position and a 0.388-second lead over the seven-time Formula One world champion. Mercedes made accounts and deduced, in the words of the engineer Andrew Shovlin, that your car “doesn’t really have any advantage” over the RB16B from Red bull. Yes Hamilton he triumphed because the Dutchman had to give him the position after having passed him beyond the limits of the route.
It so happens that the mythical Imola circuit is a setting that hardly has to do with that of Sakhir. The race will also take place under more pleasant temperatures. “We are going to see if the fight is related to the circuit. It will be interesting to see how we are on a very different track from Bahrain and how we compare with them,” said the Mexican. Sergio perez, the new companion of Max verstappen on Red bull.
The ‘Czech’, fifth in the Grand Prix that opened the course, and the Finnish Valtteri BottasThird, they will be the alternatives of the two leading teams in the championship at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
From there he keeps a better memory Lewis hamilton what Max verstappen. The defending champion won at Imola in 2020. Bottas rounded the doublet of Mercedes. The Dutchman punctured, went to the gravel and was out of the race.
The australian Daniel Ricciardo, now in McLaren, was the one who stepped on the third step of the podium. Both he and the Brit Lando norris they could have options this weekend in Italy before any possible concession of the favorites.
The eyes will also be on the Monegasque Charles Leclerc and spanish Carlos Sainz, the pilots holding Ferrari. And it is that the Imola circuit bears the name of the founder of the team and his son. They both want to capture the obvious improvement their car experienced over last year’s SF1000.
Unlike 2020, the teams will have three days of activity on the track. Two free practice sessions are scheduled for Friday, from 11:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 15:30 CET. On Saturday they will hit the asphalt again for Free Practice 3 (11am to 12pm) and the qualifying session (2pm to 3pm), prior to Sunday’s race (3pm to 5pm).
This filming time will be especially valuable to the team Alpine, which brings a new update for this Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
It will be difficult for that to allow the Spanish Fernando Alonso fight to repeat the victory he achieved in 2005 in Imola against the German Michael SchumacherBut it could help him score his first points in his season back to Formula One.
The Asturian, two times world champion with Renault, did not finish the first Grand Prix of the season. His teammate, the French Esteban Ocon, did not score either.
The rain also emerges as a clear possibility of altering the forecasts. The letters will be many and varied. And they are already on the table.