The question of who is the world champion team has long been answered this season, but not yet who is the number one chaser. What has been fixed: Max Verstappen will be crowned world champion for the third time in a row, and his Red Bull Racing team will win the constructors’ title for the second time in a row. If the Austrian team goes according to plan, Sergio Perez will also finish second in the Drivers’ Championship. “It’s easy. If he shows what he can do, he’ll be in the car next year,” motorsports advisor Helmut Marko confirmed back in Zandvoort. Behind the RB duo, the usual four suspects come in as chasers.
In the “first position”, so to speak, are the silver arrows. Toto Wolff’s team showed the biggest signs of consistency all season. Big problem: The car is still a bit fuzzy. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were full of praise for the W14 or blasphemed it on some tracks. If you had a better understanding of the car over the summer, that might be enough for one of the best places in the near future.
The piñatas of the current season can also cause a sensation in the second half. After a surprisingly strong start to the season, in which Fernando Alonso belied all his transfer critics, the British side have become the second strongest force in the First Division. The longer the season goes on, the more ground billionaire Lawrence Stroll’s racing team loses. Ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix, many expected the negative spiral to continue. Above all, Alonso’s training times seem to be an indication that an Aston Martin can be expected in the fall and beyond.
Not much has happened in Scuderia this season. Although the car is the fastest on the grid at times, it is equipped with an Italian temperament and therefore very likely not to be competitive at all on certain circuits. There is also the unresolved problem of tire wear. Practice times at Zandvoort didn’t give much cause for hope either, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz missing out on the top ten in both sessions.
Without a chance at the start of the season, the Brits clawed their way back to the top with updates. Silverstone’s second strongest powerhouse, Hungary, has clearly put a damper on them ahead of the summer break in Belgium. If McLaren can maintain the newfound pace, there is still plenty possible with Lando Norris, fastest in the second practice session, and Oscar Piastri.
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