Barcelona (AP) — Charles Leclerc is the leader. But Max Verstappen is coming powerfully.
The active F1 champion broke Leclerc’s championship lead after scoring 19 points and two wins for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.RELATED
Race 6 of the season promises another episode of the Red Bull-Ferrari showdown. This completely obscured Lewis Hamilton’s embarrassed Mercedes team.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has warned in advance that team engineers will use the two weeks after the Miami Grand Prix to work on improving the car.
“Don’t be surprised to see the new package in Barcelona, which is very important to us,” Binotto said. “We are confident that the packaging we present will be effective and in that case will be a good boost to catch up with Red Bull.”
Leclerc started the season with a victory in Bahrain, winning 1-2 with his teammate Carlos Sainz. Leclerc swept Australia after Verstappen replied with a victory in Saudi Arabia. Ferrari believed they had firmly installed themselves on top.
However, Verstappen’s consecutive victories-Red Bull humiliated Ferrari in front of his compatriots in Italy, followed by a victory in Miami-erased more than half of Leclerc’s 46-point lead towards the Italian Grand Prix.
Verstappen is chasing Leclerc despite a 3-2 victory. This is because Red Bull’s failure prevented it from increasing the distance between Bahrain and Australia. Leclerc, on the other hand, finished second in the second and third innings, with the worst result being sixth in Italy.
When Verstappen’s single-seater didn’t fail, the Dutch were better than his young rival Leclerc, who competed by holding the handle of the cart.
“There are a lot of championships left. Things are very close to Ferrari and we have seen a very good race. You can see that Charles and Max have great respect for each other. I enjoy competing with Red Bull boss Christian Horner last week. “I didn’t want to have a year as competitive as the previous year, but it shows that everything is defined to the end of this year as well.”
The Barcelona circuit was a milestone in the evolution of Verstappen. In 2016, Verstappen was still a teenager, winning his first Grand Prix and becoming the youngest winner in F1 history.
Since then, Hamilton has exercised supremacy.
Hamilton, a longtime F1 dictator until Verstappen beat him dramatically last season, has won the Spanish Grand Prix six times, including the last five editions.
But instead of casting a shadow over Ferrari and Red Bull, Mercedes’ unfortunate level obliges Hamilton to keep up with his teammates again. George Russell, 13 years younger than Hamilton, outperforms the seven-time World Champion. Russell adds 59 points and Hamilton accumulates 36 points.
At a distance of 4.6 km (2.8 miles), the Catalunya circuit is well known to drivers as it is a pre-season test scene. In the February test, Ferrari attracted attention as the fastest team.