Sainz falls short and Alonso disappoints

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Charles Leclerc added his fourth pole in six races, starting for Max Verstappen and his partner, who tried to the end

If those who do well in Barcelona do well for the rest of the year, it can be said that Charles Leclerc is in a position to declare himself world champion. Not only because of the pole he took, which is already fourth out of six possible, but also because of the way he did it. The Monegask turns when it has to, and that became clear on a Saturday that started with great disappointment for the thousands of fans in the stands.

And it is that in Q1 Fernando Alonso among others was eliminated. The Asturian driver blamed a misunderstanding with his team’s radio that he went into traffic to make up for his lap, but the truth is that the innovations Alpine has brought to this track are not quite optimal. Already in the third free practice they threw themselves into adjusting the front wing, but in qualifying they were not completely comfortable. Alonso didn’t make it past 17th but his teammate Esteban Ocon entered Q2 with a very reasonable 15th.

The performance of the A522 under the intense heat that is currently destroying the Barcelona circuit is only part of what explains the situation. “Since free practice 3 we haven’t been very fast. We have another piece in the car, this weekend it was my partner’s turn. And I think it’s noticed that there was a bit of a lack of rhythm,” Alonso admitted.

With the fans, mostly Alonso already somewhat disappointed, they turned to see what Carlos Sainz could do. The Madrid man had a golden opportunity to try and prove that sooner or later his pole position will come. Although he showed that he had rhythm, he came up short. The critical moment came in Q3. Leclerc made a big mistake on his first fast lap attempt, which left him with no margin: he had to put in a good lap on the only lap he would have available.

Leclerc did it in a big way… and with a bit of luck. Max Verstappen was the only real rival he could have for pole position, and the Dutchman ran out of power as he entered the third corner of the Spanish circuit. Suddenly, the Honda engine (officially Red Bull Powertrains) was throttled, so it didn’t improve for the rest of the lap. Carlos Sainz’s option was also out of the question, as he didn’t improve in the previous time, so it was all to see if Leclerc could do his best to add another pole… and he did. The Monegasque is in a sweet moment.

Does this mean Carlos Sainz has no options? Not much less. In fact, the man from Madrid is clear about the plan to follow. “Tomorrow anything is possible, we will certainly do everything we can to overtake at the start and take the lead from there. It wasn’t an ideal qualifying because I couldn’t get a good lap on the used tire. That new tire will be missing for the first race stint, but anything can happen and we will do our best,” the Spaniard promised.

Sainz has always scored points in his participation in the Spanish GP, but now he has no choice but to at least opt ​​for a podium. The Ferrari man from Madrid must be clear about his primary goal, which is to help his team-mate Leclerc hold onto the win. If he manages to hold on to Verstappen, he has already satisfied, although he wants to be ahead of both. The determining factors are many, starting with the intense heat it’s going to create. The durability of the tires is being put to the test, so there is a good chance that the hard tires will do more laps than expected. This goes against the spectacle, but you can’t expect much more from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

However, don’t let anyone lose the fury with which Alonso will start from 17th place. It’s far from the desired spot, as he chose a relatively comfortable top-10, but if he’s shown anything throughout history, it’s that he’s not afraid to drive a smaller car. For that, they will also have to be vigilant on the Alpine wall and not make a blatant mistake.

Source: La Verdad

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