Andretti regards Verstappen’s failure as a snapshot: ‘Wasn’t a distracted mechanic or something’

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Andretti regards Verstappen's failure as a snapshot: 'Wasn't a distracted mechanic or something'

Former world champion Mario Andretti does not regard Ferrari’s victory in Australia as a snapshot, but Max Verstappen’s failure does. The American thinks Ferrari has definitely moved closer to Red Bull Racing and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season unfolds.

In the past 25 races, there was one driver from one team who managed to beat Red Bull twice: Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard achieved a world-class performance in Melbourne just two weeks after surgery for his appendicitis. The Madrid driver was already impressive during qualifying and was able to benefit from Max Verstappen’s failure on Sunday. Many warn that one should not rush too quickly after one win, and because Red Bull is expected to strike again in Japan, but Andretti does not think that Ferrari’s victory is a snapshot.

“No, a result like Sunday’s is not just a matter in itself,” Andretti begins in conversation with the Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport. ‘Ferrari already showed its speed in practice and qualifying. From Friday they did everything perfectly, and it was nice to see Carlos give 100 percent after his operation,” the American continued. “Sainz and Leclerc are there now, they can compete with anyone,” said Andretti. “Ferrari has definitely come closer, and it’s going to be very interesting to see the rest of the season. I have seen good signals.’

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Andretti expects more battles between Ferrari and Red Bull to take place. (Photo: Ferrari F1 Media)

So there was no fluke at Ferrari, Andretti seems to think. It is clear to the American that Verstappen’s failure was a snapshot. “It’s also difficult to think whether that was due to a derivative mechanic or not,” says Andretti. ‘It remains annoying what happened at Red Bull, because those tensions are there. It can leave something behind and that is not exactly positive.’

Sainz’s victory ‘certainly no surprise’

Andretti noted that everything was going well in Australia, both with the strategy and with the tires, which were weaknesses in the past. It is still a bit difficult to say definitively that Ferrari has solved the tire degradation problem, but at least it seems to be going in the right direction. Sainz seemed to feel particularly comfortable in the car, this was already visible in Bahrain, and also in Melbourne. ‘It was no surprise (that Sainz won, ed.). I have always said that both he and Leclerc are drivers who can go for victories and championships. They have shown that in Australia and we will also see it in the future.’

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