Windsor about Verstappen’s lap: ‘Patient and controlled’

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Windsor about Verstappen's lap: 'Patient and controlled'

Traditionally, Formula 1 journalist Peter Windsor also shares his view of the teams’ performance after qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix. The Briton is quite pleased with Sergio Pérez’s performance, but is critical of the enthusiasm about the results achieved within the Mercedes team.

Windsor is also not too confident about how Ferrari will do in tomorrow’s race. The Italian racing team set a good time with Carlos Sainz of 1:28:682, with the Spaniard qualifying fourth. Nevertheless, Windsor suspects that tire management could throw a spanner in the works tomorrow.

Red Bull performance

At the Suzuka circuit, Red Bull managed to take first and second place on the starting grid of the Japanese Grand Prix. Reigning world champion Max Verstappen took pole position with a time of 1:28:197. The gap with teammate Pérez remained only 0.066 seconds. “A fantastic result for Pérez,” Windsor begins his analysis on YouTube. “He’s been riding really well this year.” The Mexican’s performance during the long runs has also not gone undiscussed. ‘He’s in very good shape for tomorrow. It even looks like Pérez had more top speed than Max.”

Windsor does not comment very broadly about Verstappen, except to say that the Limburger’s pole position is undoubtedly deserved. According to Windsor, Verstappen had a distinct style with which he drove laps on the Suzuka circuit. “If I had to use two words to describe the round of, I would say ‘patient’ and ‘controlled’.”

Critical about Mercedes

What is also striking this weekend is that the mood within the Mercedes team seems to be slightly lighter. Although Lewis Hamilton and George Russell only managed a seventh and ninth starting position, Toto Wolff went so far as to say that the team had made ‘half a second’ progress compared to the race in Suzuka last year.

Windsor looks critically at this statement. ‘We shouldn’t read too much into that half second that, apparently, they found. “I think it’s more realistic to say that even though tire management seems to be improving, they still have a lot of trouble passing Aston Martin and especially McLaren.”

Hamilton should also not be too satisfied with his performance, Windsor believes. ‘Hamilton qualified higher than Russell. He probably thinks this was a really good day. Of course, part of that stems from the fact that he beat Russell. But he had to work very hard to achieve an Oscar Piastri time. That’s how you should see it. It’s still slower than an Aston Martin and the other McLaren, let alone the Ferraris.’

A lot of consistency in the field

Windsor also wants to pay particular attention to the consistency in the field during the long runs. “I noticed there was incredible consistency today and we don’t talk about that often. Sainz’s time was very impressive, especially with so much fuel in the car. Fernando Alonso the same way. Pérez also drove very consistently.’

According to the Brit, it is not self-evident that the long runs are ridden this way. ‘We often take it for granted. Then we say, ‘Oh, they’re all the same.’ They are incredibly consistent, but it is extremely difficult to achieve that. Especially on a circuit like Suzuka.’

Apart from the fact that Sainz performed well in the long runs, according to Windsor, he is not confident that the Spaniard and his teammate Charles Leclerc will come through the race with flying colors. ‘In sector 3 you see that they are asking too much of the tires, in both cars. That could mean that Ferrari will have to deal with serious tire degradation in the race.’

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