By Patrick Wedes
What a spicy start to the season! The red chilli of Ferrari has been ignited and is hot.
The race was well executed by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as a duo to bring home a 1-2 finish for Scuderia Ferrari. This is the first since 2019 and a reminder that it is all heart and soul in this team because winning has been a part of their DNA forever in time. No doubt it was a tricky battle with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. This time, it went the way of the Monaco driver and his smile has reappeared after a turbulent two seasons.
We are very impressed with Carlos Sainz, who has come into fine form after learning a lot during his time with McLaren. The Spanish driver is a quiet achiever whilst enjoying himself on and off track. He has a great personality for the sport and works well as a teammate. 2022 could be the season Ferrari have dreamed of and with two drivers ready, eager and wanting to win. His contract for the future with Ferrari looks very good to seal his future as a title challenger. The only thing they will need to manage is if both drivers are equally performing and hitting the points because who becomes 1 and 2…..
The new cars were excellent with good racing all the way down the pecking order of F1 cars with an amazing result for Haas with Kevin Magnussen finishing 5th after replacing the team’s Russian driver. Guenther Steiner has proven good things do come to those who wait. Check his twitter handle!
A big shout out is to go to Guanyu Zhou who finished in the top 10 in 10th place for his debut Formula One drive in the number 24 Alfa Romeo. The drivers wearing their numbers is making it a lot easier for the fans to recognise who they are as well as the teams noting different drivers with their illuminated on-board camera strips like Hamilton’s AMG Mercedes.
This race we saw better coverage of the entire grid as Yuki Tsunoda in his No 22 Alpha Tauri came home 8th and Mick Schumacher doing his dad proud recovering well in the race to finish just outside the points in his No 47 Haas in 11th place.
Bigger tyres, more use of the rear wing for straight-line speed and the lower temperature tyres once the cars leave pit lane after a pit stop is making the racing more challenging for the drivers and better for the sport overall.
“Coming into this season, we knew we would be in a better position than we have been for the past two years, but we didn’t know exactly where we would stand. To be back on top with a car that is capable of winning feels incredible. A huge thank you to our whole team, you’ve done an amazing job and this victory is for all of you. The race was tough and I gave it my all. Whenever I had a bit of margin behind me, I felt in control of the race and was managing the gap well. But after the first stop, things became more tricky. Max challenged me three times and I had to position myself in the right way to reclaim my position each time he passed me. Once the Safety Car came out, we lost the gap we had created and had to start again from zero. I knew I had to do the best restart possible and I am glad I got the job done well. Car development will be more significant than in previous years and we have to stay on top of our game. As for this weekend – we did everything right. Pole, fastest lap, the victory and second place for our team. Forza Ferrari!“
“This is definitely a day to celebrate for the entire team. Starting the season with a 1-2 is the perfect reward for the tireless work they have done over the last two years and congrats to Charles on a solid win. We also want to share our joy with all our tifosi around the world because we always felt their support even when we were not fighting at the top. For me, I’m very happy with the result but I’m not particularly happy with my race. It was probably one of the hardest ones since I joined Ferrari. I wasn’t feeling at home with the car and we need to understand why. But today it’s time to celebrate this amazing result all together. The great effort to bring Ferrari back to the top, where it belongs, has paid off today and everyone deserves to enjoy it. We’ll keep pushing next week in Saudi. Forza Ferrari!“