Mar 18, 2023 8:47 pm
Round two qualifying took place under the lights in Saudi Arabia, sparking many topics of conversation and questions being raised in the paddock. The biggest shock being Max Verstappen who qualified P15 after a suspected driveshaft issue that ruled him out of Qualifying.
A touch race lays ahead for the Dutchman as Saudi Arabia isn’t a very easy circuit to overtake despite the drama we have seen occur from the last two seasons of having it on the calendar.
Verstappen spoke on his retirement saying: “Coming out of Turn 10 it happened. The chance… is very annoying for it to happen. I mean, I think we so far had a really good weekend.
“Every session was going really well. and every time you want to track you know, the car was working really well.
“So now, it will be a bit more tricky to get to the front. but it’s all about scoring points. I’m starting further up the road but we cannot change that now.
“Anything is possible at this track. We’ve seen a lot of crazy things but we’ve also got to stay a little realistic. I mean it’s gonna be tough, but we have good pace so I’m sure we’ll move forward.”
As Max says anything is truly possible on this track so i’m sure we are all looking forward to what Sunday holds. Having a rocket-ship for a car definitely will help him get through the field, Max has won from P14 on the grid before but lets see if he could do it from P15 this time…
The Mission In Action For Aston Martin
La Misión is well and truly in action as Fernando Alonso qualified a brilliant P3 for Aston Martin today, Lance Stroll also qualified P6.
Lance’s qualifying was nearly impeccable, on the last lap in Q3 it looked to be he would get near to pole but in the last sector he lost it and the best he could cross the line with was a 1.28.9 placing him in P6.
Fernando Alonso finished Quali in P3 with a 1.28.7, only 0.2 seconds faster then his teammate, but an incredible qualifying result for them yet again.
Making it even better for them, Charles Leclerc was confirmed to have a 10 place grid penalty before the race week, meaning both qualify one place higher then their original positions.
Putting Fernando Alonso on the front row, with Lance staying on the 3rd row but moving up to P5.
Huge potential for the race on Sunday for Aston Martin, a challenge awaits them but a serious opportunity to score significant points is on the table. Alonso and Stroll both showed composure and consistency in Bahrain two weeks ago. It time for both drivers to get their heads down and see what they can achieve.
We all know and love Alonso’s eagerness to achieve the lead, so strap up and brace yourself for a scrap going into Turn 1.
Ludicrous Track limits Cause Controversy
Now within the past years we have seen how strict/un-strict the FIA can be when it comes to track limits, however, one thing the fans have been asking for primarily is consistency with the decisions that are made.
Logan Sargeant in Q1 had his lap-time deleted for going over the line in Turn 27, therefore getting rid of his lap-time, effectively putting him out of Qualifying. Now track limits have always been a topic for discussion, but what the FIA essentially said to the other teams today was, that on Sunday if you are to have 1 tyre that crosses the line, you will be issued a warning.
As this happened to Logan today it means it has to be the same for the race on Sunday right? Consistency within the sport and decisions has been hard to come by as of late. Some drivers will get away with certain actions and others won’t. However, if we are going off the first race in terms of what to expect, i’m sure they will be strict with their decisions that’ll be made for the remainder of the season.
Looking at the onboard footage, it is true that Sargeant does have a tyre over the line and speaking literally, it has gained an advantage in time by going off the track. Yes admittedly he probably gains practically nothing from doing this, but in the FIA’s eyes he has “gained a lasting advantage from going off track”.
If these limits are applied in tomorrows race, expect to see black and white flags a numerous amount of times.
What are your thoughts on the track limits? Let us know in the comments down below.