This weekend’s qualifying for the Styrian GP (aka Austrian GP part 2) was thrown a dose of excitement by Mother Nature. If you haven’t seen racing in the rain before, know that it’s typically a performance equalizer and it’s where driver talent really comes through. It was an exciting qualifying session and the rain delay was well worth it. The two stories this week are Ferrari and Williams:
George Russell and Williams
Holy hell. Williams out of Q1! They nearly got out last weekend but this weekend they performed solidly and Russell got that Williams all the way up to P12! They out qualified much better cars – Racing Point, AlphaTauri, Haas, and Alfa Romeo. Latifi, I believe, also would have gotten out of Q1 had it not been for the session being red flagged just before his final lap. His lap prior also suffered due to a yellow flag – remember you must slow under yellow. Overall a fantastic day for Williams.
Ferrari is screwed
Oh boy. I wrote last week that they looked like they were in a bad situation, and I think this weekend confirms it. They qualified worse this week than they did last week. (7th and 11th last week, 10th and 11th this week.) Ferrari are down on engine performance and given that rain is a performance equalizer they may have much larger problems with their car than just engine power. LeClerc is certainly a good driver and Vettel is also experienced in the rain. That they couldn’t place the car higher than 10th is very telling.
I wrote last week that Ferrari were going to be battling with McLaren, Racing Point, and Renault. You can now add AlphaTauri to that list as Gasly had a fantastic qualifying and stuck his car on P8.
Perhaps Ferrari’s race will be better than qualifying, however if you’re a Ferrari fan I wouldn’t get your hopes up. They are well and truly screwed.
The forecast for tomorrow looks good – no rain as far as I can tell. This should make things interesting for sure. With the Ferraris out of place – again – can they gain places? Sainz is on 3rd – can McLaren convert that to another podium? Norris placed 6th however he has a 3 place grid penalty for overtaking under yellow flags during Free Practice 1 yesterday. Esteban Ocon also quietly put his Renault at P5 so we’ll see what he can do as well now that last weekend knocked the rust off for him.
Should be an exciting race and I can’t wait! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter as I’ll be live-tweeting tomorrow’s race as well.