Ferrari’s mistakes, Mercedes’ recovery and Fernando Alonso’s surprise move

Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin next year to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel was the focus of interest in Formula One after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Here’s a look at five talking points as the World Championships wind down their annual summer break:

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Ferrari problems

Team boss Mattia Binotto faced mounting pressure on Monday after Sunday’s flop as Ferrari started the Hungarian Grand Prix second and third with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, but finished fourth and sixth.

World champion Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez moved from 10th and 11th to first and fifth in a comprehensive display of smart teamwork and strategy.

Red Bull leads the Constructors’ Championship with 431 points. Ferrari has 334. Rising Mercedes is third on 304.

Although Ferrari has had the fastest car for most of the season, particularly in qualifying, they have squandered this advantage due to poor strategy calls, driver error, engine and other technical faults, and a lack of consistency and reliability. has been wasted with

Former driver Johnny Herbert, a Sky Sports F1 pundit, described his latest flop as “embarrassing”.

Leclerc, trailing by 80 points in the title race, pleaded to stay out on track on medium compound tires while leading with 30 laps to go, but was called in, switched to hards and dropped down the order. .

Binotto remained calm and blamed an unexpected drop in car and tire performance, but promised another round of in-depth reviews.

Mercedes restoration

Mercedes’ revival after a disappointing and difficult start to the season has reignited seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who not only revived his belief that he will take his 104th career victory this year, Rather, it will encourage them to bid for a record eighth drivers’ title. . The 37-year-old Briton’s run of five consecutive podium finishes, including two consecutive seconds, has confirmed the team is back as a competitive – if not yet winning – force. Hamilton said: “Definitely, if we carry this momentum into the second half of the season, we can start fighting with these other guys!”

Alonso’s move triggers ‘stupid season’

Fernando Alonso’s quick move to take Sebastian Vettel’s seat has sparked speculation of a ‘silly season’ predicting more action in the driver market for 2023.

The first vacancy to be filled will be at Alpine. Reserve driver Oscar Pastry, winner of the 2020 Formula Three and 2021 Formula Two titles, is an obvious candidate. Managed by former Red Bull driver and compatriot Mark Webber, the Australian is considered a major talent.

Another vacant seat could be at Williams, where Nicolas Latifi will be out of contract this year. Williams could be interested in Piastri, should he lose the Alpine seat, or Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries.

The Dutchman took part in free practice for Williams in Spain and Mercedes in France.

An outsider may be Williams reserve driver Jamie Chadwick, who has dominated the women’s only W Series this season, but the move for a female driver may not be straightforward.

The future of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher’s son Mick Schumacher is another talking point as he is out of contract with Haas this year.

Bouncing and porpoising

While drivers head to European shores for their holidays, many teams will continue to work on solutions to the ‘porposing’ and bouncing issues that have plagued many cars this season.

Governing body the FIA ​​is set to introduce measures to tackle the problem and protect drivers, starting from the Belgian Grand Prix, but some teams, notably Red Bull, are concerned the ‘ground effect’ formula introduced this season will be affected. Vali is against any change.

Red Bull has designed a car with a low risk of porpoising and has capitalized on the results. Team boss Christian Horner has warned that there will be cracks in the paddock and pitlane if the new rules are introduced mid-season.

Abusive behavior Abusive behavior from fans at the races and on social media has prompted a response from Formula One.

He launched a ‘Drive It Out’ campaign on Saturday, but there were persistent reports of abuse on social media and footage of Max Verstappen fans allegedly burning Lewis Hamilton’s belongings at the Hungaroring. .

“It’s not acceptable,” the 24-year-old Dutchman lamented. “I certainly don’t agree with that because it’s disgusting.”

Recent incidents in Austria and Hungary follow others when fans cheered drivers for crashing into their cars or generally abused or mistreated them.

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