Evaluation: Issues we discovered from the opening phases of the season

Evaluation: Issues we discovered from the opening phases of the season

Seven of the 23 grands prix are finished and dusted with the season having been dominated by Crimson Bull Racing and double world champion Max Verstappen. Earlier than the motion will get underway in Montreal this weekend, F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó picks outs a couple of key classes we’ve discovered thus far on this season.

Seven of seven – Crimson Bull Racing have gained each single race thus far this season with Max Verstappen including 5 victories to his tally and his teammate Sergio Perez stealing the win in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

Crimson Bull achieved its largest profitable margin in Bahrain the place Max Verstappen crossed the road 38.637s in entrance of the third-placed Fernando Alonso who was the closest non-Crimson Bull driver. The ominous signal that underlines Crimson Bull’s dominance within the present season is that the closest anybody got here the profitable workforce was Alonso, however he was additionally 20.728s adrift of the profitable Crimson Bull of Sergio Perez in Saudi Arabia.

In actual fact, the closest margin was registered in Australia the place seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton crossed the end line solely 0.179s behind Verstappen, however Spherical 3 of the 2023 F1 season ended behind security automotive, making the consequence much less consultant.

Information – Crimson Bull Racing and Max Verstappen proceed to rack up data. Along with his Barcelona victory, Verstappen recorded his third grand slam win (from pole, main each lap and taking quickest lap) whereas his fortieth profession put him just one wanting Ayrton Senna for fifth within the all-time record.

In hassle – Ferrari endured a really troublesome begin to their season following their eye-watching efficiency final season that noticed the Scuderia emerge because the quickest workforce within the opening phases of the season.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are solely sixth and seventh within the Drivers’ Championship whereas Ferrari haven’t solely fallen behind Crimson Bull, however they’ve been slowly dropping behind Mercedes and Aston Martin with the hole having grown to 52 factors to the second-placed Anglo-German outfit.

But to attain – Two of the three rookies are but to attain factors of their debut season. Nyck de Vries scored a twelfth end on the Monaco Grand Prix as his greatest lead to 2023 whereas Logan Sargeant completed the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in P12, however has been unable to enhance on this place since.

No retirements – The 2023 F1 season noticed two – seemingly – incident-free races with the Miami and the Spanish Grands Prix having been taken place and not using a single retirement. Furthermore, there have been no yellow flags, no Security Vehicles and no pink flags in these grands prix. Against this, the Australian Grand Prix’s three pink flags marked it because the most-stopped race in F1’s 73 years.

Quickest laps – Mac Verstappen has set the quickest race lap on three events within the opening seven races ( Saudi Arabia, Miami, Spain), whereas his teammate Sergio Perez recorded the quickest race lap in Australia. The opening grand prix in Manama noticed Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu recorded the quickest race lap whereas Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton secured this honour in Azerbaijan and Monaco respectively.

🎉 Congratulations @FerrariHypercar for writing one other chapter for our Ferrari household historical past at @24hoursoflemans ❤️💛 pic.twitter.com/aCj8xVmAA6

— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) June 11, 2023

Quickest pit cease – Ferrari and Crimson Bull are intently matched in the case of pit cease efficiency. The reigning world champion workforce has accomplished the quickest tyre swap in 4 races – Melbourne, Baku, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Regardless of struggling for sheer efficiency on the monitor, Ferrari has been dependable, constant and fast within the pit lane thus far with the Italian having delivered the quickest tyre swap in Miami, Manama and Jeddah.

Regardless of the heavier tyres, tyre adjustments have hardly turn out to be slower than previously. The fatsest tyre change was carried out by Crimson Bull when the Milton Keynes-based outfit adjustments tyres on Sergio Perez’s automotive in Barcelona inside 2.07s, however Ferrari’s total greatest tyre change performed in Jeddah was solely 0.03s slower.

New compounds – Components One’s sole tyre provider Pirelli launched a brand new compound for this yr with final yr’s hardest compound C1 having turn out to be the C0 whereas a brand new 2023-spec C1 has been launched as an all-new product.

To date, Pirelli has not used the toughest C0 compound, however used the trio of C1-C2-C3 compounds in Bahrain and Spain. The trio of C2-C3-C4 has been in motion thrice – Saudi Arabia, Australia and Miami – whereas the three softest compounds have made look in two rounds – Azerbaijan, Monaco.

No blanket – With the game adamant to part out tyre heaters within the close to future, Pirelli has launched a brand new moist climate tyre that does not must be heated in blankets. The brand new specification was set to make its debut on the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, however the cancellation of the Imola spherical meant that it was postponed to Monaco the place three drivers may attempt the brand new tyres out within the rain-soaked race.

A brand new dash format – Following its introduction again in 2021, the dash format has been gone by key modifications. It’s slated to be run at six Grands Prix in 2023, in comparison with three in 2021 and 2022.

The brand new schedule for dash occasions consists of a single observe session on Friday, adopted by the qualifying session which determines the grid for the Sunday’s Grand Prix. On Saturday, a brand new qualifying session known as “dash shootout”, rather than the outdated second observe session, is run, figuring out the grid for the dash whereas the Grand Prix takes place on Sunday.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix noticed the season’s first dash occasion with Charles Leclerc having secured pole place forward of Verstappen and Pérez. With the assistance of Crimson Bull straight-line benefit, Perez gained the dash occasion. The following weekend sporting the dash format would be the Austrian Grand Prix.

No new report – Though the season was anticipated to set a brand new report with a calendar that options 24 races. Nonetheless, the Chinese language Grand Prix was cancelled for the fourth consecutive yr because of the ongoing difficulties introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic within the nation.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which was scheduled to happen on 21 Might because the sixth spherical of the championship, was known as off on 17 Might on account of flooding within the space. It signifies that the 2023 F1 championship might be contested over 22 races.

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