Let’s not play the ostrich: the chances of seeing a driver other than Max Verstappen win the Formula 1 championship are almost nil. The grid is not lacking in subjects of interest, however, with 12 more races on the calendar. Here are four.
This is the news of the hour in Formula 1: Monsieur Sourire is back on the grid. Daniel Ricciardo will replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri for the remainder of the season from the next Grand Prix in Hungary.
The news made a large majority of supporters happy. Even as a reserve driver for Red Bull, Ricciardo was a fan favorite for his continual good humor and bad luck.
The 34-year-old Australian comes to his new stable with: 1) a renewed passion after several months away from competition, 2) his experience as an eight-time Grand Prix champion and 3) a desire to prove to Red Bull that his misfortunes at McLaren are behind him and that he deserves a place in the main team, should Sergio Pérez’s troubles continue.
Ricciardo has 12 races ahead of him to show what he can do and AlphaTauri will arrive in Hungary with further upgrades to his car. To be continued.
Smart is anyone who can predict whether Sergio Pérez, Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton will end the season in second place among the drivers – the first place belonging, of course, to Max Verstappen.
The three pilots are all in very different situations. Fernando Alonso, for example, started the season strong. While only 20 points now separate him from Pérez in second place, the 41-year-old Spaniard is currently enjoying a trickier streak with two seventh-place finishes in the last four races. Let us remember however that the results of Aston Martin, in general, are better than expected this season.
For his part, Pérez is going through difficult times; the Red Bull driver has been ruled out of the third qualifying session in the last five Grands Prix. After the last race at Silverstone, where he had to settle for sixth place, the Mexican claimed the “problem” was not in his Sunday performance, but in his Saturday performance.
Lewis Hamilton has just had three podiums in the last four derbies.
In short, nothing is decided… for second place, at least.
Max Verstappen hasn’t seen many car rears this season, but he has seen Lando Norris’. In England, the McLaren driver led the race for the first four laps before the Red Bull star swept back to where he had belonged since the start of the season, without Norris really struggling.
McLaren had arguably their best race weekend of the season at Silverstone, with Norris securing a second place and Oscar Piastri claiming fourth; his best result – by far – since joining Formula 1 this year. The team amassed more points in a race (30) than they had since the start of the season (29), that’s good to say.
After a difficult start to the campaign, the papaya orange team sees the end of the tunnel. It edged out Alpine, its main midfield rival, for fifth in the constructors’ standings.
As for Norris, only two slim points separate him from Lance Stroll for eighth place among drivers. Like what, things change quickly in Formula 1.
Alex Albon’s recent results are flying slightly under the radar, so let’s talk.
After a four-point season in 2022 with Williams, then the worst team on the grid, the 27-year-old has 11 points so far this season. That’s 11 more than his young and new 22-year-old teammate Logan Sargeant.
It was in Canada that Alex Albon had his best result of the campaign and the best of the Williams team in almost two years: seventh place. At Silverstone, he started eighth and was able to maintain his position, dominating the two Ferraris. With all that, Williams sits seventh among the constructors, tied with Haas and two points ahead of Alfa Romeo.
In an interview with German media, one of the leaders of the Red Bull team, Helmut Marko, highlighted Albon’s “excellent work”, lamenting that he is “unfortunately tied to Williams until 2025”. Words that raised eyebrows for many, considering that Red Bull replaced Albon with Sergio Pérez in 2021. The Thai driver then served as a reserve driver before finding a seat at Williams.