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Ferrari relies on racing: Vettel loses in three corners

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F errari suffered the second training defeat in a row . Sebastian Vettel's deficit on pole position remained almost the same. In Paul Ricard, the gap was 0.371 seconds. At the Red Bull Ring, 0.334 seconds separated the Ferrari driver from the best time in practice. In relative terms, of course, the delta became larger. The lap in Austria is 1.5 kilometers shorter than in Le Castellet. Mercedes went mobile in two steps. First the new engine in France, then the big aero package in Austria. “In such a close race, every development step counts. Ideally, we should bring something new to the car at every race, ”said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Both stages of the defending champion are said to have been worth a tenth of a second each. That explains why the Silver Arrows have just gained the upper hand again in the title race. In fact, a detailed analysis of Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas' laps shows that Mercedes is benefiting from the two upgrades. And above all at which points on the Red Bull Ring. Bottas wins practically the entire time in the third sector. And there in three curves and also one straight. Vettel admits: “We fell a little behind in qualifying. But I think that we can keep up with the racing speed. ”

In turn 7, Mercedes wins 13 km /h

The detailed analysis shows that the two Mercedes and the two Ferraris are behind two track sectors are almost tied. Mercedes is faster in the first sector, Ferrari in the second. Bottas took Vettel from 10 km /h in the first corner, but lost time when accelerating from corner 3 and when braking from corner 4. In total, the time lost compensates for the time gained there. Here is the picture after a distance of around three kilometers:

The third sector consists of a fast left curve, a straight that leads uphill and two right curves. In this section Vettel lost 0.289 seconds on the Mercedes. The telemetry data provide the resolution of exactly where the Ferrari left time. Before the turning point to turn 7, Vettel is measured at 256 km /h, Bottas is only slightly slower at 255 km /h. Bottas drives 238 km /h at the apex. Vettel only reaches 225 km /h in the left turn. Loss of time: 0.06 seconds. On the following straight, the Mercedes makes a tenth of a second.

It's the only straight on the course, onwhich the drivers are not allowed to activate DRS. So it is mainly the engine power that counts. On all other full throttle sections, Ferrari drives with Mercedes at eye level. Sometimes a km /h faster, sometimes a km /h slower. One could interpret this to mean that the Ferrari with the rear wing open offers less air resistance than the Silver Arrow.

In turns 9 and 10, Vettel loses another one and a half tenths. The speed comparison in Turn 9 goes back to Bottas with 254: 244 km /h. Lewis Hamilton was a bit faster at 256 km /h. Vettel was amazed: “The aero upgrade must have brought something. We lose time in the fast corners that we couldn't make up for on the straights and the slow corners. ”Interestingly, the aero facelift is more effective in the fast corners than in the slow corners it was actually designed for.

Only Bottas with two faultless laps

Valtteri Bottas was relieved with the first pole position this year. The Finn wants to finally get rid of the bad luck that he deserves this year. Hamilton called it a well-deserved pole position for the team-mate, especially because Bottas was the only one who put two faultless attempts on the track in Q3. 'If you already have a good lap as security, the second attempt will be easier for you,' admitted the quickest in training.

Hamilton had built a blunder in Turn 3 in the first attempt. The Englishman came across the hairpin. Vettel misjudged the braking point in turn 4. 'You are immediately behind because you know that the second attempt has to work,' said the Heppenheimer. If the second lap hadn't worked out as desired, Vettel would have been 9th on the grid with a time of 1.04.260 minutes. Three places worse than he is now starting the race with his penalty.

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