Mark Hughes about when partners are better not to compareMarch 22, 2019
The British expert Mark Hughes analyzed the results of the Grand Prix of Australia and urged not to make far-reaching conclusions from comparing the results of partners, advocating for the Red Bull Racing, McLaren and Toro Rosso.
“Do you think Verstappen literally defeated Goesley in the first race of the season? What did Kvyat manage to do the same with Elbon and Norris with Sainz? It’s not that simple …
Pierre Gasley took 11th place in Australia. Although he piloted the Red Bull Racing car, he never managed to find a gap in the defense of Daniel Kvyat, who replaced him in Toro Rosso (by the way, he also spoke for Red Bull). Agree, this race can not be attributed to the best performances of the French.
Especially if you remember that his partner, Max Verstappen, overtook Sebastian Vettel and finished third. It turns out that Max managed to get ahead of the Ferrari car and climb the podium, while Pierre could not even overtake Toro Rosso to earn at least one point.
Yes, the facts look that way. But they mean little, because certain circumstances often make it difficult to give a realistic assessment of the speed of the rider.
And what if it were not for Gusli, and Verstappen was the racer of Red Bull Racing, who in the first qualifying session stumbled into traffic in the 1st turn in his second round, although he showed the 6th time in the previous round and therefore decided to save a set of rubber and stay in the garage, believing that he is definitely not threatened with departure from the first 15 ..? But the condition of the track coverage improved very quickly, and this driver still flew out.
What would happen then? How would Max get ahead if he started not from the 4th, but from the 17th position? Yes, even in Albert Park, where it is more difficult to overtake than on any other route with the exception of Monaco. And how would he fight with Toro Rosso, which had no particular difficulties in the 1st turn, unlike Ferrari?
Perhaps Verstappen would have won back more positions than Extinguished, but this is not a fact. There are days when circumstances add up so that you simply can not show what you really can do. Pierre had just such a day.
But he was not the only one who was unlucky. Lando Norris made his great debut in Formula 1, showing the 8th time in qualifying – almost in the style of Fernando Alonso, because this is a much higher result than the McLaren car deserves. But this casts a shadow on Carlos Sainz, who dropped out of the fight after the first session, is logical?
And no. To draw such parallels is incorrect. Sainz was supposed to show a result that would allow him to enter the top ten following the first session, but two turns before the end of the circle had to slow down: he was prevented by Robert Kubica, who was slowly returning to the boxes with a punctured wheel. Because of this unforeseen situation, the second McLaren car could not pass in the second session. But it can be assumed that Sainz, like Norris, could have reached the final qualification and start from a higher position.
However, Norris, starting the race from the fourth row, could not clearly perform. So, on Sunday he was not as good as in the Saturday qualification?
Again, such conclusions are not correct. Since it is impossible to foresee in advance that Alfa Romeo Antonio Giovinazzi, who started on medium-stiffness rubber and was going to drive a very long first stretch, will be damaged in the first lap and will become a kind of obstacle for riders like Norris who ride soft tires and find themselves behind the Italians after their first pit stops. All of them have lost a lot of time and a lot of positions in relation to those who started on the Medium and could stay longer on the track.
Alexander Elbon found himself in a similar situation. In qualifying, he beat his team mate for Toro Rosso, Daniel Kvyat, which is not bad for a debutant, but finished behind him. However, this result does not at all reflect the real potential of the British.
Kvyat (who started on the Medium set, and not on Soft, like Elbon) confidently spent the race and resolutely repulsed all the attacks of Extinguished, defending his 10th position. But Daniel could well have finished behind his partner, if Jovinazzi’s slow car had not been in the way of Elbon, and he had not lost so much time behind her.
As the events of the race showed, Quyat’s tactics turned out to be better than the one that Elbon adhered to, but only because that was the case. Sergio Perez lost to Lance Stroll, his partner at Racing Point, for the same reason.
In Formula 1, the technical factor dominates, and riders are largely judged by how they look against their teammates. Therefore, it is important to understand when it is better to avoid any comparison at all. Regardless of how well one pilot performed in a particular race (and in theory this could have been his best result for the entire career), if his partner was deprived of the opportunity to show his capabilities due to circumstances, then they cannot be compared.
This is often forgotten, assessing the level of performances of racers during the whole season. Let’s see how Goes will look compared to Verstappen in Bahrain, if there are partners in Red Bull Racing will be in more equal conditions, because a year ago, behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso French spent there a great race. ”
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