The first Miami Grand Prix might have been a little over the top in terms of decoration, but Tim Coronel actually enjoyed it quite a bit, as it turned out while analyzing Monday morning’s race around Hard Rock Stadium. “Well, of course you can see it was really American, huh. There was even a bit of a Disney feel to it with that faux port, but I could see that it was appreciated – by viewers and drivers alike. They thought, ‘What’s going on, dude’.”
Top speed makes Verstappen’s life a little easier
As far as entertainment value is concerned, this question could not be asked for a long time. “It was getting a bit boring, that’s true. So we really needed the safety car. I would almost say thank you, Gasly,” Coronel continues, laughing. After that, Verstappen had to defend himself with all his might to keep Charles Leclerc away, but the moment of the race happened much earlier, according to Coronel: the start and more precisely the moment when Verstappen was able to pass his former teammate Carlos Sainz in the first corner combination. “If you asked me what the action of the day was, it was that moment. The start was the foundation for Max.”
Christian Horner had already announced before the start that Verstappen would have to outwit at least one Ferrari in order to put an end to the team game and that is exactly what happened. “Max actually took a ridiculous risk, but when he did it I understood why he took that risk. Of course Sainz got out twice early and that plays into a driver’s head. That’s why Max was able to do it.” After that, Leclerc had to believe in it, although Verstappen also benefited from the decisions Red Bull made. “Adrian Newey and Red Bull did a really good job. When you see how fast that thing goes on the straights and especially at the end of the straights… As a driver it’s the best thing you can have, overtaking suddenly becomes a lot easier for Ferrari. You’re behind someone opening DRS, but that’s not enough in the end. As a result, you have to take a lot more risks than usual when overtaking.”
Ferrari upgrades crucial for Barcelona?
It brings Coronel to the big picture. He sees the Scuderia leading both championships, but the momentum lies with Red Bull. “Ferrari has to do something now. They have to do something to make sure they overrun again. If you look closely at the last three races, they’ve been back. I think Ferrari really has to work to keep it going. But yes, Perez is.” a solid driver and Max a fighter so I think Red Bull will eventually get over that.”
The latter is closely related to who is allowed to introduce upgrades, when, and how good they are. In this respect, Mattia Binotto hopes that Red Bull will be slowed down by the budget ceiling, but Coronel sees it differently. “Now you have to grab what you can get. The first shot is worth a taler and Red Bull obviously thinks so too. If you end up being a little less capable, then so be it,” said Colonel. The Verstappen factor also plays a role here. “You can see that Max is trying to keep the team sharp, to push, and of course that works both ways. The fact that Ferrari was able to parry its fast lap times at the end of the stint also showed him, ‘We’re still a long way away. So no, Verstappen keeps the team fit and has to do that if he wants to fight for the championship.’ Coronel has the latter full confidence, because if he currently has to rely on the world champion, he will definitely choose Limburg.
Watch the full interview with Tim Coronel in the video at the top of this page.