Parc Ferme: Gonna miss me now?

Parc Ferme: Gonna miss me now?

Parc Ferme: Gonna miss me now?

Carlos Sainz’s star soared on the weekend he won the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen was forced to take an early bath.

Apparently, the “magic brake” malfunctioned, making the car handle “funny”. Underlined by the errant brake drum exploding in the pit lane as Verstappen limped back to his box.

However, putting the current Formula 1 World Champion’s absence aside, Sainz and Ferrari pretty much won the race in Red Bull fashion. A fact that might cause some consternation back in the Netherlands and Milton Keynes.

I don’t doubt Max will be F1 World Champion this year, but it seems Ferrari might just have a shot at the Constructors’ Title. This opportunity, though, stems more from the driver pairing than the cars. Unfortunately, Sergio Perez demonstrated once again he is unable to convert the RB20 potential into a team-supporting performance.

I didn’t see that coming

The other bad news for Red Bull is that an injured Sainz was able to put the kind of pressure on Verstappen that he has become unaccustomed to. It was interesting to note his expression in the pit box after his retirement. Sure, he was angry, but I couldn’t help but note a generous helping of concern. Concern, no doubt, at how easily he was dealt with on track.

Tortoise beats hare

Australian GP Takeaways: A glimmer of hope?

Mr. Vamos never stood out like Verstappen and Hamilton in his early days, but that kind of success can lead you to believe you’re the finished article when maybe there’s still work left to do.

Sainz is not cut from that cloth. An intelligent driver, he has continued to examine his performance, learn from it and develop. The win, together with the confidence he now has in the car, will act as a springboard to propel him to new heights. Bad news for his teammate, who is starting to look more like a supporting role than the main act.

Art of the possible

In all probability, both Max and Carlos will be asking the same question at the moment: “What if he/I had been fit?”. The obvious answer will boost Sainz to the next level and possibly drag Max down one. The young Dutchman hasn’t had to “put a fork” in it for a while now. Having to do so may see him losing a couple of tenths, not gaining.

“Eee’s a not easy.”

It would be easy to suggest that Sainz won because Max had a mechanical issue. However, Guenther Steiner summed it up in the post-race interview, highlighting that “Max didn’t lose it: He (Sainz) won it!”

PS Note to Guenther: You must focus on your English enunciation. Carlos Sainz’s expression suggested that he initially understood “partying with Ferrari team tonight” to be some kind of group flatulence event.