• Classification Carlos Sainz shines on the worst day of the year for Fernando Alonso
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From delirium he went to disappointment. For a decade the Spanish fans had been waiting for such a World Cup, with Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz as contenders for the podium, and the carnival ended just as it passed through home. It was a bad time, there will be others. There were hundreds of fans who appeared very excited at the Montmeló circuit seven hours before the race started and who were already leaving, sad, wanting more, when Alonso crossed the finish line.

The Aston Martin leader's final overtaking to finish sixth served as consolation, albeit a rare consolation. Alonso against Esteban Ocon (an Alpine), against Yuki Tsunoda (an Alpha Tauri) and against Guanyu Zhou (an Alfa Romeo) were expected scenes in preseason, but not now, already in June, after climbing the podium in five of the first six tests. The concern, in fact, is that the new reality is this.

Because Alonso was not seventh because of some breakdown -beyond what happened in qualifying with a flat bottom-, because of rain or an accident, he was seventh because he could not finish later. For the first time this season, he did not belong to the elite of the championship, but to the middle class, to the peloton. Their pace, especially on soft tyres, was slow, much slower than the Red Bulls, of course, than the Mercedes and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who finished fifth.

The second disappointment on Sunday for the local public. From second place on the grid, Sainz was aiming for the podium, it was his goal, his only goal, and he finished fifth in frustration. Max Verstappen, winner, is in another galaxy, flying towards his third consecutive World Championship, and his teammate, Checo Pérez, finally fourth, was also counted as a threat in comeback.

But nobody expected the two Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, to improve so much over the last few races and get on the podium together. The two, in fact, overtook Sainz on the track without him being able to respond, fighting with the rebound in his Ferrari as he did last season. At a circuit where the car puts the drivers in their place, the best to test improvements, its double intimidates for the future.

  • Max Verstappen
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Carlos Sainz Jr
  • Articles Javier Sánchez

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