Ferrari now on the ropes as Red Bull moves clear
A Red Bull victory around Baku and Toyota dominating the 90th Le Mans 24 Hours weren’t exactly surprising results last weekend, but there were a few unexpected moments along the way.
In Azerbaijan, Ferrari’s (or should that be Charles Leclerc’s?) pace was strong around the high-speed street circuit and, as Matt Kew reports in our analysis (page 14), a strategy gamble gave Leclerc an opportunity to snatch a win against the run of play.
As we show on p12, Max Verstappen probably would have won anyway, but a fighting second place (and 18 points) on a track that was expected to favour Red Bull wouldn’t have been bad for Ferrari. Another failure, so soon after Leclerc’s Spanish Grand Prix retirement and Ferrari’s Monaco GP strategy blunder, is quite another matter. Not only is Leclerc now 34 points behind Verstappen, but he currently has a slower and less reliable car than his rival. Those who like a flutter would be brave to put their money on anyone other than the reigning world champion, even if we do still have 14 races to go…
All of Toyota’s rivals fell away early at Le Mans, but at least the battle between the two GR010 HYBRIDs raged fiercely for much of the distance (p30). There was plenty of other unforeseen drama, too, including a bizarre LMP2 crash involving several pro drivers (p36).
Talking of incidents, it was good to see everyone walk away from the nasty British Touring Car crash at Oulton Park. Marcus Simmons was there to see Tom Ingram’s wins – and masterful avoidance (p46).
Kevin Turner Chief Editor email@example.com
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COVER IMAGES Dunbar, JEP, Motorsport images
PIT & PADDOCK 4 Cadillac expands on LMDh programme 6 WEC firms up LMP2/GT3 futures 9 BTCC teams count cost of Oulton shunt 10 Canadian Grand Prix preview 11 Opinion: Alex Kalinauckas 12 Opinion: Matt Kew 13 Feedback: your letters
RACE CENTRE 14 Azerbaijan GP report and analysis 30 Toyota puts on a show at Le Mans 36 Jota emerges from the LMP2 chaos 40 Porsche takes final GTE Le Mans honours 44 Full results from the 90th Le Mans 24H 46 BTCC: Ingram stars then saves at Oulton 52 Newgarden is IndyCar Road America king 56 World of Sport: FIA Formula 2; WTCR; Road to Le Mans; Indy Lights; ETCR; NASCAR Cup
CLUB AUTOSPORT 67 Formula Woman winners make debuts 68 Anthony Reid races in MGB60 contest 70 Brodie’s Run Baby Run Escort restored 71 Opinion: Marcus Pye 72 National reports: Oulton Park;
Knockhill; Silverstone; Brands Hatch; Thruxton; Castle Combe; Snetterton; Mondello Park
FINISHING STRAIGHT 86 What’s on this week 88 From the archive: 1978 British GP 90 My favourite track: Gianni Morbidelli
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