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From the Pole position, Max Verstappen led Lewis Hamilton until the 1st corner where Max overshot, which meant he cut the inside of Turn 2, and allowed Lewis to take the lead. Valtteri Bottas held 3rd place, ahead of Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly.
Behind Ferrari’s 7th-placed Charles Leclerc, McLaren duo Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris passed Fernando Alonso’s Alpine on Lap 11 to run 8th and 9th. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, who passed Alonso’s teammate Esteban Ocon early on, also overtook Alonso 2 laps later.
Mr. Ricciardo pasted Mr. Leclerc on Lap 14, the Ferrari then diving for the pits to switch from medium tires to hards. This undercut put him ahead of Mr. Ricciardo, who himself proved the power of the undercut by getting ahead of both Messrs Sainz and Gasly.
Mr. Verstappen caught Mr. Bottas with 10 laps remaining, Mr. Hamilton having extended his lead to over 4secs, Mr. Verstappen passed Bottas at Signes on Lap 44, but was 5s behind Hamilton.
As Mr. Verstappen closed on Mr. Hamilton running 3secs behind with 5 laps remaining Mr. Perez caught Mr. Bottas, passing him with 4 laps to go for the final spot on the Podium.
The battle for the win was decided in the very closing stages.
The McLarens won the battle for best of the rest.
Here are the race hilights
Qualifying: Max Verstappen took pole Position for the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard for Red Bull Saturday, the 7th round of the 2021 Formula 1 world championship season.
Mission Winnow’s logos will be removed from Ferrari’s SF21 Formula 1 cars for all races in the EU starting from this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
Mission Winnow, an initiative started by Philip Morris as part of a move to a non-tobacco future, has been title partner of Ferrari since it was 1st launched at the 2018 Japanese GP.
Its logos have been prominent on the Ferrari engine cover, as well as the wording appearing on the rear wing and other areas of the car.
But ahead of this weekend’s race at Paul Ricard, Philip Morris said that its logos would no longer feature at any races within the EU.
The company also confirmed that it did not intend to run them at next month’s British Grand Prix either.
In a statement, Riccardo Parino, VP Global Partnerships at Philip Morris, cited the ‘mistrust’ and ‘scepticism’ towards the tobacco industry, and said that his company did not wish to get involved in any controversies by pushing on with running the logo.
“The Mission Winnow logo will not be featured on the Scuderia Ferrari livery during races in the EU, starting with the French Grand Prix this weekend,” he said.
“Mission Winnow respects all laws and regulations and continuously strives to find distinctive ways to drive dialogue, free of ideology, and build strong partnerships that are rooted in shared values.
Ferrari: It was not the dream start to a weekend for Ferrari, with Carlos Sainz spinning and wrecking his soft tires before he even completed a flying lap on them.
Charles Leclerc kept his session cleaner, but was not overly happy with his car. Roll on the 2nd session and things went much more smoothly for The Scuderia, with Mr. Leclerc coming home 5th and Mr. Sainz 8th, roughly the positions they expected to be after acknowledging that big step forward on the street circuits probably wouldn’t last here.
“The main focus today was on car balance. The wind was very strong, which made it tricky to drive, but that was the same for everyone so we just had to try and find a good way to manage in these conditions.
“In general, here things are looking more in line with what we expected compared to the last two race weekends, where we had pleasant surprises.
“Our performance today was not bad and although we still have quite a bit of work to do, we made a nice recovery from FP1 and the car felt better this afternoon. It will be important to understand how to get the tyres in the right operating window tomorrow. With the wind, we also have to find the right set-up to make sure that the car is easy to drive in qualifying. If we manage to put these two things together, I’m pretty sure we can have a decent weekend,” said Mr. Leclerc.
“Today was quite tricky. We knew that this layout would be challenging for us compared to some of the previous races, so today went more or less as expected. However, we are not that far away and we are reasonably pleased with the car balance.
“The trickiest thing was the strong wind, which was blowing in the worst possible directions, with a head wind on the straights and a tail wind in the corners. It made the circuit challenging and slower.
“The Soft and Hard tires seem to work well, so we’ll keep working tonight to try and extract the maximum from the car tomorrow,” said Mr. Sainz.
Qualifying could be very close, while Ferrari is in 5th and 8th they are just 0.01s slower than Alpine and 0.19s adrift of McLaren. We have seen Mr. Leclerc give George Russell a run for his money for title of Mr. Saturday this year, outdriving his Ferrari to secure pole in Monaco, good grid positions are not out of the question for The Scuderia.
Ferrari is The Aristocrat of the automotive sector.
Our overall technical outlook is still Bullish, a Key indicators are Bullish long-term. Ferrari reported strong earnings for Q-3 on 3 November and did the same for Q-4 and F-Y 2020 as reported on 2 February.
Ferrari closed Friday at 200.09 within its 52 wk range of 127.73 – 233.66 in NY. It’s all time high in NY was marked at 233.66 intraday on 29 December.
Key technical indicators are Bearish in here but Bullish long term. The candlestick pattern indicates the confirmation of the break out at 196.01 on 3 November and confirmed.
The Key support is at 200.00 and the Key resistance is at 207.84. The 16 June Doji candlestick augurs a return to the Very Bullish trend.
Note: At the beginning of Y 2020 I called RACE at 230 by year’s end, the stock was trading at 165.22 on 1 January 2020, on 29 December 2020 it marked 233.66 intraday, its all time high
The Maranello Outfit’s shares were raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC, and Buys at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.
UBS is now calling the stock at 365. Citi downgraded the stock from Neutral to sell. I have not seen any other Street downgrades.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term as it becomes the world’s 1st Super Luxury brand.
Ferrari is a quality 1st long term luxury products investment, BAML raised its call to 270 long term.
I have raised my long term target to 375, a Strong Bull call, the strongest on the Street and am holding the mark during this recent profit taking, and seeing RACE as a buying opportunity.
Ferrari has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price at 231.99.
The Maranello Outfit’s shares were raised downgraded from Buy to Hold at HSBC.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term. Ferrari is a quality 1st long term luxury products investment, and I am calling it 375 long term, the Top on the Street, and adjusting it to 250/share short term.
A number of large investors have recently bought shares of RACE, and there have been very few instances of insider selling over the past yr that we have seen. And Ferrari continues to buy back its stock in here.
The stock is considered defensive in the sector.
Have a Super racing weekend, Keep the Faith!