F1 2021: 5 Drivers Who Need a Good Spanish GP today
With Sir Lewis Hamilton achieving in F1’s seven-decade journey what none have come to do, scoring 100 poles, it’s ever likely that ‘Hammertime’ is going to strike at Catalunya in the next few hours.
In upholding the dominance of Mercedes- a team that simply hasn’t allowed any rival to maintain supremacy here at Spain- Hamilton’s sixth pole at Barcelona has increased the chances of a Silvery run today.
Under these circumstances, which drivers, does it seem hold any chances to thwart Lewis’ advances? While there aren’t any assuring answers on that front, it certainly appears that there are a few who’d like to come up with an ace at Spain and deliver a strong weekend.
Let’s take a look at the 5 drivers who need a strong 2021 Spanish GP?
Yet to secure a win this season, Valtteri Bottas, a usual inhabitant of the top three in the F1 standings, hasn’t really gotten off to a flying start in 2021. He, in fact, trails Lando Norris (3rd) by five points.
With a DNF at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and then a P3 at Portugal has meant that Bottas is improving, but a real win for the driver with nine race wins would be to defeat Max Verstappen of Red Bull, since Hamilton seems ever out of reach of the Finn.
But the key question is, can Valtteri do that? Well, a P3 on the grid isn’t the worst place from which to start the 66-lap run. Let’s see whether Bottas can strike Max early and move himself up into a position of reckoning. He’s got a flying car with which to further his aims.
The bright and charismatic George Russell of Williams might be Mr. Saturday, in lines with his stellar qualifying results for the British outfit. For the Alfa Romeo stable, though, it’s Giovinazzi, not Kimi who’s clearly the ‘Mr. Saturday.’
Outqualifying the most experienced driver on the grid by some margin, Giovinazzi’s P13 vis-à-vis Raikkonen’s disappointing P17 was a fine effort.
Now, the key for the man described as ‘Italian Jesus’ will be to make it finally count and at least, bag a P10, something he’s quite capable of doing having seemed fast all weekend.
Moreover, should the former Ferrari Academy Driver be able to do so, it would augur well for a decent midfield team, that is yet to open its account this season.
A driver rarely impresses in his maiden race, unless one’s talking about the likes of a Lewis Hamilton (who scored a podium) or a Kimi Raikkonen.
But when young Yuki collected a valiant P9 at Bahrain, and thus 2 points, there was furore in the F1 paddock with many stating in no uncertain terms that a new mercurial talent had arrived.
Though, ever since the 2021 Bahrain GP, Tsunoda’s performances have lagged given his twelfth at Imola and then a lowly fifteenth at Portimao. Not the kind of run you’d ideally want to have when you are armed with a speedy Italian machine.
Therefore, one of the drivers who needs to deliver the goods at the 2021 Spanish GP is the 20-year-old Sagamihara –born.
Though, the trouble for Yuki is that he’s to begin from sixteenth on the grid for today’s race. So can an express charge right at the start enable the Japanese driver to put himself into a position of reckoning?
Despite having the second-best car on the grid, Perez, clearly appears is faltering regularly. Yesterday, during the qualifying at Catalunya, he even found a way to take an unlikely trip down at the acerbic gravel trap and that too during Q3.
It must have been a heart-stopping moment for the Mexican driver, who finds himself on sixth, with 22 points, when compared to teammate Verstappen’s 61, both of whom are piloting the exact same machine.
Moreover, that the talented Mexican racer is due to begin today’s race from eighth on the grid doesn’t really help his confidence.
But we’ve seen how Perez has excelled on difficult tracks in the past and risen in fine fashion. For instance, take his drive at Mexico 2019, where he beat several adversaries including Daniel Ricciardo to finish 7th having qualified 11th for the race.
But on Sunday, can the strong Mexican competitor put up a stern fight and reach at least the nearabouts of Verstappen? For nothing else will quite do.
Do you remember what happened the last time around when Alonso drove around at his home track, circa 2018?
Well, he’s not called the Spanish Samurai for nothing. Despite being aligned with a barely drivable machine, Alonso pulled that McLaren to a respectable P8, holding great battles with the likes of Sainz.
Now that the local hero is back, and this time with a far better machine, that’s neither vapid nor lackluster, it appears that Alonso, who starts from tenth on the grid, is in for a real chance to reach up around a P7 or a P8, realistically speaking.
Will the sun shine on one of Spain’s finest exports to Grand Prix racing? We will find out in the next few hours. But what’s important is that Alonso, who can do so much better than the 2 points he’s been able to collect from 3 races so far, needs an exceedingly bright weekend.
Grid Talk Podcast
Want more reaction to yesterday’s exciting qualifying session? The Grid Talk crew have you covered with their analysis of qualifying for the 2021 Spanish GP. George Howson hosted Adam Burns, Louis Edwards and Tom Horrox in their latest podcast. Audio and video versions of the show are linked below: