Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sportlight Joins Chronicle Family

We are officially announcing that the Sportlight brand has joined the Chronicle family.

Founder of Sportlight, George Howson, who regularly hosts the Grid Talk podcast for the F1 Chronicle, was eager to combine his resources with those of the Chronicle suite of sites.

‘I’m buzzing about this move, as I think it is the next step in the evolution of what I dreamed of achieving with Sportlight.

‘F1 Chronicle has a huge following, and I’m eager to get stuck in and help to grow that even further.

‘My other passion, football, was very popular on Sportlight and I look forward to the work we did there continuing on the newly-branded Futbol Chronicle website.

‘This progression helps the Sportlight team tap into the resources of the Chronicle, while we bring our excellent writing and analysis to the table.

It’s a win-win for both brands!’

Co-founder of the Chronicle brand, Jarrod Partridge, was equally as excited, adding ‘I’ve seen the work George put into Sportlight over the years, what he has built there is an absolute credit to him and his writers. I can’t wait to be able to offer my expertise and help them all take the next step in their sports journalism careers.

While there is still some work to be done behind the scenes, in the coming weeks the Sportlight website and social media channels will be rebranded to reflect the new direction of both businesses.

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Hamilton Wins as Title Battle Enters Warfare

After yesterday’s dramatic qualifying session, where Max Verstappen threw away an almost certain pole position lap with a crash at the final corner, the scene was set for a tense penultimate race of this incredible 2021 championship battle.

It was of course his title rival, Lewis Hamilton, who profited to take pole ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, with Verstappen looking to strike back from third and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari looking to disrupt the party from a superb fourth.

The Start

After a chaotic Formula 2 sprint race earlier on in the day, where a scary startline crash between Theo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi led to both drivers visiting hospital and lengthy red flag delays, many were fearful for a chaotic start to the Grand Prix.

Fortunately this start was incident-free as the top four retained their places, despite a strong attack on Leclerc’s fourth place by the Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

The race then settled into a calm early rhythm, the top three nose-to-tail, with Leclerc and Perez battling for fourth well ahead of Lando Norris, best of the rest in sixth.

Hamilton controls the initial race start as Perez and Leclerc fight for fourth (Source: Red Bull Racing)

Early Safety Car Adds Strategy Dilemma

With the race going along quite smoothly, it was inevitable that the already infamous Turn 22 would soon catch a victim and Mick Schumacher’s Haas was the unfortunate culprit on Lap 10.

The two Mercedes, Leclerc and Perez immediately took the chance to pit. However Verstappen’s Red Bull decided to stay out and gain track position, albeit with a pit stop still to make.

Hamilton and Bottas remained P2 and P3 behind the Dutchman after the stops, with Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo, who also chose not to stop, rounding out the top five. Leclerc was now sixth, ahead of Pierre Gasly (who was yet to pit) and Perez in eighth.

Mick Schumacher thankfully walks away from his scary Turn 22 shunt (Source: Motorsport Images)

Red Flag Adds Controversy

With the barrier repairs taking considerable time, the red flag was displayed by the FIA to allow them to ensure they proceed safely.

However being able to change tyres during a red flag meant that Red Bull’s decision to stay out paid immediate dividends, as Verstappen could now effectively take a “free pit stop” and take the lead.

After the repairs were completed, the newly reformed grid took a new standing start with this time Red Bull ahead of Mercedes.

A restart inevitably meant a chance for Hamilton and Verstappen to go wheel-to-wheel again (Source: Red Bull Racing)

The Start (Part 2)

So on Lap 15, the race effectively started again and would only last a few more corners before chaos reigned again.

Verstappen didn’t get the best launch, allowing Hamilton to get alongside and seemingly ahead into Turn 1, before the Red Bull came in late on the brakes and was squeezed off the track by the Mercedes.

Behind them however, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc got together, causing the other Red Bull to spin across the track onto the path of all the oncoming cars. As George Russell’s Williams slowed to avoid the Mexican, Nikita Mazepin came in unsighted and smashed into the back of the Brit, taking them both out of the race.

Then followed the first of several controversial FIA decisions. Verstappen, deemed to have overtaken Hamilton off the track, was then informed by Michael Masi to Red Bull that he must start behind Hamilton at the restart or he will be referred to the stewards.

As Verstappen assumed the lead, chaos reigned behind (Sky Sports F1)

The only problem being, Esteban Ocon’s Alpine had forced itself ahead of Hamilton before the red flag in all the melee! This therefore created a new grid for the third restart of Ocon, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Bottas, Gasly and Leclerc.

Third Time Lucky?

At the third time of asking, the race finally got away properly on Lap 17 and Verstappen made amends for his earlier poor start by launching away from P3 and sending one up the inside of both Ocon and Hamilton to lead the race.

Hamilton soon flew past Ocon when the cars came back down the pit straight to take P2, with Ocon, Ricciardo and Bottas making up the top five.

Gasly was now sixth, with Antonio Giovinazzi and Sebastian Vettel doing a great job in seventh and eighth, Yuki Tsunoda and Leclerc the remaining points scorers.

However on Lap 23, this changed again as Tsunoda and Vettel made contact through Turn 2, sending the Aston Martin into a spin and Tsunoda with a broken front wing. As this went on, the two Ferraris went side-by-side into Turn 1, with Sainz getting ahead of Leclerc for now P8.

AlphaTauri set to work on Yuki Tsunoda’s front wing after him and Sebastian Vettel came to blows (Source: AlphaTauri)

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed to clear the mess as the race then entered its second half.

The Title Duel Is On

Vettel’s eventful race continued on Lap 27 as a feisty Kimi Raikkonen attempted to fight him round the outside leading to more contact and more debris strewn across the track.

This inevitably led to another Virtual Safety Car, which continued to neutralise the duel between Hamilton and Verstappen at the front. This period in fact lasted several laps, as the marshals attempted a full clean-up of the track from all the various incidents throughout the race.

Finally on Lap 33 the race resumed, crucially giving Verstappen a few extra laps of life for his medium tyres compared to Hamilton’s hards.

This lasted precisely 3 laps before another piece of Aston Martin landed on the track and led to a brief further Virtual Safety Car interruption.

Vettel’s second incident came as Kimi Raikkonen attempted to force his car around the outside, leading to contact (Source: F1)

As the green flags came back out, Hamilton was right on the back of Verstappen. This allowed Lewis to get a run into Turn 1 using DRS and as the two went side-by-side, predictably it ended in contact again.

The Most Dramatic Collision of All?

Then came the most confusing and bizarre few laps of the entire season. Verstappen was instructed by the FIA to let Hamilton pass, adjudged to have forced the Mercedes off the track.

Verstappen seemed to oblige, and slowed considerably to let Hamilton through. However, the Mercedes driver was clearly not informed of the situation and confused, stayed behind the Dutchman until he slowed so much that they collided, damaging both Hamilton’s front wing and the rear of the Red Bull.

Verstappen scampered away ahead, however soon slowed again to let the Brit pass into the final Turn 27. He let him through before immediately repassing going onto the main straight, quite cheekily.

However at this point, Verstappen then received a 5-second penalty, although before he got the message to confirm that, he let Hamilton past for good to finally assume the lead in a crazy sequence.

All Tied Into Abu Dhabi

At this point, the lead battle finally calmed down, with Hamilton cruising home to victory as Verstappen nursed his worn mediums and damaged car to finish P2. With Hamilton getting the extra point for fastest lap, this incredibly puts the two drivers level on points going into the Abu Dhabi season finale.

Behind them, Esteban Ocon was on his way to a brilliant podium, until out of the final corner of the final lap, Bottas used DRS to propel past across the line and crush the Frenchman and Alpine’s hearts to take away P3.

Ocon’s podium dream was cruelly denied at the last as Bottas stole crucial bonus points for Mercedes (Source: F1)

Ricciardo drove a solid, and actually uneventful race home to fifth ahead of Gasly, whilst Leclerc repassed teammate Sainz in the closing laps to claim seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were Giovinazzi in a rare points finish for Alfa Romeo, whilst Lando Norris recovered from earlier drama to take home a single point.

With all that drama, Netflix could probably have made an entire documentary on that one race alone. However, there is still one more race to finally decide the winner of the now-war between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Final Classification

Chelsea Column: Youth and Shrewd signings key to Blues’ success

Another unbeaten month under Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea top the Premier League table. Things may have not been perfect at Stamford Bridge over the last month, but fate keeps swinging their way.

October was a very busy month for Chelsea. They competed in all competitions and then had an international break to add to matters as well, but it was still a great month for the blues.

No Timo? No Romelu? No Problem.

It wasn’t just Lukaku or Werner who were absent from the team for parts of this month, but many players were forced to miss a few games.

Going into the final games of the month, Mount, Kovacic, and Pulisic were all also ruled out of contention. However, this had no impact on Chelsea’s free flowing style of play.

Actually, not having a recognised striker on the pitch wasn’t too dissimilar than having one on the pitch. Lukaku didn’t get a single goal in October, which was not helped by his absence, but still the Chelsea curse may be getting to him as well.

Werner on the other hand was able to bag himself a goal against Southampton. After that though, he hasn’t done too much before his injury.

The great thing about Chelsea this season is that the squad depth is incredible, and we have some of the best goal scorers all over the pitch so playing without a striker is not the end of the world.

Ben Chilwell and Reece James have been on fire as they have been netting goals left, right and centre this month.

Chilwell’s stunning volley was enough to beat a very tricky Brentford side. He didn’t stop there as he got another goal in Chelsea’s 7-0 thrashing of Norwich.

Mason Mount also stepped up out of the fog to get a hat-trick against Norwich.

Chelsea know no bounds on where goals can come from and currently we still don’t know how long Werner and Lukaku are going to be out. But no matter how long they are out, I’m still confident Chelsea will be able to score goals.

Can we talk about the Chelsea youth system?

I may be going out on a bit of a limb here, but I honestly think the Chelsea youth system (despite it’s many and quite overt flaws) is one of the best in world.

Since Lampard came in two years ago, we have really seen this explosion of incredibly talented youth players come to the forefront of Chelsea’s squad.

Trevor Chalobah, Reece James, Mason Mount, Andreas Christiansen, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Everyone of these players is a product of the Chelsea youth development and are all currently playing regular first team football for Chelsea. I don’t think it would be outrageous to say that if they were all to feature in the starting XI, Chelsea fans would not blink an eye.

Out of all of those players, one is rising to super stardom at the moment and that is Reece James. Despite possibly falling out of favour with Tuchel towards the end of last season, with Azpilicueta favoured on the right, he has come back with a bang.

He scored an audacious chip against Norwich before getting a brace with two thunderous volleys against Newcastle. He was a hero in the EFL cup as he scored the winning penalty against Southampton to send Chelsea to the Quarterfinals.

Not to mention all the clean sheets that Chelsea have kept this month to add to just how good Reece James has been up and down the pitch this month.

But there is one more player I have to give credit to.

From unemployment to hero

Edouard Mendy has been Chelsea’s most important saviour, not just this season, but ever since we signed him at the start of last season.

Mendy has kept nine clean sheets in the 13 games that he has played so far this season and in the other four games, he has conceded only four goals. That’s world class.

In the last month we have seen some particularly great performances from Mendy.

When Chelsea played Brentford, Brentford gave everything they could to try and deny Chelsea three points.

I have to applaud Brentford in that game because they were relentless and were so much fun to watch despite Chelsea being the team they were tearing to shreds at times.

It’s hard to put into words just how good Mendy was that game. He was making incredible saves look easy and when Christian Nordgaard when for an epic overhead kick, Mendy was there to make an equally epic save to deny Brentford in the dying embers.

Before that he made to critical saves to stop Brentford mounting any form of come back. Chelsea owed those three points to Mendy, and no one can argue against it.

Even in games where Chelsea looked to be cruising, occasionally Mendy would be called upon.

During the Norwich game, Rashica was awarded a beautiful opportunity to get a goal back from Norwich, but Mendy was right on it and made a fabulous save to deny what should have been a certain goal.

In games where Chelsea struggle to get goals, it’s going to be these performances from Mendy which could lead Chelsea to the title this season.

10 games played, 3 points clear, but a lot of work still be done

We are only a quarter of the way through the season, and I will admit that I am getting excited at Chelsea’s potential to win the league, but I have to remind myself that this is not going to be easy.

While Chelsea may be three point clear and have already played four of the other five big six teams, there is still potential for Chelsea to slip up.

I was concerned that we did not have a good month in September, and I think I was justified in thinking that.

This month has been better, no doubt, but we have come across opponents that we should be beating comfortably, so the results we have seen over the month should come as no surprise to anyone.

Our position in the league has come from fortunate results in other games. The day Chelsea beat Newcastle, Liverpool drew to Brighton and City lost to Crystal Palace.

Coming up is fairly tough month for Chelsea with Leicester, Burnley, and Manchester united. Teams that may not seem so tough but are always tricky games for Chelsea and can be very unpredictable.

Another international break and a Champions League game against Juventus could make next month difficult for Chelsea.

With the squad depth and the positivity around Chelsea at the moment, I feel as though Chelsea will be prepared for what is to come in November.

Eric Djemba-Djemba: “When you work hard, you can make it”

Former Manchester United player Eric Djemba-Djemba has recently opened up about his time as a professional football player. Speaking to Cal Blankendal and Vernon Springer on their Football Insight Podcast, the now-retired midfielder reflected on 15 years as a pro footballer.

Thankful for everything

Djemba-Djemba has been dubbed by Red Devils fans as the player so good “they named him twice”. While he never managed to live up to that hype at Old Trafford, the Cameroonian international is thankful for the opportunity to play at the top level.

Moving to United fulfilled a boyhood dream for Djemba-Djemba. Image: Shoot

“I enjoyed every moment, every second, every day. It was a dream for me to play for Manchester United, because when I was a kid, I loved to watch them on TV.” Djemba-Djemba told VA Sports.

“After three years in Nantes, I joined United and it was a dream.”

The 40-year-old also explained how he achieved his dream and sealed a £3.5 million move from Nantes in France:

“Some scouts came from England to watch me play. After that, I remember [Sir Alex] Ferguson came to watch me play. I think the decision came from him (Sir Alex) to buy me.”

Djemba-Djemba went on to say that Ferguson was like a father figure to the younger players in the Manchester United dressing room.

Mentality is key

Djemba-Djemba was also asked what players nowadays have to do to succeed and how much things have changed in football since he burst onto the scene 20 years ago:

“If you have a strong education, you will learn very fast. Today’s it’s not like 20 years ago, you can play in the Premier League at 16 years old. At that age, it’s very difficult to move to another country, you have to be strong mentally. You have to train hard and have respect for your teammates.”

Playing with the biggest players in world football was an honour for Djemba-Djemba. Image: Goal.com

One pressure associated with modern football and sport is that related to social media. There has been no-end to the abuse that professional sportspeople face on the internet, so what’s Djemba-Djemba’s advice to them?

“It’s easy to deal with that [online abuse]. Like I said before, it depends how they and your parents educate you and it depends where you want to be in life. So, you can have these social medias, but if you don’t know where you want to get to in life, you can’t deal with that.”

“Sometimes you need to be out of social media, because it can get to be too much and you can lose your concentration.”

Eric also said that he had never personally experienced racism while playing football.

Be sure to check Sportlightpro.com for more excepts from this interview!

This interview was in association with Islands Cup Open Football.

Full podcast

If you want to check out the full interview with Eric Djemba-Djemba, we’ve linked the podcast below.

Top 10 Memes of the 2021 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix

Gifted an opportunity that’s notoriously bad for on-track overtakes, Lewis Hamilton looked to completely turn the tables on title rival Verstappen. As F1 re-wrote the script for Sochi, a well earned podium by Red Bull leaves Hamilton in the lead, but not by much, with just 2 points separating the two going into Istanbul.

1

Posted on Reddit by Tj0ektj0ek

After a frankly underwhelming Qualifying for Hamilton, the champion’s aim for the Russian Grand Prix will have been to score as many un-answered points as possible.

Initially cautious, starting P4 and going backwards, the champ made use of excellent tyre wear and well-timed pitstops to take a well-earned win…with one small problem, Max Verstappen’s podium. The championship battle continues.

READ MORE – F1 2021 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX: LEWIS HAMILTON TAKES WIN AHEAD OF MAX VERSTAPPEN IN A DRAMATIC WET FINISH IN SOCHI

2

Posted on Reddit by Oli258

As we’ve established, Hamilton took the win today, and now we have the horrible job of breaking the news of who it came at the cost of.

While he can only blame himself for the scenario in which it happened, eschewing intermediate tyres that almost immediately became the de-facto compound to use, that will be of little to no comfort to himself and his fans. While his time will come, Norris needs to remove these incidents from his races to stand on the top step.

3

Posted on Reddit by stephennedumpally

The championship fight between Hamilton and Verstappen is now tight enough with so few races left to l swing the odds in your favour, both teams are now wont to do whatever it takes to try and gain a usable points advantage. This now means sacrificing the second driver in the team if you’re a Mercedes team with a 20 point advantage in the Constructor’s championship. That lead is now extended by another 15 points so expect that to only continue.

4

Posted on Reddit by eggheadking

The aforementioned strategies only work however, if the second driver is willing to play ball.

As a driver with a seat somewhere else, Bottas has no incentive to do much to help Mercedes’ plans even with a faster car and a predisposition to success at Sochi.

READ MORE 5 DRIVERS WHO NEED A GOOD RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX TODAY

5

Posted on Reddit by Summerof1974

Normally Sochi is a bland affair with little in the way of excitement or action. This year this was not the case and we almost feel like we’ve been robbed of a “Strike it from the calendar” hit-piece article. Better luck next year.

6

Posted on Reddit by Lucid_Night

As much as we may grumble about not being able to criticise Sochi, we are glad the race was interesting for once, and hope the same is replicated for years to come.

7

Posted on Reddit by Oli258

This meme works so well with the driver position tracker and a heartbeat, but the rain added a huge amount of variability and, more importantly, skill to the end of the race.

Teams and drivers having to manage the situation changing by the second as the best tyre type to use ebbed and flowed, finally moving towards the intermediates.

READ MORE – F1 2021 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX: QUALIFYING REPORT: NORRIS TAKES HIS FIRST POLE IN TRICKY CONDITIONS

8

Posted on Reddit by christopher_msa

That wasn’t to say the race was boring otherwise, the rain was more of a cherry on top of a very tasty Grand Prix. A mixed-up grid, free tyre choice for everyone and unseasonably cool weather all culminated in a tension filled race from start to finish.

9

Posted on Reddit by Ikcatcher

The race did have a more mundane section in the middle, as is to be expected and more importantly, a trait a lot of the good races have.

Azerbaijan 2017 was held up as a shining example of a thrilling race and yet that too had a slower middle section as the pitstops unfolded. What’s important to remember is that the race needs stakes and tension to become a classic.

10

Posted on Reddit by Unfunny_Gamer

It’s inevitable with the former team-mates battling in the early stages of the race and at other times during the season that there’s going to be some artistic license in DTS’ editing to cultivate drama and a story next spring. Get ready for it, you heard it here first.

With the gap in the championship as narrow as it’s been since Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton will look to replicate his 2020 win, hopefully with more favourable track conditions.

Grid Talk Podcast

Want to unravel exactly what caused the excitement today? The Grid Talk crew produce a preview, qualifying analysis show and race review for every Grand Prix weekend. You can check out the latest show on our Podcast section.

F1 2021 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX: LEWIS HAMILTON TAKES WIN AHEAD OF MAX VERSTAPPEN IN A DRAMATIC WET FINISH IN SOCHI

5 DRIVERS WHO NEED A GOOD RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX TODAY

F1 2021 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX: QUALIFYING REPORT: NORRIS TAKES HIS FIRST POLE IN TRICKY CONDITIONS

F1 2021 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW: CAN THE RAIN HELP MAX PULL OFF A MIRACLE?

IN THE PIT LANE – WHAT IS DIMITRY MAZEPIN’S NEXT MOVE?

Top 10 Memes of the 2021 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix

It was never going to simmer down was it? After the gamesmanship of the qualifying session, the events of the race were almost guaranteed not to be a dull affair, particularly with the eagerly awaited rain to just add that little extra to the the proceedings, something that ended up not being needed, as it all happened and produced the following reactions.

1

Posted on Reddit by Rageoffreys

Well, we’ll start with the controversy right off the bat as Bottas really spiced up the race in under 1 corner.

Given Valtteri’s need for a new contract the conspiracies we’re always going to fly almost immediately with a shunt like that.

Now, we’re not saying that Mercedes would pull a stunt like this, but some teams definitely would.

READ MORE – ESTEBAN OCON TAKES ALPINE’S MAIDEN GRAND PRIX WIN AFTER A CHAOTIC WET START IN HUNGARY

2

Posted on Reddit by IceCreamForMemes

Staying on the theories, given what some fans seem to believe, this could have actually been a directive from the FIA.

As much as luck has fallen the way of the brit in  recent weeks, there’s nothing more to it than that. The image of just Hamilton lining up on the grid was ripe for ridicule, particularly with those ever present theories.

3

Posted on Reddit by Geoboy7

As anyone whose played the F1 games knows, some elements of the simulation leave a little to be desired.

Anyone whose played an online race and knows what some people behind are prepared to do to win won’t have been surprised in the slightest when the first lap events unfolded.

4

Posted on Reddit by Xinu03

Mercedes obviously would prefer to have both cars in the points, however if they can’t have that, the placement of Red Bull after isn’t exactly the worst thing for them.

Those rumours of foul play are going to have fuel for a little while longer it seems.

READ MORE 2021 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING REPORT: TATICS AT PLAY AS HAMILTON STORMS TO POLE!

5

Posted on Reddit by erazedcitizen

If you’d heard the current driver order on lap 4 without actually seeing the race, you’d believe they were pulling your leg rather than the information they’d actually given you.

That’s why rain and changeable, unpredictable weather causes such excitement though, as potentially boring races are turned completely around.

6

Posted on Reddit by Ok–bro

We can’t talk about this race without talking about Ocon’s work out front to keep Vettel behind under immense pressure with a slower car.

Equally, Alonso’s work to keep a very quick Hamilton behind almost certainly enabled Ocon to take his inaugural win and guarantee valuable points for Alpine in the Constructor’s battle.

7

Posted on Reddit by Schmuckiii

Everyone’s seen the footage of Senna making his car as wide as the track against Mansell at Monaco and today Alonso channelled that.

Either that of the Alpine airbox is so wide their mid season update was to make the car match it.

READ MORE – 2021 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – FP1 & FP2 REPORT: COULD BOTTAS UPSET THE TITLE FIGHT?

8

Posted on Reddit by bingomoxi

George Russell really is a class act. Upon seeing that Williams had a real opportunity to use the pace in the car along with the difficulty to overtake and most importantly, using his car to help Latifi no matter the personal cost to his result, the Brit immediately got onto the team to say he had no problems.

If he needed a contract, that’d certainly make him more favourable, and karma gave him his first points, an excellent job all round.

9

Posted on Reddit by Danbuarth

A lot of tongue in cheek with this one. As much as it’s funny to laugh about thing’s always go Hamilton’s way, the 7-time champion looked completely drained by the end of the race.

It’s remarkable after how hard he had to push after a minor mistake that he actually physically made it to the podium.

10

Posted on Reddit by Flesh_er

Maybe they just didn’t remember the protocol after winning, maybe they’ve just got into the Olympic spirit and created a new sport of F1 Biathlon (On the cards for Paris 2024?). Either way, watching the second race to the podiums was both sublime and ridiculous.

And that’s it before the summer break. Formula 1 does as it does and after the antics of qualifying, offers up an even higher bar for the drama level to clear. Hopefully it’ll simmer down in the time off and the drivers will amp up the drama all over again. When it does, we’ll be here to round it all up with the help of the internet.

Grid Talk Podcast

Need to make sense of what actually happened and how big that effort was from the reigning champ? The Grid Talk crew produce a preview, qualifying analysis show and race review for every Grand Prix weekend. You can check out the latest show on our Podcast section.

2021 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – FP1 & FP2 REPORT: COULD BOTTAS UPSET THE TITLE FIGHT?

2021 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING REPORT: TATICS AT PLAY AS HAMILTON STORMS TO POLE!

ESTEBAN OCON TAKES ALPINE’S MAIDEN GRAND PRIX WIN AFTER A CHAOTIC WET START IN HUNGARY

F1 BLAST FROM THE PAST: BUTTON ENDS LONG WAIT FOR FIRST FORMULA 1 VICTORY

Top 10 Memes of the 2021 Formula 1 British Grand Prix

Well. That was an interesting one. Depending on what side of the fence you give your support, this weekend will have been either a dream or a nightmare, given the last few races. A brand new format is in the mix now and it’s fair to say there were mixed reactions to both that, and a very controversial incident on-track. The tangle between the champion and pretender to the throne dominated the memes so we’ll be taking a little bit of a different look this week.

Without any further ado, let’s get into it.

1

Posted on Reddit by djehutinakht

Out of context, this looks bad from the 7 time Champion. Given a small amount of thought though, and the circumstances become clear. Hamilton was told Verstappen was ok, and had served his penalty, finally getting a win after 5 races being on the back foot. At home in front of a full crowd of fans would have felt unbelievable in comparison.

READ MORE – F1 2021 BRITISH GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING REPORT – HAMILTON ROARS AHEAD FOR P1 IN FRONT OF A HOME CROWD

2

Posted on Reddit by Blaze17IT

As much as the circumstances aren’t ideal to be praising Leclerc, the guy is doing what’s required to the letter. The Monegasque picked up the pieces after an accident in front, got past Bottas in what should be a faster Mercedes, and kept Hamilton behind for almost every lap and taking an unlikely win. Top marks from us.

3

Posted on Reddit by TheOriginalNozar

Say what you want about the penalty (and canvassing the reaction online, people have) The stewards awarded him it, he took it, and he happened to win the race after it. End of story. Going down the route of applying penalties based on effect, while feeling ‘right’ is a dangerous slope, and would do more harm than good.

4

Posted on Reddit by assetsmanager

Clearly referencing the email Toto claimed to send to the race director (Not sure why, he’s not the stewards who actually decide the penalties)

This diagram misses a few things, such as similar moves by Lewis on Leclerc and if memory serves, Kovalainen in 2008 with no issue. At the speed and fuel loads both drivers approached the corner, neither has peak performance available. Lewis was also completely alongside and therefore had command of the width of the track and Verstappen could have gone wider as he had at Abbey, the first corner of the lap.

READ MORE F1 BLAST FROM THE PAST: MANSELL BESTS PIQUET IN BRILLIANT BRITISH GP BATTLE

5

Posted on Reddit by Flippie132

It’s also somewhat different to compare the Leclerc incident with Verstappen, as the gap in tyre grip was much wider. Amazingly, Leclerc had less tyre grip despite leading. Perhaps that’s a weakness of the Ferrari, but either way, Leclerc was forced to yield, rather than having the choice not to.

6

Posted on Reddit by HarryNyquist

Even after the controversial events that cause Leclerc to be the leader for 50 laps, hearing he was losing power isn’t what any racing fan wants to hear. When expecting a clean dogfight between the sport’s best, mechanical trouble always leaves a fan feeling cheated.

7

Posted on Reddit by Ikcatcher

F1’s red flag rules dictate a like-for-like replacement of parts in red flag conditions. This leaves only two possibilities when using duct tape to fix a £150,000 piece of carbon; Mercedes had no identical replacements, or they believed they could save money for the cost cap by using a quick fix.

READ MORE – 2021 BRITISH GRAND PRIX – SPRINT QUALIFYING REPORT: MAX TAKES POLE AS PEREZ SPINS OUT

8

Posted on Reddit by Xinu03

We touched on this, but Michael Masi has no say over the decisions of the stewards. To hear both team principals appeal to the race director seemed a little childish, or worse, football-esque.

9

Posted on Reddit by steakhouseNL

While we’d love to believe the Spidercam (That is genuinely its name) was actually a flying squirrel only found in North Buckinghamshire and trained by Pinewood studios, alas, it’s not THAT cool and it’s just a marvellous shot we’ve had since 2011.

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Posted on Reddit by hjaltewm

While a lot has been made of the penalty being too lenient, or that somehow the stewards favour the champion, the fact is that he commentators are racing drivers allowed their own opinion. Even on the main coverage, and in the paddock, there was a huge disparity in opinions. That’s a set of differences we have to respect.

With that controversy well and truly over. Oh who are we kidding. This will rumble on for at least the next couple of weeks. Coincidentally, that’s when F1 is back and we’re sure nothing controversial will happen there.

Grid Talk Podcast

Want some commentary on that controversy? The Grid Talk crew produce a preview, qualifying analysis show and race review for every Grand Prix weekend. You can check out the latest show on our Podcast section.

F1 2021 BRITISH GRAND PRIX PREVIEW: WILL HAMILTON RETURN TO WINNING WAYS ON HOME GROUND?

F1 2021 BRITISH GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING REPORT – HAMILTON ROARS AHEAD FOR P1 IN FRONT OF A HOME CROWD

2021 BRITISH GRAND PRIX – SPRINT QUALIFYING REPORT: MAX TAKES POLE AS PEREZ SPINS OUT

F1 BLAST FROM THE PAST: MANSELL BESTS PIQUET IN BRILLIANT BRITISH GP BATTLE

IN THE PIT LANE – LANDO NORRIS BUCKS THE TREND

F1 2021 Austrian Grand Prix Preview

Formula 1 fans outside of the U.K. have seldom found themselves hoping for a better turn of fortune for Mercedes during the hybrid era. Yet, here we are.

Max Verstappen is laying burnouts – quite literally – all over the competition. What started as a fight is turning into a demolition and the savagery is stunning.

At this point, it does not look like anything can stop Mad Max in 2021 – but is it too soon to count seven times champion Sir Lewis Hamilton out?

Track Guide

F1 cars in all their beauty will be singing their song in the Austrian Alps again this weekend.

While it’s always too early to dismiss Hamilton from a title fight, the long straights and wonderfully fast-flowing corners of the Red Bull Ring seems unlikely to be the place Mercedes mount a renewed charge.

We’re racing at the Red Bull Ring for the second weekend in a row. Image: F1

Few tracks on the calendar conjure up such easy images of magnificent surroundings and blindingly fast cars. While most of the passing happens at the hard-right turn three, the most daring drivers will make it stick around Turn 6.

The rest of the lap is where speed shines and the chase intensifies before bottoming out in Turn 10 and blazing towards the stopwatch at the line.

Last time out

The fact that this week has been spent discussing the safety of Verstappen’s race-ending celebratory burn out on the finish line (how awesome was that?) because he finished so far ahead of second place tells the story of last week’s Styrian Grand Prix completely.

Verstappen dominated wire-to-wire for Red Bull’s fourth consecutive win and only a slow pit stop prevented Sergio Perez from joining him on the podium.

Mercedes did well to salvage second and third place for big points in the Constructor’s standings but the Silver Arrows were never a threat to Verstappen’s win.

Thankfully, at least Valtteri Bottas looked Iike the solid second driver that Mercedes desperately need for the first time in a while.

Beyond the leading four, both Ferrari and McLaren had one driver finish out of position and are likely to correct those anomalies for this repeat race which should make the midfield just as exciting this weekend.

Rinse and Repeat

Hindsight being the all-conquering view that it is, only sudden reliability woes will stop Red Bull from having two drivers on the podium this Sunday.

Can Verstappen win three races in a row for the first time in his F1 career on Sunday?

Though Mercedes may yet mount a more sustained challenge to Verstappen, given the Dutchman’s dominant display last Sunday, it seems more likely they’re in for another soul-crushing defeat. And it’s about time that happened. 

The Austrian Grand Prix rounds out the first of F1’s 2021 triple-header weekends and will be roaring across your screen this weekend.

Session Times

Practice 1  –  2nd July      10:30 – 11:30

Practice 2 –  2nd July     14:00 – 15:00

Practice 3 – 3rd July    11:00 – 12:00

Qualifying – 3rd July    14:00 – 15:00

Race – 4th July                 14:00

*All times BST

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more content to preview your Austrian GP weekend? The Grid Talk crew previewed this weekend’s race in their latest podcast. Louis Edwards hosted Owain Medford, Garry Sloan and Tom Downey. Both video and audio versions of the show are linked below:

F1 2021 testing Preview: what can we expect from the teams?

So, testing is just around the corner now, and despite the fact the cars are almost the same as last year, there will be plenty of eyes on how the teams get on.

There are only three days of testing this year, so it’s more important than ever for teams to hit the ground running. There are new aerodynamic regulations for this year, so the cars so teams will want to get to grips with the new parts for 2021.

Teams will not want to miss a single day of testing, because it could have huge repercussions for the upcoming season. So, what can you expect from the teams in testing this year? That’s what I’m here to answer.

Mercedes

The reigning champions will of course be hoping that their car is still the fastest on the grid, despite the new regulations.

Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1

Mercedes were very secretive with the development that they did on their barge boards and floor during their car launch, so eyes will be on what they came up to tackle the new regulations. This team have always come up with ingenious innovations to tackle any regulation change, and I’m hoping that this year will be no different.

Mercedes did report that they were having issues with their new engine. With reliability being key over the next three days, the last thing they need is any engine trouble. That also goes for the three other teams running Mercedes engines.

READ MORE: F1 2021 CAR REVEALS: MERCEDES W12 – HOW IT COMPARES TO THE W11

Mercedes will be hoping to do what they usually do during testing. Get as many laps done as possible. While they may not set the lap charts on fire, expect Mercedes to still have a very good package.

Red Bull Racing

There was nothing shockingly different between the RB16 and the new RB16B, but this doesn’t mean Red Bull are going to settle for second place.

Credit: Red Bull Racing

Red Bull will be hoping to keep the reliability issues to a minimum, but the main focus will be on Sergio Perez.

While Perez has done some private testing with the RB15, this will be his first time in the RB16B. He’ll only have one and a half days of running to get to grips with a totally new car.

READ MORE: FORMULA 1’S 5 MOST ICONIC ENGINES EVER

Surely, he can’t do any worse than Gasly in his first test with the team!

The car is built around Max, which will make Perez’s job that bit harder, but as an experienced driver, I expect him to adapt well and hit the ground running.

McLaren

Out of all the teams on the grid, the most pressure to get off to a good start is on McLaren. McLaren have changed the most on their chassis to accommodate the new Mercedes engine.

Credit McLaren F1

McLaren will be hoping to retain third in the championship, but they know it’s going to be a tough challenge.

Unlike Perez, Ricciardo has had some limited testing of the MCL35M in a shakedown test at Silverstone. So, while his experience may be limited, he does have some time in the new car. It will be interesting to see how Lando and Daniel compare right out the gate.

READ MORE F1: IN THE PIT LANE – THE UAE FLASH THE CASH

McLaren were also very secretive with their barge boards and floor, so other teams will want to a snap of what they have done. There’s a lot of expectation on McLaren, time to see what they can do!

Aston Martin

It may be a new name, but expectations will be high. They under-performed last year, given their car was basically a 2019 Mercedes, they still couldn’t escape the midfield.

Credit: Aston Martin F1 team

This year is going to be a lot tougher with all their rivals looking to catch them.

Aston Martin’s big mystery is all about Sebastian Vettel and fans will be hoping that he puts his ‘spinny’ past behind him.

READ MORE: F1 CAR REVEALS 2021: ASTON MARTIN AMR21 – WHAT’S CHANGED FROM THE RP20?

Aston will be hoping at the end of the three days that they look competitive in the midfield again so they can challenge for third in the championship.

Personally, I can’t wait to see the livery out on track. I know there have been a few images from their shakedown, but to see it in the sun of Bahrain will be a sight to see.

Alpine

Just like Aston Martin, it may be a new name but it’s very much the same team.

Alpine will be hoping that they are more competitive this season. While two podiums may not seem so bad, they were very inconsistent.

Credit: Alpine F1

This meant their attempt to battle for third was an uphill challenge. This year they are going to have to make sure that their car is a lot better.

With Ferrari potentially being a big contender this year, Alpine will have to wow us all with their car during testing.

READ MORE: F1 2021 CAR REVEALS: ALPINE A521 – HOW DOES IT STACK UP AGAINST THE RENAULT R.S.20?

This test will also be Fernando Alonso’ first time in the car. He has been doing some private testing in the 2019 Renault, but it will be a big adjustment for Fernando.

While two years may not seem like a long time, things move fast in Formula One and it can be difficult to readjust to the new Formula. All eyes will be on Fernando during his first outing.

Ferrari

This test is going to be huge for Ferrari. After a very dismal year, the only way is up for the team in Scarlett red.

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Mattia Binotto has stressed that Ferrari have taken leap with their power unit as well as their aerodynamic efficiency. Straight line speed plagued them last season and if they can make good on their promises then we could see a very competitive car.

Bahrain is a perfect track for us to see just how good these changes are. I can’t imagine that Ferrari will be looking to set the timing screen alight, but if they can get some good, consistent running then it could set them up very nicely.

READ MORE: F1 CAR REVEALS 2021: FERRARI SF21 – WILL THE SF1000’S SUCCESSOR GET MARANELLO BACK TO WINNING WAYS?

I have high hopes for Ferrari this year and with Carlos Sainz being a new addition to the team, it will be interesting to see how he compares to Charles Leclerc.

Like most drivers, Sainz has been doing some private testing at Fiorano, but we won’t get to see how he truly gets on until his run out.

AlphaTauri

It was a very good season for AlphaTauri last season, and I think we can just expect more of the same.

I don’t expect them to be at the same pace as the rest of the midfield, but I would expect them to be there or thereabouts.

Credit: AlphaTauri

Alpha Tauri are another team with a new driver in their car this season. Yuki Tsunoda is continuing his meteoric rise through the ranks and now finds himself in the top tier.

Tsunoda took part in the young drivers test at the end of last season as well as private testing in the AT02 at Imola.

READ MORE: F1 2021 CAR REVEALS: ALPHATAURI AT02 – HOW IT COMPARES TO LAST YEAR’S AT01

There is no doubt that Tsunoda is quick, but he will need to adapt quicky if he is to survive the tough expectations of the Red Bull Junior programme.

There will also be eyes on Gasly gets to grip with this car as he was one of the standout drivers from 2020.

Alfa Romeo

I don’t think many people expect much from Alfa Romeo this season. They have the same driver line-up as 2020 and with the regulations, we are not expecting a much different car.

Credit: Alfa Romeo Racing

Alfa Romeo did make some notable changes on their which was picked up when the car launched last month, but I highly doubt it is going to make the Alfa Romeo a competitive car.

Alfa Romeo did have to suffer with the awful Ferrari engine last season, so the team and fans will be glad to put the new one to the test.

READ MORE: IN THE PIT LANE – WILL ALFA ROMEO AND SAUBER’S RELATIONSHIP CONTINUE?

Rather than looking forwards, Alfa Romeo will likely be looking over their shoulders during this test. It is an unknown at this point how the Williams or Haas will perform this season, and they will be big competition for the Italians.

All Alfa Romeo can do for now is make sure to get through all three days will no issues.

Haas

Haas have already said that they have given up on development of their 2021 car already. So, don’t expect it to be very quick.

Credit: Haas F1 team

Haas will be using this test mostly to get their drivers up to speed. While both Schumacher and M*****n have had experience in Formula one cars, they are yet to drive the new car.

The goal for both drivers will be to get as many miles driven as possible and pray that nothing goes wrong. Haas were hampered with crashes and spins last year. That could have been down to the two drivers they had in car, but it did them no favours.

READ MORE: IN THE PIT LANE – WHO IS FORMULA 1’S NEWEST BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR?

Haas will be hoping that Schumacher and M*****n can keep the car on the track and out of the barriers.

Not expecting much from Haas, but they could surprise me.

Williams

Williams come into this year with new owners and a new livery, but the same drivers.

They will be hoping that this year will bring more fortune that the last few. Williams made significant strides in pace last year, and fans will be hoping that it will be the same again.

Credit: Williams F1

Alfa Romeo and Haas will be Williams’ biggest rivals this season. The first test this season for them is to see how close they can get to them in testing.

Next will be to get laps on the board and make sure they have no issues. While the Williams may not be very quick, it’s always been very reliable. Williams will be hoping the FW43B is no different.

READ MORE: F1 CAR REVEALS 2021: WILLIAMS FW43B – DOES THE B-SPEC IMPROVE ON THE FW43?

Finally, it would make sense to have both drivers be in the car during testing, however that will not be the case. Test driver Roy Nissany will be in the car on the first day. Meaning Latifi and Russell will both get half a day less running than the other drivers.

So, it’s not long to go now until the 2021 Formula One season gets under way and I can’t wait. While I should stress that you should NOT read too much into testing, we will learn a lot about these cars over the next three days.

The Top 10 Memes of the Formula 1 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

That’s it, the first of Bahrain International Circuit’s two rounds for the 2020 Formula 1 calendar is in the books, and what an example the Sakhir Grand Prix will have to follow after an electric display.

We’d use another adjective to describe it but given the circumstances, it seems in fairly poor taste.

Now, without further hypocrisy, here are the top 10 memes we could find from the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.

1. Posted on Reddit by dpkcsgo

They say comedy is just tragedy plus time. Thanks to the Halo, marshals and medical car staff tragedy played no part today. Romain Grosjean was relatively unscathed and only has burns on his hands and ankles. We wish him a speedy recovery.

2. Posted on Reddit by iamaaronmullen

Grosjean’s crash was a horror to watch even with all the safety procedures F1 thankfully uses. A similar amount of fire erupted in the crash and I’m surprised Grosjean isn’t being called the Nomex King.

3. Posted on Reddit by Ikcatcher

We all love a bit of spectacle. However, as one of our writers said during the lengthy red flag period, we could have done with a nice boring race after. Frustrating though that is, it gives our hearts less to worry about.

4. Posted on Reddit by Sheeana407

Another Game of Thrones meme here, this time from the end of the higher quality Season 1.

When placed side by side, it’s obvious Grosjean’s family name is actually Targaryen, who knew?

5. Posted on Reddit by Stiffmeister24

A huge amount of praise is (rightly) being directed at Grosjean for his miraculous self-extrication as what was left of his car erupted in flames.

Neymar on the other hand, seems to love grass.

6. Posted on Reddit by DuaneBlack

Even at the time of writing, it still feels like a miracle, despite the measures in place to ensure driver safety. Almost all of them did their jobs as designed, yet the fact Grosjean walked away still has an element of the unfathomable about it.

7. Posted on Reddit by harkkkirat

What with high degradation, a Racing point going up in smoke and stoppages throughout, the Bahrain Grand Prix seemed to be the anti-heroic version of the Tuscan Grand Prix. 2020’s F1 still seems to have some surprises left after all.

8. Posted on Reddit by Sherlocked_13

We alluded to it earlier, but yes, it all ended in heartbreak for the Silverstone outfit last night in Sakhir. Hopefully the consolation of a fresh engine for the ‘oval’ in a week’s time can inspire Perez to get his rightful podium.

9. Posted on Reddit by ElectronX_Core

Perez has never achieved back to back podiums and Albons sorely needed one which left us wondering, is it too much to ask for both? Alas, Mercedes’ power unit is fallible, just not in a car with black bodywork.

10. Posted on Reddit by Rebel_Scum44

This is the second time in as many races that F1 cars have shared the circuit with recovery vehicles and personnel, raising concerns about trackside operations.

Lando’s shock wasn’t unfounded and the FIA needs to take a look at their procedures before anyone gets injured.

They won’t have long however, with just 4 days before we get back underway for more meme-worthy events when F1 returns for the Sakhir Grand Prix on the fabled outer loop circuit.

To tide you over until then though, make sure you check out the The Grid Talk crew’s race previews, qualifying analysis and race review for every GP weekend. You can check out the latest show on our Podcast section.