Tag Archives: F1 2021

Top 10 Memes of the 2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

It’s only been on the calendar for 5 years and 4 races (Thank you Coronavirus) but the race on the coast of the Caspian sea has quickly become an instant classic. While not delivering an entirely consistent spectacle to the racing, usually resulting in a lull towards the middle of the race, it always delivers a unique and interesting challenge for the drivers, which is excellent for us.

What looked like a commanding race for the rampant Red Bulls was turned on its head after some tyre trouble and a 3-lap sprint to the end left us all out of breath. Another twist in this championship’s story where a certain knight might rue the mistakes made.

1

Posted on Reddit by realee420

We’ve put this at the start to get it out the way.

The face of this (admittedly very well placed and fortunate) fan, coupled with a perfect camera angle led to the high point of hilarity during the entire Grand Prix.

READ MORE – F1 2021 AZERBAIJAN GP QUALIFYING REPORT: LECLERC ACHIEVES REDEMPTION BY CLAIMING POLE IN BAKU

2

Posted on Reddit by xleonfwx

It was a day for drivers who moved teams for the most part. Given a few races to get up to speed and they were topping the race positions. They even managed to make it through to the podium during the chaos.

3

Posted on Reddit by Lewh30

Speaking of, we’ve often bemoaned the fall from grace of a man once called the next Schumacher while at his very best.

Ever since Germany 2018 for a variety of reasons, he’s struggled but we hope we’re not wrong saying that Seb is back.

4

Posted on Reddit by mzrcefo1782

We’ve all been there. You’re bringing some shopping around the supermarket and the trolley that seemed fine out of the trolley park loses all composure when you’re all loaded up with the big shop. It must have wheels from Pirelli.

Initially it could have been cuts in Stroll’s tyre, but more than one failure always raises eyebrows and points fingers. Whether the accusations are accurate or not, Pirelli’s form is less than stellar and they’ll always be scrutinised as a result.

READ MORE – F1 BLAST FROM THE PAST: FORMULA 1 PRODUCES STUNNER IN BAKU

5

Posted on Reddit by goyo-lake

Given the nature and severity of both tyre related accidents along the main straight, Red Bull’s decision to share the sudden nature and advocate for a red flag is to be commended.

To try and help give all teams an opportunity to take a safer course of action, potentially at the expense of their own results is magnanimity to the highest degree.

6

Posted on Reddit by TugoMoray

Hey, a new meme format, hot off the presses. Don’t see that every day, do we?

Either way, it works perfectly for the scenario, the Pirelli hards not making it anywhere near what they were meant to, ending his race and almost gifting a massive championship lead to Max’s rival Lewis.

7

Posted on Reddit by fatcat_666

As we’ve said previously, Pirelli’s numerous tyre failure issues in the past (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2020 come to mind) don’t exactly make its explanations more believable when issues such as these come up.

Regardless of cause, Pirelli have some explaining to do.

READ MORE – F1 2021 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX: FP1 & FP2 REPORT – RED BULL DOMINATES AS MERCEDES ARE NOWHERE TO BE SEEN

8

Posted on Reddit by its-foxtale

After all the tyre related drama, it looked all set for Hamilton to play it relatively safe while his championship rival would be held to 0 points.

Reality however had other ideas.

9

Posted on Reddit by aw5512

After almost 2 years of Red Bull not having the second driver available to pressure Mercedes, it must have been refreshing to take the fight to them with a tactical advantage.

It’s just a pity they couldn’t complete a great weekend with a 1-2 win not seen at Milton Keynes for a long, long while.

10

Posted on Reddit by ziddharthh

As alluded to before, Mercedes really didn’t have a second driver as Bottas had a nightmare of a weekend again. He still finished ahead of Lewys Hamilton, for what that’s worth.

France needs to be the Finn’s return to form if he’s to keep his head in the frame for a contract extension.

Another year, another Well Done Baku. Of all the tracks within the street circuit offensive F1 has seemed to be on during Liberty’s time at the reigns. We get it, it’s easier to monetise and attract spectators for an F1 race through a city centre rather than a small village where it rains a lot. Speaking of small villages, Le Castellet in France, home to Paul Ricard. We’ll be back in 2 weeks time to find humour in the world’s largest kaleidoscope.

Grid Talk Podcast

Owing to travel restrictions and coronavirus, why not fill the gap left by Canada with our podcast. 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.

IN THE PIT LANE – NICOLAS TODT PLAYS THE LONG GAME

F1 BLAST FROM THE PAST: FORMULA 1 PRODUCES STUNNER IN BAKU

F1 2021 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX: FP1 & FP2 REPORT – RED BULL DOMINATES AS MERCEDES ARE NOWHERE TO BE SEEN

F1 2021 AZERBAIJAN GP QUALIFYING REPORT: LECLERC ACHIEVES REDEMPTION BY CLAIMING POLE IN BAKU

F1 2021 Azerbaijan GP Qualifying Report: Leclerc Achieves Redemption by Claiming Pole in Baku

Max Verstappen headed into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend as the championship leader for the first time in his career. The young Dutchman mastered the streets of Monte Carlo two weeks ago while reigning champion Sir Lewis Hamilton was unable to improve on his seventh-placed starting position.

Red Bull appeared to the be the team to beat, and bossed practice yesterday. However, Verstappen’s qualifying run was scuppered in FP3. Both Ferrari and AlphaTauri were looking fast, so the battle for pole position was wide open.

Here are all the highlights from qualifying!

Q1

The chance of a yellow or red flag in Baku, even in qualifying, is high, so most cars queued at the end of the pit-lane waiting for the green light to start qualifying.

This proved to be the case too, as Lance Stroll brought out the reds. The Canadian went too fast into Turn 15, locked-up and went into the barriers. His Aston Martin’s suspension was damaged, and he’ll line-up P20 tomorrow. Charles Leclerc was the only man who managed to set a time before the session was paused.

Stroll has a lot of work to do tomorrow. Image: F1

When the session resumed, Verstappen and Red Bull asserted themselves to top the timing table. We got another red flag soon after though, Antonio Giovinazzi slamming into the wall at Turn 15, the same spot as Stroll ten minutes earlier. It was the same story as before, as Gio outbraked himself and couldn’t back out of the corner.

Giovinazzi became yet another victim of Turn 15. Image: F1

Nine minutes remained and only nine drivers had set a time so far, with neither Mercedes nor McLaren amongst those without a lap on the board.

Those drivers would get through, though, and it was the three you’d expect to be out that were eliminated. Both Haas drivers of Nikita Mazepin (P18) & Mick Schumacher (P17) and the Williams of Nicholas Latifi would take no further part in qualifying.

Hamilton was top in the end, but Red Bull still looked fastest. Lando Norris was also under investigation for allegedly not pitting when a red flag came out. This would be investigated after the conclusion of qualifying.

Q2

After the first runs in second qualifying, it was Perez who topped the timings. A 1:41.630 was a very impressive opening gambit. Mercedes bailed on their first efforts, as Ferrari were looking good, P2 and 3 for the red cars. The Black Arrows would soon set better laps though, but Valtteri Bottas was looking vulnerable in seventh.

Sergio Perez was setting the timing boards alive in Q2

Verstappen would beat Perez’s time, which made the top three drivers separated by less than a hundredths of a second. Yuki Tsunoda would also stretch Honda’s muscles, the Japanese driver going P4 with his second effort in Q2.

The drivers were prepping for their final efforts, but they never got a chance to set them. Daniel Ricciardo continued his troubled start to life at McLaren by slamming into the walls at Turn 3. The Honeybadger out-braked himself and had no chance of making it back to the pits.

The red flags were out, and Danny Ric will line-up P13, unlucky for him. Sebastian Vettel was a very frustrated P11, the German missing out by three hundredths of a second. Esteban Ocon (P12), Kimi Raikkonen (P14) and George Russell (P15) were the others to drop out.

Q3

Mercedes were the first team out of the blocks, but it was Leclerc’s Ferrari that set the first flying lap in final qualifying. Leclerc held provisional pole, as the Red Bulls couldn’t beat the Monegasque’s time. Hamilton went P2 but was over two tenths of a second back!

Leclerc was on provisional pole again, but could he hold it?

The drivers were warming up for their final efforts, but a record-equalling fourth red flag ended the session early. Tsunoda flying into the barriers, then Carlos Sainz spinning into Turn 3, ending with the Ferrari down the escape road. The reds were brought out and Leclerc claimed a second pole position in a row.

Despite Leclerc claiming that it was a “s*** lap”, his effort was admirable and he’s got a real chance of taking Ferrari’s first win in almost two years tomorrow. Hamilton’s effort was good enough for P2, and Verstappen was a furious P3, also labelling the session as a four letter word beginning with “s”.

Gasly claimed AlphaTauri’s best qualifying of the year, a very impressive P4 for the Frenchman. Sainz was a respectable P5 in his Ferrari, with Norris P6 but under investigation. Perez again struggled in qualifying, P7 for the Mexican.

Tsunoda achieved his best F1 qualifying in eighth and Fernando Alonso was an impressive P9. Bottas has it all to do tomorrow, he lines up tenth.

Full Classification

Pos.No.DriverConstructorGap
116Charles LeclercFerrari1:41.218
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.232
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+0.345
410Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.347
555Carlos SainzFerrari+0.358
64Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.529
711Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+0.699
822Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+0.993
914Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1.109
1077Valtteri BottasMercedes+1.441
115Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:42.224 (Q2)
1231Esteban OconAlpine+0.049
133Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+0.334
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+0.363
1563George RussellWilliams+0.534
166Nicholas LatifiWilliams1:43.128 (Q1)
1747Mick SchumacherHaas+1.030
189Nikita MazepinHaas+1.110
1999Antonio GiovinazziAlfa RomeoNo time
2018Lance StrollAston MartinNo time

F1 2021 Monaco Grand Prix: Heartbreak for Leclerc as Verstappen Takes Charge

Charles Leclerc caused controversy on Saturday when his crash at the exit of the Swimming Pool chicane left the hometown hero on pole, despite those behind him being on course to set personal best laptimes.

With Max Verstappen alongside Leclerc in P2, and Sir Lewis Hamilton down in P7, the scene was also set for a potential swing in the Dutchman’s favour in the championship battle.

Could Ferrari convert the most important pole of the season into their first victory since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix?

Drama Before Lights Out

Leclerc’s crash undoubtedly sent shockwaves through the gearbox, but Ferrari’s overnight investigations had suggested no serious damage.

However on the way to the grid, Leclerc’s instant team radio cry of “nooooo no no, the gearbox guys” told you the story. The Monegasque, who has never finished a Monaco GP, was wheeled back into the pits and with that his pole position was gone, out of the race before the lights even went out.

A dejected Charles Leclerc reflects on a heartbreaking end to his home weekend (Twitter)

What was left, was an effective front row of Verstappen, and Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas. Meanwhile old friends Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris suddenly smelt an opportunity in P3 and P4 respectively.

The All Important Start

Off the line, the top places remained unchanged, as Verstappen recovered from a slightly sluggish pullaway to maintain the lead ahead of Bottas, Sainz, Norris and Gasly, with Hamilton retaining P6.

Max Verstappen led away from the start ahead of Bottas and Sainz (Red Bull Racing)

Verstappen and Bottas quickly pulled away from Sainz, whilst Hamilton and Perez were set for difficult afternoons behind the gearboxes of Gasly and Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin respectively.

The top two spent much of the early running trading fastest laps with Sainz settling into a rhythm just 4 seconds off the lead in third. In fact all the way down to Hamilton in P6, lap times were comparable, with Vettel in seventh the cork in the midfield bottle.

All Hail The Overcut

The timing of the pit stop from the softs would be crucial in deciding the outcome of the race. With everyone hovering in undercut range of each other, one mistake in the pitlane could be the difference between victory, and being off the podium.

Norris meanwhile was in danger of throwing it away on track, as he earned a black and white flag warning for repeatedly exceeding track limits.

By Lap 25, Verstappen has slowly eased away from Bottas, who now was feeling the heat from Sainz in third. Vettel was also now going well, and closing in on the battle for P5 between Gasly and Hamilton.

The first stop came on Lap 30 when Hamilton moved onto the hards to kick off a series of chain reactions. Not least his teammate Bottas, whose race would suddenly turn into a disaster.

Mercedes had their worst weekend of the season, with Bottas’s pitstop meltdown being the low point (F1)

A cross-threaded tyre refused to come off and with no way of dislodging it from the wheel, the Finn was out of the race.

Meanwhile as Gasly and Norris also stopped, Vettel stayed out an extra lap to overcut and get ahead of both the AlphaTauri and a more than disgruntled Hamilton.

Sainz pitted from a now net second place, whilst Verstappen waited until Lap 34 to come in, handing his teammate Perez the lead, as the only of the front drivers not to have stopped yet.

The Mexican made his stop on Lap 36, with a series of superb laps moving him up to 4th, behind Verstappen, Sainz and Norris, but ahead of Vettel, Gasly and Hamilton.

A Quiet Second Half

With Verstappen now well in command of the race, the chase was on for Sainz and Norris to try and erode the 7 second lead held by the Red Bull.

Some rapid laps from the Ferrari quickly moved him within 3 seconds of the lead, however Verstappen soon upped his pace in response to maintain the gap.

Carlos Sainz’s first Ferrari podium came in fine fashion with a composed second place (Scuderia Ferrari)

Norris maintained an excellent third for McLaren, with Perez in 4th set to help Red Bull overhaul Mercedes in the battle for the constructors’ championship.

The closest on track battle in the points was for P9. Esteban Ocon used an overcut at the first stop to overhaul Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo, however the pair remain just under a second apart as the second half of the race wore on.

Perez Applies The Pressure

As the Grand Prix entered its final 20 laps, Sainz continued to push on, hoping to force Verstappen into an uncharacteristic error.

Norris meanwhile in P3 was starting to struggle, despite lapping teammate Daniel Ricciardo who was having a day to forget outside the points. Perez in fourth started to sense an opportunity, with the gap coming down lap after lap.

Lance Stroll’s mammoth first stint ended on Lap 59, but worked to great effect, keeping the second Aston Martin in a solid eighth place ahead of Ocon and Giovinazzi.

By Lap 65, Perez had got within DRS range of Norris. The McLaren was not enjoying the hard tyres, but famously at Monte-Carlo, even a massive pace advantage isn’t usually enough to force an overtake.

Lando Norris lapped McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo as he continued his flying start to the season (McLaren)

Hamilton attempted to improve his day by stopping on Lap 68 for an attempt at the fastest lap point, although as it stood he would still lose the championship lead to Verstappen at race end.

Max’s Day

Max Verstappen had never lead a world championship in his career before today. But that all changed when he crossed the line to take his second win of the season and his first ever win at Monaco.

For a driver who once famously couldn’t avoid the Monaco barriers, it was a victory that highlighted the maturity the Dutchman has realised over the last three years.

Sainz had a quiet but excellent day in second, his first podium in the Ferrari red, whilst he was able to share the podium with Norris, who held off Perez to take a second podium of a superb season.

Vettel’s best result in an Aston Martin so far earned him Driver Of The Day in P5, with Gasly an impressive sixth, and Hamilton a disappointed seventh.

Rounded out the points were Stroll, Ocon and Giovinazzi, who was unable to overhaul the Frenchman despite sitting on his gearbox for over 40 laps.

The result moved Verstappen 4 points ahead of Hamilton in the standings, with Norris highlighting just how superb his season has been in third place.

Max Verstappen’s first World Championship is firmly in range for the Dutchman in 2021 (Red Bull Racing)

The paddock now has another weekend off before heading to Baku where Red Bull and Ferrari will look to build on their street circuit momentum for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Full Classification

Here is the full provisional classification for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix:

Pos.No.DriverConstructorGap
133Max VerstappenRed Bull RacingLeader
255Carlos SainzFerrari+8.9
34Lando NorrisMcLaren+19.4
411Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+20.4
55Sebastian VettelAston Martin+52.5
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+53.8
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes+1:08.2
818Lance StrollAston Martin+1 Lap
931Esteban OconAlpine+1 Lap
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+1 Lap
117Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+1 Lap
123Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+1 Lap
1314Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1 Lap
1463George RussellWilliams+1 Lap
156Nicholas LatifiWilliams+1 Lap
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+1 Lap
179Nikita MazepinHaas+3 Laps
1847Mick SchumacherHaas+3 Laps
DNF77Valtteri BottasMercedesPit Stop
DNS16Charles LeclercFerrariDriveshaft

F1 2021 Monaco GP Qualifying Report: Leclerc starts Home race from Pole!

Formula 1 in 2021 has been a breath of fresh air after two years of Mercedes being miles clear of the chasing pack. Red Bull have emerged as a genuine challenger for both titles. However, they would need to convert their raw pace into a second win of the season in Monaco to keep within striking distance of the Black Arrows.

Ferrari too were in contention, the Scuderia managing a 1-2 in FP2 on Thursday and could McLaren pull of a surprise in their beautiful one-off Gulf livery?

Here are all the highlights from qualifying!

Q1

Williams was celebrating their 750th Grand Prix this weekend and were eager to get out on track, George Russell being at the front of the queue at the start of Q1. The drivers were setting multiple laps as the tyres took time to heat up.

Valtteri Bottas was the first man into the 1:11’s but his time at the top didn’t last long, Verstappen quickly usurping him. Bottas would take his P1 spot back, but Lando Norris (P4) and Charles Leclerc (P2) set extremely competitive times.

A flurry of times were set just before and after the chequered flag fell as drivers desperately wanted to avoid starting in the bottom five spots tomorrow.

Alonso failed to get into Q2 for the first time since 2018.

Yuki Tsunoda (P16) has never raced around Monaco before and it showed, the AlphaTauri driver failing to get out of Q1 again. Fernando Alonso (P17) couldn’t shake off his rustiness off around the streets of Monte Carlo. Nicholas Latifi could only manage P18, with Nikita Mazepin the last of the qualifying runners in P19.

Mick Schumacher was unable to compete in Qualifying thanks to a huge shunt in FP3, he lines up at the back of the grid in P20.

Q2

After the first runs in second qualifying, it was surprisingly Ferrari that topped the times. Leclerc set the team’s opening gambit, but it was Carlos Sainz who went almost a quarter of a second faster. McLaren’s Norris would slot in P2, but a charging bull would soon best them all.

Max Verstappen was rapid in Q2.

Verstappen set a 1:10.650 to top the standings, one of the fastest laps of Monaco ever and it wasn’t even final qualifying! Mercedes was looking vulnerable, Bottas ending Q2 in fourth and Sir Lewis Hamilton down in sixth. It was Leclerc who ended up P1 though, as the hometown racer set an even faster time!

Alfa Romeo were another team that were showing more pace than normal around Monaco, but Q2 was as far as Kimi Raikkonen would go. The 2007 champ lines up P14 tomorrow, but Antonio Giovinazzi got through to the top ten.

Russell couldn’t repeat his incredible qualifying performances in Monaco, he lines up P15. Lance Stroll (P13) and Esteban Ocon (P11) were also out. The surprise driver out in Q2 was Daniel Ricciardo (P12), the Honey badger again struggling in his McLaren.

Q3

This was it. Q3 in Monaco is when you’ll see the fastest cars on earth pushed to their absolute limits more than anywhere else in the world.

Verstappen set the opening gambit of a 1:10.5, the fastest time we’d seen up until that point. Bottas got close but Leclerc would beat it by over two tenths! Sainz went third, but Hamilton could only manage sixth, behind even Pierre Gasly.

Leclerc was hunting Ferrari’s first pole in Monaco since Raikkonen in 2017, this would be a huge shock if he could manage it.

All of the drivers were pushing as hard possible, and Leclerc crashed at the swimming pool to end any hope of anybody else challenging him for pole. There will be concerns over Leclerc’s gearbox, but for the moment, as it stands, Leclerc is on pole for tomorrow’s race.

Verstappen lines up P2 at the moment and will be on pole if Leclerc suffers a gearbox penalty. Bottas did a good job to qualify P3, with Sainz completing an excellent day for Ferrari in P4. Norris was the highest performing McLaren in fifth.

Gasly signalled a return to form in his AlphaTauri, he’s sixth, with Sir Lewis Hamilton a very disappointing seventh. Sebastian Vettel had his best qualifying of the year with eighth, but Sergio Perez will be crestfallen to line up ninth. Giovinazzi completed the top ten.

Full Classification

Pos.No.DriverConstructorGap
116Charles LeclercFerrari1:10.346
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+0.230
377Valtteri BottasMercedes+0.255
455Carlos SainzFerrari+0.265
54Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.274
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.554
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.749
85Sebastian VettelAston Martin+1.073
911Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+1.227
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+1.433
1131Esteban OconAlpine1:11.486 (Q2)
123Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+0.112
1318Lance StrollAston Martin+0.114
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+0.156
1563George RussellWilliams+0.344
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1:12.096 (Q1)
1714Fernando AlonsoAlpine+0.109
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams+0.270
199Nikita MazepinHaas+0.862
2047Mick SchumacherHaasNo time

F1 Blast from the Past: Rain and Thirsty Engines cause chaotic end to MONACO GP

After the tragic events at Zolder in Belgium and the death of the great Gilles Villeneuve, the Formula One circus arrived in Monaco for round six of the 1982 World Championship. Monte Carlo’s layout was similar almost 40 years ago to what it is today, but the turbocharged monsters made it a far more challenging beast.

After Belgium, Alain Prost led the championship with 18 points. The Frecnhman was a point ahead of McLaren’s John Watson, who was three ahead of Keke Rosberg.

Qualifying

The turbocharged Renault’s had been the dominant force in qualifying thus far into the season, René Arnoux took the French manufacturers’ fifth pole position in six races. Second fastest was Riccardo Patrese in the Cosworth-powered Brabham ahead of Bruno Giacomelli in the Alfa Romeo.

Rene Arnoux qualified his Renault on pole by over half a second. Image: Reddit

Fourth on the grid was the second Renault of Prost, over a second shy of his team mate. Out of respect for the late Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari only entered one car for Monaco; Didier Pironi lining up fifth with Keke Rosberg’s Williams completing the top six. Reigning World Champion Nelson Piquet, who was using the BMW turbocharged engine in the Brabham, was languishing down in 13th.

Race day

Arnoux converted pole into the lead as the 76-lap Monaco Grand Prix got underway. Giacomelli passed Patrese for second with Prost, Pironi and Andrea de Cesaris in the Alfa Romeo following suit. Arnoux had quickly pulled out a gap to the rest of the field and team mate Prost was determined not to let him have it all his own way.

By Lap 4, Prost had already disposed of Patrese and then muscled past Giacomelli into Sainte Dévote to take second place. Giacomelli retired moments later with a terminal mechanical problem.

Arnoux looked set for a win in the Principality, but this moment ruined it for him. Image: F1only.fr

It all looked set for a Renault procession, but hopes of a one-two finish were quickly dashed when Arnoux spun out of a comfortable lead at the Swimming Pool complex on Lap 15. This lapse of concentration allowed Prost through into the lead.

Behind Prost were Patrese, Pironi and de Cesaris. Patrese was keeping Prost honest and almost found away past him as they came up to lap backmarkers on Lap 33. Pironi became involved in a tangle with Elio de Angelis’ Lotus, which tore the nose cone of the Ferrari off but the Frenchman motored on.

Rain causes chaos

Prost had begun to ease away from Patrese as the race entered its closing stages, but then a change in the weather came into play. Prost had been looking good for his third victory of the season, but on Lap 74, he threw the race away just two laps from home.

Prost would be the second Renault to spin out of the race. Image: Pinterest

Prost had pushed too hard while negotiating the chicane, lost the car and crashed into the barriers. Patrese was through into the lead but on the next lap, he spun his Brabham on oil dropped from Derek Daly’s Williams into the Lowes hairpin and stalled his car. The Italian bump-started the Brabham on the downhill gradient going into Portier but had lost the lead to Didier Pironi.

As Pironi started the final lap, all did not look well the Ferrari, as the Frenchman appeared to be coasting and letting several cars unlap themselves. Pironi was out of fuel and ground to a halt in the tunnel, his demise should have allowed Andrea de Cesaris to take the lead but unbelievably, the Alfa Romeo was also out of fuel.

Derek Daly was running strongly in the slippery conditions, but the Irishman had collided with the barrier earlier in the race, which not only took the rear wing off his Williams but also allowed the gearbox oil to leak. Before he could start his final lap he too coasted to a standstill.

James Hunt, commentating for BBC Television infamously stated “Well we’ve got this ridiculous situation where we’re all waiting for a winner to come past and we don’t seem to be getting one!”

Amazingly, Patrese found himself in the lead again, and the Italian made it across the line to take the first victory of his career. Patrese was convinced after his spin that he had fallen too far back. The Italian mistaking the-then lapped Daly’s Williams for Keke Rosberg who had in fact retired several laps earlier.

As he angrily drove back to the pits, he was startled to find the Brabham mechanics celebrating. Certainly, May 23, 1982 was one of the most bizarre days in Formula 1 history.

Video Highlights

The F1 YouTube channel uploaded short highlights of the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix last year:

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more content to preview your Monaco GP weekend? Never fear, the Grid Talk crew are here and have you covered with their 2021 Monaco Grand Prixview. Ruby Price hosted Phil Mathew, Adam Burns and Mikael Kataja covered all of the main talking about points ahead of Round 5 of the 2021 Formula 1 season. Audio and video versions of the show are linked below:

F1 2021 Monaco Grand Prix Preview: Who will master the streets of the Principality?

Whether you love or loathe it, the Monaco Grand Prix is an integral part of the racing calendar.

Round 5 of 23 in 2021 takes us the glorious streets of Monte Carlo for the most challenging race of the year. After clinching his third win of the season in Spain, Sir Lewis Hamilton comes to the Principality in the ascendency and 14 points ahead of Max Verstappen.

Monaco always has a surprise up its sleeve though, playing host to some of the most surprising Grands Prix ever. Here are all the talking points as Formula 1 heads to the Cote d’Azur.

Track Guide

Monaco is unlike any other circuit in Formula 1. If you were to suggest the Circuit de Monte Carlo to the FIA as a new circuit on the calendar, you’d be laughed out of the room.

Tight, twisty and bumpy, there’s no such thing as a moment’s rest in this near-two hour event. Even the straights aren’t straight and passing is nearly impossible. Strategy will play a key role, as overtaking is something you won’t see much on-track. Turns 1 and 10 are the only real passing spots.

Armco barriers line the perimeter of almost the entire track meaning that a mistake usually ends up with damage or a retirement.

Last time out

The 2021 Spanish Grand Prix saw a surprising amount of on-track action as we witnessed another classic Hamilton-Verstappen battle. Hamilton claimed his 100th pole in Formula 1 the previous day, but it was Max who went into Turn 1 in the lead.

Hamilton and Verstappen were a class above the chasing pack, even Valtteri Bottas was nowhere near challenging the leading pair. Ultimately, it was tyre strategy that decided the race, as Hamilton’s aggressive 2-stop proved to be faster than Verstappen’s 1-stopper.

Bottas completed the podium in third, to make HAM-VER-BOT the most common podium in F1 history. Charles Leclerc was arguably driver of the day as he earned a fourth place in his Ferrari. Sergio Perez could only recover to fifth after a poor qualifying.

Daniel Ricciardo finished a respectable sixth, with Carlos Sainz in seventh in his home race. Lando Norris had his worst result of the season so far in eighth, with Esteban Ocon again in the points in ninth. Pierre Gasly again dragged his AlphaTauri to another point with tenth.

Will Red Bull capitalise on Mercedes’ weaker circuit?

Red Bull most-recently won the Monaco GP in 2018. Image: The Telegraph

Despite what the results may show, Monaco is not a happy hunting ground for Mercedes nor Hamilton. Mercedes may have won the most recent race in 2019, but slower street circuits don’t usually suit the long wheelbase Merc. In seasons gone by, Mercedes’ advantage over the chasing pack has been so large that they could still win Monaco.

However, this year the Silver Arrows don’t have that luxury. Red Bull are closer than they’ve ever been in the hybrid era before.

Verstappen has been electric off the start at most races and if he repeats the feat on Sunday, he’ll be a very hard man to catch. Perez can’t be underestimated either, as the Mexican has stood on the podium in Monaco once before, in 2016.

Hamilton has three wins to his name in Monaco. This is of course an impressive statistic, but it pales in comparison to his record at most other circuits.

Ultimately, barring unreliability or being held up by a backmarker, whoever makes it into Turn 1 first will more than likely win the Grand Prix.

Session Times

Practice 1: 20 May               10:30-11:30 (5:30-6:30 AM EST)

Practice 2: 20 May               14:00-15:00 (9:00-10:00 AM EST)

Practice 3: 22 May               11:00-12:00 (6:00-7:00 AM EST)

Qualifying: 22 May               14:00-15:00 (9:00-10:00 AM EST)

Race: 23 May              14:00 (9:00 EST)

All times are in British Standard Time (BST), unless stated otherwise.

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more content to preview your Monaco GP weekend? Never fear, the Grid Talk crew are here and have you covered with their 2021 Monaco Grand Prixview. Ruby Price hosted Phil Mathew, Adam Burns and Mikael Kataja covered all of the main talking about points ahead of Round 5 of the 2021 Formula 1 season. Audio and video versions of the show are linked below:

F1 2021 SPANISH GRAND PRIX: Mercedes win the strategy battle again

Sir Lewis Hamilton’s 100th pole in Formula 1 dominated the headlines from yesterday’s qualifying session, however with championship rival Max Verstappen just three hundredths behind him, another duel for the win was expected.

Sergio Perez was looking to bounce back from a disappointing 8th on the grid, whilst Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine were hoping to battle for best of the rest.

A Crucial Start

Just three times has someone won a Grand Prix in Catalunya from outside the front row, meaning that getting into Turn 1 in the lead could be vital in deciding the outcome of the race.

Off the line it was Verstappen who got the better launch and on the run down to Turn 1, drew up alongside and forced his way past Hamilton into the lead. Daniel Ricciardo got up to fifth in his McLaren, whilst Leclerc managed to drive round the outside of Valtteri Bottas in Turn 3 to move up to third.

Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton to grab the early race advantage (F1).

Verstappen quickly pulled out of DRS range, whilst Leclerc and Bottas fell away from the top two. Perez had worked his way up to sixth, with Ocon, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso rounding out the top 10.

By the end of Lap 6, Leclerc was already nearly 9 seconds off the lead, effectively making the race appear a straight fight between Hamilton and Verstappen.

Safety Car Neutralises The Duel

The tide changed on Lap 8 when Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri parked up at the exit of Turn 10, forcing a full safety car to be deployed.

On the Lap 11 restart, Verstappen controlled the field perfectly to maintain the lead, with the only change in the top 10 being a superb move by Lance Stroll on Alonso for 10th place.

Max Verstappen holds off Lewis Hamilton after the Safety Car restart to maintain the lead (Mercedes-AMG)

After that it was very much as you were, with Leclerc once again unable to keep pace with the Red Bull and Mercedes in front of him.

However as the stint wore on, Hamilton began to apply pressure on Verstappen, despite some severe blistering at the right rear. Leclerc and Bottas were in their own race for third, with Ricciardo heading the midfield pack behind.

Undercut or Overcut?

Tyre wear overall was pretty high amongst the field, meaning that the timing of Hamilton and Verstappen’s stops would be vital to deciding the race outcome.

Bottas stopped on Lap 24 in an attempt to undercut Leclerc, whilst Hamilton closed within just half a second of Verstappen as the Red Bull dived into the pits as Lap 25 started.

However, just when a perfect stop was needed, Verstappen had an issue at the rear, adding around 2 seconds to his stop.

Despite this, Mercedes elected not to take the overcut opportunity, and instead him and Leclerc stayed out in a bid to come back at Verstappen and Bottas later in the race.

Charles Leclerc drove an excellent race for Ferrari, finishing a comfortable fourth (Scuderia Ferrari).

However by Lap 29, Hamilton’s soft tyres finally had enough, with the top two pitting, allowing Verstappen and Bottas up to 1st and 3rd respectively.

Sainz’s Ferrari also gained a place on Ocon in the pitstop phase, whilst Hamilton immediately set to task with his fresh tyres, lapping a mighty 1.5 seconds a lap faster than the Red Bull in front.

By Lap 34, Hamilton had got within DRS range of the lead but at this point the gap finally stabilised.

Hungary 2019 Deja Vu?

As soon as Hamilton caught Verstappen, the charge faded. As the laps wore on, the gap remained around a second, with Bottas keeping station in third, Leclerc a lonely fourth, whilst Ricciardo, Perez and Sainz fought over fifth.

Mercedes knew that they were resigned to second by staying out, so on Lap 43, they suddenly brought Hamilton in for a fresh set of mediums. Hungary 2019 immediately sprung to mind when a similar strategy gave Mercedes the win; was history about to repeat itself?

Red Bull elected to keep Verstappen out and chance fate again, with the showdown set to go down to the final few laps. In brighter news for the team, on Lap 46, teammate Perez finally got the better of Ricciardo for fifth, with a beauty of a move around the outside of Turn 1.

Daniel Ricciardo’s drive to a sixth place finish signalled a return to form for the Aussie (McLaren).

Ricciardo and Sainz reacted to this by making a second stop of their own, coming out behind Ocon and Norris, but with much fresher tyres enabling them to swiftly get back past.

Fresh Tyres Win Out

Hamilton’s pace in third was relentless, often nearly 2 seconds a lap faster than Verstappen as he attempted to haul back the 22 second disadvantage of an extra pit stop.

However this charge was briefly disrupted when Bottas quite evidently ignored the team orders to not hold his teammate up, forcing the Brit to pass Bottas “properly”, losing him 0.3 seconds to Verstappen on Lap 52.

Bottas responded by pitting, however this dropped him behind Leclerc back into fourth place.

With 10 laps to go, the gap between Verstappen and Hamilton was down to just 4.7 seconds, with Red Bull resigned to the fact that there would be a tense battle to hold on in the last few laps.

Lewis Hamilton passes Max Verstappen on Lap 60 to finally lead the race he started from pole (F1)

Leclerc’s superb drive still wasn’t quite enough for a podium, when Bottas repassed him using DRS on Lap 57.

By Lap 59, the lead was just 1.5 seconds with both Hamilton and Verstappen now complaining about their tyres. However, the Red Bull’s tyre deficit was just too strong and as the two entered Lap 60, Hamilton used DRS to finally take the lead that Verstappen had held from the start.

Norris moved past Ocon for eighth, whilst Stroll and Alonso’s battle for 10th became controversial when Stroll’s Aston Martin was pushed off the road into Turn 1, but then failed to go round the red and white bollards to rejoin the track safely.

Mercedes 3-1 Red Bull

Verstappen pitted at the end of Lap 60 onto a fresh set of soft tyres for the fastest lap point, but Hamilton had once again used strategy and guile to grab victory from a losing position.

The controversy over 10th place became futile when Pierre Gasly came through to take the final points place.

Hamilton’s victory was the 98th of an ever unbelievable career, 15 seconds clear of Verstappen by the finish.

Bottas took home third, Leclerc a quite outstanding fourth, Perez fifth whilst Ricciardo held off Sainz for sixth. Norris finished a slightly underwhelming eighth, whilst Ocon crossed the line just a couple of tenths ahead of a charging Gasly to round out the top 10.

In the championship battle, Hamilton now led Verstappen by 14 points, Bottas moved up to third whilst the battle for fourth between Norris and Leclerc was separated by just a single point.

Lewis Hamilton’s march to an eighth world championship continues in style (Getty Images).

The F1 grid now takes a week off before heading to the Principality and iconic streets of Monaco in a fortnight’s time.

Full Classification

Here is the full provisional classification for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix:

Pos.No.DriverConstructorGap
144Lewis HamiltonMercedesLeader
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+15.8
377Valtteri Bottas (FL)Mercedes+26.6
416Charles LeclercFerrari+54.6
511Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+1:03.6
63Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+1:13.7
755Carlos SainzFerrari+1:14.6
84Lando NorrisMcLaren+1 Lap
931Esteban OconAlpine+1 Lap
1010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+1 Lap
1118Lance StrollAston Martin+1 Lap
127Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+1 Lap
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin+1 Lap
1463George RussellWilliams+1 Lap
1599Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+1 Lap
166Nicholas LatifiWilliams+1 Lap
1714Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1 Lap
1847Mick SchumacherHaas+2 Laps
199Nikita MazepinHaas+2 Laps
DNF22Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauriMechanical

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?

Valtteri Bottas

Bottas has yet to win a race this season, despite claiming pole in Portugal.

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.

READ MORE: F1 2021 SPANISH GRAND PRIX: HAMILTON CLAIMS 100TH POLE POSITION IN FORMULA 1

Antonio Giovinazzi

Gio nor his Alfa Romeo team have scored points this season yet. Image: F1

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.

READ MORE: WHY GIOVINAZZI HAD A BETTER 2020 THAN MOST THINK

Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda showed his inexpierence in qualifying yesterday.

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?

Sergio Perez

Checo has had a few off-track excursions of late. Inage: F1

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.

READ MORE: THE DEVIL’S IN THE DATA: WHAT PEREZ COULD BRING TO RED BULL

Fernando Alonso

Alonso needs a good result in his home race today. Image: PlanetF1

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.

READ MORE: IN THE PIT LANE – THE BATTLE FOR FORMULA 1’S TV RIGHTS INTENSIFIES

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:

F1 2021 Spanish Grand Prix: Hamilton claims 100th Pole Position in Formula 1

It’s no secret that overtaking is difficult around Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya, so qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix is an extremely important session.

Sir Lewis Hamilton was looking for his 100th pole position in Formula 1, while Max Verstappen needed to make up ground in the championship battle.

Who would come out on top? And could the second drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez play a role in the battle for pole?

Q1

There was a ten-minute delay to the start of qualifying due to a barrier needing to be repaired after a Formula Regional event earlier in the day. Sunny skies and warm temperatures adorned the Circuit de Catalunya this Saturday afternoon, so lap times would be very representative.

Most drivers opted for the faster soft tyres, but the exception were Mercedes whose drivers chose the mediums. Despite this, Bottas was fastest in Q1, with Hamilton less than two tenths off Verstappen in P5 in the early stages.

Barcelona’s final sector was causing havoc for traffic in Q1. Image: F1

The drivers who were in danger crawled around before the final runs to keep life in their rubber. This paid off, as the track was significantly faster than earlier in the session. Lando Norris was held up in the traffic jam in the final sector for his first run, but he topped Q1 with his second gambit.

The Haas’ of Nikita Mazepin (P20), Mick Schumacher (P18) & Williams of Nicholas Latifi (P19), were among those out in Q1. Surprisingly, Kimi Raikkonen (P17) and Yuki Tsunoda (P16) also joined that trio in going no further in qualifying.

Q2

Bottas again topped the session in the early stages of Q2, but Verstappen rang the neck out of his Red Bull to go almost half a second faster than the Finn. Tyres didn’t come into the equation, as everybody chose the soft compound.

Max Verstappen was rapid in Q2.

The field was bunched incredibly tightly, as two tenths of a second separated Carlos Sainz in fifth and Sebastian Vettel in thirteenth after the first runs. In that group was Perez, but the Mexican got his Red Bull into Q3 after his second Q2 lap.

Sadly, George Russell (P15) had run out of qualifying tyres, but the Brit almost managed to beat Antonio Giovinazzi’s (P14) Alfa Romeo. Vettel (P13) and Lance Stroll (P11) weren’t able to get their Aston Martins into the top ten. The final driver out in Q2 was Pierre Gasly (P12), the AlphaTauri still struggling.

Q3

It all came down to the top ten shootout, Red Bull were the favourites, but could Mercedes make a comeback in final qualifying?

Sainz was looking quickest until Perez spun in the final sector. The yellow flags came out but that didn’t stop Hamilton from setting the fastest time of the first runs. Even though the world champion had to slow down, he was less than a tenth of a second faster than Verstappen.

Perez’s spin didn’t stop Sir Lewis from topping the timings after the first runs.

Just like last weekend in Portugal, the second runs of the drivers weren’t enough to beat their first gambits. That meant that Sir Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th pole position in Formula 1 and will start tomorrow’s race from P1. Verstappen still has a shot in second, with Bottas in third.

Perez set a lap, but it was a disappointing eighth place for the Mexican. Charles Leclerc was an impressive fourth in his Ferrari, with Esteban Ocon again staring in qualifying, he’ll start in P5 in his Alpine. Sainz starts his home race in P6, with Daniel Ricciardo in seventh. Norris was a disappointing ninth and Fernando Alonso rounded off the top ten.

Full classification

Pos.No.DriverConstructorGap
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:16.741
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+0.036
377Valtteri BottasMercedes+0.132
416Charles LeclercFerrari+0.769
531Esteban OconAlpine+0.839
655Carlos SainzFerrari+0.879
73Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+0.881
811Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+0.960
94Lando NorrisMcLaren+1.269
1014Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1.406
1118Lance StrollAston Martin1:17.974 (Q2)
1210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.008
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin+0.105
1499Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+0.382
1563George RussellWilliams+1.188
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1:18.556 (Q1)
177Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+0.361
1847Mick SchumacherHaas+0.561
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams+0.661
209Nikita MazepinHaas+1.251

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:

F1 2021 Spanish Grand Prix: FP1 & 2 Report – Mercedes Lead On Friday

A Mercedes driver topped both practices on Friday in sunny Catalonia. Charles Leclerc carried Ferrari and the Alpines showed good pace in the afternoon.

FP1

The first practice in Catalonia began under familiar Iberian sunshine. It did not take long for another familiar sight to take place, as Haas’ Nikita Mazepin drove onto the gravel in Turn 8 on his out lap.

Mazepin was also not making friends on track, as he blocked Charles Leclerc’s lap, which prompted Leclerc to state that “Mazepin will never change” on his team radio.

Two reserve drivers were on track in FP1, Robert Kubica for Alfa Romeo, and Roy Nissany for Williams.

The kerbs around the track emerged as a problem for multiple drivers, and they were warned about breaking their front wings on them. Red Bull was especially worried about this, warning both of their drivers.

The practice got halted from a red flag with 20 minutes to go, as Kubica had gotten stuck in the gravel and his car required a crane to be moved.

Verstappen managed to split the Mercedes for second in the standings. There was also a good effort from McLaren’s Norris to finish FP1 in fourth place.

FP2

The sunny conditions remained for FP2, as Bottas and Hamilton were quick to put the Mercedes at the top of the standings. The silver arrows would stay at the summit for the rest of FP2.

The kerbs continued to cause trouble for the drivers, with Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri switching off when the Japanese rattled the car.

When the soft tyre runs came about, Leclerc was able to push his Ferrari near the times of the Mercedes duo, less than two tenths behind Hamilton.

The Alpine cars were also notably quick on softs, finishing fourth and fifth. Verstappen was unable to get a clean lap on his softs, resulting in Red Bull stopping the qualification simulation short.

Mercedes shine on Friday

We should always keep in mind that on Friday, the teams run their own programs. The observable pace seen from these results is likely not representative for the rest of the weekend.

Regardless, the Mercedes seem to have come to Catalonia with an elevated drive and performance.

Considering the layout of the track, we know the race is unlikely to be very entertaining. Mercedes’ performance today would suggest that attention for good racing might be better of directed to positions five and below.

Full Classifications

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