Tag Archives: Formula 1

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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.





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!


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.


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.


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

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 Azerbaijan Grand Prix: FP1 & FP2 report – Red Bull dominates as Mercedes are nowhere to be seen

It’s been two years, but Formula One returns to Baku for Friday practice.

After Red Bull’s dominance over Mercedes in Monaco, it would be interesting to see if Mercedes could make up ground on the charging bulls, but it didn’t seem to be the case.

It was a dominant day for Red Bull, as they set the fastest laps in both sessions today. Mercedes were either having a horrible day or keeping their cards very close to their chest. So let’s see how today’s sessions played out!


Unsurprisingly, it was Max Verstappen who set the pace in first practice, but he had both Ferraris for company.

However, the talk of FP1 was dominated with the talk of flexi wings. The FIA were doing tests to measure how much various team’s rear wings flexed under high speed.

This debate has been going on for some time now, but the FIA are using this weekend to gather data and then give further guidance to teams.

Back to the on-track action and the mobile Russian chicane was having a field day of ruining people’s laps, including Max Verstappen’s first flying lap. Luckily for the Dutchman, he was able to put in a second flying lap which took him to the top of the timing sheets.

But it was far from plain sailing for the rest of the field as many drivers ended up facing the wrong way throughout the session as they wrestled with the windy conditions.

Yuki Tsunoda almost re-created Mahaveer Raghunathan’s embarrassing Baku moment as he struggled to find reverse after locking up at Turn 4.

It was Turn 15 that drivers were finding the most difficult with Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz all having their own moments.

Turn 2 had it’s own share of drivers using it’s escape road with Bottas and Norris using it at the same time late on in the session.

So, while Red Bull topped the time sheets, Mercedes could not find time to set a clean lap, so they ended up further down the time sheets. Lewis Hamilton was 7th and Bottas was 10th.

It was the two Ferrari cars who were just behind Verstappen, continuing to show their pace from Monaco and then closely followed by the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo, who is looking to put his Monaco performance behind him.


The second practice session continued as the first one ended.

Plenty of cars were taking to the escape road, with turn 15 proving to be a real problem for the drivers. For Charles Leclerc it was more than a small problem. Leclerc was on a fast lap before locking both front tyres going down hill and put his Ferrari in the wall.

Luckily, it was not as damaging as his crash at Turn 8 back in 2019. He was able to reverse out of the wall and drive back to the pits for a new front wing.

That incident was not the only stoppage of the session as Nicholas Latifi ran into engine issues which brought his session to end 20 minutes into second practice.

Juts like in Free practice one, it was Red Bull dominance once again with Sergio Perez topping the timing charts with Verstappen just behind.

Ferrari were again just behind both Charging Bulls and despite his crash, Leclerc still put his Ferrari in 4th.

Mercedes were in no man’s land yet again with neither driver breaking into the top 10. On a brighter note though, Mercedes showed that their pace on the medium tyres was very competitive with Red Bull’s pace on the soft tyre.

This could mean that tyre strategy in qualifying tomorrow could be key.

Tyres were a big talking point with both Ferraris complaining of graining on the soft tyres and Max getting vibrations the more laps he did on the soft tyre.

With all this uncertainty with the tyres on longer runs, we could see a mixture of tyre strategies for the race which could make this race very interesting.

Could Ferrari be a competitor this weekend?

In both sessions today Ferrari were asserting themselves as the second fastest team on the grid, only a few tenths off Red Bull.

If not for Leclerc’s crash in qualifying, Ferrari would have had an incredibly positive weekend in Monaco, and they are looking to replicate again this weekend.

Ferrari are showing very strong short-run pace which could cause some upsets in Qualifying so Red Bull will have to be very wary of the Prancing horses would are looking very fast behind them.

FP1 Classifcation

FP2 Classification

Grid Talk podcast

Can’t wait until tomorrow for more F1 content? Why not check out the Grid Talk’s Azerbaijan Prixview hosted by Ruby Price and this week is joined by George Howson, Steve Jackson from Formula Shakedown and Phillip Matthew from the Grid Strip podcast.

F1 Blast from the Past: Formula 1 Produces Stunner in Baku

Formula 1 returned to Baku in 2017 for round eight of the World Championship. The street circuit had hosted the European Grand Prix the previous year, but ran under the title of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for the first time.

The 2016 race was a dull affair which meant that few had high expectations for this round. However, we were treated to one of the best Grand Prix of the 21st century and one that produced some incredible results.


Despite a Mercedes one-two finish in Canada two weeks earlier, Sebastian Vettel continued to lead the World Championship by 12 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The Silver Arrows continued their excellent form in qualifying, with Hamilton leading a Mercedes front row lockout ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel was outqualified by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen as the Ferrari’s lined up on the second row. Max Verstappen qualified fifth ahead of the two Force India’s of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. Lance Stroll managed eighth ahead of his Williams team mate Felipe Massa, while a crash for Daniel Ricciardo saw the Australian line up tenth.

Hamilton flew to another pole position in Baku. Image: Crash

Race day

51 laps of the Baku City Circuit got underway on a beautiful sunny afternoon, Hamilton maintained his lead from the start ahead of Bottas, Raikkonen and Vettel. At the first corner, Daniil Kvyat ran wide in the Toro Rosso, as he re-joined the circuit his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. spun in avoidance, the Spaniard just surviving a tap with the wall.

In Turn 2, Bottas clipped the kerb and collided with compatriot Raikkonen. The right-front tyre of the Mercedes was punctured and Bottas headed to the pits for repairs, falling a lap down on the leaders in the process.

Bottas was seemingly out of contention with a puncture on Lap 1. Image: F1 Fanatic

On Lap 6, Ricciardo made a pit-stop after picking up debris in his brakes, he re-joined in 17th. Kvyat’s day went from bad to worse on Lap 10, as his Toro Rosso came to a halt with an electronic failure. Red Bull’s senior team ran into more trouble when Max Verstappen’s race came to an end after just 12 laps with an oil pressure problem.

The marshals were unable to move Kvyat’s stricken car, so the Safety Car was deployed. Racing briefly resumed on Lap 17, but debris from Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari warranted another Safety Car period.

Contact between the championship contenders

Under the safety car on Lap 19, Vettel ran into the back of Hamilton, damaging his front wing and Hamilton’s diffuser. Vettel believed his rival had brake tested him and proceeded to drive alongside Hamilton and display his anger, in doing so, he made contact with the Mercedes.

Hamilton and Vettel collided under the Safety Car, but would either of them receive punishment?

One lap later, the race restarted with Hamilton leading and Vettel was under pressure from Felipe Massa in the Williams. Further back, the two Force India’s engaged in a fratricidal tussle, Ocon made a move down the inside of Perez but they came to blows on the exit as Ocon squeezed the Mexican into the wall. The Frenchman escaped with a punctured right-rear tyre, while Perez suffered damage to the front left wishbone which would later end his race.

The debris also had consequences for Räikkönen who picked up a puncture, this damaged the floor and rear wing of his Ferrari as he made his way to the pits.

Red Flag

The Safety Car was deployed for a third time and, after Fernando Alonso complained over the radio about the debris on the track, the race was red-flagged so that marshals could clear the track thoroughly. The red flag allowed the teams to work on their damaged cars, Vettel received a new front wing, while Mercedes judged the damage on Hamilton’s diffuser to be minimal.

Raikkonen was able to re-join, albeit a lap down. The Finn comically pleaded with his team over the radio to be handed his gloves and steering wheel abruptly. An oil leak would later end a miserable day for Raikkonen.

Kimi Raikkonen had another one of his classic radio moments in Azerbaijan.

With the track now clear, the race restarted, Hamilton again kept the lead from Vettel, the Williams pair of Massa and Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault. Ricciardo made a bold move down the inside of turn one to move ahead of the Renault and both the Williams cars to take third place.

Massa’s race was compromised by suspension damage. He was quickly passed by Hulkenberg on the straight, while Kevin Magnussen in the Haas made a similar move to Ricciardo and overtook them both into the first corner. On Lap 25, a promising run for Hulkenberg came to a premature end as he clipped the apex of turn seven too hard and collided with the wall. A lap later, and Massa was forced to retire as his suspension problem became terminal.

On Lap 29, Hamilton was looking set for victory until his headrest became loose. Two laps later, he was forced by race control to pit for safety reasons. At the same time, Vettel’s earlier Safety Car shenanigans came back to haunt him, as he was given a 10-second stop/go penalty for dangerous driving.

The German came in to serve his penalty on Lap 33, re-joining the track in seventh place just ahead of Hamilton. All this had allowed Valtteri Bottas, who had lost a lap at the start of the race but regained it under the first safety car period, to jump back into contention and after passing Alonso, Magnussen and Ocon, the Finn found himself third.

Frantic Final Laps

At the front of the field, Ricciardo was leading comfortably ahead of Lance Stroll, but the Canadian could not relax as Bottas was closing quickly. Hamilton was running behind Vettel in fifth and tried to get the Mercedes team to instruct Bottas to slow his pace and allow Hamilton to close on Vettel, but this was refused as Bottas continued to pressure Stroll.

As the chequered flag fell, it was Daniel Ricciardo who took his and Red Bull’s first victory of 2017, but behind him, it was not over, as Bottas utilised his DRS to beat Lance Stroll over the line and take second place. The Canadian still had plenty to celebrate, becoming the second-youngest F1 podium finisher in history.

Nobody would’ve predicted this podium before race day.

The only consolation for Vettel was that he managed to outscore Hamilton by two points, rounding off a bad day for the title contenders. Ocon finished sixth ahead of Magnussen and Sainz. Fernando Alonso scored McLaren Honda’s first points of the season in ninth with Pascal Wehrlein scoring another point for Sauber in tenth.

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more content to preview the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend? The Grid Talk have you covered with their Azerbaijan Grand Prixview. Ruby Price hosted George Howson, Steve Jackson and Phil Mathew in the latest GT Podcast. Audio and video versions of the show are linked below:

In the Pit Lane – Nicolas Todt plays the long game

The ‘who is going where’ silly season starts early, with all sorts of speculation on F1’s game of musical chairs.

Heavily involved are the driver’s management teams and when it comes to driver management the power brokers that come to mind, are the usual suspects of Toto Wolff and Helmet Marko. In fact, one of the most powerful individuals behind the scenes is the ambitious and well-connected Nicolas Todt.

Todt Jr.’s Career

Nicolas, of course, must live with being the son of former Ferrari team principal and current FIA president Jean Todt, and all the resulting accusations of nepotism. Nicolas Todt is a serious player, managing the careers of the likes of Daniil Kvyat and Charles Leclerc through his All Road Management company, which he founded in 2003.

Todt has managed Formula 1 drivers, including Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc

His journey started when Felipe Massa asked him to become his manager and so began Todt’s rise to power. Todt’s strategy was clear, find the drivers young before they are signed up and to this end, he bought into Birel ART a big player in the karting world.

Todt explains, “I look for the best talents and need to sign them young because it’s a competitive landscape, to say the least. If they’re already in F2 and winning races, they’ll already be in discussions with F1 teams and it won’t make sense to sign with someone like me. So, I try to follow karting very closely because that’s the grassroots, where 99% of the best drivers start.”

The Present and the Future

Todt first met Charles Leclerc when he was a 13-year-old kart racer and told Corriere della Sera, “I talk to the best people in the industry and form an opinion. In karts they told me that Charles was special.”

Hoping history will repeat itself in 2018 he signed another 13-year-old, Italian driver, Gabriele Mini.

Mini could be a Formula 1 star within the next ten years. Image: ART

The signs are looking good, with Mini now competing in the lower formulae and last year he took the first three pole positions and a race win in the Italian F4 Championship. Todt like with Leclerc beforehand will have had to finance the youngster, something that does not come cheap.


Lower Formulae = Big money

Toto Wolff has been the latest to criticise the absurd wealth required to compete in the lower Formulae

Toto Wolff has recently questioned the whole system saying, “What I think we can do is make sure that grassroots racing becomes more affordable, so kids that haven’t got any financial background can actually be successful in the junior formulas.

“All the big Formula 1 teams [need to be] able to identify those kids, rather than making it so expensive that a good go-karting season costs €250,000, an F4 season €500,000, and an F3 season €1 million.

“That is totally absurd, [and] needs to stop, because we want to have access. I think we need to give access to kids that are interested in go-karting, the opportunity to race for much more affordable budgets.”


For the numbers to add up for Todt, he needs a backed driver to make it into F1 as Leclerc did, and on an estimated 2021 salary of €10m, Todt will pocket €2m.

You can imagine Todt disagreeing with Leclerc when he told il Giornale last week, “I wouldn’t leave Ferrari even if he was offered double the salary.”

Before driver management

Until the end of 2018, Todt was the co-owner of the motorsport team ART Grand Prix, which he founded with current Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur in 2004. 

Todt has excellent connections with Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur

Todt confirmed in 2019 that he would have a role in Mick Schumacher’s career telling Sky Sports, “My job for Mick is to advise the family to guide them and give them some advice what I think they could do.” Adding it was his job to protect him.

Nicolas Todt acknowledged his father’s influence in an interview with Forbes Monaco back in 2019 he said, “Having a Dad like this for sure helped me to enter this industry because I was able to follow motorsport closely from a young age and develop a very good network.”

An understatement to say the least!

When it comes to Todt Snr, it would be fair to say he is not without his critics, but it says a lot about him as a human being that he still regularly visits Michael Schumacher.

Last week Todt told Corriere della Sera, “I see Michael at least twice a month. I never leave him alone. Corinna, the family: we’ve had so many experiences together. The beauty of what we have experienced is part of us and it goes on.”

A true friend can be measured in not only the good times but more importantly the bad times.

The last word goes to Nicolas who once said, “You can be a great manager but if you aren’t working with the right driver you will never make it. You can’t turn a donkey into a racehorse!”

Garry Sloan is an author, columnist, and podcaster more details at garrysloan.com

Copyright ©2021 Garry Sloan

[Note: The opinions expressed on this website are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors and/or publishers.]

Top 10 Memes of the 2021 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco has, can and does produce exciting races. Sometimes, and usually with help of rain or a safety car. Other times, you’re left as a viewer hoping for a burst water main at the Casino to spice up the racing and bring out some wet tyres at the very least.

Alas, the full 78 laps passed this year with not one hint of a stoppage as the drivers were all alarmingly well behaved (Perhaps under orders not to break the car in case of budget cap issues). Therefore it was a surprise to see the teams doing all the breaking.


Posted on Reddit by Filonji

It’s Monaco, so this is absolutely no surprise to anyone whose seen something 2m wide go down normal streets. Add to that the fact that the barriers add the chance of being fired into the next barrier and with cars that can’t follow, this spectacle was almost guaranteed.

At least we got to see some great drivers in the points right?…Right???



Posted on Reddit by 2polew

The Mercedes doesn’t like to follow, Hamilton struggled to get going all weekend and as mentioned previously, it’s Monaco.

Hamilton would have got very acquainted with the rear of the Alpha Tauri running on the power of dreams as Mercedes had a nightmare.


Posted on Reddit by le-sparrow

Those of us old enough to remember Hamilton’s less successful years (Yes, us young millennials are the ones who put this together Zoomers)

Will know all about the whinging that can come from the 7-time champion. The counterpoint to that is Valtteri getting a freak failure we’ve never seen before when he actually has a handle on Lewis. The Finn must be questioning what exactly is going on, because as even  the Knight of F1 once said when the dice never seemed to roll his way in 2014, “It’s getting beyond a joke”.


Posted on Reddit by ifthetiefitz

This meme isn’t entirely wrong in their assessment, initially there was a whole host of interesting things happening in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Those things just ended after the pit stops. Leclerc’s drivetrain issues meant he didn’t start, opening up a run for Bottas on Max. Hamilton would have to fight through the pack and Bottas could have taken some fight to Red Bull.

After Lap 30 or so though, we were doing the dishes and wondering when Indy Qualifying was on. At least the championship is back on again.



Posted on Reddit by The-Protractor-Cult

First off for this, the disclaimers. TV directing, particularly live, is difficult to do well with good timing and queuing up footage when you don’t think anything interesting will happen a few seconds in advance is also difficult and at times things may go wrong.

That now out of the way.

What the hell were they thinking by cutting away from the only bloody interesting thing to see all afternoon? Criminal.


Posted on Reddit by Baltic_Gunner

Given the expected outcome when the post-race interviews were being decided, it would be a fair assumption Hamilton’s friend, incomparable Tennis champion Serena Williams, would be knocked off her stride as we all were not seeing him anywhere near the podium.


Posted on Reddit by UncomfortableBench

It often seems insane that a finely tuned race team operation can be completely undone by a part that simply refuses to do just that.

All that expense and the hardware provided in flat pack furniture seems more reliable. F1 however is a sport where grams saved make seconds and given the balance of probabilities, a lighter thread on a wheelnut is worth the times it’s actually going to fail when it matters. On this occasion, it just collapsed the possibility of a win for Mercedes.



Posted on Reddit by Epicd2000

We’ve given this particular issue a Ferrari Mechanic’s look thus far, but whoever was weighing up which option to take for Sunday needs retraining in basic risk.

Ferrari sacrificed a guaranteed 6th place start with room for improvement for the possibility of pole. As much as that matters around the principality, does it really justify taking such a large risk. It really has been too long for a win at Ferrari.


Posted on Reddit by Bananozaurek

There’s been a whole lot of criticism and negativity in this piece so far, so to take us home let’s add in the wholesome addition of two former team-mates who genuinely seemed elated to see each other do well. It’s not a sight seen often in the F1 paddock such is the competition, but it’s most refreshing when it appears. Absolutely brilliant, I love it.


Posted on Reddit by jocim

Given how he could have reacted, going home or off to have an ice cream on his yacht for example, Charles Leclerc as always distinguished himself, going back to both celebrate the podium with the team and then congratulate Carlos.

Many drivers wouldn’t have done close to that and don’t get distinguished praise as a class act like the Monegasque. Brilliant to see.

Thank goodness the spectacle of a Monaco Sunday in May has come and gone. As much as Monaco must stay on the calendar, it’s not exactly a secret it doesn’t usually set the world alight in action. Moving swiftly on as a good few drivers are want to do at this point, from the Cote d’Azur to the Caspian Sea and the streets of Baku. It’s Azerbaijan up next and we simply cannot wait.

Grid Talk Podcast

Given the boredom that came with that jaunt to the principality, we should have suggested this before, but why not take a look at the podcast in the meantime. 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 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:

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!


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.


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.


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

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 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:

Top 10 Memes of the 2021 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix

As always with a race at Catalunya, as nice as the circuit may be to drive in isolation, we were buckled in for a ninety minute bore-fest similar to Portugal’s second half.

We were, however, pleasantly surprised to be so wrong. There’s always different styles of F1 race that bring the X-Factor that never seem to appear when showing a sceptic the sport. Crazy weather, high speed duels, differing concepts racing to the finish or when completely different strategies are so close in outcome by the end a winner cannot be predicted. Even watching a complete masterclass, by someone who just clicks with their car in a way some drivers seldom can, has its value.

This week we were treated to two marginal strategies coming to a head, catching one team out and putting the other on top.

Whatever the race though, there’s bound to be something to laugh at about it. Here’s our 10 favourites post-race.


Posted on Reddit by Cold_keys

It was a nightmare of a day for pit crews up and down the pitlane.

Red Bull took 100% longer than their normal stops and Alfa Romeo almost sent Gio out on a set of tyres that came pre-punctured. (Well done that mechanic for spotting that). Alpine did an outstanding job however, getting Alonso back out in front of the Aston.



Posted on Reddit by SubieBryan

After Imola, it’s been a bit suspicious with how Mercedes are able to keep Hamilton in contention.

Maybe this is how, or at least that’s how the sceptics seem to think.


Posted on Reddit by mattialeonetti

After the slightly dull round at Portimao, the teams mannged to really spice up the status quo finish we’re coming to expect. However, the Merc of just Lewis must be that good to fix the result we’ve come to expect. Either that or Hamilton is actually the talent he’s looked all his career.


Posted on Reddit by sge_freaky

It’s looked like quite the fall from grace in the first 4 races of this season for two drivers who have, let’s not forget, won 6 world championships between them and been in contention for a further 4. Squabbling over 2 places out of the points isn’t anything even the greatest sceptic of the two drivers really wants to see.



Posted on Reddit by JohannesBartholomeus

After being humbled with a strategy in Hungary of 2019, reminiscent of a good TV plot twist, piecing things that in hindsight look obvious.

Maybe it’s a little harsh to say that Red Bull should have seen the stars aligning for Mercedes to pull a near identical move on them.  At home it seemed to be as we say, obvious.


Posted on Reddit by GoldDecision7

If the stars were aligning for Mercedes, they were three pointed stars, to say the least. Lewis Hamilton’s incredible speed, Mercedes’ magic strategy and tardiness at Red Bull all combined to give the Knight the victory.


Posted on Reddit by tstols

Loving this new format that’s come about.

After Milton Keynes’ F1 team has made the best of not having the best car, through strategy might we add. It shouldn’t take Red Bull to get back on-from with figuring out when to pit and when to push. We look forward to those days when they do reappear.



Posted on Reddit by patcachu

Stroll took a bad rap very early on in his career for his status as what can only be described as a pay driver. The revelation, in a bad way, of Haas’ second driver and some undeniably solid performances and moves have re-shaped our opinion of the Canadian.


Posted on Reddit by adit23281

You just got the feeling that the Alpine on Alonso could have really done with about 3 fewer laps before he just got mugged by everyone behind him, dropping him to an anonymous position by the end.


Posted on Reddit by TheNopeGoat

Not only is the subject of this meme slow and looks to be a terrible person, he also seems to be completely unaware of what he’s doing in a race. To quote Martin Brundle from Portimao “That’s the Leader”. Running around in last is one thing, genuinely affecting the outcome of races for the good drivers is another and it’s showing what the limit of talent really is.

So, once in a blue moon it turns out Catalunya can spice up the action in a way it normally doesn’t. Normally the circuit can be as boring and offer as little in terms of on-track action as Monaco. Coincidentally and conveniently for this particular outro, that’s the race up next. F1 jets off to the principality for the jewel in the crown and we’ll be back here in 2 weeks irreverently wrapping it all up. See you then

Grid Talk Podcast

To fill out the next couple of weeks before Monte Carlo, have a listen to our podcast selection. 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.





« Older Entries