The ingredients that didn’t quite gel at Portimao – It takes quite a lot to set up an exciting F1 race. Those who think Jean Todt and the FIA guys just get the ‘GOAT’, Sir Lu, and his indomitable Mercedes AMG F1 team to turn up an hey presto we’ll have a classic – think again. Those watching the F1 Portuguese 2021 GP last weekend will get this.
Another dominant win for Sir Lewis, who has gone black ops on social media.
To be fair, Max Verstappen made mistakes to allow pole position to slip from his grasp, a cardinal sin in the current aero F1 era. Pole and leading into turn one sees more often than not a race win.
Verstappen made other mistakes too. One of which allowed Lewis Hamilton to close right up on the Red Bull approaching the last corners and blaze past the Dutchman down the pit straight.
Despite DRS being shortened by 110 metres when compared to the 2020 Algarve race, DRS today made most of the passes simple.
Valerie (Bottas) being pretty useless also helped Hamilton claim his 97th F1 victory, and why Mercedes AMG F1 don’t simply let him wander off into the Sauna wilderness of Finland – is anyone’s guess.
And then we return to Pirelli. What an awful decision to bring harder tyres to this circuit than last time they came in 2020. In Italy 2 weeks ago, the tyres were softer and with the assistance of a safety car, we had a two stop race with more intrigue and less of a predictable outcome.
Of note, Mazzaspin – the non-Russian Russian – finished 2 laps down, without spinning or taking out anyone else.
After a tortuous weekend, Lando Norris was again the best of the rest outside the top two teams and is proving to be a formidable team mate for Danny, the Honey Badger, Ricciardo to compete with.
Alonso finished the race lighting up the time sheets over the closing laps, travelling at a similar pace to the race leader. The double world champion needed a few more laps to jump Ocon and LeClerc, for what would have been a magical result P6 behind Lando Norris.
Still, the Spaniard’s pace in the Alpine is looking good for Barcelona, his home GP, up next.
No safety car, no rain, rubbish tyres, a lack of ambition in the RBR strategy camp which included starting their racers on the same tyre compound as Mercedes, a DRS zone too powerful – all in all aligned to make this an eminently forgettable event.
Alonso was the best of the ‘new team mates’ finishing close behind Estaban Ocon. Danny Ricciardo was next best claiming points for British Ferrari (McLaren), but a long way back from Norris.
While the highly talented Carlos Sainz was nowhere for zero points, something he seemed puzzled about after the even. The answer Carlos is Ferrari are crap at strategy, just as Fernando used to do, make your own plan and say bollocks to Maranello’s silly ideas.
The entire paddock is just waiting for Lawrence Stroll to explode. After spending some of his gazillions on Aston Martin, his boy and quadruple champion Seb the Spin Vettel ended up P14 and P13 respectively – a lap down. Oooh Errr, those pesky new FIA regulation changes must be to blame. Either that, or Renault… Napoleon…. Hemmingway… Jesus…. The grim reaper?
Of course the one bright note of the day was Sir Lewis Hamilton demonstrating his greatness for us all once again. Interestingly just 7 other drivers joined him in taking the knee – an act of subjugation the Europeans just don’t understand.
Good news F1 fans. Just a few days and it will all be forgotten as we head to Barcelona – another track where processions are not uncommon.