Ahead of today’s qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, we look back at the last race and how the TJ13 readers rated the race along with their driver of the weekend.
Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend- Race 3, Portamao, Portugal 2021.
Mean Reader Score 4.61 Ranked 3/3 races so far this season.
Being only the second time this race has run at Portmao, we only have last year’s results to compare it to: Scoring 4.61 This is lower than last year’s score of 6.25
Newly resurfaced about one month before the race last year, the track was still very green and providing little grip. This was supposed to be the race where the Red Bulls mounted their challenge once and for all. Mercedes were not going to have it all their own way this season. Red Bull was going to fight them every step of the way. Sadly this did not materialise (hence the low score).
The Red Bulls just didn’t have the straight line speed. Track limits played a very significant part: not only did Verstappen lose pole to Bottas by having his fastest lap time deleted, but he also lost the fastest lap of the race (also to Bottas) by having that lap time deleted as well.
So, far from making every point count (by the end of the season), Mercedes are already leaving the rest of the field behind (Mercedes 101, Red Bull 83, McLaren 53) being 28 points ahead of their nearest rivals, and we’ve only had three races.
Bottas hung onto pole at the beginning of the race but sadly we lost Raikkonen before the lap was through. Being totally distracted by the novelty of the new layout of his steering wheel, he failed to see his team mate, crashed into the back of him, lost his front wing and became the first retirement of the day, bringing out a safety car for his efforts. The safety car session was very long (why?). Bottas maintained P1 but Hamilton lost P2 to Verstappen.
This didn’t last long, as four laps later Hamilton took back P2 as Verstappen was caught out by the wind and ran a bit wide. As you can tell, this race was a bit dull and not a lot happened. Hamilton took the lead, (and the race) at the first opportunity from team -mate Bottas and pretty much stayed in P1 until the chequered flag.
An honorable mention to Perez who made his soft tyres run a whopping 51 laps this race. Let’s not forget the great effort by the other OAP of the track, Alonso, who scored four points, just behind team mate Ocon. Scoring 10 points this race, means Alpine are now in P5 in the constructor’s championship, on 13 points.
Driver of the Weekend :Lewis Hamilton , 27.0% of Reader vote.
Hamilton won the race (his 97th of his F1 career) AND took our Driver of the Weekend accolade to add to his collection. Apart from losing P2 and then taking it back again, Hamilton didn’t put a foot wrong this race.
Perhaps all his wins aren’t purely down to Mercedes having the most dominant car after all? Perhaps drivers (like Verstappen) and his detractors are beginning to realise Hamilton is not just a pretty face? (Didn’t win seven WDCs for nothing, you know!! ) Well done Lewis!!