TJ13 looks back at the last few Formula 1 Grand Prix, and how you the readers, scored them in our polls. First up, Spain.
Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend – Round 4, Spain, 2021
Mean Reader Score 6.57 Rated 3rd out of 4 races so far this season.
At least the Spanish GP didn’t come last this year. In fact this score of 6.57 was higher than the 3.29 of 2020, and the 3.71 of 2019. Not as good as 2017’s 7.65 and nowhere near 2016’s 8.65.
Having qualified in P2, Verstappen got his elbows out and took the lead into turn 1 of the first lap, maintaining (at least temporarily) the illusion of it being a two-horse race for WDC2021. By the start of lap 2, Verstappen was well out of DRS range, but sadly all his efforts came to naught as the safety car was brought out after Tsunoda beached his car.
Some teams took advantage of the safety car (Williams did a double stack) but it was Vettel from the mid-field who initiated a cascade of tyre changes later on. Verstappen was first of the front runners to pit on lap 24, and was covered by Bottas and NOT Hamilton, who stayed out for another four laps.
Bottas was told to let Hamilton past after he did pit, and surprisingly, Bottas did not comply (immediately) , but did yield eventually. Why? (Rumour has it he may already have been told he is not driving for Mercedes next year).
The race was pretty dull, with the highlight perhaps being Mercedes’ playing a strategic blinder, by pulling Hamilton in for a second stop, leaving him 22s behind Verstappen with 22 laps to go…….
Driver of the Weekend:Lewis Hamilton , 30.60% of reader vote.
This may have been a contributory factor as to why Hamilton won our Driver of The Weekend accolade.
Having lost P1 at T1 of L1, Hamilton’s run of leading every lap of this race since L33 in 2018, was well and truly over. However, running this race as a two-stop, compared to Verstappen’s one-stop meant, with 22 laps to go he was 22 seconds behind Verstappen, BUT by the end of the race, his tyres would only have done 22 laps, compared to Verstappen’s 42 laps.
Hamilton hunted Verstappen down, and by the closing laps of the race, pulled the only overtake that mattered to take, P1, and yet another record (equalling Michael Schumacher’s six consecutive wins at the same track), and increasing his lead over Verstappen in the WDC ‘fight’.