Rate the race and Driver of the weekend:
Interlagos, Brazil 2021
Mean reader score: 6.00 Rated 10?/19races so far this season.
6.00, Really? Well, that’s what the number of votes tell us, so that’s what we have to go with. This year’s score of 6.0 was lower than the score of 8.92 from 2019, 8.37 of 2018, and 8.03 from 2016, but thankfully higher than the 5.91 of 2017, and of course the abysmal score of 3.92 from 2015. Why , when this year’s race was possibly the best of the season so far, was the score SO low? Two reasons,: the number of votes cast was very low, skewing the % downwards and 2) of the small number of votes cast, some rated the race as 0 or 1 , yes, 0 or 1 (one can only assume said voters are used to far superior racing than anything F1 has to offer). For the record, (as if it really needs to be said), I thought this was the best race of the season so far and scored it far higher than the average mark of 6, (certainly more than 0 or 1!!!).
Anyway, 6 is what the race scored, and 6 is what we (that is to say I) have to go with, so here goes:
Brazil is the middle race of the triple header that was Mexico, Brazil and Quatar. The WDC has changed hands many times (five?) between Hamilton, going for his eighth WDC and Verstappen going for his first. Verstappen was leading by 21 points, so Hamilton REALLY needed to win this race to stay in contention. However, with a five place grid penalty for taking a new engine, Hamilton was never going to be on pole. Having been disqualified from qualifying from the sprint race on Saturday, and having to start from the back of the grid, Hamilton clawed his way to P10 (after the penalties had been applied) which was his starting position for this race. So far, things seemed to be going Verstappen’s way.
There were dog fights, safety cars, virtual safety cars, controversial overtakes (did Verstappen push Hamilton off track to try keep the lead of the race?); the lead swapped hands between Mercedes (both drivers) and Red Bull (both drivers), not to mention near misses (Gasly and Ocon ) and Gasly and Alonso’s battle for vital points in the WCC (both teams ended up level pegging , scoring six points each, one 6, the other a 4 and a 2).
All in all, a good race (IMO, although obviously not in the opinion of all our esteemed voters!!)
Driver of the Weekend: Lewis Hamilton 66.66% of reader vote
Once again Brazil saw Verstappen controversially in the thick of things; no fisty cuffs with Ocon this year and alas, unlike last time out, no victory or Driver of the Weekend (even if he is still leading the WDC standings). This year these accolades go to Hamilton. Starting from the back of the grid in the sprint race, due to being disqualified for an illegal DRS flap, taking a five place grid penalty for a new engine, ‘no investigation necessary’ for (allegedly) being pushed off track when trying to overtake for the lead of the race, he still managed to win this race and claw back seven vital points in his quest to become WDC for the eighth time. Looks as if Hamilton is not ready to relinquish that title just yet. Well done Lewis!!