2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix highlights

Introduction

 

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has closed the gap to title rival Max Verstappen following a dominant victory in the inaugural 2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit, with Verstappen recovering from a grid drop that saw him start P7 to finish second, as Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took the final podium position.

Click here to subscribe to our print edition!

After a clinical start from pole position, Hamilton was able to control the pace at the front of the field with an indomitable lights-to-flag win, his second in a row after Brazil. But while Hamilton was impressive, so too was Verstappen, who was dropped from P2 to seventh on the grid for failing to respect double waved yellow flags in qualifying.

Verstappen shrugged off the disappointment, though, jumping to P4 at the start before quickly making his way up to second, before following Hamilton home to limit the damage to his title lead, which now stands at eight points as Verstappen claimed the fastest lap bonus point.

Meanwhile, there was joy down at Alpine as Alonso returned to the podium for the first time since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, the Spaniard having executed an aggressive drive to survive late-race pressure from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to take third.

Perez’s fourth place was a decent recovery considering he’d started P11, while he finished ahead of the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, with Lance Stroll taking P6 for Aston Martin.

The Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were P7 and P8. Lando Norris took P9 after a late stop for the McLaren driver, as Sebastian Vettel took the final points-paying position for P10 – with Pierre Gasly failing to make a two-stop strategy work, dropping from P2 on the grid to P11, allowing Alpine to move clear of AlphaTauri in P5 in the standings.

Meanwhile, it was a day to forget for Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, who took his own grid drop, dropping from P3 to P6, before falling to 11th at the start and then suffering mid-race tyre issues – as did Williams’ George Russell and Nicholas Latifi – before Mercedes retired him.

So, with just two races to go now, it’s Hamilton within touching distance of Verstappen in the drivers’ fight. Roll on Saudi Arabia.

Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:

With Losail being a new and relatively unknown track, featuring some high energy corners, the teams headed into the 2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix lacking all the information they would ideally want, with only one representative practice session. However, it became clear during the race that a one-stopper was very marginal in terms of tyre wear, requiring a high degree of management.

Some drivers encountered tyre problems towards the finish: this was probably due to a combination of very high wear as a result of long stints, and impacts at high speed against some aggressive kerbs, but we’ll obviously find out specifically what happened with a full laboratory analysis back at base in Milan.

By contrast, Hamilton and Verstappen were able to push to the limit with the strategy that they had selected, finishing more than half a minute ahead of Alonso in third, who made a one-stopper work for him.

2021 Formula 1 Qatar GP Race Results

Pos No Driver Country Team Time Points Overall
1. 44 Lewis Hamilton Great Britain Mercedes-AMG Petronas 1:24:28.471 25 343.5
2. 33 Max Verstappen Netherlands Red Bull Racing +25.743s 19 351.5
3. 14 Fernando Alonso Spain Alpine F1 Team +59.457s 15 77
4. 11 Sergio Perez Mexico Red Bull Racing Honda +62.306s 12 190
5. 31 Esteban Ocon France Alpine F1 Team +80.570s 10 60
6. 18 Lance Stroll Canada Aston Martin F1 Team +81.274s 8 34
7. 55 Carlos Sainz Spain Scuderia Ferrari +81.911s 6 145.5
8. 16 Charles Leclerc Monaco Scuderia Ferrari +83.126s 4 152
9. 4 Lando Norris Great Britain Mclaren Racing +1 lap 2 153
10. 5 Sebastian Vettel Germany Aston Martin F1 Team +1 lap 1 43
11. 10 Pierre Gasly France Scuderia AlphaTauri +1 lap 0 92
12. 3 Daniel Ricciardo Australia McLaren Racing +1 lap 0 105
13. 22 Yuki Tsunoda Japan Scuderia AlphaTauri +1 lap 0 20
14. 7 Kimi Räikkönen Finland Alfa Romeo F1 Team +1 lap 0 10
16. 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Italy Alfa Romeo F1 Team +1 lap 0 1
16. 47 Mick Schumacher Germany Haas F1 Team +1 lap 0 0
17. 63 George Russell Great Britain Williams Racing +2 laps 0 16
18. 9 Nikita Mazepin Russia Haas F1 Team +2 laps 0 0
19. 6 Nicholas Latifi Canada Williams Racing DNF 0 7
20. 77 Valtteri Bottas Finland Mercedes-AMG Petronas DNF 203

2021 Constructor Standings

Picture Pos Team Points
1. Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 546.5
2. Red Bull Racing 541.5
3. Scuderia Ferrari 297.5
4. McLaren Racing 258
5. Alpine F1 Team 137
6. Scuderia AlphaTauri 112
7. Aston Martin F1 Team 77
8. Williams Racing 23
9. Alfa Romeo Racing 11
10. Haas F1 Team 0

Here are the team-by-team highlights:

The post 2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix highlights appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

Source link