Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Rate the race: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 (22%)
  • 9 (40%)
  • 8 (27%)
  • 7 (8%)
  • 6 (2%)
  • 5 (0%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 3 (0%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 1 (1%)

Total Voters: 394

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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109 comments on “Rate the race: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. A great race. Bahrain more often than not delivers.

    1. I like Bahrain’s track, I think this track is quite honestly emphasizing what these cars good at, it is at about designed for these modern cars, without overdone Tilkeism (by having some fast corners, instead of having many hard braking zones and hairpin-like corners after, to provide today’s usual overtaking opportunity). Bahrain has more flow, and many of it’s recent races were at least ok.

      I rate the race 9/10 with this hot endgame.

      1. Very good race.

        Red Bull is mighty quick in that wavy middle sector. Seems like we’ll have many more close battles at the front.

      2. @jerejj @jcost It’s funny how things change. About a decade ago Bahrain was always seen as a snooze-fest Tilkedrome that nobody liked because it only produced processional races. I think 2012 was the first decent race there.

    2. Great race a 10 if the Stewarts do the right thing.
      The Stewarts should give it to Max. 10% of Hamilton’s laps exceeded track limits

  2. One of the best I’ve seen. 10/10

    1. How can you rate this a 10 with the whole track limits and Verstappen having to let Hamilton through nonsense

      1. Because it wasn’t nonsense?
        Anyway, I voted 8.

    2. These ratings are a little bit of a farce. It was a decent enough race but hardly a classic. The result was in doubt until the very end, which was great, but there was very little actual racing. The hated DRS was way too powerful again, rendering defensive driving impossible.

  3. Highway robbery. All the race HAM outside track limits and when he loses the fight he cries for help

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      28th March 2021, 17:47

      Dry your eyes mate…

    2. No, Verstappen is repectful and you ain’t.

    3. No, it was a fair decision and because I still have a grudge on Max…

    4. Is there a salt shortage?

    5. Are you suggesting its ok to overtake someone with all 4 wheels off the track?

      The inconsistency in policing track limits is stupid, but it doesn’t negate the fact you can’t overtake someone with all 4 wheels off the track. It doesn’t matter how they are policing the corner in general when no overtaking is going on. Neither Max nor anyone at Red Bull disputed it was an illegal overtake.

      It was a great race between the pair of them, and on another day Max would have come out victorious, but he slightly mis-judged at the crucial moment.

    6. I agree he was off track limits. Red Bull told Max to do the same. Then late after race control told Mercedes if Hamilton leave the track limits again they will pay 5 sec penalty, so they started complying. RB can cry, but in my opinion, clear win for Hamilton. Also, when Verstappen gave back the position, he should have chosen a better spot, like right before a DRS zone.

      1. Actually what happened (Horner confirmed that), after that message to Max the team asked race control about the matter and that put paid to everyone abusing the track there @mauromori

    7. VER was doing the exact same thing in that particular corner lap after lap…

  4. I’d have given it 10, if it hadn’t had been for the track limits incident

    1. IncidentS. The FIA have been too flakey over track limits this weekend and changed their minds mid race today. The overtake off track was illegal but it takes nothing away from what was a great race. DING DONG! Reports of Lewis’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.

      1. I couldn’t agree more.

    2. Yes, or at least 9, I gave it 8, hoping red bull can keep being as competitive across the year.

  5. F1oSaurus (@)
    28th March 2021, 17:44

    That was good. Hamilton showing again how it’s done. At least there is no doubt who was in the faster car (and yet again did not win driving it)

    1. 👍 Of course we will Get the usual suspects having a dig at Lewis for wearing the wrong colour socks but anyone with any sense will appreciate that drive from Lewis. There is no doubting how good he is! However I think max will prove to be a worthy adversary. DING DONG let’s get it on!

  6. Couldn’t ask for more. What a crackin race. Looks like Lewis might be proving the doubters wrong this season. Reminded me of Imola 2005. Glad to see DRS didn’t ruin the fight on this occasion.

  7. 9/10 for sure. But honestly, why did they issue track limits clarification mid-race?! If it was illegal, then Hamilton gained a lot throughout the race. But if it wasn’t illegal at the start of the race, you might as well let it go.

    1. How can it be legal when the rules say clearly it’s not?!? It’s not really necessary to be warned by the stewards, the teams know the rules, especially this 1 being an easy rule to understand: the drivers are not allowed to go all wheels beyond the white line. End of the story. One can imagine what would have happened if it was Ferrari/VET….!

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      28th March 2021, 18:59

      @mashiat Well when he said track limits would not be enforced during the race he also added that t he normal rules still appliy. ie:

      drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not leave the track without a justifiable reason

      Otherwise the stewards can still tell them to stop doing it if it happens too often.

    3. @f1osaurus In that case, how come it took so many laps for them to issue a warning? Disgraceful from the FIA. Given how many times he breached that track limit, it should have been a penalty then. Although my preference would have been to just enforce track limits as they did at some races last year: 4 or more breaches and you get a +5 penalty.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        28th March 2021, 19:26

        @mashiat Well I guess they actually weren’t paying attention for track limits at that turn, but at some point Red Bull actually told Verstappen to go off track at turn 4.

  8. What a race, if that doesn’t show you why HAM is the GOAT then nothing will.

    1. Why do these hamilton wins always look unimpressive? He had basically been overtaken by verstappen, gave up fairly easily, and he made mistakes in that so called impressive turkey win last year without the best car, again unspectacular.

  9. Verstappen and RB showing some naivety. You could bet me my house that Hamilton wouldn’t have given that back. Also, overtaking when you have a lapped car level with you is not smart. But as final ten laps go, brilliant. 8/10 at least.

    1. @hahostolze lets not forget Hamilton has given back a place and then still been penalised by the stewards because it wasn’t gift wrapped back in 2008. Maybe Verstappen should overtake on track, not the first time he’s done it either.

      1. @slowmo Spa 2008 was not without precedence, the same thing had happened to Alonso at Suzuka 2005, which also likely cost him a shot at the win that day.

  10. Congratulations to Hamilton for his 8th championship.
    It is either that or Redbull will come even stronger on other GP.
    RB got a massive weekend, HAM/VER clock 1 sec faster than the rest, had to fight into the last lap in a track favourable to overtaking and it is a HAM win.
    So, it will be like this the rest of the year. Even if this is not a “good” Mercedes year, every non-VER win is a HAM win, and that is if VER+RB run at 200% of the potential.

  11. fights throughout the field and throughout the race. 10/10

  12. “Leave it to me, Bono!”

    1. He actually said: ” Leave me to it Bono”.

    2. Mercedes should order t-shirts with that quote right now!

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        28th March 2021, 18:30

        Yeah, I know!!! I’d buy one!

    3. He actually said “leave me to it Bono”

  13. 2006 Bahrain + 2014 Bahrain = This one. The first half of the race has lot of wheel-to-wheel action and the second one has tactical battle.

    1. 2012 and 2018 were absolute nail biters as well. 2015 and 2017 also very, very good. It’s hard to find an other track that is almost delivering every year.

  14. Probably the best one in 7 years.

  15. Gave it a 9. More like this!

  16. I am so, so glad that it didn’t come down to an easy DRS pass. Given how overly effective DRS was in many other instances today I was really concerned that Max was going to catch Lewis & just cruise straight past which would have taken all the excitement out of it for me.

    1. Forgot to give it my rating, I’m going 8/10.

      I might have given it a 9 if DRS hadn’t made some of the other passing far easier than I like to see.

  17. Superb race (9). Not sure about Mercedes’s strategy of pitting Hamilton early on the hard tyres and also neutralizing their advantage by putting both drivers on the same. Some epic driving from both Verstappen and Hamilton at the end. Whatever the track limits issue, you can’t overtake going off track there, justified decision by RBR to get Max to give it back. Thereafter, slowing down, he seemed to lose heat and some traction, just enough for Lewis to stay out of reach (with some brilliant car control in worn tyres).

  18. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    28th March 2021, 17:50

    9. Great race

  19. Let’s have more like this please! 10/10.

  20. Unreal from Hamilton, that. Older tires, immense pressure from what is seemingly the faster package, but held on for the win. Brilliant battle, and hugely promising for the season ahead. Great race overall.

  21. Absolutely phenomenal, full credit to Hamilton and merc for good strategy and we’ll delivered. Gutted for Verstappen, but RBR had some odd strategy. Nikita Massive spin living up to his name


    1. Partly agree. That Haas is not an easy car to drive. Young Schumucher struggled with it as well

  22. Lewis seems more exhausted after the races then we’ve seen him for quite a while. A sign of how easy he had it before.

    Verstappen’s response afterwards: very mature. Now let them pick a mature strategy next time as well.

    1. Lewis seemed exhausted due to holding the racing faster package behind. A sign of how great he is.

      Hamilton’s response afterwards: very mature and showed great respect to the fans, F1 and his team. Onto the next.

  23. I don’t think Max should have given that place back. Still a great race. 8

  24. Verstappen needed one more lap. Ironically, they lost one lap of racing due to Perez’s issue on the formation lap. At least Albon didn’t do that ;)

    1. Ironic indeed, @keithedin.

      Great to see the speed and overtaking ability of Perez in that RBR. Could be a real long exciting fight for both championships the whole season.

  25. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    28th March 2021, 17:58

    10/10, the person who voted 1 out of 10 should go watch a soap opera. The one thing that had me annoyed was Giovinazzi not getting out of the way of that fight sooner.

  26. 10/10 for the top spot.
    6/10 for the rest of the pack

    This race is an 8 for me.
    Brilliant drive from Sergio as expected.

  27. EPIC

  28. Fantastic race. Mercedes still stronger on race-pace as predicted. The midfield is caught up to the top two a lot more than last year and are fighting amongst themselves constantly. This is looking to become a good season to watch Formula One, although now I am reminded that they made it 5 races too long and the sham sprints that will inevitably be raced.

  29. 8/10 for me, probably the best season opener in a decade. I didn’t expect the gap between the McLarens to be bigger than the gap between the Ferraris (but obviously it’s just the first race, so no worries there)

  30. Brilliant racing today, only issue for me is Hamilton clearly ran wide two times, on turns 4 and 10, but when Max Verstappen ran just a bit wide, and had to return the position to Hamilton. Why?

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      28th March 2021, 19:28

      @pedrike Verstappen overtook off track. That’s completely different from going wide a a turn. Hamilton has received drive through penalties for going off track after an overtake.

      1. Yes, but Verstappen still had 2 wheels on the track and completed the move, where Hamilton went outside turn 4 29 times before the rules changed, and one on turn 10, but maybe on that situation, it was he pushing too hard and his tire situation(I choose the moment Hammy understeered, cause that was the most blatant one)

  31. Altogether that’s an 8 for me – really good stuff. Hamilton fantastic under pressure aside from that one lock-up, Max still has a little bit of polishing to do in comparison, great fight. Overall though, DRS accounts for far too many overtakes.

  32. That’s why you pay 40 millions per year…

    1. if you invest 200 / 400m per year, you want to be sure that you don’t lose due to having the second best driver.
      There will be a salary cap, soon — because such amounts are utterly obscene — same to football

  33. Quite disappointing given the winner. Normal service resumes. I suppose the positive is that it was considerably closer so maybe there’s hope of an actual fight for the championship across the year.

    1. Indeed, hopefully, and also the way he won, since verstappen had already overtaken him on paper, had he simply defended all the time it’d have been a better win.

    2. @rocketpanda If this race didn’t excite you, may be Formula 1 just isn’t for you mate.

  34. A 9/10 from me (which I don’t hand out too often).
    Real fight for the lead; both strategy and on track. And it promises to be great year with two strong teams with 4 drivers in the mix.

    Great fights in the midfield as well.

    Worried about Mazepin this year. Next time he takes out somebody else as well.

  35. A brilliant race. I gave it an eight, as it wasn’t quite action-packed enough to earn a nine, but I still thoroughly enjoyed that.

  36. Very nearly a 10 but I feel the battle was slightly ruined because Hamilton complaining about Max exceeding track limits like once and he did for like 5-10 times?

    Still a great race either way and should be a great season this year!

  37. Business as usual with the top 2 teams, a good fight between McLaren and Ferrari for 3rd (and lando v Carlos) Aston and Renault seemed to have lost pace. 2022 can’t come quick enough for half the grid.

  38. Gave it a 9, but it should have been an 8. That headwind boosted the effect of DRS too much.

  39. Nice race, 7/10. Expected more of the field as a whole but both Verstappen and Hamilton delivered, so fair enough.

  40. 9/10 maybe 10/10 right throigh the grid brrilliant racing. Well done to perez. But for me driver of the day is Lewis with Team of the weekend being mercs although they did drop it with bottas. Maybe mclaren is team pf the day…

  41. Really solid and clean racing,with strategy also playing a big role in the end result. 8/10 for this one

  42. Gave it a 9 too. Didn’t work out for my man but I sure can’t say I wasn’t thoroughly entertained. Really happy for Perez too and the fact (now that we’ve seen them race in anger) RBR is ultra competitive. Going to be a great season. Can’t wait to be rid of clean air dependent cars.

    1. Well said. Also Verstappen was confident (would they have chosen to, which they rightfully didn’t) he could pull 5 seconds away. Yet he couldn’t make a second overtake attempt. That clearly shows to me the cars are still very far from being able to closely follow each other.

    2. Amen to that!

    3. @robbie teams cannot unlearn aero after all these years. There will never not be cars that perform better in clean air, the only hope is to reduce the impact of dirty air.

      1. @slowmo Oh you’re absolutely right, but losing a maximum of 10% to 20% of performance vs the 50% they lose now is going to make a world of difference. And should allow them to rid themselves of drs.

        And yeah for sure they have spent billions over the years learning about aero, as in pushing the car down on the track, and while that will still be a small component, and while they have done ground effects years ago, I predict a game changer in that science now, as they learn to suck the car down rather than push it down, all the while being forced by the regs to make less dirty air with which to begin.

        1. @robbie it’s quite funny to see ground effects being touted as the solution so much after all the efforts the FIA made to eradicate them from cars in the early nineties in order to slow them down. I remember in 2007 there was a big uproar about all the extra winglets appearing on cars which resulted in the 2009 rules that created horrible monstrosities. 10 years later and all the silly winglets, strakes, silly mirrors are all coming back.

          I love the exciting times around new rules but there are always unintended consequences, here’s hoping the make things better for the fans.

          1. @slowmo It was really moreso in the 80’s that ground effects had a run but were banned. The problem was that skirts were affixed to the bottoms of the cars and any upset to the car and therefore to the seal by these skirts made for a dangerous scenario of sudden loss of the suction/downforce, and it wasn’t pretty.

            My understanding of the unprecedented extensive research and wind tunnel work with two cars nose to tail Brawn and his team have done for F1 and Liberty, along with the teams participation, is that they have the ‘skirts’ (not sure if they use that term) attached to the suspension so the seal is maintained in a much more effective way no matter what movement the car is doing.

            As to all the winglets etc that have come and gone, let’s appreciate that was when F1 was going through it’s decades long addiction to aero downforce, under a different regime, and now under these new owners there is a new chapter afoot that understands the vital need to now more than ever do away with these cars that can’t race closely.

            I caution let’s not mix up what was then and what is now a completely new philosophy going on starting next year, in all aspects. Money, the playing field, the cars, the tires. Sustainability where F1 had become unsustainable. There is a new order of simplifying ahead of us and getting back to the roots of racing driver vs driver. They’re not going to go against that philosophy with the creeping back of all the carbon bits that represented exorbitance and aero downforce addiction. At least not as I see it anyway.

            I have utter faith that we are in for a much much better product on the track. Or, for those more sceptical than I, I would say they are embarking on a new path that carries a much better basis from which to build.

  43. LOL

    HAM’s fans were not quite vocal the past few days but now, after the race, they suddenly reappeared.
    PER’s bashers were quite vocal the past few days but now, after the race, they suddenly disappeared.

    Go back to your caves, with “bias” as your close friend, and let only the true fans of the sport stay here.


    1. Can you not be a fan of Lewis, Sergio and the sport…?

    2. 🧟‍♀️

    3. I’m heading back to my cave.

  44. Great way to start the season. Close racing everywhere you looked, a genuine fight for the lead all the way to the end, a bit of interesting strategy and more or less constant uncertainty.

    Wouldn’t be sad if the season-opener stayed at Bahrain in the future.

  45. Very good race 9/10. If this is not good enough for you, better stop watching F1.

  46. This was an exciting race from literally formation lap with Perez’s issue to the last corner of the last lap. If this wasn’t a 10/10 race, I don’t know what race would qualify as such. If this is the premise of this season, we’re in for a legendary one that’ll be remembered forever.

    1. @aiii

      I gave it a 9 just because I think we will have even better races between Ham and Ver throughout the season but I haven’t been this excited since 2012 for the upcoming season.

  47. It seemed like an excellent race, for me it fulfilled everything that a Grand Prix should have, drama from the beginning, a strong start, with minor incidents, a lot of strategy, many tire changes and a finish on the edge of the seat, Lewis and Max fighting like champions, very very good, for me it was an exciting race, qualifying 10.

  48. I decided on an 8 cause I didn’t like that overtaking and having to give back the position immediately, otherwise given the pace of verstappen should’ve been a very reasonable win, in the end the mercedes was indeed competitive in the race, like I said never count them out, however bottas, even accounting for the pit lane issue, was in no man’s land and I presume perez starting in a normal place would’ve been serious trouble for him, he even lost a position to leclerc early on.

    A good recovery from perez, but that’s honestly what I expected from him, a good performance from verstappen, I wasn’t impressed by hamilton, he didn’t do anything legendary imo, wasn’t even able to defend the place for long once verstappen was behind and were it not for him going a bit wide would’ve been game over immediately.

    There was, like in 2020, a lot of action in the midfield, I think red bull\mercedes > mclaren > ferrari > other 4 > williams > haas, and as a very rare case lately, also action for the first place, which is a positive, I hope red bull can keep it that way, then I guess several 9\10 races could happen with the chance of a rain-soaked 10.

  49. Okay, I was on a 7 and after reading all your comments (competent as ever, mostly) I have bad conscious :)
    I spare you my usual criticism of the principles of modern F1/tracks and switch to an 8

  50. 9/10, great race!

    I really enjoyed it in spite of the disappointing F1TV.

    I signed on for a year and now I wish I hadn’t:
    * Loading/buffering was pretty bad (compared to Netflix or YT)
    * No driver positions or any info from an onboard camera
    * After switching camera’s, it started again from the start of the race, every time so the only choice was to watch everything on the main feed.
    * It won’t remember that my preferred audio is english
    Subtitles out of sync with the audio
    * I knew I couldn’t use chromecast from my phone, but today it didn’t work casting from my laptop either. (TV just saying “ready to cast” and f1tv site saying “casting to tv” but beyond that just nothing)

    Sorry to vent my frustrations with f1tv here, but I found no way to give feedback on the f1tv site.

  51. 9/10, a fight for the lead, stories and action up and down the field. Leclerc did damn well in that Ferrari. Norris was a star, and Perez drove a blinder to P5.

    It’s so damn good seeing a battle for victory. We were left guessing the entire race. A shame we’re having an argument about track limits. Masi still has a few things to prove..

  52. First time in ages that two drivers from two different teams REALLY fought it out in the last 5 laps.

    What was the last time? Seb and Valtteri in Bahrain 2018?

  53. Another race that highlights what is wrong with f1. Get rid of DRS and politics and this race would end up a classic.

  54. Best race this year

  55. Great race, but disappointing that track limits are still an issue.

  56. Invisible track limits which are arbitrarily enforced and ultimately decides the race winner. 3 out of 10 for this travesty.

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