Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Imola, 2021

Verstappen wins chaotic Emilia-Romagna GP as Hamilton recovers from error for second

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen dominated the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, a race which was split into two by a huge crash.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton started from pole on a wet track, but was passed by Verstappen on the run to the first corner and immediately lost time in the spray of the new leader.

The gap between them stabilised after a few laps and they were closely matched on pace through the first stint on the intermediate tyres before Verstappen became the first of the frontrunners to switch to dry tyres.

Hamilton had been closing in prior to that but a slow pit stop for him undid his work reeling Verstappen in, and then while navigating lapped cars a few laps later he went off the track.

The resultant time loss and second pit stop put him a lap down too. But shortly afterwards an enormous crash between his team mate Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell brought the race to a halt. Both fortunately emerged from the collision rattled but well enough to blame each other for the contact.

That freed up teams to switch tyres again, as well as enabling all of the lapped drivers to be brought back onto the lead lap. That included Hamilton, and in the restarted second half of the race he charged his way from ninth to second place.

McLaren’s Lando Norris finished third after his team gambled on putting him on soft tyres at the restart, holding off pressure for a long time from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr just behind him.

Daniel Ricciardo also put on softs in the second McLaren and finished sixth, just ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll who had to contend with gear shift problems.

Despite starting on the wet tyre on a drying track and falling down the order early on, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly recovered to eighth place. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon completed the points positions.

Sergio Perez, who qualified second in his Red Bull, suffered a difficult race with more than one off-track excursion, and finished 12th between Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, who started from last place.

Sebastian Vettel was in contention to beat Tsunoda before Aston Martin asked him to retire his car due to gearbox problems. He had already served a 10-second stop-go penalty as his team did not have his tyres fitted on the grid before the five-minute warning.

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2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix reaction

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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108 comments on “Verstappen wins chaotic Emilia-Romagna GP as Hamilton recovers from error for second”

  1. I really dislike all this ‘letting people unlap themselves’ business…

    1. Agreed. This occurred to me only now because for a moment or so, I genuinely thought Lewis had a chance to go first after unlapping himself. Normally we don’t see that happening with the other cars and the other thing being all cars upto P8 were lapped. They should have let them unlap themselves during the sc restart. Not before that.

      1. They should have let them unlap themselves during the sc restart

        why? they earned being a lap down. let them keep it.

        1. That’s the extreme view I actually didn’t want to get into :-D
          It sort of kills the race but from the eyes of a purist, they do deserve to stay lapped. Agree.
          The process of unlapping sort of mitigates the scope for crashes at the restart. I don’t have date to justify this though.

          1. well, my passion is slowly killed by this inability to punish mistakes. but changing a gearbox, THAT just NEEDS punishment…

          2. @mrboerns

            well, my passion is slowly killed by this inability to punish mistakes. but changing a gearbox, THAT just NEEDS punishment…

            Same. It’s putting the sport in disrepute which is a punishable offence, even for FIA. If only there were F1 journalists who could put the pressure on with the right questions..

        2. Teams fight hard to gain positions during the race. Why should Hamilton be allowed to unlap himself after he made a huge mistake. Last race he was allowed to run wide as often as he liked and now he’s given a lap back. F1 is becoming a joke.

          Reply moderated
    2. I don’t and I like that the fia elected to let the lapped cars unlap themselves before the start, the problem is for some mysterious reason we got a rolling start instead. Federation International du AMG has a lot to explain of late. it has been ramping up these past few years and I hope it does not get ev n more farcical in the even of a British FIA president.

      1. Davethechicken
        18th April 2021, 19:15

        There was only one dry line. A rolling restart was the fairest option, otherwise the cars (on slicks) , on the wet parts of the track would have been seriously disadvantaged. The pole sitter would have been left with his wheels spinning whilst the cars on the dry line roared by.

    3. Davethechicken
      18th April 2021, 18:42

      It is for safety. They won’t change it as would be dangerous at restarts.

    4. I dislike it also. It is absolutely ridiculous that drivers who fairly were places a lap down, get to unlap themselves due to circumstances like a red flag or safety car. They should have to earn it back on the track, not be given the place back. Grossly unfair to all the drivers that had stayed on the lead lap.

      1. I have to agree with this. Basically Norris, Leclerc, Sainz, Ricciardo, Stroll (and Gasly? not sure he was in the lead lap) got an unfair treatment putting Lewis directly back on their tail and not +1 lap & on their tail. Would like to hear the logic behind this rule as it must have been debated once it was put in place..

        1. Davethechicken
          18th April 2021, 22:10

          Safety. Forget today’s circumstances with Hamilton and be objective
          Safety car restart, lapped cars 2-3 secs a lap slower, blue flag rule, lapped cars pulling over all over the place within 3 corners at restart as blue flagged instantly on restart.
          They get blue flag if car behind within 1.2sec.
          Can you see how that may not be safe with all cars nose to tail?

          1. Davethechicken
            18th April 2021, 22:21

            Safety cars have always disadvantaged the driver ahead as the gap they built up is gone. Hamilton has lost on on safety y cars over the years way more than he has gained.
            VSC is much fairer. But in many circumstances it is not adequate, but with both SC and VSC there can be unfair “free” pitstop.
            There is also a bit of “improving the show” with SC in my opinion.
            But the primary reason is safety.

          2. I think I get the spirit of your answer. Still, what about keeping the sequence of the cars but from position 8 (or 9, cant remember who were lapped already) everyone is driving +1 lap. Seems just as safe and way more fair. Nothing against HAM but more looking after the interest of drivers that are not one lap down

      2. 100% – grossly unfair on the drivers that had not made mistakes. there were 8 cars that should have finished ahead of Hamilton and only one did. Probably the stupidest rule in F1. Ham made mistakes and should have had to wear them. I do not understand the logic, You are a lap down, but if someone else messes up enough we will let you catch up yourself, and what is the point of physically un-lapping, if this is going to happen, just add 1 to the lapped cars lap count.. the whole thing is already ridiculous so might as well simplify it.
        Maybe let them race as if not lapped, but add the fastest lap time to their final time and position them accordingly..

        Reply moderated
        1. Davethechicken
          23rd April 2021, 10:18

          What about the last car lapped in your scenario. Say 5th and 6th are having a great battle, then 6th gets lapped, but before 5th gets lapped a safety car is called.
          There is no overtaking, so the 6th place car has to remain behind the leader. Meanwhile 5th can drive around and catch the back of the pack, forming behind the lead car. Now 6th is one lap down on 6th, that battle is over.
          Is that a fairer scenario?

  2. I know that it was an unfortunate incident between Bottas and Russell. However, the former would not have been battling the latter had he qualified higher. It’s just one race, but I do not want to be in Mercedes’ shoes right now regarding both of them.

  3. Superb race from Max, excellent start and faultless thereafter. Hamilton seemed to be catching him during the first stint but his blunder lapping Russell (Lewis even more impatient than Max last race) meant we didn’t see what would have happened. On the other hand, excellent recovery by Lewis and also an interesting spanner in the works for Bottas and maybe Russell. Their scuffle won’t go unnoticed when it comes to Mercedes calculating possible partnerships. At the same time, Bottas did nothing to prove his worth for that place. Lando Norris also drove superbly. Seems to be confident about fending off any challenge from Ricciardo at McLaren this season.

    1. Yes, Lewis’s blunder was an almighty blunder indeed, with a nice parkiing spot off track…..

      Max. I said yesterday that Max will redeem himself of that error in quali. He did. We’ve all now got to get used to that Dutch national anthem, strange as it is. We’re going to hear a loot of it.

      1. Would make for some nice variation yes, but I would still put my money on Mercedes all the way. The Mercedes in free air race pace clearly shows there is no underdog position for Mercedes, that’s just marketing talk to encapture audience for Liberty.

    2. Bottas tussle with Russell could be seen as the mother of all wing men moves. As it lead to the restart with the field nicely bunched up for Hamilton to have a chance of podium.

      The stoppage also meant Hamilton had a chance of repairs which would otherwise have cost him alot of time time.

  4. We will continue to see similar errors from Hamilton because Verstapen is a better driver. See u next race.

    Reply moderated
  5. Fully deserved win for Max, all won off the line and a hard but fair move at turn 2.

    Lewis just too eager trying to overtake backmarkers, somewhat understandable given how much he was able to close up on Max. Another example of Mercedes pit crew buckling under pressure ( Bottas in Bahrain) but reckom Lewis would still have come out JUST behind Max even if if was a perfect stop. Reckon 2nd was always going to be best case scenario for Lewis even before his error.

    As for Bottas and Russell I agree that it was a racing incident. Bottas could have done more to limit the risk of a collision by keeping more left (he had half the track to his left). He did give Russell enough room which is correct by the letter of the law but clearly Russell was in a position to try and thread the eye of the needle but ultimate caught a wheel on the grass. Russell did have space to keep all 4 wheels on the track but difficult at such high speeds on a slight curve to thread that needle. So i’d say both could have done something different to avoid an incident but reckon Bottas could have done more than George to avoid it. But yeah, racing incident.

    Cracking work by Norris especially on those Softs!!!

    One to forget for Perez. Easily one of his poorest Sundays I can remember.

    1. no hard move. Ham should have backed off but great skill meant he only lost a bit of wing.

      1. @peartree I guess it just depends on what “hard” racing means to each individual. To me it’s a positive term, maybe hard AND fair would have been a more apt way for me to describe it. It’s certainly more applicable than other folk that whinge when drivers on the outside getting pushed off.

        In hindsight he should have backed off given the damage he picked up, but I can understand in his situation he is side by side throughout and knew that the left hander would quickly become a right hander so was a chance the “outside” would then become the “inside” line for the next corner.

  6. Thanks to the lapped car rule after a red flag, the error by Hamilton actually helped him get the championship lead, since otherwise he’d have have finished 2nd without the fastest lap most likely. Not really sure why reversing onto the track wasn’t investigated either.

    1. Not really sure why reversing onto the track wasn’t investigated either.

      yeah that struck me as very odd, too

      1. 4.3.3 At no time may a car be reversed in the pit lane under its own power.

        Allowed on track.

        1. ok. bit weird considering pit lane speeds are sometimes even lower than speeds on track, but fair enough

        2. It’s not about that….. it’s about REJOINING THE TRACK SAFELY!!! Joining the track with the back in an F1 car (without any other assistance)…. doesn’t seem safe. We had this problem (= rejoining the track) before with VET vs HAM in Canada. HAM rejoined the track in an obvious more dangerous manner than VET in Canada: by going backwards, perpendicularly on the track, going in the opposite way of the racing direction etc.

          1. But you must admit, on track are just the drivers and cars around you, who are all pretty switched on and aware.
            In the pit, maybe not soo much and generally more personnel around.

            I see reversing no more or less dangerous than spinning your car around to get back on the track.

            Still.

          2. Davethechicken
            18th April 2021, 19:22

            There were double waved yellows

      2. Probably for the same reason they dont investigate it at other tracks unless they put someone in danger. Shame they didnt introduce it just before this race, and also changed the rules on red flag restarts.

    2. That latter one probably because he waited to go until there was no danger @gitanes, but have to disagree w. the former: it would have been a fresh-tired fight between Verstappen and Hamilton, and he might have been able to win.

      Reply moderated
    3. It wasn’t investigated because he’s Lewis Hamilton. If Kimi had done that they’d have given him a penalty. Ridiculous this lapped cat get the lap back rule. Grossly unfair.

  7. So you can go in the opposite direction on the racetrack after all!
    No punishment, of course.

    1. Of course it’s allowed. Cars do it plenty at the Baku run off areas with punishment so Imola shouldn’t be any different. That’s what double-waved yellows are for.

      1. *without punishment, I meant

      2. If only he stopped reversing in the run off area.

    2. He could have easily reverse his way back to the pits. No violation there. :)

      1. Better think twice! What you’re saying means INSTANT BLACK FLAG, maybe even ban from the sport….. rules or not! Going backwards in the racing direction = all the safety is out of the window = everybody’s life is in danger.

        1. Going backwards oppositely to the racing direction

  8. Great Sunday afternoon viewing, nothing can beat the old school European tracks. Great drive by Max, very well deserved win, we’ve really got a battle this year.
    Ironic that Bottas being terrible helped Hamilton out a lot! Got a huge amount of luck today, but the recovery drive was very skilful.
    Always smile when McLaren get on the podium, Lando is driving beautifully. I have to eat my words I thought Ricciardo would have the pace on him – but he’s got no answer at the moment.
    Very glad Bottas and Russell are okay, that was a scary crash. +1 on the Halo yet again. But blimey what an action packed race! Hopefully more to come this season!

  9. A thought I had at the time – given Verstappen had half-spun off the track at the restart, shouldn’t Leclerc have just driven straight past him into the lead instead of slam the brakes on like he did? As we saw from Raikkonnen and Perez’s excursions it’s perfectly fine to pass people who’ve gone off. I think a ball was dropped there by Leclerc.

    1. I noticed that too. Leclerc was too kind to Max there when Max semi-spun on the restart.
      Lewis did well to recover after that rare error slipping off the wet track on dry tires. This track properly punishes every mistake.

    2. @tflb I was thinking that exact same thing. If Leclerc had simply driven in front when Max was off track then Max wouldn’t have been allowed to retake the place, just like Perez. Max would have just reovertaken him by the next lap anyway, but yeah an interesting one that.

      1. @ninjenius more likely Verstappen would have been swallowed up by soft-shod Norris, at least temporarily. Would have made for a very different race certainly.

    3. Masterblaster
      18th April 2021, 16:37

      I definitely thought the same. If Leclerc had’ve just scooted past instead of pulling up it’s possible Max’s day would’ve been a little different. But he was in a class of his own today.

      Reply moderated
    4. Was Verstappen completely off track?

      1. @mxmxd The ‘track’ is a fluid entity, changing race to race, session to session so it’s hard to know.

        Leclerc might have gotten a penalty for overtaking behind the safety car for all we know. I guess it also depends a bit on who the stewards like to see up there.

    5. @tflb – I feel he got scared of getting into trouble. Though I agree he dropped the ball big time, I’m sure had him been positive it’d stick, he’d gone for it.

    6. @tflb For, at least the past 25 years drivers tend not to overtake in these occasions.

      1. @peartree there’s been almost no occasions where there’s been a similar incident though, of the lead driver spinning just before a restart. If you look at Perez’s penalty, and Raikkonnen losing 2 places after going off under SC, Verstappen would have just had to suck it up if Leclerc had passed him (which he would if he’d had his wits about him)

    7. Max had his right rear still on track so Charles probally wanted to pass him but would get penailzed because of overtaking during safety car and earned 10 seconds penalty So he was much smarter there.

    8. Only for 0.1 second when Max straigtens the car, Leclerc never could have overtaken Max without getting a penalty as you are only allowed to do that for the period the car in front is off the track.
      First his front was off track but his rear right wheel was on the tarmac, the wheel slides around the corner. Then as the car straightens the rear goes onto the grass past the white line but almost immediately after his front right is back on the tarmac.

  10. Bottas won the Turkey of the Day.

    1. He better be winning *something* in that merc

  11. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    18th April 2021, 16:30

    Ironically Russell crashing into Bottas actually helped Hamilton

    1. Yeah, it shouldn’t take long before some conspiracy theories pop in…

      1. Like tot’s code 77 what already is on the web…

    2. And if Russell had let Hamilton pass without him having to go on the wet part of the track, Ham would have been right up Max’s gearbox on the restart and been straight past Max when he went off behind the safety car.
      So maybe they both should thank George :)

      1. If Hamilton had overtake Max before the restart, Hamilton would likely have gotten a 10 second penalty or more. Max was only off track for 0.1 second, not enough for Hamilton to react and overtake Max.

        What Rasburicase wrote is 100% correct and factual. Hamilton by far benefitted the most from the red flag. He didn’t imply at all or in any way that Bottas did it deliberately he just said “ironically” which is true.

        With regards to Russell letting Hamilton by – Russell did nothing wrong he gave Hamilton plenty of space to overtake. In terms of getting past traffic, the leader almost always is held up more than the car following – also in this race Max lost more time due to traffic than Hamilton did.

  12. Russel could have put a double decker through that gap. His life would be ruined if Bottas was in hospiutal right now dealing with severe internal injuries you saw his real self today. Disgusting tbh.

    Reply moderated
  13. Enjoyable race but poor TV production.

    1. Yep. There could’ve been some legit action between Ricciardo, Stroll and Gasly

    2. @jeff1s Yeah they missed way too many overtakes.

      And we don’t want to see overtakes in the small overlay that appears within the positions on the left, whilst the main feed is just cars following one another around. People viewing on small screens like phones will find it difficult to see what’s going on.

    3. +1. Those TV directors suck so bad.
      Missing track action, ridiculous camera angles…
      I swear, paying for that crap should be cheaper.

    4. @jeff1s Yeah that was very poor, but remember F1 is not geared to us fans anymore. It’s for the young people not yet into it, and I suppose they like close-ups and mechanics getting the wheel guns ready instead of close on-track battles.

  14. Look at lewis today overtaking quick cars then look at Bottas Lewis is the best driver on the grid and max was the best driver of the day. Lewis was unreal to be able to overtake at imola. Botas woulda been 5th or 6th shows why merc needs Lewis. And Geroge ya actions speak a thousand words a bus woulda went through that gap he wasn’t even side by side a huge error then he has the gaul to do that to bottas. It was shameful.

    Reply moderated
  15. Verstappen drove a good race to a well deserved win. I really would have liked to have seen the on track battle with Hamilton but the Merc driver blew it and that was that.
    Norris was on fire and the Ferraris are looking good for later in the year. I have to ask what on earth happened to Ricciardo he was going backwards towards the end.

    1. @johnrkh
      Right. Am eagerly waiting to look into the lap time article here. The lap times on the first sting (inters) especially after Lando was let thru by Daniel are certainly worth a watch. He was off pace in Bahrain as well but I think he had floor damage there.

  16. Great race, plenty drama. Season bodes well. Still not convinced who was in the wrong on the Russell / Bottas incident both blaming each other…

    Hamilton vs Verstappen very entertaining the start decided the race, really couldn’t see Hamilton getting that back due to track and conditions and it forced an error from the Goat.

    Was so relieved that Verstappen didn’t throw it away on the restart but more importantly he bounced back from a disappointing qualifying so season on really.

    2nd drivers for both teams very poor…

  17. Don’t they usually have a standing start after a red flag? Did they perform a rolling start because the grid was wet? If yes, why did they initially started the race standing while it was actually more wet?

    1. @d0senbrot Not sure if this is the reasoning but with one dry line running across the start/finish straight some drivers would have a massive advantage/disadvantage over others just depending on whether the dry line hit their grid spot or not. Could have been considered very unfair and potentially even dangerous if the starting speeds were so different across the grid.

      1. Davethechicken
        18th April 2021, 18:46

        I thought this was the reason too, Keith. Half the grid would have been swamped from behind and another accident odds on.

  18. Got impressed by Norris. Did a solid job this weekend.
    Perez was a disappointment. Bottas is the embodiment of that already.
    Hamilton’s pressure on Verstappen got me hooked waiting for some showdown only for him to bin it clumsily. Dude’s too much lucky for his own good! Got out clean with the table’s lead. Stuff like these points to another crown.

    2 good races already, Portimão better delivers now!

    1. @niefer +1 except the showdown part. This track means no showdown between evenly matched cars, just pit stop races like the olden days.

  19. Tsunoda can’t wait to go back to a more spacious track without gravel traps.
    What a terrible weekend.

  20. Very good race indeed, verstappen was very harsh on hamilton at the start, but that’s how you have to do, not like bottas, and kept the lead by 5 sec, although he started to lose a little before pitting, and was a bit lucky with hamilton pit mistake, gave him some more margin, then he recovered the usual gap, hamilton made that mistake, and here I was sorry cause he seemed to not be able to restart, hadn’t even damaged the car yet, but there didn’t seem to be the space to get out, a bit like vettel in germany 2018, then he reversed and I really liked it, I like when people don’t give up, although then with the red flag, which was inevitable given the amount of debris (reminded me of interlagos 2003), he unlapped himself and gaps were reduced to nothing, and with DRS in the end some overtakes were too easy, norris deserved 2nd place.

    Verstappen was almost flawless, leclerc too, and would’ve been 2nd without the red flag, so ferrari and mclaren definitely had a good race, very bad from bottas and perez, bottas was just anonymous all weekend, but in the accident he seems to be in the right to me, while perez got off well from the “stop and go” penalty and with red flag after he was a solid 4th and definitely could try for more, but then that spin was at the worst time possible, he lost so many places that the race was gone, and he didn’t seem to have the usual drive to overtake people, he seemed like bottas in that sense, not verstappen or hamilton, he got stuck in a DRS train behind alonso and ocon.

  21. So the hype delivered and Lewis cracked under pressure.
    That sums it up for some.

    1. Yes, than god Leclerc was half asleep when Max went off under the safety car.

    2. No Hamilton was just unlucky today. otherwise he did best with the 4th best car. Today even Mclaren Ferraris were faster than Mercedes.

      Reply moderated
    3. I know you’re just goading but there’s a difference between cracking under pressure when you’re being chased and over-driving when you’re chasing. As with Verstappen last race, Hamilton was pushing too hard. I don’t blame either for trying.

    4. Imagine hamilton being careful before his crash, it would have resulted in him being 2nd place, and lose championship lead because he would probably not get the fastest time after driving for that long behind max.

      And now imagine the actual result, he is still leading the championship, he passed all those cars up to second place because he was aggressive. So, no complaints from my side.

      I understand that it would have been more interesting if hamilton was pointless, as it would create more competition, but current state is not bad at all, it’s like 2017-2018 again, and i am excited for the next round.

  22. GOAT Lewis proving once again that when the chips are down, put the whole house on him landing a podium under adversity, truly brings out his best driving. Max was clearly miffed to see Lewis standing on the podium beside him, when Mercedes team solve the low rake riddle, lets see how much ‘Calm down, its a long season’ drivel he’ll be able to muster.

    1. While I agree that Lewis is exceptional under pressure, that was certainly not the case today. After all, the threw the race away, only to be brought back from the dead by a red flag. Nice recovery with not much to lose though.

      1. @j-l Don’t let facts get in the way of the narrative

    2. Great drive bij Lewis indeed, but also he was very lucky today.

    3. Max drove perfect except his off-track moment, on the other hand, ham was just lucky, just like many other cases (with Vettel, Massa, many other SC cases etc).

  23. And who said Bottas wasn’t the perfect wingman :-)

    1. In this case it was Russel who was a perfect wingman. He was pique level wingman.

  24. Great drive by Max and what a joy to see Lewis fighting back like this. Really excited for what’s coming this season.

  25. Perez putting a wheel wrong. 🤦‍♂️ Congrats to Max amazing job!

  26. I am not sure the championship wil be tight. Lucky or not HAM+MERC still is the dominant contender. Yes, probably VER spent half the race on a softer engine setting. MERC possibly is not the best car, but HAM substracts 0.5s from it (compared to BOT). WIth all this, we need a 110% VER+RB to lead/win a race. Maybe, if everything goes as F1 would like, we can have a championship decided in Octobe/November, but I will not be surprised to see 2-3 HAM wins in a row and a VER mistake that creates a 40pts lead, that MERC will manage on the second half of the year.

    1. I reluctantly have to agree to this. The Mercedes in free air race pace clearly shows there is no underdog position for Mercedes, that’s just marketing talk to encapture audience for Liberty. The rest have caught up, yes but thats about it. Still it should make for more variation on the podium and more wins for RedBull I guess. No doubt the prices will go to Mercedes in the end. Good to see McLaren up there with Ferrari in the mix trailing after RedBull. Enough ingredients for a decent season.

  27. Semi-exciting race, but getting really turned off by this race resetting fakery. I know F1 is trying to attract a younger audience, but it’s still a sport and everybody appreciate fairness and integrity, even Generation Z.

    Stoked for Norris and McLaren. The softs at the end was inspired. Ferrari also promising, but shame with Alpine’s form.

    1. @balue the red flag was fully justified for a change and actually should have been dropped a lot quicker given the huge amount of debris. I do agree that there has been far too many instances of red flags and safety cars over the last 2 years though that were sent out purely to reset a race for the show.

      I was gutted for Norris after qualifying (even though penalty was fair) but his drive today was sublime, really made Ricciardo look ordinary this weekend. Looking forward to some Good Ferrari vs McLaren battles this year.

      1. @slowmo Yes both the safety car and the red flag was justified this time, but giving laps back just to help the show has nothing to do with sport.

    2. If you’re talking about the start, well, a standing start would’ve been a really unfair in these half-wet conditions.

      1. @mxmxd Agree rolling start was the correct thing

        1. Davethechicken
          19th April 2021, 8:51

          Regards lapped cars unlapping, it is unfair, but the alternative is also unfair.
          Say 8th and 9th places having a battle. 9th gets lapped, safety car called.
          By the restart 9th place will be a full lap down on 8th, as the safety car picks up the lead driver.
          That is unfair too.
          Also safety as I have explained already in other posts.

  28. But the strategy of Red Bull. Wait until the car behind has caught up, then gamble for the dry tyres that in all likelyhood will not be as fast on the outlap, and just get lucky the opponents mess up their stop to survive. Yes, Mercedes’ strategy is extremely good with James Vowles, but some of this is just basic.

    This follows mistakes last race with Perez in qualifying and Verstappen not mirroring Mercedes’ race stops. It’s like watching Ferrari fighting with Mercedes all over again, and will likely decide the championship should it be close. Of course nothing will be as bad as Ferrari with Inaki Rueda before, but you’d think that with strategy deciding races they’ll be more on top of it.

    1. @balue Should add that this race win deciding lap was not covered by either the TV producer or the commentators (Sky) which is poor.

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