Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Rate the race: 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

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 Spanish Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 (3%)
  • 9 (5%)
  • 8 (17%)
  • 7 (39%)
  • 6 (15%)
  • 5 (8%)
  • 4 (5%)
  • 3 (2%)
  • 2 (3%)
  • 1 (3%)

Total Voters: 256

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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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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112 comments on “Rate the race: 2021 Spanish Grand Prix”

  1. An OK race for this track’s standards. Not a classic, but could’ve been worse.

    1. 3. Horrible circuit. We have 10-12 of these ‘single spot overtake aided by drs’ circuits. Why? I dont see what this track has to do with motorsport.

    2. I gave it a 7 because though the fight for the lead was quite fun it always felt inevitable that Lewis would win, especially after he pitted the second time.

  2. Decent, for Catalunya anyways.

    1. 9/10 in barcelona standards but since that’s not how voting works so it’s a solid 7/10.

  3. 9/10
    Fight for the lead for most of the race. Strategies in play. Fights all the way in the top 10.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      9th May 2021, 16:46

      @pinakghosh I went with a 7, but maybe you are right yes. There was a lot happening all through the field and most importantly the fight for the lead on strategy which keeps the suspense going for a while.

  4. Imagine just how much Verstappen must absolutely hate his team-mates since Ricciardo

    1. @hahostolze TBH it doesn’t seem like he cares either way, he focuses solely on his own race, expecting nothing from his team mate. I kind of like that. I’m not sure Perez would have helped much anyhow. Verstappen and Hamilton just scooted ahead in their own race.

      1. If Perez qualified higher, he would be in Hamilton’s way. It is a team sport, and we were shown that today very clearly. Including Bottas covering Lewis’ back at the start.

      2. @david-br Max was actually very outspoken on Dutch TV he had to fight Mercedes on his own again

        1. Thanks @anunaki, I stand corrected. I just can’t remember him complaining much in the past. Maybe we don’t get to hear it as much outside the Netherlands.

          1. Thats true imho. I have not heard him before like this on his team mate. But I think also to him it is getting ridiculous by now. With Perez in the mix (Lewis coming out behind Perez after his 2nd stop) at least Max would have had a (small) chance of winning. But then again we can also see a trend after three team mates that the Newey product just isn’t delivering. So instead of burning drivers they should focus on delivering a better car

  5. It doesn’t seem to matter what’s thrown at them, Mercedes and Lewis always find a way! It was looking like a straightforward win for Max at the halfway point. What a brilliant team/driver combo. The modern Clark/Lotus.

    1. @tommy-c

      It was looking like a straightforward win for Max at the halfway point.

      I’m sorry but that is a pure fiction. Hamilton was breathing down Verstappen’s neck for the whole race.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        9th May 2021, 16:47

        @tifoso1989 On a track where you can’t overtake. So yes, that looked very much like it was going to the finish like that.

        1. @f1osaurus
          Here we go again. It’s difficult to overtake in Spain no question about that. However it’s not Monaco either, have you seen the number of overtakes that took place in today’s race ? If it is impossible to overtake like you claim, then Hamilton would have not been able to easily pass Verstappen.

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            9th May 2021, 17:48

            @tifoso1989 Well it was clear that Hamilton was not getting past Verstappen.

            The reason that Hamilton got so easily past Verstappen was because Verstappen blundered on the strategy. Hamilton was going 1 to 1.5s a lap faster because Verstappen failed to stop at the right time and was on very old tyres. Of course with that kind of speed differences an overtake is a lot easier.

      2. Sure he was breathing down his neck, but with both drivers on the same set of tyres, Lewis never looked anything close to making a pass. His and the teams confidence in diverging strategies won them the race. The pass for the win was down to tyre life more than anything.

      3. +1. I think not everyone is able to analyse the FP and Q runs. It was clear before the lights went out that Hamilton would win and Bottas would probably be second, just based on the numbers. Subsequently Max, also aware of this, took quite some risk in the first corner knowing this would be the only moment in the race to influence something. He did and delivered us a just bearable race to watch. Otherwise nothing would have happened at all during the race. Now Lewis got stuck during the first stint. Otherwise Lewis would have pulled a 15-20 sec gap before the first stops

  6. Lewis the GOAT!

  7. 1/10 Hamilton again. It’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooo boring.

    1. Stick your hate somewhere dark.

      1. What hate? Why do you keep using that word all the time?

        1. It’s because how people act nowadays. The calendar is on 2021 but the mindset is medieval.

          You say something that involves my favorite thing and I don’t like it? You are a hater.
          You say something that involves homos and I don’t like it? You are a homophobic.
          You say something that involves the jews and I don’t like it? You are antisemite.
          You say something that involves my religion and I don’t like it? You are an atheist and a bad person.

          And so on…

    2. Dry your eyes mate

    3. Please go and watch a sport you can enjoy. I saw a good strategic battle, better than the average Spanish GP.

    4. ian dearing
      9th May 2021, 16:18

      If its who wins that decides how you rate the race why not just look at the results at the end rather than watch the thing?

    5. Yeah, Lewis is winning again and again with his superior car having no real competition. Its a huge performance indeed.

  8. Absolutely marvelous!

  9. The differing strategies in play today added spice to the routine shifting dullness that is Catalunya. A spicy fight for P10 at the end helped as well.

    A solid 7. Good, but certainly not stellar.

    1. For Barcelona this certainly was a very solid race. We got quite a bit of fun battles through the field. The top of the field was nice with strategy and on track moves as well.

      Still, not going to be too sad to see Barcelona dropped @mouse_nightshirt

  10. LB (@burden93)
    9th May 2021, 15:43

    6, for Spain is was a good race. Thought after first 18 laps was going to be a borefest, but got better after the pit stops

    1. Yep, my 6 rating was based on “it’s better than the usual Catalunya parade”

  11. Very good race, some different strategies at play and DRS not being too strong meant every pass wasn’t a complete slam-dunk. Interesting that the 2-stopper seemed to be the superior option for almost the entire field, going against pre-race predictions. 8/10.

  12. Are Mercedes still the quickest car or is Verstappen just now finding out how tough it will be to be world champ? Maybe both.

    8/10. Lewis is starting to come into GOAT contention with Senna and Clark. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of his career he is unanimously considered to be the greatest F1 driver ever.

    1. Catalunya has always been a Merc circuit, they were always expected to be quickest here. It was Portugal that red bull stuttered, that was a circuit that favours them. Is it Monaco next? If so, expect a red bull 1-2

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      9th May 2021, 16:48

      @wsrgo Verstappen’s fastest lap was 1.3s faster than Bottas and 2.5s faster than Hamilton. It’s clearly not the speed of the car that lost Verstappen the race.

      1. @f1osaurus Yeah I think it’s a combination of driver ability and strategy. However Merc seemed quicker today, Verstappn’s fastest lap was on a 5 lap soft tyre run, which can’t be compared to Bottas (longer run) and Hamilton (mediums).

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          9th May 2021, 17:14

          @wsrgo I’d pose that Merc seemed quicker because Hamilton was actually fighting for the win while Verstappen was cruising along thinking he had it in the bag.

          That lap time delta was too huge to be explained away by a few laps extra.

      2. The FLAP is a totally artificial thing when you pit for the softest tyre a couple laps from the flag and have no need to preserve it. Using it as an argument when Max went for it and the other guy didn’t shows either total ignorance or the will to mislead.

  13. A typical spanish gp, Max made the most of it, he had no chance of winning. Very clear advantage for mercedes as usual it is the low speed and change of direction where they are noticeably ahead. Nothing has changed from last season, it just took a little while for merc and Ham to get to know the new tyres.

    1. Soon it will be business as usual. Hamilton wins 15 race, Max 3, Bottas 2 and and some outrageously lucky outsider will win 1.
      At the end:
      1) Hamilton
      2) Verstappen
      3) Bottas

      1. This seems very prescient. I expect end of year to be fairly close to this.

        But 23 races.

  14. How can you rate this more than 5/10?
    Hamilton had so mach pace it was obvious he would overtake, RBR lacked the extra set of mediums so they could not respond.
    The only interesting thing was the way Bottas handled the team orders.

    1. Maybe some people weren’t fixated on p1 and found a huge amount of entertainment with the close racing through the field?

    2. @notacop Because he wasn’t leading from start to finish and didn’t win by over 30s ;)

      1. And verstappen was (understandably) gaining a lot in the end, ended 17-18 sec behind, if ending up as close to hamilton as possible was the metric, he could’ve stopped soon after last hamilton’s pit stop and end up a couple seconds behind.

  15. Terrible race to watch.. I’ve been a fan for 20 years. Gone through Schumacher and Vettel dominance. But this is getting a bit ridiculous.. there is ZERO competition in this sport. Hard to celebrate Ham as the GOAT when the next best team/driver is so much slower. 1/10

    1. So, if what you say is true then you might have witnessed barichello slowing down just before the finish line for what? For schumacher getting a record win in that season. If you didn’t find that ridiculous but his race then I guess it is time for you to retire and leave us enjoy F1.

      1. Did he?!? Nowadays they even don’t do that, they simply give the 2nd driver a slower car and they tell him to move over and the entire world can hear it live!

      2. Your point is taken. All I’m saying is that, for me, the most exciting race last season was Monza. Or any race where it wasn’t HAM, VER, BOT on the podium. I still enjoyed the race, but there was no jeopardy at the sharp end. It was far too easy. Maybe a 1 rating is low but I’m also sensing the championship battle to be over, which downgrades the race for me. I also appreciate that HAM is 1/3 GOATs, if not 1/1. I just want races where you don’t know who is going to win, i.e. 2012 (first 7 races).

        1. @dock130 – This sums up where I am at as well. I’m an MSC fan and even I got bored during his dominance. RBR/Vettel was frustrating. And this is now twice as long as the RBR run, and when you consider the number of races per season, about twice as long as the Ferrari run.

          There have been some great races during this Merc dominance and some good seasons just like in those prior streaks. But what dulls the excitement of a good race? Knowing that it won’t matter because the season is already over. I do hope RBH can find some magic time and make this an actual fight, but it does not look like it will be anything but another Merc crushing the field.

          I don’t think anyone in their right mind would blame Merc or Hamilton. They have built amazing cars and Lewis is an amazing driver. The problem for some, including myself, is that the enjoyment of watching sport is at least partially down to competition. Yes, one can appreciate seeing a team rise above or perform a step above. But when that happens week after week for the better part of 7 straight years and the 8th year starts looking the same way, it seems a reasonable response to feel let down.

      3. Furthermore, why did your last sentence have to be rude? Your tone immensely diminishes your comment.

    2. Would you call the close race between Mclaren and Ferrari as zero competition? There is only a gap of 5 points in between those 2. And had Perez been in the mix, the gap between Mercedes and Red Bull wouldn’t be that big. There is a championship beyond just the drivers you know.

    3. I agree. Schumacher and Vettel were just bearable to watch (or actually Vettel was not with this finger of his.. look at him now.. totally exposed for the mediocre driver he is lucked into this RB car and won more than Senna.. what a farce) but this Mercedes era is the worst that could have happened to the sport. I think Liberty and FIA owe us a big apology and frankly also some refunds.

  16. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    9th May 2021, 15:48

    Reading these comments I’m really starting to feel that I’m just not getting what I used to out of F1.

    1. Well it’s the twilight of the Hamilton era. I’m happy to witness it to its natural conclusion, of every significant record taken.
      Then we will enter the Verstappen era ‘cos I don’t see anyone anywhere near his capabilities emerging…

      1. yeah hard to see anyone challenging max once lewis is gone.

        1. Really?!? In a Mercedes?! Well, Russell offered us a preview last year.

        2. I bank on Leclerc if those Ferraris get their act together.

          1. Leclerc was indeed great again by overtaking bottas and keeping him behind most race, also ferrari looked better than mclaren both in quali and race this time.

      2. Leclerc can be in the mix. Maybe Russell

  17. Mostly DRS, and in the end not much changes as how they started out. Somewhat interesting due to strats

  18. I fell asleep after lap 12 but woke up at lap 45 finding lewis on charge, not disappointed. Not much Verstappen could do but it was Redbulls strategy that costed him a win.

    1. If Max had pitted right after Sir Whatever, he probably would have stayed ahead and would have had a chance to fight to the end. By not pitting and staying on older tyres his fate was sealed.

    2. Ahah, fun the falling asleep thing!

  19. Probably a 3 for me.
    This podium was as easy to predict as most of the others over the last 7 years. Merc had pace to burn and tyre life to go with it. Unbeatable at this track and in these conditions.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      9th May 2021, 16:08

      I would have struggled to predict Verstappen on the podium in 2014 considering the pace difference between the Merc and the Dallara F3 car ;-)

    2. True that. Thats the only upside to all of this. I always win the bets/poule since it so easy to predict the results.

  20. 7/10, good for this circuit. The season itself so far, 10/10. The battle out front is really difficult to decipher. Another great start from Max, good aggression pushing Lewis wide. So Max seems to be dominating the race start (or restart). But then Lewis (and only Lewis, not Valtteri) is able to keep really close, look for a pass, or switch tyres and – like last year – reel Max in and pass from a pretty huge distance. And that must be unnerving for Verstappen and Red Bull. Hamilton seems to be dominating the race end part of the spectrum. In terms of lap times, they seem dead even – whatever the Max fans will claim. Had Max pitted, they’d have been racing neck and neck still whoever was in front.

    1. Absolutely. Red Bull should have seen this on Saturday. Mercedes had a second set of mediums in play.

    2. Mmmm… no! Mercedes is better in race trim with these tyres. This race was HAM’s race to lose since lap1. BOT doesn’t belong here, he’s just a no.2.

      PS: I’m no VER or RBR fan.

      1. @mg1982 Maybe. There was an intriguing point in qualifying where Hamilton set a slower time on the soft tyres in Q2, especially the first run, which may have been about easing the race tyres in.

    3. Yes too bad Max didn’t pit. The Merc was clearly faster, and even a tiny mistake would have been fatal. But it was Max’s only chance to keep the fight to the end. I was hoping for a replay of Imola 2005. Staying out made him a sitting duck.

      There was no DRS in 2005. I miss that.

      1. And indeed, drs ruins some fights.

    4. Yes, that was a possibility for verstappen, I personally thought they didn’t have the time to pit the lap after, but it looked possible from what the graphic of the predicted overtake showed.

    5. You are a believer, I like that. I want to learn this, since I just see the same car winning now for 9 years

  21. 6 for me. Luckely Max jumped Lewis at the start. Otherwise it would be the most boring race ever.

  22. 8/10. A genuine, nail-biting fight for the lead between the two main championship contenders culminating in a pass by Hamilton made this a good race to watch.

    I guess some of the lower scores are due to residual fatigue of Mercedes winning all the time. But this year it’s different, there’s a real battle going on! I still wouldn’t like to say who’s going to win the championship.

    1. How about hamilton and mercedes, considering perez can’t keep up and mercedes has more race pace, slightly more qualifying pace and more reliability? Not a hard bet, is it?

  23. I did wonder if Max could have pitted for softs with 15 laps to go rather than just for flap. Seemed a bit defeatist when they mentioned Hungary 2019 on the radio and at that point the winner seemed inevitable. Of course Horner will say there was nothing else to be done.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      9th May 2021, 16:08

      They had the added complication of Bottas. While he didn’t necessarily make it easy for HAM, he would have (probably) made it much more difficult for Max

      1. @randommallard Max would have flown past him though.

        1. He was considerably holding Hamilton off before eventually allowing him to pass with DRS. Verstappen would be stuck.

          1. @pironitheprovocateur Well Bottas put up a fight but was dealt with almost as soon as Hamilton caught him. Not really that difficult. I don’t see Bottas being able to do that much more to impede Verstappen.

        2. You don’t know that! We’ve heard that before and it didn’t happen.

        3. RandomMallard (@)
          9th May 2021, 16:44

          But would he have lost too much time to catch Hamilton? Could we even have had Lewis slowing down to a) keep hi tires in a good condition and b) give Bottas DRS so Max couldn’t pass. These are all things that show why having 2 cars up front is useful

    2. @john-h That’s the bit I find fascinating, it’s like Red Bull yielded to the inevitable almost as soon as Hamilton pitted with that strategy. At the other end, Lewis seems to have ‘accepted’ that Max can pass him at the start without much fuss. I expect both to change if they carry on this close.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        9th May 2021, 16:52

        @david-br The start was weird though. Verstappen got away better on the rubbered in spot and then lost it with wheelspin. When Verstappen tucked into his tow, why didn’t Hamilton cross to the right and take the inside line? Instead he set himself up for a divebomb from Verstappen as the stewards let that stuff slide nowadays.

        1. @f1osaurus I agree, Hamilton could and should have blocked that pass by shifting right, at least forcing Verstappen to go wide to the left to pass him.

        2. Hamilton was barely ahead. These cars are long and you are looking in a mirror the size of a credit card. That kind of Schumacher-chop is not Hamilton’s style.

          1. Indeed, that was schumacher’s style.

  24. I gave it 5 because it was the least boring Spanish Grand Prix since 2017, but still, this circuit (as well as Paul Ricard, Sochi, Singapore and Abu Dhabi) should have no place in the calendar.

    1. +1 except Singapore IMO

    2. I pretty much agree with this selection, again though I think Singapore would be my last of these to be dropped. If Europe needs to lose a round then they should certainly be looking at Barcelona and Paul Ricard.

      By Barcelona standards though this was actually quite good. I gave it 7/10.

  25. ColdFly (@)
    9th May 2021, 16:20

    On a track where it’s difficult to overtake, and next to impossible without DRS, it wasn’t too bad.
    I’m glad that with the constant gap reporting and the PiP screens we could follow the development of the teams strategic decisions.
    Some interesting battles further down, but mostly (or ‘all’ as far as I could see) concluded in the DRS zone.

    I’m a bit concerned about the late defensive moves by Norris and Stroll (I’d give them a penalty point rather than ‘few cm out’ Gasly).

  26. 7.

    Congrats to HAM and his 8th title. And to Mercedes too.

    It’s getting more and more obvious Mercedes is the better car, especially when it matters: the race. With every race, RBR is starting to look like Ferrari of 2017-2019: almost there. Still hope it’s not the case….. Really ridiculous to see some guys (Sky commentators) still saying Mercedes car is not good at following another car. Well, it was just another race where HAM followed another car for like 20 laps… and his tyres not only that weren’t destroyed, actually they maintained so well that once the guy(s) in front dissapeared, HAM was able to set new FLs.

    Bottas…. just him. Bottas 4.0 I guess… = Bottas 2.0 = 3.0 = best No.2 ever! And he doesn’t even has a contract! Barrichello must be crying like a baby now.

    So far PER is an improvement compared to the last 2 guys from the 2nd RBR, unfortunately not enough even to cause problems to BOT, make Mercedes lose the WCC is out of question.

    Great race by LEC. Wish Ferrari had a better car, to give LEC the possibility of challenging BOT.

    1. ColdFly (@)
      9th May 2021, 17:57

      So far PER is an improvement compared to the last 2 guys from the 2nd RBR

      I hope that Perez can soon join the other 3 drivers to make it even more exciting.
      But I really wonder how well Gasly would’ve been had he stayed at, or returned to, RBR.

      PS I do find Bottas a tad better than in previous seasons (forgetting all about Portugal of course)

  27. Surprisingly entertaining for “Borcelona”. We had a battle for the lead, and some scraps going on in the midfield. Can’t imagine much better race on this track without something weird happening.

  28. If both front teams had second drivers quick enough to deliver a strategic undercut then it would have been interesting. But Hamilton and Verstappen left their respective teammates for dead from the off. They are just on another level right now. People like to speculate that russel or whoever would be up there too. All we have is the single thin reed of Russell out performing Bottas in one race. RBR has run the experiment for us already putting various well regarded drivers in the other good car and it’s still a two person breakaway and a peloton right now.

  29. Neil (@neilosjames)
    9th May 2021, 18:15

    In general terms… a 5.

    For this circuit, probably an 8. Had a horrible sinking feeling for the first half and thought more or less nothing was going to happen, then the strategy stuff kicked off and made the second half more interesting. I don’t really like ‘dead tyre vs OK tyre’ racing, but it was better than a procession.

    I like to hope that if European rounds do need to be dropped at some point, this place will be first on the chopping block.

  30. A 7 because of the strategic fight for the win

  31. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    9th May 2021, 21:43

    6/10. Better than the last three Spanish GP races at least.

    1. Yes, I remember no competition in 2018-19-20 on here, at least in 2017 there was a fight with ferrari, even though merc was still better overall.

  32. DRS continues to detract from proper racing 5/10

  33. 1 (3%)
    2 (2%)
    3 (1%)
    4 (5%)
    5 (8%)
    6 (14%)
    7 (38%)
    8 (18%)
    9 (6%)
    10 (3%)

    These are the votes, and I’m one of the 8s, but I was in doubt about a 7 as I always try to reduce my votes when it’s a mercedes win, I think (but just assumption ofc) the 11% who voted less than 5 are hamilton\mercedes critics (I’m the 2nd category, and also in the hamilton-is-not-a-god category), the 5 and 6 probably were bored by the predictability that hamilton would’ve eventually got ahead since mercedes had a bit more race pace, but I went for 8 cause they were close for most of the race and there was also plenty of action in the midfield, even leclerc and ricciardo managed to keep behind drivers with significantly faster cars for a big part of the race like bottas and perez, bottas wasn’t even able to produce an overtake on leclerc until he had a huge pace advantage with new and red tyres, and then the last 9% who gave 9 and 10 might be hamilton or mercedes’ fans or don’t believe in the mercedes’ superior race speed and thought the race was on till the end.

    For me, hamilton looked quicker all the race and was particularly close both when verstappen came in for first pit stop and when he came in for 2nd and at that point I wasn’t sure hamilton would win, but there were like 22 seconds and 22 laps, so I gave a look at a few laps, and when there were like 13 laps and 9-10 seconds I was sure he was gonna win.

  34. I understand now why some races get high points while they are utter borefest. 80% of spectators cant decently analyse a race. Even here on this forum where I guess the more hardcore fans are, the people that can properly read FPs Qs and races are minimal. To them I would say have a listen to Peter Windsor from time to time and learn something. But especially dont listen to the media. They have different objectives than spectators and if anything they are not served by simple analysis of situations. No wonder Liberty and FIA let this situation drag on since they feel no need to. If people rate races like these as sufficient… its like giving FIA and Liberty a free pass to do what they want. We should not accept circuits and races like these

    1. Part of many viewer’s rating system is undoubtedly that it is F1 and they like F1 – so therefore a low score is impossible.
      And then they take into account who won, often with little consideration of how they won.

      F1 audiences are as predictable as the ‘races’ are.

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