Start, Interlagos, 2021

Rate the race: 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Sao Paulo 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 Sao Paulo Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 (23%)
  • 9 (33%)
  • 8 (26%)
  • 7 (11%)
  • 6 (3%)
  • 5 (1%)
  • 4 (1%)
  • 3 (1%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 1 (2%)

Total Voters: 261

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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 Sao Paulo Grand Prix”

  1. Great race. Nice to see Hamilton win that one against the full force of Flemish International Assistance.

    1. @darryn. Yeah, having a car that failed technical regulations is a joke isn’t it… Hamilton should clearly have gotten away with that one, like Aston Martin got away with their fuel pump failing at Hungary….

      1. I think he’s referring to the fact the FIA made a very biased decision this race.

        1. @swifty ‘She’.

      2. 0.02mm in only one section of the wing under extreme pressure test. A part which RedBull have changed 3 times in the last 3 weekends under part ferme conditions… I can see why Toto is upset. RedBull have been rewarded for just changing parts ever weekend whereas Mercedes punished massively for trying to keep the car consistent. So much for F1 trying to cut its carbon footprint ey.

        1. Parc ferme* dam fat fingers.

      3. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
        14th November 2021, 19:15

        FIA wants a new champion it seems.

    2. Yeah. Imagine Verstappen kicking out Hamilton, getting a 10-second penalty and still winning the race. That would be unpreced… wait a sec…

    3. You do know Max isn’t Flemish but Dutch?

  2. Congratulations SLH

  3. What a race. 9/10

    1. So, do you accept that the Red Bull isn’t necessarily the quickest car now?

  4. Great race but how on earth they didn’t crash?

    1. One is a real, mature, racer.

    2. That’s exacly what Max was hoping for but Lewis saw it through. I’m shocked FIA doesn’t penelise drivers for knowingly braking late with no chance to make the corner. He’s done it once in Monza and again here. And Horner goes “let them race”…. this isn’t racing when you use your car to force another driver off the road.

      1. This constant running the other car off of the road needs to stop in Formula 1.

        1. Honestly, as a longterm fan, I’ve never known a time it was allowed like this – it’s not real racing IMO.

          1. Hear, hear.

        2. Agreed. Everybody is doing so it’s a level playing field, but that’s not racing, that’s playing bumper cars.

      2. Exactly, you’re NEVER going to overtake a kid in a 2M wide car forcing you wide. But we race on.

  5. Not entirely relevant to today’s race, but: is anyone else absolutely fed up with the dynamic, admittedly mainly showing between Merc and RB (not so much 2017-2019 Ferrari), of faster on the straights and faster in the slow bits? I am so done with that. It’s so predictable. It’s boring. And to me it’s not F1. That’s like Need for Speed Underground 2.

    This race was phenomenal between the top two, but it was as inevitable as rain in a British autumn.

    1. We did get a few races where it was Red Bull being faster in a straight line this year @hahostolze ;-). I guess now we must hope that next year gives us a more varied performance difference. Unless the last few tracks throw up something interesting (don’t really expect even a reprofiled Abu Dhabi to do that, and not too sure about that S.Arabian construction site either.)

      In the end we at least got a decent bit of straight on racing between Max and Lewis, let’s be glad we did not just get strategy battles

      1. Well said @bascb, doubt we will get rid of that dynamic for now, indeed let’s hope for next year and let us be glad that we got a great fight between those two today, and indeed during this season.

    2. I think it’s not so clear cut. But it’s how the Sky F1 simplify it to their world audience.

    3. Must agree. Great race but kind of inevitable, massive pace difference.

  6. Pushing another car off track, weaving on the straight, and “Say hi”. Stay classy Max

    1. Back to his old tricks ;)

    2. +1


      1. +1 there was no way Max was making that corner. Hamilton was committed to the outside so had to keep on the outside of whatever Max did. Sad to see him resorting to these GP2 tactics.

    3. That’s a middle finger to rules and respect for other drivers and their safety. How are people supporting this low life?

      1. Because they can’t respect a true champion / driver (be it HAM, or someone else that deserves respect).

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          14th November 2021, 19:12

          @theswift While I 100% agree that Max’s move was awful and should have been penalised, it’s not like Lewis, or pretty much any other driver on the grid, has never done a similar move before (although Max’s was the worst I can remember in a while). It’s only 2 races from where Hamilton, while not quite so aggressive, left no room for Verstappen at turn 1 in Austin. And a variety of other incidents that weekend in Austin. However, Max’s move was awful and definitely should have been punished. And on that note the FIA need to sort this out. Like, this move (as I keep saying) definitely needed a penalty, but their inconsistency with people pushing other cars off the track is insane. I would argue it’s worse than track limits. There needs to be one rule, applied consistently to everyone.

          1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
            14th November 2021, 19:18

            But we not talking about what happened in the past. Max wanted to crash he was asking for it. Fortunately Lewis is wise enough to see through him. Max is back to his old cheating way. I find it strange how Redbull (Christian and Helmut) egg him on with these things.

      2. The Brazilian people made their opinion clear when he appeared on the podium.

    4. Absolutely, VER had no excuse not to take the corner, he went on the dirty part of the track and braked too late.
      Red Bulls defense of “let them race” is laughable – they know there is no excuse, and the FIA bottled it again.

  7. A positively exciting race overall.

  8. petebaldwin (@)
    14th November 2021, 18:40

    8/10 – Really good race. Max did everything he could to keep Lewis behind but in the end, he didn’t have enough under him down the straights. Great drive from Hamilton over the whole weekend – smashed it in the sprint and again today.

    The final 3 races are going to be absolutely epic!

    1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      14th November 2021, 18:42

      Even pushing him off track.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        14th November 2021, 18:47

        Yep – looked like it. It’ll be interesting to see what Masi has to say about the decision and why they felt it was not a penalty.

        1. From recent form I was also quite surprised they did not even feel the need to investigate @petebaldwin.

          Honestly, I enjoyed that battle and I am unsure whether it should be penalised. But given they were all warned only last race that “crowding a car off track” was not going to be looked upon favourable, not even investigating when Max did an exemplary one of that was strange.

          I would just like them to get together with the drivers and agree on what they all want to be allowed and not. Make that clear to the fans too, so we can just get on. And then police it according to what they all agree on should be or shouldn’t be allowed. That epic FIA inconsistency.

        2. I honestly done understand how they were handing out 5second penalties in Austria for running a car wide onto a kerb, yet Max can push Hamilton into the next city and it’s not even investigated…

          1. He went off track too, that probably cancels the offense in the stewards’ view.

        3. Especially looking at norris’s penalty in Austria

  9. Wow. Hamilton with a slowest car on the grid managed to win from the back of the grid !!! It’s not the car!!!

    1. Of course he had the car, and so did Bottas. Gap in qualily, risk management with overtakes, avoiding crazy max + overtaking him. It’s the most a driver could do with that car and Ham did it.

      1. You could really see how strong mercedes was by how quickly even bottas cleared the ferrari of I think leclerc and stayed far ahead of perez after the pit stop.

    2. He qualified 20th, of course it’s the slowest car… The RedBull was much quicker as Perez showed. Max just used his tyres wrong.

  10. What a race.

    Edge on the seat for ever.

    One of Hamilton’s best wins. Right up with Germany 2018, Britain 2008 for me.

    Thank God Hamilton won though. Else the comment boards for that lap 48 move would have gone on and on until 2022. (They might still)

  11. Can’t believe Hamilton won that! Incredible drive. Set it up yesterday and was even better today. Forced wide, forced to stay behind after illegal weaving and still got the job done. All time great with an all time greats drive to keep a tiny bit of life in this Championships.

  12. Expected. Only thing interesting and funny was all the radio sarcasm.

    1. Funny? You mean you enjoy listening to a child – in other sports you’d be penalised for that.

    2. F1 isn’t for you my friend. That was an epic

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        14th November 2021, 18:49

        If you’re just a fan of one driver as the other two on this post are, I guess you only enjoy it when your guy wins. If you’re a fan of F1, this is the sort of season we’ve been waiting years and years for. Impossible to not enjoy it.

        1. Well said @petebaldwin. No matter wins in the end, this year is already legendary.

        2. Not true for everyone @petebaldwin.
          I have no interest either way in any competitor and only care about good racing – but this is still not a good year for F1 AFAIC.

          Better than previous, no doubt. But the recent bar is very, very low.

  13. Fantastic race in a fantastic season.

  14. Lewis Hamilton shows his talent yet again. What a drive.

  15. Utterly brilliant, seeing the best two drivers on the grid pushing each other to incredible heights has been the story this season (stick your partisanship up your bum), both drivers were fantastic with a stunning drive from Lewis maximising the the platform he had.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      14th November 2021, 18:50

      Well said

  16. MohammedTurbinas
    14th November 2021, 18:47

    The race settled after Hamilton overtook Max. But until that, it was very intense. One of the best of the year.
    A bit uzzled by the Hamilton-Verstappen battle but honestly I didn’t expected anything different from these two. These drivers won’t give an inch ’til the end. And that’s what we wanted to see.

    1. MohammedTurbinas
      14th November 2021, 18:47


  17. Lewis was absolutely peerless this weekend. Just imagine if he’d actually started on pole. Might well have lapped the entire field…

    1. Nah, he didn’t have that pace, but would’ve surely had a huge gap, especially if there had been no SC.

  18. It was a good race even though I missed the first 20 or so laps.

    That move by Max at T4 was it? IMO was not really a penalty, at best a 5 second, it wasn’t that clear to me if he turned into Lewis or not, they both probably entered the corner too fast which is why it was no penalty, at best it was hard racing.

    I think Toto is becoming more of a tool recently, worse than Horner.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th November 2021, 19:00

      @arobbo It wasn’t really the fact that he turned into Lewis but he didn’t turn into the corner, forcing both himself and Lewis to go off track. Lewis would almost certainly have made that corner with where he braked/turned in. Max 100% should have been penalised (and this is coming from someone supporting Max in the championship)

      1. As Max/HAM fan, yeah Max should be told firmer to avoid making these moves, he just can’t afford a DNF now. What if he retires and HAM wins again? It’ll completely ruin such a fantastic season. Learn to fight another day – and lucky no damage today

        As for HAM, incredible incredible drive and damn was that Merc combo scary in Brazil.

        Last 3 races – got the feeling Max’s gonna win the next one but HAM will win the last 2, meaning ~21 pts and Max can afford a couple of 3rd places. So that’s why avoid unnecessary risks dude!

        1. Yes, I thought so too, a black and white flag would’ve made sense after that move: we’ll let you off this time, next time penalty.

      2. Yes it was border if Max was really dirty he would let Lewis pass and just touched his left rear wheel while passing…..

        But everything was clear for Lewis and Max both went wide as they outbreak the corner (Max atleast Lewis took the smart way)

    2. @arobbo yup, unfortunately. We had a great race, we have a great championship but the bickering is annoying. Can’t stand sky sports either.

  19. Is Hamilton’s engine running party mode this weekend? Bottas absolutely nowhere near his pace. Wins the weekend starting from p20. That’s shocking. And then the’re people claiming the RB is the faster car.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      14th November 2021, 18:52

      New engine and he was set up to pass cars. I think they sacrificed pace in the middle sector for as much top speed as possible.

    2. I think it’s been clear that the relative pace is track dependent. 2 new tracks coming up with a 3rd highly modified so who knows who’ll have the edge at any of those rounds. Hopefully it’ll go down to the wire. I certainly expect it to.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        14th November 2021, 19:05

        @tommy-c Exactly. The amazing thing about this season has been that no one can truly know who’ll be quicker where. Red Bull have taken wins at places traditionally thought to favour Mercedes (Austin, France etc.) and Merc have been quicker at places people thought RB would be quicker (here, and in particular Hungary where everyone was expecting RB to be rapid, and Merc go and completely demolish them in qualifying before the mess that was that first corner).

        And now next up we have two new tracks and one significantly modified track that we have absolutely no idea (or well, no precedence) who they will favour.

      2. Calling it – Max to win next, ~21pts lead, but HAM to go all Brazil-mode again and win the last two. So Max can afford a couple of 3rd places.

        But whether he’ll learn from such unnecessary risks today is another thing, if not a DNF will be hugely hugely costly if Merc is faster in at least two of the remaining tracks.

      3. There’s at least the guarantee next race won’t mathematically decide the title, which is welcome news, with ferrari’s best recent years it was decided next race, the 3rd last, this time it will at least take the penultimate.

    3. Because it was on many weekends. It was arguably a better car on average so far. It’s faster outright on most weekends and when its not, it’s a good car to follow others. Mercedes is quite bad at following, a big disadvantage when you’re not fastest.

  20. Would be great if nobody responded to saltiness but it’s unlikely really. I suppose I have myself

  21. Great race – 8.5/10.

    Absolutely shameful that Max Verstappen wasn’t penalised for something so blatantly obvious.

  22. When Wolff talked about either of the two contenders pulling a “Senna”, people here pilloried him. Pray tell me, what exactly was that Max move?

  23. I’ll just say that now Red Bull can say nothing about Silverstone anymore and leave it there.

    1. Had car 44 been binned, I’d agree with that

      1. But it wasn’t because he backed out… like Max didn’t do in silverstone.

  24. Where are you people that where insisting the championship was Verstappen’s?

    No car out there could fight that Mercedes. Yawn.

    1. No car could fight that RB in Zandvoort either @rocketpanda. Or barely in Mexico. And at other tracks too. Tommy C explains this here.

    2. Right here. He’s still got the best shot. Car easy quick enough to come second at the remaining races and they can use Perez for a fast lap attempt to take extra points from Hamilton. Hamilton winning each race alone isn’t enough anymore. It really is Verstappen a to lose

      1. 14 points difference.
        3 races left. 25 for first place, 18 for second, which makes 7 difference
        Given Hamilton wins all and Max gets 2nd and FL on each, Hamilton will net-gain 18…

        How is Hamilton winning each race alone not enough anymore?

      2. Emrm. If Verstappen comes second at the remaining races Hamilton wins the championship!

  25. Exciting race and very tense battle. My only issue is with how the sprint race basically gave Hamilton a get out of jail free card, giving him the opportunity to make places before the actual grand Prix starts. Any other weekend and he’d have had to battle through from last today, which just leaves a slightly sour taste, despite how much Sky try to big it up.

    A brilliant drive (although let’s be honest most of his overtakes were down the straight), but the sprint takes some of the punch out of it for me.

    1. Not really because had it failed on Friday I think they would have been asked to change the wing (or would have done it themselves) before qualifying started @f1alex.

      1. Was thinking that too @john-h, nothing to say HAM in a Saturday qualifying would have been anything than on solid pole (and maybe BOT making it a 1-2 so they’d be able to try another formation, this time properly?).

        Hm, it might have been a lot less interesting race, so let’s be glad that the fastest man/machine won after having to fight for it?

      2. That is a good point, I just don’t like the new weekend format as a viewing experience, and the knock on effects it has to other aspects of the weekend (e.g penalties etc), which kind of affects my enjoyment of the GP itself as well.

        Still, we’re all very lucky to be seeing such an intense championship battle, with two incredible drivers at the front of it.

  26. Great race, Max gave it everything but the merc was a rocket on that straight. Congrats to Lewis, he needed this victory and he had the car which looked menacingly quick, just like the overspeed mercs had over the years.

  27. 7/10 nice race!
    Hamilton was mad today, great drive!

    Though it gets -1 (from 8) on account of Sprint which turned HAM’s technical violation penalty a slap on the wrist.

    Still, we have champsionship, and it’s good enough!

    1. Wouldn’t no sprint race mean that the flaw would have been discovered Friday, in all likelihood? So before qualifying regardless.

  28. RandomMallard (@)
    14th November 2021, 19:14

    9/10 for me. Battle at the front was incredible (and also incredibly questionable), but it loses one point for me because there wasn’t that much going on in the midfield.

    But Lewis that was insane.

  29. 7. Better than USA GP because it had more action but the last laps was a bit yawn. Solid race. The championship become more interesting.

  30. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    14th November 2021, 19:16

    For me that’s what it’s all about. The best vs the best. Iconic battles and images. 10.

  31. Easy 10, championship under dog starts from down the grid… Twice!

    Proceeds to chase down championship leader and they duel for the win over many laps.

    And race is somewhat better if then close to the end the #2 car can overtake.

    Great race and now we can look forward to a tighter championship battle.

  32. 10 for me. Enthralling motor race and not weather or major accidents deciding the order

  33. Not perfect, but a proper, prolonged fight for the lead – especially one between the only two title contenders – adds a couple of points to any race.

  34. 13 laps too long, was enjoying the tense battle, but after the highway DRS overtake the rocketship just got away.

    Great defense if a bit tainted by unnecessary (and useless) weaving. Nothing much to say of the attack, way too easy, no merit at all.

    McL seriously on the decline, no way they are going to catch the Fezzas


    1. 4/10. Wow, what kind of race do you for a 5/10 I wonder?!

      1. I’m guessing one where Verstappen wins .

  35. 7; some good moments but with his pace an inevitable LH win, so a fairly boring end. and the last 3 races? might as well change the PU each time, he’ll make up the lost places by the last 10 or so laps

  36. 1 (2%)
    2 (0%)
    3 (1%)
    4 (2%)
    5 (1%)
    6 (3%)
    7 (10%)
    8 (23%)
    9 (33%)
    10 (25%)
    Total Voters: 166

    This was an instant-9 for me without thinking much, the battle ahead was great and wouldn’t have happened if the one with the faster car (mercedes in this case) had been ahead with the slower car chasing, a strong defender with slower car makes these battles great.

    Like always for a 10 there HAS to be some rain in my opinion, but there were also a few more battles, so not bad at all, late in the race gaps were wider, so the last few laps were quiet.

  37. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th November 2021, 0:13

    Lewis at his best.

  38. A fight for the lead and passing that has kept the championship alive for the remaining races. Exactly what I want to see f1 to be, a solid 9

  39. 8/10
    Good race. Battle for the lead with the top 4 cars all changing positions at different points. Ferrari is pulling away from Mclaren in the midfield and with if a more capable driver was paired with Gasly, Torro Rosso could have done even better. Mega drive from Hamilton against so many odds. The engine change is timed well by Mercedes given the tracks that are coming now.

  40. 5.
    It was okay I guess, but still pretty typical of F1.
    Other than the small battle for the lead, very little else actually happened.

  41. If there’s so many voter said the Sprint race only exciting because of Lewis, then this one should judge the same.

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