Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Star Performers

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Yuki Tsunoda were RaceFans’ Star Performers of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Here’s why.


Max Verstappen

  • Won a critical pole position with a searing, tow-assisted Q3 lap…
  • …but had to start the race on a set of soft tyres after flat spotting a set of mediums early in Q2, compromising his start off the line
  • Had superior race pace to every driver on the grid throughout the race – except for his main adversary Hamilton
  • But when given the opportunity for a last lap sprint to the finish, he took it with a perfectly executed pass at turn five to win the race – and his first world championship, notwithstanding a potential appeal

Lewis Hamilton

  • Got onto the front row with a chance to seize the lead on the opening lap
  • A fantastic start brought him into the lead, though he was fortunate not to be investigated for cutting the turn six-seven chicane while defending his position from Verstappen
  • Gradually became a non-factor as he pulled out several tenths per lap, every lap
  • If the race had ended under Safety Car, he would have driven 44 laps to the chequered flag on a scrubbed set of hard tyres – but on the fateful restart, he just didn’t have the grip he needed to see off Verstappen
  • Finished second and was remarkably gracious in defeat after a stunning reversal of fortune

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2021
Sainz ended his season on the podium
  • Qualified fifth, ahead of his team mate Leclerc for the fourth time in five races
  • Starting on softs, he gained a place on lap one, pitted on lap 19 for new hard tyres
  • Ran ahead of Leclerc from lights to flag
  • Was running fourth before Perez retired, elevating him to third place on the last lap – he then withstood Bottas and Tsunoda to secure his fourth podium of 2021 – and fifth in the drivers’ championship

Yuki Tsunoda

  • Superb qualifying effort: Got from Q2 to Q3 on medium tyres, and out-qualified Gasly for the first time this season in eighth
  • Jumped ahead of Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap, and was able to keep the outgoing Mercedes driver behind until his lap 23 pit stop
  • Was already set to match his best result of 2021 in sixth, before the pivotal safety car gave him the chance to pit for new soft tyres
  • A brilliant overtake around Bottas on the final lap (and Pérez’s retirement) secured a career-best fourth place finish, half a second from becoming Japan’s fourth F1 podium finisher

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Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Yas Marina, 2021
Raikkonen’s final race was one to forget
  • Qualifying for his final F1 race didn’t go well – he was only ahead of the Haas pair, and six-tenths back from team mate Giovinazzi in Q1
  • Never a factor in the race, even before spinning off track due to a terminal brake problem
  • Despite his subdued curtain call nonetheless won F1’s Driver of the Day poll following an influencer-led campaign

And the rest

Valtteri Bottas

  • Even with an older engine, qualifying sixth, half a second back of Hamilton, was still a shock
  • Dropped two positions off the start and spent the early chunk of the race behind Tsunoda, forcing him to go long on his first medium-shod stint
  • Overtaken by Tsunoda and Gasly on the last lap, but sixth place in his farewell race for Mercedes was still enough to secure the manufacturer an eighth straight constructors’ championship

Sergio Perez

  • His first qualifying run was sacrificed for Verstappen’s benefit, after which he was eight tenths off his Red Bull team mate and behind Norris in fourth
  • Passed Norris on the opening lap to move into third behind Hamilton and Verstappen, exactly where Red Bull needed him to have any chance at the constructors’ title
  • Long first stint set up an incredible defensive drive to back Hamilton up from ten seconds ahead of Verstappen, to just one second, saving his team mate’s championship hopes
  • Denied a reward for his efforts after being forced to retire from third place with a suspected engine problem – a Red Bull one-two very well could have been possible

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Lando Norris

  • Sensational performance in Q3 got him third on the grid; out-qualified Ricciardo for the 15th time this season
  • Not his best start off the line, but he settled into a rhythm behind Sainz and was fifth with twenty laps to go
  • A potential podium bid was undone by a slow puncture; dropped to ninth, then gained two places in the closing laps to finish seventh

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2021
Ricciardo lost out due to controversial restart decision
  • Only tenth on the grid, half a second behind Norris in Q3
  • Couldn’t find a way past Ocon, then got caught out of position by the Virtual Safety Car and the final Safety Car interventions
  • Pitted during the final Safety Car, giving up two places in the hope he could regain them and more after changing tyres
  • But unlike several drivers ahead he was not allowed to un-lap himself which resigned him to finishing 12th, one lap behind the leader

Lance Stroll

  • Out-qualified Vettel for the first time since the United States, and for the eighth time this season
  • Ran outside the points for much of the 58 laps as Aston Martin struggled for race pace
  • Never had a chance to scrap for points on new soft tyres, as he wasn’t waved around before the Safety Car withdrawal – frustrated to have finished 13th

Sebastian Vettel

  • Only 15th on the grid after an incident-filled qualifying session
  • Lost too much time early on in the wake of Giovinazzi, hurting his chances of advancing into the points
  • Narrowly missed out on a point in eleventh after being released from the Safety Car queue – but scooped F1’s first Overtake Award, meaning Aston Martin take home some form of silverware

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Yas Marina, 2021
Ocon collected a reprimand for delaying Vettel
  • Made Q3 for the third time in a row, and secured an 11-11 draw with Alonso in head-to-head qualifying results – not an easy task given the champion’s track record
  • Picked up a reprimand for impeding Vettel
  • Spent the majority of the race ahead of Ricciardo, and right behind Alonso on track
  • Finished his 2021 campaign with ninth place

Fernando Alonso

  • Upset at drivers impeding during qualifying and failed to make the cut for Q3
  • Diverged from many of his rivals on strategy, running 36 laps on scrubbed hard tyres before switching to fresh mediums
  • Finished eighth – just ahead of Ocon, and just behind Norris

Charles Leclerc

  • Was a solid seventh in a close qualifying session
  • Gambled on pitting for mediums during Virtual Safety Car on lap 35, but lost track position and never gained significant time back
  • Fortunate to be promoted to tenth, in large part due to Perez’s retirement

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Yas Marina, 2021
Rejoining the lead lap paid off for Gasly
  • Uncharacteristically off his usual qualifying form; missed Q3 for only the fourth time in 2021
  • Started 12th on hard tyres and was able to get up to fifth by the end of his first stint on the alternate strategy
  • Followed Tsunoda through ahead of Bottas to take fifth place, signing off of his best F1 season to date on a high note

Antonio Giovinazzi

  • Got in one more great qualifying effort by reaching Q2 and out-ranking Raikkonen for the 15th time in 2021
  • Was keeping the Aston Martins at bay after moving ahead of Stroll on the first lap
  • Retired from his last Formula 1 race – at least for now – after a mechanical failure while running 13th

Mick Schumacher

  • Completed a head-to-head qualifying sweep by qualifying three quarters of a second ahead of Mazepin
  • Had a spirited scrap with the Williams duo on the opening lap, keeping Russell and Latifi honest until an early first pit stop
  • Ran ahead of Latifi until the Williams driver crashed, and brought his sluggish Haas VF21 to the chequered flag in 14th

Nikita Mazepin

Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Yas Marina, 2021
Mazepin missed the season finale
  • Was out-qualified by his team mate on Saturday, as he was at every race this year where both set times
  • Tested positive for Covid-19 hours before the grand prix and missed the final race of the year

George Russell

  • Strategically compromised in Q1, leaving him behind the cut line for just the third time this season
  • Dropped to last on the opening lap, suffered with cooling problems for much of his abbreviated race
  • Retired from his final start at Williams with a gearbox failure, departing the team in an upward trajectory from where he joined them in 2019

Nicholas Latifi

  • Got his second head-to-head qualifying result over Russell, and only missed Q2 by about one tenth of a second to boot
  • Ran ahead of Russell until his retirement, then fell behind Mick Schumacher
  • Clash with Schumacher forced him wide and precipitated his accident on lap 51 to end the race

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other RaceFans share your view here:

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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48 comments on “2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. Michael Masi should be on the performer list as well. Top notch in sporting integrity…

    1. Masi: Toto, it’s called a motor race ok?
      Toto: Sorry?
      Masi: You’re into car racing.

      1. It was an Oscar worthy performance by Masi. Rules can be broken just for the show.

        1. This needn’t end like this, neither driver deserved a tainted trophy.

          A true ruffian!

  2. Agree with the top 3. Perez also played a star role, great towing and great blocking on track, which may well have won Max the race: if Hamilton had a VSC window, he’d have been on better tyres for the final Masi-contrived one-lap showdown.

    1. Yes, pretty sure hamilton would’ve come on top if either of the 2 scenarios happened: both on hard tyres with verstappen 25 laps newer after SC bunched up the field, or if hamilton had managed to change to new hards with the VSC with verstappen on new softs after SC, there just wasn’t much margin for the overtake on last lap.

  3. Checo stole the show for me.
    From the moment they told him to go “Plan B” he was on it without question or regard for his own result.

    F1 is a team sport.
    Whether you like it or not F1 is first and foremost about teamwork – not racing.
    Checo is the player you dream of having on your team.

    1. Perez definitely played a key role. I enjoyed that battle with Hamilton

    2. Agree, Checo came third in the poll, but apparently ‘we’ didn’t vote for him. Why have a poll if you’re going to ignore it?

      1. @frasier What do you mean? The Star Performers articles are clearly opinion pieces to put across the view of the author. Why would it reflect what people vote for in DoTW (If that’s what you’re talking about)? We already have DoTW poll to put our own views across so why would you have two articles showing the same results?

        1. Fair point, but Checo likely got his DOTW vote based upon his successful efforts in reducing the gap from Lewis to Max, not upon qualifying. Given the author said it was Racefans star performers, I think he’s ignoring the fact that Checo was voted as pretty near equal to Max.

          A trivial detail that’s not worth dying in a ditch over however :-)

    3. @nullapax
      He’s an awesome team player with his adamant racecraft and is a widely known tyre whisper, but also he’s a terrible qualifier and his race pace is not good enough. If Red Bull had another driver of Alonso caliber in the team, they obviously would have clinched the WCC with the second fastest car which was still strong enough to allow then win those championships.

    4. The pinnacle of Motor racing is not about motor racing?

      Wow the mental gymnastics…

  4. Not sure how Max falls in the star category. Does that make Barcelona a star in the 8-2 defeat against Bayern because they scored 2 goals?

    He started on pole but had a terrible start reaction that allowed Lewis to safely get away and avoid a collision
    He had a terrible overtake attempt that looked like he had no idea how to drive
    He couldn’t catch Lewis on soft vs medium
    He couldn’t catch Lewis on hard vs hard
    He couldn’t catch Lewis with Checo in retirement mode bringing him nearly within DRS
    He couldn’t catch Lewis on new hards vs much older hards after the VSC
    He needed new tyres vs 50 lap old tyres to overtake Lewis while the cars started side-by-side as the SC ended

    If that’s not the definition of struggler in a dictionary, then it should be.

    1. Have to agree with this, I don’t think verstappen is a star this race, and some of the things in the star section are a given, as in how was he NOT expected to be faster than anyone except hamilton? There’s no driver at their level with a competitive car.

      Maybe I wouldn’t put him in the strugglers, but I think it’s a 6-7\10 race, so normal section.

      I agree with the other 3 stars, there’s ofc a case for perez too, not sure if I’d have any struggler this race.

    2. Suppose maybe bottas would be the clearest struggler to me.

      1. Wow, in one of the defending points for bottas they wrote “Overtaken by Tsunoda and Gasly on the last lap, but sixth place in his farewell race for Mercedes was still enough to secure the manufacturer an eighth straight constructors’ championship”, not sure how that defends him when hamilton’s 2nd place was already enough for the constructor’s with any possible result!

        1. someone or something
          13th December 2021, 20:46

          Yeah, that’s straight up nonsense. Mercedes finished 28 points ahead in the Constructors’. Bottas added 8 to that tally. Even if Pérez had finished the race in 3rd, the championship was done and dusted with 5 points to spare even without Bottas’ contribution.

          No one struggled more than Bottas. The gap to Hamilton was shocking, and apart from suffering the same tyre-related misfortune on the final lap, there wasn’t a single mitigating factor to explain why he spent half the race completely anonymously in the midfield, instead of making the Red Bulls’ lives hard, especially considering that the Mercedes looked to be a class of its own in terms of race pace. His entire performance, from Q3 to the last lap, was inexcusable.

    3. Max had a super Qualflier and Lewis didn’t see his race performance. Both drove really away from the field Lewis was just too fast what Max tried. Is that a reason for a struggle? I think they choose safe and gave both a star.

    4. Agreed. Checo had faster race pace.

      Article was not well researched at least quantitatively.

    5. @freelittlebirds

      Perfectly articulated

      In this race, regardless of how well he has driven through the year, he was absolutely beaten on all counts.

      In fact for the last 20% of the season regardless of what he threw at Lewis up to and including his whole car, he was out driven.

      The fact the ‘victory’ required a wholesale ransacking of all sporting integrity, rules, logic and sense by the supposed umpire, it’s… well it just stank.

      Not least because in all this rubbish, we do not see the masterpiece final lap that Hamilton drove. It required Max to again step over the boundaries to get by when by all rights, he was looking at a sitting duck. Again. Outdriven.

      As for the ‘deserved’ and the ‘oh it can’t be changed now’ with the ‘bringing the sport into disrepute’

      Well frankly Mercedes should just drag it through the mud because it will never be as dirty, deep or ridiculous as having a race director who can at anytime, at any point, just decide the rule book is irrelevant against his own choices as long as they ‘let them race’ and god forbid, we avoid following the rule book because we had a huddle earlier and agreed that a finish under a safety car or at least the normal penalty of taking a stop, ie, that there are cars between you and your opponent that you actually have to overtake must absolutely be avoided regardless of what the good book says, well, cos telly and all that…

      Wait, unless your in third and from there back, then we will leave it as is because you don’t count…

      This was a complete travesty of an ending to an exciting season because the race director forgot who pays his salary and the terms by which the FIA has been allowed to police itself. That will be the end of the fia as it’s structured because the EU will be after it now. This time they have pretty damning evidence.

      Actually, after Spa, it was pretty much guaranteed how this was going to end anyway.

      I started reading about F1 in 1976 because I was a junior grass tracker. Then telly etc in the 80s – I have seen all and every race wherever I was in the world since I watched Jim at Brands as a tiny.

      This weekend has pretty much killed it for me despite years of competing under the same organisation so I wish you all a great Christmas and probably won’t be seeing you next year unless I can’t resist the new cars…

  5. Stars: HAM, SAI, TSU, & MAS
    Strugglers: VER & BOT

  6. The points on bottas are negative enough for him to be a struggler, and I agree with them – and I’m a fan of bottas. Is he not one because it is his last race with mercedes? Kimi being a struggler in his final race should take away this poor reason for bottas not being one, so what is it?

    1. @thegianthogweed Bottas has caused me a lot of pain:-) That being said, I’m not sure it’s easy to consistently be as good as Lewis. I didn’t expect him to get involved in the championship or want him to, but I didn’t like the way he fought Max on a few occasions because even Horner thought it was wrong. I think Perez overdid it and it’s really sad to see him reduced to being a road obstacle. I really hope they didn’t underfuel him causing his planned retirement – if so, he should have retired last year with his head held high.

  7. Apart from Lewis almost every Mercedes driven car was in my opinion a let down. Even the Honda and Ferrari did better regarding power compared to the Merc engine.

    For me Aston Martin as a team could also be considered as strugglers. How Vettel and Stroll were fighting hard for no points and Vettel on the end saying he was sorry for the performance says a lot. Didn’t expect such a slow car despite the engine. I hope for them they can learn a lot of how to develop a car out of this year, otherwise the words of sir Lance are hollow.

    The rest I agree. And for people considering Max as a struggler, look at the pace difference to the rest of the field and how steady in lap time he drove the car. That is something I don’t see (yet) from Norris, Leclerc or Russell.

    1. The thing about Verstappen is, at no point did he give up. The Mercedes (at least in Hamilton’s hands) was clearly quicker in race trim, and yet he was still – just about, and with a little help from his friends – close enough at the crucial moment to prevent the “free” pit stop and enable, well, you know what happened. I can think of many drivers, including those who have competed for and won championships in the past, whose heads would have dropped after 10 laps or so and they would have fallen out of reach. But Verstappen hung on until the end, and ultimately was rewarded for doing so.

      Surprised Bottas wasn’t a struggler, but refusing to name Mercedes drivers as strugglers is pretty much a meme for these articles now.

      1. ” refusing to name Mercedes drivers as strugglers is pretty much a meme for these articles now”

        That’s right, the well known German and Finnish bias on this site I guess Red Andy making sure Bottas doesn’t end up on the list. Do you ever give it a rest?

        1. @john-h

          That’s right, the well known German and Finnish bias on this site I guess Red Andy making sure Bottas doesn’t end up on the list. Do you ever give it a rest?

          Ain’t it true? Hamilton and specially Bottas weren’t listed as strugglers many times when they pretty much deserved it.

          1. Jeddah I definitely agree with @rodewulf he should have been listed, but he was listed as a struggler in Hungary, Turkey last year, most of the obvious times. How many times has Perez been listed in comparison? Hardly ever either.

            I also think he should have been listed more times than he has, my point is to counter the accusation that racefans is somehow biased towards Mercedes just because we disagree with one or two assessments.

          2. @john-h

            he should have been listed, but he was listed as a struggler in Hungary, Turkey last year, most of the obvious times.

            Here’s the problem, his worst season driving for Mercedes yielded very few struggler performances (maybe only Imola and Baku) on this list when there was a few more to it. Perez had less absolute lows than Bottas, even if he wasn’t better than him overall, but still probably a similar number of stuggler performances listed here.
            And Hamilton absolutely deserved to be listed as a struggler in Monaco. Other drivers were listed as such for way less, some who had mechanical issues. Only Verstappen and Alonso never deserved to be deemed a struggler in any of the race weekends this season.

          3. Oh absolutely I agree with Verstappen @rodewulf no question about that he’s been amazing this year. I don’t like his driving style but that don’t mean a thing.

            Alonso though? He struggled at the start of the year, I think Barcelona was a particular low point from memory although I’m not sure he made the strugglers list.

          4. @john-h

            Alonso though? He struggled at the start of the year

            He “struggled” in a sense to adapt to his car early in the season, particularly for quali pace, but the norm in the Star/Struggler Performers has been only include among the strugglers if they had been hopeless the entire weekend. Alonso’s race pace have been always good in normal conditions, no exceptions this year.
            In Barcelona he was holding 10th until the last few laps when his tyres cried at loud, so whilst if you look at the final result it was a terrible 17th place, how his race actually unfolded was a different story. We shouldn’t take into account final positions alone defining this, or else Hamilton would have been a struggler in Baku, finishing a distant 15th due to wrongly pressing the brake magic button, and I find it kinda hasrh, won’t you agree?
            But of course in Spain Fernando didn’t have a race particularly bright, and I’d argue that his display at Imola was worse, despite tricky conditions he disappointed there. More of a case for being close to the form of a struggler, but even then he found a way to recover to a points position, right behind his team-mate. It’d be too harsh to call him that as well, but it was a lacklustre performance, that’s for sure.
            In Saudi Arabia his weekend was teachinacally of a struggler too, after his superb podium in Qatar, lapping significantly slower than Ocon and going backwards in the race, finishing 13rd. But he had mechanical issues that could not be finished on parc fermé. So if there was a weekend this season in which he could be called a struggler, in terms of his own driving performance, it was Imola, no doubt about that.

  8. I think Masi stole the show….literally

  9. Perez was the absolute star. His defence in a much slower car with older tyres was perfect, aggresive enough but spotlessly clean. What a disgrace it was called “dangerous driving”. But what can you expect from the Master Whiner?

    1. Yeah he was immense. Even how he parked it in the last sector.

      His racing yesterday was 2nd to none.

  10. Only last weekend from the whole season really justifies the hype media created around Tsunoda. Not even Bahrain, in which he was decent overall, was convincing enough to that.
    He surprised many in Abu Dhabi outqualifying Gasly by a lot and really solid in the race. Way to go, Yuki!

  11. If the race had ended under Safety Car, he would have driven 44 laps to the chequered flag on a scrubbed set of hard tyres – but on the fateful restart, he just didn’t have the grip he needed to see off Verstappen

    Lewis was not good anticipating Max’s moves in that last lap, his head already was a little bit messed up with the pressure, anticipating losing with the restart. If it was Fernando driving that car, maybe, just maybe, he would have covered the inside earlier as good measure and fend-off Max for the win and the WDC, even with scrubbed hards against softs. This is because Mercedes didn’t simply lost that amazing power on the straights, it would make that feasible for a driver who’s also a great but is less emotionally-driven than Hamilton. Alonso already won some defensive quests a little harder than that, stuff that people thought as impossible, like holding his supposed arch-rival up for 10 laps. Mercedes (with fresher tyres) vs. Alpine is probably up there as difficult as Mercedes vs. Red Bull with a huge tyre deg disadvantage, specially considering that he had to resist only 1 lap, not 10 laps.
    Yep, Hamilton wasn’t convicing enough there. The theory that he’s a great driver though relying too much in the fastest car wins one more evidence. As soon as he found himself in a car reduced roughly to the strenght of an Alpine, he seriously cracked under pressure.

    1. Had he covered the inside, Max would have gone to the outside and been on the inside for the next corner as it’s a chicane, plus the fact he can still afford a crash of course. I kind of agree perhaps he could have done more, but to be honest after what Masi did there I don’t really blame him. Hamilton has built a reputation for racing over many many years, saying he “seriously cracked under pressure” I don’t think many will agree with you here @rodewulf but I know you’re not a fan of Hamilton anyway so it doesn’t matter what he does to be honest.

      1. Had he covered the inside, Max would have gone to the outside and been on the inside for the next corner as it’s a chicane, plus the fact he can still afford a crash of course.

        Going for the inside in the next straight, even if being overtaken by Max, he’s have the slipstream to try again, like he did actually but was on the outside. Had he been trying through the inside line he actually would have a big chance to make the move stick, as he got alongside him. At worst, it was like Alpine vs. Red Bull there, so it was feasible to mount a sturdy defense for at least 1 lap.
        If Max had really planned to intentionally crash into him, he’d have done that as soon as Lewis pulled alongside him. It would be a final solution versus a clear risk of losing. But Max’s utmost wish is to compete and prevail on track, not crash. Those incidents this season happened due the circumstances of track positioning and risks assumed. You shouldn’t buy Mercedes propaganda that much.

        I kind of agree perhaps he could have done more, but to be honest after what Masi did there I don’t really blame him.

        Neither do I. This is just what he could have done better, but he was still unlucky this time. It was an extreme situation, it’s asking too much for the vast majority of drivers. So it by no mean implies he’s not among the very best.

        Hamilton has built a reputation for racing over many many years, saying he “seriously cracked under pressure” I don’t think many will agree with you here @rodewulf but I know you’re not a fan of Hamilton anyway so it doesn’t matter what he does to be honest.

        This is my opinion based on what I saw. Had he kept himself ahead of Max even with such huge disadvantage for only a 1-lap “sprint race”, how would I be able to say he cracked under pressure? So I have some basis to suggest that. He was calm and serene for the last few races, even more than Max, until before that point the Safety Car was called.
        So if you think he didn’t cracked under pressure, it’s good if you defend your point instead of just saying “I didn’t expect less from someone who will always bash Hamilton” kinda of stuff. Maybe you missed but I had praised him quite a few times already, offering a take that most people forgot to add. But as he has a lot of active fans, there’s not much more left to say about him that’s not on the news or on his toops’ mantras.

    2. Four seconds a lap faster is indefensible.

      1. @david-beau

        Four seconds a lap faster is indefensible.

        From where did that figure come? Was the last lap difference between Max and Lewis? Wrong measure! Lewis had given up after he pulled alongisde Max but through a complicated line. Just look to Lewis vs. Max laptimes shortly before the Safety Car, it never surpassed one second bar outliers (i.e. lapping other cars) and Max became only one second faster in new soft tyres than he was on his last lap of the previous stint, so at best it was a 2 seconds deficit on pace against the “sitting duck” Hamilton. At Yas Marina, still hard to overtake, and without DRS. As such my comparision of it with Alonso’s relentless defense against Hamilton at Hungaroring stands. His disadvantage was huge, not denying it, but by no means insurmountable. But any possible piece of truth that doesn’t stick to the narrative is quickly and thoughtlessly dismissed, isn’t it? Just out of despair in front of a strong evidence for Lewis performing nowhere near the expected from a world champion during a short while, let alone a race, like Monaco this year.

    3. @rodewulf

      For goodness sake, do you ever stop?

      That final lap on completely dead tyres was a masterpiece.

      Cracked? Given the outcome and your still ranting the anti Hamilton stuff after such a ridiculously altered ending, I think you should look in the mirror!

      1. @drgraham

        That final lap on completely dead tyres was a masterpiece.

        If only we had Fernando against Max we would have had a real masterpiece of defending.

  12. Star performer: Michael Masi.
    Well, search “f1” on any platform and everything from the last couple of days is about what ….. he is

  13. scooped F1’s first Overtake Award, meaning Aston Martin take home some form of silverware

    And one million jelly beans

  14. Stroll was robbed too. He had stoft tyres as well and deserved a shot at bagging some points!

  15. mark from toronto
    15th December 2021, 0:54

    Perez produced the best lap of F1 racing in the last several seasons and yet somehow he is not a star? Rediculous! He would have finished at worst P3 and maybe P2 if his car had not been retired.

    1. Probably p3, I don’t think there was the margin to overtake hamilton for a 2nd car with red tyres, he even got close to re-overtaking verstappen on the last possible overtake spot.

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