Hamilton vs Verstappen
The weekend started with Lewis Hamilton securing his 100th pole position. It seemed like Imola was repeating itself after Verstappen jumped in front of Hamilton on turn one of the circuit. What looked like certain victory quickly went downhill in the second half of the race.
What the Spanish GP has shown is that an innovative car doesn’t make up for a lack of strategy. The fatal flaw was Red Bull’s one-stop strategy and not responding quick enough to changing circumstances.
When Hamilton unexpectedly pitted to give him a tier advantage, Red Bull should have bounced into action and called their driver in to give him a fighting chance. Without a flexible strategy, Verstappen was left a sitting duck for Hamilton. He closed the 23-second deficit within 18 laps before stretching home for the final six laps ahead of Verstappen.
Once Hamilton was the clear winner, Verstappen pitted for a second time to bring home the point for the fastest lap. His win in Spain meant that Hamilton now ties with the legendary Ayrton Senna for the most consecutive wins at one circuit.
Ferrari Bounce Back + The Newbies
While most of the addition was one of the two championship rivals, it’s worth checking in with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who came in at fourth position. It might just be time to splurge on a Ferrari team jacket for what looks like a comeback season for the team. He put up a firm fight against Bottas in what is a slower car than the Mercedes.
Elsewhere in the mid-field, Perez came home in fifth position after being under the weather for most of the weekend. Daniel Ricciardo appears to be settling in at McLaren, coming in at sixth ahead of former McLaren driver Carlos Sainz. It’s clear that at least these three drivers, who have switched to new teams for 2021, are getting comfortable behind the wheel of their new cars.
Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, and Pierre Gasly finished off the top 10. For the rookie drivers, it was a mixture of fortunes. Haas’ Schumacher is slowly moving his way up the lower half of the grid, while fellow rookie Tsunoda ended his race early after an engine failure. It came after a disappointing qualifying performance that led to a highly criticised outburst that Tsunoda has since apologised for.
All eyes are now firmly set on Monaco. Will Verstappen finally get lucky in one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar? Can Hamilton make it another win for the record books? Ahead of Monaco, it’s the perfect time to grab your 2021 Lewis Hamilton cap or McLaren Lando Norris cap. Make sure to check back in a few weeks for your recap of the iconic Monaco Grand Prix.