Lewis Hamilton does it the hard way to triumph at Portimao, Max Verstappen falters and Lando Norris shines again: 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix Review

Formula One in 2021 is shaping up to be a titanic battle between Mercedes and Red Bull as we came into the third round of the season; held in the Algarve of Portugal. The rollercoaster circuit of Portimao stepped up to the plate in hosting a race last year and delivered history as Lewis Hamilton surpassed Michael Schumacher’s 91 career wins. Rewarded with a return for 2021, it was no less intriguing as it followed on from what we saw at Imola.

Following the race at Imola, we received more glimpses of what is to come later in 2021. The Canadian Grand Prix will not be taking place in 2021 with that race scheduled for June 13th being replaced with the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park. Given that was the weekend after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, it is certainly now more logistically friendly for the teams. Like Portugal, Turkey returned in 2020 and delivered an exciting race as well as history as Hamilton secured his 7th title. read more

Verstappen conquers the conditions and Imola as 2021 Championship battle with Hamilton takes shape: 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Review

After the intense battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the desert of Bahrain, I admit to being sceptical that Imola would produce an exciting race. Last years visit for the inaugural Emilia Romagna Grand Prix produced only six on-track overtakes and track position is key at this track. Gladly, I was proved wrong by F1’s second successive visit to Imola and on the same day, it was announced that F1 will be racing in Miami next year the weather helped produce an enthralling race.

Rain falling just before the start was they ey ingredient to an alrevady trying Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton on pole and the two Red Bull cars directly behind him on the grid, There was a spin o the formation lap which set the tone for an incident-filled race with very few cars having no hiccups as the red flags essentially split the race in two around the halfway mark. Despite all the drama, there were only four cars that failed to finish in the changing and difficult conditions. However, it reaffirmed that F1 does look set for a titanic battle for the Championships between reigning champions Mercedes in the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull in the hands of Max Verstappen [the pair battling at turn 1 in the feature image above; image from Twitter/Formula 1]. read more

A Tory Said What: March 2021

March was a big month in politics. The clocks went forward and the MPs left Parliament for their Easter break but they are still busy. There is still the pandemic and restrictions started to be eased but it was not without controversy, questionable comments and even more corruption. That is why I am back with a new post of A Tory Said What.

So, what is the point of these posts and why am I publishing them? Well, do you ever feel like the Conservative Government [PM Boris Johnson pictured above; feature image from Manchester Evening News] are deliberately lying to you? Do you ever feel like they are deliberately trying to gaslight you? Questioning your sanity? Or, have they said something that sounds so bizarre that has you thinking what the f***, they surely could not have said it, read more

2020/21 Premier League: the final stretch Predictions

The international break is over and the World Cup Qualifying campaigns for Qatar 2022 are starting to take shape. England look to be in prime position to qualify while there was also the odd surprise result such as Germany losing 2-1 at home to North Macedonia, their first defeat in a World Cup Qualifier since England won 5-1 in 2001. That said, there were still some pointless international friendlies. What is the point in that especially while we are still in a pandemic.

Domestic football returns this weekend and so too does the Premier League [feature image above from TEAMtalk]. EFL sides will be playing twice throughout the weekend which is usual for Easter. However, in the top flight, most sides still have nine games to play. That is 27 points up for grabs so I thought, as I usually do that I would make some predictions for the final stretch of the season. read more

Hamilton edges thrilling curtain-raiser against Verstappen: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Review

Formula One in 2021 is here! Starting off two weeks later than originally planned in the dessert with the traditional Sakhir International Circuit layout for the Bahrain Grand Prix hosting the season opener for only the third time. The opening race can be crucial for setting the tone for the season ahead with the driver winning the opening race going on to be crowned World Champion 34 times. That said, that has not happened since Nico Rosberg in 2016. However, this was one of the best season-opening races in recent years and if the Bahrain Grand Prix is only the first of many such races we will see in 2021, it is sure to be a scorcher!

For the first time in the hybrid era, it looks like we may have a sustained challenge to the all-conquering Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton [Pictured above; image from formula1.com]. Red Bull looked very strong in the three-day pre-season testing that was undertaken in Bahrain while Mercedes looked to be a bit on the backfoot. That appeared to be the case when it came to the first weekend with Max Verstappen looked mighty! Red Bull were aiming to win their first season-opening race since 2013 and with Honda power in their cars, could it have been Honda’s first since Ayrton Senna in 1991. Verstappen put them on the right track with an epic pole position lap going almost four-tenths quicker than the Mercedes of Hamilton with these two titanic drivers qualifying on the front row together for only the first time! read more

F1 2021 Season Preview

It is two weeks later than originally planned, but the 2021 Formula One season gets underway this weekend. Australia is not the season-opening race, it is the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir [Where the drivers line up on the start/finish straight above; feature image from formula1/.com] hosting the curtain-raiser for only the third time and the first time since 2010.

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, it did not look like we would get an F1 season at all last year. It is a testament to the powers that be in F1, Liberty Media, the teams, the drivers, the media crews and the circuits that came up to the plate that we had an F1 season last year. Starting off in Austria with a double bill in July, we got 17 races to form a championship as Lewis Hamilton surpassed Michael Schumacher’s once thought unsurmountable 91 race wins on his way to matching his 7 world titles. As a spectacle, the races were not always as exciting as what we had become accustomed to in 2019 but under the circumstances, it was just great to have some F1 to watch. read more

A Tory Said What: February 2021

January turned into February and although we are now several days into March 2021, I am back with the February 2021 edition of A Tory Said What. So, what is the point of these posts?

Do you ever feel like the Government are not being honest with you? Do you think they are lying? Or attempting to gaslight you? Or, have they said something that sounds so bizarre that you may think they did not actually say it at all? Well, that’s what I try to bring attention to with these posts. read more

Premier League transfers after Brexit

The UK left the EU at the end of 2020 and with the end of freedom of movement came a new regime for football transfers with players coming from an EU country now requiring a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) to be able to play in the UK. The January transfer window was generally quiet with not much money being spent (impact of Covid has perhaps some responsibility for that) but the only comments I can find regarding the new system from a prominent manager came from Sam Allardyce. The West Brom head coach made comments early in the window that the new system was making it harder for him. On January 4th, he told reporters…

Sam Allardyce. [Image from the Premier League].

‘I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they’re not allowed. It’s a shame. Due to the new regulations in terms of the permit they were unable to come to this country, whereas (previously) they would have done. I have to look at that and think ‘can he qualify?’ read more

A Tory Said What: January 2021

A new year is underway and while I initially aimed for this month to be the first one back for the ‘A Tory Said What’ series of posts, it is the second since I decided to start doing these posts again.

These posts were originally halted as it was immensely difficult to keep up with the number of lies, misinformation that was spread, especially after the rise of Boris Johnson to Prime Minister [Pictured in the feature image above from Manchester Evening News]. However, I then remember this quote from Joe Biden’s inspirational inauguration speech on January 20th and it reminds me why the amount of lies, misinformation and gaslighting from the Government infuriates me so much, especially while we are stick with ‘Britain Trump’ for the foreseeable… read more

Premier League 2020/21: Newcastle United at the halfway stage…

At the halfway stage of the Premier League season. I aimed to do a half-term report of sorts on how I felt it has gone for Steve Bruce’s [feature image above from Sky Sports] Newcastle United. With fans not being allowed in stadiums meaning all games have been televised, it means I’ve been able to watch most games but given what I’ve seen, I wish I hadn’t.

After 19 games played, Newcastle are 16th in the table on 19 points. If that tally was replicated over the next 19 games, then Newcastle would finish on 38 points which is not always a safe points tally. They are out of both Cup competitions after losing to Championship side Brentford in the Carabao Cup Quarter Final and at Arsenal in the Third Round of the FA Cup. It is abundantly clear at this stage of the season, Newcastle’s season is basically about surviving and staying in the top flight. read more