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

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

The Late F1 2019 Season Review

With 2019 behind us, so too has another season of Formula One and I have eventually got round to doing a review of the 2019 season in which Lewis Hamilton stormed to his 6th World Championship; stretching closer to Michael Schumacher’s all-time win (91) and Championship records (7) as Mercedes made history in becoming the first team to win both the Drivers and Constructors Championship 6 times consecutively. That would suggest F1 in 2019 was boring as Mercedes and Hamilton had it all their own way but apart from the earlier rounds of the campaign, there was action up and down the field was thrilling and action-packed. 2019 was also notable for me attending my first ever Grand Prix which was an unbelievable experience.

Lewis Hamilton won F1’s 1,000th Grand Prix. [Image from formula1.com].

For the 22nd time since 1995, the F1 season started in Australia where Valtteri Bottas returned with a thumping victory over Hamilton =with a message to whom it concerns. Charles Leclerc, in only his second race at Ferrari, took pole in Bahrain and looked all set for a sensational maiden win but for an engine issue saw him lose the lead to Hamilton who chalked up his first win of 2019. Leclerc did get his first podium though; he finished 3rd. China saw F1 mark its landmark 1,000th Grand Prix and saw a dominant Hamilton leapfrog Bottas at turn 1 for his second successive victory. Baky saw the tables turned as Bottas took the turn 1 initiative before dominating proceedings. read more

Verstappen’s Interlagos redemption, Mercedes struggle and the Ferrari’s collide: 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix Review.

Just when both Championships had been decided and it looked like F1 would be slowly winding down for the year, we get this! A chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix that was thoroughly worth the watch and perhaps the most dramatic since the rain-soaked German Grand Prix in July. The old school Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo is no stranger to dramatic races and the 2019 edition saw 52 overtakes, 46 pit stops (including a new world record), two unlikely maiden podiums, teammates colliding and woe for Mercedes. And all that without a drop of rain as Red Bull and Max Verstappen took their third victory of the season.

Verstappen really likes Interlagos. He produced a masterclass drive there back in a wet 2016 race and should have won here last year if not for that incident with Esteban Ocon while he was leading. He had been keen not to talk of it as redemption coming into the weekend but deep down there must have been a niggling thought there as the post-race team radio messages suggest. read more

F1 2019: Updates and what to look out for in the remaining two races

Both the Constructors and Drivers Championships have been decided with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ensuring a record-breaking sixth successive double success. So, with two races to go, you may be forgiven for thinking there is nothing left to play for as the F1 219 season winds down with the penultimate race of the season at Interlagos this weekend. That said, there are still several thongs to look forward to before the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi in two weeks…

Constructors-Battle for 6th

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all loo set to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the third successive year and with McLaren holding a 42 point leade over Renault for 4th, it looks like the only tasty battle in the Constructors Championship is the battle for 6th. read more

Bottas wins but Hamilton secures meteoric sixth title: 2019 USA Grand Prix Review.

The Circuit of the America’s (COTA) is probably one of the best circuits designed by Hermann Tilke in recent times and it was the site of F1 history. Previously, only one driver had won more than Juan Manuel Fangio’s five world championships. Now, there is two as Lewis hamilton wrapped up the 2019 Championship for his 6th title. An absolutely phenomenal achievement.

Austin’s F1 future may well be under threat with the proposed plans for a Grand Prix in Miami but F1 reported the attendance as being above last years 269,899 and 111,580 for race day. That is all despite there being another significant race in Texas that weekend; the NASCAR Cup Series at the Texas Motor Speedway for the second time after both events clashed in 2014. read more

Hamilton on the brink of sixth title after surprise win: 2019 Mexican Grand Prix Review

The Mexican Grand Prix has only been back on the F1 calendar since 2015, but it has already become a fan favourite. That is shown in the organisers winning the FIA best Promoter Award four years running and shown again by a spectacular podium show in the stadium section. Well, not if you’re Sebastian Vettel who was not impressed with the trophy (after 120 career podiums, that’s just ungrateful). With several dramatic twists, turns and controversial moments, the 2019 race delivered even if it was slightly underwhelming that tyre management became the main factor in the race.

Qualifying saw the first bit of drama and controversy. With Valtteri Bottas having a pretty scary crash at turn 13 late in Q3, the pole position shootout was essentially neutralised. However, Max Verstappen set a purple sector to take pole position. Red Bull had looked strong for much of the weekend but pole was a relative surprise. read more

Long overdue win for Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes seal record equalling title: 2019 Japanese Grand Prix Review

There were so many questions heading into the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka this year and mostly, would we even have a Grand Prix. Typhoon Hagibis had already seen two Rugby World Cup games abandoned as a precaution. In the end, Qualifying was moved from its Saturday spot to Sunday morning before the race.

It has contributed to the debate of how the Grand Prix weekend should be structured as runners persist about how the Qualifying session could be edited. However, on track, Sebastian Vettel marched to a rather unexpected pole position and out-qualified Leclerc for the first time in nine. read more