Verstappen dominates at the Red Bull Ring: 2021 Styrian Grand Prix Review

After the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, it was off to the Styrian hills of Austria to the Red Bull Ring for the second leg of the first triple-header in 2021 and the first of two successive races at the circuit. Judging from the first race at the track in seven days, you cannot help but wonder just how significant it could be for the destiny of the 2021 F1 Championship.

Circuit map of the Red Bull Ring [Image from formula1.com]

Just how significant could Austria be to the Championship between Red Bull and Mercedes; Max Verstappen [Feature image above from formula1.com] vs Lewis Hamilton? read more

Red Bull and Max Verstappen outsmart Mercedes: 2021 French Grand Prix Review

The Mind of Rowan is back with another Grand Prix review after missing out on the crazy and dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix from Baku which was won by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. The won meant he became the first driver in the turbo-hybrid era to win races with two teams. However, as the teams arrived at the Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix, to kick off the first triple-bill of races in 2021, there were still questions surrounding the issue of tyres with Pirelli instructing teams to run certain psi following the tyre failures in Baku.

Circuit Paul Ricard [Image from formula1.com].

With the French Grand Prix being the first part of the tripleheader, it is a potential big turning point for the season. Not only are three races in the next three weeks with two back to back following it at the Red Bull Ring in Austria but for the way that it panned out. Paul Ricard returned to F1 for 2018 and in the two races it had hosted, it had been led from start to finish by Mercedes with the last edition in 2019 being one of the dullest of the entire season. That was not the case in 2021 as all 20 cars finished for only the 10th time in F1 history and could it signify a change towards Red Bull and Max Verstappen [Pictured celebrating his win in the style of footballer Kylian Mbappe; feature image above from formula1.com]? read more

Championship leads change hands after Verstappen capitalises on Leclerc heartbreak as Hamilton disappoints: 2021 Monaco Grand Prix Review

Before delving into the review of the Grand Prix much further, I do want to add my respects to Max Mosley, former President of the FIA whose death was announced the day after the race at the age of 81. It was in his position as FIA president that he was instrumental in helping improve the safety of the sport following the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna in 1994 until he was succeeded by Jean Todt in 2009. It goes without saying that he leaves behind a huge legacy in F1

After a year out from the F1 calendar for the first time since 1954, the Monaco Grand Prix made a return to F1 this year for the fifth round and the question marks are still there as to how crucial could it be in the shakeup of the 2021 championship.

With the narrow streets of the Principality making overtaking very difficult indeed, pole position is often critical with the race being won from pole in 8 of the previous 12 visits and you would have to go back to 2008 for the last time the race was won by a driver not starting on the front row. The Safety car has also featured heavily in recent years with Bert Mylander being deployed in 9 of the previous 10. However, with no such Safety Car for also the first time in 2021, it was a largely processional race with only one genuine on track racing overtake. You would be forgiven for not realising it was also the quickest Monaco Grand Prix in history! read more

Lewis Hamilton reaches a century of pole positions and wins a 5th time in Spain after long fought duel with Max Verstappen: 2021 Spanish Grand Prix Review

Round four of the Formula One 2021 season and what is shaping up to be a titanic battle between Mercedes and Red Bull [Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton duelling for position in feature image above; image from Eurosport] took its latest episode at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This circuit is perhaps the one the teams and drivers know most as they traditionally use it for pre-season testing and generally if a teams car is strong here, it is a good sign it’ll be strong anywhere.

That sets F1 in 2021 up for the title battle but also for competitive racing action throughout the grid as small margins defined the weekend. In the first part of Qualifying, 17 cars were separated by a single second, in Q2 4th to 12th were separated by three-quarters of a second and pole position was decided by just 0.036s. It really does set us up for a competitive year and potentially many more records will fall and be set. read more

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