2021 Great Britain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: And just like that, an exciting championship battle turns into an historic rivalry that will be remembered for years to come. We are now in the Senna vs. Prost realm of acrimony.
EVENT: The atmosphere is back.
TRACK: Only one turn mattered this year -- Copse.
QUALIFYING: Hamilton wins pole by every definition but the dumb ass FIA, Verstappen is perplexed, Ferrari is impressive, Aston Martin is not, and Mr. Saturday becomes Mr. Friday as Russell wows the crowd.
SPRINT QUALIFYING: We agree with Ross Brawn. Let's see the new format play out before forming an opinion. Though there are still two more data points to judge (Monza and TBD), so far, we give it a thumbs up.
SPRINT START: Verstappen rockets away with flaming brakes, Hamilton won't give it up, Russell taps Sainz, the slow Russian tangles with his teammate, and Alonso is loving the qualifying sprint.
RACE: A lot of mixed feelings as the race played out depending on who you were a fan of and who you blamed for the first lap crash.
START 1: Hamilton gets the better start but not enough to beat Verstappen into the first turn, but he didn't give up putting on an epic first lap battle ... until ... until Hamilton clipped Max, a massive crash ensued, and the season forever changed.
START 2: Leclerc gets off clean, Hamilton doesn't push it because he didn't think he needed to, Norris takes it to Bottas, Alonso is super aggressive again, and Vettel has that mysterious illness return -- spinitis.
HAMILTON: Lewis was not going to make the apex as his front end washed out due to the speed he carried into Copse. For that reason, he didn't leave enough racing room even if he tried to back out too little, too late. Thus, technically, the crash was his fault and he deserved the penalty.
VERSTAPPEN: However, Max was massively aggressive with how he threw the car across Hamilton's bow. Max has been ultra aggressive on the first lap throughout this season (and career), relying on others to back off. Sometimes they can't ... or won't. Live by the sword...
LECLERC: It sure looked like Charles was going to pull this one out. He sure thought so. Ultimately, and ironically, Copse was the key corner again.
BOTTAS: After the first lap, this should have been Valtteri's race to win. Yet, he still didn't.
PEREZ: The only good Sergio did this weekend was block the fastest lap point from Hamilton.
MERCEDES: Lost in all the controversy is how much Mercedes improved. Maybe not enough to have won straight up. But enough to start thinking this is far from over.
FERRARI: Perhaps the new rear tire compound introduced by Pirelli this race was an advantage for Ferrari. If so, they may be back in the hunt for third place.
RED BULL: They need to settle down and just focus on staying in front at Hungary.
NORRIS: Another great race by Lando.
RICCIARDO: And a fine weekend by Daniel.
ALONSO: Definitely back to his old self now. Time perhaps for Fernando to start complaining about needing a better car...
GASLY: The first race he finished without points. Pierre was frustrated all weekend.
RUSSELL: That Q2 qualifying run may turn out to be a defining moment in George's career.
FIA: Some of the most memorable moments in F1 are the epic qualifying laps pulled out of nowhere by the greats like Senna, Schumacher, and Hamilton (like just this weekend). To suddenly "negate" those moments by polluting the pole winning stats by declaring the sprint qualifying winner as the pole winner is downright criminal.
F2: Guanyu Zhou lost his championship lead due to failing to score points in the two Saturday sprint races. However, he came back to win the all important feature race on Sunday. He trails Oscar Piastri (who finished sixth, fourth, and third, respectively) by five points.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Clash.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 10 -- The number of seconds the stewards penalized Lewis Hamilton. Whether that was too little or too much, we'll leave as an exercise for the reader (Mercedes and Red Bull personnel exempted).
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This is not the first time there were two races on an F1 weekend. It happened once before at the 1959 German GP at Avus. Held in two heats using total aggregate time, Ferrari swept the podium. Brit Tony Brooks won followed by Americans Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. For an indepth article, go here
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From Romain Grosjean who knows what a scary crash is like, "Good to see @Max33Verstappen standing".
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Charles Leclerc on the incident where he had the closest view from just behind, "It is very difficult to judge. I think it was a racing incident, and difficult to put the blame on one or the other. Maybe Lewis was not completely at the apex, but it's true that Max was very aggressive on the outside."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: In a classic 'if it quacks like a duck' moment, commentator Martin Brundle during the sprint qualifying, calls it the way it is, "I think we should stop pretending it's not a race. Looks like a race to me."
SCHEDULE: What was going to appear to be another ho hum no passing affair coming up at the Hungaroring has suddenly become the most anticipated race of the year.
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