Juan Manuel Fangio's famous adage about winning by the smallest possible margin has never been truer than in modern grand prix racing. And that's even though he never had to deal with the complex hybrid technology and component limits that force races to be stage-managed by driver and team for fear of consuming too much engine life - with consequences for results downstream - or fuel. And he never encountered a safety car, let alone one of the virtual kind that cost Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes certain victory in the Australian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's win owed more to good fortune than to pace, as the man himself admitted, for without the deployment of the VSC on lap 26 of 58 to allow the recovery of Romain Grosjean's stricken Haas with its wobbly front-left wheel, they would not have won. But there's another saying about making your own luck, and had Mercedes not got its calculations indicating how much of a lead Vettel would need to make a pitstop under neutralised conditions and stay ahead wrong, Hamilton would still have won.
Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?
OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?
The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…
Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets
Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button
An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal
In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…
One Ricciardo lap was only chance for Red Bull to judge F1 car pace
Ferrari's Vettel: Mercedes' F1 engine modes less 'special' in 2018