How strategy proved key in F1’s Monaco midfield battle
With overtaking at a premium on the streets of Monte-Carlo, strategy becomes an even more vital weapon in the Formula 1 fight. And as margins between teams continue to shrink, this year’s Monaco Grand Prix demonstrated why an ace strategy trumps all – and can even allow a mid-pack runner to beat a world championship protagonist
Saturday Night Live’s satirical takes on the United States’ presidential debates are oft-viewed television - and often clipped into bitesize chunks to disseminate into the world of social media. For the highly controversial 2000 race between Al Gore and George W. Bush, SNL handed Will Ferrell – known for his rib-splitting impersonation of baseball sportscaster Harry Caray – the Bush role.
The most infamous moment is thus; Ferrell's Bush is asked to sum up in a single word the best argument for his candidacy. Ferrell, lips drawn back at the corners in an evocation of Bush’s idiosyncratic facial posture, utters a deliberate malapropism: “strategery”. Some 21 years later, if one was to ask someone to sum up the merits of the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, it’s not unrealistic that the answer would be somewhat similar.
OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences
With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...
OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects
OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation
OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression
The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza
For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army
Monaco Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Norris "made engineer nervous" using track limit allowances by lap seven in Monaco