How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight
In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year
There was plenty for Formula 1 fans to enjoy in last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The absent Tifosi willing on Charles Leclerc as he delivered a near faultless weekend. British motorsport fans enjoying Lando Norris and George Russell impressing yet again, with surely all fans erupting in relief when the latter and Valtteri Bottas were able to climb out of the wreckage of their enormous accident and engage in further theatrics in the gravel trap.
There was much for the various partisan fanbases to cheer and jeer – but for the neutral there was surely no better moment than Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton going wheel-to-wheel once again for the lead, this time clashing.
The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end
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Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory
At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars
Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia…
For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi
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