Is this Red Bull’s best chance to beat Mercedes?
If the winner of pre-season testing can turn its early form into a season-long challenge, then the hegemony of F1’s top team could genuinely be under threat. Both teams are talking up the other as the 2021 season approaches its start, which could mean everything - and nothing
The 2008 Formula 1 season is now a very long time ago. Since that campaign ended, only two teams have won the drivers’ and constructors’ titles. One, as Brawn GP, picked up the championship double in 2009, the year after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari had split the honours. The other dominated the next four campaigns, and since then the bought-out former Brawn squad has swept every championship.
In 2021, overall triumph for McLaren and Ferrari, or any of the crowded midfield, seems unlikely at best. Once again, Mercedes (formerly Brawn) and Red Bull are set to do battle. But, having been soundly beaten for the past seven years, Red Bull is heading into F1’s latest campaign with perhaps its best chance of finally defeating Mercedes and reclaiming the crowns it last won in 2013. Such a turnaround is far from certain though, and both squads are playing up each other’s chances.
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?
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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
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