The rules anomaly that saved Hamilton from harsher punishment
OPINION: Mercedes was aggrieved that Lewis Hamilton was demoted three places on the grid for the Austrian GP within an hour of the race start, but it could have been a lot worse had the rules been applied differently
Lewis Hamilton has driven almost faultlessly over the past three seasons, winning 31 races, smashing Ayrton Senna's pole position record and racking up a hat-trick of world championship titles, but his performance in last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix was out of sorts and below the high standards we've come to expect. And he was fortunate things didn't turn out even worse.
Having peerlessly topped all three practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton made three significant errors of judgement in the crucial moments of the weekend: exceeding track limits at the final corner on his first run in Q3; failing to slow for a stationary yellow flag/light after Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas went off on the exit of Turn 4 during their final Q3 runs; then tapping Alexander Albon's Red Bull-Honda into a spin at the same corner late in the race while trying to defend second place.
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
Ask Tim: Where does "embarrassed" Ferrari go from here?
Fernando Alonso set to sign with Renault F1 team from 2021 season