10 issues we realized from F1’s 2021 British Grand Prix - Motor Informed
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10 issues we realized from F1’s 2021 British Grand Prix

Components 1, the British Grand Prix and a offered out Silverstone – it had the sensation of familiarity after the unknown and empty grandstands because the COVID-19 pandemic took maintain.

However the 2021 British GP was something however recognisable, beginning on the Thursday with the primary exhibiting of a full-scale 2022 F1 automobile mannequin after which a brand new weekend format which pivoted across the inaugural dash qualifying race.

All of it resulted in a dramatic and controversial victory for Lewis Hamilton after his lap one collision with Max Verstappen which despatched the F1 world championship chief right into a 51G affect with the tyre boundaries.

Hamilton recovered from a 10-second time penalty for the incident to reel in shock chief Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and overtake him with simply two laps to go – maximising his benefit with Verstappen out and chopping the deficit within the standings to eight factors.

Whereas penalties and sportsmanship turned the key post-race speaking factors, it created a race weekend jammed with motion and memorable moments.

Listed here are 10 issues we realized from the 2021 British GP.

1. The primary main conflict of Hamilton vs Verstappen reveals true rivalry

Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen after the Red Bull driver's sprint race victory

Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen after the Purple Bull driver’s dash race victory

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

It’s straightforward to see why the Lewis Hamilton/Max Verstappen collision at Copse, which put the Purple Bull driver out in a scary, high-speed accident, is being described as ‘inevitable’ – as a result of, actually, it was.

They’ve already clashed as soon as in 2021 – at Imola. Then there was Verstappen’s divebomb in Spain, plus the ultra-on-the-line shut racing between them between Abbey and the method to Copse in each Silverstone races. However the cause why the grand prix conflict ended because it did is exactly due to the championship scenario Hamilton faces, in addition to the fierce nature of each driver’s on-track angle.

Hamilton got here into the British GP 33 factors down on Verstappen. This isn’t 2017-2021, when the Mercedes driver might afford to take a ‘large image’ championship-points-tally-consideration view in 50-50 strikes. He has extra to lose now if one thing goes unsuitable, very important floor in a title battle the place he has a slower bundle, so merely can’t afford to provide an inch. And that’s Verstappen’s angle total – simply take a look at his response to Hamilton getting alongside at Abbey and Brooklands on Sunday.

Within the crash, Hamilton deserved a penalty for causing the incident, but it surely was nonetheless a positive name. Don’t count on this to be the final flashpoint of the 2021 title struggle.

2. F1’s penalty system must be defined higher

Lewis Hamilton had to sit stationary in his pitbox for 10s before his mechanics could service him

Lewis Hamilton needed to sit stationary in his pitbox for 10s earlier than his mechanics might service him

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Red Bull’s calls for Lewis Hamilton to be given a race ban for his half within the opening-lap crash with Max Verstappen had been at all times going to fall on deaf ears.

However you would absolutely perceive its frustration that the 10-second penalty given to Lewis Hamilton for the conflict in the end price the world champion nothing. Though it meant he needed to struggle a bit tougher for the victory, he was nonetheless in a position to come dwelling with the total 25 factors.

Whereas which will appear unfair for Verstappen, who noticed his title benefit slashed massively, F1 is quite right not to dish out penalties based on the consequences of offences.

For doing it that manner might open an excellent worse state of affairs the place drivers get heavy sanctions for comparatively minor rule breaches, however the ebook thrown at them when a tiny concern has large penalties.

What maybe is most missing in F1 is definitely a definition of driving guidelines and etiquette – so followers are higher in a position to choose incidents based mostly on the identical standards the stewards use. That might be vastly useful in stopping the sort of polarised opinions which have engulfed social media within the final 24 hours.

three. A spirited dash success, however the total verdict stays to be determined

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and the rest of the field at the start

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and the remainder of the sector firstly

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Till the ill-fated conflict of the titans at Copse, the weekend’s largest speaking level had been F1’s inaugural dash race (let’s name it what it was, lets?) which generated blended evaluations.

From “bizarre” in response to Sebastian Vettel) to “I liked it” from Charles Leclerc, nearly all people had their opinion. Many welcomed the added pleasure it delivered to Fridays and the engineering problem of getting the set-up nailed in FP1, whereas others questioned the relevance of FP2 when the vehicles had been in parc ferme circumstances which meant evaluating tyres was the one possible motion.

OPINION: The successes and warning signs from F1’s first sprint race

The 17-lap distance allowed for variation in tyre methods which was seized upon by Fernando Alonso, whose star activate the smooth tyres undoubtedly enlivened the proceedings because the race for the highest 4 proved fairly static after the opening lap.

F1 now faces a call over whether or not to proceed its experiment past the 2 additional (as but unconfirmed) dash occasions deliberate for this season and, if that’s the case, whether or not to make additional tweaks.

Series bosses are encouraged by initial feedback, and have an unspecified “job checklist” to work by, however can at the least be happy that the format shake-up achieved what it got down to in constructing anticipation all through the weekend.

four. Two-day race weekends look practical choice to ease stress on rising F1 calendar

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, waves to fans after securing pole

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, waves to followers after securing pole

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

F1’s first dash race trial on the British Grand Prix might be considered as an total success. The increase in viewers figures on Friday, plus elevated curiosity for the Saturday 17-lap sprint that offered a number of spills and thrills, had been precisely what F1 chiefs wished.

Positive there are some issues that want enhancing – like the difficulty of Saturday’s remaining free-practice being just about of no curiosity to followers on TV – however that is only a case of tidying up slightly than ranging from a clear sheet of paper.

And, in fact, the earlier the FIA goes again to awarding pole place within the historical past books to the quickest driver in Friday qualifying, slightly than the winner of the dash, the higher issues shall be.

PLUS: Why F1’s pole records could be about to become meaningless

However the success of the compressed format has additionally reopened the controversy on whether or not F1 truly wants to stay at three-day weekends. Hamilton advised a two-day schedule sooner or later can be the proper option to go.

It’s one thing that F1 has baulked at previously, and circuits would definitely not be blissful at shedding an additional day’s ticket gross sales. However might or not it’s one thing that proves preferable for some venues in change for holding one in all F1’s Grand Slam dash weekends?

5. F1 at its greatest with packed crowds as Silverstone roars once more

Fans cheer from the grandstands

Followers cheer from the grandstands

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Questions over the deserves of letting a capability crowd – that totalled 365,00zero at Silverstone over the whole British GP weekend – collect throughout an ongoing pandemic ought to directed to the UK authorities, with the monitor itself understandably simply making an attempt to remain afloat in these terrible occasions. However the followers in attendance had been handled to an distinctive sporting occasion.

Friday night time qualifying produced two distinctive shows from British drivers in entrance their dwelling followers, with the response to George Russell’s Q3 lap the spotlight for this author given how the Williams racer was cheered from corner-to-corner. Then the dash race delivered properly when it comes to an attention-grabbing race, even when it wasn’t the all-out thriller some claimed. But it surely did arrange a grand prix that fizzled spectacularly all through – capped by the title rivals colliding and Leclerc almost holding on for a well-known against-the-odds victory.

However there’s an attention-grabbing footnote to Hamilton’s victory. Autosport was informed there have been loads of new, youthful followers seen at Silverstone – with an obvious enhance in feminine spectators too.

Drive to Survive followers: In defence of a valuable F1 asset

It will likely be attention-grabbing to see if this may be backed up in official information, however even anecdotally it suggests the ‘Netflix impact’, in addition to Hamilton’s laudable efforts to assist diversify motorsport are having an affect. And what a race they had been handled to, hopefully cementing lifelong motorsport fan standing.

6. Leclerc demonstrates Ferrari’s resurgence

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Leclerc was unbelievably near a shock victory on the British GP, however there wasn’t fairly sufficient within the tank to repel Hamilton’s late assault for the lead. However Leclerc had been stellar, and his opportunistic transfer to clear Hamilton moments after the Verstappen incident rewarded him with the higher hand for the restart.

PLUS: How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

His getaway from the pole spot and subsequent managing of the hole to Hamilton had been extremely well-judged and, regardless of going through engine cut-out points whereas within the lead, Leclerc was in a position to climate the storm and discover sufficient in reserve to maintain Hamilton at bay. The seven-time champion’s restoration post-penalty, nonetheless, was an excessive amount of for Leclerc to withstand and his slight broad second at Copse was the one blot on the Monegasque’s copybook.

In the meantime, Carlos Sainz Jr’s restoration within the dash and continued progress within the race additionally confirmed the tempo of the Ferrari within the pack, though his ascent was halted by a sluggish pitstop. That dropped him behind Daniel Ricciardo, whose McLaren proved to be a troublesome cookie to overhaul.

Nonetheless, Ferrari has confirmed drastically improved type after a disastrous Paul Ricard race, and the upcoming Hungarian GP might be a race wherein the Scuderia actually shines.

7. Perez suffers like these earlier than him in Purple Bull’s second seat

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, on the grid, ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 car unveiling

Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing, and Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing, on the grid, forward of the 2022 Components 1 automobile unveiling

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez appeared to have the Purple Bull help position nailed after choosing up the items to win in Baku after which declare a deserved podium on the subsequent race at Paul Ricard.

However after being within the wars in Austria towards McLaren’s Lando Norris and Leclerc, Perez’s efficiency within the British GP had shades of the struggles Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon endured earlier than the Mexican got here to Purple Bull’s rescue.

It have to be stated it’s right down to positive margins, however qualifying behind Leclerc on Friday night time set the wheels in movement for Perez’s downward spiral. Trapped within the midfield battle firstly of the feisty dash race, he was caught out by dirty air and spun off, to be condemned to the again of the grid for the principle occasion.

Regardless of Purple Bull F1 automobile tweaks made in a bid to help his retaliation within the grand prix, but additionally which means a pitlane begin, Perez was making progress till he obtained caught in DRS trains after which obtained impatient and collided with Kimi Raikkonen.

A P10 end was pretty much as good because it was going to get till Purple Bull sacrificed that solitary level to pit Perez for softs to take the quickest lap level away from Hamilton – although ending outdoors of the highest 10 meant he would not earn the purpose himself.

PLUS: British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Perez has slipped again to fifth place within the standings and is ready to play ‘who might be the most effective help driver’ towards Valtteri Bottas for the remainder of the 12 months.

eight. Previous canine Alonso makes probably the most of recent methods

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, and Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing RB16B

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Alonso demonstrated he’s misplaced none of his racecraft together with his beautiful begin to the dash. The Alpine driver’s cost from 11th to fifth was aided by his smooth tyre gamble, however the TV onboard footage was paying homage to the outdated Alonso - carving by the pack and discovering gaps few others can.

As his softs light and left him seventh for the beginning of the principle occasion, the double world champion held his nerve towards an early assault from Vettel, earlier than his outdated rival spun off on his inside at Woodcote, and went on to take seventh to increase his points-scoring run to a fifth race.

The British GP marks Alonso’s final race earlier than his turns 40 and after a gradual begin to his F1 comeback, slowed by his pre-season training accident and adapting to his Alpine environment, he feels more energizing and prepared – a warning that the outdated canine has realized new methods.

PLUS: Why the F1 title-winning Alonso is back, both on and off-track

“After the accident at the start of the 12 months, within the first couple of races, there was nonetheless part of the stress of coming again to the game. I used to be involved concerning the jaw, concerning the shoulder as effectively that I had the small damage with,” Alonso stated after the British GP. “However now, I am tremendous match and I’m 200%.

“Subsequent week is one other quantity. So we’ll eat some cake. However other than that, it should be a really regular weekend. I really feel 25. So no matter quantity it says within the passport it isn’t what I really feel.”

9. Williams progress clear however Russell is making the distinction

George Russell, Williams, waves to fans from Parc Ferme after Qualifying

George Russell, Williams, waves to followers from Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Hamilton’s qualifying triumph on Friday stole the headlines, however one of many largest cheers from the group was reserved for Russell’s lap of honour in his one and solely Q3 run.

The Williams driver made the ultimate phase of qualifying for the third race in a row with the eighth quickest time, elevating questions over whether or not the FW43B needs to be thought-about a Q3 automobile henceforth.

The group’s head of auto efficiency Dave Robson reckoned it was “a bit too early to say whether or not that is going to be one thing that is a daily incidence”, admitting he anticipated Williams would discover it tougher than in Austria however the “very calm circumstances” on Friday night performed to the automobile’s strengths. Regardless of the Hungaroring requiring a very totally different set-up, Robson predicts “there is a good probability we’ll be there or there abouts”.

However even when it’s not, Russell might be counted on to make the distinction. Whereas his weekend went downhill after qualifying – a first-lap tangle in the sprint with Sainz resulted in a “harsh” three-place grid penalty for the grand prix that he couldn’t get better from towards vehicles that stay faster in race-trim – Russell is within the type of his life proper now.

“I believe there’s a component for him of getting on that upward spiral,” defined Robson.

The query now’s, how excessive can it go?

10. What the 2022 F1 present automobile hints at

The 2022 Formula 1 car launch event on the Silverstone grid

The 2022 Components 1 automobile launch occasion on the Silverstone grid

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Though F1’s imaginative and prescient for 2022 has been lengthy outlined after the revealing of the all-new laws (initially deliberate for 2021) again in 2019, the championship’s promoters unveiled a full-size model of its interpretation of next year’s chargers.

In fact, it got here with all of the bells and whistles anticipated for subsequent 12 months: the low-slung nostril immediately hooked up to the entrance wing, the simplified bodywork and give attention to ground-effect aerodynamics all featured on the automobile wrapped in a particular holographic livery.

That being stated, there have been a number of small variations between the bodily mannequin and the render, significantly across the entrance finish; the nostril tip sat in the midst of the main entrance wing component, slightly than protruding past them, hinting on the variation the groups can make use of. Though F1 elected to select a illustration of subsequent 12 months’s guidelines largely based mostly on aesthetics, it could actually solely be anticipated that the groups will take a extra pragmatic view of the principles and won’t essentially follow the spirit of them.

There is a higher give attention to prescribed designs and single-spec parts to chop prices and develop the aero impact that F1 has studied and earmarked as the best way ahead for nearer on-track racing, however these results will certainly be a bit diluted relating to the precise vary of vehicles subsequent 12 months.

Regardless, it is an thrilling new path for F1; though some have questioned the need of the brand new guidelines as 2021 continues to intrigue us all, the British GP nonetheless confirmed the difficulties of racing throughout the present stage of soiled air. The brand new guidelines ought to cut back that downside, ought to the whole lot go to plan.

By Alex Kalinauckas, Jonathan Noble, James Newbold, Jake Boxall-Legge and Haydn Cobb

Drivers group photo with the 2022 F1 car

Drivers group picture with the 2022 F1 automobile

Photograph by: Liberty Media

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