How the 'Great F1 Rake-Off' delivered a Bahrain GP showdown
For the 2021 F1 season, the battle of Red Bull vs Mercedes looks set to be captured in the high-rake vs low-rake philosophy clash due to this year's technical rule tweaks. While bringing the grid closer together in terms of performance, it could be the deciding factor in the race for the world title
One of The Simpsons' most classic episodes, Cape Feare, features one of the most memorable moments of televisual brilliance. Sideshow Bob, having followed the Simpson family on its journey into witness protection, detaches himself from the underside of the car and steps onto a rake. He grumbles, before immediately proceeding to step onto another rake. And another. And another.
There's a very tenuous link between that episode and the beginning of the 2021 F1 season, with the best laid plans for victory (or, in Bob's case, the murder of spiky-headed ne'er-do-well Bart) put momentarily on pause by rake-instigated pain. The technical changes for 2021, those being the cuts in floor size and diffuser size, have been discussed at great length – but before running began, few were sure of the impact they would have on cars of differing rake.
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
Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...
Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.
OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.
Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition
How track limits became the talk of the Bahrain GP
Brawn hails Tsunoda as "F1's best rookie for years"