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Why F1 may get another Mercedes/Red Bull showdown in Spain
Attention is fixed on Red Bull after its stunning Silverstone win. The question now is whether it can repeat that result in Spain, where it seems three factors will be critical. Here's why those show another possible Mercedes upset is on at this stage…
After Red Bull and Max Verstappen inflicted a stunning and unexpected defeat on Mercedes at a hot Silverstone in last weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the big question is whether it can do so again at Barcelona for this weekend's Spanish GP.
And the other spelling – weather – is again a critical factor for the final race of Formula 1's second triple-header of the condensed 2020 season. There are two other dynamics to consider when it comes to the question of whether (back to the first one) Red Bull can repeat its Silverstone result: tyres and Verstappen himself.
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
Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory
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Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.
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