How Red Bull seized control of F1 2021's testing narrative
Red Bull logged the most laps and topped the timesheets after the first day of Formula 1's Bahrain pre-season test as Mercedes had a disappointing start. Drawing early conclusions is always a dangerous game, but plenty of insight can still be gleaned...
Formula 1 is back – but the first day of 2021 pre-season testing at Bahrain proved to be a little different than the recent entries in the historical formbook.
For a start, the test is being held in the Middle East and not the usual Barcelona venue as a result of the 2021 calendar starting in Bahrain thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic’s continued impact on regular sporting schedules. But there is some merit to the argument for a track in this region to always host pre-season testing given the unpredictable weather in Europe at this time of year.
This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly
Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory
Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves
Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...
OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts
OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.
Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era
OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings
Perez and Sainz accept Bahrain offer for COVID-19 vaccine
F1 Bahrain 2021 pre-season testing - Day 2 as it happened