Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings
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.
Lewis Hamilton – 9
Comes very close to earning a maximum score, but just misses out because of the hesitation he admitted to in not closing off Verstappen’s run to the inside at Turn 1, where he wisely turned out of a collision. Was excellent from there – harrying Verstappen while keeping his tyres alive in his first stint, then executed the perfect chase in his third, where his pace advantage was huge.
Max Verstappen – 8
Two minor mistakes add up to cost another mark. He delivered his best qualifying lap on the first Q3 runs, then was delightfully punchy at the first corner. But as he “called himself in”, per his team boss, he cost himself a second that could have been crucial had Hamilton covered him. Then locked up at Turn 5 on his out-lap and appeared to damage the critical left front.
OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.
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
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
Red Bull: FIA happy with ‘bendy wing’ after Hamilton comments
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle