Motorsport.com's most read stories of 2021

After another exciting year in the racing world, Motorsport.com brings you a list of the most read stories on our website this year. Thanks for reading and see you in 2022.

Motorsport.com's most read stories of 2021
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Most read F1 stories

10. How Bottas' pitstop ended up being 43 hours long

Valtteri Bottas endured a painful pitstop at the Monaco Grand Prix when a wheel nut stuck firmly to his car – forcing his retirement. It took the team nearly two days before it could be removed...

9. Hamilton explains 'magic button' incident that led to restart off

Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix were wrecked when he skidded down the Turn 1 escape road at the restart. The incident was triggered by him accidentally activating his ‘magic button’.

8. Binotto leaves pit wall seat as Ferrari completes reshuffle

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto continued his overhaul of the Maranello squad with a decision to hand more of the pit wall responsibility to his staff – allowing him to step back from a frontline spot during races.

7. Pictured: The Mercedes F1 rear wing marks behind Red Bull's suspicions

Tensions between Red Bull and Mercedes increased around the time of the Brazilian Grand Prix amid suspicions about some possible flexi wing trickery. Red Bull’s angst was triggered by mysterious score marks on the W12’s rear wing...

6. Haas only discovered Schumacher's F1 seat issues from his mother

Mick Schumacher revealed in the early part of 2021 that he had been racing with a crooked seat in his Haas. But the situation had only been discovered at the team itself after a chance conversation between the German's mother and team boss Gunther Steiner.

 

5. Mercedes F1 reveals video of Bottas wheel removal

A couple of days after the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes finally managed to remove the stuck wheelnut from Valtteri Bottas’s car – and it published a video explaining how it did it.

4. Brundle: Entourages need 'manners and respect' after MTS F1 snub

The rolling back of Covid restrictions meant that Martin Brundle’s famous Sky grid walk could return at the United States Grand Prix. And it certainly grabbed the headlines as the former F1 driver faced some bodyguard angst.

3. Bottas wheel nut still stuck on Mercedes car after pitstop issue

Interest around Valtteri Bottas’s botched pitstop at the Monaco Grand Prix was high, as stories related to the bizarre episode took three spots in our 10 most-read F1 stories of the season.

2. What could Mercedes Plan B look like if Hamilton quits F1

Lewis Hamilton’s enforced silence after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix showed the scale of his annoyance at the events, and it even led his team boss Toto Wolff to suggest there was no guarantees the Briton would be back on the grid in 2022. Here we looked at what Mercedes would do if it needed to find a replacement.

1. Sulayem: "No forgiveness" if Hamilton breached FIA gala rules

Lewis Hamilton’s unhappiness over the events at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix prompted him to skip the FIA’s annual Prize Gala later in the week. New FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem found one of his first jobs was to work out whether or not the seven-time champion should be sanctioned for what was a breach of F1’s Sporting Regulations.

 

Most read NASCAR stories

10. Harvick 'never felt more unsafe' after racing in the rain at COTA

Following heavy rain and diabolical visibility as NASCAR made its debut at the Circuit of the Americas in May, star driver Kevin Harvick said he’d “never felt more unsafe in my whole racing career, period.” 

9. Brad Keselowski could become the next owner/driver in NASCAR

Motorsport.com’s Jim Utter reported in May that Brad Keselowski was poised to leave the Team Penske operation to take an ownership stake while driving for a rival team. In July, his move to Roush Fenway Racing was confirmed.  

8. Three crew members indefinitely suspended by NASCAR

In December, NASCAR issued a trio of suspensions to crew members who worked in the Cup and Xfinity Series, including crew chief Johnny Roten from the #13 Cup team for violating the substance abuse policy, and two others for violating NASCAR's behavioral policy. 

7. NASCAR suspends driver; hits Xfinity team with testing penalty

Part-time Xfinity driver Caesar Bacarella hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in November as he fell foul of NASCAR's substance abuse policy. Owner-driver Mike Harmon was also penalized for illegal on-track testing.

6. Kyle Busch: Sunday's NASCAR Cup race 'never should've gone green'

One of the most bizarre spectacles of the 2021 season was Kyle Busch, Martin Truex and Denny Hamlin all spinning out as drizzle intensified in the opening laps at New Hampshire. NASCAR admitted what transpired was “unfortunate”. 

 

5. NASCAR stars say 'we lost a crown jewel' as IMS becomes RC race

Once a ‘crown jewel’ of NASCAR, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis was dropped in favor of a race on its road course in 2021. Its drivers spoke out over the decision, and it appeared to chime with our readers too. 

4. Chase Elliott's NASCAR spotter suspended after arrest

Chase Elliott’s spotter, Eddie d’Hondt, was arrested in May over an alleged assault that occurred in 2020 – which led to his temporary suspension from Hendrick Motorsports. He was reinstated the following month, when the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. 

3. NASCAR suspends pair of Hendrick Motorsports executives

After Alex Bowman used an engine from teammate Chase Elliott’s car at New Hampshire in July, Hendrick Motorsports’ Scott Maxim, director of track engine support, and Jeff Andrews, executive vice president and general manager, were suspended for a race. 

2. After Daytona near-win, NASCAR disqualifies Chris Buescher

Chris Buescher enjoyed a fantastic run at Daytona in August, leading the race in overtime and eventually finishing second – but his Ford was found to have an unapproved track bar mounting assembly and he was dumped to 40th place. Had he kept his result, he’d have qualified for the playoffs. 

1. Kyle Larson loses his new spotter over social media posts

It only took five days of 2021 for the season’s first firing occurred, as Kyle Larson’s new spotter at Hendrick Motorsports – Chris Monez – was found to have posted conspiracy theories, including a QAnon hashtag, on social media. It happened just five days after he revealed he’d got the gig in the first place… and became the most-read story overall on Motorsport.com in 2021!

 

Most read other stories

10. Moto3 rider Dupasquier in “very serious condition” after crash

The 2021 season will sadly be remembered as one marred by tragedy in the bike racing world, as 19-year-old Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier lost his life in a qualifying crash at Mugello in May.

9. “Angry” Dovizioso opens up over his Ducati MotoGP exit

Our second-most read MotoGP story came around early in the year, as Andrea Dovizioso laid bare his frustrations at how his relationship with Ducati head honcho Gigi Dall'Igna had broken down in the years leading up to his split with the famous Italian marque.

8. Valentino Rossi announces retirement from MotoGP

This was the news that all MotoGP fans were dreading, but knew was coming - the end of the legendary Valentino Rossi's amazing career at the pinnacle of grand prix motorcycle racing season. The championship simply won't be the same without the man many regard as the 'GOAT'.

7. Le Mans 24h: Toyota wins with new hypercar, #7 crew breaks jinx

Topping our sportscar racing ranking in 2021 was Filip Cleeren's comprehensive report of an action-packed Le Mans 24 Hours in which Toyota took a one-two with its new hypercars and the luckless #7 crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez finally earned the big prize.

6. Huge shunt for Rosenqvist halts IndyCar race at Detroit

It certainly wasn't a year to remember for Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar racer Felix Rosenqvist, but the nadir came when he suffered a major crash in the first of two races on Detroit's Belle Isle - an incident that would keep him out of the cockpit for the following two events.

 

5. Mercedes set to quit Formula E ahead of Gen3 era

Nyck de Vries' Formula E title win in Berlin in August was overshadowed by the bombshell that Mercedes was on its way out of the championship - confirmed by the team just a few days later.

4. Zanardi's wife offers update on ex-F1 driver's recovery

In July, the wife of IndyCar and Paralympic legend Alex Zanardi, Daniela, offered an update on the Italian's recovery following his terrible handbike accident in 2020. More recently, Daniela revealed that Zanardi had left hospital after 18 months to continue his recuperation from home.

3. Moto3 rider Dupasquier dies after Mugello qualifying crash

The tragic news of Jason Dupasquier's death - the first time a rider had lost his life during a MotoGP race weekend for five years - arrived on Sunday morning at Mugello, casting a long shadow over the Italian Grand Prix.

2. Jimmie Johnson on IndyCar struggles: “I still am in a big hole”

Our most-read IndyCar story of the year was NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson's candid admission that he still had plenty to learn about open-wheel racing having embarked on an ambitious road and street course program with Chip Ganassi Racing.

1. Spanish motorbike racer Hugo Millan dies aged 14

The death of another young rider, this time 14-year-old Hugo Millan in a CEV Moto3 race at Aragon in July, came as a further wake-up call to the world of motorcycle racing to re-examine the issue of rider safety at a junior level.

 

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