The rain turns everything upside down, Hamilton (100 wins) ahead of Verstappen
F1 Russian GP 2021 – race analysis
Hamilton, a record to charge against Max
Lewis Hamilton has taken a hundred victories in Formula 1, with the success of Russian GP at Sochi. It is not a result that came by chance, the result of a Mercedes that is always competitive. Rather it is the result of a personal path followed since he was ‘only’ a talent of minor formulas. Already winning before making his debut, he deserved the call of McLaren, also as a bet by Ron Dennis. Then he was called by Mercedes to replace Michael Schumacher. They could call any Sutil, and instead they chose him: one who until then had managed to win a race every season, even when the Woking car was not at the top of the technical progress. Then an incredible virtuous mechanism was triggered, which established a Schumacher-Ferrari, Vettel-Red Bull style dominance.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 26, 2021
He will need a lot, the strength against adversity, to beat Max Verstappen. Even yesterday, despite the start from the bottom, the Red Bull-Honda Dutchman achieved a splendid result.
Hamilton 100 is a piece of news that becomes history before our eyes. There are sports personalities who turn into champions: it was like this for Michael Schumacher, it was so for Coppi on a bicycle, for Ali with gloves, for Coppi and Merckx on a bicycle, for Valentino Rossi riding a motorcycle. But the fact that Verstappen, the last at the start for the engine replacement, was incredibly second, here, dampens a little the enthusiasm of the King. It seems that fate, with its inertia, is pushing forward the ambitions of the Flying Dutchman. He could have drowned in the Black Sea, but instead he found a lifeboat and came out of Russia just two points behind in the overall standings. If Hamilton and Verstappen are first and second when they start separately and spaced, what will happen when they find themselves next to each other on the starting grid, maybe already in Turkey in two weeks? There is some suspicion in the air.
Race results. F1 Russian GP 2021.
Hymn to freedom
The Russian GP has given overtaking, twists and exciting twists and turns repeatedly. In particular, at the end of the race, with the rain that became more and more heavy on the Sochi track, teams and drivers had to decide whether to stop to change the tires, replacing the slick tires with intermediate ones, or try to pull straight up to the checkered flag. The right move turned out to be the most prudent. Lando Norris, leader of the race with his McLaren up to that point, dared too much, trying to win the race on dry tyres and instead remaining with a handful of flies in his hand.
Read the interview of Lando Norris here!!!
Ferrari roller coaster in Sochi
In the process of growth from the cosmic zero of 2020, the Scuderia of Maranello has the right to try and make mistakes, following the dream of returning to the top. With Carlos Sainz, after having almost compromised his race on the occasion of the first pit stop (stuck behind Gasly for several laps), in the end came an excellent third place also for the constructors; with Charles Leclerc the sensational comeback from the bottom stopped because of the rain. The Monegasque made the same choice as Lando Norris, and the lack of communication at the wall led to an off-ranking epilogue.
Both Hamilton and Verstappen (who had problems with the durability of his tires) have been overshadowed by two boys caught up in a romantic ‘Villeneuvian’ syndrome. Norris and Leclerc: stubborn, disobedient, losers. Convinced that they can withstand opponents and bad weather purpose competitive miracle. Their stories, different. Norris was in front, Leclerc came back from the bottom. Norris kept Hamilton behind; Leclerc overs passed Verstappen. Both aware of having to suffer probable overtaking. Except for propitious variables. Rain, the maximum for a reckless guide. But, punished by the lack of prudence, determined to impose their wicked trust, at the cost of falling in view of the finish line. Every enthusiast spent two hours of excitement keeping an eye on, lap after lap, the margin of Norris, the positions conquered by Leclerc.
“There was a discussion with the team to put the intermediates. The lap in which I had the biggest doubt was that of Carlos’ return. At that moment I was passing it, so I didn’t want to create mess to enter the same lap and have the cars in the wrong order. After that, however, it was already too late because the water had arrived. I tried to continue, hoping it would dry out, but by then the race was already lost. I can’t see any glass half full. Yes, the new power unit was definitely a good thing for the team. But today I can not be happy and now personally I am really sorry. After a race like this, finishing where I ended up is not nice. Bravo to Carlos and for the team: for them I’m happy. Plus he finished ahead of McLaren, that was a good result. But from my side I don’t see anything positive.”
After a race full of twists and turns, unleashed especially in the final, Mercedes can leave Russia with many positive points to its advantage: the confirmation of its unbeatability in Sochi from 2014 to today, the 100th victory of Lewis Hamilton, the regaining of the leadership in the championship of the latter and the conclusion of the event with both drivers in the points zone.
An aspect, the latter, apparently obvious, but in reality not to be underestimated in that of Brackley, thanks to a performance by Valtteri Bottas not in line with general expectations: the Nastola rider, who finished fifth at the finish line, was not in fact the protagonist of a considerable performance, with the number 77 entering the top 10 only thanks to the looming bad weather, able to mix the cards on the table. A fact, this, confirmed by the person concerned immediately after the conclusion of the event:
“First of all, congratulations to Lewis on his success and on his 100th victory. From my point of view, it was a difficult race on a day not up to par, but the rain in the final saved me. Before these conditions, I had a lot of difficulty in imposing myself, to such an extent that it was more complex than I expected. I couldn’t tackle the corners in the right way, and I often went into understeer. I couldn’t get the right speed and get close enough to overtake, while for the other cars it seemed easier to stay in the wake and get close to the car in front of your own.”