Grand Prix 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So its thats time again, the offseason is almost over as this time next week, we will be a few hours from Bahrain qualifying where all the guessing stops & we know the pecking order. although we have had some rescheduling before we had even started because Australia has been moved to the end of the season instead of the start & test got moved 2 weeks later. but i believe this years season opener unlike 2020 will go ahead as scheduled, not have a dramatic press conference 3 hours before FP1 was due to take place & austria will go back to being 9th round not the season opener

but hopefully we have got a great season to look forward to firstly we have the longest F1 season in its history, 23 races which is massive. jackie stewart on winning world championship in 1969 & 1971 were collectively only 22 races. shows how far F1 has expanded. in those 23 race we will be going to imola & portimao getting a 2nd chance after stepping in so well during the pandemic last season. finally get to have our 1st look at zandvoort albeit 16 months later than we thought, but vietnam is the casualty of the pandemic, because that has been binned & weirdly the only evidence of the it will be in F1 2020 video game & go to saudi arabia for the 1st new race not designed by herman tilke since 1995 argentine GP . also after an enforced sabbatical in 2020 we will finally get back to Monaco, Baku, Canada, unfortunately france, Singapore, Japan, USA, Brazil, Mexico & Australia in 2021

maybe just maybe. we could have our 1st interteam title battle since 2012, which is ridiclous to think that F1 has gone 9yrs, you cant imagine hypothetically going into jerez 1997. as the 1st title battle since prost senna 1989. it seems massive gap but that what we have currently have & as great as lewis hamilton as been, just like Schumacher or Vettel domination its not great for the sport as a whole. but maybe we have got season long fight between red bull & mercedes, likely the young pretender v the old expert. that we have been hoping for ever since max won the spanish gp in 2016. (but young pretender might be stretching it as Max would be 6 weeks older than vettel was next sunday, when he won his 1st world title in 2010 & in abu dhabi if he won, would be only 3 weeks younger than alonso in 2005) but besides that we have best teammate to verstappen on paper since riccardio & Bottas who if he could string a season together instead of just individual races could have a chance.

down the rest of the grid it doesnt look like there is much change , mclaren still look the best of the rest, Alpha Tauri could have jumped ahead of ferrari looking very good with great pairing of gasly & tsunoda who is highly rated, Aston Martin mayve dropped abit after struggle in testing. Williams look like they are on the way back & Haas the signs dont look good as they had stop developing the 2021 car before testing. as nice as it is to have a schumacher back on the grid, so could be a hard year for Mick Schumacher but it didnt do George Russell any harm. could help him to make his mistakes & learn out of the limelight. which if he was in the midfield with that surname could do more harm than good

on Bahrain, well we all hope that it wont be as eventful as our last trips to circuit 4 months with grosjean accident then heartbreaking bad luck from russell after stunning debut drive then perez rollercoaster ride from retiring from 3rd on the penultimate lap to 7 days later getting taken out then getting back to the pits coming through the field to win his maiden victory & that all 20 drivers are safe come the end of the race. the trends bode well because 7 of the 9 winners since 2012 have won the world title after winning in Sakhir & also bar 2008 (crash & 13th) & 2010 (4th). world champion has stood on every sakhir podium. but in aload of pre season uncertainity, i guarantee 1 thing 2021 season opener cant be any worse than 2010 the last time Bahrain started the season. it was such a dull affair that there was talk about a mandatory 2 stop to bring some entertainment:sleeping::sleeping:

but welcome to 2021, hope that you enjoy another year of F1 & the last before the biggest overhaul of F1 regulations since 1998
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Perez had no luck today but I thought he deserves a great deal of credit for coming back through the field.

I thought Danny Ric was strangely quiet and Lando certainly put in a great drive.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Thoroughly enjoyed that. Haven't wanted Hamilton to win a race since 2008 but was really rooting for him. The Merc strategy was very clever and Lewis implemented it perfectly. Max was, yet again, too excited and too keen to try and pass and it cost him.

A few other take aways for me. Raikkonen and Vettel really ought to hang their gloves up. We have a real benchmark in Ricciardo for Norris and he (Norris) was VERY impressive. Perez is a good No.2 driver and Bottas isn't even that good. Could Mazepin be the first driver since Yuji Ide to have his Super Licence revoked? Stroll continues to grow as a driver and Russell really deserves better, as does Gasly.

A final conspiracy theory for you all to mull over, was Alonso's car running a half load of fuel to create a "great comeback" for the self proclaimed best driver in F1?
 

racecub

Champion Elect
What a treat that was!! I’m so pleased the Red Bull is competitive, fantastic to see Max and Lewis on it like that. Those last few laps were edge of the seat.
I actually really rate PEREZ as well. Last to fifth. Bottas does little for me. Lando was great As was Leclerc.
A shout out to the Japanese rookie, very promising, I think I’m going to enjoy him. But Marzepan ☹️Oh dear!
This season is showing much promise.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
as i always say all sportsman all delusional you need to believe your the best because otherwise you'd get nowhere near the top

i joked when the pitstop, that Bottas will be glad that happened because he can now blame his pitstop for distant 3rd place. & i found it quite funny because in the pen he basically said as much, it cant cost you if you were going to finish 3rd before & you still finished 3rd. before he took the penultimate pitstop he was 16 seconds off Verstappen, so thats a 8 second gap minus the pit stop error. which is about right he was closeish but was never close enough to trouble or worry the main 2 out front

but if he finished 3rd every race toto wolff will be delighted for the constructors
 

Il_leone

World Champion
I think the best driver line up is Ferrari you got two top drivers both competitive without being a -holes just as long as Ferrari improve

The Alonso besr driver quote was misinterpreted as he thought the question was "Are you better than then (2018)?" not " Are you better than them(Verstappen and Hamilton?"
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
Am I wrong in perceiving cars can get closer this season, there were many overtakes and it seemed that the loss of ground through bends was considerably less.

Regarding Mazepin's driving abilities, there have been quite a few new drivers who get it very wrong in their early days of F1, some disappear others grow up and become average to good F1 drivers, but certainly not great. There is a four times WDC that still has problems overtaking and hitting other cars and still thinks the other driver is at fault.
 
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cousinDave

Points Scorer
A final conspiracy theory for you all to mull over, was Alonso's car running a half load of fuel to create a "great comeback" for the self proclaimed best driver in F1?
No conspiracy.... it was someone's sarnie wrapper

 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
That's a piss poor excuse for a car stopping because they only half filled the tanks. I recall Toleman claiming "engine failure" at Brands Hatch in 1982. Also, not that great a leap to imagine this team pulling a fast one for some publicity is it? Especially where Captain 6/10ths is involved.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Premium Contributor
Alonso qualified in ninth position in a car which is probably not capable of going higher at the moment FB. I realise that you think Alonso is the Devil incarnate but this is close to being libellous.
 
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Dartman

Pole Sitter
As FB posted it as a conspiracy theory it isn't libellous, but looking at history with the team under a different name with the same driver one could theorise anything is possible, the Scots have a nice verdict of "Not proven" which the guilty complain bitterly about and the innocent rarely are given that verdict :whistle:
 
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