Formula 1 Aramco Gran Premio de España 2021.
Circuito de Barcelona – Cataluña.
66 laps @ 4.655km/2.893ml 307.104km/190.834ml.
Lap record 1m 18.183s held by V. Bottas Mercedes (2020).
The FIA gave out warnings regarding exceeding the track limits at turns 1, 2, 13 & 15. Turn 10 had a new layout making it wider and quicker therefore improving overtaking opportunities after the DRS zone. The new kerb at turn 7 was to be avoided as it could cause front wing damage.
Israeli Roy Nissany an F2 driver for DAMS & Williams test driver was in FP1 replacing Rus & Kubica in the Alfa Romeo of Räi. It was also the first home race for Alo since 2018.
FP1 on Friday morning started at 11.30am and 21ºC. Maz went into the gravel 4 minutes into the session (no surprise there!).Kub also into the gravel at turn 10 causing red flag. FP2 at 3pm was still bright & sunny at 21ºC. Rus & Räi were back in their cars. Sai lost some bodywork after running over the kerb at turn 9 – VSC. Saturday’s final practice at 12pm was 23ºC. A few minor offs & Räi got a puncture after running over a kerb cam.
Qualifying in the afternoon at 3pm was at 25ºC. There was a 10 minute delay for repairs to the barrier. Lat had a broken mirror after bouncing over the kerbs. Both Haas drivers went out again with Lat, Räi & Tsu. Q2 was trouble-free. Q3 saw both Aston Martin drivers along with Rus, Gio & Gas go out. Per had a spin and returned to the garage and Ham got his 100th pole position. Ver, Bot, Lec & Oco made up the top five.
Race day was 22ºC but with some heavy black clouds in the distance. Ver got passed Ham. Bot lost out to Lec. Ric had a good start getting passed Sai & Oco. Tsu stopped at turn 10 with a loss of power bringing out the safety car for 1 lap. Gio pitted and lost a lot of time as the replacement tyre was flat. Gas was handed a 5 second penalty for being out of position on the starting grid. The main pit stops started on lap 21 when the action began with some position changes. There were quite a few good battles in the mid field and some good overtaking manoeuvres. The second round of pit stops caused a few more position changes. Red Bull got their strategy wrong which allowed Ham on fresher tyres to catch up and pass Ver. The last few laps were a bit hectic with drivers aiming for more points. There were some very close wheel-to-wheel racing. Ham took the chequered flag for the 6th win at this circuit & 98th time in his career. Ver & Botjoined him on the podium. Ver posted the fastest lap on lap 62 – a new lap record.
Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2021.
Round 5. 78 laps @ 3.340km/2.075ml 260.520km/161.887ml.
Lap record 1m 14.260s held by M. Verstappen Red Bull (2018)
Williams celebrated their 750th Grand Prix this weekend.
This was the first time ever for the Japanese driver to race at this circuit.
FP1 was bright & sunny at 20ºC. Lec had to return to the garage with gearbox gremlins after only 4 laps. Alo clipped the wall and broke his front wing; VSC for a short while. FP2 in the afternoon was up to 22ºC. Lec was back after missing most of FP1. Tsu finished early with damage to his car. Lots more close encounters with the barriers and trips down the escape roads. Sch hit the barrier and stopped with suspension damage causing the session to be stopped early. FP3 on Saturday morning followed after overnight rain at 18ºC. Lat crashed heavily into the barrier at the swimming pool – red flag. Sch crashed exiting Casino Square – red flag and session over.
Q1 in the afternoon at 19ºC saw Haas team unable to repair Sch’s car. Out went Maz, Lat, Alo & Tsu. Q2 with heavy black clouds looming was basically trouble free, but out went Rus, Räi, Str, Ric & Oco. Q3 12 minute top ten shoot out was a serious battle of the titans. Lec got his first pole position at his home race, but unfortunately crashed in the dying minutes at the swimming pool bringing the session to an end. Ver, Bot, Sai & Nor made up the top five.
It was 21ºC, bright and sunny for the race. Lec had a problem on the way to the grid and was unable to start. Ver kept his lead. Maz was the first to be lapped on lap 18. Ham was the first to pit for fresh tyres at the end of lap 29. Bot had a problem with the front wheel nut and retired. Str clipped the barrier at the exit of the swimming pool. There were some position changes during pit stops and Ham lost 2 places. Quite a few times deleted and a couple of black & white flags waved. Ham did a late pit stop for fresh rubber on lap 67. Ver crossed the line in 1h 38m 56.820s with Sai & Nor joining him on the podium. Ham recorded the fastest lap of 1m 12.909s on lap 69 making it a new lap record.