F1: The Exhilarating 2021 Season
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
The 2021 F1 season was by far the most exciting, fuel-filled, adrenaline pumping action F1 has ever seen. From the clashes of the 7 time world champion against a rookie driver and their tension-filled fight for the title, to the Hungarian Grand Prix where almost all drivers were out of the running even in the first lap, to McLaren’sl long awaited 1-2 finish at Monza with Daniel Ricciardo taking 1st place and fellow teammate, Lando Norris, taking 2nd.
The 2021 season started out in Bahrain, where the fierce battle against Hamilton and Verstappen began, in which Hamilton came first followed by Verstappen. Not much happened besides the usual driving - nothing too exciting. However, during the São Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, Hamilton went from the bottom of the grid, as a penalty for his rear wing failing the technical inspection, to the very top. Verstappen ended up getting fined $57,250 USD due to him touching the Mercedes rear wing shortly after qualifying - a hefty fine all due to one touch!
The next Grand Prix that left everyone completely shocked was the Hungarian Grand Prix, on the 1st of August, where Bottas lost control of his Mercedes as soon as the stewards stated, “it’s light off and away we go”. He ended up pushing into the contenders in front of him and landed everyone deep damage and a backwards start.
Below: F1 Rolex Magyar Nagydíj (Hungary) 2021 after lights went out.
Sebastian Vettel, managed to score 2nd place but was unfortunately disqualified due to his fuel tank not passing the technical inspection post-race.
Below: Perez and Verstappen - the two Red Bulls - clashing with Bottas and Norris.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was, by far, the worst track ever, with narrow corners and limited space to overtake, it left drivers crashing right out onto the track in qualifying, especially Max Verstappen who was aiming for the fastest lap in qualifying with all purple sectors. This was the case until the third sector which resulted in him crashing right into the barrier just before he made it to the finish line. This was a devastating finish for Verstappen, leaving him to take 2nd place, both in qualifying and in the race.
Jeddah saw drivers fight against the narrow corners and sectors trying to push themselves to the core, which even Hamilton stated himself, was incredibly hard, given the incomprehensible size of the track.
Verstappen and Hamilton clashed in the 37th lap, as Verstappen was slowing down to give the position back to Hamilton after driving out of the track. But the lack of communication between teams meant that Hamilton and his team didn’t get the message delivered and Hamilton could do nothing else except clash into his contender in front of him, in which he stated on his radio shortly afterwards, “He just brake-tested me!”, which was not the case - communication failed short.
The very last Grand Prix took place in Abu Dhabi, with Verstappen and Hamilton on 392.5 points apiece, leaving this Grand Prix with a tight finish. Set on the beautiful backdrop of the Emirates, the Yas Marina track had some heavy implications.
Perez, Verstappen’ s teammate, managed to steer Hamilton from 1st place, whilst Verstappen was catching up. Perez’s incredible defence meant he successfully defeated Hamilton after catching up, despite a few tense moments. Luckily, his hard work paid off with Verstappen quickly catching up and allowing Max to go past. After, Verstappen said: “Checo is a legend!”.
However, the last few laps left things very messy, with a virtual safety car due to Latifi crashing out, and as it was the 2nd to last lap, the team principal for Redbull asked for “one proper lap of racing”, given Hamilton and Verstappen’s battle. This meant that Micheal Masi asked for only a few cars behind Verstappen and Hamilton to pass them (this is not allowed, because either all cars or no cars are supposed to pass the safety car), whilst the other cars much further behind the beasts remained in their position. This caused lots of uproar, but after the safety car saw Verstappen and Hamilton right against each other waiting to do a one-lap race for the championship.
This single lap saw tensions fill, with Hamilton taking the lead before Verstappen caught on, stealing it, and back and forth. At the very last few turns before the finish, it was a clear win for Verstappen, who is now the F1 2021 World Champion.
Despite Max’s deserved win, it was an unfair win given the race director’s poor decision-making skills leaving the 2021 season rounding up to, in my opinion, a devastating end.