Imola is further proof that we are looking at the best F1 Season in years
We now have a Red Bull car that can outrun them. However that's only one of the ingredients that are making this a very tasty season all over.
After a day of absolutely insane and action packed racing, my biggest takeaway is that the 2021 F1 season is finally going to give us die hard fans a season to talk about for years to come. Unlike the last few seasons where Mercedes have dominated, we now have a Red Bull car that can outrun them. However that's only one of the ingredients that are making this a very tasty season all over.
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Mercedes vs. Red Bull
It seems that we know today for definite that the Red Bull car is the faster of the two when it comes to Mercedes and Red Bull fighting it out this year. However the great thing about this battle is that we know from the past and over how much pace Mercedes have made up today that Mercedes have two cards to play. The first is that over the past three weeks they have already manages to put the car back up to pace. The second is that Hamilton today showed why he's a seven time world champion.
The other side to this coin is the constructor's championship battle. This will be decided based on how Bottas and Perez bounce back from poor form today. While Bottas was his usual self and making lots of mistakes, we're very happy he walked away from that huge accident. Perez on the other hand had a very poor day. The key question will be, can Bottas bounce back and be consistent. Also this was Perez's first drive in the wet in his new car. We will need to look at Portugal and Spain in the next few weeks to have a clearer idea of this battle.
No matter how you cut it though, I do believe that this is going to be a battle that will go all of the way to the last race in Abu Dhabi.
Glimmers of No. 2 Driver Making Progress
As I mentioned above we have seen that Perez has made massive progress already and I feel was just caught out by the wet conditions for the first time with his new team. I don't think we've seen anything yet from Perez and I'm hoping that he can prove that the curse of the second seat is not a real thing at Red Bull.
He wasn't the only No. 2 driver at a new team this season that has made massive progress. Given how close this season has become, it seems that Sainz and Ricciardo have also pushed themselves up the grid in 6th and 7th respectively and don't be surprised to see either of these on the podium later in the season as they get more at one with their cars.
The outlier in all of this was Tsunoda, who has been a little bit too aggressive with the car and has caused a little bit of a harder time than Alphatauri was expecting. Hopefully he will be able to calm down a little bit at Portugal and show what he can really deliver.
A Costly Day for Williams
Not much to say here other than Williams had an expensive day after putting both of their cars off the track at Imola. Latifi put himself off early in the race and Russell had a huge shunt with Bottas later in the race. Luckily as stated above both walked away unharmed. No matter how you look at it though, this will have been a very costly day for Williams!
Ferrari are Finally Fast
Running together up in 4th and 5th, it seems that Ferrari are finally fast again. Their straight line speed was on pace and Sainz is getting to grips with the car. Given how well Leclerc did with the comparatively slower Ferrari from 2020 I have absolutely no doubt that he will be able to put this years car on multiple podiums.
I was jumping up and down with delight for the driver of the day as Lando Norris crossed the line in 3rd. The whole team has created an incredible car, Lando has shown what an incredible driver he is, even giving Hamilton a run for his money. In another few races I'm sure the Honey Badger will be further up the field. I now have changed my mind and I think this new magnificent McLaren team will be running 3rd once again in the constructor's.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don't forget to check out my F1 dedicated website here.