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2021 Formula 1 Season - Bahrain Race 1 Thrilling End


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The 2021 Formula 1 Season opened in somewhat dramatic fashion over the weekend in Bahrain.

In a really entertaining qualifying session on Saturday that saw upstart Red Bull Driver Max Verstappen

outduel the reigning 7-Time Formula 1 Champ Lewis Hamilton by about 1/10th of a second (qualifying determines the order the cars line up in for the race), it set up a nice duel for a change at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday's race.  The other interesting thing about the qualifying session was that new Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez did NOT make the top 10 - a HUGE disappointment considering the quality of car he has.

So the 2 Mercedes (Hamilton and Bottas) lined up behind Verstappen and away they went.  

The race strategy unfolded with Mercedes "undercutting" or pitting first on purpose vs the Red Bull leader.  This strategy yielded about a 6 second lead for Mercedes coming out of both pit stops.  Red Bull's advantage and strategy was to let Mercedes go first and to make them burn their tire grip up allowing Red Bull to close the gap and ultimately pass them in the end and win the race on newer/fresher tires.

Well after the second pit stop, Hamilton had a 6-7 second lead on Verstappen and the race to the end was on.  Verstappen cut the lead under a second, but honestly took longer than I anticipated it would with only about 3 or 4 laps to go.  Within this margin Verstappen was within the 1 second behind drag resistance system (DRS), a 12 mph advantage on 3 specific parts of the track.  It took Verstappen a lap to get in position to challenge Hamilton.

He did get in position and at one of the DRS zones, he passed Hamilton, but he did so with his car out of the track boundary and race control mandated he relinquish the position back to Hamilton which he did, but he lost considerable momentum when he did.  They raced on, but honestly Verstappen ran out of time and Hamilton held on.  Mercedes was jubilant and Red Bull was shaking their heads.  Highlights are below:

Race Highlights: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix (formula1.com)

 Great start to the season as it seems each race this year should be contested and not just how many seconds will Hamilton win by.

Next race is in Italy on April 18!  Check it out!

Many other story lines, but you likely need to like this type racing to get into them.  But if your starved for something after the NCAA Basketball tournament, give it a try!

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