Which Formula 1 driver made the most of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend?
It’s time to give your verdict on which driver did the best with the equipment at their disposal over the last three days.
Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most at Bahrain International Circuit.
Driver performance summary
|Driver||Started||Gap to team mate (Q)||Laps leading team mate||Pitted||Finished||Gap to team mate (R)|
|Lance Stroll||10th||-0.795s||48/55||2||10th||Not on same lap|
|Sebastian Vettel||20th||+0.795s||7/55||1||15th||Not on same lap|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||8th||+0.537s||8/56||2||8th||+8.01s|
|Pierre Gasly||5th||-0.69s||3/52||3||17th||Not on same lap|
|Yuki Tsunoda||13th||+0.69s||49/52||2||9th||Not on same lap|
|Kimi Raikkonen||14th||+0.53s||46/55||2||11th||Not on same lap|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||12th||-0.53s||9/55||2||12th||Not on same lap|
|George Russell||15th||-0.62s||49/51||2||14th||Not on same lap|
|Nicholas Latifi||17th||+0.62s||2/51||2||18th||Not on same lap|
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Vote for your Driver of the Weekend
Which driver do you think did the best job throughout the race weekend?
Who got the most out of their car in qualifying and the race? Who put their team mate in the shade?
Cast your vote below and explain why you chose the driver you picked in the comments.
Vote for the best driver of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend
- No opinion (0%)
- Nicholas Latifi (0%)
- George Russell (0%)
- Nikita Mazepin (1%)
- Mick Schumacher (0%)
- Antonio Giovinazzi (0%)
- Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
- Yuki Tsunoda (6%)
- Pierre Gasly (0%)
- Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
- Charles Leclerc (1%)
- Fernando Alonso (1%)
- Esteban Ocon (0%)
- Sebastian Vettel (0%)
- Lance Stroll (0%)
- Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
- Lando Norris (14%)
- Sergio Perez (17%)
- Max Verstappen (17%)
- Valtteri Bottas (0%)
- Lewis Hamilton (43%)
Total Voters: 357
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When this poll is closed the result will be displayed instead of the voting form.
2021 Bahrain Grand Prix
- How F1’s new rookie class fared in their first challenge of 2021
- Vettel feeling “not at home in the car yet” after tough weekend
- New format but familiar problems in Formula 2’s first triple-header weekend
- Leclerc thought he might keep Bottas behind after first-lap pass
- Mercedes strategy didn’t catch us by surprise – Red Bull
Debates and polls
- Will Daniel Ricciardo be racing in Formula 1 in 2024?
- Massa wants “justice” over Crashgate. But what penalty did it deserve?
- Should the stewards have taken action over Russell-Verstappen collision?
- After 25 grands prix, has F1’s ground effect revolution improved racing?
- Do late-race standing restarts belong in F1?
88 comments on “Vote for your 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”
29th March 2021, 0:58
Vettel! No, joking. It could go to Hamilton, but then he did run wide under pressure and invite Verstappen onto him. It could be Verstappen, but he bottled his overtake for the lead. So I voted for Lando Norris, who didn’t put a foot wrong all race – very aggressive at the start and blew Ricciardo away really in race pace. I’ve never really got why so many people have predicted a dominant Ricciardo at Mclaren – I think Lando is very good.
Elsewhere, a good recovery by Perez, and a decent drive by both Leclerc and Sainz – promising signs for Ferrari. Alonso was going really well till his car problems – good to see.
29th March 2021, 1:20
Same for me, great weekend by Lando!
Verstappen failed to keep his domination when it mattered most and Hamilton want looking impressive on Saturday.
29th March 2021, 0:59
Wow, was about to say I was particularly impressed about verstappen and norris having 50% of the votes and the others none when I noticed there’s only few votes yet!
In any case what can I say, I wasn’t impressed by hamilton, he drove in a different league to bottas, but that’s kinda expected, isn’t it? 2 tenths ahead of bottas in qualifying, and bottas is a better qualifier than racer, then bottas was like 35 sec behind, ofc he had that pit issue but he wasn’t in a race with them no matter that issue, and to me hamilton was simply unspectacular, he never overtook verstappen, he simply jumped him with a better strategy and then when verstappen came back charging he immediately got overtaken and if verstappen had known he had to stay inside the track in that turn he probably would’ve completed the overtake anyway and done.
To me verstappen was much more impressive, so went with him, apart from that perez certainly did well, although a recovery like this with red bull was kind of what he had to do, but let’s just say he proved immediately he’s no albon or gasly, just like I and many others counted on.
Leclerc also was not bad I think, to split the mclarens with such a ferrari and also passing bottas when given the chance, and tsunoda has a very good debut too, he might be the best japanese driver f1 ever had, and it’s easy to guess already at the first race given the quality of previous japanese drivers.
29th March 2021, 1:02
Alonso always on form, no matter what, also great.
29th March 2021, 7:23
@Esploratore, Bottas had a bad pitstop which cost him 10 sec. He also did an extra pitstop to secure the fastest lap(+ 20 sec) In fact he was only a few seconds behind Lewis.
29th March 2021, 8:17
Yeah Bottas’ pace actually wasn’t that bad in the race when you look at the gaps at the end, but he did get overtaken by Leclerc and lose touch with the leading pack as a result.
If he’d have been tucked in behind Hamilton at the first round of stops it’s not hard to image that Mercedes could have had a 1-2, or at the very least a more comfortable 1-3.
Still a lot of room to improve on race day.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
29th March 2021, 13:52
To be fari, Leclerc had a better launch than most of those around him. So that is more credit for him than against Bottas I would say.
29th March 2021, 1:09
Perez storming through the field in that RBR Imperial TIE Fighter was Epic. Checo!! 👏👏
29th March 2021, 1:20
Hamilton got the win, but Verstappen showed better form, IMO.
(Even made HAM craaaaaaaaaaaaack under pressure as some love to point out. Just a dig, though 🤡).
He wasn’t perfect in the race but, generally speaking, he was the class of the field.
One I expected to contend for it was Gasly. It is a shame he lost his wing so early.
Now, good fun will be on the strugglers, all sorts avaiable!
29th March 2021, 8:19
That’s what makes a truly great driver, being able to win when not looking great and not having the best car on the day. Has to be Hamilton.
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
29th March 2021, 17:30
I agree, it has to be Hamilton. Yes, he did stumble, but he kept going and won the race.
29th March 2021, 10:33
To be fair Ham made Max crack under pressure as well. Pretty obvious it was game over once Max ruined his tyres when he lost it at T13, followed by a little jink at T14.
Although I hate that expression at this level. Both of them know that at various times this season they are going to have to push the envelope further than they are comfortable with.
The Skeptic (@theskeptic)
29th March 2021, 1:31
Had to go with Lando! He drove a magnificent race (outpacing Ricciardo!), and qualified well. The overtake on Leclerc was tasty.
Hamilton was good, but not at his best. A rare error in the race put Max on his tail 1 lap earlier than he should have been.
Max was great, but also not quite at his best. His enthusiasm at turn 4 cost him that chance for another crack at Hamilton into turn 1 on the same lap. After that, he didn’t quite have enough.
Perez drove a good race, especially after the formation lap troubles, but qualifying was a bit ordinary.
Leclerc was fantastic, and was a close second to Lando in my opinion. I loved the moment that he got in front of Bottas.
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 1:46
Hamilton-didn’t have the fastest car (RB were fastest) but still found a way to win. Absorbed a lot of pressure from Max who had the fresher tyres and quicker car–Max couldn’t pull off a legit overtake on Hamilton in the way Hamilton was able to do on Max in Hungary 2019–and Hungary is a track that’s difficult to overtake on but Hamilton still got the job done, unlike Max today on a track where it’s easier to overtake.
29th March 2021, 10:37
Hamilton fans going crazy because there man won a race in a car that wasn’t supremely dominant for the first time since 2013. Let’s be honest, there was little to choose between Mercs and RBs and Hamilton had the advantage of avoiding the track limits for half the race.
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 14:26
Hamilton’s won plenty races in non-dominant cars–did you not watch 2017-2018
29th March 2021, 15:07
Were they the top team in the constructors? Did they get the most wins and most poles?
29th March 2021, 15:40
@amam, @brum55 I think 2017 and 18 aren’t great examples because although Ferrari was right there, as RB is now, it wasn’t outright a worse car.
I think 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 to an extend and 2013 are better examples of years in which Lewis won races in a car that wasn’t the best of the field.
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 16:44
Turkey 2020, Bahrain 2019, Mexico 2019 etc etc
29th March 2021, 1:50
For being consistent all weekend, I went with Norris. Seemed to get the most out of his package plus a little bit more in the race.
29th March 2021, 15:44
@dbradock Norris was out-qualified by Ricciardo though. Especially painful because it was RIC’s first race with McLaren, a team in which Lando is now fully established in his third year for them. I personally can’t give DOTW to Norris for that reason. It was a good race from him nevertheless.
juan fanger (@juan-fanger)
29th March 2021, 2:16
Driver of the Day/Weekend are really a comparison of team mates and a measure of expectations versus results.
Hamilton and Verstappen both drove very well in the two fastest cars, as expected.
Their teammates were very much 2nd drivers this weekend. Bottas was poor in qualifying and in the 1st stint of the race, but after that not too bad. Somehow Perez got the F1 viewer vote for coming 5th in the race with the fastest car and finishing over 50 seconds behind his team mate. Understandable that he got a few sympathy votes for having to start from pit lane but Red Bull cars have previously used the offset last place gives you to nearly always run in clear air. The expectation for Verstappen in a similar situation would have been to finish 4th.
Ricciardo pipped Norris in qualifying, but in the race it was completely the other way. Norris passed Ricciardo, Gasly and Leclerc on track, was faster in the race than the rest of the midfield and was the only one to hold off the 2nd Red Bull. Hopes of a an entertaining intra-team battle with Ricciardo faded quickly with the latter’s slower race speed, and he could possibly have finished behind Sainz given another lap.
Leclerc had an excellent weekend and kept his car in contention. Sainz showed that he still needs time to adjust to his new car to get the best results.
Alonso drove brilliantly until his retirement in an Alpine that didn’t look that quick, while Ocon just couldn’t match him. (It’s early in the season, but Ocon needs to get much closer in the next few races if he wants to drive F1 next year.)
Stroll had a good weekend, but with Vettel’s problems it was very hard to get a reference.
Gasly qualified very well and it’s a pity he gave himself an uppercut on the first lap. Tsunoda looked very good and am looking forward to seeing him race with more confidence in future.
It was fantastic to see the Alfa Romeos back in the midfield and Raikkonen and Giovinazzi both close to the points, but very hard to determine how well they drove from the limited screen time they received.
Russell was good again in qualifying and race but again had limited screen time. Latifi had an engine issue in the race, meaning no valid comparison is available.
The Haas cars looked ridiculously hard to drive with both cars spinning by themselves with full tanks. Fortunately for Schumacher he had plenty of tarmac runoff. Sadly for Mazepin, not so much.
So for me the standouts were Hamilton, Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc and Alonso. Four of these comfortably out-qualified their teammates to set up their races. The other was just overmatched by his teammate in qualifying but did not let that get in the way of his race. He passed 3 excellent drivers in good cars for position, and managed to stay on track while he did it. He was very fast in the race compared to his very highly-rated teammate. He kept his tyres alive to hold off a quicker car to keep 4th. All-in-all, Norris was the driver of the weekend.
29th March 2021, 2:49
That field spread, 50s to mclaren…
what a miracle! mercedes won! they were a midfield team on friday then they improved by 3s…
Now seriously they say they lost 1s relative to the competition yet they still have the same massive gap to the midfield. RB relatively speaking has gained bit chassis wise, but DRS showed merc power is much superior.
Every winter I say the same thing about merc how can journos be so wrong.
29th March 2021, 3:17
Tsunoda- Very good F1 début no doubt, if he can keep this up he may be a new star of F1.
29th March 2021, 10:36
+1 I thought he was outstanding.
29th March 2021, 12:10
Agree, all in context, Yuki was pretty impressive – 16th on lap 6 (which is where his esteemed teammate wound up by the end) finishing 9th with a last lap overtake on Stroll (which I’ll admit I’ve not seen) and sending one on Nando feels like a great first race result!
29th March 2021, 3:22
The Driver Performance Summary is a nice addition. Well done RaceFans.
29th March 2021, 3:48
I voted for Max. Don’t tell my wife – she was rooting for Max and I was signing the Lewis Anthem to annoy her ;-)
29th March 2021, 3:48
singing, not signing…
29th March 2021, 3:50
My vote is for Pérez, his recovery was epic, passing a lot of good drivers, without errors, without locking their brakes, surgical overtaking, without mistreating his own car, without rushing, all at his own pace and without losing focus of his strategy , his recovery was of the highest level of driving.
I have always said that Checo’s race pace management is far superior to his tire management, today we saw all of Checo’s experience put to use in his own race.
Today’s race makes up for his bad quiali, Congratulations to Sergio Pérez and RBR.
29th March 2021, 6:54
Verstappen was almost perfect and probably should have gotten it except he didn’t manage to make the pass stick. I know he only had 1 or 2 tries before the tires went off, but still. He also let Hamilton past in the wrong place. Hamilton was good but had a poor qualifying lap and went wide when he shouldn’t under pressure.
So I give it to Norris despite not outqualifying his team mate, but it was anyway close. The opening laps were really top and consistency good.
29th March 2021, 8:47
Yes Ham went wide under pressure just to show his fans here that when his car is not a second faster per lap he becomes a fallible driver, a flustered driver, a harried driver who makes mistakes.
29th March 2021, 9:41
And STILL won! Who knew! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
29th March 2021, 12:17
Yeah it’s a big surprise following the team’s 7 straight titles and in an update of one of the most dominant cars of all time, isn’t it.. 🤦🤦🤦🤦🤦🤦
29th March 2021, 13:10
@balue you can have 3,000 victories and the pressure will still be there when the other driver is all over you and is faster to the tune of 8 seconds quicker over several laps. Even Verstappen was under immense pressure to win and went wide.
29th March 2021, 10:39
Yea, and despite all that Max decided to wreck his newer tyres by losing it in T13 when under no pressure from behind.
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 9:34
Hamilton’s quali was good–2 tenths over his teammate who known to be a good qualifier
29th March 2021, 12:20
@amam Bottas was way behind the whole weekend struggling with the car, and had even lost a fresh set of tyres for Q3, so it should be more than 0.2s, but then Hamilton even apologized for his qualifying performance. As we saw in the race, the Mercedes was actually faster than the Red Bull on the quali tyres, easily keeping up.
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 14:28
We saw Max losing in the fastest car
29th March 2021, 21:34
@amam Saying it over and over doesn’t make it so. Everyone could see Verstappen could not get away when they were on the same tyre with the same wear which was the first stint. It proves at the very least that they were evenly matched, but suggests strongly the Mercedes was faster, the opposite of your claim.
29th March 2021, 7:19
Hamilton and Verstappen supreme as they often are. Voted Hamilton for pulling off those long stints.
Norris and Alonso did well too. But not on the same level.
29th March 2021, 7:28
Driver of the WEEKEND (this seems to be overlooked by most?)
Verstappen was supreme all weekend. Two mercs against one RBR was ultimately his downfall, but he so very nearly had it. Brilliant weekend from Max.
29th March 2021, 8:58
I think it was down to one RB against one Merc. I don’t think Bottas was ever in contention … I wonder, and please those who have access to pace information tell me, how Perez did against Bottas. It would be good to know how the race had panned out had Perez been closer to Bottas on the grid (and without the formation lap troubles) …
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 9:24
not sure what you are going on about–Bottas was out the picture with that slow pitstop
29th March 2021, 17:38
@amam until that pitstop mercedes had Max covered on both sides. Hence for the 1st stops, bringing Lewis in early, Max had to go longer because of Bottas. Couldn’t cover the undercut and lost track position.
Clearly a 2 against 1 scenario…
29th March 2021, 9:43
Verstappen is legit shout for DOTW. So is Lewis. I went for the latter and.it seems a large majority agree. Cant knock a vote for VER this weekend though.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
29th March 2021, 10:13
Yea, people voting perez for dotw are not really taking the work weekend correctly perez was poor in qualifying and even without having to restart the race in 18th, p5 still looked most likely for him. If hamilton or bottas in the best car had a great qualifying then slipped off the podium on race day, would they be dotw?
Perez ruined what could have been a higher result. Some seem to use his reliability problems as the reason for him having to do the recovery. That in the end only lost him 7 positions as he restarted P18 when the next safety car came out and he only had 7 far slower cars to overtake to get back to his original starting position. P4 will have been the highest he could finish had he started 11th, and that isn’t a DOTW worthy result for a driver in the best car.
29th March 2021, 7:50
Not the DotW, but Bottas deserves a mention as well.
He was anonymous most of the race, but being ‘only’ 37s is quite respectable. Losing 31s in total (8s in the budged pit stop plus 23s in the extra one) brings him pretty close to the leading pair who were at full speed the whole race.
29th March 2021, 8:11
@coldfly – please, Sir, accept my vote for COTD.
29th March 2021, 8:18
@coldfly I assume you are trying to be funny, but it is actually true.
Bottas showed that Verstappen could have had a much better first stint. Bottas gained a lot on Verstappen over those extra few laps they both did. Plus without that 8s lost in the second pitstop, he would have come out in front of Verstappen.
29th March 2021, 9:02
I am dead serious.
It merely showed (check the interactive data of all four cars) that Mercedes was still slightly ahead on race pace.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
29th March 2021, 10:22
Bottas did seem to recover well based on his poor form in most of practice in qualifying. Leclerc had a great start and Bottas didn’t take to long to pass him, but lost around 4 seconds. That then grew to around 7 behind Hamilton. He then stayed between 7 and 10 seconds and pretty much looked to have the same pace. Then he lost that time in the pit stop an was around 13 – 16 seconds behind hamilton (15 when he pitted for FLAP). This did indicate that though he wasn’t involved with the fight with Verstappen, his pace was more or less the same as Hamilton’s most of the race. The main things that cost him time was Leclerc’s start and his stop which added around 12 seconds. By the end as i said before he pitted, he was only 15 seconds behind.So to be realistic, Bottas could possibly have been right on Verstappen had things gone his way. He looks worse than he was if people just look at the timeing results.
29th March 2021, 8:05
DOTW: I eventually went for VER, albeit very difficult to choose between him and HAM.
DOTD: Definitely PER with honorable mentions to the top two, NOR, and TSU.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
29th March 2021, 8:10
Lewis Hamilton – 9
I didn’t give out any tens today, but Lewis came closest, so I voted for him. In the second fastest car, he just managed to resist Verstappen to score an impressive win. It wasn’t a perfect drive, but it was better than the other 19. Maybe if Max had won it would have been a different story.
Valtteri Bottas – 7
The final gap isn’t really representative, but he wasn’t on the level of the other two today. I hope he can make this a three-way title battle.
Max Verstappen – 9
Not a perfect drive because he could have won the race, but very impressive all weekend. As the results showed, Hamilton was just that tiny bit better. It looks like he will be a title contender this year, and it is good that he did the decent thing and let Hamilton past. The old Max would have ignored that instruction.
Sergio Perez – 7
He can’t score higher than this because he did finish a very long way behind Verstappen, and he didn’t make Q3. But already he looks like an improvement on Albon, and should challenge for the podium next time out.
Daniel Ricciardo – 7
He outqualified Norris, but was generally off Lando’s pace all weekend. Scored some decent points on his McLaren debut and beat Sainz, but he will have better days with McLaren.
Lando Norris – 9
Misses out on a perfect ten because he was outqualified by his teammate, but won the midfield battle convincingly and did a great job all weekend.
Lance Stroll – 8
A really impressive drive from Lance, getting that Aston Martin into Q3 and then scoring points as well. Loses a point for being passed by Tsunoda, but still totally outclassed his teammate.
Sebastian Vettel – 4
Oh dear. I was really looking forward to seeing Vettel back at his best this year, but that really was a shocking weekend from him. Miles off Stroll’s pace in qualifying and the race, and then had that silly collision with Ocon. And had the cheek to blame Ocon for it!
Fernando Alonso – 8
Difficult to rate as we don’t know when the brake problem started to affect him, but was very impressive in qualifying and would likely have scored points in his first race back without the problem.
Esteban Ocon – 6
Quite disappointing, but he was unlucky in qualifying and was only a few seconds behind when Alonso retired. Still looks like a totally different driver to the one that was so evenly matched with Perez at Force India.
Charles Leclerc – 9
Excellent, as usual. He is quite possibly the fastest driver on the grid over a single lap, and if he cuts out the incidents he could be on a similar level to Hamilton and Verstappen this year. But with a perfect race he could have beaten Norris.
Carlos Sainz – 7
I was expecting him to be a long way off Leclerc this weekend, and to score no points at all. But he did a great job and fully deserved that points finish. The Ferrari battle could be closer than I had anticipated this year!
Pierre Gasly – 7
What a shame! I thought he looked on for a fourth place finish after qualifying and maybe even threatening the podium. But he messed it up by driving into the back of the McLaren, and the car seemed damaged from there on in. Still much faster than Tsunoda in qualifying, though.
Yuki Tsunoda – 7
Well done to him for that first points finish, but he was not on Gasly’s level this weekend, and that Alpha Tauri was capable of mixing it with McLaren and Ferrari. Gets a point back for passing Stroll at the end.
Kimi Raikkonen – 7
Not sure how good the Alfas are, but Kimi Raikkonen delivered a decent result. I am glad they look to be back in the midfield fight after last year’s horror show.
Antonio Giovinazzi – 7
He finished around 12 seconds off Raikkonen, but a lot of that was down to a slow pitstop early on, and he comfortably beat him in qualifying, so the two Alfas get the same score.
Mick Schumacher – 6
The fact that both drivers spun shows how difficult that car is to drive, but Mick did a decent job this weekend, far better than his teammate. I didn’t see whether he would have beaten Latifi without Latifi’s late retirement, but I think it was close.
Nikita Mazepin – 3
What a shocking debut from Mazepin, with multiple spins in qualifying and then an unforced error leading to a crash in the race. But in fairness, Schumacher did the same, so the car is difficult to drive. Still not good enough.
George Russell – 8
Russell is in for a lonely season. The Williams and the Haas are at a similar level; and possibly the Haas is slightly quicker, but Russell is clearly a far superior driver to his three rivals, so should beat them comfortably every weekend. But his car just won’t allow him to challenge the midfield. Did a great job to be in Q2.
Nicholas Latifi – 6
Retired late on when close to Schumacher. As Latifi is probably a better driver at the moment (but likely not for long), I think the Haas is the slightly better car. Schumacher should be his main rival this year.
29th March 2021, 8:51
@f1frog enjoyed your ratings and reviews. I don’t understand how Mazepin gets 3 though. That was a 1 performance, surely?
29th March 2021, 9:04
We should leave some downward room for the next weekends, @psynrg.
F1 frog (@f1frog)
29th March 2021, 9:27
I rarely give lower than a three. Occasionally drivers get 2/10 (most recent example was Latifi in Turkey), and Mazepin was on for a 2/10 until Schumacher spun as well, showing that the car was very difficult to drive. It takes a lot to get lower than that. For a 1, he would have to have driven like he did all weekend, and then taken someone else out in that first lap spin. A zero is reserved for a dangerous, deliberate crash with another driver. Hopefully I will never have to give a zero (Vettel in Baku 2017 was not bad enough for a zero, but if I had been doing these ratings in Japan 1990 or Jerez 1997, Senna and Schumacher would have got zeros. Piquet Jr in Singapore 2008 would have got a 1, as his crash didn’t involve any other driver).
F1 frog (@f1frog)
29th March 2021, 16:27
@psynrg wow, Autosport actually did rate Mazepin 1/10. I have never seen that before!
29th March 2021, 9:44
You did Vettel a favor there. Straight 1 if you’d ask me. He really should have just quit when Ferrari showed him the door. He’d been better off not driving last season at all and just enjoy his career and the tremendous luck that came upon him 4 times.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
29th March 2021, 10:33
I’m not sure how you can tie Gasly and Perez with Bottas. Gasly especially destroyed his race which is what counts. Surely just a good qualifying shouldn’t be the main thing that counts? Gasly should be below 5 IMO.
Perez underperformed in qualifying and as Bottas showed in a top car at a hard track to overtake (abu dhabi 2019), he finished P4 and a second off the podium. Perez restarted the race 18th with a bunched up field, new tyres and finished 5th. It is unlikely that he will have had a much better result if he started 11th as he only needed to overtake 7 much slower cars to get back to his original starting position (which was hi fault) I would say Peres probably was more worthy of a 5 or 6.
Bottas wasn’t involved with the fight for the win, but it should be noted that his final lap in qualifying was close to hamilton and his race pace was almost identical. Due to leclerc’s great start, Bottas lost a few seconds here, but then he didn’t really drop more than a few seconds further back from hamilton the rest of the race – aside from the 8 seconds lost in the pits. When he pitted for flap, he was 15 seconds behind Hamilton. take away 8 from that and the few seconds he lost behind Leclerc at the start, and he lost around 12 seconds. So to be fair to him, he likely will have been very close to both of them at the end had he not gone or fastest lap. I think an 8 would be more fair for Bottas.
30th March 2021, 5:11
Surprised Mazepin got more than a 2. Vettel didn’t really deserve more than 2 this weekend either.
29th March 2021, 8:48
Went with Lando but Hamilton was my alternative vote.
Christopher Rehn (@chrischrill)
29th March 2021, 8:55
Not an easy one to decide. In the end, I picked Hamilton simply by how he managed to eke that final millipercentage of performance from his Mercedes to beat a car that looked faster, felt faster, and probably was faster. Mercedes qualified 2nd, and then ran an aggressive strategy which let Hamilton very vulnerable towards the end. Impressive.
Shoutouts to Verstappen of course, and Norris, Perez (race only), Raikkonen, Alonso, and Leclerc.
29th March 2021, 9:09
If including Raikkonen then consider including Gasly (he was superb until his self-inflicted wound), Sainz (pretty close to the established driver), Ricciardo (almost even with the established driver), Stroll (clearly beating a multiple WDC), and Russel (mister Saturday beating Vettel on Sunday) in the shoutout as well, @chrischrill.
29th March 2021, 9:10
And rookie Tsunoda of course.
Christopher Rehn (@chrischrill)
29th March 2021, 9:56
While I’m at it, maybe you think I should include Bottas, Giovinazzi, Ocon and Schumacher too?
29th March 2021, 12:12
@chrischill well, if you’re including Raikonnen then yes you should include Giovinazzi. He outqualified Kimi by over half a second and was running ahead of him until losing about 7 seconds at the first pit stop, which dropped him behind both Kimi and several other cars.
29th March 2021, 12:13
29th March 2021, 12:14
3rd time lucky @chrischrill
29th March 2021, 13:39
Good point, @chrischrill.
Bottas IMO was slightly better than Raikkonen, and Gio at the same level.
Ocon was worse though, and Schumacher difficult to assess.
I think you opened yourself up for this response by including Raikkonen.
29th March 2021, 8:58
If we go weekend, it has to be Verstappen. I don’t fault him for going for the overtake and just narrowly missing the corner, and ultimately, it was the strategy that pipped him from the win, not that overtake. He was in the lead in every session, bossed his final qualifying lap, and had Bottas not have had that free pitstop, would’ve had the fastest lap in the race as well.
A M (@amam)
29th March 2021, 9:30
losing in the fastest car doesn’t doesn’t deserve DOTD, and he failed to make that overtake stick
29th March 2021, 11:08
@aiii He didn’t narrowly miss the corner, he was over half a cars width past the edge of the curb, no way he was past Hamilton on entry to the corner if he had to slow to make it and then he would have been side by side and facing being pushed out wide anyway and hence had to relinquish the corner. That move was not possible at that corner without going off track and every driver was told that would not be allowed in their briefing.
It wasn’t the strategy that made him lose, it was an outstanding driver by Hamilton with perfect pace management to ensure his tyres lasted to the very end. Not saying Verstappen didn’t drive well but dismissing the achievements of Hamilton winning in a slower car by claiming it was better strategy is pretty poor form. Hamilton’s strategy was definitely sub optimal and Verstappen had the better/faster strategy but unfortunately didn’t make the overtake stick when it counted.
29th March 2021, 9:06
Giovinazzi is turning out to be a great qualifier in the mould of Jarno Trulli. But like Trulli, his race pace is always disappointing.
I will take a punt on Tsunoda for DOTD. I hope this is not a flash in the pan.
29th March 2021, 9:16
There was no material difference between the Sunday speed of Raikkonen and Giovannazi, @Rodber
He lost 8s to Raikkonen around his first pit stop (not sure what happened; he was ahead before that) and kept that difference until he had to move aside when lappen by the leaders.
29th March 2021, 13:23
Actually he was only dropped behind Raikonnen in the race by a slow first pit stop, which also put a couple of cars between them. Without that, given the decent Alfa pace, perhaps a point would have been on offer.
Phil Norman (@phil-f1-21)
29th March 2021, 9:29
I voted for Perez but it was very close between him and Lando. It’s DOTW so I realise Sergio had a poor qualifying. I gave it to him though because I feel he had much more to overcome in the race and he still only finished one place behind. Some have made a fuss about the fact he finished a long way behind Max but look where he started. He would have had much more traffic to deal with.
The only others in the frame of course were Lewis and Max. Lewis showed all his experience I think in holding on for the victory and Max showed a little inexperience. Both had good weekend as well though.
29th March 2021, 9:48
A bit disappointing to see a cheating driver run away with it (enabled by poor stewarding). Lando got my vote.
29th March 2021, 10:46
I agree. Can’t believe how many times Max ran wide in T13 to get the better run all the way down T14 and not picked up on it once.
Still he got his comeuppance once the stewards got a bit stricter, as that’s the corner he cooked his tyres and gifted the race to Ham.
29th March 2021, 10:41
It was really good that we got to see some outstanding driving this weekend. I could have voted for Max – that qualifying lap was stunning, and he did drive very well. But the pass off track and then letting Hamilton by at a not greathly thought through spot lost him the race.
Norris did an amazing race, seems to have taken in all the lessons learnt from the past and never gave Daniel a chance. But he was beaten on Saturday.
Perez had a recovery drive from the back to be proud of. And it was not his mistake that got him at the back. However, he was part of the qualifying miss by staying on those mediums – the McLarens and Ferraris pace after starting on the softs shows that would have been a decent option for Perez too.
Bottas actually had a really good race. A bit sluggish at the start, but this time he DID get back into 3rd on track. And if not for the slow pitstop (and the overly conservative strategy he rightly called out) he would have been right behind the leading pair. But on Saturday he was still struggling to get to grips with the car.
In the end I went with Hamilton. He was not perfect on saturday. And i do think cheesing the track limits is not something to be proud of either. But I doubt many drivers would have brought home that win apart from him.
29th March 2021, 11:43
Not so easy. Hamilton, Verstappen, Norris and Leclerc all stood out.
Good race pace from Sainz, Bottas,Tsunoda and Raikkonen as well.
Alonso had a great qualifying and first stint but used his tires too much in the second one.
But it’s so good to have him back.
I gave it to Hamilton in the end.
29th March 2021, 13:25
@roadrunner I don’t think Alonso cooked his tyres, he was struggling for a number of laps with low power hence why he fell back. And as for Raikonnen’s race pace – he only beat his teammate due to Giovinazzi’s slow pit stop.
29th March 2021, 17:32
Alonso said on the radio during his second stint, that his tyres were gone. Just after Raikkonen passed him. Maybe he was already affected by some brake problems but he did continue for quite a few more laps.
Agreed that Raikkonen only got in front because the bad pitstop but I think Raikkonen pace was superior to that of Giovinazzi. He was about 0.7 of a second behind him for the whole first stint which suggested he could have gone faster. In the second stint he pulled away, not by much though, but little by little.
Alfa didn’t get the strategy right pitted very early for the second time and Raikkonen had to do the whole second half of the race on medium tyres. So he was managing tyres all the time and only on the last few laps (probably to late) he picked his pace up and the gap to Giovinazzi increased significantly again.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
29th March 2021, 14:01
I think Tsunoda was only good considering he was a rookie. I wouldn’t argue with those who say that car was the 3rd best this weekend. Gasly managed 5th in qualifying and even with Perez out, Tsunoda still didn’t make it. Admittedly, this isn’t race pace. But onto that, we should factor in that Gasly instantly messed up, Alonso ran into problems that were not his fault and the main reason why Tsunoda beat Stroll was because Stroll had to wait for Kimi to pass the pit box before being released in his first stop, then his next stop was rather slow too and he only beat Stroll by a second. Taking all this into account, he almost certainly would have finished outside the top 10.
29th March 2021, 17:43
Agreed. The car is probably better than 9th. He had a bad qualy and and difficult first lap. But he kept the car in one piece and when he had clean air he showed good pace.
If he’d show this performance next year I wont give him a honourable mention though :)
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
29th March 2021, 11:53
Wow, this one is tough! I went with Lando. I don’t recall him making any errors and finished where McLaren expected to be, but importantly out qualified and out raced Ricciardo which is no mean feat! It should be an entertaining fight between those two this year.
29th March 2021, 15:52
Hamilton outclassed his teammate and beat Verstappen for the win. Great weekend all around so I voted for him, but upon further thinking there are two other drivers who exceeded expectations even more.
They were Tsunoda and Alonso. Tsunoda did, however, miss Q3 and so to me, Alonso is DOTW. He beats his teammate who is already familiar with the team, and then beats him again in his first race for them as well. I think Ocon is showing where this car actually is (13th-15th) and then Alonso put in the top 10 before his brake faillure. Very impressive and a complete weekend.
30th March 2021, 0:37
Mazepin, for surpassing even Vettel in incompetence. A tough one to crack, really.
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