Dubai: Championship leader Lewis Hamilton extended his lead to 39 points over Valtteri Bottas, his Mercedes teammate, with a dramatic win at the
British Grand Prix on Sunday.
Gulf News takes a look at the five takeaways of the race.
Verstappen vs Leclerc, a battle for the ages?: Right from the start, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen picked up where they left off in Austria. Going at each other almost immediately, Verstappen threw everything he could at Leclerc, and the young Ferrari driver made it clear that he saw it coming. Leclerc defended well to keep Verstappen at bay; however, the Dutchman’s efforts to finish ahead fell short as he was rear-ended by Sebastian Vettel.
Still, the point remains. The racing displayed by the two young guns is affirmation that we will have plenty such battles in the future.
Bottas has sent a message: An untimely safety car for Bottas gave Hamilton the free, game-changing pit-stop he needed to seal the deal at Silverstone. Yet, the duel between the Silver Arrows in the opening laps serves as a message Bottas sent to the team: he’s not going anywhere. In the past, the Finnish driver has been plagued by team orders and with the commands kept at bay on Sunday, Bottas displayed his racing abilities in brilliant fashion in front of the Mercedes team — watch out for the Finn at Hockenheim.
McLaren progressing rapidly: With the excitement at the front, there were a few easily missed details from the midfield. For starters, Carlos Sainz drove the wheels off to put his McLaren in P6. Lando Norris was on a hot drive in the points as well until complications left him in P11. It seems as though McLaren has sorted their engine troubles from last year and have turned the corner on some quick pace.
Watch out for Renault in 2021: Daniel Ricciardo contributed to Renault’s double-points finish with a P7 on Sunday. With some tasty moves such as his Lap 25 pass on Albon and his racy attitude towards Sainz late in the race, the Australian showed why he is still the best at overtaking, regardless of car performance. With the rules changes set to reshuffle the pack in 2021, keep a close eye on Renault — with the drivers’ abilities and the right car, the podium could become a familiar place for the French outfit.
‘Not boring’: The talk of this season being boring now wears hollow — especially after Sunday. With so much exciting young talent in Verstappen and Leclerc, complemented by the hard, yet respectful racing found between Norris, Sainz, and Ricciardo, Formula 1 is alive, well, and kicking as well. The upcoming schedule in Hockenheim and Hungary will leave fans excited before the season shuts down for the summer break.
— The writer is an intern with Gulf News