By Patrick Wedes
The result is a story nobody could ever predict apart from some expected tension between Verstappen and Hamilton as they are chasing a title in this 2021 season.
After a very late pit stop from Sebastian Vettel who started in 11th position on the grid, he made the podium to grab a very good second place in this action packed Grand Prix. Tsunoda and Norris were the drivers of the day as they showed a lot of determination with Yuki Tsunoda finishing where he started on a circuit he had never raced a Formula One car on before today. Top effort from the rookie Japanese driver. For Lando Norris he did the undercut to secure fifth place, fair play to McLaren’s race strategy.
In preparation for a new book release on Alan Jones by Myanna Wedes we paid our own personal tribute to a good man at McLaren, the creator of Tag Heuer after Mansour Ojjeh purchased Heuer from Jack Heuer. Mansour was fortunate to give himself some more years on his life after a major lung operation being a smoker. His past motor racing sponsorship history goes back to the Saudi Williams a story we would like to share another day.
As the race started we saw Charles Leclerc take off from pole to lead the race only to see Lewis Hamilton in his mirrors as the Red Bull of Max Verstappen was jockeying for a chance to move ahead of the Mercedes.
At turn 15 Leclerc made an error allowing Hamilton’s Mercedes to race past him now holding onto second place as the others were closing in. The Baku straight was the place to pass and eventually on lap seven Verstappen was back in the hunt for the three-pointer of Hamilton.
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As Red Bull maintained their incredibly sub-2 second pit stops Verstappen was able to take advantage of a Mercedes pit stop error to get into the lead as he had his team mate running rear guard for him as Hamilton held third place.
Lance Stroll’s luck changed as he on lap 31 had a massive shunt as his left rear tyre letting go sent mega pieces of carbon fibre all over that part of the circuit. Shane and safe Stroll move into a safe zone with the track Marshalls as the safety car was deployed.
On the restart Aston’s Vettel punched past Leclerc and soon enough AlphaTauri’s Gasly to move into fourth place. Then a left rear tyre of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull sent him into the wall on lap 47 on the main straight with a red flag on lap 48 to send all drivers into the pit lane. Tyres were changed and the new grid positions allocated on lap 50 of 51. We saw Perez, Hamilton, Vettel, Gasly and Leclerc with Vettel knowing he had a set of new softs in reserve.
We had a 2-lapper sprint race scenario remaining as Hamilton over-ran Turn 1 going into the run off letting Perez eventually race to victory with Vettel coming second and Pierre gassy taking the last podium place.