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Sports Articles: Formula 1: Portugal Talking Points

Formula 1: Portugal Talking Points
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Formula 1: Things To Think About After Portimao

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1. Surprises In Quali

The wind really mixed up qualifying, with Stroll and Ricciardo flopping badly and not even making it through Q1. Vettel and Ocon surprise packages and a Mercedes front row lock-out, with Bottas on pole, promised at least a bit of racing as the Red Bulls looked to have the edge on pace.

 


2. Hamilton Does It Again

It is almost certain that Hamilton will get ahead of Bottas at some point, the difference in race pace between the two is huge. The consistency of Hamilton must be soul destroying for those racing him, as he tends to keep building up speed over the course of the race. It never seems to bother him that his tyres look terrible, like they should offer no grip, but somehow he finds some.

 


3. Oh Kimi What Are You Doing?

What on earth was he doing? It is bad enough crashing so embarrassingly when you are such an experienced driver, but to hit your teammate as well is just indefensible. He was very lucky that he was only one who suffered.

 


4. Norris

Best of the rest for Norris, after a ding-dong battle on the first lap with Ocon in the Alpine, he went on to put himself in a strong position. The worrying thing is that he was so far behind the Mercs and Red Bulls. Can McLaren close the gap over the course of the season?

 


5. Alpines

They were surprisingly quick here, is that a sign that their aero package is the problem, as this track, with the wind issues, was favourable towards those with better mechanical grip over aero. Which also went a long way to explaining Mercedes having the edge of Red Bull. Or are the Alpines getting it together and developing their car well? Hopefully the latter, but it will undoubtedly be the former, sadly. It is far too much to hope that they can make steady improvements and make it a three, or even four if AlphaTauri can get it together, horse race for the best of the rest.

 


6. Ricciardo

What a strange weekend for the Australian. Dreadful time of it in qualifying, then flew up the field in the early part of the race to put himself in a really good place to get a lot of points. Changed to hard tyres and was so far off the pace he could have been in a Haas. Then everyone else around him ran out of grip and he managed to creep back up to 9th. If only he could have got the hards working Ricciardo would have been on the back of his teammate, which would have been a minor miracle after starting 16th.

 


7. Aston Fail

They will not be able to blame the rule changes for this terrible performance. The Mercs showed that this track suited a low-rake design as well as the high-rake ones, yet the Astons were both outside the points at the end. Even more worrying is that Vettel beat Stroll, despite only the owner's son being favoured with the upgraded parts for this race. It was an odd decision to do that, when you bring in a multiple world champion for his experience in developing a car, surely you give him the development parts to test? It makes no sense to give it to a young driver who is learning his craft, rather than a man known for giving good, concise feedback to engineers. If they are going to continue down this path, they are only going to go backwards.

 


8. Haas

With it looking like Nikita Mazepin's dad will be buying the Haas team out, the team will be stuck with his son as their driver. That must be a prospect that fills the engineers with dread, as the youngster looks so off the pace. He is being shown up badly by his teammate and looks in no way deserving of a drive in Formula 1.

 

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Written by Tris Burke May 02 2021 18:47:04