Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious from the third race of the 2021 season, followed by his fellow World Championship protagonist Max Verstappen and his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
An early Safety Car came out after Kimi Raikkonen crashed into his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi and a poor restart on lap 7 saw the seven-time champion drop to third behind Verstappen. But Hamilton regained his composure and fought back quickly, passing Verstappen back for P2 four laps later before claiming the lead with a committed overtake on Bottas into Turn 1 on Lap 20.
The pit-stop window came about and it saw Max Verstappen overtake Valtteri Bottas due to the undercut, a slow stop for Bottas, and cold tyres for the Finn when he re-joined the track.
Sergio Perez still has yet to finish on the podium as a Red Bull driver, but at least claimed his best result of the year with P4, ahead of Lando Norris, the McLaren driver having now finished in the top five at every race this season so far. Norris in fifth led the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in sixth, while the Alpine pairing of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso completed the team’s superb weekend with P7 and P8. After starting an “under-par” P16, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo fought back to P9 at the chequered flag, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz – who’d started in P5 – finishing 10th.
From a fan’s perspective, this race was largely a procession and lacking entertainment – there was never real any fight for the lead or any skirmishes elsewhere on the track. As Formula 1 heads to Barcelona next week, fans alike will be praying for more action and a closer fight at the top.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||+29.148s||18|
|4||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||+39.735s||12|
|5||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes||+51.369s||10|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||+63.749s||6|
|8||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||+64.808s||4|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes||+75.369s||2|
|10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||+76.463s||1|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Romeo Racing||+1 lap||0|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||+1 lap||0|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||+1 lap||0|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda||+1 lap||0|
|16||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||+1 lap||0|
|17||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||+2 laps||0|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||+2 laps||0|
|19||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||+2 laps||0|
|NC||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Romeo Racing||DNF||0|