Lewis Hamilton set yet another record at the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix by becoming the first driver in the history of the sport to reach 100 pole positions. A neat milestone for sure, but Hamilton will be setting new records until the day he finally decides to retire. For now, he is focused on the combination of Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Together they form a clear and present threat to his never-ending title aspirations. And while Hamilton secured pole position by the narrowest of margins he didn’t have it his way during the race. Race day, and it was second-placed Max Verstappen who took the lead in the run-up to turn 1 on the opening lap. Hamilton made the correct tactical decision by letting Verstappen through, otherwise, the two could have collided. But was it a mistake?
At first, it seemed to be a bad idea to give Red Bull an easy pass. But Hamilton was playing the percentage game. Risk vs reward. Nevertheless, Verstappen pulled out an early lead, but it appeared the Mercedes was easier and on the tyres which allowed Hamilton to stay within one second of the Red Bull.
Mercedes opted to pit Hamilton twice during the 66 lap race, whereas Red Bull decided to pit Verstappen once. In the end, this meant Hamilton had to make up a 22-second deficit with 24 laps to go. Red Bull calculated that the Mercedes would catch Verstappen with one lap to go.
By then, Hamilton would have extracted all the performance out of his tyres effectively negating his advantage to zero. But Red Bull didn’t factor in the Lewis Hamilton equation, a human algorithm able to defeat any computer-driven race simulation. By lap 60 Hamilton caught and reclaimed the lead from Verstappen with a relatively easy move around the outside of the Red Bull at turn one.
From that point onwards Hamilton sped off into the distance taking control and winning the race with a 15-second advantage. Post-race Max Verstappen looked clueless as did team principal Christian Horner. They had the “whahh!?” look about them. Technically Red Bull is faster than Mercedes, but they have yet to work out how to defeat Lewis Hamilton.
2021 Spanish Grand Prix Results:
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||66||+15.841s||19|
|5||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||66||+63.671s||10|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes||66||+73.768s||8|
|8||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes||65||+1 lap||4|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||65||+1 lap||2|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||65||+1 lap||1|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|12||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||65||+1 lap||0|
|13||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|14||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||65||+1 lap||0|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|17||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||65||+1 lap||0|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||64||+2 laps||0|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||64||+2 laps||0|
|NC||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda||6||DNF||0|
Note – Verstappen scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.