The Biggest Races of the 2021 F1 Season
It’s been a thrilling 2021 F1 season so far, with plenty of dramatic incidents affecting the outcome of races. The reliability of cars and Pirelli tires are two issues that have been discussed during the season.
Max Verstappen, a rising F1 star in the last few years, began to truly hit his stride in the 2020 season and has come out all guns blazing with Red Bull Racing in 2021. His first place at the Monaco Grand Prix transformed him into the leader of the pack in the standings.
The pressure is on Lewis Hamilton, the defending champion, more than ever to show the hallmarks of a champion and retain his title. This post looks at the odds for the championship and at some of the big races to come.
Who will win?
A lot of experts have predicted Hamilton will retain his title, although some are confident that Verstappen will generate an upset.
The online betting market suggest Hamilton is the favorite at -125, whereas if you think Verstappen is about to have is day, his position on the betting line is as the next favorite at +100.
If you’re going to put your financial faith in the Dutchman’s team-mate Serio Perez, the Mexican will provide a healthy return with his +5000 on the betting line. Hamilton’s Mercedes colleague, Valtteri Bottas, will give you an even more sizable return if he surprises the world. It’s +15000 on the betting line for him.
There’s no such thing as a dull race in Formula 1, but there are some huge races on the calendar that could really shift the tide in one driver or another’s favor. Here are some of the big races coming up:
Dutch Grand Prix
The Zandvoort circuit, which will be the scene of battle on September 5th, will be a big race for Verstappen. He’ll want to win in front of his fellow Netherlanders.
Doing so won’t be easy on this circuit. The track has only re-joined F1 schedules in more recent years, and many drivers haven’t raced on it since their F3 days. The turns are fast, and the track is narrow.
At the same time, however, fans will witness some tremendous driving. The flow of the track and the layout will be to the drivers’ liking, and there could be some real drama during the race, with the track posing a challenge and providing excitement in equal levels for the drivers.
British Grand Prix
Silverstone, the home of British Formula 1, feels like something of a homecoming for many teams, and not a lot of circuits can say that.
This grand prix, which takes place on July 18th, is going to be decisive. It’s on Hamilton’s home turf and he’s won more times here than any other driver, having chalked up seven wins in front of the British crowd. If there’s one circuit on which you’d fancy him to cross the line first, it’s Silverstone.
It’s a fast, fast track, but Britain being Britain, there’s always the potential of rainfall. For all the current defending champion’s success at this course, rain throws a spanner in the works, so the British Grand Prix is never a foregone conclusion. The lead could easily change hands here, both in the race and in the standings.
Italian Grand Prix
Italy, of course, is the home of Ferrari, and at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the division could see the Italian automobile giants really pile on the pressure in front of the national crowd.
The straights on this track are long, allowing drivers to really pick up speed and push their machines to their very limits. The track sets the scene for some daring overtakes, too.
Hamilton may be stepping on the home turf of Ferrari, but that won’t intimidate him. He’s always come out swinging on this course and ties with Michael Schumacher in wins here. Monza will be another track on which he can feels he could influence the standings in his favor.
US Grand Prix
In 2018, Finlander Kimi Räikkönen shocked everyone at the US Grand Prix with a win in Austin for Ferrari.
The following year, his countryman Bottas did the same for Mercedes. In fact, it was a Mercedes one-two on the podium, with Hamilton taking second place for them, and Verstappen serving as the Red Bull third wheel up there.
If there’s one place where Formula 1 could see an upset this season, the Circuit of the Americas, the stage for the US Grand Prix on October 24th is it. The U-S-of-A is the land of opportunity for many, and the drivers in the Formula 1 may see it the same way when they start their engines.
Hamilton has a good record on this course too, having notched up six wins in Austin, plus a win in Indianapolis. It’s a modern course, and there are lots of corners that can assist drivers in making a quick lap, but the course also requires a lot of confidence to change directions at such high speeds. He who dares may win on this track.
It’s been a blistering season so far, and there are some big races to come. It’s a two-horse race up at the top of the standings, and fans will witness a titanic struggle between Hamilton and Verstappen. This could go all the way to the last race.
Featured Image taken from www.formula1.com