Following round two of the 2021 season at Imola, it’s clear that a nail-biting battle for the championship title is on between the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Last season, the seven-time world champion dominated week in week out, and only failed to grace the podium steps on three occasions – claiming victory at 11 race weekends.
Now that the new season is underway – with round three in Portugal looming – it’s clear that Red Bull’s young Dutchman has returned with a vengeance, and an impressive 2021 machine, that will see a new found battle for the title ignite across the next 21 outings.
Speaking about a dramatic race to the finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Formula One Managing Director, Ross Brawn said; “The race was a bit hairy for Verstappen at times and he had a few moments – such as when he nearly lost the car ahead of the restart, however, he drove assuredly, stamped his mark, and thoroughly deserved the victory.
“The fight into the first corner at the start of the race, between him and Hamilton, was significant and set the tone for the race.
“I believe it was Max’s corner. He had the line, he had the place on the track. Lewis in retrospect may wish he backed out of it, especially considering the conditions.
“For Hamilton, it was one of those days that could count for a lot in a tight championship. He made a rare mistake but recovered well and is still leading the title race.”
After the chaotic scenes of last weekend, Max Verstappen crossed the line first with an impressive lead of 22s on Hamilton in P2 to mark the first Italian GP win of his career.
“This is going to be a tough championship fight – which is fantastic for Formula 1. In Hamilton and Verstappen, you have two guys at very different stages of their careers, battling it out with cars that are very well matched”, said Brawn.
“It has all the hallmarks of a titanic battle, not least because I don’t think teams will be able to throw a lot of resources on this year’s car with the 2022 car in the works.
“There is so much focus on 2022, as the regulations are changing so dramatically, that I think what we see now is what we will get all season. This could be a golden year.”