Why Alonso’s eyes have returned to his first motorsport prize
Fernando Alonso has put his ‘triple crown’ quest on hold as he returns to Formula 1 with Alpine. Despite needing further surgery on the jaw fracture he sustained pre-season, he reckons he’s driving better than ever.
One particular Fernando Alonso cliche was on full display during his 2021 test-ending race simulation. His run of 17 laps on the C4 tyres, followed by 10 on the harder C3s, was relentlessly consistent. For lap after lap, he circulated the Bahrain track with metronomic precision, never once deviating from the 1m37s bracket on the red-walled rubber, then did likewise on the yellow-coloured mediums, getting down to the 1m36s as the fuel in his Alpine A521 burned off.
Finally, the session drew to an end. It had been dominated by Max Verstappen’s duel with Yuki Tsunoda over testing’s top time, but Alonso’s run to the flag felt significant – it was the first public long run of his Formula 1 return, and Daniel Ricciardo was doing likewise for McLaren. The electric-blue Alpine and the papaya-orange McLaren weren’t competing, but the drivers at their respective wheels are central to each other’s current stories.
Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...
Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.
OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.
Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition
Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory
Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.
As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival
Schumacher was warned about "aggressive" Mazepin in karting
Ticktum continues as Williams F1 development driver