In a 2021 still profoundly scarred by the global pandemic, F1 could give us a dramatic turn of events. After years of Mercedes domination and mostly friendly duels between Hamilton and his team-mate, the start of this season has told us a different story. Surely more engaging. The 2021 world championship has assumed the spirit of a mixed battle between Lewis Hamilton’s Black Arrow and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
In Imola the Ferraris showed important improvements both in the lap times and in the race pace, more solid and consistent. The SF21 we saw in Bahrain has been completely changed in the set-up favouring the mechanical grip to improve the operation mode of the compound in their thermal window.
The McLaren podium has highlighted the important step forward made by the English squad thanks to the Mercedes engine move. The perfect Norris seen in the Imola weekend shows that he is ready to win in just his third season with a car now able to support him at its best.
Kimi Raikkonen brings Alfa Romeo into the points at the second race of the season in Imola with an eighth place, but then promptly lost it in post GP due to a penalty for having breached the rules gaining positions after a spin on the warm up lap. The C41 appears to be competitive in it’s part of the pack even in difficult track conditions thanks to the Ferrari technological transfer.
The SF21 is a high technology work in progress in fast transformation. The qualifying result in Imola with a gap of just three tenth from pole is halved compared to Bahrain, and the race pace is much more consistent.