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How Bottas won F1's survival of the fittest in Austria
After a 217-day wait, Formula 1 returned at the Red Bull Ring with a thriller that reminded everybody what they had been missing during the COVID-enforced hiatus. Mercedes crossed the line 1-2, but that hardly told the whole story
Despite all that was different about the 2020 Formula 1 season opener given the major changes brought by the coronavirus pandemic, there were some reassuringly familiar themes in an action-packed Austrian Grand Prix.
So much happened in the 71-lap race at the Red Bull Ring that it emphasised again the tragedy of the pandemic, with spectators barred from attending an event that would have sent them into raptures multiple times. There was the political wrangling over the pre-season controversies ahead of the race - Red Bull's protest of Mercedes' dual-axis steering in particular - and a last-minute grid penalty for the reigning world champion after previously uncovered footage proved Lewis Hamilton had impinged the rules around yellow flags in the closing moments of qualifying.
In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.
Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?
OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation
OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history
Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...
Ferrari losing 0.7 seconds per lap on straights
Mercedes: Bottas radio message nothing to do with 'Multi 21'