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Why F1's 'king of the midfield' hates his crown
Being the unofficial king of the Formula 1 midfield is a double-edged sword for Sergio Perez, as it's not a title he embraces. But after his big-team near-misses, maximising midfield machinery has made him one of the championship's most underrated drivers.
Seventh place was once the most accursed finishing position in Formula 1, for more than four decades the difference between the all of a point and the nothing of a blank. The cruel, hard line between sixth and seventh hexed many a driver, none more so than during eight mid-season races in 1992 when Michele Alboreto took his Footwork to six of them for no reward.
Since 2003, seventh has offered points, but still, it remains an uncomfortable place to be in an era of three teams monopolising the top six. If you are seventh, you have won the battle for scraps - a great achievement, but hardly nourishing for the racing driver that lives to win.
OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.
With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...
OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects
OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation
The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza
For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army
OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team
Renault plans "substantial changes" for 2020 F1 car
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