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Why Hamilton's finest moment was also Bottas's
Lewis Hamilton sealed his sixth Formula 1 world championship in style, to well and truly enter the greatest of all time debate. He was beaten on the day by his teammate, though, who turned in his best grand-prix winning performance to date
"No more talking now, and that's very important" said Valtteri Bottas over the radio coming through Turn 12 on lap 47. He could see the Mercedes of teammate Lewis Hamilton just a couple of seconds in front of him and knew exactly what was required. For the first time in his career, he had to win a grand prix by making a pass for the lead outside of the start phase. And he did exactly that.
Bottas spent the weeks before the United States Grand Prix underlining his determination to keep the world championship fight alive. Realistically, he surely knew his hopes were little more than a mirage after throwing away a gilt-edged opportunity to gain ground on Hamilton by crashing at Hockenheim then finishing eighth at the Hungaroring. But it was fitting that when Hamilton finally sealed the deal, Bottas delivered the best of his seven grand prix victories.
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
After his sparkling F1 debut with Jordan at Spa, Michael Schumacher quickly leapt to Benetton for the 1991 Italian Grand Prix. This move paved the way for the German to win his first grand prix one year later and laid the foundations for his ascent to become a title contender by 1994.
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