Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix Recap November 2021

Round 20 of Formula 1, the Qatar Grand Prix, was a race that brings us to an even closer championship finish between Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull). We also had our fair share of surprises in this race as well, let’s go over the race details that occurred in Doha, Qatar!

*Starting Grid*

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
  3. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

Prior to the race starting, both Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) received grid penalties for ignoring yellow flags during Qualifying. While we don’t believe they were intentional, the Marshalls did wave yellow flags. Max received a 5-place grid penalty for driving full speed during a double yellow flag while Valtteri received a 3-place grid penalty for driving full speed during a single yellow flag. Thus, why Max and Valtteri started further back in the grid.

During Laps 1-5, Max Verstappen took advantage of the traffic jams in the first few corners and made up 5 places, lunging himself back into 2nd.

Shortly after Lap 5, we were already hearing race engineers and drivers talk about tire management. We saw Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) pit for a fresh set of Mediums on Lap 10 and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) on Lap 11 for Mediums as well.

It became very apparent the curbs on the Losail International Circuit were eating up tires like no other, thus we saw several early pit stops. On Lap 18, both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen pitted for Hard Tires while Sergio Perez (Red Bull) pitted shortly after. The curbs in Qatar are much higher compared to other circuits, in which the drivers are not used to due to being this is a Moto GP circuit. Meanwhile in the midst of the pit stop madness, Valtteri Bottas had made up several places from his grid penalty!

Between Laps 24 – 31, we saw all of the following drivers/teams pit stop due to tire wear: Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Lando Norris (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Charles LeClerc (Ferrari), and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) for a second pit stop.

Lap 34 struck tragedy for Valtteri Bottas, as he suffered from a front left tire puncture that forced him to nearly drive an entire lap on 3 tires. The lap on 3 tires caused suspension damage and front wing damage, he pitted when he could for a fresh set of Hard tires and a front wing change. This incident caused Valtteri to drop all the way from 3rd to 14th place.

Laps 36 – 42 brought in more teams for pit stops. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) came in for a fresh set of Medium tires to close out the race.

Laps 50 – 52 surprised us all. Lando Norris (McLaren), George Russel (Williams), and Nicholas Latifi (Williams) all suffered Front Left Tire punctures from the corner curbs. While Lando Norris and George Russel were able to pit. Nicholas Latifi was not able to. Nicholas Latifi pulled off of the track at Turn 10 due to suspension damage and a virtual safety car was called to remove his car from the track. Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire due to mechanical issues from his Lap 34 incident and Max Verstappen pitted for a 3rd time to equip Soft tires.

As the race resumed on Lap 55 after the virtual safety car, Max Verstappen was able to perform fastest lap and gain the extra point. In the end, it was a dominant victory for Lewis Hamilton to further close the gap between he and Max.

 

The results of the Formula 1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix resulted in the following:

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  2. Max Verstappen – Red Bull
  3. Fernando Alonso – Alpine
  4. (Fastest Lap) Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:23:196

 

Here are the Current Standings for Formula 1 Drivers Points:

  1. Max Verstappen – 351.5
  2. Lewis Hamilton – 343.5
  3. Valtteri Bottas – 203
  4. Sergio Perez – 190
  5. Lando Norris – 153
  6. Charles LeClerc – 152
  7. Carlos Sainz – 145.5
  8. Daniel Ricciardo –105
  9. Pierre Gasly – 92
  10. Fernando Alonso – 77
  11. Esteban Ocon – 60
  12. Sebastian Vettel – 43
  13. Lance Stroll – 34
  14. Yuki Tsunoda – 20
  15. George Russell – 16
  16. Kimi Raikkonen – 10
  17. Nicholas Latifi – 7
  18. Antonio Giovinazzi – 1
  19. Mick Schumacher – 0
  20. Robert Kubica – 0
  21. Nikita Mazepin – 0

Here are the Current Standings for Formula 1 Constructors Points:

  1. Mercedes – 546.5
  2. Red Bull – 541.5
  3. Ferrari – 297.5
  4. McLaren – 258
  5. Alpine – 137
  6. AlphaTauri – 112
  7. Aston Martin – 77
  8. Williams – 23
  9. Alfa Romeo – 11
  10. HAAS – 0

 

The Formula 1 season takes us next to Saudi Arabia for Round 21 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia! The Saudi Arabia Grand Prix will take place from December 3rd to December 5th. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a 50 lap race consisting of 27 turns and spans 6.174km (3.836 miles) per lap. No Formula 1 driver currently hold the fastest lap time, as Round 21 is its’ opening F1 debut! Hopefully, we’ll see you there and we can’t wait for Round 21!

If you missed Round 19 details of Formula 1, the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, click here to read! Formula 1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix Recap November 2021

 

Photo Credit for Image Used – Formula 1 Instagram

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