Who is on top of the midfield after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?

19-04-2021 10:00
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Who is on top of the midfield after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?

In an action-packed weekend full of crashes, upsets and red flags, the midfield battle will, once again, be a main talking point. With Red Bull and Mercedes still being at the top, following Max Verstappen’s victory in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton fighting through the pack to finish second, the battle for third is in full force.

As identified in our first midfield battle piece, ‘Battle for Bronze: Who will top the midfield at the end of the season?’, McLaren and Ferrari were the main front runners. AlphaTauri were following behind but as Alpine and Aston Martin have claimed their first points of the season, they will be looking to close the gap on the Italian team closest to them.

As our weekend in Imola has now ended, which midfield team is leading the way?

McLaren

McLaren’s lead in third place was extended this weekend as Lando Norris claimed his second podium place in his career. The young Brit finished third in Imola, whilst also being awarded the Driver of the Day award. Daniel Ricciardo finished in seventh place, meaning McLaren secured 23 points and extended their lead ahead of Ferrari by one point. A tough battle ensues with Ferrari for bronze, but McLaren still leads in the midfield this weekend and look like favourites to do so throughout the season.

Ferrari

Despite McLaren extending their lead on Ferrari, it was only by one point and a superb drive from Carlos Sainz, after troubles in qualifying on Saturday, emphasised the fact that Ferrari are not out of the race. Charles Leclerc’s fourth-place finish and Sainz’s fifth gave the Italian team a much needed 20 points and boosted their confidence majorly. Leclerc was running in third for a portion of the race and Sainz came firing out the gates, gaining many positions in the opening laps of the race. There is no doubt that the Prancing Horse will be able to fight McLaren for third, it’s just down to how well both teams perform on a regular basis.

AlphaTauri

A poor start to the weekend with Yuki Tsunoda crashing in Q1, meant that AlphaTauri were relying on Pierre Gasly to stay in the points, which he did but only just. Starting the race with Gasly on wet tyres backfired and the Frenchman lost a large amount of time and, after pitting, dropped to P18. However, once the track dried and the drama slowed down, Gasly was able to battle his way back to finish seventh, adding six points to Tsunoda’s two he gained in Bahrain. The Japanese rookie finished 12th, just outside of the points, but struggled all weekend. AlphaTauri are still third in the midfield but have Aston Martin hot on their tail.

Aston Martin

A slow start last month for Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain occurred once again this weekend. The four-time World Champion has had a rocky start to his Aston Martin career and the issues were on show once again yesterday. A rear brake issue resulted in Vettel starting in the pit lane, thus ending any chance he had of a points finish. Lance Stroll, on the other hand, added to his one point in the season opener with an eighth-place finish, taking his and the team’s total to five points. The season hasn’t started the way anyone would’ve wanted it to but it’ll be interesting to see if Vettel can fight for a top-10 finish in any Grand Prix this season.

Alpine

Much like Aston Martin, Alpine is still a large way off where they hope to and should be. Fernando Alonso only finished in the points after Kimi Raikkonen was given a 30-second time penalty after the race and Esteban Ocon hasn’t been able to get anything major out of the car in the first two races. It will be interesting to see whether the team can make leaps and bounds over the next few weeks to put pressure on both Aston Martin and AlphaTauri.

Which team in the midfield has had the best weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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