Conclusions | Red Bull makes mistakes, Tsunoda hype is over

10-05-2021 08:14
Conclusions | Red Bull makes mistakes, Tsunoda hype is over

The fourth round of the 2021 Formula One season was a tactical spectacle between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing, but much more than that happened. Here are the following five conclusions we can draw from the Spanish Grand Prix.

Red Bull can make mistakes

It's always easy to talk with hindsight and you never can be sure, but it looks like Red Bull made a mistake with their tactics. When Lewis Hamilton went in, Red Bull should have brought Max Verstappen in a lap later. Race-engineer Gianpiero Lambiase started talking about 'Hungary 2019 all over again'. And he was proven right. If you already knew it would play out the same way, you should have done it in a different way. A mistake by Red Bull, which is a rarity.

Catalunya is fine for testing but not for Grand Prix

For years teams, drivers and fans have been complaining about the fact that overtaking is impossible at the Circuit de Catalunya and yesterday they were all right again. There have been almost no overtaking actions on the Spanish circuit and when there were, it was often due to a difference in pit strategy. The circuit is not yet under contract for a race in 2022 and it might also be better to replace Catalunya with Portimao.

McLaren and Ferrari for P3

'The midfield is more exciting than ever', you could once again hear echoed in the paddock at the start of the season. But it's not that exciting. It's McLaren and Ferrari who will be calling the shots for the final spot on the podium in 2021. Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris know their teams through and through, while it seems that both Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz are feeling increasingly at home with their new teams. Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri are a long way behind them and don't seem to be able to compete like they did last year.

Tsunoda hype fades as fast as it appeared

Yuki Tsunoda made an immediate impact at his first Grand Prix in Bahrain. A ninth place finish, some great overtaking and praise from everyone in the paddock took the young Japanese driver home. Three races later there seems to be little left of that. After two pointless finishes Tsunoda had to retire after six laps with a technical problem, something he couldn't do anything about this time. What he can do about it are his statements during and after the sessions. The name-calling that was funny in round one of the championship is now starting to get boring. It looks like Tsunoda could do with some media training.

Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel in their final years

Fernando Alonso has not had the return to Formula 1 that he had hoped for. The Spaniard lost against his teammate Esteban Ocon. The same goes for Sebastian Vettel, who is still pointless at Aston Martin, while teammate Lance Stroll already managed to rack up five. Kimi Raikkonen seems to be in a similar position to teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, who in turn had an unfortunate weekend in Spain due to a flat tyre during his pit stop. It is still early in the season, but unless there is a major turnaround, these three will not be racing in Formula 1 for long.

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