THE 2021 GPBLOG END OF SEASON F1 AWARDS

23-12-2021 15:00
General

What a season we've enjoyed, highs, lows and all sorts of drama, there've been some incredible races this year, and some not so good ones. Welcome to the 2021 GPBlog End of Season Awards!

Underrated driver of the season


There have been some unbelievable performances this year, and Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have taken the sport to new levels with their performances. However, this award is to celebrate the driver that went under the radar, who's performances maybe deserve a bit more recognition.


Your nominees for the underrated driver of the season are:


Pierre Gasly - The Frenchman recorded a podium in Baku and consistently outperformed Yuki Tsunoda at Alpha Tauri.


Charles Leclerc - After a tough 2020, the Monegasque found form in '21 helping the team finish third in the Constructors'.


Carlos Sainz - Sainz scored multiple podiums, including one in Abu Dhabi on his way to beating his teammate Leclerc in the Drivers' Championship.


And the underrated driver of the season is… Carlos Sainz! It was his first year at Ferrari , yet he still managed to beat Leclerc, who many view as one of the very best drivers on the grid, and he's fully deserving of this award.

Individual performance of the season


Onto our second award, and it's recognizing those special performances that stand out in a season; the ones that are a cut above from the rest. And don't forget to let us know who you'd choose for each of these in the comments section below.


The first nominee for individual performance of the season is:


Lewis Hamilton at Brazil - Disqualified from qualifying, he started the sprint race in P20, but come the chequered flag on Sunday, and he was a race winner once again.


Next up is George Russell at Spa - Mr Saturday George Russell’s incredible qualifying at the Belgian GP makes the list as he put his Williams in P2 on the grid, taking home nine points after the race was cancelled.


And last but not least is Fernando Alonso at Hungary - Alonso’s defending from Hamilton was simply outstanding, and essentially won Esteban Ocon the race.


The winner of this award is…Lewis Hamilton in Brazil. Hamilton may have missed out on the Drivers’ crown, but he is the first winner of the GP Blog performance of the season award. A stunning drive, when faced with all sorts of adversity. 

Race of the season


Our next award isn’t actually awarded to a Driver, but rather a race, it’s our race of the season award. In a year where we’ve had some incredible races, this was an incredibly difficult one to pick three nominees for, let alone pick a sole winner.


But the three nominees are:


The Bahrain Grand Prix - An incredible way to open the season, Hamilton defending off a hungry and faster Verstappen and in typical Hamilton fashion he held him off. A thrilling race which set the tone for the season


The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Hamilton and Verstappen were at it again, we had a huge collision between two contenders for a Mercedes seat, and Lando Norris was on the podium. It was a race that had something for everyone.


The Italian Grand Prix - Monza has thrown up some classics in recent years and 2021 was no different. The two title protagonists taking each other out, a first win since Monaco 2018 for Daniel Ricciardo and a McLaren one-two, the only one-two of the season.


And the winner of the race of the season is - The Bahrain Grand Prix. The season opener completely summed up the 2021 season. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are in a complete league of their own, pushing each other to the limit, and that’s why it’s our race of the season.

Heartbreak of the season


The Formula 1 season isn’t all sun and rainbows, there are some low points as well. This is a chance to reflect on some of the heart breaks of the season.


The nominees for the Heartbreak of the season are:


Lando Norris at the Russian Grand Prix - On course for his first F1 victory, when the rain started pouring Norris stayed out and that decision cost him victory in the cruellest of manners. 


The soaking wet fans at the Belgian Grand Prix - The fans were treated appallingly at Spa; stood out in the rain for hours before the race was eventually called off after a couple laps behind the safety car. It wasn’t ideal…


And Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - What do you say about this one, we are still feeling the effects of the drama, but it was the biggest of heartbreaks for Hamilton.


And the winner… or loser of the Heartbreak of the season is Lando Norris at the Russian Grand Prix. It was pure heartbreak for Lando, he ignored the suggestion to pit and ultimately it cost him a maiden victory. Hamilton in Abu Dhabi is a close second, but we think his seven World Championships’ soften the blow… but only a bit.

Moment of the season


Our next award is for the moment of the season, and in a season full of incredible races, daring overtakes, and dramatic crashes, it has been hard to pick one moment in particular, however, that’s what we’ve done and these are your nominees.


Esteban Ocon’s surprise victory in Hungary - A stunning performance, he took advantage of the circumstances around him, and a little help from his friend Alonso, sealed a remarkable first F1 win.


McLaren’s one-two at Monza - An incredible achievement from McLaren, and it’s put into perspective by the fact it was the only one-two of the season, not even Red Bull and Mercedes could manage it!


And our third nominee is the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - A stunning finish to a stunning season. It might have been controversial, but we all got the last lap shootout we craved. 


And the award for the GP Blog moment of the season goes to… Esteban Ocon’s win at the Hungaroring. Abu Dhabi ran it close, but the sheer delight from Ocon after that race showed how much it meant to someone who was without a drive two years ago. And the race was a fascinating one too!

Our penultimate award is the inaugural Michael Masi of the year

And the nominees are.


Michael Masi

Michael Masi

And the third nominee is Michael Masi.


And the winner of the first ever Michael Masi of the year is… Michael Masi. Let’s be honest the Australian has probably the hardest job in motorsport. Managing 20 different drivers, ten different teams, all with conflicting interests. All in the heat of the moment. However, in Abu Dhabi he had a bit of a stinker, ultimately it’s great for the Netflix cameras but it is an awful look for F1. It wasn’t the first time in 2021 either.

The 2021 GP Blog Driver of the Season


And now it is time for our final award. The 2021 GP Blog Driver of the season. Across the grid several drivers have had incredible seasons, some have had small wins and others meteoric victories. But only one can be crowned, the prestigious GP Blog Driver of the season and so your nominees are…


Max Verstappen - Drivers’ Champion, a truly outstanding achievement to wrestle the title from Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton but is it enough to be our driver of the season? 


Lewis Hamilton - It wasn’t to be in the Drivers’ Championship, but he brought up 100 victories in the sport, the first man to do so, and was one lap from a record eighth title.


Lando Norris - A breakout year for Norris. He led from the front for McLaren, beating his experienced teammate Ricciardo, and was so close to a first ever win in Russia. 


However, there can only be one, and your 2021 GP Blog Driver of the season is… Max Verstappen


The Dutchman was electric in 2021. More victories than anyone else, more podiums and more laps led than the rest of the grid combined, it was an incredible season for Max Verstappen and was deserving of the Drivers' Championship, but more importantly he is GP Blogs 2021 Driver of the season!

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