The British Grand Prix was a weekend of firsts. The first look at the 2022 F1 car, the first F1 Sprint qualifying that looked a lot like a race, and the first bust-up between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as the gloves inevitably come off.
Jim Kimberley – “Dirty air… the nemesis of racing”
You never know how much you enjoy something until it’s not there. An hour-long session split into three segments of entertainment was sorely missed on Saturday afternoon. I’m not against the Sprint format and am actively in favour of trialling ideas. Sprint fell flat for me, though, and I hope the powers that be introduce a different element in the future two trials.
As for the racing, no matter what you thought of the Hamilton-Verstappen crash, the Mercedes fightback made the Grand Prix more fun than Sprint suggested it would be. Silverstone can gift us some great races with an abundance of overtakes like 2018’s thriller, but 2021 wasn’t to be that with dirty air again being the nemesis of close racing.
From a neutral standpoint, the Verstappen crash is excellent for the championship fight. In a fair world, Max would have two wins more than he currently does following his Baku DNF, too. Those lost points must hurt him, and Red Bull, but I cannot wait to see the other twists and turns 2021 will throw at us in Hungary and beyond.
Thiemo Albers-Daly – “Championship fights are nowhere near done”
It is often said in F2 and F3 that one bad weekend can invert things drastically. That was very much the case at Silverstone this weekend as all of Red Bull’s hard work over the last five Grands Prix was virtually undone by Mercedes. Both Championship fights are nowhere near done.
Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo returned to his true form, Fernando Alonso quieted the haters and Kimi Kimilainen showed that there was life in the old dog yet with some great wheel to wheel battling with Sergio Perez. What about the Sprint? All it managed to do was bugger GeorgesRussell’s weekend so… not a fan.