Wednesday, November 24, 2021 4:29 PM – Last update: 4:31 PM
In this new edition of GPFans Week-End, the most talked about news of last week is summarized for you in one article. Within a few minutes you will be up to date with everything that is going on in the world of the royal class.
The final part of an intense triple header caused a lot of noise again last weekend in Qatar. Lewis Hamilton dominated for the second time in two weeks, while Red Bull Racing and Mercedes are still fighting each other. Both on and off the track. Max Verstappen, meanwhile, remains calm. He even took a photo with a marshal after a splurge from his team boss, but more on that later.
Mercedes no explanation for Hamilton’s speed
Hamilton qualified on pole position on Saturday. We have seen that before, but the seven-time world champion did this almost half a second behind number two: Verstappen. A large margin that we have not seen for a long time between the two title rivals. The Dutchman was also unable to pose a challenge on Sunday. Verstappen did start from seventh place, but was back in second position after five laps.
Mercedes says it does not know where the sudden difference in performance comes from. Andrew Shovlin said he was surprised by the wide margins: “We thought we would be good here, but of the three remaining circuits we were most concerned about this one,” The Race was quoted as saying. “However, from Saturday morning it looked like Lewis had everything under control. We can simulate whatever we want, but nothing explains why he was so much faster than Max,” said the Zilverpijlen trackside engineer.
Mercedes saves Hamilton engine for Saudi Arabia
Hamilton’s pace in Qatar was impressive. It was all the more striking when team boss Toto Wolff said afterwards that the Briton was not doing this with his latest engine. This saves the race stable for Saudi Arabia, where engine power will probably play a major role. “In Saudi Arabia we pull the pin out of the grenade. We need the fire there and in Abu Dhabi,” it sounded, among other things.
Verstappen meets ‘rogue’ marshal
Verstappen faced a five-place grid penalty in Qatar for ignoring yellow flags. Something that went so badly for team boss Christian Horner that he shot himself in front of the camera. “I think it’s just a rogue marshal waving a yellow flag when not instructed by the FIA,” he told Sky Germany. “They have to keep their marshals under control. It’s that simple. This is a crucial blow for us in the world championship. We start seventh on a track where you can’t overtake, that’s huge.”
Horner was called out to the FIA afterwards, after which he was given an official warning. The Briton also apologized. “I apologize if I have created any insult, that was not my intention. My frustration was not directed at any single marshal, but because of the inconsistent situation. To all marshals: we need you, we think you are doing a great job perform.” And Verstappen? As a way of making amends, he took a picture with the marshal in question.
The stewards in Qatar organized for Christian Horner’s “rogue” marshal to meet Max, to compensate for his team boss’s rogue remark. A nice touch. pic.twitter.com/SDlLYnxzc0
— Joe Saward (@joesaward) November 22, 2021
Fernando Alonso was back on the podium in Qatar for the first time since Hungary, 2014. This after impressive overtaking on Pierre Gasly and a sophisticated strategy by Alpine. However, the two-time world champion does not manage to get a single third place. “I’ve waited so long for this. This stage is number 98, but the time between 97 and 98 was so very long,” it sounded, among other things. “I am grateful to everyone who waited for this and trusted that one day I would be on stage again.”
The Spaniard continued: “I have returned to eventually be able to compete again for championships. Next season everyone will offer a restart with the new regulations. This season was necessary to get used to Formula 1 again. Hopefully one day I can reach 100.” reach podiums. I hope the period between numbers 98 and 99 is a lot shorter than the period before.”