The second half of the 2021 Formula 1 season is in full swing and the Russian Grand Prix is scheduled for this weekend. It has been Mercedes territory for years, but as it has been proven many times this year, it no longer has to play a role in Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing . How will the rivalry between the championship leader and Lewis Hamilton develop in Sochi? And what can Valtteri Bottas do on one of his most successful jobs? F1 Maximum discusses it all with Russian racing talent Ira Sidorkova.
“The 2021 season has been amazing so far,” Sidorkova opens her story. She really enjoys the title fight between Verstappen and Hamilton: ‘For the first time in years we see a neck-and-neck fight for every point. There are also so many different stage outfits.’ It would have a positive effect on the spectators, the 18-year-old thinks: “It will rekindle the interest of the viewers, as they have been disappointed by the dominance of Mercedes over the past few years.”
“Verstappen and Hamilton remind me of Prost and Senna, Lauda and Hunt”
Sidorkova also talks about how she looks at the duel between the Red Bull star and the seven-time world champion: “The fight between Verstappen and Hamilton is the pinnacle of Formula 1 at the moment. It reminds me of the historic rivalries between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, but also Niki Lauda and James Hunt. They eventually became legendary.’
She predicts that Bottas will have a strong weekend ahead of the Russian Grand Prix. In the past, the Finn has been extremely successful in Sochi. he won a Grand Prix there for the first time in 2017: ‘I believe that Bottas can continue his successes in Sochi’, says Sidorkova. “Given the long, healthy relationship between Russia and Finland, I’m pretty sure the Russian spectators will be cheering for him.” Bottas would in any case not have a guarantee of success: “Verstappen and Hamilton are hungry for the points and are not going to make it easy for anyone.”
Can McLaren surprise in Russia?
A team that according to the Russian, who plays in the W Series, will do well in Russia is McLaren . The British team won the Italian Grand Prix with a 1-2 and on the long straights of the Sochi Autodrom to Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris exploit the potential of their MCL35M “They showed their speed and put very good results down this year. When I look at how they are doing in terms of feeling, they are very motivated. You can assume that they will compete for the highest step of the podium.’