Lewis Hamilton has claimed his ton of grand prix victories after a dramatic wet-weather conclusion to the Russian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris will start on pole for the first time in his Formula 1 career after beating the field in a sensational soaked qualifying hour in Russia.

With only eight rounds remaining and little to separate the title race, the pressure is ratcheting up for crash-prone protagonists Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

A fresh twist in the tense title tussle wasn’t enough to overshadow a drought-breaking win for Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren on a memorably afternoon in Monza.

Daniel Ricciardo has won his first Formula 1 victory in more than three years and McLaren’s first in nine after feuding championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen took each other out in a heavy crash.

Max Verstappen will start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after Saturday sprint winner Valtteri Bottas is handed a grid penalty for an engine change.

Valtteri Bottas will start the Italian Grand Prix sprint race from the head of the grid after beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time of qualifying.

The Dutch Grand Prix couldn’t have gone any better for Max Verstappen and his legion home fans on a weekend Mercedes began the painful process of renewing its driver line-up.

Max Verstappen has beaten Lewis Hamilton to victory at the first Dutch Grand Prix in 26 years to regain the title lead.

The Dutchman had a blistering start from pole position while the two Mercedes drivers briefly sparred into the first turn. By the end of the first lap his lead was up to 1.7 seconds over Hamilton, and he added an extra two seconds to that by lap 20.

Mercedes, sensing its window of opportunity closing, brought Hamilton into the pits for the undercut, but Verstappen stopped the following lap to maintain his advantage, albeit reduced by two seconds.

But Mercedes’s potential ace was Valtteri Bottas, who had been left on track to inherit the lead. The team hoped he could sandwich Verstappen between himself and the tailing Hamilton to generate an opportunity for the Briton to pass on a circuit that otherwise made overtaking difficult.

Verstappen closed on the Finn on lap 29, but the battle didn’t last long. Bottas’s worn tyres forced him into a mistake on lap 30, allowing the Dutchman and Hamilton to sail through out of the last corner of that lap.

Hamilton had one final card to play, making his second stop aggressively early and onto the medium-compound tyre when Verstappen had only the slower hards remaining, but the stop was badly timed. Hamilton rejoined the circuit among lapped traffic, squandering any first-mover advantage, and Verstappen’s car turned out to have strong pace on the hard tyre anyway,

Strategic options exhausted, Mercedes waited until Hamilton’s tyres expired late in the race before bringing him back to the pits for the qualifying tyre to allow him to score a consolation point for fastest lap.

Verstappen had seen off Mercedes’s full armoury without breaking a sweat, and he took the flag to thunderous applause from the 70,000-strong Dutch crowd.

“As you can hear already, it’s just incredible,” he said. “Of course the expectations were very high going into the weekend, and it’s never easy to fulfil that, but I’m of course so happy to win here and take the lead as well in the championship.

“It’s just an amazing day. The whole crowd — incredible.”

Hamilton tried to cling to Verstappen, keeping the Red Bull Racing car just in his sights for much of the race, but he never had the pace to close, and the Briton admitted Mercedes simply lacked performance to take the fight to the leader.

“Max did a great job,” he said. “I gave it absolutely everything today — flat out.

“I pushed as hard as I could, but they were just too quick for us.”

Bottas was an anonymous third, fading from the lead fight after being passed by Verstappen and Hamilton early, and his day was compounded by a late safety stop and instruction not to try to set the fastest lap to ensure his teammate could add the point to his championship campaign.

“Unfortunately for me it was pretty uneventful,” he said. “We tried, but we didn’t quite have the pace today.” … Continue reading

Max Verstappen has pipped championship rival Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix in a thrilling finish to qualifying.

The Belgian Grand Prix will be remembered as the shortest race in F1 history, declared after only two laps in torrential rain, but for George Russell it was the first podium finish of what is sure to be many more.

The Belgian Grand Prix has been called off and Max Verstappen classified the winner after heavy rain prevented the race from getting underway in the first place.

Max Verstappen will start alongside Williams driver George Russell in a shock front row for the Belgian Grand Prix after a marathon wet-weather qualifying session delayed for a monster crash by Lando Norris.

There are just 15 weeks to go until F1 crowns its champion for 2021, but there’s plenty more to work through between now and the grand finale.

Less than half the 2021 Formula 1 season has been completed, but where the remaining 12 rounds will be raced is as much a mystery as who will win the title in December.

Esteban Ocon won his maiden grand prix, but an exhausted Lewis Hamilton left Hungary happiest, having turned a once massive title deficit into a slender lead.

Esteban Ocon has capitalised on wet race start and first-lap mayhem to claim a maiden Formula 1 victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton is in the box seat to claim a century of Formula 1 victories and reclaim the championship lead after taking pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix.