01 August 2021 | Angelo Ziovas
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The last weekend before the mid-season break threw up a big qualifying result where Mercedes locked out the front row with Lewis Hamilton ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with Max Verstappen finishing 4 tenths behind his championship challenger. Sergio Perez qualified 4th but behind by a second of pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes will be hoping to carry this momentum into the race, especially after their win last time out at Silverstone. Red Bull will want to get a good start to challenge the Mercedes from the very beginning, an advantage in the beginning stages of the race they may have id that they are starting on the softs whereas both Mercedes is on the mediums. But if the softs do not last Red Bull may have to think about a 2 stop on this occasion, unless they can stretch the one stop out. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what transpires.
Pierre Gasly had a great performance qualifying up in P5 for the Frenchman, Lando Norris was beaten by 6 thousandths of a second on this occasion and will look to get the jump on the race start. Just behind them is Charles Leclerc who was only 7 thousandths off Norris. Perez to Leclerc were all within a tenth of each other which should make that battle for 4th interesting as the Ferraris have looked decent this weekend.
To round out the top ten is Esteban Ocon in 8th, Fernando Alonso 9th and Sebastian Vettel in 10th. The latter two were separated by just 4 hundredths of a second while the trio were only a tenth apart from one another.
Outside the top ten Daniel Ricciardo will be looking to improve on his disappointing qualifying, but on a free choice of tyres we could see him make up places in the race, Lance Stroll will also be wanting to make up places and get into the points after being outqualified by his teammate. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi occupy 13th and 14th respectively, so could potentially be on the cusp of the points positions.
Carlos Sainz will start 15th after his crash in Q2, barring any penalties from component changes before the race, then comes Yuki Tsunoda who starts 16th, behind him are the two Williams of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi. This was Russell’s first time not making it to Q2 this season and will hope he can make up places. The back row of the grid will start Nikita Mazepin alongside Mick Schumacher from the back after crashing in FP3 causing him not being able to compete in qualifying
The grid for the race:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
5. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
6. Lando Norris (McLaren)
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
13. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
15. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
16. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
17. George Russell (Williams)
18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
19. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
DNQ Mick Schumacher (Haas)