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Formula 1

Find out who topped the head-to-head qualifying battles in 2021

F1's qualifying battles are always a major talking point. RacingNews365.com takes a look at who came out on top against their teammate in 2021.

Start France 2021
Analysis
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Beating your teammate is the number one priority in Formula 1, and this year there have been some significant differences between drivers across the grid.

Let's take a look at who has come out on top in each team after 22 thrilling qualifying sessions across the 2021 F1 season.

The qualifying comparisons have been made from when both drivers from the same team have competed in qualifying.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs Valtteri Bottas

Head-to-head: 16 - 5

Qualifying average difference: 0.337 seconds in Hamilton's favour

Lewis Hamilton has had the upper hand on Valtteri Bottas all year, particularly in the latter stages of the season when the pressure ramped up.

Previously, Bottas had been relatively close to Hamilton over one lap, but that wasn't the case in his final campaign for Mercedes as he was largely blown away.

Red Bull: Max Verstappen vs Sergio Perez

Head-to-head: 19 - 1

Qualifying average difference: 0.513 seconds in Verstappen's favour

Max Verstappen has been utterly dominant against Sergio Perez in qualifying, only failing to sweep his teammate due to the latter's superb Q3 effort at the second round in Imola.

Verstappen has scored the most pole positions in 2021, underlining his supreme speed over one lap. Even when he crashed in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he still beat Perez by half a second.

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Ferrari: Charles Leclerc vs Carlos Sainz

Head-to-head: 13 - 8

Qualifying average difference: 0.247 seconds in Leclerc's favour

Charles Leclerc suffered plenty of misfortune this year, but it didn't stop him from beating Carlos Sainz in the qualifying battle.

Leclerc shocked the field by qualifying fastest in Monaco and Azerbaijan with two impressive laps, underlining his raw pace.

McLaren: Lando Norris vs Daniel Ricciardo

Head-to-head: 14 - 7

Qualifying average difference: 0.584 seconds in Norris' favour

Nobody would have thought that Daniel Ricciardo would be outqualified by an average of more than half a second in 2021, but that's what Lando Norris has managed to do with a brilliant season.

Norris also took a maiden pole position at the Russian GP and has delivered some sensational laps to put his McLaren towards the front of the grid.

			© McLaren
	© McLaren

Alpine: Fernando Alonso vs Esteban Ocon

Head-to-head: 11 - 10

Qualifying average difference: 0.385 seconds in Ocon's favour

Alpine's qualifying battle went down to the wire with Fernando Alonso coming out on top when you look at the events when both drivers have competed in qualifying properly.

Strangely, though, Ocon is ahead when you look at the average difference. It's fair to say, it's been a close fight between the Alpine drivers this year.

AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly vs Yuki Tsunoda

Head-to-head: 19 - 1

Qualifying average difference: 0.569 seconds in Gasly's favour

Yuki Tsunoda managed to outqualify Pierre Gasly at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi, but the 21 events before that saw Gasly in charge in every qualifying session.

Gasly has had some mighty laps to qualify as 'best of the rest' whilst Tsunoda lost confidence early in the season. This is a qualifying battle that should be a lot closer in 2022.

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Aston Martin: Sebastian Vettel vs Lance Stroll

Head-to-head: 13 - 7

Qualifying average difference: 0.309 seconds in Vettel's favour

Sebastian Vettel had the edge on Lance Stroll throughout 2021 to come out on top in their qualifying battle.

Aston Martin weren't able to shine as much as they hoped this year, but Vettel managed to get more out of his car over one lap compared to Stroll.

Williams: George Russell vs Nicholas Latifi

Head-to-head: 20 - 2

Qualifying average difference: 0.393 seconds in Russell's favour

George Russell made four Q3 appearances during the 2021 season as he comfortably beat Nicholas Latifi to continue his incredible qualifying record in F1.

Latifi kept his deficit to Russell respectable, though, particularly in the second half of the season.

			© Williams
	© Williams

Alfa Romeo: Antonio Giovinazzi vs Kimi Raikkonen

Head-to-head: 14 - 4

Qualifying average difference: 0.251 seconds in Giovinazzi's favour

The inter-team qualifying head-to-head at Alfa Romeo was the closest battle in terms of the pace average as Antonio Giovinazzi qualified a quarter of a second quicker than Kimi Raikkonen.

Giovinazzi impressively reached Q3 on four occasions, whilst Raikkonen was often knocked out in the first part of qualifying.

Haas: Mick Schumacher vs Nikita Mazepin

Head-to-head: 19 - 0

Qualifying average difference: 0.915 seconds in Schumacher's favour

Mick Schumacher completed a clean sweep over Nikita Mazepin in the pair's first season in F1. The gap was sometimes huge, with Mazepin qualifying more than one second behind at several Grands Prix.

Haas will retain this driver line-up for 2022 and it will be fascinating to see whether the speed difference between Schumacher and Mazepin will remain.

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