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fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
  • 1 HAM LAP 56
  • 2 VER + 0.745
  • 3 BOT + 37.383
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
  • 1 VER LAP 63
  • 2 HAM + 22.000
  • 3 NOR + 23.702
bhr
por
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 29.148
  • 3 BOT + 33.530
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 15.841
  • 3 BOT + 26.610
por
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
  • 1 VER LAP 78
  • 2 SAI + 8.968
  • 3 NOR + 19.427
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
  • 1 PER LAP 51
  • 2 VET + 1.385
  • 3 GAS + 2.762
mco
fra
fri 18 jun - sun 20 jun
  • 1 VER LAP 53
  • 2 HAM + 2.904
  • 3 PER + 8.811
aze
aut
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
  • 1 VER LAP 71
  • 2 HAM + 35.743
  • 3 BOT + 46.907
fra
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
  • 1 VER LAP 71
  • 2 BOT + 17.973
  • 3 NOR + 20.019
aut
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
  • 1 HAM LAP 52
  • 2 LEC + 3.871
  • 3 BOT + 11.125
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
  • 1 OCO LAP 70
  • 2 HAM + 2.736
  • 3 SAI + 15.018
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
  • 1 VER LAP 1
  • 2 RUS
  • 3 HAM
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
  • 1 VER LAP 72
  • 2 HAM + 20.932
  • 3 BOT + 56.460
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
  • 1 RIC LAP 53
  • 2 NOR + 1.747
  • 3 BOT + 4.921
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep

Practice 1

  • 1 BOT 1:34.427
  • 2 HAM 1:34.638
  • 3 VER 1:34.654
FP2 fri 24 sep
FP3 sat 25 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
tur
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
rus
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
tur
mex
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
usa
bra
fri 12 nov - sun 14 nov
Quali sat 13 nov
Race sun 14 nov
mex
Fallback flag
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
Fallback flag
are
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
rus Result FP1
Start Russian GP
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Formula 1 2021

The key talking points for the second half of F1 2021

There is so much to look forward to during the remaining 11 Formula 1 events this year. RacingNews365.com takes a look at the key talking points for the rest of the season.

Column
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Formula 1 in 2021 has been relentless and after a four-week break, the drama is set to restart this weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix.

After that, there are plenty of unknowns including where the teams and drivers will be racing and what will happen on the track.

The battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen has hit the headlines, but there are plenty of other stories that will almost certainly crop up from now until the scheduled season finale in Abu Dhabi on December 12.

A title-fight not to be missed

This is the most obvious talking point but it's one which we cannot get enough of. Hamilton versus Verstappen has been everything you could hope for so far and the drama between the championship protagonists is set to continue.

The margins have been very close between Mercedes and Red Bull up until now, so let's hope that remains to be the case over the next four months.

There will be more wheel-to-wheel battles, more excitement and both drivers will need to be at their very best if they want to become World Champion.

Will Perez and Bottas play a key role?

If the margins remain tight between Mercedes and Red Bull, their respective 'second drivers' could play a pivotal part in this year's championship.

Sergio Perez was key in Azerbaijan and France whereas Bottas played the team game at Silverstone to help Hamilton and was there to take advantage of the seven-time World Champion's floor damage at the Austrian Grand Prix.

If either driver can get their car onto the front row, or jump their rival on the opening lap, then they will be doing the perfect job to help their teammate.

Remarkably, no team has had a 1-2 yet this year so if either Mercedes or Red Bull can execute a weekend to collect 43 or 44 points, that would be a huge moment for the title race.

The pressure is on Perez and Bottas, just as much as Hamilton and Verstappen.

Can Norris snatch third in the championship?

Lando Norris has done a brilliant job to still be in third place in the Drivers' Championship. He's five points ahead of Bottas and has a nine-point buffer to Perez.

Whether he can stay there will likely come down to any misfortune for Bottas and Perez. Norris has driven the wheels off his McLaren so far this year but there is no doubt he does not have the same pace in his car compared to Bottas and Perez.

That said, McLaren will continue to develop their 2021 car but Norris' battle is with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, as McLaren look to take third place in the Constructors' standings.

If he maintains his superb form for the rest of the season, there is a chance that Norris can steal third place and it would certainly be a phenomenal achievement from the British driver if it were to happen.

How long will the teams develop their cars?

Every F1 team has been forced to find a compromise between continuing to bring upgrades to their current machines and putting their efforts into next year's car when a new set of technical regulations are introduced.

Haas, for example, have sacrificed 2021 entirely to put all of their focus into next season's car. Most teams have ended their development, but Mercedes' and Red Bull's fierce battle has caused a headache over whether to push on to win the 2021 title.

It could put their 2022 championship ambitions at risk so the big question for the sport's top two teams is when do they decide to stick with what they have and bring their development to a stop?

Who will win the fight for fifth?

Behind Ferrari's and McLaren's battle in the Constructors' Championship, a fight for fifth place has emerged.

Alpine's stunning weekend in Hungary has put them in prime position, nine points ahead of AlphaTauri and a further 20 points in front of Aston Martin who were severely hurt by Sebastian Vettel's disqualification last time out.

The pecking order in the midfield has changed from track to track and it appears that this particular fight will be decided by a crazy race such as the one that played out in Budapest.

Aston Martin have had a car which has been quick out of the box in recent races, whilst AlphaTauri have been spearheaded by Pierre Gasly's brilliant performances every weekend.

Alpine seem to be the weakest in a straight line but their driver line-up of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso is arguably the best out of the three teams.

This battle promises to go down to the final rounds in December.

Can Ricciardo find any good form?

Daniel Ricciardo's lack of pace has been a mystery in 2021, having scored less than half of Norris' points haul.

The Australian is ostensibly slower in every department, particularly on corner entry. He does not have the confidence to keep a high minimum speed in the corners, compared to Norris, which is also costing him time on the exits of the corners.

Ricciardo knows where he's losing time, but is unable to do it which suggests he has reached the limit of the car. Turning this around in the second half of the season will be difficult.

Will there be another new winner?

Ocon became F1's 111th different race winner which leads to the question of who will be next?

Sainz and Norris have to be the favourites, but all it takes is a set of unforeseen circumstances to come up which gives a driver such as Lance Stroll or Yuki Tsunoda an opportunity.

Is this Raikkonen's last year in F1?

Kimi Raikkonen has long been on the verge of retiring from F1 but it has never officially happened since his return to the sport in 2012.

The 2007 World Champion has still been a match for Alfa Romeo teammate Antonio Giovinazzi but his future seems to be very uncertain.

Very few people would have thought Raikkonen would go on to race in F1 for a career spanning 20 years to become the most experienced driver ever.

Although his peak his long gone, he still carries a huge army of fans and would be sorely missed if he announces his retirement.

Can Haas score points?

It would be astonishing if Mick Schumacher or Nikita Mazepin finish a race inside the top 10. Haas have admitted 2021 has been a transitional year for the team and their rookie drivers since January.

Even in a chaotic race such as Hungary, Schumacher didn't have the pace to beat damaged cars, so it would take a crazy set of circumstances for Haas to not finish last in both championships this season.

How many races will go ahead?

Whilst the next four events seem certain to get the green light, from October onwards the 2021 F1 calendar is not set in stone.

A replacement for the cancelled Australian Grand Prix in November is yet to be announced and COVID-19 rates in Austin, Texas has caused concern over the US GP which could have repercussions for the other races in the Americas, the Mexican and Brazilian GPs.

Turkey was at risk but was taken off the UK's red list last week, so there should be no quarantine issues as long as their coronavirus state does not get worse.

F1 teams hate unpredictability and an ever-changing schedule will play havoc for Red Bull and Ferrari who are set to take a grid penalty in the second half of the season.

Verstappen and Perez are involved in a championship battle, so will want to start at the back of the grid on a track where they think they can recover towards the front of the field.

However, it's difficult to make a decision when you're unsure which events will actually take place.

Will F1 fans miss these regulations?

This question can only be answered in 12 months' time but F1 in 2022 already has a lot to live up to. Hamilton and Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel in the first four races this year and you will find it difficult to think back to a time when the sport's top two drivers went side-by-side for four consecutive Grands Prix.

The title fight has been an absolute thriller so far, arguably the best championship battle this century. F1 in 2022 is expected to produce better racing, but to have a championship fight as good as the one we're witnessing now is going to take some doing.

Quiz

The Big Formula 1 2021 Quiz

You've loved every second of the 2021 Formula 1 season so far, haven't you? Well, let's see if you've been paying attention to the first 11 events of the year.

Play along

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Belgian Grand Prix straight from Spa-Francorchamps.

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