The latest Grand Prix of Formula 1’s 2021 season will see the series made its debut in Qatar at the Losail International Circuit. The same venue that is used by MotoGP.
Going into this weekend Max Verstappen holds a 14 point advantage over second placed, and title rival, Lewis Hamilton. This is after the two battled last weekend in Brazil for the victory with Hamilton coming out on top ahead of Verstappen.
It was an eventful weekend, for the wrong reasons, for Hamilton which meant he missed out on the opportunity to score valuable points in Formula 1’s third Sprint event of the 2021 season. Verstappen by comparison managed to claim second behind Valtteri Bottas in the Sprint.
Bottas heads into this weekend third in the drivers’ championship 115.5 points behind Hamilton and 25 ahead of Sergio Perez who is fourth. Bottas managed to claim his tenth podium finish of the season, which meant that Perez’s run of consecutive podium finishes came to an end in Brazil, the Mexican having to settle for fourth in the Grand Prix.
It also therefore means that Perez has a 27 point gap to Lando Norris who is fifth in the standings. This is after Norris’ McLaren team endured a difficult race weekend in Brazil which saw the Briton claim only tenth place in the Grand Prix. It means that Norris is also three points ahead of sixth placed Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque driver has finished inside the top five in sixth of the last seven races.
Behind Leclerc in the driver standings is his teammate Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard being 8.5 points behind Leclerc going into the latest race weekend of the season. This is after Sainz managed to claim third in the Sprint in Brazil which he then converted into a sixth place finish by the end of the Grand Prix. Sainz now has a 34.5 point advantage over eighth placed Daniel Ricciardo, this is after the Australian was forced to retire his car during the Grand Prix in Brazil, his third non points score in the last six races.Embed from Getty Images
In the constructors’ championship Mercedes holds an 11 point lead over Red Bull heading to Qatar as the two continue battling for both championship titles this season.
Third in the championship is Scuderia Ferrari who have a 31.5 point gap to fourth placed McLaren, the Maranello based team having got their cars to claim a 5-6 finish for the second consecutive race weekend, while as mentioned earlier, McLaren could only salvage a single point.
Alpine and AlphaTauri are still joint fifth in the constructors’ championship, 144 points behind McLaren. Incredibly having gone to Brazil level on points, Alpine and AlphaTauri will do the same heading to Qatar after the two Alpine cars claimed an 8-9 finish in Brazil compared to AlphaTauri securing a 7-15 finish.
All the teams behind Alpine and AlphaTauri failed to score points in Brazil. It therefore means that seventh placed Aston Martin are 44 points behind the duo in fifth in the championship. The Silverstone based team maintain their 45 point gap to eighth placed Williams who in turn keep hold of their 12 point advantage over Alfa Romeo in ninth.
Completing the constructors’ standings is the Haas F1 Team who finished 17-18 in Brazil.