With the 2022 Formula 1 season just over a month away, it got us thinking, what were the best races from 2021 F1 season. So we looked back, and this list is controversial, it's going to piss a few of you off, but hopefully, we can agree on a few of them.
I just did the Top 10 F1 Drivers of All Time and that certainly sparked some debate, so let's see if that's the case with the races from one of the greatest seasons in the history of Formula 1.
Because in a season that saw Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen tied on points entering the final race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it was one of the best seasons of all time, so there were quite a few races that miss out that any other year would've made the list. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Races from the 2021 Formula 1 Season.
10 - Bahrain GP
Now, let's start with the first race from the season, it feels like it took place thirty years ago, but the Bahrain GP actually got people up and about and excited, and it was mainly because Red Bull weren't about to roll over and die and let Mercedes run away with points this season.
Yuki Tsunoda actually looked the goods as well, competing wheel to wheel with Fernando Alonso in his return, it had so many headlines going into the event, and it came right down to the wire to with Lewis Hamilton keeping Max Verstappen at bay before the Red Bull driver exceeded track limits when overtaking Hamilton, and subsequently getting ordered to give the position back, instead of receiving a 5 second penalty. He gave the position back and argued with his team that he would've been able to extend his lead to more than 5 seconds, but what did happen though was give everyone a stiffy thinking about how good this season was truly going to be.
9 - Saudi Arabia GP
One of the new boys, the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on the Jeddah Street circuit, this was very controversial, not for the fact that there was a race in Saudi Arabia in a time where Formula 1 slogan is 'We Race As One' and then travel to places paying them the most cash and oppressing certain genders and races. But it was controversial in the events that took place there.
It was a high speed dangerous track, no forgiving areas, as soon as any teeny tiny mistake was made, you were into a barrier and your race was over. It was multiple restarts, a few red flags, Mick Schumacher into a wall, Perez stranded standing on the track. Mazepin and George Russell running into each other, Ocon leading the race ahead of Hamilton and Verstappen. Masi negotiating penalties with Team Directors like it was Deal or No Deal, Max illegally overtaking Hamilton again and trying to give the position back to him only to have Lewis Hamilton run into the back of Max and then the stewards penalising Max, just enough to not have any impact on the result.
That's the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in a nutshell, yea, pretty fucking entertaining.
8 - Emilia Romagna Grand PRix
The return of Imola, one positive thing to take out of the pandemic in the world of Formula 1 is the return of some of the great F1 circuits from yesteryear. Imola being one of them, and with a bit of wet weather out there it didn't disappoint.
It saw Max dominate out there in the wet weather, but Norris shock everyone and nearly qualify p2 if it wasn't for the pesky track limits. Hamilton ran off the track but reversed back onto a live race circuit (big no no, shouldn't been penalised for that) and George Russell and Valtteri Bottas collided, which left Kimi Raikkonen and his engineer having one of the more bizarre radio conversations this year. Pierre Gasly and Alpha Tauri were horrible and made literally the wrong call on tyres every single chance they could, but overall it was a fairly entertaining race.
Well done Imola, looking forward to having you back again, and this time with even smaller cars that like the dirty air..... hopefully.
7 - Mexican GP
Mexico is one of the circuits I love. It's so iconic, with the baseball stadium, and although the racing itself wasn't super exciting it did have some iconic moments that left everyone with smiles on their face and that's why I've got it sitting number 7 on the list of Best Races from the 2021 Formula 1 season.
We saw Checo, Sergio Perez, finish on the podium and the celebrations in the baseball stadium at the podium celebrations were insane. It looked like Max was running away with the championship, there was only 4 races to go, don't worry though, Lewis didn't lay down for him, he went out and won the next fucking 3 races to level the scores.
6 - Sao Paolo GP
This is the first race on the list to feature Sprint Qualifying, can't call it Sprint Races, don't you dare call them Sprint Races you moron!!! But Brazil fucking brought it. Mercedes decided to give Lewis Hamilton a new engine, this engine was fucking firing nicely. He took his engine penalty and started dead last, in the 24 laps, he had made his way up to 5th, what the actual fuck!
He received a 5 grid place penalty for the race, but it didn't matter, he fought his way through the race and eventually passed Max Verstappen, who at one point was trying to push him wide off the track and the stewards didn't give two shits about it. Hamilton eventually got his man and went on to win the race, other notable things that happened, Mazepin was crying, Verstappen got a $50,000 fine for touching Hamilton's dodgy rear wing and Seb Vettel was a delight on the team radio once more. It was a great race and so happy to be back there after a year off.
5 - Russian GP
Time to head to Sochi, god damn, it's going to be a shit race, that was, until it was one of the greatest races this season and by far the greatest race that Sochi has ever put on. It was the second to last time the Russian GP would be help at the summer resort, former Winter Olympics venue. But there was nothing summery about the weather as it pissed down at some very very convenient times to make this race, simply brilliant.
We saw Max Verstappen go dead last in qualifying (he was taking an engine penalty), we saw Lando Norris take Pole, we saw the smooth operator Carlos Sainz second and George Russell, in his fucking Williams take 3rd in qualifying, qualifying itself was remarkable, but the race got even crazier. Hamilton started in 4th and made light work of Russell and Sainz, Bottas was given a new engine penalty because the team thought he would be good at holding up Verstappen, spoiler alert...... he wasn't and the race itself was relatively straight forward. That was until the wet weather came along with only a few laps to go. Hamilton was closing in on Norris, and Norris told his team to eat a bag of dicks, I'm staying out on these tyres. Hamilton was like, what a fucking idiot he is, I'm pitting for some fresh wheels for the wet. In a mere few moments Norris was mowed down by Hamilton the charge and he went on to take his 100th Career Win. Norris ended up finishing in 7th and Verstappen clawed his way from dead last to second on the grid.
It was one of those races where so much was going on, the TV director missed a lot of the action. It was very entertaining from start the finish and if Sochi and the Russian GP could promise shitty weather each and every year, then I have no problem with it remaining on the calendar, but because it can't, it can just fuck right off!
4 - Hungarian GP
The race before the summer break, usually again, this race, a bit of a snooze fest, but you add some water and what do you get, one of the races of the fucking season, THAT'S WHAT!!! Alright, it was fucking carnage, but if Venom 2 has taught us anything, Carnage ain't bad.
Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll went bowling and took out nearly half the field. On the restart Hamilton was the only car on the grid. LET ME REPEAT THAT... Lewis Hamilton was the only car to restart the race, the rest went into the pits for slick tyres. Hamilton started the race by himself and it's one of those iconic sights from the 2021 season, (see picture below)
Verstappen sustained damage and was at the back of the field, Schumacher defended well, but not as well as Fernando Alonso, whose defensive effort would only be rivalled by Perez in Abu Dhabi. He kept Hamilton at bay and was able to secure the Victory for his teammate Esteban Ocon, a man whose girlfriend is SOOOOOOOOOOOO hot.
3 - Azerbaijan GP
In Baku, another race that usually is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Look, we need to be honest with ourselves, Baku has had a good race when it started, but was a little stale since then and then last year happened and it was fucking exciting again.
Charles Leclerc got himself back to back pole positions, Monaco and Baku, but then he was just struggling to keep the Mercedes of Hamilton, and the Red Bulls of Perez and Verstappen at bay. Bottas was just chillin' in the middle of the pack, no need to worry about him this weekend.
But it looked like it was going to be Max Verstappen just running away with the win here, his car was faster and he was able to get a lead on Hamilton through some great pit work by Red Bull and sloppy fingering by Mercedes, their Pit-stop wasn't great either. Perez was able to get by Hamilton as well. Then all of a sudden, the Pirelli gods looked down and said, let's spice this race up. Lance Stroll's tyres explode, Verstappen's Tyres explode and we red flag the race. Hamilton was back in it, starting second on the grid, just behind Perez, with only a few laps left in Baku.
Hamilton gently caressed that Magic Button on his steering wheel and as a result the brakes failed. Meaning Perez was able to go on and get his first victory in the Red Bull. Seb gave a funny Driver of the Day interview in his car as he was able to get himself a podium and it led to one of the more memorable races from the 2021 season, hence why it's on this list.
2 - Italian GP
We return to Italy once more, and wow, did this one give us some highlights. In 2020, Monza gave us a superb race where Pierre Gasly was able to get a win ahead of Carlos Sainz and Lance Stoll, surely the 2021 race at Monza wouldn't be as exciting as that. Well it's number 2 on this list you dumbass so what do you think??
It saw the McLarens dominate in qualifying, getting themselves into p3 and p4, sitting nice and pretty ready to score some points, but little did they know that p1 and p2, that was occupied by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was going to be theirs soon enough. Hamilton and Verstappen collide and take each other out of the race when Verstappen's car mounts Hamilton's like it was Riley Reid being mounted by every male in the porn industry. It let to Daniel Ricciardo holding on for the win with Lando Norris doing a great job in second holding off a Valtteri Bottas who was charging up from the rear of the field, because he took another engine penalty, I think the guy had about 15 engines this season, it was ridiculous.
This race also led to Damon Hill suggesting that Verstappen crashed into Hamilton on purpose and me thinking that Twitter and people in general need to leave Damon Hill alone, because he has lost his damn mind.
1 - Abu Dhabi GP
And FINALLY, at number 1, whether you want it there or not, the best race from the 2021 Formula 1 season was the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It had everything, even if you aren't a fan of the result, you wanted Lewis to win more than anything, you can't sit back and say, you weren't entertained by what happened. It had some of the best defensive driving I've ever seen by Perez, not to mention his work in qualifying, helping max get Pole position for the race.
It saw one of the greatest starts by Hamilton off the line, beating Max to the first corner and then Max shoving Hamilton off the track on the opening Lap and Hamilton maintaining the position despite leaving the track. Hamilton started pulling away, but that was all until Nicholas Latifi goes into the wall, Safety Car, half the field unlapped, Verstappen on fresher tyres passes Hamilton. Verstappen Wins, Toto cries out to Masi, Masi looks like a knob, Tsunoda 4th place, Carlos Sainz on the podium. It really was an insane final race and the championship came down to the final lap of the final race of the season.
Whether you like the result of not, it was certainly the race of the year. But there you go, that's it, that's the top 10 races from the 2021 Formula 1 season. What do you guys think? Did I get it right, I'm sure I've missed a few off the list and it may not be in the order you want, but I clearly just don't give a shit.