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2021 Formula One Qatar Grand Prix

Who will win World Drivers' Championship?


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With three races remaining on the 2021 F1 calendar and both driver and constructor championships still to be decided, the Qatar Grand Prix looks to be yet another exciting race.

Week after week in 2021, it seems like the driver's championship is not yet decided, but momentum appears to be favouring either Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen. This is the situation we find ourselves in again as the field heads to Qatar. Hamilton's new engine in Brazil helped him to gain 25 positions over the course of a sprint race and grand prix weekend, and appears to have put him in a position to challenge Verstappen's 14-point advantage in the remaining races. A season full of surprises and twists, however, makes it unlikely that the narrative at the end of the year will be as simple as "Hamilton's new engine helped him win the remaining races and take the championship". Penalties, strategy calls, DNFs and weather may still have a significant effect on this battle.

Like the driver's championship, each time the constructor's championship appears to be close to a conclusion, something happens to draw Mercedes and Red Bull back into close contention. Entering Brazil, for example, the two teams were separated by just one point. A double podium finish from Mercedes has expanded that lead to 11 points.

Also in the constructor's championship, Ferrari has surged ahead of McLaren after an excellent showing at Sao Paulo, with Ferrari claiming the 5th and 6th spots and taking a 31.5 point lead over their rivals. McLaren managed just one point in the race, with Lando Norris finishing 10th and Daniel Ricciardo retiring on lap 49.

News broke this week that Antonio Giovinazzi will be leaving the Alfa Romeo F1 team after this season and joining Formula E. He will be replaced with current F 2 driver Guanyu Zhou. Zhou will drive alongside Valtteri Bottas next season, as Kimi Räikkönen is planning to retire.

Let us know your thoughts entering the Qatar GP this weekend in the comments below, with so much still to be decided in the three remaining races.

Image courtesy of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604
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Couldnt disagree more. No "flip flop" chicanes, loong fast corners that lead to other fast corners, long front straight that leads to a proper turn 1... its a great track.
I should have been more precise: it is not really the flow of the track but the lack of nearly everything alongside the track: no buildings, no trees, no grandstands etc. Adding to that Losail is totally flat. It's just a bland asphalt ribbon placed in no mans land.

I mean…look at it:

Formel-1-Losail-International-Circuit-02.jpeg
 
Yeah, its the desert, there's not supposed to be any sort of life really :D

Joking aside; the layout is probably the best they could do with a pancake flat surface. The last sector looks mildly interesting on telly but the whole place feels 'deserted' to use an appropriate word.
 
The blandness of the surrounding area is probably the reason why they like to run this race at night. Helps mask the issue and redirect your attention to the track itself, which is actually pretty good. Or at least it is for MotoGP. But with only one DRS zone and one low speed corner, F1 might have come here one year too early to be able to put on a worthy race.
 
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What is the signature corner of this iconic track? Is it the first right/left sweeper, the second, the third or the fourth?
 
Horner, maybe we will protest the Mercs rear wing, there’s something about it we can’t explain:( So it’s going on…………………………
 
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