2021 Spanish Grand Prix: Scuderia Ferrari Race Report

2021 Spanish Grand Prix: Scuderia Ferrari Race Report

After a good qualifying on Saturday for the Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz looked ahead towards a possible double points finish at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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Photos: Scuderia Ferrari

Opening Laps

As the lights went out, Charles Leclerc briefly lost out to Daniel Ricciardo but was able to move up to third around the outside of Valtteri Bottas at turn three. Carlos Sainz lost two positions through the first lap as he dropped down to eighth, while Max Verstappen got past Lewis Hamilton for the lead at the first corner.

Leclerc defended hard to keep Bottas out of third position, while yellow flags were deployed at turn 10, bringing out a safety car as the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda came to a stop.

Racing resumed on lap 11, Leclerc maintained third, as Sainz held onto eighth position. Sainz was able to make use of DRS on lap 16 to try a move on the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, but could not find a way past.

The two cars held onto third and eighth until Carlos came into pit on lap 23, the first of the two Ferraris to pit.

Middle Stints

Carlos left the pitlane to take thirteenth position, re-joining the track on a set of medium compound tyres. Verstappen then pitted on lap 25 but lost time after a slow stop, taking fifth on his exit. Hamilton then pitted on lap 29, as Charles followed him in on the same lap, the Monegasque coming back out in fourth position.

Taking advantage of his fresh tyres, Sainz took seventh from Kimi Raikkonen on lap 31. Both drivers agreed to try a one-stop strategy, with Carlos expressing concerns on going to the end without a second stop.

Lewis Hamilton took a surprise second stop on lap 42, hoping to catch back up to Verstappen by the end.

Closing Laps

With the final third of the race getting underway, Leclerc and Sainz held onto fourth and seventh, before Sainz pitted for a second set of soft tyres on lap 47, re-joining in ninth position. Once again using the fresher tyres, Sainz shot by McLaren’s Lando Norris for eighth on lap 50.

Carlos continued his run up the order, claiming seventh from Esteban Ocon on lap 54, while Bottas went for a late second stop on the same lap. The pitstop for the Mercedes allowed Charles to jump back into third and the final podium position, but he unfortunately lost the position to Bottas on the faster soft compound tyres.

Charles then pitted from fourth on lap 59, for new soft tyres. He re-joined the race without losing positions, while Hamilton took the lead from Verstappen ahead.

Hamilton took the chequered flag ahead of Verstappen to take victory in Spain, while Charles and Carlos came home in fourth and seventh, a good haul of points for the Scuderia in Catalunya.

Written by Cóilín Higgins.

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