Formula 1: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
Venue: Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
Race Date: 18th April 2021
The second race of the 2021 Formula One season gets underway in Imola, as defending champion Lewis Hamilton sits pretty at the top of the standings. The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix finds itself back in the Formula One calendar as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic taking a hold on world travel and the iconic circuit should be a great test for every driver on the grid. As the home of Ferrari, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari is one of the few courses in the world to run in an anti-clockwise direction and will be hosting a Formula One race for the just the second time since 2006.
In race two of the Formula One season all of the biggest names on the grid will be battling for supremacy:
Max Verstappen continues to push the Mercedes boys all the way and a win here would really do him and his team some good. He potentially missed a trick in Bahrain last time out and his Red Bull team will be hoping he can put down a marker here.
His win in Bahrain on the opening weekend of the campaign was a timely reminder that Lewis Hamilton is still the hardest man to beat on the F1 grid. The other teams are queuing up to knock the Brit off his perch, but Hamilton is showing no signs of panicking just yet.
Following a solid drive in Bahrain last time out, Valtteri Bottas looks well placed to push Mercedes into contention once more in the Constructors Championship. Pushing Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will be the key focus for the Finn here and this could be a real test of his skill set.
Having joined Red Bull in the off season, Sergio Perez is still finding his feet with his new team and how some points here would help his cause. The Mexican fought hard in Bahrain and could be the unknown quantity going into the race at Imola this weekend.
First Driver to Retire
The novelty factor of Imola could put pay to many drivers this weekend:-
Russian Nikita Mazepin endured a tough start in his first race in Bahrain last time out and with the car issues Haas appear to have, he could be a candidate to retire first this weekend.
Williams continue to battle away in the Formula One Championships, but they have car unreliability issues and Nicholas Latifi could be up against it from the off here.
Top Six Finish
There will be plenty of racers fancying their chances of cracking the top 6 at Imola this weekend:-
Australian Daniel Riccardo went well in his opening race for McLaren last time out and he looks well suited to the conditions here at Imola.
Frenchman Pierre Gasly produced a stunning performance to win at Monza last year and his Alpha Tauri car looks particularly nippy this season.
In Ferrari’s home Grand Prix, the stakes could not be higher, and Carlos Sainz will be looking to make a statement for his new team from the off this weekend.
F1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Best Bets:
Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton – 1.25
First Driver to Retire: Nikita Mazepin – 5.50