A race of two parts to an extent. We saw the usual dicey opening lap at Silverstone as the cars jostled through Brooklands, Luffield and Copse until Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen came to blows. The resultant safety car kept the pack bunched up nicely.
A second safety car period followed after Daniil Kvyat's high-speed crash on entry to Maggotts and Becketts, allowing the front runners to make what should have been their only stop of the afternoon.
Behind, there were some fantastic battles, highlighted by Daniel Ricciardo's tussle with both McLarens. But the drama kicked in just two laps from the end when Valtteri Bottas' left-front tyre gave way. The Finn crawled around to eventually pit but drop out of the points.
Max Verstappen made a safety stop whilst Mercedes risked keeping Hamilton out for the final lap. The gamble almost backfired as a puncture for the world champion cost him half-a-minute on the final tour, producing a three-wheeled finish that will live long in the memory.
4. Tuscan Grand Prix
A drama-filled inaugural race at Mugello has left many wanting a swift return to the Tuscan venue.
A first-lap incident involving six cars left Verstappen and Pierre Gasly stranded in the gravel of turn two and out of the race. The resultant safety car period ended with a multi-car pile-up on the pit-straight, which brought out the red flags.
Bottas lost the lead at the second standing start as Hamilton went around the outside into turn one - the first of a plethora of overtakes at the sweeping right-hander.
Lance Stroll looked on course for a podium before a failure at the rear of his Racing Point pitched him into the barrier at the high-speed Arrabiatta corner, triggering a second red-flag period.
Bottas was unable to capitalise on his front row start as Ricciardo slotted between the two Mercedes, whilst Albon's overtake on the outside of Perez at turn three was a contender for move of the year. Hamilton held on though, whilst Bottas and Albon jumped Ricciardo for the podium spots - the Red Bull driver's first in F1.
3. Italian Grand Prix
Monza was the place where Gasly put his demons to rest after a difficult year-and-a-half.
Let's start at the beginning. Hamilton raced into a lead whilst Bottas slipped from second to sixth as both McLarens, Sergio Perez and Ricciardo made their way to the top five.
When Magnussen broke down at the pit entry, the safety car was deployed to recover the stricken Haas. Hamilton decided to pit for a 'free-stop' unaware that the pits were closed for the recovery work and was subsequently handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty.
That may have been less damaging had Charles Leclerc not had a nasty incident at the Parabolica at the restart and caused a red-flag delay, giving Hamilton less time to build a gap before his penalty.
Stroll was second but slipped backwards off the line as Gasly launched into what would become first. Sainz and Stroll were locked in a fight for second and traded overtaking moves before the Spaniard came out on top.
Sainz closed and closed on Gasly, but was unable to reach the Frenchman who held on to take his maiden F1 victory and AlphaTauri's first in their current guise.
2. Turkish Grand Prix
I implore you to find a more fascinating display of motor racing than the Turkish GP. On a track surface yielding little grip, adding some rain and an incredible pole position for Stroll, this was anything but a dull Sunday.
Racing Point held onto a pretty comfortable one-two through the first half of the race, with Stroll in front by 10 seconds in the most difficult of conditions, whilst Hamilton - aiming to seal his seventh title - squirmed around as Mercedes looked devoid of grip.
Somehow, the Briton eventually found it on seriously worn intermediates and, after overtaking Perez and leaving Stroll - who was now suffering from detrimental understeer - to plummet down the order, took victory by over half-a-minute.
Leclerc looked to have made his way past Perez for second at the final corner but misjudged his braking, allowing both Perez and team-mate Sebastian Vettel onto the podium.
As for Hamilton's team-mate, Bottas span six times altogether as his championship challenge came to an abrupt end.
1. Sakhir Grand Prix
There could only be one number one, and boy was it a cracker.
The first use of the Outer Circuit in Bahrain threw up what may well end up to be the race of the decade. George Russell, deputising for the Covid-stricken Hamilton, shot off the front-row to take the lead at turn one, whilst Bottas again struggled.
Leclerc then punted Perez at turn four and put himself and Verstappen out of the race, whilst the Mexican would pit at the end of the lap for repairs to drop to 18th and last.
Russell and Bottas looked in complete control with their main threat Verstappen on the sidelines. Behind them, though, the midfield was demonstrating racing at its very best - the outside of turn four being the flavour of the day.
Perez had made his way nicely through the field and on lap 58, stunningly made a move on Esteban Ocon for third. Five laps later, Jack Aitken - Russell's Williams stand-in, knocked his front wing off at the final corner and triggered a safety car.
What happened to Mercedes next was the stuff of nightmares. A botched double-stack pit-stop meant Russell was sent out on tyres belonging to Bottas whilst the Finn had new tyres put on and then taken off when the team realised the mistake made, leaving him with old hard tyres.
Russell's extra stop to correct the allocation error left him fifth, but a scintillating move on Bottas followed by overtakes on Stroll and Ocon left him chasing after new leader Perez before a late puncture ruined any chance of winning.
After facing backwards on lap one, Perez went on take his first victory in the sport at the 190th attempt. Ocon secured his first podium as runner-up, with Stroll third.
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