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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - five MORE things we learned

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - five MORE things we learned

F1 News

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - five MORE things we learned

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - five MORE things we learned

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was such a thriller that justice could not be done with just one list, so here are five more things learned from the Imola weekend.

As F1 returned to Imola for the second time in as many years, the circuit, the weather and the off-track politics provided all the action you would expect from the sport and so much more.

You can find the first five things we learned from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix here, but without further hesitation, here is the second chapter.

Aston Martin in strife

It is evident changes to the aerodynamic regulations over the winter have done more damage to the teams with a low-rake design, Aston Martin and Mercedes, than those with a high-rake, Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

Over the Imola weekend, Aston Martin team-principal Otmar Szafnaurer expressed his displeasure at the changes which had been made for safety reasons when under the assumption Pirelli could not build a new tyre construction in time for the 2021 season - something it was eventually able to do.

Conversations with the FIA appeared to appease Szafnauer although this does nothing to improve the pace of the car itself.

Brake problems befell both cars ahead of the race and, even before being hit with a penalty, Sebastian Vettel was in no position to trouble the points. Lance Stroll, however, went quietly about his business and finished eighth.

The cost of crashing is higher than ever!

Crashing is never something you want to do in F1 but it is, unfortunately, inevitable. Imola highlighted that no driver is immune from error with Lewis Hamilton visiting the wall on lap 30 and Max Verstappen surviving a half-spin behind the safety car.

The budget cap, introduced for this year, has drastically increased the cost of error and, with teams keeping one eye on the incoming 2022 aerodynamic changes, money is tight at every team.

Mercedes has made clear the crash between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell will likely have an effect on the development of this year's car and that any repeat problems would push the damage further into the future.

The team is involved in a tense title battle with Red Bull this year and it is moments like this that could sway the balance of power.

Williams and Alfa Romeo waste rare points opportunity

Both Williams and Alfa Romeo have made considerable steps forward over the winter months but the pair are still, at best, at the tail-end of the midfield.

Despite this, at Imola, both teams had the opportunity to register on the points table - Williams for the first time since the 2019 German Grand Prix - but the opportunity went begging.

For Williams, Latifi crashed out on lap one after a pair of individual errors whilst Russell was involved in a well-documented crash with Valtteri Bottas.

Alfa Romeo can count itself considerably less fortunate after Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line ninth, but was relegated to P13 after being handed a post-race penalty equating to 30 seconds.

These are opportunities neither team can afford to let slip and, at the end of the year, could carry a cost of millions of dollars.

Haas' season of pain has been confirmed

Haas entered the 2021 season knowing it would be a difficult season, but few would have predicted just how problematic it would be. With two rookie drivers in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin and all the team's efforts focussed on 2022, Imola saw the only upgrades Haas will bring all year.

Following the Bahrain opener, Schumacher had said he was "positive" Haas could challenge other teams and that he hoped to break into Q2 this year. Although only one-tenth off Antonio Giovinazzi, who was hindered in preparation for his fast lap by Mazepin, the German was over four-tenths off Fernando Alonso in P15.

When the red flag was thrown on lap 33, both Haas drivers were already two laps down.

If there was any doubt, this will be a long and extremely difficult year for the Haas team.

Old-school Imola still has a place in F1

Older circuits like Imola often evoke memories of wheel-to-wheel action from years gone by, but the increased cornering speeds and bloated size of modern machinery often means the tracks are no longer fit for F1.

Last year's unexpected trip to Imola was entertaining but the action left something to be desired.

Last weekend, however, demonstrated the historic venue is still capable of creating memorable moments and all it took was a few drops of rain.

It remains unlikely Imola will feature on the calendar in years to come, but the Italian circuit certainly left the audience wanting more!


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