There are races where you click, then there are those where nothing clicks. For Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team, the Dutch GP of 2021 was a contest where everything clicked for the right reasons.
The driver’s race pace. The team strategy. Excellent tyre management. And whatnot!
Though, on the other hand, it wasn’t quite the case for Lewis Hamilton, who lost out the battle, in racing second in his Mercedes to the flying Dutchman.
But what might have contributed to the defeat that Mercedes, aka the Black Arrows suffered at Zandvoort that returned to the grid after a gap of 36 long years?
Lewis was certainly quick and in the closing stages, could be seen coming ever so close to Max- isn’t it?
Was it all a part of the team’s erroneous strategy as how former world champion (2016), Nico Rosberg and current F1 pundit put it?
Moreover, why does the one-time world champion, and once a Lewis-friend, later turned foe, Rosberg feel so about the lost chance at Zandvoort?
Was Lewis Hamilton’s great friend “Bono” the one to be blamed for the missed opportunity at the recently-concluded 2021 Dutch GP?
Here’s what the truth is- Hamilton couldn’t do what Max did, which was to demonstrate great race pace and with it, the advantage stemming from excellent team strategy to take home a fine win.
To win a Grand Prix, you don’t just need raw pace and excellent reflexes, the team’s support especially in making the right calls counts in the end too.
This is where, according to the German-Finnish driver who now resides at Monaco, Nico Rosberg was missing on Mercedes’ part, a team which the former Mercedes driver feels strongly about having raced with them for several seasons.
That being said, the following is what Nico Rosberg had to say in lines with how Mercedes operated at Zandvoort, which resulted in their number one driver, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton losing out the contest to his biggest threat this season, one who could well turn into 2021- nemesis, Max Verstappen:
Rosberg explained that Peter Bonnington’s instructions on when Hamilton needs to push were obscure. “So unclear, should he push now or not. What is he doing? As a driver, this frustrates me like hell. I’m like come on, give us clear guidance. That was below par from Bono today.”
They’ve had a couple of moments, not their usual high level of strategy. Something going on. This evening, they’ll be some serious discussions.” In addition to figuring out the faults in strategy, Rosberg adds Bono to his line of fire.
Lacking the pace at Zandvoort, Mercedes was reliant on its strategy. However, that didn’t work either. Wolff is clearly disappointed; he said, “We weren’t just good enough overall in the race. Pace- wise we would’ve been there but when you’re second on the row you’re always the loser.”
Moving on, at Monza, the two great drivers- Verstappen and Hamilton will, once again, lock horns in a key battle for supremacy. Who’ll come out on top and, importantly- can Lewis take home a win to turn the tables, once again, on what’s thus far been a closely-fought world championship?