This coming weekend is race weekend. Prepare for round #5 of the 2021 F1 World championship. Thus far, it’s been an out and out Lewis Hamilton show, which is not really that surprising since the great driver has gone on to win three in four wins already. What’s surprising, truth be told, is that he’s won all these Grands Prix despite not leading as many laps as his arch-rival and main contender for this championship- Max Verstappen!
But in a race where much of the highlights concern themselves with the action out in the front with Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen leading the show with the likes of Norris and Leclerc keeping themselves busy with the track leaders, not an awful lot is reserved for the back markers.
And this year too, much like 2019 and 2020, it’s Haas that’s the team that is found struggling. Though its closest rivals are the two Alfa Romeos and the two Williams, it doesn’t appear as if the duo of Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher have been able to put up much of a challenge from Haas’ perspective.
But that being said, ahead of the famous principality, Haas team principal Gunther Steiner has issued a stern warning to his two drivers, though it must be noted that where it comes to consistency and keeping all four wheels of the machine on the road- and not on the gravel or asphalt- it’s clearly Mick who’s done a far better job.
Often also seen demonstrating flashes of speed.
That being said, what exactly did Haas’ Steiner as a word of caution to his two young drivers ahead of this weekend’s action?
Planet F1 quoted the 56-year-old Italian Motorsport engineer saying the following:
Once you are in the barriers in Monaco, your session is lost. You can’t get the car back and it’s normally pretty damaged anyway.
“The challenge is big. It’s a very tight circuit, obviously a street circuit, and you’ve got lots of people watching – everything you don’t want on a race like this. On the other side, you do want it though, that’s why we are doing it.
“There should be little pressure on the drivers there as we know our performance. They should be looking at the race just to gain experience so that when they return with a better car, they will have learned how to deal with Monaco – which is obviously a very special race in the Formula 1 calendar.”
That being said, what’s important to remember is that the last time around, i.e., 2020, there was no race held at Monaco in lines with the growing fears of the pandemic. So the last edition of the gruelling and glitzy racing affair took place in 2019, the year where the F1 continent, in entirety, marked a tribute to the late Niki Lauda. This year, there’s a good chance that Red Bull, fast in corners and nearly matching the Mercedes pace, would give the Toto Wolff-led side a hard-fought challenge.
Though, the ultimate test of grit and nerves would be to escape the brutal blow of ‘Hammertime!’ So who do you think might go on to win a contest that none other than Senna mastered by winning it on five different occasions?