The F1 2021 season was undoubtedly one of the most epic ones in recent years as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were involved in an incredible battle, with the young Dutchman coming out on top in end. In such an action-packed year, there was a lot of action and drama right through the season. And to determine the best race of season, an online voting was conducted with as many as 52,000 fans taking part in the same.
As it turned out, the Italian Grand Prix (which was held on September 12) was voted as the best race of 2021 season with maximum number of votes, slightly ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The results (top 5) were as follows:
1. Italian Grand Prix – 19%
2. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 16%
3. Sao Paulo Grand Prix – 10%
4. Azerbaijan Grand Prix – 8%
5. Hungarian Grand Prix – 7%
What was so special about Italian GP?
Monza has developed a habit of producing some outrageous racing in last few years and this year was no different. Max Verstappen, who started on pole, was overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap. Just a few seconds later, the Red Bull driver made a slight contact with Lewis Hamilton who went off track losing a place in the process.
As Ricciardo continued to lead the race for 21 laps, he pitted for a change of tyres which also prompted Max to take a pit stop in next lap. However, an issue on the right front tyre meant that the Red Bull driver lost a lot of time giving Ricciardo a healthy lead ahead.
Few laps later (on lap 26), Lewis Hamilton also coincidentally had a slow stop and when he re-joined the race, he came out just ahead of Max Verstappen who was trying to overtake him. In the whole tussle, the two championship protagonists collided with each other in turn 2 and in the most dramatic moments of the season, Verstappen's car was lying over Hamilton's Mercedes as both of them were forced to retire from the race.
Redemption for Honey Badger
Daniel Ricciardo, who is one of the most loved racers in the sport, had a very tough start in his debut season with McLaren. With both Max and Hamilton out, it opened the doors for Honey Badger to redeem himself. The Aussie certainly grabbed the opportunity with both hands and drove brilliantly to clinch a sensational victory, his first since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix.
Much to everyone's delight, the famous Ricciardo shoey was back on podium which was indeed a cherry on top of the cake after such a thrilling race.
Lando Norris finished P2 that evening which meant that McLaren got a 1-2 finish and they remained the only team to achieve the feat in the entire season. To keep the drama cherished in memories forever, team CEO Zak Brown got a tattoo of Monza track and because of all these factors, Italian GP 2021 was quite special and was a deserving winner of best race of season.