In a couple of weeks’ time, the Formula One circus will be back in action. This time around, the paddock makes landfall at Imola for the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari made its grand return to F1 since its disappearance at the end of the 2006 season.
Back then, it used to be known as the San Marino Grand Prix. However, it has since been rebranded the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Last year, Lewis Hamilton triumphed at the Imola circuit, with Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the podium. Now, F1 is back on the iconic circuit once again and Hamilton will be keen to win again.
Truthfully speaking, Hamilton is definitely the favorite, as the Mercedes team has been dominant. However, Max Verstappen has emerged as a potential threat for the British driver. Going by their 2020 performance, it is safe to assume that Lewis Hamilton could win the race, with Valtteri Bottas in second. Finally, Red Bull driver Verstappen looks like a surefire candidate to take the final podium spot.
How will the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix pan out?
On the bright side, there does not seem to be any adverse weather on the horizon. So this will most likely be a straight fight until the finish. Of course, that is only possible if Hamilton and/or Bottas don’t try and run off into the distance. Obviously, if the Mercedes duo try to attempt such a thing, Verstappen and Sergio Perez will try and stick to their coattails.
Aside from Mercedes and Red Bull, there are other teams that could be dark horses for the podium or the Top 3 in qualifying. This includes the likes of Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine Racing. After last year’s struggles, Ferrari is on the road to redemption with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Even the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have proven their mettle. The Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon could also be quick, and the AlphaTauris should not be underestimated either.