Amid Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ F1 Dominance, Vettel Has a Remarkable Achievement

Published 04/23/2021, 12:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Last weekend, Max Verstappen won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix over Lewis Hamilton. However, Hamilton managed to snatch the fastest lap of the race.

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Under different circumstances, this would not have made any difference. However, setting the fastest lap awards one point, otherwise, Hamilton and Verstappen would be tied.

As a result, Sebastian Vettel is the only non-Mercedes driver to lead the championship in the last 7 years. Other than that, the likes of Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have always led the championship.

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With Lewis Hamilton Taking A Point For Fastest Lap At Imola, Sebastian Vettel Remains The Only Non Mercedes Driver To Lead The Formula 1 World Drivers Championship Since 2014 from formula1

Needless to say, that honor has not gone to any other driver. This includes, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon. Admittedly, Max Verstappen has a chance to break that Mercedes stranglehold in the next couple of races.

Can anyone wrest the lead free from Lewis Hamilton?

This year, Max Verstappen has emerged as a major contender for the championship. He could have won the season-opener at Bahrain, but he squandered it with an illegal pass.

Owing to that, he had to give the place back, and that was enough of a wake-up call for Hamilton. However, when the Imola race rolled by, Verstappen decided to redeem himself.

On a damp track, the Dutchman along with teammate Sergio Perez got a good start and swarmed Hamilton. While the Briton was able to dispatch Perez, Verstappen was running away from the Mercedes.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘I Can Say What I Want’ – Sebastian Vettel Reveals Ferrari Secret in Drive to Survive 3

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Subsequently, disaster struck Lewis Hamilton when he slithered off the track and almost into a wall. Fortunately, he was able to extricate himself, unlike poor old Sebastian Vettel in 2018 at Hockenheim.

Sadly for the 7-time World Champion, he lost a lot of time and dropped down the order. However, he was able to recollect himself and begin his recovery drive after the red flag.

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From there, Hamilton clawed his way back up the order and engaged in a titanic battle with the Ferraris and Lando Norris. Sadly, it was too late to catch Verstappen, and Hamilton had to settle for 2nd placed finish and the fastest lap.

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Dhruv George

11401 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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