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Formula 1

The data that cleared up a confounding F1 title rival clash

by Matt Beer
1 min read

As our writers continue to pick their highlights of The Race’s 2021 content, Jack Benyon selects a video that dug into what really happened in one of the Formula 1 season’s oddest flashpoints:

I might be biased but there’s no doubt in my mind that The Race has the strongest group of Formula 1 journalists out there.

I’ve flagged up the video below mainly because it helps explain arguably the most bonkers moment of the craziest F1 season we’re ever likely to see in a way I’m almost certain you won’t have seen elsewhere. Watch; it speaks for itself.

For me it’s also typical of one of my colleague Scott Mitchell’s key talents: resourcefulness.

Formula 1 journalism isn’t always about breaking stories anymore – though Scott, Mark Hughes and Edd Straw often prove that wrong – in a world governed by PR, which means the best in the business also have to take information that’s already out there and package it in new, interesting but understandable ways for the reader.

I don’t think anyone can argue that’s one of the things The Race does best, and Scott in particular. Work like his data analysis in this video brought the details of the title fight out of the murky battle grounds and onto your phone screens and laptops.

The bizarre incident between Formula 1 title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Saudi Arabia was the peak of an astonishing and controversial grand prix.

Unsurprisingly, the most extreme positions from either side have seen this very simply: either Verstappen brake-tested Hamilton, or he kept having to slow down because Hamilton wouldn’t overtake him.

To cut through the opinion and the assumptions, we’ve got hold of key telemetry from the two cars to determine what really happened in one of the year’s biggest flashpoints.

In this video, we present that evidence and the conclusion it’s led us to.

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