This weekend's Monaco Grand Prix is shaping up to be the most anticipated of the current F1 season. We've got news on that and all the action on and off track to bring you now in our roundup of the latest Formula 1 news…
One thing that fans can be looking forward to from this weekend's action at Monaco will be Team McLaren's adoption of an iconic colour scheme that's not been seen on track for almost 25 years.
Last year, McLaren renewed their historic partnership with Gulf Oil, which dates back to its early founding years when Bruce McLaren was at the helm in the first golden era of motorsport in the 1960s and 1970s.
For this weekend's Grand Prix only, the team vehicles will be kitted out in the iconic blue with orange stripe livery that has only been used one other time in recent history, at the 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours, where McLaren took silver honours.
Speaking at its press unveiling this week, Team McLaren boss Zak Brown said: "This will be McLaren's homage to Gulf's celebrated race car design. We're enormous fans of brave and bold design, and the striking Gulf blue is among the most loved liveries in racing … We're excited to exhibit this as a team and celebrate our proud association with Gulf in Monaco."
The qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona a couple of weeks back saw Lewis Hamilton enter the history books once more. The Team Mercedes champ managed to edge out his current rival for Team Red Bull, Max Verstappen, by 0.036 seconds, notching up his 100th pole position of his career.
That is quite a remarkable tally; a whole 32 more than the previous record holder Michael Schumacher, who notched up 68 poles across his career. And when you also consider that in terms of overall Grand Prix wins, Hamilton's current tally for that is just two off the three figure mark now, he could well achieve that also in the rest of this season to come.
Hamilton was in reflective mood on his triumph at qualifying for the Spanish GP - which he subsequently went on to win - paying tribute to the engineers behind the scenes: "I can't believe we are at 100. It's down to the men and women back at the factory who are just continuing to raise the bar and never giving up. It has been a dream to work with these guys. Who would have thought when I made the move at the end of 2012 that we would get to 100? I am ecstatic, like it's my first."
It was in our last roundup a couple of weeks back that we heard that Turkey was to replace Canada on this year's F1 calendar, owing to ongoing complications as a result of restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. But once again, even Turkey is off the agenda now for 11th - 13th June owing to quarantine conditions in that country.
As a result, that weekend will now be free, but what that means is the French Grand Prix will now be a week earlier than scheduled, from 18th - 20th June. It has also been announced that there will be a second Austrian leg added to this year's calendar, with the Styrian Grand Prix from 25th - 27th June. The race calendar for 2021 will thus still consist of 23 dates in all.
One thing's certain, over a year on from when the pandemic first hit and sent the race calendar awry, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali notes that they've been able to adapt more swiftly, saying: "Formula 1 has shown again that it is able to react quickly to developments and find solutions, and we are delighted that we will have a double header in Austria meaning our season remains at 23 races."
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