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How intra-team rivalries stack up after the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

Mercedes laid down the gauntlet in the first race of the season. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Mercedes laid down the gauntlet in the first race of the season. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
ANALYST
Modified 30 Mar 2021
Feature

The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix gave us our first real feel for the depth of the competition. And when it comes to competing in Formula 1, the first person every driver has to beat is his teammate, because he is the only one driving the exact same equipment.

With only three teams holding on to the same driver lineups as 2020 - Mercedes, Alfa Romeo and Williams - the battle between the teammates will be as interesting to keep an eye on this season as the race for the overall honors.

We look at how the drivers stack up against each other after the first race of the season.

F1: Bahrain Grand Prix - how teammates fared from each team

#1 Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton 1- Valtteri Bottas 0

It may be a new season but the plot remains the same for Mercedes, as far as the performances of their drivers go. Valtteri Bottas was a non-factor all weekend while Lewis Hamilton resumed his winning ways by emerging victorious in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

#2 Red Bull

Max Verstappen 1- Sergio Perez 0

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Sergio Perez didn't have a perfect weekend to kick off his Red Bull tenure and will be looking to make improvements in the next race, at Imola. Nevertheless, given that he's still getting used to his new ride, he drove a measured race at the Bahrain Grand Prix and came from behind to finish fifth. But he has some ways to go to match his illustrious teammate Max Verstappen.

#3 McLaren

Lando Norris 1 - Daniel Ricciardo 0

McLaren had a great start to the season. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
McLaren had a great start to the season. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo announced his arrival at McLaren by outqualifying Lando Norris on Saturday. Norris, for his part, made up for it by overtaking Ricciardo on the very first lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix and then stretching the gap through the course of the race. It's advantage Norris heading into Imola.

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#4 Ferrari

Charles Leclerc 1- Carlos Sainz Jr 0

While Carlos Sainz Jr. may have got the better of Charles Leclerc during the free practice sessions, when push came to shove, Leclerc was the standout driver for Ferrari, qualifying fourth on the grid and finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix in sixth place.

#5 AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly 1- Yuki Tsunoda 0

Yuki Tsunoda is impressive, there's no doubt, about that. We can almost be certain that he will give Pierre Gasly a run for his money as the season rolls on. But for now, Gasly has the upper hand. The Frenchman qualified in an impressive fifth place on the Bahrain Grand Prix grid for AlphaTauri and even though he suffered damage early on, he had already shown by then that he was the better driver in the team, for now.

#6 Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel 0-Lance Stroll 1

Sebastian Vettel had a poor start to life at Aston Martin. Photo: Peter Fox/Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel had a poor start to life at Aston Martin. Photo: Peter Fox/Getty Images

It was a weekend to forget for Sebastian Vettel and one to remember for Lance Stroll. While the German spent his weekend accumulating penalty points, Stroll was the only Aston Martin driver to achieve points in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Round 1 was not even close, with Stroll drawing first blood.

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#7 Alpine F1 Team

Fernando Alonso 1- Esteban Ocon 0

This was similar to what happened at Ferrari. While Esteban Ocon was quicker than Fernando Alonso in practice, Alonso took over the team's baton when it mattered, qualifying ninth while Ocon only managed 16th. The Bahrain Grand Prix saw Alonso having to retire while Ocon finished outside the points. Clearly, more work to do for the young Frenchman as he loses the first round to his illustrious team-mate.

#8 Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen 1- Antonio Giovinazzi 0

Kimi Raikkonen was the better driver at Alfa Romeo. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Kimi Raikkonen was the better driver at Alfa Romeo. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Alfa Romeo Racing needs a new driver pairing and fast. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen was once again the better driver of the two, and while Antonio Giovinazzi qualified better, he was not even in the same zipcode in terms of race pace.

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#9 Williams

George Russell 1- Nicholas Latifi 0

George Russell did what he has done to all teammates at Williams - outqualify and outrace them over the weekend. And he kept that up in the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix as well. Nicholas Latifi was unable to show an uptick in form and remains second-best of the two teammates.

#10 Haas

Mick Schumacher 1- Nikita Mazepin 0

Nikita Mazepin didn't have a memorable debut in the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Russian binned it in both qualifying and the race, while Mick Schumacher did what he needed to do and and kept his nose clean for most of the weekend.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 22:01 IST
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