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Formula 1 Season Preview

F1 2021 Season Preview and Predictions

It's lights out and away we go. It’s that time of year again, it is time for all racing fans to buckle up and get ready for another season of Formula One. Could this year be the record-making season for Lewis Hamilton or could it be Red Bull’s year this time? 

For most F1 fans, like myself, this is a very exciting time as we get to see the cars in action and how well they perform, for the first time, and if the testing right now is anything to go off of, it seems that Mercedes has a few problems. 

What are the key challenges for each driver in the new 2021 season? and where the teams stand after three days of testing?

 

Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes on the back of a historic run of seven straight titles are heading into an eagerly-anticipated first race of the season in an unfamiliar, and somewhat uncomfortable, position. There is a lot of work to be done to get their car ready for the opening week. Be in no doubt Mercedes still be the sport’s dominant force despite them saying Red Bull are quicker.

 

Lewis Hamilton 

The former champion will have to be able to show that he is able and competitive enough still to be able to win another championship.

Valterri Bottas 

He will have to close the gap against his teammate after he had only won 2 of the 13 wins by Mercedes. 

 

 

Red Bull

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull had finished 2020 strongly but they picked up where they left off and then some, delivering a car that looked far more stable, consistent and all-round quicker than Mercedes during testing.

Max Verstappen

He now has to have the willpower and strength to go for his first-ever championship.

Sergio Perez 

He has shown on multiple occasions that he has the pace to fight for a win, he just has to continue that and he will be able to go for a title. 

 

 

McLaren

McLaren F1 Team

Mclaren transition to Mercedes power was accomplished astonishingly smoothly. They had a very good three days of testing. The new car MCL35m ran reliably from the start. It’s early days, they are still playing catch up. I think they will finish where they finished last year. 

Daniel Ricciardo 

Unlike Perez, he has to show that he is champion material and can win.

Lando Norris 

Prove to the public that he has the pace to fight for the podium or maybe even win and that he is deserving of maybe a faster car. 

 

 

Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

The new car look definitely a step on from the last year. All the difficulties that they experienced in the last two seasons have been overcome. Ferrari still appears to be part of the midfield group.

Charles Leclerc

He needs to stay and work his best like he did last season. “Hard work always pays off” 

Carlos Sainz 

Show that he is capable of driving the Ferrari and even win races for them.


 

Williams

Williams Racing

It was very optimistic pre-season for Williams racing who is under new ownership. Team Williams has decided to take a controversial and risky approach to the new seasons. They have centred their design belief around one specific type of track, which means they are trying to optimise their chances of scoring points at just 4 or 5 race tracks. This could give them the chance of scoring more points than their rival teams. 

George Russell

He will need to do some spectacular things with Williams to get a seat at Mercedes so that is what he will need to keep on doing. 

Nicholas Latifi 

As a rookie, it was reasonable to always be behind his more experienced teammate but now he has to improve and close that gap and make it a good fight. 

 

 

Haas

Haas F1 Team

A underdeveloped car which won't be worked on during the season means 20201 could be a very tough season for Haas formula one team. The Haas team has decided to focus on pretty much everything on the new regulations for 2022 so 2021 season is a test drive for them to improve their car for the seasons 2022. It's going to be a very tough year for Haas F1 team. Only the time will tell is this the right strategy.


Mick Schumacher

Like Mazepin, he will need to just have a foundation for his career, but also more pressure for him not just as a rookie but as another person passing down a legacy

Nikita Mazepin 

A bold move by Haas letting in two rookies at once but they will just have to race and just place as high as they can, almost like a foundation for their careers 

 

 

Alpine

Alpine F1 Team

Renault has rebranded as Alpine. This year is about setting the groundwork for a real push in 2022, and Alpine needs to prove it is on the right track ahead of the major rules overhaul next year that it hopes will offer it a chance to vault up the order with Alonso on board.

  

Fernando Alonso 

Like Raikonnen, he will just keep on racing and racing, so he will most likely just have to aim as high as possible 

Estaban Ocon 

Show some more sparks of life this season like the last and hopefully, a higher team on the standings should be knocking on his door 

 

 

Aston Martin

Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team

This is the second new name in the paddock Aston Martin formally known by Racing Point Force India. The resemblance between AMR21 and Mercedes carries over into this year. Can the team live up to the hype? Only time will tell.

Sebastian Vettel 

Vettel is in a new car so he will need to show that he still has the competitiveness within him to fight for another title this season 

Lance Stroll 

He needs to show some consistency and that he can fight in the higher end of the standings 

 

 

AlphaTauri

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

Alpha Tauri Formula 1 car features plenty of parts supplied by Red Bull Racing. AT02 looking to build on a strong 2020 season where the Italian outfit won a race with Pierre Gasly. They had the seconds fastest time in testing. The team AlphaTauri are looking seriously good.

Pierre Gasly 

After being replaced at Red Bull he needs to keep on showing, like last season, that it was the incorrect decision and hopefully sooner or later they will want to have him again 

Yuki Tsunoda 

A rookie who has moved up three leagues three consecutive years in a row. He will need to show what he is worth and try and challenge Gasly 

 

 

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN

Alfa Romeo, they had a really good test a really confident start to the new season. They covered 421 laps in the test, the most miles of any team on the gird. It will be a good achievement if they can get into mid-table rather then seeing them at the bottom.


Kimi Raikonnen 

Just keep on going now as it seems like he is now just racing for the fun and not really for a title 

Antonio Giovanazzi 

He needs to work on his consistency and begin to close the gap ‘pacewise’ against Kimi



Our top 5 Predictions: 

 

1 - Williams will begin their revival this year 

Why you may ask, but I think that it will happen mainly because of Haas. They have got themselves two new rookies who will need to prove themselves and are inexperienced, whereas both Williams drivers have now at least had a season so now they will most likely get a point or two. 

 

2 - Mercedes will not win the constructors championship 

It is a bit of a hot take but if the testing is anything to go off of, it seems that Red Bull is the faster car, and now that they have two, very quick drivers they have a much higher chance of winning the championship. 


3 - Sergio Perez will not outscore Max Verstappen

It is pretty clear that Max Verstappen has had the talent but he also has had to get used to the faster cars however Sergio hasn’t as much so he will need to slightly turn his head towards the right direction and he may by next season begin to do better than him 

 

4 - Mclaren will win a race

I think that now with a great addition of Daniel Ricciardo, and also now having a Mercedes engine they now have the highest chance to win a race than they have had in a few seasons. They also have Lando Norris who will also improve more and more as he now enters his third season in Formula 1. 


5 - Carlos Sainz vs Charles Leclerc: The Closest Team-Mate Rivalry 

Sainz was on fire last season with Mclaren and I believe that he will continue to stay on form and improve, on the other hand, Charles Leclerc and how well he performed was slightly overlooked by the surprise ‘u-turn’ Ferrari took. 


BUCKLE UP 

This season seems to be one of the most exciting as the speed gap of the cars moves closer and closer. Let's see what the first race weekend will have in store for us. keep in mind it is just what we've seen at testing and you never know the full competitions how the team and the drives will perfourm.

(Photos: https://www.formula1.com/)

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