As the 2021 Formula 1 season is due to start this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix, here are five reasons why you should follow this highly anticipated season of racing, before new regulations change the rules of the game forever in 2022.
Lewis Hamilton could make history
Could he do it? Could he claim one more title? At 36 years old, British driver Lewis Hamilton is just one more win away from breaking a huge record: the driver to have won the most world championship titles. Last year, he drew even with the current record holder Michael Schumacher, each of them having seven championships to their name. As if eight world titles wouldn’t be enough to make him the best driver of all time, his list of accolades goes on. By the end of this season, Mercedes number 1 driver will likely have won 100 Grand Prix races (currently 95) and will have probably reached pole position for the 100th time (currently 98). Will he achieve all of this before retiring in 2022 when new technical regulations will come into force? Stay tuned this season to find out.
Fernando Alonso is back on the track
He is one of the most talented drivers of his generation. Fans go crazy for him. Some young drivers in the paddocks even say he was their role model. After a two year break from the F1 track, as he instead chose to partake twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Dakar Rally, the Spaniard is making a comeback. He will be representing Alpine – formerly known as Renault – on the track this season, after winning two world titles with them in 2005 and 2006. Lately though his Formula 1 performances have not been quite as impressive, as for four seasons with McLaren he failed to make it into the top spots. However, “El Toro de Asturias” has signed with Alpine for two seasons and he will be determined to show his talent.
Aston Martin and Alpine have a whole new look
New and exciting, these manufacturers are breathing a breath of fresh air onto the track with their new designs. Alpine and Aston Martin will be replacing Renault and Racing Point with the French team switching from yellow to blue, whilst the English drivers opted for green instead of pink. Will a brand new identity mean a new and improved performance? Not necessarily. The midfield teams (McLaren, Ferrari, Alpha Tauri, Alpine and Aston Martin), battling it out behind Mercedes and Red Bull to break into the top 3, all look set to put in a strong effort, so the results are tough to call. Aston Martin and Alpine may have won fans over with their new aesthetic, but can they do the same with their racing skills?
Charles Leclerc and Ferrari expected on the podium
After a disappointing season, the worst in 40 years, coming in at sixth place in the Manufacturers’ World Championships, Ferrari are determined to make a stellar comeback. Spanish driver Carlos Sainz has replaced Sebastian Vettel and several other modifications have been made to the SF21 (25 increase in horse power, new transmission and suspension, improved aerodynamics), giving the Italian manufacturer the best chance at success, as they await the 2022 season and the new technical regulations they hope to benefit from. Focusing on the future, putting 2020 firmly behind them, will Charles Leclerc drive the Reds over the line first? Will he take them to the top spot and crown Scuderia Ferrari the comeback kings of the 2021 season?
Schumacher makes his debut
Schumacher is an intrinsic part of Formula 1. His name heard in every paddock and written on the record book pages. This seven-time world champion is now passing the racing baton to his son, as the 22-year-old follows in his father’s footsteps, taking to the F1 track for the first time this season. Crowned F2 champion last season, Mick Schumacher will now have to live up to the family name, as he races for the US team Haas. He will not be the only Formula 1 rookie on the track this year, as Nikita Mazepin, whose father owns Haas, will also be racing alongside Mick Schumacher. A rivalry not to be missed.
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