Formula 1 is exciting, political, and ever-changing. The upcoming season promises great races with even greater drivers in the high-pressure environment as it is. The 72nd season will start with the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir on the 26th of March.VHR’s F1 & Automotive recruitment specialists will look deeper into 2021’s season and its predictions.
The start line is in sight & the F1 teams have been keeping busy ensuring their cars are safe, sustainable, and performing as best as possible. Formula 1 is likely one of the trickiest sports to predict accurately. VHR has looked into what the teams may have in store for us.
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton
There is no questioning that Lewis Hamilton is an incredible driver with matching results. Being a seven-time World Champion, he will surely be hungry for the podiums once more. With changes in the rules- and regulations, the battle between Verstappen and Hamilton will be one of the biggest battles this season for Mercedes.
Mercedes encountered difficulties when testing this season’s new W12. Both Hamilton and Bottas reported instability and a severe lack of controllability. Chief strategist James Vowles revealed that there were no immediate answers as to the source of the problems. The team will have to step up and focus on stabilizing the car for now. Despite these difficulties, Mercedes will be one of the strongest teams again this season and cannot be underestimated.
Drivers: Max Verstappen
Is 2021 going to be Max Verstappen’s year? One thing is certain at Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen is the frontrunner, and he will be in the spotlight yet again. This season Verstappen will be accompanied by the experienced driver Sergio Perez. With the incredible victory in 2020, Perez has gained his trust in the racing world back. This season, he will finally get a promising chance, but will have to get used to being the Bottas to Red Bull’s Verstappen. The new RB16B has proven to be both quick and consistent. It is and will stay one of the most bespoken cars on the grid. With team boss Christian Horner explaining at the end of last year that there would be a carryover of around 60% of the 2021 challenger, the RB16B is an evolution of the 2020 RB16.
But will this year be the year that Mercedes is being dethroned, and will Red Bull play a role in that quest?
Drivers: Lando Norris
Daniel Ricciardo has positioned himself to be one of the top drivers in- and off the tracks. Ricciardo spent the previous two seasons adjusting to Renault. However, he has decided to go with McLaren in 2021. Lando Norris will not be an easy one to beat. Norris has made an ineradicable impression in the previous two seasons but will have to grind hard to stay close to Ricciardo. We expect things to look up for McLaren this season.
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel
The former Racing Point has made the decision of merging with Aston Martin for this season. We are excited to see what the rebranded team, with their brand-new car will do this season. Losing Sergio Perez to Red Bull might have a substantial impact on the team. However, Perez’ replacement Sebastian Vettel could do great things. Vettel comes out of a tough break-up with Ferrari. Hopefully, the four-time world champion veteran will find his rhythm back and showcase his talents yet again. The combination between Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel is exciting, but they will undoubtedly face their battles this season.
Drivers: Fernando Alonso
The return of Fernando Alonso; a new leader for the former Renault. The 39-year-old driver has just taken a break of two years. Alonso has an impressive racing history already, making him the favourite of the team. Estaban Ocon’s 2020 was tough alongside Daniel Ricciardo. Ocon will have to fight hard for his place at Alpine, trying to get close to Alonso. We predict Alpine to have some decent races but have their main focus on 2022’s season.
Drivers: Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc. He’s got the talent, the speed, and the skills. Many would say he is the definitive future of Ferrari. In combination with Italian Carlos Sainz, Ferrari could be sitting on some wins this season.
The team of young but talented drivers makes for a solid foundation for Ferrari. Despite Ferrari’s impressive drivers, the team has been struggling for a couple of years to reach the top spot. We are looking forward to seeing what they will achieve this season.
Drivers: Pierre Gasly
Replacing Danill Kvyat, 20-year-old Yuki Tsunoda will take a shot in this season’s AlphaTauri team alongside Gasly. AlphaTauri unveiling the new AT02 drew attention in the F1 world. The AT02 looks remarkably similar to last year’s AT01 beneath its new livery, albeit adapted to the new 2021 floor regulations. As we can conclude post-testing, Italy’s top team looks to be AlphaTauri. Gasly and Tsunoda’s performances in Bahrain let the racing world believe that AlphaTauri could be sitting on some mouth-watering midfield honours, and we could not do any differently than backing this completely.
With their ruthless efficiency, impressive power unit and competitive attitude, the team will most-definitely have a bright future with big performances along the way. It is no surprise that we are expecting a surprisingly good season for AlphaTauri and hope to see some good fights at the front of the midfield.
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo Racing has decided to stick to the 2020 line-up. The team has had a positive start to the year, which could promise some good races. With a good pre-season in mind and experience with their drivers, they might even move out of the rear mid-field into the mid-field fight this season.
Drivers: Nikita Mazepin
Last season was eventful for Haas. With the memories of last season in the back of our minds and the break-up with two of the adoptive racing kids, Haas is facing some real challenges up ahead with their two new drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher. Seeing that none of the drivers have done one single lap in F1 yet, Haas takes a gamble. Mick Schumacher has shown the real Schumacher racing-genes throughout his racing career so far, and we are looking forward to seeing what he will get out of the upcoming season.
Drivers: George Russell
Williams has had its struggles over the years. The team is persistent, but with Russell and Latifi in the line-up, we should expect no massive surprises. We predict that Williams will score multiple points, given that they have applied the design philosophy for a specific type of track. This year’s FW43B has been confirmed to be “incredibly sensitive” to wind. This ultimately means that they will have to focus on scoring points in four or five races this year. We are looking forward to seeing what the team will achieve this season and hope that their bravery will pay off.
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