As we look to put a fairly miserable January behind us and head towards spring, racing fans all over the world can begin to get truly excited. That’s because the month of March means only one thing to petrolheads – the start of the 2021 F1 season.
Few sports can match the glitz and glamour of Formula One as the teams travel around the world, wowing supporters in spectacular locations that include the likes of Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Every campaign throws up a vast array of intriguing storylines, and 2021 is set to be no exception.
There are records to be broken, scores to be settled and challenges to be made – not to mention the return of some famous names to the grid. Here are a few things to look out for ahead of the 2021 F1 season.
While there have been a few changes to the F1 driver line-up for 2021, the highest-profile figure remains firmly in place. Lewis Hamilton cruised to a seventh world championship success in 2020, finishing more than 100 points clear of his nearest challenger (team-mate Valtteri Bottas) to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of drivers’ titles.
Hamilton won 11 of the 16 races he competed in last year but the question is, can he claim his fifth consecutive crown and go out on his own ahead of Schumacher as the most successful driver of all time? Hamilton is on a one-year deal with the Mercedes F1 team but talks about his long-term future can be put on the back-burner for the time being. Right now, greatness awaits.
Lewis Hamilton - image by Morio.
The upcoming campaign represents a huge one for the McLaren F1 team. They’ve improved steadily over the past few years, and regularly saw both drivers finish in the top 10 to record a respectable third in the constructors’ championship in 2020. Could this be the year they finally break the Mercedes dominance?
Well, they’re off to a good start in that they’ve got Mercedes engines under the hood, as they did the last time they were champions with Hamilton in the car. They’ve also signed smiling assassin Daniel Ricciardo to partner Lando Norris. Could McLaren prove the major movers among all F1 teams in 2021?
Daniel Ricciardo - image by XaviYuahanda.
The son of legendary seven-time world champion Michael, Mick Schumacher is bringing the famous name back to the F1 driver line-up for 2021. Schumacher Jnr is set to make his debut for Haas, coming off the back of a title-winning campaign in F2. He’ll be joined by fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin as Haas ring the changes and look to youth.
And Schumacher won’t be the only famous name returning to the grid. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is back following a two-year absence – and a fractured jaw suffered in a cycling accident. The Spaniard is joining up with Alpine (formerly Renault), who managed to record three surprise podiums in 2020 thanks to Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon. They’re among the most ambitious of F1’s 2021 teams, certainly, but can they upset the big boys?
Mick Schumacher - image by Sven Mandel.
Of all the F1 teams in 2021, Ferrari will be most desperate to see a significant improvement. Formerly a dominant force – especially in the 2000s when Schumacher Snr was in his pomp – they have still been regular challengers in recent times, coming second behind Mercedes every year between 2017-2019.
Last season was a different story, however, as only three podiums meant they finished a lowly sixth out of 10 teams. This time around, Carlos Sainz has arrived to replace Sebastian Vettel and link up with Charles Leclerc. All of which means Ferrari are racing without a champion in the car for the first time since 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen secured the Cavallino’s last drivers’ title. Can the sport’s biggest name get back on track and battle among the best F1 teams in 2021?
Carlos Sainz - image by Marc Alvarado.
The Aston Martin F1 team is back for 2021. Formerly competing as Racing Point, they enjoyed a strong 2020 including a shock win for Sergio Perez at the Sakhir Grand Prix. The famous brand briefly dallied in the sport back in the 1950s and 1960s, although their partnership with Red Bull means they have been on the scene more recently than that.
Lawrence Stroll, father of driver Lance, bought into the brand with the intention of renaming the F1 team and his son could hardly have a better stable-mate to learn from, with four-time world champion Vettel arriving from Ferrari. So, the Aston Martin F1 team has big-money backing, a high-profile driver and a great racing name on the side of the car. The question is, can they challenge the established elite?
Lance Stroll - image by Morio.
What better way to get excited for the 2021 F1 season than by trying out some of the best driving experiences and track days? If you fancy yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton, it’s the perfect opportunity to put your skills to the test.
Or maybe you want to warm up for the campaign by getting your hands on a new set of wheels? Ok, so you may not be hitting speeds in excess of 200mph like the precision-engineered machines in F1, but there’s still plenty of joy to be had in driving away in a high-performance vehicle.
As well as Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz we also offer the likes of BMW, Jaguar, Porsche and others, so why not get in touch or contact your local dealership and pick out the perfect model for you.
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