Bahrain Grand Prix: We’re back to the max
New drivers, new teams, new liveries, new tracks, new rivalries and maybe a new champion? The 2021 F1 season starts this Sunday, in Bahrain
In Formula 1, there is never too much of anything. A champion driver can never have too much of winning. A champion team can never stop pushing development to the maximum. If either pauses for a rethink or a recalibration of the plan, rivals will shoot ahead instantly. That’s what makes the sport tick. The anticipation. The promise.
For 2021, the FIA have introduced a new regulation to reduce the downforce of the cars by trimming a section of the car’s floor. The high-raked Red Bull RBR16B seems to have adapted better so far, than the Mercedes W12. Can the energy drink-owned team topple the seven-time champions off their throne?
What about the fight for P3 behind these two? Scuderia Ferrari had a horrendous outing last year as they finished the constructors’ championship in P6. The red’s resurgence is pivotal to fan viewership and engagement. Carlos Sainz now partners Charles Leclerc assuring a fresh, hotly contested rivalry that should make for great viewing.
McLaren won the title of best-of-the-rest last year and now welcomes multiple race-winner Daniel Ricciardo to lead the team to steal victories from the big two.
Ricciardo and Lando Norris are perpetually full of wit and pranks so their pairing should be highly entertaining.
Racing Point will attack the new season in a completely new avatar as one of the most evocative names in motorsport makes a stylish return. Aston Martin Racing. The green-black with pink accents of the AMR21 is easily the most striking livery on the 2021 grid. But the team will bank on the newly signed four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to lead them to victory along with Lance Stroll.
Renault enters rebranded as Alpine F1 Team with the exciting comeback of two-time charismatic champion Fernando Alonso to partner Esteban Ocon. Expect some feisty on-track brawls from the Spaniard as he dices with young guns half his age.
Another famous name making a comeback to F1 is Schumacher. Mick, the current F2 champion and son of the legend Michael takes over at HAAS along with Nikita Mazepin. This rookie pairing and the debut of 20-year-old Yuki Tsunoda at Alpha Tauri is guaranteed to excite. Ultimately though, the momentum is with Red Bull and Max. The main storyline will be how Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes regain it. Bring it on!
The writer is a motorsports enthusiast who will cover the 2020 FIA Formula One® season exclusively for Indulge.