The F1 2021 Teams and Drivers
The new season is quickly approaching and many driver and team changes are occurring in the F1 lineup 2021. Let’s run through the F1 2021 teams and their drivers competing this year. We’ll go in the order they finished the 2020 season
The reigning World Constructors Champions for the 7th year running, clearly they are the team to beat. With both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas resuming their driver duties, the 3-pointed star will be difficult to beat.
The changes in the driver’s market affect Red Bull’s F1 2021 team. Paired with Max Verstappen will be Mexican Sergio Perez. Perez found himself on the sidelines when Vettel announced he was moving teams and found a home with the prime energy drinks team. Of all teams, Red Bull is best poised to tackle the Mercs. However, given the stability of the technical regulations, it may be a hill too high to climb.
My personal standout team from 2020 also sees a driver change for the F1 lineup, 2021. While Lando Norris returns he will be paired with Aussie Daniel Ricciardo. Also thrown into the mix is McLaren’s move from Renault engines back to where they’ve previously found victories with a Mercedes power plant. Keep an eye on winter testing to see if it’s been a successfully reliable transplant as these are difficult changes to pull off without a full redesign of the car.
The “Pink Panthers” of Racing Point have been rebranded to Aston Martin and I for one am excited to see British Racing Green back on the grid. Paired with Lance Stroll is four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, fresh off a disappointing career change at Ferrari. 2021 sees few regulation changes but I’m curious to see what Aston Martin does for 2022 with major regulation changes meaning they won’t be able to copy Mercedes’ homework from the prior year.
Oh, Ferrari. 2020 was a season to forget for the Scuderia. I never thought I’d see them become a mid-field team, yet here we are. However, I’m excited to see Charles LeClerc return to the F1 2021 team and wring the neck of the car he’s given and we’ll see how McLaren transplant Carlos Sainz does. Sainz is talented, but I’m worried the Ferrari just isn’t where it needs to be in order to show his skill off.
A second F1 2021 team on the grid has gone through a rebranding. We will know the returning Renault as Alpine — pronounced “Al-PEEEN” — which is the new performance brand arm of Renault. We see two-time world champion Fernando Alonso return to Formula 1 to the team that he won those two championships with. Renault has made performance gains specifically at the end of the 2020 season, and Ricciardo’s move to McLaren opened up the opportunity for the Spaniard to return. I think it’s perfect timing. Paired with Alonso is the returning Esteban Ocon.
My 2020 driver of the year Pierre Gasly returns to AlphaTauri where he’s doing a tremendously good job. Unfortunately, though, Daniil Kvyat was not re-signed in favor of F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda. Yuki came third in the Formula 2 championship in 2020. Once again we will have a Japanese driver aligned with Honda for the F1 2021 team.
One of the few teams not making driver changes with both Räikkönen and Giovinazzi returning. Rumor had it that Giovinazzi’s drive was on the line but his late season performance improvement sealed his drive for 2021. He even out-qualified his world champion team mate. I think we’re starting to see Giovinazzi come into his own, but I worry that seat availability and the highly competitive nature of F1 may mean he won’t get the chance for better machinery.
The only American-flagged team returns with a completely new F1 lineup for 2021. The name Schumacher will be back in F1 (I get chills down my spine thinking about it) with the 7-time champion Michael’s son Mick making his debut with Haas. The kid’s got chops, having won the Formula 2 championship in 2020, and with his chiseled jaw-line there are shadows of his father for sure. He seems to have his head screwed on straight, however, and has said all the right things about how he’s approaching his debut. Mick Schumacher will be paired with Russian Nikita Mazepin. Mazepin competed in F2 last season, finishing fifth, and brings a boatload of money with him. Money is the only reason Haas have signed him as there are other more talented and less despicable drivers available within both F1 and F2.
It is sad to see that 2021 will be the first full season that Williams no longer competes as a privateer team, given their sale in 2020. The Williams family no longer have ownership of the team however it is my hope that this new cash infusion will help the team develop their car. 2021 sees both Russell and Latifi return to driver duties.
So that’s our round up of F1 2021 teams. I can’t wait to see these wheels turn in anger.
About the Author:
Jared Nichols has been a Formula 1 fan for a decade and a car nut his entire life. He is the host of the F1 Explained podcast, where he and special guests make Formula 1 accessible to all. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.