F1 2021 season information: drivers, groups, calendar, guidelines defined


If F1 can navigate the issues nonetheless being attributable to COVID-19 around the globe, a file 23 races might be held this yr. This contains the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and a brand new addition within the type of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at a avenue circuit in Jeddah.

The worldwide pandemic has additionally had an enormous impact on the rulebook for 2021: the massive regulation change deliberate for this season has been pushed again by 12 months as a way to minimize prices at a time when the groups are beneath enormous monetary strain.

That mentioned, minor alterations to the formulation appear to have had a significant influence on the prime of the sector, and the introduction of a value cap, an aero success handicap and potential dash races characterize big shifts within the DNA of F1.

The groups themselves have introduced in sweeping adjustments too: seven of the ten constructors go into 2021 with new driver line-ups, and two outfits have been utterly rebranded.

Right here is your one-stop information to the 2021 F1 season.

Drivers

The drivers stand in entrance of their automobiles on the grid

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Pictures

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton ended months of hypothesis by signing a one-year contract extension with Mercedes in February, giving the 36-year-old the prospect to win a file eighth title in 2021. He’ll drive alongside team-mate Valtteri Bottas for a fifth straight season, with the Finn’s present deal additionally set to run out on the finish of this season.

At Crimson Bull – set to be the shape crew heading into the brand new season after a robust efficiency in pre-season testing in Bahrain – Alex Albon has been changed by Sergio Perez, who had appeared set to overlook out on a seat altogether following his exit from Racing Level. Perez agreed a one-year cope with Crimson Bull for 2021, whereas Albon will contest a partial marketing campaign within the DTM this yr.

Perez’s previous seat has been taken by Sebastian Vettel, who signed for the rebranded Aston Martin crew after Ferrari’s choice to not retain the four-time world champion. Lance Stroll retains his place on the new-look Silverstone outfit after a robust exhibiting in 2020, during which he scored a podium end at Monza and pole place on the Turkish Grand Prix.

Instead of Vettel, Ferrari has acquired Carlos Sainz Jr to accomplice Charles Leclerc. The Spaniard has impressed during the last two seasons, with constant factors finishes and a few podiums for McLaren incomes him a two-year cope with the Scuderia.

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Sainz’s transfer to Ferrari additionally noticed Daniel Ricciardo signal for McLaren. Renault’s blended type heading into final season satisfied the Australian to look elsewhere for 2021, though two podium finishes for the French crew in 2020 confirmed that Ricciardo has misplaced none of his frontrunning high quality as he enters his tenth full season in F1.

Ricciardo leaping ship opened the door for Fernando Alonso to return to F1 after a two-year hiatus. The double F1 world champion begins his third stint with the Enstone crew – rebranded as Alpine for 2021 – alongside Esteban Ocon, who might be out of contract on the finish of the season.

Elsewhere, Crimson Bull sister crew AlphaTauri has dropped Daniil Kvyat for the second time, changing the Russian with rookie Yuki Tsunoda, who completed third within the F2 championship in 2020. Kvyat is with out a drive for 2021, however has signed with Alpine as a reserve driver.

The one crew to alter each its drivers for 2021 is Haas, which dropped Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean on the finish of 2020, partially because of monetary constraints attributable to COVID-19. 2020 F2 champion Mick Schumacher – son of seven-time world champion Michael and a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy – will make his F1 debut for the US crew in Bahrain. His team-mate might be fellow F2 graduate Nikita Mazepin, the son of billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, who completed fifth in F2 final yr however courted controversy over the winter after showing to the touch a lady inappropriately in a automobile in Abu Dhabi.

Groups

Drivers

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (#44), Valtteri Bottas (#77)

Crimson Bull

Max Verstappen (#33), Sergio Perez (#11)

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo (#3), Lando Norris (#4)

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll (#18), Sebastian Vettel (#5)

Alpine

Esteban Ocon (#31), Fernando Alonso (#14)

Ferrari

Carlos Sainz Jr (#55), Charles Leclerc (#16)

AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly (#10), Yuki Tsunoda (#22)

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen (#7), Antonio Giovinazzi (#99)

Haas

Mick Schumacher (#47), Nikita Mazepin (#9)

Williams

George Russell (#63), Nicholas Latifi (#6)

Groups

As soon as once more 10 groups will contest the F1 constructors’ championship in 2021, and whereas the outfits stay the identical as earlier than, two entrants have undergone main rebranding because the finish of final season.

Racing Level – previously referred to as Pressure India – has been remodeled into the Aston Martin works crew for 2021. The crew was taken over by a consortium led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll in 2018, and a separate funding cope with Aston Martin in 2020 noticed Stroll turn out to be chairman of the British firm, during which he’s now a significant shareholder. The result’s the return of the Aston Martin identify to F1 for the primary time since 1960, and the crew’s largely pink livery has been changed with a inexperienced paint scheme for 2021.

In the meantime, Groupe Renault – the multinational group behind the Renault F1 crew – has eliminated the Renault identify from F1 for 2021 and changed it with Alpine; its rejuvenated automobile model. The corporate’s new CEO Luca de Meo needs to make use of F1 to advertise the Alpine identify around the globe, and as such the crew’s yellow and black livery has made means for a largely black and blue design that sports activities purple and white components on the rear.

McLaren are the one crew to have modified engine provider over the winter, with the Woking-based outfit ending its relationship with Renault three years after ditching Honda as its engine accomplice. The crew will run Mercedes engines in 2021, having final achieved so on the finish of the 2014 season.

In October 2020 Honda introduced it might be ending its F1 engine programme on the finish of 2021, throwing Crimson Bull and AlphaTauri’s future plans into jeopardy. Having secured an settlement with all 10 groups to freeze engine growth from 2022 onwards, Crimson Bull has since introduced that it’s going to take over Honda’s engine challenge on the finish of this season till the following era of energy models are launched.

Haas has revealed a brand new title sponsor within the type of Russian fertilizer producer Uralkali, which can be owned by Dmitry Mazepin. The deal has impressed the crew’s new white, blue and purple livery, though its resemblance to the Russian flag has led to an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Company (WADA). Russia has been banned from world championship occasions for the following two years following revelations of state-sponsored doping on the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it’s for that reason that Nikita Mazepin should race beneath a impartial flag.

Constructor

Automobile

Engine

Mercedes

F1 W12

Mercedes

Crimson Bull

RB16B

Honda

McLaren

MCL35M

Mercedes

Aston Martin

AMR21

Mercedes

Alpine

A521

Renault

Ferrari

SF21

Ferrari

AlphaTauri

AT02

Honda

Alfa Romeo

C41

Ferrari

Haas

VF-21

Ferrari

Williams

FW34B

Mercedes

Calendar

Regardless of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, F1 plans to carry a record-breaking, 23-race calendar in 2021. The season-opening Australian Grand Prix has been postponed till November, with the primary race of the yr now set to happen in Bahrain a fortnight after pre-season testing on the identical venue.

For the second yr operating the Chinese language Grand Prix has been known as off, with its place taken by the Portuguese Grand Prix because the third spherical of the championship. Imola options as soon as once more following a profitable occasion (albeit held behind closed doorways with out followers) in 2020, with the deserted Vietnam Grand Prix making means.

Final yr there had been hypothesis that the Brazilian Grand Prix might transfer to Rio de Janeiro for 2021, nonetheless that challenge has fallen aside and F1 has since signed a five-year deal to maintain the race at Interlagos.

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Two new races have been added to the calendar: F1 is about to journey to Saudi Arabia for the primary time for the penultimate spherical of the 2021 championship, with a brand new avenue circuit constructed in Jeddah. At 6.175km the observe would be the second solely to Spa-Francorchamps when it comes to size, with simulations predicting a mean velocity of 250km/h (155mph) over a single lap.

The Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort is the second new addition to the calendar, with the closely upgraded observe that includes two banked corners twice as steep as these discovered at Indianapolis. Final featured on the calendar in 1985, the Dutch Grand Prix was set to reappear in 2020, however these plans had been scuppered by COVID-19 because the race turned unviable with out followers.

New F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali admits that the collection will must be “versatile” to efficiently host 23 races this yr: F1’s longest seasons to this point featured 21 grands prix, which was accomplished with out the headache of navigating a worldwide well being disaster. The problem of COVID-19 may also dictate when (and in what numbers) followers can attend races all through the season, with some occasions extra susceptible than others if ticket gross sales endure as they did in 2020.

Present 2021 F1 calendar

Race

Date

Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain Worldwide Circuit

26-28 March

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola

16-18 April

Portuguese Grand Prix, Algarve Worldwide Circuit

30 April – 2 Could

Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

7-9 Could

Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo

20-23 Could

Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku Metropolis Circuit

4-6 June

Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

11-13 June

French Grand Prix, Circuit Paul Ricard

25-27 June

Austrian Grand Prix, Crimson Bull Ring

2-4 July

British Grand Prix, Silverstone

16-18 July

Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring

30 July – 1 August

Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps

27-29 August

Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort

3-5 September

Italian Grand Prix, Monza

10-12 September

Russian Grand Prix, Sochi Autodrom

24-26 September

Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Road Circuit

1-3 October

Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka

8-10 October

United States Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas

22-24 October

Mexico Metropolis Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

29-31 October

Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Interlagos

5-7 November

Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park

19-21 November

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah Road Circuit

3-5 December

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit

10-12 December

Guidelines

A serious overhaul of the F1 rulebook had been deliberate for 2021, however COVID-19 severely hit the groups’ revenue in 2020. So as a way to cut back prices for this season the massive regulation change has been pushed again till 2022, permitting the groups to save cash on growth (which has been restricted additional by a token system). This yr’s automobiles are successfully ‘B-spec’ variations of final season’s machines, though minor adjustments might nonetheless see the pecking order shaken up.

The largest distinction is a discount within the automobiles’ flooring, which – along with adjustments to the diffuser and brake ducts – is meant to cut back downforce by round 10%. That is to keep away from a repeat of the punctures that marred the British Grand Prix, the place Pirelli’s compounds had been pushed past their limits.

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In addition to lowering downforce, Pirelli has launched a brand new vary of tyres for 2021 that ought to show extra sturdy, and regardless of preliminary predictions that the 2021 automobiles can be round one second per lap slower, after pre-season testing Pirelli’s head of F1 and automobile racing Mario Isola mentioned this yr’s automobiles might be simply as quick as 2020.

Elsewhere, Mercedes’ dual-axis steering (DAS) system – which allowed its drivers to change the toe angle of the entrance wheels by pulling the steering wheel forwards and backwards – has been outlawed for 2021. The copying practices that allowed Racing Level to successfully reverse engineer the 2019 Mercedes final season have additionally been tightened up.

Though the regulation overhaul has been delayed, F1’s long-anticipated value cap has lastly been launched. In 2021 the groups might be restricted to a funds of $145 million, though this doesn’t cowl driver salaries, engine provide offers or the wages of the three highest-earning members of every crew. Advertising and marketing, worker bonuses and journey prices are additionally exempt from value cap limits.

The fee cap is designed to make it simpler for smaller groups to compete with the frontrunners, and additional reductions within the spending restrict are set to be launched over the following few seasons. These have but to be agreed, nonetheless.

One other measure that’s meant to shut up the sector is a brand new success handicap on the period of time groups can spend creating their automobiles within the windtunnel. As Williams completed final within the constructors’ championship in 2020, it may do extra aero testing than anybody else in 2021. Mercedes, as champions, are permitted to do the least of all 10 groups.

As that is the primary yr of the brand new system the variations are comparatively small for now, with Williams permitted to spend 22.5% extra time than Mercedes within the windtunnel and the remainder of the groups unfold evenly between these two extremes. Nevertheless from 2022 the disparity will develop to 45%; a determine which might have a a lot higher impact on the championship.

The final huge change is the deliberate introduction of dash races at three grands prix in 2021. At these occasions, qualifying would happen on a Friday, setting the grid for a 100km dash race the next day. The outcomes of this could then set the grid for the grand prix itself on Sunday. A last choice on the format and which races might be chosen is due earlier than the beginning of the season.

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