As we move ahead in our team analysis for the F1 2021 season, we come to the discussion on the probable top 5 teams of the season.
Let’s get ahead and learn how each team has been shaping up for an intense season starting in a week’s time.
- Alpha Tauri
Alpha Tauri comes into the 2021 on a high note with a very good pre-season testing and their new recruit and young Yuki Tsunoda driving the car to its limits. The fastest time for Tsunoda in pre-season tests invited a controversy and it seemed that he had activated DRS (Drag Reduction System) outside the designated DRS zones. But, given the regulations – this can be done in testing but not during race weekends. So, it still awaits to be seen what the real pace of the car is.
Pierre Gasly has been really strong since his demotion from Red bull. The recent race winner at Monza 2020, he has had strong outings in the last season and would be raring to do the same this year as well and show Red Bull what mettle he possesses.
Yuki Tsunoda has had rapid progress in his career too, it will be interesting to see what he can do in a F1 car. On first look though, Alpha Tauri looks a really strong car with good chances of fighting in the mid-field consistently. More onus would be on the rookie, Tsunoda to perform and keep the trust shown in him by the team management. They look like a car that can aim for a top 5 finish in constructors.
After a troubled season in 2020, Ferrari have a basic goal this year – comeback and finish in the top 5 at the least. They had a massive power deficit from their engine in 2020 and things won’t look good if they have not countered that. The team principal of Ferrari, Mattia Binotto, who was at the receiving end of a lot of criticism last year is hopeful that they have solved the problem of the lack of power.
Ferrari have made changes to their line-up this year with Vettel moving out to Aston Martin and Spaniard Carlos Sainz moving in from McLaren. The pre-season testing looked smooth for them apart from a small hiccup where Leclerc had to stop on track owing to a power unit related issue.
Leclerc along with the experience Sainz has had over the years, will be looking to regain back the legacy of Ferrari. None of the Tifosi will be happier with the results Ferrari produced last year, they were clearly slow along the straights. It’s a big task on the new pair to bring back the glory to the Maranello outfit.
Its going to be a big day for Ferrari next Friday as this will be pivotal in describing their work over the winter. We hope they do bounce back strong to compete at the front.
McLaren probably possess one of the best driver lineup for 2021, if not the best. They have Daniel Ricciardo joining them from Renault, and his combination with Lando Norris is going to be a bomb both on and off field as both are known for their knack of creating a funny situation almost everytime. Wonder, how funny and jovial their team briefings would be.
McLaren had a very strong 2020. And with a power unit shift to Mercedes, what needs to be seen is how they cope up with a completely different PU and its set-up. They definitely had to re-design a few parts to go in well with their new Mercedes engine. The reliability did not seem to be an issue in the pre-season testing but what needs to be seen is how good they can be on track with full pace.
It will only be the next weekend, where along with knowing their pace we will also be knowing how well they have adapted to their Mercedes unit. They definitely seem to have a line-up that can drag them to the top of mid-field but what will be interesting to see is how they react to other faster cars on the field, especially Aston Martin.
Expecting them to grow stronger and stronger as the season progresses. They are a real contender for the third place in the constructors.
- Red Bull
Red Bull had a poor 2020 going by their standards as for some reason, they did not have their second car performing as their first car. Alex Albon struggled a lot through out the season and this sees him without a seat for 2021. He was replaced by the newest F1 race winner, Sergio Perez, for 2021. The incoming of Perez means that they are receiving an experience of as much as 192 F1 races.
Red Bull has always had the most planted rear-end of a car, and just like that, they did not make any major changes in their design too. The same livery as 2020, they will rely heavily on Checo Perez to gather as many points and race wins as possible in 2021.
Their long time driver Max Verstappen always has looked as a driver to beat in F1. He is super quick and can run away in the teammate battle as he did against the likes of Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon. He was most often a podium placed racer in 2020 along with the two Mercedes, so we expect him to carry on the same form and probably tackle the Mercedes this time around.
Red Bull had the best pre-season testing of all the teams and much better than their main rival, Mercedes who struggled for once – but expect them to come out all guns blazing during the race weekend.
Checo Perez has a lot to prove this year. He has been a classic mid-field driver over the years. His career start at Sauber was phenomenal and the opportunity with a big team (McLaren) probably came a little too early for him as he was no where near the best. He then raced with Sahara Force India and was pivotal in gathering podiums for them. With the second opportunity at a top team, he will be raring to prove his worth and how he can make his mark as a phenomenal driver on the grid.
Checo Perez would be the most exciting driver to watch out for in 2021, so for the F1 fans – watch out for our very own Checo to light up the races the same way he did at Sakhir 2020.
There has been no team that was even close to Mercedes right from the start of 2014. They have been absolutely dominant every single year winning all the championships. Mercedes is known to sandbag a lot during testing and they probably followed the same this year as well. In 2020, they had mechanical issues with testing and this led to their star driver Lewis Hamilton comment in open that they are struggling with reliability, only for them to come out and demolish every other car and each track in 2020. So, if you are a F1 fan for years now, one thing is for sure – DO NOT go by the pre-season testing performance of Mercedes.
They had bad times during testing this year with gearbox issues, change of floor and both drivers complaining of a lack of rear grip. Lewis Hamilton even beached his Mercedes in the gravel after he spun at a very unusual corner. Bottas too struggled but found pace as the testing progressed.
Mercedes over the years, have put no foot wrong and expect them to do the same in 2021 as well. They are expected to be mighty strong. The concern for them is the form of Valterri Bottas. Bottas has failed to compete with Lewis Hamilton on so many occasions. Bottas does have a great one lap pace as he more often than not gets very close to Hamilton’s times but when it comes to the race, it is the 7-time world champion who almost thwarts every opposition aside. Bottas would be looking forward to prove his worth this year, else he may have to vacate the Mercedes seat, now that George Russell has shown what he can do in a Mercedes at Sakhir in 2020.
Hamilton, as always will be a force and the driver to beat. It wont be a surprise if he ends up getting to the landmark of the 100 race wins this year. With the relationship Hamilton enjoys with Mercedes and Toto Wolff, it needs to be seen as how they plan their future. With new regulations coming for 2022, it could mean a lot for Mercedes to keep up the winning nature intact.
Mercedes are expected to lead the field once again, but watch out for the performances of Bottas. He must gather his spirits back and try to stop the utter dominance of his teammate.
Gear up for Bahrain GP:
With this, we hope you have got a knack of the teams for the 2021 Formula 1 season.
The season starts with the Bahrain GP during the next weekend that is 26-28th of March, 2021. This season promises to be super exciting with well set teams and drivers lined up, so do not miss the action.