Formula One 2021: here's the full driver and team lineup
Ladies and gentlemen, your runners and riders for 2021
Alfa Romeo Racing
Car: C41 / Engine: Ferrari
Drivers: Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) / Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)
Chances: Alfa will benefit from any improvements Ferrari has made to its engine, but the strength of this year’s midfield means we’re unlikely to see the team make any massive strides towards the front of the grid. Maybe Kimi can deliver flashes of brilliance.
Most likely to: Be completely ignored until Giovinazzi spins on lap 37.Advertisement - Page continues below
Car: AT02 / Engine: Honda
Drivers: Pierre Gasly (FRA) / Yuki Tsunoda (JAP)
Chances: Red Bull’s B-team won its second-ever race in 2020, and for 2021 is keen to perform more consistently versus other mid-fielders. Tsunoda’s first season in F1 follows an impressive season of F2, where he finished third behind Schumacher and Callum Ilott.
Most likely to: Make its drivers take part in a couture fashion show.
Alpine F1 Team
Car: A521 / Engine: Renault
Drivers: Fernando Alonso (SPA) / Esteban Ocon (FRA)
Chances: Big news here isn’t the rebrand, it’s the return of a near-40-year-old Alonso to the team with which he won two world championships many (many) years ago. If there’s more performance to be had from the Alpine than the Renault, Alonso will find it.
Most likely to: Be confused with a mountainous region of topography.Advertisement - Page continues below
Aston Martin F1 Team
Car: AMR21 / Engine: Mercedes
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (GER) / Lance Stroll (CAN)
Chances: We know Aston has a good car. Scratch away at the green, then the pink, and you’ll find a car that closely resembles the 2019 Merc. Vettel’s move from Ferrari should give the four-time champ a morale boost, and Stroll Jr is on good form.
Most likely to: Be involved in a James Bond-based publicity stunt.
Ferrari F1 Team
Car: SF21 / Engine: Ferrari
Drivers: Charles Leclerc (MON) / Carlos Sainz (SPA)
Chances: Ferrari’s 2020 was its worst season since 1980. The potential (and need/desire) for improvement is massive – Maranello will be hoping its new power unit comes good, while Sainz will be eager to prove himself a match for Leclerc. Don’t rule them out.
Most likely to: Complain about rule breakers, while breaking them.
Haas F1 Team
Car: VF-21 / Engine: Ferrari
Drivers: Mick Schumacher (GER) / Nikita Mazepin (RUS)
Chances: Not only has Haas replaced both its drivers for 2021, it has replaced them with a pair of F1 rookies. Everyone’s rooting for Schumacher, but Mazepin is as controversial on track as he is off it. Expect some fireworks (and maybe penalties too).
Most likely to: Pay its entry fee to the FIA in roubles.
McLaren F1 Team
Car: MCL35M / Engine: Mercedes
Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) / Lando Norris (GBR)
Chances: Only team to swap engines for 2021, having got special permission. Mercedes power is likely to make the McLaren even quicker than it was last year – the team’s strongest season for almost a decade – but hanging on to third won’t be easy.
Most likely to: Livestream the post-race afterparty on Twitch.Advertisement - Page continues below
Car: W12 / Engine: Mercedes
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) / Valtteri Bottas (FIN)
Chances: The W12 is the favourite to win Merc its eighth constructors’ championship on the trot, and you’d be a fool to bet against reigning world champ Hamilton. Question is, by how much will other teams have closed the gap (if at all)?
Most likely to: Win. Probably by a very large margin.
Red Bull Racing
Car: RB16B / Engine: Honda
Drivers: Max Verstappen (NED) / Sergio Perez (MEX)
Chances: Should be a good year for Red Bull. Ditching Albon for Perez means the second car ought to be more consistently in the mix, and engine supplier Honda will want to make a splash in what is its final season in F1. Expect multiple wins.
Most likely to: Make Toto Wolff swear in a post-race interview.Advertisement - Page continues below
Car: FW43B / Engine: Mercedes
Drivers: George Russell (GBR) / Nicholas Latifi (CAN)
Chances: Williams soldiers on, now without the involvement of the family that founded it. Don’t expect race wins, but with a decent tailwind and a bit of luck, a couple of points could be on the cards. Russell came close last year, after all.
Most likely to: Celebrate a point like a 95th minute World Cup winner.