Formula 1 2021: 21 questions to be answered this season as F1 prepares for a big return

Is this the year Red Bull will finally bring the fight to Mercedes?

After seven tournaments in a row, Mercedes are without a doubt their favorites heading into F1 2021. But one thing they haven’t had since they started their title is being a big challenge from Red Bull, who so often start the season with a performance gap too big for their competitors.

At this year’s pre-season test, however, it looked like Red Bull had a car not just closer to Mercedes ’, but perhaps even ahead. Title battle on its way?

Can Hamilton claim his eighth unprecedented title?

Watch the first scene of an exclusive interview with seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton featured in Sunday’s race day lift to Bahrain’s GP on Sky Sports F1.

Watch the first scene of an exclusive interview with seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton featured in Sunday’s race day lift to Bahrain’s GP on Sky Sports F1.

With so many records broken last season, it’s easy to forget that Lewis Hamilton still has a history to make. But his next goal is the biggest one in F1; Hamilton can be the first driver to claim eight titles. After six in seven years, and four in a row, you would be brave to place a bet against him.

Can McLaren build on the success of 2020?

McLaren continued to rebound with their F1 move by claiming third place last year, their best finish since 2012. It would say a lot about the steps McLaren are taking if they could do so again this season, especially with renewed fights from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Alpine in particular. And could they even close in on the top two with these new Mercedes engines?

Will we have a successful season of racing?

A calendar of 23 races, two more than ever before F1, is an optimistic outlook – but also an optimistic one with how much last year’s record changed. This is the hope of a much more relaxed 2021.

Can Monaco deliver a classic?

Speaking of the calendar, Monaco – the craziest and most recognizable place of F1 – was a big loss last year. Fortunately, we should be returning for the fifth round of 2021 in May.

Can Verstappen capture his first tournament?

It has the speed, it has the consistency. Now, does he have a car? It would be great to see Verstappen, who is certainly a hero in the making, finally fighting for the title in the Red Bull.

Will we see appropriate sprint races and be they uplifting?

Okay, technically those are two questions … but don’t blame us for not sprint racing for 2021 yet! It looks likely that Saturday’s short races – which would count for points as they set the grid for Sunday’s main event – will be agreed for three rounds in 2021, with more expected to be future action. This is definitely an F1 idea with more entertainment in mind, so will it have the effect they want?

Will Ferrari bounce back from the worst season in 40 years?

It emerged very early in 2020 that Ferrari would not be challenging for the title. But the sixth? That was a big disappointment for a team with so much history and resources. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz hope to build Ferrari closer to the front this year, with a new engine and, apparently, an improved development engine.

Take a quick look at some of the special features and interviews we’re coming up on Sky Sports F1 in the new season!

Take a quick look at some of the special features and interviews we’re coming up on Sky Sports F1 in the new season!

Is Alonso still one of the best F1s?

Back on the grid after two years away – and 15 years after his last title – Fernando Alonso, 39, insists he is a better driver now than he used to be. -ever. That is a statement. If that’s the case, expect Alonso to pull the top spot out of that Alpine car and help the rebranded team fight for podiums this year.

How early will teams change focus to 2022?

With a major update of rules on the way, teams are already drawing some attention to a car that is completely different next year and there may be only a small update this year. If teams feel there isn’t much more to gain out of 2021 – whether it’s being out of the title race or the midfield battle – they may change focus completely early .

Can Vettel rediscover his form at Aston Martin?

It was sad to see Sebastian Vettel, with all his talent and four F1 titles, lose confidence at Ferrari – but Aston Martin believes they will get the best out of Germany. Still just 33, Vettel insists he has a lot left to offer.

How will Mercedes handle the expiring contracts?

Both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning Mercedes will definitely be keeping an eye on other drivers over the course of the season. George Russell is the big competitor, who made the outstanding win in Bahrain for Mercedes last year and is out of contract at Williams for 2022.

Can Perez solve Red Bull ‘s second driver problem?

Not that Red Bull are necessarily for their second driver to beat Max Verstappen – and that’s not terribly wrong – but they would certainly want Sergio Perez to be closer to the front than Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon managed in recent seasons.

Who will add the new rules?

While there was a lot going on from last year’s cars, teams have said the “subtle” regulatory changes are also “significant”. Depending on who makes the most of the aerodynamic tweaks, there may be a shake in the packing order.

And will the changes bring race rule closer?

The grid always tends to close when there are few car changes and that could be true again in 2021, with tests showing that the midfielder has made gains. towards. The loss in reduction on the cars could also make cars – and thus passing – a little easier.

Can Schumacher establish himself in F1?

Proving himself in the Haas, who are destined to be the back runners, is not going to be easy, but Mick Schumacher will be hoping for a tough rookie season with Nikita Mazepin. Ferrari will, without a doubt, keep a close eye on their youngsters.

Which teammate battle is closest to you?

There are seven new driver partnerships on the grid this season, with a combination of Daniel Ricciardo, race winner and junior Lando Norris, and world champion Vettel with youngster Lance Stroll.

Can Honda sign a bang?

Not the engine bang, of course. This is Honda ‘s last season in the sport and the Japanese manufacturer has given their Power Unit updates a year early in the hopes of empowering Red Bull. Have they made enough progress to challenge Mercedes?

Can Williams fight his way back towards midfield?

After finishing bottom of the stands for three years in a row, it is crucial that Williams begins to build some F1 momentum this year under new ownership. Early signings from the infamous Grove team have been promising.

How will reduced exercise time affect the race weekend?

Losing an hour of practice – with 30 mins taken off P1 and P2 by 2021 – may not seem like much, but that’s a third of last Friday’s run … and we’ve seen how less practice has impacted the weekend race in the past. It will definitely be crucial for teams to have no issues in practice, now.

Will we finally have a title decision in Abu Dhabi?

The tournament has not been on the line at the end of the season in Abu Dhabi since 2016, and not between drivers from two different teams since 2012. Can 2021 change that?