F1 2021

Saddlebrains

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I know its not the most liked sport on here but there are deffo a few keen followers!

The season begins tomorrow in Bahrain, a record breaking 23 races ( covid dependant).

After testing it seems that finally Mercedes may have a match in Red Bull, the car and max looking quick and glued to the track whilst Lewis went off track and spun more times than he has done in the last 3 years. Mercedes sandbagging? Probably.


Mclaren could be a front running wildcard with Mercedes engines this year, at least a clear third place.

Ferrari? Could be anywhere, but with Leclerc and Sainz you can't write them off for podiums.

The midfield of Ferrari, Alpha Tauri, Aston Martin, Alpine ( with the returning Alonso), and potentially alfa romeo, well that could be anyone on any given weekend. Hairs width between them all.

Williams wont be the slowest anymore, Haas haven't even developed the car at all this year and will be clear backmarkers.

Oh and how good is it to see the name M. Schumacher back in formula 1?

For me, i cant see past Lewis and Mercedes, why would i? They've dominated for years and i cant see that changing. But i do think it will be a hell of a lot more of a fight this year and Max and Red Bull will push them all the way.


Interested to hear other peoples thoughts
 

Rich

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Redbull now have a 1 and 2 that will both be competitive.

Mclaren need to utilise that splitter advantage and gain as many points as possible in the coming weeks. I can see Lando and Daniel not being great friends come the end of the season though. Mclaren really look to be building the brand around Lando. They've integrated his quadrant business with Mclaren x Quadrant.

Haas will do well to last the season out. I can see them being Vikrali racing in the very near future. Haas CNC laid off a good percentage of their staff in the UK recently. So it's not just the F1 team struggling financially.

Aston Martin are going to be competitive, but how's Vettel going to take being number 2 to Stroll?

Next season (2022) is going to be fun, a real changing of the guard with Max and Russell at Mercedes to bring in the new era.
 
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Saddlebrains

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I can foresee this being Lewis's last season. If he wins an 8th or not.

I'm hoping for a Vettel resurgence tbh we know he's one of the greats but needs to wipe the floor with Stroll or more questions will be raised.

For me I see a lot of falling outs team wise this year, very volatile grid pairings

McLaren - As you've covered above

Ferrari - Leclerc and Sainz, although strong is a very hot-headed pairing

Aston - Again, how will Vettel handle being 'number 2'

Alpha Tauri - Tsunoda seems to be the next big thing, and Gasly has more than rebuilt his reputation recently, he's been fantastic. But if Tsunoda starts outqualifying him etc will we see 2019 Red Bull Gasly?


Really hope we get a competitive season finally and Not just Lewis setting off on a Sunday afternoon drive with wingman Valterri following on behind
 
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Si80

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I think Bottas will go all out Rosbergesque focused this year. It's his last chance to beat Lewis (before he leaves F1) in the same car and prove that he's worthy of being a World Champion. Rather than stay with Merc next year and win it without Lewis being in the sport.

Danny Ric in the McLaren if the engine holds could push Lewis, Valteri, Max and Checo I think / hope.

Max & Checo is a great pairing. Red Bull will be a real threat this season. It'll just be whether Horner can keep Max a happy camper when Checo matches him / beats him in quali / Raceday.

Ferrari will be poor again this year I reckon. Only way they get podiums is attrition of the field ahead of them. I just don't believe that LeClerc or Sainz have it to make them a title contender in the current car. The only reason LeClerc was as strongly placed as he was in the 19/20 season was because Ferrari cheated.

Aston won't be as good as the Force India was last year. Having watched Drive to Survive it just feels like Vettel has checked out of winning to win a championship. He'll help that team no end I'm sure but it'll be for the fortune of Lance rather than him.

I've a soft spot for Alpha Tauri, would love to see them push on in the Team Championship. Two good drivers and a car that has shown it can win GP's. They could push Ferrari, Alpine & Aston close for 4th spot.
 
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Corrado

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Really looking forward to the season - being interesting to see the whole sprint race concept at Silverstone
 
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Saddlebrains

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Not totally sold on the sprint race idea.

I don't think it will come to fruition after the test races
 

Frostie

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So glad that the F1 return coincides with the International break, would have been an awfully boring weekend otherwise.

Not convinced Red Bull have truly got Mercedes matched, we've seen it in previous years where it looks like that in testing but as soon as the season starts proper the Mercs still dominate. Hopefully this is different though!

Really hope McLaren do well, 2 of my favourite drivers there & after some positive signs last couple of years it would be great to see a full resurgence from them soon.
 
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xcraigx

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It looks like a potentially interesting season at the top although if any team can pull back a percieved deficit in double quick time it's Merc. I fancy Red Bull to at least put up a good fight for the constructors championship.

Having seen Lando Norris being interviewed recently he seemed incredibly non plussed when talking about the Mclaren. That's really not his style, I get the feeling they are holding a little bit more back than some think and could spring a surprises of two early on this season.

Hopefully Williams will have made a little more progress, they have certianly invested heavily during the winter so hopefully it'll get George Russell a few appearances in the top 10 before his move to the big time in 2022.
 
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Houchens Head

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My choices for big success this season are Sainz and Riccardo.
 

Houchens Head

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Also, I feel that Team Haas will struggle and won't even complete the season.
 

Paul Anthony

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Not totally sold on the sprint race idea.

I don't think it will come to fruition after the test races
For me, it feels like they've decided to try and fix the problem of cars not being able to race closely by.... Throwing more races at it.


Sprint races work in F2, and F3, where the cars are absolutely identical, even down to the engine. The only difference being the driver in the car. I just don't see it working how they're expecting it to.
 
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SkyBlueSoul

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For me, it feels like they've decided to try and fix the problem of cars not being able to race closely by.... Throwing more races at it.


Sprint races work in F2, and F3, where the cars are absolutely identical, even down to the engine. The only difference being the driver in the car. I just don't see it working how they're expecting it to.
Agree with you here. Saw this and it made me laugh

 

SkyBlueSoul

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Very excited for this season, both as a McLaren and general F1 fan. Have said before how big a fan of Lando I am and I think fans of most teams would be happy to have Danny Ric. Throw in a Mercedes engine and we can hopefully get a few more podiums and solidify 3rd place.

I'm not reading too much into Red Bull's performance over Merc in testing. I think they'll definitely be closer and we could have some really close races but I'm sure it was the start of last season or the season before where Merc were having real issues cooking their tyres but still dominated. Still excited to see how it pans out seeing as they've had half the testing time to iron out any problems. Hamilton has also come out and said they don't have the fastest car so we can take that as they absolutely do.

FWIW (very little!) my opinions/predictions on each team having not been able to watch any testing, just read about it:

Merc - Same line up, can't see much changing. Still the team to beat

Red Bull - Clear step forward overall and adding Checo strengthens the line up. Can definitely challenge assuming Checo doesn't take too many points off Max and create tension

McLaren - As said, very excited by the line up and the new Merc engine in the back. Outside bet for a win or 2 if there's shenanigans ahead? Possibly

Alpine - Not far off McLaren last year and adding Alonso could help, assuming his skills are still what they were

Aston Martin - Getting out of a toxic Ferrari environment should help Vettel but he could be heading to another if forced to play 2nd fiddle to the owner's son. Not saying he will be but can see intra-team politics again here. Car didn't look too reliable, hopefully get that sorted to add to the midfield battle

Ferrari - 100% Charles Leclerc's team now (if it wasn't already). Sainz is a good driver though and won't lie down easily. If they have a decent power unit should be at the front of the midfield and another team where I can see some driver tension

Alpha Tauri - Could be a dark horse if Gasly carries on his form from last year and Tsunoda proves to be as useful as he looked in testing. Car looks good as does the Honda engine, really in the midfield mix and could get in some good battles

Alpha Romeo - Probably still in no man's land between again between the worst teams and the midfield. Same line up which is a bit uninspiring sadly considering Raikkonen is there

Williams - Still at the wrong end with Russel hauling the car into Q2 more often than it should be. Hopefully some points this year

Haas - A shite car with two rookies and lack of funding. Can't see anything but a struggle
 

NorthernWisdom

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Aston Martin - Getting out of a toxic Ferrari environment should help Vettel but he could be heading to another if forced to play 2nd fiddle to the owner's son. Not saying he will be but can see intra-team politics again here. Car didn't look too reliable, hopefully get that sorted to add to the midfield battle
Keep seeing this (not just from you) but the difference between Vettell and Perez is that Vettell's the bona-fide star, who gives them massive profile.

That said, he'll need to assert himself early, if he wants that to continue. It'll be interesting to see how he does do, if he's just picking up the pay cheque now, or if he can rediscover his form.
 

Paul Anthony

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If we get two teams fighting for both championships, then I think F1 is in a good place this year. If it's going to happen for Max, now's the time to make it happen. Sergio will undoubtedly be there to put pressure on Mercedes, so they won't have the free ride on strategy they've had for far too long.

McLaren, I'd like to think a podium here and there would be possible, I'm a massive fan of Danny Ric and have been a McLaren fan since the days of Kimi and DC, so I'd absolutely love to see them up there. Alpha Tuari look like they've got something about them as well, Gasly looking like a driver reborn.

Haas are going to be nowhere and they know it. They've already said there will be no development of this years car, with an eye on the new rule changes for next year.
 

Houchens Head

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Have a driver who’s backed by a billionaire father. They’ll be fine
Most owners are either multi-millionaires or billionaires. Doesn't help them win races.
 

Si80

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Most owners are either multi-millionaires or billionaires. Doesn't help them win races.
I’m not saying they’ll win races... My comment was in regard to you saying they won’t be there at the end of the season. They will, for the reason I gave.

Like you say, they’ll be shit. I’m surprised Mick Schumacher went there when he could’ve slotted in at Alfa just as easy and possibly at least picked up a top 10 result and would still be under the watch of the Ferrari driver academy.
 

Rich

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I just watched the practice highlights on the F1 app.

In the week that the voice of F1 died, they bring in this bloke who is the complete opposite to the energy that Murray brought.
 

xcraigx

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Very interesting Q1, incredibly close. Hopefully Alphtauri will still be there after Q3!
 

SkyBlueSoul

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If this is a marker for things to come it should be a great season.

Leclerc and Gasly deserve a mention too, good to see them mixing it up
 
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Saddlebrains

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Charles Leclerc really is Max and Lewis levels isnt he? That lap was stunning. And the way he dragged that utter shitbox last season into places it had no business being.


Gasly again proving Red Bull got him wrong.

Disappointed with Mclaren thought they could threaten second row.


Will be a fantastic race!
 

SkyBlueSoul

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Both McLaren drivers were complaining about the car’s handling in practice but I expected more too, bit of an anticlimax.

Should be interesting with Perez coming through the field and seeing the race pace of Leclerc and Gasly
 

Paul Anthony

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Mazepin already in the wall, he's spent most of the weekend facing the wrong way, so not really a surprise.
 

SkyBlueSoul

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Interesting shout to keep Max out, hopefully he can chase Hamilton down for a good battle over the last 5-10 laps.

Lando my dark horse for a podium atm