Although there are not many regulation changes for the 2021 Formula 1 season, there are a lot of changes in the driver lineups of teams, as only three teams - Mercedes (depending on Lewis Hamilton's confirmation), Alfa Romeo and Williams - have retained their driver lineups from the last season.
Confirmed Grids for the 2021 Formula 1 season
The 2021 Formula 1 grid will feature as many as three rookies, four World Champions and potentially some exciting new team dynamics. On that note, let's go through the confirmed grid for the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (yet to be confirmed) and Valtteri Bottas
Although there is quite a bit of speculation around where Lewis Hamilton could end up, it's highly likely that the two parties will reach an agreement and announce a contract extension before the 2021 Formula 1 season commences.
The other seat in the Mercedes cockpit will yet again be occupied by Valteri Bottas, making it the fifth season for the Finn with the German outfit.
The driver lineup has worked perfectly for Mercedes, as the duo has helped the team win the World Championship with relative ease after coming together in 2017.
Team: Red Bull
Drivers: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Max Verstappen and Red Bull will continue their quest to challenge Mercedes after dominating the last race of the 2020 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi. After an unflattering season with the drinks company, Alexander Albon was shown the door and replaced with Sergio Perez for the 2021 season.
The notorious second seat at Red Bull will draw attention yet again this season, as all eyes will be on Perez to see whether he could do a better job than his last two predecessors. Not one to back down from a fight, Perez is expected to be up for the challenge, as there is a potential that sparks could fly at Red Bull.
Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris
Amongst the more exciting partnerships on the grid will be the one between Daniel Ricciardo, who has moved to McLaren, and Lando Norris.
Norris formed a successful and amicable partnership with Sainz, with the duo taking the team to P3 in the Formula 1 team standings last year.
Ricciardo is expected to pick things up from where Sainz left off, but it will be interesting to see the dynamics between the two drivers.
Team: Aston Martin
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll
The team that will attract the most attention in midfield will be Aston Martin.
With the 4-time world hampion, Sebastian Vettel joining the team to pair up with Lance Stroll, it will be interesting to see what the pair could deliver in their first Formula 1 season together.
Drivers: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
The Spaniard is back on the grid and how!
Fernando Alonso's career comes a full circle when he returns to the team (well, at least a version of it) with whom he won two world championships.
He will be paired with the young Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who will essentially be driving for his career after a not so impressive first Formula 1 season with Renault.
Drivers: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
After getting rid of Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari will be looking to start its journey to the top afresh with Charles Leclerc.
Carlos Sainz will be joining the Monegasque driver in the second car and will be looking to establish his place early in the team.
Team: Alpha Tauri
Drivers: Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda
In what could be one of the most exciting pairings on the grid, Pierre Gasly, one of the star performers on the grid last year, will welcome Yuki Tsunoda to the world of Formula One.
Rated very highly at Red Bull and by Helmut Marko himself, Yuki Tsunoda will have a tough task in front of him, as he challenges one of the brightest prospects on the grid in his debut Formula 1 season.
Team: Alfa Romeo
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi
One of the few teams that retained its drivers, Alfa Romeo will hope that continuity helps the team continue its journey to the front.
Kimi Raikkonen held the upper hand for the majority of the season over his teammate in 2020. Will Giovinazzi finally get into his own this year and start beating his illustrious teammte regularly? We'll have to wait and see.
Drivers: Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin
Mick Schumacher is all set to make his highly anticipated debut in Formula One alongside Nikita Mazepin, who has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Expected to prop up the rear, it will be interesting to see what the rookie combination could deliver.
Drivers: George Russell and Nicolas Latifi
Williams have retained the same driver lineup from last year, as the team tries to climb back up the ladder. While Nicholas Latifi will be bringing the much-needed sponsorship, the team will rely on George Russell to extract the maximum out of the car.
George, in what looks likely to be his last year at Williams, will be looking to make an impact with the team to further strengthen his prospects of driving for Mercedes in the near future.Published 09 Jan 2021, 16:04 IST