Mid-Week Motorsport Headlines - 3rd March 2021
All the latest news from the racing world!
Three further teams have launched their cars in the past few days, Mercedes, Alpine and Aston Martin have all had at least minor changes to their looks for the 2021 season, with the latter two’s being quite substantial. I personally think they all look very good, and will be refreshing to see under the lights in Bahrain when the season kicks off.
During the Mercedes launch, there were interesting comments from Hamilton, as he suggested that from now on his contracts could be on a year by year basis, which gives the idea that he will not be in the sport for much longer. As I mentioned in previous articles, this may not be entirely surprising given his age, and where he is in his career, but shows that very soon a star of the sport could be gone.
Alpine’s CEO stated that Alonso is completely fit ahead of the start to this season, despite the terrible crash he had over the winter break. The fact that he was not really present at the unveiling does suggest otherwise though. In other interesting Alpine news, Kvyat will be their reserve driver for this year, having left Alpha Tauri. We do not know yet if he has completely separated from the Red Bull programme.
The Bahrain Government has offered vaccinations to all personnel attending both pre-season testing, and the first race of the year. This is quite an impressive offer given how many people that will be, and shows the country’s commitment to the sport. However, a spokesman for F1 has declined the offer, as they wish to follow the UK health systems rollout of the vaccine, given that most people live in the UK who attend the races.
There was another day of testing ahead of the new season, which saw Dale Coyne, Arrow McLaren SP, Meyer Shank and one Ed Carpenter car attend Laguna Seca, and have a blast around the picturesque Californian hills. O’Ward was on top again, which continues to suggest that he will be a strong title contender this year, given how well he handled last year too.
Grosjean was the other star of the test, as he finished second fastest, just beating his teammate Jones, so it was a positive day for the team. His pace already, does suggest that he could be a fast midfield car, pushing on the front runners on occasions, having said that who knows how he will handle the car when he has to push to the limit.
The Audi team has lost control of the sale of their team’s license to race in Formula E, this means that it will now be passed on to the sports bosses to handle that responsibility. On the surface, the only issue here is that Audi cannot earn money from the sale of the license, but it could actually suggest that finding a prospective team to take it over, is not as easy as expected. This may not be the case; it may have been Audi wanting too high a price, however if no one wants it, then we could see major issues going forward for the sport.
Rossi has defended his decision to stay in the sport, saying he is not there ‘just to spend time’, he said this at the unveiling of his 2021 challenger with SRT. The bikes look similar to last year, but with the 46 on, it does look even better, I think. It has also come out, that SRT may have been more upset about losing the 2020 title than Yamaha were, this is surprising given which team should have been in a better position to win it. Although this may reflect the fact that Quartararo lost the title after his strong start to the year, whereas the factory team never really took control of the championship.
Davide Brivio has admitted it was tough to leave the factory Suzuki squad after their success last year, but he is looking forward to following his dream of being a part of the F1 circus. He takes over from Abiteboul, as the new leader of the Renault Groupe’s team in F1.
After speculation following the Rolex 24 Hours, it has been confirmed that the No. 48 car with Johnson, Pagenaud and Kobayashi will contest all the remaining endurance rounds of the IMSA championship. They did not quite have the run they hoped for at Daytona, although they did show pace at points, especially with Kobayashi as the race started to come to a close. It will be interesting to see how Jimmie improves as the year goes on.