Sit back lads, this will be ineresting.
Ah, the reigning champions, one of the most dominant teams ever in Formula 1. Mercedes are likely about to retain the World Constructor Championship again. So who do they go with?
Ok, Valterri Bottas has already been signed up for 2021. This leaves Lewis Hamilton and George Russel to fight it out for the remaining 2021 seat. Isee it highyl likely Lewis will retain his Mercedes seat for 2021. Why would he not? He's broken all the records, so why not break the most WDC's record? There has been talk Lewis said he would "find it hard" when he retired from F1, but I don't think this is enough to warrant a retirement. In the odd eventuality that Lewis DID retire from F1, George is the best paced candidate to take his seat. 2 seasons experience, a F2 championship, AND a member of Mercedes's youth driver program, George is Lewis's succesor, it's just a wait till he gets in that Mercedes car.
Conclusio: Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas
The only moderate challengers to Mercedes want to keep their main-man Max Verstappen. But who do they pair him with?
Ok, Max Verstappen, Red Bull's main priority is already contracted for 2021. Red Bull are not going to drop their main man. Whether he breaks his contract and leaves elsewhere, I couldn't tell you. That's for another article. Their 2nd driver is possibly the most interesting seat on the entire grid. Pierre Gasly failed, and Alex Albon, unless he has a monumental change of form, apperars to have been crushed by the pressure of the 2nd Red Bull seat. It seems they need a more experienced driver in this seat. And for me there are 2 obvious options for this. Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. In my own opinion the more likely option is Nico Hulkenberg. He has shown he really still has it, with 3 races for Racing Point this season, when their drivers where taken ill. In the 2 races at Silverstone, where he replaced the ill Sergio Perez, he qualified a monumental P3 in one of the races. Later at the iconic Nurburgring, Lance Stroll was taken ill, and at the last moment Nico was drafted in. With no practice whatsoever, Nico came P8 in the race. Quite a performance if I do say so myself. Retaining Alex Albon IS a choice, but the Red Bull family have proven themselves to be ruthless. They want to challenge Mercedes, and an underperforming junior is not going to help them win the constructor's championship. Alex could improve, and we can see from his stellar junior career that he is very much F1 quality. I see it likely they will demote him to Alpha Tauri with Pierre Gasly. And as much as I really rate Checo, I don't think this seat is for him. We'll get to the mexican later.
Conclusion: Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg.
Ha ha, this is an easy one for me, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris where already announced as Mclaren's drivers for the 2021 season. Norris extends his contract with Mclaren and Ricciardo jumps ship from Renault team. This is easily one of the most exciting driver line-ups for 2021. Not just because both are some of the most likeable and funny characters in F1. Both are very talented and proven racers. Riccairdo of the F1 drivers has the quickest F1 driver around the Top Gear test track in the Liana, and Lando picked up his first podium in only his 2nd season.
Counclusion: Lando Norris and Daniel Riccairdo
Aston Martin / Racing Point
With Racing Point being rebranded Aston Martin, is it a new era for this team, a time to step to the limelight? But most importantly what drivers will be trying to brong them there?
This is an easy one. 4 time world drivers champion Sebastien Vettel was confirmed as one of their drivers for the 2021. Personally, I'm are really exicited for Sebastien to be in a decent car. I've always been a big support of Sebastien, and regard him as one of the greatsest F1 drivers ever. That 2nd seat is plainly obvious. It is going to Lance Stroll no matter what you think, his father bought the team for him. And to be honest I don't mind him anymore. Sure his first 3 seasons where lacklustre. But his 2020 has been very good, picking up a podium in Monza. I'd go as far to say he now deserves a seat based on his year.
Conclusion: Sebastien Vettel and Lance Stroll
For 2021 Renault will be re-branded as Alpine, renault's sports car company, and a very well respected brand. But who will race for the new team in 2021?
Fernando Alonso is BACK. Fernando is back. Karma.
Ok, over with the for Fernando Alonso's F1 return (yay). Fernando's last spell at the french outfir was very succsesful winning 2 Championships. But who will pair this legend in 2021? Esteban Ocon has done a pretty average job compared to Daniel Ricciardo who picked up his first podium for Renault at the Nurburgring GP. One suggestion would have been Pierre Gasly, but the frenchman has decided to extend his contract with Alpha Tauri. Other possibilities would be their junior drivers like the very talented Christian Lundgaard or Guanyu Zhou. I say retain Esteban Ocon for 2021 and Wait for 2022 when Lundgaard has matured a bit more.
Conclusion: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
The Immensely historical italian team want to be back on top. But waht drivers bring them there?
Ok, lots of easy ones. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have been announced as the team in red's drivers for 2021. Sad to see the iconic outfit in such a sorry state. I expect more changes at the italian outfir though, and I wouldn't be surprised if current team principal Mattia Binnotto were to be sacked. Good luck to these lads. If it's anythong like 2020, they'll need it.
Conclusion: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Scuderia Alpha Tauri
Red Bull's junior team have re-signed Pierre Gasly for the 2021 season. But who partners F1's newest race winner?
Relatively simple answer, Alex Albon. We can clearly see from his junior career, he is a very talented racer. The Thai driver has underperformed his Red Bull and if Nico Hulkenberg takes that Red Bull seat where else does he go? There is obviuosly desire for the Red Bull family to keep Albon in some form in F1, and a demotion to Alpha Tauri seems the only way. Who else? the only side option is Yuki Tsunoda the young F2 driver, but I would assume Albon is higher priority than Tsunoda at the moment. I imagine another F2 season or a short excursion to Formula E in 2021 before he gets a seat in 2022.
Conclusion: Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon
The 2 Alfa Romeo seats could decide the fates of many junior drivers. But who do the the 2 time constructors winners side with?
Kimi Raikkonen, the iceman is 41. But he is out-performing to my understandings a laclustre Giovanazzi. It would not surprise me if Alfa Romeo dumped Antonio in favour of a certain Mick Schuamcher. The Ferrari Junior is currently top of the F2 standings. And then there's the bit about him being a Schuamacher, son of possibly the greatest racer ever. There have been rumours that Kimi and Alfa Romeo are in talks to keep the iceman onboard, and a partnership with the young prodigy that is Mick Schuamacher could lead to Alfa Romeo making the long awaited jump up to the midfield.
Counclusion: Kimi Raikkonen and Mick Schumacher.
Ah, Haas, the fohksmash family, the americans. The release of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen leaves them with 2 open seats. So who do they go to?
To my understandings, there are 2 juniors looking for this seat. Callum Ilott and Robert Schwartzman. We've seen in the past, pairing 2 juniors never usually ends well. So you need an experienced driver to show them the reigns. And who could that be? I've heard 2 suggestions. Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat. And to be honest I would say Sergio is the better choice. More experienced than Daniil is the brutal point. I feel for Kvyat, he'll get his seat back, but just not in 2021 do I think. Between the Illot and Schwatrzman? Your guess as to who Guenther Steiner selects is as good as mine.
One of the true icons of F1, the Williams team was recently sold to Dorilton Capital. So who do the new boys choose as their drivers.
Ok, hear me out. I think not retaining George Russel would be a massive mistake. He's proven a highly talented junior racer. Has won an F2 championship. He just hasn't got the right car behind him at the moment. The new owners Doriltion Capital are loaded. So explain to me why would they want to keep coffee Latifi. Surely there would be no love lost between the F1 fans and him. So who replaces him?
Ok, lets look at their junior driver program. The only clear candidate is see is Jack Aitken. Given another year, Dan Ticktum would be my choice, but to throw him into F1 while he still maturing would be in my view a massive mistake. Outside of their academy Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovanazzi, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in my alternate grid have been left seatless. But to be honest, bar an alternate move for Kvyat, I don't see them taking any of these. So my attention turns to a large pool of drivers in Formula E. Nick Cassidy, Nyck De Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne, Antonio Felix DaCosta, Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans turn my head. But to be fair only 2 fellows here do I think have a chance. Nyck De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne. Both of these have won a F2 championship. Vandoorne had a season in F1 in 2018 with Mclaren where he was beaten by the returning Fernando Alonso. His sacking seemed a little unnesecary from Mclaren but his replacment was a certain Lando Norris so I ain't complaining about that. To be fair I think Williams are more likely to bring up they young Nyck De Vries to have a F1 shot. I would be very happy to see Nyck have his chance.
So there are my F1 2021 driver predictions. Some big names miss out like Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovanazzi, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen missing out. Young F2 drivers like Robert Schwartzman and Yuki Tsunoda miss out, alongside F2 drivers like Stoffel Vandoorne, Antonio Felix DaCosta, Pascal Wehrlein, Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans miss out.
Agree with me? Have a different opinion? Drop a comment down below!
And what do YOU think of my first DriveTrive article?