The 2020 Formula 1 season was unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic that shook things up considerably and imposed calendar changes. Regardless, we got to see many interesting races, new winners and losers, and all sorts of shenanigans on and off the track.
For starters, there were were 2 new circuits (Mugello and Portimao), 3 returning circuits (Imola, Nurburgring and Turkey), 2 new race winners, 3 new podium finishers, and 1 new polesitter. McLaren had their best finish in the Constructors’ Championship since 2012, while Ferrari was a disaster and had their worst season since 1980. At the end, Mercedes came out on top in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in a dominant manner. It was all very wild and thrilling, and we can’t wait to see what next year has in store.
So, with the driver lineup for next year finalized, let’s see who’s racing with whom.
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
While Hamilton has not reached a deal yet for the 2021 season, it is almost certain he will stay with Mercedes alongside Bottas. The duo has proven to be a very consistent winning combination for the past few seasons, and Mercedes has no reason to change that.
Williams: George Russell and Nicholas Latifi
Having had his shot in a Mercedes car at the Sakhir Grand Prix, there were talks that Russell might get promoted up from Williams. But with Hamilton, in all likelihood, continuing his stay at Mercedes, and Bottas already locked into a contract, Russell is staying at Williams with his current teammate Nicholas Latifi.
Alfa Romeo: Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovanazzi
This lineup has never really been up for much speculation, with both Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovanazzi confirmed for 2021 quite early on. The only question raised was talks of Räikkönen possibly leaving F1 due to his age, but that was later debunked.
Renault/Alpine: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
Daniel Ricciardo’s departure from Renault, which from 2021 will be rebranded as Alpine, has left the team with a hole in their lineup. Filling it is Fernando Alonso, who has returned from his F1 hiatus to continue his career. Having won his two world titles (in 2005 and 2006) with Renault, he should be in, more or less, familiar territory.
McLaren: Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris
After finishing 3rd in this year’s Consructors’ Championship, McLaren looks to continue that success not only by switching to a Mercedes power unit, but also getting some more experience on the team. Seasoned driver Daniel Ricciardo is moving in from Renault and will be racing alongside Lando Norris for the 2021 season.
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Having experienced their worst season in 40 years in Formula 1 as a constructor, Ferrari is certainly hoping things will get better next season. After six years with the Italian team, and with a dismal 2021 season, Sebastian Vettel will be replaced by Carlos Sainz who’s coming in from McLaren. He will be joining Charles Leclerc for the upcoming season.
Aston Martin: Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll
After being entangled in the Mercedes parts-copying debacle and having a rather rocky start to the season, Racing Point, now Aston Martin, likely felt they needed some stability in their driver lineup. With Carlos Sainz taking his place at Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel is moving to Aston Martin alongside Lance Stroll. This left Sergio Pérez without a seat, but we’ll get to that later.
AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly has delivered a very solid performance this season, getting his first win at Monza and finishing a respectable 10th in the Drivers’ Championship. For those reasons, he will be staying with the team. Daniil Kvyat, on the other hand, will be leaving F1, and Yuki Tsunoda, who was promoted to AlphaTauri from Red Bull’s junior team in F2, will take his place.
Haas: Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin
Haas, the only American team in Formula 1, has had very experienced drivers in their lineup with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. However, none of them will be racing for the team in 2021, as Haas has gone the opposite direction and signed rookies Mick Schumacher, son of Michael Schumacher, and Nikita Mazepin, both of whom are making the jump up to F1 from F2.
Read Also: Mick Schumacher, Son Of F1 Legend Michael Schumacher, Will Race For Haas In 2021
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) December 2, 2020
Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, Alex Albon as reserve
Last but not least, we have Red Bull. After much deliberation by the team, it has just been confirmed [this morning] that Sergio Pérez will be joining Max Verstappen for the 2021 season, and Alex Albon will now be a reserve driver.
Pérez was without a seat for quite some time, which was a big surprise given all he’s done this season. While both Albon and Pérez have gotten 2 podiums and finished 5 times in the top five, Pérez finished 4th in the Drivers’ Championship compared to Albon’s 7th, even after missing 2 races due to COVID-19. He also managed to secure his first F1 victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix, delivering an incredible last-to-first performance. In addition, if Constructors’ Championship finishing is taken into account, Pérez did all of this in a worse car. In the end, the Mexican finally got what most felt he rightfully deserved, and it should be very interesting to watch him and Verstappen battle it out against the likes of Mercedes next season – and, of course, between them…
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) December 18, 2020
What are your thoughts on the 2021 season? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credits Ferrari, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo