For the last few years in Formula 1, Mercedes have dominated the field. Each year the German manufacturer has landed the constructor’s championship, often many weeks before the end of the season and usually one of their drivers, usually Lewis Hamilton but also Nico Rosberg, have ended up as the Driver’s Champion too.
However, after last week’s testing in Bahrain, there is hope that this dominance could well be set to be tested with news that the Red Bull car looked fastest in those sessions. Other teams boast a number of changes to their cars too, and with a new look line up of drivers at many teams, it promises to be a very interesting season ahead.
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Let’s now take a quick look ahead to what the new Formula 1 season will look like and why this season could be one of the most exciting, and taxing, ever.
F1 Race Schedule
This year sees a record 23-races on the F1 calendar although there are fewer weeks for these races to be contested, resulting in a number of ‘double weekends’ where races will be contested across back-to-back weekends. The full schedule is outlined below.
- Bahrain Grand Prix (26th – 28th March)
- Italian Grand Prix (Imola) (16th – 18th April)
- Portuguese Grand Prix (30th April – 2nd May)
- Spanish Grand Prix (7th – 9th May)
- Monaco Grand Prix (20th – 23rd May)
- Azerbaijan Grand Prix (4th – 6th June)
- Canadian Grand Prix (11th – 13th June)
- French Grand Prix (25th – 27th June)
- Austrian Grand Prix (2nd – 4th July)
- British Grand Prix (16th – 18th July)
- Hungarian Grand Prix (30th July – 1st August)
- Belgian Grand Prix (27th – 29th August)
- Netherlands Grand Prix (3rd – 5th September)
- Italian Grand Prix (Monza) (10th – 12th September)
- Russian Grand Prix (24th to 26th September)
- Singapore Grand Prix (1st – 3rd October)
- Japanese Grand Prix (8th – 10th October)
- United States Grand Prix (22nd – 24th October)
- Mexican Grand Prix (29th – 31st October)
- Brazilian Grand Prix (5th – 7th November)
- Australian Grand Prix (19th – 21st November)
- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (3rd – 5th December)
- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (10th – 12th December)
Drivers And Teams For 2021
Once again, we will have ten teams taking to the grid for each race of the 2021 season, with a number of familiar faces switching teams or returning to the sport, while a number of new faces will also be looking to make an impact over the course of the season.
- Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton (GB) & Valtteri Bottas (Fin)
- Alpine – Esteban Ocon (Fra) & Fernando Alonso (Spa)
- Haas F1 Team – Mick Schumacher (Ger) & Nikita Mazepin (Rus)
- McLaren – Lando Norris (GB) & Daniel Ricciardo (Aus)
- Alfa Romeo Racing – Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) & Antonio Giovanazzi (Ita)
- Red Bull Racing – Max Verstappen (Hol) & Sergio Perez (Mex)
- Aston Martin – Lance Stroll (Can) & Sebastian Vettel (Ger)
- Ferrari – Charles Leclerc (Fra) & Carlos Sainz (Spa)
- AlphaTauri – Pierre Gasly (Fra) & Yuki Tsunoda (Jap)
- Williams – George Russell (GB) & Nicholas Latifi (Can)
Things To Look Out For In The 2021 F1 Season
Fernando Alonso, a former F1 World Champion has returned as part of the Alpine team and his arrival means that there are now four World Champion drivers in the field (Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen).
There are also two first time F1 drivers starting the season, Nikita Mazepin at Haas F1 and Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri.
Last year, Lewis Hamilton equalled the record number of World Championship wins for a driver when landing his seventh, tying him with Michael Schumacher. If Hamilton were to win another this year, he would set a new record with eight.
Mercedes have won all of the last seven constructor’s Championship, a record for successive victories. Ferrari have won the most titles of all constructors with 16.
Outright F1 Season Betting Preview And Tips
A quick look at the Constructors Championship betting for the 2021 season reveals a very familiar face as the massive odds-on favourite once again. Mercedes are 3/10 with bet365 to win their eighth successive title and it is hard to counter that with a convincing argument for another team.
In truth, in testing only Red Bull looked like they had anywhere near the pace to match Mercedes and I do think that they will start the season very well, but I think that no team is better at developing their car over the season than Mercedes and my guess is that after a few races, any advantage Red Bull will have started the season with, will have ebbed away.
As such, I think Mercedes, even at 3/10 are the smart pick for the Constructors title.
The Drivers Championship looks like being another one-sided affair with Lewis Hamilton the bookies clear favourite at 1/2, with Max Verstappen his only real competitor at 12/5.
Verstappen has pace and he did look fast in testing last week, but he does still make mistakes and I am not sure Red Bull will maintain any advantage they have over Mercedes in the long term. As such, that makes it a lock, for me at least, that Hamilton will win his eighth driver’s Championship but the odds of 1/2 are not that appealing.
Let’s now turn our attention to the race this weekend in Bahrain and look at the teams and drivers likely to make their mark in that race.
Bahrain GP Preview and Tips
Last weeks Bahrain testing has really given the bookies a shake up for the odds and rather than seeing Lewis Hamilton odds on to win the race, we now see Red Bull driver Max Verstappen as the slight favourite to win the race at 11/8. He is just slightly ahead of Lewis Hamilton who is an almost unheard of 13/8 to win the race.
Being honest, I don’t think you will ever get better odds on Hamilton to win a race this season than that as my money is on Mercedes being as quick, if not quicker than Red Bull by the time the race starts on Sunday. So many years now we have heard of the demise of Mercedes but time and time again, it just does not happen.
So with that in mind and at those odds, I am taking Hamilton to win the race all day long at 13/8 and I would back that up perhaps with a bet on any driver being the fastest qualier, having the fastest lap in the race and then winning the race which is a 9/4 option with bet365.