And the 2021 season is go, go, go!


Green lights and ALO is first on track for the 2021 season.

I did post a look ahead to the 2021 season and then posted some updates in February, but here’s the driver line-up (the capitals show the abbreviations I use):

Team Drivers (number)
Mercedes Lewis HAMilton (44) Valtteri BOTtas (77)
Red Bull Max VERstappen (33) Sergio PERez (11)
Ferrari Charles LEClerc (16) Carlos SAInz (55)
McLaren Daniel RICciardo (3) Lando NORris (4)
Renault Alpine Fernando ALOnso Esteban OCOn (31)
AlphaTauri Pierre GASly (10) Yuki TSUnoda
Racing Point Aston Martin Sebastian VETtel (5) Lance STRoll (18)
Alfa Romeo Kimi RAIkkonen (7) Antonio GIOvinazzi (99)
Haas Mick SCHumacher Nikita MAZepin
Williams George RUSsell (63) Nicholas LATifi (6)

Hopefully the schedule won’t change as much as last year! At this point Australia has already been postponed, China dropped, Portugal and Imola added, and some dates shifted to make room for Melbourne in November. 23 rounds, ending mid-December, and a few circuits we’ve not seen in a while.

Race Day Location
Mar28 Bahrain (Sakhir)
Apr18 Italy (Imola)
May02 Portugal (Portimao)
May09 Spain (Barcelona)
May23 Monaco
Jun06 Azerbaijan (Baku)
Jun13 Canada (Montreal)
Jun27 France (Le Castellet)
Jul04 Austria (Spielberg)
Jul18 Great Britain (Silverstone)
Aug01 Hungary (Hungaroring)
Aug29 Belgium (Spa)
Sep05 Netherlands (Zandvoort)
Sep12 Italy (Monza)
Sep26 Russia (Sochi)
Oct03 Singapore (Marina Bay)
Oct10 Japan (Suzuka)
Oct24 USA (Austin)
Oct31 Mexico (Mexico City)
Nov07 Brazil (Sao Paulo)
Nov21 Australia (Melbourne) postponed from Mar21
Dec05 Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
Dec12 Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

I also mentioned in an earlier post some of the new rules:

  • Teams must now operate within strict limits on spending. A cost cap of $145 million has come into effect, though there are exceptions to this, including driver salaries and marketing costs.
  • Friday’s practice sessions will now last 60 minutes each instead of 90, cutting teams’ track time before qualifying from four hours to three.
  • In order to curb potential increases in downforce, some new aerodynamic restrictions have been imposed. These include a reduction in the size of the floor ahead of the rear wheels.

Meanwhile, back in Bahrain, almost everyone’s on the soft compound tyres as the session draws to a close. It’s hard to know how representative this is, with teams running a variety of tests, but it’s good to see a mix of teams at the top of the timings; FP1 ends with VER quickest (1:31.394) followed by BOT, NOR, HAM, LEC, PER, GAS, SAI, RIC & GIO… or Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, AlphaTauri, Ferrari, McLaren and Alfa Romeo.