Updated: Feb 1
F1 2021 – What is new ?
In two months from now we will be reflecting on the first round of the 2021 F1 season. The first race will take place in Bahrain after it was decided to move both the Australian Race and the Chinese race to other dates because of Covid-19. Depending on the efficiencies of governments around the world, F1 should and could attain an astonishing 23 races during this calendar year. Whether or not spectators will be allowed to any events remains to be seen.
It is with sadness that I tell you of the passing of Adrian Campos . Campos had a short career in F1 but anyone who follows the world of motorsport will know the Campos name being synonymous with racing and especially in the F3 and F2 categories. This a tragic loss to motorsport and my thoughts go out to all his family and friends.
Stefano Domenicali is the new boss and CEO of F1. I have always been a fan of Stefano and still believe that Ferrari erred when they booted him. Domenicali replaces the moustache yielding Chase Carey at the helm.
Carey did great things for such as allowing Netflix to film behind the scenes documentaries, but Carey is a media man, Domenicali arrives with a pedigree in motorsport and a full understanding of F1. His biggest task is to try and attract other OEM’s to join the F1 world. With new cost-cutting measure being employed and a spending cap implemented, this is achievable if the current teams and those wanting to enter, can agree on a future spec Power Unit that is not as expensive as the current ones.
With Covid-19 having thrown the world into disarray in 2020, F1 decided to delay the 2021 spec cars until 2022. This means we basically have the same cars used during the 2020 season.
There are some changes however:
New floor – create less downforce, at least 10% difference. Diffuser is also amended and need to be 50mm shorter. Brake ducts have also been amended
F1 cars will be heavier – 749kg and the PU must way at least 150kg
Limited engine modes available to the teams as well
No DAS available
New materials are to be allowed to ensure that F1 goes greener; these include Flax, Hemp, Linen, Cotton and Bamboo. Could one of these products replace Carbon Fibre?
A contentious issue has been the fuel situation in F1 in recent years. The two-fuel meter system remains for all manufacturers.
Design of Pink Mercedes controversy. There is a full list of parts that can be sourced from a supplying manufacturer. Teams can only follow the deign concept of another design by obtaining information either from a test or at an event. Stereo Photogrammetry and 3D capturing tools are not allowed to be used by teams to photograph other team’s parts.
Will it make a difference to 2021?
Only Mclaren and Alfa Romeo have announced their launch dates thus far. The 15th and 22nd Feb, respectively. Out of all the cars in 2021 only Mclaren will be a “new” car as they change from Renault power to Mercedes power.
All 10 teams have concluded their driver line-up except Mercedes. Personally, it is a bunch of posturing by Mercedes and I believe the announcement that Lewis Hamilton will stay with the team for at least another 4 years is imminent.
We will have new drivers in F1 this year
As well as the relatively unknown:
There is quite a bit of movement from team to team by other drivers:
The Ferrari team have used their 2018 spec car to give Carlos Sainz and Mick Schumacher a little taste of the Ferrari life. Even though Schumacher will race for HAAS in 2021, HAAS seem to be the favourite sister between themselves and Alfa Romeo going forward. My prediction is that this will be the final year for Alfa Romeo in F1 unless someone at Stellantis decides otherwise.
Also, what has happened to Vettel’s hair? Sporting a brush cut at a seat fitting at Aston Martin, the German seems to have lost a bunch of hair since last year. Do you think he will go for plugs ala Lewis?
Besides the Lewis announcement, the big news we all await is whether F1 and the FIA will engine freeze from 2022 until 2025. It is a request from Red Bull Racing as they will only have limited resources after the end of 2021 if they continue with the Honda PU. Ferrari initially rejected the idea but are on board with the idea as are Mercedes. It is only Renault/Alpine who are against the engine freeze idea.
Will 2021 be more competitive than 2020? We can only hope so.