Get up to speed with the new look of the Formula 1 grid for 2021 with eight seats changing hands and two teams changing name. Four world champions, three rookies and absolutely no shortage of exciting team-mate match-ups ahead from March
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (*contract pending) and Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton begins 2021 without a new Mercedes contract in place yet but all expectations remain that an agreement will ultimately be struck at some point in the forthcoming weeks to formally confirm the seven-time champion in their line-up once again. Valtteri Bottas stays on for a fifth consecutive campaign after agreeing a one-year extension in August.
RED BULL: VERSTAPPEN & PEREZ
Drivers: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
For the first time since 2007, Red Bull have gone outside their tried-and-trusted driver development programme to fill one of their seats after Sergio Perez saved from what would have been a unwarranted year on the sidelines just before Christmas. The long-time Racing Point/Force India driver, who finally became an F1 winner last month, becomes the latest driver to take on the formidable challenge of being team-mate to Max Verstappen, Red Bull’s established team leader. Honda start their final year in F1, but Red Bull remain hopeful of being able to take over the Japanese manufacturer’s engine into 2022.
MCLAREN: RICCIARDO & NORRIS
race winner Daniel Ricciardo and, seven years after their long running partnership ended, Mercedes engines. Lando Norris, still only 21, will compete in his third season in F1 after an impressive first two years of his career up against former team-mate Carlos Sainz.
ASTON MARTIN: VETTEL & STROLL
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll
Gone is the Racing Point name of the past two years to be replaced by that of the world-renowned Aston Martin, with both entities now under the same ownership. The high-profile rebrand is accompanied by the significant arrival of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari, with Lance Stroll staying alongside for his third season at his father’s team.
ALPINE: ALONSO & OCON
Drivers: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
A mix of the past and future here at what was Renault for 2021. Fernando Alonso returns for a third spell at Enstone after two years away from F1 but the team name and image are undergoing a rebrand. Alpine is the name of Renault’s sporty car brand. After a challenging single year next to Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon now faces an even more successful F1 driver as his team-mate.
FERRARI: LECLERC & SAINZ
Drivers: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
There may not be a world champion in Ferrari’s line-up at the start of the season for just the second time in the last quarter of a century, but in Charles Leclerc and new signing Carlos Sainz they have two of the best drivers of F1’s new generation. Leclerc usurped Vettel as the Scuderia’s team leader over the past two seasons and Sainz, a fast and accomplished performer in his own right, will provide a fresh challenge.
ALPHATAURI: GASLY & TSUNODA
Drivers: Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda
Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda arrives to join Monza race winner Pierre Gasly after impressing the team last year in his test outings for them and a race-winning rookie season of F2. Gasly has re-established his career back at the team since mid-2019 and developed into one of F1’s most consistent drivers. Like sister team Red Bull, AlphaTauri enter the final year of their present engine arrangement.
ALFA ROMEO: RAIKKONEN & GIOVINAZZI
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi
One of only three teams staying with an unchanged line-up, Alfa Romeo will continue to blend the unmatched F1 experience of 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, 41, and the improving Antonio Giovinazzi for the third year in a row. The big focus will be on trying to improve the team’s competitiveness after a tough 2020.
HAAS: MAZEPIN & SCHUMACHER
Drivers: Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher
In a complete change of driver direction accelerated by the financial impact of the global pandemic, Haas have swapped 300 Grands Prix worth of experience in their line-up for an all-rookie pairing. Planning for the future towards the 2022 rules overhaul, F2 champion and Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher is joined by Russian Nikita Mazepin.
WILLIAMS: RUSSELL & LATIFI
Drivers: George Russell and Nicholas Latifi
George Russell is the team’s exciting lead driver and will enter the third and final year of his contract at Williams, with Mercedes possibly coming calling for 2022. Nicholas Latifi remains for a second term, when both drivers and the famous team will be bidding to turn 2020 progress back into points in the first full year of its new ownership era.