With testing now complete and our first look at the new cars with their new drivers out on track, it is time for me to make my very uneducated predictions for the 2021 season. In this article I am going to predict the outcome of the constructors championship. So here it goes…
10th – Haas
In last place is Haas. A lot of people are predicting this and for good reason too. With two rookies at the wheel and minimal changes to their car they are certainly the underdogs for the season. Gunter Steiner has been playing down any optimism for the season and has even said that upgrades will be at a premium for the team this year. With the new cars coming in for 2022 and with the new driver line up you can understand their approach as they look to the long term instead of the short term.
9th – Williams
Williams look like they have made some solid progress over the last few years, to imagine that not too long ago the team didn’t even have a car ready for the first day of practice to now having a car that can compete with the back markers is somewhat impressive. Testing looked to go pretty well for the team, and it looks like their focus has been on their aero package, which, as George Russell has said, will benefit them some weekends and not so much in others. I will really be routing for them this year and I expect them to grab a point or two throughout the season. Whilst they are still a way off the pace, I think they will be ahead of Haas this year.
8th – Alfa Romeo
It looks as if Alfa Romeo have had a very good test this year with the team completing the most laps of any team with no reliability issues whatsoever. Whilst testing is not particularly a good indicator of pace, they were certainly in the mix during each session and had decent pace throughout. I have previously said I was disappointed with the team making no changes to their driver line up, but no I am over that, I will admit that they will probably have a decent season. Whilst I do not think they will quite catch up to the midfield I believe they will lead the back markers and get a decent haul of points.
7th – Aston Martin
This is where it gets a bit tougher to predict, and probably where opinions will differ. All the next five teams are so close, it becomes incredibly hard to say who will end up where. I have put Aston Martin in 7th due to their tough test sessions, they had a fair few reliability issues and never put in a decent lap time. Completing the second to last number of laps they don’t quite look like they have it all together yet. Additionally, whilst they do now have a four-time world champion in their car, I am not convinced by their driver line up. Lance Stroll does have some potential but in terms of ability, I do not think he is the standard of driver that the team needs. For those two reasons I am putting them at the back of the middle pack.
6th – AlphaTauri
AlphaTauri had a very good winter test with the team completing the second greatest number of laps and with Yuki Tsunoda getting the second-best time throughout the three days. And whilst this was almost certainly a bit of a glory run, the team seem strong. Pierre Gasly looks to have settled in with the team and is revelling in his position of ‘team leader’. Tsunoda on the other hand is the best of the rookies coming into F1 this year and looked comfortable in the car, the team has put a lot of effort in the preseason to bring him quickly up to race pace. I put them 6th as I just feel that some of the other teams bring an overall better package, but they are certainly ones to watch this season.
5th – Alpine
One of the big talking points for testing this year was Alpine’s ‘chunky’ engine intake. Now whilst this intake and what is in it has moved the centre of gravity of the car up, which is not what you want in an F1 car, apparently it is more aerodynamic as their coolers are now up there instead of in the sidepods. Now it looks as if this was a good move during testing, as it seems that the advantages in aerodynamics outweigh the disadvantages of having that higher centre of gravity. Whilst I am not entirely convinced on how successful Alonso’s return will be, I believe they will consistently score points this season and be a force to be reckoned with in the midfield.
4th – Ferrari
A lot of people will probably have Ferrari a lot lower down on this list when you look at the poor season they had in 2020. But I think they are going to make considerable steps in the right direction this year. In my opinion they have one of the best driver line ups of any team with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, and with the improvements they have made to the engine and car I think we will see a much better team this season. Whilst they probably will not be anywhere near to challenging the top teams again, I think they will be one of the leading teams in the midfield and will maybe, just maybe, get on the podium a few times this year.
3rd – McLaren
Personally I am really looking forward to seeing McLaren this season, as I think a lot of us probably will. They looked solid during testing and have a very exciting driver line up. They seemed to have been able to implement the Mercedes engine into their car very successfully and the way in which they have managed to mount their diffuser onto the back of their car is a stroke of genius (although it is not entirely clear how legal it is yet). Ricciardo will bring a level of experience and talent to McLaren which will only push them further and I can really see them leading the way for the midfield teams and potentially putting some pressure on the top two teams this season. The team to watch in 2021!
2nd – Mercedes
Perhaps this is more out of hope than anything, just to see the norm be challenged a bit, but from testing I don’t think Mercedes have brought the full package to 2021 like they usually do. The changes to the regulations this season have really challenged them. Due to their approach of having less rake they got most of their rear downforce from the floor that has now been removed. And you could see it during testing with Lewis Hamilton spinning twice. Although I am sure that we have not seen anything near the potential the car actually has, there are just a few problems that the team had over the whole weekend which point to some chinks in the Mercedes armour that we haven’t seen in years.
1st – Red Bull
The Red Bull on the other hand, looks to have the entire package, with a solid winter test with a car that just seems to stick to the track they look like the team to beat. This may be partly due to their approach of having a higher rake, meaning that the problems of rear downforce that the Mercedes has does not affect the Red Bull nearly as much. They also seem to have a great team as well; Max Verstappen will always be the benchmark for them, and Sergio Perez could be the partner that Red Bull have been looking for. Again, I may be saying this out of pure hope for a more exciting season at the top, but for me, Red Bull look to be the real deal this year.
So, there it is, my predictions for the constructors title in 2021. What do you think? Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading!
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