Formula 1 Season Preview

Story posted March 25, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Dale Ostrander

It’s lights out and away we go, as another Formula One season is right around the corner. The drivers and cars in the field have changed since last season in hopes to catch up to the elusive Mercedes team, who is now the defending champion of the last seven years.

Every team in the paddock had many regulation changes that they all had to make to their cars for this upcoming season. However, for the most part, the cars remain the same as last year’s, and that of course lends its favor to Mercedes.

For Mercedes this offseason, it re-signed world-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in his attempt to break the record he shares with Michael Schumacher for most world championships at eight. But even with Mercedes’ dominant performances over the years, it came into preseason testing and struggled mightily, which can leave the door open for several teams.

The two teams that have a shot to compete with Mercedes and end its title streak are Red Bull racing and McLaren. Both teams added new drivers this offseason in Sergio Pérez for Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo for McLaren.

These acquisitions could be the key piece, especially in Red Bull’s case, as Max Verstappen was Hamilton’s only competitor last year. Additionally, Red Bull has been missing a great number two driver since Daniel Ricciardo was driving for them, and Pérez looks to be that guy.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Formula One without talking about the team in the red Ferrari. The Scuderia of Ferrari is coming off one of its worst seasons in a long time. The tensions between drivers and Ferrari were high because the car didn’t compete for a win at all and was in the midfield all year. There is serious trouble at Ferrari and with no major new changes to cars, its problems could carry over into this season.

Now that we have talked about the household names of Formula One, we have some other teams in the midfield looking to stir up the top of the field.

The famous Renault team switched names to Alpine F1 Team, brought back its best driver ever and Lewis Hamilton’s biggest rival, Fernando Alonso. This rivalry was settled in a tie in 2007 when both drivers were on the same team, and now we get another look at it.

One of the most iconic cars in the world is coming back to Formula One and it is the Aston Martin. The Racing Point team has switched to Aston Martin, which hasn’t been in a Formula One race in over 60 years. With driver Sebastian Vettel coming over from Ferrari, Aston Martin is looking to make some noise.

Teams like Scuderia AlphaTauri and Haas have some new drivers on their teams that will be racing in Formula One for the first time this Sunday. But the name everyone is looking out for is Michael Schumacher’s son making his F1 debut, Mick Schumacher. The second-generation driver of one of the best ever could give Formula One a revitalization in popularity it hasn’t seen since Mick’s father.

Finally, the last two teams for the season are Alfa Romeo and Williams racing. Both will be looking to steal some points this season to launch them up the constructor standing and get the money they will need to improve their cars going into next season.

The season begins in Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit with the race starting on Sunday, March 28 at 11:00 a.m. eastern time.

Dale Ostrander is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email dko5097@psu.edu.