Put 2020 in the books. It’s done and thank the heavens for that. But Formula 1 rolls on for another year and we can all hope for more.
As the sport enters its 71st season there are plenty of fascinating storylines to follow, with drivers switching places and the exciting new regulations looming large.
Will one team call it quits early and direct all its focus until 2022 or will another throw all the little bits onto the car that they have never been brave enough to try?
Here are 10 things I am hoping to see in 2021.
1. Ferrari get better
This is obvious. Ferrari were awful in 2020 and finished the season in sixth. While their importance to the sport can sometimes be overstated, another year like the last one is not in anyone’s best interests. Also, Charles Leclerc is an excellent driver and deserves better.
2. George Russell gets to battle in the midfield
While 2020 was a marked improvement on the previous year for Williams, they were still bad. Russell showed he has immense potential during his one outing in the Mercedes and the opportunity to see him racing in the midfield week after week would be great to watch.
3. Mercedes get rid of Valtteri Bottas
I have always maintained that Bottas is better than people make out, but he has had enough chances now. Mercedes should move onto Russell for 2022 and unless the Finn puts up a genuine title challenge, I think they will.
4. Aston Martin release a great livery
While I think the pink of Racing Point will be missed, the prospect of an Aston Martin F1 car is really enticing. Let’s hope they don’t hold back when designing the livery and lean into the history of the classic make.
5. Sebastian Vettel shows himself
At Aston Martin for 2021, I think we all want to see a revitalised Vettel. Having sat through the German’s years of dominance, I know that he is a better driver than he showed last year and hope that the move away from Ferrari gets the best out of him.
6. Max Verstappen gets a title-challenging car
We wish for this every year and it never comes true. But we may as well try again. The Dutchman is obviously a great driver and one of the fastest on the grid. Let’s see if Red Bull can allow him to go toe to toe against Lewis Hamilton every week.
7. AlphaTauri keep impressing
As anyone that listened to our awards show will know, I was really impressed with AlphaTauri in 2020. Pierre Gasly’s win was the obvious highlight, but as their record points total shows, they were consistent throughout the whole year.
8. McLaren Mercedes is a partnership made in heaven
We all remember the McLaren Mercedes glory years and the partnership is back after six seasons away. The team have taken great steps too and with a driver lineup of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris in the car, they could be in line for another great year.
9. We see some Fernando Alonso magic
Alpine are unlikely to challenge for wins in 2021, but nonetheless, the returning two-time world champion can still challenge for podiums and deliver some of his monster Sunday drives. As Renault, the team were much stronger in 2020 and unlucky to only finish fifth in the standings, and we know that with Alonso in the car, the desire to improve has only increased.
10. 2021 delivers like 2020 did
The championship battle wasn’t much cop, but 2020 delivered great race after great race. With new circuits, 13 different drivers on the podium and two first-time winners, it had everything and kept us on the edge of our seats throughout. Hears to another great season and a Happy New Year to all of our readers.