What to expect from Formula 1 in 2021

Formula One F1 - Portuguese Grand Prix - Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal - October 25, 2020 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action at the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero

Predicting anything in sport is difficult and Formula 1 is no different.

While Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have dominated the world championship in recent seasons, there were a number of shocking results in 2020, with both Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez overcoming their inferior equipment to secure dramatic victories.

So what about those looking to do some betting on the pinnacle of motorsport in 2021? What can they expect? Firstly, with the regulations remaining relatively steady over the off-season, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton will surely be the favourites to scoop the two big prizes.

Hamilton is yet to agree to a new contract, which could throw the race wide open but provided he does, the seven-time champion remains the favourite to pick up number eight. Like Scott Dixon in IndyCar and Marc Marquez in MotoGP, the Brit has been the standard-bearer in F1 over the last few seasons.

Away from the championship battle, it will be fascinating to see how Max Verstappen and Red Bull continue their development. The Dutchman was the sole challenger to the Mercedes in 2020 and if you had to put your dollars on one driver bringing excitement to the sport in 2021 at one of the top casino sites, look no further than Verstappen. The 23-year-old earned two wins last season and provided he is given the equipment, expect him to pick up a few more in 2021.

Red Bull were gaining on Mercedes towards the end of the previous campaign, so it would be no surprise to see Verstappen split Hamilton and his teammate Valtteri Bottas, and finish second in the championship for the first time.

Elsewhere, fans will surely be delighted to see Ferrari return to something like their best after an incredibly difficult campaign. The famous Italian team picked up just three podium finishes in 2020 and no wins, but with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the wheel, expect them to make progress this time around. The team showed signs of improvement as the campaign went on and it would not be a surprise to see them back up to third in the constructors’ championship.

While the technical regulations are largely similar, the new cost cap will be a fascinating addition. Introduced at $145 million, with key exceptions including driver salaries and marketing expenses, it will be interesting to see how far the teams can make those dollars go. For a long time, the top teams in F1 have been able to outspend their rivals in the development race, but this could open the sport up to a new and more equitable era.

At the back of the grid, expect Williams to make further progress following the takeover by Dorilton Capital. The team have endured two of the worst years in their history, but with a new management team and ownership leading the charge, as well as the talented George Russell at the wheel, there is hope that 2021 could represent a year of hope for the historic outfit.

In terms of newcomers to the grid, there are few more publicised than Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. Mick has impressed throughout the junior ranks, winning F3 European Championship in 2018 and then F2 last year and his journey at Haas will be closely watched in all quarters. The German struggled in qualifying in F2 during his championship campaign, failing to take a single pole position, but his race pace and overtaking was notable and something it will be fascinating to see if he can bring to the part in F1.

Whatever you are watching for and whoever you are rooting for, it looks set to be another exciting year.