When the decision was made to shove Formula 1's technical overhaul and return to true ground-effect cars back a year, the suggestion was that 2021 would end up as something of a holding year. But, following the condensed pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, it seems that the mandated technical changes to the aerodynamics have actually thrown some of the teams a loop. Instead of the 2020 carbon copy that many had been wary of, testing suggested that 2021 may actually offer one of the closest-fought seasons in years.
The biggest changes involve the floor, and the introduction of a triangular exclusion zone ahead of the rear wheel to strip the cars of some of the aerodynamic tools that teams used to improve the underbody downforce. The slots along the floor's edge are gone, and the diffuser and the brake-duct winglets situated at the rear of the car have also been trimmed back to culminate in a suggested 10% downforce reduction.
While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...
Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .
It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.
Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…
Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.
Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?
For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak
F1 drivers free to take a knee on 2021 race grids
AlphaTauri F1 in much better shape than last year - Gasly