“It could be worse,” says Sebastian Vettel, just as 2021 Formula 1 pre-season testing ends. He’s right, of course, but the start of Aston Martin’s second F1 era got off to a pretty inauspicious start. It’s currently impossible to say exactly where the team sits in the latest pecking order because it completed so little running over the Bahrain test, but this was the team that had the third-fastest car in 2020. And, thanks to the carryover requirements of the new campaign, much of that package remains in action in 2021.
But a second impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was the 50% reduction in pre-season testing time. That had already made Vettel’s task of getting up to speed with a new team difficult, even before Aston lost almost nearly a third of the three-day test to a gearbox problem on day two, and then a turbo-boost-pressure issue as the final hours approached, both dramas occurring during Vettel’s allocated running.
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
Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone
Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.
Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.
Onboard Lap - Bahrain Grand Prix Circuit
How Japan's first F1 racer accelerated Tsunoda's rise