06 April 2021
Staff Reporter/ PretoriaLIVE
2021 Formula One has seen the return of Fernando Alonso, the dawn of Alpine, the rebirth of Aston Martin, and plenty of driver moves with, three new drivers making their F1 debut races in Bahrain a fortnight ago, and off course, the reigning champion Lewis Hamilton goes in as favorite for a record eighth drivers’ championship.
Fernando Alonso is returning to the Formula 1 grid after two years out of the sport this season, and is ‘completely fit’ for pre-season testing despite his cycling accident earlier this year, according to his Alpine boss Laurent Rossi.
“Fernando is doing very well. He had a bad accident. A bike accident is rarely something that goes easy, but he was lucky and he ended up only suffering from his jaw,” Rossi recently said before the maiden 2021 race in Bahrain.
Fernando Alonso who is Spanish has won the series’ World Drivers’ Championship in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, having also driven for McLaren, Ferrari and Minardi.
Alonso’s team Alpine, a new name to Formula 1 for 2021, as Renault’s F1 team rebranded, stood at 8th position with zero points at the Bahrain encounter.
At 20 years old, rookie Yuli Tsunoda is this season’s youngest driver, and came out with 2 points in his debut race. Another rookie is Mick Schumacher who is joining the Formula 1 grid for 2021 as a pay driver for Haas and will partner another debutant Nikita Mazepin in a new-look driver line-up for Haas.
Although Schumacher comes into F1 as F2 champion and with a European F3 title under his belt too, the financially enforced gamble on inexperience is likely to leave Haas at a disadvantage against nine rival teams who’ve been able to make safer bets.
The season’s favourite is the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton who ended months of speculation by signing a one-year contract extension with Mercedes in February, giving the 36-year-old the chance to win a record eighth title in 2021.
If F1 can navigate the problems still being caused by COVID-19 around the world, a record 23 races will be held this year.