Formula One 2021 Season: Drivers Guide - Part 2
Zeeshan Mehtab 1 month ago Mon 22nd March 2021 | 08:00 AM
Paris, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Mar, 2021 ) :The 2020 Formula One season drivers guide - part 2: Alpine Fernando Alonso (Spain) The 2005 and 2006 world champion with Renault returns to his first love after a two-year flirtation with Le Mans, the Dakar Rally and Indy 500. He insists that at 39, a two-year exile, and jaw surgery following a cycling accident last month, he is in the best shape of his career. Alonso last fired up an F1 car in anger in a McLaren in 2018 but says he is now a more complete driver after winning Le Mans twice but failing to win the Indy 500 and emulate Graham Hill by completing the so-called Triple Crown of winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and Indy 500.
Esteban Ocon (France) Ocon says he is keen to relive "that podium feeling" after experiencing it for the first time when second in Bahrain for the rebranded Renault team. Fast, determined, unafraid of tough battles, and at 24 he is impatient for his first win in the top division after graduating as GP3 champion in 2015, proving himself with Manor and Force India and a year's sabbatical 'on the bench' at Mercedes.
Alpha Tauri Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) If his startling showing in pre-season testing is anything to go by this diminutive newcomer is poised to make a sizeable impact on his first season in the fast lane. With only Max Verstappen in front of him Tsunoda outperformed his hero Lewis Hamilton and a host of others to clock the second-best time. On Sunday back at Sakhir, he plans to leave caution in the pits and "push from the start. I don't want to worry about making mistakes. I just want to go for it and attack." The first Japanese driver to compete in Formula One since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014 stands at just 1.59 metres (5ft 3in) and has hit the gym to bulk up after confessing that he "couldn't even lift" his head after driving 123 laps in Abu Dhabi testing in December. He was named FIA rookie of last year after finishing third in his debut season with British team Carlin in the Formula 2 championship.
Pierre Gasly (France) A year after demotion from Red Bull to their sibling team the personable Frenchman conjured up his debut Grand Prix success in a chaotic race at Monza for only his team's second ever win. He took time to recover from a bruising experience alongside Verstappen at Red Bull and the 2016 GP2 champion will be keen to build on last season's form. Aged 25 and with innate speed and craft the road is clear for him to enjoy his best season yet.
Aston Martin Sebastian Vettel (Germany) The four-time champion with Red Bull endured a miserable last season with Ferrari, coming in a humiliating 13th in the drivers' championship. But now the German is back talking about a fifth world title for the rebranded Racing Point team. He concedes he was not at his best in 2020, but says he has made peace with that and the winner of 53 Grands Prix, only Hamilton and Schumacher have won more, believes he still has all the ingredients to win the championship again for the famous British marque returning for the first time to F1 since 1960.
Lance Stroll (Canada) The 22-year-old son of team owner Lawrence Stroll may have had a cushioned arrival in the sport but his performances have helped silence those who questioned whether he deserved his place on the grid on merit. Raw speed, competitive zeal and a beneficial partnership with former teammate Sergio Perez helped produce his first pole position in Istanbul, outpacing Hamilton and company in treacherous conditions. He came in 10th in the season standings on 74 points, a tally to build on this term.
Alfa Romeo Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Hamilton wasn't the only record-breaker in 2020 with the father of the grid starting a record 323rd race at the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. He arrived a fresh-faced 21-year-old at Sauber in 2001, went on to collect the 2007 world title with Ferrari, and now is enjoying the twilight of his career with his first team albeit under a different name. A modest 16th place and four points last term is a target he will enjoy eclipsing.
Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) He matched his more illustrious teammate's points haul last term after extending his tenure at the team with a flourish to the end of an unimpressive opening half to 2019. Runner-up in GP2 to Gasly and can aim at continuing his progress with a secure midfield place.
Haas Mick Schumacher (Germany) Nine years after dad Michael's last race the Schumacher name is back on the grid with the F1 legend's son Mick graduating as Formula Two champion to drive for Haas. The 22-year-old says he's proud to follow in his famous father's footsteps, but another son of a world champion has warned of the pressures he will have to face. "It's not easy to be the 'son of'. And with Mick, it is 10 times more difficult, because Michael's era was not so long ago and he was much more successful," said Nico Rosberg.
Nikita Mazepin (Russia) The team's second rookie is the 22-year-old son of billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, a non-executive director of Russian company Uralkali, the main title partner of the Haas team. He takes his place only after the team had to hold an internal investigation over a social media video seemingly showed him making an unsolicited attempt to touch a woman's breast.
Williams George Russell (Britain) For his second season Russell was tipped for stardom by Mercedes chief Toto Wolff after the 23-year-old stepped in for the Covid-19 quarantining Hamilton in Bahrain, upstaging Valtteri Bottas in Friday practice. He would likely have stolen the show in the race itself only for a bungled pit stop and puncture that left him in ninth. With changed ownership, former champion Jenson Button in as a senior advisor, the gifted Russell can approach the campaign with plenty of optimism.
Nicholas Latifi (Canada)- Like Lance Stroll, the 25-year-old Latifi is the son of a billionaire. In his second season after graduating as the team's reserve driver last term and still searching for his first point.