Formula 1

2021 Formula 1 Silly Season Synopsis – Update No. 7

By: Ashley McCubbin

The grid for the 2021 Formula 1 season is set – except for a single seat now, but that debate is pretty much solved in it’s own right.

Red Bull Racing finally solved the months-long debate they have been having, electing to go with Sergio Perez despite showing faith in Alexander Albon.

“Alex is a valued member of the Team and we thought long and hard about this decision,” said Christian Horner. “Having taken our time to evaluate all the relevant data and performances we have decided that Sergio is the right driver to partner Max for 2021 and look forward to welcoming him to Red Bull Racing.

“Alex remains an important part of our Team as Test and Reserve Driver with a key focus on 2022 development and we would like to thank him for his hard work and contribution.”

Their sister team also finalized their line-up, with Yuki Tsunoda getting enough points in Formula 2 to earn his license to drive for Alpha Turi in place of Daniil Kvyat.

“Red Bull has been following Yuki’s career for a while now and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team,” said Franz Tost, AlphaTauri Team Principal. “Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding. During the test in Imola in November when he drove our 2018 car, his lap times were very consistent over a race simulation, he progressed throughout the day and gave our engineers useful feedback.

“In addition, his integration with the Honda engineers has been seamless, which certainly helps. At the test in Abu Dhabi this week, he proved to be a fast learner and that he is ready to make the step to Formula One.”

This will leave Kvyat on the sidelines entering 2021 after earning three podiums over his career to date.

The last seat that has yet to be formally announced is Mercedes’ second opening, but Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff keep assuring everyone it’s a matter of just working out the details of the contract. There should have been some headway made in that direction, despite being originally put off due to battling for the championship and Hamilton’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

Current Formula 1 Grid

  • Mercedes – Valterri Bottas, TBD
  • Ferrari – Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz
  • Red Bull – Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez
  • McLaren – Daniel Riccardo, Lando Norris
  • Alpine (formally Renault) – Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso
  • Aston Martin (formally Racing Point) – Sebastian Vettel
  • Williams – George Russell, Nikolas Latifi
  • Alpha Tauri – Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda
  • Alfa Romeo – Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi
  • Haas F1 Team – Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin

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