Ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, we continue our team profiles for the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, moving on to Mercedes, Alpine and Haas.
Mercedes-AMG – The Big Dogs
Mercedes have been the most dominant team in Formula 1 over the last decade, winning seven consecutive Constructors’ Championships from 2014 onwards.
That success comes down to a perfect storm of unbeatable, efficient engineering and clinical, ruthless racing.
The Mercedes engine has remained a class above the competition and even with some minor tweaks heading into 2021, the German outfit fields the grid’s most exciting car.
The team have not changed their winning formula when it comes to who is sat in those cars, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton once again joined by Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes have put the world at these drivers’ fingertips and while Hamilton will strive to make history, Bottas will be doing all he can to shake the label of ‘second-best’.
2021 Prediction: Death, taxes, and a Mercedes driver on the podium. Red Bull will run it close, but Mercedes and Hamilton will once again be an unstoppable force and take both titles.
Alpine – A Touch of French Class
Despite now taking on the name of their sports car brand Alpine, Renault have some serious history in Formula 1.
The French constructor finds itself in a competitive midfield pack on the grid, and has brought its former Championship-winning driver Fernando Alonso out of the shadows to compete with the likes of McLaren and Aston Martin.
Alonso won two World Championships with Renault in ’05 and ’06 and will be looking to reignite that fire alongside promising French driver Esteban Ocon.
The heated battle for third in the Constructors’ Championship will rage on this season and whether it’s through experience or ambition, Alpine will put it all on the line in 2021.
2021 Prediction: A mouth-watering midfield mix. Alpine will find more success than failure with Alonso’s return and come out fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Haas – The Young Guns
Haas are one of the grid’s younger constructors having joined the circuit in 2016 and, after leaning on aged and experienced drivers early on, the American outfit has turned to youth for 2021.
Replacing Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in the Haas are Mick Schumacher, current Formula 2 champion and son of F1 great Michael Schumacher, and Nikita Mazepin, a fellow rising star from Formula 2 with boom-or-bust potential.
Taking on two rookie drivers is something of a gamble in itself, but Haas’ selections have grabbed headlines for reasons both good and bad.
While Schumacher seemingly has the entire F1 community backing him for success, Russian driver Mazepin has drawn widespread criticism for controversial behaviour both on and off the track.
The team struggled last year with an unreliable Ferrari engine and a lack of funding, but the sponsors, popularity and energy that these rookies bring may give Haas its first real taste of Formula 1 success.
2021 Prediction: More points than ever before, but that’s not saying much. Haas will give its drivers a chance to impress but save some sporadic forays into the points, the American team will remain at the lower end of the pecking order.
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