Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Formula 1 2021: Race schedule, rule changes, how to watch, driver lineups, records and odds

Formula One action is finally set to return to our screens this weekend as the 2021 season gets underway.   

There will be a record-breaking 23 races throughout the campaign, which starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 28. 

It was Lewis Hamilton who strolled to a record-equaling seventh World Drivers’ Championship title last year, and barring any future amendments – with the season schedule officially confirmed – we can look ahead to what is set to be an exhilarating nine months of racing action.  

Lewis Hamilton (right) and Valtteri Bottas (left) will again compete for the World Championship

When is the first race of the season? 

As stated, the season will officially get underway on Sunday, March 28 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Australian Grand Prix – which was initially scheduled for mid-March – was of course pushed back to November due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sunday’s race will get underway at 4pm GMT, with the first practice session taking place on Friday, March 26 and qualifying on Saturday, March 27. 

It was Hamilton who came out victorious in the Bahrain GP last year, in what was a highly memorable race.

Much to everyone’s relief, Romain Grosjean emerged safe after his Haas vehicle burst into flames following a horror crash in the opening lap, while there were also incidents involving Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez. 

How to watch every race this season?

Sunday’s opening Grand Prix – just like every race in the 2021 schedule – will be able to watch on the Sky Sports Formula One channel. 

Sky Sports subscribers can also watch the race online by streaming it on Sky Go. 

Viewers can also buy Sky Sports day pass from NowTV for £9.99, with a month pass at £33.99.

The Significant changes for the 2021 campaign

As Formula One returns for another season, there are a number of notable changes to bring to your attention. 

Primarily, this will be the longest Formula One season in history, with two additional races coming from the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

You will also notice two new names among the teams, with Renault and Racing Point becoming Alpine and Aston Martin respectively. 

There are also a host of driver changes, with Daniel Ricciardo moving to McLaren, Sergio Perez heading to Red Bull and Carlos Sainz joining Ferrari. 

Additionally, Fernando Alonso will make his highly anticipated return for Alpine, 20-year-old Yuki Tsunoda will drive for AlphaTauri, and both Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin make their debuts with Haas.  

Among a plethora of technical and structural changes, there are a few significant alterations that are fundamental and must be outlined. 

Firstly, there have been some aerodynamic changes to the cars for the upcoming campaign, including to the diffusers, rear brake duct winglets and the floor of the car. The purpose of these are to reduce the overall downforce and turbulence levels. 

In what is perhaps the biggest change we’ll see this campaign, F1 have introduced a cost cap for the first time ever. In practice, this means teams will be limited to spending of $147.4m (£106m) in 2021, with plans for this to reduce to $135m (£97m) in 2023. 

However, this doesn’t include driver salaries, the wages for the top three earners in the team, any prevalent marketing costs and the more regulatory sick pay, maternity, paternity or redundancy payments.  

Finally, practice sessions will now all be 60-minutes long, as opposed to the 90-minutes we’ve traditionally seen for the first and second sessions. 

Lewis Hamilton searching for glory 

Hamilton secured his record-equaling seventh Championship with victory at the Turkish GP

Hamilton enjoyed a stunning 2020 campaign, in which he matched Michael Schumacher’s seven World Drivers’ Championship titles, while also overtaking the legendary German in all-time race wins. 

It marked the fourth successive Championship triumph for the all-time great, who subsequently insisted there is much more to come. 

“I feel like I’m only just getting started, it’s really weird,’ he said at the time.  

After a lengthy period of negotiation, Hamilton does now have his Mercedes contract sorted – for the 2021 season anyway. 

And with the opening race now swiftly approaching, there are a number of records Hamilton can start focusing on. 

Of course, he currently stands on seven World Championship titles, equal with the great Schumacher. And should he prevail for a fifth successive campaign, the Brit will sit alone at the top of the pile.   

Alongside Championship victories, Hamilton is also tied with Schumacher in wins at individual races, having won eight times at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with the German also winning eight times at the French Grand Prix. 

Hamilton is also tied as the leader for the most-ever pole positions at a single Grand Prix, with his eight at the Australian GP matching Ayrton Senna’s eight at the San Marino GP. 

The Brit also has the opportunity to take the records for the most laps won at a single Grand Prix, the fastest laps at different circuits and the all-time number of laps led. 

Yes, it could be quite a remarkable campaign for the 36-year-old. 

Formula One 2021 race schedule in full  

The 2021 Formula One campaign will get underway on Sunday with the Bahrain Grand Prix

March 28: Bahrain Grand Prix

April 18: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

May 2: Portuguese Grand Prix

May 9: Spanish Grand Prix

May 23: Monaco Grand Prix

June 6: Azerbaijan Grand Prix

June 13: Canadian Grand Prix

June 27: French Grand Prix

July 4: Austrian Grand Prix

July 18: British Grand Prix

August 1: Hungarian Grand Prix

August 29: Belgian Grand Prix

September 5: Dutch Grand Prix

September 12: Italian Grand Prix

September 26: Russian Grand Prix

October 3: Singapore Grand Prix

October 10: Japanese Grand Prix 

October 24: United States Grand Prix

October 31: Mexico City Grand Prix

November 7: Sao Paulo Grand Prix

November 21: Australian Grand Prix 

December 5: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

December 12: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Formula One driver line-up in full 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will be determined to stop Hamilton claiming a fifth straight title

Fernando Alonso makes his highly anticipated return to F1 having left the sport in 2018

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Botas

Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez

McLaren: Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo 

Aston Martin: Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel

Alpine: Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso

Ferrari: Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz

AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda

Alfa Romeo Racing: Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi

Haas F1 Team: Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin

Williams: George Russell, Nicholas Latifi 

Formula One 2021 Odds Formula One Drivers Championship 2021 Odds  Driver To win Championship To win Bahrain Grand Prix  Lewis Hamilton 1/211/10  Max Verstappen 12/5 6/4 Valtteri Bottas 14/1  9/2Sergio Perez 16/1 6/1 Daniel Ricciardo 33/1  20/1Charles Lecrerc 50/1 70/1 George Russell 50/1 500/1 Sebastian Vettel 50/1 50/1 Lando Norris 66/1 30/1 Carlos Sainz  100/180/1  *Odds as per Betfair 

Of course, it’s not just the drivers who are competing for glory, the teams themselves are also vying for the Constructors Championships. 

The odds are outlined below:

Mercedes: 1/3Red Bull: 12/5Ferrari: 25/1McLaren: 50/1Aston Martin: 80/1Alpine: 100/1AlphaTauri: 250/1Alfa Romeo: 500/1Williams: 500/1Haas: 500/1

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.