Are you ready? No, I said, ARE YOU RRRRREADYYY? My lame Triple H impersonation aside, it is a pertinent question. That is because the world’s fastest, most exciting, and dangerous sport is back this weekend. Yep, you’re right; the Formula One circus is back on our screens as the F1 2021 season gets ready to start.
F1 returns after an off-season that generated a ton of hype. Winter testing showed that all the cars are very close to one another. Competition makes all sports better; when that competition takes place at 220 mph, it hits a new level. Furthermore, more hype got generated with the critically acclaimed Netflix show Drive to Survive. The show spent the entirety of its first week on air as the number one show in the world. Seriously, check it out. Those ingredients created an enticing concoction for F1 2021. Do you know that old theory of mixing Diet Coke and Mentos? Well, that is the F1 2021 season. It’s incredibly flavorful, although it could erupt at any moment. It’s time to break out the 71st season in F1 history.
Can Mad Max Dethrone the King?
After a strong off-season, the Red Bull Honda racing cars look very fast. The Honda engine is now powerful, while the vehicle is much more stable for the drivers. Therefore, Flying Dutchman Max Verstappen should get a legitimate shot at taking the world championship. The abrasive, confident driver owns all the raw talent in the world. That is why he made his F1 debut as a 17-year-old. In Friday practice, Verstappen was fastest in both sessions; the charging bull piloted by a fearless driver will take some stopping.
The man attempting to stop Verstappen is the reigning and defending world champion, Lewis Hamilton. The Brit is the winningest driver in F1 history, plus he is trying to win a record-breaking eighth world championship. That could cement his GOAT status in the sport. In January this year, Hamilton only signed a one-year contract. One of his heroes was Michael Jordan. Is this the “Last Dance” for Hamilton and his all-conquering Mercedes team? At 34, it could be; add Hamilton’s ongoing efforts to increase diversity in F1 and making the world aware that Black Lives do Matter, Hamilton may retire soon.
However, he won’t quit if he gets dethroned by a young pretender. Like Jordan, Hamilton is an insane competitor. His fire isn’t going anywhere. Rivalries define sport; Hamilton vs Verstappen could redefine rivalries. It would be like Mickey Mantle stepping up to take on Clayton Kershaw in his prime in baseball parlance.
Shaken, Not Stirred
The big arrival into F1 2021 is the Aston Martin name. Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll bought shares in the car company and then renamed the Racing Point team, Aston Martin. The iconic brand is associated with James Bond and winning at Le Mans. Now, they enter F1 wishing to swap 007 for 001. Billionaires don’t get involved in sports to finish fourth; they desire to win every day. Year one may be a learning year for the team; however, the team expects to compete near the front. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel joins Canadian Lance Stroll as the driver lineup for Aston Martin.
The glorious green cars will surely battle Ferrari at some point in the 2021 season. Ferrari endured a terrible year in 2020 as the team lost its engine power. Consequently, the 2020 Ferrari car was slower than Tom Brady running at the combine. Significant improvements are required if the Ferrari management wishes to keep their jobs. Ferrari is a religion in Italy; the natives won’t tolerate another terrible year for their team. Mexico’s Sergio Perez hope’s to announce himself as he steps into one of the fast cars for the first time in his career.
McLaren is another that enjoyed winter testing. Their car looks fast and reliable as they make the switch to Mercedes engines in 2021. Smiling assassin Daniel Ricciardo is new to the team; the Australian drives alongside Twitch star Lando Norris. These drivers will be fascinating to watch. Some experts think McLaren could crash the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle. F1 is no exception; everything is better in threes.
The Return of the Matador and the Son of a Legend
The F1 2021 season also welcomes back the living legend that is Fernando Alonso. The former world champion returns after spending two years racing IndyCars and at Le Mans. At 39 years of age, the Spanish hero has lost none of his competitive fire. The man is an animal. Alonso is the second-oldest driver on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen is 41 years old. Twenty years ago, these two drivers made their debuts in F1. It might make them feel old, regardless; they indeed raced against Max Verstappen’s dad in 2001. The duo also ran against Michael Schumacher. The seven-time world champion’s son Mick makes his debut this weekend for the American Haas F1 team. Blending youthful exuberance with grizzled veterans can create a ton of exciting racing. The youngsters don’t fear or respect the elder-statesmen.
Buckle Your Seatbelts, It Could Get Wild
Racing is different from many sports. A single MLB team plays 162 games. F1 2021’s season consists of only 23 races. 53 players are on every NFL roster. Only the 20 fastest human beings get to race in F1. That’s like if the NBA only allowed bonafide All-Stars to play in the league. It is the pinnacle of sporting excellence. There’s no wonder that it is the most-watched annual sports league in the world. In 2021, the cars will be closer than ever, and several teams could win a race on any given Sunday. The 20 best race-drivers in the world must combine their skill with bravery to come out on top.
Bravery, exhilaration, and passion define F1. Those ingredients will define F1 2021. Strap yourselves in because the best racers in the world are gunning for the ultimate prize. It is the 200 mph rollercoaster, and we’ve got the best seats in the house. Such is the speed of F1. Drivers don’t wait for a green light – they just wait for the red lights to go out. Once that happens, the fastest race across the world is on. The opening race is this weekend at 10 am EST. Don’t miss it.