5 Reasons To Get Excited For 2021 F1 Season
Like the rest of the sports world, Formula 1 is rising from the ashes of the 2020 season. While coronavirus protocols are still in place, the 2021 season will start off much smoother than the last one. The season gets underway a week later than usual with its first race Sunday at the Bahrain Grand Prix. This year will be historic for several reasons, not just that it's happening in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, as people are turning even more to sports for entertainment, escape and sense of pride.
Here are five reasons to get excited for the 2021 F1 season:
1. Lewis Hamilton Going For History
Last season, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton tied the record for most driver’s championships when he took home his seventh title. This matched Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher’s number of championships, establishing Hamilton as one of the best drivers in the history of the sport. And he did it even missing the Sakhir Grand Prix when he caught COVID-19. This year, the Brit has a new contract with Mercedes and is ready to separate himself from the pack as one of the greatest athletes in the world. Besides his excellence on the track, Hamilton has made news for speaking up about issues of social justice, wearing shirts honoring Breonna Taylor and raising awareness about police brutality in Nigeria.
2. Fernando Alonso is Back
Fernando Alonso was a fan favorite when he raced in the 2000s and took the championship crown from Michael Schumacher in 2005. He won back-to-back titles with Renault, becoming only the eighth driver ever to accomplish such a feat. The Spaniard didn't get another driver's cup after that, bouncing around to McLaren and Ferrari while Kimi Räikkönen, Sebastian Vettel and, of course, Lewis Hamilton rose to prominence. Along the way, he captured attention with his witty personality, famously grabbing a deck chair to watch qualifying and soak up the sun after his car broke down prior to the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix. Alonso left F1 in 2018 after not winning a race in five years, but he's back with Alpine to further not only his legacy, but that of the entire sport.
3. And so is Aston Martin
Aston Martin is returning to the grid for the first time in 60 years. Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll struck a deal with the British company to bring the team back for good. Aston Martin has stayed involved in the sport through various ways, including being the automotive partner for Red Bull Racing, home of young star Max Verstappen. But the brand also known for equipping James Bond is now putting its hat in the F1 ring again. Stroll’s son, Lance, will be joined by new teammate Sebastian Vettel to bring the lean green machines to the podium. The team made its big reveal with an elaborate presentation narrated by British rap star Dave. There's also appearances from Tom Brady and James Bond himself Daniel Craig. *cue "Aston Martin Music."
4. Mick Schumacher Carrying on Father’s Legacy
Michael Schumacher is widely regarded as the greatest F1 driver in the history of the sport. His record seven championships seemed untouchable until Lewis Hamilton powered through the past few seasons to tie it. The German was helpful in elevating Ferrari once again as an elite racing company. His only son, Mick, has followed in his father's footsteps and is upholding the Schumacher legacy. After building his resume by winning the F3 and F2 championships, the 22-year-old will make his debut racing for Haas. He still has the connection to the prancing pony as Ferrari is the engine manufacturer for the Haas team.
5. It Will Be A Long Season
Last year, the entire sports world was flipped on its head due to the coronavirus pandemic and F1 was not immune. While the indefinite suspension of the NBA season was the major headline, F1 was also thrown in limbo when the Australian Grand Prix was called off within the same 24 hours that basketball was canceled. The 2020 season resumed in July and lasted only 17 rounds. The schedule this year is made up of a record 23 rounds, accommodating for travel restrictions while still making its way into four continents. We can't wait.