The launch of Ferrari’s 2021 challenger on Wednesday means all 10 Formula One teams have now unveiled their cars for the new campaign.
As the countdown continues to the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix later this month, the PA news agency runs through how the teams will look over the coming year.
Mercedes have stuck with their predominantly black colour scheme for Lewis Hamilton’s bid to win a record-breaking eighth drivers’ crown. The sport’s all-conquering team have carried over the anti-racism black paint job that was introduced last season, updated with a flick of silver at the rear to represent the constructor’s traditional colours. With few changes to the rulebook over the winter, Mercedes will start as the favourites to complete a remarkable eighth drivers’ and constructors’ double.
It’s a familiar look for Red Bull and, although they concede a deferral of rule changes to 2022 means updates have been limited, they have promised that the RB16B “features plenty of changes that maintain F1’s status as a serial battle of the boffins”. Red Bull were Mercedes’ closest challengers last season and will hope to get closer this time around, with Sergio Perez replacing Alex Albon alongside Max Verstappen.
McLaren – powered by Mercedes engines for the first time since 2014 – were the first team to launch their 2021 car. As well as the new power unit, the MCL35M is also said to benefit from aerodynamic and chassis developments made over the winter. British driver Lando Norris will be joined by former Red Bull and Renault man Daniel Ricciardo in the other McLaren this season.
A new name on the grid for 2021, Aston Martin succeed the Racing Point team, who in turn replaced Force India in the line-up. Lance Stroll remains with the team owned by his father Lawrence, while four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is their big-name acquisition from Ferrari. The distinctively green AMR21 will be powered by a Mercedes engine, while there will also be an Aston Martin safety car in use this season.
Renault also have a new name and look for 2021. Gone is the black-and-yellow livery of recent years and, in its place, a predominantly blue car which will compete under the Alpine name – one of the French manufacturer’s other brands. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will be back behind the wheel for the new campaign, racing alongside Esteban Ocon after two seasons away from the grid.
Ferrari have tinkered with their livery for the new season, most notably with the introduction of a flash of green courtesy of a sponsor logo on the engine cover and a fade to a darker shade of red at the rear of the car – a nod to the colour of the very first Ferrari. The Scuderia endured their worst season since 1980 last year, finishing sixth in the constructors’ standings. They will hope the SF21 and the driver pairing of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz can return them to the business end of the grid.
No major changes to the look of the AlphaTauri for 2021 following last season’s transition from Toro Rosso. Pierre Gasly produced a shock victory for the team at Monza last year and they will be looking to gain ground on their midfield rivals during the coming campaign, with Yuki Tsunoda joining Gasly after impressing in Formula 2.
Alfa Romeo have reversed their colour scheme at the rear of the car for this year, with the previously white sidepods now red – a darker shade than 2020 – and the engine cover now white. The team have focused their development on the nosecone over the winter as they bid to break clear of the backmarkers and join the midfield.
There is a notably Russian feel about Haas’ new look for this season. The colour scheme is the result of a sponsorship deal with Uralkali – the Russian fertiliser company co-owned by the father of new driver Nikita Mazepin. However, the livery has proved controversial, with Russian athletes not currently permitted to compete under the Russian flag due to a ban related to state-sponsored doping. This ruling extends to F1, meaning Mazepin must race under a neutral flag. Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time champion Michael, will be in the other Haas.
This season marks something of a new era for Williams, with founder Sir Frank Williams having sold the F1 operation to US investment firm Dorilton Capital last summer with his daughter Claire Williams relinquishing her role as the de facto team principal. Their new colour scheme is a bit of a throwback, resembling the cars with which the team enjoyed success in the 1980s and 1990s. After three consecutive years of finishing bottom of the pile, Williams will hope 2021 marks the first small step on a return to those glory days.