How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications
OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around
Compared to the year before, the 2021 Formula 1 season was much more ‘normal’. Not ‘completely back to normal’, as we’ve all said and hoped for so many times during these infernal pandemic times, but closer than many may have thought this time 12 months ago.
There was no mass cancellation of events – only five of the originally planned calendar had to be dropped (China, Canada, Singapore, Japan and Australia) – and just one repeat track visit this time around. Two drivers tested positive and missed races, down from three in 2020, and at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, a record was set for the first F1 pandemic event being completed without a single positive case recorded. The calendar expanded back to a record level, and this time the championship visited four continents (in 2020 races only took place in Europe and Asia, specifically the Middle East).
OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever
OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right
As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season
After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades
Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect
OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era
Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021
As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts
How F1 wheel rim covers work, why they were banned and why they’re back
Top 10 Red Bull F1 drivers ranked: Vettel, Verstappen, Perez and more