Where F1's calendar shuffling hurts its new drivers
OPINION: Formula 1 endured major scheduling challenges thanks to the pandemic in 2020, but still managed to save its season. These difficulties remain in 2021 and create a tough knock-on effect for the championship's new arrivals
Sometimes, life needs something new, something different.
In 2020, one of the very few upsides to the hideous impact of the coronavirus pandemic was that, in terms of the schedule at least, Formula 1 had a dose of variety thrown in. Of course this came at a cost, for the championship's business model thrives on tracks and certain countries paying to host races, but it did provide a variance flavour. The Nurburgring, Imola and Istanbul returned, while Mugello, Portimao and the Bahrain 'outer loop' made first-time appearances.
The necessary changes to F1's schedule were painful as 'normality' evaporated, but the variation it provided reinforced its value - which applies across all of sport - as escapism. How excellent it was to wonder about what racing the Mugello's brutal nature would provide when F1 rocked up at the MotoGP paradise.
After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021
The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top
In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.
The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations
A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021
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