The 2021 Formula 1 driver grid is almost ready for lights out.
While there’s one seat left up for grabs this year — really, a mere formality at this point — the F1 driver field is just about set for the next season of Formula 1 racing.
Currently, the last empty seat belongs to Team Mercedes, but it’s widely expected that Lewis Hamilton will return behind the wheel of a car come the 2021 season. Team principal Toto Wolff recently said that the two sides are still negotiating, and that certain “curveballs” have been thrown into the process to strike a deal.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner mulled the decision as to who would be Max Verstappen’s partner heading into the 2021 season, with rumor making its way to truth, as Sergio Perez, formerly of Racing Point, makes the move over to Red Bull. Alex Albon is without a team and a car for this upcoming year.
The F1 world got a little taste of the future when Williams driver George Russell stepped into a Mercedes car while Hamilton sat out after testing positive for coronavirus. While Russell is slated to be behind the wheel of a Mercedes in the future, it doesn’t look like that year will be in 2021.
Both fortunately and unfortunately, the extremely entertaining duo of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz has been split, with Sainz taking up a seat next to Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari. Longtime Ferrari racer Sebastian Vettel heads to Aston Martin, formerly Racing Point, in 2021.
Here’s what you need to know about the F1 field in 2021:
F1 drivers 2021
There are eight drivers set to either make their debuts for either F1 or a new team this upcoming season.
|Team||Driver||2020 points (Finish)||Team debut|
|Alfa Romeo||Kimi Raikkonen||4 (16th)||2019|
|Alfa Romeo||Antonio Giovinazzi||4 (17th)||2018|
|AlphaTauri||Pierre Gasly||75 (10th)||2017|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||62 (12th)||2020|
|Aston Martin||Sebastian Vettel||33 (13th)||2021|
|Aston Martin||Lance Stroll||75 (11th)||2019|
|Ferrari||Carlos Sainz Jr.||105 (Sixth)||2021|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||98 (Eighth)||2019|
|McLaren||Daniel Ricciardo||119 (Fifth)||2021|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||97 (Ninth)||2019|
|Mercedes||Valtteri Bottas||223 (Second)||2017|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||347 (First)||2013|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||213 (Third)||2016|
|Red Bull||Sergio Perez||125 (Fourth)||2021|
|Williams||Nicholas Latifi||0 (21st)||2020|
|Williams||George Russell||3 (18th)||2019|
Lewis Hamilton has yet to sign a contract with Mercedes for the 2021 season, but it’s widely expected that he’ll do so before the start of the season.
There are also several drivers without a seat who raced full time in 2020: Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) and Alex Albon (Red Bull) are currently without a car. Albon was replaced by Sergio Perez, who had an excellent year alongside Lance Stroll in 2020.
Formula 1 teams 2021
The field is largely the same for 2021, with a few teams going through a commercial rebrand.
- Alfa Romeo
- Alpine (formerly known as Renault)
- Aston Martin (formerly known as Racing Point)
- Red Bull
Renault will now be known as Alpine and Racing Point is bringing Aston Martin back into the F1 fold with a commercial rebrand.
Williams Racing will maintain the same mantle after the midseason sale by Claire Williams.