Even earlier than the 2021 Components 1 season obtained underway, there was already some intense dialogue about what subsequent 12 months’s lineup could appear to be.
Sooner or later, you simply should take pleasure in what’s in entrance of you. That “some level” hardly ever occurs in motorsport, nevertheless, when there’s nearly at all times hypothesis about what the longer term will appear to be earlier than really coping with the current. Components 1 isn’t any exception to that.
The 2021 season, which is slated to function a record-breaking 23 races after the 2020 season was shortened from what would have been a record-breaking 22 races to 17 races resulting from varied coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions across the globe, obtained underway this previous Sunday, March 28 at Bahrain Worldwide Circuit with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
And even earlier than that, there have been varied rumors and discussions about what the 2022 driver lineup could appear to be, significantly that of the seven-time reigning world champions.
These talks have actually been heating up for a while now, given the present scenario at Mercedes, however Zak Brown not too long ago provided an attention-grabbing take.
Mercedes signed Valtteri Bottas to a fifth consecutive one-year deal final August, however even though Lewis Hamilton has now gained six of the final seven world titles with the crew, together with every of the final 4, he didn’t signal a brand new contract with the Silver Arrows till a month earlier than preseason testing started.
He lastly signed a deal almost two months after the nineteenth of 20 drivers was confirmed on the grid for 2021, and for over a month, he was not formally a member of the crew.
Nonetheless, he has returned to the crew for 2021 (and already gained a race), however solely on a one-year deal. That alone led to some attention-grabbing hypothesis, given what his reported contract calls for have been in the course of the months and months of negotiations.
Brown believes that the 2021 season would be the final for each Bottas and Hamilton at Mercedes, and he believes that the Brackley-based crew can be swinging for the fences with their 2022 duo by selling George Russell and bringing in Max Verstappen from Purple Bull.
Here’s what the McLaren CEO needed to say in regards to the matter, in accordance with the Day by day Mail.
“I feel that’s the apparent conclusion. You’ll see Max and George there in 2022. Lewis wins title quantity eight this 12 months and is [victorious] in each class; they’ve a one-year cope with him. George is popping out of his deal, and Max has a deal he comes out of. You will have Max’s expertise and youth, and you’ve got George’s youth,” Brown continued. “If I’m Mercedes, that’s a fairly killer lineup for the subsequent 5 years. The attention-grabbing factor is, what does Purple Bull do? That’s a more durable one to reply.”
Russell is a Mercedes junior driver, and he was spectacular in his debut for the crew in final 12 months’s Sakhir Grand Prix at Bahrain Worldwide Circuit, which Hamilton missed after testing optimistic for COVID-19.
The 23-year-old Briton barely even match within the automobile and nonetheless would have gained the race if not for a botched pit sequence by the crew and an guaranteeing flat tire.
For years, there have been talks about Russell being promoted to the works crew, and he’s at present in his ultimate 12 months of a three-year settlement with Williams.
As for Verstappen, he’s beneath contract with Purple Bull by the 2023 season, however there’s a efficiency clause in his contract that will enable him to go away the crew after the 2021 season ought to they not be capable of present him with a automobile able to difficult Mercedes for the title.
Naturally, the motive force who many imagine to be probably the most proficient driver on the grid would look in a single course if it got here to leaving Purple Bull, and that will be Mercedes.
Purple Bull are set to take over Honda’s engine challenge after the 2021 season with the engine producer set to go away the game, so in the event that they don’t produce what Verstappen wants to have the ability to win this 12 months, it might make 100% sense for him to search for one thing higher subsequent 12 months.
So is Brown’s prediction actually off-the-wall, or will it come to fruition? Regardless, let’s benefit from the remaining 22 races on this 12 months’s 23-race calendar, particularly coming off of some of the unsure seasons that the game has ever seen.
The subsequent race on the schedule is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which is ready to be broadcast dwell on ESPN from Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari starting at 9:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, April 18.