System 1 2021: From Hamilton vs Verstappen to Schumacher vs Russell, driver rivalries set to dominate upcoming season


We check out the highest driver rivalries that can dominate the upcoming season of System 1.

Formula 1 2021: From Hamilton vs Verstappen to Schumacher vs Russell, driver rivalries set to dominate upcoming season

All 4 drivers of Mercedes and Purple Bull are anticipated to battle for podium positions in 2021 races. Picture: AFP

For the 2021 System 1 season, seven out of the ten groups have a brand new driver line-up — which means whereas a number of drivers are the identical from the earlier seasons, they are going to be racing in numerous equipment. Moreover, there are three drivers making their debut this season. In our ‘what’s new in System 1 in 2021’ column, we highlighted that new driver rivalries will headline this season. Right here’s a take a look at a number of the many:

Perez-Verstappen vs Hamilton-Bottas

Within the hybrid-turbo period, Purple Bull Racing has hardly ever launched a championship assault in opposition to Mercedes. However it’s the one rivalry we now have all been ready for. The pre-season hype coupled with Purple Bull Racing’s kind in testing signifies that we could lastly have a Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton battle to comply with this season. Might the 2021 System 1 season be the one through which the outdated guard arms over the baton to the brand new?

The fascinating combine on this battle is Sergio Perez. A Perez vs Hamilton battle has hardly ever been a headline within the sport and this may change in 2021. Whether or not it’s for race wins or to assist Verstappen declare a race win stays to be seen, however 4 drivers battling for podium positions is certainly higher than three!

Schumacher vs Russell

The 2 System 2 champions have by no means raced in the identical junior class earlier than. In our highlight story on Schumacher Jr., we cited that emulating George Russell’s profession at Williams could be an excellent goal for his first season. Given Haas and Williams’ kind during the last couple of seasons, there is a excessive risk that the 2 will battle in opposition to one another in qualifying and the race. Each drivers are members of illustrious junior driver applications, Schumacher from Ferrari and Russell from Mercedes, and are waiting-in-line for his or her promotion. So there is a good probability that 2021 would solely be the begin to a career-long rivalry between the 2.

Alonso vs Vettel vs Ricciardo vs Leclerc

In System 1’s uber-competitive mid-field, there are 4 groups — Ferrari, Alpine, Mclaren, and Aston Martin. As occurred in 2020, the shape issue between these groups will fluctuate by way of the season and the battle between the groups’ alpha drivers shall be entertaining. Fernando Alonso is returning to System 1 after a two-year break. Sebastian Vettel is trying to re-establish himself with Aston Martin. Daniel Ricciardo is out to put in writing his underdog story with Mclaren whereas Charles Leclerc shall be main Ferrari in his third season with the group.

And naturally, including to this combine could be their team-mates — Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari), Lando Norris (Mclaren), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin). Other than the inter-team rivalries, there are additionally intra-team rivalries to comply with. Ocon would love to make use of his battles in opposition to Alonso to remind the paddock of his expertise and re-stake his declare for a seat at Mercedes. Likewise, for Lance Stroll — his means in opposition to Vettel will assist rewrite his picture among the many followers. Stroll has been overwhelmed by a team-mate in 4 out of his 5 seasons within the sport. As for Sainz Jr., he could be out to shed the ‘quantity two’ driver tag.

Tsunoda vs Gasly

Yuki Tsunoda’s rise by way of the ranks of Motorsport has everybody impressed. In solely three years, he’s gone from racing System 3 automobiles to System 1. Clearly, he’s the in-demand expertise within the Purple Bull Racing camp and he shall be up in opposition to Pierre Gasly, the winner of the Italian Grand Prix from final 12 months. Whereas the 2 will work collectively to maximise probabilities for Alpha Tauri, they are going to be locked in a battle to hunt a promotion to Purple Bull Racing in 2022, ought to the chance come up.

On paper, Tsunoda’s probabilities of promotion to Purple Bull Racing are greater than Gasly’s. Sure, that is regardless of the Japanese driver not having pushed a single aggressive lap in 2021 (it’s extra so due to Gasly’s demotion in 2019 and him being a recognized amount). In spite of everything, Tsunoda is the unproven expertise within the Purple Bull Racing automobile and is in opposition to the mighty Max Verstappen.

Norris vs Ricciardo

Within the mid-field, Mclaren perceivably have the most-intense and evenly matched driver line-up. Amidst the hype of Leclerc, Verstappen, and Russell’s expertise, Norris’ means within the cockpit is commonly neglected. The younger Briton carefully matched Sainz Jr. of their two years collectively at Mclaren. Understandably, Norris’ largest problem shall be in opposition to the highly-regarded Ricciardo in equal equipment. If matching Sainz Jr. did effectively for Norris’ picture within the sport, matching Ricciardo will solely do extra. And naturally, be careful for Norris-Ricciardo’s off-track antics, too.

Perez vs Albon

Whereas this rivalry received’t be fought straight on-track, count on Purple Bull Racing to constantly consider Perez’s expertise in opposition to Alexander Albon. On the finish of final season, the British-Thai racer was pressured to surrender race driver duties and settle because the group’s reserve driver. Perez’s contract with Purple Bull Racing runs just for the present season so the second seat subsequent to Verstappen remains to be up for grabs! Like we mentioned earlier than, Tsunoda has an outdoor probability, too. However all these mixtures would exit of the window if Hamilton retires (his contract was prolonged for 2021 solely) and Verstappen jumps ship to Mercedes!

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