The 2021 F1 season is finally upon us and it promises to be one of the most exciting years in recent history. While Mercedes and Hamilton have dominated the hybrid-era, 2021 could finally be the year where a new winner is crowned and Red Bull could potentially break the Mercedes monopoly. There are plenty of intricate sub-plots across the grid as well including how drivers such as Ricciardo, Sainz and Perez adapt to their new teams and whether former champions like Vettel and Alonso can turn back the years and dazzle the fans with some vintage performances.
While our sports writers at Man’s Life have already given their thoughts on the 2021 season (read here), today we have former F1 Driver and Sky Sports F1 analyst and co-commentator Karun Chandhok giving his early predictions for the 2021 season.
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With how many races to go will Hamilton win the championship?
Karun: I don’t think we’re going to see a runaway winner this year. Both Red Bull and Mercedes have competitive cars and I hope it’s going to go down to the final round in Abu Dhabi for a change.
Will Red Bull seriously challenge Mercedes this year?
Karun: Yes. The car has looked a good step forward when compared to the beginning of 2020 and unless Mercedes have some secret weapon up their sleeve that they bring out, the battle should be close.
Which constructor will finish third?
Karun: Probably McLaren. The car looks like a good step forward and they’ve got very good drivers.
Which former champion will have a better year – Vettel or Alonso?
Karun: It’s a very good question and a hard one to answer. I think it all depends on how quickly Fernando has reacquainted himself with F1 and only time will tell.
Which of Sainz, Perez or Ricciardo will have the best season with their new team?
Karun: I think the expectations for Perez are different for the other 2. Red Bull will be expecting to challenge for wins and podiums regularly. So far McLaren look like they are ahead of Ferrari so I would say Ricciardo ahead of Sainz.
Rookie of the year?
Karun: Yuki Tsunoda.
Surprise of the season?
Karun: AlphaTauri being a stronger contender in the midfield than last year.
Will Lewis Hamilton retire at the end of the season?
Karun: It’s a very big question that even he doesn’t know the answer to, so there’s no way anyone else can! It will come down to his personal motivation and feelings as this year unfolds.
[Image Credit: Karun Chandhok]