F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups

F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)

The 2021 Formula 1 season is right around the corner, kicking off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on the weekend of March 26. With the introduction of the Ferrari SF21 today, we have now seen the liveries on each of the 10 teams’ 2021 cars, and it’s clear there will be some stunners in the field.

So why not take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with them all before we go racing? Here you’ll find images of the chassis themselves, their drivers and numbers, and a little blurb on each team’s current status as we enter 2021's 23-race calendar — barring any postponements or cancellations, of course.

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Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team W12

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team W12

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Drivers:
#44 — Lewis Hamilton
#77 — Valtteri Bottas

We begin with reigning champions, Mercedes, which enters 2021 much like it entered 2020 — on top of the world, consistently extracting the most pace of any constructor thanks to a combination of engineering wizardry on the part of technical director James Allison and his team, and of course stellar driving from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Silver Arrows squad was not able to significantly alter last year’s W11 chassis due to FIA-imposed limitations on upgrades heading into 2021, though those same restrictions apply to the other teams as well. Will anyone catch them? It’s hard to see that happening without epic tire failures, rain spoiling typically faultless runs to the checkered flag or the uncharacteristic strategic snafu. But there will be lapses in execution. The question is, how many? And will Mercedes’ competitors be prepared to pounce when they occur?

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Red Bull Racing Honda RB16B

Red Bull Racing Honda RB16B

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Red Bull Racing

Drivers:
#33 — Max Verstappen
#11 — Sergio Pérez

Look familiar? Red Bull hasn’t upended its familiar indigo, red and yellow scheme in what feels like an eternity. So if this year’s RB16B chassis gives you an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, that’s why.

One difference for 2021, however, will be who is in these cars. Of course, Max Verstappen is back, hoping to have a little more speed underneath him to challenge Mercedes and finish the year with more than two victories. But joining him is Sergio Pérez — a fan favorite, who lost his seat at Racing Point (now Aston Martin) to Sebastian Vettel for the upcoming season. Thankfully, Red Bull did what many hoped it’d do and snapped Checo up over the winter. The 31-year-old Mexican finally earned his first win at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix in his 10th season in F1. Let’s see if he can fill out his trophy case a little more in ’21.

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McLaren F1 Team MCL35M

McLaren F1 Team MCL35M

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: McLaren F1 Team

Drivers:
#3 — Daniel Ricciardo
#4 — Lando Norris

I’m not sure there will be a more exciting team to watch in 2021 than McLaren. With the lovable Daniel Ricciardo joining the almost equally lovable Lando Norris, the team will certainly be a GIF factory over the next nine months if nothing else. But its performance on track will certainly be propelled by last season’s unexpected and encouraging third-place finish in the Constructors’ Championship — an unthinkable result for a group that seemed totally without hope just a few short years ago. Aston Martin and Alpine will certainly be nipping at the orange team’s heels though — not to mention Ferrari, if it finds a way to get its act together with Norris’ old partner now on board.

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Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team AMR21

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team AMR21

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team

Drivers:
#5 — Sebastian Vettel
#18 — Lance Stroll

In a year that most everyone would like to forget, Racing Point had one to remember. Perez looked excellent in 2020, securing his and the team’s first win — a performance rewarded by management ditching him for Sebastian Vettel — and Lance Stroll had a markedly less consistent but still upward-trending year, placing third twice. For 2021, Racing Point is now Aston Martin, thanks to a tie up between team owner Lawrence Stroll, the British sports car brand and Mercedes, and the crew has a new look to go with its new ambitions. Oh, and Seb looks a hell of a lot happier, which is a good sign.

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Alpine F1 Team A521

Alpine F1 Team A521

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Alpine F1 Team

Drivers:
#14 — Fernando Alonso
#31 — Esteban Ocon

Shedding the yellow and black for a very sharp blue, white and red, what was the Renault F1 Team is now Alpine. And despite this new look and the dismissal of team boss Cyril Abiteboul, there’s a very familiar old face at Alpine this season: Fernando Alonso. Turns out it’s not that easy to turn up and win the Indy 500, even if you have a pair of F1 titles to your name — but that’s beside the point.

Last year went decently for Renault, though it also went pretty damn well for McLaren and Racing Point, which is why Daniel Ricciardo’s two third-place finishes probably didn’t feel quite as good for the French team as you’d think. Let’s see if the new threads foster new competition.

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Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow SF21

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow SF21

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

Drivers:
#16 — Charles Leclerc
#55 — Carlos Sainz

Where do we begin? Languishing in the back half of the grid throughout most of 2020, save for those rare occasions when Charles Leclerc was able to drag his car up to the midfield or podium, the Prancing Horse team is one big question mark heading into the upcoming season. A big power unit upgrade could help make up for whatever the Scuderia had to curb to make last year’s engine legal, and you’d figure newcomer to the team Carlos Sainz has more fire in his eyes than Vettel seemed to last year. But there’s still so much we don’t know. For what it’s worth, team principal Mattia Binotto says his crew has set their sights for a return to the top three.

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Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AT02

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AT02

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

Drivers:
#10 — Pierre Gasly
#22 — Yuki Tsunoda

Red Bull’s junior squad enters 2021 coming fresh off its second win ever — and Pierre Gasly’s first — during last year’s nail-biter Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Gasly’s former teammate, Daniil Kvyat, is now Alpine’s reserve driver after a disappointing campaign and his second stint in the Red Bull F1 extended universe. This time, it seems like he won’t be coming back.

In Kvyat’s place is Yuki Tsunoda, a 20-year-old Japanese driver — the country’s first since Kamui Kobayashi, who made a name for himself with daring passes during his stints with Sauber and Caterham. Tsunoda only made it to Formula 2 last year, yet still took home three wins and ended up third in last year’s standings. He’s a quick learner, then — a quality AlphaTauri surely hopes continues for Tsunoda’s rookie season.

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Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen C41

Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen C41

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen

Drivers:
#7 — Kimi Räikkönen
#99 — Antonio Giovanazzi

Not much has changed for Alfa Romeo in 2021. The drivers — Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovanazzi — remain the same. So too does the car, for the most part, with a simple color flip and a slimmer nose design serving as the only real adjustments. Not that I’m complaining: Alfa’s was a great looking livery before, and it still is now.

Of course, as a Ferrari-powered team, Alfa was hamstrung by the same power unit woes that plagued the other Italian squad last year. That said, Alfa’s chassis still outperformed Maranello’s in a couple of instances in 2020, so any upgrades to that motor will surely lift Räikkönen and Giovanazzi’s chances.

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Haas F1 Team VF-21

Haas F1 Team VF-21

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Haas F1 Team

Drivers:
#47 — Mick Schumacher
#9 — Nikita Mazepin

After many years of more or less doing the same thing with the same drivers, Haas really decided to change things up for 2021. Well, at least on the personnel side, as rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin replace Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, capping four somewhat tumultuous seasons with the team.

The car though — yeah, the car is pretty much the same. Haas has evidently decided it’s not worth investing in for 2021, given both the restriction in allowable upgrades per the FIA’s rules as well as the impending, sweeping new aero regulations that will take effect next season. At least that’ll give Schumacher and Mazepin time to familiarize themselves with the F1 stage before their real test begins in 2022. The duo will parade around in the colors of the Russian fla- I mean, title sponsor Uralkali.

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Williams Racing FW43B

Williams Racing FW43B

Image for article titled F1 2021 Spotters Guide: All The New Liveries And Driver Lineups
Image: Williams Racing

Drivers:
#63 — George Russell
#6 — Nicholas Latifi

Williams’ downward spiral continued last year, with the team never finishing higher than 11th and failing to score a single point. This year’s car — the FW43B — is but a patch on last year’s machine, with essentially the same design save for the area around the engine cover and sidepods, altered in part to accommodate Mercedes’ newest engine. I’m of the camp that feels Williams’ new livery looks a bit too close to one you’d find in the F1 video game’s My Team mode, but that’s neither here nor there.

If one thing’s for certain, there’s absolutely no question that the team’s disappointing performance has nothing to do with its drivers. George Russell, called up to fill Lewis Hamilton’s seat when the world champion had to sit out of the Sakhir Grand Prix last season, would have won in the Mercedes if not for some awful, awful luck. Russell and teammate Nicholas Latifi will have to make do with what they have, under new owners Dorilton Capital.

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