What you need to know about the new F1 cars!
For the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, all teams are limited in the number of changes that may be made to the 2020 Formula 1 car designs. The teams are required to use their 2020 chassis for the upcoming season, ahead of the arrival of the delayed and radical regulations in 2022.
Nevertheless, the teams could make some small but important additions to the Formula 1 cars for this season. The biggest technical challenge for the 2021 Formula 1 cars is adapting to the new aerodynamic regulations. Mercedes is the most important engine supplier this year, as four of the ten teams use their 1.6 V6 turbo engine. This is, of course, not everything. We have listed all the ‘techspecs’ per Formula 1 team for you, so this is what you can expect from the Formula 1 cars in 2021!
The first thing to notice about the new W12 is the absence of the dual-axis steering system (DAS), which was a key technical secret of the W11 car. The aerodynamic changes have been a key focus in the development of the W12 Considering how the engine cover and sidepods have shrunk and how extremely shaped they are, it seems that Mercedes has done their utmost to shape the entire sidepod and floor edge in such a way as to recover as much of the downforce as possible that was taken away by cutting the floor dimensions. Despite the poor rehearsal in Bahrain, the Mercedes team is still top favorite for the world championship this season. Can the reigning champions make it an eighth constructors’ championship win in 2021?
Red Bull has chosen not to give the car a completely new name this year. The car is called RB16B because roughly 60 percent of the car’s parts are the same as last year. The RB16B is powered by the latest evolution of Honda’s V6 hybrid engine. This will be the last year that the Japanese company is the official engine supplier and, in that capacity, Honda has brought forward all upgrades that were originally delayed until the 2022 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The power unit has been further improved at a record pace in the hope that the team can take the final step towards the performance level of the Mercedes-Benz engine.
The SF21 is an evolution of last year’s SF100. Ferrari tried to improve it in all of its areas. The engineers in Maranello have managed to make the new engine that drives the SF21 more compact. The bodywork is slimmer and, according to Ferrari, has more “downwash”, which means that the driving wind should be directed as much as possible over the diffuser under the car. The rear part of the car is a burgundy colour, similar to the 125S, the very first Ferrari racing car. Are these changes a step forward compared to last season’s disappointing performance?
Visually, the car looks like last year’s car but with the slimmer rear floor as demanded by the regulations. Under de skin, McLaren’s 2021 car is less obviously related to its 2020 predecessor than is the case for any other team. This is due to Renault’s switch to Mercedes as the engine manufacturer, which also allowed the team to make unique changes to the chassis. McLaren’s strong test results in Bahrain show that the team can be a fearsome opponent this year.
Alpine presented their very first Formula 1 car, the A521 with a clear Renault DNA. Not really surprising, because the French formation already competed in Formula 1 as Renault in the past years. The yellow and black have been exchanged for the traditional French and British colours. Despite its new look, it appears that the Alpine A521 is not a radical upgrade from its predecessor, the Renault RS20. Alpine did mention improvements to the Viry-produced power unit at the time of its launch given the increased mass of the engine cover behind the intake.
After a difficult 2020 season Haas is back with a complete new rebrand and a brand-new driver line-up. With more power in the Ferrari engine, they should have more opportunities to compete with the other cars in the midfield. Given that the VF-21 seems to be the car that developed the least over the winter (and will not be updated at all during the season), it is likely that Schumacher and Mazepin will face an even tougher challenge than their predecessors, Magnussen and Grosjean did last season. Will a new engine and the strong rookies be enough to bring the points back home for Haas?
The new Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team car returns the British ultra-luxury marque to the pinnacle of world motorsport for the first time in more than 60 years. The new Aston Martin AMR21 is quite significantly different from its Racing Point RP20 predecessor. Since Aston Martin was allowed to take a ‘token’ free upgrade to the 2020 Mercedes rear suspension, the team was free to spend the tokens on the chassis. This allowed Aston Martin to optimize the shape of the chassis for the 2021 aero regulations. While the Mercedes touch is still visible in the design, we can now see more clearly than last year how the team is going its own way with the AMR21.
Featuring a novel color scheme, the now traditional red and white colors of the team, the C41 represents an evolution of the C39 that raced in the 2020 season. Nevertheless, the C41 does stand out for its updated look, in particular in regard to the nosecone, an area on which the team chose to focus its development tokens. Under the bodywork, the Alfa Romeo Racing team has also made some adjustments. This is where the C41 possesses the improved Ferrari engine that the Italians worked hard on throughout 2020. Because of the limitations imposed by the regulations, the car also adopts many parts of its predecessor.
The car of Pierre Gasly and rookie Yuki Tsunoda has undergone some minor aerodynamic changes. Work on the AT02 has focused on aerodynamic development, using the two tokens for a new nose. These considerations have also impacted the complete redesign of the front suspension. Like its parent team Red Bull, the team will be using Honda engines for the last time this year. Will AlphaTauri also compete in the midfield this year, or will they join the top?
With a combination of blue, white and yellow accents, Williams’ FW43B also has a new look this year. It is said that this reflects the spirit of the team’s past, its current transformation and its pursuit of future ambitions. The wide nose has been retained which may be a disadvantage for the Williams team, given that this nose does not lend itself as well as the narrow one in terms of aerodynamics. However, it can clearly work reasonably well, as AlphaTauri showed last year – and it may even provide an advantage at high speeds. Can Williams make a comeback after the difficult 2020 season?