10 things I want from the 2021 F1 season

2021 F1 season

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Will we have a more competitive championship? Will we have a championship at all? Here are the 10 things I most want to see from the 2021 F1 season.

…for it to actually start at some point

Formula 1 originally planned for its longest-ever 23-race championship to begin on March 21st. But the new year was only two days old when it emerged that first race is in doubt.

The pandemic is worsening in many countries. Britain, home to most of F1’s 10 teams, is entering its third lockdown. It’s probably too much to hope the Australian Grand Prix will be the only race which is postponed or cancelled this year.

However in 2020 Formula 1 demonstrated how effectively and safely it could hold races amid a pandemic. With vaccination programmes beginning to roll out worldwide, hopefully we will see far fewer grand prix cancellations this year. Getting fans back to track would be a superb sight too, though this may also be an unrealistic hope at this stage.

Bottas taking the fight to Hamilton

Bottas needs to keep Hamilton under pressure this year
With the technical regulations largely unchanged for the new season, there is a strong chance that the drivers championship could be an all-Mercedes contest once again. In which case, in the interest of a competitive season, Valtteri Bottas needs to step up and take the fight to his team mate more often.

That’s a daunting task: Lewis Hamilton did not amass seven world championships and 95 race wins by being complacent about any area of his game. But Bottas has proven capable of beating his team mate to pole position and reckons he made gains with his race pace last year.

If he’s close enough to keep Hamilton honest, and has slightly better luck, we may at least see a longer-lasting title fight than last season. More importantly for Bottas, it may be his best chance of holding on to his seat, now we’ve seen what George Russell can do.

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Anyone taking the fight to Mercedes

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that a team might get close enough to Mercedes to offer their own fight for the title. Only Red Bull got close enough to beat them on merit last year, however.

A worthwhile track getting the ‘TBC’ slot

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
Unusual Algarve track was great for F1
No venue has been declared yet for what is currently the fourth round on the 2021 F1 calendar. Various possible locations have been suggested but again, given the logistical difficulties presented by the pandemic, a European destination looks most realistic.

Imola seems the likeliest option. But although it’s a fine, historic and picturesque circuit, I’d prefer to see F1 choose a country they don’t already race in, and a circuit better suited to modern F1 cars.

Portugal’s undulating Algarve track would be my first choice, or Istanbul Park in Turkey, both having had time for their new surfaces to settle.

Vettel rediscovering his touch

It was hard to watch Sebastian Vettel’s dire 2020 campaign and remember this was the same driver who’d won four world championships and more races than any driver bar Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

Vettel is clearly capable of far better than he produced last year. His Mercedes-powered Aston Martin could well be one of the most competitive cars on the grid this season. So for the sake of the standard of competition on the grid this year, here’s hoping he’s back to his best.

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Fewer early-race Safety Car periods

Safety Car, Sochi Autodrom, 2020
Early Safety Car periods tend to ruin races
As F1’s over-complicated tyre strategy rules force drivers to make one pit stop per race, early Safety Car periods tend to end any tactical variety by giving them an opportunity to fit the hard tyre compound and run to the end without pitting again. The final race in Abu Dhabi was just one particularly tedious example of this happening last season.

There’s no sign F1 is going to give teams greater strategic freedom in the near future. That being so, hopefully we will avoid too many race-ruining early Safety Car periods in 2021.

A new team signing up

We’re well into the realm of wishful thinking here, particularly given the huge economic challenges arising from the pandemic. And, of course, the not insignificant matter of the $200 million fee new entrants need to pay from this year.

Still, F1 is badly in need of more cars, as demonstrated by the number of talented drivers left without a seat at the end of last season. But if the new financial regulations and incoming technical rules changes are going to make owning an F1 team a truly attractive prospect, it may tip the balance eventually.

Alonso’s class speaking for itself

Fernando Alonso, Renault, Yas Marina, 2020
Podiums have to be a possibility for Alonso
During his last stint in Formula 1 at McLaren, Fernando Alonso never left anyone in doubt of how highly he regarded his performances, even when the limitations of his hardware meant he was only competing for meagre points finishes on a good day.

The chest-thumping got tiresome quickly. And, however justified it might have been, it didn’t reflect well on him, his team or the sport.

But Alonso’s Alpine should be a far more competitive proposition given Renault’s 2020 campaign. Hopefully on his return he can produce the kind of performances which mean we don’t have to write headlines like ‘Alonso hails best-ever drive after finishing 12th’.

No repeat of 2013

The 2021 F1 season will be the final year of the current technical regulations before a drastic overhaul of the rules arrives. The last time we were in this situation the leading team of the time pressed on with development of their current car and dominated the second half of the year while the others busied themselves with their new hardware. The outcome was a double dose of domination: Red Bull swept the final nine races of 2013, and Mercedes took over as F1’s dominant force at the beginning of the following season.

But there is good reason to believe that won’t happen again this year. F1 are confident their extensively-researched new aerodynamic regulations for 2022 will bring the field closer together. What’s more, they’ve had an extra year to identify and close off any development avenues they do not want the teams to exploit.

The final race with DRS

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
The DRS sticking plaster is still stuck
Next year’s cars are also intended to produce much closer racing and easier overtaking. This should mean F1’s Drag Reduction System, now in its 11th year, can finally be dispensed with.

Sadly, there’s no sign yet that the adjustable rear wing flap will be done away with for 2022. This smacks of a lack of ambition on F1’s part.

If the artificial push-button passing system remains, there’s no incentive for F1 to ensure its new rules render it obsolete. The temptation will remain strong to keep it out of a fear overtaking will be too hard without it. Better, surely, to be rid of the gimmick and focus on restoring natural racing by getting the 2022 aerodynamic package right.

But here’s the thing: I’ll settle for this wish not being fulfilled, and the other eight points before it, as long as we get that first one. As last year demonstrated, there’s no point setting your hopes too high for a season which may yet be badly disrupted by factors far beyond F1’s control.

Over to you

What are you most looking forward to this year? What’s your top hope for the season ahead? Have your say in the comments.

2021 F1 season

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 92 comments on “10 things I want from the 2021 F1 season”

    1. Thank you very much for such a clear, concise & excellent article.
      I would like a change in the current decision making process of the Race Director.
      As you mention too many safety car periods don’t achieve very much.
      There did seem to be a large element of increasing the spectacle this past season.
      Keep F1 where it rightfully belongs. Zero circus/spectacle/hoopla sensationalism.
      OH! Please may we have the grid ladies back!

    2. Couldn’t agree more about DRS. It’s such a blight on the races. My heart sinks when I see it is being activated (usually following some great racing without it). The return of defensive driving would be hugely welcome.

      1. @frood19 But it does rarely make look overtaking easy, given the difficulty of following and staying close behind when entering straights. From last season, only Spa and Algarve are proper examples of what you suggest.

        1. @jerejj I see it very differently – I think that almost every time it is used it makes overtaking look very easy. The exceptions would be in monza, where it has little effect anyway because of the small wing sizes used there, and in abu dhabi, where it allowed people to get into the slipstream but not just blast past. This is a (very) rare example of it being tuned just right and the circumstances of the race allowing for close racing. (Not incidentally, abu dhabi was a very tedious race to watch otherwise.) But if you think about it, even if you could ‘tune’ the detection and activation points just right (an impossibly complex task, dependent on many uncontrollable variables), it’s still only going to work well in certain race circumstances. If the cars with better straightline speed are racing through the field, the DRS will be a disproportionately bigger aid than if they are slow-on-the-straights cars that find themselves at the front of the pack.

          And to add to my point above, it utterly negates defensive driving, which is the hallmark of numerous classic races (in the pre-DRS years). The only way to defend against a 20kph delta on the straight is to create the 1 second gap (or some sort of dangerous chop, that will put one or both drivers in the wall).

          1. As we all know DRS only exists as a bandage because of F1’s continued addiction to aero downforce, so with the new cars being greatly changed to not depend on clean air, DRS has to also go. I have been slightly disheartened by their desire to keep it built into the new gen cars, but I think Brawn wanted to keep it built in just in case the teams found ways around the new regs and clawed back some clean air dependency that he couldn’t foresee. I hope and expect that DRS will not be needed, or certainly if they do still find the need for it in the first year they can tweak the regs and the cars to rid themselves of more clean air dependence such that they can finally do away with this terrible gadget.

            For any fans of DRS I would just say that there isn’t one DRS pass that has ever been made that has become memorable and talked about, like some passes throughout F1’s rich history have been talked about for decades. In fact DRS passes are forgotten the minute they happen. How I bottom line this is as follows…for decades the cars were too clean air dependent and there was no DRS and people lived with it…processions I mean. DRS came in because they still weren’t willing to rid themselves of their aero downforce addiction, but they felt fans needed this to promote passing, but now the cars finally will be much less clean air dependent. So if we had decades of cars too harmed in dirty air to the point where a bandage was needed, why would they still need the bandage when the cars are no longer harmed in dirty air?

            I expect that if they are still using DRS in 2022, that will be very unfortunate, and will be something they must continue to work toward ridding themselves of as it does not add to the entity, only detracts. Remember, not one DRS pass is applauded and remembered as some indelible achievement that had us aghast as to how the driver pulled that pass off such that we still talk about it to this day. All those memorable passes by F1’s icons, talked about ad infinitum from F1’s rich past, have been non-DRS passes. While Liberty and Brawn are zeroing the scales on several aspects of F1’s issues, there is no better time to bring F1 back to driver vs driver, not driver vs disadvantaged driver because of an opening wing. There’s no glory in that. Want proof? DRS passes are easily predicted and immediately forgotten.

            1. DRS remaining is their admission that they know cars still won’t be anywhere near good enough @robbie

              Most of the pre-DRS F1 that was ‘okay without it’ was so because other aspects made F1 worth watching.
              The drivers weren’t corporate puppets and were allowed to have personalities, imperfections and lives of their own. The cars were all completely unique wild beasts to drive with little or no downforce, peaky power delivery, low grip and they were often somewhat unreliable making races and results almost completely unpredictable. And F1 appears far too ‘safe’ now – not just in terms of actual danger, but in terms of both difficulty/challenge and general risk aversion.

            2. S I disagree and maintain that DRS remaining is just in case the teams find ways to head back towards too much clean air dependence, which frankly I think they won’t be able to do anyway, so big are the changes, as they simplify the wings and go with ground effects tunnels underneath the cars, and a new way of keeping the air under the car sealed there. Brawn and his team have done their research with the unprecedented two cars nose to tail in a wind tunnel, actually studying ways to reduce dirty air, as well as make the cars less dependent on clean air, but he has also spoken about the lengths they have gone to try to eliminate potential loopholes that he knows team will always try to find so they can circumvent the regs. Imho, that is all Brawn is guarding against by keeping DRS. I have no doubt he is highly confident in the research they have done and indeed affected for the new cars for 2022, but he knows the teams are smart and will dig for any advantage they can, as they always have.

              As to the pre-DRS F1 you refer to, it sounds like you are going way way back to the 60’s or 70’s and I’m not. My point being F1 lived without DRS until well into the 2000’s, and now the cars, after being too clean air dependent for decades, will no longer be. DRS is highly unpopular, didn’t exist for decades, will be gladly gotten rid of if you believe the polls on DRS and how the majority doesn’t want it, and now the new cars won’t need it. To me that all lines up that the odds are they won’t need DRS in 2022 or at a bare minimum if they still feel the need for it the cars will have it in them to be tweaked such that for 2023 it can be eliminated.

              Bottom line for me, DRS must go one way or another.

            3. There are some elements in my comment that go back that far, sure – but mechanical reliability was still delightfully unpredictable right up until 2013, and the cars were still pretty untamed well into the 90’s. The less aero downforce they produced, the better they were to watch.

              I’m still impressed by your faith in the 2022 regs – although I really don’t think we’ll see even a quarter of the improvement there needs to be. F1 won’t be good enough, in that respect, until F1 races are better to watch than F2 races are, seeing as F1 is supposed to be the best of everything.

              DRS should go, I agree – but keeping it in the regs will ensure that it is relied upon, because the cars and the racing will inevitably all be designed around it.

    3. I (also) hope any SC period will be shorter.
      No reason to wait many laps after the track is cleared to have backmarkers unlap themselves (they could do this earlier without being released) and then a few laps to catch up the tail of the SC train (half a lap would be enough to create some space to the leader).

    4. Early safety cars can ruin races, but it’s VSCs that really destroy racing. Where before cars may be close fighting, it opens up a 2-3s gap throughout the entire field. So the laps following a VSC turn into a procession with zero racing happening.

      I’d take a safety car over a VSC any day.

      1. I don’t understand this (it simply disagree). @cduk_mugello
        A VSC only opens up a time gap during the caution period. The gaps (on average) go back to what they were afterwards with some minor adjustments to how drivers manage the mini sectors.
        Furthermore a VSC is much shorter than a full SC, thus more laps of normal racing left.

        1. The problem with having a shorter VSC than SC is that the normal ‘racing’ is the problem.
          Get the cars back together with a proper SC and go racing, rather than following from a distance in an expanded procession.

          Every time they flash VSC up on the screen, all I can think is that it’s yet another opportunity wasted that could have redeemed this ‘race.’

          1. Get the cars back together with a proper SC and go racing

            Comments like this causes FOM to try out different gimmicks to spice up the racing.
            A GP is a GP and not a succession of sprint races.

            1. @coldfly Indeed. A full SC for the sake of it based on the argumentation above is a bit too Nascar. Artificial randomness doesn’t belong to the highest level of circuit-racing that is F1.

            2. A SC does not make it ‘not a GP.’
              You do remember as far back as 2014 prior to the VSC’s existence, right? Or were none of the races prior to 2015 GP’s?

              You may worship the supposed purity of a VSC, but I like car racing.

            3. A SC does not make it ‘not a GP.’

              You clearly didn’t understand my criticism of your comment.
              I’m not concerned about the SC, but your desire to artificially close up the field to go ‘racing’.

            4. @coldfly I don’t believe it would be artificial – it never was before the introduction of the VSC and it’s not afterwards either. The SC is a safety system, the VSC is just a different one.
              I like one, not the other.

      2. @cduk_mugello
        @coldfly – I agree with you. VSC should definitely always be the resort whenever suitable, not full SC for the sake of it.

    5. Something that I would like changed for 2021 is the utterly ridiculous rule where drivers who make Q3 have to start on their Q2 tyres. It basically gives an advantage to the top few drivers who can make it to Q3 on the medium tyres, then massively punishes the lower end of the top ten who get through on the softs, and then gives an even bigger advantage to the drivers outside the top ten. The Sakhir GP is a perfect example of this, as Esteban Ocon wouldn’t have had a chance of finishing second if he had qualified in the top ten, as he would either have struggled on old tyres, trying to do a one stop, and might have come third (Stroll managed this), or might have been like Bottas and dropped back; or, he would have done a two stop like the rest and finished around where Kvyat was.
      Back in 2011, the rule was that the drivers had to start the race on their Q3 tyres. I think this was much better, as someone like Hamilton might want to give up pole position to start on the medium tyres, or he might think track position was more important and it was better to start on softs and get the pole. Similarly, the lower end of the top ten would probably just do Q3 on mediums and sacrifice a few grid slots (unless they all did it, of course, but then it would be the same as normal Q3, just on mediums not softs). The reason this version of the rule was scrapped in the first place was because some cars who made Q3 didn’t go out at all, but I think it would be fine to have one or two fewer drivers in Q3 (they are never shown on TV anyway), if it made the race more fair.

      1. @f1frog The thing in 2011 wasn’t any better. Otherwise, I agree with you entirely. I’ve also shared my view on the Q2 rule before and don’t see the point of still having it these days.

        1. The strategies are different nowadays, as in 2011 it was usually 2, 3 or 4 stops whereas now it is generally 1 or sometimes 2. It would be fine to get rid of the rule completely if that was the only alternative, because the current version of the rule really needs changing.

      2. @f1frog There was a reason the rule that stipulates that drivers who get into Q3 have to start on the tyres they set their fastest lap in Q3 with was replaced. This is because we often had people choosing not to run in Q3 in order to have a free tyre choice. If you’re a team that believes your potential on the grid is 8th place, why not start in 9th or 10th and start the race on the mediums? We also had situations where drivers were fighting to see who could get out first in Q3, as this would give them the higher position to those following the same tactic, before pitting at the end of the in-lap.

        1. I know why the rule was replaced; it says that in my previous comment. My point was that I don’t think it matters if there are one or two fewer cars in Q3, if the alternative is that a driver qualifying in 11th or 12th has an advantage over the majority of the top ten. I actually think they should get rid of the rule entirely, but I prefer the 2011 version to the current version.

    6. Nicely built up from things that are pretty much clear that we will have to hope for (like the season getting underway) and surely everyone would love it if Bottas did find that pace, cunning and ruthlessness to really challenge Hamilton more than in just qualifying and a few race stints (just as a rather significantly smaller number of F1 fans actually see that happening).

      I do think that with this line up Red Bull might just have the car and the team to make Mercedes have to think more about their strategy and race management. That will hopefully make at least some races more interesting.

      We can probably look forward to a solid mid field battle again. I hope to see Alonso and Ocon taking their Renault to Daniel and Norris in the McLaren, fighting to get ahead of a reinvigorated and self confident Vettel with strategy after a solid qualifying from him, Stroll might get a bit more lucky with the car not getting damaged to be in that fight. And surely Ferrari will have to make a step up to be really in the middle of this fighting pack with a somewhat improved engine, aerodynamics that they will have brought more in line with lacking top power ranges and a driver line up who can both make a decent contribution to the results. If things go well, they might even be figthing in between the Red Bulls and who knows, even one of the Mercedes cars at times.

      I fully expect Mercedes to bring the car to beat to the season but doing the bare minimum they can get away with during the season because their focus will be on the 2022 car. Red Bull will probably switch depending on how far off, or how close (in a glass half full view) they can get.

    7. Thank you, that was an excellent article!

      Personally, I would like to see Istanbul Park for the TBC spot.

      1. Apparently that is looking unlikely unfortunately due to the date being in the middle of Ramadan, with 99% of Turkey’s population being Muslim!! Personally I think they should move Russia to the start of the season to free up space to put the rescheduled Australia in and maybe it would suit Turkey as well if the Americas races get canceled

        1. I’m not very hopeful for another race in Turkey but I would love to see it again! I know that the country has a Muslim majority population but Azerbaijan had races in Ramadan too… Let’s wait and see.

      2. @lanciamartini Istanbul Park was also my first choice until I found out the thing about clashing with Ramadan.

        1. I think the first races in Azerbaijan were also clashing with Ramadan. I don’t know what’s the difference because they are both Muslim-majority countries.

    8. Wishlist:

      Closer battle between Lewis and Max for the championship
      Last year of Honda and they finally deliver
      Alonso a regular podium scorer and not lost his pace
      Ferrari back in the Top 3
      Huge fight for third in the championship between Aston, Alpha, Alpine, McLaren
      More VSC and less full safety car period
      Tires to last longer
      More wet races
      Championship decided in the last race

      1. @amg44 I agree 100%, especially on the part about VSC versus full SC.

      2. It’s difficult to disagree with this list. All sounds good.

        1. Agree with all but the more wet races part. Never been a fan of them, and it is my hope and expectation that the new gen cars in 2022 will provide plenty of show and there will no longer be the need/desire out there for wet races to throw some variety into the season.

          1. Dont you like to see more Turkey 2020 like races? That wet race was amazing.

            1. @amg44 I must admit that of course I am entertained during a wet race, as I am grateful for every and all F1 races, good, bad, or indifferent. And I admit too that I am glad they don’t take the day off and postpone the race until it is dry, like with Nascar. I just mainly feel for the drivers on that skating rink of a track, trundling along 15 or 20 seconds slower than they would be in the dry. Yeah sure you sometimes get a standout performance, or a winner that normally wouldn’t win, and all that. I just find myself feeling less excited when I know the edge for the drivers is way more fuzzy, and it becomes a bit of a lottery. Lol in terms of actually being at a wet race, the last time I did that was for a CART race in Toronto, and it was awful. Slow cars trundling along, umbrellas in front of us so I could only see about 20 feet of track, and I so wished I was at home watching on TV.

    9. One thing I want from the 2021 season is a comment section without posts filled with endless stats going back to the dark ages just to prove that one driver is better than the other, while none of those stats will change the other person’s opinion anyway. Ooh well, I’ll keep dreaming :)

      1. One thing I want from the 2021 season is a comment section without posts filled with endless stats going back to the dark ages just to prove that one driver is better than the other, while none of those stats will change the other person’s opinion anyway. Ooh well, I’ll keep dreaming :)

        Comment of the YEAR???!!!

      2. Don’t forget the 2004 F3 Euroseries where Hamilton lost to Rosberg thereby confirming that he can never be the GOAT ;)

    10. As F1’s over-complicated tyre strategy rules force drivers to make one pit stop per race, early Safety Car periods tend to end any tactical variety by giving them an opportunity to fit the hard tyre compound and run to the end without pitting again

      But if there is no tactical variety won’t it make every overtake more hard fought and engrossing. I am ok with safety car coming at any point of time.

    11. On that early race safety car and tyre strategy point I think that the FIA should make it mandatory to use all 3 compounds during the race, as it is shown that obviously two or more stop races are much much better races with the strategy variation and other factors. I also think that this would force the drivers to push their tyres a bit more rather than just conserving from lap 1, so more flat out racing

      1. @milesy-jam I disagree. I’d suggest getting rid of any rules concerning tyres and give everyone a free choice of compound/set combination regardless of qualifying position. Also, the freedom of only using a single compound in a race should one wish to do so.

    12. This is off topic but everytime someone starts a sentence with the “10 things..” I can’t help thinking of that one particular 90s film.

      1. @qeki best Shakespeare adaptation bar none!

        1. @hazelsouthwell Even though it isn’t my favorite genre it is one of the best romantic comedies and certainly the best Shakespeare adaption!

    13. I’m okay with SC early on in a race. What I wish is that full SC would be the resort only when VSC wouldn’t be suitable. Occasionally this, unfortunately, hasn’t been the case.

      I’d also want less excessive track limits enforcement regarding setting a lap time, which I felt was unnecessarily excessive last season compared to 2019 (Masi’s first as the race director). I didn’t find anything wrong with the 2019 level of enforcement, so he should’ve kept that as it was. Either go back to that or start using physical deterrents (for example, those in Bahrain or speed bumps) more at the exits of slow-speed corners instead of invalidating lap times.

      Re Hanoi replacement: My first preference would be Fuji Speedway, but unfortunately probably won’t happen because of Japan’s travel restrictions. Istanbul Park is out of the question because of Ramadan.
      Mugello is my favorite from Europe, but Imola is likely to take Hanoi’s place, and I’d be okay with this. Algarve would only be viable as a double-header with Spain rather than standalone due to its isolated location for travelling in Europe (something that also applies to Jerez). Imola is also more accessible when it comes to getting to the track area than the Algarve one, and also compared to Mugello in this regard. Imola has certain advantages that make it the favored one, also attendance capacity-wise, which is understandable.

      1. Ah yes. The good old ‘the white line is for decoration only’ style of track limits ‘enforcement.’
        I’d strongly prefer they use the white line on every corner of every track – no exceptions. Proper consistency – exactly what everyone argues for.

    14. How is one mandatory pit stop to take a different compound of tyre (unless it’s wet) over-complicated?
      Anyway, it’s not the SC’s fault that teams take ultra-conservative strategy options safe in the knowledge that track position is more important than car pace. It would only take one team to try a 2-stop for the rest to think about it too, but it rarely happens, because the computer usually says no.

      Perhaps it would be worth having a mandatory minimum 2 stops, so that the race can’t be completely over at 1/4 distance. They could do them both in the early SC if there is one and run long on hards, or they can try an alternate strategy and spread them out over the length of the race using more equal stints.
      Bring back refuelling, and the strategic options multiply.
      Whatever they do – until the technical regs are massively changed to actively promote actual racing, track position will always be king in F1.

      Oh, and eliminate the VSC and use the real SC each and every time. The pack needs to be brought back together, regardless of whatever illusion of purity that the VSC provides. There’s a very good and obvious reason why no other series uses it, and it isn’t because they can’t.

      1. @S You and your funny wishes or suggestions.

        1. Genuine question @jerejj
          In your opinion, do you feel F1 generally is getting better, staying roughly the same, or getting worse? Let’s say over the last 20 year period. Or even the last 10 years.

          1. @S Roughly the same over the last 10-16 years, but fluctuations happen every now and then.

            1. Shouldn’t it be getting better?
              Why isn’t it getting better? Most changes they’ve introduced in that period have made it worse, IMO.

    15. It’s my opinion that Pirelli tires created some of the most dangerous racing seen in years maybe decades. Their problem comes from seeing racing tires that failed like trump to deal with the enormous down force from the big GP Cars. Often raced far too long as they regularly fell apart in many different fashions and only the exception of RedBull which seemed to do better than all other teams with the same rubber. If these tires are what F1 really wants for the show then they hit a home run. Tires that fail through racing usage have killed drivers in the past and will certainly again. Gilles Villeneuve comes to mind. So I bet we see the same crap all year again. Pirelli keeps missing the Mark race after race, season after season. The best driver in the world should not be given such shoddy equipment. We should see him race with tires that improve the Racecar and not hinder it with such unpredictable results. So improved tires is my choice and of course all ready mentioned by others, the Dumb Racing System. What a STUPID solution regardless of its promise, it’s really almost ruined Formula One for many of us. Is there a list of drivers who support DRS?
      Ask those who have had success in Formula One what they think of DRS and the false ability it creates. Bring on the haters.

    16. As usual, I agree with many of these. Some of my wishes:

      * No mandatory stops.
      * Any tyres allowed at any time (within the allocated sets for the weekend) not the Q2 thing giving advantage to 11th place, as me mentioned above.
      * For the love of God, no DRS.
      * No Masi.
      * Larger wing mirrors (the forgotten but most important lesson from Grosjean crash).
      * Shorter wheelbase cars (not going to happen obviously).
      * End season at Interlagos not Has Marina (also not going to happen).

      1. One change I would like to see would be the return to car-by-car qualifying, starting and ending with the first and last finishing cars respectively from the previous race. I really enjoyed the attention that gave to each driver, the pressure it created, the small advantage it gave to those doing less well last time out, and the recipe for random grids it gave when weather intervened.

    17. I approve of all of @keithcollantine‘s list. I would also like to see Ferrari being more competitive this year and some surprises. For example it would be good if one or more of the three teams who fought for third in the standings this year were to be closer to Red Bull. Then of course for Red Bull to be closer to Mercedes.

      I think Bottas has got to pull something special out of the bag this year or he’s likely to be replaced by Russell. Be good to see him do better and make it more of a battle with Hamilton.

      It would be great to see Alonso back on the podium again. Then I agree that they should try to avoid using the full SC if the VSC can be used. I think the officials were a little too inclined to go for the full version this year to spice things up. Obviously though safety is paramount.

      1. @phil-f1-21 I hear what you are saying about VB as that would be better for all of us to see LH challenged, but I’ll not hold my breath as he’s had several years now to little effect. Also I think it is a forgone conclusion he will be replaced by GR for 2022 no matter what happens this year.

        1. Why do so many think Russell is better for Mercedes than Bottas?
          They don’t want two drivers fighting with each other, even if Russell could do it.
          Bottas is a team player and has done exactly what he needs to to secure WCC’s. Why risk that?

          1. S sure that is one line of thinking, and you might be right that Mercedes would not want to, let’s say, upset the apple cart, however, it seems like GR is in the fold as one of their (Mercedes) up and comers, and how much longer can they keep him on a last place team and not expect him to jump ship to another brand? One thing though is that LH should be able to stand on his own and compete even without a lesser teammate, and as well they need to, imho, start grooming GR on the top team ahead of LH eventually retiring. VB is not the driver to hang on to to take over the senior role on the team. They should take on GR after this season so that he can learn from LH while LH is still in F1. And I think they will.

    18. Can we wish for an edit button at this website?

    19. Hamilton is the new 2021 Formula 1 champion. That’s a given, unless the chinese virus attacks him multiple times. Unfortunately Bottas is not Rosberg.
      The only one who can dispute the championship, in an ideal world, is Pérez. He has the proper car and the necessary experience and ability. We’ll see if luck accompanies him and the team owners don’t sabotage him to privilege the other team driver.
      The disappearance of the DRS would be ideal.
      Algarve is the circuit that should be used for that free date.
      I think the fight between the teams in the middle will be sensational and that Ferrari will be present.
      Every driver should be able to use any compound in the race, without limits of any nature or obligation.

      1. @jorge-lardone Not sure what exactly Perez has done in his career to have you thinking he’s the only one that can take the fight to LH. What winning experience does he have in a top 3 car, fighting for wins and the WDC throughout a season? At least Max has some legit wins against the mighty Mercs and not just one that happened under unique circumstances. It remains to be seen first of all if the RBR car will indeed be the necessary equipment. Certainly they won’t be ‘sabotaging’ Perez to privilege Max, for they would never do that to themselves, nor Perez, and Max can and will do fine all on his own thank you very much. Your comment about Perez and RBR makes so little sense it sounds to me like you must be just setting up some excuses for when Perez lags behind Max.

      2. @jorge-lardone Do you really think Perez has a chance against Max? He has no chance even against Leclerc or Sainz. He was barely beating an average Stroll and Hulk. I expect Max to comprehensively beat and retire Perez next season.

        1. We talk again in december 2021 :)

          1. Yes, looking forward, vettel stronger than alonso, perez stronger than verstappen, some wild claims there.

    20. I would love to see the end of the Russian and Saudi Arabian GPs, a man can dream though, a man can dream.

      1. Yes @netm. Me too. I would also sacrifice either Spain or France to have one of the circuits temporarily added in 2020 on the calendar permanently.

        I guess you are really referring to human rights matters though. The trouble is that even with the Covid issues, Saudi Arabia is probably one of the races more likely to take place owing to its location and what seems to be lower regional infection rates.

    21. While there are certainly problems with DRS, I think there is probably some fixes that allow the system to be kept but not make it such a fait accompli once a driver gets within 1 second. IndyCar has a push-to-pass system that increases turbocharger boost in 10 second bursts. A driver gets 200 seconds of this for a race and can use it where ever they want. They can use it to defend if they want and they have enough to suit their strategy. I think if F1 changed how DRS worked to something like this where the driver had a certain amount of time the flap could remain open per race, but the driver could use it anywhere and anytime on the track I think this could alleviate some of the issues regarding the artificiality of the passes using DRS. I agree that ideally we wouldn’t need DRS at all, but until we see how the 2022 specs actually play out I think it’s better to keep a modified DRS as an option rather than rely totally on unproven spec changes.

      1. Instead of activating DRS in 0-1 sec window, it should be used in 1-2 sec window, and let the slipstream be enough in 0-1 sec gap. That way you will get a closer field for longer and no highway passes.

    22. I’m sure it’ll make me sound salty but the only thing I want from F1 2021 is someone else to win it. I’d really like to see a closely fought championship, with three or four teams in contention for race wins and a championship lead that’s swapping after every few races between new players to the game. Just imagine Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Alpine & Aston Martin all battling closely enough that any of those drivers could grab pole, could grab wins and by the halfway mark of the season it’s still anyone’s game.

      I just don’t want to imagine them already etching a name onto the trophy after the first race, as it’s been for some time now. Even if I can’t half a super close championship, I’d just like to see some new winners and the championship go to a different team. Y’know, just for the change.

      1. @rocketpanda I do hear you and fully go along with your ideal, but I think what you want will have to wait for 2022, as I don’t see what you describe as happening for this year. While I do think the teams will have some adapting to do with the lesser floor area resulting in less downforce, but even with the changes they’ll make to claw some of that back resulting in different setup work and tire usage from 2020 to 2021, I don’t really see much change in the general order of things other than perhaps in small ways amongst the mid-field. Yeah I think we all hope Max is closer to the Mercs, and perhaps Perez too, and many hope/expect Ferrari to improve as they have the most work to do as a top team struggling, but yeah as I say I think the bigger chance of what you hope for will come with the reset for 2022.

      2. …the only thing I want from F1 2021 is someone else to win it.

        Not necessarily, but what I’d like to see is a winner who had to fight for it even a little bit. And forget Bottas, he just doesn’t have it in him. Unless the gap between Merc and the rest of the teams closes up somewhat, it will be another mostly wasted season, watching the midfield battles.

      3. Fortunately the much-hyped DAS was a total fiasco. Either that, or both Merc drivers were not skillful enough to take advantage of it

      4. @rocketpanda How much would you be prepared to sacrifice to make it happen?
        Most F1 viewers want the same thing, but few are prepared to actually give something up to make it a reality.

    23. I would like to see a W Series race on the F1 weekend in Saudi Arabia next year, or better yet, no F1 race there at all. I understand that China and Turkey and Russia (and many other host countries) have human rights issues, but these guys take the cake. If they want to share the activities of the modern world, they certainly have to make improvements to the way they treat their own people. Of course, money will carry the day, but I can always hope.

    24. That motto “We race as one” simply means that they crasch in the first corner.

    25. – Santa, I want a dragon!
      – Now come on, boy, be more realistic.
      – Ok. I want…No Mercedes and Hamilton domination.
      – What colour should that dragon be?

    26. The way things are seemingly going, I’d be grateful for a similar season to 2020.

      There was no battle for the championship but we had some brilliant races, visited some new and unusual tracks, great racing in the midfield and plenty of subplots for the times there was a fortnight between races.

    27. Coventry Climax
      5th January 2021, 19:13

      I’d like to see:
      – the return of each team having to build their own car, preferably for the full 100%.
      – either the immediate end of DRS or the end of any constrictive rules on when, where and how to use it.
      – the end of blue flags and ‘the pack being grouped together again’ with cars allowed to unlap themselves under
      safety car situations.
      – the end of the ‘Verstappen rule’. Defending is an art, as much as overtaking is.
      – the departure of Pirelli. Let’s get a real tyre back please.
      – the departure of Todt. Absolutely hate the man and what he ‘stands for’. Sorry.

      I know. But I can dream, can’t I?

      1. Coventry Climax, I hope we don’t see the end of the ‘Verstappen rule.’ First of all this was never a new rule let alone one that should be named after Max. When Max, in his more exuberant and youthful days of a few years ago, jumped in front of Raikonnen (I think it was) while KR had already committed to his braking, and jammed him up, that was when we were all reminded of the rule. But I remember way back when Schumacher did it to Fisichella that it was talked about a great deal then too.

        I appreciate that you want to see a return to the art of defending, and so do I, and I believe that will come back much more with the new gen cars and the (theoretical for now) removal of DRS. Cars much less disturbed in dirty air will mean trailing drivers will have much more confidence to attempt passes much more often, and particularly without DRS drivers won’t have a free push to pass button. That’s great. That will therefore promote the art of defending.

        However, in terms of what you call the “Verstappen rule’ which is only called that because he was the last one to try it and got his knuckles rapped for it, there is no defence for that. As a driver, you are only asking for trouble if you get in the way of a car that has already committed to it’s braking point, and is indeed already under braking, for he would then be helpless to avoid a car jumping in front that has suddenly moved over on him and has put himself in his way. No, this is not a safe nor effective way of passing a car, and as I say the driver being passed is left helpless as he has already got his car braking at which point cannot be expected to then make an additional evasive move, or defensive more, or what have you. This is why the leaving a car width rule exists.

        As I say, I hear you about defending, but moving over into a car’s path that has already committed to the corner and is braking, only puts one in the way of a car that would be helpless to avoid either a collision or going off the track to avoid a collision. i.e. you render a car defenceless when you put them in an impossible situation. Think in terms of hitting a deer on a country road with your car. That I’m aware of most people don’t actually aim for them, and the way they get hit is that they suddenly jump out in front of you and you’ve had no time to react quickly enough. Nothing you could do. That’s what MS did to GF back whenever that was, and why Max was reminded not to do this too (and we haven’t seen him or anyone else do it since), and why it should not be a part of the art of passing nor defending.

        1. Coventry Climax
          6th January 2021, 9:36

          Sorry Robbie, do not entirely agree with you line of thinking. First of all, I said that it was what I would like, a dream, sort of. But since you jump onto it so seriously, here’s my pov: If, as you say, the defending car moves in front of the car that is trying to overtake and is already, as you say committed to the corner and under braking, then how on earth is the car that is supposedly going to be overtaken, going to make the corner? If that car however, is so much better at cornering and so much better at braking, the overtake attempt is futile from the beginning, and the driver trying to overtake should know it and find a more clever point to overtake – if he is indeed faster overall. It is, I believe, that very same ridiculous DRS, that promotes these ‘dangerous’ overtake scenarios. I’m convinced even, that it’s DRS combined with the ‘overtake button’ that these hybrid systems actually are, saving power for ‘the right moment’. That creates and allowes for ‘unpredictable car behaviour’. If I remember correctly, the ‘Verstappen rule’ is about being allowed to move under braking, and stands apart from the rule of having to leave a car’s width. The term ‘braking zone’ is often used, as if it were fixed, while we do talk about cars being better or worse on brakes all the time.

          I said ‘not entirely’ because obviously, dangerous driving can not be the objective. There are other solutions to that though. And I’m not referring to this ‘jury’ dealing out the ‘points’ all the time.

          1. Coventry Climax No, the rule is not about a defending driver moving in front of a driver attempting a pass, but is about a trailing driver attempting a pass by forcing himself in front of a car that has already committed to a racing line and is already braking or milliseconds from doing so, and therefore would be helpless to do anything about the driver that has just forced himself in front. Hence my deer on a country road comparison. A driver that has already committed to what he is going to do at a corner because he is literally at that corner, is not to have a car suddenly placed in front of him such that his only choices, since he has already committed to a plan for the corner, would be a full lock up which is unfair and could still result in a collision, which isn’t fair, or driving himself off the track to avoid a collision, which is also unfair. The reason I jumped on this ‘so seriously’ is because it is serious, and dangerous, and is why it is just not done. Which is why when Max did it he was reprimanded and all drivers were reminded of the rule, and he hasn’t done it since, and nor do the other drivers do this. It is just not proper racing. You just don’t jump in front of cars that have already committed to their action at the entry to corners. If it were allowed and considered proper, races would be mayhem.

            1. Coventry Climax
              6th January 2021, 19:45

              “the rule is not about a defending driver moving in front of a driver attempting a pass, but is about a trailing driver attempting a pass by forcing himself in front of a car that has already committed to a racing line and is already braking or milliseconds from doing so, and therefore would be helpless to do anything about the driver that has just forced himself in front.”
              Sorry Robbie, what you describe here is commonly known as ‘a pass’. Would this be forbidden, all passing attempts, and in all racing classes, would be forbidden/punished, and we’d end up with god almighty pee my pants thrilling DRS passes only, halfway the straigth ofcourse. Duh. Oh, do show me three re-runs please!
              God forbid what you describe gets forbidden. I’d acutely start to watch more exciting sports like golf and chess.
              Secondly, the “Verstappen rule” wás about moving under braking, and -thank you google-, appears to have already been abondoned by the FIA, back in 2017. Apparently they do sometimes suffer from decent insight.

    28. Next year’s cars are also intended to produce much closer racing and easier overtaking

      I’d like to see a competition, perhaps for some F1 memorabilia where we guess the date when we realize that the cars can’t get closer or overtake easier.

      1. @velocityboy I don’t think we will see that date, for come 2022 the cars will lose much less performance when in dirty air. Also, the new gen cars are not meant to overtake easier. They are meant to race more closely without losing nearly as much performance, so the goal with the new cars is to promote closer racing and more close combat between drivers, since the trailing driver will have more confidence in his car because it will remain much more stable and predictable than these current cars that depend so much on clean air. I think it is important to reiterate, Brawn has not spoken of wanting, or F1 needing, more passing for the sake of the numbers of passes. He wants more action between the drivers, rather than lap after lap of cars hanging back or else having their tires ruined while in someone’s dirty air, but he has never spoken of wanting more passing just for the sake of the numbers of passes.

    29. ‘Alonso hails best-ever drive after finishing 12th’.

      Agree, because self-promotion gets tiresome and annoying
      Disagree, because you can have a godlike drive and still finish 12th, it does not all depend on your diving skills. Not all, not even half of it.

    30. Dean Franklin
      6th January 2021, 4:13

      We all know who is going to win the championship. His closest challenger will be a mediocre driver that was beaten a young driver that jumped into an ill-fitting Merc at the very last minute.

      The sport needs a good hard look at itself when we already know the result 11 months out. In the Ferrari and RBR eras we at least didn’t know what the following year would bring.

      1. Dean Franklin The sport did take a good hard look at itself when Liberty took over from BE and took on Brawn. They have addressed all the pertinent issues and without the pandemic would have started in earnest the wholly new chapter of F1 post-BE and post-previous Concorde Agreements, this year. The new F1 is happening as fast as it was ever going to be possible to happen, and thank goodness the group that has taken over from BE is only interested in improving the sport and growing it in what is, imho, all the right ways. With teams closer to each other in budget, and with cars able to race closely amongst each other, we will see the kinds of unpredictability you are wanting.

        1. Coventry Climax
          6th January 2021, 19:51

          You made a typo, Robbie: “the group that has taken over from BE is only interested in improving the sport” should be “… improving the show”.

          1. No typo. Sport is entertainment and is a show. What is it that you are afraid of in terms of them “improving the show?”

    31. Getting rid of the tyre rules is the way to go, might actually give us a reason to keep watching.

    32. Good list, and the comment Alonso “best drives” made me laugh.

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