The 10 big questions as the 2021 Formula 1 season begins

The 2021 Formula 1 season begins this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix and it promises to be an exciting campaign, especially with so many drivers having switched seats during the off-season.

As the new F1 year gets up and running, we, courtesy Marca takes a look at 10 of the major questions that fans, reporters and the teams themselves have.

1. Can Red Bull end Mercedes’ run?

Mercedes have enjoyed seven years in a row of being the best team in the paddock, but Max Verstappen and Checo Perez might have what it takes to end that run in their fast Red Bull cars.

Major rule changes are coming to the sport anyway, but it would be quite something if Red Bull can end Mercedes’ dominance before this.

2. Will Hamilton overtake Schumacher?

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are both currently tied on seven world championships each, but the English driver could overtake the German this year.

The W12 E Performance certainly hasn’t been perfect, but it is expected that the reigning champions will be able to iron out their issues and provide Hamilton with a very competitive car once again.

3. Will this be Hamilton’s last F1 season?

Having only signed up for one more season, this could be the final season for Hamilton.

If he does overtake Schumacher’s tally of world championships, he could ride off into the sunset to begin a career outside of motorsport.

4. Will Alpine overcome what Alonso was referring to?

Fernando Alonso is back in F1, but he isn’t in the strongest car as he sits in the new Alpine.

We’ll have to wait to see if Alpine can overcome their current shortcomings and if Alonso’s experience can get more out of the car than other drivers would.

5. Will Ferrari take a big step forward?

Ferrari are looking to get back to winning ways and to move up from the midfield to match Red Bull.

It looks like it’ll be difficult, but you can never rule Ferrari out.

6. Will Sainz achieve his first race win?

He was close to standing top of the podium for the first time in 2020 at the Italian Grand Prix and now, sitting in a Ferrari, Carlos Sainz will target his first Grand Prix victory.

Will he achieve it? We’ll soon find out.

7. How will Verstappen and Perez get on?

Max Verstappen has a new teammate once again and, given how Perez almost ended up without a seat, the Mexican will give everything he’s got.

It’ll be interesting to see how the pair get on and if Red Bull can enjoy success in the constructors’ championship this year.

8. Can Schumacher beat Mazepin?

Mick Schumacher will race in F1 this year, although it’ll be tough for him as he tries to get the most out of his Haas car.

He’ll attract a lot of interest and everyone will be watching to see if he can at least beat his teammate Nikita Mazepin.

9. Will Vettel be back to his best?

Sebastian Vettel is a four-time world champion, but didn’t have a good 2020 with Ferrari.

Now in a new team at Aston Martin, we’ll see if the German can get back to his best and win his battles with Lance Stroll.

10. Will we see a first Japanese victory?

Japan has a lot of history in F1, with 21 drivers and 400 Grand Prixs, yet they’ve only ever enjoyed three podiums from their racers.

Yuki Tsunoda will look to make history with AlphaTauri, who did win a race last year with Pierre Gasly.

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