Formula One World Championship 2021 Season Preview
Moving away from our League of Legends esports coverage, betting-previews brings you a full Formula One World Championship 2021 season preview, where we look at what has changed, what has stayed the same, and who do we expect to come out on top.
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Unlike last year, when we sent out our F1 season prediction for only premium members, this year we are offering our betting service for free, however, if you wish to get on the action early and get the best odds, consider joining our premium membership.
The 2020 F1 season will be remembered as one of the most memorable seasons in history, and while the grid was not as stacked as in 2012, nor were there as many race winners as back then, 2020 has had its own unique charm.
Despite the postponement of the season and complete reshuffle of the F1 calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we got to witness many historic moments including Alexander Albon claiming his first podium in Mugello, George Russell’s remarkable debut in F1, Sergio Perez winning his first race at the 190th attempt, and Max Verstappen stealing the spotlight from Hamilton by winning the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Yet, out of everything that has happened the last term, the 2020 F1 season will go down in history as the season when Hamilton not only broke Michael Schumacher’s “unbreakable record” of 91 F1 wins but also tied the German F1 legend’s Driver’s Championship record by claiming his seventh title. The question in everyone’s mind is whether the Brit take it one step further and also break Schumacher’s record of seven F1 titles, and while we won’t know the answer to that question for a while longer, a man once said: “Record are there to be broken”.
What’s new – Regulation changes
We won’t see any massive regulation changes until 2022 and due to the COVID-19 and the problems it caused, this year’s regulations won’t be as game-changing, but will instead carry forward from ones made in 2020. Regardless, there are a few that will impact how the 2021 season will play out.
First and foremost, there will be changes made to the cars to reduce downforce, particularly to the diffuser and the car floors. For the 2021 season, cars’ floors must be completely solid, meaning no more little slots that generate more downforce. There are also some changes to the rear brake duct winglets and the diffuser, however, the overall reduction in downforce isn’t expected to be much higher than 10%.
Furthermore, a new regulation for the 2021 season will prevent wealthier teams from widening the gap solely due to having access to more resources. F1 will battle that by implementing a new scale system for aero development, which will give less successful teams more wind tunnel time and more CFD simulations.
Other notable changes include regulated team spending, reduced practice session time, new Pirelli tires, and same tier allocation for all teams.
Favorites to win F1 Drivers Championship 2021
Heading into the 2021 season, there are only three names that could potentially win it all, however, we would go so far as to say that this list should be reduced to only two and we all know who are we referring to.
Lewis Hamilton enters the 2021 season as the man to beat, priced at 1.53 (Bet365) to win his eighth title, and if his performances across the last several years are any indication, he should cruise to another title by the end of the year. And let’s not forget, Hamilton is driving for Mercedes, who have won the Constructor’s Championship seven years in a row, so it’s fair to say their reign won’s end this season, right?
Closely behind we have Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, priced at 3.25 (Bet365), which is still a significant jump from last year when he was priced as high as 5.80, and there is a good reason why the Dutch driver has emerged as the second-best driver in the field and a strong title contender. Despite his rather disappointing finish last year when he had to retire from five races – effectively finishing only 70.6% of the 2020 races – Verstappen has shown immense growth as a driver and with the improvements Red bull have made, this just might be his year.
Betting Tips for F1 season 2021
Now that we have all the basics of the F1 2021 season covered, let’s take a look at our season betting tips and predictions. Check back later today for the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix betting preview, where we will focus on the opening race of the season. All tips are already posted on our premium site.
Max Verstappen looking sharp
We backed Max Verstappen to win it all last year and while things did not go our way, we are not ready to give up on the 23-year-old just yet, especially for this season. It’s only a matter of time before we will (finally) get to see a driver who can properly challenge Mercedes’ seven-year-long reign, and if the preseason testing, regulation changes, and last year’s results are any indications, 2021 just might be that year.
If Red Bull doesn’t struggle with their cars as much as they did in 2020, we might be in for a proper Hamilton vs Verstappen battle, and considering Red bull’s performances later in the season, it’s fair to say their issues are a thing of the past. Although Hamilton should be viewed as the better of the two drivers, it’s hard to agree with the bookmakers who have Hamilton priced at only 1.53 and Verstappen at 3.25. The Brit might be better, but he is definitely not that much better – not in a season where Verstappen finishes the majority of his races.
Prediction: Max Verstappen to win F1 Drivers Championship 2021, 3.25 at Bet365 (3.40 when sent to premium members)
Red Bull could impress
With the new cost cap, the new regulations, and the fact that Mercedes will have less time in the wind tunnel, as well as computer simulation runs, there is a strong possibility the Silver Arrows might not want to waste resources fixing their cars in 2021 and instead look ahead into the 2020 season.
And it’s not only the fact that Mercedes could be limited this season, but also that the competition has gotten much stronger, especially Red Bull, who had very fast cars at the end of 2020 and will be able to keep that performance largely intact for this season. Red Bull also managed to copy Mercedes’ rear suspension layout from 2020, which should give them much better stability in corners and ultimately a better chance to compete for the Constructor’s Championship.
Mercedes enters the 2021 season as 1.36 favorites ahead of Red Bull at 3.25, which seems about fair, but the value is definitely with Red Bull. They have a competitive car and as long as Perez can perform up to par with the expectations, Red Bull will be in a good position to win their first constructor’s championship since 2013.
Prediction: RedBull to win F1 Constructors Championship 2021, 3.25 at Bet365 (3.50 when sent to premium members)
Valtteri Bottas not looking too sharp
There is this narrative with Valtteri Bottas that he will perform better in 2021 than any year before, solely because he knows his spot at Mercedes is in danger and that he needs to prove he is a capable driver in hopes to get picked up by another team in 2020. But we are not buying that.
Vettel was reasonably competitive last year, but he has won only one race, which does not scream “potential champion next season”. What’s more, with Red Bull looking stronger, McLaren closing the gap, and Ferrari making the needed changes to slowly return to their former glory, it’s not only Hamilton who could be threatened but also Bottas.
Bet365 offers 1.90 on Bottas to win fewer than 3.5 races this season, which might seem a bit low, but we have a good reason to believe he won’t come even close to that number. One thing going for Bottas is that he has won the opening race of the season for the last two years, however, it’s highly unlikely he will manage to do so in Bahrain given Mercedes’ handling issues.
He will, of course, have the whole season to pick up a few wins, but with Hamilton and Verstappen both standing in his way, we just don’t see how Bottas can impress. While we are not saying the 2021 season will end the same way as 2018 did for Bottas, it’s fair to say that winning will be much harder than it was in 2020.
Prediction: Valteri Bottas Under 3.50 Race wins, 1.90 at Bet365 (2.10 when sent to premium members)
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