With Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari announcing their decision to split after the 2020 season, F1’s annual game of musical chairs has started for the 2021 season.
Multiple drivers will be making moves, new faces in new places, new faces in old places and one driver will say deuces to the sport, for now.
Here is how the grid will look in 2021. Take it to the bank, slap a unit on this in Vegas, bookmark it to send to Cold Takes Expose when half of this doesn’t happen.
Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton – 6-time isn’t going anywhere.
George Russell – Mercedes will look at what Ferrari has done with Leclerc and move up their junior driver in anticipation of Lewis’ impending retirement sometime in the next few seasons.
Charles Leclerc – Chuck came into Ferrari last year and immediately made it his team. That’s what World Champions do and Leclerc will be a World Champion in the near future.
Carlos Sainz Jr. – Making the move from McLaren, Sainz will be the perfect compliment to Leclerc. Red Bull passed on him and Carlos has something to prove.
Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen – Sebastian Vettel desperately wants to return to Red Bull but this is Max’s team now.
Alex Albon – Not only is Albon quick, but he’s also cheap and Red Bull like cheap.
Daniel Ricciardo – After two miserable years at Renault, Ricciardo jumps to McLaren. The team he nearly signed with for the 2019 season but rightfully was skeptical of their performance.
Lando Norris – Lando is the future of McLaren, no way they let him leave.
Fernando Alonso – Third times a charm, right? After two previous stints with Renault, the Spaniard is back for one final go-around. He’ll sign a 2-year deal and pray the new car in 2022 is competitive.
Esteban Ocon – A French driver with a French team, he’s not going anywhere.
Lance Stroll – When your dad owns the team you have a seat for life.
Sergio Perez -Checo signed a long term deal with the team last season. The only thing that could derail it would be team owner Lawrence Stroll signing Sebastian Vettel to be the face of Aston Martin Racing Point F1.
Daniil Kvyat – The Russian missile remains with the Red Bull junior team for one more season.
Pierre Gasly – Alpha Tauri is the perfect team for Gasly, an underdog who wants to overachiever.
Kevin Magnussen – Mags is never leaving Haas, he and Gene are made for one another.
Valtteri Bottas – After getting booted by Mercedes, Haas sign Bottas in an attempt to justify to Gene that the team needs to continue in the sport. Yes Gene signs the drivers, yes Gene needs to convince himself.
Alfa Romeo F1
Antonio Giovinazzi – Ferrari Academy driver at the Ferrari Junior team, he’s not leaving.
Kimi Raikkonen – F1 without Kimi simply isn’t F1.
Nicolas Latiffi – His dad keeps delivering the checks, Nicolas keeps struggling in the Williams.
Nico Hulkenberg – In an attempt to resurrect the one prominent Williams F1 the team signs a veteran in an attempt to gain knowledge of the car and the direction they need to head.
The 4-time champ exits the sport at age 32. Vettel is a private guy with a wife and three kids. He’s made his money, won his titles, and has nothing left to prove. That is until he’s been sitting at home for 2 seasons and Mercedes rings him up.
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