Formula 1 2021 Season Thread

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Who will win the WDC?

  • Charles Leclerc

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Valterri Bottas

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Daniel Ricciardo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Spinbastian Vettel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Carlos Sainz Jr

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fernando Alonso

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    14

ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
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Welcome to the new F1 season. I'll sum up where we are in terms of what happened last year, the stories going into this year, the ramifications of the new regulations both political and sporting.

2020

-Lewis won his 7th world championship equaling Michael Schumacher. Lewis also has the most poles and wins of all time too
-this means he has a strong argument for being the GOAT (if you care to go down that rabbit hole)
-Mercedes were the best team
-they had the now banned DAS system which allowed them to manually alter wheel toe angles out on track
-this allowed them, among other benefits, to heat their tyres faster and more efficiently at important moments of the race like safety car restarts or qualifying
-the negatives were extra weight and more weight equals slower laptime but on balance DAS performance gains outweighed any performance offset
-Red Bull were 2nd best and closed the gap in the 2nd half of the season to Mercedes because;
1-Mercedes stopped developing their car quite early on
2-Red Bull sorted out, to an extent, an aerodynamic oversight that upset the balance of the car making it more difficult to drive, more prone to spinning and more inconsistent downforce levels mid corner (plus imbalanced grip levels always create a negative impact on tyre degradation)

2021

New regulations?

The big changes this year are;

Budget cap. Team are limited in how much they can spend on the car. Driver's salaries and team principles and other senior management not included.

-this benefits the teams who spend less already obviously
-however, as with anything there are workarounds such as using satellite branches of the organisation to handle R&D and other aspects

Wind tunnel time. Teams who finished lower last year in the standings (the WCC) now have access to more windtunnel and CFD simulation time in a bid to close the rather large performance gap between the best and worst teams.

-Mercedes have the least windtunnel time now and as a result have already introduced changes to how they operate their Computational Fluid Dynamics software/windtunnel allocation with regards to efficiency. Pragmatic and relentless data driven efficiency, zero blame culture, absolute will to win and constant remodelling of processes are hallmarks of the Mercedes team and large reasons for their continued domination.

Aerodynamic changes to the cars.

The biggest change this year to the on track performance are the aerodynamic changes to the car regulations put in place to reduce overall downforce and performance of the cars. Too much downforce eventually puts too much load onto the bespoke tyres F1 uses, potentially leading to negative results such as tyre blowouts.

The main change to downforce levels comes as a result of the new floor changes. The floors have been simplified and shortened inward at the rear which combined with the new reduction in diffuser flaps mean the cars now have greater difficulty "sealing" the floor; the high energy air underneath the car which produces such a large amount of downforce, and therefore lap time.

Will this help low-rake (more horizontal) cars like Mercedes who you could argue rely slightly less on floor generated downforce, or will this help high-rake (the rear of the car is slightly more raised) cars like the Andrian Newey produced Red Bull, a philosophy that relies heavily on the ability to seal the floor. If you picture the high-rake car you can see how there's more space between the rear area of the car and the track surface, which means more space for high energy downforce inducing air.

I've written too much for now so I'll write more later on driver changes and I'll give my ratings of each driver. I did it last year too. To the excitement of about 1-2 of you guys.

Also, I won the CHB/OTH fantasy league last year in the last race. God bless my genius Max Verstappen pick all year. (plus Lewis getting Covid...)
 
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Apr 10, 2016
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3 with me so please crack on and get writing will look forward to it. I cant get into 6 nations without fans so will pay more interest to F1 this season. I have just purchased a guide book if u a nerd like me its a must buy it even has a section where u fill in results.


 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
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Some more interesting stuff;

Rumours from a poster from the f1Technical forum, who has historically been an accurate source of inside information regarding Mercedes, are that Mercedes are not too optimistic about their engine performance gains over the winter. We know last winter they made significant performance gains, largely as a result of having to react to Ferrari's monster 2019 engine that ran on magic highly legal spaghetti (allegedly).

Ferrari ended up having to nerf their incredibly legal engine for the 2020 season and Mercedes reaped the rewards, doubly so.

This time, to compound the rumoured slight disappointment from the Mercedes camp, Honda are rumoured to have gained approximately +40hp, Ferrari +30hp. Now not knowing exact relative bhp levels between the camps, and not know how much Mercedes have also gained, it's difficult to draw conclusions. It's reasonable to assume based on the rumours from Mercedes plus engine diminishing returns effecting them more, that Honda/Ferrari have at least some net gain over Mercedes.

So based on previous approximations from some F1 engineers, we know that +10hp roughly translates on average to 0.2 seconds a lap. So if you froze every other variable and applied a net gain from Red Bull of at least 0.2 a lap, next season already looks interesting.

But anyway, that's all a rumour from someone (who as I said it's usually accurate).
 
Reactions: Touche and Jay

ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
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Lewis has signed a 1 year contract with Mercedes. This imo most likely suggests that he will retire after this season as King of F1 and undisputed most successful driver ever and 2022 will see Mercedes hire Max and George Russell.
 
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Jay

May 31, 2012
13,339
1,002,021
Stoke-ish
Missed this thread last year. Been getting into F1 more and more recently, and bought a sim racing wheel and cockpit to play f1 2020 recently.

Mercedes have a habit of playing down their chances at any opportunity they get. While I agree they'll be getting diminishing returns, I'd be surprised if they are actually as bad off as the rumours suggest. Isn't it pretty common knowledge the sand bagged at Abu Dhabi? They've been developing their car for most of this season, so I will be shocked if they're not primed to just continue their dominance.

They went against an insane engine, developed a legal one to beat it, then it turned out the ferrari engine was illegal. Like you said, it was a double win and left no one even close.

I'd be surprised if Lewis didn't want to give the new regulations a go, but he may want to go out on a high, and leaving the sport as the statistical GOAT by all objective measures is a good way to do it - he'll be leaving it on top, 5 times in a row and untouchable.
 

ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
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Missed this thread last year. Been getting into F1 more and more recently, and bought a sim racing wheel and cockpit to play f1 2020 recently.

Mercedes have a habit of playing down their chances at any opportunity they get. While I agree they'll be getting diminishing returns, I'd be surprised if they are actually as bad off as the rumours suggest. Isn't it pretty common knowledge the sand bagged at Abu Dhabi? They've been developing their car for most of this season, so I will be shocked if they're not primed to just continue their dominance.

They went against an insane engine, developed a legal one to beat it, then it turned out the ferrari engine was illegal. Like you said, it was a double win and left no one even close.

I'd be surprised if Lewis didn't want to give the new regulations a go, but he may want to go out on a high, and leaving the sport as the statistical GOAT by all objective measures is a good way to do it - he'll be leaving it on top, 5 times in a row and untouchable.
Yeah Abu Dhabi was most likely them using the weekend as a mini test as they did the previous year by installing various sensors near the front of the car. And yeah Merc always downplay their chances haha but regards this rumour in particular it comes from unofficial but reliable sources. Even if the rumour is true it's not necessarily the case that they'd suddenly have a worse engine than Honda, just that the gap would have closed.

Anyway, as with all pre-season stuff it should all be taken with a pinch of salt.

Racing wheels add so much to the games don't they. I like choosing a track and just time trialing against myself for dozens of laps like a mad but quite boring man in a car.
 
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Jay

May 31, 2012
13,339
1,002,021
Stoke-ish
Yeah Abu Dhabi was most likely them using the weekend as a mini test as they did the previous year by installing various sensors near the front of the car. And yeah Merc always downplay their chances haha but regards this rumour in particular it comes from unofficial but reliable sources. Even if the rumour is true it's not necessarily the case that they'd suddenly have a worse engine than Honda, just that the gap would have closed.

Anyway, as with all pre-season stuff it should all be taken with a pinch of salt.

Racing wheels add so much to the games don't they. I like choosing a track and just time trialing against myself for dozens of laps like a mad but quite boring man in a car.
You have a wheel? What platform/games do you play? I've not played it much and I'm not great, but getting more and more addicted to it. I have the G29 and now I want to buy CSL Elite F1.. I shouldn't, because it's stupid money when I'm useless, but I want to.
 

ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
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You have a wheel? What platform/games do you play? I've not played it much and I'm not great, but getting more and more addicted to it. I have the G29 and now I want to buy CSL Elite F1.. I shouldn't, because it's stupid money when I'm useless, but I want to.
I have one of the Thrustmaster ones and usually play Gran Turismo on Playstation or a couple of the older F1 games. My brother sometimes comes over with his XBOX One and Forza and a more expensive wheel that I can't remember the make of.

Yeah it's much more addictive than you'd think. You'll probably end up getting that CSL haha

You can even use the wheels on Farm Simulator. Earth shattering news I'm sure but it gave me a mild shock that I'm at a stage in my life where I'm electronically pretending to be an agricultural farmer.
 
Reactions: Jay

Jay

May 31, 2012
13,339
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Stoke-ish
I have a PS4 as well as the PC games. If you ever fancy a race, let me know. And yeah, I'm resigned to buying it, but I'm gonna hold off at least a year. £600 quid for a wheel is moronic.

Mate, I want force feedback on mario kart!!!
 
Reactions: ura
May 18, 2013
4,455
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Here's the thing. Even if everyone closes the gap mercedes is just a better team. They execute a race weekend almost error free week in week out. Plus they have the most consistent driver on the grid and a solid number 2. Certainly compared to the other 3 teams with any kind of a shot. I rate sainz in roughly the same ballpark as bottas, good but not great.

I should say I was sleeping on McLaren with the above and I shouldn't. They continue to improve and I would think unless they fuck up the packaging the mercedes pu will be an upgrade. I like their driver lineup and their momentum has been impressive considering just how bad they got.

Max is fast and is closing the gap no doubt however. I suppose we need to see him make a run a title to know for sure but I highly doubt it would phase him.

I dont think anyone touches mercedes till next year. Their car is an evolution whereas everyone else needs a revolution and I don't see that happening.

With new regs things can happen but mercedes managed to handle the previous rule changes perfectly and continue dominance. Unless someone hits on a loophole I don't see mercedes losing in 2022 either

I'm on ps4, I was playing f1 2020 till I broke my leg. I also play asseto corsa competzione and project cars 2. Love racing games as these days thats pretty much all I play. I really should be on pc but I just don't want to deal with a pc not to mention the cost of a proper gamer.
 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Williams-Mercedes


Williams begin this year after another last place in 2020. Despite having the best engine, they are still the slowest. The car produces too little downforce and too much drag. Their biggest rivals, Haas and Alfa Romeo, are getting a big engine upgrade too so I'm not optimistic for William's chances this year. The budget cap could help them, though it would presumably help Haas and Alfa just as much.

George Russell
Rating-8.9/10
George is an excellent qualifier; fast and very consistent. In the race however, he nearly always goes back and has been outdriven by his team mate on numerous occasions. It's his biggest mark against his reputation so far, considering how poorly Latifi is rated by the F1 community. As a result, 8.9/10 seems a reasonable ranking so far until we get more information.

Nicholas Latifi
Rating-8/10
Latifi is slow as shit in qualifying but close to George in races. He also has an annoying Canadian accent.

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Haas-Ferrari

Haas are in a similar position to Williams but have the aforementioned upgraded Ferrari engine incoming. They have two new drivers, one of which is the son of Michael Schumacher, Mick. Last year they struggled with inconsistent grip levels and the inability to get the tyres into the proper working operating window consistently. This bleeds laptime, makes the car harder to drive and makes tyre degradation even worse. A disastrous combination you can agree.

Mick Schumacher
Rating-N/A
Apparently he starts fairly slow in each forumla but learns and builds up over time. Seems fairly solid but don't expect fireworks out of the gate. Which is a shame as the pressure on the young lad to immediately make fireworks out of the gate must be strong.

Nikita Mazepin
Rating-Me 2'd/10
The F1 villain before even entering F1, Nikita is known for causing controversy last year when he was seen on video gropping a lady friend of his. Everyone hates him now and he nearly got dropped from his future F1 seat. Whatever your views are on him outside the track, he's here now to grope his way as far up the grid as he can the dirty Russian pervert.

18891
(God he even looks rapey)

Part 2 to be continued...
 
Last edited:
Apr 10, 2016
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I have one of the Thrustmaster ones and usually play Gran Turismo on Playstation or a couple of the older F1 games. My brother sometimes comes over with his XBOX One and Forza and a more expensive wheel that I can't remember the make of.

Yeah it's much more addictive than you'd think. You'll probably end up getting that CSL haha

You can even use the wheels on Farm Simulator. Earth shattering news I'm sure but it gave me a mild shock that I'm at a stage in my life where I'm electronically pretending to be an agricultural farmer.

U would be surprised on what games u can play with a wheel. I don't actually have 1 but I have got Truck Driver PS4 played it with d pad and its great. On a work trip played it with a mates wheel and it was so much better. I keep meaning to take Bus Sim to work and try that out.


Older F1 games are ace btw we play them a lot at work currently doing co op championship on 2011 and 2014 ps3.
 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
205
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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

Alfa Romeo finished 8th last year and I'd guess will end up similar at the end of this year. The car, for what its worth, produced less drag than the Ferrari allowing for more straight line speed but overall lacked the downforce necessary to challange any further up the grid. Once again as with Haas, the new Ferrari engine will help them.

Kimi Raikkonen
Rating-8.4
Kimi is the oldest driver on the grid and it shows in his diminished speed compared to his prime counteracted by his excellent race craft, cool head (despite amusing radio outbursts) and fairness in wheel to wheel battles. His wheel to wheel racing is the fairest on the grid as he always leaves enough space and never drives erratically or overly aggressively. A true gentlemen's driver.

Antonio Giovinazzi
Rating-8.3
Giovinazzi is getting fairly close in performance to Kimi recently. He'll never have elite speed and most likely will never drive for Ferrari as a result despite being Italian. A likeable driver.

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AlphaTauri-Honda

Formerly Toro Rosso, Red Bull's sister team look to take their fairly impressive 7th place last year a step further this year. A car that shares a very similar rear end to the Red Bull and that is easier to drive and extract the maximum from allowed Pierre Gasly to have his best year in F1, culminating in his very first win. The Honda is rumoured to have a similar upgrade to the Ferrari (+30hp/+40hp) in Honda's bid for one last performance push before the penciled in engine freeze of 2022.

Pierre Gasly
Rating-8.6
Gasly is pretty good, certainly much better than he showed at Red Bull. Hopefully his time at AlphaTauri is increasing his confidence enough for another shot at the Bulls in the future. Fairly consistent and fast.

Yuki Tsunoda
Rating-N/A
Not sure how good Yuki is. I expect he'll be just a bit behind Gasly but who knows.

18912
 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Ferrari

Ferrari had a troubled season last year for various reasons. Their 2019 car was designed by Technical Director Mattia Binotto to compliment their incredibly legal engine to be a monster in a straight line; aerodynamically efficient, lower peak downforce compared to Mercedes and Red Bull, a sort of "point and squirt" car similar to Williams circa 2014/15.

The engine's trick was enormous performance in the first phase of the straight (confirmed by Mercedes/Renault GPS readings). This raised suspician and was odd as engines tend to see more of a linear slope of performance. This allowed them to take that initial momentum in the first half of the straight and carry all that performance along even further when drag, and the car's low drag concept, became more a factor in the latter part of the straight. As you can see, massive performance in both stages of a straight.

Later in the season as the engine got even more impressive it allowed the Italians to finally correct their front wing/rear wing issue; the front wing design had less potential downforce than a Mercedes type front wing and therefore Ferrari couldn't just pile on downforce at the rear as that would cause potential imbalances.

The correction came via adding more aerodynamically inefficient downforce to the car (and improving the front wing), seen in Singapore for example, as the increased drag was countered by the monster engine and in the layout of the track (ie. Singapore is a high downforce circuit).

So going into 2020 the car was designed with the very powerful engine in mind. The car would sacrifice it's low drag for more downforce, and the engine would make up for the drag. Then the FIA banned the engine and Ferrari were fucked. They even had issues all year with a rear suspension that would change the ride height throughout the race causing all sorts of bother with balance, grip/tyre performance etc.

For 2021 they have a new engine, rumoured to be roughly a 30hp increase and for 2022 another new engine this time a lighter weight concept.

Charles Leclerc
Rating-9.2/10
Leclerc is the real deal. He's destroyed an out of form Vettel in 2020 and edged a better version of Vettel in 2019. His qualifying is possibly the best on the grid (along with Max and Lewis) and his race craft and tyre management is improving too after being a slight weakness compared to Vettel in 2019.


Carlos Sainz
Rating-8.8
Sainz had a strong year in 2020. He had bad luck that made him lose 40odd points and he also edged Norris too, mainly in race trim though it was very close. He's a solid driver with few weaknesses. A great number two to Charles and will push him and keep him on his toes. Plus he has sexy hair.

18974
 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Alpine-Renault

Renault are under the new name Alpine this year and have over a decade long awaited return of Fernando Alonso to the French outfit. They finished a respectable 5th last year with a car that had strong low speed corner performance and some impressive drives from team leader Daniel Ricciardo. Their biggest rivals in the battle of the midfield are McLaren, Ferrari and Aston Martin (formerly Racing Point). Alpine are now the only team on the grid with a Renault engine.

Fernando Alonso
Rating-9.5/10(in his prime) 9.1(?)/10 now
Alonso is another hard to judge driver. He's kept himself busy so should be strong still, but at his age you expect at least some drop off. I think Ocon will be more competitive with Alonso than many are expecting.

Esteban Ocon
Rating-8.8/10
The lanky Frenchman is a solid, young driver and I'd say close to being underrated. His time against Perez was very close and Ocon edged him in qualifying. Against Ricciardo last year he started on the back foot, due to his lay off, but slowly got closer. His standout performance was wet qualifying in Austria where he outqualified the Aussie.

18987
 

Jay

May 31, 2012
13,339
1,002,021
Stoke-ish
2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Alpine-Renault

Renault are under the new name Alpine this year and have over a decade long awaited return of Fernando Alonso to the French outfit. They finished a respectable 5th last year with a car that had strong low speed corner performance and some impressive drives from team leader Daniel Ricciardo. Their biggest rivals in the battle of the midfield are McLaren, Ferrari and Aston Martin (formerly Racing Point). Alpine are now the only team on the grid with a Renault engine.

Fernando Alonso
Rating-9.5/10(in his prime) 9.1(?)/10 now
Alonso is another hard to judge driver. He's kept himself busy so should be strong still, but at his age you expect at least some drop off. I think Ocon will be more competitive with Alonso than many are expecting.

Esteban Ocon
Rating-8.8/10
The lanky Frenchman is a solid, young driver and I'd say close to being underrated. His time against Perez was very close and Ocon edged him in qualifying. Against Ricciardo last year he started on the back foot, due to his lay off, but slowly got closer. His standout performance was wet qualifying in Austria where he outqualified the Aussie.

View attachment 18987
Alonso's accident could have a huge impact.

Enjoying reading these.
 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
205
31
2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Aston Martin-Mercedes

Formerly Racing Point (formerly Force India etc..), Aston Martin are looking to continue their impressive though controversial 2020 season in 2021. The Pink Mercedes, named as such as it emulated the 2019 Mercedes car, was very strong throughout the year but was let down mostly by the driver line-up not getting the most out the car consistently and the team not having the funds or techincal expertise of the actual Mercedes team to develop on from such a strong and reliable base.

As a result, the notion of diminishing returns springs up. To use a crude analogy imagine a comedian copying a great joke from another more successful comedian. He then opens his next show with the joke to thunderous laughter and raptuous applause. What are the chances that the rest of the set is as good? You wouldn't trust him to develop the remaining routine as well as the comedian he copied the joke off of in the first place.

I expect Aston Martin will finish anywhere from 3rd to 6th in the Constructors Championship.

Sebastian Vettel

Rating-9/10
Vettel is hard to score. He's very inconsistent but on his day is very fast and consistent when leading from the front. I'd say at this stage he's roughly a 9/10. As long as he cuts out his numerous mistakes. He also absolutely needs to beat Stroll or his reputation will be pants. Forever. Forever pants. And German.

Lance Stroll
Rating-8.3
Stroll came into F1 a bit of a joke. The rich kid's son with more money than talent. In the past couple of years however he's developed into a fully fledged F1 driver with notable skills in race starts and wet weather. He still compromises smooth, car balance inducing inputs by sawing at the steering wheel too much. Very jittery. Like a rapist in the sun.

19090
 

Jay

May 31, 2012
13,339
1,002,021
Stoke-ish
I think you've been a bit too kind with some of your ratings, but I'm really, really enjoying these writeups
 
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ura

Staff member
Feb 25, 2020
203
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31
I think you've been a bit too kind with some of your ratings, but I'm really, really enjoying these writeups
Thanks man. Yeah you might be right, ratings are difficult, especially for someone like Vettel for instance. I suppose 9.0 is too high for him given his current form for instance but I know he has it in him given the right environment of team politics/support and car characteristics (he prefers a stable rear).
 
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