Formula 1 2021: New season begins with Bahrain GP; Will Ferrari bounce back? Watch live stream on Disney+ Hotstar

World champion Lewis Hamilton will look to continue Mercedes’ dominance in Formula 1 when the season begins with Bahrain GP
World champion Lewis Hamilton will look to continue Mercedes’ dominance in Formula 1 when the season begins with Bahrain GP

Formula 1 Bahrain GP: Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will look to continue Mercedes’ dominance in Formula 1 when the first race of the season is flagged off with Bahrain GP on Sunday (March 28). Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the pacesetter in FP2 on Friday ahead of Lando Norris (McLaren) and Hamilton. But the entire F1 season will be about Ferrari’s pace after a dreadful 2020 campaign.

When does Formula 1 2021 begin?

The new F1 season will be flagged off at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, March 28 from 5.30 PM IST.

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Where to watch Formula 1 2021?

You can watch the entire F1 season on Star Sports Select and Select HD. You can also live stream on Disney+ Hotstar VIP.

What are the timings for season opener Bahrain GP?

Free Practice 1: 17:00 – 18:00 IST, Friday, March 26
Free Practice 2: 20:30 – 21:30 IST, Friday, March 26
Free Practice 3: 17:30 – 18:30 IST, Saturday, March 27
Qualifying: 20:30 IST, Saturday, March 27
Race: 20:30 IST, Sunday, March 28

What is the race calendar for F1 2021?

Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit 26-28 March
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola 16-18 April
Portuguese Grand Prix, Algarve International Circuit 30 April – 2 May
Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 7-9 May
Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo 20-23 May
Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku City Circuit 4-6 June
Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 11-13 June
French Grand Prix, Circuit Paul Ricard 25-27 June
Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring 2-4 July
British Grand Prix, Silverstone 16-18 July
Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring 30 July – 1 August
Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps 27-29 August
Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort 3-5 September
Italian Grand Prix, Monza 10-12 September
Russian Grand Prix, Sochi Autodrom 24-26 September
Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit 1-3 October
Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka 8-10 October
United States Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas 22-24 October
Mexico City Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 29-31 October
Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Interlagos 5-7 November
Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park 19-21 November
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah Street Circuit 3-5 December
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit 10-12 December


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What is the driver line-up for F1 2021?

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

Red Bull: Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez

McLaren: Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo

Aston Martin: Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel

Alpine: Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon,

Ferrari: Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz Jr

AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda

Alfa Romeo: Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi

Haas: Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin

Williams: George Russell, Nicholas Latifi

Who will fight for Championship?

While all the drivers fight for the championship, the field will be led by Mercedes once again. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a pause on introduction to full-scale regulation change for the season, Mercedes are expected to be the dominant team once again. But Red Bull led by Max Verstappen and experienced Sergio Perez could push Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to the limit.

As for 3rd position, McLaren will lead the charge with Lando Norris and former drivers’ world championship contender Daniel Ricciardo. They can expect a tough challenge from Aston Martin with Sebastian Vettel joining the team. Apart from them, Ferrari could be a tough challenge after finishing sixth last season.

What to expect from Ferrari?

If the two practice sessions ahead of Bahrain GP are anything to go by, the red car could surprise many. In FP2, new recruit Carlos Sainz finished fourth behind Verstappen, Norris and Hamilton. Hence, they have the pace with the new power unit. The pace in FP2 also surprised their No 1 driver Charles Leclerc.

“Today has been a positive day, to be honest, we maybe didn’t expect to be as competitive even though it’s still very early days for now. Overall, there’s a lot of work, I can feel there’s a lot of motivation in the team. And I can see also when we can feel the improvements that have been made since last year,” Leclerc said after FP2 of Bahrain GP.