BY WAGNER GONZALEZ
Changes always provoke an adaptation. It does not matter if you settle in a new direction or if someone occupies the place that someone else has left, it will always be necessary to discover the habits and customs of the newcomers so that everything flows in the best way.
In the F1 This process is marked, mainly, by the alternation of drivers, administrators and technicians, a situation that gives a special color to this year's season. While the cars remained substantially the same as in 2020, four drivers have changed teams, one returned to active duty and three never competed in a GP. In other words, 40% of a 20-cell grid.
Holders of six world titles, Sebastian Vettel y Fernando Alonso will wear jumpsuits in new colors in 2021: the German replaced the red of Ferrari by the green of Aston Martin Racing, a new name for Racing Point, where it is an important part in the recovery process of the English brand and consolidation of its new position in the market as a premium sports brand. The process is complex and even involves the participation of Vettel (champion on 13/12/2010) in the car factory, a way of encouraging him to fight for victories and titles after a grueling period in Maranello. Lance stroll, son of the president of Aston Martin for the F-1 and the car factory, will be his companion.
After a failed revival with McLaren, Alonso returns to F.1 in the house where he won his two titles (2005/2066), Renault, this year renamed as Alpine F1 Team, a change similar to the one that involved the new Aston Martin. The new A110S Basic costs € 58.000, less than half of the £ 120.900 Vantage, the entry model of the English brand. The French house focuses on the luxury sports entry segment, while Gaydon's firm wants to compete with Ferrari. They both want to achieve their goals by exploring the image of technology and performance that emanates from the F.1.
If veterans Vettel and Alonso live up to the expectations placed on them, that result will have a major impact on another market, that of drivers. For some time, the promotion of newcomers from smaller formulas has become the model for promotion to the category; if both stand out, the item "flight hours" will be valued in the contract negotiations. If the opposite occurs, however, the average age of the grid will drop even more than the current average of 27,5 years, a figure obtained taking into account the races of Alonso (40 years, on July 7) and Kimi Räikkönnen (42, October 7). ). Without them, the youth of the novice Yuki tsunoda it helps lower that index to 26,5 years in one year. The Japanese born in Sagamihara on July 11, 2000 he is the first driver in the 2000s to compete in the category.
Other rookies in the category are German Mick Schumacher (22/3/1999) and the Russian Nikita mazepin (2/3/1999), both in the Haas team, which this year will have their cars painted in the colors of Russia (details in blue and red on a white background). In addition to the fact that they are neophytes in F.1, the contrast between the driving styles and the way they see the sport are points that require attention to measure the evolution of both during the year.
At the opposite corner of this age-marked ring, the Australian Daniel Ricciardo makes his second team change in three seasons: went from Red Bull to Renault in 2019 and this year he makes his McLaren debut. In addition, his name was considered for a place at Ferrari, a team with which negotiations were interrupted by undisclosed details. Ricciardo is on his way to becoming a skilled, dedicated and competent driver who will make his mark in the class, probably without achieving a world title.
A similar situation resembles that of the Mexican Sergio Pérez: fast, with great sensitivity in the set-up of the car and very professional in his commitments with the sponsors, Checo was seen as a great promise when he achieved three podiums in his second season in the category (Sauber, 2012), but did not respond when he moved to McLaren in 2013, when the England team began a decline that would drag on for years. Pérez was almost out of category, but he ended up taking the place out of Alex Albon. Their results this year will serve to clarify whether the Red Bull car works only in the hands of Max Verstappen.
Among the new faces that work in administration and management, it is worth highlighting the positions of Joest capito y Davide Brivio. The German gained notoriety in the consolidation of the Porsche Cup project of the 90s and, more recently, in VW's winning campaign in the World Rally Championship. After a fleeting stint at McLaren, on the eve of the departure of Ron Dennis from Team Woking, he now has another chance to shine in F.1 as he leads Williams' resurgence.
After leading to Suzuki to win the MotoGP World Championship, the Italian Brivio was the name chosen to replace Cyril Abiteboul, a name that was disconnected from Renault / Alpine after years of dedication. Although it was something expected by many, the unexpectedly announced break caused surprise: Abiteboul's entire professional career was spent in the Gallic house.
Brivio's main quality, according to those who know him from motorcycling, is his ability to explore the skills of a team and work with diversity. In his days at Yamaha and Suzuki, he rightly balanced Japanese calm with Italian passion and Hispanic fury, no doubt a cocktail where a miscalculation, no matter how small, would spoil everything.