Formula 1 grid in 2021: Here's what we know so far


With Carlos Sainz moving to Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo heading for McLaren, this is how the grid in the 2021 Formula 1 world championship is shaping up.


Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is under contract until the end of 2020 and has made no secret of his intention to stay with the sport's top team as he targets Michael Schumacher's record of seven titles. His team mate Valtteri Bottas is also signed up until the end of this year.

However, the 30-year-old Finn is believed to be under pressure from highly-rated Williams driver George Russell, a product of the Mercedes young drivers scheme. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said he wants to keep Hamilton and Bottas together.

But he also admitted that he cannot "ignore" the fact that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has already announced he is leaving Ferrari at the end of this season.

Do you think Sebastian Vettel can secure a drive for 2021? Email us with your response.

lewis hamilton,valtteri bottas,mercedes,f1,formula

Lewis Hamilton (left) and Valtteri Bottas. Image: Getty Images


Monaco's Charles Leclerc, just 22-years-old, has a deal with the Italian giant until 2024 and with Vettel on his way out, will expect to see the team built around him. In 2021, his new team mate will be Spain's Carlos Sainz, three years his senior, who will leave McLaren.

charles leclerc,carlos sainz,ferrari,f1,formula 1

Charles Leclerc (left) and his 2021 Ferrari team mate, Carlos Sainz Jr.

Red Bull (Honda engine)

Max Verstappen, 22-years-old, is on the books until 2023. Team mate Alexander Albon has a contract until the end of this season having been promoted from the Red Bull sister team. He needs to keep making an impression, especially with Vettel, a former Red Bull star, a free agent.

max verstappen.alex albon,red bull,f1,formula 1

Max Verstappen (left) and Alex Albon. Image: Getty Images


French driver Esteban Ocon has a deal until the end of 2021 with an option for 2022. But who will be the 22-year-old's team mate after the departure of Ricciardo to McLaren? There is widespread speculation that 38-year-old Fernando Alonso, who won his two world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, could be poised for a sensational return to F1 having retired in 2018.

esteban ocon,renault,f1,formula 1

Esteban Ocon. Image: Getty Images

McLaren (Mercedes engine from 2021)

30-year-old Ricciardo has penned a "multi-year" deal with McLaren from 2021 where he will race alongside Britain's Lando Norris, 10 years the Australian's junior.

daniel ricciardo,lando norris,mclaren,f1,formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo (right) and Lando Norris. Image: Getty Images

Racing Point (Mercedes engine; will become Aston Martin 2021)

Mexican Sergio Perez is under contract until the end of 2022. Canadian team mate Lance Stroll should be hopeful of a longer deal as his father is one of the owners of the team, as well as Aston Martin.

sergio perez,lance stroll,racing point,aston marti

Sergio Perez (left) and Lance Stroll. Image: Getty Images

AlphaTauri (Honda engine; formerly Toro Rosso)

Russian driver Daniil Kvyat's deal expires at the end of 2020, as does the contract of team mate Pierre Gasly of France. Gasly was unceremoniously relegated by Red Bull to its sister team in 2019.

daniil kvyat,pierre gasly,alpha tauri,f1,formula 1

Daniil Kvyat (left) and Pierre Gasly. Image: Getty Images

Alfa Romeo (Ferrari engine)

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, 40, and Italian team mate, Antonio Giovinazzi, both have confirmed drives until the end of 2020.

kimi raikkonen,antonio giovinazzi,f1,alfa romeo,fo

Kimi Raikkonen (left) and Antonio Giovinazzi. Image: Getty Images

Haas (Ferrari engine)

Denmark's Kevin Magnussen and Frenchman Romain Grosjean have deals until the end of this year. However, their futures are on the line following a string of disappointing results and clashes between the two on the track.

kevin magnussen,romain grosjean,haas,f1,formula 1

Kevin Magnussen (left) and Romain Grosjean with team owner, Gene Haas (middle). Image: Getty Images

Williams (Mercedes engine)

Russell's deal runs to the end of 2021 but he has been heavily linked with a move to Mercedes. His team mate for 2020 is Canada's Nicholas Latifi, who will be the only rookie on the grid when the season finally begins.

george russell,nicholas latifi,williams,f1,formula

George Russell (left) and Nicholas Latifi. Image: Getty Images

Free agents

Apart from Vettel and Alonso, Germany's Nico Hulkenberg is keen to return after a year's absence. Hulkenberg has driven for Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault but has never climbed on the podium. He said he "would not decline a good offer".


Nico Hulkenberg. Image: AFP

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Do you think Mercedes will return to form later in the 2022 F1 season after two poor races?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, don't discredit them.
34% - 495 votes
Who cares, F1 is exciting again!
43% - 634 votes
No, it's Ferrari's turn to dominate again.
23% - 334 votes