From Sebastian Vettel To Valtteri Bottas, Drivers With A Do-Or-Die Scenario For 2021 F1 Season

Published 12/25/2020, 5:07 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – General view of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon at the restart of the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


The 2020 F1 season was an absolute rollercoaster in terms of the races and emotions that were on display. Next year promises to be more of the same, with an enhanced 23-race calendar.

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But that said, 2022 is a crucial year in terms of technical regulations and consequently, drivers’ switches as well. It could possibly mean that some drivers need to put in their best efforts compared to others to retain their seats for 2022.

So without further ado, we take a look at five drivers for whom the 2021 season is going to be absolutely crucial.

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1) Valtteri Bottas

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

Since joining Mercedes from Williams in 2017, Bottas has proven to be an able aide to world champion Lewis Hamilton. However, following Russell’s impressive showing in Sakhir, Mercedes may be forced into rethinking their line-up.

Therefore, the Finn driver has to step it up and show that he is a real championship contender next year.

2) Sergio Perez

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Despite getting the chance alongside Verstappen at Red Bull for 2021, Perez will have to be at his absolute best. The team always has the likes of Albon and Tsunoda to promote into the main seat.

With that in mind, the Mexican needs to step up to deliver what Red Bull is most craving for – a genuine fight towards achieving the Constructors’ Title.

3) Sebastian Vettel

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the garage before practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS

There is a sense of rejuvenation at Aston Martin for Vettel, now that he has moved out of Ferrari. He has the chance to be a real leader and guide the racing project forward. That said, Vettel has to make his final few years in F1 count, or possibly, risk losing his seat at the team.

4) Antonio Giovinazzi

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi during an interview before practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS

The Italian driver was entrusted with the responsibility of driving alongside veteran Raikkonen for 2021. But there were constant links of replacing him with Mick Schumacher at the team.

With Callum Ilott, a realistic contender from the Ferrari academy, waiting in the wings, Giovinazzi has to show more in 2021 to prove that he deserves the seat at Alfa Romeo.

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5) Esteban Ocon

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Renault’s Esteban Ocon celebrates on the podium after finishing the race in second place Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

Thus far, Ocon has had nothing but strong teammates in Perez and Ricciardo, and he now also has to battle with former champion Fernando Alonso. With Renault on the upward rise, the young Frenchman has to show that he is up to the task.

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Considering the reported rumors of Gasly possibly moving to Alpine in 2022, Ocon has to show that he is the right man for the job at his team in 2021.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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