F1 team-mates: Who’s successful the brand new key 2021 battles, and who’s struggling? Assessing all 20 drivers



With a fierce championship battle on the entrance and thrilling racing by means of the sphere from established drivers, new signings and younger rookies – it has been a compelling begin to the 2021 Formulation 1 season.

However who’re main the important thing intra-team battles up to now?

After 5 races, we check out all 20 drivers and all 10 groups – seven of which have a brand new driver pairing for 2021.

There have been contrasting begins to the season when it comes to factors for the Mercedes drivers, with Lewis Hamilton – earlier than a disappointing Monaco at the very least – having fun with his best-ever cost out of the blocks, whereas team-mate Valtteri Bottas has but to complete within the prime two positions, not to mention win a race.

Bottas, who has two unlucky DNFs this season, definitely seems to be extra aggressive in comparison with Hamilton on Saturdays, and might take solace from the very fact he has overwhelmed Lewis within the two qualifying periods the place he has not been on pole.

Hamilton has not been defeated in a qualy team-mate head-to-head since being edged by Nico Rosberg in 2014, in spite of everything.

Pierre Gasly, gone. Alex Albon, gone. The second Purple Bull seat subsequent to Max Verstappen has develop into considerably of a poisoned chalice in recent times – and there was loads of intrigue surrounding the workforce and new signing Sergio Perez over the primary 5 races. The outcomes? Blended, it’s honest to say.

Perez has been nearer to Verstappen when it comes to one-lap and race tempo than his predecessors – and even out-qualified the Dutchman at Imola – however has nonetheless struggled to nail a totally clear weekend, leaving Verstappen typically preventing a one-car battle in opposition to Mercedes.

Anticipate to see higher outcomes from the Mexican as soon as he absolutely will get to grips with the RB16B, and as soon as he begins to nail down the next grid place.

After two evenly-matched years alongside Carlos Sainz, many anticipated Lando Norris to face a sterner problem within the type of race-winner and established star Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren. However Lando has greater than stepped up.

Ricciardo holds the qualifying edge – aided considerably by a lap deletion for Norris at Imola – however it’s the younger Brit who has been the extra constant on the Saturday and certainly the Sunday, with two very good podiums within the first 5 races.

After a determined Monaco the place he was lapped by his team-mate, Ricciardo will hope to seek out some kind in Baku this weekend.

It is benefit Lance Stroll within the battle in opposition to new four-time champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin up to now, which is considerably of a shock. Not simply due to the German’s pedigree, but additionally as a result of Stroll has by no means overwhelmed a team-mate in qualifying head-to-heads over a season.

Vettel, like many new signings for 2021, has struggled to become familiar with an Aston Martin automobile which isn’t as aggressive because the Racing Level of final 12 months, though he’ll hope a really spectacular Monaco – the place he certified eighth and completed fifth – kick begins his marketing campaign.

An excellent greater shock is how the head-to-heads have performed out at Alpine up to now, with Esteban Ocon, who struggled subsequent to Ricciardo final 12 months, dominating returning multi world champion Fernando Alonso.

After a difficult season-opener, Ocon has not been overwhelmed in qualifying by Alonso, nor has he completed exterior the top-10 within the race, since. A fifth-place in Barcelona qualifying stands out because the spotlight efficiency for a driver who got here into the season below a good bit of strain.

Can Alonso, who isn’t outshone by a team-mate, bounce again?

Ferrari are a rejuvenated power in 2021, not simply due to their much-improved automobile – but additionally due to their dynamic younger driver line-up.

Charles Leclerc continues to appear to be an F1 star, with a Monaco crash that spoiled his pole place the one actual low second, whereas Carlos Sainz has slotted into the Scuderia very properly certainly, pushing Leclerc whereas additionally delivering a Ferrari podium in Monte Carlo. Issues are wanting up.

AlphaTauri anticipated large issues from the 2021 marketing campaign, and it’s honest to say Pierre Gasly is holding up his finish of the cut price within the AT02 automobile, delivering three top-six finishes in qualifying and starring within the Imola and Monaco races. However Purple Bull’s sister workforce want just a little extra from Yuki Tsunoda.

The younger Japanese driver was described as “the most effective rookie in years” by F1 chief Ross Brawn after the season-opener in Bahrain, however since that ninth place has actually struggled. Out in Q1 through a crash in Imola and an alarming lack of tempo in Spain in Monaco, Tsunoda might do with a return to the factors sharpish.

Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have been evenly-matched of their two seasons collectively at Alfa Romeo, and it seems to be like we’ve obtained one other shut intra-team Alfa Romeo battle on our arms this 12 months. The pair appear to fluctuate in efficiency from Saturday and Sunday, with Giovinazzi the rather more spectacular qualifier for the time being.

The Italian definitely deserves large credit score for his tenth in Monaco qualifying and the race.

Driving an under-developed Haas automobile behind the grid could be a tricky ask for any F1 driver, not to mention two rookies. However Mick Schumacher has performed effectively to face out, out-qualifying Mazepin by greater than half a second in most qualifying periods, his solely blip coming in Monaco when a closing follow crash booted him out of the shootout.

Williams are nonetheless ready for that first factors end because the 2019 German GP, however George Russell continues to shine. Fairly extremely, Russell has progressed to Q2 in each shootout up to now, whereas he has additionally by no means been out-qualified by a team-mate in 43 makes an attempt at Williams. He’ll, nevertheless, nonetheless be kicking himself for blowing an enormous top-10 likelihood by crashing into Bottas at Imola.

* each drivers retired from the Emilia Romagna GP, so no rating is given.





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