the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Michelle Wu '21
In the 2020 Formula 1 Season, a year without the usual cheering from the crowd and several teams facing pandemic-driven financial difficulties, the world has witnessed some of the most miraculous comebacks. From Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, who suffered from the humiliating demotion by Red Bull a year ago, winning the Italian Grand Prix, to Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who was on the verge of not having a seat next year, starting from the last place on the first lap to winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, to Haas’ Roman Grosjean coming out of the fireball alive after trapping in it for 28 seconds. At the time of writing this article, the 2021 Formula 1 season has just unfolded with the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. What predictions can we make from these two races, and what can we expect from the rest of the season?
Max Verstappen vs. Lewis Hamilton: Who is Going to be the 2021 Formula 1 Champion?
After the first two races of the season, the 24-year-old rising star Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is only one point behind the seven-times F1 world champion Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton won first place at the Bahrain Grand Prix and second place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as well as earning an extra point for driving the fastest lap in the race, while Verstappen won second place at the Bahrain Grand Prix and first place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Although Mercedes has consistently produced the fastest car on the track for the past few years, Verstappen’s brilliant and aggressive driving skills and Red Bull’s strong pit stops cannot be ignored either. Every legendary driver has a period of dominance, yet the driver would eventually lose his reign. Maybe, in 2021, we could see the rise of another Formula 1 driver who would dominate the field in the next decade.
Can Sergio Perez Evade the Curse of the Red Bull Second Driver and Retain this Coveted Seat Next Season?
Sergio Perez was a veteran in Formula 1 racing, yet he found himself without a seat after Racing Point announced that Sebastian Vettel would replace him towards the end of the 2020 F1 season. Thinking that he would say goodbye to the sport after the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, he pulled up one of the most magnificent comebacks of the decade — fighting from the last place on the first lap to scoring his first win in his career with a mid-field car. He also found a bigger surprise waiting upon him — Red Bull, the runner-up to the championship, invited him to join the team. But would going to a top team guarantee success?
Every Red Bull driver knows what the team wants — score as many points as possible and challenge Mercedes. When the driver fails to achieve this goal in the first half of the season, he faces the adversity of being demoted to Alpha Tauri (the sister team of Red Bull) — or even worse, finding himself with no seat in the next season. The past isn’t promising for the second Red Bull driver — Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon have all been demoted or fired within two seasons. So far, Perez has done a good job — but still not as good as Max Verstappen’s performances or up to Red Bull’s great expectations — by earning 5th place in the Bahrain Grand Prix and passing the line faster than Verstappen in the timed trial at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. We hope to see Perez fully grasping the Red Bull opportunity and pushing the car to its limit in the next 21 races!