Check out in this post the photos of the new Alfa Romeo car for the 2021 F1 season, the C41, and what to expect from Ferrari’s main partner team for this year:
Alfa Romeo drivers in F1 2021:
7 – Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)
99 – Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)
Almost every analysis of Alfa Romeo’s F1 performance in 2020 says that the Swiss team maintained its eighth place in the Constructors’ World Championship the previous year, but with a clear drop in performance. There were 57 points scored in 2019 against only eight last year.
Despite this deterioration, the team, whose operation is carried out by Sauber, has good reasons to be more optimistic with 2021.
The first is that much of the blame for the poor performance in 2020 was the Ferrari engine, the least competitive on the grid. All the teams that used the Italian propeller had problems. The biggest example is the Ferrari itself that went from winning GPs in 2019 to sixth place in the Constructors in 2020.
The expectation is that Ferrari has solved part of the engine problems for 2021 and that both Maranello’s squadron and its client teams, as is the case with Alfa Romeo, will perform better this year.
The second reason is the bet on continuity. For the third year in a row, the team will have Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi as a pair. They already know how the team works, each other’s strengths and weaknesses and what they need to do to improve.
Giovinazzi, by the way, came to be speculated outside Alfa Romeo for 2021 – for the arrival of Mick Schumacher -, but the Italian guaranteed another chance. He still tries to establish himself in F1 (only in one race in the race did he finish in the top eight) but showed evolution by being the driver who most won positions in the first laps in 2020. There were 45, almost three per race, an impressive number.
It remains to be seen if this is a reflection of him being a good starter or of failing to qualify well in taking times and needing to compensate during the races.
If Giovinazzi does not continue his evolution in F1, his place at Alfa Romeo will be threatened. It’s just that Ferrari has the right to nominate one of the team’s starters, and the Italian team is full of young people in F2, like Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong.
In addition, this is the last of the three-year contract between Alfa Romeo and Sauber. In recent weeks, the international press has published a news article saying that the Italian brand is studying to enter Formula E, since the automaker’s street cars will be mostly electric, but the tendency is that the agreement in F1 is renewed. Even more so because of the arrival of the new regulation in 2022 and the spending ceiling, which may help the team to achieve better results.
But speaking of 2021, Alfa Romeo introduced the C41, its new car for F1, with some news. The main ones are at the front, like the new nozzle. He maintained the three ducts that were already present in last year’s equipment, but this time they are practically aligned. In 2020, there were two more on top and one just below.
There were also updates to the bargeboars (the part between the front axle and the sidepods), with the C41 coming without the “L” shaped baffle. Alfa Romeo also returned to having a finer shark fin, after having one of the largest on the grid and 2020. Other than that, there were changes in the floor caused by this year’s new rules.
STRONG POINTS OF ALFA ROMEO 2021 IN F1
In a year in which practically all the teams (with the exception of Mercedes and Williams) changed their drivers, keeping the pair turns out to be an asset that can even speed up the process of developing the new car. Even more because the fault of last year’s poor performance was more related to the equipment (the Ferrari engine) than to Raikkonen and Giovinazzi.
Other than that, the contract with Poland’s Orlen, an oil company, as a master sponsor guarantees financial stability.
WEAK POINTS OF ALFA ROMEO 2021
Until the contract renewal with Alfa Romeo is signed, there is no guarantee about Sauber’s future in F1. Not that there is a risk that the team will leave the category if the bond is not extended. But this type of uncertainty can lead to layoffs, the search for paying pilots, and hamper the development of the equipment throughout the year.