The millions of Formula 1 fans can start celebrating. The biggest series in world motorsport is back, with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which opens the 2021 championship. Technically, this year's cars have not changed much, which may indicate few changes in the hierarchy seen last season. Even so, the pre-season tests showed that at least the start can be more balanced than normal, with Max Verstappen with the best lap time in the sessions that were held at the same place as the opening of the championship, in addition to Mercedes being the team that least accumulated mileage. Based on what was seen in those tests, in addition to the retrospective on Sakhir's track, the Motorsport.com Brazil team selected some guesses that could be useful to anyone who is betting.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull and Honda arrive optimistic for the championship, with the Japanese automaker saving nothing for later, since it will leave F1 at the end of the year. The team that represents the energy drink manufacturer had good results in the pre-season, in addition to winning the Abu Dhabi GP, the last race of 2020. With this, it is possible to believe that the Dutch driver will be able to achieve favoritism for the proof in Sakhir. Victory: Max Verstappen
Even with Verstappen being the best bet to win the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes can never be considered out. The Englishman driver largely dominated this same race in 2020, taking pole position and winning for the last time in his career. His talent can take him to the best possible position to start a GP. Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton
One of the major changes in the F1 grid for 2021 was the arrival of Sergio Pérez at Red Bull. In 2020 the Mexican driver had consistency as his main characteristic, achieving a victory at the end of the season in Sakhir, but with another track layout. Pérez must take advantage of the good pace of his new team shown in the pre-season and pinch a podium place. Top-3: Sergio Pérez
The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix was marked by the serious accident of Romain Grosjean that obviously interrupted the race at that point. But, the presence of a safety car was constant last year, being part of 11 races in 17. With the characteristics of the track, which will have strong winds on Sunday, in addition to the anxiety of the drivers for a new season that begins, the probability of accidents are high, so the safety car must show up in Sakhir. Safety Car Period: Yes
Ferrari finished sixth in the constructors' championship in 2020, the team's worst placement in 40 years. But according to analysts and from what was seen in the tests in Sakhir two weeks ago, the most popular F1 team will take a step forward, it should not yet fight for victories, but the duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz must constantly score. The Monegasque has more time with the team, so you can see him placing the red car among the “best of the rest”. Top-6: Charles Leclerc