Formula 1 | 2021 season review: Ferrari

After a year 2020 that can be described as disastrous considering its usual standards, Scuderia Ferrari knew that it would not have a role to play in the title race in 2021 but hoped at least to find colors and fight for the third place in the constructors’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel has left for Aston Martin and is replaced by Carlos Sainz, who will therefore be Charles Leclerc’s new teammate. Displaying its youngest driver duo in years, the Scuderia hoped to create a new dynamic before switching to the new regulations of 2022.

The season

The SF21 immediately appears as a much more efficient single-seater than its predecessor and Ferrari drivers can fight for big points in the race. Leclerc is logically the most prominent driver of the team at the start of the season and fails at the foot of the podium on several occasions. Sainz is far from deserving and among the drivers who changed teams in the off-season, he seems to be the one who adapts best to his new car.

In Monaco, Leclerc achieved a brilliant pole position at home but unfortunately he crashed during his second attempt in Q3 and finally had to forfeit the race, a real heartbreak. Sainz manages to calm Ferrari’s disappointment by finishing second in the race, taking his first podium in red and the Scuderia’s first in 2021. Leclerc meanwhile takes a second consecutive pole in Azerbaijan but has to bow to Gasly in any end of the race for the podium.

At Silverstone, Leclerc took the lead of the race on the first lap following the collision between Hamilton and Verstappen. Unfortunately for him, the Monegasque was powerless against the rise of the Mercedes and he had to surrender with three laps to go. Sainz gets on the box in Hungary, after Vettel was disqualified from the race, before doing it again in Russia. The Spaniard is a real surprise in 2021 and will get four of Ferrari’s five podium finishes, as well as beating Leclerc to the wire in the drivers’ championship.

The Scuderia introduces a major evolution on its engine from Turkey and takes the opportunity to take over its rival McLaren in the standings, since it will keep third place until the end of the season. Leclerc and Sainz are systematically in the points and form a very regular and efficient duo. The Spaniard will even offer himself a fourth and last personal podium during the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Balance sheet

Unlike McLaren or Alpine F1, Ferrari ends the 2021 season without a win but still finishes third in the championship behind Mercedes and Red Bull. Thanks to an excellent driver duo and a new engine introduced at the end of the season, the Scuderia has shown very good progress compared to 2020.

This new engine is also promising for 2022, even if the competition will not sit idly by. The Italian team will now have to develop a very good chassis and who knows, they could well join the fight for the title this year.


3rd in the constructors’ championship with 323.50 points (6th with 131 points in 2020)

Best race result: 2nd (2nd in 2020)

5 podiums (3 in 2020)

2 pole positions (best qualification in 2020: 4th)

Qualifying record: 0 Q1, 11 Q2, 33 Q3

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