Battle for Bronze: Who will top the midfield at the end of the season?

08-04-2021 08:00
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Battle for Bronze: Who will top the midfield at the end of the season?

Despite only having one race under the belt, this Formula 1 season looks to be one of the most competitive we’ve seen in a long time. A battle at the top between Mercedes and Red Bull has already started but an even more hard-fought battle seems to be expected from the midfield teams chasing the final podium spot in the Constructors’ championship.

Three teams have begun the chase for bronze and it looks like it will be a continuous battle throughout the season to see who can come out on top. McLaren were victorious last year, claiming their best Constructors finish in nine years after a fifth and sixth-place finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, which leapfrogged them ahead of Racing Point into third overall.

Ferrari looks to have found some of the missing speed from last year and a strong performance from both Charles Leclerc and Sainz in the Bahrain GP last week has reinvigorated the hope in the fans of the Prancing Horse. AlphaTauri are looking to shake off being known as “Red Bull’s little brother” and could complete this task this season after Pierre Gasly and rookie Yuki Tsunoda showed great potential last month in the first GP of the season.

Who will prevail and claim the final podium spot this season?

McLaren

The Woking-based team will look to repeat the success from last year and will be the favourites of many to complete their goal. A strong-fourth placed finish from Norris and seventh-placed from Daniel Ricciardo, in his first race for his new team, secured McLaren 18 points from the first Grand Prix of the season.

A large number of people were worried that McLaren would struggle to find a way to succeed with the new Mercedes engine being incorporated into the chassis. Alongside this, all of their tokens were used up on the engine, resulting in people expecting other teams to make a larger step, including Zak Brown stating that it was a big risk to complete the task. 

However, in pre-season testing and the first race weekend of the season, they have managed to reach the top of the midfield, with Lando Norris believing that bridging the gap to Red Bull this season is possible for McLaren.

Although it is very early on in the season, McLaren seem to be the favourites, for a large majority of fans, to repeat last years success and top the midfield in December.

Ferrari

Gaining time was the number one priority for Ferrari this year and after the Bahrain GP, it looks like they’re back on track to find success, albeit not race-winning success.

Leclerc’s fourth-place and Sainz’s eighth-place in qualifying have made it seem as that the Prancing Horse has been able to make the biggest leap out of all teams compared to last season. In the race at the Bahrain International Circuit last season, Leclerc was unable to get out of Q2 and saw himself sit 1.901 seconds down on Lewis Hamilton, who took pole position. Whereas last month, Leclerc and Ferrari finished only 0.293 seconds down on Hamilton who qualified in P2 and only 0.681 seconds off of Max Verstappen and Red Bull in pole position.

Although the Monegasque driver lost the battle for fourth with Norris and fifth with Sergio Perez, a sixth-placed race finish and 12 total points, with Sainz’s eight-placed finish, for Ferrari reminds everyone that they can still compete for podium finishes this season.

AlphaTauri

A dark horse to many, AlphaTauri look like they have finally managed to shrug off the label of “Red Bull’s little brother” and are ready to compete at the top end of the midfield this season.

Despite winning at Monza last year, they struggled to score points and finished seventh in the Constructors’ championship ahead of only Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams. This year, they will be looking to fight amongst McLaren, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Yuki Tsunoda has already become a fan favourite, being the first rookie to score points on their first drive since Stoffel Vandoorne in 2016, and with Pierre Gasly being labelled as a dark horse on the grid, a strong season could be on the cards for the Italian team.

In Bahrain, Gasly qualified P5 ahead of both McLaren drivers and Carlos Sainz but sadly was unable to recover following a collision with Ricciardo on Lap 4 which resulted in him losing his front wing. Tsunoda drove to a superb ninth-place finish, scoring two points.

Although they don’t look as strong as McLaren, expect AlphaTauri to put up a fight in every race this season.

Who do you think will finish on top of the midfield?

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