Out of 10 teams in the category, 7 will make a debut in the upcoming 2021 season set to start in Bahrain with a different pair of drivers than the one they had in 2020. Alfa Romeo, Williams, and Mercedes decided to keep the same drivers to compete in the 2021 season.
Regarding this, Alfa's technical director Jan Monchaux shared his views on how a new signing would make the season more complicated due to the adaptation process that the driver had to go through with the new car, the crew, and the new environment, since, in his words, they are not always Charles Leclerc, all this according to Motorsport Week.com
“We are happy with Antonio. And I think now for the short-term future – this season – I have to confess, I’d rather have a driver I know, that knows the car, that we don’t have to build up to get the maximum out of.”
“Because certainly teams that have changed one or two drivers now, that have maybe even gone to rookies, they are going to make life more difficult for themselves, now in the short term, than maybe they need to.” he said.
“In the medium-long term, maybe they will get the dividends out of it. But the 2021 season, unless they have the new Charles Leclerc in the car, who is already starting to shine after two or three races, they are already going to make life difficult for themselves. And that’s also in that respect for us, maybe not so wrong.”
The technical boss had also a few words regarding F2 champion Mick Schumacher debut in Formula 1, and how the German, being part of the Ferrari Drivers Academy was once a possible option for a driver pairing in Alfa Romeo.
The young German even had the opportunity to take part in a Practice Session of the 2020 Eifel GP with Alfa if it was not for the very bad weather that made not possible for him to get in the car.
It‘s a shame there was no on-track action today, especially for the fans. However, I could learn a lot being part of all the regular race weekend procedures. Thank you for this opportunity! @alfaromeoracing @insideFDA #F1 #EifelGP 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/w2WO0PoOaA— Mick Schumacher (@SchumacherMick) October 9, 2020
“There was certainly a consideration at one time, but we don’t decide whether Mick gets a chance with us. In the end, Ferrari decided otherwise. Ferrari and Alfa. There are certainly reasons with the sponsorship – the Alfa brand, which perhaps prefers to have an Italian in the car.”
The upcoming 2021 season was set to be the one where, if not for the global pandemic, would have resulted in the introduction of new regulations that have as a purpose reducing the differences between teams on the grid and bring a more competitive spectacle.
This decision was delayed a year with 2022 being the one of a new revolution in Formula 1. The budget cap, however, is now introduced to the teams with the FIA aiming for a better and fairer competition, but Jan Monchaux expects convergence to take its time and expresses the consequences will not be visible just now.
“I don’t think any effect of the budget cap on the teams’ competitiveness will be evident in 2021.”
“The budget cap is only being introduced for this season, when the 2021 cars were already completed. There will be in-season development, of course, but with the regulations remaining stable from last year I don’t expect any overhaul beyond some minor changes in the pecking order. We will start to see some more impact from 2022, when all the teams will have the same budget ceiling to develop the car.” He said to Sky Sports Germany in an interview revealed on Monday.
“I think this will result in the gaps in performance to be reduced, although the full effect of the new regulations will take a few years to become apparent. Large teams not only have the money and the people to give them an edge, but also a technological advantage they benefit from, and the effect of this will take a few years to fade.”
“Also, we should not forget that the budget cap doesn’t cover the power unit, the heart of the car, which will still be a large differentiator and therefore an advantage for the best in the class.”
“Overall, though, I am confident that within two or three years, gaps will be reduced.”
The new Alfa Romeo C41 saw the world for the first time last Monday, and will test the track for the team’s filming day at Barcelona in Montmeló on Friday 26th.
Car: ✔️— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) February 22, 2021
Lots of pictures: ✔️
Next ➡️ racing! pic.twitter.com/sZV9zV0ReX