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Formula 1

2021 vs 2020: How do the F1 drivers and teams compare?

At the halfway point of the 2021 season, RacingNews365.com takes a look at who are the biggest winners and losers compared to last year's summer break. Which drivers have been the biggest improvers, and which teams have lost the most?

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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

As F1 prepares to return to action with the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, it's time to take a look at how the entire field is doing compared to the same point last year. Given the relatively stable regulations, the same cars and (largely) the same driver line-ups, you'd expect that the 2021 season would be playing out similarly to 2020.

But some drivers and some teams are performing way beyond what they did a year ago, while some are having a terrible season. RacingNews365.com compares the data to highlight who has made gains, and who needs to step it up a notch in the second half of the season.


The big change for 2021 compared to last year is the obvious step forward that Red Bull has made, which came at the expense of Mercedes. Last year, Mercedes had nine victories from 11 races at the summer break. This year, that is just four wins, while Red Bull have gone from one to six wins in the same period.

Ferrari have also made massive improvements, being able to join in the battle for third place with McLaren. Last year, three teams were able to compete for third place, but Alpine and Aston Martin have had a significant drop in form so far this season and have fallen behind Ferrari.

Instead, the Alpine and Aston Martin team are now fighting with AlphaTauri over fifth place.

At the very back, Haas have slipped yet further away after a terrible 2020, while Williams have made clear steps forward after being the slowest team on the grid last year. These two teams, as well as Alfa Romeo, bring up the rear.

Team 2020 2021 Difference
Mercedes 391 391 -88
Red Bull 211 291 +80
Ferrari 80 163 +83
McLaren 116 163 +47
Alpine (Renault) 114 77 -37
AlphaTauri 67 68 +1
Aston Martin (Racing Point) 120 48 -72
Williams 0 10 +10
Alfa Romeo 5 3 -2
Haas 3 0 -3


Amongst the drivers, it's McLaren's Lando Norris who has enjoyed the biggest improvement of the year. He has gained an extra 48 points compared to the same point last season. Not far behind him is Red Bull's Max Verstappen, with the Dutch driver 40 points clear of where he was at the summer break in 2020.

Both of these drivers stayed with the same team they drove for in 2020, while the next best improvers, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, switched teams. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc has made small gains, while Sebastian Vettel looks happier driving for Aston Martin than he did in last year's Ferrari.

The biggest drops aren't particularly surprising, with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the unenviable position of being the biggest loser since this time last season. The Finn is down 53 points on his 2020 mid-term score, particularly galling for him given Hamilton has gained 35 points.

Daniel Ricciardo, who switched from Renault to McLaren, has also struggled, and has to watch on while teammate Lando Norris leads the way as the year's biggest improvement.

Driver 2020 2021 Difference
Hamilton 230 195 -35
Verstappen 147 187 +40
Norris 65 113 +48
Bottas 161 108 -53
Perez 68 104 +36
Sainz 51 83 +32
Leclerc 63 80 +17
Gasly 53 50 -3
Ricciardo 78 50 -28
Ocon 36 39 +3
Vettel 17 30 +13
Stroll 57 18 -39
Latifi 0 6 +6
Russell 0 4 +4
Raikkonen 2 2 0
Giovinazzi 3 1 -2

F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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