Driving Debrief – A week of big announcements (15.02.21-21.02.21)

An image showing 'This Week' and the dates from this week.

In a busy F1 week, many stories and announcements don’t get the attention they deserve. To help with this, every week the most important missed F1 news will be highlighted and discussed. With the season yet to start, the next few weeks will be based more on announcements than racing but this will quickly change. So, let’s get started…

Fernando Alonso update:

While there were a lot of F1 updates this week, nothing was as good to see as Alpine’s update on Alonso’s condition. Hearing that the Spanish driver has been discharged from hospital and will be ready for his return to F1 in just over a month is amazing news. Following such a horrendous cycling accident, there was (unsurprisingly) a lot of concern. Despite a broken jaw, Fernando seems to have returned to light training. Given this, we can get back to fully preparing for the season, hoping that his injury won’t affect his early race chances.

Red Bull / Honda agreement:

Last week, we saw the news of an agreed engine freeze in 2022. This was particularly important for Red Bull who were reeling from the news of Honda’s departure from the sport at the end of the year. This made this weeks news even more important. Red Bull and AlphaTauri will continue to run Honda engines until 2024. The two teams will continue to use the Honda technology, despite the absence of the manufacturer itself. This will be done using the new Red Bull Powertrains company who will provide the engines. With development frozen, Red Bull and Honda could agree upon a situation which favoured them both. It is good to know that Red Bull and AlphaTauri are now safe in the sport and everyone looks forward to their battles on track this year.


This week saw a lot of launch date announcements, with Haas being the only team still to reveal their date. Red Bull posted a video stating that their launch will take place on Tuesday 23rd February, just one day after Alfa Romeo’s launch tomorrow. Both Alpine and Aston Martin revealed that their launches would take place in the following week. Alpine will show their car to the world on the 2nd March, the same day as the Mercedes launch. One day later, we will then see the brand new Aston Martin livery, something that everyone is very excited for. Seeing the new McLaren and AlphaTauri cares this week has excited everyone. With another 8 launches in the next couple of weeks, we are ready and counting down the days until the first race.

Pietro Fittipaldi and Haas:

Despite not announcing their launch date, Haas did announce something this week. Pietro Fittipaldi will continue as their reserve and test driver for 2021. The young American driver performed exceptionally in the Virtual Grand Prix in January. This success, as well as his ability to jump in the car with no preparation following Grosjean’s horror crash, means he is well-placed for this role. Everyone is happy to see the young driver in the sport in 2021 and celebrate his continuation for Haas with him.

There we go! The rest of the important F1 news and announcements for this week. Let me know what you think of these stories and what you’re looking forward to seeing this year. With car launches coming thick and fast, see you soon with another set of liveries to discuss.

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