NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Viewers on DStv can look forward to the first round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, live from the Bahrain International Circuit on the afternoon of Sunday 28 March 2021.
The first race of the new season looks set to be an unpredictable one, with changes on the team front seeing McLaren switching to using Mercedes engines, as well as Racing Point and Renault rebranded as Aston Martin and Alpine respectively.
In terms of drivers, changes incude the return of two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso (racing for Alpine), four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has moved to Aston Martin, and Carlos Sainz has stepped up to Ferrari.
Yet the focus will continue to be on reigning champions Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. The British pilot will hope the 2021 season sees him become the first to reach 100 race wins (he has 95), 100 pole positions (he has 98) and become the all-time leader in terms of drivers’ world titles (he is currently tied with Michael Schumacher on seven).
His main threat should theoretically come from Mercedes teammate Valterri Bottas, but the Finn has been so thoroughly crushed by Hamilton in recent seasons that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is perhaps the more likely challenger.
Nico Rosberg – who beat Hamilton to the 2016 drivers’ title – believes his former Mercedes teammate is still the clear favourite, but is excited by the prospect of Verstappen being able to offer a greater threat to the Silver Arrows’ dominance.
“It still has to go on Lewis because nobody can fathom someone actually beating Lewis throughout the entire season on points. So, the money would still have to go to Lewis,” said Rosberg. “But Max Verstappen, in particular, is as close as ever before in pre-season in terms of the odds to beat Lewis to the championship. I don’t think anyone’s been that close for many, many years.”
Vettel, meanwhile, reckons the midfield will be closer to Mercedes and Red Bull this season: “In terms of performance, as far as what I’ve seen, it looks to be very close. That would be good if it’s like that,” said the German.
“So yeah, Red Bull look very strong, Mercedes, anything than being at the top would be a surprise for everyone. It looks like all the midfield have caught up. But it depends how the car feels, if the car feels fine, but it’s relative.”
Last season’s Bahrain Grand Prix was run in November 2020 and was won by Lewis Hamilton, who also claimed pole position. The Red Bulls of Verstappen and Alexander Albon (who has been replaced at the Austrian team by Sergio Perez for 2021) completed the podium.
SuperSport will also open its Motorsport channel to DStv Compact and Compact Plus customers until Friday 26 March, offering them a taste of Formula 1 action. F1 fans can also see a review of Lewis Hamilton’s record-breaking 2020 season on Thursday 25 March (20:45 CAT on SuperSport Motorsport), which looks back at the British driver’s dominance in his Mercedes and how he became the all-time leader in terms of pole positions and race wins.
Visit www.dstv.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream live action on DStv.
Bahrain Grand Prix broadcast details, 27-28 March 2021
Saturday 27 March
16:55: Qualifying – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand, SuperSport Motorsport and SuperSport Maximo 1
Sunday 28 March
16:55: Race – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand, SuperSport Motorsport and SuperSport Maximo 1