Formula 1: The two team names we won’t see in 2021

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Formula 1 (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Formula 1 (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images) /

Renault have become Alpine and Racing Point have become Aston Martin for the 2021 Formula 1 season, adding to the recent list of rebranded teams in the sport.

The 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix may have been the last time we see the names Racing Point and Renault competing in Formula 1.

For the 2021 season, these two teams have been rebranded as Aston Martin and Alpine, respectively.

A consortium led by Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll invested a whopping £182 million into the British automobile brand, and the team are set to become the works Aston Martin team next year with Stroll as the company’s new executive chairman.

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This marks the first appearance of the Aston Martin name in Formula 1 since their two-year run in 1959 and 1960. They competed in five races over those two seasons.

In 2021, Lawrence’s son Lance is set to compete for the team alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is set to replace the Red Bull-bound Sergio Perez after leaving Ferrari.

As for the changes at Renault that have seen the team rebranded as Alpine, this move comes as a result of new Renault Group CEO Luca De Meo reorganizing the company and placing a goal on promoting the brands of Renault, Dacia, Alpine and New Mobility.

Then-Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul landed the task of elevating Alpine, the producer of the A110 sportscar, and the team name is slated to change.

Despite Abiteboul’s unexpected departure over the offseason, the goal remains the same.

Their colors of yellow and black have been replaced by the French national colors of red white and blue. While chassis produced by the team will be known as Alpines, the engines are still going to have the Renault name attached (Renault E-TECH hybrid engines).

Set to join Esteban Ocon at the team this year as the McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement is two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who has not competed since he retired for the first time at the end of the 2018 season.

We have seen several teams move to different names in very recent history. Racing Point themselves only entered Formula 1 after Force India were sent into administration and purchased by a Stroll-led consortium during the 2018 season.

They ran as Racing Point Force India throughout the rest of the 2018 season before simply becoming Racing Point in 2019.

After Sauber became Alfa Romeo Sauber for 2018, the historic Sauber name was completely dropped after the 2018 season, and the team became Alfa Romeo Racing for 2019. Toro Rosso were rebranded as AlphaTauri after the 2019 season.

So only six of the 10 teams which competed in the 2017 season have the same names in 2021 as they did in 2017.

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The 2021 Formula 1 season is scheduled to begin this Sunday, March 28 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit. This race is set to be broadcast live on ESPN beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.