The battle for third place in the 2021 Formula 1 constructors’ championship looks set to go down to the final race in Abu Dhabi

While there only has been one race so far in 2021, the fight for third looks set to be between McLaren and Ferrari.

It wasn’t long ago we were used to seeing McLaren and Ferrari duel it out at the front of the F1 grid.

McLaren left the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix as the third-fastest team, with Lando Norris finishing fourth, while Daniel Ricciardo picked up seventh.

Norris managed to beat Red Bull's Sergio Perez - who started from the pit lane after an electrical issue on the formation lap - and Charles Leclerc, by over 20 seconds.

While Norris did have the advantage on race day, Ferrari’s impressive turn of pace in qualifying raised a few eyebrows as Leclerc qualified fourth, just a tenth shy of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

Floor damage sustained by contact with Pierre Gasly impacted Ricciardo's progress, while Carlos Sainz had to recover from a sluggish start to finish eighth.

The Scuderia hasn’t returned to the levels of performance it showed in 2019, but it has made significant gains with its power unit, backed up by Alfa Romeo’s improvement this season.

Both teams have strong driver line ups and expect the momentum to swing back and forth throughout the season.

What of the rest of the midfield?

AlphaTauri will be left to rue a missed opportunity in Bahrain, coming away with just two points courtesy of rookie Yuki Tsunoda.

Gasly qualified fifth and looked to have the pace to maintain it, had it not been for an incident with Ricciardo following the Safety Car restart.

Aston Martin and Alpine struggled for pace all weekend in Bahrain, while Alfa Romeo is unlikely to have enough to challenge for regular top-ten finishes.

Who will come out on top - McLaren or Ferrari? - let us know in the comments below.

 

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