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F1: How are the new driver signings faring? The stats behind Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Co

Assessing how each of the eight Formula 1 drivers who have either changed teams or joined the grid for 2021 are getting on; Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel, and Carlos Sainz are on the up, but what about the others? Watch French GP live on Sky F1 this weekend

With seven all-new driver line-ups and big names such as Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo on the move, and Fernando Alonso returning, the success and struggles of Formula 1's new signings has been one of the many talking points at the start of the 2021 season.

So how are the eight new recruits getting on? We assess all the key stats ahead of this weekend's French GP, the seventh race of the season.

Sergio Perez (joined Red Bull from Racing Point)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 1-5
Race vs team-mate: 1-5
Best qualifying result: 2nd
Best race result: 1st
Points: 69 (3rd)

After a steady but unspectacular start, Perez's Red Bull career had lift-off in Azerbaijan as the Mexican driver capped his best weekend with an unlikely victory. Before Baku, Perez had been unable to hook together a complete Grand Prix with his Saturdays, 2nd in Imola qualifying aside, often his downfall.

On race days, as he has proved over the years, Perez has been just what Red Bull have been looking for after Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon's unsuccessful runs as Max Verstappen's team-mate; a reliable second driver to aid the Dutch star. Better grid slots should surely see Perez excel from now on, with a new contract possibly in the pipeline.

Daniel Ricciardo (joined McLaren from Renault)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 3-3
Race vs team-mate: 1-5
Best qualifying result: 6th
Best race result: 5th
Points: 26 (10th)

While Ricciardo has been competitive in qualifying, it's fair to say he has been outshone by young team-mate Lando Norris so far this season. It's also fair to say he probably expected a fair bit more from his first six McLaren races.

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Ricciardo, a seven-time race-winner who was one of the star drivers from 2020, has shown flashes of that form - particularly in Spain - but hasn't yet stamped his authority with the Woking team, still struggling to get to grips with a car that, although quick, seems to have its quirks. After a desperately poor Monaco - where he was lapped by Norris - and a below-par Azerbaijan, Ricciardo will hope to find confidence again over the triple header.

Sebastian Vettel (joined Aston Martin from Ferrari)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 3-3
Race vs team-mate: 3-3
Best qualifying result: 10th
Best race result: 2nd
Points: 28 (9th)

New drivers slowly getting a handle on their new cars has been a theme of F1 2021 so far, and nobody sums that up better than Sebastian Vettel.

There were certainly warning signs when Vettel - who endured a two-year slump at Ferrari before joining Aston Martin - struggled through the opening few races - but the four-time world champion has been in sublime form in recent weeks. He backed up a fifth place in Monaco, where he beat Lewis Hamilton, with a superb drive from 11th to second in Azerbaijan, his best result since 2019. Driver of the day after both of those races, Vettel looks reinvigorated.

Fernando Alonso (joined Alpine after returning to F1)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 2-4
Race vs team-mate: 1-5
Best qualifying result: 9th
Best race result: 6th
Points: 13 (11th)

Returning to F1 in his late 30s after two years away was always going to be difficult, and Alonso hasn't quite hit the levels we have come to expect and relish over the last 20 years.

After a strong opener, where he beat Esteban Ocon in qualifying before retiring from the race, Alonso was out-qualified in four races in a row by his young French team-mate, who in turn was dominated by Ricciardo last year.

The Spanish double world champion did, however, bounce back in Azerbaijan, with a super last two laps to secure sixth. He'll hope that kickstarts his 2021 season.

Carlos Sainz (joined Ferrari from McLaren)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 1-5
Race vs team-mate: 1-5
Best qualifying result: 4th
Best race result: 2nd
Points: 42 (7th)

The head-to-heads may not back it up, but considering the pressure on his shoulders and the struggles Vettel had against Charles Leclerc at Ferrari - it's been a quietly impressive start to the season for Sainz, who has been as advertised in F1's famous red. Dependable yet ferociously fast on his day, Sainz seems a perfect fit for a resurgent Ferrari.

Sure, Sainz would have loved to back up his decent pace with some headline results - he very well could have won in Monaco without his team-mate's qualifying crash and uncharacteristically struggled on the Sunday in Azerbaijan - but the Spaniard should be happy with his first six races, and expect to see him kick on from here.

Yuki Tsunoda (joined AlphaTauri as a rookie)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 0-6
Race vs team-mate: 1-5
Best qualifying result: 8th
Best race result: 7th
Points: 8 (14th)

Showing flashes of star quality while also making far too many mistakes, Tsunoda is having the quintessential rookie campaign so far and could do with some steady weekends to ease himself into F1.

The highs have certainly been there - Tsunoda burst onto the scene in Bahrain and impressed in Baku - but so have the lows, with a crash-heavy Imola and back-to-back Q1 exits in Spain in Monaco certainly disappointing considering the pace of his car and Pierre Gasly's performances.

Mick Schumacher (joined Haas as a rookie)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 5-1
Race vs team-mate: 5-1
Best qualifying result: 17th
Best race result: 13th
Points: 0 (17th)

Driving a car that is considerably slower than any other on the grid, Schumacher was always going to be up against it to show his quality as an F1 rookie - but he's done rather well so far in the circumstances.

He's the only driver on this list to enjoy a positive qualifying record against his team-mate (albeit he's also a rookie) and even managed to beat the Williams of Nicholas Latifi on pure pace in Portugal. He's had his tough moments - the crash in Monaco P3 that ruled him out of qualifying sticks out - and replicating his father's success is an unrealistic expectation, but Mick has made an assured start to life in F1.

Nikita Mazepin (joined Haas as a rookie)

Qualifying vs team-mate: 1-5
Race vs team-mate: 1-5
Best qualifying result: 18th
Best race result: 14th
Points: 0 (19th)

See above for the pace issues with the Haas car, but Mazepin has certainly had a rockier start to his F1 career than Schumacher. There have been spins and crashes aplenty from the young Russian driver, who has only finished ahead of Schumacher in qualifying once, and that was a session his team-mate didn't take part in.

Mazepin does seem to be improving, getting closer to Schumacher in recent weeks, but he has a long way to go to prove his F1 credentials.


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