Sebastian Vettel believes the fight behind Mercedes and Red Bull will be "very tight" this season with the midfield seemingly even closer than last season.
In 2020, McLaren emerged victorious in a year-long duel between itself, Racing Point and Renault, the latter teams now Aston Martin and Alpine.
The timesheets in winter testing suggested AlphaTauri and Ferrari had the pace to join the tussle with the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix confirming this to be true.
In last year's battle, the balance of power swung with each race and, after a disappointing showing in Bahrain with Lance Stroll finishing 10th and Vettel 15th, the German hopes this will once again prove to be the case.
“Obviously, you always hope for the best," said the four-time champion. "I think the big favourites are clear. It is Mercedes and Red Bull and then we will see.
"I imagine at this stage it is going to be very tight behind them.”
In his final campaign with Ferrari, Vettel endured the worst season of his Formula 1 career, scoring just 33 points compared to the 98 scored by then-team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Despite the difficulties, the German's ambition for success remains untarnished.
Asked his personal targets for the year, Vettel answered: “To win all the races. Why bother finishing in the points? We need to be realistic."
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