To all our fellow Petrolheads and avid followers of Formula One Grand Prix Racing! What are your thoughts on the first three races of the 2020 F1 season?
The first of two races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria (the opening race of the 2020 season) provided for plenty of entertainment with teams having to sort out small glitches with their cars.
In the second race, the AMG Mercedes-Benz team of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas showed the class of their new W11 car as Hamilton raced of into the distance. So was the case at the Hungoraring in Hungary a week later, where Hamilton nearly lapped the entire field on his way to a historic eighth win on this circuit.
The new double-axis steering (DAS) system on the car and the innovative design at the rear of the car seemed to have been the difference – a herald of things to come it appears. Mercedes swept the lower wishbone of the suspension as far back as possible to create a larger working area for the airflow and thus enhance the performance of the diffuser.
These two designs have clearly put the Silver Arrows team miles ahead of their competition. The Tifosi (Ferrari’s passionate fanatics) found it a bitter pill to swallow when both their Ferrari’s were lapped by Hamilton on route to victory in the last race at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
But, the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix will not only be remembered for Hamilton’s flawless drive in the invincible W11 Silver Arrow, but also for Max Verstappen from Red Bull Honda who crashed into the barriers on his way to the starting grid in wet conditions.
The Red Bull mechanics did a fine job to fix his car in about 25 minutes for a task that usually takes about an hour and a half to fix. The Dutchman repaid the favour handsomely to finish on the second step of the podium and split the Mercedes-Benz cars of Hamilton and Bottas.
The poor Bottas had a malfunction on his car’s steering wheel regarding the starting lights. By the time he recovered and trying to prevent a jump start, he lost a number of places from his second-place grid start. The hasty Finn did well to overcome the lost positions to finish a fine third place behind Verstappen.
This weekend, from Friday the 31st of July until Sunday the 2nd of August, the F1 circus will be traveling to the UK for the fourth round at the legendary Silverstone circuit. Being a power circuit, it will most likely suit the Silver Arrows (with their 2020 black liveries) like a glove. And being Hamilton’s home patch, he will surely want to add this race to his tally too.
The British racetrack, like the Red Bull Ring in Austria, will also be hosting two consecutive races with the next race scheduled for the 7th to the 9th of August. In the meanwhile, great excitement is doing the rounds amongst F1 fans with the announcement of four more races that have been added to the 2020 calendar.
It is clear from comments of F1 fans on various social media platforms who shared their delight of traditional race circuits appearing on the 2020 F1 calendar, and that they are not fans of the boring Tilke domes (the new F1 tracks designed by the designated F1 architect Herman Tilke).
The Covid-19 pandemic might have turned the sport world on its head, but it surely helped to bring traditional racing circuits back on the calendar.
The Italians must be brimming with delight with the thought of hosting three rounds, eight, nine and 13 of the 2020 calendar. The ninth round will be an unknown territory for F1 teams with a first ever visit to Mugello from the 11th to the 13th of September.
The most recent additions to the 2020 calendar is the Nürburgring (the modern and tamed version of the 21 odd kilometer Green Hell circuit), Imola in Italy (most infamous for the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger in 1994) and Portimao in Portugal which is also an unknown territory for Formula One. It will be the first time since 1996 that Grand Prix Racing will return to Portugal for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Portuguese track was built in 2008 with the idea to lure F1 back to the country. It took a pandemic like a Coronavirus to have a Portuguese GP featuring on the F1 calendar. Nevertheless, the Portuguese country will be glad to be included again, albeit without any spectators allowed.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola is predicted to be a two-day event although the exact format of the Imola event has yet to be confirmed. It seems there will be only one practice session ahead of qualifying and then the race. The last Grand Prix to be held at Imola was in 2006.
More races are expected to be added to the calendar in the next coming weeks which may see around 15 to 18 races for the 2020 season. The season might be concluded by mid-December with a race or two in the Gulf-region.
All the North and South American F1 races, the United States, Brazilian, Mexican, and Canadian Grand Prix’s will not take place this year because of the danger of further spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic.