As the F1 action heads to Silverstone for the first of two back-to-back races, we take a look at all the talking points from a chaotic 2020 season so far…
By Virgin TV Edit
For a season that could well have been scrapped, the 2020 Formula One World Championship hasn’t been half bad so far. Two rain-soaked races either side of a blisteringly warm one have made for an unquestionably exciting opening to the season, with the fast, sweeping and much-loved twists and turns of Silverstone sure to throw up another blinder as the grid arrives for the first of two back-to-back races at the circuit.
And while the second of those two races has the honour of being the “70th anniversary Grand Prix” to commemorate the championship’s, well, seventieth anniversary, we’re sure the first will be just as grand and action-packed an occasion. Silverstone, after all, never fails to throw up an entertaining afternoon’s racing (cough, 2008 anyone?, cough)…
It’s testament to F1’s ability to constantly generate almost high school-esque, “did you hear what Sherise said about Denise yesterday lunchtime”-levels of drama that, after just three races, there remain this many talking points going into the fourth race of the season.
And, as the last few days have proven, plenty remains to be decided as the long-running championship’s seventieth (and, by some way, craziest season) continues this weekend…
Hamilton has his “mojo” back…
If we’re honest, when Hamilton’s fan-favourite engineer Pete “Get In There Lewis” Bonnington mentioned that Hamilton had his mojo back after storming to pole position at the Hungaroring, it wasn’t just Martin Brundle who was left questioning, “Did he ever lose it?” The Brit has now racked up an eye-watering three pole positions and wins in the last four races, stretching back to the 2019 season file in Abu Dhabi. He’s in imperious form and is undoubtedly the man to beat at Silverstone as he aims for a seventh British GP win.
Ferrari are in big trouble…
After a suspect element on last season’s Ferrari was banned late last season and for their 2020 designs, the Ferraris (curiously) are slower… wayyyyy slower. As such, when they’re not crashing into one another, departing four-time champ Sebastian Vettel and golden boy Charles Leclerc are in for a tough 2020 and, with regulations effectively frozen until 2022, a no doubt troublesome 2021, too. Don’t expect a comeback anytime soon, in other words.
Pink Mercedes, or fast Racing Point?
Whichever way you look at it, Racing Point’s sudden upturn in fortunes from half-decent midfield stalwarts to podium regulars is… interesting. Put simply, there are crime scenes that have had less scrutiny that this season’s Racing Point, and for good reason. Though everyone and their mums is declaring the car legitimate, expect Renault and others to continuously file protests throughout the season so long as the so-called “Pink Mercedes” continues to blast past them.
Red Bull are under pressure…
Red Bull, much like Ferrari, simply aren’t as quick as expected this season. While it was believed they would finally take the challenge to Mercedes in 2020, the Red Bulls are even slower than their own car from last season. Alex Albon, in particular, is under pressure to improve. Though being Max Verstappen’s teammate is something of a thankless task, the British-born Thai’s qualifying performances need to improve if he’s to avoid the same fate as Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat in being dumped midway through a season.
Best of the rest will be tight
The battle to become the “best of the rest” or, as some fans put it, for the Formula 1.5 title is going to be tight, very tight. McLaren, Renault, and the occasionally quick Alpha Tauri (when it isn’t “barbecuing” itself) all seem to be roughly in the same ballpark in terms of pace, with differing strengths and weaknesses at certain circuits having a huge effect on how each does relative to the others. This is a battle well worth watching.
Did someone say new races?
With the COVID-19 crisis causing the season to be reassembled, expect plenty of tracks young, old and really old to suddenly make appearances in an ever-changing calendar. The so-so Sochi Autodrom will make a return for the Russian Grand Prix, while the infinitely more interesting Nürburgin and Imola circuits will also make their long-awaited returns. And Portimão will make its debut, for a one-off return of the Portuguese Grand Prix. With F1 bosses aiming for an eighteen-race season back in April, five more tracks are yet to be announced.
What happened last time out? Check out the highlights below…
Where can I Watch the 2020 British Grand Prix?
The 2020 British Grand Prix is due to get under way on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141) at 1.45pm, and Sky Sports F1/HD (CH 516/506) at 2.10pm on Sunday 2 August.
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