That was an incredible season of F1. Incredible that it even got going during the Coronavirus pandemic, let alone getting to the finale in Abu Dhabi. It is testament to the FIA, Liberty media, F1, the circuit organisers, the teams and drivers that we even had a season of F1 in the first place after the Australian Grand Prix started but never went ahead after two McLaren team members tested positive for the virus and the first 8 races were cancelled.
The season eventually got underway in July, 217 days after the 2019 season finale; the third longest gap between seasons in F1 history as the 70th anniversary season started. It was historic as Michael Schumacher’s win record (91), podium (155) were beaten and his seven World Championship were equalled by Lewis Hamilton [Feature image above from formula1.com]. read more
For the first time in Formula One history, a circuit has held successive races in the dame season and the Red Bull Ring in the Styrian hills hosting the first-ever Styrian Grand Prix and it did not disappoint. We did not get a carbon copy of the previous weekend. Due to the weather Qualifying was in doubt so the second practice times could’ve been used to set the grid. The treacherously wet qualifying we did get was intense and mixed the grid up with a few drivers out of position setting up an intriguing race with multiple teammate squabbles which ended in tears for Ferrari.
While the ten F1 teams remained in Austria we did see some developments with the first regarding the addition of two more races to the already scheduled 8 and the surprise return of Fernando Alonso to the sport with Renault in 2021. I will pass comment on them later but first, for the reigning World Champion, racing at the Red Bull Ring in successive races represented a redemptive weekend.read more
After seven months, 217 days, F1 returned with the first race of the delayed 2020 F1 season at the Red Bull Ring in the Styrian Hills of Austria. We don’t know just how many races we will get in 2020 but judging by the Austrian Grand Prix, the chaotic, thoroughly entertaining races often with twists and turns that defined the second half of 2019 look set to continue.
For a race that saw all 20 drivers finish for only the 9th time in F1 history, reliability was key for the wrong reasons this year as nine cars failed to finish. When asked about it by Sky Sports Martin Brundle, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner cited it being the season opener being a key factor. It has merit. We do see chaotic season openers and nine also failed to finish on the first race of the hybrid era in 2014; only 7 finished the opening race in 2008. The first races of a season can be problematic for reliability but could the extra shutdown with lockdown have contributed? With these sort of races there always going to be loads of stories of missed opportunities. That is certainly what we saw in Austria but the one constant was the race leader [Pictured in the feature image above; image from formula1.com].read more
Eventually, Formula One racing is returning this weekend as the 2020 season gets underway. When the lights go out on Sunday for the Austrian Grand Prix it will have been 217 days since the last race in Abu Dhabi; the third longest gap between seasons in F1 history and the first time the season has started in Europe since 1966.
2020 was meant to be a record-breaking 22 race season before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world. Vietnam was meant to debut with its maiden Grand Prix in Hanoi and Zandvoort was meant to return for the first time since 1985. China, the country the outbreak originated in was the first race to be cancelled before the teams arrived in Melbourne and left before running a single session at Albert Park after a member of the McLaren team tested positive, prompting its cancellation.read more
We are now two-thirds of the way through Formula One’s first ever tripleheader after last weekends Eyetime Grosser Preus Con Osterreich; The Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.
What a race we saw! After taking pole position for the second time in Austria, Valtteri Bottas found himself down to 4th after turn 1 after a lightning start from the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen made it three abreast at turn 1. Bottas was forced wide and Lewis Hamilton on the inside took the lead. Bottas came back at Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen to pass them both into turn 4 in a really impressive move.read more
This is unchartered territory for me! For the first time on this blog, I will attempt to review the action from two Grand Prix in the same post. Through the 71 laps of the Red Bull Ring in Austria and the shortened 51 lap British Grand Prix at Silverstone, it seems evident as the title of the post suggests that Mercedes have regained momentum from Ferrari in the battle to be the team to beat as F1 passed the halfway stage of the season. As well as that, F1 has seen lap records tumble and others close to tumbling; just a shame the Conservative-DUP deal has not. I’m sorry, couldn’t resist…
The Red Bull Ring at the second highest altitude of the season, in the Styrian Mountains of Speilberg, played host to the Austrian Grand Prix. The 30th edition of the event had a tall order to follow of the crazy day of the races in Azerbaijan and the 71 lap race struggled to match it with only 13 racing overtakes after the opening lap carnage.
Indeed, it was an electric start and no more so than for pole sitter Valtteri Bottas who made THE perfect start to off the line which a couple of his rivals believing the Mercedes man had jumped the start. As a number of drivers had differing starts; some poor, some great, they all trickled into turn 1. Daniil Kvyat locked up heavily going up the hill and ran into the strong starting McLaren of Fernando Alonso who in turn collided into home favourite Max Verstappen. The Red Bull and McLaren drivers saw their races end there, Kvyat limped home three laps adrift.read more
Wow! That is all I can say about the last round of the 2017 Formula One World Championship as the Baku Street Circuit in Azerbaijan saw an action packed race with numerous incidents that was simply crazy. After a scintillating performance in Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton controlled the race through three different safety car periods, a raging Sebastian Vettel and a race suspending red flag until a loose headrest denied him victory. Vettel meanwhile was given a 10 second stop and go penalty for his road rage and led Hamilton home in 4th. It was the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo who like in Malaysia last year benefitted from Hamilton’s misfortune to secure his first victory of the season; the 5th of his career. Amongst the craziness, Lance Stroll became the youngest rookie to finish on the podium and second youngest in F1 history. The Canadian put in a mature performance beyond his years to hold off the likes of Valtteri Bottas, Vettel and Hamilton in the closing stages but was just pipped to 2nd by Bottas who had been a lap down in the early stages after first lap contact with Kimi Raikkonen. Elsewhere, engine woes for Max Verstappen and Jolyon Palmer again, four-way battles into turn 1 and the Force India’s colliding; all that and more can be found in my Review of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix here.
Race Result 1st Daniel Ricciardo,2nd Valtteri Bottas +3.904,3rd Lance Stroll +4.009,4th Sebastian Vettel +5.976,5th Lewis Hamilton +6.188,6th Esteban Ocon +30.298,7th Kevin Magnussen +41.753,8th Carlos Sainz +49.400,9th Fernando Alonso +59.551,10th Pascal Werhlein +89.093, 11th Marcus Ericsson +91.794,12th Stoffel Vandoorne +92.160,13th Romain Grosjean + 1 lap,Kimi Raikkonen DNF,Sergio Perez DNF,Felipe Massa DNF,Nico Hulkenberg DNF,Max Verstappen DNF,Daniil Kvyat DNF,Jolyon Palmer DNFread more
As we enter July, Britain and the EU might still be dealing with the consequences of ‘Brexit’; The Formula One roadshow goes on with an adrenaline fuelled month. July this year experiences four race weekends. That’s 4 races in 5 weeks; just under 1/5 of the 21 race calendar; maximum of 100 points available as well as entering the second half the season. Let the July excitement commence with its first destination: Austria!
The ninth round of the 2016 F1 Championship will be the 30th edition of the Austrian Grand Prix which made its debut in 1970. The race itself has always been hosted on the same site on each occasion but has seen severalread more