Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) points to German’s record Michael Schumacher, only seventh champion, in a Formula One World Championship marked by the covid-19 pandemic and it will start this weekend in Austria, headquarters of the first of the eight initially scheduled races, all of them in Europe and behind closed doors.
The event, full of postponements and cancellations, should have started in mid-March in Australia, where just minutes before the first free test was canceled. And the pandemic postponed its beginning until the Red bull ring of Spielberg shelter from this Friday, with strong personnel restrictions and great sanitary security measures, the first World Grand Prixl; in which Hamilton -who with his sixth crown beat the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio– will try to match the seven titles of the ‘Kaiser’.
FIRST EIGHT RACES IN EUROPE AND CLOSED DOOR
While waiting for the rest of the calendar to be known, the FIA (International Automobile Federation) announced the first eight races, all in the summer of the Old Continent.
There will be repetitions in the Red bull ring -Site of the Grand Prix of Austria and that in a week it will host the Styrian- and in Silverstone, which will host, in early August, the Great Britain and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix: commemorating the first Formula One race, held just seven decades ago on the legendary English track.
DOUBLE PROGRAMS IN AUSTRIA AND SILVERSTONE; SPAIN ON AUGUST 16
Between the ‘double program’ in Austria and in England, it will take place in Hungaroring -on the outskirts of Budapest-, the Big prize of Hungary.
The one from Spain will run on August 16 in Montmeló (Barcelona), two weeks before that of Belgium, in Spa-Francorchamps. AND Monza It will host the Italian Grand Prix on September 6.
THE REST OF THE 2020 CALENDAR WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER
The rest of the program will be announced later, although the Grand Prix of Russia (in Sochi, scheduled for September 27), the United States (in Austin, Texas, on October 25) and the last three theorists in Mexico -in the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the capital-, Brazil and Abu Dhabi (all of them in November), were neither officially postponed nor canceled.
HAMILTON, ACTIVIST AGAINST RACISM; Controversy with ECCLESTONE
Hamilton, 35, and that this course can also match or exceed Schumacher’s historic record of triumphs (91), from which he is a shot of seven, focused attention in recent weeks when he became a great activist against racism, as a result of the brutal murder of the African American George Floyd at the hands of four policemen in Minneapolis (Minnesota, USA).
His statements against racial persecution found a surprising response in the former boss of F1, Bernie
Ecclestone, who in turn was harshly criticized by the current leadership of the queen category.
MERCEDES CHANGES ITS SILVER-PLATED CARS BY THE BLACK COLOR
The spectacular champion of Stevenage He did receive immediate support from his team, Mercedes – a great dominator with six doubles (drivers and constructors) in the last six years – who, in solidarity, will paint their ‘silver arrows’ in black on the Red Bull Ring, a track of 4,318 meters which are scheduled to go 71 laps on Sunday to complete a 306.5-kilometer course.
BRAKING TRACK AND TRACTION; C2, C3 AND C4 TIRES IN AUSTRIA
Red bull ring it is a braking and traction circuit, short and fast lap, where -with compound tires C2 (hard, recognizable by the white stripe), C3 (medium, yellow stripe) and C4 (soft, red) – this Friday the free practice starts; which will be completed on Saturday, hours before the qualification that will be ordered by the starting grid of the Sunday event.
VERSTAPPEN, DOUBLE WINNER IN AUSTRIA, MAIN OPPOSITOR TO LEWIS
(Red Bull), who last year repeated the 2018 victory on the circuit owned by his team, is presented as the main opponent of the historical objectives of Hamilton. To which the Monegasque will also oppose Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), who, like the Dutch, aspires to become, in this atypical tournament, the youngest champion in history.
Verstappen and Leclerc -Maximum representatives of the ‘Next Gen’- would beat, if they dethrone Hamilton, the record of the German Sebastian Vettel, companion of the second at Ferrari and who won the first of his four World Cups in a row (in 2010, with Red Bull) at 23 years old.
MAX AND LECLERC CHOOSE THE YOUTH RECORD IF THEY DETHRONED HAMILTON
That age will be met by the Dutch and the Monegasque during this championship: with the difference that ‘Seb’ was born in July; Max, in September; and Charles, in October.
Verstappen was third last championship, behind the two Mercedes -Hamilton and Finn Valtteri Bottas-, with three wins that brought to eight a relationship that began four years ago; when, at 18, he was proclaimed the youngest winner in history: by winning in el Spanish Grand Prix, in Montmeló.
In his second season in the queen category, Leclerc signed two wins and seven poles and finished fourth on world, in front of Vettel, that next year will be replaced by the Spanish Carlos Sainz (McLaren) in the most successful team in Formula One.
THE ‘PUMP’ OF CONFINEMENT: SAINZ WILL BE A FERRARI PILOT IN 2021
At Red bull ring The talented 25-year-old driver from Madrid, the protagonist of the ‘bombshell’ of confinement, will start his sixth season at the top of motorsports: in 2021, Sainz will be a partner in Leclerc in Ferrari, team with which he signed a two-year contract; and your seat in McLaren will be occupied by the Australian Daniel Ricciardo, which, in turn, leaves one free in Renault.
That triggered again the usual “rumor mill” about a hypothetical return of another Spanish, Fernando Alonso, which on August 23 will dispute for the third time the Indianapolis 500 Miles, with a McLaren-Chevrolet, in search of the ‘Triple Crown’. The double Asturian world champion contemplated 2021 as a reasonable date for a possible return to the F1, due to the change in regulations that, however, was postponed for a year due to the pandemic.
STRONG SANITARY MEASURES, LITTLE PERSONNEL AND MANY TESTS
Along with the enormous sanitary precautionary measures – all the personnel that enter the circuits must present a negative in ‘covid 19’ in a test of a maximum of four days old – among the changes are the strong budget cuts that they intend to maintain the sustainability of this gigantic business.
SAINZ A BY LARGE DOOR WITH McLAREN; ‘CHECO’ PÉREZ AIMS HIGH
Sainz signed in 2019, with McLaren, the best of his five campaigns, by finishing sixth in a World Cup in which he achieved his first podium: the Brazilian Grand Prix finished third, in Interlagos (Sao Paulo).
The son of the double world rally champion – triple Dakar winner and brand-new Princess of Asturias Award for Sports – with the same name wants to go out the front door of McLaren, in a World Championship from which the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) also expects a lot. ), 30 years old, as explained to Efe in Abu Dhabi, during the last race last year, the brave pilot from Guadalajara.
‘Checo’ begins its tenth F1 campaign in Austria, the seventh in its current team, which in mid-2018 changed its name from Force India to its current one.