By: Reuters |
Printed: June 29, 2020 8:57:45 pm
Components One has to date introduced eight races in Europe with out spectators. (Supply: Reuters)
Components One begins its season in Austria this week, practically 4 months later than deliberate as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and in opposition to a really totally different backdrop even when Lewis Hamilton’s targets stay the identical.
The six-time world champion can equal Ferrari nice Michael Schumacher’s report seven whereas his Mercedes group are bidding for an unprecedented seventh successive drivers’ and constructors’ title double.
The Briton, who has used his profile to marketing campaign for better range within the sport and in opposition to racism, is raring to compete however conscious he faces new and sudden challenges.
“We’re making ready one of the simplest ways we will for what’s going to be essentially the most tough season that Components Every person of us have skilled,” the 35-year-old mentioned in a Mercedes video.
Because the conventional Australian opener was cancelled in March, Components One has agreed adjustments to assist groups exhausting hit by COVID-19.
Driver strikes for 2021 have been introduced already, together with the departure of Hamilton’s previous rival Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari on the finish of 2020. Automobile liveries unveiled with fanfare in February have modified once more to maintain up with the altering instances.
There’s additionally lingering uncertainty about what number of Grands Prix the season will maintain with seven cancelled to date and extra prone to comply with.
Eight rounds, all in Europe and with out spectators for the primary time, function on a provisional calendar however the sport nonetheless hopes to muster 15-18 races, even when meaning a number of circuits internet hosting two every.
Sunday would be the first time Austria has hosted a season-opener, at Spielberg’s scenic Pink Bull Ring, and the next weekend will see one other milestone when the circuit turns into the primary to host two F1 championship races in the identical season.
That could possibly be excellent news for Dutch crowd-pleaser Max Verstappen, who has introduced a house victory for Pink Bull for the previous two years.
There can be no followers, no sponsors, no hospitality models or VIPs and no socialising between groups inside a paddock ‘bubble’ the place protected spacing and face masks are the ‘new regular’ and every thing will take just a little longer.
The place the groups stand within the pecking order can be unclear. They haven’t run their vehicles in anger since February testing, and haven’t raced since December.
Hamilton, who wants seven extra wins to equal Schumacher’s report 91, ought to have a sooner automobile than would have been the case had the season began in Australia on March 15 however so too will rivals bringing months’ value of updates.
Vettel, a four-time world champion, has an unsure future and can wish to exit on a excessive in his final marketing campaign for Ferrari.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz will take the German’s place alongside Charles Leclerc in 2021, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo transferring from Renault to switch the Spaniard.
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