Formula 1 Report Nº 1
by Dave Bass

Grosser Preis von Österreich 2020.

Lap record 1m 06.957s held by K. Räikkönen 2018.

20th May was the anniversary of the death of the great Austrian racing legend Niki Lauda who passed away last year at the age of 70 years. Another sad anniversary was 2nd June – 50 years since Bruce McLaren died in an accident at the Goodwood circuit testing a McLaren M8D Can-Am race car.

This is the latest in history that a season has started and the first time in Europe since 1966 the Monaco GP.

FP – was overcast with a damp circuit after overnight rain with more light showers during the session. The notorious ‘sausage’ kerbs were removed, but the drivers were warned about running over the kerbs at turns 9 & 10 to gain an advantage. The three practice sessions went without any major problems until new boy Latifi crashed and brought out the red flag at the end of FP3.

Q1 was a very hectic with a couple of close encounters.

Q2 was a fairly good 15m session with no major issues. Out went both Alpha Tauri drivers along with Gro, Oco & Vet for the first time since Germany 2019 and that was due to a turbo problem.

Q3 was an exciting 12 minutes. Bot ran wide at the end taking to the grass & gravel, but got his third pole position at this circuit and with another circuit record 1m 02.939s; 0.064s faster than last year.

Ham, Ver, Nor & Alb made up the top five, then came the 3 place penalty for Ham failing to slow under the yellow flag dropping him from 2nd to 4th.

The leaders got away well & Per got passed Ham. Further down the field there were some good battles going on. Ver sadly pulled out with an electrical problem on lap 12 so that was the end of what could have been a good tussle. Ric stopped on lap 18 due to a cooling system problem followed by Str on lap 20 with a loss of power. Mag stopped with brake troubles causing the safety car to be deployed. Vet & Sai had a wheel bashing incident, but no serious outcome. Gro also pulled out with a brake issue on lap 50. Rus pulled off with a fuel related problem; another safety car until lap 53, then Räi broke his suspension and lost a front wheel so s/car back out. Ham ran into Alb forcing him off the circuit and retiring with damage. Kvy went out with suspension failure. Ham was handed a 5 second penalty for causing an accident. Per was given a 5 second penalty for speeding in the pit lane meaning some last minute changes to the results.

Bot got his 2nd win at this circuit with Lec & Nor joining him on the podium; first podium for the youngster and the first for McLaren since Australia 2014.

This was the most retirements in a race since Singapore 2015.

Late News

Alonso has signed a deal to drive for Renault next season. It will be his third stint with the French manufacturer where he secured his first pole position, first victory and both of his Championships.

Formula 1 Report Nº 2

Grosser Preis Der Steiemark 2020

Red Bull Ring Round 2

Lap record 1m 05.619s held by C. Sainz Jnr 2020.

Firstly the good news is that 2 more races have been added to the calendar; the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit in Tuscany situated in a bowl between the Tuscan hills will host the 1,000th GP start of the Ferrari team on 13th September just 1 week after Monza. The next race 2 weeks later on the 27th September will be in Russia at the normal circuit in Sochi. As well as it being the first time in F1 having back-to-back races at the same venue, it will also be the first for a race to be named after the region (the Styrian GP).

FP – There were 2 reserve drivers Kub in the Sauber of Gio & Jack Aitken in the Williams of Rus. Ferrari brought some of their upgrades planned for Hungary forward for this weekend with the hope of improvements. Lat stopped on track with gearbox gremlins. The session was red-flagged for a short while. As expected, there were some spins and offs. FP2 in the afternoon was quite hectic. Ver had his time deleted twice for exceeding the track limits. The session red flagged when Ric went off and crashed into the barrier causing extensive damage to the front & rear wings. Alb had some spins & Vet went wide and had a time deleted. Saturday morning final 1hr session was cancelled due to treacherous conditions with heavy rain.

QP in the afternoon was still very wet on the track with more rain falling causing the start to be delayed for 46 minutes, then all out on full wet tyres. Gro only managed his out lap before returning to the garage with a water pump problem. Gio crashed out at the end causing the session to be stopped early. Also out went Lat, Per & Räi. Q2 was a fairly calm 15m session with no major dramas. Out went Mag, Kvy, Str, Rus (his first time in Q2 and the first for Williams since Brazil 2018) & Lec. Q3 was an exciting 12 minutes with a lot of time swapping. Ham got his third pole at this circuit & 89th of his career, with Ver, Sai, Bot & Oco making up the top five. Nor got 3 place drop overtaking under yellow flag, Lec 3 places for impeding & Gio 5 places for an unscheduled gearbox change.

The race began with Gro starting from the pit lane after having a new parts fitted overnight. Ham got away well. Ver was in a battle with Sai and as the field bunched up Lec made an attempt to pass Vet, went over the kerb and bounced onto Vet, braking his team mate’s rear wing. Lec pitted and returned to the track only to retire on lap 4 with damage. Further down the field saw a great battle between the Renault drivers with Ric getting the advantage. Oco retired with a water-related problem on lap 25. It all started happening in the pit lane with all cars in for a tyre change causing a few position changes. There were lots of good battles going throughout the field with some good overtaking manoeuvres although some very close encounters and wheel bashing, especially on the final lap between Nor, Per, Str & Ric having a photo finish. Ham took the chequered flag for the 2nd time at this circuit and joining the club of 4 drivers; Ros, Ver, Bot & Ham all with 2 wins each. Bot & Ver joined him on the podium.