First and foremost, news of more pre-season testing for next year due to the major upgrades and rule changes.

It has been suggested that the first test will be at Barcelona on 23rd-25th February with the second at Bahrain from 11th -13th March, just one week before the season opener, also at Bahrain, on 20th March.

The FIA have also confirmed that Monza will be the next trial for the ‘Sprint’ weekend. 

Everything you need to know about the F1 Sprint format – including how it works

F1 Sprint will be a race run over 100km (in Silverstone’s case, 17 laps) and lasting around 25-30 minutes. It is designed to provide a short and fast-paced racing spectacle – similar to a Twenty20 cricket match – with drivers racing flat-out from start to finish without the need to pit. Points will be awarded to the top three finishers; three for the winner, down to one point for third. There won’t be a podium ceremony, as that honour will remain the privilege of the top three in Sunday’s Grand Prix. However there will be a special post-Sprint presentation for the top three.

The finishing order of the race will define the grid for Sunday’s showpiece event – the Grand Prix, where the traditional format will remain unchanged.

There will be a more modest grid procedure for Sprint Qualifying, with media and guests permitted on grid as is the case in non-COVID times for the Grand Prix, but moments such as the national anthem will be unique to Sunday’s main race. 

Aramco Magyar Nagydij. Hungaroring round 11.

70 laps @ 4.381km/2.722ml 306.663km/190.560ml.

Lap record 1m 16.627s held by L Hamilton Mercedes (2020).

FP1 was sunny & hot at 30ºC. Kub was in the Alfa of Räi. Ver was testing his engine used at Silverstone to ensure it was not damaged. Alo had a spin at turn 4 shedding some bodywork. Tsu crashed into the barrier causing the session to be red flagged for 5 minutes. Ver & Ham had a near miss in the pit lane. Gio only managed 5 laps due to a technical issue. FP2 saw Räi back in his car. Tsu, after having his car repaired, got out on track with 2 minutes remaining. FP3 on Saturday was hot & sunny with Sch crashing into the barrier at turn 11; red flag again for 9 minutes. Gio was released into the path of Str who clipped the front wing of the Alfa. 

Q1 in the afternoon was again bright & sunny. Positions here are important as it is difficult to overtake. Sch could not take part as his car was still being repaired after his FP3 crash. Both Haas & Williams cars went out along with Tsu Q2 saw Sai crashed into the barrier at turn 4 – red flags again, then a mad rush for position with only 4 minutes remaining. Out also went both Alfa Romeo drivers. The fast and furious 12 minute shoot out was a good clean session. Ham got his 8th pole position at this circuit and Bot, Ver, Per & Gas completed the top five. 

It was a wet and cooler start to the race with more rain again as the cars were on the grid all on inters. Ham had a good start, but Bot had a very poor start and dropped down the order, then ran into the back of Rus, who in turn hit Ver. Bot also ran into Per. Str crashed into Lec & clipped Ric. Gas went wide to avoid the mayhem with 4 cars on the side lines causing position changes. The safety car was deployed for one lap before the red flags. Ver had a lot of damage to his car which was taped up. Nor had too much damage to make the restart. After about 30 minutes the s/car led the remaining 15 cars out with all bar Ham returning to the pits to change to slick tyres. Ham then had to stop at the end of the next lap and drop to the back of the pack. A different and very unusual race with Oco, Vet, Lat, Tsu & Gas being the top five. Maz retired on the next lap with damage. Räi had a 10 second penalty for an unsafe release, Gio a 10 second penalty for speeding in the pit lane (bad day for Alfa). Gas pitted late to take the fastest lap & bonus point away from Ham & Mercedes. After an action packed race, Oco got his first F1 win in his 78th start with Vet & Ham joining him on the podium. A post-race disqualification for Vet with a fuel infringement put them all up one place. 

The Belgium Grand Prix round 12

This was held on Sunday 29th August at the Spa; well all two laps of it!!

Practice 1, 2 & 3, Qualifying and the race itself all fell foul of torrential rain. It was ultimately decided by the race officials that to comply with the rules, two laps needed to be completed before awarding half points to the first ten drivers.

These two laps were completed in grid order behind the safety car with no overtaking allowed; a situation later described by Lewis Hamilton as a farce. That meant that the top three were:

1st Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2nd George Russel (Williams)

3rd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Enough said!!

The Costa Cálida Chronicle would like to thank Dave Bass for all his work for the magazine. Dave has for some years, written the monthly reports on Formula 1, but has decided the time is right to hang up his pen.

Many thanks Dave and enjoy the rest of your retirement.