Consistency And Finishing Is key In A Shortened Race Season
Another 4 weeks as lock down has been extended again.
Today the FIA extended the shut down period for all Formula One teams by another 4 weeks. This is putting the likely start date of the 3-5th July in serious doubt. This basically takes away the whole of May leaving teams possibly 2 weeks if they are going to make Austria. Two weeks should still be enough time though as they haven't been doing much lately. The cars haven't really been used since Barcelona and we still don't know what each team is capable of.
Teams are allowed to apply for remote work in writing to the FIA. No more than 10 staff members can be involved and it is all done in isolation "remotely".Teams will have various projects that they can continue with working with their computers.
Mercedes had one power unit failure in Barcelona so for their sake I hope they know what caused it.
What is going to be interesting when the season gets underway is how many races will be completed. If there are only 10 the a driver could not afford not to finish as that would severely handicap him for the remaining events. Being consistent over the limited number of races could be the key to success.
History has told us that if you are leading the championship after 10 races you are not guaranteed the Championship and it is great to travel back in time to compare what could have been.
In 2010 up until 2013 Vettel was crowned World Champion but was only leading the Championship table on two occasions after 10 races. Hamilton and Alonso suffered at Vettels hands over the full season.Over the next 6 years the lead changed hands on 3 occasions from the 10th race on wards proving that this season is an open season up for grabs.
Testing in Barcelona during February seems such a long time ago now as the teams haven't learnt much about their cars since. Reliability is going to be the teams fears right now as if you fail to finish one or two races this season you won't be in the running.
Having double headers on the same circuit could benefit a few teams and winning on the first weekend wont guarantee you winning the next weekend. Teams will have learnt so much from the first race that they can hone in their car to the perfect set up.
Hamilton has to be favorite still as he has been the most consistent driver over the last 5 years. Mercedes was placed as the favorites for this season before Barcelona even started testing. The big question is how much every other team has caught up from last season and how much Mercedes has moved forward. No one knows these answers and why teams are always shrouded in secrecy. Whatever happens one would expect Max Verstappen, Vettel and Hamilton to be challenging for the title. LeClerc too me is too much of a loose cannon and is his own worst enemy so I don't think he will challenge.