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Formula One - 2020

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With 4 days until the first official team launch of the season at Ferrari, it's high time we created this season's Formula 1 thread - to enormous cheers around the Off Topic arena.  Don't mention it guys, really, it was my pleasure :D 

Firstly we'll start with the launch dates
1.  Ferrari      11th Feb
2.  Renault      12th Feb
3.  Red Bull     12th Feb
4.  McLaren      13th Feb
5.  Mercedes     14th Feb
6.  Alpha Tauri  14th Feb
7.  Racing Point 17th Feb
8.  Williams     17th Feb
9.  Haas         19th Feb
10. Alfa Romeo   19th Feb

TEAM CHANGES
The first thing you'll notice from the above list is no Toro Rosso, but someone called Alpha Tauri.  Red Bull have renamed their junior team in-line with their Alpha Tauri fashion label.  From the team changes point of view that's the only one on the grid this season.  There are no engine supplier changes this season either.  All the teams are using the same provider they had in 2019.

DRIVER CHANGES
It's a very stable grid from a driver line-up point of view as well.  Only 2 changes and no swapping around.  Esteban Ocon returns to the grid after his enforced hiatus and replaces the outgoing Nico Hülkenberg at Renault.  The only rookie of the season, 24 year old Canadian, Nicholas Latifi comes in at Williams alongside George Russell, replacing Robert Kubica.  Latifi came runner-up in F2 to Nyck De Vries last season (NDV heads to Formula E).  Kubica will become reserve driver for Alfa Romeo.

TEAM         DRIVERS
Mercedes     Lewis Hamilton   Valtteri Bottas
Ferrari      Charles Leclerc  Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull     Max Verstappen   Alexander Albon
McLaren      Carlos Sainz Jr. Lando Norris
Renault      Daniel Ricciardo Esteban Ocon
Alpha Tauri  Pierre Gasly     Daniil Kvyat
Racing Point Sergio Pérez     Lance Stroll
Alfa Romeo   Kimi Räikkönen   Antonio Giovinazzi
Haas         Kevin Magnussen  Romain Grosjean
Williams     George Russell   Nicholas Latifi

CALENDAR
The calendar is currently expanded to 22 races with a coronavirus-shaped asterisk beside the Chinese GP in April.  New venues this season are Vietnam and a return of Zandvoort and the Dutch GP for the first time in 35 years.  Very disappointingly there will be no German GP this year.

1.  Australia   Melbourne     15/03/2020
2.  Bahrain     Sakhir        22/03/2020
3.  Vietnam     Hanoi         05/04/2020
4.  China       Shanghai      19/04/2020 * (race postponed)
5.  Netherlands Zandvoort     03/05/2020
6.  Spain       Barcelona     10/05/2020
7.  Monaco      Monte Carlo   24/05/2020
8.  Azerbaijan  Baku City     07/06/2020
9.  Canada      Montreal      14/06/2020
10. France      Paul Ricard   28/06/2020
11. Austria     Red Bull Ring 05/07/2020
12. G Britain   Silverstone   19/07/2020
13. Hungary     Budapest      02/08/2020
14. Belgium     Spa-Francorchamps 30/08/2020
15. Italy       Monza         06/09/2020
16. Singapore   Marina Bay    20/09/2020
17. Russia      Sochi         27/09/2020
18. Japan       Suzuka        11/10/2020
19. USA         Austin        25/10/2020
20. Mexico      Mexico City   01/11/2020
21. Brazil      Interlagos    15/11/2020
22. Abu Dhabi   Yas Marina    29/11/2020

* Depends on coronavirus outbreak

 

Rule changes this year are relatively small with the 2021 season on the horizon where the sport will change massively on and off the track.

SPORTING REGULATIONS
1. The expanded calendar means teams are allowed to use 3 MGU-Ks over the course of the season now, up from 2 in 2019.
2. The bigger calendar also means reduced testing.  Pre-season testing in Barcelona is down from 4 days to 3, and the mid-season testing has been abolished altogether.
3. Teams will no longer be able to hide their cars during testing (using screens) and the window where mechanics cannot work on the car has gone up from 8 hours to 9.
4. Free practice sessions can be used towards super licence points with 100km per session equalling 1 super licence point, up to 10 points per season.
5. There will no longer be any electronic chequered flag, after last season's Japanese booboo which saw it go off a lap early.  Back to real flags only.  Proper order!
6. Weighbridge and jump start penalties have been relaxed, allowing for more steward discretion.

TECHNICAL REGULATIONS
1. To reduce risk of punctures, the outside 50mm of front wings can no longer contain any metal.
2. Brake ducts must be designed by the constructor and not out-sourced i.e. they are now a 'listed part'.
3. The amount of fuel in the car that is not within the fuel tank has been reduced from 2,000ml to 250ml.
4. Driver aids at the start line have also been reduced. 90% of torque is now down to the driver's command, and clutches must be 'pull-type'.
5. There will be a new little sharkfin on the rear of the engine cover with the driver's number on it for ease of identity for fans.

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Regulation #3 clears up quite a bit from the last few years.

Hopefully, we get some actual competitive racing this year.

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looking forward to the new season, is there going to be another Drive to Survive for last season on Netflix? the last series was brilliant.

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On 07/02/2020 at 16:41, BOF said:

With 4 days until the first official team launch of the season at Ferrari, it's high time we created this season's Formula 1 thread - to enormous cheers around the Off Topic arena.  Don't mention it guys, really, it was my pleasure :D 

spacer.png

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It’s a tricky one because as a Brit we have a superstar dominating... but I just cannot stand him and it’s pushed me away from the sport. I just really dislike everything he does. Everything about him is manufactured. He publicly throws his team under the bus if they make a call they didn’t work out. He has also ducked several meets at the factory in Northampton that make the cars that make him filthy rich (the other drivers and team staff go). 

He seems to be universally disliked within the sport too.
If he leaves, or struggles I might get involved again.

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On 08/02/2020 at 19:51, Genie said:

It’s a tricky one because as a Brit we have a superstar dominating... but I just cannot stand him and it’s pushed me away from the sport. I just really dislike everything he does. Everything about him is manufactured. He publicly throws his team under the bus if they make a call they didn’t work out. He has also ducked several meets at the factory in Northampton that make the cars that make him filthy rich (the other drivers and team staff go). 

He seems to be universally disliked within the sport too.
If he leaves, or struggles I might get involved again.

I don't like Hamilton.

But my problem with F1 is it's **** boring as ****.

And this is from someone who has been watching the sport for literally his entire life. Some of my earliest memories are watching Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna on the sofa with my dad.

I've been in denial for ages that the sport is getting more boring. But the last few seasons I've admitted it.

 

It is boring. I'll still get excited by the start of the season, but I doubt I'll last the season watching it.

I'm clinging to the big rule changes next season making it bearable

Edited by Stevo985
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On 08/02/2020 at 19:51, Genie said:

It’s a tricky one because as a Brit we have a superstar dominating... but I just cannot stand him and it’s pushed me away from the sport. I just really dislike everything he does. Everything about him is manufactured. He publicly throws his team under the bus if they make a call they didn’t work out. He has also ducked several meets at the factory in Northampton that make the cars that make him filthy rich (the other drivers and team staff go). 

He seems to be universally disliked within the sport too.
If he leaves, or struggles I might get involved again.

I think the title should be interesting this season.  Ferrari can't continue to shoot themselves in the foot and a more experienced Leclerc will mean business.  Max is targetting the title and wants 3rd place to be the lower limit.  I think we have 3 serious title challengers this season.  And then there's the other interesting stuff happening lower down the grid.

16 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

I don't like Hamilton.

But my problem with F1 is it's **** boring as ****.

And this is from someone who has been watching the sport for literally his entire life. Some of my earliest memories are watching Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna on the sofa with my dad.

I've been in denial for ages that the sport is getting more boring. But the last few seasons I've admitted it.

 

It is boring. I'll still get excited by the start of the season, but I doubt I'll last the season watching it.

I'm clinging to the big rule changes next season making it bearable

I thought last season was the best in ages.  Obviously the title itself was wrapped up early, but everything else was much improved.

 

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5 minutes ago, BOF said:

I think the title should be interesting this season.  Ferrari can't continue to shoot themselves in the foot and a more experienced Leclerc will mean business.  Max is targetting the title and wants 3rd place to be the lower limit.  I think we have 3 serious title challengers this season.  And then there's the other interesting stuff happening lower down the grid.

I thought last season was the best in ages.  Obviously the title itself was wrapped up early, but everything else was much improved.

 

I would agree with this. Overall it wasn't a bad season, there were some excellent races but there were a few terrible races. I can't remember which one it was but last season definitely had the most boring race I've ever seen.

It does look like the pack are closing on Mercedes, hopefully its an even better one this year, i'll be watching for sure.

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On 08/02/2020 at 16:59, leemond2008 said:

looking forward to the new season, is there going to be another Drive to Survive for last season on Netflix? the last series was brilliant.

New season should be available from 28th Feb!

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59 minutes ago, BOF said:

Ferrari can't continue to shoot themselves in the foot

How many years have we been saying this for?

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9 minutes ago, choffer said:

How many years have we been saying this for?

Yeah but so have Liverpool FC and ...

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1 minute ago, BOF said:

Yeah but so have Liverpool FC and ...

One has shown incremental improvements year on year. The other has flattered to deceive, year on year. 

 

Amazed Vettel is still rinsing them for his salary though. I've thought he's been phoning it in for the last few years at least (although I've not been paying a whole lot of attention this last two seasons). 

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20 minutes ago, choffer said:

One has shown incremental improvements year on year. The other has flattered to deceive, year on year. 

 

Amazed Vettel is still rinsing them for his salary though. I've thought he's been phoning it in for the last few years at least (although I've not been paying a whole lot of attention this last two seasons). 

Vettel will be one interesting element to this season.  You're right, he was 'phoning it in' because he didn't have inter-team competition and he could hide behind the fact the Merc was superior when he was being beaten by Lewis (even if they weren't, there was no objective way to prove it).  But there was a point midway through last season when public perception began to regard Leclerc as the team number one, and this definitely seemed to stoke something in Seb, and he put in some of his best performances for a few years.  So it's like he needed to be questioned in order to spark something in him and realise the very real threat.  It's like he was saying 'I'll show them I can still do it' and to his credit he could.  So straight from the off this season I expect we'll see a fully motivated Vettel which will ironically be a bad thing for Ferrari, because the last thing they need is 2 drivers stealing points from each other when their 2 main rivals have very defined number 2 drivers, if not in contract, certainly in performance and ability.

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I hope Ricciardo batters Ocon.  I don't expect he will, because Ocon is clearly a very competent driver, but he's a dislikeable little shit so I hope Danny Ricc can maximise his familiarity with the Renault and put manners on the allegedly very political driver that is Ocon.

It seems Renault identified what was wrong aerodynamically with their car half way through last season and because it was so fundamental it couldn't be fixed.  So it's fixed this time and obviously they'll be targetting best of the rest - which puts them in direct competition with their customer constructor McLaren.  That'll be a good battle.  It'll be interesting to see what Lando can do in his second season.  He needs to show better race form to get near Carlos in the WDC.

Please Lord let Williams be closer to the pack.  I don't want another season of them as a mobile chicane and I think George Russell is much too good to be back there.  The good thing is they have the largest immprovements to find, so fingers crossed they find them.  Latifi should be an improvement on Kubica and seemingly he's a very likeable chap so that'll offset the Ocon effect :)

I'm hoping Haas and Racing Point bomb.  I don't care for either of them tbqh although I have massive respect for Perez who I think has some of the best race craft on the grid.

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2 hours ago, LakotaDakota said:

Ahead of the car reveals we have this...

QB772Dj.jpg

Pussycat dolls look nice, and they are fun to play with... but the hangover is ^

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2 hours ago, choffer said:

How many years have we been saying this for?

Same amount of time people have been saying this

3 hours ago, AVFCDAN said:

It does look like the pack are closing on Mercedes

They never do, Mercedes continue to piss it with their engines set to 90% power.

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Ferrari launch isn't until 17:30GMT

asks mr bean GIF

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Looks like Lewis "Valderrama" is about to get a sweet contract offer to stay at Mercedes.

£60m per season. Yikes.

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15 hours ago, Genie said:

Same amount of time people have been saying this

They never do, Mercedes continue to piss it with their engines set to 90% power.

Sooner or later they will though, even if its not this season.

Without the Ferrari mistakes and Hamilton having one of his best seasons it would have been a lot closer. Imagine if Bottas was the lead driver for Merc last year and Hamilton was in the Ferrari.

If I'm honest I don't actually know what the rule changes are next year, hopefully that resets a few things.

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