This weekend we are heading back to Imola for the first time since its last Grand Prix back in 2006. But this wont be the only big talking point this weekend as the FIA are trying out a different strategy of a 2 day Race Weekend.
The FIA has created a new set of rules that will only be applied for this coming race weekend before returning to the standard set up.
A single Free Practice Session on Saturday Morning will last 90 minutes, and will followed by qualifying 2 1/2 hours later, giving the teams an extra 30 minutes to absorb all the information from the practice.
With no Friday Practice sessions, each driver will have fewer tyres than usual. They will now be limited to 10 Sets of Dry tyres rather than 13, 2 sets of Hard's, 2 Mediums and 6 softs. 3 sets have to be returned after practice.
FIA race director Michael Masi acknowledged in Portimao that a lot of work was required to adjust for the new layout..
"The sporting regulations for a two-day event have been voted or finalised through the World Motor Sport Council," he said. "They have required a significant amount of change to facilitate a two-day event.
"And it's compressing everything, because effectively what has occurred is all of Friday's normal activity has been removed. Even some of the elements of scheduling, of drivers' briefings and so forth, that normally happen after the first day of practice.
"It's going to certainly be interesting to see, and something I'm looking forward to. And I know having spoken to a number of the team managers that they are too. It's just something completely different."
We are finding our selves in such a strange time at the moment where Formula 1 has been to tracks where few have raced on, Where teams have little information about tyre wear and such and now the race weekend is changing. Is this the start of Formula 1 changing its recipe for success? Are they trying to create more entertainment by removing the known aspect of racing? Let us know what you think of the new layout.
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Fernando Alonso was back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car today in nearly 2 years of being out of the F1 cars.
The Returning Double world champion drove for Renault DP World F1 Team in a filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona in Spain. Alonso completed 21 Laps and 100km as mandated by the FIA regulations. He got to grips with the teams current car, the Renault R.S.20 which claimed a podium at the Eifel Grand Prix.
Below you can See the Q&A held with Fernando by the team to get his thoughts.
Q&A with Fernando Alonso
How did it feel to be back behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time in almost two years?
It felt amazing to be able to drive these cars after two years and feel the speed again, how everything comes so fast, corner after corner, the performance under braking and all the things a Formula 1 car has to offer. To feel it once again felt nice.
(NB: last time Fernando drove a car was April 2019 – McLaren, Bahrain)
Did it feel special to return to a car on home turf in Spain?
Of course. It made it special to be back in Barcelona. I remember the year 2000, I drove the Benetton here with the Enstone guys. Now, in 2020, it’s with Renault, so it’s a special track and I have lots of good memories here. It’s a track I know very well, so it’s been a good day.
What was the programme for today?
Most of the day was a little bit of filming with some drones on track and some action behind the camera. At the same time, it was about working with the team to do a couple of laps and for me to find comfort in the seat, the steering wheel and the pedals. These are things for next year which, over winter, could be very tight. It’s our first steps.
What are your impressions of the Renault R.S.20?
I think the car was a nice surprise. We know the car is performing well at the last couple of races and I felt the grip and certainly good potential in it. The last time I drove a Renault engine was in 2018 and I felt a step forwards, which is quite important there. Everything felt good. I wasn’t able to maximise the performance of the car because I’m not up to speed yet, but I’m happy with the day.
You’ve visited the team at Enstone twice and Viry once, now the test – are you feeling at home?
I felt at home already from day one. There is this atmosphere at Enstone, and in this team, that everything is so simple and logical in everything they do. I’m comfortable here with Renault. A lot of the people who worked today, worked as mechanics in my days in the team. When you know the faces and the team, everything comes a little easier.
Did you watch the race in Germany, and how did it feel to see Renault’s first podium in 10 years?
Absolutely, I watch every race. I’m in the weekend even from a distance. I follow every lap. The podium was very well deserved, finally. I’m so happy for everyone. Cyril might be a bit worried for the tattoo but, other than that, it was a fantastic moment.
Did you congratulate the team?
Yes, absolutely. I was waiting for the last lap. I was so happy for everyone. I wrote the message and then had my finger on send until Daniel crossed the line. I didn’t want to send it in case for luck reasons!
Cyril described you as a hungry shark – did the result on Sunday make you feel even hungrier?
I’m still the same after Sunday. I know what the team is capable of and I know the prospects for the future are good. The podium is a thing that had to happen. Most important thing is to follow the trend that we see now, keep the momentum into next year, especially for 2022, and I think we know how to do it.
BWT Racing point are ready for the upcoming Pro E-Sports Series with driver line up consisting of Lucas Blakeley, Daniele Haddad and Shanaka Clay. The Series is due to start this week.
Previously to lock down the world of E-sports racing was large in its own right. Because of the pandemic and the delayed start of the F1 championship, the E-sports viewers grew especially to tune into the F1 stars and other Sporting Celebrates take to the Virtual world.
Wondering how you can tune in and keep up to date with the teams and their progress?? Then here's how you can.
Fans can follow live coverage on the team’s social channels, while Formula 1 has increased its broadcast offering for 2020.
The F1 E-sports Pro Series has had some tweaks ahead of the 2020 campaign including a new qualifying format that will closely replicate the real-world Formula 1 qualifying format.
Qualifying will now be broadcast over Twitch and Huya, while the daily evening shows will be broadcast live through Formula 1’s select TV partners.
The Races have been extended to 35% race distance for this years campaign which will put further strain onto the drivers.
Fans in the UK, Italy and Germany can see the action unfold on Sky Sports, with ESPN providing the broadcast for the USA.
A Few Words
Lucas Blakeley, Esports Driver at BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team:
"It's always exciting in the build-up to a new season of the F1 Esports Pro Series. The season opener is going to be all about getting into the zone and preparing as best as we can. I'm feeling confident and I'm looking forward to experiencing the new format changes, it's going to make for a really intense spectacle. Vietnam has the potential to be a deciding race. It's a very tricky street circuit and I think that's where most of the mistakes are going to be made because it's a massive challenge for a driver. Personally, I really enjoy Bahrain, so I hope to be strong there too."
Daniele Haddad, Esports Driver at BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team:
"It's going to be a tough campaign this year as the competition is so high, but I truly believe we're ready to compete for great results. It's about keeping our focus and being clinical when opportunities arrive. I'm confident going into the event as we've had a strong pre-season. We’re excited and ready to prove ourselves in a really varied triple-header to start the season. It's going to be strange not to be racing in a studio event as the atmosphere is so incredible, but it's a credit to Formula 1 and everyone involved that we can put on a show remotely and I think it's going to be a great season for the fans."
Shanaka Clay, Esports Driver at BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team:
“I'm really looking forward to the season getting started. Obviously, I won't be driving and instead I'll be in a reserve role for the first event. I'm very keen to work hard and help Lucas and Daniele in any way that I can. They've both been with the team for over a year and they have that existing relationship, which is hugely important, and I can learn from that. When I get my chance on track, I'll be ready to prove myself. But whether it's on the track or off the track, I'll work just as hard to make sure we're getting strong results for the team. We've had good preparation and we can be confident for this season.”
Redbull have announced a "Beat the Pro" Challenge which gives the Fans and Grand Turismo players an opportunity to face off against both Max, Alex and Redbull junior Yuki Tsunoda's set times.
This years Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled due to the global pandemic so, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Japan have collaborated with Polyphony Digital and Sony Interactive Entertainment to bring back the excitement of racing competition for fans in a virtual Gran Turismo Sport time trial.
“Racing on simulators is great fun and even more so when it involves the fans, especially now as we don’t get to see them as much” said Alex. “Suzuka is one of my favourite circuits on the current calendar, it’s extremely fast and there’s very little margin for error so I’ll be interested to see what the fans can do around there. Japan has so many passionate F1 fans so I’m also intrigued to see how the rest of the world’s Gran Turismo players compare with the Japanese. It’s game on!”
After setting his lap time Max commented “Suzuka Circuit has a lot of fast corners without much run off which makes it demanding and hard to find the limit but I really enjoy racing there. I haven’t driven on Gran Turismo for a long time, since maybe 2013, so I’m sure the time I just set will be pretty easy to beat in the Super Formula car. We will of course miss the amazing fans in Japan this year so hopefully they can have some fun beating our times around the Suzuka Circuit in the game. Enjoy…”
If you choose to accept this challenge, please do let us know how you get on!!
More information can be found at Redbulls website on the following link:
Honda have announced this morning that they will be pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season. The Power unit manufacturer has been supplying Both Redbull and sister team Scuderia AlphaTauri which now poses the teams a dilemma. There are only 3 power unit suppliers on the Grid, Mercedes who supply 3 other teams, Ferrari who supply HAAS and Alfa Romeo and of course the Works team Renault.
Renault previously partnered Redbull and had a strong partnership which lasted 12 years but parted ways at the end of 2018 due to poor results on track. A 2 year agreement was struck with the team and Honda for the 2019 and 2020 season.
Team Principal Christian Horner, said: “As a Team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision to step back from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season. The shifting focus within the automotive industry has led to Honda’s decision to re-deploy their resources and we understand and respect the reasoning behind this. Their decision presents obvious challenges for us as a Team but we have been here before and with our strength in depth we are well prepared and equipped to respond effectively, as we have proven in the past.
“Whilst we are disappointed not to continue our partnership with Honda, we are enormously proud of our joint success, delivering five wins and 15 podiums for both Red Bull owned teams and we thank everyone at Honda for their extraordinary efforts and commitment.
“Our joint focus for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons are unchanged, to fight for victories and challenge for the championship. As a signatory to Formula One’s latest Concorde Agreement, Red Bull Racing remains committed to the sport in the long term and we look forward to embarking on a new era of innovation, development and success. As a group, we will now take the time afforded to us to further evaluate and find the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond.”
“Scuderia AlphaTauri and Honda have built up a very good and professional relationship since we started to cooperate in 2018”, said Team Principal, Franz Tost. “We enjoyed great success together in the last few years, winning a race and finishing on the podium twice, with one second and one third place. It’s unfortunate that Honda has decided to stop their commitment in Formula One, because their Power Unit’s performance has been improving constantly and dramatically to become one of the best engines on the grid in a short period of time, since they returned to the sport. I’m convinced that together we will continue to achieve strong results in the remaining races this season and next year.”
“We certainly respect the reason behind Honda’s decision to focus on environmental initiatives and to strive for the realization of carbon neutrality, everybody at Scuderia AlphaTauri wish them well in reaching all their goals and to have a successful future ahead. We sincerely want to thank Honda for the fruitful cooperation, we really enjoyed every day we’ve been working together. It won’t be easy to find an engine partner like Honda but, of course, we will start looking at all possibilities to find the best Power Unit solution from 2022 onwards.”