Updated: Jun 6, 2020
As the 2019 season comes to a close, with Lewis Hamilton crowned world champion and Mercedes earning the constructors trophy, the real excitement of the 2020 season can begin. This is not to say that there was none, but now that all the seasons drama is done, and the teams are set, we can dive in with a somewhat 'fresh start' to the upcoming season. Esteban Ocon replacing Hulkenberg at Renault, and Nicholas Latifi replacing Robert Kubica at Williams.
With the last Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi finished, we now enter the dreaded three months of 'nothing'. We all know that this is far from the case for all the teams. Drivers will have multiple sets of pre-season car testing, helping to continue the development of the cars and prepare for the slightly more intense season to come. From what we have seen this 2019 season we all have a good feeling that teams should be slightly closer in competition with each other, especially the leading three. We can also see McLaren thriving extremely well, finishing fourth in the constructors 54 points clear of Renault in fifth place.
We started the season seeing a clear run of 5 Mercedes 1-2 finishes and 8 consecutive wins, boosting them ahead into the constructors lead. Sebastian Vettel won in Austria, making it his first win since Spa 2018! Ferrari had a spark of dominance after the season break, Charles Leclerc proving his talent by winning two weekends in a row. Not forgetting the fact that he won driving a Ferrari in Italy, considering the last time Ferrari won a home race was in 2010. We were given a dramatic race in Brazil with both Ferraris taking each other out and Hamilton given a penalty dropping him to 7th place. This gave us a podium of Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz and a Honda 1-2. Sainz gave McLaren its first podium in an astonishing 2072 days
I think there are two things we can not ignore, one more significant than the other. The first, more important thing, is the change of the racing calendar. The 2020 season presents us with 22 races. We return to a track in the Netherlands that last held a grand prix in 1985. It gives fellow Red Bull driver Max Verstappen a home race, and I'm sure we are all excited to see the ever-growing Orange Army. Alongside this, we also have a new track in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Zandvoort - Netherlands🇱🇺
This track measures at 4.3 kilometres long
3 straights - the longest being 678 meters long.
Famous 'Tarzan Corner'
Hanoi - Vietnam🇻🇳
2 long straights
Familiar traits of other current tracks -- e.g. the turns 12-15 are reminiscent of the opening turns of the street track in Monaco
Most races are only being pushed back a few places and Azerbaijan is the only track with a major shift, now moving to the beginning of June. To accommodate the new entries in the calendar we are going to see 7 sets of back-to-back races. This is obviously going to keep all teams and driver on their toes and not allow for as many breaks as before, and understandably some drivers are not so keen on this layout.
The second thing that sticks out like a sore thumb for next year is the loss of the German Grand Prix. It came to a shock when they announced that there was to be no German race for the calendar to come. Financial reasons seemed to be the catalyst of this outcome, and we were lucky to have a 2019 German race thanks to last minute sponsors Mercedes Benz. Attendance records were proving to drop year after year, some saying due to the absence of Michael Schumacher. So unfortunately due to new venues willing to pay larger fees, we will no longer see this race on the calendar. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will lose his home race and is adamant that they will regret their decision to remove it.
We say goodbye to Nico Hulkenberg, Robert Kubica and the German Grand Prix.
Now lets wait and see what drama and excitement the 2020 season has to offer.