Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are soon expected to participate in a Mercedes Test. This year has perhaps been the most controversial one in the recent history of Formula 1. Up to this point, there has not been a single Grand Prix anywhere, in a year where nothing’s gone right not just for Formula 1 but for all sports in lines with the Coronavirus lockdown and the subsequent pandemic.
But major relief was sort recently when the FIA announced an 8-GP calendar for 2020, implying that while truncated that it might be, we’d, at least, have some Grand Prix racing after all.
And since current (and thus) defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton, along with his strongly in-form teammate Valtteri Bottas are expected to participate in it, it’ll ultimately mark the return of the drivers to the track since the Winter testing that was held earlier this year, before the pandemic struck all.
In fact, the return-to-racing test is expected to be held at Silverstone, which happens to be the venue of the British Grand Prix, a celebrated yearly event that also happened to be the occasion of the first-ever race in the checkered history of F1.
That being said, it’s also been confirmed that the test will take place within next week, i.e., mid-June.
Therefore, in hitting the track, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will get useful practice as a means to step up their game for the forthcoming Grands Prix.
That being said, here are some close insights from Sky Sports’ stable in connection with the big F1 story as on date:
Bottas will drive the 2018 Mercedes W09 on Tuesday next week, with six-time world champion Hamilton in the car on Wednesday “as the team practises protocols ahead of returning to racing in Austria next month”.
F1’s regulations do not allow for official in-season testing of current cars, but Mercedes are able to rack up as much mileage as they want in an old car.
Mercedes’ test was confirmed after Sky F1’s Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson insisted drivers are in for a “real shock” when F1 returns next month, after such a long period away from the wheel of motorsport’s fastest cars.
All of that said, let’s divert our attention to the importance of racing’s return to the already truncated season.
It turns out that the only ever occasion(s) where there was such a massive gap within a Formula 1 season was well over half a century ago. In that aspect, Formula 1 racing finally returning to the calendar, but not before the cancellation of famous Grands Prix such as Australia, China, Azerbaijan, Spain, Monaco, and Bahrain marks a welcome return of a one-of-a-kind sport.
In the days that lie ahead, the big focus of everyone will, once again, be the big rivalry between the Mercedes and Ferrari cars. But hang on a second. Given it’s the Austrian Grand Prix of 2020 which will mark the resumption of racing, can anyone keep Red Bull astray from the scheme of things?
How about this being a three-way fight to the checkered flag where the likes of Verstappen and Albon may have an equally decent chance of playing spoilsports to what Mercedes or Ferrari might consider as a great opportunity to win?