In a season that’s been largely about Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton displaying familiar class and grit at the very front of the grid with the likes of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen taking the fight to the man behind the ‘Hammertime’, not a race-weekend goes by where there’s a dearth in excitement. When the action doesn’t take place on the grid or in midst of a Grand Prix, then Formula 1 does manage to punch above its weight all thanks to various shenanigans that happen off the grid.
For instance, the sudden skirmish in the driver market that came to light soon as Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel agreed to end what’s now been a six-year relationship, the German vacating his seat at the Scuderia freeing up a place that eventually went to Carlos Sainz Jr. of McLaren.
But that’s not the only piece of news that’s stirred up the season where important and much-vaunted campaigns like Black Lives Matter took shape and generated a voice of concern and resonance among the F1 fraternity. Among the interesting highlights that have shaped the current or ongoing season is the very F1 calendar. Never before had one seen two back-to-back races beginning at Austria, or for that matter, the Spielberg-bound contest becoming 2020’s curtain raiser.
Having said that, the F1 Calendar also threw up some more interesting developments, including the Sochi-borne Russian Grand Prix agreeing to host two consecutive runs, which we shall see come September 27, later this year.
So is there anything new? And just when you would’ve thought that along with the inclusion of the Imola race at Italy and the return of the famous albeit daunting Nurgburgring, previously home to the German Grand Prix, there was nothing else in store, here comes the F1 Calendar with a new twist, rather inclusion!
It appears that not only will the Turkish Grand Prix, last held in 2011, makes a return to the roster but the Bahrain Grand Prix shall now include, not one but two races.
If that’s not exciting then what is, one might ask?
Where the Bahrain Grand Prix is concerned, then the event first held back in 2004 will for times to come, be remembered for the bittersweet outing for Charles Leclerc, who in 2019 drove around the electrifying Sakhir to mixed fortunes.
Pole-sitter on Saturday then, March 30, 2019, Leclerc, then in his rookie Scuderia season was able to set the fastest lap of the race and gather a valiant podium: a fighting P3, despite experiencing engine troubles in the SF 90.
What should have been his first win in Formula 1, eventually became his maiden career podium. Nonetheless, Leclerc would go onto demonstrate excellent grit and composure in the remainder of that season, bagging not just amazing victories at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgian Grand Prix) and Monza (Italian Grand Prix) but would also make countless hearts swell with pride thanks to strong finishes at Austria and Singapore, among other achievements.
That said, the Turkish Grand Prix returns to the F1 calendar after nearly a decade long absence. But the fortunes of those who prevailed at Istanbul, back in 2011, have completely reversed.
While Red Bull, who clinched the envious Grand Prix at Istanbul the last a race was held- winning the race, clinching pole, and setting the fastest lap of race- are still a force to reckon with on the grid, Sebastian Vettel, the race-winner then is now struggling to stay relevant in the sport, or does that read rather bluntly?
Here’s an excerpt from a news feature published on racefans.net regarding the latest development on the F1 Calendar 2020:
An event in Turkey will offer more straightforward freight routes for F1 than other potential venues which were under consideration, such as the Jerez circuit in southern Spain. Following Imola and Istanbul, the championship will conclude with a triple-header of races including two events in Bahrain and one at Yas Marina.
Bahrain’s two races could be held on different configurations of the desert track. While the familiar 5.4-kilometre grand prix circuit will hold the first race, F1 is believed to be seriously considering running the second on the simpler, 3.5-kilometre ‘Outer Circuit’.