Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Hamilton expects ‘the most difficult season for all of us in F1’

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton predicts a challenging season ahead for all competitors: “We are preparing in the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season I think that Formula 1 and all of us have experienced with the difficult times that we’re facing and the changes that we have to make in order to operate.”

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F1 will allow each team to have up to 40 people on the grid pre-race, but should it even bother with the dummy grid at closed events?

I’d have thought it would have been much safer to have bypassed the dummy grid altogether and have the cars go from their garages in grid order straight onto the formation lap, or even straight out of the garage for couple of laps behind the safety car to get themselves in order before lining up for the lights.

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  • 33 comments on “Hamilton expects ‘the most difficult season for all of us in F1’”

    1. This is a great year not to attend the Indy 500 in person. What a snafu.

    2. Hamilton still trying to justify his legacy….

      1. What do you mean?

    3. They call it the Swedish Experiment? Looks like the US is the real test of uncontrolled spread.

      1. Harold wilson
        26th June 2020, 0:54

        Sad but true. It’s as If this pandemic has evolved expose all of america’s inadequacys.

      2. Did you look at Brasil that is even worse…:(

        I am afraid there is no racing at all in the western front.

        1. @macleod The US has higher figures than Brazil, though.

          1. Because of far higher testing carried out (over 30 million compared to less than 3 million). Then it’s also important WHO is tested.

            As long as the pandemic isn’t over an assessment of its severity is diffucult.

          2. @jerejj the situation with Brazil is a bit complex, because there is a strong suspicion that the government there is underestimating the actual number of cases and fatalities due to a lack of testing. With Bolsonaro being publicly dismissive of Covid-19, there are some wondering whether it is necessarily due to a lack of resources, or whether they are disinclined to test more because it would be even more damaging to Bolsonaro’s reputation.

            Although total numbers might be worse in the United States, Brazil is not exactly great either and, in some areas, worse off (daily deaths in Brazil, even with likely under reporting during to a shortfall in testing, currently outstrip that of the USA).

          3. Yes, but brasil govenment is ignoring the severity (atleast the President) of Covid.

            If you see the daily % increase it will be Brasil nr.1 very soon or the US is also wrong way then not.

            It seems they going to try for the mass immunity … that is not looking great.

      3. Looking at the thousands in the UK flocking to beaches or to Anfield to celebrate winning something, people are stupid all over the world.

        1. Haha, yup! We didn’t need COVID-19 to realize that, though ;-)

    4. Excellent logic in the COTD. It appears FOM waited for the situation to adjust to their format, rather than adjusting their format to suit the situation.

      1. I don’t see the logic of having a tight packed pit, when you can use a wide open track for the same job. And I don’t see the logic of introducing untested pit exit to start of race procedures unnecessarily; particularly when the suggestion is to cram all these procedures into a shorter time span; and expect the cars to leave in grid order without delay.

    5. Re COTD, don’t they use the dummy grid to set their clutch for the race start?

    6. I was in agreement with the COTD, but then thinking about it, is it safer to have a group of 40 in relative close quarters in the garage or out on the grid?

      Now I’m wondering if it would actually be better/safer to push the cars out into pit lane before the driver gets in and the car is started.

    7. Spot on StephenH. Except no safety car, it may be too slow… Out of the pits, 2 laps, line up and go!

    8. I wonder since there is no public around the track if there is going to be a wildlife problem…?

      1. interesting point!

      2. I suspect the wildlife will be annoyed no one is feeding them.

    9. Once again, an article concerning race schedule-scenarios: Should Sochi lose out, having two races in Algarve would be a better alternative than having Hockenheim there. Alternatively, why not Jerez paired with Algarve as both have more favorable climatic conditions for F1 later in the autumn than Hockenheim? Furthermore, I still can’t really see the US GP happening this year any more than the Brazilian GP as the US, after all, is still the worst-hit country in the world with both the highest infection and death-figures. They seem to have forgotten how could Montreal can get in October. The poleposition.ca-article from the day before yesterday claimed it’d be October 11, but based on this AMuS-article, it could be October 18 instead, which only saw 9 C as the highest daytime temp last year. I can’t believe they actually seem to be serious about placing Montreal in October despite the unfavorable climatic conditions.

      1. The article also claims that one of the reasons for Imola seemingly dropping out of contention would be the layout of the pit exit, which I find weird as I don’t see anything special there.

      2. @jerejj not to mention that infection rates seem to be rising again in Europe. It’s quite possible hat some countries might be forced to re-asses travel and entry arrangements before the scheduled races.

        It’s quite conceivable that the existing scheduled races might have to have some postponed further, I can’t see any drivers or teams agreeing to go to the US, Mexico or Brazil, Russia has a really high infection count, so they’re likely to want to avoid that too, so all that’s left is the races in the Middle East.

        Wonder who will foot the bill if they can’t complete enough races to make a championship?

      3. Not sure about the Hockenheim scenario @jerejj – I do think that it is quite likely that we will see a Hockenheim race (although in Russia, who knows. Maybe they will find a way to inject a thousand-2000 F1 crew in to the place, keep them there without contact with locals etc?) – Russia might also depend on restrictions in other states after having visited Russia.

        I agree with you that with the rising numbers all over the USA and specifically in Texas too, the likelyhood of a CotA race seem to be dwindling. Then again, the race is supposed to be in November, and there is a lot that can change untile then. And with F1 and the track being desperate enough, they might want to push it even if it is a risk. I can’t see Canada being realistic either that late in the year and Brazil is even less likely to happen. Mexico is quite a stretch too IMO, since it is in the middle of a huge city where numbers of infections are still rising too.
        So in the end, either we could get a VERY cold Canada, or a risky CotA.

        I think that with Barcelona going ahead, there is not much room to go to Jerez this year. I would like Portimao, on the other hand F1 going to Hockenheim, even if it is autumn weather (rain, not a bad thing to have there IMO) as well, would be a nice “reward” for the track having clearly been cooperative with this from the start as a backup venue.

        1. @bascb Yes, September is still pretty good in Hockenheim temp-wise, but further into the autumn, like Montreal, it’s also on the edge with cold(-ish) weather. The COTA-race is supposed to happen on October 25, so four months away, but still risky given the situation.

    10. One positive thing that has come out of the current situation is that we are seeing tracks that deserve to be on the calendar returning to the calendar, or at least being pushed for by the Drivers. Shows how meritocracy automatically gets a boost when you push money out of the equation.

    11. Got to agree with Lewis that this season could be the most challenging. I think the drivers are going in a little rusty, the teams operations are disrupted due to Covid, there are fewer races, lesser time to fix teething issues, etc.

      Could be a bit of a lottery.. and I think the driver that shows up in top form and the team with the least operational errors would probably have the upper hand. From a driver perspective I think Leclerc, Verstappen and Hamilton should show up ready. Let’s see which teams show up well prepared though..

    12. I think the COTD seems logical but when you start to think through the logistics of it, there are a few issues. First, you’d need to co-ordinate the cars leaving their garages in grid order and lining up at the end of the pitlane. Then, while that’s happening, the cars are sitting on their race tyres getting rapidly colder. You’d end up with the pole sitter leaving the pitlane with very cold tyres, and having to frantically warm them up on the outlap to the grid. They’d then need to sit at the front of the grid with them getting cold again while the rest of the grid lines up. Two heat cycles on the tyres before the race has even started, and then a full bore launch without the benefit of a bite point test from the grid slot.

      Not absolutely insurmountable problems, but when the teams have been repeatedly tested for COVID anyway, and there’s a very very low risk of anyone even having it, let alone transmitting it out in the open with everyone wearing gloves and masks, you’d have to ask what’s the real benefit to justify such huge disruption?

      1. I think they would have to regulate the order by which cars drive out of their garages to get to the grid / track @mazdachris, in order to easily line them up in the right order on track.

        But I agree with you that with all the changes already needed, keeping the starting procedure as close to normal as viable makes sense.

    13. The way the noose story jumped off the line was, dubious at best. I can totally understand the misunderstanding, and I wholeheartedly believe in NASCAR’s and Petty’s reasoning. However some people just want to play victim. I saw the first photo I didn’t need to see the 2nd after the investigation concluded that the noose was not deliberately planted on Bubba’s garage.

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