Five talking points from the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton took home his first win of the season as he led Mercedes to a one-two victory in Austria, alongside Finland-born teammate Valtteri Bottas.
In an eventful race to continue the unusual Formula One calendar, here are five talking points from the Styrian Grand Prix weekend:
Racing Point legality
Dubbed ‘the pink Mercedes’, Racing Point have had a fairly successful run in 2020 as both drivers, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, finished sixth and seventh in the Styrian Grand Prix last weekend.
However, this hasn’t gone unnoticed by rival competitors as Renault have filed a protest, to the FIA, against the Silverstone-based outfit. Accusing them of breaching; article 2.1, article 3.2 and appendix 6, in the sporting regulations.
The alleged breaches revolve around listed parts and it states within the FIA: Formula One – Sporting Regulations, appendix 6 – paragraph 2c:
“In the case of the Outsourcing of design, such third party shall not be a competitor or a party that directly or indirectly designs Listed Parts for any competitor.”
The front and rear brake ducts, which are similar to the ones used on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG Petronas W10, have been impounded pending an examination.
The all-winning Silver Arrows
Mercedes, out of the whole grid, have undoubtedly had the best start in 2020 as they have stormed ahead in the constructors table with 80 points – 41 points more than second place McLaren. Charging towards their seventh consecutive constructors title.
With a victory from Bottas in the season opener and a one-two, led by Hamilton, last weekend, Mercedes have begun to roll out an unbeaten streak as they have won their last three consecutive races.
However, with Bottas still retaining the lead in the drivers standings, Hamilton will need to find seven points from the upcoming races to take the lead and equal Michael Schumacher’s title record of seven world championships.
Ferrari’s clashing personalities
It was a weekend that would be the stuff of nightmares for, CEO and team principle, Mattia Binotto, as both Ferrari’s were forced to retire early on in the Styrian GP. On the opening lap of the race, Charles Leclerc made an ill-fated move on the four-time world champion at turn three – who was already fighting for position.
The resulting collision launched the Monegasques Ferrari into the air and into the back of his German teammate, severely damaging the world champion’s rear wing and damaging his own front wing in the process.
The prancing horse principle wasn’t pleased, despite not blaming any of his drivers for the incident. This race provided the best opportunity for the Italian outfit to gain valuable data on their new aerodynamic upgrade, which would have been useful for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
The second team driver for the Woking outfit, Lando Norris is proving to his team that he is the man capable of leading McLaren next season when Carlos Sainz goes off to join Leclerc in Ferrari.
Norris has put in impressive performances in both GP’s taken at the Austrian Red Bull Ring, gaining his maiden podium on the season opener and overtook both Racing Point’s on the last lap of the Styrain GP.
Despite being able to retain third in the drivers standings, it will still be likely that Daniel Ricciardo will get the top driving position when he arrives at McLaren at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see if he can carry the momentum throughout the season.
Hungarian strict restrictions
It will not be an eventful time for British F1 staff members and drivers when they arrive in Hungary for the upcoming race weekend. Prison time and a hefty fine has already been warned for those who are set to arrive inside the European country.
The relaxation of the United Kingdom’s national lockdown with the reopening of pubs and restaurants have gone down sourly with Hungarian officials. Not helped by images of packed beaches during the recent heatwave.
Therefore, UK citizens, entering Hungary, will be subjected to tougher lockdown measures and are only allowed to be inside their hotel rooms and the track while they are staying in-country. Otherwise, they will face a fine of €15,000 and potential prison time if they fail to obey by the strict isolation rules set by the Hungarian officials.
However, the Independent reported that F1 will be in talks with officials early this week, in the hope they will be able to relax some of the restrictions imposed on the bulk of paddock staff, who are from the UK.