After more than a three-month delay, the 2020 Formula One season finally gets underway this weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The season has been a no-go so far due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The sport arrived in Melbourne back in March with the intention of racing, but the event was cancelled before a wheel was turned.
So, what will happen in the 2020 Formula One season? Here are five topics to keep your eyes peeled for this season…
Hamilton v Leclerc v Verstappen
We had glimpse of this titanic three-way squabble last season, but things should really crank up a notch in 2020.
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton is seeking a seventh world title, but Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could have something to say about that.
After getting a few driving errors out of his system last season, Leclerc should be one to watch this term, while Verstappen’s a champion-in-waiting after a superb campaign in 2019.
If either man has the car underneath him this season, Hamilton could have a real fight on his hands.
Classic European tracks
The new season will be largely European-based, at least to start with. We’ll have a pair of races in Austria and Great Britain, either side of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Spanish, Belgian and Italian events are also scheduled for later in the summer.
And we might also be off to Mugello. The Italian circuit is legendary among the motorcycling fraternity, but has never hosted an F1 race before.
And the calendar may also take us to the Algarve, for a first Portuguese Grand Prix since 1996, plus a return to the historic Imola as the sport looks to buff up a so-far sparsely populated schedule.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari exit
After being left in Leclerc’s wake at Ferrari in 2019, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has already announced he’s leaving the Italian squad at the end of the season.
The German hasn’t yet revealed who – if anyone – he will drive for in 2021, but it does mean an already terse relationship with Leclerc could reach new heights – or lows – this season.
Vettel has little to prove to the Red team now, but he’ll be going all-out to ensure he gets the better of his youthful team-mate this time around.
Racing Point’s 2.0 Mercedes
There’ll be plenty of comments this weekend should Racing Point impress on-track.
The Silverstone squad have attracted attention with a car that looks remarkably similar to last year’s Mercedes.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and though Racing Point insist the car they’ve produced has been done legally, rival teams such as Renault and McLaren, who wholly construct their own cars, could yet protest.
Sainz and Ricciardo out to impress
Carlos Sainz is the man who has landed the heralded Ferrari seat next season. The Spaniard impressed greatly at McLaren last season and will be out to ensure he’s worthy of the famous Italian squad.
And similarly as part of the 2021 merry-go-round, Daniel Ricciardo will be leaving Renault to join McLaren. The Australian endured a difficult campaign with the Anglo-French outfit last year, and will be keen to grab a few podiums this season.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication