Abu Dhabi (AP) – It’s March. Friday the 13th Formula 1 surrenders to the corona pandemic and postpones the start of the season indefinitely.
Motorsport comes almost four months later
Premier class still in emergency operation. Moments of a memorable Formula 1 season.
Nothing works anymore: The World Health Organization has long talked about a pandemic – Formula 1 still hopes that the season will start in Melbourne in mid-March. After a corona case in the paddock, McLaren and his German team boss Andreas Seidl must first withdraw for the Australian Grand Prix, after which the start of the season is also canceled. An emergency season with 17 races will be held later.
FAREWELL TO RED: Ferrari will celebrate its 1000th Formula 1 race in 2020. Prior to that, team principal Mattia Binotto Sebastian Vettel announced by phone that he would be out of Scuderia at the end of the season after six years. “There was never an offer on the table,” said Vettel, amazed at his retirement announced in May. Four months later, Aston Martin perfected the signing of the former 2021 world champion.
RTL ZET UIT: With Michael Schumacher, Formula 1 becomes a prestige product at RTL. Since 1991, the Cologne broadcaster has been broadcasting the top class of motorsport around pit lane frontman Kai Ebel. In June, RTL announced the end of live coverage at the end of the year. From 2021, pay-TV broadcaster Sky will receive the Formula 1 rights and will only have to show four races on free TV.
GREEN LIGHT: Formula 1 switches to emergency mode. The Corona emergency calendar for the first eight races in Europe will be announced in early June, starting on July 5 in Spielberg, Austria. For the Grand Prix, the racing teams must submit to strict Corona rules, including regular tests and masks are required. Spectators are almost completely prohibited.
PROTEST MOVEMENT: Driving in Spielberg will start again in early July. Before the start, the drivers gave an example against racism: 14 out of 20 Formula 1 stars get down on one knee. The drivers around world champion Lewis Hamilton, the strongest proponent of the gesture, wear black T-shirts, most of them labeled “End Racism”. Hamilton’s shirt carries the message “Black lives matter”.
More news from Formula 1
THE GERMAN SUPPORT: In Racing Point man Sergio Perez, Formula 1 also had the first Corona case with a driver at Silverstone at the end of July. Who will join? Nico Hulkenberg! A defect prevents the first lightning comeback. As a later replacement for Perez ‘teammate Lance Stroll, who also tested positive, the German even won ten World Cup points.
END OF AN ERA: After the sale to an American investment company, the Williams family withdraws from the Formula 1 team of the same name. Co-team boss Claire Williams will stop in early September after the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. An era ends. Her father Frank founded the racing team in 1977 together with Patrick Head. The team won the constructors’ title a total of nine times.
GOOSEHOUSET-GESTURE: Lewis Hamilton sets Michael Schumacher’s record on his return to the Nürburgring in October. In a moment of goosebumps, the Mercedes man receives a red racing helmet from the Formula 1 icon from his son Mick. After his 91st Grand Prix success, the visibly moved Hamilton Schumacher senior honored as “an icon and a legend”.
THE RECORD CHAMPION: Lewis Hamilton reached the next Formula 1 milestone in mid-November. In Istanbul, the Mercedes driver took his seventh world championship title ahead of schedule, overtaking record champion Michael Schumacher. Due to a coronavirus disease, Hamilton then has to suspend the penultimate race in Bahrain and he is back at the final in Abu Dhabi.
ESCAPE FROM THE FLAMES: Romain Grosjean miraculously survives a terrible fire accident during the first race in Bahrain in late November. The Haas pilot can only save himself from the flames after 28 seconds. “I saw death coming, I had no choice but to get out,” said Grosjean, who only got burns on his hands.
A SCHUMACHER AGAIN: The American Haas team confirms Mick Schumacher as its new driver for 2021.30 years after Papa Michael’s first Grand Prix appearance, Formula 1 will get another Schumacher in 2021. “It’s an incredible feeling”, the junior announced at the beginning of December – then became Formula 2 champion. In Abu Dhabi, he already drives his first training laps on the Haas.