Supporting fans of Valtteri Bottas have been left disappointed after Lewis Hamilton captured pole position at the Portuguese Grand Prix, which is being hosted at Algarve Circuit. Nobody was anticipating that Hamilton would acquire pole after Bottas sustained three back-to-back first positions during free practice. That doesn’t mean Valtteri Bottas doesn’t have ample opportunity to acquire 1st Place during the Portuguese Grand Prix. It could be 2nd position during qualifying is superior for Algarve Circuit’s race start. Nobody will know until the lights go black.
Qualifying for Algarve Circuit saw considerable excitement for most teams. Max Verstappen from Red Bull Aston Martin Racing acquired P3, with Charles Leclerc from Scuderi Ferrari obtaining P4. Portuguese fans of Scuderia Ferrari were thrilled to witness Leclerc reach P4 in qualifying. It marks the highest qualifying position for Ferrari in 2020, with the team having struggled drastically to obtain track positions & pace this year.
Valtteri Bottas proved himself a viable opponent for Lewis Hamilton during the Portuguese Grand Prix Qualifying Session. Hamilton was able to overcome Bottas by 0.087s of a second. It’s the closest times the pair have maintained since becoming rivals in 2018. What angered Bottas was not receiving new tyres, while Hamilton did. Lewis would be released four minutes before the qualifying session ended & would find the necessary speed to obtain pole.
Mercedes AMG-Petronas wasn’t favouring Lewis Hamilton to Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton was given Medium Tyres, with Bottas provided Soft Tyres. Differences in their pace were minimal throughout the full session. Lewis Hamilton acquiring pole position over Valtteri Bottas on Medium Tyres shows the championship skillsets of the six-time world champion.
Verstappen Given Race Start Advantage
Mercedes AMG-Petronas have confirmed that Valtteri Bottas & Lewis Hamilton are both starting the Portuguese Grand Prix on Medium Tyres. This could mean a prominent advantage for Max Verstappen during the initial ten to fifteen laps at Algarve Circuit, with Red Bull Racing confirming that Verstappen is starting on Soft Tyres. When considering Charles Leclerc & his P4 placement for the race start, he’s been awarded Medium Tyres. It’ll be interesting to see which strategy is more beneficial.
An imbalance is the best term to describe Renault F1 in 2020. Though their car has improved tenfold compared to the 2019 season, differences between Renault’s contracted drivers is significant & looks to continue throughout 2021. The subject of imbalance is something that’s been discussed multiple times by Daniel Ricciardo, Renault’s primary driver. Criticism of that imbalance was evoked again after the Eifel Grand Prix at Nürburgring Circuit.
Ricciardo was questioned on the primary factor that’s enabled Renault to sustain notable progress in 2020, which shouldn’t be possible amid the FIAs regulations. Formula One’s 1st Australian driver mentioned that back-wing downforce had improved drastically, allowing for consistent strategies & placements throughout the 2020 F1 campaign. It’s still been a close Mid-Field battle between McLaren, Renault, and Racing Point. Six races are remaining in the 2020 F1 Season & six points divide these three teams from 3rd place in the Constructor’s Championship. It’s expected that McLaren will stand victorious, with Racing Point obtaining 4th, and Renault achieving 5th.
Daniel Ricciardo has managed to P6 or higher since the Belgian Grand Prix. However, the Australian doesn’t believe that Renault’s progress will continue throughout 2021 & 2022. That’d be historically correct with the team, who has struggled to maintain consistency during their Formula One lifespan. Ricciardo mentioned that during 2019, there were moments that felt Renault could achieve a Top Ten placement & those other moments, the car felt slow enough to place P11 or lower.
Renault’s improvements began during the Silverstone Grand Prix, with FIA-approved enhancements enabling for rear-downforce to increase tenfold. This boosted Ricciardo’s confidence in sustaining throttle speeds during the corners, instead of breaking to account for possible crashes. Daniel Ricciardo stated that throughout the 2020 campaign, Renault would continue to perform adequately to their rivals of Racing Point & McLaren.
Poor Drivers = Poor Performance
Outside of the Renault team, F1 Analysts aren’t concerned about the French racing team maintaining their consistency with car performance. Worries arise when reviewing their 2021 drivers of Esteban Ocon & Fernando Alonso. Ocon is known to underperform when compared to other young drivers like Lando Norris or Charles Leclerc. Alonso is aged 39 & will become one of the older F1 Grid drivers. How Renault overcomes the challenges of maintaining underperforming drivers isn’t known.
An unexpected acquisition has occurred for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s been announced that Zach Bogosian will join the Leafs for the 2021-22 NHL season. This one-year acquisition contract earned the defencemen $1 Million. Zach Bogosian is a superior selection for the Toronto Maple Leafs, with his history throughout the National Hockey League sustaining eleven seasons.
Zach Bogosian’s career sustains four NHL teams, with the Toronto Maple Leaf’s being his 5th. This defenceman has competed against the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, the Atlanta Thrashers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Obtaining a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s was a career-goal for Zach Bogosian, which didn’t last longer than one year. His contract with Tampa Bay was worth $1.3 Million and saw minimal attendance during regular-season games. However, Zach would be allowed to appear in his 1st Stanley Gup Playoff Game in 2020. It followed after competing in 20 Postseason Games.
This defenceman has sustained an eleven-season career in the National Hockey League. His records stand at 644 career games, with 143 assists & 53 goals. Zach Bogosian is 30-years-of-age, meaning his time for NHL retirement is arriving. The Toronto Maple Leaf’s won’t be his final team but will mark the beginning of his end.
Tyson Barrie Joins the Edmonton Oilers
Zach Bogosian will replace the loss of Tyson Barrie, who played with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2016 to 2019. Sheldon Keefe has struggled to ascertain new defencemen with similar or better skillsets. The acquisition of Bogosian means that Head Coach Keefe could’ve finally solved this problem.
Tyson Barrie spent the majority the 2019-20 NHL Season with the Toronto Maple Leaf’s. His exit came in July 2019 when being traded from Toronto to the Colorado Avalanches. It followed after Barrie’s shooting percentage dropped to 3%, with 34 assists and five goals being his lowest season. Toronto made their determination to part ways with Barrie after his performance in five back-to-back games against the Columbus Blue Jackets proved unfavourable.
Tyson Barrie is now joining the Edmonton Oilers for the 2021-20 NHL Season, with his contract being worth $3.75 Million. It’s considerably higher than the deal offered to Zach Bogosian. However, Tyson Barrie has seen a record of 80 goals & 266 assists during 554 games.
SF1000 became a stronger vehicle during the Russian Grand Prix, with Scuderia Ferrari having their Formula One vehicle perform to expectations at the Sochi Autodrom. Having reached initial goals for seasonal upgrades, Scuderia Ferrari is releasing additional enhancements during the October 9th to 11th Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Upcoming upgrades surround the SF1000s diffuser, which follows after the Rear-Wing Endplate & Under-Nose Cape were improved. It’s also suspected that bargeboards will be upgraded at the Eifel Grand Prix.
Scuderia Ferrari has clarified that new parts aren’t meant to affect the SF1000s ultimate performance, but instead improve the correlation between operating systems in their vehicle. When questioned if Ferrari can sustain their growth, Team Principal Mattia Binotto emphasized that track characteristics at Sochi Autodrom enabled Charles Leclerc to obtain 6th position. This means that performance at the Nürburgring won’t likely be consistent with the Sochi Autodrom. However, Scuderia Ferrari has hope that Diffuser upgrades will allow all components to correlate together in harmony. It’d enable continued growth with Ferrari’s track performance.
Mattia Binotto stated that upgrades issued during the Russian Grand Prix assisted with Sochi’s track characteristics and that competitiveness was located during unexpected circumstances. Scuderi Ferrari’s Team Principal evoked that continued development of Diffuser & Read-Wing upgrades could permit Charles Leclerc or Sebastian Vettel to obtain higher positions on the grid. Mattia Binotto quickly pointed out that advancements have been a step in the right direction & that they aren’t enough to guarantee sufficiency over the remainder of 2020s F1 campaign.
The Positives & Negatives
That’s when Mattia Binotto announced additional upgrades for the Nürburgring’s Eifel Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Team Principal evoked that their enhancements aren’t significant and that all upcoming improvements focus on the Diffuser. This indicates that Ferrari Engineers have located something in the Diffuser that enables greater downforce & speeds. Overall, Mattia Binotto wasn’t disappointed with improved speeds seen with Sochi’s upgrades. It’s provided Engineers a launching point for the remainder of 2020, and insight for the 2021 F1 campaign.
Regardless of improvements, there’ll be multiple challenges awaiting Scuderia Ferrari & all other teams in Formula One until 2022. Upgrade capabilities have drastically been limited in-anticipation of new regulations coming in fifteen months.