Mercedes AMG-Petronas has shown their true colours again in the Formula One Community. While most teams in F1 are working towards revitalizing the sport after COVID-19, Mercedes is doing everything possible to hold onto their championship status. It doesn’t matter if Formula One negatively benefits from Mercedes continue to oppose advancements in the motorsport.
Previous oppositions included dropping the capped cost of F1 Cars to $145 Million, implementing the new rule changes for 2020, and using new fuel methods to increase speed. Every one of these oppositions if approved by the FIA, would’ve allowed opposing teams to better compete against Mercedes. It shows an evident fear of losing their Championship Status, which will inevitably come with the growth of Ferrari and Red Bull. The status will be terminated after Toto Wolff leaves Mercedes AMG-Petronas for Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin F1 Team.
The latest opposition shown by Mercedes AMG-Petronas relates to a Reverse Grid Order. Other teams in Formula One & the FIA are determining how to keep fans excited with back-to-back Grand Prix’s. One way to accomplish this would be implementing the Reverse Grid Order, which would put teams like Mercedes and Ferrari at the very back. Williams and Haas would stand at the front of the grid. This unique approach would create exciting elements of driving that would bring F1 Fanatics back for the 2nd Grand Prix.
The Reasoning for Reverse Grid Orders
This strategy follows after Carey Chase confirmed that Austria would have two confirmed Grand Prix’s, with Silverstone slated to follow under the conditional approval of the United Kingdom Parliament. Nine teams in Formula One approve the Reverse Grid Order, with the 10th and exclusive opposing outfit being Mercedes AMG-Petronas. Shockingly, Mercedes is taking this approach, with their vehicles being formidable enough to reach the top podium placement from the back of the grid. Refusal to participate has made some analysts wonder if Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas aren’t up to the task in their older ages. It should be mentioned that the concept of a Reverse Grid Order has been discussed multiple times in recent years. Every incarnation of this strategy is opposed by Mercedes AMG-Petronas, the team that cries Wolff to the FIA whenever everything isn’t exclusively in their favour.
An influential force in the Formula One Community has announced his public criticism against the Paddock & Grid. This follows after Toto Wolff noticed an evident level of self-interest, which during a period where humanity is meant to come together, the German has found incredibly offensive.
The COVID-19 Lockdown of Formula One was meant to be an opportunistic period for the Paddock & Grid. Reductions in the cost of operating these vehicles were maintained to $145 Million for 2021, with updated aerodynamic regulations also being approved for the 2022 F1 Season. Several other changes less significant have also been made to the sport. All these alterations benefit the Mid-Grid and Low-Grid, with the top three teams feeling the blunt effects of these updated F1 Laws.
Toto Wolff of Mercedes AMG-Petronas wasn’t upset by the updated regulation, unlike Mattia Binotto from Scuderia Ferrari. He believes outfits like Ferrari are using the COVID-19 Lockdown as the perfect time to implement their agendas. This means Formula One isn’t moving in the same direction. Toto Wolff clarified that the manipulative environment of F1 hasn’t changed since he joined Williams in F1. Wolff expected this to change when the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded worldwide.
Ignore the Ego
However, it appears that other outfits outside of Mercedes aren’t concerned about the upcoming races but are instead working towards advancing their interests. This often means destroying another team for personal glory, which goes against the core interests of sportsmanship. Toto Wolff warned his fellow competitors that this behaviour could become the demise of Formula One.
Toto Wolff is now looking forward to the return of racing. He noted that when the lights go green, all the manipulation and control is thrown out the window. It becomes up to the drivers entirely. The fact that team personnel think their influence makes a significant difference over how these drivers complete is a foolish mentality. These men don’t even have to start the car if they decide, leaving all that manipulation to backfire on those responsible. It appears Toto Wolff knows this behaviour to be pointless, with the proof being shown with Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes Team Boss often lets his primary driver compete in anyway Hamilton deems necessary.
Rumours regarding the future of Sebastian Vettel were confirmed earlier this week. It was revealed that Vettel hadn’t accepted a contract offer from Ferrari for the 2021 Season, with the German-born Driver believing his respective payday should’ve been higher than what his employer was offering. Both Vettel & Ferrari determined that they’re not suited for one another, prompting Sebastian to be terminated after the 2020 season. Replacing Vettel will be Carlos Sainz from McLaren, with Ferrari acquiring the Spanish-born Driver within 24 hours after Sebastian left. Details on Carlos’s contract hasn’t been made public.
Carlos Sainz leaving McLaren came as disappointing news for fans of this outfit. Sainz and Lando Norris have become close friends, with the McLaren supporters often requesting more details on their friendship. It’s being speculated that Zac Brown will try to replicate the hilarious nature of Sainz & Norris with Daniel Riccardo, who will be replacing Carlos in 2021. Daniel is the best choice next to Carlos Sainz for Lando Norris. Riccardo is known for having a cheerful and comedian personality, similar to that of Lando.
Carlos Reflects on McLaren Career
Ferrari selected Carlos Sainz after the Spanish Driver acquired his 1st podium victory, placing third against Lewis Hamilton. It’s his most notable finish yet and proved his capabilities in Formula One. Sainz would go-on to acquire 6th in the Driver’s championship, creating interest from other teams like Ferrari. Carlos would be questioned on his future with Scuderia Ferrari, where Sainz noted his excitement for the future. However, Carlos revealed his main focus is completing the 2020 season with McLaren and saying his goodbyes to this loyal team.
The New Era
Mattia Binotto revealed that acquiring Carlos Sainz introduced a “New Era” for Ferrari, which focuses on young drivers. Ferrari hopes to replicate similar performance improvements seen with Red Bull – Aston Martin Racing, which is known for employing young drivers. It’s lead to world champions multiple times. Ferrari hopes to make Carlos Sainz or Charles Leclerc into a world champion by latest 2022. New regulations in Formula One could make this goal challenging to accomplish for Scuderia Ferrari. However, selecting Carlos Sainz means picking someone up for the task.
Not every driver on the Formula One Grid has participated in the Virtual Grand Prix’s. They’ve instead selected to continue their regular training, allowing them to remain physically fit for the inevitable 2020 season. This includes Daniel Ricciardo, who has provided insight into how the first Grand Prix will be chaotic this year. The Australian driver noted that nobody had gotten in their cars since February, which was when F1 Competitors were permitted to compete in Winter Testing, which lasts one week. What this all means is that everyone will be rusty and not performing at their best.
Daniel Ricciardo made these remarks after Formula One announced that the 2020 Season would begin with back-to-back Grand Prix’s in Austria. These races will be held in early July, with the Australian Honey Badger expecting these venues to become chaotic. Multiple crashes could unfold, or drivers will spinout, with this being nearly unavoidable after not being familiar with their respective vehicles. Ricciardo also noted that every driver would be emotionally excited and eager to compete, including himself. This will create an occasional hiccup in their separate strategy for the Grand Prix. Though this will create lots of action for supporters, it’ll also create an unpredictable outcome for the F1 teams.
The Honey Badger mentioned that adrenaline would feel fresh for F1 Competitors, forcing some on the grid to make mistakes by trying bold overtakes in unexpected corners. It’ll be moments like this that prompt crashes and what Ricciardo expects to be an almost endless number of safety cars.
Surprisingly, Christian Horner agreed with the sentiments from Daniel Ricciardo. Horner was the former Team Principal for the Honey Badger, with both leaving on bad terms when Christian selected Max Verstappen over Daniel Riccardo.
Christian Horner mentioned that this is the longest time F1 Drivers haven’t competed in their lifetime, that it’ll prompt multiple issues because of delayed reactions. Horner believes this will be healthy for Formula One and create unexpected grids, with Christian not denying that there’ll be incidents prompting the safety car in July. It should be noted that it won’t take drivers like Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, and Daniel Ricciardo to reobtain their skillsets.
Formula One fanatics can rejoice after continuous announcements regarding delays and cancellations. F1 Organizers confirmed that the Hungarian Grand Prix would take place in 2020. However, this venue will be held without the attendance of supporters. Confirmations on the 1st official Grand Prix for the late 2020 season follows after the F1 CEO worked towards revising the calendar. It’s speculated that back-to-back Grand Prix’s will be held at Austria and Silverstone as well.
The refinement of the 2020 Formula One Season was prompted after the COVID-19 Pandemic broke out worldwide, prompt nearly all locations where Grand Prix’s are held to introduce social distancing measures. F1 wasn’t the exclusive sporting association affected by this virus. Organizations like the NBA, MLS, MLB, NFL, and NHL were also forced to cancel their respective seasons as well. Formula One hopes they can be the 1st international motorsport to return to live races, with this dependent on countless factors.
Restricted movements of global civilians have continued to be enforced, with nations like Great Britain and Canada extending their lockdown periods. This prompted the Canadian Grand Prix to be cancelled for 2020, with some motorsport analysts worried that the Silverstone GP Strategy won’t be possible by July. Though it should be noted that British GP Officials confirmed that if Silverstone does take place, it’ll be a closed-door venue similar to Hungary. Those wanting to witness the Hungarian Grand Prix have to wait until August 2nd, with this marking the 35th occasion an F1 race has been held at this location. It’ll mark the 1st time that spectators weren’t permitted.
Refund or Transfer
Officials with the Hungaroring Committee provided a formal statement regarding their announcement. Clarification indicated that they’d waited until the final moment to make their decision, hoping that something would happen to define the difference between spectators being permitted or banned. It was ultimately determined that attendees being prohibited was for the safety of Drivers and F1 Personnel. This statement revealed that anybody who purchased tickets for this year’s venue would be permitted a Transfer or Refund. Selecting the transfer will enable this 2020s tickets to move into 2021.
After tracking suspects for six months who the authorities said deliberately lost no less than five tournament matches while placing bets on those matches, arrests have been made. The result of the Australian police’s investigation could see those responsible facing as many as ten years in jail for esports match-fixing.
As most of the world’s sports are postponed, many who enjoy betting on sports have turned to watching talented gamers battle it out online while playing esports. The number of people tuning in via the popular Amazon platform Twitch has almost doubles from this time last year. Fans of esports generally tune in to Google’s YouTube, Microsoft’s Mixer, and Twitch to watch professional gamers play many of the best selling Electronic Arts games such as FIFA soccer.
As a result of the increase and the amount of money it is generating, it is tempting many players to break the rules and is seeing a substantial increase in corruption with multiple gamers being caught for participating in illegal betting syndicates who fix matches. As all action is carried out in a virtual world and throughout the world, it is far more difficult to bring an end to this type of behaviour than it is during regular sporting events.
Australia forms Esports Integrity Commission
To combat this, Australia formed the Esports Integrity Commission as a tool to assist in the fighting of corruption in this industry. Its director, Stephen Hanna, while commenting on the challenges said: “It won’t be possible to fully eliminate illegal betting and match-fixing. It’s about limiting its position in the market to the greatest extent possible.”
It is expected that esport wagers will increase to over $13 billion this year, up from $5.5 billion two years ago based on a recent report from EK Gaming & Advisers. This makes it one of the largest in terms of sports betting growth that is estimated to be worth $135 billion globally. That has resulted in betting firms such as Hillside Sports ENC, Tipico and Betway all offering esports as a betting option to their members.
While governments have been attempting to bring an end to esport betting, Sweden is the only one of late who introduced legislation that will fine betting companies that offer odds on any esport matches where the average age of participants is less than 18. The goal is to protect the integrity of esports and bring an end to providing any financial incentives to fix matches. It is expected that the U.S and Spain will also be introducing similar legislation this year or early in 2021.
Retirement is inevitable for athletes, with the body ageing and losing its former stamina. This has extended towards one of the most infamous defencemen with the Montreal Canadians. Andrei Markov at forty-one years of age announced that he’d be retiring from professional hockey immediately. This ends a career that began in Russia, extending towards an additional sixteen seasons with the Montreal Canadians.
Andrei Markov stands at one of the longest-standing players in National Hockey League history. He’s experienced 990 Regular-Season Games, with that number extending with the inclusion of the Stanley Cup Series and Andrei’s time in Russia. The last three seasons of his career was maintained with the Continental Hockey League, where be played with another notable legend by the name of Yaroslavl.
When Andrei Markov still competed with the Montreal Canadians, he stood at their 162nd Overall Pick. The coaching staff would place Andrei on the 1st lineup by 2000, where Markov would compete until 2017. Throughout the 2000-2002 Seasons with the Montreal Canadians, Andrei Markov also played with the American Hockey League’s Quebec Citadels. This infamous capabilities of this defencemen garnered him the title of NHL All-Star twice. It followed after acquiring 119 goals throughout his 990 games, with 572 Points earned in the Montreal Canadians Uniform. There aren’t any other NHL defencemen with this stature.
Representatives & Coaching Staff with the Montreal Canadians expressed their sentiments towards Andrei Markov retiring. They expressed their thanks for his notable career with the Canadians, which followed into the Continental Hockey League in Russia. These individuals mentioned that his legendary status is unforgettable for MC Supporters.
Andrei’s History Continued
This defenceman averaged twenty-three minutes of playtime throughout 990 matches. This means that throughout his NHL career, more than 22+ thousand hours were played on the ice. These valuations extend even further when accounting his time with other teams. It’s formally expected that the NHL Hall of Fame will induct Andrei Markov into their ranks. The defencemen already stand under the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame, which stems from his time with the Quebec Capitals. It’s also expected that Russia will induct him into their Hall of Fame, with Andrei Markov acquiring the communist regime a World Hockey Championship title in 2008.
Formula One 2020 Testing proved to be devasting for nine of ten teams, with Mercedes F1 AMG-Petronas coming out as the dominating force. This followed after they revealed the Dual-Axis Steering System, which quickly became a controversial subject amongst the grid. Teams believed that it provided drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas with a significant advantage over their competitors.
When the Formula International Association approved these innovative features, multiple teams claimed they’d protest this decision through the FIA. This all happened before the COVID-19 pandemic broke-out worldwide and saw Formula One postponed until the summer. News regarding the DAS System is still being revealed, with it being confirmed that this innovative feature evolved through a previous feature seen earlier in the 2010s.
Footage from F1 2020 Testing revealed that both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas pulled their steering wheels towards them while driving on straights. Their front wheels would then pitch slightly outwards to provide better downforce, which ensures higher speed on the straights. Every corner that these drivers would approach saw the steering wheel return to its conventional placement.
Multiple teams questioned the legality behind such a formidable innovation. This concern prompted the FIA to outlaw the DAS System for 2021, which follows after the scheduling of the 2020 Season was required with global social distancing being enforced worldwide. Their concern is the only viable reason behind this outlaw, with the FIA also deciding that the 2020 Cars would remain productive throughout the 2021 season. Postponements on the 2021 Updated Regulations were implemented until 2022.
The Bottas Interview
Valtteri Bottas mentioned through a teleconference that the DAS System was known to himself and Lewis Hamilton for more than twelve months. He expressed that they played a critical role in its development. During his remarks with motorsport reporters, he mentioned that this feature was evolved from a previous component in the earlier years of the Hybrid Era. That component didn’t work in its first iteration, with Mercedes Engineers having to wait a prolonged period to implement the feature to their cars. Bottas noted that the DAS System beat his expectations and would prove a formidable feature when the 2022 Season begins.
The Formula International Association is working with Silverstone organizers to determine if multiple venues should be hosted at the British location. This follows after the Royal Automobile Club, which organizers all events at the Silverstone Circuit, announced that they’d be willing to host multiple venues. RAC Representative also noted that reverse layouts could also be considered under legislative approval. These announcements followed after the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have global implications, with Bernie Ecclestone, have to consider different options with eight Grand Prix’s already being lost.
Representatives with the Royal Automobile Club mentioned on April 1st that FIA organizers had until April 30th to determine if multiple Grand Prix’s should be held at Silverstone. F1 Schedules have the British Grand Prix listed for July 19th. Considering that Great Britain is the powerhouse behind Formula One, sporting analysts believe Bernie Ecclestone and FIA Organizers will support this decision. However, it should be noted that analysts are testing multiple scenarios. This includes extending the 2020 Formula One Season into 2021. Both options could be supported in a singular decision by the F1 CEO.
The Convenience Factor
The Managing Director of Silverstone noted that RAC is willing to implement whatever measures required to assist Formula One. Organizers in F1 are eager to engage with this concept but are first determining what’s best for the overall series. Bernie Ecclestone also has to consider what investors; team owners and drivers want from the 2020 Season. Individuals like Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff will have severe implications over what happens with the 2020 Season. This is because of their close relationship with Bernie Ecclestone, who announced on March 2nd that he’d be expecting a 4th child at the age of 89.
There’d be significant convenience behind moving multiple Grand Prix’s to Silverstone. Several of the ten Formula One teams are operational in Great Britain. It wouldn’t be challenging for the remaining three teams to set up temporary facilities. The Managing Director expressed that Silverstone is one of the limited circuits supporting the required infrastructure for multiple races. The decision ultimately falls on behalf of Bernie Ecclestone.
The Formula International Association is considering shortening race weekends with F1, limiting them to two days. Alterations to the regular season would include extending the 2020 Grand Prix’s into January. Drivers would be forced to begin the next season immediately after the championships were concluded. This information was provided through Mattia Binotto, the Team Leader for Ferrari F1.
The initial eight Grand Prix’s slated for the 2020 season have been postponed or terminated following the global Covid-19 Pandemic. The Chief Executive Officer behind Formula One has expressed that a 2020 championship will be held, with the seasonal alterations beginning this summer. There’ll be a maximum of fifteen to eighteen Grand Prix’s, which could provide enough championship points to conduct the 2020 F1 Season.
It should be noted that the inaugural Grand Prix for 2020 is expected to be the Canadian Grand Prix. Rapid changes in the Canadian ecosystem could prompt this GP to be cancelled as well, with Covid-19 rapidly spreading throughout Canada’s provinces. It’s not known how the two-day race weeks would be scheduled, with Mattia Binotto not providing extensive details. It’s suspected that three practice sessions would be held throughout Saturdays. Qualifying and Races would be held on Sundays. Mattia expects multiple meetings with the F1A & all other teams in Formula One before a decision is made.
Mattia Binotto spoke with Sky Sports Italia from an enclosed location in Northern Italy. He expressed that Ferrari has had continuous conversations with the Formula International Association. All team principals have determined that Covid-19 is a crucial moment in Formula One’s history, with demands from supporters having to be met. This doesn’t mean that these team principals are forcing the FIA’s hand. Mattia noted that timetable-wise, they’ve provided the FIA complete freedom over the 2020 calendar. Binotto believes the safety of supporters is more important than the livelihood of Formula One. Before any decision can be made, logistical challenges for two-day weekends must be solved.
The minimum requirement for a 2020 Formula One Championship would be eight Grand Prix’s. Mattia noted that all F1 outfits have agreed to a January extension of the 2020 season. However, it’s been requested by Hass and Renault that the 2021 Season wouldn’t begin until March.