Left Menu
Development News Edition

Motor racing-Formula One on the home straight after a rough year

"In March, April or May I don't think anyone was expecting to do that much racing throughout the year. "I didn't expect to do 17 at all." Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel said that, given the circumstances, Formula One and the governing FIA had "done a tremendous job to get us going and get us literally on the track." The season has been confined to Europe and the Middle East, with traditional highlights like Monaco cancelled, and some new circuits have joined others recalled from the sidelines to fill holes in the calendar.

Reuters | Updated: 27-11-2020 02:01 IST | Created: 27-11-2020 01:32 IST
Motor racing-Formula One on the home straight after a rough year
Formula 1 Logo Image Credit: ANI

Formula One is counting its blessings as it prepares for a triple-header of races in the Middle East to end a 2020 season some had feared would be stalled at the start by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 17-race championship, cobbled together in place of what would have been a record 21-round schedule, is the slimmest since 2009 but a more than respectable effort in the circumstances. "We are pretty lucky to have had a season at all," Haas F1 boss Guenther Steiner told reporters on Thursday ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"It's a blessing that it ends, but it's also a blessing that we had something to do this year. "We kept the sport going... I wouldn't say a good year, but it wasn't a bad year. It could have been a lot worse. I think it was a great job..."

Back in March, after the scheduled Australian season-opener in Melbourne was cancelled due to the virus, former supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he would have declared 'game over' and focused on 2021. The season eventually got going in July, with teams operating in isolated 'bubbles' and working around lockdowns and travel restrictions through charter flights and COVID tests every five days.

In September Formula One's managing director for motorsport Ross Brawn celebrated the completion of eight races -- enough to declare a valid world championship. The titles have been won by Mercedes and seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton but the remaining races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are still vital for teams who need every penny of revenue.

McLaren's Lando Norris, whose team were the first to furlough staff back in April as revenues plunged, said he was surprised how it had worked out. "I think everyone's a bit surprised that we've managed to get 17 races done in the end of the season," he said. "In March, April or May I don't think anyone was expecting to do that much racing throughout the year.

"I didn't expect to do 17 at all." Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel said that, given the circumstances, Formula One and the governing FIA had "done a tremendous job to get us going and get us literally on the track."

The season has been confined to Europe and the Middle East, with traditional highlights like Monaco cancelled, and some new circuits have joined others recalled from the sidelines to fill holes in the calendar. Some like Silverstone, Austria's Red Bull Ring and Bahrain, have hosted two races each -- all behind closed doors -- to get the numbers up.

Only three of the races took place on the dates originally envisaged when the calendar was drawn up in 2019. Formula One's revenues have taken a huge hit but the sport, which is planning for a record 23 races next year and the return of crowds, says viewership has risen.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....

Videos

Latest News

Golf-Korda cards LPGA's fifth-ever 60 round at Tournament of Champions

Jessica Korda etched her name into the record books on Saturday, carding an 11-under par 60 in the third round of the Tournament of Champions at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, for the joint second-best round in LPGA history. The 27-year-old Ame...

Mexico reports 20,057 new coronavirus cases, 1,470 more deaths

Mexicos Health Ministry on Saturday reported 20,057 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 1,470 additional fatalities, bringing the countrys total to 1,752,347 cases and 149,084 deaths.The government has said the real number of i...

Taiwan reports large incursion by Chinese air force

Eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets entered the southwestern corner of Taiwans air defence identification zone on Saturday, and Taiwans air force deployed missiles to monitor the incursion, the islands Defence Ministry said.Ch...

U.S. urges China to stop pressure against Taiwan

The U.S. State Department on Saturday urged China to stop pressuring Taiwan, after the islands defense ministry said Chinese bombers and jets entered the southwestern corner of its air defense identification zone.We urge Beijing to cease it...

Give Feedback