F1 - 2020 Season

Well here we go again, hardly has 2019 finished & news is coming down the airwaves about 2020

The teams stayed over the week after Abu Dhabi for some testing. They have unanimously rejected the 2020 tyre design proposed by Pirelli…
Pirelli’s objective was the new design would be a move to less sensitive tyres & enable harder racing. It turns out the teams preferred the 2019 tyres.
The 2020 tyre was a different profile & that meant teams would have to make changes to the 2020 cars at a very late stage in the design process. And with only one more year left before the massive design changes in the 2021 regulations, teams are reluctant to change for just the one year.

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Ferrari 2020 car reveal in just 2 months from now, February 11th!

My predictions for the next 2 seasons. Lewis to equal Schumacher’s record at Mercedes then break driving a Ferrari. We all know he’ll be going there next season. What a great way to round off a career! :sunglasses:

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So, nice conversation I had with a fella in the know about these things, at least he usually seems to be pretty accurate in his assesments. Nothing earth shattering but quite interesting I find…

  1. Mercedes already feel they’ve smashed it out of the park with this year’s car, kind of backed up by yesterday’s first day testing! Surprisingly they put a lot of work into it from the get go last year and even started pulling folks off the 2020 car in the Summer to begin work on 2021, they were that pleased with themselves. They have a couple of interesting innovations…That said, there’s still a big question mark over participation in 2021 and beyond. They really feel this is the last year of F1 as we know it. So many stock parts, limitations on wind tunnel time etc. means F1 will no longer be at the sharp end of development. Likened it to '80’s Indycar series. Lots of speculation that Jim Ratcliffe (and perhaps Toto) will take the company in another direction based on the tech available, they are already designing America’s Cup entry…
  2. Ferrari struggling with lack of stability big time. They’ve kept their inboard front wing loading from last year and Red Bull style rake and it’s not working. And although Ferrari and politics go together like cheese and biscuits, apparently there are immense piles of sh*t flying in all directions at every level there. Big concerns.
  3. If the pink car looks familiar, it really is! They might deny it but pretty much apart from wing surfaces, that is the 2019 Mercedes. Merc were a little concerned about the Ferrari/Haas/Alfa alliance last year and wanted a proper rear gunner. So have made one.
  4. Williams went for evolution, not revolution. Yes, because they held out for ages thinking they were going to be chosen as the Mercedes ‘B’ team. No one knows why. Still they did pick up some added beneifts such as extended wind tunnel time, which may help. If Mercedes are still with us in 2021, at least one of the Williams drivers will likely be with them too. At the moment.
  5. McLaren, unsure. They may have a decently designed car, but Renault still sticky perhaps. Probably still midfield, but behind the pink 'uns may who may be head of pack outside the big three this time instead, perhaps challenging Ferrari.
  6. Red Bull have thrown shedloads of cash, enormous amounts of money, at this year’s car. Word is that if they’re not there or therabouts at mid point of season however, they’ll cease all development altogether and push on the 2021 car only.

Finally, drivers. Apparently all sorts of shennanigans going on around driver lineups for 2021+. Far more covert stuff than in previous years. If there is going to be a more level playing field in terms of cars, then the feeling is that the more useful drivers will be even more in demand than now, with cunning strategies afoot to reward them well outside of nominal team budgets…Given some of the numbers being considered, it’s no surprise to hear about otherwise unlikely moves.


Very interesting post Jamie, thanks.

Watching (www) the pre-season testing is much as normal, unless we know what they are actually testing its hard to say whats going on until its obvious they are going for either laps (duration data mileage) or lap times. Maybe better indicators later in the week or wait for next week to see what the cars actually do.

Also very interesting is the all new Mercedes variable steering geometry: the driver can move the steering wheel in & out to change the normal front wheel tracking ‘toe out’ setting (best cornering) to another setting on the straights. Its assumed to be for reducing tyre scrub.
FIA were informed some time back & they seem to be OK with it, it will be interesting to see if the legal/techie eagles on the other teams can find a reason to object.

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I wonder if the other teams will claim it’s a movable aero device and try to ban it on that basis?

Depends if it works or not I guess😀

Either way it’s very clever. Hope Lewis can secure his 7th WC. After this season I guess all bets are off. Who knows which team is going to make the best of the new regs?

After reading a few articles it seems the Merc’s are going to dominate again, is there a danger of F1 becoming a little too predictable.

Let’s see how pre-testing maps out, then remembering the up, downs, good & bad times in 2019, it ain’t over ‘till … but it does seem they are winning the overture

Is China happening?


Mercedes seem to have done it all over the 1st 3 days of pre-season testing with both the fastest lap & lap numbers.
Bottas was fastest, almost 1 second faster than Hamilton giving Merc a 1-2 .
Red Bull & Renault look happy, posting fast times & clocking up the lap numbers
Ferrari ??? seem to be also ran’s this week; no speed & handling is WIP.

The Mercedes ‘dual-axis steering’ system has drawn a lot of interest & I wouldn’t be surprised if another team try it. However it’s reported that it cannot be used in the all new 2021 regulations.

No - its ‘postponed’ but no new date as yet

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Unconfirmed by the FIA, the GP could be held on November 22 between Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GPs But this is only speculation.


Only by people without a creative imagination!
In less than 5 minutes I had worked out how to achieve the same objective, and still stay within the 2021 rules - different mechanism but similar result (not exactly the same but very close).

… oh yeah ???
I believe this is covered under 10.2.5 that says no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion. Tracking angle (track rods) are part of the suspension system.
But as the '21 regs are still officially ‘draft’, I’m pretty sure any doubt about it will be addressed in the ‘final’

Yes, still within that limitation - no problem…

I’ll leave it with you as a “brain teaser”.

At the end of the 2 weeks of pre-season testing sessions it’s hard to form a conclusion.
Mercedes look to have gone about it with a clear advantage in performance & preparation from the get-go & as the other teams got their acts together Mercedes look to have remained as favourites.
Red Bull & Ferrari have mad e progress with speed, handling & whatever else held them back at the start, the rest are not that far behind. All to play for.

The big news is the politics that hit the fan over the FIA investigation into the Ferrari engine. This goes back to 2019 when Ferrari were accused of engine illegality (compliance to regs)
The FIA investigated & that has just been published, the report said it (FIA) it had concluded a “thorough technical investigation” into the Ferrari engine & “the specifics of the agreement (reached) remain between the parties”.
Nothing has been published about if it was illegal of not, what was actually illegal & when (between what dates and/or races) this occurred.
The other F1 teams are up in arms & are considering what the next steps, rejecting what looks like the FIA is attempting to draw a line & close it out without making it clear if, when & how the engine was legal or not. There are other behind the scenes mutterings about letting Ferrari off the hook, Ferrari pressure politics & threats (again) & FIA eunuchs
This might have more legs to run

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