Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Back in Black - The return of Formula 1

It's official: #F1 is back! With the first eight races of the 2020 season confirmed, this coming weekend sees teams return to the track in what will be a very different F1 season than anything previously experienced.

The big news is, that with countries still in the grip of the CV19 epidemic, safety measures have meant a serious shake-up to the calendars of every sport. The immense logistic requirements of the F1 circus means that, inevitably, cancellations and changes have had to made, but the first 8 races of the 2020 F1 season are now confirmed.

At the start of the season, certainly, races will be quite unlike the spectacle we're familiar with. Project Pitlane, F1's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has meant that whilst racing can at last return, there will be many things familiar to F1 fans absent this year. With no spectators present, and venues hosting races over multiple weekends, drivers and teams won't benefit from the boost that cheering fans brings, and the typical festival atmosphere will be missing.

Those aren't the only big differences you'll see. There's nothing new about new liveries, of course; pre-season always brings the excitement of seeing new cars with new colours and designs. However, this year, one livery in particular will be standing out … and for all the right reasons.

Over the last month or so, world events have shown just how much action is still needed in the fight against all forms of discrimination and racism. In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, as part of its #WeRaceAsOne initiative, Mercedes-AMG Petronas will be running an all black base livery on its cars, transforming the Silver Arrows. It's sobering to think that in the 70 year history of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes' number-one driver, is still the only black person to race in Formula 1. Ever.


The black liveried Mercedes-AMG Petronas W11 will be raced by both Hamilton and Bottas.


Here's what Lewis had to say about the initiative.

“It’s so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves whether you are an individual, brand or company to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity. I have personally experienced racism in my life and seen my family and friends experience racism, and I am speaking from the heart when I appeal for change. When I spoke to Toto [Wolff, CEO and Team Principal Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team] about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united. I would like to say a huge thank you to Toto and the Mercedes Board for taking the time to listen, to talk, and to really understand my experiences and passion, and for making this important statement that we are willing to change and improve as a business. We want to build a legacy that goes beyond sport, and if we can be the leaders and can start building more diversity within our own business, it will send such a strong message and give others the confidence to begin a dialogue about how they can implement change." 

There's no doubt that, were fans, spectators, and other attendees to be present, there would be outstanding visual and audible support. But even without this, this powerful statement will echo across F1 and beyond. We wouldn't be at all surprised to see other F1 and motorsports teams making similar statements over the coming weeks. Find out more about Mercedes' return to racing, here.

Despite the cancellations and changes, this is a welcome return for fans and teams alike. Great Britain and Austria will each be hosting two races this season, and here are the first 8 dates for 2020 …


2020 Formula 1 Calendar

Confirmed dates only

🇦🇹
Race 1 – July 3-5
Formula 1 Rolex Grosser Preis von Österreich
The Red Bull Ring, Austria

🇦🇹 
Race 2 – July 10-12
Formula 1 Pirelli Grosser Preis der Steiermark
The Red Bull Ring, Austria

🇭🇺 
Race 3 – July 17-19
Formula 1 Aramco Magyar Nagydij
The Hungaroring, Hungary

🇬🇧 
Race 4 – July 31 - August 2
Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix
Silverstone, UK

🇬🇧 
Race 5 – August 7-9
Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix
Silverstone, UK

🇪🇸 
Race 6 – August 14-16
Formula 1 Aramco Gran Premio de Espana
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain

🇧🇪 
Race 7 – August 28-30
Formula 1 Rolex Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

🇮🇹 
Race 8 – September 4-6
Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d'Italia
Monza, Italy




It's been quite some time since we last enjoyed a bit of on-track sparring, and the memory could be a little hazy after all this time, so now is the perfect time to gen-up and get up-to-speed with not only last season, but F1's entire 70 year history. As luck would have it, we can recommend a few books fit for the job.

First, check out our recently added  Formula 1 category at our web store: all our F1-centric books and ebooks in one place. With seven decades, countless drivers, teams, and LOTS of cars, where should you start? Let's take a look …

Formula 1 All The Races - The First 1000
Limited Edition of 1000 Copies
Roger Smith

Covering the entire history of Formula 1, this book contains details of every one of the first 1000 F1 races, from the first of 1950, to last year's 1000th. With a free 2019 Season digital update, covering the end of the 2019 season, and with the 2020 season not yet started, it's not only a complete record, it's a bang-up-do-date current record.

With so much covered, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a hard-going read. However, every bit of information is presented in a superlative design that makes for not only a quick-access reference tome, but an historic record that's a joy to dip-in and -out of. It features specially developed 'Race Pods' each telling the story of an individual race, graphs, illustrations, rare photos, and charts ranking driver performance over the first 1000 races.

Not only is this a unique and highly accessible history, it's also a collector's volume, limited to only 1000 copies, each of which are individually serialised from 1 to 1000, making each copy a genuinely unique item.

The book costs £65, and you can request your favourite number (if available) when you order. With 1000 races covered, it works out at just 0.64p per race for all the facts you need to know. That's a bargain. But they won't hang around for long; get your numbered copy before they're gone for ever.

Limited edition of 1000 individually numbered copies
Hardback • 16.9x23.3cm • 720 pages

Formula 1 'The Knowledge' - 2nd Edition
David Hayhoe

Proving that you can never have enough knowledge, David Hayhoe's groundbreaking first edition of this book was an essential for F1 fans,  and motorsport pundits. David has been the statistician for Autocourse's Grand Prix Annual since 1991; as you can imagine, he knows a thing or two about F1 stats.

Revealing 'The Knowledge" about every driver and car to take part in F1 since 1950, this 2nd edition is even more desirable, and includes performance records and analysis covering every driver, constructor, and engine

You'll also find detailed insights into the differing qualifying procedures, anecdotes and stories – some humorous, some serious – making this so much more than simply a book of stats. Don't just take our word for it, though;

The most comprehensive compilation of Formula 1 ever. Simply outstanding - you may know a lot about F1 - but here you have more, completely undiscovered items, oceans of F1 trivia to explore.
Gran Turismo, Sweden

Hardback • 21x27cm • 544 pages • 90 pictures

Formula One - The Real Score?
Brian Godfrey Harvey

Did you know that, because rules stipulated that a country could have only a single F1 Champtionship race in a season, until January 1973 over HALF of Formula 1 races were not included in Championship results? Classifying these races as 'non-Championship' does a great disservice to drivers of the Moss / Fangio / Clark / Stewart era, skewing statistics, giving an unfair comparison to modern era races. 

If the same drivers, in the same F1 cars, compete at the same tracks, and over a similar distance, then surely each race deserves to have its place in the records as a ‘Championship quality’ event. Brian Harvey has included such races alongside contemporary Championship races and, combining them with known figures since 1980, to produce what is surely The Real Score of Formula 1 - a full and complete picture. 

Hardback or fixed format eBook • 20.7x25cm • 352 pages • 156 pictures

Any one of these books provide you with all you need to hone your F1 punditry prowess enough to get you through qualifying and near the front of the grid …  pole position, fastest lap, and top spot on the Pundit Podium is yours!

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