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Why F1's 2019 changes will look good but achieve little
Hopes have gradually increased in recent weeks that F1's 2019 rule changes will make a significant difference to the quality of racing, but it would be naive to expect the first wave of tweaks ahead of 2021's bigger overhaul to have much of an effect.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the final race under the current aerodynamic regulations, prior to the changes designed to make it easier to for cars to follow by reducing turbulence and complexity in 2019. There was not a great deal of overtaking and there's no reason to expect a dramatic change next year even though there could be a slight improvement.
For 2019, there are lots of changes, and the good thing is that most of them are visible to the naked eye. When the then-new V6 turbo hybrid engines came in for the '14 season, there were some changes to the car but most were invisible. When the cars start to appear ahead of next season it will be easy to see the different approaches taken by the teams.
Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets
Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.
An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal
Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...
Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.
OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.
Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition
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