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How Bottas won F1's survival of the fittest in Austria
After a 217-day wait, Formula 1 returned at the Red Bull Ring with a thriller that reminded everybody what they had been missing during the COVID-enforced hiatus. Mercedes crossed the line 1-2, but that hardly told the whole story
Despite all that was different about the 2020 Formula 1 season opener given the major changes brought by the coronavirus pandemic, there were some reassuringly familiar themes in an action-packed Austrian Grand Prix.
So much happened in the 71-lap race at the Red Bull Ring that it emphasised again the tragedy of the pandemic, with spectators barred from attending an event that would have sent them into raptures multiple times. There was the political wrangling over the pre-season controversies ahead of the race - Red Bull's protest of Mercedes' dual-axis steering in particular - and a last-minute grid penalty for the reigning world champion after previously uncovered footage proved Lewis Hamilton had impinged the rules around yellow flags in the closing moments of qualifying.
Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.
The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.
Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON
Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond
OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?
OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue
OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.
Ferrari losing 0.7 seconds per lap on straights
Mercedes: Bottas radio message nothing to do with 'Multi 21'