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Racing Point's pace, where next for Vettel? - Some more Styrian Grand Prix talking points

2020-07-14 15:30

Reynard Gelderblom

sebastian vettel,ferrari,f1,formula

Sebastian Vettel. Image: Getty Images

• Can things get any worse for the Italian F1 team?
• Racing Point's improved car has everyone talking.
• Does Sebastian Vettel have any other option for 2021? 
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za


The Styrian Grand Prix, Formula One's first-ever same-location double-header produced superb racing and as always some points to ponder afterwards. 

Wheels24 motorsport contributor Reynard Gelderblom shares a few of this thoughts:

1. Ferrari further down the spiral 

This is probably the worst start to a season for the Italian constructor since 1992. Apart from a fortuitous podium in Round 1 for Charles Leclerc, Austria has not been a happy stop for F1's most successful team.

Current drivers Sebastian Vettel and Leclerc are without a doubt better than that season's Jean Alesi and Ivan Capelli. For the second consecutive weekend, their qualifying pace was average at best with this also being the second time in four races that the two drivers collided with each other.   

No doubt there's a mammoth task ahead of the team going forward, and I don't think the current management team are the right people to lead the way.

Ferrari is undoubtedly finding themselves in deep trouble.  



2. Next move for Vettel 

On Friday, Red Bull Racing closed the door quite firmly on any chances of the man who took four titles with the team returning for 2021. This does not leave him with many other options for after this season.

I somehow do not see a move to Mercedes on the cards.

Aston Martin could be an option, but with Lance Stroll's dad being co-owner and the great form shown by Sergio Perez, it is unlikely that there will be a seat open. 

Perhaps the most realistic option will be to take a sabbatical and come back in 2022. At 33 years of age, the German has still got a lot of racing in him. This certainly worked for Alain Prost back in 1993; another multiple-champion left with no options after a dismal time at Ferrari.  

sportpesa racingpoint

Image: Racing Point in the 2019 SportPesa-sponsored cars.

3. Racing Point built or bought 

The two Racing Points do look competitive in 2020, and yes, they also do look a lot like the 2019 Mercedes. Shortly after the Styrian GP, Renault filed their protest alleging that the brake ducts used on this year's Racing Point were derived from the ones used by Mercedes in 2019.

Subsequently, the parts in question were impounded with the FIA set to investigate this. Brake ducts are listed as a component that must be designed by the constructor itself. 

There is however no denying that Racing Point has stepped up to become the early midfield leaders. Before the start of the season, their car was already inspected and cleared by the FIA.

I believe that Renault are clutching at straws here and I will be very surprised if anything comes from this. 

valtteri bottas,lewis hamilton,mercedes,f1,formula

Image: Mercedes AMG-F1

4. Meanwhile, Mercedes firmly on top 

Two rounds in and Mercedes are leading the Constructors' championship with Valtteri Bottas and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton on top of the Drivers' standings; each having taken a win.

After Hamilton took pole position by just over 1.2 seconds in Saturday's wet qualifying session, fingers were again pointed to the Mercedes Dual-Axis steering system. 

Fact is, Bottas in the same car was 1.5 seconds behind his team mate. Hamilton has proven his skill in the rain already, and with six titles behind his name, even his most prominent critics can not say that he is not one of the all-time greats.

They did not look as dominant in Round 1, but in 2018 they came from a worse start to take the title. And they're looking good for a seventh-consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' double-title in 2020 already.

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24. 

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