Bottas Settled Mercedes-Vettel Rumours For His Own Self

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Why did Valtteri Bottas confirm Mercedes’ disinterest in Sebastian Vettel for 2021? Will Bernie Ecclestone keep a finder’s fee if he finds an investor / buyer for Williams? Renault already switching focus to the 2026 Formula 1 season? F1’s marketing masterstroke with Mugello & circuits overthinking ideas to fill empty stands with ‘fake fans’.

Valtteri Bottas – what have you just done? By confirming Mercedes’ lack of interest in Sebastian Vettel, you’ve literally just blown F1’s best off-season talking point to pieces. Thanks, but no thanks for the anti-climax to the Vettel-Mercedes saga. We understand that you needed the clarity, but maybe the fans didn’t? Carey & co. will have to find another big ticket story to keep fans engaged in this long off-season. But honestly, were you one of those who really believed that Mercedes would field a Vettel-Hamilton pairing in 2021?

F1 2020: Will There Be No Street Races?

Also in this episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we talk about Formula 1’s masterstroke of a marketing idea to host Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix at their home circuit in Mugello. Sorry MotoGP, but Formula 1 is first love. Should circuits waste money trying to fill up the empty stands? We tell you why Silverstone’s ‘cardboard fan’ idea might not be a smart one. Will Formula 1 fly ALL reserve drivers to the races in 2020? And finally, Renault are already switching focus to the 2026 Formula 1 season. Yes, you read that right. Oh, and before you go – Bernie Ecclestone is helping Williams find a buyer / investor. Do you think he’ll keep a finder’s fee? Tune in!

(Season 2020, Episode 22)

ANNOUNCEMENT: We’ve launced a video channel – Pits To Podium. Check it out!

Here’s what’s in store for you in this episode:

0:00-3:00 – Valtteri Bottas plays party pooper to the Vettel-Mercedes saga. He needed to know, we didn’t!

3:00-6:00 – Mika Hakkinen’s immense belief in Valtteri Bottas to be a Formula 1 World Champion. Will 2020 be his last chance, if at all? (Read: Mika Hakkinen On The Inside Line F1 Podcast)

6:00-9:00 – Formula 1 is managing two calendar in parallel – the original and the revised 2020 calendar. Also we don’t foresee a single street race in 2020, do you?

9:00-12:00 – Well done to Mugello for choosing Formula 1 over MotoGP! It’s a great marketing idea to celebrate Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix start at home. Mugello’s choice of series a bit of an embarrassment for MotoGP though?

12:00-15:00 – We could start the 2020 Formula 1 season without knowing if more races would be added along the way and what race could be the last one of the season! Exciting! (Read: Terms For F1 2021: Glidepath & Sliding Scale)

15:00-18:00 – Could Silverstone’s ‘cardboard fan’ be a safety hazard for Formula 1? We don’t mind absolutely empty stands in the circuits, do you?

18:00-21:00 – Will Formula 1 fly all reserve drivers to every race of 2020? Will the reserve drivers be more ‘rusty’ than the regulars?

21:00-24:00 – Who paid for Lando Norris’ personal F3 test last week? Renault being petty with Mclaren?

24:00-end – Renault switching focus to the 2026 Formula 1 season already? What engine formula would Formula 1 use then? We tell you why it isn’t too early to talk about 2026 already

Kunal Shah

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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Hello,
Happy to share my passion for Formula 1 with you. If you have specific queries about the sport, feel free to ping me.

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Regards,
Kunal