Racing Point: Underachievers Of F1 2020…Yet

Racing Point F1 Team, the underachievers of F1 2020, prepare their cars in the pits ahead of the 2020 British GP
Re-live the dramatic & tense 2020 British Grand Prix. We talk: Hamilton’s ‘Luck of a Champion’ & Pirelli’s PR disaster that led to a contrast of fortunes up and down the order. Are Racing Point the underachievers of F1 2020…yet?

Lewis Hamilton’s win at the 2020 British Grand Prix was probably the most-dramatic and luckiest of his career. After all, the six-times World Champion crossed the finish line with only 3 working wheels on his wagon! Unfortunately for Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr., they suffered a far worse fate with similar tyre troubles. Pirelli will be bringing a set of tyres that are a step softer than the ones used in the first race at Silverstone. Will this be a cause of concern for Formula 1?


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Also in this Pits To Podium segment, Soumil and Kunal discuss Charles Leclerc’s surprise podium for Ferrari – is he punching far above his weight? Are Racing Point the biggest underachievers of the season yet? Can Valtteri Bottas resurrect his title aspirations? Were the FIA correct in penalising Alexander Albon for his tangle with Kevin Magnussen? All this and more in our post-race debrief of the 2020 British Grand Prix. Tune in!

(Season 2020, Episode 33)

3 Winners, 3 Losers

On Pits To Podium, we have also compiled our list of 3 winners and losers from the 2020 British GP:

3 + 1 Losers:
  1. Valtteri Bottas: The Finn suffered tyre issues two laps before Hamilton did and as a result he lost 25 points in his title battle with his team-mate. After just four races, the gap between Bottas and Hamilton is 30 points. Basically, Bottas needs Hamilton to register a DNF or a no-score to bring himself back in contention
  2. Max Verstappen: Had Red Bull Racing not pit Verstappen for soft rubber two laps before the end, he may have had the chance to score his first race win of the season. However, hats off to the team for choosing safety over position
  3. Racing Point: The ‘pink Mercedes’ team should have scored far more than they already have in 2020. Their package has shown pace but the team hasn’t converted that pace advantage into results. Racing Point are fifth in the Constructors’ Championship and their maximum points score in a race has been only 18 points – lowest among their mid-field rivals Renault, Mclaren and Ferrari
  4. Pirelli: The Italian manufacturer and the sole supplier of tyres to Formula 1 is the easy to pick scapegoat each time something goes wrong with the tyres. In the 2020 British GP, three of the top-5 drivers suffered from tyre issues that ruined their points haul in the race. Of course, it was heroic to see Hamilton cross the line with three wheels on his wagon, but this is definitely not the sort of global narrative that Pirelli would be pleased with

F1 racing has returned to our screens after having been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic. We have seen four races take place so far in bio-secure bubbles, and we are already in the middle of the second triple header of races. In keeping with how most of the world has gone online over the last few months in order to keep things moving and provide services, F1 has also set up ways to watch races online from anywhere in the world – including F1 TV and their decision to stream the race at Nurburgring on YouTube. We have seen how people can play live casino games, watch movies and TV shows, see live concert broadcasts by their favourite artists on social media, and do so much more online during this time. F1 has also made it possible for fans all over the world to continue following their favourite sport over the internet.”

3 + 1 Winners:
  1. Lewis Hamilton: The easiest to pick – Destiny’s Child, literally speaking. Hamilton’s dominance and heroics have been extremely well supported by his Lady Luck – as was evident at Silverstone, too. However, one must remember how thin the margins are – the story would have been different had Hamilton’s tyre failed two laps to the end and Bottas would’ve scored a win on three wheels!
  2. Charles Leclerc: The Monegasque has scored two podiums in four races in what has been confirmed as Ferrari’s worst start to a season since ages. Leclerc’s sheer ability to score more points than the car merits was evident one more time. However, Leclerc’s Ferrari finished nearly 20 seconds behind Hamilton’s three-wheeled Mercedes
  3. Renault: The French team scored 4th (Ricciardo) and 6th (Ocon) places in the 2020 British GP – their highest points haul of the season yet. Renault have been in the mid-field in most races but got the better of Mclaren for the first time this season. Of course, they were aided by Carlos Sainz Jr.’s late-race tyre failure, too (Read: REAL Reason Why Renault Are Protesting F1 Team Alliances)
  4. Pierre Gasly: The Red Bull Racing discard is making steady progress since his demotion to Alpha Tauri last year. In the 2020 British GP, he paced himself and pulled off overtakes to finish an impressive 7th. Do you reckon that a Gasly-Albon swap is inevitable in the latter part of the season?

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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