A lot of changes are created when F1 comes back, but the attractive and fierce competition will not go away.
F1 was still taking place when Covid-19 was still raging in many countries. Fans will witness F1 completely different in many respects, starting with the Red Bull Ring race. Teams are limited in personnel, causing team members to be self-sufficient in many aspects. The paddock area will be much more deserted before and after the race. Members must protect themselves, minimize the risk of infection.
The audience watching the television will see the difference when the riders prepare to start, when they go to the podium to celebrate the victory and the interview. But when the five red lights turned off, the riders started and made fans goosebumps with dramatic chases.
Technically, the competition between teams is even more unpredictable in the current context. Pre-season test weeks took place four months ago and fans may have forgotten the results at that time. Teams also took advantage of the break to improve the cars. The first two test races (P1, P2) in Austria tomorrow 3/7 will reveal the strength of the teams.
The Red Bull Ring will see how Mercedes’ “three-dimensional steering system” works. During the pre-season test week, Mercedes’ discovery was the most significant. The Melbourne track in Australia may not be the right place for a “three-dimensional steering wheel”. But with the long straight lines in the Red Bull Ring, Mercedes can unleash the power of this system. And if they succeed, will the other teams protest?
Four months off is not enough for the teams to imitate Mercedes’ three-dimensional steering system, but it is enough for them to make significant improvements to the cars. Mercedes has announced they have greatly upgraded the W11.
Renault revealed that fans would find the R.S.20 completely different. Red Bull also improved the aerodynamics and upgraded Honda engines. Ferrari did not significantly change parts until the Hungarian leg. The Red Bull Ring results will show which team has improved the car better over the past four months.