Grand Prix 2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So, for round 5 of the championship F1's global travelling circus rolls into...wait, what? Ah yes, we're back at Silverstone, the airfield circuit generously hosting the second race of a double-header to help the sport's owners deliver a full 2020 championship (and fulfil their broadcast obligations) in spite of the challenges of Covid-19.

Disdaining more obvious geographical or historical alternatives, such as English Grand Prix, Northamptonshire-Buckinghamshire Border Grand Prix, Towcester Grand Prix, Mutton Grand Prix, Stirling Moss Trophy or Daily Express International Trophy, this race has been designated the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to celebrate 70 years of Formula One in this, the 71st season. The location is apt, since the first Formula One World Championship race was held at the same venue back in 1950 - albeit not in the same month. Things were very different back then: the reigning monarch was in attendance (Silverstone making its usual impression on posh visitors, neither the King nor Princess Elizabeth returned in subsequent years); Alfa Romeo dominated the event; Ferrari decided not to show up at all; and there were around 200,000 more spectators than will be present this Sunday.

The pre-race buildup will surely be focused on Pirelli, who are investigating after three drivers suffered tyre failures in the latter stages of the British GP. All three were attempting ambitious stint durations, and it's worth noting that the planned allocation for this weekend was for all three tyre compounds to be a step softer: so this week's "Hard" will be the same as last week's "Medium". On the face of it, this makes a one-stop race out of the question, and creates the possibility of some strategic variety.

Mercedes will be looking to make it five wins out of five of course, and it looks as though they will only be beaten this year if they beat themselves, as was nearly the case last time out. Perhaps Max Verstappen can put enough pressure on them to force some kind of mistake? In the midfield, Racing Point will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing home race, and Nico Hulkenberg will hopefully get to properly test his supersub credentials this time. Is he a Mika Salo or a Paul di Resta? Home hero Lando Norris was in the thick of a turgid midfield non-battle, but finished close enough to eventual podium finisher Charles Leclerc to think a place on the rostrum could be his this weekend. Meanwhile Ferrari's other driver is in dire need of a strong race and will be looking, at a minimum, to get ahead of Italy's other team. Romain Grosjean will hopefully have a good night's sleep and get out of bed on the right side on Sunday morning.

Hopefully this race will be a cracker. But if the event fails to fully hold our attention, it is traditional at a 70th anniversary race - I have decided - to look back on the history of the sport and our engagement with it - the drivers and teams we've supported, the races that have thrilled us, drama that left us breathless and, perhaps, those moments when we've had to look away.

It is in that spirit that I humbly present Galahad's 14 milestones of F1's first 70 years:

70_anniversary_composite_2.png


1955 Le Mans disaster causes 4 races to be cancelled; Mercedes to withdraw
1958 Moss takes the first rear-engined win for Cooper in Argentina
1967 The Ford Cosworth DFV debuts at Zandvoort
1968 Full commercial sponsorship is legalised
1968 Ferrari and Brabham debut aerodynamic wings at Spa
1970 Chapman's Lotus 72 sets the template for modern F1 design
1977 Renault's RS01, the first F1 turbo, debuts at Silverstone
1981 The first Concorde Agreement establishes the commercial framework of F1
1984 Senna nearly wins the wet Monaco GP in the uncompetitive Toleman
1993 Max Mosley bans artificial driver aids
1994 Senna and Ratzenberger die in separate accidents at Imola
1996 Schumacher, Brawn and Byrne join Ferrari from Benetton
2007 McLaren implode at the Hungarian Grand Prix
2014 Radical turbo V6 hybrid engine regulations are introduced

Finally some historical precedents that may be of interest to the superstitious:
  • The 70th anniversary Le Mans 24 Hours was won by an Australian at the wheel of a French car
  • The 70th anniversary Monaco Grand Prix was won by a German at the wheel of a Ferrari...
Please gamble responsibly!
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Hamilton didn't get any support from McLaren until he had already won championships.

Unsurprising though as bookmakers were already giving odds on him at the age of 12 that he would be the F1 WDC.

So yes, he was bankrolled from about the age of 17? (not sure of the age), after he already had some measure of success, which is different from a lot of the others who get a drive because they are bankrolled from the start.

It was a little earlier than that - he was 13 when he was signed to McLaren's driver academy - although I have absolutely no idea how much funding that actually gave him!

By that time, he had won karting championships, but hadn’t yet graduated to cars...

EDIT - at age 13, I didn't even have a signature, let alone any prospect of signing a contract to join McLaren!
 
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Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
A single season of GP2/F3000 used to cost half a million dollars; it's almost certainly more now. Add in many hundreds of thousands to do several seasons in junior series and karting with competitive machinery, and you'd need well over a million in family money or sponsorship to get anywhere near consideration for an F1 test, let alone drive.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Which is a shame, as it automatically excludes the vast majority of drivers who may well be good enough, but will never have the opportunity to find out.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It's a sport run by the elite for the elite. The number of sons of former drivers who end up in motorsport - not just F1 - is ridiculous and makes a mockery of any claim for it to be a meritocracy. I mean, Christ, it's expensive enough to attend a race, let alone compete in one. You could argue that the whiteness of F1 - drivers, officials, fans - is probably as much about the exclusion of those on low and average incomes as it is about racism.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
It's a sport run by the elite for the elite. The number of sons of former drivers who end up in motorsport - not just F1 - is ridiculous and makes a mockery of any claim for it to be a meritocracy. I mean, Christ, it's expensive enough to attend a race, let alone compete in one. You could argue that the whiteness of F1 - drivers, officials, fans - is probably as much about the exclusion of those on low and average incomes as it is about racism.
Just dont Bernie Ecclestone that because he does not have a problem with it
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
dont forget that at the end of 2017. he was out because he was dropped by ART. admits himself he had no budget. someone else drive at DAMS fell through. got a 1 race deal for 2018 impressed & persuaded the boss to give him the full season. & the rest is history

i have no problem with lance stroll. for me all drivers should only be judged by the stopwatch
I ll gladly eat humble pie if Stroll beats Perez over a season because the highly rated Ocon did not do it and he is tipped to be future world champion
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Money is required to compete in all elite sports these days. Its not just limited to F1. Just look at how many millions are funnelled through the national lottery to UK Sport each year.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
thats harsh on hulkenberg after employed by racing point for 8 days. compared to stroll with 5 race weekends & winter testing under his belt all couldnt race in the 1st gp & he outqualifed by 4 tenths in 2nd was comfortably in front for all but 5 laps but unusual tyre situation
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Money is required to compete in all elite sports these days. Its not just limited to F1. Just look at how many millions are funnelled through the national lottery to UK Sport each year.

I don't think it's true in all cases. You can become the best football player in England regardless of your background, you'll have to put up with an incredible amount of abuse along the way, but it's possible, because the barriers to entry are so much lower and because the structure is meritocratic. I'm not an expert on UK Sport but it seems that, at least for Olympic sports, they distribute funds to athletes based on talent and therefore again, there is a level(er) playing field?

Motorsport is a special case - almost unique - because the result is a function of both the driver and the machinery - even at very junior levels - and you can buy yourself a mechanical or engineering advantage over drivers with more "natural talent". Quite apart from the fact that such a huge percentage of the population never even get to try.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
thats harsh on hulkenberg after employed by racing point for 8 days. compared to stroll with 5 race weekends & winter testing under his belt all couldnt race in the 1st gp & he outqualifed by 4 tenths in 2nd was comfortably in front for all but 5 laps but unusual tyre situation

If he wrecked his tyres and Stroll didn't the he wasn't comfortably in front though was he? He used his tyres up to quick. As for qualifying - unfortunately,despite media trying to sway attention for TV views, it means nothing. Otherwise Jarno Trulli would be the GOAT.

The stats sheets will show Hulkenberg was beaten by Perez, Barrichello and Stroll.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
If he wrecked his tyres and Stroll didn't the he wasn't comfortably in front though was he? He used his tyres up to quick.

it was his 1st race for 253 days. the whole race was a voyage of discovery on possibly the toughest tyres the drivers will experience all season. you cant judge someone on 1 race nobody was saying that Hamilton had lost it when bottas won in Austria & Hamilton came 4th.

considering what hulkenberg did in a week. he would beat stroll over the season
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
No. Sorry. Hulkenberg beaten by Stroll. Riccardo beaten by Narain Karthikeyan. Facts

Similarly, Tarso Marques better than Alonso... FACTS!

or even better...

fisichella better than button (2001), button better than Trulli (2002), Trulli better than Alonso (2004), Alonso better than Fisichella (2005),

So FisichellA’s better than Fisichella!
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Yeah but if you had the same level of skill as all of them and fair amount in the car then you'd be better.

True but if that was the case I'd blow the huge amount of cash I could command on cider and hookers and be sacked. After a best selling biography and a controversial appearance on I'm a celebrity.... My media career would be over and I'd end up having to auction all of my remaining possessions to pay a huge tax bill. Discovered 10 years later by a Sun hack, a fat wreck living on benefits, the shame of the click bait "you'll not believe what he looks like now" articles on buzz feed would lead to me being found dead in a pool of my own vomit in a one room bedsit in Preston.
 
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