And here we are. Formula 1 is finally ready to start again with a season, despite it being of transition, full of new developments not only on the driver’s market but also from the technical point of view. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Federation to reduce the aerodynamic load the engineers have already shown they have made up the gap allowing the drivers to race with times that are already very close to those of 2020 despite only three days of tests.
I find it absolutely absurd that the teams have been able to enjoy only these three days of training to prepare for such a long season. They better not come and tell me that they do so for a matter of limiting the costs.
Amongst other things the budget cap will also make its debut this year which I will continue to oppose for how it has been put together. It is not at all functional. In order to make sense it must include all the expenses, without any exclusion. A team must be free to manage its assets without exclusions that still create differences. As it has been structured it does nothing for the spectacle and much less to create equality between the teams.
A season with many unknown factors starts from Bahrain and, to date, it is very hard to establish a ladder of the forces in the field, even if, as far as I am concerned, Mercedes remains the point of reference for everybody despite an uneasy start (as far as could be seen). I had an excellent impression from Red Bull and Honda, as well as Alpha Tauri. McLaren knew how to adapt the chassis very well to the new Mercedes engine. There are many young drivers at the start, with some “old men” such as the return of Fernando Alonso with Alpine’s colours and the 42 year old Raikonnen ready for a new season.
The Sakhir track hosted the third and second last rounds of the 20202 season. Therefore, we will quickly have an interesting comparison.
Let us hope that the pandemic will slow down and give the opportunity to experience a full calendar, even if it will not be easy. After Bahrain F1 will come to Europe, in Imola for the second round. However, Liberty Media has also been called to deal with another major problem, tied to the sporting and technical programmes tied to the 2025. Formula 1 must open itself to the new realities by intervening heavily on the registration fee which is absolutely too high.
Gian Carlo Minardi