8 pointers for F1’s 2020 comeback from IndyCar’s return

published on July 2, 2020

IndyCars delayed 20/20 season opener at

Texas Motor Speedway was the closest

guide yet to how this year's global

events will impact the on track product

and wider atmosphere when Formula One

finally begins next month a single

chassis formula racing on an oval is not

a precise match for f1 but Indy cars

status as a major international single

seater series has given us more to

consider following NASCAR's return to

racing in May there was much that was

familiar about the Texas race a Scott

Dixon Ganassi victory with Penske in

pursuit but also more that was different

than you might have expected here are

some elements that stood out to us and

what they could indicate for when f1

returns in Austria make sure you let us

know what you think about if one's

impending return and remember to like

this video and subscribe to our Channel

f1 sometimes irritating ability to be

close to perfection often squashes any

hope of unexpected variables in strange

circumstances but Texas was a hint that

predictions of plenty of incidents in

Austria may not be wide of the mark

while the Indy car race day was hardly

wall-to-wall chaos there were constant

signs of rustiness

as teams and drivers were thrown back

into action after a prolonged spell on

the sidelines unsurprisingly there were

crashes in practice and Takuma Sato

couldn't even race after crashing in

qualifying the slip in traffic that put

potential winner Felix Rosenquist into

the wall was another error that might

have been avoided had 20/20 been playing

out normally pit stop incidents were

commonplace too with things going awry

in stops for Penske Andretti Dale Coyne

racing and Rey Hall Letterman Lanigan

setup outcomes were all over the place

even for the top teams Penske drivers

Josef Newgarden and Simon pagin Oh ended

up second and third but both felt they'd

gone way off course with their setups

and in totally different ways things

shouldn't be quite as fraught on that

front for f1 where the schedule will be

much closer to that of a conventional

weekend rather than the one-day events

we've seen in us racing so far Indy cars

layoff was much longer than f1 2

hasn't race since last September and his

only full field pre-season test was

whether disrupted the 2019 f1 season

only finished on the 1st of December and

teams had six busy days of pre-season

running at the end of February f1 teams

also have longer to prepare in their

reopened factories before heading to

their first race but the margin for

error in f1 is even narrower than that

in IndyCar and teams will still be

coming to Austria cold without the mumps

of continuous preparation and in

competition practice they're used to

drivers will be out of the groove in a

way most have never experienced before

in their careers Texas showed how that

cumulative rust can play out when the

pressure is on and it will clearly have

an impact in Austria as well

one driver seemingly rust-proof was

Texas winner Scott Dixon fastest in

practice on provisional pole until new

Gardens big effort and then untouchable

for the majority of the race when he

lost the lead through a slower pit stop

than his rivals he nailed a restart to

pass Ganassi teammate Rosenquist then

put a brilliant move on Newgarden to

retake control of the race even when

Rose and Chris was catching him later on

he stayed unflappable in heavy traffic

it was a flawless Drive from one of Indy

cars grace that showed what's possible

if you hit the ground running when

others need time to find their feet the

best drivers on the f1 grid will be

looking to steal a march in a similar

way

Ganassi clearly had really strong ovale

pace which was a priority over the

winter given its patchy 20:19 form on

those tracks that suggests that massive

disruption to this year doesn't have to

derail the specific work a team or

driver put in over the winter in f1

terms that's an important point ur for

Wouter robotis inshaallah Clerk bata

said he made changes to his driving

style and other processes that you felt

were better in testing but then didn't

get the chance to find out in a race the

clerk said tire management was a winter

priority for him but he's yet to find

out exactly how much progress he's made

so can they pick up where they left off

and put the gains they felt they'd made

in testing straight into action at the

Red Bull Ring how effectively they do so

could make or break their title bids an

organ a C and Penske top three suggested

the opposite but there was smaller scale

upsets throughout the day at Texas in

the frantic single day schedule those

that got their heads down and executed

smoothly were rewarded whether that was

for superior preparation a karma

approach or some decent setup guesswork

the rarely heralded Zac Veatch was

Andretti Autosport star turn AJ 4 it was

a front-runner with Charlie Kimball in

particular and Carlin got only its third

top six finish in IndyCar with Conor

Daly the underdog upset factor will be

smaller in f1 by running a conventional

weekend there will still be plenty of

time to analyze data from practice and

by race day teams should be closer to

their optimum IndyCar teams were also

adapting on the hoof to the increased

weight of the Aero screen and its effect

on oval setups and dealing with an

impromptu tire combination Firestone has

denied the chance to prepare the rubber

it wanted for this track due to the

impact of the corona virus pandemic f1

won't have these unknown quantities and

a competitive gap between its haves and

have-nots is far greater than we see an

Indy car an upset in Austria is more

likely to come in the form of an unusual

Class B winner than one of those

underdog teams getting among the

outright top six but the start of the

season is often the best chance for the

smaller teams to cause an upset and that

opportunity should be

even greater when everyone gets to

Austria the sight of three cars – from

Andretti and one from Rey Hall

struggling to fire up properly and

joined the start of the IndyCar race due

to an ECU issue was the most obvious

manifestation of rustiness from the

extended gap cars and engines haven't

run for months testing was a long time

ago and the build-up has been disjointed

and restricted due to factories being

closed that means cars have been sat

idle for longer and teams have had less

time than usual to spend getting them

race ready

even if f1 has more chance to iron these

glitches out in practice teams could

well lose a lot of mileage as they do so

and high-pressure situations like a race

star or pit stops are very hard to

replicate before the real thing it won't

take much to put you on the back foot

and there could be some small gremlins

with big consequences the vast empty

grandstands and sparsely populated Texas

paddock were an eerie sight it felt just

how it looked empty the on track racing

is the main thing but emotion is a big

part of the spectacle and the lack of

atmosphere was obvious f1 doesn't rely

on its crowd for atmosphere in the same

way a sport like football does but one

of the defining images of the Austrian

Grand Prix in recent years has been the

gradual takeover of grandstands by max

Verstappen orange army who will be

missed at several races this year there

will be other moments during the weekend

when the loss of atmosphere is telling

for example don't expect to see Lewis

Hamilton throwing himself into his

team's arms in Parc Ferme a should he

win celebrations and commiserations will

have to be strangely distant

Dixons domination and the difficulty in

overtaking on the higher line at Texas

made this quite a dull race at times

most of the wheel to action came from

the field being closed up by a mid race

caution for debris f1 boss is a mindful

of this hence the push to shake up

repeat events at the same circuit

reverse grids were blocked by Mercedes

but Ross Braun says there are other less

disruptive ideas in the works there's

been a very long wait for f1 to return

and there's a large captive audience

waiting for it the openers proving dull

and repetitive would waste the

opportunity that exists here one common

theme in IndyCar and NASCAR races so far

has been how live interviews are

conducted on TV drivers wear face masks

with the camera crew and interviewer

stood a safe distance back drivers have

commented on it feeling strange to

celebrate victories in front of empty

grandstands and it takes some time to

get used to watching it as well

f1 has another month to work out how to

handle this so it will be interesting to

see if it gets creative it also has an

easier schedule to work with over a

three day event so there won't be the

same time pressures on the drivers that

we've seen in America even if what f1

comes up with feels strange at first

we've so many races in quick succession

we'll get used to it pretty quickly at

times the on track action will need to

be shot differently as well panning a

way to show the big grandstands at a

busy racetrack can add a lot to the

broadcast and on us Racing's return

those angles have been interesting to

show how different closed-door events

look but it didn't feel like IndyCar

tried to make any efforts here to shoot

the race differently to get around the

empty stands in f1 at least the lack of

fans removes any possibility of the TV

director cutting away from exciting on

track action to show us another crowd

reaction it would be naive for

broadcasters to airbrush away the

realities of live sport in 2020 under

these unprecedented circumstances but

that shouldn't prevent some innovative

thinking about ways to cover the action

in a different way

as we countdown to the long-awaited

start of the 2020 f1 season what are you

looking forward to and are there any

elements of its return that you're

concerned about let us know in the

comments and don't forget to like this

video and subscribe to our Channel

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