Racing enthusiasts from around the world are looking to buy f1 tickets here as they prepare for the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season but with still over two months remaining until the start of the new campaign, what changes should they expect to see on the grid and calendar and what do we expect to attract their attention in the coming months?
The most notable alterations have come when compiling the schedule, with the decision made to introduce two new races to the calendar at the expense of the German Grand Prix, which has been removed from the sport for the third time in the space of six years. While the sport could always return to Hockenheimring or the Nurburgring in the future, it feels like time has moved on, and that will lead to races being staged in Vietnam and the Netherlands during the first half of the year, presenting fans with the ideal opportunity to become a part of history at a time when the powers-that-be are trying to freshen up the sport and attract a new fanbase.
The race in the Netherlands - which will be held on the first weekend in May - is effectively acting as the like-for-like replacement for Germany, and its emergence as a venue coincides with countryman Max Verstappen establishing himself as one of the stars of the sport. The 22-year-old was never a realistic challenger to eventual champion Lewis Hamilton last season, but the fact that the youngster has been rewarded for three wins and six podiums with a lucrative new contract highlights Verstappen's importance to Red Bull as a brand, as well as their need to keep him out of the clutches of Mercedes and Ferrari. The race at Circuit Zandvoort - located close to Amsterdam - is expected to be a sell out as Dutch supporters get their first taste of Formula 1 since 1985, and a sea of orange will be present in the stands as they look to help one of the fresh faces of the sport to victory on his home patch.
Despite the idea of another race being held in Asia initially being shut down by Bernie Ecclestone, that changed when Liberty Media entered the sport at the beginning of 2017 and three years on, the Vietnamese city of Hanoi is preparing to host its first race during the opening week of April. The race - the third of the calendar year - will be held on a street circuit, boasting 23 corners and one of the longest straights of the year at nearly one mile. With the race already having a place on the 2021 calendar, big things are expected, both in terms of a spectacle and a competitive race.
While significant changes have been made from an events perspective, the same cannot be said regarding personnel. Unlike ahead of the 2019 edition, driver changes have been kept to a minimum, with the most eye-catching switch arguably Esteban Ocon being introduced as a replacement for Nico Hulkenberg at Renault. The other alteration has come at Williams, with Robert Kubica exiting the team having picked up just one point on his return to the sport. The Pole has since announced the he has agreed a deal with Alfa Romeo, where he has become the reserve driver behind Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Williams have a tradition of handing opportunities to rookies and they have adopted the same approach this year with the signing of Nicholas Latifi. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old is no stranger at the team having acted as test driver last season, while also claiming four victories in Formula 2 to claim second position at the end of the campaign behind Nyck de Vries. With 2018 Formula 2 champion George Russell as his teammate, Williams now have two youngsters at the helm as they bid to achieve more than just the solitary top-10 which was recorded last year.
In theory, Williams have a better chance of meeting that goal with the 2020 season staging the most races in F1's history. Since 2016, the calendar has fluctuated between 20 and 21 races, but the upcoming edition will hold 22 races. The opening race continues to be held in Australia during the middle of March, with the concluding event taking place in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.
The extended calendar has resulted in organisers making a slight switch to the pre-season schedule, with the traditional testing events in Spain now lasting three days, rather than four. With the majority of the talking and speculation now out of the way, fans will now be looking to attend Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya between February 19 and February 28 to catch a glimpse of which drivers and teams are close to reaching their peak before the trip to Melbourne the following month.body check tags ::