Double COTA; Mercedes and 2022



One of the biggest stories surrounding Formula 1 over the past two weeks is the cancellation of the Singapore Grand Prix due to COVID-19 precautions and restrictions. Of course, Singapore’s exit from the calendar isn’t the first change for the 2021 season.

At first, Australia went from their opening slot to get back on the schedule and take Bahrain’s place. The Chinese GP broke down and was accompanied by the cancellation of the inaugural Vietnam GP – but not because of Covid but rather for the chairman of the GP indicted for corruption.

The Canadian GP found itself canceled for the second year in a row, and that date was offered to the Turkish GP – which was later also canceled due to UK restrictions on travel to Turkey. The schedule changes this year offer the second iteration of a fluid and wild season, which has proven to be more traditional than not.

Returning to Imola for a second year added another European date, with Austria now hosting two consecutive weeks after the French GP next weekend. After these three races, the series visits England, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

In addition, other changes appear to be on the way. the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, hosted the opportunity to host two races with the opening date of Singapore. But there’s a good chance Japan will cross out their GP as well, creating another open weekend.

Overall, the calendar is still very fluid, but not when it comes to races in Europe or the United States. There are still reasons to question whether or not Brazil will succeed in staging their race with a myriad of concerns surrounding the event.

But if there’s one aspect to focus on, it would be COTA getting a second date. Before looking at back-to-back COTA weekends, a creative idea was to give the second date in the United States to the shelved New York / New Jersey GP.

The idea floated on Jalopnik, is actually genius. This will never happen because the original promoters ran away with the money, but it would be a wonderful inclusion – especially as a festive event in the region.

One of the enjoyable aspects of the past two years of F1 racing has been the mix of tracks joining the F1 calendar, and the sport misses an opportunity to do something drastic (and appease the American Liberty Media stakeholders) while running on a track that will never live up to the calendar again. The logistics are insane, and the probability is about as statistically likely as being able to fire laser beams from our eyes.

Follow your dreams.

The sad truth is that COTA is a nice setup and provides a nice environment for half decent races. The drama of the COTA race has never matched the beauty of the facility and that’s not all that plagues the track.

Although COTA drew well during his time in F1, it never proved to be more lucrative. Last year’s cancellation resulted in the loss of 95% of its income and further financial distress. The recent addition of a Miami GP to the calendar makes Austin’s date vulnerable as there are questions regarding having two races in the United States.

Giving COTA two races could provide some exciting drama, especially the idea of ​​dragging the sport to Texas for two weekends. One would expect F1 to race on different tracks like it did in Bahrain last year, offering two different races. And maybe one of those races would come as a surprise, like Sergio Perez’s victory last year.

For COTA’s sake, it had better be the case because after the disappointing NASCAR Cup race on the track, the facility could use a good performance.

Odds and turf

– A report says Lewis Hamilton is looking to settle his 2022 contract within the next month. The wonder is not that he wins £ 34 million (or about $ 48 million); is that Hamilton makes a bonus on top of the extravagant sum.

Yes of course Hamilton deserves compensation if he reaches more stages, but really his salary is so beyond the reach of other drivers on the grid and other motorsport drivers in general that giving him bonuses seems excessive. .

The report also puts forward the idea that Hamilton is prepared to take a pay cut but in doing so wants his bonus to be doubled. Such a strategy would involve Hamilton looking for another way to motivate himself as he faces a challenge from Max Verstappen.

Having beaten the previous generation of drivers, Hamilton is now facing the current one, with Verstappen in the lead. He already has the accolades and the money, but giving himself an extra incentive to beat the youth of the sport seems like precisely the sort of thing Hamilton would do as a motivation.

– Valtteri Bottas has enjoyed one of the best and worst places in the garage for the past four and a half years. Sitting alongside Hamilton in a Mercedes, he took advantage of the best car on the grid. This place earned him nine victories during his stint with the German company.

Problem is, he’s sitting next to Hamilton. Winning nine races is a decent effort compared to the number of races others on the grid have won. But that’s not the problem.

Bottas has become what Sebastian Vettel has become at Ferrari. A little lost, a little exhausted and a little confused. He showed the same weakness in decision making and hurt the team. Mercedes hasn’t helped him with a series of mistakes that create friction in the relationship

Rumors persist that Bottas may be gone mid-season, but such talks are ludicrous.

George Russell seems inclined to believe that Bottas’s seat is his to fill. Yet the last thing Mercedes wants as it pursues the constructors’ championship while trying to get Hamilton to its absurd eighth driving title is discord within its own squad. With Bottas already out of the fight for the Drivers’ Championship, the team can use him as a vital chess piece to challenge Perez and fight for the Constructor’s crown. Russell does not offer the same stability.

As a 22-year-old young driver, Russell is someone looking to make a name for himself and challenge both Verstappen AND Hamilton. Such a situation is the source of nightmares for the manager of the Mercedes team, Toto Wolff. This means Russell’s best bet is for 2022… maybe.

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