So, how will the remaining 3 teams fair with the delayed start to the season:
New name, new (sexy) livery but same driver line up as they ended last season. With both Kvyat and Gasly found themselves on the podium last season the Red Bull junior team will certainly be looking back on last season with some fond memories and just 6 point shy of Renault, the team will certainly be happy with some continuity moving into 2020.
Having had more time o develop their cars with Honda engines just like their parent team I am sure AlphaTauri were eager to get going in 2019, but this delay gives them even more time to suit the car to their power unit, and with the rest of the midfield seeming to continue to make strides forward perhaps some more time to tweak the car will come in handy.
Lets hope for some amazing moments this year for one of my new favourites Pierre Gasly 😉
With Gene Haas already casting some doubt on the teams long term future in the sport, who knows what fireworks were going to come out of Haas in 2020.
Fewer laps than most in testing, and keeping quiet whilst their engine provider Ferrari came under investigation the Haas team really were quite a nothing team in the off seaoson.
Romain putting it into the wall (shock) and a pretty lacklustre pace chart suggests the car was not in the best place in Spain – oh how they should be enjoying an extended period to develop the car. With todays announcement that no new regs will come into the cars til 2022 in part to help reduce the financial impact of the COVID19 disruptions – will that convince Gene Haas to put more time and resource into the team? I would think so, but you feel they are only another 9th place finish for the American to pull the plug.
Renault by all account shave moved forward from last years dismal season. A brand new driver line up and a seemingly invigorated garage paired with some pacy laps thrown in on testing laps seemed to have most the media backing them to be more competitive than last season.
As with all the mid-field teams, the marginal gains are only relative to how much your counterparts have developed, and with McLaren, Racing Point and even Alfa Romeo all looking solid, we were on for a really fascinating mid table scrap this season.
With Ocon having a little more time to get settled with the team and the simulations, who knows whether more time settling in vs more time on track will serve the Frenchman better or worse . Whatever the case I am sure Ricciardo will be laughing and smiling through this difficult time.
The Australian still far from giving up his dream to become World Champ, the Renault team better make sure the car is competitive as most the grid will be very aware of his out of contract status when silly season rolls around.
A shame we will have to wait so long to see how right or wrong these predictions are. But wherever you are reading, stay safe and I am sure we will be racing soon!