Crazy chases, electrifying twists and turns, effervescent backstage, cleverly balanced suspense. And necessarily the desire to embark on the rest of the story. Formula 1 at its best? This is the third season of Drive to survive (Pilots of their destiny, in French), the documentary series broadcast on Netflix and which plunges into the heart of the great automobile circus to necessarily keep only the best. Often skating the reality of an assumed highlight.
Netflix’s F1 is far more addicting than the real laps of the driving aces. Boredom has been gaining ground for years around the paddocks, with the outrageous domination of Mercedes cars. The German brand is in its seventh consecutive world title among manufacturers. Lewis Hamilton has stacked six world champion trophies since 2014 (his teammate Nico Rosberg is crowned in 2016). Yawning. For the thrill, however, the revolution is underway, assure the leaders of the discipline, who will meet in … 2022.
Tighten the gaps
As a result of the pandemic, the new technical regulations, which should change everything, have been postponed for a year. In particular, it provides for a major aerodynamic change in the structure of the cars which should encourage overtaking. “The objective is clear: the fight within the peloton must be tighter and the drivers must be more of a performance factor than they currently are”, indicated at the end of February Stefano Domenicali, former director of the Ferrari team (from 2008 to 2014) and new president appointed in autumn 2020 by Liberty Media, the group that owns F1.
In the meantime, it is still necessary to maintain the flame. If only to boost portfolios, F1 having lost 43% of its revenue last year (from $ 2 billion to $ 1.14 billion) due to the pandemic and a season reduced to 17 Grands Prix. To better stick to the economic context, but above all to try to balance the chances between the teams, a financial ceiling has been decided: 132 million euros for everyone (excluding the salaries of the pilots and the three best paid employees of each team ). A first step, with budgets expected to continue to decline over the next two years. The reform is important, but its realization is hardly obvious to the general public.
Big returns and small novelties
The 2021 show therefore relies on other effects. The return of Fernando Alonso for example, after two years away from the F1 circuits, who finds the team with which he was twice champion in 2005 and 2006, Renault, renamed for the occasion with a name that titillates the nostalgic fiber. rally enthusiasts: Alpine.
Another awaited awakening, that of the red cars of Ferrari. The team are coming out of a nightmarish season, the worst since 1980, finished in a very disappointing sixth place. Time for revenge? Otherwise, the barnum 2021 counts on a scent of novelty, with a great upheaval in the tandems formed (only three teams out of ten have kept their pairs of pilots), and the arrival of sharp young people, like Schumacher Junior. Mick, 22, F2 world champion in 2020, is tenured at Haas for two years, and Germany already vibrates at the mere statement of his surname.
→ READ. Formula 1: Fernando Alonso to return to Renault in 2021
So, exciting this 2021 season? It would be better, because it promises to be long. If the Covid does not shake up the situation, 23 races are scheduled, a record. With a first in Saudi Arabia, on November 28, 2021, on a street circuit and at night (like the Singapore GP). This will be the third Grand Prix in the Middle East, in line with the globalization of the discipline.
“I want around a third of the race in Europe and be able to develop globally, detailed at the beginning of March Stefano Domenicali. I want two races in America. We are also discussing with countries in Africa, South Africa and countries in the north of the continent. I also wish a race or two more in Asia, maybe South Korea. “ Ambition is still behind the wheel.
Also animate the pre-race
Full animation: F1 leaders also hope to generate more interest in the pre-race. Thus the two free practice sessions on Friday March 26 will last only one hour (against an hour and a half). Less preparation before, it would be more unpredictability during. To spice up the affair even more, a “qualifying sprint” should be tested in three Grands Prix during the season. This is a short 100-kilometer race held on Saturday, March 27, and the result of which would be decisive in constituting the starting grid for Sunday.
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