Cut To The Race Podcast

A Fast and Furious week

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What a fast and furious week in Formula One! I don’t know about you but I struggled to keep up and got a bit over excited at the amount of news this week.
Let’s start with the biggest headline of the week. Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari announced they would part ways at the end of the year. Was I shocked? No, but the news has caused the driver market to explode. The decision seemed to be mutual, with Ferrari stating that both parties felt it was for the best.
You can’t really help but wonder if Vettel’s performance against his young team mate Charles Leclerc last year sealed his fate with the Scuderia, especially after Leclerc sensationally won at Ferrari’s home grand prix at Monza. The series of mistakes and errors by the German last year cost the team a lot of valuable points and Ferrari want to win more championships. They needed a dream team of drivers to take the fight to the dominant Mercedes team and a Red Bull team that are becoming more challenging.
But what now for Seb? He has not confirmed where he will be headed, but retirement seems more likely now that the driver market has opened up. I doubt he would end his career at Renault. Love him or loathe him, it would be a huge loss for the sport if he walks away now.
Once the announcement was made we didn’t have to wait long for the next bombshell to drop. Daniel Ricciardo announced he had secured a drive at McLaren next year. Not what I expected. I hoped the Aussie would go to Ferrari and get himself a top drive again but the lure of a Mercedes engine in the McLaren next year clearly turned Ricciardo’s head. It was also clear he wasn’t happy at Renault, who failed to deliver their promises last year.
They say things come in threes, so it was only a matter of time before we got the news that Carlos Sainz would be replacing Vettel at Ferrari and driving alongside Leclerc. Sainz and Leclerc? What a line up! The youngest Ferrari pairing in 50 years and I cannot wait to see them both race in red. It’s clear that Ferrari needed to shake things up to be more competitive, but it will be a chance to see Sainz in a top car next year which I am super excited about.
So what happens at Renault? They now have a vacant seat and there have been rumours flying about who could fill it. Vettel? Unlikely. Zhou? Maybe not experienced enough yet. Could we see Nico Hulkenberg make a return? Or could they surprise us all and bring back Fernando Alonso?! He isn’t my choice but this is Formula One and stranger things have happened!
In other news, Silverstone announced a double header race behind closed doors when the season gets underway. The provisional calendar looks to start with a double race in Austria in July, followed by two races in Silverstone on July 26th and August 2nd. It will be the first time in Formula One history that venues have staged two races in the same season.
Lastly, we also remember that 70 years ago, Giuseppe Farina won the first ever Formula One Grand Prix which was held at Silverstone. He became the World Champion in his Alfa Romeo and since then we have had 33 different champions and 16 different constructors to have taken the title. What an achievement.

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