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Five talking points ahead of the 2020 Formula 1 season

Five talking points ahead of the 2020 Formula 1 season

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Five talking points ahead of the 2020 Formula 1 season

Five talking points ahead of the 2020 Formula 1 season

Formula 1 begins the 2020 season with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, 128 days since the close of pre-season testing.

With such a large break separating testing and the start of the season, some of the expected plotlines have changed, such as the prospect of Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari following the Scuderia's decision to replace Sebastian Vettel with Carlos Sainz.

To bring you up to speed, here are five of the main talking points ahead of the start of the 2020 F1 campaign.

Mercedes' Dual Axis Steering - DAS

Starting with the big one - DAS. This system caused mayhem when it was first used during winter testing, with speculation on how it worked, whether it was legal (we'll come back to that!) and what the potential benefits of running the system could be.

Unfortunately for Mercedes, the device is set to be nothing more than a one-season wonder, as the FIA has already declared the system to breach the 2021 regulations - a change that had been made before the team publicly revealed the gizmo.

Racing Point's 'Pink Mercedes'

Before Mercedes unveiled DAS, Racing Point thought it had already secured its position as the main talking point of testing.

Launching the new livery on its 2019 car several days earlier, Racing Point stunned the paddock when rolling out of the garage in Spain was, what appeared to many, to be the 2019 Mercedes in a fresh, pink coat of paint.

The RP20 was quick from the get-go, with both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll able to extract strong pace from the vastly different 2019 car.

Protests

Points one and two both lead here. Protests.

Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, it was believed a number of teams would protest both Mercedes for DAS, and Racing Point for what many saw to be, copying Mercedes' homework.

Only providing the media with limited access across the lockdown, it is unclear whether attitudes have changed over time, but as the cars roll out of the garages on Friday morning, it's possible that a few trips will be made to the steward's office.

Taking the knee

Led by Lewis Hamilton, F1 has firmed its stance against racism and discrimination. The #WeRaceAsOne initiative has been launched by F1, with Hamilton forming the 'Hamilton Commission' to instigate change.

As other sports, most notably European football, have returned to competition, it has been common to see players, personnel and officials show unity by all taking the knee.

A similar from F1 would certainly send out a powerful message.

Race rustiness

Several drivers have warned this could be a factor. Crashes are not an uncommon sight at the Red Bull Ring, with several heavy-braking zones affording an opportunity for bold overtaking manoeuvres, but also for big mistakes.

In years gone by, with drivers typically having 10-plus races in the pocket for the season, accidents have still happened.

217 days without racing and some drivers have gone over 128 days without getting into an F1 car? The split between the opportunists and those who exercise caution will be interesting to see.

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