Some memorable moments of the first round of the first single-seater championship of 2021.
Round 1: Martí crash
The tire tracks explain what happened to the 100-meter mark, but how did the 50-meter mark get destroyed? Here is a link to the moment of incident: unfortunately, for a while the camera was following other cars.
Could motor racing be more interesting when more is left to viewers’ imagination? F4 UAE tested this theory throughout the weekend.
Race 2: four-way fight for P3
Given that 8 out of 14 drivers are in the same team (Xcel) would not it be nice for them to have a few distinct liveries? The minor color accents do not help very much when following the action through hand-held camera from large distance. So, props to Kirill Smal and his SMP Racing sponsors for making at least one of the Xcel cars instantly recognizable with its tricolor livery. Also, black car of Enzo Trulli and red-and-white of Hamda Al Qubaisi helped in watching the four-way battle for third; the fourth car involved was Jamie Day’s in standard Xcel livery.
Smal eventually took P3 on the last lap of the race.
Minor technical issues aside, it’s great to have single-seater racing back and being broadcast live on F4 UAE channel. I think the time display ought to be improved: having yellow/green/purple coding of sectors is nice, but the size of gap to the leader or to the driver directly in front would be more informative.
As far as I remember, the 2020 Red Bull Junior Team (in single seaters) consisted of Jak Crawford, Jehan Daruvala, Jack Doohan, Jonny Edgar, Dennis Hauger, Liam Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda, and Jüri Vips. (And Ukyo Sasahara? I’m not sure he had the same affiliation as the others.) What’s next for them?
Still Red Bull Juniors
Daruvala and Vips stay in F2
Lawson moves up from F3 to F2
Crawford and Edgar move up from F4 to F3
New Red Bull Junior
Ayumu Iwasa moves up from F4 to F3 (with a stop in FR Asia)
No longer Red Bull Juniors
Tsunoda graduates from F2 to F1
Doohan and Hauger (both F3) are in Tier 2 as “Red Bull supported drivers”
Gabriele Minì won the 2020 championship by a large margin, but how does it compare to other years? With 7 seasons of the oldest FIA F4 championship behind us, let’s compare the champions by their point margin relative to the runner-up, sorted from largest to smallest.
Job van Uitert
Quite a few familiar names in this table. Instead of a complete “where are they know”, here is a sample.
There are good reasons to have reverse grid races in Formula 2. There may also be good reasons to award 4 points for pole position, though I am not aware of them. Anyway, Formula 1 does not have either thing, and only awards 1 point for fastest lap (with a slight difference in rules, which I think is immaterial for the following).
Top five in the final standings 2020 Formula 2 season:
And here they are with the points awarded according to F1 logic: no reverse grid races, no pole position points, 1 point for fastest lap.
The drivers moving up to F1 rank 1, 2, 4 in F1 order instead of 1, 3, 5 in F2 order.
This is not an attempt to calculate exactly how many Super Licence points each driver has. Instead, the goal is to find how many points they earned in the last two seasons of FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3. The previous iteration (for 2018-19) is at Super Licence points, simplified.
In the 2017-20 format of Formula 2 weekend, a driver could score at most:
4 for pole position
25 for feature race win
2 for fastest lap in feature race
15 for sprint race win
2 for fastest lap in sprint race
for the maximum possible total of 48. Nobody reached the maximum, and nobody will, since the weekend format will be different in 2021. The best total was 45 earned by Leclerc in Baku 2017: he scored all of the above except the sprint race result was P2, with 12 points instead of 15.
Tsunoda scored the second-best total of 43 in the very last weekend in this format, Sakhir 2020.
Formula 3 used a slightly different format in 2020 and 2019, with 10 positions reversed for sprint race in 2020. Placing the feature race winner at P10 instead of P8 naturally reduced the totals.
In 2019, the top F3 results were:
39 points for Armstrong in Sochi (again, a season finale)
37 for Shwartzman in Barcelona
37 for Lundgaard in Budapest
In 2020, the top F3 result was 32, achieved three times: by Zendeli at Spa, and, surprisingly, both Piastri and Pourchaire did it over the same weekend in Budapest.
One way to measure the level of competition in a championship is to divide the points earned by the runner-up by the champion’s points. Expressed as a percentage, this quantity is between 0 and 100. Measured by it, ADAC Formula 4 was the most competitive championship in 2020, while Formula 1 was the least competitive.
Omitted: a few series I don’t bother reading about
Consider that FR Americas uses the same scoring system as F1, and its season also had 17 races. Lundqvist won 15 out of 17 (finishing P2 and P6 in the other two), and even that championship was closer than F1.
In a situation like this, the average points per race (APR) becomes of interest. Here is the table of FREC 2020 after Imola, sorted by APR
Top 10 by APR in FREC after Imola
The championship table re-sorted by APR, after Imola.
Italian F4 by APR
Not listed: Montoya in 12th place with 81 points after 18 races, with 4.50 APR. Even more disappointingly, his best result so far is P5, while three other full-time Prema team members won at least one race each.
Overall, Minì left the competition far behind, but Jak Crawford’s effort has been remarkable: besides being second by APR , he is 4th in the official standings despite missing two out of six rounds held so far.