Oliveira wins the 900th MotoGP race!
Miguel Oliveira on board the Tech3 KTM wins his first ever race in the premier class. The Portuguese, was running in the top five for most of the race, got lucky when front runners Pol Espargaro (KTM) and Jack Miller (Ducati), who were battling each other for the lead in the closing laps of the race, pushed each other wide, giving Oliveira enough room at the final corner to dive past the pair. Oliveira crossed the line ahead of Miller and Espargaro, to be the very first Portuguese to win in MotoGP. The win also gives Miguel the keys to a brand-new BMW M4!
The 2020 Styrian MotoGP was red-flagged on lap 16 after an accident by Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales. The Yamaha lost its brakes as it approached turn one, this left Viñales no other option but to jump off the bike while it was running at around 200 kph; the #12 Yamaha slammed onto the barriers, and immediately bursting into flames. It was a terrifying accident, which Maverick, luckily walked away from.
The title fight now gets a while lot tighter; the top four riders are just separated by 26 points, and, with defending champion Marc Marquez staying out for another 2-3 months to recuperate from his injury, this gives everyone a fair chance to secure the 2020 crown.
Who can stop Hammertime!
We’re just a few weeks away from the opening round of the 2021 Formula 1 season, and the question on everyone one’s mind is, will someone step up and stop Lewis from capturing his 8th Formula 1 World Drivers Championship?
All things being equal, Valtteri Bottas would be in the best position to usurp his teammate at the top of the leaderboard, Valtteri has consistently given Hamilton a difficult time during qualifying, but, suffers immensely during the race. For the Finn to grab his first title, he needs to be consistent all year long, keep his car on the grid, avoid silly mistakes, veer away from useless mind games, and not allow Lewis to drive off in the distance.
Odds of Bottas winning the title: 8/10
Red Bull Racing – Max Verstappen – the Flying Dutchman could also give the 7- time champ problems all season long, Max has the speed, abilities, and confidence needed to take the fight to the Brackley team. We all know that Red Bull, under the brilliant mind of Adrian Newey, can produce an extremely nimble, aero efficient car, the only questionable thing is, the Red Bull Power Unit. With Honda’s imminent departure at the end of the year, the Milton-Keynes team needs to fine tune their Honda power unit to get the most horsepower, and better reliability.
Verstappen winning crown: 8/10
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.– Unless the Maranello team provides their drivers with an adequate challenger, Ferrari won’t be a factor in the title chase; both Sainz and Leclerc have the ability to go wheel to wheel with the Mercs but, if like last season, the scarlet cars are down by 10 or more horsepower to their rivals, Ferrari will remain a decent mid field team.
Sainz or Leclerc winning title: 6/10
Mclaren – The drivers that majority of the fans are excited to see out on track is the pairing of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo; Mclaren finished 3rd in the 2020 season, which was their best points haul in nearly a decade (3rd in 2012 championships with Hamilton and Button at the helm). Zak Brown and the entire Woking team remain optimistic that their drivers can be consistent, and are ready to make a run at the constructors’ title. Mclaren will be using the all-powerful Mercedes power units this year, which will definitely aid Lando and Daniel as they try to win a race or two or more. For Mclaren to return to its glory days, both Norris and Ricciardo have to drive consistently to keep the pressure on the front runners.
Norris or Ricciardo winning championship: 7/10
Aston Martin – the “new kids” on the grid features a good driver combo; four-time champ Sebastian Vettel jumping over from Maranello to guide Canadian Lance Stroll this season. The now British team has the benefit of “acquiring” Mercedes parts and data which has served them well last year. Racing Point, as they were then known, went wheel to wheel against the front runners, producing a number of impressive races, scoring points, multiple podium appearances and even bagging the win at the Sakhir grand prix. Racing point finished just behind Mclaren in the Constructors championship. It would be fantastic to see Vettel stand on the top step of the podium, unfortunately the sentiment in the paddock is that Seb has lost his edge, and with nothing left to prove, the motivation to win his 5th title is in doubt.
Stroll winning title: 3/10 – Vettel winning his 5th crown: 7/10
A large number of F1 fans would indeed want to see Hamilton knocked off his pedestal, but, smart money is on Lewis clinching his 8th World Drivers crown; there’s talk amongst pundits that believe that only Lewis can defeat Lewis. Hamilton needs to keep his foot down, drive smart, stay focused, and not let minor distractions / errors rattle him.
Also, it is widely known that the Briton is still highly motivated to add to his growing trophy cabinet, and, with the regulations remaining basically the same, the Brackley squad are now deep in preparations for another record setting championship title run.
Lewis winning championship: 9/10