Real Racing Returns
May 1 - NASCAR announced it will return to racing on
May 17. Seven races are scheduled at Darlington
Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, involving their
top three series - Cup, Xfinity & Truck.
NASCAR says it has implemented a comprehensive health
and safety plan. Each event will be run without fans in
NASCAR will run their Coca-Cola 600 in its traditional
Memorial Day spot.
All races will be one-day events. There will be no practice
sessions for any event. There will also be no qualifying,
except for the Coca-Cola 600.
|COVID-19 NUMBERS - MAY 1st
Egos Cost Drivers Points
Don't Leave Ferrari!
May 13 - After five years with Ferrari, 4-time Formula 1
champion Sebastian Vettel has not been able to secure a
contract for next season. Apparently after being one-upped
by his young new teammate last year (Charles Leclerc), he
is no longer in a position to demand #1 status. Apparently
this is a deal breaker for Vettel and he will now have to
look for a new job.
I view this as a big mistake on Vettel's part. Recent history
demonstrates that when successful drivers leave a great
team, their careers decline.
Take Fernando Alonso for example. Coming off two
Championships in a row at Renault, Alonso joined rookie
Lewis Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes in 2007. Though
Alonso finished 3rd in the championship, Alonso was
surpassed in points by the rookie. His position as the #1
driver was in jeopardy. He quit the team and returned to
Renault, only to finish 5th, then 9th, during the next two
While Vettel and Ferrari struggled to catch Mercedes,
Raikkonen was replaced with 2nd-year driver Charles
Leclerc in 2019. Leclerc went on to beat Vettel in the
standings with 2 wins and 7 poles to Vettel's 1 win and 2
So now Vettel, feeling that his #1 status in the team has
come to an end, has chosen to leave Ferrari. Ferrari has
finished 2nd in the championship for the last three years.
Where Vettel will land is unknown, though according to
Formula1.com, Vettel is most likely to show up at either
McLaren or Renault - teams that cannot compete with
Ferrari. There is also the possibility that he won't even race
next year! So unless he can take Valtteri Bottas' job at
Mercedes, he can expect to finish further down in the
standings than what he could have achieved had he checked
his ego and remained at Ferrari.
Alonso moved to Ferrari in 2011 which was a good move.
He had two great years in 2012 & 2013 when he finished
2nd in the championship. However, in 2014, he dropped
to 6th in the standings while only garnering two podium
finishes. Meanwhile, his new teammate, Kimi Räikkönen
out-pointed him and finished 4th in the standings. Ferrari
experienced their first winless season in 21 years. Alonso
gave up on Ferrari, supposedly because he lost faith in their
ability to produce a winning car. He moved to McLaren
and would never see an F1 podium again. It's rarely smart
to leave a team that consistently vies for the championship,
even if your teammate beats you.
4-time champion Sebastian Vettel replaced Alonso at
Ferrari. Räikkönen had relative success with Ferrari over
the next three seasons, getting a win and finishing 3rd in the
championhip in 2017; although Vettel beat him each year.
Unexplained, he left Ferrari and joined Alfa Romeo
(Sauber) for the 2019 season. There, he finished 12th in
the championship. Once again, a driver left a good team
and paid the price.
Some people prefer to be a
big fish in a small pond.
And the First Shall Be Last
May 14 - The street course off the shores of St Petersburg
was supposed to serve as the location for the first race of
the Indycar schedule. At the last moment, the race was
cancelled due to the start of the covid-19 pandemic in the
The race has now been rescheduled for Oct 25th, thus
becoming the last race on the schedule and where the 2020
IndyCar Champion will be crowned.
F1 Silly Season
May 16 - Wow, the first race of the Formula 1 season has
yet to be run (thanks to the pandemic) and the Silly Season
for 2021 has already begun!
Thanks to Sebastian Vettel deciding to leave Ferrari at the
end of this seasaon, teams and drivers are wasting no time
trying to improve their situation for next year.
While we do not yet know what will become of Vettel,
Ferrari has already found a replacement in Carlos Sainz.
As Sainz leaves the McLaren team, McLaren has snapped
up Daniel Ricciardo from the Renault team, of which he'd
just moved, and has yet to even turn a wheel for.
Time will tell whom Renault can get to fill Ricciardo's spot
next year. Some interesting possibilities besides Vettel
include Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg.
Driver Fined in eSports Race
May 25 - As the Covid-19 pandemic has shut down racing
series around the globe, many have been turning to holding
virtual races on-line.
These efforts have been an attempt to satisfy fans and give
the driver's something to do while everyone is stuck at home.
The Formula E series are open-wheel all-electric race cars.
That series cancelled their entire season, and have joined
other in playing video games.
On May 20th, they held a virtual race where it was later
discovered that one of their drivers, Daniel Abt, had hired
an 18-year-old pro sim racer to play the game for him.
That kid, Lorenz Hoerzing, qualified 2nd and came in
3rd in the race! Ha ha! (Abt had not scored any points in
the four e-races previously.)
As you would expect, Abt was disqualified from the race.
However, I was surprised to learn Formula E fined him
€10,000! That is some serious game!
H.S. Graduations Held at IMS
May 30 - With the pandemic preventing the gathering of
graduates across the land, the speedway opened it's doors to
the 2020 grads of Speedway High School where they could
have a spacious and safe outside ceremony.
A line of cars drove into the speedway and the graduates and
their families came up to the finish line of the famous track,
one at a time, where they received their diploma, a
commemorative milk bottle and a photo by an old race car.
In all, 125 students graduated this year.
Speedway High School's mascot is the sparkplug!
This sticker adorned the car above.
Retro Baby Borg Being Created
May 30 - The current Indianapolis 500 trophy was
commissioned by the Borg-Warner Automotive Company
in 1935 and first awarded to Louis Meyer who won the
1936 Indy 500.
There is only one of this giant trophy - no winner actually
owns one, however a bust of their likeness is added to the
Beginning around 30 years ago, a small 14-inch sterling
silver replica have been given to the winner to keep.
Several years later the small trophy, dubbed "the Baby
Borg" was also given to the winning team-owner(s).
Beginning in 2013, Retro Baby Borg trophies have been
created for some winners from years before. Drivers who
have received these retro trophies include Parenlli Jones,
Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt, Jr.
Their likeness from when they won the race is created by
world-renowned sculptor William Behrends of Tryon,
North Carolina. He has created every winning driver's
image on the Borg-Warner Trophy since 1990.
He is currently working on creating a Retro Baby Borg for
Al Unser, Sr., who will receive it in July.
New Rules for 2021 F1
May 27 - The FIA has approved a new, reduced cost cap
for F1 teams and a new sliding scale rule for aerodynamic
testing after a vote of the World Motor Sport Council on
A cost cap had already been agreed by the teams and the
sport's governing body, but after Wednesday's vote the
cap for 2021 will be lowered from the original figure of
$175m per year to $145m, with further reductions in the
The new, reduced cap has been brought in as a response
to the coronvirus pandemic that has delayed the start of
the 2020 F1 season, which has in turn had a serious effect
on the finances of the teams.
The other big announcement from Wednesday's vote
concerns a brand new sliding scale for aerodynamic
development, which is also set to be brought in for 2021.
Under the agreement, the lower a team finishes in the
constructors' championship, the more wind tunnel time it
will be allowed to use to develop the car the following year.
It is hoped the move will allow the field to close up and
prevent the bigger teams from gaining too much of an
advantage over those with less resources.
The FIA has also approved a measure to limit downforce
on the 2021 cars. With key parts of the cars – such as the
chassis and suspension – staying fixed from 2020 to 2021
the new rule means teams will have to trim part of the
floor to reduce the downforce created, largely so a new
tire compound will not be needed for next season, before
a switch to 18 inch tires in 2022.