Vettel, Haas and Zandvoort - Narratives to look out for in the 2020 F1 season #2

09-02-2020 17:20
by Joseph Tyrrell
General
Vettel, Haas and Zandvoort - Narratives to look out for in the 2020 F1 season #2

Last week we looked at the potential storylines involving Alex Albon, Renault and Williams. This week it is the turn of Sebastian Vettel, Haas and the Dutch Grand Prix.

Does Sebastian Vettel still belong at the top?

Six years without a title, coming into 2020 off the back of a very underwhelming season and a teammate who beat him in his maiden F1 season. Is Sebastian Vettel still capable of challenging for a World Championship? 

2019 started with a sense of optimism at Ferrari and for Sebastian Vettel but come lights out at the Australian Grand Prix that had quickly fizzled out. What ensued was a tough season for Ferrari and the Vettel in particular.

The German was denied victory in controversial fashion in Canada, whilst his teammate, Charles Leclerc quickly established himself on a level playing field. He had to watch Leclerc win in Belgium and Italy before he secured a win at the Singapore Grand Prix. However, he finished the season down in fifth in the Drivers' Championship, the thought of a title shot very much a distant memory.

Vettel's contract expires at the end of 2020 so his future in F1 is far from set in stone. If the German wants to stay in the sport beyond 2020 he might just pull out some of his best performances to secure his place at F1's top table. Much will depend on whether Ferrari can supply a car, capable of keeping up with the favourites Mercedes. His battle for Ferrari supremacy might get in the way of his fight for the Drivers' Championship as well with Leclerc on a level playing field.

Can Haas bounce back?

There was plenty of expectation on Haas at the start of last season but their season was rather calamitous as they slipped from pushing from best of the rest to second bottom of the Constructors' Championship.

Many Formula 1 fans were surprised to see both Kevin Magnussen, and more so, Romain Grosjean kept on for next season. They clashed on track on numerous occasions and when Grosjean crashed into the pitlane barrier at Silverstone it looked as if the writing was on the wall. Compiled with the Rich Energy controversy, 2019 was pretty miserable for Haas.

However, 2020 is a fresh slate for 2018's fifth-place constructor. Gene Haas is already hoping their car will bring them back to their form of two years ago. Their race pace was always the big issue in 2019 so any upturn in form will come from improvements in that department. Questions will always remain over the driver lineup, but surely 2020 can't be as bad as 2019?

Will Zandvoort live up to the hype?

May 3rd 2020, Max Verstappen will finally take to Zandvoort for his first-ever home race. 1985 was the last time F1 visited Zandvoort and when it returns to the calendar in 2020 it is sure to be one hell of a spectacle. 

The track is very technical and overtaking is expected to be very difficult despite plenty of work being done to make it suitable for wheel to wheel racing. The Dutch fans can expect Red Bull and Max Verstappen to be contenders come race day with the nature of the track suiting their package. 

However, there are concerns over the suitability of the track let alone whether it will be ready in time.

Will it provide the thrills we're hoping for? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain is it will be a festival of colour!

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