Can Williams score a point? Narratives to look out for in the last few races

26-11-2020 17:00
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Can Williams score a point? Narratives to look out for in the last few races

At the last race in Turkey, Lewis Hamilton secured the win to give him his seventh Formula 1 World Championship to take him level with Michael Schumacher. However, now all the main titles have been decided, here are four narratives to look out for between now and the end of the season!

The midfield battle

We'll start with the obvious one. The midfield battle has been arguably the most entertaining bit of competition this season and it is set to rumble on and into the final three races of the season.

Racing Point currently leads the way with 159 points. Sergio Perez's ultimate consistency along with the added bonus of his P2 in Turkey has helped establish a slender five-point lead over their nearest rivals. Although Lance Stroll ultimately struggled in Istanbul despite starting on pole, the Canadian has proved his worth and starred on the podium in Monza with a third-place finish. 

Despite the occasional good race from Lance Stroll, the son of team owner, Lawrence, is yet to string together a consistent set of results and actually sits outside the top ten in the Drivers' Championship. It was always expected to be Racing Point at the front of the midfield, given they effectively had a version of frontrunner's Mercedes' car.

However, they are being pushed all the way by McLaren in particular who by many, are seen to have the weakest car. After a mixed start to the campaign, the team led by Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have really grown into the season. Norris pulled off a podium at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, whilst Carlos Sainz was not far from victory at the Italian Grand Prix, eventually settling for second behind Pierre Gasly. 

Sainz in particular has shown more and more what he is capable of as the season has gone on and now leads his teammate by just one point, 75-74. However, it is this consistency that has seen them pick up enough points to place second in the battle for best of the rest. 

Next is the most improved of the challengers, Renault who are a further 13 points down on McLaren. It is the form of Daniel Ricciardo that has seen them force their way into contention as the Australian has scored two podiums in the last four races. Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon's form hasn't been as good in his first season with the team, his tally of 40 points over half what his teammate has scored.

 
 
 
 
 
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And last up are Ferrari, who have come out of nowhere to remain in with a shot, largely thanks to the form of Charles Leclerc all season, and their third and fourth-place finishes at the Turkish Grand Prix. It is no secret that this has been a far from ideal season for the Scuderia, but they have an opportunity to salvage something from it, which will provide additional motivation for the team. Despite Sebastian Vettel languishing down in 13th with just 33 points (helped massively by his podijm in Turkey), Ferrari have an outside shot at the best of the rest title. 

Why not watch Formula 2?

Despite Formula 1 being the main focus, there's still plenty to play for in the Formula 2 series. Despite F2 having one less race weekend than F1 left, the feeder series actually has one more race than the pinnacle of motorsport. Both events will be held in Bahrain on the same weekend's as Formula 1 but the second weekend will use the outer loop, exactly like their F1 counterparts. 

Mick Schumacher looks set for Formula 1 next season, but the son of Michael still has business in Formula 2 to take care of. The young German leads the way at the top of the standings, with 191 points, 22 in front of his nearest rival, Callut Ilott of Uni-Virtuosi and the Ferrari driver academy. Red Bull academy driver, Yuki Tsunoda is in third and both of these drivers have a lot to race for with potential seats in Formula 1 up for grabs, although it looks like a tougher root for Ilott. 

 
 
 
 
 
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It might be worth taking a look further down the grid, and P6 to be exact, with Nikita Mazepin currently holding that position. The Russian driver has been heavily linked with a drive at F1 team, Haas next season, and he has a large financial backing in the form of his father, Dmitry Mazepin. Although his results for Hitech haven't been at the standard of other drivers on the grid, it might be worth seeing what Mazepin is capable of, if he is set to race at the top table of motorsport next season.

On the British driver front, there is still plenty of interest. Along with title-chasing Callum Ilott, there's former Red Bull academy driver, Dan Ticktum. The controversial Williams academy driver has a race win at Silverstone this season, so he is certainly one to look out for. Jack Aitken recorded back to back podiums at Silverstone 2 this season but he sits in 12th in the standings. 

The 2021 lineup

The 2021 lineup is yet to be completed despite there being only three races left this season. The remaining seats in the pinnacle of motorsport are: Two at Haas, one at Aston Martin, one at Red Bull, one at Mercedes and one at Alpha Tauri. The seats at Aston Martin and Mercedes are expected to filled by Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton respectively, both retaining their seats (shock) from this season.

However, the other seats are a far more complicated situation. A lot depends on where Alex Albon ends up next season. His form this season has left a lot to be desired, which isn't all his fault, and he might be sitting far more comfortably if he hadn't been wiped out by Lewis Hamilton at the opening race of the season in Austria. The most likely replacement, and favourite for Albon's seat at this point, looks to be Sergio Perez. The Mexican has well and truly staked his claim as he is set to leave Racing Point following the arrival of Sebastian Vettel. 

If Albon did leave Red Bull he could find himself back at Alpha Tauri, where he performed admirably to earn his promotion last season. He could replace Daniil Kvyat and race alongside Pierre Gasly, who was linked with a return to Red Bull before confirming his place with their sister team.

However, Yuki Tsunoda is a name that is cropping up more and more frequently in regards to an Alpha Tauri drive. The Japanese driver is third in F2 and recently tested for Red Bull. Whilst Honda have a presence at Red Bull the more likely he is to find himself in the top tier of motorsport. 

That leaves Haas, who currently have both seats up for grabs, with the imminent departures of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Although this one looks more and more set in stone by the day, at the same time the fact it has been rumbling on for so long maybe suggests not all as simple as it seems. 

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have been long reported to be the pair to bring good fortunes back to Haas, but Callum Ilott and Nico Hulkenberg have both been mentioned. Schumacher brings the name and the heritage, whilst Mazepin brings plenty of money, with the backing of his father Dmitry. It would be a fresh looking young lineup at Haas which is the opposite of their current one. If Schumacher turns out to be half as good as his father, then Haas have a serious driver on their hands, but Mazepin is more of a risk in terms of performance and represents a similar move to Williams and Nicholas Latifi. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Callum Ilott can consider himself a little bit unfortunate. The Ferrari academy driver has been in great form, and is only behind Mick Schumacher in the F2 standings. His Ferrari links would have had him well placed, but Formula 1 is so driven by money that it appears this may be what causes him to miss out, no matter how talented he is. Nico Hulkenberg is the other option, which looked more realistic earlier on in the season. The German has shown what he is capable of this year with his step-in performances for Racing Point. 

Can George Russell finally score a point?

Finally, we have Williams and their quest for a point in the 2020 Formula 1 season. We've seen George Russell come close at Mugello with a P11 finish and was on course at Imola before going off course and spinning out behind the safety car. Nicholas Latifi has come second on two ocassions this year, both in Italy, at Monza and Imola respectively. 

The hunt for a point for Russell in particular has been quite the journey. Despite regularly impressing at Williams, the Brit is yet to notch a single point in his two seasons in Formula 1. In 2019 he came close in Germany but it was Robert Kubica who took a sole point from a soaking Hockenheim. And then there was the drama at Imola this season, as he spun behind the safety car, despite appearing well placed to score his first F1 points. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Normally we wouldn't see much of Williams as they are further down the grid, but now the titles are in the hands of Mercedes, hopefully the television cameras can shine the spotlight on Williams and spur them on. 

These narratives are set to rumble on for the next few weeks at least, so despite the Drivers 'and Constructors' Championships being done and dusted, there's still plenty to enjoy when it comes to Formula 1 and Formula 2. 

Check out the Story of the CRAZIEST F1 Season in History HERE!

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