Race around Hobbiton & Red Bull's Silverstone ban-GP Blog's Alternate 2020 Season

31-12-2020 19:00
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Race around Hobbiton & Red Bull's Silverstone ban-GP Blog's Alternate 2020 Season

The Formula 1 season of 2020 threw up plenty of drama to say the least. Last-minute driver changes, new tracks and plenty of racing action, it had it all and we couldn't have scripted it better ourselves... Or could we? 

Vettel glory at New Zealand opener

The 2020 Formula 1 season may have been delayed by three months but in July it finally returned and it was Sebastian Vettel's weekend at the New Zealand Grand Prix. New Zealand had dealt with the coronavirus pandemic better than most countries, prompting F1 to start the season in Oceania on a track that featured a temporary section of the lap around the Hobbiton set from the Hobbit movies. 

Sebastian Vettel was forced to start last after an engine issue in Q1 but by the end of lap one he was up to tenth after Daniil Kvyat locked up at turn one out taking both Alfa Romeo drivers and Kevin Magnussen. Vettel continued his surge with a powerful move past Charles Leclerc along the straight outside Frodo's house. 

Lewis Hamilton retired after Bono asked him to allow Valtteri Bottas past, with the Finn setting laps one second faster than the World Champion. Vettel caught Bottas on the last lap to win the race, and during his post-race interview with Martin Brundle, stated his intentions to leave Ferrari at the end of the year and setup his own team. It would be the German's last race in Formula 1 as Ferrari terminated his contract with immediate effect, promoting Callum Ilott. 

Red Bull barred from Silverstone after Mercedes engine debacle

The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix looked to be a positive one for Red Bull as Alex Albon topped every session before qualifying on pole a second faster than Max Verstappen. However, the same evening Honda shocked the motorsport world and confirmed they would be bringing forward their withdrawal from Formula 1 to come into effect immediately. When Verstappen heard the news he fell over in shock, spraining his wrist in the process, ruling him out of the race at Silverstone. 

Red Bull were forced to offer Mark Webber a one-race deal but they still had the issue of not having an engine for the race. Renault refused to cooperate as Cyril Abiteboul left Christian Horner on read, whilst Ferrari and Mercedes were unable to reach an agreement despite lengthy discussions throughout the evening. That left Red Bull with no choice but to try and steal Mercedes' engine after deciding the Ferrari one wasn't good enough. 

However, this backfired horribly, as Christian Horner crept into the Mercedes garage just after midnight, only to be caught red-handed by Toto Wolff who was on stakeout duty in case this situation ever occurred. Red Bull were fined £100,000 and barred from ever competing at Silverstone again, but decided to withdraw from the sport altogether, following their former-engine supplier out of the sport. This left a space on the grid for a new team as GP Blog Racing stepped up, signing Alex Albon and Dan Ticktum. Albon won the race as Verstappen sat at home watching the rest of the year as no team chose to pick him up. 

Marko denies Gasly win at Monza

The Italian Grand Prix gave us one of the moments of the season, but in GP Blog's alternate universe it wasn't so joyous for Pierre Gasly. Gasly was well placed after Charles Leclerc crashed bringing out a red flag, allowing the Alpha Tauri to change tyres without losing any time.  With Lewis Hamilton facing a penalty for entering the pitlane when it was closed and Gasly holding off Carlos Sainz in the closing stages of the race at Monza, it looked as if the Frenchman was on course for a historic win, 12 months on from his nightmare with Red Bull coming to an end. 

However, Helmut Marko, who was never Gasly's biggest fan had other ideas. Marko had already allowed Yuki Tsunoda to test in FP1 that weekend and he decided the Japanese driver was ready for the step-up to the pinnacle of motorsport... Mid-race. Marko jumped on the radios and called for Gasly to pit with just seven laps remaining. Tsunoda was primed and ready to take the wheel and see out the race, but it was a far from smooth pit stop as Gasly got out of his car and threw his steering wheel across the pitlane. Understandably enraged, Gasly stormed off never to be seen in Formula 1 again, seeing out the rest of his career in French karting leagues, before retiring and setting up a motorsport museum in the French Alps.

By the time Tsunoda had started his first lap, Carlos Sainz had already won the Italian Grand Prix and been presented with his trophy. Tsunoda would be replaced by Brendon Hartley for the next race at Mugello, who despite finishing third had a largely underwhelming return to F1.

Mercedes' era of dominance in under three minutes

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