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F1 Singpaore Grand Prix 2019, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari strategy

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Ferrari have explained why they pitted Sebastian Vettel first and not Charles Leclerc in the strategy that changed the destination of the Singapore Grand Prix victory.

Team boss Mattia Binotto has also revealed they did consider swapping their drivers positions back after the ‘undercut’ which Vettel benefited from was “more powerful than expected”.

Vettel jumped his race-leading teammate and second-placed Lewis Hamilton when he was brought in on lap 19 for fresh tyres after a cat-and-mouse opening stint among the front runners.

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F1 news 2020, Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, driver line up, 2021, Bottas, Toto Wolff

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Toto Wolff has confirmed that Mercedes will “monitor” Sebastian Vettel’s situation now he is leaving Ferrari and that F1’s world champions cannot yet rule the German out of a 2021 drive.

Vettel’s F1 future beyond this year is hugely uncertain after the four-time champion and Ferrari decided to part ways at the end of the year.

Mercedes are now the only one of F1’s leading teams yet to sign up either of their drivers for next season, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ deals expiring in December.

Hamilton, in particular, is expected to strike a new deal and the prospect of Mercedes teaming the six-time champion with long-time rival Vettel in what would be the most decorated F1 line-up of all time is still considered unlikely.

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F1 2020: Mercedes explain decision to block reverse grid plan, season dates, races, events

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Mercedes blocked a proposal to have reverse-grid qualifying races in Formula One because they felt it was a gimmick that could affect the championship outcome, team boss Toto Wolff said on Wednesday.

The idea was put forward as a way of making back-to-back races at the same circuit less predictable and more entertaining.

Austria’s Red Bull Ring and Britain’s Silverstone circuit are each due to hold two races in July and August respectively as Formula One seeks to make up time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It seems to be a common pattern in Formula One that we’re digging out old ideas that have been analysed thoroughly and rejected,” Wolff told reporters on a Zoom call.

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F1 news 2020, new calendar, schedule, race dates, rules, Grand Prix, latest

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Remarkably, the majority of races will be held in Europe’s countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including Great Britain, Spain and Italy.

The double headers in Austria and Great Britain, while unprecedented, is not the only major change we will see once the racing returns.

No announcement was made on crowds but it is expected that there will be no spectators allowed at circuits until at least September, meaning broadcasters have put more pressure on F1 to find a creative solution to make the races livelier and more of a spectacle.

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