How COVID goodwill failed to cease F1’s infighting in 2020

They ‘raced as one’, and drew praise for helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Formula 1 teams couldn’t help themselves when they got back to competition in Austria, as several disputes bubbled under the surface during the 2020 season

As the chequered flag flew at the end of pre-season testing in February, Formula 1 prepared for the opening race in Melbourne with three political battles already brewing. In the space of nine days, controversies had emerged concerning Mercedes, Ferrari and Racing Point that left teams preparing to duel off-track upon touchdown in Australia.

But when not a single car took to the track for the season opener and the COVID-19 pandemic surged, it became clear that F1 had a wider, existential battle that required a level of collaboration rarely seen before in the series’ 70-year history.


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