‘Formula 1’s marathon season is a junction in history’

But whether it runs to full length or not, it is set to be a momentous year. Britain’s Hamilton starts the year already installed as the most successful racing driver in history. Hamilton and Mercedes dominated last year, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas has not yet proved capable of challenging him consistently over a season and changes to cars have been restricted over the winter. Of those who finished in the top six of the championship last season, only Mercedes have the same two drivers this year as in 2020. Alonso, meanwhile, is back in F1 after two years racing in other categories, driving for the Alpine team, formerly Renault. But F1 undergoes what is no less than a revolution this year, with the introduction of the first budget cap.

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