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2020

When we wrote, in early 2010, a satire suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone might improve F1's racing by adding sprinklers to tracks (here ) we didn't expect that a few weeks later he would actually say he thought it was a good idea (but he didn't mention that we'd already put it forward). But the idea gained new impetus with the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix which turned out to be almost a proof of concept - and in doing so produced a race that, visually, looked more like the crazy days of 1970s and 1980s racing before sticky tyres and near-unbreakable downforce turned the sport into an engineering arms race that is at least as important as the driver's skill.

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When we all wrapped up at the end of the 2019 Formula One season, there was the usual end of season feeling: a bit excited, a lot deflated (the Abu Dhabi race does that to me every time - it just doesn't cut it coming after Brazil) and a feeling that the next few months would be punctuated with bits of news from factories, some driver chat and the testing in Barcelona so we northern Europeans get reminded of what sun looks like. And then, it's off to Australia - in reality or virtually - for the season opener that really tells us nothing much about how the season will go and - fun as it is, it's really a shakedown test with points for those that don't shake apart. A huge cock up saw the teams arrive, unpack, set up cars - and then put them all back in the box and go home without a single car doing a lap. Covid-19 had struck and chaos reigned. Until yesterday.

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