2020 British Grand Prix – Preview

Lewis Hamilton was at his dominant best at the Hungaroring to claim his eighth Hungarian Grand Prix victory, which equals Michael Schumacher’s record for most race wins at the same Grand Prix, with Schumacher’s eight coming at the French Grand Prix, and now Hamilton, who now has the championship lead, heads back home to his beloved Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom as he aims to join Schumacher as the only two drivers to win three different Grand Prix events at least seven times at the 2020 British Grand Prix, Round Four of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Hamilton (63 points) leads the world championship for Mercedes by five points over his teammate Valtteri Bottas (58 points) after claiming the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix in commanding fashion, claiming a Grand Prix hat-trick (pole position, win, and fastest lap) for the 16th time in his career, and only six behind Schumacher in this department in Formula One history.

However, what is more worrying for the opposition was how the 2020 Mercedes, especially in the hands of Hamilton, was performing through the medium and high speed corners at the Hungaroring, cornering like it was on rails, and the speed difference between Mercedes and everyone else was seemingly back to the good old days of 2014 to 2016, when the Mercedes was consistently one to one and a half seconds faster per lap anything else on the grid in the hands of Hamilton and Nico Rosberg back in those three years, and given the high speed and high downforce characteristics of Silverstone, it is hard to see Mercedes being beaten on merit this weekend, or the next, which will also be held at Silverstone for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

However, Bottas will want to improve his performance after a poor race in Hungary, finishing third after a poor start, dropping to sixth after the opening lap, and in seventh position after five laps after most of the grid had a pit stop to change from intermediate tyres to slick tyres, only getting up into third on Lap 36, and if Hamilton, who had a huge lead, had not pitted for soft tyres in order to try and grab the point for having the fastest lap of the race (which Hamilton successfully achieved), Bottas would have most likely have been the last car on the lead lap at the Hungaroring.

Max Verstappen (33 points) is third in the championship for Red Bull Racing-Honda after a strong second-place finish in Hungary, but it almost never happened after sliding softly into the wall on the lap to the grid, and his team had to rush quickly to get a new front wing, and attempt to fix the small amounts of damage on the car in the minutes before race start.

However, despite the great drive from Verstappen, Red Bull’s car in 2020 is simply not good enough, in comparison to the Mercedes, and it is very hard in their current form to see them winning a lot of races, let alone seriously challenging for the world championship, in 2020.

Lando Norris (26 points) is still fourth in the standings for McLaren-Renault despite finishing 13th in Budapest, while Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon (22 points), and Sergio Pérez (22 points) for Racing Point-BWT Mercedes are fifth and sixth after the opening three races of 2020.

Charles Leclerc (18 points) follows for Ferrari in seventh position in the world championship despite not scoring points in each of the last two races, with Lance Stroll (18 points) for Racing Point-BWT Mercedes, Carlos Sainz Jr. (15 points) for McLaren-Renault, and Leclerc’s current teammate Sebastian Vettel (nine points) completing the Top 10 in the standings.

As far as the Constructors’ Championship is concerned, Mercedes (121 points) are a dominant 66 points ahead of Red Bull Racing-Honda (55 points), with McLaren-Renault (41 points) in third, just ahead of Racing Point-BWT Mercedes (40 points), who have underachieved to a degree so far in 2020 given the potential shown with their car.

Ferrari (27 points) are a very poor fifth in the world championship, and seemingly looking ahead to 2022, when there will a seismic change in the regulations, for their chance to return to glory.

Renault (12 points) are behind the Prancing Horse in sixth, followed by AlphaTauri-Honda (seven points), Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari (two points), and Haas-Ferrari (one point), with Williams-Mercedes (zero points) yet to get off the mark.

So, who is going to win the 2020 British Grand Prix?

Given the form that he has shown at both the Styrian Grand Prix, and the Hungarian Grand Prix, as well as his amazing record at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton is in my mind at close to unbackable to claim his seventh British Grand Prix victory, and although there will be no crowds at Silverstone this year, you feel that Hamilton has got a very special performance in store for his British faithful, who like everyone around the world, have had a very difficult year in some way, shape, or form!

2020 Andalucían GP (MotoGP) – Preview

What a return for grand prix motorcycle racing  in Jerez! It was drama glarore in scorching hot conditions in southern Spain, with Fabio Quartararo grabbing his first MotoGP race victory, becoming the first French rider to win a premier class grand prix since Régis Laconi, who won the 1999 Valencian Grand Prix.

It was also the first race victory for a Yamaha satellite team (non-factory team), and the first race victory for a satellite team for any manufacturer with the exception of Honda, giving Quartararo the perfect start as he looks for his first world championship!

However, it wasn’t the perfect start for six-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez for the Repsol Honda Team, running off the track at Turn 3/4 on Lap Five, falling all the way down to 16th before fighting his way back through the field to be back in third-place by the end of Lap 20, before crashing spectacularly on Lap 22 in one of the greatest Did Not Finish results of all-time, but suffered a fractured humerus in the process to turn the 2020 MotoGP World Championship upside down as we head into the second round of this shortened season, the 2020 Andalucían Grand Prix back at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto.

Quartararo (25 points) leads the championship for Petronas Yamaha SRT by virtue of his first win in MotoGP, and given the injury to Márquez, and the likely prospect of him missing this weekend, as well as the injuries to Cal Crutchlow (wrist) and Álex Rins (shoulder), Quartararo will be one of a number of riders sensing that this is their opportunity to win their first MotoGP World Championship!

Maverick Viñales (20 points), who finished second at the Spanish Grand Prix for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, is another one who will be feeling that 2020 is their year! Viñales decided to go with the soft front tyre (with most of the grid selecting the hard front tyre), and it didn’t quite pay off for the Spaniard, but he will be aiming to get his first race victory of 2020 this weekend to be, at worst, leading the world championship with Quartararo after the opening two races of this shortened season.

Andrea Dovizioso (16 points) will also be hoping 2020 is finally his year after starting this shortened championship by finishing third for the Mission Winnow Ducati Team at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto, the first time he has ever finished on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix in the premier class, and given the fact that he has finished second in the championship standings behind Márquez in each of the last three seasons, you sense 2020 could well be his final chance, if that opportunity hasn’t already passed, to win his first MotoGP World Championship!

And the other rider who I believe can benefit from the changed circumstances of the 2020 world championship is Jack Miller (13 points), who finished just off the podium in fourth for Pramac Racing at the Spanish Grand Prix. I feel like he could very well be the dark-horse of this year’s championship, and has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, and Casey Stoner to become Australia’s fourth premier class world champion.

However, a rider who I don’t think can add to his seven premier class world championships in 2020 is Valentino Rossi, who was almost anonymous throughout the entire Spanish Grand Prix, running only as high as eighth before retiring from the race due to mechanical issues with his bike.

In my mind, his performance at the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix was embarrassing, and I think Rossi should retire at the end of the 2020 season!

So, who do I think is going to win the 2020 Andalucían Grand Prix?

Well, you sense it is wide open, and given that conditions at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto are going to be very similar to what it was last weekend, I expect to see more carnage and drama, and if that is the case, I think whoever is leading the championship after this weekend will be the favourite to win the 2020 MotoGP World Championship!

And with that in mind, I think if Maverick Viñales can put all the pieces of the puzzle together all at the same time, he will win the 2020 Andalucían Grand Prix to take the lead of the championship, and will have the weight of pressure and expectation right on his back!

My 2020 NRL commentary samples (Rounds 1-10)

It has been a strange year, a year unlike any other, with some matches behind closed doors, then the season being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then the game returning with some new and exciting rules, but at last, we are halfway through the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) season, and I want to share with you the commentary samples I have done during 2020 so far!

20 matches in total from Round One through to Round 10 featuring 13 of the 16 clubs at least once, putting in a great amount of research and preparation for each of my calls, as you should be able to see through the photos I have taken to show you my dedication and commitment as I aim for the sky, and continue to chase my dream of becoming a full-time sports commentator!

I hope you enjoy listening back once again to my calls from the opening half of the 2020 NRL season, and see my passion for sport in all of my calls!

 

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/03/12/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-1-parramatta-eels-vs-canterbury-bankstown-bulldogs/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-1-penrith-panthers-vs-sydney-roosters/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-2-brisbane-broncos-vs-south-sydney-rabbitohs/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-2-cronulla-sutherland-sharks-vs-melbourne-storm/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-3-sydney-roosters-vs-south-sydney-rabbitohs/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-3-melbourne-storm-vs-canberra-raiders/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/05/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-4-melbourne-storm-vs-south-sydney-rabbitohs/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/06/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-4-parramatta-eels-vs-manly-warringah-sea-eagles/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-5-parramatta-eels-vs-penrith-panthers/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-5-newcastle-knights-vs-melbourne-storm/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-6-sydney-roosters-vs-parramatta-eels/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-6-canberra-raiders-vs-manly-warringah-sea-eagles/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-7-melbourne-storm-vs-nz-warriors/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-7-parramatta-eels-vs-canberra-raiders/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/07/02/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-8-melbourne-storm-vs-sydney-roosters/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-8-wests-tigers-vs-penrith-panthers/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/07/11/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-9-canberra-raiders-vs-melbourne-storm/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/07/12/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-9-newcastle-knights-vs-parramatta-eels/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-10-sydney-roosters-vs-canberra-raiders/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/my-2020-nrl-commentary-samples-round-10-manly-warringah-sea-eagles-vs-parramatta-eels/

 

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix – Preview

Lewis Hamilton bounced back in magnificent style, claiming his 89th pole position in treacherous conditions by just over 1.2 seconds, before going on to win the inaugural Styrian Grand Prix for Mercedes, the 85th win of his career, his 152nd podium, to move himself within six of Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race victories, and within three of his record of most podiums in Formula One of 155.

However, despite Hamilton’s victory at the Styrian Grand Prix, it is his teammate Valtteri Bottas who leads the championship as we head into the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, Round Three of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Bottas (43 points) leads the world championship by six points over Hamilton (37 points) after finishing second at the Styrian Grand Prix, passing Max Verstappen with about five laps to go to finish 13.719 seconds behind Hamilton.

Lando Norris (26 points) is still third in the standings for McLaren-Renault after finishing an impressive fifth at the Red Bull Ring after starting ninth on the grid after receiving a three-place grid penalty for overtaking under yellow flags in the first practice session.

Charles Leclerc (18 points) is still fourth in the championship for Ferrari, but his second-place finish at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix is now very much a distant memory after colliding at Turn Three on the opening lap with his teammate Sebastian Vettel, forcing both Ferrari’s to retire from the Styrian Grand Prix, the first two retirements of the Styrian Grand Prix.

Right now, Ferrari are not in a good place right now, most likely the fifth-fastest car on the grid, and the updates that they brought to their car last week didn’t seem to work. They will be hoping that they perform much better at the Hungaroring this weekend.

Sergio Pérez (16 points) is a strong fifth in the world championship for Racing Point-BWT Mercedes after finishing sixth in both of the first two races, but you feel like given the speed they have shown during the opening two race weekends that Racing Point-BWT Mercedes should be better-placed than what they are right now, so it is going to be interesting to see if they can take the battle to Mercedes and Red Bull Racing-Honda on a consistent basis throughout the course of 2020.

Max Verstappen (15 points) is up into sixth in the championship for Red Bull Racing-Honda after finishing third behind the two Mercedes at the Red Bull Ring to grab a much-needed 15 points after his retirement at the Austrian Grand Prix.

You feel that this weekend is huge for both Verstappen and Red Bull Racing-Honda in Hungary. If Verstappen is able to win the Hungarian Grand Prix, it could be a three-way fight for the 2020 world championship, but if he finishes behind the two Mercedes again this weekend, then Mercedes could run away with this condensed and shortened world championship!

Behind the Top Six, Carlos Sainz Jr. (13 points) is seventh in the standings for McLaren-Renault, followed by Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon (12 points) in eighth after Albon finished a distant fourth at the Styrian Grand Prix, with Pierre Gasly (six points) for AlphaTauri-Honda, and Lance Stroll (six points) for Racing Point-BWT Mercedes completing the Top 10 in the world championship.

As far as the Constructors’ Championship is concerned, Mercedes (80 points) lead by 41 points over McLaren-Renault (39 points), with Red Bull Racing-Honda (27 points) a further 12 points behind, followed by Racing Point-BWT Mercedes (22 points), Ferrari (19 points), Renault (eight points), AlphaTauri-Honda (seven points), and Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari (two points), with both Williams-Mercedes (zero points), and Haas-Ferrari (zero points) still yet to get off the mark!

So, who is going to win the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix?

Although Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing-Honda produced a great race with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes last year at the Hungaroring, I feel that Red Bull Racing-Honda don’t have the same speed as they had last year, compared to the Mercedes, and I think the master of the Hungaroring, Lewis Hamilton, is going to win the Hungarian Grand Prix for the eighth time!