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2020 season – deals, drivers, and an orange army

IN less than a month, the 2020 Formula 1 cars will hit the track in Spain for official testing before the commencement of the 22 race season in Australia.

At a press conference in Tel Aviv, Williams announced the signing of Israel’s Roy Nissany as official test driver. Deputy team principal Claire Williams has said that money was not the motivating factor behind the signing but it is unheard of for a team boss to fly to a driver’s home country for a press conference to announce his signing and that not even to a full race seat.

Nissany is scheduled to drive in three free practice sessions this year, in addition to completing one rookie test day during which Israel Start-Up Nation will feature as a sponsor on the 2020 Williams F1 car.

Williams will be bolstered further by the arrival of Canadian driver Nicolas Latifi. Latifi’s sponsor, Lavazza Sofina Foods, owned by the Latifi family, has expanded its deal with Williams.

Alfa Romeo has confirmed Robert Kubica as its reserve driver, alongside a hefty investment from Polish oil company PKN Orlen. The team will now be known as Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen.

Both Ferrari and Red Bull have moved quickly to lock in Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen to long-term contracts, but they’re not ironclad.

Both these drivers would unquestionably have included options to ‘get out of jail’ should things go pear shaped. Anything less than a top three finish, on merit, in the constructor’s standings may trigger their ability to exit their respective teams.

The calendar for 2020 has been pushed to a new record of 22 races.

In April this year, F1 will visit Vietnam for the first time ever for a race to be held in the streets of Hanoi.

A verdict on the circuit can only really be delivered once the F1 cars show up but as a destination Vietnam will certainly be a favourite for fans.

The Dutch Grand Prix, at the Zaandvoort circuit, hosted its last race in 1985.

But it is a new addition to a modern F1 calendar and the circuit has undergone a significant overhaul.

The return of the Dutch circuit has undoubtedly been fuelled by the rising popularity of Max Verstappen and the venue is sure to be wall-to-wall with orange-clad fans as far as the eye can see.

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