Oh dear - it wasn't supposed to be like this.
Charles Leclerc should be driving another nail into Sebastian Vettel's career by now - not driving whilst dressed like a frickin banana. Lando Norris should be getting serious in his second season in Formula 1 - not getting serious by shaving his head whilst giggling like a schoolgirl live on Twitch. Lewis Hamilton should be gearing up to be booed by legions of crazed Dutchmen at Zandvoort this weekend - not marvelling about "less animals being slaughtered for our pleasure" from a five-star resort on the third world island of Bali.
It was all shaping up so well, but the only thing fast about F1 2020 is the way in which it all fell apart.
As far as I can tell, the culprits are a tiny microbe called SARS-CoV-2, governments the world over gleefully shutting down everything fun and/or profitable, a mainstream media contingent trading on public terror and unprecedentedly strong ratings and clicks, and a culture all too prepared to stay home in order to stay super-dooper safe.
The result: Formula 1, at least for now, is dead.
Efforts to get back to racing even with widespread virus testing, social distancing, mandatory face-mask wearing and skeletal race crews and not even a single press-man or spectator in town are being dismissed as "reckless" - because deep, deep down it is obvious to everyone that a deadly sport like Formula 1 will not be compatible with our super-safe post-Covid19 world filled with mandatory vaccines, tracking apps and non-stop applause for 'essential workers'.
Let's face it - we just need to get on with things without dwelling on the fact that Formula 1 is now about as rare as a Steller's Sea Cow. Chin up! What we have instead is arguably better! Let's look on the bright side! You may have just finished your second bottle of wine for the morning, but before getting on Zoom to speak to the unemployment office you could always watch Drive to Survive for a seventh time?
That's the spirit! Daniil Kvyat is beating the boredom with a new Russian mafia-style haircut, Toto Wolff and his boy Lawrence Stroll are doing some internet shopping, and - quite personally - I'd rather watch a Formula 1 driver doing precisely 0kph in his socks than 300kph through Eau Rouge, wouldn't you?
So I'm here to prove to you that Formula 1 has never been this exciting! Here are some of my favourite moments of 2020 so far:
1. Marko's chainsaw
Learning that Dr Helmut Marko's work day runs from 7am to lunchtime before he heads into a Styrian forest for 3 hours with a chainsaw is probably the most personality-appropriate description I've ever heard. And no, I'm not kidding. "I've never been in better shape," said the 76-year-old, who has also found time to organise one or two races for July. Reports that he's working on the coronavirus vaccine (just for fun) are for now unsubstantiated. Well, we all know he prefers the idea of a more traditional cure...
2. Marko's bright idea
Indeed, when Marko - who once popped in a glass eye and shrugged after a particularly nasty shunt - thought it wise to deliberately infect one of the world's most valuable Formula 1 drivers with coronavirus, he just couldn't believe all the fuss it caused. "I was being sarcastic," he said, after consulting with Donald Trump for PR advice. Jeez, Dutch racing drivers really know how to breed scared little girls, don't they?
3. Ferrari's (brain) shutdown
Never one to let an opportunity for golden PR go to waste, Ferrari is being 'molto costruttivo' lately with its budget cap counter-offers. When one team suggested it should be a little lower so that teams can - you know - survive, Ferrari kindly offered to switch off Zoom immediately. When another team made a more palatable counter-offer, Mattia Binotto threw the webcam out of the window. Ottimo lavoro!
4. Hamilton's wisdom
When 14 McLaren team members skulked off into quarantine in Melbourne, Lewis Hamilton screwed up his face and cried: "Why would anyone do that?! Man, I roll with Idris Elba and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau - I'm hitting the town with some indoor rock-climbing and surfing!" He disappeared after that for approximately 14 days for an inexplicable reason (probably just resting), and now he spends his days thanking China for promoting clear skies and veganism (I guess the supermarket in Bali ran out of mince meat or something).
5. Vettel's great offer
So I've managed to exclusively get my hands on the transcript of a recent Zoom sesh between Seb and Mattia Binotto.
Seb: Hey Mattia, can I stay next year?
Seb: Oh wow, cool. So, same terms?
Mattia: Yeah ... pretty much. We'll pay for all - and we mean all - of your economy class flights for the whole year, and we'll guarantee you'll get a pitstop when you need one. Except of course if Charles needs one.
Seb: What a joke!
Mattia: So we have a deal?
Seb: Let me think about it.
So you see? Where once we had speed, now we have Zoom! Scarlet red Ferrari suits? Banana costumes! Ten healthy Formula 1 teams? Welfare! This is no time to get down in the dumps, because I'm pretty sure it's been a while since you watched that classic Sylvester Stallone movie, Driven - am I right? And when was the last time you watched Lando Norris' live sock cam for three hours straight? There's always something fun to do in the new era of Coron-ula 1, so stick with us for another exciting adventure next week.
The opinions expressed are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of F1-Fansite.com, staff or partners.
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