Ferrari hits a new low in humbling 2020 season

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Saunders slams Ferrari for double retirement (1:47)

Nate Saunders explains why a double race retirement doesn't help Ferrari's case for staying in the top 3 teams. (1:47)

The Styrian Grand Prix did not quite live up to the wild Austrian Grand Prix held at the same circuit seven days ago, but it still served up a race with plenty of drama.

Ferrari was right in the thick of that drama, with its drivers taking each other out of the race before it had really even started. An entertaining midfield battle followed -- one made spicier in the aftermath of the race, as one team protested the legality of another's car.

Here's a look at the main talking points from the second race of the season.

Vettel and Leclerc collide

The opening lap of the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix felt like the lowest point in Ferrari's recent racing history. It's just not fun watching F1's most famous team at the moment.

We already know the team is set for a difficult and humbling campaign having produced a car which looks more like a midfield contender than part of the 'top three', but this was a step beyond that. However you slice it, this was pure humiliation.

The pair were 10th and 11th on the grid after a mediocre qualifying session but had fallen back in the opening moments of the race into a group including Alfa Romeo, Haas and Alpha Tauri cars. As both approached Turn 3, Leclerc went for a gap which didn't exist on the inside and collided with Vettel. The contact obliterated Vettel's rear wing and damaged Leclerc's front wing - both would retire from the race in the following laps.

Leclerc took full responsibility for what was an incrtedibly clumsy move, ironically a carbon copy of what Vettel tried on McLaren's Carlos Sainz at the same point seven days prior - on that occasion, Vettel spun.

"I apologised," Leclerc said afterwards. "Excuses are not enough in a time like this.

"I did a very bad job today, I let the team down. I can only be sorry even though I let the team down. The team don't need that and I put all the hopes of the team in the bin. I'm very sorry, but it's not enough, again."

It is always good to see a driver front up after an incident like that and it probably made for a slightly less uncomfortable post-race debrief with both drivers, but that is a tiny silver lining from a horrendous weekend in Austria. Bizarrely, despite its drivers being on the same page about the incident, Ferrari cancelled all its post-race press sessions. That's never a good indication about the state of a team.

The podium Leclerc claimed in the crazy Austrian Grand Prix was a nice and unexpected surprise but on the face of raw pace and performance this double header will have set off all kind of alarm bells for the Italian team. Worst of all, the collision denied the team the opportunity to analyse the upgrades it fast-tracked for introduction this weekend. Its first upgrade package had been planned for next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix but its clear lack of pace prompted a change of plans.

There's very little to be excited about if you're a Ferrari fan at the moment.

Last-lap Lando

Lando Norris has been box office over these past two weeks at the Red Bull Ring. Last week he turned in a qualifying-style performance on the last lap to set the time he needed to grab a podium and this week he rose from sixth to fourth. Having past Lance Stroll on the run down to Turn 4, a move Norris set up with his exit from the previous corner, he benefitted from Sergio Perez's collision with Alex Albon in front to catch the Mexican driver on the final corner.

Norris had been very sensible on the penultimate lap, having got alongside Stroll at Turn 4 but keeping away from a collision as the Canadian driver clung on to the position. It shows a tremendous amount of maturity from the man voted 2019's rookie of the year.

It also showed a good turnaround from what had clearly been a frustrating couple of days until that point. Norris had been given a three-place grid penalty for overtaking under yellow flags in practice and had complained of lingering chest pain while in the car, little things which can upset a driver's rhythm over a race weekend.

To the stewards!

If you thought the late McLaren-Racing Point-Renault fight was entertaining, it got a whole lot spicier in the hours following the race. Renault has officially lodged a protest over the legality of Racing Point's car.

Suspicions go all the way back to the day Racing Point unveiled its 2020 car, with many spotting many striking similarities to last year's Mercedes. The 'pink Mercedes' nickname is one may have heard to describe the Racing Point and that's why.

The protest centres around this part of F1's Sporting Regulations, Article 1 of Appendix 6: "A competitor shall, in respect of the Listed Parts to be used in its cars in Formula One, only use Listed Parts which are designed by it."

Technical protests are nothing new in F1 -- Racing Point protested Renault's car at the Japanese Grand Prix last year, for example -- but they often take a while to be properly resolved. Watch this space!

Hamilton in command

Lewis Hamilton lay the foundations for a dominant win on Saturday with his supreme wet-weather performance. After leading into Turn 1 his win looked like a formality and he was in complete control throughout, only giving up the lead when Mercedes extended Valtteri Bottas' opening stint in order to attack Max Verstappen late in the race.

It's remarkable to think its his first win since December 2, at last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"The team did a fantastic job with their strategy," Hamilton said after the race. "I'm so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming. This is a great, great step forward."

"I love back to back [races]! I could do it all season long!"

A messy message

Hamilton raised a fist on the podium, something which has been commonplace since sports returned over past weeks, with athletes keen to show their support to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Hamilton wore a shirt carrying that very message ahead of the race as his drivers came together again to show their commitment to the global fight against racism. This moment ahead of the race caused a stir, with six of the 14 drivers deciding not to kneel, but this time the controversy or the frustration was with how F1's world feed handled the coverage.

While it showed the drivers kneeling for a handful of seconds, it then cut away to some parachutists over the Red Bull Ring -- its quite bizarre to have a pre-race show in front of an empty circuit, but that's another discussion -- when it should have been focusing on what the drivers were doing on the race track. Given the importance of the message, and how serious F1 is about pushing its diversity initiative, it seemed clumsily handled at best.