The 2020 Formula 1 financial year has been incredible in many ways. By its context and its facilities, by its distinctions and its plateau, this season will remain for a very long time, a great vintage.
It was arguably written that Lewis Hamilton would get his seventh world crown in a particular season. Always with panache and envy, each time raising the level of requirement of his single-seater, the British king once again sat on the throne of the discipline. But he didn’t just do that. He made sure to grab everything in his path, such as Schumacher’s record of victories (95 wins), the record of podiums (165 against 155 for the German icon). That the driver has the best car on the grid is a fact, but you still have to know how to tame it.
And in this game, Lewis set out to rally everyone to his cause. Never on the reserve, always in search of performance, the native of Stevenage never releases the pedal. The thirsty for winning is never satisfied and above all (almost) leaves no crumb to his opponents. Even Valtteri Bottas, his teammate at Mercedes, struggled to delude himself. With 11 victories, 10 poles, 14 podiums and 16 top 10 in 16 races (he missed the Sakhir Grand Prix because of a positive Covid-19 test), he remains the undisputed master of the discipline. Despite an engine that has shown signs of weakness recently, he dominates his car and does not suffer from competition with his teammate.
Perez, the good pick from Red Bull
The Finnish n ° 77 looks pale next to it. Despite two victories this season (Spielberg, Sochi) and three podiums, Valterri Bottas completely missed the second part of the season by being dominated by George Russel, the Williams driver who replaced Hamilton for a whole weekend in Bahrain. With him, it is (very) often the same refrain, he is far from the escapements of the Briton but remains a loyal lieutenant. Fortunately for the competitiveness of F1, Max Verstappen, driving Red Bull shows his teeth. During the last round of the season in Abu Dhabi, the Batavian rider clearly established himself as the main thorn in the side of Lewis Hamilton.
It is the first to really show, with the help of a supercharged single-seater with Honda engine, that it can compete with Mercedes. On numerous occasions, moreover, he was often inserted between the two pilots of the German firm. With two coronations on the clock (Silverstone and Abu Dhabi), it’s a safe bet that Verstappen will want more next year, especially since he now has, as a new teammate, Sergio Perez (4th in the standings). The recent winner of the Sakhir Grand Prix, is of a completely different caliber than Alexander Albon who will be confined to the simulator in 2021. Experienced (he has been driving an F1 car since 2011), a master in the art of managing his tires and a fine tactician race, the Mexican was offered a single-seater even more efficient than the Racing Point he was driving this season. His agreement with Verstappen will also be very interesting to observe.
McLaren with forceps, Racing Point disappears
After Mercedes and Red Bull, McLaren-Renault is the third team in the constructors’ ranking. The latter may have two young drivers (Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris) among its ranks, but the understanding has been perfect throughout the season. 6th and 9th respectively in the championship, the Spaniard and the Englishman demonstrated the full extent of their qualities behind the wheel of a powerful single-seater. Lando Norris achieved a podium (3rd) at Spielberg at the start of the season and more than competed with his teammate throughout the season. Revelation of the year 2019, the McLaren driver confirmed all the good that we thought of him. Carlos Sainz for his part, goes to Ferrari to replace Sebastian Vettel. Hoping that he can express himself with a really competitive car. Daniel Ricciardo, who spent two years at Renault (see other article), joined the British team and will be alongside Norris to form the new pair.
Racing Point had its last season in Formula 1. From next year, the team, owned by a group of investors will be replaced by Aston Martin. The British brand is back in the discipline by creating its own team from Racing Point. The executive chairman will be Lance Stroll’s father, Lawrence, who already officiated last year with the pink firm. Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel will be the two drivers of this ambitious team. As you may have noticed, the Ferrari name has not yet been mentioned. The prancing horse brand had a very difficult season in terms of results, finishing in 6th place in the constructors’ standings. A heresy for her and a serious insult to her record. Faced with the German pilot in distress, Charles Leclerc did what he could. The Monegasque was not helped by the big drop in performance of the Ferrari engine but also made two mistakes (Spielberg and Bahrain) which cost the team dearly. The leader of the Ferrari team is not on the top step of the podium but has signed a 2nd and 3rd place (in Austria and Great Britain). He will be keen to do better next year with a better car.
The Russel Revelation
As for the bottom of the class, Alfa-Romeo, Haas and Williams, we wandered like a lost soul. The first team suffered the full brunt of the lack of performance of the Ferrari engine and its two drivers (Giovinazzi and Räikkönen) accumulate only 5 top 10 in 17 races. The American team Haas also lagged behind. Lacking development and innovation, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have suffered this season rather than experienced it. In 2021, Günther Steiner, the team manager at Haas, chose to trust two new drivers: Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. Finally at Williams, George Russel showed the full extent of his talent in a slow car. Eight times, he managed to hoist it up to Q2, that is to say the performance of the British driver. The one who freelance at Mercedes to replace Hamilton, victim of Covid-19 during the Sakhir Grand Prix, could (should) have won his first race if the team had not made a mistake in the pits.
All F1 news