Formula One 2020 Season Review

23 Dec Charles Leclerc in Paddock Club Monza

F1 2020 Key Talking Points

Driver moves were the dominating trend. There was a frantic frenzy to fill remaining seats for the 2021 season. Young-guns Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin will link up in an all-rookie line-up for Haas in the upcoming season & Yuki Tsunoda will join Alpha Tauri. Sergio Perez was the big mover, with the unlikely switch to Red Bull in place of Alex Albon. Alonso’s return to F1 next season is huge news. The two-time world champion returns after difficult seasons with McLaren, racing for Alpine F1 team in 2021.

Ferrari have had a tough year, but despite this they still got some standout results. Leclerc kept them competitive in the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship, with Vettel joining the fun in Turkey. Sainz will be moving to the Ferrari seat next year, whilst Vettel heads on over to Racing Point to drive under the rebranded Aston Martin Racing.

2020 was a disrupted and challenging season for everyone involved in F1 with the fans arguably the hardest hit. Despite this, Liberty Media and F1 still managed to put on a 17-race calendar, venturing to brand new circuits that haven’t been visited in years. The fact they managed to co-ordinate this and put on a show for fans is a testament to them as a sport.

Hamilton missed out on the Sakhir GP due to a positive Covid test result. It gave George Russell a chance to strut his stuff for Mercedes in an incredible, yet heartbreaking performance. Unfortunately, a dramatic pit-stop blunder caused a huge short-fall. The pit crew bumbled in dismay with a radio error, amounting to two colossal mistakes that cost the youngster an almost guaranteed win. Regardless, the claims of him taking a seat at Mercedes in the future grow louder as the prospect continues to prove himself.

Highs and lows of the 2020 F1 season

The world championship was pretty much sewn up as F1 headed over to the Middle East with Hamilton claiming his seventh World Driver’s Championship title, equaling the great Michael Schumacher. To do just that in an unprecedented season will live long in the memory.

As fans, we were very lucky to have gotten the seventeen races we did, given the challenging climate. As we went into the final races, the battle for P2 and P3 in the driver standings was intense. Verstappen being in with a shot at second is remarkable, given the dominating performances from Mercedes. It highlights his true ability, competing with the best at the top of his game.

We should always expect a bit of late drama in the final races. That’s exactly what Sergio Perez gave us in his first F1 win at the Sakhir GP. The Mexican took us all by surprise, recovering from a first-lap collision to take Mercedes head-on; adding to Russell’s debut dismays to seal a victory. Not just any victory - experiencing the podium for the first time is something he’ll relish and aspire to achieve again in the coming season. 

We shouldn’t take away the fact 2020 presented us with thirteen different drivers on the podium, the most we’ve seen since 2008. Additionally, Silverstone hosted the 70th anniversary race for the British GP which was a sublime spectacle that saw Hamilton limp home in the final lap with a puncture! The Mercs weren’t invincible though, as two missed podiums highlighted possible chinks in their armour and with a cost cap coming into play, could the 2021 season be their undoing?

F1 ventured to new and old circuits. Two brand new circuits, Mugello and Algarve; a new variation with the Bahrain Outer Circuit; and old circuits being revisited in Imola, Nurburgring and Turkey. The new variation was largely commended by fans and drivers due to the unpredictability it created and has led to discussions about potential ‘wild card’ races.

To wrap things up, notable highs include a first pole position for Stroll at the Turkish GP, proving his worth in the much-improved Pink Panthers. Finally, and most importantly, the improved safety measures in F1 were highlighted in the latter part of the season in the aftermath of Grosjean’s accident. The driver halo was much applauded and so to was the speed of the safety team in reacting to the accident, helping the Frenchman out of the blaze within seconds!