The unprecedented Formula 1 season 2020 is over.
But how did the internet users manage that? We each gave a score according to his or her season.
Best in class
Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (A+)
Hamilton has also been a Formula 1 star this year. His record for 2020 includes 11 race victories, 10 pole positions and a record seventh place in the World Championship. Hamilton has also led the sport in highlighting racism and injustice in the world. His ability to stay focused and determined to succeed after so many years at the top is admirable, and he is perhaps the greatest rider of all time today.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Lewis Hamilton won a record seventh world title this year. Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Max Steps – Red Bull (A)
Verstappen was undoubtedly the second best rider of the season and it is becoming increasingly clear that he can challenge Hamilton for the title with stronger machines. Verstappen achieved impressive victories at Silverstone and Abu Dhabi and nine other podium finishes – by far the best comeback for a non-Mercedes rider.
His performance against teammate Alex Albon was sensational and throughout the season he won almost every game. Verstappen seems to get better every year, a scary thought considering he’s only 23 years old. He narrowly missed a perfect score line after his lack of patience cost him an almost certain third victory of the season in Turkey.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Tolga Bozoglu – Pool/Getty Images
Sergio Perez – Gangway (A)
It is a pity that Perez can leave Formula 1 after probably having had the best season in history with his first victory. His performance in Sakhir, which went from last to first place, was well deserved and it was one of the best victories they have achieved in recent years.
Given the fact that Perez also missed a few races earlier in the season with COVID-19, a fourth place in the drivers’ standings is a remarkable achievement. Team leaders, both in the meadows and elsewhere, should keep this in mind.
Pierre Gasly in Alfatauri (A)
2019 was not an easy year for Gasly, but 2020 was just the opposite. The Frenchman impressed with an excellent victory in Monza and other good performances in Germany, Portugal and Bahrain. Ghazli also did better on Saturday, winning his AlphaTauri qualifier against teammate Daniil Kvyat in a crushing 13-4 victory. If he maintains this standard, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t return to Red Bull in the future.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Jennifer Lorenzini – Pool/Getty Images
George Russell to Williams/Mercedes (A-)
Russell, who has not yet qualified for Williams, has already shown that he has a place in F1 and that was for his challenge to Mercedes in the penultimate race. At the Bahrain Grand Prix Russell showed that he has the skills, class and strength not only to fight for victories, but perhaps even to become world champion. He offered more this weekend than Valtteri Bottas in the second half of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo – Renault (B+)
Ricciardo has exceeded expectations this year with brilliant performances, especially in the Eiffel and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix where he took the podium. Ricciardo also found the consistency that he lacked in his first season with Renault, Australian regular Esteban Ocon, and managed to finish in the points in the last 11 races of the season. For the sake of F1 and McLaren, let us hope that he brings it back in 2021.
Charles Leclerc to Ferrari (B+)
In 2020, Leclerc again proved itself by more than outperforming its more experienced teammate in the course of the year. Ending the season with almost three times as many points as Sebastian Vettel and six top five finishes for Vettel is an incredible achievement in a Ferrari that is miles away from the pace. The only small negative point of his year is the mistakes he made in Italy and Bahrain. But when Ferrari merges, we know that it has the quality to fight for victories on a regular basis.
Carlos Sainz in McLaren (B)
It took some time this year, but once Sainz had found his rhythm, he showed again that he is one of the strongest drivers on the grid. Like Leclerc, Sainz failed to seize his chance at Monza (despite finishing second in the standings in his career) and Bahrain, where he also missed a better score this year. He’ll also want to improve his qualifications.
Overall, 2020 has only strengthened Sainz’ positive reputation. So, about the Ferrari in 2021….
Since his arrival in F1, Stroll has been the subject of much criticism, but the young Canadian deserves to be congratulated. He was able to block the noise and significantly improve the situation. He now has full confidence in his abilities, which can be seen on the track. Stroll was one of only two non-Mercedes drivers who took pole position this year, and also finished twice on the podium.
A walk could very well get the A in 2020 if he doesn’t get a disappointing race after his first podium, cut 11-3 by his Racing Point teammate. But in general he can be satisfied with his season.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Lance Stroll led the first half of the Turkish Grand Prix with his first F1 pole position. Mario Renzi – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images.
Lando Norris – McLaren (B-)
Norris has had a season of strong performance. At the season opener in Austria he finished spectacularly in third place, with the best lap. In Abu Dhabi he finished in a comfortable fifth place. He has had other good performances throughout the season, but he needs to be a little more consistent, especially compared to his teammate starting his third season. If he can do that, he’s another driver who can easily be used against A’s.
Kimi Räikkönen – Alfa Romeo (C-)
It was a rather disappointing year for Raikkonen, who scored only four championship points despite not always managing to show his class in the Alfa Romeo. He would be disappointed if his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi would score more points at the finish than in 2020. Let’s hope Kimi can get back in her best shape next season.
Antonio Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo (C-)
There have been times throughout the year when Govinazzi really made an impression, especially in Austria and Germany, but like Raikkonen he often failed in his attempts to score points. The most impressive aspect of his season was the fact that he was able to surpass Raikkonen, although his more experienced teammate was often better than him in the races. Giovinazzi has another chance to show what he’s capable of at 202.1, and if he hits it with more speed, he can show that he has his place.
Requires major improvements
Esteban Ocon – Renault (D+)
Ocon’s return to Formula 1 generated a lot of excitement, but he was unable to sustain the hype for much of the year. His performance in qualifying and racing was often overshadowed by that of his teammate Ricciardo. Ocon had no chance in qualifying (15-2) and in the race (9-3) and should just improve next year when he faces Fernando Alonso. His surprising second place in Sakhir in the penultimate race is about the only thing that kept him from failing in 2020.
Daniil Kvyat in Alfatauri (D)
The AlphaTauri proved itself as a racing car in 2020, if only once, but the Kvyat has never looked as comfortable or capable as the Gasly, at least not before the end of the year. He finished the season with less than half the points of Gasly, was completely overqualified and failed to show that he had the skills to return to Red Bull one day. It’s very sad to see that Daniel’s last seasons have been decreasing since his demotion.
Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari (D)
Vettel no longer rides at the high level we were used to over the past 15 years. Whether it’s about getting the best out of the car during qualifying, a good start on race day or just overtaking, the German driver lets himself go time and time again.
To illustrate the gap between Vettel and Leclerc in Ferrari, the four-time world champion was on average 0.757 seconds slower in qualifying. His best score is two, while Leclerc has a seven. The only thing that prevents him from failing this year is a surprise stage in Turkey, the only highlight of the year, which is also disappointing.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Sebastian Vettel has the strange habit of spinning himself in 2020. Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images.
Romain Grosjean – Hare (D)
It is good to see that Grosjean is healthy and feels much better after his terrible accident in Bahrain. Unfortunately this was the last time we saw him on the track in 2020, and before the accident his shape was quite low. Throughout the season Grosjean made too many mistakes that resulted in spins or contact with other drivers. It’s no big surprise that he won’t be racing in F1 after 2020.
Kevin Magnussen in Haas (D)
Just like Grosjean, Magnussen didn’t have much reason to smile at Haas in 2020. Just one point throughout the season and just three top-14 placings were extremely disappointing for someone who turned out to be a much more talented rider, even though his lack of performance with Haas slowed him down. Magnussen ended the season with more DNF than anyone else and left F1 without a podium since his first race for McLaren in 2014. It’s fair to say he never lived up to his potential.
Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes (D-)
Bottas is disappointing again this year, because he doesn’t seem to be in the same stratosphere as his teammate. Only two victories in one of the most dominant F1 cars of all time and a gap of more than 120 points with Hamilton, although the world champion missed the race in Bahrain, underline the gap between them.
Bottas’ performance in Turkey was particularly bad, where he turned several times to finish in 14th place. It was an outing that summed up his season well. He has to improve quickly between now and 2021 if he really wants to win the title or even stay on the Mercedes payroll.
Alex Albon – Red Bull (F)
Maybe Albon got promoted too fast. His impressive newcomer season earned him a call to the senior team, but since then he has been struggling to get his teammate on the field. He was humiliated in qualifying (0-17) and finished behind Verstappen in every race, with both pairs seeing the chequered flag. Albon is often in midfield and didn’t take the chance with the Red Bull as well as he should have done. It is not yet known if he will take over the next season, but if he does, he should be happy.
Nicholas Latifi to Williams (F)
This year Latifi has had some interesting moments. He’s the only driver who hasn’t scored a single point this season. He was completely surpassed by his teammate, both in qualifying and on race day, so it looked like Russell was driving a much faster car. Latifi has a contract for next season, but without drastic improvements it is difficult to see him maintain a place in F1. It’s as simple as that.
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