Back during the start of the year, the 10 Formula 1 teams announced the launch of their 2020 cars. Subsequently, pre-season testing got underway in Barcelona and although not much reliable, the results were interesting. Mercedes was on top, turning heads with their DAS system, followed by RedBull. Interestingly though, Ferrari seemed like a midfield and not a top runner this time, with Racing point seemingly having the best car in a tightly stacked midfield followed by Haas, Alfa and Williams.
The teams then assembled in Melbourne in March to kickstart the season and all hell broke loose when a member from McLaren was tested positive for Covid-19.
The Australian Grand Prix was subsequently cancelled and so was the Chinese and Monaco GP while other GPs like Bahrain, Spain, Austria etc. were postponed. The entire world came to a standstill. No one knew if 2020 would witness an F1 season. Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel parted ways. Carlos Sainz Jr moved to Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo replaced him at McLaren.
But, F1 worked relentlessly to bring up a 17 race calendar and a special mention to Chase Carey in that regard, who made it possible. There were some back to back races and the return of some iconic tracks. The season opener went underway in Austria on 5th July 2020 where Valterri Bottas grabbed pole and won a freak race, indicating he might challenge Lewis Hamilton for the title.
The next races in Austria, Hungary saw Lewis Hamilton comfortably win and go on top of the leaderboard. The next event was the British GP. Nico Hulkenberg replaced Checo Perez as the latter was tested positive. It was a boring race until lap 50 where Valterri suffered a puncture and Lewis suffered the same lap later but still managed to win on 3 tyres and Max Verstappen denied a win due to a late stop.
The 70th Anniversary GP saw Max boss around for a win combining brilliant racecraft and superb strategy to start on the Hard tyres. Spain witnessed Lewis back on the top step of the Podium and some extraordinary skills from Sebastian to hold the softs for 37 laps. Belgium was unusually boring and it was Lewis, Valterri and Max the usual top 3.
Then came in Monza. A contender for the best race of 2020 saw Pierre Gasly hold off Carlos Sainz to win an absolutely epic race with Lance Stroll completing the podium after an unusual pit error from Mercedes. Mugello, a new track for F1 was another contender for the best race. Aston Martin signed Sebastian for 2021 and beyond as the most successful team, Scuderia Ferrari celebrated its 1000th GP in another epic race where Alex Albon got his first podium.
Sochi and Valterri sound good together and Valterri indeed delivered a great result in Sochi. Next up was the Iconic Nurburgring which witnessed the Hulkenberg once being a super-sub for an unfit Lance Stroll and the Honey Badger’s comeback to the podium but not the Shoey’s. The historic Portimao was up next and Lewis Hamilton absolutely dominated to become the most successful driver in terms of race wins with 92 surpassing Michael Schumacher’s tally of 91.
Imola, another iconic track witnessed yet another Daniel Ricciardo podium with a double shoey this time, with Lewis Hamilton drinking the juice from the foot as well and Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger looked down from the heaven. Turkey was another best race contender that saw Lewis Hamilton clinch his 7th World title and equal Michael Schumacher’s tally of 7 alongside a pitch-perfect drive from Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez.
Bahrain, up next, witnessed the improvement in safety FIA has done over the years as Romain Grosjean escaped a freak incident of his car breaking into halves and catching fire. Thankfully, Romain escaped with just some minor burns.
Sakhir GP was another best race contender which saw George Russell step in for Lewis Hamilton who was tested positive. It was a race where Sergio Perez displayed an absolute masterclass of F1 driving and won the race, showcasing why he deserved a seat in F1. He was deservingly followed by Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll on the podium. A total heartbreak for George who was denied victory twice due to no fault of his own.
The season finale in Abu Dhabi was an emotional one. Max was ruthless to win the race as this marked the last race for so many drivers with their respective teams. After the season finale, the only question marks were regarding the vacant Redbull seat which was thankfully filled by Sergio Perez and the vacant Mercedes seat which is still vacant. Lewis will in all likelihood not give up that seat and he should not as well. F2 champion Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and Yuki Tsunoda will step into F1 car for Haas, Haas and Alphatauri next year.