The 2020 FORMULA 1 season was a one of a kind event. Even as the pandemic hurt the chances of having a routine, full-fledged run, what one saw were seventeen interesting and unforgettable races.
In yet another masterful exhibition of Hammertime, there were several other efforts that made the 2020 F1 World Championship a thrilling, even unprecedented affair.
Let’s take a look back at the best moments of the bygone 2020 F1 season!
Forza Sir Lewis!
95 race wins, 165 podiums, 98 poles, 53 fastest laps, all of which have culminated into seven world titles- Lewis Hamilton has a resume plagued with statistical exuberance. But none of it would’ve come to light had guarding it not been superior race craft- right?
The 2020 F1 season was another season where Lewis Hamilton just didn’t put a foot wrong. Heck, he won the championship with still a handful of races to go.
At tracks where he previously hadn’t even set one foot- he won with great ease. You think of the Portuguese GP and you also think of the hat-trick blazed by Hamilton- fastest lap, pole and the race win, of course!
Even in events where it did seem, after all, that Lewis wasn’t going to win, picture the 70th anniversary GP, Hamilton won, albeit on three wheels, thanks to a final lap puncture.
What could so easily have become a heart-shattering moment- a DNF for Hamilton, and that too, at his home event at the incredible Silverstone (the site of the maiden F1 race seven decades back in time)- turned into ecstasy for the man who says Still I Rise.
And that’s what it came down to in the end- Hamilton arose with an amazing seventh title, gaining which he drew level with the great Michael Schumacher.
2021- just another walk in the park? Who knows? Truth is, to beat a driver who, in 2020 won 14 in 17 races will be no walk in the park. But then can beating Lewis Carl Hamilton who stands for “Still I Rise,” ever be any easy?
The man who persisted despite the frustration, the hassle: George Russell
George Russell had in his bag an achievement not many would care about albeit something any young (or rookie) driver, specifically speaking, would love to have: the record of out qualifying his teammate in every single qualifying session.
In fact, thus far, no teammate- and he’s had both Robert Kubica as well as Nicholas Latifi- has been able to outscore Russell in any GP qualifying event. And the number actually stretches to 36 races.
If that’s not crazy, then what is?
I’ll tell you what- crazy is, was, and shall always be that drive at the incredible Sakhir, the electrifying night safari that broke hearts but inspired awe, especially for George Russell fans.
From falling down the order to leading the race to eventually falling back again, before finally keeping his composure to collect 3 vital points- and in the process opening the account- Russell drove an amazing race at Bahrain.
Last Lap Lando and the great drive
It was the maiden race aka the curtain-raiser for 2020 when the determined McLaren driver did something so outlandish rather unexpectedly remarkable.
In the final lap of the season-opener at Austria, having never quite commanded the attention before at Spielberg- but obviusly- it was a Lando style adventure that blitzed the event into something ultra fun.
If anyone ever thought about executing brave overtakes and especially on the final lap, then probably seeing what the young Briton did in the midst of the Styrian hills would only inspire awe.
Seconds from the checkered flag, n Lap 71 (the final lap), Norris got the faster Mercedes-powered Racing Point of Perez, in an ostentatious move that would seal his effort as one of the best of the race’s entirety.
In 2020, on the whole, of the 202 points scored by McLaren scored 97 at the back of the promising youngster’s effort.
No driver in the contemporary annals of the sport has quite experienced the agony and pain as that of Frenchman (Alpha Tauri’s) Pierre Gasly, especially in the past quarter or so of the contingent arriving, at Monza for the Italian GP.
But Pierre Gasly, who’d not even been subjected to a simple smile in the recent months (for such terrible were the challenges he happened to face) made Monza his temple of speed or should one say, the spot of redemption?
In winning a maiden FORMULA 1 grand prix for the first time in his career, an effort in the process of which Gasly stunned those who had questioned his presence. the young Alpha Tauri driver served a record right: never say never in F1!
That pure inspiring moment has to be the pick of 2020 season. And one must also not ignore the hard-fought Sainz’ podium of 2021.
Spare a thought for Romain, Alex
Alex Albon, the rising youngster who was, for the better part of 2020, under immense pressure fighting Max Verstppen (instead of being part of harmless battle from inside the team) as also the remainder of the grid did everything (in his might) to prove a point.
If gathering two podiums, Albon proved his worth as a promising up and coming driver. But what happened next? There’s no place for the Thai-British driver in 2021 as one will now see Perez team up alongside Verstappen in a new bid to challenge the remainder of the cars.
But let’s move onto something different!
The finest piece of news of the 2021 FORMULA 1 season? That we saw Romain Grosjean safely, albeit finally escaping the 2020 Haas holds greater respect than warranted- don’t you think?
For someone who was trolled incessantly, remember the sudden change of public empathy toward the very driver who was- truth be told- called Crashjean?
So what about him?
Was Grosjean the apple of everyone’s eyes prior to the 2020 Sakhir crash? He’s, lest it is forgotten, the man who had already collected to 10 podiums (in the Lotus-Renault stint, driving alongside Kimi)
The exactness of the blow rendered to Haas is €3,750,000 in damages.
Imagine what might have happened had Romain failed to get let of myself.
Mad Max or Maximum Effort: Either way- Verstappen gave it all
Max Verstappen drove a commanding season in that despite knowing he didn’t have the car to challenge the finest driver n the grid- albeit coming desperately close at beating, at least, one of the two Mercedes’- Max was the pillar of strength for the Horner-led side.
In winning two races, one of which came at the Hamilton-land (70th Anniversary GP), Max Verstappen was the lone star of a championship.
He also picked 11 podiums, and had to suffer from 2 DNFs.
But what’s in store ahead should intrigue F1 fans as come 2021- we shall se Verstappen compete alongside Perez.
While efforts such as making a right mess of the tyres in events such as the Turkish GP were too far and few to keep a grudge against the Dutch driver, it must be said, Max pushed when it seemed he’d give up.
But that’s simply not him, right?
While he did finish with 214 points, he all but got Bottas, who once again, finished as the second-best Mercedes driver.
This is when the Finn had begun his 2020 campaign with a bang, in the form of a strong Austrian GP win.
Bwoah, “I mean it’s pretty normal for me!” The old man who beat youngsters here & there!
Kimi Raikkonen, to be 42 in October 2021, finished with 4 points. And that’s all. Not at all exciting or anything worth noting for a driver who once was a FORMULA 1 world champion- isn’t it?
But if you were to actually delve a bit deep- you’d find that Raikkonen, even in managing a haplessly low score managed to emerge ahead of both Haas drivers (Magnussen and Grosjean) and the two Williams’ of Latifi and Russell.
So at a time where many question the credibility of the oldest man on the grid, how is it that the not such a young Finn (who debuted nearly two decades back in the day) was able to beat a fifth of the grid?
And that too, driving a car that was barely drivable.
The C39 Alfa Romeo was akin to a snail that was put on a motor and forced to compete when all amid it were unsparing beasts, so to speak.
Yet, it was Kimi Raikkonen, in an utterly forgettable run for either of the two Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo cars, who managed to take the Hinwill-based team to its first ever Q2 in 2020.
He did so at the 2020 Spanish GP.
In several other races he battled faster cars and kept the nose of the Alfa ahead with sheer skill.
Let’s also not forget that a mammoth first (long) stint at the 2020 race at Imola enabled Kimi to take maximum advantage of the Safety Car, which in the end, led to his second points finish of 2020.
Not too bad for the old man, right? This, after all, was the one who consistently beat a much younger teammate in Italian Antonio Giovinazzi.