Formulation One’s unprecedented 2020 season is over.
However how did the grid’s drivers fare? We have given every a grade based mostly on their season.
Prime of the category
Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (A+)
But once more, Hamilton has been the star Formulation One this 12 months. His record of achievements in 2020 embody 11 race wins, 10 pole positions and a record-equaling seventh world championship. Hamilton additionally led the game’s cost in shining a lightweight on racism and injustice around the globe. His capability to remain centered and pushed to succeed after so a few years on the prime is admirable and he might now be the best driver of all time.
Max Verstappen – Pink Bull (A)
With none query, Verstappen was the second finest driver of the season and it is turning into fairly clear he may problem Hamilton for a title in stronger equipment. Verstappen claimed spectacular wins at Silverstone and Abu Dhabi in addition to 9 different podiums, simply one of the best return for a non-Mercedes driver.
His efficiency relative to teammate Alex Albon was sensational, besting him in nearly each aggressive session all through the season. Verstappen appears to be bettering from 12 months to 12 months, a scary thought as he is nonetheless simply 23. He solely misses out on an ideal rating after his lack of endurance in Turkey value him an nearly sure third victory of the season.
Sergio Perez – Racing Level (A)
It is an actual disgrace Perez may be leaving Formulation One after undoubtedly producing his finest ever season, which featured his maiden win. His efficiency in Sakhir, through which he went from final to first, was one thing which was a lot deserved and top-of-the-line wins anybody has had lately.
Contemplating Perez additionally missed a few races with COVID-19 earlier within the season, to complete fourth within the drivers’ championship is a exceptional effort. Crew bosses up and down the paddock needs to be taking word.
Pierre Gasly – AlphaTauri (A)
2019 was not a simple 12 months for Gasly, however 2020 has been the exact opposite. The Frenchman impressed with a rare win at Monza in addition to different robust showings in Germany, Portugal and Bahrain. Gasly additionally upped his sport on Saturday, comfortably profitable the AlfaTauri qualifying battle in opposition to teammate Daniil Kvyat, 13-4. If he retains up this customary, it is onerous to see him not making a return to Pink Bull sooner or later.
George Russell – Williams/Mercedes (A-)
Nonetheless but to be outqualified within the Williams, Russell has effectively and really proven he belongs in Formulation One, and that was earlier than his name as much as Mercedes on the penultimate race. On the Bahrain Grand Prix Russell confirmed he has the talent, class and psychological power to not solely combat for wins however probably a world championship down the observe. In that one weekend, he provided greater than Valtteri Bottas did in all the second half of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo – Renault (B+)
Ricciardo exceeded everybody’s expectations this 12 months with some good performances, most notably on the Eifel and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix the place he claimed podium finishes. Ricciardo was additionally capable of finding consistency, which was missing a contact in his first season at Renault, the Australian often out-qualifying Esteban Ocon and managing to attain factors within the ultimate 11 races of the season. For Formulation One and McLaren’s sake, let’s hope he brings it once more in 2021.
Charles Leclerc – Ferrari (B+)
As soon as once more, Leclerc demonstrated his talent in 2020, totally outperforming his extra skilled teammate over the course of the 12 months. To complete the season with a factors haul nearly triple of Sebastian Vettel, in addition to six prime 5 finishes to Vettel’s one, is an unimaginable effort in a Ferrari which is miles off the tempo. The one slight knock on his 12 months had been the errors he made in Italy and Bahrain, but when Ferrari can get its act collectively, we all know he has the standard to ship and combat for wins regularly.
Carlos Sainz – McLaren (B)
He took a short while to get going this 12 months however as soon as Sainz discovered his rhythm he confirmed but once more that he is likely one of the strongest drivers on the grid. Like Leclerc, Sainz failed to totally capitalise on alternatives in Monza (albeit managing a profession finest second place end) and Bahrain, which additionally sees him miss out on the next grade this 12 months. He’ll additionally wish to discover some enchancment in qualifying trim.
Total, 2020 solely enhanced Sainz’s constructive popularity. Now, about that Ferrari in 2021…
Lance Stroll – Racing Level (B-)
There have been many critics of Stroll since he arrived in Formulation One however the younger Canadian deserves huge reward. He has managed to dam out the noise and enhance drastically. He’s now absolutely assured in his capability and it’s exhibiting on observe. Stroll was certainly one of simply two non-Mercedes drivers to take a pole place this 12 months and likewise stood on the rostrum twice.
Stroll very effectively may have scored an A for 2020 had he not endured a disappointing run of races after his first podium and been out-qualified by Racing Level teammate 11-3. However, general, he could be happy together with his season.
Lando Norris – McLaren (B-)
Norris bookended the season with robust performances. He opened in spectacular trend, taking third place and setting the quickest lap within the season-opener in Austria and completed with a snug fifth place in Abu Dhabi. There have been different robust performances all through the season, however a bit extra consistency is what he wants to seek out, significantly in relation to his teammate, going into his third season. If he can try this, he is one other driver who may simply be bumped as much as an A.
Kimi Raikkonen – Alfa Romeo (C-)
It was a fairly uninspiring 12 months from Raikkonen, scoring simply 4 championship factors, although the tempo of the Alfa Romeo at occasions hindered his capability to showcase his class. He can be dissatisfied with the very fact teammate Antonio Giovinazzi scored extra factors finishes than him in 2020. Let’s hope Kimi can return to his finest type subsequent season.
Antonio Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo (C-)
There have been moments all year long the place Govinazzi actually impressed, notably Austria and Germany, nevertheless, like Raikkonen, he typically wasn’t in a position to combat for factors. Probably the most spectacular facet of his season was the very fact he out-qualified Raikkonen, though his extra skilled teammate typically had the higher of him in the course of the races. Giovinazzi has one other shot to indicate what he can do in 202,1 and with a contact extra tempo, may present he belongs.
Want severe enhancements
Esteban Ocon – Renault (D+)
There was loads of pleasure round Ocon’s return to Formulation One, however for a lot of the 12 months he didn’t dwell as much as the hype. His efforts in each qualifying and races had been ceaselessly overshadowed by his teammate Ricciardo. Ocon was out-qualified (15-2) and out-raced (9-3) and easily should enhance subsequent 12 months when he’s pitted in opposition to Fernando Alonso. His shock second place end at Sakhir within the penultimate race was nearly the one factor holding him again from a fail in 2020.
Daniil Kvyat – AlphaTauri (D)
The AlphaTauri proved to be a race-winning automotive in 2020, albeit as soon as, however Kvyat by no means seemed as comfy and succesful as Gasly, not less than till the latter phases of the 12 months. He completed the season with lower than half of Gasly’s factors tally, was comprehensively out-qualified and failed to indicate he has the abilities essential to sooner or later make a return to Pink Bull. It has been very disappointing to see Daniil proceed to trace backwards over the previous few seasons, ever since his demotion.
Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari (D)
Vettel is now not performing on the excessive degree we have turn out to be accustomed to over the previous decade and a half. Whether or not it is extracting the utmost out of the automotive in qualifying, having a clear begin on race day or just making an overtake, the German has let himself down time and time once more.
To spotlight the gulf between Vettel and Leclerc at Ferrari, the four-time world champion was on common 0.757s slower in qualifying periods. His finest streak of factors finishes was two, whereas Leclerc’s was seven. The one factor which saves him from a failure this 12 months is his surprising podium end in Turkey, the only spotlight of an in any other case disappointing 12 months.
Romain Grosjean – Haas (D)
It is nice to see Grosjean wholesome and feeling a lot better following his horrific crash in Bahrain. Sadly, that was the final we noticed of him on observe in 2020, and previous to the accident, his type had been fairly underwhelming. All through the season, Grosjean made far too many errors which resulted in spins or contact with different drivers. It isn’t an enormous shock he will not be persevering with in Formulation One past 2020.
Kevin Magnussen – Haas (D)
Like Grosjean, Magnussen hasn’t had a lot to smile about at Haas in 2020. One level for all the season and simply three prime 14 finishes was extraordinarily disappointing for somebody who has proven to be a much more gifted driver, albeit the shortage of efficiency within the Haas did maintain him again. Magnussen completed the season with extra DNFs than anybody else and can go away Formulation One having not scored a podium since his first race for McLaren in 2014. It is honest to say he by no means fulfilled his potential.
Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes (D-)
It was one other disappointing 12 months for Bottas who does not appear to be in the identical stratosphere as his teammate. Simply two wins in one of the dominant automobiles Formulation One has ever seen, and ending over 120 factors behind Hamilton, even with the world champion lacking a race in Bahrain, highlights the hole between the 2.
Bottas’ effort in Turkey was significantly terrible, spinning on a number of events and ultimately ending 14th. It was an outing which actually summed up his season. He should discover fast enchancment for 2021 if he desires a severe crack at a title and even simply to remain on the payroll at Mercedes.
Alex Albon – Pink Bull (F)
It might be attainable that Albon was promoted too quickly. His spectacular rookie season earned him the decision as much as the senior group however he has been struggling to match his teammate on the entrance of the grid ever since. He has been humiliated in qualifying (0-17) and really completed behind Verstappen in each race the pair each took the chequered flag. Albon typically finds himself in scraps with midfield groups and hasn’t taken the Pink Bull alternative in addition to he ought to have. It is unclear at this stage if he’ll maintain his seat for subsequent season, but when he does, he ought to take into account himself extraordinarily lucky.
Nicholas Latifi – Williams (F)
There have been few highlights this 12 months for Latifi. He was the one driver to fail to attain a single level for the season and was comprehensively outperformed by his teammate in each qualifying and on race day, a lot so it seemed as if Russell was driving a a lot faster automotive. Latifi has a contract for subsequent season however with out some drastic enchancment, it is onerous to see him retaining a spot in Formulation One. It is so simple as that.