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Formula One: The 20 Best Moments of 2020

When you look back at 2020, there was a lot of sporting activities despite the deadly virus. Formula one fans and punters in Betway88 will remember the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix. The event was canceled as fans were queuing at the track entrances before Melbourne’s first practice session.  

As organizers canceled more races, many believed there would be no F1 action in 2020. However, the F1 team worked on how the races could continue while reducing the risk of transmission. The strategy paid off as a new makeshift schedule was drawn, and the season got back on track.  Read on to find out 20 of the best moments of the 2020 Formula 1 season. 

Lando’s podium chase in Austria

The season got off at the Red Bull Ring in July. The race was full of action, but the most memorable was Lando Norris’ performance in the final three laps of the race. He bulldozed his way past the Racing Point of Sergio Perez on the 69th lap. 

He went on to hunt down Lewis Hamilton, who was on a five-second ban for causing the accident with Albon. He finished the race third after penalties were applied. He made it to his first F1 podium. 

Hamilton won the British Grand Prix on three wheels

The British Grand Prix was also full of action. Several punctures made the race more interesting. There was plenty of overtaking by during the race, but Hamilton took the lead from the pole. However, his front left wheel gave way in the final moments of the race. He had to nurse his way around the final half lap with three wheels. 

Hulkenberg made a comeback

Nico Hulkenberg holds an unwanted record of making the most F1 appearances without a podium finish. He left the sport in 2019 after Renault opted to replace him with Estaban Ocon. In 2020, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was hit by Covid-19 on the British Grand Prix eve that ruled him out for two races. Racing Point reached out to Hulkenberg, who answered the call.  Even though he did not make the podium, his remarkable performance saw him climb to 8th. His wait for a podium goes on. 

GP’s 70th Anniversary

The 2020 second Silverstone race was dubbed the 70th anniversary of the Grand Prix. Alfa Romeo’s Guiseppe Farina won the inaugural Grand Prix in 1950. But in 2020, Alfa was not the force they were back then.

Max Verstappen managed his first win of the season after coming really close in the previous week. His pace was boosted by Pirelli’s tire pressure adjustments to take care of the failures witnessed the previous week.

Another Frenchman won the Grand Prix at Monza

The Italian Grand Prix was dramatic. Pierre Gasly emerged from the chaotic scenes and took the lead on lap 29. He never looked back as he headed for the chequered flag.  

Gasly was demoted by Red Bull in 2019 but showed his mettle when he fended off stiff competition from Sainz. His win made him the first Frenchman to win a Grand Prix since Olivier Panis won at Monaco in 1996. The French president acknowledged his achievement by calling him to offer his congratulations. 

The Ferrari marked a significant milestone

Despite the mixed-up calendar, Ferrari entered the 2020 season with 991 entries in the F1. Some astute planning ensured that their 1000th world championship Grand Prix would be held in their backyard at Mugello. 

The event was successful, but Ferrari’s cars only managed 8th and 10th finish. Nevertheless, they marked an important milestone in their F1 exploits.

Albon gets his first podium

Formula 1 fans and punters on Betway88 have been yearning to see Albon get his first podium. Since joining Red Bull in 2019, he has come close severally, but Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t let the Thai Driver achieve that. However, in 2020 at Mugello, he moved past Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo to emerge third. 

Hamilton used his influence to fight racism

The death of American George Floyd sparked a movement dubbed Balck Lives Matter. The worldwide response to the movement resonated well with Lewis Hamilton, who’s had his struggles with racism when he was younger. 

He persuaded the F1 fraternity to take the knee throughout the season. He also chided his fellow drivers for not taking a more vocal stand against racism. Hamilton set up a commission of experts to investigate how motorsport can become a more diverse place. 

Two teams promised to become cooler in 2021

Luca de Meo, former SEAT boss, took over as Renault CEO. He immediately embarked on a rebranding mission. Among his first moves was to pronounce that Renault would be renamed Alpine. Fans will wait to see what the teams have in store for 2021.

Another team, Racing Point, also announced that it would be rebranded as Aston Martin for 2021. This move was made after billionaire Lawrence Stroll joined Aston as Executive Chairman. It will be interesting to see the two rebranded teams competing against McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Alfa Romeo.

Leclerc crushed quail in Portimao

Ferrari’s SF1000 suffered from a lack of power and handling features. Even Sebastian Vettel, a four- time world champion, couldn’t get on top of it. However, Leclerc still managed to produce several remarkable performances. 

The Monegasque driver managed two podium finishes in a car that pundits believe did not deserve to be there. His best performance was the quali lap in Portimao that was perfect. 

Kimi went on an overtaking spree

Kimi Raikkonen put in an entertaining performance in Portugal. He started at P16 and took advantage of other drivers’ struggles to get their tires up to temperature. His opening lap rivaled Ayrton Senna’s fifth-to-first performance in 1993 at Donington.

Kimi maneuvered his way through the field to climb an outstanding 11 places in 15 corners. However, he only finished 11th, missing out on points. 

Hamilton broke some records

At some point, many pundits believed that Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins was impossible to break. However, Hamilton’s performances season after season put him on the brink in 2020. 

His first chance to match the record was at the Russian Grand Prix, but he missed it. The relentless Hamilton was not done yet. Two weeks later, he matched the 91 wins at the Eifel GP at Nurburgring. He did not stop there. He went on to win to push his tally to 95. And he is not done yet!

Ricciardo's podium bet

Since he switched to Renault, Daniel Ricciardo had not featured a lot at the front. At the beginning of the season, he bet with his Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul that he would finish on the podium. 

After coming close three times, he finally made it in Germany to the delight of his boss. The wager was a tattoo of Cyril’s choosing. 

The best overtake 2020 award

F1 does not have a tremendous overtaking reputation. Some purists claim that the DRS is very artificial, and tires cannot be pushed hard enough. Even though some drivers agree, when on the track, they usually put on a show. 

Leclerc on Magnussen, Emilia Romagna GP was arguably the best overtake of 2020. He made an audacious move on the outside of Turn 6 hairpin. This was a move no other driver bothered to try. Which one was yours?

Stroll impressed in Turkey

Lance Stroll gets trolled that his presence on the grid is mainly because of his wallet rather than talent. Perhaps it’s because he is Lawrence Stroll’s son. 

However, he made his mark at the Turkish wet GP. Despite the awful conditions, Stroll held his nerve with a stunning lap in Q3 that was almost five seconds faster than Hamilton could manage. He led in 32 laps out of 58 but eventually finished 9th. 

Hamilton’s 7th title 

Mercedes were having a rough afternoon as Hamilton’s Merc looked stuck behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. But, Hamilton’s genius ensured they left Turkey with a superb win. He swapped his wet tires for intermediates and survived 50 without stopping. He went on to win his 7th world title matching Schumacher’s record. 

George Russell came close twice on his Merc Debut

George Russell had to step up and fill into Hamilton’s “big shoes” after he tested positive for Covid-19. Russell had not scored a single point in two years with Williams. However, F1 commentators and punters on Betway88 believe he is a future champion. 

He put in a spirited fight at the Sakhir GP that showed the world what he could do given a chance. He had numerous challenges to overcome but couldn’t manage a win. But the future looks bright.

Sergio Perez registers first win after 190 attempts

Sergio Perez had a difficult 2020 season. First, he contracted covid-19 and was released by his team in favor of Vettel. Despite the challenges, he kept his head up and grabbed two podium finishes with Racing Point. Later at the Sakhir GP, he overcame competition from Leclerc and Ocon to win 10 seconds clear. 

Sebastian Vettel departs Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel departed Ferrari after claiming that he did not achieve his goal of bringing the world title back to Maranello. But, despite his “failure,” his time at Ferrari is full of memorable moments. 

He gave his helmet to his teammate Charles Leclerc as a gift with a handwritten note. This showed the world the other side of Vettel as a person with a warm heart. 

Grosjean survived a deadly crash

Things at the Bahrain Grand Prix got to a horrifying start when Romain Grosjean tagged Daniil Kvyat during the opening lap. This move sent the Frenchman into a metal barrier at a speed of 137mph. The crash's impact was so big that it ripped the Haas into two and erupted into a humongous fireball. 

Fortunately, he escaped the blaze thanks to his fire retardant race suit and marshals’ quick thinking. Despite being trapped in the fore for about 30 seconds, he escaped with minor burns on his hands and ankle.

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