Notable Grand Prix of the 2020 Formula One Season

Picking out some of the highlights of the 2020 season.


The 2020 Formula One season kicked off in July at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix. It proved to be a race of attrition as eight cars failed to finish because of mechanical failures, including the Red Bull of Max Verstappen who was one of the main contenders for the race win. With Verstappen out of the way it seemed as if Mercedes could score an easy one-two victory, however when Alex Albon attempted to overtake Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, Hamilton pushed Albon’s car off the track, which caused it to spin out. The stewards gave Hamilton a five second penalty which Lando Norris took advantage of by securing the fastest lap of the race on the last lap and getting within five seconds of Hamilton, securing his first career podium.  Ultimately Valtteri Bottas won the race for Mercedes with Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Lando Norris of McLaren in the final two podium positions. 

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Norris takes his first podium Photo credit:

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone proved a very memorable race as Nico Hülkenberg replaced Sergio Pérez (who had contracted COVID-19,) at Racing Point, and the hot weather meant that the cars experienced unusually high tire wear.  For most of the race Lewis Hamilton looked dominant. However in the closing stages of the race several cars including Hamilton’s experienced dramatic tire failures. As Hamilton’s front left tire delaminated on the final lap it initially seemed as if his race was over, but he was able to keep his car under control and narrowly beat Max Verstappen to the race victory.  

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Hamilton limping to victory. Credit The Sun. co. UK

The Turkish Grand Prix saw the return of the Istanbul Park track after an absence of nine years and proved to be the championship deciding race. Wet track conditions over the course of the weekend led to an irregular balance of pace allowing the Racing Points of Lance Stroll and Sergio Pérez to secure the first and third grid positions in qualifying. The race itself proved to be chaotic as many drivers spun out on the slippery track surface, including Valtteri Bottas who was the only driver who mathematically could have challenged Lewis Hamilton for the championship. Hamilton however fared much better and won the race starting sixth on the grid in spite of the poor conditions. This was enough for him to secure a seventh world championship equalling the record set by Michael Schumacher. Throughout the race Charles Leclerc performed strongly in a usually uncompetitive Ferrari and was running third on the last lap but an over ambitious overtaking attempt on send place runner Sergio Pérez saw him lock up and run wide, causing him to lose a position to teammate Sebastian Vettel.

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leclerc’s failed last lap lunge. Credit

The penultimate race of the season was the Sakhir Grand Prix held at Bahrain International Circuit using the outer circuit configuration which had yet to be used for a Formula One event. Prior to the race weekend Lewis Hamilton contracted COVID-19, so Mercedes replaced him with George Russell who was driving for Williams (who replaced Russell with Jack Aitken). But that was not all as far as driver changes went as Haas replaced the injured Romain Grosjean with Pietro Fittipaldi. In the race itself a first lap accident took Charles Leclerc, and Max Verstappen out of the running and left Sergio Pérez dead last. This left the Mercedes of Russell and Valtteri Bottas to dominate for most of the race. But a botched double pitstop and then later a puncture for Russell left them well out of contention. This handed the lead to Pérez who had worked his way up from last. Pérez was able to then convert this into a win, a first in 190 race starts and nine years in the sport.

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Perez wins the Sakhir Grand Prix. Photo credit: