From the game’s bright future to a familiar name showing no signs of slowing down, and tension at the most historic team to another classic title showing real signs of recovery, we take a look at exactly what this year has taught us concerning Formula 1 at 2020…
1. The kids are alright
It wasn’t that long ago.
In 2012, the grid had no fewer than six world winners using a 14 titles.
However, the strength of this grid is not determined by what has gone before, it is as much about the capacity of what people racing right can achieve in the future.
To that end, it’s an for 2020.
Alongside the world champions of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and established victors Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, there are currently in Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Their battles on track throughout the season were breathtaking, with Austria and Silverstone two examples of brilliant racing between the group.
And a group of rookies who look capable of blending it with them given the ideal machinery has joined them.
While Lando Norris helped the McLaren resurgence alex Albon excelled to gain himself a Red Bull chair and was right from the struggle in Brazil, and George Russell’s stock continues to rise despite the year Williams had.
For Russell and Norris it’s up to their teams to give them chances to fight at the front, but all the signs are for plenty more conflicts between Verstappen and Leclerc, and Albon has his sights set on joining the celebration.
2. Hamilton reveals no signs of slowing
For all of the excitement around the younger generation in Formula 1 now, it’s among the most seasoned drivers who continues to set the standard.
2019 had been Lewis Hamilton season as he wrapped up a sixth drivers’ championship, as soon as he homes in on the record the signs are that he will continue getting better of Michael Schumacher.
As he enters his mid-thirties, hamilton has certainly not lost any of his pace – this can be attested to by his pole position in Abu Dhabi – and more than a decade of experience has helped him find a level of consistency that so many drivers struggle to coincide.
He has risen after getting the better of Vettel in the past couple of years, and it acts as further motivation to keep improving.
The Briton spoke in Abu Dhabi of the way he worked on new techniques and set-ups so as to try and find more functionality within himself after the championship was won, and while he might have a target on his back, he’s also within striking distance of matching the most prosperous driver in F1 history following year.
3. Ferrari have a hard job keeping the lid on
Among the question marks going into the 2019 year was Charles Leclerc was going to deal with the step up to Ferrari – and all the pressure that brings – after only one year in Formula1.
It didn’t take long for him to prove the team made the right choice in putting their faith in the youngster, with rod position in Bahrain looking like it’d result in a maiden victory in only his second Ferrari race before his car let him down.
But in boosting Leclerc, having made the call, Ferrari has given lots of ones that were hard to make in the coming year to itself.
Leclerc has rattled Sebastian Vettel’s cage, after Vettel was highlighted as the motorist Ferrari would back in the early portion of the year given his four drivers’ championship and results for the group.
The group had lots of run-ins, together with Russia, Italy and Brazil the contentious moments as they fought for priority.
While Mercedes possess a meeting that is settled and Red Bull have not had a driver inducing Max Verstappen too much problem this year in the other seat, Ferrari would be the frontrunners who currently have a rivalry that threatens to burst just like Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
4. McLaren are on their way back
Another is enjoying the benefits of placing its faith in a pairing of young prospects as one iconic team confronts the headache of 2 top class drivers onto a collision course.
Rock bottom was hit at by mcLaren 12 months ago, completing the season with an automobile that has been often able to race with Williams, and out of this game – for now – hamstrung by his machines bowing using a world champion.
Fast forward a year and the hard times have set McLaren on a path back and it’s a route they’re currently moving along fast.
The 2019 car was a massive step forward, aided by a new aerodynamic leadership team while McLaren were in transition but nevertheless developed.