While 2020 may have been a bad year for some, the world of Formula 1 enjoyed a 2020 season full of highs and lows but ultimately, a fantastic year in Formula 1 racing. So, it was only right that such a captivating season was concluded in that same dramatic fashion under the floodlights of the Yas Marina Circuit in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Mega-constructors Mercedes-AMG have enjoyed a race and pole win in Abu Dhabi every year since 2014, but this year was different as Max Verstappen was untouchable on the technical track. A dominant display from the Dutchman in his Red Bull saw him cross the line a full 15 seconds ahead of the Merc duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, both having just recently returned to the wheel after recovering from coronavirus.
The podium place finishers were followed by Alex Albon, who helped Red Bull’s cause with a fourth place finish but generally lacked the pace of his teammate who started in pole to begin with. The Thai driver did well to cross the line just over a second behind the seven time World Champion in third place. Meanwhile, the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz enjoyed a fifth and sixth place finish in their last race together as team mates, at least for now. As Sainz is set to replace Sebastien Vettel alongside Charles Leclerc in Ferrari next season.
This last show of strength was crucial for McLaren as the extra points gained resulted in them taking third place in the constructors’ championship, replacing Racing Point who had a remarkably good season but couldn’t quite deliver after their first and third place success at the inaugural Sakhir Grand Prix a week prior. Last weeks race winner, Sergio Perez endured a gutting conclusion to his 2020 season and possibly his career in F1 as he was forced to retire his car after suffering a transmission issue on only the tenth lap. The Mexican is still without a seat for the coming season.
Daniel Ricciardo put up a fight for his last outing with the Renault team, as the Australian came a strong seventh place and scored extra points for recording the fastest lap around the Yas Marina Circuit. Ricciardo will be making the move to McLaren next year. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly crossed the line in eighth place, while Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon followed for a ninth place finish and a Renault sandwich. Ocon is set to stay with Renault next season, who are transforming into the Alpine F1 team and are welcoming Fernando Alonso back to the sport with them.
The final point taking place was taken by Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, with both Ferraris in the Canadian’s rear view mirror. The Italian Stallions completed the season in sixth place in the constructors championship, the team’s worst result since 1980. Interestingly, next year will see Stroll and Vettel come together as Aston Martin Racing make their entrance to the pinnacle of motorsport in 2021.
The 2020 season was a wild one, and even though the race for the world championship was won ahead of the Middle-Eastern triple header, the last few races provided spectators with heroic displays and heartbreak moments. To mark their success in what has been a condensed and crazy season, Mercedes’ Hamilton and Bottas sent themselves spinning as they delivered a set of donuts for the fans watching at home. However, the night was Verstappen’s and an indication of what can be expected in 2021. For now though, 2020 is done and dusted.
Thank you for following this mad year in Formula 1 on NEWS.MC.
Featured image courtesy of @max33verstappen on Twitter, Verstappen enjoys his victory in the 2020 season finisher