2020 F1 season will go down as one of the worst campaigns for Ferrari in recent history. The Italian manufacturer finished as low as sixth in the drivers’ standings last season – lowest since 1980 in which they finished in tenth.
And matters got worse for Ferrari, with the new regulations delayed until 2022, the Italian company look likely to suffer from a similar type of engine for 2021, leading to another potentially dreadful season.
Although 2020 will go down as Ferrari’s worst season in this century, there were still some good highs in a unique campaign.
Despite speculation of Ferrari suffering an engine downgrade ahead of 2020 season opener in Austria, Charles Leclerc managed to perform miraculously and secure a podium finish for Ferrari and himself, potentially signifying that the Italian company can still challenge for podiums.
He was aided by a few retirements, and a Lewis Hamilton five-second penalty, but Leclerc showed that Ferrari could compete. However, that was one of three podiums for Ferrari throughout 2020 – two for Leclerc and one for Sebastian Vettel – in seventeen races.
Another honourable mention is the Turkish Grand Prix after Vettel secured his first podium of 2020 in third place with Leclerc just slightly behind him in fourth – Ferrari’s best finish across the 2020 season.
…And the Lows
Low points in Ferrari’s 2020 season wasn’t an easy choice, after a series of poor results across the campaign.
However, we stay in Austria for the Italian manufacturer’s lowest point of the season, despite scoring a surprising podium just a week before. After a poor qualifying – both drivers failing to reach Q3 – Ferrari needed a much improvement on Sunday.
Yet, matters got worse for Ferrari, as both drivers collided with each other at turn three after Leclerc tried to an over-ambitious move. Vettel’s rear wing was torn off and Leclerc suffered floor damage, which resulted in both drivers having to retire. It was the first of five events where neither driver was able to score points, a nightmare for a team so used to fighting at the front.
The qualifying battle saw Vettel struggle all year, making only three appearances in the third session throughout 2020 – and even failed to exit Q1 on one occasion. Leclerc was easily victorious in the qualifying battle between the two Ferrari drivers, comfortably beating the German after out-qualifying thirteen times four.
Although the young driver had a much better campaign in qualifying results, Leclerc additionally struggled on a few occasions, suffering six exits in second sessions. Out of the seventeen races, Leclerc managed eleven appearances in the third session, who will be hoping his new team-mate can match his performances on a Saturday in 2021.
Again, the winner in the race battles is obvious if you kept a close eye on Ferrari’s result. Despite massively out-scoring Vettel in the Championship, Leclerc suffered four retirements throughout the season, compared to Vettel’s two, which included the collision between both drivers in Austria.
Similar to the qualifying battle, Leclerc won the race battle as he managed to beat Vettel in ten races, whereas Vettel only beat Leclerc on five occasions. Overall, the young driver outperformed the experienced German and scored the bulk of the points for Ferrari (ninety-eight), whereas Vettel managed thirty-three points – his lowest points tally since his debut season in 2007.
|Round||Leclerc Qualifying||Vettel Qualifying||Leclerc Race||Vettel Race|
What to Look Out for in 2021
In the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Championship, Leclerc will be partnered by Carlos Sainz Jr. at Ferrari, with Vettel moving across to the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team – formerly known as the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team. Next year could be a similar season, struggling to score points and poor qualifying results as Ferrari eagerly wait for the 2022 regulations before competing amongst the frontrunners again.
Hopefully, Sainz can improve on qualifying results compared to Vettel, closing the gap on Leclerc. If he manages this, then we can expect a close and intense battle between the two Ferrari drivers.