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<!– Entweder gibt es keine banner, oder die banner sind deaktiviert oder hier nicht entsprechend eingestellt! –><p>On Sunday (2.10 p.m. CET, live ORF 1, Sky, RTL) a Formula 1 season will come to an end in Abu Dhabi, which seemed to have been decided before it even started. Because of Corona, however, it was a season that started late with a World Cup double in Austria and was driven on unknown or long-unused routes with great entertainment value even without a crowd. Lewis Hamilton raced to an early 7th title win, and Mercedes was unbeatable again.
Originally it should have been 22 races and thus more than ever before. It turned out to be 17. And thus more than was to be expected, because Corona also slowed the “premier class”. It only started four months later than planned and in Spielberg the world was looking at Formula 1, as it was the first global sport in July to start under corona prevention conditions.
If Austria went through the stage without a corona case, even the strictest hygiene protocols could not prevent infected staff and drivers. Nevertheless, the process went almost smoothly in times of global crisis. The Formula 1 makers waived entry fees, improvised and returned to long-avoided routes: Nürburgring, Imola, Istanbul. Mugello and Portimao were brand new. Drivers and fans, even if only a few were allowed to the tracks, raved.
And there were once again new faces on the podium, even on the top step: Pierre Gasly from Alpha Tauri in Monza and Sergio Perez in Bahrain. But in the end there was also an accident that could hardly have been worse. It was a miracle that the Frenchman Romain Grosjean was able to escape the terrible fire crash in Bahrain, in which his Haas was torn apart in the middle and burned brightly, with only slight burns on his hands.
Record world champion Lewis Hamilton had long since won his seventh world title, he also led Mercedes to the seventh team triumph in a row. Hamilton also demoted his team-mate Valtteri Bottas to an extra.
There was only one thing the Briton failed to do because of a forced break in Sakhir after a positive Corona test: to set the 13-win record in one season. At the age of 35, however, Hamilton’s triumphal march does not seem to be over. He wants at least one more title and also continues to use his charisma to lead the fight against racism, for equality and diversity in Formula 1.
While Mick Schumacher, the future Haas driver, is one of the current climbers, compatriot Sebastian Vettel was one of the losers of the 2020 season. The German was booted out early by Ferrari, so the six-year relationship ended gloriously and without a title. “We didn’t achieve the goals we set, but I have no regrets,” said the four-time Formula 1 world champion before his last Ferrari race on Sunday. In the end, Vettel had to be happy to have got a place in the new Aston Martin team for 2021.
Perez has hopes in this direction. The Mexican won his 190th race at Racing Point for the first time and is currently fourth in the World Championship behind Hamilton, Bottas and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull, but will not (yet) have a cockpit next year. 16 regular drivers are worse in the classification than Perez, who also had to sit out two races due to Corona.
Verstappen had the last chance in 2020 to win the title of Vettel’s youngest Formula 1 champion. He failed, although Red Bull had been very confident at the beginning of the year. At the age of 23, the Dutchman has already completed 118 races. After three wins in 2019, he only managed one to the 2020 final, which should have been too little even for the runner-up world title. Team-mate Alexander Albon is a shaky candidate for next year, and Perez is also tipping his cockpit.
Bottas must also be counted among the losers. Although the Finn, who has been driving for Mercedes since 2017, won the season opener in Spielberg, after that he had practically no chance against his team-mate Hamilton. Most recently Bottas was shown for a long time in Sakhir by the short-term Hamilton replacement George Russell. Without the colossal “Reifengau” at Mercedes, the 21-year-old Brit, who usually follows the field in Williams, would have won straight away.