WHAT. A. YEAR. Apart from all of the COVID restrictions and not being able to visit races, this season was AMAZING. There was endless action with bold overtakes, massive crashes, and fierce battles throughout the year. And of course, we had some new tracks and some familiar tracks. With drivers testing positive for COVID-19, we’ve seen some familiar faces and some new faces. This year’s midfield battle was tighter than ever, and we’ve seen the drivers fight for best of the rest too. We’ve seen how cruel F1 can be, and how teams like Ferrari can suddenly take such a huge hit. This season of Formula 1 has been so chaotic, and so fun to watch. And here at F1ntastic.com, we’ve picked the Top 10 moments of Formula 1 in 2020.
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#10 = 2020 Styrian Grand Prix – Ferraris Collide On The First Lap
This incident is tied for Number 10 in the Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020. Including this crash may not initially seem like a big thing now, but don’t forget that this was only the 2nd race of 2020. Back then, the F1 world was incredibly shocked when Ferrari was failing so terribly. Most still saw Ferrari as a top team. 2yAt the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix, Ferrari was hoping to get redemption for their nightmares at the season opener.
After a dismal qualifying, Vettel and Leclerc qualified in 10th and 11th respectively. But Leclerc started the race in 14th after receiving a grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat during Qualifying. Vettel didn’t have a good start and went down from 11th to 12th by Turn 1.He was trying to get back up to 11th, but under braking for Turn 3, he was about to lose 12th to Magnussen, when Leclerc dived down the inside of his teammate. Magnussen squeezes Vettel a bit, but as the track narrows, Leclerc ends up with no space.
His left-rear wheel mounts the right-rear wheel of Vettel, which destroyed the German’s rear wing, and considerably damages the left rear of Leclerc’s floor. It takes far too long to replace the rear wing, with 5-10 minutes being the approximate amount of time. Leclerc had floor damage, which is unrepairable, and was dragging across the floor, and subsequently, slowing the Monegasque down.
The Safety Car came out on Lap 1 itself, and both the Ferraris pulled into the pits. Leclerc for a new front wing and a set of Hard tyres, while Vettel retired from the race. As mentioned above, Leclerc had floor damage, which forced him to retire from the race on Lap 4. For the second time in 4 races, Ferrari had hit a double retirement with their drivers colliding. It was a complete disaster for the Prancing Horses, and it was definitely Leclerc’s fault. He shouldn’t have gone for that divebomb. A good thing is that Leclerc accepted that it was his mistake. And Mattia Binotto, Team Principal of Ferrari, decided to move on from the incident.
To read more about the spectacular Styrian Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Styrian Grand Prix Race Review. You better read it well, because I have a strong feeling that it’s going to feature multiples time in the 2020 Top 10 Moments of Formula 1.
#10 = 2020 Belgian Grand Prix – Big Crash At Spa Causes Safety Car
For the 2nd year in a row, Antonio Giovinazzi suffered a MASSIVE crash at the Belgian Grand Prix. In 2019, it happened at Pouhon/ La double-gauche, but in 2020, it happened at the exit of Fagnes. This crash made the 2020 Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 because it was quite a major one. The speed of the crash and the debris that was spewed across the track showed that this was a huge crash, and it’s a great thing that the drivers involved walked away from it. As you can see from the video above, Giovinazzi crashed all by himself. In fact, he even caused George Russell to crash.
It was on Lap 11 of 44 at the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. Giovinazzi was running in P14, and he was struggling to stay ahead of his teammate, who was right behind him. The Italian was visibly slow, and was holding up Raikkonen behind, which triggered orders from Alfa Romeo. Giovinazzi was told multiple times to pick up the pace, because he wasn’t allowing his teammate to try and catch the Ferraris. But at Turn 13 on Lap 11, Giovinazzi took a less-than-ideal racing line through the corner. He went too heavily on the kerb, and when he tried to get on the power, his car just couldn’t take it, and spun before hitting the barriers.
The Alfa Romeo hit the barrier with a lot of force, causing massive damage to the car. As I mentioned earlier, debris spewed across the track. However, there was more. Giovinazzi’s rear-left tire flew off the car and smashed into George Russel’s front-right tire. Russel was trying to avoid the spinning car of Giovinazzi, but since he had no control of his car anymore, he went straight on into the barrier. Luckily, this was at low speed, so there wasn’t too much debris from Russel’s car. However, there was still a massive amount of debris from Giovinazzi’s car, which caused a Safety Car, which changed the dynamic of the race, since the whole field pitter.
For more information on the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Belgian Grand Prix Race Review. Let’s move onto Number 9 of the Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020.
#9 – 2020 Austrian GP & 2020 Styrian GP – Albon Involved In 2 Similar Crashes At the Same Place
At the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, the race was already full of excitement before the last laps of the race. Verstappen retired, Vettel spun, and the Safety Car periods COMPLETELY shook up this race. However, with only 10 laps left in the Grand Prix, a LOT more action was yet to come. On the Safety Car restart, on Lap 61 of 71, Alex Albon was running in P3. Being in a podium place was already amazing, but there was a big risk of losing out to the cars behind. So Albon went for it, around the outside of Lewis Hamilton at Turn 4.
Albon had fresh soft tires, while Hamilton had old hard tires. That means that Albon had MUCH more grip, and should’ve easily overtaken Hamilton. But it wasn’t so easy for him. Hamilton tried to squeeze Albon to the edge of the track to defend his position, but things went horribly wrong. Albon and Hamilton made contact, and Albon went off the track, and onto the gravel, where he spun twice.
It was unbelievably painful for Albon. Just 2 races before this one, Albon and Hamilton had collided in a similar way. He’d missed out on his first podium. At Austria in 2020, he fell so far that he was almost last, and then he retired from the race. Hamilton was awarded a 5-second time penalty for this incident, and 2 points were added to his Super License. This crash was a horrible one, but there was more to come EXACTLY one race later. It was at the EXACT same track, and at the EXACT same corner.
This incident had the entire F1 world at the edges of their seats.
Although it had nothing to do with the race win, there was definitely excitement and action in the last couple of laps of the race. On Lap 70, the penultimate lap of the Styrian GP, Sergio Perez FINALLY decided to try and overtake the Red Bull of Alex Albon. Perez, who ended up replacing Albon at Red Bull for 2021, was trying to get 4th place from the Red Bull. He had the pace, and it was very important to finish for Perez and Racing Point to finish as high as possible because the midfield was proving to be tighter than previous years. So Perez went for the move, down the inside of Turn 4, to overtake Albon. However, things didn’t go so well for Perez, and there were flashbacks all over the place for Albon.
Albon expected Perez to go for the overtake. That’s is why he gave Perez space when the pair were entering Turn 4. But Perez braked too late and took too much of a tight line into Turn 4. However, this next part is where it is hard to tell who made mistake. Perez got on the power for the exit of Turn 4, but he didn’t get on it too early so that he doesn’t make contact with Alex Albon. Albon, however, got on the power early and ran wide a little bit at the exit of the corner. This is why Sergio Perez didn’t take his foot off the throttle in the 2nd phase of the exit of the corner. But then Albon had nowhere to go, and contact became pretty much inevitable.
Perez got some serious wing damage, which ruined his race. However, Alex Albon just survived, and he got very lucky in this situation. He could’ve easily spun or damaged his rear-right tire, but Perez’s race got ruined instead. The flashbacks that Albon must’ve been having would be unbelievable. This is especially because at the Austrian GP, the incident was so costly.
It’d be appalling if these moments didn’t make it in a Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020. Albon’s collisions in the first race of the season were very dramatic and incredibly memorable.
#8 – 2020 Austrian Grand Prix – Lando Norris’s Last-Lap Sprint To The Podium
The 2020 Austrian Grand Prix had one of the tensest last laps EVER. It was just what we needed; I mean, who doesn’t love tense drama in the very first race of the year? Although the last lap was SUPER tense, the race was already full of excitement before the last laps of the race. Verstappen retired, Vettel spun, and the Safety Car periods COMPLETELY shook up this race. However, with only 10 laps left in the Grand Prix, a LOT more action was yet to come. On the Safety Car restary, on Lap 61 of 71, Alex Albon was running in P3. Being in a podium place was already amazing, but there was a big risk of losing out to the midfield cars behind. So Albon went for it, around the outside of Lewis Hamilton at Turn 4.
Albon had fresh soft tires, while Hamilton had old hard tires. That means that Albon had MUCH more grip, and should’ve easily overtaken Hamilton. But it wasn’t so easy for him. Hamilton tried to squeeze Albon to the edge of the track to defend his position, but things went horribly wrong. Albon and Hamilton made contact, and Albon went off the track, and onto the gravel, where he spun twice.
The stewards awarded Hamilton a 5-second time penalty, and 2 points on his Super License, but only the former is relevant right now. That’s because a 5-second penalty allowed any driver(s) behind Hamilton who were within 5 seconds of him to gain a position. So Charles Leclerc, who was running in P3, would get promoted to P2. But the bigger question was, will Lando Norris get promoted from P4 to his very first podium?! And this is where Lando Norris put in the laps of his life.
On Lap 69 of 71, Norris had already made a courageous dive to overtake Perez for P4. Now all he had to do was push like his life depended on it; even though his life didn’t depend on it, his first podium certainly did. As Hamilton entered the final sector on the final lap of the race, the gap between Norris and Hamilton was falling, slowly, but surely. It went from 5.7 second, to 5.3 seconds, to 5.2 seconds, to 5.1 seconds.
And as Bottas crossed the line to win the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, all eyes were on the display on the left, and a few seconds later, all eyes were on Lando Norris’s car. And all of Norris’s relentless pushing and pushing and pushing all came down to 2 tenths of a second, as Lando Norris claimed his very first podium in Formula 1! When he crossed the line, the gap to Hamilton was 4.8 seconds, just 2 tenths of a second less than 5 seconds! The McLaren garage was full of cheers and tears as Norris claimed a well-deserved hard-earned podium. What an amazing way to end the first race of 2020.
For more information on this UNBELIEVABLY exciting season opener, read the F1ntastic 2020 Austrian Grand Prix Review. Lando Norris’s last-lap sprint was incredibly tense and dramatic, which is exactly what a Top 10 moments of Formula 1 post needs.
#7 2020 Turkish Grand Prix – Sergio Perez Races Vettel The Finish Line
At the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, the Ferraris were flying. After a KILLER start to the race, Vettel was running in P3, but a 5.3-second pitstop meant he suddenly fell down the order. As for Vettel’s teammate Leclerc, the Monegasque was always the first in the field to pit for new tires, which was a good strategy, since it allowed him to run in P7. But then, Stroll, Verstappen and Alex Albon all faced problems later in the race, allowing Leclerc to make his way up into P4, while Vettel was in a worldly P3. But after all the chaos that had already happened, the Ferraris weren’t done yet. On Lap 41 of 58, Charles Leclerc used DRS to power past his teammate, and to try and chase Sergio Perez, who was running in P2.
Perez’s tires had barely any life in them, and the Ferraris’ tires were fairly fresh. But there weren’t many laps to go in the race, so the Prancing Horses had to push to catch Perez. And on the very last lap of the race, Leclerc absolutely sent it. It looked like the order was going to be Hamilton, Leclerc, Perez and then Vettel. Until Leclerc made a huge mistake. Leclerc had already passed Perez on the straight. But it looked like the Mexican would fight back, so Leclerc braked really late for Turn 12. However, he locked up his front-right tire, and he threw away that perfectly good podium on the very last lap of the race! And as Perez and Vettel slipped through to take back 2nd and 3rd, but it still wasn’t over!
Since Perez’s tires were so dead, and there were 3 more very tough corners to go, Vettel pushed even harder. As a driver should do, used the advantage of his fresher tires. As Perez and Vettel came out of the final corner on the final lap, Perez got HORRIBLE traction, and Vettel was inches away from the tail of the Racing Point. The battling pair raced to the line, and as Perez went to celebrate his podium, Vettel just missed out on P2. The German lost out by a mere 3 tenths of a second, showing how crazily close that finish was. But still, it was a well-earned and well-deserved first podium of 2020 for him. Such a close finish! That was the best way to end the best race of 2020, as voted by all of you F1 fans.
For more information on the FABULOUS 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Turkish Grand Prix Race Review. The Turkish Grand Prix was INCREDIBLY exciting, and this close finish is definitely worth a Top 10 Moment of Formula 1 in 2020.
#6 – 2020 Styrian Grand Prix – Photo Finish And Overtakes At The Last Corner
The 2020 Styrian Grand Prix had an EXTREMELY thrilling ending. Although it had nothing to do with the race win, there was definitely excitement and action in the last couple of laps of the race. On Lap 70, the penultimate lap of the Styrian GP, Sergio Perez FINALLY decided to try and overtake the Red Bull of Alex Albon. Perez, who ended up replacing Albon at Red Bull for 2021, was trying to get 4th place from the Red Bull. He had the pace, and it was very important to finish for Perez and Racing Point to finish as high as possible because the midfield was proving to be tighter than previous years. So Perez went for the move, down the inside of Turn 4, to overtake Albon. However, things didn’t go so well for Perez.
He braked to late, and he took too much of a tight line into Turn 4. However, this next part is where it is hard to tell who made mistake. Perez got on the power for the exit of Turn 4, but he didn’t get on it too early so that he doesn’t make contact with Alex Albon. Albon, however, got on the power early and ran wide a little bit at the exit of the corner. This is why Sergio Perez didn’t take his foot off of the throttle, and then Albon had nowhere to go, and contact became pretty much inevitable. Perez got some serious wing damage, which ruined his race. However, it looked like he might just keep P5 because the pack of Norris, Ricciardo and Stroll were far behind. Plus, they were battling hard.
Perez was EXTREMELY slow with that broken front wing, but there were so many things in his favour. The laps at Austria are really short, and the Red Bull Ring is barely about corners. It looked like Perez had just about got this P5 in the bag. But his rivals had other plans. Lando Norris was on a charge. On the final lap of the race, which was technically the penultimate lap for him, Norris was running in P8, behind Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll. But then, on the straight leading up to Turn 4, Norris used DRS and the powerful slipstream to overtake Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll at the same time. Norris got past his future teammate at McLaren, but he had to fight to get past Lance Stroll.
The McLaren of Lando Norris went for the move around the outside of the Canadian in the Racing Point at Turn 4. Stroll squeezed Norris to the very edge of the track at the exit. Norris tried to fight back, but he decided to wait until the next lap. The final lap of the race. Norris was climbing the hill with DRS open, he was right behind Lance Stroll as they went through the kink of Turn 2, and down into the braking zone of Turn 3, Norris went for it around the outside.
The Briton broke too late and he locked up his front-right tire, and Stroll slipped back through, but Norris had DRS down the next straight. He was right on Stroll’s tail, and he got good traction, he opened DRS, Stroll defended the inside, yet just had too much speed with DRS. And Lando Norris had just made his way up into P6, but there was a lot more to come.
On the last lap, Perez was going so slow, but Lando Norris was FLYING, and as Perez came through the penultimate corner, Norris was right behind him! Perez ran wide, and as the McLaren pulled alongside the Racing Point! Norris breezed past Perez down the inside of the final corner! What a finish! But THERE WAS MORE!!! As Perez got a horrible exit off of the final corner, Stroll and Ricciardo opened DRS, and they both pulled alongside Perez. Stroll went to the inside to cover off Ricciardo, but the finish line came too soon for both of them!
Sergio Perez finished only 0.066s ahead of teammate Lance Stroll, and beat Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo to the line by only 0.138s, making it a three-way photo finish! WOW!!!
For more information on this AMAZING inaugural Styrian GP, check out the F1ntastic 2020 Styrian Grand Prix Race Review. Although not many people paid much attention to this photo finish, I feel it is certainly worth being part of this post. I mean, what kind of photo finish wouldn’t be worth being part of a ‘Top 10 moments of Formula 1’ post?
#5 – 2020 Italian Grand Prix – Pierre Gasly’s Sprint Holds Off Sainz For Maiden Victory
How’s that for excitement?! Gasly won his first race in F1! I’m sure the whole F1 world will agree with me when I say that the Italian Grand Prix was almost the most exciting race of 2020. For the first time since the beginning of 2020, the driver that took the top step was neither a Mercedes driver nor Verstappen. Everyone wanted a race like this, where Mercedes’ dominance came to an end, and that’s exactly what happened at the Italian Grand Prix.
The last time the AlphaTauri won a race was when Sebastian Vettel did a masterclass in the rain at the 2008 Italian GP when the team was Torro Rosso. And look at Vettel now! He’s a 4-time world champion! Surely Gasly’s thinking about that! Also, the last time a French driver won a race in Formula 1 was in 1996 when Olivier Panis won in Monaco. That was 24 years ago, on the 19th of May 1996. Pierre Gasly was born on the 7th of February that very same year, meaning he was only 3 months old when a French F1 driver won a Grand Prix. Isn’t that insane! That must have made Gasly feel even more proud of his race win!
Several different factors came into play that allowed Pierre Gasly to claim victory at Monza. All of these parts of the race were connected, and they all happened in a certain order. 2 initial incidents allowed Pierre Gasly to win this race. The first was Magnussen’s retirement. Some problem occurred in Magnussen’s power unit that forced him to retire from the race. On Lap 19, the Haas was coming out of Parabolica.
Then, something stopped working within Magnussen’s Power Unit, and he pulled over to the side of the track at a marshal post. Those marshals could push the car into the pitlane. So that they could do that safely, the stewards deployed the Safety Car and closed the pitlane. However, on Lap 19, Gasly pitted just seconds after Magnussen’s car stopped. The pitlane was not closed at that moment, so Gasly’s stop was legal. This is where Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi made a mistake. They both came into the pitlane and received 10-second stop-go penalties. Giovinazzi served his penalty when the green flags came out on Lap 24. However, all eyes were on Gasly. Since Gasly pitted before everybody else, he jumped a whole lot of the field and was up in P3.
The green-flag running was short-lived, for Charles Leclerc suffered a massive crash at Parabolica on Lap 25. He lost control of the rear end of the car at the final corner. The Monegasque ran over the gravel trap at incredibly high speeds and crashed straight into the tire barrier. The crash was quite worrying, and Leclerc did speak of ‘a bit of pain here and there’ after the race, but overall, he’s ok and is happy to walk away from the car without any major issues. However, there were issues with the barriers. The impact of the crash destroyed the tire barriers, and so the riggers had to repair the barriers. This caused a red flag, meaning the race was stopped.
This was incredibly beneficial to Gasly. Gasly was already in P3, and at the race restart, Stroll’s bad start brought Gasly up into 2nd. When Hamilton came into the pits for his penalty, he went down the order to last place, and Gasly was in the race lead for the first time in his Formula 1 career. This is now the part of the race where Gasly’s driving skills come in. Until now, incidents in the race put Gasly forward through the field. But when there were only 10 laps to go in the race, Gasly’s tires were wearing out fast. On Lap 34 of 53, Sainz took P2 from Raikkonen into Turn 1. Then by Lap 43, Gasly’s tires were screaming for help. At the same time, Sainz had enough life in his tires to push hard.
By around Lap 51 or the penultimate lap, Lap 52, Sainz was within 1 second of Gasly. Gasly’s engineer told him to push, and that’s exactly what he did. Sainz was closing up to Gasly like crazy, but then Sainz started facing problems. Sainz was getting a lot of dirty air from Gasly, meaning he had less downforce. Less downforce means Sainz is slower under braking and at the exits of the corners. Sainz was still gaining time on the straights from DRS, but he couldn’t overtake Gasly. Gasly managed his problems and managed the tires, and used Sainz’s disadvantage of dirty air to come across the line and secure a truly historic victory.
The F1 world applauded Pierre Gasly this race, and many drivers congratulated and praised Gasly for capturing his maiden F1 victory. This race was just what F1 needed; there was loads of excitement, with the first Red Flag in a race since the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. For the first time since the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix, there was not a single Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull driver on the podium. Pierre Gasly’s hard-fought maiden win in F1 will not be forgotten, and it was truly worth being part of the Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020.
For more information on the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, check out the F1ntastic 2020 Italian Grand Prix Race Review.
BONUS – 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix -Mercedes’ Nightmares Turn The Race Around
Even though technically I already added a bonus part at the beginning of this post, I just HAD to bring up the Mercedes drama at the Sakhir Grand Prix. What would a Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 post be if I didn’t mention Mercedes’ woes at Bahrain? So let’s get into this bonus section!
Up until Lap 62 of the total 87 laps in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, everything was looking great for Mercedes. They had a comfortable 1-2 with George Russell in the lead, after Russell overtook Bottas into Turn 1 at the race start. However, Jack Aitken, Russell’s replacement at Williams, made a mistake at the final corner. He ran wide and half-spun and lost his front wing after lightly hitting the barrier. Both the Mercs were on the hard tires and were trying to stretch them to the end of the race. However, these tires barely had any grip left in them.
Aitken’s crash saw debris and a broken front wing spewed across the track, so Race Control deployed the Safety Car. Mercedes used this as an opportunity to bring both the cars in to pit for the medium tires. This double-stack was a disaster. Russell had a slow pitstop of around 5.3 seconds, and because of a problem with the front-left wheel gun. For Bottas, it was 5 times worse. Literally, his pitstop took 27.4 seconds. There were 2 problems here. First of all, the medium tires that the pit crew were putting on Bottas’s car were the wrong set. Because of the double-stack, the pit crew mixed up Russell’s tires with Bottas’s. On top of that, the front-left wheel gun had some issues, and Bottas’s brakes were on fire. It was appalling how Mercedes’ race unravelled the way it did.
Russell had to pit again on Lap 63 to get rid of Bottas’s mediums and switch to his tires. The mix-up didn’t cost Russell any points, but Mercedes were fined. Despite these pitstop issues, Bottas and Russell were in P4 and P5 respectively when the Safety Car period ended. The SC period ended on Lap 69, and Russell had remarkable pace, making his way to 2nd place by Lap 73, after making incredible overtakes on Bottas, Stroll and Ocon.
Russell was on a charge, and if the race win wasn’t taken away from him the 2nd time, the Briton would’ve surely overtaken Sergio Perez for the win. A rear-left puncture meant that Russell had to pit for a set of used soft tires. He finished the race in a lowly 9th, and he got the fastest lap of the race, meaning he only got 3 points in Sakhir. Bottas finished in 8th, around 2.8 seconds ahead of Russell.
The Netflix Curse – And How This Race Proved It
The Netflix curse. It’s haunted Mercedes ever since Netflix filmed them at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Formula 1: Drive To Survive is a Netflix documentary series/docuseries that gives viewers exclusive access behind the scenes. This series is extremely popular because it gives viewers a chance to see the other half of the Formula 1 world. So far, this series has 2 seasons, covering the 2018 and 2019 seasons of Formula 1. In Season 1, only Mercedes and Ferrari didn’t give access to Netflix. However, in Season 2, Mercedes and Ferrari also granted access to Netflix for filming them.
At the 2019 German Grand Prix, in front of Netflix, Mercedes had a DISASTER. Lewis Hamilton crashed an had a horrific pitstop and finished the race in an embarrassing P11. His teammate Valterri Bottas made a mistake at Turn 1 and crashed out of the race, making that race a race nobody will ever forget. All of this embarrassment and pain happened in front of Netflix, and the Netflix curse was born.
At the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, the entire F1 world was praying that Mercedes had a good race. Netflix was filming them again, and it was especially important that Mercedes got redemption, since it was George Russell behind the wheel instead of Lewis Hamilton. Everyone was cheering Russell on because he showed his talent, and he truly deserved a race win at Sakhir. Qualifying was a breeze for Mercedes; they managed a front-row lockout, with Bottas on pole. It was very close between Bottas, Russell, and Verstappen in P3. Verstappen’s lap time in Q3 was only 0.056s behind Bottas’s, while Russell missed out on pole by just 0.026s. Everyone thought that the Netflix curse had left and that Mercedes were in the clear. But the reality was the complete opposite, as we found out earlier in the post.
For more information on the Netflix curse and Mercedes’ woes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix Race Review. Now, let’s take a look at Number 3 in the Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020.
#4 – 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix – Dramatic Lap 1 Crash and Alfa Romeo Spins
Sergio Perez was part of a crash involving 3 cars on the opening lap of this race. The Mexican was running in P4, and the cars were coming up the 2nd straight. Perez was trying to go around the outside, and he was ready to make a double-overtake on Bottas and Verstappen when they were all coming into Turn 4. He overtook Verstappen, but he decided to be patient with Bottas. He was looking to make the move for P2 in the outer section of the track. However, things went horribly wrong in the span of a couple of seconds. Behind Perez, Verstappen broke early for Turn 4 so that he didn’t cause any collisions.
Charles Leclerc, who was in P5, saw this and decided to brake late into Turn 4 in order to get past Verstappen. But the Monegasque overcooked it. He locked up his front right tire, meaning he couldn’t turn in for Turn 4. The Monegasque went straight on and hit Sergio Perez. It was even worse for Perez because he was trying to turn in and take a tighter line for Turn 5 to overtake Bottas into the chicane of the Outer Track. This meant that Leclerc had no way of avoiding Perez. It wasn’t Checo’s fault, since you can’t really anticipate that Leclerc would make a huge divebomb and then lock up.
The Safety Car was deployed since both Leclerc and Verstappen crashed into the barriers at Turn 4. Since Leclerc hit Perez so badly, Racing Point brought him in for a pitstop onto the medium tires. This opening crash played a huge part in this race, and it was the beginning of Sergio Perez’s fightback from Last to First at the Sakhir GP.
Seconds before this crash at Turn 4, there was a heart-stopping spin further down the field. At the same place that Romain Grosjean went off track and had that massive crash, Kimi Raikonnen spun in his Alfa Romeo. As I mentioned earlier, this was on Lap 1, so the field was very crowded. Raikkonen ran wide at the exit of Turn 2, so he rode the kerb very heavily at Turn 3. This caused him to lose control of his car and spin. Luckily, the spin wasn’t too bad, but its location and the smoke from the tires caused quite a few gasps. It was a small spin, but all eyes turned to the Leclerc and Verstappen crashing out of the race.
For more information on the dramatic first lap and Sergio Perez’s FANTASTIC fightback at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix Race Review. It’s time to take a look at Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic last-lap limp at the British GP.
#3 – 2020 British Grand Prix – Hamilton’s Dramatic Last-Lap Limp To The Win
Lewis Hamilton had a heart-stopping last lap at the 2020 British Grand Prix. He was speeding away towards his 7th home GP victory, when on the last lap, his front-left tire lost all of the tire pressure, meaning it punctured. Lewis Hamilton limped through the last sector of the Silverstone Circuit, hoping and praying that his car wouldn’t give up on him more than it already did. Hamilton was hoping that that final lap would end as quickly as possible and that he wouldn’t have to suffer more. Max Verstappen was 30 seconds away, a big gap, but was it big enough for Hamilton to win? And then finally, the Briton limped around the final corner to win the 2020 British Grand Prix, and what a race that was. Let’s look into how this puncture happened.
At the Britsh Grand Prix, everyone pitted on Lap 12 and Lap 13 when the Safety Car was out. When there is a Safety Car, you lose 10 seconds in the pit stops. When you are under green flag conditions, and everyone is racing at full pace, you lose around 20 seconds in the pit stops. This is exactly why all the drivers came in for their pit stops, except for the Haas of Romain Grosjean. The British Grand Prix is a 52-lap race, meaning that drivers were on the hard tires for around 40 laps.
Pirelli has told teams that the hard tires provided for the British Grand Prix would last 40 laps. But for 3 drivers they didn’t. This could be because those drivers were pushing hard, and not preserving their tires too much, but there was another reason that popped up on Lap 48, 2 laps before the first puncture.
While Bottas was the first driver to face the puncture on its own, fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen ran wide at Copse on Lap 48. He then damaged his front wing. The front-left area of the front wing was scraping across the floor. This may have spread a bit of debris on the track. That front wing also formed a groove in Raikkonen’s front-left tyre. This caused him to have a puncture there as well. Raikkonen finished the race in 17th, which was last of the runners that finished the race.
Many think that Raikkonen’s incident was the root cause of the punctures that took place. This could be true. Bottas’s puncture took place coming out of Copse, in the same place where Raikkonen got damage, but on Lap 50. Sainz got a puncture on the Hangar straight on Lap 51, straight after the Maggots and Becketts section. That was where Raikkonen’s wing was scraping across the floor. Hamilton got his puncture on the straight after Woodcote and before Copse. So that is not seeming to be related to Raikkonen, but it is possible.
“I think the left front [tire] is the one that is the most hammered, and therefore more vulnerable also to debris. There were lots of pieces of carbon on the track after [Kimi] Raikkonen’s off. We saw some part of the car, part of the front wing on track, so we will never know but I guess Pirelli’s going to analyse that,” said Toto Wolff. Red Bull also said something about this. They said that when Max Verstappen came into the pits to put on a fresh set of tires, his old hard tires were ‘covered with about 50 cuts’.
Immediately after the race, Pirelli made an announcement. The Italian tire company launched an investigation into the tire failures. 3 drivers suffered it at the end of the race. Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, and Carlos Sainz all faced punctures in the span of 2 laps. Those punctures cost Bottas and Sainz points and could’ve cost Hamilton his home win.
For more information on the incredibly dramatic British Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 British Grand Prix Race Review. It’s time to take a look at the MONUMENTAL crash that is more than worthy of being part of the Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020.
#2 – 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix: Massive Pileup At Safety Car Restart
This crash that was the main feature of the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix was incredibly dangerous and involved many cars. This was is DEFINITELY with being part of The Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 for this year, because it was a massive crash that could’ve caused injuries to the drivers involved. The Safety Car was to come back to the pits at the end of Lap 6, and the race was to resume on Lap 7. Valterri Bottas was in the lead. He had to time the race start perfectly to get past Lewis Hamilton. Bottas was finally in a position to win the race, and he hadn’t won since the season opener in Austria.
He finally got the chance to prove that he can beat Hamilton, so he didn’t want to lose that lead at the Safety Car restart. However, at Mugello, it’s very difficult to stay ahead off a restart like that. The drivers behind are ready to floor the throttle as soon as possible. Hamilton was then going to use that long main straight and that powerful slipstream to make a move into Turn 1. To stop Hamilton from overtaking him, Bottas had to make the straight as short as possible for Lewis Hamilton. Mugello’s main straight is long, but the Safety Car line is very far up the straight. So if Bottas left it to the very last second to start going fast, it would be very difficult for Hamilton to overtake Bottas.
Doing this wasn’t such a good thing for the drivers at the back of the field, because they wouldn’t be able to see that Bottas was going slow, especially because George Russell built a gap to Esteban Ocon ahead. Let’s get into that part of this crash. George Russel was running in P10. That was an incredibly good position for him, seeing that he has never scored a point in F1 before. Coming out of the final corner, he went even slower than Bottas and the pack ahead. All the drivers were very close to each other since they want to overtake straight off the Safety Car. However, George Russell had a huge gap to Esteban Ocon and Daniil Kvyat ahead. That was something that the drivers behind Russell didn’t expect.
So when Russell sped up and floored it to catch up to the pack ahead, the drivers behind did the same. They thought that everyone was racing again. Through the final corner and down the main straight, the bottom half of the field was racing at full throttle. But then, things went wrong in a flash. Russell started braking and slowing down when he caught up to the pack. At first, Magnussen, who was just behind Russell, slowed down quickly, but Nicholas Latifi in the other Williams reacted too late. When Magnussen suddenly slowed down, Latifi didn’t realise what was happening and broke too late. This same issue happened in the middle of the final corner because the midfield slowed down so much that Latifi nearly hit Magnussen, but luckily, he didn’t hit Magnussen.
Just like he did at the final corner, Latifi swerved to avoid Magnussen, but that wasn’t the end. The Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi ploughed into the back of Magnussen and Latifi at full speed. This was because when Latifi swerved to avoid Magnussen, Giovinazzi was right behind and the move was so sudden that the Alfa just couldn’t do anything to avoid contact. Giovinazzi was seconds away from Latifi at the final corner, and he was pretty much poised to lose a bunch of positions at the restart. However, when the midfield and the leaders slowed down, Latifi made a massive swerve to avoid Magnussen. Giovinazzi still slowed down a little bit, but then he used the momentum the cars ahead lost to catch back up to Latifi, and he was in the Williams’ slipstream coming down the main straight.
Carlos Sainz in the McLaren was all over the back of Giovinazzi’s car. He was doing the sensible thing and was making sure that he could overtake the Alfa Romeo at the restart. Being on the Soft tires back in P14 due to the Lap 1 incident, Sainz wanted to cut through the field. But within a couple of seconds, things got far worse. Sainz saw Giovinazzi speed up, and he looked ahead to make sure that everyone was speeding up. With 5 to 6 cars in front of you pushing flat out, you have to do the same, which is exactly what Sainz did. He was using that slipstream, but then Giovinazzi crashed, and Sainz just ploughed into the back of the Alfa. The McLaren pushed the Alfa Romeo’s floor up, which titled the car sideways at a freaky angle.
Surprisingly, Romain Grosjean managed to avoid all the carnage and came out with nothing but debris on his tires. Raikkonen and Vettel also stayed clear of the incident. First, the Safety Car came out, and soon after the announcement of the Red Flag came. The facts that this crash was massive, and that it involved many cars, and that there was an immense amount of debris all over the main straight, allowed the race director to stop the race. The marshals had to be able to clean up the track. And the medical cars had to get to the drivers to make sure they were ok. But here’s the interesting part. The main reason that there was a Red Flag was that the cranes to remove the cars had to use the track to get to the cars.
For more information on this MONUMENTAL crash at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Race Review. Now, this next moment is BY FAR the Winner of the Top 10 Moments of Formula 1 in 2020. Let’s check out Romain Grosjean’s crash at Bahrain.
The Scariest, Most Majorly Heart-Stopping Moment Of 2020 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Grosjean’s Horrific Crash
It’s almost impossible to describe the crash that Romain Grosjean faced on Lap 1 of this crazy Bahrain GP. The moment when the car suddenly burst into flames shocked the entire world of racing. A wave of gasps and astonishment passed through the motorsport world as the gravity of the accident instantly hit everyone. The sight of the fire was scary enough, but then everyone soon saw that it wasn’t just the fire and that it was a miracle that Romain Grosjean survived the incident.
After Lance Stroll ran wide at Turn 2 and Lando Norris got damage after Ocon and Gasly sandwiched him at Turn 2 as well. Because of these 2 cars going so much slower than others, a pack of 5 bunched-up cars blocked Grosjean’s way. Grosjean wanted to gain positions, and he found a gap on the inside line on the straight. However, he didn’t realise that Daniil Kvyat was actually alongside him. So when Grosjean went for the open space, his right-rear wheel Kvyat’s front-left tire, and you know what happens next. Grosjean goes hurtling into the barrier on the side of the straight. To make matters worse, the barrier was at an angle of 30°. And Grosjean’s car hit the barrier at an angle too.
With the speed that he was at, coming down the straight, was just too much for the Armco barrier to handle. Grosjean was driving at 140 mph, and the force of the impact was 53 G’s of force, which is an EXTREME force upon the driver. The heavier, bulkier part of the car is the back half of the car. That was split off by the barrier. But the front half of the car, with the driver in it, went clean through the metal barrier. Since the crash happened in an unusual place, the barriers were not tyre barriers or Tecpro barriers. Since the force of the accident was so large, the barrier just couldn’t stay rigid.
The surprising part is that the car split in half. Only the front half of the car impaled the barrier, while the rear end of the chassis completely split off. It was sitting a couple of meters away from the driver and the barrier. Since the force of the crash was massive, but the car was stuck in the barrier, the sudden burst of energy channelled to the back of the car. That’s where the engine and the gearbox are.
That massive amount of energy was too much for the rear half of the car to handle, and the rear end burst off. The fuel tank was the main component that couldn’t handle the energy. The protection ruptured, and the fuel spilt. And since it hit oxygen, and there was heat from the battery behind the fuel cell, the car burst into flames. So the rear end of the chassis split off, leaving the driver’s survival cell on fire.
This was the craziest, most memorable, most dramatic and DEFINITELY the scariest moment of Formula 1 in 2020. For more information on Grosjean’s crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, read the F1ntastic 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix Race Review.
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This is the end of this very important post; I certainly enjoyed looking back at the Top 10 moments of Formula 1 from this year. I hope that you guys enjoyed it too! It definitely wasn’t easy writing this post and picking out just 10 of the greatest moments of F1 from 2020, but it was definitely worth it. This year has been a fabulous year, with so many twists to it, along with unforgettable moments.