F1 2020 Season Review

Hello readers, its Monday the 4th January and this is the first of my hopefully weekly blogs in 2021. We will see how long that lasts! Today I’m going to be looking at the data underpinning the 2020 F1 season. The story of the season is clear Lewis Hamilton dominated to win his 7th world title. In the process he has now won the most races of any F1 driver ever. I’m going to delve behind the headlines and really look at the best and worst performing drivers and teams.

First things first looking at the xPos data for the whole season. If you want to see how this is calculated see this blog here:


Now its not the perfect measure I have a plan to further revise it in another blog. For example I think Ocon is overrated and that could be caused by poor qualifying performances. However, the metric does show that the best drivers are Verstappen and Hamilton. I don’t think many people would argue that they are not the current 2 best drivers on the grid so its good to see they are top of the metric. One driver who is a lot lower then I would expect is Bottas a -1 xPos loss and only has the drivers in the two Haas cars and the Williams cars.

When you review the both drivers seasons then you can see Hamilton’s consistency and his incredible performance in turkey. Where as Bottas isn’t quite as consistent. You can argue he had some bad luck like the tyre failure in the last few laps at Silverstone (his worst performance of the season), however at the Turkish, and 2 Bahrain races he just looks like he went missing and he was comprehensively beaten by a newcomer in the same car.

Comparing all teams race laps to each race laps fastest laps on average Mercedes where the fastest car. Not so much surprise there and no real insight to be gained from it. I don’t think anyone would put the teams in any different order.

Now that same data compared to the each teams performance in 2019 starts to show some insights. The first thing is Ferrari and the Ferrari power teams are the only ones that over drifted backwards after last season. What’s interesting is Alfa Romeo and Haas went slightly backwards but Ferrari went significantly backwards. This demonstrates how much there car was designed around the possibly illegal engine in that it had a much bigger impact on Ferrari. Overall most of the field have got closer to the fastest the biggest improvement being Williams but its easiest to make improvements from a low base. Racing Point look to be clearly the 3rd quickest but didnt achieve 3rd place in the constructors.

Finally looking at a drivers perfromance compared to their teammate. I created this plot which if I’m honest I’m not satisfied with but I think you can just about see the message I’m trying to convey. Leclerc, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Perez were clearly quicker then there teammates in both qualifying and the race. When you look at the Mercedes drivers Hamilton is not as far ahead of Bottas as I expected. Over at Williams is the only driver pairing where one is significantly quicker in qualifying but the other is quicker in the race. Lastly the closest pairing looks to be Mclaren there is nothing between the two drivers in qualifying but race pace Sainz looked to have the slight edge. Maybe that is experience on Sainz part and Norris will soon progress to that level.

Thanks for reading thats my review of some key information of the 2020 f1 season. Roll on 2021 season in March. Hope you and your families and friends have a great 2021.

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