Formula 1 2020: 12 pictures of a season like no other

Formula 1

Fan, Mugello, Grosjean fire, Hamilton

The 2020 Formula 1 season – a campaign that so easily might never have happened at all – is now at an end.

It has been a season like no other, providing 17 races full of drama, surprise winners, unforgettable moments and a familiar, record-breaking champion.

Here, BBC Sport looks back on the season in 12 memorable images:

A false start down under

Fan at cancelled Australia Grand Prix

Way back in March the campaign had a false start as the season-opener in Australia was called off hours before it was due to begin because of coronavirus – much to the annoyance of many fans.

Business as (un)usual

Empty stands at Austrian Grand Prix

The season finally got under way four months later in Austria but the pandemic meant it did so in front of empty grandstands.

A magical mystery tour

Cars on track at the Tuscan Grand Prix

The revised calendar saw F1 visit some exciting new tracks which were well recieved by fans, like September’s grand prix in Mugello in Italy. Other stops took in Portugal’s Portimao track for the first time, and unexpected returns to Imola, Istanbul Park and the Nurburgring.

Taking a knee to take a stand

Drivers take a knee

Throughout the season drivers joined the global stand against racism and made a gesture before each race.

One record broken…

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning Portuguese Grand Prix

On the track Lewis Hamilton dominated. He earned his 92nd grand prix victory in Portugal to break Michael Schumacher’s race wins record…

….another equalled

Lewis Hamilton

And in Turkey he clinched a seventh world title, equalling the German legend’s record haul.

Three wheels on his wagon

Lewis Hamilton at British Grand Prix

Hamilton won 11 of the 17 races, none more dramatic than the British Grand Prix where he limped home on three functioning wheels after a tyre blowout on the final lap.

New entrants to the winner’s circle

Sergio Perez

There were surprise race winners too. Sergio Perez won the Sakhir Grand Prix – his maiden F1 win coming at the 190th attempt.

Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll

And Pierre Gasly was the shock winner of an epic Italian Grand Prix. He looked stunned to be joined by Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll in an unlikely top three.

An amazing escape

Marshals try to put out the flames on Grosjean's car

One of the lasting memories of the season will be Romain Grosjean’s terrifying crash in Bahrain. He was fortunate to walk away from it but missed the final two races of the season.

The one that got away

George Russell

Let’s not forget George Russell. He looked set to win his first grand prix when leading as Mercedes’ stand-in driver at the Sakhir Grand Prix – after Lewis Hamilton was forced to sit out after contracting coronavirus – but had it snatched away after a pit-stop mix-up and a puncture. He did at least have the consolation of scoring his first World Championship points.

Goodbye to all that

Ferrari team-mates applaud Sebastian Vettel ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he leaves the pit for his final race for the Scuderia

The season ended with a string of goodbyes in Abu Dhabi. Sebastian Vettel left Ferrari after six years and was given a guard of honour from his garage. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean – absent after his accident in Bahrain – said farewell to Haas, Sergio Perez departed Racing Point to an uncertain 2021, while Daniil Kvyat had what almost certainly was his final race for Alpha Tauri. Elsewhere McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo had their final drives before moving to pastures new for 2021.

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