F1 2020: Runners and riders

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Mercedes AMG 
Brackley, uk Last year 1
The undoubted benchmark of the sport at the moment. Can it make it a clean sweep of seven drivers and constructors titles?

Lewis Hamilton
Age 35 Last year 1

Unquestionably the best of them all on his day, but how many more times can he dig deep enough to stave off his younger rivals?

Valtteri Bottas
Age 30 Last year 2
Had it not been for bad luck, he could have shaded Lewis last year across the first five races. Needs to step up and deliver on his considerable promise soon. Started well.


Ferrari
Maranello, Italy Last year 2
This year could be tough, due to Ferrari stalling its chassis design in the delayed season. But it’s Ferrari, after all, so it’ll be in the mix regardless.

Charles Leclerc
Age 22 Last year 4
Now promoted to team leader, there will be additional pressure on the Monegasque superstar to lead the line for the Scuderia.

Sebastian Vettel
Age 32 Last year 5
One of the most interesting narratives of the year: how will Vettel cope as his Ferrari dream fades? Don’t expect him to follow team orders, or go easy on Leclerc.


Red Bull Racing
Milton Keynes, UK Last year 3
Honda may have hit upon a development advantage, and the first tracks of the revised calendar should suit Red Bull. Big things ahead?

Max Verstappen
Age 22 Last year 3
Tipped to be Hamilton’s biggest rival, and will undoubtedly bring his usual blend of fearless driving and devil-may-care attitude.

Alexander Albon
Age 24 Last year 8
Impressed following his hurried promotion to Red Bull’s top table last season. Will have high hopes for his first ‘full’ season with the team this time around.


McLaren
Woking, UK Last year 4
It’s not been an easy few months for McLaren, but it should still have a fast and reliable car, and should be in the battle for ‘Class B’ honours

Carlos Sainz
Age 25 Last year 6
He may be Ferrari-bound, but he’s also parting on very amicable terms, so still expect him to play the team game.

Lando Norris
Age 20 Last year 11
Solid maiden F1 season, but will be keen to press on to further cement his spot at the team in preparation for the arrival of both Ricciardo and Mercedes. First podium helped.


Renault
Enstone, UK Last year 5
Has underdelivered and, with the rules frozen, don’t expect an overnight transformation. Needs to be at the head of ‘Class B’.

Daniel Ricciardo
Age 31 Last year 9
Enters his final term at Renault under a cloud after his McLaren move. Regardless, he’ll be smiling and braking like a beast.

Esteban Ocon
Age 23 Last year N/A
Back on the grid after a year’s hiatus. He’ll be one to watch. Even if just because he and Ricciardo aren’t each other’s biggest fans, so there’s potential for friction.


AlphaTauri
Faenza, Italy Last year 6
The artist formerly known as Toro Rosso returns with a cool white livery. Should be capable of causing the odd upset.

Pierre Gasly
Age 24 Last year 7
After his Red Bull demotion, he scores a career best second in Brazil… in a worse car. Ahh, the irony. He’ll want to silence doubters.

Daniil Kvyat
Age 26 Last year 13
The man once known as ‘torpedo’ is gradually morphing into a reliable and consistent racer. Will want to build on his surprise podium in Germany last year.


Racing Point
Silverstone, UK Last year 7
Its final season as Racing Point (stupid name, anyway) before it morphs into Aston Martin. This year’s car is basically a Mercedes.

Sergio Pérez
Age 30 Last year 10
Can be incredibly good on his day, and has the consistency to match his speed. He could thrive if the car is good enough.

Lance Stroll
Age 21 Last year 15
Blows hot and cold. Can be great, can be hopeless, on any given weekend. There is the potential for a very capable grand prix driver here, but he needs to add consistency.


Alfa Romeo Racing
Zürich, Switzerland Last year 8
Still struggling from being starved of investment as Sauber, but is making gradual progress. This year will be about consolidation in midfield.

Kimi Räikkönen
Age 40 Last year 12
He may be the oldest on the grid, but still has his touch. Scored in nine races last year, should be scoring in more this time.

Antonio Giovinazzi
Age 26 Last year 17
Struggled a tad in his maiden full F1 campaign, not helped by a difficult car, but made some real improvement to score points in four races. Needs to build on that.


Haas F1 Team
Kannapolis, USA Last year 9
Haas will want to forget last season. The car was mostly a disaster. The team thinks it’s figured it out, so expect a marked improvement.

Kevin Magnussen
Age 27 Last year 16
Has the speed, but has been held back by a difficult car. Expect the usual, erm, robust driving as he looks to reassert himself.

Romain Grosjean
Age 34 Last year 18
Quite a surprise heʼs still here, given rising mistakes and uninspiring performances. Needs to get himself back in order this year to see a seat in 2021 as a possibility.


Williams
Grove, UK Last year 10
It can’t get any worse… can it? We hope not. Two years at the back has to be improved. Just getting out of Q1 would be a start.

George Russell
Age 22 Last year 20
Made a great impression last year. Never complained. Fingers crossed he can actually fight with different cars this year.

Nicholas Latifi
Age 25 Last year N/A
Last year’s Formula 2 runner-up makes his grand prix debut this season as the sole brand-new driver to the grid. Looked competent at first race in Austria.

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