Your 2020 F1 Pre-Season Predictions: The Results

Back in March, before the 2020 Formula 1 season began, I posted 20 prediction polls about the year ahead. How many of your pre-season predictions for the 2020 F1 season came true? Find out below!


1. WHAT WILL ALBON’S BEST RESULT BE?

YOUR PREDICTION: WIN

CORRECT ANSWER: 3RD

36% of you backed Alex Albon to take a race victory in the 2020 season. Perhaps Albon’s best chance of winning a race came at the season-opener, when he was well up the order on fresh tyres at the final Safety Car restart. Unfortunately, that race ended with Albon colliding with Lewis Hamilton. Since then, Albon has not come close to winning a race, with a best result of third. He has finished on the podium twice in 2020 – at the Tuscan and Bahrain Grands Prix.


2. HOW MANY DIFFERENT TEAMS WILL FINISH ON THE PODIUM?

YOUR PREDICTION: 5

CORRECT ANSWER: 6 OR MORE

Recent seasons’ podiums have been dominated by Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari – but with the latter team off the pace in 2020, there were more opportunities for midfield teams to find their way into the top three. In all, seven different teams finished on the podium this season. Mercedes led the way with 25 top three finishes. The Italian and Sakhir Grands Prix were the only races in which the team did not finish on the podium this year. Red Bull ended the year with twelve podiums; almost less than half the tally of Mercedes. Racing Point enjoyed four top three finishes, including their win and double podium finish in the second Bahrain race. Ferrari and Renault each finished on the podium three times, McLaren finished in the top three twice, and AlphaTauri’s sole podium finish of the year was as a result of Pierre Gasly taking victory at the Italian Grand Prix. 


3. HOW MANY TIMES WILL STROLL REACH Q3?

YOUR PREDICTION: 1-3 TIMES

CORRECT ANSWER: 10 OR MORE TIMES

Our voters’ faith in Lance Stroll’s pace was not strong – but his qualifying pace in 2020 surprised many. Stroll qualified in the top ten on eleven occasions, and out-qualified his team-mate six times. 


4. HOW MANY TIMES WILL WILLIAMS MAKE IT OUT OF Q1?

YOUR PREDICTION: 1 OR 2

CORRECT ANSWER: 5 OR MORE 

Williams’ 2020 package was much better than in 2019. Though the team failed to score in 2020, they were much closer to the other teams, regularly battling in races with the Alfa Romeo and Haas drivers. Williams progressed to Q2 on ten occasions. George Russell did so nine times, while Nicholas Latifi made the Hungarian Grand Prix the only race this year in which neither Williams driver was out in Q1. 


5. HOW MANY RACES WILL BE AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS?

YOUR PREDICTION: 4

CORRECT ANSWER: 5 OR MORE

This poll was posted when the full extent of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the sport was not known. It was posted after the Chinese Grand Prix had been postponed, but before the Australian Grand Prix. In one way or another – be it through cancellations, postponements or being held behind closed doors – every race on the 2020 calendar was affected by the global pandemic. The fact that we got to see F1 racing at all this year is an impressive feat. Read more: The Statistical Quirks of the 2020 F1 Calendar


6. HOW MANY WET RACES WILL THERE BE?

YOUR PREDICTION: 2

CORRECT ANSWER: 2

Two of 2020’s races were held in damp conditions. Both of the wet races – the Hungarian and Turkish Grands Prix – were held on tracks which dried throughout the race. Rain also fell during the Portuguese Grand Prix, but it had no effect on the race. 


7. HOW MANY TIMES WILL PEREZ FINISH ON THE PODIUM?

YOUR PREDICTION: 0

CORRECT ANSWER: 2

Sergio Perez recorded two podium finishes in the 2020 season. The first was a second place finish in the Turkish Grand Prix, and the second was his maiden race win at the Sakhir Grand Prix. 


8. HOW MANY TIMES WILL LATIFI OUT-QUALIFY RUSSELL?

YOUR PREDICTION: 1-3

CORRECT ANSWER: 0

Nicholas Latifi failed to out-qualify George Russell at any race in 2020. The only time Latifi out-qualified his team-mate this season was at the Sakhir Grand Prix, when Russell was replaced by Jack Aitken. Latifi’s lap time was 0.096 seconds faster than Aitken’s.


9. WILL THE 2021 CALENDAR FEATURE ANY NEW VENUES?

YOUR PREDICTION: YES

CORRECT ANSWER: YES

The 2021 calendar will feature two new venues which were not present on the 2020 calendar. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be run for the first time near the end of the season, while the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort – originally scheduled to re-join the calendar this year – will take place for the first time in 36 years in 2021. A surprising omission from the 2021 calendar is the Vietnam Grand Prix, which was due to be run for the first time in 2020.


10. WILL RAIKKONEN SIGN A NEW CONTRACT?

YOUR PREDICTION: NO

CORRECT ANSWER: YES

60% of voters expected 2020 to be Kimi Raikkonen’s swansong – but he’ll be staying at Alfa Romeo alongside Antonio Giovinazzi for at least one more season. 


11. WILL HAMILTON AND VETTEL SIGN NEW CONTRACTS WITH THEIR CURRENT TEAMS?

YOUR PREDICTION: HAMILTON STAYS, VETTEL LEAVES

CORRECT ANSWER: HAMILTON STAYS, VETTEL LEAVES

Lewis Hamilton has not yet signed a contract with Mercedes for the 2021 season, but we can presume that he will remain with the team next year. As 60% of you predicted, 2020 was Sebastian Vettel’s last season with Ferrari. Vettel announced his intention to leave the team at the end of the year in May, before the season began. He joins Aston Martin for 2021. 


12. WILL HAAS RACE IN F1 IN 2021?

YOUR PREDICTION: YES

CORRECT ANSWER: YES

Ahead of the 2020 season, there was some doubt as to whether Haas would remain on the grid in the following year, with Gene Haas saying that he would not rule out pulling out of the sport. The financial strains of the pandemic-affected 2020 season meant that Haas struggled financially, and their choice of Nikita Mazepin in their 2020 driver line-up is, at least in part, due to needing money from pay drivers. 


13. WILL ANY DRIVER FINISH EVERY RACE OF THE SEASON?

YOUR PREDICTION: YES

CORRECT ANSWER: NO

Nobody achieved this feat in 2020 – though two drivers came close to doing so. Aside from the two races he missed due to testing positive for coronavirus, Sergio Perez finished every race he started in 2020, until an engine failure saw him lose a podium position with a handful of laps remaining at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was on course to completed every lap of the season for a second year in a row until a positive coronavirus test ruled him out of the Sakhir Grand Prix. Read more: The Drivers Who Finished Every Race In A Season


14. WILL ANY DRIVER BE REPLACED IN THE 2020 SEASON?

YOUR PREDICTION: NO

CORRECT ANSWER: YES

59% of you did not forsee any driver changes occurring during the 2020 season – but there were five of them. Both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were replaced due to contracting coronavirus. Nico Hulkenberg replaced Perez at the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix, and stood in again for Stroll at the Eifel Grand Prix. Pietro Fittipaldi replaced Romain Grosjean at Haas for the Sakhir Grand Prix, after the Frenchman was injured in an opening lap crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Jack Aitken also made his F1 debut for Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix, filling in for the Mercedes-bound George Russell. Russell was given Lewis Hamilton’s seat at Mercedes after the reigning champion tested positive for coronavirus. 


15. WHICH TEAM WILL FINISH AHEAD IN THE STANDINGS: ALFA ROMEO, HAAS OR WILLIAMS?

YOUR PREDICTION: ALFA ROMEO

CORRECT ANSWER: ALFA ROMEO

Between them, these three teams picked up only eleven points in 2020. As over two thirds of you expected, Alfa Romeo scored the most points from this trio of teams. Alfa Romeo recorded eight points, with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi scoring four apiece. Haas recorded three points, with Kevin Magnussen tenth at the Hungarian Grand Prix and Romain Grosjean ninth at the Eifel Grand Prix. 


16. WILL HAMILTON EQUAL SCHUMACHER’S WIN RECORD?

YOUR PREDICTION: YES

CORRECT ANSWER: YES

There weren’t many records which Lewis Hamilton did not break in 2020. He equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins at the Eifel Grand Prix before setting a new record of 92 race victories at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Read more: A History of F1’s All Time Win Record.


17. HOW MANY POINTS WILL THE DRIVER LAST IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCORE?

YOUR PREDICTION: 1-5 POINTS

CORRECT ANSWER: 0 POINTS

Three drivers who raced in Formula 1 in 2020 failed to score. While Jack Aitken and Pietro Fittipaldi failed to score on their substitute outings, Nicholas Latifi is the only driver who entered every race this year who failed to pick up a point. 


18. WHEN WILL THE TITLE BE DECIDED?

YOUR PREDICTION: WITH 2 RACES REMAINING

CORRECT ANSWER: WITH 3+ RACES REMAINING

There may have been only seventeen races in the 2020 season – but that didn’t stop the titles from being decided with three races to spare. Mercedes wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton was crowned champion for a seventh time at the Turkish Grand Prix. This was the first season to feature three ‘dead rubber’ races since 2015. 


19. WHO WILL WIN THE CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP?

YOUR PREDICTION: MERCEDES

CORRECT ANSWER: MERCEDES

Only 20% of voters predicted that a team other than Mercedes would be crowned Constructors’ Champions in 2020. Just as they had been in the previous six seasons, Mercedes were unreachable this year. The team set a new record for most consecutive championship wins – their current streak of seven beating the previous best of six in a row set by Ferrari between 1999 and 2004. 


20. WHO WILL BE WORLD CHAMPION?

Rather than being a poll, we left this one open to replies – and the overwhelming majority agreed that Lewis Hamilton would win a seventh world title in 2020. Chances are the prediction will be the same for 2021!


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