Ferrari recorded their 1,000th Grand Prix start in 2020, but it was not a year to remember for the Scuderia, who recorded their worst championship result in 40 years. Here are the facts and statistics from Ferrari’s 2020 F1 season.
2020 was nothing short of a disaster for Ferrari. Having had arguably the fastest car in 2019, they slipped to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2020 – their worst result since 1980. Questions will be asked about Ferrari’s downturn in performance, not least given the FIA’s investigation of the team’s 2019 power unit, and their undisclosed resolution to findings over the engine’s legality.
The team recorded no wins this year, and three somewhat unexpected podium finishes – two for Charles Leclerc, and one for Sebastian Vettel. Neither driver qualified in the top three this season, and the pair recorded only six top five qualifications and fourteen Q3 appearances.
Ferrari head into next season with a new driver line-up, as Sebastian Vettel departs and is replaced by Carlos Sainz. There’s change at the top too, as CEO Louis Camilleri recently announced his immediate retirement. 2021 is likely to be another difficult year for the team.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: Sebastian Vettel became the first Ferrari driver to be eliminated in Q2 since Kimi Riakkonen at the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix. While Ferrari’s lack of pace was immediately obvious, Charles Leclerc managed to finish as runner-up for a second consecutive season at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Styria: Charles Leclerc was eliminated in Q2 for the first time since the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix. It was the second time that the Monegasque driver has failed to reach Q3 at Ferrari, having previously been eliminated in Q1 at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix.With Sebastian Vettel out in Q2 at the Austrian Grand Prix and Leclerc out in Q2 at the Styrian Grand Prix, this was the first time only one Ferrari driver has reached Q3 at consecutive races since the 2015 Canadian and Austrian Grands Prix. Vettel and Leclerc collided on the first lap of the race and both retired as a result. It was the second time in four races that Ferrari have suffered a double retirement due to their drivers hitting one another. It was also the team’s fourth double retirement in Austria, with both Ferraris having previously retired in 1971, 1972 and 1987.
Hungary: For the first time in 2020, both Ferrari drivers qualified in the top ten. After qualifying in fifth place, Sebastian Vettel maintained his record of having qualified in the top five at the Hungarian Grand Prix in every season since 2009. This was the first season in which Ferrari have failed to finish on the podium at the Hungarian Grand Prix since 2016. While Vettel finished sixth, Charles Leclerc finished eleventh and became the first Ferrari driver to finish outside of the points – without retiring – at the Hungarian Grand Prix since Felipe Massa, who finished thirteenth in 2007.
Britain: Charles Leclerc recorded his second, and final, podium of the 2020 season at the British Grand Prix. This was Ferrari’s 45th top three finish at the Silverstone circuit.
70th Anniversary: For the first time since 2014, a Ferrari driver failed to reach Q3 at Silverstone. That driver was Sebastian Vettel, who made this the first time in fourteen visits to Silverstone that he has failed to reach Q3. In the 68 races before the 2020 season, Ferrari failed to reach Q3 three times. In the first five races of the 2020 season, Ferrari failed to reach Q3 three times.
Spain: The 2020 Belgian Grand Prix was the 1000th Grand Prix to feature a Ferrari-powered car. With Charles Leclerc qualifying ninth and Sebastian Vettel failing to reach Q3, 2020 was the first time in Formula 1’s thirty visits to Catalunya that neither Ferrari driver qualified in the top eight. For the sixth time in F1’s thirty visits to Catalunya, neither Ferrari driver failed to qualify in the top ten. Other Ferrari drivers who failed to qualify in the top ten here are Gerhard Berger in 1993, Eddie Irvine in 1997, Rubens Barrichello in 2005, Kimi Raikkonen in 2009 and Felipe Massa in 2012. The 2020 Spanish Grand Prix marked the first time since 2005 that neither Ferrari driver finished the race in the top six. That’s the only previous time that no Ferrari has appeared in the top six at the circuit.
Belgium: For the first time in 53 Formula 1 races at Spa Francorchamps, no Ferrari driver qualified in the top ten. It was also the first time since 2015 that a Ferrari driver qualified outside of the top ten for the Belgian Grand Prix, as well as the first time since 2012 that Sebastian Vettel failed to qualify in the top ten at the circuit. This was only the eighth time since the current qualifying system was introduced in 2006 that neither Ferrari driver has reached Q3. They also failed to do so at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix, the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix, the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, the 2012 European Grand Prix and the 2014 British Grand Prix. For the first time since the 2010 British Grand Prix, both Ferrari drivers finished a race in positions outside of the points. This was the first Belgian Grand Prix since 1998 in which neither Ferrari driver scored.
Italy: Ferrari endured their worst ever qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix, with neither driver qualifying in the top twelve at Monza for the first time. Sebastian Vettel recorded Ferrari’s 25th Q1 exit, and the team’s first Q1 exit at Monza. Vettel’s seventeenth place was the first time that a Ferrari driver has qualified outside of the top fifteen at Monza since Giancarlo Baghetti in 1966. Charles Leclerc reached Q2, but qualified only thirteenth. That makes the 2020 Italian Grand Prix the first time since 1984 that neither Ferrari driver started the Italian Grand Prix in the top ten and only the third time, after 1969 and 1984, that no Ferrari drivers qualified in the top ten at Monza. With Leclerc out in Q2 and Vettel eliminated in Q1, this was the first time that Ferrari have recorded both a Q2 and Q1 exit at a race since the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the first time since the current qualifying system was introduced that Ferrari have failed to reach Q3 with either car at two consecutive races. Neither Ferrari driver finished the race, marking their first double DNF from their home event since 1995, and their sixth from the Italian Grand Prix in total. It was the first time since 2005 that the Scuderia has failed to score at the circuit, as well as the first time since 2009 – when the team failed to score in any of the opening three races of the season – that Ferrari have failed to score at two consecutive races.
Tuscany: The 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix marked Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix start. The first race Ferrari entered as a constructor was the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix – the second Grand Prix in Formula 1’s World Championship history. For the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix, a Ferrari driver qualified in the top ten, with Charles Leclerc qualifying in fifth. It was only the third time this year that a Ferrari driver has qualified in the top five. Sebastian Vettel was eliminated in Q2, making this the first time that Ferrari had at least one driver qualify outside of the top ten at five consecutive races since the first five races of the 2012 season. For the first time since the 2020 British Grand Prix, both Ferrari drivers scored points in the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Russia: Neither Ferrari driver reached Q3 at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix. Before 2020, Ferrari had never previously missed out on both cars reaching the top ten in qualifying at the Sochi Autodrom. Their previous worst qualifying result at the track was ninth for Kimi Raikkonen in 2014. This was the sixth race in a row in which Ferrari had at least one car fail to reach Q3. It was the first time that has happened since the final seven races of the 2009 season. Finishing in thirteenth place, Sebastian Vettel became the first Ferrari driver to finish a race at Sochi Autodrom in a position outside of the points.
Eifel: Sebastian Vettel’s eleventh place in qualifying for the Eifel Grand Prix marked the first time a Ferrari driver qualified outside of the top ten at the Nurburgring since Mika Salo qualified twelfth for the 1999 European Grand Prix. For the first time since the final seven races of the 2009 season, Ferrari failed to reach Q3 with at least one car at seven consecutive races. In that period, Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella recorded six Q1 exits between them. Charles Leclerc finished the race in seventh place. The last time that no Ferrari drivers finished in the top six at the Nurburgring was in 1999, when Eddie Irvine finished seventh and Mika Salo retired. Finishing in eleventh place, Sebastian Vettel became the first Ferrari driver to finish an F1 race at the Nurburgring in a position outside of the points since Irvine finished seventh in the 1999 European Grand Prix. Vettel was also the first Ferrari driver to finish a Nurburgring race in a position outside of the top ten since Arturo Merzario finished twelfth in 1972.
Portugal: Sebastian Vettel became the first time that a Ferrari driver has failed to reach Q3 at eight consecutive races since the knockout system was introduced in 2006.
Emilia Romagna: At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc became the first Ferrari driver to qualify in seventh place for an F1 race at Imola since Jean Alesi at the 1992 San Marino Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel failed to reach Q3 for a ninth consecutive race. He is only the fifth Ferrari driver who has failed to qualify in the top ten at Imola. The other drivers to do so were Jody Scheckter in 1980, Michele Alboreto in 1984, Stefan Johansson in 1985 and Michael Schumacher in 2005. Ferrari won the last Formula 1 race at Imola in 2006, but in 2020 Charles Leclerc was their best-placed finisher in fifth place. This was the first F1 race at Imola in which Ferrari failed to finish on the podium since the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix. With his twelfth place finish, Sebastian Vettel became the first Ferrari driver to finish at Imola in a position outside the points since Gilles Villeneuve finished seventh in 1981.
Turkey: For the fourth time in 2020, neither Ferrari driver reached Q3. Since the knockout system was introduced in 2006, there have been only eleven occasions where neither Ferrari qualified in the top ten – it has now happened four times in the last eight races. This was the first time that the team has failed to reach Q3 at the Turkish Grand Prix. In the race, Sebastian Vettel finished on the podium for the first time since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix. That race was also the last race in which both Ferrari drivers finished in the top four. This was Ferrari’s eighth podium at the track, extending their record for most podiums at Istanbul Park. It was also Vettel’s 55th podium finish for Ferrari, making this only the eighth time that a driver has recorded 55 podiums with a single team.
Bahrain: Both Ferrari drivers were eliminated in Q2, making 2020 the first time that neither Ferrari car has appeared in Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Prior to the 2020 weekend, there had been only two occasions where a Ferrari driver had failed to qualifying in the top ten at the event: Rubens Barrichello qualified fifteenth in 2005, while Felipe Massa was fourteenth in 2012. This was the first time Ferrari had both cars eliminated in Q2 at consecutive races, as well as only the second time that Ferrari failed to reach Q3 with either car at two successive events. The only other time the latter has occurred was earlier this season, at the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
Sakhir: Sebastian Vettel qualified in thirteenth place for the Sakhir Grand Prix, which is the worst qualifying result for a Ferrari driver in Bahrain since Felipe Massa qualified fourteenth for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. Vettel finished the race in twelfth and with Charles Leclerc retiring, this was the first time that Ferrari have failed to score at the Bahrain International Circuit since 2005. Leclerc became only the third Ferrari driver to record a retirement in Bahrain. Michael Schumacher failed to finish in 2005, while Kimi Raikkonen was out in 2018.
Abu Dhabi: Sebastian Vettel made his 118th and final start with Ferrari at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Only Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa made more appearances for Ferrari. Vettel failed to reach Q3 at the event for the first time since 2015. This was his first Q2 exit at the Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari’s 60th Q2 exit since the system was introduced in 2006. For the first time since 2009, Ferrari failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the first time since 2014 that neither Ferrari driver has finished on the podium at the Yas Marina Circuit.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.