Following an exhilarating season filled with fascinating storylines and subplots, we have compiled our 10-1 ranking of the top performing F1 drivers of the 2020 campaign.
This order is considering performances across the entire 17-round season and respective competitiveness of each driver’s equipment.
10 - Valtteri Bottas
While 2020 will ultimately go down as another comprehensive defeat to Hamilton, there were positives to take from a season in which Valtteri Bottas played a big role in ensuring Mercedes kept up its streak of successive world championship triumphs.
Bottas may look back on his season with disappointment, having racked up two wins and five pole positions in a car that his teammate drove to victory 11 times, but going up against Hamilton at the top of his game is one of - if not the - toughest gig in F1.
Such was Hamilton’s superiority that Bottas ended up finishing the year a whopping 124 points behind the Briton, despite contesting an extra race when Hamilton missed the Sakhir GP due to contracting coronavirus.
It was perhaps this race under the lights in Bahrain that did the most damage to Bottas’ reputation in 2020, as he was outclassed and usurped by George Russell on his Mercedes debut.
Despite not fitting properly into Hamilton’s W11, Russell came within a whisker of beating Bottas to pole at his first attempt, before he snatched the lead and confidently pulled out away from Bottas seemingly at ease.
A fairytale first victory went begging following Mercedes’ calamitous pit stop which also ended Bottas’ own hopes of achieving the win and getting a rare chance to shine Hamilton’s absence.
Bottas speed in qualifying is undeniable, and although he lost out 11-5 to Hamilton on a Saturday, he proved a formidable opponent over one lap.
It was Sundays that let Bottas down as he struggled to match Hamilton’s tyre management skills and race craft. Misfortune also plagued Bottas at times, with the Finn suffering a late puncture at the British GP and race-ending engine problem in Germany having led the opening stages, before his lowest of lows came in Turkey when he spun six times en route to finishing 14th and a lap down on Hamilton.
On his day - like in Austria and Russia - Bottas proved he could be the quicker of the two Mercedes on merit, but these standout performances were ultimately scarce as Hamilton romped home to another title success.
Come back tomorrow to find out which driver has made position number 9 in our top 10 rankings...