The Formula One season will start in earnest once again this March, with a collection of drivers hoping to finally stop Lewis Hamilton’s domination of the sport.
The 35-year-old has won five of the last six driver’s titles and is only one short of matching German legend Michael Schumacher’s record of seven. He won his third title in a row in the United States with two races of the season still to pan out. He’s a clear favorite for the 2020 season, but there are plenty of hungry young drivers just waiting to topple the king.
They won’t have long to wait now, as bwin Sports explains how the 2020 Formula 1 season starts with the Australian GP in March which was a race won by Valtteri Bottas last time out. Bottas also won the US Grand Prix in which Hamilton took his world title and he’s bound to be a big player this time out.
Indeed, Hamilton has already spoken highly of his Mercedes teammate, insisting the Finnish driver ensured he felt the heat last season. He only finished four races outside of a podium place, as well as retiring twice, and he could be the biggest threat Hamilton faces to his record-breaking seventh championship.
Racing fans are also getting excited at the prospect of seeing Charles Leclerc in action once again in the Ferrari. The Monaco-youngster began his career with Sauber and swiftly became the first Monegasque to achieve a points finish in only his third race at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
He registered nine more top 10 finishes and his exciting form in a car traditionally outside the points ensured a drive with Ferrari for 2019. In his first year with them, he proved his potential with seven podium finishes and back to back wins in Belgium and Italy. He finished fourth in the driver’s rankings and is surely set to get better this coming campaign.
His Ferrari teammate is another who will be looking to get the better of Hamilton: Sebastian Vettel has lived in the shadow of the six-time champion for the last six years. They’ve clashed throughout their careers and although the German won four straight titles between 2010 and 2013, he’s been unable to add a fifth thanks to Hamilton’s domination of the sport which sees him top of the all-time driver’s table. Vettel only won one race in 2019, the Singapore Grand Prix, and with so many exciting drivers on the roster, he now has his work cut out proving his quality this season.
Another young gun looking to make his name is Max Verstappen and he completes the quintet of favorites. He finished third last season after solid wins in Austria, Germany and Brazil and at just 22-years-old, is sure to be battling with Leclerc on the tracks long after the other heavyweights have hung up their helmets for good. He’s from good stock too; his father Jos Verstappen was an F1 driver who managed two podium finishes between 1994 and 2003.
Whilst Hamilton is sure to be a favorite and eager to draw level with Schumacher as one of the all-time greats, the F1 roster hasn’t looked as competitive and progressive for some time. Leclerc and Verstappen might not manage to take the top prize in 2020, but they will ensure they solidify their reputations as the real stars of the future.