2019 v 2020 Qualifying Comparison

Mercedes and Red Bull have solidified themselves this year as leading manufacturers, but the midfield has tightened and caught up to the front runners. The Abu Dhabi qualifying offers a direct comparison as they were the season ending race in both years. Throughout the season it has been evident the Ferrari engine has suffered, and as such the Ferrari engine runners have been slower, whilst every other team has seen improvements.

Team2019 Average Time2020 Average TimeDifference
Ferrari1:35.2791:36.348+1.069
Racing Point1:37.0791:36.040-1.039
McLaren1:36.4481:35.656-0.792
Renault1:36.5831:36.383-0.200
Alpha Tauri1:37.1151:36.103-1.012
Alfa Romeo1:38.2491:37.315-0.934
Haas1:37.6531:38.018+0.365
Williams1:38.9771:38.244-0.733

Racing Point have been the standout performers this season. After openly admitting to taking inspiration from last years Mercedes, they performed a second better than last season in qualifying. In 2019 they finished seventh in the constructorโ€™s championship; theyโ€™ve made unbelievable strides to be in top contention to finish in third place this year.

Alpha Tauri have also improved by a second this season; last year both cars were stuck in Q2, this year both drivers made it to Q3. A lot of the credit in Alpha Tauriโ€™s performance will come down to Gaslyโ€™s confidence boost throughout the season with his maiden win in Monza. Whilst Gasly will take the limelight, Kvyat has been steady throughout.

Alfa Romeo have improved their car this year, which is a surprise with the Ferrari engine being slow all year. I believe much of the improvement comes from the coming of age of Giovinazzi, who has been steadily improving and beating his more experienced teammate. Ferrari have clearly struggled the most, a lot of their pace last year came from their illegal engine, and resultingly without it this year they are now sixth in the constructors, dropping from second.

McLaren are 8 tenths faster than last year, and as such are in good contention to achieve third in the constructors in the final race of the season. This year has been a testament to their reliability and consistency. Last year they achieved four top five finishes, this year they have 11. Not only are they close to getting third in the constructors, but they have also closed the gap to Red Bull. In 2019 they were 250 points away from Red Bull, this season theyโ€™re under 100.

The fairy-tale of the season has been the renaissance of Williams; last year they languished at the back but this year under George Russell the Williams has thrusted itself into the midfield battle. Whilst they are still on the fringes of the points, their qualifying pace has been astounding. Russell has achieved Q2 this season nine times, when they never achieved the feat in 2019.     

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