As you may have seen here previously, Formula 1 is coming to Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi.
The new grand prix will mark an exciting addition to the global F1 calendar, and will naturally bring all kinds of excitement to Vietnam. This will be a lot of fun for fans and casual onlookers alike. But for those who fall into the latter category, it might also be helpful to study Formula 1 a little bit before the Hanoi race (which will be the third of the 2020 season).
To that end, we’ve written up a brief guide to some of the drivers it’s most crucial to be aware of. If you’re looking to sharpen your F1 outlook before next year, these are the drivers to watch and read about….
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton is the best driver racing today, and has a chance to go down, statistically, as the best of all time. Few men hold the position of best in Formula 1 for longer than four or five years at a time, but Hamilton seems likely to keep going a while longer. He’s well on his way to another Driver’s Championship in 2019 (his sixth), and the UK’s bookmaking sites online are likely to have him listed universally as the favorite in 2020. It will be a treat for anyone to watch him race in Hanoi.
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
Valtteri Bottas is Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, which almost assures him second place at best (though not in any formal sense). That said, he’s a driver to be taken seriously on the circuit. At the moment, he’s actually well positioned to finish second in the drivers’ standings in 2019, giving Mercedes two thirds of the podium. If anything, we’d guess the odds will predict minor regression in 2020 (this has arguably been the best season of his career), but he’s certainly another driver to keep an eye on, and someone who could win any given race.
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Just 21 years old, Monte-Carlo native Charles Leclerc looks like the next big thing in Formula 1 racing. He’s become the top man at Ferrari, and is at the time of this writing tied for third in the drivers’ standings. Leclerc was tabbed a few years ago as one of a few up-and-comers to watch, and has recently shocked everyone with his form. If there’s going to be a dominant driver once Hamilton stops winning championships, this could be the man, which means watching him in Hanoi could offer a glimpse of the future.
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Max Verstappen supporters would read the previous paragraph on Charles Leclerc and think, “not so fast.” The Belgian driver, who races for Red Bull, is also 21 years of age, was also heralded some time ago as an up-and-comer, and is neck-and-neck with Leclerc. He appears likely to compete with Leclerc for championships for years to come, and is clearly another person to keep your eye on in Hanoi.
Pierre Gasly (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
French native Pierre Gasly has long been known to F1 fans but may have snuck up on more casual observers. He was not heralded the same way Leclerc and Verstappen have been, and he’s about two years their senior as well. Gasly has put in a very solid performance in 2019 though, and is also interesting to watch because he competes for Scuderia Toro Rosso, rather than one of the traditional top manufacturers. Gasly is perhaps a tier below the other drivers here, but he can certainly compete with any of them on any given day.
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Sebastian Vettel was Lewis Hamilton before Hamilton. Most would argue that Hamilton has by now surpassed him in the all-time F1 ranks, but it’s close, which speaks to just how dominant Vettel was not so very long ago. The one-time Red Bull champion now races for Ferrari, and though he’s essentially given way to Leclerc as the top driver for the decorated manufacturer, he’s still a threat on every circuit. It’s unlikely Vettel will get back to the form with which he was winning championships seemingly every year, but he’s still a legend in action, which is always special to see.