The selection process behind Autosport’s top 50 drivers of 2020 is discussed in the latest edition of the Autosport Podcast.
Autosport has polled its correspondents to put together a list of the 50 best drivers each year since 2002, with Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton coming out on top for a third year in succession.
The highly condensed nature of the 2020 motorsport campaign meant that drivers had a shorter time span to impress than in past years, with the shortest-ever World Rally Championship – at just seven-rounds – among those to suffer.
The unusual scheduling of the season also meant that the final entrants to the list were determined before the Super GT and Super Formula seasons were wrapped up, with Naoki Yamamoto’s late charge to win both series being omitted as a result.
IndyCar racer Alexander Rossi, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were among those who dropped out of the list, while NASCAR champion Chase Elliott headed the new entries, which included F2 runner-up Callum Ilott and WTCR champion Yann Ehrlacher.
Among the highest climbers were Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly, who rose from 50th in 2019 to fourth in 2020, and re-entry Antonio Felix da Costa in third, the Formula E champion’s first appearance in Autosport’s list since placing 50th in 2013.
He wasn’t the only Portuguese driver to end a long wait though, with Filipe Albuquerque’s success in the World Endurance Championship LMP2 division, as well as claiming the overall European Le Mans Series title and LMP2 class victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, recognised with a return to the list first time since 2010.
Autosport Grand Prix editor Alex Kalinauckas is joined by Chief Editor Kevin Turner, Autosport.com editor Haydn Cobb and Autosport magazine editorial assistant Matt Kew to discuss the formation of the 2020 list and debate its merits.