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2019 Formula One World Championship

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2019 FIA Formula One
World Championship
Drivers' Champion: Lewis Hamilton
Constructors' Champion: Mercedes
Pole Trophy: Charles Leclerc
Previous: 2018 Next: 2020
Support series:
Formula 2 Championship
FIA Formula 3 Championship
Porsche Supercup
Lewis Hamilton won his sixth Drivers' Championship
Lewis Hamilton won his sixth Drivers' Championship
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was runner-up, driving for Mercedes.
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was runner-up, driving for Mercedes.
Max Verstappen (pictured in 2018) finished the season in third place, driving for Red Bull-Honda.
Max Verstappen (pictured in 2018) finished the season in third place, driving for Red Bull-Honda.
Mercedes retained the Constructors' Championship for a sixth consecutive year; pictured is the F1 W10 EQ Power+ driven by Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes retained the Constructors' Championship for a sixth consecutive year; pictured is the F1 W10 EQ Power+ driven by Valtteri Bottas.

The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship was the motor racing championship for Formula One cars which marked the 70th running of the Formula One World Championship. It is recognised by the governing body of international motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Starting in March and ending in December, the championship was contested over twenty-one Grands Prix. Drivers competed for the title of World Drivers' Champion, and teams for the title of World Constructors' Champion. The 2019 championship also saw the running of the 1000th World Championship race, the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix.[1][2]

Lewis Hamilton successfully defended the World Drivers' Championship for the second year running, winning his sixth championship title at the United States Grand Prix. Mercedes successfully defended the World Constructors' Championship, securing the title for the sixth consecutive year at the Japanese Grand Prix to tie Ferrari's record from 1999 to 2004.

Entries

Ten teams, with two drivers each, competed in the championship in 2019.

Teams and drivers competing in the 2019 World Championship
Entrant Constructor Chassis Power unit Race drivers
No. Driver name Rounds
Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C38 Ferrari 064 7
99
Finland Kimi Räikkönen
Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
All
All
Italy Scuderia Ferrari[a] Ferrari SF90 Ferrari 064 5
16
Germany Sebastian Vettel
Monaco Charles Leclerc
All
All
United States Haas F1 Team[b] Haas-Ferrari VF-19 Ferrari 064 8
20
France Romain Grosjean
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
All
All
United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren-Renault MCL34 Renault E-Tech 19 4
55
United Kingdom Lando Norris
Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
All
All
Germany Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes F1 W10 EQ Power+ Mercedes M10 EQ Power+ 44
77
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Finland Valtteri Bottas
All
All
United Kingdom SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team Racing Point-BWT Mercedes RP19 BWT Mercedes[c] 11
18
Mexico Sergio Pérez
Canada Lance Stroll
All
All
Austria Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing-Honda RB15 Honda RA619H 10
23
33
France Pierre Gasly
Thailand Alexander Albon
Netherlands Max Verstappen
1–12
13–21
All
France Renault F1 Team Renault R.S.19 Renault E-Tech 19 3
27
Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Germany Nico Hülkenberg
All
All
Italy Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda STR14 Honda RA619H 23
10
26
Thailand Alexander Albon
France Pierre Gasly
Russia Daniil Kvyat
1–12
13–21
All
United Kingdom ROKiT Williams Racing Williams-Mercedes FW42 Mercedes M10 EQ Power+ 63
88
United Kingdom George Russell
Poland Robert Kubica
All
All
Sources:[3][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Free practice drivers

Across the season two drivers drove as a test or third driver in free practice sessions. Nicholas Latifi drove for Williams at six Grands Prix, while Naoki Yamamoto drove for Toro Rosso at the Japanese Grand Prix.[3]

Team changes

Red Bull Racing ended its twelve-year partnership with Renault and switched to Honda engines.[15] In doing so, Red Bull Racing joined sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso in using Honda power after the latter joined the Japanese manufacturer in 2018. Neither team is recognised as Honda's official factory team under the terms of the agreement.[16]

Racing Point F1 Team completed their transition from the Racing Point Force India identity that they used after a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll purchased the assets of Sahara Force India in August 2018.[17]

Sauber was renamed Alfa Romeo Racing in an extension of the sponsorship deal that began in 2018.[18] The Sauber name disappeared entirely from the Formula One grid, but is still used in the Formula 2 and Formula 3 support categories.[19][20]

Haas F1 Team signed a title sponsorship agreement with energy drinks manufacturer Rich Energy for 2019 before the end of the 2018 season.[21] However, this agreement was later terminated on 9 September 2019, due to a series of off-track disputes between Haas and Rich Energy, and legal issues for Rich Energy.[22]

Driver changes

Alexander Albon (left), Lando Norris (center) and George Russell (right) made their Formula One debuts with Toro Rosso, McLaren and Williams respectively.

The lead up to the 2019 championship saw several driver changes. Daniel Ricciardo moved to Renault after five years with Red Bull Racing,[23][24] replacing Carlos Sainz Jr. Ricciardo's drive at Red Bull Racing was taken by Pierre Gasly, who was promoted from Scuderia Toro Rosso, the team with whom he made his first Formula One start in 2017.[25] Daniil Kvyat rejoined Toro Rosso after last racing for the team in 2017.[26] He was partnered with Formula 2 driver Alexander Albon, who replaced Brendon Hartley.[27] Albon subsequently became only the second Thai driver to race in Formula One after Prince Bira.[28]

Sainz, who was on loan to Renault in 2018, did not have his deal with Red Bull renewed and subsequently moved to McLaren to replace two-time World Drivers' Champion Fernando Alonso,[29] who had earlier announced that he would not compete in Formula One in 2019.[30][31] Sainz was partnered with 2017 European Formula 3 champion Lando Norris, replacing Stoffel Vandoorne who left McLaren to race in Formula E with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA Racelab.[32][33][34]

Charles Leclerc left Sauber after one year with the team, replacing Kimi Räikkönen at Ferrari.[35] Räikkönen returned to Sauber, now renamed Alfa Romeo, with whom he had started his career in 2001.[36] He was partnered with Antonio Giovinazzi, who made two starts for Sauber when he replaced the injured Pascal Wehrlein in 2017.[37][38] Marcus Ericsson moved to race in the IndyCar Series in 2019 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports but remained with Alfa Romeo as a third driver and brand ambassador.[37][39][40]

Reigning Formula 2 champion George Russell joined Williams[41] replacing Lance Stroll. Robert Kubica made his return to Formula 1, replacing Sergey Sirotkin at Williams. Sirotkin returned to Renault as a reserve driver. Kubica's return comes after an eight-year absence brought on by a near-fatal rally car crash in 2011 that left him with serious arm injuries.[42][43]

Esteban Ocon left Racing Point Force India and joined Mercedes as a reserve driver. Ocon shared the role of simulator driver with Stoffel Vandoorne.[44][45] Ocon was replaced at Racing Point by Lance Stroll, who left Williams.[46]

Mid-season changes

In the build-up to the Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing announced that Pierre Gasly would be demoted to Toro Rosso and Alexander Albon would be promoted in his place so that his performance would be evaluated in view of the team's 2020 line-up.[47][48] The decision to release Gasly was criticised as he had completed just twelve races with the team, while Albon and Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat had both previously been released from contracts with the Red Bull Junior Team and Red Bull Racing respectively.[49]

Calendar

Nations that hosted a Grand Prix in 2019 are highlighted in green, with circuit locations marked with a black dot. Former host nations are shown in dark grey, and former host circuits are marked with a white dot.
Nations that hosted a Grand Prix in 2019 are highlighted in green, with circuit locations marked with a black dot. Former host nations are shown in dark grey, and former host circuits are marked with a white dot.

The following twenty-one Grands Prix were run as part of the 2019 World Championship. Each race was run over a minimum number of laps that exceeds a total distance of 305 km (189.5 mi); the only exception to this is the Monaco Grand Prix, for which the distance is 260 km (161.6 mi).[50]

Schedule of events
Round Grand Prix Circuit Race date
1 Australian Grand Prix Australia Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne 17 March
2 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir 31 March
3 Chinese Grand Prix China Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai 14 April
4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit, Baku 28 April
5 Spanish Grand Prix Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmeló 12 May
6 Monaco Grand Prix Monaco Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo 26 May
7 Canadian Grand Prix Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal 9 June
8 French Grand Prix France Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet 23 June
9 Austrian Grand Prix Austria Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 30 June
10 British Grand Prix United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone 14 July
11 German Grand Prix Germany Hockenheimring, Hockenheim 28 July
12 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungary Hungaroring, Mogyoród 4 August
13 Belgian Grand Prix Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot 1 September
14 Italian Grand Prix Italy Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza 8 September
15 Singapore Grand Prix Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore 22 September
16 Russian Grand Prix Russia Sochi Autodrom, Sochi 29 September
17 Japanese Grand Prix Japan Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka 13 October
18 Mexican Grand Prix Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City 27 October
19 United States Grand Prix United States Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas 3 November
20 Brazilian Grand Prix Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo 17 November
21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi 1 December
Sources:[51][52][53]

Calendar changes

The Mexican and United States Grands Prix swapped places on the calendar so that the United States round follows the Mexican Grand Prix.[51][54]

Regulation changes

Race Director and Technical Delegate Charlie Whiting died unexpectedly days before the opening race of the season in Australia.[55] Deputy Race Director Michael Masi was named as his successor for Race Director.[56][57]

Technical regulations

In a bid to improve overtaking, teams agreed to a series of aerodynamic changes that affect the profile of the front and rear wings. The front wing endplates were reshaped to alter the airflow across the car and reduce the effects of aerodynamic turbulence and winglets above the main plane of the front wing have been banned. The slot in the rear wing was widened, making the drag reduction system (DRS) more powerful.[58] The agreed-upon changes were drawn from the findings of a working group set up to investigate potential changes to the technical regulations in preparation for the 2021 championship. The front wing was made 200 mm (7.9 in) wider, 20 mm (0.79 in) higher, and moved 25 mm (0.98 in) further forward. The rear wing was made 100 mm (3.9 in) wider and 70 mm (2.8 in)[59] higher, with a 20 mm (0.79 in) larger DRS opening.[60]

Parts of the technical regulations governing bodywork were rewritten in a bid to promote sponsorship opportunities for teams.[61] The agreed changes are to mandate smaller bargeboards and limit aerodynamic development of the rear wing endplates to create more space for sponsor logos. The changes were introduced as a response to falling revenues amid teams and the struggles of smaller teams to secure new sponsors.

The mandated maximum fuel levels were raised from 105 kg (231 lb) to 110 kg (240 lb) to minimise the need for drivers to conserve fuel during a race.[62] Driver weights are no longer considered when measuring the minimum weight of the car. This change was agreed to following concerns that drivers were being forced to lose dangerous amounts of weight in order to offset the additional weight of the post-2014 turbo-hybrid engines.[62] Drivers who weigh less than 80 kg (180 lb) are required to make up this weight with a ballast, located around the seat to minimise possible performance gains. The changes were introduced to eliminate the advantage drivers with a naturally smaller body shape had over taller and heavier drivers and to discourage unhealthy diet and exercise regimes to improve performance.[63]

Sporting regulations

The regulations introduced a bonus point to the driver (and the constructor) that sets the fastest lap in a race. The point is only awarded if the driver is classified in the top ten at the end of the race. This makes 2019 the first time since 1959 that a bonus point gets awarded for setting the fastest lap.[64][65]

Driver safety

The FIA introduced a new standard for driver helmets with the intention of improving safety. Under the new standard, helmets will be subjected to a more thorough range of crash tests aimed at improving energy absorption and deflection as well as reducing the likelihood of objects penetrating the helmet's structure. All certified helmet manufacturers were required to pass the tests in advance of the 2019 championship to have their certification renewed. Once introduced to Formula One, the new standard will gradually be applied to all helmets used by competitors in every FIA-sanctioned event.[66]

Tyres

Tyre supplier Pirelli renamed its range of tyres following a request from the FIA and the sport's management. The governing body argued that the naming conventions used in 2018 were obtuse and difficult for casual spectators to understand.[67][68] Under the new plan, names given to particular compounds, such as "hypersoft" and "ultrasoft", will be replaced by referring during each race to the three compounds teams have available for that race as soft, medium and hard. This is hoped to aid fans in understanding the tyre compounds used at each round. The actual compounds for the season will be referred to by number, from the firmest ("1") to the softest ("5").[d] Pirelli will continue to decide which three compounds are made available for each race. The practice of using colours to identify the specific compound (such as pink for the hypersoft) will be discontinued, with white, yellow and red being used for the three compounds available for each race where white denoted the hardest available compound and red the softest. As all five compounds are available in testing there will be slight variations in the details on the tyre sidewalls to distinguish between the different compounds during testing.[70][71]

Season report

Opening rounds

The season started with the Australian Grand Prix, won by Valtteri Bottas from second on the grid in dominant fashion, finishing 20 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton who himself only narrowly beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen to second.[72] Verstappen's third place marked the first podium for a Honda powered car in over 10 years, last achieved at the 2008 British Grand Prix.[73]

The second race of the season was the Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari topped every practice session and then went on to lock out the front row in qualifying. Charles Leclerc earned the first pole position of his career by setting a lap time 3 tenths of a second quicker than his teammate Sebastian Vettel. In the race, Leclerc fell down to 3rd in the 1st corner behind Vettel and the championship leader Valtteri Bottas. However, he then climbed back up the order to take the lead despite being told by his team, Ferrari, not to overtake his teammate. Late in the race, Leclerc was leading by around 10 seconds before his engine developed an issue, allowing Lewis Hamilton to take the race lead. A few laps later, Valtteri Bottas also overtook Leclerc pushing him down to 3rd and making it a Mercedes 1–2. Just as it was looking like Max Verstappen was going to overtake Leclerc as well, a safety car was called out due to both of the Renault cars of Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo having engine and power issues at turns 1 and 3. The race finished behind the safety car for the eighth time in F1 history.[74] As a result, Lewis Hamilton won, Valtteri Bottas came second, and Charles Leclerc came home third for his first podium and Ferrari's first podium of the season. After the race Valtteri Bottas led the Drivers' Championship by 1 point over teammate Lewis Hamilton.

At round three, the Chinese Grand Prix which was noted as F1's 1000th race, Hamilton led away at the start and won the Grand Prix, resulting in him taking the championship lead by 6 points over his teammate Bottas, whilst Mercedes extended their lead over Ferrari, becoming the first team since Williams in 1992 to start a season with 3 consecutive 1–2 finishes.[75] Pierre Gasly set the fastest lap and finished in sixth, after pitting with 3 laps remaining as Ferrari got their second podium of the season with Vettel.

At the next round, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, it was a different story. In the first practice session, George Russell's Williams made contact with a drain cover down the straight on the floor after Charles Leclerc, who was fastest in the session because it was suspended, also made contact with the drain cover but with his left front tyre. The next two practice sessions were all about Leclerc, being fastest in all three practice sessions. In qualifying, Pierre Gasly was fastest in the first session but did not set a time in the second because it was irrelevant since he would start in the pitlane for not stopping for the weighbridge in one practice session. Charles Leclerc, the favourite for pole, timed 2nd in the first session and was 5th in the second session, but crashed at turn 8 in the same session, locking up his tyres and missing the apex, going into the barrier. This meant that Leclerc's qualifying was over, at least physically; he did make it into the final session but did not set a time as a result of the crash. Valtteri Bottas took pole ahead of championship leader Hamilton. Kimi Räikkönen originally qualified ninth, but started from the pitlane after his car failed a front wing deflection test and joined Red Bull driver Gasly in starting in the pitlane as his teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi, received a ten-place grid penalty for using a third control electronic in his power unit and started 17th. In the race, Lewis Hamilton did get the better start, but Bottas had better pace and stayed in the lead. Charles Leclerc, who started 8th, was 4th after losing two spots in the opening lap and was getting steady pace with leader Bottas on the fresh set of medium tyres he got as a result of his crash during qualifying. After Bottas, Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel pitted for tyres, Charles Leclerc took the lead and led the race for a long time. Eventually, Bottas retook the lead from Leclerc who had not pitted yet at that time. A virtual safety car was deployed after an incident with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat at a runoff area. Bottas won the race by 1.5 seconds over teammate Hamilton and took a 1-point lead in the Drivers' Championship. Charles Leclerc took his 2nd fastest lap after pitting with less than 5 laps remaining as his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, took 3rd place for the team.[76]

European rounds

At the Spanish Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas dominated the entire qualifying session, finishing in first place each time, thus giving him his third consecutive pole of the 2019 season. Hamilton, however, got past him quickly at the first corner in the race. The safety car was deployed on lap 44 after a collision between Racing Point's Lance Stroll and McLaren's Lando Norris, which ultimately did not change the positions of the top 6 runners. Mercedes finished again for their fifth 1–2 finish as Hamilton took the chequered flag (along with the fastest lap point) and Bottas four seconds behind. Red Bull's Max Verstappen completed the podium.[77]

At the Monaco Grand Prix, teams and drivers honoured the memory of F1 legend and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, who had died the week before the race. Mercedes painted their halos red and other teams and some drivers memorialised Lauda on their cars and helmets. Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid again, with Hamilton on pole and Bottas in second. During the race, Red Bull's Max Verstappen was released unsafely from his pit box and impeded Valtteri Bottas, resulting in a five-second time penalty for Verstappen. In the second half of the race, Hamilton was on the radio complaining about his graining tyres, but his team kept him out. Second-placed Verstappen kept the pressure on Hamilton, with Verstappen coming close to Hamilton in the final laps of the race at the Nouvelle Chicane. Hamilton went on to win the race and although Verstappen was second, his penalty was applied and it demoted him to fourth place. This promoted Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to second and Mercedes's Bottas to third, ending Mercedes's 1–2 winning streak.[78]

At the Canadian Grand Prix, free practice was eventful. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton made contact with the wall at turn 8, damaging his car, and some other drivers made contact not just there, but also at the Wall of Champions. Qualifying 2 was red-flagged after Kevin Magnussen slammed into the Wall of Champions, which also affected some racers trying to improve their times. At the end of qualifying, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won pole position ahead of Hamilton. Vettel led from the start until lap 48, when he lost control of his Ferrari and slid across the grass at turn 3, regaining control as he came back onto the circuit and nearly colliding with Hamilton. The stewards controversially gave Vettel a five-second time penalty for this incident as they deemed it an unsafe re-entry to the track and impeding Hamilton. Although Vettel crossed the finish line first, Hamilton was less than five seconds behind, so was promoted to first place after the penalty was applied. Vettel's teammate, Charles Leclerc finished in third place, and Mercedes's Valtteri Bottas received the fastest lap bonus point. Although Ferrari had intended to appeal the ruling, they withdrew but reviewed the evidence further. During free practice at the next race, the stewards announced that they would not review Ferrari's new evidence, thus the final standings stood with Hamilton in first and Vettel in second.[79]

At the French Grand Prix, Mercedes dominated the free practice sessions. Hamilton was summoned to the stewards' office for rejoining the track unsafely, forcing Red Bull's Max Verstappen off the track, but no penalty was issued. Mercedes locked out the front row again in qualifying with Hamilton on pole and Bottas in second. Mercedes secured their sixth 1–2 of the season with Hamilton finishing 18 seconds ahead of Bottas, and Leclerc completing the podium less than a second behind Bottas. At the end of the final lap, fifth-placed finisher Vettel set the fastest lap for a bonus point.[80]

At the Austrian Grand Prix, some drivers spun off the track in free practice due to wind. In qualifying, Leclerc secured his second pole position. Verstappen was promoted to second and Bottas third after second-placed Hamilton was given a grid penalty for impeding Kimi Räikkönen in Q1. In the race, Leclerc led away as Verstappen lost a few positions at the start. However, Verstappen found power for his car and managed to come back, passing Leclerc with just a few laps left. An investigation followed after contact was made between the two at turn 3 on lap 69, but the stewards deemed it a racing incident. All drivers finished the race, with Verstappen winning the race for a second consecutive year as well as setting the fastest lap. Leclerc finished second and Bottas finished third. It was the first win for a Honda-powered F1 car since Jenson Button in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, and the first non-Mercedes win in 2019.[81]

At the British Grand Prix, the newly resurfaced track surface caused plenty of eventful moments throughout the weekend, with Romain Grosjean crashing his car on the pit exit and Kimi Räikkönen's Alfa Romeo stopping on the Wellington straight, the latter of which brought out a red flag. The drivers all struggled with track grip levels throughout the session, and although there was some brief rain, it had little impact on the running in the session. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was chasing for a 6th consecutive pole position at Silverstone but Bottas pipped him to pole by 0.006 seconds, almost as close as the 0.002-second time gap by which Vettel beat Fernando Alonso in the 2010 German Grand Prix. The opening laps did provide for some battling between the two Mercedes drivers, but the safety car played a crucial role in the Mercedes battle when Giovinazzi became stuck in the gravel trap at the penultimate corner and Hamilton pitted under the safety car, whereas Bottas had already pitted a few laps earlier during open racing. Thereafter, Vettel and Verstappen were battling for 3rd when Vettel misjudged his braking point at Vale corner and rammed into the back of Verstappen, resulting in a 10-second penalty, which led Vettel to finish behind the two Williamses. It also promoted Pierre Gasly to a joint career-best finish of 4th. Leclerc took 3rd, Bottas took 2nd, and Lewis Hamilton won his 6th British Grand Prix, equalling the record for the most home grand prix wins with Alain Prost. Hamilton also set the fastest lap on the final lap with the hardest tyre, which he ran for most of the race.[82]

At the German Grand Prix, Mercedes ran a special one-off livery to commemorate their 125th anniversary in motorsport. Ferrari looked set to be the favourites for pole, having been fastest in every practice session, but both hit technical difficulties during qualifying, leaving Hamilton to take pole. Vettel started the race from last place. Everything changed in the race as it rained heavily before the start, leading the race to have a standing start for the first time. As the race progressed, many drivers spun off or crashed, particularly at the final two turns of the track, where Nico Hülkenberg and Charles Leclerc ended their races. Hülkenberg was on course to take his first ever podium before he crashed out. Hamilton also fell victim at the same place, but managed to keep going with a broken front wing. He was later penalized for entering the pit lane outside the bollard, later having a spin, and ended up 11th. Max Verstappen went on to claim victory in the race, with Vettel recovering from last to second, and the third podium place went to Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, who made a stop for slick tyres late in the race to claim his third career podium and Toro Rosso's first since the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, after a close battle with Racing Point's Lance Stroll. Post-race, both Alfa Romeos, which finished 7th and 8th, were penalized for technical infringements, promoting Hamilton and Williams's Robert Kubica into the points, the latter scoring Williams's first – and what turned out to be only – points of the season, as well as his first since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.[83]

Verstappen took his maiden pole at the Hungarian Grand Prix, equalling the record with Sir Jackie Stewart for taking the most victories before a maiden pole. An unexpected extra stop for Hamilton soon led him to winning the race and beating Verstappen in the closing laps, who was suffering from graining tyres late in the race, having been battling with Hamilton previously.[84]

The two tracks immediately after the summer break were more suited to Ferrari's top speed advantage, with Leclerc winning both the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix from pole position. In both races, Leclerc was under strong pressure from Hamilton throughout, winning the Belgian race by less than a second, before Hamilton ultimately dropped back after missing the first chicane in Italy. This enabled Bottas to finish second and slightly close up in the title race. Leclerc won his first two career wins consecutively and within the timespan of one week, as Vettel and Verstappen endured two terrible weekends. His victory at Belgium was an emotional one, as the race was overshadowed by the death of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert the previous day. The Renault junior driver was involved in an accident on lap 2 of the Feature Race, succumbing to his injuries later that evening. This saw Leclerc close up in the battle for third in the Drivers' Championship. Leclerc also became the first Ferrari Monza winner since Fernando Alonso's victory in 2010. Qualifying sessions for both races were unusual in that Leclerc won pole by a sizeable margin of more than 0.7 seconds on a dry track in Belgium, whereas almost the entire Q3 field missed crossing the line in time for their second timed lap at Monza, as no driver wanted to be at the front of the group as they would not have the advantage of a tow from the car in front – a significant benefit at Monza, the season's fastest track.[85][86]

Closing rounds

Vettel ended a winless streak stretching over a year to win at the Singapore Grand Prix for Ferrari, the team's third consecutive victory. Leclerc had qualified on pole ahead of Hamilton and Vettel and led the first stint. However, a timely pitstop by Vettel saw him unintentionally undercutting Leclerc with an outlap three seconds faster than Leclerc's inlap. Hamilton then tried an overcut that did not work, limiting him to a fourth-place finish, as Mercedes were off the podium with both cars. Hamilton initially kept a reasonable pace, before his tyres fell off and the midfield cars behind him started to run faster laptimes than him. After his pitstop, he was unable to pass Verstappen, who finished third. There were three safety car spells in the second half of the race, although the complexion of the Singapore circuit made the restarts uneventful up front as the top cars ran in formation. This marked the first time in eleven years that Ferrari had won three races in a row and was Vettel's record fifth win at Singapore, and also the first time a team has finished 1–2 in Singapore. The race results saw Leclerc move ahead of Verstappen and climb to third in the standings for the first time of the season.[87]

Leclerc took his fourth consecutive pole at the Russian Grand Prix, but at the start of the race, it was Vettel who led, contradicting a pre-race agreement that had been discussed. Vettel led until he made his first stop on lap 26, but an engine component failed just after his stop, prompting his retirement (the four-time world champion even demanding the return of V12 engines as in the 1990s on the team radio as he ground to a halt). This prompted a Virtual Safety Car, during which both Mercedes as well as Leclerc pitted, therefore resulting in a 1–2 finish for Mercedes with Hamilton winning. Leclerc could only finish third behind the Mercedeses.

At the Japanese Grand Prix, free practice sessions 1 and 2 went as scheduled on Friday, with Mercedes topping each of the sessions. Because of Typhoon Hagibis, all events for Saturday, with the exception of qualifying, were cancelled with qualifying instead being rescheduled to Sunday morning. Vettel and Leclerc both locked out the front row for a Ferrari 1–2, with Bottas and Mercedes not far behind. The Red Bull drivers of Verstappen and Albon finished with the exact same Q3 time, but Verstappen received the position ahead of his teammate as he was released first. At the race, Vettel had an issue when the lights went out to start the race, letting Bottas pass by easily. Leclerc and Verstappen had a tangle at turn 2 on the opening lap, which saw Leclerc being given a five-second penalty; he was later given a ten-second penalty for driving in an unsafe condition after the collision. Verstappen eventually retired from the race, his second DNF of the season. The chequered flag was waved a lap early, and though Sergio Perez of Racing Point crashed out, his 9th place standing was left intact as the results of the race were taken from lap 52. Bottas of Mercedes finished first, Vettel of Ferrari finished second, and Hamilton finished third with Hamilton receiving the fastest lap point. With the 1–3 finish for Mercedes, the team had secured their sixth consecutive Constructors' Championship. Renault had both drivers disqualified for a technical infringement following a protest from Racing Point.

At the Mexican Grand Prix, Hamilton won his tenth Grand Prix of the season, after a first-corner touch with Verstappen that saw them both crossing the grass at turn 2. Verstappen lost several positions, and in fighting his way back past Bottas sustained a puncture that effectively ended his challenge. Sebastian Vettel finished second and Valtteri Bottas third. Although Hamilton could have taken the World Championship, he was unable to outscore Bottas by a sufficient number of points.[88]

At the United States Grand Prix, Bottas won from pole followed by Hamilton and Verstappen. Second place in the race was enough for Hamilton to claim his sixth World Drivers' Championship making him the second most successful Formula One driver in terms of Championship wins behind Michael Schumacher.[89]

At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Verstappen won from pole. Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz Jr. took their first podiums, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. The race changed dramatically on lap 53 when Valtteri Bottas retired with an engine problem, bringing out the safety car to bunch up the field. Immediately after the end of the safety-car period, Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel collided on the back straight, causing both to retire. Debris from the incident brought out the safety car again, returning to the pits with two laps remaining. Following the restart, Lewis Hamilton misjudged an overtaking manoeuvre on Alexander Albon, putting the latter into a spin and dropping him from a podium position to being out of the points. Hamilton's car was damaged but he was able to continue, although he lost second place to Pierre Gasly. Gasly and Hamilton were involved in a dramatic flat-out race to the finish line, with DRS being unavailable as this was only the second lap following the safety car ending. Gasly held onto second place, with his ability to keep Hamilton's Mercedes at bay in a straight fight being a major show of strength for the Honda engine. Hamilton occupied the final step of the podium, but was later given a 5-second time penalty for causing the incident with Albon. This dropped him to 7th and promoted Carlos Sainz Jr. to his first podium in Formula One in his 101st race – the longest any podium winner has had to wait for his first podium in F1 history.[90]

Hamilton took pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ending his pole-less streak since Germany, and went on to dominate and win the race, taking the sixth Grand Slam of his career. Verstappen was initially overtaken by Leclerc at the start but despite having minor engine issues, managed to repass him later on. Leclerc had been summoned to the stewards regarding a fuel issue, and Ferrari were fined €50,000 while Leclerc got to keep his position. Bottas, who started from 20th and last due to multiple engine penalties, was able to recover to 4th place, despite a DRS issue affecting the entire grid for the first 17 laps of the race.

Results and standings

Grands Prix

Round Grand Prix Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Winning constructor Report
1 Australia Australian Grand Prix United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Finland Valtteri Bottas Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes Report
2 Bahrain Bahrain Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc Monaco Charles Leclerc United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
3 China Chinese Grand Prix Finland Valtteri Bottas France Pierre Gasly United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
4 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Grand Prix Finland Valtteri Bottas Monaco Charles Leclerc Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes Report
5 Spain Spanish Grand Prix Finland Valtteri Bottas United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
6 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton France Pierre Gasly United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
7 Canada Canadian Grand Prix Germany Sebastian Vettel Finland Valtteri Bottas United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
8 France French Grand Prix United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
9 Austria Austrian Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc Netherlands Max Verstappen Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda Report
10 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Finland Valtteri Bottas United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
11 Germany German Grand Prix United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Netherlands Max Verstappen Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda Report
12 Hungary Hungarian Grand Prix Netherlands Max Verstappen Netherlands Max Verstappen United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
13 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc Germany Sebastian Vettel Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari Report
14 Italy Italian Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari Report
15 Singapore Singapore Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc Denmark Kevin Magnussen Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Ferrari Report
16 Russia Russian Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
17 Japan Japanese Grand Prix Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes Report
18 Mexico Mexican Grand Prix Monaco Charles Leclerc[e] Monaco Charles Leclerc United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report
19 United States United States Grand Prix Finland Valtteri Bottas Monaco Charles Leclerc Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes Report
20 Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix Netherlands Max Verstappen Finland Valtteri Bottas Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda Report
21 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Grand Prix United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes Report

Scoring system

Points were awarded to the top ten classified drivers and the driver who set the fastest lap. The points were awarded for every race, using the following system:[92]

Position  1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th   FL 
Points 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1 1

The point for fastest lap was only awarded if the driver was classified in the top ten for the race. Two fastest lap points were not awarded this season as Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap but did not classify within the top ten in Singapore and Brazil, respectively. As Daniil Kvyat and Nico Hülkenberg ended the season with an identical number of points, a count-back system was used as a tie-breaker, with the driver's best result used to decide the standings. [92]

World Drivers' Championship standings

Pos. Driver AUS
Australia
BHR
Bahrain
CHN
China
AZE
Azerbaijan
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
AUT
Austria
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
SIN
Singapore
RUS
Russia
JPN
Japan
MEX
Mexico
USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
ABU
United Arab Emirates
Points
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 2P 1 1 2 1F 1P 1 1P 5 1F 9P 1 2 3F 4 1F 3F 1 2 7 1PF 413
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas 1F 2 2P 1P 2P 3 4F 2 3 2P Ret 8 3 2 5 2 1 3 1P RetF 4 326
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 1F 5 1F 2PF Ret 8 3 4 Ret 6 3 1P 2 278
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc 5 3PF 5 5F 5 Ret 3 3 2P 3 Ret 4 1P 1P 2P 3P 6 4PF 4F 18dagger 3 264
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel 4 5 3 3 4 2 2P 5F 4 16 2 3 4F 13 1 Ret 2P 2 Ret 17dagger 5 240
6 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ret 19dagger 14 7 8 6 11 6 8 6 5 5 Ret Ret 12 6 5 13 8 3 10 96
7 France Pierre Gasly 11 8 6F Ret 6 5F 8 10 7 4 14dagger 6 9 11 8 14 7 9 16dagger 2 18 95
8 Thailand Alexander Albon 14 9 10 11 11 8 Ret 15 15 12 6 10 5 6 6 5 4 5 5 14 6 92
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Ret 18dagger 7 Ret 12 9 6 11 12 7 Ret 14 14 4 14 Ret DSQ 8 6 6 11 54
10 Mexico Sergio Pérez 13 10 8 6 15 12 12 12 11 17 Ret 11 6 7 Ret 7 8 7 10 9 7 52
11 United Kingdom Lando Norris 12 6 18dagger 8 Ret 11 Ret 9 6 11 Ret 9 11dagger 10 7 8 11 Ret 7 8 8 49
12 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 8 7 9 10 14 17 15 7 9 8 12 7 16 15 Ret 13 12 Ret 11 4 13 43
13 Russia Daniil Kvyat 10 12 Ret Ret 9 7 10 14 17 9 3 15 7 Ret 15 12 10 11 12 10 9 37
14 Germany Nico Hülkenberg 7 17dagger Ret 14 13 13 7 8 13 10 Ret 12 8 5 9 10 DSQ 10 9 15 12 37
15 Canada Lance Stroll 9 14 12 9 Ret 16 9 13 14 13 4 17 10 12 13 11 9 12 13 19dagger Ret 21
16 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 6 13 13 13 7 14 17 17 19 Ret 8 13 12 Ret 17F 9 15 15 18dagger 11 14 20
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 15 11 15 12 16 19 13 16 10 Ret 13 18 18dagger 9 10 15 14 14 14 5 16 14
18 France Romain Grosjean Ret Ret 11 Ret 10 10 14 Ret 16 Ret 7 Ret 13 16 11 Ret 13 17 15 13 15 8
19 Poland Robert Kubica 17 16 17 16 18 18 18 18 20 15 10 19 17 17 16 Ret 17 18 Ret 16 19 1
20 United Kingdom George Russell 16 15 16 15 17 15 16 19 18 14 11 16 15 14 Ret Ret 16 16 17 12 17 0
Pos. Driver AUS
Australia
BHR
Bahrain
CHN
China
AZE
Azerbaijan
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
AUT
Austria
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
SIN
Singapore
RUS
Russia
JPN
Japan
MEX
Mexico
USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
ABU
United Arab Emirates
Points
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)
Annotation Meaning
P Pole position
F Fastest lap

Notes:

  • dagger – Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as he completed more than 90% of the race distance.

World Constructors' Championship standings

Pos. Constructor AUS
Australia
BHR
Bahrain
CHN
China
AZE
Azerbaijan
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
AUT
Austria
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
SIN
Singapore
RUS
Russia
JPN
Japan
MEX
Mexico
USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
ABU
United Arab Emirates
Points
1 Germany Mercedes 1F 1 1 1P 1F 1P 1 1P 3 1F 9P 1 2 2 4 1F 1 1 1P 7 1PF 739
2P 2 2P 2 2P 3 4F 2 5 2P Ret 8 3 3F 5 2 3F 3 2 RetF 4
2 Italy Ferrari 4 3PF 3 3 4 2 2P 3 2P 3 2 3 1P 1P 1 3P 2P 2 4F 17dagger 3 504
5 5 5 5F 5 Ret 3 5F 4 16 Ret 4 4F 13 2P Ret 6 4PF Ret 18dagger 5
3 Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 1F 4 1F 2PF 5 6 3 4 4 5 3 1P 2 417
11 8 6F Ret 6 5F 8 10 7 5 14dagger 6 Ret 8 6 5 Ret 6 5 14 6
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Renault 12 6 14 7 8 6 11 6 6 6 5 5 11dagger 10 7 6 5 13 7 3 8 145
Ret 19dagger 18dagger 8 Ret 11 Ret 9 8 11 Ret 9 Ret Ret 12 8 11 Ret 8 8 10
5 France Renault 7 17dagger 7 14 12 9 6 8 12 7 Ret 12 8 4 9 10 DSQ 8 6 6 11 91
Ret 18dagger Ret Ret 13 13 7 11 13 10 Ret 14 14 5 14 Ret DSQ 10 9 15 12
6 Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda 10 9 10 11 9 7 10 14 15 9 3 10 7 11 8 12 7 9 12 2 9 85
14 12 Ret Ret 11 8 Ret 15 17 12 6 15 9 Ret 15 14 10 11 16dagger 10 18
7 United Kingdom Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 9 10 8 6 15 12 9 12 11 13 4 11 6 7 13 7 8 7 10 9 7 73
13 14 12 9 Ret 16 12 13 14 17 Ret 17 10 12 Ret 11 9 12 13 19dagger Ret
8 Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 8 7 9 10 14 17 13 7 9 8 12 7 16 9 10 13 12 14 11 4 13 57
15 11 15 12 16 19 15 16 10 Ret 13 18 18dagger 15 Ret 15 14 Ret 14 5 16
9 United States Haas-Ferrari 6 13 11 13 7 10 14 17 16 Ret 7 13 12 16 11 9 13 15 15 11 14 28
Ret Ret 13 Ret 10 14 17 Ret 19 Ret 8 Ret 13 Ret 17F Ret 15 17 18dagger 13 15
10 United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 16 15 16 15 17 15 16 18 18 14 10 16 15 14 16 Ret 16 16 17 12 17 1
17 16 17 16 18 18 18 19 20 15 11 19 17 17 Ret Ret 17 18 Ret 16 19
Pos. Constructor AUS
Australia
BHR
Bahrain
CHN
China
AZE
Azerbaijan
ESP
Spain
MON
Monaco
CAN
Canada
FRA
France
AUT
Austria
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
HUN
Hungary
BEL
Belgium
ITA
Italy
SIN
Singapore
RUS
Russia
JPN
Japan
MEX
Mexico
USA
United States
BRA
Brazil
ABU
United Arab Emirates
Points
Source:[93]
Key
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Other points position
Blue Other classified position
Not classified, finished (NC)
Purple Not classified, retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Withdrawn (WD)
Annotation Meaning
P Pole position
F Fastest lap

Notes:

  • dagger – Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as he completed more than 90% of the race distance.

Notes

  1. ^ Ferrari entered rounds 2–6 and rounds 17–21 as "Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow".[3]
  2. ^ Haas entered rounds 1–14 as "Rich Energy Haas F1 Team".[3]
  3. ^ Racing Point F1 Team uses Mercedes M10 EQ Power+ power units. For sponsorship purposes, these engines were rebadged as "BWT Mercedes".[4]
  4. ^ Seven compounds were technically available in 2018, although the "superhard" tyre was never used.[69]
  5. ^ Max Verstappen set the fastest time in qualifying, but received a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow for a yellow flag. Charles Leclerc was promoted to pole position in his place.[91]

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