F1 2019 highs & lows: Lewis Hamilton dominates – but what was best fight, best race, best lap?


Lewis Hamilton received correct over half the races this season on his choice to a sixth F1 championship

Lewis Hamilton ended 2019 with a dominant victory in the Abu Dhabi Huge Prix, a fitting end to perhaps the most spectacular season of his profession.

The Mercedes driver has received 11 races – correct over half – and has had a lock on his sixth championship for the explanation that early summer season. However the predictability of Hamilton’s confirmation as king of F1 as soon as more was as soon as a stark difference from the in general intellectual and compelling on-note circulate of the particular particular person races.

The influence given by the outcomes that Mercedes enjoy had every little thing their very enjoy map was as soon as belied by the truth of some intensely competitive circulate all over the season, as novel stars emerged, and snappy-paced narratives aplenty kept interest high.

As F1 2019 disappears into the rear-gaze mirror, it looks successfully timed to peep inspire on the moments that made the season, and attempt to construct all of it into some more or less point of view, with a bite-measurement overview of the three hundred and sixty five days.

Driver of the three hundred and sixty five days

Lewis Hamilton received 11 races, produced a sequence of amazing performances and made a success the championship peep loads more straightforward than it in actuality was as soon as. But he so nearly didn’t grab this.

Had this text been written at half-distance, Max Verstappen would enjoy bought it. The Dutchman has been completely prominent this three hundred and sixty five days, carrying on the rich vein of manufacture he realized from Canada in 2018. But finally Hamilton correct edges him.

For Verstappen, there are restful about a too many rough edges. He made errors on the start in Belgium and Italy, and the combo of foolhardiness and thoughtlessness that mark him pole – and victory – in Mexico because he didn’t grab for yellow flags in qualifying nearly tips him out on its enjoy.

On high of that, after a tiresome-ish – for him – start over the principle four races, Hamilton build his foot on the throat of the season and never let it off. And he was as soon as prominent in so many races – Bahrain, Canada, France, Silverstone, Hungary, Belgium, Mexico and Austin were all terrific drives.

OK, he made about a errors in Germany, and misjudged a passing hasten in Brazil. He is restful the gold in fashion. But Verstappen this three hundred and sixty five days ran him very shut.

Simplest pressure

Hamilton build in the hard work for the grab in Hungary: “I’m tired, which is how it may perhaps perhaps merely restful be.”

A lot of contenders for this one. Charles Leclerc was as soon as wise in Bahrain, as dominant a performance as somebody produced all three hundred and sixty five days in merely his 2nd plod for Ferrari – and it was as soon as a dreadful injustice that he lost that grab to an engine wiring teach. He was as soon as also ice-chilly beneath stress in both Belgium and Italy, though he will get a dark stamp for pushing Hamilton broad in Monza.

Verstappen received three races, all of them high-drawer of their very enjoy map – his chilly alter in the moist in Germany when so many others were losing their autos and their heads; his relentless fee thru to victory when he came alive unhurried in the plod in Austria was as soon as superior; Brazil was as soon as a pleasant point out of racing and plod-craft in the correct vehicle on the day.

But Hamilton’svictory in Hungarywas as soon as perhaps the better of an excellent deal of nice drives by the enviornment champion. Tracking Verstappen for see you later, nearly pulling off what would were the overtake of the season around the outside of Turn Four, and then closing 20 seconds in as many laps after a unhurried pit stop to pass the Crimson Bull for the grab.

Simplest plod

Vettel watches his Ferrari fetch towed away after his collision with personnel-mate with Leclerc in Brazil

A toss-up between Brazil and Germany.Hockenheim was as soon as improbable,with so many incidents and twists and turns – the move strip skating rink on the perfect two corners that caught out Hamilton, Leclerc and Nico Hulkenberg, a comedy pit stop from Mercedes, Vettel climbing from the inspire to 2nd and Daniil Kvyat taking an no longer seemingly podium for Toro Rosso.

ButBrazil edged it for drama. It had every little thing – passes for the lead, nice overtakes, safety autos, the 2 Ferraris colliding, wise drives (Carlos Sainz third from the inspire of the grid – wow) and a fairytale 2nd space for Pierre Gasly.

READ ALSO  Sean Payton binged Netflix, ice cream after loss

If truth be told, there were many nice races – six in a row from Austria to Italy. And Mexico and Austin were reasonably rattling upright, too.

Simplest battle

No longer even the pit lane was as soon as safe from the Verstappen and Leclerc battle at Silverstone

No contest – it has to beLeclerc v Verstappen at Silverstone.It was as soon as completely chronicle. Verstappen tried every little thing, and Leclerc – restful offended on the map he had been barged out of victory in Austria per week sooner than – defended as if his lifestyles relied on it, and took issues correct to the threshold in doing so.

There was as soon as one moment – when Verstappen was as soon as in actuality in front going into Stowe, completely for Leclerc to shoot inspire forward as they entered the nook – that you just may perhaps perhaps perhaps’t quite imagine took space no topic how time and again you gaze it.

There is now not any higher compliment than to command that it was as soon as paying homage to the famed scrap between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux at Dijon in 1979, except it went on for 20-peculiar laps, no longer three.

Simplest lap

The Vettel finger point was as soon as inspire after a delayed qualifying session due to Typhoon Hagibis

Leclerc has been pole region king this three hundred and sixty five days, so this has to be one amongst his seven pole positions, correct? The greater of them was as soon as surely Belgium, where he was as soon as a gob-smacking 0.748 seconds faster than personnel-mate Sebastian Vettel.

No longer so snappy, though. I asked Ferrari personnel boss Mattia Binotto what he belief was as soon as the correct lap by a Ferrari driver all three hundred and sixty five days, trying forward to him to grab one amongst Leclerc’s. However the reply was as soon as a shock – he saidVettel’s pole in Japan.

Binotto admitted it was as soon as “hard” to command it was as soon as better than Leclerc’s at Spa. But after some belief he stuck to his guns. It was as soon as a “perfect lap,” he said – and in the event you gaze the onboard photos, he’s now not any longer awful – and it was as soon as also “surprising”.

It came after a speed of 9 races in which Leclerc had out-qualified the German and in the center of the big stress that was as soon as inserting on Vettel. And Binotto paid Leclerc a huge compliment, too, with an announcement that says a ways more in regards to the teach at Ferrari than correct the phrases themselves: “For him to beat Charles in a qualifying manner it was as soon as a special lap.”

So Vettel in Japan it’s a ways.

Honorary bid, too, for Hamilton’s performances in splitting the Ferraris in Singapore and Russia, in both of which he was all as soon as more than 0.6 seconds definite of personnel-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Simplest driver outside the tip three groups

Sainz’s maiden podium in Brazil was as soon as McLaren’s first since 2014

Carlos Sainz had a wise first season at McLaren. Personnel-mate Lando Norris edged him in qualifying in the principle half of the three hundred and sixty five days, however the Spaniard most incessantly owned the 2nd half of the season and has raced with maturity, chilly and controlled aggression all three hundred and sixty five days.

The highlight of an excellent deal of amazing drives was as soon as climbing from final to third – as soon as Hamilton was as soon as penalised – in Brazil. Or no longer it’s correct a shame he didn’t fetch to revel in the podium for accurate. Even Fernando Alonso – the particular person he changed – would were good enough with that one, and that is the explanation in actuality announcing something.

Greatest controversy

Need to be the wreck between the 2 Ferrari drivers in Brazil. It had been coming for a while, but restful the shock/disbelief of it was as soon as enormous. How Ferrari deal with them goes to be one amongst the mountainous tales of 2020.

Worst mistake

Witness out: Stroll was as soon as on the receiving end of Vettel’s moment of madness in Monza

For the 2nd three hundred and sixty five days in a row, Vettel will get this. If truth be told, he wins gold, silver and bronze.

In third space, Canada, where he went off beneath stress from Hamilton, and then rejoined in a map that was as soon as adjudged to be dangerous, earning a five-2nd penalty that mark him victory. The penalty was as soon as controversial but he don’t enjoy bought it if he hadn’t made the mistake in the principle space.

READ ALSO  Tate on Manning to Jones: Kind of like Favre to Rodgers

The silver medal is for ramming Verstappen up the inspire at Silverstone when entirely misjudging an attempt and re-pass the Dutchman at Vale.

Gold medal – and worst by a ways –was as soon as for Monza.It was as soon as negative enough that he spun on his enjoy at Ascari, an completely unforced error. But to then rejoin and collide with Lance Stroll’s Racing Point was as soon as a misjudgement that can perhaps perhaps were embarrassing for a pay-driver rookie, let along a four-time world champion.

There is the collision he prompted with Leclerc in Brazil to throw into the mix, too.

Leclerc also made a clanger – costing himself a possible grab in Baku by crashing in qualifying. “Tiresome,” he scolded himself, and it was as soon as, even if Ferrari didn’t advantage by sending him out on medium tyres for that speed.

Overtake of the three hundred and sixty five days

Albon carried out fifth on the Belgian Huge Prix

There were some stunners this three hundred and sixty five days – Leclerc pulled off two crackers in Monaco, on Norris into Loews and on Haas’ Romain Grosjean at Rascasse, sooner than getting over-daring and coming to peril when he tried the Grosjean one again on Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.

On the principle lap of Monaco, Sainz went aspect by aspect with Alexander Albon thru Sainte Commit, out-dragged him up the hill and then did Daniil Kvyat around the outside of Massenet. That was as soon as reasonably special.

As was as soon as Leclerc’s hasten around the outside of Pierre Gasly at Village throughout the British Huge Prix.

However the winner isAlexander Albon for his in the reduction of-inspire on Daniel Ricciardoout of Rivage at Spa and then passing the Renault around the outside of the rapid downhill left-hander that follows, in his first plod for Crimson Bull. No-one overtakes there. But Albon did.

Rookie of the three hundred and sixty five days

Norris carried out the season 11th in the drivers’ championship

This is the type of noteworthy one, because Albon, Norris and Williams’ George Russell enjoy all been nice of their very enjoy strategies.

Albon’s highs were spectacularly upright. His pressure in the moist at Hockenheim was as soon as one amongst the performances of the three hundred and sixty five days – he had the Toro Rosso up in fourth space on merit and he was as soon as racing with Hamilton’s Mercedes. It was as soon as a grave injustice that personnel-mate Kvyat was as soon as the Toro Rosso driver who ended up on the podium thanks to a lucky unhurried stop for slicks, when Albon had outclassed him all day.

Albon’s qualifying lap in Japan, matching Verstappen to the thousandth of a 2nd on his first focus on with to Suzuka, was as soon as equally amazing. But overall he has been too a ways off Verstappen since joining Crimson Bull.

Russell has blitzed Robert Kubica at Williams, entirely overshadowing the Pole’s comeback after eight years out, out-qualifying him at each single plod by nearly 0.6secs a lap on realistic and most incessantly proving map faster in the races, too. And there were a handful of races when Russell hauled the Williams into the inspire of the midfield.

But it surely’s hard to reflect Russell because Kubica’s stage is an unknown – he looked a shadow of the driver he as soon as was as soon as – and the Williams was as soon as too tiresome, so he hardly had any opponents against which to measure himself.

On stability, then Norris edges it. He, too, has been nice. McLaren’s internal data of absolute tempo all over plod and qualifying shows there is nearly nothing to advise from him and Sainz on pure plod – they’re separated by minute fractions on realistic. And Sainz is a noteworthy personnel-mate. Norris was as soon as comfortably on the inspire of Sainz in the championship but his plod outcomes would peep better were it no longer for some uncomfortable reliability.

All three appear to enjoy vivid futures sooner than them.

Simplest chassis

Over the season, the Mercedes was as soon as demonstrably the correct vehicle, as 15 wins and a median qualifying profit of 0.116secs over Ferrari and 0.388secs over Crimson Bull attest, even if among the victories were Hamilton wins rather then Mercedes ones, and some were handed to them on a plate by Ferrari.

But by the end of the three hundred and sixty five days the influence was as soon as that Crimson Bull had caught them up.

Simplest engine

Ferrari famed three wins in a row at Spa, Monza and Singapore

Ferrari clearly had the most highly efficient engine all three hundred and sixty five days. Their profit was as soon as so nice from Spa to Japan that it bought tongues wagging, and provoked rivals into fishing for what may perhaps perhaps very successfully be occurring, which resulted in some technical clarifications from the FIA.

READ ALSO  Broncos' Phillip Lindsay set to return for training camp

Mercedes and Crimson Bull seen a reduction in Ferrari’s straight-line plod profit after that and overall competitiveness – though Ferrari said that was as soon as the total map down to them running more downforce on the races in ask and that nothing had been changed of their engine.

But even then their energy-unit was as soon as restful the correct; it was as soon as correct a ask of by how unparalleled.

Lowest point

A purple helmet was as soon as displayed in memory of Lauda sooner than the Monaco Huge Prix

Two of these – F1 lost two of its perfect figures someday of 2019, with the deaths of triple world champion Niki Lauda and FIA F1 director Charlie Whiting.

The loss of Whiting, on the eve of theseason-opening plod in Australia,was as soon as a devastating blow to many in the game.

Whiting, 66, was as soon as a large character, steeped in F1, the hurry-to man on all matters to blueprint with the foundations, and but one amongst the most traditional folks in the paddock. He was as soon as trying out improvements to the note on Wednesday evening in Melbourne, chatting to Vettel, but suffered an embolism in a single day, and the game lost an unsung hero.

Lauda – F1 nice, pilot, businessman, Mercedes non-executive director, TV pundit – succumbed to lung considerations sooner than the Monaco Huge Prix. So unparalleledhas been written about him,there is now not any must repeat it here. Suffice it to command that Lauda was as soon as a uniquely brave resolve, and F1 is now not any longer seemingly to peep the likes of him again.

Greatest development

McLaren were unrecognisable from the personnel that carried out 2018 with the 2nd slowest vehicle in the enviornment. After blaming Honda engines for their uncomfortable performance for three years, the belated realisation of how a ways that they had fallen, following their swap to Renault engines, precipitated a important restructuring on the personnel.

Giant work was as soon as carried out thru the final months of 2018 on the novel vehicle and they hit the bottom running in 2019 and never looked inspire.

The appearance of spectacular novel personnel boss Andreas Seidl in Might maybe well elevated the momentum.

The driver line-up of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris is younger and spectacular and there is a novel lightness and cause about McLaren, who peep successfully on the aspect road to restoration.

Greatest fright

Easy. Mercedes’ 56-2nd pit stop with Hamilton in Germany, as they ran round admire Laurel and Hardy, carrying their 1950s reproduction uniforms, celebrating 100 years of Mercedes in motorsport, trying to interchange his front fly and tyres.

Worst plod

‘Jetpack Man’ delivering the quirky gorilla trophy was as soon as as sharp because it bought on the French Huge Prix

France – F1 bought an excellent deal of stick in the principle half of the three hundred and sixty five days due to Mercedes’ dominance, even if the particular particular person races weren’t too negative and it was as soon as nowhere arrive as one-sided as the outcomes made it peep.

Had Ferrari delivered on their possible, it may perhaps perhaps merely restful were four wins to Mercedes and three to Ferrari after Canada, and then there would were no talk of domination.

Either map, whether or no longer it came after seven consecutive Mercedes wins or no longer, France was as soon as a dire plod – correct because it had been in 2018, when the Paul Ricard note made its return.

Practically completely uneventful,besides rather of scrapping for the minor aspects locations, Hamilton miles definite of Bottas, on a note whose structure is demarcated completely by paint. Because the birthplace of enormous prix racing, France deserves a local on the F1 calendar. But it surely and the game deserve better than Ricard.

Read More

Comment