Eight consecutive victories for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton claimed his 4th win of the season with ease while team-mate Valterri Bottas held-off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for 2nd. The last-lap of the race provided much excitement with positions being fought for up and down the field. However, it failed to hide the fact that the 2019 French GP was just another boring and predictable race in 2019.
Celebrations at McLaren
McLaren were the surprise package of the weekend with the team getting both cars into the top 10 on Saturday and more importantly, both cars into the points come Sunday. Taking advantage of Sebastian Vettel’s and Pierre Gasly’s poor qualifying, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr lined up in 5th and 6th, the team’s best qualifying result since the 2014 Italian GP. Sainz jumped Norris at the start and narrowly stayed ahead all race meanwhile Norris endured a more difficult day. The Brit, in the second half of the race, encountered hydraulic issues which affected his steering, braking and gear-shifting. Th chasing pack caught him on the final lap in which Norris dropped from 7th to 10th which became 9th after Daniel Ricciardo’s time penalties. McLaren hold 4th place in the championship with 40 points, 8 ahead of engine supplier Renault.
Welcome return to points for Kimi and Alfa
After 3 non-scoring races, Kimi Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo returned to the points with an impressive drive from the “Iceman” to take 7th place. The 2007 World Champion originally finished in 8th but due to Ricciardo’s time penalties, the Finn was promoted to 7th to claim 6 points. Raikkonen’s run of 4 consecutive points finishes came to a halt in Spain with difficult races in Monaco and Canada, where the Italian team struggled for pace, so points were more than welcome. The former Ferrari driver, known for not saying much, says that the race was “good fun” and enjoyed the race-long battle with Nico Hulkenberg. This result moves Raikkonen to 8th in the championship with 19 points.
Post-Race penalties leaves Ricciardo pointless
After the success in Canada where it seemed that Renault and Daniel Ricciardo were now on a roll, both parties will be leaving circuit Paul Ricard with mixed feelings. Ricciardo flew the flag for the home team on Saturday, making it into Q3 for the 3rd successive time, eventually lining up in P8. After dropping to 10th at the start of the race, the Australian pulled off some amazing moves to go into the last lap in 8th behind the McLaren of Norris. However, Ricciardo attempted to overtake round the outside of the Mistral Chicane but couldn’t stop his Renault in time thus running off track. As he rejoined the track, Norris had to take avoiding action in which the Stewards gave a time penalty of 5 seconds. Another penalty was awarded after Ricciardo overtook Raikkonen with all of his 4 wheels off the track in which another 5 seconds was added – dropping him to 11th.
Haas endure “worst” F1 weekend
Team Principal, Guenther Steiner, hoped that the French GP would be a turning point for the American team but it turned out to be even worse than they had hoped claiming that they endured their “worst” F1 weekend since debuting in 2016. Despite being regular contenders in Q3 in qualifying, Haas has failed to convert their one-lap pace into race-long pace and they have put that down to failing to get the Pirelli tyres working properly. Finishing in 17th, Kevin Magnussen was “surprised” at the lack of pace while team-mate and the only retirement of the race, Romain Grosjean said that there was ‘not much we could hope for’. Having scored at only 3 out of the 8 races so far, Haas lie in 9th with 16 points.
1.Lewis Hamilton 187pts 2.Valterri Bottas 151pts 3.Sebastian Vettel 111pts 4.Max Verstappen 100pts 5.Charles Leclerc 87pts 6.Pierre Gasly 37pts 7.Carlos Sainz Jr 26pts 8.Kimi Raikkonen 19pts 9.Daniel Ricciardo 16pts 10.Nico Hulkenberg 16pts
1.Mercedes 338pts 2.Ferrari 198pts 3.Red Bull Racing Honda 137pts 4.McLaren Renault 40pts 5.Renault 32pts 6.Racing Point BTW Mercedes 19pts 7.Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 19pts 8.Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 17pts 9.Haas Ferrari 16pts 10.Williams Mercedes 0pts
Round 9 of the F1 2019 Season takes place on the 30th of June in Montreal for the Canadian GP