F1 2019: Hulkenberg’s F1 future in doubt?

Now a veteran of 168 races and haven driven for the likes of Williams and Sauber, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg has yet to stand on the F1 podium. Now 31 years old, the German’s F1 future is in doubt in whether he will be on the grid for the 2020 F1 Season.

19/08/19

Since debuting for Williams in 2010, Hulkenberg has remained in F1 since 2012 and has proved to be a consistent and quick mid-field driver who has shown what he is capable off.

His first glimpse of pure pace was in Brazil when he’d taken Pole Position in a rain-affected qualifying session. Since he’s scored 491 points and taken 2 Fastest Laps with a career best of 4th achieved at the 2012 Belgian GP, 2013 Korean GP and the 2016 Belgian GPs.

He’s been with current team Renault F1 since 2017 and has scored 129 of the teams 218 points. His results this season, compared to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, have been mixed. He’s out-raced the Australian 5 times but trails him by 5 points in what has been a difficult first half of the season for the French outfit.

Plausible 2020 options

Renault: This is the more likely option but interestingly, it depends on what happens at Mercedes. Mercedes management are currently deciding whether to replace Valterri Bottas with Esteban Ocon or to keep the status quo. Now, Renault have been interested in Ocon for a long time, the young Frenchman was a reserve with the team. This would be the ideal fit for Renault but not for Hulkenberg as the German would be dropped in favour of Ocon. On the other hand, Hulkenberg has been with the team since 2017 and has been a major factor in the team’s upward trend in the past few years.

Haas: This has been speculated in the past few races. With Romain Grosjean struggling alongside Kevin Magnussen, the rumours are that Hulkenberg, if he is muscled out of Renault, will go to Haas and join Magnussen. However, Hulkenberg and Magnussen have history, with the pair having their differences on track and discussing them publicly. I think Hulkenberg would suit the Haas overalls but his relationship with Magnussen will play into the minds of Haas management. Would Hulkenberg go to a team that are currently behind lagging behind the team he’s with now?

Red Bull: This rumour started around the Azerbaijan/Spanish GP and was/still is fuelled by the poor performances by Pierre Gasly. The struggling Frenchman has found it hard living up to the standard of Max Verstappen and struggles to have a consistent weekend. I think Hulkenberg would be a great No.2 alongside Verstappen and I’d personally would quite like to see him in Red Bull overalls. Plus, this would be the move he’s desired, a move to a top, competitive team.

Formula E: Now, if you don’t follow Formula E, you wouldn’t have known that Porsche are joining as a manufacturer for Season 6 which starts later this year. Hulkenberg has connections with Porsche through his Le Mans winning-title in 2015. Although Porsche has already decided on it’s two drivers for Season 6 of Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if Hulkenberg were to join the series in preparation for a Season 7 assault with the German team. This is the more obscure option Hulkenberg has but it cannot be ruled out either.

Verdict?

Honestly, it all depends on what happens at Mercedes. If not, Hulkenberg should be retained at Renault it’s because it’s the obvious choice. The pairing of Ricciardo and Hulkenberg work well – there’s no friction, there’re good friends and they work together on track.

Voters on Twitter actually thought that Hulkenberg will be at Red Bull for 2020 – but this was before the mid-season switch at the team between Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon.

https://rhonansf1blog.com/2019/08/19/f1-2019-gasly-out-albon-in-at-red-bull-for-reminder-of-season/

If anything should happen, expect Hulkenberg to keep an eye on the F1 paddock and to maybe be in another racing series.

 

 

F1 2019: Gasly out, Albon in at Red Bull for reminder of season

Just a few weeks after Red Bull saying that Pierre Gasly’s seat for the reminder of the season would be safe, turns out to be false as the team demote the Frenchman back to Toro Rosso with Alexander Albon named to drive alongside Max Verstappen for the rest of the season.

19/08/19

They’ve done it once and now they’ve done it again. Red Bull have made the ruthless decision to drop Pierre Gasly for the rest of the season and in his place to promote rookie Alexander Albon to partner Max Verstappen for the rest of the F1 2019 campaign.

Gasly’s struggles provide Albon opportunity

After being promoted after an impressive at Toro Rosso due to Daniel Ricciardo departing for Renault, Gasly was the obvious choice for Red Bull to be promoted for 2019 to partner Verstappen.

Red Bull came into the season expecting to have a learning season due to being partnered with Honda for the first time, so teething problems were expected and fingers were crossed to have a championship assault come 2020. However, starting the season, the team seemed to have more of a problem with their chassis rather than the Honda engine. Since, the team have taken 2 victories in the hands of Verstappen along with 3 other podiums. In complete contrast, Gasly has struggled.

While Verstappen took his first career pole, Gasly qualified in 6th a shockingly 8 tenths behind and then in the race, he was lapped by eventual race winner, Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen, who’d finished in 2nd. After the Hungarian GP, Gasly lies in 6th in the championship on 63 points, only 5 points ahead the resurgent McLaren team headed by Carlos Sainz Jr, but 118 points behind 3rd place Verstappen.

The stats don’t make Gasly’s life any easier. He’s only out-qualified Verstappen once in 12 races and he’s only out-raced the Dutchman once in 12 races.

Why did Red Bull make this decision?

As mentioned before, Red Bull did not expect to have such a good season in that they were preparing for a championship challenge come 2020. However, the team’s progress and with the mighty Honda power have made Red Bull a challenger for this year’s championship instead. Red Bull sit 44 points behind Ferrari in 3rd and Verstappen’s recent performance in the past 4 races have Red Bull realise what an opportunity they now have.

The target for the second half of the season is to now out-score and beat Pre-Season favourites, Ferrari. Red Bull ultimately made the decision based on the new target set and with Gasly under-performing, it would have left Verstappen to take the fight to the Ferrari drivers. Hopefully, with two drivers taking the most out of the car, Red Bull can fight for 2nd.

Albon set-up to fail?

Back in 2016, Kvyat and Ricciardo made-up the Red Bull pairing but inconsistent results along with a crash with Sebastian Vettel in Russia, gave Red Bull the golden opportunity to demote Kvyat to Toro Rosso thus giving Verstappen a chance to shine. Verstappen debuted for Red Bull in Spain, a race he’d go onto win and both parties haven’t looked back since.

Runner-up in last year’s F2 Championship, Thai-Brit Albon has scored on 5 occasions with a best of 6th at the German GP in his rookie season. Early potential was easy to spot at the 3rd round of the championship in China where in qualifying, Albon crashed heavily meaning he’d start the race from the back. He put in an impressive drive to finish in 9th claiming his second F1 points finish after leaving Bahrain with a 10th place finish.

‘The team will use the next nine races to evaluate Alex’s performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside Max in 2020.”

Red Bull Statement

It be a tough job going up against Verstappen – a driver who equally been the most impressive driver this season alongside Hamilton and has been simply sensational since last year’s Japanese GP.

This is it. Albon has the rest of the season, 9 races in total, to impress Red Bull Management that he’s the right choice to partner Verstappen come 2020.

 

F1 2019: Mexico GP saved as part of new extended deal

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit will host the Mexican GP until at least 2022 as part of a new deal to keep the popular race on the calendar for three more years.

10/08/19

On Thursday, it was revealed that a ‘new funding model’ featuring private investment had secured the race’s short-term future after public speculation had revealed that the race might drop off of the calendar.

Since returning to the F1 calendar in 2015 after a 23 year hiatus, the popular race revamped race has been a highlight on the calendar and has been the setting for Mercedes Lewis Hamilton’s most recent championship victories in 2017 and in 2018.

Home-favourite, Sergio Perez, who drives for Racing Point, has finished his home-race 3 times with a highest finish of 7th achieved in 2017.

F1 set for record season?

With new races taking place in Vietnam and the Netherlands in 2020, Formula One is set for a record 22 race calendar, the most the sport has ever seen.

Coming into this year, five of F1’s most oldest races, Spain, Germany, Italy, UK and Mexico were on the last year of their current contracts. Since, it’s been confirmed that the British GP will stay on the calendar as part of a new 5 year deal and now the news that Mexico is staying for 3 more years.

F1 2019: Silverstone to remain host of British GP as part of new deal

A deal has been set but there’s no confirmation as of yet of the Italian GP – Ferrari’s home race. Discussions between F1 and Catalan officials have been ongoing with the race at Barcelona being saved.

But it looks like F1 is set to lose Germany after the sport’s most dramatic and frantic races in recent history with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen taking victory.

F1 2019: Verstappen wins dramatic wet/dry German GP as Vettel recovers to 2nd

 

F1 2019: Mid-Season Stats

The Hungarian GP marked the start of the F1 Mid-Season break with drivers and teams getting much deserved time-off. Here are some stats from the 12 races that have been and gone so far.

07/08/19

Most Wins

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 8 wins
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 2 wins
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 2 wins

Most Pole Positions

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 4 Poles
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 4 Poles
  3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2 Poles
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1 Pole
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 1 Pole

Most Podiums

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 10 Podiums
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 9 Podiums
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 6 Podiums
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 5 Podiums
  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 5 Podiums
  6. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, 1 Podium

Most Fastest Laps

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 3 Fastest Laps
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 2 Fastest Laps
  3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2 Fastest Laps
  4. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, 2 Fastest Laps
  5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2 Fastest Laps
  6. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1 Fastest Lap

Most Top 10 Finishes

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 12 Finishes
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 12 Finishes
  3. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 11 Finishes
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 11 Finishes
  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 10 Finishes
  6. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, 9 Finishes
  7. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, 8 Finishes
  8. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, 8 Finishes
  9. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, 5 Finishes
  10. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, 5 Finishes

Most Retirements

  1. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 6 Retirements
  2. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, 4 Retirements
  3. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 3 Retirements
  4. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, 3 Retirements
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, 2 Retirements
  6. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, 2 Retirements
  7. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2 Retirements
  • Valterri Bottas, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez, Alexander Albon, Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovinazzi have 1 Retirement each.

F1 2019: Hamilton beats Verstappen to a 7th Hungarian GP win

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton denies Red Bull’s Max Verstappen of victory after a race-long battle with an excellent strategy choice by Mercedes to have an upper-hand come the end of the race on fresher tyres. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel rounds out the podium in 3rd.

04/08/19

Starting Grid

1.Verstappen  2.Bottas  3.Hamilton  4.Leclerc  5.Vettel  6.Gasly  7.Norris  8.Sainz Jr  9.Grosjean  10.Raikkonen  1.Hulkenberg  12.Albon  13.Kvyat  14.Magnussen  15.Russell  16.Perez  17.Giovinazzi*  18.Stroll  19.Kubica  20.Ricciardo*

  • Giovinazzi* incurs a 3 place grid penalty after impeding Lance Stroll in Q1.
  • Ricciardo* takes new power unit elements.

Tyre Choice

Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jr, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen will start on the Soft tyre with Daniel Ricciardo starting on the Hard tyre. Everyone else will start on the Medium tyre.

Race

The lights go out and it’s a good start by Max Verstappen who moves to the right to cover Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen stays to the inside to defend turn 1 as Bottas and Lewis Hamilton draw alongside Verstappen. Bottas locks-up and leaves him under pressure from Hamilton on the run down to turn 2. They go side-by-side with Hamilton muscling ahead with Bottas taking to the run-off and is under pressure from Charles Leclerc. Leclerc pulls alongside and moves over and there’s a little bit of contact to Bottas’s right hand-side of his front wing.

So Verstappen leads ahead of Hamilton, Leclerc, Bottas and Vettel. Carlos Sainz has overtaken team-mate Lando Norris. Onto lap 2, with front wing damage, Bottas is easy prey for Vettel as the German goes down the inside of turn 1 for 4th. It’s been a poor start by Pierre Gasly who is now 9th while Sergio Perez is up to 12th after starting in 16th.

Onto lap 3, Max Verstappen leads by 2 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton as Valterri Bottas is losing a huge amount of time and is expected to be pitting soon. At the end of lap 5, Bottas pits for a new front wing and new tyres. He goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 20th. He can now effectively go to the end of the race on these set of tyres. Lap 7, Ferrari tell Charles Leclerc to push. There’s a 5 second gap to Hamilton in front with Sebastian Vettel only a couple of seconds behind Leclerc in 4th.

Now at the back of the field, Valterri Bottas is now 49 seconds behind race leader Max Verstappen but has already made his pit-stop. The Soft tyre runners will be coming in soon. Daniel Ricciardo is making his way up the field and is now in 17th after overtaking Antonio Giovinazzi into turn 1. Mercedes tell Bottas that a P6 finish is viable for the end of the race. Verstappen’s lead is still around 2 seconds with Charles Leclerc now 10 seconds behind Verstappen. Ricciardo makes a fantastic move round the outside of Lance Stroll into turn 2 for 16th place.

Onto lap 13, there is some deliberation on the team radio at Ferrari on which strategy each of their two drivers will run. Valterri Bottas is making is way up the field after overtaking Robert Kubica and Antonio Giovinazzi in the last few laps for 18th place. Bottas is now 16th come lap 16 after overtaking George Russell and the driver now ahead of Bottas is Ricciardo in 15th. Lance Stroll, Russell and Giovinazzi have now made their first pit-stops onto the Hard tyre. Onto lap 18, Daniil Kvyat and team-mate Alexander Albon scrap for 12th place with the pair going side-by-side through turns 2,3 and 4 with Kvyat muscling ahead.

Onto lap 19, Max Verstappen’s lead is down to 1.4 seconds as Sergio Perez pits. Perez rejoins in 16th as Verstappen is now starting to lose grip on his tyres. Romain Grosjean pits from 9th and rejoins in 16th, behind Perez. Lap 23, the gap at the front is down to just over a second between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Lap 24, Verstappen is now getting agitated on the radio as he is now complaining about tyre wear. If Verstappen and Hamilton pit now, both would come out behind the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in 3rd.

Lap 26, Max Verstappen pits from the lead as Mercedes tell Lewis Hamilton to push. Verstappen rejoins ahead of Charles Leclerc in 2nd and on the Hard tyre. Mercedes tell Hamilton to try and extend this stint as Verstappen is going very well on his new tyres. Lap 28, Leclerc pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 4th. Meanwhile, Valterri Bottas is still stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo who is still stuck behind Kevin Magnussen. Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly and both rejoin in 11th and 8th with a slow pit-stop for Norris.

Lap 31, Lewis Hamilton pits, goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 2nd behind Max Verstappen as Lando Norris overtakes Daniel Ricciardo for 10th into turn 1. Onto lap 32, Pierre Gasly overtake Nico Hulkenberg for 6th place. Gasly, in the pit-stops has overtaken Norris and Kimi Raikkonen who were all ahead of him before the pit-stops. Valterri Bottas now overtakes Ricciardo for 11th as Norris overtakes Kevin Magnussen round the outside for 9th out of turn 1. With fresh tyres, Hamilton has closed the gap from 6 seconds to now just 1.5 seconds to Verstappen. Onto lap 35, Bottas overtakes Magnussen for 10th as Hamilton hunts Verstappen.

Lap 36, Max Verstappen covers off an attack from Lewis Hamilton into turn 1 and then into turn 2. Verstappen is wary of Hamilton behind and he will be most vulnerable in the run down to turn 1 and then the run to turn 2. Onto lap 39, Verstappen and Hamilton are lapping back-markers and down into turn 1, Hamilton has a pop. Verstappen holds on through turns 1 and 2 but then Hamilton manages to get alongside Verstappen at turn 4 but runs wide and gives the place back. Lap 40, Sebastian Vettel pits. He goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 4th after a slowish pit-stop.

Max Verstappen leads ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr, Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, Lando Norris, Valterri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo, who hasn’t pitted yet. Lap 48, Bottas pits, rejoins on the Medium tyre and rejoins in 12th as Ricciardo pits and rejoins in 15th. Pit-stops for Bottas and Ricciardo has promoted Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat into the points as Hamilton pits! Hamilton goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 2nd. Will Red Bull pit Verstappen?

Max Verstappen, if he pits, will rejoin behind Lewis Hamilton as the pit-lane loss time is more than the gap Verstappen has to Hamilton. Lap 50, Valterri Bottas overtakes Alexander Albon for 11th into turn 1. Onto lap 51, Bottas now overtakes Daniil Kvyat for 10th. With 18 laps to go, the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen is 17.5 seconds as Haas retire Romain Grosjean. Bottas now overtakes Sergio Perez for 9th into turn 1.

Onto lap 57, Max Verstappen leads by 15.6 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers are now encountering back-markers. Onto lap 59, the gap is now down to 13 seconds between Verstappen and Hamilton. As Hamilton catches Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel is catching is Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc in 3rd and 4th. Lap 60, Kevin Magnussen is defending his 14th place hard against Daniel Ricciardo. Fastest lap after fastest lap, Hamilton is catching with only 9 laps to go.

Lap 62, the gap is now 8 seconds between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as it is only 5 seconds between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. Lap 64, on team radio, Verstappen reports that “tyres are dead”. Valterri Bottas overtakes Lando Norris for 8th as the gap at the front is down to 3.5 seconds. Lap 65, the gap now 1.6 seconds. Onto lap 66, Hamilton is just over a second behind.

Onto lap 67, the gap between Max Verstappen is under 1 second and with DRS, Lewis Hamilton goes round the outside of turn 1 to take the lead! A defenceless Verstappen loses out but it’s not over, he pits at the end of lap 67, for a new set of tyres and a shot at the fastest lap. Meanwhile, the gap between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc is under a second for the final podium spot with Vettel going down the inside of turn 1 for 3rd.

Alexander Albon has overtaken Sergio Perez for 10th as Valterri Bottas puts fellow countryman, Kimi Raikkonen under pressure for 7th. Onto the final lap, Lewis Hamilton is on course to win for the 7th time round the Hungaroring, rounds the final corner to win ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel as Verstappen takes the bonus point for the fastest lap.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 70 Laps
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, +17.796s
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +61.433s
  4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +65.250s
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, + 1 Lap
  6. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, + 1 Lap
  7. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  8. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  9. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, + 1 Lap
  10. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 1 Lap
  11. Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  14. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, + 1 Lap
  15. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 2 Laps
  16. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  17. Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  18. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 2 Laps
  19. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, + 3 Laps
  • Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, DNF

F1 2019: Verstappen claims maiden F1 Pole in Hungary

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claims his first F1 Pole Position after a tight qualifying session beating Mercedes Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton as Williams George Russell stars, qualifying in a season best of 16th.

03/08/19

After starting on the front-row 7 times before today having never been on Pole Position, Max Verstappen has missed out on the coveted starting position a number of times, notably last year in Mexico when he lost out to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo but that wasn’t the case today as the Dutchman became the 100th driver to claim a Pole Position.

After his first run in Q3, he was over one and a half tenths ahead of Valterri Bottas to the delight of the Dutch fans. Amazingly, Verstappen improved to a 1:14:572 but had Bottas nipping at his heals only 18 milliseconds behind. In tandem, the Verstappen fans and the Red Bull garage leapt to their feet, cheering on the Austrian and German GP winner.

  • 1st Honda Pole Position since the 2006 Australian GP where Jenson Button took Pole Position.
  • Verstappen becomes the 100th driver to take a Pole Position.
  • He also becomes the first Dutchman to take Pole Position in the history of F1.

It was a much-needed 2nd place for Bottas who crashed out of the German GP in the latter stages. The Finn had been behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton for most of the weekend but it was a real confidence booster for the former Williams driver to beat Hamilton at one of his most successful tracks. Hamilton settled for 3rd but was in better form than last weekend when he nearly pulled out of racing due to him not feeling 100%.

Although being rapid in the first sector of the Hungaroring, Ferrari, were a distant 4th and 5th. Their advantage in the 1st sector had been wiped out come the 3rd sector of the lap where Red Bull and Mercedes had been quicker in the slow to medium speed corners. Charles Leclerc headed Sebastian Vettel but Leclerc’s session could have ended earlier as the Monegasque lost the rear of his SF90 and hit the barriers at turn 14 in Q1 damaging hit rear wing and diffuser. However a speedy fix by his Ferrari mechanics got him out of danger.

Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly struggled in 6th and was more than 3 and a half tenths behind Vettel in 5th. Behind the top 3 team, McLaren once again were very impressive with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr in 7th and 8th with the Haas of Romain Grosjean and the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen rounding-out the top 10.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 and will line-up in 11th while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had a much more tougher time. The Australian was held up by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez on his final run in Q1 and that hampered the “Honey Badger” and he will line-up in 18th.

George Russell starred in Q1. The struggling Williams team seem to have turned a corner in development and understanding of the FW42 with Russell making the most of the updates that the team brought to the German GP last time out to line-up in 16th. This was ahead of Perez, Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and his team-mate, Robert Kubica.

Hungarian Qualifying Result

1.Verstappen  2.Bottas  3.Hamilton  4.Leclerc  5.Vettel  6.Gasly  7.Norris  8.Sainz Jr  9.Grosjean  10.Raikkonen  11.Hulkenberg  12.Albon  13.Kvyat  14.Giovinazzi  15.Magnussen  16.Russell  17.Perez  18.Ricciardo  19.Stroll  20.Kubica

 

F1 2019: Verstappen wins dramatic wet/dry German GP as Vettel recovers to 2nd

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen survives the conditions to win the German GP after an action-packed race ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who started 20th, and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who rounds off the podium as Williams score their first point of the season with Robert Kubica.

28/07/19

Starting Grid

1.Hamilton  2.Verstappen  3.Bottas  4.Gasly  5.Raikkonen  6.Grosjean  7.Sainz Jr  8.Perez  9.Hulkenberg  10.Leclerc  11.Giovinazzi  12.Magnussen  13.Ricciardo  14.Kvyat  15.Stroll  16.Albon  17.Russell  18.Kubica  19.Norris*  20.Vettel

Tyre Choice

Due to the fact that it is raining, the drivers have to start on either the Intermediate or the Wet tyre. Every driver will start on the Wet tyre.

Race

It’s raining! Yep, gone has the sun and bone-dry conditions and now dark clouds have formed over the Hockenheimring and the heavens have opened. Now it’s a gamble to what tyres the drivers choose to start on. The drivers can either choose the Intermediate tyres or the Wet tyres. The Inters are used when their is light rain and the Wets are used when it’s heavy rain. Both tyre treads clear the water quite quickly. This’ll be the first wet race of the season and for rookies such as Lando Norris, Alexander Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi, this will be their first time in an F1 car in the rain! What can the out-of-position Ferrari’s do today? The prefect ingredients for an exciting race.

The FIA have decided that the formation lap that the drivers conduct will be behind the Safety Car. Behind the Safety Car, some drivers including Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen are urging to go racing. Yep, it’s been decided that it will be a standing start, the Safety Car will come in and the drivers will line-up on the grid. This is going to be good!

The drivers line-up in their grid positions and the lights go out and it’s a poor start by Max Verstappen and that allows Kimi Raikkonen to 3rd. Lewis Hamilton leads Valterri Bottas as Sebastian Vettel has made up 6 places. Drivers are struggling for grip and it’s been a poor start by Pierre Gasly. Charles Leclerc is up 6th as Verstappen overtakes Raikkonen out of turn 6. Sergio Perez spins and hits the barrier between turns 11 and 12. The Safety Car is called so Vettel and Alexander Albon pit for Intermediate tyres. Onto lap 3, Mercedes tell Hamilton to pit. Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen and the rest of the drivers pit for Inters.

Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Kevin Magnussen, who hasn’t pitted, Valterri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris, who hasn’t pitted. The Safety Car pulls into the pits and racing resumes on lap 5. Magnussen starts to fall back as the Intermediate tyre is working better than the Wet tyre. Sebastian Vettel is up to 10th as Pierre Gasly has fallen to 18th. Onto lap 6, Leclerc overtakes Magnussen into turn 2 and Hulkenberg nips past Magnussen tor 5th. Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel are working in tandem and are running in 7th and 8th.

Lap 7, Lewis Hamilton leads by 2 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. Onto lap 8, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 6th as Sebastian Vettel also overtakes Magnussen for 7th. Charles Leclerc is under investigation for an unsafe release in the pit-lane into the path of Romain Grosjean. All the remaining Wet tyre runners including Magnussen, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Robert Kubica are now on the Intermediate tyre. There’s reports of more rain in the next 20 mins.

Lap 11, Lewis Hamilton leads by 3.2 seconds over team-mate Valterri Bottas. The Stewards have decided that Charles Leclerc will not receive a penalty but his team, Ferrari, will have a fine to pay instead. Lap 15, Daniel Ricciardo has suffered engine issues and there’s plumes of smoke coming out of the RS18. He’s pulled over at turn 8 and the VSC is called out. Ricciardo’s out as Leclerc pits for another set of Intermediate tyres. Nico Hulkenberg does the same. Both rejoined in 4th and 6th. Lap 16, the VSC ends as Hamilton leads by 4.5 seconds. Lap 17, the Stewards decide that DRS will now be enabled.

On his new set of Intermediate tyres, Charles Leclerc, now sets the fastest lap of the race and is now up to 2-3 seconds quicker than the top 3. On his fresh Inters, Nico Hulkenberg overtakes Kimi Raikkonen for 5th. Carlos Sainz Jr spins at the final corner and drops to 14th after running in the top 10. Leclerc is rapidly catching Max Verstappen and Valterri Bottas and 3rd and 2nd as Lewis Hamilton is leading by 5 seconds.

Lap 23, Kevin Magnussen makes a bold move. He pits and goes onto the dry tyre, the Soft tyre that is. Lap 24, Ferrari tell Sebastian Vettel to pit. The German goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 11th. Lap 26, Max Verstappen pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th. Drivers such as Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris and Lance Stroll pit. Lap 27, Valterri Bottas goes onto the Medium tyre as Verstappen spins at turn 15 and 16. Lando Norris stops after losing power and retires from the race.

Valterri Bottas rejoins ahead of Max Verstappen as Charles Leclerc pits for the Soft tyre. Leclerc rejoins in 2nd ahead of Bottas and Verstappen as the VSC is deployed. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have pitted for the Medium tyre as Lewis Hamilton pits on lap 28. The VSC ends as Hamilton pits onto the Soft tyre. Leclerc’s in the wall! He’s beached in the gravel at turn 14. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel pits for the Intermediate tyre. The replay shows that he got onto the wet tarmac and slid into the barrier.

Hamilton’s had an incident! He’s lost half of his front wing and pits but his Mercedes team weren’t ready for him. Valterri Bottas leads as Hamilton goes onto the Intermediate tyre as the Safety Car is deployed for the stricken Ferrari. It was an extremely slow pit-stop for Hamilton as Mercedes were unprepared for him coming him to pit. Everyone’s on the Intermediate tyre now and Mercedes tell Bottas to pit for Inters. Max Verstappen takes the lead of the race ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Bottas. Alexander Albon is 4th ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz Jr, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The replay shows that Lewis Hamilton did the same thing as Charles Leclerc and slid onto the wet tarmac, hit the wall slightly and lost half of his front wing. The Safety Car comes in and racing resumes on lap 34. Max Verstappen leads by 3 seconds ahead of Nico Hulkenberg as Lewis Hamilton is given a 5 second time penalty for entering the pit-lane at the wrong side of the bollard. Hamilton is under investigation again for driving too slow under the Safety Car as the Brit makes it past Albon for 4th. Lap 36, Verstappen leads by 7 seconds as Hulkenberg is under pressure from Bottas.

Valterri Bottas overtakes Nico Hulkenberg for 2nd place into turn 6 on lap 37. Lap 38, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Hulkenberg for 3rd into turn 6. Lap 40, Max Verstappen leads by 9.5 seconds as Kimi Raikkonen runs wide at turn 16 and 17. He rejoins in 9th after running in 7th. Hulkenberg’s off at turn 17! He in the barrier and did the same thing as Leclerc and Hamilton! The Safety Car has been deployed as Verstappen pits. He goes onto the Inters. He stays in the lead as Sebastian Vettel pits again for the Inters and rejoins in 10th.

Lap 45, the Safety Car ends as Lance Stroll goes onto the dry tyres. Racing resumes on lap 46 with Max Verstappen leads. Sebastian Vettel overtakes Antonio Giovinazzi for 8th as Lewis Hamilton comes under pressure for Carlos Sainz and Alexander Albon. Verstappen and Valterri Bottas pit for Soft tyres. Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel stay out. Stroll is up to 5th and is ahead of Verstappen! Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel pit. Hamilton’s down to 12th after serving his penalty as he and Vettel and Raikkonen went onto the Soft tyre.

Max Verstappen overtakes Lance Stroll for the lead on lap 48. Daniil Kvyat is in 3rd with Valterri Bottas in 4th, Carlos Sainz in 5th and Kevin Magnussen in 6th. Sebastian Vettel is in 9th. With 15 laps to go, Verstappen leads by 4 seconds ahead of Stroll and Kvyat. Alexander Albon overtakes Magnussen for 6th. Lap 51, Kvyat overtakes Stroll for 2nd as Bottas closes on the pair of them. Vettel is up to 7th as Pierre Gasly overtakes Magnussen for 8th.

Lewis Hamilton’s day gets worse. The Brit spins out of turn 1 and drops to 13th. Sebastian Vettel overtakes Alexander Albon for 6th as Hamilton pits for a new set of tyres. Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 10th on lap 54. Valterri Bottas is still behind Lance Stroll in 4th and now Vettel in 6th is catching the trio. Kimi Raikkonen makes it past Romain Grosjean for 9th. Lap 57, Bottas has spun and has hit the barrier and is out! He spins out of turn 1 after touching a bit of standing water and now the Safety Car is deployed.

Max Verstappen leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz Jr, Sebastian Vettel, Alexander Albon, Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi. Lewis Hamilton has pitted again for a fresh set of tyres and lies 14th. Lap 60, racing resumes with Verstappen leading. Down into turn 6, Vettel overtakes Sainz for 4th. With DRS enabled on lap 62, Vettel is now behind Stroll and the overtakes happens round the outside for the German to take 3rd. Gasly’s off and retires as both him and Albon make contact. Vettel on lap 63, overtakes Kvyat for 2nd.

Onto the final lap, Max Verstappen leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat. Verstappen wins the German GP! Vettel and Kvyat rounds off the podium with Stroll and Sainz in 4th and 5th. Hamilton fails to make it into the points and finishes in 11th. Vettel finishes in 2nd after starting 20th and Kvyat gives Toro Rosso their 2nd ever podium!

Race Result

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, 64 Laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +7.333s
  3. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +8.305s
  4. Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, +8.966s
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, +9.583s
  6. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +10.052s
  7. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, +16.838s
  8. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, +18.765s
  9. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +19.667s
  10. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, +24.987s
  11. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, +26.404s
  12. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, +42.214s
  13. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, +43.849s
  • Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, DNF
  • Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, DNF
  • Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, DNF
  • Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, DNF
  • Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, DNF
  • Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, DNF