F1 2019: Can Renault bridge the gap to the “top three”?

Since returning to Formula One as a fully-fledged manufacturer team in 2016, Renault have successfully made their way from the near bottom of the F1 table to the top of the mid-field. But can the French manufacturer make the next step and challenge the established top 3 teams?

08/02/19

From the bottom to the top, of the midfield that is

Under the Lotus branding in 2015, 2016 proved to be a difficult year because of the financial struggles in ’15’. The car was slow and unreliable and this was partly due to the restructuring of the team management. The lack of upgrades and the poor performing power unit prevented the team from making any real progress. Piloted by Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer, the two drivers would score 8 points between them to leave Renault in 9th place out of the 11 teams.

Palmer remained with the team while Nico Hulkenberg joined in place of Magnussen. This was a far more competitive season and after the Japanese GP, Hulkenberg had scored 34 points compared to Palmer’s 8. The team signed Carlos Sainz Jr to replace the struggling Brit and was able to score 6 points. Finishing the season with 57 points, Renault finished in 6th place, a dramatic improvement from last year.

With Hulkenberg and Sainz remaining, the two drivers were able to fight for points on a consistent basis. With the development of the R.S.18, the Enstone factory was expanded to accommodate the team’s operations. This was also helped by Renault pulling out of Formula E after the 2017/18 season to focus on its work as an F1 team. After a season-long battle with the American Haas team, Renault finished “best of the rest” in 4th on 122 points.

Signing Ricciardo

This is a bold move but is also a statement from the French manufacturer by signing a race winner. Having taking 3 race wins, 29 podiums, 3 pole positions in 150 races, Daniel Ricciardo’s shock move from Red Bull to Renault is definitely a move that could be crucial for both parties.

Ricciardo’s move to Renault is a bit like Lewis Hamilton’s decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes for 2013, and we all know how that played out!

From recent images on social media, it’s looks like Ricciardo has settled into Renault well with the Australian and Hulkenberg sharing videos and images of each other. Personally, I can’t wait to see Ricciardo for the team!

Closing the gap to the front?

Renault believe they can “close the gap” to F1’s leading three teams in 2019, claiming developments for next season look “very promising”. They have set their sights on being championship contenders for the 2020 season but first they need to close the gap to the established top 3 teams of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

When speaking to Sky F1, Renault advisor and four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost said “for sure we wanted to be better this year for different reasons – but we will be better next year. I think we can close the gap, I just don’t know how much yet. We are working very hard on the engine side, which looks very promising.”

Renault are only powering two teams in 2019, themselves and McLaren. Red Bull for 2019 have parted company and will be using Honda engines. McLaren switched from Honda to Renault last season but failed to competitively compete with Renault which surprised the manufacturer with Team Chief Cyril Abiteboul saying “I am a bit surprised having to fight against Haas for most of the season when I was expecting it to be against McLaren.”

2019 expectations and goals

Having worked so hard over the past 3 seasons to get to the top of the midfield, Renault need to make sure, at least, that they stay there. I believe they’ll be the “dark horses” of 2019 and hopefully continuing to score points on a consistent basis.

There might even be a chance of a couple of podium finishes, which Hulkenberg is looking for.

The German has become the driver who has made the most career starts without a podium, 158 entries/ 156 starts. Hulkenberg has finished 4th on 3 occasions through-out his F1 career so far.

Whatever the case, Renault need to be aware of who they are most likely to be racing in 2019. Will they be looking behind – fending off the likes of Haas? McLaren? Or even Sauber? Or will they be looking ahead at the likes of Red Bull?

Renault will launch their 2019 challenger on the 12th of February.

F1 2019: What can McLaren achieve in 2019?

One of F1’s most successful and fan-favourite teams, McLaren, have struggled these past few years. While the team thought the under-lying problem was the engine supplier, 2018 exposed the actually car chassis to be the real problem. With a new mindset and a completely changed driver line-up, what can McLaren achieve in 2019?

04/02/19

Talent from within and out

With 2 Time World Champion Fernando Alonso announcing that he would be leaving F1 at the end of the season, McLaren were now looking for a talented driver who had experience in their back-pocket. To replace a Spaniard, of course you need a Spaniard in that McLaren chose Carlos Sainz Jr. The former Toro Rosso and Renault driver, who made his debut in 2015, has scored 171 points with a best finish of 4th in 4 seasons of competition.

Not confident in Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren decided to promote from within in a driver who has shown huge potential. Lando Norris has won a host of awards and a number of championships including the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Championship in 2016 and the FIA F3 European Championship in 2017. The Brit competed in the F2 Championship last year in which included one win and 9 podium appearances on his way to 2nd in the standings. He was awarded with 7 FP1 practice appearances with McLaren towards the end of last season.

Seidl appointed Team Boss

McLaren will be joined by former Porsche LMP1 Team Principal and BMW employee,  Andreas Seidl, who will be managing director of the team. Seidl will report to Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, with responsibility for all aspects of the team’s F1 racing programme. This move comes after a continuous restructuring of the team in their recovery plan long-term strategy to return to the top step of the podium.

Gil de Ferran will continue in his new in Sporting Director in which he was appointed in July before having a more serious impact towards the season’s end. Toro Rosso’s Technical Director, James Key, has been approached and has signed with McLaren but due to contract negotiations, there has been no official date of the Englishman joining the team

Not aiming for a championship challenge yet?

McLaren’s recent struggles in the past few seasons has been really tough to watch. Fans, including myself, pundits and experts have been praying for the British team to make progress up the pecking order. But, in July last year, Brown reported the dreaded news that we didn’t want to hear – that McLaren was ‘years away’ from a title challenge.

When asked by the official Formula1.com, Brown talked about how long a title challenge will take.  “This is going to take some time to fix. I think we are years away. I don’t know if that’s two or 10, or somewhere in-between. Probably more like somewhere in-between, but I don’t want to get into predictions.”

Although, after the season’s finale, Brown had some encouraging words to say about the future. “I think we’re now on the road to recovery as I tell the men and women at McLaren, it’s going to feel good before it looks good.” When asked about 2018 performance, the American said “I certainly think this year is a low spot, and this era is a low spot.”

2019 aims and hopes

With engine supplier Renault making gains in the engine department, McLaren have got to make sure that everything on their side is in the right order. McLaren admitted that they had gone in the wrong direction last season in terms of chassis and aerodynamics.

Speaking in January at the Autosport International Show, Brown said that both Sainz and Norris were “anticipating a good car.” “We are anticipating a good car. The off-season development has gone according to plan.”

McLaren have not won a GP since the end of the 2012 season and not finished on the podium since the 2014 Australian GP. These two are pretty ambitious hopes for this season, so consistent point scoring positions in the top 10 is definitely a more realistic goal.

In the hands of Alonso and Vandoorne last season, McLaren finished in 6th with a mass of 62 points. 60 points behind the works Renault team in 4th , 357 points behind Red Bull in 3rd and 593 behind Constructors Champion Mercedes.

If McLaren can achieve a similar amount of points, or even more than 2018, it’ll be a step in the right direction. The goal for them this season will be to lead the “mid-field”. To do this, consistency is well and truly needed. Progressing into Q2 and more importantly, Q3 will boost their chances of points come Sunday.

Sainz and Norris are in for a long and hard season but if everything goes well in Pre-Season Testing and in the first few rounds of 2019, then McLaren could be in for a well-deserving year.

McLaren will launch their 2019 challenger on the 14th of February.

 

 

 

 

F1’s 2019 unlucky drivers: What are they doing now?

Formula One in 2019 will look a lot different compared to 2018 with only Mercedes and Haas F1 retaining both of their drivers. This post looks at the drivers who weren’t able to secure a drive in the sport for the upcoming F1 season.

28/01/19

Stoffel Vandoorne

Vandoorne is competing in Formula E with HWA Racelab who are backed by Mercedes. The Belgian who won the GP2 Championship in 2015, made his F1 debut in 2016 with McLaren and then was given a full-time race seat in 2017. With the switch to Renault engines, many thought McLaren would return to fight at the top. Vandoorne has finished 4 times inside the top 9 with the highest finish of 8th.

Vandoorne failed to out-qualify team-mate Fernando Alonso times last year. The Belgian was axed in favour of Lando Norris and with Carlos Sainz Jr being signed as well, Vandoorne had to start looking elsewhere. Potential seats at Toro Rosso and Sauber quickly closed with Mercedes F1 boss, Toto Wolff, calling the Belgian seeing if he would be interested in a seat race with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA team. In Vandoorne’s favour at his time at McLaren, it was really wrong place at the wrong time for the Belgian.

Marcus Ericsson

Ericsson is heading off to Indycar to compete with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2019. Ericsson, who made his F1 debut with Caterham in 2014, had been with the Sauber outfit since 2015. Ericsson would score 9 points en route to 18th in the championship. With the team struggling for money, Ericsson failed to score a single point in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

With a new team boss and new title sponsors in Alfa Romeo, 2018 had certainly been a better year for the Swede. Although, Ericsson had been out-performed by Charles Leclerc with the now Ferrari driver beating him by 30 points. With Leclerc off to Ferrari, it was confirmed that 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen would partner Antonio Giovinazzi for this season leaving Ericsson without a drive. However, Ericsson is to stay as the team’s reserve drive and compete in Indycar as well.

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon is the poor victim of the 2018 Driver Market. The Frenchman is to continue as a reserve driver for Mercedes for 2019. Ocon, make his F1 debut in at the 2016 Belgian GP with Manor Racing before signing and competing for Force India in 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Ocon had impressed during his time at Force India and it looked like he would be racing with Renault for 2019. Not until Daniel Ricciardo signed with the manufacturer. Ocon’s hopes of staying with Force India faded after the team went into administration and was bought by a group of investors which included Lance Stroll’s father. With the team sticking with Sergio Perez, Ocon was looking at possible seats at Toro Rosso and Williams. Red Bull’s Christian Horner saying that Ocon’s ties with Mercedes prevented them from signing him. Ocon however, managed to out-qualify Perez 16 times to the Mexican’s 5 over the 2018 season.

Brendon Hartley

The New Zealander currently doesn’t have any plans for 2019 but is to remain part of Porsche’s factory driver programme. Hartley, made his F1 debut at the 2017 United States GP before staying on and racing with the Red Bull junior team, Toro Rosso, for the 2018 F1 Season.

Hartley endured a very difficult year in which he was able to score 4 points compared to team-mate Pierre Gasly’s haul of 29 points. Hartley, suffered numerous accidents and crashes across the season including his high-speed crashes at Spain and Britain and his lap 1 incident with Lance Stroll in Canada. The 29 year-old felt confident of keeping his seat for 2019 but instead was replaced by Alexander Albon. Hartley has been linked with a Formula E seat with Porsche in the 2019/2020 season.

Sergey Sirotkin

After being dropped from Williams for 2019, Sergey Sirotkin is targeting DTM and WEC opportunities instead. The Russian was confirmed as a Williams driver alongside Lance Stroll for the 2018 F1 Season after beating Robert Kubica to the seat.

It’s no secret to say that Williams endured their worst season in F1 for a while and had the “worst” car of the grid. The team saying that they had gone the wrong direction of aerodynamics – this prevented the drivers from progressing up the grid. Sirotkin had a fairly reliable season, only retiring from 3 races, but when he did finish, it was out of the points and near the back of the field. His only highlight was at the Italian GP where he scored his first and only point of the season in 10th only after the disqualification of Haas’s Romain Grosjean. Although in his battle with Stroll, Sirotkin managed to out-qualify the Canadian 12 times showing his one-lap pace.

 

 

Ferrari replaces Arrivabene with Binotto ahead of 2019 Season

After reports close to Ferrari saying that a management shake-up was on its way, the Scuderia have confirmed that Mattia Binotto will take over from Maurizio Arrivabene with immediate effect.

07/01/19

After 4 challenging years of leading one of Formula One’s most legendary team, Maurizio Arrivabene is to be replaced by Mattia Binotto ahead of the upcoming F1 Season.

Arrivabene joined Ferrari in December 2014 after a disastrous year for the Scuderia in which F1 champions, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, could only wrangle the F14 T to 4th in the championship following the new Turbo-Hybrid 1.6-litre V6 turbos.

Since 2015, Ferrari have overall been the 2nd best team behind Mercedes and have challenged for both title bids in 2017 and 2018 but due to a series of driver and management errors, the team are still waiting for their first Constructors Championship since 2008.

A Ferrari statement said: “After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team. The decision was taken together with the company’s top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio’s long term personal interests as well as those of the team itself.

“Ferrari would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team’s increasing competitiveness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his future endeavours.

“With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari’s Team Principal. All technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia.”

Binotto in charge

Binotto, 49, has risen through the ranks at Ferrari having joined in 1995. In 2014, he was appointed as new engine director and then in 2016 he was appointed Chief Technical Officer of Ferrari.

It has been understood that there had been tensions between Arrivabene and Binotto through the 2nd half of last season when Ferrari’s title challenge fell apart.

Binotto is highly regarded in the F1 paddock as an engineering leader with many in the paddock crediting the Italian team’s power unit gains to him when he was power unit Chief Operating Officer in 2015.

How will this effect Ferrari?

Ferrari are not normal to a shake-up in driver line-up or management. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had been the Scuderia’s driver line-up since 2015 but with an effective swap with Charles Leclerc, this change seemed to be dramatic enough.

Including Binotto, there has been 4 Team Principal changes at Ferrari since 2008. Stefano Domenicali’s long reign from 2008 to 2014, Marco Mattiacci’s short ‘n’ sweet role from April to November in 2014 and Arrivabene’s highly frustrating role since December ’14’.

Arrivabene’s departure just two months before the start of the new season will inevitably raise questions as to how the change will affect the running of the team.

Now, with new management and a young, quick superstar partnering a 4 time Champion, can Ferrari take the glory back to Maranello this season?

 

2018 in Review

Here is the yearly review of what happened to myself and what happened to the blog over the course of 2018. I’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who visited the blog in and who made 2018 statistically the best year ever!

01/01/19

Blog Stats in 2018

  • Views: 803
  • Visitors: 469
  • Posts: 84
  • Views from Countries include: United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, New Zealand, Argentina, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Netherlands, China, Malaysia, Germany, Mexico, Austria, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Brazil, France, Spain, Singapore, Morocco, Italy, Guatemala, India, Zimbabwe, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, San Marino, Hong Kong SAR China, Hungary, Bulgaria, Guernsey, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russian, Sweden, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Romania, Colombia, Poland, Ukraine, Greece, Uruguay and Malta!

Blog overview

At the start of last year, I came up with a brief plan of what I wanted to achieve on the blog in 2018. My overall aim was to get around 800 views by around 500 visitors. As you can see above, the blog more or less achieved these aims. This makes 2018, statically, the best year ever which I am really pleased about. To be honest, I thought the blog wasn’t going to be able to reach these kind of numbers as I did not attend the Ignition Festival or Knockhill to see the BTCC (more about these later!). So to get the numbers that I did get, I’m really happy.

The following for the blog has grown as well with a good number of email subscribers and general subscribers.

I also upgraded the Blog on WordPress to a Personal Plan which allows me to manage the site better and make it more accessible. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and I’m glad that I’ve done it because as I think it’s improved the blog quite a bit.

The year as a whole

For myself, 2018 was an incredible year. Not only did the blog surpass my expectations, but myself as well. Well, I became the Head Boy at my school then two days before my 18th Birthday, I passed my Driving Test. As part of my birthday, my parents bought me a car so now I can proudly say that I am the owner of a 2007 Renault Twingo (the GT version to be precise).

To date, I produced 8 reports for Essaar GP covering mostly Formula One and a few on Formula E. From now on, I plan to cover Formula E for Essaar instead of doing both on the blog. So, starting from now, the blog will be now fully Formula One content. Here are the most recent reports I’ve done.

In 2018 I launched Rhonan’s Ragged Edge’s Facebook Page. This has gone down really well and if you haven’t visited it, follow the link here: https://www.facebook.com/rhonansf1blog/. This has been the most common way of people accessing the blog with 161 views from Facebook alone!

For those who are wondering, I am still collecting editions from the F1 Car Collector. I now have 20 cars and hope to add more. This post alone received 139 views! You can see my collection here: https://rhonansf1blog.com/2017/04/22/f1-car-collection/

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to Knockhill to watch the British Touring Cars in action due to a clash with other events happening. The Ignition Festival of Motoring wasn’t held as the event organisers were “taking a year off”. Hopefully it’ll be back this year as I have enjoyed attending it over the past few years and it has been an event I look forward too.

The event that I was able to attend, because it’s practically on my door-step, was the Argyll Rally. Built on the success of the return of rallying in Argyll in 2017, the event along with the help of their title sponsor Dunoon Presents roared throughout the hills and valleys of Dunoon and the surrounding areas. I attended all day and was able to get really good pictures and videos. You can read the post here: https://rhonansf1blog.com/2018/06/24/argyll-rally-2018/ Video’s from the day can be found on the Facebook page.

IMG_1548

Rally cars, old and new, sped through the forestry roads behind Dunoon on the 23rd of June 2018

What does 2019 hold?

For 2019, I hope to continue with the blog as per usual. I’ll be finishing school in June and applying to college afterwards. I am also planning to go Switzerland in June to watch the Formula E e-Prix and also attending the Argyll Rally when it returns. Fingers crossed that I am able to go to Knockhill this year to see the British Touring Cars and that the Ignition Festival is back on this year.

I plan to cover a lot more reports for Essaar this year, if I’ve got the time to do so, then I will. I plan to do a number of different things, motorsport, car, writing related. Overall, I really just want to do more and get out of my “comfort zone” and take the next step.

A MASSIVE thank-you to everyone who visited and read the blog over the course of 2018. It has been a pleasure to cover and report about F1 and can’t wait to do it all over again in 2019. Thank-you!

 

Who took the final seats on the F1 2019 grid?

The 2019 Driver Market exploded during the summer of 2018 and it has been the most dramatic driver changes the sport has seen in a while. Most of the teams had confirmed their line-ups for next year, Toro Rosso, Force India and Williams were the only exceptions until now.

18/12/18

Kubica makes his return to F1 with Williams – 22nd November

After missing out on a seat at Williams for 2018, Robert Kubica will make his Formula One return 8 years after his horrific rally crash. The 2008 Canadian GP winner will partner Mercedes young driver and Formula 2 champion George Russell at the British team who’ll both be tasked with brining Williams back-up the field. Kubica, who lost out in a head-to-head with Sergey Sirotkin for 2018, thanked everyone who helped him “during what was a difficult period of my life over these last few years.”

Kubica made his F1 debut in 2006, and has taken a total of 12 podiums – including victory in the 2008 Canadian GP – with a best finish of fourth in the drivers’ standings. Kubica raced for Renault in 2010 and in the pre-season before the 2011 F1 campaign, Kubica was rallying in Poland when he crashed and partially severed his right forearm. The Pole’s confirmation at Williams meant that it was the final nail in the coffin for Esteban Ocon’s 2019 racing chances…

Ocon named Mercedes 3rd reserve driver – 23rd November

What a difference a few months make. It was widely anticipated that Esteban Ocon would be moving to Renault for the 2019 season but instead he’ll be focusing on testing and simulator work for Mercedes. Ocon will be spending 2019 on the side-lines as the 3rd and reserve driver for Mercedes. Ocon raced for Force India in 2018 and finished in 12th with 49 points – 12 points and 4 positions behind team-mate Sergio Perez. Ocon had been rumoured to be in the running for the second seat at Williams but the Grove team gave the seat to Kubica instead.

Ocon, who is a Mercedes young driver, could have had a drive with a few teams in 2019 if it wasn’t for his ties to the Silver Arrows. Teams including McLaren apparently turned Ocon down because of this. Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, said “We hope to do the odd test with him. We are looking at pre-season and in-season but it’s not sorted out yet. He will do a lot of time in the simulator and be ready for a seat in 2020.”

Albon replaces Hartley at Toro Rosso for 2019 – 26th November

It was going to be “touch and go” for Brendon Hartley if he’d done enough to keep his seat for 2019 but ultimately the New Zealander lost out to the impressive London-born Thai driver. Alexander Albon was going to be racing with Nissan e.dams in Formula E for the 2018/19 season but when the call came, Albon decided to head back to F1 to give it another shot. Albon was part of the Red Bull Young Driver Program in 2012 but was dropped after a single year for the outfit.

Albon joins Toro Rosso alongside F1 returnee Daniil Kvyat after 2 impressive F2 campaigns. The 22 year-old will follow in the footsteps of fellow 2018 F2 drivers Lando Norris at McLaren and Russell at Williams. Albon will also be the first Thai driver on the grid since Prince Bira in 1955.

Stroll finally confirmed at Force India for 2019 – 30th November

F1’s worst kept secret of 2018 had been confirmed. 2018 Williams driver Lance Stroll was confirmed at Force India (Racing Point) for the 2019 season alongside Sergio Perez. This move had been predicted for a long time following the takeover of Force India earlier in the year by a consortium of investors led by Stroll’s father. Stroll finished 18th in the 2018 driver standings after scoring 6 of Williams’ 7 points but was beaten in the qualifying head-to-head against Sirotkin with the Russian beating Stroll 13 times to 8.

After making his debut for Force India at the post-race Abu Dhabi test, Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, said “Lance is only 20 and already has two years of Formula 1 experience under his belt, as well as a podium finish and a front row start. We see huge potential in Lance and believe we can create an environment in which he can flourish.”

 

The 2019 F1 Grid

  • Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas
  • Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc
  • Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly
  • Renault: Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg
  • Haas: Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean
  • McLaren: Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris
  • Force India: Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll
  • Sauber: Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi
  • Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon
  • Williams: George Russell and Robert Kubica

F1 2018 Stats and Records

Formula One 2018 was record-breaking season for many drivers and teams. Lewis Hamilton becomes a 5 time world Champion, Kimi Raikkonen wins his first GP in 5 years and Fernando Alonso white-washes his team-mate in qualifying for the second time in his career. 

09/12/18

Most Wins

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 11 Wins
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 5 Wins
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 2 Wins
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 2 Wins
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1 Win

Stats

  • At the end of 2018, Lewis Hamilton is now 2nd in the all time list of wins on 73. Michael Schumacher holds the record of 91.
  • Kimi Raikkonen‘s victory at the 2018 American GP was his first race win since the 2013 Australian GP. He also became the oldest race winner at 39 since Nigel Mansell in 1994 and he also broke the record for the longest gap between race wins (113 races).
  • Max Verstappen now has a total of 5 GP wins and sits joint 47th in the all time record.

Most Podiums

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 17 Podiums
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 12 Podiums
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 12 Podiums
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 11 Podiums
  5. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 8 Podiums
  6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 2 Podiums
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India Mercedes, 1 Podium

Stats

  • At the end of 2018, Lewis Hamilton sits in 2nd of the all time list if podium finishes on 134. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are in 3rd and 5th on 111 and 103.
  • Kimi Raikkonen equalled his record of 12 podiums in a season.
  • Sergio Perez‘s 3rd place at the Azerbaijan GP was his first podium finish since the 2016 European GP bringing his total amount of podium finishes to 8.

Most Pole Positions

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 11 Poles
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 5 Poles
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 2 Poles
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 2 Poles
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1 Pole

Stats

  • At the end of 2018, Lewis Hamilton is now the most successful driver on a Saturday. He now holds the record for most pole positions on a staggering 83.
  • It was also the 4th consecutive season that Lewis Hamilton had taken the most amount of pole positions in a season, his 6th time of doing so.
  • Daniel Ricciardo now has a total of 3 pole positions with his first one at the 2016 Monaco GP.

Most Fastest Laps

  1. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 7 Fastest Laps
  2. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 4 Fastest Laps
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 3 Fastest Laps
  4. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 3 Fastest Laps
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 2 Fastest Laps
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1 Fastest Lap
  7. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 1 Fastest Lap

Stats

  • At the end of 2018, Kimi Raikkonen sits 2nd in the all time list of fastest laps on 46. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel sit in 3rd and 5th on 41 and 36 respectively.
  • Valterri Bottas now has 10 fastest laps in his name with 7 of them being set in 2018.
  • At the 2018 Singapore GP, Kevin Magnussen secured his first ever fastest lap in F1.

Most Wins per Team

  1. Mercedes, 11 Wins
  2. Ferrari, 6 Wins
  3. Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 4 Wins

Stats

  • It was the lowest amount of wins Mercedes were able to secure in the V6 turbo era (since 2014).
  • Having won 4 races this season, it was Red Bull‘s most wins acquired in a season since 2013 where the team secured 13 wins.
  • Having not been able to secure a race win this season, McLaren‘s last F1 race victory was at the 2012 Brazilian GP.

Most Podiums per Team

  1. Mercedes, 25 Podiums
  2. Ferrari, 24 Podiums
  3. Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer, 13 Podiums
  4. Force India Mercedes, 1 Podium

Stats

  • Although securing 25 podium finishes, it was actually the lowest amount of podium finishes Mercedes had secured in the V6 turbo era (since 2014).
  • Having finishes on the podium 24 times during the course of the 2018 Season, it was the most amount of times Ferrari had managed this since the 2008 Season where they finished on the podium 21 times.
  • Having not been able to finish on the podium this season, McLaren‘s last F1 podium dates back to the 2014 Australian GP.

Qualifying Result (Head to head)

  • McLaren Renault: Fernando Alonso (21) v Stoffel Vandoorne (0)
  • Sauber Ferrari: Charles Leclerc (17) v Marcus Ericsson (4)
  • Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel (17) v Kimi Raikkonen (4)
  • Force India Mercedes: Esteban Ocon (16) v Sergio Perez (5)
  • Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (15) v Valterri Bottas (6)
  • Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer: Max Verstappen (14) v Daniel Ricciardo (5)
  • Renault: Nico Hulkenberg (13) v Carlos Sainz Jr (6)
  • Williams Mercedes: Sergey Sirotkin (12) v Lance Stroll (8)
  • Haas Ferrari: Romain Grosjean (11) v Kevin Magnussen (8)
  • Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda: Pierre Gasly (11) v Brendon Hartley (6)

Stats

  • Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel managed to survive from getting eliminated from Q1 each time this season.
  • Sergey Sirotkin managed to get knocked-out in Q1 16 times over the course of the season and did not reach Q3 once. Stoffel Vandoorne was the other driver not to make it through to Q3 once throughout the season.
  • For the second time in his F1 career, Fernando Alonso managed to out-qualify his team-mate for the whole season. Stoffel Vandoorne (2018) and Nelson Piquet Jr (2008).