F1 2019: Australia Post-Race Analysis

Well, where did that come from Valterri Bottas? The Finn knew coming into this season of Formula One that he would have to up his game. How did he do this? He avoided the lime-light, went rallying, cleared his head and spent time with his dogs. Anyhow, a dominant win and a benchmark set. Here is the 2019 Australian Post- Race Analysis.

17/03/19

Crucial point of the race?

The most crucial part of the race was certainly the start of the race. For the first time in 2019, the lights went out and the drivers raced towards turn 1. This start was crucial as Valterri Bottas was able to nip ahead of Lewis Hamilton going to turn 1. Hamilton suffered a lot of wheel-spin which caused the sluggish start for the Brit. It was a nice start for 5th place Charles Leclerc who saw space on the left-hand side of the track leading to turn 1. The Ferrari driver was able to just get alongside team-mate Sebastian Vettel but had to back off otherwise contact was going to be made – there was nearly contact between Leclerc’s front wing and Vettel’s left-rear tyre.

Behind it was a good start for both Renault’s however, it was such a good start that left Daniel Ricciardo wingless heading towards turn 1. Ricciardo decided to go to the right hand-side of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, having to take to the grass – his right hand-side tyres were on the grass. Unknowingly to the Australian, the grass split and broke his front wing on a gutter in spectatorial fashion which more or less ended his race.

The coveted Fastest Lap bonus

New for 2019, a bonus point for the Fastest Lap will be awarded to the driver who finishes in the top 10. Race winner, Bottas, held onto the fastest lap for most of the race until 3 laps to go when Verstappen nabbed it. Bottas responded, having just gone through traffic, to claim it back and taking the extra point.

The end of the race felt like a qualifying session with near enough every driver trying to beat this time set by Bottas. This is a big change. In the past, we’ve seen if drivers are not under pressure at the end of the race, they’ll slow and conserve the tyres and engines. Now, it seems like this will be more occurring at the end of races – drivers pushing for just 1 extra point. When interviewed by Sky Sports F1 Rachel Brookes on how important the bonus point was to drivers, Lewis Hamilton’s said “it’s 21 points.”

Questions to be asked at Ferrari

Wow! After Pre-Season Testing, it looked like Ferrari were going to come to Melbourne and all of the other F1 races this season and just simply win. However, 7 tenths back in Qualifying and nearly a minute behind race winner Bottas, Ferrari have to ask what went wrong. Vettel was able to keep up with Hamilton in the early stages of the race but after being overtaking Max Verstappen, his pace fell away while Leclerc’s pace picked up. Leclerc closed within a second with only a handful of laps to go. However…

Leclerc was told to hold station. A mature question from Leclerc to the pit-wall at Ferrari was asked: “Should I stay behind Sebastian? Yes or no?”. The response: “Yes, and back off to have some margin.” The reason behind this decision was that the Scuderia did “not want to take any risks.” The team did say that they would review the decision not to pit Leclerc at the end of the race and go for the fastest lap bonus. Fingers crossed that a “different” Ferrari will turn up in Bahrain.

Drivers of the Day

  • Valterri Bottas, 1st: As mentioned earlier, a fantastic and much-needed comeback after a difficult and winless year in 2018. A strong first lap in Qualifying and simply dominant come race. What else has changed for the Finn, he’s grown a beard!
  • Max Verstappen, 3rd: A superb drive by Verstappen to claim a podium finish. Overtaking round Albert Park is difficult but the Dutchman incredibly overtook Vettel for 3rd in the middle of the race. This result will boost Red Bull and Honda’s spirits. It was also Verstappen’s first podium in Australia.
  • Daniil Kvyat, 10th: A fine return to the world of F1. After a missed opportunity in Qualifying to go 15th, Kvyat ran longer than most in the race and was able to jump a number of drivers. A great overtake on Pierre Gasly, coupled with good attacking (bar one mistake) and good defending, a solid return to the Russian.
  • Lando Norris, 12th: After a great effort to make it to Q3 and qualify 8th, Norris was “upset” not to score points on his debut. He lost a few positions at the start and after his pit-stop, he was caught up behind Antonio Giovinazzi. He took his time and overtook the Italian. Onwards and upwards for the young Brit.

Constructor Championship

1.Mercedes 44pts  2.Ferrari 22pts  3.Red Bull Racing Honda 15pts  4.Haas Ferrari 8pts  5.Renault 6pts  6.Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 4pts  7.Racing Point BWT Mercedes 2pts  8.Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1pt  9.McLaren Renault 0pts  10.Williams Mercedes 0pts

F1 2019: Dominant Bottas claims victory in Australia

A rejuvenated Valterri Bottas wins the Australian GP for Mercedes, some 20 seconds ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as season-favourites, Ferrari, finish nearly a minute behind the race winning Mercedes.

17/03/19

Starting Grid

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

Tyre Choice

Lance Stroll, Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly and George Russell will start the race on the yellow-marked Medium tyre. Robert Kubica will start on the white-marked Hard tyre while everyone else will start on the red-marked Soft tyre.

Race

It’s lights out and away we go for the first time in 2019. It’s a great start by Valterri Bottas who gets a better start than Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and the Finn leads down to Turn 1. Behind, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo loses his front after having to take to the grass trying to overtake Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. Ricciardo pits at the end of lap 1 onto the Medium tyre and is out behind Williams Robert Kubica, who lost his front wing as well in a separate incident.

Lap 3, it’s been a good start by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg who is now 8th and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr who is now in 14th. Valterri Bottas continues to lead with a 1.2 second gap back to Lewis Hamilton, who is ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean have swapped places in the Dane’s favour with the American team in 6th an 7th. Lap 6, Bottas has extended his gap at the front to 2 seconds. Lap 8, Bottas’s lead is now up to 2.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Vettel is now 5.3 seconds behind Bottas in 3rd with Leclerc in 5th, 9.8 seconds behind Bottas.

Lap 9, Charles Leclerc runs wide at turn 1 and now falls to 13.5 seconds behind race-leader Valterri Bottas. Lap 10, Lewis Hamilton seems to be managing his tyres as the gap to team-mate Bottas, has gone up to 3.5 seconds. Lap 11, Carlos Sainz Jr is out as there is smoke bellowing from the rear of his McLaren. He pulls into the pits and stops before the pit-limiter activation. He becomes the first retirement of this 2019 season. Will this worry engine supplier Renault? Lap 13, Kimi Raikkonen pits for Alfa Romeo. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 16th place.

Lap 14, Nico Hulkenberg responds and pits for Renault. He goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins ahead of Raikkonen in 14th. Sergio Perez also pits and rejoins in 17th on the Hard tyre. Lap 15, Sebastian Vettel pits from 3rd. The German goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 6th. Kevin Magnussen also pits and goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins ahead of Hulkenberg. Lap 16, Lewis Hamilton pits from 2nd, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th. Romain Grosjean also pits but its a slow pit-stop for the Haas team, he rejoins in 14th, behind his main rivals.

Lap 18, Sebastian Vettel, having previously setting the fastest lap, is now under 2 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton who is struggling on these new tyres. Antonio Giovinazzi makes a mistakes and runs wide at turn 13 which allows Kevin Magnussen past. Nico Hulkenberg, using DRS, manages to get past the Italian driver before turn 1 with Kimi Raikkonen overtaking his team-mate before turn 2. Lap 21, race leader, Valterri Bottas is yet to pit but is continuing to set very good lap times. He’s not going to be under pressure from team-mate Hamilton as he is still trying to get to grips with his new tyres. He’s also got Vettel for company as well just 1.7 seconds behind. Lap 22, McLaren’s Lando Norris is struggling to get past Giovinazzi in the battle for 12th and 13th. Romain Grosjean is waiting behind in 14th and ready to pounce.

Lap 23, Valterri Bottas pits from the lead, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 2nd – way ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Max Verstappen now leads but is yet to pit – its the same story for Charles Leclerc in 3rd. Lap 25, Verstappen pits from the lead. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 5th behind Vettel in 4th. Lap 26, Lando Norris is able to find a gap to squeeze down the inside of Antonio Giovinazzi of turn 3 for 12th. Later on in the lap, Romain Grosjean overtakes the Italian for 13th down the inside of turn 13. Sergio Perez has also managed to get past on the next lap at turn 1 for 14th. Daniil Kvyat makes his first pit-stop and manages to come out ahead of Norris in 11th. Lap 28, Giovinazzi pits, it’s a slow pit-stop for Alfa Romeo as the Italian rejoins in 17th on the Soft tyre.

Race leader, Charles Leclerc pits. The Ferrari debutant goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 5th. Valterri Bottas takes over the race lead once again and the gap to team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2nd, 16 seconds. Pierre Gasly, in 6th, is the only driver to make their first pit-stop. Lap 31, Max Verstappen is now pressuring Sebastian Vettel as the go side-by-side down into turn 3. Verstappen on the outside manages to overtake the Ferrari driver for 3rd. Renault decide to retire Daniel Ricciardo with Romain Grosjean also pulling over and retiring for Haas on lap 32. Can Verstappen now close on Hamilton in 2nd?

Lap 33, Valterri Bottas still continues to lead with the gap to Lewis Hamilton now grown to 18 seconds. Max Verstappen is 3rd ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. Pierre Gasly is 6th, yet to pit, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Lance Stroll completes the top 10. Lap 34, Verstappen is now with 1.5 seconds of Hamilton. A replay shows that a loose left-front tyre was the cause for Romain Grosjean’s retirement. Daniil Kvyat is closing up to the back of Stroll in 10th and 11th and the pair are not far behind Raikkonen in 9th. After trying to overtake Stroll down the inside of turn 3, Kvyat runs wide across the gravel and has lost a lot of time to the Racing Point driver. Lap 38, Gasly makes his first pit-stop, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins ahead of Kvyat, although Kvyat overtakes Gasly round the outside at turn 3 for 10th.

Lap 41, Valterri Bottas has extended his lead to 22 seconds with Lewis Hamilton having to keep Max Verstappen at bay in 2nd and 3rd. After setting 2 fastest laps, Bottas’s gap has grown to 24 seconds. He’s just having fun now isn’t he! With 15 laps to go, Sebastian Vettel in 4th, is now over 30 seconds behind Bottas and is under pressure with team-mate Charles Leclerc closing down. Lap 45, Verstappen is still very close behind Hamilton with the gap around 1.4 seconds. Lap 47, Leclerc is now under 4 seconds behind Vettel – the gap was 12 seconds just 12 laps ago.

With 10 laps to go, Nico Hulkenberg currently holds 7th place but Kimi Raikkonen, Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly as close behind. Max Verstappen runs wide at turn 1 and has fallen to 3.4 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton – game over? Apparently not, the Dutchman closes on the next lap to 3 seconds. Lap 50, Valterri Bottas leads by 25 seconds as Charles Leclerc is less than a second behind Sebastian Vettel in 4th and 5th. Lap 51, Verstappen is now 2.3 seconds behind Hamilton, the game is on! Lap 55, Verstappen now claims the fastest lap, much to Bottas’s annoyance but he is lapping drivers. The Dutchman is now just a second behind Hamilton.

Onto the final lap, Valterri Bottas reclaims the fastest lap as he starts the final lap. The Finn wins the Australian GP, his 4th victory, with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, 20.8 seconds behind, in 2nd with Max Verstappen in 3rd. The Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finish a distant 4th and 5th. Bottas also take home the Fans “Driver of the Day” and the bonus point for the Fastest Lap Award.

Race Result

  1. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 58 Laps
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +20.886s
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, +22.520s
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +57.109s
  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +58.230s
  6. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, +87.156s
  7. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  8. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  9. Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  10. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 1 Lap
  11. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, + 1 Lap
  12. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, + 1 Lap
  13. Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  14. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 1 Lap
  15. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  16. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  17. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, + 3 Laps
  • Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, DNF
  • Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, DNF

 

F1 2019: Hamilton snatches Pole as Mercedes streak clear in Australia

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton snatches Pole Position ahead of tomorrow’s Australian GP from team-mate Valterri Bottas with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 3rd but 7 tenths behind as Lando Norris stars in his debut in F1 for McLaren.

16/03/19

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton will be on Pole Position ahead of the Australian GP having snatched 1st place from team-mate Valterri Bottas. Both Mercedes were in a league of their own with closest rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, a full 7 tenths, behind in 3rd.

Having behind his Finnish team-mate after the first runs in the final part of Qualifying, Hamilton clawed back time to set a new lap record of Albert Park, a 1:20:486, to beat Bottas by just over a tenth. It’s Hamilton’s 6th consecutive pole position in Melbourne but the Brit has failed to win round this circuit since 2015.

7 tenths. That’s was the margin from Hamilton, on Pole, to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 3rd. The German and 4 Time World Champion said “The car feels all right. There is not anything wrong. There is some homework we need to do to understand. I still think we have a great car.” Red Bull’s Max Verstappen boosted his team’s spirits by splitting the Ferrari’s in 5th ahead of Charles Leclerc in 6th. It was a mixed day for Red Bull as the team lost Pierre Gasly in Q1 in which the Frenchman blamed “unexpected track evolution” for his early exit.

Romain Grosjean was a strong 6th with Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen in 7th confirming that the American team are pretty much where they left last year off. McLaren’s Lando Norris excelled in his first F1 qualifying by reaching Q3 and placing his MCL34 in 8th place ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in 9th and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez in 10th. Norris saying that McLaren “definitely weren’t expecting to reach Q3”.

It was a shock exit for the Renault team with Nico Hulkenberg and home-favourite Daniel Ricciardo who will line-up in 11th and 12th. However, Ricciardo predicts that “Renault will sneak into the points” come the race tomorrow.

F1’s second rookie, Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon, will start the race in 13th ahead of the second Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi in 14th and the returning Daniil Kvyat in 15th.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was 16th but lost time in the second sector of his lap after being hampered by the Haas of Grosjean. The major shock of Q1 was Red Bull’s Gasly and the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr. Sainz, who’d had been looking good all weekend, was interrupted on his final lap in Q1 after Williams Robert Kubica sustained a puncture which meant that the Spaniard had to back off.

F1’s third rookie, Williams George Russell, will line-up in 19th place just one place of Robert Kubica. The Brit saying “I think I can be pretty proud of myself. we all know where the car is and my only comparison is Robert. I was pretty pleased with myself when the car crossed the line and I can leave today with my head held high.”

Kubica had struggled with grip all weekend but says that on his final lap in Q1, he finally found the grip he had been looking for but over-cooked it at turn 10 suffering a puncture. The Polish driver, who competed in his first qualifying since 2010, was 1.7 seconds behind Russell.

Australian Qualifying Result

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

Qualifying Stats

  • Lewis Hamilton’s pole position is his 58th for Mercedes, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record.
  • It’s the third year in a row that Romain Grosjean starts in 6th place.
  • Lance Stroll has been eliminated in the last 5 qualifying (dating back from 2018) and it’s the longest streak of any driver on the grid.
  • Lando Norris’s 8th place is the highest McLaren have started since 2014.
  • It’s the first time that both Williams cars have been knocked out in Q1.

F1 2019 Australian GP Friday Practice Review

Two of three F1 Practice sessions got underway ahead of the first race of the 2019 F1 Season in Australia, Melbourne. Mercedes leave the track tonight on-top and with a big margin to the rest of the teams. How will the rest of the teams respond come Saturday?

15/03/19

Friday Practice 1 Review

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton led an ultra-close opening practice session with just 0.07s separating the Brit and the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. The top 3 teams, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were covered by just 2 tenths of a second. It was a great session for Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen who was 6th and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who was 7th albeit on the Medium tyre.

Home-favourite, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo ended the session 17th after missing most of the session while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, suffered electrical problems and missed an hour, was 10th quickest.

There were a number of mistakes made by the drivers: Mercedes Valterri Bottas lost the rear of his car at the penultimate corner and spun, Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon spun at turn 2 and damaged the front and rear wing of his STR14 and Williams Robert Kubica, who ran wide at turn 1 – taking to the grass.

1.Hamilton – 1:23:599  2.Vettel  3.Leclerc  4.Verstappen 5.Bottas  6.Raikkonen  7.Kvyat  8.Gasly  9.Magnussen  10.Hulkenberg  11.Giovinazzi  12.Grosjean  13.Albon  14.Sainz Jr  15.Stroll  16.Perez  17.Ricciardo  18.Norris  19.Kubica  20.Russell

Friday Practice 2 Review

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton was closely followed by team-mate Valterri Bottas as the reigning champions pulled clear of their opposition. The Mercedes men traded top times and ended 8 tenths ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ahead of team-mate Pierre Gasly and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. All teams ran low-fuel runs for qualifying and race simulations come Sunday. The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc finished the session in 9th.

More mistakes were made by the drivers including: Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen who ran wide at turn 1, the 2007 World Champion’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi spun at the penultimate corner and Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon who ran wide at turn 3 and the penultimate corner. Ferrari’s Leclerc had a heart-stopping moment as the exit of turn 4, losing control of his SF90.

Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen finished an impressive 6th with the Renault’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo in 7th and 8th. Further back, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was 13th ahead of the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr who was 6 tenths quicker than team-mate and rookie, Lando Norris in 18th.

1.Hamilton – 1:22:600  2.Bottas  3.Verstappen  4.Gasly  5.Vettel  6.Raikkonen  7.Hulkenberg  8.Ricciardo  9.Leclerc  10.Grosjean  11.Kvyat  12.Magnussen  13.Stroll  14.Sainz Jr  15.Giovinazzi  16.Perez  17.Albon  18.Norris  19.Russell  20.Kubica

F1 2019 Australian GP Preview

It’s finally back! Formula One 2019 kicks off this Sunday in Melbourne for the Australian GP. However, fans, drivers and pundits mourn the death of FIA Race Director, Charlie Whiting, who has died at the age of 66.

14/03/19

‘He was a pillar of F1’

Drivers, fans and pundits of Formula One woke up this morning to find out that long-serving FIA Race Director, Charlie Whiting, had passed away at the age of 66. The FIA said Whiting suffered a pulmonary embolism this morning which led to his death. This comes as a massive shock to the F1 paddock who are gearing for the first race weekend of the season. Drivers including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean were just a few to paid tribute to one of the most respected, influential and well-liked figure the paddock has ever seen.

Who’s looking good?

Despite only taking 2 wins round Albert Park (2008 & 2015), Mercedes Lewis Hamilton has been the man on form taking 7 pole positions. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel however has taken 3 pole positions round here but not as a Scuderia driver yet. The German has 3 wins, in 2011 and most recently in 2017 and in 2018. Red Bull’s last win here was with Vettel in 2011 however taking fastest lap last year will boost their spirits.

As for home-favourite Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, the popular Australian hasn’t finished on the podium, barring his 2014 disqualification from 2nd place. His team-mate, Nico Hulkenberg, could spring a surprise and take his first-ever podium.

Ferrari and McLaren are level on 12 wins each but the chances of the British team winning are very slim, bearing in mind their last F1 podium was here in 2014. The struggling Williams team have 6 victories while reigning Champions Mercedes have claimed 3, their last win dating back to 2016.

Among the other teams, Haas look to be in for a good points haul if the American team can avoid the disastrous pit-stop mistakes which potentially cost the team good points as both cars were in the top 5 at the time of the mistakes. Racing Points Sergio Perez has a run of 8 consecutive finishes, barring a disqualification. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr however has scored points at every Australian GP he’s raced in.

Tyre choice

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas and the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel have opted for just 1 set of the Hard tyre, along with the Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo and both Haas drivers of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc has opted for 2 sets of the Hard tyre.

It’s the same way when it comes to the Medium tyre with Leclerc taking 2 sets while his team-mate, both Mercedes and both Red Bull’s opting for 3 sets each. Ricciardo and the McLaren’s of Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris have opted for 2 sets of the Medium tyre. Interestingly, the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg has only opted for just the 1 set.

When it comes to the preferred Soft tyre, both Ferrari’s, both Mercedes and both Red Bull’s have opted for 9 sets while both Renault’s have opted for 10. Racing Points Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll and Williams George Russell and Robert Kubica have opted for only 8 sets. Russell, who makes his F1 debut, deciding to go for 4 sets of the Medium tyre.

 

F1 2019: Team and Driver Line-up

10 teams and 20 drivers will compete in the 2019 Formula One Season.

Mercedes

  • Drivers: Lewis Hamilton & Valterri Bottas
  • Test & Reserve Drivers: Esteban Ocon, Esteban Gutierrez & Stoffel Vandoorne
  • 2018 Position: 1st, 655pts
  • Stat Attack: Since 2014, there has been 100 races in which Mercedes have taken 74 Wins, 84 Pole Positions, 53 Fastest Laps and 5 consecutive Constructors Championship.

Ferrari

  • Drivers: Sebastian Vettel & Charles Leclerc
  • Test & Reserve Drivers: Antonio Fuoco, Brendon Hartley, Davide Rigon & Pascal Wehrlein
  • 2018 Position: 2nd, 571pts
  • Stat Attack: Ferrari is Formula One’s oldest and most successful team in it’s history with the Scuderia competing in every race since 1950 and taking 16 Constructors Championships, 15 Driver Championships, 234 Wins and 247 Fastest Laps.

Red Bull

  • Drivers: Max Verstappen & Pierre Gasly
  • Test & Reserve Driver: Sebastian Buemi
  • 2018 Position: 3rd, 419pts
  • Stat Attack: The Austrian drinks team dominated F1 in the early 2010’s and have since been a front-running team having competed in the sport since 2005 taking 59 wins, 60 Pole Positions, 4 Constructor and 4 Driver Championships.

Renault

  • Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo & Nico Hulkenberg
  • Test & Reserve Drivers: Sergey Sirotkin & Jack Aitken
  • 2018 Position: 4th. 122pts
  • Stat Attack: A team that has it’s eyes set on the success, Renault have progressed from the lower-end of the mid-field to the top of it in only a few years have the achievements of 2 Constructor Championships, 35 race wins and 168 wins as an engine supplier. 

Haas

  • Drivers: Kevin Magnussen & Romain Grosjean
  • Test & Reserve Driver: Pietro Fittipaldi
  • 2018 Position: 5th, 93pts
  • Stat Attack: The American based F1 Team made its debut in the sport in 2015 and have become a solid mid-field team after their best season to date last year finishing in 5th.

McLaren

  • Drivers: Carlos Sainz Jr & Lando Norris
  • Test & Reserve Driver: Sergio Sette Camara
  • 2018 Position: 6th. 62pts
  • Stat Attack: One of F1’s most iconic team’s haven’t won a race since 2012 and haven’t stood on the podium since 2014 but a veteran of the sport with 12 Drivers Championships, 8 Constructors Championships and 182 race wins should bounce back soon.

Racing Point

  • Drivers: Sergio Perez & Lance Stroll
  • Test & Reserve Driver: TBA
  • 2018 Position: N/A
  • Stat Attack: Formerly known as “Force India”, the team did very well to compete at such a level on a budget, will Racing Point take over where Force India left off.

Alfa Romeo

  • Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen & Antonio Giovinazzi
  • Test & Reserve Drivers: Marcus Ericsson & Tatiana Calderon
  • 2018 Position: N/A
  • Stat Attack: After sponsoring Sauber as a title-sponsor, the Italian manufacturer have taken over and are supporting the main Italian team but the returning team had early F1 success in 1950 and 1951 taking both Driver Championships.

Toro Rosso

  • Drivers: Daniil Kvyat & Alexander Albon
  • Test & Reserve Driver: TBA
  • 2018 Position: 9th 33pts
  • Stat Attack: The Italian based F1 team is the junior team to Red Bull having produced drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to a race winning team having competed in 247 races and taken 1 race win.

Williams

  • Drivers: George Russell & Robert Kubica
  • Test & Reserve Driver: Nicholas Latifi
  • 2018 Position: 10th, 7pts
  • Stat Attack: One of F1’s most loved teams have fallen on hard times in recent years but having competed in F1 since 1977, the family-run team have taken 9 Constructor Championships, 7 Driver Championships and 114 race wins.

Lowe leaves Williams following delayed Pre-Season Testing

Former Technical Director of Mercedes from 2014 to 2016, Paddy Lowe has left the ROKit Williams F1 Team just over a week until the 2019 F1 Season starts in Australia, Melbourne.

08/03/19

Williams Technical Chief, Paddy Lowe, has left the team and will take a ‘leave of absence’.

Lowe, joined the team in 2017 after a very successful stint at Mercedes where the team won the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Constructors World Championship along with the Driver’s Championship each year won by both Lewis Hamilton (2014/2015) and Nico Rosberg (2016).

Williams endured a tough 2018 campaign finishing last of the teams that competed in the championship with only 7 points scored across the 21 races.

Disastrous Pre-Season

Williams missed the first two days of the 1st Pre-Season Test at Barcelona in Spain which meant that while the other teams were focusing on performance work, they were still running aerodynamic tests.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said at the time that she was was “not just disappointed” by the delay.

After the two tests, Williams finished last on terms of mileage, on 567 laps compared to Mercedes’s staggering amount of 1,190 laps, and last on terms when it came to its overall quickest lap – a 1:18.130 compared to nearest team, Racing Point’s quickest lap was set by Lance Stroll with a 1:17.556.

Spending 2019 at the back?

Williams, who in the past have won 9 Constructors Championship, 7 Driver Titles and 114 race wins, are expected to spend the majority of the first few races at least at the back of the grid.

For 2019, Williams have a completely different driver line-up of F2 Champion, George Russell, and former F1 driver, Robert Kubica, a new title sponsor in the form of ROKit and a fresh approach to Formula One racing

Kubica, winner of the 2008 Canadian GP, returns to racing in the sport for the first time since the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP. Williams’s poor preparation for the upcoming season has not helped the Polish driver as he admits that he is “lacking confidence” ahead of the season-opener in Australia, Melbourne.

It’s unclear if Lowe will return to the Grove-based F1 team, for their sakes and for the sakes their dedicated and loyal fans and Formula One, I hope some order is restored at this historic team.

Formula One 2019 gets under-way on the 15th of March for Practice 1 & 2, the 16th of March for Practice 3 and Qualifying and crucially on the 17th of March for the Race.