After 21 Grand Prix, the 2019 Formula 1 season has drawn its final curtain. Teams and drivers are wrapping up their last commitments before enjoying a well-deserved northern winter holiday.
Throughout the 21 races we’ve had this year, several drivers stepped up to the plate to claim victory. Though some wins were inherited through various factors, others were well and truly deserved triumphs.
When it comes to out-and-out pace and performance, Mercedes-AMG has been the torchbearer since 2014. But they’ve had Ferrari and Red Bull Racing biting at their heels the last couple of seasons. Despite the pressures from both of these teams, the Silver Arrows still managed to secure the most number of victories in 2019.
All three top teams - Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull - stood on the top step of the podium, but only one of Red Bull’s two drivers (or should we say three?) managed the feat.
Here are all the race winners from the 2019 F1 season.
Lewis Hamilton - 11 victories
En route to his sixth F1 championship, Hamilton claimed eleven victories in the 2019 F1 season. During pre-season testing, the Mercedes team looked to be trailing Ferrari in terms of overall pace, but the team’s race car proved to be the car to beat this season, especially in Hamilton’s hands.
The British driver secured his first win at the second race of the season at the Bahrain GP, after the engine in Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari suffered reliability issues. Despite inheriting the win through another team’s misfortune, Hamilton proved that he and Mercedes are not to be messed within 2019.
Hamilton closed off the 2019 season with a scintillating victory at the Abu Dhabi GP and underlined the fact that he’s this year’s champion.
His eleven victories came in: Bahrain, China, Spain, Monaco, Canada, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Russia, Mexico, and Abu Dhabi.
Valtteri Bottas - 4 victories
Towards the closing stages of the season, Bottas was the sole challenger to team mate Hamilton’s title bid. Though we knew that Hamilton would not be beaten to the title, we at least hoped for a miracle and that the title race would go down to the wire. Think Sebastian Vettel in 2010, Hamilton in 2008, and Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
Although Hamilton wiped the floor with Bottas, the Finnish driver still managed four victories this year. He opened his account with a win in Australia, the opening race of the season, but had to then wait for a few races before registering his second at the European GP held in Azerbaijan.
Bottas would not be discounted and added two more victories to his name in the second half of the season: at the Japanese and American GPs.
Max Verstappen - 3 victories
It’s almost impossible to imagine that 2019 is already Verstappen’s fifth season in the sport. Though 2019 was not his and Red Bull's best season, they still managed to stand atop of the podium on a few occasions this year.
Verstappen’s first victory came at the Austrian GP, Red Bull’s home race, when he passed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the last lap of the race. His second victory came at a wet and error-ridden German GP where the likes of Hamilton, Bottas, and Leclerc all succumbed to the treacherous conditions. His third, and perhaps best, victory of the year came at the penultimate race of the season, Brazil. Here Verstappen owned every driver on the grid and claimed his win in epic fashion.
Verstappen and Red Bull made it clear that they will be in the mix for top honours in 2020, so we’ll have to wait and see how far they can push Hamilton and Mercedes.
Charles Leclerc - 2 victories
Though some will not agree with Leclerc’s 'killer instinct' as a driver, the fact of the matter is that he was (and perhaps is) a much better driver than team mate Vettel this year. Through no fault of his own, Leclerc could have had five victories to his name, but technical issues and poor strategic calls put a stop to it.
First, his missed chances. In only his second race for Ferrari, the Bahrain GP, Leclerc secured pole position. He looked poised to take the win, but an engine issue forced him to settle for third place. It was a carbon-copy of the 2017 edition of the race when he still competed in Formula 2, the feeder series to F1. In Austria, also driving a stellar race and set for victory, poor strategic calls by his Ferrari team allowed Verstappen to take the victory, as eluded to a few moments ago.
In Singapore, after also starting on pole position, Ferrari gave Vettel the preferable strategy, despite him running second behind Leclerc. Needless to say, Ferrari duped Leclerc.
Still, Leclerc secured two back-to-back victories in 2019 - at the Belgium and Italian GPs. He could have ended the season in third place, but a collision between him and Vettel meant that Verstappen secured third place in the overall standings.
Sebastian Vettel - 1 victory
Poor Vettel. It’s sad to see how a former four-time F1 champion fell from grace and being overshadowed by a younger team mate. For only the second time in his career, Vettel was beaten in the overall championship standings by a team mate. The last time was in 2014 at Red Bull when a young and fiery Daniel Ricciardo took him to school.
Leclerc showed Vettel how this year’s Ferrari F1 car should be driven, and, in the process, he outscored Vettel 264 points to 240.
Vettel registered only one victory this past season when he claimed victory at the Singapore GP.
Both Vettel and Ferrari will be looking for greater success in 2020 and, hopefully, in the process, win both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
The new season begins in Australia, from 13 - 15 March 2020.