Across 21 races on five continents, the 2019 world championship again ended up in the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, despite Ferrari and Red Bull proving more than competitive at times.
Valtteri Bottas enjoyed his best season yet, registering four wins, five poles and 15 podiums. However, 11 race wins for Hamilton ensured a big margin between the Mercedes teammates, with the pressure on the Finn to close the gap in 2020.
Max Verstappen dragged Red Bull Racing all season and impressed to third, having claimed wins in Austria, Germany and Brazil. Six additional podiums helped him to his highest ever points total – but Ferrari contemporary Charles Leclerc wasn’t too far behind.
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With the 2020 grid featuring just two driver changes – Esteban Ocon replacing Nico Hulkenberg at Renault, and Robert Kubica’s Williams seat being filled by Nicholas Latifi – the intra-team battles will be as intense as ever as the sport readies for a massive technical shake-up from 2021.
Regardless, season 2019 featured more Hamilton dominance as Mercedes’ star man sealed a sixth drivers’ title, bringing him ever closer to Michael Schumacher’s incredible record.
Even the numbers from the final race in Abu Dhabi demonstrated how indomitable Hamilton proved to be, with the 34-year-old winning from pole for the 50th time in his career, and leading every lap in a race for the 19th time – all in his 250th race.
Hamilton also equalled the consecutive points finishes record he already owned (33) and tallied the most points ina season (413), also overtaking his own previous record set last season.
Take a look back at the stats that mattered in 2019.
Hamilton may have claimed 11 wins, but his haul of five poles was his worst since his maiden year with Mercedes. It was a maiden year to remember at Ferrari for Leclerc, who despite missing out on third in the championship ended 2019 with more poles than anyone. Mercedes still finished the season with more poles, however.
Driver poles: Leclerc 7, Hamilton 5, Bottas 5, Verstappen 2, Vettel 2
Constructor poles: Mercedes 10, Ferrari 9, Red Bull 2
Average starting position (before penalties): Hamilton 2.24, Bottas 3.81, Vettel 4.29, Leclerc 4.43, Verstappen 4.67, Gasly 9.3, Norris 9.38, Ricciardo 9.9, Sainz 10.29, Albon 11, Hulkenberg 11.05, Magnussen 11.71, Raikkonen 11.95, Grosjean 12, Giovinazzi 13.24, Perez 13.38, Kvyat 13.62, Stroll 15.81, Russell 18.38, Kubica 19.57
Verstappen was one of the form drivers in 2019, but he wasn’t the best at started, losing 23 places across the 21 races on opening laps. Stroll – whose average starting position was the third worst on the grid – made up 40 spots on opening laps in 2019.
Average spots gained or lost on the first lap: Stroll (+2), Perez (+1.5), Kubica (+1.1), Giovinazzi (+0.55), Gasly (+0.5), Magnussen (+0.5), Hulkenberg (+0.35), Vettel (+0.2), Leclerc (+0.2), Hamilton (+0.1), Russell (0), Bottas (0), Sainz (-0.2), Norris (-0.3), Kvyat (-0.45), Raikkonen (-0.45), Albon (-0.5), Ricciardo (-0.95), Verstappen (-1.21), Grosjean (-1.74)
Hamilton and Bottas combined to help Mercedes to a sixth straight constructors’’ crown, which the team sealed in the 17th race in Japan. In six years of the V6 hybrid era, Mercedes won 89 of 121 races. The Silver Arrows added 15 in 2019 from 21 starts, and with the 2020 calendar to feature a record 22 races, there’s no limit to what the team can achieve. The same goes for Hamilton, whose Abu Dhabi triumph was the 84th of his career – bringing him to within seven of the great Michael Schumacher’s 91.
Driver wins: Hamilton 11, Bottas 4, Verstappen 3, Leclerc 2, Vettel 1
Constructor wins: Mercedes 15, Red Bull 3, Ferrari 3
Hamilton spent 1103 laps in the top three. That’s right, he spent 87 per cent of 2019 in a podium position – nearly in line with his 81 per cent podium record this season.
Laps led: Hamilton 511, Leclerc 246, Bottas 185, Vettel 160, Verstappen 156, Giovinazzi 4
Hamilton was the only driver to complete every single race, and completed every single lap along the way. Romain Grosjean, meanwhile, is last on the list having completed 219 laps fewer than the 1262 on offer in 2019. Just behind him were Lando Norris (1102) and Daniel Ricciardo (1120).
Laps completed: Hamilton 1262, Albon 1245, Gasly 1234, Bottas 1233, Raikkonen 1224, Stroll 1211, Giovinazzi 1211, Kvyat 1194, Magnussen 1187, Russell 1182, Hulkenberg 1182, Kubica 1179, Verstappen 1180, Vettel 1178, Perez 1169, Leclerc 1156, Sainz 1133, Ricciardo 1120, Norris 1102, Grosjean 1043
Hamilton equalled his own personal record of podiums in a season, with his 12 matching what he managed in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Bottas also improved on his 13 podiums in 2017, while Verstappen’s nine – despite the Dutchman finishing third in the standings – were down on his 2018 haul of 11. Toro Rosso triple its podium haul following the Kvyat (Germany) and Gasly (Brazil) breakthroughs.
Driver podiums: Hamilton 17, Bottas 15, Leclerc 10, Verstappen 9, Vettel 9, Kvyat 1, Gasly 1, Sainz 1
Constructor podiums: Mercedes 32, Ferrari 19, Red Bull 9, Toro Rosso 2, McLaren 1
Hamilton would have to wait until the fifth race to register a fastest lap, and added a second at Silverstone in the 10th race. Three in fours races (Italy, Russia, Japan) took him to five before he sealed 2019 with his Grand Slam performance at Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, it took Leclerc until his second race with Ferrari not only to take a pole, but also set a fastest lap as the win eluded him in Bahrain.
Driver fastest laps: Hamilton 6, Leclerc 4, Verstappen 3, Bottas 3, Gasly 2, Vettel 2, Magnussen 1
Constructor fastest laps: Mercedes 9, Ferrari 6, Red Bull 5, Haas 1
Such was Hamilton’s consistency that he finished every single race – and in the points, with his Abu Dhabi win his 33rd consecutive points finish. Had he not retired in Austria last season with a fuel pressure drama, we’d be talking about 67 straight points finishes. Meanwhile, Grosjean and Haas’ season was torrid as the Frenchman wobbled to 18th in the standings, marking his worst full campaign in F1.
Retirements: Grosjean 7, Ricciardo 4 (1 DSQ), Norris 4, Leclerc 3, Vettel 3, Sainz 3, Kvyat 3, Bottas 2, Verstappen 2, Perez 2, Raikkonen 2, Hulkenberg 2 (1 DSQ), Stroll 2, Magnussen 2, Kubica 2, Russell 2, Gasly 1, Albon 1, Giovinazzi 1, Hamilton 0