Just days away from the new year of 2020, let’s take one final look at everything the 2019 Formula 1 season had to offer.
It has been close to a month since the 2019 Formula 1 season came to an end on Sunday, December 1, but with just days remaining before the calendar flips to 2020, let’s take one final look at what this past season had to offer.
The 2019 season consisted of 21 races, which tied the all-time record that was set in the 2016 season and then first matched in the 2018 season, and it resulted in Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton winning yet another championship. Once again, he locked up the world title with three races remaining on the calendar.
The 34-year-old Briton has now won three consecutive championships, all in decisive fashion, and he has won five of the six titles that have been decided since the V6 turbo hybrid era began back in 2014, only slightly failing to win the 2016 title in a five-point defeat to teammate Nico Rosberg.
As a result, Hamilton is now a six-time champion, bringing him to within one title of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven, a record that he is favored to match in 2020.
With another 11-win season in 2019, the third of his career and the second in a row, and a sixth straight season with at least nine victories, Hamilton is also poised to break Schumacher’s all-time wins record next year. Hamilton has now taken the checkered flag on 84 occasions, while Schumacher managed to do so 91 times over the course of his legendary career.
Aside of Hamilton, four other drivers won at least one race in the 2019 season, with three of them winning multiple races. While Hamilton tied his career-high single-season win total, the three drivers who won multiple races all set new career-highs in wins.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc entered the season with a career-high finish of sixth place, as he spent his rookie season in 2018 driving for Sauber before receiving a promotion to Ferrari to replace 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen ahead of the 2019 campaign. He won two races to become the first first-time winner since Verstappen in 2016, beating teammate Sebastian Vettel, who won just one.
Mercedes dominated the constructor standings, finishing well clear of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing with 15 victories compared to their three apiece. Their constructor title was their sixth in a row and made them the second team in Formula 1 history to win six in a row; Ferrari won six in a row from 1999 to 2004.
McLaren and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. won the unofficial “best of the rest” constructor and driver titles, respectively, and Sainz did it with a sixth place finish in the standings, not a seventh.
This is because of what happened with Red Bull Racing’s second seat throughout the season. Looking at entry totals, this seat would have finished sixth in the driver standings. However, after 12 races, Red Bull Racing promoted rookie Alexander Albon from sister team Toro Rosso to replace the struggling Pierre Gasly.
Sainz, Gasly and Albon all ended up finishing within just four points of one another (96-95-92). The second Red Bull Racing seat accounted for 139 of the 187 points scored by Gasly and Albon.
Ironically, it was Gasly who ended up finishing in the best position that a “best of the rest” driver has finished since Raikkonen won the 2013 season opener driving for Lotus, and he did so after being demoted back to Toro Rosso with a second place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
In total, “best of the rest” drivers secured three podium finishes in 2019, up from just one in 2018. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished in third place in the German Grand Prix while Sainz drove from last (20th) to third in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Albon did finish as the highest rookie in the driver standings in eighth place. McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Williams’ George Russell finished in 11th, 17th and 20th, respectively, although Russell had a dominant season over teammate Robert Kubica that is not at all reflected by his position as the sport’s only scoreless driver.
The 2020 Formula 1 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 15 with the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. What does the 2020 season, which is slated to feature a record 22 races, have in store?