Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2019

2019 F1 driver rankings #2: Max Verstappen

2019 F1 season review

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Max Verstappen was on top of our rankings at mid-season but slipped one place by the end of the year. He set himself a high standard over the opening 12 races, which he couldn’t quite sustain over the balance of the season.

It isn’t simply the case that Verstappen performed very well against a two much less convincing team mates – the under-performing Pierre Gasly and inexperienced Alexander Albon. He has regularly maximised – to borrow a word which, appropriately, is one of his favourites – what was available from the Red Bull-Honda package.

Early in the season that meant nicking podiums when he could, like when he saw off the Ferraris in Australia and Spain, and piling up fourth- and fifth-place finishes the rest of the time. Only in Monaco did he slightly over-extend himself in pursuit of a victory which probably wasn’t on, carving up one Mercedes in the pits and nudging the other in an over-optimistic attempt to grab his first Honda-powered victory.

That finally came in Austria, where Mercedes’ form finally dipped. Even so, Verstappen had to bounce back from a sluggish start (one of several he made during 2019) and overcome the resurgent Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Driving like nothing was going to stop him, Verstappen fought his way to the front and relieved Leclerc of the lead with the kind of forceful driving he has made his trademark.

Verstappen followed up that breakthrough win with a superb drive a month later in the rain for another win at the Hockenheimring, and put up a stern fight against Lewis Hamilton in Hungary, narrowly missing out on a third victory in four races.

The stellar start to Verstappen’s season stalled after the summer break. Things began to go awry at Spa where a first-lap collision with Kimi Raikkonen ended his run of strong finishes. An engine penalty at Monza meant a recovery drive was needed, but he lost time tangling with Sergio Perez on his way to the front.

Max Verstappen

Beat team mate in qualifying18/19
Beat team mate in race15/18
Races finished18/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate985/1159
Qualifying margin-0.74

A sub-par qualifying performance at Suzuka didn’t help, though he was blameless in the collision with Leclerc which ruined his race. Similarly in Mexico it wasn’t his fault a gutsy pass on Bottas left him with a race-ruining puncture, but he almost certainly wouldn’t have been there begin with had he slowed for yellow flags in qualifying and started from pole position instead of a penalised fourth place.

On other occasions Verstappen continued to wring the best out of the RB15. He beat the Mercedes in Singapore and the Ferraris in America. He ended the season on the podium again in Yas Marina.

There are any number of reasons why neither of the Ferrari drivers ended the year ahead of Verstappen in the championship, but both of them should have. Verstappen’s raw speed combined with hard and sharp racecraft, now tempered by just the right measure of maturity, helped him take advantage of them and finish the season a superb third.

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What’s your verdict on Max Verstappen’s 2019 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “2019 F1 driver rankings #2: Max Verstappen”

  1. Quite a difficult choice for #1 between Lewis and Max.

    The way I see it both drivers had a small handful poor performances – Max had a poor race weekend in Spa, followed by a poor race day in Monza and a below average weekends in Suzuka and Mexico. Lewis had a poor weekend in Germany and Brazil, and a below average performance in Japan.

    I thought Max’s peak performances were outstanding in Austria, Germany and Brazil, and Lewis was equally outstanding in Monaco, Hungary and Abu Dhabi.

    In the end Lewis was better due to sheer consistency and making a couple of lesser errors. Almost nothing to choose between them… so I’d have to agree with Keith on this one.

    1. @todfod Well summed up and is exactly why I think it should be Max as #1. For Max to be that close performance wise to the driver who has been engrained with the dominant WCC car for 6 straight seasons, says it all. LH should have been more consistent and made fewer errors as the one with the car that fits him like a glove more than all others on the grid, including from starting higher up on average and having to tangle with fewer cars. LH had a load of pressure for the season taken off with the points haul his car afforded him fairly early in the season, and was never truly threatened for the WDC. Max had to keep the pressure up from a little further back throughout the season, a few races excepted when the track favoured the car. LH’s car rarely doesn’t suit a track. RBR is improving on that front, but still nowhere near the Mercs.

      So to me ‘almost nothing to choose between them’ is a huge compliment to Max, and should have him #1. Imagine what he could do with a WCC car after 6 years straight with it.

      1. Imagine what he could do with a WCC car after 6 years straight with it.

        I imagine he would be doing exactly what the person in the said car is doing right now. Or are you claiming he would have won 7 WDC’s within 6yrs?

        Inversely, what you claim regarding pressure makes no sense. Having a championship winning care and being a championship contender puts far more pressure on you. Thus, Red Bull and Max had far less pressure to deal with, because they effectively had nothing to lose, and were able to take more risks and gamble more with strategy, whilst Max was able to be far more aggressive with his driving (like in Silverstone). Of course, this generally paid off for both parties.

        The point is, there is no evidence to claim Max would have done any better than Lewis or won more races n the Mercedes as you are insinuating here. He would simply have maximised the opportunities available to him. Just like Lewis has done.

        1. @kbdavies You are way overthinking my comment, and it seems assuming I am slamming LH here. The nature of texting conversations, no? I mean nothing derogatory towards LH. I’m only saying that to make a fair comparison between LH and Max, let’s just keep in mind that LH has had the WCC car for 6 years straight. Max has not. Max has never had a WCC car. That’s why I am saying that if some are of the opinion that it is a close debate between #1 and #2 and Max and LH, that really bodes well for Max, since he is going up against a dynasty. It is only in your imagination that I have said Max would do better than LH given the same equipment and opportunity. I wasn’t even thinking in those terms. Simply just what Max et al have had to go up against.

          As to pressure, there’s all kinds of ways of looking at pressure, and we could discuss that from many angles for many lines of text, but all I meant in the context of my comment above is that it is a nice problem to have when you start the season and in only a small number of races you realize you are in the WCC car yet again, and your teammate is not being a real threat. All other comers are going to have to play catch-up. Yeah there are types of pressure that come with that as you say, but those are different from other pressures, and are a nice kind of pressure to have, no? Try being Williams.

          In Max’s case his pressure has been in part I agree that he could just go for it…nothing to lose…as in, don’t have the WCC car anyway so let’s take some risks. Ok. But also, particularly for 2019, his pressure became that he almost alone became tasked to elevate RBR as high as he could, and resultingly while he couldn’t get them higher than third in the WCC, he did make third in the WDC only behind the two Mercs, which was absolutely awesome, and is why some consider him #1 over LH.

          So I have not at all tried to claim anything other than what you have suggested, which is that Max would maximize his opportunities just as LH has, and for now Max has not had nearly the equipment with which to do that, oh perhaps other than for the odd race, yet here he sits in many people’s opinion as #1 in spite of Racefan’s summary putting LH there.

          So just to conclude when I said imagine Max in a WCC car for 6 straight years, I only meant imagine it. Nothing more. We have seen what LH has been able to do with that, and that is what Max and the others have to go up against. So if LH has been more consistent or made less mistakes, is it any wonder?

        2. So the task is to drive in the nail… you give one player a hammer, the other screwdriver, obviously the player with the hammer wins…. but then you ask yourself, would the player with the screwdriver mentally able to win at all?

          So far my contribution, Mercedes and RBR are miles apart, yet Verstappen has beaten Hamilton numerous times… go figure

    2. Ferraris trickery should also be taken into account. Verstappen would have definitely taken a few of them if it wasnt for Ferraris illegal tricks.

  2. Jos really needs to stay away from the races now and stop crowding Maxxy.

  3. Give him a car capable of fighting for the title please. It’s about time we give Hamilton some competition.

    1. Why do you presume he doesn’t have that already? He is still victim of his own “rookie” mistakes and most certainly doesn’t deserve 2nd in this rating.

      1. Just take a look at Bottas and you can see the difference in cars quite clearly.

      2. Do you seriously believe that Red Bull is capable of winning the title? Swap cars for Hamilton and Verstappen, and their places in the championship would swap as well.

        1. I hate the swap cars argument and we see them week after week on Race Fans. The proper argument for best driver is do you think HAM or VER or someone else would win if they all drove the same car. I believe HAM has the edge as his consistency in for the entire race weekend is better than all other drivers. During qualifying he has the car set up for race day and he makes it pay.

          1. Interestingly, I’d say HAM is the 2019 DotY, but I think that VER would win the title if all drive the same car (if I had to pick a driver for my team I’d pick him).

  4. Both Max and Sainz were standouts this year in terms of maximising the points from their cars.

  5. On other occasions Verstappen continued to wring the best out of the RB15. He beat the Mercedes in Singapore and the Ferraris in America. He ended the season on the podium again in Yas Marina.

    He also beat everyone in Brazil, which should warrant at least a mention.

    1. Exactly, a driver who passes an in-form hamilton twice, although with a slightly better car that race, deserves a mention.

  6. Max should be #1. He maximised the package he had more than Lewis. Never got outqualified and made just like Lewis incredible few mistakes (maybe even less).

    Both were absolute stunning this year, but to compare them I feel Max has just edged Lewis on pure performance.

    1. @jesperfey13, the thing is, is the statistic of not being outqualified by his team mate really a reflection of Verstappen’s strength, or the weakness of his team mates?

      Gasly was very, very poor in some races – for example, in France he barely made it into the top 10 and was being outqualified and outpaced on merit by both McLaren drivers. Having races where you’re qualifying and finishing behind cars that were inferior or being lapped by your team mate indicates that Gasly was quite significantly off the pace.

      It should be noted that Albon was perhaps a little lucky that Red Bull had pulled away from the midfield pack a bit towards the end of the season too, because his pace wasn’t stunning either – he wasn’t a huge distance ahead of the midfield pack himself. Indeed, you yourself were rather critical of Albon’s performance in some races, such as the Russian GP.

      Thanks to Ricciardo leaving Red Bull last season, Red Bull ended up promoting an underprepared inexperienced driver – even Red Bull themselves admitted that Gasly’s promotion was premature and they hadn’t been preparing him for that role, since they weren’t expecting to need to promote him that soon. As for Albon, he wasn’t even meant to be in F1 this year, let alone getting a mid-season promotion to Red Bull.

      1. @anon For sure Max beating PG and AA in qualifying was no great feat, but then Max didn’t need the help of their lagging did he? His performances speak for themselves, and given that he regularly doubled up DR in number of times qualified ahead, I think we can easily say Max is just as much a threat to the rest of the grid on Saturdays as he is on Sundays. So yes, quali is a strength of Max as per his placings throughout the season, and should be measured against the other top drivers he was competing against, not his junior teammates who were always going to be in for a learning curve and were going to stand little chance against Max.

        1. @robbie, in saying that Verstappen should not be judged against “junior teammates who were always going to be in for a learning curve”, aren’t you then essentially agreeing with the very question that I have put to the original poster about whether beating a rookie and a near rookie driver is really as much of an achievement as he claims it is?

          1. @anon For sure, the first thing I said in response to you was that it was no great feat to beat PG and AA in qualifying. And all @jesperfey13 was doing was pointing the reality out. It’s not like he was using it as some great selling point on the virtues of Max, but rather was pointing out that LH did get outqualified by his teammate more often…another reality.

            I really just added that historically Max had doubled up DR in times qualified ahead of one’s teammate, which you’d agree is a much better benchmark and shows how strong he is on Saturdays not just Sundays. To look at Max’s strength on Saturdays in 2019 we really have to look at how he did amongst the two Mercs and the two Ferraris. But given how he did against DR who was more engrained at RBR than Max, having started there in 2014, I think any teammate Max has going forward will have a hard time outqualifying him over a season. If they land a driver that does, that’s going to make for one heck of a strong force to be reckoned with on the grid as a set of teammates.

      2. Regardless of the comparison between teammates of Red Bull, losing out poles to Bottas also doesn’t speak highly of Lewis. Bottas was never a top qualifier, just like Nico Vlogsberg and somehow they can still take away enough poles of Hamilton. Stating once more its more about how dominant that Mercedes is.

        Sure Hamilton has made less mistakes, but its easy when you lead the race or aren’t really racing others, just following endlessly in top 3 positions because the qualify brought you there. Max was in the mix much more often, so mistakes are more costly. Even if its not from Max but the car (like how many times the car wasn’t optimal in qualify).

        People say that in the rain the quality of the drivers takes the cake. Max won both, so that should account for more than just “he was fine there”…

        I would even put Leclerc on top of Hamilton because of how difficult that car was to drive this year. When the car was finally dominant and competitive, we saw what he was capable of. Hamilton just has a very dominant car and all the luck in the world to win races (seriously, he got 3 wins this year again by just being there when other drivers/teams fail). And if I’m honest, Lewis has lost his edge. He’s not that aggressive anymore and is easier to overtake than ever. Even Leclerc has put up better fights for the lead than him. And Brazil showed that he’s not good with gaps anymore either.

        1. seriously, he got 3 wins this year again by just being there when other drivers/teams fail

          Sooo : Hamilton did better than others that failed but by some creative logic he performed poorly and those who failed didn’t.

        2. I dont think he has lost his agressiveness but as you say hes just cruising at the front on normal days. When it matters Bottas is the first one he sacrifices as he cant fight back for multiple reasons and then he wont play nice with anyone else either. Just look at the Albon incident, when he gets fired up we see a glimpse of what would happen with some competition.

      3. I think you could debate about Gasly and Albon’s performance at RBR… up against Verstappen both under performed massively, but we can’t ignore they have been competing at TR as well and been quite impressive….
        Gasly took a well earned podium and was really impressive against Kvyat…who did a solid job against Ricciardo back in 2015. These three drivers, Gasly, Albon and Kvyat aren’t as poor as the numbers against Verstappen imply.

        Even Ricciardo only outqualified Verstappen on pace just three times last season… it seems Max is making the difference, not his team mates regardless who they are

        Lewis is up against Bottas…. I simply can not imagine Verstappen being beaten by Bottas, only if he would have a truly off-day, but certainly not 1/3 of the season.

        1. Martin Faber.

          “Lewis is up against Bottas…. I simply can not imagine Verstappen being beaten by Bottas, only if he would have a truly off-day, but certainly not 1/3 of the season”

          Instead, Verstappen gets beaten by a complete rookie (Albon) 45% of the time (4 out of 9 races).

          We saw what happened when Verstappen had tougher benchmark teammates…..Ricciardo outscored in 2yrs out of 3, while he barely scrapped beating Carlos Sainz. IMO, Max is being flattered by having ill-prepared rookies as teammates (Gasly & Albon)

          1. @amam Not a Max fan I take it, lol. Those 4 out of 9 races you mention. What were Max’s circumstances for those races? I think you know the answer right? If Albon needs his teammate to be taken out by Leclerc in order to ‘beat him’ is that really speaking highly of Albon? Or if Max tangles with VB, or LH, or if he starts from the back with a component penalty? Is that what you are hanging your hat on wrt Max being ‘beaten’ by Albon? Surely you can do better than that, no?

            Yeah DR outscored Max, when Max hadn’t even started the season alongside DR but rather only after 5 races into the season. And sure, when Max was making some boneheaded mistakes and handing points directly to his teammate. All the while Max was outqualifying DR two to one, leading him in races more often, and finishing ahead of him more often when they both finished races together. Sure Max handed a lot of points to DR, and DR was quite regularly on it on his own anyway. But realistically, would you say that on average the formula to beating your teammate points-wise would be to be outqualified and outraced by him two to one? That formula only works when your teammate is young and impetuous. Those days are gone. Old news. Max has just finished third in the WDC ahead of both Ferraris, his best season yet. Onward and upward for him. Some even think him #1 over LH for doing what he did with much less car most of the time. Max doesn’t need ill-prepared rookies to flatter him. His numbers speak for themselves all on their own. Right there in the record books.

          2. @AM,
            You just checked the point at Wikipedia…?
            I’de say 2016 between Dan and Max was close…though Max had one mechanical DNF more… and was the better driver in many races while Dan took home the points due to odd circumstances… Spa, Germany, Hungary, Malaysia, Mexico fe. Dan was favored openly and clearly before the summer stop in 2016. He had a better engine in Monaco, better 3 runs in Baku and Austria, team orders in Germany and Hungary.

            In 2017 Max DNF-ed 7 times of which 6 times ahead of Dan who DNF-ed 6 times..of which once ahead of Max. It was 14-6 in quali…but than was not the end of it, Max overtook Dan 4 times in the first laps when he was behind. The 13 DNF’s made the outcome just random numbers.

            Over 58 races Max led 1609 laps against Dan 854… that about says it all

  7. I had VER 2nd and HAM 1st as well.
    But every time I rethink it, there is some remaining doubt; how much of HAM’s result was due to the car or due to the team asking the 2nd driver to support him.
    The first half was better for VER, the 2nd was better for HAM. But which one was ‘more better’ or should I count the single races in each ‘half’.
    And mistakes might be less for HAM than VER, but are all mistakes equal.

    Overall very closely matched; I’m comfortable leaving the season with HAM.
    But if I had to choose a driver (based on last year’s performance) to lead my team then it would be VER. Probably betting on the upside of his talent versus the consistcy of HAM’s experience.

    1. @coldfly As I alluded to above, for me given that it is that debatable for some, or likely many, I think the nod should go to Max for doing more with less as the one not in a fits-like-a-glove 6 straight season WCC car. Imagine Max in that scenario and it is hard to imagine he couldn’t do the same as LH with that equipment that many years running.

    2. The only race where Bottas was asked to help Hamilton was Singapore (and that was only because the team messed up Hamilton’s strategy & were in danger of bagging a 4-5, instead of the 3-4 they eventually got). Let’s not forget Gasly was moved aside for Verstappen at Silverstone, while Horner & Marko have stated the RB team is to be built around Verstappen.

    3. @coldfly How much of it was because the car Verstappen had though. That race in Austria he only won because Red Bull allowed him to destroy the engine and set it to “11”. Verstappen could just pick the races he wanted to win.

      Hamilton had to actually fight a WDC battle against his on team mate, both Ferrari’s and Verstappen. Verstappen doesn;t have a care in the world. He’s the sole concern of the team and he gets the tools do do his fights when it suits the car. Yet he still royally messed up Spa and Mexico.

      1. Lol can you hear yourself type that nonsense?

        1. @robbie Get lost troll

      2. That doesn’t make a lot is sense @f1osaurus.
        The fact that HAM even allowed BOT (generously rated as #5) to be a challenger is one of the less impressive parts of his season.

        1. @coldfly Bottas was only a challenger because there isn’t much difference in points. Hamilton got 75% of the Mercedes wins.

          Plus Verstappen should have been #2 in the WDC, but he dropped the ball in the second half. Let alone Ferrari who kept on dropping the ball (team and both drivers).

          1. Makes even less sense. @f1osaurus
            1st gets 40% more points than 2nd.
            Much more than the gap for the 2nd/3rd strongest team.
            Also Bottas was defined as a challenger early in the season, when HAM wasn’t at his best.

            You can also be a fan of Hamilton, or admirer of his achievements (as I am), without wearing blinkers.

          2. @coldfly Yes your math makes no sense at all. 7/25 is not 40%.

            The point is that Hamilton got 75% of the Mercedes wins. That’s blows Bottas totally away. How on earth is this that difficult to understand?

            Bottas was a “challenger” at the start of the season because he got the first win. That 2.0 nonsense lasted really short.

            Deal with facts, not with nonsense.

          3. Deal with facts, not with nonsense.

            Notwithstanding this advice I’ll deal with your nonsense one last time.

            If you want to have to a proper discussion @f1osaurus, you should take off your blinkers and improve your reading (“1st gets 40% more points than 2nd.”) and math skills (I’d honour you an explanation had you come up with 39%).

          4. @coldfly I’m not the one with blinkers on.

            Bottas was completely blown away by Hamilton. Bottas would wipe the floor with Vettel.

  8. Verstappen was 1st until hungary.
    He had a few very bad weekends after the break that were much worse than anything Hamilton produced. So 2nd is fair.

    1. Verstappen had a few bad weekends, but hardly his fault…
      – Spa, Kimi overlooked him, Verstappen simply didn’t do anything wrong there
      – Monza, started from the back due to a grid penalty, clipped his front wing, but cost him 1 or 2 positions max
      – Singapore, poor set-up of the car…yet a podium
      – Sochi, another grid penalty
      – Japan, crashed out by Leclerc
      – Mexico, forced on the grass by Hamilton, given a puncture by Lewis

      Max can be blamed for Monza, but all other drama was not something Max ‘produced’.
      Max has been taken out twice by both Ferrari drivers and taken out by a Mercedes driver… add two grid penalties and you’ll know that’s a lot to compensate.

      1. He got that puncture in Mexico on Bottas. And it was his own fault.

        1. Like Max has the talent to hit Bottas front wing with his rear wheel…ehm..
          Bottas got totally surprised, video footage shows he moved twice hesitating, he steered in to soon puncture Max tyre.
          At first nothing seemed wrong… an harmless incident, but after full lap Max was foced to pit which cost him the race and a very realistic win…. according to Lewis.

          There’s no single pundit denying it was fully on Bottas

          1. Verstappen was ttoally to blame for his puncture driving into Bottas. He took a line way too deep into that corner. The race line is much farter to the left because of the right turn coming up next. Verstappen can’t expect Bottas to disappear just because he gets dive bombed.

      2. Spa was completely his fault. Kimi didn’t “overlook” anything. La Source is a tight corner, you simply cannot do what he did.
        And he did the same in ’16 against Kimi too.

        There is a corner there, kimi turns, crashes in him who is squeezing to be there and still he says “he turned into me”, but no, he turned into the corner that you forgot do to.

        1. Edvaldo,
          post race interview, the exact words of Raikkonen…
          ‘boah, I didn’t see Max I was focusing on Bottas’…. and off he was

          It’s such a useless debate…Max was already more than halfway alongside Kimi about 30 meters before the corner.
          Kimi had all the space on the outside, but like he said so himself, didn’t see Max and squeezed untile he rand over his front wheel. In able to run over someones front wheel he’s gotta be at least halfway along side…and when you are the rules see the defender has to leave space…

          Max had every right to be where he was and considering they are under 50km/h that first corner, there is hardly any danger…. what people have overlooked as well, just second before Max hit the barriers Kimi hit him again, breaking his suspension. his rear wheel touched Max already weakened front and than broke.

          1. Verstappen wouldn’t make that corner without Raikkonen letting him by.
            Did Kimi got a penalty for it? No. It was a racing incident. You have to expect thing kind of stuff in La Source. To me he did nothing to avoid it, and he was the one who could, so his fault.

      3. Those grid penalties are just bogus. They take them because they want to. They let Verstappen destroy his engine so he can win a race on a track which suits the car. Then they need to take new parts yes. So what?

        1. Lol yup keep up the nonsense. You’re only fooling yourself.

          1. @robbie Lol the fact that you don’t understand any of this makes perfect sense. Sad how you still keep pretending though. Even your trolling is so utterly half assed. Why don’t you try a knitting forum or something?

  9. Verstappen vs Hamilton is such a tough call.

    Max dominated weaker teammates, Hamilton was less impressive against Bottas, who drove very well.

    I think Hamilton’s mistakes were less costly, Brazil in particular.

    I also think Verstappen’s aggressiveness spread, encouraging Leclerc’s aggressiveness. Of course the FIA is responsible to for allowing it. I don’t think we need more dangerous moves like we saw in Austria or Monza. Someone will get hurt.

    1. @slotopen What you call dangerous I call racing in what are extremely safe cars, and F1 agrees as they indeed let them race, thank goodness. We don’t need F1 to be any more sterile than it is, and if Liberty has their way there’s going to be a lot more close action such as you cite come 2021, thank goodness again.

    2. No it’s not.

      1 and 2 should be Lewis and Sainz imho. Verstappen still shoots himself (and others) in the foot too often. His ego even let him to rather want to ‘sound cool’ in Mexico when he said he had his foot to the floor, rather than playing it smart. That’s flat-out unprofessional if you ask me.

  10. Easy choice Verstappen is behind Hamilton but think Carlos Sainz should get second place. He made less costly mistakes as Verstappen did. And we know the two of them are about the same level of quickness from Toro Rosso days so lets not bring up Norris out qualifying Sainz here..

    1. Reality is Max made three mistakes over a complete season…. of which two debatable…
      Monaco, unsafe release, he simply could not have seen Bottas, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The FIA allowed Bottas to drive unnecessary slow under SC to create a gap between him and Lewis for the double pit, not allowed!
      Monza, starting from P20 Max clipped his frontwing, his one true mistake
      Mexico, ignoring yellow flag… claiming not to have seen the man in the corner cause of focussing on Bottas in the wall.

      Lewis made more mistakes, with bigger consequences (Germany 3x, Brasil 1x)
      Sainz sure had a good season…but just barely ahead of rookie Norris..he was consistent, but lacked pace to really stand out

    2. I don’t recall 2015 Verstappen/Sainz as a ‘same level’ fight, but rather totally irrelevant for a 2019 driver ranking.

      PS – I guess you’d have Hulkenberg at #1.

  11. Hamilton fo me was a no brainer as No1. He just drove with as few mistakes and as cleanly as you would expect a 6 times WDC to perform. His partnership with Mercedes has produced on of the best pairings in F1 history and I think he’s likely to go on to become the all time holder of the most WDC titles.
    Verstappen has improved his driving over the last 12 months, he has shown that he is capable of learning. He still makes mistakes but he also has shown he is more prudent about which fights he takes on, that and his speed has shown in his results. So yes No2 is well deserved and he can have a chance at the WDC if RB give him the car and he can continue to improve.

  12. János Henkelmann
    25th December 2019, 1:19

    The qualifying margin and the laps spent ahead of his teammates are just astonishing!

  13. Too bad we don’t have Ricciardo at Red Bull anymore to guage what the car was really capable of.

    1. Lol, the one Max doubled up in qualifying ahead, laps lead ahead of him, and finishing races ahead of him when they both finished. And that was when Max was being impetuous and handing him all kinds of points. Ya that makes sense. Keep dreaming, Christmas troll.

  14. I agree with verstappen 2nd and hamilton 1st, even as a verstappen fan nowadays, and while I think hamilton is a great driver and improved a lot in recent years, I don’t really want mercedes to do well, but he just drove particularly well.

    Looking forward to a more challenging championship though, we didn’t have much competition for mercedes in the last few years, except 2017 and 2018, even then there wasn’t a proper top driver at ferrari.

    1. At least 2018, in 2017 vettel wasn’t so bad, roughly along hamilton’s performance and it was the car to decide, but 2018 = better car and worse performance, managing to end up further behind than 2017!

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