Start, Hockenheimring, 2019

Ranked: Every F1 race of last year rated from worst to first

2019 F1 season review

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What were the best and worst Formula 1 races of 2019? Here’s how RaceFans readers rated every round of the 2019 championship.

2019 French Grand Prix

3.5 out of 10

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Paul Ricard, 2019
Paul Ricard’s race lacked thrills
Paul Ricard’s second race since its return to the calendar did not inspire much excitement. Mercedes coasted to a one-two finish and their eighth win in a row at the start of the season. Only two things interrupted the tedium: A Virtual Safety Car due to debris on track, and a lively four-way final lap battle involving both Renaults, Lando Norris and Kimi Raikkonen.

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

4.4 out of 10

The outcome of the Canadian Grand Prix was decided by the stewards’ controversial decision to hand Sebastian Vettel a five-second penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner after he went off under pressure from Lewis Hamilton. Vettel crossed the line first, but Hamilton won, sparking debate over the consistency and judgement of the stewards when it comes to racing incidents.

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

4.6 out of 10

Mercedes cruised to yet another one-two in Spain, out-running Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. Nor were Ferrari a threat at a track where they had impressed during testing. A collision between Lance Stroll and Norris brought out the Safety Car but the silver cars were never threatened at the restart.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

4.8 out of 10

The 1,000th world championship race saw a first-lap collision between both McLaren drivers and Daniil Kvyat, which brought out an early Safety Car. Besides a short duel between Vettel and Verstappen for third, and a Mercedes pitting both drivers on the same lap, there was little action at a track which normally produces plenty of overtaking.

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

5.4 out of 10

Having swept the front row of the grid, the two Mercedes drivers fought wheel-to-wheel through the first four corners. Bottas emerged ahead while Sergio Perez jumped to fourth by the end of lap one. Throughout the race, there were plenty of overtakes, though DRS made most of them fairly straightforward. The streets of Baku lacked their normal chaos apart from a collision between Daniel Ricciardo and Kvyat after which the Renault driver reversed into his former team mate.

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2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

5.6 out of 10

Start, Yas Marina, 2019
The race is go… and Hamilton’s won
Yas Marina’s reputation as an overtaking-free zone is infamous. Passing was made even harder as a technical problem meant DRS was unavailable for the first 18 laps of the race. The final lap saw some terrific action, however, as Perez pulled off a brilliant pass on Norris to lead the midfield home while Sainz in the other McLaren lunged down the inside of Nico Hulkenberg for the final point, clinching sixth in the drivers’ championship.

2019 Russian Grand Prix

5.8 out of 10

A frustrating day for Ferrari. The opening lap saw Vettel sweep by Leclerc for the lead while Grosjean, Ricciardo, and Giovinazzi collided. However Ferrari’s first lap position-swap had been arranged by the team, and when Vettel was told to give the place back he refused. The swapped the pair through the pits, but shortly after Vettel rejoined an electronic systems failure put him out. That also caused a VSC period, handing the win to Hamilton who was able to make his pit stop for free.

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

6.2 out of 10

Another race marked by Ferrari’s questionable driver management. Leclerc led from the start, but kept the pace extremely slow to frustrate their rivals’ tactical options. When Vettel pitted from third, he ran fast in free air and jumped ahead of his team mate, leaving Leclerc confused and unhappy with Ferrari’s tactics. A collision between Russell and Grosjean brought out the Safety Car, but Vettel went on to claim his only victory of the season.

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2019 Monaco Grand Prix

6.3 out of 10

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2019
Leclerc’s home race did not go well
Leclerc spent the opening stages of his home race desperately trying to fight back through the field with some risky overtakes. Eventually he tapped the wall while trying to pass Hulkenberg and he picked up a puncture. Hamilton complained about his tyres as he was under constant pressure from Verstappen in the latter stages of the race and eventually the Red Bull driver tried a move at the chicane, but despite some contact Hamilton stayed ahead to win. A penalty for tangling with Bottas in the pits dropped Verstappen off the podium.

2019 Australian Grand Prix

6.3 out of 10

Bottas jumped Hamilton off the line and controlled the race from the front as Mercedes displayed just how much quicker they were than the rest of the field. Gasly struggled in his first race for Red Bull, finishing 11th.

2019 Mexican Grand Prix

6.6 out of 10

Hamilton and Verstappen made contact at turn two allowing the two Ferraris, who started on the front row, to temporarily escape at the front. Verstappen then picked up a puncture as he overtook Bottas through the stadium section. Meanwhile Ferrari put their drivers on different strategies, losing out to Hamilton, who made a single, early pit stop.

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2019 Japanese Grand Prix

6.9 out of 10

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2019
Verstappen and Leclerc tangled in Japan
Bottas immediately passed Vettel for the lead before Verstappen and Leclerc collided, causing significant damage to both cars. Bottas quickly extended his lead and finished 13 seconds ahead of Vettel who was able to keep Hamilton half a second behind at the line.

2019 United States Grand Prix

7 out of 10

Vettel, who started second, lost five positions on the opening lap and suffered a suspension failure eight laps later. Meanwhile, Bottas dominated out front, but had to pass Hamilton for the win after pitting once more than his team mate. Hamilton still claimed his sixth world title in second place with Verstappen following closely.

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

7.4 out of 10

The race went ahead in the shadow of the previous day’s tragedy, in which Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert was fatally injured. On the opening lap, Raikkonen and Verstappen touched twice sending the Red Bull into the barriers and forcing Raikkonen to pit early. Leclerc converted pole into his first win in F1 despite a late challenge from Hamilton.

2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

8 out of 10

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Hungaroring, 2019
Hamilton chased Verstappen down at the Hungaroring
Verstappen started on pole and kept Hamilton behind during the first stint, but despite fierce pressure after both stopped for fresh tyres. However, Hamilton still couldn’t make an overtake stick so the team opted to two-stop and with four laps remaining he effortlessly passed Verstappen on the outside of turn one for the victory.

2019 Italian Grand Prix

8.2 out of 10

Leclerc battled Hamilton throughout the race from pole position while Vettel ruined his afternoon with an unforced error. First he spun on his own at Ascari, then collided with Stroll as he rejoined the track while his team mate fought for the lead. Leclerc defended hard, and was shown the black-and-white warning flag for squeezing Hamilton at one point, but hung on to the delight of the Tifosi to pick up his second win in as many weekends.

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

8.5 out of 10

Following a Ferrari front-row lockout, Leclerc dropped back to third at the end of the first lap, but quickly retook the lead with a slick move around the outside of Vettel through turn one. Vettel couldn’t match his team mate’s pace and spun while trying to keep Hamilton behind, then his front wing exploded on the back straight. With 10 laps to go Leclerc lost a significant amount of power and fell to third place by the chequered flag, gifting Hamilton the win.

2019 British Grand Prix

8.6 out of 10

Start, Silverstone, 2019
Silverstone provided plenty of action
Hamilton and Bottas battled for the lead in the first stint: On lap four Hamilton went around the outside of Bottas through Luffield to shortly take the lead in front of his home crowd, before Bottas fought back as they went through Copse. Further behind, Leclerc and Verstappen battled for the final podium position before a Safety Car handed Hamilton the lead and the eventual win.

2019 Brazilian Grand Prix

8.8 out of 10

Hamilton spent the entire race trying to get ahead of Verstappen. He came out in front of the Red Bull driver after pitting but had drained his battery and was re-passed. Bottas’s retirement brought out the first Safety Car and Verstappen stopped for new tyres while Hamilton favoured track position. Verstappen went around the outside of Hamilton on the restart before the two Ferraris collided, bringing out another Safety Car. On the penultimate lap, Hamilton sent Albon into a spin gifting Gasly second and Sainz third following Hamilton’s penalty.

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

8.9 out of 10

Verstappen made an awful start and fell to eighth before he had even reached turn one, allowing Leclerc to inherit the lead. But the Red Bull driver made his way through the field and came back to pass Leclerc with two laps to deny the Ferrari driver his first win.

2019 German Grand Prix

9.4 out of 10

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2019
Intermittent rain made life harder for drivers in Germany
The venue which provided the best race of last season isn’t on the 2020 F1 calendar. The only wet race of 2019 proved the most action-packed of the year. From Sergio Perez’s early spin into a wall the action hardly relented. Leclerc, Bottas, Hamilton and Hulkenberg also made contact with the barriers during the race. Vettel, who started last due to an engine problem in qualifying, climbed through the field to second, despite going off on the final lap. Kvyat and Stroll gambled for dry tyres before the rest of the field and claimed their best results of the year. Through it all Verstappen stayed out of trouble to win by far the liveliest race of 2019.

All-time ratings

How do this year’s races compare with previous seasons? And which tracks tend to provide the best racing? Find all the data here:

Over to you

Was the German Grand Prix your favourite race of last season? Have your say in the comments.

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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45 comments on “Ranked: Every F1 race of last year rated from worst to first”

  1. In general French, Spanish, Monaco and Russian GP are bit of snoozefest. Though last year Russian GP and Monaco GP turned out much better while Baku was snoozefest. Canadian GP had a lot of drama but seems like fans downvoted out of spite.

    1. Without 1/10 votes for Canada (which I believe was around 41% of votes), it would have been rated around 7.

      1. The 1’s were well deserved.

        1. No they were not, Vettel’s penalty was though ;-)

    2. Yes, I’m sorry to the canada grand prix, which is a race I liked, also cause schumacher was extremely strong here, but also like the layout.

      In particular the 2019 race deserves 8 imo, but stewards deserve 1, and that’s reflected in my vote and many others’, because I alone wouldn’t have been able to lower the average by this much!

      1. Let’s say it was a rebellion-vote, and dare I say it worked, stewarding got more fair as the season progressed, finally penalizing mercedes drivers too!

        1. @esploratore, I would argue the opposite, and that the outcry from those protesting events in Canada resulted in stewarding standards declining and a move towards emphasising “the show”.

          Whether or not you agree with that specific penalty, it felt like that incident made them less inclined to take action against popular drivers because they were more worried about the backlash than from maintaining standards, making the stewarding subservient to populism and making drivers “too important to penalise”.

          We had events such as Leclerc’s unsafe release in Germany, where even with Grosjean doing an emergency stop in the pit lane, Leclerc did actually just clip Grosjean’s car. Whereas most unsafe releases earned a time penalty, and even most of those have been fairly soft penalties, in that case it was just a fine – cynically, it felt like they went for a fine instead of a time penalty because that strategy moment brought Leclerc into play and “spiced up the race”, even at the expense of the safety of those in the pit lane.

          Personally, it is something of a pet hate of mine that the FIA seems to be allowing unsafe releases to be penalised leniently because they’ve been lucky and not had a serious incident for some time – if they effectively encourage it with soft penalties, sooner or later something will go badly wrong because people think it’s too easy to take that risk – and there have been some incidents where the FIA seems to be slipping on safety standards.

          In fact, we’ve had stewards openly admit in recent years that they went for softer penalties on drivers near the front because it seemed more important to “not interfere in the championship”, suggesting the stewarding is biased in the favour of the most prominent drivers. We have also had figures such as GT-Racer suggest that there has been pressure within the paddock on the stewards to “spice up the show” by using the safety car to close up the pack, rather than basing the use of it on what is safest for the marshals.

          It gives the impression that stewarding is being debased to serve the commercial needs of the sport – big name drivers and teams are given more leniency than midfield drivers because they don’t want people to complain and decisions are being made with more focus on “spicing up the show” or engineering a more exciting race. That is not “fair stewarding” – it is the precise opposite, with stewarding becoming subservient to populism and commercialism over the integrity of the stewarding process.

  2. Just wondering, do you have the rankings to more decimal places? I’m trying to compile some rate the race data and more decimal places would make it much easier.

    1. And while you are at it.. would love to see the trend, so an image of scoring over the last decade. Then we can get rid of Paul Ricard and the likes…

      1. shows a general idea (though I know that some of my scores for 2019, such as USA, are wrong, albeit close).

        1. Great work !

        2. Great work! Thanks. So for starters we should say goodbye to Paul Ricard, Sotchi, Spain and Abu Dhabi. Couldnt agree more, borefest.

    2. No problem …

      German 9.400000
      Austrian 8.90000
      Brazilian 8.800000
      British 8.600000

      There, fixed it for you :p

  3. So all the race where Verstappen won and dominated, were the best in 2019 ;)

    1. My thoughts exactly…. it’s not cruising we like, we actually like racing

      1. W (@vishnusxdx)
        4th January 2020, 10:30

        Just like Canada? ;D

    2. That’s how it apparently goes: Mercedes domination means a boring race, a Verstappen win means something out-of-the-ordinary has happened.

  4. For me Silverstone was the highlight of the season, plenty of quality wheel-to-wheel battles lasting for multiple corners or even multiple laps among the rather close top6, basically throughout the whole race, and under normal conditions, so no rain, no crash-fest, no multiple safety cars, and finally no grid penalities to separate the top teams.
    Hockenheim was a chaos race and meanwhile I didn’t mind the form on paper to be broken once in a while, that’s not the way proper racing should work, absolutely agree with you @dallein.
    Interlagos was also a bit off too, because although the last 20 was action packed, I won’t forget that the first 51 laps was a sleepy sunday drive.
    The rating and relative position of the ret matches my gut feel.

    1. couldn’t agree more !

  5. Thank you! That race was rubbish.

  6. Is there a chart Showing who replaced the most parts? Engines GearBoxes etc?
    Or who would have made up the most laps starting from behind the rest of the field?

    In other words which drivers managed their cars the best, whose cars proved the most reliable?

  7. How about the top races of the decade? It would be fine to get a list of 50 and revive some memories.

    1. Best race of the decade was the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix by a country mile.

  8. If we compare this season to the last two, it’s surprising how, despite an absence of any sign of title fight, we got this many good races. Most of the first six or seven races or so were quite boring, but since then there was drama and a whole lot of individual stories for each Grand Prix. The most significant moment from the whole season’s perspective is Bahrain for me, the only time it seemed there might be an actual fight for the title – and the outcome clearly outlined the scenario of the whole season. Hope 2020 could be more unpredictable.

  9. So did Germany 2019 break Brazil 2012’s record, or is Brazil 2012 still the best one?

    1. Germany was 9.44, Brazil 2012 was 9.45. Very close, but not quite. France smashed Germany 2010 out of the park, though.

  10. From the linked article:

    1. 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix – 9.45/10
    2. 2019 German Grand Prix – 9.44/10

    1. Oh so close!

  11. Verstappen wins all the best races. I hope 2020 will be better. Tired of Mercedes dominance…

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      4th January 2020, 21:17

      It’s the other way around. If Verstappen wins, people like you vote it “the best race”.

      1. @f1osaurus Not true. fact is, vast majority(if not all) of the races that Red Bull had won in the hybrid era had been voted “the best races” irrespective of who was the winner, MV or DR. simply because for RBR to win a race these past few years the race had to be good, and was. yet despite this indisputable fact we still then have people like you blaming people like Ronny out of sheer spite towards certain driver

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          5th January 2020, 9:09

          @montreal95 So you are really saying that it IS true.

          people like you blaming people like Ronny out of sheer spite towards certain driver

          And you are wrong there also.

          He’s voting because:

          Tired of Mercedes dominance…

          Not sure what spite has to do with anything, but I do feel dissappointment for people like that.

          1. @f1osaurus Not true in the slightest. Races when there was a real fight between the two Mercs have also been consistently voted high. And the simple reason that all the races RBR had won recently have been voted high is that they were chock full of action anf not by coincidence since the normally third fastest car won. What I’m disappointed with is that certain people cannot grasp the concept of processional 1-2 races won by the dominant team are of no interest to the neutral fan but only to the supporters of the said dominant team. it was the same in the ferrari dominance era and the RBR dominance era.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            6th January 2020, 16:50

            @montreal95 No it’s UTTERLY true. There were better races won by a Mercedes, but they don’t get driver of the day or high scores for the race. Just because it’s Mercedes winning again.

            When a non Mercedes wins it’s by definition a great race. Even if the race was actually horrible.

            Stop pretendign thgis is not true, because you have actully already said 3 times that you do agree.

            You’re just whining about semantics.

          3. @f1osaurus Really? Name those races won by a Mercedes in 2019 which were exciting but didn’t get high scores? The only one I can think of is Canada but there was a clear reason why it got the low score and it has nothing to do with Mercedes.

            Also can you name those horrible races that non-mercedes won and were scored high despite being terrible? Actually don’t bother there aren’t any. All the six races not won by Mercedes in 2019 at least were exciting races objectively speaking

            And please stop saying I agree with you it’s just semantics (what?) when I’d ptoven three times that you’re wrong with actual facts

          4. F1oSaurus (@)
            7th January 2020, 17:52

            @montreal95 How was Austria better than Hungary? Apart from Verstappen winning one of those.

            Silverstone was the best race of the season by far. Apart from the fact that Mercedes won.

          5. @f1osaurus I rated Hungary and Austria the same personally but I understand those who rated Austria higher. And I also understand those who rated Hungary higher, like yourself. The main thing is both races were rated highly. This coming from a neutral fan btw not a fan of MV by any means (I’m a DR fan actually so not an easy season it was for me). As for Silverstone, again it’s a matter of opinion. I like crazy wet races sorated Germany higher. but I also understand those “purists” for whom the best dry race is better than chaos of the wet. again it’s not like Silverstone got low grades. it’s got the best grade out of non chaotic races(4th overall). Hungary got high grades, Bahrain was rated very highly despite Merc winning.

            On the other hand let’s look at races that were poorly rated. ifit was Ferrari /RBR 1-2 in France with the race and the circuit as it is would not have been rated higher. Maybe the grade would be 3.8 instead of 3.5 but it would still be the worst race of the season.

            Spain is a rubbish track always get rated low apart from maybe once or twice in a decade. China was bad this year. Abu dhabi is bad every year (it was rated higher than average this year actually). In short there’s nothing really askew with the ratings, apart from Canada aa I mentioned.

  12. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
    4th January 2020, 15:11

    It’s interesting to see how far apart the good and bad races were. This season saw numbers 2 and 10 in the best races since 2008 ranking, but also numbers 1 and 8 in the worst races since 2008 ranking. It’s tied with with 2014 as the year with the most races in the top tens of either best or worst (2014 had the 4th, 5th and 9th best and the 6th worst races since 2008 – Canada, Hungary, Bahrain, and Russia respectively), so it’s fair to say we’ve had a polarising season.

  13. I wish RaceFans made race ratings available for all years and tracks, e.g. view Canadian GP ratings by year, view 2017 races ratings.

  14. I had a look at the all time bottom10 and I see that last year’s French GP has the lowest rating of all time on Racefans. That’s quite an achievement!

    It’s also interesting to see that the last two Canadian GPs also make the bottom10. I used to think that Canada produced some of the best races.

    1. But as soon as I miss attending g, they’ll have a great one!

    2. Again for whoever doesn’t remember, canada 2019 was a great race spoiled by questionable stewarding, this decreased the average rating by at least 3 points, to not underestimate!

    3. Since 2014, on average, the Canadian Grand Prix’s average rating is 6.26, the 5th lowest.

  15. Would be great to have histograms with the (usual article about the) race’s rating, or maybe just a mean and median – as @talcumpowder notes, those might be quite interesting.

  16. Is this autosport?

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