The Season so far…
Bottas – 44: 2019 WDC leader after 2 races. Superb start from P2 at the Aussie GP gave Bottas the lead, and he never looked back to take the win. Crucially defying team orders, he went for the fastest lap at the end of the race and got it, giving him the extra point which has given him the lead in the championship going into China. When Mercedes went to Bahrain, it appeared that their advantage from Australia had disappeared and was going to be damage control for the weekend against Ferrari. After a chaotic first lap battling the young Leclerc and his 5-time world champion teammate, Bottas dropped off the podium to P4. But with Ferrari’s bad luck, he was able to snatch the last spot of the podium at the end of the race by passing the stricken Ferrari of Leclerc claiming an important 18 points.
Hamilton – 43: After finishing 2nd to his teammate in Australia due to some conservative strategy from the Mercedes pit wall, he caught yet another break to take the top step of the podium in Bahrain for his 1st win of the season. A win mostly gifted by Ferrari’s power unit issues with Leclerc and, yet, another mistake by the 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel. A second place finish and a win proves another strong start by Lewis going into China. The Mercs will have their work cut out for them to combat Ferrari’s pace in China though.
Verstappen – 27: What must be a great start to the RB/Honda championship campaign, Max finds himself in 3rd place of the WDC after 2 races. At the Australian Grand Prix, Max grabbed the last spot on the podium to provide Honda’s 1st podium since the BAR days by passing a struggling Vettel, on lap 30 of the race, who ultimately finished over 30 seconds behind Max. In the night of the Bahrain GP, Max brought home another 12 points by finishing in P4 and what could have been another podium spot if there would have been another racing lap after the safety cars were deployed for the French cars of Hulkenberg and Ricciardo. But, Red Bull wasn’t in contention for the win all weekend and like Mercedes, they have work to do this weekend in China if they want to stay in touch with the leaders.
Leclerc – 26: The young rookie with Ferrari is currently in 4th ahead of his four time world champion teammate in the driver’s standing. So far in 2019, it is another case of Ferrari’s classic ‘Could have, should have, would have’. A lackluster Australian GP finish of 5th where the testing pace of the Ferrari magically disappeared and was ultimately told to stay behind Vettel has got to be a reality check for the rookie. Then a gut punch in Bahrain where a sure win was taken away by Ferrari reliability issues dropped him down to 3rd in the closing laps of the race. Charles will be looking for revenge in China, and he more than deserves it. Let’s hope the bad luck from Kimi’s old car has been used up in the first 2 races and Charles can re-start his 2019 campaign before it’s too late. The silver lining at Bahrain was picking 1 extra point for fastest lap. This may end up being useful later in the year.
Vettel – 22: Mediocre start of the season at best for the German. A 4th and a 5th place in the first two races leaves a lot of head starching in the German camp. The only positives thus far are some decent qualifying runs on Saturdays. Vettel needs to start making moves this weekend or risk team orders favoring his young teammate. Do not rule this scenario out!
Raikkonen – 10: A strong return to Sauber/Alfa Romeo for Kimi as he is enjoying a great start to the season. Kimi finished solid in the points for both races thus far with an 8th and 7th place. This nets the Iceman a total of 10 points and lands him 5th in the drivers standing. He is also making his team mate look bad as the other side of the garage has yet to score a point. Kimi looks to be relaxed and having some great fights in the midfield. He should be confident going into the next race where he last won in 2007 (his championship year).
Norris – 8: Lando’s year is getting off to a good start. The rookie made it into Q3 for the Australian GP qualifying starting P8. He wasn’t able to to convert it into points though. He bounced back in Bahrain finishing P6 (best of the rest) netting him 8 valuable points. And remains the only points scored by a Mclaren driver this year. The midfield battle is going to be tight this year. He needs to keep scoring points and ensure Mclaren stays on the pointy end of the grid.
Magnussen – 8: Kmag again pulling the weight for Haas, while his teammate struggles on track. Kevin took the best of the rest honor in Australia in P6 with 8 points. In Bahrain, they couldn’t convert their strong Friday/Saturday pace into a points finish. It was a tough night for Kevin in the desert as he drifted out of the top 10 and finishing a lap down in P13.
Hulkenberg – 6: The Hulk has been driving great this year. A strong start down under with a P7 finish, he continued his form in Bahrain through Friday practice. A poor qualifying ended with him not making it out of Q1. Not to worry, as soon as the lights went out, the German was storming up the field and got up to the top 10. He was poised for a great points finish, beating his new teammate 2 races in a row when the French car shut down on him. A double DNF for the Renault team sure put a smile on Christian Horner’s face. Hey Cyril, you guys better lock it up for China.
Gasly – 4: Oh Pierre, P11 in Australia and a lowly P8 in Bahrain is not a good start at all at the Senior Red Bull team. Sure, there might be set up issues or the car is geared more towards Max’s liking, but these results are not going to be tolerated by Marko for long. If this slump continues, the Torpedo might be getting his seat back.
Stroll – 2: The billion dollar kid is currently 11th in the drivers standings with 2 points. More importantly, he has 1 more point than his teammate. That’s about it…pretty boring season from Racing Point this year. Next…
Albon – 2: Another rookie with points already in the bag. Albon finished out of the points in Australia but came back strong in Bahrain to finish P9 with 2 points. Note he was only 4 secs back from the newly promoted Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly.
Kvyat – 1: Torpedo snatched the last point in Australia but had a disappointed race in Bahrain. Starting 15th on the grid, Daniil made HUGE gains (note sarcarm) to finish a dismal 1 lap down in P12. Is Max the only one drinking Red Bulls in this team??
Perez – 1: Checo was able to finish P10 beating his teammate at the last race to score 1 point thus far this year. Racing Point has got work to do. Is Papa Stroll’s money injection going to turn into performance ever??
Giovinazzi – 0: Tough situation to be in for Gio. Zero points so far and Kimi is making this kid look bad. Both races Gio has been out qualified by the 2007 champ and both races he has finished outside of the points. He might want to consider asking his teammate if he can tag along on Kimi’s party nights to get some mojo…
Russell – 0: The F2 champion’s F1 career start with the Williams has been…well it started. Zero points to show (like we were expecting any) in the slowest car on the grid has got to be disappointing to George who ended his last championship in F2 with on a high with a feature win and the championship. But hey, at least he has finished both races (more than Grosjean can say) and also finished higher than his teammate. This is going to be a long long season for George. Hopefully he gets his shot with a real team soon.
Kubica – 0: Not much to say here. Robert’s best laps this year has come from his cycling laps around the grand prix circuits. Was taking this Williams race seat was the best idea for him?
Ricciardo – 0: Did Danny Ric bring all his bad luck from Red Bull to Renault? This guy can’t catch a break!! I hope his Renault company car is a bit more reliable than his Red Bull was towards the end of last year. Look for Daniel to rebound in China. He still needs to get used to the 2019 Renault and get his late breaking mojo back. Also his experienced German teammate is no slouch. It will be long road for Danny in 2019. Believe me though, he will be back before long!
Sainz – 0: Poor Carlos, two races, two DNFs. He must have gotten Fernado’s car from last year. Carlos must score some points in China to keep Mclaren in contention this year.
Grosjean – 0: Does this guy even exist? Checking the official Formula1.com website drivers standing, he is not even listed. Guess when you DNF both races and wasn’t even classified for Bahrain’s finishing order, you don’t deserve to be on the board, or maybe even a race seat….
Also, if you haven’t checked out the Bahrain GP Podcast, be sure to do so…