Opening WRC race at Monte Carlo: Neuville is the winner

Thierry Neuville was the first to lead the opening WRC race at Monte Carlo in his new Hyundai in the second stage test.

In the first stage, he was 6.4 seconds slower than Sébastien Ogier in the first test but then went soaring in the second stage, going 25 seconds faster than anyone else!

However, it all went downhill midday Friday as Elfyn Evans gained a 8.9 second lead over Thierry Neuville as his new teammate Ott Tänak suffered a horrific crash but lucky came out unscathed.

Tänak ran wide off the road during stage four and went tumbling down the embankment, severely damaging the Hyundai. As a result, the car was withdrawn from continuing any more of the stages. Tänak and co driver Martin Jarveoja were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Elfyn Evans finished Saturday’s penultimate stage of Monte Carlo after a battle with teammate Sebastien Ogier he was 4.9 seconds quicker than Ogier with Neuville right behind by only 1.5 seconds in the Hyundai i20.

Sébastien Loeb was fourth in the other Hyundai after swiping a bank on Saturday morning and then spinning on Saturday afternoon. This then allowed Esapekka Lappi to close the gap to 14.1 seconds in the Ford Fiesta.

Thierry Neuville claimed Victory in Monte Carlo on Sunday afternoon. He won all four speed tests to roam from third to first with a 12.6 second lead. Neuville then gained an extra 5 points by winning the live TV power stage; safely securing himself at the top of the leaderboard with 30 points.

Closely behind Neuville was Sebastian Ogier in the Toyota securing 22 and his teammate Elfyn Evans in 3rd to secure 17 points.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

It was the last race of the 2019 season and it ended on a high for the top 3 teams with each of them getting a podium: Hamilton in 1st, Verstappen in 2nd and Leclerc in 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton gets away well closely followed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc ahead oh his teammate Sebastian Vettel. Lance stroll ran off the track at the first corner and clips the Toro Rosso of Gasly, who then clips Perez. Kevin Magnussen dives down the inside of Nico Hulkenberg at the hairpin. Leclerc breezes down the side of Max Verstappen’s RedBull. Giovinazzi also suffers a horrific lock up. Vettel passes Verstappen as he tries to fight back as Albon also locks up. Norris squeezes past Sainz. Gasly dives into the pits for a new front wing during lap 2.

Bottas overtakes Perez into 8th during lap 2. Leclerc pits during lap 13 for hard tyres, instantly after, his teammate Vettel was also pitted for hards. However, problems occur with Vettel’s front left tyre and ends up with a 6.9 second stop.

Giovinazzi tried to pass Robert Kubica during lap 23 but they collide and Giovinazzi looses some pieces from his car. Verstappen pitted for new tyres during lap 26 and he comes out behind Leclerc in 3rd.

Leclerc and Verstappen lapped Russel during lap 32 and both receive DRS. Verstappen dives down the inside of Leclerc. Leclerc then goes wheel to wheel with Verstappen going into the chicane but Leclerc comes off worse with Max still ahead.

Bottas was edging closer to Albon during lap 39 and slips past the RedBull. Albon tries to fight back but Bottas manages to stay ahead. Perez powered up to Hulkenberg during lap 46, he hits the breaks late and manages to pass Hulkenberg into the chicane.

Albon dives down the side of Vettel during lap 54 as Vettel had to stamp on the breaks to avoid a collision with the RedBull. However Vettel gets the exit and the DRS and goes side to side with Albon, and manages to squares past him.

Perez went wheel to wheel with Norris during lap 55 and dives straight past the McLaren. Carlos Sainz dives past Hulkenberg but locks up. He successfully manages to keep the position as Ricciardo also slips past his teammate.

After 55 laps, the 2019 season ends with Hamilton securing the win and the fastest lap, with Verstappen in 2nd and Leclerc in 3rd.

Brazilian Grand Prix

An eventful race as Verstappen finished 1st, Gasly 2nd and Sainz 3rd after Hamilton was handed a 5 second time penalty! However, the Ferrari’s had a nightmare of a race after taking each other out during lap 66!

Verstappen was quick off the line passing Vettel into 1st. Hamilton then also passed Vettel as well at turn 1. Leclerc passed several cars placing himself in 11th. Ricciardo and Norris were battling it out as Ricciardo dives past Norris but Norris was aggressively defending 12th place!

Ricciardo and Magnussen collide during lap 8 as Magnussen is forced sideways off track! Ricciardo was then handed a 5 second time penalty for it.

Hamilton dived in the pits for soft tyres during lap 21. Verstappen also pitted with a fantastic 1.9 second stop! However, there was a near miss as Kubica was released from the pits; almost colliding with Verstappen. Kubica was handed a 5 second time penalty for it. Hamilton and Verstappen then passed Leclerc as the exited. Verstappen dives past Hamilton into 1st!

We sadly had to see an early retirement from Valtteri Bottas during lap 52 as he pulled his slightly smoking car onto the side of the track.

Verstappen and Hamilton went wheel to wheel during lap 59 at turn 1 as Verstappen managed to stay ahead. Albon passed the two Ferrari’s up into 3rd.

Leclerc passed Vettel into 4th during lap 66. However it all went downhill as they make contact with each other and both suffer punctures which results in an early retirement for them both!

Heartbreak for Albon during lap 70 as Hamilton slammed into the side of him and spun him off track, resulting in an early retirement for him after being in track to almost achieving his first F1 podium! Hamilton was then handed a 5 second time penalty; consequently losing his podium and dropping to 7th!

After 71 laps, Verstappen passed the line in 1st, followed by Gasly in 2nd and Hamilton 3rd. However, Hamilton was stripped of his podium after receiving a 5 second time penalty and Carlos Sainz finished 3rd! With Gasly and Sainz both achieving their first ever F1 podium finishes!

2020 F1 Driver Line-Up

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (44)

Valtteri Bottas (77)

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel (5)

Charles Leclerc (16)

Redbull

Alex Albon (23)

Max Verstappen (33)

McLaren

Lando Norris (4)

Carlos Sainz (55)

Renault

Daniel Ricciardo (3)

Esteban Ocon (31)

Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly (10)

Daniil Kvyat (26)

Racing Point

Sergio Perez (11)

Lance Stroll (18)

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen (7)

Antonio Giovinazzi (99)

Haas

Romain Grosjean (8)

Kevin Magnussen (20)

Williams

George Russell (63)

Nicholas Latifi

United States Grand Prix

It was a weekend to celebrate for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton gained his 6th world championship after finishing 2nd at the US Grand Prix. His teammate Valtteri Bottas won the US Grand Prix and finished 2nd (his highest finish yet!) in the drivers championship.

Bottas got an excellent start off the line closely followed by Verstappen, Sainz and Albon make contact and run off track! They re-join as Stroll runs off wide. Hamilton passed Leclerc into 4th. The Ferrari’s went wheel to wheel as Leclerc passed his teammate Vettel. Norris and Ricciardo were battling it out as Norris passes Vettel up into 6th!

Sadly, during lap 8, we saw an early retirement from from Vettel as his suspension broke and he left the track as he exclaimed “I think the suspension has just failed”.

During lap 17, over Hamilton’s radio, James exclaimed “we believe other cars are on a 2 stop strategy so we’ll just stick to our original plan”

Toto said over Bottas’ radio during lap 24 “Okay you can attack him now”. Shortly after, Bottas passed his teammate Hamilton into 1st.

Stroll defended kvyat during lap 30, as his teammate Perez manages to slip past the Toro Rosso.

Bottas pitted for new tyres during lap 36 and came out behind his teammate but ahead of Verstappen.

Bottas and Hamilton went wheel to wheel during lap 51. Bottas ran wide off the track and Hamilton gets ahead. However, during lap 52, Bottas managed to pass him and regained the lead of the race.

After 56 laps, Bottas won the United States Grand Prix with Hamilton 2nd and Verstappen 3rd, as Hamilton picks up his 6th Drivers Championship win.

Mexican Grand Prix

The drivers championship title battle is still on as Lewis Hamilton finished in 1st, closely followed by Sebastian Vettel 2nd and valtteri Bottas in 3rd.

The Ferrari’s got an excellent start off the line closely followed by Alex Albon and the two Mercedes behind him. Verstappen and Hamilton collided and run off track, dropping down the grid (should there have been a penalty?). The two McLaren’s moved up the grid as Sainz passed Hamilton into 4th place! Vettel also clipped the back of his teammate Leclerc’s tyre.

Verstappen managed to pass Bottas into the hairpin during lap 4. However Bottas fights back and passes Verstappen again. Verstappen exclaimed over the radio “check my rear tyre” to which Christian Horner replied “looks like a right rear puncture max, a right rear puncture” as max dragged the RedBull back to the pits on 3 tyres!

The Mexican crown went wild as Perez slid down the the side of Daniil Kvyat during lap 10.

Norris had a nightmare with his pit crew during lap 13 as he was released before his front left tyre was properly secured! He was forced to pull to the side of the pits as his crew went sprinting down the pit lane.

Leclerc pitted for new tyres during lap 16 with a 2.3 second stop.

Verstappen clipped the Haas of Magnussen during lap 22. Max exclaimed over the radio “can you check my wing, he just turned in on me”.

Hamilton pitted for hard tyres during lap 24 with 2.4 second stop

It was Gasly vs Sainz during lap 36 as Sainz just manages to stay ahead of him by inches. While this was happening the blue flags were waved as Sebastian Vettel was being held up behind them.

Vettel pitted for hard compound tyres during lap 97.

Leclerc was in the pits again during lap 43 for hard tyres. However, he suffered a horrific stop as the pit crew had problems with his right rear tyre.

Daniel Ricciardo dived down the side of Perez during lap 63 but locked up and ran right off the track onto the grass. He then came out ahead of Perez however he gave him the place back.

Kvyat tried to make a move down the side of hulkenberg during lap 70 but clipped his back tyre and sent him spinning into the barriers for a retirement 1 lap from the end of the race!

After 71 laps, Hamilton wins the Mexican Grand Prix followed by Vettel in 2nd and Bottas in 3rd.

Also, do you think that Hamilton or Verstappen should have got a penalty/warning for the incident at the beginning?

Japanese Grand Prix

Bottas swept in to claim victory in japan with Vettel 2nd and Hamilton 3rd. It was a lucky day for Mercedes with both drivers on podium and winning their 6th consecutive constructors championship.

Bottas flew past Vettel off the line after Vettel and a very risky “jump” start. Verstappen and leclerc also touch which sent Verstappen off the track!

The Ferrari team told Leclerc to box during lap 2 however he didn’t listen and continued around the track numerous more times. As a consequence, with all the debris Hamilton lost his wing mirror as he exclaimed over the radio angrily “I’ve lost a wing mirror!!”.

Alex Albon and Lando Norris collided with each other at the chicane during lap 4; sending Lando wide off the track!

Leclerc was in full power mode as he passed verstappen during lap 9 into 16th. He then passed Kvyat into 15th during lap 12. And finally, he passed Raikkonen into 14th during lap 14!

Sadly, during lap 15 we had to see the retirement of Max Verstappen from the Japanese Grand Prix as he slowly drive his Redbull into the garage and hopped out the car.

Hamilton exclaimed his anger during lap 23/24 as he spoke over the radio “how hVe I lost that much time?!”. This was closely followed by “I’m basically out of the race with a pit stop behind”.

Hulkenberg took his Renault past Kvyat during lap 27 closely followed by Perez in his pink racing point.

Leclerc then slipped past Gasly during lap 35 up into 6th place.

Hamilton pitted for new tyres during lap 42. Toto Wolff said over the radio “okay time to push hard now” to which Hamilton replied “what do you think I’ve been doing?!”.

Kvyat held up Vettel during lap 51 to which Hamilton tried to go round the outside of him but he failed to do so.

Perez crashed out on the 53rd (last) lap of the race! He collided with Gasly’s Toro Rosso which sent him spinning into the barriers. Bottas then crossed the checked flag in 1st followed by Vettel in 2nd and Hamilton in 3rd.

After the race, Ricciardo was promoted to 6th place after Leclerc was handed 2 penalties equating in an overall 15 second penalty! The first was for his collision with Verstappen and the 2nd was for dangerous driving. As a consequence, Leclerc finished the Japanese Grand Prix in 7th.