Hamilton 10, Vettel 4: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix driver ratings

02-12-2019 12:24
by Matt Gretton
Hamilton 10, Vettel 4: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix driver ratings

Lewis Hamilton ended the 2019 Formula 1 season with a win in Abu Dhabi. The world champion takes momentum into the winter break, as does Max Verstappen who secured third place in the standings. It was an impressive performance from those two drivers, but the same can't be said about some other front runners. We rate the top 10 drivers in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

1st - Lewis Hamilton - 10 

This was perhaps one of his most dominant performances in F1. The British driver started from pole position and opened up a 1.6-second lead within one lap. It was a lead which grew and grew. In fact, nobody else held P1 in the entire afternoon. Hamilton rounded off a near-perfect season with a sublime performance. The soon-to-be 35-year-old isn't slowing down. 

2nd - Max Verstappen - 9 

It was almost a perfect 10 for Verstappen as well, but letting Charles Leclerc past on the opening lap has cost him a point in our eyes. The Dutchman couldn't compete directly with Hamilton, but he got as close as he possibly could given the strength of the Mercedes around Yas Marina Circuit. Despite engine problems and just one pitstop, Verstappen held on to second.

3rd - Charles Leclerc - 8 

Leclerc managed to overtake Verstappen on the opening lap, but a two-stopper meant he couldn't keep up with the Dutchman. Leclerc also had to fend-off a rapid Valtteri Bottas in the final few laps. 

4th - Valtteri Bottas - 10

What did this man do wrong? The Finnish driver started from the back of the grid and managed to climb his way through the midfield without the advantage of DRS. Had DRS been available to him, he probably would have got in a position to overtake Leclerc earlier in the race. For the last 20 laps, Bottas was producing qualifying lap after qualifying lap. ]

5th - Sebastian Vettel - 4

This was one of Vettel's worst races in the 2019 Formula 1 season. He didn't really offer much and he wasn't helped by a mistake in a double-stack Ferrari pitstop. With a new family, Vettel needs to push the reset button over the winter break and come back fighting in 2020. 

6th - Alex Albon - 5

While his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teammate stormed to victory, Albon was way back off the pace. Again, Albon had a quiet end to the season, and failed to beat either Ferrari while Verstappen claimed second place. 

7th - Sergio Perez - 9

Let's not forget, Perez collided with Pierre Gasly on the opening lap of the race. It didn't all go his way, but a long tyre management stint followed and the Mexican prevailed. He had enough left in the tank to overtake Lando Norris on the last lap to regain the 'best of the rest' position. The result means he records his sixth straight top 10 finish in the F1 standings. 

8th - Lando Norris - 8

Norris ended his rookie season well. The McLaren driver looked vulnerable on the old tyres but he only gave up one place on the last lap.

9th - Daniil Kvyat - 8

A clever strategy from the Toro Rosso team. Kvyat raced for 40 laps on the hard tyres before opting for a quick end to the race where he was able to pick a few drivers off. Some nice overtakes as well.

10th - Carlos Sainz - 7

Not bad for Sainz. He scored the one point he needed for the 'best of the rest' position in the 2019 F1 world championship by overtaking Nico Hulkenberg on the last lap. A pretty impressive move but otherwise a quiet race for Sainz. 

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