Mercedes’ overwhelming superiority continues to suffocate the life out of the 2019 Formula 1 championship. They’ve won every race so far this year, and are now on a run of 10 consecutive victories.
That leaves them one shy of equalling the all-time record of 11 wins in a row by a team, set by McLaren during their outstanding 1988 season.
Mercedes have been here before. On two occasions in 2016 they arrived at a race having won the previous 10, but didn’t manage to claim the record-matching 11th. The first of those runs ended at the Spanish Grand Prix, where the teams’ drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took each other off at the start.
Hamilton scored his fourth win in a row on Sunday and is one win away for matching his personal best streak of five consecutive wins. However he has a long way to go to equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine in a row, set at the end of 2013.
Vettel denied Hamilton a ‘grand slam’ on the final lap of the race on Sunday. The reigning world champion had set pole position – his 86th – led every lap and set the fastest lap with his final tour of the Paul Ricard circuit. However Vettel, who had put a few of new soft tyres on, relieved Hamilton of the bonus point for fastest lap by two-hundredths of a second.
That also spoiled a neat symmetry: Before the race began the F1 community assembled to honour Jackie Stewart, who recently turned 80, and scored a ‘grand slam’ in Paul Ricard’s first French Grand Prix back in 1971.
Remarkably, eight races in to the year Hamilton has won six of them, took his 79th career win on Sunday, and could still eclipse Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 total victories before the year is over. His tally of 178 points is just 21 shy of a maximum score of 208 at this stage.
Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas scored points for the 20th race in a row. The last time either of them failed to score was at last year’s Austrian Grand Prix – the next venue on the calendar.
McLaren enjoyed a strong weekend in France. The MCL34s swept the third row of the grid which was their highest starting position since Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen did the same in the 2014 Italian Grand Prix. Lando Norris achieved his highest starting position to date with fifth (as did Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in 10th).
Robert Kubica finished ahead of George Russell for the first time this year but remains yet to out-qualify his team mate. Lance Stroll has also been out-qualified by Sergio Perez in every race so far this year, and hasn’t reached Q2 yet either.
Pierre Gasly is also taking a hammering from his team mate at the moment. He crossed the line 11th, seven places behind Max Verstappen, but was subsequently promoted to 10th place by Daniel Ricciardo’s penalty. That made him the first French driver to score points in his home race for 16 years: Olivier Panis took a point for eighth place for Toyota in 2003.
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Review the year so far in statistics here:
- 2019 F1 championship points
- 2019 F1 season records
- 2019 F1 race data
- 2019 F1 qualifying data
- 2019 F1 retirements and penalties
- 2019 F1 strategy and pit stops
Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the French Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
2019 French Grand Prix
- Hamilton: French GP pace defied team’s predictions
- Ricciardo accepts one of his two last-lap penalties
- Raikkonen not surprised by Ricciardo’s penalty: “We all know the rules”
- Mercedes explain why the Virtual Safety Car cost Bottas four seconds
- Hamilton wants a “complete neutral”, not Wolff, running F1
61 comments on “Mercedes poised to equal McLaren’s 31-year-old consecutive wins record”
24th June 2019, 12:31
Austria might be hard for them, since a lot of long straights and short length of track might assist Ferraris being closer to Mercs than at other tracks.
24th June 2019, 16:20
Merc is no slouch on the straights though. And there are a lot a couple of low speed corners that should benefit Merc as well.
I’m all for a non-Mercedes win at this point, but I’m not assuming any track will reverse the fortunes we’ve seen thus far.
24th June 2019, 17:32
True, but short lap time means the gap between teams will be shorter and it might help Ferraris either in qualifying or race to outqualify/outscore 1 or both of Merc cars.
24th June 2019, 12:32
‘Olivier Panis took a point for eighth place for Toyota in 2008.’
I thought he retired from F1 in 2004?
Adrian Hancox (@ahxshades)
24th June 2019, 14:18
Indeed – that should read 2003 I think
Ben Needham (@ben-n)
24th June 2019, 13:03
The Pierre Gasly problem is an interesting one. I can’t remember the last time a driver was so dramatically and consistently slower than their team-mate. Verstappen is clearly exceptional, which shouldn’t be forgotten, but Gasly is often struggling for points while the other car has beaten a Ferrari at all but one race.
If I was Red Bull, I’d keep him on for the season and look for a proper replacement in 2020 if he continues. They can afford this as there is nothing to gain in front and they’re clear of the chasing pack thanks to Verstappen.
There are rumours that they are looking at Hulkenberg… short of that I struggle to see many options. Albon is too unproven and Kvyat has bounced up and down too much already. They must wish they’d gone for Carlos Sainz this year.
24th June 2019, 13:24
@ben-n I share the same sentiments with you on this matter.
24th June 2019, 13:37
With how Sainz is performing this year it would have been great seeing him with Verstappen.
Vandoorne could have also been a really good steal… if i remember I think zak brown was doing some (halfhearted imo) negotiation with Red Bull.
I think Gasly deserves to be in F1, just in toro Rosso, not redbull
24th June 2019, 13:52
Not sure he’d want to leave a dominant Formula E position, but it’d be interesting to see what JEV could do with that seat…
Alec Glen (@alec-glen)
24th June 2019, 14:11
I think he’d jump at the chance personally, would love to see him have a crack too.
Ben Needham (@ben-n)
24th June 2019, 14:55
@bookoi @alec-glen – it’d be a big slap in the face for Formula E if the championship leader (by some distance) left for another series mid-season. Vergne hasn’t driven a Formula One car for a long time and they’ve changed quite a lot, but he’s still a young-ish guy and I’m sure he’d do well. I’d think Buemi is probably more likely though, as they’ve kept the affiliation with him alive.
24th June 2019, 18:39
@ben-n Buemi was never that good in F1. He was usually slower than Alguersari, who was no future world champion by any means.
24th June 2019, 14:56
An FE driver is about as likely to turn down a drive in F1 as he is to pay a million quid to be infected with Ebola.
That’s pretty much true of any other racing series, too. FE is for nonentities and has-beens. It is slower than top level karting, let alone real cars.
24th June 2019, 14:06
I’ll get my coat…
Ben Needham (@ben-n)
24th June 2019, 14:59
@neilosjames – a good point. If Ocon isn’t in a Mercedes next year and wants to remain part of the “family” (hate that term!) then he either goes back to Racing Point (where there is no room, evidence: 2019) or to Williams, which seems a terrible decision. He could well end his association with Mercedes at the end of this year; in which case Red Bull would surely be interested (even though Verstappen would not).
The flip side is to take on Bottas as a solid if unspectacular option, should Ocon get his wish and drive for Mercedes in 2020.
24th June 2019, 15:27
Occon to Renault to replace a departing Hulk is not science fiction though
24th June 2019, 17:32
Ocon won’t replace Bottas.
Bottas is a mere 0.061 down on Hamilton in quali on average for the season to date (source Autosport), holds a comfortable second in the championship and has a couple of wins to his name. Hamilton is at the top of his game so you can’t underestimate how well Bottas is doing in what must be difficult circumstances. I fail to see how Ocon could do better.
24th June 2019, 18:12
@ben-n, would he necessarily have to cut his ties with Mercedes though?
Mercedes have shown that they are prepared to loan Ocon to other teams – he took part in practise sessions for Renault in the past, was Renault’s reserve driver in 2016 and Mercedes were negotiating with Renault about a potential race seat for Ocon until Ricciardo made the surprise decision to sign for Renault (a move which even Renault seem to have been surprised by).
Equally, do his chances necessarily improve that much if he did leave Mercedes? I think that Red Bull probably wouldn’t hire Ocon in reality (I can’t see them wanting the potential friction within the team and within their junior programme), and it’s not obvious where else he could slot in up or down the grid.
24th June 2019, 16:15
Had alonso not made his gp2 engines he might have qualified for indy this year and could be even in the running for that red bull seat. Although I think alonso is not really even interested. Honda still lacks pace and red bull can at best luck into a win if both mercs have dnf and ferraris do ferrari tactical things…
Red bull’s best options are hulk and ocon. Ocon if merc let’s him go. If red bull gets kvyat or albon do they even have a driver to put in into the toro rossos?
25th June 2019, 10:21
@ben-n Just guessing…how about Jolyon Palmer ?
24th June 2019, 13:24
With his 79th victory, Lewis Hamilton now has as many race wins as France. He also joins a select group of six people in having pole positions at least 12 years apart. He can surpass Michael Schumacher for the record of longest run of pole positions with at least one pole each year by getting pole on or after the German Grand Prix.
26th June 2019, 6:27
Yawn. What I really want to know us how many victories he has had whilst wearing cornrows and green socks. Not Red. Green. Knowing this will complete me.
24th June 2019, 14:22
Love the jab commentary on “suffocating the life” and then going on to say that both McLaren’s dominance in 88 winning 11 straight and Vettel’s dominance in 2013 winning 9 straight…. no reference of suffocation in those seasons. The sour grapes is strong, thankfully history will judge Mercede’s achievement much kinder than many of today’s F1 fans and writers.
24th June 2019, 14:45
1988 would have been a very boring season indeed, except it had the two greatest drivers in the field going up against each other. The Mercedes battle in 2014 and 2016 was incredibly dominant, but it was bearable because we generally had a fight between Rosberg and Hamilton who hated each other. What we have right now is the best driver in F1 in his prime, with the best car, and a teammate well below his level. All of this just makes it all incredibly predictable. This is more reminiscent of the Schumacher years, and I doubt many fans will remember 2001, 2002 or 2004 as classic seasons. The second half of 2013 was boring, but at least we had the likes of Grosjean, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Rosberg, Webber, and Alonso fighting for the remaining podium positions. 2013 saw five different winners with eight different podium finishers from four teams. 2019 has seen two different race winners from one team, and four different podium finishers from three teams.
24th June 2019, 15:00
The line he used was Mercedes continues to suffocate the life out of the 2019 F1 championship. So what you’re saying is that it’s Hamilton winning too many races? Or that it’s in the first half of the season and not the second half of the season life 2013? History doesn’t remember the early 2000s Ferrari years kindly because they had special tires made just for them, tested continuously on their own track and one driver that would move over for the Number 1 driver on command, even meters before the finish line.
What Mercedes is achieving today is F1 history, but most fans aren’t able to see it because the car (or perhaps the driver) are the wrong color.
24th June 2019, 16:37
Unnecessary race card played there.
24th June 2019, 18:42
Mercedes are doing a brilliant job, but I’m talking about it from a fan’s perspective. This season is as boring and predictable as any I’ve ever seen in my 14 years of watching F1, and Mercedes’ and Hamilton’s dominance is the main reason for that. It’s neither of their faults, but that’s just the way it is.
24th June 2019, 15:50
The main difference is in 1988, “social media” and internet forums didnt give punters an endless opportunity to whinge, whine and wind each other up about in attempt to out-do each other (just my general opinion on social media etc, not any particular individual)
24th June 2019, 15:57
@unklegsif and Jonny, fantastically well said and spot on.
24th June 2019, 17:03
In 1988, my primary school classmates, most of whom weren’t even interested in F1 at all, had to deal with me whinging about the McLaren-dominance. They weren’t just innocent, but also utterly confused at times. I think placing it towards an F1-minded audience might in some ways be a progress. Also, I assume, a repeat of that one day in Monza (the only race in 1988 really worth mentioning) would be better in an F1-minded environment rather than with people who don’t know what on earth I’m talking about.
24th June 2019, 17:39
It seems Mercedes are killing F1 by having consecutive wins but when McLaren had even more it was ‘outstanding’.
26th June 2019, 6:29
How is a fact a jab? Wow.
Adrian Hancox (@ahxshades)
24th June 2019, 14:24
Many thanks for these @jerejj – I do appreciate them from both @keithcollantine and yourself.
Just one thing though, your Danny Ricciardo / Renault double points score stat . . . isn’t valid any more.
24th June 2019, 17:29
Jere – Why do you describe Charles Leclerc as a ‘rookie’ when he made his Formula One debut in 2018 for Sauber? I, perhaps mistakenly, thought ‘rookies’ were those drivers in their first season of a particular series.
24th June 2019, 19:04
@ahxshades – Yes, but at the time of copy-pasting these from F1.com, the double-five hadn’t been given to him yet.
@gnosticbrian – I would’ve altered the wording had I noticed that early enough. I usually only check for grammar/spelling errors, and or, whether anything is the same as what Keith has already brought up before posting, but I’ll check every single word more precisely from now on.
Adrian Hancox (@ahxshades)
28th June 2019, 11:44
No worries @jerejj – it wasn’t a criticism, just an observation :)
Stubborn Swiss (@stubbornswiss)
24th June 2019, 15:10
Thanks for reminding us that Vettel holds the record for consecutive wins with 9.
Wonder how many people ‘NEVER WATCHED F1 AGAIN’ during that period.
Just a thought……..
Alex De (@alexde)
24th June 2019, 15:43
Apples and oranges. Vettel’s 9 win was after Raikonnen, Alonso, Hamilton and Rosberg could win several races in the very same year. Hamilton enjoys the most dominant F1 car ever for 5 consecutive years.
Stubborn Swiss (@stubbornswiss)
24th June 2019, 16:08
So all of a sudden 9 wins in a row is no longer 9 wins in a row?
Hmm…… more food for thought!
24th June 2019, 16:49
@stubbornswiss – Not at all. 9 wins in a row was annoying then, as it is now. But the entire season wasn’t a loss. At the summer break before Spa, Vettel was only up 41 points (on drivers from other teams), 5 different drivers had won races, and every top six driver (exception Kimi) had a DNF in the first half of the season. Had the second half gone similar, a DNF here or there could have led to a very close ending. Vettel came back and destroyed all comers, but it started off okay.
Also, recall that this was on the heels of a 2012 with 8 different race winners and it went to the wire at the last race. So even when 2013 started to become disappointing after Spa, it wasn’t the sixth year of dominance.
Compare that to this year where Hamilton is already 36 up on his teammate and 76 up on the competition–which will both likely grow between now and the summer break. And as others have mentioned, only 2 drivers have won, both on the same team and one has the bulk.
I watched the Ferrari years. I watched the Red Bull years. This is worse (to me). Not because it is Hamilton and not because it is Mercedes. But because we are on year 6, year 7 with the same rules is already a concern to me and if 2021 rules don’t shake things up, we’re in for this until 2024.
At the start it was interesting to have a new team at the top. And even though they ran the table, at least there was some intrateam battle. It was still annoying and still not great but it was something. But just like people got annoyed with Ferrari at the end, and Red Bull at the end, people are over it. The thrill is gone.
Alex De (@alexde)
24th June 2019, 17:50
Yep. Same here.
24th June 2019, 18:19
@hobo, the thing is, let us not forget how much the fan base hated the early part of the 2012 season – we had people yelling about it being “too random” and complaining drivers were winning because they were lucky, not because they were skilled.
It might be looked on more favourably now, but at the time people really did not like the first half of the 2012 season and the complaints from that phase did leave a bitter aftertaste for the remaining races.
26th June 2019, 17:03
@anon – As that old saying ends, “…you can’t please all the people all the time.”
I think people will complain no matter what. What F1/FIA need to consider is when is it useful to listen and when is it just chatter. In my mind, even if every race in 2012 was won by a different driver and even if it was “random” at least it allowed for competition. What we have now is not competition, in my opinion. Thus, I don’t think the former needed addressing and I think the latter does.
Alex De (@alexde)
24th June 2019, 17:49
I’m sorry. You did not get it.
24th June 2019, 15:25
In terms of both championships, it is looking pretty ominous. Mercedes now have more points than Red Bull and Ferrari combined (338 for Merc, 335 for the latter two), and the best non-Mercedes driver, Vettel, has 76 points less than the leader Hamilton. That is more than three race victories, and if Vettel manages to overturn that, it will be one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the sport (Hunt was trailing Lauda by about 3½ victories after the 1976 British GP [if you count his retroactive disqualification in that race into it]).
Antonio Giovinazzi remains the only driver not to score points (out of drivers whose teammates have scored points). The previous time a driver was left with zero points while his teammate(s) scored was during the 2017 season (also with Sauber) as Marcus Ericsson failed to score while Pascal Wehrlein brought home five points.
24th June 2019, 17:06
“it will be one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the sport”
Indeed, the most likely way for Merc to lose WDC and WCC is if they cannot compete.
Hamilton is also in very good shape. Bottas has performed as predicted by past seasons. We are already at the point where Bottas would need a miraculous improvement in form, and some bad luck from Hamilton, to take the WDC.
24th June 2019, 15:45
-From a youtube commenter.
24th June 2019, 17:22
Again, all said. It is obvious what agenda it is.
24th June 2019, 16:02
Hamilton has now won exactly 1/3rd of all races which he has started (79/237) and has now scored points in 200 of them (84%).
Hamilton needs only to win 3 of the remaining 13 races to reach the same tally as his 2017 championship-winning season (9 wins would have also been enough to still secure him the 2015 and 2018 titles).
If he finishes the Austrian Grand Prix on the podium, Hamilton will match his personal-best tally of consecutive podium finishes from the start of a season that he set in his debut season and 2015 (9). Only Schumacher has a higher tally (17), from the 2002 season.
Hamilton has now led every lap of a race for the 18th time. He is now only 1 behind the current record-holder Ayrton Senna. He is also just 1 away from reaching a half-century of weekends in which he has secured both pole position and the win.
26th June 2019, 6:31
At least you managed to srart one paragraph with somethi g other than ‘Hamilton’. Yawn more boring useless meaningless Crofty esque stats. Fap. Fap.
24th June 2019, 17:57
Ferrari should have won at least Bahrain and Canada. How is it “suffocating” that Vettel failed in both those races? Baku Leclerc was fastest of the lot (while Vettel was just as lost as he was in Vanada quali), but Ferrari ridiculously sent him out on medium tyres so they could use him as a pawn holding up a Mercedes after a pit stop (or whatever other daft idea they had with that)
This season is not so much about the domination of Mercedes, but also about the utter failure of Vettel and in part also of Ferrari’s race strategies in detriment to their #2 driver.
28th June 2019, 8:44
@f1osaurus Very true – this is often overlooked when discussing the “dominance” of “Mercedes”. i can understand that people are frustrated that the team/driver they support is not winning, but it feels lazy to then say that the team/driver that IS winning is “suffocating” the championship…as per some of the comments above, I think the advent of social media has given us the luxury of criticism from afar, often without having really watched more than one race or followed a sport for any length of time.
29th June 2019, 6:59
@f1osaurus @voiseys – Because it’s not just 2019. You know this.
It may be lazy writing, but that doesn’t make it necessarily wrong. I don’t think anyone is claiming that Mercedes have done anything unfair, or that their wins/streak lacks merit. They are great and their achievements are basically unparalleled in F1 history. But that doesn’t make it fun to watch from a spectator’s point of view; or at least, not for every spectator.
I’m not anti-Merc (I was pro-Merc for years) and I’m not anti-Hamilton. I’m anti competitionless, runaway seasons.
29th June 2019, 9:52
@hobo In 2017 had a car on par with Mercedes. in 2018 they had the faster car. It’s just that Vettel keeps blundering over and over throwing away race wins and valuable points by the bucket load. 7 races blundered away in 2018 (one in three!) and 5 in 2017.
Indeed it doesn’t make races fun to watch when the guy that Ferrari puts all their money on fumbles on the first lap, but how is that Mercedes’ fault? Let alone that they are suffocating something?
So I agree, we need better competition, but changes need to happen on Ferrari’s side. Ferrari should finally back a proper driver. Put Ricciardo, Verstappen, Alonso or perhaps even Ocon, Bottas in their car instead of Vettel. Or at the very least give Leclerc that #1 position and let him get the tow for Q3 and the prime strategy for a change.
24th June 2019, 18:23
There is no doubt in my mind that racism still plays a very small part in some of the comments and spin put on Hamilton’s behaviour and how his outstanding ability, determination and concentration is often ignored. He’s a playboy, a lout with a sense of entitlement, would get nowhere if he wasn’t favoured.
But that racism is a very minor element and is far less evident than when he was getting penalties for taking part, or so it seemed. He shook up the establishment and undermined their certainties. But as generations change so does that silliness.
Jealousy is more important than that. It was there in the Schumacher and Vettel dominant years but it has been given impetus by social media which magnifies the whingeing by those who have the same sort of budget, same regulations, had the same lead in times and have the same tyres and the same testing time and CFD and simulators as Mercedes. They hate their failure, of course they do, they are all feral competitors and they will feed the green monster by using all those channels to denigrate and if possible disadvantage the competition. Now they they have been really enabled by the ‘for the show’ meme and its all turbo charged.
F1 is in the hands of several media corporations and they think that everything is a show and must be sensationalised and if it is not it is devalued. Without it they fear there will be no ad buys, no big hosting fees, no mega TV deals, a smaller bottom line. So things must be constantly changed for ‘the show’. So their fears are being weaponise as we heard this weekend with the line “let’s change tyres mid year to cripple Mercedes for a ‘better show'”.
F1 is entertainment like any spectator sport but take the need for a show too far and you have a circus with clowns and prat falls. Bernie started this with his ‘sprinklers’, daft changes to qualifying and medal system but it seems to me to be getting out of hand now where ‘the show’ is more important than the DNA of F1, the pinnacle of driving skill, engineering, innovation and team work.
Who needs that for a show?
What we need is the talkers and moaners to get their act together and compete with Mercedes cleanly because if Brixwoth and Brackley can do it so too can Viry (Essonne) and Enstone, Milton Keynes and Maranello at least, even if the others haven’t got the resources of those three.
24th June 2019, 18:29
For the second time in three races, there was only one retirement in the race, and that was a driver having his home race. Before that it had happened only once, in Italian GP 2008.
24th June 2019, 20:02
Kimi has scored 19 points in 8 races for Alfa Romeo, the same number of points he scored in the first 8 races of 2014 driving for Ferrari.
24th June 2019, 20:28
The fia change something to against McLaren Ferrari Red Bull ,
But Defend amg’s advantages .
25th June 2019, 22:33
Mercedes’ 107th pole as a constructor – equals Lotus in 4th place.
63rd front-row lockout for Mercedes – now the outright record holders.
Mercedes have topped every practice and qualifying session at Paul Ricard in the last 2 years.
First time Russell has started 20th.
Vettel keeps alive his record of at least 1 fastest lap every year since 2009.
Thanks to statsf1.com and formula1.com for some of these.
26th June 2019, 6:35
More random stat fap oh dear. Thanks Crofty.
26th June 2019, 6:24
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