On Twitter, we asked you to give us three bold predictions for the 2019 F1 season. Your answers didn’t disappoint, so we’ve rounded up some of the most common, and most bold, predictions for the coming year!
Mid-season driver changes – Ocon, Schumacher and Alonso!
Last year was the first in F1’s history in which there were no driver changes during the season – but lots of people expect this year to be different.
Many, such as @simonsays_95, @f1fanatic96 and @DarkWolf747, think Esteban Ocon will compete in at least one race this season – though who he will replace seems to be a bone of contention, with Valtteri Bottas and Robert Kubica leading the list of drivers who the Frenchman could replace. While @broekie83 suggests Williams will replace Kubica with Ocon for the second half of the season, others such as @KelsallHenIndy expect the Polish driver to silence the critics, and @AmVaci69 boldly suggests that Kubica’s comeback will be impressive enough to warrant interest from the leading teams in 2020.
Mick Schumacher will contest in Formula 2 this year – but could we see him as a mid-season substitute, just like his father was in 1991? @re_keogh thinks we could see a Juan Pablo Montoya-esque ‘injury’, with Kimi Raikkonen skipping a race with ‘food poisoning’ and Schumacher stepping in to replace him. @GaHowe95 has gone one better and suggested the young German will replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari during the season!
Will Leclerc beat Vettel?
Plenty of you are predicting that Charles Leclerc will out-score Sebastian Vettel in his first season with Ferrari. We originally predicted Leclerc would take three wins this season; and plenty of you agree that the Monegasque driver will have a season to remember. @alexstanger1993 thinks Leclerc will beat Vettel by 25 points over the season, while @Mutaawe21 has gone for a larger 50 point margin between the pair.
Elsewhere, @sweetenerdelux errs on the side of caution for Leclerc’s 2019 chances, predicting he won’t quite live up to the hype, while @ianjpoole predicts former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen will out-score Leclerc over the course of the season.
Surprise podium finishes
While some of you expect the status quo to remain the same, with only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull finishing in the top three positions all year, others are hopeful that we’ll see more faces on the podium in 2019. Some of you, such as @FieldMedic4077 predict Kimi Raikkonen will take a 104th podium as he moves to Alfa Romeo, while @Isaacz_93 predicts Haas will make their first podium appearance this season.
Renault could also be a team on the move this year, with @F1isLife771 predicting a first podium finish for Renault in eight years, and @pitlane_girl expecting a first podium finish for Nico Hulkenberg. @burk711 thinks Renault will score a 1-2 finish at Monaco, while @bobby707576 believes there’ll be a smaller gap between third and fourth places in the Constructors’ Championship.
Where will Red Bull finish?
With their new Honda partnership, there are plenty of question marks over where Red Bull will finish in the Constructors’ Championship this year. Rich Energy’s CEO William Storey has suggested that Haas will beat Red Bull at many races in 2019. Some of you, like @ffsGiovinco, think the new partnership will allow Red Bull to convincingly fight against Mercedes and Ferrari for championship victory, with @CMParfait16 suggesting that the team will experience less than three engine failures through the year.
Others have been more cautious with their Red Bull predictions, with @LeytingBoy believing the new partnership will take time to develop but will bring wins by the end of the season. But is there a chance that things won’t go to plan? @Kimi7_Fan expects the same rhetoric from Red Bull, with Helmut Marko threatening to pull Red Bull out of F1 if Red Bull are not in the top three by the mid-point of the European season.
Who will win the title?
There have been lots of varying theories on who will be crowned champion at the end of the season. @Zainox07 thinks we’ll see a battle royale between new recruits Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc, @ikwintoch says Max Verstappen will lead the title race until half-way through the season, while @A1tze proposes something we’d all like to see – a three-way battle all the way to Abu Dhabi!
The other predictions:
- @PhillipTkm421 doesn’t hold much hope for the Haas and Rich Energy partnership.
- @S_l_Smi predicts Williams will return to the top half of the Constructors’ Championship.
- @WayfairnPilgrim thinks we could hear a reverse of the “Valtteri, it’s James” radio message.
- All 20 drivers scored a point last season, but @TheLTFiles reckons five drivers will be point-less by the end of the year.
- @Ifcjxsh thinks we’ll see a whitewash in qualifying at Racing Point, with Sergio Perez out-qualifying Lance Stroll at all 21 races.
- Some hopeful predictions about British rookies George Russell and Lando Norris: @SilverBird81 reckons we’ll see both in the top five at one race this year, while @mattymc91 thinks Russell’s performances in the Williams will lead to him being selected by Mercedes for a 2020 drive.
- There have been two big predictions about Lewis Hamilton’s future. While @renevanmanen thinks the five-time champion will retire at the end of the season, @DomJKeel thinks we’ll see him at Ferrari in 2020.
Do you think any of these predictions will come true? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to send us your three bold predictions for the year ahead!
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.