With a career best finish of third in the Drivers’ Championship, Max Verstappen enjoyed three wins during his strongest year yet. Here are all the facts and statistics from Verstappen’s 2019 season!
2019 was Max Verstappen’s strongest season so far. He started it off by carrying forward the strong form that he had shown at the end of 2018. As he had done in every race of the second half of 2018, he finished in the top five at every race in the first half of 2019. He took two podium finishes in Australia and Spain – and put up a strong fight for victory in Monaco despite incurring a penalty – before taking his first win of the season after a duel with Charles Leclerc at the Red Bull Ring. Though he was crashed into by Sebastian Vettel at the following race, not even that could stop the Red Bull star from finishing in the top five.
The two most chaotic races of 2019 were both won by Verstappen. He mastered the wet weather at Hockenheim to take a commanding German Grand Prix win, and he controlled the field through multiple Safety Car periods in Brazil to win there for the first time. It was also a year of firsts for Verstappen, who finally claimed his first pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He would go on to set the fastest time in qualifying twice more later in the season, in Mexico and Brazil.
While Red Bull’s form dropped slightly in the second half of the season, and Verstappen himself recorded two DNFs following contact in Belgium and Japan, there were still high points, with him ending the year with a run of three podium finishes.
There was still the odd flash of immaturity in 2019 – the biggest mistake being admitting to not slowing down under waved double yellow flags in qualifying for the Mexico Grand Prix, an admission which saw him stripped of pole position. But Verstappen was much more consistent in 2019, allowing him to fight to the end of the year with the Ferrari drivers in the Drivers’ Championship; a battle which he eventually won. After amassing his highest points tally and finishing a career-best third in the championship, Verstappen has admitted that the opening races of 2020 will be key to deciding his Red Bull future. Will his team give him the goods to fight for the title next season?
- Championship Position: 3
- Total Points: 278
- % of teams’ points scored: 67%
- Points Scoring Races: 19
- Best finish: 1st (Austria, Germany, Brazil)
- Number of DNFs: 2
- Laps Led: 156
- Laps Complete: 1180 (12th)
- % of Laps Complete: 93.50%
- Distance Covered: 5855.03km
- Races gained positions in: 10
- Races lost positions in: 4
- Finished where started: 5
- Total positions gained on first laps: -38
- Q3 Appearances: 19
- Q2 Exits: 1
- Q1 Exits: 1
- Best Qualifying Position: 1st (Hungary, Brazil)
- Worst Qualifying Position: 20th (Italy)
- Average Qualifying Position: 4.57
- Average Grid Position: 4.71
- Average Gap to own potential qualifying pace: 0.068
- Achieved own ultimate pace: 7
- Beat team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 54 / 63
- Average gap to team-mate per sector in qualifying: -0.176
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Australia: After finishing third in the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen continued his streak of podium finishes which began at the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix. Finishing on the podium from fourth on the grid, it marked the first time a driver starting outside of the top three at Albert Park has finished on the podium at the track since 2015.
Bahrain: Max Verstappen recorded his best Bahrain finishing position with fourth, marking the first time he’d seen the chequered flag at the track since 2016. Verstappen’s six-race podium streak, which started at the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix, came to an end – but he finished in the top five for an eleventh consecutive race.
China: Max Verstappen was the only driver to not change championship position as a result of the Chinese Grand Prix. He remained third in the championship – the position which he had held since the start of the season.
Azerbaijan: With fourth place, Max Verstappen recorded his best Baku finishing position so far. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the third consecutive race in which he finished fourth, and the Dutch driver moved down to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship as a result.
Spain: The podium for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix was the same as it was at the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen finishing third behind the two Mercedes. Other than his four DNFs in 2018, the last time Verstappen finished a race in a position lower than where he started it from was at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix. At this point, he had finished in the top five in all of the last 18 races which he’d reached the end of.
Monaco: With third on the grid, Max Verstappen recorded his best qualifying result of the 2019 season up to that point at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Canada: At the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen recorded his first Q2 exit since the 2018 United States Grand Prix. He became the first Red Bull driver not to reach the final part of qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix since David Coulthard in 2008. As a result, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel became the only three drivers to reach Q3 at every race in 2019.
France: In the 2019 French Grand Prix, the top three finished in the order in which they started for only the second time at Circuit Paul Ricard, the other time being back in 1982. With Max Verstappen also finishing where he started in fourth place, this was the first time all of the top four on the grid have maintained their order at the track.
Austria: Max Verstappen ended Mercedes’ ten-race winning streak with his victory in the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix. It was his second consecutive win at the Red Bull Ring, making him the fourth driver to have taken back-to-back wins at the track, after Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. He secured the first win for Honda power since the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. It was the second win for Honda power at the track, the first since Nigel Mansell won for Williams in 1987.
Britain: Not even a collision with Sebastian Vettel could prevent Max Verstappen from finishing in the top five at the 2019 British Grand Prix. At this point, he recorded his nineteenth consecutive finish inside the top five positions.
Germany: At the 2019 German Grand Prix, Max Verstappen recorded his seventh F1 win, becoming the 23rd different driver to win at Hockenheim. It was also Red Bull’s first win at the track, making them the tenth team to be victorious at the circuit.
Hungary: On Saturday at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen took the first pole position of his career, becoming the 100th different driver to take pole position in Formula 1 history. Strangely, the Hungaroring is also the venue where Heikki Kovalainen became the sport’s 100th different winner back in 2008.
Belgium: After crashing out on the first lap of the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen recorded his first retirement, and his first non-top five finish, since the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Italy: At the 2019 Italian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen recorded Red Bull’s first Q1 exit at Monza since David Coulthard in 2007. It was Verstappen’s first Q1 exit since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. In the race, he became only the second driver in the last 41 years to have scored points having started from nineteenth at Monza. The only other driver to do so was Daniel Ricciardo in 2015.
Singapore: Max Verstappen’s third place in the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix means that Red Bull have appeared on the podium in every Singapore Grand Prix in the 2010s. Verstappen moved up to 35th in the all time list of most podium finishes, tying with Clay Regazzoni on 28.
Russia: Max Verstappen recorded Red Bull’s best ever Russian Grand Prix finish in 2019 with fourth place.
Japan: Ahead of the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, Max Verstappen was the only driver in F1 history to hold a 100% points-scoring record at Suzuka. He lost that record as he retired from the race. Verstappen recorded Red Bull’s first retirement at Suzuka since David Coulthard failed to finish in 2006.
Mexico: Before his three place grid penalty was applied, Max Verstappen took pole for the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix by 0.244 seconds, which is the largest pole margin seen at the track since its return to the calendar in 2015. With the fastest lap in qualifying, Max Verstappen beat the Track Record by one thousandth of a second.
USA: With his third place finish at the 2019 United States Grand Prix, Max Verstappen joined Daniel Ricciardo as the driver with the 34th most podium finishes in Formula 1. Along with Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz, Verstappen celebrated his 100th race start. As Verstappen started furthest up the grid, he was the 70th driver to have started 100 races.
Brazil: At the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen recorded the eighth win of his Formula 1 career and his first win at Interlagos. He reached the same number of career victories as Jacky Ickx and Denny Hulme. This was the first time in his career that Verstappen had won from pole. Verstappen became the 70th driver to take multiple pole positions in Formula 1 and his Red Bull was the first Honda-powered car to take pole and win the Brazilian Grand Prix since Ayrton Senna’s McLaren in 1991. He also equalled Juan Pablo Montoya for 33rd in the all-time list of most F1 podiums.
Abu Dhabi: Max Verstappen recorded the 31st podium finish of his career at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With that, he equalled Jack Brabham’s tally of career podiums and tied with the Australian for 32nd in the all-time list.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.