Opinion

REVEALED: F1’s team bosses choose their Top 10 drivers of 2019

F1 Correspondent & Presenter

Lawrence Barretto
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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 01: The F1 Drivers Class of 2019 photo is taken on track

This has been quite the campaign for Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes driver winning 11 out of 21 races to clinch a sixth world title. Those antics have, unsurprisingly, earned praise from the big cheeses up and down the grid, with F1’s team principals voting him their number one driver of the year in our poll…

Under the condition that their scores remained anonymous, the team principals submitted their list of the top 10 drivers of the year. Drivers were given scores based on the current F1 points system – 25 points for the top driver down to one point for 10th in each list – with those scores then combined to produce a ranking.

FAN POWER RANKINGS: We reveal your Top 10 drivers of 2019

While Valtteri Bottas was team mate Hamilton’s closest challenger in the drivers’ standings, it was Max Verstappen’s performances for Red Bull which caught the eye of the team principals, as the Dutchman – who won three races and took the first two poles of his career in 2019 – slotted into second.

HOW THEY SCORED

POSITIONDRIVERSCORE
1Lewis Hamilton169
2Max Verstappen146
3Charles Leclerc124
4Valtteri Bottas68
5Sebastian Vettel58
6Alexander Albon57
7Carlos Sainz55
8Daniel Ricciardo49
9George Russell41
10Lando Norris38

Charles Leclerc made a strong start to life at Ferrari, winning two Grands Prix and beating his more decorated team mate Sebastian Vettel. He completed the podium, with Bottas and Vettel closing out the top five.

Vettel finished just one point clear of Red Bull’s Alexander Albon, with Carlos Sainz a further two points adrift after his sensational first year with McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo’s maiden season at Renault has been challenging, but he’s clearly still rated highly by the bosses, as he ended up eighth – one place better than his official finish in the drivers’ standings – with George Russell edging out fellow rookie Lando Norris to complete the ranking.

The Team Principals who took part in the vote (in alphabetical order) were: Cyril Abiteboul, Christian Horner, Andreas Seidl, Guenther Steiner, Otmar Szafanauer, Franz Tost, Fred Vasseur, Claire Williams, Toto Wolff.

READ MORE: Check out our final Power Rankings from the end of 2019

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Albon, Norris and Russell argue their case

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