Rival wins battles, Ricciardo wins the war

THE world championship battles may be settled for another F1 season, but there are still several key teammate duels and scores to be settled at the year-ending Abu Dhabi GP.

Can Charles Leclerc become just the second F1 teammate to outscore Sebastian Vettel? Who will win the McLaren qualifying head-to-head?

Have a look at the numbers below - with a driver awarded a point for finishing ahead of their teammate in qualifying and the race.

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MERCEDES: LEWIS HAMILTON VS VALTTERI BOTTAS

Qualifying: Hamilton 13-7 Bottas

Best result: Hamilton 1st (x4), Bottas 1st (x5)

Race: Hamilton 14-6 Bottas

Best result: Hamilton 1st (x10), Bottas 1st (x4)

Points: Hamilton 387-314 Bottas

World champion for a sixth time with two races to spare, Lewis Hamilton is also unsurprisingly the winner of the Mercedes head-to-head for 2019. His 10 race wins - eight of which came before the summer break - have proved the foundation for his latest championship success. But Valtteri Bottas' four victories do represent a personal season's best haul for the Finn.

Hamilton has comfortably won the qualifying match-up, but his teammate has one more pole position, with Bottas nudging one ahead in Austin - Mercedes' only pole in the last nine races. That makes Hamilton's 10/4 win-pole strike rate all the more commendable.

FERRARI: SEBASTIAN VETTEL v CHARLES LECLERC

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel

Qualifying: Vettel 9-11 Leclerc

Best result: Vettel 1st (x2), Leclerc 1st (x7)

Race: Vettel 11-8 Leclerc*

Best result: Vettel 1st, Leclerc 1st (x2)

Points: Vettel 230-249 Leclerc

The teammate battle that has proved the focus of more attention than any other this year, as Charles Leclerc has consistently challenged Sebastian Vettel's established supremacy at Ferrari.

Leclerc clinched the qualifying head-to-head in Mexico and is also in line to finish as the Ferrari driver with the most points at the end of Sunday. The only other teammate to ever outscore Sebastian Vettel over an F1 season was a similarly up-and-coming Daniel Ricciardo in 2014, which was the Australian's first season at Red Bull.

*both drivers failed to finish in Brazil so no score is awarded

RENAULT: DANIEL RICCIARDO v NICO HULKENBERG

Qualifying: Ricciardo 12-7 Hulkenberg*

Best result: Ricciardo 4th, Hulkenberg 6th

Race: Ricciardo 10-7 Hulkenberg**

Best result: Ricciardo 4th, Hulkenberg 5th

Points: Ricciardo 54-37 Hulkenberg

Daniel Ricciardo has pulled steadily clear of Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault head-to-head, with the Australian heading to Abu Dhabi on the back of consecutive sixth-place finishes.

Hulkenberg has finished in the points on more occasions - 10 times to Ricciardo's eight - but the latter has generally secured the bigger results for Renault when they've been on offer.

* Ricciardo qualified ahead in Singapore but his car was later disqualified, so no score is awarded

**both drivers failed to finish in Bahrain and Germany, while both cars were disqualified in Japan, so no scores are awarded.

Daniel Ricciardo has got the better of Nico Hulkenberg when it mattered most.
Daniel Ricciardo has got the better of Nico Hulkenberg when it mattered most.

RED BULL: MAX VERSTAPPEN v ALEX ALBON / PIERRE GASLY

Qualifying: Verstappen 7-1 Albon / Verstappen 11-1 Gasly

Best result: Verstappen 1st (x2), Albon 5th (x2), Gasly 4th

Race: Verstappen 4-4 Albon / Verstappen 11-1 Gasly

Best result: Verstappen 1st (x3), Albon 4th, Gasly 4th

Points: Verstappen 79-68 Albon (from Belgium) / Verstappen 181-63 Gasly (before Belgium)

Max Verstappen has been the driver who has delivered Red Bull's biggest results all season, with the Dutchman's impressive win in Brazil his third Sunday success of 2019. He has only been outqualified twice all year - and only then when outside factors intervened - and secured all eight of the team's podiums.

Alex Albon has nonetheless impressed since replacing Pierre Gasly from August, qualifying closer to Verstappen, and the Thai driver would boast a 100 per cent scoring record - headlined by a maiden F1 podium - but for Lewis Hamilton's misjudgment late on at Interlagos, when Albon was running second to his teammate.

MCLAREN: CARLOS SAINZ v LANDO NORRIS

Qualifying: Sainz 10-10 Norris

Best result: Sainz 6th (x2), Norris 5th

Race: Sainz 13-7 Norris

Best result: Sainz 3rd, Norris 6th (x2)

Points: Sainz 95-45 Norris

The only qualifying head-to-head that is still to be settled. Tied at 10 Saturday McLaren 'wins' apiece after a post-summer break surge from Carlos Sainz (it's 6-2 in the Spaniard's favour since August), the teammates have established a competitive yet friendly rivalry in a successful first year together at McLaren.

Sainz's exploits on race day have made him one of the standout stars of 2019, with the Spaniard vying with Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon - who have each spent half a season at Red Bull - for sixth place in the Drivers' Championship. Sainz's eventual podium in Brazil was McLaren's first in over five years.

 

Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris
Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris

TORO ROSSO: DANIIL KVYAT v PIERRE GASLY / ALEX ALBON

Qualifying: Kvyat 2-6 Gasly / Kvyat 7-5 Albon

Best result: Kvyat 6th, Gasly 7th, Albon 9th

Race: Kvyat 3-5 Gasly / Kvyat 8-4 Albon

Best result: Gasly 2nd, Kvyat 3rd, Albon 6th

Points: Kvyat 8-32 Gasly (from Belgium) / Kvyat 27-16 Albon (before Belgium)

Pierre Gasly's strong and consistent form since returning to the familiar surroundings of Toro Rosso has been clear, with the Frenchman comfortably ahead of Daniil Kvyat in the main head-to-head metrics.

Incredibly, Gasly and Kvyat have now each finished on the podium this year for a team who had only previously found themselves there once in their 13-year existence.

RACING POINT: SERGIO PEREZ v LANCE STROLL

Qualifying: Perez 17-3 Stroll

Best result: Perez 5th, Stroll 9th

Race: Perez 15-5 Stroll

Best result: Perez 6th (x2), Stroll 4th

Points: Perez 46-21 Stroll

Sergio Perez has kept Racing Point's tally ticking along over the second half of the season, with a top-10 finish only eluding him in Singapore since the campaign resumed.

The Mexican has dominated the Saturday head-to-head all year, although Stroll's Q1 exits have become less frequent in recent months. The Canadian's fourth place from Germany, meanwhile, remains the team's best result of the season.

 

ALFA ROMEO: KIMI RAIKKONEN v ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI

Qualifying: Raikkonen 12-8 Giovinazzi

Best result: Raikkonen 5th, Giovinazzi 8th (x2)

Race: Raikkonen 16-4 Giovinazzi

Best result: Raikkonen 4th, Giovinazzi 5th

Points: Raikkonen 43-14 Giovinazzi

Until their four-five points bonanza in the bedlam of Brazil, top-10 finishes had become much harder to come by for Alfa Romeo over the second half of the season.

The experienced Kimi Raikkonen has generally been their lead runner all year, but Antonio Giovinazzi has closed the gap - particularly in qualifying - the longer the season has gone on.

HAAS: KEVIN MAGNUSSEN v ROMAIN GROSJEAN

Qualifying: Magnussen 12-8 Grosjean

Best result: Magnussen 5th, Grosjean 6th (x2)

Race: Magnussen 10-9 Grosjean*

Best result: Magnussen 6th, Grosjean 7th

Points: Magnussen 20-8 Grosjean

A qualifying edge for Kevin Magnussen over Romain Grosjean, but little to choose between the Haas pair on race days this year, with the team's general Sunday malaise ultimately emerging as the biggest story here.

While collisions between the teammates in the first half of the year squandered some more points opportunities, the failing's of the tyre-hungry VF-19 have meant some strong qualifying performances from both Magnussen and Grosjean have ultimately gone unrewarded.

*both drivers failed to finish in Great Britain, so no score is awarded

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen with Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen with Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner

WILLIAMS: GEORGE RUSSELL v ROBERT KUBICA

Qualifying: Russell 20-0 Kubica

Best result: Russell 16th, Kubica 18th (x2)

Race: Russell 16-3 Kubica*

Best result: Russell 11th, Kubica 10th

Points: Russell 0-1 Kubica

George Russell remains on course for F1 2019's only qualifying whitewash, with the British rookie's consistency and application in difficult conditions shiny through all year.

Russell's superiority has largely been repeated on race day too, although it was Kubica who scored the team's only point when post-race penalties shuffled the Pole into 10th in Germany. Russell was left just outside in 11th.

News Corp Australia


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