Halfway through the season- which drivers are outperforming their teammates?
Nine down, eight to go. Who has bragging rights in the intra-team battles?
Mugello marked the end of a chaotic period for Formula 1. Nine races in just 11 weeks has provided the largest logistical challenge teams have ever had to face. As we look ahead to Sochi, here is how the drivers stack up in comparison to their teammates.
George Russell currently is undefeated in qualifying in his F1 career, leading his teammates 30-0.
It has been yet another difficult season for the Oxfordshire-based team. Claire Williams' resignation and the takeover by Dorlinton Capital mark a new start in the history of this prestigious team. However, they are still well off the pace. They are the only team not to score a point this season. In terms of driver performance, it's clear that George Russell is leading teammate Nicholas Latifi. Despite the Canadian managing a couple of decent 11th placed finishes, he has failed to beat Russell during qualifying. The British driver has even managed to get into Q2 on a remarkable six occasions this season.
Winner: George Russell
2020 has been Haas' worst start to an F1 season.
Haas yet again have looked incredibly slow. The team has only a solitary point this year and they have never been able to get both cars out of Q1. Both drivers have really struggled to make in any real inroads in a car that has been plagued by reliability problems all season. If you had to pick a winner however, it would have to be Kevin Magnussen. He leads Romain Grosjean 5-4 in a tightly fought qualifying battle. However, the Dane's incredible effort to finish tenth in Hungary, means he has scored the team's only point this season- and therefore is ahead in the Haas garage.
Winner: Kevin Magnussen
Sunday's Tuscan Grand Prix was Raikkonen's first points finish of the season, the longest into a season he has had wait before scoring.
Yet again, Alfa Romeo have struggled. The car has frequently looked like the slowest on the grid, despite the team managing to muster four points this season. Kimi Raikkonen's 13th place at Monza demonstrates this, especially as he looked in contention for a podium. The drivers are level on points halfway through this season, with both taking advantage of action-packed races, enabling them to finish ninth- Antonio Giovinazzi at the Austrian Grand Prix and Raikkonen around Mugello. The qualifying battle is being closely contested, with the Finn narrowly leading 5-4. Gionvinazzi although has looked error prone this season, with the most severe example of this being his crash at Spa. Therefore, the veteran takes this one.
Winner- Kimi Raikkonen
Pierre Gasly's win at the Italian Grand Prix was the first time a newly titled team has won a race in their debut season since Brawn in 2009.
The Italian team must be pleased with their season so far. They have scored points at all of the races so far, except in Budapest- and they also achieved the small feat of winning a grand prix. The car has looked very impressive, especially at low downforce circuits and is very capable of fighting at the front of the midfield. Daniil Kvyat has head a steady season, putting in some decent point-scoring performances. However, there is no doubt who is leading the Alpha Tauri Battle. Pierre Gasly has been immense this season. The Frenchman is dominating qualifying 7-2 and of course won the Italian Grand Prix in spectacular fashion. Despite Gasly only winning the Sunday battles 5-4, he is a massive 33 points ahead of his teammate in the current drivers' standings.
Winner- Pierre Gasly
2020 will be Sebastian Vettel's final year at Ferrari, as he leaves for Aston Martin next year.
What a dismal year it has been for the most successful team in the sport's history. The car is slow, the team is disjointed and nobody seems to know why. Before the season opener, Sebastian Vettel was already given his marching orders to make way for Carlos Sainz and it appears that the four-time World Champion has lost interest. The German has only scored 17 points, his worst start to a season since his first full season in 2008. Charles Leclerc on the other hand, has been nothing short of a miracle worker. Astonishingly, he's managed to stand on the podium twice this season and leads the qualifying battle 7-2. Ferrari is now doubt throwing all their recourses behind the Monegasque and it will tough for Sainz to leave his mark next year.
Winner- Charles Leclerc
Renault's best result this season was in Belgium, finishing fourth and fifth.
It's been a decent first half of the season for Renault. Daniel Ricciardo has been performing superbly and even came close to a podium at the Tuscan Grand Prix. On the other side of the garage, Esetban Ocon has been inconsistent. The Frenchman has struggled this season, however results such as his fifth place in Spa demonstrate his potential. Nonetheless, he can't seem to get close to his more experienced teammate, who he trails 8-1 on Saturday's. Ocon also trails Ricciardo by 23 points in the Drivers' Championship.
Winner- Daniel Ricciardo
The Silverstone based team have scored points at every round this season.
There is no doubting that Racing Point are the most improved team on the grid this season. They have often been at the head of the midfield and Lance Stroll even scored a podium at Monza. Comparing their drivers this season is a difficult task however, mainly due to Sergio Perez's positive test for Covid-19, which meant he missed both races at Silverstone. Whilst Stroll has done better on Sunday's, Perez leads Saturday's 7-2 and so therefore takes this one.
Winner- Sergio Perez, just.
Norris has made it into Q3 at every event this season, except at Mugello.
The British team look like they are making some strong progress in their quest to return to the front of the grid. The team leads the midfield battle in the Constructors' Championship and has already scored two podiums this season. The popular duo of Sainz and Lando Norris have been excellent this season, meaning McLaren have enjoyed their best start to a season since 2012. The two drivers have been so closely matched on track it is tough to choose a winner. Although Sainz has a large 25 point deficit to his teammate, it is impossible to ignore how unlucky the Spaniard has been this season, especially when he has been in some high point scoring positions on Sunday's. Sainz also leads Norris 5-4 on qualifying performance. A closely fought season for the likeable pairing in what is their final season as teammates.
Alexander Albon's third place at the Tuscan Grand Prix was the first time a Red Bull driver other than Max Verstappen has stood on the podium since Ricciardo won the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix.
It's been two vastly different tales for Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon. The Dutchman has been on fire this season, with six podiums and a race victory. He looks like the only driver who is capable of challenging Mercedes and has been extremely unlucky to be the victim of three DNF's. On the other hand, Albon has struggled. The Thai driver has failed to make Q3 on two occasions this season, trails Norris in the drivers' standings and is yet to outqualify his teammate this year. Although Albon's podium at Mugello will certainly be a silver lining, he still has plenty to do if he wants to match Verstappen.
Winner- Max Verstappen
Bottas has only outscored Hamilton at two races this year, Austria and Italy.
Before the season began, fans were really hoping Valtteri Bottas could push Lewis Hamilton all the way for the World Championship, yet this has failed to materialise. While Bottas did win the year's first race at the Red Bull Ring, he has completely fell away from his British teammate. Despite only being marginally off Hamilton on Saturday's, the Finn still trails the six-time World Champion 7-2 in qualifying performance. Hamilton also has won six of the season's nine races, compared to Bottas' one and has a commanding 55 point lead in the standings over his teammate- a gap that looks insurmountable. A record equalling seventh championship looks almost certain.
Winner- Lewis Hamilton
Let me know your opinions in the comments!