The ultimate 2018 season Head to Head review
Cure your off-season blues with the Head to Head review
With the 2018 Formula 1 season over and the Championship decided we tally up the stats for each teammate pairing to see who came out on top within each team.
There are always reliability issues during a season and some drivers seem to have more luck than others but we think our six factors provide a solid foundation for comparison. So did anyone wipe the floor with their teammate and score a clean sweep? Well…yes…four of them! Check out all the results below.
For a full description of the H2H factors check out our H2H Explanatory Notes.
WINNER: Lewis Hamilton, 6:0
Lewis Hamilton’s clean sweep of Valtteri Bottas caps off an outstanding season for the 5x World Champion. While the scoreboard showed Hamilton leading Bottas 6-0 at mid-season their relative performance had actually been fairly close on a number of measures. The second half of the season was a different story. Hamilton dominated Bottas and was not beaten on track once by the Finn for race result and only once in qualifying.
With the stats reset for the 2019 season and the Mercedes driver lineup unchanged Valtteri will be hoping for a better showing next year – especially with one E. Ocon waiting in the wings! Clearly though it will be tough to challenge one of the sports greatest ever drivers at the height of his powers.
WINNER: Sebastian Vettel, 5:0
Once again Ferrari managed to let the Championship get away from them this season after an extremely close battle with Mercedes in the first half. Despite Vettel’s convincing 5-0 H2H victory Raikkonen acquitted himself well in his final season with the Scuderia. Of particular note is the 8-8 dead heat for race results between the two Ferrari drivers. While Kimi was edged out by his younger teammate in qualifying on all but 4 occasions in 2018 his race performance was consistently strong.
As perennial crowd favourite few would deny the emotion of seeing the Kimster finally win a race for Ferrari in the US GP – “F@#king finally” was another classic sound bite from the IceMan. Even with the win Raikkonen was soundly beaten by his 4x Champion teammate. We can’t wait to see how Charles Leclerc takes it to Seb in 2019 and what their final H2H result might look like this time next year.
Red Bull Racing
WINNER: Max Verstappen, 4:0
The second half of the season saw a dramatic turnaround in the Red Bull H2H results. At mid-season Ricciardo was leading his younger teammate by 4 to 1. By season end the Australian had failed to beat Verstappen in a single head to head factor.
It is fair to say Ricciardo suffered his fair share of bad luck, particularly in the second half of the season. But the qualifying result of 15-6 makes it clear that Ricciardo had his hands full trying to keep the always aggressive and undeniably fast Verstappen at bay. Having said that the Honey Badger actually improved on his quali from last year besting Max 35% of the time in 2017 compared to 40% in 2018.
Ricciardo will be hoping that the Renault power unit serves him better in 2019 as he moves across to the works team. It will be fascinating to see how he fairs against th highly rated Nico Hulkenberg who has yet to measure himself directly against a true Championship contender.
2019 will see Red Bull adopt the Honda power unit as Verstappen is joined by Torro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly. The young Frenchman demonstrated his impressive talent this year (with a 6:0 sweep of his teammate) but will he have what it takes to do what Daniel Ricciardo could not and outperform Verstappen in 2019?
WINNER: Nico Hulkenberg, 4:1
Hulkenberg managed to hold on to the 4-1 lead he held against his Spanish teammate at the mid-season break in what was generally a tightly fought battle. After some early problems finding the right setup for the car Sainz found his feet over the course of the season and managed to outpoint Hulkenberg in the second half although he still struggled to match the German’s quali form.
Carlos Sainz is highly rated and is clearly quick but the Hulk must surely be the most underrated driver on the grid. The two only had four races against each other at the end of 2017 (after Renault dropped Jolyon Palmer) with Hulkenberg winning 3:1. The fact that the German was able to sustain that dominance in 2018 is super impressive and makes for a mouth watering matchup against Dan Ricciardo in 2019. We can’t wait to see the outcome of this matchup and if Renault can continue to find some improvements in the offseason podiums may well be a possibility in 2019.
Chili Sainz heads to McLaren next year to join the British rookie Lando Norris. They will be an interesting pairing to watch, particularly if McLaren can finally put their recent performance woes behind them and potentially challenge Renault at the sharp end of the mid-field.
WINNER Kevin Magnussen 3:2
After an extremely tight battle last year ending in a 3:3 H2H draw the result in 2018 ended up nearly as close. After a season of inconsistencies for both drivers in the final wash up KMag managed to get the better of his French teammate this season – but not without a decent fight!
At the mid-season break Magnussen was comfortably beating Grosjean 5-1 across the six head to head factors and wa arguably having the best season of his career. Grosjean had a much stronger second half of the season leaving the two drivers equal on race result and separated by only one event in qualifying results.
Haas as a team, though inconsistent at times, made further impressive progress in 2018. The teams best results in 2017 was a 6th and 7th to Romain and Kevin respectively which was significantly bettered by the 4th and 5th for each driver in this years results.
With Magnussen and Grosjean again confirmed as drivers for Hass in 2019 we look forward to watching these two very evenly matched warriors slug it out for third year running.
WINNER: Sergio Pérez, 4:2
What a pleasure it has been watching these two drivers battle it out over the last two years. Perez beat Ocon 6-0 in last year’s H2H but the scores were level at mid-season in 2018 as Ocon consistently demonstrated his star-of-the-future credentials.
While the final H2H score for 2018 once again went Perez’ way it is important to note that Ocon convincingly beat the Mexican in perhaps the two most important factors – race result and qualifying. After the mid-term break the Frenchman beat his teammate in qualifying at every event! A huge turnaround to 2017 when Checo beat Esteban 13:7 in quali.
It seems hard to comprehend that a driver of Ocon’s immense talent couldn’t find a race seat for 2019. We’re confident we’ll see him back in the F1 Paddock in 2020 and believe the Frenchman may well be a potential future World Champion in the right machinery.
In 2019 Perez will be joined by Williams driver Lance Stroll. In our opinion it’s a travesty to see Ocon unseated by the Canadian but sadly sometimes in F1 commercial pragmatism trumps raw talent. Who knows, perhaps Stroll will prove us wrong take the fight to Perez to challenge for the 2019 H2H bragging rights…
WINNER: Fernando Alonso, 6:0
Fernando Alonso has had a frustrating three years at McLaren. At first his chances of once again challenging for the F1 Championship were stymied by a severely underpowered Honda power unit. In 2018 McLaren had no-one to blame but themselves for fielding a thoroughly average racecar.
Despite the limitations of his vehicle though Alonso managed to demonstrate his brilliance in yet another clean sweep H2H victory against his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne. As one of four drivers to score a 6:0 clean sweep Fernando stands alone as the only driver to score a 21-0 victory in qualifying head to head.
In 2019 both these drivers will depart the F1 Paddock. Fernando will go in search of the elusive Triple Crown while Stoffel will be left to wonder how his outstanding opportunity within one of the sports greatest teams went so horribly wrong – hopefully he can have a better time of it in Formula e!
2018 Renault driver Carlos Sainz will be joined by British rookie Lando Norris at McLaren for the 2019 season.
WINNER: Pierre Gasly, 6:0
Pierre Gasly managed to comprehensively beat Brendan Hartley in the first full F1 season for both drivers. In typically ruthless Red Bull fashion the likeable Kiwi has been axed from Torro Rosso while Gasly has been given the opportunity to drive alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull. Tough – yes. But it’s a formula that has worked well for Red Bull to date.
It will be intriguing indeed to see how Gasly manages to acquit himself against Verstappen next year. With both Torro Rosso drivers only finishing 11 races together the reliability of the Honda engine is a huge unknown for both RBR and their sister team in 2019.
As for Torro Rosso, Daniel Kvyat returns to F1 in 2019 to race alongside rookie Alexander Albon.
WINNER: Charles Leclerc, 6:0
An outstanding rookie year for Charles Leclerc saw the young Monagasque demolish his far more experienced teammate Marcus Ericsson 6-0. And to the victor the spoils. Leclerc ascends to take a seat alongside 4x World Champion Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari in only his second F1 season – a truly astonishing and unprecedented achievement.
Leclerc is clearly an exceptional talent but to give him his dues Ericsson had one of his stronger seasons. Unfortunately for the Swede his teammate got even stronger in the second half of the season beating Marcus 1:8 in quali and 0:4 in race results. One of the nice guys of the paddock Ericsson will depart F1 next year with an eye on Indycar.
With closer Ferrari (Alfa Romeo) backing Sauber had an impressive season in 2018. With a new driver pairing of Kimi Raikonnen and Antonio Giovinazzi it will be interesting to see how they can progress in 2019.
WINNER: Lance Stroll, 5:1
In the least experienced driver lineup on the grid Lance Stroll managed to win the overall H2H score against Sergey Sirotkin. But the two drivers were perhaps more closely matched than the net result shows. Stroll only managed to beat Sirotkin on track 9-8 in race result while the Russian soundly beat Stroll in Qualifying 13-8. Sadly for Sirotkin this was not enough for him to retain his seat for 2019.
With both drivers at times describing the Williams as undrivable in 2018 it was undoubtedly an extremely tough season for the entire team.
In 2019 Stroll moves to Racing Point Force India after his father Lawrence Stroll led a consortium to save the financially struggling team. Williams will see British rookie George Russell joined by Robert Kubica in one of the most amazing (and record breaking) comebacks in racing history. Hopefully this mix of youth and experience will serve Williams better in developing the car in 2019.