WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE F1 RACE OF 2018?

6w ago

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Well, 2018 is pretty much a wrap in Formula One. Max Verstappen dominated the Mexican GP to win his second race of the season, with Lewis Hamilton equalling Juan Manuel Fangio's tally of five world championship titles. In the process of this race, Sebastian Vettel claimed a respectable second place after a decent drive with Kimi Raikkonen hanging on in their on his one-stop strategy to take a podium. One thing we can all say is that Daniel Ricciardo is officially the unluckiest driver in recent history.

Personally, 2018 has been a pretty good season, much better than 2017. There have been some great races along the way, with the title pendulum swinging from Mercedes to Ferrari to Mercedes countless times, and with five different race winners this season, its not exactly true that Hamilton and Vettel have dominated the season, with Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen all claiming wins this year. But what was the best race of the year so far? (Keeping in mind we still have two rounds to go) Let's outline some of the contenders (I've found eight worthy contenders):

CHINA

Daniel Ricciardo Leading Sebastian Vettel

RACE WINNER: DANIEL RICCIARDO

2ND: VALTTERI BOTTAS

3RD: KIMI RAIKKONEN

POLE POSITION: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

FASTEST LAP: DANIEL RICCIARDO

China for me was the first interesting race of the season after Sebastian Vettel had took two wins out of two in Australia and Bahrain. Vettel took pole and after turn one was still leading the race, from Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

After the first round of pit stops, Bottas managed to undercut Vettel and overtake Kimi Räikkönen, who had not yet stopped, for the lead, around the outside in Turn 1. Within a few turns, Vettel then overtook his team-mate.

At the half distance, the Toro Rosso's collided at the hairpin near the end of the circuit Gasly was given a time penalty. The debris left on the track created in the safety car being brought out. This was a crucial point in the race because during the safety car period, Verstappen and Ricciardo pitted for tyres on the same lap. There was a chance for Hamilton to do the same, but instead left him out to keep position. Bottas maintained the lead of the race at the safety car restart. Both Red Bulls then overtook Raikkonen and Hamilton, two laps apart, and then Ricciardo overtook Vettel for P2. On Lap 43, Max Verstappen collided with Sebastian Vettel off the track at the hairpin, meaning both drivers span off the track and Vettel losing positions, due to the damage from the incident. Verstappen was awarded a 10 second penalty for the incident. On Lap 45 Ricciardo overtook Bottas for the lead of the race, of which he would keep until the end of the race.

AZERBAIJAN

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen colliding

RACE WINNER: LEWIS HAMILTON

2ND PLACE: KIMI RAIKKONEN

3RD PLACE: SERGIO PEREZ

POLE POSITION: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

FASTEST LAP: SERGIO PEREZ

The race began rather quietly, with all of the cars being able to get through the first turn without any incidents. However on Lap 2 Sirotkin caused havoc with Hulkenberg and Alonso, for the latter having a double puncture. Ocon and Raikkonen collided for the second time in the race after the restart, with the former getting some front wing damage which again caused a safety car, where the drivers who suffered damage pitted for new tyres and front wings, however the top five restarted the race in the same order.

The race was quiet in the middle part, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen jostling for position providing some entertainment. Then everyone went in for their pit stops, with Bottas staying out, trying to build up a lead big enough to pit and come out in the lead.

Then on Lap 40 all hell broke lose. Verstappen, who had just passed Ricciardo due to an overcut during a pitstop, made a late defensive move to cover an attempted overtake by Ricciardo which caused a collision between the pair, resulting in the two of them retiring from the race.

After the SC came in on Lap 48, Vettel made an aggressive lung on Bottas, locking up his tyres and falling down to 5th place. It looked like it would be a Mercedes 1-2 with Bottas winning it until he ran over some debris from the earlier incidents and was forced to retire, gifting his team-mate Hamilton the win, with Raikkonen second and Perez taking a surprise podium finish ahead of Vettel.

AUSTRIA

Kimi Hunting Down Max

RACE WINNER: MAX VERSTAPPEN

2ND PLACE: KIMI RAIKKONEN

3RD PLACE: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

POLE POSITION: VALTTERI BOTTAS

FASTEST LAP: KIMI RAIKKONEN

In Quali Bottas took pole with Hamilton P2 and Raikkonen P3, Vettel starting P6. Bottas had a poor getaway, falling to P4, but miraculously recovered to P2 with some brave overtaking on the opening lap, with Verstappen capitalising by overtaking Raikkonen for P3. However on Lap 14 Bottas retired with a gearbox failure from P2, causing a VSC. Ferrari and Red Bull pitted both their cars. Mercedes, however, chose not to pit Hamilton, an error for which James Vowles, Mercedes' chief strategist, was heard to apologize via team radio. Hamilton pitted on lap 25, gifting the race lead to Verstappen, and rejoined in P4, but Vettel overtook him on lap 39.

On Lap 54 Ricciardo retired due to an exhaust problem then on Lap 64 Hamilton retired with a fuel pressure problem, meaning Verstappen lead the race from the two Ferrari's. Raikkonen gave Verstappen some pressure near the end of the race but the Dutchman managed to hold on for his first win of the season.

SILVERSTONE

The Two Ferrari's

RACE WINNER: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

2ND PLACE: LEWIS HAMILTON

3RD PLACE: KIMI RAIKKONEN

POLE POSITION: LEWIS HAMILTON

FASTEST LAP: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

At the start, Hamilton got away poorly, being jumped by his team-mate and was neck-a-neck with Raikkonen at Turn 3 where they collided, with the Finn receiving a ten-second penalty with Hamilton now near the back of the grid.

Throughout the race there were incidents, with Charles Leclerc unsafely released in the pits on Lap 18 resulting in a retirement, and Marcus Ericsson crashed at Abbey because of a DRS problem resulting in a Safety Car. Both Ferrari and Red Bull pitted their drivers but Mercedes decided to value track position and kept their drivers out. On lap 38, Grosjean and Sainz collided causing another safety car.

With ten laps to go the top five were tussling for position, with Raikkonen having a wonderful sequence with Verstappen, with the Finn eventually overtaking him for fourth place. Vettel made a brave move on Bottas and overtook him for the lead on Lap 47 and kept it until the end.

GERMANY

RACE WINNER: LEWIS HAMILTON

2ND PLACE: VALTTERI BOTTAS

3RD PLACE: KIMI RAIKKONEN

POLE POSITION: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

FASTEST LAP: LEWIS HAMILTON

SPA

Four abreast.

RACE WINNER: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

2ND PLACE: LEWIS HAMILTON

3RD PLACE: MAX VERSTAPPEN

POLE POSITION: LEWIS HAMILTON

FASTEST LAP: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

Spa was supposedly the fightback from Ferrari in the championship, but that obviously didn't materialise into anything. However it was a great duel between the two four-time world champions at the time, with Sebastian Vettel managing to overtake Lewis Hamilton on Lap 1 afte getting a great run through Eau Rouge, and just look at that photo. A photo tells a thousand words.

USA

RACE WINNER: KIMI RAIKKONEN 2ND PLACE: MAX VERSTAPPEN 3RD PLACE: LEWIS HAMILTON POLE POSITION: LEWIS HAMILTON FASTEST LAP: LEWIS HAMILTON

I think we can all agree that Austin was an awesome race. Raikkonen got the jump at the start, but we all expected that Hamilton would take the win and the championship in the USA. On the opening lap Mad Max surged through the field, with multiple crashes on the opening lap, and differing strategies, we saw the veteran on the grid score what could be his final win in Formula One

MEXICO

RACE WINNER: MAX VERSTAPPEN

2ND PLACE: SEABSTIAN VETTEL

3RD PLACE: KIMI RAIKKONEN

POLE POSITION: DANIEL RICCIARDO

FASTEST LAP: DANIEL RICCIARDO

And finally we have Mexico. The race where Hamilton wrapped up the win, but was overshadowed by Verstappen's dominance. There were some great battles between the other five cars, with Ferrari managing in the end to score a double podium finish after another retirement from Daniel Ricciardo with just ten laps to go.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Comments (21)
  • US was an amazing race, Max did an amazing recovery drive, Vettel did after his fight with Danny Ric and the podium drivers where within seconds of eachother!

    Plus Max's defending against Hamilton in the closing stages of the race was awesome!

    1 month ago
    • Yeah, Verstappen's race through the field plus Raikkonen's fight against Hamilton was just awesome.

      1 month ago
  • Love it - 59% people think that Austin is the best race. I don't think there has been a season where there was one race that was clearly the best.

    1 month ago
    3 Bumps

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