Lewis Hamilton's 2019 championship race by race: how he won his sixth F1 title

by Jake Williams-Smith on 4th November 2019

A sixth title was almost inevitable halfway through the year, as Lewis Hamilton put together his best season to date to claim the 2019 Formula 1 Drivers' Championship

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his sixth drivers' championship title

Six world championships, 83 wins and counting for Lewis Hamilton Photo: Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 season may have been his strongest ever. Seeing off the threat of his team-mate after a strong start to the year, and the resurgent Ferraris following the summer break, Hamilton quickly built a points advantage nobody could catch.

Barring a brief blip in Germany during treacherous conditions, his season has been unblemished, building his championship case early in the year, rather than his typical second half of the season storm.

He took 10 victories on his way to clinching the title, demonstrating his vast repertoire of racing technique, as he varied his approach to suit the circumstances.

Hamilton put up a gritty defence from Max Verstappen in Monaco; managed his tyres impeccably at Silverstone and Mexico; and made a storming comeback in Hungary to deny Verstappen once more. We've not seen a more complete season from him before.

His Formula 1 record now stands at 83 race victories and six world championship titles, as he closes in quickly on the high-water mark left by Michael Schumacher, which many thought unreachable.

With his ability seeming to grow from strength to strength with each passing season, the question is just how far can Hamilton go?

But this is the story of how he took his sixth Formula 1 World Championship: the 2019 season, race by race.


More on Hamilton's sixth championship


 

Australia

Valtteri Bottas celebrates his victory at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Bottas took the opening race in Australia by some margin Photo: Motorsport Images

Hamilton's title defence begins with a dominant win by Valtteri Bottas, who finished 20 seconds ahead of his team-mate. Hamilton had sustained floor damage, but the margin of victory appeared to herald a new Mercedes intra-team battle for the title between Hamilton and 'Bottas 2.0'.

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Driver Points
Bottas 26
Hamilton 18
Verstappen 15
Vettel  12
Leclerc  10

 

 

Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton consoles Charles Leclerc after the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

Hamilton consoles Charles Leclerc after the Ferrari driver hit reliability trouble Photo: Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton was there to pick up the spoils in the desert when an on-form Charles Leclerc and Ferrari looked certain to win, only for engine issues to rob the Monégasque of power and the lead.

Sebastian Vettel was nowhere near the podium after Hamilton pressured him into a spin, and the vibrations from his flat-spotted tyres detached his front wing.

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Driver Points
Bottas 44
Hamilton 43
Verstappen 27
Vettel  26
Leclerc  22

 

 

China

Lewis Hamilton crosses the line to win the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

A dominant display gave Hamilton win number two in 2019 Photo: Motorsport Images

Hamilton took a straight-forward victory at Formula 1’s 1000th race, leading home a third-straight Mercedes one-two. Hamilton took the lead of the championship for the first time from his team-mate.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 68
Bottas 62
Verstappen 39
Vettel  37
Leclerc  36

 

Azerbaijan

Valtteri Bottas on the top step after winning the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Bottas finally gets his win in Baku Photo: Motorsport Images

A penultimate lap puncture had robbed Bottas of a win in Baku in 2018, but there was no misfortune for him this year, as he took the lead after a brief duel with Hamilton at the start, and crossed the line first, ahead of his team-mate. Behind him, Ferrari rued a missed chance of victory; Leclerc demonstrated race-winning pace, but had ruined his race with a qualifying crash.

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Driver Points
Bottas 87
Hamilton 86
Vettel 52
Verstappen  51
Leclerc  47

 

 

Spain

Lewis Hamilton crossing the line to win the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix

Mercedes scored its fifth-straight one-two finish with Hamilton taking victory Photo: Motorsport Images

Mercedes dominated the competition at the venue Ferrari had looked comfortably fastest at in testing. A fifth one-two finish in a row for the Silver Arrows, with Hamilton taking the win, and the streak looked like it would continue for a long while yet. Hamilton reassumed the lead of the title race and would not lose it for the rest of the year.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 112
Bottas 105
Verstappen 66
Vettel  64
Leclerc  57

 

 

Monaco

Lewis Hamilton raises his Niki Lauda tribute helmet at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix

A Monaco Grand Prix victory Niki Lauda would have been proud of Photo: Motorsport Images

Verstappen hounded Hamilton for the final third of the race on fresher tyres but was unable to muscle his way past the Mercedes on the tight Monaco streets for victory. Hamilton dedicated his win to Niki Lauda, who had passed away in the week before the race.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 137
Bottas 120
Vettel 82
Verstappen  78
Leclerc  57

 

 

Canada

Sebastian Vettel squeezes Lewis Hamilton against the wall during the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

The moment Sebastian Vettel lost the Canadian Grand Prix Photo: Motorsport Images

Controversy reigned in Canada as Hamilton inherited victory after Sebastian Vettel received a five-second penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner. Hamilton had been harrying the Ferrari driver for the lead, and a small mistake from Vettel had his SF90 running across the grass at Turn Three, squeezing Hamilton against the wall on re-entry. He was judged to have forced the Mercedes driver to take avoiding action and received a 5-second time penalty, handing the win to Hamilton.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 162
Bottas 133
Vettel 100
Verstappen 88
Leclerc  72

 

 

France

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2019 French Grand Prix

Hamilton won comfortably in France to extend his championship lead Photo: Motorsport Images

Hamilton dominated the Paul Ricard race, taking pole, leading from start to finish and winning from Bottas by a comfortable 18sec margin.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 187
Bottas 151
Vettel 111
Verstappen  100
Leclerc  87

 

 

Austria

Lewis Hamilton during the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix

The summer heat was not to the W10's liking in Austria Photo: Motorsport Images

The first sign of weakness from Mercedes as it was put under pressure early on by the faster Red Bulls and Ferraris. In the summer heat in Spielberg, the W10 was no longer the class of the field and Hamilton would have to settle for fifth as Verstappen took his first win of the season.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 197
Bottas 166
Verstappen 126
Vettel  123
Leclerc  105

 

 

Britain

Lewis Hamilton holds the winning trophy at the 2019 British Grand Prix

A strategy call made in the car won Hamilton his home race ahead of Bottas Photo: Motorsport Images

With a strategy his own team though impossible, Hamilton nursed his tyres to the end on a one-stop to take full advantage of a virtual safety car for the stranded Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi. Bottas was unfortunate to lose out on the lead in the process and couldn’t catch his team-mate before the end. As the Mercedes’ began to pull a gap to the rest, Verstappen and Vettel lost further ground as the Ferrari driver crashed into the Dutchman.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 223
Bottas 184
Verstappen 136
Vettel  123
Leclerc  120

 

 

Germany

Lewis Hamilton hits the barriers during the 2019 German Grand Prix

The low moment of an otherwise stellar season Photo: Motorsport Images

Mercedes celebrated 125 years in motor sport at its home race, but it will not be looked back on fondly by the team. Hamilton controlled the early stages of the race but as rain intensified, tyre choice became critical and under a virtual safety car and on cold soft tyres, Hamilton slid off the circuit and into the barriers. The team’s race unravelled further from there as Hamilton was hit with a penalty for his entrance to the pits and Bottas crashed out in his attempts to catch the leading Verstappen. Hamilton was promoted to ninth after the race as both Alfa Romeos were disqualified post-race, somehow extending his championship lead in his worst race of the season.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 225
Bottas 184
Verstappen 162
Vettel  141
Leclerc  120

 

 

Hungary

Lewis Hamilton overtakes Max Verstappen for the lead of the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton's winning move at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Max Verstappen Photo: Motorsport Images

In a race that will be looked back on as a modern classic, Verstappen and Hamilton went head-to-head for victory, with the Red Bull driver pressured from beginning to end. In a masterstroke on strategy, Hamilton was brought in for a second pit stop and quickly closed up a 20+second gap to carve past the Dutch driver for the victory with just a handful of laps to go. Bottas suffered another race to forget with an eighth-place finish, losing further ground in the championship.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 250
Bottas 188
Verstappen 181
Vettel  156
Leclerc  132

 

 

Belgium

Sebastian Vettel holding off Lewis Hamilton during the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix

Vettel's role was crucial in securing Leclerc his first F1 win Photo: Motorsport Images

A turning point in the season that came too late for Ferrari, the Prancing Horse returned from the summer break with searing pace and Charles Leclerc took his first F1 victory as Mercedes was beaten on pace rather than misfortune. Hamilton hounded the Ferrari driver to the end, but a vital period stuck behind Vettel after his pit stop cost him a chance of victory.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 268
Bottas 203
Verstappen 181
Vettel  169
Leclerc  157

 

 

Italy

Lewis Hamilton locks up in pursuit of Charles Leclerc during the 2019 Italian Grand Prix

Leclerc made it back-to-back wins despite intense pressure from Hamilton Photo: Motorsport Images

Leclerc thrilled the Tifosi with a masterful drive under pressure from both Mercedes chasing him down to win at Monza. Hamilton made a rare mistake, locking his brakes into Turn One in pursuit of the Monégasque driver, and Bottas was able to take second from him.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 284
Bottas 221
Verstappen 185
Leclerc  182
Vettel  169

 

 

Singapore

Lewis Hamilton crosses the line to finish the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix in fourth

Mercedes suffered once again in Singapore, ending fourth and fifth Photo: Motorsport Images

Vettel and Ferrari won on the Marina Bay streets as the four-time champion was lucky with strategy. Leclerc lost out in an accidental undercut from his own team-mate; Mercedes was forced to settle for fourth and fifth, too far off of the leading pace to seriously challenge for a win. Mercedes reinforced the view of Bottas as Hamilton's "wingman" when the team requested that he slow down as to prevent Alexander Albon from leapfrogging Hamilton in the pit stops.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 296
Bottas 231
Leclerc 200
Verstappen  200
Vettel 194

 

 

Russia

Lewis Hamilton with the winning trophy after the 2019 Russian Grand Prix

Hamilton was there again to capitalise on Ferrari misfortune Photo: Motorsport Images

Ferrari’s front-row lock-out and one-two at the start quickly turned into a nightmare of the team’s own making. A team-orders row ensued while Vettel led from Leclerc but Hamilton stuck close enough to the Ferraris to be an undercut threat. During the pit-stop phase, Vettel was forced out of the race with reliability issues and under a VSC, Hamilton was able to pit and come out ahead of Leclerc for the lead and eventual win.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 322
Bottas 249
Leclerc 215
Verstappen  212
Vettel  194

 

 

Japan

Mercedes celebrates winning its sixth constructors' championship title at the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Constructors' title number six was secured in Japan for Mercedes-Benz Photo: Motorsport Images

Bottas scored his first race win since Azerbaijan as Ferrari suffered from mistakes once again. The team was in a perfect position with a 1-2 in qualifying but threw away the advantage within seconds of the start.

Vettel moved before the lights went out but stopped in time to avoid a jump start penalty. It meant that he was slow to start the race — as was team-mate Leclerc — opening the door for Bottas to take the lead from third. Leclerc then collided with Max Verstappen, damaging his front wing, and sending debris flying. Hamilton miraculously avoided injury as a piece of carbon fibre came loose and struck his W10, approaching 130R. Despite fresher tyres late on in the race, Hamilton couldn’t overtake Vettel for second.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 338
Bottas 274
Leclerc 223
Verstappen  212
Vettel  212

 

 

Mexico

Lewis Hamilton celebrates in his sombrero after winning the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix

Fiesta feeling for race-winner Hamilton Photo: Motorsport Images

Ferrari locked out the front row once again, but Hamilton recovered from a first corner tap from Verstappen and trip across the grass to make a one-stop strategy work with a 49-lap stint on the hard tyres. He held Vettel at arm’s length despite a tyre life offset in the Ferrari driver’s favour to take his 10th win of the season and put himself just four points away from the title.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 363
Bottas 289
Leclerc 236
Vettel  230
Verstappen  220

 

 

United States

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his sixth world title at the 2019 United States Grand Prix

Hamilton wins his sixth championship to move clear of Juan Manuel Fangio and one behind Michael Schumacher Photo: Motorsport Images

A lacklustre qualifying left Hamilton with just too much to do on Sunday, but his fightback from fifth to second was more than good enough to win a sixth drivers' title with two rounds remaining. Passing both Ferraris on the opening lap, he went on to make an unlikely one-stop almost work for him to hold off Verstappen for a championship-clinching second.

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Driver Points
Hamilton 381
Bottas 314
Leclerc 249
Verstappen  235
Vettel 230

 

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