Brendon Hartley

Who won the F1 teammate battles in 2018?

Some were close, some weren’t in the same stratosphere … F1 teammate fights were many and varied this season.

THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON REDBULL.COM

It’s the battle within the battle in Formula One. Sure, every driver wants to win the world championship, but only one does that each year, and often the season starts with three-quarters of the grid knowing that being number one overall is out of the question. But what about being top dog within your own team? Now that’s something worth battling for …

We’ve had all kinds of F1 teammates this season; drivers at front-running teams who played little more than support roles (whether they wanted to or not); teammate fights that started one way before wildly swinging in the other direction; tandems where the drivers played nice and worked together to move their squad forwards; and teammates in name only, as the dustbin full of broken carbon fibre bits from on-track skirmishes mounted by the race …

Here, in constructors’ championship order, is how all 10 sets of F1 teammates fared against the driver in equal equipment in 2018.

Mercedes

In 2017, the first year of the Lewis Hamilton-Valtteri Bottas axis at the sport’s benchmark team, Hamilton took nine wins to Bottas’ three, and both had 13 podiums as Hamilton snared the title, Bottas finishing third and just 58 points adrift. This year, as Hamilton upped his game, Bottas couldn’t keep pace, despite being denied a pair of wins through horrid luck (a late puncture while leading in Azerbaijan) and, in hindsight, heavy-handed management (being told to gift a win to Hamilton in Russia for a title the Briton eventually won by 88 points). Hamilton’s fifth championship might have been his best yet; the gulf in almost every metric to his teammate will cause Bottas to do some soul-searching over the northern hemisphere winter.

Qualifying H2H: Hamilton 15, Bottas 6
Race H2H (both finished): Hamilton 16, Bottas 3
Best result: Hamilton 1st (11 times), Bottas 2nd (seven times)
Points: Hamilton 408 (1st), Bottas 247 (5th)
Podiums: Hamilton 17, Bottas 8
Avg. grid position: Hamilton 2nd, Bottas 4th
Avg. race finish: Hamilton 2nd, Bottas 4th

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel’s season was one of high highs (five wins in the first 13 races) and deep lows (numerous on-track mistakes and zero wins in the final eight races), while Kimi Raikkonen’s year was more steadily consistent without ever threatening to challenge his teammate on raw pace, as their qualifying chasm suggests. Both had 12 podiums, but when you consider that eight of the Finn’s were for third place, it’s plain to see Vettel was Ferrari’s undisputed number one for the fourth and final year of this pairing.

Qualifying H2H: Vettel 17, Raikkonen 4
Race H2H (both finished): Vettel 9, Raikkonen 8
Best result: Vettel 1st (five times), Raikkonen 1st (once)
Points: Vettel 320 (2nd), Raikkonen 251 (3rd)
Podiums: Vettel 12, Raikkonen 12
Avg grid position: Vettel 3rd, Raikkonen 4th
Avg. race finish: Vettel 3rd, Raikkonen 3rd

Red Bull Racing

Judging this early in 2018, Daniel Ricciardo held sway, and it wasn’t close – the Australian won two of the year’s first six Grands Prix, while teammate Max Verstappen was spinning, hitting rivals or barriers, and generally finding new ways to squander points. From then on, the Dutchman delivered; 37 points behind Ricciardo’s tally after Monaco, he out-scored him 214 points to 98 the rest of the way, aided to some degree to Ricciardo’s six retirements (to two) for the remainder of the campaign. One-lap pace was all Verstappen too, finishing the year well ahead of Ricciardo despite qualifying behind him in two of the final three races.

Qualifying H2H: Verstappen 15, Ricciardo 6
Races H2H (both finished): Verstappen 8, Ricciardo 3
Best result: Verstappen 1st (twice), Ricciardo 1st (twice)
Points: Verstappen 249 (4th), Ricciardo 170 (6th)
Podiums: Verstappen 11, Ricciardo 2
Avg. grid position: Verstappen 7th, Ricciardo 7th
Avg. race finish: Verstappen 3rd, Ricciardo 4th

Renault

Carlos Sainz doesn’t lack for raw pace, so it says much for how good Nico Hulkenberg was this year that the German out-scored, out-raced and out-qualified the Spaniard in their one full season as teammates before Sainz heads to McLaren for 2019. The points gap between them, on pace, should have been far greater, but seven retirements for Hulkenberg to his teammates two made the difference 16 points and three places in the standings. After making mincemeat of Jolyon Palmer and seeing off Sainz in his first two Renault seasons, the arrival of Ricciardo will up the stakes for Hulkenberg in 2019.

Qualifying H2H: Hulkenberg 13, Sainz
Race H2H (both finished): Hulkenberg 7, Sainz 4
Best result: Hulkenberg 5th, Sainz 5th
Points: Hulkenberg 69 (7th), Sainz 53 (10th)
Avg. grid position: Hulkenberg 11th, Sainz 10th
Avg. race finish: Hulkenberg 8th, Sainz 9th

Haas

Kevin Magnussen scored 60 per cent of Haas’ 93 points that saw the American team achieve its best constructors’ championship finish (fifth), but the contest between the Dane and teammate Romain Grosjean was closer than that. This was the closest qualifying head-to-head on the grid (11-10 to Magnussen, with an average gap of just 0.009secs), and while Magnussen scored more often, Grosjean finished better when both drivers saw the flag. This is a well-matched mixture of styles and personalities, which probably explains why Haas is one of just two teams (along with Mercedes) to retain the same drivers next season.

Qualifying H2H: Magnussen 11, Grosjean 10
Race H2H (both finished): Grosjean 6, Magnussen 5
Best result: Grosjean 4th, Magnussen 5th (twice)
Points: Magnussen 56 (9th), Grosjean 37 (14th)
Avg. grid position: Magnussen 11th, Grosjean 10th
Avg. race finish: Magnussen 10th, Grosjean 11th

McLaren

For much of 2018, McLaren was only faster on raw pace than Williams, which finished dead last in the constructors’ championship and had its drivers occupy two of the final three places in the standings. So how did McLaren finish sixth overall? Stoffel Vandoorne’s pace was underwhelming but largely representative of what he was driving; teammate Fernando Alonso bent the machinery he was given to his will by out-qualifying Vandoorne in every race (and 37-3 in two years in the same car) and scoring 81 per cent of his team’s points despite six retirements to the Belgian’s two.

Qualifying H2H: Alonso 21, Vandoorne 0
Race H2H (both finished): Alonso 6, Vandoorne 2
Best result: Alonso 5th, Vandoorne 8th (twice)
Points: Alonso 50 (11th), Vandoorne 12 (16th)
Avg. grid position: Alonso 13th, Vandoorne 17th
Avg. race finish: Alonso 10th, Vandoorne 13th

Racing Point Force India

Sergio Perez scored more points than Esteban Ocon for the second year running, and snaffled the only podium for a driver outside of the ‘big three’ teams (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) when he came third in Baku, the chaotic type of race he always seems to shine in. So why did Ocon have the Mexican’s measure? The Frenchman’s head-to-head advantage in qualifying was significant, and while both drivers only finished in the same race 13 times, Ocon was usually seeing the chequered flag first. Five non-finishes for Ocon compared to his teammate’s two does much to explain their narrow points gap after 21 Grands Prix.

Qualifying H2H: Ocon 16, Perez 5
Race H2H (both finished): Ocon 9, Perez 4
Best result: Perez 3rd, Ocon 6th (four times)
Points: Perez 62 (8th), Ocon 49 (12th)
Podiums: Perez 1, Ocon 0
Avg. grid position: Perez 11th, Ocon 10th
Avg. race finish: Perez 10th, Ocon 9th

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson was rarely described as slow in his five-year F1 tenure; inconsistent, perhaps, but there’s no denying the Swede can be rapid. Which is why so many, including Ferrari, were so excited about what Charles Leclerc did in his rookie season alongside Ericsson. After a so-so start, Leclerc finished sixth in Azerbaijan in round four, and didn’t see Ericsson for dust much thereafter. The final qualifying tally and margin between the two (Leclerc was 0.327secs on average faster, the second-biggest gap between teammates behind Alonso-Vandoorne at McLaren) was impressive; spearheading Sauber’s climb from the foot of the constructors’ table as a debutant might have been a greater achievement.

Qualifying H2H: Leclerc 17, Ericsson 4
Race H2H (both finished): Leclerc 6, Ericsson 3
Best result: Leclerc 6th, Ericsson 9th (three times)
Points: Leclerc 39 (13th), Ericsson 9 (17th)
Avg. grid position: Leclerc 12th, Ericsson 16th
Avg. race finish: Leclerc 10th, Ericsson 12th

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Remember what we said about teammates playing nice? That definitely wasn’t the case at Toro Rosso with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley (just Google their radio exchange in Brazil), while the standings paint an equally nasty picture for Hartley, the New Zealander losing his F1 drive at the end of the season while Gasly was promoted into Ricciardo’s vacated Red Bull cockpit. Gasly scored 88 per cent of Toro Rosso’s points (the largest contribution by one driver to their team’s tally), and his fourth place in just the second race of the year in Bahrain meant this inter-team fight was over early.

Qualifying H2H: Gasly 15, Hartley 6
Race H2H (both finished): Gasly 6, Hartley 4
Best result: Gasly 4th, Hartley 9th
Points: Gasly 29 (15th), Hartley 4 (19th)
Avg. grid position: Gasly 13th, Hartley 15th
Avg. race finish: Gasly 11th, Hartley 13th

Williams

How far and how fast did Williams fall in 2018? The year prior, the team finished fifth in the constructors’ championship with 83 points; this season, Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin scored seven points total between them as Williams finished last, with one point fewer than the team managed in the first race of 2017 in Australia … It’s tempting to say there were no winners here, but Stroll just gets the nod by virtue of scoring more points (largely through his annual strong showing in Azerbaijan) and retaining a spot on the grid for next year with Racing Point Force India thanks wholly to his father’s acquisition of the team.

Qualifying H2H: Sirotkin 13, Stroll 8
Race H2H (both finished): Stroll 9, Sirotkin 8
Best result: Stroll 8th, Sirotkin 10th
Points: Stroll 6 (18th), Sirotkin 1 (20th)
Avg. grid position: Stroll 17th, Sirotkin 17th
Avg. race finish: Stroll 13th, Sirotkin 15th

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Who’s winning the F1 teammate battles in 2018?

Which teammates have the wood over one another? Who has the biggest presence in each of Formula One’s 10 team garages? We’ve crunched the numbers.

THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON REDBULL.COM

The first person as a Formula One driver you have to beat? Your teammate, of course, who (in theory) has the same equipment as you and the same opportunity for success, or failure. If you’re driving for one of the backmarker teams, you’re clearly not winning this year’s drivers’ championship – but one thing you can do is emerge victorious from the intra-team battle and be the biggest man in the garage over a full season. Careers have been made (or ruined) by less.

With F1 in its (northern) summer shutdown ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix in a bit over a fortnight’s time, we run the rule over each team and the mano a mano battle within them, and who has internal bragging rights at the mid-point of 2018.

Mercedes

Qualifying head-to-head: Lewis Hamilton 7, Valtteri Bottas 5
Races head-to-head (where both cars finished): Hamilton 7, Bottas 3
Best result: Hamilton 1st (five times), Bottas 2nd (five times)
Points: Hamilton 213, Bottas 132
Podiums: Hamilton 9, Bottas 5
Average grid position: Hamilton 3.17, Bottas 3.25
Average race finish: Hamilton 2.18, Bottas 3.9

Summary: No surprises here, but this is closer than you think despite Hamilton’s hefty points advantage after 12 races. Season 2018 has been a case of the reigning world champion making the most of the days when he shouldn’t win, like Germany and Hungary before the break, to go with the races like Spain and France where he runs and hides. Bottas could have won six races this year, but Hamilton’s ability to conjure a special qualifying lap or mesmerising race performance gives him the advantage.

Ferrari

Qualifying head-to-head: Sebastian Vettel 10, Kimi Raikkonen 2
Races head-to-head: Vettel 6, Raikkonen 4
Best result: Vettel 1st (four times), Raikkonen 2nd (twice)
Points: Vettel 189, Raikkonen 146
Podiums: Raikkonen 8, Vettel 7
Average grid position: Vettel 2.08, Raikkonen 3.67
Average race finish: Vettel 2.91, Raikkonen 3.2

Summary: It’s been a bloodbath for Vettel in qualifying – Raikkonen has only out-qualified the German in Australia and Hungary – but the Finn’s sheer consistency saw him arrive at the break with more podiums than any other driver besides Hamilton. Six of them though are for third place, and that’s partly down to Vettel’s grid-best average starting position. It’s been Raikkonen’s strongest season for some time, but the stats show he’s still the second-best Ferrari driver out there.

Red Bull Racing

Qualifying head-to-head: Max Verstappen 9, Daniel Ricciardo 3
Races head-to-head: Ricciardo 3, Verstappen 3
Best result: Ricciardo 1st (twice), Verstappen 1st
Points: Ricciardo 118, Verstappen 105
Podiums: Verstappen 4, Ricciardo 2
Average grid position: Ricciardo 6.5, Verstappen 6.83
Average race finish: Ricciardo 3.5, Verstappen 4.13

Summary: This isn’t easy to call, primarily because Red Bull’s rocky reliability has seen both drivers finish in the same race just six times, half of the 12 Grands Prix this season. Crashing out in the same accident in Azerbaijan didn’t help, of course, but the final four races before the break saw only one of Ricciardo or Verstappen make the chequered flag, the other an early spectator with a DNF. Verstappen has dominated his teammate in qualifying, but Ricciardo has the only pole between the pair (Monaco), and while the Australian has finished on the podium just twice in 12 races, they’ve both been victories (China and Monaco), which skews his stats somewhat. Like we said, not easy, and you could make an argument for either.

Renault

Qualifying head-to-head: Nico Hulkenberg 7, Carlos Sainz 5
Races head-to-head: Hulkenberg 5, Sainz 2
Best result: Hulkenberg 5th, Sainz 5th
Points: Hulkenberg 52, Sainz 30
Average grid position: Hulkenberg 9.92, Sainz 9.08
Average race finish: Hulkenberg 7.33, Sainz 8.27

Summary: Ask this question after three races, and it was all Hulkenberg, who had out-scored Sainz 22-3 and qualified higher all three times. Since, the German has just three more points than his Spanish teammate, although to be fair to Hulkenberg, he’s retired three times to Sainz’s one. The points gap suggests a clear leader, but this could easily flip by the end of 2018.

Haas

Qualifying head-to-head: Kevin Magnussen 9, Romain Grosjean 3
Races head-to-head: Magnussen 5, Grosjean 3
Best result: Grosjean 4th, Magnussen 5th (twice)
Points: Magnussen 45, Grosjean 21
Average grid position: Magnussen 9.5, Grosjean 11.5
Average race finish: Magnussen 9, Grosjean 11

Summary: Grosjean has the better race result of the Haas duo thanks to his outstanding fourth in Austria, but there’s been little else to cheer about for the Frenchman against his Danish teammate, Magnussen enjoying his most convincing season yet. Much of that is down to his qualifying superiority, and Magnussen has converted on Sundays, seven top-10 finishes seeing him more than double Grosjean’s points tally at the mid-point.

Force India

Qualifying head-to-head: Esteban Ocon 9, Sergio Perez 3
Races head-to-head: Ocon 7, Perez 2
Best result: Perez 3rd, Ocon 6th (twice)
Points: Perez 30, Ocon 29
Podiums: Perez 1, Ocon 0
Average grid position: Ocon 11.33, Perez 11.75
Average race finish: Ocon 9.11, Perez 10.36

Summary: Perez is the only driver outside of F1’s ‘big three’ teams to nab a podium this season, which came when he finished an opportunistic third after he picked his way through the late-race chaos in Azerbaijan. So that does that means he’s had a bigger impact that Ocon this season? Not exactly – the Frenchman enjoys comfortable leads in the qualifying and race head-to-heads with his Mexican teammate, and just – just – shades him in average starting and finishing spots. It’s the closest fight between teammates in any team, and one that will be played out for the remainder of the season amid uncertainty about Force India’s future.

McLaren

Qualifying head-to-head: Fernando Alonso 12, Stoffel Vandoorne 0
Races head-to-head: Alonso 6, Vandoorne 2
Best result: Alonso 5th, Vandoorne 8th
Points: Alonso 44, Vandoorne 8
Average grid position: Alonso 12, Vandoorne 15.1
Average race finish: Alonso 9, Vandoorne 12

Summary: Alonso may have turned 37 years old on race day in Hungary, but the two-time world champion remains a formidable foe – just ask Vandoorne, who is the only driver to have been beaten by his teammate in qualifying in every race this season (Alonso’s streak actually stands at 16, after out-qualifying the Belgian in the last four races of last season as well). Vandoorne’s star may have lost some of its lustre in his stuttering F1 career to date, but that’s only because of who he’s up against, and what both drivers are up against in driving the cars they’ve had. Gaps between teammates don’t get a lot bigger.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Qualifying head-to-head: Pierre Gasly 9, Brendon Hartley 3
Races head-to-head: Gasly 2, Hartley 2
Best result: Gasly 4th, Hartley 10th (twice)
Points: Gasly 26, Hartley 2
Average grid position: Gasly 13.42, Hartley 15.92
Average race finish: Gasly 10.67, Hartley 13

Summary: Other than Williams (and we’ll get to them), Gasly’s impact on Toro Rosso’s points (93 per cent) is higher than any single driver in any other team, but it’s how they’ve come about that’s been eye-catching. The Frenchman has scored just three top-10 finishes to Hartley’s two, but they’ve all been superb results; a spectacular fourth in Bahrain, a strong seventh in Monaco and an assured sixth in Hungary, where he was the last car not lapped by victor Hamilton. Hartley’s first full season has been blighted by retirements; the Kiwi has five DNF’s, more than any other driver, and both cars have only finished the same race four times in 12 Grands Prix.

Sauber

Qualifying head-to-head: Charles Leclerc 9, Marcus Ericsson 3
Races head-to-head: Leclerc 5, Ericsson 3
Best result: Leclerc 6th, Ericsson 9th (twice)
Points: Leclerc 13, Ericsson 5
Average grid position: Leclerc 13.92, Ericsson 16.83
Average race finish: Leclerc 11.56, Ericsson 12.44

Summary: Leclerc has announced himself as a star of the future by virtue of what he’s done in the present, and scored all of his points in five races across a six-race run between Azerbaijan and Austria, bookending the start and end of the year’s first half with a trio of non-scores. Three top-10 qualifying efforts show that he’s been able to extract those last few tenths of a second out of an improved Sauber that Ericsson can’t. The pair are closer in the races than you’d think, though, with more than half of Leclerc’s points coming with his out-of-the-blue sixth in Baku.

Williams

Qualifying head-to-head: Sergey Sirotkin 7, Lance Stroll 5
Races head-to-head: Stroll 4, Sirotkin 4
Best result: Stroll 8th, Sirotkin 13th
Points: Stroll 4, Sirotkin 0
Average grid position: Sirotkin 16.75, Stroll 17.08
Average race finish: Stroll 13.8, Sirotkin 15

Summary: The good news for Stroll is that no other driver is responsible for 100 per cent of his team’s points; the bad news is that there’s just four of them, earned when he finished eighth in Baku. Sirotkin is the only one of the 20 drivers not to score a point yet this season, but the Russian rookie has been more rapid (relatively speaking) on Saturdays, ensuring his Canadian teammate has the lowest average starting spot on the grid. But really, there’s no winners here in what has been a torrid season for one of the sport’s most famous teams.