It is the penultimate round of the 2019 Formula 1 season with both the drivers’ champion and the constructors’ champion decided. Yet this doesn’t mean that this weekend’s race will be a processional one, with a few things still to be decided in both championships.
The top two
Lewis Hamilton sealed his sixth drivers’ title last time out with a second place finish, while his nearest title challenger, Valtteri Bottas won his fourth Grand Prix of the season.
The two Mercedes drivers have both finished on the podium in the last four races with identical results having both claimed two victories, a second place and a third place finish.Embed from Getty Images
They have been relatively close over the last seven races and now with the two hopefully free to race, things could get even closer in the final rounds of the season.
The battle for third has fluctuated over the most recent Grand Prix but heading to Brazil Charles Leclerc is still in third. He is now fourteen points ahead of currently fourth placed Max Verstappen while Sebastian Vettel is nineteen points behind Leclerc and five behind Verstappen after being forced into retirement at the previous round.
Verstappen goes into the weekend off the back of his first podium since Singapore, having finished inside the top ten in five of the last seven races. The most in form of the three however is Leclerc who has been inside the top six in the previous seven races ahead of this weekend.
Vettel’s form, for comparison, currently stands at being in the points in four of the last seven races, achieving back to back second places prior to his retirement at Austin.
Alexander Albon goes to Brazil in sixth place, four points ahead of Carlos Sainz and seven points ahead of Pierre Gasly.
Albon continued his point scoring run in Austin, taking it to nine consecutive races he has finished inside the top ten. He had an impressive race in Austin where he was forced to pit early and work through the field, yet still managed to finish inside the top five, helped in part by Vettel’s retirement.Embed from Getty Images
Sainz and Gasly have been in less consistent form, but are still within touching distance of Albon should the Thai driver’s points scoring run end this weekend. Sainz finished eighth in the United States, his third top ten in the last seven races while Pierre Gasly finished down in sixteenth, having been in the points in the two races prior but over the same seven race period is similar in form to Sainz.
Like the battle for third, the fight over ninth in the drivers’ championship has also fluctuated with Daniel Ricciardo currently in the position after finishing sixth in the United States.
It means he is two points ahead of Sergio Perez who, thanks to a post race penalty for Daniil Kvyat, stretched his point scoring run to four races, after being classified tenth. The Mexican is only three points ahead of Lando Norris who was seventh in Austin. The British driver having finished inside the points in four of the last six Grand Prix.Embed from Getty Images
Four points behind Norris is Nico Hulkenberg who finished ninth in Austin, meaning the German has been classified inside the points in six of the last seven races prior to this weekend. Three points behind Hulkenberg is Daniil Kvyat whose last classified top ten result came in Japan, the Russian is three points ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who has failed to finish in the points in the seven races prior to Brazil.
Overall fifteen points cover Ricciardo in ninth down to Raikkonen in fourteenth.
McLaren have a thirty eight point advantage over fifth placed Renault with the team getting both cars inside the top ten, their sixth double points finish of the season, after getting zero points from the Mexico Grand Prix weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Renault are eighteen points ahead of Racing Point, thanks to getting both cars inside the top ten in the two races prior to this weekend.
The closest battle in the constructors’ is between Racing Point and Toro Rosso with one point separating the two, Perez having most recently scored for Racing Point in Austin while Toro Rosso’s most recent points finish came thanks to Gasly who finished ninth in Mexico.