2019 Russian GP: Race pace (Midfield teams)

The image shown above is a vector. You can zoom in as much as you want to see in which lap was each individual time done.

If a driver is not in the chart, it is because he did not finish the race, therefore his pace is not really comparable to the pace of the rest of the drivers.



The British team keeps showing that they are back on the right track. Carlos Sainz was the fastest midfield driver of the day, and finished in 6th position. Carlos was unable to hold Alex Albon at the end of the race, but was still fast enough to avoid having to fend off Checo Pérez. Great race by the Spaniard.

Lando Norris finished in 8th place after the five second penalty given to Kevin Magnussen. Lando showed very consistent pace throughout the race, and deserved the four points he took home.

Racing Point

Another strong performance by Sergio Pérez. The Racing Point driver is back to form, and keeps harvesting points in the World Championship. Checo was the second fastest midfield driver by virtue of his strong tire management. The Mexican driver was unchallenged in his 7th position, and will be looking forward to another strong race in Suzuka.

Lance Stroll was unable to get into the point positions once again. Stroll poor qualifying performances mean that he has to climb his way through the rest of the field, costing him valuable time every lap. The Canadian is a good driver on weekends, but with modern cars, race pace is very dependant on having clean air.


Renault has been looking better and better through the season, but this time they did not have a good weekend.

Nico Hulkenberg was unable to make the soft tires last during the first stint. His early pit stop meant that he had to fight in order to climb positions, costing him valuable seconds. Nico was the third fastest midfield driver of the day, but remember that he was one of the few drivers to go for a two-stop strategy. 

Daniel Ricciardo got caught up in a first lap incident, which in turn damaged his car. The charismatic Renault driver was unable to do anything, and had to retire during the 24th lap of the race.


A bittersweet day for the American team. In a track with very low tire degradation, both drivers were poised to take some much needed points home. Unfortunately for them, things didn’t work out as expected.

Romain Grosjean was taken out during a first lap incident, and retired for the 7th time this season.

Kevin Magnussen drove one of his best races of the season, but a single mistake costed him dearly. KMag was defending the 7th position from Checo Pérez, when he locked the tires into turn 2 and left the track. The Haas driver lost the position, missed a bollard while rejoining the track, and was handed a five-second time penalty. Still, a 9th place is a great result for a team struggling for points.

Toro Rosso

No speed in Toro Rosso during this weekend. That is the only way to summarize what happened for them a few hours ago.

Daniil Kvyat was faster only than the Alfa Romeo drivers, and that his teammate. With the very tight margins in the midfield, a couple of tenths per lap is the difference between a points-finishing position and finishing near the bottom of the grid.

Pierre Gasly was just as poor this time. The French driver has looked good after his return to Toro Rosso, but he struggled with overheating in Russia. A weekend to forget.

Alfa Romeo

Another team that has gotten in a lot of problems recently.

Antonio Giovinazzi has shown signs of improvement, but this time he was massively unlucky. The Italian driver was sandwiched by Grosjean and Ricciardo at the first lap, and he received front wing damage. Since then, his race was ruined.

Kimi Raikkonen continues his streak of terrible races after the summer break. The Iceman is an experienced driver, but he had a pathetic start to the race in Russia. Kimi had a false start and lost several positions just during the first 10 seconds of the race. He was then handed a drive through penalty which effectively ended his race.


Williams’ bright light for the season has extinguished during the past couple of races. The struggling team had reliability on their side, but today had to retire both cars from the race. The reason? First, George Russell has a mechanical failure in which the car bottomed out, causing the rookie to crash under the Virtual Safety Car. Then, Robert Kubica had to retire in order to “conserve parts”, whatever that means. Just a(nother) poor weekend for Williams.

Final remarks

McLaren are looking once again like the team to beat in the midfield battle, and finally Carlos Sainz was rewarded for a strong performance.

Regarding the other teams, Racing Point keeps making progress, and with the current trend, will overtake Toro Rosso in the Constructor’s Championship soon. If Lance Stroll can improve his qualifying performances, the Pink Panthers will still be a threat to Renault by the end of the season.

Haas made some encouraging progress today, but Suzuka is coming next. A twisty and fast circuit may not be their strong suit, but let’s see if they are able to replicate their good form in a couple of weeks.

Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso need to improve quickly. The teams have been struggling for pace recently, and need to get back on track in Japan.

Williams is on a downward trend, which is weird to say considering that they have been awful during the entire season. Still, retirements and “saving parts” is even worse than finishing bottom last.

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