Five drivers most under pressure in 2019

Date published: December 30 2018

Going into the 2019 campaign, there are several drivers who will have to deal with a lot pressure when they get in the car.

Here at PlanetF1, we have drawn up a list of the five drivers who are under the most pressure going into the New Year.

Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso

The Russian returns in 2019. After just over a year off the grid, Daniil Kvyat will line up for Toro Rosso next year.

It will be his third stint with the team where he started his F1 career, back in 2014. After a year with the junior team, he moved up to the Red Bull team.

During his time with the Bulls he scored two podiums, but after a catalogue of errors, he was demoted back to the junior team.

Kvyat then spent another 18 months with Toro Rosso, before leaving the team after the 2017 US Grand Prix.

A year as development driver for the Scuderia, and the ‘Torpedo’ is back in business with Toro Rosso.

Robert Kubica – Williams

Another returnee to the Formula 1 grid in 2019 is Polish driver Robert Kubica.

However, unlike his Russian counterpart, Kubica last raced in F1 in 2010. Yes, 2010… Eight years ago.

The Pole has a race victory to his name, winning the 2008 Canadian GP, in what was BMW Sauber’s only victory in F1 as well.

However, he suffered severe damage to his right arm in a rally crash in 2011, which actually scuppered his chances of signing for Ferrari the year after.

He admitted this week that even he would have doubts about his return to the grid, but Williams have given him that shot, and he needs to prove his worth.

Lance Stroll – Racing Point

Thanks to Daddy’s money, Lance Stroll will have a chance to prove himself in the midfield battle once more, with the new Racing Point F1 team.

The Canadian scored just six points in 2018 with Williams, as the Grove outfit struggled to get anything going with their FW41.

However, after his father led the consortium who bought out the Force India team in the summer, Stroll moves into the team.

He replaces Esteban Ocon, who has been tipped to win Championships, and will now serve as Mercedes reserve driver.

Stroll will have to show he can fight with team-mate Sergio Perez, but if not, Daddy owns it so…

Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari

It is not often that you would see a four-time World Champion on a list like this, but Sebastian Vettel is under pressure in 2019.

He claimed those four consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013 with Red Bull, but has gone without a title in his four seasons with the Scuderia.

He has been in the title fight over the last two seasons, but a series of mistakes saw him fall away in 2018.

Now, he comes under pressure from the young Monegasque starlet, Charles Leclerc, who impressed in his first season in F1.

Can Vettel beat Leclerc? And if so, will he challenge Lewis Hamilton for the Drivers’ Championship?

Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes

It is no surprise as to who is the most under pressure going into the 2019 season, as Valtteri Bottas already knows he will lose his seat if he doesn’t perform.

Esteban Ocon is waiting in the wings as Mercedes reserve driver, and Bottas failed to win a race in 2018.

The Finn could have won in Azerbaijan had it not been for a puncture, but mistakes like this one in Hungary also cost him…

Should he not challenge for the title next year, will the Frenchman replace him? It seems like it might be a done deal already.

Can the Finn lose the “wingman” tag? Can he gain a first win since the 2017 season? Can he even challenge for the title?

 

Who do you think will be under the most pressure in 2019? Vote in our poll below!