• The races of 2019

The 2019 Formula One season proved to be a historic and record-breaking one for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. But it was far from easy - with highs and lows, tough moments, enjoyable ones and some intense competition along the way. Through it all, though, we emerged victorious in both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships.

The new 2019 grid, including our own Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+, were put through their paces for the first time with winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It was a productive eight days of running, but it proved difficult for the team and we only managed to extract a decent level of performance from the car on the final day. So, the key question was, how would we fare on Australia?

Once again, the F1 circus headed to Melbourne for the season-opener in Australia and it proved to be a difficult weekend for the entire F1 family, after the passing of Charlie Whiting - the FIA Race Director.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas proved to be the pace-setters in Q3, taking P1 and P2 on the grid for the first round. That order changed around at the start, though, with a great launch from the line catapulting Valtteri into the lead. He soon scampered off into the distance, claiming his first victory since Abu Dhabi 2017, with Lewis finishing second to secure a 1-2.

The sport travelled to Bahrain for the second round, where Lewis and Valtteri lined up P3 and P4 on the grid - locking out the second row, behind the quick Ferraris. After a frantic first few laps, the order settled down with Lewis and Valtteri behind both Ferraris. But they dispatched of Vettel mid-way through the race and capitalised on a late reliability issue for Leclerc to clinch another 1-2 for the team.

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F1's 1,000th race in China was next up, with Valtteri and Lewis starting first and second on the grid. Lewis got the jump on Valtteri at the start and the W10s cemented their position at the front even further with a mid-race double stack - the team pitting both cars on the same lap, just seconds apart. They took the chequered flag in P1 and P2 to continue the team's run of success.

One year on from his late disappointment in Baku when he suffered a puncture while leading the race with only two laps to go, there was redemption for Valtteri on the streets of Azerbaijan as he took the win - just holding off team-mate Lewis by 1.5 seconds to pick up his fifth victory in F1.

Spain soon followed, as F1 returned to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time since winter testing. Valtteri put in a stunning lap to take pole, but a strong start moved Lewis into the race lead on the opening lap. The two W10s led the field home to secure a fifth 1-2 in a row, making it the most successful start to a season for any team in F1 history.

Monaco is typically one of the most highly-anticipated races on the calendar, but 2019's event proved tricky for the entire F1 community with the news that our non-executive chairman, the legendary Niki Lauda, had sadly passed away. It cast a dark cloud over the F1 paddock in Monaco, but we wanted to race on in his honour and make him proud. We think we did just that, with Lewis completing one of the "hardest races" of his career to take victory - holding off a charging Max Verstappen on worn tyres.

"With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end," Lewis said. "There was absolutely nothing left in the tyres and it was so tough to keep the car on the track. I thought to myself, 'what would Niki do'. I know he was watching me today, but with Niki by my side we managed to do it."

Lewis finished second on the road in Canada but was promoted to race victory, after Vettel was handed a time penalty for squeezing Lewis towards the wall while rejoining the track on lap 48 - after cutting across the first chicane.

France was a more straightforward race, with Lewis and Valtteri taking a commanding 1-2 finish at Paul Ricard - the team's 50th in F1.

Austria was tough, though, with fierce competition and challenges cooling the car, due to the high temperatures, high altitude and the cooling configuration of the W10. Valtteri rounded out the podium in third, with Lewis fifth.

It was then onwards to Silverstone and one of the team's home races, with the track located just down the road from our bases in Brackley and Brixworth. Valtteri snatched pole on Saturday, but Lewis attacked in the early laps, leading to an intense battle between the two W10s. Valtteri managed to stay ahead, but lost out with the Safety Car, which helped Lewis jump ahead of him and take the win on home soil.

Germany was next and provided an opportunity to make a nod to our racing heritage, celebrating 125 Years of Mercedes-Benz in Motorsport, while also marking the home race of Mercedes. It proved to be one of the most difficult races of the season for the team and one of the most chaotic of the year.

Toto summed it up well afterwards: "This one hurts us to the core: it was a disastrous result. We had a decent start of the race with good pace. Then obviously you add incidents, crashing out, tricky conditions and the wrong calls. It has been the most difficult day we've had in a long time, but we are as united in the pain as we are united in the joy of winning." Lewis finished ninth while Valtteri retired after a crash on lap 56.

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Hungary gave us a chance to redeem ourselves after the troubles of Hockenheim. Valtteri and Lewis lined up second and third on the grid, but a messy first lap led to an early pit stop for Valtteri and dropped him to the back of the pack. Lewis hounded Verstappen for the lead but was unable to find a way through, until an inspired strategy call late on - to pit him for Mediums - brought him back into the fight, helping him pass Verstappen and snatch the win with only three laps to go.

It was a strong way to enter the summer break, with F1 returning at the end of August at Spa-Francorchamps. Lewis and Valtteri finished 2nd and 3rd. However, it was a weekend overshadowed by the tragic passing of young F2 driver Anthoine Hubert after a terrible accident in Saturday's support race.

The next weekend yielded the same result, but this time it was Valtteri in P2 and Lewis P3 at Monza. Charles Leclerc was triumphant in his first Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari, the first victory for the Prancing Horse at their home race since 2010.

The flyaway season at the end of the year started with a difficult showing in Singapore that led to fourth and fifth-placed finishes for Lewis and Valtteri. One week later, Russia brought an improved turn of pace, with Lewis taking his eighth win of the season and Valtteri finishing P2. This was also the 143rd race led by Lewis, breaking yet another F1 record.

The Japanese Grand Prix's schedule was disrupted by Typhoon Hagibis, pushing Qualifying back to Sunday morning. Valtteri's lightning start from P3 on the grid jumped him into the lead of the race and he dominated the race, to clinch his sixth F1 win. Lewis finished in third place, thus securing the team its sixth Constructors' Championship. It also narrowed down the Drivers' title contenders to just Lewis and Valtteri, therefore confirming a sixth consecutive Championship double - something no F1 team had achieved before.

Lewis's victory at the next round in Mexico proved to be the 100th race win for Mercedes in F1, a remarkable milestone to reach. It was also Lewis' 100th podium with the team. Meanwhile Valtteri recovered from an accident in Qualifying to finish third.

The Finn bounced back even further at the following race in Austin, Texas, with a commanding drive to victory in the USA. But it wasn't enough to keep him in Championship contention. P2 was enough for Lewis to secure the Drivers' Championship for an incredible sixth time, just one away from Michael Schumacher's record.

A chaotic and intense Brazilian Grand Prix brought a more difficult result for the team, with late contact with Alex Albon's Red Bull giving Lewis a time penalty - which dropped him from third on the road to seventh. Valtteri had to retire from the race on lap 51 after a loss of oil pressure.

The 2019 season and the decade concluded in Abu Dhabi with a commanding drive for Lewis, storming to his 84th career victory and securing his sixth "grand slam" in F1 (win, pole, fastest lap and led every lap). Valtteri was forced to start from the back of the grid after changing Power Unit components but powered his way through the field to finish fourth - right on the gearbox of Leclerc.

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