Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel rate their first 12 races of 2019

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With no Grand Prix scheduled until September, you might assume that the top drivers would be spending the next few weeks taking a well-deserved break from thinking about the race track.

But for Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, the Formula 1 summer break represents an opportunity to look back on the first 12 races of 2019, to rate and reflect on their performances, and to mentally prepare themselves for the autumn.

It’s safe to say that Hamilton has enjoyed an outstanding year thus far. With eight wins under his belt, he finds himself in pole position to win a remarkable third championship in a row. But even in these circumstances, Hamilton remains self-critical.

Speaking to PlanetF1, Hamilton described the first half of 2019: “I’d say like 8.9, 8.8.

“If it wasn’t for the last one, the last race [Germany], it would be a little bit higher.

“For sure, it’s been the best start of the season that I think we’ve ever had as a team and I think it’s one of the best seasons that I’ve had personally to start off, but there are areas that we can continue to work on.

“That’s the great thing about this sport, you know, no matter how many years and days you race there are always areas you can improve on. So let’s see if we can try and up that into the nines or try to get to the tens in the second half of the season.”

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who came out on top in that race but remains third overall, was also quick to scrutinise his own performance over the first 12 races. Echoing Hamilton’s sentiments, Verstappen claimed: “I hate putting a number on it because it reminds me of school as well, which is not that long ago. I’m always quite critical and I think it always can be better.

“I’ll never be satisfied. I think it’s been very positive and I’ve had good results but there are always things to work on.”

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By his own admission, Sebastian Vettel has endured a disappointing first half to the 2019 season; he currently lies behind Hamilton and Verstappen in fourth.

The Ferrari driver rated his performance as a “five [out of ten]”, clarifying that he has “struggled here and there to really get on top of the car."

Vettel fans will no doubt be relieved to hear that he feels he can do a better job in the second half, and those behind Hamilton and Verstappen will feel confident that they can deliver on their resolve to keep improving.

We shall see!

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