2016 F1 season driver rankings #2: Hamilton

2016 F1 season review

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A fourth world championship title eluded Lewis Hamilton in 2016. While technical trouble made it difficult for him to hold onto his crown, this was by no means un-winnable.

Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying 12/20
Beat team mate in race 10/19
Races finished 19/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate 637/1186
Points 380

One of the keys to Hamilton’s downfall was evident right from the start of the season. Literally: he lost the lead from pole position at the start in Australia, and with that the first of many chances to beat Nico Rosberg had gone.

The situation was repeated in Bahrain and this time the consequence of Hamilton’s poor getaway was exacerbated by contact with Valtteri Bottas. Both Mercedes drivers made poor starts at times during 2016 but Hamilton took longer to get on top of his which meant more damage was done.

Stuttering getaways at Monza and, finally, Suzuka, dealt heavy blows to his championship hopes. Again he made it onto the podium both times but again Rosberg took a maximum score. Japan proved a decisive moment: beyond that point the title was Rosberg’s to lose.

With the championship eventually being decided by just five points, had Hamilton kept Rosberg behind on any one of these four occasions the title would have been his. Likewise his qualifying crash in Baku and underwhelming performance in Singapore can all be said, in retrospect, to have been as decisive as his various power unit failures.

Despite these various setbacks Hamilton drove the better season by the strongest measures: He had more wins, more pole positions and spent more laps in front of Rosberg than behind him. He produced some fine drives along the way, particularly over the final four races, and winning all three of the season’s wet races in style while Rosberg floundered.

But at times it was as if Hamilton had let his guard slip. Perhaps in nine seasons out of ten he would have got away with it, but with Rosberg having raised his game just a little even Hamilton’s flawless end to the season but wasn’t enough to stop the title slipping away.

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Over to you

Proved to be one of the faster drivers in the season, dominated many races and race weekends.

But his attitude outside of the car hurt him more than it did Rosberg and I think that Rosberg ended up winning the championship because he didn’t let Hamilton’s antics get to him.

What’s your verdict on Lewis Hamilton’s 2016 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

Add your views on the other drivers here:

The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings are produced by referring to:

View race-by-race notes on Lewis Hamilton

Australia – This weekend was a bit like Hungary last year for Hamilton in that he appeared to have everything under control until the lights went out on Sunday. He topped the times throughout practice and qualifying, but had wheelspin at the start and lost further places after Rosberg but him up at turn one. Having fallen to sixth, he pounced on a chance to pass Massa but found Verstappen hard to pass. The delay meant he dropped more than a pit stop behind Vettel at one stage, but the stoppage allowed him to regain lost ground. He had to follow the Toro Rossos for a while, but once they pitted he shot past Ricciardo with DRS and Vettel’s extra pit stop moved him up to second.

Bahrain – Said his pole position lap was his first clean lap of the weekend – although he did top the times in Q2 as well. His start wasn’t up to scratch again but Bottas did the most damage to his race by clattering into him. Carried floor damage for the rest of the race which probably cost him a few tenths more than his 0.195s lap time deficit to Rosberg. Third was probably the best the car could do given that.

China – A handful of off-track moments indicated he was less than happy with the car on Friday. But he might as well have stayed in bed on Saturday as a power unit fault wrecked his qualifying attempt. After picking up front wing damage in the first corner melee Hamilton was still in 21st place when the race restarted. Racing a wounded car once again – Hamilton suspected damage to his suspension as well as aerodynamics, and said the W07 “seemed to be flexing all over the place” – he nonetheless got stuck into the midfield and ran as high as third at one point. However he was forced to use medium tyres for his final stint which confined him to seventh place.

Russia – Despite a few spins on Friday – shades of Shanghai – Hamilton headed the times at the end of the day. He was in the hunt for pole position until a power unit problem struck him down – he also picked up his second reprimand of the year in the same session. Made a slightly slow getaway but avoided the turn two chaos, profiting to the tune of five places. Passes on Raikkonen and the Williams drivers moved him up to second, but a water pressure problem kept him from chasing down Rosberg.

Spain – Looked out of sorts in practice, complaining about tyre pressures, but moved towards Rosberg’s set-up in time for qualifying. After a stumble on his first lap in Q3 he produced a superb lap to take pole position. When Rosberg came at him at turn one on the opening lap Hamilton naturally covered the inside line, though it proved in vain. It’s therefore surprising he expected Rosberg to leave the inside unprotected at turn four – he didn’t, and the pair crashed.

Monaco – “My final attempt was what should have been my banker lap,” said Hamilton after missing his first run in Q3 due to a fuel pressure problem and qualifying behind Rosberg. He was clearly furious after his third technical problem during qualifying in the last four races. When Rosberg waved him by on lap 15 he was 14 seconds behind Ricciardo, a deficit he trimmed by just over a second in the course of the next six laps. What really brought him back into contention was staying off the intermediate tyres, saving a visit to the pits, which put him in position to benefit from Ricciardo’s slow stop and take the win.

Canada – Having been comfortably quickest on Friday Hamilton looked less assured on Saturday and admitted his fifth pole in Canada was not one of his finest laps. He made another indifferent start, losing out to Vettel, and kept Rosberg behind firmly but legally. When Ferrari let victory slip through their fingers Hamilton was perfectly placed to collect it.

Europe – Looked utterly in control throughout practice which made his haphazard qualifying performance all the more baffling. He lined up tenth after crashing in Q3, held his place at the start but then began to pick off his rivals including the fast Williams of Bottas. His progress was then delayed by an engine problem which was solved by a switch change after around 15 laps, though by then he was confined to fifth.

Austria – Having been off his team mate’s pace on Friday he sussed the drying conditions magnificently in qualifying to claim pole position. He was on course for a straightforward win when a slow pit stop dropped him behind his team mate. An attacking strategy change put him on Rosberg’s tail in the closing laps, and he’d lined the other Mercedes up for a last-lap pass when Rosberg shoved him wide. He survived the contact and took a deserved, gritty win.

Britain – Headed all three practice sessions and smashed the track record on his way to pole position. The only wrinkle on Saturday was losing his first Q3 time to a track limits violation. He was mighty in the rain, streaking away from Rosberg and able to start nursing his engine long before the chequered flag appeared.

Hungary – A crash early in second practice compromised his race preparation. He nearly missed the cut for the top ten shoot-out after a mistake in Q2, but he would probably have been on pole position had it not been for an unfortunately-timed yellow flag. The race went better: he made one of his better starts this year to take the lead and successfully kept Rosberg at bay, though at times it was clear he was maintaining a very steady pace which almost prompted his team to switch their strategies.

Germany – Was clearly unhappy with being beaten to pole position by Rosberg after locking up at the Spitzkehre. But Hamilton showed again he has got on top of the problems he experienced with his starts at the beginning of the year and took the lead as soon as the lights went out. As early as lap two he had the engine turned down as he cruised to victory.

Belgium – On Saturday evening Toto Wolff said that in light of the unusual conditions at Spa it might have been better for the team to wait until Monza to perform Hamilton’s engine change. He had cause to revise that opinion after Sunday’s incident-packed race where Hamilton took advantage of errors, crashes and – crucially – a mid-race stoppage to deliver third place. The latter gave him a free pit stop which helped cement his position in the top five, from where he easily passed Alonso and Hulkenberg. His stints weren’t quite as good as Rosberg’s, though.

Italy – Didn’t repeat his 2015 clean sweep of practice sessions but came close, and took pole with an impressive margin of almost half a second over Rosberg. According to Mercedes his stockpile of extra power unit components has not handed him a decisive performance advantage over Rosberg and the speed trap figures seem to bear that out: Hamilton was 2.5kph faster than Rosberg which bears comparison with what we’ve seen at other tracks this year. It all went wrong on Sunday when he started poorly, again. Although he passed Ricciardo and Bottas with little difficulty, and jumped the Ferraris with even greater ease, he couldn’t push on the tyres enough to catch Rosberg.

Singapore – A hydraulic problem in second practice limited the amount of race preparation he was able to do. A suspension problem was fixed on his car overnight but he never managed to bounce back from his Friday setback. In final practice he was having difficulty getting the car stopped at turn seven and he lost out to Ricciardo as well as Rosberg in qualifying. Matters scarcely improve in the race as another error at turn seven dropped him behind Raikkonen. At least an aggressive change in strategy helped him get back on the podium.

Japan – Mere hundredths off Rosberg on Friday, Hamilton said he’d been pursuing a different set-up direction which he gave up on before qualifying. He was quickest on the first runs in Q3 but Rosberg shaded him by 13 thousandths of a second on their final run. That left Hamilton on the slightly damp side of the grid for the start, though he said that didn’t cause his subsequent poor getaway. His recovery from eighth place was pretty much faultless – he seized every opportunity to gain a position, excerpt perhaps when he got Verstappen on the defence starting the final lap.

Malaysia – In top form on Saturday, his first lap in Q3 easily good enough to beat Rosberg even though a mistake forced him to abandon his last run. He started cleanly and edged clear of Ricciardo, though Verstappen led for a while after making a pit stop under the Virtual Safety Car. That might have made the latter phase of the race more interesting for Hamilton had he got there, but his engine had other ideas.

United States – Wasn’t happy with one of his set-up changes on Friday but produced the goods on Saturday, when a superb run through sector one secured his first pole position at the Circuit of the Americas. He said he’d done his homework on his starts and it showed: he led the field to turn one and from there on never looked like losing. He was clearly driving well within himself, but nor did he buckle under the championship pressure.

Mexico – Quick on Friday, though fractionally out-paced by Vettel. He was consistently ahead of Rosberg in qualifying on both types of tyre and duly took pole position. A glazed front brake caused him to lock up at turn one, an error which would have been more costly if the run-off area wasn’t so generous. From then on it was fairly straightforward for Hamilton although he had to change his engine settings when Mercedes detected high exhaust temperatures.

Brazil – Rosberg kept him honest in the fight for pole but Hamilton prevailed. He was at his imperious best in the race, effortlessly quicker than Rosberg. Factor out the stoppages and he’d have finished 35 seconds up the road instead of 11.

Abu Dhabi – Started on the right foot by leading Rosberg in both Friday sessions, despite a brief spin in first practice. He was imperious in qualifying, setting a pace Rosberg simply couldn’t match. Delaying Rosberg was obviously the correct tactics; the argument he should have driven off and left things alone behind him is unrealistic. So why didn’t it work? Hamilton said slowing Rosberg down any more would have been dangerous, but it appeared he was too cautious about preserving his own position to really jeopardise Rosberg’s. He needed to to push things to the limit, putting himself at risk of being overtaken, and it seemed he couldn’t bring himself to do that.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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157 comments on “2016 F1 season driver rankings #2: Hamilton”

  1. Hm, I don’t really think Hamilton was the second best driver this year. Sure, it was partly to do with the clutch, but he still messed up a lot of starts. And he had his moments where he made life harder for himself too.

    Is he still a better, faster and more complete driver than many of the field. Certainly. And he did a really good year. But not best, nor second best.

    1. Agreed, Hamilton might well be the second best driver in F1 but not this year.

      Not only was he beaten by his teammate (with question marks over the influence of reliability but also whether Rosberg was pushing at the End) but he also made numerous mistakes including his starts and qualifying in Baku.

    2. I fully agree.

      I think both Rosberg and Hamilton were far from stellar this season and I don’t think the difference between them was big enough to place one as 5th driver of the season and the other as 2nd. I also think there are valid grounds to put either ahead of the other.
      Hamilton might have had a slightly larger share of bad luck, but Rosberg arguably handled the title fight the smartest. One can hardly fault him for playing it safe during the last 4 GP’s.

      I can see Rosberg as number 5, but then Hamilton should be 4th. Tops.

    3. I agree. Hamilton shouldn’t be ranked 2nd this year, especially since Rosberg is only 5th.

      There are only two drivers in F1Fanatic rankings, who lost to their team mate on championship points but were rated higher: Hamilton 2nd (Rosberg 5th) and Ericsson 15th (Nasr 20th).

      Ranking Ericsson higher than Nasr is a no-brainer: Ericsson was almost all the time the better of the two and clearly beat his team mate both in qualifying and races, but Nasr just lucked into points on one occasion. And yes, I’d also rank Hamilton higher than Rosberg, but not by three places. In my opinion, Hamilton was only slightly better than Rosberg and he should’ve been only one position above Nico.

      Hamilton’s stats look better than they are only because Rosberg was securing the championship during the last four races. Hamilton got four easy victories (and four races in which he beat his team mate) easily, since Rosberg didn’t have to beat Hamilton in those races. I know that Nico said his goal was to win every one of those races, but it was quite obvious that he was only securing the second places. I’m not saying that Rosberg would’ve necessarily won any of those races, but nevertheless Hamilton got those victories quite easily.

      1. There was more pressure on Rosberg at those late season 4 races because it was he’s championship to loose.He also was never world champion so he never had that previous experience to help him.
        I wrote about this the other day but at the end of 91 season Senna’s driving was suffering because of the pressure .He was slower in qualifying 2 races in a row and that wasn’t normal for him .After he’s main competitor Nigel went off the track he was way faster than he’s teammate.

    4. His attitude throughout the season and especially after Abu Dhabi was truly appalling.

    5. I think you are right, while Hamilton would normally be graded as one of the very best drivers on the grid, this year he wasn’t. He used more internal combustion engines than Rosberg (6 compared to Rosberg’s 5), more turbo chargers (8 to 5), more MGU-H (8 to 5), more MGU-K (6 to 5), more Energy Stores (6 to 5), and more Control Electronics (5 to 4).
      My suspicion is this higher use of components is not because Hamilton got worse components than Rosberg, but because there was some aspect to Hamilton’s driving that wasn’t present in Rosberg’s driving that resulted in more component failures. In fact, with one exception, Hamilton used more of the monitored components than any other Mercedes powered car driver. That exception was the Rio Haryanto – Esteban Ocon combination, who were both rookies this season.
      One of the most basic requirements of a driver is to operate your vehicle correctly, and this use of monitored engine components in excessive the unpenalised amounts suggests he wasn’t operating the car correctly.

      1. “My suspicion is this higher use of components is not because Hamilton got worse components than Rosberg, but because there was some aspect to Hamilton’s driving that wasn’t present in Rosberg’s driving that resulted in more component failures”…

        What???…. As stated by Brundle when someone else made this ridiculous assumption, “if it had anything to do with his driving style, the failures would be more transmission as the cars use FBW technology, thus it’s impossible to over rev the engines or stress the TC’s. And if it was his driving style, that would’ve been engineered out ages ago”

        Lewis was later asked about it and he replied that he was told by his engineers that was not the case.

        So please, stop it.

      2. So why didn’t that happen in 2014 and 2015? Seriously, you can blame Hamilton for many things but engine failures? I think that’s ridiculous personally.

      3. @drycrust with respect, you’re horrendously misinformed. Apart from steering and the recently modified clutch/starting apparatus, every component is either automated, or monitored with digital override presets to prevent damage from driver error or incidental displacement. This especially applies to the engine components and digital circuitry you speak of. Operationally they’re black boxes. Short of literally ripping them off the monocoque, no driver could hope to nuance a malfunction merely by their mode of driving.

        Stay away from pseudo-techie blogs:)

      4. @drycrust

        seriously! component failures are due to his driving style?
        how do you explain Malaysia, when the engine blew despite being turned down? the only consistent thing was Nico’s mechanics moving to Lewis’s side of the garage and Nico’s problems from last year following them.

    6. Hamilton was voted top by the team bosses and i think he was the best driver.

      No driver had a perfect season–Rosberg also messed up many starts and had some poor races, (Monaco, Canada etc). He was also the most penalised man on the grid (Rosberg).

      Taking out reliability hit sessions it’s 10-6 to Hamilton in the races, and 10-5 to Hamilton in qualifying. So when his car was working, Hamilton trounced Rosberg who was lucky to suffer no reliability issues

      As for the last 4 races–of course Rosberg was trying. It’s just an excuse used by Hamilton detractors to take away from his performance. We know Rosberg was trying because he nearly out-qualified Hamilton in Brazil and copied Hamilton’s set up in Mexico to get as high up in qualifying as possible, to get the best possible start on the grid as possible. Hamilton simply beat Rosberg in qualifying at the start and to turn 1. After that, Rosberg knew he had no chance of catching Hamilton so settled for 2nd.

      Hamilton lost this WDC due to reliability.

    7. @bascb
      “Sure, it was partly to do with the clutch” so in other words you are saying in 10 years in F1, and many more in sub categories, Ham magically forgot how to operate a clutch? and He magically learnt to use it after they modified it? Not best, not second best… Hmm any other hated bias? you sound like one of the F1 experts lurking in these forums who “knows it all” just saying…

      1. @mysticus. Just look at yourself and your comment. And you talk about my bias??

        If you somehow forgot, F1 changed the rules late last year to make it tougher on drivers at the start by taking away the “dual clutch” they had had for the last decade in F1. And yes, the clutch Mercedes had was less well suited for it than that of most other cars, and it certainly posed one of the cars weaknesses. Nico managed it a bit earlier/a bit better early on. That helped him gain a points advantage. After quite a bit of fiddling the clutch got a bit better and Hamilton got better at managing it too during the year.

        But if you want to say that the clutch was not of influence at all, then are you saying that Hamilton just botched quite a few starts this year out of nowhere? Because that is the logical conclusion from your argument.

        1. When you balance the points Hamilton lost due to poor starts, against the points Rosberg lost to poor starts, Rosberg lost more points-if you include Canada, where they both had a poorish start.

          Hamilton lost the WDC due to reliability

        2. @bascb
          “the clutch Mercedes had was less well” it wasnt working more than half the season, and it effected both of the drivers equally. What wasnt equal whole year was the unbelievable odds of reliability issues on Hamilton’s car when it mattered! Hamilton lost championship at Malaysia… His clutch was sorted and he had no other issues afterwards and he wasnt even challenged… Everyone can make mistake at starts, but whole year? come on, be realistic and dont hate/blame him over the top for reasons that wasnt his fault!

          He closed gaps as high as Mount Everest a few times! He run out of time and engines! Also coincidence this year is the odds of most of the unreliability happening to Hamilton alone after garage swap!

          Hamilton didnt loose on starts! Read the stats if you still hate him but like facts!

          Beat team mate in qualifying 12/20
          Beat team mate in race 10/19
          Races finished 19/21
          Laps spent ahead of team mate 637/1186

          One single race in whole year determined the outcome! Malaysia! People keep saying he lost in Japan? he lost there what? 10?
          Malaysia, he was miles ahead, then, he lost 25points! Add this to his points, and deduct 3 points Ros gained from Ham for DNF… How many effective points? say it again? 28 points! Not only he was covering the 10 points lost, he was gonna be leading the champs… yes ifs and buts, but it came down to those ifs and buts… and one single event changed everything! so yeah, reliability was what lost him the WDC, not clutch itself…

          1. Welll said. Give Hamilton a car with equal reliability, and Hamilton is 4XWDC. The title was really lost in Malaysia-28 point swing right there, with little time left to recoup. Bad starts? Rosberg had just as many but it didn’t impact him as much because he was also shedding points to poor reliability. Hamilton lost the WDC due to poor car reliability.

            All these polls are subjective and biased. Team Principal’s, who are not allowed to vote for their own drivers, voted Hamilton as best driver of 2016. That is the ONLY poll/opinion that really counts.

          2. * meant to say

            Bad starts? Rosberg had just as many but it didn’t impact him as much because he was NOT also shedding points to poor reliability at the same time.

    8. I agree with @bascb .
      I think before people start writing unpleasant replies, I should state why I don’t agree with the rank. Ham was unlucky, he was the 2nd most reliable driver, he was lucky that all but one failure meant a dnf, yet the most reliable driver was Nico, that fact cost him in Malaysia, and possibly cost him the championship we’ll never know what would have happened had the circumstances been different. On the clutch subject I’d say both Mercedes were equal, at first it was Ham who paid for it and then it was Nico, particularly during the summer. The qualifying failures might have plagued on Ham’s mind we won’t know for sure, what we know for sure is that up until Nico got a run of bad starts, bad luck and poor steward decision during the summer, Hamilton was uncharacteristically unimpressive. Pundits had a go at Ham’s lifestyle and determination, meanwhile they forgot that part of the season. I don’t know if Ham was to blame or not, but Hamilton was not Hamilton for half of the season so that’s why wouldn’t rank Hamilton on the top 3.

      1. exactly!

        1. @bascb
          yes you agree everything that has negativity on Hamilton, thats is fact…

          1. Whatever rocks your boat Oh mystic one. Sigh.

            Teach yourself some reading comprehension before making that kind of statements please

      2. I completely disagree. I think Hamilton was by far the best driver on the grid. You seem to ignore the fact the all the top drivers faltered during certain parts of the season- not just Hamilton. You need to hold all the drivers to the same standard.

        The Team Bosses have voted Hamilton as best driver in 2016. They have all the data, better knowledge and score races as they happen–so they have a more fuller picture and don’t forget things.

        Rosberg was inconsistent-he lost a 43 point lead and missed the podium more times than Hamilton. He had far less reliability issues but still could only manage to win by 5 points. He was often involved in clumsy challenges and so became the most penalised driver. He said he lost the last 4 races because he started to crumble under the pressure.

    9. How was it “partly” to blame on the clutch? It works or it doesn’t and if it doesn’t then you have lost places already. Perhaps he could have dropped back to fourth instead of sixth if he had reacted better, but that was pretty much irrelevant this season.

  2. Reliability did make it more difficult for Hamilton to win this championship, but if he had done better in any race out of Australia, Baku, Monza, Singapore or Japan he would have won the WDC regardless. Ultimately, second is fair.

    1. @kingshark Yes, exactly. Also it’s not like Ham was the only Merc plagued by poor starts, people are being quite bias on that subject. Also, what about Ham’s cheeky starts, some were like Canada, and there was one that shan’t be named. Ham got some reprimands but also got some passes, in the end he didn’t get a penalty as a result of transgressions, and on that department Nico was unfortunately penalized as a way of keeping RB happy and the championship alive. Ham had as many un-Hamilton like races this season than for all his seasons combined. He was still quick particularly from the last third of the season onwards.

    2. I think Hamilton was by far the best driver on the grid. You seem to ignore the fact the all the top drivers faltered during certain parts of the season- not just Hamilton. You need to hold all the drivers to the same standard.

      The Team Bosses have voted Hamilton as best driver in 2016. That’s the only poll/survey that really counts. They have all the data, better knowledge and score races as they happen–so they have a more fuller picture and don’t forget things.

      Rosberg was inconsistent-he lost a 43 point lead and missed the podium more times than Hamilton. He had far less reliability issues but still could only manage to win by 5 points. He was often involved in clumsy challenges and so became the most penalised driver. He said he lost the last 4 races because he started to crumble under the pressure.

      Max made Ricciardo look ordinary in some races and outperformed him for large sections of the season. Ricciardo really should be doing better against a teenager, new to the team.

      Alonso had some great races but also some clumsy ones too. He crashed in Australia, was quite poor in a lot of the wet races etc His spin in qual Hungary bought out the yellow flags. He had poor control in the wet in Brazil-spinning. And of course, there was a race where he abused track limits and should have been penalised. There were plenty of races where he was simply anonymous. And he was being easily matched by Button up til Button announced his retirement.

      Max showed some brilliant flashes, but was reckless at times too.

      All in all. i agree with the team bosses. Lewis was the best

  3. His own mistakes cost him the championship, his starts and Baku in particular. No one else made as many bad starts as him, not even Nico who had the exact same clutch and system. You can’t help things that are out of your control, but you can help things that are, and he messed up a few times and that ultimately cost him the championship. Think he should’ve been lower down, certainly below Rosberg, Verstappen and Alonso. He may have been in general faster than Nico, as he usually is, but he was less consistent and worse overall. His off the track antics certainly won’t have helped him either.

    1. Naw, it had nothing at all to his car blowing whilst on his way to a comfortable race win.

      “Think he should’ve been lower down, certainly below Rosberg, Verstappen and Alonso. He may have been in general faster than Nico, as he usually is, but he was less consistent”

      Less consistent, really? He had more podiums than his teammate who took part in every Q3 session & started either 1st or 2nd in every race bar one. And you say he was less consistent. Really?

      1. Perception is a funny thing, isn’t it.

        In the sections of the season where Hamilton’s car wasn’t failing him, he went on win-streaks. That basically says it all really.

        All this ‘poor starts’ is nonsensical to me, the driver has little control over them, they are hugely complex systems and all the driver can do is slightly move their index finger. Saying a drivers season was poor because of something like that is misinformed or disingenuous.

        1. “All this ‘poor starts’ is nonsensical to me, the driver has little control over them” ummm…. They’ve specifically been changed so the drivers have more control over their starts. Sure the clutch may not be as good as some other teams, but Nico dealt with it fine.

          1. Dealt with it fine?

            He had the exact same number of bad starts as LH when we listen to Toto explaining the clutch issues!

            Even if we do not he had one more…

            Jeeez – people are stunning. Only Hamilton must have the only single perfect season in history to be credible.

            Only Hamilton has to be held to the ‘what are you thinking having a bad race, one week after your engine blows dumping you once again 25 points behind’ the stress of that is astounding. After you have dug yourself out of a never ending hole.

            No one – not a single driver has to match the standards by which everyone judges him. It really matters not if its in the car or out of the car, he must have the only single ever ‘perfect season’ in history order to be credible or considered number 1 regardless of when and where his engine blows up or how many times he starts from the back of the grid.

            His team mate and the number 1 have never once passed him on track or faught a race long battle with him. Yet lets just look at Brazil? Or Silverstone? Oh but he is in the best car! So is his mate and Ricci had far and away the best car in the wet…?

            I just find it incredible how there is zero respect or consideration for the fact that no matter what he got back up and faught – at what point did Ricci or anyone else do that?

            Sorry but the none racers out there that have not had a title campaign time and time again derailed due to mechanicals while your mate simply has a stunning season? You have no idea what that does. None.

            Sorry you have ZERO idea what that takes year on year. Instead we must applaud the guy with the 100 % reliability. And less pressure. Who simply smashed his way through the year (all those Ves bashers need to look and see who had most penalties this year) or the other guy with 100% reliability in the second best car who… Did what? Beat his team mate. Just.

            Anyway – it’s kind of irrelevant because love Keith or not – the very fact that he can almost never offer a number 1 to LH regardless of the year?

            Yet time and time again – those under no pressure to perform are instantly rated?

            That chap a while back that said Keith was Hamilton biased? Hilarious.

            Let’s give credit to the guy who never gave up. Rather than those that did not need to…

          2. @Drg

            Only Hamilton must have the only single perfect season in history to be credible.

            Well said. I have raised this issue multiple times. Why are the same standards not applied to other drivers? Or even to Nico who is claimed to have been “more consistent” than Lewis this year? Go figure.

          3. You are forgetting Rosberg’s poor starts in Germany, Hungary, China. He also struggled with his start in Canada and wasn’t perfect off the line in Australia. He had as many poor starts as Hamilton but still outscored Ham because he was lucky enough to have no reliability issues

          4. @DRG & @kbdavies

            Totally agree, some people have so much hatred for Lewis its almost unreal. He just can’t win in some people’s eyes, finding any excuse to hate on him. Jackie Stewart does it all the time, its sad to watch Jackie saying Lewis has enough WDC’s and he shouldn’t be upset at missing out, also saying Rossberg was courageous for quitting.


            Lewis never gave up and finished the season fighting, Nico quit.

          5. @drg that’s the biggest load of tosh I’ve ever seen on this website. So he should be #1 because he had more stress? Pretty sure Rosberg would’ve had more stress than he’d ever had going into Abu Dhabi, particularly during the race. But Rosberg is much more mentally strong that Hamilton, and had more pressure on him in the final 4 races, 1 mistake and his title could’ve been over, so with your logic, Rosberg should be #1 on this list?

          6. Sorry Hugh but you statement worse tosh.

            One slip and Hamilton’s was equally over!

            Did he ‘slip’ in Brazil?


    2. His own mistakes cost him the championship

      Hamilton lost roughly 14 points to Rosberg due to bad starts, and anywhere from 40 – 80 due to reliability issues out of his control. Neither was the sole factor in him not claiming the title but its obvious which played the greater part.

      He may have been in general faster than Nico, as he usually is, but he was less consistent and worse overall.

      That is demonstrably false. Hamilton was clearly the better driver of the 2 this season, he just wasn’t good enough to overcome the handicap mechincal issues placed upon him.

      1. Hamilton lost roughly 14 points to Rosberg due to bad starts

        Hamilton lost a net 14 points to Rosberg in Australia alone
        Another 17 points in Bahrain
        Another 7 points in Spain (had he stayed in front the crash would never have happened)
        Another net 14 points in Monza
        Another 3 points in Japan

        That’s a total of 55 points

        1. Rubbish. if you include Canada where both drivers had a less than perfect start, Rosberg actually lost more points through poor starts than Hamilton

        2. Points Hamilton has lost to Rosberg through starts (Calculated based on grid position to finishing position):
          AUS: 14
          Bhr: 17
          HUN: -14
          GER: -20
          ITA: 14
          JPN: 3
          Total: 14 lost to Rosberg through starts

          If you want to count up you have to include both drivers. Like I said Hamilton lost 14 points to Rosberg through starts, 40-80 due to reliability issues.

    3. IIRC Baku practice and qualifying was quite interesting – it seemed that MB were in the habit of starting one car with low downforce and one high downforce setups, and then dialling the cars in to an optimum. Lewis had the high downforce setup to start and blitzed the timing charts, whilst Nico was quite a bit slower. However as MB optimised their setup it must have been easier for Nico to push a little harder with more downforce than for Lewis to hold back with less. Of course they are professional race drivers and should be able to do this, but Baku was a brand new track and the circuit was evolving. In the end Lewis had several lockups and got caught out by the sun in qualifying. Bloody ridiculous radio rules compounding MB mistake was the final straw for Lewis in the race.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        16th December 2016, 15:01


        “In the end Lewis had several lockups and got caught out by the sun in qualifying.”

        Sorry but, that is a hilarious excuse. Are you copying what the commentators for the Baku qualifying session on Sky F1 and Channel 4? If you are then at leased hopefully you won’t be agreeing with them. I also couldn’t believe that they made that excuse for Hamilton. Was the sun behind clouds for the other 21 drivers or something? All but Hamilton managed to avoid hitting the wall in qualifying.

        1. I wasn’t making excuses for him – just commenting on what I saw. I was intrigued by the way MB had started their drivers on different settings and then optimised (not just at Baku) and was wondering if it was more difficult handling a reduction in downforce rather than an increase. The sun was self evident – not sure if it was Lewis or another driver around the same time – but the on-board footage clearly showed that the low sun appear suddenly on the uphill section around the castle, exactly where Lewis put into the barrier. Unlucky maybe, at fault most probably, but the other drivers couldn’t crash there when he had already done so until his car and the track was cleared

        2. Out of 21 races he had at worst three slightly off colour. One after dominating qualy. One after the biggest gut blow imaginable.

          His team mate had around 14…

          But hey – it’s Hamilton – to be credible he is not allowed one race – regardless of what others do!

          Nice click bait for a third year I have to say.

        3. If I am not mistaken, @thegianthogweed, Hamilton himself said that the sun thing was not true already shortly after he got back to the pits after that accident.

    4. @hugh11 Total nonsense. Actually Hamilton had two bad start caused by himself, Monza and Japan, The rest where clutch problems

      1. And Rosberg had the same clutch components as Hamilton. One must take care of their equipment.

        1. Yes he does have the same clutch and he too has suffered with poor starts. So using your own logic, “one (Nico) must take care of their equipment”

          1. And Rosberg did. To the tune of winning a Championship. That’s kind of my point really.

          2. Yeah because 3 engines blowing for Hamilton against none for Rosberg has no impact at all …

      2. But Mercedes came out and said that Monza and Japan weren’t his fault again and that it was the clutch

    5. I can’t see how Nico was more consistent losing a 43 point lead and turning that into a 19 point deficit all by himself-missing the podium many times. And Lewis may have been poor in Baku, but Nico was awful in races like Monaco, Canada & crashed in Fp in Germany. Nico got into a lot of crashes, thus became the most penalised driver on the grid. Nico had multiple poor starts in Germany, Hungary, China & Canada (and even Australia). He fluffed his engine settings in Spain & Bahrain. He got trounced by his teammate in qualifying. And Hamilton scored more poles, wins, podiums despite suffering crippling reliability problems.

      The only reason Ham lost this WDC was due to reliability of his car.

      1. @Buffy This.

  4. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    16th December 2016, 12:16

    Its unfair to attribute his title loss to his dips in form because regardless, he did enough to win this championship on pure merit. When your equipment fails you and almost never fails your teammate you cannot attribute merit to the final result. If the reliability stats were swapped, Rosberg would have lost this title by far more than 5 points.

    1. Exactly, it’s bizarre how much Hamilton outperformed Rosberg and still didn’t get the WDC. If anything that was purely due to mechanical issues (engines plus clutch) more on Hamilton’s side. But the haters here pick on a few points lost here and there partly by small driver errors.

      It’s not like Ricciardo had such a perfect season. Spain he could/should have won the race, but he threw it away by a lot of poor driving. To make matters worse he blamed it on the strategy for weeks afterwards while it was clearly his own fault for smoking up his tyres whilst being unable to pass Vettel.

      Personally I wouldn’t have bothered with a #1, 2 and 3. All three of them deserve a shared #1 spot. They all had a bad race and all had splendid races too.

  5. While technical trouble made it difficult for him to hold onto his crown, this was by no means un-winnable.

    I never understand why such standards are placed on Lewis, when they are not placed on any other driver. Can anyone give a past example of any driver who suffered the similar issues, had a teammate who always capitalised on this, and STILL managed to win the WDC? I would really like to know.

    The point is, with this scenario, whilst it certainly wasn’t impossible to win the WDC, but it was highly improbable. The clear message is that had Lewis not made mistakes, then he would have won. The subliminal undertones is that should have had the perfect season – a condition not placed on any other driver. Even the guy won the WDC didn’t, neither did the one who won the rankings here.

    1. Brilliantly put.

    2. GS (@gsagostinho)
      16th December 2016, 12:34

      The subliminal undertones is that should have had the perfect season – a condition not placed on any other driver.

      Exactly. You can count Hamilton’s mistakes of this season in a single hand. Meanwhile, people seem to forget the number of mitakes made by other champions in the past during their championship winning seasons.

    3. @kbdavies You’re grasping at straws here. Your LH is not being singled out…that’s just buying into the same rhetoric LH has spewed for most of the season. Poor hard-done-by me. Nobody expects perfection so it is sulky to claim LH was expected to be perfect. ‘Subliminal undertones’ are in your mind.

      Keith acknowledges his more significant reliability woes vs. NR’s but it is an undeniable fact that given the margin LH lost the WDC by, a few sharper weekends on his part would have also likely had him with the WDC, and those are what were in his control, whereas unreliability is just a fact of racing, a fact that LH insisted could only have been conspiracy, such have his WDCs gone to his head. You are being a rose-tinted LH fan by ignoring certain facts and trying to isolate only the facts that suit your argument. And you’ve admitted he had a teammate who always capitalized. Nico capitalized on LH’s unreliability, as well as on his errors, by being there more consistently, doing his thing with nothing he could do about LH’s plight but go ahead each weekend and do his own thing to the best of his ability.

      And @gsagostinho this is about this season, not previous ones, and without question if you go back to every season all of this same stuff will have been debated. Mistakes, great moves, unreliability, controversy…they all exist every year. Usually though, a driver who has just gleaned 2 WDCs and once again has been given the capable equipment doesn’t resort to running his team into the ground at the first hint of unequal reliability, which is a plain and simple fact of racing.

      1. a fact that LH insisted could only have been conspiracy

        Never happened.

        running his team into the ground at the first hint of unequal reliabilit

        Never happened

        1. Martin, there is no point trying to correct @robbie.

          He has admitted right here in these forums that he does not like Lewis Hamilton, does not like his life style, and is biased against him (I can find a link to the actual post, if needed).

          As a result, EVERTHING he says about Hamilton is negative, he claims Hamilton said things he didn’t say, did things he didn’t do, and on and on. You get the point.

          Its one thing being a fan of one driver, its another thing having to constantly put down another particular driver.

      2. @@robbie
        I see you had time to address a lot of things, but couldn’t answer the simple question i posed in my comment. Try reading it again. He did have a teammate who capitalised, the SAME way he capitalized when his teammate was under par. Remember, Lewis won more races than Rosberg did – despite starting from the back 3 times and having one extra DNF. So who “capitalized” more? If it’s not too difficult, think about it.

        1. @kbdavies I simply do not buy into your rhetoric. End of. I stand by my post above. Every season is different with different sets of circumstances. What is it you are trying to prove? Unless you think they should take the trophy from NR and hand it to LH what’s done is done. As Keith has said, for the gap LH lost by, a better start a few times would have done it just as much as a little less unreliability. If you feel the need to keep drilling home your point ad infinitum don’t bother. Facts: LH is a better driver, won more races, got more poles, had more unreliability, had more poor starts, and Nico won the WDC by a small enough margin that a few less ragged days for LH could have made the difference since nothing could have been done about his unreliability which was nothing intentional. Just racing. That which LH had control over, he fumbled a few times and if one is to isolate whatever one wants, then that is more relevant as that is what was in his control. Perhaps a little less globe trotting and the obsession and negativity to run his own team down might have had him a little more focused on his starts. Given his reliability woes and that nobody on the team wanted that for him, should have been all the more reason for him to make up for that by getting on his start issues earlier.

          1. So with respect to this sulky and sarcastic concept you have invented that LH is the only one to have ever been expected to be perfect, which is wholly unfair to him…so biased….blah blah blah….never happened with another Champion…some hypothetical about DR that is folly…I’ll ask this…If it is so outrageous to you since you’ve decided perfection was expected from LH by everyone, why is it so outrageous that his car wasn’t perfect? Perfection can only be expected from the humans that built the components and assembled his car, but not from the driver?

            I’ll answer for you. Even you don’t expect perfect reliability from F1 cars throughout a season. If that has ever happened it has been extremely rare. And with LH, he is as human as the rest of us and nobody has suggested he be perfect until you put words in Keith’s et al mouth that that is what has indeed been expected, and that is just sulky and wrong. But it can be said that his loss margin was slim enough that a mistake or two less, while still leaving him an understandably human being, could have made the difference. To ignore that and isolate only the unreliability and claim you are right because you have deemed him winning ‘improbable’ is just as biased as your imaginary claim the perfection expected of LH is.

      3. Can someone tell me, when was the last time a driver actually won the WDC without making a few mistakes? These guys are human beings aren’t they?

        1. Jochen Rindt, one of the (mostly) unsung greats in the sport, won the 1970 WDC in 1970 after an incredible season, surely the best ever in F1.

          The fact that he won the WDC with a subpar car AND missing the four last races is astonishing. He drove stonker after stonker races and was pretty much flawless. Except for getting himself killed at Monza in practice, that is.

          If he had survived probably we would be talking a lot less about his close friend, Jackie Stewart. Who was a childhood hero for me btw. Or, nowadays a guy like Jochen would be eating the Lewises, Sebastians and Maxes for breakfast.

        2. I dunno, I used to find reading the different ways people will try to confuse an issue and blind themselves to the obviousness of it all, but its starting to get terribly depressing. About as depressing as watching someone blame a rape victim for dressing to ‘nicely’.

          Lewis did everything he needed to do to win this championship, his team failed him, and not only on reliability, but seriously in the RESPECT category. Mercedes have no respect for Lewis, because they don’t need to, they can treat him like a second rate actor, begging for a gig in hollywood, because they have all the control, and nobody can rival them in F1 … Because the FIA do not want anyone rivaling Mercedes, per regulation.

          It’s pathetic, but probably not as pathetic as watching the enablers and excuse makers who call themselves fans try to keep the machine turning, which is in effect what F1 is about these days, selling a political dialog.

    4. I don’t agree that other drivers are not held to the same standards, it’s only being pointed out for Hamilton because he ultimately lost the championship when on he should have won on paper. When you have accumulated the success Hamilton has, of course people are going to expet more of you.

      To me it’s similar to how I don’t like how Massa solely blames Singapore for his failure to win the 2008 championship, yes he was extremely unlucky that weekend, but he also had a number of races where he didn’t do himself justice. If Hamilton claims he lost the title in Malaysia I won’t sympathise but rather look at races such as Europe, Singapore and Japan.

      1. I agree with your point, but Massa fans blame Hungary’s engine failure even more than Singapore’s pit stop mess…,

    5. I think part of it is that generally, the average fan can forgive a locked wheel or a snatched corner every now and then, it’s all part of being an F1 driver that’s “on the edge”. Lewis though has a habit of bringing all his naff celebrity ego and emotional drama into the cockpit and it seems that when this pressure is on him, he flops. Take that tabloid mush away though and he’s a pretty faultless driver.

    6. @kbdavies

      I never understand why such standards are placed on Lewis, when they are not placed on any other driver.

      Considering @keithcollantine still put HAM 3 places higher than ROS, I’d say that sentence was fine.

    7. @kbdavies Well said mate.

    8. @kbdavies

      excellent post. i think rosberg still deserved the title but hamilton had a great year. 10 wins! come on, that is an amazing achievement. however, and i think this holds true in other sports as well, many times champions will have enough in hand to overcome adversity e.g. hamilton himself in 2008 and 2014, when he had a lot of bad luck and made errors himself. in 2016 he didn’t have enough in hand – i would say the same about numerous nearly-champions in top cars (alonso and webber 2010, schumacher 2006, irvine 1999, etc.)

      i think what clouds (rightly or wrongly) a lot of people’s judgement of hamilton AND rosberg is the superiority of the merc – it is hard to rate just how good they are because the car has been, at times, ludicrously better than anything else, and they have only had each other as team-mates (in this era).

    9. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th December 2016, 15:45

      I am not totally convinced that Hamilton would have won if he didn’t make his mistakes. We don’t know if Rosberg was trying his hardest in the last few races. What we did know is that if he wanted to secure the championship, he didn’t even need to beat Hamilton in the last few races If Rosberg knew that he would have to put up more of a fight because Hamilton was closer because he hadn’t made mistakes in the past, then it still may have been possible for Rosberg to win it. We will never have known.

      1. We don’t know if Rosberg was trying his hardest in the last few races.

        We actually do, as Rosberg said so himself. All this “he only had to come second” is nonsense”. Rosberg admitted he never took his foot off the pedal and his plan was to win any race he could – even the last one.

        1. Disagree. Of course Nico approached every weekend of the last 4 with the intention of winning as always, but once he didn’t get pole his next goal may have been to win but only secondarily to not getting into trouble that would cost a big points swing. ie. Upon qualifying second, his priority may have been to win only if a clean opportunity arose to do so, but was not necessary to push too much if it meant risking handing something to LH. What incredible poise Nico had after getting whacked off the track by Max and having to complete the rest of the 99.9% of the race with an off-centre steering wheel from the impact.

        2. Rosberg was trying. He admitted he wanted to win but stuffed up in the last 4 due to pressure. He couldn’t hack the pressure. His own words.

    10. It’s always been that way ever since Lewis came into F1, he got thrown into a three way championship title battle in his FIRST year and missed out on becoming champion by a single point..And matched his teammate who was considered to be the best at that time who had just won the championship 2 years in a row.
      All those people say about all of that now is “well he was in a good car” for a rookie to accomplish all of that in his first season was absolutely ridiculous. The high standards put onto Hamilton and the way people view what he has accomplished so far in F1 compared to other drivers is just stupid. Literally nothing Hamilton will ever do will please those people.

    11. @kbdavies

      The point is, with this scenario, whilst it certainly wasn’t impossible to win the WDC, but it was highly improbable. The clear message is that had Lewis not made mistakes, then he would have won. The subliminal undertones is that should have had the perfect season – a condition not placed on any other driver. Even the guy won the WDC didn’t, neither did the one who won the rankings here.

      Actually Lewis didn’t have to have a perfect season by any means to win the WDC. All he had to do was just one of the below:

      – Get a better start in Australia
      – Get a better start in Bahrain
      – Not let Rosberg pass him in Spain
      – Not crash in Baku qualifying
      – Get a better start in Monza
      – Not be so slow in Singapore
      – Get a better start in Japan

      If he had done just one or maybe two of the above, he would be WDC regardless, and it wouldn’t require a perfect season by any means.

      Can anyone give a past example of any driver who suffered the similar issues, had a teammate who always capitalised on this, and STILL managed to win the WDC?

      Apart from the fact that Rosberg did not always capatilize on Hamilton’s issues. In Malaysia, Vettel hit Rosberg, which meant that Rosberg could not capatilize on Hamilton’s engine problem to win.

    12. +1111111111111111. Add a few more 1s!

    13. BRILLIANT! X 1000!

      1. BRILLIANT! X 1000! is for kbdavies’s comment. BRILLIANT! Well said kbdavies

    14. Hear, hear!

      I guess people are underrating Rosberg and seeing how Hamilton was able to overcome all the technical difficulties in 2014 and 2015 to win those titles, it’s expected he would do so again.

    15. @kbdavies

      The subliminal undertones is that should have had the perfect season

      No it isn’t. The point is the failures he had did not make it impossible for him to win the championship.

      1. That’s unfair. Rosberg had plenty poor starts, bad races (e.g.Monaco, Canada) etc yet he still wins the WDC despite having less poles, podiums, race wins than LH. Why? Simple really. Rosberg’s mess-ups did not impact on him too harshly because he wasn’t shedding points through reliability issues at the same time (unlike LH). And a 28 point swing with Hamilton’s engine exploding in Malaysia. Such a massive points swing so late in the season left him with too much to do in too little time

  6. What if Lewis’s engine did not blow up, the title was simply his, he lost around 28 points in Malaysia, but he could have done better in the start because in the end he finally mastered that single clutch, he could have done something to get the title for sure, but so any other driver on the grid, at least he performed better than Ricciardo who felt behind his teammate several times especially on the start, so I see Lewis in a higher position.

    1. You can’t say that if Lewis won Malaysia he would’ve won the title. If that had happened, Rosberg wouldn’t have been happy to let Lewis go off into the distance and get 2nd place in the last 4 races. It’s impossible to know for sure what would’ve happened.

      1. Well then you can’t say had he had better starts or performed better in Baku and Singapore, he would’ve won the title.

    2. @abdelilah The problem with the “If…” scenarios—as @hugh11 notes—is that people pull them out in isolation, change one moment or parameter and then act as if the entire lap, race, season would have played out identically without X happening as it did with X happening. That is nonsensical. It may have, it may not.

      In addition, people love to pull out the blown engine card but conveniently forget Rosberg getting spun. Or Rosberg’s engine failure in Italy in prior season when the title race was still close. I’m not a Rosberg fanatic, but these things happen during a season. What if Grosjean hadn’t wiped Alonso out at Spa years ago?

      Just like Vettel did everything he could do that year and capitalized on others’ misfortune, mistakes, and bad luck, Rosberg did everything he could this year and did what he needed. Crying over bad luck is a poor sport.

      1. @hobo @hugh11 the list is so long I’m sure it would have changed the outcome of the whole season, you seem to forget the engine misfortunes in more than one occasion, lets forget Malaysia, there was :
        – An ERS failure at the start of qualifying in China, relegating him to 22nd on the grid. He finished seventh.
        – An ERS failure during Q3 in Russia, restricting the Mercedes driver to 10th on the grid. He finished second.
        – A hydraulics fault during Practice Two in Singapore which was cited as a critical factor in his defeat to Rosberg. He finished third.
        – Engine swap at Spa.
        Don’t you think he lost enough points in here ?

        1. @abdelilah – Hamilton did not have a clean season, on that we can agree. But how many seasons have been completely clean? Mechanical failures, accidents, punctures have ruined drivers’ title runs before and they will do so in the future. That is part of the sport. Otherwise, put the drivers in identical simulators with identical performance and reliability.

          I’m not saying that I think Hamilton or his fans should be elated or happy with his second place this year, or necessarily with the many, many factors that led to it (which are far longer than you list and are both positive and negative). But saying that Malaysia lost him the title isn’t true. Saying his issues lost him the title isn’t true. Everyone else’s issues and circumstances were involved as well. When you ball them all up together, that is the season. Hamilton didn’t come out on top of the points. He was beaten this season, fairly. That’s all.

          1. Jeez

            Even his Boss said Malaysia lost him the damn title…!

            But nope not on here – it’s got nothing to do with it.

            It’s all about how terrible he drove.

            Despite having a better season than his only realistic competitor.

            I do wonder if some people are looking at what they are writing sometimes.

          2. @hobo who knows better than team principals, aficionados? I don’t think so as they don’t get the whole picture, Wolff himself said that Malaysia was what cost him the title yet many people argue the contrary, yes he made mistakes so did the whole grid, but he overcame a 49 points deficit with nearly no fault of his own, that is a true champion material, Lewis did not crash into anyone, so you example does not stand in here, he overcame what was a real challenge, seeing his mechanics being swapped and to make matters worse a succession of failures which would have made anyone think that the mechanics where useless yet he gave them all the credit for his wins and did not blame them at all and then the results speaks for themselves he simply blown the competition, sorry but we can’t say that Rosberg was better he simply was the luckiest that’s all and let’s not forget the final blow, team orders in the title decider, Wolff said he was not going to interfere yet he has done the contrary and played a major role in making the life of their “German” baby easier.

          3. @drg @abdelilah – Both of you are emphasizing one thing I said (regarding Malaysia) and then putting words where I did not put them. So let me be clear.

            1. Saying that one race in a season of twenty-one races cost someone the title is ridiculous. There were twenty other races that impacted the season. And nearly two dozen other drivers. My point is that you are taking one moment of one race in isolation and assuming that if his engine did not blow up, the entire rest of the season would have played out identically. That doesn’t make sense. But even if it did, every other race was just as important. Events do not live in isolation and pretending like they do is simplistic and silly.

            2. All of a sudden, when it helps your line of thought, we should believe everything that team principles have to say? I am not saying that I know what happened, I’m just laying out a logical argument. Team members, team principles, etc., they are biased. Believe them as you please.

            3. I never said HAM drove a crappy season. He did have start issues, but other than that he drove really well. I don’t think I said Rosberg was a better driver either. He had a better season–which is difficult to deny because he did win the title–but that can come about through various ways and may involve luck.

            4. The actual main point was that it is boring and annoying to hear all this “HAM would have won if…”, because that is true every single season. Every driver has a list of “what if’s” that could have provided them the title each year. Some people say Alonso should have 4-5 titles. No, he shouldn’t. He had his opportunities and didn’t win. And given that HAM already has 3, is on the best team, will likely have no competition internally next year and maybe for years to come, and given the advantage he’s had with such a dominant car in recent years has an actual shot at beating MSC’s records, why the whining? Everyone gets beaten at some point, whether by skill, luck, circumstances, better machinery, or some combination. This is no different. That’s all. Enjoy your holidays.

      2. The Alonso thing is the same as Hamiltons reliability. It was unlucky and luck is part of the game. What Alonso could have done to win wdc was not to crash into Kimi at Suzuka. That is where he lost it by his own hands. Same as Hamilton could have had better results at races where he wasnt at his best. But as a 4 times wdc said – could should would doesnt matter. It is what it is

    3. When everyone is blaming Lewis for “losing” the title, it is quietly forgotten that at one point Lewis was 43 – yes, FORTY THREE – points behind Nico, and clawed this back and then went 19 points in the lead, only for unreliability to lay him low.
      If you accept all the bad starts as his fault and accept them, and then give him a reliability record similar to Nico’s (or give Nico a reliability record similar to Lewis’), Hamilton wins at a stroll.

  7. Who made fewer mistakes than Hamilton this season? Who?

      1. RIC had many lacklustre races this season.

    1. Doesn’t matter. Hamilton annoys people, so he’s held to a higher standard– one that he, especially, will never be able to meet.

      He could drive a perfect season next year, get 20 poles, 20 wins, and this site would still rate him number 2 (or worse), and say it was only because he had the Most Dominant Car EVER (and that his teammate was rubbish).

      It’s entertaining reading the extremely subjective driver rankings at the end of the year, but that’s all they are– highly subjective rankings by armchair F1 experts.

      However, it’s worth noting that Hamilton has consistently come in 1st in the team principals’ poll three years running.

      1. +1
        Same happens at race weekends – Lewis can win in every single category (FP1, FP2, FP3, Pole, Race, Fastest lap), but the DOTW vote here will go to someone else.

        1. @rantingmrp Are you talking about the Lewis Hamilton who has won Driver of the Weekend more times than any other driver:

          Your top ten F1 drivers of the last five years revealed

          Or do you mean another Lewis Hamilton?

    2. Rosberg?

      1. Haha nice joke

  8. So the focus mainly centres on Lewis’ poor starts, but not much is mentioned of his technical issues, all of which were the reasons why he had a 43 & 33 point deficit.

    Singapore for instance. There was a lot made of that weekend & how he was off his game, but yet again the various technical issues he encountered, like the suspension issue which curtailed his practice sessions was ignored.

    Japan – Thr poor get away, no mention that he was on the wet side of the grid and when it was asked of Whiting if he could position his car half in/out on his grid slot, he was told no as it was against the rules. However Ricciardo was allowed to do so and when questioned, Whiting said, “he thought it was the common sense thing to do”. By the way, Ric was the only car on that side of the grid that got a good start.

    Why no mention of China, Sochi or Malaysia?

    1. Kgn11 Well put

    2. Also ignored is that on more than one occasion, Wolff admitted Hamilton had done nothing wrong on his start, and that the team was baffled as to why he had a problem.

      1. Mercedes always had issues with their clutch, goes all the way back to Spain 2015. The switch to the single system has only made it worse.

  9. The day F1 Fanatic trolled the world.

  10. The question is – had Ricciardo been fighting for the championship against Rosberg, would he have won with his poor performances at Silverstone, Canada, Austria, Japan, Brazil, Baku? Even without a DNF? I think not.

    There lies the bias.

    1. Good point.

    2. What bias?

  11. I’d just about agree with this… thought it was very close between Hamilton and Ricciardo for the top spot.

    But then, the team bosses rankings placed Hamilton way clear in first and Ricciardo down in fourth, so maybe they have access to more information than I do!

  12. @keithcollantine – Here is my problem with the rankings as they are. Rosberg tends to not get the benefit of the doubt. It is regularly noted that he is in the best car, so of course he should be on the top two steps. But Hamilton is in the same situation. Poles and wins are expected. Hamilton came from the back this year, so did Rosberg. Both fought back from points deficits or losing streaks. The disparity, therefore, is a bit striking.

    In essence, it seems odd to rank the champion fifth–placing a lot of his points position down to luck or circumstance, and to then say that the driver in the other car was that much better when he failed to win the championship. The title isn’t everything, nor are points, but the gap between the two drivers was much closer this season in my opinion than you have reflected. Cheers.

    1. I disagree @hobo I think the gap between them was the same as it’s always been. Hamilton outqualified Rosberg and won more races despite having more mechanical issues. Looking at Rosberg alone he won 9 races which is impressive. But when you remove the races Hamilton had mechanical issues that’s 6 which is how many he won last year. Let’s assume he’d have 1 or 2 of those 3 anyway in a longer race season only winning 1 or two more races than last year where Hamilton was much better doesn’t seem like a big improvement. He’s always been quick and pushed Hamilton but I don’t think he was actually that solid this year. If you look at his mistakes in races he was half way towards a race ban for bad driving ! These things have to be factored in too.

      1. Rosberg drove worse this year than he did the previous two. When you consider the numerous collisions & penalties and the fact he started 20 of the 21 races on the front row, to only finish with 16 podiums is a poor return.

        The idea he raised his game, is just a media rhetoric used to cover up how poor he actually was. Noble on this weeks F1 mid week show mentioned…

        “The battle was more between Lewis and the reliability of his car than it was between him Nico. When you takeaway all the technical issues, it was something like 10-5 in Lewis’ favour”

      2. @Tom @kgn11 – I didn’t say that the gap changed between the two and I didn’t say that Rosberg raised his game. I said that I thought the gap was closer than ranking them #2 and #5 suggest.

        Rosberg outqualified Hamilton in 2014, would you say he was better in 2014? I’m guessing you’d lean on race performance. Fair enough. But, to be honest, neither qualifying position nor race performance win championships. It’s the points at the end of the season.

        My point was that Rosberg did what he needed to do, given the circumstances, to win. He didn’t win dirty, because both attempts at a pushy move were clumsy and punished by the stewards. He won fairly. Did Hamilton have bad luck? Sure. Just as Alonso has had in previous seasons, and Raikkonen, and Schumacher, and Senna, and… what’s the point? The season played out how it played out. No one threw down nails on the circuit or oil slicks a la Wacky Races. Hamilton didn’t break his leg and have to sit out a few months. Rosberg won a fair title.

  13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    16th December 2016, 13:53

    Lewis had a lot more issues than any driver in F1 this season – starts, engines, settings, unexpected collisions from his teammate. Even at Monaco where he made a super call and had super pace to beat Daniel, Mercedes nearly fumbled it.

    Ricciardo was good, Lewis was absolutely stellar and at Monaco the difference between Lewis and Daniel was as clear as the difference between Messi and Lewandowski. Of course, Lewandowski is one of the best but Messi he is not…

    Oh yes, yes, I forgot, Lewis hit the wall at Baku!!! He can’t be #1… Well, Messi’s hit the post quite a few times too. It happens guys…

    1. You’re talking about Monaco, the race Ricciardo would’ve won if the team actually bothered to have his tyres ready, as an example for why Lewis is better? Eh?

      1. @hugh11 You talk nonsense mate. Hamilton forced RBR into that position cause nobody drover 50+ laps on those tires, even Christian Horner said it that they did not expect Hamilton to drove that long on US.

        1. Hamilton may have forced them into a pit stop, but he didn’t force them not to have the tyres ready. If they had the tyres ready he’d have come out about 10 seconds ahead on fresher tyres and would’ve won the race.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        16th December 2016, 14:35

        @hugh11 you do realize Mercedes cost Lewis 12 seconds by pitting him early and putting him on Ultras and Red Bull cost Daniel 13 seconds – they went in the same way and came out the same way… sure Red Bull cost Daniel the victory after Mercedes’s mistake which was happening live to them but Mercedes had cost Lewis 2 victories back to back before Daniel pitted. Somehow Red Bull made a blunder that was of the same proportions as Mercedes’ which is pretty amazing. In a way, the teams essentially got of out of the way and let Daniel’s racing speak for itself.

        They came out the same way so no advantage gained except Daniel had the Super softs compared to Lewis having Ultras. Advantage Daniel.

        Hulkenberg beat Rosberg but Daniel failed to even keep up with Lewis which is understandable if you know Daniel’s race pace issues. He threw the advantage away and wallowed in his abysmal pace, pace that as we’ve seen Max can somehow find as can Lewis but Daniel cannot.

        Monaco is a good race to see if you can understand F1. The pit bosses apparently do. The fans don’t. It’s the quintessential difference of watching the sport and understanding the sport.

    2. @freelittlebirds Hitting a post is more like running really wide during a race.

      Hitting a wall is more like a tackle resulting in a red card.

  14. Engine Component Usage Chart


    Lewis Hamilton: ICE – 6 | TC – 8 | MGU-H – 8 | MGU-K – 6 | ES – 5 | CE – 5
    Nico Rosberg: ICE – 5 | TC – 5 | MGU-H – 5 | MGU-K – 5 | ES – 4 | CE – 4


    Valtteri Bottas: ICE – 4 | TC – 4 | MGU-H – 4 | MGU-K – 4 | ES – 3 | CE – 3
    Felipe Massa: ICE – 4 | TC – 4 | MGU-H – 4 | MGU-K – 4 | ES – 3 | CE – 3

    Force India-Mercedes:

    #11 Sergio Perez: ICE – 4 | TC – 4 | MGU-H – 4 | MGU-K – 4 | ES – 3 | CE – 3
    #27 Nico Hulkenberg: ICE – 4 | TC – 4 | MGU-H – 4 | MGU-K – 4 | ES – 3 | CE – 3


    #94 Pascal Wehrlein: ICE – 4 | TC – 5 | MGU-H – 5 | MGU-K – 4 | ES – 3 | CE – 3
    #88 Rio Haryanto: ICE – 3 | TC – 3 | MGU-H – 3 | MGU-K – 3 | ES – 2 | CE – 2
    #31 Esteban Ocon: ICE – 4 | TC – 4 | MGU-H – 4 | MGU-K – 4 | ES – 3 | CE – 3

    People that say mechanical failures are just part of F1 are correct, but when you use a lot more engine components than your team mate and all the other Merc engined teams use, then that means you haven’t just had the normal issues….you’ve had a very very unlucky year.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th December 2016, 15:36

      Yes and if you total them up, Lewis used 300% times more components (38) over the median (22) while Nico only used 100% over the median (28).

      Massive differential and Lewis was so insanely unlucky that the engine issues didn’t even represent half of the equation even though they cost him 50 points minimum (Malaysia was 32 as Lewis pointed out to Brundle after Abu Dhabi).

      When you do the math, it’s comforting that Halley’s comet didn’t make an expected appearance and hit Lewis on the head during a race:-)

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        16th December 2016, 15:41


      2. Hamilton did take extra components to prevent possible future grid penalties, that needs to be taken into consideration when stacking the stats.

        1. No he did not.

          Any components he gathered blew up leaving him with one single slightly worn engine – exactly what Rosberg had.

          The above is not a ‘took’ chart – it is a ‘used’ chart.

  15. They all had some poor starts.

  16. Dunno, I’m a big fan of Hamilton’s talent, but overall he pretty much shot himself in the foot this year, even taking into account issues beyond his control. At the same time I’m not a big fan of Rosberg’s driving, but ranking him three places below Hamilton doesn’t quite feel right. Frankly I think you could argue that both Red Bull drivers, Alonso and probably Sainz all had stronger seasons than both of them.

    1. @maciek Hamilton only had two poor starts, Monza and Japan, the rest where clutch issues so please enlighten me how Hamilton shot his own foot.

      1. He shot his own foot by not shortcutting every circuit like he did in Mexico. By redefining the track at his convenience (and being the only one allowed to do that) he could have easily won all the races.

        1. @eaglemk1 So by shortcutting Mexico Hamilton shot his own foot ?, total nonsense mate.

          1. Learn to read.

          2. Let me parse if for you: if LH (and nobody else) can get away with a shortcut, then he should do it every time.

            For example, at Interlagos he should have taken a shortcut from Descida do Lago (turn 5) to Junção (turn 12) shaving at least 30 seconds from every lap, this way he could have lapped everyone about 20 times. This would have shown everybody just how great a driver he is.

        2. Rosberg was allowed to do the same in Canada 14, when he was under direct attack, but still..

  17. This is just incredibly dumb. The only ranking that matters is driver’s points. Nico won, Hamilton was second. Case closed, end of story.

    1. Yes, and all cars are exactly the same. The Merc drivers are so good, they would also have won the championship in a Manor. Go figure.

    2. Keep calm and go on raging.

  18. My opinion, he should be above Ricciardo; Daniel had a few anonymous races, Lewis did not. Lewis mainly messed up his starts.

    1. How an entity unable even to start decently half of the time can be second in this ranking is beyond belief. Twentieth is more like it. The only thing he did better than anybody else was cross-country shortcutting.

  19. Harsh. Every driver on the grid made mistake(s) this season, every single one of them. Clutch issues? I don’t know if it was the car, the driver, a combination of the two… It would’ve been interesting to see if any of the drivers would’ve had the same issue if sat in a Merc, but it’s a question that will never be answered.

    The man won the most races, most polls, lead the most laps and had to find a solution to the clutch (Guessing his new engineering team weren’t helping much), which perhaps wasn’t actually fixed? Every time he had opportunities to pass his team mate on track it ended up in contact due to his teammate’s actions. I think his best other fight was probably against RIC in Monaco, which HAM acknowledged.

    Considering the challenges, expectations, and his contribution to Merc’s 3rd straight WCC considering his mechanical issues are staggering.

  20. Any technical difficulty this year involving Lewis people have somehow tried to turn it into being “his own fault”. The amount of comments at the time of his engine failure trying to blame his driving style was just hilarious.
    The fact Lewis started at the back at Spa because of penalties for his engine isn’t even mentioned in the article by the way is pretty poor. Lewis didn’t even get a chance to qualify that race so could not go for pole and started from the back giving Nico 0 competition for starting at the front, that alone could have decided the championship.

    At the end of the day we’re all looking what we see on tv and most only watch the race and qualifying, we don’t have the true data analysis or detail into each driver’s performance however the teams do. And like someone else posted if people want to see the opinions of professionals who actually know what they’re talking about, looking at the list of who voted I think these people are far more qualified to say who put in the best performance this season… http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/127328

    1. Totally right, I respect Keith’s opinion but sorry to say I respect the team bosses opinion more. They have a trained eye to spot talent, after all it’s their job to do this. Lewis didn’t have a perfect year but then tell me a driver who did ?
      He is still the best driver on the grid. I hope Merc put a top driver in the other car for Lewis to compete against, no doubt though if Lewis does well it will be the car, if he doesn’t it will be him.

  21. People say that “Rosberg wasn’t pushing” on the last 4 events, but, honestly (like Vettel says), Hamilton didn’t leave any space for Rosberg to try anything on the last 4 races.

    Let’s see : Australia, Bahrein and Italy Rosberg won overtaking Hamilton right on the start. Russia, China, Baku and Belgium Hamilton started from way back, and Singapore he was truly faster.

    When Hamilton didn’t screw up his starts, he won. And he didn’t screw up on the last 4 races.
    Rosberg wouldn’t win this races even if he tried his best. If he really played it safe like people is saying.

  22. Everybody crunches the math on how Hamilton would have easily won the champ… no one calculates where Nico would’ve scored more points… or might have not been penalized. Conclusion, you can’t see the season that way.

    1. Erm…What season were you watching? My mind really is boggled by some commenters..But lets have a look anyway since Nico apparently wouldn’t have scored more points because he drove so well.

      Dropped to 7th from starting 2nd Monaco 12 points.
      Dropped to 4th from starting 2nd Austria 6 points
      Dropped to 5th from starting 2nd in Canada 8 points
      Dropped to 3rd from starting 2nd Silverstone 3 points
      Dropped to 2nd from starting 1st Hungary 7 points
      Dropped to 4th from starting 1st Germany 13 points
      Dropped to 3rd from starting 2nd Malaysia 3 points
      52 points in total

      And out of all of that dropped only 1 place during a race due to a technical fault compared to how many with Hamilton? And yet finished a mere 5 points ahead in the end. But according to some commenters on here Rosberg drove perfectly all season, and that Lewis’s engine blowing up in Malaysia whilst Rosberg was sitting in 4th behind slower cars had little effect. Especially since his teammate was only sitting comfortably in 1st place when his engine blew.
      Or Hamilton starting from the back at Spa due to having component failures and faults effecting multiple races beforehand throughout the first half of the season, that didn’t have any effect either because Rosberg just drove supremely regardless.

      Conclusion, Nico did not drive as perfectly this season as people keep trying to say and indeed got very lucky that his main rival was hit by technical issues all throughout the year.

  23. I’m in complete agreement with Hamilton 2nd. Without Baku and Japan errors Hamilton would have taken an incredibly impressive championship in the face of all the reliability trouble he suffered. He had moments where he looked unbeatable and it’s a shame such tiny blips in his own form kept him from potentially his best ever season.

    Ultimately I’d ask with the bad luck he had who else could still have taken the championship? I’m not sure Alonso would have the qualifying pace to best Rosberg, and Verstappen would probably have been equally or more inconsistent than Hamilton. But I do think Ricciardo could have still managed it.

    1. Phillip.

      I really rate the guy but your scenario is simply nuts.

      Ricci had a number of anonymous races this year that while consistent, would have ensured he lost.

      Hamilton had one race where he was truly beaten and that after mechanical issues in practice mind. Ricci had a few behind his team mate.

      Given the (and only his) constantly exploding engine, his ability to get it back together and keep fighting regardless of the mental effects that has

      To keep clawing it back again and again only to see it drop again and again.

      It’s the one thing this site has ignored and the reason he should be number one and Ricci number two.

      1. Which races of Ricciardo’s were his anonymous races? Brazil is all that really springs to mind and even there he was having visor problems. Possibly Japan as well.

        And if we want to start talking about drivers having bad luck go against them we have China, Russia, Spain and Monaco where Ricciardo was robbed of some choice results.

        It’s all speculative, I think trying to imagine any other driver in Hamilton’s seat with the bad luck he had I struggle to imagine them still winning the championship. Vettel certainly wouldn’t have with this years form. I don’t think Alonso has the qualifying pace to have secured that advantage over Rosberg. Verstappen has had the same mix of briliance with bouts of inconsistency Hamilton has had. But Ricciardo much like Hamilton fought against some pretty awful luck and still kept in the mix.

  24. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    17th December 2016, 13:54

    Keith Collantine, your lopsided review concentrates on areas where Hamilton could have improved, but ignores problems which were outside his control. Sure if he’d been perfect he might still have one this year, but that’s an unrealistic standard to expect at this level of sport. Hamilton did more than enough to easily beat Rosberg this year, had they enjoyed similar reliability it would have been a re-run of 2015, i.e. he’d have demolished Rosberg with races to spare. So it’s fair to say he drove at a high enough standard not just to take the title, but to run away with it.

    Yes, he could have performed without ANY mistakes over the course of the season, is that the standard you’re holding him to? It’s not one I can remember any other championship contender attaining. Simply put, Hamilton was head and shoulders above his teammate this year, it was the most mismatched pairing of any of the top teams – that suggests to me that he was operating at a very high level indeed.

    As good as Ricciardo is, he was increasingly made to look second best by a driver who only arrived in the team mid-season, which says to me that Ricciardo isn’t at the same level as Hamilton; if there’s any diver apart from Hamilton who deserves the #1 spot it’s Verstappen – despite little F1 experience and a change of teams during the season he lit up many race weekends and frequently looked more than a match for Ricciardo.

    1. Well said, I would like to see mad max or Ric pair up with Lewis, that would be well worth watching.

    2. I hope VES wipes the floor with RIC next season, totally agree that if anyone was going to take top spot from HAM i’d have given it to VES. He changed teams mid season, new car, new team, new setup, new pressure and literally catapulted into the spot light; constantly criticised over defensive manoeuvres (which weren’t illegal), youngest person to win a GP, kept some of the other world class drivers honest whilst being in a slower car and not to mention produced the drive of the season (Brazil GP), yup he had his moments, (Monaco GP). But overall been an absolute pleasure to watch and I think the other drivers know they’re going to be in for a rough ride if RBR give him a championship winning capable car next season.

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