Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016

Mercedes crush the competition but lose their champion

2016 F1 season review

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To their credit, Mercedes appreciate that the manner in which they have dominated the past three seasons of Formula One has not been good for the sport. They sustained and even raised their level yet further in 2016.

The silver team set new record for the most victories and pole positions in a season, achieving both before the final round of the longest-ever 2016 season. They have won 51 of the 59 races since the V6 hybrid turbo regulations were introduced at the beginning of 2014.

Mercedes team stats 2016

Best race result (number)1 (19)
Best grid position (number) 1 (20)
Non-classifications (mechanical/other) 3 (1/2)
Laps completed (% of total) 2,388 (94.09%)
Laps led (% of total) 1055 (83.14%)
Championship position (2015)1 (1)
Championship points (2015)765 (703)
Pit stop performance ranking2

It was widely expected by many, including Toto Wolff, that as the current engine regulations matured the team would find itself under greater pressure from its rivals. But if Mercedes truly are finding diminishing returns from the current regulations the others are doing a poor job of exploiting it. Their performance advantage this year was comparable to what it had been in the previous two seasons.

Expecting this, Bernie Ecclestone tried and failed to cook up a new qualifying format to trip them up. A change in aerodynamic regulations will bring new challenges, but not until next year. Mercedes had the constructors’ championship wrapped up early enough to be able to turn their vast resources to addressing the 2017 rules package in good time.

On the track the team were even more competitive, thanks chiefly to them finding greater reliability from their package. Unfortunately for Lewis Hamilton he bore the brunt of what problems there were, notably at the beginning of the season in qualifying and then his blow-up in Malaysia.

This and other setbacks left Hamilton on the back foot in the championship fight with Nico Rosberg. The contest reached new heights of intensity after the pair crashed out while fighting for the lead in Spain. It put the team’s resolve to let the pair fight to the test once more.

Wolff defended the team’s policy of not appointing clear ‘number one’ and ‘number two’ drivers. “When we first brought Lewis and Nico together as our driver pairing back in 2013 we made it clear that there would be no number one status for either of them – and they didn’t want that either,” he explained.

“We knew we had two world class talents on our hands and that giving them equal opportunity to fulfil their potential would bring the best out of them. At the same time, we knew that this approach would sometimes give us some tough moments to deal with.”

Another “tough moment” came in Austria where the pair made contact again. This time both finished but a one-two result was lost and Rosberg was penalised by the stewards for his driving.

Hamilton’s engine failure in Malaysia and a lacklustre performance in Japan put Rosberg on course for the title. Heading into the final race it was clear Hamilton’s only chance to win would be if he held Rosberg up. This presented Mercedes with a fresh dilemma, and repeatedly badgering Hamilton to up his pace when he had no incentive to do so was futile and, ultimately, inconsequential.

In the run-up to the final race Hamilton had again raised his concerns about why members of his team had been swapped with Rosberg’s earlier in the season. Wolff defended the move as being for the greater benefit of the team rather than either driver individually.

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“We have to take decisions for many hundreds of people and develop them,” said Wolff. “It is our duty and obligation towards these 1500 people and the great brand to take the right decisions and not one single individual – although taking into mind what is important for the driver itself.”

However at the end of the season one single individual made a decision which rocked the team to its core and threatens to disrupt their winning ways. Before Abu Dhabi Mercedes clearly had no inkling Rosberg’s bombshell decision to quit the sport was coming. Just five months earlier he had signed a new two-year contract to continue driving for them.

Mercedes’ rivals will be relishing the uncertainty the champions have been plunged into as the year comes to an end. While Valtteri Bottas is widely expected to win the race to Rosberg’s seat, nothing has been confirmed yet. And rumours also suggest technical chief Paddy Lowe is planning a departure, a move which could hit the team even harder.

2016 F1 season review

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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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  • 71 comments on “Mercedes crush the competition but lose their champion”

    1. Lewis has always been #1 and was making nearly double what Nico was. Merc should have never made changes just to help Nico up.nnico had NEVER beaten Ham over a season and he clearly needed the team’s help. Lewis still made history as the ONLY driver to EVER win 10+ races 3 years in a row.

      1. That’s not history, that’s just evidence that Hamilton’s dominance comes down largely to the car.

        1. Well if you like evidence, there’s also the evidence that Hamilton is the only driver to win races every single year of his F1 career, despite the car not being the best of the bunch, or even second best. Is there really any point belittling his talent anymore? Ultimately it just degrades the sport if you can’t acknowledge one of its greats.

          That said, I don’t think Lewis was ever identified as number 1 and Nico number 2. What will happen with Bottas arriving is difficult to say, but I imagine more or the same.

          1. No, I think it’s safe to say Hamilton was given number 1 status when he arrived at Merc even though they were too cowardly to state the obvious.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eiV5ORcgdE

          2. actually Hamilton has had a car capable of winning races every season of his career… something NO driver in history has had, yes even 2009, towards the end – where he won. he has had 7 chances of winning a championship 07,08,10,12,14,15,16 and only one 3 of those opportunities. at least 3 of the non-wins were his own fault (07,10,16) … some would say 2012 was team McLaren fault more than driver.

            1. @kpcart
              Just how was his rookie 07 season his fault he didn’t win the WDC? His first season in F1 paired to a single minded, focussed 2 x WDC who wanted number 1 status & was so determined to get his way he was prepared to pursue all routes necessary to do the team in and move elsewhere?

              Whilst the team should not have been looking at Ferrari’s confidential data, Alonso could have gone about the whole thing differently. He did no one any favours as key staff moving was one way for teams to equalise against their peers.

            2. Chris

              In ’07 Hamilton was the clear team favorite (he did not complain about the favoritism then, but I do not expect any driver to when it works to their advantage) and had a race-ending driver error in the penultimate race when he slid off the track. Then he made another error in the final race trying to pass Alonso, and again left the track, from a points position that would have given him the title.

              I think too little is made of how much Raikkonen actually earned and deserved that ’07 title, versus either McLaren driver “losing it”. Alonso also made a race-ending error, sliding off in the rain in JPN for a DNF, from a points position that would have also netted him the title. Both McLarens had perfect mechanical reliability and neither Hamilton or Alonso had a mechanical DNF, while Raikkonen had to overcome two mechanical DNFs and made no major driving errors himself, while also winning the most races. Both McLarens were beaten by a better driver that year.

              In the last 4 races of ’07, Raikkonen outscored Hamilton 36-17 and Alonso 36-20, he really was the Iceman down the stretch. Both of the former McLaren drivers have been more consistent over the past few years than Raikkonen, but that doesn’t erase what he did in ’07.

        2. What is your point? Psst, F1 is motor racing where you get disqualified if you don’t use a car. Hamilton is a racing car driver, a very good one, that makes history with his achievements.

        3. Knoxploration

          Well it’s kinda hard to win in F1 or any other form of “motorsport” without actually having a motor vehicle/cycle etc.

        4. As is the way F1 has worked since its inception. What’s your point?

      2. So you are admitting that lewis needs his team mate to be number 2 so lewis can beat him?

    2. Bottas and Werhlein for Merc please!!

      If the other guy presently at Merc doesn’t feel like retiring he can always drive for Manor replacing Wehrlein. If he is half as good as people say he should have no problem at all winning everything with Manor.

      1. Have you watched F1 before?

        1. Only for the last 51 years. Two worst things to happen in the period: Ayrton Senna put an end to sportmanship. Lewis Hamilton put an end to fairness.

          1. And Schumacher put an end to elan. And The Godfather put an end to civility. Hey this is fun!

          2. You put an end to semicolons, I think.

          3. While Hamilton’s strategies weren’t orthodox, at least he doesn’t go into contract negotiations expecting to be given Number 1 driver treatment. If he had then Rosberg wouldn’t have won the Driver’s Championship. How can it be considered fair racing when there is a clause in your team mate’s contract that says he has to let you passed during a race or there is a clause in your own contract that says the team has to help you beat your team mate?
            That is the great sadness I feel every time I think about Michael Schumacher, because we don’t know how good he was in comparison to Rubens Barrichello.

            1. Yeah @drycrust, Schumi could have been greater, with his talent and work ethic, if he’d understood the difference between winning and being the best. This is something Lewis has always seen clearly, and Alonso too. Max as well, hopefully.

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            23rd December 2016, 2:04

            @eaglemk1 the same Ayrton Senna that ran on the circuit putting himself at huge risk to save another driver…

            Let me guess – Prost is the paragon of sportsmanship along with Balestre:-)

    3. Hard not to have a wry smile when Mercedes’ lack of integrity came back to bite them in the ass. They knew Mirabeau was deliberate, but renewed him. They watched Spa and the others, Spain and Austria this year and renewed him again. Each time they let him keep the points and relied on Lewis to make it up, but this time the engine blew once too often.

      Now they have no No1 on their car, no wdc to promote them, just a bit of a headache over Bottas. Still, it’s a blessing in disguise. After pretending the hostility in the garage had nothing to do with employing 1 honest driver + 1 serial cheat, this year they’ll find Lewis and Valterri get on and it will all be a lot more pleasant.

      Lesson for Toto and The Board: integrity means not always taking the expedient option.

      1. @lockup Well said mate, four stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

      2. Mercedes have far more integrity than the likes of LH for accusing his team of conspiring against him, or SV’s diatribes on the radio, or RBR for running Renault into the ground until they had no choice but to eat their words and keep their PUs, or Ferrari for their oft times one-rooster rule that flies in the face of racing in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing and Mercedes’ much more honourable approach to real racing for the sake of the audience.

        Their great success as spelled out by Keith, all the while managing a tough rivalry which was always going to come with some bumps and bruises, shows they knew what they were doing by supporting both drivers through thick and thin. ‘…they let him keep the points…?’ What a strange point of view that has no bearing on reality and merely shows unreasonable bias as does the term ‘serial cheat’, a way over the top interpretation that has no backing from anything anyone within F1 considers when they speak of Nico and his career. There’s real lack of integrity coming from those remarks.

        Mirabeau, Spa, Spain, Austria … all just debatable incidents as part of the rivalry as evidenced by their desire to keep supporting both drivers, all the while continuing to dominate at the top with 2 drivers not just one. And good thing because one of the drivers went publicly sour on the team and in the end was instructed to ensure he won the last race of the season, to which the team was told he didn’t care about taking the win as he was losing the Championship anyway, while forgetting he needed the race win if he was to have any chance at all, and forgetting that the team all along has supported both drivers and were under no obligation to further watch undermining conspiratorial LH try to screw Nico out of the WDC, and have that be their end to the season.

        Oh there’s plenty of integrity at Mercedes when you look around at the rest of the teams and drivers and things they have done and said in the past, and it started with their desire to take on a tough rivalry, and thank goodness or the last 3 seasons would have been more of the excruciating MS/Ferrari predictable ways, and what would the diminishing audience be like now had that happened.

        1. Robbie.

          Its Christmas, how about you give the anti Hamilton diatribe a break just for a week or so?

          The constant defence of the undefenceable kind of loses any kind of impact after about, oh, the five hundredth time of spouting complete fabrication!

          If you do not believe us – perhaps you can explain why Mercedes go into 017 with no WDC and a complete unexpected mess to sort out?

          All caused by Mr Cerebral and his honest Joe,
          ‘team ethic’ and ‘fair play’ mantra?

          Merry Christmas everyone. Friend or foe.

          And particularly to you Keith for another year of running an excellent site.

          1. @Drg Just note that I didn’t start the conversation, I merely chimed in with my opinion which is what I understand this site felicitates. What you call indefensible is merely your opinion and I am allowed mine, and I am consistent with it. But feel free to throw out your anti-Nico jibes while telling me I’m not allowed my anti-LH ones. That’s ‘fair play’ in your mind.

            Bottom line, we can agree to disagree but the pot calling the kettle black is what is going on whether you want to admit it or not. This is just conversation. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, as I do to everyone here.

    4. In the end as I said, Spain mattered and Nico taking Lewis out allowed him to win.

      The sad part is that you’d think that Nico leaving would smooth things out for Lewis but the dramatic end to the season and the behavior of the team’s leadership over the whole season must have Lewis checking people’s uniforms just to make sure they are on the same team like Gene Hackman did in A Bridge Too Far.

      1. i love your sense of humour

      2. @freelittlebirds Well said, another four star post. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    5. “Nico taking Lewis out” is a peculiar way of putting it, if anything it was the other way around. Lewis went for a gap that already wasn’t there, Nico was going slower but closed the gap on time. Instead of backing up, Lewis ruined his race and also Nico’s.

      1. Big old Nope.

        Hamilton saw Rosberg’s warning light that he was down on power and therefore was going abnormally slowly. At this moment he made a decision to go for a pass before Rosberg even new what was happening, he was busy looking down at his steering wheel trying to rectify his power loss problem, when he realized Hamilton was putting a pass on him, so he jinked right and ruined it for the both of them.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd December 2016, 2:20

        That’s hilarious… Even without the whole power and speed differential, that move was insane. There’s no way to backup there. It’d have been easier for Alonso to backup in his crash this year which could have killed him… That was nothing compared to what Nico did…

      3. @Hyoko Well said. Nico did his one allowed move across the track as evidenced by there being no penalty from F1 for any wrongdoing, and it was LH that had control over his own destiny as the guy behind seeing the situation more clearly, as always, than a leading driver can with only his mirrors and the need to look ahead at the same time. LH admitted he could see the situation Nico was in with his setting and impatiently went for the side that was always closing legally. Bad choice on LH’s part.

        1. @Robbie the fact that there’s no penalty doesn’t mean anything at all. And the move was completely illegal in F1 – he had to leave space which he didn’t. But it wasn’t the fact that he didn’t leave space, it was the way he cut in and the push into a wall which most drivers wouldn’t normally do.

          We are not even talking about his car being compromised at the time which makes that 6 month ban worthy.

          The ironic part was that Lewis tried to avoid taking out Nico despite the fact that Nico tried to kill him.

          1. @freelittlebirds Way over the top ridiculousness. Had the move been illegal he would have been penalized. While doing the one allowed move to defend you can in fact swerve across the track at any rate you wish while the trailing driver is behind. It’s not always pretty but MS set the precedent for that time and time again. LH is the one that took a chance and stuck his nose in where it didn’t belong with a bad guess.

            Six month ban? That’s rich. Haven’t heard that one before but nice try in over exaggerating the situation. Playing along, where was LH’s ban then for being compromised for about a dozen laps (not just one corner) while he couldn’t figure out a better setting?

            Your last paragraph only takes away your own credibility. LH chose to put his nose into a space that he could see was always closing and no matter who the driver in front was he should never have assumed a space was going to be there. He has owned real estate while leading, under the same assumption that it was his real estate to claim, on many occasions. So don’t try to make LH out to be some hero for trying to avoid Nico after Nico….I can’t even repeat what you said, it is that vile…

            LH put himself in that situation and took Nico out after a bad choice in overtaking attempt, no doubt fuming that Nico had passed him first, in spite of starting second on the grid. LH lost his mind. Just as you have in his defence.

            1. @robbie that’s your point of view – the move was completely defensive and he had to leave space. If everyone drove like Nico we’d have a lot of empty spots in F1 besides Nico’s and safety would be irrelevant when you force drivers into walls. This is not me saying that but Alonso. So the discussion is pretty much untenable when both Lewis and Alonso have said it and Lewis was going to leave the team over the incident but carry on.

              What settings are you talking about for 12 laps? Please don’t say Baku cause I’ll laugh.

        2. Robbie – he ran indeed screamed across the track in the opposite direction he needed to take the next corner!

          I have had enough of this. Rosberg has previous at this stunt so much so the changed the damn rules as a result.

          Please do not insult our intelligence just so you can get yet another anti Hamilton rant in. It’s getting silly.

          1. @Drg See my comment to you above but do note you lose a lot of credibility with invented claims of some rule change, so it is you who are the one insulting people’s intelligence with invented stories.

          2. Robbie.

            Check out the rule classification a few years ago following similar moves.

            Research who pulled the moves.

            Note this is not an insult.

            1. Drg you are the one claiming Nico caused a rule change so the onus is on you to explain yourself. Until you do you should understand why I respond as I do to inventions. Exactly what rule is it to which solely his actions caused a change?

            2. @robbie I imagine @Drg is talking about Bahrain a few years ago when Rosberg ran both Hamilton and Alonso off the track. After this Charlie introduced the rule about ‘any part of the car alongside’.

              Which rule Rosberg broke in Spain this year BTW, but the stewards decided it had happened too fast for him to judge it.

            3. @lockup @robbie They didn’t give any drive through penalty because they are part of the same team and they would have had to penalize them in the next race.

              The excuse that it happened too fast was just an excuse. Nico’s driving the car and he’s the one that moved to the other side. He’s in control of his car and he made the move – he could have easily left space except he swerved like a maniac with a wall next to the road. Next time someone defends they should just say “Sorry, it happened too fast!!!” over the mic and that’s it. You can break any rule then.

            4. Yep @freelittlebirds I agree, I was just quoting the stewards. The overhead showed Rosberg covering the middle and left of the track, watching his left mirror; then when Lewis disappeared from the mirror Rosberg swerved all the way across the track NOT looking in his right mirror.

              Given he knew he was derating while Lewis was on full power it was always likely he’d be putting his teammate on the grass. No wonder Lewis lost it when Niki instantly blamed him.

              Then Austria, also after a mistake, and finally clearing off not even daring to tell Toto to his face. All of a piece. Anyway, good riddance, welcome Valterri [who is about to inherit some brand new fans, something tells me ;) ]

      4. There is no gap that is about to close on a straight. That thing only exist at the exit of corners when one has the racing line and the other has an outside line that leads to the outside if he doesn’t back up.
        Example is Vettel with VES in Brazil 2016.

    6. I don’t think they get enough credit for not fixing the race result at the final pit stop – or earlier – like Red Bull used to do. And RB don’t get enough scorn, either.

      An admirable 3 years, I just pray they’re in F1 for decades to come.

    7. I am curious to see what bottas is really made of. It is very convinent to give him some slack while he had the Williams car the last couple of years and Massa isn’t that kind of driver who pushes you to give that little extra.

      1. A few strong races from Bottas will put Lewis’ mental state in a spin. Lewis isn’t mature enough to contend with a strong teammate. They said he’d destroy Jenson at Mclaren, he didn’t. They said he’d destroy Nico, he didn’t. When Nico upped his game in 2016, the excuses came out and the toys went flying. Lewis’ first WDC was a fluke. It took the most dominate car F1 has ever seen for Lewis to win another, and even then he only won 2 out of 3. I have a feeling Bottas will do fine at Mercedes. If Lewis thought Toto was favoring Nico, wait until Bottas puts in a few good races. lol

        1. @mark jackson. I think you are new into F1 and your sole purpose is to bash Hamilton. Hamilton decimated Button in 2012, including beining lapped in Canada. Button only “outscored” Hamilton because had so many car problems, bad pitstops and strategy. How did Rosberg upped his game by winning the WDC while his team mate issues after issues but could only win by five points ?, so what upped his game are you referring too ?. And the Hamilton first WDC a fluke, please explain how mate.

          1. Hamilton decimated Button in 2012

            Jenson decimated Lewis in 2011 when Lewis broke down mentally.

            How did Rosberg upped his game by winning the WDC while his team mate issues after issues but could only win by five points

            Rosberg has issues too. Unreliability is part of the game. You build up a points gap to anticipate any issues. You don’t slack off 3/4 of the season then turn it up in the final 4 races when it’s too late.

            And the Hamilton first WDC a fluke, please explain how mate.

            Massa was robbed of a victory in Singapore, not from reliability or bad strategy or on track mistake (things that are a part of F1) but from cheating.

            1. Jenson decimated Lewis in 2011 when Lewis broke down mentally.

              Jenson was faster in 3 races in 2011. India, Suzuka and Brazil.

              You don’t slack off 3/4 of the season then turn it up in the final 4 races when it’s too late.

              Rosberg acquired a 43-point lead through Hamilton’s MGUH failures, then lost it again. Was better in Monza, Baku and Suzuka, and was gifted a 28-point swing in Sepang.

              Massa was robbed of a victory in Singapore, not from reliability or bad strategy or on track mistake (things that are a part of F1) but from cheating.

              Massa did a pitstop like everyone else, but he’d chosen a team with a moronic pit light system; and few more reliability issues. Also he fell off in Sepang.

            2. Just gonna leave this right here…

              Spa 2008…..

            3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              23rd December 2016, 1:59

              Jenson decimated Lewis in 2011? Canada – Jenson and Lewis collided (Jenson slammed him into a wall) causing a 35 point differential – Hamilton P1, Button P3.

              So Jenson’s decimation is accounted by 1 race where Jenson practically took out Lewis – hilarious when you consider 2016:-)

        2. Let me start by saying that I am not a Hamilton fan and I really wanted Rosberg to win this year.
          I would be blind, though, if I did not accept that Hamilton is a great driver.
          In the same way I do not understand it when people say that Rosberg did not deserve to win, I cannot understand it when others say that Hamilton was lucky to win in 2008. He was only is his second year in F1 so no matter the circumstances what he did was simply amazing.
          The only weaknesses that I see in Hamilton are that occasionally he chokes under pressure (although we have not seen this happening in the last few years) and that he sometimes underperforms.
          The latter is in my opinion the main reason he lost this year. He allowed Rosberg to be so close that in the end luck played a key role in determining the Championship.

          1. Nope, luck (if you want to call the mechanical issues that) played a major part in allowing Rosberg to be so close.
            A true champion would stay and defend his title, Rosberg knows his ‘luck’ will run out next year.

          2. In 2007, Raikkonen was WDC, overcoming two race-ending mechanical DNFs from points paying positions, and having to compete with a teammate that received equal treatment. If he had lost, could he have claimed legitimacy to the title because Ferrari had let him down and that Hamilton only won because of superior reliability (versus Raikkonen’s superior driving)? McLaren gave Hamilton a perfectly reliable car (he had 100% mechanical race-finishing reliability), the team openly favored him over his teammate, yet he binned the car in the penultimate race (driver error, race-ending DNF), then made another driving error in the final race to lose the title by a point.

            Hamilton was lucky in 2008 that Alonso had left McLaren, because if he was splitting points with him again (rather than Kovalainen) it is highly unlikely he would have challenged for the title. He also benefited from the SIN race fix killing Massa’s race, but I haven’t heard him attribute the ’08 title to anything other than his own supreme skill. BTW the team once again gave him a perfectly reliable car (vs both Ferraris which had multiple mechanical DNFs due to engine failures. Raikkonen could also complain he suffered a DNF from Hamilton taking him out in the pit lane (driver error, race-ending DNF). In taking himself and Raikkonen out, Hamilton also earned a 10 place penalty for France, where he only finished 10th. So he cost points in CAN and FRA through that one error, but the team didn’t complain endlessly about it. He won the title by a single point over Massa (who had more wins) and 15 over Raikkonen. Did luck, reliability and taking out Raikkonen in CAN contribute? Could Raikkonen legitimately claim the title because of reliability issues and Hamilton taking him out in CAN? Massa could also claim that the SIN race fix and poor reliability cost him the title (and he has). But both Raikkonen and Massa would have to overlook driving errors they each made through the ’08 season that cost them points that could have won them the title despite the aforementioned mechanical issues…

            Hamilton had a pretty reliable car again in 2010, then crashed out twice in consecutive races (ITA, SIN) (driver errors, race-ending DNFs) while leading the championship. The points he lost through those errors directly benefited his immediate rivals and he lost the championship lead, then lost the title by 16 points.

            In 2016, Hamilton crashed a perfectly healthy race car in Baku qualifying, leaving him starting 10th to finish 5th (10 pts). He had proven in qualifying and earlier practice sessions (and his teammate also proved in qualifying and the race) that the car was capable of P1. Had Hamilton not made that driving error and qualified even P2 and finished 2nd for 18 pts. (a reasonable possibility given the dominance of the Mercedes), the 8 points would have given him the title.

            In none if the above cases did the team endlessly rail on with hints and outright allegations in the press about how Hamilton had failed them due to his own errors in losses or was lucky to win during victories.

            Mercedes won 19 races in 2016. If you take out the crash that took out both drivers from the lead, Hamilton came second to Rosberg 3 times. Rosberg came second to Hamilton 5 times (4 of those were in the last four races when that is all he needed to do). If Mercedes only raced Rosberg this year, they would have won 14 races. If they only raced Hamilton, they would have won 13 races.

            I like Vettel’s take in the Brazil post-race conference. You need some luck during the season, if you can then get the points together you are the legitimate champion.

            By that token, Hamilton’s 2008 title stays legitimate and he gets all credit due for his ’14 and ’15 titles despite only needing to beat a single driver, the teammate he had no respect for (who then beat him in ’16), and no-one needs to dwell on the races and titles he threw away through his own errors.

            BTW you could do this with other drivers who have complained after losing, this argument is just fresh because Hamilton is the latest to whine about being hard done by in his losses, while forgetting the part luck, a fast car and teamwork played in his wins.

            1. Kevin,
              Take a deep breath, sit back and try not to let your hatred of one driver over another cloud your judgement.
              Hamilton will be regarded as one of the greats and there’s nothing you can do about it.
              No doubt if Hamilton beats Bottas next year you will say it’s because he doesn’t respect his team mate or he got lucky.
              Let’s hope both drivers have equal reliability next year and we can judge each driver for their pure talent, then we will truly see who is the best.

            2. Rick,

              You should have read to the last line, it is your own bias for Hamilton that is showing.

              No hate, where do you see the hate? I just stated facts, try arguing my points with points of your own. I have no hate for drivers such as Senna (who is my personal favorite) or Prost, both of them made similar complaints when they lost and they are already recognized as two of the all-time greats. When they won it was all them, when they lost it was the car, reliability, the team, FIA bias or other factors they blamed. Often true, but they also often lost to each other, or other drivers, in the same or similar equipment. Sometimes they got beaten by a better driver and were just making lame excuses…

              Regarding 2017 I don’t rate Bottas that highly and I do not believe he will do very well at all against Hamilton. He was only chosen due to the fact that Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Verstappen (and perhaps a few others such as Sainz) were already under contract. Then take out Rosberg and that should tell you how highly Mercedes rated Bottas on the grid. He was the best they could do in the time remaining and if he doesn’t perform (and the Mercedes stays strong) I’m sure there will more drivers mid-season making sure Mercedes knows they are available for 2018. The only hope I see is that Red Bull Renault produces a competent car/engine so that we can see another team in the fight or that maybe Rory Byrne still has some magic left to bring to Ferrari,,,

            3. Kevin,
              Your last line takes a poke at Hamilton for whining, you are simply unable to say a good thing about the guy, that tells me you dislike him and are not objective.
              If you want points I suggest you think about why all the F1 managers voted Hamilton as the driver of 2016 or why Kieth himself put Hamilton in 2nd place and Rosberg (the champion) in 5th.
              No doubt you know far more than all those people about F1 though eh ?

            4. His own team, several WDCs (including Niki Lauda) and various prominent media pundits have all publicly and pointedly commented on his post-loss whining, have you not noticed or did you just ignore that as though it didn’t happen? According to you they must all be extremely biassed/dislike/hate him and/or disrespect his driving talent, as they rarely provided equal praise to mollify your sensitivities?

              Some of them were likely among those who also voted him as best driver in the polls…which I believe were taken some time after the interviews.

              I do not believe this is an individual driver fan site where every valid point needs to be offset by equal praise in the same paragraph in order to avoid hurting feelings or to satisfy a driver’s rabid fan base (no matter the driver).

              I felt Keith’s ratings were fairly accurate. Alonso in the past has placed highly in the team and pundit polls several times after losing WDCs. He said he’d rather have the titles and lose the polls, but would live with the praise. I suggest Hamilton (and you) do the same, he has three titles already, next year everyone starts equal at 0 points and 100% reliability.

    8. Shouldn’t the headline read “Crush the competition and their champion”?

      1. No, because that one’s not their champion anymore.

        1. Actually he’s their 2 x champion as apposed to the 1 x current champion.

    9. Rosberg gave me a nice stat this year: my first child (little girl) was born, so Rosberg is her F1 champion. My F1 champion is… Rosberg also! 1982. So in a way I’m glad Hamilton didn’t win this year :)

      1. congratulations @unicron2002 what an amazing coincidence

      2. Congratulations. And just think, maybe your grandkid will be born under the next Rosberg champion in 12 or 14 years when his kid joins F1 :)

    10. Both Rosberg and Paddy leaving will hopefully put an end to the criticisms of Lewis’ leisure time.

      From the looks of it, Brackley must be a high stress work environment and Hamilton’s doing the sane thing by flying solo whenever he can. Sure, some of the stuff he does could be called into question from a number of angles but it shouldn’t when you consider the personal side.

      Their job drove one guy into retirement and the other’s coping with by partying.

      1. Another word for Hamilton’s partying is “branding.” He’s a pretty talented driver but that’s not the only reason why he gets PAID. Within the context of branding, Hamilton’s jet-set lifestyle is simply hard work.

        Granted, it’s pretty good work if you can get it.

        1. I think LH is more about branding himself than he is about branding the entity of F1 that he calls poorly managed and not good enough, or Mercedes that he accused of conspiring against him. Sure it looks like he’s an ambassador for F1 or Mercedes just by being out there with the Kardashians and the Wests, and there will inevitably be a bit more awareness of F1 because of it, but make no mistake…LH is about LH first and foremost…something BE who praises LH for his ‘work’ doesn’t care to mention or care about because he’ll take all the promo he can get since the product on the track hasn’t helped increase the audience. Fix that (hopefully starting next year) and F1 will promote itself rather than relying on fleeting tweets and selfies from one ‘ambassador’ in the tabloid world who will just as easily run F1 or his team down as promote them, in order to try to garner the poor me pity vote for himself.

          1. I will say it again.

            It’s the season of good spirit and cheer Robbie.

            Your clearly a very unhappy person – why not just give it a break for a bit and enjoy the racing to come instead of this unhealthy “anti hamilton” construct you peddle all the time.

            It’s not healthy mate. Honestly.

            1. @Drg I will enjoy the coming season very much and it would be healthier for you to invest less time in analyzing posters and rather just state your own opinion without running people down for having theirs just because they differ from yours. Try to learn that yours is not necessarily the only going opinion that matters just because it is yours, and merely agree to disagree. Many people around here are not LH fans but it would seem I strike some chords with you that have you a little flummoxed and grasping at insults to Nico and me for your comebacks.

              Again, we can agree to disagree, and we don’t know each other but I truly wish you only the best for the holiday season and for many years to come. I bet we have many things within F1 that we do agree on…probably more than we disagree on so let’s revel in that.

            2. Robbie, have you ever been to a race ?
              Many people here may not be a fan of Lewis but the polar opposite could be said of the fans at a race.
              Sadly these sites seem to attract people that harbour some form of hatred for a particular driver and just want to vent their spleen.
              To be honest I’m not exactly a fan of what Lewis does off the track but that’s his own personal time and this is not a popularity contest. I am however a fan of what he does on the track and like the fact that he wants a level playing field unlike many F1 drivers past and present.
              Long may it last

            3. Rick, yes I have been to a race. I harbour no hatred to LH, but I disrespect him for disrespecting his team with his words at the races that imply it is not a level playing field on the team, which I believe is wholely unfair. The team had to publish a letter earlier in the season defending the 1500 staff and their integrity, and LH’s most recent wording ahead of the last race about telling us ‘the truth’ in 10 years I found to be terrible behaviour. We all saw that he had more damaging reliability issues than Nico, but rather than letting that speak for itself and taking the stance that that is just racing, which it is, he decided to take what was imho the low road and claim conspiracy, after all the team has done for him and provided him. I honestly believe after his third WDC it has gone to his head and he now feels entitled beyond reason. That sums up why I appear to hate LH when in fact it is a disrespect. I wouldn’t give him enough emotional energy to call it anywhere near hate, and I fully appreciate what a great driver he is. It is the vehement (what appears to be but likely is also for the most part not) hatred for Nico and Mercedes that some posters use to try to defend LH that is what motivates me to respond.

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