Hamilton’s fourth title is his best yet – Newey

2017 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s fourth world championship success this year is his greatest achievement so far, according to Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

Newey told Sky Hamilton is among the drivers he would have liked to work with during his time in F1.

“I think his early championships were a bit up and down,” said Newey. “But the championship he’s just put together this year was without doubt, in my opinion, his best one.”

“He’s put together such a strong campaign, there haven’t been any weak races. He’s known when to battle and when to let a position go rather than taking himself out.”

Newey also named Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso as drivers he wished he could have worked with.

Schumacher, who when he drove for Ferrari was a key rival of Newey’s for many years, would have been “fascinating” to work with, he said. “Obviously a great competitor, supreme competitor.”

“He always felt slightly, kind of, the enemy in truth. Shame he let himself down with some of his driving stunts, I think that was just his competitive instinct taking him too far.”

“Fernando, again, came close [to working with] a few times. Obviously extremely competitive. For him to have only won two championships all those years ago, who could have forecast that at the end of 2007 he wouldn’t win another one? He’s still there, still gets up doesn’t he?”

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Keith Collantine
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47 comments on “Hamilton’s fourth title is his best yet – Newey”

  1. His best for fans probably but I really think 2015 was his best personal title, really flawless. Had one off result in Hungary and a stupid retirement later on if I remember right. Mind you his only third place was due to a miscalculation from the team which without it would’ve been another Monaco win. This year he was occasionally beaten by a teammate much lesser than Rosberg, and his Monaco and Sochi slums aren’t really up there either, let alone the rookie mistake in Brazil.

    1. He went through a ‘pressure getting to him’ stage in 2015 as well. All too easily forgotton when big trophies are being handed out and records are being broken by both driver and team.
      This season is probably the least dip in form his had in his career, then again letting Vettel lead the championship in a 2nd rate team should never have happened. What if ferrari produce an indentical in performance car to the Merc next year, plus match Merc’s incredible reliabilty and team work? Equal qualifying engine? we”ll probably realise Lewis has been built up too much.

      1. That would a pleasure for all F1 fans I think. I get the feeling Lewis, when he needs to, can raise his game. I am more than happy to take you on your ifs. If Ferrari produce an identical car, if they up the ante on their quality mode, Vettel has fewer brain fades. Game On I’d say.

      2. Care to share with us those moments he had a ‘dip in form’?

        So now the Ferrari is a ‘2nd rate team’?

        I find it funny how ppl are labelling Lewis’ titles and performances as being all down to the car. These are some of the same people who laughed at him when he decided to move to Mercedes, who was a midfield team at the time. So in effect, he has debunked the theory of, “let’s see what he can do in a midfield team”… but I know many will counteract with, “but Mercedes wasn’t a midfield team and he knew that their engine was going to be better than all the other team”…. Meh!

        Man when it comes to Hamilton, it’s a never ending moving goal post.

        1. More like goalposts attached to an exceedingly unstable inter-dimensional portal or wormhole of some sort. You’re pretty much guaranteed they’ll move, but it’s a never ending surprise as to just how often & how far away they’ll move. Sometimes they move closer together, leaving enough space to technically still call it a goal, but definitely not enough for the ball to pass through.

        2. And you’re going to pretend it’s different for Vettel, that’s the real hypocrisy.

          1. and we are saying, Schumi won with a HAAS Ferrari :) or Prost with McLaren’s Honda, or Senna in a Lotus’s Renault of these years’ cars in comparison….


  2. Everything going on today is always ‘the best’. Hamilton is the man of the moment that is all. 2007 was his most impressive season, he hasn’t pulled away from Alonso or Vettel since 2007. Riccairdo soon matched him and Verstappen is set to be the new Senna when he gets a competitive car.

    1. Welcome to Formula One, everything’s been the best ever since 1950

    2. ‘he hasn’t pulled away from Alonso or Vettel since 2007’ – Hamilton has passed both long time. TBH Vettel nor Alonso are on Hamilton’s level.

      1. @noname
        “Vettel nor Alonso are on Hamilton’s level.”

        Then Vettel shouldn’t have lead him in the championship this year if Lewis was way ahead in talent.

        If I was a Hamilton fan I would’ve wanted to see him improve a lot more from 2007 levels. From what you’re saying, we can’t expect Alonso or Vettel to beat him in a single race if they get competitive cars. I’ll look out for your next year to continue this discussion if Renault or Ferrari match the Merc engine.

        Just a reminder than Alonso beat Lewis in an inferior car for the last 5 races of 2008 and again in 2010. For those with short memories, the pundits were drooling over Alonso in those days as the ‘complete package’ stuck in 2nd and 3rd rate cars

        I’ll leave you with the fact that Vettel leads Lewis in titles this decade. Shoud’ve never happened if Lewis had ‘passed’ him in talent.

        1. I should point out that I like Lewis’ character and would love to see him at Ferrari asap and to be allowed to be himself even more.

        2. ‘Last 5 races’ loool the reach. Trolling on a budget.

          1. @lums

            The reach? So you didnt watch the season then…ok…

            Well let’s not stop there. Let’s rub some salt in with more details and go by almost half the season.

            As it happens, (driving a Renault 90HP down on power) Alonso first beat Lewis after the 8th race he then beat Lewis in the 11th race at Hungary.

            Alonso didnt finish outside the top 4 in the last 8 races except the retirement. This was in the 7th best car, 4th best team with 12 retirements which is more than the top 3 teams put togther.

            actually works out Alonso beat (not equalled Lewis) in points for the last *8 races* which is one race short of half the season

            Alonso 48 points to Lewis 40

            Now who’s the Troll? Alonso ? :))

            Martin Brundle discussed Alonso’s performaces in the last *8 races* on TV at the end of that season and described Alonso ‘as the complete package’ with plenty of nodding heads in approval.
            Bare in mind this was the second season in a row those pundits had witnessed Lewis choking but somehow clinched the title anyway with one less win than Massa but one less retirement.

            2008 and 2010 are taboo seasons for Lewis’ fans. Just ignore them and go back to 2007 to prove how great he is courtesy of Alonso clashing with Massa at Spain and losing that ‘oh so important’ 2nd place.

    3. Vettel has been compared to many things, but never senna. Vesthappen yes, but not Vettel.

    4. Last time i checked, Hamilton pulled away from Vettel in Euro F3.

      1. That leaves a lot unsaid. If I recall, one was in their sophomore season, & one was a rookie, and they were in different teams. Just because it’s a spec series doesn’t mean it’s a straight fight.

  3. Finally white The F1 establishment is grudgingly paying tribute to Lewis,he only had to break the record for most poles position,2nd in the all time list for most win and 4 championship…..off course Max the Great white hope is already a legend with his 3 wins and infinitely more mature than Lewis……heck even McCoy of the mail has come around….well until Lewis does something that offend his white British sensibility.

    1. ‘Our Lewis’ is owned by The Sun. (They also had a massive Alonso h@ter as a so-called journalist for a whilst)

  4. This was probably his easiest. You could see all season long this was easily the superior car to Ferrari, apart from one or two races, and he was always going to take the title. Much easier to beat them today than it was to beat Rosberg twice and a pretty even Ferrari in 2008.

    1. IMO they should give Lewis and Mercedes the trophies for next season as compensation and throw some old V8s in the cars with cheap superchargers. Let’s go racing and forget about road relevence (which is leaving F1 behind now on a monthly basis) or the pinncale of motorsport. Motorsport is dying, there could be a serious financial crisis just over the horizon. Arn’t we due one?

  5. there haven’t been any weak races

    I’d say he’s driven the best he has this year, but 2007 is undoubtedly his most impressive year, as he was a rookie doing what he was doing.

    1. @hugh11


      Newey is talking about Hamilton’s early championships (2008 most probably) when making that comparison, and not considering 2007. The only real mistake he made this year was in Brazil qualifying, after the championship was won, and was slow only in Russia and Monaco(qualy). 2014 and 2015, while mistake free, can be considered inferior to 2017 because of the Mercedes dominance.

  6. I don’t think Newey is recalling Mexico. LH got into a battle he didn’t need to, when Max took Seb on the inside and LH tried to follow through, only to end up in a mix with the three and having his right rear cut by Seb’s wing. LH could have kept out of that battle and cruised to the WDC rather than ending up fighting from behind. Seb had to as well though and in the end LH still secured the WDC that day, but he didn’t need to put himself in harms way and make it as difficult for himself as he did.

    1. What?! Is this for real or you just trolling?

      1. Touched by the tolling virus? Look at your pieces here.. lots of trolling..

    2. If you see a gap and don’t go for it, then you are no longer a racing driver. Someone said that, or words to that effect. I wonder how that was?

      1. Stewart somebody or other

        1. Hehe Stuart or Jack

    3. In Mexico Hamilton hung back initially then went to what should have been, in theory, a very safe place behind Verstappen. Far safer than unnaturally slowing to avoid passing Vettel and potentially having someone run into him from behind.

    4. I think Newey is recalling Mexico just fine where Hamilton seized upon an opportunity to make a clean pass on his championship rival only to be dubiously rear ended by that very rival.

      He then went on to drag a damaged car that had visibly wayward handling back into the points despite not needing to.

    5. @robbie

      I don’t think Newey is recalling Mexico

      Hamilton didn’t do anything remotely risky on the first lap, imo. There was plenty of space for him to overtake Vettel (whose exit from the corner had been compromised) and that’s what he did. It’s okay to play it safe to an extent, but you don’t park the car for that cause, especially on lap one as there might be other fast starting cars right behind you. In the end, Vettel ran into the back of Hamilton.

      By the way, Newey followed every race of the season as closely as you did, hence his statement on Hamilton. Just because your views on a race incident don’t match with his doesn’t mean that he has forgotten about it or conveniently refused to recall it.

    6. @robbie

      Vettel sliced his tyres with some clumsy driving. There was no way that Lewis was to blame for that incident at all. It was great, and opportunistic, driving that unfortunately didn’t pay off due to another driver’s mistake.

      1. @todfod

        And if you think about it then it paid off just fine seeing as it forced Vettel into at best an error that put him outside the points needed to keep the fight going until the last race.

    7. Michael Brown (@)
      21st December 2017, 19:52

      Disagree heavily. While Hamilton could have not gotten involved in that battle, he was not doing anything risky by getting involved in it. Vettel had taken some of the worst possible lines through those corners, so of course Hamilton was going to go for the gap.

      1. I don’t disagree that LH is a racer and saw a gap, but wrt Newey saying LH knew when to battle and when to let a position go, I think this is an instance when he could have let the spot go, let SV and Max duke it out, and he still would have won the WDC handily. I’m not claiming LH did anything wrong, but he did do something he didn’t need to. There is also a saying about winning as slowly as possible, or about in order to finish first you must first finish. Also, not every gap is a good gap to go for, and in this case going for a gap against a driver whose been put out of shape, turned out badly, but I admit that is using hindsight. Anyway, my intention being LH didn’t need to be that aggressive in order to win the WDC. He’s not unfamiliar with going into a bit of a coast mode when he does seal up a WDC, so I can’t entirely buy the argument that he needed to be a racer into that gap at that point in the season. The WDC was virtually already his, with SV having only an extremely tiny chance. LH could have been mindful of SV’s level of desperation, and should not have been surprised at SV’s vigour in trying to make up for the spot he got put in by Max, and then LH.

  7. Newey missed some races. lol. Second half onwards, greatest season.

  8. There is one main thing that sets Lewis apart from Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel and that is the confidence to not try and control who his team mate will be.
    Most championship winning drivers want to ‘stack the deck’ in their favour by blocking other top drivers but their are very few drivers that just say “I’ll drive with anyone as my team mate”.

    1. @bullet190

      I have to agree with you completely. I respect Lewis for that very reason. Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel have always wanted to drive with inferior teammates by their side while trying to keep the team’s focus around them solely.

      Lewis will take any driver on in that 2nd seat… well.. maybe everyone other than Alonso. I think he’d relish the opportunity to have Vettel as a teammate, because he has the confidence to beat him convincingly. Vettel on the other hand would never want to race against Hamilton because of the nightmares he still has from the 2014 season.

    2. Agreed. With Schu and Senna prepared to do anything to win as we all well know. Schu in particular also had the thumbs up from BCE with all the help that offers. Although outstandingly gifted Schu didn’t have the confidence to go toe to toe with any team mate. Ditto Vettel until he did and Danny Ric wiped him.

    3. Vettel on the other hand would never want to race against Hamilton because of the nightmares he still has from the 2014 season.

      @todfod For which you have zero proof. There isn’t even any direct proof Vettel had any influence on Kimi his staying, so much he has even said himself that all he did was say he is fine with him staying. That’s more a fans myth than a valid truth. That being said Ferrari does prefer to have a clear 1-2 which Vettel earned, but that’s really no different to Mercedes with Bottas, and I even dare say that Wolff never expected Rosberg to be such trouble to Hamilton. Neither could they predict their dominance and in that case you’d want two top drivers, whereas you are the dominant team you prefer a clear 1-2 setup.

      Even Ricciardo ’14 is the most useless arguement. Lewis lost to Button and Rosberg over a season, men who many rate below Ricciardo to begin with. Or do you really believe a 2013/2015/2017 Vettel would not have wiped the floor with Ricciardo? Similar to Lewis who would destroy Ricciardo in his Mercedes team. In the end all drivers have a lesser season on their resume.

      In the end It’s all about building a team around you, and both Hamilton and Vettel know the value of that and work to be the undisputed number one in the team. They’re both talented and arrogant enough to believe they’d win from every driver on the grid in the same team.

      1. Even the best have their off-seasons. Lewis is not a machine, he’s human. People that know FAR MORE about the relative abilities of F1 drivers – people like Newey and F1 team bosses – have regularly voted Lewis the best driver in several seasons (see https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/127328/team-bosses-name-hamilton-2016-best-driver in 2016, also https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/133472/team-bosses-2017-top-10-f1-drivers-revealed in 2017, etc).
        But what do they know?

  9. Wow, that makes me worry about Newey… is he still part of F1? .. if ever it was easy for HAM it was this year. Dominant car, crappy team mate and potential of Ferrari was always going to be thrown away by themselves..

    1. Wow, that makes me worry about Martijn

      when asking this about Newey:

      … is he still part of F1? .

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