Hamilton is voted Driver of the Year by F1 Fanatic readers

2017 F1 season review

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Lewis Hamilton has been voted 2017 Driver of the Year in our annual poll of F1 Fanatic readers.

Hamilton won his fourth world championship title and broke Michael Schumacher’s record for most career pole positions this season.

He won nine of the 20 races, including ‘grand-slam’ successes in China, Canada and Great Britain where he took pole position, led every lap and set fastest lap on his way to victory.

Hamilton had a tougher fight to win the third championship success he has enjoyed at Mercedes. Despite former team mate Nico Rosberg’s retirement, Hamilton faced a renewed threat from Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, who led the championship for more than half of the season.

Hamilton was previously voted Driver of the Year in 2010. He was voted the top driver this year with 39% of the vote.

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Recent Driver of the Year poll winners

2016: Daniel Ricciardo
2015: Sebastian Vettel
2014: Daniel Ricciardo
2013: Sebastian Vettel
2012: Fernando Alonso
2011: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Lewis Hamilton

2017 Driver of the Weekend winners

Hamilton also won Driver of the Weekend more times than any of his rivals. He was voted best driver on six occasions. Other drivers who won the race weekend poll more than once were Max Verstappen (four times), Valtteri Bottas (three) and Sebastian Vettel (two). Carlos Sainz Jnr, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and Pascal Wehrlein each won the poll once.

Race DOTW winner Votes
2017 Australian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel 54.8%
2017 Chinese Grand Prix Max Verstappen 38.5%
2017 Bahrain Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel 50.6%
2017 Russian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas 79.1%
2017 Spanish Grand Prix Pascal Wehrlein 34.6%
2017 Monaco Grand Prix Carlos Sainz Jnr 34.2%
2017 Canadian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton 38.6%
2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Lance Stroll 48.8%
2017 Austrian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas 47.5%
2017 British Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton 38.1%
2017 Hungarian Grand Prix Fernando Alonso 52.2%
2017 Belgian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton 55.3%
2017 Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo 54.7%
2017 Singapore Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton 37.8%
2017 Malaysian Grand Prix Max Verstappen 37.7%
2017 Japanese Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton 37.5%
2017 United States Grand Prix Max Verstappen 37.5%
2017 Mexican Grand Prix Max Verstappen 53.1%
2017 Brazilian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton 27.8%
2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas 54.3%

2017 F1 season review

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Author information

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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39 comments on “Hamilton is voted Driver of the Year by F1 Fanatic readers”

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Thanks so much @keithcollantine for this wonderful site.

    1. @robbie +1. Also a ‘late’ +1 for your comments regarding the double-yellow flag incident from the 2016 Hungarian GP qualifying. I don’t tend to bring old/old-ish topics up again, but after having re-read a few articles on this site regarding that particular matter recently, I decided to do so after having seen your comments on this specific report: https://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/07/28/drivers-demand-yellow-flag-rule-clarification/

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      25th December 2017, 14:45

      Merry Christmas. I was going to say what Robbie said. :D Cheers Keith.

    3. Merry Christmas fellow fanatics.

  2. Nico Rosbewrg’s retirement – @keithcollantine

  3. Was Bottas’ DOTW win in Russia the most comprehensive ever? @keithcollantine

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      25th December 2017, 16:17

      It is very interesting that the next closest was 55.3% for Hamilton at Spa. The fact that the amount of people that voted for Bottas in Russia was nearly 25% higher. He clearly had way more votes than any other driver that weekend than any other DOTW at other tracks this year.

      1. He clearly had way more votes than any other driver that weekend than any other DOTW at other tracks this year.

        Fact Check:
        Rosberg: 79.1%, thus next best =58.2%pt
        Second highest winner: 55.3% (Hamilton at Spa)
        conclusion: yes biggest margin win this year.

      2. @thegianthogweed I was refering to all races since DOTW began. Hence the “ever”. I remembered that Hamilton on 77% in the German GP 2011 was the biggest margin for a DOTW win for a few years, but this one was higher, so I was just wondering if this is indeed now the new record.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          26th December 2017, 9:27

          Yes, i should have made it more clear. I was talking about this year, but did realize you meant over every year.

  4. @keithcollantine renewed threatfrom fFerrari == renewed threat from Ferrari

    1. I would love Ferrari to leave F1 it will be good for the sport they are just too powerful that’s how Renault left because they where “too powerful”.
      I’m more with Mclaren or Mercedes teams that can go against Ferrari.
      Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year.

      1. I don’t agree, I would prefer that Ferrari stay, but I would also prefer there weren’t special payouts.
        So far there isn’t any proof that McLaren will out perform Red Bull Racing or Renault, and if they can’t do that then they won’t be worrying either Mercedes or Ferrari.

  5. I wholeheartedly agree with the vote, though i think it was almost a season of two halves for Lewis.

    Interestingly, i rate him far more highly for adjusting his driving and being able to come to terms with the “diva”. This, i think is the real story of his 2017 campaign. It is what led to being able to get more out of the car than his teammate and responsible for his imperious form in the 2nd half of the season. Unfortunately, this was something Bottas was unable to do.

    Truth is, Lewis got better at understanding the car and adjusting his driving, far more than the car got better to be driven. I believe this quality of being highly adaptable is what make Lewis Hamilton one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers ever for me. It is a quality attested to by the likes of Paddy Lowe, Peter Bonnington, and even past teammates Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

    1. @kbdavies Except the diva story was made up to begin with, that aside I do believe Hamilton found some more speed over the summer.

      1. @flatsix, I wouldn’t have thought that it was completely without credibility to say that the car wasn’t behaving quite as predictably as Mercedes expected it to.

        With the FIA tightening up on what teams could do with their suspension systems during the off season, Mercedes did have to compromise on the design of their car in late 2016 and early 2017 as they were partially affected by that ruling (probably not quite as much as Red Bull though).

        They were also hit with problems with their revised transmission system in the early part of the 2017 season, so they had to revert to an older and heavier gearbox design – there were some reports early in the season that suggested the W08 did therefore start the season being slightly overweight and with slightly too far a rearward weight balance, and couldn’t really fine tune the handling balance given that, being overweight already, they didn’t really have any ballast to play with.

        Whether you think that qualifies it as a “diva” or not, I think it is fair to say that the car did start out being compromised when compared to the original design concept that Mercedes had, with the post Spanish GP spec car probably being closer to what Mercedes had originally set out to do with the car.

        1. Everything you’ve said is true and was covered by nearly every F1 publication going.

      2. “A made up story”…… by who?

        1. I’m guessing the made up story is a made up story.

    2. So very true! Rather than look at those off-weekends in Monaco and Russia, we should appreciate how Lewis learned and adjusted his driving style to tame the beast over the second half of the season while Bottas still struggled on some weekends.

      1. He did an interview during the 2nd half of the season where he said, “I now understand the car and how it wants to be driven to get the best out of it and not how, so I’ve made that adjustment”

  6. One cannot deny he has had a great season, and even though many say Sochi and Monaco it was really just Monaco where it wasn’t the Lewis we know who was driving the #44 car. He’s a very deserving champion and without a doubt one of the greatest of F1, which he was already before 2017 began really…

    I feel like we had a lot of stellar seasons throughout the field. Ocon, Perez, Sainz and Hülkenberg spring to mind. Vandoorne took a little longer to get up to speed but really had a great first season. Alonso and Vettel from the older boys and then add Ricciardo and Verstappen in there. It’s been a strong season, and the grid is equally competitive. Already looking forward to 2018.

    1. And he had this rookie mistake in Brazil which ruined his weekend.
      (interestingly F1F still voted him as DOTW)

  7. How is Hamilton not going to be 2018 WDC…?

    1. If remarkably Ferrari, Red Bull or McLaren get their car together.. it is not likely they will, but you never know..

    2. I think the Ferrari is fast enough to challenge Mercedes. They would have dominated Singapore if not for the crash, won Malaysia and had a good result in Japan if not for reliability problems. Vettel has a realistic chance.

  8. I’m a bit biased for Hamilton and I’m a fan of his. But, I cannot comprehend how he got DotW in Brazil. He made a qualifying mistake which, most likely, cost him pole. He overtook everyone except Perez with ease. There were other people deserving of that.
    However, driver of the season is Hamilton. He had a car which was a diva. And, @flatsix not a made up story. Setting it up was tough especially for Hamilton in Russia and Monte Carlo although in Monaco, he could have made it through without Vandoorne crashing. He kept Vettel on his toes for the first half of the year. The second half was dominant by Hamilton and I would say only Verstappen really looked like he had the pure pace to challenge him. Deserved that award.

    1. @godoff1 Let’s consider the ‘Diva’ period up until the mid summer break shall we?

      AUS: Pole, 2 podiums
      CHN: Pole, 1 win, grand slam even for Hamilton.
      BAH: Pole, 2 podiums
      RUS: Pole, 1 podium (Lewis was simply not on it, as Bottas proved the car was capable of)
      ESP: Pole, 1 win, a failure for Bottas whom surely would’ve finished third.
      MON: Bottas started only 0.050 off pole if I remember right, and in the race, well it’s Monaco.
      CAN: 1 Pole, 2 podiums, 1 win, another grand slam for Lewis
      AZE: 1 Pole, considering where Lewis and Bottas were during and at the flag this was an easy 1-2. 1 podium in reality.
      AUT: 1 Pole, 1 win.
      GBR: 1 Pole, 2 podiums, 1 win, another grand slam for Lewis. Ferrari hardly could keep up with Red Bull even.
      HUN: Ferrari were simply better, 1 podium.

      So, out of 11 opportunities to grab pole: 8 (72%); Out of 33 opportunities to be on the podium: 14 (42%); Out of 11 opportunities to win: 6 (54%) (with Baku 7, 63%).

      Now tell, me, are those numbers a car ‘hard to set up’ would make? Or do you really believe in the divine talents Hamilton AND Bottas posses? I mean Lewis is good, one of the best ever, but no driver would win from a ‘normal-to-setup-Ferrari-that’s-not-that-far-off-in-pace’ and another 4-time champion in a car that is not setup up to his liking, see Monaco and Russia (Lewis only). Luckily for them the Mercedes was even then still good for fourth.

      1. RUS: Pole, 1 podium (Lewis was simply not on it, as Bottas proved the car was capable of)

        They didn’t take pole in Sochi, thus 7 poles overall which makes 63%…

        1. @flatsix Both drivers have different setups and it is entirely possible that Bottas had a setup to his liking and Hamilton simply did not.
          As for driver of the season, Hamilton deserves that because nobody was consistent enough. Vettel had a stellar year but for his blips in Baku, and to a lesser extent in Singapore and Mexico. Verstappen was one of the fastest on pure pace maybe better than Vettel and Hamilton but car problems meant we can’t judge his year too well. So, Hamilton is the driver of the season.
          Also, those numbers make sense FlatSix. There is also the chance Hamilton just wasn’t on it. We never know with F1.

      2. You do understand that ‘diva’ means sometimes top performance, sometimes a ‘mysterious’ reluctance to cooperate, right? So the fact Hamilton had those grand slams doesn’t contradict the idea of unpredictable performance at all. Also there’s the Mercedes qualifying advantage which simultaneously boosts the number of poles and also the race performance (podium potential) by the simple factor of grid position, despite the fact that Ferrari (and sometimes Red Bull) often had a clearly identifiable race pace advantage, evident over the practice sessions and the actual race. Clearly it’s a relative term and the ‘diva’ factor meant that Mercedes fell back into the leading pack rather than having a clear advantage, but I don’t understand how you conclude it was ‘made up.’ Also it continued into the second half of the season.

        1. @david-br If your car is mysterious you end up with results like Jenson Button in 2012, not with wins, grand slams and one pole after the other,…

          1. @flatsix There were plenty occasions where Mercedes where baffled by how the car reacted. That’s what makes it a “diva”. Not just for Hamilton, but Bottas had the same issues.

            At least we know Vettel could have gotten the title with ease if he had kept it together, but he threw it away with his red mist moments in Baku, Singapore and slamming into Stroll in Malaysia on the cool down lap sure didn’t help either. Guess if we are looking for a diva then its Vettel. Deal with it your idol got beaten by his own temper tantrums. Bwahahahahahaha

  9. Overall, I agree with Hamilton being the best. No serious mistakes when it mattered although two bad races. I add a bit about Brazil – tells a lot of the vote that there wasn’t even article announcing the result.

  10. At least this year we have not endured the kind of incidents (from the Hockenheim crane to the Mexican cross-country race, and as many as you want to name in between) that make me wish the guy had stayed in karting

    1. I do have to ask Hyoko, how many incidents do you want to name, or to put it another way, how many controversies does it take for you to wish away a driver from the field. I ask, because I can give you a list, from Farina to Rosberg and we can see how many world champions you’ve wished away

      1. My list is short, just two. Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton.

        1. Ah the two best drivers ever. Makes sense you hate those when you are fan of a lesser driver.

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