Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Hamilton “out-raced and out-drove” Vettel – Stroll

2018 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton deserves his fifth world championship because of the consistency he showed across the season, according to Lance Stroll.

The Williams driver also believes the world champion is still improving.

“He’s just been consistent and he’s been getting better by the looks of it,” said Stroll. “I’m not at Mercedes, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes but you rarely see Lewis crash, you rarely see Lewis make silly mistakes.

“I think that the key to scoring a championship at the end of the day is just picking up points. If you’re third and the risk of overtaking second is high, it’s just about picking up the points at the end of the day. All those points add up. He’s proven that over the last couple of seasons in particular.”

Hamilton and Mercedes faced a stronger challenge from Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari this year. Nonetheless Hamilton was again able to clinch the championship with two races to spare.

“It’s been great to see [him] alongside Sebastian in, I would say, an equally competitive car. Maybe it’s more competitive, maybe it’s less, I don’t know, you can talk in details

“But he’s just out-raced him and out-drove him and you have to respect that as a racing driver. Because a season like Formula 1, 21 races, it’s such a long year and he seems to just come in every weekend and get the job done which is easier said than done. Big respect towards him.”

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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73 comments on “Hamilton “out-raced and out-drove” Vettel – Stroll”

  1. I made the mistake of reading this in Stroll’s voice. Went back and read with a neutral voice and for some reason it just sounded better.

    1. @justrhysism – explains why I had conflicting feelings of wanting to punch my monitor and holding back ;-)

    2. @justrhysism Same here. I also sometimes tend to read quoted stuff in the voice of the person who said the quoted wording in question, LOL.

  2. “He just out races him and out drove him”

    Facts that can’t be disputed. Well I know a few ppl will try and do so. 🤷🏿‍♂️

    1. It’s 2018, there’s no such thing as “facts”.

      1. JCost – Only in a Universe devoid of objective reality – is that your home?

    2. Vettel is very clumsy this year.

  3. Wow, a statement from Stroll that doesn’t annoy me, or put on my snarky hat to comment! Bit obvious a statement, but hey, it’s a start.

    “I think that the key to scoring a championship at the end of the day is just picking up points. If you’re third and the risk of overtaking second is high, it’s just about picking up the points at the end of the day. All those points add up. He’s proven that over the last couple of seasons in particular.”

    Something Vettel needs to learn.

    That said, it’s ironic that this lesson was driven home for Hamilton in 2016 by Rosberg.

    (Leaves the building before the Malaysian engine blowout apologists come in)

    1. So where in 2016 was Lewis making mistakes and taking unnecessary risks which cost him points?

      1. Re-watch the starts of the first six races.

        1. What, like him getting taken out by Bottas in Bahrain? Or him starting g from the back of the grid in China because of mechanical issues? Starting 10th in Russia? Spain pointless to discuss because we’ll never agree on who was to blame.

          So again I ask, “where did he take unnecessary risk in 2016 that cost him points?”

          1. I was responding to “Lewis making mistakes” rather taking unnecessary risks. Refer to the start of the very first race. Dreadful start for Hamilton from pole, third by the braking zone to t1. Recovers to 2nd. 7 points lost. Championship lost by 5.

          2. Malaysia – Leading the race on course for a comfortable win, retires losing 25 points. Lost championship by 5.

            So which of the 2 is more significant?

          3. That wasn’t your question. Your question was where did Lewis make mistakes. I answered, the starts of the first six races. As below his poor start in Bahrain allowed Rosberg through and Bottas to his inside.

            Unreliability happens. You control the things you can and accept the things you can’t.

            I get it, you’re bitter about your favourite driver losing the championship to a much lesser competitor and don’t like it when people point out that it severely tarnishes his reputation.

          4. @hollidog

            severely tarnishes his reputation

            Don’t think Hamilton losing to Rosberg severely tarnishes his reputation at all. It won’t have helped, but for most objective viewers Hamilton’s record against Rosberg is clear from 2013-2016. If you really want to be pedantic you can even go further back to the very start, karting.

            I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Lewis fan, but I do agree with you to some degree about Hamilton’s clutch issues. It is my understanding that ‘apparently’ Nico lobbied for them along with the mechanics switch, following advice from his dad, Keke.

            Now many F1 champions have said it’s not just about the on track battle, it’s politics as well. Whether Hamilton was/is justified to live his life how he sees fit isn’t for anyone to judge- but if these allegations are true then clearly there was a void left by Lewis which Robserg exploited to great effect. I am of the view that Malaysia was more terminal than HAM’s bad starts given the 40 odd point swing- but certainly had HAM got on top of his starts sooner he would have won.

            Final note- you say

            much lesser competitor

            .

            I think Rosberg was a damn good driver in his own right. While not as complete as Lewis he wasn’t far off at all, something Lauda and Brawn said repeatedly.

          5. it severely tarnishes his reputation

            @hollidog – I would only disagree with this one part of your point, I don’t think it really hurt his overall reputation (and even if it were, his subsequent performances in 2017 and 2018 would have added to his reputation far more).

          6. @hollidog

            “I get it, you’re bitter about your favourite driver losing the championship to a much lesser competitor and don’t like it when people point out that it severely tarnishes his reputation”

            Why is it that when anyone pushes back to comments made, this becomes one of the go to responses? What’s the matter, can’t argue your corner like a grown adult?

            Rosberg retired at the end of 2016, stating he did not have the mental strength to continue. If you think that somehow tarnishes Hamilton’s image, you are sadly mistaken, as if anything, it enhances it. I mean, Rosberg, the man the media labelled as being cerebral and mentally unbreakable, despite winning a title, was so mentally broken, he had to retire. Worse, he was mentally broken by a man many have said is ‘mentally weak’

          7. @blazzz Perhaps severely is too strong a word, but personally I really do not rate Rosberg. He just didn’t seem to have a clue in wheel to wheel combat. However he has been made to look a lot better compared to the wet blanket that is Bottas.

            However I think the comparison their karting history and junior records is actually on my side. Rosberg was beaten by Hamilton in every year they raced together except one – to me this suggests that Hamilton must have been extraordinarily poor that year.

            @phylyp Again, perhaps severely was too harsh, but to me (and all of this is subjective anyway) it really goes against him and is probably the only thing that stops me from counting him amongst the best ever. Rosberg doesn’t even crack my top 50. However I can’t argue that Hamilton was peerless this year, thoroughly deserving.

          8. @KGN11 More than happy to argue mate, in fact it’s one of my favourite things to do. But, you haven’t really added to the discussion so I’ll just refer you to my other arguments.

          9. @hollidog – that’s fair enough, mate. Like you say, its all subjective and none of our opinions are going to matter or alter the records in any way ;-)

          10. @hollidog but if you’re going to say

            just didn’t seem to have a clue in wheel to wheel combat

            Do you rate Max then? He had a litany of errors in wheel to wheel combat this season as well as unforced errors like in Monaco and the much debated needless defence against Ocon in Brazil for eg.

            Or Vettel? Again he has also made some errors this season which are all documented.

            Every driver has their flaws- but to say you don’t rate Nico I think is extremely harsh. Nico got Merc’s 1st ever pole position for Merc and win since they returned, got several podiums while at Williams and held his own against Lewis. IMO bar Alonso, he was probably Hamilton’s toughest team mate. That his record against Lewis is one sided I don’t think backs up your point at all, given Hamilton is one of the greats of his generation.

            As you say yourself, Bottas is proving alot easier to handle than Rosberg and if Lauda and Brawn spoke highly of Nico, no offence, but I think they know a bit more than you given they had all the data overlays against Lewis.

          11. @blazzz

            Do you rate Max then?

            Or Vettel?

            Fair questions. First half of the year as you allude to, Verstappen was pretty atrocious. Second half he really came on and to me was probably the best out there, including Brazil, where he drove brilliantly up until his Ocon brain fart. Which, for the record, while I don’t consider Max to be blameless, but it was more than reasonable for him to expect a back marker to have given up once it was clear that he wasn’t going to be allowed through. His record in F3 was incredible given his experience.

            Vettel, well, I used to rate him. I don’t see his Red Bull years any different to Hamilton and his Mercedes years. The difference is Vettel never lost to Webber. The second half of this year and of last year were probably his worst performances, at a time of the season where he usually excels, see 2010 and 2012.

            So to answer your question, for the moment, Max, yes. Vettel, no.

            That his record against Lewis is one sided I don’t think backs up your point at all, given Hamilton is one of the greats of his generation.

            The point I was trying to make here, is that considering Hamilton had so handily beaten him every year except for this one, proves that Hamilton must have performed relatively poorly to be beaten by a lesser driver. Much like Button in 2011.

          12. @KGN11 What utter nonsense about NR and his mental strength. Please provide a quote where he stated he didn’t have the mental strength to continue. You lose all credibility as someone who seems to only lurk around waiting for a negative comment about LH to then respond, and then in your outrage you simply make stuff up in order to defend LH. I only noticed because I’ve learned to ignore your posts but this time I was watching for someone to say ‘What does Stroll know, he doesn’t even belong in F1.’ Suddenly Stroll’s opinion matters when it is a compliment toward LH.

          13. For me, Lewis lost the WDC in 2016 because of Mercedes AND Rosberg who gave no quarter when the cars were side-by-side.

            As I said back then, Spain alone cost Lewis the WDC as did Malaysia. Could Lewis have scored still beaten Nico? He should have – no doubt about that. Lewis is probably still very upset about that.

            He would have been clear of Nico by 34 points alone without Malaysia and Spain. Nico won by 5 points but it never really like a victory to anyone following the sport. The last race was almost a disgrace with Vettel making fun of Nico’s inability to take charge and race Lewis for the WDC.

          14. proves that Hamilton must have performed relatively poorly to be beaten by a lesser driver. Much like Button in 2011.

            That would only be proof if everything else was equal. This was not the case as Hamilton lost around 60 points to Rosberg due to mechanical issues.

            Hamilton won more races and poles than Rosberg during 2016 and, looking at the races not affected by reliability issues, outscored Rosberg by a clear margin. The only thing that performed relatively poorly in 2016 was his car.

        2. Maybe you should rewatch the whole season, it was clearly rigged in favour of rosberg, even Hamilton says that himself which was extraordinary but obviously something he believed. Hamilton statiscally destroyed rosberg in 2016, more poles, more podiums, more wins and most importantly more mystery mechanical failures. Infact rosberg had zero car failures and it was very strange how Hamilton had numerous issues at the start of the season meaning he started last in a few races and 10th in others making it incredibly he had those more poles, podiums and wins with in reality a much lower chance of doing so but if you haters want to keep thinking rosberg deserved to win so be it, I don’t have any preference or prejudice who is champion as long as the contest is fair so whoever deserves it is champion ie Massa deserved 2008 title but had more engine problems and team errors

        3. Rosberg had just as many poor starts as Hamilton, it was a problem with the car/clutch, not with the drivers. But the clowns will continue to clutch at any straws to try and make it seem like Rosberg won for any other reason than better reliability.

      2. Bahrain, lap one: chopped Bottas at the first corner in a very Vettel-like move, cost himself a chance to win.
        Baku, qualifying: crashed in qualifying, costing himself enough points to give him the title in the end.

        He didn’t make anywhere near as many mistakes and misjudgements as Vettel made this year, though.

        1. @exediron The T1 incident in Bahrain that season was Bottas’ fault, though, and the Baku qualifying crash wasn’t decisive concerning the WDC in the end, but the lost points in Malaysia due to unreliability.

          1. Agreed.

            Some just can’t bring themselves to admit it, and have to hide behind the spectre of “Malaysian engine apologists”, whatever that is meant to mean.

            Laughable.

          2. The Baku points were decisive considering the gap at the end was only 5 points. Hamilton finished 5th (10 pts) rather than a guaranteed finish of at least second (18 pts) due to the crash. That’s more than enough points to make the difference.

        2. I think Bottas was more to blame regarding Bahrain (IIRC, Bottas got the penalty and admitted he was in the wrong)
          To be fair, a couple of poor starts(which Rosberg had too, and most other drivers on the grid too ), plus Baku quali-other than that, Hamilton’s 2016 was otherwise flawless. No surprising he was voted driver of the year by the Team Bosses and most other professional rankings. Hamilton’s 2016 was nothing like Vettel’s 2018. Just desperate Vettel fans trying to make Vettel’s appalling 2018 season look better.

    2. @phylyp

      That said, it’s ironic that this lesson was driven home for Hamilton in 2016 by Rosberg.

      How does this statement even begin to make any sense?? The only lesson Rosberg taught Hamilton in 2016 is how not to let your teammate have a data file on your driving abilities.

      1. @kbdavies – Rosberg made a bunch of better starts, which were a decisive factor, along with Hamilton’s luck at Malaysia, and Hamilton’s car/driving data. It’s a variety of factors that made Hamilton lose the title, and the lesson Rosberg showed was one of make hay when you opponent is napping.

        Rosberg built up a points advantage when he could. By the time Hamilton upped his game and started comprehensively outracing Rosberg it was almost too late; and his retirement at Malaysia just served to underscore how late it was that after that retirement, even a string of victories couldn’t claw back the deficit.

        1. Only one thing made Hamilton lose the title in 2016 and that’s Malaysia. This talk about ‘bad starts’ is just ridiculous, because both Rosberg and Lewis had the same amount of bad starts in 2016.

        2. Rosberg showed was one of make hay when you opponent is napping.

          Absolutely

          1. The Wise Old Owl
            19th November 2018, 13:10

            Good job rosberg was napping for the other 3 seasons when Hamilton whooped his backside then

        3. @phylyp

          You must obviously have been living in an alternative universe to in 2016.

          Rosberg made a bunch of better starts

          But Lewis drove a bunch of better races, drove another bunch of better qualifying laps, and won a bunch more races. If this is what happens when your competition is napping, then i hate to think what would happen if he was fully awake.

          In fact, it is an outright lie that Rosberg drove a better or more consistent season than Lewis – a lie that has put to bed many times over. But in case you are not aware, here are the FACTS regarding Rosberg’s less than stellar 2016 season –

          – Slow away in Oz
          – Nightmare in Monaco
          – Spun in Canada
          – Got passed in Silverstone in the rain
          – Bad start in Germany
          – Penalised in Germany
          – Settings error in Spain
          – Crashed into teammate in Spain
          – Got passed in Becketts
          – Crashed into teammate in Austria
          – Got penalised in Austria
          – Got penalised in Sepang

          – Hamilton took 12 poles, to Rosberg’s 8; despite the fact that Hamilton didn’t compete in 4 qualifying sessions because of other engine problems and their knock-on effects.

          – Hamilton won 10 races to Rosberg’s 9; despite have over 7 engine related issues that ensured he either started from the back, midfield, or behing Rosberg

          – In races in which they have been able to directly compete, Hamilton came out on top 11 times. and Rosberg 6 times (about the same ratio as their previous two seasons).

          The point is, despite Hamilton’s bad starts, he still drove a far better season than Rosberg (who season was far from flawless either). More so, ALL the team principals, F1 websites, media outlets, and fan polls, voted Hamilton as the best driver in 2016 season. The best Rosberg could manage was 3rd.

          Indeed, Rosberg built up an advantage when he could – but it was not because he was driving better than Lewis. He still needed all these issues, plus a DNF to win the championship at the wire by a mere 5 points.

          Caught napping my foot!

        4. @phylyp

          “that said, it’s ironic that this lesson was driven home for Hamilton in 2016 by Rosberg”

          This is a very naive thing to say.

          You are forgetting that Hamilton had beaten Rosberg in the previous 3yrs. Had beaten Rosberg to 2 titles (2014 & 2015). So,before 2016, Hamilton was already aware of the need to play the long game. And, just to prove my point, check out Hamilton’s mindset before he sealed the 2015 title
          https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/hamilton-says-he-won-t-take-any-risks-in-the-race/652630/

          “, and the lesson Rosberg showed was one of make hay when you opponent is napping”.
          Again, naive of you to think Rosberg taught this lesson to Hamilton. For example, after suffering most of the early reliability issues in 2014, Hamilton made hay & made sure he maximised when the shoe was on the other foot in e.g. GB, when Rosberg had a gear bearbox issue, Abu Dhabi etc

          “Rosberg made a bunch of better starts, which were a decisive factor”

          Nooooooo! Did you not realise Rosberg lost more points to poor starts than Hamilton?

          The fact that both Merc drivers seem to struggle with starts in 2016, to me, indicates an inherent problem with the car. Wolff did mention that the Merc clutch was overly temperamental & they were seeking solution.

          Apart from a few poor starts, and Baku, Hamilton’s 2016 was otherwise very good and largely error free. It was nothing like Vettel’s 2018 disastrous season and you shouldn’t try to draw comparisons. That’s way off mark.
          And, again to prove my point, this is how Hamilton’s 2016 is viewed by the professionals

          https://www.eurosport.co.uk/formula-1/team-bosses-name-hamilton-2016-s-best-driver_sto5966257/story.shtml

          https://www.redbull.com/au-en/best-f1-drivers-2016-this-season-s-top-5-red-bull

          https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/10676670/formula-1-in-2016-who-was-the-driver-of-the-f1-year

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/38408433

          I think the only thing i agree that you said is that 2016 didn’t damage Hamilton’s reputation too badly. I think most objective people could see that he still drove very well but suffered disproportionate reliability. Fangio lost to Farina, Schumacher also lost to Rosberg (plus NP & technically Irvine),Clark lost to Ireland, Prost also lost to a couple of teammates. Many greats have.

        5. @phylyp actually it was Spain (Nico) AND Mercedes (Malaysia) that cost Lewis the WDC. Oddly enough, Lewis was able to overcome the bad starts and ridiculous reliability issues that even Toto couldn’t believe… but Lewis couldn’t undo the 7 points he lost in Spain to Nico’s unpunished kamikaze moves.

          2016 was an incredible season for Lewis – he was imperious. He put so much effort into making comebacks despite the fact that he should have won it handily that it was very emotional for everyone to watch him lose. It’s like a wounded Messi joining the game for 15 minutes scoring 4 goals to equalize the match and then losing in a penalty shootout because one of his teammate slips and falls while kicking the ball.

          It was a prelude to 2017 and 2018 – in a way, Vettel and Ferrari didn’t really stand a chance. As long as Lewis had something to say about it, he was not going to let them steal it again.

  4. I can’t agree with the notion that Hamilton has been playing safe and collecting points when stroll talks about the risks.

    Hamilton fought tooth and nail for some results. Germany he threw caution to the wind in the damp and had pace no one else could get near. Monza he battled both Ferraris at great risk, he fought Vettel back in Russia and had run ins with Verstappen just like everyone else.

    The difference Hamilton made wasn’t avoiding risk to collect points, it was successfully pulling off those risks while his competition usually ended up facing the wrong way.

    1. @philipgb Maybe he just knows when to risk and when not to. Perhaps that is the secret of winning the WDC?

      1. @tonyyeb Yes, indeed. That’s indeed what I (and many others) have strongly felt Vettel’s been lacking especially this season, but last season to a lesser extent as well.

      2. @tonyyeb

        I think Hamilton just trusts the car in his own hands. Look at Russia where Vettel came very close to putting him in the wall. Hamilton reacted quickly enough to the second phase of Vettel’s move and didn’t shy away from remaining aggressive to get past him. He wasn’t even bullied by Verstappen during the meat of the season such as in Bahrain where he happily let Verstappen ruin his own race while fighting.

        In Monza Hamilton wasn’t shy about going into the corner alongside Vettel, and even with the little touch, it was Hamilton who kept his car facing the right way.

        I don’t think Hamilton has been any less brave than Vettel this season, he’s just been more skilled in those moments.

        Austin is the first time we saw him back down from a fight that would have been fair to take when he yielded to Verstappen after a few attempts to get by him, and it was by this point in the season that cautious was going to be enough to wrap the championship up for him.

      3. he just knows when to risk and when not to

        @tonyyeb – agreed, and I think that’s the distinction that @philipgb missed. It’s not a boring and plodding accumulation of points, but taking care to choose his battles.

        @philipgb – to me, Hamilton in Russia showed a great deal of bravery/risk in making his move on Vettel – that was a rapier-like overtake against his primary opponent shortly after that driver had shown poor judgement. Huge risk (in my opinion), and it paid off well – not just in position gained but also psychologically. It’s a bit of a shame that team orders followed, which took a lot of post-race attention away from that brilliant move.

        I’m curious why you think it’s a matter of trust in the car – I’d have thought its more down to a combination of driver ability and car balance that made the difference between Vettel’s spins and Hamilton usually being unaffected.

        1. @phylyp

          I don’t mean it’s the car he trusts, I mean it’s his own hands he trusts it in. So what we think is a brave risk, he trusts himself to pull off the manoeuvre cleanly. And the consistency he’s done that this season isn’t just luck from being brave, it’s talent

          1. @philipgb – ah, I now understood the point you’re making.

  5. Vettel, Holding a red lightsaber “YOU TURNED THE TITLE AGAINST ME”
    Hamilton, holding a turquois one
    “You have done that yourself”

    1. @mrboerns LOL, the SW reference.

      1. Mmm, the Force is Stroll with this one.

    2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      19th November 2018, 12:03

      lmao

  6. No offence to my fave F1 news site, but…. is there really a reason for this article?

    1. @maciek – if enough people can comment on how brilliant Stroll’s observations are, he might think himself an F1 pundit and go join a channel instead (i.e. “go join” is Stroll-speak for “buy out”). Isn’t that a cause worth getting behind? :-)

      1. @phylyp: No. Unless he joins a fashion cricket channel that is only available by 10,000 pound monthly subscription.

    2. @maciek: The point is Keith was paid several thousand pounds to post the article. At least I hope he was. Otherwise, it’s the slowest F1 news day of the year.

  7. I will say that Vettel lost the championship as much as Hamilton won it. Vettel made to many mistakes, he does not seem to handle pressure as well as Hamilton.
    Next yr Vettel will be under more pressure from within with Leclerc, who will not hold back nor will he be held back.
    Hamilton on the other hand will have little or no pressure from his teammate.

    1. @johnrkh – if Ferrari are smart about it, they can set the goal for their drivers to win the WCC. Financially incentivize them as well. Ensure they are clear that the only #1 driver is the one ahead in each individual race, and that the goal is to maximize the team’s points haul. Doing so would likely put pressure on Mercedes because their driver pairing would suddenly appear more lopsided, unless Bottas can really turn his game around and consistently pull out a Bahrain/China type of performance (yeah, I know he lost Bahrain, but it was still a good drive).

      1. Jesus People sure seem certain that leclerc will wipe the floor with Vettel.
        I can’t remember so much premature hype since vandoorne was supposed to be the next big thing

        1. People sure seem certain that leclerc will wipe the floor with Vettel

          Seeing as you’ve replied to me, where did I say that?

          1. Nah you didn’t anyways but the general vibe reminded me that ive been noticing this for a while now

          2. @mrboerns – fair enough. And you’re quite right, sometimes the hotshot in a midfield team has stuttered after a promotion to the big leagues.

            It would be right to wait and watch, but hey, speculation will keep us busy through the long cold winter :-)

  8. Vettel crashed with Stroll after the chequered flag.
    That says enough.
    Hamilon won almost twice as races with a car that wasnt superior for twice as races.
    In fact, it is difficult do believe that Vettel only managed to win 3 further races after being kind of lucky with the first two.
    If he didnt got it done with everything on his favor, why would he next season with all the pressure and new team mate to make things even more difficult ?

  9. Out-drove, out-raced and outclassed Vettel. Vettle’s 2018 is the worse season from a top tier driver that i have seen.

  10. We cannot really know how strong Mercedes W09 has been compared to Ferrari SF71H. I am pretty sure Hamilton believes he could drive that Ferrari faster and Vettel probably also thinks he would have scored more points than Hamilton at Mercedes. But what we know is that Vettel made a lot of obvious errors this season and Hamilton did not. That is why Hamilton will also be ahead of Vettel in the traditional season-end driver rankings.

  11. I guess Stroll is becoming a bit of an expert on being “out-raced and out-driven”.

  12. I think Hamilton is getting way too much credit for this season. Yes, he drove great most of the year but Vettel, who is supposed to be a great driver, buckled under pressure several times during the season and made it way too easy for Hamilton. Hamilton has several years left and will hopefully face more adversity to prove he the driver he is getting credit for.

    In the end, it’s more about the car than the driver and although Hamilton has won 5 championships, they are the same Vettels 4 WDCs if not even more so – a vastly superior car compared to the rest of the field. The exception being this year – Ferrari were competitive but they blew it to put it mildly. And for whatever reason, he lost to ROS which may or may not tarnish it. I’m sure there is a space in HAM’s head holding onto it though.

    So if he duels with Versteppen, Ricciardo or Vettel when they have equal, or close to equal machinery and wins, it will be good. Because as it stands now, he hasn’t really done anything that outstanding considering the car he has. As Alonso said “many drivers would be champions if they drove that car”. Hard to disagree with.

    1. So if he duels with Versteppen, Ricciardo or Vettel when they have equal, or close to equal machinery and wins, it will be good

      https://www.racefans.net/2018/11/15/analysis-did-hamilton-beat-vettel-to-the-title-with-a-slower-car/

      Hamilton proved all he had to when he took on the then defending WDC in his rookie year. And he went toe-to-toe with many quality team mates.

      Actually, it’s the other way around. Meaning, I’m more curious on how Verstappen will handle the situations where he has WDC on the line and the he’s fully aware that other drivers won’t bow out because they have more to lose.

  13. It’s arguable that Merc was inferior to Ferrari. Each manufacturer will claim the other is superior.
    I tend to think Merc was better but to be fair one could say they were even.
    The fact is that if ALO or RIC were in Red, it would have been a much different story. Vettel didn’t live up to his perceived image of being a great driver.
    Hamilton becomes unglued when under pressure, and he would have felt lots with either of them.
    I wouldn’t include VER at this time because he makes lots of mistakes – not ready for prime time.
    Having said that, he is already into Hamilton’s and Vettel’s head and everyone else’s for that matter because of his bonsai tactics.

    1. My reply above meant for Kiran

      1. It’s arguable that Merc was inferior to Ferrari. Each manufacturer will claim the other is superior.

        If you actually read that article, it is not about what each manufacturer claims, but a decent attempt to determine which one is better based on the lap timing data across the whole season.

        My point is simple. I consider 2018’s Hamilton to be better than 2007/08’s version of him in every meaningful aspect that contributes to winning a WDC. So, if “inferior” version of Hamilton could beat the then reigning champions (Alonso in 2007 and Kimi in 2008) in their prime and in the comparable machinery, I have a feeling that “superior” version of him is capable of more than handling whoever drove those Red cars in 2017/18.

        Hamilton becomes unglued when under pressure, and he would have felt lots with either of them.

        Any data to support this?

        1. – “Decent attempt” are the key words in the first sentence. Using common sense dictates they were pretty much even.
          – You “have a feeling” is hardly sound data as you requested from me.
          – You really think Alonso and Kimi were “in their prime” in 2007?
          – I don’t think any unbiased, knowledgeable fan would deny that Alonso and Ricciardo would have performed much better than Vettel. Hell, Versteppen would have performed better than Vettel in the Red car.

          I hope we see more of the Rosberg type scenarios next year where he is under pressure from VER and or other drivers.

          1. “Having a feeling” for the things you’ll never know for sure is better than trying to pass your guess (fantasy?) that Hamilton will become unglued under pressure, as truisms, don’t you think?

            Better question is, do you honestly think that Alonso and Raikkonen were immediately off their form right after winning WDCs? Or is it a simple case of you twisting the facts to fit your narrative?

  14. Agree with stroll this time, I’m not a hamilton’s fan but what he said is undisputable.

    I saw an argument about 2016, and absolutely, hamilton drove the better season, rosberg only won due to better reliability, if farina and fangio had the same car in 1950, that’s another case of rosberg-hamilton.

    I’m still hoping for some more competition at the top, driver wise, next year, because in 2017 eventually it would’ve been very hard to lose the title in hamilton’s position, 2018 could’ve been won but only by vettel, the team mates of the top 2 cars just aren’t fast enough and red bull overall couldn’t compete for title, in 2019 hopefully with verstappen, leclerc, maybe gasly turns out to be another ricciardo, and maybe with honda making a good engine, there could be more people fighting.

    Maybe vettel could bounce back, although, keeping in mind I didn’t watch the seasons he won with red bull, I’d tend to think he’s been overrated because of the car in those years; his 2017 wasn’t too bad, but 2018 was downright dreadful.

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