Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Hamilton is RaceFans readers’ 2018 F1 Driver of the Year

2018 F1 season review

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Lewis Hamilton has been voted Formula 1 Driver of the Year by RaceFans readers for the second year in a row.

The Mercedes driver, who won his fifth world championship this year, was overwhelmingly chosen as the outstanding driver of the season. The only others to receive significant numbers of votes were Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton’s success was also reflected in out race-by-race Driver of the Weekend polls. He was voted top driver seven times, leading Verstappen (four), Sebastian Vettel (three), Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly (two each).

Eight different drivers won the Driver of the Year poll during 2018. The one-time winners were Leclerc for his sixth place in Azerbaijan, Kevin Magnussen for his Australian GP performance when he was on course for fourth before retiring, and Kimi Raikkonen for his first win in over five years at Austin.

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RaceFans F1 Driver of the Year poll winners since 2010

2017: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Daniel Ricciardo
2015: Sebastian Vettel
2014: Daniel Ricciardo
2013: Sebastian Vettel
2012: Fernando Alonso
2011: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Lewis Hamilton

2018 F1 Driver of the Weekend winners

RaceDOTW winnerVotes
2018 Australian Grand PrixKevin Magnussen29.6%
2018 Bahrain Grand PrixPierre Gasly56.7%
2018 Chinese Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo67.4%
2018 Azerbaijan Grand PrixCharles Leclerc42.9%
2018 Spanish Grand PrixLewis Hamilton50.7%
2018 Monaco Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo85.5%
2018 Canadian Grand PrixSebastian Vettel54.4%
2018 French Grand PrixLewis Hamilton35.8%
2018 Austrian Grand PrixMax Verstappen36.0%
2018 British Grand PrixSebastian Vettel44.9%
2018 German Grand PrixLewis Hamilton53.8%
2018 Hungarian Grand PrixPierre Gasly35.1%
2018 Belgian Grand PrixSebastian Vettel37.7%
2018 Italian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton51.0%
2018 Singapore Grand PrixLewis Hamilton51.2%
2018 Russian Grand PrixMax Verstappen40.7%
2018 Japanese Grand PrixLewis Hamilton43.4%
2018 United States Grand PrixKimi Raikkonen60.5%
2018 Mexican Grand PrixMax Verstappen60.0%
2018 Brazilian Grand PrixMax Verstappen41.0%
2018 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixLewis Hamilton40.8%

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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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  • 31 comments on “Hamilton is RaceFans readers’ 2018 F1 Driver of the Year”

    1. In my opinion the best year of Lewis carrer so far. Overwhelmingly chosen by fans and experts (and current f1 drivers) as the best driver of 2018 season.
      Last time the vote was so unanimous would be the 2013 season where Vettel dominated the second half of the season.

      1. the most lucky one, definitely!

        1. Bruno – when Gary Player sank an “impossible” putt, he was called “lucky”; to which he responded: “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.

          Hamilton is a consummate professional at the top of his game whether you care to admit it or not.

        2. Yes, he got some lucky opportunities. But he also maximized them when he did. Let’s not diminish his good work this year by ascribing it to luck.

          1. Lucky bitter? mmmmmm….

        3. WOW … a guy that becomes only the third driver ever to win 5 WDC’s and you call him lucky, even Seb admitted that Hamilton did a better job this year … shame some so called F1 fans can not show the same humility … love him or loathe him he actually deserved the title this year.

    2. Interesting that Hamilton has never had more than 53.8% of the votes in the DOTW polls. Some people will never vote for him I guess.

      1. Or they vote for other drivers!

      2. When the dotw is obvious, some people tend to vote for the second best or good effort…

      3. And that was one of his lesser deserved DOTW IMO.

        B it also note that it is extremely rare for more than 60% to agree on the DOTW. Only excelling in a ‘slower’ car, and the rest making mistakes, will get you those numbers.

    3. Indeed. I voted for him as well.

    4. I’m not a Hamilton fan, but, this year he does deserve it..

    5. Hamilton was pretty flawless and did his usual spectacular best, only Alonso matched him on that, but Alonso wasn’t good enough to get a decent car and that is a big factor in racing, well done Lewis.

    6. Difficult to judge HAM. I remember seasons in which HAM clearly forced some of the Mercedes wins an you could really say if not for him they wouldn’t have won. Not so much this year. The overall team/car package he has is so good that in all honesty Alonso, Vettel, Verstappen & Leclerc would probably be equally dominant. Nevertheless it is limited to those 4 others so HAM is the star for having/owning the drive and capatalizing on it (as opposed to his team mate)

      1. Mercedes had the better car for most of the year but it’s a bit much to claim any one of those drivers could have done it as well. Bottas had the same package but had drastically different results. Just because Lewis had the best package doesn’t mean he’s not adding any skill and that any of them were equally capable.

        Alonso is notoriously bad in team situations, Vettel actually had the better package at many points this year but still didn’t capitalize, Verstappen is progressing but is still yet to make the jump to fulfill his hype, and Leclerc, I mean cmon he’s had some good races in formula 1.5 but he’s yet to prove anything when racing the big boys in the high pressure situations.

        I’m not sure why people keep insisting that it’s impossible to have the best driver AND the best package – those are not mutually exclusive.

        1. My sentiments exactly. +1

        2. When Rosberg left at the end of 2016, many ppl thought without him Mercedes would struggle to replicate their success because they believe he was the smarter, more hardworking and he drove their development.

          Without Lewis in that Merc, they would’ve lost the last 2 championships.

          1. They also have struggled more without Rosberg.

        3. It’s the Hamilton rule:

          If Lewis Hamilton excels, it’s because of the car and luck.

          Any other driver excels, it’s because of talent and dedication.

      2. Re-watch the German Gp

      3. For me the question isn’t whether the other drivers would replicate the WDC.
        It’s whether the other drivers would have beat the 408 point mark as well as produce jaw dropping pole laps
        like in AUS and Singapore.

        VERS can be ruled out points wise because of his dismal start to the season. You don’t score 408 pts by being a handful of points ahead of Alonso in a Mclaren after 7 rounds of the season- even in a Merc.

        Seb VET’s troubles are well documented.
        RIC hasn’t been that convincing.
        Leclerc is still somewhat of an unproven quantity at the front end of the grid.

        On that basis I think only Alonso is left- I think he would come close points wise but he would probably fall short in qualy.
        See 2007 where HAM outqualified ALO.

        Given this turbulent air malarkey the question then becomes whether Alonso would replicate the wins (thus the big points) without starting on pole.

        And on that note, I’m not so sure.

        1. Even Alonso has admitted he’s not the best at qualifying laps, or in the rain.

      4. @ Mayrton see Hungary, Germany and Singapore for where he made the difference. His general race craft has not been matched this season. Your post is unfortunately very ill informed

    7. No Sirotkin jokes? Boooooo.

    8. Definitely the best result. IMO Hamilton has been in the best form of his career to date in 2018.
      He saw off an apponent that was in a car that was just as competitive and has a pedigree of being a 4x WDC. Some of his pole laps were almost sennaesqe he was just that good.
      He also dominated his team mate very much like Vettel did after nearly losing the WDC in 2010.
      Well done to him. If he stays in this sort of form for 2019 and 2020, I can see bike racking up WDC’s no 6 & 7 A’s it’s unlikely his team will let him down with a poor car between now and then.

    9. When will Hamilton get a knighthood or better? He is surely worth it and the silence is deafenngly embarrassiing. Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, far more reward for far less. The Brit establishment clearly still has major problems with colour and racism. They simply cannot hack it! Shame on you!

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