Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

How close was it? 10 charts revealing F1 teams’ performance in 2018

2018 F1 season review

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In 2018 Formula 1 enjoyed its closest competition since the V6 hybrid turbo rules were introduced. But only three teams were contenders for victory.

Teams performance in 2018

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The effective division of Formula 1 into two distinct ‘classes’ could not have been more obvious in 2018. There wasn’t a single race where Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull were out-paced by any of the other seven teams. No wonder the battle for ‘best of the rest’ honours was increasingly referred to as ‘Formula 1.5’ or similar, including by some of the drivers.

At least among those three teams the situation was more competitive than it has been for much of the V6 hybrid turbo era. Ferrari gave Mercedes a serious run for its money on pure performance for much of the season. The three-race run in Singapore, Russia and Japan where the team went the wrong way with its car development is clear to see. However even once Ferrari found its way Mercedes retained a slight upper hand.

Red Bull were occasionally in the mix at the tracks which suited the RB14. They converted performance into victories in Monaco and Mexico, and capitalised on two other chances to win.

Haas usually led the way in the midfield fight on outright performance. But by the end of the year fellow Ferrari customer Sauber were a serious threat. If the latter can sustain their momentum into next season, their returning driver Kimi Raikkonen could turn in some surprise results. But as ever, so much will depend on how far ahead the ‘big three’ are.

Teams progress since 2017

At the end of 2016 F1 gave the teams new freedoms in the aerodynamic regulations to create wider cars with more powerful downforce-generating structures, particularly around the bargeboards. This, along with increasingly refined V6 hybrid turbo power units which are closing on if not already past the 1,000bhp mark at peak performance, has created the fastest generation of F1 cars ever.

Renault, which is getting ‘back to fighting weight’ following the return of the manufacturer as a chassis as well as engine constructor, has made the greatest gain over the past two years, slashing 4.4 seconds off its lap times in two years on average.

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Sauber has done almost as well, making the biggest leap of any team this year following its switch from year-old to current-specification Ferrari power units. Strikingly, it is the only team which found a bigger step in performance this year than it did in 2017.

The reason for Williams’ sink to the foot of the championship table this year is unmistakeable, however. It has added less than two seconds off lap time to its car in the same period.

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Teams performance trends in the V6 hybrid turbo era

Use the control above to hide and show the data for different teams.
NB. Renault was Lotus in 2014-15

The changing fortunes at Williams and Sauber are even clearer to see here. Since the current engine rules were introduced Williams has gone from being F1’s second-fastest team to the slowest. Whereas Sauber, having been slowest for much of 2016-17, ended 2018 as ‘best of the rest’.

A major development in 2018 was Red Bull’s decision to drop Renault and switch to Honda power for next season. Whatever the strengths of the Honda – McLaren (2015-17) and Toro Rosso (2018) do not give a conclusive picture – it’s clear to see why Red Bull feel they’ve reached the limit of what’s possible with a Renault motor as they seem to have hit a ceiling in performance.

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Teams reliability in 2018

Note the data above refers only to occasions where drivers were not classified (completed less than 90% of a race distance) due to a car failure and can therefore under-represent the true extent of reliability problems.

Teams performance and reliability in 2018

Which team was closest to perfection? A car which set the quickest lap time at every round and never broke down would appear at the bottom-left of this graph – the team which was closest was the most competitive.

While Red Bull were close to the performance of Mercedes and Ferrari, reliability was a major weakness. Nor can this be entirely blamed on their Renault power unit, as the works team and fellow customers McLaren both enjoyed better finishing rates.

Long-term reliability trend

The highly sophisticated V6 hybrid turbos are not yet as reliable as the V8s they replaced, but are now very close.

The car to beat, 2010-18

For the fifth year in a row Mercedes produced the fastest car. However the performance advantage they enjoyed over their rivals was even less than it had been last year. Ferrari’s car was regularly faster.

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Pole positions

Mercedes domination made the early seasons of the V6 hybrid turbo era decidedly one-sided. The state of competition in F1 is improving, albeit very slowly.

Five different drivers took pole position this year, the highest since 2012. There were also five different winners, but Valtteri Bottas would have won in Russia had Mercedes not ordered him to let Hamilton by. If it hadn’t been for that, we would also have seen the most different winners since 2012.

Drivers, teams and races

Uniquely, the same 20 drivers started every round of this year’s world championship. Unfortunately only six of them were ever realistic candidates for victory.

2018 F1 season review

Browse all 2018 F1 season review articles

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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48 comments on “How close was it? 10 charts revealing F1 teams’ performance in 2018”

  1. Great graphics.. the only wish would be a colored line that is highlighted (or “fat”) when using mouse over.
    I have some troubles with the different colors in some graphics.

    But i love the information overload ;)

    1. It does. You just need to mouse over the legend instead of the line on the chart itself.

      1. Thanks. missed that one.

    2. Absolutely love this.
      Great nuggets of insights in each graph.

      My favourite: 2014-18 car performance trend (five-race average). And see how Sauber went from 4s adrift and dead last to best of the rest in 1 season.
      Maybe McLaren shouldn’t try to get Key on board, but offer Frédéric Vasseur the top job instead.

      1. @coldfly That’s a particularly depressing chart for Williams fans…

        1. @keithcollantine

          Keith, your stats are a little confusing.

          How on earth can you conclude Merc was quicker than Ferrari in Mexico? Merc really struggled with their tyres, and was well off the pace of both the RB & Ferrari in race trim. If you recall, both Mercs nearly got lapped. It’s nonsensical to state Merc had the better car than Ferrari in that race. And how do you know Merc was quicker than Ferrari in Mexico Q3 when Vettel made an error on his flying lap? How do you adjust for this? Similar in Brazil, Hamilton & Vettel separated by less than a 10th in Q3, with Vettel making a smalll error that could have cost him pole. How are you determining if the difference was down to the car or driver?? And therefore, the overall laptimes? And how are you accounting for outliers, like Australia, or even Singapore where Ferrari could have been closer to Merc in Singapore Q3 if they had better organised themselves?

          Overall, you state Merc was quickest in
          Australia, Spain, France, Austria, GB, Singapore, Russia, Japan, USA, Brazil, Abu Dhabi

          I would overall agree with this except Mexico. Any sane person would award Mexico to Ferrari.And i would argue Brazil is debatable too.

          So Ferrari had a better car than Merc

          Bahrain, China, Baku, Monaco, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Italy & Mexico.

          That’s almost 50:50

  2. This makes an end to the discussion as Ferrari being the best car in 2018, though they closed the gap futher and futher, they’re not just there. Maybe a driver like Vertappen or Hamilton could have brought the title to Ferrari, but on potential Mercedes is still dominant… only logical for Lewis to win another title.

    1. Drivers are not excluded from these stats, so who knows where the last few tenths come from. I am convinced part of Williams’ demise and Saubers upturn is due to the drivers they decided to contract.

    2. @ Matn

      No, it doesn’t end the debate, because other, more indepth analysis such as AMuS stated Ferrari was quicker more times than Merc.

      And no, the Merc car is still not dominant. There hasn’t been a dominant car in F1 since 2016.

      1. Not across a whole year, but how to forget performances like canada 2017, abu dhabi 2017, spain 2018, singapore 2018, russia 2018, japan 2018 from mercedes? They were dominant races.

        1. Ferrari had their own “dominant” performances too e.g. China 2018, Spa 2018, Monaco 2017 etc. Singapore 2017 should have been a dominant win for Ferrari too

          Neither car was dominant across 2017 or 2018.

          1. A*, as you say, there were races within that period where you can make the same argument for Ferrari.

            After all, by the logic that @esploratore is using, you have to conclude that Vettel dominated the Canadian GP in 2018 – he took pole position, lead the entire race from start to finish and was only denied the fastest lap by a tenth of a second, going on to win by a similar winning margin that Hamilton had over Vettel in Russia (about 7.5s).

            Similarly, as you say, Spa 2018 would have to be put down as a dominant victory for Vettel as well, given that he again lead every single lap and finished by an even larger margin ahead of Hamilton (an 11 second lead) than Hamilton managed in a supposedly “dominant” race like the Russian GP.

            In reality, though, when you think about it, it does seem even slightly bizarre to say that one or other driver really “dominated” a race when the winning margins were, in most races, pretty small by historical standards – sometimes less than the margins in seasons where no team was thought to have truly dominated.

          2. Ok, anon, I don’t have a problem admitting spa and canada were dominated by ferrari performance as well.

            However, I wouldn’t call china 2018 ferrari dominated, like A said, I mean, bottas was competing with vettel, who as bad as he’s been this year never lacked the speed, he just made mistakes.

      2. There’s no doubt that in outright pace the Mercedes was the fastest car this season.

        They locked the front row out in qualifying 7 times to Ferraris 3 and red bulls 1.

        That stay alone is conclusive as it’s an overall picture of car performance that includes both drivers contributions.

        Deeper analysis also suggests that Vettel was perhaps flattering the Ferraris 1 lap pace as his qualifying delta over Raikkonen was significantly better than Hamilton’s over Bottas.

        1. @pantherjag

          “There’s no doubt that in outright pace the Mercedes was the fastest car this season.”

          But there is doubt. For example, AMUS state Ferrari was quicker more times than Merc.

          Locking out the front row is a naive metric to determine who had the fastest car, as it fails to take into account driver error. For example, i think it was Baku where Ferrari was quickest in Qual and on course for a 1-2, but Kimi then made a mistake on the last corner on his last flying lap, allowing Hamilton to snatch P2. Even in Hungary, Mercs 1-2 quali was more to do with Vettel underperforming in the wet, and Kimi’s lap being ruined by being sent out into traffic, rather than Merc having the quicker car. Ferrari had the quicker car in Hungary, despite Merc getting the 1-2.

          F1 is too complex to simply point to numbers to determine which car was faster.

          And it’s not all about speed. Reliability is an important factor. Vettel had far better reliability than Hamilton. So, when you take reliability into account, it’s difficult to see who had the overall best car.

          1. Every driver makes errors. Merc lost potential 1-2’s in quali in Australia and brazil due to Bottas slipping up.

            As for Hungary the Merc Was the fastest car in the wet conditions where every driver had the same conditions to contend with so it’s perfectly valid.

          2. (@pantherjag)

            We don’t know if Merc had the potential for 1-2 in Australia. Vettel/Ferrari and all the other top drivers made mistakes on their flying laps, exaggerating the gap to Hamilton. Vettel was struggling with the balance of his car. Plus, Hamilton is a bit of a specialist when qualifying in Australia, historically,it’s one of his best tracks. These two factors help exaggerate the gap between Hamilton & everyone else. Bottas took himself out of contention, but no guarantees he would have taken P2 if all the others hadn’t made their mistakes.

            As for Hungary, Ferrari was fastest in the wet. The only reason Merc got a 1-2 was because Vettel underperformed, while Kimi, who was on course for pole, got sent out into spray & traffic which ruined his lap. In fact, Kimi was the fastest man on his first flying lap, he took provisonal pole in the wet. Kimi said the car worked well in those conditions, and said they had the speed to take a comfortable pole position but got stuck in spray. Here’s what Kimi said:

            Overall this weekend the car has been really good in any conditions. In qualifying it was a bit tricky, but I enjoyed driving it a lot. The speed was there and the car was working well in wet conditions. Today we were more competitive in the rain than we had been in other places; it was nice, I was pleased because this hadn’t been our strongest point lately. In Q3 with used tyres we were fastest of all, but with the new set we were a bit unlucky with the traffic; we got stuck a bit behind another car and with all the spray we could not have a clear lap. There was nothing we could do, as we were limited on time. It’s a pity because there was a lot of grip on the new tyres: I’m sure we had the speed and everything else to get pole, but we have to be positively happy that now we can actually challenge for the front in wet conditions.” (Räikkönen)

            For Kimi, the Ferrari car worked well in the wet & was fast. So, it was Vettel who underperformed, not the car.

            As for Brazil, Vettel made a sllight error on his flyling lap. He was less than a 1oth from Hamilton. Had Vettel nailed his flying lap, Vettel possibly could have taken pole.

            That’s the problem with basing overall speed on the amount of poles/1-2s etc. Driver error or driver underperformance can distort the figures.

            Keith stats show, give or take the odd race -that the Merc & Ferrari were more or less even. Roughly 50/50 on speed. And Vettel did have the best reliability which is an important factor when deciding the best overall car.

        2. Yes, you should keep in mind the potential of the car and take away driver errors I think when it comes to these front row lockouts, raikkonen made several mistakes in q3, that time in baku he was on a great lap but lost a second, in canada if he had done a good lap, as in slower than vettel but raikkonen 2018 like, he’d have likely made 2nd place too, and had the potential to do so even in hockenheim; also let’s not forget monaco for red bull, that was a pure front row on pace, it’s not red bull’s fault that verstappen made a mistake in the end of fp3.

  3. I don’t understand. I don’t know if its my math or my english that needs improving, but when you say
    1. Mercedes’ W09 is the car to beat this year
    2. Ferrari was regularly faster (which open a link to another article)

    How is the slower car to beat this year ? Also gow is Ferrari regularly faster when 11 out of 20 the silver car had the pace advantage?

    1. Hi @okeptl

      Regularly just means it happened often. Not necessarily more often than it’s comparison point.

      I would say that these stats are not 100% perfect though (it’s very hard to achieve) as you are assuming that all the drivers in the teams produced 100% of the capability of the car (or at least an even performance extraction across all teams) to base the data on which is unlikely. This means there is room for ‘flex’ in this. For example, it’s *highly* unlikely that we saw the best that the Williams could achieve all year. It’s not a good car, but it might have been closer to the midfield if the two drivers in the team were Hamilton and Verstappen. Just something to bear in mind when analysing the data.

      1. Thank you for explaining @tdm

        It is a little bit confusing to me, because i always thought that regularly means “constantly” and not “in many times”.
        Yeah the data that i can confidently compare is the year by year data. I am not confident in comparing cars or drivers across teams because there are too many variables that I don’t know and understand; so those i always take them with a grain of salt.

        One thing for sure is that I agree that Seb blew up his championship chances while driving a championship worthy car. Its just I can’t definitely say which team has the fastest car

        1. Think mercedes were at least slightly quicker if you consider how close the 2 have been up to and including monza, and then you got singapore, russia and japan.

          On the other hand, reliability was better for ferrari.

  4. Interesting and informative. Concerning the ‘car to beat’ graph: Yes, the MP4-27 achieved quite a few poles in its active season, but I don’t necessarily entirely agree that it was the outright fastest/most competitive car of the season, definitely not the most reliable one.

    1. ”Valtteri Bottas would have won in Russia had Mercedes not ordered him to let Hamilton by.”
      – He would’ve won in China and Azerbaijan as well had it not been for the misfortunes he suffered in those races.

      1. I’d count only china between those: to be in a position to win baku he had already benefitted from luck.

      2. Ok so how does one conclude that a .7 second lead after 1/3 distance is a guaranteed win ? Also, we can say that Hamilton would have won Australia if not for bad strategy by the team. He would have won Bahrain had Kimi not hit him. He would be a 7 x champ if he scored 2 more points in 07 and had he not had an engine failure 10 laps from the end of Sepang 2016, and a half a dozen other mechanical issues that year. My point is the variables and “what if” scenarios exist for everyone. Bottas was comprehensively outperformed by Hamilton as was Vettel. Take away all the variables and Hamilton had the best season as a driver without a doubt . If not for him the Mercedes would not be considered the best car and that goes for 17 and 18.

  5. “If it hadn’t been for that, we would also have seen the most different winners since 2012.”

    Yes, but in 2012 we had McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus winning. Correct me if I am wrong, but I can’t recall such a long streak with just 3 teams winning? Since Australia 2013 when the Enstone team last won, we only had Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull winning?

    1. @jmlabareda Yes indeed. Only Mercedes, Ferrari, and RBR have won races since the Malaysian GP of 2013, the first race after the previous round in Australia won by Kimi at Lotus the precedessor of the current Renault works outfit.

      1. Yes, until the performance changes drastically, and even renault only set the goal to halve the gap, not catch up, for 2019, I don’t see how anyone else can win, there’s 6 places which are unachievable for anyone else unless one of the top 6 has a very serious problem (accident, mechanical failure, puncture without SC, rear wing to replace etc.) and it just never happens that more than 3 have such issues.

    2. Yes, but in 2012 we had McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus winning.

      Add Williams to the list as well.

  6. Very good analysis, and with the Mercedes still the overall best car. I hope we can have Ferrari having the upper hand next year, as I wish to see Lewis having a greater challenge in his career. We need to see if he can do a “91 Senna” title. He did great this year, but the only weakness I saw on him was maybe his mindset once things got worse in a race due to circumstances, he usually tended to complain a lot on the radio and looked more distressed. Having a worse car would require a lot of psychological strength to cope with, and I wish to see him in this situation, that would be really awesome.

    1. Hamilton had a worse car than Ferrari in places like Germany, Hungary & Italy yet pulled off stunning wins/performances

      And Keith stats show it was overall roughly 50/50 between Merc & Ferrari cars. And when you take into account reliability, it’s difficult to say which car was the overall best. Ferrari had the better reliability.

  7. When he had a worse car, he produced that Monza performance. For instance.

      1. As mentioned by esploratore, at Monza it was Raikkonen that punched above his weight. On Germany it was more of a strategy call from Mercedes leaving Hamilton out of the pits whilst the leaders pitted, and also Vettel throwing out a sure victory. In Hungary, the qualifying lap was really outstanding, but the race on the dry was easy, like Monaco, if you are in front. Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton really deserved the title and he was the best overall this year. As Vettel, and Schumacher, when these drivers had the best machinery, they seldom made mistakes, they drove superbly and it was really hard for anyone to beat them; I feel the same for Hamilton, he’s really almost untouchable under these conditions. For me what’s interesting is to see these drivers reactions when they are not on their “superiority comfort zone”. That’s when in my opinion a true great stands out. We can see how it goes with Vettel on 2017 and 2018, or with Schumacher when things won’t go his way. I really want to see Hamilton having to cope with this kind of pressure for the whole season; it would be awesome to see him having to get out of his comfort zone too and see his reactions when the pressure is on him. I hope we have the chance to see this, as usually, these situations provide the best racing.

        1. “It Monza it was Raikkonen that punched above his weight”

          Not really, Ferrari had the fastest car in Italy, so why is Kimi punching above his weight? Ok, he outqualified Vettel but at the end of the day, Kimi destroyed his tyres own tyres which allowed Hamilton, in a slower Merc, to beat him. Plus that initial move on lap 1 from Hamilton was crucial. He overtook Vettel in the quicker Ferrari which helped shape the rest of the race. Excellent race from Hamilton in a “worse car than Ferrari”

          Germany, again, Hamilton overcomes a mechanical problem(hydraulics failure), starts P14 in a car slower than Ferrari, yet grabs a fantastic win. He manages to keep his car on track, negotiates the tricky conditions better than Vettel, keeps his focus better than Vettel, and then it’s his questioning of the initial call to pit which constributed to him staying out and getting the win. Another good performance from Hamilton “in a worse car” than Ferrari.

          Hungary, again,, superb in wet conditions to grab pole in a slower car than Ferrari

          You have 3 examples when Hamilton has performed well, under pressure, while not having the fastest/best car that given day.

          Spa 2017. Hamilton under pressure from Vettel nearly the entire race. Vettel’s car arguably quicker than the Merc. Hamilton peformed well.

          I feel you are being over selective and holding Hamilton to some kind of make believe standard. There’s plenty examples of Hamilton dealing with pressure, in not the best car, if you care to look.

          And overall, we really can’t say who had the best car in 2018. Keith stats show the cars were close, with races like but when you combine reliability, you could make a case for Vettel having the best car in 2018.

          1. Thanks for the reply, I get your point about these races. Again, on these races, even if they were good examples of Hamilton’s performance, they were achieved due to others drivers not delivering the goods, and not him having an exceptional race. (I loved when he held himself on Monza by the way). And on these races his car was on par with Ferrari. Maybe I haven’t been clear in my last post. I wish I could see Ham driving a Red Bull, and see what he’s capable of when he haven’t the best car. Since on his first year in F1, he started in the best car (by his own merit), so we hardly saw him punching really above his weight during a whole championship. The only occasion he had a bad car was for half year on 2009, where he really was nowhere and hadn’t any standout race until Mclaren updated the car during season break. Several great drivers had to start on worse cars and deliver results in order to get noticed by big teams ( Lauda on BRM, Keke Rosberg on Fittipaldi, Senna on Toleman, Hakkinen on Lotus, Alonso on Minardi, Vettel on Toro Rosso, etc) , and we got denied on that in case of Hamilton’s career. But I for one would love to see him overcome and to deal with a worse car. That would be great, but I believe that he tends to demotivate on situations where things aren’t going his way.

          2. @mmertens)

            I wish I could see Ham driving a Red Bull, and see what he’s capable of when he haven’t the best car.”

            I suppose you were asleep during the RB domination period?

            The RB had the dominant/clear best cars from 2010 -2013 & yet Hamilton won poles, podiums & races and even challenged for a championship in a car that was probably only 3rd fastest on the grid (2010). It was certainly no where near being the best car on the grid. Keith did some stats on the 2010 McLaren and concluded it was only the 3rd fasest car of 2010 behind the RB & Ferrari. And yet , at various stages, Hamilton led the title challenge. For Hamilton to challenge for the title in 2010, would be similar to Max/Ricciardo challenging in the RB today. Keith in fact voted Hamilton driver of the year in 2010, for wringing more out of his car than his title rivals.

            As for 2009, he had plenty oustanding races in the first half of the season. Despite what happened off track, he drove brilliantly in Australia where his car was an absolute dog, starting from the back, making it to the podium. Maybe a review of the 2009 season will jog your very selective memory:

            Even when Hamilton won a couple of races in the latter half of the 2009 season, there was nothing in the data to suggest his car had the speed of the RB or Brawn cars-explained here:

            Hamilton has now won 2 championships in cars that were not the outright best- 2008 & 2018. In 2018 in particular, he has trounced a 4xWDC is equalish machinery.
            He also beat a double world champion in the same car (2007, Alonso).
            As for your nonsense that he gets demotivated when things don’t go his way- sure Hamilton will initially express frustration (like all drivers), but then he’ll just get on with things. Example GB 2018, punted off by Kimi on the first lap, expressed frustration, but still got on with the job of working his way back up the order to earn a P2 and bag valuable points. Don’t confuse disappointment/frustration, with demotivation.

            Hamilton has nothing more to prove.

            Stop making things up to discredit Hamilton. You are now making yourself look foolish.

          3. by what metric did ferrari have the faster car in italy?? pole? no. race pace? big no.

            Oh! you must be talking about practice!

        2. @mmertens I disagree completely about Raikkonen punching above his weight at Monza. Ferrari had the faster car, he had the lead, he didn’t come first. He wasn’t helped by Vettel taking himself out of contention, which allowed Mercedes to squeeze him and Ferrari on strategy (Bottas holding him up) but it wasn’t a stellar performance.

          As for Hamilton, my point was that Silverstone showed Ferrari had a faster car. But over the next races (including a valiant attempt at Spa in qualifying) Hamilton took the championship to Vettel and Ferrari when – presumably – under pressure. Which is what you asked to see. I’m just pointing out the fact that under pressure, he already delivered this year. Maybe the fact he made it look easy means it didn’t seem like pressure.

          1. Replying to A:

            Sigh…I wasn’t asleep during the RB domination era, that’s what I talking, he haven’t won titles in those years right? So, he did what a Ricciardo did this year, great but not legend by my standards.
            As for the Australian 2009 race, he finished in 4th after he gained 2 places due to the Vettel and Kubica collision while in 2nd and 3rd ( and also after both retirements for Ferrari). And he was been handed 3 place after Trulli disqualification. It was a good race, but in normal conditions he would be 6th at the best.
            As for the latter victories on 2009, he had a really good car on hands, in Hungary for example he was 2 tenths from pole, and according to him the upgraded car was fantastic.
            But, hey, I never been an anti-Hamilton ( and I know this is a very sensitive subject on this site amongst fans) guy, I really think he it’s one of the best from his generation. I just don’t see him winning a title yet with and under performing car, and I know it’s really a very rare feat to be champion without having the best car. I do agree with your point regarding frustration/ demotivating , I think it’s a fair point. And by the way, I’m not afraid of being considered a fool as long as I can give my opinion here. Thanks

          2. To David Br, fair points as well, maybe you are right , it was maybe Raikkonen that raised his game to 2007 standards, it was a long time that I haven’t seen him drive with passion, but I think you are right. These remarks about Hamilton dealing with pressure, please see my posts to A, this year he had at least equal machinery than his rivals. Maybe I haven’t explained myself well enough, I wish I could see him dealing with pressure having a performance gap of a Red Bull for example. But you are right, he was really the best on 2018.

          3. @mmertens)

            So, he did what a Ricciardo did this year, great but not legend by my standards”

            No,he did better than what Max & Ricciardo has done. Maybe it’s not regsitering with you but in 2010 Hamilton had the THIRD best car overall. Yet he challenged for the title. The RB cars have been the 3rd best car over the last few years yet neither Max or Ricciardo has managed to challenge for a title. Yet you blindly write you would like to see what Hamilton could/would do in a car like the RB. Open you eyes, he’s already shown this.

            As for Aus 2009, in a car 2.5 secs off pace, Hamilton started at the back, extracted the max from his car, avoiding crashing like Vettel did, put himself in a position to capitalise and dragged a car that had no right being at the front, to a near podium. And then managed to secure a couple of wins, when the car was later more competitive, yet still slower than the Brawn & RB. So two wins in the 3rd best car of that year.
            It seems you want Hamilton to perform mythical miracles.

            I just don’t see him winning a title yet with and under performing car,

            You’ll be hard pressed to find a champion who will.

            ” I know it’s really a very rare feat to be champion without having the best car

            He’s already done this in 2008. And in 2018, he didn’t have the OUTRIGHT best car either.

            , I wish I could see him dealing with pressure having a performance gap of a Red Bull for example/strong>”

            See 2010, 2009 etc

          4. Yes, I think hamilton did great early in his career, I consider the 2008 mclaren slightly 2nd best car, so it was one of the rare cases where a driver won despite that, just like schumacher in 1994-1995.

            In 2009 I remember well australia, that first part of the season was the only time hamilton had a very bad car, though, I think he did pretty well for what he had.

            But I think the one of you who argues more favourably towards hamilton is exagerating every comparison of 2018 car values to make hamilton look better, as in: there’s no way mercedes at monza and germany 2018 can be considered inferior, it was roughly equal to ferrari, and same at silverstone.

            And also, silverstone is the exception to the rule, the one time where stuff goes wrong for hamilton but he recovers, look at austria, china, canada!

    1. Against a 4 years beyond his prime raikkonen, who’s arguably never been at hamilton’s level, 2 vs 1, as in being slowed down by bottas, not perfect strategy, you know how that goes, I was more impressed by raikkonen at monza than hamilton.

      Mexico is having a worse car!

  8. Hamilton had a worse car in places like Germany, Hungary & Italy yet pulled off stunning wins/performances

    And Keith stats show it was overall roughly 50/50 between Merc & Ferrari cars. And when you take into account reliability, it’s difficult to say which car was the overall best. Ferrari had the better reliability.

  9. I always find the quote

    but Valtteri Bottas would have won in Russia had Mercedes not ordered him to let Hamilton by

    an interesting one. Lewis was close behind Bottas and was let by on lap 24. The quote

    Bottas would have won

    assumes that Lewis would not have overtaken Bottas in the following 29 laps.

    1. Unlikely in a race where bottas is faster like russia.

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