F1 drivers, Yas Marina, 2018

The complete RaceFans 2018 F1 season review

2018 F1 season review

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As 2018 draws to a close, read our complete review of last year’s championship including all the driver rankings, team reports, statistics and much more.

Driver rankings

Here’s our full verdict on how all 20 drivers performed in 2018:

2018 F1 driver rankings #1: Hamilton
2018 F1 driver rankings #2: Verstappen
2018 F1 driver rankings #3: Leclerc
2018 F1 driver rankings #4: Alonso
2018 F1 driver rankings #5: Ricciardo
2018 F1 driver rankings #6: Vettel
2018 F1 driver rankings #7: Perez
2018 F1 driver rankings #8: Gasly
2018 F1 driver rankings #9: Raikkonen
2018 F1 driver rankings #10: Ocon
2018 F1 driver rankings #11: Bottas
2018 F1 driver rankings #12: Hulkenberg
2018 F1 driver rankings #13: Sainz
2018 F1 driver rankings #14: Magnussen
2018 F1 driver rankings #15: Vandoorne
2018 F1 driver rankings #16: Ericsson
2018 F1 driver rankings #17: Grosjean
2018 F1 driver rankings #18: Stroll
2018 F1 driver rankings #19: Hartley
2018 F1 driver rankings #20: Sirotkin

You can read the driver rankings for previous years, including the mid-season run-downs, here:

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Statistics and analysis

Which is the richest team? Who had the most ‘best of the rest’ wins? The key data on 2018:

Analysis: How F1 teams spent $2.2 billion in 2018
20 telling stats about each F1 driver in 2018
How close was it? 10 charts revealing F1 teams’ performance in 2018

The team mate battles

How close did Valtteri Bottas get to his world championship winning team mate? Did six drivers really deserve to leave the sport this year? Compare each driver to their only rival who had the same car:

2018 team mates battles: Hamilton vs Bottas at Mercedes
2018 team mates battles: Vettel vs Raikkonen at Ferrari
2018 team mates battles: Verstappen vs Ricciardo at Red Bull
2018 team mates battles: Hulkenberg vs Sainz at Renault
2018 team mates battles: Grosjean vs Magnussen at Haas
2018 team mates battles: Alonso vs Vandoorne at McLaren
2018 team mates battles: Perez vs Ocon at Force India
2018 team mates battles: Leclerc vs Ericsson at Sauber
2018 team mates battles: Gasly vs Hartley at Toro Rosso
2018 team mate battles: Stroll vs Sirotkin at Williams

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Team reviews

It was another year to celebrate for Mercedes while two past champions – McLaren and Williams – suffered disappointing seasons.

Hamilton and Mercedes succeed in their toughest challenge yet
Vettel’s errors thwart Ferrari title hopes
Red Bull’s best hybrid era season fails to save Renault relationship
Renault narrowly wins the midfield fight
Haas make great gains but fall short of potential with fifth
McLaren discover dropping Honda was no cure-all
Force India survived, then thrived after Stroll investment
Prancing horsepower helps Sauber make a “huge step forward”
Toro Rosso’s Honda success inspires Red Bull switch
Williams was ‘participating, not competing’ in 2018

More features

Your favourite driver and race of 2018 – plus a selection of our best pictures and stories from last season.

Start spreadin’ the news: The stories RaceFans broke in 2018
2018 F1 season in pictures: The best action of the year
Raikkonen’s US GP win was RaceFans’ readers’ top race of 2018
Hamilton is RaceFans readers’ 2018 F1 Driver of the Year

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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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12 comments on “The complete RaceFans 2018 F1 season review”

  1. I pretty much agree with the driver rankings albeit I perhaps would put Vandoorne at least a couple of places lower and switch the positions of Leclerc and Alonso, but other than that I pretty much agree with everything.

  2. This season really proved that the drivers still make all the difference.

    We witnessed inch-perfect greatness from a magisterial Hamilton.

    We witnessed fragility in Vettel as watched the shards of his Ferrari litter the tracks seeing fall to the back of the pack.

    We witnessed Verstappen fighting his demons and losing that battle at the beginning of the season. In the 2nd half of the season, he managed to escape their claws by the finest of margins but he surely hasn’t lost them making him the most exciting driver to watch.

    We witnessed an unlucky Ricciardofalling behind Verstappen in his final race, a symbolic drop of his pace and stature within Red Bull. Even then, he still managed to smile.

    We witnessed Alonso score 50 points in a McLaren.

    We saw Hulkenberg prove again that he is probably the fastest driver in F1 without a podium, a victory… or a WDC.

    We witnessed Sainz prove that you can never count him out even against the likes of Verstappen and Hulkenberg.

    We witnessed Magnussen and Grosjean starring as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and swapping roles over the season.

    We witnessed a team of greatness yonder pay a huge price for underestimating the value of drivers and ending up dead last in the WCC.

    The value of driver’s stocks are the highest they’ve ever been in F1. The cars are important but the quality of the driver is paramount.

    1. @freelittlebirds – that’s easily the best summary of the Haas drivers I’ve seen for 2018.

    2. A tad cynical, but there is nothing to add from me.

    3. @freelittlebirds Interesting claim about the stock of the drivers being the highest ever…with six drivers gone, and only two teams that will have the same driver lineup in 2019 as 2018. It would seem most teams didn’t agree with you that they had the highest stock in drivers ever. These complex cars on rubbish tires are not making it easy for drivers to keep their jobs. The equipment will always be at least 80% of the game, and drivers will always be coloured by their cars.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        1st January 2019, 14:42

        @Robbie The stock doesn’t apply to racers in general – a bad racer’s stock is exactly where it should be. Alonso may not have a seat but his stock is the highest it could ever be in a McLaren. Ocon doesn’t have a seat but that’s also partly because he was on par with Perez.

        As for Ericsson, Hartley, Vandoorne, and Sirotkin (and you can include Stroll in that group), it’s hard to argue that they deserved a seat. Whichever gambled on them, would be doing exactly what the word implies (gambling).

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          1st January 2019, 14:43

          I meant “Whichever team gambled on them”

          1. @freelittlebirds I don’t associate having a third of the drivers on the grid as being gambles, with ‘The value of driver’s stocks are the highest they’ve ever been in F1.’ Seems like you’re contradicting yourself.

      2. “These complex cars on rubbish tires are not making it easy for drivers to keep their jobs.”

        That’s the point, it shouldn’t be easy for them

  3. The articles this year: a lot of highs and only one (depressing) low on this site.
    Fine articles with good content and original points of view and excellent argumentation. Fine pictures showing the atmosphere during races.
    Of course not always everyone agrees with the articles but that’s why discussion is good.
    New insights by several members of the forum and lots of sharp and pointy discussions. Most of the time with respect for each other. Some delusional fans with colored views often followed by a neat fan correction by other readers.
    Some headlines a bit clickbaited but most of the time fine.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Happy New Year Keith


    And to all the usual argumentative so and so’s from the last seven years or so…

    Here’s to another…

  5. Just to say to Keith, keep up the good work. Enjoyable site, with some great articles.

    Happy New Yr

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