Vote for your 2019 F1 Driver of the Year

2019 F1 season review

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What’s your verdict on the Formula 1 field of 2019?

We had five different race winners and eighth drivers on the podium over the course of this year’s 21 races. But as always in Formula 1 not everyone has the same equipment, and the top places aren’t a realistic prospect for most drivers in most races.

So how will you work out which driver impressed you most this year? As always, RaceFans has compiled extensive data you can use to compare the F1 racers in many different ways. Take a look at the data below, cast your vote and explain your choice in the comments.

RaceFans’ annual rankings of all 20 drivers will begin later today.

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Who was the best Formula 1 driver of 2019?

  • Robert Kubica (1%)
  • George Russell (1%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Lando Norris (1%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (12%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Alexander Albon (1%)
  • Max Verstappen (24%)
  • Charles Leclerc (9%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (46%)

Total Voters: 350

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2019 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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152 comments on “Vote for your 2019 F1 Driver of the Year”

  1. I cannot give it to anyone else but LH. Over the year he has been the most consistent, making the most of every situation even when the car was not the fastest on a weekend. World champion stuff. I hope someone challenges him next year :P

    1. No driver made the most of every situation this year. Hamilton crashed and broke his front wing in Germany then nearly did the identical thing Bottas did later on, just luckily avoided the wall. Would have finished out of the points if not for Alfa Romeo’s penalty. Nearly everywhere else, i can agree. But Germany was a serious low point for Hamilton. He even wanted to retire but the team were sensible enough to keep him out and he in the end got points.

      But nothing will stop me voting for Hamilton for the year on the whole anyway.

      1. One mistake per year? I’ll take it.

      2. Germany was the lowest point of the season for Hamilton, but in mitigation, he had been ill all that weekend. Not an excuse, but perhaps it may go some way in explaining his rather sub-par performance.

        1. @amam If a tennis player is carrying an injury or has bad flu and goes out in an early round, nobody tallies it against them over the year. So why should a F1 driver, racing for 1 and a half hours without pause (save for a SC maybe), travelling over 300kmh, risking their lives if they make a bad mistake, be judged as tarnishing a year’s work with one drive while unwell? Add to that the fact that he was put on the wrong tyres, and the likes of Verstappen also span and were simply lucky not to hit anything while out of control, and it’s difficult to see why Germany could count against Hamilton’s otherwise stellar season. I even think the Brazil collision was really down to a rookie error of Albon leaving space and then cutting into the corner.

          1. @david-br

            I even think the Brazil collision was really down to a rookie error of Albon leaving space and then cutting into the corner.

            Nonsense. Lewis got the penalty for a reason there.

            Was Lewis to blame for the start collision at Silverstone 2018? That was identical to Brazil 2019.

  2. While Max, Charles and Valtteri drove really good this year, my vote can’t go anywhere else – Lewis.

  3. Has to be Lewis.

    Regardless of the fact that I have other favourite drivers, he was far and away the best, most consistent driver throughout the season. I feel sorry for Bottas – Hamilton has been a much much better driver after losing to Rosberg and really in the form he’s in at the moment, I don’t see him being beaten consistently any time soon.

  4. Lewis Hamilton, hands down.

  5. Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Sorry just had to do it! Entering my second childhood!

    1. Lol! You are definitely excused!!

  7. Has to be Max, although by a tiny margin to Lewis, but he consistently outperformed his car, destroyed his teammates, won the most difficult race of the year, beat two Ferrari’s in the final ranking, made fewer mistakes than Lewis, gave us (with Charles) arguably the most exciting wheel to wheel combat since Arnoux and Villeneuve (and maybe even the best in the history of F1) and when they fought on equal terms he had the measure of Lewis every time.
    And everything without the backing of a butler.
    Give him a proper car and he is gonna be unstoppable.

    Oh, and before people start:
    Lewis: Germany, Monza, Brazil
    Max: Monza, Mexico.

    (and for those bringing up Monaco: Brazil showed us that proper drivers, unlike Bottas, avoid hitting drivers who are unsafely released by their crew in the pitlane….)

    1. I agree. The driver of the year has to be Max. Matching Lewis almost in everything, except qualifying where he destroyed his teammates, unlike Lewis.

      Nevermind that he got more points that a 4th World Champion and Charles with the, arguably, the third best car of the grid

      1. Matching Lewis?

        Oh so we have dual championship status now?
        Why are you making up things? Why are you lying to this entire nice comment section?

        At least Oconomo cares enough to think out reasoning.

        1. it seems your hormones went through the roof after the first sentence,
          Try reading it again ( and again, until you understand his remark)

    2. made fewer mistakes ? HAM made really only two mistakes this year (Brazil and Germany). I’m sure Max has more

      1. Some you may not blame Verstappen for this, but in Bahrain, I think both him and Sainz were a little clumsy.

        Then in Monaco when he came out if his pit box, he was next to Bottas. He will have been aware and could have kept further to the left, but he squeezed Bottas into the wall and gave Bottas a puncture. He ruined the possibility of a higher result.

        Then the first 2 races when Albon had come into the team, Verstappen had very poor moments in both.

        The first corner in Spa was probably a racing incident, but the manner in which he drove down the hill was downright dangerous and I honestly think he maybe should have had a race ban for this. He commented that his car felt strange after the corner, continued to speed up down the hill while moving his wheel side to side finding out it wasn’t doing anything. Why just why was he not slowing down? Kimi started to overtake and Verstappen hit him again then crashed into the barrier. Incredibly poor from verstappen here.

        Italy was another bad race for Verstappen. Starts at the back (admittedly not his fault), but gets caught out by the number of cars slowing down in front of him. He braked for the corner as if there were only a few cars in front of him. He left it too late. He managed to steer away from Perez mostly, but broke his front wing on the back of Perez wheel by the look of it. He then had to recover from there and only finished 8th.

        Verstappen has easily had more poor moments than Hamilton and I am trying to specifically focus on them. On the whole, Verstappen has been one of the best this year and he and Verstappen are on another level to the rest of the drivers, but Hamilton simply has been better than him.

        1. but the manner in which he drove down the hill was downright dangerous

          His front steering was broken during the contact.. missed that one it seems.

          1. This is a bit of a late comment from me, but no I did not miss it. It was clear his car was broken once he realises steering had little effect, so why did he attempt to continue speeding up down the hill? This resulted in hitting Kimi again. With he car in a bad way as it was that is why i think it was downright dangerous what he did.

      2. I am a Hamilton fan and Max fan, but While Lewis did good, he hasnt maximized the results in every race. Max beat His teammates all year, except for Monza and Mexico. But Mexico was not really his fault during the race. Bottas has beaten Hamilton more this year.

        1. @Folkert


          am a Hamilton fan and Max fan, but While Lewis did good, he hasnt maximized the results in every race. Max beat His teammates all year, except for Monza and Mexico. But Mexico was not really his fault
          during the race. Bottas has beaten Hamilton more this year.

          No, Max didn’t maximise in every race. He failed to maximise in Monaco , Spa, Mexico, Italy, one could even argue Hungary. And his teammates (Albon) beat him on merit in Spa, Mexico, Italy. In all those 3 races, Max was either wholly, or partly to blame for those crashes/incidents that allowed Albon to finish ahead of him.

          I’ve said it in another comment, but at this stage, Bottas is a better driver than both Gasly & Albon, so of course, it should be easier for Max to beat Albon &Gasly, by larger margins than Lewis can beat Bottas. The last time Max had better teammates (Ric & Sainz), he beat them by far lesser margins than he is doing now against inexperienced novices. IMO, having such unproven rookies as teammates, has somewhat flattered Max.

          1. @amam
            Bottas better than Gasly or Albon….whaaahahaa.
            The day he can overtake a direct competitor is the day I agree with you.
            Bottas is a one lap wonder, nothing more, nothing less.

          2. @aman
            And all the races Bottas finished in front of Lewis? Come on man, Bottas is so poor, Lewis should have won all the races but he failed in Australia, Baku, Japan and the United States, where both Australia and Baku were a direct result of mistakes from Lewis. He also threw away a win in Germany, failed to maximise in Italy and Brazil and got extremely lucky in Bahrain.

          3. @amam

            No, Max didn’t maximise in every race. He failed to maximise in Monaco , Spa, Mexico, Italy, one could even argue Hungary. And his teammates (Albon) beat him on merit in Spa, Mexico, Italy. In all those 3 races, Max was either wholly, or partly to blame for those crashes/incidents that allowed Albon to finish ahead of him.

            I’ve said it in another comment, but at this stage, Bottas is a better driver than both Gasly & Albon, so of course, it should be easier for Max to beat Albon &Gasly, by larger margins than Lewis can beat Bottas. The last time Max had better teammates (Ric & Sainz), he beat them by far lesser margins than he is doing now against inexperienced novices. IMO, having such unproven rookies as teammates, has somewhat flattered Max.

            Monaco was not his fault, it was the team who send him out. He maximized the result there. Spa and Monza are his faults, but it was mostly a racing incident. Monza was just very unfortunate, he braked very early but the field slowed down much more.
            Mexico was avoidable on Saturday, but then again he didn’t see it and the position of the flag was on the outside of the corner.
            In the race it was 100% Bottas fault. The move was complete, but Max could have been a bit less eager.

            But if you look at the differences between Albon/Gasly and Max you will see they are way way behind him. Often 40+ seconds. Bottas is decent, but Hamilton should beat him every race.

            And based on last year, Ricciardo would only have done slightly better then Albon and Gasly. Hamilton had a great year, but he was driving the best car. He lost out to many times for me to vote for him.

        2. There are two championships. Drivers and constructors. Lewis won the drivers by a large amount, in a dominant fashion, all while racing like a grown man. His team also won the constructors with his help.

          I’d call that the maximum result possible.

          Max is a big talent, and he’s getting better everyday. But he was given a seat way too soon, and continues to make embarassing, formula2 level rookie style judgment errors, and acts like a child afterwards. He’ll be fast, and not make as many childish mistakes one day… and I look forward to that.

          Until then, meh.

          1. @XCM
            He didn’t have any rookie style or embarrassing mistakes actually this year. Only in 2018 he had a couple. In 2015-2017 he really only made 1 mistake in every year. In 2018 he only made 3 or 4 big mistakes and in 2019 only Spa was a real mistake. Max got the seat when he deserved it. Sometimes he is a little childish and says things to honestly, but that is a good thing. Maybe not always for him, but for the sport it is. Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel, Kimi, Bottas and Rosberg have made embarrassing mistakes as well these last 5 years.

          2. This will eat you for years to come..

      3. Hamilton already made three mistakes in one race…Germany.
        Him being beaten by Bottas on a frequent basis does it for me, he’s simply not as good as Verstappen at this time in their career…the Mercedes though was much better

        1. Does Hamilton being beaten by Bottas automatically mean Hamilton is not doing as well rather than Bottas improving though?

    3. And everything without the backing of a butler.

      The same one who was handed a preferential strategy and gifted win while the championship was still alive at Suzuka? Yeh be quiet and sit down, your entire essay lost any credibility at this point. 🤡

      1. @RB13

        Still alive? In fantasy land maybe, but not in the real world.
        And furthermore, just because he got one preferential strategy in 3 years, he suddenly isn a butler…

    4. The Monaco pit lane is totally different to Brazil…. And the situation was also totally different. In Brazil, verstappen had the space to easily avoid Kubica

      You implying that Bottas hit Verstappen is not true at all. Bottas didn’t break or change directions and couldn’t do either without likely making it worse.

      Verstappen came out and avoided hitting Bottas initially as he was turning left to straighten himself up so he was aware Bottas was there – you can even see him look to his right before the contact was made. But he continued to squeeze Bottas until bottas was pushed into the wall and had nowhere to go. He didn’t have the chance to steer out the way like Verstappen did in Brazil. The pit lane was far too narrow for Bottas to have steered away.

      You can only blame Verstappen for that the contact. If Bottas had backed off suddenly to avoid contact with Verstappen, Vettel will have hit the back of him as vettel was only a few feet behind.

      Pit crew at fault for the unsafe release, but Verstappen was at fault for what followed as it was avoidable.

      1. @thegianthogweed
        Hmm, so you’re saying that Bottas wasn’t fully aware of Verstappen, only had to lift for 1 tenth of a second, slot in behind Max and finish second because Max would have gotten a 5 sec penalty anyway?
        Oh, and according to everyone, visibility in teh Monaco pitlane is next to zero in your mirror!
        Really, the person in the best postion to avoid being hit was Bottas.

        1. So many people make a comment on mine seeming like they haven’t read it. He looked to his right, and bottas was along side enough that he will have seen him, but he kept veering right. If Bottas had backed off, Vettel would have bumped into Bottas as he was only a few feet behind. Bottas went as close to the wall as he could before he ran out of space. he really couldn’t have done more.

          1. and as I said, Verstappen has already started to steer left to straighten up well before he got into the usual pit lane – indicating he had seen Bottas. This was right at the stage he had looked out his car and will have been able to see Bottas as he was looking with his head far right for some time. It was at this stage why i don’t know why he kept pushing Botats towards the wall.

          2. @thegianthogweed
            He looked to his right, and saw what? Have you got any clue what drivers see when they look to the right? Vettel was more or less excused for hitting Stroll in Monza, because apparently side way view is non-extinct in these cars.
            And Vettel wouldn’t have bumped into Bottas, because he would have lifted. Bottas is a clown when it comes to close racing and decision making…see Brazil, see Abu Dhabi…see his entire career.
            Maybe Max saw Bottas and could have avoided the incident, but there is no doubt Bottas saw Max and should have avoided being hit.

          3. Well i think this indicates you really really hate Bottas. Abu Dhabi indicates Bottas is a clown? I don’t think I can trust anything you say regarding Bottas…. A recovery drive from last with NO DRS on one of the hardest tracks to overtake on and finishing 4th with no safety car is excellent. He would have got a podium if there had been DRS.

            You could see Bottas obviously steer right towards the wall in monaco when Verstappen had been released to allow plenty of room which there was). Bottas did attempt to avoid Verstappen, but Verstappen kept closing in on him. You probably won’t stop trying to find fault with Bottas here, but I think you will be in the absolute minority in blaming Bottas for the contact in Monaco.

            Vettel was not excused for hitting Stroll in Italy, he got an instant penalty. Vettel simply should have been aware that there most certainly will have been drivers coming even if they were in his blind spot.

            The team in Monaco were at fault for letting Verstappen go at that moment, but initially, Verstappen straightened his car up much earlier than normal indicating he had seen Bottas. No driver would straighten up this soon if there was not a car next to them. But he was still going at an angle and despite Bottas moving over, Verstappen still forced him into the wall. Bottas moving close to the wall was enough for it to have been avoided but Verstappen was the one who stopped that being possible.

            You being incredibly critical towards Bottas in races like Abu Dhabi when he was actually excellent and indicating he was at fault in Monaco when verstappen gets a penalty just shows you don’t want to be against Verstappen and you dislike Bottas. Your comment where you over react and disagree when someone says Albon and Gasly are not as good as Bottas shows this even more.

      2. @thegianthogweed
        The thing about Monaco is that Max couldn’t see Bottas there. He looked right, but doesn’t mean he saw him. Bottas could see Verstappen and was the only one who could avoid the incident.
        Max could not avoid the contact, and Vettel should have slowed down if Bottas slowed down to get behind Max.
        One thing is for sure, Max was not to blame for the contact in Monaco, Like I said above, he could see Max for sure as he was in front of Bottas.

        You have a point about the straightening of his steeringwheel, but there was no need as there was nothing in front. Max would not have continued to move over to the wall if there was another driver. The penalty was stupid and Max was definitely not to blame for it.

        1. Now I have watched an interview, Verstappen did say he was not aware of Bottas until he had hit him. I can agree that may be the case, but with Bottas having half a car length along side, while Verstappen may not have seen it from his position, he will have been able to in the mirrors. A car that close will be visible. In fact, the mirror likely would have very little other than Bottas’s car in it.

          Now I know that if he had come out and Bottas was there instantly, he won’t have had the time to check and react. But he was along side and had mostly straightened up before it happened, so wouldn’t you notice the mirror being full of another car? It simply had to be visible. You can’t have a blind spot everywhere. Bottas simply will have been visible in that mirror.

          I know that the penalty was for the teams release, which was not Verstappen’s fault. But I think the incident with Bottas certainly was avoidable if he paid closer attention.

          1. But that is the thing, drivers have already complained about the lack of visibility in the mirrors. It was not avoidable for Max as he couldnt see him.

            Bottas could see Max and still decided to continue and try to get alongside Max. There was no point for Bottas to be there because of the sc. He had to slot in behind Max anyway, so why continue to stay next to Max?

            I cant understand why people blame Max for the incident. Even if Max could see Bottas, why did Bottas stay next to him? He should have slowed down.


            Ok it is from a different car, and was last year, but it won’t be that different.

            I think this video helps me prove my point. This is a drivers view from the visor. When you can see Grosjean looking in his right mirror, you can see that the right rear wheel is clearly visible. This indicates that Bottas’s car will have been very easy to notice and most definitely won’t have been in Verstappen’s blind spot.

            I’m not saying he did see Bottas, but he acted like he did initially as he suddenly stopped turning right as sharply when Bottas was there. But he slowly continued to go that direction despite the fact Bottas was in his mirror. He could well not have seen him, but in a busy pit lane like Monaco, he should have looked and he will have been visible.

            Regarding your point, given they got a penalty for unsafe release, it surely shouldn’t be the cars in the pit lane that give way to those coming out if a mistake by the crew is made? To me it should be the drivers coming out of the box back off if they get the chance. I think this is sort of indicated given it is their team that gets punished for releasing them at this stage.

            I think we just disagree in this area. I remember one year Bottas came out of his pit box in abu dhabi and hit Button as button was turning in to his box. Should button have lifted off or swerved to avoid Bottas? No, I think Bottas should have been more aware in this situation, like verstappen should have been at Monaco.

            There is the pit lane and the pits. I don’t think it makes sense for drivers going down the pit lane lane to have to give priority to a driver that has had an unsafe release and let them squeeze in. At plenty of other occasions, the driver that has been released unsafely has noticed and stopped.

            Given how Verstappen was squeezing to the edge, Bottas will have had to do a pretty sudden deduction of speed, which at the time he won’t have done as he won’t have expected Verstappen to com across so far. By the time he has been there for a second or so, verstappen’s rear tyre and the wall prevented Bottas from backing out without Bottas left front bouncing over Verstappen’s right rear which will not have gone well.

    5. @Oconomo

      Oh, and before people start:
      Lewis: Germany, Monza, Brazil
      Max: Monza, Mexico.

      Max…..Monaco, Spa, Monza, Mexico & colliding with Sainz in Bahrain. Monaco was totally an error by Max. He had space to avoid Bottas but instead chose to squeeze Bottas into the wall, damaging Bottas’s car. Verstappen, quite rightly got a penalty for it. The team releases Max in unsafely manner. However, there is plenty of room for Max to avoid the collision, but he chooses to push Bottas into the wall.

      1. @amam
        See my reply to Ben rowe. Visibility in the Monaco pitlane is basically nil in the rear mirror.
        Spa: Racing incident for which Kimi is far more to blame than Max.
        Bahrain: Hmm, what did Max do wrong and what did it cost him?

      2. @Amam
        Monaco was not Max fault, how can you avoid something you can’t see? Bottas could see Max so he should have avoided Max. Why should he have raced Max in the pit, there was a SC and he would always stayed behind Max. He should have slowed down a little and slot in behind Max.
        Can’t deny Monza and Spa, but Mexico was not his fault. Hamilton took a lot of risk and wanted to pass Max on the outside. They both wend off because of it.
        Bottas turned in while Max was there, he should have let Max go by at that point he was already beatn.

      3. Silverstone….Max has the ability to crash into others driving backward… there must be somekind of reward for that…
        I think people could even try and find a way to blame Verstappen for all of Charles crashes…

        1. I think myself and other people are mainly trying to find fault with Verstappen because many of us don’t really understand how verstappen can be rated above Hamilton. If I focus on verstappen’s seasona s a whole, it has easily been better than the rest, but still think hamiton has been better

          1. think myself and other people are mainly trying to find fault with Verstappen because many of us don’t really understand how verstappen can be rated above Hamilton.

            How very odd! By the way, I’ve seen several websites rating Verstappen above Hamilton this season, and others in favour of Hamilton. Quite acceptable to me. Trying to “understand” these different opinions seems a bit silly to me. Or maybe it’s people who think they know better than others who are the silly ones.

          2. @rinodina

            At the time I wrote this, Hamilton had double the percentage of votes that verstappen had. I was referring to this site and the comments here. And it is true that a lot of people don’t seem to think anyone but Hamilton should get it, which is basically what I was pointing out. I know people can have their own opinions, but I certainly disagree that verstappen has been better, and Hamilton still had a much larger percentage of the votes here.

          3. @thegianthogweed
            That is a bit silly reason to find fault for Max being voted above Lewis.
            I am a Lewis fan since 2006 and a Max fan since 2011, but I think Max did a better job this year, especially compared to how good the car was. Bottas Finished 2nd and Mercedes won the wcc, What Hamilton did was expected. Max beat 2 Ferrari’s and finished 3rd in a car that finished 3rd in the wcc.

            I can understand people voting for Hamilton, but realistically I think Max did a better job.
            Hamilton made quite a few mistakes in the best car and was beaten by Bottas in a few races as well.

          4. but I certainly disagree that verstappen has been better,

            Yes. So in order to prove your point you’re exhaustingly elaborating on how Verstappen, on top of his unsafe release penalty, was extra guilty of giving Bottas not enough room in Monaco. You surely seem to be the one with the expert eye!

            and Hamilton still had a much larger percentage of the votes here.

            Yes. But this is a FAN site. And we all know fans are not especially renowned for their objectivity or rationality .

          5. I think Verstappen has the speed that Hamilton does. I won’t deny that. But to me he lacks the patience and he often rushes to get things done that end up going wrong that he could have done a different way – or simply waited a bit. Italy, Spa and Mexico are examples of this IMO even if the incidents themselves were not fully his fault. It is a fact, he could have made them all easier for himself and done the move a bit later in a more sensible place without it having such a negative impact.

            There isn’t that much between them, but I think Hamilton more frequently looks the better of the two with wheel to wheel racing and it much less often results in contact. Speed wise, I think they are the same, but consistency goes to Hamilton IMO. The other reason that Verstappen is a little hard to vote for is because of how poor both his team mates have been. There is just no comparison between them. At least ricciardo sometimes gave him a challenge. This year, it is harder to judge how good that car is.

          6. I won’t deny that.

            Says it all, really. What’s more, I can remember you as one of the most outspoken Verstappen critics of yesteryear on this site. Which is quite an achievement, because generally I easily forget the aliases of participants on this website (apart from the few who do have interesting and worthwile things to say).

            You may not be aware of it yourself, but you really have a rather glaringly obvious anti-Verstappen bias.

          7. Anti-verstappen bias when I rate him second and mentioned that he was the best driver in the first half of the season as I thought he has outperformed Hamilton. Surely nobody who is very against driver would vote them this high?

            I think you are basically over reacting to my comments and in a way seem the opposite of what you think i am.

            I dislike him personality wise, but fully respect his ability. I will agree with anyone that he is as fast as Hamilton, and wouldn’t argue if some think he is faster. But I think he makes more mistakes and isn’t as clean a racer or as consistent as Hamilton and “in my opinion”….. – isn’t as good as Hamilton. This could well change. If he performes like he did in the first half of the season without the dip in the middle and one or two other races, I think I will then vote him as driver of the year. I am not totally against him. I just strongly disagree with some of the points people have about his season that I myself think are negatives. We can have our own opinions.

          8. @rinodina

            By the way, I’ve seen several websites rating Verstappen above Hamilton this season, and others in favour of Hamilton

            Please, can you supply those websites? I am sure hat shouldn’t be a problem.

          9. Please, can you supply those websites? I am sure hat shouldn’t be a problem.

            Why don’t you install Freader1 on your phone or search and find out for yourself?

        2. I think you are basically over reacting to my comments and in a way seem the opposite of what you think i am.

          I think you’re right in so far that, contrary to you, I don’t pretend to know better than anyone else.

          I dislike him personality wise,

          Thanks for proving my point.

          1. I think we are both proving some points. You are only picking out and highlighting the negatives i am saying about verstappen at the moment when i had plenty of positives in with it.

            This was sort of my point in my first comment you have highlighted, then there is a clear example of that in the 2nd one you have highlighted.

            Funny that you have them both in the same comment. You basically proved my point by highlighting the negative comment that you are picking out that and reacting on it rather than the positives which i also mention.

            His personality doesn’t make me refuse to admit just how good he is. That has nothing to do with it.

    6. Verstappen for the first portion of the year, definitely. But then he dipped with some bad first laps and so-so drivers, coming back on form towards the end of the season. Not at Hamilton’s consistent level this year. He’s capable, yes.

      1. @David br Same can be said from Lewis.
        Made mistaks in Germany( 2) and in Brazil. Got beat by Bottas as well. Max was as consistent as Hamilton in my opinion.

      2. This is the same as what I thought. I rated Verstappen as the best out there at the summer break, but factoring in his few mistakes that cost him a fair few points, that is a reason why I eventually went for Hamilton over him. Once Hamilton had the title, he could take more risks as there was no chance for anyone to beat him. Verstappen was not in this situation when he was making his mistakes.

        There isn’t a huge margin between them, but I think Hamilton wins because of Verstappen’s dip just after mid season. Though I will admit Hamilton’s race in germany was probably worse than any by Verstappen.

    7. Lol no way it was max he had slow teammates so no real competition. He won when red bull had the fastest car and most of the time wasn’t fighting with anyone because either the merc were to fast and the ferrari was too slow or the ferrari were to fast. Max was identical to vettel 2015 and people said that was a great year from him even though he was not challenged by his teammate and had nobody to fight on track

  8. If we have to compare driver based on the WC then it’s Lewis, but the Title says Driver of the Year so i have to keep the car in mind and then it’s Max for me. @Oconomo made several good points for it.

  9. Let’s drop the belief that F1 is a sport. I hazard a theory it is actually an entertaining show. Who was entertainer of the year?

    Charles Leclerc! I vote him.

    1. If you go that way, I would say Larry stroll. He brings the most emotion out of people.

  10. Lewis. Of course there is Germany but otherwise he was relentless. Other little errors came when the title was wrapped up and they stopped playing the points game. Other than that, It was a crushing performance in what was the best car but probably not by as far as the championship makes it look like (Verstappen being close to the Ferraris point wise with a great year too shows how much more Ferrari should have been able to get). Midfield is to me a toss up between Sauna and Perez.

  11. Come on guys, aren’t you bored of Lewis winning everything? He is good but i voted for someone who made the races exciting

    1. @notacop Canada, Hungary, Belgium and Italy would likely have been far less exciting affairs without Lewis and his relentless pursuit of the leader. In USA and Brazil he could have just settled for some decent points, but instead wanted to go all-out for the win. Is that not what we all want to see?

      As one pundit (Palmer, I think?) pointed out in one of his articles for the BBC, what makes Lewis such a strong case for Driver of the Year isn’t necessarily his race wins, but the fact that, even when he wasn’t winning races, he was right at the sharp end pushing for the win and challenging the leader.

      1. @ninjenius Exactly, Hamilton had to fight hard to win against Vettel (forcing a mistake), Verstappen (eventually passed), Bottas (passed) and Leclerc (kept back beyond the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the rules, but it was Monza and Ferrari). USA and Brazil too, chasing wins when he could have played safe.

  12. Sainz, Hamilton or Max.

    I picked Sainz not just for his driving but how he has helped McLaren regain some much needed positivity as a whole.

    1. I picked Sainz not just for his driving but how he has helped McLaren regain some much needed positivity as a whole.

      Sainz was very exciting this year, but I struggle with anybody judging his year anywhere close to that of Lewis or Max.
      Just compare Sainz with Max and see how much air there was between them and their rookie teammates.
      And it is very probable that the car was a lot better than we initially thought, a F1.25 in reality, and that the car helped Sainz to regain some positivity about his qualities rather than the other way around.

      PS. I still haven’t decided who I rate best when discounting the car; Lewis or Max.

      1. > Just compare Sainz with Max and see how much air there was between them and their rookie teammates.

        Max vs Alex finished 97-76 while Carlos vs Lando was 96 vs 49. So if I’m understanding your reasoning correctly, Carlos left more air between him and his rookie teammate than Max did (of course this is partially due to a shorter stint with RB for Alex).

        1. Not how I’d do it, but feel free to analyse it like that, @m-bagattini.

          PS Kubica behind Russell in the ranking must really come as a surprise to you :P

  13. Went for Sainz! Probably not the most popular opinion, especially when he’s tied with rookie Norris in quali. But he’s exceeded my expectations by a huge margin, beat two half redbulls, offered the first podium to McLaren since years and lies 6th in the standings stealing one from the big three. Made few errors, consistent point-scorer despite being quite unlucky on the reliability side.

    In the end, he’s been even better than “best of the rest”! Vamos Carlos!

    1. “especially when he’s tied with rookie Norris in quali”

      ..that’s what stops Sainz from being DOTY (imo). He really should be out-qualifying a rookie by decent margins

  14. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
    12th December 2019, 8:48

    I went for Verstappen. In my opinion Max and Lewis have comfortably been the 2 best drivers of the year, but I think Max just edges it and has done better overall given the car. Especially in the first half of the season, VER was clearly extracting the most out of his car and getting the best realistic result at every race it seemed. Throughout the year he was only out-qualified by a team-mate once (due to a Yellow flag pushing him out of Q2 in Canada). Since the Summer break VER has seemed slightly less impressive at times, but I link that to bad luck or racing incidents:

    – Spa Turn 1 Incident (Racing incident IMO) Once Max had committed he had no space to leave Kimi, who didn’t see him so closed the door.
    – Monza – Started from the back due to penalties
    – Singapore – Car wasn’t as competitive as expected, but still bagged a podium
    – Japan – Punted out by LEC at the start (gave him plenty of space, just a misjudgement by Charles)
    – Mexico – Bit of a tricky one. VER surely could have won the race had he lifted and therefore started from pole. Instead, he got in a tangle with Lewis, and then dropped behind BOT and got a puncture.

    Whilst some of these results seem worse than the low moments of Lewis’ season, I do not believe that VER was at fault for most of these. He has consistently destroyed both of his team-mates in Qualifying and race pace, and secured 3rd in the Championship ahead of 2 more competitive Ferrari’s. This has looked like VER’s most consistent and impressive season to date by far.

    Although Lewis Hamilton has been very impressive (Comfortably securing a 6th title and battling the likes of BOT, LEC and VER in flashpoints) I have felt he hasn’t been as competitive as 2017 & 2018. It looks like BOT had raised his game, however HAM still didn’t seem to have the same qualifying “magic” as previous years. Only 5 poles this year, which is largely due to Ferrari being very quick after the summer break, although that’s the same number of poles as BOT, who I expected HAM to be more regularly ahead of.

    There were a few occasions this year where I felt the HAM of last year would’ve secured pole, when he didn’t:
    – China (very rare for HAM to be out-paced by a team-mate for pole)
    – Baku (very rare for HAM to be out-paced by a team-mate for pole)
    – Spain (I would usually expect HAM to extract more than Bot, although not always. Whilst BOT was looking especially quick in Barcelona, HAM was still a massive 6 tenths off and seemed to struggle)
    – Silverstone (Scrappy 1st lap and didn’t improve on lap 2. Usually never out-qualified on home turf)
    – Hungary (Bot was a tiny margin off VER’s pole, but HAM struggled again and was 3rd)
    – USA (Massively off the pace compared to team-mate. Im sure that 5th is the lowest HAM has started when his team-mate has been on pole – comparatively speaking)

    Despite this, HAM has had very impressive races and won ones he wasn’t expected to. His race craft has been excellent and I believe he has broken the record for most wins in a season not from pole position. It’s easy to assume that BOT has been more competitive than ALB and GAS, however VER consistency to always look on top of his game, whilst Lewis didn’t seem to have the same Qualifying magic from other years, made me give it to Max.

    1. The end result in Italy was pretty poor for Verstappen. He finished 8th. This was due to misjudging the breaking distance. He broke his front wing on the back of Perez. Both Renaults and Perez beat him which is not a good sign even if he did start from the back.

      Then what he did after the first corner in Spa was his fault. Speeding up and flickign he wheel side to site on a straight when he seemed aware something was wrong and then hitting touching Kimi again and crashing out. That was a very poor way to end his day and was very dangerous too.

      With your list of other slightly negative things including contacting Bottas and getting a puncture in Mexico, i think it shows more that Hamilton should be the driver of the year really. Verstappen had another moment in Monaco with Bottas where he pushed him into the wall in the pit lane.

      Both Hamilton and verstappen are the top 2 drivers by quite some margin, but I think verstappen has made a fair few more mistakes than Hamilton this year. Given how poor Albon was in Italy, I think verstappen should have beaten him despite starting at the back as the 2 Renaults both beat Albon. Then Mexico was another race where Albon had him beaten. The pace difference Verstappen has over Albon is so massive that I think it looks very bad when Verstappen finishes so far behind due to mistakes.

      1. @thegianthogweed
        So now Bottas piercing Verstappen’s tire after being overtaken is Max his fault too….man, don make me laugh.

        1. Your comments more or less give me the same feeling. This incident had no investigation, so at worst we can blame them equally. But there was more than enough space on the inside for Verstappen and Bottas opened the steering twice once he realised Verstappen was there. But there was well over a cars width in the first place. bottas had no right to have to allow Verstappen more space because he was carrying to much speed to be able to maintain being on the inside of the corner. Verstappen carried a bit too much speed and lost out because of it. Was a bit unlucky, but since he was so close to Bottas, the sensible thing to do would have been to wait until the main straight and use DRS…

          Don’t get the impression I don’t respect verstappen. I have said enough times that I think he is well above the rest along with Hamilton, but I think it is clear Hamilton has overall been better than him.

          1. Ben, the incident with Bottas wasn’t investigates cause of the slow punture… at first nothing seemed to have happened…

            “wait until the main straight and use DRS” that’s not racing… plus Mercedes could hardly overtake Ferrari, it would have been difficult for RBR as well, racing is done in corners….

          2. Yes, i have corrected myself about that in monaco now, sorry. I agree the penalty was for the unsafe rather than what happened with Bottas. But this doesn’t change my mind that it was Verstappen’s fault that he hit Bottas.

            I think that in mexico, it was because Verstappen was simply so close to Bottas that he could do this attempt, he could have easily got it done on the straight if he kept his nose right behind bottas in the corners rather than going for the overtake where he did. Mercedes really didn’t have the speed advantage in this altitude on the straight. I only think this was possible just because of how close Verstappen got. He likely will have been 2 or 3 tenths off at the final corner had he stayed behind which likely will have been enough to get it done on the straight.

            This is my view on it anyway. I am happy for people to call it a racing incident, but as Bottas got no penalty and he wasn’t the one who suffered, he certainly wasn’t the one to blame.

      2. @Thegianthogweed
        Lewis had bad races in Austria, Australia, Germany, Brazil, USA, Baku.
        Max finished so far behind Albon in Mexico because he had to race an entire lap with a flat tyre. He lost about a 60 seconds. Bottas turned in and sliced Max tyre. Probably Bottas didn’t expect him there, but still he had to pay attention.

        the only reason Hamilton had the better of Max was because Mercedes was much better most of the season. Look at the races where cars were closer and Max won the battle.

        Like I said in another comment to you, Hamilton had quite some mistakes and bad races as well. To be honest I think Max should be driver of the year considering the car’s differences.

        To be honest, I think you underestimate the time Max lost in Monza and Mexico, nobody would have finished closer or ahead of Albon with these cars.

        1. Hamilton’s race was in no way bad in Baku or the USA. In Baku, he was a fraction of a second of Bottas in qualifying, under 1.5 seconds off in the race. How was this bad?

          In the USA, he had a poor qualifying, but made his strategy work well and recovered to 2nd and made Bottas work for it. That again was not a bad race, Bottas was just simply excellent this weekend and outperformed stronger cars in qualifying.

          Even in Australia, I think the gap was a bit unrepresentative as Hamilton apparently had some damage to his floor. Mercedes was very poor in Austria, both Bottas and Hamilton looked to struggle, but I wouldn’t say either were bad.

          germany was terrible, no need to say anything else.

          Brazil was excellent and keep in mind that he already had the title, so taking higher risks won’t have hurt him as much. It was a mistake was poor from him and yes, it did cost him points, but he was at no possible risk of losing a place in the championship.

          I can’t have any sympathy for Verstappen in Monza. He needs to understand that when you start at the back, you have to break far earlier as there are more cars ahead of you breaking for the corner. Pretty simple really. He left it later than he should have done. You can only blame him for this as he was in control of the car. I agree it will have effected his race badly, but who else is there to blame? I disagree that nobody else could have managed to get a better result. Albon was terrible that race and couldn’t beat the Renaults himself. Albon should have been P4 and Verstappen P5. Verstappen’s recovery drive was just fine, but that is not the point, he ruined his possible result by misjudging the breaking distance for the situation.

          I was maybe a bit harsh on him for Mexico. Lets just say it was a racing incident and he was unfortunate. Finishing P6 was a realistic result given what happened.

        2. @thegianthogweed
          In Austria, Hamilton got a penalty after blocking Kimi on Saturday, then broke his front wing on Sunday when running wide.

          Yeah he was bad.

          1. He was under 4 seconds behind Bottas and both cars had over heating problems on race day despite having the front wing changed. Apologies i had missed that he did this damae, but he pretty much recovered gap wise from his mistake which isn’t bad given the car’s issues. Given Bottas was betetr than him (which shouldn’t aromatically mean Hamilton is bad) i think 4th was the best position he could have got. He got 5th in the end but there wasn’t that much in it. The end result for the weakest top team that weekend wasn’t bad IMO. Bottas just did better that time. You can call that a weaker point for Hamilton’s season, but if you are counting qualifying too, then another negative should go to verstappen in Mexico, which i didn’t include.

  15. I haven’t decided my #1 yet, not even the full top 20, so I’ll tentatively count down in groups and split them later:
    – Kubica
    – Giovinazzi/Stroll/Grosjean/Kvyat/Magnussen
    – Raikkonen/GasslyAlbon/Hulkenberg
    – Norris/Russell/Ricciardo/Vettel
    – Perez/Sainz/Bottas
    – Leclerc
    – Hamilton/Verstappen

    1. @coldfly
      I understand this is your ranking based on your assessment. Fair enough.

      I dont remember his first half with STRH quite well (i will revisit it anyway) but may i know the rationale behind slotting Albon along the likes of Gasly ?

      1. I left Albon together with Gasly as Albon is slightly stronger when compared to Verstappen (especially willing to attack others in the race, rather than being miles behind), but at the same time Gasly has better statistics against Kvyat.
        I’m also comfortable to leave them at the Hulk/Iceman level as both of them had some great races, but also very mediocre ones.
        Also the rookies Norris/Russell were more often and more consistent in good performance than Albon/Gasly.

  16. I’m pretty certain this will go to Hamilton, who was pretty sublime this year, but it was Sainz for me. Consistently at the forefront of the tight midfield battle, nabbing a podium from last on the grid, great value on the team radio, he was fantastic. Hope he builds on it in 2020.

  17. This year more than ever, no one stands a chance against Hamilton.

  18. I hate to say it because it’s kinda boring – but Lewis. Jake Humphrey referred to Lewis as “metronomically consistent”. The man is at the top of his game, unfortunately his control and consistency doesn’t always make for excitement. He has a solid car, but he’s a solid driver and it makes for a incredible force.

    Max has also been excellent, he hasn’t had to just hang back and grab opportunistic results – he’s really pushed for results and got them on merit.

    Sainz has also delivered some consistently great drives.

    Whoever wins it this year – the talent is strong, the cars are getting closer. Next year I hope we’ll have some amazing top and midfield battles.

  19. My personal driver rankings:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Verstappen
    3. Sainz
    4. Leclerc
    5. Bottas
    6. Vettel
    7. Perez
    8. Albon
    9. Ricciardo
    10. Norris
    11. Hulkenberg
    12. Russell
    13. Gasly
    14. Raikkonen
    15. Kvyat
    16. Magnussen
    17. Giovinazzi
    18. Stroll
    19. Grosjean
    20. Kubica

    1. I was tempted to put Perez ahead of Vettel, but Perez had a run of poor races and results in the middle third of the year, but the final third was truly impressive.

      1. Gros ahead of Kub?? be reasonable…

        1. Another person who is either simply against Grosjean or has not watched the races carefully. Or just bases everything on points. Grosjean has beaten Magnussen more often than not in the races as well as laps ahead while having much worse luck overall.

          Grosjean has retired 7 times as well as having an MGU-K failure in Brasil. This is compared to Magnussen who has had 3 retirements and bad luck in Singapore. Grosjean has likely lost a whole load of points in several races of races, Australia and Brazil especially. Possibly enough just in them to be level or above Magnussen.

          As well as all this, if you look at the races themselves, Grosjean is the one who when he beats his team mate, it is usually by much bigger margins than Magnussen managed the other way round. And had Grosjean had better luck, it will have been even more often than it was. I personally think most people who vote Magnussen over Grosjean this year are looking too much into the points and not taking into account that Grosjean’s luck has been significantly worse. Also probably based on the fact that he was awful last year. But this year, Grosjean hasn’t really made any big mistakes resulting in retirements that he was fully responsible for.

    2. One think I wonder about is Kvyat being two places behind Gasly. I don’t think Kvyat has at any stage even been close to as bad as Gasly was through out most of his races at Red Bull. He had a few bad races this season, but Gasly had far more. Gasly seemed to turn around when he came to Toro Rosso, and certainly has overall looked betetr than Kvyat, but not every race. He didn’t dominate Kvyat in the 2nd half of the season. If it was based on the 2nd half of the season only, i could understand the ranking of these two. But otherwise, i feel they should maybe swap places.

    3. @mashiat These are very similar to my rankings. Main differences being I have Vettel a few places lower and I have Gasly behind Kvyat.

      1. Hamilton
      2. Verstappen
      3. Sainz
      4. Leclerc
      5. Bottas
      6. Perez
      7. Norris
      8. Albon
      9. Vettel
      10. Russell
      11. Ricciardo
      12. Kvyat
      13. Hulkenberg
      14. Raikkonen
      15. Gasly
      16. Magnussen
      17. Giovinazzi
      18. Grosjean
      19. Stroll
      20. Kubica

      I can understand the case for having Gasly in front when considering their direct head-to-head. I just think when a driver is demoted mid-season due to consistently poor performances it’s a pretty damning blemish on their campaign. Fully respect your rankings though!

      1. +1
        Very close to my personal preference, but for me Leclerc is ahead of Sainz. Charles was in his first year at a top team, immense pressure and he still delivered record number of poles and more wins than Vettel (who ocasionally got the better strategy – Singapore comes to mind).

        1. @gechichan Yeah I originally had Leclerc ahead and then swapped them back and forth several times before settling on Sainz. As I think about it more I tend to agree with you!

          I guess for me I probably focus a bit too much on the notable errors (Baku quali, Monaco race, Germany, Japan start). But when I look at the positives for both drivers, it’s difficult to argue against Leclerc in that regard. Sainz has indeed put in some excellent Sunday performances, culminating in Brazil, but admittedly for every solid Sainz performance, I could pick one of Leclerc’s out that is equally if-not more impressive (and that Italian GP weekend will live long in the memory, even for a non-Ferrari fan such as myself).

          1. @ninjenius agreed, for every race that Sainz finished best of rest there is a weekend where Charles had a great performance. Remember that Singapore was his win 100% if not for Ferrari’s strategy and also Bahrain could have been another clear win for Charles if not for the power issue late in the race. He could have ended with 4 wins this season, equaling Bottas and going one past Max. Not a bad “rookie” season at a top team.

  20. @keithcollantine
    What about the predictions championship ?

  21. Voted for Charles LeClerc. Ferrari hardly takes a rookie driver in their main team and they did this time. Pitted against a multiple times world champion in a rookie year, he qualified ahead of Vettel, led more laps than Vettel and earned more points. That is a statement and also a benchmark for improvement next year.
    Now, whether there was any tricks under the hood is a question that will remain. But even with a tricky machine outclassing Vettel shows that there is quality in him. But, there has to be more maturity.
    These are exciting times in Formula 1 to see young drivers like Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Russel, Albon and Ocon on the same grid not afraid of wheel to wheel close racing.

    1. Leclerc wasn’t a rookie in 2019, @pinakghosh.

      1. A rookie in Ferrari @coldfly
        Operations at Ferrari are different than that of Alfa Romeo or even Haas

        1. Nice wiggling @pinakghosh, but that doesn’t match your comment “Ferrari hardly takes a rookie driver in their main team.”
          According to your new ‘rookie’ definition every new Ferrari driver is a rookie ;)

          1. There is no wiggling @coldfly
            I am not a lexicographer. So I cannot define a word.
            Neither do I want to justify comment to you.
            Instead I would urge you to read what Mattia Binotto has said about Charles LeClerc.

          2. But can Binotto explain your strange statement that “Ferrari hardly takes a rookie driver in their main team”?
            Either Leclerc wasn’t a rookie, or every new Ferrari driver is a rookie. Thus Alonso and Vettel beat their teammate as a ‘rookie’ at Ferrari :P

  22. Verstappen. Third class car, top class performance.

    Kimi. 18 years at the top of f1 then knew how to get the best deal that suits him personally out of Vasseur and Alfa. 9th class car, quality performance.

  23. It was definetly Hamilton, but I had to cast my vote on Perez, what he did, especially in the second half of the season with that car, and to top it off finishing inside of the TOP 10 ahead of one Renault and one McLaren, was outstanding

    I would say it was one of the best, if not the best season Checo hhas ever had in F1

    1. I think Perez crashing out where his team mate got the teams best result isn’t good though. Plus Stroll looking a fair bit better than Perez in Brazil.

      I am pointing these out as Stroll is often referred as pretty much the worst driver on the grid, so these two races are a pretty poor show from Perez, especially germany.

      Stroll is making Perez look better than he is to me.

  24. Max for me.

  25. Verstappen and Hamilton are way beyond the rest of the field. In 2019, Sainz and Leclerc were the next two. Then a combination of overperforming rookies and oldies (Kimi).

  26. Lewis this year by a mile.
    The young pretenders can try again next year.

    1. I can understand the vote for Hamilton, but by a mile? Max did better relatively considering the car. Hamilton has lost out to Bottas quite often. Hamilton rarely had to push really hard to get the best results.

  27. uh… who voted for Magnussen??

    1. must be a ‘suckr’ ;)

  28. I think Max and Sainz really stood out. Lewis did as well, but he won the WDC in the car that got WCC by a mile and got Bottas P2.

    Max and Sainz both beat drivers in better cars but Max did that more often plus the drivers he beat were better ones.

    So Max for me. And yes I am a fan as well

  29. Both Max & Lewis were very good…a step above the field.

    Lewis made slightly less errors than Max.
    Lewis made notable mistakes in Germany (though, in mitigation, he was ill), Brazil & Austria
    Max made notable mistakes in Monaco, Spa, Monza & Mexico. Max also collided with Sainz in Bahrain,

    Max beat his teammates by larger margins than Lewis, but the reality is, Bottas (at this stage) is a better, more experienced, more proven quantity than both Gasly & Albon… it should be “easier” for Verstappen to outperform Gasly & Albon, than it is for Lewis to outperform Bottas. he last time Max had more experienced/polished teammates (Ricciardo & Sainz), he beat them by less dominating margins. I suppose what i’m saying, is that having such unproven rookies as teammates, has rather “flattered” Max.

    Both Max & Lewis have won when their car wasn’t the quickest at a particular track e.g. Bahrain (Ferrari fastest, Lewis overtakes Vettel to pinch P1. Or Mexico (RB quickest), Max falters, Lewis wins. Max won in Germany when Lewis faltered, despite Lewis having the quicker car).

    For me Lewis just pips it. Lewis has to deal with title pressure, plus a more “proven” teammate. I think Max has the least pressure of all the top drivers. His rookie teammates are not yet experienced enough to put him under any type of real pressure. Max is also in a “no lose” situation in that the RB15 is generally seen as the 3rd best car, so if he sometimes beats the Merc or Ferrari, he gets praised to high heaven, but if he doesn’t, he gets a free pass because he’s in the 3rd best car so he’s not suppose to. It’s no big deal. With Lewis, he’s in the best car & the expectation is to go out there & win every goddamned race. And if he doesn’t, it’s looked upon negatively. Expectations & pressures are far higher for Hamilton, yet, overall, he’s handled things well. Max has been the more “exciting” driver…he’s had higher “highs” than Lewis, but on the flip side, Max’s lows have been lower than Lewis’s. In other words, Lewis has quietly been the more consistent of the two. And that’s why i think he deserves to be voted as 2019’s best driver.

    1. Think this is the comment that has the best explanation of any and I agree with the most. I respect Verstappen could be at Hamilton’s level when he performs well, but he has a few too many moments when he makes mistakes that mean I can’t quite consider him to be as good.

      1. You could argue Lewis drives a better car and has to push less hard to get the results.

        But I can see the logic if Lewis wins this

        1. That is a point, but a lot of the times Verstappen has made his mistakes, it has been down to starting further down the grid, or making up for a bad start. He has a car capable of getting past these cars no problem if he just waits and is patient. Like in Spa, he could have waited a bit and got it done on the straight. Same in Italy but he misjudges the braking. If he didn’t do this is could have been an easy recovery to a realistic and good position for his car’s ability. He did the same again in Mexico pretty much. Was so close to Bottas and did it right near the end of the lap rather than waiting for a far easier option and using DRS on the straight. I just feel he gets the urge to rush and get it done too fast, which a bit too often fails for me to consider him as better than Hamilton.

          I agree he will have to work harder because his car is not as good, but a couple of his incidents this year have been with much slower cars that he could have got by no problem if he had been more patient.

    2. @amam

      This summarizes my thoughts too. Verstappen drive cleaner this year and beat two Ferraris as a reward. Hamilton was less spectacular but more consistent.

      It could be different next year, but this year Hamilton wins because his mistakes were less costly.

      1. @amam @thegianthogweed Have to disagree to a degree with some of this, mainly from the aspect that we are not talking entirely apples to apples here, which points to why I voted for Max amongst other reasons.

        Let’s give Max a 6 year run with the necessary WCC car, a dominant one at that, and see how many risks he has to take or how many times his car doesn’t fit him like a glove, averaged over a season. How many fewer cars are ahead of him at starts. I think you are downplaying the significance of this with all the Max shoulda done this or that…shouldn’t have passed here, should have waited, shouldn’t have mis-braked here or what have you. All that stuff happened because he was on the limit such as he has had to be most of the time in order to do what he has done. Max has the least pressure among the top drivers? As if. He has plenty on his hands as the sole one on the team putting the car where it usually doesn’t belong, and winning with it when it does. Yup, and making a few mistakes along the way. Imagine if he was in his 6th season of having the dominant car fit him like a glove. Let’s not downplay the significance of that. You almost always need the WCC car to win the WDC, statistically proven fact, let alone one you’ve been intimate with for 6+ years.

  30. Interesting to see Leclerc only 4th and behind Sainz at the moment I’m writing this.
    He doesn’t seem to get a lot of credit for beating a 4 times WDC with more than 10 years of F1 experience…

    1. I think this is more because Vettel has performed nowhere close to his previous levels. He isn’t performing like a 4 times world champion himself. Vettel has looked worse than many drivers this year, therefore i don’t think it is quite as big an achievement for leclerc beating him, especially given he has made several big mistakes this year too. Neither have been excellent on the whole. Verstappen and Hamilton have been far better IMO.

  31. Maybe not the ‘best’ driver, but the most impactful and interesting, in his second season, in a team that was actively against him much of the time while trying to prop up his fragile teammate… it’s Charles.

  32. I’d have liked to have two votes, because I think Hamilton and Verstappen were more or less equal. They both had great seasons, showed great racecraft and consistency and I doubt anyone could have extracted more from their packages than they did.

    My P3 would be Leclerc.

  33. Cristiano Ferreira
    12th December 2019, 16:39

    I’ll never vote for LH because its easy to perform in a dominant car. Mercedes was so dominant that they could win the title with Bottas alone.

    Tough choices… Leclerc was impressive in his first season in a messed team like Ferrari, and Sainz was impressive too. In the end, i think Verstappen (and RB Chassis) were carrying the Honda engine to places where it cannot belongs yet (as proven by Gasly and Albon), so my vote goes to him and Red Bull as a team.

    1. Mercedes wasn’t at the level of dominance that Bottas could have won them the title without Hamilton being there surely?

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        12th December 2019, 18:16

        Well the points standings doesnt lie

        Hamilton: 413 pts
        Bottas: 326 pts
        Verstappen: 278
        Leclerc: 264

        If Hamilton wasn’t there, Bottas would have taken the title. Well i’m using Bottas as an example but almost every driver in the grid could have been WDC driving for Mercedes.

        Am i mistaken?

        1. No, not if that is what you meant. From your wording here “Mercedes was so dominant that they could win the title with Bottas alone.”

          I assumed you meant the constructors title. Just because the words “Mercedes” and “they” were used, I assume you meant the team as a whole would win the constructors title with just Bottas.

          If you meant drivers title, then yea i agree, certainly.

          1. Cristiano Ferreira
            12th December 2019, 21:31

            Oh i see, my mistake then. I’m sorry.

            But yeah, i was refering to the drivers title and to the fact that Mercedes was dominant enough so that almost every driver in the grid could get the WDC driving for them.

  34. I would say, in a season devoid of perfection but full of gritty drives, Lewis was the best and most consistent, but only by a margin.
    Max was the most exciting but his team mates flattered his results, and he certainly met his quota for poorly-judged, poorly-ended overtaking attempts.
    Charles was (as far as qualifying is concerned) was the quickest and shone in spite of having the strongest team mate compared to Lewis and Max. His race pace was questionable at times, and he wasn’t outstanding at defending position.
    Also have to say that Sainz appears to have grown immensely this year and was outstanding in a superbly tight midfield.

    Lewis is my pick, but performance gaps aside, it was a very satisfying grid this year. I’m genuinely excited to see how next year and 2021 pan out.

  35. Overcoming Ferrari this year was akin to Hamilton doing so last year so Verstappen gets my vote

    I’m not even sure Hamilton could match him in equal machinery the form he was in this year

  36. One of the greatest racers on any contraption, Ricky Carmichael (motocross/supercross) often says that championships are won on your bad days. LH was on the podium all but 4 times this year. SV and MV i think missed it something like or near 10 times. I have to go with LH for winning when he can and rarely screwing up when he cant win. Big thumbs up to Leclerc and Norris as well.

  37. In a number of lists Leclerc mostly tops Vettel…by impressive margin…I can’t see how come Vettel would be so bad if Leclerc is that good, or vice versa, both driver have been quite close and should be rated as such. I would rank Leclerc one position ahead of Vettel.

    Sainz ends up high, but got soundly beaten by Hulkenberg last season who ends up quite low this season…there significant influence of having a competitive car…

    Hamilton pips Verstappen…. imagine Verstappen being beaten by Bottas this frequent…unthinkable!
    Lewis is great, but wasn’t impressive this season to my opinion, not alone did he avoid fights with Verstappen on track (Hungary), but lost when he couldn’t avoid him, being overtaken twice in just one race as a result (Brasil).

    With a dominant car Lewis finished 3 times outside the top 4
    With the 3rd best car Max finished 4 times outside the top 4

  38. walter bravenboer
    12th December 2019, 20:20

    Looking purely at the results it would have to be Lewis Hamilton. But for me personally it is Max Verstappen.
    This year has seen him grow as a person as a driver, more consistent and mature. As the first driver he had to have more responsibility, with a new engine supplier and a transition year. After Ricciardo left the team it was Max who they counted on. Gasly had a rough start and could not really handle the pressure and luckily he redeemed himself after the switch and got a much deserved podium. Albon seems to get better and looks to be the best choice.
    Max had again to cope with a ‘lesser’ car and took maximum results, although this year he did not ‘overdrive’ his car too much. The battle in Monaco was awesome to see, such great drivers fighting so close, a shame to get the penalty. The win at Austria was incredible and the atmosphere at the track and the 10.000 fans in the Ziggo Dome was unbelievable. I don’t think many fans realize what Max has accomplished here in Holland. Before Max motorsport was just a afterthought, now we have big events, large media attention and many, many young talents coming up.
    Germany was a high point, just a crazy race, and pure advertising for the sport. Lewis deserved the title absolutely, but it was Max (and Charles) who made F1 exciting again! Brazil was another great win, and redemption for last year.
    Leclerc, Sainz and Norris were also great, with McLaren coming closer, we can look forward to more exciting races. We are seeing the new generation, let’s hope it brings good times.

    1. Out of the car, I think that his personality has changed dramatically, and I really respect him for this. It has made me appreciate him more as a driver. His personality in the car when you hear him speaking hasn’t changed much though :D

  39. Putting aside all subjectivity and Lewis, I cannot understand how anyone can give this to anybody but Lewis. This is not about the perfect driver of the season, but about the one who drove the best and made the least mistakes – all things being equal.

    Arguably, Lewis only made 2 mistakes all season – Germany and Brazil. And even looking at those races, the mitigating circumstances are so obvious that it really cannot be counted against him.

    In Germany, all the top runners spun, and luck was the determining factor that negated a DNF, whilst pit wall strategy was the determining factor in where they finished. Red Bull won the race because they had the best strategy on the day.

    In Brazil, again, an unnecessary gamble put him in a desperate position after driving flawlessly all race. In fact, if he had simply mirrored Verstappen strategy, he most likely could have challenged for the race win based on race pace – as Mercedes was working quite well in the race. As it tuned out, he ended up a desperate position 2 laps from the finish, and Albon didn’t help by running wide before attempting to close the door.

    The point is, the mistakes made by a diver still has to be put in the context in the context in which the occurred.

    Looking at Max’s mistakes, we cannot really say the same thing. For one, he had more bad races – Monaco, Spa, Monza, Mexico, and also collided with Sainz in Bahrain.

    Monaco was also totally his fault. Firstly, Bottas was not fully behind him, but slightly alongside him. Secondly, drivers can hear the cars behind them much more than they can see them. Thus, it is ludicrous for Max too claim he didn’t know Bottas was there whilst driving at 60mph. Obviously, he got a penalty for it – and rightly so.

    Lewis doesn’t only win this because he made the least mistakes all season, but because of his racing. Even in the races where he wasn’t out in front, he was ALWAYS a contender for the win. He challenged, pressured, and hounded the leaders incessantly. This delivered some of the best nail biting finishes witnessed this year, and arguably made the 2019 season far more exciting that it would have been.

    Canada, Hungary, Belgium and Italy come to mind in this regard. Even at COTA and Brazil, he could settled for some decent points, but chose to chase the win.

    Furthermore, his lack of poles cannot be held against him in a season that saw a Ferrari resurgence which created a very fast car that took the most poles this season. No reasonable person can hold this against him. He is Lewis Hamilton after all, not Jesus Christ.

    Funny enough, though this has been Hamilton’s least spectacular season for a long while, I actually put it as his best to date. He has simply been imperious. It is why he has the record for most wins in a season that is not from pole position.

    Despite Verstappen’s performance, anyway we look at this, Lewis Hamilton takes it. It isn’t even close.

    1. KBD: Your analysis is spot on!

      1. @kbdavies You speak of ‘all things being equal,’ but they are not, are they? You are asking the same from Max wrt numbers of mistakes as from the guy who has had a dominant WCC car that he has been engrained with for 6 straight seasons.

        So no, things are not equal between Max and LH wrt equipment, which is why Max has had to take more risks and wring much more out of a lesser car, than LH has had to do.

        All things being equal, let’s imagine, if Max can do what he has done with what he has had so far in his F1 career, what he could do after 6 seasons of having a dominant WCC car and the confidence from the resultant multiple WDCs to boot.

        1. The phrase “all things being equal” (ceteris paribus) is always used in context. Why? Because all things can never be equal. In fact, it is is impossible any physical comparison to be truly “equal” in their totality.

          So, the context here is obviously the performance of both drivers all season, along with their mistakes. Basically, you take both their highs and lows, come up with an assessment, and make a conclusion.

          It is irrelevant whether they are both driving the same car, in the same team, or wear the same color of boxers.

          Of course you know all this, but you merely attempting to evade the obvious.

          The point is, Verstappen has been in F1 for 5 years, and he was beaten twice by a teammate – all things being equal (you see how it works?)

          Point is, if he had Hamilton’s car for 6 seasons, the evidence says he wouldn’t have done any better, and could easily do worse.

  40. I didn’t vote for a particular driver as I think there are to many caveats to make an accurate choice. But Hamilton did deserve the title as did Merc, they just blew everyone else away with their consistency,reliability and overall overall strategy. Verstappen certainly was impressive but he is not at Hamiltons level at the moment and there are no garrentees he’ll crack it so cannot be given the title of No1.
    Ricciardo was I think let down by a lousy car, the difficulties of coming into a new team but also his own silly mistakes at the start of the season.
    Sainz showed his class all yr and could be a podium contender in 2020. Leclerc is still learning and I think he will be a real force in 2020 while Vettel will be trying to hold on.
    There are a lot of great drivers who have for one reason or another been unable to show there top form.

  41. Touch choice, Hamilton performance actually disappointed me for various reasons. My choice was between Verstappen and Sainz. Verstappen it is. 3rd best card making it 3 place overall; with peak performances in Germany and Brasil .. Yep.

  42. Sainz, Leclerc, Verstappen, head and shoulders above the rest
    And a mention to Kubica , just for being there

  43. I had to give it to Max.

    Lewis was fantastic all year, but something about his move in Brazil on Albon hinted at a flaw in at least one race. Whereas I can’t recall a moment where Max has let up or made a poor decision. He’s not been out-paced by a team mate, and I can’t recall a time he’s slipped up on his own. Sure, he’s had overtaking attempts not work, but he’s not damaged the car in them when he’s had to abort. As always, his race craft was on point.

    I did consider Norris also, as for a rookie to keep level-pegging with a driver of Sainz’s calibre is fantastic, but comparing to Leclerc at Alfa Romeo Sauber last year, it wasn’t a perfect campaign.

  44. Hamilton was good and consistent, but I’m not convinced it was the best performance of the year as he really just had to beat his team mate to be champion as the team did yet another 1-2 for a record-breaking 6 years in a row, the most dominant team in F1 history. And being in such a dominant team, it’s possible to play the percentages and still come out top, not risking moves or setups like some of the others in the field have to.

    And that team mate was Bottas, a solid journeyman chosen for his placidity who Hamilton had just a 0.1s advantage over in qualifying. Against a top qualifier like Verstappen (or even Leclerc or Ricciardo) that advantage would almost certainly be gone, and he would probably have to start behind his team mate more often than not. And as we saw in Brazil, as soon as he is in max result mode and every tenth and position counts, he gets flustered and makes basic mistakes like anyone else.

    Verstappen really matured this year and kept his chin up and was consistent despite the frustrating dominance of a rival team with no end in sight. Together with his dragging of the 3rd best car to top results and complete annihilation of his team mates I really don’t believe Hamilton would have been able to cope with or match that, so all in all Verstappen was the driver of the year for me, despite making a few more mistakes.

  45. Hamilton for me. The most consistent driver on the grid. That mistake in Brazil wouldn’t have happened if the title was still up for grabs…..he would’ve been a lot more careful.

    Anyway, Team Bosses top 10

    1. Lewis Hamilton 169 –
    2. Max Verstappen 146 –
    3. Charles Leclerc 124 Up 3
    4. Valtteri Bottas 68 Up 4
    5. Sebastian Vettel 58 Down 2
    6. Alex Albon 57 New entry
    7. Carlos Sainz Jr 55 New entry
    8. Daniel Ricciardo 49 Down 3
    9. George Russell 41 New entry
    10. Lando Norris 38 New entry

  46. Yes, verstappen did very well but even as a mercedes hater, I gotta give this to hamilton, he was, thanks to verstappen’s sometimes dubious second half, the most consistent driver, and he really improved a lot in the last 2 years, both when it comes to not giving up when things go wrong and not phoning it in after title is won, this makes him a much more credible driver to go against peak schumacher than I’d have considered him 2 years ago.

  47. It is good to see that chosing driver of the year is getting more interesting because of the options. For me is starting on pole and finishing first, not an indication of overtaking, braking skills and cornering. Tire manegement, team work etc. To be able to fight and succeed in actions on the track is were I am looking for. So I still look for the driver that makes me want to see F1 and even go to the circuits, after all I am a race fan. Many options here, vote for Ves.

  48. Excuses. after cornering read skills additional.

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