Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

2019 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton

2019 F1 season review

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Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his sixth world championship with two races to spare. Team mate Valtteri Bottas couldn’t quite make the fight go the distance, and the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers arguably didn’t have a package which was competitive enough over a full season to mount a title bid.

But this doesn’t mean Hamilton wasn’t seriously tested – he faced stern competition from four different drivers at different points in the season.

He won both his serious encounters with Sebastian Vettel, the first in Bahrain where his rival spun off trying to keep him behind. If that was a straight fight, Canada was more of a technical knock-out, Vettel straying wide under intense pressure and committing a foul which meant a five-second penalty.

Hamilton squared up against Max Verstappen when the Red Bull fully on-song, and had to give best to his rival in Brazil, who was just a little too quick for whatever Hamilton threw at him. His dogged pursuit of Verstappen in Hungary, however, yielded one of the smartest tactical wins of the year. Hamilton apparently doubted the team’s strategy at the time, or so his team radio messages led us to believe, though you always have to wonder if there’s an element of mind games going on.

He found another stern new opponent in Charles Leclerc, who out-ran Hamilton at Spa and bested him again at Monza where the pair went wheel-to-wheel. Bottas found new reserves of speed in 2019 as well and took wins off Hamilton at times.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Hamilton kept on winning even as the opposition improved
But Hamilton’s sheer consistency told over most of his rivals for the majority of the 21-race campaign. Where some of his rivals had occasional chances to win races and converted some of them, he was rarely out of contention.

Although he ‘only’ took five pole positions over the course of the year, Hamilton regularly started very close to the front, and so often was ideally placed to take advantage when his rivals slipped up. As a result, he took more than twice as many wins as poles.

There were almost no weekends all year when Hamilton wasn’t in with a chance of winning. His worst results – in Germany and Brazil – came as a result of uncharacteristic misjudgements.

Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying14/21
Beat team mate in race13/19
Races finished20/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate907/1233
Qualifying margin-0.12

Naturally he took the majority of his victories when the car was at its strongest earlier in the year. But it was in the second half of the season that Hamilton produced some of his more impressive performances. Faced with a resurgent Ferrari, he took opportunistic wins in Russia and Mexico by being fast enough to capitalise on Ferrari’s failings.

That said, in Mexico he was fortunate to get away with his first-lap skirmish with Max Verstappen. Mark Webber found it telling Hamilton was prepared to risk a “very rare low percentage move” on that particular rival. It says something about Hamilton’s view of the emerging threat at Red Bull.

All year long Hamilton wasn’t as sharp in qualifying in the W10 as he has been in other cars during his career. At times this compromised him in the races, such as in the USA, where he had to settle for second behind Bottas after his team mate took pole position. But in Abu Dhabi he rounded off the season with the kind of dominant performance which was atypical of the season which had brought him his sixth world championship.

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What’s your verdict on Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “2019 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton”

  1. An expected choice for #1 – I could see this coming.

    1. Hardly surprising, and well deserved.

    2. I don’t know, 3rd was pretty predictable yet absolutely wrong. Ham is the only choice very calm lots of winning. Didn’t even had to risk a thing as Merc was so far ahead, went for front rows and bottas was ushered away whenever they wanted to. No pressure nevertheless merc wanted to win it all and they went for it, only a couple mistakes as a result of some challenge from the opposition.

      1. @peartree Correction. Lewis was so far ahead, Bottas got Lewis’s performance engineer which made Bottas a better driver. Bottas finished way behind Lewis in the standing with the same car, which means it was all Lewis.

        1. @noname Correction!.. Hamilton is a miracle worker.

  2. It’s hard to argue with results

    1. Yep we all agree Lewis bagged it this year in F1.

      BUT the true Milton Keynes sensation is no longer Hamilton but a young woman who made darts world champ and has already been offered a Sir if she wants it.

  3. I think it was very close between Max and Lewis. Very close.

    1. Agreed! It would have been even closer if Max had not started to show glimpses of his old-self in the second part of the season. Spa and Mexico (especially in qually) were clear signs that he’s not yet fully matured as a driver. Lewis on the other hand, was really really strong through-out the season and had only Germany as a low point.

    2. @magon4 Far from “very close” – Lewis won it because he is better and drover better, nothing else.

  4. Well done Keith! You’ve chosen the correct numero uno!

  5. Think saying Ham made a mistake in Germany is a little harsh considering every driver that went out on slicks (track still wet) spun badly, good race though.
    Just need to see Verstappen and Leclerc in reasonably equal teams all performing to see who will potentially carry the torch forward. Ham won’t give it to them, they’ll have to take it from him, no mean feat.

    1. @icarby Yeah in Germany it’s more of every front runner screws up and see if the lady luck favors them. Verstappen and Sainz spins but otherwise that’s it. Hamilton survive a crash but get punished heavily in the pit. Meanwhile the likes of Leclerc, Hulk, and Bottas just straight out of the race.

    2. Ham made more mistakes there, not only one!
      He was very lucky and only luck saved him there.

      1. By Lewis’ standards Germany 19 was a poor race. Let’s not forget though, he was not 100% feeling well and prior to the bad call made by the team was strolling to an easy win. Not blaming the team here, as they win and lose together but if we are using this race to denigrate Lewis’ fantastic season then we need to consider the circumstances. Max is Lewis’ only competitor in the wet but let’s not pretend Max didn’t make any mistakes this race. He made 2 obvious mistakes its just they didnt end up affecting his race too much.
        The ranking we have from Keith is spot on. As backed up by the WDC standings. Lewis No1 all day but if he hadn’t been given No1 status by Keith im sure WDC No6 would ease the pain somewhat. 😀

  6. He made more than one though. This was a terrible race for Hamilton and it made little sense that he wasn’t a struggler for this weekend.

    What was poor about Hamilton’s crash is that his first one was during the VSC. Don’t think other drivers made a similar mistake at this stage. No matter what tyres you are on, that is pretty poor. He then came into the pits on the wrong side of the bollard and earned himself a 5 second penalty.

    Then on lap 53, he pretty much mirrors what Bottas does a bit later (which Bottas got a lot of criticism for) But his car spinning out of control just happens to avoid the barriers.

    Although I would still rate Hamilton above Verstappen, i think this performance by Hamilton was certainly worse than the worst of Verstappen’s I’d say. But this was the only very poor form form Hamilton all year.

    1. replying to @icarby

      1. I checked the highlights, lap 29, I don’t think any driver would’ve been able to go the correct side of the bollard considering where Ham was when he got control of the car. He was indeed fortunate that he still had the chance to get into the pits.

        He aquaplaned off, what I’m not 100% sure on is that it was under a vsc, I saw yellow flags waved, I’ll look again.

        From there the race went super bad for him and he was extremely fortunate to still get in the points due to other teams, I forget which, dropping points.

        I reckon if they didn’t put him on slicks at that point he probably would’ve won the race.

        Nobody was perfect in this race in all quarters. But to mention only two incidents in a 21 race season, speaks for itself really.

        1. @thegianthogweed , they were deploying a full safety car on lap 29.

        2. @icarby

          Well i have the race recorded the race. The thing that I think was really bad from hamilton was that it was indeed under VSC. It was just after Leclerc had crashed. As you can see on the replay onboard Hamilton, if he had been going just a tiny bit faster, he could have crashed into Leclerc’s car that was against the barrier. I sort of am more understanding of drivers going off track or even crashing out when they are trying to go as fast as they can, but Hamilton should have been going slower given the VSC was deployed.

          Regarding the bollard, you are correct about that, but I guess it was a hard decision weather to stay out damaged or go against the rules and come in on the wrong side.

          The thing is, hamilton spun / aquaplaned twice almost instantly after he pitted. The spin closer to the end, it was only him and Bottas who spun in these conditions. Vettel, Stroll Kvyat and many others avoided doing the same with the same tyres. I’m really not convinced Hamilton will have won even if what happened earlier hadn’t occurred. He still made mistakes later on.

          I still rate Hamilton first over the whole season, but I think this was a truly awful race and probably his worst over the last few years.

          1. Yea sorry, i did mean to say full safety car was out before the time Hamilton went off. Not the VSC. My mistake

          2. The aquaplaning made it pretty tough, but tbf, the “mistakes after that are hard to pin on him because im not sure I could name 2 others on the grid who could have kept that car in the race. The floor and bargeboard damage he had totally stalled the diffuser and sent dirty wash over the rear wing on that side of the car, so he had catastrophic downforce losses even after getting a new front wing.

            Verstappen showed quality in getting to the end, but RB did a good job in the pits with him too. I honestly see that as Hamilton’s most impressive performance of the season (post crash) especially considering he had the flu 😰

  7. No surprise here, he was his unusually good and stable self.

    Working quietly on his GOAT status, and laudly on his SJW status.

    He will be hard to beat until he gets old.

  8. Absolutely the correct decision. Bravo

  9. Also, was it not Germany where Lewis had some sort of illness and there was even talk of him not starting the race?

    1. I was aware of this, but if this sort of thing would have an effect on a drivers ability to race, then they won’t have taken part, unless they had recovered. I don’t think this can have any reasoning for Hamilton’s poor form during the race.

      1. @thegianthogweed
        Seems like getting a few points would have been a reasonable goal, even if he didn’t feel like fighting really hard. Better than no points.

        Of course you could fault him for being on the track at all, putting others in danger it he wasn’t healthy.

        1. To be fair, he wanted to retire from the radio. Not sure if this was related to him loosing hope of getting points. It was his team that had to persuade him to stay out.

      2. @thegianthogweed, we have seen times when drivers have raced even when they have not been completely physically fit.

        This same season, we saw Kimi race in Spa even though Sauber were concerned enough about his fitness to call up Ericsson in case they need to substitute him late on – whilst Kimi did race in the end, it seems that was based on a judgement that he was “fit enough”, even though he hadn’t fully recovered.

        Similarly, in Abu Dhabi Bottas raced even though it was clear from the press conferences that he took part in that he was clearly unwell – sick enough that I believe Mercedes did seriously consider withdrawing him from that race and replacing him with Ocon. That was, we know, something that Mercedes did also seriously consider doing with Hamilton in Germany as well, suggesting that it was not a trivial issue for either driver.

        More seriously, we know from Perez that, in 2011, he continued racing for the rest of that season even though he admitted that he was still suffering from after effects from his concussion in the Monaco GP for a couple of months afterwards and could tell it was having some impact on his driving in those races.

        I mean, go back to 2010 and you have Webber taking part in four races at the end of the season despite fracturing his shoulder and, in at least two races, only being able to race because he was secretly having painkillers injected into his shoulder before the race began – something which was retrospectively linked to his poorer form in those races.

        The fact we’ve seen drivers continue to race even when they had been badly injured and their performance was being adversely impacted suggests that it is quite plausible that, even if his performance was being slightly impaired by illness, Hamilton chose to race anyway, in much the same way that Bottas chose to race in Abu Dhabi even though he was clearly not completely fit and probably wasn’t driving at his best (suggesting that his performance in that race was probably somewhat underappreciated).

        1. Fair enough then. I’m just unsure how much it would effect their ability if the consider themselves fit enough to race, which will always be very hard.

          1. I assume that if you decide to go to work, even though you are ill (from a stomach bug or flu for example), then it means the illness would have no effect on your performance?? Basically you are saying those who decide to show up for work , even though they are ill, are well enough not to have their performance impacted by the illness.

            If you work ANYWHERE, then you would know this statement cannot be true.

          2. What I am saying that this is a very dangerous sport. A bit different to typical work. Anything that could effect your performance in this particular situation (as in mistakes being more likely to have bad consequences), then i feel they will have to be in far better shape to race. This is why I myself feel they won’t be that badly effected if they decide to go for it.

            You overemphasize my view somewhat.

          3. @thegianthogweed, the issue is that believing yourself to be fit to race does not necessarily mean that you are not being unaffected by it.

            As others have noted, it is more likely going to be a judgement by that driver that, even if they are not going to be completely fit and may be operating below their maximum potential, they want to gain at least something from that race – a lot of drivers over the years have said that they raced because they didn’t want to throw away a points lead or wanted to minimise the gains a rival could possibly make.

            Others, meanwhile, have felt pressured into racing because of sponsorship or contractual obligations, meaning that they raced even when it was having an impact. A particularly famous example of that from the past was Jackie Stewart, who raced throughout 1971 and 1972 even though, for most of that period, he was ill with glandular fever and had recurring bouts of gastroenteritis – he recalled driving in not just Grand Prix, but even endurance races (such as the 6 Hours of Paul Ricard), despite being severely fatigued and sleep deprived, because of the pressure from sponsors and contractual obligations to other parties.

            We have seen drivers continue to drive even when they are severely fatigued, suffering from heat stress or even severe dehydration. We’ve had drivers continue driving even when they were so dehydrated that they were starting to hallucinate (I think that happened to Trulli in the 2003 German GP) or, in the case of Alonso, he was so dehydrated during the 2009 Bahrain GP that he nearly passed out whilst in the car and had to be helped to the medical centre by his pit crew – but still kept going.

            We have seen drivers push themselves to quite far extremes and continue driving far beyond the point when the rational decision would have been to stop given it was not just impairing their driving, but becoming actively dangerous for them (and other drivers around them) to continue driving.

            Those drivers are normal human beings like us, and there are countless examples of people competing in events even though they weren’t properly fit because their competitive desires were too strong, because they felt pressured into competing even though they didn’t really want to or for countless myriad other reasons.

  10. The Undisputed King of F1.

    1. I don’t think there are true “kings” of F1. The world champion would’ve always been a Mercedes driver, ever since their first dominant car. Even this year, if it wasn’t Hamilton, it would’ve been Bottas. I see this more as a constructors championship, drivers are almost impossible to judge. It’s just the nature of the sport. All I know is that Hamilton is better than Bottas, Verstappen better than his past (and current) team-mates etc. The only true constant might be Stroll. He’s always around the back of the grid, no matter the car performance. Such consistency is rare these days.

      1. “The world champion would’ve always been a Mercedes driver, ever since their first dominant car.”

        Nope. Not in 2017 & 2018. Especially 2018, when there’s an argument for Ferrari having the best car

        1. That’s a bit like hanging on a wire…sure Ferrari had pace….though Mercedes was dominant in quali, strategy, in season development and yes…. Lewis was indeed better than Vettel and Raikkonen, but that came to no surprise to anyone. It’s like Bottas is a very good frame of reference for a possible WDC… he is fast on good days and can take that [ace to a win when starting from front row, but he’s not a true racer.

          Somehow Lewis fans are quite strong on denying Mercedes was and still is the most dominant car in F1 history, Lewis happens to be part of it and it gave him his many records… any driver in the future will need similar dominance from a team to ever beat those records.

          1. I don’t think anyone denies they have had the best car for most of the turbo hybrid era. I think what isn’t appreciated enough is 1. How important drivers are to development direction. It’s a two way street that requires the right input to succeed and 2. That 99.9% of champions in history had the best car. Senna and Prost drove some incredible McLarens. Mansell and Villeneuve won titles in dominant Williams, Fangio bounced to the best car whenever he could, Jim Clark’s Lotus was the class of the field, Schumacher benefited from Ross Brawn’s incredible knack for knowing where the scrutineers won’t look, Fernando could have done 200mph on gravel with his Renault’s trick suspension and Seb Vettel won his titles in cars that routinely had 10%+ more downforce than the rest of the field.

            Fact is that it’s no more a knock to his titles than any other. The fact he has sustained that greatness is an indication of his own greatness

          2. Well, this year, Ferrari were dominant in quali, but Mercedes had better race pace – yet they still won the championship.

            The point here is, the Ferrari drivers didn’t maximize their packages in 2017 and 2018. If either of them were in the Mercedes, and Lewis was in the Ferrari in those years, Mercedes wouldn’t have won the championship, and Ferrari would.

          3. The line of conversation was about 2017 & 2018.

            The 2017 & 2018 Ferrari cars were closely matched to the Mercs. That’s a view held by many sources inside the sport, not just Lewis fans (as you seem to want to imply), just to give a couple of examples:

            Ferrari made too many errors ( particularly driver errors- which allowed Merc to run away with both titles). But their cars were good enough to challenge Merc in both 2017 & 2018. Only a person in denial would try to claim the W08 & W09 were, to quote you “the most dominant car in F1 history”.

          4. (@kbdavies)

            It isn’t hard to imagine how much better the Ferrari drivers could/should have done. Vettel especially was making far too many errors. Also, IIRC, i think Ferrari had the better quali car in 2018 (or just as good as Merc) but the drivers failed to maximise. Think of Q3 sessions such as Hungary, Belguim etc They should’ve taken pole but messed up.

            Only a Mercedes driver was ever going to win 2014, 2015 & 2016. But Ferrari had a real good shot in 2017 & 2018. If you look at 2018 especially, Vettel had the best reliability & a car just as quick as Hamilton’s Merc.

      2. Boats would have won the drivers championship if Lewis had not. Just can’t be true, can it? Was not as 2nd in 2017 & 2018? From memory I think not.

  11. Definitely number 1. He won 11 and got himself in contention for the win in almost every other one. Absolutely relentless. The person to beat him to a championship will really have to earn it

  12. I’d have agree with either Hamilton or Verstappen as #1, they were a class above everyone else this year. Verstappen often had a lesser car and had to battle a little harder, but Hamilton had a tougher team-mate and his race driving especially was as good as I’ve seen.

  13. Disagree…. overall Lewis had a weaker season than Verstappen even by margin.

    Two of Lewis P1’s fell in his lap by luck or team calls.
    – Bahrain thanks to Charles’ late DNF
    – Canada thanks to Vettel being bullied by the stewards
    Than there have been direct team orders in favor of Lewis
    – Singapore
    In quali Lewis had been beaten by Bottas 7 out of 21, same goes for races, that’s 30% of the season
    He made 3 crashes by his own fault, two in Germany + one in Brasil, took another penalty in Germany as well.
    He forced Verstappen of track in Mexico which had a dramatic influence on the outcome of the race as Verstappen picked up a puncture fighting back.

    Lewis season overall was consistent and of course impressive, but he didn’t maximize his results like Verstappen did.
    I can live with him being rated #1, that’s the way things go… he is the winner after all, but he wasn’t the best performer this season.

    1. Most deluded summary I have ever seen.

      How do you think he got into the positions to earn those inherited wins? Was it a magnetic force keeping him glued to the car in front for lap after lap? Ridiculous assessment.

      Canada thanks to Vettel being bullied by the stewards

      Ahhhh now the salt makes sense. This old chestnut. I suppose the stewards pressed the banana button to make Vettel CHOKE and go off in the first place right.

      If you’re gonna write off Mexico for forceful driving you might as well scratch off half of Max’s career aswell then.

      1. Just a summary of fact… they can hurt I if you don’t like ‘m.

        I think Lewis got ‘into positions’ cause he had the car to win near every race, Bottas taking P2 with margin says enough isn’t it..? The FIA decided to change the rules after Austria, Vettel was on the short end of that straw….if the FIA needs numerous re-runs to check which way he looked and the direction of his steering wheel was… than it’s no longer about racing. Penalty or not, Lewis went of track more often than Vettel and was lucky to take P1.

        Max race in Mexico was ruined by both Mercedes drivers… first lap was unlucky…Bottas plain stupid and should have been penalized for it.

        1. Matn, the problem with your assessment of Mexico is that a review of the onboard footage from other cars, as well as the aerial footage, provides pretty strong evidence that the initial contact occurred when the rear left of Verstappen’s car slid out and struck the rear right hand side of Hamilton’s car. Without that, you cannot explain the pattern of damage to Hamilton’s car – you can in fact see debris from the floor being thrown into the air when that collision occurs – and the subsequent contact occurs as Hamilton is trying to regain control of his car following that initial collision.

          I do not believe there was any malice in what Verstappen was doing – it was a case of two drivers fighting over a similar patch of tarmac, and Verstappen was applying just a fraction too much throttle given the rear of the car was unsettled on the bumps on the entry to Turn 1 – but the sequence of events was initiated by the initial contact that Verstappen made with Hamilton’s car.

          1. You do know that VER and HAM agreed there was no contact as you stated.
            That simple fact is important for what happened next.

          2. We do know that parts were flying off the car beause of the contact. We also know that neither driver said that there was no contact. We do know that you just make stuff up.

          3. erikje, the claim that there was no contact seems to be coming purely from yourself.

            Furthermore, if there was supposedly no contact – which does not seem credible given the visual evidence from multiple different camera angles – then how do you explain the pattern of damage to Hamilton’s car and the fact that there is debris clearly coming off from Hamilton’s car at the very moment that Verstappen’s left rear quite definitely seems to be touching the right rear of Hamilton’s car?

            There is no subsequent collision which can explain the pattern of damage which was clearly visible on Hamilton’s car after that point – the only sequence of events which fits with that damage pattern and the footage from that race is if the initial contact was between Verstappen’s left rear and the right rear side of Hamilton’s car. Otherwise, you have offered no explanation for how the car could have been damaged in that way.

            As I have said before, I don’t believe there is any malice in it and that it was an inevitable consequence of two competitive drivers pushing right to, and eventually just beyond, the limits of their cars – yet it feels as if you are unable to accept the possibility that Max might have made a mistake in that situation, almost as if you have decided that it is impossible that he could be fallible and that doing so is some sort of heretical act.

        2. Max race was ruined in Mexico by his stupidity in qualifying, and because he hit Ham. Unless you chose to ignore all the footage that shows Max hitting Ham, the debris coming off that hit, or the Ham onboard which records the loud bang when Max hits.

          Which you clearly have.

    2. @Matn

      Lewis season overall was consistent and of course impressive, but he didn’t maximize his results like Verstappen did

      This is truely a ridiculous statement to cap off your tirade. Problem with this is that Verstappen’s bad races were worse than Hamilton’s- especially after the summer break for some 4 races. Spa, Monza and Mexico particularly stand out.

      Which meant that Albon- who no one would even suggest is on Verstappen’s pace, was actually outscoring Verstappen going into the final 2 races.

      Sorry mate, that in itself puts your statement of “but he didn’t maximize his results like Verstappen did” to shame.

      Clearly Verstappen wasn’t ‘maximising’ the points he could have scored in that RBR if even Albon was picking up more points.

      Hamilton is the complete driver. Max Verstappen has a long way to go to replicate the sort of seasons Hamilton has produced. Heck even Daniel Ricciardo beat Max 2-1 despite not being as quick.

  14. I would have voted him 2nd to Verstappen.

    1. Being generous, fourth after Max, Charles and Carlos

      1. Sorry this is a ranking of driver skill not how much you fancy each driver numbnuts.

  15. Little to choose between the top two. The performance of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull was pretty close in the last part of the season and with Max, Charles and Lewis going head to head, 2020 could be the most exciting season in years.

    PS Merry Christmas everyone.

  16. Must say that I don’t think that we have evolved to the top of the foodchain to become vegans. I also don’t buy anything with Tommy Hilfiger label on it, and I am pretty sure that I will never listen to Hamilton’s music. But one really has to admire the passion, determination and energy he puts into everything he is doing…while still delivering magic on track, race-in-race-out.

  17. Most rounded driver on the grid!

  18. *Hamilton for me was a no brainer as No1. He just drove with as few mistakes and as cleanly as you would expect a 6 times WDC to perform. His partnership with Mercedes has produced on of the best pairings in F1 history and I think he’s likely to go on to become the all time holder of the most WDC titles.

    *Woops accidently posted this in the Verstappen story so a double post sorry.

  19. I can live with Lewis on nr 1 but I still feel he has a way easier job than others driving in the WCC car.

    1. Max has the weakest teammate of anyone in the top 3 teams. He has the easiest job.

      1. @kgn11
        Bottas is by far the weakest, Gasly aside. (Although TR Gasly would beat Bottas anyday)
        His only trick is a one lap round, and that’s it.
        Compared to Albon he lacks racecraft, overtaking skills and proper defensive driving.
        Add that to his lack of racepace and tyre management.
        Had he been partnered with Max, it would have been 19-2 in quali, and he would have won one race at best.

        1. Nah, no way. Bottas is a very good driver. One of the best on the brakes on the entire grid and very good raw speed. His biggest weakness is tyres. If he was ~4 tenths slower on raw pace only, but could nurse tyres like JB could, he would have a better shot. Problem is, Lewis is both kinder to his tyres and hardware than Val and quicker. Everyone looks mortal next to an all time great, just ask Reubens

        2. Please stop it, Bottas is a better driver than Albon & Gasly.

      2. When beating your teammate is your goal maybe. But when winning races or at least try to beat guys ik better cars, it’s not

    2. @anunaki Hamilton is fighting for a WDC against, Bottas, the Ferrari’s and Verstappen. He’s under constant pressure not to mess up and also finish in front of his competitors. When he has a slightly off Q3 (or his team mate choses to setup for Q3 ) his team won’t help him past. Hamilton needs to save his engines and meanwhile fight to win anyway.

      Verstappen has a team around him which only focusses on him. His team mate is an also ran who they will just strategize tbehind Verstapen if it mattered. Verstappen gets to destroy an engine on a race, because a race win matters more to them anyway than the consequences of taking a new engine.

      Hamilton has a much harder job than Verstappen does.

      1. Of course there is truth in what you say, a lot actually, but Max did use less parts than Bottas. So it’s not like redbull just put in new engines all the time where others didn’t.

        i.e. Max drove with an old engine tuned down in Spa.

        When you have the WCC winning car your life will always be easier compared to a lesser car while you still try to win races

    3. Where Lewis’s wins are concerned it is always the car. All he does get it and with no skill or judgement on his part, it drives him to wins. Faint praise indeed.😀😅

  20. His sheer consistency is crazy. A lot of it is credited to his great team and car, just like those factors are big for anybody else.

    But you can have the greatest mechanics, greatest designers, greatest support but at the end of the day you’re the one who have the drive the thing week in, week out under sheer pressure and conditions (even if you sound like a crybaby at those times). The hopes of the entire team on you and your partner’s shoulders.

  21. Worst ranking I’ve seen from this site since it was f1fanatic. Sainz above leclerc? Why do I endure all the ads for your f1 opinion again?

    1. Because you want to find out how this single mum makes £5k per week working from home?

    2. Maybe you shouldn’t take Keith’s opinion to heart. It’s a subjective list so it can’t be “wrong”.

    3. Last time I checked no one was holding you here by your ears?

  22. An outstanding season for Lewsi, but it’s glaringly obvious that Keith has missed out some of Hanilton’s errors. Crashed twice in Germany, and was incredibly lucky that not only did his car survive both incidents, but that a double DSQ for Alfa Romeo handed him points. Likewise in Brazil, there is no mention of him punting Albon off – an unnecessary move at a corner where overtaking is rare and a real rookie error. It seems that Hamilton’s errors have been downplayed compared to Verstappen’s, and makes me wonder whether #1 is really the best place for Lewis.

    That being said, if not #1, Lewis deserves #2 or #3, anything below that would be too harsh.

  23. Hard to argue with your rankings Keith! But to be honest, I am impressed that you’re the first journalist who seems to actually understand what Lewis and Bono use the radio for. They know EXACTLY what they want to do, and all year Lewis baited the Ferraris into early pitstops by moaning on the radio only to immediately quip “tyres are fine” as soon as the red cars bailed into the pits.

    1. And then engine problems but ofc the engine explodes for bottas and not him!

  24. This shouldn’t be under contention by any right thinking individual. Both drivers made mistakes, but still had outstanding performances over the season, whilst maximizing the packages they had.

    What clinches it for me is: would Max have done better, won more races, and be involved in less incidents if he was in the Mercedes? I don’t think so. Would Lewis have done better if he was in the Red Bull, winning more races, and be involved in less incidents? Probably yes.

    For this reason, he takes it.

    1. Tbh… I don’t think Max would have been beaten by Bottas this often, plus most of the incidents Verstappen was involved in occurred during the first few laps (Spa, Japan, Mexico), starting from front row is less risky.

      Apart from grid penalties and Ferrari and Mercedes drivers taking him out Max really extracted anything there was from the car, Lewis on the other hand got beaten by his team mate quite frequently and got help from team strategies apart from being plainly lucky in fe. Bahrain and Canada.

      Lewis really extracted enough from the car and team, but still left enough on the table for Bottas to shine, Max on the other hand was troubled by other drivers a lot, but robbed many podiums the car, realistically, wasn’t capable of.

      1. Verstappen was beaten worse by Sainz and Ricciardo. So why not by Bottas?

  25. There could hardly be any discussion about this, his season was magnificent. I can’t remember such a flawless season overall – maybe Schumacher in 2004? Even then he had off days in China and Brazil, compared to Hamilton who got caught by the weather in Germany (and the consequent chaos in the pits which wasn’t his fault) and did only one mistake which can be partially ascribed to him, a collision with Albon in Brazil. If you want to compete with driver like him, you have to produce 19-20 flawless races over the season and you need to get a car competitive on the majority of the circuits. That’s why I think he’ll be hard to beat in 2020, although Verstappen nearly got to the same level in my opinion – but there’s a difference between having a solid season and actually having a car competitive on every type of circuit. Hope Ferrari and Leclerc especially can bring some tension to the next season.

  26. José Lopes da Silva
    25th December 2019, 14:21

    As a Verstappen fan, the Mexico Grand Prix clearly made the difference between them for me. It should have been a Red Bull win. But Hamilton made it with the third-fastest car of the weekend.

  27. The most impressive thing about LH this season was his uncanny ability to follow all the cars in front of him so closely for long periods of the races, including Bottas’s Mercedes.
    Something conventional wisdom suggested was not possible for longer than a few laps. And he did it all season ,

  28. Correct decision, for the nr1, also correct was not to grant him the Sir title, since he is more concerned with his hair looks as to give proper comments🤣🤣

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