Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2019

RaceFans readers vote Lewis Hamilton as 2019 F1 Driver of the Year

2019 F1 season review

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Lewis Hamilton has topped our annual poll to find RaceFans readers’ Driver of the Year for the third season in a row.

The Mercedes driver, who clinched his sixth world championship this year, was previously voted Driver of the Year by our readers in 2010 as well as in 2017 and 2018.

However one of Hamilton’s rivals took more wins in our regular Driver of the Weekend polls. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped the poll five times. Hamilton won this vote four times, as did his team mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Four other drivers were voted Driver of the Weekend during 2019: Alexander Albon, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

RaceFans F1 Driver of the Year poll winners since 2010

2018: Lewis Hamilton
2017: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Daniel Ricciardo
2015: Sebastian Vettel
2014: Daniel Ricciardo
2013: Sebastian Vettel
2012: Fernando Alonso
2011: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Lewis Hamilton

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RaceFans 2019 F1 Driver of the Weekend winners

Here is who you voted as Driver of the Weekend for all 21 of this year’s races, plus who won the official F1 poll for Driver of the Day:

RaceRaceFans’ Driver of the Weekend (vote share)F1 Driver of the Day
2019 Australian Grand PrixValtteri Bottas (67.1%)Valtteri Bottas
2019 Bahrain Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (82.7%)Charles Leclerc
2019 Chinese Grand PrixAlexander Albon (30.1%)Alexander Albon
2019 Azerbaijan Grand PrixValtteri Bottas (48.1%)Charles Leclerc
2019 Spanish Grand PrixMax Verstappen (37.8%)Max Verstappen
2019 Monaco Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (43.1%)Max Verstappen
2019 Canadian Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo (41.4%)Sebastian Vettel
2019 French Grand PrixLando Norris (39.6%)Lando Norris
2019 Austrian Grand PrixMax Verstappen (62.3%)Max Verstappen
2019 British Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (46.4%)Charles Leclerc
2019 German Grand PrixMax Verstappen (36.3%)Max Verstappen
2019 Hungarian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (42.3%)Max Verstappen
2019 Belgian Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (59.6%)Lando Norris
2019 Italian Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (63.6%)Charles Leclerc
2019 Singapore Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (33%)Sebastian Vettel
2019 Russian Grand PrixCarlos Sainz Jnr (25.8%)Sebastian Vettel
2019 Japanese Grand PrixValtteri Bottas (42.5%)Valtteri Bottas
2019 Mexican Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (50.2%)Max Verstappen
2019 United States Grand PrixValtteri Bottas (45.6%)Alexander Albon
2019 Brazilian Grand PrixMax Verstappen (49.4%)Max Verstappen
2019 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (58%)Nico Hulkenberg

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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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60 comments on “RaceFans readers vote Lewis Hamilton as 2019 F1 Driver of the Year”

  1. However one of Hamilton’s rivals took more wins in our regular Driver of the Weekend polls. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped the poll five times. Hamilton won this vote four times, as did his team mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

    This is at least a bit more representative of driver performance across the season than the somewhat laughable F1 Driver of the Day poll totals.

    Merry Christmas everybody!!

    1. Haha, you mean its shows the amount of Leclerc fans here?
      Also some of those races Ferrari were cheating. Yeah they didnt get caught and the FIA did everything so they didnt have to ban one of f1 teams (bad pr and business if the headlines are “ferrari caught cheating”), but it was very clear.

    2. I’d say both polls are 100% representative of the people who voted.
      It might not represent your views. And sometimes (Abu Dhabi) a large part of voters have ulterior motives.

  2. Leclerc had more ups and downs, while Hamilton was extremely solid almost all of the time.

    1. Exactly. He wasn’t always the best of all, but rarely came out worse than 2-3rd all season.

  3. Very interesting to see the differences between the racefans and F1 driver of the day. IMHO Racefans seem to be a far more relevant and accurate reflection of the race than F1. The F1 driver of the day seems to be driven more by a mix of general popularity, a consolation prize, and last (but definitely least) what actually happened in the race.
    Just keep praying that F1 doesn’t start offering points for it!

    1. After Carey’s love for Japanese superfans, I wouldn’t be surprised if he introduces fanboost…

    2. SammyH, it really is little more than a popularity contest, and one that often seems to be skewed in favour of a handful of particular drivers. Ziggo Sport, for example, has stated in the past that the proportion of Dutch voters in the DOTD polls regularly exceeds 25% of the total votes, giving them a vastly disproportionate influence when compared to the proportion of the fan base that is actually made up of viewers from the Netherlands.

      1. Ziggo Sport, for example, has stated in the past that the proportion of Dutch voters in the DOTD polls regularly exceeds 25% of the total votes,

        those figures are not open to the media or the public as far as i know.. If they did stated this it would have been an interpretation. There are a lot more english viewers then dutch viewers so…
        Do you have any sources or better a link of that Ziggo statement?

    3. And it is detrimental that you can only vote in the poll until the last lap, so that even apart from all of the problem with it being unrepresentative, it also tends to miss a heroic last gasp or foul.

  4. Well Hamilton did show himself the be consistently quick and error free during over the entire yr, that’s what wins WDCs.
    He also showed that being the fasted on Saturday does not necessarily make you a winner on Sunday with 5 poles but 11 wins.

    1. Hmm, error free?
      So his Austria race wasn’t a disaster?
      He didn’t crash and spun in Germany?
      He didn’t go off track in Italy, losing a position?
      He didn’t bump into Max in Mexico? ( granted, he was very lucky there)
      He did’t crash into Albon?
      He basically made errors in almost 25% of the races…..25%!!!!
      So much for error free, right?

      1. In Mexico, Max bumped into Lewis rather than the other way around. The overhead shots show this.

        1. wait and you’ll see this guy saying that hamilton caused the collision with verstappen in Monaco too.
          This guys are unbearable.

          1. In fact…it was as much Lewis ‘fault’ as it was Max’, therefore a neutral verdict.
            Max was on the inside, yet Lewis chose to defend… all fun and racing…

          2. @Matn,

            Verstappen ruined his race not by the collision with Lewis at the 1st corner but by the (unnecessary) divebomb on Bottas which gave Max a puncture. Verstappen’s fault- avoidable incident. That meant that Max “didn’t maximise the points” in that Red Bull as you critiqued on Ham on the other thread.

            Just out of curiousity- are you the same Martin who has a reputation on GP247?

          3. @Blazz
            Just out curiosity… a divebomb…? C’mon it clearly wasn’t.
            Max passed Bottas on the inside, video footage shows Bottas got spooked, he clearly didn’t see Max and steered in to soon. The ‘thing’ Max did in Mexico is named ‘overtaking’, something which is allowed in F1, not leaving space when a car is more than halfway alongside is…Bottas got away with it cause it was a slow puncture.

            No don’t try to be a smart ass, all this ‘Verstappen this and that’ is getting boring, people have tried to blame on him for Vettel and Leclerc crashing into him… it’s like Grosjean’s engineer blaming Ericsson..

          4. @Matn

            So Bottas should have jumped out of the way and wave Max through then? Listen. Just because Max makes a desperate lunge does not mean that other drivers should give him space. Max doesn’t give space most of the time. The onus was on Verstappen to execute a clean move- not on Bottas to make sure Verstappen passes him cleanly.

            So no not being a ‘smart ass’. Perhaps you should get real?

            I note you haven’t answered my question on whether you participate on GP247. Because this cloud cuckodoo stuff would explain alot.

          5. @Matn

            So Bottas should have jumped out of the way and wave Max through then? Listen. Just because Max makes a desperate lunge does not mean that other drivers should give him space. Max doesn’t give space most of the time. The onus was on Verstappen to execute a clean move- not on Bottas to make sure Verstappen passes him cleanly.

            Get real.

          6. Rather desperate discussion…
            Yes, when a driver is at least halfway alongside the defender has to give space…
            Then again, this wasn’t about giving space, Max had already passed him, Bottas steered into soon punctured Max rear wheel with his front wing…. in order to be able to touch another car’s rear wheel with a front wing he had to be ahead…. yep, that’s name an overtake.

            All your saying is ‘I don’t like Max’, the rest is all a bit irrelevant.

          7. @Matn,

            Rather desperate discussion…
            Yes, when a driver is at least halfway alongside the defender has to give space…

            Your right, it’s a futile exercise trying to debate with over enthusiastic Max Verstappen fans. Max wasn’t even “halfway” alongside as you claim. Manipulation of history to suit your rose tinted agenda.

            All your saying is Max Verstappen is your favourite driver and despite his wrongs, you cannot bring yourself to a mature and impartial point to admit it. That has all the traits of an unhealthy obsession- the rest is irrelevant.

            BTW you didn’t answer my GP247 question.?

          8. Lol… Bottas front wing punctured Verstappen’s rear wheel…. how far actually, does a driver needs to be ahead to be able to hit him there…. that would be no less than completely. No go bug someone else.

          9. @matn

            ow far actually, does a driver needs to be ahead to be able to hit him there….

            Contact had already been made before. That move was never on, apart from in the Verstappen (and fans) stratosphere.

            No go bug someone else.

            Ah, the depths to which your argument has plunged.

            Like I said, get real.

        2. Actually they did not touch. Lewis put a wheel on the white line, that caused his slight moment of oversteer.

          1. Bart, it has been pointed out that there is a flaw with that argument, which is it does not explain how Hamilton’s car became damaged and why there should have been debris being thrown up into the air at just the moment where Verstappen’s car happens to be alongside Hamilton’s car at just that moment.

            It would seem rather improbable that, just as Max’s car coincidentally happens to be in extremely close proximity to Hamilton’s car, Hamilton’s car should just spontaneously start shedding debris and simultaneously start sliding at the rear in a way that just so happens to suggest that contact was being made, whilst at the same time the rear of Verstappen’s car just so happens to be sliding to the left as a result of a slight moment of oversteer due to the slight bumps on turn in to Turn 1.

            What, on the balance of probabilities, seems more plausible? That the floor on Hamilton’s car should suddenly disintegrate for no reason as it just so happens that Verstappen just so happens to be directly alongside him and is having to countersteer to correct a small slide at the rear, and that Hamilton’s car should then start sliding at the rear – which, incidentally, begins before his left rear is touching that white line, discounting the “Hamilton oversteered due to touching the white line” claim? Simultaneously, Verstappen also seems to spontaneously have slightly smeared the left rear side wall of his tyre – again, something rather suggestive of contact, but in that scenario we need to invent an explanation for how that could happen without any form of contact occurring at exactly that same point in time.

            It seems rather too coincidental that there should be a sequence of events in which Verstappen is briefly having to try to regain control of the rear of his car as it is sliding towards Hamilton just as aerial and onboard footage from cars behind Hamilton shows debris being thrown into the air, rather strongly suggesting that there must have been contact between the two, and requires several other events which can be explained by contact occurring, but are otherwise rather difficult to explain without any form of contact occurring.

            There is no subsequent collision which can explain the pattern of damage to Hamilton’s car either, and from Sainz’s onboard camera you can see that Hamilton’s floor is already damaged before the subsequent contact between Verstappen and Hamilton at Turn 2. It doesn’t also explain why, at the moment where contact could have occurred, Verstappen suddenly goes from countersteering to the left to countersteering to the right in a way that suggests the rear of the car is suddenly experiencing more resistance to sliding and he is providing too much of a correction to the left.

            I have not seen anybody provide a convincing explanation for the resultant behaviour of both cars and the pattern of damage to both cars without allowing for a minor collision between the left rear of Verstappen’s car and the right rear of Hamilton’s car.

            From a purely logical point of view, the only explanation that is consistent with the observed behaviour of the cars and the subsequent pattern of damage to both cars would be if there is an initial small contact between the left rear of Verstappen’s car and the right rear of Hamilton’s car.

            It explains why Verstappen suddenly goes from countersteering to the left to correct the rear of the car sliding to the left to suddenly steering hard to the right, as if suddenly the rear of the car has hit something and he is now applying too much of a correction in steering to the left. It explains the damage to both his car and to Hamilton’s car at that point in time, and it then explains why Hamilton then starts sliding to the left before he has reached the left hand side of the track (which would rule out the possibility of the car sliding whilst on the white line).

            That explanation is, logically, much more consistent with what was observed on track and the outcome of that sequence of events.

  5. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
    25th December 2019, 10:19

    Very well deserved. I see people wanting Max to be nr1, but I think there is a big difference. Max was never in it for the title. Lewis has to preform a whole year, fighting Bottas, Ferrari and Max.

    In austria for example, Honda just destroyed the engine for a win and dealt with the consequences. Mercedes and Ferrari can’t do these things. I know Bottas isn’t really making things to difficult for Lewis, but Max has nothing to worry about except racing. I know it’s nothing Max can do about, but for me it still means Lewis his ability to not make mistakes and see the big picture makes him the greatest this year and possibly one of the greatest ever.

    1. +1
      In addition Max didn’t have to worry overmuch about balancing risk v reward and maximising available points. Max’s focus is almost 100% on wins. This has meant that he can push more for an overtake whilst Lewis has to be more circumspect.
      Once the season was won it released Lewis, although he did make a complete mess of it in Brazil.

      1. In addition, Lewis never had to doubt about winning the title. He knew all season that simply finishing the race would hand him the title, therefor he was able to drive around risk free.
        Butbutbut even than, he had a disastrous race in Austria, crashed in Germany, made a mistake in Italy, bumped into Max in Mexico and crashed into Albon in Brazil, despite having the easiest job of all 20 contestants this year……..some might say his season really wasn’t as solid as some people want you to believe!
        So much for your “risk” assessment lol.

      2. I addition, Max had to “race” way more for his results where Hamilton many times had a significant faster car.
        Which means Verstappen had way more risk involved, either passing someone or by driving on the very limit.

        Best driver overall 2019: Hamilton slighty edging out Verstappen
        Best racer 2019: Verstappen
        Most complete driver: clearly Hamilton

    2. @passingisoverrated
      “ In austria for example, Honda just destroyed the engine for a win and dealt with the consequences. In austria for example, Mercedes and Ferrari can’t do these things.” And this kiddo, is why I reckon you to be rather ignorant.
      First, Mercedes was the team most capable of doing this without risk losing the WCC and the WDC. Both Lewis and Vallteri could have used atleast one extra engine, Lewis arguabl 2, without consequences.
      Second, Max finished in front of both Ferrari’s, despite doing this!
      /sigh

      1. @Oconomo and here we have a dutch fanb0ys tr0lling in this site, too.

      2. Oconomo

        In austria for example, Honda just destroyed the engine for a win and dealt with the consequences. In austria for example, Mercedes and Ferrari can’t do these things.” And this kiddo, is why I reckon you to be rather ignorant.

        Red Bull change their engines more times than Ferrari or Merc, so the RB drivers have more freedom to push & take more risks. Merc & Ferrari drivers have to “nurse” their engines a little more, have to do more of a “balancing” act.

        1. Oconomo
          Explained here: around the 20:40 mark

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGvqrtIDn6Y

          Merc/Ferrari engines have to last 7 races versus 4 for Honda. RB drivers therefore not under the same constraints/pressures/balancing acts, to make their engine last

    3. Lol…. like Mercedes ever have to worry about reliability…
      Sorry, but Lewis had the easiest job this season, he’s in a car that can win a title at 95%

      Mercedes in Austria looked like RBR in 3/4 of the races… short on power

    4. I see people wanting Max to be nr1, but I think there is a big difference. Max was never in it for the title. Lewis has to preform a whole year, fighting Bottas, Ferrari and Max.

      I don’t want Max to be #1, but still disagree with your assessment. @passingisoverrated

      Half the current drivers would have won the WDC in a Mercedes (against a weaker teammate). There are only 2 drivers who could have secured 3rd in the RBR.

  6. I wonder how did LH get voted as the RF.net DOTY in 2010 as well, even though it was in no way a particularly special year for him. The rest of the yearly-choices for the 2010s decade I can understand, but not to the same extent the very first one.

    1. 2010 was a great year for Hamilton. There was little to separate Vettel, Alonso, or Hamilton that year. Each had a few notable errors, some great highs, and Hamilton was majority in contention at the last race in spite of what was arguably the third best car. I would have understood any of those 3 being named the strongest, although Alonso obviously had less competition from within his own team.

      1. Hamilton was narrowly in contention at the last race

        1. @matt90 But only narrowly indeed. You’re right, they all had a few notable errors, as well as, great highs each, so a bit tough to call, but I more meant that the early-2010s wasn’t as particularly special for him as has been the case from mid-decade onwards.

          1. 2010 was very good for Hamilton. He made less mistakes than the other title contenders & managed to stay in the title fight until the last race….in a car, stats on this very site, classed as only 3rd best. He was voted top by many other sites too e.g. https://www.autosport.com/f1/feature/3220/mark-hughes-top-10-drivers-of-2010

  7. Funny how even now, readers are mistaking Driver of the Weekend polls here with Driver of the Day (which does not exist here, though everyone votes like it).

    1. It explains at least part of the discrepancy.
      Up to half the races my DotW was different from the DotR. For one: the weekend winner needs to beat his teammate on Saturday as well.

    2. @pastaman What people like you fail to understand is that the race result is a reflecection of how well a driver performed over the whole weekend.

      What else do youy want to judge? How well they performed in free practice? That one driver choose to set up his car for better performance in Q3 and while the other went for a better race setup? With the a result that the faster Q3 driver was slow during the race and finished behind?

      1. I understand perfectly well. In your scenario, the driver who out qualifies his teammate but does not beat him in the race would most likely not get my vote. Equally, someone who bins it in FP or Qualy and makes a great drive through the field on Sunday would most likely not get my vote. You can justify how you like, but if the poll was only for Sundays it would be called Driver of the Day.

  8. Verstappen was awful in Spa and Mexico. The Mexico one was the worst. An easy win converted into a shameful 5th.

    Hamilton still leads the youngsters home after all these years.

    1. I felt Bottas was awful in Mexico… he took out himself in quali and took out Max in the race.
      As Hamilton mentioned, Max would have won without that puncture

      1. That clash wasn’t even investigated in Mexico. Bottas may have crashed in qualifing, but his pace in the race was excellent, he was pretty much as fast as Hamilton that day. Don’t quite get how he was awful. But then Verstappen wasn’t either.

        Red Bulls didn’t have the same lack of speed on the straight here with such a lack of down force, so i don’t really know why Verstappen didn’t just wait a little before he tried to get by Bottas.

        1. Maybe just see it as it is…? Verstappen made a perfectly good move, Bottas steered in to soon.
          There’s not much else to it… have we gotten to used to boring DRS overtakes we actually don’t appreciate racing anymore?

          Drivers have mentioned ‘overlooking’ Verstappen a bit to often as an excuse…
          Vettel used it on Hamilton as well btw, at the start in Mexico forcing him off track… like oops, ehm??

          1. Verstappen never puts a foot wrong in your opinion.

            We get it already.

  9. Couldn’t vote for mercedes nor inaki rueda. It is fitting.

  10. Great Season, Stars of the future, Hero’s , Villains.
    Cant wait for next years action.

    1. Can’t wait for the Netflix series ;)

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    26th December 2019, 6:10

    Lewis Hamilton voted 4 times
    Sebastian Vettel voted 3 times
    Daniel Ricciardo voted 2 times

    Hmm, is Hulkenberg out of F1? That’s hilarious:)

    1. Interesting, is that Max has never been voted DOTY by team bosses, the drivers or any MAIN F1 sites, like RaceFans, in any of his first 5yrs in F1.

      This is how keith himself has voted over the years:

      2004 Alonso
      2005 Alonso
      Hamilton 2007
      kubica 2008
      Button 2009
      Hamilton 2010
      Vettel 2011
      Alonso 2012
      Vettel 2013
      Ricciardo 2014
      Vettel 2015
      Ricciardo 2016
      Hamilton 2017
      Hamilton 2018
      Hamilton 2019

      Hamilton has 5 votes,
      Alonso has 3 votes
      Vettel has 3 votes
      Ricciardo 2 votes
      Button 1 vote
      Kubica 1 vote

  12. I can’t argue with the readers, surprised by how far Hamilton won by to be honest (the votes compared to the comment boards are very interesting). Very close in the first half of the season with Verstappen, but Hamilton kept his level in the 2nd half. Absolutely world class driver, been a joy to watch him since 2007

  13. Like him or not, Charles LeClerc has been exciting

  14. 2010 is one of Hamilton’s most underrated years. According to Keith’s stats, the 2010 McLaren was only the 3rd fastest/best car, yet Hamilton led the title charge for much of the season & stayed in contention for the title until the last race

  15. It’s not difficult to be on top when you best, most well rounded car. Put Lewis in a Williams and he will instantly stop winning.

  16. Why did Lewis Hamilton not receive a knighthood in the New year’s honers list? He deserves it more than anyone. F1 is a truly international sports and he is the main man.

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