Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2019

‘Qualifying wasn’t as strong – the races are where the championship was won’

Lewis Hamilton driver performance analysis

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How much longer can Lewis Hamilton sustain a streak of form which has seen him win five of the last six world championships, and take 62 race victories in that time?

He seemed imperious as ever throughout much of 2019. But there was one significant respect in which his performance wasn’t quite as formidable as in previous years.

His four-year run of pole position trophy wins, with at least 11 poles per season, came to a sudden halt. Hamilton started at the sharp end ‘only’ five times, the same number as his team mate, and two less than Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton admitted the Mercedes W11 wasn’t always as comfortable to drive at the limit as some of the team’s previous cars. And after the summer break Ferrari returned as an even more potent force.

But it didn’t put Hamilton off his winning stride on Sundays, and despite taking pole on less than a quarter of Saturdays he still won on more than half of Sundays.

Qualifying: Lap time

The lower the lines, the better the driver performed

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2019
Bottas beat him to pole by 0.05s in Baku – and won the race
Hamilton reckoned his 2019 campaign was “on the whole as strong as the last that I can remember” but admitted his one-lap pace was an area where he wasn’t quite as competitive.

“Qualifying wasn’t as strong this year,” he said, “but still I was qualifying front row, top three quite often and splitting the Ferraris when they all of a sudden had 30bhp more than anyone.”

Over the opening races the pendulum seemed to be swinging towards Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton soon corrected that, and from Monaco onwards it was rare for Bottas to start ahead of him.

“I think my qualifying was still good,” said Hamilton. “It was a harder car to drive this year, but the races were just as strong as last year and I think those are really, you see the qualifying I think five [poles] to 11 [wins] it was. The races are really where the championship was won.”

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Race: Start versus finish

Despite consistently qualifying near the sharp end of the grid, Hamilton often finished ahead of where he started – a necessity if you’re going to take 11 wins from five pole positions.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Hungaroring, 2019
Hamilton caught and passed Verstappen to win in Hungary
It’s instructive to look at the four times out of 21 that Hamilton didn’t finish on the podium. He was fifth in Austria, which was one of Mercedes’ least competitive weekends, though Bottas nabbed second; ninth after their shambles of a race in Germany; fourth after a strategy error in Singapore; and seventh in Brazil after his penalty for an ill-judged lunge on Alexander Albon.

On many other occasions he came through to win, whether by passing his team mate off the line (Shanghai), out-manoeuvring his rivals via strategy (Mexico City) or simply running away at the front of the field (Paul Ricard).

One of his most satisfying wins came in Hungary, where he started on the second row but used an aggressive two-stop strategy to hunt down and pass Max Verstappen. Hamilton admitted it was “the strategy that I didn’t necessarily think was going to work.”

Hamilton is often quick to voice concern s over his team’s tactical choices. “It’s difficult if you don’t have the computers in front of you showing how it’s going to go,” he said. “So I just had to put the pedal down and hope. It was a pretty awesome result.

“I think there’s been lots of great races this year and there’s no one particularly that stands out better than the others. They’ve all been different.”

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Race: Share of points

Race: Results versus other drivers

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Hamilton’s form for his rivals is he appears increasingly resistant to pressure. Arguably the biggest mistake he made all year, when he clattered into Albon in Brazil, came after the championship had already been decided.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2019
Hamilton ran away with the last race of the year
In 2019 Hamilton demonstrated how adept he has become at exploiting any chance to win a race that comes his way. It’s no coincidence that when the cards fell in his favour – for example, in Sochi, he was ready to take advantage.

He admits there are still aspects of his game he needs to improve on, but is naturally reluctant to elaborate on the details. “There’s always areas that you can improve on,” he conceded. “You’re always gaining knowledge as the year goes on about the tyres, about the car, about yourself.”

After his faux pas in Interlagos, Hamilton turned up at the final race in Abu Dhabi and dominated proceedings, heading towards a potentially record-breaking 2020 F1 season on a high.

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Race: Reasons for retirements

Hamilton finished all 21 races.

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

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

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61 comments on “‘Qualifying wasn’t as strong – the races are where the championship was won’”

  1. and seventh in Brazil after his penalty for an ill-judged lunge on Alexander Albon.

    I know it’s asking a lot, especially in the middle of an F1 race, and I’m not actually expecting any F1 driver to actually care, especially a World Driver’s Champion, but if you have already won the WDC, does it actually matter if you did show a little more caution when a lowly ranked driver is ahead of you? Maybe it would take longer to overtake that lowly ranked driver if you did it properly … but you’ve got the premier accolade of the season … and if you don’t overtake that driver, does it matter?

    1. @drycrust Indeed. He should’ve been more cautious with his overtaking attempt on Albon, given he didn’t really have anything to gain, especially in the corner-rich 2nd sector of the Interlagos-circuit.

      1. @jerejj @drycrust To me it’s the other way around. Racers are naturally programmed to overtake / stay ahead. It’s constant active risk management that makes them balance this instinct. If there’s nothing on the line, they no longer need to manage and can express their true desires by going for every opportunity… and it certainly was an opportunity in Brazil. A more experienced driver would have seen Lewis coming, although a more experienced driver wouldn’t have left the door open to begin with.

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy Albon didn’t really leave the door open, though. In these types of cases, it’s predominantly the attacker’s responsibility to avoid contact. He had to start turning in at some point anyway as otherwise, he would’ve run out of track. LH wasn’t ‘very’ close to him to begin with, so why should he have waited longer before starting to turn the steering wheel to the right? He probably could’ve anticipated the potential attempt better had LH been closer to him at that point. Nevertheless, it’s constant risk management; that’s true, which in that case went wrong for the driver behind.

          1. @jerejj your whole argument is false because of the fact that 2 cars can easily get thru that corner side by side as was proven after the contact when the whole pack got thru. ALB opened the door and the closed it and caused the contact.

          2. @megatron

            It wasn’t a door. Albon isn’t Schumacher who laid bait for Hill twice in that way. HAM even doubted if he should go for it.

        2. @ivan-vinitskyy

          A good driver who leaves ‘the door open’ will either concede or shut it on purpose like Schumacher did.
          Albon had already been quoted a few races previous as saying he was still learning to drive the car. HAM would have known the score.

    2. I think Lewis is aware he has been accused of “shutting off” after sealing the championship in the past. Losing the momentum and letting Rosberg get into a good mental space at the end of 2015 had a pretty big knock-on affect into 2016 (and look what ended up happening there). He probably wanted to avoid that again. Not that Bottas can mount a season-long fight like Nico could…

      1. @joeypropane

        Shutting off? What took him so long to wrap up the title? It was on a plate.
        He traditionally goes off the boil at the end of the season anyway. 2007 and 2008 were also on a plate and he messed up. Scraped 08. 4 podiums in the last 8 races
        Actually by 2014 he had mini slumps in the middle of seasons.

    3. I understand your feeling. But as i see it a top driver sees an option to pass and takes it.
      Most of the times you will win, some you will inevitably lose.

    4. @drycrust, ALB opened the door, he opened the door as wide as the door could be opened and then he tried to shut the door when HAM was already in the doorway. I put no blame on HAM in this incident, total blame on ALB. HAM needed to make that pass asap if he wanted any chance to win. HAM was foolish to accept responsibility.

      HAMs biggest mistake of 2019 was going off under SC in Germany. Yes it was on cold slicks in the wet, but he had a large lead and was under SC, and he spun exactly where the “yellow flag” was for LEC. Of course VER spun a corner before, proving that the section was treacherous, but it was still an avoidable mistake.

      1. @megatron

        ALB opened the door, he opened the door as wide as the door could be opened and then he tried to shut the door when HAM was already in the doorway. I put no blame on HAM in this incident, total blame on ALB. HAM needed to make that pass asap if he wanted any chance to win. HAM was foolish to accept responsibility.

        Garbage.
        He didn’t just accept responsibility HAM’s description of events revealed that he was hesitant.

        1. HAM spoke before he even saw a replay, yes it was an aggressive attack, but we’ve seen him and others pull off much more aggressive and optimistic moves with a willing competitor. They could have easily gone thru that corner side by side and ALB would have had the better line for the next corner. ALB opened the door as wide as possible, and then closed it while there was a car in the doorway, it was a rookie mistake which cost him a podium.

          Ham was hesitant because he was battling a rookie.

          If they were teammates, with orders not to hit each other(like if that was VER rather than HAM, they could have easily made it thru the corner and several after side by side.

          ALB did not have the right to use the entire width of the track because there was a car already at the apec. When you open the door with a car so close behind you must be cognizant of its position when you turn in.

          @bigjoe

      2. @megatron True, it’s wide enough for side-by-side driving, but again, HAM wasn’t within the distance from which overtaking moves normally can be anticipated at that part of the track. BTW, neither he nor the Stewards agreed with you on the ‘who was at fault’ portion. He would’ve been better off attempting the move into T1 at the beginning of the final lap, i.e., the more traditional overtaking-spot.
        ”HAM needed to make that pass asap if he wanted any chance to win.”
        – The thing is, he had already lost the chance at the race win as VER was already quite far ahead to catch within one full lap anymore.

        1. HAM got himself far enough side by side to claim his stake at the apex. HAM had been following him closely for half a lap, it was soon after a safety car restart, Albon knew he was close and opened the door. Hamilton wasn’t trying to pass at that corner, he was trying to get side by side to set up a pass a couple corners later. HAM put his hand up because he is the following driver, but it is clear as day that albon opened the door too wide and then closed it inappropriately. Even Brundle saw it as such, and he always spouts the “owns the line” nonsense. The stewards are mostly idiots, they usually get everything wrong.

        2. HAM got himself far enough side by side to claim his stake at the apex. HAM had been following him closely for half a lap, it was soon after a safety car restart, Albon knew he was close and opened the door. Hamilton wasn’t trying to pass at that corner, he was trying to get side by side to set up a pass a couple corners later. HAM put his hand up because he is the following driver, but it is clear as day that albon opened the door too wide and then closed it inappropriately. Even Brundle saw it as such, and he always spouts the “owns the line” nonsense. The stewards are mostly imbeciles, they usually get everything wrong.

        3. HAM got himself far enough side by side to claim his stake at the apex. HAM had been following him closely for half a lap, it was soon after a safety car restart, Albon knew he was close and opened the door. Hamilton wasn’t trying to pass at that corner, he was trying to get side by side to set up a pass a couple corners later. HAM put his hand up because he is the following driver, but it is clear as day that albon opened the door too wide and then closed it inappropriately. Even Brundle saw it as such, and he always spouts the “owns the line” nonsense. The stewards are mostly fools, they usually get everything wrong.

        4. F1oSaurus (@)
          6th February 2020, 20:25

          @jerejj Hamilton was well alongside Albon. Only because Hamilton braked so hard did it look otherwise.

  2. As long as Merc give him a championship winning car. The minute it slips to second then he’ll stop winning.

    1. Keep crying.

        1. Pointing out that the championship winner usually has the best car is ‘crying’?

          1. HAM has won a race every season of his F1 career. He has not had the best car his entire career. He has won multiple times over multiple seasons without the best car, with his driving being the main impetus for the win rather than luck.

          2. @megatron

            He’s had the best engine all his career, and one of the years he won that ‘ oh so precious’ stat of 1 pers season, Rosberg won two races in the same car

          3. @Charles

            You’re lucky you didn’t get called a troll, or reported to the mods :)
            Until Verstappen gets a WC capable car, we’re stuck with Hamilton Hyperbole. Don’t worry though , there’s always another ‘greatest ever’ down the line.

          4. Rosberg won two races in the same car

            Ah BigJoke. I’m sure you remember Rosberg inheriting one of those 2 wins from Hamilton after he suffered a puncture. Of course you love to twist the facts so Im not surprised you left it out.

          5. @bigjoe)

            No, he hasn’t had the best engine all his career. Ferrari have had the benchmark engine since 2018. If’s just about the engine, then Ferrari with their 20hp advantage should’ve walked the title in 2019. If it’s just about the engine then Williams should’ve been fighting for the title.

            Some F1 fans are clueless

    2. It slipped to 2nd (or at least joint best with Ferrari) in 2018. Look what happened. Still won in style

  3. I don’t even think his contact with Albon in Interlagos is that bad. Hamilton knew he already won WDC and finally can just go all out without thinking about championship points. Also Mercedes strategy really ruined what so far a really good performance in one of his weaker circuits. And Albon really leaves the door wide open there. Personally I’d say it’s only a racing incident and he shouldn’t get penalty for that although I can see if some people think it deserves a penalty.

    1. Totally agree with all points. Any other driver would have made the lounge.

      1. Um…he was penalized and he owned up to his mistake as well. That hardly sounds like just any old passing attempt that any driver would do. Even LH knows he made a mistake and admitted it and the stewards concurred as well. Why try to cover for him when even he knows it was not a good move? He seemed to genuinely feel bad for AA.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          6th February 2020, 20:29

          @robbie In hindsight perhaps yes. At the split second Hamilton had for that deciscion, Albon left a huge gap and Hamilton went of it. Then Albon turned in beause he couldn’t see Hamilton.

          Hamilton wasn’t fighting Albon, he wanted to go after Verstappen.

    2. @sonicslv The 5-second penalty was justified since Ricciardo got one for his more or less carbon-copy incident with Magnussen earlier in the same race. It would’ve been yet another case of inconsistency and or double-standards approach from the Stewards’ side had the latter incident not led to any penalty.

      1. @jerejj As I said, I understand why he got penalty, but I think it’s more of racing incident. Albon left the door wide open something that will invite any competitive driver to try to make a move even if it not a traditional overtaking spot. Moreover, it’s after SC restart when the car bunched up, he knew the driver behind him is faster, so a wise move from Albon is he should do a bit of defensive driving and always check his mirrors because, well the field is bunched up. I’m not saying he has big portion of the blame, but an experienced driver in his position will do something different to secure that podium position.

    3. @sonicslv

      Finally a mature comment about this incident.

      Albon picked the wrong line, Hamilton made a hopeless dive. I probably would have gone with the decision to penalize Hamilton, but this is exactly the kind of bad judgement that happens in split seconds.

  4. “the Ferraris when they all of a sudden had 30bhp more than anyone”

    Pretty cool that he has access to a Ferrari dyno. I think this is the sort of stuff Binotto was alluding to in his statements from a recent round-up.

    Also, I wonder if the reason for Hamilton’s comparatively poor qualifying is not due to inherent car difficulties (i.e. the car wasn’t as good) or as he mentioned his one-lap pace wasn’t as good, but just a philosophy of setting the car up for Sundays instead of Saturdays that gave the above appearance. The reason I think this is because Bottas and Hamilton were tied on poles in 2019, and I absolutely do not think Bottas is as good a qualifier as Hamilton. So, given a car that could only do so much on a Saturday, both of them came out pretty even in qualifying. However, on Sunday, Hamilton was able to maximize the car better (managing tyres, etc.) and the results were more in-line with the two drivers’ abilities.

    1. It still is remarkable the way LEC pulled away after being passed by VER the first time in Austria. No other car does showed that kind of accelerating. After RBR asked the clarificationsome races later the results of the Ferraris dropped significant.

    2. @phylyp. HAM is privy to the GPS numbers that each team extracts for both their’s and their competitors performance. There is a period of time where acceleration is no longer limited by traction but not yet dictated by drag, and it is during that time which, using the GPS numbers, the output of each pu can be calculated. HAM would definitely have access to those reports.

      For the most part, the drivers set up their car for the race and then try to maximize that car during qually. A couple of exceptions exist thru the season, specifically Monaco where qually and track position are critical and look at how he suffered from massive tire graining in that race.

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      6th February 2020, 20:31

      @phylyp You have never seen F1 teams quote bhp figures for other teams’ cars based on GPS data?

  5. ” He was fifth in Austria, which was one of Mercedes’ least competitive weekends, though Bottas nabbed second” – Bottas finished P3 in Austria, not P2

  6. I don’t understand the “Number of finishes ahead of every other driver” graph. All drivers beat their rivals, but sometimes rivals weren’t classified? Who are each drivers’ rivals?

    1. @amail – it compares today’s driver (i.e. Hamilton), to each of the other 19 drivers on the grid.

      The blue line shows how often Hamilton beat the others (e.g. he beat Bottas in 13 races), the green line how often the other driver was not classified (twice for Bottas), and the remaining (blank area, or 21 races minus the sum of blue and green) is the number of times each of those 19 drivers beat Hamilton (6 times, in the case of Bottas).

      Basically, bigger blue = more finishes ahead than the rest of the grid, green = no data to compare

      1. So Grosjean did as well against Hamilton as Bottas did?!

        I really think those graphs either need to be laid out differently, or just got rid of… they are very confusing.

        1. @joeypropane – Hamilton beat Bottas and Grosjean an equal number of times (blue). But, Grosjean had way more DNFs. Furthermore:

          (blank area, or 21 races minus the sum of blue and green) is the number of times each of those 19 drivers beat Hamilton (6 times, in the case of Bottas)

          If you look to the right of the green at the blank area, you’ll see Bottas did a better job of beating Hamilton as compared to Grosjean (who bested Hamilton only once, at Germany).

          So, TL;DR: No, to answer your question. And yeah, the graphs could be better, though I can’t think of how off-hand. If you’ve any suggestions, you can direct them to Keith.

          1. @phylyp

            This suggestion is more to @keithcollantine than to you, but since you are describing the graphs, I’m putting it here. :)

            Instead of having “times today’s topic driver was beaten by each other driver” indicated by a blank bit, it should be a contrasting color—e.g. red. I get that the blue and the green are site colors and that’s all well and good. But by having only two outcomes shown and described in the legend, it looks like the points are: 1) Beating driver X and 2) Driver X DNFs.

            I think the three points to illustrate should be: 1) Races beating driver X, 2) Races beaten by driver X, and 3) DNFs. And the DNF data would be a DNF by either “today’s driver” or driver x, because that makes the comparison unnecessary.

            I’m sure some people find this pedantic, but when making simple comparisons like these there is something to be said for having the data displayed in ways that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. Helps avoid claims of bias, and it avoids questions like, “Why are the lines all different lengths?”

          2. @hobo – good suggestion, and yes, that would definitely help the lines all add up to 21 races on the right of the graph, making the interpretation easier. You’re right that the DNFs are relatively irrelevant, and what truly matters is the head-to-head comparison (blue and white, in the current incarnation).

            In fact, Keith could even just make the DNF bit in the middle gray, and retain the site colours for “today’s driver” and “driver x”.

            The only problem I see is that visually comparing the size of the two bars will be slightly hard (“who beat whom?”) so maybe the bars ought to be placed alongside each other, for us to see the taller/wider bar?

            And there’s nothing pedantic in what you’ve said: a good picture might be worth a thousand words, but a bad picture spawns a thousand questions. Trust me, I know – every photo featuring me has people asking “Why did he even bother?” ;)

  7. Hamilton will win until he is 42 like Mansell did, providing he stays in the best team.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      6th February 2020, 20:47

      @bigjoe Yes Hamilton would have been WDC if he had driven the Ferrari in 2017 and 2018 too. In fact he would have been close in 2019 too seeing how their current drivers fumbled in Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Russia, Japan and Mexico. All of those races could/should have been won by Ferrari, but they didn’t manage to actually keep it together.

      Well and let’s add Brazil. They weren’t on for a win there, but a much better result at least.

  8. I’ve never been a Hamilton superfan. At times his consistent winning has been annoying. At times I have thought some of his statements or actions were… less than a good idea. And I don’t understand why superfans of his think denigrating his competitors makes any sense—the fact that he beats good drivers is a benefit to him(!!).

    But all that aside, I really don’t understand how some people can continue to question his ability or his place in F1 history. He will go down as one of the greats, if not the greatest (at least until someone greater comes along). I really think people should appreciate seeing someone with his talent while they can. MSC, with all this faults, is seemingly never going to come back to public life. Senna is gone. Lauda. Prost is still around, luckily.

    I get that it is annoying if you hate Mercedes or if you like another driver or if you are just tired of Merc always winning. I do get it. I still want to see someone else win instead of him because I want competition. And he is not my favorite driver. But if you cannot even talk about Hamilton’s talent or use him as a positive reference point, I think you should question your motives. I don’t think you have to love him, or like him, or revere him, but he is one he|| of a good driver.

    1. +1
      ( dutch guy)

  9. The only reason Bottas initially seemed to have the edge on Lewis on qualifying qas because he was given Lewis’s performance engineer Riccardo Musconi after his owneengineer was moved to the FE team.

    It is much easier to utilize the kind of extremely relevant information that can come from your teammates performance engineer over a single lap than over a full race – and this is more or less what we witnessed happen.

    In Bottas’s own words –

    “And also getting Ricci from Lewis’s side, he’s been working with him, so he knows very much in detail about his driving techniques and ways of setting up the car.

    “For sure, it was always going to be a great opportunity for me to get maybe something even more than what I normally get in the meetings and what I see from the data. It was nice to have that kind of approach on the engineering side.”

    Furthermore, the strong Ferrari ICE which claimed majority of the poles last season couldn’t be overcome by any other team. In fact, Lewis beat another Ferrari driver in pole positions. This says a lot and shows that his pole tally last season had nothing to do with a decline in his abilities.

    If anything, it actually highlights and showcases it.

  10. Cristiano Ferreira
    5th February 2020, 21:09

    “How much longer can Lewis Hamilton sustain a streak of form which has seen him win five of the last six world championships, and take 62 race victories in that time?”

    Until Mercedes delivers the tools for him, be it engines or chassis. That’s the sole reason he’s almost a GOAT.

    If Rosberg, Verstappen, Alonso or maybe Vettel were driving for Merc or had competitive cars, i doubt Hamilton would be 6 times WDC by now.

    1. Maybe not, but then put Senna and Prost in the same team and they even out in terms of championships. Does that lessen either of them as a driver?

      But unless Hamilton ran into the same kind of problems that gave Rosberg his championship in 2016, I suspect Hamilton would always beat 3 of those drivers, Rosberg, Alonso and Vettel. And he’d have won against Verstappen – except for last year. Max faded last year when it became clear the Red Bull wasn’t going to win anything, but he was consistent and brilliantly fast as usual. I suspect in other years immaturity would have cost him, but in 2019 he’d finally have beaten Lewis in the same car.

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        6th February 2020, 13:10

        I’m not lessening his (Hamilton) skills as a driver. I’m only pointing out that most of his WDCs seems more o less faked because Mercedes is so far ahead of the competition that even Bottas could be WDC driving for them if he had a weaker teammate.

        Hamilton is not threatened by anyone because there is no competition for him, be it a weaker teammate or lack of competition in general because the other teams are far behind Mercedes.

        F1 never saw this kind of domination before, not even in the Shumacher era WDCs were so easy to win as it is now.

        For Hamilton, its easy “to farm” championships as long as Mercedes delivers a weaker teammate for him and an engine and chassis for it… not to mention the overall lack of competition because the other teams are unable to catch Mercedes by now.

        1. ‘Faked’ is too much. Leclerc had the most polls last year and Ferrari were clearly ahead in terms of speed at a lot of tracks, especially for a string of races after mid season (and at various races in the first half). Judging car competitiveness over a season is tricky but it’s clear, surely, that Ferrari have been on or around the Mercedes pace for the last three seasons? Then it becomes, as I’m implying, a question of drivers making a difference. So in my view Hamilton has faced competition from Ferrari/Vettel (2 seasons) and Ferrari/Vettel-Leclerc (1 season) and beaten them. As for competitive drivers in his own team, like I said, you’re asking a lot for someone to be at Hamilton’s level and offer real competition. He beat Alonso in his rookie year. There’s no way he’d lose to Alonso now. Rosberg won on fewer reliability issues. And Hamilton has consistently and definitively beaten Vettel over the last three seasons largely to their differences under pressure. So like I said, the only current driver you could feasibly put alongside Hamilton and expect a real challenge is Verstappen. In sum, the only way you could really test Hamilton, aside from Verstappen at Mercedes, is if and when another team has a better car than Mercedes by some margin.

          1. The guy beat both Ferrari drivers when their car was thereabouts with Mercedes in 2017, beat them again when Ferrari was definitely on par with Mercedes in 2018, and beat one of them when Ferrari had the fastest car over one lap in 2019.

            Yet people still claiming he had no competition because Mercedes had the fastest car?

            These are the kind of people that find it hard to accept a rookie beat a 2 x WDC with 6yrs experience over him, and be making all manner of illogical excuses.

    2. What load of c…

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      6th February 2020, 20:42

      Vettel drove a similarly good car in 2017. Didn’t win the WDC with it.
      Vettel drove the fastes car overal in 2018. Didn’t win the WDC with it.

      Even in 2019 the Ferrari guys massively underperformed. They should have won Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Russia, Japan and Mexico. Instead Hamilton wins most of those races. In Mexico even coming from P4!

      Plus Verstappen should have won in Hungary and Mexico.

      All of them have shown over and over that it’s not that easy to win even with the fastest car. While Hamilton shows that he CAN win when he’s not in the fastest car.

      When Hamilton overcomes the odds and wins the race, people then stick their head in the sand and claim it’s the fastest car, but it clearly isn’t when Ferrari is picking up front row lockouts.

    4. I suppose you were in a coma 2017 & 2018 when Ferrari had equal/better cars than Merc?

  11. The stand out driver in a looong time; like the days of Schumacher and the pretenders like Mika, Kimi, Montoya, Alonso et al.

  12. F1oSaurus (@)
    6th February 2020, 20:34

    He was fifth in Austria, which was one of Mercedes’ least competitive weekends, though Bottas nabbed second

    Yeah that’s one of those races wher Mercedes shot themselves in the foot by trying to be so increcibly impartial. Hamilton was clearly faster than Bottas, but they wouldn’t let Hamilton past Bottas and he had to try an extremely dangerous attempt to make an overcut work. Which ended with Hamilton damaging his car.

    While Bottas got P3 (not P2!) perhaps Hamilton would have had a chance of actually getting that P2 or even P1.

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