Hamilton’s reliability

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    He has a bit of a wayward, racer reputation, particularly when compared with his more stable teammate, but it’s interesting to note that — excluding drivers with only 10 or fewer races to their name — he has finished a higher percentage of his races in the points than any other driver bar Fangio. Clearly, cars are less prone to mechanical problems than previously, but even so an impressive statistic.

    Data from the most useful page on the web:



    Hamilton has made a lot of stupid errors before, especially in 2011. But yes, no doubt he’s consistent when motivated. He reminds me a lot of Raikkonen.


    2012 has, so far, been Hamilton’s best year since 2008. His championship standing doesn’t reflect that, but he’s been denied a handful of points primarily through errors made by McLaren. I was very impressed with the maturity he showed at the start of the year, and even more so that he’s kept it up now that he doesn’t have the fastest car any more. It’s just a shame those early results didn’t go his way, because if they had, he’d be favourite for the championship now.


    Agree that he’s driving well this year. Before this year he seemed to be steadily getting worse, at least in the sense of making more errors. In 2007 he barely put a wheel wrong, remarkable for a rookie. 2008 and he almost lost the WDC through a number of errors. 2009 and the car was nowhere. 2010 was barely better, and 2011 was one slip after another. I hope he doesn’t let his lack of luck this season change his approach.


    The fact that, unlike Alonso and even Vettel, Hamilton has never been in a truly uncompetitive car has certainly helped to keep his % of points finishes so high. That and McLaren’s reliability.


    If I’m honest I was expecting more mistakes from him this year, but Hamilton has proven me wrong. As soon as he got that penalty at Barcelona which sent him to the back of the grid I was sure that he was going to go all kamikaze and pull another Monaco 2011. Against expectations he put in a mature drive to put some valuable points on the table; I’ve been very impressed with the way he’s handled himself this year.


    ‘The fact that, unlike Alonso and even Vettel, Hamilton has never been in a truly uncompetitive car’
    Not for a whole season, but the first half of 2009 was pretty dire other than what would have been a fantastic 3rd in Australia if he hadn’t got involved in needlessly handing back the place then lying.

    But I think I disagree about this year being so far a better example of his driving than 2010. I thought that year he was spectacular, save a silly error in Monza and what was at worst a racing incident in Singapore (I’d still love to see Webber’s onboard from that, or a different camera angle). This year he’s been great, with no mistakes as of yet, but in Australia and Malaysia this year he’s lacked some of the great pace he showed more consistently in 2010- although he has doubtless been great in qualifying. I think Keith put him as his driver of the year, and I probably would agree- Vettel was robbed by poor reliability, but made two stupid mistakes and did certainly have a better car, and Alonso was also great, so would have been the other driver who I’d consider for best.

    Another couple of Spain-like performances and I might change my mind and call this his best season so far since 2007.


    Here are some more stats on Hamilton’s reliability and ‘Top-X’ finishes:

    Races finished: 85/95 (88.54%)
    It’s interesting that there is only one driver with more than one season and a better finishing ratio (Paul di Resta at 96%). Jean Eric Vergne is the driver with most stars and 100% of races finished (6 starts). That record was previously held by Nicolas Kiesa (5 starts)

    Podium finishes: 45/95 (46.88%)
    Hamilton is the 15th on the list of podium finishers and out of the current drivers only Schumacher has a better ratio (52.74%)

    Top 6 finishes: 67/95 (69.79%)
    Hamilton is the 19th on the list (Schumacher, Alonso, Button, Raikkonen and Massa have more), but he’s the one with the beter ratio out of the current drivers. Fangio and Farina are the only ones with better ratio and expressive careers.

    Top 10 finishes: 77/95 (80.21%)
    30th on the all-time list (behind Schumacher, Alonso, Button, Raikkonen, Massa and Webber), but again he’s the one with the better ratio. Again, Fangio is the only driver above him with a long career, but that will surely change, as the difference between them is only 0.12%


    What about Tiago Monteiro? I remember that he didn’t retire in a single race in 2005, unbelievably consistent.


    2007 was almost the perfect season. Over 100 points, a few wins and one single trip to the gravel trap in China or the gearbox glitch in Brazil killed it for him.

    2010 was very good as well, I loved that years Mclaren car, and there were some great wins – Spa and Canada stand out – the 18 points lost because of a loose wheel nut in Spain were extremely costly but Hamilton was not to blame, his driver error with Massa in Italy was also very costly – a podium was very much on if he had been patient.

    The latter part of 2009 showed again, if the car is decent he will score good points, was he not the highest or second highest 2nd half of the season points scorer, making full use of the MP4-24 once Mclaren got it sorted.

    The stat is unfair to other drivers, every year he has had a race winning Mclaren to drive in – it would be interesting to see how would he compare if you took the stats for top 6 an top 10 finishes in seasons where drivers have had a race winning car only?

    And also, hopefully we get 2012 winning driver number 7 in Canada; Hamilton! :P


    ‘The fact that, unlike Alonso and even Vettel, Hamilton has never been in a truly uncompetitive car’ Looking back over the decade it’d be interesting to see how HAM would perform in a Minardi or a Jaguar team for a couple of years. Even at their best they made good drivers look bad.



    Monteiro retired once in 2005 (just like di Resta last year), but he had 6 retirements and a DSQ in 2006, leaving him with a 78.38% finishing rate :P


    Hopefully he can get a race win, at one of his better tracks, Canada, Mclaren have won twice in the past two years, so here is hoping!

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