Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2016

2016 F1 season driver rankings #2: Hamilton

2016 F1 season review

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A fourth world championship title eluded Lewis Hamilton in 2016. While technical trouble made it difficult for him to hold onto his crown, this was by no means un-winnable.

Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying 12/20
Beat team mate in race 10/19
Races finished 19/21
Laps spent ahead of team mate 637/1186
Points 380

One of the keys to Hamilton’s downfall was evident right from the start of the season. Literally: he lost the lead from pole position at the start in Australia, and with that the first of many chances to beat Nico Rosberg had gone.

The situation was repeated in Bahrain and this time the consequence of Hamilton’s poor getaway was exacerbated by contact with Valtteri Bottas. Both Mercedes drivers made poor starts at times during 2016 but Hamilton took longer to get on top of his which meant more damage was done.

Stuttering getaways at Monza and, finally, Suzuka, dealt heavy blows to his championship hopes. Again he made it onto the podium both times but again Rosberg took a maximum score. Japan proved a decisive moment: beyond that point the title was Rosberg’s to lose.

With the championship eventually being decided by just five points, had Hamilton kept Rosberg behind on any one of these four occasions the title would have been his. Likewise his qualifying crash in Baku and underwhelming performance in Singapore can all be said, in retrospect, to have been as decisive as his various power unit failures.

Despite these various setbacks Hamilton drove the better season by the strongest measures: He had more wins, more pole positions and spent more laps in front of Rosberg than behind him. He produced some fine drives along the way, particularly over the final four races, and winning all three of the season’s wet races in style while Rosberg floundered.

But at times it was as if Hamilton had let his guard slip. Perhaps in nine seasons out of ten he would have got away with it, but with Rosberg having raised his game just a little even Hamilton’s flawless end to the season but wasn’t enough to stop the title slipping away.

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Over to you

Proved to be one of the faster drivers in the season, dominated many races and race weekends.

But his attitude outside of the car hurt him more than it did Rosberg and I think that Rosberg ended up winning the championship because he didn’t let Hamilton’s antics get to him.

What’s your verdict on Lewis Hamilton’s 2016 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

Add your views on the other drivers here:

The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings are produced by referring to:

View race-by-race notes on Lewis Hamilton

Australia – This weekend was a bit like Hungary last year for Hamilton in that he appeared to have everything under control until the lights went out on Sunday. He topped the times throughout practice and qualifying, but had wheelspin at the start and lost further places after Rosberg but him up at turn one. Having fallen to sixth, he pounced on a chance to pass Massa but found Verstappen hard to pass. The delay meant he dropped more than a pit stop behind Vettel at one stage, but the stoppage allowed him to regain lost ground. He had to follow the Toro Rossos for a while, but once they pitted he shot past Ricciardo with DRS and Vettel’s extra pit stop moved him up to second.

Bahrain – Said his pole position lap was his first clean lap of the weekend – although he did top the times in Q2 as well. His start wasn’t up to scratch again but Bottas did the most damage to his race by clattering into him. Carried floor damage for the rest of the race which probably cost him a few tenths more than his 0.195s lap time deficit to Rosberg. Third was probably the best the car could do given that.

China – A handful of off-track moments indicated he was less than happy with the car on Friday. But he might as well have stayed in bed on Saturday as a power unit fault wrecked his qualifying attempt. After picking up front wing damage in the first corner melee Hamilton was still in 21st place when the race restarted. Racing a wounded car once again – Hamilton suspected damage to his suspension as well as aerodynamics, and said the W07 “seemed to be flexing all over the place” – he nonetheless got stuck into the midfield and ran as high as third at one point. However he was forced to use medium tyres for his final stint which confined him to seventh place.

Russia – Despite a few spins on Friday – shades of Shanghai – Hamilton headed the times at the end of the day. He was in the hunt for pole position until a power unit problem struck him down – he also picked up his second reprimand of the year in the same session. Made a slightly slow getaway but avoided the turn two chaos, profiting to the tune of five places. Passes on Raikkonen and the Williams drivers moved him up to second, but a water pressure problem kept him from chasing down Rosberg.

Spain – Looked out of sorts in practice, complaining about tyre pressures, but moved towards Rosberg’s set-up in time for qualifying. After a stumble on his first lap in Q3 he produced a superb lap to take pole position. When Rosberg came at him at turn one on the opening lap Hamilton naturally covered the inside line, though it proved in vain. It’s therefore surprising he expected Rosberg to leave the inside unprotected at turn four – he didn’t, and the pair crashed.

Monaco – “My final attempt was what should have been my banker lap,” said Hamilton after missing his first run in Q3 due to a fuel pressure problem and qualifying behind Rosberg. He was clearly furious after his third technical problem during qualifying in the last four races. When Rosberg waved him by on lap 15 he was 14 seconds behind Ricciardo, a deficit he trimmed by just over a second in the course of the next six laps. What really brought him back into contention was staying off the intermediate tyres, saving a visit to the pits, which put him in position to benefit from Ricciardo’s slow stop and take the win.

Canada – Having been comfortably quickest on Friday Hamilton looked less assured on Saturday and admitted his fifth pole in Canada was not one of his finest laps. He made another indifferent start, losing out to Vettel, and kept Rosberg behind firmly but legally. When Ferrari let victory slip through their fingers Hamilton was perfectly placed to collect it.

Europe – Looked utterly in control throughout practice which made his haphazard qualifying performance all the more baffling. He lined up tenth after crashing in Q3, held his place at the start but then began to pick off his rivals including the fast Williams of Bottas. His progress was then delayed by an engine problem which was solved by a switch change after around 15 laps, though by then he was confined to fifth.

Austria – Having been off his team mate’s pace on Friday he sussed the drying conditions magnificently in qualifying to claim pole position. He was on course for a straightforward win when a slow pit stop dropped him behind his team mate. An attacking strategy change put him on Rosberg’s tail in the closing laps, and he’d lined the other Mercedes up for a last-lap pass when Rosberg shoved him wide. He survived the contact and took a deserved, gritty win.

Britain – Headed all three practice sessions and smashed the track record on his way to pole position. The only wrinkle on Saturday was losing his first Q3 time to a track limits violation. He was mighty in the rain, streaking away from Rosberg and able to start nursing his engine long before the chequered flag appeared.

Hungary – A crash early in second practice compromised his race preparation. He nearly missed the cut for the top ten shoot-out after a mistake in Q2, but he would probably have been on pole position had it not been for an unfortunately-timed yellow flag. The race went better: he made one of his better starts this year to take the lead and successfully kept Rosberg at bay, though at times it was clear he was maintaining a very steady pace which almost prompted his team to switch their strategies.

Germany – Was clearly unhappy with being beaten to pole position by Rosberg after locking up at the Spitzkehre. But Hamilton showed again he has got on top of the problems he experienced with his starts at the beginning of the year and took the lead as soon as the lights went out. As early as lap two he had the engine turned down as he cruised to victory.

Belgium – On Saturday evening Toto Wolff said that in light of the unusual conditions at Spa it might have been better for the team to wait until Monza to perform Hamilton’s engine change. He had cause to revise that opinion after Sunday’s incident-packed race where Hamilton took advantage of errors, crashes and – crucially – a mid-race stoppage to deliver third place. The latter gave him a free pit stop which helped cement his position in the top five, from where he easily passed Alonso and Hulkenberg. His stints weren’t quite as good as Rosberg’s, though.

Italy – Didn’t repeat his 2015 clean sweep of practice sessions but came close, and took pole with an impressive margin of almost half a second over Rosberg. According to Mercedes his stockpile of extra power unit components has not handed him a decisive performance advantage over Rosberg and the speed trap figures seem to bear that out: Hamilton was 2.5kph faster than Rosberg which bears comparison with what we’ve seen at other tracks this year. It all went wrong on Sunday when he started poorly, again. Although he passed Ricciardo and Bottas with little difficulty, and jumped the Ferraris with even greater ease, he couldn’t push on the tyres enough to catch Rosberg.

Singapore – A hydraulic problem in second practice limited the amount of race preparation he was able to do. A suspension problem was fixed on his car overnight but he never managed to bounce back from his Friday setback. In final practice he was having difficulty getting the car stopped at turn seven and he lost out to Ricciardo as well as Rosberg in qualifying. Matters scarcely improve in the race as another error at turn seven dropped him behind Raikkonen. At least an aggressive change in strategy helped him get back on the podium.

Japan – Mere hundredths off Rosberg on Friday, Hamilton said he’d been pursuing a different set-up direction which he gave up on before qualifying. He was quickest on the first runs in Q3 but Rosberg shaded him by 13 thousandths of a second on their final run. That left Hamilton on the slightly damp side of the grid for the start, though he said that didn’t cause his subsequent poor getaway. His recovery from eighth place was pretty much faultless – he seized every opportunity to gain a position, excerpt perhaps when he got Verstappen on the defence starting the final lap.

Malaysia – In top form on Saturday, his first lap in Q3 easily good enough to beat Rosberg even though a mistake forced him to abandon his last run. He started cleanly and edged clear of Ricciardo, though Verstappen led for a while after making a pit stop under the Virtual Safety Car. That might have made the latter phase of the race more interesting for Hamilton had he got there, but his engine had other ideas.

United States – Wasn’t happy with one of his set-up changes on Friday but produced the goods on Saturday, when a superb run through sector one secured his first pole position at the Circuit of the Americas. He said he’d done his homework on his starts and it showed: he led the field to turn one and from there on never looked like losing. He was clearly driving well within himself, but nor did he buckle under the championship pressure.

Mexico – Quick on Friday, though fractionally out-paced by Vettel. He was consistently ahead of Rosberg in qualifying on both types of tyre and duly took pole position. A glazed front brake caused him to lock up at turn one, an error which would have been more costly if the run-off area wasn’t so generous. From then on it was fairly straightforward for Hamilton although he had to change his engine settings when Mercedes detected high exhaust temperatures.

Brazil – Rosberg kept him honest in the fight for pole but Hamilton prevailed. He was at his imperious best in the race, effortlessly quicker than Rosberg. Factor out the stoppages and he’d have finished 35 seconds up the road instead of 11.

Abu Dhabi – Started on the right foot by leading Rosberg in both Friday sessions, despite a brief spin in first practice. He was imperious in qualifying, setting a pace Rosberg simply couldn’t match. Delaying Rosberg was obviously the correct tactics; the argument he should have driven off and left things alone behind him is unrealistic. So why didn’t it work? Hamilton said slowing Rosberg down any more would have been dangerous, but it appeared he was too cautious about preserving his own position to really jeopardise Rosberg’s. He needed to to push things to the limit, putting himself at risk of being overtaken, and it seemed he couldn’t bring himself to do that.

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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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157 comments on “2016 F1 season driver rankings #2: Hamilton”

  1. Hm, I don’t really think Hamilton was the second best driver this year. Sure, it was partly to do with the clutch, but he still messed up a lot of starts. And he had his moments where he made life harder for himself too.

    Is he still a better, faster and more complete driver than many of the field. Certainly. And he did a really good year. But not best, nor second best.

    1. Agreed, Hamilton might well be the second best driver in F1 but not this year.

      Not only was he beaten by his teammate (with question marks over the influence of reliability but also whether Rosberg was pushing at the End) but he also made numerous mistakes including his starts and qualifying in Baku.

    2. I fully agree.

      I think both Rosberg and Hamilton were far from stellar this season and I don’t think the difference between them was big enough to place one as 5th driver of the season and the other as 2nd. I also think there are valid grounds to put either ahead of the other.
      Hamilton might have had a slightly larger share of bad luck, but Rosberg arguably handled the title fight the smartest. One can hardly fault him for playing it safe during the last 4 GP’s.

      I can see Rosberg as number 5, but then Hamilton should be 4th. Tops.

    3. I agree. Hamilton shouldn’t be ranked 2nd this year, especially since Rosberg is only 5th.

      There are only two drivers in F1Fanatic rankings, who lost to their team mate on championship points but were rated higher: Hamilton 2nd (Rosberg 5th) and Ericsson 15th (Nasr 20th).

      Ranking Ericsson higher than Nasr is a no-brainer: Ericsson was almost all the time the better of the two and clearly beat his team mate both in qualifying and races, but Nasr just lucked into points on one occasion. And yes, I’d also rank Hamilton higher than Rosberg, but not by three places. In my opinion, Hamilton was only slightly better than Rosberg and he should’ve been only one position above Nico.

      Hamilton’s stats look better than they are only because Rosberg was securing the championship during the last four races. Hamilton got four easy victories (and four races in which he beat his team mate) easily, since Rosberg didn’t have to beat Hamilton in those races. I know that Nico said his goal was to win every one of those races, but it was quite obvious that he was only securing the second places. I’m not saying that Rosberg would’ve necessarily won any of those races, but nevertheless Hamilton got those victories quite easily.

      1. There was more pressure on Rosberg at those late season 4 races because it was he’s championship to loose.He also was never world champion so he never had that previous experience to help him.
        I wrote about this the other day but at the end of 91 season Senna’s driving was suffering because of the pressure .He was slower in qualifying 2 races in a row and that wasn’t normal for him .After he’s main competitor Nigel went off the track he was way faster than he’s teammate.

    4. His attitude throughout the season and especially after Abu Dhabi was truly appalling.

    5. I think you are right, while Hamilton would normally be graded as one of the very best drivers on the grid, this year he wasn’t. He used more internal combustion engines than Rosberg (6 compared to Rosberg’s 5), more turbo chargers (8 to 5), more MGU-H (8 to 5), more MGU-K (6 to 5), more Energy Stores (6 to 5), and more Control Electronics (5 to 4).
      My suspicion is this higher use of components is not because Hamilton got worse components than Rosberg, but because there was some aspect to Hamilton’s driving that wasn’t present in Rosberg’s driving that resulted in more component failures. In fact, with one exception, Hamilton used more of the monitored components than any other Mercedes powered car driver. That exception was the Rio Haryanto – Esteban Ocon combination, who were both rookies this season.
      One of the most basic requirements of a driver is to operate your vehicle correctly, and this use of monitored engine components in excessive the unpenalised amounts suggests he wasn’t operating the car correctly.

      1. “My suspicion is this higher use of components is not because Hamilton got worse components than Rosberg, but because there was some aspect to Hamilton’s driving that wasn’t present in Rosberg’s driving that resulted in more component failures”…

        What???…. As stated by Brundle when someone else made this ridiculous assumption, “if it had anything to do with his driving style, the failures would be more transmission as the cars use FBW technology, thus it’s impossible to over rev the engines or stress the TC’s. And if it was his driving style, that would’ve been engineered out ages ago”

        Lewis was later asked about it and he replied that he was told by his engineers that was not the case.

        So please, stop it.

      2. So why didn’t that happen in 2014 and 2015? Seriously, you can blame Hamilton for many things but engine failures? I think that’s ridiculous personally.

      3. @drycrust with respect, you’re horrendously misinformed. Apart from steering and the recently modified clutch/starting apparatus, every component is either automated, or monitored with digital override presets to prevent damage from driver error or incidental displacement. This especially applies to the engine components and digital circuitry you speak of. Operationally they’re black boxes. Short of literally ripping them off the monocoque, no driver could hope to nuance a malfunction merely by their mode of driving.

        Stay away from pseudo-techie blogs:)

      4. @drycrust

        seriously! component failures are due to his driving style?
        how do you explain Malaysia, when the engine blew despite being turned down? the only consistent thing was Nico’s mechanics moving to Lewis’s side of the garage and Nico’s problems from last year following them.

    6. Hamilton was voted top by the team bosses and i think he was the best driver.

      No driver had a perfect season–Rosberg also messed up many starts and had some poor races, (Monaco, Canada etc). He was also the most penalised man on the grid (Rosberg).

      Taking out reliability hit sessions it’s 10-6 to Hamilton in the races, and 10-5 to Hamilton in qualifying. So when his car was working, Hamilton trounced Rosberg who was lucky to suffer no reliability issues

      As for the last 4 races–of course Rosberg was trying. It’s just an excuse used by Hamilton detractors to take away from his performance. We know Rosberg was trying because he nearly out-qualified Hamilton in Brazil and copied Hamilton’s set up in Mexico to get as high up in qualifying as possible, to get the best possible start on the grid as possible. Hamilton simply beat Rosberg in qualifying at the start and to turn 1. After that, Rosberg knew he had no chance of catching Hamilton so settled for 2nd.

      Hamilton lost this WDC due to reliability.

    7. @bascb
      “Sure, it was partly to do with the clutch” so in other words you are saying in 10 years in F1, and many more in sub categories, Ham magically forgot how to operate a clutch? and He magically learnt to use it after they modified it? Not best, not second best… Hmm any other hated bias? you sound like one of the F1 experts lurking in these forums who “knows it all” just saying…

      1. @mysticus. Just look at yourself and your comment. And you talk about my bias??

        If you somehow forgot, F1 changed the rules late last year to make it tougher on drivers at the start by taking away the “dual clutch” they had had for the last decade in F1. And yes, the clutch Mercedes had was less well suited for it than that of most other cars, and it certainly posed one of the cars weaknesses. Nico managed it a bit earlier/a bit better early on. That helped him gain a points advantage. After quite a bit of fiddling the clutch got a bit better and Hamilton got better at managing it too during the year.

        But if you want to say that the clutch was not of influence at all, then are you saying that Hamilton just botched quite a few starts this year out of nowhere? Because that is the logical conclusion from your argument.

        1. When you balance the points Hamilton lost due to poor starts, against the points Rosberg lost to poor starts, Rosberg lost more points-if you include Canada, where they both had a poorish start.

          Hamilton lost the WDC due to reliability

        2. @bascb
          “the clutch Mercedes had was less well” it wasnt working more than half the season, and it effected both of the drivers equally. What wasnt equal whole year was the unbelievable odds of reliability issues on Hamilton’s car when it mattered! Hamilton lost championship at Malaysia… His clutch was sorted and he had no other issues afterwards and he wasnt even challenged… Everyone can make mistake at starts, but whole year? come on, be realistic and dont hate/blame him over the top for reasons that wasnt his fault!

          He closed gaps as high as Mount Everest a few times! He run out of time and engines! Also coincidence this year is the odds of most of the unreliability happening to Hamilton alone after garage swap!

          Hamilton didnt loose on starts! Read the stats if you still hate him but like facts!

          Beat team mate in qualifying 12/20
          Beat team mate in race 10/19
          Races finished 19/21
          Laps spent ahead of team mate 637/1186

          One single race in whole year determined the outcome! Malaysia! People keep saying he lost in Japan? he lost there what? 10?
          Malaysia, he was miles ahead, then, he lost 25points! Add this to his points, and deduct 3 points Ros gained from Ham for DNF… How many effective points? say it again? 28 points! Not only he was covering the 10 points lost, he was gonna be leading the champs… yes ifs and buts, but it came down to those ifs and buts… and one single event changed everything! so yeah, reliability was what lost him the WDC, not clutch itself…

          1. Welll said. Give Hamilton a car with equal reliability, and Hamilton is 4XWDC. The title was really lost in Malaysia-28 point swing right there, with little time left to recoup. Bad starts? Rosberg had just as many but it didn’t impact him as much because he was also shedding points to poor reliability. Hamilton lost the WDC due to poor car reliability.

            All these polls are subjective and biased. Team Principal’s, who are not allowed to vote for their own drivers, voted Hamilton as best driver of 2016. That is the ONLY poll/opinion that really counts.

          2. * meant to say

            Bad starts? Rosberg had just as many but it didn’t impact him as much because he was NOT also shedding points to poor reliability at the same time.

    8. I agree with @bascb .
      I think before people start writing unpleasant replies, I should state why I don’t agree with the rank. Ham was unlucky, he was the 2nd most reliable driver, he was lucky that all but one failure meant a dnf, yet the most reliable driver was Nico, that fact cost him in Malaysia, and possibly cost him the championship we’ll never know what would have happened had the circumstances been different. On the clutch subject I’d say both Mercedes were equal, at first it was Ham who paid for it and then it was Nico, particularly during the summer. The qualifying failures might have plagued on Ham’s mind we won’t know for sure, what we know for sure is that up until Nico got a run of bad starts, bad luck and poor steward decision during the summer, Hamilton was uncharacteristically unimpressive. Pundits had a go at Ham’s lifestyle and determination, meanwhile they forgot that part of the season. I don’t know if Ham was to blame or not, but Hamilton was not Hamilton for half of the season so that’s why wouldn’t rank Hamilton on the top 3.

      1. exactly!

        1. @bascb
          yes you agree everything that has negativity on Hamilton, thats is fact…

          1. Whatever rocks your boat Oh mystic one. Sigh.

            Teach yourself some reading comprehension before making that kind of statements please

      2. I completely disagree. I think Hamilton was by far the best driver on the grid. You seem to ignore the fact the all the top drivers faltered during certain parts of the season- not just Hamilton. You need to hold all the drivers to the same standard.

        The Team Bosses have voted Hamilton as best driver in 2016. They have all the data, better knowledge and score races as they happen–so they have a more fuller picture and don’t forget things.

        Rosberg was inconsistent-he lost a 43 point lead and missed the podium more times than Hamilton. He had far less reliability issues but still could only manage to win by 5 points. He was often involved in clumsy challenges and so became the most penalised driver. He said he lost the last 4 races because he started to crumble under the pressure.

    9. How was it “partly” to blame on the clutch? It works or it doesn’t and if it doesn’t then you have lost places already. Perhaps he could have dropped back to fourth instead of sixth if he had reacted better, but that was pretty much irrelevant this season.

  2. Reliability did make it more difficult for Hamilton to win this championship, but if he had done better in any race out of Australia, Baku, Monza, Singapore or Japan he would have won the WDC regardless. Ultimately, second is fair.

    1. @kingshark Yes, exactly. Also it’s not like Ham was the only Merc plagued by poor starts, people are being quite bias on that subject. Also, what about Ham’s cheeky starts, some were like Canada, and there was one that shan’t be named. Ham got some reprimands but also got some passes, in the end he didn’t get a penalty as a result of transgressions, and on that department Nico was unfortunately penalized as a way of keeping RB happy and the championship alive. Ham had as many un-Hamilton like races this season than for all his seasons combined. He was still quick particularly from the last third of the season onwards.

    2. I think Hamilton was by far the best driver on the grid. You seem to ignore the fact the all the top drivers faltered during certain parts of the season- not just Hamilton. You need to hold all the drivers to the same standard.

      The Team Bosses have voted Hamilton as best driver in 2016. That’s the only poll/survey that really counts. They have all the data, better knowledge and score races as they happen–so they have a more fuller picture and don’t forget things.

      Rosberg was inconsistent-he lost a 43 point lead and missed the podium more times than Hamilton. He had far less reliability issues but still could only manage to win by 5 points. He was often involved in clumsy challenges and so became the most penalised driver. He said he lost the last 4 races because he started to crumble under the pressure.

      Max made Ricciardo look ordinary in some races and outperformed him for large sections of the season. Ricciardo really should be doing better against a teenager, new to the team.

      Alonso had some great races but also some clumsy ones too. He crashed in Australia, was quite poor in a lot of the wet races etc His spin in qual Hungary bought out the yellow flags. He had poor control in the wet in Brazil-spinning. And of course, there was a race where he abused track limits and should have been penalised. There were plenty of races where he was simply anonymous. And he was being easily matched by Button up til Button announced his retirement.

      Max showed some brilliant flashes, but was reckless at times too.

      All in all. i agree with the team bosses. Lewis was the best

  3. His own mistakes cost him the championship, his starts and Baku in particular. No one else made as many bad starts as him, not even Nico who had the exact same clutch and system. You can’t help things that are out of your control, but you can help things that are, and he messed up a few times and that ultimately cost him the championship. Think he should’ve been lower down, certainly below Rosberg, Verstappen and Alonso. He may have been in general faster than Nico, as he usually is, but he was less consistent and worse overall. His off the track antics certainly won’t have helped him either.

    1. Naw, it had nothing at all to his car blowing whilst on his way to a comfortable race win.

      “Think he should’ve been lower down, certainly below Rosberg, Verstappen and Alonso. He may have been in general faster than Nico, as he usually is, but he was less consistent”

      Less consistent, really? He had more podiums than his teammate who took part in every Q3 session & started either 1st or 2nd in every race bar one. And you say he was less consistent. Really?

      1. Perception is a funny thing, isn’t it.

        In the sections of the season where Hamilton’s car wasn’t failing him, he went on win-streaks. That basically says it all really.

        All this ‘poor starts’ is nonsensical to me, the driver has little control over them, they are hugely complex systems and all the driver can do is slightly move their index finger. Saying a drivers season was poor because of something like that is misinformed or disingenuous.

        1. “All this ‘poor starts’ is nonsensical to me, the driver has little control over them” ummm…. They’ve specifically been changed so the drivers have more control over their starts. Sure the clutch may not be as good as some other teams, but Nico dealt with it fine.

          1. Dealt with it fine?

            He had the exact same number of bad starts as LH when we listen to Toto explaining the clutch issues!

            Even if we do not he had one more…

            Jeeez – people are stunning. Only Hamilton must have the only single perfect season in history to be credible.

            Only Hamilton has to be held to the ‘what are you thinking having a bad race, one week after your engine blows dumping you once again 25 points behind’ the stress of that is astounding. After you have dug yourself out of a never ending hole.

            No one – not a single driver has to match the standards by which everyone judges him. It really matters not if its in the car or out of the car, he must have the only single ever ‘perfect season’ in history order to be credible or considered number 1 regardless of when and where his engine blows up or how many times he starts from the back of the grid.

            His team mate and the number 1 have never once passed him on track or faught a race long battle with him. Yet lets just look at Brazil? Or Silverstone? Oh but he is in the best car! So is his mate and Ricci had far and away the best car in the wet…?

            I just find it incredible how there is zero respect or consideration for the fact that no matter what he got back up and faught – at what point did Ricci or anyone else do that?

            Sorry but the none racers out there that have not had a title campaign time and time again derailed due to mechanicals while your mate simply has a stunning season? You have no idea what that does. None.

            Sorry you have ZERO idea what that takes year on year. Instead we must applaud the guy with the 100 % reliability. And less pressure. Who simply smashed his way through the year (all those Ves bashers need to look and see who had most penalties this year) or the other guy with 100% reliability in the second best car who… Did what? Beat his team mate. Just.

            Anyway – it’s kind of irrelevant because love Keith or not – the very fact that he can almost never offer a number 1 to LH regardless of the year?

            Yet time and time again – those under no pressure to perform are instantly rated?

            That chap a while back that said Keith was Hamilton biased? Hilarious.

            Let’s give credit to the guy who never gave up. Rather than those that did not need to…

          2. @Drg

            Only Hamilton must have the only single perfect season in history to be credible.

            Well said. I have raised this issue multiple times. Why are the same standards not applied to other drivers? Or even to Nico who is claimed to have been “more consistent” than Lewis this year? Go figure.

          3. You are forgetting Rosberg’s poor starts in Germany, Hungary, China. He also struggled with his start in Canada and wasn’t perfect off the line in Australia. He had as many poor starts as Hamilton but still outscored Ham because he was lucky enough to have no reliability issues

          4. @DRG & @kbdavies

            Totally agree, some people have so much hatred for Lewis its almost unreal. He just can’t win in some people’s eyes, finding any excuse to hate on him. Jackie Stewart does it all the time, its sad to watch Jackie saying Lewis has enough WDC’s and he shouldn’t be upset at missing out, also saying Rossberg was courageous for quitting.


            Lewis never gave up and finished the season fighting, Nico quit.

          5. @drg that’s the biggest load of tosh I’ve ever seen on this website. So he should be #1 because he had more stress? Pretty sure Rosberg would’ve had more stress than he’d ever had going into Abu Dhabi, particularly during the race. But Rosberg is much more mentally strong that Hamilton, and had more pressure on him in the final 4 races, 1 mistake and his title could’ve been over, so with your logic, Rosberg should be #1 on this list?

          6. Sorry Hugh but you statement worse tosh.

            One slip and Hamilton’s was equally over!

            Did he ‘slip’ in Brazil?


    2. His own mistakes cost him the championship

      Hamilton lost roughly 14 points to Rosberg due to bad starts, and anywhere from 40 – 80 due to reliability issues out of his control. Neither was the sole factor in him not claiming the title but its obvious which played the greater part.

      He may have been in general faster than Nico, as he usually is, but he was less consistent and worse overall.

      That is demonstrably false. Hamilton was clearly the better driver of the 2 this season, he just wasn’t good enough to overcome the handicap mechincal issues placed upon him.

      1. Hamilton lost roughly 14 points to Rosberg due to bad starts

        Hamilton lost a net 14 points to Rosberg in Australia alone
        Another 17 points in Bahrain
        Another 7 points in Spain (had he stayed in front the crash would never have happened)
        Another net 14 points in Monza
        Another 3 points in Japan

        That’s a total of 55 points

        1. Rubbish. if you include Canada where both drivers had a less than perfect start, Rosberg actually lost more points through poor starts than Hamilton

        2. Points Hamilton has lost to Rosberg through starts (Calculated based on grid position to finishing position):
          AUS: 14
          Bhr: 17
          HUN: -14
          GER: -20
          ITA: 14
          JPN: 3
          Total: 14 lost to Rosberg through starts

          If you want to count up you have to include both drivers. Like I said Hamilton lost 14 points to Rosberg through starts, 40-80 due to reliability issues.

    3. IIRC Baku practice and qualifying was quite interesting – it seemed that MB were in the habit of starting one car with low downforce and one high downforce setups, and then dialling the cars in to an optimum. Lewis had the high downforce setup to start and blitzed the timing charts, whilst Nico was quite a bit slower. However as MB optimised their setup it must have been easier for Nico to push a little harder with more downforce than for Lewis to hold back with less. Of course they are professional race drivers and should be able to do this, but Baku was a brand new track and the circuit was evolving. In the end Lewis had several lockups and got caught out by the sun in qualifying. Bloody ridiculous radio rules compounding MB mistake was the final straw for Lewis in the race.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        16th December 2016, 15:01


        “In the end Lewis had several lockups and got caught out by the sun in qualifying.”

        Sorry but, that is a hilarious excuse. Are you copying what the commentators for the Baku qualifying session on Sky F1 and Channel 4? If you are then at leased hopefully you won’t be agreeing with them. I also couldn’t believe that they made that excuse for Hamilton. Was the sun behind clouds for the other 21 drivers or something? All but Hamilton managed to avoid hitting the wall in qualifying.

        1. I wasn’t making excuses for him – just commenting on what I saw. I was intrigued by the way MB had started their drivers on different settings and then optimised (not just at Baku) and was wondering if it was more difficult handling a reduction in downforce rather than an increase. The sun was self evident – not sure if it was Lewis or another driver around the same time – but the on-board footage clearly showed that the low sun appear suddenly on the uphill section around the castle, exactly where Lewis put into the barrier. Unlucky maybe, at fault most probably, but the other drivers couldn’t crash there when he had already done so until his car and the track was cleared

        2. Out of 21 races he had at worst three slightly off colour. One after dominating qualy. One after the biggest gut blow imaginable.

          His team mate had around 14…

          But hey – it’s Hamilton – to be credible he is not allowed one race – regardless of what others do!

          Nice click bait for a third year I have to say.

        3. If I am not mistaken, @thegianthogweed, Hamilton himself said that the sun thing was not true already shortly after he got back to the pits after that accident.

    4. @hugh11 Total nonsense. Actually Hamilton had two bad start caused by himself, Monza and Japan, The rest where clutch problems

      1. And Rosberg had the same clutch components as Hamilton. One must take care of their equipment.

        1. Yes he does have the same clutch and he too has suffered with poor starts. So using your own logic, “one (Nico) must take care of their equipment”

          1. And Rosberg did. To the tune of winning a Championship. That’s kind of my point really.