Here’s how I rank them:
2. 2007/2010 (Tied)
2011 – Obvious, out performed by Button, Catalogue of errors born out of frustration and impatience. Still took 3 wins, 2 of which were drawer.
2008 – I wouldn’t say Hamilton had the fastest car, it was on some weekends that’s for Sure but The Ferrari was slightly better. Made too many silly mistakes which cost him in the championship (Running into alonso at bahrain, Canada, Fuji for example. But put in some awesome drives – Silverstone (which I was luckily enough to be there for) he was immense, a great recovery drive in Germany to win and utterly dominant in China. Took a great win in Monaco too.
2010 – Was very consistent in the first half of the season. In contention for the championship in a car that was probably on balance the 3rd fastest for much of the season. But once he started falling behind in the title race, he made mistakes (Italy, Singapore for example – forcing moves he didn’t need to trying to gain lost ground)
2009 – A poor car for the first half of the season but Hamilton still extracted the maxiumumm from it. Scored more points than anyone else in the 2nd half but mistakes like Monza (losing a certain podium on the last lap) showed he still jhad that impatient streak in him.
2007 – The Most consistent season of his career so far. Incredible start saw him on the podium for the first 9 races. 4 wins and although he only beat alonso on count back its fair to say he out performed him, alonso made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes. Threw it away in the end with DNF in China (this also showed a vulnerability, should of forced the team to let him stop earlier)
2012 – The best I think because Hamilton hasn’t made any mistakes of note all season. I’ve seen some people criticize because he didn’t convert the first 2 poles of the season to victory. Australia he was beaten fair and square by Button but at Malaysia it rained, and the Mclaren has struggled in the wet. Of his 3 other poles, he’s won twice and DNF’d once from the lead due to a mechanical failure while comfortably controlling the race.
He also had Pole at spain that was taken away from him for no fault of his own, I have no doubt he would have won that race had he started on Pole.
I think 2007-2009 with refuelling suited Lewis better than the current rules do, back then it was a sprint, 2 or 3 stints of sprints and he was brilliant at that. He’s had to refine his style to not wreck his tires and I remember when it was announced in 09 that refuelling was going to be banned from 2010, a lot of people said that would be the end of him because he couldn’t manage his tires. It’s also been noticeable this season how Button (the great tyre saver apparently) has struggled more with his tires this year.
He seems to have matured after last season and I think if Mclaren hadn’t made so many mistakes in the pits early in the season he’d be leading the championship now.