Hamilton’s seasons, best to worst
25th September 2012, 23:51 at 11:51 pm #132138
It’s Hamilton’s 6th season in the sport, and in every single one of them he’s won at least two races. But how would you rank those 6 seasons, from his very best to his worst?
Here’s my view on it:
2007 – Won 4 races in his rookie season, with incredible consistency. Nearly clinched the championship and managed to beat, even if by the smallest of margins, his double-world-champion-team-mate.
2012 – Because of bad luck and poor pitstops it’s easy to overlook just how well Hamilton’s driven this year. Hasn’t really made any errors and if it weren’t for the wasted seconds in the pits, gearbox failure in Singapore, loss of Barcelona pole position, and some other misfortunes, he would probably have a healthy lead in the championship. Alonso has been praised a lot this year, and rightly so, but Hamilton isn’t far behind.
2010 – In 2010 Hamilton was driving very well and the McLaren wasn’t the fastest car as it’s been this year. Stayed in the championship contention all the way with some great drives and victories, but his Monza error might had cost him the title.
2008 – Might be a bit surprising to have his championship year ranked only 4th, but he was quite different from the previous year. What he did in Montreal and Fuji was nearly embarrasing and he had some other mishaps as well. Some incredible drives, like his victories in Monaco, Silverstone and Hockenheim, and he deserved the championship, but we’ve seen a better Lewis in 3 seasons in my view.
2009 – Really hard to rate 2009 as the car had easily been the worst he’s had so far. He really impressed and got pretty much everything from the slow car, and even managed to win two races once the car improved. But his Monaco and Monza mistakes were unnecessary and very costly.
2011 – Obviously the worst of the 6. He was absolutely fantastic in China and had some impressive runs elsewhere, but he kept getting himself into trouble pretty much every weekend. The fact that he finished the championship in 5th when he should’ve been Vettel’s only challenger says it all.
Over to you.26th September 2012, 0:37 at 12:37 am #211186
I really like your reasoning, but I think I’d struggle to choose between 2007, 2010 and 2012, although I’d probably put 2012 3rd simply because it isn’t over yet. So other than that and maybe placing 2010 ahead of 2007, I think I agree on the rest.
2010- had more tough opponents than in 2007, with Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Button, and even Massa sometimes, and made the one bad mistake in Monza (his Singapore collision with Webber was 50/50).
2007- not quite up to speed relative to Alonso in the first few qualifying sessions (understandably of course), and his error in China. He also exacerbated the situation in Hungary. Perhaps I’m just trying to find some faults to justify my order for these first 2 though!
201126th September 2012, 1:28 at 1:28 am #211187
I loved the 2010 season, a crash (tyre blew?) in Spain from 2nd on the last lap was arguably the differance between him and the title. He lost 18 points that day, and finsihed 16 behind Vettel in the final standings.
(Monza didn’t help either, Button showed it was fast enough for a podium but Hamilton crashed in the 3rd or 4th corner)
2012 would be his best season if he wins the title hauling a 50+ gap back in 6 races. It’s realistically off now – had he won in Singapore or finshed second, and the gap was only just over 25, he would be title favourite, but that DNF is a massive blow. He needs to win and have Alonso to not score points in a race, can’t see it happening.26th September 2012, 1:36 at 1:36 am #211188
In my humble opinion:
I don’t think even few could argue that 2011 was definitely Lewis’s worst season to date.26th September 2012, 3:14 at 3:14 am #211189
6. 201126th September 2012, 3:15 at 3:15 am #211190
I’d actually argue Lewis was driving spectacularly in 2009. Sure he had a couple of brainfade moments, but I think he’s had worse seasons. In my view:
3. 2012 = 2009 (I think he drove equally well in both seasons. Emphasis on DROVE)
6. 201126th September 2012, 8:17 at 8:17 am #211191
This year has been his best so far, last year was his worst. Ignoring this year, I’d say 2010 was his next best.26th September 2012, 9:01 at 9:01 am #211192
6. 201126th September 2012, 14:25 at 2:25 pm #211194
I’d have to agree with @keithcollantine . He hasn’t made a single error this year so it would have to be his best so far, although there is time for a mistake to come. However, there’s also the potential for this to be one of the best seasons by any driver ever if he takes the championship. So as we can’t be sure, I’ll leave this one out. Therefore for me, it’s:
201126th September 2012, 15:20 at 3:20 pm #211196
I dont think this has been Lewis’ best year.. he has been very solid and has thrashed his teammate, but has also failed to capitalise on some pole positions early on in the season, and overall I dont think he has pushed his car to the limit we have seen him push before.
2007 he was on the ball every second of qualifying and the race, and with the exception of his mistake in China and an aquaplaning moment in Nurburgring he was absolutely stellar.
2010 he was pretty damn strong as well. If it wasn’t for his retirements and bad luck he could have been WDC that year in the 2nd or arguably 3rd fastest car on the grid.
201126th September 2012, 15:23 at 3:23 pm #211197
6. 201127th September 2012, 10:48 at 10:48 am #211198
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.27th September 2012, 11:48 at 11:48 am #211199
People are severely underrating his championship year and overrating his 2010 year instead. Yes, Hamilton was the second least lucky frontrunner in 2010, but he had a top car in the first half, if not two thirds of the season. And it didn’t break down on him nearly as often as Vettel’s RB6 did.
Yes, Hamilton had the best car in 2008 once again (the Ferrari had huge tyre heating issues and was usually only the second, if not the third fastest (Sauber had a phenomenal car at the start of the season), it’s just that Raikkonen had huge adaptation problems and Massa was quick), but it’s not like Massa was the only unlucky driver on the grid. Sure, just like in 2010, he was more fortunate than his highest scoring rival, but he still lost out heavily at times.18th December 2014, 10:13 at 10:13 am #289213
After 2014, how have views changed on Lewis in hindsight? We saw 2012 completed, 2013, and 2014. Where would they rank among the first 5 years of his career?
In my opinion:
In 2012, he was faultless. McLaren’s enormous incompetence and poor reliability was the only thing which prevented him from winning the championship that year. He had a couple of poor weekends in Spa and Suzuka, and didn’t convert pole to win in Melbourne. Other than that, he was perfect. Spain, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Brazil alone cost him 100 points, none of which were his fault.
Hamilton’s 2010 season is quite underrated to be honest. His only real mistake that year was Monza (Singapore was a racing incident at best, at worst it was Webber’s fault). He had bad luck in Spain, Hungary, and Japan; yet came damn close to winning the WDC in what was, on balance, the 3rd best car of the season.
2007 was obviously spectacular, but slightly overestimated because it was his rookie season. Lewis had quite a bit of testing beforehand, so he was obviously well-prepared. He won 4 races, matched Alonso in equal machinery, and only made two real mistakes in Nurburgring and China. He lacked pace in races like Malaysia and Silverstone, but owned the field in Canada and Japan.
2014, despite being by far his most successful season so far, statistically, is down in 4th. His qualifying was poor, and for the first time in his career, he was out-classed by his teammate on Saturday. Made some silly errors in Bahrain, Austria, Silverstone, and Abu Dhabi. OTOH, on race day he was awesome, and had many epic drives including Bahrain, Hungary, Japan, USA, etc…
2008 was Lewis’s first championship year, yet it is down in 5th. Why? Too many mistakes made his season harder than it probably should have been. Bahrain, Canada, France, and Japan come to mind. On the flip side, he had plenty of epic drives in Silverstone, Hockenheim, and Belgium. Overall, I’d say he won the WDC in what was arguably not the best car of the season.
In 2009, Lewis drove what was probably the worst car of his career. Until mid-season, it was over 1 second off the pace, and often struggled to get points. Despite that, he put on some great displays in Australia (despite what happened afterward) and Bahrain. When the car got better, he brilliantly won 2 races, but also made a silly error in Monza.
2013 was a year where I seriously began to question Lewis’s speed and motivation. Yes, he had some epic drives in Silverstone and Hungary, but there were so many races where he was simply outclassed by his teammate (Spain, Monaco, Singapore, India, Abu Dhabi). He also didn’t look like “Lewis” in the rain, as he struggled a lot with his car. Probably his second worst season overall.
As for 2011, the less said the better. He had some moments of genius in China, Germany, and Korea – but far too many mistakes and epic fails, brainfade moments which made me question him as a driver, and some races where he looked way off the pace (Malaysia, Japan). McLaren was not that far off Red Bull’s pace, had Lewis from 2012 been sitting in that MP4-26, Vettel would’ve had to fight a lot harder for that championship than he did.18th December 2014, 11:46 at 11:46 am #289215
I kind of agree with your ranking. You argue as I used to do when topics I follow very closely are concerned – i. e. you always, always, cite detailed events where things went right or wrong. This basically… ‘certifies’ your opinion for me. I think I’d get more or less the same ranking, if I took my time to research his seasons in this much detail.
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