Vettel v Hamilton
29th September 2010, 15:37 at 3:37 pm #128132
Vettel v Hamilton.
Starking similarities, both drivers groomed from a young age to slot into a top drive and with a weight of expectation. Both touted as the new generations Schumacher. So how do they match up so far and who has had the better start to their career, who is the better driver and who is better at meeting expectation? A breakdown:
The following table compares Lewis and Sebastian total careers, then Sebastian at Red Bull with the first 2 years of Lewis’ career:
.. Lewis Seb Seb RB Lewis 2Y
Races 67 56 32 35
Wins 14 7 6 9
Podiums 34 16 15 22
Pole 18 12 11 13
FLAP 6 6 6 3
Points 438 306 256 307
WDC 1 0 0 1
DNF 7 14 5 2
Lewis’ first two years were amazing, I don’t think we will ever see a debut from a new driver on par with his performances.29th September 2010, 15:47 at 3:47 pm #146262
I think Lewis is the better racer and I like looking at the stats but they don’t always reveal the true story.
The Mclaren was pretty much rock solid with reliability throughout 07-08 and always extremely competitive. The Red Bull was competitive but only at its best from Silverstone onwards where it was clearly the better car but still had reliability niggles. Lewis was also thrown into a Mclaren in his rookie year but with no expectation. Vettel had time in a lesser team but then did have huge expectation after his Monza win but the time at the lwoer team will hurt his stats compared to Lewis.
I do like how you have been broken down though. It’s really interesting to see. I don’t think Ham’s first year will ever be matched either if the lack of testing rules stay the same. If testing comes back then I think it’s unlikely but possible. Although didn’t technically Jacques have a better debut year?29th September 2010, 15:55 at 3:55 pm #146263
I think this shows just how good Lewis is. Everyone praises Sebastian’s raw pace, but he too often fails to convert – which is reflective of the comparison between Lewis’ first two years, and Sebastian at Red Bull. For me, this highlights that Lewis and Sebastian are both as talented as each other – it’s just Lewis is the calmer, more mature driver.
Great work with the stats by the way. :)29th September 2010, 16:04 at 4:04 pm #146264
“Great work with the stats by the way. ”
Yeah, seriously Nik thanks for the time and effort.
I agree with Damon. I think Seb can overtake but is possibly less likely to. I think he’s maybe more technical and perhaps understands strategy a bit more. I think he’s better when the odds are maybe against him. He delivered in an STR and was at his best and had less mistakes towards the end of last year.
I think Lewis is more of a racer and one of the best overtakers on the field but that still makes him a risk. I don’t think he’s the best because I think he still is at the mercy of his team’s strategy which is fine so are plenty of drivers and that’s what the team is for but I think drivers like Alonso and Button can guide a team maybe a bit more on that front. I also wonder if Hamilton is more mistake prone towards the end of the season such as 07 and now but then again his big fluffs in 08 were Monaco which could have gone so wrong, Canada and Bahrain which were early so clearly not!
Both are supremely fast but at Malaysia Lewis overtook everyone and Massa ended up gaining as many places through strategy and I think that’s how Seb would race (although he can be aggressive like at Silverstone) and I think that’s the main difference between the two right now.29th September 2010, 16:12 at 4:12 pm #146265
Funily enough when you look at Jacques Villeneuve’s record in his first two years a lot of the stats are very similar to Hamilton’s
Points 183* vs 207 for Hamilton
*if 2003-2009 points had been awarded29th September 2010, 16:13 at 4:13 pm #146266
The main difference seems to be that Seb can’t perform as well when the pressure is on (which is strange considering how much pressure must have been on him in Monza in the Torro Rosso…).
Hamilton being thrown into one of the best cars on the grid in his debut season must have helped him in that respect. Whether or not there was much expectation for him in 07, he must have felt the pressure to perform well and show he deserved to be there.
So when the pressure is on, Hamilton can remember what he learnt back then and cope with it. Vettel is learning those lessons now and that’s going to show in the next couple of years.29th September 2010, 16:15 at 4:15 pm #146267
Yeh i just noticed that ads thanks for the info!!!29th September 2010, 16:22 at 4:22 pm #146268
Added in DNF’s. Amazing that Lewis only had 4 prior to this year – now at 7. Almost all of his DNF’s are driving error rather than mechanical failure. It would be interesting to go through race-by-race and account for mechanical problems for either DNF’s or finishing lower than expected29th September 2010, 17:27 at 5:27 pm #146269
Almost all of his DNF’s are driving error rather than mechanical failure
That sounded a bit wrong so I had to investigate:
China 2007 – Team left him out too long against the wishes of Bridgestone. He might as well have been driving on grease into that pit-lane.
Canada 2008 – Own fault
Belgium 2009 – Hit by Alguesuari
Abu Dhabi 2009 – Brake failure
Spain 2010 – Wheel rim failure
Hungary 2010 – Mechanical failure
Italy 2010 – Own fault
Singapore 2010 – Racing incident
So that’s at most 3 or 2 out of 8. Not sure how that’s most!
Anyway, the topic at hand. We always have to be wary of stats but your ones (amazing job by the way, thanks) offer a pretty good basis for comparison. damonsmedley hit the nail on the head, conversion is a weaker point for Vettel than Hamilton, which is strange considering all of his wins have come from starting on pole, apart from Malaysia where Webber mistakenly let him 1st into Turn 1 and picking up the pieces of Hamilton’s retirement in Abu Dhabi. Of course most drivers’ wins come from the same situation but Vettel has yet to win by passing for the lead.
I would say Vettel is good at winning when he’s on it that weekend, whereas Hamilton has the added knack of being able to come from behind. Both need to work a lot on strategy and measured moves, Vettel more so in the latter case.29th September 2010, 17:51 at 5:51 pm #146270
My two favourite races. Both extremely quick but make A LOT of mistakes. Always ups and downs with these two.
Personally I think Seb is the quicker driver but Lewis is the better driver.29th September 2010, 17:56 at 5:56 pm #146271
So that’s at most 3 or 2 out of 8. Not sure how that’s most!
Well, to be fair, Nik didn’t specify whose driving error it had to be!
I also think the China ’07 excuse is a bit of a cop-out. Lewis retired from that race because he wasn’t careful enough going into the pits.
Also I notice Monza ’09 isn’t included, presumably because Lewis was still classified, hence it wasn’t a DNF. It was a pretty major driving error though.29th September 2010, 18:00 at 6:00 pm #146272
I think Lewis is better, purely the fact that he outperformed a reigning double world champion in his debut year shows how good he is. As people have said though he needs to learn to use his brain in races and stop leaning on his engineer so much.29th September 2010, 18:05 at 6:05 pm #146273
eh, stats, the stats of their cars over the same periods do show Hamilton together but what about the stats that are missing like competative overtakes for instance?
In the end I don’t think they really compare as drivers Vettle isn’t any where near as complete a driver as Hamilton, or Alonso and Kubica not top level if you ask me, his stats have been gifted him by quali pace and faster cars. It’s an interesting execise though.29th September 2010, 18:36 at 6:36 pm #146274
Agree with Andy about 07 China plus he could have came in earlier and said the car was undriveable.
Also I’m going to debate with George a little if you don’t mind (ignore me if you like as I’m mostly wrong plus I have a cold so I’m even more dizzy :P). I think 07 that Hamilton outperforming Alonso wasn’t clear cut. Alonso (like Kimi) took time to adjust the the Bridgestone’s plus he threw that strop at Hungary and without that he could have possibly got the points to have won the title. Ifs and buts I know and at the end of the day Hamilton kept his head while Alonso stormed off back to Renault and he exceeded everyones’ expectations but I don’t think anything about that year is clear cut. That said, if they were teammates again I’d expect it to be just as close.
Mark Hamilton certainly would have had pressure as he was in the top team but I think everyone was looking to Alonso. If Hamilton had failed noone would really care because he was a rookie. At that time, Alonso was on top and his only real competition was Kimi and then Hamilton actually turned out to be quick and all of a sudden it was about how Alonso would cope (esp with his history) and so the focus was on him. There was an expectation/hope for Lewis to deliver but I don’t think it was to beat Alonso. It was assumed it would be a walk in the park for Fernando.29th September 2010, 18:51 at 6:51 pm #146275
I forgot about Monza. Damn wikipedia!
I don’t think China is a cop-out. He was losing a lot of time but the car only became undriveable on the lap he came in. And when you see how mad it was, lifting the car on three wheels, no wonder he went off. He should have come in before anyway but Hamilton has always trusted his team too much in costly situations; I don’t think Vettel has ever had that problem!
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