Voice of #F1 Fans: Why Lewis Hamilton will never be a ‘Great’ of #F1

VoiceFans

Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.

Brought to you by TJ13 contributor, @WTF_F1

 

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 22:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP takes a selfie in the pit lane after an autograph session during previews to the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 22, 2015 in Austin, United States.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

If you’re reading this, you will know that I am dead. I’ve been killed by covert Hamfosi operatives. Being intelligent enough to anticipate my murder, I arranged for this final article to be published in the event of my untimely demise…

…I jest. I’m not really dead. Well that’s not entirely true; I’m a little dead inside. But physiologically speaking, I am very much alive.

Provocative title though, right? Click-bait perhaps? Nope. Read on.

As a fan of historical team-mate comparisons, I find from time to time such analyses can serve as secondary evidence to help one attain a deeper understanding of a specific driver’s career successes, over and above the obvious headline statistics that are, as we know, heavily correlated to the opportunities a driver has received and/or earned in their career. In short, if a driver has a good car, headline statistics build up and world titles become possible. If a driver doesn’t, headline statistics remain 0-0-0. So it’s important to not only look at the headline statistics of a driver’s career when pondering about where said driver may place in historical contexts, but also to scrutinize the context of said career – be that the teams they competed with, the team-mates they competed against and the variety of success across different teams, regulations and variations in relative quality of car.

If we stick to headline statistics, Hamilton is Formula One Top-10 material. He is a triple WDC with 43 victories and even more pole positions. His percentages are very good too, in line with Senna and Prost at about a 25% win rate, a little behind Vettel and Stewart, and only significantly behind Fangio, Ascari, Clark and Schumacher (even with the 40yr-old-plus three year stint Schumacher did between 2010 and 2012.)

But, despite these headline statistics, strangely, Hamilton has failed to beat any team-mate of significance in his career.

“WHAT THE FUCK!” – The collective Hamfosi.

“It’s as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced…” – @WTF_F1 Kenobi.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Let’s work backwards from the present, a present where of course Hamilton was given the greatest car advantage – now for his third consecutive season – in the history of Formula One. Let’s analyse the data that rests in the blurry and oft rewritten past, starting at his partnership with Button. Why Button? Well, Hamilton and Rosberg’s overall team-mate partnership hasn’t finished yet. Hamilton has had the upper hand more often than not, and particularly in 2015, but Rosberg is currently on a four race winning streak – a streak Hamilton has never been subjected to as a team-mate by anyone in his career.

Fun fact: If Rosberg wins in Bahrain, it will be equal the most consecutive wins either Rosberg or Hamilton has had over each other in their time together as team-mates. Currently, Hamilton has one period of five wins between Italy ’14 and USA ’14. Rosberg is currently uninterrupted on four wins. Even the most ardent Hamilton fan cannot dismiss this growing trend and reversal in fortune. One wonders what car development changes were made that precipitated this reversal? Perhaps the tyre pressure regulations introduced late last year are of more significance than we realise…

Either way, back to the past we march, dear friends.

image3

Jenson Button vs. Lewis Hamilton

Seasonal Data

Seasons together: 3

Scored most points in a season: JB 1 – LH 2

Average WDC pos. over 3 seasons: JB 4 – LH 4.33

Cumulative points over 3 seasons: JB 672 – LH 657

Average pts per season over 3 seasons: JB 224 – LH 219

Proportion of points delivered to team: JB 50.6% – LH 49.4%

Highest WDC pos. in the 3 seasons: JB, 2nd 2011

Race Data

Grand Prix starts together: 58

Wins: JB 8 – LH 10

Podiums: JB 25 – LH 22

Top 5’s: JB 37 – LH 36

Top 10’s: JB 47 – LH 45

It should be noted here that these three seasons include Jenson’s first season at McLaren where Hamilton was already integrated within the team and the car’s development. Given that, it’s amazing how close the competition was in 2010 (4th and 5th in WDC overall) between the pear… *crunch* Mmmm, tasty. I know, I know; it’s pair. Gotcha!

Overall Winner: Button

image4

There’s a general perception out there that Hamilton did indeed defeat Button. As you can see above, that’s not quite the case. If getting fewer cumulative points, having a higher (worse) average WDC position, having your team-mate deliver the team’s best WDC result and bringing home fewer trophies to McLaren’s trophy cabinet in Woking is defeating someone, then frankly, I think we need to discuss the definition of ‘defeat.’ If one is being generous, we could call it a tie. But there are a lot of JB’s in the data. It’s clear Button was the better overall racer, Hamilton was the quicker driver on Saturday with a failure to capitalise on better Sunday starting positions than Button enjoyed, evidenced by Button delivering more consistent results from further back.

In late 2009, after Button’s WDC and his announcement to join McLaren, no one, not even this writer, thought he stood a chance against Hamilton and certainly not over a three year stint where any aberrations Button may’ve profited from would be smoothed out to reveal a genuine result. So, it’s time to call it. Hamilton did not only NOT beat Button over their time together, but instead was beaten by Button if one values race results over qualifying results; race craft and consistency over one-lap light fuel pure pace; a driver that “wakes up” when top positions are on the line à la Mika Hakkinen. Remember, even Coulthard beat Hakkinen when there was little to play for. Come title time, Hakkinen was unbeatable for Coulthard.

We can now see why Mclaren, at the time of 2012, were willing to let Hamilton go if they had Button’s safe hands – despite the qualifying data, which includes a 9-1 pole ratio in Hamilton’s favour. That Mercedes turned into the juggernaut they are now off the back of Brawn/Schumacher’s effort was good fortune – and not oracle-like insight – for Hamilton and subsequently his headline statistics. This is evidenced by the fact that it’s been revealed that Hamilton wanted to head to Red Bull in 2013, which had he gotten his way he’d have had a terrible 2014 and 2015 – probably beaten by Riccardo in both years and remaining a one-time WDC.

Furthermore, had Hamilton gotten his way in 2013, I can’t see how he plausibly could have defeated Vettel for the title in the then dominant Red Bull given how in sync Vettel was with the unique on-throttle Red Bull. Vettel made the three to four tenth per lap gap count in opening heavy fuel stints, and so good was he at establishing a lead early on that Hamilton most likely would’ve been left frustrated week in, week out. This of course would’ve given us an early answer as to the ‘greatest of this generation’ – but as you’ve read, and will continue to read, I feel the answer is already clear with respect to that particular question.

On we march… further back we go.

 

Fernando Alonso vs. Lewis Hamiltonimage2

Seasonal Data

Seasons together: 1

Scored most points in a season: Equal

*Averages and proportions are irrelevant due to single season*

Race Data

Grand Prix starts: 17

Wins: FA 4 – LH 4 Equal

Podiums: FA 12 – LH 12 Equal

Top 5’s: FA 14 – LH 14 Equal

Top 8’s: FA 16 – LH 15

Unlike with Button, the analysis reflects how equal across the board – with the exception of Alonso having more minor-point finishes despite Ron Dennis’ anti-Alonso machinations – the competition between team-mates was. So we need to dig a little deeper to get an outcome. A tertiary layer of evidence…

Higher finisher when both drivers finished: FA 9 – LH 6

Critically, despite the system used by the FiA to decide a higher WDC placer in the event of equal points, placing Hamilton 2nd in 2007 and Alonso 3rd, Alonso actually defeated Hamilton when both saw the finish line to the tune of 9-6. Both had one retirement each.

What is revealing is when one studies the results post Hungary ’07 – where the biggest blast of the McLaren nuclear explosion in terms of team moral happened – Alonso beat Hamilton 4-0 when both finished. This may suggest that the associated pressure bolstered Fernando’s resolve while Hamilton crumbled under the weight of a title challenge and a fractured team, of which in part he was a cause vis-à-vis Hungary qualifying; not to mention that he was the recipient of the team’s (stated) support post Hungary.

Overall Winner: Alonso (despite being Dennis’d.)

As we can see, Hamilton has never beaten on points – or in anything deeper than ‘most poles’ analyses – any of his team-mates of significance over their entire partnership as team-mates. Not Alonso and certainly not Button. He did however beat Kovalainen in their partnership, which lasted two seasons spanning 2008-09. One wonders what might’ve been if Alonso enjoyed a second season in 2008 against Hamilton – without Dennis’ manipulations – especially given Alonso established the upper hand later in the year.

Presently, Hamilton is on the rough end of a Rosberg four win streak. People may theorise as to Hamilton not wanting to compete to his highest standard in the latter part of 2015 given he had secured the title, which I think is bullshit. But even if true, frankly, that adds to the lack of greatness given the ‘great’ competitors that we all know were all compelled to win no matter what. Schumacher, Senna and Fangio would not have, and did not, back off when titles were secured early – and certainly not for multiple races. Occasionally they gifted a team-mate a win, which Schumacher, Senna and Fangio all did.

So in this respect, Hamilton is either lying (to himself and thus us) to cover, using a dash of post hoc analysis and a good deal of reductionism to explain / mitigate his downturn and has simply been genuinely out-muscled and defeated for four consecutive races by his team-mate (tyre pressure reg. anyone?) Or, he is being entirely truthful and actually did back off voluntarily… Either option isn’t good as both possibilities undermines any candidacy to universally acknowledged Formula One greatness. Cognitive dissonance, thy name is Hamilton.

Being entirely forthright, I’m not sure which is worse. If I had to choose, the deliberate backing off given the title is secured excuse is possibly stranger to me, ya know, given the employers continue to pay the same rate regardless. Imagine it, “Sorry, boss, but I won’t be applying myself as highly now; however, please make sure my wages are paid in full…” Not to mention that it speaks to a non-compulsive desire to win absolutely everything at any opportunity, the likes of which the aforementioned greats had in spades.

image9

In closing, it’s clear that some would nominate Hamilton for Formula One ‘great’ candidacy, yet, how that’s logically said I can’t know given Hamilton has only officially beaten ONE team-mate in the form of Kovalainen so far. It’s almost ridiculous; headline statistics or not. Hamilton leads Rosberg as team-mates presently, but the partnership is not over and could have a few years left. Currently, Rosberg 2.0 seems to not quite care too much about the past.

I put it to you that Hamilton cannot enter the pantheon of greats in the same way that perhaps Nelson Piquet Snr couldn’t either, 3-time WDC or not. The names of Fangio, Schumacher, Senna, Clark, Prost, Ascari, Stewart, Vettel, Lauda, Brabham are safe, for now. Hamilton is good, of that there is no doubt. Sometimes he can have smallish 3-5 race streaks of pure greatness followed by strange downturns in form that no amount of 1+1=11 analyses can explain. Trends emerge. Hamilton belongs with names like Hakkinen, Mansell, Piquet, Fittipaldi, Moss, Andretti, Alonso, Graham and Damon Hill. The very good, and the occasionally great, but not a Top 10 great of Formula One. Not a ‘greatest of his generation.’ Given he’s struggling to stop Rosberg’s rampant and resplendent run of results, that feels about right, doesn’t it?

I want to leave you all with a final thought… Twain once said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Whilst I enjoy bathing in the boiled blood of challenged / smashed paradigms, as well as the righteous indignation that springs forth from the perception of a grievous injustice (on the internet) being perpetrated and wantonly propagated, I will say this article didn’t once touch, or speculate on, Hamilton’s lifestyle, musical works, celebrity status, fashion interests, energy levels and cerebral capacity. Those are irrelevant and this is data driven. At the very least, that fact may warrant some acknowledgment. In other words, Hamilton has been attacked without the usual tactics oft enjoyed by others. I’m not that lazy.

I end how I began… Lewis will never be a ‘Great’ of Formula One, and that’s why.

*Enters witness protection program*

160 responses to “Voice of #F1 Fans: Why Lewis Hamilton will never be a ‘Great’ of #F1

  1. You guys are either pandering to Fortis or you’re desperate for sponsor brownie points.
    Spin it how you like, 3 drivers titles and more likely, he’s already a ‘Great’…..

      • A great disappointment to who? Vettel fans? As a sport ‘ambassador’? By what standards did he disappoint? Because it certainly hasn’t been on-track.

      • Im with you on this one. He a very good driver in a very good car……….but he has made far too many mistakes during his 9 years in F1. Crashing into the back of Raikkonen in Canada with a bright red light on at the end of the pitlane had me wondering what the heck he was doing, and then Rosberg joined the crashfest, which had me wondering again what the heck HE was doing?!!! Major errors of judgement under race conditions. I think Lewis had the benefit of the best car in 07-8-9, possibly 10 as well but McmoRons managed to screw his career after he won the 08 title. Maybe Ham coulda/woulda/shoulda won 3 on the bounce straight from his debut, but like I already said, McmoRons managed to screw themselves and all around them since that 07 season! Had moRon backed Fer AND Santander 100% and got Lew to ride shotgun in his debut year we might have seen Fer win 6 Championships on the bounce since his first and second titles in 05 and 06!!! And lets not forget Anthony Hamiltons involvement in stirring the pot at the first and every opportunity after the FIAsco of “team orders” at Monaco 07? So many ifs and whats and whys to work it all out but at the end of the day I want to see 22 drivers in 1000bhp cars with 50% of the aero efficiency taken away and more reliance on durable tyres that sees 2 or 3 changes per race. These rules and technical regulations are strangling this “sport” to death thanks to Shekelstone and Toad!

          • Good grief how did I forget Ross Brawn and “the works Honda” that got sold for £1 lock stock and barrell? Yes I forgot the doubble “fartbox” (diffuser) and the huuuuuuuge advantage Jens and Rubs got. So McmoRons were 5hit that year I concede. #:)

    • “All us drivers are doing what we do today because we love cars, we love racing, we love wheel-to-wheel. We nearly all started in karting and aspired to be like the greats in the past.
      “When you’re now driving and you’re not being challenged in the way you should be challenged, whether it be physically or mentally, by the car, and the decisions that have been taken for the rules are taking it in the wrong direction, we can’t just stand still and let it happen.”

      Just thought it was an interesting quote by Mr Hamilton and his and everybody’s aspirations.

    • WTF F1 statistics in this article cannot be faulted. The problem with them is down to “what one would like to hear or not hear” in short no HAMFOSU is going to like them (these statistics) or agree with them, and that includes his Honour TJ13 himself unless he is playing a very cleaver game himself, which I doubt he is, in fact I believe his Honour has seen the light of day at long last, since TJ13 WAS SAID TO BE OFF AIR, which has resulted in proving how very good that saying was which reminds everybody on God’s green earth that “KULL DENI HUDU B’GID—-GOOD MAY COME OUT OF BAD THINGS”, just witness the transformation of these pages were it concern free speech and participation. What a difference free speech when permitted can make to a forum?. It is not fair, it was and is not fair and will never be when an article writer can and was permitted to only give and not take anything back, that system killed many a forum.

    • Two title wins in a car that is so much faster than any other apart from his teammates car. I don’t think he would have 3 titles if Alonso or vettel were his team mate.

  2. Very brave indeed, but a great and very insightful article at that.
    You touched on a few truths that the majority of F1 fans are either oblivious or forgetful at best.
    No one questions nor should question Lewis’ talent for the simple reason that it is there and any F1 fan sees it.
    However, the question as you very well put it, can he be considered a great? I agree with you, i don’t think so.
    For the simple reason that a great has to do more than he has showed. Let’s not forget the “privileged” racing upbringing since the age of 13 I believe, from McLaren.
    They nurtured, bred, taught and basically, gave him a formative racing background that very few drivers ever had.
    Hence, the stitching up McLaren gave Fernado Alonso in 2007. With Lewis’ McLaren history, there was no way they would let Fernando win and it showed.
    We all know that Fernando can be difficult but, in my opinion, it will forever be a stain in McLaren’s history in how obvious and discernible their favoritism towards Hamilton was in 2007. I can only imagine the unfair treatment Alonso got compared to Lewis’ that made him give the “payback” to Ron Dennis that he did. 100 miillion dollars. Ouch!!
    Anyone would do the same, in that same situation.
    You showed the stats with Jenson. I think Jenson is a good driver, a very good driver actually, but by no means a great one and it just doesn’t bode well for Lewis with that comparison.
    Again with Nico, the stats are just not that overwhelming. He has an edge, but just.
    He has nice numbers, but lets not forget that he always had race winning cars since his first year in F1.
    All in all, very good driver, but definitely not a great one.

    • I bet my bottom dollar you weren’t aware of those stats pre 2013?

      “A great has to do more than he has shown”…

      And what would that “more” be?

      Privileged is when you’ve got a dad who can create his own team so as to help his son get to the next level. But out of curiosity, how many other drivers were in the McLaren program at that time?

      So Ron Dennis stitched up the 2 times WDC in favour of a rookie? So does that mean he had no faith in Alonso in the first place?

      “All in all a very good racer, but definitely not a great”….. Put any European named driver next to Lewis’s stats and achievements and it would be a forgone conclusion that that named driver would be lauded as one of the greats in the sports.

      Only in F1, would a 3 times champion, 3rd in wins and poles, only man on the current grid to win a WDC in a none WCC winning car, only driver to have won the championship in every single category he has raced in, would be subjected to such levels of scrutiny. Why? Because he doesn’t fit the mould of what a F1 driver should be?

      • “only man on the current grid to win a WDC in a none WCC winning car” ??

        ? Surely that’s Vettel in 2012, the Red Bull was the fastest car for about 25% of the season, the remaining 75% it was the McLaren, piloted by Button & Hamilton. Even Paddy Lowe came out at the end of the season and said it was disappointing not to win the WDC given they had the quickest car. N.b. For Vettels other 3 titles he had the fastest car, not by much in 2010, but in ’11 & ’13 the margin was significant.

        • WCC = World Constructors Championship

          Remind who won the previous 4 before Mercedes?

          Remind me when was the last time McLaren won a WCC title?

          • All you [mod] out there who says Lewis is not great are [mod]. There will never be another British driver who will win 3 championships.EVER.

          • Webber was better than kovaleinen. Or had more luck. Either way he brought more point home

      • “only man on current grid to win a WDC in a none WCC winning car”

        And Kimi? McLaren totalled more points than Ferrari in 2007 before exclusion from WCC. Yes, the statement above is technically correct but if you just take the total drivers’ points for each team, McLaren had the ‘winning’ car that year.

  3. Of course he will never be considered a great as he the first any only black champion in a all white sport(fact). All the drivers before him who have 3 championships or more are considered greats but not him because the criteria and assessment has to be different for him. Stop the bs you can’t take away his achievements because of your bigotry!

    • Holy crap, the race card? Really? if anything being the first black champion in a mostly white sport should help his cause. Unfortunately, his skill vs skilled teammates is in legitimate question, as the article clearly demonstrates (if you’d bother to read it), and imho his ginormous EGO really gets in the way of becoming a fan favorite. Too busy partying and spending his $50M/yr on whoknowswhat to properly train, I really hope this is the year Nico shows him up. Because he’s black? No, because he’s a pompous jackass and people who are willing to train/work harder should see that hard work rewarded. But, go ahead, call him the best of all time, just because he’s black. At least you’re right about one thing…one of us is racist.

      • “To busy partying and spending his $50m/yr on whoknowswhat to properly train”…..

        Hmm, but somehow he turns up on a Friday and manages to win 21 out of 39 races, score 30+ podiums in 39 races, 20 poles and 2 WDC in 2 years, and still manages to beat drivers who don’t party as much or spend their $10/20/30M per year doing whoknowswhat and training their ass off.

        So it’s either he’s that good or the others a just absolute shit at their jobs. So which is it?

        • He has done more than 39 races… How are you managing to base your opinion solely on when he has had a dominant car. All that proves is that he is “greater” than Rosberg!

          His stroppy sulks and woman trouble that just led him to drive like a thug and/or just not turn up at all kinda stop him being a great.

          • “Like a thug”…..

            Oh is that a new one to add to the list along with “gangsta rapper”

            Oh God forbid anyone to have stroppy moments and woman troubles. Jenson was a womaniser, don’t hear anyone using that to criticise him? Every driver on the grid has their stroppy moments, Kimi’s is every weekend, but don’t see no criticism.

            But “thug”…. What did you read you Ebonics dictionary this morning before posting that?

          • I use those 2 years to illustrate what he’s capable of when given the right machinery. And to rubbish your ideology of lacking commitment

        • fortis96, no offence intended, but you are as much a hamfosu as one of my best internet friends which goes by the name of roBO1.

      • His lifestyle has absolutely nothing to do with his achievements. He is a fan favourite as his social media following shows. He lives his life the way he wants like any other successful black man and human being. Every driver has an ego that’s why they all hate being beaten by their teammates (fact). It’s interesting that you point out what you assume as personality flaws, to support your argument that he shouldn’t be considered a great. You clearly don’t like his personality which you clearly don’t understand but his RECORD as a driver is the one being called into question.He is a great, the 3 championships with two different teams prove it, never mind the multitude of records he has broken.

      • You definitely are [mod]. There will never be another British 3 time world champion ever. You [mod]

      • The problem with some of you is you think you know these drivers. You absolutely don’t. Whatever your opiniona they are based on hearsay and perception (prejudiced or not). This article is not scientific in that the author started with a conclusion and then gathered evidence to support his “facts”. It reminds me of the “MMR jab causes Autism” fiasco and the “AIDS started in Africa” debacle.

      • Wow. I was reading this entire article in depth, agreeing with some points, disagreeing with others. You know? Not once did race even remotely enter my mind. Leave it to someone like you to completely deflate the argument, tear it down to lowlife levels and spew hatred and racism into the discussion. What a shame.

      • Tiger Woods is considered by most to be an absolute legend in the game of professional gold. Just sayin’…

        • Because this is not the place to get racist. Being white against black or black against white. Pulling the race card is easy when you have to endure criticism. When in this article race isn’t problem.

          • And where is the ‘right’ place for it?

            If you think that a lot of these bigoted comments aren’t influence by it, then I really don’t know what else to say.

        • Apparently you are forgetting he is half white. But that is something we leave out when it is convenient of course:)

          • And did that ever stopped people making monkey chants? Or black out their faces with shoe polish to mock him?

        • If that happened, it is still completely beside the point the article makes. You should also realize that by playing the race card you automatically lose the argument, as nobody can claim a certain race to attribute to any of the results he has gathered. You can claim he is a black f1 driver, but he is just as white. And don’t bring in the stupid responses from biggot fans, as Hamilton himself is remembered for his ‘is it because I iz black?’ remark. Association by race creates divison if you play it for cheaps like he did back then. Regardless of that being positive or negativr association by racist fans.

          Furthermore, I think he is a great driver. Thats it. Outside of the track he should do whatever he wants. Its his life. But what made makes a lot of people dislike him is not his race, but his constant drama. The Nicole thing had a major influence for mutiple years on his results, he posts videos telling ‘haters’ that he still there, every interview is about how he is doing so great and how he is in such a great moment in his life, with god and bla bla. It all comes accross as a bit forced you know? Having to explain to the world how great your life is, through social media in particular, is often a sign of personal uncertainty and detracts from a strong persona that other greats often are. The article itself points that out perfectly. If you leave out the subjective, and just focus on the objective, Hamilton is just as good as Button or maybe Alonso. Just like Vettel, he got lucky with a dominant car on most of his championships. He aint no Prost Senna or Fangio thats for sure.

    • I offer the name Nelson Piquet as evidence that not all 3 time champions are considered great.

      I’ll add to that – that although Vettel currently has 4 titles he’s not considered great either.

      Both may go on to being statistically the greatest ever and replace Schumi but in an era of practically unbreakable cars with more races a season than ever – how could anyone claim they’re the greatest?

      F1 used to be reasonable competition and drivers overcoming their respective machines. That’s all but disappeared now.

      Then again I’m old school.

    • “All the drivers before him who have 3 championships or more are considered greats”
      I thought the article made it quite clear Piquet wasn’t a great (who has 3 WDC)? Piquet a great of the sport? that would take some arguing to persuade me. He was just fortunate to have very good cars at the right time. Vettels only really won one title of note, in 2012, the others were pretty much gimmi’s, and all of Lewis’s fall into the gimmi category, as does JBs title, Hills, JVs etc. It’s very rare that you see someone win a title against excellent drivers in a car that doesn’t have a performance advantage. Very rare, but those are the titles that define the greats to me. Others that stand out, Alonso beating MSc in ’06 (not 05 though), MSc beating the hugely faster Williams, Senna vs Prost (because they both had equal cars and were the two best in the sport at the time), Clarke beating Hill & Stewart etc etc. I could go on and list a few more, but for me titles alone doesn’t equal greatness. If they did everyone would say Michael was the best ever, I don’t think he was, but he qualifies for greatness thanks to other achievements prior to getting the fastest car out there.

      For the record, many of us couldn’t care less if Lewis was purple with orange spots. I prefer to let an individuals personality define what I think of them rather than their skin colour.

    • @Sean Jones
      You see black where other people see white.
      He is the first Mixed Race F1 WC. By calling him black is very racist towards his mother and his white roots, don’t you think?
      Imagine Lewis Hamilton calling himself white. What you and the lot call him? An oreo? Black on the outside white on the inside. Do you think he would get away with it? I don’t think so.
      After all he is entitled to do so. He is 50% black and 50%white. In my book Lewis is racist and so is everyone who blatantly and unashamedly forget part oh their roots.
      I guess he must have some benefits for doing so. More sponsors? Bringing out the race card when its convenient for him?
      I just find it interesting to say the least, whether be it on this site or on different blogs or forums, every time there is criticism towards Lewis, rightly or wrongly addressed to him, this race thing always comes up.
      Is it because he is white?

    • Wow. I was reading this entire article in depth, agreeing with some points, disagreeing with others. You know? Not once did race even remotely enter my mind. Leave it to someone like you to completely deflate the argument, tear it down to lowlife levels and spew hatred and racism into the discusssion. What a shame.

    • Nothing to do with race you idiot.

      He is not considered a great because he is, petulant, redefines the term arrogance, and has the worst attitude that anyone to hold the trophy, has ever had.
      He lost the title fair and square, and then blamed the mechanical woes for his loss. If that’s the case then he can hand back his 2014 title, cause Rosberg had all the major failures that year. All that needed to happen in 2014 was for Hamilton to have the electrical problems in the last race and a healthy car for Rosberg, and Rosberg would be a double world champ.
      Don’t play the race card when its clear that Lewis is just a giant arsehole. Moron.

      • You need to look at who had the worst reliability in 2014,seems to be a common theme at the moment dragging up 2014 and don’t forget the nonsense of double points either.

  4. I know you’re Ricciardo fan, but come on…

    “This is evidenced by the fact that it’s been revealed that Hamilton wanted to head to Red Bull in 2013, which had he gotten his way he’d have had a terrible 2014 and 2015 – probably beaten by Riccardo in both years and remaining a one-time WDC.”

    …Ricciardo couldn’t even beat Kvyat…see what I just did, being just as selective as you.

    The problem of recent F1 history comparing to the bit more way back history is the relative small differences in pace between the cars of today. Pretty consistent drivers like Button or Rosberg are able to capitalize on even the slightest problems of others much more easily as they would have been able in the past. The difference in talent in the past was much more magnified, making it much easier for the better drivers to correct things when it didn’t go smoothly.

    Hamilton still is one the most talented drivers of his era despite him not having the drive to chase much else as World Titles. Having a different desire in what’s important, doesn’t automatically mean he can’t be regarded as one the greats, it merely highlights a difference in personality.

  5. It was Hamilton that got me watching f1..and reading the articles. The champs are the best .really
    simple.

  6. You can fudge any stats in any way you want to support your bigotry but the fact remains he is one of the very few to be 3 time champion, who are all considered greats. Not only is he the first black champion but he has and continuing to break records of any driver who came from the British isles. You can’t take away his achievements and that’s a fact.

      • …and there you were, worrying about Borgs while Microsoft’s “Tay” Bots are the real threat.

      • Why? Race has got to do with it. Which other driver has been assessed in this new ‘clever’ way of assessing ‘Greatness’? I bet by this same ‘assessment’ I can make Maldonado one of the ‘Greats’ and for the record I am white! 3 or more championships you can’t argue with that.

        • This isn’t a new way of assessing greatness. Greatness is very subjective and the writer is showing what his opinion is based on some stats…. merely that. For the record, I think Hamilton is a ‘great’ in my opinion in so much as other ‘greats’ were sat in the best car of the field. I like Lewis, I love his driving style but I’m also a Button fan and I’ve always enjoy the team mate battle stat.

          Can we try and keep the words ‘bigot’ and ‘race’ out of the chat and concentrate on the stat analysis?

  7. Schumacher lost 3 times in a row in almost all regards against Rosberg. Probably his only somehow competitive team mate. All others were clearly #2 drivers and treated as those. Does that mean that he is not a ‘Great’?

    Furthermore Hamilton won 2-1 vs. Button and was on level with Alonso, he didn’t lost. The only thing which matters are the results and not selective stats. Or why didn’t he also took the poles, leading laps and fastest laps and whatever into consideration? Probably because Hamilton was there ahead and this wouldn’t have fitted into his assesment…..Well at least he didn’t found anything to ‘prove’ that Kovalainen beat him, but somehow he comes to the conclusion that Hamilton didn’t beat Rosberg either……

    I’m by no means a Hamilton fan, but for me he is a ‘Great’. He is driving now for a decade on a high level. Beat officially his team mates so far 8-1, is one of the drivers who had the most competitive team mates in general. I’m really struggling to see what he needs to do to be considered as a ‘Great’.

    The article refuses to call him ‘the greatest of his generation’: I agree. Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel were the great drivers in this generation, not only just one of them. Thank god for that. Others had the ‘luck’ (for us bad luck) that their generation wasn’t that strong. Is that a reason to refuse him to call him a ‘Great’ (whatever that means?)? Simply not. Is he in my top 10? Possibly yes, possibly not. I’m refusing to make a All Time Greats lists, because different generations are simply not compareable. Just the generations itself. And based on that Lewis Hamilton is for me a ‘Great’.

  8. A few comments: why didn’t you subject Lewis and Jenson’s partnership to the ‘who came first when both finished’ statistic? And that whole paragraph seeming to equate Hakkinen with Button as people who wake up when stuff is at stake (as opposed to their teamates) is tripe. In 2011 Button got a bridesmaid’s 2nd place just like Alonso in 2013. They were neither of them in the fight on a real level. But the two years of Lewis and Jenson’s partnership that McLaren had a shot at winning the championship who came into the ascendancy? In 2010 Lewis was leading the table as late as after Spa and still had a shot at the finale. In 2012 Lewis was second and poised to all but draw level with Alonso in Singapore when his gearbox gave-up–probably the most pivotal occurrence of his career. Also, adding points across seasons is as illogical as it would be across rounds in boxing or sets in tennis. When a season is done it’s over and it doesn’t much matter whether the victor won by an inch or a by a mile. You seem to make allowances for a thirty year old Jenson’s getting acclimated to Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren team but don’t spare a word for the situation of a 22 year old rookie going head-to-head against the reigning champion. Instead it’s all about how Ron Dennis had it out for him, a grown man a half a decade into the sport. Boo hoo. I’d have more respect for you if you hadn’t begun this squib with such a long-winded preamble about the outrage you anticipated from Hamilton fans. If your piece had any merit it could sell itself without that unecessary piece of trolling. And lastly, you seem to have inducted Vettel into your greats pantheon without mustering a defense of his 2014 year, a season that reads (by any statistic) as far more woeful than any Hamilton has finished. As it’s entirely up in the air whether Vettel and Ricciardo will ever partner each other again, their record together stands for analysis. Why don’t you give it that, cowboy, and see if it bears out the tenor of your argument or entirely discredits you. I won’t wait–’cause I know you don’t have an answer.

    • Its like hearing Donald tRump explain why America is under mortal danger from Mexican rapists, and how he made several fortunes despite starting with only a small inheritance – you laugh along and find it entertaining till it dawns on you that the chap is not actually trying to be a clown and really believes people are unable to see the bigotry
      ….and then you look around and realise that lots of feeble minded folk actually blindly accept the stats because they wanted to all along
      At least this type of article is evolving TJ13 concept, its now the whole article that is bait not just the headline, and at least the writer says its his opinion and doesnt pretend he was informed by an insider of facts

  9. While I agree with your hypothesis this:
    Cumulative points over 3 seasons: JB 672 – LH 657
    Average pts per season over 3 seasons: JB 224 – LH 219
    Proportion of points delivered to team: JB 50.6% – LH 49.4%
    is the same statistic written 3 times in different ways. Giving it as 3 wins to JB is just undermining the argument.

    For me statistics can only ever be a part of a “greatness” assessment. It’s also about how a driver goes about their racing & how they conduct themselves outside the sport – both of which imo Hamilton fails miserably at.

  10. This article is the biggest load of rubbish ive read in a while. Was cost over 100 points by his team in his last year with button and was easily the better driver in 2 of their 3 seasons. Was the faster driver than alonso on most occasions in his ROOKIE year. And if you watched the melbourne gp you can clearly see that hamilton was much quicker than rosberg over the weekend. Really dont know how you do this as a job. Terrible

    • have you not read the title….. ‘voice of the fans’ He’s not a writer and it’s not his job, you too can write for the site if you want under that heading

    • This is hilarious….. I particularly like the bit about Hamilton partying, go on my son, get on that scene, be like our old f1 heroes, James Hunt was the greatest party guy ever, if I was getting paid loads of millions I would be far too busy fighting off beautiful, sexy, naked women and too pissed up to even get in the car on a Sunday morning. …. Come on Lewis, let’s party and still beat ’em…..

    • mrFILL, thanks for not passing-up that hello Message to my old buddies at the other place, but all the same roBO1 got it all the same, with a drop of my favourite hi-spin in hand, cheers and thanks for your support and friendship rob, Richard, taipan and all the others. (107ss2009).

  11. Another provocative and excitable article based on a worthless premise.
    First of all greatness is awarded in retrospect and he hasnt finished his career yet. Therefore any prediction that he will never be considered great in years to come is dumb – as anything whatsoever could happen statistically or otherwise in the next decade – so hot air dressed as intellect
    Second, greatness is one thing that is not tangable or correlated to stats and is subjective. Therefore anyone considered great by someone is likely to be considered NOT great by an other (MS for example). By extension greatness can be said to be debatable by definition. And the fact that the argument is on the table at all by definition means he is already debateably great, ergo great to some, not great to others even before his career is over – so thats another big fail for the wannabe ‘intellectuals’ who find their IQ’s unable to overcome their irrational bias and preconceived ‘profiling’ – to be clearer, we dont see arguments about whether Merhi is a great
    Finally – when people look back to Hamiltons career and consider ‘greatness’ it wont be stats like getting beaten by Button on points they remeber, it will be things like lapping Button in the same car under normal conditions and beating Alonso as a rookie. They wont be thinking that Ron helped, they will be thinking a ROOKIE took the chances that came his way on track/off track etc to BEAT the reigning 2x WDC
    hahaha

  12. The wonderful thing about statistics is that it will ignores reality to make life simple.
    This story is just a joke and the only way I can belive it, is if it is written by a fairy.

  13. I can’t stand Lewis, but in the end, 3 championships in the bag, a likely 4th this year and probably another next year…. Well, than it doesn’t matter who your teammates were, where your dog pooped and what you do in your own time, you must have done something right. I can define “great” in such a way that even Senna or Schumacher or Fangio are not “great”. So great it will be. Live with it.

  14. OF COURSE, A [mod] GUY WILL NEVER BE A GREAT IN YOUR EYES. A VERY SELECTIVE ANALYSIS LOL. HATERS ALERT! THERE IS A REASON WHY ONLY A HANDFUL HAVE WON 3 CHAMPIONSHIPS. HE’S IS THE FASTEST THAT’S EVER DONE IT (acknowledged by other drivers too), HE’S THE NUMB1 RACER OUT THERE, HE BRINGS MORE PUBLICITY TO THE SPORT = MORE SPONSORSHIP = MORE MONEY FOR EVERYBODY, HE BRINGS IN MORE AUDIENCE (definitely watching bcos of him). BERNIE HIMSELF SAID LEWIS IS GOOD FOR HIS BUSINESS AND THE BEST F1 CHAMPION IN HISTORY. So, take off your hat and bow in the presence of greatness!!!.

  15. Ok, well, hello there. @WTF_F1 here.

    Firstly to all, thanks for reading and thanks for commenting; be they “good” or “bad” comments. The ultimate purpose is to keep TJ13 up, provoke thoughts, perhaps challenge some paradigms and have some fun; and maybe have some bish n’ bash in a decent sort of way.

    I’ve scanned the comments and just want to clarify a few things and respond to a few questions / ideas put forth.

    But before that, I would just say that this sort of comparison uses well established categories of analysis, nothing new there. Also, data is publicly available, so there is no embellishment. The calculations are simple mathematics. Lastly, cumulative team-mate (drivers/riders in/on same car/bike) analytics has been done in motorsport since time immemorial. Cumulative because partnership often go beyond one season.

    Oh, and I will not touch any comment race related or suggesting I’ve written a racially biased / bigoted article. It may well be biased against Lewis, and it may not, but if it is I can assure you it’s not to do with his skin colour or ethnicity. I don’t feel the need to defend that further, especially given I didn’t include the oft used racial stereotypes – but I merely say this in the sense that if you asked a question, then made racial insinuations, you won’t get an answer. Try again next time.

    But to the other comments – from top to bottom.

    @Paul
    Fortis is correct, the only driver currently on the grid to have won a WDC in a car that didn’t win the WCC for the same year is Lewis Hamilton. Removing all sporting points-penalties associated with McLaren in 2007, Kimi also won a WDC without a car/team that would’ve won the WCC.

    @Fortis
    There were, and are, cumulative comparisons of team-mates before 2013. As an example, Senna and Prost (in 88-89) was done – and continues to be done – to death.

    @CarloCarluccio
    In the end, I may well end up concurring with you about Vettel. I have a Vettel piece in the works. We do agree on Piquet. Very good, but not great. I’d also love to see you do a TOP 10 list. Or even a TOP 20. Make sure Lewis is No1 though… (That is a joke, calm down.)

    @Borg
    I’m not a Ricciardo fan. I simply cheered for him as I was at the Australian GP, as an Australian, and he was an Australian driver. Outside of that, I am not nationalistic in that way at all. I’m not a Dutch Borg Verstapo, after all. (That is a joke, calm down.)

    I didn’t like Webber much, or at all, as an example. I really struggled with Stoner’s (MotoGP) personality, but have massive respect for his raw talent on a bike. Also with respect to Lewis’ ‘personality’, I left those clichés out. I’ve made no comment on his outside interests. I don’t care about such things.

    @Verstappen
    There are no “convenient” stats here; they are well established categories of data people look at with respect to team-mate comparisons. I kept quite a lot of others categories out that I look at as someone who has raced, purely for the fact I wouldn’t be able to explain their significance well. What remains can be seen anywhere.

    @Breathemyexhaust
    I had many responses to you questions. But given you final sentence, that you wouldn’t even read them, I can’t logically find a reason as to why I should bother.

    BUT… the answer to one question that you did ask may benefit the rest. Your first question. I didn’t “subject” (sounds so medieval) Lewis and Jenson to that because the core stats were enough to call it. I did for Lewis and Fernando because, as I say in the article, and despite Fernando’s higher amount of minor-point placings, there was no outcome. So, that is a very valid category people look at too and was the next layer. That stat factored in the retirement effect to ensure fairness. The rest of your questions, if you want answered, you can ask again if you like assuming you will read them.

    As @Mr Fill asks, perhaps read the whole piece too.

    @Andy Gibson (@Lopek)
    I agree. Statistics are not what makes a driver great. But they can give an insight into proving, or disproving, any “feelings” that popular narratives promote. In short, I don’t think stats, and only stats, underpin greatness. But they were used here to provide a contra view to well established ideas that Lewis destroyed Jenson and Fernando and thus is a ‘great’ – things I’ve oft heard. As is clear, it’s not the case.

    @Nothalf
    Hi, I recognise your style, but wont reveal you.

    With respect to being a ‘great’ in retrospect, you may be correct. Yet many are calling it now in the affirmative. Of course, mainly #TeamLH. I simply state why, at this stage, it’s not the case. If, God forbid, Lewis passed early (as Senna did) I don’t think the team-mate stats support greatness as they did with Senna.

    Also, you simply end with some strange variant of a taunt. You simply say (in your way) that Lewis beat Alonso, as if saying it only makes it true and without reconciling the stats above that indeed he didn’t. Haha indeed. Juvenile really.

    The rest is just your catharsis, as it always is, which is fine, and your issues with me, which is fine too. I’m sorry you are intellectually threatened, sincerely. But based on the opening of this response to you, the rest of your comment falls apart. Fortunately, as you say, greatness CAN be debated. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t engage on that debate. And given the popular narrative is that Lewis being a great is being called in the affirmative already, I decided to throw my hat in the ring after some research.

    @Fortis
    Boom indeed.

    @Johnmane
    I’m heterosexual. I have data to prove it. (This is a joke, calm down.)

    Peace,

    @WTF_F1

    • Re your reply to Nothalf…

      I’m sorry, but didn’t the title say, “he will never be a great?” So why exactly are you stating that this piece is dealing with the present?

      So which is it?

      • Neither.

        It’s actually dealing with the past. Historical statistics.

        It’s establishing a past that might be more accurate than what #TeamLH recall.

        @WTF_F1

        • You keep hashtaging TeamLH as if it’s only his fans who find your article to be utter rubbish.

          “It’s establishing a past that might be more accurate”… So this really isn’t an accurate representation of past performances then?

          Your logic is flawed and of anything rather goes to show that he is deserving (when the time comes) to be regarded as one of the sports great. Because only someone with an axe to grind would indulge in such micro analysis to support their own biased views. An athletes “greatness” is not only measured by stats, (well not this nonsense anyways), but by what impact they’ve had on their sport, and he has a far greater impact that the likes of Schumacher, Vettel, Stewart etc.

          But hey, what do we “TeamLH” know compared to the might and vast intellect of such a benevolent and clairvoyant individual.

          • Oh the irony. 😀

            Anyway, great last question… just needs a question mark.

            Here, have mine.

            ?

            Anything new, let me know. The parroting and repetitive nature is tiresome.

            #44

            @WTF_F1

          • You’d do better to provide a counter argument that showed the stats provided by the author didn’t paint the whole picture fortis. So far the sum of this thread is just people saying “that’s not true” or “racist” without actually offering a sensible constructive counter argument.

            Suggesting that Lewis has had a greater impact on the sport than Schumacher or Stewart is quite some statement. I’d suggest that Schumacher had a huge impact on the sport, taking levels of professionalisms to a new high, leading safety initiatives and creating the model of focusing a team around himself alone etc. I don’t think Lewis has had much impact on the sport in that respect at all. Where Lewis has made some waves is in making people, especially in the US, aware of F1 a little more, his relationships/friendships with people in the celebrity world have proven to be the catalyst for that. Those are where I see his impact, not sporting changes, but rather awareness of the sport.

          • Ok Paul..

            3 WDC*
            43 wins* (3rd all time)
            50 poles* (3rd all time)
            9 consecutive seasons with 1 win* (4th all time)
            10 consecutive seasons with at least 1 pole position* (3rd all time)
            2 WDC with different constructor (10th all time)
            28 fastest laps* (6th all time)
            Podiums in a season 17/19* (tied for 2nd all time)
            88 podiums* (4th all time)
            Etc etc etc etc…

            When the gloves have finally been hung up, these are the final accumulative numbers people look at to determine a drivers place in the pantheon of the greats, not what’s being presented before us today and being used as empirical evidence to discredit whether or not that person is worthy of such accolades.

            Remove Lewis’s name from the list I mentioned and attach that of Jenson/Alonso/Kimi/Rosberg/Hill/Jacque etc and there’d be no debate as to whether or not they’re deserving of such an accolade.

            The author has listed Seb as one of the ‘greats’ but he has never had teammates anywhere close to the calibre as Hamilton. Webber was a journeyman, Kimi checked out of F1 at the end of 07, RIC came in and showed him a clean pair of heels. Whilst Lewis may have gotten beat by Jenson in 2011, at least the records will show he rectified that situation the following season. Unless RIC joins Ferrari, that will be one black spot on his record.

          • That’s bull. I’m no schumi fan, but LH doesn’t have or had or will have a bigger impact on the sport than him. Have you ever been to the races when schumi was at its top? There never where more people at the track than in those days. And what’s more 80% of them was there to cheer him on. And except the last two I’ve been to all spa races hamilton has done and he didn’t have that impact. He did make more people of other ethnicity than normally was the case come to the gp. But in all my years I have never seen such diversity of fanbase at the track. No driver has the fanbase that schumi had. So his impact is a little less than you think/hope. You have to look at the whole impact. Not just the impact on the “black community ” and you might have to take of your hamifosi tinted glasses 😂 he has had a big impact but a far greater is just not right.

    • Hi, its refreshing to see comments and responses to articles allowed to stand even when they are a critique of the fairy tale or the manifesto. Lets hope this new attempt at honesty and integrity continues.
      As Fortis points out, the premise is that ‘the stats say Hamilton will NEVER be a great’ – implicitly in the future, because his career is not yet over and because greatness is usually confirmed after all the evidence is available.
      Therefore it appears as if my whole reply has gone above your head. If you say Hamilton is not a great now because of these stats, then thats one thing but when its a bold prediction backed up by selective, misleading stats then its obvious that the ‘profiling’ came first and the stats stylised second.
      For example anyone can point out that the bosses of Daimler and AMG vote with their money and can therefore be expected to be less eager to ‘profile’ drivers first and look at reality second. And these guys have looked at the same stats that you presented (such as Button beating Hamilton at McLaren hahaha) and decided that Lewis was in greater need of a 5 year contract on top wage in the best seat than Button was. Button was not actually wanted by Ron Dennis at all and was in touch with the BBC. Yet you would have us believe that your forensic examination of the stats condemns these guys to chumps because they failed to notice Button beat L3ewis who is never gonna be great.
      Trolling is fine but you need to work with your audience a little when they call you on it
      Cheers

      • Nothalf,That is what I encouraged the judge to do (give as much as you take and be man and let all posts stands) and this site will flourish beyond all dreams.
        I just decided that the judge himself is a hamfosu, I told him so, let’s see if my massage fell on deaf ears or not.

    • Now I’m even more baffled as to why you put such a highly speculative remark about Ricciardo in the article when you say you’re not a fan of him…if you take more of an interest into him as to other drivers and cheer him on, you’re a fan.

      You completely missed what I meant with my Hamilton’s personality remark. He cares about winning WDC’s and a bit less (as some other drivers) about setting other records, so with Lewis you should look on how he has done when being presented with the opportunity to become a WDC. Your focus is on stats which are pretty irrelevant for him when it’s about chasing WDC’s. And the odd thing about that, with Verstappen it was all about his personality, but with Lewis all of sudden his personality hardly matters, even when it shows with him it’s just more about becoming a WDC.

      You just use whatever “fits the bill” to portray a driver in a certain way instead of trying to give an explanation as to why a driver behaves the way he does.

    • Thanks for your reply. I do like the articles and responses. It’s part of why I come here. It doesn’t bother me (or you, I assume) that we don’t agree.

      It’s just fun.

      Still wondering who you regognized…

      • Haha, no of course not. This is brilliant and entirely expected. There are many who love it, many who don’t. Such is life.

        But I agree with you, it’s fun. 😀

        Stay tuned for more…

        I was asked to do a stat-less observational / behavioural peice of Hamilton’s career to date. 🙂

        Again, thanks to all who read it.

  16. Hate on him for being a personality, hate on him for his race, whatever. He came out of nowhere, no automatic privilege like the son’s of so many drivers that we see now. His dad worked 3 jobs to pay for his karting. So now you say that what he’s accomplished is not ‘great’ huh? Who is ‘great’ then? Is Schumi not great because he had the best car most of the time? Certainly the word ‘great’ is subjective, but this is a amazing tragedy of words, serving only to make the author look foolish. Let time be the judge.

  17. So, is the question whether or not Hamilton is a “great” F1 driver or a “great ambassador to the sport?
    Personally, I think he’s a gifted driver but, he’s a punk and THAT is why he’ll never be great.

    • Surely what you mean is that you think he is a great driver (everything outside his driving gifts discounted) but not a great person (punk, afro hair, dogs, earings, much money, accent etc). A gifted driver as you say demonstrates those gifts in spite of his social background and should be assessed for greatness in spite of everything else.
      If however you are willing to discount a drivers gifts on track because of the things mentioned then your criteria for great driver probably focuses on the driver you are most attracted to, maybe you like his smile or his ass.
      I am guessing Kimi is your man, or maybe Button. And I am willing to bet you think MS is the greatest as his cheating antics were executed with panache

  18. This is one of the most biased, childish and worst articles ever. I hate Lewis Hamilton as much as any man and his dog does, but you won’t find me writing articles about why Fernando Alonso (who I hate even more) isn’t a great or likewise why Kimi Raikkonen (my favourite) is a top 20 great of F1. The reason Lewis lost to Jenson Button was because of mechanical gremlins, mostly in 2012 (Singapore/Abu Dhabi GP) along with the Hulkenberg crash in Brazil (not his fault), whilst comfortably leading those races. It would have more appropriate to write about why you hate Lewis Hamilton- one reason being he’s a horrendous narcissist.

    • I would argue Kimi is a Top 20 great, yes he is a bit past his prime right now but every driver would eventually reach that point. His results were incredible at Mclaren he beat Coulthard in every season by a larger margin than Mika Hakkinen who was highly rated and dominated Montoya(who was considered one of the Top 4 drivers at that time). He almost beat Schumacher in 2003 with an arguably slower and less reliable car(1 pole position to Ferrari’s 9 in 2003), if he had slightly better reliability he would have won both 2003 and 2005. In the post 2000 era I see only Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel who could be objectively considered better than him.

  19. In addition, Jenson Button admitted to being amazed at Hamilton’s ability to attain high grid positions in a car with acute handling deficiencies, particularly with the MP4-27. Jenson, on the other hand, was struggling to even reach Q3 at times.

  20. Lets go by your Theory, u consider Alonso great, he matched Alonso in most of the things in his rookie year and when Alonso was at his best just after winning 2 titles. And i find your Ron Dennis theory bullshit. Next i am not Hamfosi but he is doing a great job and believe it or not he will beat Rosberg at the end of the year. U are not under threat from Hamfosi, you are just a victim of unprovoked and unproved hatred for Hamilton. And lemme give you 1 more fact why Button was closer, Hamilton had more technical retirements in 2012, 2 of them came at Singapore and Abu Dhabi they both were in the bag. Button only had retired once due to Technical fault that is Italian gp. Next Valencia he was crashed of near certain 4th place by Maldonado if he had passed cleanly, Hamilton would have finished 4th. Next in Belgium he and Alonso were just passengers of chain of events. Next time before passing judgements on someone study the facts right. I am not his fan, i come from the category of Kimfosi. But i dont like when you bash or judge people who are doing a fine job without any proper reason. And i also being a Kimi fan is not afraid to call that he should retire.

    Pointless article.

  21. I’d like to point out that I am certainly not a member of the Hamfosi, but I have a few issues with the above.

    I’d like to start with the statement “Given he’s struggling to stop Rosberg’s rampant and resplendent run of results, that feels about right, doesn’t it?”. It is apparent that the author has neglected the fact that the WDC was won last year with 3 races to spare. I would argue that the kind of psychological impact that had on both Hamilton and Rosberg is immeasurable, and cold hard facts can’t possibly make up for it. Besides, Rosberg still had to fight for second place.

    “The names of Fangio, Schumacher, Senna, Clark, Prost, Ascari, Stewart, Vettel, Lauda, Brabham are safe”. How, exactly, is Vettel safe? Winning 4 WDC in a car that was, for the vast majority of the time, leagues ahead does not make you a great, nor does comparing against team mates, especially when those team mates are forced to pull over for you. Even using the author’s cold, hard logic I wonder how Vettel would fare? Would that make Ricciardo one of the greats too?

    The fact that Hamilton and Alonso finished on 109 points each in 2007, it is incredulous to declare Alonso as the winner. Especially as the number of second place finishes was used to decide the final standings (Hamilton 5 Alonso 4).

    I find the clamour to prove that Hamilton is either great or not frankly bewildering and a huge statement about the mentality of the British fan. If he was born anywhere but the UK he would be lauded in his home country. He brings many fans to the sport and has garnered support from across the globe, even Alonso has stated that he believes Hamilton should be considered as one of the all time greats. Yet, because of his “heart on the sleeve” personality, his celebrity status, because he wins, someone consistently has to show how he isn’t “all that”. This post makes that all so obvious. In one breath Vettel is considered a historical great (with no evidence) yet Hamilton is picked apart and the current 4 wins for Rosberg (without any nod to a possible lack of motivation to win the final 3 races) is emphasised. There’s even a point from the author about deliberately leaving out the personality traits, like it would even need to be mentioned in an unbiased report.

    I, for one, am sick of the biased views and the use of damn lies and statistics to try to prove an opinion from either the Hamfosi or the Hamilton hating camp.

    • I would also argue about Button being declared the winner over the 3 seasons.

      If you factor in race finishes, and look at the number of points per race completed then you have Hamilton with 14.6 and Button with 12.9:

      2010 – LH: 240pts; 15 finishes JB: 214pts; 17 finishes
      2011 – LH: 227pts; 16 finishes JB: 270pts; 17 finishes
      2012 – LH: 190pts; 14 finishes JB: 188pts; 16 finishes

      My point is that anyone can prove any opinion with some cleverly crafted statistics.

    • Alonso managed to finish on equal points to Lulu despite Ron Dennis declaring they were not racing Kimi but Lulu’s own team mate.

    • Mitchy a few points I’d like to add to your post:

      1.) Alo vs Ham @ McLaren. For me this is a draw. Lewis had the team doing their level best to help him beat Alonso, especially post Hungary. In fact a friend of mine who worked for Super Aguri back in 2007 said it was somewhat of a running joke in the paddock about how McLaren would bend over backwards to keep Alonso behind Hamilton, at the time there was a lot of confusion as to why (that was pre- Alonso/Ferrari Data scandal). So that’s a draw in my books, Lewis was a Rookie, FA had a team clearly against him.

      2.) Vettel winning 4 titles doesn’t make him a great. Nope it doesn’t. Unlike Lewis however Vettel won the 2012 title, during which he didn’t have the fastest car. On top of that it’s probably the most competitive season in F1 terms for about 30 years. That season plus some of his Torro Rosso drives and latterly some of his Ferrari performances are why he borders on greatness. Looking at Lewis’s 3 titles, two of them he only had to beat Nico Rosberg and the other? Well Massa was his main challenger as McLaren gave Heikki a very less developed car and Kimi was thinking of Rallying. If Lewis had won in 2010 or 2012, which was attainable (Alonso got closer in considerably slower machinery!) I’d have him listed as a great. Thus far LHs titles are of the same calibre of Vettels in ’11/’13 or Buttons in ’09 – in the fastest car with a lack of real competition.

      3.) Will Hamilton ever be a great? It’s certainly possible IMO, the problem for Lewis is that on those occasions where he’s had a car that’s perhaps 0.2s slower than the fastest thing on track, he doesn’t usually win. That’s simply not true for many other greats IMO. Add to this that Lewis currently can put in a sub ‘great’ level performance week in week out and still win the title due to the car advantage at Mercedes and a pretty average team mate (who’s the only one with the machinery to get close), it makes it very difficult to gauge how well he is driving. The same applies for others in the past, was Vettel exceptional, good, or just plain average in 2011 & ’13 ? What about Button in 2009? And Schumacher in 2002? We don’t know because the cars were all so far ahead of the pack that they effectively hide a drivers real performance.

      • My point is that these “articles” set out to prove an already held view. Statistics can prove anything.

        Personally I don’t care if Hamilton is a great now or in the future or not at all, I just set out to prove the opposite to a bigoted view (and yes I mean bigoted – see constant use of hashtags to make fun of Hamilton fans).

        I don’t support a driver, I support a team and I don’t think that, in the modern era, there is any way you can define a great driver. A great team or car definitely, but not a driver.

  22. @WTF_F1 : Of all the replies you made to the various people that called you out, it was interesting how yours to myself read the least confidently. It came off as a dodge. You weren’t called upon to offer a defense so that I would read it but so that this site’s body of readers could–thus knowing, if they had’nt already, your argument for the flawed aspersion-ridden thing it is. All of these supposed replies to my points, which you alluded to but declined to provide, rather informing me that they would only be given upon request (which ,call it what you may, is a curious power play designed to make me a sort of entreating party to yourself), they stand in grave doubt.

    If you search the phrase “subject it to an analysis” in google you will see such a usage as I employed to be quite contemporary and even common to the statistical field from which your argument attempted to borrow legitimacy. That curious impression of yours regarding that construction and your inane use of a word like “resplendent” in the context in which it is found (hell, even ‘rampant’ is a tad much)–to thus mean of Rosberg’s four wins that they are shining, radiant, or glowing achievements is just fustian journalese–along with misspelling ‘your’ twice in as many sentences indicates you may not know English as well as you think.

    If you are going to conduct some sort of statistical investigation of the evidence you should submit all cases to the same depth of analysis instead of arbitrarily calling a winner in one instance. You will find that illuminating details will emerge.

    • *Hadn’t

      (among others)

      Hopefully the irony isn’t lost on you. But my guess is, it will be.

      Be that as it may, if you’ve any questions, feel free to ask – assuming you will hang about to read them.

      That you won’t is quite interesting. Pride is such an insidious things. 🙂

      @WTF_F1

      • *thing

        …and it wasn’t

        (And there weren’t any others.)

        As you could have gathered from my previous reply, I am hereabouts and awaiting a response from you so by all means put up or shut up instead of again inviting me to ask you.

        The crickets are chirping and fellow readers look on…

        • *which, call

          Indeed there were more. Would you like more?

          Once again, the iirony is lostt. Try to keeep upss.

          • We could go tit for tat on typos all day (although I, in contrast, was able to extend my criticism to your stereotyped use of language as well–a far greater charge than highlighting misplaced commas or apostrophes). The important thing is that once again you’ve avoided answering the points of my first post. It’s been a while now since it was written, surely long enough for you to digest it and form a counter-rebuttal. Whooo’s in needs offfs cattching ups to ,whomsss?

          • @Breathe

            There’s a saying about swords, living by them, dying by them etc. You may google it.

            The “tit for tat” typos… I actually enjoy that sort of silly squabble. But, the irony I kept referring to is with respect to the origin of how that began and, of course, how exposed you were. I have to admit I did chortle each time you thought “there’s nothing more” and attempted to school another on English. Amusing. Lesson learned, I suppose.

            Incidentally, there are more. And that you feel the need to begin “rating” them for error worthiness is quite revealing. Pride. Try to let it go, Sunshine.

            Aside from that amusement – and your tacit acknowledgement of a mistake in your churlish tactics – with regard to your “answers,” you’ve learned a valuable lesson here. You see, when one engages with: Question, statement, ad hom, question, ad hom, statement etc, then says they won’t bother reading a response, they lose the reasonable right to that response – with the exception of responses that may benefit others.

            Then, when called on it, to equate a missing “r” as nerves (that did make me laugh out loud in real life, you clearly haven’t had funsies with me) and begin the “tit for tat” – which you lost – is quite embarrassing, for you that is. If only linguistic analysis was that simple, my life would be easier. Revealing.

            So, what does one do? Teach. I’m confident your approach will be different in the next comments section if you want answers.

            Always happy to answer – evidenced by my many answers to others. But even happier to teach. 😀

            One thing I’ve learned is that you don’t actually do as you say. You see, I’m the opposite.

            Take care. See you soon, buddy.

          • First of all, could you tell me what you were trying to say with this phrase in your latest reply?: “Then, when called on it, to equate a missing “r” as nerves”. I guess there’s fresh fodder for our grammar squabble then, if I cared to carry it any further.

            It’s quite interesting that in every reply of yours you wholly advert to what was, in truth, the smallest part of that first post of mine (taking exception with your article), and scant engaging me in any way with regards to our actual positions on the topic.You’ve now judged it high time to unilaterally declare an end to our dispute, harp on some perceived language in my first post as affording you the loophole (you so badly need) to refrain from delivering a counter statement, award yourself non-existent trumps, and flee with dignity (hopefully, you think) intact. Oh well, a victory by default is never the way one wants to win things but I’ll take it.

            What is more embarrassing: your spotting a typo of my own (which, at most, brings us level on that score though it was mighty presumptive of me to declare I had no more to be found at the point and for that–touché) or, before all interested readers (who are looking on and noting how you each time weasel out of rendering an answer), the spectacle of your continually failing to meet any of the discursive criticisms I leveled in my first or any succeeding posts? Nobody loves a coward.

          • “First of all, could you tell me what you were trying to say with this phrase in your latest reply?: “Then, when called on it, to equate a missing “r” as nerves”. I guess there’s fresh fodder for our grammar squabble then, if I cared to carry it any further.

            It’s quite interesting that in every reply of yours you wholly advert to what was, in truth, the smallest part of that first post of mine (taking exception with your article), and scant engaging me in any way with regards to our actual positions on the topic.You’ve now judged it high time to unilaterally declare an end to our dispute, harp on some perceived language in my first post as affording you the loophole (you so badly need) to refrain from delivering a counter statement, award yourself non-existent trumps, and flee with dignity (hopefully, you think) intact. Oh well, a victory by default is never the way one wants to win things but I’ll take it.

            What is more embarrassing: your spotting a typo of my own (which, at most, brings us level on that score though it was mighty presumptive of me to declare I had no more to be found at the point and for that–touché) or, before all interested readers (who are looking on and noting how you each time weasel out of rendering an answer), the spectacle of your continually failing to meet any of the discursive criticisms I leveled in my first or any succeeding posts? Nobody loves a coward.”

            That ether, that shit that make your soul burn slow!

  23. This is a terrible article. As stated above, while discussing the L.H vs J.B head to head, the author has listed the same statistic 3 times in different ways. The bias is quite evident.

    Furthermore, they have listed the “Higher finisher when both drivers finished” stat for the Alonso head to head, but neglected to list for the L.H vs J.B head to head. I presume because it greatly favours Lewis (24-14). There is also no mention of Lewis’s terrible reliability and luck in 2012, which was the only reason why Jenson finished close in the driver’s standings.

    Lewis was clearly better than Jenson in 2010 and 2012. With Jenson being the outright better driver in 2011, as he made less mistakes on track. I think 2-1 is the fairest and most reflective stat to define the L.H vs J.B head to head. Lewis vs Alonso is probably best seen as a draw. While Alonso probably had a slight edge on track, Lewis was a rookie at that time. There was little to chose between them.

    Overall, I don’t rate Lewis quite as highly as Senna, Prost and Alonso. However, given the author’s selective use of stats and unwillingness to consider context, it rather distorts their perspective.

  24. Isn’t it interesting that even those who aren’t fans of Hamilton would chime in to illustrate how rubbish and bias this article is.

    When you’ve got someone saying “I hate Lewis Hamilton as much as I hate any man and is dog”..which is some pretty strong hate, especially where the dog is concerned, “saying how childish and bias the article is”…. Pretty much says its trash and should be consigned to the rubbish heap and to be placed in a landfill or incinerator.

    Whilst we may not share the same admiration for Hamilton, I must commend all those who don’t for taking the stand to at least offer some defence against such drivel.

    Author probably thought he’d get a vast majority of commentators agreeing wholeheartedly with what he wrote.

    Oh the irony….😂😂

    • Actually he didn’t. That’s where you are wrong. And furthermore this site is more alive than ever.

      • Of course it’s going to alive more than ever, just publish an article with said name in the title and watch us all swarm to it like a dead fish in piranha infested waters.

        Don’t know what “actually he didn’t” is referring to, but if it was the ending of my comment, i was merely making an assumption, not stating facts.

        • Well non of you guys except the dutch army complained when it was about verstappen. But when he targets the hero you cheer on suddenly it’s all negative… still all 3 articles are probably in the top 5 of most reactions an article ever had on this site. Can’t complain about that.

        • Strangely, there was a Lewis article posted just prior to mine with low response…

          …but hey, don’t let facts stand in the way of a well cultivated idea.

          Also, that doesn’t explain the Verstappen articles. But again, why let facts spoil things.

          I can’t wait to see how these facts that contradict your statement are brushed aside.

          Perhaps they’re asinine?

          @WTF_F1

          • Yes there was a previous Lewis article before this, one that you said was rather weak and there was no substance to it.

            Your Max piece got a good response was because it covered his perceived belief of entitlement.

            And stop with the talk about “facts” because you so called “facts” has been blown apart by various commentators.

            The response to this article was greater because it was controversial as well as being absolute trash, hence why so many people took you to task.

            And Bruznic, don’t even go there, because many of the people who disagreed with the piece, are people who aren’t even fans of Hamilton.

          • Ahhh, so it isn’t a simple matter of just using Lewis’ name then… by virtue of what you just said.

            Those facts. Killers, eh? #44

            And on we march…

          • Your snide remarks and innuendos won’t change the real fact, that in your attempt to discredit, your article was exposed for the trash that it is.

          • Ok fortis. I’m done with this. Have it your way hamilton is the biggest ever. He alone is the reason why I, and the rest of the world watch f1. I can’t believe someone would actually dare to have critique on someone with a god like status like hamilton. Shame on them all! I’ll persuade wtf_f1 for a sweet and uplifting piece about Lewis. Bringing facts why he is the greatest of all time and why this was merly a joke that you didn’t get.

          • Do whatever and say whatever you want mate, it’s your right to, it won’t change my view that the article was trash. And if the same was written of another driver, I would’ve said the same, because the supposed “facts” that were put forth, we seriously flawed.

            So he can write an article blowing smoke up Lewis’s ass for all I care, it won’t change my perspective and that of many other commentators (who aren’t Lewis’s fans) that the article was trash.

          • You’re lying. I nor others can’t say what they want. You feel the need to get in a fight every time someone says something negative about your boy.

    • “”Author probably thought he’d get a vast majority of commentators agreeing wholeheartedly with what he wrote.””

      In the recent past, he would have been right to expect a vast majority of commentators agreeing – because the posts of those disagreeing would be blocked leaving only the agreeable ones – hence the large numbers of replies for a well baited even if somewhat contrived article. As long as the author is willing to allow free debate good luck to him, we all enjoy a ruck.
      Its when opinion and speculation are posted as informed fact and responses are vetted to enhance that impression that it resembles someone peeing in public and insisting that its actually raining

      • Nothalf, correct with your facts, before and not long ago but recently not only comments would be blogged but also in some cases one could risk being black listed, in short the system as was the article writer was defended no matter what

  25. i never get the point of the mclaren backing story. which F1 driver history has never had the backing of someone with deep pockets?

    also what’s the point alonso story? sure mclaren signed the reigning back to back WC so he can be the #2 driver to the rookie. i’m sure alonso signed up for that.

    the only season where button outclassed lewis was in 2011.

    this story is just another ham-hater piece, and this also happened when vettel was winning, along with scheuy. enjoy it while drivers like lewis, vettel and alonso are around because when they’re gone there’s no guarantees the sport will be the same. ive always said the last 11yrs has been another golden age of F1 drivers and we don’t get this often.

  26. Well it was a pretty fine line but I think the sponsor won out over the udder one……

  27. Really great article and a joy to read. I feel like agreeing with @WTF_F1 and don’t see Lewie as one of F1 greatest.

  28. Let’s not pretend these are everyday statistics used in F1. In fact, Sky F1 began this Hamilton-Button points trope last season. Any extension of it is just more BS. And as every statistics professor worth their salt will tell their students, “The easiest way to lie is to use numbers-statistics.” Context?! Not here.

    Let’s go no “ad hom.”

    Were Fangio’s Mercedes 196/196R THE most dominant cars of its era? By far. Was the Colin Chapman Lotus 25 so revolutionary it took some years for other teams to catch up, making finishing races the only true task for Jim Clark ? Did Alain Proust return to F1 to win a 4th WDC because he KNEW the Williams had the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and NO other car did? Of course. Schumacher: traction control; Vettel: traction control (the THIRTY-TWO second win at Singapore, 2013… Abu Dhabi, anyone – when even Martin Brundle remarked at length about the Red Bull traction cheat)? Alberto Ascari? You cannot be serious?! Ascari’s run was achieved because F1 switched to using the 2-liter Formula 2 regulations —- the engine Ferrari just so happened to use to dominate that racing class!!! Look at Ascaris’ s two seasons previous to 1952 (c’mon man, you didn’t expect to slip that by everyone, did you???).

    Ayrton Senna? Though he is the G.O.A.T., the MP4/4 was chopped liver? No. The ’88-’89 iterations of McLaren F1 cars were the sport’s standard bearers (which might just be why they had two of the best drivers of their or any other era).

    The question for Lewis Hamilton: which current driver has the most wins in a non-WCC winning car? Lewis Hamilton. You can pule all you want about how “X” McLaren “should’ve” won the WCC save for disqualification, therefore… blah blah blah. That’s idle prattle. Bottom line – wins. Bottom Line – WDCs.

    You got the car, you BETTER win. Hamilton has —- period.

    If Plato was to view this work he would be very disappointed to learn you weren’t of the younger generation – the philosopher-magickians to be using numbers in valiant pursuit of defining the divine. Plato saw that the, “past the age of so-and-so,” as Jimi Hendrix once said, used semantics, base verbal gymnastics to slither around what they never knew in the first.

    BUT. Plato would realize his is the work of the middle-aged; prime gone yet with a memory of youth.

    Plato would say, “This is the work of a sophist.”… no “ad hom.”

    ————————
    As for your self-purported “clarity,” Andy Gibson’s observation (to which, you had no snarky retort), “Cumulative points over 3 seasons: JB 672 – LH 657
    Average pts per season over 3 seasons: JB 224 – LH 219
    Proportion of points delivered to team: JB 50.6% – LH 49.4%
    is the same statistic written 3 times in different ways. Giving it as 3 wins to JB is just undermining the argument,” elucidates the fact that, while authors view their time-comprehensive works triumphantly, a few steps away before clicking “Post” is always a good idea.

    —————————-
    In ending, WTF/Racer’s Ramblings, what you and those who support your thesis fail to comprehend is this: the TRUE greatness of an athlete, team, or performer, or states person can be understood by the effect they have on their competition.

    Mercedes has the best car (and it’s legal). All other primary PU-making teams are clearly working even harder than they though possible to catch up.

    Lewis Hamilton is today’s best driver. If Nico Rosberg does win the 2016 WDC he should pay homage to Lewis Hamilton. If Rosberg hadn’t been forced to, daily for three seasons, witness what he sought to be and attain, he would not become this season’s WDC (which also gives a hint as to his perceptions of a too old Michael Schumacher).

    There are scads of golfers today who avidly watched Tiger’s every move – now they enjoy the fruits of that watching. Kobe Bryant did the same with Michael Jordan. Swimmers did it with Michael Phelps. Despite their continued dominance the University if Connecticut’s Women’s Basketball Program is spurring other top programs to elevate themselves 6o greater heights than they, previously, thought possible.

    Nico Rosberg is no exception. When the two drivers were teens Rosberg was too busy reveling in the spoils of being the son of a former F1 driver to notice Hamilton’s work ethic, attention to detail, and singular focus. While Hamilton was winning in lesser F1 cars Rosberg busied himself with becoming a good #2 to Schumacher and a better company man for Mercedes.

    Today’s Nico Rosberg is not the Nico Rosberg of the past. He knows his time is now —– or, likely, never.

    I, for one, actually hope he does win. Though the media and blogger types will more revel in Hamilton being toppled from his consecutive WDC crowns, somewhere, hopefully, someone with a sizable audience will give credit where credit is due: to Nico Rosberg for finally fulfilling his promise and to Lewis Hamilton for being the impetus for Nico to rise to greater heights.

    Who knows, WTF_F1/Racer’s Ramblings, by season’s end maybe that writer could be you.

    • Hi DWil,

      Thanks for the comment. I was hoping you’d comment as I always enjoy your comments. Sincerely. I say that without snark. I don’t mind in the slightest a difference in opinion.

      Quick sidenote: I think my brand of humour may come across – to you in particular – as snarky. I’ve noticed that you’ve leveled that at me before, and Roger – another commenter who I adore for his brand of humour. I always play the ball first, then if engaged in a certain way, I enjoy playing the “funsies” game too with some humour (snark). Why should I be held to a higher standard? Nevertheless, that’s not the point here.

      With respect to your opening, I do wonder what might happen if I were to offer – as Craig Alderson has indicated – examples of such cumulative team-mate analyses prior to 2013? It is quite easy to google them. So that leads me to think, given what I know of you, that you did indeed google them but simply don’t want to acknowledge. I can’t assume that you didn’t research their existence or simply don’t know. That then leads me to the understanding that any provided links would be worthless in this instance. Nevertheless, no one is “pretending” with respect to the historical use of such analytics. Some are pretending otherwise methinks.

      Moving on. You’re correct about what a decent stat professor would tell their students. But again, that doesn’t speak to the fact these analyses in motorsport are (or are not) oft used. it only speaks to the ease in manipulating others with the use of data – but we are all adults here. We all know that. Not as insightful at you might think.

      I wonder if Plato would read about F1? Just a joke… nice observations by the way. You’re probably correct. But then, you know me, a little, and so it’s not quite as insightful as it reads given that. But I love the class of it all. It’s much more, erm, civil. Thanks for the “no ad hom” – I find that particular ideal quite easy to adhere to. I imagine it must’ve been tough for you, evidenced by the multiple mentions of it. Good work in that regard. Thank you.

      The most valid point you’ve got with respect to the stats, in fact, someone else picked up on. Again, little actual insight. Bit of parroting there in the same way that you repeated what you know of me and filtered that knowledge through the framework of Plato – which I loved, sincerely. God, if only all comments had this class.

      As for Nico winning the WDC. I certainly hope not. I can’t see him beating Lewis in a fair fight. If he does get ahead significantly, I can’t help but think of the words Toto. I feel Lewis’ 3-5 race periods of greatness, despite any downturns, will still be enough to beat Rosberg.

      You’ll probably note I missed some / many points you’ve mentioned. There’s nothing sinister about it. They simply don’t speak to the article and it’s content / analytics. But they were very interesting to read though. Nice creative theories too. I wish you’d write an article for this site. Thank you for the comment.

      @WTF_F1

      • What is, in your reply, the primary glaring omission, is the your failure to address the core points I made about your list of “greats” and the advantages – some within the rules, some not – integral to their being perceived at all as above other drivers.

        I understand well that admitting those advantages existed acts to lessen the achievements of these great F1 drivers but there are other statistics that can be used to elucidate their greatness – or refute their greatness,

        A primary statistic and a bottom line statistic in the world of sports is, winning with less. I addressed the fact that Lewis Hamilton has won more races than any other driver on the grid during his years as a racer – and might well have won more than ANY other race since the inception of the WCC in 1958.

        The fact that, until he arrived at Mercedes, the cars driven by Lewis Hamilton have never won the WCC, yet that he has won more races than any other driver of non-WCC-winning cars speaks clearly to his being a “great.”

        However, without that knowledge, even “adults” can be swayed to believe otherwise by a gross point comparison with a teammate.

        What is saddening to me, is that I think you know this yet purposely eschewed any information that might point to Hamilton’s present greatness as a driver – let alone how he will be perceived post-career.

        So, this statement, You’ll probably note I missed some / many points you’ve mentioned. There’s nothing sinister about it. They simply don’t speak to the article and it’s content / analytics,“ is without worth.

        You act as if the only manner in which Hamilton can be perceived is through the data you prescribed for analysis.

        Attempts at serious data analysis doesn’t work that way.

        ————————————
        That the comparative data you used existed prior to 2013 was/is not lost on me. They were, in fact, used in an attempt to demean Ayrton Senna relative to his chief rival, Alain Prost. That the same type of analysis was used first, in earnest, by Sky F1 last season, in an attempt to demean Hamilton relative to Button, though, remains true.

        And yet. Statistics still do lie. As a result, due to the biases of the researcher, they rarely render an accurate presentation of their hypothesis – hence, the 1990s postmodern movement in cultural sciences. The goal was to have researchers state their biases, making these shortcomings a known and integral portion of their hypothesis.

        The, “We are all adults here. We know that” statistics are easily manipulated is only relevant because of the use of an incomplete set of statistics – yours – to prove a point; point – hypothesis – being, “Lewis Hamilton will never be a great of F1.” You know data you omitted, some of which has been enumerated there in other comments.

        “The most valid point you’ve got with respect to the stats, in fact, someone else picked up on.” Really? Do tell me how “what someone picked up on” renders my points, of which there were many, and more that I made here yet kept in reserve anticipating your responses, useless?

        In the end it is but more sophistry.

      • I thought the Plato references were a bit naff.

        I’ll give you that he’s on OK steerer but he comes across as a first-class prat on Fifth Gear.

  29. Sorry but no. You left 1 important statistic out: DNFs. That changes your whole picture. Hamilton usually had more high-profile material related retirements or bad luck than his team mates (2010, 2012), or was ahead of them when they had more bad luck (Ros, 2015). I’m a big Rosberg fan, and I really like Jenson, but I can’t help but feel (and know) that Hamilton outshone them. Not to the extent some other drivers butchered their team mates in WDC-able carsl, but still.

  30. This nonsense again ? Greatness is subjective, I find Senna to be the greatest of all time. I am sure there are others who will say Schumacher is, or Fangio is. This “points across seasons” metric is pure bullshit. You have one calendar year to win the title by scoring more points than any other driver, if you can’t then your counter is reset, done. If you lose the title by 0.00000000001 point or by 1000 points, it doesn’t change the outcome which is that you *lost*.

  31. How did he compare against Button when both cars finished without any problems.Thought you might have forgotten about that or his last race for McLaren when Hulkenburg ran into the side of him turn one at Brazil,oh forgot that as well

  32. LEWIS Click Bait Articles Are Fun.

    Are We Going To See More Of Them ? – Like Twice Every Single 25/7/366 ? – Please, Pretty Please.

    GO, 44 !

  33. Interesting take, WTF. Clearly you don’t seem to be in the business of making friends, lately. 🙂 Unfortunately this is the least convincing prose I’ve seen from you thus far. I’m not sure that the way you’re presenting the stats is sufficiently compelling, but I have a hunch that part of the fun is playing devil’s advocate… Without going point by point into all the elements I find doubtful (this would take a separate article just as long as yours, methinks), so here are some of my thoughts:

    – Hamilton vs Alonso. Your Dennis “meddling” insinuations seem somewhat tenuous as in my understanding Alonso blackmailed Dennis at Hungary into getting himself preferential treatment (as a 2x WDC), i.e. force Hamilton play compliant 2nd driver role, whereas during the year Alonso and Hamilton were generally given a free hand at beating the other. At the end of the day, if Hamilton didn’t have the speed on track no amount of Dennis meddling would put him in front of Fred… Which brings us to the point: Alonso is arguably the brightest driver of this generation (certainly above Hamilton and Vettel, with no other serious competition), the slayer of Schumacher and Ferrari, the most consistent of ’em all, year in, year out, putting poor chassis in positions where they don’t belong (yes, looking at you Ferrari). For Hamilton, a beginner, to *match* Alonso in his prime form is nothing short of outstanding. The way you present the Alonso stats suggests “specmanship”, and even if the FA 9 – LH 6 data point is real and indeed indicative, overall the two were largely neck to neck when it comes to season-long performance. And if you insist on specmanship, Hamilton would have been WDC if not for pesky Raikkonen and a bit of Ferrari cheating (then team orders were banned, and Massa conveniently slowed down in Brazil when having a comfortable lead and let Raikkonen past).

    If we turn to stats that indeed try to correct for things that are hard to quantify, Alonso is the undisputed king of his generation, from 2003 and up to 2015 he’s been the best driver of the year bar for Schumacher (2004), Hamilton (2007) and Vettel (2015). In all other instances he’s come very close to the top placed driver. Model based-performance (as if all drivers were in the same car) for 2007 awards Hamilton 58 and Alonso 57 points, further highlighting how closely matched indeed they were in that year.
    https://f1metrics.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/who-was-the-greatest-f1-driver/

    F1Metrics says this, to which I fully subscribe:
    “At the end of 2006, Fernando Alonso was top dog, having finally ended Michael Schumacher‘s reign. It therefore came as an almighty shock when Hamilton matched Alonso’s performance in his rookie year. Between them, it was 9-8 to Hamilton in qualifying, 10-7 to Alonso in races, and 109-109 in points. Had Hamilton’s career been cut short at the end of 2007, we would have been left to speculate on whether he was the greatest driver of all time. His results since then have demonstrated that he belongs among the greats, but has trouble maintaining top form.”

    – Hamilton vs Kovalainen. Hamilton demolished Kovalainen, and the model isn’t very kind to the latter:
    2008: Hamilton 52, Kovalainen 28

    2009: Hamilton 55, Kovalainen 20

    This isn’t unlike the whack-a-mole that Alonso tends to do to rookies, e.g. Grosjean. F1Metrics:
    “Heikki Kovalainen (ranked 78th) joined Hamilton and was beaten 26-9 in qualifying, 18-10 in races, and 147-75 in points.”

    – Hamilton vs Button: When looking at JB 50.6% – LH 49.4%, the BEST that can be said is that Button and Hamilton matched each other during their tenure together in McLaren. Of course Hamilton demolished Button in qualifying, and as you rightly point out seemed to deliver less convincingly in the races. This is a bit a la Senna vs Prost, whereas Senna would invariably qualify better whereas Prost would often have more convincing and consistent race-day performances. However, in 2010 and 2012 Hamilton beat Button. In 2011 Hamilton had a well-publicized “dropped the ball” year, with some “uncharacteristic” erratic performances on track. If you account for this, Button beat Hamilton only when he was off his game, not sufficient to declare Button above Hamilton’s performance.

    Turning to the model, the margins by which Hamilton beat Button in 2010 and 2012 are more significant than what a simple glance at the points table would suggest:
    2010: Hamilton 134, Button 102
    2011: Button 130, Hamilton 98
    2012: Hamilton 126, Button 118

    Here’s a more level-headed assessment by F1Metrics of the pair:
    “Hamilton then partnered Jenson Button from 2010-2012. Hamilton demolished Button 44-14 in qualifying. However, he failed to convert this into a points advantage, partly through bad luck and partly through errors of judgment. Overall, the pair were closely matched, with Hamilton ahead 27-20 in races and Button ahead 672-657 in points. Hamilton retired 7 times due to crashes, whereas Button retired 3 times due to crashes. Hamilton’s mechanical DNFs (of which there were 6 to Button’s 5) tended to occur from higher positions, costing Hamilton 90 potential points to Button’s 40 potential points.”

    Hamilton has crashed more than Button (i.e. more erratic race-day performances), but has also retired from mechanical issues from higher scoring positions than Button. When we take this into account, it’s hard to argue that Button was the overall better performer from the pair.

    And since the piece doesn’t seem to delve into the Robserg vs Hamilton conundrum, I won’t touch that can of worms. On these performances alone, however, Hamilton has a door wide-open into “among the greatest of ’em all”. He’s clearly shown speed and performance to go head-to-head with the bestest of his generation, with some valid questions raised as to keeping it all together consistently. Matching the best driver of his generation (and no, that’s not Vettel, who in every of his 4 WDC years was bested by Fred according to the model) is no mean feat, and keeping another consistent WDC in check (although admittedly not by Alonsoesque vs Massa or vs Raikkonen standards) is surely proof of “something”. That over the years he’s proven to be a better performer than Alonso, definitely no. That he doesn’t belong to the greats, tenuous.

    PS For what it’s worth, in equal cars Hamilton (12th) and Alonso (3rd) would eat Brabham (57th) for breakfast any time of the week…

  34. Does this happen in forums (and this post is very much like a typical forum post) for other sports?

    By this, I mean constant, almost obsessive, hilarious arguments how certain champions in a sport aren’t really all that good. It always makes me wonder why persons who make these arguments even bother watching the sport if it is, ultimately, a sham.

    For years we saw arguments about how Schumacher didn’t really win x amount of champions because… favouritism, best car, bad team mates…
    Vettel isn’t really that great because favouritism, best car, bad team mates…
    Lewis isn’t really a great because favourtism, best car, bad team mates (2 of which are world champions but being a world champion in F1 to some fans doesn’t really mean much), financed throughout his early career…

    Of course everyone knows the story about the way a champion wins is not entirely told by stats. I imagine Damon Hill for example is dismissed by many for winining only one championship in the best car against a rookie teammate but he was in contention for at least 2 other seasons against Michael Schumacher (oh wait, Micheal was favoured so comparing the two means nothing), etc.

    That’s the problem with arguments like this. Hamilton never really match Alonso in his rookie season because Fernando was too busy together with Pedro de la Rosa knowning getting information from Ferrari (whose upper management was unaware this was going on just like the upper management of McLaren) as well as being so emotionally fragile that he and all of his mechanics suffered unfairly from Ron Dennis’s leadership, which is of course exactly why Alonso has resigned with McLaren again…

    The argument relies on reducing not only the driver being focused on, but by reducing his competition. Lewis isn’t really a great because a great like Alonso was unfairly treated, or a champion like Button isn’t really that good of a driver, or Rosberg is not much to compare yourself too.

    Absolutely hilarious.

  35. Just to say poor Vettel is lovely. 😉 – hah. given his ubiquitous use in these comments as a lever to suggest he only won in a dominant car or Webber was some kind of idiot driver, and 4wdc don’t prove anything etc . kaka – and 2014… Of course.. just bear in mind it was 4 championships ‘in a row’. Thats FOUR. No mean feat, recall hakkinen being ‘done’ after his?! attempting to make that 5, he finds the car sucks and he fancies a change of team. Oh and Ric got Kyvat’d in 2015, so conclusion???!!

    Btw Winning ROC many times with schu and on his own (beating Ric in the process… Shhh) also suggests he can actually operate a vehicle.
    Skill in other categories is at least a consideration in driver quality?
    It’s not like former pay drivers go onto win rallycross or speedway.

    I am not saying he is better than Ham or Alonso, they all have different qualities.. Great ones.

    Imo Ham and Alonso are a step ‘racier’ in wheel to wheel but vettel has ~ their speed (imo a tiny bit quicker over 1 lap than alo, 50/50 with ham) but is a smidgen more consistent, a better tweaker of his car, a bit more complete, team galavaniser guy (as we see with Ferrari). Over a season evening out luck, maybe a couple more points. Just an opinion.

  36. The writer forgot to mention that the greats Senna, Prost and Schumacher (most recently) all drove sub par cars to get to their frontline seats and when they got to Ferrari or McLaren drove some shit cars while in those teams. Louise was handed his drive at McLaren and ungratefully left after the team had a few off years (during those off years he did nothing but bitch about the car and the team), I really doubt that Louise is one of the greats since he has never won in anything but the best car!

    • Yeah, He Did Nothing For MCLAREN:

      A – He Never Spent A Whole Year Without A Race Win And A Pole, Ever,

      B – After He Left, They Got 2 Podiums In 3 And A Half Years – WOW, Why Did They Ever Need Him,

      C – In 2013 And 2014, They Had MERCS Engines, Some Of The Best In The Business – They Got Crap Out Of Them – I Wonder Why,

      D – He Was So Lucky In 2007 And 2008,

      E – He Was So Stupid In 2012 Dumping MCLAREN For The POS MERCEDES, And Doing A JV,

      F – He Was So Lucky In 2013, And 2014, And 2015.

      1 Of Your 3 Eyes Is Wide Shut – Which 1 Is It ?

      GO, 44 !

  37. He never drove for a crap team not even once, Senna drove the Toleman, Schumacher drove a Jorden, Lewis NEVER DROVE FOR A CRAP TEAM. All of the current world champions drove for a back marker and earned their seat at a top team. I really don’t know if Lewis is any good, he’s never had the chance to impress anyone with a good result in a car that had no chance of winning (a Minardi, Manor or Sauber), and when he did drive a sub par McLaren (the worst McLaren isn’t a Manor) he bitched incessantly regardless of his stats in those years. I don’t think he’s capable of Ayrton Senna’s performance in 1993 with the Ford V8, if the car isn’t to his liking he can’t make it happen. HE HAS ONLY WON IN THE BEST CAR. So yes he was very lucky!

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