Our top ten F1 drivers of 2013
Vettel might have run away with the title, but which drivers impressed TG this season?
Posted: 01 Jan 2014
6) Lewis Hamilton
Having walked out of McLaren, Hamilton expected nothing of himself or Mercedes this year. Five poles and one win for himself, and eight poles and three wins for the W04, then, is surely one hell of a result.
Well, yes, but that's not how F1 works. After three seasons during which Mercedes seemed largely distracted by "the Schumacher project", it finally came up with what was - across the season - the second fastest car on the grid. Forget what had happened in the past and allowing that to shape the team's aspirations, Mercedes could have, should have been in contention for titles this year.
But it wasn't, and there are two reasons for that. That, for the fourth season running, Mercedes produced the most capricious car out there when it came to tyre wear is, frankly, bizarre. And to make things worse, just when it seemed it had found a solution, Pirelli moved the goalposts, ironically following Hamilton's spectacular blowout at Silverstone.
Meanwhile Hamilton himself must share the blame for the team's evisceration at the hands of Red Bull. As fast as anyone out there on his day, Lewis' ability to think himself into a corner does not appear to be abating. The team needs to sort this; they are paying Lewis a lot of money to be a lot better than Nico Rosberg and right now, he's just not. And yes, it does pain us to write that.