Max Verstappen was the only driver who gave the Mercedes pair any trouble in 2020. He was the closest thing Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas had to a season-long threat.
Given that, for Verstappen to end the championship just nine points behind Valtteri Bottas is a seriously impressive achievement. Had he not suffered considerably worse reliability than the Mercedes driver (he completed the fewest racing laps of any driver who appeared in all 17 rounds) Verstappen would surely have split the two W11 drivers in the points standings. He had the greater share of misfortune at Red Bull, and only Kevin Magnussen retired from more races.
The problems began at the very first race, where a power unit glitch put him out of second place. A similar fault ended his day at Monza, he was taken out on lap one at Mugello, and tyre failure pitched him into a gravel trap at Imola, not long after he’d successfully passed Bottas.
When Verstappen reached the chequered flag he almost invariably wrung the best out of the Red Bull. After pranging his car on the reconnaissance lap in Hungary, he rewarded his team for their fast repair job by bringing it home second. As the season wore on Verstappen often joked about how often he qualified third behind the two Mercedes drivers, but one particularly impressive aspect of his season was his six second-place race finishes achieved at the expense of at least one of the all-conquering W11s.
|Beat team mate in qualifying||17/17|
|Beat team mate in race||11/11|
|Laps spent ahead of team mate||728/756|
He was at his irreprible best when handed a genuine chance to win in the second race at Silverstone, pouncing on the tyre-troubled Mercedes pair. His only other win came at the season finale, where Mercedes were curiously off-pace, and Verstappen wrung everything from his car to nab pole position by 25 thousandths of a second.
Turkey, the sole race of the season which saw Verstappen take the chequered flag outside the top three, was probably the only missed opportunity to win he could be blamed for. He was running ahead of eventual winner Hamilton before spinning while trying to pass Sergio Perez. He is a much-matured driver compared to his earlier years in the sport, but impatience got the better of him on this occasion.
The rest of his campaign, throughout which he invariably brought his car home well ahead of the other Red Bull, Verstappen left little room to doubt he is prepared to fight Hamilton for the championship as soon as he gets a car which is quick and reliable enough. Unfortunately for him, last year’s Red Bull was neither of those.
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2020 F1 season review
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #3: Charles Leclerc
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #4: Carlos Sainz Jnr
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #5: Daniel Ricciardo
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #6: Pierre Gasly
104 comments on “2020 F1 driver rankings #2: Max Verstappen”
4th February 2021, 12:35
True and utter domination of teammate.
4th February 2021, 14:36
Since I inevitably expect some novice F1 fan who knows nothing about the sport to respond to your post by claiming that the Red Bull is build around Max, I recommend that everyone watched this video:
The people who strongly dislike Verstappen need to find special reasons (aka excuses) as to why he beats talented teammates like Gasly by an enormous margin. That is why they resort to conspiracy theories like team sabotage or special car handling characteristics.
I can guarantee you that when Verstappen beats Perez by a clear margin next season, the same old conspiracy theories will emerge.
That is because for some people, it’s more comforting to make excuses than to accept the true reason why Verstappen is so much faster than his teammates: it’s because he is just that good
4th February 2021, 14:41
@kingshark it’s not like he’s always blown away his teammates though. He was mostly equal with Ricciardo, and was out-qualifiyed by Sainz, who would have scored as many points as him without bad luck. The fact he went from being evenly-matched with his teammates to so suddenly blowing away Gasly and Albon does raise some questions.
4th February 2021, 16:20
@tflb I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on “out-qualified by Sainz” given Max’s extreme youth at the time and the fact that he was barely out of karting but for one year, when he started in F1. And, ‘mostly equal with Ricciardo’ shades things too, for by the time DR was in what we now know was to be his last season or even two at RBR, Max was outqualifying him two to one, leading him in races 2-1, finishing ahead etc etc. And some of that time was even when Max was still making the mistakes of an overly exuberant youth and was literally handing positions and points to DR as a result.
So I’d say you’re taking some license in claiming Max went from ‘evenly-matched’ to ‘suddenly’ blowing away Gasly and Albon, and therefore no questions need be raised. Max has shown us the answers on track, particularly after that famous Monaco weekend that he squandered, and that really stung him, and after which he suddenly (I think it is safe to use that word in this context) stopped making all those youthful mistakes, and started making much more careful and considered choices for his racing moves. And he hasn’t looked back since.
4th February 2021, 17:25
@robbie the Verstappen inexperience argument has been made many times but there’s no evidence to really support that. If a driver is quick they’ll be quick no matter how much experience they’ve got. See Kimi in the Sauber in 2001 after 19 car races. And yes he was very evenly matched with Ricciardo (who I’m also not a big fan of), but Ricciardo had particularly bad luck in their last season together.
Nah I don’t think I’m taking any license at all. From being a guy who was always pretty close in pace to his teammates, he now hasn’t been out qualified on merit for 2 seasons. I think with a proven driver in the other seat, he’ll have a more difficult time.
4th February 2021, 19:12
@tflb I don’t imagine you would have bothered to watch the video that kingshark has referenced, where experience is discussed and I think could apply to any driver. You suggesting there is no evidence of inexperience regarding a 17 year old is quite funny. But the video is a lot about adaptability too.
As far as Max having a proven driver in the other seat, well he did fine with DR there, and from his standpoint it is not a matter of having a more difficult time, for he will always be looking first and foremost to what he can do to win races irregardless of whatever his teammate is doing. Max’s motivation is to beat all drivers including his teammate, so the ‘difficulty’ lies within how to do that, not solely how to beat his teammate. That’s only one component of his ever present effort towards the top. For now, Max already has a more impressive career in F1 than Perez has managed, so I’m sure the degree of difficulty for Max will not hinder him. Rather he has spoken of looking forward to hopefully being pushed by Perez as they both advance the car, and that would be great if that can happen but I think with Perez we will just have to wait and see. As always I personally always like to give drivers that are new to a team the benefit of the doubt initially, as they learn about the car and the team and they about him. At a minimum Perez should be starting off on his hind foot, but hey with any luck the car is so drivable that perhaps that might not take long before Perez is up to speed.
4th February 2021, 20:35
Raikkonen was actually firmly beaten by Heidfeld in his first season finishing behind him more often and being beaten in qualifying 10 – 7. You kinda break your own comment.
4th February 2021, 18:23
You are criticizing Verstappen for things he did at an age when Hamilton was not even good enough to be in the sport.
Thankfully Perez next year will give us a clear answer. If Max beats Perez clearly, it’s clear that he’s the fastest driver in the sport.
4th February 2021, 19:15
@kingshark I’m not criticising him for 2015, 16, whatever. I’m just saying he didn’t blow everyone away like some people like to imply.
The key word in your last sentence is ‘if’. It’s fairly likely to happen, but it’s not a given by any means.
4th February 2021, 20:08
@kingshark Beating Perez clearly won’t prove Max is the fastest in the sport. There’s still no good direct link between Max and Charles.
5th February 2021, 4:52
Both Max and Charles are faster than Hamilton. Charles might be even faster than Max over one lap, but a Max is slightly quicker on race pace. That’s just my opinion.
5th February 2021, 5:27
@kingshark I would have agreed in 2019 that there were serious questions over Charles’ race pace, but in 2020 I thought it looked very strong. A few times he qualified the car out of position and I expected him to drop back (Portugal comes to mind) he was able to hold on. He does make more mistakes than Max at present, however.
5th February 2021, 9:20
@kingshark Being ready for F1 sooner just shows the advantage drivers with wealthy backers have. Lets not forget how young Stroll was to get into F1 but I don’t think he’s a better driver than Hamilton just because he bought his way into the sport earlier.
Max beating Perez does not prove anything. Max needs to beat Ricciardo, LeClerc, Sainz, Russell in equivalent machinery. That seems to be the demand made by Hamilton critics so it should apply to Verstappen equally that while ever he’s driving a better car than those competitors, it’s just the car apparently.
5th February 2021, 17:57
The key difference between Max and Stroll is that Max was ready for F1 at the age of 17. Stroll wasn’t ready and looked painfully out of his depth in his rookie season
Hamilton was a member of the McLaren junior program since the age of 12. He didn’t have any financial problems in junior categories.
Perez is easily as good as Bottas (actually he is better), so Max beating Perez by a bigger margin than Hamilton has over Bottas does prove something.
Already done that
Hamilton just wasn’t a prodigious enough talent to enter F1 at the age of 17. At the age of 19 he was finishing behind nobodies like Premat and Green in Formula 1.
He is the one
4th February 2021, 22:16
Only when you believe the things you stated
Arnoud van Houwelingen (@kavu)
5th February 2021, 2:24
TLFB you are wrong .. in 2015 Verstappen outqualified Sainz 10-9 and had a massive lead in points with 49 vs 18. But that is not the story .. the story is Max his progression against Sainz. In 2016 he outqualified Sainz 4-1 before he went to RBR. Basically the same story with Ricciardo. The last year at RBR you could clearly see that Max had surpassed Daniel in qualifying and in the race!
5th February 2021, 18:22
Max actually did beat Sainz in quali…you just need to look a bit closer 8-6 in 2015, 11-8 overall.
Just take away any of the both drivers did have mechanical issues during quali….
Ricciardo beat him in 2916 and 2017 they say…. ‘beat’ being the key word, Ricciardo took more points, though in 207 fe. Ricciardo was ahead just 5 out 20 races, the 14 DNF’s did have a rather impact on the outcome, but the pure facts are Dan was ahead in only 5 races….
A M (@amam)
4th February 2021, 15:08
Although Marko did say Albon sometimes didn’t get the same equipment as Max
4th February 2021, 15:49
Oh, that is most definite.
New parts almost exclusively went to Max first. But that didn’t necessarily mean he had a better car.
Red Bull got it wrong with the early updates, after the corona delay compared to the wintertest car.
And will have gotten it wrong on other occasions later in the easy aswel.
4th February 2021, 16:10
@kingshark Well said, and thanks for that video link.
David BR (@david-br)
4th February 2021, 14:38
@knightameer An image of a shark and a flounder comes to mind. Not exactly an even contest.
4th February 2021, 12:36
After the Portugal incident, the comment section is going to be interesting…
6th February 2021, 8:06
Ah well, ha ers will be ha ters. It was clear from the get go, that this is a once in a decade talent. Resistance is futile
20th February 2021, 15:55
I don’t know if he will get no shred of honor or actually get a shred of honor. We’ll see in 4 years from now.
4th February 2021, 12:51
Very much looking forward to seeing how he measures up against Perez – I have a feeling some of the shine might come off Max. Looking forward to seeing him challenged again (hopefully). It was very hard to tell this year whether Albon was that bad or Max was that good – truth somewhere in the middle probably. Overall he deserves to be second – not perfect, as Portugal was a big missed opportunity, and I do think he deserves some blame for his retirement in the second Bahrain race – didn’t realise the gravel was there.
4th February 2021, 13:01
The battle between Perez and Verstappen is the single one anticipate the most in 2021. Max may have had an easy ride against Albon but I fancy him raising his game against Perez, just like Hamilton did with Rosberg and countless others did the same in the past. Hopefully Sergio with rise to the challenge too and Mercedes will have a proper challenge on their hands. That might be wishful thinking but one can wish!!
4th February 2021, 13:04
I’m pretty certain you’ll be proved wrong. Ocon out performed Perez in 2018. And Verstappen was faster than Ricciardo, who in turn crushed Ocon in 2020. I’m a fan of Perez, and he’ll make the battle with the Mercs more interesting. But he aint gonna get near Max.
4th February 2021, 13:15
@xpucksterx I’m not sure the Ocon comparisons hold much water as one can pretty much argue that any driver is better than any other by using those kind of arguments. I probably will be wrong, but I’m more optimistic than if Albon had stayed.
4th February 2021, 13:32
I accept that the point I made doesn’t offer a guarantee, and to be clear, my point wasn’t made in absolute terms. But what other compariosns can be made other than factual ones?
4th February 2021, 13:20
An example of the perils of ‘so-and-so beat so-and-so so is better than x’ arguments – Maldonado compared much better to Barrichello than Hulkenberg did, Hulkenberg beat Sainz at Renault, Sainz beat Kvyat at Toronto Rosso, Kvyat beat Ricciardo at RB, therefore Maldonado > Ricciardo.
4th February 2021, 13:21
*Toro Rosso, darn autocorrect
4th February 2021, 13:29
for qualifier you can use this IF the years aren’t to far of each other. @xpucksterx just use the drivers within 2 years which give a beter then normal idea of preformance.
MEGATRON M12 (@megatron)
4th February 2021, 14:33
Ocon did not outdrive Perez, you are mistaken
5th February 2021, 18:27
“Ocon did not outdrive Perez, you are mistaken”
Not…? he actully finished ahead almost 2-1
4th February 2021, 13:31
Let’s see how things pan out next year. Honestly.. the shine didn’t come off Verstappen when he was paired up against Ricciardo. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Personally, I don’t think Perez will match to Ricciardo’s level of teammate to Max. I think if anything.. a lot of shine will wear off on Perez’s achievements and there will be a few comparisons to his Mclaren 2013 stint as well.
4th February 2021, 14:35
@todfod No I agree, the shine didn’t come off against Ricciardo, although to me that’s because it hadn’t quite built up yet to the level it’s at now! There’s this myth about Verstappen being unbeatable – I don’t think Perez will beat him very often, but I think it will happen on occasion. It’ll be interesting whatever happens.
The Edge (@the-edge)
4th February 2021, 14:16
Max will destroy Perez every single weekend. Not to the extent he has been, but Perez will be very much like Bottas, a good driver but a clear number 2
4th February 2021, 16:44
@tflb I find your choice of wording above kind of strange, particularly “how he measures up against Perez.” I would think that at a bare minimum, even setting aside comparisons of each drivers’ abilities and talents, it is Perez who is the newbie on the team and therefore it will be interesting to see how he measures up against Max, not the other way around as you have stated it.
It is also very strange to me that you find it hard to tell how good Max is because of how bad Albon was last year. I would think the vast majority of us saw a Max that was up there competing with the Mercedes cars, as the only driver able to, and that those performances should stand on their own, and have nothing to do with whatever AA did or didn’t do. “Truth somewhere in the middle?” No not at all. Max showed us his truth all on his own. That he nearly beat VB for second in the WDC has nothing to do with AA.
I think it must be the case that you are just not a fan of Max’s, which is fine of course, when you make the same dreary claims such as “didn’t realize the gravel was there” which is utter nonsense, and presumes you (and the minority who think alike on the incident) know how to drive the car better, and knew exactly what Max was going through in those split seconds, his grip level etc, and would have done better. What I saw on the replay was Max seemingly unable to do anything to slow himself given the momentum he had, and had he been able to turn right and away from the gravel in those 20 or 30 feet that he had room to work with, assuming he even had the grip to do so, he would have steered right into Perez who was sliding backwards parallel to Max, in the same direction. I think let’s trust that this driver who has made it to #2 in the rankings on this site for 2020, who some think could or should have been #1 even, did the best he could have done in that situation, as he was handcuffed to save the situation.
4th February 2021, 17:20
@robbie you read too much into my choice of words there matey, the ‘measures up to’ was meant as a neutral term. Anyway, you’re right, I can’t stand Max, I think he’s an objectionable character just like his criminal dad. Having said that I do think he deserves second place… but I certainly don’t view him as unbeatable like some do.
4th February 2021, 17:36
@tflb Fair enough, we know where you stand, and can therefore consider that when you make unreasonable speculations, or for example have to reach back to his pairing when he was 17 with Sainz as evidence of anything. Or when you erroneously claim Max and DR were ‘evenly matched.’ Or when you call his Dad a criminal. There’s not being a fan, and then there’s taking it to some other unhealthy level of convincing oneself of one’s position and the reason for such, that goes beyond reality.
4th February 2021, 18:00
@robbie his dad is a criminal though. Look it up. Convicted for smashing a guy’s skull with a crowbar… also of breaching a restraining order against his ex-wife and threatening her.
I’m perfectly grounded in reality, mate. The ones who aren’t are those who can’t see past their hero’s fallibility.
4th February 2021, 19:25
@tflb I realize that his Dad has had some issues, but it shows you have no class and indeed aren’t grounded in reality, when you have to bring that up in order to try to bring Max down. His Dad’s actions are not his, and certainly have nothing to do with his on-track performance and his F1 career and things like his rating on this site. But hey, you can’t stand Max, and you are obviously even willing to show immaturity to prove it.
4th February 2021, 19:41
@robbie I’m not the immature one here. I gave a (perfectly legitimate) take on how I rate his talents and you went off on one. I realise his father’s actions are not his, but the fact is Jos has been a big driving force behind his career. In addition, Max has behaved in an unsavoury manner plenty of times both on and off track in F1. But anyway, I don’t need to justify why I don’t like someone, particularly not to a blinded fan.
4th February 2021, 21:14
@tflb No you certainly don’t need to justify why you don’t like someone, but you certainly don’t need to twist reality to do it either, like nobody will notice or question you on it. I’m not blinded but rather being accurate about his career and abilities etc etc but I know you have a blindness of your own that has you persisting on bringing his Dad into it for example, which smacks of a desperation to take something away from his person and his abilities.
But hey, you gotta be you, and Max will continue on being the incredible talent he is, gaining more and more experience that he will continue to draw on as he adapts, lap by lap. You really should watch that video cited above by kingshark. You might learn something about him that might make you eventually change your mind, for he’s going to be a top F1 icon for a good 15 more years.
5th February 2021, 18:25
Verstappen, Ricciardo, Ocon/Hulkenberg, Perez is the order.
Perez will find himself around 0.5 sec behind, Helmut Marko’s goal is to get within 0.3 sec, however Ricciardo wasn’t even within 0.3 sec in 2017… the gap increased even onto 2018. Marko’s usually sets ambitious goals…. 0.3 gap between the two is the ambition, 0.5 sec will be far more realistic.
6th February 2021, 8:13
He will do just fine. Perez is pretty mediocre. Imho Perez level should be the minimum requitement to get an F1 seat. We should not accept Grosjeans in these cars. There are only 20 seats. Perez really is the minimum level all should bring
4th February 2021, 12:57
The same #1 and #2 for the last 4 seasons.
4th February 2021, 13:00
“Unreliability meant Max Verstappen covered fewer racing laps than any driver over the 17-race championship, yet remarkably he came within nine points of beating a Mercedes.”
And yet you put the driver in a faster and more reliable car in the top spot.
4th February 2021, 13:13
So you want the WDC who finished 133 points ahead of his nearest rival to be at rank 2 instead of Verstappen, because it was all the car and not the driver I suppose.
But you’re right, that Merc drives, brakes, steers, accelerates, manages its fuel, tires and strategy all by itself, Hamilton just sits there smiling like a Cheshire cat, so I actually agree with you.
Sonny Crockett (@sonnycrockett)
4th February 2021, 13:24
I was thinking the same thing.
At the very least make it a tie!
The whole world wants to see Lewis and Max driving the same machinery!
4th February 2021, 13:25
A M (@amam)
4th February 2021, 13:36
All Max had to do was beat a poor teammate (Albon) ranked near last on here. No way did Max deserve top spot.
4th February 2021, 13:44
If you use that why is Lewis then nr. 1 he did only beat his teammate?
You have to watch all races give all drivers points while keeping some rules to apply points. The add them up then you have your rankings (like the powerrakings of F1.com)
Max and Lewis are the only ones with a massive points advantage with nr. 3 (and that isn’t Charles)
5th February 2021, 14:07
That’s not quite true though, at the very least Max had that other Mercedes to beat which was half a second quicker at least. His teammate was nowhere near him, the drivers in between them brought more of a challenge at times. The same can’t be said for Mercedes – they have no true competition, which makes it even more shocking that Max almost beat Bottas for 2nd. But that’s somewhere in between Max’s capabilities and Bottas’ incompetence.
However, I do agree he shouldn’t be first in this ranking. Hamilton won the championship by a mile, and his teammate is the ultimate proof that you don’t just get into a Mercedes and win the championship.
4th February 2021, 13:43
Verstappen and Hamilton both had no meaningful opposition. They were both clear of their teammates, and both clear of the competition. Verstappen was normally only going to get the better of the Mercedes when something went wrong.
So they both needed to do their best, and had a little cushion for mistakes. Compare this with Leclerc or Ricciardo, who were always going to be fighting, every race.
I don’t think we can really tell who was better this year, but I’d be inclined to rate Verstappen ahead because the Red Bull was more difficult to live with.
4th February 2021, 13:48
PS – I really hope Verstappen has evolved as a driver and he continues to show better judgement than previous years.
4th February 2021, 14:04
I agree – I’d have picked Verstappen because he at least had the challenge of beating Bottas this year whereas Hamilton had no-one to compete with but ultimately, once Verstappen got to 2nd, he drove well within himself just as Hamilton did. Having said that, I’m sure if they swapped cars, Hamilton would be disposing of Bottas and then cruising whilst Max took easy wins never having to push.
How do you fairly compare drivers who are cruising around vs other drivers in the midfield who are going at it 100% and are therefore making more mistakes? It all comes down to people’s personal interpretation of what these rankings mean – whether it’s “which driver is the best”, “which driver had the best season” or “which driver got the most out of their car.” – if it’s the latter, I wouldn’t put either Max or Hamilton in the top two simply because they didn’t have to.
5th February 2021, 13:58
I agree with you to a certain point – although I definitely think Max had to get the most out of his car several times, because he still had that other Mercedes to beat. But like you said, if you’d swap them, Hamilton would produce the same results as Max with Red Bull and it’d be easy wins for Max with Mercedes.
Tony Mansell (@tonymansell)
4th February 2021, 13:51
You could swap either of them round for top spot. I’d personally have Max top but theres nothing in it. And its subjective, not objective. Or we just look at the points and divide by the other guy in the same car. Lewis is the class of his generation and has the prizes, he has the prizes because he’s in the bet car, he has the best car because he’s the best driver.
MEGATRON M12 (@megatron)
4th February 2021, 14:38
Hamilton made less mistakes than Verstappen and was mostly better at preserving his tires under different conditions.
Hans Herrmann (@twentyseven)
4th February 2021, 14:44
I have a completely unproven theory that the next generation are just faster than the likes of Hamilton, Vettel etc. They’re using new training techniques and fine tuning every aspect of the sport to a degree not seen before. If this is the case put Max, Charles or George in a car beside any of the older generation drivers and they will come out on top.
4th February 2021, 13:26
This isn’t true what happen was Sergio came out of that turn not ideal bringing Max straight on his tail Max didn’t want to overtake there (his own words) But run in Sergio wake losing his RB and spins. Losing control was his fault not because he wanted to overtake.
Personaly i have Max on 1 but i used the powerratings of all 17 races of F1.com
4th February 2021, 13:50
Expected Max to be at #2. If he didn’t have such a horrible race in Turkey, drop the ball on lap 1 in Portugal, or managed to keep his car out of the barriers in Sakhir, he would have probably sealed 2nd spot in the WDC and #1 in the rankings here.
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
4th February 2021, 14:44
Completely agree but Sakhir he was collateral damage, same in Tuscany I believe. But even getting caught up in incidents that were the mistake of others does take a shine off a season. Turkey was a poor mistake and Portugal was tight but should have been avoided.
I do think Max had to push harder than Lewis due to the Merc’s domination, whereas Lewis could comfortably drive within himself but I overall agree with 2nd.
4th February 2021, 21:19
In Sakhir Max couldn´t do anything. And in Tuscany he had an engine failure after pipping Hamilton. In Turkey he had a faulty wing setup since lap 10 although his move behind Perez was not good. Imo its perfectly fine to say either Max or Lewis was best. Since last year Lewis was first i would have given it to Max this year.
4th February 2021, 22:25
Lewis had a couple of lesser moments too; tagging Albon in the first race and such. Verstappen had 0 penalties last year. All in all they were about equal imho; Verstappen lost out due to a less powerful, less reliable and less controllable car.
A M (@amam)
4th February 2021, 14:05
Fair, i expected him to be number 2—no title pressure to cope with and having only a very lowly ranked teammate to beat kept him off the top spot for me
4th February 2021, 16:21
I never let ‘title pressure’ or ‘teammate pressure’ impact my ranking.
I simply (and mostly subjectively) rate their season discounting the car impact*.
I focus primarily on actions like overtaking (where and how) and defending (how to keep a faster car at bay), and discount for mistakes made.
Based on this ranking I had Verstappen on top. Undoubtedly that is partly due to Hamilton being less challenged, and cruising around a lot (more). But we are ranking actual performance in a specific year; not capabilities nor talent.
* One year I even built an elaborate spreadsheet to calculate the car impact, but that was more work than a worthwhile addition to my intuitive knowledge.
David BR (@david-br)
4th February 2021, 21:00
@coldfly Hmmm, precisely based on actual performance not potential, I think Hamilton edges it. Fewer mistakes, virtually none in terms of actual driving (most seemed to centre around pit lane protocols) and he did what he had to do – which ranged from finishing a final lap on three wheels, qualifying way ahead of everyone in the rain at the Styrian GP, optimizing speed, tyre temperature and tyre wear at various races in changing conditions to win them, or ‘just cruising around.’ Max had a few mistakes and possibly lost out on second place in the WDC because of them.
4th February 2021, 17:00
@amam Couldn’t we say the same thing of LH though? No title pressure to cope with, a win capable car at every race, and VB, even though not a ‘very lowly ranked teammate to beat,’ still no real threat, again, and indeed may have helped distract Max from fighting him (LH) on some occasions. I’m being a bit tongue in cheek though, and would just echo what I said below which is that given the records LH has just tied in terms of WDCs and beat in terms of race wins, I don’t see that Keith had much choice in selecting LH as #1 for 2020.
I say as well let’s just remember that the LH we are talking about in terms of his lack of pressure, or lack of mistakes, is a driver who is now about to start his 8th year in a row in an utterly dominant car that well before now fits him like a glove. It is not taking anything away from him and that reality to just ponder for a minute what Max’s career, or level of talent, or lack of mistakes etc etc would look like with a similar run in such a dominant car on such a team. Hard to imagine Max would be any easier to beat under such a scenario.
4th February 2021, 19:28
Agree with Coldfly and with you, considering these arguments for me Max was the top driver this season. Much harder job to be consistent and avoid mistakes when you trying to outdrive your car than when you are most of the time just managing your pace in a dominant car. He is really much more mature too, and can read the race better now. Looks good for 2022 title!