Nico had 2 failures. Also he should be 3rd in Malaysia, but he didn't want to break order from Ross. From my perspecvtive he looks better nowdays than Hamilton.
Because, you know, 3-3 in qualifying and being behind in the points against someone who's just joined the new team you're at for a fourth year constitutes "way better" nowadays...
Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen are the top tier now in my eyes, if pressed I'd rate Alonso and Hamilton above the other 2 but they're very hard to separate. If Nico can keep this early form up he'll certainly be knocking on the door of the top tier.
And Hamilton being hard on tyres is myth I believe. He showed few times this season that he was pretty good on tyres often