The obvious choice but the right choice. Since at least 2014 Hamilton has been F1’s supreme talent, seeing off all comers and, like Senna before him, dominating things so naturally and effortlessly than it appears as though it is the errors of others that allow him to prevail so much. Able to play the percentage games when required and (unlike some others) has never allowed a team mate to live inside his head rent free. Learns from his mistakes too. The Spa 2012 tantrum that saw him tweet Button’s telemetry has never really been repeated. This too differentiates him from certain others.
Relatively few wins in the 2010s and a career that petered out in the midfield (or worse) should not blind us to the reality that in terms of “what he did with what he had” Alonso delivered some miraculous drives this decade. There were the unlikely victories at Sepang and Valencia in 2012 but also routinely dragging the 2011 and 2014 Ferraris to places they had no business being. But even at McLaren there were drives like Austin in 2016 that delivered absurdly good results, Like Hamilton, he learned from earlier experiences and his form never really dipped, even in the mire of 2017 and 2018.
Speaking of “what he did with what he had”... Verstappen is currently the only driver on anything like Hamilton’s level and shows unbelievable levels of maturity and leadership for his age. Fearless and ruthless in battle, but with the ability to justify it. Austria, Germany, Hungary and Brazil this year alone prove that.
4 WDCs and 50-odd wins cannot be ignored, although too often Vettel gives us reason *to* ignore them. Unbeatable (even by Hamilton) with a car to his liking and a team mate who is nowhere but too often his head seems to melt without those conditions, leaving us one of the sport’s more unfathomable talents.
Underrated, even when he was at Williams, Rosberg maximised what he had to win his title and was astute enough to realise that he could never reach that sustained level again. Again, unbeatable on a good day, especially at Monaco, but lacking on others.
Very able and showed Vettel a clean pair of heels in 2014 but as time goes by I’m less convinced he has quite the ‘killer’ instinct of the top three. Brilliant at places like Hungary that reward improvisation and tenacity, less so at some of the more clinical environments like Abu Dhabi.
Very difficult to judge someone in only his second year but has done enough to mark him out as an obvious Ferrari team leader in the future.
Another driver who was unbeatable on his day and nowhere on others. Performed very well against Hamilton for a long time but I always had the sense that one title was enough for Jenson and he was happy picking up a few wins after that.
Perhaps Nico has been making the numbers up a little of late, but we forget that he stuck the 2010 Williams on pole and achieved the same feat in a Force India two years later, before being talked up as a Ferrari contender during his 2013 year at Sauber, for which he merits inclusion in this list.
What happened to Webber after 2010? Did the loss of the title that year knock his confidence? Drove superbly in the RBR tinderbox until Korea 2010 and therefore ends up in this list, but hr never seemed to be quite the same after that.
Edited by wj_gibson, 05 December 2019 - 08:33.