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F1 Driver Review: Lewis Hamilton

Dec 16, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Race Getty Images

After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.

In fourth place, Mercedes’ prized new recruit, Lewis Hamilton…

LEWIS HAMILTON

No. 10 Mercedes
2013 Stats: 4th Place, 1 Wins, 5 Podiums, 13 Top-5s, 17 Top-10s, 66 Laps Led
Average Start: 3.5
Average Finish: 5.9
DNFs: 1

DiZinno says: Hamilton is suffering more than most in this current era of Pirelli tire conservation. When it comes down to one-lap pace, Hamilton remains one of, if not the best driver on the grid in terms of extracting the maximum out of his car: witness his five pole positions this season in the first 11 races. But when it came down to the races, the Mercedes of course struggled on its tires in the first half and that left Hamilton a sinking stone once the lights went out. It was a frustrating second half after his Hungarian win, because there were times that Hamilton probably wished his results were better than they were. Good but not great and Hamilton will be hungrier still now having had a year to acclimate to the team after his departure from McLaren.

Estrada says: In his first season with Mercedes, Hamilton continued his stellar pace with five poles and converted one of them into a win at the Hungaroring. However, while the W04 helped him do well on Saturdays, its tire wear problems during races often stopped the former World Champion from bidding for more victories. In the second half of the season, Hamilton started to falter in the results department with no podium finishes following his third-place run at Spa. But in terms of the big picture, Hamilton still managed to come out looking pretty smart for his move from McLaren and he managed to out-point teammate Nico Rosberg despite losing to him in season wins. A less uneven car in 2014 should help him be more consistent.

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