Hamilton’s high five
THE TALE OF THE TITLE
- In his finest season yet, Hamilton vanquished Vettel to become only the third-ever five-time champion.
- At Spa, the momentum of Ferrari’s challenge had looked unstoppable; instead Vettel never won again.
- As last year, Vettel/Ferrari buckled beneath the Hamilton/Mercedes onslaught, defeat at Monza crushing.
- Winning six of the last eight races, Hamilton totalled 11 wins to Vettel’s 5, sealing the title with two to go.
- His team responded superbly after Spa, but Mercedes success and Ferrari failure was all about Hamilton.
- Early bad luck condemned Bottas to ‘wing-man’, Sochi team orders leaving him winless and despondent.
- The Red Bull pair won two races apiece, Verstappen making a rousing late charge after a shaky start.
- Unreliability ruined Ricciardo’s season, his shock decision to join Renault shaking up the driver market.
- Renault won a lively mid-field contest but a massive performance gap to the top three teams persisted.
- As did the problem of overtaking a closely matched car. Closing to within 2 seconds was as near as it got.
- The switch from Honda to Renault didn’t help McLaren, often starting at the back with the Williams pair.
- Honda will power Red Bull in 2019, this irony adding a further cause to Alonso’s disillusioned F1 exit.
- A first win in 100 Ferrari starts didn’t prevent Räikkönen losing his seat to the highly promising Leclerc.
- And not forgetting: unexpected death of Sergio Marchionni, Force India rescued from collapse, Grid Kids.
This was the one we’d been waiting for. Two four-time champions head-to-head. Who would be first to five?
FULL REVIEW TO FOLLOW