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Ranking Lewis Hamilton's 10 F1 seasons with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton’s decade at Mercedes has been one of remarkable success not seen before in Formula 1.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid, 1st Position, celebrates as he jumps from his car in Parc Ferme

Hamilton’s tallies of 82 victories and six world titles with Mercedes, scored in 200 starts, are world championship records for a driver at one team.

Before Hamilton starts his 11th Mercedes campaign, we’ve decided to rank his 10 seasons at the Silver (and Black) Arrows.

PLUS: Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

We’ve rated them on Hamilton’s performances across each year, taking into account virtuoso races and errors, plus any difficulties or challenges he had to overcome and how he compared to his team-mates.

10. 2013 - Promising start to a new era

Hamilton's move to Mercedes was heavily questioned, but 2013 showed glimmers of what was to come

Hamilton's move to Mercedes was heavily questioned, but 2013 showed glimmers of what was to come

Photo by: Patrik Lundin/Motorsport Images

Championship position: 4th (189 points)
Wins: 1
Poles: 5
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 3rd

Many questioned the wisdom of Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes, but it quickly looked good when Mercedes produced the second-fastest car of 2013 and the ‘other’ silver team fell back.

Hamilton narrowly got the better of new team-mate Nico Rosberg and took five pole positions, but the W04 voraciously devoured rubber. Hamilton was not always on top of tyre management with the soft Pirellis, something that he became a master of in subsequent years, and dramatically lost the British Grand Prix thanks to a tyre blowout.

He didn’t always like the feel of the brakes during his first Mercedes year either, but victory at the Hungaroring in late July and fourth in the drivers’ standings (the same as in his final McLaren year), albeit well behind a rampant Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, wasn’t a bad start.

Highlight: Hungarian GP

Against even his own expectations, Hamilton won from pole despite a baking track. The W04 didn’t destroy its tyres as anticipated and Hamilton did the rest, nailing crucial passes when required to score his first win for Mercedes by 10.9 seconds.

9. 2022 - Fighting to fix the broken Silver Arrow

Hamilton wanted retribution for his 2021 title near-miss, but the W13 proved to be an unlucky follow-up

Hamilton wanted retribution for his 2021 title near-miss, but the W13 proved to be an unlucky follow-up

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 6th (240 points)
Wins: 0
Poles: 0
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 3rd

Yes, he got outscored by new team-mate George Russell and had his first winless campaign in F1, but Hamilton’s 2022 wasn’t as bad as many tried to make out.

With more experience than Russell, Hamilton led the way on trying to sort the W13’s major problems and experimented with wild and varied set-ups, which compromised some of his weekends. Despite that, he edged the qualifying battle with Russell and tended to be the quicker Merc driver on the car’s better days, Brazil weekend aside.

PLUS: Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Hamilton’s peaks were still high – sublime drives in France, Mexico and the United States demonstrated he remained one of the few drivers capable of worrying Max Verstappen – although even the man himself conceded that perhaps he might not have been quite as consistent as in previous years.

Highlight: Dutch GP

The race that got away from Hamilton came at Zandvoort. The W13s came alive running long on the medium tyres and Hamilton might have beaten Verstappen had the safety car not arrived and ruined his chance.

8. 2016 - Hamilton’s last missed opportunity

Unreliability hampered Hamilton's 2016 title challenge - but he also gave away points to team-mate Rosberg of his own accord

Unreliability hampered Hamilton's 2016 title challenge - but he also gave away points to team-mate Rosberg of his own accord

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 2nd (380 points)
Wins: 10
Poles: 12
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 2nd

This is the one that, in part, Hamilton let slip through his fingers. Nico Rosberg managed to continue the momentum he had at the end of 2015, when he’d won the last three races, to take the first four GPs. Then the duo crashed on the opening lap in Spain.

Hamilton suffered more than his fair share of reliability problems, most spectacularly while leading in Malaysia, but Rosberg won fair and square in the crucial Japanese GP and Hamilton also gave away points with some poor getaways. The Italian GP was a prime example: Hamilton outqualified Rosberg by 0.5s but fell to sixth at the start and could only recover to second, behind his team-mate.

Despite controlling the Abu Dhabi finale and backing Rosberg into the pack, Hamilton lost the title by five points. Rosberg then retired, giving Hamilton no chance for revenge, but the 2016 defeat spurred him on to leave no stone unturned in future.

Highlight: Brazilian GP

Everyone remembers Max Verstappen’s charging drive – and dramatic save – in the very wet Interlagos race, but Hamilton always looked in control. He kept the pressure on title rival Rosberg with a dominant drive and led every lap.

7. 2014 - Beating Rosberg to the crown

The W05 was miles ahead of the 2014 competition - and Hamilton fought fiercely against Rosberg

The W05 was miles ahead of the 2014 competition - and Hamilton fought fiercely against Rosberg

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 1st (384 points)
Wins: 11
Poles: 7
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 2nd

Mercedes moved miles ahead of the opposition in the first year of F1’s turbo-hybrid era – its whopping 0.881% raw pace advantage was a throwback to the 1990s – so Hamilton only really had to worry about team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton duly came out on top but was perhaps less convincing than might have been expected. Rosberg’s qualifying pace was stronger, forcing a few Hamilton errors, especially in the first half of the season. And although the #44 car was usually stronger on race day, the title fight went down to the Abu Dhabi finale.

Hamilton won that ridiculous double-points race, to make it 11-5 on wins against Rosberg and take the title by 67 points, but he was still some way from his peak.

Highlight: Bahrain GP

This race was one of those days when Rosberg had a pace advantage. But Hamilton beat his team-mate by showing his wheel-to-wheel prowess in a riveting late duel that resulted in victory by a mere second.

6. 2015 - Underlining the new dominance

Hamilton had the run of the place in 2015, with Rosberg unable to mount a consistent challenge

Hamilton had the run of the place in 2015, with Rosberg unable to mount a consistent challenge

Photo by: Sutton Images

Championship position: 1st (381 points)
Wins: 10
Poles: 11
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 1st

His winning margin was slightly smaller at 59 points, but Hamilton’s second Mercedes title was better than his first. There were fewer errors and this time Hamilton got the better of Nico Rosberg in qualifying, taking 11 poles from the first 12 races.

Once again, Mercedes’ power advantage helped it lead the pack, although a reinvigorated Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel sometimes posed a threat. The Silver Arrows won 16 of the 19 races, with Hamilton beating Rosberg 10-6. That score stood at 10-3 when Hamilton clinched the crown in the United States GP.

The main criticism of Hamilton’s 2015 campaign is that he allowed Rosberg to gain the initiative in the closing stages, the German taking six straight poles and three consecutive victories to get a real boost heading into the winter break.

Highlight: Bahrain GP

Ferrari was on form, Vettel qualifying second ahead of Rosberg, who then got embroiled in a fight with the red machines of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Both W06s had brake issues late on, giving a charging Raikkonen a chance, but poleman Hamilton held his nerve to beat the Finn by 3.4s.

5. 2021 - Fight against the odds dashed

Hamilton looked to have the 2021 title sewn up - but the late Abu Dhabi safety car gave Verstappen the swing he needed

Hamilton looked to have the 2021 title sewn up - but the late Abu Dhabi safety car gave Verstappen the swing he needed

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 2nd (387.5 points)
Wins: 8
Poles: 5
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 1st

A rules tweak hurt Mercedes and handed Red Bull a small advantage. Hamilton superbly managed to win the Bahrain opener against Max Verstappen, starting a duel that would last until 2021’s final lap.

Red Bull and Verstappen had the edge more often than not and Hamilton also made mistakes, notably with offs at Imola and Baku. But a combination of Hamilton brilliance elsewhere, some clashes and Red Bull misfortune kept things tight at the top of the table.

Mercedes came on strong over the final four races and Hamilton looked set to steal an unlikely eighth title with victory in the Abu Dhabi finale. A late safety car and Red Bull tyre change put things in doubt, then a bizarre call from race control to allow only the cars between the two to unlap themselves set up a last-lap fight that he could never have won.

Hamilton’s reign had finally come to an end, but either protagonist would have been a worthy champion and Mercedes extended its run of constructors’ crowns to eight.

Highlight: Sao Paulo GP

A dominant pole became a back-of-the-grid start thanks to a DRS technical infringement, setting the scene for an overtaking masterclass. Hamilton charged from 20th to fifth in the sprint, then from 10th (due to an engine-change penalty) to win the GP, avoiding a wayward Verstappen along the way.

4. 2017 - The start of peak Hamilton?

The W08 was described as a diva, but Hamilton overcame a revitalised Ferrari to claim a fourth F1 title

The W08 was described as a diva, but Hamilton overcame a revitalised Ferrari to claim a fourth F1 title

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 1st (363 points)
Wins: 9
Poles: 11
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 1st

The W08 was described as a ‘diva’, tricky to get into its optimum set-up window. Hamilton struggled a little in the early part of the season and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel built a small points lead. But Hamilton dug deep, raising his game as the battle wore on.

As Mercedes also got more on top of its car, Ferrari started to hit trouble and Hamilton didn’t give points away like Vettel did. After driving into the Mercedes behind the safety car in Azerbaijan and picking up a penalty, Vettel then gifted Hamilton an unlikely win from fifth on the grid when, from pole, he triggered a multi-car crash at the start in Singapore. That extended Hamilton’s lead from three to 28 points and he clinched the crown at the Mexican GP, with two rounds still to go.

Hamilton’s final winning margin of 46 points, and his 11 poles from 20 races, did not reflect how close the championship could – or perhaps should – have been.

Highlight: Belgian GP

Ferrari was fast at Spa, Vettel harassing poleman Hamilton from the start. The German’s best chance came at a safety car restart, but Hamilton used 90% throttle at a key moment to stymy the Ferrari’s run. He held on to win while the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas came home fifth.

3. 2019 - Too consistently strong for rivals

Hamilton faced a few sporadic threats in 2019, but there was no consistent challenger to his title bid

Hamilton faced a few sporadic threats in 2019, but there was no consistent challenger to his title bid

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 1st (413 points)
Wins: 11
Poles: 5
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 1st

Mercedes’ raw pace advantage was small (0.149%) and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took more poles, but you wouldn’t have guessed either given the results. Hamilton won more than half the races, having finished first or second in the first eight GPs, and beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 87 points to take his sixth title.

Ferrari and Red Bull had their moments and many of the races were close, particularly in the second half of the season, but neither could match the consistency of Hamilton and the W10 – and had given themselves too much work to do following the first part of the year.

Hamilton’s constant striving for self-improvement was demonstrated when he identified qualifying as a weakness to work on (he scored ‘only’ five poles), but his performances on Sundays had been another example of making a good car look even better.

Highlight: Monaco GP

Hamilton was forced to rely on his tyre whispering when Mercedes gave him a 67-lap stint on medium tyres, with Max Verstappen chasing on harder rubber. Hamilton stayed in control and avoided disaster when the Red Bull’s bold attack came.

2. 2020 - Maximising Merc’s greatest car

Was the W11 Mercedes' best ever car? Hamilton used it to great effect in a COVID-hit season

Was the W11 Mercedes' best ever car? Hamilton used it to great effect in a COVID-hit season

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 1st (347 points)
Wins: 11
Poles: 10
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 1st

Stung by Ferrari’s pace in 2019, Mercedes pushed the boat out and produced arguably the greatest car in its history for 2020. Complete with its controversial dual-axis system and helped by Ferrari’s fall from grace after an engine rules ‘clarification’, the W11 dominated the COVID-delayed campaign.

In terms of raw pace, Valtteri Bottas got close to Hamilton but in the races the Briton usually had a decisive advantage. The result was 11 wins from 15 races before Hamilton missed the Sakhir GP with COVID. His final winning margin of 124 points is Hamilton’s biggest, despite Mercedes stopping development on the car early.

Along the way, Hamilton managed one of the great qualifying laps at Spa, beating Bottas by half a second, and set the fastest pole in world championship history at Monza (164mph) in what currently stands as the quickest F1 car of all time.

Highlight: Turkish GP

On a rare day when the W11 wasn’t the class of the field and a number of drivers could have won, Hamilton made the difference. While others, including Max Verstappen, made mistakes, Hamilton bided his time, stuck to his worn intermediates and won the rain-affected race by 31.6s.

1. 2018 - Making the difference against Ferrari

Hamilton faced up against a strong Vettel charge in 2018, and ultimately came out on top for a fifth title

Hamilton faced up against a strong Vettel charge in 2018, and ultimately came out on top for a fifth title

Photo by: James Gasperotti / Motorsport Images

Championship position: 1st (408 points)
Wins: 11
Poles: 11
Autosport F1 Top 10 position: 1st

Jim Clark in 1965, Jackie Stewart in 1973, Alain Prost in 1986. Hamilton’s finest season stands comparison with the greatest in F1 history as he was consistently superb while battling a strong Ferrari challenge. The only thing that beats Hamilton’s 2020 domination in a brilliant car is his comfortable 2018 title in a machine that wasn’t the best for a significant portion of the year.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel started the season with two wins and the advantage swung back and forth across the first 10 races. When Vettel took pole for the German GP he was eight points ahead, but he slid out of the lead in tricky conditions as Hamilton charged to victory from 14th. Hamilton then took advantage of rain on Saturday in Hungary to snare pole and win, despite the Ferraris appearing quicker in the dry.

A fantastic victory in Italy and a qualifying lap in Singapore that stunned even Mercedes meant that, by the time the W09 had been developed to stamp its authority over the SF71H, Hamilton was already in command of the championship. The result was that he ultimately beat Vettel by a massive 88 points.

To underline Hamilton’s outstanding campaign, team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fifth in the standings. In every other season alongside Hamilton the Finn was second or third…

Highlight: Italian GP

His win from 14th in Germany is more famous, but the relentless Monza drive was even better, Hamilton successfully going wheel to wheel with both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on a day when Ferrari had locked out the front row for its home race.

Ferrari had two cars on the front row - but Hamilton surpassed both in Monza

Ferrari had two cars on the front row - but Hamilton surpassed both in Monza

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

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