Vettel was absolutely relentless in 2011. He took pole position on at least three occasions when McLaren looked favourites in Q3 (Hungary, Japan, Abu Dhabi). He broke the all time pole record in a car that was nowhere near the most dominant of all time. His qualifying gaps over Webber that season were also absurd. In 2013, Vettel made zero mistakes and had zero off-weekends. He was leading the championship by 40 points going into the summer break, and that was before Red Bull was even dominant.
Vettels 2011 and 2013 are at least as good as Hamilton’s 2018.
breathemyexhaust wrote:If we look at all their years together, Hamilton drove better in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and at best 2015 is probably a draw. Now some of you are saying that two years of being outperformed in eleven is a large enough period as to put Hamilton's superiority into doubt? If you wanted to say this at the end of 2013 when they had only completed 6 years of grand prix racing, that might have been fine, but not now.
2007 is not even a remotely fair comparison. Vettel participated in less than half of the total races and drove a backmarker car.
I would like to know how you came to the conclusion that Hamilton was better in 2008 or 2009? Hamilton made at least as many mistakes as Vettel did in those years, and Vettel was just as dominant over his teammates speedwise.
I'm going to leave discussion of 2008, 2009 for another time. As for the rest...
You made a good claim for the two years 2011 & 2013, and I don’t dispute anything said in your opening paragraph (Vettel did steal a good number of poles from the McLarens that year and it was one of the best years anyone did in qualifying in the sport’s history; in an interesting contrast, I felt Vettel had several poles stolen from him in 2013 by the Mercedes), but it hardly answers the essential thrust of my earlier post. When two campaigns are similarly impeccable or close, the main deciding point becomes the relative handicappedness of one’s the opponent (s). 2011/2013 and 2018 may be similarly clean and perfect seasons but they weren’t conducted against opponents in similarly formidable equipment—the gulf in this respect is sizeable. And in addition (and not to be petty), 2013 wasn’t a perfect season (even though it was very close). Vettel probably should have won or come second in Hungary.
The RB-9 wasn't dominant before the summer break but it was the best car by some ways. The Mercedes couldn't hang with either the Red Bull, the Lotus, or the Ferrari outside of Monaco, Silverstone, and Hungary. The Lotus and the Ferrari both were left gasping in Monaco. The Lotus was behind in Malaysia, Canada, Great Britain. The Ferrari was horrible in Bahrain and only ok in Germany and Great Britain. Meanwhile, the Red Bull could basically podium at every race. The way every other car's performance would fluctuate while the Red Bull remained highly competitive were perfect conditions for Vettel growing such a huge lead.
Is it any coincidence that in most of the racier grand prix of those years (China, Canada, Hungary, and Germany in 2011; Hungary in 2013), and in a trend that preceded and succeeded that period, Vettel almost never came off the winner? Given the right ingredients in a season (many and most of which were present in 2011 and 2013), I don’t think Vettel would perform any worse and possibly better than any driver in F1 history. I also think he could never win a season like Alonso’s 2006 for instance. And that the Hamilton of 2018 can.