F1 Driver Review: Lewis Hamilton

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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…


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.

Reaction to INDYCAR/NBC Sports Group announcement: Mario Andretti, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal and social media

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Like countless others on the East Coast, Mario Andretti was fighting through a snowstorm Wednesday morning.

But emotionally and personally, it was a very bright and sunny day for the legendary Indy car driver.

In an exclusive interview with NBCSports.com, Andretti spoke in glowing terms about this morning’s announcement of a multi-year media rights partnership between INDYCAR and NBC Sports Group beginning next year.

“I think this is awesome,” Andretti said. “It’s music to my ears and all of us. NBC has been very familiar with IndyCar racing, so they’re a great partner. I’m elated that it’s all nailed down, secured and I’m looking forward to the future.

“It’s also great for the young lads in Indy Lights coming on, and it’s great for all the sponsors to have that kind of exposure. It’s a good day for INDYCAR today.”

Andretti lauded the fact that all elements of INDYCAR coverage – TV, digital and streaming – will now be under one corporate roof, so to speak.

“Personally, I think it’s huge,” Andretti said. “Everybody is going to be very familiar with everything, the storylines are going to flow perfectly from event to event. There’s nothing like continuity.

“It’s okay sometimes if you have two networks, but to me, the best possible solution is this. That’s why I think this is really a great day for INDYCAR racing to have NBC involved and the continuity is huge for us.”

MORE: NBC Sports Group, INDYCAR partner on new TV and digital rights agreement starting in 2019

MORE: Optimism abounds with new INDYCAR media partnership


Several other high-profile individuals within the IndyCar community also gave their take on Wednesday’s announcement, including statements from team owners Roger Penske and Bobby Rahal.

Roger Penske: “As an industry, we are very fortunate to have the NBC Sports Group grow their presence and coverage of INDYCAR racing and really invest in the future of the sport. We believe there is a great deal of positive momentum in the Verizon IndyCar Series right now, from the development of the new race car, to the very talented group of young drivers and new teams coming into the sport this season.

“With the announcement of the enhanced broadcast partnership with NBC, it certainly adds to the excitement for the future. We know that the ways our fans are watching races and viewing INDYCAR content is rapidly changing, so staying ahead of the curve and the developing technology with our partners is important to the growth of our sport. We look forward to working with the NBC team to continue to build INDYCAR and take the sport in new directions.

“We also need to thank ABC and ESPN for all their terrific coverage over the years. The ABC network helped bring some of the most memorable moments in racing to life – including many of our team’s Indianapolis 500 victories – and we appreciate all of their hard work and passion for INDYCAR racing.”

Bobby Rahal: “It’s great news. I think the fact that the IndyCar Series will be under one roof, so to speak, network-wise can do nothing but great things for our sport. To increase to having eight races on network TV is also great news of course.

“The quality of the NBC broadcasts have gotten better and better over the last several years. They do a great job of providing interesting and entertaining content for the viewers and I think that will only continue to grow with the relationship going forward. That type of storytelling is also what helps bring new fans to the sport.”



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