Could anyone repeat Hamilton’s 2007 season?

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I was thinking to myself this morning about Hamilton’s debut season in F1. He arrived at a top team, finished on the podium for his first 10(?) races, and failed to win the championship by a hair’s breadth...

Other top drivers had taken some time to settle in to F1... if you watch back Murray Walker’s commentaries, he would often say of a driver who’s beginning to perform well “he’s only in his 2nd season of GP racing” - and historically it took a long time to settle in to F1.

So why was Hamilton so successful straight away? Obviously talent comes into it, but he also had an extensive testing programme before he arrived, and the switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres probably didn’t do him any harm.

But could anyone do the same now? The biggest talents (Verstappen and Leclerc) made an impact in their first season, but nowhere near as impactful as the 2007 season...
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Jacques Villeneuve came very close in 1996 so it's not impossible to imagine it happening. It will really depend on how brave a team (Mercedes) is in putting a young driver in their car. If you look at the way most teams set up now though they run young drivers in their B team until they think they are ready.
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
Jacques Villeneuve was a successful Indy driver who stepped into what was probably the best car for the two seasons he drove for Williams, he pushed Hill but did not dominate, his career went nowhere and Button dominated him in his own team, so not even close. Jacques Villeneuve was a Mario Andretti who failed.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I wish my life had been such a failure...

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F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
on Villeneuve it 1 of great records that Villeneuve last win was 2 days before verstappen was born. he wasnt the most talented even single world champion. but he was unlucky. between November 97 - March 98 . the big rules changes. Newey & Renault leaving Williams. neither ever recovered from that. then why would we go to BAR in 1999. instead of going to McLaren was in hindsight 1 of the stupidest decisions ive known
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
id never say never because its possible. but so tough because you need the talents, but you also need the opportunities. because i have no doubt that Verstappen, Leclerc & Russell could go straight into a big team & win straight away.

but they needed learn their craft, make there mistakes out of limelight. like many of great drivers have
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I think that Hamilton and Villeneuve both benefited from massive testing programmes - which just aren't available to young stars nowadays... Simulators will go so far, but can't prepare for the full physicality.

I was trying to think about why drivers like Raikkonen (and Alonso) have stuck around for so long, and I think part of it is that young drivers can't get the same level of preparation as they once did.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
on Villeneuve it 1 of great records that Villeneuve last win was 2 days before verstappen was born. he wasnt the most talented even single world champion. but he was unlucky. between November 97 - March 98 . the big rules changes. Newey & Renault leaving Williams. neither ever recovered from that. then why would we go to BAR in 1999. instead of going to McLaren was in hindsight 1 of the stupidest decisions ive known
Hindsight is a great thing but after 98 Williams were no longer competitive and moving to BAR with the same engine the risk was justified because it was fully backed by BAT so the resources was there. Part of his motivation was to prove it was not the car and to be on the same level as Schumacher. For a while he was considered the greatest threat ..unfortunately he believed it too much and inflated his ego whilst also BAR and Honda were not progressing as they had expected. It transpired Villeneuve and Pollock were the problem at BAR underachieving.

JV was good and looked good because Bernie wanted the name in F1 and set up the testing at Williams given plenty of time .

The other factor for Hamilton's favour was the switch to Bridgestones that Alonso was on Michelins previously

Its unlikely we will see a rookie with 9 podiums in a row
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Hindsight is a great thing but after 98 Williams were no longer competitive and moving to BAR with the same engine the risk was justified because it was fully backed by BAT so the resources was there. Part of his motivation was to prove it was not the car and to be on the same level as Schumacher. For a while he was considered the greatest threat ..unfortunately he believed it too much and inflated his ego whilst also BAR and Honda were not progressing as they had expected. It transpired Villeneuve and Pollock were the problem at BAR underachieving.

the problem is of the last 30 years newcoming teams since jordan, are always struggling these took over tyrell, so that a backmarker straight away.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
the problem is of the last 30 years newcoming teams since jordan, are always struggling these took over tyrell, so that a backmarker straight away.
Unfortunately the team made more noises before the car turned a wheel and spent over its budget for 0 points
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I think that Hamilton and Villeneuve both benefited from massive testing programmes - which just aren't available to young stars nowadays... Simulators will go so far, but can't prepare for the full physicality.

I was trying to think about why drivers like Raikkonen (and Alonso) have stuck around for so long, and I think part of it is that young drivers can't get the same level of preparation as they once did.

I think team bosses being more conservative has a lot to do with it. Now most of them are CEOs of multi-million pound firms with hundreds, sometimes thousands of staff, they're taking the safe option more often than the likes of Chapman, Tyrrell, Williams or, indeed, Ferrari did. Red Bull and Helmut Marko are an honourable exception, but obviously having a junior team means their rookies aren't going to be title challengers straight off the bat.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
They’re all conservative.
Why are Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Alonso still in F1?
None of the teams have the balls, gumption or nerve to take, deliberately, the best drivers from other formulae and put them in an F1 car.
I wonder if Renault ever spoke JEV after his Formula E successes?
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
They’re all conservative.
Why are Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Alonso still in F1?
None of the teams have the balls, gumption or nerve to take, deliberately, the best drivers from other formulae and put them in an F1 car.
i wouldve loved to have seen scott dixon in an f1 car
 

Johnny Carwash

World Champion
Contributor
They’re all conservative.
Why are Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Alonso still in F1?
None of the teams have the balls, gumption or nerve to take, deliberately, the best drivers from other formulae and put them in an F1 car.

Totally agree, somehow Raikkonen gets a free pass as he is a bit of a character, whilst at the same time brings hardly anything to Alfa. How long will it be before Alonso has a hissy fit and walks away from F1.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Totally agree, somehow Raikkonen gets a free pass as he is a bit of a character, whilst at the same time brings hardly anything to Alfa. How long will it be before Alonso has a hissy fit and walks away from F1.
Alonso knows he wont be hired again if he does. Why does not anyone just move on from Kimi?
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Il_leone - I wouldn't be surprised if Vettel at Aston Martin is a little like Mansell at McLaren... Humiliated by the existing driver, and leaving the team midway through the season...

Alternatively, he might dominate Stroll, and show that we've misjudged him...
 
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