FB's Big Fat Review of the Year


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Maybe it's my age but this year more than most I've had to go back to various publications to remind myself of the stand out events in different races. That said, as I sat and watch SPOTY last night it was clear that we had witnessed a very special event in 2018 with the outstanding driver of his generation, Lewis Hamilton, taking his fifth world title.

Where to start then? At the beginning I suppose, in a season which offered a battle for the title until the mid-season break and then one man simply raised his game. Up to the Hungarian GP we had seen 4 different race winners, Hamiton had 5 of the 12, Vettel 4. After Hungary Lewis won 6 of 9, which tells you all you need to know about how he came back after the enforced month off.

There were a few other moments which spring instantly to mind. Sebastian breaking the British public's hearts at Silverstone after Kimi had knocked Lewis in to a spin but Seb then letting Lewis win his home race by sticking in in to the barriers in the changeable conditions at Hockenheim. We had the Red Bull boys taking one another out in Baku and then Vettel's "do or die" dive up the inside of Bottas which went horribly wrong. Still, it was better than when Valtteri sat behind Seb in Bahrain enjoying the scent of partially burnt Shell fuel for quite a few laps.

There were a few irksome moments, well for me at least. Bottas being used on more than one occasion to slow Vettel down and let Lewis get close enough to overtake and Mercedes asking Bottas the butler to move over in Russia to allow Hamilton to win. I know it's a team sport, blah, blah blah, but it was pretty obvious Lewis was going to take the title so let Valterri have one win for what was a really dismal season for the Fin.

Talking of Fins, Kimi won a race - shocked face - and then decided to swap seats with Charles le Clerc for 2019. From Ferrari to Alfa Romeo, no other driver has ever gone that way before. The bizarre thing was that Kimi suddenly loosened up after making his decision and I started to warm to him. It's only taken 17 years!

Danny Ric fell out with Red Bull, which I suppose had to happen with the "wunderkind" Max Verstappen in the same team. Deja vu all over again at Red Bull after the Vettel/Ricciardo pairing. The only difference this time is that the driver leaving isn't going to a team likely to offer him race wins.

2018 has finally seen the clearing out of some dead wood from the grid, and some live wood. The two Williams drivers were on a hiding to nothing in a car which struggled to compete with itself let alone any other cars on the grid. Goodbye Sergey I hope the Compare the Market ads give you enough income to make a living. The eyebrows live on to fight another day after Daddy Stroll bought a slightly better team for Lance moan about in 2019.

All change at McLaren for 2019. 2018 did prove, at least, that all of McLaren's problems were not down to the Honda engine despite the protestations of the team and its No.1 driver. Ta, ta Fernando enjoy life in WEC. Well done McLaren for destroying the career of Stoffel Vandoorne. I will no longer be able to make my Fantastic Four Van Doom joke, well, only in the Formula E threads.

Force India changed ownership mid-season with the forces of international law and order finally catching up with Vijay Mallay. I do hope one of the charges bought against him is for crimes against hairdressing. Force India were often "best of the rest" on a relatively scant budget. For 2019 they have dropped one of the more talented young drivers to come in to F1 recently, Estaban Ocon, to keep Sergio Perez and his wheel barrow full of Pesos. Had a nice year off Estaban, we look forward to you driving for Mercedes in 2020 (or sooner?) and some more comedy moments as you and Verstappen play handbags in the weighing room. At least Nelson Piquet threw a punch, you pair of sissies.

What else? Charles le Clerc looks like a true talent, taking his Sauber to places it probably didn't deserve to go. Although maybe the performance of this young man should send a message to other team principals that even in a half decent car a driver with skill can perform. Marcus Ericsson shows us what happens when you put a poor talent, albeit with a big budget, in a half decent car.

K Mag put in some sterling performances at Haas whilst Grosjean was very much second best. My moment of the season probably wasn't on a TV broadcast. Kevin Magnusson had some problems in the race at Monza and was a way behind the rest of the field. For three laps he came belting down to the first chicane, got it all wrong and bounced over the kerbs. He finally managed to take the corner cleanly and the crowd cheered him like he had just won the race.

Did you know Renault finished fourth in the constructors championship? Came as a surprise to me too as they had a totally anonymous season. Let's see how 2019 pans out with The Hulk against The Honey Badger! I suspect they will be just as anonymous in the races but with a great PR Team.

Toro Rosso showed us what Red Bull have to look forward to in 2019. An engine which can either be de-tuned and finish the race or wound up and blow up. I can only assume Pierre Gasly has been promoted to the senior Red Bull team as there isn't anyone else they can find. Brendan Hartley was, unfortunately, way out of his depth and should find a way back to WEC double quick. Just on Gasly, could someone point out to him that having a load of bum fluff on your face doesn't make you look more grown up in fact it does the opposite.

So back to my original point. This season saw the greatest driver of his generation deservedly win an astonishing fifth world title. I suspect it won't be his last either.

Congratulations Lewis Hamilton, it is now up to the other teams and drivers to raise their game to challenge this astonishing young man from the "slums of Stevenage".
Great write up FB.

2018 was a strange F1 year for me. It was the year when I officially lost all interest and don't see a way for it to come back. At least not come back to the all encompassing first sporting love it once was.

I cancelled my Autosport subscription a while ago and stopped buying it altogether this year. After this month's edition my Motorsport subscription has gone the same way. Never have I been able to watch a whole seasons worth of GPs yet voluntarily missed so many.

Hamilton winning 5 titles should be remarkable but I just can't feel like it is. Perhaps it's because 14 of the last 19 titles have been won by just 3 drivers. The leading 3 drivers of the preceding 19 collectively won 10. Of those 10 only 2 lots were consecutive.
These days, the periods of dominance go on for years.

This shouldn't take away from the fact that it's been a fine season for Hamilton. He dealt with the challenge from Web with a calmness not previously seen. He was helped massively by having a compliant teammate but that shouldn't take away from the fact that the Hamilton and Mercedes package was the best thing on the grid by a mile.

Will the minor tweaks to the aero package upset the status quo next year? I very much doubt it but at least it provides some sort of chance for another team to find something.
Was Renault really 4th? Just wondering if Force India/Racing Point would have done better had their points not be voided (too lazy to check myself)
I will not give up on F1 just yet. I won’t. I think that corporate racing is about to crash and die. I hope so, anyway. If Liberty don’t realise that, they are about to lose millions. If F1 has no fan base, no one watches, no one invests. It’s simple. Get the fans back on board.
Yeah but..... The problem is Pay Per View TV fills the sponsorship void. That's how they can get away with it. There will always be a core of F1 Zombies ( (c) FB ) willing to pay Murdoch's ransom for sport and as long as that baseline figure is maintained the cash generated fills the sponsorship gap.
Hello all, sorry I've not been around much lately.

Great write up FB, I really enjoyed it :thumbsup:

To be honest my interest in F1 has dropped off a lot lately too. I know exactly what you're saying cider_and_toast I am feeling it also. Pay per view is doomed, I've said it before. You simply don't get new viewers that way, who is going to pay the fees they want to watch a sport they may or may not like? So when people who have been watching for years and years (like many here) get fed up and stop watching, where will the new fans come from?

I did intend to give Formula E a watch, (I missed the race on Saturday :teary:) But if I can cope with the noise and I find I enjoy the racing I may not bother with F1. I can watch Formula E live and that is what I enjoy, live racing. I am like Titch I don't want to give up on F1, but they're making it harder and harder to watch and it's less and less enjoyable when I do.
To sum it up " Hamilton masterclass lessons in driving outguns Vettel and Ferrari"

Driver of the year - Lewis Hamilton - no doubt especially the 2nd half was reminiscent of Senna and Schumacher in terms of speed and clinical dominance

Sensation of the year - Charles Le Clerc - his career continues to go on upward path

Team of the year - Force India despite all the issues with the money shading Haas who faded slightly towards the end of the season and still some believe have a Ferrari chassis in the car

Disappointment of the year - Mclaren - how the mighty have fallen and comprehensively thrashed compared to other Renault cars

Dropped the ball award - Ferrari for messing up the Monza quali by asking Vettel to prove the tow instead of Kimi which proved to be the undoing of his title challenge

Quote of the year Vettel at Monza " We'll speak afterwards about this " following Kimi getting pole for being the tow man
Good write-up FB
Having cancelled my Sky subscription this year, I rather enjoyed having my Sundays back, and watching the C4 highlights later instead. There’s a tyranny in having to watch it live, when you’re paying for the “privilege”. PPV will eventually either kill off the sport, or die itself, once the owners figure out that sticking coverage behind a paywall is not the way to bring in new fans, let alone hang on to the existing ones.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Formula E opener- will have to keep up with watching that, I reckon.
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