With the 2018 F1 season complete we take a look back on the year gone to commemorate those special drivers, events and moments of 2018.
Driver of the year: Lewis Hamilton
There could only be one, yes the 33-year-old has swamped the competition yet again despite a much strong fight from Ferrari early on. While he has had some help from his the Mercedes team to get him to this point, he has still been a stellar driver making very few mistakes and picking up the pieces where needed. And with a quintet of championships now under his belt and a few more years left who knows what he could achieve next.
Race of the Year: Azerbaijan
After an infamously stale inaugural race in 2016, the streets of Baku once again put on an incredible show. It had Raikkonen and Ocon colliding on lap 1, Alonso limping his car to the pits on 2 wheels, Grosjean crashing under the safety car, Ricciardo and Verstappen bumping and scraping till lap 40 when they came to blows, Vettel throwing away the win on the restart and to cap it all off Bottas’ tyre blew with 3 laps to go handing Hamilton the win.
Think that sums it up.
Win of the year: Ricciardo, Monaco
This one was personal, Having been the favourite to take the win in 2016 it was snatched away from him when a communication error left him sitting in the pits for a good 15 seconds putting him behind Hamilton. This year was redemption for that mistake, and after dominating the weekend, he took pole and that elusive race win despite getting engine problems only 18 laps in and having to nurse the car home. And as it may be his last win for a while yet it’s an even more special moment.
Team of the year: Force India
It’s probably not what you expected with Mercedes having just took 5 titles on the trot.
But Force India has done something incredible, they went into administration and didn’t collapse. Granted this was with the help of Lawrence Stroll which means Lance Stroll will now replace Ocon but the way it happened was incredible. After going into administration they were bought out and had to re-enter the championship as a new team with no points. Despite this, they have marched back up the standings and ended up in 6th only 10 points off 5th place Mclaren.
Rookie of the year: Charles Leclerc
The Ferrari dream boy has had an amazing rookie season with ten points finishes and incredible qualifying pace he is set to take up a seat the prancing horse next year, something no one like him has done for a long time. And it would appear I’m not the only one who thinks he is deserving of this award as he recently became the first person to win the Autosport rookie to the year award twice!
Who knows this time next year he could be the driver of the year.
Overtake of the year: Leclerc on Magnussen, Russia
It’s Leclerc again with a fantastic move on Magnussen at Russia. It’s difficult enough to get around Russia’s long turn 3 unscathed let alone while trying to get past another car. But that’s exactly what Charles managed to do on his way to claiming a brilliant best of the rest position.
Crash of the year: Alonso, Hulkenberg and Leclerc, Belgium
This was a big one, almost identical to the infamous 2012 turn one incident which gave Grosjean a race ban. After Hulkenberg missed his breaking point and ploughed into the back of Alonso there was nothing anyone could do, which meant Leclerc got caught up in it sending Alonso flying over his car. Not only that but recent findings have shown that had the controversial halo not been there Alonso’s front wing would have hit Leclerc’s visor. Miraculously no one was injured.
Surprise of the year: Raikkonen wins the US Grand Pri
This was something no one saw coming. After a 5 year dry spell, the Iceman finally got the race victory he deserved. It took 2044 days but it was certainly worth it as he held off Hamilton and in doing so furthered Vettel’s title hopes a little bit. It also meant that he became F1’s oldest race winner since Nigel Mansell in 1994. It’s certainly something to savor as it may well be his last race win.
Special mention: Hamilton, Vettel & Alonso doughnuts in abu dhabi
What a way to end off the season, with the Abu Dhabi GP done and another win under Hamilton’s belt both he, Vettel and Alonso got together to pull some emotional doughnuts on the pit straight. Not only was it a fitting way for Hamilton and Vettel to round out the first quadruple champion shout out in F1, but also served as an emotional farewell for fan favorite Fernando Alonso who, after years of turmoil at Mclaren, decided to call it a day and leave F1 after 17 years in the sport.