Lewis Hamilton avoids unwanted F1 award as Ferrari edge out Ricciardo
Lewis Hamilton opens up on difficult season for Mercedes
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Lewis Hamilton has avoided being dubbed F1’s disappointment of the year in a poll of Express Sport readers. Ferrari picked up the award with over a quarter of the 14,464 votes (29.5 per cent) opting for the Scuderia.
It will be another blow to the iconic Italian team who failed to live up to expectations after Charles Leclerc won two of the first three races. But, strategy mistakes, driving errors and reliability concerns were blamed for the Prancing Horse’s failure to achieve a meaningful title challenge.
Ferrari also appeared to drop behind Mercedes on pure pace towards the end of the season. It resulted in team boss Mattia Binotto resigning from the team last week after reports he lost the trust of Ferrari chairman John Elkann.
Daniel Ricciardo was second in the polling with 24.3 per cent of the votes after a dismal campaign at McLaren. The Australian finished behind team-mate Lando Norris a staggering 17 times as he failed to deliver in his second season at the team.
Ricciardo was dropped over the summer in exchange for highly-rated rookie Oscar Piastri and will become Red Bull’s third driver from 2023. The Mercedes team were branded the third biggest disappointment of the season with 17.9 per cent of the vote.
It comes after the German marquee fell from one of the sport’s most dominant teams to also-rans. The Silver Arrows struggled with porpoising early on with Lewis Hamilton finishing in the podium just once in the first eight races.
Mercedes eventually sorted out their bouncing and showed genuine pace towards the end of the season with George Russell picking up their only win in Brazil. Hamilton was next with 17 per cent of votes after struggling against rookie team-mate Russell.
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The seven-time champion dropped to P6 after retiring in Abu Dhabi to secure his lowest-ever championship finish. He also lost his run of finishing on the top step of the podium in at least one race every season since his F1 debut.
Mick Schumacher was selected by 11.3 per cent of readers in a tough year for the Haas star. The German picked up his first points of the season over the summer but was sacked by the American squad ahead of the final race.
Team boss Guenther Steiner clashed with Schumacher throughout the season, particularly after the 23-year-old’s three expensive crashes.
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