The British Driver of the Year award has been a formality for Lewis Hamilton in recent years, as the 37-year-old continues to push the boundaries of what we know possible in motorsport.
2022 has not quite lived up to the high standards of the Mercedes’ driver however, as he was beaten in the championship standings by his new teammate George Russell in their first year together, eventually finishing a mediocre sixth.
Mercedes got off to a slow start under the new regulations which was a major reason for Hamilton’s struggles, and his failure to beat Russell could be put down to his willingness to experiment with his set-up more for the benefit of his team.
With only three British drivers on the grid in 2022, Hamilton will be disappointed to learn that he has finished in third place in the Express Sport’s British Driver of the Year award voting.
George Russell ran away with the award, picking up 63.2 percent of the votes which means 14,464 fans believe that the former Williams driver was the most impressive British driver in 2022.
Russell scored 275 points over the course of the season, even beating Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the final standings, which is an impressive feat considering Mercedes’ lack of pace compared to the Scuderia for the majority of the season.
The Brazilian Grand Prix was the weekend where Russell announced himself to the world, winning both the sprint race and the grand prix over the course of the weekend at Interlagos, while Hamilton was forced to settle for second place.
McLaren driver Lando Norris finished runner up in the voting, with 23.7 percent of the votes, as the 22-year-old established himself as the best of the rest, finishing in seventh place in the championship behind the Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes drivers.
The young Brit has been impressive ever since his rookie year with McLaren, however he wiped the floor with eight-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo this season, which should not be overlooked considering the Australian’s winning pedigree.
Hamilton was crowned British Driver of the Year in the AutoSport awards, which was also a fan voted award, which suggests that not all sections of F1’s fanbase view the Stevenage-born driver’s season as a failure.
Awards aside, Hamilton will be desperate for Mercedes to be able to provide him with a championship winning car once again in 2023, as one more title triumph would see the veteran overtake Michael Schumacher, who is currently level with the Brit on seven championships.