PF1 awards: Driver of the Season

Date published: December 3 2018

All this week, PlanetF1 and The F1 Word are revealing our categories and selected nominees for our 2018 awards ceremony…

Our first category is Driver of the Season and, after learning the lessons from Sergey Sirotkin running away with Sky Sports’ vote, we have hand-picked our nominees for you to choose from. Trust nobody!

Fernando Alonso: The two-time World Champion was nowhere near where we all want to see him, at the top of the grid, but we needed a lay down when we reminded ourselves that he had scored 50 points this season in that absolute dog of a McLaren car. How on earth did he manage that?

Pierre Gasly: 2018 has been a very good year for the Frenchman in his first full season in Formula 1. He has showcased the potential of the Honda engine and provided one of the performances of the season with his spectacular P4 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton: 11 pole positions + 11 victories = a fifth World Championship title. Hamilton has been flawless all season long and has become the first driver the surpass 400 points in a single season, dropping just 37 points from round 10 at Silverstone onwards. He is at the absolute peak of his powers and 2018 showed he is still very much the man to beat.

Nico Hulkenberg: The Hulk warmed up for what promises to be a tantalising tussle with Daniel Ricciardo next season by finishing best of the rest in the World Championship with 69 points. Even though he suffered seven retirements in 2018, a string of P6 finishes and a season-best P5 at his home Grand Prix in Germany made this a season to remember for Hulkenberg.

Charles Leclerc: Easy this Formula 1 business, isn’t it? Well Charles Leclerc has certainly made it look that way in his rookie campaign. An impressive eight appearances in Q3 and 10 points finishes with Sauber have shown Ferrari more than enough that he is ready to join the big table next year and maybe even get stuck straight into a title battle.

Kimi Raikkonen: While Sebastian Vettel emerged as Hamilton’s nearest title rival, it was Raikkonen who left more of a lasting impression on us in what turned out to be in his final year with Ferrari. He racked up 12 podium finishes as part of a very consistent 2018 campaign, which included a memorable victory in the USA. And, he also showed that he would have been worthy of being kept on by Ferrari next season.

Max Verstappen: 2018 may have got off to a very shaky start for Verstappen, but he turned into a racing monster as the season developed. In the nine races that followed the summer break, the Dutchman featured on the podium seven times and sent out a title warning for 2019 in the process.

You can join The F1 Word for further discussion on each of the selected drivers here:

And cast your vote in our poll below…

Voting will close on Saturday, December 8.

All the winners from each category will be revealed on Monday, December 10.

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