Lewis Hamilton started the year on the right foot in Australia by taking the first pole position of the 2017 Formula One season, but he was beaten to race victory by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The on-track battle with Ferrari in Melbourne set the tone for the first half of the year. Lewis bounced back by winning in China, but both he and new team-mate Valtteri Bottas – who scored his first pole position in Bahrain – lost out to Sebastian in Sakhir.
The next round in Russia proved to be a special one for Valtteri, as he stormed into the lead at the start and held off Sebastian in the closing stages to take his first win in F1.
Lewis and Sebastian’s Championship battle hit the track in Spain, with the two World Champions fighting hard for victory. Lewis emerged ahead this time round and in Canada, but that was sandwiched by a disappointing seventh place in Monaco, as the team struggled to get the most out of the W08 around the Monte Carlo streets.
Azerbaijan was next on the calendar and proved to be one of the most action-packed races of the season. It featured three Safety Car periods and a red flag, due to numerous incidents – including Sebastian making contact with Lewis at the second restart.
Lewis looked set for a good result until his headrest started to work loose and he was forced to pit for repairs, eventually finishing fifth – one spot behind Sebastian.
Valtteri’s second F1 victory arrived in Austria, before Lewis led his team-mate home in a dominant Silverstone display. The team struggled in Hungary, with Valtteri the lead car in third place, before momentum started to build in Belgium and Lewis began to claw back ground.
On his 200th F1 start, Lewis took a controlled victory at Spa-Francorchamps, before backing that up with another victory in Italy next time out – giving him the Championship lead for the first time in 2017.
The start drama for Ferrari in Singapore allowed Lewis to take a surprise win and he was second in Malaysia, before returning to winning ways in Japan and the USA. Coupled with Valtteri’s P5 at COTA, that was enough for Mercedes to secure its fourth Constructors’ crown.
Lewis headed to Mexico knowing he had a good chance of taking the Drivers’ title and he did so in dramatic style after Sebastian made contact with him on lap one. He rallied back from a puncture to finish P9 and take his fourth Championship.
Mercedes signed off 2018 with second place in Brazil and masterful race victory in Abu Dhabi for Valtteri, with Lewis fourth and second in the final two races.