Hamilton whips his team mates, but by how much?

© XPB 

It's often said that in F1, the first man a driver must beat is his team mate.

To that effect, Lewis Hamilton has been a massively tough nut to crack for those who have sat on the other of his garage over the years, and a formidable opponent for everyone else.

The always diligent Mark Hughes from Motorsport Magazine recently crunched some interesting numbers when he conducted a relative compare between the reigning world champion and his successive team mates over the years.

Unsurprisingly, Hamilton comes out on top in most cases, but one man defeats him in the stats fair and square.

Looking at what happened on average on Saturdays, one will note that Valttero Bottas and Jenson Button were evenly matched against the conquering Hamilton, but both men were slower than Nico Rosberg in qualifying trim. The 2016 world champion even had the upper hand on Ham in 2014, by 0"023s.

On Sundays, Bottas beat his Mercedes team mate in only 15.8% of the races while Button was ahead at the checkered flag 38.7% of the time.

While Heikki Kovalainen was the slowest of Hamilton's team mates in qualifying, the Finn actually fared better than Rosberg on Sundays, finishing on average 34.8% of his races in front of Lewis.

Now, looking down at the bottom line at Hamilton's first formative year in F1, with Fernando Alonso at his side at McLaren, the numbers go the other way for the Brit.

Alonso was faster in qualifying in 2007, albeit by a very small margin, and defeated his rookie team mate in 54.55% of the races, or six times to five when a straight compare was possible.

If anything, the numbers highlight the huge amount of work which awaits Valtteri Bottas this season. The 28-year-old is targeting better consistency and more race wins to get the measure of the talented Mr. Hamilton.

A huge task lay ahead for the quiet Finn in what could well be his "make or break" season.

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