2011 half season driver rankings part 1: 26-16

2011 F1 season

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Start, Silverstone, 2011

With half the season done, there is still half the season left to run.

Well, not quite, but with nine out of 19 races in the books it’s time to see how the drivers are getting on.

Here’s the first part of my mid-season driver rankings plus some of your views on the drivers from the forum.

Share your view on the drivers rated below in the comments.

26. Narain Karthikeyan

Beat team mate in qualifying0/7
Beat team mate in race1/5
Races finished6/7
Laps spent ahead of team mate125/346

It was much more of a surprise to see Narain Karthikeyan being handed an F1 return with HRT than it was to see him dropped from the team halfway through the year.

Even so, the team should have done him the courtesy of letting him know he was being replaced before he read about it online.

Narain is constantly raising the bar for the pay driver stereotype: slow, back-marking rich guys whose sponsors earn them drive with the Formula One minnows. His performances against Liuzzi are evocative of pay driver Ricardo Rosset and Vincenzo Sospiri in the MasterCard Lola car, respectively.

Narain Karthikeyan 2011 form guide

Daniel Ricciardo, HRT, Silverstone, 2011

25. Daniel Ricciardo

Beat team mate in qualifying0/1
Beat team mate in race0/1
Races finished1/1
Laps spent ahead of team mate1/49

Making a race debut with a back-of-the-grid team brings particular difficulties. As new drivers having so few opportunities to test F1 cars today compared to four or five years ago, we should adjust our expectations accordingly.

The only benchmark Ricciardo can be measured against in his single F1 start to date is his team mate. He was slightly closer to Liuzzi in qualifying and the race than Karthikeyan had been, which is a good start.

Can’t say we’ve seen much, perhaps see him in a Toro Rosso next year.

Daniel Ricciardo 2011 form guide

24. Jerome d’Ambrosio

Beat team mate in qualifying2/9
Beat team mate in race2/5
Races finished8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate85/411

Nine races into Jerome d’Ambrosio’s career he’s shown himself to be a safe pair of hands.

Missing the 107% cut in Montreal was a moot point, and he’s lost out to Liuzzi’s HRT on a couple of occasions. But he’s not been completely blown into the weeds by Timo Glock.

Seems to be holding his own as a rookie slightly better than his predecessor Di Grassi, but nothing amazing so far.

Jerome d’Ambrosio 2011 form guide

23. Jarno Trulli

Beat team mate in qualifying1/9
Beat team mate in race2/4
Races finished7/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate176/369

Clearly unhappy with the handling of the new Lotus, particularly its steering. After nine races it’s surprising this veteran of 243 Grands Prix hasn’t got the car working to his liking yet.

The qualifying scoreline makes particularly grim reading for a driver once regarded as a one-lap specialist.

Too big of a gap from his team mate and only escaping the last position for obvious reasons. Don’t believe he should leave since I enjoy seeing old blood racing against young blood.

Jarno Trulli 2011 form guide

22. Vitantonio Liuzzi

Beat team mate in qualifying8/8
Beat team mate in race5/6
Races finished6/8
Laps spent ahead of team mate269/395

Not too proud to turn down a drive in the slowest car in F1 to keep his career going, it’s thanks to Liuzzi the team finds itself ahead of Virgin in the constructors’ championship.

He’s kept Glock and D’Ambrosio honest in qualifying and even claimed the odd scalp on Sunday.

I’ve defended Liuzzi before and i’ve slated him before. This year though, as a team leader, he’s doing a great job. However, for the vast majority of the season he’s been compared to Karthikeyan which may explain this.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 2011 form guide

Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Montreal, 2011

21. Pedro de la Rosa

Beat team mate in qualifying0/1
Beat team mate in race0/1
Races finished1/1
Laps spent ahead of team mate0/70

Parachuted in for one race with the team that dropped him last year, de la Rosa did about as well as could be expected in difficult circumstances.

Did okay under the circumstances in Canada.

Pedro de la Rosa 2011 form guide

20. Pastor Maldonado

Beat team mate in qualifying5/9
Beat team mate in race1/6
Races finished6/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate186/434

Maldonado’s arrival at Williams, usurping Nico Hulkenberg and wielding a thick wedge of PDVSA cash, attracted much negative comment before he’d as much as turned a wheel.

His first half-season hasn’t been the disaster some expected, but nor has he covered himself in glory all that often. A stand-out exception was Monaco, where he was on course for a points finish before colliding with Lewis Hamilton.

Three appearances in Q3 after a bad start to his rookie season were very welcome by Williams. He has been unlucky in those races where he was strong (Monaco) and in the others has been not fast enough to grant him his first points.

19. Vitaly Petrov

Beat team mate in qualifying6/9
Beat team mate in race2/7
Races finished8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate282/518

Got the year off to a fine start with a podium finish at Melbourne.

Since then there hasn’t been much to celebrate. Petrov has found himself increasingly out-classed by Nick Heidfeld on race day and although he retains a slight edge in qualifying, Heidfeld is eroding that as well.

Seems do handle qualifying in a decent manner with blistering quick starts. Race pace has not been as good as it should.

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

18. Jaime Alguersuari

Beat team mate in qualifying2/9
Beat team mate in race2/6
Races finished7/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate153/459

At the beginning of the year Alguersuari could find neither performance nor durability from the Pirelli tyres, and struggled relative to his team mate.

He has turned that around in recent races, however, and finished the last three in the points. It raises the prospect of a fascinating battle between him and Sebastien Buemi over the remainder of the season, while Ricciardo covetously eyes their places in the team.

Needed some time but now he’s up to speed he’s had some great races and he needs to keep that up if he wants to stay at the Red Bull family, as some other drivers are knocking on that door.

Jaime Alguersuari 2011 form guide

17. Rubens Barrichello

Beat team mate in qualifying4/9
Beat team mate in race5/6
Races finished7/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate248/434

Barrichello has come under some pressure from his new team mate in qualifying. But in the races the vast benefit of over 300 races and nearly two decades in F1 is telling.

He’s accounted for all the team’s points this year and shown some great touches when the car has allowed him to, such as his opportunistic pass on Michael Schumacher at Monaco.

Still has the talent, but not being done any favours by the utterly disappointing FW33.

Rubens Barrichello 2011 form guide

16. Adrian Sutil

Beat team mate in qualifying2/9
Beat team mate in race4/7
Races finished8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate228/509

The qualifying scoreline makes grim reading for Sutil up against his new team mate.

Di Resta has proven capable of racing at his team mate’s level right from the off, even on tracks he hasn’t seen before.

Sutil may have the points advantage but on the evidence of their form so far he’ll have to up his game to stay ahead in the second half of the year.

Has been thrashed by his rookie team mate on Saturdays but has looked pretty strong on Sundays. He still makes way too many mistakes though, and hasn’t matured as much as people expected him to. He was having a much stronger and consistent season last year.

Adrian Sutil 2011 form guide

2011 F1 season

Browse all 2011 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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162 comments on “2011 half season driver rankings part 1: 26-16”

  1. I was hoping to debate a bit but I completely agree.

    First time I’ve been commented on one of these articles too :)

    1. Apart from Petrov, I also agree pretty much.

      1. A agree too. Definitely too harsh about Petrov – he is only few point away from Nick and constantly beats him in qualifying. Heidfeld is lucky because new rules made qualifying less important. With 2010 rules Pertov would be Renault star.

        1. My only comment is that I believe Senna would have done a better job than Heidfeld.

          1. We don’t have point of reference to asses properly Senna tough I still can’t forget him being beaten by Kilen by 1s in Singapore qualifying (no bad lack involved and Senna was clearly dismayed in post qualifying interview).

          2. I think Heidfeld is doing a better job. Heidfeld been unlucky on a few occasions, if Lady Luck was on his side a bit more, he could be comfortably ahead of Petrov in the standings.

          3. That’s a bit harsh. I know everyone is talking about how great Senna was with the movie and everything, but Heidfeld is definitely doing a better job than a dead man could do.

            What? Too soon?

          4. Way too soon.

          5. DVC, he clearly meant Bruno. Unless you’re joking.

      2. Why? Vitaly has been very average. Whatever happened to shining now Kubica is out of action? Heidfeld is out driving him, not in qualifying admittedly but the race is where it counts and he just hasn’t been up to the task. Perfectly justifiable ranking position.

        1. I don’t understand why it says 2/7 Petrov has beat Nick three times this year…

      3. I don’t agree with the harshness being dished out to Narain (I’m not talking about the rankings, Keith, but in the general sense).

        He has been away from the F1 scene for nearly 5 years, and taking that into consideration, he has done a great job in my view. He may be down on his team-mate but there were occasions when he led him in the race and Liuzzi is someone who has been in the sport throughout, with Toro Rosso and then Force India. Contrast that with Narain who was dabbling with NASCAR trucks! These are motorsports on two different sides of the spectrum. And yet he made many think at the beginning of the season that he had stepped out of the cockpit only yesterday.

        It’s stupid to read some posts that compare him to Rosset and Yoong, drivers who failed to even qualify for races as against their teammates. Just because Narain is a pay driver it doesn’t mean he must be pounced upon like this.

    2. Does that mean Heikki Kovalainen is in the top 15 despite being behind a majority of the drivers in the championship?

      1. You’re looking at it with tunnel vision. You have to work out rankings relatively between car performance and performance against their team-mate. Heikki has done a brilliant job. Especially his quali performances. A worthy top 15, no doubt.

        1. I understand now.
          I thought it was based purely on the championship standings.
          Thanks RIISE

    3. I got the last two right! And Trulli and D’Ambrosio swapped. Then nothing!

    4. Yea, there isn’t much to argue with to be honest. A nice refresher lesson in the season so far :)

  2. I’ll agree to disagree about Alguersuari and Petrov being that low down, but great article none the less :P

    1. Actually, now I look at the stats you’ve put up Keith, I reconsider. I had no idea Alguersuari was being beaten 2/9 in racing and quali by Buemi? Mental.

      1. He was, strange how he seems to struggle with the first half of a season before getting beter in the middle half. Fitness, Focus or getting used to the car? Not heeding him to be the next Red Bull driver at all. But Buemi is also isn’t.

        Petrov looked like really getting a lead on, but some mistakes and lack of pace in the races make him look just another driver.

        1. plutoniumhunter
          15th July 2011, 12:33

          So, Red Bull should hire Buemi for the first half of the year, and then Alguersuari for the 2nd half? Solves the “2 drivers not good enough for one seat” problem… =D

          1. And Vettel at the start and end, and Webber in the middle :D

    2. Alguersuari has done brilliantly in the last few races but was pretty average at the start of the year.

      It will be interesting to see if he can continue to impress throughout the whole year. If he continues his current form he could end up as high as about 11th or 12th in the final rankings.

      Maldonado start off poor but has started to put in some great qualifying performances and beaten Barrichello. His race seems to lack something though.

  3. Buemi was beaten by Alguersuari in 3 races, not 2
    (Cnd, Eur, Gbr)
    + he was also driving ahead of him at Monaco, which was his crucial weekend in terms of understanding the tyres… But can understand excluding of Monaco, but still there is a mistake there…

    1. fullthrottle
      15th July 2011, 19:10

      There’s also a typo where it says he has scored in the las ten races.

  4. I’d put Barrichello behind Alguersuari and Petrov. And Glock behind Sutil.

  5. The only thing I could debate is Barrichello being that high up the order. I thought his rookie teammate has been much more impressive than him this season. I would put Rubens at #20 and Pastor at #19.

    I completely agree about putting Vitaly that low though, other than the first race of the season he hasn’t even been as good as his teammate.

    1. Beat team mate in race 5/6

      Pastors race pace is quite problematic for him. I think it’ll take a bit longer to overhaul Rubens, even if he can line it up in the pleasant half of the grid.

      1. I think he had/has a lot of trouble finising the races where he actually did well.

      2. I agree that Pastor doesn’t have stellar Sundays. But he would have finished 6th in Monaco if it wasn’t for Hamilton’s mistake, and that would have given Williams their best result of the year, and it would have catapulted Maldonado in front of Rubens in the points standings.

        1. The Last Pope
          16th July 2011, 1:44

          Hamilton made no mistake, It was an agressive overtake and Maldonado slammed the door, this is a racing incident. Maldonado’s error was not knowing what was at stake. That mistake cost him and Williams 7th place.

          1. UKfanatic (@)
            16th July 2011, 4:59

            again “The Last Pope” it was a kamikaze move considering the conditions lewis thought that he had more to win than to lose but he forgot that 6th place for a team like williams is much more valuable than it is for mclaren. the end

          2. Last pope was right, both drivers could have avoided it, it happens.

            @Todfod “would have”…

          3. @Mike.. yes.. “Would haves” and “ifs”. Just trying to say that that 5/6 race stastic isn’t all black and white.

  6. I strongly disagree with the rating of Sutil… He is clearly ahead of Di Resta in terms of points and also slightly ahead in race battles – 4:3… So, why this low rating for him? Because of qualifying, which is not rewarded with points? Oh, I forgot, Sutil is not from Great Britain… :)

    1. Just like Andy Murray – British if hes winning, Scottish is hes losing.

      Yep, got to love the battlers of world sport – the English.

    2. Sutil is good but he is getiing beat by
      Di res ta in qualifying

        1. Paul would have finished ahead of Adrian (and scored some points) in Britain had it not been for a tyre mix-up in the pits due to Adrian having a puncture when Paul planned to pit. It affected both drivers but affected Paul a lot more. Had it not been for that, Paul would be beating Adrian in the race ratings.

          A lot of Adrian’s points advantage is due to Monaco, where he was lucky to finish after crashing. While I maintain the car had damage prior to the crash from an earlier contact with Kobayashi, the fact remains that without the Safety Car Adrian would have had 0 points instead of 3, and possibly a non-finish.

          What makes it worse for Adrian is that Paul is a rookie. As a general rule, rookies are not supposed to defeat drivers in their 5th year of competition that are on the way up, as this makes the rookie leapfrog the experienced driver in the consideration of team bosses.

          The statistics in this case do not tell the full story, and that is why Paul is riding so high, relatively speaking, in reviews like this.

          1. Sutil was in Silverstone race YET AGAIN on Di Resta s pace… His managing of tyres was better then the Scots and he was catching him up quickly… People are underrating Sutil and over-hyping Di Resta to death… For better qualifyings and just 2 scored points for 2 10th places… Not to mention too many mistakes of Di Resta in last races…

          2. Sutil was in Silverstone race YET AGAIN on Di Resta s pace

            The very fact that you’re saying “A driver who has been in F1 for four years is on the pace of his team-mate” is damning Sutil. He should be beating the rookie easily.

          3. I guess that should have been

            …in F1 for four years is on the pace of his rookie team-mate

            to make the point made really sink in.
            I agree, he should be doing a lot better if he wants to go higher up in F1.

          4. Being a rookie means nothing.

    3. Not this again…

      Sutil has been in F1 for 4 years now. Yet he can only beat a rookie who hasn’t even been racing in single-seaters for a couple of years 4 out of 7 times. He’s also been out-qualified 7 times and led his team-mate less than half of the laps they’ve both been on the circuit. That is pretty poor.

      1. You probably should read the last interview of Adrian Sutil to make a picture about 2011 season… New drivers have not so many problems with this year tyres, because they didn t drive the Bridgestones before, so they were not in a need to change their driving style! This is a quite important point!

        1. And yet, the I-need-to-adapt-to-them-darn-Pirelli-tyres could be applied to the majority of the grid.

          It’s always something with Sutil. The steering, the tyres, the broken glass, etc. It is getting hard to find a proper way to defend him while we are nearing the mid-season. It’s been many weekends and a driver’s adaptation skills is just one more required set of talent they must possess.

        2. No you are right Di Resta doesn’t need to adapt to the new tyres… Only the entire car and concept of F1 in comparison to DTM. Man he SO has the easy side of this deal.

          1. Sutil has a strong race pace, is a solid overtaker (Castrols 1st place of 2010 season) and has 5x more points then Di Resta… That s what counts… And looking at qualifyings, he is only 1 tenth behind Di Resta on average, which is minimum…

        3. Sorry, being used to the Bridgestones is not a viable reason to being outpaced by your team mate. Sutil should be beating Di Resta comfortably but he simply isn’t. I see no reason why FI would want to keep him as Paul is simply going to outclass him constantly once he gets more experience.

          1. Drivers championship:

            12. Sutil – 10 pts
            17. Di Resta 2 pts

            Still don t know about “what beating” you are talking about, guys… :D

      2. Sutil’s best time for me was the back end of 2009, since then he’s been largely quiet and a bit underwhelming to be honest.

    4. The bias comments have made me lsoe the will to live never mind the will to argue against them.

      Sutil’s being beaten in qualifying by a rookie and that is significant. Qualifying is about wringing the neck of the car and getting absolutely everything out of it and with so many years more experience than Paul he shouldn’t be troubled in this area. Races can have a lot of variables to swing a good result but qualifying is more of a level playing field to determine pace.

      If Sutil’s being troubled by someone with a lot less experience already in qualifying then what is he going to be like when Paul perfects his racing? So far Paul’s been in a lot of incidents which has hurt him but when he keeps his nose clean Sutil’s going to be in a lot of trouble.

      Oh and everything Itchyes said too :P

      1. So then you should write a letter to FIA about canceling all races as they seems to be useless… Then you can enjoy those one lap pace battles and praise the “fantastic” Di Resta, who is good in qualifying, but mediocre in race…

        1. That’s not what I said Marco and nor do I think it. My point is though that on pace Sutil’s already being beaten with someone with relatively no experience. When Paul gets a bit more experience and calms his races down then Sutil’s going to have a hard time all weekend.

          1. Steph, your point would be valid if drivers didnt have the choice between either a face qualifying setup or a good race pace setup. Di resta uses a qualifying setup, and that is why his race pace is so so poor.

        2. Marco, fine if you want to disagree, but read the comment before critisizing, please.

          Steph clearly wrote, that when Sutil is being beaten in Q already, how will he look when DiResta gets out the rookie errors of judgement in the races. Exactly the opposite of what you imply in your statement.

          1. The same thing people were thinking about Hamilton in 2007 when he was matching/beating Alonso. Now 5 years passed but he still hasn’t got out the rookie errors of judgement.

          2. Ah, but most people who succeed in F1 do iron out their rookie errors. Lewis happens to be in such a strong team that he has, until recent weeks, been able to cover for his errors using the stronger parts of his driving profile.

      2. I consider that calling the DTM champion “a rookie” is a misuse of word. Unless you’re underestimating the touring car series that is probably closest to GP racing in terms of technology and drivers.

        1. Paul is a rookie to this series. DTM will have been of some help but it still takes time to work out what transfers and what doesn’t, and then learning the F1-specific things.

    5. Considering both drivers relative experience in F1 Sutil should be easily outperforming Di Resta, especially if he wants to be moving to a better team in the future.

    6. That’s ridiculous. Di Resta is a Rookie and his driver rating I presume takes that into account.

      If it wasn’t for the ridiculous penaltes, Di Resta would be ahead of Sutil.

      Check the previous years ranking of Sutil on this site and you might realise that nationality has nothing to do with it Marco.

    7. Oh, I forgot, Sutil is not from Great Britain

      Change the record. Seriously.

      And perhaps wait to see where I’ve put Di Resta and why before leaping to conclusions.

      1. UKfanatic (@)
        16th July 2011, 5:04

        every day reading stupid comments, don’t know how you can keep aswering politely.

      2. Why should he?? This is a British site,its not surprising Di Resta would be hyped as the next world champion,here. Now,if there were a few more Germans here…

        1. Then there probably would be more people hyping the German drivers in the comments.

          Keith has shown a balanced view again and again. If you don’t agree, wouldn’t it be far better to explain why you don’t agree? Further enhancing the sites comment section? Rather than just taking a baseball bat his journalism.

          1. I don’t agree with Marco on the Great Britain business, but I completely disagree with Steph’s comment overall and Sutil’s poor rating here.

            Sutil IS doing “anything” and “something”. He’s getting points for his mid-field team and di Resta isn’t.

            Of course di Resta’s team have made errors that have cost him, but that’s how it goes.

            I also think Sutil is perhaps the most loathed driver in F1 by the fans for his Camp Euro aesthetic.

            Ultimately, though, I believe a fair assessment is that Sutil is getting destroyed in qualifying by di Resta but has managed to beat his teammate and other mid-fielders where is matters. He’s 12th now. Look at who is ahead of him – should he honestly be any higher?

            Of course there have been errors by

          2. I fail to see why anyone would feel obliged to support their ‘home’ drivers anyway. Hell, Lewis Hamilton’s team was founded by a Kiwi and powered by a German engine.

          3. If people didn’t support there home driver there would be no pressure on FI to find an Indian driver, people wouldn’t keep talking about how long it has been since there was an Italian at Ferrari, Maldonado’s sponsors wouldn’t have paid as much money to get him into F1, no one would have noted that last race was the first time since the 70s there were two Australian drivers, etc. etc.

            It’s a reality. People support their local team in football more than they support another, same goes for F1 drivers. Maybe if the teams were more evenly spread you’d see more of a focus on them, but otherwise…

  7. Wheres glock

    1. Presumably 15th or higher!

    2. I thought Liuzzi was doing better than him. Yes, Karthikeyan is not D’Ambrosio, but Glock has been beaten 2 times in qualifying, and Liuzzi with an inferior car has been very close to both.

  8. Apart from Australia he hasn’t impressed.

    Apparently Australia is the only race you’ve watched this year. In 2010, Vitaly Petrov only qualified in Q3 once or twice. This year, he qualified in Q3 for five straight races and anrrowly missed out on it twice.

    1. I’m not a huge Petrov fan, but I’d agree he’s achieved quite a lot this season, and I think he shouldn’t have been ranked so low.

      Are drivers who appear to be gradually improving favoured over those who are dropping back? Even if it’s more the fault of the team than the driver himself?

      With Petrov taking his podium almost 4 months ago, it almost seems like a different season now. But, I suspect if it had’ve happened more recently, he would be on for a much higher placing.

      He has struggled a bit in the races, but he is comprehensively outpacing Heidfeld- or at least he was until the last couple of races.

      Based on the last two races, 19th would seem like a fair ranking, but considering how well he did before that it seems very harsh

      1. I think Petrov’s biggest problem is that he tends to race in absolutes. He either does very well or has a very average race, and a lot of the outcome is decided from the beginning of the weekend. If he has a good Firday, he’ll have a good race. Likewise, if he has a poor Friday, it will be refelcted in his qualifying and race results. It’s easy to look at his stats and see he’s only beaten Nick Heidfeld twice from the nine races to date – but it’s really not that bad when you consider that Heidfeld has only just overtaken him in the points standings.

      2. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
        15th July 2011, 11:59

        Considering Heidfeld’s inconsistent qualifying, in most races Heidfeld drives better than Petrov and usually beats him. He has more points as well

        1. Yeah, Petrov manages to go backwards during the races far too often. He’s got some talent, just needs some time to get it out of him.

          1. We could say Petrov is a rookie and Heidfeld has experience, so it’s obvious that “Quick” Nick beats him in the races, but I think it’s the opposite: Petrov is young and is in his second season, Heidfeld is relatively old and has never achieved anything in his career, so Vitaly should beat him more often than not.

          2. http://f1-facts.com/statistics/drivers

            Not sure how up to date that is, but it shows him as having the 29th most points of any driver 1950 onwards.

            That’s not a bad stat.

          3. Yes, but if you normalise the points per race, and then normalise it again per season, he’d drop back a fair bit wouldn’t he?

    2. @PM – he did well in the race at Canada too, where he ended up 5th, while Heidfeld made that schoolboy error hitting Kobayashi.

      1. Yeah, very true.

        I think he would deserve a better place. Monaco was a good race for him as well, right until he got Alguersuari stuck up on him at that incident, and that was not his fault.

    3. Until he gets his race pace sorted he isn’t getting any praise. Qualifying isn’t the way to judge a driver, particularly with today’s F1.

  9. Wherever Glock ends up in this he is far too far ahead of d’Ambrosio who has actually been quite close to him.

    Other than that I agree with most… except… :)

    1) How can you justify Ricciardo being ahead of Karthikeyan after 1 race. There is no question Daniel is better than Narain, but after 1 race Ricciardo did not impress, so at this point, he’d be last on my list.

    2) Alguersuari hasn’t been that bad… swap him for Glock :)

    1. The point is, is that Ricciardo, in his first F1 race, is already doing just as well as Karthikeyan was, if not better in comparison with Liuzzi. To me that warrants a higher ranking.

    2. I agree about Glock. Unlike in 2010, he’s done nothing particularly impressive this season. Obviously it’s difficult in a car as bad as the Virgin, but you’d expect him to outqualify his teammate as often as he did last year

      1. I agree as well.

      2. I think he is doing very good Ned, only the car is even further back.

        His Monaco qualifying was amazing, for example.

    3. “1) How can you justify Ricciardo being ahead of Karthikeyan after 1 race. ” – I reckon because Ricciardo has whiter teeth :)

    4. https://www.racefans.net/statistics/2011-f1-statistics/f1-2011-driver-form-guides/timo-glock-2011-form-guide/

      Havce a look at the qualifying gap. I wouldn’t say over 0.5 secs on average in qually is ‘quite close’.

  10. Lots to disagree about

    1) Ricciardo. AFter 1 race where he hadn’t driven it before, didn’t drive on softs until the day of quali. Spent most of the race on these tyres etc… I don’t think it’s fair to rate him as whatever you do it’s purely guess work. We don’t know how well he should have fared given the conditions, so we can’t rate him. I would give him a N/A simply because he could have done an unbelievable job to finish only that far off given everything or otherwise could ahve finished better in those circumstances. WE don’t know and so I’d given Riciardo a N/A I’d also do the same for De la Rosa

    D’Ambrosio and Trulli I would switch. Trulli is hardly doing better compared to his teammate than D’Ambrosio. D’Ambrosio is a rookie and Trulli has contined more than a quarter of a century of GP’s. And yes, I’m equating Kovalinian and Glock.

    Finally, Alguersuari. He started being smashed by Buemi, but now that he has found a setup he has already equalled him. Sure Alguersuari should have been better from the off, but his ability to now surpass his teammate should be taken into consideration and given that he has already made up the lost ground and then some I’d say putting him next to his teammate is about right, not the minimum of 4 place you have

    1. There was an opportunity to have an input on the rankings on the forum topic however. I too think Alguersuari should be higher, but a lot of posters were putting him around 18th so anyone that disagrees had their chance to make the difference ;)

      1. I don’t tend to post on forums and so I didn’t see the thread. I don’t even bother reading/lurking through them.

        Sounds like my opinion wouldn’t have made much difference anyway.

    2. but his ability to now surpass his teammate should be taken into consideration

      I presume that will be shown in the end of year rankings. This is purely on the first half of the season not what might happen.

  11. Ricciardo will be #1.

    1. What!!!!!

  12. I have my own ranking, based on average weekend grades I give (60%), the current form (last three races, 20%) and the highlights (best three races, 20%).
    Here’s how it is turning out (without Ricciardo and De La Rosa):
    24. Narain KARTHIKEYAN
    23. Pastor MALDONADO
    22. Jerome D’AMBROSIO
    21. Jarno TRULLI
    20. Vitaly PETROV
    19. Felipe MASSA
    18. Rubens BARRICHELLO
    17. Adrian SUTIL
    16. Paul DI RESTA
    15. Sebastien BUEMI
    14. Michael SCHUMACHER
    13. Jaime ALGUERSUARI
    12. Mark WEBBER
    11. Nico ROSBERG
    10. Timo GLOCK
    9. Vitantonio LIUZZI
    8. Sergio PEREZ
    7. Heikki KOVALAINEN
    6. Nick HEIDFELD
    5. Kamui KOBAYASHI
    4. Jenson BUTTON
    3. Lewis HAMILTON
    2. Fernando ALONSO
    1. Sebastian VETTEL

    If I didn’t base myself on my own numbers and evaluations, maybe this wouldn’t have been the picture, but I’m keeping it honest to actual 2011 performances.
    Alguersuari and Alonso have the current best form (last 3 races), Hamilton shown the most (best 3 races), and Vettel has an average of 8.0, very consistent.
    My ranking looks quite similar to Keith’s, so far.

    Just as a reference: I gave out two 10s (Hamilton in China, Button in Canada) and five 9.5s (Kobayashi in Turkey, Hamilton and Heidfeld in Spain, Vettel in Monaco, Schumacher in Canada).
    The lowest grade I gave was Webber for his home weekend (2.0), and Massa in Spain (same grade). Karthikeyan got a 2.5 in Valencia, and a 3.0 in Australia. Schumacher had a 2.5 in Turkey; Other 3.0s: Heidfeld in Australia and Maldonado in China. Horrible weekends also for Maldonado in Australia and Turkey, Petrov in Malaysia, D’Ambrosio in Monaco and Ricciardo at Silverstone.

    1. Why liuzzi in 9th

      1. I evaluate based on the weekend and on what kind of achievements the driver had, based on the material of that weekend. I saw him doing a superb job in Canada, pretty well in Silverstone and ok in all the other races. No major mistakes, also in control, he’s been much better than last year.

        1. The only thing to keep in mind, when comparing to Keiths list, is that this is more the actuall form then an evaluation of the first half of the season.

          Although I guess current form (last couple of races) also had a strong influence on all of us posting our opinions in the Forum.

      2. Told you, Liuzzi should be higher than Glock, as is on this list.

    2. just a comment on Buemi x Alguersuari; the spaniard is only ahead because of his current high form. Buemi has had an average grade of 6.39, Alguersuari 5.94.

      For brazilian readers, I have been reporting extensively on my blog http://www.blogdosmanos.com, with these and more stats, all race reports and pre race comments. Is this little advertisement ok, Keith? Sorry if it’s not…

      1. I think Alguersuari can mantain this good form… His only problem were the tyres and the problem seems to be solved… :) The replay of 2010 is expected… ;)

        1. I believe Buemi is better, and I kind of hope he will prove it, he’ll bounce back.

          1. Buemi is only better in qualifying… that s his all “magic”…

          2. On the never ending Buemi vs Alguersuari discussion, we should factor in that pure speed aside, Buemi has already showed once how having a fast teammate (Jaime himself, 2nd half of 2010) is enough to make him lose concentration and crack under the pressure.

            That may very well happen again this year, which would definitely reveal that Buemi’s flaws are psychological and chronic, and Jaime’s flaws are technical and will sort themselves out as he gains experience.

            In other words, Buemi might be the quicker of the two overall (I believe he is), but if over two complete seasons he fails to capitalise on that and stand head and shoulders above Jaime, then it’s Buemi who is doomed.

    3. Not a bad rating, I have to say! :)

    4. soundscape (@)
      15th July 2011, 11:22

      Bit rough on Mark Webber I would’ve thought. He may not have won a race yet this season but his consistency has been remarkable.

      1. Yeah, he’s still 2nd in the championship, so for only being the 12th best driver, that’s a great effort, even if he has the best car!

    5. So teams should chose their drivers based on this list… Liuzzi should be in a top team!

    6. The lowest grade I gave was Webber for his home weekend (2.0)

      How can you possibly justify giving him a 2. He qualified on the front row and finished 5th. Not a bad weekend in my opinion.

      1. Theres lies, dammed lies and then theres statistics.

      2. And had a bad car…… Suggesting that any driver including NK has never had a worser weekend this year is quite pathetic at best.

      3. He qualified on the front row

        No he didn’t. Hamilton was a tenth ahead, with Vettel seven further tenths ahead.

        I agree that 2/10 is very harsh (especially when Narain was never given anything lower). But there’s no denying it was a tepid performance.

        1. No he didn’t. Hamilton was a tenth ahead, with Vettel seven further tenths ahead.

          Sorry, my mistake. But still, that doesn’t deserve a 2. Maybe a 5 or 6.

  13. Very harsh on Petrov. He has only 3 pts less than the much more experienced Heidfeld and regularly has out qualified him.

    BTW Keith I keep getting tabs/browsers needing to be recovered on several different machines with the site lately.

    1. quick explanation: Petrov had six below average weekends, Heidfeld two (out of the first three). Petrov was brilliant in Australia, Heidfeld in Malaysia and Spain. Petrov was good in China, Heidfeld in Turkey and at Silverstone. And the german was slightly above average in Monaco, Canada and Europe. Sometimes the points aren’t everything.

    2. Yeah Keith, I ought to have mentioned this earlier but I am having the same annoying problem as MW, pretty much every time I click a link or submit a comment (presumably including this one). It doesn’t affect me on the Forum though, if that helps

      1. Yeah Keith, I ought to have mentioned this earlier but I am having the same annoying problem as MW


    3. It’s not about how well they are doing compared to their experience though is it?

      For Petrov to be rated ahead, he’s actually got to be beating heidfeld. And at the moment it’s not happening for him.

  14. I don’t see how you can have Petrov so low, despite your reasoning. He is three points off Heidfeld, they’ve both had a 3rd place so their results in the other races have been pretty similar. As PM pointed out last year he barely got into Q3, this year he has been regularly in the top 10 shootout. Heidfeld has hardly set the world on fire in the last three or four races so I think that shows the car is less competitive than it was at the start of the year.

    I looked at last year’s rankings, Petrov was ranked 20 when he was blown being blown out of the water by Kubica. I think he has been much better this year so should be higher, haven’t given it much though where exactly but he was the one who stood out to me as too low.

    1. This year the quality in drivers is pretty high. I only have seven drivers performing below average, out of 24. Petrov is surely one of them.

      1. Your system seems to take into account the performance of the driver relative to the car more than Keith’s. For example I am almost certain Webber will be in the top 10 of Keith’s despite how far he is behind Vettel.

        A big factor is performance relative to your team mate. Heidfeld was going to get solid points in Canada but even still he would not be that far ahead of Petrov. I know points aren’t everything because otherwise it would suggest Michael Schumacher is having a reasonable season (compared to Rosberg) but still I personally would have Petrov higher, and Heidfeld lower than they are in your rankings. I like the rest of the list though.

  15. I disagree with Sutil being lower ranked than his team mate, when Sutil has five times as many points as his rookie team mate.

    I can understand he is losing in qualifying, but we all know what happens on race day is what counts. Qualifying is also not a good bench mark because in the setup you can sacrifice race pace for qualifying pace, which is what I think Di resta is doing – to get exposure.

    I’m no fan of Sutil, but I believe he deserves to be better ranked than his team mate.

    And ranking some one higher simply because they are a rookie, is really, really stupid.

    1. Di Resta has been overall better than Sutil in 6 out of 9 races, forget about the qualifying. The lack of points makes it clear that Sutil has been more successful, but Di Resta is having clearly the better season so far. I do think this still might change.

      1. You are speaking in opposites.

        Your saying he is having a better season than his team mate, who has five times as many points as him. Do you see the failed logic?

        Points is what counts.

      2. Di Resta was better in 6 races? And which ones, if I may ask? In last 4 races, Di Resta made 3 mistakes… (1 crash and 2 collisons)

    2. I guess that’s the reason:
      Adrian Sutil – Laps spent ahead of team mate – 228/509
      So he’s been outqualified and outpaced by a rookie. Of course DiResta makes too many mistakes but on the whole he’s still better.

      And the 5:1 points ratio argument is a little unjust and misleading, to say the least: Sutil has only 10 points, so DiResta could make it 5:1 on points in just two races provided that he wins them ;)

      Generally speaking Sutil hasn’t improved lately and though he may be a good driver of choice for a low-midfield team I guess he won’t get to the top.

      1. P.S. I’m very sorry for misspelling Paul di Resta’s name – hope he’ll forgive me. It has never happened to me before ;)

  16. With half the season done, there is still half the season left to run.

    I didn’t need to read any of the article after this one line. It made me smile that much.

    1. I saw that as well.

      Fantastically done Keith! :D

  17. James Brickles
    15th July 2011, 11:10

    Compared to 2010 Vitaly has improved dramatically in consistency. His races haven’t been the same as Australia but I would’ve definitely put him a lot higher up than his current position. Silverstone was more down to the off throttle blown diffuser ruckus compromising the team rather than the two drivers.

  18. But he made a breakthrough and has been in the points for the last ten races.

    Shouldn’t this be last three races?

  19. Has Alguersuari really been in the points for the last 10 races? Off the top of my head i don’t think that’s right, could be wrong though.

    1. I’ll answer my own question and it’s no, Alguersuari has not been in the points for the last 10 races, his results are … 9th, 11th, 14th, ret, 16th, 16th, ret, 8th, 8th, 10th. In fact he’s only finished in the points 6 times in his F1 career.

  20. streetfightingman
    15th July 2011, 11:39

    I like these articles.
    But I don’t think Ricciardo should be on the list at all. Sure, he has to be “judged”, but I think it’s too early to put him somewhere in the list.. He’s in a crap car so he can’t go much up and down on the list though..

  21. Does the second number in the statistic about races exclude retirements?

    Anyway, a couple of typos:

    […] which suggests there’s nothing wrong here a bit more track time wouldn’t help.


    But he made a breakthrough and has been in the points for the last ten races.

    I don’t see why Petrov is so low to be honest. He outqualifies Heidfeld most of the time, which means a lot considering he lost 2-17 against Kubica. Either he should be higher or Heidfeld lower. While he may lose out to him in the races, he also seems to have less luck – he seems to be stalked be a certain Schumacher that is missing his braking points.

    All in all good, although Alguersuari’s latest performances were top notch.

  22. how can liuzzi be so low? what more can he do?

  23. I think Vettel has to be on top for sure. But second? That will be interesting.

    My guess would be Alonso. He has done so much in such an uncompetitive car. And that win was fantastic. But even ignoring that he has really been putting the car further up the grid than it really deserves I feel.

    Lewis for me, is still one of if not the quickest drivers… yet… he has made too many mistakes and could have done more. For sure he can bounce back, and I’m sure he will. But yeah… not this half.

    I think the only other guy it could is Button. Yeah sure he’s had some luck and he isn’t on Lewis’ pace, but geez. He grabbed that luck by the dangly bits and then some.

    And for once Schumacher don’t be miles off Rosberg. Huzzah!

    1. Oh, and Kamui… Kamui for number one anyone?

      1. plutoniumhunter
        15th July 2011, 12:43


      2. This really does get VERY subjective at the top (yes the whole list is but meh).

        You *could* say that Vettel has generally had an easy run without much to do. He has the fastest car and his team mate is for some reason not a threat this year (it’s not due to lack of talent). He hasn’t had to show much this season.

        You *could* also say that Kamui has had a great season with excellent driving skills on show (arguably the most obviously talented driving out there) and he has driven very fairly. But I can’t see many people putting him at the top. Not unless he’s in one of the top 3 teams.

        I really want to see Kamui in a good car. Can’t see where there is a spot at the moment though – ditch Massa and have him in the Ferrari? He’s not going to be in a McLaren any time soon and Red Bull tend to have their own development path for drivers (arguably not delivering much ATM though)

  24. More or less agree, although Algusuari deserves more credit than he’s given some times. He’s turned his season around lately. Three points finishes in the last three races has saved his skin at Toro Rosso (although there are suggestions that it was actually his father’s wallet that did him a favour).

    Glad to see that Heikki Kovalainen is in the top 15. Very much agree with that.

  25. I don’t understand how Ricciardo is ahead of Karthikeyan, albeit he’s had more starts, at least he’s beaten his team-mate in the race and led a higher percentage of laps vs his team mate.

    Not that any of it matters, but I’m tired of people berating Karthikeyan and praising Ricciardo despite the fact that neither deserve any.

    1. Karthikeyan has been in 26 races. That’s why.

      There hasn’t been a barrage of Ricciardo support on this site either if it makes you feel any better.

      1. Karthikeyan had a 6 year break from Formula One… Ricciardo s performance was a massive dissapointment looking at how many tests he had + free practices with STR + lot of hours in a simulator…

        1. Indeed, that’s why he’s 25th out of 26. He still should be above Karthikeyan though.

        2. Hardly a massive disappointment! Be realistic. I would consider Ricciardo’s performance greater than any of Karthikeyan’s this season, relatively.

  26. Michael Griffin
    15th July 2011, 13:46

    Very very nice work Keith.

  27. Nice to see Glock is higher than this in the F1fanatic rankings, but Massa should in all honesty probably be down here.

    1. More than Massa, Webber deserves to be in this list of 16-26.

      Webber in 2011 has been worse than Massa in 2010. Massa has been compromised by bad pit stops and having to accommodate for Alonso’s strategy.

      Webber even on good days (without KERS or other issues) has been unable to challenge Vettel. What’s more, he lost out to Alonso at Valencia too!

  28. If Timo didn’t blow Jerome into the weeds, how come he rated so well? Also, Petrov for me should’ve been rated just below Heidfeld – they have a relatively similar number of points.

  29. Great stats. Mosrtly agree altough I think Buemi will be ramked to high vs Alguersuari. I’m sure this will look totally different at the end of the season anyhow.
    By the way, Alguersuari would love this: “But he made a breakthrough and has been in the points for the last ten races”

  30. Remember Petrov is a tad unlucky as well. He was crashed out of the Monaco GP when he was about to get a haul of points, and he could’ve done much better in China without his qualifying problem

  31. “He was slightly closer to Liuzzi in qualifying and the race than Karthikeyan had been, which is a good start.”

    Absolutely false. He may have been slightly closer in qualifying, but he was hardly closer during the race. More unjustified hype.

  32. Very interesting list there Keith. It is quite different than my list but I dont necessarily disagree with anything you have put up there yet. Very nice of you to post your opinion on such matters.

    Is their going to be a chance for the readers to vote just like at the end of last year (if I remember correctly)?


  33. Why is Vitaly Petrov so down the order? I do agree that he didn’t keep the promise that he showed in the Asian part of the season but I think he had done enough good job to be ahead of Barrichello & Sutil.

    1. Agreed. At least Petrov have showed us something amazing. It might only have been on a couple of occasions, but i don’t think that Barrichello have done anything special, and the only thing i remember about Sutil’s performance, is that he might be more consistent then Di Resta, but in the end, not nearly as fast.

    2. I agree that he would deserve to be a bit higher.

      In Monaco he was doing quite fine before getting hit in that accident that was not his mistake.

  34. Great work as ever Keith. However I think Maldonado should be higher. In his first season and being largely seen as a pay driver, being able to out qualify Barrichello over 50% of the races commands more respect imo. He has improved greatly as the season has worn on.

  35. I agree pretty much with one exception – Petrov, he has beaten Heidfeld in qualifying consistently and has performed decently in races, and after all Heidfeld is a good driver. Personally I think I would find it hard to decide which of the 2 had done better.

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