Start, Melbourne, 2013

2013 F1 season half-term driver rankings: 22-11

Driver Rankings

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Start, Melbourne, 2013The Formula One field of 2013 features five champions, five rookies and a dozen more drivers vying to come out on top.

Separating out the driver’s contribution from the advantage or disadvantage handed to him by their car is always a challenge, but that’s exactly what the Driver Rankings aims to achieve.

The first part of this mid-season look at how each of the drivers are performing covers the 12 names in the lower portion of the list:

22. Max Chilton

Beat team mate in qualifying0/9
Beat team mate in race0/8
Races finished10/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate92/550

It’s always difficult to develop an informed view about how two rookie drivers in the same team as both are unknown quantities. In Chilton’s case he is yet to out-qualify Bianchi on merit in ten attempts.

He caused a substantial accident in Monaco for which he received a surprisingly lenient given the nature of the error and the fact it caused a race-stopping crash. In his favour, he’s a consistent finisher and has clearly made progress since the beginning of the season, winning a couple of scraps with Van der Garde.

Max Chilton 2013 form guide

21. Giedo van der Garde

Beat team mate in qualifying3/10
Beat team mate in race1/7
Races finished8/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate179/471

The contest between the two Caterham drivers has been closer than some expected. Van der Garde is clearly trailing his more experienced team mate but at times he’s had to make do without the latest upgrades.

Canada stands out as a particularly poor race as he tangled with both Webber and Hulkenberg while being lapped. However he ended the first half of the season with a decent performance in Hungary.

Giedo van der Garde 2013 form guide

20. Esteban Gutierrez

Beat team mate in qualifying0/10
Beat team mate in race1/6
Races finished8/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate76/443

Gutierrez may have been pushed into F1 too soon but he’s here now and has to be judged on the strength of his performances thus far. He’s been dealt a tough hand: the C32 is a disappointment after Sauber’s fine 2012 campaign, the team are short on cash and team mate Hulkenberg is a promising talent who’s thrashed his rookie partner so far. While Gutierrez has failed to progress beyond Q1 more often than not, Hulkenberg has managed to drag the car into the top ten.

However Gutierrez briefly led in Spain and was just a few seconds away from scoring his first point at the chequered flag. But he shunted at the pit exit in Canada and took Sutil out in China, showing he still needs quite a bit more polish.

Esteban Gutierrez 2013 form guide

19. Charles Pic

Beat team mate in qualifying7/10
Beat team mate in race6/7
Races finished9/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate292/471

Beating Grosjean during Q1 in Canada must stand out as his season highlight so far. Pic continues to show a flair for qualifying and has been a serious opponent to Bianchi in the races, though hasn’t always been able to beat the Marussia. He even chased Bottas home in Spain, and in Malaysia he beat his team mate despite being hit by Vergne earlier in the race.

Charles Pic 2013 form guide

18. Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Melbourne, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying9/9
Beat team mate in race8/8
Races finished8/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate458/550

The size of the gap between the midfield and the two smallest teams frustrates efforts to understand how well the latter’s drivers are performing. So far Bianchi has finished ahead of his team mate in every qualifying session and race where both were able to participate: an enviable record, but hard to make much of when he shares a team with the un-rated Chilton.

Making matters worse for Bianchi, Marussia seem to have been in decline since the season began. The days of him being able to get within a few tenths of a Williams and a Toro Rosso, as in Malaysia, seem a long time ago.

Jules Bianchi 2013 form guide

17. Pastor Maldonado

Beat team mate in qualifying4/10
Beat team mate in race4/6
Races finished7/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate271/512

Maldonado’s third season has been a largely frustrating experience so far. The car has slumped back to a 2011-level performance at best, it isn’t responding to his scruff-of-the-neck driving style, and there’s a hot prospect on the other side of the garage showing him up.

Maldonado has been a little more dependable than Bottas in the races, and with a dose of luck managed to snatch a point in Hungary, but until then it was his team mate who looked the most likely to get the job done.

Pastor Maldonado 2013 form guide

16. Jean-Eric Vergne

Beat team mate in qualifying3/10
Beat team mate in race3/4
Races finished6/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate205/469

Red Bull came to a swift decision about which of the Toro Rosso drivers is the better prospect. And looking at their qualifying results there’s no mistaking that Ricciardo is doing a far better job on Saturdays.

But Vergne, despite the worst car reliability record of any driver, still has more points than Ricciardo. These came largely thanks to two excellent drives in Monaco and Canada which must be considered the equal of anything his team mate has produced this year.

Jean-Eric Vergne 2013 form guide

15. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying6/10
Beat team mate in race2/6
Races finished9/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate241/512

It’s hard not to be impressed with how well Bottas has taken to F1 on his debut despite having spent last year out of a racing environment. To consistently be on Maldonado’s pace in qualifying – let alone beating him on balance – deserves high praise.

Claiming third on the grid during a wet qualifying session in Canada was real ‘star of the future’ stuff. He was always going to struggle come race day but he produced a mature drive, defending as well as he could in the circumstances, which was very much to his credit.

Valtteri Bottas 2013 form guide

14. Felipe Massa

Beat team mate in qualifying3/9
Beat team mate in race0/7
Races finished8/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate49/460

After ending 2012 strongly and beginning this season similarly well, Massa has reverted to his post-2009 type: not quick enough and error-prone. He had at least one spin or crash per weekend for four events in a row from Monaco to Germany – imagine how a Chilton or Van der Garde would be pilloried for such a record.

He can hold a candle to Alonso now and then but he once again has less than half his team mate’s points haul. Once again he heads into the second half of a season with doubt over his future at Ferrari.

Felipe Massa 2013 form guide

13. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying7/10
Beat team mate in race1/4
Races finished8/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate264/469

Ricciardo has been strong in qualifying this year but blown hot and cold during the races. Among his less compelling performances were Bahrain (16th, struggling with tyre warm-up and braking) and Canada (15th, oversteer).

On other days it’s all come together: he started and finished seventh in China, beating Grosjean. And he deserved a better result than eighth at Silverstone as his team didn’t pit him under the late Safety Car period. But it’s hard to say conclusively that, on the strength of this, he deserves to drive an RB10 next year.

Daniel Ricciardo 2013 form guide

12. Adrian Sutil

Beat team mate in qualifying5/10
Beat team mate in race3/7
Races finished7/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate263/485

Sutil’s eye-catching return to F1 in Melbourne where he led for 11 laps was flattered somewhat by his tyre strategy and his team mate being ordered not to overtake him at the end. It raised expectations for his comeback which were soon frustrated by a series of misfortunes.

He hit back with a battling drive to fifth in Monaco, the highlight of which were a pair of gutsy passes at the Fairmont hairpin on two world champions. He collected a needless penalty in Canada and got unlucky with the Safety Car in Britain. How well he and team mate Di Resta fare in the remaining races will depend on whether they can solve the VJM06’s problems on the revised tyres.

Adrian Sutil 2013 form guide

11. Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying5/10
Beat team mate in race4/7
Races finished9/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate222/485

Having compared favourably to Sutil in his rookie season Di Resta needed to be decisively ahead this year following his team mate’s return from sabbatical. But so far his edge over Sutil has been marginal at best.

Fourth place in Bahrain, nursing his tyres on a two-stop strategy, suggested he could be on for a podium in the opening races. That it hasn’t happened yet is partly due to him going out in Q1 on three occasions and being sent to the back of the grid in Britain. Though misfortune and human error explains a lot of those, his round one elimination in Hungary pointed to a sheer lack of pace – an alarming development for the team at this point in the season.

Paul di Resta 2013 form guide

How the rankings are produced

Among the data referred to in producing the ranks are notes on each driver’s performance at each race weekend, compiled data on car performance, direct comparisons between team mates and each driver’s form guide.

Over to you

How do you think these 12 drivers have performed so far in 2013? Have your say in the comments.

Driver rankings

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Images ?é?® Marussia, Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty, Force India

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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  • 83 comments on “2013 F1 season half-term driver rankings: 22-11”

    1. I have to say, I really don’t agree with placing Massa ahead of Bottas.

      Bottas has performed far, far better than Felipe this season, in my opinion. As have the vast majority of the grid.

      1. Same here, only drivers behind Massa in my rankings are VDG, Chilton and Guttierez…

      2. Indeed. For example, Bianchi has surely performed better than Massa this year. Felipe has been awful, and even though it is hard to measure Bianchi’s relative performance (due to the reasons given in the article), I can’t understand why he’s so low down. That said, I think I agree with most of the other placings, apart from perhaps thinking that Webber should be down here somewhere.

        1. @andae23

          only drivers behind Massa in my rankings are VDG, Chilton and Guttierez…


          even though it is hard to measure Bianchi’s relative performance (due to the reasons given in the article), I can’t understand why he’s so low down

          On the one hand, I totally agree with you both… personally, to judge purely on how I feel each driver has performed relative to the standard of his car/team, I think I would probably put Bianchi in the top 10. But given that Keith is basing the rankings on facts and results rather than conjecture, I can see why the drivers at the slower teams have to be down at this end of the list. Much as we can make assumptions based on the potential someone like Bianchi has shown, it’s impossible to actually know that he’d perform better than Massa in equal machinery.

          That said, I really do hope Massa vacates his seat at the end of this year and either Hulkenberg or Bianchi replaces him. I like Felipe, but he’s just not doing anything in that car other than taking up space that could otherwise be occupied by a hungrier and probably more competitive driver.

          1. @ladym It’s very difficult to judge the Caterhams and Marussias, I get that (Bianchi’s only 16th in my list). Yes, Massa has been on the podium this season, but it’s also a fact that Massa spun five times in four weekends. And especially because he is driving for a team which has a driver that can still challenge for the world title, that’s unacceptable, hence I find it unfair that for instance he is just two places behind Sutil.

          2. I like Felipe, but he’s just not doing anything in that car other than taking up space that could otherwise be occupied by a hungrier and probably more competitive driver.

            My words exactly.

      3. As usual with this ranking, it keeps us talking F1 waiting for Spa …
        Would love Bianchi to move to a beter team next year and Hulkenberg to have a beter car. I think they are the ones to watch along with Bottas so far outside the top teams. Why not to replace Massa at Ferrari ? Eventually Perez or Raikonnen even if I don’t see Perez leaving and the kimi case is “if Kimi leave Lotus”.

      4. @magnificent-geoffrey I think it’s easy to overlook Massa’s stronger performances at the start of the season, particularly as he didn’t get the rub of the green strategy-wise in races like Australia and China. It’s not been all bad, though I’d’ve had him out of that Ferrari years ago.

        1. In China, Massa finished 40 seconds behind his team mate in the race, who probably wasn’t pushing all that hard in the final stint. I don’t recall Massa’s race in China, but is pitting one lap later – and knowing that he would have to pit after Alonso – sufficient excuse for that? In that car, an on-form driver should have finished on podium, in my opinion, not in sixth two seconds ahead of a Toro Rosso.

        2. @keithcollantine

          “though I’d’ve had him out of that Ferrari years ago”

          That’s all that needs to be said about Massa really. Since his near-miss in 2008 he has done nothing over a season to justify his Ferrari seat. I’m not a Ferrari fan but I believe they are the team that all drivers aspire to drive for. I know they have a history of a 1-2 driver status but right now it’s more like a 1-12 as I see so many drivers more deserving of a chance to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Hulkenberg, Kobayashi or Sutil spring to mind.

          I can’t believe that Ferrari have endured his mistakes and lack of points compared to his team mate for this long. They kicked Kimi out for lack of interest in the team but at least he brought home a WDC and look what he’s doing now in a Lotus. I don’t expect any team mate to out perform Alonso on a regular basis apart from Hamilton, Vettel or Kimi but Alonso & Ferrari would benefit so much more with a solid No2.

          Massa would be more suited in a HRT under a dustsheet in a lonely warehouse somewhere getting forgotten about

    2. Go Bianchi!

      He will be world champion mark my words. Unless…no I won’t say it ;-)

      1. … he joins Ferrari? :P

        1. lol no :-)

        2. David not Coulthard (@)
          15th August 2013, 18:56

          @full-throttle-f1 ….He goes the way of…..Villeneuve/Cevert?

    3. Don’t agree with too many to be honest
      Bianchi has done very well, Pic better than 4th bottom. Massa has been one of the worst again, Perez ought to be in the bottom half instead of di Resta

    4. These are always hard, but why is Bianchi in 17th instead of say, 3rd? What evidence do you have to really give any driver the win over him?

      Is he placed in 17th because we really don’t know and its easier to not offend?

      I think that is why giving each driver a rank out of 10 is far better than trying to place them in order. I’m willing to bet every single position in this list can be skewed drastically and I personally feel Bianchi has done a lot better job than say, the slow and crash prone Jean Eric Vergne, or the nowhere to be seen lately Adrian Sutil. He’s certainly done a perceived better job than Massa.

      1. @infi24r All fair questions and not easy to give straight answers to.

        The fact of the matter is Bianchi doesn’t have a car with which we can consistently compare his abilities versus a driver like Hulkenberg or Perez. Perhaps we would view things differently if he did but we don’t know what we don’t know.

        And as I say in the article it’s doubly difficult in the case of Bianchi because his team mate is also a rookie and therefore something of an unknown quantity. Compared to other rookies I’d say he’s done better than them with the exception of Bottas, as reflected in the ranking. Beyond that I can’t justify putting him higher.

        1. I see your reasons and I don’t disagree.

          But you must admit right, there is very little that Bianchi could do? He’s out qualified and out raced Chilton every race by a large quantity. Probably delivering the maximum of his car?

    5. I think Vergne and Sutil need to be a little higher up

      1. @xjr15jaaag In place of who?

        1. I think Vergne has done better than Ricciardo, and Sutil should be ahead of Di Resta too.

          1. If you think Vergne has done better than Ricciardo you should watch some races.

            1. Vergne has finished in front of Ricciardo 3 out of 4 times. He’s definitely better in races. But yeah, Ricciardo is better in qualy

          2. @xjr15jaaag I think it’s a tight decision between both those pairs of team mates as the data here shows:


        2. I think Vergne and Sutil need to be a little higher up

          In place of who?

          @keithcollantine how about the bloke who has scored 36% of the points of his team mate, and managed to crash four times in a single weekend?

          I like RoGro as a person, and there’s no doubt he has some speed, but I look forward to seeing how you’ve managed to put him in the top ten based on the first
          of this year!

          1. Probably because Grosjean is a future World Champion if he can just keep it on the Island. Years ago, no-one thought having accidents in a motor race was in anyway remarkable and all newcomers crashed often. “Hunt-The-Shunt” wasn’t called that because he didn’t fall off at every corner, but he turned into a useful driver that kind of inherited the DWC title by 1 meagre point. But he still achieved it.

            That is all hindsight, but Grosjean is a rare talent amongst all the youngsters. He may never make it but there are no guarantees.

            I very much look forward to seeing a matured Grosjean in equal performance cars aganist Hamilton.

            1. I understand the rankings to be an assesment of how the drivers have performed this year, not a ranking of potential or prediction about what they will do in the future.

    6. My problem with these lists is that they reflects the car’s performances too much. Both Caterham and Marussia drivers are in the bottom 5. Why is Bianchi doing a worse job than, say, Massa? Because he hasn’t scored any points yet? Same with the Williams pairing. Rookie Bottas is leveling with is more experienced race winning teammate. Based on that, I’d put him around or within the top 10.

      1. Apart from my criticism: keep up the good work @keithcollantine! I am aware that it’s much easier to criticise this list than making one myself..

      2. Yeah I agree. I wouldn’t disagree with Bianchi in the top 10. I think he’s doing a stellar job.

        I would place the Toro Rosso pair ahead of the McLaren pair too.

    7. @keithcollantine
      Out of interest, which drivers do you support on the F1 grid?
      Just interested

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          13th August 2013, 17:21

          @keithcollantine It is humanely impossible to not have a soft spot for a driver, being as involved with F1 as you are. Wait, you aren’t a cyborg are you? :p just kidding

          1. @shreyasf1fan Indeed. But you do realise how much poor old Keith is accused of bias, mainly based on the .uk domain suffix and British nationality? If he stated even so much as a hint of a soft spot for a driver, some would jump on that and accuse bias in every article.

            1. @pielighter That happens anyway, it wouldn’t make any difference.

          2. Must be kicking himself when the driver he likes the most is winning and nobody else is watching around… Can you imagine the scene!? LOL

          3. @shreyasf1fan I’m sure I could find reasons to like or dislike any of them. But mainly I just want to see good, close, fair racing. That doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion on who deserves to win, but I’m not the sort of person to get emotionally connected to a driver or team.

      1. @xjr15jaaag you can’t really as an F1 reporter as then obviously you’d just get a million claims of bias!

        1. David not Coulthard (@)
          15th August 2013, 19:04

          @vettel1 Unless you’re Italian!

    8. pic, bianchi and bottas should be placed higher, at least higher than massa

    9. Separating out the driver’s contribution from the advantage or disadvantage handed to him by their car is always a challenge, but that’s exactly what the Driver Rankings aims to achieve.

      That objective failed immediately! All 4 of the drivers in the 2 slowest teams are in the bottom 5. I know other commenters have pointed this out already, but we hold your writing to a very high standard Keith (which is what keeps us coming back) and look to you for honest, impartial analysis that had a lot of thought put into it.

      1. You could argue that the slower teams hold back the development of the driver, thus compared to drivers in the big teams they are underdeveloped.
        Next to that, it is still difficult. How in earth are you going to compare vettel to bianchi for example?
        Maybe it’s better to divide the teams into 3 categories: back markers, mid fielders and top teams.

      2. @newdecade I simply couldn’t make a case for ranking them higher. And it’s not as if you have so what more can I say?

        1. Maybe follow the suggestion above, divide the performances by backmarker, midfield and top team. My point is just that if you can’t find a way to discriminate out car performance, beyond comparing each driver to their team mate, then there’s no point adding a statement to say you strove to.
          Also some people on different forums have developed ranking systems which try to normalize car performance for drivers. Not saying its a right answer, and I certainly havent tried, but it has been done.

          1. The trouble is that you can’t always nicely separate the top tier and the midfield.

            1. Exactly. McLaren is a perfect example.

          2. @newdecade

            if you can’t find a way to discriminate out car performance, beyond comparing each driver to their team mate, then there’s no point adding a statement to say you strove to.

            Of course there is – to point out that it has been taken into account, even if some people think it should have counted for more (or less).

    10. Interesting rankings, quite different from mine. Which is of course good thing, because it would be boring if everyone would agree with each other. I’m excited to hear why Grosjean & Perez are in the top 10.

    11. I agree with the ordering of the above drivers, with the exception (and to the agreement of all commenters so far, it seems) of Massa, who I would put around 20.

      However, I’m not sure whether Grosjean and Perez should not be in this list. I like Romain, but there’s not getting away from the fact that, especially at the start of the season, he was too slow in a car capable of good results (he got a chassis change but was the first really broken?), and then he had that howler in Monaco. To his credit, he’s had two very strong weekends (Bahrain and Germany) and a strong weekend in Hungary that was marred by one unlucky, and one unnecessary incident. Is that enough to place him above the guys listed here?

      As for Perez, he was quite a bit slower than Button until Bahrain, after which he was challenging Jenson more consistently, although even then I feel Button was generally the better of the two.

      1. @adrianmorse At this point last year I had Massa in 22nd place. If you have a look back at the article you can see his results up to that point had been significantly worse than they were over the first half of this year. So I think he deserves to be that bit higher.

        1. @keithcollantine, he certainly has done better, but it’s still difficult for me to place him above some of the others. In my opinion, he certainly should be above Chilton, Van der Garde and Guitierrez, as it easy to point out for those drivers where they were slow and/or made mistakes.

          As for Maldonado, Bottas, Bianchi and Vergne, all have shown very good things on occasion, and on other occasions their performances were perhaps hard to read, but rarely bad. For Massa, there have been occasions were he was clearly poor, and the only race performance that really impressed me was Silverstone, and he had some good qualifyings at the start of the season.

          The only other advantage Massa has over, for instance, Bianchi, is that Massa has a series of results to his name, while Bianchi has not been able to demonstrate the ability to score points and podiums in the Marussia. Of course, Massa is up against Alonso, so it is much harder for him to look good than it is for Jules. Still, I think most F1Fanatics here would gamble on Bianchi (or Bottas, for that matter) doing a better job in the Ferrari, even if I think the former has been slightly over-hyped merely on the basis of beating Chilton.

    12. I must be the only one with Chilton not at 22nd. Given the rock-bottom expectations that he was given, finishing 10/10 races (no other rookie did), making 107% in every race (Charles Pic didn’t) – that has to count for something doesn’t it? Gutierrez on the other hand – stuck in a no-win situation at Sauber, he’s yet to outperform Hulkenberg, and is looking like a bust. It’s a shame, really, and I don’t wish that on any driver.

      Vergne has been inconsistent at times, but he could stand to be a couple of places higher on the rankings. There have been times where he’s looked better than Ricciardo – 6th in Canada was a better result than any other driver for STR managed since Vettel graduated to Red Bull, and he’s made a quantum leap forward (as expected) since last season. James Key has helped both drivers.

      I actually had Massa higher on my rankings than 14th. Okay, yes, he has gone into an awful tailspin lately that resembles his rookie year at Sauber, but he was still productive in the first half, much moreso than last season – 61 points at this stage last year, and a podium at Spain, compared to 23 points and no podiums by this time a year ago.

      Disagree with McLaren’s drivers going in the top 11. I love Checo a bunch, but in terms of productivity, he hasn’t had it. I will give him credit for fighting all the time, instead of being a docile second driver. Jenson is scoring points more consistently, but at times he’s looked frustrated and almost ready to throw in the towel and skip to 2014. And I especially disagree with them going ahead of Force India’s tandem on the list.

      Sutil has had some DNFs, but he’s exceeded expectations when it comes to out-and-out race pace given that he’s had a year away – highlights being Australia and Monaco. Paul di Resta has struggled lately in qualifying, but he’s been extremely productive and the fact that this team, which everyone had suspected would go out of business before the start of the season, or wouldn’t go anywhere when they signed Sutil over Bianchi, heck, I didn’t have Force India finishing higher than 8th in the Constructors Standings in the winter – the fact that they’re still ahead of McLaren at the halfway point should not go unnoticed. They might be set for a 2nd-half slump, but this is one of their best seasons as a team since they were Benson & Hedges Jordan because of consistent production from both drivers compared to their midfield peers.

      1. @rjoconnell It’s not a question of balancing achievement against expectations though, it’s purely a case of how well have they done. If it were the former then the drivers we expect most of – the world champions, for example – would be disadvantaged because we expect them to do well.

    13. Other than rookies.. the most rubbish driver on the grid has been Massa. I think being ranked #14 is way too high for him.

      Also thought neither Mclaren driver should be in the top 10, as they were both outperformed by the Force India drivers, and arguably Ricciardo.

      1. I think Massa’s place on the list may have been skewed by his somewhat better performances in the first 4 races. Even then, excepting Malaysia, Webber hasn’t really been that much better than Massa this year.

        How exactly did Sutil outperform Button?

        1. Sutil was on for a podium in Aus it if wasn’t for a poor strategy. His 5th place in Monaco was pretty special, and he hasn’t been as poor in quali as compared to Button

      2. I think Button and Perez have been pretty decent actually @todfod – both have been fairly consistent in qualifying and the races (with a few notable exceptions – Spain for Buttom for example) and although Perez’s first few races weren’t really stellar he’s picked up since then. I wouldn’t have either ahead of Di Resta (he’s been very good in the races and has been hampered by his team’s idiocy in qualifying significantly – I’m convinced he could’ve gotten a podium in Britain) but I’d have Button ahead of Sutil (maybe not Perez though).

      3. Massa actually has shown one of the biggest improvements of any driver, compared to his showing last year at this time and the performance of his teammate.

        In 2012 after ten races, Massa had 23 points and Alonso had 154. After ten races this year, Massa has 61 points and Alonso 133. He’s in the running for “Most Improved Driver”, surely.

        Or maybe what this actually shows is that, by judicious picking of data, you can show whatever you want to in these driver comparisons. Which is why I prefer to trust the official points table.

        1. @jonsan

          Or maybe what this actually shows is that, by judicious picking of data, you can show whatever you want to in these driver comparisons. Which is why I prefer to trust the official points table.

          Precisely. I would say performance improvements in the case of Massa are more indicative of how awful his 2012 campaign was and how Alonso hasn’t been having as great a season as last. Sure, he is on an improvement trajectory but in terms of average finishing position he fares very poorly – 7.86 vs 3.67 for Alonso (-4.19) in comparison to say Grosjean; 7.14 vs 4.2 (-2.94), or Gutierrez; 13.57 vs 10.88 (-2.71).

          So I also trust the official points table but I’m not as staunch as you evidently are – I also like to look at other statistics and to apply them in each side of an argument!

        2. @jonsan

          Or maybe what this actually shows is that, by judicious picking of data, you can show whatever you want to in these driver comparisons.

          I think that’s a cop-out argument. Just because a problem is complicated doesn’t make it insurmountable, and just because an discussion is conducted using data doesn’t make it impenetrable. What matters is who makes best use of the data.

    14. In my opinion, we shouldn’t have a drivers’ ranking…This is an absolute travesty. There’s no proof to suggest which drivers have been doing better…it is far more appropriate to rate cars than drivers, because apparently, nobody is outperforming their car this season…

      1. @wsrgo

        apparently, nobody is outperforming their car

        By that I don’t imagine you mean no one is driving their car quicker than it is capable of going because that is obviously physically impossible.

        If by that you mean no one is ranked in a higher position than their car is capable of getting them then that is both incorrect and presumptuous.

        The former because some drivers are ranked higher than their cars are in the constructors’ championship. Bianchi, for example, is 18th, whereas based on Marussia’s constructors’ championship position he would be 19th or 20th.

        The latter (more importantly) because you haven’t seen the full ranking yet. And it should be obvious that as the top ten is yet to be published you won’t have seen most of the drivers who have “outperformed their cars” so far.

        1. @keithcollantine

          Bianchi, for example, is 18th, whereas based on Marussia’s constructors’ championship position he would be 19th or 20th.

          That’s a given, considering Gutierrez’s poor performances, that Bianchi would be higher than 19th. That it is just one place above 19th, is baffling.

          1. @wsrgo I have to say in fully agreed on Bianchi – unless Chilton really is truly terrible (i.e. notably worse relative to Bianchi than say Massa is to Alonso) then the way in which he has absolutely decimated; I don’t think that is an exaggeration; Chilton should surely be deserving of a bit more credit, also bearing in mind he’s a rookie. I’d have him ahead of Massa and Maldonado certainty.

        2. @Keithcollantine
          Yeah, but this is all opinion, not necessarily fact. If Alonso screws up, people will blame the car and put him in the top 5 anyway. I remember last year a lot of people subscribing to the idea that the Williams was a great car in poor hands….. based on what? On the pre-conceived idea that Pastor and Bruno were bad drivers. Untill you got a Vettel or a Hamilton to drive that car and see what it would produce, this is all conjecture fed on prejudice This year Button is getting the pass for being awful and all blame goes to Mclaren. I say he is lucky Hamilton is not there anymore – perhaps the Mclaren is a championship winner in very poor hands…

          1. @antifia Of course it’s opinion, no one is pretending otherwise. But as far as possible I use all the facts I can to inform my opinions.

    15. Clearly Keith does not believe the Bianch-hype. Personally, I’m not sure if the fact that he is wiping the floor with his teammate means anything either. As Webber has said, this is not 2000. The grid is not bursting with talent all the way down. Beating up on a backmarker, who was nothing special in GP2, which is now nothing special as talent pool, is a dubious measure of merit. On the other hand, it’s about all you can do if you are in a Marussia. This is not Codemasters where you can finish 5th in a Marrusia by virtue of your superior skill.

      It’s also interesting that heir-apparent Dan Ricciardo is down in the teens. Hopefully Marko does not check in with this site too often or he might be out of the picture. Honestly I don’t see that he is embarassing Vergne such that only one STR driver should be in the discussion for RBR.

      Also, how is Grosjean higher than 11th? He has flashes of brilliance but now clearly that will be his main legacy.

      I don’t see the McLaren drivers as beating the curve either. The car is lousy, we hear. But the .25-.3s they lost on Saturdays by virtue of personnel change would be making a marked difference in their performance now. For example, at Hungary, .3s would have moved Button from 13th in Q2 to 8th, and thus through to Q3. With the grid this close now at the front, not having the raw pace is major flaw.

      1. @dmw

        Also, how is Grosjean higher than 11th?

        Funnily enough that just might be covered in one of the later parts…

      2. I do not believe the Bianch-hype, either. He’s way overrated.

        1. @lancelot easily better than Massa at least though surely?

          1. Massa at least outqualified a double WDC 3 times. Any driver on the grid would beat Chilton, so it doesn’t say much about Bianchi. There’s no reason to believe that he’s “outperforming” the car. Driving for the top team is a different matter than driving fo ra backmarker. Who’s to say that Bianchi wouldn’t be worse than Massa? By the way, unlike Alonso, Massa has improved this year in comparison to the last year:
            Driver Points (13/12) Qual av (13/12) Race av (13/12)
            Vettel +62 (172/110) +2 (2.7/4.7) +2.1 (4.1/6.2)
            Massa +38 (61/23) +2.4 (8.6/11.4) +1.9 (9.8/11.7)
            Raikkonen +36 (134/98) +2.3 (6.4/8.7) +1.6 (4.2/5.8)
            Hamilton +32 (124/92) +3.1 (2.6/5.7) +3.7 (4.5/8.2)
            di Resta +9 (36/27) -1.5 (13.5/11.7) +0.6 (10.2/10.8)
            Vergne +9 (13/4) +4.3 (13.2/17.5) -0.5 (14.4/13.9)
            Ricciardo +9 (11/2) -3.2 (10.0/13.2) -0.2 (13.6/13.4)
            Rosberg +8 (84/76) +3.1 (4.0/7.1) -1.6 (9.3/7.7)
            Grosjean -12 (49/61) -2 (9.2/7.2) +1.4 (10.8/12.4)
            Hulkenberg -12 (7/19) +0.2 (11.8/11.6) -1.6 (13/11.4)
            Webber -15 (105/120) -0.6 (6.9/6.3) -1.2 (6/4.8)
            Alonso -21 (133/154) +0.8 (5.3/6.1) -1.9 (5.5/3.6)
            Maldonado -28 (1/29) -4.3 (15.8/11.5) -0.7 (15.1/14.4)
            Button -29 (39/68) -2.8 (10.4/7.6) +0.3 (9.3/9.6)
            Perez -29 (18/47) +2.9 (11.0/13.7) -0.7 (11/10.3)
            Pic n/a -1.6 (19.7/21.3) +2.5 (16.7/19.2)”


            1. That’s just because Massa was truly awful last year. This year he’s just been fairly awful. Sorry, harsh but I think true.

    16. hate these comparison, who is to say bianchi hasnt driven better then rosberg and hamilton? the results here are too based on the cars results.

      1. So who else should Bianchi be ahead of and why?

    17. Having compared favourably to Sutil in his rookie season Di Resta needed to be decisively ahead this year following his team mate’s return from sabbatical. But so far his edge over Sutil has been marginal at best.

      I’d put PDR behind just because of that. They are both inequivocally average anyway, but if I were to put someone ahead, today, now, I’d put Sutil.

    18. It is hard to judge Bottas for two reasons:

      1 – the car is bad, not allowing him to show how he would do more near the front – would he outscore his team mate on points and consistency?

      2 – the car is bad, not allowing Pastor to show the speed he showed last year in qualifyings – would Bottas do so well on Saturdays in comparison with his team mate with a car as good as last years’s? Honestly, I think Bottas would be clearly beaten by Pastor with the 2012 car, just like Bruno Senna was beaten…maybe not by the same margin, as Bottas doesn’t lose any FP1 and has total support of the team, which translates into handling pressure better…

      1. I still think for the minute Maldonado is the better driver overall but for current season performances Bottas hands down has been the better package. I think Hungary may be a turning point though and (here’s hoping as one of his few fans!) Maldonado can finally show us some of that phenomenal speed he obviously had in 2012.

        1. And thankfully Maldonado’s been keeping his nose clean. I think both are doing a decent job. Bottas is highly-rated by the team, but Maldonado has managed to show his worth in the races still. I’m sure we’ll see both getting more points before the season’s end.

    19. Excellent article as always keith.
      Shame bianchi hasnt impressed recently as he did at the start of the season.

    20. Really don’t agree with a lot of this I’m afraid. That Grosjean, Perez and Hulkenberg are all deemed to have done better than say Di Resta or Bianchi. I look forward to seeing how Grosjean, I man who has gone 4 races without points, and has less than half the points of his team mate, has done better than Di Resta, who’s gap to Sutil has overall been far better “marginal”, and has had hideous bad luck. Bianchi and Pic have both been very solid, and deserve to be higher. I know this is an opinion piece, but some facts are altered and false here. Gutierrez missed out on a point by 2 tenths, not seconds, and Maldonado has really upped his game since Canada, it’ll be interesting to see how he does in the rest of the season.

    21. I would say its fair reflection of where the drivers are.

      I would have actually placed Bianchi a bit higher, he’s been driving the wheels off that Marrussia.

      Felipe is where he probably deserves to be. Hopefully somebody from Ferrari is reading this post!!..GET RID OF FELIPE!! He should have won in 2008, he was unlucky in 09 with the spring hitting his head..I think Ferrari have given him enough time to prove his worth over the last 3 years..and in that time, he hasnt particularly done enough to repay Ferrari the faith they’ve put in him.

    22. I think Bianchi is too low. His performance was way above p18 in my opinion. He should be above Massa. Bottas should be above Massa too. Agree with the rest

    23. But Grosjean did beat Kimi in qualifying several times. If that counts for Ricciardo, why shouldn’t it count for him @vettel1?

      Not to mention he has had several really good races and only ended up behind his teammate 2x because he was asked to let him by. Sure the Lotus is a good car, but Grosjean is not that bad, just far to up/down to mount any serious challenge.

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