Who will win the battle of the team mates in 2014?

2014 F1 season preview

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Almost every driver on the grid has a new team mate to measure himself against this year.

Which driver will come out on top at each team? Cast your vote below.

Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel vs Daniel Ricciardo

After five years alongisde Mark Webber, during which time he comfortably had the beating of his team mate, Vettel is now sharing his team with another Australian.

Ricciardo is only the second Red Bull development driver to be promoted to their ‘A’ team since Vettel himself, so this will make for a barometer of the team’s talent-spotting abilities.

But the four-times champion will surely be expected to hold the upper hand over the newcomer.

Which Red Bull driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Daniel Ricciardo (9%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (91%)

Total Voters: 737

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Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg

One of only two unchanged driver pairings in the field this year. There wasn’t much to choose between them last year: Rosberg won two races to Hamilton’s one, though Hamilton scored more points.

Hamilton’s ultimate one-lap pace is a lot to deal with but Rosberg has the opportunity to turn the ever-increasing complexity of F1 races to his advantage.

Given Mercedes’ testing performance there could be a world championship riding on the outcome of this contest.

Which Mercedes driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Nico Rosberg (44%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (56%)

Total Voters: 740

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Ferrari: Fernando Alonso vs Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari’s strongest and most exciting driver line-up since Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell faced off against each other in 1990.

The dynamics of this contest are fascinating, and not just because it pits two world championships against each other at a team which has historically avoided having what its president refers to as “two roosters in the same hen house”.

Ferrari has been Alonso’s team since he arrived in 2010, but the re-hiring of the same driver he was brought in to replace sends a clear message about his position.

Which Ferrari driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Kimi Raikkonen (38%)
  • Fernando Alonso (62%)

Total Voters: 739

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Lotus: Romain Grosjean vs Pastor Maldonado

Two drivers who have reputations for being quick but somewhat reckless. Grosjean seriously raised his game in the second half of last year with some superb drives.

Maldonado, meanwhile, already has his first win under his belt but didn’t seem to offer anything constructive at the struggling Williams team last year. It would be wrong to see his PDVSA funding as the only reason he’s joined Lotus, but more promising and less well-heeled drivers were passed over for him.

Which Lotus driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Pastor Maldonado (5%)
  • Romain Grosjean (95%)

Total Voters: 735

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McLaren: Jenson Button vs Kevin Magnussen

McLaren’s decision to drop Sergio Perez after a single season was one of the biggest surprises of last year’s ‘silly season’.

It would be too much to expect Magnussen, who steps up from Formula Renault 3.5, to get on terms with world champion Button in his first season. But wasn’t the same also said about Hamilton and Alonso the last time McLaren put a rookie in one of their cars?

Which McLaren driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Kevin Magnussen (37%)
  • Jenson Button (63%)

Total Voters: 737

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Force India: Nico Hulkenberg vs Sergio Perez

Perez will need to produce more of the kind of performances that made him stand out at Sauber in 2012 as he goes up against the highly-rated Hulkenberg, whom many believe is overdue a chance in a front-running car.

Which Force India driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Sergio Perez (11%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (89%)

Total Voters: 737

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Sauber: Esteban Gutierrez vs Adrian Sutil

Both these drivers both lost out to their team mates last year: Gutierrez was comprehensively routed by Hulkenberg while Sutil was somewhat closer to Paul di Resta.

Which Sauber driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Adrian Sutil (78%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (22%)

Total Voters: 725

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Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne vs Daniil Kvyat

Vergne has put a brave face on being passed over for the Red Bull seat for Ricciardo. Now his role is to be the benchmark for GP3 champion Kvyat.

Which Toro Rosso driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Daniil Kvyat (29%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (71%)

Total Voters: 723

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Williams: Valtteri Bottas vs Felipe Massa

A fascinating pairing of old hand with a sophomore driver considered a future star by some.

Given how emphatically Alonso beat Massa during their time as team mates, it won’t escape attention if Bottas can do the same. Having been part of the Williams family for several years, he has a sporting chance.

Which Williams driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Felipe Massa (58%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (42%)

Total Voters: 732

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Marussia: Jules Bianchi vs Max Chilton

The other unchanged driver pairing from last year. Unlike Rosberg and Hamilton, it was a one-sided contest between these two last year, and it’s hard to imagine it ending any differently this time.

Which Marussia driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Max Chilton (6%)
  • Jules Bianchi (94%)

Total Voters: 726

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Caterham: Kamui Kobayashi vs Marcus Ericsson

Ericsson’s GP2 record may be somewhat underwhelming but it’s no worse than that of Kobayashi, who never achieved the kind of success in the main series which he enjoyed in GP2 Asia.

Kobayashi has much more F1 experience, of course, and you’d expect that to tell over the course of a season, but he should prove a fair benchmark for Sweden’s new F1 driver.

Which Caterham driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Marcus Ericsson (7%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (93%)

Total Voters: 726

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2014 F1 season preview

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Images © Red Bull/Getty, Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Sauber, Williams/LAT, Caterham/LAT

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Keith Collantine
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197 comments on “Who will win the battle of the team mates in 2014?”

  1. Some surprising results to me. Only 8 voters though.

    1. Now we’re getting there.

      I think they are all straight forward except Ferrari and Mercedes. I’m pretty sure that Ferrari will see Alonso as number one. Only the Mercedes one allows some doubt.

      1. When You look at Mercedes F1’s website, You get the impression that they internally believes mostly in Hamilton. However much I respect Hamiltons race craft, I don’t consider him to be as smart – as in IQ – as Rosberg, and with all the new rules, fuel saving, and changes, I think Rosberg will come out on top. Before anyone accuses me for being racist, I must emphasize that my view of a comparison of the IQ is based on the number of times, where Hamilton have made an ass of himself and the period, where he kept getting in too close contact with Massa. But maybe Rosberg is still too soft, too nice in the close battles. It will be interesting to follow.

        1. I tend to agree with you. I think Rosberg has the capacity to be a bit more clever, which will be to his advantage this year. Famous driver coach Rob Wilson apparently thinks so as well. He also thinks Räikkönen will ultimately come out on top at Ferrari after Alonso exhausts every political angle within the team. I think he could be right on that as well. On track I’d imagine they’ll be fairly well matched in general. The difference will be that when Alonso comes out on top Räikkönen will shrug his shoulders and move on, but when Räikkönen comes out on top it will really ruffle Alonso’s feathers. This is where Räikkönen’s lack of emotion could really play to his advantage.

          1. Zain Siddiqui (@powerslidepowerslide)
            9th March 2014, 4:13

            I highly doubt Raikkonen lacks emotion. The “Iceman” is a persona that he puts on in the paddock. I’m sure he’s just as emotional as anybody else in his private life.

        2. And that’s what you judge IQ by? Skirmishes with Massa? None of that even proves that Rosberg is better than him or not. Your metrics are garbage. I find this so appalling. I can only imagine how bad it is within the sport.

          1. @trublu I think he also means Hamilton has shown to have poor judgement, like during the 2012 Belgian GP when he leaked sensitive team data on social media. That baffled a lot of people I’m pretty sure.

          2. obviously it doesn’t “prove” but it roughly correlates.

        3. Not sure how much these rules will really favour ROS over HAM, when you start to break them down.

          The tyres are already known to be more durable, which should allow HAM to drive more in the way he wants to (the recent tyres have been a limiting factor for him, IMO). They might still not be ideal for him, but should be a step in the right direction.

          We have drivers saying this year’s cars are more of a “driver’s car”. Whilst I don’t know if that will definitely favour HAM over ROS, it’s very unlikely to work against him. His raw talent is up there with the very best.

          You could also say the same about the fact the drivers all have to re-learn how to drive the cars (turbos, ERS etc). HAM may not be as strategically minded as some of the others, but when it comes to getting the most out of a car to go fast, there are very few who could claim to be better.

          Therefore, the only real potential advantage ROS has will be over fuel restrictions / strategy. How big an advantage that might be (or whether it is one at all) remains to be seen, but I think it’s the only real ace he has.

          Given HAM beat ROS last year in both qualifying and points (albeit the latter was reasonably close) with a rule set that hasn’t suited him and a car not built for him, I think that overall things are more in favour of HAM this season.

        4. I really think the fuel and rubber saving are being overplayed, if you’re fast you’re fast. I agree academically rosberg is smarter, both of them have said so themselves. Hamilton is not academic really and rosbergs backup if he didnt get into f1 was to study aerodynamics at imperial. But, and that’s a big but, I don’t think that really has anything much to do with racing smarts and certainly has nothing to do with a drivers pace.

          Ultimately it will probably be decided by reliability and who gets the best luck but those things being equal i think you’d have to bet on hamilton. He is starving for another championship, says he’s more comfortable in this car and was shown last year to be generally faster than nico.

        5. thinking back to Malaysia last year… team orders, it tells me Hamilton is number 1 – as he is being paid more also, so the team wants results from him more then from rosberg.

        6. Before anyone accuses me for being racist

          I don’t think anybody would have considered that until you brought it up.

      2. It amuses me to read things like this:

        Hamilton’s ultimate one-lap pace is a lot to deal with but Rosberg has the opportunity to turn the ever-increasing complexity of F1 races to his advantage.

        It’s like Lewis can’t deal with complexity, it’s “this close” from saying: “Lewis is fast, but not that bright”…

        1. @jcost well, is it that inaccurate? Sebastian Vettel’s technical astuteness and work ethic is well documented. Hamilton’s…isn’t.

          1. @vettel1 I’m not talking about work ethics. I’m talking about people implying Lewis Hamilton could struggle to succeed in this new era due to cars being more complex. And the text actually is comparing Lewis to Nico Rosberg and not Vettel.

          2. It was a comparison deliberately aimed at posing the extreme. Rosberg however I would still argue has a greater capacity for grasping with rule changes – Hamilton more often seems unspecific in his complaints over team radio and doesn’t seem to have the ability to work with his engineers to resolve them as well as other drivers.

          3. @vettel1 That’s a huge assumption, dangerously so. He’ve had Hamilton had a couple of run-ins with his engineers, but they were minimal at best. Don’t look too much into them, and pass even less judgement based on them. They are pretty much meaningless.

    2. Yes well 8 was a rather small sample : P

    3. I think everyone is going to be surprised by how well ricciardo does, he’s quite an unknown quantity right now and he may well come in and do a hamilton. He’s a fast qualifier which is going to be needed against vettel and although he smiles a lot it’s a sharks grin, he’s a killer.

      1. Turned out to be a profound comment @avl0

    4. Hamilton isn’t as an intelligent a driver as some, it’s been shown time and again with his pounding around on new tyres during races. If he doesn’t learnt to adapt this year, he will be trounced by Rosberg.

      I’m a massive Hamilton fan, but this new era of F1 requires brains as well as pace, I think Rosberg has both, unfortunately!

  2. Would have liked a ‘Too close to call’ button, especially for Force India & Mercedes. But I think, it’s fully made on purpose so we get a full result.

    1. This is F1. There is no room for prevarication, only decisiveness and action. Be like Ron…

    2. Some battles the point difference will be under 10% and the points loser may out qualify his team-mate which I would classify as a virtual tie. I think there are only 3 sure bets in Kobayashi, Bianchi and Grosjean. I expect some other upsets along the lines of Gutierrez, Bottas and maybe even Perez. The top two battles will be Ferrari and Merc where I’d bet for the underdog (Rosberg and Kimi.) Nico is more prudent than Hamilton and this May pay off in the end. As others have said, Alonso is much more emotional than Kimi so I’d go for the Iceman, so long as he’s not the Ice Cream man again. :)

  3. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    8th March 2014, 12:24

    Just waiting for Max Chilton to come on to vote for himself again

    1. already 3% of votes are there so he and his family are voted it seems :D

    2. The biggest surprise is at Marussia is Bianchi not having the 100%

      1. if Chilton scores points in early races(due to reliability of course!) and Bianchi fail to finish, it would be very feasible.

        1. Yes, that was a reason for me to hesitate on clearly voting forBianchi for a moment too. For the backmarkers its really a lot about finishing when others don’t and Chilton might get lucky with just cruizing around at the back @eggry, @hipn0tic

          1. @bascb @eggry This is not a poll on who’ll score most points. It’s about who’ll beat their team-mate and in a car capable of scoring points only as a fluke it’s a meaningless stat. If JB will beat MC 15-4 in qualy and will be in front in most races as well but it’ll be 2-0 in points to Chilton that’ll be still a victory for Bianchi not chilton

          2. @montreal95 The question posed is

            Which (insert team name here) driver will finish ahead in the championship?

            Therefore, as that’s the measure that the question is using, that’s the measure we must discuss. Some people believe in the underdog, and in this season, an underdog could well beat their team-mate even if the perceived gap is far larger than to be expected to be bridged in just 1 season.
            I voted Bianchi as I believe that over the course of the season, with the accumulated points/results from the 19 races, Bianchi will be ahead. I might be wrong, but we’ll only find out after Abu Dhabi…

          3. @keeleyobsessed

            This is confusing. “Which driver will come out on top at each team?” Is the question asked in the beginning of the article. Then it’s asked “Which driver will finish ahead in the championship” To my understanding this is contradictory as the latter is sometimes not a reliable indicator of the former. A fluke result by someone like Chilton is a thing you cannot predict. And this is true also for midfield teams not just backmarkers especially with the expected lower reliability levels. For example Coulthard beat Webber 14-10 in points in 2007 at RBR. Yet no one in his right mind would argue Coulthard was the better RBR driver that season.

            You can only estimate who’s the better driver of the pair going to be this year, and so I voted based on the sentence at the beginning and not based on the question itself which I believe is poorly worded

  4. Sauber have the worst line-up of all of the teams. All the rest are pretty decent (although Toro Rosso is worst of the decent ones).

    Just my opinion though.

    1. I guess that if you were running a F 1 team you would rather have Chilton-Ericsson. Or Kvyat-Maldonado.

      1. No, but their team-mates make up for half of it. Remember that Guti has not shown much promise over the last year, and Sutil’s time has pretty much passed.

        Also, don’t count out Ericsson or Kvyat yet. We don’t know what they can do.

    2. Sauber disappointingly settled for mediocrity, at best. I voted for Gutierrez out of hope that he might be a late bloomer now ready to show his real talent this season. Well, it could happen. Certainly we have already seen the very mediocre best from Sutil.

    3. Sauber was the team, where I simply didn’t know who to vote for – none of them deserves a seat in F1. And strange of Sauber, who has a history of being successful in introducing new talents. Why couldn’t they find anyone this year?

      1. Saubers lineup is very mediocre. Gutter ain’t up to much and Sutil has had enough years already to prove he is nothing special.

  5. My opinion:


    1. Agree with all apart from McLaren, Toro Rosso, and Williams

      1. Also agree with all, apart from Torro Rosso where i voted for Vergne.

        1. +1, except I didn’t know who to vote for at Sauber.

    2. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      8th March 2014, 18:38

      Magnussen will have to do something pretty spectacular to topple an experienced driver like button, especially in a season where it isn’t necessarily raw speed which gets points.

      I do rate Bottas but I think Massa has it in him to produce more, don’t get me wrong it will be close.

      I did vote Hamilton but I think that’s the closest one of the lot. Hamilton has raw speed but lacks consistency. Rosberg has better race craft and seems more logical.

      2014 is gonna be wicked!

      1. Maybe a bit off topic, but regarding to be or not to be raw speed season:

        I simply don’t believe that fuel is going to be such a huge factor as expected, especially after a few races. Those engines will be mighty efficient, especially considering capacity, turbo, ERS systems, and the low engine revs. They are also limited heavily in fuel flow, so they can’t have silly 80´s black smoke fuel usage, and they are allowed to limit ignition one cylinder only, if they wanted to
        It is rumored that they used 160 kg fuel average last year, with semi blown defusers even, so 100 kg (min. 130 liters) of fuel from start line to finish line, without waste doesn’t sound low to my ears. If they should do that with a 2013 V8, they would be foobared, but a tiny 1,6 V6 – easy.
        They start with charged batteries too. They can pit on ERS (or am i wrong?).

        My bet is that they will be limited by reliability, then tires, then fuel, for the first races.
        Maybe I’m completely wrong, but I really want to see them push, so at least I hope I’m not.

        P.S. Magnussen is “not even kidding you” fast. That boy has more ice in his vanes than Kimi is supposed to have. Button is a clever lad though, and constantly reasonably fast, so it’s going to be fascinating to watch.

        2014 is going to be wicked indeed!
        – someone make it next weekend already!

    3. Mine:



  6. intresting battles should be McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams. gotta remember to check this thread when we’ve seen a few races.

  7. IMO :

    Vettel, Rosberg, Alonso, Grosjean, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Sutil, Kvyat, Massa, Bianchi and Kobayashi.

    1. I’m pulling for Kvyat this season. There is something to him, like finding a rare piece of art at a yard sale. Remember Interlagos, Austin? He has become a quick study. I disagree on Hulkenberg, but voted the same

  8. I’m a bit surprised by the amount of support Massa has been getting. After all those Ferrari years as a number two driver, people still believe he can deliver, which is great. I hope to see both Massa and Bottas performing well this year. It should be an interesting battle.

    1. Same here, especially after all the previous Massa bad vibes while he was still with Ferrari. I think he will adapt and do a yeoman’s job for Williams, but Bottas will really get a chance to shine if the car is as good as expected. Anyone who could muster some decent performances out of the FW35 has my respect.

      Massa is one of the drivers to watch and see how he does with all that extra wheel-spin inducing torque. Mainly because he has already had a tendency to spin cars for not much apparent reason over the years. We shall see…

      1. please tell us when he spun for not much apparent reason, you say he had a tendancy, but can you list the times he did it, and whether he did it more then any other driver?

    2. if you are surprised why, please look back at 2006 to 2008, he beat 7 times champion Schumacher in the same car, he then beat Kimi Raikonnen in the same car. he then competed at the same level with Hamilton, when Hamilton was at his prime in his early f1 days. after that came Massa’s accident and being teamed with Alonso – so results changed. but he has proven to be a winner, so a new environment could do wonders, and not having to be a number 2 driver. he has already shown in testing a teaser of what might happen too.

      1. First of all, he never beat Schumacher and he hasn’t been able to win a race in the same car his teammate won eleven and competed for the drivers’ title. I think he will do better at Williams than he did at ferrari, simply because he is not restricted to a number two driver status, but I don’t think he will ever get back to his pre-accident level.

  9. I’ve gone for the following:

    Vettel Performed miracles in a Toro Rosso. Ricciardo has not.

    Hamilton Rosberg proved a good match for him last year but I feel Lewis is on the top of his game going into this season. It will be close, but more race winning experience should help Lewis here.

    Raikkonen Another one that will be incredibly close. I think they’re roughly even on race pace but Kimi seems to have a slight edge on qualifying pace. Also if Alonso struggles to cope with two roosters in the same team like 2007, then we will know what will happen. I don’t expect Kimi to bow down too easily.

    Grosjean Without EB at Lotus, they may struggle to tame Maldonado like they did Grosjean. Both were less error-prone last year but Grosjean showed some phenomenal speed at times, and consistently too. Maldonado will struggle to beat him.

    Magnussen If he is as good as McLaren say he is, he should narrowly beat Jenson. I’m expecting him to beat JB in the qualifying battle, but they will probably be closer in the races.

    Hulkenberg Hulkenberg beat Perez on points last year driving a worse car so I’m expecting him to beat Perez on points in the same car.

    Gutierrez I can’t see Sutil getting any better any time soon. Gutierrez however is young and showed some potential last year. It will depend on how crash-happy both of them are.

    Kvyat Taken a punt and said Kvyat. He looks really good, especially for his age. Vergne will need consistently strong qualifying performances if he is to last longer than one more season.

    Bottas This is one that will really be a stab in the dark to predict. Massa seems happy at Williams so I’m expecting and hoping he does well and thrives there. Bottas showed some awesome speed in what rain we had last year in a shocking car. Massa will have experience on his side but I think Bottas has the speed.

    Bianchi I expect the gap between him and Chilton to close further but Bianchi will be ahead. Will probably come down to some crazy race early on in the season though. Car looks good so will be nice to see what they can really do.

    Kobayashi I don’t really expect Ericsson to do much better than what Chilton done last season. Kobayashi was too good at Sauber to be dropped IMO but money talks. Should help Caterham score points, should they achieve that.

    1. There is absolutley no way you can compare the STR Vettel had and the STR Ricciardo had. When Vettel was at STR they were even better than RB…

      1. Yeah, I’d say some of Ricciardo’s qualifying performances were pretty special too. Still, he has a lot to learn from Vettel, I expect it to be fairly one-sided.

      2. @ardenflo – Vettel finished 8th in the WDC, way above what the car should have achieved, DR was 14th, which was basically to be expected, while it was even Vergne who achieved the best race result (6th).

        1. Mashiat (@)
          8th March 2014, 15:45

          Yeah I agree. I think it will be similar to Kovalainen and Hamilton in McLaren. Lewis dominated him but 3 or 4 times in a season Heikki would beat him in Qualifying or the Race. Similar to that I think that with competitive machinery, Vettel will get several wins while Dan might get one over 2 seasons etc.

      3. @ardenflo When Vettel was at STR, the car was exactly the same as the Red Bull (bar the livery and the engines), and in 2008 he scored more points than Bourdais, Coulthard and Webber put together. Vettel definitely punched above his weight back then. While Ricciardo has, you could argue, better in qualifying than Vettel during his time at STR, his race pace, in my eyes, isn’t great. He hasn’t produced the giant-killing performances when it matters unlike Vettel.

        I also forgot to add that Vettel has experience in taking poles, wins, podiums and championships, which will probably matter when Red Bull get back on the pace, should they do that.

        1. @craig-o Yes, I didn’t deny any of that. I don’t agree on the ‘same car’ part but that is for each his own I guess.

          I just said that argueing DR is worse than SV because he could not win in a STR is pointless because the STR Vettel had at his disposal was in relation to the rest of the field a much better car than the STR DR ever had.

          1. @ardenflo Even if you ignore the win that Vettel pulled out of the bag, he had some magnificent drives, notably at China (07), Monaco, Brazil and Belgium which were all rain-affected. He was running very well at Fuji in 07 too before the whole Lewis/Mark/Seb/Kids incident. I simply haven’t seen the same potential from Ricciardo, although he has good qualifying speed.

          2. @craig-o YES! I’m saying exactly the same. Vettel is better than Ricciardo for sure.

            But you still cannot compare their STR periods with each other. If you expected DR to do the same sort of stuff in the STR of 2012/2013 Vettel did in 2008 you’d be a madman. Vettel drove very good in that 2008 STR, he deserves his spot at Red Bull. DR on the other hand only rarely showed strong but, again, that was also due to a simply below average STR.

        2. bar the livery and the engines

          The Ferrari 056 V8 was the Benchmark in 2006-2008 era before the Renault catch up

        3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          8th March 2014, 16:28

          @craig-o @ardenflo – What you are both forgetting, and as @tifoso1989 eludes to, Gerhard Berger negotiated the sale of the latest spec of Ferrari V8s prior to the European GP which gave STR, who had the mighty fine RB3 chassis, “four and a half tenths” (according to Webber) over their Renault engined sister team on high speed tracks, like Valencia, Spa, China, Fuji and, of course, Monza. And at the end of an aerodynamic era where the field spread is tight, that is massive, and took STR from the back half of the midfield right into the fight for the higher placings, as was proved by the staggering average Bourdais setting the fastest lap in Q1 at Spa and managing fourth on the grid in Monza.

          The car was good; something most people neglect to remember, and on that basis I actually found Hulkenberg’s midfield heroics, especially his near win in 2012, even more impressive.

          1. @william-brierty We didn’t use the same words but we all mean the same thing in the end.

            Races driven in the 2008 STR cannot be compared to 2012 STR races. The performance of the car in relation to the field is nowhere near the same.

          2. @william-brierty @ardenflo @tifoso1989 The Renault engine was no slouch though. It won 8 races in 2006, and two more in 2008. If the Renault was not that good I assume teams like Red Bull simply wouldn’t have used them…

          3. @craig-o Tell that Red Bull today. Hehe.

          4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            8th March 2014, 17:00

            @craig-o – The 2006 248 F1 Ferrari tended to have the advantage still at tracks with a higher maximum speed, suggesting an engine advantage, with Renault’s mass damper and better aerodynamic efficiency neutralizing its engine disadvantage at slower tracks.

          5. @ardenflo If RBR knew the Renault was going to backfire as much as it has (no pun intended) I’m sure they would have jumped ship if their contract with them allowed it and if Mercedes or Ferrari would supply them!

          6. @craig-o I know. I just found it funny that you just mentioned it that way and it really applies this season with the Renault teams.

          7. @william-brierty Or maybe the Ferrari was just better suited to lower downforce circuits and the Renault to higher downforce circuits? There may have been a straight line speed advantage on the Ferrari which would help on faster circuits yes but the Renault even up to 2013 always seemed to deal well with traction and you could say reliability too. Yes the car has to be good to deliver results, and especially at Monza, it was very strong. But over the course of the season I still feel Vettel drove brilliantly to deliver some of the results that he did.

          8. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            8th March 2014, 17:50

            @craig-o – Oh, my man, there’s no doubt Vettel was brilliant, just look the results he managed, however I am of the opinion that Hulkenberg had been even more impressive in the midfield than even Vettel was, taking genuinely average cars to the sharp end in typical Senna/Schumacher fashion. Hulkenberg was born to race cars, and I simply can’t wait for the epic Vettel vs Hulkenberg battles we have coming our way in future championship years. If Hulkenberg does not win a championship by 2020 then I will eat my signed Ferrari cap…

          9. @WilliamB, don’t forget how old Vettel was, and how he outdid redbul senior drivers in car setup to get the results. obviously you are trying to diminish vettels achievements, but you can not, it is not that long ago, but already part of f1 history and folklore, it is more then so many other greats in f1 did, so I do not understand why people need to try to diminish the achievements of f1s best driver.

          10. @william-brierty Oh certainly! Hulkenberg is really exceptional, there is no questioning that! I just hope he gets into a top car (it’s been well overdue) just to prove that he is a truly top class driver to the casual fan!

      4. @Sam, yes you can… ohh and plus this one other fact…. he has won 4 world drivers championships, did you miss that little fact in the last 4 years?

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      8th March 2014, 15:31

      @craig-o – I’m sorry and I know I’m partisan with #14 avatar, but do you really think Raikkonen will beat Alonso? I don’t even think it’ll be close. Alonso knows several key things – a) Raikkonen will take several races to settle back in, b) Red Bull’s wings have been clipped and therefore c) he might just be staring an excellent opportunity to win his third title straight in the face. He will undoubtedly drive out of his skin again this year, and therefore I simply cannot fathom a scenario in which Raikkonen would beat him over a season.

      1. @william-brierty
        A) I don’t think it will take Kimi too long to settle back in. It didn’t take that long at Lotus.
        B) and C) Yes the Red Bull may be slower, but there are teams who look in better shape than Ferrari (Mercedes and maybe McLaren and Williams), Kimi is in the same car as Alonso, and if it’s good, he can just as easily win a second title. So I’m sure Kimi would drive out of his skin as well.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          8th March 2014, 17:20

          @craig-o – Yes, on the evidence of 2012 it may not take long for Kimi to settle but on the basis that I got Kimi’s autograph at Silverstone this year a full two hours before anyone else left the paddock suggest that he will be disadvantaged against the most cerebral of cerebral racing drivers. And with Alonso knowing that one of the few real challengers to him likely to be behind him in the first races, Vettel, Kimi simply won’t stand a chance. Yes, I prefer Kimi to Fernando, that broodiness gets old quickly, but is he better when it comes to maximising opportunities? No.

          1. @william-brierty I think it may just be one of those ‘we’ll agree to disagree’ thingies! We’ll have to wait and see what happens on the track I think!

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            8th March 2014, 18:00

            @craig-o – And there’s me thinking that highly partisan debates are what sport is all about!

      2. @william-brierty – I would love to put up a friendly pint on the Alonso/Raikkonen season points total. Being more of a Raikkonen guy than Alonso, but respecting the great talents of both, I’m looking for Kimi to barely edge Fernando after a close back and forth season. I think each driver will excel more at some tracks and fairly equally at others. Then you have the unpredictable reliability as well as on track mishaps of being in the right place at the wrong time. This will be one of my favorite 2014 story-lines as it plays out all through the season.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          8th March 2014, 17:37

          @bullomello – With my TV cap on and my dish of cashews I simply cannot wait for Alonso vs Raikkonen in 2014, it will be awesome, but equally it will probably be more one sided than people think. Nobody even dared to suggest a close fight at Red Bull between Vettel and Raikkonen at the peak of the “Kimi to Red Bull hype” for fear of being branded delusional, so why are we expecting such a close fight between Fernando and Kimi? One driver appears in my “Top 5 F1 Drivers of all Time” list, whilst the other scarcely appears my top 15. And although their styles are ultimately similar the key differentiators are highly significant; Alonso is the more intense and calculated competitor. And in a cerebral series the most cerebral of the cerebral drivers should have a healthy, if not always comfortable advantage, over a man that simply includes racing on a list of things he likes doing alongside sleeping, drinking, eating ice cream and er, sitting down in the bathroom. I too prefer Raikkonen’s apoliticism to Alonso’s broodiness, but in the car Alonso is, for me, the more complete and intense competitor.

      3. I’ve put Raikkonen to beat Alonso, and looking at the current voting a lot of others have too.

        I see Raikkonen as an absolutely top class driver who often doesn’t get 100% out of himself.

        On the other hand Alonso is a driver who may not have quite the speed or ability (in a simplistic sense) but on the other hand is much more capable of getting the maximum from himself week-in and week out and plays a good thinking game.

        The issues of settling into the team aren’t so huge, Raikkonen is a former Ferrari driver and the cars are so completely different to last year that both drivers will have just as much to learn about the new car as the other. Also, Alonso didn’t exactly endear himself to the team with his criticisms over the last couple of years whilst Raikkonen remains Ferrari’s most recent drivers’ champion (who was also a good team player in supporting Massa when needed).

        So for me the Ferrari intra-team battle comes down to whether or not Raikonnen peforms to his potential. My feeling is that sharing a team with Alonso could raise his game.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          9th March 2014, 12:50

          @jerseyf1 – Twelve months ago I would have had very little opposition to the assertion of the suggestion that Alonso is the finest racing driver in the world, however now I am having troubles suggesting that Raikkonen is superior. I cannot remember who first uttered the phrase “you’re as good as your last race”, but few truer words have ever been uttered.

          I find it remarkable that anyone can doubt Alonso’s abilities, and as much as Vettel has proved himself in recent years, Alonso has proved that in race trim, off the line, in the wet and above all, in close combat, there is no finer. Personality preference is all very well, even I prefer Kimi to the depressing broodiness of Alonso in that respect, but on track few in the sport’s history can match Alonso’s intensity of competition and on the evidence of the past two years, where the Lotus has been, for most of the year at least, faster than the Ferrari, I see no circumstance in which Raikkonen can beat Alonso over the course of the season. I agree that Raikkonen is a sporadically world class driver, like Button and Hamilton, but Kimi at his best fails to trump Fernando at his best. Now that is not WilliamB the Alonso supporter speaking, but WilliamB the third-party trackside analysis; and the same man that just tipped Magnussen to beat Button, despite being a massive JB fan.

          I agree also that the WW3 at Ferrari that has been suggested will fail to materialize, mostly because Alonso a) is by no means the man he was in 2007 and b) he knows that success in 2014 might just rest of inner team neutrality. Whilst I’m looking forward to Alonso vs Raikkonen in 2014, I don’t think a) it will be that divisive and b) that it’ll actually be that close.

        2. @ jerseyf1, you have got it all wrong, you say “is a driver who may not have quite the speed or ability (in a simplistic sense)” – you must be talking about qualifying times and fastest laps, well you do realise that is because he has been driving a Ferrari, only the 3rd quickest team in f1 over the past few years. if you are a seasoned f1 fan, you will know he is as quick as the best of them, just look back to his minardi and Renault days, oh… and the past 4 years in Ferrari in a 3rd best car which proves it even more so. if you are comparing him against Massa, well Massa is a top class driver, and matched Alonso accordingly during many qualifying sessions in Ferrari.

      4. @william-brierty Can’t see how indeed. Raikkonnen is very good, but over the past few years I have found Alonso globally more dedicated, which means giving this little more when it really matters, and I expect this to be true this year too.

    3. @craig-o
      Alonso slower than Raikkonen in qualifying and will lose the championship battle, do you missed Massa vs Alonso in 2010-2014 ??

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        8th March 2014, 16:15

        …with Massa being another Alonso teammate initially tipped to consistently outqualify the blatantly amateur Spaniard. Good grief, how quickly opinion can change in twelve short months.

      2. @tifoso1989

        The little, tiny, minimal difference is that post 2009 Massa was a disaster and that Raikkonen has been brutally good since he returned.

        While I don’t think Raikkonen will beat Alonso (Raik. is too detached for that), bringing the comparison to Massa is the weakest possible argument. Beating Massa at the form he showed between 2010-13 is hardly a big merít.

        1. raikonnen has been good.. but in a Renault. no one knows how he will compete against Alonso, and how much support the team will give him. don’t forget massa was demolishing raikonnen at the end of raikonnens Ferrari days, yet then Alonso demolished massa.

          1. The Massa that Alonso demolished was not the same Massa that competed against Raikkonen. Massa was simply not the same after his accident.

      3. @tifoso1989
        Aaaah yes Massa. What a benchmark. Any driver in the sharp end of the field would also have turned him to dust. As much as Alonso? Who knows. But Kimi is certainly not going to be as easy to beat as Massa was.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          8th March 2014, 16:31


          Any driver in the sharp end of the field would also have turned him to dust.

          Did Raikkonen “turn him to dust” in 2008?

          1. @william-brierty
            Are you suggesting that Massa has been driving just as well, as he did in 2008, in the past four years?

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            8th March 2014, 17:55

            @mads – No, but can a large proportion of that not be attributed to the very fact that he was lined up against a man that ruins the careers of his teammates as a hobby (see Trulli, Fisichella and Piquet)?

          3. @william-brierty
            Some? Yes.
            But lets get off Alonso for a second.
            Look at Massa 2010-2013 in comparison to any other driver.
            On track he often ended up battling with cars significantly slower then his Ferrari. His consistency was out the window most of the time as well.
            None of that was going on in 2008, 2007 or 2006.

          4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            9th March 2014, 13:01

            @mads – True, the “Alonso factor” is but one, if perhaps the most significant, factor in the tailing off of Massa’s form, but more importantly, what was going on with Raikkonen in 2008? Rather than Massa on a career surge that would only last one season, the gulf between the two Ferrari drivers in 2008 is probably much more easily applicable to Raikkonen, whose form simply trailed away. This inconsistency in form places him in the driver column alongside Hamilton and Button, with Alonso set to give Kimi no quarter if he fails to immediately find the peak of his own ability.

        2. I think we will see an all new Massa. Hopefully one that comes close to the 2008 Massa.

          1. @ardenflo I much agree with you.

        3. @mads

          But Kimi is certainly not going to be as easy to beat as Massa was

          Funny because Massa scored more poles,wins and podiums than Raikkonen during their Ferrari days together !!!!!!

          1. @tifoso1989
            See my reply to @william-brierty above…

          2. What about championships?

      4. @tifoso1989 I don’t feel Massa was the same after his accident, like a lot of people after serious head injuries. So it would be tricky to compare.

        1. If Massa had been a Fighter Pilot, he would never have been allowed in a Cockpit again after that accident! I simply can’t understand why Ferrari kept him as a drag chute for that long, but it was good for RBR and Vettel:-) Massa is a nice guy, but too sensitive and my guess is that only on weekends where everything suits him perfectly he can forget the mental trauma and perform. I don’t believe Alonso destroys him, I think the accident and Hamiltons win in 2008 did.
          Over the season I also think that Bottas will turn him into dust no matter how good or bad the Williams is. But it will be interesting to see how it goes.

    4. @craig-o

      Raikkonen Another one that will be incredibly close. I think they’re roughly even on race pace but Kimi seems to have a slight edge on qualifying pace. Also if Alonso struggles to cope with two roosters in the same team like 2007, then we will know what will happen. I don’t expect Kimi to bow down too easily.

      Alonso’s qualy record against Massa is significantly better than Kimi’s record against Grosjean.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        9th March 2014, 14:21

        @kingshark – …with Massa, like Grosjean, being another driver considered as a Saturday specialist.

        1. Constantine
          9th March 2014, 18:14

          @william-brierty Massa before the accident was considered a qualifying master.

          Alonso’s performance in relationship to Massa’s is an indicative of absolutely nothing.

      2. @kingshark

        Is that supposed to mean much? Massa post-2009 has had a disastrous form. At least Grosjean showed some brilliance in 2012 in-between his chaos, and in 2013 he was quite good.

        Alonso is a great driver, but comparing
        him to Massa to make him look better is pointless, simply because of how bad Massa has been.

      3. Without any car between, for example Abu Dhabi 12 and Australia 13, suddenly Kimi is faster than Alonso. You don’t want an angry Finn..ask the Russian!

    5. Same as I voted. It will certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  10. Here’s how I voted:

    Riccardo (OK, wishful thinking, I have to have faith in my country’s representative! But given his good qualifying speed and the unreliability of the Red Bull I think it wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that, with Vettel getting some bad luck, he has a chance of at least being close)
    Rosberg (I like Rosberg, and Hamilton too but not as much – but regardless I think Lewis will struggle with being able to go flat out even less)
    Raikkonen (I think this will be very close, but I think Kimi has a sort of “silent assassin” nature about him and could catch Alonso by surprise)
    Grosjean (Yeah he’ll beat Maldonado – sorry if you’re Venezuelan!)
    Button (I think Magnussen will do well but Jenson’s experience will give him the other hand)
    Hulkenberg (As much as I think Perez is a great driver in his own right, even if he didn’t show it so much last year, I think the Hulk will win this one fair and square)
    Sutil (Experience will reign supreme here)
    Vergne (Again, I think Vergne’s experience will help)
    Massa (I still believe in Massa – in a car that hopefully suits him and is very competitive I think he’s a good championship candidate. I think Alonso was very bad for him, because when he came back from his serious injury Alonso essentially bullied him back into a number 2 role. Back as number 1, I think he’ll have much better confidence and do well)
    Bianchi (Sorry Max)
    Kobayashi (Ericsson is new whilst Kobayashi isn’t, plus Kamui has great speed so he should help Caterham get their first points I think)

    1. Agree with 10 out of 11 and my reasoning is similar. The exception is the first as Dan’s time at STR was not as notable as Seb’s was. Or the matter of 5 years beating an experienced Mark Webber. But pulling for a countryman is very understandable.

  11. Turns out every driver I picked has the majority votes right now. I did pick LH only because I think it will be him between the two, even though I’m pulling for NR, but I was pleasantly surprised how close it was between the two. Going by the comments in recent weeks I thought LH would have a much higher margin over NR, so I’m bolstered by all you experts out there and how much weight you have given to NR’s chances. Fantastic.

  12. I’m surprised by how close the Mercedes drivers are and how far apart the Williams drivers are (at the moment at least). I think Hamilton will beat Rosberg quite comfortably yet I think the Williams boys will be very evenly matched, although because of his experience I voted Massa. Still, that’s the nice thing about these polls: they let us see what fellow f1 fans are thinking :)
    Otherwise I think Magnussen might just beat Button this year too.

  13. Vettel / Hamilton / Alonso / Grosjean / Button / Hulk / Sutil / Vergne / Massa / Bianchi / Kobayashi

    Generally I evaluate experience more than youth. also I think Alonso and Hamilton would have upper hands over team mates. I have to admit I’m a little bit surprised how people underestimate Maldonado against Grosjean even though I voted Grosjean. I expected it much closer.

    1. Comfortable win : Vettel, Grosjean, Hulk, Sutil, Vergne, Bianchi, Kobayashi
      Close win : Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa

      maybe reliability might alter Bianchi and Kobayashi though!

    2. @eggry I’ve come to the same result for the same reasons.

  14. I went with the majority vote (at the time) on all of them. Surprised Kimi and Alonso weren’t closer (I expect Alonso to win, but I would have thought the votes would be closer than the current 65/35 split). The trickiest for me was Massa/Bottas. Never thought much of Massa, but I narrowly went for him due to improving form last year, experience, and perhaps a new lease of life from being out of Alonso’s shadow.

  15. The most difficult pair to judge is the Mercedes one. Hamilton looks the faster driver between the two, while Rosberg the most consistent. Rosberg has also developed that conservative driving in Mercedes because of tyre issues of that car, which might be at hand this season. So with very slight advantage I think it goes to Rosberg.
    While the Ferrari pair is really exiting, I do think Alonso will come ahead but nevertheless the fight is going to be a pleasure to follow and wouldn’t be surprised at all if Raikkonen comes ahead.
    In the McLaren Button has more chances than Magnussen, given this season has a lot to do with patience and being wise.
    In Williams I feel Bottas will do it. He proved a very good driver last year, something that Massa hasn’t for some years.
    The rest is pretty much obvious to me with Vettel, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Bianchi, Kobayashi. Sauber and Toro Rosso have uninspiring pair up to now.

    1. Hamilton is only ever the fastest driver over 1 lap, or when tyre wear is not put into the equation. – he was best when f1 had conservative tyres in the era of grooved tyres. he is a 2 dimensional driver in that respect. Hamilton would do better in Nascar, he would have won 4 championships now with the level of cars he has had in f1 – he is not the complete driver. sadly, he will probably win the championship this year, with his inconsistencies, he will still be faster over the season then Rosberg, who doesn’t seem as fast as the fastest 5 drivers in f1 at any one time, and I don’t see any team challenging Mercedes for the championship because of the PU advantage Mercedes have.

      1. I’m sorry, but who care how many dimensions a driver has? As long as he does what he need to win, what is the problem? And how can he win a championship if he is only fast over one lap? Can Alonso be a better qualifier? Can Kimi be more more motivated? Can Vettel win consistently in a car NOT the class of the field? Please show me a driver that has ALL the dimensions, and i shall eat my mouse!

  16. And so the predictions begin!
    – I think a happy Hamilton is more than a match for Rosberg, if he keeps his chin up he could win the championship easily
    – The opposite at Lotus, I think Grosjean might dip back to his pre-mid-’13 form, whereas Maldonado is a fighter.
    – Funny you brought up the Prost/Mansell partnership, the drivers are very similar (Alonso is Prost). I doubt they’ll be quite as successful this year though.

    1. I have the same feeling about Grosjean, although I still think he’ll edge Maldonado. If he has an average car and he’s back fighting in the middle of the pack, which he wasn’t doing much of after mid-2013 due to his impressive pace, some of his clumsiness may return. 2014 will be a real test for him as Lotus’ no.1 driver.

      I hope he proves me wrong but it’s just a feeling I have.

  17. I dont see what people see in Hulkenberg.

    1. @lewisisabamf do you follow the races? :) No, seriously, he made quite a bunch of very strong results despite a weight disadvantage (and I know what I mean, I ask for weight on my cart when I go with friends, to stay fair). Maybe you don’t like the guy, but he’s shown great talent already.

  18. I’m surprised by how many people think Massa will win the team mate battle at Williams (two-thirds at the moment). To be fair, Massa hasn’t really performed up to standards the last four years. I think he will do much better at Williams, but I don’t see him returning to his 2008 level. Bottas on the other hand has been very consistent last year, but a bit unlucky at times.

    It is going to be a great team mate battle in my opinion, with two drivers that are very good but haven’t showed it on many occasions (in Massa’s case one or two years, in Bottas’ case one or two races). I hope the Williams is good enough for them to prove their worth.

    1. @andae23 Yeah I’m quite surprised by that too. Unfortunately it’s quite difficult to tell just how good Bottas is, although we saw some brilliant performances at times last year, and I think a lot of people are thinking Massa’s form will improve now he’s at a new team.

  19. Perez will beat Hulk, mark my words. Hulk is kind of overrated.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      8th March 2014, 14:24

      … said no one, ever.

      1. I think they’re both overrated tbh.

        Not as overrated as Sutil though. If Di Resta is not good enough for F1, Sutil should’ve been gone two seasons ago!

    2. Hulkenberg overrated!? He was in lots of people’s top 5 drivers last year, and also showed great potential at Williams and Force India, why do you think he is overrated @lancelot ?

      1. @craig-o Hulk is a solid driver, but he was very flattered by his weak teammate last year. He had a very solid car in the second half of the season thanks to the tyre changes, and his rating very benefited from it. Until the tyre changes, he was nowhere in people’s top 5. He had the opportunity to win a race in 2012 and he blew it himself. Even Maldonado, who people like to ridicule, didn’t.
        Don’t get me wrong: I think Hulk is a solid driver, but I don’t consider him a top driver. Yet.

        1. @lancelot Yes the car was better once the tyres changed, but he was still beating the likes of Hamilton and Alonso in race trim and qualifying. The Sauber was, at the end of the day, a midfield car at best, so those were some great performances by him. Yes he had the opportunity to win, and made a mistake. It was in tricky conditions and there were backmarkers involved and he made an error. Given the car he will get plenty more chances to win. Didn’t Perez also throw away a chance at a race victory though?

          1. @craig-o Sauber in the second half of the season was more than “a midfield car at best.” It was a very solid car that was very difficult to overtake(and that’s why the likes of Alonso and Hamilton kept being stuck behind it). In some races, the car wasn’t much worse than the Ferrari. I remember Dan Ricciardo not letting Alonso overtake him in some race, and his STR was worse than Hulk’s Sauber, and yet no one hypes him.

            Yes, you’re right: Perez had a chance at a race victory, but no one is overrating Perez like they do overrate and overhype Hulk. The hype around Hulk is insane, considering what a weak teammate he had last year. If he had a better teammate, people wouldn’t talk like he was outperforming his car. The mere fact that people voting in this poll think Sutil(a very, very average driver) would crush Hulk’s former teammate speaks volumes.

            To sum it up, I think Hulk is a good driver but he doesn’t deserve the insane hype, and many people are going to be very surprised when Perez more than matches him.

          2. @lancelot I’m not sure whose opinions you read but I see lots of people calling Perez a multiple world champion. Well, 12 months ago anyway. The Sauber was very quick in a straight line but not so quick in the corners. I’m unsure what the data from last year said but I am fairly certain that the Sauber was only the 7th fastest car over the course of the season. You have to remember that Hulkenberg actually pulled out a similar performance in 2012 at Korea. He also shone at Spa and outscored Di Resta 63-46. Finishing ahead of Kobayashi, Schumacher, Maldonado and Senna who were all in better cars that year.

          3. @craig-o I was of the opinion that Perez was overrated when everyone hyped him in 2012 as the next best thing, and he was. I can’t say I’m a fan of him. I think Hulk and Perez are drivers of the same caliber, actually, but Perez will likely have the edge thanks to his experience at McLaren.

    3. @lancelot

      Hulk is kind of overrated

      His records in Junior Formula’s are better than Sebastian Vettel (that doesn’t mean that he is better than Vettel but just an indication that he definitely deserves his place in F1), if there is someone that is overrated it must be Sergio Perez

      1. @tifoso1989
        Perez was overrated in 2012, too(and I was of that opinion when McLaren chose him).
        Records in Junior Formulas have little to do with Formula 1. There are a lot of drivers that had successful Juniors careers and didn’t succeed in Formula 1(and vice versa). And I’ve never said that Hulk didn’t deserve his place in F1–he definitely does. I said he was overrated. Those are two different things.

    4. @lancelot I thought Hulk was overated after his Williams season, figuring his phenomenal pole at Interlagos in the wet was partly luck. However, in the seasons since he has had a few other stand-out performances.

      He had the opportunity to win a race in 2012 and he blew it himself

      He alone created that opportunity in a car which quite honestly wasn’t up to it – the fact that he didn’t convert it to a win is less important than the fact that he put himself in the position to win in a sub-par car in the first place. The question we all want answered is what would happen if he was given a genuine front-runner to drive.

      1. @jerseyf1
        The Force India was anything but a sub-par car in Brazil, it was almost on par with McLaren and clearly faster than Ferrari. Likewise, Sauber certainly wasn’t a midfield car in Malaysia either. Too bad that both Hulk and Perez blew it.

        1. @kingshark

          clearly faster than Ferrari

          I don’t recall Di Resta being anywhere near the front in that race. The Force India, in the hands of Hulkenberg, was clearly faster than the Ferrari. That doesn’t suggest that the car was the better one. And that’s exactly why Hulkenberg is highly rated by fans.

          I guess in the end neither of us knows and we shall soon find out whether Hulk is indeed humbled by Perez, but I personally don’t expect Perez to be the main driver Hulkenberg will be worrying about as he battles with Button, Alonso, Raikkonen and Massa this year.

          1. I don’t recall Di Resta being anywhere near the front in that race. The Force India, in the hands of Hulkenberg, was clearly faster than the Ferrari. That doesn’t suggest that the car was the better one. And that’s exactly why Hulkenberg is highly rated by fans.

            Going by that logic, do you believe that Red Bull had a better car than Ferrari in Malaysia 2012? Just because the #2 driver underperforms horrendously does not mean that the car was much worse than it actually was.

  20. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    8th March 2014, 14:24

    I’m surprised by how close the Mercedes votes are. I think Hamilton is going to put quite a beating on Rosberg this year. Keep in mind that Rosberg is no slouch. Lewis came in last year and still beat Nico pretty handily in the championship, in an unfamiliar team, with a car that didn’t suit him very well, with tyres that he’d struggled to work out.

    This year, Hamilton will easily be Rosberg. Harder tyres, more team familiarity and a switch to Carbone Industries brakes, will make it very very difficult for Nico to trouble Lewis.

    1. i agree,i think too many ppl have been fooled by what happened last season.lewis never was happy with the car,and yet he still beat nico.and i thought lewis finished the season the stronger driver.ppl wrote lewis off after 2011,so they expected button to beat him in 2012,it wasnt even close tho.if lewis is happy with the feel of the car,he’ll beat nico pretty comfortably,although at times it will be pretty close.i think it’ll be closer between kimi and alonso,coz alonso wont get the number 1 status he loves.

    2. @tophercheese21

      Lewis came in last year and still beat Nico pretty handily in the championship

      Rosberg scored 90% of Hamilton’s points tally in 2013 despite having 3 DNF’s as opposed to Lewis’ 1.

      This year, Hamilton will easily be Rosberg.

      Based on what? They were very evenly matched last year.

      Harder tyres.

      Ironic you’d say that because Rosberg usually struggles more with tyre wear, and Lewis struggles more with tyre heating.

      more team familiarity and a switch to Carbone Industries brakes, will make it very very difficult for Nico to trouble Lewis.

      I always felt that the whole brake fiasco with Hamilton was a bit of an excuse for when Nico beat him. Nonetheless, if Rosberg could match Hamilton in 2013, I see no reason to believe why 2014 should be much different.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        8th March 2014, 22:37


        I know this is completely hypothetical, but if the situation was reversed, and it was Nico who moved to Mclaren along side Lewis, then I doubt that Nico would’ve scored 90% of Lewis’s points, let alone beat him.

        You raise a good point with Nico’s reliability though.

        1. @tophercheese21

          I know this is completely hypothetical, but if the situation was reversed, and it was Nico who moved to Mclaren along side Lewis, then I doubt that Nico would’ve scored 90% of Lewis’s points, let alone beat him.

          Jenson scored 90% of Lewis’s points tally in his first season for McLaren in 2010; and Nico has more raw speed than Jenson – so I certainly don’t see why not.

  21. 1) VET
    2) HAM
    3) ALO
    4) GRO
    5) BUT
    6) HUL
    7) SUT
    8) KVY
    9) BOT
    10) BIA
    11) KOB

    I think Vettel will be quite close in qualifying, but will finish ahead more times. I think they’ll both get a win though… Ricciardo will get the first win, but Vettel will win 4 races.

    Hamilton will beat Rosberg, and I think more comfortably than most people think it will be.

    I honestly believe Alonso will beat Raikkonen quite comfortably as well. Raikkonen may just take the qualifying battle, but Alonso is relentless in the races, and I think he’ll want to prove he can race with someone strong in the team.

    I’ve gone for Grosjean for the Lotus battle, however I think if the car turns out to be one of the quickest, I think Maldonado would win (doubtful though, hence my decision).

    I think Magnussen will with the qualifying battle, but Button’s experience will be the key. It’ll be close between them and should Magnussen and Button both be retained for 2015, Magnussen will win that one.

    I think Hulkenburg will beat Perez, relatively comfortably, but Perez will get the only win, but only a couple of other podiums, with Hulkenburg on it a number of times.

    Sutil will win with experience, but will be close. Sutil will win in qualifying too.

    Kvyat was tough to put ahead of Vergne, but I don’t think Vergne can hold off the young talent. (Even though he did relatively well, if not better on a number of occasions than Ricciardo).

    I think Bottas will sweep Massa away.

    Bianchi will make a laughing stock of Chilton once again.

    Koboyashi will be closer with Ericsson, but Koboyashi will end well ahead after the second half of the season.

  22. Literally nobody believes in Perez beating Hulkenberg…

    1. we’ll see……

  23. Vettel – I think this one is pretty obvious: Vettel is a four time champion who won a race I’m his first full season of competition. Ricciardo is a good-but-not great driver, although he may give Seb a run in qualifying.

    Rosberg – I was deeply impressed by him last season, so I feel he has a very good shot at beating Hamilton. However, the latter seems to have an extra degree of comfort which was lacking last year.

    Alonso – yes, Räikkönen is a world champion. But Alonso is a clearly better world champion. I’m honestly expecting a Alonso to be quite comfortable, provided he doesn’t have a resurgence of the attitude which plagued him at McLaren.

    Grosjean – Maldonado is a bloody quick driver on his day, but his days are too few and far between. He needs a steep increase in consistency (as Grosjean had last year) to be able to put up a challenge.

    Button – I think experience will prevail on this one, but if Magnussen is to verify his early testing hype expect me to be proven wrong.

    Hülkenberg – Hülkenberg both knows the team better and has shown more promise. His skill spans between both qualifying and the races, whereas Perez only seems to posses notable ability in the latter.

    Sutil – I can’t bang on enough about how dull their line-up is. Sutil due to consistency – I shall write no more out of sheer boredom.

    Vergne – Kvyat has more promise, but I think he will still be in need of some considerable refinement. Vergne’s ability in the races nudges him ahead on this one.

    Bottas – Massa should be resurgent, but I think he may have to go home slightly disappointed. Even when Maldonado was quick, Bottas was quicker – that speaks very well for him.

    Bianchi – need I elaborate? Chilton barely even deserves to be in F1, Bianchi has at times been quite phenomenal. Unless Chilton continually benefits from his apparent “skill” in finishing every race, this is the most one-sided battle of them all.

    Kobayahi – previous F1 experience vs rookie error-proneness will seal this battle I believe. For me otherwise Ericsson is a completely unknown quantity.

    1. Absolutely spot on! Although Merc could go either way in my book, a lot depends on who gets the better start/reliability to the year.

      I agree that Alonso will quite comfortably beat Kimi. Not thrash him by any means, but it won’t be close.

      Bottas simply has to beat Massa if he is all he’s hyped up to be, I suspect he will. He has a steeliness in races about him that Felipe maybe doesn’t have anymore.

      1. @danieru thanks :)

        Mercedes was definitely the most difficult one to predict I felt: as you said, it would be easy for it to swing either depending on reliability and gaining that crucial early momentum. I just hope Mercedes leave it fully up to the drivers to decide their own fate – I wasn’t too happy about Malaysia in their case (nor indeed Red Bull’s)!

        On a sub-note, noticed a couple of blatant typos:

        won a race I’m in his first…
        may give Seb a run [for his money] in qualifying

  24. Red Bull:

    It won’t surprise fans if Seb comes out on top in the battles of the Bulls although one can expect Daniel to grow substantially as a driver and wouldn’t be surprising if he pushes Seb harder than Mark did in his final years but it’s Seb who maintains the advantage.


    Lewis came in as the star driver and even after a year he is considered to be the man heading the Mercedes charge but Nico’s stock has been rising since 2010. However, Nico still haven’t created a lasting impression on the minds of the people in general. It’s a general assumption that Nico is a smarter driver of the two but Lewis has an arsenal of weapons and probably come out on top in 2014 although Nico will push him extremely hard.

    With Ross Brawn out of the picture, it might be that Toto and Paddy might struggle to have a relatively stronger impact on the team as well as the drivers.


    Strongest driver pairing of all considering the WDCs amongst them. Kimi would be extra motivated and would be working harder since Fernando is alongside him. On the other hand, I don’t expect Fernando to be in the same comfort with Ferrari that he was since 2010. This won’t be surprising if Fernando will have his last season with the scarlet if they fail to give him a car good enough for the title contention.


    Seems like a lost team at the moment with so many members of the team and no team leader to lead them. We all know why Pastor is sitting in that car. It’s good that Romain has improved and in 2014, he’ll only get better while I see Pastor becoming more mature at the team but might find it hard to get rid of the ‘reckless’ tag. Romain will come out on top as he is ready to learn from errors unlike….


    I believe that Kevin will be pretty much on it from Melbourne itself. Although Jenson is good, he’ll have a hard time with the Danish rookie. He seems mature and has a certain intensity which I haven’t seen in a rookie in a long time.

    1. Force India:

      Another interesting line up. Checo will be willing to show McLaren what he can do and there would certainly be bitterness in his heart for McLaren and shall do well at FI however he has a team mate who is tipped as a future champion by many. Checo will have a hard time against Nico which might not do well for his career in regards to finding a top drive again.


      Perhaps the line up which fans are least excited about but let’s look at it from the fact that Adrian might prove to be a safe pair of hands (required in 2014 at least) with not much scope of growing as a driver substantially. He is a typical midfield driver. Esteban meanwhile has better potential like he showed in the 2nd half of 2013 in a few races. He will only grow in 2014.


      Jean Eric might be heading into his final season for STR (the longest serving yet with Buemi). He has to prove himself substantially against rookie Kvyat who many consider to have got the seat not purely on merit. Jean Eric has to break out of the Red Bull circle to get a seat in 2015 for which he needs some really strong showing.


      Perhaps the most difficult lineup to predict but certainly a lineup full of potential. A refreshed Felipe brings in a wealth of experience with Valteri showing signs of potential in 2013. If they have a fast (and reliable) car underneath them which seems like then they’ll be right up there with the best.


      Jules’ performances last year were smoking(ly) hot but Max deserved credit to bring the car home in every race in 2013. However he couldn’t match Jules’ pace and 2014 might not be any different.


      Kamui is back but for how long? He’ll need some great performances to make feel his presence and he can do that where Marcus is perhaps the driver we can’t really predict how well he might go.

  25. Surprised so many people think Massa will beat Bottas.

  26. I’ll just list the two where I differed from the majority:

    Kvyat – I think he’s a real rough diamond if his quickly-up-to-pace FP1 outings from last year are anything to go by. He came very close to both Jev and Ricciardo in a very short time. I’m sure with a little more time, he’ll easily get ahead of the former (he would beat Daniel as well, but he’s no longer in the picture, of course).

    Bottas – As much as I like Massa’s incredible work-rate and reckon that it will shine through once again in this new environment, I think Bottas is of the same mould as Kvyat, a real talent and a likely future champion – he wrung 110% out of his dog FW35 last year on a number of occasions (those two quali sessions come to mind principally), usually beating the more experienced Maldonado on pace.

  27. How anyone thinks Rosberg will beat Hamilton this year is beyond me – irrespective of Rosberg’s much vaunted, but less witnessed intelligence.
    Lewis beat Rosberg last year, and the gap would be much higher even when corrected for DNF’s and mechanical failures. He beat Rosberg in a team Rosberg has been in for the past 3yrs, driving a car with essentially the same DNA for the past 3yrs, whilst going into a team with a whole new way of doing things, new procedures and processes, new personnel, strange car, brake/ balance issue and being unhappy with the car’s characteristics for most of the season.

    This year is a LEVEL playing field for both drivers, most of the issues mentioned above would have been mitigated or resolved by now. With the new regulations focusing on energy recovery and fuel conversation, qualifying position is far more important than it has ever been.
    Lewis will beat Rosberg, and will do it far more convincingly than he did last season. Whilst Rosberg is indeed a fast driver, he is not even close to Lewis in terms of qualifying or race pace.

  28. Can we say the Lewis/Nico vote is slightly bias because of the majority of English people on this forum?

    1. Could also be due to the fact that Lewis is a former WDC, runner up. But I could be wrong, you know :)

    2. @ardenflo Just because Lewis is English, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will automatically assume he will beat Rosberg, otherwise Chilton would be a shoe-in to beat Bianchi and Button would be light-years ahead of Magnussen.

      1. I don’t agree. Because Lewis is a proper contender. Button is not and we all want to believe in this danish rookie monster-talent that is Magnussen. Even the British know Chilton is a shoe more than he is a racer.

        I’m not saying every brit will vote Lewis but I’m 100% sure he gets a lot of sympathy votes from people who are doubting.

        1. They were well matched last year, with Hamilton arguably slightly better despite being new to the team. Considering that and him also having greater career success, I’d be surprised if the votes have been influenced much by that- seeing as they’re so close. Also, although people from the UK (rather than just English) are the most prominent group to visit the site, I don’t think they are the majority (according to stats Keith has published in the past).

  29. Let me roll the dice. My choices.

    My opinion:

    Rosberg [ My Dark horse for the WDC !!!!! ]
    Kimi [ My Dark horse in the Inter team battle !!! ]
    Magnussen [ maybe Mclaren has done a good media & Publicity job yet Something tells me that this kid is right up there !!!!!! ]

  30. A lot of people are backing Felipe here. He has disappointed the last 5 years and Bottas is only getting better and better. I think he’ll hand Massa another beat down.

  31. Red Bull – Vettel
    Mercedes – Rosberg
    Ferrari – Alonso
    Lotus – Grosjean
    Mclaren – Magnussen
    Force India – Hulkenberg
    Sauber – Sutil
    Williams – Massa
    Toro Rosso – Vergne
    Marussia – Bianchi
    Caterham – Kobayashi

  32. I pretty much agreed with general consensus on my votes except for 2 – I think Magnussen should beat Button and Bottas should beat Massa

    Vergne and Kvyat might be pretty close too

  33. Red Bull – Dan’s a great qualifier, but his race performances are less impressive, Vettel’s a bit of a beast, I think he’ll win it easily.

    Mercedes – Rosberg’s my tip for the world championship, he impressed me so much last year. Almost as fast as Lewis, and with the type of racing needed in the new era, a human computer like Rosberg will make less mistakes, but be slower. Think 1984

    Ferrari. Alonso consistently delivers miracles in crap cars, he’s just relentless. If the car’s a dog, he’ll win it easily, if it’s a great car Kimi will be closer, but Fernando’s RELENTLESS. I just hope he doesn’t loose his head like 07, that would be his only undoing.

    Lotus – Grosjean’s grown up, Maldonado is a petulant, spoilt (29 year old) child who can’t.

    McLaren – Button’s experience will win the points battle, but Kevin looks fast.

    Force India – If Hulkenberg doesn’t beat Perez I’ll be very suprised, simply a much better driver.

    Sauber – I used to like Adrian, but Di Resta crushed his last year, why isn’t he at Sauber? Bleeagh, boring, Sutil on experience.

    Toro Rosso – I went for Kvyat, lots of potential, Vergne still a crap qualifier.

    Williams – Like McLaren, experience will win but it will be close.

    Marussia – Why is Chilton in F1? God that guy’s slow. Bianchi, easily, if he doesn’t I eat my laptop.

    Caterham – KK, easily.

  34. Lewis and Nico will run each other close. Raikkonen will switch off in half of the races and Magnussen will be more than a handful for Button.

  35. Wow, didn’t see that coming although voited the same myself, still quite a margin! And Maldonado is a GP winner.

    Romain Grosjean (94%)
    Pastor Maldonado (6%)

  36. The complexity of the new regs leading to big differences between the drivers is way way way overstated. It might be a factor for a couple of races, but the pit wall ill just be spouting tips and commands through the radio, as they have for years. Too much fuel being used, message and tell the driver to take it easier, better yet tell them to tweak settings on the steering wheel so they still drive to their maximum, but maybe the car is a bit down on power.

    The two ERS adding complexity? Again, to an extent, but primarily for the engineers. Again, the drivers will be receiving specific instructions from the walls on how to drive and where, and what knobs to turn to help the car. I just don’t get this complexity thing. They said the same with KERS and DRS originally, it really baffles me.

    If the teams didn’t have about 100people back at the factory with real-time car data, as well as their trackside team and the radio, then I’d agree. But with all that, the drivers will get used to it in absolutely no time

  37. Red Bull – Vettel, easily.
    Mercedes – Hamilton, by a greater margin that in 2013. He knows the team better now and this car will suit him more than 2013’s.
    Ferrari – Alonso, by a healthy margin, no question.
    Lotus – Grosjean, just. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of his 2012, early 2013 clumsiness seeping through.
    McLaren – Magnussen, just. Button will keep honest in races, but Magnussen will have more standout performances, including a win.
    Force India – Hulkenberg, easily.
    Sauber – Sutil, just.
    Toro Rosso – Kvyat, easily. Kvyat looked impressive in FP1s last season. He’ll put the final nail in the coffin of Vergne’s F1 career.
    Williams – Massa, just. It will be pretty even in qualifying. Massa’s experience will help him and I’m expecting him to have the stronger race pace.
    Marussia – Bianchi, easily.
    Caterham – Ericsson, just. Kobayashi will beat him over the season, but Caterham won’t score a point and Ericsson will have the higher finishing position at one race, thus finishing higher in the standings.

  38. C’mon now who voted for Chilton?

    1. Not me, but whoever did, they may be a little bit wrong!

  39. Carl Craven
    8th March 2014, 22:25

    Mercedes achilles heel might be not favoring one man over the other, they may end up squabbling and losing out altogether. That is where they will miss Brawn.

    At least it should be interesting.

  40. Vettel, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Bianchi, Sutil, Kobayashi will beat their team-mates easily

    Others are more difficult with the most difficult of these is the Merc contest wihich will be ascloseasthat IMO, but Lewis will prevail.

    Williams and Ferrari are tied for second closest contest. While I like Kimi a lot, i don’t think on current form he can be a match for Alonso over a season. Bottas is the better driver of the Williams pair but given Massa’s experience advantage it’ll be close

    I might be in the minority here, but I believe Magnussen will beat Button. Won’t be easy but won’t be as hard as the above three cases either. KM has maturity that belies his experience(lack of), and natural speed in abundance. a bit of 2007 repeat situation indeed with the fact that Button is no Alonso negated by the fact that KM had had significantly less mileage pre-debut than LH

    Lastly, the Toro Rosso case. I believe it will be relatively close but not as close as some who don’t rate JEV believe it’ll be. Kvyat is a huge talent but had even less mileage than KM. Won’t be easy whatsoever for him to take on JEV whose natural style will be much more suited to these cars over the previous ones

  41. The Mercedes battle is so intriguing. Hamilton is phenomenally quick and may now have the car designed in his favour, but this year will be about driving fast and economically.

    Until Lewis learns where to save fuel without sacrificing pace, I wonder if we’ll see repeats of Malaysia 2013 where he hits fuel conservation mode slightly earlier than Nico.
    For that matter, with reliability concerns, I wonder if we’ll see a lot of ‘multi-21’ debacles early on with teams encouraging driver pairings not to race and just bring the cars home?

  42. I think Kimi will be able to better adapt to the big changes this year. He’s got great race craft and Alonso seems to be easily flustered.

  43. Alonso will come out on top easily against Raikkonen as he has done in a inferior car for the past two years. The interesting battle will be Rosberg against Hamilton. Rosberg will know that this is his best chance at a WDC just like Barrichello had at Brawn.

    New regulations, huge advantage in the car etc, it will be sometime before someone catches up. He really has to make it count.

  44. Last year I got all right but one Vergne vs Ricciardo, I must say that I thought that Vergne was going to be slower but score more points but that didn’t happened but it was much easier as you wouldn’t expect a massive chaos that would grant for instances Chilton or Esteban gutierrez a significant chunk of points for a struggling team.

  45. This is who I believe will win the inter team battle not necessarily who scores more points or poles but overall .


    1. Ricciardo?!?! Maldonado?

      Don’t know if that was a serious comment. I’m no fan of Vettel, but there is a very obvious gap in calibre of both those drivers

  46. GB (@bgp001ruled)
    9th March 2014, 2:33

    very obvious to me: vettel, vergne, hulk, bianchi, koba and sutil. more out of liking one way more then the other: kimi, grojean, bottas. difficult to me: merc and mclaren. i think hamilton is better, but hope roseberg beats him. and button is not as good as generally believed: if kev is as good as everybody says he is he might have a chance to beat button and i hope he does.

  47. Weighing into the Hamilton/Rosberg debate; I get the impression that Mercedes would favour Hamilton as WDC. They took so much effort to get him on their team and I am sure they think he is quicker than Rosberg. Maybe that will be the deciding factor between the two drivers fates this year?

  48. The only one I had difficulty in deciding was Alonso/Raikkonen, I had to resort to an “eny meeny miney mo” to split them as I honestly can see it going either way. For all the rest, my views are the same as in the forum thread on this topic.

  49. Vettel

    I’ve gone for experience on pretty much all of them, although I did think quite seriously about Williams and Sauber. Ferrari has just been a gut instinct that although I like Raikkonen a lot, I think Alonso will have the edge

  50. S Vettel
    L Hamilton
    F Alonso
    R Grosjean
    K Magnussen
    N Hulkenberg
    A Sutil
    J Vergne
    F Massa
    J Bianchi
    K Kobayashi

    Whilst with Marussia and Caterham (who I predict will continue their trend of not scoring points) the competition will be fair, with other teams it can all be up to a single positive performance. For example, Magnussen might get a win while Button may not and that may put the former ahead in the battle if during the rest of the season they are well-paired. I made this reasoning with Magnussen, Sutil, Vergne and perhaps Massa.

  51. So more people expect Ricciardo to beat Vettel than Maldonado to beat Grosjean?

    Now, as much as I’m not a Vettel’s fan and don’t like Maldonado this is ridiculous. One is a 4 times world champion facing a guy who is really only there to validate the money spent in the program that brought him there, while the other is one guy who is fast, could be a champion one day but hasn’t win anything yet against a crash-prone driver it’s true, but a race winner who can be fast when he’s up to.

    Is this critical reasoning or wishful thinking?

  52. As of the current voting standings, I voted for nine drivers who lead their respective battles. Of the current underdogs I voted for Kvyat and Bottas.

  53. I’m surprised so many people think Massa will beat Bottas! I wonder what they base that on? Maybe it’s him being about a second off Alonso the last five years, and Valterri having a great debut year… haha makes perfect sense.

    Makes even more sense when Bottas has already been at Williams for a little while, Massa on the other hand has his maiden season with them. The smart money is on Bottas, the guy is a future world-beater.

  54. Bottas wasn’t able to beat Maldonado much so I REALLY can’t see him beating Massa. Am I the only person here that recalls Alonso apparently never being able to pass Massa unless the inestimable Rob Smedley told Massa to let him past?

  55. Battle of the teammates 2014

    Red Bull
    I think this is the one of the more straight forward choices, Vettel should easily have the beating of Ricciardo, not because I don’t rate Ricciardo but because Vettel is so good.

    I think this will be close like last year and it could be decided by who has the luck with reliability, but I will choose Hamilton.

    Raikkonen will push Alonso more than Massa but I expect Alonso to come out on top in the end.

    I think the team as a whole will struggle this year so I doubt they will match last years results.
    Regarding the teammate battle, both have the potential to be fast but have reputations for crashing. Although Maldonado is the only one with a race win under his belt I think that Grosjean has shown more signs of maturity and consistency so I voted for him.

    I expect Magnussen to be fast and have a big impact in his debut season, however over the course of the season I think Button will come out on top.

    Force India
    Hopefully Perez will be able to find the form he showed at Sauber in 2012 now he has left McLaren, but even if he does I predict Hulkenberg will still finish ahead of him in the championship.

    I think Sutil should beat Gutierrez this season.

    Toro Rosso
    Vergne should outperform Kvyat and if he doesn’t this will be his last season in F1. But I fully expect Kvyat to do well this year and to get better as the season goes on.

    This is Massa’s chance to show that his disappointing performances over the last few seasons were down to having to play second fiddle to Alonso. While I think he will perform better at Williams I think Bottas can finish ahead of him, although it might be another close call.

    I fully expect Bianchi to out perform Chilton just as last year, however depending on the competitiveness of the team and the overall reliability of the whole field, whoever finishes ahead in the championship may just be down to who has the best reliability record and a fluke result or two.

    Kobayahi should do better than Ericcson but again reliability and fluke result could mean the final championship standings do not accurately reflect the drivers relative performance against each other over the course of the season.

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