Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2014

Who are beating their team mates at mid-season?

2014 F1 season

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The rivalry between the two team mates at Mercedes will almost certainly decide the outcome of the world championship.

Meanwhile Red Bull’s four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel must be pining for the days when Mark Webber occupied the adjacent garage as Daniel Ricciardo is proving a much tougher nut to crack.

But the largest gap between two team mates so far this year has occurred at the only team which boasts a pair of world champions.

Here’s how all of the drivers stack up against their most important rival of all – the only one who has the same equipment as them.

A clear leader

Ferrari: Fernando Alonso vs Kimi Raikkonen

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Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2014Fernando Alonso is the only driver to have finished in front of his team mate in every single race this year – and ultimately that’s the most important metric of all.

It’s been a tough return to Ferrari for Kimi Raikkonen so far but there have been encouraging signs of progress in recent races. Hungary produced his best result of the season so far – sixth – but Alonso has only failed to finish higher than that once all season.

Marussia: Jules Bianchi vs Max Chilton

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Jules Bianchi routed Max Chilton at Marussia last year and it’s no surprise to see him doing the same this season. As an added bonus, he gave the team their first world championship points in Monaco.

Lotus: Romain Grosjean vs Pastor Maldonado

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Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Hockenheimring, 2014Reliability is having a greater effect on the balance of power between team mates this season, and nowhere is that more true than at Lotus. They’ve only got both cars to the finish on four occasions and repeated failures in qualifying, particularly on Pastor Maldonado’s car, means we only have qualifying times to compare from seven race weekends.

Romain Grosjean holds sway at the moment, but the ‘laps spent ahead’ tally indicates Maldonado may be a tougher team mate than he’s looked like so far.

Caterham: Kamui Kobayashi vs Marcus Ericsson

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F1 newcomer Marcus Ericsson was always going to have a tough time given the circumstances at Caterham and being up against an experienced team mate. His race pace has been adequate but his season has been punctuated with crashes.

Closer contests

Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel vs Daniel Ricciardo

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Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014One of the most absorbing intra-team contests this year, as Daniel Ricciardo has stepped up from Red Bull’s junior team and given their four-times world champion the toughest test yet from the opposite side of the garage.

Red Bull unreliability explains part of the gap between the two – Sebastian Vettel has clearly suffered the most. But both of Ricciardo’s eye-catching wins came on days when Vettel’s car was still running.

Williams: Felipe Massa vs Valtteri Bottas

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After four years being ground under Alonso’s heel at Ferrari, Felipe Massa has another tough team mate on his hands at Williams. The pair are more evenly matched, but it’s to the credit of Valtteri Bottas that in only his second season he is showing so well against one of F1’s most experienced drivers, albeit one who suffered first-lap misfortunes in Australia and Britain.

McLaren: Jenson Button vs Kevin Magnussen

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014Kevin Magnussen is yet to recapture the high of the second place he scored on his debut, but that was always likely to be the case as the shortcomings of the latest McLaren have become more apparent.

Jenson Button has gradually asserted his superiority over his junior team mate, though as always he is at his weakest in qualifying.

Force India: Nico Hulkenberg vs Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez’s podium finish in Bahrain – still Force India’s best result of the season – means he has contributed more than a quarter of the team’s points. Without that it would be hard to justify not putting this in the “clear leader” section, as Nico Hulkenberg has usually shown him the way this year.

Too close to call

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2014With a more reliable car, Lewis Hamilton might be showing Nico Rosberg a clean pair of heels in the championship as well as in the in-house battle between the two drivers.

But that’s not to do Rosberg down – it isn’t just car trouble which explains why Hamilton hasn’t out-qualified his team mate since May.

Sauber: Esteban Gutierrez vs Adrian Sutil

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Adrian Sutil, Sauber, Silverstone, 2014When it comes to qualifying Esteban Gutierrez has been clearly the more impressive of the two Sauber drivers, a fact which may well be related to his team mate’s struggles with the minimum weight limit.

On race day Sutil has usually got the best out of the car, which in the case of the C33 is not very much. But they were closer to the points than ever in Hungary.

Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne vs Daniil Kvyat

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Jean-Eric Vergne is another driver who might be enjoying a greater margin over his team mate if his car hadn’t let him down too much. But GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat has earned just praise for how quickly he has got up to speed with Formula One.

Over to you

Which of the team mate battles has surprised you this year? How will they change over the second half of the season?

Have your say in the comments.

2014 F1 season

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

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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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  • 117 comments on “Who are beating their team mates at mid-season?”

    1. @keithcollantine The Williams chart is missing the Team Points row.

      1. oh thats right, this year Williams have points ;)

      2. @optimaximal Sorry about that – should be OK now.

        1. @keithcollantine
          The Williams team points section has Massa with 70.37% and Bottas with 29.63% – I think this should be the other way round?

          Excellent article, always interesting to see these articles. I bet at the start of the year not many people would have predicted the Ferrari, Red Bull or Williams graphs looking anything like that!

    2. Gideon Hadi (@)
      6th August 2014, 12:48

      Just a quick review of some impressive drivers : Daniel was very impressive and will be a Champion Fernando showed his class, Jules should be in Mid-team not backmarker, Kevin still need to develop more, Daniil will be at Red Bull, Valtteri will be a champion, both Mercedes will fighting till the last lap of Abu Dhabi. Jenson still deserved a seat next year.

      1. I personally don’t agree with this “will be a champion” talk…
        Alonso keeps showing the best performances year after year after year, still, he didn’t win a WDC in 8 years now. Hulkenberg is very good, or even Bianchi, Bottas and Ricciardo show promise, but does that mean a title?.
        Look at Button… or even the “”””mighty””””” Vettel. He gets beaten in his own tailor made car by a guy, who could barely outscore Vergne last year! And noone would say Vergne deserves a top seat! Well, not like there is gonna be any change in the top seats next year. And the 2 seconds Merc advantage isn’t going to melt away in the winter.

        So just cool it with the future world champion talk…

        1. don’t take it so literally with analysis included. he just means they are championship worthy, which they are. Hamilton and Rosberg are not the 2 best drivers in F1, but one will be champion. your analysis of ricciardo and vergne… maybe that just shows Vernge is a great driver too to keep up with Ricciardo? results are what we judge drivers by at the end of the day. Vettel was the king for 4 years, now he is beaten by Ricciardo. Both drivers are great, Vettel was great for longer then many. Half the field of f1 drivers is worthy of being f1 champion. all that is needed is being on top of your game and having a car capable of winning the championship – that is how is has always been. you are talking down Vettel’s success without realising how the sport works, and at the same time talking down both Ricciardo and Vergne with your comparison – both put in as much effort at Torro Rosso as a driver in a top 2 car, but you have belittled them. Great drivers can always be beaten – look at Motogp and Rossi – and they remain great through their legacy. you are slandering Vettel who is only 25 years old. he will probably get better as a driver, but may not win another championship because of how F1 works – and people like you will then slag him for the rest of his career.

          1. Very well said mate…..

          2. @kpcart You can talk all you want about Vettel being the best but this year many people have changed their mind about him and if he doesn’t start beating Ricciardo his reputation will go downhill.

            1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
              8th August 2014, 18:18

              No said that about schumi when he got destroye by Rosberg for 3 years.

          3. Very, very well said. @Keithcollantine, may not be COTD but sure ResponseOTD.

        2. Well part of it I guess is that these guys are so young and already so cool in their performances – it leaves very little doubt who will be there to mop up points once the greats of this era subside

        3. Gideon Hadi (@)
          7th August 2014, 12:05

          @lsl1337, I mean looking at both drivers, they was likely will be a WC because 2 reasons : They are very talented, and they are at Top Teams, so I don’t see a reason why Daniel and Valtteri unable to be a WC

          1. Gideon Hadi (@)
            7th August 2014, 12:07

            I meant “they are likely will be a WC because 2 reasons” sorry for my bad English

    3. I think the graph between the RBR drivers is very compelling. It certainly does highlight what I suspected this year, that VET has been running higher than RIC during the races, but RIC just manages to pull a fantastic burst of speed at critical moments, and for both his victories this year, he did exactly that, whereas VET was left spinning his way down the order in Hungary. I think if VET was a little more settled, he might be a little more comfortable in the challenge from RIC.

      1. What you say is true, but i had read it a slightly different way. I thought it showed one of Ricciardo’s main strengths against Vettel is in tyre management. That allows him to have better pace at the end of the race once the strategies have played out.

        1. the way I read is that over the years a better driver just comes along, vettel might be the best of Hamilton/vettel generation, but now a new generation is coming. that is not to say that vettel wont stay competitive, just like Alonso stayed at the top even with Hamilton et al coming at him. you see it in motogp too, the new generation come through at a rapid rate in first few years. people calling vettel an unproven driver now, even after winning in a torro rosso then compellingly winning 4 wdc are just ignorant. look at Hamilton, he is 29, and this is his first year of a dominant car, and he is not being dominant, this after the amazing start to his career 6 years ago… how time flies, he is not the top of the sport anymore, cannot even dominated rosberg who so many do not consider an “A” championship driver.

          1. I think you underestimate Rosberg. Maybe this is when he becomes an ‘A’ championship driver or whatever you call it.

            1. Then you are underestimating Ricciardo. May be he is also ‘A’ Championship contender driver. Vettel is also facing same problems as Hamilton is facing in beating Rosberg this year i.e both Rosberg and Ricciardo are very good drivers and their WDC teammates are finding it diffocult to domainate them

      2. You’d think he’d be settled after 6 years in the team and 4 WDCs. :)

      3. VET has been running higher than RIC during the races, but RIC just manages to pull a fantastic burst of speed at critical moments

        You can’t get that from the graphs, or even from watching the races. RIC has been quite a bit luckier than VET so far this season, in terms of reliability (and a lot of VET’s unreliability issues have not led to DNF’s), in terms of team decisions around pit stops, and just in terms of the way some races have unfolded in the form of other teams problems and safety cars.

        If you go solely by Ricciardo the Renault PU has been more than decent. If you look at the other seven drivers using it, it has been absolutely dreadful. There’s a reason why sportsmen tend to be superstitious – it’s because there is a sizable slice of luck involved in their success or failure.

        1. I would like to point out that while many see that Vettel is clearly not comfortable with his car Ricciardo is clearly a) in the form of his life and b) very well suited to his car, what with the way is able to seize on opportunities unlike any other driver this year, who if the run well (Alonso, Rosberg, Hulkenberg) tend more to ‘manage’ their race without the confidence to lunge forward. I think Ricciardo is certainly the real deal, but he hasn’t run into car trouble really yet.

          1. @MagicSpin
            How many more excuses must be trotted out by the Vettel apologists?

            He’s never put in a particularly outstanding drive (brembo brakes won him Monza before that’s spouted once again), and is simply an average driver. Couple that to a ludicrously dominant car and a teammate long past his prime, and it’s not quite such a shock he’s being trounced by a good young upstart.

            Also, don’t forget both of Ricciardo’s wins have come from 6th, won by sterling overtakes – Vettel has never won from lower than 3rd.

            1. @md One of the most laughable posts of the year.

              (brembo brakes won him Monza before that’s spouted once again)

              Won him which Monza? 2008, 2011 or 2013? How many more excuse must be trotted out by the armchair critics?

            2. @david-a Don’t bother with those that don’t understand F1. They are not worth it.

            3. I am no Vettel fan, but he is not an average driver. imo however Ricciardo is making all the noises that might indicate he’s better.

        2. I agree with everything you said. However, even when both are running trouble-free and on equal terms, they are about even. That alone is more than anyone expected from Ricciardo. Sebastian clearly isn’t comfortable with the RB10.

        3. RIC has been quite a bit luckier than VET -in terms of team decisions around pit stops, and just in terms of the way some races have unfolded in the form of other teams problems and safety cars.


          Yep. Dan and his team have been nailing race strategy compared to the other side of the garage this year.

          I’ve noticed a trend to VET’s races. He’s doing fine, everything is good, makes a pitstop, stuck behind someone, cant get past, asks his team to re-think the strategy, makes a pitstop after re-crunching the numbers, new Strategy doesn’t work, finishes behind RIC.

          In terms of qualifying and practice pace, RIC has looked more comfy in the RB10 for the first half of the season. always up a few tenths. Until Hungary when we saw VET back on form, consistently a few tenths up on his team mate all weekend, until of course race day, when strategy fell into the hands of RIC, and VET just pushed too hard to recover lost time.

          VET has historically been stronger in the second half of the season, my money will be placed on a return to form. Maybe even a win. Hungary was definitely in my mind a turning point for his performance against RIC this season.

    4. Very interesting as always. Since we’re halfway through the season already, all the drivers must be into the thousands in terms of laps completed in their cars. So with this being the case, surely the excuse of a car not suiting someone’s driving style must have worn thin by now? Or will a driver always struggle if the car doesn’t perform favourably towards his driving style? Vettel and Raikonnen have both complained about this, but we’re now eleven races into the season and it’s fair to say, both have been outperformed by their respective teammates. I personally don’t feel as if the “driving style” excuse used by Vettel and Raikkonen is justifiable anymore. It certainly doesn’t explain how Kimi has been outperformed so much by Alonso. As a racing driver you have to adapt to what’s been given to you.

      1. I think the problem with Raikkonen is that the ferrari is a bad car. The only reason why he looks bad is because he’s paired with Alonso who is arguably the best driver on track. Alonso is able to make anything work so I think it’s unfair to judge raikkonen.
        Vettel on the other hand has no excuse. A less experienced driver doing better than him is not good for his career. He’s gotten to used to a car that just dominates. just look at 2011 and 2013. Granted 2012 was down to the last race but he still had the best car. He doesn’t like having a bad and just can’t get used to it. And he needs to soon otherwise he’ll become a forgotten world champion over shadowed and pushed to a back of the grid team like Sauber

        1. Why is it unfair to judge kimi? This is the top level of Motorsport and he’s nowhere close to Alonso.

          Vettel can be cut some slack seen as he’s had some decent moments and some bad car failures, but kimi has been awful.

          Maybe it’s time this ‘I don’t bother with the simulator’ cool attitude got its comeuppance.

          1. My personal view is that Kimi is not the driver he was before. So many people love him, so i’m putting my flamesuit on but I assume that’s because he must have been a revelation in his first career. The Kimi that I’ve seen is finicky, timid in combat, conservative, and not devastatingly quick (apart from that stint in Monaco into the points at the end) which has cost him many points and a few wins. This has been hidden by his consistency and Grosjean’s wholly opposite style. Had he been paired with Vettel or Hamilton or Rosberg instead of Grosjean we may have seen (as we do now with Alonso) that Kimi can’t really match the top drivers of the sport.

            1. My personal view is that Kimi is not the driver he was before.

              I think he could still match Grosjean, Vettel, Massa and a lot of other drivers. I don’t believe he is “not the driver he was before”. The same was said about Massa numerous times after his accident. In reality, Massa and Kimi were on the same level troughout their time together and both are equally slow compared to Alonso. I could simply be that most people (including myself) didn’t realize just how good Alonso really is.

            2. I agree. I would just add one word to the end of your comment and that is ‘anymore’.

          2. Kimi has issues with his right foot. He has a top notch right foot, but not maybe up to where some other F1 drivers are. He is probably the fastest raw pace guy still, if he did not have to have a right foot. He dominated, pace wise, much of when F1 had traction control. He would qualify with the most fuel and still get pole over and over at McLaren. He won his championship the last year of traction control, and left after one year without it. He went from low power feeder series cars very very quickly straight into traction controlled F1 (his first year, 2001, was first year it was allowed again in fact). 2008 was his first real year of having to deal with that much power without assist.

        2. I think the problem with Raikkonen is that the ferrari is a bad car.

          I thought the Ferrari was a rocket and that Alonso wasn’t doing much with it. Atleast some fans believe so.

        3. It’s pretty clear Ferrari have a decent car and they don’t have the worst power unit, yet they are still being beaten by a car that is slower down the straight :)

          You can say Alonso is so mighty all you want, but nobody else is getting the same kind of attention on that team. Both Massa and Kimi were clear #2’s, and this year Kimi has clear setup and reliability issues which are not plaguing Ferrari’s #1. The only one who is driving Ferrari’s car to the best of it’s potential is Alonso, and thats only because Ferrari want it that way.

          Alonso is his own worst enemy, he wants the team wrapped around him, but in the end, it’s clear he can’t seem to give the engineers a clear direction to push.

          1. Your comment is as ridiculous as saying Mercedes are sabotaging Hamilton.

        4. @timebolt759

          And he needs to soon otherwise he’ll become a forgotten world champion over shadowed and pushed to a back of the grid team like Sauber

          Yes, because no team other than Sauber would take a punt on the youngest ever world champion with the experience of nearly 40 career wins. Seriously mate, sober up before you post next time.

          1. He may have won four titles but how much of it was him and how much was the car? People will ask that question more and more as time goes by

            1. Yes, people will ask that question. More often than not fans, not anyone actually in charge of anything in F1.

            2. @timebolt759 @austus
              As Breno implied, it is mostly armchair critics who ask that question. Your answer lies in how close his teammate got to the title in each of those four seasons. And if SV will be “forgotten”, how can you excuse a driver who’s achieved less over a longer period, when he’s also further from his teammate?

            3. @timebolt759

              How much was car or the driver? We can easily ask that of the Mercedes drivers this year.

              Vettel has been beaten by Webber in the first part of the season a few times. He always seems to come back stronger in the second half. So Vettel being behind his teammate at this stage is business as usual.

          2. @david-a
            While I agree that the idea of Vettel going to Sauber is ludicrous, past achievements don’t always account for how he will perform like in the future.

            For instance, in 2003 Jacques Villeneuve was the only world champion on the grid other than Schumacher, yet for 2004 he couldn’t even get a seat in Minardi.

            With that being said I still obviously rate SV a lot higher than JV.

        5. Sure, part of the reason Raikkonen isnt winning races is because the car is bad. But that has nothing to do with the 11-0 score against Alonso, the 90 point gap between them two, or being behind the likes of Perez and Magnussen in the championship (and lets face it, the Ferrari has been better than the Mclaren and the Force India).

    5. Will JEV be allowed to race a fourth season with TR? I don’t think they will ditch a driver after this year, unless JEv starts underperforming in the second half of the season.

      1. He’s teetering

        1. @paeschli @frankjaeger With Carlos Sainz Jnr – who was arguably passed over for Kvyat last year – on his way to the Formula Renault 3.5 title, Alex Lynn leading GP3, Helmut Marko pursuing Max Verstappen and potentially still Antonio Felix da Costa waiting in the DTM wings, I’d say there’s a lot of pressure on Vergne’s seat for next year.

          1. @keithcollantine. I was talking about Da Costa with my fellow Belgians on another forum. Nobody in our group thinks we’ll ever see him in F1. Somebody even said it quite firm that except for one season in FR3.5 Da Costa really hasn’t impressed at all and is just a hype that is already blowing away. Marko spotted it and chose Kvyat instead.

      2. It’s like a said a few races ago, he’s doing a solid job this year and has impressed more than his previous two years in F1, but I don’t think he can realistically do anything to keep his seat next year as he is effectively clogging up the system. He will have to look elsewhere.

        1. LATG (@lotus-grosjean)
          6th August 2014, 16:57

          It will be a shame to see him go. Don’t know if anyone feels the same, but watching Riccardo in the Red Bull drove past JEV in the Toro Rosso, I feel a bit sorry for JEV. Red Bull chose Ric over Jev and Ric is showing what he could do in that Red Bull (especially compared to Seb). Jev, maybe he will never get the chance… That’s how cruel this sport is.

          1. Agreed, furthermore JEV is one of the most unlucky driver on the grid. I am almost certain no one has such a DNF rate as him.

    6. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      6th August 2014, 13:09

      2014 is turning out to be the fascinating perspective from which to view previous seasons in terms of teammate comparisons. Now, obviously it is difficult to be sure you are comparing apples with apples when making any bold statements based on old formulas and the maddening nature of driver skill fluctuation, so I’m not saying Grosjean might not actually be that fast because he struggled to beat a Kimster that is now being thrashed by Alonso: that is madness. What you can say is that Daniel Ricciardo is a keyhole peek into the quality of the entire field, not just the frontrunners. The man who humiliated the field last year is being beaten by a young gun that only just nosed ahead of his Toro Rosso teammate in 2013, a driver who might in fact be under pressure to keep his seat much longer. Yes, Vettel is not the Vettel of the past, but the commitment, speed, consistency and maturity a guy that spent most his recent seasons in a Toro Rosso mired outside the top ten at the sharp end is massively impressive; therein flattering for Vergne and Kvyat also.

      Ladies and gentlemen that unfortunately brings about two disappointing conclusions. Firstly, a poor car can all but completely disguise a brilliant talent in modern Formula 1 (so no more Monaco ’84 performances), and secondly, we have future champions coming out of our ears (Kvyat? Ricciardo? Bottas? Magnussen? Hulkenberg? Bianchi?); logically not all of them will get the drives and success their talent deserve. That said, having a field rammed full of such prodigious driving brilliance is hardly a bad thing…

      1. the commitment, speed, consistency and maturity a guy that spent most his recent seasons in a Toro Rosso mired outside the top ten at the sharp end is massively impressive

        I think people are getting carried away with Ricciardo. He’s been good, but not THAT good. I suspect a lot of other drivers could do equally well if they had RIC’s car … including Vettel.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          6th August 2014, 20:47

          Is beating a four time champion adequate evidence of a job well done in your book? I’m not suggesting for a moment that DannyRic could beat 2013-spec Vettel, but he has still been beating a man that was unbeatable mere months ago…in the same car too. Yes, I agree that other “new breed” drivers also have the potential to make headlines were they in an RB10 next to Vettel, Hulkenberg for example, but you cannot take anything away from the job Daniel has done on that basis. His overtakes, in Hockenheim and Bahrain especially, have been sublime, aggressive yet measured and controlled, and in Monaco he was probably the guy leaving the least time on the table throughout qualifying on a consistent basis. He is clearly the performer of the year so far.

          1. @william-brierty I agree. If you look at the way RIC handled his situations in HUN and GER compared to HAM who is a much more experienced driver in a better car…

    7. Räikkönen certainly needs to up his game. He’s been comprehensively out-raced and out-qualified by Alonso, and on very few occasions has he looked like a threat.

      1. I’m a Rai fan, and has been for a long long time, and I’m so glad that his years in Lotus were succesfull… His comeback wasn’t in vain so far, solely based on the lotus years.

        I’m hoping to see Rai a bit more like he was in his youth (dumb wish I know), but we rarely see the ‘on the edge, driving ’til it breaks’ attitude he had in the McLaren days.

        He’ll get one more year to show us something that I hope will be special.

        and regarding the topic: Bottas… Keeping my interest in F1 for the future

    8. Bottas & Ricciardo will be jostling for the title in years to come; it would (could) have been this year had Merc had not been so dominant. Button deserves 1 more year with McLaren, although I really don’t think Magnussen has done quite enough for McLaren to gamble on another rookie; McLaren needs real performer alongside Button to go for a WCC. Grosjean deserves more. The Red Bull & Merc lads are just cushty where they are at the moment. Let’s see the back of Sutil and Maldonado. Daniil has adapted well and should be granted another year, JEV on the other hand, I think this may be one season too many for him, wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay or go. I think Kobayashi deserves a midfield seat yet again to display his overtaking prowess.

      1. You think Kobayashi deserves to stay, I don’t even understand why he was brought back, if they had kept VDG and Pic then they wouldn’t be last in the constructors.

        1. You cant be serious. That car is a dog, almost gp2 slow at the start of the year and looks terrifying to drive. Kob is also better than both those two. To me kovalinen(?) should have gotten the seat along with Kamui but they both deserve better but life aint about what you deserve its about what you get.

        2. Kobayashi is better than the both of them combined xD

        3. Kobayashi pulled off some brilliant manoeuvres in his time, never afraid to go for the gap, holding back drivers in superior cars. I’d take Kamui over Maldonado, Vergne, Bianchi, Ericsson, Sutil & Gutierrez. His car is an absolute dog this year and just hope he can stay in it.

          1. Maldonado is better than Kamui, Pastor is in one of the worst cars, dealing with the fact that Romain thinks hes top notch and the team probably don’t seem to want Pastor as much as they want his money.

            On equal footing, Pastor would wipe the floor with Kamui. Kamui’s only abilities are throwing his car in front of people, on every other count, hes just an average driver.

            1. Really unsure about that though.

            2. throwing his car in front of people,

              A lot of people would say the same about Maldonaldo.

            3. @evered7 Nobody would say that about Maldonado. However,

              throwing his car onto people

    9. A sad reminder that Sauber has not scored a point this year. Will they make next years grid?

    10. for us grand f1 fanatics, this analysis is great and keeps us on our toes for the rest of the season and enjoying the season as a great f1 season. but for non diehard f1 fans, this season is actually rather dull – one team leading a season of ugly winged, dull and quiet cars, which have slower lap times then previous seasons. only the diehards know the real score too, that redbull is disadvantaged having the best chassis and being held back by engine homologation which prevents them making any real gains over the course of the season to a 100hp more powerful Mercedes car. the fact that Redbull can keep ahead of Williams and Force India shows what an amazing car they have made, but are not able to reap the benefits because of stupid early homologation in a new engine formula. in the 80s and 90s we had engine disparity, but is was fair, as development was allowed. between 2006-2013 engine homologation worked, because the teams had relatively the same power – and that is only when it should be used. F1 should not be an engine formula.

      1. Surely non-diehard fans are thrilled to see Red Bulls battling Ferraris and Williams? They must have been bored to tears with RBR winning everything, especially with Vettel and the team being so curiously unpopular.

        Now they have that nice Ricciardo and a new flying Finn, a resurgent Williams and the prospect of the most popular driver winning the wdc after much drama.

        I don’t suppose they’ll believe the 100bhp rhetoric, and insofar as they do they’ll recognise Merc have done it with a better structure and great execution, and fully deserve to reap an advantage before the others inevitably copy their clever ideas.

        I think casual fans will be getting as much out of the situation as us fanatics.

      2. but for non diehard f1 fans, this season is actually rather dull – one team leading a season of ugly winged, dull and quiet cars, which have slower lap times then previous seasons.

        Are you watching the same season as us? Screw all that, the racing has been absolutely phenomenal!

        1. Yes, the racing itself has been great at times, but that has nothing to do with the very accurate comment: “one team leading a season of ugly winged, dull and quiet cars, which have slower lap times then previous seasons.”

          Exciting racing can be had with motorized shopping-carts. But they are still shopping-carts. Truly great F1 involves a number of factors, including driving skill, interesting tracks, sights and sounds, and so on. Taking any of those components away diminishes the overall effect.

          It can still be great racing, but …

      3. The engines will be equal in a few years, and there is also no way of knowing if RB or Mercedes has the best chassis. You can’t just have the best engine and dominate like this.

    11. No one destroys teammates like Fernando Alonso. Last 4 seasons, regardless of the teammate, it seems completely one sided

      1. Like he did with Lewis Hamilton…

        1. @vettel1 Yeah, Hamilton matched Alonso in 2007, but still that remains the only season (2004 is debatable) in which his teammate managed to even get close to him.For 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014, he’s just absolutely DESTROYED them. For Hamilton, he was matched by Alonso in 2007, and Button got very close in 2010 and 2012, and beat him in 2011. Vettel can’t destroy Mr. Smiley Face =) and of course Kimi is getting beat up by the man who is known for beating up teammates. So yeah, Alonso is the master of teammate destruction. None of his teammates have ever scored more points than him in his 15 year career.

          1. Hmm, so Button would be close to Alonso and beat him 1 season in 3. Interesting matchup that would be.

            1. @lockup Yes, I admit, I might’ve indirectly said that but honestly I was just stating facts. Button beat Hamilton in 2011, you can’t deny that, but I believe there is a huge (better) difference in the 2007 Alonso and the Post-2010 Alonso.

            2. @lockup
              Hmm, so Button would be close to Alonso and beat him 1 season in 3. Interesting matchup that would be.
              If Alonso had a complete melt-down like Hamilton did in 2007, maybe.

              Lewis totally destroyed Jenson in 2010 and 2012 though.

            3. @mashiat @kingshark Even in 2011 the normal situation was JB racing behind Lewis, being faster in about 3 races. I thought Alonso was incredible in 2007, under that massive pressure. I think he and Hamilton are both incredible now, I wouldn’t big either one up at the expense of the other, they are the cream atm.

            4. @lockup
              I fixed my mistake. ;)

              If Alonso had a complete melt-down like Hamilton did in 2011, maybe.

            5. @lockup Jenson was faster for a lot of the season. He was quicker in Malaysia, Monaco, Canada (arguable), Hungary (arguable), Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Korea (arguable again, as he was stuck behind Webber, who in turn was stuck behind Lewis), India & Brazil. And he got the same number of wins as Lewis, but got 11 podiums to Lewis’ 6. And he also was 43 points and 3 positions ahead of Hamilton that season, and often consistently being the only man capable of keeping up with Vettel. I’ll admit that Lewis has 1 more retirement but all three of them have come in races where he didn’t even have a shot at the podium. So I see no reason why Lewis should be considered as the better driver in that particular season.

            6. @kingshark

              Lewis totally destroyed Jenson in 2010 and 2012 though.

              Hamilton totally destroyed Button in 2010??

              What racing series were you watching cause it can’t have been F1! So let me get this right. Hamilton scores only 1 more win than Buttton and only 2 more podiums and that’s ‘totally destroying’ him?

              You’re havin a laugh!

            7. @nick101
              And in how many races did Button actually look faster than Button? Not even in his two wins in Australia and China was Jenson faster than Lewis, those races were won on strategy. Lewis looked faster than Jenson pretty much everywhere that season. Lewis also had a lot more bad luck than Jenson in 2010.

            8. @mashiat hmm well I don’t know if this is the place to get into JB vs LH 2011 but in Sepang LH was ahead until McLaren cost him 3.4s in the pits and put him on the wrong tyre. Monaco iirc was all about someone crashing near the end of qualy, Canada crash happened because Lewis was faster, Hungary was another tyre strat snafu, Monza was all about Schumi behaving badly, Singapore was a bad run to T1 and hit FM, Korea LH was on pole and finsihed 2nd…so it was Spa, India & Braziil which pace-wise was pretty much normal with JB faster in 3 races. Factor in JB’s luck in Oz and China in 2010, Andy Latham who was such a liability and all the cockups and car issues for LH in 2012 and we see the points do JB a massive, massive favour! Bit like this year for NR really :( . Not to say that Nando isn’t equally impressive, but as ‘teammates to avoid’ there’s not much in it IMO.

          2. F1Fanatic I have a new headline for you: “Button is better than Alonso”.

            1. NOOOOOOO!!! It goes: Button is better than Alonso, while Gutierrez blitzes the field” :)

            2. please tell me this is a joke

          3. I would place Michael Schumacher (2006 and before) ahead.

            1. @vettel1 Arguable, but I would agree somewhat but not entirely as Schumacher almost never really had teammates worthy of victories (in a car other than a Ferrari or Benetton, please feel free to differ with evidence) or WCs while Alonso has had to face 3 World Championship teammates (One was only for a few races I know). But I would rank Pre-2006 Schumi as just as good, perhaps even better but I was talking about current drivers.

            2. But Schumacher never had Championship standard team-mates, Alonso has had two plus the one team-mate they both had, Massa, regarded Alonso as the tougher team-mate.

              Button did outscore Lewis in their time as team-mates over a 3 year period and Rosberg did the same to Schumacher (albeit an older, rustier version). No one so far has done that to Alonso.

            3. @vettel1

              I would place Michael Schumacher (2006 and before) ahead.

              That’s subjective.

              There was only one season where Alonso and Schumacher had almost identically competitive cars – 2006. We all know who came out on top that season.

            4. In terms of current drivers, certainly Alonso ranks very highly on teammate destruction statistics. But that is not to forget that he also was paired with the downbeat Massa for four seasons recently, along with characters like Piquet Jr, who were often tools at the team’s disposal rather than genuine competition.

        2. @vettel1

          Didn’t you see ‘last 4 seasons’ in my post ;)

          I expected at least 1 person to bring up 2007, so I guess it’s ok

    12. The race statistics show reliability so why doesn’t the qualifying. Red Bull and Mercedes’ drivers really should be 4/5 and I’m sure there are some smaller teams with skewed statistics.

      1. @theo-hrp The qualifying comparison statistics do take reliability into account, as mentioned in the article. They are based on the last phase of qualifying in which both drivers set a time. For example, the scoreline between Grosjean and Maldonado is 6 – 1 (85.7% vs 14.3%) because in four of the eleven qualifying sessions so far at least one of them failed to set a time in Q1 (or were excluded as I think was the case in one instance).

    13. The first thing that comes to mind is that the Mercedes pairing reminds me of the Montoya Schumacher in Williams BMW different aproaches similar results. Vettel and Raikkonen seem to have very narrow operational window they can be great but only on their own terms. The Mclaren pairing must be the weaker since Hakkinen Blundel in ’94. Ricciardo is surely a breath of fresh air. Alonso gives me the impression that he will just about thrash anyone in the same car. Hamilton is the least evolved driver, how is he any better than in ’07, ’08 or ’09?
      And the greatest question mark of 2014 is just how good is Rosberg?

      1. Funny @philby, I just read an article elsewhere about how much Hamilton has changed.
        As for Rosberg, I think he’s massively underrated. He’ll be running the Merc F1 team in ten years.

    14. Ferrari have been basing the car around Alonso e.g the pull rod (or is it push rod) suspension which will always hurt people whom aren’t a fan and as Grojean said, Kimi needs the front end of the car to be with him.

    15. Grosjean has been my unsung hero of the season so far.

      Although the laps ahead does not go a huge amount in Grosjean’s favour, when Maldonado retires (or DNS in the case of Monaco), Grosjean has been ahead in the races. Also, when Maldonado’s car is working, he is still being outqualified quite comprehensively by Grosjean, despite Maldonado supposedly being a qualifying specialist. And while Maldonado has qualified at best 14th, Grosjean has been at least 14th on no less than five occasions with a season best of a remarkable fifth in that pretty poor Lotus.

      1. @craig-o I think there is no doubt Maldonado is exactly who we think he is. I also think Grosjean deserves a better seat. I’d put him in the Ferrari next to Alonso, I rate him higher than both McLaren drivers and for now I even dare say he could be on par with Rosberg. (He still hasn’t managed to fully convince me)

    16. Sadly a chart like this doesn’t take into account Kimi’s unlucky and sometimes bizarre collisions with Magnussen and Chilton, yellow flags caused by Alonso that has destroyed Kimi’s qualifying, brainfarts of a Ferrari’s race strategist, Kimi’s clearly lower number of kilometres driven in winter tests etc.

      Has Alonso been faster than Kimi this season? Yes. Has Alonso being a clear leader in Ferrari? Absolutely not.

      1. No, evidently he has, more so than he ever was with Massa and even Fisichella.

      2. Is Kimi being Finnish also one of the excuses? It might as well be added since most in the list are delusional. @huhhii

      3. Kimi has been quite unlucky, yes. His pace in Monaco looked very good and who knows, there’s a chance he would have fought Ricciardo for podium if it wasn’t for that puncture.

        It is, however, hard to justify how hard Alonso is beating Kimi up in just about every aspect measured. Alonso has been, in my eyes at least, been the clear leader in Ferrari.

      4. Absolutely yes. Raikkonen hasnt finished ahead of Alonso even once, you cant justify that as “bad luck”.

    17. Comparison between Ferrari drivers is quite a waste of time due to “Alonso finishes first” driver policy that has been used since 2010. Kimi can’t beat Fernando because he isn’t allowed to.

      1. Kimi can’t beat Fernando because he isn’t allowed to.

        From the article:

        Hungary produced his best result of the season so far – sixth – but Alonso has only failed to finish higher than that once all season.

        Doesn’t seem the case as per the results. If Kimi wasn’t allowed to beat Alonso, he would have followed him home frequently. 6th place being the best result in the mid of the season isn’t the sign of a fast driver whose team mate has two podiums.

      2. Kimi can’t beat Fernando because he isn’t allowed to.

        Not being able to =/= Not being allowed to.

    18. A point about Webber, I certainly don’t want to denigrate DanR or SebV but it occurs to me that this years car with its reduced downforce, no off-throttle downforce, harder tyres and greater torque may have suited Webber better than it is currently suiting Seb so comparing DanR in this years car to MarkW in last years car and using SebV in this years car as the standard for comparison may be misleading.

      1. @hohum I agree, though I think this years set of rules would leave Mark so bored with F1 he would’ve stepped to Porsche mid-season and not bother finishing it like he did in 2013.

        1. @xtwl, I think he may have enjoyed the challenge this year as there seems to be less Tyre management than 2013 but we will never know.

    19. Jules Bianchi is every bit the young, determined team leader that Nico Hulkenberg is. Without him, I don’t think Marussia are on the grid this year, let alone challenging for 9th in the WCC with Ferrari powerplants and a decent car that might, ironically, be a regular points-scorer with a different engine.

      1. The Marussia is better than the Caterham and was more lucky than the Sauber in Monaco. Bianchi is the best driver out of those six but he’s no champion yet. I hope Ferrari put aside their conservative approach and put Kimi on a retirementcruise and replace him with the youngster though. Only then we can see what he can do because I’m pretty confindent we both could beat Max Chilton on our day.

    20. The difference between Alonso and Kimi is too much. :(

    21. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/lewis-hamilton-targeting-lucrative-new-3909383
      Hamilton and Mercedes are about to sign a 3yrs contract worth 70million Euros.

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