Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2014

2014 mid-season F1 driver rankings part one: 5-1

Driver rankings

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Concluding the mid-season driver rankings, here are the top five racers of the year so far.

5. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Silverstone, 2014

Key stat: Has taken all three of Williams’ podium finishes

Last year Bottas looked like a talent of the future in need of a better car, and his performances so far this season with the Mercedes-powered Williams FW36 have confirmed that impression.

He’s not been without room for improvement: his fifteenth-to-fifth recovery run in Austrlia was a fine drive but he would have finished higher had he not brushed the wall while trying to pass Fernando Alonso. And he missed a chance to take pole position in Austria when he skidded off at turn six.

But time and again Bottas has taken the best result available on the day with his car. He was fifth behind the Mercedes and Red Bulls in Spain, third behind the Mercedes in Austria, split the Mercedes for second in Germany and climbed 12 places to finish second at Silverstone.

He scored points in every race bar Monaco, where his engine failed, and is responsible for over 70% of Williams’ tally so far. He’s made three visits to the podium, which is three more than team mate Felipe Massa – and unlike his team mate he hasn’t participated in a full complement of practice sessions, making his achievements that bit more impressive.

4. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Key stat: Has never finished ahead of Hamilton having started behind him, except when Hamilton has retired

He’s leading the world championship, yet he appears only fourth on this list behind his team mate? It’s not hard to see why this may be considered an unduly harsh verdict on Rosberg. But results don’t tell the whole story, particularly in a season such as this when one team has the kind of performance margin we haven’t seen in more than 15 years.

Like Hamilton, Rosberg has the fastest car in the field underneath him and goes into every race weekend knowing he has a chance for victory. He’s taken four wins from eleven starts, the first of which came when Hamilton’s car failed on the first lap and the most recent of which was aided by Hamilton suffering a car failure during qualifying.

When the pair have gone head-to-head, Rosberg has tended to lose out, although his speed in qualifying and his resistance to errors is a key weapon in his armour, and arguably his best chance of prevailing in the championship.

Ironically his best performance of the season was probably one of the races he didn’t win. He took second in Canada despite an MGU-K failure, brilliantly holding off Sergio Perez by keeping the Force India more than a second behind at the DRS detection point.

3. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014

Key stat: In the last three months he has taken one win and no pole positions

Five races into the year, Hamilton looked capable of a maintaining Vettel-esque run of uninterrupted victories. The opening round in Australia had been a setback – no points following an engine failure – but consecutive wins over the next four races, with Rosberg behind him, put Hamilton in the lead of the championship.

Then a series of slip-ups in qualifying handed the initiative back to Rosberg. It began in Canada, and Hamilton was on the verge of recovering from that error when an MGU-K fault contributed to a brake failure which put him out. In Austria he spun twice and lined up ninth on the grid, and at home he abandoned his final run in mixed conditions only for Rosberg and four other drivers to beat his time.

Matters turned in his favour on race day, when this time it was Rosberg’s turn to retire with engine trouble. But in the two most recent rounds further car problems left Hamilton starting near the back of the field. It’s to his credit that he came away from both with podium finishes, although in Germany contact with Jenson Button may have cost him second place.

Without his surplus of technical problems Hamilton would certainly be ahead of Rosberg in the championship, and probably by quite a comfortable margin. But while his own mistakes haven’t cost him as much, it isn’t just mechanical misfortune which explains why Hamilton is second in the standings.

2. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Key stat: Alonso is eight places ahead of fellow champion Raikkonen in the drivers championship – no other driver is as far ahead of their team mate

A fellow world champion may have taken over the adjacent garage and Ferrari may have produced an even more vexatious new car, but Alonso continues to be one of the most consistent and dependably fast front-runners. He’s the only driver to have finished every lap and scored at every race.

Hungary was the latest example of how a driver of his calibre makes virtue out of necessity. Alonso hit the front despite the inconvenience of an early Safety Car and, of course, the F14 T’s shortcomings, and wielded an aggressive strategy to very nearly pull off a shock win.

Other Alonso performances earlier in the season rivalled this one for brilliance. He came third in a dry race at Shanghai behind only the two Mercedes, taking advantage of the Red Bull drivers’ delays. In Germany he battled long and hard to find a way past Daniel Ricciardo, then had to use all his cunning to keep the Red Bull driver behind when he hit trouble on the last lap.

He has never failed to finish in front of new team mate Kimi Raikkonen, although in Spain Ferrari arguably gave their quicker driver a more advantageous strategy to help him get ahead. But Alonso has had little else handed to him this season, and it’s hard to imagine where he might have missed any opportunities to score more than the 115 points he has.

1. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2014

Key stat: In the seven races where both finished, Ricciardo was only behind Vettel on one occasion

There’s no doubting Ricciardo has been better served by the reliability of his Red Bull than his four-times champion team mate. Yet on the two days when Ricciardo crossed the finishing line in first place not only did Vettel finish behind him in a healthy car, but Ricciardo had started the race behind his team mate.

It would be hard to ask more of a driver making his move up to a top team. Ricciardo was second on the road in Australia before being disqualified for a technical infringement. Whatever performance advantage Red Bull’s fuel flow infraction might have incurred, Ricciardo’s ability to run with the front runners could not be doubted.

In the second race an error by his team in the pits spoiled his race, but since then he’s never failed to score and it soon became apparent he was going to give Vettel a run for his money. In Bahrain and China Vettel was told to move aside to let his team mate by.

Spain finally yielded his first ‘real’ podium, to which he returned in Monaco and again in Canada, this time as the victor. A timely spot of traffic for his team mate may have helped Ricciardo get ahead but he took his chances when they came – beginning with an exquisitely-judged pass on Perez, with two wheels dipped into the dirt on the outside of turn one.

His second win in Hungary was another example of preparation meeting opportunity. Yes the first Safety Car moved him into position but it was the decision to pursue an aggressive strategy at the second – and Ricciardo’s flawless execution of it – which won him the race. This time he passed Hamilton around the outside and picked off Alonso to seal his second victory.

Ricciardo is only the second of Red Bull’s development drivers to graduate from Toro Rosso to the top team. Based on his first half-season, they’ve unearthed another star.

How the rankings are produced

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

Over to you

How do you think these five drivers have performed so far in 2014?

Have your say in the comments.

Images © Williams/LAT, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Getty

Author information

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

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119 comments on “2014 mid-season F1 driver rankings part one: 5-1”

  1. …when this time it was Rosberg’s turn to retire with engine trouble.

    Nit picking, but it was a gearbox failure, yes?

    1. I remember it as being that too, yeah.

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      15th August 2014, 13:18

      Yes. Gearbox failure.

  2. A fair ranking . Personally I would put BOT ahead of ROS, HAM.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. I wouldn’t. First, Bottas has to explain why Alonso has more points than him while driving F14T…

      1. Williams poor tactics have cost him dearly. That’s why Alonso has more points.

    3. I would but him between the 2, possibly shifting Ham above Alo, but I can’t really argue with the rankings.

  3. You make a good case for every ranking, but in my mind, whilst Alonso’s achievements Ricciardo’s I think the red Bull has been a better car than the Ferrari on race days. Alonso would be number 1 for me. Bottas would be very close to Rosberg in my mind too, but I agree Rosberg would shade that one as he has delivered against a very tough team mate.

    1. The whole Ferrari is a lemon while Renault engine is the lemon. But I think RIC made lemonade out of that lemon.

      It is a shame that in such a stellar year RIC will not be a WDC. !!!!

      1. hey now don’t lose hope

        1. Yep. RIC deserves the WDC this year compared to the average performances from ROS and HAM so far.

          There is still a glimmer of hope. Newey’s RedBull is super good on the Tilke’s Asian tracks !!!!! It will be bad for RIC if VET picks up his form in the second part of the year.

          1. Isn’t the Yas Marina the only “Tilke’s Asian track” still to be raced on this year?

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th August 2014, 21:20

            @tmax – the average performances from ROS and HAM.

            I think Hamilton has been stellar this season and Rosberg has been excellent.

      2. If like at the last race he wins and Hamilton finishes 3rd and Rosberg off the podium he’ll win haha

  4. Without his surplus of technical problems Hamilton would certainly be ahead of Rosberg in the championship, and probably by quite a comfortable margin.

    That construes the situation, considering Rosberg has had his share of reliability problems also (albeit less so than Hamilton).

    1. Hamilton had reliability issues in Australia,Canada,Germany ,Hungary and Rosberg had only one that was in Silverstone.

      1. No Rosberg also lost out in Canada due to the same issue as LH, having to eventually cede first place to DR. He also had telemetry issues in China, I think it was, which cost him a bad start due to a wrong clutch setting.

        1. The number of technical issues is irrelevant. It’s just using stats in a meaningless way. It’d be the same as saying Hamilton has won 5 races this year and Nico has won 4 so therefore, Hamilton is better. Meaningless.

          What is meaningful is to look at how many points the drivers lost through no fault of their own. If you worked that out and added it to their points totals, Hamilton would be top by quite a large margin.

      2. That is not ture at all. In Canada both had more or less the same issue, but Hamiltons brake issues forced him to stop while Rosberg was able to hang on to the car and still finish.
        And in China he had to run without telemetry, having to tell the team what his fuel consumption was etc. And in Hungary he had some problem that certainly cost him a lot in the restart after the SC as well.
        Yes, Hamilton had more big issues that ended a race (or stopped him from qualifying), but its not that far apart.

        1. The China issue didn’t cost him anything in the end, and losing one position due to the Canada problem is a world away from Hamilton’s full retirement.

          1. yes, but part of the Canada thing was being able to manage the car home. CHina didn’t cost him? It surely cost him not being able to challenge Hamilton

          2. He couldn’t challenge Hamilton because Rosberg had already lost out from the start while Hamilton streaked away.

          3. yes, but the start was also largely due to the electronics issue and not even being able to do a bite point check etc @matt90, so what you mention perfectly shows that he did indeed lose out on the chance to challenge Hamilton

          4. That is a good point, but he certainly had put himself on the back foot by qualifying behind both Red Bulls.

        2. @bascb Lewis had a loss of power at the end of the Hungarian GP that arguably prevented him taking 2nd behind Ricciardo. As @matt90 says, the China issue didn’t lose Rosberg any points, he finished two places ahead of where he started. Canada I can;t argue with, Nico just handled it better than Lewis. Apparently this is due to Nico’s natural preference for more front end braking compared to Lewis.

          That still means Nico has suffered two major reliability issues to Lewis’ five (counting both the fire in qualifying and power loss in the GP in Hungary).

          Keith is not wrong in saying that Lewis would be ahead of Nico if the reliability issues were taken out of the equation.

          1. I never mentioned that Hamilton wouldn’t be in front if he hadn’t had the DNFs (and qualifying in Germany). I just think that Rosberg did achieve more than I would have expected of him, while Hamilton even with the mistakes could have achieved more without his costly mistakes.

    2. @vettel1:

      considering Rosberg has had his share of reliability problems also (albeit less so than Hamilton).

      So a share, but not an equal share? It sounds like you’re agreeing that Hamilton has had “a surplus of technical problems” then.

      1. I am @jimg. Read the section of the article I have questioned.

    3. It doesn’t really though. Reliability being equal and Hamilton would indeed be ahead.

      1. Yes, but “by a comfortable margin” is indeed questionable @matt90.

        1. @vettel1 I agree. And I think given that both drivers have suffered enough unreliability, as in, the team has, that I doubt either driver will be comfortable in their lead, knowing they could dnf the next race.

          It’s racing. It may all still equal out yet, but if it doesn’t, well, that’s not Nico’s fault nor in his control. All he can do is go out there and run his races.

          Shall we say MS only won his titles because of stellar reliability? And back in the day I noticed many not willing to cut JV some slack when JB bested him in points at BAR but JV with far greater unreliability. It was all about JB beating JV.

          LH beat FM to the WDC, barely, and in a season that saw FM with 3 DNFs (in one he was classified 17th because his car conked out near the end of a race) to LH’s one dnf. That’s racing, or shall we take away LH’s WDC because of it? By rights, and given the slim margin, FM was actually the better driver that year, no?

    4. I wouldn’t blame technical issues as much as I would pit crew. There were multiple races where HAM made it up to ROS and could’ve passed him if there were a couple more laps OR he could have done it within regulation if his pits were identical to ROS. All season he has consistently had slower pits than Nico, usually anywhere from 1-3 seconds slower. Those races where Nico beat Ham by less than 2 seconds could’ve turned out much different.

  5. I think most people will agree that Alonso is the best driver in F1 – so should be number 1, although RIC has done a good job. Seems to be somewhat flavour of the month though..

    I know who i’d have in a car if i needed a driver to race for my life.

    1. RIC won the world with his smile !!!

    2. “I know who i’d have in a car if i needed a driver to race for my life.”
      What a great concept! Fan’s betting there lives on a drivers success, that would be great for “The Show” ;)
      I agree about Alonso, but what Riccardo has done stands out as something miraculous, whereas Alonso is just being his flawless, crafty genius self..

      1. So F1 could be called “The Hungary Games”?

    3. “I think most people will agree that Alonso is the best driver in F1”
      …How did you come to this conclusion? Hamilton beat him on the track and psychologically in the same car as a rookie! Put them both in a new car and we’ll see who the best is :)

      1. Hamilton and Dennis together…

    4. Sorry, I don’t agree.

  6. Duh – whilst Alonso hasn’t matched Ricciardo’s achievements.

  7. But I must admit I was totally wrong at the beginning of the year on the predictions between teammates.

    I chose RAI, MAG, ROS, VET to outshine their teammates. Especially putting RAI , ROS and MAG as dark horses and VET just by the seniority factor. I was totally wrong !!!!!!!

    Although I got BOT right .But then BOT ahead of MAS was a popular choice.

    1. @tmax what, dare I ask, drove you to decide that MAG was going to outshine BUT?

      1. @optimaximal I know that was a daring move. I fell for Ron Dennis praise of MAG and thought MAG is going to pull off a HAM over ALO of 2007.

        On top of that given that BUT is just an above average driver ( I know this is controversial !!!! ) , I thought MAG will outshine him completely . Although I will admit that I still have some hopes on MAG to come out on top of the struggling BUT by the end of the year. Currently BUT is fighting for his seat along with MAG . If he loses the McLaren seat it will be a tough scene for him given that all top teams are already full unless Ferrari ( which is not a top team nowadays ) loses one or 2 of its star drivers.

    2. @tmax
      It’s amazing that the two choices that seemed the least unusual (RAI and VET), turned out to be totally different. Especially in Ferrari. It’s been an absolute slaughterhouse and it looks as one sided as Senna having Satoru Nakajima as a teammate.

      1. @lawrence I agree. I was dumb found by the margin between ALO and RAI. Even MAS fared better !!!! But yeah the fact that Ferrari managed to develop a super bad car from a level playing field with such stellar drivers is even more surprising.

        On VET there was’nt much to think because of the seniority and the fact that RIC just matched VER last year !!!!

        1. Red Bull dodged a bullet.

        2. In all fairness, Kimi had the legs on Fernando at Spain (until Ferrari switched ALO to a faster strategy and undercut him) and was crushing him at Monaco (until Chilton had a go at him), and he did lose some good points due to Magnussen rear-ending him a couple of times. The car was also built for Alonso, and he and Raikkonen could not have more different driving styles, so that is a huge handicap.

          That said, I was expecting Kimi to have a hard time this season but nothing like this. Hopefully he pulls it together in the second half of the season. I was really looking forward to seeing those two go at it on track.

  8. More or less the rankings I had in mind, though I think there’s a case for Bottas, Rosberg and Hamilton for the 3rd best. Based on the first half of the season I can easily see Bottas and Ricciardo becoming champions one day, hopefully Alonso will get a 3rd at some point too, though time isn’t really on his side.

  9. I love that Bottas isn’t higher than 5th. In my mind, there’s very little to separate him from Hulkenberg in terms of talent. I think of them as the two new race winners somewhere in the not-to-distant future. Reading yesterdays (i think) comments I saw lots of people putting Bottas in 2nd or 3rd in their own rankings, which for me was way too much; yes, he did a good job compared to Massa, but that doesn’t say much, does it? 5th I believe is high enough. Overrating someone usually makes me like him less, so please, let’s stop that while I still like the guy. :)

  10. Very fair rankings overall, I’ll have to agree with them.
    Regarding the Mercedes battle-
    Hamilton: Lost 18 atleast points in Australia – He was behind Rosberg Magnussen and Ricciardo when his car failed, all due to his Car not performing well
    Monaco: Eye failure – 0 points
    Canada: Partly self-induced brake/MGU-K failure 18 points.
    Austria: Lost 7 points due to Qualy mistakes
    Germany: Arguable. Rosberg looked quicker of the two pre Race – 3 points
    Hungary: Engine failure in Hungary cost him dear, yet in the end he was on a much better strategy than Rosberg – 10 points
    18 +18 + 3 + 10 = 49 Points.

    Rosberg: Canada – MGU-K: Lost 7 points
    Britain – Gearbox: Lost 25 points
    7 + 25 = 32

    Hamilton has suffered more between the two, but Both of the failures for Rosberg were when he was leading. *t seems these two are almost evenly matched.
    It will be interesting to see the impact of this on Hamilton’s second half, he may need more replacement parts, leading to penalties. And Rosberg may have more failures.

    Moving on, I’d place Alonso over Ricciardo in my rankings anyday – But when you are ranking drivers on the past 11 races, Daniels 2 wins – The only Non – Mercs victories of the year gives him an undeniable edge. Alonso’s performances since Austria are definitely top notch, but Ricciardo has been excellent on Race days too.

    1. Hamilton’s car failed on the formation lap,thats what merc said,started the race in a v5

    2. Hamilton showed he could pass Rosberg at the pit stops in Canada, so saying that Rosberg lost 7 and Hamilton 18 isn’t so clear cut. And to say it was partly self-inflicted seems fairly harsh.

      yet in the end he was on a much better strategy than Rosberg

      Rosberg catching up to Hamilton twice kinda say otherwise, as does Ricciardo on the same strategy coming through to win. Hamilton’s strategy not only put him under threat from Rosberg, it meant that when he caught up to Alonso his tyres were in just as bad a state so he couldn’t take 2nd.

      1. Also,

        but Both of the failures for Rosberg were when he was leading.

        Hamilton was essentially leading in Australia, on account of the race not having started but him being on pole. And both drivers’ MGU-K failures indeed happened while Rosberg was leading. But Hamilton’s actual race-ending failure happened when he was leading, having got in front with an equal car.

    3. *t seems these two are almost evenly matched.

      Indeed, seventeen points difference is almost exactly the same…

      1. @iamjamm Rosberg has a 11 point lead right now. A little bit of math puts Hamilton up by 6. Yes, they are evenly matched.

      2. I say this performance wise, as well as number wise.
        Rosberg – Hamilton in Qualifying is 5-4, while it’s 3-5 in races.
        So yeah, not much between them.

    4. In Germany didn’t Ham suffer something in q2 that race? The breaks blew up or something? He started from the pit lane through no fault of his own? IIRC this lost him way more than 3 points. It cost him a potential victory or like you say, 3 points and anything inbetween that. I’m aware of the incident with Button, costing points as a fact. But you can’t assume anything when talking about evening out reliability.

    5. “Canada: Partly self-induced brake/MGU-K failure 18 points.”

      I don’t know how you can blame one driver for a mechanical failure and completely exonerate another one under very similar circumstances. Let’s look at the 2 scenarios.
      Under high temperatures on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Canada, Hamilton’s brakes developed problems while chasing down his team mate to overtake.
      In Silverstone, the weather was hot and sunny when Rosberg’s gear box failed while he was getting away from a chasing team mate.
      If you blame, one for overworking his equipment while chasing too hard, then the other should as well be blamed for overworking his gear box while desperately trying to get away.
      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame any driver for his technjcal failures, rather I put the blame squarely where it belongs ie. the numerous engineers at Mercedes whose job it is to check mate such.
      Isn’t it strange that you totally absolved an entire pitwall and engineers from their error in not adequately informing Hamilton on the state of his brakes while hunting down Nico?
      If Hamilton is ‘partly’ to blame for Canada, then using the same stroke, Nico is ‘partly’ to blame for Silverstone.

      1. @tata
        You probably got me wrong, or have jumbled up your facts :)

        In Canada, the two had MGU-K failures. That bit is responsible for harvesting energy OFF brakes, due to which the drivers this year have smaller brakes albeit very similar braking power. Lewis’s driving style – not his fault – led him to more Rear brake bias possibly along with his harder braking style was partly responsible for his brake failure, though it may have happened nonetheless. He reported issues AFTER the failure and AFTER he started pushing more than his teammate to take the lead off Rosberg-which he did.

        Rosberg had downshift issues culminating in a gearbox failure. The team already knew that.

        But the difference is, that the Canada incidence had happened for the first time. The team may not have had proper information about this. I don’t remember either of the drivers being warned, but LH’s style, again, was partly responsible for his failure, though in fairness, there wasn’t much he could do about it.

    6. Hamilton: Lost 18 atleast points in Australia – He was behind Rosberg Magnussen and Ricciardo when his car failed, all due to his Car not performing well

      @udm7 : Hamilton was not behind Ricciardo at the Australian GP, because at the end both had 0 points

      1. @noob
        I’m talking about the openiing laps of the race.

    7. @wil-liam
      I wasn’t aware of that, I didn’t follow up the news from the race.

      Rosberg was way behind Hamilton a few laps from the finish, Lewis lost 2-4 seconds a lap behind Alonso, before his own tyres started to deteriorate.

      I already mentioned that I wasn’t aware of Hamilton at Melbourne, but the duo had their MGU-K failure when Nico was leading – which lost Rosberg 7 points. Hamilton was second, behind Massa (who had to pit, though I doubt LH had any chance of finishing, the way he was driving, forget winning) when he had his brake failure. Equating to 18 points. And yes, Hamilton likes a bit more of Rear brake bias, and brakes much harder than Nico, so it was partly self inflicted, though the failure was not his fault.

      Lewis finished 3rd in Germany, and had there not been the collision, he would have finished second. Do the math, He had more than one incident during the race.
      And to say that he would have won remains hypothetical. So the Brakes cost LH atleast 3 points.

      1. @udm7

        (who had to pit, though I doubt LH had any chance of finishing, the way he was driving, forget winning)

        How so?

        And Hamilton was indeed in 2nd, but as you yourself said he was an entire pitstop ahead. So I don’t see why that should equal 18 points rather than 25.

  11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    15th August 2014, 12:29

    For me it is Alonso, not Ricciardo, that has been #1 driver of 2014; and not just because I have a #14 avatar. Yes, if we consider that Ricciardo is a freshman to the front of the grid, and yet has won races, been phenomenal in wheel-to-wheel combat
    and more startlingly has humbled the formerly dominant quadruple champion, Daniel is a tempting option. And yet without taking into account such circumstances or other intangible variables like Daniel’s experience and focussing on the maximisation of machinery, Alonso would be marginally ahead in my book; as Keith says it would be difficult to imagine how Fernando could have amassed any more than his 115pt tally which in many ways makes him the “perfect” racing driver. Ricciardo on the other hand has not been as dominate versus his teammate as Alonso has been, with Vettel faster in Melbourne before an ERS issue in Q2, and throughout the weekend in Sepang, Hockenheim and Hungary (before an untimely safety car and costly spin for the reigning champion). However that is just one school of thought; you could inversely argue that points have gone missing for Alonso through poor qualifying slots and remarkably off the line also…

    1. Gideon Hadi (@)
      15th August 2014, 13:40

      agree, Alonso is in phenomenal form this season, who would expect his dominance on Raikkonen.

    2. @william-brierty yes but when you consider that Alonso has been in Ferarri for 4 seasons and Vettel has been in Redbull for 5.. This further highlights the brilliance of a driver like Riciardo in beating his teammate convincingly in the first year!

    3. If only he had won in Hungary, he would have been a clear no. 1. Turn the team competition into a slaughterhouse, take the third/fourth car into a win, would have been beautiful

      1. I agree. Alonso has been #1 so far this season for me too. Ricciardo has underperformed on certain weekends, such as Malaysia. Alonso has been on it all season.

    4. That’s right, if you ignore all of the positive aspects of Alonso’s rivals and all of their achievements this year and all of the relevant factors and characteristics necessary to make a fair comparison, then I guess Alonso would be the only man standing. Ipso facto he must be the best driver … right!

  12. Ric vs alonso for top spot is debatable and could go either way. Hamilton and rosberg are both too high. Hamilton made so many mistakes this year all his victories can’t outweigh, while rosberg has been nothing special and pretty dull on occasions.

  13. Couldn’t agree more with the ranking. And btw, loving the “key fact” feature this year. Gives a great explanation for your decisions, Keith!

    1. Agree, that key fact line makes it great to get an early overview before you get deeper into it.

    2. Just I think Ricciardo should have shown 2 keay facts: The one stated and “the only non-Mercedes driver who has wins this season.

  14. I think I agree with the majority that Alonso has impressed most over the first half season. That said Ricciardo’s achievements at shading a 4 time champion cannot be dismissed and he would certainly be no lower than 2nd.

    I would also put Bottas higher though do not believe he outdoes Hamilton, I would therefore suggest the following (though the F1fanatic top 6 have clearly been the 6 best).

    6. Hulkenberg
    5. Rosberg
    4. Bottas
    3. Hamilton
    2. Ricciardo
    1. Alonso

    1. +1 for this list. I’ve loved Ricciardo’s races here in Oz, but I was surprised that Alonso wasn’t no.1

  15. Maarten van Berge Henegouwen (@)
    15th August 2014, 12:55

    good ranking!

    I miss the honourable mentions though. Bianchi should be there and maybe the Hulk.

    1. I rank Bianchi’s 9th in Monaco next to Ricciardo’s Canada win. Both achievements were heavily dependent on other’s attrition (all the retirements in Monaco, Mercedes’ PU failures in Canada), but they were the ones to capitalize on that, very impressive.

  16. Agree that Ricciardo is on top. He won 2 races when the opportunity arose, with Hungary showing more of the driver imput than Canada, and he has beaten Vettel more often than not. Yes, Alonso is showing why he is probably the best driver of the last 8-10 years, but I think he was not quite on that level from the start of the year, only getting into a groove after the first couple of races.

    As for Hamilton vs. Rosberg, I see Rosberg as doing a better job. On the other hand, I think its pretty clear that Hamilton is the more gifted driver of the two but had a bit more technical issues and made more a couple more crucial mistakes. Rosberg since Monaco has really been on top of Hamilton, although Hamilton did enough to promise a great second half of the season with his recent recovery drives. What I see as a great step for Hamilton, is that he seems to be doing his own thinking more than in the past.

    1. How anyone can come to this Ros better than Ham is beyond me right now. Hams problems through no fault of his own is the only reason he’s not leading comfortably. I also know Ros has had the same issues but, not as much as Ham. Has Ham, made mistakes? Yes, but those mistakes are small compared to the reliability problems. IIRC, Ham started from pit lane twice and scored a 2nd and a 3rd? If he doesn’t do this and finishes 8th or whatever, Ros is comfortably in the lead. How in the world can you think Ros is better or even performing better? Lewis hands down, has been the better driver.

    2. Lets compare the Merc team mates race by race then
      In australia – Ham starts from pole with broken car, Ros wins from 3rd.
      No points to any driver as comparison is impossible.
      Malaysia – Ham wins from pole, Ros second from 3rd. Ham 1
      Bahrain – Ham wins from second, Ros second from pole Ham 1
      China – Ham wins from pole, Ros second from 4th. Ros has fuel telemetry issues in race. Was not catching team mate before it though so Ham 1
      Spain – Ham wins from pole, Ros second from 2nd Ham 1
      Monaco – Ham second from 2nd, Ros wins from pole. Ros achieves pole by making mistake and denying Ham last fast lap. With Monacos missing passing opportunities, pole usually means win. So giving a whole point looks generous. If mistake was deliberate though, then it was ingenious thinking so Ros 1
      Canada Ham retires from 2nd, Ros second from pole. Both cars have reliability issues. Ham retires from lead after overheating brakes (and admits later that it was probably because he was following too closely before that). Maybe less overheating if would have started from pole so Ros 1
      Austria Ham 2 from 9th, Ros wins from pole. Ros 1
      GB Ham wins from 6th, Ros retires due gearbox issues. Ham was hunting down Rosberg after recovering from qualy mistake. Even then Rosbergs failure was before he was catched so No points
      Germany Ham 3rd from 16th, Ros wins from pole. Ham has brake failure in qualy. No drivers battle due to mechanical issues No points
      Hungary Ham 3rd from 22nd, Ros 4th from pole. Ham has fire in qualy, Ros loses 3 places due to SC but manages to stay ahead of teammateHam 1

      That gives Ham 5 points and Ros 3. I see no way how anyone could say that Rosberg has been better driver this year. Yes he has upped qualy after Monaco but Ham has also had misfortune in last 3 qualifications.
      Or to look it other way – would you have said that Merc has been the fastest car in qualification if you look only Rosbergs qualy results in first 4 races?

      1. Just to let you know that Hamilton started from 20th in Germany not 16th after incurring five place grid penalty.

  17. I can’t help but feel that if this was taken after 10 races then Alonso would not be top 2. It should be 1 – ric, 2 – ham, 3 – bottas 4 Ros/Alonso.

  18. @ everybody, i quiet agree that Daniel should be number one regarding the ranking for this season, I used to be a fan of Ferrari but now i watch Formula 1 only because a love the sport, and if there is anything this i believe nobody can deny it, is the fact that the only driver who has proven himself to be the number one ( in all the circumstances) …this is Fernando Alonso, there is not one single race that i’m not amazed by his moments, by his speed, ability to adapt in all sorts of machine that he has driven, playing fair and square all the time (not like rosberg(Monaco) this year)

    and now please feel free to name one driver who has performed better than alonso in the last 6 years…
    ( i know that Bernie would name Vettel :P )

    1. Gideon Hadi (@)
      15th August 2014, 13:56

      Alonso not only did the best this 1st half, But he sometimes drove outside the car ability like in Germany, where he pass Ricciardo, Hungary, where he almost win it, and China. and some decent performances like in Austria, Great Britain. on other races, he were solid, except in Bahrain. he showed that Ferrari can fight with Red Bull and Williams. so, in my opinion Alonso should be number 1

  19. I don’t really have any issues with the rankings, but I do thnk there is a missing ingredient that hasn’t been mentioned that to me would affect the rankings. Who is under the most pressure and therefore has more playing on their minds, or let’s say more of a challenge keeping their mind calm.

    I think DR is in one of the least pressure situations since if he had been bested by Vettel that would have been no surprise given SV’s CV, and DR’s newness to the team, and besting SV is gravy for DR. So there’s not a lot of mind play going on for DR. He can just go out there and perform and let the chips fall where they may. SV would have more playing on his mind given his reversal of situations compared to the last 4 seasons.

    FA would be feeling pressure at still not having the car, but otherwise there is no mind play or him either. As the engrained driver on the team, and someone who most would have thought should have had no problem besting KR, as he is, FA can also just go out there and perform, as everyone acknowledges hs missing ingredient is the car.

    Bottas may be feeling some pressure to best FM, but again, without a WDC level car, he can just go out there and do his best and reap the rewards of looking pretty impressive more and more each day.

    NR and LH are in the rankings where they are for the same reason as the winner of a race often not getting driver of the weekend on the site’s polls…usually it is someone who does more with less that gets the nod. But it’s not their ‘fault’ that they have the very ingredient almost all WDC’s in the history of F1 have had…the WCC winning car. So while I get how these rankings work, I do think it should be highlighted that there is huge pressure and mind play going on between the two Merc drivers that simply does not and cannot exist for the other drivers. They have the best cars, and there is a responsibility that goes with that to not squander what they have, both for the team, and for themselves personally. So from that perspective it is a bit bizarre to me that the rankings don’t have LH and NR as 1 and 2, but I do get the perspective from which the rankings are approached which as I say is not unlike the dotw poll perspective.

  20. IMO Rosberg was driven to cheat by Hamilton’s crushing form in the first 5 races, so I put him 22nd.

    I think that betrayal got to Hamilton and affected his qualifying for the next 3 races, but not in any creditable way. So for me I discount that overaggression and put him up there with Alonso and Ricciardo. With the cars being so different, safety cars, reliability and all the rest of it I don’t see a basis to split them. They have all been terrific and wonderful to watch.

    Bottas needed that last half year to really get through the rookie phase, I reckon, so 4th works for me too.

    Vettel I think has been better than it’s looked. His rating is more the surprise factor and car issues than performance I feel.

    1. Driven to cheat really? I’m not a fan but Britney and Lewis are still professional racers who wouldn’t intentionally sabotage each other!

      1. Nobody was more professional than Schumi. You could even say it was a professional foul, really. Go for a banker+ lap, get the option to run first and oops brake too late. Lewis was so dominant at that point we could say it was Rosberg’s only option.

    2. @zjakobs most of the paddock thought he did it deliberately. Warwick was desperate not to find him guilty and shame Keke. There was a camera on the far outside of Mirabeau but FoM didn’t show the footage, which was damning. Sky did use the footage in their midweek report – the guest GP2 driver saw it and said confidently it was deliberate. Now the online copy of that midweek report is missing its video. You’ve fallen for the whitewash. Check the MotorSport race writeup. And think how Lewis is so sure, after he’s seen the data. Nico cheated, but F1 didn’t want that story. Well nor did I, but I recorded the midweek report so I have the evidence. Lots of people believe it was deliberate in fact, but call it something clever.

    3. In the rare occasions where I agree with Massa, “the only one who really knows what happened is Rosberg”.

  21. So close to my top 8 – only i have Ricciardo and Alonso the other way round. Any criticism of either is nit-picking, but Ricciardo has had a couple of tardy starts, and has looked marginally slower than his team-mate at a couple of races (most of which was undone by bad luck for Vettel). On the other hand i can only think of one race, Spain, where Alonso was running behind his team-mate and was probably put on a better strategy to end up ahead (as pointed out in the article).

    But still, Ricciardo is undoubtedly the star of the season so far, and i’ll hold my hand up as one who didn’t give him much hope of competing against Vettel. It’s nice to be surprised sometimes ;)

  22. I just need to say that this picture of Ricciardo is epic. You just get the sense that this guy is pure emotion and pure drive. In a different era, such images would be on a red-figure vase. And yes indeed he is the best performer of the season to date.

  23. I’d have put Alonso on top of Ricciardo, but apart from that, I quite agree with the whole ranking!

  24. Not a bad list, Ricardo has done well but I kind of expected it. He’s been showing it since F3 and I remember saying if he gets a chance at RedBull he would give Seb a serious run for his money. But since Seb has had a few problems here and there and a few bad strategic pit stops, its unfair to say Ricardo is overly outperforming him. Nevertheless, he’s been doing great and is clearly talented.

    As for the Ham and Rosberg debate. It doesn’t show in the result but looking at the races I don’t see which race Nico was better than Lewis that does not have an asterisks on it. Don’t get me wrong he’s doing a great job and pushes Lewis a lot, but Lewis is just that much faster than him. If it wasn’t for the problems here and there I feel Lewis would have won at least two more races.

    But its very easy to use a lot of ifs and buts, its a much more easier to compare where the two are vs where they should be.
    Nico : 1 retirement
    Lewis: 2
    This basically means Nico should be 18 points ahead of Lewis based on retirements given that Australia for Lewis and Britain for Rosberg cancels out. The other races like Germany and Hungary Lewis recovered but was not going to catch Nico so Nico maximized well there. In Hungary however Nico lost 3 points to Lewis where he was hoping to gain at least 7 to 10 points depending if Lewis finished 2nd or 3rd. So basically Nico probably is expected to be about 20 points ahead by now, so the fact that he is only 11 points ahead shows the excellence of Hamilton.

    I would also rank Hamilton higher given that so far he has been driving almost like Alonso. What I mean is Lewis has started racing with the long term season in mind. In three races he hasn’t made any lunges that would see him crash or have brake a front wing and take a penalty (except for Button incident, which did look like there was a lot of space). A few years ago when Lewis had a bad qualy he would go on an overtake rampage not thinking and most of the time he would end up crashing into someone (Monaco 2011, and a few times with Massa). This time he is thinking more long term which says a lot about he’s clearly seen his mistakes from the past and is clearly making better judgement calls in races this year.

  25. Just some observations, “In Austria he spun twice and lined up ninth on the grid” actually he went wide on the 2nd tot last corner on his 2nd attempt at pole, and spun once on his final attempt in Austria, the other is “it isn’t just mechanical misfortune which explains why Hamilton is second in the standings” the math says other wise it’s only the “mechanical misfortune” why he’s in 2nd in the standings, even if he finished second in the races he DNF’s he still leads the standings.

  26. My top 5:
    1. Alonso
    2. Ricciardo
    3. Hamilton
    4. Bottas
    5. Hulkenberg

  27. Just purely for being impressive, having the potential in terms of delivering more the expected has to be RIC and then Bottas, both are up against very good drivers (esp RIC superb in Aus was at the race and he was impressive infringement aside) and beating them hands down. Then it is Alonso who really, really needs a good car, rather than just driving the wheels off a not so good one, (and then not fluff it the final race with Vettel as he done twice but that’s another story). The rest Hamilton or Rosberg should be super dominating, and even if you include HAM’s reliability woes, neither is really is the way you might expect.

  28. Though its fair to say hamilton came out on top when they went head-to-head, fact is both rosberg and hamilton managed to be in front when challenged by other from behind, so i would not say hamilton is better based on that point. Hamilton made so many mistakes, and rosberg never lost points due to mistakes, all things considered i would place rosberg ahead of hamilton.

    1. If you don’t count Rosberg’s Australia qualifying as a mistake then you can’t count Hamilton’s Silverstone error. Both ended up costing them nothing.

      1. not sure how that is relevant , i was talking about lost points of each driver, and in silverstone hamilton did not make any driving error he just gave up and lost pole.

    2. @f1007 I think you’re right on this one, Rosberg really reminds me of a mix between some of the consistency of Alonso (though Alonso is a much better driver than anyone else out there) and the setup brilliance of Niki Lauda.

  29. I don’t think these rankings are fair at all – I mean there has been zero consideration for drivers body art.

    1. Ha, you thinking Kimi or Lewis??

    2. @baron Ah hell, you’re right. OK I’ll start again… :-)

  30. ALO & RIC probably joint top if you could have that, but otherwise pretty much 22nd to 1st I agree with. From memory, the least contentious ranking on F1F ever.

  31. Top 5 spot on but in wrong order. Personally, I would go:
    1. Alonso
    2. Ricciardo
    3. Bottas
    4. Rosberg
    5. Hamilton

  32. 1. Ricciardo
    2. Bottas
    3. Hulkie
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg

    1. I’m amazed, I really am.
      Everyone put alonso there but not you. Of course, alonso is a worthless driver that has a supermegagreat car and is underperforming like all of his teammates all these years. ..

      1. Sad to see that my opinion hurts you but I’m watching things with my own eyes.

  33. I’d put Rosberg in front of Hamilton.

  34. Very consistent ranking IMO. The only think I would consider is to rank Raikonnen lower.

  35. To many
    If’s and But’s
    Shoulda Coulda Woulda Gonna!!!

    The only thing that matters is results and this gets recorded in the record/history books

    All else is just fill

    Spot on drivers ranking


  36. 1-Alonso

  37. 1- Ricciardo
    2- Rosberg
    3- Hamilton
    4 – Bottas
    5- Alonso

  38. I saw F1 Fanatic all Rankings 2005-2014

    The most inpressed things about them are Fernando Alonso

    Alonso’s Ranking for a decade.
    2005 #1
    2006 #1
    2007 #3
    2008 #3
    2009 #5(Very very bad car)
    2010 #2(but most says 2010 is Alonso’s year)
    2011 #2
    2012 #1
    2013 #2
    2014 #2(mid season. plenty of chance to be #1 in this season)
    He has never been out of top 5 for 10 years (#1 ×3 #2 ×4 #3 ×2)

    This shows Alonso is the best driver…..

  39. Rosberg should be further down at 6th or 7th considering the equipment he has got and what a winger he is. Hamilton has out performed him and has shown much more excellence then Rosberg has all year. This rating is about a RACE DRIVER not a race wimps and that is what Rosberg is and has been so far this season. Ricciardo is my racer so far with his tenacity, his skill to put the RB into a winning situation and his fight in every GP, his sportsmanship on and off the race track. The Hungarian GP is my best so far this year and Alonso’s drive in that race was a stellar performance also.

  40. Mr win or lose
    17th August 2014, 19:02

    I like the rankings and I really like the key stats!

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