2014 F1 season review: Driver rankings 22-16

2014 F1 season review

Posted on

| Written by

Sharp differences in the performance and reliability of different cars and power units had a strong influence on how drivers fared during the 2014 season.

This was perhaps best summed up in the final race of the year which saw Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, with six world championship titles between them, scrapping over the minor points places.

Life was even tougher for those at the rear of the field. The like of Lotus, Sauber and Caterham were plagued by technical problems all year long which often disrupted their drivers’ attempts to practice, qualify and even race.

Separating out a driver’s contribution to the team’s performance from that of their car therefore becomes more difficult. However after spending a long time perusing all the data from 2014, I’ve decided on my ranking for all the drivers who contested the bulk of the season.

As always I’m looking forward to hearing your views, so please share your verdict on the first seven drivers below in the comments. The Driver of the Year poll will follow at the end of the rankings.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up


Will Stevens and Andre Lotterer both made one-off race starts for Caterham in 2014 and haven’t been included in the final rankings.

Lotterer impressively out-qualified regular driver Marcus Ericsson at Spa-Francorhcamps, but retired after just one lap when an impact on a kerb triggered an engine shut-down. Stevens had a harder time against Kamui Kobayashi in qualifying at Yas Marina, but managed to get his car to the finish.

22. Max Chilton

Key stat: Posted his first ever F1 retirement in Canada following a record run of consecutive finishes when he hit team mate Bianchi on the first lap

Max Chilton

Beat team mate in qualifying3/15
Beat team mate in race3/11
Races finished13/16
Laps spent ahead of team mate173/701
Max Chilton 2014 form guide

Chilton deserves huge respect for the way he soldiered on with Marussia under extremely trying circumstances in Russia, mere days after the horrible accident which befell his team mate Jules Bianchi.

Although his second year in F1 was little more successful than his first, Chilton was clearly trying hard and alert to any opportunities which might arise for him to produce the kind of surprise result Bianchi managed in Monaco. Unfortunately, the speed simply wasn’t there to allow him to do that.

Chilton was consistently over six tenths of a second per lap off his team mate in qualifying – further away than he was last year – and on the few occasions he lined up ahead on the grid it was because something had gone wrong for Bianchi. And even on occasions like this he wasn’t always able to capitalise – Bianchi took the chequered flag in Hungary with a damaged car with Chilton in his mirrors.

Chilton aggravated his lack of speed with some needless mistakes. The most glaring of those was in Canada, where he tipped Bianchi into a barrier halfway around the first lap. He also tangled with Raikkonen in Monaco (which inadvertently aided Bianchi to that celebrated ninth place) and spun off in Italy.

Having distinguished himself merely as a safe pair of hands in his rookie year, even that seemed beyond him in 2014.

Reader’s view

Thoroughly outclassed by his team-mate Bianchi, Chilton had another anonymous season in Formula One.

Even with the troubles Marussia were suffering (just getting to Australia was a challenge according to a recent interview with Chilton), Bianchi showed the car could be dragged into half-decent positions, even making Q2 on three occasions. He won’t be missed from the grid next year.

21. Marcus Ericsson

Key stat: Equalled Caterham’s best-ever finish with 11th in Monaco

Marcus Ericsson

Beat team mate in qualifying4/14
Beat team mate in race2/7
Races finished11/16
Laps spent ahead of team mate110/523
Marcus Ericsson 2014 form guide

Ericsson was just starting to show what he was capable of when Caterham’s financial problems forced an early end to their season. And although they returned in Abu Dhabi, by then Ericsson had already pledged his future to Sauber and cut the ties to his former team.

It had been a tough start to the rookie’s season as he grappled with an ill-handling car and its problematic power unit. By round seven he’d crashed three times in qualifying, but also demonstrated his coolness at the wheel as he hung on to the Caterham to the finish in Monaco for the team’s best result of the year.

The turning point for Ericsson came in Belgium. Although his car lacked all the latest updates due to his latest crash in Hungary, the team had shed some weight from his chassis. He also found alterations to the braking system to his liking, and from then on he fared better compared to regular team mate Kamui Kobayashi.

He brought his car home ahead of Bianchi in Singapore, and out-qualified Kobayashi in Japan before spoiling his race by spinning while behind the Safety Car. But there is clearly potential for him to build on next year.

Reader’s view

Generally slower than Kobayashi, but that was to be expected. Has good performances in Singapore, Japan and Russia, that weren’t down to new parts only, like many seem to know.

After Italy Ericsson urged his engineers to alter his brake-by-wire settings, which were his main problem during the season. He made a few silly errors (Monaco qualifying springs to mind), but many technical failures lessened his time in practice sessions and so on. I reckon he’ll be doing a better job at Sauber next year.

20. Esteban Gutierrez

Key stat: Gained 36 places on the first lap of races in 2014 – the most of any driver

Esteban Gutierrez

Beat team mate in qualifying9/18
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished13/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate357/747
Esteban Gutierrez 2014 form guide

The Sauber drivers were extremely closely-matched in 2014 and the team appears to have drawn the conclusion they were equally unimpressive, as both have been replaced for next year. The C33 may be the worst car the team has ever produced, but they probably didn’t deserved to end the season point-less.

Gutierrez had just inherited eighth place and was on course to claim another when he clipped the Rascasse barrier on lap 60 of the Monaco Grand Prix. That ultimately proved to have been Sauber’s best chance of taking a point all year.

The persistent glitches with the car’s power unit were a constant source of frustration to Gutierrez, and in Hungary an ERS failure potentially cost him another shot at the points. By the end of the season he seemed to be taking the setbacks in his strike, qualifying 11th in Brazil despite extensive disruption to his practice sessions.

However a few moments of sloppy racecraft resulted in avoidable incidents – notably with Maldonado at Silverstone and with Grosjean at Monza.

Reader’s view

Adrian Sutil should have been a far less formidable team mate than Nico Hulkenberg. Whilst he did just about match him, it’s nothing to write home about.

19. Pastor Maldonado

Key stat: For the third time in four years Maldonado received the most penalties of any driver – and no one collected more penalty points either.

Pastor Maldonado

Beat team mate in qualifying4/15
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished13/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate309/714
Pastor Maldonado 2014 form guide

A single points finish was clearly not what Maldonado had in mind when he jumped ship from struggling Williams to join race-winning Lotus – only to find their fortunes reversed in 2014.

Up against a fast team mate who knows the team well, this was always going to be a test. But there were days when Maldonado was conclusively the better driver, notably in Italy in Singapore.

However Maldonado’s status as the punchline to 95% of F1 jokes is not entirely undeserved, and he kept his detractors well-supplied with careless accidents and a stubborn refusal to own up to his responsibility for them. The poor handling of the E22 may go some way towards excusing them, but with the car breaking down so often it was exactly the kind of thing Lotus could have done without.

His Q1 crash in Spain was especially ill-timed, as the car was running well that day and Grosjean put his on the third row. In the race Maldonado collided with Ericsson, and by the end of the year Bianchi and Gutierrez were also members of the ‘I got hit by Maldonado’ club.

A decent drive in the USA culminating in a last-lap pass netted his first points of the year, though he picked up two penalties for speeding on the way and was running behind his team mate until Vergne hit the other Lotus.

Reader’s view

Has improved in the second half of the season but still only scored two points compared to Grosjean’s eight. Made lots of silly mistakes throughout the season whereas Grosjean made far fewer.

18. Adrian Sutil

Key stat: Had the least number of finishes of any driver who started every race

Adrian Sutil

Beat team mate in qualifying9/18
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished12/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate390/747
Adrian Sutil 2014 form guide

An excellent performance by Sutil at the Circuit of the Americas earned Sauber their only Q3 appearance of 2014. Unfortunately, he was taken out by Perez on the first lap, and so ended their last, best chance to score any points.

Much of the rest of his season was a tale of frustrations with an unreliable and uncompetitive car. Hungary was one of the better weekends, but he started and finished one place outside the top ten.

Sutil seemed particularly ineffective in wet weather conditions, having a couple of spins during the season’s rain-hit sessions. Those aside he usually stayed out of trouble, though as the car usually lacked the pace to get in the thick of the battle for points it was seldom an issue.

Reader’s view

Did his job, but expected far more from a experienced F1 driver.

17. Kamui Kobayashi

Key stat: Five DNFs and one DNS due to technical failures over 15 appearances meant he had the worst reliability rate of any driver

Kamui Kobayashi

Beat team mate in qualifying10/14
Beat team mate in race5/7
Races finished9/15
Laps spent ahead of team mate454/564
Kamui Kobayashi 2014 form guide

The support Kobayashi’s fans have pledged him since the end of 2012 helped him fund a place at Caterham. But he might have been more competitive had he turned up in the Ferrari 458 Italia he campaigned for AF Corse in the World Endurance Championship last year.

It had been clear from testing this was going to be a tough season for Kobayashi and that point was rammed home when he hit the brakes at turn one at the start of the Australian Grand Prix and a fault with his car’s electrics caused him to smash into Felipe Massa’s Williams. He’d failed to run at all on Friday due to car problems.

Worryingly, “scary” was a word Kobayashi applied more than once to his experiences with the CT05. That was how he described another brake failure in Spain, and the sight of his damaged suspension component in Russia being shrouded in carbon fibre instead of replaced. And yet when the call came for an 11th-hour return in Abu Dhabi, he answered it.

This was despite the team benching him in Belgium so they could bring Andre Lotterer in. Kobayashi’s return performance in Italy was inspired, beating Ericsson by almost nine-tenths of a second on a circuit with just six corners.

Reader’s view

Better than Ericsson, but not as clearly as I expected. Didn’t really show anything special, and despite his lovely character I don’t think he deserves another season.

16. Jean-Eric Vergne

Key stat: Lost 25 places on the first lap of races in 2014 – the most of any driver (along with Ricciardo)

Jean-Eric Vergne

Beat team mate in qualifying7/19
Beat team mate in race6/11
Races finished14/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate429/806
Jean-Eric Vergne 2014 form guide

The Toro Rosso drivers departed the team in different directions at the end of 2014: Kvyat moving up to Red Bull, Vergne dropping out. As noted earlier this is partly a case of unfortunate timing for Vergne, and is not wholly reflective of how the two drivers performed this year.

Poor one-lap pace and unimpressive starts (the latter sometimes power unit-related) stand out as the weakest aspect of Vergne’s game. However he did improve in this area once his car had been brought down to the minimum weight limit. As with several driver, Vergne’s height was the root of the problem, and he was even hospitalised before the season began due to his attempts to lose weight.

After Max Verstappen was announced as his replacement for next year Vergne produced an excellent drive for sixth in Singapore and showed more of his wet weather flair in Japan, finishing ninth on very worn intermediates.

But Vergne’s superior scoring rate of 22 to 9 flatters him somewhat. Contrary to popular assumption, his car failure rate was not worse than Kvyat’s and his team mate suffered more grid penalties due to power unit changes.

So while Kvyat did not conclusively beat Vergne in 2014, it’s not hard to see why Red Bull consider him a better bet for the future.

Reader’s view

Performed, in relation to Kvyat, as he’d done with Ricciardo previously, though of course the rookie had zero experience and came from GP3.

Five retirements in the first eight races halted his form, but although he may seem a little reckless when pushing hard it paid off in Singapore, and when he beat Kvyat he was usually in the points while Kvyat wasn’t, and when the opposite happened none of them scored so it mattered little.

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

What’s your verdict on how these seven drivers performed in 2014?

Have your say in the comments.

Image © Marussia

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

75 comments on “2014 F1 season review: Driver rankings 22-16”

  1. So Vergne had a worse season than Raikkonen?

    1. Looking at the points table, yes. I do understand where all these comments are coming from, however I agree with the order thus far. Raikkonen should’ve done much better on a ferrari than Vergne on a TR? I don’t see such a discrepancy between these 2 teams in pace, in general the Renault engine proved to be quicker than the Ferrari but crucially less reliable. The Ferrari chassis was not that much better than the TR by the end of the season. Being beaten by Alonso or beaten pacewise by Kvyat is one reason for the current order. Despite all STR problems, Vergne yet again actually scored much much better than he performed. In my opinion the other reason Kimi is not on this part of the rank is partly because of what could’ve been. Monaco pace, Brazil pace, and in general his trademark, fair wheel to wheel skill. All things considered I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kimi in 15th.

      1. Where did it prove this? Also even if it did prove this let’s say, you make it seem as though this is a team that would prove or show the absolute ability of the engine, and TR isn’t such a team. They’re advancements are stunted by the big sister (Ferrari only has to blame being in their own way unlike TR) and the reliability though you seem to push it off is quite important here. Also how can you say the F14t is a only slim chance at being better, the two frames aren’t on par. Kimi was horrid this year in the car and Alonso was use to this kind of crap from Ferrari so that helped as well, but the gap should have never been so massive.

        Also if we go by could of, would of, should of, then perhaps we should take the same grain with Vergne in all those occasions he couldn’t show what he might have done during reliability issues. Actually for that matter all of them, this bias that groups tend or seem to have for a particular driver is quite perplexing.

  2. Expected Raikkonen to be in this list, but rest of it I agree

  3. Fair rankings so far. I’m a bit surprised at Vergne being there, but I’ll wait to see the rest of your list before passing judgement!

    1. Yeah, I feel the same here @ciaran.

    2. Also agree. If Kvyat isn’t 15th, I can’t see much credibility in this list.

    3. @ciaran Agreed.. I’d love to see the exact data comparison used and how this conclusion comes out! I thought it would be Perez or possibly Magnussen in 16th. But there are times when Vergne has looked anonymous this year..

  4. Also surprised with Vergne

  5. Agree with most of this, although I’m not sure whether I would put Vergne behind Kvyat, Bianchi, Raikkonen and Magnussen. In my opinion he has done way better than 16th, but I can understand your reasoning.

    1. @andae23 100% agree with you there.

    2. +1 Vergne deserves better than 16th

      Kvyat: was good for a rookie, but wasn’t better than Vergne.
      Bianchi: it’s kinda hard to judge a driver in a Marussia + his team-mate is Chilton, any driver is fast compared to Chilton
      Raikkonen: duh
      Magnussen: hailed as ‘the new Hamilton’, but was pretty disappointing after the Australian GP

  6. i too thought raikkonen would be much lower.

  7. So far seems pretty good. I somewhat agree with some of the other fanatics concern about Vergne being so far down, but you justify it pretty well and quite frankly 16 was a hard decision.

    What surprises me the most though, is Sutil’s ranking. It is very much justified but what shocks me is how far he has fallen as an F1 driver. I never believed him to be a Tier 1 driver, but I found him pretty capable in the past or in other words “best of the rest.” A few seasons ago I would have put him in the top 10 drivers in F1, but either he does not have the motivation, or the cars are not to his liking anymore.

    1. @dpod Sutil has looked past his best since his return, the year off probably hindered him badly. That said, I think you are right in that these new cars probably don’t suit him.

  8. Vergne 16th??? I just don’t understand.
    I would’ve put him in the top 10 easily…
    You should change your ranking keith.

  9. agree with the others, vergne had a very good championship overall, and a great second part. he should not be so far down. Raikkonen did worse in comparison imho

  10. I’ll repeat the sentiment of pretty much everybody so far: JEV shouldn’t be so low, but Kimi probably should.

  11. Kimi fan here… sad to say I agree with many comments.

    I’m still hoping (and actually believing) that he’s got some grunt left to make his last years special, we saw traces of it in the Lotus years

  12. I’d swap Maldonado and Sutil, marginally better due to decent end of season. Kimi should be in with this lot too, not Vergne.

  13. This is the rankings McLaren are waiting for. As soon as they have read how F1Fanatic ranks Button and Magnussen, they’ll be able to make up their mind;-)

    1. +10 @palle, thanks for the on point laugh :)

      1. @magillagorilla Thank You, but it puts quite a responsibility on Keith’s shoulders;-)
        I mean, its a tough call, either keep one of the maybe the best rookies since Hamilton, or keep Button, who arguably understands the tires and clearly has speed and experience to capitalize on. I think Magnussen has been a success both in qualifying (a rookie almost as good as Button) and his starts has season overall been some of the best on the grid. He still lacks in ability to turn the maximum out of the tyres I guess, but the raw speed, aggressiveness and cool head apart from a few mistakes is good. Seriously the decision must be about sponsors/politics/negotiations with Alonso about 1 or 2 years or something like that.

  14. Raikkonen in, Vergne out. A world champion absolutely smashed by his team mate. Should have been able to adapt better to his problems. I was excited to see him back at Ferrari after good times at Lotus, but sadly Kimi was the disappointment of the season for me.

    Maldonado flipped a rival car upside down during the season! That was the peak of his Maldonado-ness and I felt it was worth of a proper mention in his round-up!

    Agree that Sutil was very uninspiring, a result that follows the consensus of opinions from when Sauber originally signed him.

    While I note Gutierrez picked up his form as the season dragged on I still don’t think it as by enough to merit an F1 drive next season. I think it’s another uninspiring pick for Sauber, but if it gets them through another season, I understand that the ends justify the pay driver means.

    1. Whilst it is true that the car was embarrassingly poor for a team with Ferrari’s resources to throw at the car – underlined by the fact that Alonso also had his worst season in years, despite giving it all he was worth this year – it is the fact that Kimi had his least competitive season in his entire career that is more striking.
      Even when he was at Sauber in 2001, he finished more times in the top 6 and, had the current points system been in place back in 2001, would have scored more points than he did this season despite the 2001 season being three races shorter.

      Not only that, Kimi has looked comprehensively lost on his set up work too – Massa found it hard to adapt to the cars Ferrari produced in 2012 and 2013, but he generally found ways to adapt to them by the middle of a season. Kimi, by his own admission, was still struggling with his set ups late into this season – it is an issue he’s had for years, but this year mercilessly exposed those flaws.

      As others have said, not only did Vergne look like a more consistent performer than Kimi, but frankly I’d also rate Maldonado over Kimi this season given that most observers commented that the Lotus looked like one of the worst handling cars on the grid (especially once they removed the FRIC suspension system).

  15. One more for Vergne here: he finished 13th in the rankings with a Toro Rosso, that means more than finishing 12th in the rankings with a Ferrari like Raikkonen did.

    1. That’s a good point, @paeschli

  16. I guess I’m the only one then; I would’ve put JEV even lower. He did nothing special except for one race. He has had three seasons at STR and basically never done anything really worth mentioning. 1/3 of his points where scored in one race where he had the opportunity to pounce on fresh tyres. Meanwhile a rookie teammate with almost zero experience scores 1/4 of the team their points. He even did better in his own rookie season beating Ricciardo on the way.

    I agree he had a lot of bad luck on the side but I hardly think he has any excuse to stay in F1. He had three seasons and proved very little. Ben Edwards always goes ‘he’s quick in the rain’, but then again he says that about a lot of drivers.

    I’m not one of those that ‘feel sorry’ for someone who has had three seasons to prove himself. Magnussen on the other hand might only get one chance and his career might be over before it really began.

  17. JEV@ 16 !!!! …simply unacceptable

  18. I did not understand why Vergne is behind Raikkonen, yeah Kvyat is better than Vergne but He should be ahead of Raikkonen. Vergne was ahead of Raikkonen in mid term rankings, and in the second half of the season, Vergne outperformed Raikkonen 3 times out of 8 races in a marginally slower car. Including 2 races consecutively (Singapore – Japan). For me Vergne had a better 2nd half than Raikkonen

  19. Agree with most of the comments here. Raikkonen should be in, Vergne should be out.

    I also fail to see how Sutil could be ahead of Gutiérrez. Marginally better laps ahead of teammate (all other cited stats equal), but he’s a lot more experienced (that’s a con here) and it’s not true he ‘largely kept out of trouble’ apart from wet spins. Think of Hockenheim, think of Monaco (?), think of Singapore. He made about as much errors as Gutiérrez, and it was his teammate who was generally faster late in the season.

  20. Ericsson ranked higher than Chilton? Sutil higher than Guti and Maldonado? I’m sorry, but Sutil did absolutely nothing this season. For all their faults, Guti at least looked like he could score points, and Maldonado had several strong runs at the tail end of the season.

    Obvious agenda against JEV as well. And why the hell isn’t Raikkonen in this list?

    Yeah, I disagree with a lot of this.

  21. I tend to agree with Vergne’s ranking. As for Raikkonen, the Finn most probably endured his worst F1 season but he was up against one of the best F1 drivers of all time in his prime. Vergne was up against a 20-year old rookie.

    I believe that Vergne had a couple of outstanding races (Canada, Singapore), a couple of terrible ones (Austria, Germany) and a bunch of decent performances. It was a solid season with a few highlights but nothing more than that. Points are not the best indicator when 36% of the season’s points are scored in one race.

    What does Vergne and the other drivers in this article have in common? I do not think that F1 will really miss anyone of them. (It does not mean that they do not deserve respect for their achievements though.)

    1. @girts Very well said.

  22. Depending on the view point, and what is looked at to decide I suppose, like all things in life.

    Often a car that is quicker in the race than Qualifying makes the driver of said vehicles look better too, as they overtake others.

    A big factor for me also, is risking with something to lose. Something unmeasurable really, like what Riccardo did this season, it was exciting to watch and I love his personality, yet I ask myself what was he really risking?

    I would of put Gutierrez higher than Sutil, while he did make mistakes he was also the more racier. Still it’s all opinions.

    1. Car development or lack off also affects stats based analysis. Better in my opinion to compare drivers in the same team for more accuracy.

  23. Pathetic, Keith you must be a Kimi fan?.

  24. a very depressing read

  25. I think Vergne is lucky to only get 16th, I would have dropped him lower than Kobayashi for sure.

    Raikkonen would have been in there for me, without a doubt. Hard to argue with the other places though, solid start to the rankings this year guys.

  26. I think some people need to relax, Keith has justified his choices well. And Raikkonen is more than likely going to be next up ranked 15th anyway. In my rankings I had the 6 mentioned and Raikkonen in the bottom 7, in a slightly different order. Vergne hasn’t been that impressive, he’s a steady pair of hands but I think Red Bull have got it spot on by backing Kyvat, he certainly has a lot of potential.

    1. I am really looking forward to seeing Kyvat v Riccardo partnership, a reversal of last seasons Red Bull line up in some ways where reputation is maybe the key factor on how they perform. I have been impressed with Kyvat this season on the whole. Vergne (while I admire his feistiness in later part of the season and good on him for that) is a good measuring stick.

  27. That image of Kobayashi is epic! It looks like the Marshall is levitating him above the car ! What a shot !

    1. That is a cool photo, i hope he finished it off with a gymnast style dismount . I wonder if there is enough amps and voltage to kill a driver if he grounds himself in these 2014 hybrid cars or just a shock like that Williams mechanic a few years ago .

  28. Agree with most of your rankings, but I feel that Raikkonen should be below Vergne.

  29. I agree almost with Keith, But i would drop Maldonado 2 spots because he had a better car but didn’t show anything compared with his teammate.
    I would put Vergne in the 10-15 table and Raikonen on 16 (a bit as Malsonado as he really drop compaired with Alonso.

  30. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    8th December 2014, 16:19

    I have to echo the popular view here, Verne had a better season than Raikkonen

  31. I’m surprised to see Vergne so low and Raikkonen not.

  32. Vergne 16th is painful to see.
    I would have put him right in the top ten…

  33. ColdFly F1 (@)
    8th December 2014, 17:17

    Solid list, but I agree with most above Raikkonen squarely ‘earned’ a place in your bottom 7 this year.
    He is one of the best drivers on the grid, but simply did disappoint and not deliver at all in 2014.
    (I bet he will be the first up – 15th – on your next list)

    And JEV deserved better than be in this bottom 7 group.
    In my season’s ranking JEV would be in 14th even ahead of Vettel (also Bernie was disappointed with Vettel)!

    The rest my list is largely the same, except for Maldonado further down (21) and a Gut/Sut swap. I have read your comments, but with the same arguments I stick with my ranking ;)

  34. “Maldonado’s status as the punchline to 95% of F1 jokes is not entirely undeserved”

    Keith, where did you get this 95% number from? :)

    1. @sumedh: If You google Maldonado jokes, You’re in for a goof laugh. Lots of funny images also. I found this one:
      “Lotus should be penalized for an unsafe release every time Pastor leaves the garage.”

      Still not sure if its a joke or more a statement of fact…

  35. I appreciate your even handedness and rationale for this list, Keith. I’m with the general consensus of swapping Vergne with Raikkonen, but I would have also dropped Sutil below Maldonado; potentially Gutierrez as well. I’m really not sure who was better in the Sauber doldrums this year.

  36. 1 Ricciardo
    2 Bottas
    3 Hamilton
    4 Button
    5 Alonso
    6 Rosberg
    7 Massa
    8 Vergne
    9 Kvyat
    10 Bianchi
    11 Grosjean
    12 Magnussen
    13 Hulkenburg
    14 Vettel
    15 Perez
    16 Raikkonen
    17 Kobayashi
    18 Maldonado
    19 Sutil
    20 Gutierrez
    21 Ericsson
    22 Chilton

    1. lol at Button at number 4. @ lradford22

  37. Firstly, can anyone tell me which is the track where we see Max Chilton? I can’t spot the track.

    Secondly and very interestingly, Kimi is ranked ahead of Jean Eric and I am really looking forward to the reasons for the same. Good rankings and I definitively appreciate the ‘Key-stat’ feature.

    1. The track is Sochi.

      1. Yup. Just saw the #JB17 on the car and realized that was the only race after Japan, Marussia participated in. Thanks though.

  38. Can’t agree with Kobayashi or Vergne at all. It seems to me that just because Kamui had a bad car, he is getting a poor ranking despite doing a good job. And Vergne has beaten Kvyat, had a stronger season than Kimi, etc. and is only here.

    I’m very sorry to say it, harsh as it is, but I want to be honest. This seems like a load of rubbish.

  39. Bit harsh on Verne in 16th. I think that spot would be better filled by Raikkonen.

  40. According to the F1metrics mathematical model JE Vergne is massively underrated here, he was the 5th best driver in 2014, and yes, he was above Kimi… who anyway made 8th. Not unsurprisingly; this year’s Ferrari was a real dog. And the most overrated so far are S Perez and K Magnussen (17th and 18th in the model).

    1. JE Vergne as 5th in the mathematical model clearly indicates a significant flaw in that model.

      1. all models have flaws including your very own mental model, the one behind your opinion. However I am comfortable with placing JEV in a 4th to 8th position, no lower than that, and clearly ahead of S Vettel who should have done a lot more with that Red Bull. And of course ahead of Kimi like pretty much everybody is saying.

  41. Raikkonen at 16, Vergne should be higher up.

    Great photographs by the way, every one of them is lovely.

  42. Kimi ahead of JEV?

  43. I know keith has done a done a failed job of hiding his love for Vettel of the years ;-) so i can sorta see why he would like Raikkonen too. In fact most vettel fans are raikkonen fans and vice versa.

    Kimi may have driven cleaner races than vergne but something tells me vergne would beat him driving the ferrari. Kimi was just poor for a champion. Even drivers in slower cars out paced him and out scored him.

  44. It sort of feels the list is heavily impacted by the car they drove also. I would have replaced Vergne with Raikkonen in that list. Raikkonen had a much, much worse season.

  45. all just subjective opinion I know, but Verne doesn’t belong here.

    1. the best way to avoid subjectivity, anecdotes and sentimentalism is math modelling… which ranks JEV as 5th best pilot this year (F1metrics, link above)

  46. Why isn’t Kimi down here? How could he have had a worse season exactly?

  47. At 1st I thought …. Vergne in 16th?!?! But its probably true.. in the top teams and midfield teams there were some strong performers this year.

  48. JEV doesn’t belong in this list. In mine he’s Top 12

  49. I think Chilton did a superb job this year given the trying circumstances. His record of most finishes in a row is beautiful and it may stay a record for many a year. In fact I think Chilton should have been in the top 10 for his beautiful efforts this year.

  50. I love reading these kinds of list as the variables are just too many to get together a “definitive list” and some of the variables seem not to have been given much or indeed any consideration. One such is the weight of the driver. Ericsson is more than 5 kgs heavier than teammate Kobayashi which translates to 0.3 – 0.7 seconds per lap depending on the length and type of circuit. Figure that in and then to go from regularly 0.5 secs down on his teammate to 0.5 secs ahead and suddenly Kobayashi does not look so good.

    J-EV weighs 69 kgs against Kvyat’s 58. Figure that in – a disadvantage of about a second per lap in qualifying trim – and no way did Kvyat outperform Vergne! Just like jockeys, there should be a minimum weight for drivers and those underweight have the deficit added.

Comments are closed.