2014 F1 season review: Driver rankings 15-11

2014 F1 season review

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As we continue to count down the F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings for 2015, here are the five drivers just outside the top ten.

15. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Beat team mate in qualifying3/19
Beat team mate in race1/16
Races finished18/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate155/1009
Kimi Raikkonen 2014 form guide

Key stat: Qualified three places behind his team mate on average – the worst of any driver

The statistics make painful reading. There was no contest between Ferrari’s two world champions this year, and no driver was as comprehensively routed by his team mate as Kimi Raikkonen was. But there are few tougher drivers to go up against than Fernando Alonso – just ask Felipe Massa.

Raikkonen had some reacclimatising to do on his return to Ferrari, and it was abundantly clear he never fully got to grips with the F14 T. A series of technical glitches during practice didn’t help matters.

On more than one occasion he seemed on the cusp of solving his problems. He took sixth in Hungary despite not making it beyond Q1 following a tactical error. Next time out at Spa – where Raikkonen always thrives – he finished ahead of Alonso for once and took his best finish of the season with fourth place.

He might have done better in Monaco, where a podium finish was likely until he was hit by Max Chilton. But much of the rest of the time he simply couldn’t match Alonso in qualifying or the races.

For the most part the anticipated duel between the pair seldom materialised. When it did it was usually won by Alonso, such as in Spain where he used a three-stop strategy to pass his two-stopping team mate for sixth. The pair traded blows in the final two races as well, and both times Alonso again prevailed, but at least by the end of the season Raikkonen was looking more of a match for his team mate.

Reader’s view

Please James Allison, give Raikkonen a car with a responsive front end next season.

My favourite driver but even I can say his results this year were really poor. There really wasn’t much of a competition against Alonso, which was one of the disappointments of the season. How much longer will he stick it out?

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14. Daniil Kvyat

Key stat: Became the youngest driver ever to score in F1 on his debut in Australia.

Daniil Kvyat

Beat team mate in qualifying12/19
Beat team mate in race5/11
Races finished14/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate377/806
Daniil Kvyat 2014 form guide

The speed with which Daniil Kvyat has been promoted to Red Bull’s top team following a single season in F1 invites the view that he stunned everyone with his speed in 2014. That was not quite the case, but nonetheless this was an impressive rookie campaign which ensured that when the opportunity presented itself he was Red Bull’s best choice.

Problems with the Renault power unit limited Kvyat’s testing but he was unfazed when faced with wet weather conditions for his first qualifying session in Melbourne. Despite a brush with the wall he took the car into Q3 and delivered points on his debut.

Qualifying was a key strength of Kvyat’s: he reached the top ten on his first visit to Monaco but there, as in Austria and Germany, he retired in the races. While Kvyat slipped up at times – such as his needless tangle with Sergio Perez at the Hockenheimring – more often than not the car was to blame.

Reliability was a major bugbear for Toro Rosso and in Kvyat’s case as well as dropping out five times he took grid penalties three times due to power unit problems. In Italy a fine drive was completely overshadowed by technical problems: having qualified 11th he was moved back to 21st, but he made up places in the grid, passing Jean-Eric Vergne and was poised to move into the points when he suffered a brake failure.

At home in Russia he qualified a fifth – the best for him and the team – but in the race both drivers struggled with tyre performance and fuel consumption. Kvyat was promoted to the same starting position in Abu Dhabi, but his car let him down early on.

He ended the season with nine points, which compared to Vergne’s 22 was a poor reflection of how well Kvyat drove in his debut season. However Red Bull had already announced a more fitting reward.

Reader’s view

In my opinion he is the best rookie of 2014. Yes, a lot of mistakes and sometimes he didn’t get the best out of the car, but he had a lot of eye-catching drives.

Maybe he needs another year in Toro Rosso to be a bit more consistent, but the pace is definitely there.

13. Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen

Beat team mate in qualifying9/19
Beat team mate in race3/17
Races finished18/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate369/1102
Kevin Magnussen 2014 form guide

Key stat: Took second place in Australia, the best result for a debutant since Jacques Villeneuve in 1996.

Making your grand prix debut for a top team alongside a world champion is a tall order, and though Kevin Magnussen usually finished behind Jenson Button he adjusted well to the pressures of racing in the top flight in 2014.

Magnussen stunned on his debut, bringing his McLaren home third for a podium finish which got even better when Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified, promoting him to second. Unfortunately it was a result the car seldom proved capable of replicating from then on.

In the next races Magnussen tended to risk too much at the start and paid the price. It was a bad habit he hasn’t entirely shaken by the end of the year.

After niggling technical problems in Spain (during qualifying) and Monaco It promised to come good in Germany where he qualified fourth, only to have his race spoiled by Felipe Massa in a spectacular collision for which the stewards rightly cleared the McLaren driver of blame.

However Magnussen became a focus of their attention in Belgium. In an otherwise firm-but-fair defence against several top drivers he went too far while racing Fernando Alonso, forcing the Ferrari driver off on the straight, and was deservedly penalised. Another penalty in Italy was a borderline call.

Russia provided a better indication of his potential. Relegated to eleventh on the grid by a gearbox change penalty, he recovered to finish fifth behind Button. Even so, this was only the second time all season he brought the car home in the top six.

Reader’s view

While he may have been out-performed by his super-experienced team-mate Button, for a rookie Magnussen was remarkably quick and showed no fear when it came to fighting with the big boys of the sport, even if it occasionally drew the eye of the stewards.

I fully expect McLaren to retain him for next season alongside Alonso, even if the statistics may swing in Button’s favour. Keep an eye on Magnussen, he’s got a lot left to give yet.

12. Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi

Beat team mate in qualifying12/15
Beat team mate in race8/11
Races finished12/15
Laps spent ahead of team mate528/701
Jules Bianchi 2014 form guide

Key stat: Scored Marussia’s first (and likely only) F1 points in Monaco.

The tragedy of the 2014 season was that not long after Jules Bianchi had shown the world what he was capable of, he became far more famous for a crash which left him with terrible injuries.

Bianchi’s ninth place in the Monaco Grand Prix ultimately guaranteed Marussia a best-ever ninth in the championship which should have guaranteed their F1 salvation. Sadly it did not.

It was not a result Bianchi inherited merely by watching cars in front of him fall by the wayside. A gearbox change penalty meant he started the race 21st. He got his elbows out at the start and was 16th at the end of lap one, but the crucial moment came 34 laps later when he made a bold and opportunistic pass on Kamui Kobayashi at Rascasse. Bianchi finished eighth on the road, but a five-second penalty for not lining up in his grid box correctly bumped him back to ninth.

Until that point he’d had a scrappy start to the season, colliding with Jean-Eric Vergne in Malaysia and Sergio Perez in Bahrain. He often found himself battling with Kobayashi for best among the backmarkers, and in China he only finished ahead of his rival because Kobayashi’s late pass was nullified because the chequered flag was accidentally shown too early.

He followed up Marussia’s best result with their highest grid position, starting 12th (and highest Ferrari-powered qualifier) at Silverstone. Inevitably slipped back in the race, but after Raikkonen’s crash he was called up by Ferrari for testing duties.

We can only speculate whether he would have got the break with a top team he deserved for 2015, but Bianchi clearly demonstrated he deserved it before the crash in Japan. Even in the laps before the impact, despite fading light and falling rain, he was one of few drivers on track whose lap times were getting quicker.

Reader’s view

Until Monaco his season wasn’t great, but his drive in Monaco was the drive of the year. Fully deserved for him and the team. We all hope he’ll get back from his injuries.

11. Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Beat team mate in qualifying11/15
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished13/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate405/714
Romain Grosjean 2014 form guide

Key stat: Grosjean’s best qualifying position – fifth in Spain – was six places higher than Maldonado managed all year

Few drivers faced as tough a test of their motivation in 2014 as Romain Grosjean did. Last year he produced a coming-of-age performance, leading races and standing on podiums. This year he toiled to drag his Lotus-Renault E22 beyond Q1 on the occasions it didn’t break down.

Worse, just when it seemed Lotus had turned their car into a points contender their progress stalled, and the ban on Front-Rear Inter-Connected suspension sent them back to the drawing board.

Before that happened, Grosjean produced one of the single best performances of any driver all season at the Circuit de Catalunya. At a track where aerodynamics mattered more than straight-line speed and traction, he qualified fifth and brought the car home eighth, only losing out to the Ferraris and Sebastian Vettel as he battled problems with his car’s power unit.

The latter was the story of his season, and it was hard not to feel a little sympathy when a furious Grosjean cursed his “bloody engine” on the radio after qualifying 16th in Singapore. Despite these frustrations he was usually the quicker of the two Lotus drivers, and had he not been hit by Vergne in America he probably would have been their only points scorer.

Reader’s view

Difficult to rate his season after he has had such an awful car, but scoring most of Lotus’s points and outracing Maldonado significantly.

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 five drivers performed in 2014? Have your say in the comments.

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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98 comments on “2014 F1 season review: Driver rankings 15-11”

  1. I’m a little bit surprised that you’ve placed Magnussen as top rookie ahead of Kvyat but it didn’t look as if there was a massive amount in it. That leaves the two Mercedes, Red Bulls, Williams, Force Indias and one McLaren and Ferrari as the top 10.

    1. Bianchi deserves to be ahead of Grosjean IMO. To have scored any points in a Marussia is extraordinary. Also Kvyat (really pronounced k’vee-yat, not kivvy-at) should be ahead of Magnussen..
      I’d say RAI behind VER as well … So BIA (11), KVY (12), MAG (13), GRO (14), VER (15), RAI (16)
      just my opinion…

  2. 14th? Really F1 Fanatics… Really?

    1. That’s not really a question. I don’t even know if you think it’s too high or too low, let alone why.

      And it’s ‘F1 Fanatic’.

      1. F1 Pedantic?

      2. He obviously meant too low, @keithcollantine.

      3. @keithcollantine “F1 Fanatics” was a collective noun I gave to your readers/judging panel… In fact I purposely typed it instead of “F1 Fanatic” because I know you didn’t come up with these. I’ve seen you jumping on people for nothing in other comments sections, and its given the site a negative feel to me.

        @atticus-2 hehe thanks.

        1. Mate seriously, feel free to give your own opinion on where you think drivers should be ranked (something you completely failed to do in your “f1 fanatics” comment) but don’t go shooting down the person who actually then asked you for your opinion. You introduced the negativity with such a ridiculously vague and sniping comment, so don’t expect sunshine and rainbows in return.

        2. “F1 Fanatics” was a collective noun I gave to your readers/judging panel

          There is no judging panel. I write the rankings.

          I’ve seen you jumping on people for nothing in other comments sections, and its given the site a negative feel to me.

          I wasn’t ‘jumping on’ you (and don’t believe I have ‘jumped on’ anyone), I was literally asking what point of view you were trying to put across: nowhere in your comment did you say whether you felt Kvyat was too low or too high.

          Previously I’ve found people appreciate it when I take the time to reply to one of their comments because they understand it isn’t possible for me to reply to everyone.

          1. @keithcollantine – It’s a question of tone, as expressed in a text reply. To me you sometimes come across as mildly peeved, which I find amusing – and less artificial than some very PC moderators on other blogs. This isn’t My Little Pony World after all.

      4. @keithcollantine The 1st part is spot on but the 2nd part of the driver reviews is far from it. Kvyat was actually impressive rather than being average as Magnussen was but Romain here is the snub in my opinion as pointed out he was in a very poor car but he often behaved very poorly and in some weekends simply didn’t show up.

  3. Still not d’accord with the respective rankings of Vergne (who has shown some solid, aggressive racing), Räikkönen (who was simply horrible in every respect), and Kvyat (who had a very good rookie season, with good qualifyings and very few mistakes, but didn’t quite show the same speed as Vergne come Sunday).
    I feel that Räikkönen should’ve been closer to P20 and Vergne slightly ahead of Kvyat.

    Apart from that, it’s a fine list. Still looks as though the driver rankings roughly pattern with the team’s end result, but that’s almost impossible to avoid.

  4. Great list, so far I can’t say I’d disagree with any of it!

    I think Magnussen’s placing is fair. His results this year say more about how tough it is for a rookie to join F1 in this era of limited testing and how great a driver Button is than it does about his ability as a driver. I’d like to see both him and Button in F1 next season, both have a lot to offer.

    I think Magnussen could have a much stronger second season. It will be very interesting to see where he is on this list next year (if he’s on the list at all!). Same for Kvyat. Both had rough seasons, but both have shown speed and an ability to battle on the track. They have great potential, I hope they get the chance to show it in 2015.

  5. That leave to top 10:

    10. Perez
    9. Massa
    8. Hulk
    7. Vettel
    6. Button
    5. Bottas
    4. Rosberg
    3. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    1. Riciardo

    I think few would disagree with my ranking..

    1. I would actually. To be honest, my list of rankings changes on a daily basis and yours is probably what many would go for, but I think Hamilton trumps Ricciardo, Rosberg behind Bottas and drop Hulk to 10 and you’re laughing ;-)

      1. Rosberg vs Bottas is too close to call but you can’t rank him too low as he fought for WC. Yes you got to be bit biased here.

    2. I for one think Ricciardo’s performance is being over-hyped a bit, possibly by Hamilton and Alonso fans who want to ram home the point that Vettel isn’t all that. But fact is Dan did not once beat the Mercs on merit, but rather was in the right place at the right time when the Mercs shot themselves in the foot. Not to say Dan was not impressive. He was! Clearly best of the rest. Just not to the extent of being hailed as the second coming. This might sound controversial, but I was more impressed with Maldonado’s win when he beat everybody on pure performance than any of Dan’s wins.

      1. Ricciardo’s performance is being rightly lauded. I am not a Hamilton or Alonso fan. Vettel did not take care of his tires and had bad luck / low mileage early on which exacerbated the issue for someone so used to the prior season’s setup and an extremely reliable car. As for Ricciardo, I think the media are looking for the face of F1 – and his attitude of always smiling is winning a lot of fans.

        I will have to watch that 2012 Spanish GP as I’ve only seen the highlights – but the wide consensus is that Maldonado is an undisciplined driver who has flashes of brilliance to go along with slightly above average speed. Spain like Hungary is a special circumstance course that if you get the lead is harder to lose it than say Silverstone or Austin. Maldonado has only collected 19 points in total since that race, speaking loudly on his inconsistency as Senna outpointed him after Spain 17-16 and Bottas last year 5-1 and Grosjean this year 8-2. Bahrain 2014 will be hard to live down just like it took a full season of good results in 2013 for people to overlook Spa 2012 for Grosjean.

      2. How saying that Ricciardo was impressive is related to Alonso or Hamilton’s fans?

        If they were saying that he wasn’t impressive, then you would have a point, cuz Vettel would be even worse.

        The way you say makes no sense at all.

        Ricciardo was a newcomer on wheel to wheel battle with the top dogs and you won’t remember a single mistake from his part. He didn’t make any. He WAS impressive and this has nothing to do with fans of any driver.

      3. Mercedes dominance was such that for anyone to beat them required an error on their part. So the comparison is no really valid in my humble opinion.

    3. Close….
      10. Perez
      9. Massa
      8. Hulk
      7. Vettel
      6. Button
      5. Alonso
      4. Rosberg
      3. Bottas
      2. Hamilton
      1. Riciardo

      1. Too kind to Vettel for me. He might scrape my top 10 but he wouldn’t trouble the top 7. Now that I think about it….

        1 = HAM
        2 = RIC
        3 = BOT
        4 = ALO
        5 = ROS
        6 = BUT
        7 = MAS
        8 = HULK
        9 = VET
        10 = PER

        1. Exactly the same ranking as I would pick. Although I might be tempted to put Rosberg behind Button. Rosberg clearly under performed a lot in that dominating car and I’d say Button really got most out of his.

    4. Rather presumptuous, aren’t you? How do you know that few people would disagree with you? Did you do a survey? Stop projecting your views on to the rest of us: it’s annoying and obnoxious.

      1. I assessed from people’s comments and post-race votes like “The best driver of the weekend”. Obviously it represents the view of F1 fanatic readers rather than the whole F1 fan base so you can probably argue.

    5. @f1rollout
      Alonso ahead of Hamilton.
      Bottas ahead of Rosberg
      Perez ahead of Massa.

      1. “Alonso ahead of Hamilton.
        Bottas ahead of Rosberg”

        As i said before, you have to be biased here because Hamilton and Rosberg fought for championship and they probably made more mistakes as you sometimes do when fighting for the championship. So without taking anything away from Alonso and Bottas. I think Hamilton and Rosberg deserves to be near the top.

        Don’t you think Perez was quite anonymous this season?

    6. Vettel is too high, Ham is one too high. If you extract the car they drive, the list is way off if you don’t this list is pretty much what Keith is going to post with the exception of Ham on top, and Button 4th.

      1. Yes, Keith is probably gonna put Hamilton on top which is not entirely incorrect but the reason i would not put Ham on top is because he did not do Vettel 2011 or 2013 despite of having the faster car. Yes you can argue that Hamilton was challenged by teammate and still came out on top whereas Vettel wasn’t but this also suggests that Vettel was too quick to be challenged. And although it’s all relative, i don’t see Rosberg any better than Mark Webber.

    7. Alonso 3? It is a joke?

      1. yes it is a joke, he was obviously the best

        1. Now that’s a good one! :)

          1. Well, Ferrari outdid themselves this year (just ask Kimi). Really I expect Keith to rank Hamilton 1st, and probably Ricciardo 2nd. But I’ll be shocked if Alonso is not in the top 3.
            It’s hard to shine in such a dog of a car, but remember, Alonso was 2nd in Keith’s midseason ranking.
            Was Hamilton better than Alonso and Ricciardo? I think not, but it’s hard to say. With such a dominant car, you can be sure that he was better than Nico and little else.

        2. Alonso can’t be higher than number 3 because he did not drag F2014 to that odd win he got in 2012. If he had won in Hungary, he would have probably ranked 1st or atleast 2nd.

    8. Nope Nope Nope. Ricciardo too high. Why do people overrate this guy? Oh God let’s not even mention Bottas. Bottas did not do that much Better than Massa when you take away incidents out of the driver’s control.
      My list.
      10. Perez
      9. Hulk
      8. Massa
      7. Button
      6. Bottas
      5. Vettel
      4. Rosberg
      3. Ricciardo
      1. Alonso = Hamilton

    9. Nah. Ricciardo wasn’t THAT good. Nowhere near Hamilton or Alonso in my opinion.

      My list looks like this:
      1. Hamilton
      2. Alonso
      3. Ricciardo
      4. Rosberg
      5. Bottas
      6. Button
      7. Hulk
      8. Massa
      9. Vettel
      10. Perez

      1. 1. Hulk
        2. Button
        3. Ricciardo
        4. Rosberg
        5. Vettel
        6. Hamilton
        7. Bottas
        8. Perez
        9. Alonso
        10. Massa

        I don’t think any can disagree with me on this list.
        On a side not, it has absolutely nothing to do with the driver heights. Maybe.

    10. @f1rollout:
      I would. Ricciardo was pretty good, but he ain’t no Alonso. I don’t think anyone has been as consistently aggressive while making almost no mistakes at all. DanRic has had a few very impressive races and a few that weren’t as strong.
      Button in P6? Nah. He’s had a lot of support from fans and the media, but I’m quite confident his reputation is going to suffer when his team mate isn’t a rookie anymore. I don’t think he’s all that strong.
      Massa should be closer to Bottas.
      Also, the Merc battle was pretty f*ing close. Closer than any other battle throughout the field, rarely more than a tenth per lap apart. I don’t think there should be anyone between them.

      My attempt at a list:
      1. Alonso
      2. Hamilton
      3. Rosberg
      4. Ricciardo
      5. Bottas
      6. Hülkenberg
      7. Vettel
      8. Massa
      9. Button
      10. Pérez

      There is hardly any difference between P6-P8. Behind these, I’m not even sure if Button and Pérez belong in the Top 10. I can picture Button being out-raced by Grosjean or Bianchi with equal material.

      1. I mostly agree but would have ranked Ricciardo higher, say 2nd. And neither Perez nor Vettel would not be in my top ten (Vergne and Bianchi would)

        so, Alonso, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Rosberg, Vergne, Bottas, Bianchi, Hulkenberg, Massa and Button for me.

  6. I put Vettel in this list, perhaps I was too harsh on his ranking

  7. Zain Siddiqui (@powerslidepowerslide)
    10th December 2014, 16:11

    As a blind Kimi fan, I demand that you rank him in the top 5!
    But really, I do hope he turns things around. It’s been painful to watch him this season.

    1. You are still probably one of the least blinded Kimi fans out there to be honest. In some F1 videos on YT, I’ve seen comments such as “Kimi is still the best driver ever”. Clearly not the case.

      1. Yep. You’re acknowledging your bias, something that an awful lot of people don’t.

        1. @nase I am biased. Everyone is to a certain degree. But I, unlike some fans, don’t take it to the extent where I’ll declare Max Chilton to be as good as Jules Bianchi.

          1. @mashiat:
            “I am biased. Everyone is to a certain degree. ”
            My point exactly. There’s nothing like an observer-independent absolute truth, you can’t really perceive anything without bias. A bias is a prerequisite for an opinion, and that’s fine. As long as everyone is honest enough to acknowledge it.

  8. I’m generally agreeing with this ranking so far. I feel the Toro Rosso drivers would be further up many people’s lists, including my own, with Raikkonen and Magnussen falling down behind them both. Not entirely sure why Grosjean merits 11th, but he did blow Maldonado away.

    Particularly looking forward to the placings of Hulkenberg, Massa and Vettel to see if they’re comparable to my own. Another great little series of articles; love the debate and general outrage it causes.

    1. @ben-n Grosjean is such a mystery to me. We know he’s at least decent due to his results last year, but in such a poor car and against a team mate as inconsistent as Maldonado it becomes really difficult to judge his performance relative to the rest of the field. I think 11th is generous but not unduly so. I can’t think of a mistake he made this season and he did appear to drag the car home to score some points early in the season.

      1. @colossal-squid – good analysis of Grosjean. He’s certainly shaken the reputation of being “crash happy” and now just seems a very quick, if not outstanding, driver.

        Like many drivers, I think that given the right car he could be winning races. However it must be said that there are several drivers on the grid who can win races without the right car; and I wouldn’t rank him as that good.

        In terms of this ranking, I’d personally put Vergne, Kvyat and maybe even Magnussen ahead of him.

      2. I think you can fault him for the wet weather spin off when trying to warm up his tires (?) behind the safety car in Hungary. That is certainly something he’d want to take back if he had a do over. What with all the shunts in practice/quali from Maldonado (China, Spain, Belgium, Singapore) Lotus and Grosjean were hurt from the lack of data available to improve the car throughout the season. I believe they could have had better info on tire wear, brake bias, torque, and fuel delivery settings and it could have been the difference between 11th and 12th which was a typical position they ran in and 9th or 10th – which would have made the season a little more enjoyable than the excruciating one Grosjean endured.

  9. Vergne should be lower than Raikkonen. And Grosjean below Magnessun and Bianchi.

    1. Vergne is lower rank than Raikkonen, check another ranking

      1. this is ambiguous, “lower” may mean a better ranking, i.e. closer to 1 which is the “lowest” number

        1. You got me.

  10. Cheers Keith, my second official mention on an article ;)

  11. Neither of Sutil, Kobayashi or Vergne deserves to be behind Kimi on this list. I like Kimi a lot but this was a dreadful season for him whatever the reasons are.

    Sutil was battling with an overweight dreadful car and still managed to just beat his featherweight teammate. What were the points scoring opportunities he missed because of his own fault like Gutierrez did?

    Kobayashi did the absolute best job possible in that car. And if he wouldn’t have received a rude shoving out of the way at Monaco by Bianchi it would be him scoring those points instead

    Vergne did a really good job this season whichever way you look at it except of qualifying. He was extremely unlucky with reliability too

    I’m not trying to bash Kimi(as I said I like him), and hope he recovers next season. But I’m sure I’m not the only one questioning those three being behind Kimi @keithcollantine

    Apart from that agree with all 22-11 rankings

  12. Seb Vettel in the top 10?? Seb Vettel ahead of Kimi?? No way to both

    1. Hahahaha OK, and what would your reason be for not putting “Seb Vettel” ahead of Kimi, other than the fact that you loathe him?

      1. The RedBull was vastly superior to the Ferrari. Kimi did a fairly good job with what he had. Seb didn’t.
        Loathing has nothing to do with it. The F1metric mathematical model ranks Kimi 8th and Seb 12th this season and it’s perfectly devoid of feelings.
        Like it or not, the Vettel myth has been obliterated this year by Dani Ricciardo. And let’s wait to see what Kimi does with it next year.

        1. Fairly good job? I’m not sure what you’ve been smoking unless you consider scoring only about a third of Alonso’s points a fairly good job, in which case I would refer you to a dictionary… Vettel was a lot closer to Ricciardo than Räikkönen is to Alonso, it’s Räikkönen who was ‘obliterated’ rather than Vettel, though I will not deny Ricciardo did a better job… obvious lack of subjectivity is obvious on your part to overlook something so apparent.

          1. We were not discussing Alonso here. Certainly Alonso did a superb job, the best of all this year if you ask me. Which doesn’t mean that Kimi’s job was bad. And yes, Alonso owned Kimi even more than Ricciardo owned Vettel, but Alonso is widely regarded as one of the greats and Ricciardo was little more than a rookie facing a quadruple world champion. So it was Vettel’s myth the obliterated one, not Kimi’s (or both if you wish, I remember some people predicting a year ago how Kimi was going to trounce Alonso).
            The F1metrics mathematical model shows that Kimi slightly overperformed the Ferrari while Vettel underperformed the RBR. You may of course disagree with the model but it is not “subjective”.
            “Obvious lack of subjectivity is obvious on your part” (sic!). I don’t smoke, how about yourself?

          2. Maybe not, but if you’re saying Räikkönen did a fairly good job when Alonso scored 3 times as many points then you’re obviously not thinking… even Massa scored more than 1/3 of Alonso’s points and everyone was rightfully bashing on him back then, so don’t start using that F1Metric model to validate your opinion because it’s obviously flawed.

            And perhaps you ought to give Ricciardo more credit instead of dismissing him as a mere rookie (Which technically isn’t even correct as he had slightly over 2 years of experience), he was the only non-Mercedes driver who won races after all (Though admittedly because he benefitted from their misfortune); was Hamilton a mere rookie when he matched Alonso in his rookie season? Thought not.

            And besides, what Vettel myth? I doubt he ever got the same level of respect Alonso or even Hamilton did in the first place.

          3. Don’t get me wrong, I give Ricciardo a lot of credit now, and almost everybody does. His 2014 season was near perfect. But a year ago he had scored somewhat more than Vergne, nothing earthshaking, and few doubted that Vettel would own him.
            And Hamilton obviously was a rookie, by definition, in 2007. Only the best rookie ever (or was it James Hunt?). Not many thought he would match Alonso, but he did.

          4. Yes of course Hamilton was a rookie, the point is he wasn’t just a rookie because despite that he was good enough to trouble the reigning WDC much like Ricciardo this year (Who technically isn’t a rookie but you get the point).

            Anyway the point is while both Vettel and Räikkönen have been disappointing, it’s very apparent that Vettel was the one who at least did a fairly decent job (Not what you expect from a 4x WDC but it’s still respectable) while I wouldn’t have been surprised had Räikkönen got the boot at the end of 2014… to argue otherwise would be like that time when The Guardian ranked Chilton ahead of Alonso in 2013.

        2. And on a side note, really Vergne in the top 3? Even top 10 would be exceedingly generous; chances are you’re just basing the whole thing on points; Keith has already justified while even Kyvat is higher than him who isn’t even that high himself… with all due respect, you’re not really justifying your opinions all that well.

          1. Well, my final list for the top ten (posted above) is Alonso, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Rosberg, Vergne, Bottas, Bianchi, Hulkenberg, Massa and Button. So Vergne made 5th, not 3rd.
            You can only justify your opinions up to a point. Was Fangio better than Schumacher? Who can tell? Would Bianchi had troubled Hamilton in a Merc? Maybe. It’s hard to compare when the machinery is vastly different.
            Math models do help somewhat but are unavoidably flawed. If I quote them it is not to justify an opinion, I don’t agree with the results all that much. But they avoid subjectivity and sentimentality, so I quote them to prove that ranking Kimi ahead of Vettel is not necessarily based on loathing and subjectivity.
            Anyway the crux of our disagreement is the relative position of Kimi and Vettel. Very hard to solve when their cars’ performances were so unlike. Fortunately it will be much clearer next year when both will be driving red. We’ll see then if Vettel is as vastly superior to Kimi as you seem to believe.

          2. Yes they are of course flawed from the way some results are naturally bewildering (Vergne in the top 5) so I’m not sure why you would keep quoting the results from them…

            And of course I naturally believe Vettel > Räikkönen this year, I’m not sure how you would disagree with that; just look at their performances relative to their teammates; you don’t need to base it relative to their cars… heck I’m not sure why you would place both Bottas and Massa in the top 10 but not Ricciardo and Vettel, both Vettel and Massa were behind their teammates by about the same margin and they also had more bad luck with reliability/accidents than their teammates, though their teammates still did the better job overall while Räikkönen was even worse than the woeful Massa from 2010-2013.

          3. Ricciardo not in my top ten? I ranked him second!

          4. Please read again… I mean if both Williams drivers are in the top 10, then so should both Red Bull drivers since neither Bottas nor Ricciardo are that far ahead of their teammates unlike Alonso… or for a better explanation, go read Keith’s review… I don’t know how you put Massa in the top 10 but not Vettel.

  13. I still don’t understand kimi not being towards the bottom. For example, we could easily argue that Marussia should have supplied Chilton a car to more suit his driving style and put him 15th instead.

    Other than that and Vergne not being higher (points are won on race day), so far the rankings have been prerty much spot on… I usually agree with the F1F rankings.

    I do think Alonso should be no.1 this year… let’s see!

    1. Totally agree, with Ricciardo a close second. Both outperformed their machinery by a large margin. Hamilton might well be third, but the Merc was so dominant he only had to keep it in one piece and ahead of Nico to win. My other candidates for the top three are Bottas or Vergne.

      1. To be fair to Hamilton, considering his poor fortune during the mid-part of the season, he also had to keep his head under a lot of pressure – which he did when I’m sure others wanted him to fail and this prove the Rosberg ‘superior intellect’ rubbish. I don’t think his efforts should be undervalued, but Alonso was simply fantastic this year. I’d probably put 1.ALO 2.HAM 3.RIC.

    2. I believe Kimi finished in 4th. place ahead of Nando at Monza, I don’t remember many red cars finishing 4th or better, but Kimi does seem incredibly inconsistent over the years.

      1. @hohum
        Kimi finished 4th in Spa ;) Ferrari were nowhere in Monza.

        1. @kingshark, thanks, I knew I should have checked it when I typed it, but it doesn’t really matter which race it was.

  14. I don’t agree with Magnussen being ahead of Kvyat. Magnussen overstepped his boundaries far too often compared to Kvyat, who didn’t put a foot wrong (while being very very fast) apart from an incident with Perez in Hockenheim. Magnussen settled the score up to 50% during that one race alone (I partly blame him for the Massa incident, too much speed, too tight cornering angle). Kvyat beat his team mate more often than not, Magnussen didn’t (that’s where the stats lie, I repeatedly stressed this in Kvyat’s case, check quali and race paces instead). Button may be harder to beat than Vergne, that’s OK, but then that’s still 1-1 (one of them made fewer mistakes, the other stood up against a more competitive team mate).

    Also don’t agree with Kvyat being behind Grosjean. Grosjean, as you’ve mentioned, got visibly frustrated a couple of times. On this level, guys know and practice the notion that there’s no point in wasting time and energy on things you don’t have influence on. The source of frustration is always – always – something that you deep down know you didn’t do, but you thought you should. A missed opportunity to do better. A 99%. You transfer that frustration to other things and other people. Grosjean was therefore on 99%, maximum. Kvyat didn’t have these kind of frustrations, his whole demeanor spoke otherwise in interviews and team radio, not to mention his speed, therefore he may have been on 100%.

  15. nuf said on Raikkonen and Verge 2 days ago.

    But I would have expected Vettel to be outside the top 10.
    The statistics of Vettel versus Ricciardo were similar (worse on quali) to Magnussen versus Button. Noting that Magnussen (rookie) was up against an ex WDC, and Vettel (reigning WDC) against a team-newby, I cannot see Magnussen on 13 when Vettel sits in the top 10.

    1. @coldfly whether a driver is a rookie or not shouldn’t have any impact on the rankings. And I do not see what you are on about with the ‘statistics’ too because on a lot of aspects like points scored and laps ahead, Vettel was much closer to Ricciardo than Magnussen was to Button. Also how well your team mate does has an impact on how a driver performs as such.

      1. @craig-o, actually Vettel was 71pts behind Ric, exactly the same as Mag vs But!
        (yeah, I know there are as many ways to interpret points as there are to skin a cat).

    2. Mathematical modelling for cloned drivers gives Red Bull 336 WCC points (i.e. 168 points per driver). Dani Ricciardo got 236, Seb Vettel 167, meaning that Dani seriously outperfomed the car, while Seb was just about average.

      1. Sorry, can you tell me more about this model?

        1. Find it in the f1metrics.wordpress.com blog, dedicated to math modelling in F1. The November 26th post is about the pilots’ and cars/teams’ ranking in the 2014 season (the cloned driver simulation for team ranking is in the Valteri Bottas section). You won’t find the detailed math methodology in the blog, it is way too abtruse for the average reader. It is published as a JQAS article, available (but not free) at http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jqas-2013-0031

          1. Amazing stuff! Thanks.

        2. btw and according to the f1metrics model also Lewis and (even more) Fernando outperformed the car while Nico and Kimi were more or less par for the course. It is not a rul, however, that the “second” driver gets the true measure of the car. Both Sauber drivers were underperformers, e.g.

        3. And while we are at it don’t miss the July 18th 2013 post about the greatest F1 driver of all time (Jim Clark! I would have guessed Jackie Stewart, my childhood hero, but he came out 2nd). I’m happy to say that the vastly overrrated Ayrton Senna was nowhere near the top, 19th in fact.

          1. Thank you very much. Yeah, I’ve read the post about the greatest drivers back then, but I thought its model had too much limitations. I wonder how much limitation the 2014 model has. Will check it out, thanks again.

  16. Hmm, refreshing to see both Force Indias make Q3 in Keith’s GP, unlike in most of the qualys through the season.

  17. Comparing Kimi to Fernando is almost pointless because of Alonso’s political advantage (being favored) at Ferrari.

    1. Not sure what you mean? It’s not like they were driving different cars…

    2. There were a number of “faster than you” occasions for Felipe in the past years but none for Kimi this year AFAICR. They were allowed to fight it out on the track. Strategic choices may have favored Fernando sometimes but only in hindsight. And maybe -just maybe- the car was more suited to Fernando’s driving style, but still it was the same car for both, and a real dog btw.

  18. @keithcollantine – I really am enjoying the driver ratings articles and appreciate all the thought and hard work that goes into this. Also enjoying the diverse reader comments, even the ones I completely disagree with.

    I especially value the section on Jules Bianchi even though I shed some tears again reading it. It is still so heartbreaking and I can only imagine how his family must feel.

  19. I wholeheartedly agree with you. In fact I might consider Vergne for the top three. I have no doubt about the first two: Alonso and Ricciardo, but then I’m not sure how to rate Hamilton: he only had to beat Nico, and let the Merc take care of everybody else. My other candidates: Bottas, Vergne, even Bianchi.

    1. this was a reply to a deleted post stating that Vergne should have ranked ahead of Kvyat

  20. It is somehow funny to me this story about Kimi and his theoretical problem with his driving style with the F14T.

    I doubt a team that have serious problems with the correlation between the design and the real performance, will be in optimum capacity to produce a car that match perfectly the driving stile of any driver.

    Good drivers (on average) can only perform very well when they have a car that match perfectly with their driving stile. Champions have the capacity of adapt their driving stile to the car they receive.

    I seriously think, Fernando Alonso has lot more capacity to adapt his driving to the machinery he receive than Kimi. That’s all about.

  21. In his championship years Alonso had a tremendously aggressive way of going for the apex that made him turn faster than anybody else. The Michelin tyres made it possible, but you couldn’t do that with the 2007 Bridgestones. It took quite a while for him to adapt, and he lost his edge. It cost him the third championship, maybe a string of them.

    1. this was a reply to @idr, sorry

  22. I fully expect McLaren to retain him for next season alongside Alonso, even if the statistics may swing in Button’s favour. Keep an eye on Magnussen, he’s got a lot left to give yet.


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