2014 F1 Driver Rankings #3: Hamilton

2014 F1 season review

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Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying 7/18
Beat team mate in race 10/14
Races finished 16/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate 480/976
Points 384
Lewis Hamilton 2014 form guide

Key stat: Beat Rosberg on merit on four occasions when he had started behind his team mate – something Rosberg never managed

Did the right man win the championship? Absolutely. From an early stage in the season there was no doubt the crown would go to one of the two Mercedes drivers, and with eleven wins to his team mate’s five Hamilton indisputably did the better job.

So why isn’t the champion at the top of the driver rankings? Because he was clearly capable of inflicting a more decisive defeat on Nico Rosberg than he did. He could have made life a lot easier for himself on Sundays had he gone better on Saturdays.

One of the biggest surprises of the season was that Hamilton, a one-lap specialist, was out-qualified by Rosberg over the course of the year. The margin was a fairly slim one, and Rosberg was aided by Hamilton’s car problems in Germany and Hungary, but it was representative of their form.

Hamilton’s performance margin on Sundays suggests this was partly a case of him prioritising his race set-up over honing the perfect flying lap. But on too many other occasions he simply made mistakes: such as in Bahrain, in Canada and on both his Q3 laps in Austria.

On home ground at Silverstone he hastily abandoned his final flying lap on a damp track, expecting he would be unable to improve his time. Rosberg kept his foot down, passed his slowing team mate and snatched a surprise pole position off him.

Significantly, Hamilton rarely made such tactical misjudgements or straight driving errors in the races. He may have started behind Rosberg more often than not, but he seldom failed to push the other car hard. On the few occasions he didn’t beat Rosberg there was usually a good reason why.

Following a retirement due to an engine problem in the first race of the year, Hamilton reeled off four wins in a row. The highlight came in a thrilling scrap with Rosberg in Bahrain where the pair repeatedly swapped positions.

But in Monaco Hamilton was rattled by his team mate’s mysterious swerve off the road during qualifying. Hamilton clearly felt the incident, which prevented him from being able to improve his own lap, was some ploy on Rosberg’s part. In the race he spied an opportunity to make an early pit stop to jump ahead of his team mate but shied away from taking the gamble – a decision he soon regretted.

This began a seven-race spell where the only victory which came Hamilton’s way was courtesy of Rosberg’s gearbox problem at Silverstone. Hamilton had technical failures of his own – slightly more than Rosberg over the balance of the season – which spoiled his victory chances in Canada, Germany and Hungary.

But in Belgium Rosberg was to blame for Hamilton’s failure to score after giving his team mate a puncture on the second lap. This proved another turning point. From then on Hamilton was back to his forceful best, and only let a single victory slip through his fingers in the remaining seven races.

That was in Brazil where Rosberg again took pole position but Hamilton’s race pace was clearly superior. He spun off while trying to pit two laps later than his team mate, and after resuming in second place he pushed Rosberg hard to the chequered flag.

It’s true that had Mercedes unreliability struck Hamilton instead of Rosberg in the final race, Rosberg would have been champion. That gives a false impression that Rosberg was almost a match for Hamilton this year, but is more a reflection on the shortcomings of F1’s current points system.

While Rosberg eked out an advantage over his team mate on Saturdays, Hamilton was emphatically the strongest on Sundays. Rosberg seldom looked capable of beating Hamilton in a straight fight for race victories, so while Hamilton’s campaign was far from spotless he was conclusively the better driver.

Reader’s view

Was pushed hard by Rosberg which forced him into some qualifying errors, but was supreme in the races. He always looked like the stronger bet for the championship even after reliability woes early in the season left him trailing.

How the rankings are produced

All the data I refer to while producing the rankings can be found on the site. They include 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.

The final two parts of the F1 Fanatic 2014 Driver Rankings, and the poll for your Driver of the Year, will be published tomorrow.

2014 F1 season review

Browse all 2014 F1 season review articles

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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369 comments on “2014 F1 Driver Rankings #3: Hamilton”

  1. Seeing how the rankings go.. i believe ric will be number 1. As a vettel fan, he was undoubtably the best all year. But for me LH was a better driver tham FA all year.

    1. LOL. I thought there was some logic to the rankings. Same way I opposed ranking Nico Rosberg 5th, I don’t agree with this one too. Seems not to have been thought through at all, almost a kneejerk reaction. The ranking as I observed before is usually the opposite of what is written. Oh, he drove well but I rank him 5th.
      To each his own.

      1. Every driver’s season till now had some easily indentifiable flaw.
        Rosberg was weak on sundays, Hamilton on saturdays, Bottas made some mistakes…

        For Ricciardo and Alonso on the other hand, it’s much more difficult to see where they could have been better. Maybe Ricciardo’s starts that could be a lot better, but just that. They both made terrific seasons and i agree with both being on top of the list.

        1. Agree — Rosberg as 5th makes more sense given this rating. Ric as #1 is almost a sure thing, then. Alo did seriously outperform Rai, if relative to his team-mate, then Ric may not be #1 but IMO was the strongest performance of 2014.

    2. I’m not sure as to the merit of this article. The team bosses who have access to not only what we see on TV but all the other feeds we don’t, with their access to data and knowledge of the drivers, driving and the cars ranked Hamilton No.1 and from what I’m lead to believe the drivers ranked Hamilton No.1 as well. So in my most humble opinion, this article is about who the author likes (ranked) the best in 2014, not who was the best.

      1. With that reasoning, from 2009-2013 Vettel was a better driver overall than Alonso.
        As a Vettel fan I would like that, but it seems to somewhat go against general consensus.

    3. Ridiculous: beyond words. Hamilton was in imperious form and should be no: 1 by some distance. He did make a few mistakes in qualifying; however, you don’t get points for qualifying. In the races, Hamilton performed sensationally. His overtaking, defensive driving and wet weather driving were unmatched.

      There is a danger that Dan (whom I suspect will be ranked 2nd not 1st) will be regarded as the ‘new Vettel’. The only downside with that is we now know how good the old one is!

      1. Hamilton was number one by some distance in the W05. That’s why he won the WDC. It doesn’t mean he was the best driver in the field, however. Personally I think he was close to it but not better than Ricciardo and Alonso.

        The only downside with that is we now know how good the old one is!

        Sure, and while we’re taking a driver’s worst year to be the baseline of how good he is, then Hamilton is worse than Button since he lost out in 2011. See how ridiculous this is?

        1. We have seen Hamilton race against (and beat) the reigning double world champion in his first year. We have seen Hamilton race against (and beat) another reigning world champion. We have also seen Hamilton drive several dodgy cars. We have seen Hamilton win a wet race by over a minute. We have seen Hamilton defend corners and overtake like no other driver today.

          None of this can be said for Vettel. He has enjoyed the class of the field for most of his career and second-rate teammates and has been quite unspectacular in everything other than statistics. Vettel was praised too soon by too many. Ricciardo is just the same.

          I’m amazed that anyone could rank Hamilton 3rd. The only thing he did wrong this year was make a few, minor mistakes in qualifying. In the races, where the points are awarded, he was head-and-shoulders above Rosberg and everyone else.

          Of course, drivers such as Alonso made fewer mistakes, but what pressure did they have? They had no chance of winning the title: the pressure was off. Further, Kimi didn’t exactly pose much of a threat did he?

          1. Sorry but my reasoning still holds up. Being beaten one year does not define a career (it doesn’t define Hamilton’s) and all other years Vettel has driven very well.

            As for this year – I can’t agree with this notion that the only drivers to qualify for being the best driver would be only those that had a chance to compete thanks to having the best car. Hamilton made some mistakes. You claim Hamilton only made mistakes in qualifying – well, you haven’t watched all races then. If you have, you know he made some in races as well. I don’t remember any from Ricciardo.

            Hamilton was great, but not THE best. Mind you, I probably would have put him #2.

          2. I think “second-rate” teammate(s) is a bit harsh. Webber did nto adapt to the EBD like Vet. In this year’s car, I think Web would probably have beaten Vet almost as much as Ric managed.

          3. You have to look at it season by season. As far as this season goes, Keith is probably right. Can’t argue with his most of his logic. Lewis was fantastic and had lots of misfortunes, but – and am a huge fan of his – he also made lots of mistakes. Given his ability in the car, he really should have wrapped up the WDC long before Abu Dhabi. That cost him ranking points – Ricciardo was definitely the driver of the season. Not sure Alonso should be number two, though – I’d have put Lewis ahead of him.

    4. I think Alo wasn’t that consistent but neither was Lewis or Rosberg for that matter I would put both Mercs in 4th and 5th.

      1. @peartree Autosport’s raking:

        3rd Alonso
        2nd Hamilton
        1st Ricciardo

        Lewis is being punished for 3 bad Saturdays, I think Dan did make a pair of mistakes on Saturdays too. For me, both were better than Alonso but I couldn’t pick one over the other.

        1. @jcost Autosport is probably the worst example of both professional motorsport work and accuracy. I don’t care about what they write. Lewis had more than just 3 bad Saturdays, Lewis had bad sundays as well, Brazil is one example and being beaten sometimes by his teamate counts as that, above all both Merc drivers had uneventful sundays, so how can you compare that, with people that had to fight for everything, and still made an error free season like Daniel Ricciardo.

          1. I take it you didn’t watch the Brazil race. Mercedes made a bad call, NOT Hamilton. Hamilton was fully expecting to come in after just 1 lap, and with very good reason I might add. When he spun he wasn’t even pushing, the tires were gone. Without that poor call he would have won comfortably.

            And how did all the other people have to fight for everything but Hamilton did not? As I recall Hamilton was in a pretty heated battle with Nico all season long.

            In fact, Nico did’t beat Lewis in a straight fight once. He didn’t pass him and wasn’t never too hard to pass. I think Nico in 5th was very flattering. I think there were more than 4 drivers who would have put up a better fight to Lewis than Nico.

            And as for the Autosport comment, a message should be judged on it’s merit, not it’s author.

    5. I think Keith is going for controversy with this list and clearly it’s working.

      It’s hard to say if Fernando or Daniel were better than Lewis. I don’t think they were. I think that people are overrating Ricciardo and Alonso because their respective teammates had pretty awful season. Equally, people are underrating Hamilton and Rosberg because they had superior machinery. In my opinion that’s flawed logic.

      Regardless of who’s 2nd and 1st according to Keith, here’s my humble attempt at the whole list: (1) Hamilton, (2) Alonso, (3) Ricciardo, (4) Rosberg, (5) Bottas, (6) Button, (7) Hulkenberg, (8) Massa, (9) Vettel, (10) Perez, (11) Grosjean, (12) Magnussen, (13) Bianchi, (14) Vergne, (15) Kvyat, (16) Raikkonen, (17) Kobayashi, (18) Sutil, (20) Maldonado, (19) Gutierrez, (21) Ericsson, (22) Chilton.

      1. I think Keith is going for controversy with this list and clearly it’s working.

        Nope, I think he has been honest and some people can’t swallow it.

        Equally, people are underrating Hamilton and Rosberg because they had superior machinery. In my opinion that’s flawed logic.

        Equally flawed logic is when people inflate driver performances, not being able to separate car from driver performance.

      2. The fact that Ricciardo managed more than one win with the Renault should really make him #1 in the rankings.

        1. Not taking anything away from Dan, but he was the recipient of some fortune at the expense of others misfortune in all of those wins. The Mercs and Williams had to throw away their advantage with mistakes, poor strategy and unreliability before Dan was in with a shot.

          He did do a fantastic job with what he was given though, there’s no denying that.

  2. I honestly believe that Rosberg hasn’t got a chance at beating Lewis to next year’s crown, even forgiving for technical failures. And if the rest of the pack catches up, all the merrier for Lewis as they’ll take points off Rosberg possibly. And yet, I think that Rosberg doesn’t deserve all the hate that he gets. I think most of it has to do with the fact that most F1 networks, websites and viewers are British (I know I’ll get hate for this but…ah well).

    1. It was Rosberg’s actions after both incidents in Monarco and Spa that made everyone suspicious about the whole situation.

      1. I thought Canada was pretty indicative of the lengths Rosberg would go to whereby making a mistake under braking through pressure from a fast closing Hamilton, straight-lined a chicane and nailed the throttle. It gained him a clear advantage (he set the fastest lap) and to keep the stewards happy, he only allowed Lewis to close back up at a point when he knew he was ‘safe’.

        1. @smfreegard I agree with you mate. Bahrain (the engine mode use), Canada, Monaco and Spa are real indication of Rosberg’s incapability to beat Hamilton in a straight fight. In that situation Nico seems capable of doing everything to keep Lewis behind, which is understandable if you are fighting for WDC, but it is also understandable to bring hate from the fans as well. So Lewis wasn’t fighting against Nico’s driving capabilities but also against his tactics as well. When Lewis openly discuss about this things he looks like a villain by blaming Nico for sabotaging and stuff, but I’m sure that Lewis is one of those guys who never want’s unfair advantage especially over his teammate. Malaysia 2013 is a clear example. I know that he is not an angel and someone will correct me with other previous counter-examples, but still this season Lewis was determined to win in a straight fight with Nico while knowing his driving capabilities. That is my point of view however.

          1. Tactics.. Tactics!!?! As if lewey hasn’t used them before

          2. On track i didn see Hamilton using any tatic that could be considere suspicious. Every single time he beat Rosberg, he did it fair and square, even if Rosberg didnt.

  3. Can’t agree with this one personally. You have to give extra credit when someone has the pressure of fighting for the title. He won 11 races, only the 3rd driver ever to do so, and the only one to do so with a teammate at the peak of their abilities given equal treatment. Yes there were a few mistakes in qualifying, but all bar one of those was more than made up for the following day.

    Alonso and Ricciardo were impressive, yes, but they both were up against teammates who were very uncomfortable with the car, and both had absolutely no pressure to deal with.

    1. As a Lewis fan, I think Lewis, Fernando and Daniel were each deserving of being the called best driver this year in their own ways, so as long as they make up the top 3 I am pretty happy with the list.
      But I completely agree with what you said – Ricciardo and Alonso had little pressure from their teammates, while Hamilton was up against a very quick and strong driver at the peak of his abilities who was given equal treatment. This reason alone is a good reason why I personally feel Lewis deserved to be in the top 2. The qualifying mistakes are a legitimate argument against handing him the top spot, though he more than made up for it in the races (where it counts). Ricciardo deserves some credit because there would have undoubtedly been lots of pressure initially going up against a reigning four-time world champion (though that pressure pretty much all shifted to Vettel very early on in the season, particularly after Canada). Alonso was also up against a world champion, but wasn’t even remotely challenged this season, so again there was more pressure on Raikkonen. Both Vettel and Raikkonen struggled a lot with these cars (Seb struggled with rear-end grip, Kimi with front-end grip – same problem as he had in 2008).
      The margin by which Alonso usually beats his teammates is very impressive, but the last (and so far only) time he had equal status with a strong teammate in good form he handled it very poorly (2007, incidentally up against a rookie Hamilton).

      1. actually the pressure was more on Vettel then on Ricardo all season. When you win 4 championships and a young driver joins you don’t want to lose to him (Lewis vs Alonso) so the pressure to keep him behind is higher. The other way round people don’t expect Ricardo to challenge Vettel so being close, 1 to 2 tenths behind would mean he’s doing a great job in the eyes of many. So in this instance the pressure was always on Vettel.

      2. Yeah, and Fernando and Daniel had a world championship teammate, who had done VERY well in the previous seasons. meanwhile HAM was outqualified by a one time race winner… soo, there is that. guess who had more pressure.
        i’m the biggest fernando fan, but i wouldn’t rank him no 2. this year. he was good, usual no mistake, but still, the car was so behind, it might as well be nothing. Still, he destroyed kimi. It will be epic next year, that these years beaten teammates (vet and kiimi) how will compare in the next dog ferrari.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      17th December 2014, 14:26

      Absolutely agree. You can make many arguments why Hamilton was the best this season, 1 great argument why Alonso was better, and several arguments for Ricciardo.

      It was a very hard-fought and well-deserved championship for Lewis.

    3. “Ricciardo and Alonso had little pressure from their teammates, while Hamilton was up against a very quick and strong driver at the peak of his abilities who was given equal treatment.”

      But that’s a little bit of chicken-and-egg argument, isn’t it – WHY was there such “little pressure” from their teammates?? Whatever excuses we make for Vettel and Kimi (front-end, back-end, rear-end, whatever end), fact is they are both World Champions and Rosberg isn’t. So did Alonso and Ricciardo utterly dominate their much vaunted teammates, or did Lewis make heavy-weather of beating a “less-proven” teammate.

      1. Depends on how good you think Michael Schumacher was between 2010 and 2013.

        Then again, it depends on whether you think Hamilton struggled to beat his teammate this year. Most of Hamilton’s fight this year was against Mercedes, not Rosberg– Take out the DNF’s on both sides (including Spa) and let Rosberg/Hamilton finish in the order they qualified, and Abu Dhabi would have been uninteresting, double points or no.

        Hamilton’s major mistakes were Austria (9th to 2nd) and Silverstone (6th to 1st). However, his drives in Bahrain, Germany and Hungary more than made up for those.

      2. Being a WDC does not have such a bearing, IMO. After all, wasn’t Massa a WDC for a few seconds except for Glock’s tyres in Brasil? Razor thin margins should not get blown out of proportion… There is really little to choose from out fo the WDC’s on the grid and the “highly talented” non-WDC’s. Massa, Barrichello, Webber, Ricciardo, Rosberg and a few others could have or still are capable of a challenge in the right car. Do they have the extra 0.1 % to make the difference (mental fortitude / luck) that makes a WDC?

        1. Add to the list of “probably just as good as a WDC, but never got it”:
          Past: Stirling Moss (obvs)., Juan Pablo Montoya
          Current: Hulkenberg, Perez, Bianchi, (maybe) Grosjean

          Do they have the extra 0.1% maybe, maybe not — time will tell. Moss truly should have been. James Hunt only got his WDC off the back of an injury and a semi-dodgy stewards decision at his home GP. The whoel issue si rather debatable. Far more telling (except possibly in the case of Maldonado) is being a race winner…

    4. @jleigh I agree with your reasons about Alonso and Ricciardo (team mates not comfortable with the car). But I raise you: those team mates certainly have credentials (5 titles between the two). And both Alonso and Ricciardo completely played with them.

      Lewis on the other hand had it a tad more difficult than he’d have liked with a guy that’s still trying to match all the hype surrounding him. As far as we’ve seen, Rosberg isn’t the driver that was supposed to be the next best thing when he joined Williams.

      1. @fer-no65 but the number of titles means nothing if the drivers are struggling for reasons specific to how they work with the car. And if that’s not true, then let me raise you the fact that Rosberg destroyed a man who has won 7 world titles!

        I think the key to most disagreements about which order these top 3 lay, is how you rank there teammates. I would personally have put RAI much lower than @keithcollantine did, which in turn would lower ALO’s ranking. I would also rate ROS higher, which again would boost HAM.

        1. @jleigh you know what?… you really, really wanna know???

          you’re right :P

      2. Well the best way to avoid getting pressure from your teammates is… driving much better than them

    5. @jleigh
      Pressure is not an excuse to be making as many mistakes as Hamilton did this year. In 2006, Alonso was under at least as much pressure as Lewis was this season, and how many mistakes did he make that year?

      Lewis’s qualifying mistakes along with his spin in Brazil means that he didn’t do as good of a job as Alonso or Ricciardo in 2014, overall.

      1. Funny too that Alonso won the championship in 2006 without being the best driver that season and since then has had a few seasons where he was the best over the season but hasn’t won himself another championship.

      2. OK we get it, you really don’t like Hamilton. But please, Brazil was a team error, not Hamilton’s mistake. Lewis made very few errors this season actually, maybe not the least, but pretty close to it.

        The pressure Hamilton was under this year was NOT Rosberg, Rosberg was not on Lewis’ level. The pressure was having a dominant car and being on equal standings with his team mate. This meant that it took 4 wins to claw back each DNF caused by reliability because the other car was guaranteed 2nd place. Ironically he would have been under less pressure had the car not been so dominant.

        The couple qually mistakes did take a little gloss off a stellar season but they were of little consequence really. In race trim Rosberg was no match.

      3. Really I think maybe you’re overrating Alonso’s performance this season. Yes he had a dog of a car, but it was a dog built specifically for him over 5 years. He was up against a team mate in his 1st season with the team, likely the number2 driver, and in a car that did not suit his driving whatsoever.

        He should have trounced him. He did, but did he do it by a large enough margin? I say no.

        Save for technical issues he should have beaten Kimi in every qually and every race. He didn’t. He was close, very close, but he didn’t. So, he made mistakes.

        It would have been one hell of a season though if Hamilton and Alonso were both driving Mercs on equal standings.

        1. That’s a good one. A year ago there were many comments predicting how Kimi was going to trounce Alonso. Now, after getting beated by the largest margin by far between teammates, and being humbled by a teammate as a WDC has never been before in the story of F1, the margin was not large enough. Go figure…
          Some people never have enough i guess

          1. I never predicted such a thing though. I was certain Alonso would beat him comfortably. I personally think Kimi is overrated, most probably because people like his personality and attitude. I prefer to separate such things.

            My point was only that Alonso “could” have done more and made a few mistakes, in the same way @Kingshark says Lewis could have done more and made a few mistakes.

            And it’s really quite irritating how @Kingshark keeps claiming Lewis’ spin in Brazil was his mistake when it was quite clear it was a team mistake.

    6. Agreed. I think Keith’s evaluation repeats the mistake of (a) failing to factor in the huge extra pressures involved in racing for the title, and (b) over-examining the flaws of those in the championship spotlight in the better cars, while often completely ignoring the dud weekends of other drivers, e.g. Alonso and Ricciardo, barely noticed, especially towards the end of the season when they have no chance of winning.

      Overall I think this was easily Hamilton’s best year in Formula 1. Yes he made mistakes. But I think both Alonso and Ricciardo would also have come under huge pressure from Rosberg in a championship fight in the Mercedes – with more chance of Rosberg coming out victorious.

  4. I’m not Hamilton fan, but he should be atleast second, and possibly first. You need to be more than a great driver to beat Nico Rosberg, and he beat Rosberg by quite a lot this year 67 points and even with cheats from Rosberg. Although I don’t really like his attitude this year (reason I ranked him 2nd below Ricciardo) , but on the track he is phenomenal.

    1. Even team principals put him first,I guess you know better than them

    2. Sorry for wrong reply

    3. @deongunner

      You need to be more than a great driver to beat Nico Rosberg

      Aside from some good qualifying performances (and keeping in mind he only narrowly out-qualified Hamilton) I don’t think Rosberg showed us enough this year to support that view. Particularly in the races.

      1. @keithcollantine
        so what exactly did Alonso do to be higher than Hamilton? Also, Alonso’s mistakes kept being erased by the media. In one race did Alonso parked his car a good 2 feet beyond his starting box? If that was Hamilton, i’m sure no one would hear the end of it just like his Silverstone slowing down incident. Or is it the fact that Hamilton beat Alonso in 2007 in his rookie year? I don’t mind Ricciardo because I personally think he is real good and might give Hamilton a run for his money. With a big MIGHT. But to rank Alonso above Hamilton is just nuts. Alonso has not won a title for like a decade. I mean I like Alonso. Always had. I Supported him against Schumacher back in the day but I don’t get this obsession with Alonso. And its mainly the British press. I think Hamilton has to be twice as good in order to be ranked anywhere near Alonso just like he won more than twice races to Rosberg this year yet he’s just one position ahead in your ranking. I’d rather go with the Team Principals ranking as a true reflection of the drivers ability this year if you ask me.

        1. so what exactly did Alonso do to be higher than Hamilton?

          There might just be an article coming up on that :-)

          1. the fact lewis had to bounce back time and time again because of dnfs and mechanical issues in quali,plus he gave us some of the best races of the season,bahrain and hungary means he should be number 1,,,,i think the team principals called it right.

  5. Really?,someone who won 11 races this year and finished every race on the podium is third?Smh meaning Riccardo and Alonso would have beaten him in the same car?

    1. Yeah, because he could and should have been even better.

      1. Can’t see how someone can be considered to not done enough when they were only legitimately beaten by their teammate twice, on both occasions showing better pace.

        1. I have to agree with you Jake. I only consider Austria and Brazil the races where Hamilton was beaten with a completely level playing field and both of those wins were taken by Rosberg, not Alonso or Ricciardo. I think only on one occassion did those two finish ahead of Hamilton (when he also finished) and that was in the same race – Hungary.
          Australia and Canada the car let him down on Sunday; Germany and Hungary the car let him down on Saturday; Monaco was an anomaly because we’ll never really know if Rosberg cheated and it’s very difficult to pass; and Belgium Rosberg definitely ruined Hamilton’s race.
          Ricciardo did very well this year and I’d agree with him in second place.

    2. @wil-liam
      Of course Alonso or Ricciardo could have/would have beat Hamilton in the same car. They are just as fast, and make less mistakes. Why do you think that they would not have beat him in the same car?

      1. Ask Santa for the 2007 Season Review. Hamilton, as a rookie, who had to learn everything from how to put the seatbelt on to driving the tracks, beat the reigning double world champion Alonso. Alonso would not have beaten Hamilton. As for Ricciardo, he doesn’t really deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as either Hamilton or Alonso, so I won’t extend this one!

        1. In 2007, Alonso and Hamilton made roughly an equal amount of mistakes/driving errors, which is why they ended up on the same # of points (109 each). In 2014, Alonso was more consistent, hence he would have beat Lewis. As for Ricciardo he mopped the floor with Vettel, and was (when you take the car into consideration) better than Lewis.

          1. I actually consider Rosberg and Vettel to be very similar drivers– When they’ve got an overwhelmingly good car, they’re very good. Neither has impressed me with their ability to overtake.

            Vettel’s improving, though. He showed flashes of genius (and petulance) this year (as did Rosberg).

      2. Answer: (a) no, they are not as fast, and (b) Alonso has shown a tendency for being over-cautious when fighting for the championship, e.g. when battling Vettel, often not mounting a challenge to overtake until too late in the race. Compare with Hamilton this year, who frequently went to pass Rosberg much earlier, and did so emphatically. Ricciardo is unproven on this point in a championship situation, though evidence does suggest he’d be more aggressive.

        Another element not factored into this debate is just how much Rosberg gleaned from Hamilton’s data to improve his own lap times, especially on Saturday qualifying. Fair enough (if the team allows this trade, however one-way it may often be). But that also poses the question of just how competitive other drivers would have been against Hamilton who aren’t so meticulous in mining telemetry data.

    3. I’m sure Hamilton is crying in the World Drivers trophy at the fact that he has been ranked third… or maybe not.

  6. @keithcollantine I personally do not agree with Alonso being higher than Hamilton. Yes, his car was terrible, but surely these are driver rankings..? Hamilton was on fire all year (sometimes literally)!

    Yes, Alonso did his usual ‘plugging away above and beyond his car’ performance, but this was hardly a patch on his 2012 effort!

    1. @optimaximal Well, Hamilton made quite a few mistakes during the first half of the year if I remeber. And he was ranked 5th or 6th in the mid-season rankings, so 3rd is an improvement. And I’m pretty sure being out-qualified 12-7 to Rosberg didn’t help, while Alonso trashed Kimi 16-3.

        1. @deongunner Oops, my bad. But nevertheless, I still maintain that Lewis was 3rd best this season.

        2. Despite his improving immeasurably in the second half of the season after the Monaco-Spa period….

      1. while Alonso trashed Kimi 16-3

        I think that says more about Kimi than it does Alonso.

        Like Button – Kimi has never been able to drive quickly in a car that isn’t set-up to his exact liking. It took Lotus a lot of experimenting to get him a feel in the front-end of the car that he was comfortable with but Ferrari seemed completely unable or unwilling to do so.

        And with Kimi, you also have to wonder how hungover he was too ;-)

        1. When its Alonso, its because he had a weak teammate; when its Hamilton, its utter brilliance!

          1. @Breno – Huh? I don’t recall Lewis having too many ‘weak’ team mates:

            Fernando Alonso
            Heikki Kovalainen
            Jensen Button
            Nico Rosberg

            The weakest was Heikki. But the rest have always given him a pretty hard time. I don’t think the same can be said of Alonso’s team-mates (see my other post about this).

            Sure – I’m a fan of Lewis, but I’ve got plenty of respect for Alonso, but he’s had it easy with his team-mates in comparison. It will certainly be interesting to see how he does against Button next year.

          2. @smfreegard

            Sure – I’m a fan of Lewis, but I’ve got plenty of respect for Alonso, but he’s had it easy with his team-mates in comparison. It will certainly be interesting to see how he does against Button next year.

            Here’s the problem within your assumption: You always assume that the reason to why a driver is performing poorly and getting trashed by Alonso is because that driver is poor, never because of Alonso’s brilliance. When Hamilton destroys someone like Kovalainen, who finished 7th in the second best car in 2008, it’s because of his brilliance. That’s a double standard if I ever saw one.

            Massa was a top driver in 2008-09, then suddenly became terrible in the next four years, before becoming a semi-top driver again in 2014. Raikkonen was one of the best drivers on the field before he joined Alonso, then he became horrible as soon as he joined Alonso. What a coincidence…

          3. @Kingshark

            Uhm – I’m not denying Alonso’s brilliance.

            Where the heck did I say Hamilton was brilliant for destroying Kovalainen?

            Kovalainen has never been a top driver and was only in McLaren as a stop-gap after Alonso left – I’d be the first to say that Lewis had it easy in 2008 because of that and it probably helped him get the title (as a better team mate would have taken more points from him and applied more pressure).

            It’s the same story for Alonso and Hamilton though – if either of them had been at McLaren with lesser team-mates in 2007; they would have won the title and Kimi wouldn’t be the world champion he is today (he won by a single point).

            Massa had his accident in 2009 and I think most people agree that he hasn’t really been the same since (Bottas scored 50 points more than Massa this year too). Additionally Massa was clearly treated as a no.2 driver to Alonso by Ferrari: “Fernando is faster than you”.

            Raikkonen struggled on his return to F1 until he got the Lotus set-up just as he wanted it, we saw a repeat of that this year, James Allison has said the same and claimed that they couldn’t change the Ferrari to suit his style until next year. Plus – it’s Kimi; he doesn’t give a crap ;-)

            Like I’ve been saying all along – let’s see what happens. I’m sure I’ll be eating my words when he shows Button how it’s done.

          4. @smfreegard

            Massa had his accident in 2009 and I think most people agree that he hasn’t really been the same since (Bottas scored 50 points more than Massa this year too). Additionally Massa was clearly treated as a no.2 driver to Alonso by Ferrari: “Fernando is faster than you”.

            Nope, for one, Massa himself said that his accident did not affect him. Instead, he struggled with the tyres. Also, Massa was only treated as a #2 driver once it became blatantly obvious that he was nowhere near as talented as Alonso. Australia 2010, Malaysia 2010, Malaysia 2011, China 2011, and Australia 2013. Massa was allowed to finish in front of Alonso early on in the season, he just couldn’t keep up with him.

            Raikkonen struggled on his return to F1 until he got the Lotus set-up just as he wanted it, we saw a repeat of that this year, James Allison has said the same and claimed that they couldn’t change the Ferrari to suit his style until next year. Plus – it’s Kimi; he doesn’t give a crap ;-)

            Poor excuse though, Kimi has never been beat by a teammate like this anytime in his career, plus he’s had plenty of cars that haven’t suited him. The early 2012-spec Lotus, he didn’t like the steering. He didn’t like the understeer on the 2007 Ferrari; yet never has he been beat by a teammate by a margin anywhere near this.

            Like I’ve been saying all along – let’s see what happens. I’m sure I’ll be eating my words when he shows Button how it’s done.

            I doubt it, more likely than not, another excuse will be made (as usual). I predict the typical “new car doesn’t suit Jenson” or “Jenson is not as good as he used to be”.

          5. Wrong way round I’m afraid. Alonso is taken as de facto brilliant, Hamilton just has a good car and is flawed.

            As I wrote above, for me the real contrast is between Alonso’s failure to get past Vettel in recent years in some key races, and Hamilton overtaking Rosberg at perfect moments of the race – a feat his teammate was quite clearly unable to repeat. That for me has been the standout moment of the season – Hamilton’s Japan overtake, or the huge pressure he placed on Rosberg in Italy to force him offtrack. Alonso given similar opportunities – sometimes – in earlier seasons has gone for securing second. For all his excellence, there’s an argument to be made that he could have risked and won more.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          17th December 2014, 14:29

          Yeah but Kimi wasn’t Kimi this year. The cars are very different – like playing a 7 string guitar some adapted quicker than others. One gains +.1 seconds, the other loses -.2 seconds. All of a sudden, you’re .3 seconds behind simply on regulation delta with everything else held constant.

      2. what mistakes were these then….4 wins in a row in the first half of the season.plus lots of mechanical issues,then in the second half of the season,he had to play catch up,and did the perfectly.and 12-7 isnt a true reflection in quali considering what happened in germany,hungary,monaco and silverstone quali.nico never had car problems in quali.

    2. @optimaximal

      Yes, Alonso did his usual ‘plugging away above and beyond his car’ performance, but this was hardly a patch on his 2012 effort!

      Because the F2012, despite being slow, was still way better than the F14T, obviously.

    3. By the metric of over-driving the car, Bianchi should be #1, since he actually scored points in a Marussia.

      Alonso is weak on qualifying. He (apparently) holds the record for most number of 5th place grid starts. Even with a fast car, he doesn’t turn in the fastest lap. That’s probably why both he and Button think Hamilton is likely the fastest driver on the grid.

    4. @optimaximal if someone asks me to pick a driver who could beat Alonso in the same team (TODAY!) my first choice would be Lewis Hamilton.

      Ricciardo did impress me in 2014, I remember Seb saying before the season started “if he beats me I’ll look like a fool” and he did it in style so for me he’s the biggest contender for Driver of the year but not distant (if not on pair) from Lewis Hamlton. Alonso is my #3.

  7. 1. Ricciardo
    2. Alonso

    $2000 Anyone?

    1. Very difficult bet. One one side we have a rookie of the lifetime who brought a 4 time champ down to earth and other side we have a champ who just trashed and humbled another champ.

      1. Rookie is a bit exaggeration here..but…

    2. I called the top 5 the other day. Hamilton was immense (some of the time) in a car that was so good, they should have won both championships far earlier.

      1. The car clearly wasn’t so good they should have won the WCC much earlier.

  8. That is a pretty big pedestal Keith is setting up for the #1 driver, I hope he doesn’t fall off.

    1. This article has got people taking, I suppose. But no serious commentator would doubt Hamilton. The most significant poll is that undertaken by the team bosses. They ranked Hamilton no: 1.

      1. I’m a Hamilton supporter and i really can’t understand what is the big deal of him not being the number one.

        To me Alonso should be 2nd, with unbelievable races like Hungary. Ricciardo also was equally impressive with a perfect race win on Spa and a perfect mix of strategy and pace to beat Williams is USA.

        Along with Hamilton, they are my top 3. I don’t care about the order.

        1. @Ed So did Alonso do ?, Hungary was flattered because Hamilton started from the pitlane and Rosberg’s inabillity to overtake Vergne for 15 laps. Alonso did nothing special and i doubt you are a Hamilton TBH.

          1. Rosberg didnt overtake Vergne but pAlonso overtook BOTH on THE SAME LAP. What about that, mate? You guys are boring as hell crying about a personal list like this just because your hero didnt win this one too. I said im a Hamilton supporter, not a fanatic, btw.

  9. Very positively surprised by this.

    1. Me too. Aside from switching Button/Rosberg and some differences in positios 13-16, this ranking seems very spot-on to me. Getting Hamilton right, given all the this-years-hype around Ham everywhere and the expectable loudishness in reactions from some of his fans, came as a surprise.

  10. I don’t agree either. Perhaps Ricciardo could be ranked higher, but Alonso felt at times demotivated, we didn’t see as much flashes of brilliance that we are used of him.

    Sorry Keith, but this is wrong. I personally feel you are trying to overcompensate, thinking by putting Hamilton on third spot you’d show it isn’t biased. But trying to add such an element is bias on its own.

    This has imo screwed the 2014 ranking.

    1. I’m with you on this one, I was surprised Keith put Rosberg as high as he did in 5th, I have Rosberg at about 7th, on a benevolent day.

    2. Keith doesn’t like Hamilton. Or Senna. He’s more a fan of Prost/Button type drivers. A bias like that will always reflect in his writing and rankings.

      1. @Patrickl

        Keith doesn’t like Hamilton. Or Senna. He’s more a fan of Prost/Button type drivers.

        I really have no idea where people come up with stuff like this from. Not only is it complete rubbish, it bears no relation to how I perceive or enjoy motor racing.

        A bias like that will always reflect in his writing and rankings.

        Of course it will. I would certainly never pick Hamilton as my driver of the year.

        Oh wait, I did:

        F1 07 review: Driver rankings (3/3)

        I definitely wouldn’t do it a second time, though.

        Oh wait, I did:

        2010 F1 driver rankings part four: the top three

        1. Guess it did strike a nerve though …

          Anyway, it’s inescapable that Hamilton realistically could not have done any better. The team bosses understood this.

          Ricciardo and Alonso benefited more from team mates who really couldn’t get the car to go properly. Rosberg was on top of his game and still got completely destroyed as much as is possible with a car this dominant.

          1. @patrickl

            Anyway, it’s inescapable that Hamilton realistically could not have done any better. The team bosses understood this.

            Yes he could have. Not making two crucial mistakes in Austria Q3 cost him 7 points and gave Rosberg 7 points (net 14 points lost on his championship rival). Spinning in Brazil lost him another net 14 points. He got off scot-free in Silverstone, where Rosberg retired from the lead due gearbox issues. Otherwise, yet another qualifying mistake would have cost Lewis another net 14 points. He also couldn’t pass Alonso for some 35 laps in Hungary despite driving a car about 1.5 seconds/lap faster.

            Ricciardo and Alonso benefited more from team mates who really couldn’t get the car to go properly. Rosberg was on top of his game and still got completely destroyed as much as is possible with a car this dominant.

            Rosberg “at the top of his game”, in what universe? Did you see how many mistakes Rosberg made this season? How many did he make in 2009-2010? Clearly, Rosberg was very inconsistent this year, which helped Lewis enormously and compensated for his own mistakes.

          2. Exactly! 14 points lost over a whole season is about it.

            What if you compare Rosberg to Vettel and Raikkonen? Big difference again.

          3. @patrickl
            How many points did Alonso lose due his own mistakes? In Belgium he broke his own front wing and lost 4 points. Other than that, I can’t remember anything. How about Ricciardo? I can’t recall him losing any points due his own mistakes either.

          4. Guess it did strike a nerve though …

            Yeah, probably it was either because you are flaming unsubstantiated claims or because you are attacking his credibility. I can’t work out which.

          5. @Kingshark “How many points did Alonso lose due his own mistakes? In Belgium he broke his own front wing and lost 4 points”

            It was only 4 points because he was a midfielder, if he was a frontrunner it would have been a lot more.

      2. Let me clarify that I didn’t say (but effectively denied) that Keith has a favor for one or other driver. I was under the impression Keith feared getting the favorism bias card played and that would be why he put Hamilton on third. Keith effectively and openingly favoring one particular driver isn’t something I believed to be true, so no reason either to try to agitate him. Keith definitely doesn’t strike me as the guy to pop a nerve.

      3. btw, are you patrickl formerly from f1today?

    3. I agree.

    4. Wrong? There is no right or wrong. This is a matter of opinion. I personally agree with Keith’s decison. If you take it teammate for team mate, Alonso did much better then his (world champion) team mate. You are entitled to your opinion.

    5. but Alonso felt at times demotivated, we didn’t see as much flashes of brilliance that we are used of him.

      Yep, outqualyfying Kimi 16-3 and only being behind him on pace in Spain, sure.

      I expected Lewis to be #1 too, but Alonso and Ricciardo have been close to flawless and have mashed up their WC teammates. As I iterated earlier, their is, IMO, a big gap bgridetween 1-3 and rest of tge

      1. No I mean on track action like breathtaking manueuvres. On the contrary I’ve seen him struggle so hard. That he whiped Kimi is not breathtaking or acts of brilliance, that’s simply being a lot better then Kimi.

        1. The reason we saw no more 130r’s was probably the straight line speed, or lack of it in the Ferrari. Its top speed was lower than the cars it was fighting with, unless RB went for a extremely high downforce setup which was pretty rare.
          It was almost like he was asleep (like Singapore) but it was a car limitation.

    6. Also, I disagree that he should have been better then Rosberg in qualifying. Keith is giving Rosberg not enough credit on that front. Rosberg is one of the best qualifiers out there, with a strong hint on actually being the best. He pushed Hamilton to his very limit. Did we forget how close qualifying often was? In a lot of the cases they were seperated by less then a tenth. That’s not Hamilton doing a bad job, that’s Rosberg doing one hell of a good job. Hamilton did cracked on a few occasions under the pressure, which again I feel is more to Rosberg being so incredible in qualifying.

      1. Agreed. Rosberg was good last year, hes been that bit as good this time. Nor has Lewis lost pace.

    7. @turbof1

      Sorry Keith, but this is wrong. I personally feel you are trying to overcompensate, thinking by putting Hamilton on third spot you’d show it isn’t biased. But trying to add such an element is bias on its own.

      I’ve been running F1 Fanatic for almost ten years and in that time I must have been told I am ‘biased’ for or against every driver at one time or another. Certainly all the ones people care about – not so much the Chiltons and the Ericssons. It’s the default position of anyone who can’t be bothered to have a constructive discussion based on facts – ‘you don’t agree with me therefore you aren’t trying to be objective’.

      In order for what you’re saying to be true I’d have to have an idea what bias you and/or everyone think I might exhibit. I can tell you quite truthfully I haven’t the faintest idea. Do you really think I could be bothered to record how many people have accused me of being biased in favour of or against a particularly driver/team/nationality/hairstyle?

      This is my ranking, and Hamilton is placed third because I thought he was the third best driver this year. Two other guys impressed me more. Two other drivers made me think ‘they’d have done better in that Mercedes against Rosberg’. And that’s pretty much it.

      1. Keith, you should read my words again. I’m not blaming you of any fanbased/driver-favored bias; what I did say is that it comes across that you fear giving a glance of bias by putting Hamilton on a higher spot. As you well said, someone who has a bias will not see this. I think you are very well capable of making choices objective.

        However, I do know you and the site came a lot under attack due so called of favorism towards Hamilton. I can’t help but think it played a role here in diminishing Hamilton’s role. I can agree with putting Ricciardo higher then Hamilton, but why Alonso? He beat Kimi harder then he did beat Massa, that is true, but this season he felt really colorless compared to previous years. Where was the Alonso who burns of passion? Where was the one who did rise above the issues of his car? Where was the one fighting for positions above his belt? He was fighting more with his car! Yes that speaks more about the car then the driver. But again: aside some memorable moments like in Silverstone, it was colorless.

        You don’t have to step on your marks and go all out territorical; I’m not questening all of that. However, you leave a comment section open for people to comment on it. It’s not the first time nor will be the last time you got criticism. While I perhaps don’t or can’t really show respect or understanding for your opinion on Hamilton, I do respect first of all leaving yourself open for criticism and second and perhaps much more important that you care enough to answer.

        1. i am not necessarily agreeing with ranking of your’s n keith’s, but aren’t you being unfair to alonso , there is only so much a driver can do, alonso might be good at adapting to most deficiencies of the car, but common how can anyone overcome deficit in engine power , spikes in power delivery, not being able to use ERS in consecutive laps, IMO he has done more than enough to score as many points as he did with 2 DNF’s. He was looked demotivated for sure for many reasons, but i never felt he’s given up, he fought in the race he had epic battles all over the season from aus, china, silverstone, austria, germany, hungary, spa, sing, austin, brazil.

        2. @turbof1

          the site came a lot under attack due so called of favouritism towards Hamilton

          That may well be your perception but it’s not one I share. Mine is that some people who like or dislike a particular driver accuse me of being biased for or against them. There is nothing particularly special about Hamilton in this respect – as I wrote in my original comment it happens with plenty of other drivers. But it’s usually only the popular ones.

          For an example of this, consider that on the very same page that you’re telling me I’m biased against one driver, someone else is telling me the exact opposite. This is exactly why I consider it lazy reasoning and I don’t give it a second thought.

          I do respect first of all leaving yourself open for criticism and second and perhaps much more important that you care enough to answer.

          Thanks, I appreciate it.

          1. I am fully aware you are above favouritism. I know I’ve expressed that before, but just to be clear on that that is not what I’m accusing you off. Bias doesn’t come only in favorism; there are a lot more forms with some having better intent behind them the others. I’d can go on, but it’s not going to matter.
            If you feel for yourself this isn’t the case, then it’s purely a matter of opinion which I, and quite a few others, don’t understand. Some do share the opinion, I have to acknowledge that.

          2. You are saying that his awareness of what his readers think mean he is less honest with his rankings.

            This plainly isn’t true. And if it is, he is really bad at it doing it.

      2. . “Two other drivers made me think ‘they’d have done better in that Mercedes against Rosberg’. And that’s pretty much it.”
        Can’t wait to see the reasons for your thinking.
        I think this has just been done for the shock factor and to spark debate.

      3. But Keith, up until Singapore Hamilton was playing catchup to Rosberg through no fault of his own. Let’s look at it objectively- look at how many races it took Hamilton to overcome the 25 point head start that Rosberg got in Australia. He was scoring maximum points but because Nico was always finishing behind it took 4 races to overcome the deficit. Then also look at Lewis’ issues in qualy, Canada, Belgium and Monaco. The thing is, given the dominance of the W05, Rosberg was almost always able to finish second behind Hamilton whenever all things where equal which meant a maximum gap of 7 points per race. So for you to say that Hamilton could have beaten Rosberg more convincingly is beyond me. You say you have been running F1 fanatic for ten years which surely means you are very knowledgeable on the sport. But for you to attribute failed break discs, broken spark plugs etc to the driver simply isn’t accurate. F1 is a unique sport in that if the car fails the driver there is almost nothing that the driver can do. Maybe you just overlooked a few of these facts in your review Keith.

      4. So conjouring up hypotheticals is how you choose to justify this. FA amd DR beat highly regarded teammates having very off years, while Lewis beat a lesser regarded teammate having a superb year (and comfortably at that). One question though, were you making these imaginative hypotheticals when SV was winning in dominant cars to try and undermine his performance or were you satisfied saying he did all he could in winning comfortably? I fear there may be a great double standard at play here.

        1. So conjouring up hypotheticals is how you choose to justify this.

          No, how I justify it is what I wrote in the article.

          In that comment I was explaining to @turbof1 that other people’s perceptions of my reasoning do not factor in it.

        2. Opposed to Keith (who lately described the Red Bulls of former years as “dominant” in another article), I am still not convinced the RBs were better cars than those of their main rivals. Webbers results don´t support that, whereas Rosberg this year had an easy time getting second place in points. And yes, I do believe Webber was at least as good as Rosberg, if not better a driver.

          1. Davidnotcoulthard2 (if you want to send a PM please do so to the @davidnotcoulthard account instead as this one's intended to be temporary) (@)
            18th December 2014, 8:30

            @crammond A lot of people called RBR dominant. I think that’s why he labelled RBR’s cars so (while prohably thinking “These kids calling the RBRs dominant were clearly not part of the 1992 audience”), rather than because he actually thinks of them as dominant.

      5. @Keith Collantine: Why not save the followers of your site and your self the stress of trying to make us buy your opinion about the driver’s ranking, i am sure the team principals know much more than you do about the on track peformance of all the drivers on the grid since they posses all the data with them. I surgest you put the ranking to voting on this site like some other F1 sites have done.

        1. Davidnotcoulthard2 (if you want to send a PM please do so to the @davidnotcoulthard account instead as this one's intended to be temporary) (@)
          18th December 2014, 8:32

          He’s not trying to make us “buy his opinion”, he just had it posted along with a few paragraphs explaining why he “buys” into that opinion, without prioritising having people buy it as well.

      6. so do you think fernando would have outqualified nico,,,coz i dont.then it would have come down to the races,lewis only finished 16 and won 11.he had to start from the back of the grid in 2 of those races dont forget.and what about his pole in australia keith,didnt get to race tho.so how exactly would alonso have done better.and vettel was awful,that made dannys life alot easier.and kimi was even worse,but you cant say nico wasnt at his best tho.

    8. @turbof1
      If you are capable of seperating driver performance from car performance, then you would agree with Keith on ranking Alonso above Hamilton.

      No I mean on track action like breathtaking manueuvres. On the contrary I’ve seen him struggle so hard. That he whiped Kimi is not breathtaking or acts of brilliance, that’s simply being a lot better then Kimi.

      I guess you didn’t see Hungary, when he went from 8th to 3rd in 2 laps, or Silverstone, when he went from 19th to 6th, and overtook Vettel around the outside of Copse and Ricciardo around the outside of Vale?

      Likewise, it’s a whole lot easier for someone with a Mercedes engine to be making overtakes than someone with a Ferrari engine.

      Also, being a lot better than Kimi is a far bigger achievement than you are trying to make it out to be. Kimi’s never been beat like this in his whole career, not even close.

      1. Kimi got emphatically beaten. By such a margin that Alonso never ever had to worry about Kimi. If the car was left empty instead it would have produced the same driving of Alonso. Beating a driver that was that much weaker, where’s the accomplishment in that? Hamilton atleast had to fight for it.

        1. @turbof1

          Kimi got emphatically beaten. By such a margin that Alonso never ever had to worry about Kimi. If the car was left empty instead it would have produced the same driving of Alonso. Beating a driver that was that much weaker, where’s the accomplishment in that? Hamilton atleast had to fight for it.

          So now, beating your teammate by a large margin is not considered an accomplishment in your eyes? Struggling against your teammate is more impressive, or what?

          1. In short: no, it isn’t an accomplishment. Take it this way: Kimi drove like luca badoer did in 2009. Hamilton on the order hand had to fight off an opponent nearly equal to him. A head to head fight always is and always will be more impressive then defeating someone who is hands down worse then you.

          2. @turbof1
            Going by such logic, none of Schumacher’s years from 1992-2006 were as impressive as Hamilton’s 2014? After all, he never had a teammate he had to fight with.

            Some of the most impressive/perfect championships I’ve seen by any driver are Senna in 1991, Schumacher in 2000, and Alonso in 2006. None of those drivers had a serious teammate alongside them.

          3. @turbof1– Schumacher was the undisputed number 1 at Ferrari, he even had his own special tyres. Actually hang on, Alonso was also an undisputed number one at Ferrari and bar this year has always demanded clear number 1 status. Don’t get me wrong I think Alonso is definitely one of the best on the current grid, but not as highly as you regard him because firstly he finished behind Hamilton in 2007 when they where team mates (he was classified 3rd and Ham 2nd) and secondly because he was always the clear number 1 it perhaps takes the alot of shine of his abilities for me. My opinion.

          4. @Kingshark “Going by such logic, none of Schumacher’s years from 1992-2006 were as impressive as Hamilton’s 2014?”

            Right, they weren’t. In fact NONE of Schumachers years were impressive. Talented driver? yes. One of the greatest? yes. Better than Hamilton? No.

          5. @rb26zed
            What’s the difference between beating your teammate in a title fight (2014) or beating another driver who has a car roughly equal to your own (2000)?

      2. Davidnotcoulthard2 (if you want to send a PM please do so to the @davidnotcoulthard account instead as this one's intended to be temporary) (@)
        18th December 2014, 8:35


        If you are capable of seperating driver performance from car performance, then you would agree with Keith on ranking Alonso above Hamilton.

        One wouldn’t neccessarily agree with @keithcollantine if they can.

        What one will do is understand him. Perhaps not agree with him, but still avoid unhealthy arguments.

        1. Hear this man, for he speaks with virtue.

  11. Lewis Hamilton is my driver of the year for several reasons.
    Firstly, I believe that his excellent race performances compensate for the few errors and not being able to get the most ouf the car in qualifying. Secondly, I do not believe that anyone else, including Ricciardo or Alonso, would have beaten him to the title in a Mercedes this year.

    Moreover, I think that Rosberg is still underrated and that beating him is actually harder than it seems. When Rosberg was constantly beating Wurz and Nakajima, then it was considered to be nothing special. When he beat Schumacher, then Michael had obviously “lost it”. Now that he is close to Hamilton, many people still seem to think that it is because Hamilton has been making mistakes and cracking under pressure, not because Rosberg is simply good enough to put any F1 driver under pressure.

    I personally believe that in 2014 we saw two F1 greats pushing each other to the limit, I thoroughly enjoyed their battle and I think that the winner of this battle deserves to be called the driver of the year.

    1. Really? you consider Rosberg an F1 great? A fine driver no doubt and quite possibly a worthy future champion, but great? I’m not even sure Lewis can be considered a great yet, nevermind Rosberg!

  12. I think this is fair. Hamilton is the fastest driver in the best car. Vettel levels of domination which we saw last year should have been expected, especially when his team-mate had similar reliability problems through the year.

    The whole no 1, no 2 team-mate is a result of one driver being significantly better than the other through the season. Webber was not a no 2 driver in 2010 for example.

    1. @brum55 Webber was a number 2 in 2010. Remember Silverstone 2010?

      1. Silverstone 2010: Both Red Bulls had a new front wing on Friday. Webber didn´t like it, and put the old one on (and thus his new one into the garage) before Vettel damaged his wing. As there now was another one in the garage, they put that wing on Vettels car. After qualifying, when Vettel was faster, Webber then decided to make a fuss about it and that it should have been his front wing. The one he didn´t want in the first place. Hardly makes him a no2-driver, just someone who likes to play the victim-role to the press.

    2. webber was never a no2 driver, except for silverstone 2010 with the winggate and he made sure everyone and their mother knew about it. The only thing keeping him in contention in 2010 was a ton of car failures for vettel and nothing else. he then self destructed late in the season when the pressure was on.

    3. Hamilton still managed to win 11 races, the same amount as Vettel won in 2011 when he had a dominant car – the difference is Webber provided no competition to Vettel at all in 2011 (while the car was obviously the best and Vettel won 11 races and the championship, Webber could only win 1 race and finished 3rd in the championship, only one point ahead of Alonso in 4th) while Hamilton had to deal with the pressure of having a very strong and quick teammate this year. Also, although they were close in qualifying, Hamilton pretty much dominated the races (the only times where Nico beat him fair and square were Austria and Brazil, largely thanks to spins by Hamilton who still managed to finish within 2 seconds of his teammate both times).

      Webber was just a good driver past his best, particularly after the Pirellis were introduced in 2011 and he greatly struggled with getting the necessary tyre life (like Vettel vs. Ricciardo this year) – Webber was actually quite close to Vettel 2009-2010. Meanwhile Rosberg is an extremely quick driver at the peak of his abilities. Looking at Rosberg’s past record against his teammates, we shouldn’t have been surprised he was so quick this year – he absolutely crushed Alex Wurz in qualifying 15-1 in 2007, then greatly outqualified Nakajima 27-9 between 2008-2009. Schumacher was obviously not at his best, but Rosberg thrashed him 41-17 in qualifying, 26-20 in races and 324-197 in points. Schumi’s comeback was only 3 years after almost winning the championship in 2006 so he might not have deteriorated quite as much as some thought, especially as Kimi came back very strongly after 2 years out. Hamilton actually beat Rosberg in qualifying last year 11-8, but this year Hamilton’s two failures in qualifying and misjudgement in Silverstone made Rosberg’s 12-7 lead look more commanding than it actually was – if Hamilton had taken pole at those three weekends he would have won the qualifying battle 10-9 (not an unreasonable assumption, he looked faster throughout the weekends at Britain and particularly at Hungary, where he was fastest in every session prior to his car setting on fire – Germany was fairly equal). Lots of the Saturdays were more due to Hamilton making mistakes in Q3 rather than being too slow (Bahrain, Canada, Austria, Brazil etc.), so I don’t doubt his absolute pace if he can put the laps together more consistently next year.

      1. All Hamilton needed to do was beat Rosberg, who was nowhere near him in race pace, whilst also having the benefit of DRS.
        None of Rosberg’s team-mates were world beaters bar Schumacher who was actually more than a match for him in 2012 despite being in his 40s.
        Ricciardo won races with a Renault engine and Alonso destroyed a driver who had been brilliant for the last two years, finishing 6th in the 5th best car.

    4. Vettel levels of domination which we saw last year should have been expected

      He only finished with 13 fewer points. Same number of races, the unfortunate addition of double points, but 2 more retirements and a team mate who was actually capable of taking points off him (rather than seeing out his career in a car he wasn’t suited to like Webber). If domination is more than just which race he secured the championship, he actually came very close.

      1. The Mercedes was much, much more dominant than the Red-Bull was in 2011 as seen by 6 wins by McLarens and 1 by Ferrari.
        That Vettel still ended with more points without double points is more an indication of how dominant he was rather then how good Hamiltion was this year.

  13. I’ve said previously I think Hamilton was the best driver this season. Can’t agree with him at number 3, the amount of pressure he was under at times this season was incredible but his performances in the races remained superb throughout.

  14. Well what are you going to do with Ricciardo’s poor qualifying!!? Smells like clickbait to me. I think Lewis over tried in qualifying because he knew he could beat Rosberg in the race, certainly post Spa. Still its your opinion, its just you think a guy who won 11 races is only the 3rd best driver. However, it isn’t unusual for the “cognoscenti” to go for someone slightly different as the top driver to show their knowledge runs deeper and has more nuance.

    1. Smells like clickbait to me

      That is quite possibly the silliest accusation you could make towards Keith.

      1. “silly.” How? Its perfectly good sense to encourage discussion and disagreement. And i’m sure Keith has been accused of worse. I know I have been accused of worse than being called “silly”

        Silly !

        1. @mike @antonyob After ‘you’re biased’ (see above), ‘clickbait’ is the second most popular knee-jerk criticism of anything people don’t like online these days.

          I’ll just say if I was a clickbait merchant you’d see a lot more galleries of pit babes, and half-a-dozen articles about Raikkonen a day.

          1. You’d also need lots of clumsily captioned gifs for that too.

          2. Its not kneejerk thank you Keith. Surely you put in comments for differing views not just 40 fawning comments. However more pit babes sounds good. But that’s chickbait surely?

          3. @antonyob ‘Knee-jerk’ is exactly what it is. I’ve been doing the rankings for ten years, and if you really thought I only rank the drivers a certain way just to make people click on the articles you and everyone else wouldn’t read them in the first place.

            ‘Clickbait’ is one of those words which is crossing over from niche use into the wider lexicon and some people like to trot it out as an easy cheap shot, often without even understanding the basic mechanics of web traffic as in this recent example.

    2. @antonyob Ricciardo’s poor qualifying? Outqualifying a team mate who is a four-time champion over the course of the season is poor?

      Because logic.

    3. @antonyob

      Still its your opinion, its just you think a guy who won 11 races is only the 3rd best driver.

      Again, you need to learn to seperate driver performance from car performance. Red Bull didn’t have the car to win 11 races, and Ferrari sure as hell didn’t. If either Ricciardo or Alonso drove for Mercedes, they would have won at least 10-12 races themselves, plus they would not have made the silly mistakes Hamilton did throughout the year.

      1. If either Ricciardo or Alonso drove for Mercedes, they would have won at least 10-12 races themselves, plus they would not have made the silly mistakes Hamilton did throughout the year.

        Have you been looking into a crystal ball? What those two did this year was outstanding but their situations were different. They were not expected to challenge for the title with their cars. Hamilton is in a straight fight for the title with his team-mate. There is more pressure on him and Rosberg. You can’t throw too much criticism at drivers who make a few mistakes when battling for the title, in my opinion, and to say Hamilton made mistakes “throughout” the year is an exaggeration. With such pressure, a few mistakes are to be expected. You can’t say other drivers wouldn’t make such mistakes. We just don’t know. Your assumption is like me saying Ricciardo and Alonso wouldn’t have kept up with Hamilton’s race pace throughout the year.

        1. @deej92
          “Championship pressure” is not an excuse for Hamilton and all his mistakes this season, especially in qualifying. Alonso in 2006 was under at least as much pressure as Hamilton in 2014, how many mistakes did he make that season.

          In fact, given that Alonso had;
          1. A more difficult car to drive than Hamilton (less downforce and mechanical grip).
          2. A much slower car than Hamilton, meaning he had to fight in the pack more often.
          Theoretically speaking, he should have made more mistakes than Lewis this season. He didn’t, though.

          1. Qualifying was poor for Hamilton, but what he did on race days was impressive. This is not to make an excuse at all, but Hamilton would’ve had the confidence to know that even if he didn’t beat Rosberg on Saturday, he, more often than not, had him sussed on Sunday.

            The pressure with driving that car is that finishing 2nd is failure. So to play catch-up for most of the season and win 11 races against a very tough team-mate (although tougher in 2013) is no mean feat, even if not as impressive as Vettel’s 2011 and 2013 seasons. 11 wins out of 19 isn’t anything to be blasé about.

          2. @deej92
            I know it is impressive, but coming 6th in the championship, demolishing a WDC teammate 16-3, and very nearly winning a race in Hungary with the 4th-5th best car is no less impressive. Nor is winning 3 races when you are up against a car more dominant than the F2004, and aren’t even sitting in a clear second best car.

      2. You and your crystal ball. You’ve no idea if he would or wouldn’t.

        btw- starting an email with “you need to learn” isn’t going to win any friends to your argument.

    4. Some Lewis fans… Jeez.

  15. ColdFly F1 (@)
    17th December 2014, 12:33

    Interesting place and good arguments.

    My ranking was different; but not only on LH’s position.
    And I have since slightly adjusted my views based on the good reviews by Keith.

    I will withhold agree/disagree until I read the commentary for places 1 and 2.

  16. I’d agree with this I think, You would expect him to win at least 50% of the races as realistically he was only racing his team mate. He was out qualified by his team mate and made some silly mistakes. His overtaking was scrappy considering his pace advantage over the lesser cars he was passing. I’m not necessarily sure I would put Alonso above him THIS season but Ricciardo was definitely the best overall.

    1. he won 52.3809523% of the races…:)

  17. Did Alonso get more out of his machinery than Hamilton did? I don’t think so, personally. Hamilton had the best car and he used it to that potential pretty much all season against a fierce competitor. Alonso had a stinker that he occasionally got higher than it perhaps should but I think Raikkonen’s failings make it seem better than it was. He had one podium all year and really got nothing special out of it most of the year.

    1. Thoroughly agree with this 100%

      I think Alonso has gotten a reputation for getting more out of his car simply because he’s had team-mates that haven’t been particularly great for one reason or another:

      Jarno Trulli/Jacques Villeneuve (replaced mid-season)
      Giancarlo Fisichella
      * Lewis Hamilton
      Nelson Piquet Jr. (rookie)
      Romain Grosjean (rookie)
      Felipe Massa (post injury)
      Kimi Raikkonen

      For me – it stands out that the only good team mate he’s had was Hamilton and we all know how that went.

      There’s no doubt he’s one of the best – I’m just on the fence as to how great he really is. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he fares against Button next year as that for me will be a good indicator.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th December 2014, 13:28

        @smfreegard, I can see your point on weaker teammates to some extent.

        However didn’t most people say the same last year: “see how he fares against Raikkonen”. And we all know what happened.
        And if this were to happen again, some people will surely classify Button together with Raikkonen as weak teammates.

        It is hard to impress the critics when your car is not up to scratch.

        1. And if this were to happen again, some people will surely classify Button together with Raikkonen as weak teammates.

          Some people will never be happy. But I’ll go on record now and say that if Alonso can outscore button by over 100 points like he did to Raikkonen this season, then I’d say he’s truly special.

          It won’t be Button’s first season with the team (or the engine Formula), he’s no rookie and whilst his qualifying pace isn’t great, his race pace is good, he managed to give Lewis a harder time than I expected he would when they were team-mates and he’ll be out to prove a point and try and retain his seat for the 2016 season.

          1. Some people will never be happy. But I’ll go on record now and say that if Alonso can outscore button by over 100 points like he did to Raikkonen this season, then I’d say he’s truly special.

            Button Outscored Lewis between 2010-2012.
            Your point?

          2. @udm7 I made my point. With your comment you’re simply underlining it – let’s see Alonso destroy Button who managed to give Hamilton a hard time during their years together. That will give us a benchmark as to exactly how good he is.

            But let’s the the facts straight here; Button only outscored Lewis in 2011 (270 .vs. 227) which was by far Hamilton’s worst season.

            If you want to add up all three seasons together then Button scored a massive 15 more points than Hamilton, but then go and look at how many retirements Hamilton had in 2012 in comparison to Button and then look at how many of those were from Pole…

            Take out the McLaren unreliability of 2012 and it would have been a very different picture for Button, Hamilton and McLaren that year.

          3. Lewis DESTROYED Button in 2012, partly due to JBs tyre trouble. Jenson was pretty formidable in 2011, partly due to Lewis’s tyre trouble.
            Jenson wasn’t too much off LH in 2010.
            On average, Id give LH 30 points over Jenson an year.
            I doubted Fernando against Kimi, I expected him to beat Kimi by 40-50 points, but my prediction was off by a mile. Or the performance gap.
            Itll be closer next year, Jenson has been leading the development at McLaren mostly since 2011. Itll be closer to a 80-90% of Fernandos points, more or less, Id say.

            But I believe we will get an accurate representation of FAs Qualy pace – he was just a bit of Lewis in 2007, Jenson was 2 tenths worse.

            Regardless of what happens, Fernando DOES have an impressive CV – Jarno, Kimi and Massa (not too shabby against Bottas, is he?) are no pushovers. Nor is a 10-9 (Hungary included) too bad.
            Lewis and Fernando seem to be ahead of competition, followed by Jenson, Nico, Ricciardo and Vettel who are a bit off.

      2. Alonso will eat Button for breakfast and it will show how average Hamilton was against Jenson and over the course of his career.

        1. If the car is good Jenson will be close to Fernando, and probably quicker than him on a few occasions. If the car is poor Alonso will beat Button comfortably.

          1. @equinox @debaser91

            That was my point – let see what happens. I think Button is by far hardest team-mate that Alonso has faced since Hamilton in 2007 for all the reasons that I gave.

      3. Well after 12 season we already should have an idea, shouldn’t we?
        I don’t think Massa or Kimi were so terribly bad, but they were outclassed. Granted, with some help from the team in the case of Massa, but it hardly justified such a wide gap.
        If in 2007 Lewis seemed closer, it was not only because he (Lewis) was very good (one of the 3 best rookies of all time, up there with Jacques Villeneuve and James Hunt, and I’d say the best ever had he not cracked under pressure by the end of the season), but also because Alonso had a very hard time adapting to the Macca/Bridgestones combo. He was not able to throw it at the apex the way he did in his previous Renault years because the Bridgestones wouldn’t bite the way the Michelins did. During 2007 (esp. in the first half) he made plenty of mistakes and seemed to have lost his form. It was by far his worst year after his rookie season.
        It’s often heard that Alonso can quickly adapt to whatever dog of a car you throw at him and make the best of it. Well, he’s surely better at it than most of the grid but not so much as many people seem to believe. If he had maintained in 2007 his usual standards he would have had no serious competition from Hamilton, and would have saved himself a lot of trouble.

    2. He had 2 podiums.
      And B) His car was 4th best at its peak. Other times, it was behind even Mclaren (most of the second half), and Force India (early races).
      A bold comment.

      1. Nearly won in Hungary.

    3. Its funny how whenever Hamilton partners someone it’s a case of how much better they are then anyone thought (Button, Rosberg) whereas with Alonso it is how overrated they are (Massa, Kimi, Grosjean)

  18. Hamilton’s not a one-lap specialist. Sure, he’s fast over a single lap, but he’s fast over ten laps, too. Or fifteen, or 60. I don’t see any evidence over Hamilton’s career to suggest he’s significantly stronger on Saturday than on Sunday – sure, it looked that way relative to Button, but that’s because Button’s a race-day specialist who struggles with qualifying pace. Relative to Alonso there wasn’t much in it either way, and it’s kind of hard to tell relative to Kovalainen.

  19. I couldn’t agree more with this ranking.

    And of course it will be RIC: 1 ALO: 2.

    And deservedly so.

    Lewis in lessor equipment would have failed.

    1. A supposition written as fact!

      And what is failing, failing like Alonso or RIcciardo to win the WDC or failing to do as well as them?

      And by how much??

    2. Lewis in lesser equipment has succeeded on many occasions.

      Alonso is an amazing driver but I didn’t think this season was one of his best – I think Ferrari being slow got to him almost from the off and he wasn’t at 100% as a result (I’m not saying he didn’t have good races).

      Ricciardo just about deserves first place ahead of Lewis because of how superior the Mercedes was. However, 11 wins, dominating victories, near flawless Sundays and dealing with all the pressure and behind the scenes stuff as maturely as he did should have at least got him 2nd in these rankings.

  20. Rubbish. For all the praise that Ricciardo is getting he has a serious flaw in terms of his starts, something his many admirers seem to overlook. It will cost him a possible chamionship or so if against the likes of Hamilton or Alonso who would make mince meat of him if he doesnt ammend it. What he has achieved this season is spectacular and has shown Vettel up for what he is, a lousy world champion. Hamilton just can never get the credit he deserves from some people but I will simple say this, Put all the drivers in the same equipment, and I know who my money would be on. Have a nice day folks

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      17th December 2014, 13:32

      maybe he was a deliberate slow starter to be able to impress more by overtaking? ;-)

    2. But he smiles and people consider him a good egg so his flaws are overlooked. See Button.

      Lewis will always have to do more to get the same credit. I guess its called personality driven opinion. Excuse the pun.

    3. Starts are the ONLY thing that Ricciardo has to work on, and not all of his bad starts were his fault, for example, Germany.

      Ricciardo has been the surprise of the season. Nobody expected him to beat Vettel last year, and he did just that. The only non-Mercedes driver to win races, the only teammate to beat Sebastian Vettel, and probably the best overtaker on the grid this year. I would say that he is on Hamilton’s and Alonso’s level.

  21. so Hamilton is 3rd but Button was 1st in 2009?
    Can’t see the logic behind this.
    Button was never under pressure in the first half of 2009, and when the Red Bulls got the pace, he had a comfortable buffer of points to calmly manage the threat. There were at least three or four drivers that would have demolished Button had they started the year on a Brawn GP.
    Hamilton was almost all 2014 season behind in the standings, and the blame was not on him. He had to drive to the limit on sundays to have a chance on the WDC… and that was exactly what he did!

    1. And with Ross Brawn at the helm Barrichello could never had a chance to be a threat…

      1. Wut? Barrichello came into his fore, moving back up the rankings when the team made some technical changes to the brakes on his car, even winning two races after Button levelled off.

    2. I think that’s a flawed comparison and it isn’t one I would draw. For example, I may think Hamilton drove better this year than Button did in 2009, but that doesn’t mean Hamilton was the best driver this year.

      1. I can agree that there are other drivers that can be on level with Hamilton this year. But my problem is the lack of consistency in the form you bestow the awards.
        For example, I may think that a couple of drivers in 2009 drove better than Button that year, and I think that because Button/Brawn was the best driver/car combination that alone doesn’t grant he was absolutely the best driver. But if you gave the award based on the driver/car combination, you should have done the same this year or the award lacks consistency.
        Sorry, I know my English is not good.

        1. It’s usually very easy to see which is the best driver/car combination (or better yet, the best driver/car/team combination) It is simply the one that gets the WDC, except in rare cases of terrible bad luck, injuries, etc.
          Knowing who is the best driver is a lot more difficult because you have to somehow substract the car/team effect which is usually much larger than the driver effect (I mean, Chilton in a Merc would probably have scored way more points than Hamilton in a Marussia). And it’s pretty much impossible to do it right, there’s always plenty of disagreement… as you can see in the blog today.

  22. Disagree with this. While I accept Ricciardo at the top as the one who beat Vettel, the champion in 4 previous years within his team, within his people, but Alonso ?

    Hamilton had a far tougher competitor than Alonso, who in most occasions had races on his own, sometimes acompanied by Red Bull or Willams, but his teamate was nowhere. Even when Raikkonen somehow managed to qualy well, he lost it all on the start or in the opening laps. Hamilton had his teamate on his neck throughout the year. That was partly caused by car superiority, and partly by Rosberg relentlessness. If you overlook the fact he lost to Rosberg in Saturdays, and as Keith pointed out it could have just been so only because he preffered race set-up more, he was really on his top form.

    I wonder how that wasn´t enough to beat Alonso who has a slot in top places somehow booked I feel.

    1. As you pointed out, Alonso had zero pressure all season. And he faded a bit after the summer break. Hamilton with all the pressure on him always delivered. That should be rewarded.

      Hamilton and Ricciardo were the standout performers this season, then Alonso and Bottas(both had better 1st half than 2nd), then Rosberg. (in my opinion)

  23. Hamilton’s errors with rear braking are exactly the reason he was able to conserve fuel in the races due to superior harvesting and a rearward brake bias that Rosberg didn’t have. He was basically driving right on the limit on the rear brakes meaning although the odd error might occur, the fuel saving in the races vastly outweighed the disadvantage.

    For this I think Hamilton deserves more credit. We have heard how Rosberg managed his rear brakes at Montreal, but Hamilton managed them much better throughout the whole year – a sign of intelligent driving if you ask me for which he rarely gets credit.

  24. Hamilton was very good but by no means was he the best driver this season. He cost himself far too many points at the end of the day.

    Monaco: The whole ‘cheating’ thing would not have happened if Hamilton was quicker in the first run. Could and should have won.
    Canada: If Rosberg was able to nurse his car to a podium place, there’s no reason why Hamilton shouldn’t have been able to do the same.
    Austria: Completely screwed up his qualifying.
    Britain: Should have beaten his team mate on merit but again, messed up quali. Rosberg could well have won that race had he not suffered the gearbox problem.
    Germany: Had the pace for second, but damaged his front wing.
    Hungary: Probably got the most out of the car considering the situation. Arguably should have held off Ricciardo better.
    Belgium: Hamilton could have left room. Rosberg could have backed out. Racing incident, but both drivers cost themselves there.
    Brazil: Simply outperformed by Rosberg.

    And that isn’t including a number of Saturdays where Rosberg was simply quicker.

    The right Mercedes driver won the championship, but by no means was Hamilton’s season flawless. Far from it. Third is where I placed him and it is an absolutely fair position to put him. Alonso and Ricciardo dragged their cars to positions where they didn’t belong on a lot of occasions this season after all.

    1. [irony mode]
      Yes. In Monaco&Belgium it was really Hamiltons fault. Should have known that team mate is going to cheat and crash into you. If you want to be the best you must be ahead of team mate every qualy lap too. And not block when team mate is trying to pass.
      Canada – it was obvious from the start that electronic was going to overheat and Hamilton should have not pressed the team mate. He did know that there is a wake of hot air behind the first car, yet he still tried to finish first by putting pressure.
      In Britain it was clear to everyone that despite being more than second down on first sector, 3rd sector was many seconds faster in qualification. I mean the guy with nothing to lose went and took the pole, why didn’t the current qualification leader do the same?
      In Germany and Hungary he should have really won both. Coming trough the pack, finishing 3rd twice in a row and losing one piece of front wing in process means you *actually* performed poorly.
      [/irony mode]
      I am looking forward to see how were Alonso and Riccardo seasons flawless.

      1. @nmsi No driver had a flawless season, but Ricciardo and Alonso cost themselves far fewer points and placings in the races than Hamilton, plus they also managed to outqualify their respective team mates.

      2. @nmsi Sorry mate, but you are in sarcasm mode.

    2. @craig-o Apparently you don’t know that Hamilton had 30 lap old tyres and on top of that he was having fuel pressure problem which was causing him a considerably loss of power. That’s why he couldn’t keep Ricciardo behind or overtake Alonso in the closing laps.

    3. Its a good job you don’t put your high powered microscope on Ricciardo’s poor starts or Alonso’s poor overtaking. NOBODY has flawless seasons.

      1. @antonyob not once did I state that any driver had a flawless season.

        Alonso’s poor overtaking? Oh, like the ones he pulled at like Hungary and elsewhere too? That Ferrari should not have been racing against Red Bulls and Williams, he did that for a majority of the season.

        Ricciardo’s poor starts were somewhat nulled by the fact that he still managed to finish as high as the car was capable of more often than not, therefore he didn’t cost himself any points. Also, three wins in a car that wasn’t three quarters of a second quicker than the next best car.

        1. He took a long time to make a lot of moves stick. Unlike say Ricciardo. I didn’t say he didn’t pull off any good moves but people like you will always say oh what about. Its my opinion having watched racing since 1978 that this season Alonso’s moves have been laboured.

          No you didn’t mention flawless but you did mention EVERY single mistake Lewis made as if he was playing connect 4 rather than racing at 200mph

    4. @craig-o That’s quite the impression I have.

  25. hahaha so many mad people cuz hamilton isn’t mvp or even 2nd. strange sense of objectivity from keith all of a sudden.

  26. I always thought Prost and Senna were the 5th and 3rd best drivers, respectively, in 1988 as well.

  27. I say this leaves a black mark to all this year rankings. I can see Riccardo being 1, though he had flaws, but Alonso was simply flattered by Raikkonens poor form who should have retired already.
    Thank god we have points system to rate drivers instead of peoples ranking.

  28. There is no way Alonso did a better job than Lewis this year. Absolutely no way. Except for his sole podium drive, I struggle to remember any inspired drives from Alonso this year and there are a number of race where Lewis was simply sublime. Bahrain, Monza, Suzuki, Singapore were exceptional performances. I am interested in reading what justification Kieth has. Perhaps I missed something.

    1. @realstig Alonso made the podium in China and Hungary.

  29. For that reason, Rosberg did better in that Hamilton had the capabilities to destroy him but didn’t, and Nico performed well above his standards and what we thought he could. Rosberg may not have pushed Hamilton too often in races but at one point it looked like he wouldn’t have to. With the same number of failures both went into the last race within 25 points of each other, i.e. the gap in performance was close to none. And as qualifying doesn’t directly bring points, Rosberg’s inferiority in races must not have been so clear, while his qualifying superiority was obvious. Rosberg did not make mistakes in qualifying or races, Hamilton was careless at times. With a Rosberg win in Abu Dhabi, the win tally would have been 6-10, and at that point a championship would have been almost deserved, as it’s all the results that count, not only the wins. However Hamilton made it 11-5 and deservedly won the championship, but if this is the criterion by which we rank them Alonso, and probably Ricciardo, should both be behind the Mercedes drivers. In my opinion.

  30. lot of hamilton fans still looking at any reason to put alonso down it seems.

    hamilton had the best car by miles all year, yet made a lot of errors & made things much harder for himself than it should have been to win the championship.

    alonso had probably the 4th, sometimes 5th best car which had a crap power unit on top of poor aero yet he made no real errors that i can recall & dragged the ferrari higher up than it should have been.
    he utterly thrashed raikkonen in the same car & regardless of the excuses the anti-alonso people use to somehow discredit that, he still utterly thrashed a former world champion who is still highly rated in the paddock.

    put alonso in hamilton’s mercedes this year & he’d have thrashed rosberg & wrapped the championship up a few races early.
    i predict next year he will outscore button by a much bigger margin than lewis ever did the 3 years they were team mates at mclaren & once again prove why he’s the best driver in f1 by again consistently dragging every last bit of performance out of the car.

    1. Or you could put Alonso and Hamilton in the same team and see who is the best.

    2. He also blew the title at McLaren vs a rookie and got stuck behind a pay driver to let Vettel win his 1st WDC.

    3. @Davey – I’m a Hamilton fan, but I have a lot of respect for Alonso.

      If you honestly asked me who is better between the two – I honestly couldn’t tell you, even as fan of Hamilton’s. Why? For the reasons I gave in my post above – Hamilton’s been the only decent team-mate that Alonso has ever had in his entire career and we know what happened there, so it will be interesting to see what happens next year when he goes up against Button.

      The rest of your comment is really just opinion and pure speculation. Let’s wait and see what happens next year.

    4. I’m a Hamilton fan and rate Alonso 1st this season and have said it elsewhere.

      1. @John H I think you are FAKE Hamilton, no i don’t think it, i know it for sure. Alonso has shown absolute nothing this yet you want to rank him above Hamilton, i can’t take you serious.

  31. A very rubbish ranking from you

    1. @wil-liam OK you’ve convinced me, I’ll change it all.

      Seriously, what did you expect me to say? Why do you think Hamilton deserved to be higher?

      1. @Keithcollantine Why did you remove my comment ?, STOP doing that, i have already told you to stop removing my comments mate, seriously!. Your whole ranking is nonsense, what has Alonso this year that he deserved to be higher then Hamilton ?, no pressure the whole year from his team mate. Hamilton had to fight hard for and came TWICE from the back yet you dear to put Alonso above Hamilton. Very poor journalism from you

        1. You sound like Keith’s angry girlfriend, relax.

      2. There are only two more drivers two have won more races in a season, in the entire history of F1. That alone is enough, but you’re biased – which is a shame.

        1. @Shrieker +1. Let’s wait and see what the explanation will be for putting Alonso ahead mate, i can’t wait.

  32. So, you blame Ham for making mistakes on Saturdays with a superior car and believe there are 2 drivers that did a better job? Don’t you evaluate the burden on Ham’s shoulders he had to lift every GP? Knowing you are a title contender is far more difficult and makes you far more eligible to mistakes than not.
    For me Hamilton deserves to be the best this year because he had to overcome himself. Because he had to live -sometimes- with 2nd place (or worse). Because he had to keep his pressure down, to learn from mistakes, not to be distracted by what went on around him. We all know Ham is not that kind of guy. We all know that Ham would have easily blown out in many occasions this year with all that happened. We all know that he would have lost many races trying to be the first in every single sector. And he didn’t. He deserves to be the #1 not because he won his teamate or championship, but because he won the battle over his impulsivity.

    1. @petrucci

      you blame Hamilton for making mistakes on Saturdays with a superior car

      Well he was the one driving it…

  33. Hamilton impressed me by some really good recovery drives this year, he never gave up even when the odds were stacked against him. This is where Rosberg needs to improve, coming through the pack from a poor starting position and against adversity. It was still a great year for Rosberg. We forget that when Hamilton joined Mercedes nobody gave Nico a chance, just as they did when Schumacher joined the team. He has proved a lot of doubters wrong.

  34. winning 11 races and still at #3 place?
    something is very wrong here…
    but if picking up breadcrumbs from Lewis table is good enough to be #1 and #2 here,it means that Lewis is clearly better than anyone in F1 world right now…as for his fight with Nico and some bumps along the season, clearly winning 4 races in the row (by then) you`d expect a different approach from your team, not that stupid “equality”…

    1. winning 11 races and still at #3 place?
      something is very wrong here…

      Well not necessarily. This list is an attempt to rank the drivers substracting the car/team factor. Which is not easy to do. But usually there’s way more variance among the cars than among the drivers.

      With a very dominant and reliable car, two merely competent and safe pilots can win all the races. No brilliance required. The really talented pilots wouldn’t get a chance in an inferior car. On the other hand, get two absolutely brilliant pilots driving a perfect season in a Marussia, and they will only occasionally score a result in the low points, never a podium, much less a win.
      Hard to say, but arguably Jules Bianchi in a Merc would have troubled Lewis Hamilton more than Nico Rosberg ever did. And a slightly improved Bianchi might have won the WDC. In a Merc of course. What did he got? A total of 2 points, from an attrition race in Monaco.
      I’m not arguing that JB was better than LH this year. But certainly their relative scores (384 vs. 2 points) do not reflect their relative abilities. The crude points ranking, number of victories etc. say very little when the cars are so different. Thhat much should be obvious.

      1. I`m just not sure it is right thing…
        because Riccardo had won his races “in absentia” for Mercedes, that means if DNF too, then win would went to Massa or Alonso or even Kobayashi …SOMEONE will pick up win and being “best from the rest” it is not a cause to be N1 in the rating…beside, Hamilton and Rosberg were vital part of Mercedes development program, adding their input to the greatness of the car… not just crash test dummies or trained monkies in the cockpit so removing this part it is simply not right…

  35. actually its a DNF for Lewis in Australia that put Nico in the title contending fight…
    remember that Lewis only compensated that loss winning 4 times in the row…

    1. I said the same in a previous thread. And if Rosberg hadn’t braked so ridiculously late in Monaco then Hamilton could have been 42 points ahead after the first 6 races. Basically game over.

  36. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    17th December 2014, 15:29

    Shocked by this.
    IMO Lewis was the best driver all year. Every finish was a podium. No other driver did that (albeit only one other driver had the same dominant car).

    I can see why a case would be made for Ricciardo to be #1, but no way was Fernando better than Lewis this year. Not even close.

      1. U forgot to mention shame. Losing form, maybe?

  37. Shocking!! Alonso was better than Lewis? previous seasons maybe but this year? Surely not!!

  38. Frankly, reading the champion Lewis Hamilton is in third place in the ranking, is the most ridiculous thing you can imagine. This blog just lost all credibility. A shame.

    1. Bit dramatic!

      I don’t agree with LH 3rd but this is the age old “Senna, Prost” “Moss, Clark” etc. You cant actually be wrong if you can back up your argument, so my English teacher told me once anyway.

    2. @Jorge Lardone +1 Typical media overhyping Alonso ofcourse. Let’s wait and see what Alonso had to overcome to become highr then Alonso, a tough team mate ?, don’t let me laugh, seriously. Poor journalism indeed.

    3. U R welcome to leave

  39. 1. Very happy to see that my assessment of Lewis’s performance compared to the rest of the field is more or less identical to this ranking. In my opinion, both Hamilton and Rosberg performed better than Ricciardo (who was very impressive nonetheless), but not as well as Alonso. While these rankings are obviously not identical, I’m satisfied that the differences between them are not as big as I feared they might be.
    2. @Keithcollantine: “It’s true that had Mercedes unreliability struck Hamilton instead of Rosberg in the final race, Rosberg would have been champion. That gives a false impression that Rosberg was almost a match for Hamilton this year, but is more a reflection on the shortcomings of F1’s current points system.”
    I resent this statement for two reasons:
    A) While it was certainly a dumb, gimmicky idea, the points system didn’t have anything to do with the broad outlines of the season final. With a gap of 17 points, Rosberg would’ve been world champion had Hamilton’s car failed instead of his. 25 points or 50 points for that win wouldn’t have made any difference in that case. The only difference was that this system offered many more possibilities for Rosberg to win the title even without a DNF for Lewis.

    B) “That gives a false impression that Rosberg was almost a match for Hamilton this year …”
    Now that’s quite a bold statement, even a somewhat irritating one in my view. I’m perfectly fine with the assessment that Hamilton was quicker than Rosberg, that he made less mistakes come Sunday, that he performed better in many a race-deciding situation. But what I’m reading here implies that Rosberg wasn’t even close to Hamilton. And at that point I’m wondering whether we’ve even watched the same season. The bulk of the 2014 season consisted of the two Merc drivers spending most of their races separated by small gaps, rarely more than a few seconds. Many, many races were marked by a situation in which Lewis had to pass Nico for the win, which he managed a couple of times (Italy, Japan), but also occasionally failed to do (Monaco, Austria, Brazil). There have also been races in which Rosberg was the quicker one, although he ultimately failed to overtake Hamilton (Bahrain, Spain, Hungary, Belgium).
    Long story short: I feel that saying Rosberg wasn’t even close to being a match for Hamilton is quite a big misrepresentation of a season where one could rarely be sure which of the two Mercedes drivers was going to prevail. This failure to acknowledge that Rosberg also had his merits and made Hamilton sweat for his title is somewhat insulting to the man who made sure that this championship didn’t turn into a big bore.
    Me, I’m personally quite disappointed by this. I have absolutely no problem with acknowledging that Lewis did a great job and deserves to be mentioned among the very best drivers of his generation. But what I find hard to endure is the fact that this admiration seems to be a double-edged sword that also tends to include a fair share of belittlement towards Lewis’s adversary. It wouldn’t have hurt to acknowledge that Lewis had a strong challenger, who ultimately wasn’t strong enough to beat him. In denying him this recognition lies not triumph, but petty condescension.

    So, yeah, I’m offended.

    1. I think you’re alone. It didn’t read like that at all ! The history books will disagree also.

    2. Well said. People overlook Rosberg’s record. Beating Rosberg augments rather than qualifies Hamilton’s achievement this year. That said, while Rosberg was “close” on pace this is neither horseshoes nor hand grenades. Rosberg didn’t win when he had to enough times; Hamilton did.

      As for your offense about the points system, I don’t think Keith’s point was about double-points. The issue is that it looked rather close in the end because Rosberg followed Hamilton home enough to stay in the picture, which was an easy task considering no other car could compete on pace, and the minor points ratio between the 1st-2nd gap and the total points for fist kept him in play till the end.

      1. I’d never heard of horseshoes and handgrenades, so I’ve learnt a new expression, which is nice. ;-)

        As to your clarification: I agree 100%. I wasn’t dealing in absolutes when I said Rosberg deserves more recognition. Lewis was better, ain’t no denying that. Just not hugely so. His advantage was rather small, far smaller than the difference between any two team mates throughout the field, but he made the most of it. Which in turn is indicative of the very high level on which their duel took place.

        As to the points: I didn’t think of that. You’re probably right. But I also disagree with this underlying analysis. In my opinion, race wins aren’t undervalued at all. I didn’t appreciate the switch from the older 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system to the new one that gives points away like they were candy. Also, there were not many races where Rosberg trailed far behind Hamilton, thus collecting “easy” points for P2. He was rather far behind in Malaysia and China, but aside from that he was able to more or less match Lewis’s pace.
        Let’s also not forget that Lewis too has had races where he was aided by the fact that no other car could compete with his. In Austria and GB for instance, where he performed poorly in qualyfing, he didn’t have too much trouble catching up.

  40. You can make a case for Ricciardo being ranked above Lewis, however it would still be a close call between the two, in my opinion. Although Alonso was great this year I wouldn’t place him above Lewis. Yes, Alonso beat Kimi, but Kimi is very unmotivated, or rather, he seems to be unmotivated and he felt very uncomfortable in the car. I’d put Alo in 3rd place if this was my list.

    1. I think your view reflects the opinion of most people here :P

  41. Hamitlon can’t be the driver of the year in my opinion, his car was a rocket and still got beaten in qualifying when everyone was saying that he was the fastest driver at 1 lap, period. Great year, deserving champion, at best second best driver of the year. First should be Daniel, he “destroyed” a 4WDC.

    1. @zoom but has Hamilton himself said that he’s the fasted ?

    2. You and some others here are counting against Hamilton that “everyone was saying that the was the fastest driver at 1 lap, period.” If you hold him to a higher standard, then you have to adjust his credit accordingly.

  42. It’s fairly bold to rank the WDC three and I’m sure Keith thought about it long enough, and he presents valid points. However, I still find it hard to take this ranking. I look at it this way.

    The Races
    Points are scored for races for a reason, and so this is the primary measure of performance. He won more than half the races and more than twice as many as the man in the other car. As noted he did so with superior race performances, usually clearly dominating the other car.

    Looking more closely, who was the man he beat? Rosberg was always as quick or quicker than teammates, including the 7-times world champion, who he trounced. Indeed, Hamilton now has a claim to more speed than Schumacher too, by a common form of reckoning.

    Hamilton’s main demerits are that he cocked up Q3 a couple times and was slower than Rosberg, marginally. First, who didn’t stuff up a couple Q3s, including Rosberg? He failed to be perfect in 2-3 out of 19 attempts. I think this is a very weak criticism. Second, he was marginally behind Rosberg in qualifying, as Keith said. But it’s worth looking deeper at qualifying.

    And the qualifying issue is key here, because this lack of apparent performance on Saturday was Hamilton’s actual genius this year. It starts with Hamilton’s famous trump card–braking modulation ability. It’s is been widely reported that Hamilton figured out how to roll rearward his rear bias while still controlling the car. This saved fuel (i.e., increased recovery). And what would we expect to see as a result? The result is that the driver who is standing on the front brakes and using more fuel/less recovery has a qualifying advantage. This is because 1. better front brake temps 2. greater ultimate deceleration 3. fuel use doesn’t matter in qualifying 4. overall recovery performance doesn’t mater in qualifying. Conversely in the race, Hamilton reaped major benefits from his approach, in particular, the lower fuel use. He could reserve and deploy more power (from the ICE or batteries) for important junctures of the race. He could also start the race lighter. His opponent was not free to brake on the absolute limit every lap. This is what we saw. In races, even when Rosberg put several tenths over Hamilton on Saturday, Hamilton just walked away on Sunday. And it wasn’t just Rosberg not “getting it.” Hamilton usually was using much less fuel than anyone else, often while pulling away from everyone.

    I think that a lot of people have ignored this story line, because it doesn’t fit with the “street versus neat” narrative about the drivers. Rosberg, the well-educated engineering student, was supposed to slap a dunce cap on Hamilton, the jumped up boy from the projects, and run away in the races by understanding the car better. Didn’t happen.

    More broadly, when you look at other years, you have to say this year is better than 2008 for Hamilton, when he trounced a regarded teammate and won a title against Massa in his prime in a very fast car. It’s better than 2009, when he dragged a dog of a car to wins, leaving the same teammate behind again. It’s better than his later almost-WDC hears at McLaren. I know what there is to say about Ricciardo and Alonso, and we shall see it, but it’s hard for me to say that Hamilton, in his best ever year, was shaded by a couple guys running in the peloton.

    1. I think on one hand, you are right about the disadvantages that this setup philosophy created in qualifying and about the benefits it caused on a race day. However Lewis’s qualy struggles came mostly after Monaco. I said before, in my opinion, after the Monaco incident he overdrove his final laps in qualifying. I might be wrong, that is merely my observation. I think the combination of trying too hard and having this setup is the reason why he didn’t get more pole positions.

      About the rankings, your final paragraph sums it up perfectly for me.

  43. Personally, I’d rate Hamilton a bit higher, but this is all speculative anyway.
    I respect your opinion, though I don’t necessarily buy it. Interesting read, though!

  44. Wow what a surprise! Really wasn’t expectiong Hamilton to be only third.

    I wonder what arguments will be used to defend the choice of putting Alonso above Hamilton.

    1. @Patrick You know, ”how Alonso had to fight the car and tough team mate” what a joke.

  45. Lets see how the DOTW translates into a DOTS (driver of the season) ranking. For every first place in the DOTW the driver gets 25 points, second place 18 points and third 15 points:

    Driver Points
    Lewis Hamilton 258
    Daniel Ricciardo 201
    Valtteri Bottas 123
    Fernando Alonso 68
    Sergio Perez 63
    Nico Rosberg 61
    Sebastian Vettel 55
    Jenson Button 51
    Felipe Massa 30
    Jules Bianchi 25
    Kevin Magnussen 25
    Nico Hulkenberg 18
    Jean-Eric Vergne 18
    Kimi Raikkonen 18
    Pastor Maldonado 15
    Romain Grosjean 15

    1. @patrickl If I felt this was a valid way to treat those polls I’d point out that cutting it off at third place – discarding a significant amount of data for no obvious reason – is arbitrary. But I’m not going to encourage you to recalculate it using all the data you’ve ignored because, as you’ve guessed, I don’t think it’s a valid interpretation of the data.

      The reason I don’t do anything like this myself with the Driver of the Weekend data is because it’s a vote for the best individual driver, not a ranking of who were the best drivers. Treating it as if it were the latter is a misrepresentation.

      1. Well feel free to run it on your complete database. I’m not going to bother since it’s totally obvious that adding lower places wouldn’t make any significant difference. Especially not for the top 10.

        Hamilton was DOTW 6 times. Twice as many times as Ricciardo and Bottas. Alonso only twice. You can pretend all you want that Hamilton didn’t perform best overall this season, but all the facts say otherwise.

      2. Not sure what the last paragraph means. Seems like a contradiction. But I think the reason not to use it is that it is not “weighted” by how good a particular DOTW-winning performance was. You could weight it by looking at the margin in the polling, actually, which would be interesting. And I think cutting it off at third is wise because in many cases, after the first couple candidates, the differences among the remaining drivers are small.

    2. Wow that is a good way of looking at things. Also I would be happy for the pints system to work that way too! ;)

      I do have to say that although I feel hamilton should be higher, I also feel he shouldn’t be number 1. Simply because I don’t feel Nico was truly able to match hamilton throughout the whole season. If Alonso, vettel or someone of that caliber were driving that Mercedes and hamilton beat him then hats off to the guy and he would instantly be my number 1.

      Saying that… I’m now wondering why I all of a sudden lack confidence of how well lewis drove this year.

      Personally I feel we should have a poll on this site and have a people’s driver ranking vs Keith’s…

      1. Mikey, what would that prove? People would just vote for their favourite driver and there would be no objectivity at all. I have no particular dog in this race (I just like F1 and all the pilots!) and accept that Mr Collantine’s analytical skills are superior to mine, and whilst I may not agree with him some of the time, I enjoy his reasoning.

        This was never going to be easy however he ranked, but he is drinking from the poisoned chalice with a great deal of patience and understanding!

  46. Certainly agree with Hamilton not being the best driver this year. He made mistakes, simple as that. To me he wasn’t as impressive as Vettel was 2011. The argument that he was under pressure doens’t work for me either, because he caused that pressure himself on saturdays. To me Lewis is all about performance, but lacks the consistency of Alonso and Ricciardo this year. He still had a great year though.

    1. @ME4ME lol ” but lacks the consistency of Alonso” In 2012 Alonso had a massive ”lucky” lead and still managed to loose out the WDC. And what has Alonso shown exactly ?, Alonso would NEVEr win a race like the way Hamilton did in Bahrain. Lol, Alonso

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th December 2014, 18:30

        @concalvez00, weird to include a 2012 argument for a 2014 driver ranking!

      2. Yes, he has 32 victories all of which are absolutely worthless

  47. Prepare for the onslaught Keith, Hamilton fanatics are not going to like this article at all. lol

  48. You are entitled to an opinion Keith, but I politely disagree with it. I personally feel that Hamilton was better than Alonso this year, and I also feel that Ricciardo was better than Alonso this year so I hope you rank him #1.

    Hamilton won more than double the races of Rosberg this year, with Ricciardo winning almost the same amount of races as Rosberg in a far inferior car. All that Alonso did was beat a man who is not suited to the car like Alonso is, is now past his prime and was one of the most overrated F1 world champions IMO.

    1. @Uzair Syed Well said mate, looking forward for who’s #2 & #1

  49. Hamilton at 3rd are you kidding.i have a respect to this article untill this point bt it is absolutely nonsense.Lewis is clearly undoubtedly no1.this is conspiracy what ricardo or alonso achieved?Ricardo done better than vettel every decent driver could have achieve it Rosberg,bottas,button,even magnussen because vettel is so over rated.Alonso is a match for Hamilton no doubt for that but this is unacceptable.Even Hamilton is voted as best driver of tge year recently by the f1 team bosses.How pathetic this was absolutely rubbish.

  50. #notblessed :(

  51. There’s a lot of anger in the comments about this ranking, you should remember that this blog is abouth Keith’s point of view. If you have been reading this blog for some time, you can’t seriously accuse him of being partial, letting his emotions rule or expressing views that are not seriously thought of and explained. I agree with Keith that Hamilton, though he probably had his best year since his first one, had a far form perfect season. He did what was expected of him given the car at his disposal, but before Silverstone you should remember there were concerns about him blowing yet another championship despite looking overall faster than Rosberg.
    It’s completely normal not to agree 100% with his ranking, I myself don’t agree with JEV’s place as an example. You should nevertheless accept his arguments and comment on them or bring your own ones if you don’t agree, all in a respectful way, there’s no need to be aggressive about it.
    You should also hear his arguments on RIC and ALO before having a definite point of view on the matter, I always discover facts I forgot or didn’t know when I read his rankings.

  52. I seem to be one of the few who think this is just the ranking Hamilton deserves. He drove superbly, but Alonso and Ricciardo were simply better, beating their world champion team-mates clearly in both Saturdays and Sundays. Great job with the rankings as always @keithcollantine, keep up the good work :)

    1. @Diceman So what special feat did Alonso shown i wonder ?


  54. Keith is spot on with the rating here… Lewis deserved the title but in my opinion could and should have beaten rosberg far more convincingly …also over the years we have come to expect lewis as one of the best if not the best qualifiers out there and being beaten on Saturdays by his teammate over a season is an indication that his season was nt the perfect one … He’s capable of much more and I expect him to go on dominate rosberg in 2015 and beyond…in short #3 ranking is exactly where I also would place lewis with Alonso 2nd and Dan 1st…

    1. He won more than double the amount of races his team mate did… And remember this was no slouch like Webber alongside Vettel or Massa alongside Alonso… With 11 wins ,you’ve got only 2 drivers in the sport’s entire history to have won more races in a season… Sorry but, “Oh wait ! He wasn’t fast enough on Saturdays !!” doesn’t cut it. Points are on Sundays and he behaved accordingly.

  55. Not really surprised @keithcollantine. He ranked Lewis below Rosberg last year. And his reason? Rosberg had a better 2nd half to the season than Lewis did!
    It may be Keith’s opinion, but clearly many people disagree. Why don’t you do a fan poll? @keithcollantine? And see what the fans really think?
    After all, we witnessed the whole season too, and we also have access to some “data”?

    1. Well as it says at the end of the article, there will be a fan poll tomorrow were you can all vote for Lewis.

      1. Diceman, I was thinking that exact same thing…
        Keith has an opinion and can justify his reasoning,
        I happen to agree with him 100% after I read his arguments.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th December 2014, 19:06

        @diceman, good point.
        It seems some commenters did not even read the article, and then make up for it through accusations without arguments and/or weird use of their keyboard!
        @kbdavies, @dutchtreat.

        1. Because we do not agree means we didn’t read the article? And you did because you agree? That would mean most people on the forum didn’t read it as well. That is facile logic.

  56. Completely disagree with the ranking of 3rd, and share the view with alot of people that neither Riccardo nor Alonso where up against teammates who were completely comfortable with their cars and generally not upto their usual standards, with neither driver fighting for the championship, Hamilton beat a teammate with A/ full access to his data, and equal opportunity. B/ a teammate at the top of his game, C/ while fighting for the biggest prize, and D/ having to come from behind twice because of failures outside of his control, against a teammate doing everything inside and outside the rulebook against him.

    This should have been a no-brainer

  57. Another major reason why Hamilton should be placed higher than Alonso and Ricciardo is that he managed his tyres better than them and used less fuel in races as well , second behind Massa. Given that many punters predicted he would struggle to adapt to the new regulations, he made mince meat of those assumptions and delivered results. This factors should be taken into consideration, but then again, just my opinion.

  58. Could Rosberg’s one lap performance be down to the teams insistence that all data is open, and that he doesn’t have the ultimate skills in adapting to changing race conditions.

    I can understand the open data from the teams view, it is the best way to get both drivers to the front and score more points for more money. But I don’t think the drivers necessarily support this, when in a close fight with your team mate.

  59. This rating is just click bait, oh darn, I’ve just fallen for it like the rest :-(

  60. I quite enjoyed this article, comments included.
    Friction was inevitable, but in the end most of us agree more or less in the top 3.
    Thanks for the good work!

  61. iS it coz he is black?

    1. hahaha that made me lol.

  62. I think we all agree who are in the top three, in what order is being defined by personal preference and how much value you decide something has.

  63. Very impressed with the courage it takes to rank Hamilton 3rd on a British website! Of course Hamilton had a good year and beat Rosberg, but his margin of victory over his team mate in equal machinery was not as decisively one-sided as some others managed. One can argue that had Hamilton driven the machine which a generally recognized formidable Raikkonen could only propel to the lower reaches, would his personal mistakes have cost him more dearly? Making up qualifying mistakes in an average machine isn’t quite as easy… Overall impressive call Keith.

    1. Have to say I’m a bit surprised. Personally I ranked Alonso and Ricciardo above Hamilton this year. But I fully expected to see Hamilton first in this list. Oh well, let’s see who comes out second.

      Alonso and Ricciardo were in my opinion the cream of the crop, with little to choose between them. Ricciardo should have improved his starts to get #1. On the other hand, Alonso narrowly missed a shock-victory in Hungary which would have made him a clear #1.

    2. Well it’s what you have to do if you want plenty of discussion on your blog @Thomas ;) Not suggesting it’s insincere, but as @xtwl says it’s a bit arbitrary between the top 3. They were all fast, fair, predatory, consistent and a joy to watch.

      As usual every mistake of Hamilton’s is etched in the memory as a massive fail while apparently the others made nary a one. Rosberg evidently was no better than Kimi or Vettel, and the margin of missing pole was a gulf into which numbers of other cars would have slotted, though only for one of our pair. In lesser machinery Rosberg’s second places would by contrast have remained unchanged…

      I don’t think there’s any genuine basis for us to account for the different cars and teammates and reliability. We could count ‘mistakes’, if we really did catch them all, but even then racing is about much more than that, as Max Chilton demonstrated so ably.

      For me they are joint No1, and all to be savoured, in this magical era that is so unappreciated!

  64. I predict:
    #1 Alonso
    #2 Ricciardo

  65. Key stat is not a key stat. In 2014 it was proved that being behind on the first stint resulted in better end results. Across the grid bad qualifiers often finished ahead and good qualifiers also often saw themselves drop on first stint to eventually win. I think Lewis was not the quickest Merc driver but he was the best. To say that Lewis was efficient to make it to 3rd best driver of the season I agree but I would’ve put Rosberg just behind.

  66. Guybrush Threepwood
    17th December 2014, 20:27

    The wringing from Hamilton fans is just as predictable as the wringing from Hamilton himself.

    Hamilton made more mistakes throughout the season than most others and certainly didn’t maximise the potential of the car. On the other hand Ricciardo and Alonso made very few mistakes and were very quick.

  67. This is brilliant! A real cat amongst the pigeons article.

    The best part for me is reading the comments to see how many people think they know Keith really well and think he will actually take their views into account, even tagging him as it to make it more personal. Proper keyboard warriors!!

    What makes it better is that for the comments he does reply to he provides a sound consistent and suitably sarcastic response.

    I’ve commented previously on how it frustrates me that nobody seems to be able to discern fact and opinion on here. This article is pure opinion (with a smattering of facts used to back up said opinion). Your comments won’t change it, but please please please continue commenting purely for the comedy value!!!

    *Off to get my popcorn*

    1. @Steve Webb –
      You obviously miss the point. Greatly. This is a blog; where Keith puts his personal opinion. He has also made it possible for readers to put their personal opinion – which at times contradicts his. And that is the way opinion works.
      This is not for Keith to change his opinions; but simply BECAUSE he wants people on his blog to air theirs – and they are happy to oblige.
      How can that be difficult to understand??

      1. I fully understand the concept of opinions, and how they can differ.

        What I pointed out in my comment is that people seem to believe their threats such as leaving this site will make him change his mind and that his views of HAM being #3 drive are wrong.

        Whether or not someone thinks his views are wrong is irrelevant, as that is purely Keith’s opinion. Choose to agree or disagree with Keith’s views, but nobody can say they are wrong. Something which not many on this site seem to understand.

        So in response to your comment, which part seems difficult for me to understand?

  68. I disagree with this. Hamilton was king. Ricciardo is flavour of the month.

  69. LOL, I hope you’ve got your flame suit on Keith. For what it’s worth, your first two sentences nailed it. Yes Lewis deserved and should have won the WDC. Anything else would have been a travesty. Yes, he was impressive all year. But there were two other drivers who performed better relatively over the season, and both desereve to be ranked ahead of Hamilton. I look forward to seeing your assessment of the #1 spot.

  70. @keithcollantine, Even though I think you run the best site on F1, I think you got this ranking totally wrong. F1fanatic by far has the best year round converage on F1. F1 as a business does a terrible job online, without Keith’s site I honestly think the sport would take a major blow. That’s how highly I think of this site and how Keith runs it.

    From fast publication of practice, qualifying, and race reports, no one beats Keith. I love logging in and getting qualifying times, speed traps, lap times, and long run data on all the drivers. I also really enjoyed the articles chronicling the path drivers took to reach F1.

    I would not put a heavy emphasis on one thing and drop f1fanatic from its #1 position because it didn’t do so well in that one particular category. Sadly, I feel this is exactly what Keith has done to Hamilton. In a 19 race calendar, Keith has effectively used four qualifying sessions to drop Hamilton from a worthy 1st to 3rd. Out of 19 races, Hamilton missed the front row only 4 times! In two of those four, his car broke down. Since when has qualifying 2nd become a failing result? Especially when the smallest error means your teammate takes pole.

    Austria: 9th to 2nd
    Britain: 6th to 1st
    Germany: 20th to 3rd
    Hungary: 22nd to 3rd

    Don’t you think its a bit unfair to dock Hamilton so much because his qualifying performance wasn’t “perfect.” Don’t you think its a bit unfair considering he made it right on Sunday? The W05 was so dominant that the smallest mistake meant Nico would take pole. What you are effective saying is Hamilton needed to be perfect on Saturday and Sunday to ranked #1. That is a tall order. Qualifying doesn’t pay points, so I fail to see why you put such an emphasis on it.

    Your other argument is Hamilton should have beaten Rosberg more convincingly. Yeah, he would have if his car wasn’t short circuiting, catching fire, or its brakes weren’t bursting. The guy won 11 races! Everyone from fans, team principals, sanctioning organizations ranked him #1. He was even ranked #1 compared to other British athletes(BBC). You’re the only one I know of that snubbed him. Never the less, I still think Keith and f1fanatic are #1 when it comes to F1 coverage. I won’t demote them just because of one mistake.

    I get that the F1 community is hungry for fresh blood. The faces of the sport have been Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi, although “on and off” and of course Vettel for some time now. So when guys like Ricciardo and Botas come along, we tend to fawn a little and get this great urged to elevate them. I agree Ricciardo and Botas have both done fantastic jobs this year. Some might feel they are being overlooked. They are not. What happens next year if they tank after you’ve bigged them up so much this year? They are future stars, but they are not rookies. Ricciardo has been involved in F1 since 2010 and now has 69 starts. Bottas has driven two seasons now with 38 starts. They’ve done great jobs but its time to start grading fairly. Some people actually think they are rookies!

    Just because you performed well against your teammate does not mean you deserve to be #1. Its just 1 category to judge the best driver of the season. It’s different when you’re fighting for the title. It’s different when your slightest mistake means you lose pole position or race victory. It’s different when you’re teammate is under performing so much. Never mind if they are former or current raining champs. It’s different when you’re only expected to have a “good result” not a pole or victory.

    1. Guy,
      bravo, very worthy argument. I still agree with Keith though that considering having the fastest car and a fast team mate, he made more mistakes than Alonso and Daniel R.

      1. I doubt Hamilton made more mistakes @dutchtreat. Alonso made two at Silverstone for example. In the race. Dan lost places at T1 in one of the early races through running deep. In the race. What about the races they each qualified behind their teammates?

        And in any case, it’s not defined by mistakes.

      2. i agree with hamilton being 3rd because he made a few mistakes(in practise,in quali,germany crashing into people,hungary spinning on the 1st lap). he drove really well the rest of the time which is why i think 3rd is justified oh and winning the wdc.

        however the merc was at least 1 to 2 secs a lap faster at at times so most of the time the merc drivers were in cruise mode(still pushing like mad but not at the limit of the car so) as a result we only saw a battle on the limit of the car at bahrain and rosberg at belgium chasing down ricciardo. if we saw them flatout out all the time with bulletproof relaibility it would be interesting to what the real gap is between nico and lewis(hope we see that in 2015)

        for me ricciardo has been the best this season with good pace and hardly any mistakes. alonso was doing really well but after hungary he seemed to drop off a bit and started having a few car failures but i cant think who else would be good enough for top 3 this season.

      3. @dutchtreat, Thanks! Respect even if we disagree. We are all entitled to our opinions. Things would be pretty boring if we all agreed.

  71. The start of the last race and how he handled it seals it for me, Hamilton is the no. 1 driver this year. No one else had the same pressure from their team mates. Sure he had the best car but he seized the opportunity and a few slip ups on Saturdays, where no points are given, can’t demote him from the top spot. Especially since he didn’t falter on Sundays.

  72. Have to say i’m stunned. Not by the rankings, but by the level and quantity of abuse that’s been aimed at Keith Collantine for daring to voice an opinion. I thought most F1 fans would realise by now that any form of driver ranking, no matter how well informed, is an opinion, not a fact – and should be treated as such. By all means you can debate the results, but i don’t understand the accusations of bias, favouritism, or even ‘clickbait’ that feature in this thread. Some have pointed towards the team principles ranking as ‘proof’ that Hamilton should be ranked number 1, but their ranking is also an opinion, despite them having lots of data to pour over. Really can’t fathom how people seem to take this so personally. Noone can say for sure who was the best driver or who would have won if they’d all been driving Mercedes cars. All you can do is discuss the relative performance of each driver and try to rank them as objectively as possible, but since we all have different criteria for deciding who was ‘best’ then we won’t always agree, and it would be very boring if we did.

    For the record i mostly agree with the rankings and would say Alonso/Ricciardo/Hamilton were the three class acts of the season and they could justifiably be ranked in any order. Looking forward to the last two articles ;)

  73. Good article Keith – interesting analysis, and more importantly a deliciously salty comments section!
    Personally I find it constantly difficult to compare drivers like Hamilton and Alonso considering their different machinery, but your point about how Lewis should improve on Saturdays was a fair point so I can see why more consistent performances by Fernando would get him ranked higher. Looking forward to your next 2 rankings.

  74. @KeithCollantine with this ranking reminds me of my school teacher who sees me and my white best friend joking at the back of the class; however during after the test is marked I score 85% and my teacher’s comment is “could have done better”; my best friend scores 62% and teacher comments well done!!!! (my story is not unique)…. Nothing new here Keith Collantine, nothing new….. Keep on blogging my man, you are doing an excellent job…..

  75. Ok thats just stupid!

  76. I don’t know Keith, wouldn’t recognize him if I tripped over him. So I can’t accuse him of bias, but this feels a little unfair.

    Apparently, because Hamilton had such a dominant car, he should have driven a better season, even though the only two races he finished outside the top 2 steps of the podium, he started from the back of the grid, or the pit. This of course, being the driver who everyone said would have the most difficulty adapting to the new rules, who couldn’t conserve fuel, who couldn’t preserve his tires– and implied, but never said outright, that perhaps he might be confused by all the buttons and flashing lights on the dash.

    He had a teammate who was quite literally, coached on how to beat Lewis Hamilton. They had identical cars, and every trick Hamilton figured out was communicated to his teammate– a teammate who has been racing just as long as Hamilton, and who was not annihilated by his 7 time world champion teammate (and I’ll bet no one ranked Rosberg as a top 3 driver between 2010 and 2013, either) in spite of numerous predictions to the contrary.

    It takes more than a driver to win– Ayrton Senna couldn’t have won in the Marussia (well, maybe in Monaco). Likewise, Hamilton, who drove a faultless season in 2012, couldn’t win with a disorganized team and an unreliable car. Even this year, Button said he’d never seen a championship contending driver with such bad luck– Hamilton had three DNF’s (one inflicted by teammate), and two DNQ’s. That’s 25% of his races screwed up by external forces, and still took the WDC (without being able to drop bad scores).

    It could be argued that Alonso (and Ricciardo) made some impressive passes this year, and they did– watching the two of them in Germany was spectacular racing– almost as good as Hamilton/Rosberg in Bahrain. Alonso, it’s said, makes (in the words of Hobbs), “absolutely dynamite starts!”– but he has to, because he always seems to be starting from 5th on the grid. Conversely, Hamilton rarely gained position on the start, because usually there was only one position to gain– and that was against a car just as fast as his.

    I’m going to agree with Will Buxton, and say that the most impressive thing about Lewis Hamilton is that people consistently underestimate him.

    1. @keithcollantine

      I agree 100% with grat’s comments above, so it’s good that I don’t have to repeat them myself!

      This review is a blatant attempt to stir up the masses. Last year Vettel had the best car for the 2nd half of the season and a retiring demoralised journeyman team mate in Webber, yet you voted him #1 on the basis of outpacing Webber!


      Vettel has obviously been ordinary ever since this test session in 2010 where Ricciardo took Vettels car and went more than a second quicker round Yas Marina, see


      The #1 driver for this year should be a straight fight between Daniel and Lewis, no question, don’t agree with putting Alonso ahead of either of them. Which one of these two should be #1 is difficult to say, both deserve it for different reasons, but on your ‘last years criteria’ it should be Lewis.

    2. Another awesome post.

    3. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Well said.

    4. EXTREMELY well articulated!

  77. Salute Team LH for working hard on getting the Sunday setup right and solving what was an achilles heel for him in the past – wearing out his tyres faster than his team mate and other lead cars

  78. This is absolutely nonsense… typical of you Keith, when Lewis has driven his heart out, the amount of things going wrong for him, he has won so many awards, and yet you only rank him 3rd, based on ‘could have inflicted a bigger defeat’, wow… all my respect for you just diminished, what more could he have done…. coming back from 20 -30 points back to taking the crown… after Monaco, after Spa…. All you Brits complain you don’t have top sportsmen, when a guy goes out there and gets the job done, its still not enough for you people, yet you have to criticize in the manner he got there…. unbelievable mate…. there is none worthy of #1 ranking this year than Lewis, the next 2 drivers you have lined up, are purely based on your cussedness…. not facts and not fair ranking.

    1. Zarmim, I couldn’t have said it any better. Great post!

    2. James Whiteley
      19th December 2014, 13:57

      Why are you being so accusatory? People are allowed to express different views and opinions than yourself, you know. You say that Lewis has driven his absolute heart out. I agree, but surely Alonso and Ricciardo have too? You surely can’t be so blind to deny that they have all been brilliant in their own right, and that grading their respective performances is so subjective that people will have different opinions than yourself. This doesn’t make their views “nonsense”.

  79. Sometime during the year I had the feeling that the sense of national pride had taken over the creator of this site. But I have been proved wrong and I don’t mind accepting it :)

    Lewis was good this year in a great car and was rewarded suitably with the WDC. But no way he was the best in the season.

    But Alonso and most importantly Ricciardo had huge seasons. Especially Ricciardo who has shown that having a comparatively weaker/slower car doesn’t restrict one from achieving greatness, like Alonso did in 2012.

    I know who I will be supporting when Alonso retires from F1. Ricciardo it is, if he can show similar consistency in the coming years.

    Alonso 2nd, Ricciardo 1st for me.

    @keithcollantine Thanks Keith!

    1. Surprised that Lewis fans didn’t see this coming when Rosberg was rated at 5th. I think that would have been the day they were happiest since their idol won the title.

      Some nice entertainment reading the comments.

      All year they have been saying how they love this site because it is not biased and one article totally changes their opinion :)

  80. Just to add to my previous post, if this ranking has got all the fanatics aghast, I hope they leave the site and never return.

    Will help make the environment better for the ‘sensible’ fanatics and the neutrals.

    1. Oh, how lovely! So people post comments you don’t agree with and you post a comment saying you wish they leave the site to you? What an utterly silly position is that!

      1. Hello SRK – It was not intended against people with difference of opinion. It was intended against people saying this site has lost all its credibility. Why would one want to participate in such an exercise?

        I love a good debate once in a while. But to close one’s eyes and say the world is dark is unacceptable to me. Those can’t be changed as well. Keith has tried to reason with some as well. But it just isn’t possible to please everyone.

        There will be a fan vote where all Lewis fanatics can vote to their heart’s content to make him win yet another award :)

        1. Ah– those who think Hamilton drove better than Alonso this season are fanatics– Those who think Alonso drove better than Hamilton are reasonable.

          It’s amazing how we always think that fanatics are those who disagree with us, and that reasonable people are the ones who agree with us.

          1. Kindly tell me where I said so? I mentioned that those telling that this site has lost credibility and accusing Keith of bias without any proper justification to back them up are the fanatics.

            Seeing only one side of the argument is the issue here. Of course Ham won the WDC. He got the most points. But there are others who have performed better with whatever machinery they got in their hands.

            Sometimes the best performer won’t always be the overall winner when external agents are factored in, like engine/Aero etc.

  81. Wow, what a load of dribble. Is this at all logical? Hamilton being 3rd after such a prolific season shows the judgement of the writer of this article. How Ricciardo with three opportunistic wins or Alonso twice on the podium could be ranked above is delusional by those who came to this assessment. Thank God we have a true reflection by those who matter the most, the team principals who without doubt ranked him as the undisputed #1 driver for 2014. Check it out http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117125

  82. I’m sure some will say they don’t believe it, but I’ve genuinely been surprised by the response to this. I read a lot of your comments yesterday and have just had a look through the rest and it’s clear some feel quite strongly that Hamilton deserves to be in front of at least one of the two remaining drivers, while others are satisfied with where I’ve put him.

    To address one point which came up a few times, no this isn’t just a ruse to make people read the article. As I’ve pointed out to someone else already it’s not something I indulge in and besides which there are far more effective ways of doing that were I to choose to. It is my sincere opinion that two drivers performed better than Hamilton this year.

    I’ve been accused both of being ‘biased’ against Hamilton by ranking him too low and of being ‘biased’ in his favour and seeking to overcompensate by rankings him lower than I felt he deserved. Obviously I don’t consider either to be true, and I am well used to being told I’m ‘biased’ for and against all the popular drivers. Sadly, that comes with the territory.

    Incidentally, I’ve previously put Hamilton at the top of my rankings twice, though curiously not in either of the two years he won the title:

    2007 F1 season review: Driver rankings (3/3)
    2008 F1 driver rankings part three
    2010 F1 driver rankings part four: the top three

    I’m not going to elaborate further on my reasons for ranking him where I did because I’ve said all I have on Hamilton already. Hopefully my views on the other two drivers, which will be up next later on today, will shed some more light.

    And after that we’ll have the Driver of the Year poll where you all get to put me right…

    1. Fair enough. In the meantime, hundreds of Fanatics are busy hitting F5 on their machines. I doubt there’s ever been such huge anticipation ahead of an article :-)

    2. “it’s clear some feel quite strongly that Hamilton deserves to be in front”

      Some keith? 6 pages and over 300 comments later i’d say its a bit more than ‘some’. Not to mention pretty much everyone else in the buisness.

      1. Your ‘biased’ view is telling me that the 300 comments are all against Keith choosing Hamilton dor 3rd?

        No, it’s the “many” trying to tell the “some” to grow up and respect an opinion!

    3. Keith, I applaud your well reasoned and measured responses to what has been a barrage of (largely) emotional and unreasonable comments.

      It’s clear to any sensible and knowledgeable F1 fan that your intentions are fair, and your reasoning is there for all to see.

      Keep up the fine work.

    4. Well said Keith. We appreciate it is your opinion. We simply sincerely disagree with it. It is certainly not personal!
      After all, if we say we are F1 Fanatics, that means we are all passionate about the sport, and disagreement is certainly a must!

    5. Why the need to interject into your own article with a further clarification? Your opinion has already been explicitly expressed and quite frankly it has no value with the majority of posters on here.

      1. Normally people consider it a good thing that I take their responses seriously and try to address them. Of course if I didn’t I’d get people writing things like ‘Keith doesn’t care what we think, he never replies in the comments’.

        Why the need to interject into your own article with a further clarification?

        That’s exactly what I haven’t done. There is no further detail on my opinion in the comment above. I even wrote as much:

        I’m not going to elaborate further on my reasons for ranking him where I did because I’ve said all I have on Hamilton already.

        1. Thank you for your reply. I must express my apologies if I came across as venting criticism personally. I certainly did not have that intention. You are entitled to the opinion you have illustrated by your driver rankings. I was merely pointing out the disagreement of the majority of posters to this article but thank you again for your supplemental.

          1. Has it occured to you that people who generally agree with or accept Keith’s opinion won’t be flaming the comments unnecessarily?
            It’s clear that in any comments section the disagreeing people will be in abundance, as they feel the burning desire to correct things they believe are wrongly said. But that doesn’t mean they are the majority. I’m pretty sure Keith could provide numbers like how many people actually viewed the page vs. the number of commenters. But again that would be pointless, as this is a completely subjective opinion which also details the reasons for that particular opinion.
            I don’t like non-constructive criticism as I don’t consider them worthy of reading. I haven’t read many comments detailing why their chosen driver was better (though I could’ve missed some), most of them were about “Clearly he was the better one, it’s obvious. How are you this blind Keith?”

            In my experience Keith attempts to be as little a fanboy when writing about F1 as possible and I respect that in him. It must be really difficult at times, and not really rewarding to read the comments.

            I for one agree with him on his point that Ricciardo was clearly the standout driver of the season.

    6. The main question is what Hamilton had to do this season to win your approval and be #1?

    7. Excellent comment. I think it’s great that F1F responds to comments and long may it continue!

      I think if you take pressure into account, then Ham ranks above Ric in my own opinion, but it depends if that’s taken into account. Ric had nothing much to lose, in fact next season will be a better judge. Ham dealt with the pressure remarkably well after his team mate basically started to play dirty (again in my opinion) and for that I would rank him #2.

      Alonso no.1 for me though, but Ham and Alonso were close. Keep on responding, it shows you read the comments and care!

    8. @keithcollantine great comment. I was quite disappointed there, but now I know I was wrong before. I understand why Hamilton is behind Alonso and Ricciardo. Hamilton threw away a lot of chances that should make his championship way more easier, while Ricciardo and Alonso tried to grab as many points as possible and capitalize every opporpunity

  83. I agree to be honest. Hamilton absolutely deserved the championship and had an incredible season, but Ricciardo and Alonso completely outdrove their respective cars.
    Ricciardo had no right to have that Red Bull still hanging just about in the championship hunt around Singapore, and what can you say about Fernando, the guy dragged every last tenth out of that absolute dog of a Ferrari all season and it’s pretty much a miracle he managed to get it on the podium twice.
    In Riccardo’s case, he absolutely smashed a four time World Champion in his first season in a top car. So I can see why those two would be ranked higher than Lewis, but it must have pretty damn close.

  84. As an ex mechanic and follower or F1 since the early 60’s I have known and watched many drivers and races. The logic is flawed but this web sites bias against Hamilton is well known and the author thinks too much of his own observations and ideals!

    1. Haven’t had much time to read this topic and chime in but I will jump in here at the end. How do you explain Keith ranking LH at the top at other times then, even when LH didn’t win, if he is so biased? Also, if, as you claim, Keith’s bias is ‘well known’ then he must be doing something right. I’m sure he’d rather have 300+ posts on one topic alone, all open for free and fair debate, than not be well known for anything.

      I see this as no different than how the posters on this site generally react to every driver of the weekend pole after every race. It is often the bloke that did more with less that gets the nod over the bloke with the winnng car so good that anyone could have done what he did that day, in a broad and generalized way. If Keith ranks DR and FA higher than LH it is simply because he opines like most fans do that they did more with less in 2014. And it’s all open for debate. It needn’t be any more complicated than that.

      1. lewis won 6 dotw this season.alonso 2,danny 3.also lewis had a teamate who was at his best.vettel and kimi were not at their best.lewis had to bounce back from car issues in races and quali,plus he gave us some of the best races of the season.if you take away germany,hungary,silverstone and monaco from quali,quali was actually pretty even.

        1. I’m sure Bahrain, Spain, Hungary, Italy, USA, and Russia showed that Rosberg did not give his best. I read DOTW polls, I think its irrelevant after looking at the races that I saw on TV.

    2. Dont you think its you that thinks too much of the author’s opinion and ideas and that’s why you’re bothered about it? Relax.

  85. I am afraid that keith has overlooked the most important factor here ; who was under pressure ?

    danny boy ? no pressure at all ..up against the 4 times WDC in the second or third best car he could just go for it and , all credit to him , he did ; whatever happened he wasn’t going to be castigated

    alonso ? again no pressure at all , driving a car which wasn’t at the top level , maybe 3rd/4th best ; just go for it , suited his temperament perfectly , absolutely nothing to lose

    hamilton? the ultimate pressure ; twice before he could easily have been WDC , only to be let down by his team …and right from the off he must have feared that it was going to happen again ; but , button like , he just kept going
    how anyone can vote for another driver is beyond me …at least the people who REALLY know made him a clear winner I suppose

    1. Pressure is soooo overrated… I just don’t buy the pressure fallacy.
      Drivers who consistently drive much better than their teammates have no pressure upon them (unless they are terribly unlucky with mechanical failures or accidents beyond their control). How does it make them less deserving?
      Yes, I understand that total dominance by a driver (Vettel 11 & 13, Schu 04, etc) makes for a boring championship. That everybody loves it when it goes down to the wire. That it is a lot more entertaining, rewarding, even epic. But it doesn`t make the just-in-the-last-corner winner a better driver than the one who is dominating from the word go.
      This year Hamilton has consistently outpaced Rosberg on Sundays, when it counts. He has had a little more mechanic trouble and worse luck than Rosberg, but nothing overwhelming. With his superior racecraft he should have clinched the championship much earlier. But he made a few mistakes and the WDC was still undecided until Abu Dabhi. And yes, it made it a lot more exciting to watch. But did those mistakes make Hamilton a better driver? Hardly.
      Just suppose Hamilton had been well ahead of Rosberg the whole season, his fans would (rightly) say: He is clearly the best, ’cause he is dominating so clearly. But he has been struggling, partly due to his mistakes, and fans say: He is clearly the best, ’cause he is under so much pressure. Well, you can’t have it both ways.

  86. Worst rankings ever.

  87. This is just part of the Hamilton derangement syndrome….for your conclusion to make any sense you would have to declare Lewis a vastly superior driver to Nico and the others,and 11 wins to 5,and a streak of 4 wins and 5 wins is a massive under performance.
    But you wont do that,you praise Nico for his quali ,put him on equal terms with Lewis, then thrash Lewis for not being 100% PERFECT.
    Ricardo had an impressive year but his weakness in the wet and poor starts puts him 3rd to 4th best.If Ricardo was in a front running team With a teammate performing well and a close field,with those weaknesses he would not be looking that good.he would have probably lost the lead from pole a few times.

    basically the same way you over compensating for the Ricardo new boy factor,you are over correcting for Lewis in the superior Merc.
    Everything has to evaluated in its context,and Lewis season was defined by going 25 points down in the 1st race,where any mistake there on could mean end of championship.Ricardo on the other hand was free to take chances and most of his passes were on fresher tires.Much like Perez in 2112….lets see what he does next yr

    In concluding your logic is not just intellectually flawed on every level,but rather pedestrian ,simplistic and lacking in credibility

    1. Thanks for making me smile. In conclusion, thanks.

    2. I’m sorry but your last sentence is ridiculous. Also made me smile.

  88. I agree this is the “Lewis” syndrome at work. Much more is expected of lewis Hamilton than any other driver. If Alonso drove like Lewis this year, and won the championship; no doubt he will be hailed as the 2nd coming of Christ.
    Lewis is judged much harsher than any other driver on the grid; this has always been the case – over his driving, his “intelligence”, his mistakes, his lifestyle, his dressing, his emotional state, his comments, etc. You name it, and he will be judged more harshly by it.
    If he does exceptionally well, then it’s not such a big deal; as it was expected of him anyway. If he does badly, it is a big deal because much more is expected of him.
    The guy simply cannot win.

    1. @kbdavies As @keithcollantine said he did in 2010 and 2007.

  89. There`s 22-18 drivers in the F1..so DNF for Mercedes (or even for both cars) means that someone else will win, but only by LUCK, with sufficient number of DNFs even Caterham could win races or score points, but that does not makes Caterham better tam than Mercedes or Kobayashi better driver than Hamilton…

  90. The Kantankerous Bean
    19th December 2014, 7:20

    This whole Hamilton ranking debacle is typically British if you ask me. When a Brit does a great job and the whole world is applauding and praising his masterpiece, there’s always a little man lurking in the background, sulking, finding faults with a microscope and trying to see what others haven’t and prove them wrong. Going by your 2014 ranking, that little man was you @keithcollantine

  91. James Whiteley
    19th December 2014, 13:44

    Wow, I think that some people are taking this way too seriously. Accusing Keith of bias and favouritism.. really? I think that overall the ratings are pretty fair. It is very difficult to decide on the top three, as there are so many variables at play, and you’re comparing three different drivers in three different cars, with three different teammates. Not just that but each teammate has struggled with different problems. Some people have argued that Hamilton has made more mistakes than he should have done, but he is the only driver of the three who’s teammate has been anywhere near his standard this year. Surely that, coupled with the fact that he was the only driver of the three who was in the picture for the championship, and therefore under a much greater level of media scrutiny, means that mistakes are somewhat more forgiveable and understandable as a result. That being said, I can’t think of a single reason why Ricciardo should be number one. He was faultless this year and I can’t recall him making a single mistake this year. Whilst I don’t put him on the same overall level of Alonso and Hamilton, I think that this year he couldn’t really have done a better job. I think he was the closest driver to maximising his potential over the course of the season. Alonso was awesome too, but made a couple of silly errrors, such as losing his wing at Spa. Separating Alonso and Hamilton for second and third seems nearly impossible. I’ll give Lewis the nod. Just.

    1. James Whiteley
      19th December 2014, 13:45

      Whoops, that was mean’t to read: “I can’t think of a single reason why Ricciardo shouldn’t be number one.”

  92. As a Hamilton fan, I understand Hamilton being ranked 3rd. I think you could justify putting the top 3 in any order – they were clearly the standout performers this year (Bottas was also very good, but not quite on the same level as Alonso/Hamilton/Ricciardo). However, the competition for best driver this year was so tough and close that I can understand why Hamilton’s frequent qualifying errors (usually just small errors, but sometimes more significant) are a justifiable reason for putting the others ahead of him. Ricciardo had pretty much a perfect year and maximised all his opportunities, and Alonso made very few mistakes and seemed to get the best from his terrible car. However, you have to remember that Hamilton was under a lot more pressure – he had a much tougher teammate than Alonso or Ricciardo (who had underperforming teammates that struggled with the 2014 cars) and was under the pressure of a bing in a title battle. When you look at the race results, I think Hamilton usually maximised his opportunities very well. I would say that there were only 6 of the 19 races where Hamilton could have got a better result:

    Monaco: 1st instead of 2nd – if he had put in a better time earlier in the qualifying session the problem could have been avoided. But he was only down on Rosberg’s time by 0.059s, and on his final lap he was a tenth up on his best lap by the first corner (while Rosberg was over a tenth down before going off). Mainly just misfortune.
    Canada: 2nd instead of Retirement – I don’t believe all this talk that Rosberg “handled the problem” better than Hamilton. Hamilton runs more rear brake bias than Rosberg (because he can handle more rear instability under braking) so he was always going to put more strain on his rear brakes. Additionally, after they retired Hamilton’s car they identified the problem and radioed Rosberg to switch more of his brake bias to the front.
    However, I think a very critical factor was that Hamilton was running in the hot air of Rosberg’s car the whole race until he jumped him at the pit stops (while Rosberg was in clean air). Fire was coming out of Hamilton’s front brakes at the pit stops due to overheating behind Rosberg. I think that if Hamilton hadn’t made his mistakes in qualifying and had been on pole and stayed in clean air, he wouldn’t have retired and could have ended up where Rosberg ultimately finished (2nd).
    Austria: 1st instead of 2nd – Finished 2 seconds behind Rosberg despite spinning in qualifying and starting 9th (plus losing 2s to Rosberg through slower pit stops). He had the pace, but his mistake in qualifying cost him.
    Germany: 2nd instead of 3rd – Losing some front wing against Jenson cost him 2nd (though he could have still won the race if the safety car came out for Sutil’s spin).
    Hungary: 2nd instead of 3rd – If he didn’t spin on the opening lap he could have probably come home 2nd. However, I don’t think the spin was really that bad of a mistake: he wasn’t allowed to participate in the formation lap and his brakes were stone cold. I’ve watched the onboard footage, he isn’t being aggressive, he just drives normally, hits the brakes and they completely lock-up, and he’s helpless. Maybe he could’ve braked earlier or something, but remember that he had no chance to get a feel for the brakes because (due to no formation lap) it was the first time he was driving the car since it set on fire in qualifying, and they had completely rebuilt the chassis since then.
    Even with the spin, you could argue he should’ve passed Alonso. However, what most people don’t know is that Hamilton’s car actually suffered a loss of engine power after his second pit stop on lap 40, which cost him ~0.5s every lap for the rest of the race (70 lap race, so lasted for 30 laps and cost him ~15s overall – http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2014/8/16227.html). Merc also put him on an odd strategy – 2 stopper with 2 stints on prime and one on option. Option was clearly the better tyre, it lasted almost as long as the prime but was considerably faster. Hamilton had enough softer tyres left since he didn’t get to use any in qualifying, so I don’t know why Merc did it. Maybe they thought doing fewer stops would help him get track position at the difficult-to-overtake Hungaroring, but Hamilton didn’t seem to have any problems with that anyway (he passed 4 cars in one lap at one point, and overtook Vergne in 1 lap while Rosberg couldn’t overtake him in 18 laps). His tyres were just as old as Alonso’s, and despite being the harder compound were degrading at pretty much the same rate. So Hamilton had 0.5s engine power loss and slower tyres. Alonso’s tyres were still probably worse at the end, but Hamilton’s tyres had also gone off the cliff so an overtaking move would have been very risky and difficult.
    Without the loss of engine power – or at least with a better strategy – Hamilton would have almost definitely won that race. Rosberg only lost 3 positions to the safety car (1st to 4th), so the main reason Rosberg lost the win is because he was stuck behind Vergne for 18 laps.
    Brazil: 1st instead of 2nd – Lock-up in qualifying meant he lost out on pole by 0.036s. He could have possibly jumped Rosberg in pit stops, but spin during “Hammer time” cost him 7s. It was definitely a mistake by Hamilton, but it mainly arose from a misunderstanding with the pit wall – Hamilton thought he was only going to do 1 lap and so took everything out of the tyres. The pit wall thought “Oh, he just set the fastest lap on those tyres, let’s leave him out for another lap to guarantee he jumps Rosberg”. The tyres couldn’t handle another lap, resulting in the spin. Hamilton was maybe a bit too aggressive on his second lap though, so it was still his mistake. He had the pace as he still finished right behind Rosberg despite the spin.
    Someone might argue Spa as well, but getting pole probably wouldn’t have made a difference as Hamilton had taken the lead at the first corner anyway. He could have possibly avoided the accident, but it was quite clearly Rosberg who was at fault, Hamilton just took the normal racing line (as he is entitled to) – there was nowhere for Rosberg to overtake from where he was, so there was no reason for Hamilton to take an extremely wide line to give him enough room – most drivers in Rosberg’s position would’ve just backed out there. If Hamilton had gone wide to let him alongside he would have just given Rosberg the better line and been overtaken. Rosberg wasn’t far enough forward to require Hamilton to do that, so I think Hamilton did nothing wrong.
    I think the only races where Hamilton very clearly cost himself a better result were Austria, Germany and Brazil. Possibly Canada as well, but it’s very difficult to tell if he could have avoided the retirement since he had to deal with worse circumstances that Rosberg.
    Monaco (yellow flags) and Hungary (power loss) were just misfortune imo, and the Hungary spin was largely a case of bad circumstances (very cold brakes + wet weather + no formation lap to understand the conditions or get used to the rebuilt chassis).

  93. *was under the pressure of a being in a title battle.

    Also, regarding Spa: interestingly enough, back in 2010 Rosberg forced Schumacher off the road at the same location as the 2014 clash (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxRG0j5LFVY). Schumacher was a lot further forwards than Rosberg was in 2014. I’m surprised Rosberg expected Hamilton to give him extra room.

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