Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Vote for your 2014 F1 Driver of the Year

2014 F1 season review

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Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014I’ve already chosen my top drivers of the year – now it’s time to find out who was yours.

It was a season dominated by Mercedes which saw Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to the championship. The only other driver to win a race was Daniel Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel finally lost his championship crown and left Red Bull to join Ferrari – replacing Fernando Alonso, who moves on to McLaren.

Two drivers claimed their first podium finishes in 2014: Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen. Also on the rostrum this year were Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Were any of these your driver of the year? Was it someone else? Cast your vote for 2014 Driver of the Year below and have your say in the comments.

Who was the best F1 driver of 2014?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (43%)
  • Nico Rosberg (2%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (33%)
  • Fernando Alonso (9%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (5%)
  • Jules Bianchi (1%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Andre Lotterer (0%)
  • Will Stevens (1%)

Total Voters: 765

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Pass of the Year

The voting is still open for your favourite overtaking move of the 2014 season. Review the ten nominees here and vote for the best pass of the year:

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2014 F1 season review

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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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155 comments on “Vote for your 2014 F1 Driver of the Year”

  1. Jules, we’ll never forget you…

    Thoughts and prayers from France.

    1. I think you missed the point of this poll

      1. Think you missed the two points Bianchi scored in a crap F1 car, that he destroyed his team mate once again this season, and the fact he pays a heavy price for driving one of those cars.

        1. Of course he did a brilliant job but the fact is that is not the point of the poll.

          1. @wpinrui

            Sorry, but this is exactly the point of the poll. The poll is to gain a wide range of data to see who the fans feel was the best driver of 2014. If someone wants to select Bianchi because of his brilliant drive in Monaco and often outpacing his team mate then so be it. There’s no right and wrong. The whole idea of this poll is to collect the data on peoples opinions as everyone will think differently and judge the drivers in different ways.

          2. How is it not the point of the poll?

        2. you should write: ‘I vote for Bianchi as I think he was the best driver’.
          not just ‘my thoughts and prayers are with Jules’ etc.

          1. @sato113

            They don’t have to write anything. Their first word is Jules, which clearly shows who they’ve voted for. Putting ” I vote for Jules as he was the best driver” seems a little pointless, as the point of the poll is to vote for your best driver, so a simple Jules clearly explains who they’ve voted for.

          2. Sometimes I wonder about the age level in this forum. Stop being a bunch of keyboard warriors and either stay on topic or go play with your dinky cars.

            This bickering is utter nonsense. Seriously!

  2. I think any of the top three has a case for being number 1 (that being Hamilton, Alonso or Ricciardo). So in the way I usually do things, I’ve voted for the one I think will get the least votes of the three and have gone for Alonso.

    I don’t believe Ricciardo would have beaten Hamilton this year, but I do believe Alonso would have, but I can still see why Ricciardo is ahead of both, simply because his performance relative to himself was far beyond what was expected. I believe that in equal machinery (assuming the same drivers still have the same issues with their cars), that Alonso would have come out on top, with Hamilton in second and Ricciardo in third.

    1. Great point. If they were all in the Mercedes, Alonso would have won the title. Would Ricciardo? Possibly, possibly not.

      1. Not sure that’s true. Even as a rookie in 2007, Lewis was able to deal with Fernando pretty well. A lot more experience under the belt for both of them now, so it would be interesting to see. And RIC would be an interesting add to that mix…I’d LOVE to see them all three try it! :)

        1. I don’t understand how people still bring that up after what? 7 years! Quit beating the dead horse. In those 7 years, so many things have changed that could create many different outcomes and people still believe it is a valid argument in proving that Hamilton is the better driver. I fail to see how that can be relevant after so long and thought that I should provide some things to consider before using that argument for another 7 years.

          – Alonso was not any more established at McLaren than Lewis had been when joining the team.
          – Renault used Michelins when Alonso won his two titles, while the McLarens used Bridgestones.
          – Since 2007 Bridgestone has been replaced by Pirelli.
          – Refueling has been banned.
          – Aerodynamics had changed a lot in 2009
          – Change in powertrain, fuel limit, and fuel flow
          – Introduction of KERS, and ERS
          – F1 cars have grown longer, and heavier

          Everybody knows that different things affect different drivers, and it is impossible to determine whether or not Hamilton is still able to match Alonso. The regulations have changed too much since then, and we don’t even know how much either one of them has developed since 2007.

          Just put 2007 to rest.

          1. “Put 2007 to rest”? Why when it is the only measure of Hamilton and Alonso as team mates. You can sing on about how Alonso performed better in that Ferrari compared to Lewis but fact is they did not have the same machinery. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Hamilton couldn’t have dragged that Ferrari to better championship positions or vice versa for Alonso. That does not even include how Alonso was the undisputed number 1 at Ferrari as well whereas Lewis had a team mate who was allowed to challenge him for position. So as a result the only accurate comparison that can be made is that of 2007 when Lewis the rookie out did Alonso the reigning and double world champ to second in the championship. Talk about being a die hard Alonso fan who does not like to face reality.

          2. Indeed the one thing we can say for certain is Hamilton is a much more mature and improved driver since 2007 (it was his rookie season); he would destroy Alonso now.

          3. His point Davej was that he does not believe that it is still a relevant reference point.

            My personal opinion however, noting that yours is just as valid, is that don’t think that Hamilton would have beaten Alonso this year. I believe Rosberg is some way off the level of Alonso.

            Which is not to say Hamilton isn’t faster, just that Alonso is likely to have scored more than Rosberg.

          4. Davej, I’m not sure you’ve read my comment. I never stated that Alonso is better, and never sang about his performance at Ferrari. In 7 years, many things have changed and that it could have swung into Alonso’s favor as much as it can swing into Hamilton’s favor. I just think that bringing 2007 into the argument and then completely ignoring 2008-2014 is rather poor. At this point you can’t really say Driver A > Driver B until they’re in the same car again.

            Sam, don’t you think there are more people other than Hamilton that could have become more mature and and improve their driving?

          5. Do me a favour, Alonso was a 2 time reigning WDC Hamilton a rookie and he bested him. 7 years on and Hamilton has grown a lot more than Alonso. Remember but for Mclaren strategy blunders pitstop incompetance and mechanical gremlins Hamilton would be sporting 5 WDCs right now.

          6. @AmbroseLane
            “Do me a favour, Alonso was a 2 time reigning WDC Hamilton a rookie and he bested him. 7 years on and Hamilton has grown a lot more than Alonso.”

            There is no evidence to suggest that Hamilton has grown more than Alonso in that period. It’s your opinion, and there are many that don’t share it. I won’t deny that Hamilton did marginally best him in 2007, but I don’t even believe Alonso was as good in 2005-2006 as he was in 2010 and onward.

            “Remember but for Mclaren strategy blunders pitstop incompetance and mechanical gremlins Hamilton would be sporting 5 WDCs right now.”

            Hardly 5, I’ll give you 3.

          7. I am surprised that people never bring Tarso Marques into this kind of discussions (for the benefit of the younger F1fanatics, he was Alonso’s teammate in 2001, his rookie year at Minardi).
            Minardi didn’t score any points but Marques was 22nd in the championship and Alonso 23rd. So, yes, Alonso was beaten by Marques, who managed a 9th position while Alonso’s best was 10th (nitpickers will tell you that Alonso consistenly outpaced Marques and always finished ahead of him when both got to the flag, but that’s hardly relevant).
            Considering that nobody in their right mind would rank Marques even in the top hundred F1 drivers, and that he beat Alonso, the inescapable conclusion is that Alonso is utter rubbish as a driver, and if he ever won anything it was purely blind luck.

          8. “Remember but for Mclaren strategy blunders pitstop incompetance and mechanical gremlins Hamilton would be sporting 5 WDCs right now”.

            This kind of reasoning is highly fallacious. If you change just one thing in favour of your guy, he comes out best. But there are other things not favoring your guy that might also have changed. Like, “Felipe Massa would have won the 2008 WDC instead of Hamilton were it not for the dreadful incident with the fuel line in the Singapore pitstop”. True, but it proves nothing.

      2. You can’t possibly justify that statement. It’s not backed up by history (2007), or any other statistic that I’m aware of.

        There’s absolutely no useful data to back up such a sweeping statement, and more than a little bit of evidence to contradict it.

        1. Alonso bested Hamilton in very equal machinery in both 2010 and 2013, and he even beat Lewis in 2011 despite driving a slower car; so to believe that Alonso would have won the WDC in a Mercedes regardless of his teammate is not so far-fetched IMO.

          1. In 2010, Alonso had 252 points to 240 for Lewis. Lewis had 3 DNFs to Alonso’s 1. I don’t know the details of the DNFs. Alonso beat him, but not by much.

            In 2011, Hamilton was behind by 30 points, but again had 2 extra DNFs. Hamilton led Alonso 3-1 in wins.

            2013 was not equal machinery. McLaren couldn’t even beat Lotus that year.

            They are very close drivers. To debate between them would never solve anything. The only thing is to hope for a season where they can go head to head in equal cars. Maybe 2016.

          2. @henryshakespeare

            In 2010, Alonso had 252 points to 240 for Lewis. Lewis had 3 DNFs to Alonso’s 1. I don’t know the details of the DNFs. Alonso beat him, but not by much.

            Monza was Hamilton’s own fault. He had a 50/50 accident in Singapore. In Hungary his engine blew up.
            Alonso just shades Hamilton overall in 2010.

            In 2011, Hamilton was behind by 30 points, but again had 2 extra DNFs. Hamilton led Alonso 3-1 in wins.

            Of course Hamilton won more races, the McLaren was a clear better car that year (look where Button was). Lewis scored less points because he crashed by himself in Canada and Belgium. In Brazil, he had a gearbox problem.

            2013 was not equal machinery. McLaren couldn’t even beat Lotus that year.

            Lewis was in Mercedes in 2013, not McLaren

            They are very close drivers.

            I agree that they are very evenly matched drivers. I’d give Lewis a slight edge in speed, and Alonso is maybe a little bit more consistent. There isn’t much in it.

          3. Yes, Lewis was at Merc in 2013 of course. That’s just me not thinking.

        2. Di Resta >>>>>>> Vettel, backed up by history of course.

  3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    18th December 2014, 12:27

    Have to say, my knee-jerk response was to place Lewis top, but Keith’s review won me over. Although Hamilton delivered more on-track entertainment than any other driver, his bad dip in form between Monaco and Spa rule him out for the number one spot. Both Alonso and Ricciardo performed consistently at a very high level: I voted Ricciardo.

    I hope Lewis sorts out his mind-management next year. The drought has ended, he should make the most of it.

    1. his bad dip in form between Monaco and Spa rule him out for the number one spot

      Monaco 2nd
      Canada DNF (retired from 1st)
      Austria 2nd
      Great Britain 1st
      Germany 3rd (brake failure in Q1 led to start in P20)
      Hungary 3rd (engire fire led to Pit Start: P22)
      Spa DNF (hit by team mate whilst in 1st)

      So the sequence of seven grands prix, where he has been touched three times by mechanical failures and once more by his clumsy team mate is enough to offset the fact he won ten of the other twelve grands prix?

      1. Exactly, Kodongo. To bounce back from those misfortunes shows the true value of Hamilton. Most other drivers would have cracked.

      2. Monaco – if he faster then he should able to overtake Rosberg (he had a lot of laps before the eye issue)
        Canada – if Rosberg can nurse his car why he cannot
        Austria – qualifying mistake
        Britain – qualifying mistake, if Rosberg have no issues its likely that he will win rather than Hamilton
        Germany – he should’ve been 2nd regardless the strategy that Merc offers
        Hungary – he should be able to overtake Alonso
        Belgium – racing incident
        I agree with @thegrapeunwashed even though I’m the one who criticised the rankings, but now I know that Keith is right to place Hamilton 3rd

        1. Monaco – Because Monaco. It’s the most difficult track to overtake on in the entire calendar
          Canada – Partly because Hamilton had been running in the hot turbulent air behind Rosberg (IMO due to Rosberg flagrantly cutting the final chicane to recover from his own mistake) which overheated his brakes more than Rosberg
          Austria – Hamilton’s fault
          Great Britain – Win
          Germany – Started P20 and he should have been second?! Third is still a pretty great result
          Hungary – Even in the Mercedes, being at different points in tire phases counts for a lot
          Spa – Racing incident that everyone who has a clue places firmly at Rosberg’s feet.

          So of those races, the only one where Lewis can really be critisised for the result is Germany. And he was third. Three meager points than the second you think he should have come.

          1. Yeah, but sometimes you need to be excellent, not great, and he should be able to maximise every opporpunity

        2. Monaco – if he faster then he should able to overtake Rosberg

          After reading this I will excuse the rest of the post because you are clearly ignorant of F1.

          1. No, no Hulkenberg can overtake Magnussen on portier @realstig, last year Sutil overtake Alonso at Loews

          2. @deongunner those are the exceptions rather than the norm. Anyone who has watched F1 for a few year will tell you that it is impossible to overtake in Monaco particular if it is the same cars, tires, engine settings etc. The only opportunity that Lewis had was during the pitstops, but the safety car ruled that out. You may not like Lewis but please try to be reasonable and apply your mind.

          3. @realstig

            No, it’s not impossible. It’s just very difficult.

            He didn’t pass him. It’s not an invalid criticism just because you don’t agree.

          4. @realstig criticizing is diffrent than dislike,,and as @mike said overtaking in Monaco is not impossible, I also said before Sutil overtake Alonso in worse car, and then why Monaco is designed if you impossible to overtake, yes it is difficult but that is the challenge to test driver ability to overtake.

    2. Bad dip in form? 2nd, had just taken the lead when his brakes gave up, 2nd (mistake in quali), 1st (mistake in quali, but was catching for the lead even before Rosberg retired), 3rd after starting last, 3rd after starting last, was in the lead when he was taken out. A dip in results, a couple of errors crept in, but far from a bad dip in form.

      1. Canada, pushed too hard & blew his brakes, ROS was prob smiling as HAM overtook him, knowing that the brakes wouldn’t take it & it was just a matter of time. Patience ain’t a Hamilton strength it seems ;-)
        Austria, beatn by teammate.
        Britain, got lucky, ROS retired.
        Germany, barged his way through field using DRS, lucky safety car.
        Hungary, got lucky with a safety car. DR round the outside!
        Spa, needlessly squeezed ROS (again!) when he didn’t need to (ego over ambition?) & ROS showed him that’s NEVER happening again.

        = DIP IN FORM

        add spinning off in Brasil too, even just a few years ago that was a sandtrap, and a guaranteed retirement, not just a nancy cement runoff. Top drivers know their limits. Would have loved to hear all the brake excuses etc (its not him its the car etc etc) if that sandtrap was still there lol.

        1. Canada: He was probably smiling after blatantly cheating when he cut the chicane – attempted to make the corner would almost certainly have lost him the lead.
          Austria: Fair cop
          Britain: Was gaining rapidly on Rosberg before the gearbox problem started. Didn’t need luck, and he had his own share of bad luck over the season.
          Germany: The same DRS everyone else had. Lucky safety car to compensate for unlucky safety car in Bahrain. Also, there SHOULD have been a safety care when Sutil span.
          Hungary: Raced from the pit lane to 3rd and you’re saying it’s all down to the safety car? Wow.
          Spa: Hamilton did not squeeze Rosberg – there was plenty of room. Suggesting otherwise implies a lack of understanding about racing works.

          Brazil: sure it was a mistake, but the sandtrap was not there – every driver was aware of this fact, so they could afford to push slightly harder than normal. Lewis was also taken by surprise by the need to stay out 2 laps longer than Nico, rather than the expected 1.

          I think’s a clear that I disagree with Keith’s analysis on this, but at least his is rational about it…

    3. It’s really sad when the “bad dip in form” is based on “only” scoring 2 third places (from the back of the grid), 2 second places, and a first place, and two retirements due to mechanical problems.

      If that’s “poor form”, I’d hate to see what it takes to win you over. Most drivers would consider that the best season of their career, AND WOULD BE RIGHT.

      So why is it that Hamilton is expected to perform at a much higher level than any other driver on the grid?

  4. Ricciardo, I seriously never expect Ricciardo to beat Vettel like this, plus he’s always the only one who capitalize Mercedes problems and take the wins. Alonso and Hamilton also had amazing year, but they fell short for my DOTY picks

    1. Yeah, I don’t think anyone expected it either, I predicted that maybe with some luck Daniel would beat him on qualifying very often but in the races Vettel would dominate him, that happened several occasions with Vergne when he was in Toro Rosso, but obviously we were all very wrong.

      1. While I didn’t expect Vettel to be dominated like he was, I’ve always had a suspicion that Vettel is overrated. Even in his dominant runs in 2011 and 2013, I always maintained the position that Alonso was the best driver on the grid.

        One thing I noticed about Vettel is that, whenever there was a weekend where Red Bull had a car about equal to the others, it was very rare for him to win.

        2009: Bahrain, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Singapore
        2010: China, Turkey, Belgium, Singapore
        2011: China, Canada, Silverstone, Germany, Hungary, Japan
        2012: Monaco, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, USA
        2013: Monaco, Hungary

        Above are 22 examples of where Red Bull had a car which was roughly equal best with one or two other teams across the weekend, and not once did Vettel win in any of those instances; and it’s not as if those examples are exaggerated, you have to admit even if you are a Vettel fan, that Red Bull had the car that could have won if he’d done a better job.

        Now let’s look at the flip side of things: How many races in Vettel’s career has he won, where he genuinely did not look to have the best car that weekend? Monza 2008 obviously, Spain 2011, Bahrain 2012, Singapore 2012 (inherited from Lewis), Bahrain 2013 and Germany 2013. Other than that? I can’t think of any. That’s 5 or 6 races out of his 39 wins where Red Bull might not have been the best car.

        Why is it, that whenever Red Bull were on the same level as Ferrari and McLaren in a race (Canada and Germany 2012 are perfect examples of this), Vettel almost always lost to Alonso or Hamilton? Out of the enormous sample size we have, it can’t just be a coincidence. With Alonso, at least one-third of his wins were without sitting in the clear-fastest car of the weekend. With Vettel, this is barely 15% tops.

        1. Interesting @kingshark. I would also note that Bourdais had his best weekend at Monza 2008, and had the second fastest race lap, however he lost a lap at the start (else he might have been near the podium). Golden Toro Rosso low drag/Ferrari engine/Newey new parts combination?

          2011 – EBD wasn’t banned when it should have been, a U-turn under pressure.
          2013 – Setup rules were not enforced – a tyre change U-turn under pressure.

          Without those two changes, we might not have seen a dominant period for Vettel, instead just consistently grinding his way to the title like in 2010/2012. In 2013 he was already odds-on favourite to win at the time of the change, so why RB didn’t also move to the 2014 car is beyond me.

        2. @kingshark I agree that he is a little bit overrated. Alonso drag that 2012 Ferrari which is almost 1 second slower than Red Bull into the same level. And in 2011 and 2013 I think that Vettel should have win atleast 15 races. But 2015 will tell the whole story

      2. The fact is that Vettel has never, once, lead the WDC unless his team lead the WCC. By contrast, Alonso lead half the 2012 WDC when Ferrari were nowhere near the WCC, and Hamilton won the 2008 WDC when McLaren lost the WCC to Ferrari.

        To conclude my post above, to me, Vettel has always been overrated. He’s been flattered by an average teammate who was rubbish on Pirelli tyres (Webber) and the best car for 4 consecutive years. He’s not a “bad” driver, per se, but anyone who thinks he is a legend and in the same bracket as Schumacher is kidding themselves, Vettel is a Hakkinen calibre driver, nothing more.

        Hakkinen, like Vettel, I also consider to be overrated, because he too was flattered by Newey’s rocketships from 1998-1999. When he didn’t have a good car, Hakkinen was often out-performed by his teammate (1997, 2001). However, the difference between the two was that Mika had to wait a long, long time before he finally got a Newey rocketship in 1998 fast car. Vettel got his first a Newey-rocketship when he was only 21.

        1. This is a very good point… At this point in time, it would be fair to rank Schumacher-Alonso-Hamilton as the best of each recent generation, with Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Vettel as their principal rivals that were beaten into second place. It would be interesting to see if we add Ricciardo and Bottas to that list in future.

        2. @kingshark Alonso also finished third in the standings in a car from the leading constructor in 2007 behind both his teammate and a driver from the next highest scoring constructor.

          1. @jerseyf1 So did Hamilton? They tied.. and were 1 point behind Kimi. The cold, hard fact is that Alonso was 2 tenths faster than Hamilton in qualifying that year… and how many points did he lose from his FIA penalty at Hungary?

            The fact also remains that Lewis had the best debut season since the pre-war era, but you could also say it was overdue – he could have been driving from mid-2006, and would have if it was a Red Bull in charge, rather than McLaren.

            Also, with any team orders or driver management that year, McLaren would have sewn up both titles, but it still would have been close between the top 3 anyhow. I looked at the season again and came to this conclusion:

            Alonso should have won with most wins, Hamilton should have been second with most podiums; Raikkonen in contention as best Ferrari driver overall, with a late charge, possibly just one point behind the McLarens and Alonso winning on win countback. But the season is so close, that the result is always swung by just one or two factors.

          2. @jerseyf1 Interestingly, under that scenario, Alonso vs. Hamilton at Brazil for 3rd place could have been a battle to decide the title between the two McLaren drivers!

    2. I thought Ricciardo would be thrashing everybody else in the poll right now, but it’s not far away from Hamilton. Similarly, I really thought Alonso would be closer. Just felt curious.
      To sum up, my vote goes to Ricciardo. A tremendous job, proved himself in what’s definitely not the best RBR ever, and having Vettel by his side. Here’s hoping RBR can build a winner next year and Danny is there challenging the Merc boys. Same goes for McLaren and Ferrari, though it’s gonna be hard for the latter.

    3. See, I expected him to beat Vettel… because I think that Vettel is overrated. He’s very fast, but that isn’t enough (in fact, he’s faster than Alonso, who is consistently rated as “a better driver”).

      I expect Ricciardo will win a world championship, unless the curse of the senior driver strikes him at Red Bull (the older driver never does well at Red Bull).

      1. Any ‘facts’ to back up your conclusion that Vettel is faster than Alonso or just at least that Vettel isn’t fast enough?

        I didn’t like his domination one bit and that Alonso lost to him. But you don’t win 4 titles just by turning up in the car. Webber was nowhere near him in the standings despite having similar machinery.

    4. When Vettel came onto the scene, some characters in the pits labelled him the new Senna. Such a comparison is, of course, absurd. For if it is not, then we reach the truly absurd conclusion that Riccardo is superlative beyond words. Accordingly, we must reassess Vettel: either he had an off-season or he was flattered by his machinery cf. Hill and Villeneuve. Either way, this puts Riccardo’s efforts this year in quite a different light. Further, we must remember that Riccardo had no pressure from outside the team (he was not fighting for the WDC and had no weight of expectation being almost a rookie) nor from inside the team (given Vettel’s form).

      Hamilton was sensational this year. He was a good as he usually is. The real difference was his consistency and his maturity.

  5. Alonso – there was nothing else to be scraped from a car that probably had similar performance to the Force India; there is always a margin of error to be considered when you are comparing a car driven by Alonso to one that is being driven by somebody else.

    1. Unless the other driver is Hamilton (and perhaps only Hamilton although I will be interested to see how Alonso measures up to Button) who showed he was more than a match for Alonso, despite being a rookie.

      Alonso is a disruptive influence in a team. He left Renault, complaining that the team did not want him to win and that Fisi was not helping him enough. He blackmailed his own team at McLaren and left in one of the most violent inter-team spats in F1 history. Further, despite professing to bring ‘six tenths’ to any team for which he drives, he could not return McLaren, Renault or Ferrari to the very top. That is a further mark against him.

      1. It’s hardly Alonso’s fault that Ferrari cannot fix their wind-tunnel issues. Ferrari have been struggling since the 2009 regulation change, and that has nothing to do with Alonso whatsoever. His relationship with Renault, was for the most part, quite good and healthy. McLaren is the only team he ever had any problems with, and those problems is clearly forgiven and forgotten, since he’s joining that very team next year.

      2. Come on mate, 2007 is a long, long way out and as a big McLaren fan I really happy that Alonso came, and if you say Alonso have problems, same as Hamilton, both of them are in the past, and the past should be forgotten.

  6. When comparing the top three, theres one aspect that would make me put Hamilton on top. He saves his tyres better than the other two and most importantly, he uses less fuel than Alonso and Ricciardo after being blasted by experts that he would find it tough to adapt to the new regulations. Wonder how much faster he can be without fuel saving. Hes already beaten Nando in the same team as a rookie, and in a championship fight with the same equipment, Daniels bad starts would cost him points and wins against Lewis. He needs to sort that out asap

    1. I think Mercedes engine allows for better fuel economy, and I’m 100% sure that handling of both Mercedes and RedBull allows for much more tire saving that that Ferrari which was all over the place.

      1. Why do people consistently make excuses to discount Hamilton’s performance?

        What is it about him that makes people think winning 11 races in one season makes him an “ok” driver? Has anyone ever started Hungary from the pit lane and finished on the podium?

        I honestly think that if Hamilton won every single race next year, and started pole position in every race, people would still find some reason to explain why he’s not really that good.

        1. Hamilton’s season was good, but car-adjusted it was no better than Alonso or Ricciardo. Out of the 3, he is also the only one to have been out-classed by his teammate on Saturday.

          1. “He was the only one to be outclassed by his team mate on a Saturday”. Even then if you consider Monaco, Germany and Hungary Nico is marginally ahead. But then again how many points does one get for qualifying. You can outqualify your team mate all season for all you like but if the opposite occurs during the races and that same team mate outraces you throughout then even you have to admit that the “outqualifying” argument would hold little water.

    2. Yes, we know that because all were driving the same cars with same engines.

  7. Alonso.
    He might have been even more impressive in 2012, but at least he had a car that was podium material at that time. Still, I think he was extremely strong in 2014, milking every bit of pace out of a rubbish car. He was involved in a great number of battles, but almost didn’t set a foot wrong during the entire season. There was Spa, where an ERS problem severely reduced his chances of overtaking, eventually leading to a minor collision with Vettel. And there was that slip-up in Q3 in Abu Dhabi when he ran wide and lost a position to Räikkönen.
    He’s the top man of the sport, he would’ve beaten them all with better material.

  8. I guess everybody knows how picky I am when I have talked about Lewis… but for me he is DOTY. Ricciardo is of course a close second, then Bottas or Alonso.
    I consider that even in that spaceship the WO5 is, Lewis extracted the most of it. As when I chose Seb as DOTY in 2011 and 2013, I can’t change my opinion now just because I’m not Lewis fan.

  9. Close call. I went for Ricciardo, I loved his racecraft!

  10. Hard choice between Ricciardo and Alonso, but I still think Ricciardo was a tad more impressive. The difference between them for me is that while Alonso beat Räikkönen in “his team”, Ricciardo beat Vettel, who I thought was the best driver on the grid after 2013, in a team that was built around the 4-times champion. But on another day I might have chosen Alonso, since he did humiliate Räikkönen so badly.

    1. So you are saying both Alonso and Ricciardo did well because their teammate underperformed?

  11. I vote Lewis, first driver to win 11 races without a waste of a seat team mate.

    1. waste of a seat team mate

      Opinion, not fact.

  12. I think fwc is number one what ever you think

  13. Still a few die hard Kimi Fans apparently…

  14. I’m with you Keith.

    Ricciardo, and it’s an easy decision.

  15. Many will say Lewis Hamilton and although he had an amazing year, I really think Driver of the year has to be Ricciardo. To come into RB and consistently beat out a 4 time WDC in both qualifying and on the track shows just how good a talent we have here. The one time he went wheel to wheel with Lewis Hamilton in Hungary (a track Lewis has won many times) just showed me we have a very special driver here.

    1. “The one time he went wheel to wheel with Lewis Hamilton in Hungary (a track Lewis has won many times) just showed me we have a very special driver here.”

      That pass was made on different tire strategies, and not a straight fight like the one they had at Hockenheim battling with Kimi.

      1. Merc v Red Bull in a straight line CANNOT equal straight fight so if Hockenheim was a straight fight in your books then Hungary must also be otherwise you are contradicting yourself ;)

        1. I’m not contradicting myself, Of course it’s a straight fight, and probably the straightest fight it’s ever going to be, having new tires as Daniel did is worth more in lap times than whatever horse power advantage the Merc’s may have at any track. both RBR’s finished ahead of four Merc powered cars of the Force India and Mclaren, and Daniel didn’t seem to have a problem overtaking at a supposedly horse power track like Monza, when again he also had the fresher tire advantage.

  16. My vote would go for Lewis Hamilton. Mainly because he had one mission that Ricciardo didn’t have this season: having to deal with the pressure of fighting for the world championship title.
    Ricciardo has been absolutely superb this season, but ultimately, the season was easier for Ricciardo than it was for Hamilton. Daniel didn’t have to put up with the pressure of fighting for the world championship title because he realistically has never been in contention. Hamilton in comparison, had to make sure that every opportunity counted to take the championship lead, and then to widen that gap. Because of this, I would rate Lewis to be the best driver this season. He had major setbacks, but ultimately pulled himself through and clenched the title.

  17. Credit to Rosberg where it’s due: it was also his merit if Hamilton, who could’ve won 19 races this year, didn’t. Apart from mechanical failures Hamilton made silly mistakes and lost out frequently in qualifying, with Rosberg always, consistently, pushing hard, losing out by a few seconds after 70 laps-odd races and more often than not being quickest in qualifying. Hamilton is faster than Rosberg but made more mistakes, Rosberg was consistent but perhaps not perfect. It’s hard to pick one of the two Mercedes drivers, and although I think Ricciardo wouldn’t have beaten them in equal machinery his season was faultless and when two dogs strive for a bone a third one runs away with it!

    1. I struggle to see how lewis was more inconsistent or made less mistakes then rosberg

    2. rosberg made PLENTY of mistakes,which is why his pole to win ratio is so low.its also the reason why danny was able to win races.lewis didnt make as many mistakes as some claim.and quali,well if you take away germany,hungary,silverstone(understandable mistake)and monaco,where nico cheated.then quali is very even.but race days,not even close.

      1. But as far as I remember (again, just by memory) Rosberg lost out simply because, over seventy laps, he was just a little slower than Hamilton. And I’m saying this should have granted Hamilton more wins, or, at least, finishing ahead of Nico more often. Leaving technical faults on the side, if Rosberg finished second at every race by Abu Dhabi he’d have been 7×18=126 points behind Hamilton. I’m saying Lewis made life difficult for him, Rosberg was really in contention just because of what I’ve just said, so to avoid bias I went for Ricciardo. Not Massa or Raikkonen, but someone who, though I think he’d have finished behind both in equal machinery, proved constantly to be third-best at least.

        1. The internet has a way of reinventing the truth. Apparently the spin in china at turn 16 during qualy, mistake in Monaco, mistake in Canada while under pressure, cracking twice in Monza, out braking himself massively in Russia have faded from memory

        2. @fixy Rosberg lost out mainly because he was less effective wheel-to-wheel and made more mistakes. Lapping in free air he’s impressively quick.

          If you really voted for the 3rd best on that basis then that is quite strange IMO, but judging by nuances like Hamilton’s ‘silly’ mistakes I am a bit doubtful tbh.

    3. Ricciardo wasn’t fighting for the world championship and effectively had nothing to lose, so I think to say he would beat Hamilton and Rosberg in equal machinery seems too much of a leap to me. @fixy

      1. @fixy apologies, I read your comment without my bifocals on!

        1. @john-h :) I’m glad you think it would be a leap too!

  18. I thought Alonso would have more votes, but I went for Hamilton, because of the pressure and having to deal with Monaco and Spa. I don’t think he really made more mistakes than the others; I think as usual his were replayed and talked about while the others’ like Ricciardo’s starts or running deep at T1 losing places, or Alonso’s spin or grid cockup or letting Vettel through are instantly wiped from people’s memories.

    Anyway the top 3 can’t really be split on an objective basis I don’t think. I do hope Nando has a reasonable car next year.

    1. I thought Alonso would have more votes

      @lockup How can one come up with such an assessment especially after seeing yesterday’s ‘Heaven has fallen’ comments accusing @Keithcollantine of bias et al?

      1. @eclairstone I thought the Alonso is No2 post had plenty of positive comments in it. I know it’s tempting to focus on the more extreme comments but they are in a minority at the end of the day. I was expecting Alonso to be about even with DR and LH.

        Maybe he’d have shown better with a 1st,2nd,3rd type poll? Anyway there are three who stood out, is a consensus.

  19. Has to be Bianchi.
    The man scored points for MARUSSIA! He demolished Chilton.

    1. I don’t rank Bianchi in the top 3 this year but pretty close by. Not sure if you are being ironic tough.

  20. I voted for Daniel Ricciardo, simply for absolutely demolishing a quadruple world champion!

  21. Lewis Hamilton, of course!

  22. Cannot argue with the choice of number 1. DR was the best driver of 2014. I was one of the skeptics. I didn’t think he was any better than JEV and maybe worse than him. I was wrong, though I still think he’s only slightly better and JEV does not deserve to be out of F1 while DR is at a top team. but that’s OT. Great job Ricciardo!

    Only things I don’t agree with: Alonso above Hamilton and Vettel & Kimi too high up

  23. Check out the stats on the bbc f1 page. Places gained and lost at the start of a race. Daniel comes way bottom with a -25 figure. Yes hes had a great year and credit to him. But for this major reason, hes not my driver of the year and its something he has to sort out before he starts fighting for championships. Driver of the year for me is lewis hamilton. Just my opinion.

    1. The key thing was though that Daniel Ricciardo turned that one slight chink in his armour into something irrelevant as he still managed to soundly beat his team mate, who didn’t lose 25 places at the start of a race. That’s before we talk about his three victories, three more than anybody who wasn’t driving a Mercedes.

      1. Yeah, soundly beat an under performing teammate, big deal. NOT.

      2. I support Ricciardo but can’t accept losing so many positions at race start as irrelevant. Even if he managed to recover them most of the times, it got him into lots of unnecessary troble and risks.
        Personally I ranked Ricciardo 2nd this season and would have ranked him 1st had his starts been more decent. I do believe he needs to improve them if he wants to become a WDC. And I hope saying this doesn’t make me a “Ricciardo detractor”, I certainly don’t feel like one.

    2. I have not checked the stats but I bet you that Chilton lost the least!

      1. Good one!! but not true. Starting from the back of the grid you have little to lose, and you effortlessly benefit of first-lap attrition. Well, the data are Chilton won 16 positions in the first lap along the year, with little or no overtaking. Far from the best, who was Gutierrez who won 36 positions. So you lose your bet ^_^.
        Seriously, who was the best starter? Not sure, but these are my candidates:
        1) Felipe Massa, + 14 positions, while being usually close to the sharp end of the grid
        2) Lewis Hamilton, + 7 positions, while being usually in the first row
        Honorable mention to the Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso, +13 positions, and Kimi Raikkonen, + 12 positions, helped maybe by their usually rather poor starting position but emphatically not by their awful power unit

  24. Hamilton.
    He won 11/19 races against a competitive team mate, coming back several times from a large deficit. In the majority of Hamilton’s wins he wasn’t close to being stretched by Rosberg.

    Out of the 8 races that he didn’t win:
    3 were retirements that were not his fault,
    2 he started from the back, again nothing he could have done about this,
    1 The Monaco incident.

    This leaves just two races in Austria and Brazil that Hamilton should have won but didn’t win. In those two races he finished right on his team mate’s tail and had far superior pace. So effectively, Hamilton can only be marked down on two errors (austria quali and the brazil spin) which cost him points. Perhaps you could argue that he also lost 3 points in Germany by scraping his front wing on Button but that’s it. Yes, his qualifying performance was not great by his high standards I’ll admit, but ultimately this is irrelevant given the fact that he nearly always made up for it the following day. I don’t see how Ricciardo or Alonso for that matter would have improved on this given they didn’t have an error free year either.

  25. I read all Keith comments, and must say overall brilliant analyses and a solid ranking.
    I do not agree with his full list, but that is probably the ‘opinion’ part of the poll.

    The poll is for ‘best driver’ whatever ‘best’ means – thus I understand a vote for Biancchi, he certainly had some very good races and deserves all the support we can give him.

    my vote however:
    – Hamilton was clearly the fastest driver this year, and deservedly WDC;
    – though I think in identical cars Alonso would have beaten him; he outperformed his WDC teammate and most expensive car throughout the season;
    – and Ricciardo has been a delight – a very good racer, and the mistakes he made (slow starts) he made up through good overtaking.
    And therefore my vote goes to Ricciardo – not the fastest, not even if in equal material (IMHO) but great improvement and IMO 2014 Driver of the Year.

    1. why would have alonso beaten lewis.im pretty sure lewis would have won the quali battle,and we all saw how strong lewis was in the races.so how would alonso have beaten lewis.alonso was up against a teamate who was 0 threat,which meant he was under little pressure,which means youll make less mistakes.with lewis pressuring alonso,do you really think fernando wouldnt have made mistakes.alonso doesnt like strong competition from his teammates.button will be a number 2 to alonso…you watch.

    2. I don’t have too many problems with Keith’s list but I’d say JE Vergne was ranked way too low, Kimi and Bianchi also too low, Vettel way too high, Perez also too high. I agree with the top three but not in the same order.

  26. I’m a Hamilton fan, and think this was one of his best season’s, but was he the best driver of the year? In my eyes, no.

    He had the best car, and it’s hard to look past him, but he often made mistakes in Qualifying that cost him points in the race.

    Daniel Ricciardo however, completed shocked everyone. I doubt anyone expected him to be a match for Vettel, let alone outclass him. He had a near perfect season an for my money and just comes out on top of Alonso, simply because of how high Alonso has raised the bar for himself.

    1. what mistakes in quali cost him points in the race…..silverstone he won,monaco.,,well erm…

      1. Plus Austria, and that’s it. That’s as error free as it gets under title pressure… Even MSC used to make mistakes whilst pushing hard.

      2. Canada being another, I don’t see why the translation into race results have anything to do with it. Given the relative speed to the car to it’s competitors, all Hamilton is racing against is really Nico.

        – Silverstone he misread the conditions, gave up and Nico got pole. Won the race because Nico’s reliability problem.
        – Canada made a mistakes on his hot lap that would have given him pole, made it up in the race but still nonetheless mistakes that could have ultimately cost him.
        – Austria mistakes on both his hotlaps when he was easily up on Rosberg.

        Sure some of these mistakes might not have cost him in terms of race results but in terms of performance alone they are still errors. Having ‘title pressure’ is just another excuse IMO, it is only title pressure if you make it out to be yourself. Hamilton has been in a much closer title race before so if anything, Hamilton should feel less pressure as he has been there and done it before.

        Ricciardo for me, followed closely by Hamilton/Alonso.

  27. didnt vote as im not a member,but i would have voted for lewis,with danny a close second.alonsos teammate was awful,nowhere near his best.fernando didnt wanna take on kimi at his best next season,so he did a runner.

    1. Raikkonen performed poorly because that Ferrari is bad, Alonso did a tremendous job. Their car should’ve fight with McLaren and sometimes even Force India, but Alonso dragged it above the car capabilities at most races this season

  28. Hamilton cam down from a race deficit 3 times to win the championship. 3 times!
    If Rosberg was up to par, and Mercedes did not trip over themselves, Ricciardo and RBR would not have won a single race. If Mercedes had a better driver than Rosberg (maybe Alonso), again Riccirado would not have won a single race.
    This does not diminish his efforts, but those 3 wins and beating Vettel soundly cannot make him DOTY in my opinion. He did the best with what he had; but Lewis did better.

  29. Ricciardo, and I didn’t even have to think about this one.

    the way he keeps hunting down his targets, maximising his car etc.

    Beating a dominant 4x world champion in the most utter and crushing manner, driving him away from his beloved team.

    Just utter brilliant!

    It looks like we have a new Alonso, although he remains mister consistency for now, at least I know who my next favorite driver will be when Alonso decides to retire!

  30. Lewis was the better driver thiis year in my opinion with Ricciardo coming a close second.
    There seem to be a bit of “Lewis” syndrome at work (as there always is).
    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; and 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.
    Keith actually shows this logic in his explanations. The guy simply cannot win.

  31. I just have to go with Lewis on this one. To me, you put all your different slants and circumstances into voting for the different DOTW. But when it comes to the season: I’m a bottom line kind of guy. Lewis dominated what mattered.

  32. Riccardo seems to be getting an enormous number of votes based on something that was nothing to do with him (namely, that Vettel struggled badly with a car that has a less-stable rear end, such as you get when you marry an overall reduction in downforce to the high torque of the V6 Hybrids).

    1. Nothing to do with him?

      – Outqualified and outraced Vettel in a team built around Vettel for years
      – Beat a 4xWDC
      – Won 3 races where Mercedes fell over
      – Had excellent tire management couple with speed
      – Brilliant racecraft throughout the season against all drivers
      – Barely made any mistakes other than some dodgy starts

      Vettel struggled badly with the car? Who’s fault is that then? Vettel’s. Vettel has had every opportunity to adapt or change is style if needed to beat Ricciardo. Playing down Vettel’s ‘problems’ is a disservice to Ricciardo’s achievements this season.

      1. And parts of your post emphasizes the point that @ilanin is making. You are bench making his performance against an under performing Vettel.

  33. 427 votes and Will Stevens in top 5 with 4% of vote!

  34. Had to go Ricciardo. Beat an experienced team mate, won three races and qualified consistently.
    Lots of votes for Stevens! He’s up to 5% now.

  35. for me it is pastor! he is funny to watch :3

  36. I think Hamilton deserves this.

  37. First Race Champion Races Wins Poles Record Lap
    Vettel: 2007 4 139 39 (28,1%) 45 (32,4%) 24 (17,2%)
    Hamilton: 2007 2 148 33 (22,3%) 38 (25,7%) 20 (13,5%)
    Alonso: 2001 2 234 32 (13,7%) 22 ( 9,4%) 21 ( 8,9%)

    1. Not very relevant. This is about 2014.
      Anyway, the results are as always heavily biased by the car/team.
      For a change let’s see the F1metrics cloned car/team math model championships:
      Vettel: 0
      Hamilton: 1 (2007)
      Alonso 10 (2003-05-06-08-09-10-11-12-13-14)

  38. Easy!…Danny Ric all the way.

    I dont think there’s ever been such a convincing “debut” performance in history. He’s walked into the Lion’s Den, and not only has he destroyed the King, he’s driven him out of the Den and take the throne.

    If Renault can catch up on Engine power next year, Ricciardo will be fighting for the title, no doubt.

    All of Western Australia, if not Australia, is behind you mate!!

  39. I voted Hamilton.

    Yes he had the best car by a country mile but cars are developed through driver feedback so he deserves some credit there. Secondly that in itself poses a challenge because there was no one else to keep his team mate busy on track so he was constantly up against a fiercely quick driver, in the same car, being fed all his data.

    The other teams drivers could at least count on competing teams to keep the other side of the garage busy, the Mercedes were only ever racing each other, all season, with the finest of margins between them.

    He withstood that pressure all season and may have cracked in qualifying a few times, and had the odd media outburst which won him no fans, but come Sunday which is the only day that counts he delivered by a significant margin.

  40. I think it’s nice to let the folks vote for their preference. I’m interesting to find out what F1 fanatic demographic field picks out.

  41. My choice is Lewis Hamilton as he won the title to prove his abilities. He is also pairing-up with Nicole so my vote is for Lewis!

  42. No contest here, it has to be Ricciardo. Faster than his teammate all year, no mistakes, pulled some incredible overtakes, totally consistent, and he always looked like a predator when he drove up behind someone. He always interviewed well, didn’t engage in petty politics or mind games, didn’t use leaks to the media to destabilise people he didn’t like, and looked like a racing driver should: a talented person having a great time.

    Alonso did wonders in the Ferrari but one again the spin of politics around him was difficult to see through. How much of Ferrari’s instability has been exacerbated by his maneuverings over the last couple of years?

    Hamilton won the championship but people forget how lost he looked before the summer break and he was beaten soundly in qualifying. He could easily have come second if Rosberg hasn’t made so many mistakes. In the beginning of the season he was quite happy to chop dangerously across Rosberg our push him off the circuit with a gleeful description to camera “that’s a racing driver telling a rival f off” but threw a petulant fit when the same tactics were used against him later on. Disgustingly blamed his engineer for his mistake in China while his pr team ran their ‘win and lose together’ hashtag all year. Deadly fast, but still flawed, and probably the easiest driver on the grid to dislike. A media sensation though.

    1. actually your wrong,lewis even when going through that patch of mainly bad luck,still was able to beat nico.and danny was never up against vettel at his best.vettel had lots of car issues,and so was unable to show his true pace.so its not like danny beat vettel at his best.so danny had very little competition from his teammate,just like alonso.also if nico made lots of mistakes,it shows he couldnt deal with the pressure.im very sure if danny had of had lewis,nico or alonso as a teamate,he would have come off second best.nico was at his best,kimi and vettel were not.plus if you takeaway hungary,germany,silverstone and monaco from quali its very even….imo this is more about popularity,the last part of your post proves this…..its kinda like button winning british driver of the year in 2012,eventhough lewis was clearly better.but on other websites lewis has been voted DOTS by the fans,so its ok.

    2. Lol that is really desperate invention. Riccardo was terrific, after that there’s not a single true statement. Why? What’s the matter?

  43. It is very difficult to weigh who was best this year. I voted for Hamilton as he was the only one besides Nico who was fighting for title. In does circumstances he managed the situation best. I know how good are Alonso and Ricciardo who drove fantastic this season but the circumstances are simply different to those who are fighting for title. Maybe Hamilton would drive even better if he wasn’t fighting for title. Maybe Ricciardo would drive worse if he was in a title chase. Who knows?! We all know how good Fernando is in a title chase though. We all saw what did title pressure to Nico this year, and I know how good was he in previous years under pressure in comparison to all his teammates including Hamilton. This year was totally different situation with a different outcome. As an example I would point out David Ferrer from tennis. I rate him very high but when he played against top players in a final match he simply crushes under pressure. Is he a good player. Of course, one of the best. The best if he plays without pressure. So it’s difficult to judge different drivers in different circumstances.

  44. @Keith Collantine: I am so surprised at how you and all non fans of Lewis Hamilton analysed the 2014 performances of both Dan Ricciardor and the Spanish godess Fenando Alonso without pointing out just once from all the calls their respective teams made on strategy during some of the races in 2014 that certainly helped them to out score their respective team mates on those races. But almost the ones that followed your view about the DOTY ranking and voting, find it very satisfying to bring down Hamilton’s performance while they dont mention he never got help from the team like Fenando and Ricciardor.

  45. “Two drivers claimed their first podium finishes in 2014: Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen.” @keithcollantine I think you forgot that Daniel Ricciardo hadn’t taken a podium before moving to the main Red Bull team

  46. elliott hawkins
    19th December 2014, 12:16

    i think nigel mansell is the best driver this year by far.

    1. No way, Jackie Stewart was tops

  47. Ric for me, hands down. The Merc’s were so strong that any driver would have won the WDC in them but what Ric managed to do with such a garbage engine was remarkable.

  48. Without doubt for me it has to be Lewis Hamilton hands down. Irrespective of Ricciardo’s three opportunistic victories and Alonso’s two podiums. The pressure and adversity were squarely on Hamilton’s shoulders. The other two aren’t even close

    1. I’d say the adversity was a lot worse for Kobayashi (his car was obviously inferior to Hamilton’s), so following your logic…

  49. My driver of the year is Valtteri Bottas, a class act in and out of the car. Ricciardo is a close second. In my opinion, they showed good character, professionalism, and brought up the level of their team.

    1. @ferrox-glideh Although I’m not agree that Bottas is not in contention in DOTY, I think both he and Ricciardo are great examples that good on track and off the track, and they are very mature despite their young age, also its quite rare to find a guy who is a great racer and a great character.

      1. I’m not agree that Bottas is not in contention in DOTY

        I’m not agree that Bottas is in contention for DOTY

  50. My knee-jerk reaction to seeing Hamilton as #3 in Keith’s rankings the other day was “Utter nonsense! How could anyone believe Hamilton was not the best this year?!”. But after reading it through, and reading the subsequent articles for Alonso and Ricciardo, I think Keith’s reasoning is solid and well-argued. Both Alonso and Ricciardo beat their teammates on Sundays by even greater margins than Hamilton beat Rosberg, and they trumped their teammates on Saturdays, which Hamilton failed to do.

    On the other hand, the inference is that Alonso or Ricciardo would have:
    a) Beaten Hamilton to the title, if given Rosberg’s car
    b) Beaten Rosberg more decisively than Hamilton did
    …and I don’t think the above would be true for either driver. Aside from the lurid (though nicely recovered) slide at Interlagos, Hamilton’s only errors were on Saturdays. In my estimation, Ricciardo’s poor starts were of much greater significance than Hamilton’s qualifying mistakes, and would have had much more bearing on the championship standings, considering that qualifying struggles rarely kept Hamilton from the top step of the podium. Alonso didn’t really make any mistakes this year, but that was without any title pressure, and with his somewhat temperamental nature (as evidenced by his and Ferrari’s mutual contempt in the latter half of this year) it is difficult to imagine Alonso handling the reliability setbacks and teammate treachery that Hamilton overcame. I think it’s also worth noting that Hamilton spent the majority of the year trailing his teammate in points due to reliability issues (and Rosberg’s questionable driving) that were totally outside of his control, which is an immense amount of pressure that he dealt with very calmly and maturely. Neither Alonso nor Ricciardo were ever under that kind of pressure to claw back a deficit to their teammate; Ricciardo had the better of Vettel from Monaco on and Raikkonen never challenged Alonso at all.

    tl;dr – I voted for Hamilton. He made remarkably few errors in some very trying circumstances, circumstances that Alonso and Ricciardo simply didn’t have to face. I still think that votes for Alonso and Ricciardo are valid though, as all three were quite exceptional this year.

  51. Errrr, Hamilton didn’t make mistakes on race day??? Off the top of my head:

    Germany – ran into 2 other drivers while trying to pass
    Hungary – ran off the track after locking up
    Brazil – ran off the track after locking up.

    I don’t recall either Ricciardo or Alonso making errors like this.

  52. Patrick Traille
    24th December 2014, 16:31

    I would expect that driver of the year would be an aggregation of driver of the weekend like this:
    Lewis Hamilton 6
    Valtteri Bottas 3
    Daniel Ricciardo 3
    Fernando Alonso 2
    Kevin Magnussen 1
    Sebastian Vettel 1
    Jules Bianchi 1
    Nico Rosberg 1

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