Drivers, Yas Marina, 2014

Who would you replace this year’s drivers with?

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Drivers, Yas Marina, 2014If Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sport, it stands to reason the 18 drivers who will line up on the grid in March are among the best racers in the world.

There are good reasons to believe the current crop of drivers is among the best: there are five world champions in the field and half the names on the 2015 entry list have at least one grand prix winner’s trophy on their mantelpiece.

The FIA’s superlicence points system has taken the debate about which drivers deserve to race in F1 in a new direction. From next year only drivers who’ve met a standard of success determined by the sport’s governing body will be eligible to race in F1.

So if F1 has the 18 best drivers in the world today, where are the next best 18?

Who are the overlooked talents who have made names for themselves in other championships? Which up-and-coming racers deserve a shot at the big time?

That’s the subject of this week’s poll. The list below includes 112 names for you to choose the 18 you would put in place of this year’s drivers if they all became unavailable.

The list contains:

Nominate your replacement F1 field for 2015 below and explain your choices in the comments. And make a case for any drivers you think should have been on the list.

Which 18 drivers would you put in F1 in 2015?

  • Daniel Abt (1%)
  • Marco Andretti (1%)
  • Lucas Auer (0%)
  • Bruno Baptista (0%)
  • Emil Bernstorff (0%)
  • Sam Bird (3%)
  • Tom Blomqvist (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (3%)
  • William Buller (0%)
  • James Calado (1%)
  • Martin Cao (0%)
  • Helio Castroneves (1%)
  • Johnny Cecotto Jnr (0%)
  • Gabby Chaves (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Stefano Coletti (0%)
  • Antonio Felix da Costa (3%)
  • Conor Daly (1%)
  • Anthony Davidson (2%)
  • Joao Paulo de Oliveira (0%)
  • Nyck De Vries (1%)
  • Lucas di Grassi (1%)
  • Paul di Resta (3%)
  • Scott Dixon (2%)
  • Romain Dumas (0%)
  • Loic Duval (1%)
  • Mattias Ekstrom (1%)
  • Tio Ellinas (0%)
  • Jimmy Eriksson (0%)
  • Mitchell Evans (1%)
  • Marcel Fassler (0%)
  • Adderly Fong (0%)
  • Robin Frijns (4%)
  • Antonio Fuoco (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (1%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (0%)
  • Rodolfo Gonzalez (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (1%)
  • Jack Harvey (0%)
  • Ryo Hirakawa (0%)
  • Simon Hodge (0%)
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay (2%)
  • Takuya Izawa (0%)
  • Neel Jani (0%)
  • Artur Janosz (0%)
  • Daniel Juncadella (1%)
  • Jordan King (0%)
  • Marvin Kirchhofer (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (4%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (2%)
  • Tom Kristensen (2%)
  • Nicolas Lapierre (0%)
  • Fabio Leimer (1%)
  • Marc Lieb (0%)
  • Sebastien Loeb (3%)
  • Jose Maria Lopez (1%)
  • Andre Lotterer (3%)
  • Alex Lynn (2%)
  • Tim Macrow (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (5%)
  • Raffaele Marciello (1%)
  • Nobuharu Matsushita (0%)
  • Allan McNish (1%)
  • Roberto Merhi (1%)
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (3%)
  • Yvan Muller (0%)
  • Kazuki Nakajima (0%)
  • Yuichi Nakayama (0%)
  • Esteban Ocon (2%)
  • Simon Pagenaud (1%)
  • Tamas Pal Kiss (0%)
  • Jolyon Palmer (2%)
  • Alex Palou (0%)
  • Charles Pic (1%)
  • Arthur Pic (0%)
  • Pedro Piquet (0%)
  • Markus Pommer (0%)
  • Will Power (2%)
  • Nicolas Prost (1%)
  • Ma Qing Hua (0%)
  • Luiz Razia (1%)
  • Facu Regalia (0%)
  • Mike Rockenfeller (0%)
  • Felix Rosenqvist (0%)
  • Alexander Rossi (2%)
  • Oliver Rowland (0%)
  • Stephane Sarrazin (0%)
  • Kimiya Sato (0%)
  • Sergey Sirotkin (0%)
  • Will Stevens (1%)
  • Dean Stoneman (1%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Sandy Stuvik (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (1%)
  • Benoit Treluyer (0%)
  • Koudai Tsukakoshi (0%)
  • Aaro Vainio (0%)
  • Davide Valsecchi (1%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (1%)
  • Stoffel Vandoorne (4%)
  • Zach Veach (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (5%)
  • Mark Webber (3%)
  • Pascal Wehrlein (1%)
  • James Winslow (0%)
  • Marco Wittmann (1%)
  • Susie Wolff (2%)
  • Alexander Wurz (1%)
  • Naoki Yamamoto (0%)
  • Nick Yelloly (0%)

Total Voters: 505

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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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  • 126 comments on “Who would you replace this year’s drivers with?”

    1. Why is Ericsson and Kvyat in the vote?

      1. @hunocsi Sorry – have removed them.

        1. @keithcollantine Can I be a bit too nitpicking with the alphabetical order? :) (just wanting to help)
          Antonio Felix da Costa’s last name is “Felix da Costa”, and Tamás Pál Kiss’s last name is “Kiss”.

        2. @keithcollantine Jaime Alguersuari is missing from the list

    2. So? Kvyat not in the F1 2015 18 drivers?

      1. I only chose 10 and I stretched it a little, not that I don’t know 97% of these drivers but I wouldn’t give a chance in F1 for as many as 18. Curiously most of the men that were in F1 previously failed my top 10.

    3. I would vote for Bruno Senna, but didn’t find him there..

      1. He would be lucky to make the top 18 at my local go kart club

      2. He hasn’t exactly taken Formula E by storm has he?

        1. I thought Jenson Button should have left F1 last year, but looking at these guys not one of them is better than him. What a loss that would have been. And I am not even close to being a fan of his driving style.

          1. @blackmamba Agreed. There should be space for Button, Magnussen and Vandoorne on the F1 grid. Vergne and Frijns too, if there were 22 cars again, according to this vote!

            I could imagine McLaren juniors (Manor-Honda), Haas and Caterham with Kobayashi and Palmer, looking at this vote, being added to the grid. Although it’s likely that Marciello would take Frijns’ place in the 2016 Haas.

        2. He’s been quick at all 4 events, Had a lot of mechanical issues though (And that 1 big crash in the 2nd round).

          1. Right, I noticed that he has staged some storming recovery drives in spite of consistent bad luck and mechanical problems. He’s been very good in the WEC as well, and was good at GP2. Labelling him a poor driver or slow driver is untruthful, really.
            Based on his 2012 form though – and I’m saying this as something of a fan – I agree with the cynics. I wouldn’t have him in F1 again.

    4. Why is the list not ordered alphabetically? It is quite jumbled making it diffucult to find names you are looking for, or want to see: was looking for Timo Glock is he on there? I feel he got ‘punted’ out of F1 too soon!

      1. It is, Alphabetical by last name. And no Glock.

        1. Oh Ok, now I see! Left to right, top to bottom. Thanks.
          May I also say, I wish too that Brunno Senna was still in F1. And I miss Kobayashi, Di Resta, etc

          1. Bruno Senna even ;-)

      2. Ctrl+F is your friend too :)

    5. Always an interesting question as to how Scott Dixon would have fared in F1.

      If at any time he would have entered the sport in a 2005 Williams.

      1. I’d like to see Castroneves.

      2. Ha, my field was mostly a mix of Indycar and sportscar drivers, with Felix da costa, Frijns and a few odd rallye guys thrown in @bamboo, @jcost.

        Oh, and Susie Wolff, because I am curious to see what she could do in that field with a Williams.

        1. @bascb Suzie Wolff has won the same amount of races in her professional career as I have, and I don’t race.

          If society is serious about achieving gender equality I have no hesitation in saying she should not be anywhere near a F1 car. I say that as while it should always be of relevance what gender someone is, it should not be a factor. On merit alone there are literally 100’s of drivers who would do a better job than her.

          Id say the one of the drivers to be replaced by the above drivers would be Maldonado, but he literally trounces her in career stats – 32 wins and 54 podiums to Wolffs 0 wins and 4 podiums, and she started her professional career a year before him. If a male driver had this record, and his wife was the head of Mercedes Motorsport people would view the driver and Williams as nothing more than a sideshow joke.

          1. so @hamish? When she drove the Williams in testing she got close enough for me to be curious to see how she would fare in this fantasy scenario of replacing the complete grid.

            Come on, we have people choosing an aging Webber, Kovalainen, Davidson to drive, I bet that if they were on there, people would choose Prost and Lauda as well. I know, those were really great drivers. But that is not the point, is it.

            The point is, Keith gave us this scenario and asks us who WE would like to get a shot at it.

            1. @bascb you’re really saying that with all this talent of 112 drivers Suzie Wolff is still in the top 18? She might break the top 100 in my book. @hamish is spot on. If a male had that record he wouldn’t even be on this list. Timo Glock isn’t even on this list. If Weber is on this list why isn’t Robert Kubica? They leave out a lot of talent on this list. With all the talent on this list, Suzie Wolff isn’t top 18.

            2. you ask this @charvel911

              you’re really saying that with all this talent of 112 drivers Suzie Wolff is still in the top 18?

              I wonder where you took the notion that I think Wolf is one of the best 18 drivers there is.
              I just mentioned that in this fantasy scenario, I picked Wolff as one of the drivers I would like to see get a shot and see how she does. Just like I would want to see the top of the IndyCar and Sportscar field as well as top Rallye drivers do, out of curiosity
              Those are quite likely not the picks an F1 team manager would make. And probably for good reason.

      3. William Rangi
        8th June 2015, 10:13

        I reckon Mclaren f1 must be kicking themselves for letting Scott Dixon “the iceman” slip through their hands. He ain’t no show pony like some of the drivers they have.

    6. Antonio Felix da Costa, Sebastian Buemi, Robin Frinjs, Stoffel Vandoorne, Roberto Merhi, Esteban Ocon – forgotten talent, which will never drive in F1 or has little chances in doing that. Particularly da Costa and Frinjs, who really desrerved a seat in F1, at least one season to prove their value. Maybe we lost potential future champions, instead of the likes of Maldonado and Ericsson with really deep pockets.

      1. @osvaldas31, I would hardly call many of those drivers “forgotten” – Frijns has turned down at least two offers from Red Bull which would have lead to a seat at Toro Rosso, Vandoorne is backed by McLaren and is expected to be given a seat in the future, Ocon is part of Lotus’s driver program and already participated in tests for them, Buemi was given an opportunity in Toro Rosso and da Costa was given an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities in tests for Red Bull (and was reportedly rejected because he provided poor technical feedback).

        It isn’t as if they have been entirely in the wilderness – several have had their abilities recognised and nurtured rather than neglected.

      2. I left the likes of Magnussen, Mehri, Ocon and Vandoorne out because I think they will get their chance in the next couple of years.

        Buemi – not sure, but he had his chance in F1, as had a lot of others on the list. Webber I think left on time, Kovalainen’s time was up as well, etc.

    7. @keithcollantine Kvyat and (Marcus) Ericsson should not be on the list.

      I simply voted for Ocon, Magnussen and Vergne. The former was about as good as Verstappen in the European F3, and the latter two are proved to be two of the best in the business (it can be forgiven that they were considered second best to the supertalents of Alonso and Kvyat respectively), and are certainly not past their prime (unlike Webber or Kristensen, for instance, due to their age).

      1. Oh, and I considered three names because I would dump three (pay) drivers from the current 2015 field – Maldonado, Ericsson and Nasr.

    8. Geido Van Der Garde in for Ericsson.

      Alex Lynn in for Max Verstappen. (Although, if I was going unrealistic, I’d put Magnussen in there instead).

      Ericsson just isn’t really good enough I don’t believe. A thought briefly went through my head to remove Nasr too but I’m interested to see how he does. Unlike Verstappen, who I don’t really care for and believe a few drivers have been shafted because of this move. It’s far too early, it’s unfair to those and no one can say with any certainty how he’ll do.
      Other than that, I think the field is pretty good to be honest this year.

    9. I’d replace Vettel with me, turn up for two races, collect a few hundred thousand quid and then leggit.

      The car would be so bad I’d easily get away with it for two races worth, it’s the perfect scam.

    10. I went for 18 drivers who are either F1-ready, or not completely past it:

      Sam Bird
      James Calado
      Scott Dixon
      Robin Frijns
      Ryan Hunter-Reay
      Heikki Kovalainen
      Fabio Leimer
      Kevin Magnussen
      Raffaele Marciello
      Roberto Merhi
      Juan Pablo Montoya
      Esteban Ocon
      Simon Pagenaud
      Jolyon Palmer
      Will Power
      Davide Valsecchi
      Stoffel Vandoorne
      Jean-Eric Vergne

      1. @craig-o IMO only Frijns, Orcon and Vandoorne on your list have the quality to replace others on the current grid. For me they are better than Ericsson, Nasr and Raikkonnen who is well past it. Other wise the grid is as good as can be.

        1. Surely this is a joke. Dixon? Power? Woefully underrated.

      2. @craig-o On that note, I selected: Davidson, di Resta; Buemi, Vergne; Kobayashi, Frijns; Vandoorne, Magnussen; Palmer, Ocon; Marciello, Wehrlein; Evans, Gasly; Lynn, Rowland; Merhi, Kirchhoefer; 8 ‘experienced’ drivers, and the best 10 to challenge them.

        I seriously considered including Stoneman, so he would be in if it was a grid of under 30s only; de Vries needs time in more powerful cars, before he could replace Davidson. If Palmer struggled in an F1 car (like Ericsson), then Stoneman is the easy replacement.

        I think Felix da Costa, Bird, Rossi, Calado, Wittmann, Prost, Razia, Pic, Gutierrez, Juncadella, Sirotkin, Ellinas etc. would be the reserve driver list for that grid, or Stevens, Chilton for the ones that couldn’t afford it, like Razia or Ellinas!

        1. @fastiesty: Stoneman is a great call and he certainly deserves more votes than merely half of what Lynn is getting. For a guy that was still recovering from cancer two years ago, he has really driven an impressive season in GP3. He impressed me more than Lynn did – Lynn was consistent but his performance tailed off quite a bit towards the end of the year while Stoneman’s form was highly impressive.

          1. @mattDS Exactly.. if Stoneman was in a Koiranen, rather than a midfield Manor car all year, and if Kirchhoefer hadn’t missed 1/9 rounds with a 2x DNS, Lynn would have had it much tougher for the championship. Stanaway was pushing him for most of the year, and given Jimmy Eriksson’s car would definitely have been in the top 4, so for him, losing points in 8th is a big body blow going forwards.

            I hope Tuscher, Ghiotto, Fuoco etc. have a good title battle in 2015!

      3. Well, I went for a field of fast men and a mix of youngsters whom I know can fight with these men:
        Dumas
        Frijns
        Lotterer
        Montoya
        Lieb
        Evans
        Ekstrom
        Fassler
        Kristensen
        Loeb
        Sarrazin
        Treluyer
        Webber
        Vandoorne
        Wurz
        Magnussen
        Jani
        Buemi

        Oh, how much I’d love to see Webber and Montoya back…

        1. Even better – I would like to see them in the same team. I have no idea how they would fare but imagine their combined post-race comments.

      4. William Rangi
        8th June 2015, 10:23

        Having Scott Dixon in your list and at 3rd tells me you know what your talking about. Fantastic picking.

    11. Only 18 drivers in F1? That’s a problem. The grid needs more cars in my opinion, which means more teams, in an ideal situation. That means more money is needed for small teams and if that doesn’t come in an adequate supply from FOM, it has to come from sponsors who are often tied to drivers. So that’s why drivers are unfortunately not simply assessed on talent alone.
      The best driver for a small team may be one that brings enough money to allow the team to exist, but then if they’re not among the most talented, the team is guaranteed to stay at the back of the pack. Sigh.

    12. The talent pool is not exactly overflowing with high grade drivers is it. The only stand outs are Orcon, Frijns and Vandoorne to replace Ericsson, Nasr and Raikkonnen. You can’t even replace Maldonado with anyone else from that group. Maybe Vergne, but that’s about it!

    13. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      25th January 2015, 12:45

      Da Costa, Di Grassi, Frijns, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Buemi, Kobayashi, Vergne, should all get the nod over Nasr, Ericsson, Maldonado (quick but too dangerous he’s had his chance)

      Verstappen, Ocon, Werlein all F1 calibre but not yet. I expect we will see all 3 on the grid in 2 years.

      Lotterer is perhaps the biggest talent there, but he has no need for an F1 drive, which is a good thing in my opinion.

    14. Pagenaud, Castroneves, Dixon and Will Power are the drivers I would have liked to see in F1. Would have been cool to see at least one of them make the switch for a comparison. It was quite a long time since we had somebody switch from Indycar to F1.

      The young drivers will get in when they grow up. I don’t understand what the rush is to get 17 year olds into F1 if you kick them out before they are 22 anyway.

    15. Let me start with admitting that my motorsport/driver knowledge isn’t broad enough to put together a reasonable list. I can only come up with a handfull potential drivers i’d want to see in F1. Instead, if I could modify the grid, I would remove Maldonado, Ericsson and Nasr and replace them with Frijns, Magnussen and Vandoorne. I would also consider to replace Raikkonen, who has had a fine career, but I think is on the end of his road. Im not sure who to replace him with though.

      1. Well it’s basically half the GP2 field, the entire LMP1 field and some DTM stars mixed with some Indycar drivers.

    16. I would choose a combination of former F1 drivers who have combine talent and experience : Buemi, Di Resta, Kobayashi, Kovalainen, Magnussen, Montoya, Sutil, Van Der Garde, Vergne, and Webber (10 out of 18 drivers). Then I would add some promising talents who should have had a seat in the past few few years, but couldn’t get one : Bird, Da Costa, Frijns, Palmer, and Vandoorne (5 out of 18). For the last 3 drivers, I would pick 3 talented drivers in other series who could perform well in F1 : Lotterer, McNish (I hesistated with Kristensen, but he is a bit too old) and Power.

      Of course, these 18 drivers aren’t as good as the curent 18 F1 drivers (F1 would lack super talents like Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso, and promising ones like Hulkenberg, Bottas, Ricciardo and Grosjean). And unfortunately, we can’t have two huge talents, who won’t be able to drive a F1 anymore : Bianchi and Kubica.

      1. +1
        Except drop Sutil, Kobayashi, Kovalainen and Montoya.
        In with Ocon, Werlein, Gasly, Lynn

        1. I disagree with your choice for Ocon and Gasly. They might be talented, but they lack experience in feeder series. I would wait that they do at least one season in GP3/Formula Renault 2.0 and at least one season in GP2/F3.5.
          I am not convinced you could be competitive in F1 without any running in these series.

          As for Werlein and Lynn, I don’t know them enough to have an opinion.

          1. Fair enough points, but if Verstappen does well this year then you’d have to assume so could Ocon. Maybe Gasly is a bit inexperienced but he was in F3.5 last year.. He came 2nd actually, just lost too many points to Sainz at the start as a rookie. Still, I’d take him over Sutil anyday.

            Also, Lynn has developed some excellent racecraft in GP3 from what I’ve seen (Just highlights).

    17. It seems from the results of this straw poll that Magnussen, Vandoorne and Vergne would be the top 3 drivers in waiting. That speaks well of the talent-spotting of the big teams in F1 but not so well of their ability to introduce them to F1 and nurture them once there.

      1. McLaren still need a junior team.. combined with Honda engines to make 4 engines to get data back from… but McLaren have enough trouble trying to make 1 decent car at the mo! @sharoncom

    18. I’ve ended up with a realisation that I’d probably just poach most of the LMP1 grid (in fact most of Audi’s factory line up) with a few others mixed in:

      Mercedes:Wehrlein and Lotterer
      Red Bull: Loeb and Buemi
      Williams (would end up with BMW power again…): Da Costa and Wittmann
      McLaren: Magnussen and Vandoorne
      Ferrari: Marciello and Vergne

      Then things get tricky, so I’ve gone into full alternative reality mode:

      Audi: Treluyer and Kristensen
      Toyota: Davidson and Wurz
      Porsche: Dumas and Webber
      Renault: Duval and Ocon

      At this point it’s a lose-lose situation, none of the huge talents already on the grid, and WEC has ruthlessly been savaged to fill this grid. I think I prefer the talent being spread between series.

      1. @mathers Jani not in one of the Porsches? Webber could be replaced based on last season, and Jani was clearly the best Porsche driver.

        1. That’s a good shout actually he was excellent, Webber will hopefully be at his best this season though, Id love him to win LM.

        2. @hunocsi Not going to argue Jani had a better season but don’t be harsh on Webber. He had a pretty miserable season except for Silverstone.

          1. @xtvl I’m not being harsh on him, but he simply wasn’t one of the 2 best Porsche drivers in 2014.

      2. @mathers I would love to see this grid (it would make a great co-F1):

        Mercedes: Davidson, Di Resta —– Bird
        Red Bull: Buemi, Vergne —– Felix da Costa
        Ferrari: Kobayashi, Frijns —– Gutierrez
        McLaren: Vandoorne, Magnussen —– de Vries
        Lotus-Mercedes: Palmer, Ocon —– Pic
        Williams: Evans, Rowland —– Stoneman
        Force India: Merhi, Kirchhoefer —– Juncadella
        Toro Rosso: Lynn, Gasly —– Wittmann
        Sauber: Marciello, Wehrlein —– Sirotkin
        Haas-Ferrari: Sutil, Rossi —– Daly
        Manor: Razia, Ellinas

        The bottom two teams would be in the same situation as today, having a mini-race between themselves while off the pace of the main teams. Davidson would win a title in the car he developed, before handing over to di Resta/Bird/Wehrlein in the Mercedes stable. Frijns is dragged to Ferrari by Kobayashi, in a Regazzoni-Lauda type affair.

        Webber would use his old Williams ties to get Evans in the door, while now financially secured, they would pick the ‘best of British’ not yet signed up in Rowland/Stoneman. Force India would pick a talent to replace Hulkenberg in Kirchhoefer, while more reserve runs for Juncadella keeps sponsorship money flowing in.

        Mercedes give a nod to the past in paying Sauber to get Wehrlein some F1 experience, in a Toro Rosso type juniors battle with Marciello, Lynn and Gasly, and to some extent Merhi and Kirchhoefer, Evans and Ocon, who promptly impresses by getting into Q3 a lot like Kvyat did this year.

        1. And if we are going to get into dark humour, it is announced that Visser is expecting the next coming – a third Verstappen, with even more racing pedigree! Bets are quickly launched that it can get into F1 by age 16 or 2032…

    19. My eighteen drivers:

      From the junior categories: Nyck de Vries, Robin Frijns, Raffaele Marciello, Esteban Ocon, Alex Lynn, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pascal Wehrlein.

      Former F1 drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya, Jean-Éric Vergne, Kevin Magnussen, Heikki Kovalainen.

      WEC drivers: André Lotterer, Anthony Davidson, Tom Kristensen.

      IndyCar drivers: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon.
      _

      Some popular picks that I didn’t include: never been much of a Antonio Da Costa fan, had one season of brilliance, but overall not really a driver I get excited about. Kobayashi is an exciting driver, but the raw speed is a bit disappointing, as are his English skills. Di Resta is a good driver, but F1 just didn’t seem to suit him. No idea why people are including Loeb, from what I’ve seen in WTCC last year he’s way too aggressive for single seaters. Palmer is GP2 champion of course, but like so many other GP2 champions it took him a long time to finally earn that title. Thought about including Bird, Calado and Buemi, but they missed the cut by a small margin.

      1. @andae23 I agree, with one exception – I’d write off JPM, Kristensen, Kovalainen, Lotterer and the Indycar drivers as ‘past their peaks’. That might be a big harsh for Lotterer, considering he’s out-doing Webber in getting better with age, and perhaps Davidson is similar, but he even said himself he won’t pursue this F1 any longer.

        Both he and Davidson (and possibly Kristensen) could definitely have had long F1 careers, with a bit of luck (and less reliance on pay drivers), but I reckon that they also miss the powerful V10s from their F1 testing heydays – the current cars are much tamer by comparison.

      2. @andae23 I think Buemi is one of the lost stars of F1. He’s been fast in every single WEC outing and clearly the best in FE aswell if you ask me. Don’t forget he is now a world champion. Red Bull was stupid to throw this talent away and other teams were even more stupid not to pick him up when they did.

        1. @xtwl Buemi, Alguersuari probably wouldn’t have fared worse than Webber in 2011, 2013.. he only had the pace in early 2012, after 2010. But that depends on the juniors gelling with the EBD focussed Red Bull. I could easily see them having done two/three years in the Red Bull before being replaced by Ricciardo for 2014. 2011 – Vettel/Buemi, Alguersuari/Ricciardo?

          1. @fastiesty I disagree. It think Red Bull had the perfect combo in Webber/Vettel so they didn’t need Buémi at the time. Eventually Webber would retire and they had to hire a new guy in Ricciardo. Had Buémi been next to Ricciardo I’m pretty sure they would’ve gone for the Swiss. In the end Red Bull now has two new drivers in Sainz and Verstappen, a pretty new one in Kvyat and not a that experienced man in Ricciardo. The talent is there but with Newey now also ‘leaving’ I see them going downhill though.

    20. I didn’t necessarily pick the best 18 out of those listed, but the 18 I feel would make a good grid with some variety, i.e. some “oldies” and some rookies. It wouldn’t be fair if F1’s 18th-best driver was better than IndyCar’s best driver, for example. Either way:

      Abt
      Bird
      Buemi
      Calado
      Da Costa
      Evans
      Frijns
      Gutierrez
      Kirchhofer
      Lotterer
      Magnussen
      Palmer
      Rossi
      Stoneman
      Valsecchi
      Vandoorne
      Vergne
      Webber

      Talents such as Marciello or Ocon would benefit from seasons in lower formulae. Webber would be the revered old master, who was never actually the best of the field but was consistently one of the fastest drivers. Lotterer would finally get a chance for his experience, much like Loeb would’ve have deserved some years ago (it’s a little late now for him). Valsecchi and Palmer would deservedly get promotion after winning GP2 and would be in the second tier performance-wise, behind Vergne, Bird, Magnussen, Vandoorne and Calado.

    21. IMO these 18 drivers deserve a F1-seat:
      Sebastien Buemi
      Antonio Felix da Costa
      Paul di Resta
      Robin Frijns
      Kamui Kobayashi
      Heikki Kovalainen
      Sebastien Loeb
      Jose Maria Lopez
      Anddre Lotterer
      Alex Lynn
      Kevin Magnussen
      Raffaele Marciello
      Juan Pablo Montoya
      Esteban Ocon
      Alexander Rossi
      Stoffel Vandoorne
      Jean-Eric Vergne
      Marco Wittmann

    22. Kovalainen instead of Ericsson at Sauber, Vergne instead of Verstappen at Toro Rosso (or maybe even at Red Bull, demoting Kvyat to Toro Rosso) and Jolyon Palmer I dunno where. He would’ve deserved to be on the grid. To be a bit radical, I think Ferrari should’ve got rid of Räikkönen (again) as soon as possible. Hülkenberg would be perfect for them (it doesn’t hurt that his number is 27 …), thus creating a spot that could be filled by Palmer.

      Imo, Nick Heidfeld should also be on the list. He’s shown some quite impressive races in Formula E, although that sadly doesn’t show in the standings. He wouldn’t, however, necessarily be a candidate for an F1 cockpit. Just more competent than quite a few names on this list.

      1. Aaaaand I’ve misread the instructions, thus only nominating three drivers I think should replace active drivers.

      2. @nase But good point on Heidfeld, I would’ve chosen him had he been on the list.

      3. I actually agree with you. Out of everybody I think JEV should replace Verstappen or even better replace Kvyat at Red Bull and put him back in that Toro Rosso.

    23. Perhaps I’m being blind. But i can’t see jaime alguersuari who was doing a great job in F1 and getting better each race before being replaced and thrown out of f1 a stupidly young age.

      Anyway him, Klein and to many respects Verne were in my opinion chucked on the heap by RBR programme right at the point of becoming very good racers. & then to make matters worse RBR seem to actually go out of their way to stop anyone else getting them. Especially in JA case who could of gone to lotus had he not been promised a STR drive.

    24. I deeply miss Nick Heidfeld to pick.

      1. I’d pick him just for the beard.

    25. I went for Vandoorne, Frijns, Magnussen, Lotterer and Vergne. Would need a 20-car grid to fit them all in but there’s always hope…

      Would have picked Loeb and Kristensen too had they been a bit younger.

      1. Yeah, misread instructions too…

    26. Kristensen and McNish are both a bit over the hill, but I was too curious not to include them, even if their shots (2nd shot in the case of McNish) should have come historically rather than now.

    27. Having read the instructions and added one of my own I’d love to see have a crack at F1:

      Stoffel Vandoorne
      Robin Frijns
      Kevin Magnussen
      Andre Lotterer
      Jean-Eric Vergne
      Kamui Kobayashi
      Jaime Alguersuari
      Sebastien Buemi
      Sam Bird
      James Calado
      Will Power
      Mark Webber
      Marc Marquez
      Heikki Kovalainan
      Anthony Davidson
      Antonio Felix da Costa
      Esteban Ocon
      Oliver Rowland

    28. Who the hell voted for Rodolfo Gonzalez!??

      1. @jmc200 On the flip side of the coin.. how does Oliver Rowland only have 3%?! He’s taken it to Alex Lynn, Pierre Gasly and Roberto Merhi, matching all three, yet they are all placed much higher up (20%, 14%, 9%!). He’s even beaten Esteban Ocon over a season in Eurocup FR2.0!

        1. On a similar note… 2% for Marvin Kirchhoefer?! Really! He’s future champion level material!

    29. i voted for vandoorne & Magnussen The fact is that there are more good drivers then good cars and that the teams at the back of the grid need monney for survival. only when Alonso, Button & Massa retire will a new talented driver get a seat with a top team.

    30. Will Power, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Will and Scott would have been in F1 if circumstances had been different. And Scott’s currently showing all his driving prowess at Daytona. And Ryan -American, indycar champion. He has never shown any interest in F1 though.

      wish Marco Andretti had fulfilled his early promise. He would have been the best chance for F1 to make it in America if had won Indy 500 and championship then moved to F1. Rossi won’t move the needle any in the states.

    31. Miguel (@miguelangelo1995)
      25th January 2015, 18:50

      I would say António Felix da Costa, but i know he will never drive in Formula 1 because he has no money backing him or big names behind him

    32. Hollis Krause (@ugncreative-usergname)
      25th January 2015, 19:52

      No Robert Wickens, champion of FR3.5 against Ricciardo and Vergne? He’s the one whose absence bugs me the most by far.

      1. @ugncreative-usergname The FIA don’t give points for DTM and he wasn’t in their top three last year, so…

        It’s like I just said to @radoye.

        1. Hollis Krause (@ugncreative-usergname)
          25th January 2015, 23:44

          I don’t know which criterion I thought he fit… just shows how strong the rage still is :p

    33. What about this; Imagine you were to field a team in 2015; whom would you hire? One rule, F1 drivers with contracts cannot be chosen. I’d go for Webber (All time favourite) and Vandoorne (star of the future, fellow Belgian).

      1. Vergne/Vandoorne. Mix of a good, fairly solid driver with recent experience and a supremely talented youngster.

    34. No Mike Conway on the list? Or Sage Karam?

      1. @radoye Obviously I couldn’t put every driver who’s active in motor racing on the list, I had to draw a line somewhere. I chose to limit it on the criteria described above. That’s not to say both of those aren’t good drivers, but extending the criteria to include those would probably have meant adding a lot more names too.

      2. @radoye Karam is someone I believe that could be a potential F1 driver for the USA. If he can’t get a ride in Indycar, then he needs to be a Haas development driver.

    35. ColdFly F1 (@)
      25th January 2015, 21:37

      half the names on the 2015 entry list have at least one grand prix winner’s trophy on their mantelpiece.

      Plus four guys driving an SUV. ;-)

    36. Why is Gary Paffet not on that list?

      1. I’ve already answered similar questions along these lines, see above.

    37. Also Davide Valsecci?

      1. He’s on the list.

    38. Buemi and di Resta for me. Paul had a poor attitude with the team, but one to really stand in a championship fight IMO.

    39. Bird, Buemi, Castroneves, Davidson, Di Grassi, Duval, Fassler, Frijns, Hunter-Reay, Kristensen, Loeb, Lotterer, Montoya, Ocon, Prost, Vergne, Webber, Werlhein.

      I’m amazed that Kristensen has less votes than Kovalienen. I think a lot of people just want all the ex-F1 drivers back. I know I’ve voted for some in mine, but at least they’ve shown good progress in other series (FE, LMP1, IndyCar etc.) whereas Kovalienen, Kobayashi have all had their time and failed to impress.

      1. I think that with some of the sportscars guys its just that many see some of them to be over their top. That would go for Davidson, for Kristensen, for McNish, and on a stretch also for Webber and maybe Lotterer @keeleyobsessed.

        For me, it was largely a pick of IndyCar drivers mixed with the LMP1 field too.

        Agree with you that Kovalainen and Kobayashi have had their time (same goes for Sutil, VdGarde, DiResta etc) and just didn’t make the cut anymore

    40. Since I’ve seen most of the youngsters in this list here in Macau, I would say I would really like to see the following soon in Formula 1. These really felt for me as real talents:

      1- Alex Lynn. Mark my words: if given a proper chance, this guy will be a future champion. Fast, very mature driving and mindset. Hope he keeps working

      2- Felix Rosenqvist. He has been around for many years, had many instances of bad luck, but he is an incredibly fast driver. Deserves a second look from the teams.

      3- Edoardo Mortara- Still the fastest man I’ve seen around here in Macau. Never got a realistic chance at Formula 1. In terms of raw talent, he should be at the top 5 of the current f1 table.

      4- Marco Wittman- Same as Edoardo Mortara, another great, great talent. Very, very fast. One of the best german drivers of the new generation. Unbelievably neglected by Formula 1. Never understood why (being a BMW/ early VW backed driver means no F1 career, it seems…)

      5- Sebastian Loeb- He didn’t win the WTCC this year, but it wasn’t for the speed, he was the fastest man on track most of the time, just the lack of wheel to wheel racing made him lose positions. Loeb is an all time great. I wouldn’t say an F1 career for Loeb, but if there was such a thing as a wild card event in F1, I would LOVE to see a chance for Sebastian Loeb in formula 1.

      6- Kamui Kobayashi- Always been a fan since his racing here in Macau, beating other higher regarded drivers in the current F1 grid (like Grosjean) . Incredible racer, pure talent, one of the few that, with a top car like Ferrari or Mclaren, could challenge Hamilton and Alonso. Those that have seen Kobayashi in the even fields of Formula 3 know his talent. What he did in F1 with Toyota and Sauber was absolutely remarkable.

      7- Lucas di Grassi- Another very, very fast driver. Even though I don’t dislike Felipe Nasr, Di Grassi is the closest Brasil has produced as a future Formula 1 World Championship Contender. Unfortunately didn’t get the chance he deserves. Lets not forget Di Grassi beat Kubica in Macau, for example.

      8- Loic Duval- The most underrated driver of the list, I think. Logic Duval actually “won” in Macau, for a big margin, against Di Grassi and Kubica…But was disqualified for jump starting (black flagged). Very, very fast french driver. And is constantly winning in the Le Mans classes.

      9- Bruno Senna/ Nicolas Prost- yes, they are a mile away from their more famous family members, but, hey, even if they were being lapped, would love to see that battle at the F1 stage. One of the reasons I’m watching Formula E!

      10- Antonio Felix Da Costa- Very, very fast, somehow lacking maturity and ability to talk with engineers. A question of maturity. I would say this win at formula E with one of the weakest teams in the field is proof of a certain gain in maturity for him. Looking forward to his DTM year. If he can mix his raw speed with maturity and understanding in terms of setup, he would be a real deserving driver for F1.

      11- Voted for Will Power, because i would like to see and compare one of the fastest Indycar drivers with the current F1 field. And that name just looks good in any racing series entry list.

      12- Stofel Vandoorne- Always felt Stofel was more impressive than Kevin Magnussen. He was challenging Magnussen in FR 3.5 with a much, much inferior car, and pulling very impressive performances. lets wait for GP2 this year (even though I have a bit of a certain “thing” about GP2- Kobayashi, Grosjean, Mortara, etc. have all fared somehow poorly there and their talent can’t be contested. Something is not right with the series, maybe not as balanced as the likes of FR3.5 or Formula 3)

      13- Roberto Merhi- Very fast, very inconsistent, very, very good humor and sure to create havoc and entertainment.

      14- Oliver Jarvis- Another very, very underrated driver. Completely dominated here in Macau, beating others now in the current F1 field. Recurrent winner of many Endurance and Lemans races.

      15- Andre Couto- Won races at the GT500 in Japan, Won the Macau grand Prix, won also many races in Formula 3000 (the Gp2 of old) back then. A Macau boy, a bit old by F1 standards, but “had”, as a fan, to put him on the list. Very talented, fast, and a pure racer. Got somehow unjustly denied this year of the Asia Audi Cup title by a controversial secretariat post race decision.

      1. @sergio-perez Red Bull tried to make that happen for Loeb after Bourdais retired. But the FIA said ‘No, No, No’, and hence we had Alguersuari racing the car, despite never having driven it around a corner, in Hungary 2009.

      2. William Rangi
        8th June 2015, 10:41

        Hey Sergio when looking at Indy Car take a long hard look at Scott Dixons record he is one of the best and could still become the best ever. They don’t call him “the iceman” for no reason at all.

    41. I’d also add Jamie Whincup, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Andrew Jordan, Sebastien Ogier and Ronnie Quintarelli for consideration, but it ain’t my list.

      1. Whincup is briliant in a V8 but don’t think he would be in an F1 car.

    42. I don’t add my vote to these polls as I feel it should reflect your views. Nonetheless, here’s who I would pick:

      James Calado: Debut season in GP2 showed a lot of promise
      Antonio Felix da Costa: Similarly, had a great part-season in FR3.5 then went off the boil
      Scott Dixon: Excellent IndyCar record, his miserly way with fuel would serve him well in the current formula
      Robin Frijns: One of the most promising junior drivers of recent years not to get a shot at F1
      Ryan Hunter-Reay: Strong IndyCar all-rounder if a bit ragged at the edges
      Daniel Juncadella: Another talented single-seater racer who looks like being lost to tin-tops
      Tom Kristensen: A bit of a silly choice given his retirement, but he obviously belongs near the top of any ‘best non-F1 driver’ list
      Sebastien Loeb: Another master of a different discipline who would make for a fascinating F1 pick
      Andre Lotterer: Spa last year left me wanting to see more. Also he has more FIA superlicence points than anyone
      Roberto Merhi: Walked into a minor FR3.5 team after two years in the DTM and almost won the title. Get him in
      Juan Pablo Montoya: Yes his prime F1 years are long past and his overtaking skills would be wasted with DRS – this is just a nostalgia thing
      Esteban Ocon: A bit of an obvious choice – surely it’s a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ he gets his break
      Simon Pagenaud: My top IndyCar driver of last year (though I’d miss seeing what he can do in a Penske)
      Alex Palou: Young and inexperienced but showed flashes of great promise in Euroformula Open last year
      Will Power: Always strong on IndyCar’s road and street courses, so an obvious choice for an F1 switch
      Dean Stoneman: Have been very pleased to see him rebuild his racing career after surviving cancer. He deserves to go onward and upward
      Benoit Treluyer: One of those drivers I have a tendency to under-rate: fast and unobtrusive
      Stoffel Vandoorne: The best driver in GP2 last year

      1. Great list Keith.

      2. @keithcollantine I somehow expected Buémi on your list.

      3. @keithcollantine Fully agree with the assessment of Simon Pagenaud – an excellent driver building an impressive resume.

        That said, I happen to agree with @radoye. Mike Conway may not have the resume of other Indy drivers on this list, but he has been impressive on some of Indy’s nastier road courses (Detroit springs to mind) – putting in outstanding performances while the big names struggled.

    43. Bird, Buemi, Felix da Costa, Frijns, Hunter-Reay, Loeb, Lynn, Magnussen, Ocon, Pagenaud, Palmer, Pic, Stoneman, Vandoorne, Vergne, Wehrlein, Wittmann & Wolff.

    44. Scott Dixon deserved a shot in F1, has record speaks for itself.
      Sadly for him coming from NZ he just did not have the money to get into F1.
      As far as the Americans are concerned he is the Iceman, for his cool calm attitude, he lets his driving do the talking.

      1. William Rangi
        8th June 2015, 11:02

        You said it David. Mclaren and F1 missed a great opportunity however his record of wins in IndyCars is getting better and better. Go Scott show them what they missed out on.

    45. My list breakup:

      F1 recent drivers who deserve to be there still: Magnussen, JEV, Kobayashi, Kovalainen, Di Resta, Buemi
      Indycar drivers who deserve a shot: Dixon, Power, Pagenaud
      Fast junior drivers who couldn’t get in as they lack funds: Bird, Calado, Stoneman
      WEC drivers who really should’ve been in F1: Lotterer, Davidson
      Touring drivers who are too fast for touring: Da Costa, Wittmann
      Gp2 drivers: Evans, Vandoorne

    46. Apparently – Zack Veach finished 3rd in the Indy Lights in 2014. And is not eligible for a super license.
      If Karam was selected, he must run GP2.
      Another driver left out as well would have been James Hinchcliffe, Bruno Senna and Mikhail Aleshin. Another potential driver for a selection is Josef Newgarden.

    47. I go for them.
      Merc = Wehrlein/Wickens
      RB = AFdC/JEV
      Williams = Lynn/Juncadella
      Ferrari = Marciello/Fuoco
      McLaren = KMag/Vandoorne
      Force India = Palmer/Regalia
      Toro Rosso = Gasly/Evans
      Lotus = Ocon/Sorensen
      Sauber = Koba/Sirotkin

      1. I change from Sirotkin to VDG now

    48. There are good reasons to believe the current crop of drivers is among the best: there are five world champions in the field and half the names on the 2015 entry list have at least one grand prix winner’s trophy on their mantelpiece

      .

      but anyone in the above list could be world champion if he had run for Mercedes last year

    49. Can’t find Robin Räikkönen, hmpf

    50. Robin Frijns without a doubt!

    51. Not that i’d vote them in, but any idea why Bruno Senna, Nelson Piquet Jr. And Timo Glockenspiel are off the list?

    52. Frijns! Frijns, Frijns, Frijns, Frijns, Frijns, Frijns, Frijns and Lotterer, DiResta, Buemi, Jani, both Pics, Stoneman, Valsechi, van der Garde and Vandoorne, to get to 18 places.
      I’d give up one Frijns though, to keep Verstappen. Just to see how he does actually. I’m indifferent to Verstappen fan-wise, but I don’t see what the fuss about his age is all about. I thought it was all about talent? I come across ‘over 18’ drivers every single day, and my estimate is that about 90 % of them have no talent whatsoever, and well over 75% shouldn’t even ever have been given a driver’s licence, but nonetheless, they’re there, and hardly anyone complains. Even worse, the solution seems to be creating fully automatic cars, instead of improving the quality of lessons, and making the exam harder. There’s an analogy to F1 there!

    53. You could probably guess who I voted for, but your wrong.
      I voted Nasr.

      Why I didn’t chose Verstappen? Very good pace, but he qualified behind Sainz because of his small mistake.

    54. William Rangi
      8th June 2015, 10:52

      I’m sorry but the site won’t let me vote for Scott Dixon what’s the probs?

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