Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2017

2017 driver mid-season rankings: 4-1

Driver Rankings

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Who’s been the best driver so far in the 2017 season? Read on for F1 Fanatic’s verdict on the top four.

4. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

Valtteri Bottas

Beat team mate in qualifying5/11
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate306/651
Qualifying margin+0.05

For Mercedes, installating Valtteri Bottas in place of Nico Rosberg has been as smooth a transition as they could have hoped for given the abruptness with which the world champion quit the sport at the end of last year.

Bottas took just three races to score his first pole position and one more to win a race. He’s since followed that up with another win and lies just 19 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the world championship. He is clearly a title contender.

The newcomer has been impressively close to Hamilton as the scoreline shows. He’s also suffered the team’s only race-ending technical failure so far, which likely cost him 15 points, which would make his championship position even stronger.

Aside from a silly mistake behind the Safety Car in China he’s been hard to fault so far. He may not have hit the same consistent heights has Hamilton, but nor has he had any of his team mate’s Monaco-style disasters either.

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3. Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Max Verstappen

Beat team mate in qualifying7/11
Beat team mate in race2/3
Races finished6/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate185/249
Qualifying margin-0.43

Clearly Max Verstappen deserves to be much higher in the championship standings than sixth. All five of his retirements were out of his control: his car has broken down three times and he was collected by other drivers in Spain and Austria.

When his car has kept going, Verstappen has been a joy to watch. In China, when his engine let him down in qualifying, he scythed his way past nine cars on the first lap, then passed Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo on his way to the podium.

No one would have suspected at the time that he would fail to stand on the podium again before the summer break. But those misfortunes means he’s raced fewer laps than any full-season driver so far. Azerbaijan wasn’t just a missed podium opportunity: he was running ahead of Daniel Ricciardo when his RB17 gave up and can reasonably consider this a lost win.

His car did keep going at Silverstone where he brilliantly kept Sebastian Vettel at bay, prompting the Ferrari driver to make a risky strategy decision. Hungary was a significant slip-up, however: he compromised his own race and ended his team mate’s with a careless move at the start. It was a rare example of Verstappen making the kind of error his detractors insist he makes all the time.

2. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2017

Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying6/11
Beat team mate in race5/10
Races finished11/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate345/651
Qualifying margin-0.05

It seems as if Hamilton is digging that bit deeper this year. Faced with a new threat in the form of a rejuvenated Ferrari, his drives at Shanghai and Silverstone were real top-drawer stuff.

But he and Bottas have found the Mercedes W08 to be a finicky beast which requires careful work to get the most out of. He slipped up badly with it in Monaco and failed to make the cut for Q3, consigning him to a wasted weekend.

That wasn’t the only time Bottas has been ahead of him but Hamilton has usually been able to assert himself, often through tremendous qualifying performances which have allowed him to start most races from a position of strength.

The upshot of this has been that, as has been the case for much of his time at Mercedes, we’ve had little opportunity to see Hamilton get his elbows out and fight for position, which is when he’s often at his best.

1. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2017

Sebastian Vettel

Beat team mate in qualifying8/11
Beat team mate in race9/10
Races finished11/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate439/608
Qualifying margin-0.2

On the strength of his performance over the first half of 2017, Sebastian Vettel has demonstrated he is definitely capable of winning a fifth world championship title. But he’s going to have a fight on his hands.

The Ferrari SF70H has only been a more competitive proposition than the Mercedes W08 on a minority of tracks. Away from those venues it has the virtue of being a more forgiving beast than the silver car, one which Vettel has repeatedly wielded to great effect to minimise any points losses.

He came from behind to win in Australia and Bahrain, and ran the lead Mercedes close in Russia, Spain and Austria. However he couldn’t dislodge Verstappen from second on the road at Silverstone and his early pit stop proved a gamble too far. He bounced back in Hungary, coping with wonky steering for much of the race.

Crucially, Vettel has finished ahead of Hamilton seven times to four. Of course that scoreline would read six-five had it not been for Hamilton’s misfortune in Azerbaijan. Vettel was extraordinarily fortunate that his punishment for a reckless piece of deliberate contact was lenient enough that he still finished ahead of his delayed rival. That moment of madness has been his only significant slip-up so far.

Over to you

Do you agree Vettel has been the best driver so far in 2017? Which drivers deserve to be higher or lower in this ranking?

Have your say in the comments.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 159 comments on “2017 driver mid-season rankings: 4-1”

    1. I think Vettel deserves to be no 1 on this list purely on his driving merit. However, the incident in Baku shows that maybe he is not as strong mentally as he should be. And Hamilton’s treatment of Bottas in Hungary is definitely a plus for his character.

      1. @oni,

        IMHO the Baku incident wasn’t caused by lack of mental strength, but rather the opposite, too much mental (selfrightious) strength! ;)

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          18th August 2017, 12:40

          Disagree, it was Vettel being emotional and impulsive. Bottas is such a calm guy that he wouldn’t have struck back.

          1. But he spins on safetycar and t-bones people on lap 1.

            1. Oh Keith you have got these ratings so wrong , maybe you had a off day we all have them..can’t see a f1 journo anywhere around the world who agrees with you with your top 4 not even close!!

        2. Fully agree @skylien,

          In previous seasons I found most of Vettels performances
          very laudable. Then came ‘multi21’ or whatever it was called
          and the mask slipped. Arrogance tells it’s story in blood
          red colours. So Vettel’s behaviour in the recent Baku race was
          simply unacceptable in any terms; and the 10 second stop
          punishment was almost laughable, particularly as it was only
          announced split seconds after his arch-rival was forced to make
          an unscheduled and severely damaging safety stop.

          So you’ll understand why I, and many other F1 Fanatic
          supporters, cannot allow Vettel the top slot. Quite simply,
          the no longer deserves the accolade.

          I do not believe any F1 driver is pure as the driven snow as
          regards their on-track behaviour. And Sebastien Vettel began his
          F1 career so well in those terms. But there are well defined
          limits and Herr Vettel has smashed those limits with his
          very dangerous lack of self control. It’s a matter of observer
          respect and, for me, that is now ended.

          1. @loen

            I guess you have misunderstood me. I rather like Vettel. Yes he loses his cool easily in certain situations, and when that happens he needs a lot of time (too much in my opinion) to reflect on what just happened. But I think he is honest, just very impulsive (just like Senna btw…). But that is no sign of a lack of mental strength. He has shown often enough under huge pressure (just like Hungary, nursing his Ferrari home over the whole distance) that he delivers. Usually he does.

            But (only) in special cases like in Baku he judges too fast what just happened (self-righteousness) because he is too sure of himself (=too much mental strength), and that part I clearly don’t like, and then he acts as if he could not be wrong, instead of being more quiet. He can state his opinion in a more toned down tone and rewatch and analyze the situation afterwards… But tell that to a super impulsive and passionate driver on an adrenalin high…

            However Multi 21 is no problem in my opinion, since it was Webber who first disobeyed teamorders to hold position. Why don’t you know that?

            1. Michael Brown (@)
              18th August 2017, 23:31

              @skylien Thanks for elaborating

            2. @skyien.

              Thanks very much for expanding on your views.
              And I take you observations as they are meant. But the
              differences between us on Vettel are really only of degree
              aren’t they ? He’s a superb racing driver whose coming
              together with Red Bull reaching it’s peak performance
              in his peak years was simply spectacular. How many other
              consecutive-triple champions have we had, for goodness sake ?

              In this case it’s just a matter of my chagrin at a star
              falling very shamefully from his pinnacle. With all his skills
              and accomplishments Vettel should simply be better than
              that. And because so many young drivers see him as
              a superior role-model, what he did at Buku was shameful.
              There is no other way to describe it.

            3. @loen,

              Yes Baku was unaccaptable, yet I belong to the people (e.g. Brundle) who think the penalty was fitting. However I agree that I would have not complained if it had been an even a bigger one. If you do such an extraordinary thing that can’t even be compared to past examples, then you need to reckon with extraordinary penalties as well. So yes though I think the penalty was enough, he was damn lucky to not have received a harsher one.

          2. Despite his unacceptable behaviour in Baku is ‘only’ part of his performance this season, it can’t be all about one incident. Apart from the incident Vettel does have a good (the best of all drivers?) season. I still believe Mercedes is the best car, but Vettel is leading in the Ferrari, which isn’t cause of luck, but persistance.

            Vettel had some good fights on track (Vet-Ric in China) (Vet-Ham in Baku) (Vet-Ver in GB), despite he doesn’t always come out on top, he gives it all and isn’t shy of a bit of wheel-banging.

            Hamilton doesn’t do a better job untill now, Verstappen comes cose in terms of fighting spirit, but his season is dwn the drain regardless.

          3. @loen, I trust you include Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna & Nelson Piquet (+ many others) in your scathing critique. No matter how great they are, they all have that ‘red mist’ moment of loss of control at times in their careers and to err in that way is a human response, we’ve all been there and done it. Whilst the various acts that caused these great racers to lose control momentarily can be deemed as unsporting, I don’t believe the vast majority of fans, while not condoning petulant actions such as Vettel exhibited, lose respect for them as they understand the pressure cooker environment. I believe the most blatant example was Schumacher’s torpedoing of Villeneuve for the World Title. It was clumsy and didn’t work and made him look ridiculous but in the end, he is remembered for his 7 World titles, not for this although it wasn’t the only time he behaved thus. One of the most cynical of drivers in his arrogant attacks on fellow competitors was of course the mighty Ayrton Senna, and yet, overall he is remembered for his cutting edge driving skills not his blatant barging of fellow racers. By comparison, Vettel’s little lunge was small beer..

            1. Of course they do, they are only human just like the rest of us. In addition to that fact they spend their life in a highly stressful enviroment. That’s why I have never been one for throwing stones at them, be it Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel for their antics. Unless you are faultless yourself you really should not judge others, and if you compare F1 drivers to other high stress positions I think they conduct themselves admirably (politicians for instance).
              We often judge without understanding the people involved. I for instance was convinced for years that Schumachers antics in crashing into Hill and Villeneuve was the actions of a stone cold analytic driver. But after seeing Schumacher driving his intermediates to shreds in 2006 to win at all cost I understood that wasn’t the case. Schumacher was first and foremost an ultimate racer that hated losing. In the heat of the moment he would do anything to win instinctivly. That is the reason he was involved in a lot of incidents he didn’t need to be part of. It probably cost him a couple of Championships as well, but if he hadn’t been like that he might not have been the force he was.
              Both Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen have the same mentality. They will do things we consider stupid and unsportmanlike, but that’s part of what makes them great F1 drivers. They hate to lose and will do anything to win. That’s what separates them from the rest in my view, there’s a lot of talent out there but you have to be absolutely ruthless to be number 1.

      2. Bottas trwatment of Hamilton in Hungary was where credit was due. A great sporting gesture by the Finn. Hamilton did what he had to do to save face. There is no clear gap between the Merc drivers. Vettel has hammered his teammate and had to pull a hard overtake on him in China. The race before Hamilton was let past Bottas. To push Hamilton whilst driving the 2nd best car and beating him is outstanding.

    2. A long time ago, when I still cared about driver ratings, I had made for myself an as simple as possible rating system that tried to decouple driver performance from car performance. So since it’s vacation time, I had the time to dig up my notes and apply it to this season.

      It worked like this:
      Set a target finish position for each team, based on car performance. This is the highest likely finish position when every car performs at 100%, corrected for a certain retirement percentage.
      Then compare each driver’s real finish position with the target, apply a points system and there you have a ranking.

      For 2017 I have set the target finish positions as follows:
      2 = Mercedes, Ferrari
      5 = Red Bull
      7 = Force India
      8 = Williams
      9 = Haas, Renault, Toro Rosso
      10 = McLaren
      12 = Sauber

      Now if a driver finishes ahead of the target he gets a bonus point for every position, if he finishes below he gets a penalty point. So if Vettel finishes first he gets 1 bonus point, if he finishes 7th he gets 5 penalty points. (This is also why Mercedes and Ferrari don’t have target 1, then the drivers can’t score bonus points).
      If a driver doesn’t start the race or isn’t classified at the finish, he gets 3 penalty points.
      Now calculate all penalty points for a driver, withdraw the bonus points and you have a score (lower = better).

      Before I give the results, I will say that I realise that this system is very sensitive to the target position given to each team. (And in the old days, when the retirement rate was much higher, to the number of penalty points awarded to a DNF). However, when I dreamed up this system it wasn’t intended to display an absolute truth, just to give a broad insight to how drivers were doing.

      Here are the results for 2017 so far:

      1. Ricciardo (0 pts)
      2. Sainz (2 pts)
      3. Vettel (5)
      4. Perez (8)
      5. Hamilton (10)
      =. Bottas (10)
      7. Verstappen (12)
      8. Ocon (14)
      9. Hulkenberg (15)
      10. Grosjean (16)
      11. Wehrlein (19)
      12. Massa (21)
      13. Ericsson (23)
      14. Magnussen (26)
      =. Alonso (26)
      16. Vandoorne (28)
      17. Giovinazzi (29)
      18. Raikkonen (32)
      19. Button (33)
      20. Kvyat (35)
      =. Palmer (35)
      22. Stroll (39)

      1. I would say your methods make no sense but then again when i look at the list it looks pretty good and way better than f1fanatics.

        1. What you say makes no sense whatsoever.

        2. The list is like a robot that can walk, sit and lift things but when it comes to finish a basic task completely it fails 6/6 in different points.

          1. None of which too badly though!

      2. Seems to unfairly penalise drivers for DNFs that were not their fault in my opinion (e.g. if mechanical failure maybe no penalty should be applied). But I realise this complicates a very simple system, that does appear to rank the drivers pretty well, and doesn’t fall into the “trap” that many drivers rankings do, where to order is actually dominated by how good the car under them is.

      3. I appreciate your system to an extent, and I can’t deny that the drivers near the top and the bottom do look more or less in place (in my opinion) – however I have to say your idea of “target” positions is very dependent on who sets them, also it doesn’t take into account races where a driver’s tyres burst, a headrest comes loose, has steering issues etc.
        Finally, any system that ranks Fernando Alonso in 14th (probably the best racer I’ve watched in my lifetime) is clearly flawed.
        Nonetheless there are some interesting and less obvious positions on your system that I do agree with (Sainz for example).
        Perhaps refine it a little and I think you’re into something ☺

        1. Carl, Luke,
          I think you have valid points, as I already included a ‘disclaimer’ for exactly those issues in the original points.

          Just for reference, this is the list without the penalty points for DNF / DNS:
          1. Sainz (-10 pts)
          2. Ricciardo (-9 pts)
          3. Verstappen (-3)
          4. Giovinazzi (0)
          5. Vettel (5)
          =. Perez (5)
          7. Bottas (7)
          =. Grosjean (7)
          9. Alonso (8)
          10. Hulkenberg (9)
          11. Hamilton (10)
          =. Wehrlein (10)
          13. Massa (12)
          14. Ocon (14)
          =. Ericsson (14)
          16. Vandoorne (16)
          17. Magnussen (17)
          18. Palmer (23)
          19. Kvyat (26)
          20. Raikkonen (29)
          21. Stroll (30)
          22. Button (-)

          1. You seem to miss our driving reporter.
            If even good can do this your system has serious flaws.

            1. Ofc Kimi isnt worse than Palmer but this type of list clearly highlights why he shouldnt even be in the top 10 if people just could look past his car and his past glory.

          2. Palmer in front of Raikkonen? You can not be serious.

            1. Bob
              Raikkonen has a 14th place classification that earns him 12 penalty points. Had he retired instead, he would be equal with Magnussen on 17 pts, just ahead of Palmer.

      4. Great Idea. I would take out the races where driver had mechanical failure. Also chances that at least one of the drivers hit trouble ahead of you increase as you are further down the grid, and the worst you can finish is 20th so if drivers from Merc/Ferrari drove a bad race he may never cover the penalty points where a sauber driver lucks into top 5 he can be the best driver even if he finishes 19.5 for the rest of the season.

        1. Sorry, I misread, and you have factored that in with Sauber drivers’ expected position is 12, but again expecting 7 cars to fail may be to big of a penalty.

        2. This system only checks the actuall results, when a driver DNF’s he gets penalty points or the race doesn’t count.
          To my opinion that takes away all the potential the driver+car has shown until he DNF’s.

          You can only make a good comparishing if you take in account what actually happens on track.

          1. Yes, the system is purely based on race results. Back in the day I did some experiments where retired drivers got the position of their last finished lap. Sometimes it worked fine, but sometimes a driver was already out of position due to strategy or he struggled on with a problem for a few laps. It was rather labour intensive as wel and I was looking for something simple.

            Also remember that in this system a score of zero is considered right on target. So that means a driver realises the full (estimated) potential of the car. When he retires for whatever reason, his race is certainly not on target.

            So in the end I settled for the penalty points for a retired driver.

            Also it’s probably good to know I last calculated this 15 years ago or so. Just thought it was nice way to look at the rating game in a different way. Although the scores might be somewhat debatable, you can see some interesting trends. For example Sainz doing extremely well almost unnoticed, Alonso being slightly overrated this year when it comes to delivering results and Perez and Vettel almost equal in efficiency and maximizing their car.

      5. Bernie is that you mate?

      6. For 2017 I have set the target finish positions as follows

        Obviously the entire system hinges on the target finishes you assign. You can easily alter the result simply by changing those. And some of them don’t make obvious sense. For instance, why is the largest gap (three points) between Red Bull on the one hand and Merc and Ferrari on the other? The decision on its own propels Ricciardo to the top. It’s also far from obvious that Mercedes and Ferrari should be assigned identical targets. The Merc (8 of 11 Poles and 6 of 11 wins) looks to have a definite advantage on the Ferrari (3 of 11 poles and 4 of 11 wins) so assigning both teams drivers a target of 2 looks unwarranted.

        1. Though even more, as you say, the Mercedes and Ferrari should have, at different races, realistically, different targets (and though Mercedes might have had more pole targets, in the races that often wasn’t so clear, like in Australia). Also, drivers in teams w. a 1st, 2nd driver have it easier, bc. they don’t have to worry about their teammate taking that target away from them: see Vettel vs. HAM,BOT, and RIC/VER too I guess – apart from the DNF issue with VER lifting RIC artificially.

          It is an interesting approach Lea B, but, the simplicity can’t get rid of that one subjective factor, and is too simple in others I fear.

        2. Fireblade, bosyber,
          I already said the selection of the target position determines the result of this exercise. I don’t really care about driver rankings anymore, so there is very little bias in my selection. Here’s my reasoning: Ferrari and Mercedes battle for victory at almost every track, so initial target is 1. Red bull is next at some distance, so initial target is 5. Force India leads the midfield, so initial target 7. Then there are some retirements each race, let’s say 4 or 5, distributed equally through the field. So new targets become ferrari and mercedes 1, red bull 4, force india 6. Then I decided victory should always be a bonus point, so I move all targets down by 1 (results will be the same) and we get the final targets of 2, 5 and 7. And so on for the other teams.
          The penalty points for retirements is not artificial, it’s just a choice I explained somewhere above.

      7. @Leo b: I don’t think your system is fair, the first one you said, which includes DNF into penalty points, note how verstappen who has been better than ricciardo on the same car is penalized due to his issues, alonso too, he had so many technical problems and is probably the best performing driver of the season, and I’m not really his fan, just looking at the car.

        The 2nd system is already better, it already makes more sense, however you shouldn’t just exclude every kind of DNF from penalty points, but only the non-driver related ones. Also, something which unless you can estimate the finishing position, a system like this can’t do, is that verstappen was likely to finish 2nd in canada, he was faster than bottas, even when your system excludes his penalty due to mechanical failure, it doesn’t give him credit for his 2nd place; now if the system did that it would work, and by no means am I saying I find every single ranking of f1 fanatic fair btw. Alonso, for one, should be absolutely in the top 3, he’s been penalized due to having a bad car, hulkenberg is also too low and perez and ocon, incredibly close to each other, are several positions apart, and raikkonen has been overrated, most of his season was terrible. If you want to see a system that really makes sense, check f1 metrics, he only does the end of season rankings though, but he uses a mathematical model and that really doesn’t have obvious flaws cause of bias which I regularly see here in f1 fanatic and other ranking websites.

        1. Esploratore
          I think what you’re asking me is to assume race results that never happened. For instance, you want Verstappen to have some credit for his 2nd position in a race where he retired after 10 of 70 laps. Now you are assuming that if his car would have stayed in one piece, he would retain his position to the finish. But I could easily assume several different things, like he would have crashed out on his own on lap 16, he would have gotten a penalty for speeding in the pitlane, etc etc. So interpreting what coud have happened is a good recipe for introducing bias.

          Something similar about the DNF’s. Let’s make it all about Verstappen just for fun. In Bahrain in crashed out with brake failure. This was right after his pitstop. If I would like to give him some position in the results, should I extrapolate a possible finish position, simply take his position as the crash happened or take his position before the pit stop? Furthermore was this a technical DNF (the brake system broke) or was it driver related (Verstappen misjudged how much the brakes had cooled off in the pit stop) or maybe a combination?

          Another example, Ricciardo’s DNF in Hungary. Do we called it a technical DNF because he had a punctured radiator or do we call it a driver DNF because we has hit by Verstappen? Should we assume that since Ricciardo was ahead at the time of the incident, he would also have been ahead at the finish?

          I was never interested in doing anything so complicated and time consuming. As I said in the original post, it was just aimed at getting a basic insight. My system is based on results and it shows that Ricciardo does an excellent job at getting those for the team. I could agree that Verstappen seems slightly quicker in the car, but he doesn’t get the results. How you rank them compared to each is all fine with me.

          I did take look at f1metrics a while ago, because I was interested how the car performance was seperated from the driver performance. I couldn’t find an explanation on that blog, other than a paper for which you had to pay (I didn’t). So maybe it’s a good system, maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. All I can figure out it’s based on relative performance between team mates and it uses points instead of positions, two things you could have some debate about.

      8. But Leo, Keith’s ratings are clearly not based on results and in any event your system of ‘car capability’ is based on results that are flawed to start with because you guessed them. There has to be a subjective element in the ratings and of course @keithcollantine has applied many years of experience in his findings. I have no issue with the list at all, it’s his list and is just a discussion point. As for the poster that said that “no other F1 journos in the world'” agreed with Keith’s list, is just goes to show what a genius he is ;)

        1. @Baron
          I don’t have any problems with mr. Collantine’s list, nor do I think that my list is in any way better or more true. I just added it to offer a different perspective.

          As I said before, I came up with this many years ago and had to dig up my notes. I took it more seriously back then, because I even did some math on it. I looked at it more closely over the weekend, and this was my line of thought back in the day.

          After some contemplation I decided the formula for performance should be like this:

          P = CF + DF + TF + OI

          P = Performance = total performance of the entry (car + driver)
          CF = Car factor = Everything the car adds to the performance: how much is the horsepower, tyre grip and downforce; how reliable is the car
          DF = Driver factor = Everything the driver adds to the performance: physical and mental fitness, stamina, ability to extract the max performance out of the car
          TF = Team factor = Everything the team adds to the performance: Efficiency of pit stops, strategy calls, the ability to add performance to the car, the ability to make all team members (incl drivers) perform at their maximum
          OI = Outside influences = Weather, decisions by race control or stewards (penalties, use of the safety car), third party influences (a spectator walking on to the track during the race etc), coincidence.

          P is a known, we know the race results and laptimes, all others are mostly unknown. Further complication is that they are variable. CF may vary from race to race as a car may be suited better to certain kinds of track. DF can vary within a single session, as a driver can lose concentration or motivation.

          Now all this was done in a time when Altavista was the internet search engine, so there was not so much data available to the public, other than result tables and tv-footage. I decided a correct calculation would be impossible to do, so I needed to simplify.

          The first step was to do the same as every other driver rating method: accept TF and OI as a given instead of a performance factor. We all know a successfull undercut (TF), an awkwardly timed safety car (OI) or team orders (TF) can have a serious effect on the results, so I thought it wasn’t right thing to do, but these effects are sometimes very difficult to quantify.

          Then we’re left with CF and DF only. I have all kinds of tables with lap time comparisions etc to find a way to ‘put a number on CF’. Most of this ‘analysis’ is pretty much fooling yourself, because you’re mostly rearranging a series of unknowns. So you can make up anything you want.
          In the end I decided on assigning target positions, since it was just as realiable as any kind of lap time analysis I could come up with. There used to be rather reliable reference tool: the Monza grid. Usually cars lined up team-by-team, showing pretty much the running order based on car performance. I don’t know if that still holds true.

          So there you have it: a very simple, easy to calculate driver ranking system that is based on a lot of thought, but shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

    3. I’d have personally swapped Vettel & Hamilton purely on the former’s Red Mist moment in Baku, but otherwise this top-20 gets no argument from me.

    4. Having read this fully I find it hard to disagree with your rankings for the top four Keith :)

    5. For me Bottas would make the top 3.As we know,he came to a brand new team late in the winter,having to learn everything from scratch in a short period of time.His pure performance hasnt been that that strong as he used to be in Williams,but his stability,the ability to take the max out of the “Diva” every weekend(he almost took pole in Monaco),his team-play character would make me rank him higher.Both Vettel & Ham hadnt had a DNF & Bottas had one,so he could have been even closer to them.He still can improve many things(his caution first lap,his general race pace) but i dont think we expected him to be a title contender.

      1. Bottas should definitely be in the top 3.

      2. I was thinking about that @miltosgreekfan, however, this ranking is not based on 100% w. respect to what we could expect of them reasonable (which would shift the rookies and their teammates with respect to eachother), and Bottas is still clearly behind Hamilton in several respects, while Verstappen, apart from the Hungary breaking into Riccoardo incident, seemed to almost always be ahead of his teammate, so I can live with it. I do think he did better than I had dared hope though.

      3. I agree, Valtteri Bottas deserves a higher place than Hamilton. Hamilton finished ahead of him at one race by virtue of team orders. If you take that into account then he’d have to be ranked higher than Hamilton because he’d have beaten his team mate 6/10 times. Also, there’d be less number of laps Hamilton was ahead of Bottas because team orders have twice allowed Hamilton to be ahead of Bottas.

    6. Is this without any particular order? :)

    7. Azerbaijan was a lost win for Lewis Hamilton and no one else, surely?

      1. @maichael For Vettel if he hadn’t hit Hamilton. Or Stroll if he was a tad faster, or Massa if he hadn’t retired, or Bottas if he didn’t collide with Kimi, or Kimi himself if he hadn’t retired with an oil leak,…

        1. That’s exactly what I mean, though. Hamilton was the only driver who would have (purely) won on merit that day, everything else is just might-have-beens.

          1. @maichael That’s not what I’m saying. There might have been a technical failure for Hamilton if he stayed in the lead, who knows?

    8. I pretty much agree with this ranking. Each driver has some strengths and some weaknesses:
      – Bottas: solid driver, but loses to Hamilton on absolute pace (when Hamilton is on it)
      – Verstappen: amazingly quick, but due to poor reliability it would be strange to place him as the best
      – Hamilton: uneven season so far, highs are high but the lows are quite low as well
      – Vettel: Alonso-like season (maximizing every opportunity) with Baku as the one bad thing

      It will be very interesting to compare the latter part of the season with the first one.

      1. How does Hamilton have an uneven season? Both Bottas and himself have had issues with the car not working as expected.

        Last time in Silverstone they messed up his tyres for Q3 while he was clearly up to fighting for pole.

        If anything, it has been Vettel with a number of poor starts which cost him lots of points and issues and his poor performance in Q3 which were to blame to his own driving.

        1. What were vettels poor performances in q3? People just notice it because he says his mistakes out loud. If he goes about saying those were the best performances in his life. People will think differently. Beaides he has the highest average qualifying position which says a lot about his consistency.

        2. @patrickl
          Haha, of course Hamilton is not to blame for Russia and Monaco. It’s an “issue” that the car isn’t “working as expected”.

          And of course Vettel’s “poor starts” are his own doing and not a characteristic of the Ferrari (Kimi’s starts haven’t been any better).

          As for Q3, if Ferrari was actually as quick as Mercedes I reckon Vettel would be on pole far more often.

        3. Worst season by Hamilton for a while but can be rectified before season end. His issues with the best car on the grid are his driving issues, to say he has had balance issues means you could say the same of Palmer.

      2. Hmmm, I’m not sure that a driver should be ranked 3rd overall after having 2 race ending 1st lap incidents (Spain and Hungary) especially when one of them takes out his own team mate! Not all of Verstappens retirements have been reliability related.

        1. Thats why hes not first.

          1. Is that on the new, Americanized version of driver rankings? Whomever brings the biggest crowd wearing all the same color? Because by driving, he’s already over ranked. My guess because people think he’s going to be great.

            As has been said, he took out a team mate in a lap one incident. The fact that you think he should be ranked number one despite this (not to mention his points haul)is comedic gold! You must be Dutch.

    9. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      18th August 2017, 12:22

      Looks fair to me. Hamilton’s only weakness this year has been his inability to rein himself in when the car is not performing well. He said recently that he sees Vettel is faster and he has tried to squeeze extra pace out of the car which isn’t there, causing the tyres to heat unevenly and the car to slide. By contrast Bottas just puts up with the deficit and drives within the car’s limits. It helps that Valtteri isn’t seriously expecting to win the championship this year and so is more interested in his pace versus his teammate than versus Ferrari.

      Vettel has had a much easier ride. The Ferrari performs consistently well, so it’s much easier to extract the maximum from it. Plus the lapdog teammate. That said, his performance this season has been consistently very high. Hamilton has had an up-and-down season, but his highs have been far higher than Vettel, e.g. Silverstone and Spain. Vettel has simply been devastatingly efficient at collecting points.

      Nice to see Verstappen placed third after such an awful first half of the season, I hope his luck changes in the second half.

      1. That said, his performance this season has been consistently very high. Hamilton has had an up-and-down season, but his highs have been far higher than Vettel

        @thegrapeunwashed Which would be easier to show as the Mercedes is still the faster car of the two, making it look like those high are ‘higher’. I think what Vettel did in Sochi for example was a much better performance than any of Hamilton his races so far this season. Nobody expected Vettel to stay so close to Bottas. His race in Canada for example was also better than let’s say Hamilton his win in China.

        You’re saying the Ferrari might be easier to setup which is very likely to be true, but when the Mercedes is setup up correct the Ferrari is nowhere near it. So if that happens the Mercedes is expected to run 1-2, something Ferrari only managed twice thanks to Mercedes failing on Hamilton his car (Monaco and Hungary).

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          18th August 2017, 22:07

          I think what Vettel did in Sochi for example was a much better performance than any of Hamilton his races so far this season. Nobody expected Vettel to stay so close to Bottas.

          Sochi? Ferrari led all three free practice sessions and had the fastest laps in the race, so I don’t see why anyone would consider them the underdogs.

          1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            18th August 2017, 22:16

            Sorry, that’s for @xtwl

          2. @thegrapeunwashed Leading free practice means something, but hardly you’ll win the race. Neither does fastest lap mean one bit. The fact Vettel pushed Bottas till the end is the reason of my comment as the Merc was easily the faster car that day.

            1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              19th August 2017, 21:44

              @xtwl How do you figure Mercedes was the quickest when Ferrari had topped all practice sessions, taken the front row in qualifying and secured the top two spots on the fastest lap charts? Seriously, I’m interested.

            2. @thegrapeunwashed I’m not saying the Mercedes was the fastest car. I’m saying topping free practice sessions doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to win the race. Bottas had the better car underneath him on Sunday, hence I found it more impressive Vettel pushed him all the way home compared to Hamilton cruising to a win in Silverstone.

            3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              20th August 2017, 13:11

              I’m not saying the Mercedes was the fastest car.

              @xtwl Here’s your original comment –

              I think what Vettel did in Sochi for example was a much better performance than any of Hamilton his races so far this season. Nobody expected Vettel to stay so close to Bottas.

              All I’ve asked of you is that you explain why no-one expected Vettel to stay close to Bottas and why this was such an exceptional race for Vettel. Because Vettel was in the fastest car all weekend, he got jumped at the start and subsequently didn’t have quite enough pace to overtake Bottas, but easily enough to stay with him. I just don’t see anything remarkable in that performance.

      2. @thegrapeunwashed

        Ferrari performs consistently well, so it’s much easier to extract the maximum from it.

        Apart from qualifying in Bahrain and Baku, as well as the entire Silverstone weekend.

        Ferrari is usually slower in qualifying, so Vettel is at an inherit disadvantage before the race even begins. Mercedes is a better engine, which makes overtaking and defending easier.

        Plus the lapdog teammate.

        Who he had to overtake on merit in China (Hamilton has yet to overtake Bottas on merit at any point this season).

        1. Ferrari performs consistently well, so it’s much easier to extract the maximum from it.

          Apart from qualifying in Bahrain and Baku, as well as the entire Silverstone weekend.

          Ferrari is usually slower in qualifying, so Vettel is at an inherit disadvantage before the race even begins. Mercedes is a better engine, which makes overtaking and defending easier.

          Plus the lapdog teammate.

          Who he had to overtake on merit in China (Hamilton has yet to overtake Bottas on merit at any point this season).

        2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          18th August 2017, 22:15

          @kingshark Ferrari has had a very small deficit in qualifying, Vettel has usually split the Mercedes drivers.

          1. @thegrapeunwashed
            Mercedes has been 0.283 seconds faster than Ferrari in qualifying this season (on average). That’s not a “very small” deficit, that is a game-changing advantage which Hamilton has failed to capitalize on.

            1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              19th August 2017, 10:57

              @kingshark That’s a misleading average – Hamilton was about 0.7s faster than Raikkonen in Silverstone, but it was a wet qualification – he was also faster than Bottas by the same amount! Azerbaijan was a disrupted qualifying session: Hamilton was faster than Ferrari by 1.07s, but he also beat his teammate by 0.5s! And remember, Vettel was running a detuned engine in Baku after a last minute swap. Remove the wet British GP and the compromised Azerbaijan GP from the count and the difference is 0.14s, a hair’s breadth. That’s a more representative number for the first half of the season.

            2. @thegrapeunwashed I can’t believe somebody would actually argue 0,14s is not a lot in F1?

            3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              19th August 2017, 22:04

              @xtwl Well here’s Andrew Benson describing such a gap as small –

              He was just 0.15secs behind Bottas.

              And here’s Autosport’s Ian Parkes doing exactly the same thing –

              worth only around 0.15 seconds per lap.

              Drivers regularly complain of losing a 10th / 10th-and-a-half over a minor lock-up on one corner in qualifying. So I wonder which of us is living on another planet?

            4. @thegrapeunwashed
              You are using the underperformances of Bottas as a case to argue that Mercedes isn’t as far ahead in qualifying as the data suggests. I can easily make the same argument for Australia, where Vettel had no business splitting the Mercedes cars (Kimi was 0.6 seconds behind). Also, in Russia Bottas should have been on pole if he strung his best sectors together.

              Lastly, Silverstone was pretty much a dry qualifying session by the end. The pole lap of a 1:26.6 was very close to a dry time.

            5. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              20th August 2017, 14:02

              You are using the underperformances of Bottas as a case to argue that Mercedes isn’t as far ahead in qualifying as the data suggests.

              @kingshark There are a few problems with this argument.

              The first is that when comparing the average difference in qualifying between Mercedes and Ferrari, as you did in your first post, you were using Bottas’s good qualifying performances to increase the gap between the teams. So are you saying we should only count Bottas when he is helpful to your argument?

              The second problem is that Bottas has averaged 0.051s slower than Hamilton in Q3 over the course of this season, so this “he’s ruining the comparison” argument is ridiculous.

              The third, and perhaps most telling point is that Hamilton has made the difference in qualifying when something upsets the session. Take the example of Baku, where Ricciardo red flagged Q3 with 3m33 remaining. That wasn’t a massive deal for Ferrari as the drivers were able to set a time on their first flying lap, but it was a nightmare for Mercedes as the team required multiple laps of careful preparation to optimise their tyres – when the session restarted the Mercs were operating in completely unknown territory…

              So Q3 restarts and Vettel puts in a time of 1:41.841, only improving 0.070 on his Q2 time, which will leave him in 4th. Raikkonen manages to do much better, a 1:41.693 is 0.397 improvement on Q2…

              Mercedes is on the back foot, but Bottas puts in a stonking 1:41.027, improving by 0.475 on Q2, and Hamilton does even better at 1m40.593, an astonishing 0.682 improvement over his Q2 time!

              You can’t dismiss Silverstone by saying it was ‘almost dry’, the point is that like Baku was for the Mercedes, the grip levels were unknown. And as in Baku, Hamilton pulled hugely ahead of the competition.

            6. @thegrapeunwashed
              Nope, you just don’t seem to understand my statistics very well. I use Bottas when he is faster than Hamilton, just as I use Raikkonen when he is faster than Vettel. That’s because the faster driver better represents the potential of his car.

              As for Hamilton excelling when things get difficult. I would like to point out Russia, Monaco and Hungary for that matter. On all three occasions Ferrari was faster in qualifying, Hamilton underachieved. Hamilton has yet to impress me like Vettel did in Australia when he split the clearly faster Mercedes cars in qualifying. On the rare occasion Ferrari have been faster, Hamilton can’t even beat his own teammate let alone the faster car.

              As for Silverstone, the race showed just how far ahead Mercedes were that weekend. Ferrari was nowhere, which completely disproves your claim that the Ferrari “works everywhere”.

            7. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              21st August 2017, 9:08


              As for Hamilton excelling when things get difficult. I would like to point out Russia, Monaco and Hungary for that matter.

              But I never said ‘when things get difficult’, I was referring to something unexpected happening: in Azerbaijan the red flag forced Mercedes to bin their tyre preparation; at Silverstone a drying track meant that their were unknown levels of grip around the circuit. Both cases were a journey into the unknown. In both cases Hamilton pulled out an extraordinary lap. In both cases Vettel trailed Raikkonen, a man who had rarely been able to match him in qualifying.

              When it comes to driving by the seat of the pants – on pure talent – Hamilton is elevated to another level, just at the point that Vettel drops into the ranks of the also-rans, out-performed even by his long-past-it teammate. Now, Vettel clearly is a great driver, but it seems he’s not a man to deal well with a curve ball.

            8. Funny how you convenienty “forgot” to mention that Vettel had to revert to a very old engine in Baku, the second biggest power circuit after Monza.

              As for Silverstone, Raikkonen was faster than Vettel in 2015 and 2016 there too. It’s one of the few circuits where Kimi is still seemingly very fast at. The unknown conditions have nothing to do with it.

              Also, could you please elaborate on your claim that the Ferrari “works in every condition” when clearly it does not? Whatever you think of Baku, it’s obvious that Ferrari was clearly slower on Saturday. The same can be said about Bahrain (Ferrari very slow in qualifying). Ferrari was also way off the pace in Silverstone. How exactly does the Ferrari “work in every condition” when it’s been well off the pace on more occasions as the Mercedes?

            9. This was a reply to @thegrapeunwashed

            10. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              22nd August 2017, 9:44


              Funny how you convenienty “forgot” to mention that Vettel had to revert to a very old engine in Baku, the second biggest power circuit after Monza.

              As for Silverstone, Raikkonen was faster than Vettel in 2015 and 2016 there too. It’s one of the few circuits where Kimi is still seemingly very fast at. The unknown conditions have nothing to do with it.

              Well, that doesn’t really wash. Vettel was faster than Raikkonen in Q2 at both Baku and Silverstone – but immediately after Q3 is upset he falls far behind his teammate. The reverse is true of the Mercedes, Hamilton pulls out a massive gap to Bottas both times.

              Also, could you please elaborate on your claim that the Ferrari “works in every condition” when clearly it does not?

              Clearly the Mercedes doesn’t work in every condition: in high downforce circuits it struggles to warm its tyres and has to go through several tyre prep laps which in themselves both take the performance edge off the tyres and increase the likelihood of hitting traffic during qualifying. The car has been described as a ‘diva’, difficult to set-up and difficult to drive to its strengths, yet with superb pace when its potential is unlocked.

              Ferrari doesn’t have this problem, it has only required a single out-lap at each race thus far and has appeared well balanced in both qualifying and the race. It appears easy to set-up, uses its tyres well (aside, perhaps, from Silverstone) and behaves in a predictable manner over the course of the race.

              You keep saying that Silverstone proves the Ferrari doesn’t work well at all tracks, that is simply untrue, here’s Vettel after qualifying –

              “We were 10kph quicker than the Merc through Copse in qualifying. But with these cars there are now more corners here that are not grip-limited, where you just go through flat and they have a very aero-efficient car, I think.”

              And here he is after the race –

              “I think we had a good car, especially in the corners. The balance was alright in the race.

              Ferrari didn’t lose at Silverstone because their car wasn’t working well, it was – it just happened to be a circuit which played to Mercedes strengths.

            11. Ferrari didn’t lose at Silverstone because their car wasn’t working well, it was – it just happened to be a circuit which played to Mercedes strengths.

              This only further proves that Mercedes have an inherently faster car than the Ferrari.

              It really doesn’t matter what Vettel says, because unlike Hamilton he doesn’t have a habit of downplaying his own car. What matters is what the live timing says. Ferrari was miles slower than Mercedes around Silverstone, that much is obvious. Therefore, the Ferrari wasn’t working around Silverstone unless your definition of “working” is “appears well balanced”.

              Based on Vettel’s quotes, it’s pretty obvious that Mercedes clearly have the better engine. Ferrari was appearantly more balanced through the corners around Silverstone, but Mercedes was still miles faster thanks to better top speed (better engine).

              Hamilton was on pole at Baku, 1.100 seconds faster than the nearest Ferrari. Mercedes were also 0.500 seconds faster than Ferrari around Bahrain too. Hamilton won Spain purely thanks to a superior engine (which made it much easier for him to overtake Vettel, than it was for Vettel to overtake Bottas).

              Literally the only advantage Ferrari have is that they are better around high downforce circuits (Monaco and Hungary). Mercedes are better in qualifying (no matter how much you try to deny this), have a better engine, and are at least equally fast in the race (a tad faster usually).

              There is no way you can spin this: Mercedes has been the best car.

              Hamilton has been outclassed by Vettel in the first half of this season

            12. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              23rd August 2017, 10:52

              This only further proves that Mercedes have an inherently faster car than the Ferrari.

              @kingshark and here’s your problem: your idea of an ‘inherently faster’ car appears to be something which goes quicker along the straights, rather than the quickest over 300km of a given circuit, it is the latter definition which determines success in F1. Mercedes is indeed the quicker car when all the stars align (as at Silverstone), but over the course of the season it has been very evenly matched.

              Hamilton has been outclassed by Vettel in the first half of this season

              ‘Outclass’ is a peculiar choice of words, given Vettel’s behaviour in Azerbaijan, but perhaps you mean ‘out-performed’? You’re entitled to your opinion, but there’s not been much evidence to support it. Someone above tried to claim that Sochi showed Vettel’s skill, but then politely withdrew from the discussion once the facts became apparent. Looking at media reports, Hamilton’s performances regularly attract descriptions such as ‘crushing’, ‘storming’, ‘dominating’, ‘stunning’ – not words one associates with Vettel, a driver who can’t really scale the heights that Hamilton can, but who reliably navigates the foothills with the aid of his Sherpa Raikkonen. But if by ‘outclass’ you mean someone who grinds out the results, you may have a point – however, it might be wiser to wait until the end of the season before passing final judgement.

            13. @thegrapeunwashed
              Nope, straight line speed is only part of the equation. Overall Mercedes was faster than Ferrari in every race from Canada to Silverstone (that’s four race weekends), both over one lap and race distance. Ferrari has been faster only in Monaco and Hungary. In the first five races of the season it was very evenly matched with both cars capable of winning any race. Therefore overall Mercedes has been the better car. Add to this the fact that it is faster in qualifying, and a better engine makes it easier to overtake, and it is no longer debatable.

              The two cars are not “evenly matched”, they are close, but one car is still better and those who are intellectually honest can see that.

              As for Hamilton’s performances being described in superlative terms, that argument is completely meaningless. If anything, the fact that Hamilton has had higher highs further proves that Mercedes is indeed the car to have, which makes Vettel’s WDC lead all the more impressive.

            14. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              24th August 2017, 8:53


              Overall Mercedes was faster than Ferrari in every race from Canada to Silverstone (that’s four race weekends), both over one lap and race distance.

              Three. They were evenly matched in Austria: Ferrari was faster on the ultrasofts, Mercedes on the supersofts, which is why it was so important for Bottas to lead into the first corner.

              Ferrari has been faster only in Monaco and Hungary.

              Plus Australia, Russia and Bahrain. Mercedes couldn’t make their tyres last at most of the early races (they started adding rear wing in Spain in order to improve tyre wear).

              As for Hamilton’s performances being described in superlative terms, that argument is completely meaningless. If anything, the fact that Hamilton has had higher highs further proves that Mercedes is indeed the car to have

              If that were the case it would be Mercedes earning the plaudits, not Hamilton. Hamilton has received raves reviews when he’s outclassed everyone in the field, including Bottas: Canada, Silverstone and Azerbaijan to name three.

            15. @thegrapeunwashed

              Three. They were evenly matched in Austria: Ferrari was faster on the ultrasofts, Mercedes on the supersofts, which is why it was so important for Bottas to lead into the first corner.

              Apart from the fact that Hamilton was very fast on both sets of tyres, it’s just Bottas’ race pace that was poor, and the fact that Mercedes was faster in qualifying.

              Plus Australia, Russia and Bahrain. Mercedes couldn’t make their tyres last at most of the early races (they started adding rear wing in Spain in order to improve tyre wear).

              If you’re going to give a race as close as Australia to Ferrari, you might as well give China to Mercedes.

              Also, funny you would mention Bahrain. Hamilton threw that race win away by:

              1. Pressing the DRS button too early in qualifying
              2. Holding up Ricciardo in the pits and getting a 5 second penalty

              Had Hamilton started from pole he would have won without a doubt, since he was just as fast as Vettel in that race, and Mercedes was clearly better in qualifying.

              If anything, overall Bahrain should go to Mercedes, since if two cars are evenly matched in the race, the one that is faster in qualifying is overall the better car for the weekend.

              As for Russia, the race which Bottas by pulling away from Vettel in the first half of the race and Hamilton underachieved? How was Mercedes inferior there?

              If that were the case it would be Mercedes earning the plaudits, not Hamilton. Hamilton has received raves reviews when he’s outclassed everyone in the field, including Bottas: Canada, Silverstone and Azerbaijan to name three.

              You are pretty desperate if you’re going to use the superlatives used by the media to describe Hamilton’s performance as some kind of argument to why he has been great this season. In Australia Vettel finished something like 30 seconds ahead of Raikkonen and nobody notices. It’s just the media that you read.

      3. The fact that Hamilton has failed miserably, performance wise, when his car doesn’t handle to his liking makes it laughable he is even in the top 4 let alone first.
        It also tarnishes his legacy as one of the greats – same for Vettel – Ricciardo outperformed him in 2014 even though he was new to the team.
        Both have been extremely fortunate to have had cars far and away better when they won most of their championships.
        These polls are fun but not practical.

    10. Vettel is a worthy champ here IMO.

      I don’t hold the Baku incident against him either, yes it cost him some points on the day but having a hot headed image might mean he gains respect on the track in future.
      I definitely don’t think this was an intentional move by Vettel but it does seem to be his approach in general, giving no quarter.

      Also, it’s not easy to make a driver like Raikkonnen look like a slouch, Raikkonnen who made Grosjean look average and Grosjean now vying for a seat in a big team.

      1. @twentyseven, the thing is, Kimi was being given extremely favourable treatment whilst he was at Lotus – Grosjean was often at least one update package behind Kimi, and sometimes two or three updates behind him, with Kimi also being given bespoke parts (for example, the long wheelbase chassis that was built for Kimi’s exclusive use in 2013).

        Kimi did beat Grosjean for most of his time at Lotus, but with the team being so openly biased in his favour, frankly that is exactly what he should have done. When they stopped giving him such favourable treatment as the two parties began to argue, Grosjean was noticeably closer to Kimi’s pace and even began beating him, suggesting that the earlier gap in performance was exaggerated by that favourable treatment.

        I’d also say that, whilst most posters focus solely on Baku, I’d say that Vettel’s performance in Silverstone wasn’t that great either, even without the tyre failure – he’d been quite noticeably off Kimi’s pace throughout that weekend, and generally the slowest of the top four drivers throughout.

      2. having a hot headed image might mean he gains respect on the track in future

        I think the way other drivers view you in a racing situation is more dependant on how you actually race than on swerving into other cars behind a safety car!

    11. I think Vettel’s consistency makes him top driver so far. I would have dropped Hamilton down because of the downs he’s had – far too many for a championship contender. Yes he’s been untouchable at times, but it’s not week in week out. Unfortunately, reliability issues masks how well Verstappen has driven at say Canada and Bahrain, so personally, I’d edge Verstappen ahead of Hamilton. Similarly, whilst Bottas has been solid, I think Alonso and Ricciardo have driven better and on my list, Valtteri would be about on par with Sainz, Perez, Ocon and Hulkenburg.
      But it’s all subjective and you put a lot more thought into it than I do, but its good to discuss.

    12. Based on potential I would have swapped Hamilton and Verstappen, Bottas and Alonso.

      comes out best on average, scores good points and clearly the #1 driver at Ferrari. His Baku incident to me was worth a race ban…however the FIA chose for the championship battle.
      really suffered from some off-weekends and has a tough job keeping the new team mate behind, in races he can be unbeatable, but when he has to fight for positions (not being on pole) his races are much less convincing.
      has done the least laps of them all… Hungary was his flaw, the rest of the season rather flawless. Comfortably on top of his team mate, very strong at the starts and very strong in defending. I would swapped him with Hamilton to P2.
      appears much stronger than we maybe expected… in races thugh Hamilton seems to be better, in quali Bottas is fast. Involved in way to many first lap incident that remarkably never led to a penalty, a bit like Vettel in 2016, therefore top 4 to me is maybe a bit much… maybe I would have swapped him with Alonso.

    13. I still disagree with Max being so high in the list. Although it’s not his fault that he had technical issues, it’s hard to score him that high based on so few races. Nothing personal though, I think he’s the most exciting driver in the grid. That being said, good list!

      1. Maybe this statistic makes it more clear:
        (MV)-> Laps spent ahead of team mate 185/249

        That includes the laps he lost to Ricciardo by being called to pit prematurely in Monaco.
        If that had not happened Ricciardo would hardly have had any laps ahead at all.

        1. Since you mentioned statistics, how about Ricciardo’s completing 8 of 11 races (it could have been 9/11 if Verstappen had been a bit more careful) compared to Verstappen’s 6 of 11? Or how about Ricciardo’s 117 Championship points compared to 67? Doesn’t that suggest Ricciardo is a better driver than Verstappen? More laps ahead of your team mate counts for little when you fail to complete the race.

          1. LOL :)
            Verstappen was indeed the cause of his mechanical problems.
            He P’d on the brakes and the battery to make them fail, and in the tank to cause the engine problem.
            No doubt he forced Bottas to brake early, then power through the apex at too much speed to make up and lose it on the kerb by sheer force of will. And Kvyat, though that was also that clutch which he no doubt P’d on to make it malfunction.

            All that P-ing on things and influencing other drivers magically to turn into him are well noted in the statistics, and truly serve as a measure to down Verstappen.
            Thank you sir for your bright insight!

          2. Since you mentioned statistics, how about Ricciardo’s completing 8 of 11 races (it could have been 9/11 if Verstappen had been a bit more careful) compared to Verstappen’s 6 of 11?

            We have the WDC to show for that.

            Or how about Ricciardo’s 117 Championship points compared to 67? Doesn’t that suggest Ricciardo is a better driver than Verstappen? More laps ahead of your team mate counts for little when you fail to complete the race.

            We also have the WDC to show for that, in fact you brought up the tally yourself. And no, you can’t point to the WDC and say X is a better driver than Y because he has Z more points. There’s a broader picture to paint, and Keith and many other sites who have mid-season rankings on the drivers try to show us a more indepth view. By your reasoning, Lance Stroll is a better driver than Fernando Alonso because in the first 11 races, he scored 3 points more? That’s ridiculous!!

            The WDC is about the driver AND the team he drives for. At the end of the year which ever driver has the most points wins the championship. That doesn’t mean that some drivers haven’t underperformed in their car (Massa for instance), or have have outperformed their car (like, again, Alonso).

            The fact of the matter is that Verstappen has been ahead of Ricciardo in 10 of 11 races until his car broke down or he got punted off. He’s ahead in 7 out of 11 qualifyings. He was also ahead in 75% of the laps they raced together. That is an insane amount! Why should we think him to be lesser of a driver, because his car broke down and he couldn’t finish the race? Try to seperate car-performance and driver-performance.
            – No, he doesn’t get any WDC points for his DNF’s. That’s why he is in 6th place.
            – Yes, we recognise he is still doing very well with a P5/P6 car until it gives up on him or someone punts him out of the race.

            YES, he WAS at fault for Ricciardo’s DNF in Hungary. NO, he WAS NOT at fault for any of his own DNF’s. And drove superbly when his car would let him. That’s why he is 3rd in this (Keith’s) ranking.

            1. The Alonso-Stroll comparison was enough to make your point :)

      2. I don’t agree. It has been clear for all to see that he has Ricciardo well and truly covered. And every time he’s had reliability he’s been chipping away at Ferrari and Mercedes even though his car is clearly inferior. Ricciardo on the other hand has not been able to be a threat to the faster teams unless they have run into trouble.
        I suspect that Verstappen would have been on top of this list without his reliability issues. He’s the only one truly outperforming his car at the moment. If you put him in a Ferrari or Mercedes I suspect both Hamilton and Vettel would come up second best.
        This is by no means a big secret, that’s why both Ferrari and Mercedes are doing the best they can to sign him.
        I wouldn’t be surprized to se Ferrari accept a one year extension for both Vettel and Raikkonen if that is what Vettel wants. Then it will probably be Verstappen-Leclerc for 2019 as Vettel will go to Mercedes. If Vettel goes for a three year deal, maybe Mercedes brings in Verstappen for either Bottas or Hamilton for 2019. He’s allready shown enough to be the main man in a title tilt for the big teams. Ferrari and Mercedes would gladly sacrifice Vettel and Hamilton for him, he’s the future whereas they are closer to the end of their career than the start.

        1. To me it seems like fans are blinded by ‘old glory’ a lot. Somehow it’s hard for Ricciardo fans to accept he’s paired with a faster team mate. The consequences are well hidden due to reliability isues.

          1. The grin has been smashed by Max. The Grins fans are defending him with all the reasons Kyvatt fans could say he is better than Ricciardo as he beat him over a season. Its clear Max is faster and growing all the time. No downer as he had his moment in the sun in 2014. The Grin is a Webber replacement, Aussie + F1 = bridesmaid post early 1980’s.

      3. Verstappen over-rated again. Heaps of crashes and bumps which must be a consequence of where he has put the car as much as some of them weren’t his fault. Proof that outright speed is only part of the equation. I predict as things settle in the second half ricciardo will rise up like last year. Remember ricciardo totally thrashed Vettel in 2014… skewed list… obviously just following points except the seemingly populist verstappen over rate

        1. Dear Lore… ‘like last year you say’.
          I remember in 2016 Verstappen learnded toset-up his car by himself instead of copying the set-up from Ricciardo resulting in a tip of the scales in quali… on average he became the faster driver at RBR already in 2016.
          I races the difference became even more clear over the last 6 races, on occasions making Ricciardo look like a rookie (Brazil, Abu Dhabi).

          Those heaps of crashes are made up by biased fans… Ricciardo crashed twice this season, Verstappen may have crashed into Ric, but could proceed his race. It was actually the first incident Ver took anyone out in 2,5 years of F1

    14. The top 4 teams have intense battles, only VET and PER have the actual results tilt their way. I think Ver is rated more in what of been and hype than results, how can be higher than team mate. Not much to choose from BOT and HAM, However BOT is not a world champion and in his first year I think that talk much about HAM form.

    15. Just because someone drive a Mercedes he deserve to be at the top?
      In no list ever it make sense to place Bottas ten rank higher than Massa. There’s not much between them. Bottas never that great. If Bottas consider on par with Lewis maybe because Lewis not that great either.

    16. “couldn’t dislodge Verstappen in Silverstone” yeh, only because Verstappen decided to go off track and keep him place.

      1. Vettel was pushing him so wide he even got of track with 4 wheels himself

    17. @keithcollantine Have you deliberately omitted the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 from alongside the drivers’ names? And if so, is it because you can’t decide or will you present this as a poll for voting next week?

      1. @nickwyatt there’s this sentence though, probably a mistake

        Do you agree Vettel has been the best driver so far in 2017?

        1. That MUST be a clue!

    18. I just wrote out the entire list according to me and with explanations and everything. Somehow it felt to post.
      So here:


      1. Overrated Finns but otherwise it looks pretty decent

    19. Seb doesn’t deserve #1 with his self-righteous and unapologetic petulance. That spot, given their respective things to deal with, should be a tie between Bottas and Alonso. They’ve been the stars of this season so far.

      1. BOttas?? Haha. Alonso probably. But not bottas. Lol

    20. Yes, Vettel was the better driver this year. Not Verstappen, not Hamilton. And Bottas was better than MadMax and Lewis. Only my opinion.

      1. How come Bottas got defeated by Verstappen a couple of times…? For heavens sake no Mercedes should lose from a RBR at this given time.

    21. How can this many people who actively partake in an F1 website honestly attribute failing cars to driving style? It’s like having a science blog overwhelmed with flat-earthers and anti-vaccers. Don’t get it.

      1. More to the point, why is the only person attacked over retirements Verstappen? Why isn’t Alonso? Is it just because of Ricciardo?

        1. @hahostolze
          The other McLaren car is having just as many problems as Alonso.
          There are many who thinks Hamiltons technical issues last year was selfinflicted as an example, this is not exclusive to to Verstappen.

          At the end who knows how much the driver influence durability. Going agressivly over kerbs are an easy one but what about agressive braking? Verstappen is known for his superior feel in braking and who knows of its nore taxing on the car or not as an example.

      2. Sadly, actively partaking and possessing wisdom are very different things…

        But yeah, it irritates me a little bit too. I remember the same thing happening in with Raikkonen when he was at McLaren, although on a different site. A few people decided he was an ‘aggressive car-breaker’ and it was his own fault he wasn’t winning races when he was clearly the quickest guy out there, not reliability. They were without fail people who supported the other team/drivers involved, so I assume it’s the usual now with Verstappen – those who dislike a driver needing an excuse to criticise them, and having to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find a lazy, impossible to disprove (like so many things) ‘theory’.

    22. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      18th August 2017, 21:22

      I have done a list of all the drivers this season with a view on each of their performances on the 3 pages on this site. I have tried to highlight end extend the ones I feel people may be more likely to disagree with. Lets remember this is just my opinion. It is a little unfortunate, but the top 4 are all in the championship order. The ability of the car often does allow the drivers to show their ability better though. The easiest way to rate drivers would be after having a season with them all in the same car with equal reliability. But that will never happen. I have spent quite some time writing all these so I hope my descriptions describe why I have rated them where they are reasonably clearly.

      1 – Sabastian Vettel

      Many already seem to be saying they couldn’t rate Vetel as the best this year. Well I can. I think Mercedes overall has looked better this year but in most of the races, Vettel has been at his strongest and has kept himself ahead of Hamilton in the championship. In my view, his weakest race of the season was in Britain. Kimi comfortably did look quicker than him here. But that has been the only time this year I think. As silly as this sounds, his overall drive in Baku wasn’t bad. He had a moment of misjudgement and then completely overreacted. But after that, although his language was not good, his race was very strong and he did get the most he could have done with the penalty. But he did cost himself a much better result. So that is a bad point. But other than that contact in the middle of the race, It was another race where Vettel looked very strong in every other moment. His drive in Canada was extremely good. I can’t really see either him or Verstappen being responsible for the slight contact near the start. But Vettel’s recovery was just brilliant. One of his best drives this year. If he continues driving the way he has been most of the time and had decent reliability, I think he may well end up getting his 5th title. That sounds pretty impressive.

      2 – Lewis Hamilton

      Hamilton may have had some races that have been off the pace and several qualifying sessions were a little poor too for him. But I think his driving over the other races makes up for all of this to be enough to rate him 2nd. I thought his drive in China was very good. His races where he is well ahead of everyone may not look impressive but finishing comfortably ahead can only show that you are quicker than the rest. The car may be heavily responsible for this but I think he did better than Vettel here. Spain was another solid race and he kept comfortably in front of Vettel again. He had a poor qualifying in Monaco but managed to get a decent 7th in the end. But that certainly could have been better if it wasn’t for his mistake in qualifying. Since then, Hamilton has been doing very well in most races. Slightly weaker in Austria though. It does seem that drivers in good cars get better ratings but that is because we get to see them driving the best cars out there. It sometimes looks a bit unfair but I don’t think I could rate any other driver but Vettel above Hamilton.

      3 – Valtteri Bottas

      A driver that I think has been under rated over the past couple of seasons when he was at Williams. He did seem to not look as impressive as in 2014, but the car clearly was getting worse year by year. In 2016, other than in Bahrain, he kept out of trouble and did a very solid and consistent job. To me, he was the best available option for Mercedes and has proved himself to be a very good team mate for Hamilton. He’s not that close to Hamilton a lot of the time but almost always brings home good results if Hamilton has either had a problem or is not performing quite as well. In Austria, they both finished the race very close to each other. In China though, I think I have to say that is Bottas’s worst race of the season. That was a silly mistake. Spinning under the safety car. He spun again when attempting to rejoin. Similar to what Sainz did earlier on. At leased from then, he brought it home and had a reasonable recovery. But that wasn’t a great race by him. He usually doesn’t make these mistakes. In Bahrain, he out qualified Hamilton and got his first pole. In Russia, he had a brilliant weekend. 3rd in qualifying within a 10th of a second of pole. He then had a great start and pulled ahead. He may have been slower towards the end but he defended Vettel very well and coped with the pressure and got his first win. In Spain, He was very unlucky to have a retirement. This will have likely lost him 15 points. Many people seem to blame him for the first corner incident. Well all the drivers pretty much agreed that it was just unlucky that it was a racing incident. Bottas didn’t run wide, he just ran out of room. Verstappen could have gone wider, but he may not have expected 2 cars on his inside. Both Kimi and Verstappen could have braked early like Bottas did and avoided the incident completely. They all could have done something differently. A racing incident was the right decision In Monaco, Bottas did a great job in qualifying. I think he was something like 0.45 off pole. But was 3rd again. Unlucky! Ricciardo managed to jump him but he still managed 4th. Canada was a weekend where he looked off the pace of his team mate. But other than in qualifying, he did look decent in the race. Baku was a race where Bottas did have an incident. But it was deemed that he and Raikkonen were equally to blame and I agree with that. Bottas did have a very small amount of space on the inside. So he ended up driving on the kerb. And as the stewards decided that Raikkonen was making a speculative pass on Bottas. That meant that they think he was taking a big risk overtaking where he did. When I look back to it, I think I can agree with the decision. Bottas did have much worse impact from it though. But his recovery showed how good he can be. It involved some luck with the safety car. But coming back up and finishing on the podium after all that is no doubt impressive. He has since then got another win in Austria and a very good recovery drive from his gear box penalty in Britain. He has proven to be very good this year and better than many expected. Even if you average out the qualifying positions, he has in fact beaten Hamilton due to Hamilton’s poor performance in Monaco. Bottas has started in the top 3 on every occasion but 1. Where as his team mate has been 4th twice and 14th in another. He is a very good replacement for Rosberg and I think he will continue improving. Considering he had only just joined this team, his overall performance against who often considered to be the best driver on the grid has been very impressive.

      4 – Daniel Ricciardo

      I think it has to be said that Ricciardo is one of the best drivers on the grid when it comes to getting the absolute most out of a good opportunity. He has had some luck involved to get some of his podiums but the fact that he is ahead of Raikonnen is pretty impressive. Especially considering he’s had 3 retirements and Kimi has had 2. He even managed to get 5 consecutive podiums which even a driver like Hamilton hasn’t managed to achieve this year. He has had a couple of low points though. He has looked like he’s under pressure in qualifying from Verstappen as it is 7 – 4 and he has crashed a couple of times. But in Australia, he may have been able to make at leaat a decent recovery but as he retired, we didn’t see. But as I said with Verstappen, as we didn’t see the race, we don’t know if it will have been good or bad. In Baku, he may have crashed in qualifying, he may have been a bit lucky in the race, but there is still no doubt that his drive was extremely impressive. I think he even had issues towards the beginning with a blocked air duct or something similar. But even with this, he managed to win from starting 10th and falling right towards the back. Verstappen probably will have beaten him, but we unfortunately never got to see that. One of my main reasons for rating Ricciardo above Verstappen is that Verstappen’s mistake in the last race will have almost certainly cost the team quite a few championship points. Where as Ricciardo has crashed in qualifying twice, but in one of those weekends, he won. That made up for that even if it was a bit lucky. Ricciardo hasn’t made mistakes during the races. While Verstappen has only made one, it was very costly for his team. While I know that in practice, qualifying and also the start of most races, Verstappen has looked better but he has had so many retirements that I find it hard to rate him higher than 5th. The reason Ricciardo is higher is also just because he’s been looking so good at getting simply brilliant results. I know it a little lucky, but it is heavily down to his ability too. Not many seem to think this this year but I still think that Ricciardo is still the better driver overall out of these 2 and usually manages to keep out of trouble that costs him points. If Verstappen’s luck had been better and he had been able to show us his pace throughout more races against his team mate, these rankings may have swaped. But then again, we don’t know if his races will have turned out to be better than Ricciardo’s in the end. The starts don’t show everything.

      1. I think your choice of Ricciardo above Verstappen will cause some angst for a few, not for me as I think Ricciardo has been a more mature driver this year hence his lead over his team mate.
        I’m a fan of Ricciardo but I think Alonso is a better driver than him at the moment. In fact alonso is arguably the best out there and if the Honda can hold it together he will show this in the second half of the season.
        I also think Ricciardo is at least the match of Vettel he proved that before Vettel left RedBull.
        Hamilton is bloody good but like Vettel he seems to get a bit unsettled sometimes. Wheres Ricciardo and Alonso are pretty solid on track, in other words even when they are angry/frustrated it does not seem to effect their performance.
        Id’e like to see these four drivers in equal cars it could be the race of the decade.
        But all this is just talk still a way to go.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          18th August 2017, 23:01

          I did actually end up ranking Alonso 6th as you may see in my other list. It is mainly a lack of track time that has made me do this. I probably will have rated him higher if I had been able to see more. But I personally think Vandoorne has been very poor this season and that to me makes Alonso look a little better than he is.

          1. It is mainly a lack of track time that has made me do this. I probably will have rated him higher if I had been able to see more.

            That’s the worst reason you can give.
            If it’s ‘lack of track time’ then don’t rate him at all; don’t ‘demote’ somebody because you can’t see him ;)

      2. Very extensive post my friend! I might not agree with all of your choices and reasonings, but I certainly commend you for typing out that wall of text. Hell, Trump might even come by and try to buy some for his, for cheap ;-)

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          18th August 2017, 22:58

          You could check out my post on the other 2 pages to see if you agree with them any more. As I said, I try to highlight the descriptions if I think many may disagree. So several drivers on the 11 – 20 list have very long descriptions. It almost seems like this page has been forgotten about now as it has been stuck at 93 comments for a while. The top 4 list of comments is growing so fast. The bottom end seems so less important to some and that is another reason why I have given a more detailed view on some drivers there as I think they get a lack of attention sometimes.

      3. Your reasoning loses all credibility the moment you try to absolve Bottas from the Spain incident. He made a stupid mistake, that cost 2 people the race, and he apoligized for it. The fact that he got away with it says everything about the stewards inability to judge incidents. Furthermore, you highlight Baku as a plus for Bottas, but take away the safety car and he would have finished a lap behind his teammate, so that was a pretty horrible race too. And in Hungary he was more or less humiliated by Lewis and caught up by a, in essence slower, Red Bull. Bottas really doesn’t deserve to be third, just like Ricciardo doesn’t deserve to be fourth. (Crashing your car twice in quali, mwoah.)

        1. There was a saying among racing drivers back in the 60s in Aus and NZ. If you never crash your not trying hard enough. Which means you need to push to find yours and your cars limits, that means sometimes exceeding them.

          1. There is a saying among racing drivers around the world, back from the first race until the last race: If you crash your car during qualifying, you did something wrong.

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          19th August 2017, 9:39

          Bottas did admit he could brake later in Spain but Kimi and Verstappen took the risk of both going around the outside at the same time. Kimi will have gone left a bit if Verstappen wasn’t there. Verstappen may not have been able to see that he had 2 on the inside. Bottas went as tight as he possibly could. He didn’t run wide into Kimi, Kimi had to keep getting tighter because of Verstappen. Bottas did brake early but the others could have done something different too. Racing incident. There was an page Kieth posted afterwards saying that none of the drivers made a big deal about whose fault it was. There also was one where Bottas said he could have done a better job but he did consider it to be a racing incident. But the fact that Kimi and Verstappen didn’t seem to blame Bottas makes it more clear that it was a racing incedent. Keith also made it clear that Bottas’s is hard to fault this season so far other than in China. I agree with that.

          Baku was a race where the stewards blamed both Bottas and Kimi. Both were 50% to blame. As they believed Kimi made a speculative move on Bottas. The meaning of that word is a high risk or loss. Bottas went tight onto the curb and it made him jump and Kimi risked getting past Bottas when it wasn’t the best time. Bottas wouldn’t have gone on the curb if he hadn’t done this. But then it was down to him braking early again. But I can easily see why it was just a racing incident. But Bottas suffered much more too which at the time was very unlucky. I didn’t miss the safety car. Bottas was indeed helped by it. But after he had got unlapped, it was then that he recovery was extremely good with lots of good overtakes and another reason that shows he deserves to be in the team. I think Mercedes are paying close attention to drives like that as they seemed extremely pleased with him.

          Bottas wasn’t humiliated by Lewis in Hungary. Bottas was faster where it counted at this particular circuit. Hamilton couldn’t get past without team orders. He will have almost certainly finished behind Bottas if it wasn’t for team orders. He was faster, but not enough to find a way past. If Hamilton had qualified ahead or got past without team orders, then we can say Hamilton did better. Bot Bottas did a good job at keeping a faster driver behind until he got instructed otherwise which is the job he needs to be doing if he wants to win the championship!

          1. So many words, yet so little substance.

          2. To highlight Bottas enthousiasm.
            Bottas was behind and braked to late going into the corner, he admitted that right after the race. Rai and Ver had no part in crashing at all. Rai didn’t give Bot much space but was in front, Ver was about a meter from Rai and just a passenger after they hit him.
            Bottas was exact the same thing, Bot would not give up the corner and hit the kerb even harder than in Spain.

            But Bottas was involved in two more issues…
            in Canada he made Vettel going wide, it was legit, but close.
            Vettel didn’t notice Ver passing and lost a part of his wing, Vettel admitted he left the door wide open.
            In Hungary it was again Bot who pushed someone wide, this time it was Ver… the rest is history.

            Like Vettel in 2016, Bottas is always close to first lap incidents, not always to blame (except for Spain and Baku), but always involved.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              19th August 2017, 13:19

              If he was to blame, I would have thought Keith would have mentioned it both times. But both him and Kimi were equally to blame in Baku and it was a racing incident in Spain. As the decision is up to the stewards and they decided Bottas wasn’t to blame, then Bottas hasn’t been to blame for any of them. Where as Verstappen who many say has been faultless this year has actually been responsible for someone else’s retirement.

              There is no way in Spain that if Bottas was the only driver of the 3 not to retire in the 1st lap contact that they wouldn’t have given him a penalty if he was more at fault than the others. Bottas braked early, but the other 2 both pulled along side him at the same time and they didn’t have to do that. All played a part in it and that is why it was a racing incident. The stewards description made it quite clear why it was a racing incident.

              So many people on this site seem to prefer disagreeing with other posts than writing their own driver listings. I have listed every single driver with a very long description of what I think. It is just my opinion. Some people have said they disagree with me but at leased they seem to respect the amount of time I have spent typing this. It is the same with Keith’s listings. it is just an opinion and many people just seem to say it is completely wrong. Well I disagree with a lot of it but I haven’t criticized it. I’ve done my own listing and described why I have rated each driver where I have.

              It almost seems like some people on this site are angry about where other people rate the drivers :D Is it really that bigger deal?

              My ratings are affected by reliability and if you read through them all, you will notice that I said several of them may change if we got the chance to see them race more often. Verstappen, Alonso and a few others have had such a lack of track time that I really struggle to rate them any higher as we don’t know if they will have been good or bad even if one is much more likely than the other. Other people rate things differently but I have described why I do mine in a different way.

      4. You could write a book for all I care, but you are seriously stacking one excuse upon the other when it comes to Ricciardo.
        Aparts from two crashes in quali he didn’t make mistakes….? Pardon…? He’s been overtaken by his team mate 3 times… two times at the start once in the race… That fact alone qualifies him way more down the ranking.

        You also forgot to mention his near escape in Monaco, the fact all (!!) faster drivers dropped away in front of him every time he was on the podium, 14 that is. He has overtaken Raikkonen twice and Stroll once, that’s what he did.

        Bottas is up high, but involved in many first lap issues, how he’s gotten away with that is a mistery to me.
        He has been bumping over kerbs and pushing other drivers wide n at least 4 occasions.
        In races he has been defeated and overtaken by Verstappen to many times, Lewis might not have his best season yet, but he wouldn’t let that happen. Bottas is doing a solid job, but he’s not up to Verstappen, Hamilton or Vettels level.

        Ricciardo would not even be in my top 5, he’s been overshadowed by Verstappen on all area’s, quali, racepace, overtaking, defending, laps ahead… name it. Only Verstappens lack of reliability hides his defeat.
        Alonso should be in front of Ricciardo regardless.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          19th August 2017, 9:46

          I don’t think I should do a long comment to this as you will just disagree. But why should I always mention a near miss when in the end what Ricciardo did in Monaco didn’t affect him at all. It would be like saying Verstappen did a poor job in Brazil last year as he slipped and very nearly crashed twice. But the fact is, he didn’t. He had a brilliant race. Sliding towards the barrier in the wet like Verstappen did though affects you much more than what Ricciardo in Monaco did and people didn’t seem to mention them much so it is hardly worth mentioning what Ricciardo did as all it resulted in was a close overtake by Bottas which didn’t happen in the end.

          1. Ben, there’s a large difference between Monaco and Brazil.

            In Brazil it was raining and Verstappen did an all time herioc race with a fantastic save without hitting the barriers.
            In Monaco Ricciardo wasn’t a stand out driver, slower than his team mate all weekend, but favoured by the team for the unique position he was in, he smashed the wall aftert he restart and the car survived. Monaco wasn’t about skills, but pure luck.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              19th August 2017, 13:24

              I think I will have to stop there. We clearly think very differently and have very different opinions. But this site is to share your opinions so can’t you just accept that I have a different view to you?

            2. Ben I respect your opinion towards ranking, one place up or down doesn’t make a difference, and the drivers couldn’t care less i guess :-)

              The thing about Verstappen versus Ricciardo is a weird one though… Ricciardo has been everyones favorite driver for a while, an established driver with a sparkling personality. If he gives a middlefinger or two, fans don’t seem to care, if he’s respectless towards his team mate, fans feel he’s right, if he fails and blames the team, fans feel with him. If Verstappen skips a pressconference after his 5th DNF he’s getting nailed to the cross. If Ricciardo crashed in quali, he was exploring the limits, if Verstappen oversteers going into the corner it is an unfogiving act of immaturity.

              Ricciardo is so well loved people don’t seem to accept he’s being outraced by this fresh team mate.
              Verstappen couldn’t have done much more to beat Ricciardo, in quali it’s 7-4, while Ver had some bad luck in Bahrain and Sochi whick most likely would have tipped the scales even more drastic. Last year was all about quali, this years it’s just a minor detail. Ricciardo scores some good points and drove consistantly, fans don;t want to see the massive amount of drivers DNF or failing in all the races he was on the podium… 14 positions gained over 5 races, Ricciardo didn’t have to do a single thing for those 14 positions…just stay on track, that’s it.

              For a guy that takes the efford to write such long stories I would have expected to notice the important things as well, not just points… the fact Verstappen overtook Ricciardo 3 times and led in each races but Austria doesn’t seem to effect the Ricciardo fans, they just turn blind and refer to scored points and how wonderfull he overtook 3 drivers at the restart in Baku. Ricciardo can race, is up there in at least the top 6, but has in no way done a better job than Verstappen has… in quali and in races he needs to be in front at least 51% to be ranked above Verstappen…now he’s behing somewhere between 80-90%.

    23. In the bottas section you said he suffered a mechanical failure which cost him 15 points and would make the championship position he has even stronger. Well, no! We have to account for EVERYONE’s mechanical failures, and hamilton in baku lost 15 points due to the headrest, plus bottas gained 3 since he got past hamilton thanks to that, meaning that if we take into account all problems, hamilton would be further ahead!

    24. The second half is going to be tough for Vettel & Ferrari with the Mercs’ raw power likely to show through. The best they can hope for at Spa and Monza in P3 and hope that Hamilton & Vettel at least swap victories so that Ferrari remain in contention. Malaysia, Singapore and to a lesser extent Mexico and Abu Dhabi are Ferrari’s only chances.

      Of course, rain at Spa, Monza or Suzuka will make it more interesting.

    25. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      19th August 2017, 8:51

      Hamilton’s pace continues to impress more than anything this year. Even when he’s stuck behind he’s the fastest driver.

      Some of his performances border on the magical side. He makes even a team like Mercedes seem ordinary which is what all greats do especially in soccer.

      1. @freelittlebirds

        What season are you commenting on?

        Hes number 2 in the fastest car and not even a racewin ahead of his underperforming rookie teammate.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          19th August 2017, 11:07

          Well he has looked the best on many occasions but certainly not every time. Such as Russia when he was 25 seconds behind Bottas. And when the comment above says that even when he’s stuck behind, he still the faster driver, that has often meant he hasn’t been faster in qualifying. Such as in Monaco and Hungary. He was fast in the race on both those weekends but he seems to have underperformed in qualifying twice on circuits that are very difficult to overtake in the race. That is the worst time to not do great in qualifying. However, I still do think most of Hamilton’s other races have made up for this.

      2. Indeed, it takes a special driver to make a great car look ordinary. Lots of drivers can can make an ordinary car look great.

    26. Hungary was a significant slip-up, however: he compromised his own race and ended his team mate’s with a careless move at the start.

      My oxymoron view is probably not popular, but WTH.

      Verstappen’s slip-up was correctly penalised by the Stewards but IMO shows what a smart driver he is.
      I know it ruined RIC’s his own race, but the ‘desperate’ move into T2 was the only way for him to get ahead of his team mate. He knew that in HUN there is no way to pass (just ask RAI & HAM) and he knew that even being faster he would never get a free pass form the team nor an advantageous pit-stop strategy.
      Therefore, this move was his only slim chance to get ahead of his team-mate.
      He might even have know that there was 90% chance he would fail, but that 10% was still worth it, and (leaving emotions and driver ethics aside) a smart move.

      1. As a true Ver fan I must admit it wasn’t a ‘smart’ move, ofcourse his only chance to stay ahead of his team mate.
        I don’t think it matters if it was Ricciardo or any other driver, Ver instincts will always go for maximum result.

        The move by Ric was very legit, but surely no an easy overtake, it was in fact a double corner and being on the outside would have required massive commitment. With Ver on the inside it was probaly a 50-50 chance.

        Verstappen oversteered, not dramaticly, but enough to take out Ricciardo.

        1. The move by Ric was very legit, but surely no an easy overtake, it was in fact a double corner and being on the outside

          RIC overtook VER from the inside accelerating out of T1!
          There was no ‘move’ by RIC in T2; just the desperate move by VER.

          Verstappen oversteered

          You should probably say the car understeered ;)

    27. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      19th August 2017, 16:19

      We’re talking about pace – sure the championship might show Lewis as 2ND but look at Verstappen’s points. Lewis has so much pace in the race -it’s a shame he can’t pass with the current gen. It’d be clinics on track with Vettel turning into a formula 3 driver…

      1. Vettel has made numerous outstanding passes this season. If there was a “Best Overtakes of the Season” at mid-season list, he’d have several entries on it. Strange that Lewis has so much trouble.

        1. True. Which race was it where Vettel made that brilliant “snake move” and passed Bottas? Till now the best overtake of the season.

    28. it’s shame to see max in top 3, but Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise

    29. No doubt Vettel best so far. Leading despite having the second best car and not so solid strategist and team mate.

    30. Kudos for your Max Verstappen review!
      Well written!
      IMO he indeed deserves a 3rd place in the rankings.

    31. I agree with the top 4, however if it wasn’t for Max’s mistakes I’d put him 2nd because unlike most I think this has been Lewis weakest season on Mercedes.

    32. Too many OFF weekends for Hamilton so far, but his on weekends have been sensational. Apart from Vettel’s brain fade in Baku which he should of been DQ, he probably deserves no1 right now

    33. Yet another Verstappen fan-boy article.

    34. This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader
      amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost
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    35. 1st Alonso
      2nd Vettel
      3rd Bottas
      4th Hamilton
      5th Sainz

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