2020 F1 driver rankings #11: Kevin Magnussen

2020 F1 season review

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Kevin Magnussen deserved a lot more from his final full season in Formula 1 than a single point.

But few opportunities appeared for him to break into the top 10 with Haas’s VF-20, which saw little development through the course of the season, and its uncompetitive Ferrari power unit.

His big chance came in Hungary, where the team gambled on switching their drivers to slick tyres during the formation lap. That catapulted Magnussen into third place – heights the like of which Haas would not see again all season. His pace was enough for rivals with much quicker cars, notably Lance Stroll in his Racing Point, to complain Magnussen was proving difficult to overtake.

Ninth at the flag, Magnussen was relegated to 10th because Haas had violated the restrictions on communicating with their drivers on the formation lap. It was a tough blow in what turned out to be Magnussen’s only points finish of the season.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Istanbul Park, 2020
Magnussen’s Istanbul performance deserved a better result
There should have been more, but Magnussen recorded more retirements than any other driver – six – all of which for reasons beyond his control. Alexander Albon took him out at Silverstone and he was claimed by the restart carnage at Mugello.

The Haas let him down four times as well: Both drivers had brake problems in the season-opener, and further finishes for Magnussen were lost to tyre problems (Silverstone), power unit glitches (Monza) and gearbox trouble (Imola). The latter was a show of fortitude on Magnussen’s part: having become aware of a problem with the unit before the race, the team decided against changing it, but its upshifts grew so violent it left Magnussen in considerable pain. He ploughed on until the team decided there was nothing to gain by leaving him on the track any longer.

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Such was the car’s performance than even when Magnussen did take the chequered flag, points were seldom a realistic possibility. Yet more misfortune spoiled a rare opportunity to finish in the top 10. Magnussen ran on the fringes of the top 10 early on in tricky conditions at Istanbul and could realistically entertain a hope of scoring points. However his pit stop went disastrously wrong, ruining his afternoon.

Kevin Magnussen

Beat team mate in qualifying9/16
Beat team mate in race7/9
Races finished11/17
Laps spent ahead of team mate469/750
Qualifying margin-0.05s
Points1

By this stage in the season Haas were increasingly coming second best to Alfa Romeo and struggling even to beat Williams. While Magnussen was usually the lead Haas in the races, in qualifying team mate Romain Grosjean was serious opposition, and the pair were tied 7-7 when Grosjean’s crash ended his season early.

The team struggled badly in Grosjean’s absence at the final round, and after leading new team mate Pietro Fittipaldi home Magnussen admitted they were so uncompetitive they had barely been racing at all. That made for a sadly unsatisfying end to an F1 career which began so promisingly six years earlier.

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

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50 comments on “2020 F1 driver rankings #11: Kevin Magnussen”

  1. Some Racefans.net quotes about KMag this year:
    1. “the Haas driver got no response from his front brakes and spun into retirement”
    2. “the team told Grosjean to let Magnussen through”
    3. STAR “after everyone else stopped for slicks Magnussen shot up to third.”
    4. “he ran wide at Club and was knocked out of the race by Albon.”
    5. “Magnussen lacked pace compared to Grosjean all weekend”
    6. “Magnussen had a slightly better weekend in the other Haas than his team mate”
    7. “Magnussen finished last after going off in qualifying”
    8. “he went off in qualifying”
    9. “At the back of the field, Magnussen was forced to pit for a new front wing after contact on the opening lap.”
    10. “Magnussen was able to hold on to 12th”
    11. “lost places on worn tyres after the final restart.”
    12. “Magnussen at the rear of the field.”
    13. “The Haas drivers struggled on with their under-developed car, Kevin Magnussen more so”
    14. “Magnussen deserved more following Haas’s pit stop error.”
    15. “Magnussen brought his Haas home, albeit last.”
    16. “Magnussen found the Haas a less competitive prospect than usual and was 15th”
    17. “the two Haas drivers weren’t really in the competition”

    1. @coldfly this is stone cold. I don’t care if it’s selective, it’s great. However, I think magnussen does retire with some pride and cache as a ‘proper’ F1 driver – he had some decent showings this year. The problem with this ranking is that it doesn’t reflect the season as a whole, how can it with magnussen’s appalling finishing record? Personally, I’d certainly have raikkonen, probably kvyat and maybe even Giovinazzi ahead based on what they actually did in 2020.

      1. There were so few references that I did not even have the opportunity to be selective ;)
        And indeed various others had higher highs this season and should be ahead of Magnussen. Stroll is certainly one of those as his performance in Turkey alone is enough to shade Kevin’s season.
        @frood19

  2. I wonder if Kevin Magnussen will get more mentions today than in Kimi’s thread.

  3. I think Magnussen is just too far ahead of Grosjean this year. They were extremely equally matched, in my opinion, and ebbed and flowed throughout the season in terms of who was ahead, and Magnussen only just beat Grosjean overall. Here is my race-by-race review of their seasons:
    Austria – quite hard to judge, as both drivers had brake problems, but although Grosjean outqualified Magnussen, Magnussen was ahead until his brake failure, and Grosjean spun, so Magnussen leads after the first race.
    Styria – Grosjean doesn’t do a lap in qualifying but leads Magnussen for most of the race despite his lowly grid position. Magnussen passes Grosjean at the end, however, so they are rated equally for this race. Magnussen still leads overall.
    Hungary – Haas make the best strategy call of the season to get their drivers into third and fourth by pitting on the formation lap. Grosjean then tumbles down the order and finishes well out of the points, but I think he had some damage that caused this. Magnussen puts in one of the drives of the season and finishes ninth (only to lose it because of a ridiculous penalty), so Magnussen extends his advantage at the top.
    Britain – I actually thought Grosjean was very impressive in this race, despite some dodgy defending, which does lose him marks. After not pitting under the safety car, he runs with the McLarens, Renaults and Stroll’s Racing Point, and keeps up with them for the entire stint until he pits. Grosjean closes in on his teammate, but Magnussen still holds a healthy lead, and is in eighth overall.
    Anniversary – Grosjean puts in a fairly average race, but Magnussen does badly with some dangerous driving against Latifi, and actually has to retire because he runs out of tyres. Therefore, Grosjean closes in again and is now very close behind Magnussen overall.
    Spain – Magnussen outqualifies Grosjean, and then battles the Alfa Romeos in the race as Grosjean finishes last. Magnussen pulls out a lead again in the overall ratings.
    Belgium – Grosjean beats Magnussen in qualifying and the race, although Haas struggle at Spa with their slow Ferrari engines. Magnussen also goes off in qualifying. Grosjean therefore closes the gap again to Magnussen, but Magnussen still holds a narrow lead.
    Italy – Magnussen has an off in qualifying, then retires from the race (turning the race on its head and giving Gasly the win!). Grosjean is fairly anonymous but closes in slightly on Magnussen because of Magnussen’s error in qualifying. Their scores are now equal for the first time.
    Mugello – Magnussen is caught up in the start line crash, but Grosjean drives really well. He finishes last but is very close to the others despite damage after hitting the wall at the start of the race and often runs ahead of other cars. He also makes it to Q2 as Magnussen is last on the grid, so Grosjean now takes the lead in the driver rankings for the first time this year.
    Russia – Grosjean outqualifies Magnussen, but Magnussen overtakes him and drives an impressive race, beating the likes of Vettel, Raikkonen and Norris. Grosjean, on the other hand, drops to 17th, behind Latifi. Magnussen therefore closes in again, but Grosjean is still ever so slightly ahead.
    Germany – Grosjean delivers his best drive of the season to finish 9th, despite an injured finger after being hit by some gravel. Magnussen does a good job too, but Grosjean increases his advantage at the top.
    Portugal – Grosjean outqualifies Magnussen and beats him, on track, in the race. However, a penalty for exceeding track limits too often moves Magnussen ahead. I rated them equally here, so Grosjean still holds the advantage.
    Imola – Grosjean again outqualifies Magnussen by a tiny margin, and finishes an impressive twelfth, although he again loses it for exceeding track limits and is classified 14th. Magnussen is quite difficult to rate here, because he was in pain with every gear shift, but Grosjean was ahead of him when he retired. I rated Grosjean slightly higher here, so Grosjean is still ahead at this point. It was his last two races where Grosjean’s season began to unravel.
    Turkey – Both drivers retired, but Magnussen actually drove a really good race, on the fringes of the points, for a long time. Grosjean, on the other hand, had a poor weekend, going off in qualifying, and being well off Magnussen’s pace in the race. He was not at fault for the Latifi clash, but Magnussen is still rated significantly higher and moves back ahead overall, but only just.
    Bahrain – Unfortunately, Grosjean has to be rated very poorly here. It cannot be ignored that the horror crash was a definite mistake from Grosjean. Magnussen is quite disappointing this weekend, but he still extends his advantage over Grosjean.
    Sakhir/Abu Dhabi – When one driver doesn’t race (in this case, Grosjean), my rankings assume he drove an average race. Magnussen is more difficult to rate with an unknown quantity as his teammate, but I thought his drives in the final two races were very slightly below average. Grosjean therefore closes in slightly, but not by enough to make a significant difference. The end result is that Magnussen is just ahead of Grosjean, with an average of 6.411 to Grosjean’s 6.267, in 15th and 16th place respectively.
    While I think my ranking system is good for comparing teammates, it is not so good for comparing other drivers, so it is possible, of course, that you had Magnussen and Grosjean very close as well, but Raikkonen, Kvyat, Ocon, Stroll and Giovinazzi were all within that small gap. Otherwise, I would be interested to know if there are any particular races where you rated Magnussen higher than I did compared to Grosjean that explains the large difference. But I think they should be closer together.

    1. Agree (and once again a great head to head review, @f1frog).
      I agree that Magnussen is just ahead of Grosjean. Just surprised that so many people fit in between.
      And I can comfortably argue for each of them why their season was better.

    2. Nice effort man. And I have to say this is convincing me more than Keith’s explanation.
      I guess, if you really, really wanted to there is a chance to justify Magnusson beeing ranked 11th but the gap to Grosjean is just to big. They were so close together the whole year and I even take into consideration that he is demoted a place or two for the Bahrain crash…

      Anyway, having made it that far I was hoping Magnusson would make the podium or at least sneak into the points. 11th is so ungrateful

      1. + 1. There is no justification for Magnusson being this high in the rankings.

    3. But here you don’t factor in that Magnussens car was trashed by Albon. Since Britain he was running an older spec car in comparison and yet still punched, on a few occassions, above the cars ability – specially due to his starts.

  4. Here we go… let the slaughter begin :-)

    1. His erratic driving style has faded and he wasn’t being aggressive since Hungary 2019 anymore.

  5. Disappointed hes not top 3 tbh.

    Jut going to pop out and get the popcorn

    1. He is top 2!
      at Haas that is..

  6. Of the Haas drivers I’ve always thought he was the stronger and more dependable to grab a good result if one arrived. Grosjean was easily his match in qualifying but not as consistent as Magnussen. It is a shame this was his final year in F1, given he always struck me as a guy that had more talent than the cars he’d driven – another driver that never seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

    As for his position in this ranking, I can’t say I’d have happily put him above Raikkonen, Kvyat or Albon – all of whom had a much stronger year. In short he’s good, had a decent year given the car he had, but the 11th best driver of the year? Sorry, no.

  7. As per this website, F1 is the pinnacle of motorsports and in so doing giving Magnussen the title of 11th best driver  in the world.

    I have Danish roots myself and I’m a bit biased towards home driver Magnussen, but the man is no slouch and a straight talker.

    He would say himself he wasn’t really on it in 2020 and would rate himself around 15th.

  8. someone or something
    22nd January 2021, 12:41

    Clearly a typo. Magnussen #1!!!

  9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    22nd January 2021, 12:58

    Yes, we can bump Kevin down to Grosjean’ ranking and everyone would be ok with it.

  10. Normally don’t do my own lists because I mostly agree with Keith, but this year I have some big differences so why not, here’s my bottom half of the rankings:
    11-Grosjean
    12-Magnussen

    I couldn’t split the Haas drivers as the margins between them were so small. In commentary Brundel always saying this implies both drivers are performing at the level of the car and given how much of handful it looked from the outside I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt. Both had a single point scoring race and for both of them this was off a top drawer performance and both made some mistakes. I give the edge to Grosjean as I remember him having the smallest of edges in race and quali pace, and I’m one of those who think Magnussen’s defensive driving crosses the line into dangerous and lucky not skilled.
    13-Giovannazi
    Slightly ahead of his teammate in qualifying but slightly further behind in races. One big mistake at spa but generally consistent. Solid race craft and some good first laps occasionally finding himself in the points early on before inevitably falling back.
    14-Stroll
    Originally had him lower, but on reflection that was because his worst races came at the end of the season. Showed good pace early in the year and he legitimately has some talent in the wet. But his bad races are still too bad to rate him higher, does seem to be improving and I can see him aspiring to be a modern day Jean Alesi
    15-Kvyat
    Imola showed on his good days he has the pace and race craft to be right at the front. Unfortunately his day only comes once or twice a year. Most the time 1-2 tenths from where he should have been.
    16-Ocon
    Spent most the year to far from his teammate to be higher, but performances were definitely improving. Judged solely on his last couples drives he would be in the top 10 on my list, hopefully that will continue next year.
    17-Bottas
    I feel he gets a free pass because he’s close to Hamilton on Saturday, but its his performance against the other 18 drivers on Sunday that put him this low on my list. Hard to think of above average moments for him on Sunday let alone whole races but the list of below average is long. Starting with disappointing; Eifel and Imola where unforced errors cost him position to Lewis and Max. To poor; Hungary, Spain and Sahkir where he never looked a threat to either Max or Russel people he should easily be beating. Bad; Bahrain where he made his own bad luck with 2 terrible starts and never recovered from a puncture. Terrible; Monza and Turkey where I can’t think of a worse performance from another driver all year.
    18-Latifi
    Long way off on Saturday, but closer on Sundays. If not for Sakhir would have even finished ahead of Russel in the championship thanks to three 11th places
    19-Vettel
    Nowhere near Leclerc on Saturday or Sunday and often found racing against Russell or Kimi and coming off second best. Plain and simple a terrible year.
    20-Albon
    See Vettel only more so. Though I will say I tried to judge on this years performances alone and do believe both him and Seb would be capable of much better in the right environment.

    1. @yossarian You are ofc entitled to your opinion, but to me this list looks like a ranking of ‘gaps between teammates’, without considering how strong their teammates are.

      1. Rereading it I can see why’d you think that. But if that was the case my top 10 would be a mirror of the bottom and trust me it isn’t . I admit for Albon and Vettel I got lazy just putting in a reference to their teammates, but they’re there because a Ferrari should not be racing an Alfa or Williams any more than a Red Bull losing to a Renault. Bottas I’ve tried to show I’m trying to ignore his teammate in my analysis.

        For Ocon fair enough some extra rationale is probably needed, I believe the Renault on average was slightly behind Mclaren and on par with Ferrari. And I measuring him against this, not Riccardo who had a great year amongst a Red Bull and Racing Point.

        Everyone from 14th down I believe underperformed their car, the Haas and Alfa Romeos all either performed at the level of theirs or coincidentally underperformed by exactly the same amount. I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt and assumed the former.

        1. @yossarian I would suggest that criticising Bottas that heavily for Imola is a bit unfair, given that the main problems there were the damage that he sustained after running over the debris from Vettel’s car.

          Furthermore, Red Bull talked after the race about how they knew Bottas was carrying damage from monitoring the radio traffic between him and Mercedes’s pit wall, and they were intentionally trying to force Bottas into having to heavily compromise his strategy.

          They wanted to force Bottas onto harder tyres because that would compromise his exit from the corners, and they knew that he would struggle with higher tyre wear because of the loss of downforce due to damage. That was why they went for an aggressively early stop, because they knew that Mercedes would be forced into having to pit Bottas immediately in order to try and hold onto his position and, as a result, badly compromise his original strategy.

          I would therefore say that it was more of a case of Red Bull taking advantage of a piece of random misfortune for Bottas in that race by going for a very aggressive strategy that they knew would compromise Bottas.

    2. Giovannazi?

      you put all that effort in and can’t even be bothered to properly spell the name the people you are talking about?

    3. 2 things I totally agree with:
      -Kimi not in the bottom ten
      -Bottas in the bottom five
      Having Bottas higher than Kimi is the clearest proof that it is not driver’s ability what is being ranked here. I simply cannot imagine Bottas doing a lap like Kimi’s first at Portimao.

      1. Completely agree with this – seems like the car the driver drove (something completely out of their hands) plays a part in their ranking.

        Bottas was abysmal this year, absolutely no way does he belong in the top 10.

        1. There were 23 drivers this last season. Maybe the Incredible Hulk made the Top Ten and Bottas is 21st. Or worse.

  11. In the end, he used his “Get Out Of The Warzone” card.

  12. Though you could argue 11th is a little high, I think the uncompetitiveness of the Hass, and the similar pace of the drivers, means it is difficult to gage. But, therefore, surely Grosjean should be closer to his erstwhile teammate?

    1. True. There really wasn’t much to choose between Grosjean and Magnussen. It almost looks like selective memory was applied when thinking of Magnussen’s achievements this season. Grosjean was probably just remembered for his mistakes this season. I also don’t understand how Kmag is ranked higher than Kimi. Kimi put in some much stronger performances in equally uncompetitive machinery.

      The way I see it – #15Kmag , #12 Stroll , #11 Kimi

  13. Even before I heard him say it, it was obvious that Magnussen had licence to absolutely throw his car at the track in qually, it was almost always forlorn but I loved the effort (would have been nice to see more of it broadcast rather than just resultant offs). Anecdotally, I thought he was a much fairer racer than in some previous seasons and of the two, Grosjean was far more likely to block when he was already beaten.
    I’d have him placed around here, perhaps a little lower without more points as evidence. I imagine if Hass could afford it they would have kept him to partner the young fella.

  14. I echo other people in that his ranking is somewhat high-ish, especially compared to his regular teammate.

    1. And his fellow F1 drivers even rated Grosjean ahead fo him, whilst Magnussen struggled to show his skills and experience in the last 2 races versus the rookie Fittipaldi.
      @jerejj

      1. What are you ranting about? Fittipaldi was soundly beaten – he was never even close?? Meanwhile Russell gets a Mercedes and immediately performs equally to Hamilton and beats Bottas and somehow all of them are still in top 10 even if the simple act of changing car catapulted Russell from the rear of the field to the top from one weekend to the next.
        The F1 drivers field is max. within 1 sec from top to bottom with Verstappen top and Latifi bottom. The rest is the car. Take a breather on the bashing of drivers in the lower half of the field – the Haas team very obviously respected Magnussen a lot because they knew he frequently got the most out of what they had. Thats all that matters really.

        1. Thomas, in Abu Dhabi, Pietro Fittipaldi eventually finished that race about 22 seconds behind Magnussen – but that was mainly because Pietro made an additional pit stop under normal racing conditions, with a pit stop typically taking around 22 seconds in Abu Dhabi.

          If you look at the timing data for that race, for the first half of the race, the gap between Magnussen and Pietro was about 3 seconds and the two were setting similar lap times. It was mostly the different pit stop strategy in the latter half of the race that resulted in Pietro finishing further behind Magnussen.

          Whilst you then go on to talk about George Russell and his performances at Mercedes, the difference is that George Russell is into his second year in Formula 1, has undertaken several thousands of kilometres of testing for Mercedes in the past and drives for a team with a customer power unit deal with Mercedes. In terms of knowledge and familiarity, therefore, Russell is already familiar with how Mercedes operates, is familiar with at least some of Mercedes’s key systems for their power units and would already be familiar with a number of factors (for example, how the tyres are likely to behave to changes in set up).

          Pietro Fittipaldi, by contract, had more limited experience in testing for Haas and, in the case of the Abu Dhabi circuit, I don’t think he has ever raced at that circuit before. Furthermore, Pietro is far less experienced with any form of single seater racing in general, had only taken part in one race in a high performance single seater car in 2019 and missing a large chunk of the races he’d planned for 2018 after breaking his legs in a major crash.

          Overall, the general consensus was that Pietro’s performances relative to Magnussen was a pretty big surprise to a lot of figures in F1. ColdFly is right that most in the paddock were surprised that Pietro was actually that close to Magnussen in Abu Dhabi and that Magnussen wasn’t anything like as dominant as he’d been expected to be over Pietro.

          1. The thing is, when Magnussen is in an uncompetitive car without the chances of a result he drives like it. Pietro did nicely and surprised me as well – he wasn’t as horrid as Latifi has been throughout the year. Magnussen was on his way out of F1 – contract talks closed and in a car that couldn’t do anything.

  15. Here goes what I’d written a few days ago, just with the number of positions between them edited in the last paragraph!

    The difference between Grosjean and Magnussen really is too big now. Probably a rating difference between team mates that I disagree with most over the past few years – so far. Magnussen and Grosjean have both been better than many give them credit for and are still good enough for F1, but they still should both be in the bottom 15 in my opinion.

    This is a very long comparison of their season. I’ve mainly done this because I very strongly disagree with the huge distance between their rankings.

    Looking at the races they both finished:

    Styria:
    It was mentioned by Kieth at the time in an article the Grosjean was not happy with the team that he was ordered to let Magnussen pass to try to get past Giovinazzi. As both him and Magnussen got through in the end, but the position was not given back to him. I would give this race to Grostion in terms of who deserved to finish ahead.

    Hungary:
    This was Magnussen’s best race and points finish, and although it was originally 9th, he then lost that and just got 1 point in 10th due to a penalty. But he only got points due to Haas breaking the rules. He did extremely well to stay as far up as he did, but Grosjean did better than many remember until he had damage. He didn’t instantly have the pace Magnussen did, but then stayed within 5 seconds of him for a large chunk of the race until Albon did a clumsy lunge and caused damage to Grosjean’s car. This then hid the performance Grosjean could have had. But I would certainly give this race to Magnussen, but the difference between them pace wise was not as big as it looked.

    Spain:
    A few laps before the end while Grosjean was a few places behind Magnussen, the gap was only around 5 seconds again. Their pace as is often the case was incredibly close. But Giovinazzi and Grosjean tangled and although Grosjean played a part, I would say it was mostly Giovinazzi’s fault, but not enough for a penalty. For people who look up results and time gaps between team mates should factor this in, as in the end, Grosjean was last and nearly a minute behind Magnussen, which wasn’t reflective of their difference. Anyhow, Magnussen did the better job this time.

    Belgium:
    Magnussen had been running behind Grosjean most of the 2nd half of the race and for some reason pitted again 8 laps from the end I wasn’t aware of any problem for him looking back at the highlights, and as he was already behind Grosjean, Grosjean gets this one.

    Russia:
    Magnussen had been ahead the whole time pretty much, but Grosjean was very close to him for a good 75% of the race. It was only when Grosjean got overtaken by Vettel that he had to go off track due to running out of space at turn 1 and somehow try to get back on while avoiding the barriers, which wasn’t really possible at his angle. He then pitted and the gap in the end was huge, but again, not very representative. Most of the race, the pair were pretty close, but Magnussen wins this.

    Eifel:
    Magnussen got a much better start than Grosjean here. Grosjean in fact one of the worst. But he looked quicker than Magnussen one the race got going and Magnussen seemed to be struggling and he pitted pretty early. Later in the race before the safety car for Norris, Grosjean was ahead of Magnussen by over 10 seconds. Magnussen obviously closed this when it came out. But Grosjean held onto his position and Magnussen lost 2 and fell 10 seconds behind Grosjean again in very little time, despite being on tyres that were 6 laps newer. Grosjean easily wins this one and I think it was the best drive by either driver this season.

    Portugal:
    Grosjean did beat Magnussen pace wise as well as the on track result as Magnussen never got close enough to get in DRS, but they were close the whole race, however, Grosjean got a penalty for track limits which meant Magnussen finished ahead. So Magnussen gets this one, but only just.

    Basing it just on these, Magnussen did indeed do better as it is 4 – 3 to him, but it wasn’t by much.

    Now lets list the races that both had a DNF

    Austria:
    Magnussen did look better this weekend, but I thought Grosjean got judged too harshly at the time for his off track mistake. He commented after this happened that the car just did not feel the same as Friday. Then what happened? Magnussen retired with break problems… then he himself retired with break problems… Magnussen looked better, but that day was a really hard comparison as the car seemed pretty dodgy and dangerous to drive.

    Turkey:
    This race had Grosjean as a struggler but the main thing it was talking about in Grosjean’s paragraph was how Magnussen was in the outskirts of the points and then ending with how the team ruined the race – for Magnussen. As anon has mentioned several times, I can’t help but see some bias towards Magnussen here and probably some of the opposite towards Grosjean. Implying that Magnussen may have missed out a decent result given he was already 15 seconds away from the points with the next 2 drivers ahead of him already pitted and himself yet to do so. He will have come out 14th rather than 18th had things gone to plan. The other thing I noticed was that it wasn’t even mentioned in this section – or even in Litifi’s struggler paragraph that he took Grosjean out near the end. Almost like it shouldn’t be made clear that someone else’s mistake made Grosjean’s race worse than it was. Making it look that it is all on him.
    Anyway, all my complaining done there, it is still clear Magnussen was the better of the two here.

    It is now 6 – 3 to Magnussen.

    Then there are still 6 more races where one or other of them retired.

    Great Birtian:
    I don’t think I will count this one as Mugnusen got taken out so soon into the race and although Albon got a penalty, it was a mistake of Magnussen’s that allowed Albon to go into a gap that then closed. Magnussen had a small part to play in it, but it was mostly Albon.

    70th Anniversary:
    Many drivers struggled with tyres here the previous race. Magnussen luckily didn’t have a puncture, but his pace looked so slow all race. He pitted very quickly, then couldn’t catch Russell despite being on new tyres and even Latifi was catching him. Then Magnussen ran wide as Latifi attempted to get by and did an aggressive side swipe into Latifi. It earned him a 5 second penalty (worthless in the end) and also 2 penalty points. He then struggled all race and retired due to “running out of tyres” which there was even an article on racefans itself. And i think I see some bias towards him as his mistake wasn’t even mentioned in his race description and he wasn’t even a struggler! It highlights that Magnussen “believed” that he lacked pace due to a new floor, but I hope that wasn’t the reason for what seems like quite some defence against a terrible weekend by him. Grosjean wins this easily. Had Magnussen been Grosjean, just how likely would he have been a struggler? To me this was the worst race of either driver this season.

    Italy:
    After already going off in qualifying into the gravel, his start was terrible. Bottas’s poor start was mentioned, and while Magnussen’s great starts usually get mentioned, why didn’t this poor start get mentioned? He lost 5 places getting damage in the process and then pitted. Then had a lonely race until he had a problem on lap 19 and retired. You have to wonder if this problem helped mask how bad his initial stage of the race was. Grosjean was doing better and even he got damaged by Albon, who rightly got a penalty for this. So Grosjean wins this round in terms of team mate battles.

    Tuscany.
    This was a race where on the star/strugglers page, while Grosjean wasn’t either, it was mentioned that he deserved a special mention. Magnussen started last and Grosjean got taken out in the first few corners but had the determination to get his damaged car back on track. He managed to keep going and given his damage, even if he had a slight advantage at the restart due to the extra warm up lap, he still showed he was very quick, but just didn’t have a car good enough to keep a good result. However, his overtakes were excellent when he had the chance. But he unfortunately finished last. Magnussen was not at fault for his retirement, but I think I will say Grosjean did enough to confirm he did a great job this time.

    Emilia Romagna:
    This one was difficult to judge. They both did 2 stops, but at slightly different times. Before Magnussen retired, Grosjean was yet to make his 2nd stop, But Grosjean was around a pit stop ahead and likely will have had enough pace to pass Magnussen when he came back out. Magnussen retired for an unusual reason. His up shifts were aggressive which apparently caused him a head ache. Magnussen has proved to be tough before one race a few years back when he continued to the end despite being dehydrated and getting blurred vision. The car was fine performance wise other than more vibration than normal, so it was on him that he retired as he basically called for the retirement. Although it seems a bit harsh to be against him, I think in this instance I would say grosjean did a better job as he likely will have passed anyway.

    Bahrian:
    Don’t want to say too much here, but this was Grosjean’s last race in F1. And it was only for a few corners. He certainly looked at fault, but it wasn’t judged and probably rightly so. Magnussen before the safety car at the end was last and over 15 seconds behind the next car, so can’t say he exactly looked great, but due to Grosjean’s mistake, he can take this one.

    It is now 7 – 7 if I discard Britain and the last two races. However, to be fair, Magnussen could take the last 2 races as Grosjean was in a sense responsible for missing them. But anyhow, is it not obvious that these two have been really close? Being this far apart is just not realistic.

    Even in qualifying, these two have been incredibly close. The retirements for Magnussen make it look like he will have done better taking that into account, but even though he retired often, he wasn’t always doing better than Grosjean at that stage. I also think that last years ratings was unfair against Grosjean as I think he was better than Magnussen.

    To me Magnussen only just edged Grosjean this year and they were the most evenly matched team mates on the grid. 1 – 2 to places to separate them should be the maximum in my opinion. 6 is just too many.

  16. There’s no reason for the enormous gap to his team mate in my view.

    It’s just illogical. Both were evenly matched through the year and the main problem was the car. Why Kevin is 11th ahead of drivers that sometimes shined, even if the rest of their season was troubled, is beyond me. Stroll comes to mind, his opening stint and pole lap at Istanbul alone is better than Magnussen’s whole season.

    1. Indeed, stroll is better than many give him credit for and magnussen’s season to me was unimpressive, even accounting for that race where they gambled on tyres and he ran ahead for most of the race.

  17. Yes, I disageee with this ranking as well, I don’t think him and grosjean have been terrible in light of the terrible car they had, but I really think they were pretty similar to each other, and I’d have placed them similar to grosjean, I agree magnussen had a small edge overall.

  18. Rather than argue about the gap between Magnussen and Grosjean, let’s all unite and agree Nikita Mazepin is a great improvement on both and we’re all happy to see the back of Kevin and Romain.

    1. :))
      It is a bold statement, but may well come true

    2. Laugh of the day. 2021 will be a true disaster for HAAS with Nikit “insane torpedo” Mazepin behind the wheels

  19. Small remark on the Magnussen not much better than Grosjean trend.
    This is is a ranking and not a score. Even with Magnussen only marginally better than Grosjean, this does not mean that he should be ranked right next to him.

    Being 0.1s off your team mate in quali does not guarantee a spot next to him on the grid either, especially not in a tight pack.

    If you want to make a case for drivers 20-12 to be better than Magnussen, fair game.
    Saying he should be closer to Grosjean, well that just does not make sense.

    1. You make a very good point here. I mentioned in my comment that it is possible for five drivers to be squeezed into the small gap between Magnussen and Grosjean. However, although it is a ranking, I think that Keith would probably have mentioned it if the 11-17 group were all within a tiny margin, and so I believe Magnussen has been rated significantly higher than Grosjean here, which I think is incorrect. I could be wrong, of course.

  20. What utter BS.
    11???!!

    1. Because he didn’t do the Spain 2018 crash.

  21. I for one actually think Keith has got it pretty much spot on with his ratings so far!

    One thing that Keith (surprisingly) did not mention, is that Magnussen consistently had great starts and he would typically gain a substantial number of places during the first lab. Alonso used to do that at Ferrari, and we all loved him for that. To me that easily justifies the difference to Grosjean.

    Besides that, I find it hilarious how much these ratings seem upset some people – spending a whole day writing up 1000-2000 words just to disagree with Keith – LOLOL

  22. Had him around 13-14 this year as the year before. Not much he could do with the Haas – which of course is also a testimony that he isn’t a top 6 driver. The damage received to his car in Britain by Albon hurt him substancially – he had a clear downdrop in performance in the following races, actually until Grosjean damaged his car as well, so they were both running older specs.
    In the end the final races were irrelevant for his performance. There were zero chance of a result in the desert and he clearly just cruised the circuits as he knew he wasn’t getting a 2021 contract. A shame these two past years are what puts him away due to those horrible cars Haas have made. In the end it cost him his job and he couldn’t really do anything about it. He belonged further up the grid, but never got the chance outside that rookie year with McLaren and the 2018 campaign.

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