Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

2021 mid-season F1 driver rankings part 2: 16-13

2021 F1 season

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Part two of RaceFans’ rankings of all 20 Formula 1 drivers so far this season includes a struggling McLaren driver and the Alfa Romeo duo.

16. Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll

Beat team mate in qualifying4/10
Beat team mate in race5/8
Races finished9/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate329/584
Qualifying margin+0.01s
Points18

In previous seasons, Stroll has proved himself an average performer capable of pulling off one or two outstanding drives per season, such as at Istanbul Park last year. But his 2021 campaign has so far lacked an obvious star turn and been marked by a variety of different errors.

He was penalised for passing Gasly off-track at Imola and avoided a penalty for doing much the same with Alonso in Spain. He crashed in qualifying in Baku, picked up a pit lane speeding penalty in Austria and came from a long way back to smash into Leclerc’s Ferrari last time out.

Both he and new team mate Sebastian Vettel have been found wanting for one-lap pace in recent seasons. But since Vettel played himself in at his new team, Stroll has seldom had a look-in. The score line says he’s only down 6-4, but Stroll’s started ahead of his team mate just once in the last seven outings.

He’s had a few solid performances, notably in the Styrian Grand Prix, where he led the Aston Martin/Alpine/AlphaTauri/Alfa Romeo midfield scrap for his third of four eighth-place finishes this year. But he can’t be satisfied with his points haul: If it hadn’t been for Vettel’s disqualification in Hungary, Stroll’s share of his team’s score would be almost as poor as Tsunoda’s.

15. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Beat team mate in qualifying3/11
Beat team mate in race1/10
Races finished11/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate131/626
Qualifying margin+0.33s
Points50

Surely the biggest surprise of the season so far has been how long it has taken Daniel Ricciardo to get acquainted with his McLaren. But 11 races in, progress has been painfully slow.

There’s a fairly dependable pattern that the more important braking is to lap time, the more Ricciardo has tended to struggle this year. At medium-to-high speed venues like the Circuit de Catalunya and Silverstone he’s been much closer to his team mate’s pace.

Elsewhere the gap has been mystifyingly large, particularly as Ricciardo has reported feeling as if he’s not far from the MCL35’s potential. But he plainly has been on occasions, such as when the gap has over a second, as at Autodromo do Algarve where he astonishingly failed to progress beyond Q1.

To his credit, Ricciardo hasn’t let a crushingly disappointing debut for his new team knock him off his stride. He has regularly brought the car forwards into the points on race day. From 11 races he has three no-scores, but only in Monaco did he carry the can for that – he suffered an untimely technical fault in the Styrian Grand Prix and was a victim of Stroll in Hungary.

The last-of-the-late-breakers Ricciardo familiar from recent years hasn’t been much in evidence, but there have been solid midfield performances. In Spain, from seventh on the grid, he picked up two places at the start and kept Ocon and Sainz behind, only losing out to Sergio Perez’s quicker Red Bull.

But the gap between him and Norris remains wide and it’s cost McLaren severely in the championship. After Hungary they were tied on points with Ferrari, and Ricciardo’s 63-point deficit to his team mate is the reason they aren’t much further ahead.

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14. Antonio Giovinazzi

Antonio Giovinazzi

Beat team mate in qualifying8/10
Beat team mate in race4/10
Races finished11/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate181/623
Qualifying margin-0.32s
Points1

There’s no doubt which area Antonio Giovinazzi has raised his game during the off-season. He has consistently been Alfa Romeo’s best qualifier this year, notching up an 8-2 lead over Kimi Raikkonen.

From that advantageous position he’s taken just one point so far, but can point to various misfortunes which have deprived him of more. A slow pit stop dropped him behind Raikkonen in Bahrain and debris in his brake ducts cost him a potential ninth place in Imola. He suffered a bizarre double misfortune in Spain, where the team fitted a deflated tyre to his car at a pit stop, and an error on his dash display meant he did not rejoin the queue of quicker cars after a Safety Car period.

But it would be misleading to imply Giovinazzi has only missed out on points through his team’s mistakes. He has lost ground to Raikkonen too often early in races, allowing his team mate to lead the way for Alfa Romeo.

That said, Giovinazzi’s sole point of the season for far came at Monaco, in a race where his team did slip up. After performing an opportunistic first-lap pass on Esteban Ocon, he fell back behind the Alpine driver in the pits, and scored one point on a day two were possible.

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13. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Beat team mate in qualifying2/10
Beat team mate in race6/10
Races finished10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate442/623
Qualifying margin+0.32s
Points2

One-lap pace has never been the strongest area of Raikkonen’s game, and at this advanced stage of his career it appears to have become a greater weakness. He’s only lined up ahead of Giovinazzi three times this year: in Baku (Giovinazzi crashed), Imola (Giovinazzi was baulked by Mazepin) and Hungary (where Raikkonen was a mere 0.019 seconds faster). He’s been akmost a third of a second slower on average.

This hasn’t stopped him being the lead Alfa Romeo driver in the points standings, however, and not just because Giovinazzi has had some bad luck here and there. Raikkonen can count himself unlucky to have missed out on two points at Imola where he received a penalty for a procedural error during a restart.

Standing starts have been Raikkonen’s forte this year. From an average grid position of 15th, he has gained at least two places on average every race, and as many as five on occasions. If F1’s new, two-race sprint event format was devised for any driver, it’s surely this one.

Raikkonen’s Spanish Grand Prix start was especially impressive: He may have only made up three places, but it was on medium tyres against a grid of drivers who’d fitted softs, and one of the drivers he passed was his team mate.

Giovinazzi’s strong Saturday performances and Raikkonen’s superior race pace tends to put them on a converging path. This led to light contact between the pair at Imola, and a potentially more serious clash in Portugal, where Raikkonen wandered into Giovinazzi on the straight. He only damaged his own car, though it could have been worse. If they carry on the way they’ve been going it will be no surprise if they continue to meet on Sundays.

2021 F1 season

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Author information

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

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55 comments on “2021 mid-season F1 driver rankings part 2: 16-13”

  1. Hi Keith, I really love your rankings for many years now (inside the 00s still), but this is really hard to swallow.
    I would even say this might be Lance’s best season to date and he is around 10th to me. 16th, behind Kimi, behind Danny Ric? I really can’t see that at all.

    1. Yes I think this is very harsh on Lance and based more on old assumptions about him rather than the possibility that he has actually put together a more consistent season than in the past.

      Quite a selective list of Raikonnen’s errors as well, overlooking his punt on Vettel in Austria, again based on reputation.

      For me it should be Raikonnen 16th (I would even consider having him down below Mick S. and Latifi), Ricciardo 15th and Giovinazzi 14th. This group (and the previous 4) are the strugglers of the season. Stroll isn’t among them and is arguably mixed in with Perez, Bottas and even Vettel.

      1. Agreed – the opening of the section about Lance even references these old assumptions.

        I don’t think Lance should be rated any lower than Bottas, who is taking an even greater hammering from his teammate this year than he has in the previous 4, and probably shouldn’t be too far off Perez, who other than inheriting a win off Max and putting in one very solid drive in France, has been poor too.

        And while I’d have Sebastian ahead of Lance, I wouldn’t separate them by more than 2 or 3 positions.

        1. When I read that he was performing at Bottas’ level I baulked but when I thought more about it I decided that you’re right. While I don’t think he’s having a stellar year, I think it’s his best so far and Bottas is having a pretty sub par year.

    2. The explanation given by Keith makes all the sense in the world to me. The mention of Vettel’s DQ alone making that Stroll isn’t on par with Yuki Tsunoda as far as the point share deficit tells the whole story. Here comes Seb, coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career and demonstrably not on top of his game and within half a season he’s got Stroll’s number and a significant pace advantage on him. Stroll’s performance is, as Keith has rightly stated, average as average can be. Without his occasional stand-out race, which he hasn’t had in the first half of the season, it’s impossible to argue he should be much higher on the list.

      Reply moderated
      1. Seb seems incredibly sensitive to the car though, so he might actually be performing very well, if this car suits him.

  2. I though Giovinazzi was better than Raikkonnen on all fronts this season. Sure, he still loses positions on lap 1 .. and most of the times ends up behind his teammate, but he has created better points scoring opportunities that were thrown away by the team. He would have been leading Kimi in the finished ahead of teammate tally if it wasn’t for those errors that were in no fault of his own.

    There’s also no mention of Kimi staring at his wheel while racing and ploughing in to other drivers… or any mention of how he spun off while racing Perez. Kimi was always stronger on Sundays in the past.. but not really this season.

    Also feel there’s been a bit of flattery for Daniel… he was so much slower than his teammate on Saturdays and Sundays, that I don’t see how he can be rated any higher than 16th. Stroll is also his usual rubbish self.. but I don’t think some of this early season drives, which were pretty solid, are b being given enough credit.

    If I had to rank them it would be –
    #16 Ricciardo
    #15 Raikonnen
    #14 Stroll
    #13 Giovinazzi

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      18th August 2021, 8:06

      @todfod
      Read the 3rd line from the bottom of Kimi’s section. It does say “Raikkonen wondered into Giovinazzi on the straight” which is one thing you are implying is missing.

      It is however missing the huge mistake Kimi did on Vettel at the end of Austria, which got him a 20 second penalty. The fact that this wasn’t mentioned and that Kieth mentions Kimi was unlucky to get a penalty in Imola for something that experience should in fact give him an advantage over others almost shows that he possibly has a bit of a soft spot for him. He’s been very over rated I’d say.

      1. @thegianthogweed – thanks for the long post below, didn’t fully digest it all, but it certainly fits my feeling too, as it does for @todfod that GIO did better and/or Raikkonen worse than his experience would lead us to expect; and indeed, I think Stroll (and maybe Vettel too?) is rated worse partly because the car at the start of the season just plain wasn’t there to do much with.

        Also agree with both of you about Ricciardo, though it pains me to say it a bit, in comparison to his teammate it was just a very average season and I feel that he’s not ranked worse mainly because he has credit for being better based on earlier seasons (which shouldn’t be what this ranking is based on, imo).

    2. I agree on Giovinazzi going better than raikkonen. Generally speaking, his solid performance goes often unnoticed and While I do agree that is not only fault of the team, It is also true that he suffered a lot of team mistakes. He is qualifying very well And Imho the overtake on ocon in montecarlo was a very strong move, not opportunistic… unfortunately the TV didn’t show it…

    3. @todfod and hatred for Kimi. A combination that can’t be broken no matter what happens on track! Kimi has completely destroyed his team mate on Sundays and gotten everything out of his car on race pace, but it’s just not enough for the critics.
      I’d rank Kimi about 8th this season. Alonso? Maybe 16th if being generous.

      1. @huhhii

        Was just a matter of time before the most illogical person entered a logical argument.

        I feel sorry for you man. I’m actually a huge fan of kimi.. But I have enough common sense to look at the stats and the races and form an opinion. It’s sad that you can’t face reality and form a normal opinion. You live in some alternate reality where Kimi is driving in a back marker team not because he’s isn’t good enough anymore.. But because there’s some secret conspiracy from making him win more championships.

        1. @todfod Kimi does what he wants. He doesn’t care about WDC’s or race wins since he has plenty of those. That’s what makes him such a great sportsman. But even now he can push 110% out of the car every single race. Alonso isn’t even half of the driver Kimi is and that’s nothing but an undeniable fact.

          1. @huhhii

            You’re right… Kimi does do what he wants. Right now he wants to race at the back of the pack and be slower than his teammate. Basically kimi wants to be rubbish right now.
            I’m pretty sure Kimi wanted to get thrashed by Alonso at Ferrari as well.. And finish his career with less than half the achievements that Alonso has.

  3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    18th August 2021, 7:52

    Warning, very long post, but I strongly disagree with several of these.

    I’m sorry, some of these drivers are just in the wrong position. Stroll has been no where near this bad. Just because Stroll has had a few errors, I don’t see how he has possibly had a worse season than Ricciardo, especially Kimi! Stroll could should easily be in the next bunch of drivers for the following article. And ranking Giovinazzi behind Kimi for what has happened so far is simply ridiculous.

    It’s lucky that I compared so many of their races in the team mate wars section on another forum (planet F1, where you vote for the driver in each team that outperformed the other), so I already have a lot backed up.

    Overall, it is very clear that in most of the races, Giovinazzi has had the better pace / performance if you watched the race carefully (or re watched it). I have all the races recorded myself and have looked back at them all.

    I will copy what I wrote for the races where it was harder to split them further down in the post.

    First, I have listed all the races in brief and their outcome.

    Bahrian – Giovinazzi – bad luck, slightly better performance and race pace.

    Imola – Giovinazzi – Very even race pace, but Kimi later made a mistake, which was poor for his experience (not sure why he gets defended in the article) then Giovinazzi had awful luck.

    Portugal – Giovinazzi – Easy to say he did the better job here – Kimi crashed into the back of his team mate.

    Spain – Giovinazzi – His team mate had a good start, but Giovinazzi had far better pace and was with in DRS range a great deal of the time. Then the same bad luck hit him again. It is highly likely he will have beaten Kimi due to his better pace again – his team reckon he would have got a points finish.

    Monaco – Giovinazzi – Did what he needed to in qualifying and he had the better race. Pace wise it was hard to judge as Giovinazzi was stuck in a train.

    Baku – Giovinazzi – Would say Kimi had better pace in the later stint, but Giovinazzi has a bizarre strategy which almost certainly cost him the better position. Overall, I would say Giovinazzi had the better race, and his early start and pace advantage will have been enough to allow him to finish ahead

    France – Giovinazzi – Little to compare here. Giovinazzi was slightly quicker, but started ahead and stayed ahead.

    Styria – Giovinazzi – Despite being spun on the first lap, his pace advantage got him ahead of Kimi and he held him behind for ages being on older, slower tyres. It is no wonder Giovinazzi lost out in the end.

    Austria – Giovinazzi – Despite me thinking he did the better job, his race was very poor this time. Kimi had much better pace. Giovinazzi made mistakes at the start, but nothing like as bad as what kimi did on Vettel on the last lap. This race however is one of the only races where it was clear that kimi had better pace.

    Britain – Kimi – He did better here, but this was due to his start, which also are often good from him. His pace looked about the same as Giovinazzi overall, but he will have finished ahead if not for Perez’s silly move.

    Hungary – Kimi – He did the better job, but it was likely his team mates mistake and early gamble that made him come out. Giovinazzi’s pace was a fair bit quicker – and he was in dirty air towards the end of the race, on older tyres than Kimi but was still faster.

    Now in more depth (from the planet f1 Forum), mostly just including the races that were harder to compare. It is however enough to easily see that Giovinazzi has been significantly better overall.

    Bahrian:

    Giovinazzi and Raikkonen is the one that i feel may get the most unfair votes. Raikkonen didn’t have he best of starts by binning it in practice. Then Giovinazzi missed out on Q3 by under a tenth of a second. While Kimi was only 2 positions behind him, he was over half a second down! This was a very solid qualifying performance by Giovinazzi.

    In the race, they were only separated by one position in the first stage, but Giovinazzi had a slow pit stop where he lost 7 seconds as well as a position to his team mate, Tsunoda and Ocon. After both kimi and him had had their 2nd stops, Giovinazzi was slowly closing the gap that he lost both due to traffic and the bad stop to the point where he will have been ahead if he hadn’t lost that time. He was still around 7 seconds off kimi 5 laps from the of the race end, but he understandably gave up when he had to back off for hamilton and Verstappen to come through. He then dropped the gap to 14 seconds behind kimi by the end, but I think he did this as he had nothing to gain or lose. Unlike Bottas, I think that bad stop actually cost him a position though. Pretty easy vote for Giovinazzi, but i feel that many will go for kimi if giovinazzi’s situation wasn’t looked at closely.

    Imola

    Like Haas last year, I think alfa romeo both races this year haven’t had their drivers races looked at closely enough before many vote here. So this is why I’ve gone into depth again to explain my reasoning.

    Raikonnen was slowly building a gap in the first stint that got up to just under 5 seconds. Giovinazzi’s stop was a couple of seconds slower than kimi, which wasn’t much, but it ended up dropping him into the path of tsunoda and he got by. The first half of the race can go to kimi, but it wasn’t by that much.

    Just after had kimi unlapped himself just before Verslappen led the field away, he then spun and went off track. According to the rules, he was supposed to recover his positions by a certain stage like leclerc did at the start. If he didn’t, (which he didn’t), he needed to go to the pit lane (which he also didn’t).

    Anyhow, onto the rest of the race. The next stint, Giovinazzi kept right on Kimi’s tail until he had to pit around lap 40 because of a visor stuck in his brake duct or something like that causing overheating. This cost him 30 seconds. And the reason why Kimi didn’t finish behind him despite his penalty was because Verstappen lapped Giovanazzi on the very last lap. Giovinazzi was 25 seconds behind kimi dispite having to back off for Verstappen and pitting.

    So you could put it two ways. If Giovinazzi hadn’t been lapped on the final lap, Kimi would have finished behind him with the penalty, or – an awful long way behind him if Giovinazzi hadn’t had to pit for break problems. I think it is likely that Giovinazzi will have done the better job if not for his luck just like last race. So because of Kimi’s off and mistake and his team mates pace at this stage, I’m voting for Giovinazzi.

    In giovinazzi’s defence in qualifying, he also had to abandon his lap because of mazipin overtaking him and ruining his lap. Mazipin had been instructed to go for it and it was his last chance too so it was unlucky for both and just one of those things. But I’m not convinced Kimi was better here either actually.

    Spain:

    Ugh, what is it with these two almost always being in a situation that makes it harder to notice that Giovinazzi has actually been the better of the two? First off, he beat Kimi by some margin yet again in qualifying. That was overturned pretty quickly as kimi had a good start and gained 3 places, including one on his team mate. But Kimi was losing time to the cars ahead and Giovinazzi was all over the back of him. He then pitted during the safety car and had a 35 second stop. One of his new tyres were flat. The mechanic noticed this and signalled to the others to remove what hap been fitted then he had to go on his only remaining new set I believe. When he came out during the safety car, a fault on his dash was telling him to follow the safety car delta. So he didn’t catch the pack like he should have done. It in the end resulted in him restarting the race 10 seconds behind the field. He also had to use a used set of tyres at the end due to the flat one from earlier. In the end, he finished around 15 seconds behind Kimi. All things considered, Giovinazzi should get the vote again. The only thing Kimi did better was having a better launch. The team believe this bad luck cost Giovinazzi a points finish, which was something stated on this site.

    Baku:

    Giovinazzi crashed in qualifying which wasn’t a good start – but then he had a great start to the race. 5 places in next to no time. Him and Stroll are about the best starters on the grid. Admittedly starting right at the front, you can’t gain as many positions, but the first lap isn’t about how fast your car is, it is more your launch and preparation lap. Anyhow, in the race Giovinazzi pitted almost immediately after he made up all these positions for some reason on the start of lap 3. Kimi pitted 10 laps later and came out nearly 10 seconds behind Giovinazzi. He closed that to around 5 before Stroll crashed. Giovinazzi then pitted during that safety car and Kimi didn’t. He then restarted behind Kimi and was on tyres that were 20+ laps newer. He didn’t seem quick enough to be able to pass though. At this point, I would consider voting Giovinazzi still as he would have been ahead if not for the timings of his stops and the safety car.

    Styria:

    Giovinazzi had actually been quick enough (despite being spun at the start) to catch up and be ahead of Kimi. He then stayed ahead for 20 laps despite Kimi having tyres that were 13 laps newer and a softer compound. I would say the only reason Giovinazzi got overtaken will be because his race had got effected early on and he had to change his strategy and do the longest 2nd stint of anyone (excluding Mazepin). I am pretty certain Giovinazzi lost a points finish and can’t really see a reason for voting Kimi over him. But fair enough as we didn’t find out what Giovinazzi could have done, I think no vote will have been more fair.

    Just to add – it is shocking how often these two are hard to judge, but that is why i now try to watch their races so carefully as too little is usually broadcast. Most of what i looked back at was based on the timing screens.

    Austria:

    Hmm. I thought Giovinazzi had a pretty bad race. He was rather oblivious to Ocon and Scumacher at the start and I think that will have got a penalty if it wasn’t the first lap. Instead, he got himself a penalty when he overtook alonso just before he entered the pit lane during the safety car. Basically 2 mistakes on 1 lap. Kimi looked pretty good most of this race. But that last lap crash was so careless that it makes me vote for Giovinazzi, even though his race was poor.

    When I thought the votes were more fairly split, I didn’t write up as much (or anything other than the drivers name)

    Kimi overall clearly did the better job in the last 2 races, but IMO, that is it. And even in the latest race (Hungary), despite Giovinazzi having 4 stops in the first 11 laps, and yet another later on as well as serving his penalty (which will have lost him another 30 seconds), he still finished only 20 seconds behind Kimi. Kimi obviously did the better job here, but to me it is very obvious that Giovinazzi had the better race pace.

    Ugh, good job I had most of this written up! This reminds me of when Magnussen was rated about 7 places above Grosjean last year. I have to say the rankings are very out of place this year. I think Kimi should be 16th at best and Giovinazzi at least 13th or even in the next part of these rankings. There is not sufficient reasoning to vote Kimi ahead even with what has been written here. First lap pace doesn’t undo almost everything else that has been very poor. I really fail to see how Kimi is voted ahead, or even close….

    1. @thegianthogweed that’s a lot of information but to be honest I agree with Keith on this one. Giovinazzi is clearly struggling to beat Kimi, even if he does the margin is very thin. In what is now his 3rd season I expected more. Kimi has produced some memorable drives, especially in the sprint race and is ahead in laps lead and points. Remember that he was badly beaten by his last 2 teammates and is now 41 years old. This season so far is not reflecting well on Antonio’s skills, I won’t be surprised if he gets replaced for 2022.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        18th August 2021, 9:22

        If you don’t count DNFs of other drivers, Giovinazzi has easily had the worst luck of any drivers. With many awful pit stops and other problems. It is down to this that he isn’t ahead in the standings and also would have lead many more laps. It does seem like you state that I wrote a lot and then agreed with keith without actually reading my full reasoning.

        The fact is, Kimi’s starts have overall been better, but Giovinazzi’s qualifying pace is significantly better and his race pace has generally been better too, which has been masked by his bad luck, which i explained.

        1. @thegianthogweed trust me I read almost every line, however you seem to offer an “explanation” for everything. For me there is a simple truth: come race day, Antonio is not fast enough nor his racecraft is solid enough to produce some overtaking or defensive moves.

          In Bahrain you say he had the better race pace and was unlucky but he was 15 seconds behind Kimi when they finished. Kimi was P11 so a DNF would give him a point so the “he had nothing to gain” narrative is mistaken. No way he gets a vote here!
          In Imola Kimi finished P9 and lost it because of an error that could well be attributed to the pit lane. Giovinazzi only beat the Haas pair but he gets your vote.
          In Spain Kimi had a superb race, he used the medium tyres and was as high as 4th (or 5th) if I remember correctly and was in the mix for points. How does Antonio get the vote here!
          You vote for him in Baku for what? For not being able to pass with 20+ laps tyre advantage?
          In Styria Kimi put 3 cars between them. (again you say no vote).

          Thing is, Kimi feels more like a part of the race in most days. He nurses his tyres best, defends and attacks more. Antonio is usually well outside P10, fighting will Williams. So yes, considering that this list is Keith’s subjective view of the driver rankings, I agree with him that Kimi is a little bit better so far.

          1. Bottom line is I think points are scored on sunday and I would take a driver who is better on sunday than one who is better on saturday, like I would’ve taken the early 2021 mercedes over red bull, because red bull had a quali superiority and merc a race pace superiority.

            Yes, giovinazzi got bad luck, but so did raikkonen, I’m pretty sure correcting for no bad luck for both drivers would result in raikkonen having more points, but to make it clear, there only needs to be a position of difference in the ranking, so not far between them.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            18th August 2021, 11:31

            A great deal of what you argue or question about is answered in my post.
            You seem to totally ignore my point about Giovinazzi being spun in Styria, and just seem to be against me not voting either despite me describing exactly why it was hard to vote them.

            Even in Bahrain, I explained how the gap opened up. He lost out to his team mate through no fault of his own, and maintained that gap. Then he got lapped and had to slow down. It was at this point that i implied he had nothing to gain and that was true. the gap between them increasing was not representative.

            I made it quite clear for Spain. And you go “How does Antonio get the vote here!” Again, you seriously look exactly like you didn’t read my post. He was all over the back of Kimi, then had a 35 second stop, and lost yet more time due to a fault on his dash and still had much better pace than kimi after all this. Again -As I have already said (that you seem to have ignored), the team said they believe he lost a points finish due to this misfortune, and Kimi was in 12th. All what I’ve said as well as the team suggests he was the better driver that day.

            There is little point me answering everything (I could) but your arguments seem irrelevant when they are mostly backed up in what I’ve already put in my original comment. (I’ve proved that with Spain)

            On the other forum, when I did the comparison after each race, I actually changed several people’s views (as well as some votes) I think you and keith will certainly be in the minority for thinking Kimi has been better this season so far.

            All this said, i feel you won’t take it in the way it happened.

          3. @thegianthogweed they both have miserable seasons, just Kimi is usually the better driver on a Sunday and has led more laps that led to him having more points, so one place up in the rankings is justified. What if’s don’t change the outcome. Hypothetical scenarios are fine by me, but not when judging who is better.

            Thing is, Kimi is well past his prime and Antonio can’t beat him when it matters. He also hasn’t shown much potential otherwise, be it wheel to wheel racing, tyre management etc. In my opinion, we don’t know the true potential of the car because both of them are lacking so something needs to change if Alfa Romeo wants to get back to the midfield battle and not left fighting with Haas for P14.

          4. Just to make a point: yes he spun on Styria (and to be honest he shouldn’t have gone to the outside of a car which clearly had a puncture) but he was soon back with the pack. You paint it as if it was close, when in fact Kimi beat 3 cars (Vettel, Ricciardo, Ocon).

      2. Remember that he was badly beaten by his last 2 teammates and is now 41 years old.

        Neither should have in impact on the 2021 mid-year ratings IMO.

        1. I disagree. If drivers got faster by age the field would be a bunch of 45 year olds.

          1. Not sure how your disagreement links to your latter hypothetical.

    2. As the two are so close and as I’m a big fan of Raikkonen I watched those two very carefully as well and I don’t really agree with your explanation.
      It apperars you’re doing a lot of cherry picking in Giovinnazis favour.

      You’re trying to highlight his race pace in comparison to Raikkonen but only Monaco and France were races where Giovinnazi had evidently better pace and more important clean races without incidents or bad luck.
      At Austria 2, Raikkonen was quicker by far. So let’s have a look at their relative pace at the remaining races.

      Bahrain was little to choose between the two of them. But Raikkonen was able to follow very closely during the first stint suggesting he was quicker. After the stops the gap remained pretty much the same despite Raikkonen had a few more battles and a bad tyre strategy.

      Imola: Bad luck for Giovinnazi but he’s never been ahead of Raikkonen nor appeared to be faster at any point of the Grand Prix. The gap has also been reduced by the red flag.

      Spain: As you said Giovinnazi was following very closely but on the soft tyre compound. The mediums didn’t appear to be working for Raikkonen (like in Monaco) or he couldn’t get
      them to work. After the stops he was doing better and even fighting for points in the midfield. But still I would say better pace and again terrible luck for Giovinnazi.

      Baku: This time the better start for Giovinnazi but his inferior race pace and his strategy let him fall behind Raikkonen. Raikkonen was closing all the time and even on old tyres he was fast enough to stay ahead. Difficult to see how Giovinnazi could have been called faster this weekend.

      Austria 1: I would give it to Raikkonen too. Giovinnazi was spun around but then Raikkonen was stuck in traffick and run a super long stint on his original set of tyres. which enabled Giovinnazi to catch up and finally got ahead after they both had pitted. But unlike in Baku Raikkonen repassed him with his better tyres. Very difficult to judge who was actually faster but in the end Raikkonen finished ahead.

      Silverstone : Most of the time Raikkonen appeared to be slightly faster but only marginal. Still he started ahead, stayed ahead and would have finished ahead on pace if not for the Perez incident.

      Budapest: I don’t know how you can conclude that Giovinnazi had a better race pace. After his penalties he had a different strategy and a clean track almost all race. Raikkonen himself had to compensate a ten seconds penalty in combination with a bad pitstop. Despite that he was amongst other cars.

      But here comes the mayor but. Raikkonen is only marginally faster in races and quite a bit slower in qualifying. In addition to that he had way too many incidents:
      Imola (let’s not forget, it was his off during the reconnaissance lap that caused the penalty chaos in there first place)
      Portimao: Stupid crash with teammate
      Austria: Stupid crash with Vettel
      Silverstone: One off at the beginning and an other spin at the end.

      So after all I would rate Giovinnazi the better driver and maybe it’s time for Raikkonen to retire. But with the new Formula coming up I sense he’d like to try one more year. And his experience and qualities as a development driver let Vasseur thinking of keeping him instead of Giovinnazi especially as they are so close.

    3. @thegianthogweed
      Big comment but how I pointed before it’s too subjective. There’s no way Giovinazzi and Raikkonen can be put much far apart each other, at the same rate that there’s no way to reasonably argue that they’ve been a solid lineup so far.
      So I inspired myself in the performance rankings made by @f1frog and built my own. As you like to write a lot and in depth, I suggest you to do the same and compare.

      1st – Max Verstappen (9.2)
      2nd – Lando Norris (9.0)
      3rd – Charles Leclerc (8.5)
      4th – Lewis Hamilton (8.3)
      5th – Fernando Alonso (8.1) – Sunday tie-break
      6th – George Russell (8.1) – Sunday tie-break
      7th – Pierre Gasly (7.9)
      8th – Carlos Sainz Jr. (7.4)
      9th – Esteban Ocon (7.2)
      10th – Sebastian Vettel (6.9)
      11th – Lance Stroll (6.1)
      12th – Sergio Pérez (5.6) – Newcomer tie-break
      13th – Valtteri Bottas (5.6) – Newcomer tie-break
      14th – Mick Schumacher (4.8)
      15th – Nicholas Latifi (4.7)
      16th – Daniel Ricciardo (4.4)
      17th – Antonio Giovinazzi (4.3)
      18th – Kimi Räikkönen (4.2)
      19th – Yuki Tsunoda (2.9)
      20th – Nikita Mazepin (2.6)

      It might look like an insult to Raikkonen’s legacy and Ricciardo’s previous strong form not long time ago to be ranked so lowly, but keep in mind that those rankings are supposed to be about this current season only, so its more a question of application of ability instead of the possession of ability. Or else it would produce largely different rankings.

  4. Bit weird on stroll, especially given that vettel is ranked in the top 13… from your revealing stats article:
    Stroll may not have scored as many points as Vettel, but he has finished ahead of him more often in races where both drivers reached the chequered flag

    1. Stroll suffers the same effect as Max. Their entry year into the sport is engraved in memories and they are regarded as incapable of evolving. Mazepin same, but Schumacher somehow not. Bit of prejudice, any one?

  5. Stroll can’t be that low. Vettel’s highs have been aided by fortune (Baku, Monaco, Hungary), but has otherwise been at par / poorer than Stroll. The laps spent ahead of team-mate clearly shows who is doing better on an average at Aston Martin

    I would say 16 = Raikkonen, 15 = Ricciardo, 14 = Giovinazzi, 13 = Bottas. Stroll should be closer to Vettel, somewhere in 12 to 8.

  6. Daniel has problems to adjust because of the engine? This is his first season other then a Renault engine otherwise i don’t understand what his problem is..

    1. @macleod In the hybrid era, yes, but overall in F1, no, as he drove Ferrari-powered Toro Rossos before RBR promotion + Cosworth-powered HRT in 2011.

      1. @jerejj But where those engines (Cosworth/Ferrari not before the hybride era? So just normal engines? It could be the deployment of the electrical power is so different (compared with the Renault) that he losses time here and there.

        1. @macleod I specifically pointed that out by separating ‘hybrid era’ and ‘overall in F1.’

  7. I dont really understand these rankings.
    straightforward comparison between drivers from the same team isn’t the only thing that should be taken into account and i am not sure if other performance characteristics have been considered.
    Mick Schumacher has certainly not punched about his weight consistently. But the machinery he has limits the scope for that. He has still performed reasonably well with what he has.
    If we apply the same scale to Daniel, i think he deserves to be a couple of spots lower than 15th. That ferraris and alpines finished ahead of him quite frequently means that he is consistently under-performing in car that can deliver more. Bringing the car home within the top ten is not necessarily a positive for such team/car as they can and are doing better. I believe the opposite of this is what has happened with Lance being ranked 16th–largely on how he has performed vs Vettel. And i feel that last statement on how ‘Stroll’s points % to the team total would look similar to that of Yuki’ is a testament to how this ranking has/is taking shape.

    P.s.: i have nothing against any of the drivers or teams. I am just the average F1 fan.

  8. Well, i can’t agree with the ranking of Stroll and Kimi.

    Kimi has had 2 moments where he really seemed lost (crashing into Giovinazzi in Portugal and his lack of awareness in Austria) and was lucky not to have bigger concequences (the Portugal one could have easily been a airplane crash…). He is still more “reliable” on Sundays but he is nowhere near being ranked as the 13th best driver…

    Stroll on the other hand hasn’t been impressive, has done his own mistakes (Hungary the most obvious) but he hasn’t been that bad. In Baku he recovered well before getting the punchure,he has done some pretty good drives(although quiet ones). Difficult to agree with him being that low

    1. Agree with this, it’s definitely been a poor season for raikkonen to be ranked 13th, stroll should be ahead, and I can’t see why schumacher can’t be ahead either when you consider the car.

      1. Mick had a significant amount of crashes after a while so i can understand why Kimi was ranked above him.

  9. I also disagree with the rankings of the Alfa Romeo drivers and of Lance Stroll. I think, despite being behind on points, Giovinazzi has been far quicker in qualifying and has generally been quicker in the races too, but has had more bad luck, and admittedly Raikkonen has had better starts. Raikkonen also has made two major errors, hitting Giovinazzi in Portimao and Vettel in Austria. I rated Giovinazzi 12th and Raikkonen 16th.

    Lance Stroll has generally been very even with Vettel this season. He was very strong in the opening two rounds with decent points finishes in both, while Vettel had a nightmare in Bahrain and also struggled in Imola. He was then only just behind in Portimao and just ahead in Spain, so maintains an advantage over Vettel. Vettel was extremely strong in Monaco but Stroll did a good job too, so still maintains his advantage. Baku is a similar story to Monaco, but Stroll does very well to stop his car spearing into the middle of the track after the puncture. They are roughly equal at this point. Stroll had a very poor qualifying in France and recovered in the race, but Vettel was clearly better. Then Stroll outclassed Vettel in Styria by a greater margin so moves ahead in the rankings. The tables are turned again in Austria as Vettel outclasses Stroll and moves ahead of him, before Stroll drives a decent race in Britain while Vettel spins. At this point, I rated Stroll slightly above Vettel, but then Vettel ends up quite substantially ahead after Stroll’s huge blunder in Hungary. He has a much lower points score than Vettel without the disqualification, but that is down to three excellent drives for Vettel mixed with a lot of average ones, and Stroll has generally done a solid job for Aston Martin. However, it could be that you think the Aston Martin is faster than the drivers are making it look, and Perez would have far more points than Vettel or Stroll had they kept him, in which case Vettel will probably be 12th and the low ranking of Stroll makes sense. But I still think he should be at least ahead of Raikkonen and Ricciardo. I rated Stroll tenth, one place behind Vettel (but the gap between them was quite large).

    1. I think at least stroll should be ahead of the alfa drivers and ricciardo, otherwise it’s just unfair, however it’s hard to make a fair ranking when stroll has been more consistent but vettel made far more potential points (hungary for performance purposes is a 2nd place, that dq is irrelevant), on a way you tend to rank them close, on the other far.

    2. @f1frog
      I’d like to thank you for making that performance rankings, very likely it was almost completely spot on. Also, it helped me to make mine with a few modifications. But in essence they remained nearly the same.

      1st – Max Verstappen (9.2)
      2nd – Lando Norris (9.0)
      3rd – Charles Leclerc (8.5)
      4th – Lewis Hamilton (8.3)
      5th – Fernando Alonso (8.1) – Sunday tie-break
      6th – George Russell (8.1) – Sunday tie-break
      7th – Pierre Gasly (7.9)
      8th – Carlos Sainz Jr. (7.4)
      9th – Esteban Ocon (7.2)
      10th – Sebastian Vettel (6.9)
      11th – Lance Stroll (6.1)
      12th – Sergio Pérez (5.6) – Newcomer tie-break
      13th – Valtteri Bottas (5.6) – Newcomer tie-break
      14th – Mick Schumacher (4.8)
      15th – Nicholas Latifi (4.7)
      16th – Daniel Ricciardo (4.4)
      17th – Antonio Giovinazzi (4.3)
      18th – Kimi Räikkönen (4.2)
      19th – Yuki Tsunoda (2.9)
      20th – Nikita Mazepin (2.6)

  10. Giovinazzi should definitely be ahead of Kimi and Stroll should be ahead of Ricciardo.

  11. Wow @keithcollantine isn’t ranking a driver who’s 8th in the WDC whilst driving only the joint 3rd best car in 15th place harsh?

    Sure, he’s struggled to get the last few 10ths out of his machinery in quali, but he’s more than made up for that in his race craft

    8th in WDC is right where one of the McLaren or Ferrari drivers should be. I’d love to know how you justify ranking both Bottas & Perez higher when both have clearly failed to put themselves where they should be in 3rd

  12. Whilst Ricciardo is clearly one of the disappointments of the season (and I don’t see it improving this year), there are two sides to his performances.

    The first is obvious. He has been convincingly trounced by Lando with a gap in terms of qualifying and race pace that is alarmingly large.

    On the other hand there have been quite a few insights explaining why the McLaren is so different for him to drive. The latest was an excellent article on Autosport including an interview with Andrea Stella who went into quite some detail.

    With this in mind, he’s actually maximised his results relative to his poor pace very well. Good starts, racecraft and very few mistakes. Despite his pace issues he has scored very consistently.

    So overall he has been poor yes, but I don’t think the shine has come off him completely. 2022 will be very telling.

  13. How Stroll comes out behind Kimi, Giovinazzi and Riccardo is a complete mystery to me. Quite frankly it makes little sense for the reasons many have mentioned above. I provisionally have Lance in 11th/12th! So above all three of the others mentioned in this sub-section.

    1. @phil-f1-21

      How Stroll comes out behind Kimi, Giovinazzi and Riccardo is a complete mystery to me. Quite frankly it makes little sense for the reasons many have mentioned above. I provisionally have Lance in 11th/12th! So above all three of the others mentioned in this sub-section.

      The large majority of commentators here agree on this one. Of course that alone doesn’t make it a sure thing, but there’s a lot of reasons to rank Stroll above Alfa drivers and Ricciardo. Including a piece written in his own articles:

      Stroll may not have scored as many points as Vettel, but he has finished ahead of him more often in races where both drivers reached the chequered flag

  14. Agree with those disagreeing with the Stroll ranking.

    Sad to see Ricciardo down there..

  15. The ranking seems logical and fair. Stroll seems consistent, but Claudio Langes and Pierre Henri-Raphanel were also consistent.

  16. I feel Keith went too harsh on Stroll, and a bit soft on both Raikkonen and Ricciardo. IMHO, two of the pointers are doing a lame job at such a tight fight, here’s to them:
    13) Bottas: Here is another Mr. Saturday, in a bad fashion. Yes, he has had bad luck in a handful occasions. But the thing is, had him put himself in better positions, he’d reap better results. Still slow as an old lady on race day, and too much of a compliant wingman for a guy who is virtually kicked out of the team. Disappointing as always.
    14) Perez: Yeah, he got a win which he did not fought for, then his apparent improvement mid-mid-season melted down. He is doing a worse job than Bottas and that says enough.
    15) Raikkonen: As I said, besides some of his screw ups, his experience and raw talent still makes him appear regularly around points, and even scoring some, which means he is getting good results. But getting out less speed than Antonio around 3 tenths is a red flag.
    16) Giovinazzi: upped his game, though I can’t say it is because of Raikkonen’s decayment or not. Feels kinda weird ranking him 16th but, the thing is, against an irregular RAI, so to speak, he isn’t delivering solid results whilst his team mate kinda is, despite his clumsy errors.
    17) Latifi
    18) Ricciardo
    19) Tsunoda
    20) Mazepin

    1. @niefer

      I feel Keith went too harsh on Stroll, and a bit soft on both Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

      I agree, and taking inspiration in other posters’ performance rankings here it resulted in an essentially similar order to yours, especially from 15th to 20th:

      1st – Max Verstappen (9.2)
      2nd – Lando Norris (9.0)
      3rd – Charles Leclerc (8.5)
      4th – Lewis Hamilton (8.3)
      5th – Fernando Alonso (8.1) – Sunday tie-break
      6th – George Russell (8.1) – Sunday tie-break
      7th – Pierre Gasly (7.9)
      8th – Carlos Sainz Jr. (7.4)
      9th – Esteban Ocon (7.2)
      10th – Sebastian Vettel (6.9)
      11th – Lance Stroll (6.1)
      12th – Sergio Pérez (5.6) – Newcomer tie-break
      13th – Valtteri Bottas (5.6) – Newcomer tie-break
      14th – Mick Schumacher (4.8)
      15th – Nicholas Latifi (4.7)
      16th – Daniel Ricciardo (4.4)
      17th – Antonio Giovinazzi (4.3)
      18th – Kimi Räikkönen (4.2)
      19th – Yuki Tsunoda (2.9)
      20th – Nikita Mazepin (2.6)

      1. @rodewulf – it’s a nice ranking. (Apart from one or two drivers) it is slightly different from mine, though we practically fitted the same drivers at the same blocks. The most tricky part I found was the midfield, albeit unsurprising.

        1. @niefer
          Yeah, in essence we don’t disagree, I’ve noticed it with your post on the drivers ranked 9th-12th. Two clear differences from mine to yours are Alonso above Ocon, placed slightly higher in the rankings, and Vettel a little less far away but also ahead of Stroll. The stats I took into consideration are: Alonso outqualified Ocon 6-5 and led him in the races by the same score taking mechanical issues out of the equation (despite Ocon’s bad chassis fitting this type of setback in a way, even though its not a race event but a setup choice issue, and probably involving the own driver’s mindset too); and Vettel only had three really good races, namely Monaco, Baku and Hungary, and the rest was average or lacklustre, some marred by clumsy mistakes, whilst Stroll had been more consistent, finished on points more often than his teammate, finished the races ahead of him more often than not, but still not only really impressed on very few occasions but also scored considerably less points for the championship. Even considering the luck involved, it seems accurate to give more credits to the driver that reached the higher race positions, unless the other had a nice amount of stellar performances standing out despite having enjoyed less luck, what’s not the case.

          The most tricky part I found was the midfield, albeit unsurprising.

          Yeah, and the most interesting part of it: people not knowing where exactly to put the Haas dragger crash kid Schumacher Jr. as he seems fast but no one knows for certain how much, and he’s clearly somewhat unreliable too. The hint is, what could he do if he was driving for Alfa Romeo or Williams? If the answer is only being found in a position to score one or no points overall excluding crazy races, he should be ranked 16th or below. If he’d score a decent amount of points, however, he should be some positions higher. Some defending of him in the Hungarian GP and another rare challenges against any drivers other than Mazespin (the most loathed driver by the media) suggested he’s capable of it, but uncertainty is still considerably high.

          1. people not knowing where exactly to put the Haas dragger crash kid Schumacher Jr. as he seems fast but no one knows for certain how much, and he’s clearly somewhat unreliable too.

            @rodewulf – lol, yes. I’d say the best explanation is drivers like RIC, PER, BOT performing so poorly with what they’ve got at hand. For me, I simply couldn’t put them any higher.

  17. So Keith, I take it this means that Nicholas Latifi is 17th in your ranking?

    My prediction for 4-1:

    4th: Lewis Hamilton
    3rd: Charles Leclerq
    2nd and/or 1st: Lando Norris, Max Verstappen

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