Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo, Albert Park, 2022

2022 mid-season driver ranking part 2: 15-11

2022 F1 season

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The second part of RaceFans’ mid-season driver rankings covers the drivers in the lower middle end of the table.

15 – Zhou Guanyu – Alfa Romeo

Zhou Guanyu

Beat team mate in qualifying3/13
Beat team mate in race1/8
Races finished9/13
Laps spent ahead of team mate71/585

As the only rookie on the Formula 1 grid for 2022 and having been awarded a race seat over the driver who beat him for last year’s Formula 2 title – Oscar Piastri – there was always going to be an extra level of scrutiny over Zhou Guanyu this season.

However, while the rookie class of 2021 all had major struggles at various stages in their first campaigns in Formula 1, Zhou has acquitted himself fairly admirably by comparison. It’s hard to think of any major mistakes or embarrassing blunders made by China’s first ever Formula 1 race driver over his first 13 races so far. Even his lowlight of the season, a horrific accident at the start of the British Grand Prix, was entirely out of his control.

Zhou benefited from his Alfa Romeo being quick from the start of the season, taking a point on his grand prix debut in Bahrain. He was not the best qualifier at the start of the year, often lining up multiple rows behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, but his talent for scything his way up the field quickly earned him praise from his Alfa Romeo team for his racecraft.

Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Red Bull Ring, 2022
Zhou has been fairly clean in his rookie year
Bottas collected decent points over the first part of the season and Zhou struggled to back up his team mate’s haul. But he was not helped by multiple technical failures that took him out of races in Miami, Barcelona, Baku and Paul Ricard, where he was technically classified. Zhou has suffered more mechanical retirements than any of his peers so far this season.

When Alfa Romeo began to lose ground in the pecking order, Zhou’s form seemed to pick up. He reached Q3 for the first time in a wet Montreal while Bottas was eliminated, before taking his second points finish the day after. He took ninth on the grid in Silverstone before his retirement, but Paul Ricard was perhaps his sloppiest weekend, missing the Q1 cut with a mistake, losing four places at the start and earning a penalty for spinning Mick Schumacher.

His critics might have grounds to point to the points deficit between Zhou and Bottas, but that alone does not tell the whole story of a driver who has shown he is more than competent in a Formula 1 car. If Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda deserved second seasons after their rookie campaigns – and they did – then Zhou is on a path to doing the same.

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14 – Sebastian Vettel – Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel

Beat team mate in qualifying7/10
Beat team mate in race6/10
Races finished9/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate323/627

Although it was not known at the time that it would be Sebastian Vettel’s final season in Formula 1, looking back it’s hard to think of how his last year in F1 could have started any worse than it did.

Missing the first two races of the season due to a positive covid test, Vettel was already on the back foot when he returned to the cockpit in Melbourne compared to his fellow drivers who had two rounds’ worth of experience in Formula 1’s new ground effect era underneath them. His opening race weekend could hardly have gone worse. A mechanical failure cost him most of Friday running, he crashed in final practice and was lucky to get out at all in qualifying, then went off track on lap ten falling to the back before crashing out on lap 23.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Albert Park, 2022
Vettel endured a nightmare first race in Melbourne
But after such a nightmare weekend, he followed it up brilliantly in Imola to take seventh place and Aston Martin’s first points of the season. Miami was another frustrating Sunday where a late clash with protege Mick Schumacher cost another points finish, but he continued to knock of the door of points finished after Aston Martin introduced their big upgrade package in Barcelona.

Baku was the best result of the season, securing sixth place after Yuki Tsunoda was forced to pit despite having a brief trip down an escape road along the way. Poor qualifying performances hampered Aston Martin over the run prior to the summer break, but Vettel managed to keep gaining positions in races. Multiple racing incidents at the Red Bull Ring left him frustrated, before he was denied a point in Paul Ricard after a last lap battle with team mate Stroll. Hungary provided his fifth points finish of the season, but largely due to Stroll being made to move over to allow him to attack Esteban Ocon with superior tyres in the closing laps, with Stroll having had the measure of him in the race up to that point.

Vettel will not be adding to his tally of four world championships before he hangs up his helmet, but it seems he is on track to soundly beating his far younger team mate in the championship standings by season’s end.

13 – Alexander Albon – Williams

Alexander Albon

Beat team mate in qualifying11/12
Beat team mate in race7/8
Races finished10/13
Laps spent ahead of team mate491/145

After being unceremoniously dropped by Red Bull at the end of the 2020 season and spending a year pulling late nights in the simulator, Alexander Albon returned to the Formula 1 grid to fill the Williams seat vacated by George Russell for 2022.

Still in the midst of transition and looking ahead to the future, Williams did not just need a driver, but a leader. Given that Williams announced they had signed Albon to a multi-year contract extension at the start of the summer break, it appears they are satisfied they have found what they are looking for in Albon.

The Williams FW44 is likely the slowest car in the field, yet that did not stop him from progressing to Q2 at his first attempt in Bahrain and taking a respectable 13th place finish on his F1 return. Jeddah was less successful, earning a penalty for a misjudged move on Lance Stroll late in the race, but he produced one of the drivers of the season so far in Melbourne. Starting from the very back of the field after a penalty, Albon ran 57 of the 58 lap race on hard tyres to put himself in a position to emerge ahead of Zhou Guanyu in tenth after a slow pit stop and claim the team’s first point in tenth.

Alexander Albon, Williams, Albert Park, 2022
Albon ran almost the entire race on one set of tyres in Melbourne
Two more strong weekends in Miami and Imola only further added to his status as one of the best performing drivers of the season up to that point, but then the next two rounds would serve to tank his average rating. A messy race in Monaco saw him earn a penalty for missing the chicane, appear to hold up Charles Leclerc under blue flags, run off at Sainte Devote twice and clip the Rascasse barrier trying to pass Zhou Guanyu, eventually leading to his retirement. Floor damage gained over the kerbs early in Barcelona left him off the pace and he earned a five second penalty for exceeding track limits multiple times.

When Williams gave him the updated car, he was unable to make the most of it in Silverstone when he was eliminated in Q1 and then hit in the melee at the start. At the Red Bull Ring, he qualified strongly but dropped to 15th in the sprint race with a penalty for pushing Lando Norris off track then clashed with Sebastian Vettel. Breaking his front wing on the opening lap in Hungary by hitting Stroll effectively ended any chances of a decent run before the summer break began.

Even if it is near the back of the grid, Alexander Albon has proven he is deserving of being back on the grid with some strong performances so far in 2022. Now Williams need him to give them more as they fight to avoid finishing bottom in the constructors’ championship.

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12 – Esteban Ocon – Alpine

Esteban Ocon

Beat team mate in qualifying4/12
Beat team mate in race6/10
Races finished12/13
Laps spent ahead of team mate315/691

Esteban Ocon has enjoyed a solid season so far in 2022. He may not have quite the standout results and performances as many of his rivals, but he his quietly amassed 58 points over the first 13 races of the season so far, leaving in eighth place in the constructors’ championship.

It would be easy to look at the stats and compare him to team mate Fernando Alonso and assume that he is showing his far older team mate how to do it in 2022, but that’s not the case. Although Ocon has been a regular points earner for Alpine and has played his role in helping them earn fourth in the constructors’ championship at this stage of the season.

Ocon’s best performances came at Barcelona, moving from 12th on the grid to finish a comfortable seventh, and at the Red Bull Ring where he qualified fifth and finished the grand prix in fifth after losing fourth to George Russell’s recovering Mercedes in the closing laps. Only a fuel pump failure at Silverstone denied him what could have been a six race scoring streak leading into the summer break.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Hungaroring, 2022
Ocon has raced team mate Alonso very hard at times
But despite his solid finishes, he has courted controversy a concerning number of times. In Monaco, Ocon was lucky not to receive two penalties for defending from Lewis Hamilton in a very aggressive manner, eventually dropping out of the points due to a five second penalty. Later in the year, he was handed another penalty in Paul Ricard when he pitched Yuki Tsunoda into a spin on the opening lap.

Even his own team mate had reason to complain about his actions. In both Jeddah and at the Hungaroring, Alonso was less than impressed with how hard his team mate defended from him while they battled on track. Whether or not that may have contributed to Alonso’s decision to switch to Aston Martin for next season is unsure, but probably unlikely.

Given the performance gap between the front teams and the midfield, there is little opportunity for Ocon to challenge for podiums at present. But while Alpine will be more than happy for him to keep collecting points in their battle with McLaren, a few fewer incidents through the second phase of the year will not be unwelcome.

11 – Pierre Gasly – AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly

Beat team mate in qualifying7/12
Beat team mate in race5/7
Races finished10/13
Laps spent ahead of team mate393/614

After impressing so frequently in 2021 by putting his AlphaTauri into the top six grid positions more times than many would have ever expected, the 2022 season has seen Gasly and his team brought back down to earth with far fewer points than they had amassed at this stage last year.

With a less capable car comes fewer opportunities to score strong results, yet Gasly has generally taken advantage of the times when he has been within reach of a decent finish. He suffered bad luck in Jeddah by pitting just before the early Safety Car but managed to claw his way back to finish eighth despite severe abdominal pain in the final laps. In Monaco, he was knocked out in Q1 thanks to a red flag caused by his team mate, but only just missed out on a point when he was promoted to 11th at the chequered flag.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Baku Street Circuit, 2022
Gasly ran fourth until the closing laps in Baku
By far his strongest weekend came in Baku, where the AlphaTauri was especially strong. Taking sixth on the grid to split the two Mercedes, he ran in fourth into the final third of the race before being passed by Lewis Hamilton, eventually finishing fifth. However, while being his best result of the season, Baku was also the last time he or team mate Yuki Tsunoda scored any points before the summer break.

His best chance of scoring again came at Silverstone, but being hit by his team mate resulted in his later retirement. Multiple penalties in Austria for track limits and hitting Sebastian Vettel ruined his race, while he struggled for pace at Paul Ricard and finished well outside the points.

In the final race before the break at the Hungaroring, Gasly was left with a mountain to climb after he was eliminated in Q1 when his best time was deleted for a contentious track limits call. Taking a new power unit forced him to the pit lane and he showed better pace than his team mate, leading to his team telling Tsunoda to allow him by. He finished out of the points in 12th, but still did well to do so after starting from the pit lane in a race where only one car did not take the chequered flag.

With Gasly apparently set for another season with AlphaTauri for next year, there’s no pressure on him for the rest of 2022. But Gasly will be hoping for more opportunities to take points once racing begins again.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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59 comments on “2022 mid-season driver ranking part 2: 15-11”

  1. Ocon in 12th… really ?
    Look at his stats versus Alonso ,Suggests at least a 50-50 record against him.

    1. Yeah.. but the stats don’t paint even half the picture. Alonso looked far quicker in almost every quali session and raceday. Alonso managed to nearly take pole position in Canada, and put in some mega performances all year. Ocon was just mediocre as always. There were no highs at all for Ocon, other than some lucky finishes in front of his teammate when Alonso suffered from poor strategy or reliability.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th August 2022, 10:21

        although in the end, alonso in canada did a worse job on race day than Ocon, and by the way he was acting, cost both himself and his team mate some points.

        1. Alonso had an engine air leak costing him straight line speed in the Canada race and alpine screwed up his strategy. Don’t forget those points

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            19th August 2022, 12:05

            I’m not forgetting them. I’m pointing out that he lost himself yet more by giving himself a penalty. And if he had let Ocon trough, it is unlikely that the team will have lost as many points as they did.

        2. @thegianthogweed

          although in the end, alonso in canada did a worse job on race day than Ocon, and by the way he was acting, cost both himself and his team mate some points.

          How many points did Alonso cost himself in Canada? Maybe four, after being put in that situation because of his team’s sheer incompetence, let alone that stewarding is even less inconsistent than last year. Technical issues definitively cost him more points even on that race, as at least 4th-5th finish was on the cards.

        3. @thegianthogweed

          although in the end, alonso in canada did a worse job on race day than Ocon, and by the way he was acting, cost both himself and his team mate some points.

          How many points did Alonso cost himself in Canada? Maybe four, after being put in that situation because of his team’s sheer incompetence, let alone that stewarding is even more inconsistent than last year. Technical issues definitively cost him more points even on that race, as at least 4th-5th finish was on the cards.
          And costing his team mate points? It’s laughable when Ocon is defending like crazy against his team mate but not against drivers in other teams. Hamilton and Verstappen, for instance, they never have to bother trying to pass their team mates in the same strategy, they go for different strategy or are simply waved through when going faster, but Alonso is often left hung to dry having to pass a fruitlessly menace-on-track Ocon. Alpine is as horrible in race planning as Ferrari, and soon Alonso came to realize it and that probably played a part on his choice for switching teams.

    2. But stats done tell you the whole story otherwise what would be the point of a ranking? Why not just rank them in championship order then?

      1. The point of a ranking is to look at other measures of performance other than points, but has to be based on something, no?
        I can’t believe a guy that is holding up like ocon against one of the best drivers and who has destroyed multiple team mates, is ranked so low

        1. But he is not holding up well is he. He looks so slow in 95% of the sessions compared to Alonso, it is only circumstance that he is ever in the the same realm as Alonso. No sheer pace, no shinning moments. Alipne must be trembling at the thought of him as there lead driver.

    3. Alonso has been cost a minimum of 30 points due to issues beyond his contr. Let us run through exactly how much bad luck, but particularly awful reliability and team performance (pits and strat) Alonso has had and it’s mostly come when big points were on offer:

      R1: Q8 / P9 power unit issues (overheating and stuff)

      R2: Q7 and P7 when he had a water pump failure on lap 36

      R3: In quali, Alonso was on lap that would have seem qualify at least on row 2 until a hydraulic failure going into turn 13 threw him off the track due to being unable to downshift.

      R4: Q9, but Mick slid and tank slapped and broke his side pod, putting him out of the race.

      R5: Q11 / P8 (P11 after penalties)

      R6: yet another new PU after only 5 races = going into race #6 means put him at the back yet he still finishes P9.

      R7: Q7/P7 in Monaco

      R8: Q10/P7 in Baku

      R9: Q2 in rain becomes P7 after engine clipping problems and bad strategy that saw him get stuck behind Ocon

      R10: Q7 / P5

      R11: Just Q8 for sprint due to a damaged floor

      Sprint: DNS due to electrical issue

      R12: Q9 / P6

      R13: Q6 / P8 despite a terrible Alpine strategy and Ocon blocking him like a maniac

      (Austria: Case Study of an Amazing Drive Ruined by Alpine)

      There’s more I could have cited. Austria though stands out as the most frustrating, preventable example:

      Consider where FA would’ve been given half a chance (even starting from the P9 he got with a damage floor in quali). Let’s walk through the weekend of disaster:

      1. FA was almost .5 quicker than Ocon in P1 and was showing top 6 quali speed in quali until his floor got damaged in Q2. But P9, no biggie w/a high chance of gaining at least 2 places on lap 1.

      2. Too bad though: car DOA for sprint

      3. Storming drive: He goes from last to P5 despite a terrible strategy that never gets him in clean air to do something w/his amazing race pace and stuck in DRS trains. Maintaining pace on ancient tires, FA pulls off a miracle drive from LAST to P5

      4. Just when Alonso SEEMS to finally get some EARNED luck w/VSC providing an opp to make what should be his first + only stop and lose just 2 places

      5. Emerging P7 w/new softs AND a lot of competitors ahead on worn rubber the sky is the limit here…

      6. Or it should have been…except this is Alpine and they botch the stop and force him into a third stop. He drops to P14 w/9 laps to go.

      7. But Alonso’s drive gets even better and he delivers a miraculous charge:
      * At this point, not only is there a 20s gap to P10 Bottas w/just 9 laps remaining, there are 3 cars to pass before he even gets to his gearbox.
      * Despite a DRS train, he not only passes all of them, he’s closing Bottas at 2+ seconds a lap for 9 laps straight
      * And amazingly gets Bottas for P10…

  2. Can’t disagree much with these rankings. The only point of debate would be Albon, who has been pretty impressive and consistent this season. I would rate Albon higher than Gasly and Ocon this year. Albon #11, Gasly#12 and Ocon #13.

    1. Yeah, that seems fair. Albon has more often than not had solid and consistent drives.

    2. @todfod @bascb I think that’s absolutely fair! Looking back, his Monaco and Spain races really harmed his standing as it is pretty tight in the midfield.

  3. What an awful ranking. Vettel is equal on points with Gasly in the 9th fastest car. And Gasly is 11th, Vettel 14th?

    1. Its not only about points. If that was the case then the ranking would be championship points and there wouldn’t be a point to this article. Drivers have off days and bad luck or vise versa. Overall performance is what is key.

      1. Vettel-7-3 in qualifying, 16-4 in points over Stroll
        Gasly-7-5 in qualifying, 16-11 in points over Tsunoda

        And don’t forget Stroll beat Tsunoda last year with a much inferior car.
        This is a clueless ranking in every aspect.

  4. Overall, decently fair rankings, although Ocon’s is perhaps a bit undeservedly low.

  5. Gasly is just to high with what he showed us he should be near Yuki…
    Vettel 11 he is pushing very hard with that car.
    Albon 12 He drives the car just to the maximum with a car who was 10th best
    Ocon 13 With that car he should be constant in the top 10 which he doesn’t do
    Zhou 14 why he did too bad for a rookie he is just a bit unconstant
    Gasly 15 It’s not his Season and i ignore his past year results otherwise he would behind Yuki……..

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      19th August 2022, 8:43

      I think vettel was about right to only be a few positions ahead of stroll. And I think you have put him too high. If it wasn’t for ricciardo hitting him and team orders in hungary, stroll would have finished in the points more often than vettel. Also, out of the number of races we can compare, it will have been 5 – 5 in terms of who finished ahead. Then there is the number of laps ahead too, and they are already basically equal.

      Vettel has been just fractionally better than Stroll this season in my opinion.

      1. What are you watching?
        Vettel has over 3 tenths a gap over Stroll this year. And beat Stroll by huge, monstrous margins in Baku and Monaco.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          19th August 2022, 13:19

          I’m stating facts. If it wasn’t for hungary and team orders, stroll would have finished in the points more often than vettel. That doesn’t make him better though, but to me he has been a little more consistent. And in terms of who finished ahead, you just need to read the section about vettel and some of the head to head battle statistics to find out more. If it wasn’t for hungary team orders and ricciardo spinning stroll, in the races that are fair to compare they will have finished ahead of one another 5 times each, and had an almost idenltical number of laps ahead of each other too.

          Vettel has had a few races at a more impressive level than stroll managed at any point, but averaged out, vettel has only been slightly better than Stroll.

          1. Personally I don’t care much about race H2H. I only care about points and qualifying. It’s just a bit meaningless to me. I don’t remember Stroll passing Vettel on track this year. So the qualifying(7-3) and points(16-4) are what’s important.

          2. If you look it that way, i.e. stating facts, Ocon should be ahead of Alonso because he has more point and was more times ahead in races they both finished. Right?

          3. Alonso is ahead in the qualifying battle.

          4. How can you take team orders at Hungary (a race where Seb was also compromised by strategy) into account yet not consider the strategy blunder at Montreal and crashes caused by others at Austria and Miami that cost Seb? There’s either blatant bias / an agenda at play or you haven’t been paying that much attention to the midfield chaos

  6. Gasly 11th? What? What are you watching, where is Magnussen? The mistakes both these do when on good points makes up for Mag being aggressive and faster than Mick and on Gasly’s case, he was faster than Tsunoda in most races but he isn’t just down because of his team, he just slow and on a pack he gets himself into trouble.

  7. Albon was better than 13th.

    The car is still the worst in the entire field, but he really pushed that car to bring home 3 points…in half a season. Williams rarely got 1 point in a full season, the past 5 years or so.

    And of course he thrashed his teammate, albeit coming from a 1-year hiatus, but that’s not really a high benchmark tbh.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      19th August 2022, 8:50

      The car this year hasn’t always been clearly last though. Sometimes aston martin on race day have had something seriously wrong with their car to the point where i would say they have been the worst, and sometimes haas too. It has been inconsistent in terms of which team was the worst I’d say. Otherwise you should give latifi credit for beating one or two drivers in nearly half the races this season! I think Albon is about right. Remember he’s also had some bad races as well as penalties for ignoring blue flags (as well as a missed one for almost an entire lap in monaco) then he wrecked his floor in spain allowing his team mate to finish well above him. He’s had too many errors to be any further up to me.

  8. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    19th August 2022, 9:13

    Gasly is rated too high and Vettel to low but think it is marginal between 11th and 14th.

    The top 10 is right now curious in which order they are placed, in my view it should be:
    10 Magnussen
    9 Bottas
    8 Perez
    7 Alonso
    6 Sainz
    5 Hamilton
    4 Norris
    3 Russell
    2 Leclerc
    1 Verstappen

    1. Why Sainz and Hamilton ahead of Perez and Alonso ? Sainz has made several mistakes and is consistently slower than Leclerc. Hamilton has had a few good races lately but he has clearly underperformed for most of the season. Alonso has had very impressive performances and Perez has been very consistent (as RB’s second driver) except for the last two races.

      1. If you don’t have anything logical to say don’t say it. Hamilton is and always will be 100 times better than Perez.

        1. Wow … fanaticism at its highest … It is not about who is better but about how they have performed this season (Keith, please correct me if I am wrong). HAM is better than PER, of course. But that is not the issue. HAM has had a terrible year so far, struggling with his car much more than his teammate. He is catching up but this doesn’t take away his very poor performances in the beginning of the year. He is still behind his teammate.

          1. So Hamilton who has beaten Russell 8-5 in races this year is doing a worse job than Perez who has got beaten 12-1 in races against Max? Just be a bit logical.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th August 2022, 10:49

        Perez hasn’t been that good this year. Better than last year but not by that much. There have been 3 weekends where he hasn’t progressed through to Q3 in a car that has been either best or at worst 2nd best. He’s had the fortune of sprint qualifying saving him from a poor starting grid position once or twice too.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      19th August 2022, 10:29

      I certainly can’t see how russell can be rated higher than Hamilton at this stage. Hamilton has had much worse luck, and russell has barely had any bad luck, and plenty of the opposite. While all this is going on, hamilton is incredibly close to him in the standings.

      Sainz has also been responsible for at least 2 of his retirements and realistically in the race that he won, he will have not even be on the podium without good fortune. Verstapen, leclerc and hamilton likely will have beaten him. He even made mistakes that race. Poor start and lost out to verstappen, but then got a free restart, then later he drove off track, got passed by verstappen again only for verstappen to have issues and retire.

      Sainz has only has had one or two great races. He’s been pretty much the same level as Bottas and perez I’d say overall. So only just in the top 10.

      1. I have to agree, Hamilton was undone by a few safety car calls early in the season that flattered Russell. Overall on race day, Russell has seldom matched his race pace throughout the GP.

        Having said that Ham has not been perfect, I would.place him 3rd.

    3. Especially Sainz that high seems to focus too much on the latter races.
      most likely: Max Charles LandoLonso RusHam BotPer MagSainz

    4. Verstappen and Hamilton are still the stand out drivers this season. Even if there are good reasons to distrust everything Wolff says, it’s probably no coincidence that Hamilton started to pretty emphatically out perform Russell when Mercedes claimed they had stopped using Hamilton to ‘experiment’.

      Leclerc and Alonso have both had great and also some pretty bad races, but are still very solid and have on occasion seemingly wrestled their cars into competitive positions.

      Russell and Norris have been good, but they haven’t done anything particularly special. Russell has been rather lucky, but he also put himself in positions to benefit – sometimes deliberately so, and that’s just good race craft rather than simple luck.

      Pérez and Sainz have been disappointing, both clearly failing to get all there is to get out of their class of the field cars. They’ll probably make the top 10 because they’ve won a race each.

      1. That’s a solid take for me MichaelN

        Sainz started with a lot of mistakes and mishaps, Leclerc has had them lately. Part of it might be the team, but even so, a lot more clear mistakes when it counted than Verstappen, agree that both Russell and Norris have especially had some great qualifying that kept them in the race on Sunday.

        I do think that in this ranking Gasly is a bit high and Vettel a bit low, Ocon maybe too though he has in general been a bit lacklustre, and do still have to say that in general the ranking has trouble separating a bad car from a good car; if those in a bad car are at best a few places ahead of there teammates but clearly behind others that made more mistakes, it’s a bit disappointing even if understandable.

      2. Agree mostly but we have to give some leeway to Leclerc. His error in Imola was dumb but in France, it was fueled for sure by Ferrari’s incompetence.

        I think he is closer to Verstappen and Hamilton (in performances) than Alonso at the moment.

        Norris is also better than Russell imo. He is the only midfield driver with a podium this season so far. And in most races, he maxed out his possible result. Hungary is a good example of futility when you are in midfield, he finished 7th and the car in front was Leclerc at 60-something seconds.

  9. Vettel behind Albon and Gasly? Don’t agree with that. That said, Aston Martin has made it difficult for their drivers with their woeful one-lap pace that has them starting every race way behind where their race pace is.

    Albon also didn’t “appear” to hold up Leclerc in Monaco, he openly admitted after the race that he ignored the blue flags on purpose.

    Agree with Ocon being in the bottom half. The Alpine is consistently the 4th fastest car so Ocon has no business being any lower than 8th, which he often enough is, especially in qualifying.

  10. Next year Alonso wouldn’t be any better than Vettel at Aston Martin. But he would still be in the top 10 because he is everyone’s fan favourite. The hatred on Vettel is disgusting by most F1 fans and followers. Even here ranking him among some journeyman drivers. He is the biggest loss to F1 since Nico Rosberg in 2016. Still has so much to give F1 on track and off track.

    1. No. Alonso would be rated highly because he is still performing at a very high level. Vettel not so much anymore. Since his ferrari days in 2019 he’s been on a downward decline. These rankings are based on driver performances this year so far, not who has been the better driver throughout his prior career.

      1. In 2020
        Ocon-62 points Ricciardo-119 (15-2 in qualifying)
        Stroll-75 points Perez-125(10-4 in qualifying)

        In 2021
        Alonso-81 points Ocon-74(11-11 in qualifying)
        Vettel-43 points Stroll-34(12-8 in qualifying)

        In 2022
        Alonso-41 points Ocon-58(7-5 in qualifying)
        Vettel-16 points Stroll-4(7-3 in qualifying)

        I always admired Alonso and throughout his career he was very consistently good unlike Vettel who was a bit up and down. But his comeback hasn’t been particularly impressive to me. But still a very good F1 driver just like Vettel.

        1. Ah, you mean he didn’t dominate ocon like ricciardo did at renault, that’s a good point, but it also might’ve been a bad year for ocon, he’s not a terrible driver generally.

          1. Stroll improved from his 2017-2019 days. As did Ocon from his 2020. But Vettel is beating Stroll by bigger margins than Alonso is beating Ocon. So I just can’t see how Alonso is much of an improvement over Vettel. The car is a bit up and down but Vettel was the star of qualifying in both Monaco and Azerbaijan.

          2. Janith

            So I just can’t see how Alonso is much of an improvement over Vettel.

            He simply is. Vettel faded a bit on his will to fight on track. But on the other hand I genuinely would like people to elaborate on claims of Alonso being past his prime. Apart from the points standings which are affected by so many variables outside of the driver’s control (mechanical failures, collisions from behind, etc.), Alonso disbelievers are really left grasping at straws. He has been so faster than Ocon this season in FPs and Quali, usually 0.5 seconds of margin on hand, and even beyond his occasional next-to-miracles on track (like P2 in Canada quali, possible front row – P4 at the very least – on the dry qualifying at Melbourne if not for that bizarre oil leak making him not able to steer right and crash, and coming back to 10th in Austria starting from the back plus one extra pit stop due to tyre issue) there were consistently good or very good racecraft and performances from him most of the time. People generally don’t know how to factor out bad luck, then it looks like he only had his days and that’s it, being average on the rest. Not true. Every weekend bar two (Bahrain and Miami) he definitely looked a better overall performer than Ocon, who’s not great but is reliable. He heavily outqualified and outraced him in many weekends as well (Imola, Monaco, Baku, Silverstone, Paul Ricard) so in fact Alonso currently is, driving capabilities wise, at one of his best seasons ever since 2012, but it all went invisible for some who are too lazy to look into details and just know the final scoreline.

          3. @rodewulf

            Nothing against Alonso but in 2020
            Ricciardo 15-2 in qualifying
            against Ocon
            119-62 in points
            Since 2021
            Alonso 18-16 in qualifying against Ocon
            58-41 in points

            Alonso is self promoting. He is noway near his prime. Otherwise Ocon is more closer to him than teammates like Massa, Button and Raikkonen. Neither is Vettel. But Vettel does have a bigger gap against Stroll than Alonso against Ocon. So I Can’t see how Alonso is much of an improvement. And btw, 2018 Alonso is 100 times better than the current Alonso. He bageled(21-0) his teammate in qualifying and got 50 points to his teammates 12.

          4. Janith

            So I Can’t see how Alonso is much of an improvement. And btw, 2018 Alonso is 100 times better than the current Alonso.

            Mate, it’s clear that in 2018 Alonso had better luck (but also performed very well, not denying that), or Vandoorne had worse luck, or even a combination of both. If you look at his results alone in 2015, it’d look like he had been outperformed by Button, which was not quite the case if you look closely. Same story in 2017, when from a scoreline standpoint he actually didn’t “vardoorned” Vandoorne himself, scoring just a few points more than him across the full season. The thing is, points alone is a volatile thing when team mates are compared in average machinery, let alone that trash can with wheels they called McLaren-Honda. In the long run, they do converge, as Alonso is probably the driver with the biggest H2H points margin overall in the 21st century, but in the short term it might get obfuscated by a plethora of random factors.
            Ocon improved a lot on his consistency from 2019 but he’s still average, which makes him expected to outqualify any team mate a couple of times per year. In fact, even Stroll could do that once or twice against drivers with the caliber of Verstappen, Alonso and Hamilton, a fluke. Granted, Alonso’s last year quali pace wasn’t his best during some chunks of the season, but he improved to what is expected from him. His 2022 bad luck cloud and incompetent team affects not only his race results, but quali as well. He’s 8-5 ahead of Ocon in the quali battle but should be 10-3, if not for his team letting him down when he looked way faster than Ocon. His team mate also hit trouble in FPs and quali, I didn’t forget, but it rather conveniently always happened to him when he looked slower and sometimes even hopeless. To summarize, considering all FP1, FP2, FP3, Q1, Q2 and Q3 sessions, hence a bigger amount of data for one-lap pace, Alonso is thrashing Ocon 52-18 (Nano is faster than Esteban 3/4 of the time, and usually several tenths per lap quicker). He should have scored at least two times more points than Ocon easily as well, if not for poorer reliability and other additional issues. To keep it simple, let’s correct for terminal issues only, shall we:
            Bahrain: Alonso 2 – 6 Ocon (a race in which Alonso struggled for pace and Ocon clearly looked like the better of the Alpines despite being outqualified, so nothing changes)
            Saudi Arabia: Alonso 10 – 12 Ocon (Alonso looked set for at least 6th after passing his somewhat menace-on-track team mate, but retired and Ocon inherited the position)
            Australia: Alonso 20 – 16 Ocon (according to the-race, Alonso was most likely to finish 5th had his car not failed and he completed that mega lap in Q3 and started from at least second row, where everyone thought no Alpine had any business to be)
            Emilia-Romagna: Alonso 28 – 16 Ocon (Alonso had every chance of finishing that race behind Bottas had not been taken out by the Schumacher kid, and Ocon supposedly had issues in quali but never looked like a points threat in that weekend anyway)
            Miami: Alonso 28 – 20 Ocon (it was Alonso’s fault this time, wasn’t it? ;O – Even if stewarding is not consistent, in the end it was self-inflicted trouble)
            Spain: Alonso 34 – 24 Ocon (Alonso looked faster than Ocon over one lap like virtually every weekend this season, so without the miscommunication which put him out of Q1 he would very likely have finished 7th ahead of Ocon)
            Monaco: Alonso 40 – 24 Ocon (Alonso finally had a trouble free weekend and Ocon had a driving penalty, so nothing changes)
            Azerbaijan: Alonso 46 – 25 Ocon (Alonso enjoys a relatively straightforward weekend, performing better than Ocon as usual)
            Canada: Alonso 58 – 31 Ocon (rollercoaster weekend for Alonso after his heroics in quali and frustration in the race – if his run from P2 in the grid had been without power issues, he probably would finish P4)
            Great Britain: Alonso 68 – 35 Ocon (first time this season Alonso’s team mate found himself condemned to an insurmountable loss of points, retiring from P8 whilst Alonso had his more fruitful weekend of 2022 so far, lurking behind way better cars ahead of him until the chequered flag)
            Austria: Alonso 78 – 49 Ocon (only Alonso’s floor damage was self-inflicted, so had he started the sprint race, he almost certainly would have finished at least behind Ocon in both events, if not beaten him, as troubles aside he gave every indication to be faster than his team mate in both quali and race)
            France: Alonso 86 – 53 Ocon (while his team mate complains about an issue on his car which to this date is yet to be found, Alonso breezes through a very solid weekend)
            Hungary: Alonso 90 – 55 Ocon (despite beating Alonso in quali in somewhat a fluke, and showing no sense of team strategy in defense during the start, Alonso is finally let through by Alpine and he opens a nice gap to his team mate and fights for positions ahead, thus justifying their decision)
            If there was another factor or some incident that I forgot, please let me know. But notice that even if Alonso exaggerates in his loss of points (if it wasn’t 60 or 70, but in reality almost 50), even then he’s been destroying Ocon in terms of performance. If you take Austria out of the equation as an outlier, in which Ocon did well but also lucked into big (double, as sprint weekend) points by having a lonely ride topping the midfield without Alonso’s threat, then their scoreline adjusted for luck would be 80-41, with Alonso scoring practically two times what would be his total amount of points. This is nothing short of prime Alonso, like the final two thirds or three quarters of last season, if you’d ask me, given that his team mate is mediocre as a Formula 1 promise but has also been a solid midfield runner lately.

  11. I generally agree with this ranking. It started me thinking about Mercedes having two drivers where it would be a tough decision if you had to pick just one of them. That’s probably because they both rank extremely highly. So why not have a ranking of best team mates ( see below):

    Driver pairings ranked
    1. Mercedes
    2. Ferarri
    3. Redbull
    4. Alpine
    5. McLaren ( tough one given Ricciardo’s current form but a strong pairing considering it’s potential)
    6. Alpha Tauri
    7. Alpha Romeo + Aston Martin (can’t decide between them)
    8. Haas
    9. Williams

    1. It’s tough to rank the pairs as Mercedes’ drivers performed worse than Verstappen and Leclerc but better than Perez and Sainz.

      I don’t agree on the RBR and Ferrari ranking though: Verstappen ranks clearly higher than Leclerc and when evaluating all 13 races so far Perez is still a tad ahead of Sainz (who ‘woke up’ quite late this season).

      Also this season I’d rank the Alfa Romeo pair well above the Alpha Tauri pair (Zhou ahead of Tsunoda and Bottas well clear of Gasly), and put the AM pair way further down (both Stroll and Vettel had too many mediocre races).

      1. Don’t you think you are just repeating the Constructors Championship?

        1. No I’m not, but it’s no surprise there is some correlation there (hiring and performing).

      2. I agree with you @jff I was probably letting my memory of ’21 spec Gasly cloud my vision. The AT pair should be behind both AR and AM..
        There’s an argument for Redbull being ahead of Ferarri, Max is performing better than Charles but if I was team principal, choosing a driver, I’d have to go with Sainz who I believe has shown more pace than Perez but probably made more mistakes and was definitely more unlucky.

        Driver pairings ranked
        1. Mercedes
        2. Ferarri
        3. Redbull
        4. Alpine
        5. McLaren (tough one given Ricciardo’s current form but a strong pairing considering it’s potential)
        6. Alpha Romeo + Aston Martin (can’t decide between them)
        7. Alpha Tauri
        8. Haas
        9. Williams

  12. Not sure why Gasly is so high. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s great – but he’s been a bit anonymous this season so far. The only thing that Ocon has impressed me is the lengths he’ll go to keep Alonso behind him. Albon I think has performed better than both of them.

  13. So, I saw a post that said Daniel has had tons of car trouble. If so, it puts a slightly different light on his performances since a number of times he qualified and raced closely to Norris. If it came in races note covered by the troubles:

    Daniel had car issues in
    1. Bahrain
    2. Saudi
    3. Imola*
    4. Miami (q2)
    5. Barcelona
    6. Baku
    7. Montreal
    8. Silverstone.

    Add in some truly shocking strategy (Monaco setup, team orders in Aus/Baku, pit stops in Montreal in particular) and he’s not had a great run at it. Also any of the fp sessions there’s more issues in those too

    *His diffuser damage in Imola here bc it was self inflicted though he did have awful luck with red flag timing in quali that race.

  14. There’s no way I’d put Gasly over Ocon or Albon. Don’t see any justification for it.

  15. TOP 10

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