2014 F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings: Have your say
- 28th November 2014, 13:52 at 1:52 pm #287595Keith CollantineKeymaster
Who was the best driver in 2014? The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings will feature in the upcoming season review, and as always I’m interested to see how you rank the 24 drivers who competed in Formula One this year.
Who surprised you? Who disappointed you? Did the right person win the champion? Should someone besides Hamilton, Rosberg and Ricciardo have won a race?
Here are links to the Driver Form Guides for 2014 and a reminder of the mid-season rankings:
As usual a selection of some of the comments will feature in the rankings so I’m looking for at least one view on every driver.28th November 2014, 16:28 at 4:28 pm #287601AtticusParticipant
My rankings would be as follows (change compared to my mid-season rankings in parenthesis):
1. Ricciardo (-)
2. Hamilton (+6)
3. Bottas (+2)
4. Alonso (-2)
5. Kvyat (+5)
6. Massa (+8)
7. Vettel (-3)
8. Rosberg (+1)
9. Button (-6)
10. Magnussen (+5)
11. Hülkenberg (-5)
12. Grosjean (-5)
13. Vergne (-2)
14. Pérez (-2)
15. Bianchi (-2)
16. Räikkönen (-)
17. Gutiérrez (+2)
18. Maldonado (+2)
19. Kobayashi (-1)
20. Sutil (-3)
21. Stevens (new)
22. Lotterer (new)
23. Chilton (-2)
24. Ericsson (-2)
Notes (imagine the ‘I think’ prefix before each sentence):
Top 5 – Vastly improved form from Hamilton, especially in race with his Brazil spin being his single error. Still lacking pace in quali, but at least making fewer mistakes there as well. All this under championship pressure. Kvyat improved a lot despite scoring literally no points in the second half. Stellar performances in Monza, Singapore, Suzuka, Austin and Abu Dhabi – stats won’t reveal much of that. Still they can’t beat Ricciardo to my top spot, he literally made no errors whatsoever, while being stupidly fast. Bottas likewise, but he developed a nasty habit of making less than optimal starts in the second half of the season (Monza, Austin, Abu Dhabi). Alonso had Raikkonen too close for comfort a couple of times (Spa, Interlagos), so, while making no errors, still slips down the order a bit for me.
P6-10 – Newcomers include Massa, Magnussen (in a positive sense) and Button (in a negative). Massa eliminated his ‘rookie-like’ errors, like stalling on the grid in Silverstone, and hitting Magnussen in Hockenheim, was flawless and a couple of times faster than the highly-rated Bottas. Magnussen put on some spirited defensive drives (Spa, Monza), but faded as the season-ending flyaways kicked in. Button, at the same time, flourished and it’s only the vastly improved form of some of the above guys, that had him slip lower than his mid-season ranking. Vettel was unchanged in approach (fast, but being consistently beaten by teammate on pace bar Singapore), and Rosberg became an error-strewn driver under the weight of the championship fight, only really living up to expectations once (Interlagos).
P11-17 – Vergne put on some fantastic display of skills in his fight for retaining his seat (e. g. Singapore, Austin, Abu Dhabi), but still increasingly often ended up as the slower STR driver on pace. Hülkenberg and Grosjean slipped way down the order. The latter had Maldonado closer than in the first half of the season, however, the former had chassis problems, was unlucky and had to fight with an ill-developed car for much of the second half. Pérez kept up his usual finess on circuits filled with low-speed corners (Singapore, Sochi, Abu Dhabi), but was sometimes slower than his teammate even on these occasions. Bianchi, sadly, had way less opportunity than others to impress further but, tellingly, was fighting with a faster Sauber when he suffered his season-ending crash in Suzuka.
P18-24 – Gutiérrez and Maldonado both upped their game against their teammates, especially the former, who thus had teammate Sutil slipping down the order. Stevens impressed me on his debut with how well he advanced on a steep learning curve, taking huge chunks of times out of his gap to Kobayashi from session to session. Lotterer also seemed to be closer to the Japanese on his first outing than 2015 Sauber driver Ericsson managed up to that point in the season…28th November 2014, 16:28 at 4:28 pm #287602DicemanParticipant
Andre Lotterer – Didn’t have a real opportunity to show what he could do, but out-qualified his team-mate by a second in his debut, which is quite impressing.
Will Stevens – Didn’t impress, but didn’t do anything stupid either.
22. Esteban Gutierrez – Slow and boring.
21. Adrian Sutil – Same as above. Sauber could have scored some points in hands of a better driver.
20. Kimi Räikkönen – The biggest disappointment of the season. I didn’t expect him to beat Alonso, but surely he should have done better than Massa.
19. Max Chilton – I didn’t really notice him all the season. Seems like a nice bloke, but F1 won’t miss him.
18. Pastor Maldonado – Had some good weekends at the second half of the season, but overall another weak year from the Venezuelan.
17. Marcus Ericsson – Was pretty slow for most part of the season, but improved a lot in the end, especially his performance in Japan impressed me.
16. Kamui Kobayashi – Better than Ericsson, but not as clearly as I expected. Didn’t really show anything special, and despite his lovely character I don’t think he deserves another season.
15. Kevin Magnussen – Mega in Australia, rather poor since then. Was completely out-performed by Button. Deserves another chance, but not at Mclaren at the expense of Jenson.
14. Romain Grosjean – Was better than Maldonado for most part of the time. Didn’t show anything special.
13. Daniil Kvyat – Very strong in qualifying, but his race-craft still needs improving. A promising rookie, but maybe he should have stayed at Toro Rosso for another season?
12. Jean-Eric Vergne – Weak in qualifying, but scored most of Toro Rosso’s points and doesn’t deserve to get thrown away from the sport.
11. Sergio Perez – Was better against Hulkenberg than I expected. Still has his bad weekends, but the speed is there and I expect him to give Hulk a good run for his money next season.
10. Sebastian Vettel – Another big disappointment of the season. Seemed to be one step behind his team-mate all season.
9. Nico Hulkenberg – Hulkenberg was having a good season until Hungary, but then something happened to him. Whatever that was, I’m glad that we saw the real Hulkenberg in the last 2 races again.
8. Felipe Massa – Challenged Bottas very well especially in the second half of the season. Had way more bad luck than his team-mate, which explains part of the 52 points gap.
7. Jules Bianchi – Bianchi had a very strong season, and his performance in Monaco was pure magic. It almost makes me cry when I think what he could have achieved in the future.
6. Valtteri Bottas – Still makes some mistakes, and he really needs to do something to his starts, but overall very good season from Valtteri, making sure we Finns still have something to be proud of in F1.
5. Nico Rosberg – Beat Hamilton 12-7 in qualifying, which is quite a remarkable achievement. A shame he is not on the same level in the races, but I’m still hopeful Nico can win the WDC one day.
4. Jenson Button – Quietly impressive season from Jenson. Got most out of his car in almost every race, and even beat his team-mate in qualifying, which hasn’t happened for a while. I really hope this wasn’t his last season, he still has a lot to give to the sport.
3. Lewis Hamilton – I think this season we saw the most mature Hamilton ever. His reputation as a qualifying-specialist suffered a bit, but on the race-days his driving was mostly faultless. Didn’t crack under pressure at any point, and deserved his 2nd championship. At least more than his team-mate.
2. Fernando Alonso – Very Alonso-like season. Destroyed his team-mate, almost always got the maximum out of his car and as reward he gets 6th place in the WDC. Not surprising he finally decided to leave Ferrari.
1. Daniel Ricciardo – Absolutely stunning. Humiliated Vettel, who I thought was the best driver on the grid, and managed to win 3 races with the 3rd best car on the grid. Always maximized his opportunities. Future champion for sure.28th November 2014, 17:18 at 5:18 pm #287607PhilEReidParticipant
I think I’ll only rate the 18 drivers who completed the full season, but I’ll comment on the other four as well at the end
18: Adrian Sutil. I think he has been the worst, or very close to the worst, driver of the season. Probably the driver who did the least note worthy things of the season. Other than his good qualifying for Austin, I don’t remember a single thing he did. Granted the car wouldn’t have helped but still very disappointing.
17: Esteban Gutierrez. Again just another very uninspired season by Gutierrez. The only thing that places him just ahead of Sutil is that Sutil is a ‘veteran’ of the sport. As he was equal in both finishes ahead and qualifying ahead, I think the fact it’s his second year gives him that slight edge.
16: Pastor Maldonado. Ahead of where I put him at half season, but still not exactly great. I just think based on expectations, he has definitely performed ahead of Raikkonen this season as a whole. He hasn’t been good though.
15: Kimi Raikkonen. Easily the biggest disappointment of the season. For a world champion, this season has been utterly disastrous. He may have had his issues with the car, but to be completely embarrassed because of it… He should have got on top of the car more than he did. Sebastian Vettel who struggled with this years regulations was not as bad.
14: Kevin Magnussen. After all the potential that surrounded this guy, he hasn’t really impressed, at least since Australia that is. His first race of the season got me very excited for the rest of the season, getting a 3rd (which later became 2nd) on his first outing, he only went a matched one Lewis Hamilton. I was thinking that we’ve got another talented rookie on our hands, a world beater out of the box. Granted those expectations were definitely too high, however I still think he under performed to more realistic expectations.
13: Daniil Kvyat. Compared to last season when there was a clear stand-out rookie in Valterri Bottas, this year the rookies haven’t been exceptional. At least in the races. Kvyat looks like he’s absolutely got the speed and for me is the best rookie of the season.
12: Sebastian Vettel. Very disappointing. Very similar to Raikkonen’s season with one difference. He didn’t get completely demolished. Vettel, whilst definitely defeated by his team mate, he started to look slightly more comfortable towards the end of the season. Still not fantastic though but I still think he’s been better than all behind him.
11: Romain Grosjean. In the races they both finished in the first half, Grosjean was ahead 3-1 in the races they finished, and scored 8 fantastic points with two brilliant 8th places. His weekend in Spain was definitely a stand out race and I was genuinely surprised he managed a 5th in qualifying. That was special and to hold on to get points was brilliant. In the second half, however, it ended 2-4 in Maldonado’s favour, though at this point it was all really for nothing (other than a 9th for Maldonado which was a very good result). Grosjean I think is, for me, very difficult driver to rate after this season, possibly the hardest. I feel he has definitely performed very well, but given the car, it is too difficult to put him any higher I feel.
10: Sergio Perez. Definitely upped his game in the second half of the season, however overall he definitely wasn’t as good as Hulkenberg. He outscored Hulkenberg at the end 24-19 (assuming that there were no double points), but compared to the rest of the season, he wasn’t great still.
9: Jean Eric Vergne. Now here’s a driver who definitely deserves a seat in Formula One next season. It wont be with Toro Rosso, but I still believe he should be around just based on how competent he is in the races. He reminds me a not quite as good version, but still very good version, of Jenson Button. However, he’s still young and I think still has more to show. Will he ever be a world beater? Unlikely, but will he definitely score good points for a team? Absolutely. If I could, I’d replace Maldonado with Vergne at Lotus.
8: Felipe Massa. Improved a lot in the second half of the season, and it is not like he had a bad first half either. Assuming there were no double points, since Spa he scored the same amount of points as Bottas and had some very good drivers to boot (including his fantastic Abu Dhabi, Austin and Brazil races). However, there is a reason Bottas scored far more points in the end. Massa was too error prone on a number of occasions and whilst he proved this season he absolutely has speed and was a fantastic resurgence… It’s still not the greatest.
7: Nico Rosberg. I had Rosberg at 4th in the first half, however his second half of the season I found to be relatively poor. At least in the races that is. Spa was simply clumsy from himself, Monza was not good at all, Susuka was not either. Russia was another mistake from himself which ruined his race, and USA was once again another race that showed his race craft and ability is just not up to snuff. Brazil was his only good race in the second half of the season (a very good race), but 1 in 6 (races he completed with no car issues) is just not good enough.
6: Nico Hulkenberg. Now I know that Hulkenberg’s second half to the season was definitely not as good as his first, but I think his first half was so good that he gets to keep his place. He would have been behind Rosberg, but I think Rosberg’s second half was even worse and whilst his first half was better than Hulk’s (I think), his second half was far worse. His race in Abu Dhabi was absolutely fantastic, I think, for me, one of the top 5 drives by any driver of the season. I loved that result. He ended the season 3-4 compared to Perez in the second half, but the times he were ahead I thought were far more impressive.
5: Jenson Button. Easily the most improved driver on the second half. He basically did everything right since Belgium. He’s had one of those seasons that proves that he absolutely deserves to stay. His performances over the season have all been, for the most part, very very good in that Jenson Button way. A lot of the time not so stand out, but good enough. However, he did actually have a couple of stand out races which is why he places above Hulkenberg.
4: Valterri Bottas. I think the top 4 are by far the stand out top 4 of the season. Bottas has been absolutely phenomenal this season, and whilst he second half (like many others) isn’t quite as good as his first, it really isn’t that far off. The points difference to Massa is massive. The points difference given the points available to the team (generally anything from 3rd to 6th on average), the points gap at the end is rather large. And even when Massa had a much better second half than his first, with no double points both of them scored the exact same. So Massa being improved in the second half still only points wise matched Bottas who was slightly down on his first half. I think he’s proved that he is definitely world champion material.
3: Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton stays where I placed him in the first half of the season. The main reason for this is his qualifying performances. His race performances for pretty much the entire season have been phenomenal. Compared to Rosberg, in races where they both finished, Rosberg only won 4 races compared to Hamilton’s 8. In a season where a car had the potential to win every race (other than Canada), Rosberg got 5. I don’t think anyone doubts that Hamilton has comprehensively beaten Rosberg.
2: Daniel Ricciardo. Drops from 1st to 2nd. Not quite as good compared to Vettel as the first half, but he was still certainly better. He doesn’t drop to 3rd (or rather Hamilton doesn’t get promoted to 2nd) because Ricciardo was still further ahead of Vettel than Hamilton was of Rosberg performance wise. And whilst Vettel underperformed and Rosberg was better, it still shows that Ricciardo is another definite world champion contender. Fantastic season.
1: Fernando Alonso. Just, the man is so good. He has completely destroyed Kimi Raikkonen like no driver should be able to. I believe at every single race, if not for 1 or 2, he has performed at the maximum. The car clearly not being very good (behind the Williams and Red Bull and sometimes the McLaren), he still managed to score points in every race that he finished. He put in some fantastic racing performances against cars that should have blasted past. By being better than basically everyone on the grid he was able to benefit from every single time someone made a mistake. You can’t over perform a car, that’s impossible… But he damn near makes me believe it’s possible. I can’t wait to see what he can do in a race winning car again, hopefully he gets that next year. I just can’t see past him where he has a good car, I think he’d win the championship.
Chilton and Ericsson have been terrible.
Koboyashi was better than both of those however he wasn’t exactly spectacular, and I mean against Ericcson it’s hard to know how good he really was. The fact he was able to mingle with Bianchi sometimes in a slower car, I think he did a pretty good job.
And then there’s Bianchi. For me he has been exceptional this season. His points in Monaco was one of those performance that had me shouting with joy as he crossed the line. His move on Koboyashi was just brilliant. The whole weekend was just a happy occasion. He wiped the floor with Chilton, although to a slightly lesser degree than last season. The sad thing is that because his season was so good, I thought he was a shoe-in for a top drive because of it at some point… Forza Jules.28th November 2014, 17:51 at 5:51 pm #287615Craig WoollardParticipant
24. Andre Lotterer – Didn’t really get much of a chance to show what he could do, but kept it on the black stuff when the car worked.
23. Will Stevens – Had a better chance than Lotterer at the end of the day. He had a reasonable debut, and kept the car going without having too many dramas.
22. Marcus Ericsson – Ericsson’s first half of the season was terrible. Full of rookie mistakes, he did find some form from Spa onwards, however.
21. Max Chilton – Slight improvement on last year, but still well off the pace. Have to give him credit for turning up at Russia though. Doesn’t deserve a F1 drive.
20. Esteban Guttierez – Adrian Sutil should have been a far less formidable team mate than Nico Hulkenberg. Whilst he did just about match him, it’s nothing to write home about.
19. Adrian Sutil – The Sauber was not far off the Lotus at all, and more reliable, and it was way ahead of Marussia. So why did Sauber finish behind? Both of the Sauber drivers simply were not good enough.
18. Pastor Maldonado – Hasn’t crashed since Spa. That’s a long time. He came good in the second half of the season, and to beat Romain Grosjean on merit on a few occasions is no easy thing to do.
17. Kamui Kobayashi – Remember that the Caterham was the worst car on the grid this year. Kobayashi supposedly was not getting the same equipment as his team mate as well, so to beat one or two Marussias in a race is not an easy feat.
16. Jules Bianchi – Bianchi had a shaky start to the year, causing incidents. Scored points. Thrashed Chilton. Showed improvement as the season went on. Only driver to score 100% of his team’s points.
15. Kevin Magnussen – Magnussen’s rookie season was not too bad at all. If you ignore the rookie errors, in which he is entitled to make due to the fact that he was a rookie, he showed some blistering speed at times, but was not able to make the most of it on a number of occasions due to not his own doing. Germany springs to mind.
14. Kimi Raikkonen – I’m trying to find positives from this season for Raikkonen and I cannot find a single one. Alonso walked all over him. There’s no nice way to put it. Didn’t look interested half the time.
13. Sergio Perez – Showed pace. Crashed too much. Beat Hulkenberg more often than not but cost himself far too many points with needless incidents.
12. Daniil Kvyat – Rookie of the year. Didn’t show half the mistakes that Magnussen did, and qualified in a similar manner to Daniel Ricciardo on a number of occasions. He will need to start picking up points very quickly at Red Bull however. 22-8 is not a good score to be on the wrong end of.
11. Romain Grosjean – Grosjean’s aweesome first half of the season helps here, but he was somewhat more anonymous in the second half. Just misses out on a top 10 spot.
10. Jean-Eric Vergne – Vergne’s racecraft is definitely very, very good. His qualifying hasn’t improved enough to be any higher on my list. He had excellent runs at a number of races.
9. Felipe Massa – Much like Perez, Massa showed pace at a lot of times, and caused silly incidents at other times. The records will say that he beat Bottas more often than not, but both suffered a number of issues out of their control.
8. Nico Hulkenberg – Hulkenberg was a lot quieter this season, but still picked up a mean number of points. He nearly outscored both McLarens despite the silver car looking the quicker. He caused a few needless accidents though, notably with his team mate at Hungary.
7. Jenson Button – One of Magnussen’s biggest problems I feel was the form that Button showed this year. He clearly showed that he still has what it takes by delivering when it counts. It would be a huge shame to see either leave really.
6. Sebastian Vettel – On paper, it will say that Ricciardo demolished Vettel, but it was the German who suffered reliability issues more often than not. Notice how when it was Vettel who had issues, it was Vettel who was in front generally. He showed himself a lot better in the second half of the season, matching or beating Ricciardo. I do believe, however, that Vettel’s critics can no longer claim that ‘he can’t race’.
5. Nico Rosberg – Rosberg was the better driver on the Saturday, but there wasn’t much to choose between the two Mercedes. Hamilton was the better driver on the Sunday, but there wasn’t much to choose between the Mercedes. Sunday is where the points are, so that is why Rosberg is here. His drive at Canada was worthy of a championship. I expect him to come back stronger next year.
4. Valtteri Bottas – Bottas started off slowly but really came of age once we hit Europe. His second half of the season was a bit shaky, almost seeming a little bit agitated by Massa’s form, especially in qualifying. Delivered my drive of the season (Britain).
3. Lewis Hamilton – Brilliantly delivered 11 wins, but he had qualifying issues which he can only blame himself for. His recovery drive at Hungary was superb but at the end of the day he could have finished higher at there and at Germany…
2. Fernando Alonso – Probably Alonso’s best season to date. He walked over Raikkonen, and to finish practically level with Vettel and Bottas who were both in much better cars is rather remarkable. He suffered all of Ferrari’s Sunday technical problems too. His drive at Hungary was absolutely phenomenal, to beat Rosberg’s Mercedes on merit that day.
1. Daniel Ricciardo – If Ricciardo is not your driver of the year, then I will struggle to understand why he is not. Ricciardo was always there when Mercedes tripped up, and even when they didn’t trip up, he usually found his way onto the podium. Victories at Spa and Montreal where Red Bull should have been useless are absolute prime examples of how extraordinary Ricciardo has been this year. His qualifying has been excellent. His race pace has been excellent. His racecraft has been remarkable. His likeability has been exemplary. His starts have been a bit naff but he can work on those. He hasn’t completely walked all over Vettel, but he firmly shaded him. Even when Ricciardo had an off day, he still was just behind Vettel. Delivered my pass of the season (Italy on Vettel).28th November 2014, 18:27 at 6:27 pm #287619safeeuropeanhomeParticipant
22. Max Chilton Simply is not quick enough.
21. Marcus Ericcson Lucky he has a seat next year having made some truly unacceptable mistakes for the top level of motorsport in the world.
20. Adrian Sutil Not really a has-been, because he has never ever been that good. One half of one of the most uninspiring driver lineups of all time.
19. Esteban Gutierrez Too many mistakes and not enough speed which is not a good combination. Won’t be sorry to see him go, there are better drivers out there.
18. Pastor Maldonado Had horrible reliability, but again made a lot of routine mistakes that you would not expect a driver of his experience (and a race winner too don’t forget!) to be making. Hampered by a poor car, but he’s lucky he comes with plenty of cash as on performance alone I think he’d be struggling for a drive now.
17. Kimi Raikkonen Please James Allison, give Kimi a car with a responsive front end next season! My favourite driver but even I can say his results this year were really poor. Really wasn’t much of a competition against Alonso, which was one of the disappointments of the season. How much longer will he stick it out?
16. Kamui Kobayashi Did a reasonable job given how poor the car was, but didn’t get to see much of his legendary feistiness and overtaking as a result. Sadly I think his time in F1 is now over.
15. Jean-Eric Vergne Not quick enough in qualifying. Sadly with not enough seats on the grid to go around it looks like he’s going to miss out, which is unfortunate because he is a pretty good and reliable driver.
14. Kevin Magnussen Pretty quick but inconsistent and made some rookie errors. Unlike Button, his form seemed to drop off once the silly season for next year started. 5 or 6 races before the end of the season, I would have said give him another go next year but Button’s brilliant form has put a lot of doubt in my mind.
13. Sergio Perez Blows too hot and cold. Pretty average on the whole, apart from the podium in Bahrain. Don’t think Mclaren (or Ferrari) made the wrong decision letting him go.
12. Romain Grosjean Was impressive in the first part of the season but seemed to lose heart as the year went on, due to the ordinary machinery he was driving. That car had no right to qualify 5th in Spain, which was some great driving from Romain and the highlight of his season. Hopefully the Mercedes engine will put them further up the grid next year, he’d really started to get things together at the back end of 2013.
11. Daniil Kyvat Very promising speed, 5th place in qualifying at his home Grand Prix was a highlight. Let down by the reliability of his car a few times, but I think he will do a very good job when he steps up to Red Bull.
10. Jules Bianchi Gets into the top 10 for Monaco alone. Keep fighting Jules.
9. Nico Hulkenberg As ever, quick and consistent with many point scoring finishes. Needs to get into a top seat soon if time is not to pass him by.
8. Sebastian Vettel To finish ahead of his teammate only 3 times was a bit of a shocker for the reigning champion, and his form relative to Ricciardo’s was one of the surprises of the season. Had some reliability issues but even so Ricciardo was generally the quicker of the two. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt given he has performed well all the way back to 2008, but he really needs to step up next season and adapt to the new regulations if he wants to maintain his standing as one of the best drivers. Given Ferrari’s struggles though, it might be a while before that happens.
7. Felipe Massa I think the points table flattered Bottas a little bit, Massa was closer than it suggests. Was extremely unlucky with incidents (CAN, GBR, GER, AUS) and overall vastly improved over his last few years at Ferrari.
6. Valtteri Bottas Had the second quickest car at a lot of tracks and I can’t help feeling the very best drivers would have gotten more out of it. Scored 6 podiums but also made some mistakes. Still not convinced he has what it takes to be a world champion.
5. Nico Rosberg Had the best car, and some of his pole laps were really superb but the majority of his wins came when Hamilton had issues. Hard to put him any higher when Hamilton was nearly always the quicker driver on Sundays.
4. Jenson Button Very good, solid season from Jenson. His form when it became clear his drive was under threat, inexplicably, was tremendous. Many times he did what Jenson always has done, regularly bringing the car home for strong points. He still has a lot to offer the sport, he’s driving as well as ever.
3. Fernando Alonso Driving a pretty horrible car YET AGAIN he somehow got that Ferrari on the podium twice. Hungary was almost a miracle win, surely that would have one of the worst cars to win a race for a long time. He is rising higher and higher in my all-time greatest drivers list and surely nobody could ever begrudge him another title or two, his performances have been exceptional for over a decade now. He certainly shouldn’t be scrapping for 9th and 10th places.
2. Daniel Ricciardo Outstanding season. Vettel had reliability problems, but even so Ricciardo was faster than a 4x world champion at most of the tracks. Started as he meant to go on with the (unfortunately stripped) 2nd place in Australia, and he just went from strength to strength. 3 brilliant wins, and some of his overtaking was just incredible, the one on Vettel at Monza in particular. He surpassed everyone’s expectations this season, but now the pressure will be on him to lead the team and challenge for world titles. By the looks of things, he will take all that in his stride.
1. Lewis Hamilton I would rate this as Hamilton’s strongest season, and put him at number 1 over Ricciardo for one simple reason. Since the first wheel was turned and it became clear that Mercedes had a dominant car all the pressure and all the expectation has been on Hamilton, as the supposed “star” in the team to dominate and win the world title. And he delivered, pure and simple. He kept focused even in the face of setbacks, 3 times coming back from more than a race win’s deficit, dealing with the Monaco and Spa situations very well and ending up with more than double the wins of his teammate, showing exceptional maturity in his driving. Made a few mistakes in qualifying which he needs to cut out, but his race craft and wheel to wheel racing was exemplary.28th November 2014, 21:36 at 9:36 pm #287629GeorgeParticipant
OK here goes:
22: Esteban Gutierrez Another anonymous season, got close to Sutil but never looked like extracting the maximum from the car.
21: Adrian Sutil Must have expected a better car from Sauber, but never delivered when points were possible.
20: Max Chilton Another season of steady improvement for Chilton, but never looked like anything other than a backmarker.
19: Marcus Ericsson Showed occasional signs of talent but generally well beaten by Kobayashi, and made a lot of mistakes.
18: Kimi Raikkonen Disastrous season that managed to make even Massa’s time against Alonso look good. Never looked at ease in the F14T but began to show some improvement towards the end of the season.
17: Kevin Magnussen Started the season well but it was all downhill from there, made several questionable racing moves which got him in trouble with the stewards unnecessarily but his race pace was generally not too bad.
16: Kamui Kobayashi Occasionally mixed it with faster cars in what was a bit of a barge, but never got to show much of his racing ability. Missed out at Monaco due to an opportunistic and forceful move from Bianchi, but delivered as expected of someone with his experience.
15: Pastor Maldonado Given perhaps the most difficult car and showed occasional glimpses of his quality, as he did at Williams. Still too error prone but showed better than expected against Grosjean.
14: Romain Grosjean Drove the wheels off his Lotus when it was working well, suffered when it was more wayward, but made less mistakes than Maldonado. Scored important points early in the season to take some pressure of his team.
13: Daniil Kvyat Had a strong rookie season, closely matching JEV especially on raw pace, but has room to improve on racecraft.
12: Jean-Eric Vergne Another solid season with a standout race in Singapore thanks to a strategy call. Got a little ragged towards the end of the season when he realised he had to advertise himself for a seat.
11: Felipe Massa The change of scenery has obviously done Massa some good, delivered the only non-Mercedes pole position of the year and has been fairly consistent in both race and qualifying all year, poor results usually attributable to poor strategy or pit stops. Did however have arguably the second fastest car and only finished 7th in the points.
10: Jules Bianchi Once again was the star at the back of the pack, finally got points on the board after an excellent race in Monaco. Looked destined to move up the grid until his accident.
9: Sergio Perez Hamstrung by reliability when the car was at it’s fastest early in the season, scored an excellent podium in Bahrain, threw another away however with a misjudgement in Canada. Showed well against Hulkenberg in both qualifying and race pace, and continues to improve wheel-to-wheel.
8: Nico Hulkenberg Had a quiet year by his standards, was occasionally shown up during races by Perez, but consistently scored points. Made hay when the car was good early in the season which explains the points gulf between himself and Perez.
7: Sebastian Vettel Brought down to earth with a bump this season. He never seemed to be able to extract the maximum from the car but unlike Raikkonen still looked like he had some fight in him. A solid performance which was made to look worse by the brilliance of his team mate.
6: Valtteri Bottas A strong and consistent year for Bottas, but I still have a question mark over his wheel to wheel ability. Outperformed at times by Massa but also some excellent weekends.
5: Jenson Button Did what he does best, delivered when the car was good and made good use of strategy. Re-found his best form towards the end of the season to firmly beat Magnussen.
4: Fernando Alonso Difficult to say whether Alonso was brilliant or Raikkonen was terrible, but some races such as Hungary and China were obviously out of the top drawer. At times seemed a bit anonymous, but undoubtably got the maximum from the car at most races.
3: Nico Rosberg Used all the tricks in the book to try and beat Hamilton, had the edge on Saturday but lost out slightly more on Sunday. Raised his game for his first shot at the championship and doggedly hung on when things went wrong.
2: Lewis Hamilton Was pushed hard by Rosberg which forced him into some qualifying errors, but was supreme in the races. He always looked like the stronger bet for the championship even after reliability woes early in the season left him trailing.
1: Daniel Ricciardo From the first race in Australia he was on the front foot, while Vettel struggled with the car all season Ricciardo was extracting the most out of it. Added to his pace was excellent racecraft making several of the best overtakes of the year against the likes of Alonso and Vettel as well as brilliant strategy calls. I can’t think of any mistakes either, he was more or less perfect all season.29th November 2014, 0:17 at 12:17 am #287632Theo ParkinsonParticipant
Ricciardo- Came in and dominated a 4 time world champion the whole season and capped his season off with a superb recovery drive.
Hamilton- Overcame adversity and was cool under pressure to dominate large parts of the championship. Great speed in the wet and wheel to wheel racing skills.
Alonso- Not sure if he was good or Raikkonen was bad. His podiums did amaze me though, so he still deserves loads of credit.
Bottas- Amazing in qualifying but not quite as quick in the races. But still, he was very consistent and kept it clean.
Button- Even though his career was in trouble he continued to perform at a high level and soundly beat his teammate.
Rosberg- Excellent in qualifying and was very good at forcing Hamilton into errors mid season, but he capitulated after Spa.
Hulkenberg- As the car’s performance decreased, so did his but his form returned later on. He beat Perez more impressively than Button did last year.
Vettel- He always struggled with the car but still drove very well, just not as well as Ricciardo.
Massa- Had good speed and adapted well to a new setting, but has more than bad luck to blame for his gap to Bottas. He has to do more than not causing incidents, he has to avoid them.
Vergne- Ricciardo this year proved Vergne caliber. I think the slow Toro Rosso’s made him look closer to Ricciardo than he was, but his races this year show he is a high quality driver.
Bianchi- Outstanding race in Monaco and generally drove impressively in every race. Like Alonso, it is hard to say if he was good or Chilton was bad.
Perez- Pushed Hulkenberg hard in the middle of the season but lost ground when the car was at its best.
Grosjean- Dominated Maldonado at first and drove greatly in Spain and Monaco. He still failed to capture his 2013 form though.
Kvyat- Amazing qualifying speed but needs to learn tyre management to beat Ricciardo next year.
Magnussen- Great start but slowly ebbed away into nothingness.
Raikkonen- Very disappointing season. Some highlight but overall lacked composure.
Kobayashi- Showed that he is a good driver but was largely anonymous for the most part.
Sutil- Aside for Cota qualifying, never did anything special.
Maldonado- Much better later on in the season but showed why he has so many doubters in the first half.
Gutierrez- Like Sutil never did anything memorable and was overall slow.
Ericsson- Got humiliated by many teammates and only had 2 good races.
Chilton- Never was on the pace, but this year he also crashed out of races by himself.29th November 2014, 5:47 at 5:47 am #287635Iestyn DaviesParticipant
OK, I used F1 Metrics’ rankings, tweaked for what I thought was luck not attributable to each driver:
1. ALONSO – 9.00 (Best driver by far, ultra-adaptable, China, Austria, Hungary all stand out)
2. HAMILTON – 8.25 (Mistakes crept in mid-season, but still a top driver, e.g. long runs vs. Nico)
3. RICCIARDO – 7.75 (Emerged as ‘best of the rest’, surprising many)
4. BOTTAS – 7.50 (Followed by his old sparring partner, Bottas)
8. RAIKKONEN – 7.25 (This may seem odd, but I think both WC drivers really carried Ferrari in 2014)
7. ROSBERG – 7.00 (Had the pace, but was disappointing under pressure)
5. VERGNE – 7.00 (Lost some good results, but showed great wet/racing potential over the season)
6. BUTTON – 6.75 (Maximised his points scoring chances, but Japan in the wet stood out)
12. VETTEL – 6.50 (Unlucky, but the pace was still there on occasion)
10. HULKENBERG – 6.25 (Consistently shining, deserves a move up the grid; kudos for Le Mans)
9. GROSJEAN – 6.25 (Sparks of brilliance; less impressive than 2013, but needs a better car)
xxx BIANCHI – 6.25 (Toughest to rate, only vs. Chilton; matched Kobayashi in a slightly worse car)
11. KVYAT – 6.00 (Great debut year; we’ll see if it was due to a lower weight in 2015)
13. MASSA – 6.00 (Strong resurgence in the second half was a notable end to Massa’s season)
14. KOBAYASHI – 5.75 (Did what he could with a slow car; should move to Haas for 2016)
18. MAGNUSSEN – 5.50 (Many mistakes, potential is there, but went backwards throughout 2014)
17. PEREZ – 5.25 (Too inconsistent, but on his day still shows great tyre preservation)
16. MALDONADO – 5.25 (Same as above, mostly beaten by Grosjean, but occasionally has the pace)
xxx LOTTERER – 5.00 (Impressive in a one off appearance)
15. ERICSSON – 4.75 (Took a while to get up to F1 speed, but might be stronger in 2015)
19. SUTIL – 4.50 (Disappointing year, for Sauber should have scored a few points e.g. USA)
20. GUTIERREZ – 4.00 (Same as above, Monaco was a costly mistake, but has pace on occasion)
xxx CHILTON – 3.75 (Improved since last year, but was still way behind Bianchi)
xxx STEVENS – 3.50 (Gradually got up to F1 pace, should surpass Chilton in 2015)
The bottom five are definitely worth replacing with Vandoorne, Sainz, Merhi, Frijns, Nasr.29th November 2014, 10:20 at 10:20 am #287633Fer no.65Participant
Andre Lotterer – getting his Caterham ahead of regular driver in his only qualy was impressive, sad he couldn’t finish the race.
Will Stevens – We’ve seen worse pay drivers, really…
22&21 (no particular order). Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil – Sure that Sauber was horrible, but neither did much to convince me that it was ONLY the car. If Grosjean and Maldonado managed to score in that dreadful Lotus, surely there was time on hand with better drivers for Sauber to score at least a point. 1 tiny little point… I’m glad to see them go, specially Sutil.
20. Max Chilton – He managed to ruin his record of finishes taking his team mate in the process. All his contribution to the season was his interview after the accident on the first lap at Silverstone, which honestly was quite scary and he explained it very well. Maybe he’s a better commentator than driver. Not that’s hard to beat anyway.
18. Marcus Ericsson – Pretty darn slow against Kamui, tho he raised his game later in the year. We’ll see what he does at Sauber.
17. Kamui Kobayashi – Not much to say, really. Beating Ericsson easily and not achieving much. Not that I expected anything else.
19. Pastor Maldonado – I’m putitng him this low because he got beaten easy by Romain and he crashed more often than not… his move with Gutierrez was just baffling…
16. Kimi Räikkönen – I knew Alonso would destroy him, after landing again in Italy but now with a guy like Fernando so comfortable there. But I just couldn’t imagine Kimi struggling this much. Maybe it was the car, but he, just like Seb, seemed lost at the wheel.
15. Kevin Magnussen – I have to say I expected a lot more from him, given how McLaren dropped Perez after just 1 year to promote what they knew would be the next top star in this sport. Who knows what’s going to happen to his career now, specially considering how bright the future looks for his McLaren Development Driver rival Stoffel Vandoorne.
14. Romain Grosjean – Can’t blame his results. But to score points at Spain and Monaco with that fork on wheels? There really is a lot in offer in terms of quality drivers in F1, but too few competitive teams for them to drive…
13. Sebastian Vettel – Where was Sebastian all season? I know that sometimes your car isn’t your best friend, but we saw nothing of the 2008-2013 Seb this year. Nothing at all. I still remember that error at Pouhon, that left him defenceless against Ricciardo, and allowed him to win the race. He seemed lost all season. Wonder what he’ll do with that slugish Ferrari next year (unless magic happens and engineering elves invade Maranello each night).
12. Jean-Eric Vergne – He surprised me during some races. But really, after 3 years… well, Sutil stayed in F1 for 7 years having shown less potential than JEV… I guess sometimes it’s a matter of luck. Or maybe Red Bull just destroy drivers with such an aggresive driver development programme. They either get promoted or they get the boot in F1, not just within Red Bull teams, but in F1 altogether.
11. Daniil Kvyat – I’m betting my money of Daniil next year. He wasn’t consistent on Sundays, but I see a lot of potential there.
10. Sergio Perez – Made life difficult to Hulkenberg. For a first year in a new team after what surely was a huge dissapointment having left a top team like McLaren, he did very well.
9. Jules Bianchi – A fantastic season that ended in tragedy. Thoughts are still with him.
8. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India said before Brazil I think that they had found a problem with the aero in the car. Maybe it explains the team’s slump after a very strong first half of the year. Hulk made top work, even if he missed a podium. He picked up what was available calmly and sometimes even anonymously, instead of those giant killing performances of previous years.
7. Felipe Massa – Took him a while, but a revitalized Massa clearly rose back to his old pre-Hungary 2009 ways in the second half of the season. Solid work, hope to see more next season !
6. Jenson Button – Solid as usual, head and shoulders above Kevin in terms of race pace. Once the car came back to him in the latter part of the season, he really showed how good he is.
5. Valtteri Bottas – Very consistent season, and finally getting the results he deserved. Ever since Canada 2013, it was clear Valtteri was going to impress all us strapped into a good car. He didn’t dissapoint, except for his Webber-like starts sometimes, and his last lap in qualy at Russia, when he was going green and seemed to slip in the very last sector, gifting an all Mercedes front row. Other than that, can’t remember many mistakes.
4. Nico Rosberg – I’d have laughed so hard if you told me Nico would outqualify Lewis this easily back in febrary. But he did, and gave Lewis quite a run for his money. His pace in qualy didn’t translate very well on Sundays, and he seemed too prone to little mistakes that put him behind a faultless Hamilton. Specially Russia, he lost so many chances in the championship with a ridiculous mistake, locking his tyres for what seemed like a mile and still missing the corner… I don’t know what went through his mind in that moment. Still, very good season for him.
3. Lewis Hamilton – Faultless. I have to be honest, I’m not giving him #1 because he often looked unspectacular because of the car he had. We must be thankful for those reliability issues too, we were in for a very boring championship otherwise. Top work all around.
2. Fernando Alonso – I still mantain he’s the best driver of the field by a long way. He gets everything out of every situation, and he destroyed Kimi, who looked even worse than Massa compared to Alonso, considering he’s a very fast guy and a world champion himself. Thankfully, Nando is moving away from Ferrari… Ferrari just doesn’t deserve him.
1. Daniel Ricciardo – What a first year in a top team, huh? Had that Renault engine been a little bit stronger, Daniel could’ve done a 2009 Vettel and get right in the fight with the dominant team’s drivers. All very oportunistic wins, not lucky, just oportunistic. A proper beast, smelling blood and attacking like his pants are on fire. Forced Vettel out of the team after making him look irrelevant29th November 2014, 10:21 at 10:21 am #287642HKParticipant
1. Ricciardo (simply stunning season. Was always there right behind the Mercs/Williams to pick up the points when possible)
2. Hamilton (Great season. Great race pace. Outqualified.)
3. Bottas (Extremely reliable driver. Always up there in the top5. Couple of podiums)
4. Rosberg (Showed his speed. Needs to build on his race craft and pace)
5. Alonso (Actually not what ive come to expect from him. Still great season, but nothing like 2012..)
6. Button (Sedeemed himself in the 2nd half of the season)
7. Kvyat (Showed extreme speed in qualifying. Needs more time and experience)
8. Vettel (1st half of the season was a write off. Still had good performances though. Needs new motivation)
9. Massa (like Button, redeemed himself in the 2nd half with some great performances. Showed good speed all season)
10. Hulkenberg (Reliable driver. Not as many “wow” drives as last year)
11. Perez (showed good speed. Needs to be more consistent)
24. Ericsson29th November 2014, 15:02 at 3:02 pm #287654McL88AsApParticipant
1 Ricciardo – absolute stunning and almost flawless season, 3 wins never expected by almost everyone and demolish 4 times in a row WC<br>
2 Hamilton – a little bit mistakes in first half but second half he simply the best. He know what to do and really deserve 2nd title<br>
3 Alonso – fantastic in first half although he a little bit decline in 2nd half, but its still a great season <br>
4 Button – very solid in 1st half and he quietly amazing in 2nd half of the season <br>
5 Bottas – while he have a great 1st half, 2nd half he was quite overshadowed by Massa, especially in last 3 races, but he still very fast<br>
6 Rosberg – he deliver immense 1 lap pace, but since Spa he completely outcalssed by Hamilton, although he handled situation brilliantly in Abu Dhabi <br>
7 Hulkenberg – very solid and consistent in 1st half, but he was out performed by perez 2nd half, but final 2 races went very well for him <br>
8 Massa – while he make some mistakes in 1st half along with bad luck, he really overcome his weakness in 2nd half and outperformed Bottas <br>
9 Grosjean – very solid in a poor car and outperformed Maldonado who is quick too <br>
10 Perez – to be honest he was very inconsistent, but when he in his day, he just brilliant, still need to fix his consistency to match Hulkenberg <br>
11 Bianchi – hard to rate his season because its incomplete, but he was very quick in race and Qualy although he may need better benchmark teammate<br>
12 Vergne – when there's opporpunities, he always pick it up and deliver treating performance, but beaten by a rookie in Qualifying who have jumped from gp3 is quite silly <br>
13 Kvyat – brilliant on one lap pace, but in Red Bull, he need to decrease mistakes as much as possible <br>
14 Vettel – very poor standards for quadruple WC, still have some highlights though <br>
15 Magnussen – showed a lot of promise in terms of pure pace, but he's very error-prone <br>
16 Raikkonen – more disappointed than Vettel, Ferrari is slow but he should got alot more than this season<br>
17 Maldonado – makes a lot of mistakes but at his day he is pretty solid, still have some pace to fight Grosjean <br>
18 Kobayashi – outperformed Ericsson a lot, but that was very predictable and his form dip in 2nd half <br>
19 Ericsson – massively disappointed in 1st half but raised his game in 2nd half <br>
20 Sutil – another season to forget for him, although he was quite good at 1-2 races <br>
21 Chilton – makes mistakes and still slow compare to Bianchi <br>
22 Gutierrez – completely disappointed and even worse than his teammate <br>
23 Lotterer – great Qualy in Spa, but 1 race is not representative <br>
24 Stevens – outpaced by Kobayashi but he's not error prone<br>
<br>29th November 2014, 16:44 at 4:44 pm #287662AtticusParticipant
Actually, disregard my previous post, I kind of made it into a second half rankings and not even a comprehensive one. I revisited the topic and rearranged my list – I based my judgements on race (and, to an extent, quali) pace, driver errors (in race, quali, duels, and at the start), external pressure (the closer to the top, the bigger the weight) and misfortune. Here it is with notes.
1. Ricciardo – almost clean sheet against teammate, no errors whatsoever
2. Alonso – same as Ricciardo, but he lost out against him in arguably favourable conditions in Austin, Budapest and almost in Hockenheim too
3. Hamilton – dominated race pace and nearly matched quali pace against teammate, couple of quali errors, but next to no race errors, heaviest pressure
4. Button – only slower than teammate in 5-6 races, no mistakes whatsoever
5. Vettel – beaten by teammate tightly, but regularly, although mistake-free as usual – Ricciardo makes him look worse than he was
6. Bottas – tightly-won battle v. Massa in terms of pace, couple of sluggish starts and quali errors when the pole was at stake (Spielberg, Sochi)
7. Kvyat – roughly even v. Vergne on pace w/ bad luck clouding considerable late-season surge (Monza, Suzuka, Austin, Abu Dhabi), sole mistake: Pérez clash in Germany
8. Hülkenberg – largely dominated up-and-down teammate, or had good reason not to (chassis glitch in Spa, Monza), sole error: kicking Pérez out in Hungary
9. Bianchi – demolished weak Chilton, crucial performance under pressure in Monaco, one unfortunate mistake in Suzuka
10. Vergne – occasional impressive displays, rare minor errors (early season starts)
11. Grosjean – faultless as in 2013 bar Hungary, largely dominating Maldonado
12. Massa – late-season improvement almost see him matching Bottas on pace overall, first half errors pull him down (Montreal, Silverstone, Hockenheim)
13. Rosberg – dominated by Hamilton on race pace, narrow lead in quali, became an error-strewn driver under the weight of the championship fight
14. Magnussen – only bettering Button for a few races mid-season, overstepping boundaries too easily in Spa, Monza
15. Pérez – only beating teammate fair-and-square on pace on stop-start circuits (Sakhir, Montreal, Sochi), lot of errors (Monte-Carlo, Montreal, Austin)
16. Räikkönen – like Vettel, inability to accomodate to car, utterly demolished by teammate, but no major errors, also made look worse than he was
17. Kobayashi – dominating weak Ericsson, but no standout display and losing out in close battles v. Bianchi (Shanghai, Monaco)
18. Gutiérrez – late-season improvement saw him bettering Sutil, too much accidents
19. Maldonado – occasionally beatin Grosjean late-season, way too much accidents
20. Sutil – seemingly couldn’t be bothered to be motivated, way too slow and way too much accidents
21. Stevens – improving quickly on sole race weekend
22. Lotterer – instantly quicker than Ericsson
23. Chilton – hopelessly slow, Montreal crash w/ teammate was the low point
24. Ericsson – even more hopelessly slow, Japan, Russia improvement down to better equipment, not better driving30th November 2014, 3:15 at 3:15 am #287706EnigmaParticipant
Daniel Ricciardo – Dominant Mercedes slipped up three times in 2014, and Ricciardo was always the one there to capitalise. He was quick from the off, qualifying on the front row in his first race for the team. Throughout the year, he was perfect in wheel-to-wheel with creative overtakes, most notably on his teammate in Monza. For me, the driver of the season.
Lewis Hamilton – What made the difference in the title battle was Hamilton’s racing – he held Rosberg off when he was being caught, and he usually managed to get ahead when he was the one catching. Losing the Mercedes qualifying battle was less impressive.
Valtteri Bottas – Had shown speed and maturity in his rookie season, so Williams’ season has surprised me more than Bottas’ performances. After a slower start to the season, he was often the best non-Mercedes driver and deservedly picked up six podiums, being slightly better than Massa on pace, but much better on consistency. Did make some mistakes, the Melbourne one the most costly.
Nico Rosberg – After winning the qualifying battle with Hamilton, he must be considered as one of the sport’s quickest. His damage limitation in Montreal was incredible, but ultimately his inability to outrace his teammate cost him the title.30th November 2014, 9:08 at 9:08 am #287652YoshisuneParticipant
1. Daniel Ricciardo: I knew he was fast, but I didn’t expect him to be so consistent and mistake-free. Really impressive season, no one saw it coming.
2. Lewis Hamilton: He made a few mistakes, especially in qualifying, but he always bounced back. Great race pace, great tyre management and fuel management. Fully deserved championship
3. Nico Rosberg: Nico gave Lewis a very hard time. Very fast, very consistent and he always delivered in qualifying. It’s a shame that in the second half of the season he didn’t have a lot of pace in the race. But the fact that he was fighting for the championship against one of the best Hamilton we’ve seen lately is an achievement, I think.
4. Fernando Alonso: Usual Alonso season, actually. Very consistent, very few mistakes and some brilliant performances here and there.
5. Valtteri Bottas: He showed potential last year and he did not disappoint in 2014. He was much faster than Massa for most of the season, but in the final few races Felipe was a bit more convincing. Fourth in the standings is really impressive.
6. Jenson Button: Jenson showed that he still deserves to be in F1. The first half of the championship was nothing spectacular, but when Mclaren improved the car he was regularly fighting with Red Bull and Ferrari, while Magnussen sometimes struggled to get into the top 10.
7. Nico Hulkenberg: Maybe not his most impressive season, but he scored a lot of points. Very reliable driver, even if sometimes he was slower than Perez.
8. Sebastian Vettel: Not a good season overall. He had reliability issues, he didn’t like the car, he was very critical of the new regulations. But he managed to extract some good performances and he improved during the season.
9. Jules Bianchi: He had a bit of a messy start of the season, with a few penalties. But he was always faster than Chilton. He appeared a few times in Q2 and he scored points in a Marussia. His season was going very well, until Japan.
10. Daniil Kvyat: In my opinion he is the best rookie of 2014. Yes, a lot of mistakes and sometimes he didn’t get the best out of the car, but he had a lot of eye-catching drives. Maybe he needed another year in STR to be a bit more consistent, but the pace is definitely there.
11. Felipe Massa: In the first few races it seemed that Bottas was going to be like Alonso for Massa. Felipe had some bad luck, but also he made some mistakes and crashed more than once. He got pole in Austria, which was awesome, and in the last part of the season he looked very close to Bottas.
12. Sergio Perez: A decent season, I’d say. Hulkenberg is rated very highly, but I expected Sergio to be a little bit closer, especially in the first few races. But when his weekend went smooth he was genuinely impressive, like the podium in Bahrain and a few other drives.
13. Romain Grosjean: Scoring points with that Lotus is an achievement, definitely. But the car didn’t allow him to show off his skills too much.
14. Kevin Magnussen: Maybe it’s a bit harsh, but I think that everyone expected a little bit more from him. His performance in Australia was incredible, but after that he was always a bit mediocre. I mean, I know that being a rookie in F1 is very hard, but he had some poor performances here and there. I think he deserves to stay in F1, though. He was always enjoyable to watch when he was in battle!
15. Kimi Raikkonen: He had a good race in Belgium and he was very competitive in Brazil, but a mistake in the pits costed him a couple of places. Other than that it’s a season to forget. He never looked comfortable in the car. Marc Genè does the TV commentator for Sky Sports Italy and every weekend he was saying that Kimi now understands the car a bit more and he is showing more pace, but I definitely don’t see it in the results.
16. Jean-Eric Verge: Yes, he scored a lot of points, but his season was quite poor until there was a seat available at Toro Rosso. Some good moves, a very good race in Singapore, but overall I’d say that in his third season in STR he has not done enough to prove that he is ready for a top team. I think he still deserves to stay in F1, though.
17. Pastor Maldonado: Well, he scored points with that Lotus, so it’s not too bad. But other than that it was a terrible season for him: he crashed a lot and he was often slower than Grosjean.
18. Kamui Kobayashi: He has been okay. Really, I don’t know what to say. No eye-catching drives, but he outpaced Ericsson. But Andre Lotterer outqualified Ericsson in his first ever F1 Grand Prix, so maybe it’s not that big of an achievent.
19. Adrian Sutil: He’s not the most exciting driver on the grid and he certainly didn’t do a lot in 2014 to prove that wrong. Good quali in Austin, it could have been his best weekend of the season if it wasn’t for Perez. But he crashed in Monaco, one of the very few races where Sauber could have scored, so that was pretty bad
20. Max Chilton: He improved compared to 2013, but not good enough.
21. Esteban Gutierrez: Very similar to Sutil, really. But he probably missed a chance in Austin. And, like Sutil, he crashed in Monaco when he was running in the top 10.
22. Marcus Ericsson: I watch GP2 and from what I saw Ericsson was not so bad. Yes, he has never been a championship contender but he was usually fast. I thought that he was going to be close to Kobayashi, at least. I know that being a rookie in F1 is hard, but he was really disappoing. Being outpaced by Andre Lotterer and Merhi in FP1 was the icing on the cake. He improved a lot in the last few races, so maybe 2015 is not going to be so bad for him.
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