2015 half-term driver rankings

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    Since no-one has started this topic yet, I’ll do it. It has been very hard to rank the drivers this year, especially the places 4-13 in my list could be in a very different order if I made this list tomorrow.

    Not Ranked:
    Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button – The difference between the quality of Mclaren Honda and its drivers is so big that it seems unfair to rank these fellows.
    Will Stevens & Roberto Merhi – Manor is so much slower that anything else it’s quite pointless to rank these two.

    16. Marcus Ericsson – It’s a shame drives like Ericsson take seats from much more talented drivers. Seems like a nice guy though.
    15. Kimi Räikkönen – Let’s be honest here, at the moment Kimi is wasting the second Ferrari-seat. 2 good races is nowhere near enough for a driver with his experience. Kimi has done lot of mistakes and his attitude doesn’t do him any good either. Before the season began I expected him to be much closer to Vettel than he was to Alonso, but it has been just a repeat from last year. In any scenario he shouldn’t keep his seat, and I’m saying this as his fan.
    14. Pastor Maldonado – Oh Pastor… well he did have 2 good races in Canada and Austria.
    13. Sergio Perez – To be honest, I haven’t really noticed him all season. Doing OK I guess, but nothing spectacular.
    12. Felipe Massa – Has been a bit average all season, and the fact he’s behind Bottas in the points despite driving one race more isn’t very impressive. However, he has matched Bottas pretty well overall, so at the moment he’s doing enough to deserve his seat.
    11. Carlos Sainz Jr – I expected him to beat Verstappen quite clearly this season, but it hasn’t happened. Still, has been doing quite a good job for a rookie, but knowing the cruel world of Red Bull, he can’t really afford to lose to his team-mate.
    10. Nico Rosberg – Especially at the start of the season Nico seemed to be nowhere near Hamilton, and although he has upped his game a bit, he doesn’t look like a driver who is fighting for a world championship.
    9. Romain Grosjean – Has done few silly errors, but overall Romain is doing the same decent job as last year. Shame that Lotus can’t build a good car anymore, I believe Romain could do quite a good job in a faster car like we saw in 2013.
    8. Valtteri Bottas – Although I’m a fan of Bottas (since he’s born around 15 miles from my hometown), I also think he’s a bit overrated. He’s had some great races like Bahrain ans Spain, but Massa has been a bit too close to him all season.
    7. Daniil Kvyat – After a difficult start, he has really been putting pressure on Ricciardo. Maybe a bit underrated driver, in the end there isn’t much to choose between him and his team-mate at the moment.
    6. Daniel Ricciardo – Has done a decent job, but it’s a bit worrying that in the last 5 races, only once has he been able to beat his team-mate
    5. Felipe Nasr – Despite promising start, Sauber are heading for another disappointing season. However, Nasr has been doing a really good job and has usually been there to score points when the chance appears. Very mature driver for a rookie
    4. Max Verstappen – Despite some mistakes, I have been truly impressed by this young Dutch-man. The speed is there for everyone to see, and despite some mistakes, he has been much less error-prone than I expected from a driver with his experience. Especially some of his moves in Monaco were so stunning it’s hard to believe they were made by a 17-year old rookie who was still driving karting 2 years ago.
    3. Nico Hulkenberg – Once again Nico is doing a quietly impressive job with a rather miserable car. Especially after his Le Mans victory he has been truly fantastic. Should have been Ferrari’s choice in 2013, but maybe this time justice will happen?
    2. Lewis Hamilton – Until Hungary he was my pick for number 1 spot. Most of the time Hamilton has done just what’s expected from double world champion in the fastest car. Rare have been the days when Rosberg has been able to beat him.
    1. Sebastian Vettel – I can’t see how anyone could have done better job with this year’s Ferrari. Apart from Bahrain, he has done fantastic job all the season. Vettel has been pretty much what Ricciardo was last year.

    Please share your views, these lists are always fun to read.


    I agree on most and although I would also put Verstappen ahead of Sainz they can’t be so far apart as you put them.


    I also don’t really understand how Kimi can be that low.


    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Sainz
    4. Verstappen
    5. Nasr
    6. Rosberg
    7. Massa – had a very good run of 3/4 races
    8. Hulkenberg – drove very well since Le Mans
    9. Bottas – evenly matched with Massa, which is worse than last year
    10. Grosjean
    11. Ricciardo
    12. Kvyat – not bad, but before Hungary he and his car had done nothing eye-catching
    13. Alonso
    14. Raikkonen
    15. Perez
    16. Button
    17. Stevens
    18. Ericsson – thrashed by a roookie
    19. Maldonado – no improvement, and consistently behind Grosjean.
    20. Merhi – gap to Stevens tends to be too large

    Iestyn Davies


    Magnussen, Palmer, Leimer, Marciello, Wolff – replacement drivers make it 25.


    Vettel was the best driver of the season even before Hungary. Hamilton’s mediocre performances in Spain and Austria were largely masked by his car.

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. Ricciardo
    5. Hulkenberg
    6. Rosberg
    7. Button
    8. Kvyat
    9. Verstappen
    10. Bottas
    11. Grosjean
    12. Massa
    13. Sainz
    14. Perez
    15. Raikkonen
    16. Nasr
    17. Ericsson
    18. Stevens
    19. Maldonado
    20. Mehri


    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Carlos Sainz Jr.
    5. Max Verstappen
    6. Jenson Button
    7. Felipe Nasr
    8. Romain Grosjean
    9. Nico Rosberg
    10. Valtteri Bottas
    11. Nico Hülkenberg
    12. Felipe Massa
    13. Daniel Ricciardo
    14. Marcus Ericsson
    15. Kimi Räikkönen
    16. Roberto Merhi
    17. Will Stevens
    18. Daniil Kvyat
    19. Pastor Maldonado
    20. Sergio Pérez

    I definitely feel that my top 6 have been the best drivers this season up to now but after them i’m not so sure what order to rank them. I only put Pérez at the bottom simply because I can’t remember him doing anything remarkable, though there hasn’t really been a standout poor performer in my opinion.

    Bradley Downton

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Nico Hulkenberg
    4. Max Verstappen
    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Carlos Sainz Jr
    7. Jenson Button
    8. Felipe Nasr
    9. Sergio Perez
    10. Nico Rosberg
    11. Felipe Massa
    12. Daniel Ricciardo
    13. Romain Grosjean
    14. Valtteri Bottas
    15. Daniil Kvyat
    16. Marcus Ericsson
    17. Kimi Raikkonen
    18. Roberto Merhi
    19. Pastor Maldonado
    20. Will Stevens

    This took me a while. An awful lot of drivers have had “standard” seasons, neither impressive nor unimpressive, just sort of standard for their car. I’ve tried to rank them in order of – punched above weight, matched target, unimpressed (though obviously the Manor’s are sort of un-rankable).


    Interesting seeing so many people putting Alonso in their top 5, I agree with Diceman it’s hard to judge the McLaren drivers when the car is so rubbish. They can’t even race properly with the engine being so underpowered.


    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Valtteri Bottas
    4. Daniel Ricciardo
    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Nico Rosberg
    7. Carlos Sainz
    8. Max Verstappen
    9. Romain Grosjean
    10. Nico Hulkenberg
    11. Felipe Massa
    12. Sergio Perez
    13. Daniil Kvyat
    14. Felipe Nasr
    15. Jenson Button
    16. Kimi Raikkonen
    17. Pastor Maldonado
    18. Marcus Ericsson
    19. Will Stevens
    20. Roberto Merhi

    Ravi Bajpai

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Nico Hulkenberg
    4. Daniel Ricciardo
    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Valtteri Bottas
    7. Felipe Massa
    8. Jenson Button
    9. Nico Rosberg
    10. Felipe Nasr
    11. Sergio Perez
    12. Danil Kvyat
    13. Romain Grosjean
    14. Max Verstappen
    15. Carlos Sainz
    16. Kimi Raikkonen
    17. Marcus Ericsson
    18. Will Stevens
    19. Pastor Maldonado
    20. Roberto Merhi


    I”m also not going to rank the Mclaren or Manor drivers, but here is mine;

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Nico Hulkenberg
    4. Daniel Ricciardo
    5. Romain Grosjean
    6. Nico Rosberg
    7. Carlos Sainz
    8. Max Verstappen
    9. Felipe Massa
    10. Valtteri Bottas
    11. Sergio Perez
    12. Daniil Kvyat
    13. Felipe Nasr
    14. Kimi Raikkonen
    15. Pastor Maldonado
    16. Marcus Ericsson

    Ravi Bajpai

    I think we can all agree Vettel all ready had a much better season than his failed 2014 campaign.

    Iestyn Davies

    Autosport and Auto Motor und Sport ratings for comparison: http://imgur.com/RjdpNtB.
    Notably, Rosberg is boosted in Germany and Button demoted! Or, vice versa of course.

    Combined Scores

    Hamilton —— 16.9
    Vettel ——– 16.8
    Rosberg ——- 15.1 – *14.4 adjusted?
    Bottas ——– 14.9
    Hulkenberg —- 14.8
    Alonso ——– 14.44
    Massa ——— 14.3
    Sainz ——— 14.1
    Verstappen —- 13.9
    Ricciardo —– 13.8
    Grosjean —— 13.5
    Raikkonen —– 13.3
    Perez ——— 13.1
    Kvyat ——— 12.9
    Nasr ———- 12.6
    Button ——– 12.58 – *13.2 adjusted?
    Ericsson —— 12.1
    Stevens ——- 12
    Maldonado —– 11
    Merhi ——— 11
    Magnussen —– 10


    Found it a bit hard this time around as there are no real stand-out seasons in progress in my opinion.

    1. Hamilton
    Hasn’t made a lot of mistakes and generally has been performing to the top of his ability this season. It’s almost refreshing to see him perform like this, not riddled with rumors or complaints.

    2. Vettel
    Making the most out of a Ferrari that isn’t fit to fight the Mercedes’. Apart from Bahrain he’s had a very good season as well, little to no complaints from me.

    After these two, I find myself to be in a bit of limbo, as the grades I’d give the drivers on races all put them very close.

    3. Rosberg
    Appears to be a little less strong (or lucky, depending on who you’d ask) than 2014 and hasn’t had any real stand-out performances. He’s in the race for the championship, but to me, it doesn’t feel like his chance is as big as last year – so far. Especially his early season deficit was too large.

    4. Hulkenberg
    Didn’t have an amazing start to the season, but has been on it recently. Mainly meeting and exceeding expectations puts him so high up my list, though I wouldn’t know who else to put 4th if I went by gut alone.

    5. Bottas
    Another driver who seems to be a little less strong compared to his team mate than in 2014, but his results so far have been good. Victim of Williams’ inconsistency recently and needs the team to turn their luck around or Kimi to keep having bad luck to stay in front of Kimi in the championship.

    6. Massa
    Performance wise a lot closer to Bottas this season and has done little wrong. Also needs Williams to turn the tide after Hungary to stay where he is in the championship.

    7. Grosjean
    Romain’s season has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. He’s scoring points again in a car that has an odd performance window, but he isn’t always as far clear from Maldonado as you expect him to be, sometimes even when Pastor starts behind him they still encounter each other on track.

    8. Raikkonen
    Higher up on my list than any other posted here so far, but mainly due to the races where he finished, he finished decently. Rather than it being a good season for him, the others are having similar seasons in my opinion.

    9. Ricciardo
    Had a clear advantage over Kvyat, suddenly had Kvyat doing to him what he did to Vettel and then came Hungary. If he can keep his head up now and Renault can finish the races, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be in a position to improve in the standings. If he gets beaten by Kyvat regularly still, his momentum might dwindle.

    10. Kvyat
    Not where I expected him to be at the beginning of the season, then got into form and has delivered. Not too much to say about him.

    11. Sainz
    Despite not having some of the peaks Verstappen has reached, he does come across as a more secure driver. Has held himself against a much talked about team mate, but musn’t get distracted by poor reliability.

    12. Verstappen
    Fast, mature for his age, but there are times where you can tell his age and perhaps, more importantly, his lack of experience. Monaco and Silverstone kind of blemish a season that’s otherwise been very good.

    13. Alonso
    Hard to judge. Finishes sort of above expectations, but at the same time, the current McLaren isn’t a F2012 or even a R28. I wouldn’t say he has, explicitly, done a worse job than the others, but I can’t grade a world champion driving for a top team a 10/10 for a DNF or finishing outside of the points, driving in the gap between the midfield and Manor.

    14. Nasr
    A very solid first season so far, but apart from his points finishes, has been exactly where you expect him to be.

    15. Perez
    Despite the difference in ranking, is close to Hulkenberg in how I grade him; he’s just had less noteworthy races. Has been kind of invisible lately.

    16. Button
    As with Alonso, hard to judge. Loses a few decimal points per race to Alonso for my grades and ends up here. Again, not because of poor driver performance, but because I don’t really have much to award him for.

    17. Maldonado
    It might not be 2011/2012 Pastor, but a large number of DNFs and incidents have him with just over half of Grosjean’s points despite keeping up with him from time to time on track. Hungary is a bruise on a season that has failed to deliver, while not being as crash prone as before.

    18. Ericsson
    Simply forgettable. Not bad, not good, he’s there. Scored points, finishes behind his team mate usually. Really struggling to say anything other than that.

    19. Stevens
    Does what he can with the Manor.

    20. Mehri
    Does what he can with the Manor, which typically seems to be a little less than Stevens can. Gap is too high sometimes, but he has been managing to finish in front of Stevens.

    Basically, 6 through 16 can change on a race to race basis for me, as my grades stand now.

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