F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings 2013

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    I’ve already started to get questions about it and yes, the F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings will be back for the end-of-season review.

    As usual the rankings will be followed by a poll for your choice of Driver of the Year. In a slight change to previous seasons the poll results will be accompanied by a selection of the best users’ views on each of the drivers.

    How to share those views? Right here of course. Post your rankings of the drivers below and give your verdict on how they all performed.


    Here’s my list:
    1. Sebastian Vettel: Good in the first half of the season, just breathtaking in the second half. Has been faultless and is a true legend in the making
    2. Nico Hulkenberg: Has maximized the potential of the car, and he definitely deserves a drive in a top team. Can be world champion material if he gets a good car.
    3. Fernando Alonso: Strong and consistent but not as good as last year. His qualifying weren’t great, but at least he still has shown he is a good racer. Next year will be crucial for him, if the Ferrari is bad or Kimi beats him, frustration will get the upper hand.
    4. Romain Grosjean: Definitely matured. In the beginning of the season he was still overshadowed by Kimi, but at least he was troublefree (apart from Monaco), but when the tires changed he just shined. Had some bad luck but drove amazing. It says enough that by the end of the season he was the only one that could take up the fight to Red Bull.
    5. Nico Rosberg: Had a great year and proved to be just a strong as Hamilton. If his car is stronger next year he could be a title contender.
    6. Kimi Raikkonen: Again proved to be a good and consistent racer, but he couldn’t always make up for his bad qualifyings.
    7. Lewis Hamilton: Good season for Hamilton, although he had some swings in performance. The switch to Mercedes was perfect for him.
    8. Daniel Ricciardo: Will be a tough nut to crack for Vettel in qualifying, has definitely been better than his team mate, but his race speed was sometimes disappointing.
    9. Mark Webber: Was overshadowed by his team mate and he suffered bad luck, but still had some good performances. He stopped on the right time.
    10. Jenson Button: Didn’t have an easy season in his McLaren, but made the most out of it, although he sometimes had to be more agressive. If McLaren doesn’t have a good car next year it coud be his last season.
    11. Jules Bianchi: Had maximized his cars potential. Beat his team mate by a country mile and proved to be a good driver with a good future perspective.
    12. Valtteri Bottas: Had a decent rookie season, strong in qualifying, in the beginning a little bit rusty in races but at the and of the season had the upper hand on Maldonado.
    13. Felipe Massa: Has proven to be a good qualifier, but has been too inconsistent in races, like other years.
    14. Paul di Resta: Drove very well in the first half of the season when his car was competitive, but after the tire change he made a frustated impression and made some stupid rookie mistakes. I think this was the last season for the ‘charismatic’ Scot.
    15. Sergio Perez: Had some good races, but has been too inconsistent and some times too reckless
    16. Giedo van der Garde: a colourfull person, with some stand out qualifying performances, and some decent races. Inproved a lot over the year and deserves some more seasons in f1.
    17. Adrian Sutil: In the first half of the season when his car was good and he pretty drove well he had some bad luck, but thereafter he just couldn’t impress enough
    18. Jean-Eric Vergne: Had a decent first half of the season with good performances in Monaco and Canada, but has been out of the spotlights the rest of the season. Last year is his last chance and I think it will be the same story as Speed, Bourdais, Alguersuari and Buemi…
    19. Pastor Maldonado: Beaten by his team mate in qualifing, wich is his strongest point, and although he was pretty decent in the races, he lost all his reputation by accusing his team of sabotage
    20. Esteban Guttierez: Had a though rookie season, with a few highs and too much lows.
    21. Charles Pic: Had some decent races, but that said everything. He is nothing special and he was regularly beaten by his rookie team mate. His time in F1 is up in my opnion
    22. Max Chilton: although he has finished every race, he is just too slow. Doesn’t deserve to be in F1 anymore


    Just for reference: if you also did a mid-season drivers rankings, you can find it here:



    23. Max Chilton
    Good job getting to the end of each race, as a rookie. But in a time where reliability doesn’t seem to be a big concern anymore (it used to be a pretty big issue not too many years back), this doesn’t change the fact that he has been the least impressive driver for me. He did slightly evolve towards the second half of the season, even doing pretty well in Singapore and Korea, but all in all the quali and race performances were simply too far away from his team mate, most of the time. And he almost never really challenged Caterham on merit.

    22. Heikki Kovalainen
    I really like him as a driver and think he is better than most other f1fanatics seem to believe, and I was glad to see some of his Friday performances. But what he was able to bring to the table on Saturday and Sunday, when it counts, was simply not enough. Austin still seemed to be partly blamed on something outside of his realm, Brazil certainly not.

    21. Esteban Gutierrez
    It is true that the young Mexican had a learning curve during the season, increasing his tally to what I would describe as average performances. Korea and Spain where his highlights, Austin and Suzuka where also places where he showed his worth. But in a field of generally over-average drivers (that is my perspective, for me the grid in the last few years has the highest quality since I started watching in 1989), this is just not enough. Esteban could deserve a second chance next year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t – and I wouldn’t feel that this would be unfair, either.

    Top 20 later.

    Ben Needham

    Vettel – Utterly dominant, such a large gap between him and all the other drivers, particularly his team-mate.
    Hulkenberg – Took a while to get to grips with the car, but as soon as it was anything like competitive he was consistently in the top 6 during GP, holding off faster cars.
    Raikkonen – Frighteningly consistent, scoring points in all but 1 of the GP’s he finished in.
    Hamilton – Settled in well to his new team following what was revealed to be an inspired move. Narrowly beat Rosberg.
    Rosberg – The most under-rated driver on the grid. Has now held his own with Schumacher and Hamilton over four years. If the car is quality next year, watch him mount a title challenge.
    Grosjean – A very reliable and mature second half of the year after a slow first half. The only one to challenge the Red Bull’s consistently over the final leg of the end of the season.
    Alonso – Poor by his standards and above average by anyone elses. The car wasn’t good enough but then, it wasn’t good last year and he still nearly won the title. Never on the front row and often out-qualified by Massa.
    Webber – Miles adrift of his team-mate but helped secure the WCC in his last season. Plenty of podiums and a reliable no.2 driver, which in reality, is all he is.
    Ricciardo – Solid performances in a below average car. Unspectacular but should slot in to Webber’s no.2 role perfectly.
    Bianchi – an electric first two races quickly boiled down but the dominance he showed over Chilton (not a Vettel or Hamilton, granted) was astounding.
    Bottas – outperformed Maldonado and scored well deserved points late in the year. Qualifying in Canada was incredible.
    Perez – a poor car, but in my opinion had more stand out drives than his team mate. Should find a drive next year.
    Vergne – Not as far adrift of his team-mate as people seem to think. Rightly retained.
    Button – a poor season. If I was in charge of McLaren I think a Perez-Magnussen line-up would be in place for 2014. Have to say I think Hamilton would’ve had podiums even in that car.
    Massa – If Alonso had a bad season then Massa’s was even worse. Though he was more on terms with Alonso than the previous 2/3 years.
    Gutierrez – miles behind Hulkenberg and badly off the pace in the first few races.
    di Resta – unspectacular, uninspiring and an unco-operative. Doesn’t seem to like his team, and has done nothing to warrant a promotion to one of the big teams.
    Sutil – See comments re: di Resta without the attitude.
    Maldonado – Bad attitude, bad results.
    van der Garde – eventually had the better of Pic but the car didn’t let him show what he can do.
    Chilton – Finished every race. In last.
    Pic – No idea if his season was good or bad – barely saw him!

    David Margono

    Overall (No Kovalainen):
    1) Vettel
    2) Alonso
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Hulkenberg
    6) Rosberg
    7) Grosjean
    8) Webber
    9) Button
    10) Perez
    11) Ricciardo
    12) Bottas
    13) Di Resta
    14) Massa
    15) Sutil
    16) Vergne
    17) Bianchi
    18) Maldonado
    19) Gutierrez
    20) Pic
    21) Van Der Garde
    22) Chilton

    I’d put Grosjean in 2nd if it was only the second half of the season but his first half was abysmal… basically the gap between 2nd-7th on my list has a very slim margin between them.


    1) Vettel
    2) Alonso
    3) Mark Webber
    4) Hulkenberg
    5) Grosjean
    6) Raikkonen
    7) Hamilton
    8) Rosberg
    9) Button
    10) Perez
    11) Ricciardo
    12) Bottas
    13) Bianchi
    14) Massa
    15) Sutil
    16) Vergne
    17) Di Resta
    18) Maldonado
    19) Gutierrez
    20) Pic
    21) Van Der Garde
    22) Chilton


    Not in best possible English, but anyway here is my list:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Completely dominant.
    2. Nico Hulkenberg – Always maximized the potential of that Sauber, didn’t make mistakes and Korea. And still he is not getting the top-seat he so much deserves.
    3. Fernando Alonso – Made some mistakes and had some bad races, but still became second in the WDC with a car that wasn’t the second best car this season IMO.
    4. Kimi Räikkönen – Fantastic in the first half, and had some great races after the summer break too, but then there were those mistakes and bad races like Monza and Abu Dhabi. Also needs to do something to his qualifying.
    5. Lewis Hamilton – Like Räikkönen, Lewis was brilliant in the first half, but was pretty much beaten by Rosberg in the second half. Anyway, good first season with Mercedes overall
    6. Nico Rosberg – Closer to Hamilton than many probably expected. Without misfortune had been even closer in points. In his best days Nico is perfect, but unfortunately he has those bad days too.
    7. Romain Grosjean – Was completely lost in the first half, but suddenly he became on of the best drivers in the second half. Maybe next year he will finally be great the whole season?
    8. Jenson Button – Without those few bad races at the end of the season I would have ranked him 7th, but anyway did solid job with the machinery he was given. But I’m still pretty sure next year will be his final with Mclaren.
    9. Mark Webber – The most unlucky driver this season, but still was nowhere near to Vettel in most of the races. Still, 3rd in the WDC is a nice way to end his F1-career.
    10. Sergio Perez – In terms of speed, he is at least on Button’s level, but he made a bit too many mistakes especially in the first half of the season. Anyway, he was better than Jenson after summer break, and I don’t think he deserved to get sacked after only one season.
    11. Jules Bianchi – Marussia can thank their luck they didn’t get Razia, because with him they had very likely lost to Caterham. It’s hard to impressive with Marussia, but Bianchi managed to do so, which is very impressive alone.
    12. Paul Di Resta – Some very strong performances, some very stupid mistakes. At last managed to beat his team-mate. Probably his best season overall, which isn’t that much of an achievement to be honest.
    13. Felipe Massa – Was surprisingly good against Alonso in qualifying, but very rarely could challenge him in the races. Also made a bit too many mistakes. Only time will tell how well he does in Williams.
    14. Daniel Ricciardo – Much better than Vergne this season, but I still don’t think he deserves that Red Bull-seat. Of course he could surprise me next season, who knows.
    15. Adrian Sutil – Had more bad luck than Di Resta, but was anyway worse than Paul. But his pass on Alonso in Monaco was brilliant.
    16. Pastor Maldonado – Collected less points than his team-mate and also lost to Bottas in qualifying more often than not, but in races Pastor usually was better than Bottas.
    17. Valtteri Bottas – Good in qualifying, but needs to do something to his race-pace. Seemed to loose places in the start a bit easily. I’m still glad he gets a second chance, but next year he really must impress.
    18. Giedo van der Garde – It took a while for him to get used to F1, but since Hungary he made pretty decent job. Deserves another season IMO.
    19. Jean-Eric Vergne – If we count out Monaco and Canada, where was he? Didn’t score a single point since Canada. Needs to improve a lot if he want’s to stay on the grid in 2015 also.
    20. Charles Pic – What happened to the man that could beat Timo Glock? Very disappointing season for Pic, His F1-career might be over now.
    21. Esteban Gutierrez – Scored 6 points against Hulkenberg’s 51, was pretty slow and made some mistakes. But still, for some reason, I feel he deserves second chance. He seems like a very nice guy, which of course has nothing to do with driving skills.
    22. Max Chilton – No, he wasn’t better than Alonso. But congrats for his record, he must be proud of it.


    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Hamilton
    6. Rosberg
    7. Grosjean
    8. Button
    9. Webber
    10. Di Resta
    11. Massa
    12. Perez
    13. Sutil
    14. Ricciardo
    15. Bottas
    16. Bianchi
    17. Vergne
    18. Maldonado
    19. Van Der Garde
    20. Pic
    21. Gutierrez
    22. Chilton


    1. Vettel – Early in the season he wasn’t the best driver in my opinion but after winning nine races in a row, no matter if he had the best car, I’ll have to give him that honor.

    2. Hulkenberg – The car was not good in the beginning of the season but later when it was, he showed just how good he is. Some very good performances in the second part of the season.

    3. Räikkönen – He had an amazing first few races but lost quite a lot of points for reasons not down to him. After the new tyres and long-wheelbased car, he was not good in qualifying but made up for that in the races.

    4. Alonso – His early season was good but he faded towards the end. He claimed that it was the car but I doubt it was all down to the it because Massa continued to perform as good as he had in the beginning of the season.

    5. Rosberg – He proved people wrong by matching Hamilton all season only losing by a couple of points. He would have been better if it were not for his retirements, but then again Hamilton also had his share of bad luck.

    6. Hamilton – He said that he was never fully confortable in the car and therefore wasn’t as good as expected but I think a driver of his level and experience should be able to adapt to any kind of car. Still a good season from him though.

    7. Grosjean – Amazing second half of the season but his poor form and occational mistakes in the first part lowers his position quite a lot. I think he was also helped a lot by the tyre change.

    8. Button – He had good performances in a poor car in McLaren’s standards. Qualifying has never been his strong part and it wasn’t again it this year. In points he was far from any other midfield driver.

    9. Webber – He was probably the unluckiest driver this season. He showed that he still has it despite losing to Vettel quite clearly. He should have won in Malaysia and maybe Japan but he didn’t because of Vettel.

    10. Bottas – People are saying that Maldonado was crappy this year but maybe Bottas was better than people thougth, especially for a rookie. Brilliant qualifying in Canada and race in USA showed just how good he is even in a bad car.

    11. Ricciardo – Some good performances like China and Italy and some of good qualifyings. I still feel like he didn’t always get the best out of his car and I’m still not entirely convinced that he is the right man for Red bull.

    12. Bianchi – He didn’t really have a good reference point as Chilton is also a rookie but he did outclass him very clearly and was the one who brougth Marussia 10th place in the constructors championship.

    13. Massa – He had good races occasionally and out-qualified Alonso regularly but made some mistakes early in the season and overall was not at the same level as Alonso as expected.

    14. Perez – His performances were close to his teammate considering their experience and the fact that it was his first season in the team. He was better than Button in qualifying. I think he would have deserved another year at McLaren.

    15. Di Resta – He had a good start to the season but crashed a lot in the middle part. He didn’t score many points after the summer break but it was probably down to the car and the new tyres.

    16. Vergne – He was quite good in the start of the season taking more points than Ricciardo but something happened after Canada and he did not score any points and wasn’t good in qualifying either.

    17. Sutil – He lead his first race after his comeback but failed to match his teammate for the rest of the season. Only a couple of good performances like Monaco. The middle part of the seson was a bit better for him than his teammate.

    18. van der Garde – A decent performance for a rookie. He had some good qualifyings like Monaco and Belgium but they were mostly down to the conditions or other peoples mistakes and not completely down to him.

    19. Gutierrez – He failed to match his teammate during the season. People said he improved towards the end of the season but considering the car getting a lot better and his performances only slightly, I’d say he maybe didn’t improve so much after all.

    20. Pic – He started better than his teammate probably because van der Garde was a rookie but by the end of the season it was van der Garde who was slightly better of the two, especially in qualifying.

    21. Maldonado – He showed last year that he is a fast driver but somehow he was really poor during this season scorring only one point, the same as in his rookie season. He was also beaten by a rookie.

    22.Chilton – He finished 12 races in the very last position and only twice out-qualified his teammate. He did finish all races but still completed less laps than Vettel or the McLaren drivers. He was so slow that he probably had no one to crash into.


    20. Pastor Maldonado
    Pastor is a great driver, little doubt about it. But he seems to have motivational problems; in other words, his performance on the asphalt seems to depend a little too much on how competitive the material is or how well he is feeling. We only saw little glimpses of what Maldonado is able to do, in Abu Dhabi, for example. This is simply not enough, and he will have to prove himself at Lotus (or wherever) to not completely ruin his image in F1. It is possible (see Grosjean), but he will need to really get his psyche under control. Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Spa and Austin were poor weekends – just too much for an F1 driver!

    19. Charles Pic, 18. Guido Van der Garde
    I have difficulty evaluating performance in the small teams. Although Pic had the overall better season compared to Van der Garde, he lost his status as the better driver in the last races, mostly after the summer break. None of them were really outstanding, but Van der Garde’s future looks brighter to me. He was the rookie, he learned and now he is the top man in the team. So it seems. Once again, tough to judge.

    17. Jean-Eric Vergne
    This season was his chance – and we can say that he failed to impress, and didn’t even make the short list for the Red Bull seat vacated by Mark Webber. Vergne seemed to even less to impress us after the Ricciardo annuncement, which is understandable. He was great at Montreal and Monaco, and good in another five or so races – and he was never horrible (his worst outings were India and Germany). But, once again, that is just not enough; his career might end after 2014, if he gets beaten by the talented Russian rookie.

    16. Jules Bianchi
    Such a great start to the season, but it became increasingly more difficult to really shine in the back. He was in my Top Ten after 3 races, but then gradually dropped places in the ranking. I still believe him to be very talented, but he made quite a few mistakes during the season. Not quite the rookie of the year in my book.

    Top 15 later.


    1) Vettel: obviously just in a league of his own this season
    2) Rosberg: made the step to a top tier driver this year, and completely outperformed Hamilton in the second Half, plus a great win in Monaco
    3) Hulkenberg: Took a car that was obviously way off the pace of the frontrunners for the majority of the season, and drove to several strong points finishes
    4) Grosjean: Although he was a bit shaky for the first half of the season, he proved his ability to be a top driver in F1 in the second half and was really the only driver who put some pressure on Vettel after the summer break
    5) Webber: Without all of his technical failures, Mark Webber probably could have gotten second in the driver’s championship, and he made it through his struggles to go on a great podium run at the end of his F1 career.
    6) Alonso: His ultra-consistency helped him to a solid nine podium finishes, despite the fact that the Ferrari was not at the pace that it has been in the past
    7) Raikkonen: Though he had a miserable end to the season, he had a very impressive first half, with a surprize win in Melbourne, and consistent podium finishes
    8) Ricciardo: Proved his ability this season, and showed that he will be able to compete with the top guys next year
    9) Button: Though the car was an absolute disaster, he drove it as well as he could, and put in a great drive to finish 4th in Sao Paulo
    10) Hamilton: With all the hype about his move to Mercedes this year, Hamilton really did not look like he has in the past, with just one win in Hungary, and a very quiet second half
    11) Perez
    12) Massa
    13) Di Resta
    14) Bottas
    15) Bianchi
    16) Gutierrez
    17) Sutil
    18) Vergne
    19) Chilton
    20) Van der Garde
    21) Pic
    22) Maldonado


    1. Sebastian Vettel. Driver of the year, decimated a classy field.
    2. Fernando Alonso. He tailed off a bit towards the end, but it was another great season from Alonso. As Mark Webber said “Over one lap there are probably guys who are a little bit quicker. But over 19 races, in all conditions, on Sundays – he’s your man”.
    3. Nico Hülkenberg. Put himself in the shop window in a big way this season. Managed to put that Sauber in places it had no right being, managed to keep it there more often than not too.
    4. Kimi Räikkönen. Another solid year for Raikkonen. Solid, stealthy performances for the bulk of the year. If Ferrari produce a good car next year he’ll be there or there abouts.
    5. Lewis Hamilton. He is way too hard on himself, in the cold light of day he has to consider 2013 to be a success. He won a race and took 5 poles, if you offered him that on day 1 of testing he would have had your arm off.
    6. Nico Rosberg. The same as the other “Nicoberg”, Rosberg proved he is a front line driver this year. He would have been 5th, but Hamilton outscored him over the course of the season.
    7. Romain Grosjean. The first lap nutcase is long gone, RoGro is looking like the real deal after a string of top quality drives.
    8. Mark Webber. Solid again, fitting farewell to a quality driver. But he didn’t manage a win while his team mate decimated the field.
    9. Jenson Button. Did the best he could in the woeful MP4-28. Didn’t hear the phrase “massive front locking” as often as we did last year, so that’s a plus.
    10. Valtteri Bottas. His 3rd on the grid in Canada and 8th in Austin showed that the hype is probably justified, let’s hope Williams turn it round in 2014 and give him a car he can shine in.
    11. Jules Bianchi. This chap has heaps of potential, its easy to see why he is still in the Ferrari Driver Academy. He’ll drive for them one day I have no doubt.
    12. Daniel Ricciardo. Good season for Ricciardo in a woeful car. Absolutely thumped Vergne in qualifying, Vettel will be an altogether different prospect.
    13. Felipe Massa. Poor Felipe, he showed flashes of his old self but it was ultimately another poor season for him. Hopefully the move to Williams will get the fire burning in his belly again.
    14. Esteban Gutierrez. Not bad, developed well over the course of the year but you have to question if he would get a place on the 2014 grid if you ignored his Telmex peso’s and based the decision solely on his performances on the track. One of the better helmet designs on the gird though.
    15. Paul Di Resta/ Adrian Sutil. Can’t separate them. Both safe pairs of hands who did a good job. That’s all that can be said really.
    17. Sergio Perez. Disappointment of the season for me. I expected big things from Checo and he didn’t deliver. A lot of that was down to the MP4-28 though, so I was surprised that McLaren decided to bag him. They did give Kovalainen two seasons so why not Perez?
    18. Jean-Eric Vergne. Out paced by Ricciardo. He’ll have to work miracles to avoid losing his place to one of the other Red Bull youngsters next year.
    19. Giedo van der Garde. Not bad, seemed to get the better of Pic as the season went on.
    20. Charles Pic. At times I forgot he was even out there.
    21. Pastor Maldonado. Poor all year. His rant at Williams will have won him no fans at all. He is proof to me that you have to have more than raw pace to get ahead in this game.
    22. Max Chilton. Finishing 19 races out of 19 would be something to write home about if he wasn’t usually last on the road, miles behind his team mate, when the chequered flag fell.


    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Webber
    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Grosjean
    6. Rosberg
    7. Hamilton
    8. Button
    9. Raikkonen
    10. Di Resta
    11. Massa
    12. Perez
    13. Sutil
    14. Ricciardo
    15. Bottas
    16. Bianchi
    17. Vergne
    18. Maldonado
    19. Van Der Garde
    20. Pic
    21. Gutierrez
    22. Chilton


    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hülkenberg
    4. Räikkönen
    5. Webber
    6. Hamilton
    7. Grosejan
    8. Rosberg
    9. Bottas
    10. Ricciardo
    11. Pérez
    12. Massa
    13. Button
    14. Vérgne
    15. di Resta
    16. Sutil
    17. Bianchi
    18. Gutiérrez
    19. Maldonado
    20. Pic
    21. Chilton
    22. van der Garde

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