F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings 2013

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    I find it impossible to distinguish between the following pack after Alonso and Vettel so many variables are down to tyres that a driver that shone in one race looks like a clown in the next. Particularly in Hamiltons case this is evident with lacklustre performances that have magnified as the year progressed. It almost seems that most of the other drivers on the grid could be as bad or good as each other given a Red Bull.

    David Margono

    Hulkenberg has the utter misfortune of showing his talents in 2012-2013… the way he wrings the most out of that midfield Sauber is a lot like how Vettel consistently wringed (wrung?) the most out his Toro Rosso in 2008 to get into the points, with the only difference being that Vettel was able to win when the opportunity presented itself while Hulkenberg was unfortunate to slide into Hamilton. Also, Vettel thrashed Bourdais the same way Hulkenberg thrashes Gutierrez. Vettel was fortunate that he had RBR to further hone his immense talent and eventually become a 4x WDC whereas Hulkenberg… just shows the sorry state F1 is in at the moment.


    1 – Vettel

    2 – Alonso

    3 – Raikkonen

    4 – Hulkenberg

    5 – Hamilton

    6 – Rosberg

    7 – Grosjean

    8 – Ricciardo

    9 – di Resta

    10 – Button

    11 – Bottas

    12 – Perez

    13 – Massa

    14 – Sutil

    15 – Vergne

    16 – Webber

    17 – Bianchi

    18 – Maldonado

    19 – Pic

    20 – Van der Garde

    21 – Kovalainen

    22 – Gutierrez

    23 – Chilton


    I know the numbers 1, 21, 22 and 23 on my list, but have not yet decided on those in between. Until when have we got?


    1. Nico Rosberg – My favourite all year. He impressed all year and got consistent points. Kept his cool in problematic situations (like a sparking front wing) and mechanical failures. Hungary was the only race that halted a possible 16-race point grab. Excellent stuff
    2. Sebastian Vettel – Endless lights-to-flag victories where he barely put a foot wrong all year. It was all a little too easy, however, with the pace of the car he was driving compared to the rest of the field. His performances were hard to criticise, however.
    3. Fernando Alonso – Great performance once again from Alonso, outperforming the car on a great number of occasions and consistently scoring points. A few qualifying woes and nightmares during some races stained what was mostly another brilliant year.
    4. Kimi Raikkonen – Excellent performance much of the year, with a huge number of high-scoring points and podiums which kept his team in the running for runners-up in the constructors championship (all without getting paid, mind). With his team’s conduct, he is probably glad to move on for next year.
    5. Lewis Hamilton – Consistently good and fruitful in his new team, and for the most part kept himself out of trouble. Will need to up his game a little bit next year if he believes he can take the championship. He will also need to prove his development capabilities.
    6. Mark Webber – Good much of the year, though his motivation clearly died after Vettel’s actions at Malaysia. Wasn’t seen as much, though he made a good impression with multiple podiums when his car allowed him to finish.
    7. Nico Hulkenberg – Picked up points all year in good and bad situations and, like Bianchi, was noticed for all the right reasons.
    8. Jenson Button – “Just cruising” once again, as his mantra picked up a huge number of consistent points, making sure McLaren were picking up every point they could lay their hands on. Good job.
    9. Sergio Perez – Consistently in the spotlight early on with his enthusiasm of overtaking and racing. Wasn’t given a great car and will unfortunately be dropped before being given a real chance
    10. Romain Grosjean – Had an excellent late run, but a disappointing first half of the year. A year of two halves, definitely
    11. Paul di Resta – As a fellow Scot I’m not too keen on the guy’s personality, but he had some good momentum at times all year, and this was arguably his best year to date. There were some bad runs, however, and a lot of jamless donuts.
    12. Felipe Massa – A small improvement in pace in races, and a good improvement in qualifying. Still far off the pace and capabilities that he has needed to be at but still his best year since 2010.
    13. Jules Bianchi – A backmarker that everyone noticed. Did well all year to keep his car ahead of the competition and win Marussia that 10th place.
    14. Adrian Sutil – Some good races in his comeback, though he was not without flaws
    15. Valtteri Bottas – A few excellent performances in a god-awful car. Definitely proved himself more than most.
    16. Daniel Ricciardo – Nothing particularly stunning that I saw. Let’s hope his grin next year does not match Vettel’s finger in levels of punchability.
    17. Jean-Eric Vergne – Consistently ok performances, and far less mistakes than 2012
    18. Esteban Gutierrez – There were doubts at the beginning of the year of this man’s ability, and aside from a few performances he didn’t provide much
    19. Pastor Maldonado – Disappointing year in another uncompetitive car. He may bounce back again in a more competitive team next year.
    20. Charles Pic – Who? I didn’t see him all year. When people I know who watch the sport aren’t aware of drivers’ existences they’re clearly not making themselves known.
    21. Giedo van der Garde – Once again, who!?
    22. Max Chilton – so bad that everyone here knows his name


    1 – Sebastian Vettel.
    Flawless season. Honestly can’t recall a mistake he made all year. Yes, he had the best car after the tyres were changed but in my time of watching F1 for the past 25 odd years only the true greats like Senna, Prost or Schumacher have extracted the maximum from their ride to such dominant effect. Completely annihilated his team-mate and many of his wins – Germany, Singapore, Japan and India were masterclasses.

    2 – Fernando Alonso.
    Conjured another second place in the championship in a car that from mid-season was probably fourth best. His first few corners in Barcelona weren’t quite Senna at Donington but not far off either. A little disappointing in qualifying but his relentlessness and hunger on Sundays quite often made up for it. Expect him to raise his game even further (and win) against Kimi next year.

    3 – Kimi Raikkonen.
    Chosing third place was a hard call but I had to plump for Kimi as up until Hungary he was still a championship contender due to his superb run of 1st half podiums and his victory in Oz. Even when he qualified badly (which he did way too much this year), he generally drove fault-free races – think Hungary, Korea and Singapore. Perhaps the gentle tyre wear of the Lotus flattered his results at times and once he was off to Ferrari, he was surprisingly thrashed by Grosjean.

    4 – Lewis Hamilton.
    Rather like Kimi, I think a slightly limp end to the year shouldn’t negate the fact that more often that not he beat his team-mate. His qualifying performances still suggest he might be the fastest driver on pure pace alone and was robbed of a win in Silverstone but as always for Lewis there were emotional ups and downs that rarely seem to affect the guys above him in this list. Felt his “off” days were better than Rosberg’s which is why he’s quite a bit ahead of him.

    5 – Romain Grosjean.
    12 months ago he looked like such a liability and now he looks like a dead cert race winner. Was pretty anonymous for the first half of the year and did make some dopey errors in Monaco and Hungary. However his run of 6 races towards the end of the season were sensational – only Vettel and that Red Bull beat him. Curious to see how he performs as a team leader who is expected to beat his team mate and consistently rack up points over 19 races – particularly if the Lotus is not as good as it was this year.

    6 – Nico Hulkenburg.
    Hard to judge his early season form other than he annihilated Gutierrez but from Monza onwards he certainly made the most of his improved machinery. His performance to beat the Mercs and Ferraris in Korea was one of the most heroic of the season and suggest he oozes star quality. Why have I only made him 6th? He had a great end to the year but do I think he would have out performed the likes of Hamilton or Raikkonen in the same car all year long? Jury is still out for me – although a disgrace he isn’t getting the chance to show if he could in a top car next year.

    7 – Jenson Button.
    A quiet season in a poor car but if you look closely you’ll actually see that weekend after weekend he generally maximised his car to finish in the lower-scoring points positions. Was perhaps outqualified by Perez a little too often for a World Champion but come race day he rarely let the team down. Deserves a better car for next year as when he’s comfortable, he delivers.

    8 – Nico Rosberg.
    A classic “on his day” driver. On his day, he can produce sublimely judged, consistent races such as Monaco, Silverstone or his end of season run of podiums. Generally stacked up well against Hamilton but the problem I’ve always had is he has too many races you forget he’s even there. Had the brunt of reliability problems at Merc to be fair but after 8 seasons in the sport, I still don’t see him as a champion in waiting.

    9 – Mark Webber.
    Beaten 13-0 for wins and 17-2 in qualifying suggests he was right to call it a day. How he might have performed without the Multi-21 saga would have been interesting and it surprising to see him not perform at Monaco, Silverstone and Spa like he has done in the past. Would have scored more podiums had it not been for duff reliability but rather like Patrese in ‘92, this was a classy driver made to look worse by not being as suited to his car as his team mate. Still, some great overtakes and solid results towards the end of the year – if only he’d sorted out his starts.

    10 – Daniel Ricciardo.
    Primary complaint from 2012 was that he tended to qualify well and then go backwards on Sundays. Improved in that regard from last year and there was the odd race where you’d find him slugging it out with a Merc, Lotus or Ferrari for a few laps and he looked composed whilst doing it. Pretty clearly beat his team mate this year but not sure what to make of him at Red Bull next year. I suspect he will be fast but inconsistent (perhaps a bit like Massa at Ferrari in ’06 or ’07).

    11 – Sergio Perez.
    I thought Perez was fortunate to get the McLaren seat on the back of a few tyre-assisted podiums in 2012 but after ending the year with some solid drives I thought he maybe deserved another season. Probably guilty of over-driving at the start of the year in Bahrain and Monaco but delivered a great race in India. Never a top line driver but at 23 years old, he has time to come back as a strong midfielder.

    12 – Felipe Massa.
    Probably fared better against Alonso than Webber did against Vettel but was similarly dominated by his team-mate. Seemed to have more of his mojo back for most of this year in qualifying but was remarkable how consistently he would go backwards in races. Rather like Alonso and Kimi, he has perhaps lost a fair bit of his raw pace from his youth but doesn’t seem to as wily as those two to compensate in races. Could surprise at Williams.

    13 – Valterri Bottas.
    Generally matched or beat his far more experienced team mate (particularly in qualifying which was a surprise) and his performances in Austin and in wet qualifying at Montreal suggest he is a driver of true talent. Having said that, he absolutely must beat Massa next year to be considered as a future winner

    14 – Jules Bianchi.
    For a guy who had an afternoon of testing in the Marussia before the first race, I thought he performed awesomely. He did seem to get caught up by Chilton as the season progressed but seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Heard it mentioned that time will tell if he’s the new Alonso or the new Fisichella… Surprised Ferrari weren’t more active in getting him into, say, a Sauber for next year.

    15 – Paul Di Resta.
    Has always been a solid in unspectacular performer so when he kept making mistakes towards the end of the year I worried he had wrecked his career. Certainly deserves another year as when he gets a car that he is comfortable with, he gets in good positions and stays composed. Having said that, a chance to start over at Ganassi in IndyCars would be so hard to turn down.

    16 – Jean-Eric Vergne.
    Having seen him in junior formulae, I was convinced he would better Ricciardo this year but it just hasn’t come together for him . Qualifying still seems a weakness for him but other than a couple of great races in Monaco and Canada, it’s been a quiet one. He does seem to know he needs to deliver big time next year against Kvyat though. Especially as Ricciardo is no long term guarantee at Red Bull.

    17 – Max Chilton.
    Gets far too much stick. Yes he brings money in to his team, but he’s also won races in lower formulae. Took an approach this season to bring the car home and add speed later and it generally worked as he crept closer to his much more illustrious team mate as the year wore on. No reason to change his approach next season.

    18 – Adrian Sutil.
    One rung above the class of “paydriver” resides the “journeyman” classification and after over 100 Grands Prix, I think Sutil is definitely to be found here. A couple of great races in Melbourne and Monaco are the obvious stand out performances but made a lot of mistakes for someone of his experience. Am utterly ambivalent as to whether he stays around for next year.

    19 – Pastor Maldonado.
    Didn’t make as many mistakes this year and was 11th on 4 separate occasions so was reasonably consistent. Also, given the hype around Bottas, he was by no means embarrassed by him even if he demonstrated fewer stand out performance. Ending the year dissing your team and mindlessly trying to pass your team mate in Suzuka on the last lap was poor form. Unlikely he’d be in the sport next year without his Petrodollars and a fortunate man indeed to end up in the Lotus… Still, as demonstrated at times in 2012, he does have raw pace so could surprise at times.

    20 – Esteban Gutierrez.
    Would have undoubtedly benefitted from a year of “doing a Bottas” as a Friday driver before stepping up this season – looked to be sinking up until the point Sauber brought out their Monza updates and, actually, he didn’t look too bad therafter. I’d be perhaps be a bit worried if he was Sauber’s de facto team leader next year but certainly deserves at least another half-season to prove his value.

    21 – Giedo Van Der Garde.
    Surprised to see him perform as well as he did as a guy who took the long road to get to F1. There was a silly mistake in Canada with Webber but on the whole he did a solid job at the back – struck me as a solid guy too.

    22 – Charles Pic.
    It’s a cliché to describe him as the most anonymous driver in the sport, but its also true. The fact that he was generally bettered by a guy who’s never screamed top quality in the lower formulae suggests he might not be much longer in the sport – especially if Kovalainen is making a return in 2014.

    Jay Menon

    Not going to do a full ranking, but will point out certain drivers.

    Top 3
    1) Vettel – Without a doubt, absolutely dominant, in true morale crushing form. Who cares if its the car? The guy has extracted the maximum out of the car and tyres. Made very few mistakes all year…nothing more to say really.

    2) Hulkenberg – He has outperformed his car all year. Dragging an utterly poor car into the point in the early part of the season was very impressive. With the car improving in the second half, his ability to take the fight to the likes of Alonso and Hamilton was a showcase of his true capability.

    3) Grosjean – A year ago, this would have been a joke. He has made such huge leaps in his consistency, that, that in itself will warrant mention this far up the list. Proved his talents in the second half the season, the only one to really push Vettel towards the end. And if it wasnt for bad luck, could have had a few more podiums I feel. With amount of pressure that was put on him, for a fairly young chap, he has come through with flying colours when it would have all too easy to keel over and pi$$ himself.

    Worth a mention
    Rosberg – Glad that people are finally taking him seriously. Its been close between him and Lewis all year.

    Bottas – Essentially outdrove his more exeprienced, former race winning teamate. Duly proved his ability once Williams abondoned their coanda exhaust at the last couple races. Look forward to him a quick car, should be top drawer

    Alonso – Started very strongly, but literally had no answer to Vettel and Red Bull in the second half. Season was poor by his standards. Sunday performances were excellent, but his Saturday performances were very poor. The car itself was poor in the second half, and you never got the feeling that Alonso was never in his 2012 form. Frankly, I feel that he lost some motivation towards the end of the season.

    Poor (by their standards)
    Hamilton – Not impressed by him at all. He hasnt gone into Merc and dominated as one would expect from someone with the ability of Lewis. He doesnt seem to have the ability to set the car up to his liking, and he hasnt seemed comfortable all year long. His statements such as “I wouldn’t care if I didnt win the championship again” doesnt sit well. Hamilton seems to have lost a lot of drive, out of the 2 Merc drivers, Nico looks more like the World Champion..sadly, Lewis seems a bit lost.

    Massa – Good to see that he’s finally got the Ferrari monkey off his back. Team orders or number 2 driver aside, Massa has been poor. Hs quali performance compared favourably to Alonso’s, but this with the latter performing poorly on Saturdays. The fact that he has less than half the points of his teamate shows how poor a season he’s had. We will find out if it was him underperforming in the Ferrari, or if Alonso was overperforming soon enough, when he teams up with Bottas in 14.

    Button – A little controversial, but I feel he has had a poor season. It was nice to see him finish on a relative high at Interlagos, but those highs have been few and far between all year. We can agree that Mclaren has had a poor car, but he hasnt stamped his authority on the team or his teamate. In short, he has failed as defacto “team leader”. With his wealth of experience, and as World Champion, I cant get the feeling that he has pushed the team hard enough. Both Button and Whitmarsh almost seemed to be resigned to the fact that they had a poor car, and that they had little hope in improving. Obviously, this is based on what we see and hear from their public statements. Mclaren needs someone like Vettel, Alonso or Schumacher to drive the team forward. Were they expecting that of Button? Dont know..but it doesnt appear that there is anyone in Mclaren that fits the bill.


    1-Vettel :dominating the whole season
    2-Grosjean:shown massive improvement in 2nd half of season.
    3-Hulkenberg: outperformed his car, dragging it into the top 5 a few times this year.
    4-Alonso:great on Sundays, but poor on Saturdays. Can’t match vettel with a less competitive car.
    5-Hamilton:adapted to his team well, and beaten Rosberg in his 1st season.
    6-rosberg:definitely his best season of the year.
    7-webber: the 2012 Hamilton, but have yet to beat vettel in any races so far.
    8-raikkonen:missed 2 races at the end of season, but managed many podiums before that, but very poor in quail.
    9-button: managed the team’s best finish of the year despite having one of their worst cars in history.
    10-bottas: one of the 2 rookies to score points, and beaten Maldonado in the championships and quail.


    11. De Resta
    18. Van Der Garde
    22. Charles Pic


    Here are my rankings for now. The explanations will follow. :)

    Driver (Change from midseason ranking)
    1. Vettel (0) – The last time I saw an F1 driver break that many records, F1 engines had 10 cylinders, pitstops still had refuelling in them, and tweeting was exclusively for birds.
    2. Alonso (+1) – Fernando still gets 2nd overall despite the hints of tension between him and LdM. It was making the most out of a bad car, really. At least they were still together at season’s end, unlike…
    3. Raikkonen (-1) – The relationship with Lotus just deteriorated after they fell out of title contention. And losing Kimi hurts Lotus where it matters in the long-term – prize money. Still, Kimi was punching above his weight with cars that had much bigger budgets behind them.
    4. Hamilton (0) – By all accounts, his debut year with Mercedes went a lot better than he originally imagined. Lewis did outscore his teammate…
    5. Rosberg (0) – But Nico got more wins than Lewis, and wasn’t that far off in the end points-wise. Which is why they’re also not so far off in my rankings.
    6. Grosjean (+5) – No doubt Romain was the most improved driver of the season. And he is a good example of a driver who was given time to mature – and delivered the goods. Not all drivers get this much time…
    7. Hulkenberg (+3) – On the one hand, Nico has always shown that he can make a midfield car a front-runner in the right circumstances. On the other hand, his now-yearly practice of switching from one midfield team to another isn’t doing him or his career much good, either. Young gun with prodigious pace stuck in the midfield? He might end up becoming the new Fisichella if he isn’t careful…
    8. Webber (-2) – As he ends his F1 career, Webber finishes the season in the Top 3, emulating his 2010 and 2011 finishes. That said, taking 0 wins this season in the same car his teammate won 13 races in is very, very disappointing.
    9. Button (-2)
    10. Ricciardo (+2)
    11. di Resta (-3)
    12. Sutil (-3)
    13. Perez (+1)
    14. Massa (+1)
    15. Vergne (-2)
    16. Bottas (+2)
    17. Bianchi (-1)
    18. Gutierrez (+3)
    19. Maldonado (-2)
    20. Pic (-1)
    21. van der Garde (-1)
    22. Chilton (0)

    I won’t rate Kovalainen, as he only did 2 GPs, but I will say he was a bit disappointing in his two outings.


    1. Vettel

    2. Raikkonen
    3. Alonso
    4. Rosberg
    5. Grosjean
    6. Hulkenberg
    7. Hamilton
    8. Webber

    9. Button
    10. Perez
    11. Massa

    12. Ricciardo
    13. Bottas
    14. di Resta
    15. Bianchi

    16. Sutil
    17. Vergne
    18. Gutierrez
    19. van der Garde
    20. Kovalainen
    21. Maldonado
    22. Chilton
    23. Pic


    The main difference between Vettel and Alonso is not talent.
    It is focus, motivation and the ability to deliver every weekend.
    It is a mental strength that has seen him finish every season in a strong matter, since his first season in F1. Vettel always maintains level or gets better towards the end, Alonso has dropped performance (at a high level, though) more often than not since 2007.


    1. VETTEL – He has been perfect for pretty much the entire year. The only errors he made were the choice of tyres in Malaysia, exploring the grass and brushing the wall in Canada and missing out on pole position in Japan and Abu Dhabi – but he won all those races anyway. For me personally, he has made the leap from world champion to Formula 1 legend this year.

    2. ALONSO – Started the season with a relatively good car and performed very well. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to keep up this form throughout the entire season. In the second half he again had to make the best out of the situation, which he did by consistently finishing in the top 5. His phenomenal starts and overtaking skills have been his trademark this year.

    3. HULKENBERG – He has been the revelation of 2013. We already knew he was good, but his performances throughout this year have been jaw dropping. With an uncompetitive Sauber, he was able to make the most of it every weekend. With a more or less competitive Sauber, he was consistently able to mingle with the World Champions. Why no top team has signed him is shameful.

    4. RAIKKONEN – Before the tyre change, he was very good at making the most of the car’s tyre saving abilities, for instance by winning in Australia and finishing second in Bahrain, Spain and Hungary. Sadly his back injury meant he had to miss out on the last few races of the season, but still he has had a pretty decent season.

    5. HAMILTON – Marginally better than Rosberg in the first half of the season, and pretty much equal in the second half. His victory at the Hungarian GP was very impressive, as were his performances in qualifying throughout the year. Sadly the Mercedes tended to be slower in the races than in qualifying, but nonetheless both drivers made the best of it.

    6. ROSBERG – One more victory than Hamilton this year, but my general impression is also reflected in the final points: ever so slightly less than his teammate. But to be honest, I don’t see any points where I can criticize him, as he hasn’t had any races where he performed below par.

    7. BUTTON – Had to work with an uncompetitive McLaren, but made the most out of it. Though often helped by strategy, his incident-free races have brought him many points. Qualifying for the Belgian GP again showed his wet weather skills, while his top five finishes in Brazil and especially Malaysia were very impressive.

    8. GROSJEAN – He has had a pretty unimpressive start to the year, struggling with the tyre a lot more than Raikkonen and being clumsy from time to time (his performance in Monaco was beyond embarrassing). But he re-invented himself in the second half, finishing ‘best of the rest’ in many GPs. Would have loved to see him win a race this year, for instance at the German GP.

    9. WEBBER – Generally slower than Vettel in qualifying and unable to make up for it in the race, mostly due to being unable to manage the tyres as well as Vettel (which became clear in Japan, where he could have won had he not destroyed the tyres in his first stint). He has had terrible luck this year, but it doesn’t cover up that he has under-delivered this year.

    10. RICCIARDO – Had a good season, despite having to work with an uncompetitive car. Qualifying seems to be his strength: he reached Q3 in almost half of the GPs. But in the races themselves, he has shown potential too, for instance in China and Italy. Looking forward to next year, if he is able to match Vettel or not.

    11. BOTTAS – A good debut season, but held back by the car’s shortcomings. He made the most out of it though, generally beating Maldonado on Sunday. His qualifying performances at the Canadian and USA Grands Prix showed his potential, and his eighth place at COTA was very well deserved. I hope he gets a more competitive car next year.

    12. DI RESTA – The season started very well for him, with the fourth place in Bahrain and his comeback in Monaco being highlights. But after those races he failed to build upon that – partly because the car seemed to be worse on the new tyres, but that doesn’t make up for it entirely. Though on the upside, he was able to outrace Sutil during most races.

    13. PEREZ – Struggled to match Button’s pace in the first half of the season, with incidents and very inconsistent results. But he made good progress during the season: at the end he was probably just as fast as his teammate. Fifth at the Indian Grand Prix was very well deserved, a solid performance. In a way it’s sad McLaren decided to ditch him after a disappointing first half.

    14. BIANCHI – Overhyped at the start of his career, but probably one of the best rookies this year. It’s difficult to judge his true performance as the only benchmarks are his teammate and the Caterhams (which he beat more often than not), but there’s no doubt he has done a solid job this year.

    15. SUTIL – More experienced than his teammate, but unable to beat Di Resta apart from a few occasions. Monaco was the only race that really stood out, with some great overtakes on a couple of World Champions. But pretty poor in the rest of the season, particularly the second half.

    16. VERGNE – Matched Ricciardo early in the season, but after the news that Ricciardo had been chosen to replace Webber, Vergne couldn’t beat his teammate anymore. His incredible performance at the Canadian Grand Prix seems to be just an oddity.

    17. MASSA – At the start of the season he seemed to be able to match Alonso again, but quickly returned to his old self. Where Alonso always seems to make up places during a race, Massa just seems to go backwards, probably tyre related. On top of that, he had a series of spins and crashes in the first half of the season. He recovered from that in the second half, but was still dreadfully slow.

    18. VAN DER GARDE – Had a rough start to the year, with a lot of spins and crashes, but improved throughout the season. At the end, he was able to beat his more experienced teammate Pic in qualifying regularly, which is strange considering the pair was pretty well matched at Addax in GP2.

    19. MALDONADO – Quite an embarrassing year for him: after three years at Williams, he should have been able to show Bottas how to do it. Instead Bottas managed to better him in qualifying and in the final points standings. My impression of him in general was very lacklustre, not willing to fight for every single position, which one would expect from a Formula 1 driver.

    20. PIC – Most consistent driver of the backmarkers, but unable to make his mark. At the start of the year he was quicker than Van der Garde, but towards the end of the season it was the other way ‘round. My impression is that he has been unable to give the team the right feedback, which is essential for a team leader.

    21. GUTIERREZ – Consistently poor in qualifying and unable to make up for it during the races. Hülkenberg showed what the car is capable of, and Gutierrez wasn’t close to matching him. His seventh place at the Japanese Grand Prix was good, but the praising that followed more or less confirmed to me that his season has been very disappointing.

    22. CHILTON – Finished all 19 Grands Prix, but twelve of them in last place. Nowhere near quick enough in qualifying, not quick enough to be a threat to Bianchi in any Grand Prix bar the Italian GP. And on top of that, his collision with Maldonado in Monaco was unacceptable.

    Not rated: Kovalainen – had to little time to show his true performance.


    Couple of points to state up front –
    1. Am considering the whole season so a strong or weak end to the season won’t change my ratings drastically.
    2. A driver losing to his teammate will definitely to be placed below him in the ratings.

    1. Vettel – No point in even justifying his place in the list !
    2. Raikkonen – Consistent and quick in first half of the season with crazy number of moves in non-DRS zones due to low top speed of Lotus in many races. Could have been better in last few races before injury especially in qualifying.
    3. Hulkenburg – Great qualifier. Could possibly challenge Vettel and Hamilton over 1 lap. Has steadily improved his race craft too.
    4. Alonso – Relentless once again. Made more mistakes this year than previous 2 years combined. Also was matched in general by Massa in qualifying though on race day there was huge difference.
    5. Hamilton – Inconsistent but fast on his days(like all his seasons except 2007 and 2012)
    6. Rosberg – Nothing much to choose between the teammates though overall Hamilton does seem faster of the two.
    7. Button – Not that quick in qualifying but has been very consistent in races. I don’t believe any of the big 4 would have got a podium this year in the Mclaren as the gap between Mclaren to the higher placed cars was too much for the driver to make the difference.
    8. Grosjean – Very quick and seemed to have really improved in consistency. One to watch out next year.
    9. Webber – Unlucky to be paired with Vettel. Was good in qualifying even though beaten by Vettel regularly. Race pace varied pretty often.
    10. Di Resta – His overall personality seemed to have resulted in everyone underrating him. Had a very good start to season and beat his teammate fair and square. Force India made a lot of mistakes which robbed him of lot of points.
    11. Perez – Similar pace to Button over one lap and not much slower in races as well but nowhere as consistent.
    12. Ricciardo – Good qualifier but very inconsistent in races. I think the gap between him and Vettel will be at least as much as it is between Webber and Vettel if not larger in their first year.
    13. Bottas – Has shown glimpses of greatness in qualifying. Race craft is suspicious as yet.
    14. Massa – In general matches Alonso in qualifying but always goes behind in races. Has been beaten by Button too often in races in a car significantly slower for me to rate Massa higher.
    15. Bianchi – Beats Chilton comfortably. Tough to judge him beyond that in a marussia.
    16. Gutierrez – Vastly outpaced in first half but seemed to have come closer to Hulk towards the end. Still not really at a top runners pace.
    17. Maldonado – For a qualifying expert, to be beaten by Bottas doesn’t serve well though to his credit he typically had better races than Bottas
    18. Sutil – Not many memorable races to be honest. Occasionally fast but too many mistakes for a person with 100+ starts
    19. Pic – Clean racer
    20. Vergne – Fairly disappointing end to the season with him barely matching Ricciardo in any of the races.
    21. Van Der Garde – Seemed to be matching Pic in 2nd half of the season.
    22. Chilton – Improving but still 1 sec off Bianchi pace.


    Good Drivers perform well despite changes in tyres , rules , etc .., and can out perform their machinery . So, Considering solely driver performance ( ignoring , mechanical issues, accidents due to other drivers/reasons ) , here’s my list …

    1 . Vettle – No Questions

    2 .Fernando Alonso – bad car , Tyre changes didn’t help Ferrari . But he was consistent

    3. Romain Grosjean – not to argue with his second half . Monaco was his only bad weekend , which caused Canada bad too . car set up was not to his liking in first 3 races and the rest was all bad luck , not his faults

    4 . Kimi Riakhonen – Consistent as ever . but degraded a little in second half

    5 . Hulkenberg – First half wan’t good , and couldn’t do any good when the car was bad. but when tyres played a bit in the second half , he was better

    6 . Rosberg – Hamilton would admit this too

    7. Webber – Hugely out performed by Vettle , and was unlucky with several Mechanical issues, bit race craft as better in a good car

    8. Hamilton – Mixed season

    9. Massa – Another , mixed season

    10. Ricciardo – Despite Race points, consistently brilliant qualifying performance was promising m what he can deliver in a good car like red bull

    11. Perez – despite , being over aggressive , showed what he is capable of , over his hugely experienced team mate

    12 . Button – McLean was 1.5 seconds off the pace . but everybody expected him to finish 6 th or 7 th , compared to what Fernando did last year . But he could not

    13 . Di resta – Had his best moments, and worst moments

    14 . Bianchi – A real Talent , being wasted in a slower car ..

    15 . Bottas – promising future talent

    17 Sutil – Just Like Perez and Di resta in combined , was brilliant and over-aggressive at times , other times , he was totally missing in races

    18 – Vernge – Average performance in an ‘Okay’ car

    19 . Maldanado – Everyone knows he can be fast and reckless , just like Grosjean . but didn’t improve his race craft as Grosjean did.

    20 /21 . Gutierrez & VDG – saw some sparkles at few times , bit was below par most of the times

    22. Chilton – Despite British media hails him for finishing in all 19 races in his rookie season , he never looked like capable of overtaking Fellow Maurissa and Caterham , Seemed like his only ambition was to finish the races

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