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Rank the F1 drivers of 2015

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  • #310178

    The F1 Fanatic end-of-season Driver Rankings are coming up soon – but what’s your verdict on the 21 drivers* who competed in F1 this year?

    Share your driver rankings below and highlights from some of the best will feature in the series.

    You can read all the previous Driver Rankings here:

    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/category/regular-features/driver-rankings/

    *Ignoring Magnussen as he didn’t get to start his single race!

    #310180
    WheelToWheel
    Participant

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

    might do an extensive write up later

    #310185
    andae23
    Participant

    I’ll only do a top 10:

    1. Vettel – only in his first year for Ferrari, but outpaced Raikkonen on pretty much every single occasion. He’s the only driver to finish every race in the top five, and it’s this consistency that has allowed him to score exactly as many points as Alonso in 2012. He had an off-day in Mexico, but apart from that he’s been pretty much perfect this year.

    2. Hamilton – very dominant in the early and mid-season, pretty much faultless. However, his form started to deteriorate as the season went on. Partly because Rosberg had upped his game, but also because Hamilton just didn’t seem able to pull it together on Saturdays.

    3. Rosberg – a number-two driver at best in the early stages of the season, with Vettel giving him a good run for his money in a decent number of races. Still, he has managed to score points consistently, not make mistakes and even managed to improve his form, which I think is very impressive.

    4. Perez – always been a driver to look out for, but 2015 seemed to be his strongest season to date. He has improved a lot in terms of consistency, which combined with his speed has resulted in a number of strong results, notably third in Sochi and fifth in Abu Dhabi. Qualifying seems to be holding him back though.

    5. Grosjean – completely outclassed Maldonado in qualifying (who, to be fair, has had a lot better season than people give him credit for) and his third place in Belgium was absolutely astonishing. Taking into account that Lotus hasn’t been in the happiest of situations for most of the season, I think Grosjean’s achievements have been better than it seems on paper.

    6. Hülkenberg – outscored by his team mate, but in general he has been on par with Perez. He beat him 11-8 in qualifying, but he simply hasn’t managed to rack up the same amount of points as Perez. It can’t be glossed over that Hülkenberg has had four more retirements than Perez, so in my opinion both Force India drivers have had an extremely good season.

    7. Bottas – the Williams proved to be a very sensitive machine: fighting for the podium in one race, then fighting in the midfield in the next. Nonetheless, Bottas has managed to score good points in most races, despite his little feud with Raikkonen.

    8. Verstappen – a very good début season, albeit slightly over-hyped. He’s had a fair share of bad luck in qualifying and the races, but on the other hand he has scored two terrific (and, let’s not forget, lucky) 4th places. Like Ricciardo last year, it’s refreshing to see a young driver being so opportunistic when it comes to overtaking, and his ‘you can stick your team orders up your’ mentality is great.

    9. Ricciardo – Beaten by Kvyat in score, but in general he looked the strongest of the pair, particularly in qualifying. He hasn’t quite managed to retain his superb 2014 form, but still it has been a decent year for him.

    10. Sainz Jr. – overshadowed by his Dutch team mate, but definitely a very good rookie season for him as well. It’s a shame that in the two races where Verstappen scored his fourth places, Sainz was actually on par with him, but in Hungary he had a mechanical problem and in Texas he started from the back. He also outqualified Verstappen 9-7, so objectively the two of them have definitely been closer matched than the media would have you believe.

    #310278
    MattyPF1
    Participant

    For me its quite a tough decision but I have made up my mind:

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

    #310279
    MattyPF1
    Participant

    At 19 I was meant to put Roberto Mehri

    #310282
    Atticus
    Participant

    21. Merhi – Outclassed by…
    20. Stevens – Outclassed Merhi.
    19. Maldonado – Himself a one-lap prodigy but still stood no chance versus the mighty qualifying pace of Romain Grosjean. Much-improved consistency to finish the year with but only slightly less error-strewn campaign.
    18. Rossi – Stevens slipped remarkably easily once put under pressure by the young American (Singapore, Suzuka, Austin). Was instantly on pace with his more experienced teammate.
    17. Ericsson – As his speed improved in the second half of the season so did his number of driver errors grow.
    16. Nasr – Impressive pace for a rookie but curiously became permanently slower after his practice shunt in Montreal…
    15. Raikkonen – As much as the torque-y formula doesn’t fit his driving style, he was still too error-prone and slow compared to Sebastian Vettel. Unlucky but could really have done without a long string of below-par quali efforts early on and race collisions late season.
    14. Button – Surprisingly matched Fernando Alonso on one lap, but could barely keep up with him in terms of race pace. Made a lot less driver error though.
    13. Alonso – Button was too close for comfort although the Spaniard admitted to drive ‘in reserve mode’ once – and showed his speed on occasions (Sakhir, Hungaroring, Abu Dhabi).
    12. Kvyat – It is no use scoring more points than your teammate when you are as utterly dominated by him pace-wise as Kvyat was this year in the intra-team battle at Red Bull. His image was helped by the fact that almost literally every single time he was faster he scored big (Monaco, Belgium, Mexico) – and even when he was not (Hungary).
    11. Massa – Came of swinging early season and kept his momentum up until Hungary. After that highly emotional weekend in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s death he made a lot of mistakes, primarily in qualifying, and was almost always visibly slower than Valtteri Bottas.

    Top 10

    10. Bottas – He was put off-balance too easily by the distraction of the admittedly very tempting Ferrari seat – and Massa – but became a lot more collected in the second half versus the Brazilian. Not really to blame for the Raikkonen collisions.
    9. Hulkenberg – His was one of the closest, if not the closest, intra-team battle and he held the upper hand relatively comfortably until Spa – topped with a Le Mans victory. He began to make more driver errors when put under pressure by Perez afterwards – and he lost his pace advantage.
    8. Perez – Stellar second half of the season under the pressure of running more towards the front but his post-Spa form improvement was probably magnified by the more able pace of the car too. Mirrored Hulkenberg’s season – early on it was he with the worse pace and more errors. Very close between the two.
    7. Grosjean – Absolutely destroyed Maldonado on one lap, regularly getting the E23 into Q3 when it did not always belong there. Very strong race performances, but a bit more mistakes than 2013 or 2014 (Montreal, Sochi and occasional little ones).
    6. Sainz – Probably with the most wretched luck of all – at least four retirements from surefire, and often big, point-scoring positions among others – and he came up against one of the best drivers of 2015 (and most likely that of the next generation). He was only slower then Max Verstappen on one lap – and even then only by best sectors; he headed the two by results -, mostly held his ground in terms of race pace and showed great racecraft for a rookie.
    5. Rosberg – Like Sainz, he came up against one of the best of the year and showed relentless willpower to claw back his deficit and pounce whenever Lewis Hamilton made the slightest of mistakes or became off-balance – including his late season rally. Beaten on raw pace and in wheel-to-wheel combat more often than not though.
    4. Ricciardo – He may have been beaten by Kvyat in the championship but his raw speed, both in qualifying and during the race, as well as his excellent, fair-but-firm racecraft shone through just as much as it did in 2014. Few highlights (Hungary, Singapore), but an exercise in consistency – if only a bit unlucky.
    3. Verstappen – Became better and better overall as the year went on – his one lap pace improved massively, his overtakes were almost always right on the edge but so spot on, there are literally only superlatives to describe his debut season; probably the best F1 debut season since the effort of Hamilton back in 2007.
    2. Vettel – It was a very tough one for the top spot. Vettel came out of the gates marvellously with blistering speed and next to no mistakes but although he performed to a very very high level throughout, his – dare I say – ‘obsession’ with matching Mercedes resulted in a few costly errors creeping in (Spa, Interlagos qualifying, bad start in Sochi and a disasterous showing in Mexico joined his truly off-colour Bahrain race). Overall, I think he dropped it a bit from his very high standards when he put too much pressure on himself.
    1. Hamilton – Despite his late season ‘slump,’ he improved a place on his mid-season ranking for me (partly down to Vettel fading a bit), but it is still very very close and I can understand those who swap the two. For me, the fact that he performed the strongest when it mattered the most – early season, but also early on after the summer break – counts for more than his slightly bleak weekends post-Austin. Mentally superior, dominated Rosberg when it mattered, made fewer mistakes than last year and even snatched wins after the car sort of slipped from ‘underneath him’ post-Singapore.

    #310283
    PorscheF1
    Participant

    1) Vettel
    2) Verstappen
    3) Perez
    4) Hamilton
    5) Ricciardo
    6) Grosjean
    7) Kvyat
    8) Bottas
    9) Rosberg
    10) Hulkenberg

    #310284
    Julien
    Participant

    Here’s my list:

    21. Pastor Maldonado
    Absolutely destroyed by Grosjean over the entire year. Was as always involved in a lot of incidents but sometimes kept his car out of trouble to score some points. Needs to raise his game next year if he doesn’t want to get beaten by Gutierrez, who I don’t rate high as well.

    20. Roberto Merhi
    Had a terrible beginning of the year. But after a few races found his place. Still not the best driver around in my opinion.

    19. Will Stevens
    Had the edge over Merhi in the beginning of the season but while the season progressed was behind Merhi and Rossi more often than in front. Doesn’t deserve another season in F1.

    18. Marcus Ericsson
    Had a unspectacular debut season in the Caterham and his season at Sauber wasn’t much better. Could keep up with Nasr in qualy. But in the races he was a bit behind on pace. Had a decent middle part of the season but since then his season ended pretty bad.

    17. Kimi Raikkonen
    His season was again one to forget quickly. He was destroyed by Vettel. And while he had some good races, he had just as many bad ones. Bad luck always seems to affect him. Next year will almost certainly be his last. Let’s see if he can end his career on a high.

    16. Alexander Rossi
    Only drove 5 races but impressed a lot compared to Will Stevens. Deserves to drive more races in F1.

    15. Felipe Nasr
    Had a fantastic debut, but after then the Sauber, as expected, was overtaken by teams like Toro Rosso, Lotus and Force India. Still he took most of the opportunities to get points. Seemed to have a dip in form in the middle of the year, but came back strongly at the end of the year.

    14. Felipe Massa
    Just like Bottas had a unspectacular year. Seemed to be on par with Bottas in beginning of the season but in the second half of the season lost a bit out to him.

    13. Nico Hulkenberg
    The first half of the season was great for him. Winning Le Mans and scoring decent points in his Force India. But in the second half of the year he had a difficult time beating Perez. He also had a bit too much collisions in the races, although not all of them were entirely his fault. Next year will be make of brake if he ever wants to be in a top team.

    12. Nico Rosberg
    His last few races saved his season, but the rest of the year he always seemed to be a few tenths of Lewis’ pace. Really needs to be on the pace from the start of the season if he wants to beat Hamilton.

    11. Carlos Sainz
    Sainz had a lot of bad luck during the season. So the points difference between him and Max is not really fair. He also had a great rookie season but seems to just miss that little bit extra that Max had. Sainz performed really solid but didn’t deliver the mind blowing races that Verstappen did.

    10. Jenson Button
    The car was a disaster but still Button made the most of it. He didn’t show his frustrations as clearly as Alonso did. Alonso was a little bit faster over the year, but he kept up with him really well.

    9. Fernando Alonso
    His season was a disaster, but that was down to the car. He showed his frustrations more than often but kept driving his heart out. His performances in Hungary and Austin were heroic.

    8. Valtteri Bottas
    Had a pretty unspectacular year. He seems like a very reliable force, but not the world champion in the making, yet. Had a difficult time beating Massa in the beginning of the season but came back strong in the second half of the year.

    7. Romain Grosjean
    Destroyed Maldonado this year. Was involved in a little bit too much on track clashes but his season at least had a great high with 3rd place at Spa. Furthermore got the most out of his Lotus.

    6. Daniil Kvyat
    Had a tough start of the year, but since Monaco he really seemed to have found his place. Had some great drives and could keep up with Ricciardo.

    5. Daniel Ricciardo
    Couldn’t impress as much as last year in his underpowered Red Bull. But he was absolutely brilliant in Hungary, Singapore and Austin when his car could fight at the front.

    4. Sergio Perez
    Normally a bit of an inconsistant driver with some flashes of brilliance and some mistakes. But this year he’s been on fire. In the A-version of the car he did a pretty solid job. But once the B-version was introduced he delivered some really great perfomances. 3rd at Sochi and 5th places at Austin and Abu Dhabi are the highlights of his season.

    3. Max Verstappen
    The surprise of the season. This guy is exactly what F1 needed. Quick, young and fearless. In 2 years from karting to F1 and with only 17 years of age he did a phenomenal job. The first half of the season was a steep learning curve for him but in the second half he did just about everything right and got the most out of his car, and some more. His spectacular but fair overtakes draw the attention of the whole paddock and the fans. I think he’s our next super star.

    2. Lewis Hamilton
    Yes, it’s a lot easier to win if you have the best car. But at the first 2/3rd of the season he made Rosberg almost look like an amateur. He picked up his qualy pace from last year and his race pace was just fantastic. A bit of a shame the last part of the season Rosberg seemed the quicker guy.

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    Got the absolute maximum out of the car. And grabbed all the opportunities for a victory perfectly. Had some bad races like Bahrain and Mexico but in every other race he maximized the potential of the car.

    #310292
    glynh
    Participant

    It seems simple to rank drivers until you actually sit down to think about it and realise it’s virtually impossible to take the influence of the teams out but I’ll give it a go:
    21. Will Stevens – hasn’t stood out
    20. Roberto Merhi – hasn’t stood out
    19. Pastor Maldonado – a unique combination of bad luck and lack of ability as a racing driver. He has his good moments but they are more than balanced out.
    18. Alexander Rossi – could have been higher if he’d had more races to prove his consistency.
    17. Marcus Ericsson – Despite the points I would say he performed better than Nasr but he has enough experience that I expected more.
    16. Felipe Nasr – I had almost forgotten he was in F1 after Australia to be honest but he has performed well.
    15. Kimi Raikkonen- not terrible by a long way and he’s had some bad luck but compared to his teammate and former self he’s had a very bad year.
    14. Fernando Alonso – has had some good drives
    13. Nico Hulkenberg – has always been around the mid field but produced no stand out drives or moves of note. Beaten by his teammate.
    12. Jenson button – Has got the most out of a bad car
    11. Daniil Kvyat – nothing spectacular but a good addition to red bull and remains consistent.
    10. Daniel Ricciardo – Not on the form he had last year but had a good drive in Singapore which places him slightly above Kvyat.
    9. Felipe Massa – Drove well
    8. Valtteri Bottas – Drove consistently well.
    7. Romain grosjean – Some stand out performances including Spa but a few below average races stop him being higher.
    6. Carlos Sainz – Beat his teammate in qualifying and had some great races.
    5. Sergio Perez- Once again proves he’s more than a match for his teammate who is highly rated to. Had a bit of luck in Russia but also had some excellent drives.
    4. Max Verstappen – Good in qualifying, spectacular in races, only a few rookie errors stop him being higher up.
    3. Nico Rosberg – Consistently performed well and pushed Hamilton all the way but despite reliability issues and a late season surge was fairly beaten by his teammate
    2. Lewis Hamilton – As with the Marrusia’s it’s hard to compare with other drivers because of the car. He’s close to being number for many obvious reasons but he didn’t beat Rosberg by as much as was expected and had a few off races, notably at the end of the season which he blamed on feeling his job was done…
    1. Sebastian Vettel – Apart from one weak race he’s driven the maximum out of his Ferrari, thrashed his team mate and even beaten the Mercedes and, unlike them, has been able to demonstrate his overtaking skills.

    #310293
    dragoll
    Participant

    1. Vettel – His move to Ferrari has reignited his passion for the sport, and he has found something to fight for. His victories this season have not been expected by the fans, nor from Ferrari themselves. His consistency and regular podium positions meant that he put Rosberg’s 2nd place finish in the championship in some doubt. I think that the switch to Ferrari has proven to all F1 fans that this German is quick and is deserved of his 4 titles.

    2. Hamilton – No matter what you may think of him off the track, on it, he races hard, and he races to win. There is no more that could of been asked of him during the season, he easily had it over his teammate all year. The blip at the end of the season doesn’t overshadow a dominant championship winnning performance.

    3. Verstappen – Mad Max has been epic this season. I remember when the likes of Alonso and Schumacher burst onto the scene in cars that were at the back of the grid and make their mark. We may be watching one of the single greatest drivers of all time. His overtaking has been breathtaking, and his have a go attitude is refreshing in a field full of drivers who seldom take risks. He has made mistakes, Monaco being the biggest, but if you’re racing at the limit and you never make a mistake, then you aren’t trying. I look forward to his 2nd season in F1, because while there is no expectations upon him this year, next year the eyes of the paddock and the world will be.

    4. Ricciardo – This position was by far the hardest to select, I think the top 3 were just a notch higher than the pack. Of the pack, I think Ricciardo was just a fraction more consistent than most, he started the season on a high, but it trailed off once the RBR/Renault tension escalated and it became clear that the car would not improve. He finished behind his teammate on points, however, drives like Hungary where you could see the honey badger literally throw his car around, shows that this young kid is our best hope yet at seeing our first Australian F1 champion since Alan Jones in 1980.

    5. Kyvat – I really do think it was close between Ricciardo and Kyvat, and Danil’s consistency is what got him over the line on points over his teammate. However, the opening of the season saw Kyvat really struggling to integrate into the RBR team, especially given the rapport that Ricciardo has with the team and the entire paddock. It is hard for me to recall an impressive race by the young Russian.

    6. Massa – I have always felt that Massa was at his best in 97 at Ferrari, and I think his early performances in that season lost him the championship, from that point on, he has always been a number 2 driver in my eyes. This year, I actually have questioned my long held view on him, or is this a case that his Finish teammate is over hyped in comparison? Whatever the situation is, Massa has earned this position with consistent solid drives, with a few stand out performances.

    7. Rosberg – I’m being generous adding him in this position, I think that his performance this year is nothing short of lack lustre and has been completely out classed by Hamilton every step of the way. In my view, even his wins in the last 3 races aren’t enough to justify Rosberg’s selection in the top 6 drivers of the year. These wins, while important for his morale for next year, are essentially off the back of a dismal season, Hamilton not only beat him, but pushed him around on the track like a ragdoll, and Rosbergs only defense was a whinging “he pushed me wide” statement after the fact. He continues to make critical errors when the pressure is on, losing the race at COTA is just one of these examples. In my view, Rosberg has sealed the deal, he is and will be remembered by most F1 fans, a number 2 driver.

    8. Hulkenberg – I think that of all the drivers on the grid, that Hulkenberg will be remembered as the guy with the most natural talent that never got a break in F1. Many people will cite his lack of consistency as a negative, however, I look at Hulkenberg slightly differently, yes he seems to have awesome weekends, however, when he isn’t having an awesome weekend he is still finishing in or near the points in car that is a little hit and miss on pace. Whereas, his teammate is truly hot and cold in comparison. A special note as well about his performance in Le Mans, the Hulk has shown us that perhaps will be remembered as the most versatile race driver that has ever been, take a look at the cars he has driven to get into F1 and see how he dominated most of those classes.

    9. Perez – It was close between the 2 force india drivers, because of the inconsistencies both demonstrated, however, in my view Perez’s bad races means that he’s struggling to even salvage a point from his result where Hulkenberg typically found himself in the points. Perez at Mexico will remain a highlight for me, the crowds reaction to the Mexican driver each lap was sensational, and Perez himself lifted because of it.

    10. Sainz – If Verstappen wasn’t such a sensation, I think we would be talking about how solid a year Sainz’s has had. However, while I say solid, I still think there is something a little mundane about this driver. He takes no risks, he feels like a Jarno Trulli to me, a guy who will be happy to plod around in his current position and protect that place, rather than finding a way of improving his placing. However, this is his first full f1 season and he has done extremely well for a rookie, and his performances have outshone some of F1’s more senior drivers.

    Its been almost 2 hours writing this post, so I might just list the rest :P

    11. Maldonado – treated unfairly by most this year, has improved on consistency.
    12. Grosjean – should join the #occupy movement, as he has been anonymous in 2015.
    13. Bottas – he probably deserves to be higher, but I think he just wasted his own time in F1 this year.
    14. Nasr – great start in Australia, the Sauber was anonymous for the remainder.
    15. Button – showed that even a polished honda, is still an earth dreams nightmare.
    16. Alonso – provided the greatest f1 meme of all time.
    17. Raikkonen – he may no longer know what he’s doing.
    18. Rossi – demonstrated the talent pool in GP2 runs very deep.
    19. Ericsson – showed some promise, but very little overall.
    20. Mehri – he is so good that I can’t remember the last time I saw him or his car on TV.
    21. Stevens – making up the numbers, both on track in Manors back pocket.

    #310295
    Diceman
    Participant

    It’s really hard to rank the drivers this year. Only the top-2 really stood out, the rest of the list could be quite different if I made it some other day.

    Not Ranked:

    Will Stevens – Can’t remember any big mistakes, but didn’t stood out either.
    Roberto Merhi – Had a difficult start, but the more the season progressed, the more often he managed to beat Stevens.
    Alexander Rossi – In the few races he drove, he did quietly impressive job, making him the only driver from the Manor-trio who I’d like to see in F1 in the future.
    Fernando Alonso – Decent driving, but too much whining.
    Jenson Button – Same as above, but without the whining.

    16. Marcus Ericsson – Had some decent points-finishes in the middle of the season, but the fact he managed to finish behind the Mclarens in the points-table makes his season very unimpressive.
    15. Pastor Maldonado – Most of the time he was nowhere near his team-mate. Must up his game a lot as he’s supposed to be Renault’s leading driver next season.
    14. Kimi Räikkönen – A lot of silly mistakes, and most of the time miles behind Vettel. Bahrain was the only weekend he looked like a champion. Didn’t deserve to keep his seat for 2016.
    13. Felipe Nasr – After a fantastic Australian GP, was pretty invisible for the rest of the season. Managed to beat his team-mate clearly however.
    12. Carlos Sainz Jr – Had a lot of bad luck compared to his team-mate, but was also less impressive on the track. Did a decent job for a rookie however.
    11. Felipe Massa – Pretty Invisible the whole season, but was closer to his team-mate than last year. However, didn’t manage to beat his team-mate despite driving one race more.
    10. Nico Hulkenberg – Drove brilliantly after his Le Mans-victory, but what happened to him in the second half of the season? Had some bad luck, but that doesn’t explain why he finished 20 points behind his team-mate.
    9. Daniil Kvyat – Made some mistakes, but overall had pretty decent season. Despite beating his team-mate in the points, didn’t impress as much as Ricciardo.
    8. Valtteri Bottas – Suffered a lot from his team’s mistakes, but also didn’t drive as well as last season. Had some great weekends like Mexico, but also had many invisible drives. Seems to lack that 5% that separates great drivers from champions.
    7. Romain Grosjean – Made some 2012-like mistakes in few races, but overall drove very well and pretty much trashed his team-mate. His podium in Spa was one of the best performances from anyone this season. It’s a shame he’s going to a team that will most likely not be challenging for points next season.
    6. Nico Rosberg – Don’t really know what to think of his season. Seemed to be nowhere near Hamilton at the start of the season, then he upped his game but suffered from bad luck, then faded again and then finished the season with 3 wins. I hope he keeps his momentum over the winter and we get an exciting team-mate battle at Mercedes next season.
    5. Sergio Perez – Had the best season of his career. Took a fantastic podium in Russia, and drove very strongly most of the time, beating his much-hyped team-mate quite clearly in the points-table. Maybe he could still end up to a top-team one day?
    4. Max Verstappen – The most exciting driver of the season. His overtakes were often the only thing worth watching during the boring races. It’s still hard to believe he just turned 18 and drove karting only few years ago. If he can get rid of the few mistakes he made and just cool down a bit, he will become the youngest champion to date. This Dutchman is the best thing to happen to F1 for a while.
    3. Daniel Ricciardo – Did a decent job all year. Can’t remember any big mistakes, and most of the time took all the points he could. Hopefully Red Bull can be competitive next year, as Ricciardo really deserves a chance to fight for a championship.
    2. Lewis Hamilton – Most of the time drove like a 3-times champion, and therefore deserved his title. However his end to the season wasn’t very strong, and he needs to work hard to get his 4th title next season.
    1. Sebastian Vettel – Trashed his team-mate, took every point possible expect for 2 races, and won 3 races. Maybe Vettel learned something from his team-mate last year, as his season was pretty similar compared to Ricciardo in 2014. If Ferrari can take another big step closer to Mercedes, Vettel might become 5-times champion at the age of 29.

    As I said, the rankings were really challenging to make this year, as everyone in my top-13 did pretty decent job this season.

    #310344
    roodda
    Participant

    Not ranked: Magnussen
    21 Mehdi
    20 Stevens
    19 Maldonado
    18 Rossi
    17 Ericsson
    16 Nasr
    15 Raikkonen
    14 Button
    9/10/11/12/13/ Grosjean-Ricciardo-Alonso-Hulkenburg-Massa (too hard to seperate)
    8 Sainz
    7 Bottas
    6 Kvyat
    5 Rosberg – would be much lower bar his end of season charge. Just plain slower than LH all year and whinged too much as well. Title chase went out the window after his conservative tyre call at Hungary. Has momentum going into 2016 so hopefully he can take it to LH.
    4 Perez – becoming more and more mature. Really hit his straps after the summer break. Nearly took the lead at Spa and drove a blinder in Russia. Hopefully more podiums to come in the future.
    3 Verstappen – the best thing to happen to F1 in quite some time. Actually wants to go racing, wants to compete and is totally driven. Loved his “NO” in Singapore.
    2 Hamilton – completely dominated his team mate in the best car. Blindingly fast at times. Didn’t have to do many charges through the field, bar in Hungary and that didn’t really work out well. So, not a lot of wheel to wheel racing as he was just too fast.
    1 Vettel – got the best out of his car, Alonso 2012-esque at times. All races finished were in the top 5, deserved a podium in Belgium, had a shocker in Mexico but week in, week out, he was on the money.

    #310346
    Atticus
    Participant

    @roodda The tyre call was not Rosberg’s mistake in Hungary – it was an unlucky situation where the set to be provided was right on the edge given the number of laps remaining and the pre-determined team strategy still judged primes the better option there by a lap. It was a team error, if anything (if they didn’t re-run the models with the SC laps input, or if we say they simply lacked common sense – in any case, strategy is team territory, not driver territory).

    Squeezing Ricciardo with only a handful of laps to go when he had the speed advantage on the exit of Turn 1 was his fault though, so it’s still all square, I guess.

    Most of the rankings follow a similar pattern – by which I’m not surprised since Fanatics usually delve so deep into the nuances which determine one’s performance that they will inevitably extract most of the real driver contribution out of it, which is not a subjective thing (how close we get is subjective though, if we presume all our existing knowledge, which varies from person to person, is given in the moment of compiling our personal rankings).

    Still, I find some anomalies. A lot of you place Kvyat unnecessarily high, I think. I noted in my ranking above why I think his performance can easily be seen in a better light than it really was. I also find Perez too high up on a lot of lists – mind you, up until Spa it was a role reversal at Force India with the Hulk generally quicker and Perez making the more mistakes, so in reality it’s more even-stevens. Perez simply managed to shone by the time the car became quicker – and the little advantage he should really enjoy ahead of Hulkenberg is that he faced more pressure with bigger results on the table. Alonso and Button are a bit undervalued somewhere as well, although it’s very hard to judge them in that weak machinery.

    On the other hand, all the other rankings won me over as to the outright number one – I’d now also put Vettel first and Hamilton second.

    #310349
    PorscheF1
    Participant

    I think everyone could find himself in a top three consisting of Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen. Depending on how you look at it you’d put one ahead of the other.

    #310350
    Atticus
    Participant

    Yes, it’s extremely balanced this year. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and even in 2014, it was kind of obvious, but this year it’s pretty tight.

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