Rank the F1 drivers of 2015

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  • #310419

    Here are the standings from the posts so far (using F1 points system):

    1. Vettel 243
    2. Hamilton 178
    3. Verstappen 139
    4. Perez 101
    5. Ricciardo 82
    6. Rosberg 67
    7. Grosjean 54
    8. Kvyat 48
    9. Bottas 39
    10. Sainz Jr 23
    11. Hülkenberg 17
    12. Massa 10
    13. Alonso 8
    14. Button 1

    Can’t understand how HUL is that far behind PER – gotta take into account the whole season!


    Can’t understand how HUL is that far behind PER – gotta take into account the whole season!

    Don’t understand it either.


    @magon4 Thank you for the aggregates.

    As for the Hulk, as I’ve noted on page 1, it’s probably more about Perez being unreasonably high on a lot of lists with people presumably led ashtray a bit by the fact that he peaked at the right time (second half of the season and by the time the Force India got properly quick).

    (Also @andae23.)




    @magon4 “Can’t understand how HUL is that far behind PER – gotta take into account the whole season!” Yup, these ratings are always skewed, drivers who do better in the latter half of the season always end yup higher in the rankings.

    Anyway, here is my 2p’s worth.

    21. Mehri – Shaded by Stevens, competent but probably shouldn’t be in F1.
    20. Rossi – Performed well against the only person you could fairly compare him to. If performance was all that mattered that seat should have been his all season.
    19. Maldonado – I really do want Pastor to succeed, and I do think he is genuinely quick enough to be in F1, but his failure to learn from his mistakes means that if I was running a team I wouldn’t give him a seat.
    18. Stevens – Competent, but struggled to beat both Mehri and Rossi.
    17. Raikkonen – Utterly dominated by Vettel, when he did stand on the podium it had more to do with the inherent pace of the ST15-T than his driving. If poor Jules had been around you would be heading to retirement.
    16. Ericsson – Did well against Nasr, but…
    15. Nasr – he got the headline grabbing result. And it was his rookie year.
    13. Alonso – Hard to judge these two given how poor the MP4-30 was, so I’ll rank them the same somewhere in the midfield
    13. Button – Ditto.
    12. Massa – Comparisons to Bottas’ points total ignore the fact that Bottas didn’t race in Melbourne. Wasn’t really at his best this season, but he did have his moments.
    11. Ricciardo – Disappointing year for me, he deserved a much better car than he got. He’s still a star of the field though but I ranked Kvyat higher because (a) he scored more points over the season and (b) got the team’s best result.
    10. Kvyat – A coming of age season, started wobbly (though that was probably down to the car) but he really did come on strong. Still made a few errors but he is young. A star of the future and deserving of his seat.
    9. Sainz – I’m sympathetic to Sainz because he will inevitably get less plaudits than Verstappen because the latter is a teenager. But let’s not forget that Sainz is only 20 and he got by far the worse of the reliably gremlins (one of which hit when Verstappen scored very heavily).
    8. Verstappen – Was terrific, but let’s not forget that some of his season highlights (like the lauded “pass round the outside of Blanchimont” were down to tyre advantages – and at Blanchimont track limits violations). He is a phenomenal talent but lets see how he does in season 2.
    7. Grosjean – The Lotus was an ok car but the team lacked the cash to develop it. That never got him down and he consistently out-performed it and his team mate. Spa was one of the drives of the season.
    6. Rosberg – Feel like I’m being generous by ranking him so high up. While the championship was still up for grabs he was 10-3 down in race wins and 12-4 behind in qualifying. He did perform well at the end of the season, but the damage was already done.
    5. Hulkenberg – Started stronger than Perez, performed really well all season (other than a late season wobble). And he won Le Mans for goodness sake.
    4. Perez – Probably his best season, was as good as Hulkenberg but edges it because he (again) got the headline grabbing results.
    3. Bottas – I know a lot of people will disagree with this, but he was the best non-Mercedes/Ferrari driver most weekends and he was in with a shout of beating one of them in the championship despite starting one less race. Took his opportunities and made few mistakes. Consolidated his position as one of the top talents of the future.
    2. Hamilton – It’s hard not to rank the man who dominated in the way Hamilton did number one, but the performance advantage the W06 had meant that probably any top driver would have won the championship in it. If Hamilton had carried on winning after the championship was sealed he would have been number 1.
    1. Vettel – A massive transformation from Vettel. He was by far the most impressive driver of the year and he was sublime in the races he did win and he kept the Mercedes honest all year when the SF15-T didn’t have the pace to win. Utterly obliterated Raikkonen. And he was the star of the post-race press conference.


    1. Vettel – while one may rank Rosberg much behind Hamilton, he did not end up as far behind his team mate as Raikkonen did. The Ferrari was a good car this year, Raikkonen underperformed and Vettel overperformed. He was not perfect in Bahrain and disastrous in Mexico – in the other 17 races he took the maximum, from his car, from his driving and from the results. 2014 now looks even worse when compared to his driving this year and in 2013. Revitalized.
    2. Hamilton – only twice down the podium, improved in his only weak area – qualifying – and never looked in doubt for his third title. Worthy champion.
    3. Verstappen – the results are only part of his ranking. He got rapidly better as his experience grew, yet made few mistakes and many, many great overtakes. Wonderful driving standards from a 17-year-old rookie. Surprise of the year.
    4. Perez – took him a while to get the maximum from his car, but once he found the perfect balance he became the easiest pick for best of the rest behind the Mercedes and Ferrari. Both in qualifying and in the races he upturned Hulkenberg’s favour and beat him in the championship. A matured driver.
    5. Rosberg – up till Silverstone he was usually behind his team mate but with three wins to five he was still in it. He then had nightmare races till Austin, but in the last few of them he had re-found his qualifying form of last season. Without the pressure of defending an impossible title assault, he relegated Hamilton to second driver in the final three races. 6 wins remain a decent showing, and he took all the wins Hamilton lost – except those Mercedes lost as a team in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore. Fluctuating in form.
    6. Massa – if Bottas is a champion of the future, Massa is not retirement material yet. He and Bottas were evenly matched, but Massa was the one who came out on top when it mattered more in the first half of the season. He defended well from Vettel and Bottas to take his two podiums of the year and led at Silverstone on merit. His form dropped significantly in the final part of the season when Williams were almost certain of their third place and car development stopped, but he finished only 15 points behind Bottas in the standings. Oldie but goldie.
    7. Bottas – like above. Only in the final third of the season he consistently held the upper hand on Massa, but overall his season looked like a step backwards from last year. Judgement postponed to next year.
    8. Grosjean – took a bad car beyond its limits – his podium at Spa remains one of the highlights of the year. If a driver who outclassed Raikkonen at Lotus and who was one of the best drivers two years ago looks average it is because his car is worse than what he deserves. Relentless.
    9. Hulkenberg – he was in fine form until he won at Le Mans. Stangely, that high-point of his career was the start of a dip in performance in F1. Still only finished in the points when he didn’t retire in the second part of the year. Consistent.
    10. Sainz – his results are similar to his team mate’s, if we exclude Verstappen’s pair of fourth places. Seven retirements badly hurt his morale and chances at further points, but when his car didn’t break down he showed good pace overall and he and Verstappen were alternatively ahead of each other. Unlucky.
    11. Kvyat – unlucky year to move up to Red Bull. Ricciardo had found a better engine which allowed him, in the right circumstances, to take three wins – Kvyat only a podium. Yet he came out ahead of the Australian. Usually unseen, he brought his car high up, with three fourth places. Solid.
    12. Ricciardo – bad choice of time to be beaten by his team mate – again. Critics will say his 2014 was downright lucky, and though that is not completely true few would have predicted Kvyat to come out on top this year. Back with his feet on the ground.
    13. Raikkonen – managed to finish fourth, which was the maximum anyone could have asked him for, but how difficult it was. Qualifying performances and race results thrown away because of silly mistakes – his racecraft needs refreshing. Great on one-lap pace, he cracked under pressure when Ferrari needed him to perform, with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi being two exceptions which prove the rule. Average.
    14. Nasr – started with a great drive on début, from then on his car took matters to itself and good results became a mirage.
    15. Button – it was he who drove McLaren’s best races, and some of his qualifying runs were inspired. Stubborn (in its positive meaning).
    16. Alonso – not so sure second or eleventh does not make a difference. He clearly is too good for this car, but he has mostly himself to blame and some complaints were out of place. Doubtful.
    17. Rossi – in only a few races, and including his début, he beat Stevens on track and in the championship. Finally got his chance and did brilliantly.
    18. Maldonado – nine retirements? His reputation precedes him. When he stays out of danger, he brings solid points. He does not seem to have margin for improvement though, pace-wise. Sutil II.
    19. Merhi – beat Stevens more than the opposite happened. Not bad at all.
    20. Stevens – while usually the better Manor in qualifying, he had no reason to be the slowest of them in the race more often than not.
    21. Ericsson – the Sauber was not a car which could’ve fought for podiums, and seldom fought for points, but it is clear Ericsson is not the way to go for the team. Sutil and Gutierrez should’ve taught them a few lessons.


    Please guys, I plead you not to rank Kvyat higher than Ricciardo…

    Just look at quali paces, race paces, tyre degs from race charts and team radios, anything – just don’t judge by the points totals and the headline results. It’s so plain to see…


    1st Lewis Hamilton: Almost a perfect season, a very deserved third title
    2nd Sebastian Vettel: Only a poor race in Mexico stopped him topping my ratings
    3rd Romain Grosjean: Excellent season, came of age as a driver
    4th Max Verstappen: Without doubt a future champion
    5th Daniel Ricciardo: Showed flashes of brilliance when he could
    6th Carlos Sainz: As quick as Verstappen but not as consistent, had more than his fair share of bad luck
    7th Daniil Kvyat: Proved himself as a potential contender given the chance
    8th Valtteri Bottas: Another strong season, a little unlucky not to finish 4th two years running
    9th Nico Rosberg: Never really challenged when it mattered but an excellent finish to the season
    10th Sergio Pérez: Solid in the first half of the season and a strong second half
    11th Nico Hülkenberg: A solid season
    12th Jenson Button: About as good as you could have hoped for given the car
    13th Felipe Massa: A solid season but is maybe lacking in outright pace these days
    14th Felipe Nasr: Given the teams situation he did a good job
    15th Fernando Alonso: A strong result in Hungary is not enough to save his season, may be lacking motivation
    16th Pastor Maldonado: A fairly average season not helped by poor early reliability problems but he is improving
    17th Kimi Räikkönen: A few good races but massively helped by the car being solidly best of the rest after Mercedes
    18th Marcus Ericsson: An anonymous season, probably a waste of a seat

    Manor Marussia rankings:
    1st Alexander Rossi
    2nd Will Stevens
    3rd Roberto Merhi


    1st Lewis Hamilton: Almost a perfect season, a very deserved third title
    2nd Sebastian Vettel: Only a poor race in Mexico stopped him topping my ratings

    Hamilton had more (very) poor races this season than Vettel?


    Used my trusty grading system, but grades went off as the season progressed.

    21. Roberto Mehri
    Not impressive, not bad, but that’s not something to show at a team like Manor and expect to stay in F1.
    20. Will Stevens
    Faster than Mehri in qualifying, but as the season went on seemed to lose out during the races. Unremarkable season, so like Mehri just didn’t impress.
    19. Alexander Rossi
    Showed up, did his job and beat his teammate. Ran too few races and exactly where you expected him, so hard to place him much higher.
    18. Pastor Maldonado
    Not a bad season per se, but to finish first, first you have to finish. Luck or not, Pastor had a hard time doing that this season, despite being much closer to Grosjean in the races than I expected.
    17. Marcus Ericsson
    Much like the Manor drivers had a largely unimpressive season, but did score points and didn’t always run as far off Nasr as I expected.
    16. Fernando Alonso
    Hard to judge, but I can’t rate DNFs higher than finishes.
    15. Jenson Button
    See Alonso.
    14. Felipe Nasr
    Did a fine job, but wasn’t as far in front of his teammate as I expected. After this season I’m also doubting his potential for growth, though he was never one of my favorites in GP2 either but did well there in the end.
    (From here on it’s a lot closer, where individual spectacular results give an advantage over finishing ‘in position’ for nearly all season)
    13. Felipe Massa
    Shown in 2014 he can still perform. 2015 showed that’s also pretty much it.
    12. Daniel Ricciardo
    Kvyatt beat him on points, but had a poor first half of the season. Something to think about, he has proven he’s a good driver, now to stay on top of things.
    11. Daniil Kvyatt
    Beat his teammate on points, but had a poor opening to the season.
    10. Kimi Raikkonen
    It pains me to put one of my favorite drivers this low, but compared to Vettel and seeing the amount of non-mechanical DNFs/points lost, I have to be disappointed.
    9. Valtteri Bottas
    Not as special as his 2014, with Massa being a lot closer it’s hard to put him much higher for me.
    8. Romain Grosjean
    His most mature and consistent season. A podium is a great achievement in a car that wasn’t developed much all season. Pulverized Maldonado in qualifying, but Pastor came pretty close to him during a number of races. Ultimately held back by the Lotus.
    7. Carlos Sainz Jr.
    Was unlucky to receive the lion’s share of Toro Rosso’s mechanical DNFs, but was pretty close to Verstappen. Both Toro Rosso drivers got the most out of the car, but Verstappen was closer to the positions to capitalize on others’ misfortune often.
    6. Nico Hulkenberg
    Had a somewhat hit and miss season, especially before his Le Mans victory. The best results went to his team mate, which is something the Hulk needs to be wary of.
    5. Sergio Perez
    A third place and three fifth places are excellent results for a Force India. Sergio seemed to be a more consistent version of his 2012 self.
    4. Max Verstappen
    As I put above, I started scoring expected results lower and lower as the season progressed. With two finishes in 4th, impressive drives throughout the season, Max scored the most standout scores. At the same time, Monaco was a big, avoidable mistake and I’m not sure what was going on in Abu Dhabi.
    3. Nico Rosberg
    Saved his place in my top 5 by his late season streak. Rosberg continues his reputation of being a weak driver in second or under pressure, but a strong driver if he’s comfortably first. If his timing was wrong in 2014 because of his Saturday vs Sunday performance, his timing in 2015 was wrong as he only won races comfortably after the championship was lost.
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    A very strong season, resulting in a well deserved 3rd WDC. Still has too many races where he’s just not on it. The car is strong enough to then still guarantee 2nd, but driving like that in a more competitive season would have cost him a lot of points.
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    Apart from his mistake in Bahrain and his off race in Mexico got the best out of his car all season long and often was the life of the party when Mercedes was challenged. Now for Ferrari to build an even better car and stop the silly mistakes when it comes to Q1, and we could have a challenge on our hands.


    1. Vettel : No doubt he defied the doubters, did the almost exact thing as Alonso did in 2012, and even better due to lower number of races and a single team domination season.
    2. Verstappen : Very quick for his age, and still quick compare to Sainz, He had a big potential and ambition, error prone but this is expected for 17 years old rookie .
    3. Hamilton : on the track he even better than last year, but he's not impressing me off the track and last couple of races.
    4. Ricciardo : he's not the best anymore, but he still carry on his last season form on some races, retains his "opportunist" style and still have great pace.
    5. Rosberg : early phase of season he was a total mess. However since Singapore he played very smartly (bar Austin) and give himself a huge boost for next season. 
    6. Perez : He's not that consistent compare to Hulkenberg. But he tried his best and nets another podium finish for Force India.
    7. Hulkenberg : His consistency is sublime, but he need to be great at all races, not just good.
    8 Grosjean : He can carry well in a bad machinery and outclass Maldonado greatly who is a quick driver.
    9. Sainz : Got overshadowed by Verstappen, he didn't got much chance with the reliability issues even though he had a very good season.
    10. Bottas : Slightly better than Massa, his form is drop compare to last year but so is Massa.


    =1 Hamilton
    =1 Vettel — struggling to distinguish between who’s been better so I’ll just say both have had exceptional seasons and leave it at that
    3. Ricciardo — pretty much extracted the maximum out of a uncompetitive and unreliable car. Lost a lot of points thanks to unreliability.
    4. Rosberg — world-class on occasion but usually second-best. Like Webber, he could be champion if he didn’t have the misfortune of having the teammate that he has.
    5. Verstappen — still a little rough around the edges but an excellent debut season.
    6. Perez — a slow start to the season drags him down a bit, but if this was based on the second half of the season, I’d put him in my top 3. Quick, consistent and reliable. His performance across the Abu Dhabi weekend was a particular highlight. I hope Ferrari kept his phone number, I wouldn’t bet against him replacing Raikkonen if he takes this form into ’16.
    7. Kvyat — again, let down by a slow start to the season but really pulled it back in the second half. He’s got the speed, although still prone to mistakes.
    8. Sainz — has the pace of Verstappen but seems to lack that opportunistic racer’s instinct of his teammate. But still, against any other teammate we’d say Sainz had a great rookie year.
    9. Hulkenberg –decent season, but based on his F1 performances fairly disappointing. Three crashes in four races was a particular low point, and he’s meant to be the consistent one.
    10. Bottas — good, but forgettable this year.


    My top 21:
    21: maldonado
    20: merhi
    19: stevens
    18: ericsson
    17: raikkonen
    16: scott
    15: Nasr
    14: Massa
    13: Sainz
    12: Alonso
    11: Grosjean
    10: Hulkenberg – some good performances this year, but the best one not in an F1 car. He averaged out too much towards the end;
    9: Botas: He beat Massa this year, but didn’t beat expectations this year;
    8: Button: soo difficult to rank Button and Alonso this year. I rate Button higher because he managed teh frustration better
    7: Perez: Not just a solid season (especially the 2nd part) but beating the Hulk who is still no slouch
    6: Ricciardo: hard fighting to get the RBR up there, the positions only show part of the story;
    5: Kvyat: just a nose ahead of Ricciardo, he outperformed his car just a few times more
    4: Rosberg: some really good races, and admire the way he approaches those weekends
    3: Verstappen: Verstappen IS the overtaking top 10 of 2015
    2: Hamilton: One of his best seasons, but the last few races showed that he either was not that superior to Rosberg and/or disrespect towards the team who provided 90% of his WDC. Just one place short of a #1 place ranking this year.
    1: Vettel: Mexico showed how good he was the rest of the season.


    1. Hamilton – He was the best, but it wasn’t an outstanding performance throughout year, just consistently delivering what was needed.
    2. Vettel – Vettel came back close to his 2013 level, but there were a few shabby races (mainly Bahrain and Mexico) which is why he wasn’t my top driver.
    3. Ricciardo – It was hard for him to shine like last year due to the car and engine problems, but he’s had standout performances and real big misfortunes, which is why Kvyat could outscore him.
    4. Rosberg – I see a lot of people put him down the order, but I think he was bad only in qualifying during the first part of the year. Rosberg stepped up his race pace for this season, he’s just been behind Hamilton too often after the starts – we saw during the last races how he could really perform when in front from the go.
    5. Grosjean – Good consistent performance, topped by a very strong weekend in Spa. I think he could well get his shot at Ferrari in 2016 after a season with Haas, carrying his current pace.
    6. Verstappen – With the debate whether he should have got his place a year ago or not, I was sure that he’d be on pace immediately, but I thought he would’ve needed a year in GP2 or FR3.5 to be more comfortable with wheel-to-wheel racing in bigger, faster cars. As it turned out he had no problem with it (maybe only the Grosjean crash in Monaco), but Sainz was faster than him pure pace wise often, though ultimately Verstappen performed better. Great career ahead, etcetera.
    7. Perez – From 7th to 14th it was nearly the same level performance-wise, so the order is mainly decided by results. Although Button embarrassed him in Australia, Perez was pretty good from there on, especially the 2nd half of the season, where he also was lucky sometimes, but was very strong for example in Abu Dhabi.
    8. Bottas – Don’t know how much his back injury affected him from Melbourne, but he wasn’t too convincing. Better than Massa, but not by much, and he seemed more comfortable last year.
    9. Sainz – To be honest, I didn’t expect too much from Sainz. I followed WSR pretty closely when he was in the series, and I always had the impression that he’s a quick driver, but not a great racing driver – when he wasn’t on pole, he wasn’t quick enough to even get some podiums, plus he didn’t seem like a big fighter. But he’s been the most positive surprise of the year from me, he seemed confident, on par with Verstappen in terms of pace, had a few mistakes along with many unreliabilities, but overall it was a pretty good debut season for him.
    10. Hülkenberg – Sort of a rollercoaster ride, as strong as he was after the Le Mans win, he was mostly shaded in the latter parts of the season. Even then he beat Perez a few weekends, but it probably was his worst season so far – not too bad, just nothing impressive.
    11. Button – I can only say the usual for the McLaren drivers: hard to judge. Seemed pretty quick up against Alonso, had the odd mistake (hitting Maldonado in China), but he really seemed to try giving everything he can, couldn’t do more.
    12. Alonso – Pretty much the same, they were similar on pace, don’t know how much it was affected by missing testing after his crash. (hey, what happened to that mistery? :) )
    13. Kvyat – Maybe 13th is a bit too far down the order, because Kvyat wasn’t too much slower than Ricciardo, but as I said it is close for me below Verstappen. He was more fortunate of the two Red Bulls thus the more points, but also had some pretty big mistakes which resulted in big crashes. I think he would have been better off staying at Toro Rosso one more season, maybe he felt the big team’s pressure sometimes. Not too bad, but he’ll have to raise the bar a lot if he wants to keep his seat from Verstappen for 2017.
    14. Massa – Again, maybe a bit too far down as he didn’t do many mistakes, wasn’t much slower than Bottas, but nothing extra. Still a lot better than his years alongside Alonso at Ferrari, but I don’t think he should carry on after 2016.
    15. Nasr – Bringing the Sauber home in 5th on his debut was unbelievable, maybe the best drive of the year – but Nasr is pretty inconsistent as it showed immediately at the next race, where he had one of the worst. Beat Ericsson comfortably as he should, but needs a bit more consistency, on his better days he’s pretty good.
    16. Rossi – Merhi said he was down to Stevens because of the weight/height disadvantage – but a similarly big Rossi jumped in and was immediately on par if not faster with his teammate, which was pretty amazing with barely any testing (I know he tried the car last year but IIRC only in Spa FP1). Much better than expected, I wouldn’t mind him getting one of the Manor seats after this.
    17. Raikkonen – Well… I watch the races without commentary, and when he and Bottas went past Perez during the penultimate lap in Russia, I thought „nice job, it’s settled then”. I looked away and when checked the screen a minute later he was limping with a broken car after crashing Perez out. Pretty much summarized his season: a sort of ok performance, but behind Vettel by far, and then cocking up. The drives like the one in Bahrain are too rare. Sorry Kimi, but it’s time to go.
    18. Ericsson – I thought Ericsson wouldn’t even get a point this season, so well done to him. He was generally slower, although occasionally got the better off Nasr, and overall it was pretty good for a driver who’s not on F1 level – but still, he’s not on F1 level. Nice bloke, just not quick enough.
    19. Maldonado – I saw somewhere in a rating that it was „arguably Maldonado’s best season in F1”. I mean, he probably didn’t have AS much crashes as usually, but still a lot, and he was always off Grosjean’s speed.
    20. Stevens – Not much to say. Better than Merhi, and… That’s it.
    21. Merhi – Yup, that’s it.


    @hunocsi While I respect your opinion to have Hamilton as number 1, I’d like to point out that your reasoning doesn’t stack up given Hamiltons drop in form at the end of the season. Granted he no longer needed to push, however, if you’re citing 2 bad races that Vettel had, Hamilton lost the last 3 races to Rosberg.

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