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    This season had some very good racing and stellar performances from some. This wasn’t an easy list to rank, particularly at the top. Like many, I will not rank Will Stevens and Andre Lotterer since they only raced once, but Lotterer was solid at Spa and Stevens was better than I expected for someone thrown into an F1 car for a weekend without much testing mileage and told to go race.

    For the full timers….
    22. Adrian Sutil
    21. Max Chilton
    20. Esteban Gutierrez
    19. Marcus Ericsson
    18. Pastor Maldonado
    17. Kamui Kobayashi
    16. Kimi Raikkonen
    15. Dani Kvyat
    14. Jules Bianchi
    13. Sergio Perez
    12. Romain Grosjean
    11. Kevin Magnussen
    10. Nico Hulkenberg
    9. Jean-Eric Vergne
    8. Sebastian Vettel
    7. Felipe Massa
    6. Jenson Button
    5. Nico Rosberg
    Never would’ve guessed he’d outqualify Lewis the way he did. Although Lewis had some major qualifying issues, there were numerous weekends where Nico was simply faster. He drove some great races to prove he had race pace too over Lewis, particularly Monaco and Brazil. But, he was also not quite on it at times when he really needed to be, like the US Grand Prix when he did get the pole over Lewis but got overtaken, as with Suzuka and potentially Russia. Still a very impressive year when you can win 5 races and that many poles and podiums though.

    4. Valtteri Bottas
    Another breakout driver this year along with Ricciardo. Sure, he made some mistakes (Australia), but he was superb through the European season (Austria podium, beating Lewis in Germany) and although Massa came to life in the second half to challenge him a lot more, he was pretty much on it all year.

    3. Fernando Alonso
    Flawless. Makes you wonder what Ferrari would be if they didn’t have him. He was practically driving the car like Fred Flintstone when a rare chance at a win existed like Hungary, and even when there was no chance at all, he was flawless and consistently out-drove Kimi.

    2. Lewis Hamilton
    The champion. Hard to argue with 11 wins, and he drove much better in the back half of the season when the pressure really mounts when you’re in championship contention as he was. Save for Brazil, he was nearly mistake-free after the summer break and was just quicker than Rosberg week after week, which wasn’t always the case in the first part of the season (ex. Monaco, Austria, etc.)

    1. Daniel Ricciardo
    Incredible season. I don’t think anybody expected the way he was just faster than Vettel. He fit in nicely with Red Bull and drove a virtually mistake-free season with lots of terrific highlights to choose from. He was very often the fastest non-Mercedes, and when he wasn’t, it looked as though the car was generally not up to the job, not the driver.


    This is a very thought provoking question Keith. I would say that gimmicks are inevitable in motorsport, or any sport. Most of the gimmicks that I could think of in motorsport have already been mentioned by previous posters, since I haven’t been on this site in a few days, but I don’t think all of the gimmicks you mentioned were bad. There were some that I strongly disagree with, such as the success ballast (Even the name makes it sound egregious), and the Formula E “Fanboost”, and the current implementation of DRS in Formula One.
    But since I consider myself a regular viewer of NASCAR, I will say that the Chase has generally been good for the sport. I would not like to see it implemented in F1, but it does work well for NASCAR. NASCAR has to contend with the NFL from September to November, and NASCAR is well aware that many of its fans are NFL fans first. It is actually a very good idea to continue interest (a “gimmick”, as you defined) through the stretch run of the season. Even the rule that one win guarantees a chase spot was one I was skeptical of at the beginning of the season, I must say I’ve been won over. The racing has been closer more consistently and teams have been very willing to gamble on strategy in ways they never used to. It is also worth noting that 5 of the 10 “Chase Champions” would have been champions under any of NASCAR’s point systems, and the “Chase Champion” would’ve never been less than 4th under any of NASCAR’s point systems.


    I’d like to see each track have several DRS zones, but allow everybody to use it maybe 5 times or so per race. At a circuit such as Monza, you could choose to use it on the main straight, the one between Lesmo and Ascari, and Ascari to Parabolica. But, you can only press the DRS button 5 times per race. However, everyone can use it 5 times, it’s just up to them when it’s most advantageous to use it.


    Best Driver: Nico Hulkenberg (Tough call between him and Vettel, though)
    Worst Driver: di Resta for his early exit, but this year seems to feel like there are fewer yellow periods, so no one really stinks too much
    Best Team: Red Bull
    Worst Team: Force India- I was hoping they’d beat McLaren
    Best Overtake: Alonso vs Webber- Good stuff, could’ve been cleaner, but still fine
    Funniest moment: Alonso’s iPhone. Even better than him being cameraman last year.
    Most Surprising Result: Hulkenberg hanging on to a Top-5
    Least Surprising Result: Vettel’s runaway
    Special Mention to: Daniel Ricciardo, driving again like he’s ready for the Bull.
    Race Rating: 6/10


    Shame. One of the best street circuits I’d ever seen in terms of racing. Passing was always possible thanks to that never ending backstretch. Not the most interesting corner complexes, but a racetrack should also be about how exciting the races are there, and this place had some good ones.


    My Grid (Half Realistic/Half Wishful Thinking)
    Red Bull- Vettel, Ricciardo
    Mercedes- Hamilton, Rosberg
    Ferrari- Alonso, Kobayashi
    Lotus- Hulkenberg, Raikkonen
    Force India- Grosjean, Magnussen
    McLaren- Button, Perez
    Sauber- Bianchi, Gutierrez
    Williams- Maldonado, Bottas
    Toro Rosso- Vergne, da Costa
    Caterham- Pic, Nasr
    Marussia- Wickens, Frijns


    Can’t say that race was a thrilling one, but it was great to watch racecar drivers driving racecars. As with last years Texas race, the fast cars went to the front and the ones who nailed the setup were rewarded with good finishes. The drivers were on their toes all night, and that was good to see. Glad the pack racing era is over in Indycar superspeedway races, that’s for sure.


    Wow, that’s really interesting about RG’s contract. In which case, I can see how the pressure must have really been on this weekend. But who would Lotus sign to drive in his place? It’s incredibly hard to jump into these things and go fast right away. I’d love to see Valsecchi get his chance, but it makes you wonder who would be a better option for a mid-season replacement if he indeed gets dropped.

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