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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Aug 2012   |  10:49 am GMT  |  345 comments

The influential Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport has done a mid-season rating of each of the F1 drivers, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso coming out on top, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

And in a stark assessment of Ferrari’s other driver, Felipe Massa is at the bottom of the table.

The Italian media is very fond of what they call “pagelle”, which are marks out of 10 after every event. It’s a well established part of Italian sports media coverage and has been copied here and there in the UK media and elsewhere.

But in Italy it carries a bit more weight. So it is worth reporting and considering to see whether readers here on JA on F1 agree with their marks.

Alonso comes out with a 10, due to having won three races in an open season, “the merit is above all the Spaniard’s; he has managed to get 101% out of the car, no serious mistake, no below par race, ” says the citation.

Hamilton is second on 8.5, Gazzetta noting that “if he had translated the three poles into three wins it would be a different championship.”


Raikkonen, third on 8, is described as “the most beautiful surprise of the year” for his gutsy comeback, garlanded with podiums and strong points finishes. Interestingly, in 11 races so far these three drivers have yet to appear on the podium together.


In contrast the Gazzetta doesn’t spare Massa’s blushes, “25 points against the 164 of Alonso, who has beaten him 11 times out of 11. A few signs of a revival in recent races but it’s not enough to get him re-signed (for 2013). Perhaps it’s time for a change of scene..”

Here is the full run down:

10 – Alonso
8.5 – Hamilton
8 – Raikkonen
7 – Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Grosjean
6.5 – Di Resta, Maldonado
6 – Schumacher, Perez, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, Kovalainen, Glock, De la Rosa, Pic, Petrov,
5.5 – Senna
5 – Button, Vergne, Ricciardo, Karthikeyan

4.5 Massa

What do you think? Do you agree and if not how would you rank the drivers out of ten for their season so far? Leave your comments below.

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345 comments

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1

Would agree with the Alonso score, Kimi should be a 9..and dont agree with 8.5 for Hamilton...Grosjean should be an 8 also

2

Only 0 mistakes would justify the perfect (driver) score, but Alonso made 1 point-losing mistake in China where he was a litte impatient in attacking Maldonado, so i think 9.5 would be more appropriate

3

Being a measure of performance and results, the ranking is about right for the top three or four but those below appear to be lumped together where, I think, some separation is obvious.

4

I would give 3 out of Alonso's score to the rain, misfortune to others, etc.

5

ALL driver's drove in that same rain! I'd actually give him three more points!

6

The others had the exactly same rain, as ALO...did nothing with it..

7

What is it that allows MS to be up so high?

8

He's been in the press conference what? like 3 or 4 times? Also most of the points lost to Rosberg were through no fault of his own, whereas Massa, who I happen to support, deserves his spot. Is it Alonso on top of his game? Or is it that after 2 and half years of getting spanked by Alonso, Massa has been let down in support from his own team. Considering the results from past 2 and half years I'd be not surprised if that's what is really going on.

9

Well his pace has been very strong this year and he's defo shown he can out do Rosberg. His cars unreliability is independent of his performance so far this year.

If anything I'm surprised Rosberg is so high up. Despite a couple of strong races (including China, he's always amazing there), he's been reguarly outpaced by Michael. If Schumacher's car was as reliable you can bet they'd be very close on points.

10

Spyros, which statistics?

12

'Regularly outpaced by Michael'? I'm not sure the statistics would support this.

14

Should be higher. All the DNFs translated into points would tell a completely different story. IMO at least 6.5

15

I, on the other hand, think they have got it completely right. Honestly can't see a single score I would change.

Alonso has had an outstanding season to date. Not sure why Hamilton does not deserve an 8.5? He has destroyed his team mate so far, mkaing the most of a very inconsistent car. I would not rate Hamilton any higher than within 1.5 points of Alonso, so this feels right to me.

Nice work reporting this article, James, another little thing many of us would not even hear about were it not for JA on F1.

16

"..think they got it completely right"

The only source that could be less impartial than the Gazzetta dello Sport is Ferrari or a few responses here!

17

Of course an Italian newspaper is going to sing the praises of their favourite driver, being in the seat of a Ferrari!

Massa at the bottom of the list is is an irrelevance....perhaps evidence of media fickneless...a hero one day....out of favour the next.

If a British newspaper published its own driver rankings list placing a British driver at the top, I dare say some would have plenty to say about the possibility of impartiality!

18

This despite them putting a ferrari driver at the bottom. So.... What is so wrong with the list?

19

All in all I agree, except I don't think the difference between Hamilton and Button really is so big, and based on overall behavior, I'd put Maldonado somewhat lower.

20

In race results, it's 7-4 for Hamilton. In the races where they both finished, it's 5-2 for Hamilton. Even when Lewis started at the back of the grid in Spain (P24 to JB's P10), he finished in front. As for qualifying, it's more in LH's favour. The lesser qualifying pace didn't hurt Jenson as much last year, but does this year with the field more tightly bunched. Plus JB struggled to find his sweet spot with the car.

21

Here is what Maldonado was up to at a demo on Sunday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUnO_GEFjzc

I mean seriously, he was racing only himself.

22

Oops sorry, just spotted something I do not agree with, I reckon Kovy rates a 6.5 to 7.

23

I think if Raikkonen was able to qualify well (we've seen on a number of occasions Grosjean putting it right up there at the sharp end, so we know the car has been capable of it), the top 3 might look a bit different.

But it is what it is and I, to a large extent, completely agree... Although I'd put Vettel on 7.5 and distance him from Webber and Rosberg, for sure, and conversely to Raikkonen's, Grosjean's merits are all on Saturday, rarely Sunday.

24

why would you distance vettel from webber ? webber has more wins and more championships points than vettel ??????

25

My impression is that because Grosjean takes too much out of his tyres on a saturday, they fall off sooner on race day. Seems Kimi's caution, if that is what it is, pays off in the race. He can always push the speed, but he only does it when it is smart to do so. Example: Hungary.

27

so you'd place Vettel whose won a GP less on a higher score than Webber?

28

Webber has had 1 pole position (although was 2nd fastest that day and had pole handed to him because of Schumacher having to change his gearbox) to Vettel's 3, not a single fastest lap and Vettel would have 2 race wins were it not for an alternator issue. Vettel has also shown, more often, superior race pace.

I would definitely say Vettel has performed such to distance himself from Webber by half a point greater on this scale.

29

No point cherry picking the statistics. In qualifying it is 6-5 to Vettel. Good, but not exactly vintage Vettel (especially if you compare it against the previous 2 seasons).

Vettel had the alternator issue, but let's not forget Mark's DRS problem in qualifying at Valencia, KERS problem in Australia qualifying, grid penalty at Hockenheim etc.

30

I would put Webber on a 7.5 to distance him from Vettel and Rosberg instead.

I totally agree with the 10 for Alonso, and sorry but 4.5 for Massa is too high.

31

Agree with F458.

Where do they get off putting Rosberg on the same level as Webber? I think Jenson may have scored a little high as well.

32

I agree with Andrew regarding top-3 and, as well, with Vettel 7,5. Well done Andrew 🙂

33

in a few occasion for example hockeinham Q1, kimi post the fastest lap on medium tyre where others cant beat in soft~~!! It shows that it wasnt the speed issues, but rather power steering hampered kimi 's consistency in qualifying~~ im sure they will sort out soon, given this is the first season they work with kimi!!

34

Kimi's done well, but he's ceded a lot of positions early in races, that have hampered his eventual mid-race charges. A more on-the-ball driver wouldn't let that happen as often as it's happened for Kimi this year.

So how anyone can have Raikkonen 2nd or even 1st (!) is beyond me. And sorry, no credit for being back from a 2-yr hiatus. It's simply how is the driver doing this year, nevermind what's gone before.

35

I wrote a lengthier comment, but it was sent to the Void apparently.

Anyways, I've been watching F1 for 29 yrs, longer than I bet you've been alive.

I never said Kimi's comeback was no big deal; I said he should gain no credit for it in a 'Best Driver 2012' list.

If I was doing the list today, still Kimi would at best be tied for 3rd.

1. Alonso

2. Hamilton

T3. Vettel, Kimi

How there's any debate on the first two is beyond me. Both have not set a foot wrong all season in terms of their driving. Hamilton might have had a faster car than Kimi (though Kimi was faster than Button's McLaren in Abu Dhabi, but had no answer for Hamilton's pace before his retirement), but what good is a fast car if it DOESN'T FINISH?!?! Answer: it's useless!

36

I think you have started watching formula one from this year itself so its very easy for you to say that kimi has done nothing and its not a nig deal for a driver to make a comeback after 2 or 3 yrs , but you can take a look at Comeback that Michael made and how he performed and for the fact his car isnt as bad as he makes it look , while on other hand lotus itslf isn't the fastest and the best car to drive around and being able to finish almost every race in top 5 is't some joke.He is 3rd in the Drivers standing ahead of webber, Hamilton and Button who have much better and faster cars than him , so i am surprised that he is on 3rd place rather than being in 2nd.

37

Oh... they really don't like Button do they

38

Eh, Why? The whole list looks very objective to me. Button is being anhiliated by his team mate. What's to like so far?

39

Come on... MS is above him and he has only had a podium last time i checked button had a win. i'll agree he is not having a great season but he is no Karthikeyan. Objective this Poll is not.

40

The poll also considers how a driver should be performing given the quality of equipment he is driving. I think JB's honest enough to admit that he has had a lack lustre season so far.

41

MS isn't driving a McLaren....

42

Spot on!

43

In my opinion,it should be like this:

10 – Alonso

9 – Raikkonen

8 – Hamilton

7 – Webber, Vettel, Grosjean

6.5 – Di Resta, Rosberg, Kovalainen

6 – Schumacher, Perez, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, Glock, De la Rosa, Pic, Petrov,

5.5 – Senna

5 – Button, Vergne, Ricciardo, Karthikeyan, Maldonado

3 - Massa

44

Alonso has three wins, Kimi none. Ferrari fourth fastest car, Lotus arguably fastest. Alonso 10, Kimi 9? NO WAY!

45

@ mayberth

Valencia was not wet.

Ferrari best car in the wet? so where was Massa in Malaysia? and where was he in Hockenheim qualifying?

46

ferrari has the best car on wet~~~ and all their wins comes from wet weekend~~~ 4th fastest car??? over my dead body

47

Hi Zeljka! I had Kimi & Lewis together and a couple at the end diff. But I don't mind list

48

I like you list, but would probably swap Di Resta & Perez.

49

Apart from the Maldanado bit....

50

I mostly agree with this seems very fair maybe a slight tweak of Kovy to 6.5 and Schumacher to 5.5

51

Kimi is really the BIG surprise! I expected a good comeback from him, but what he made is much better, but we must not forget the car is also a masterpiece! I feel a little bit sorry for Massa but the italians are correct when they say that some changes must be done. Imagine the Ferrari with a more capable driver ... and of course Alonso deserves the first place, until now!!! Definitly! But Alonso is not my main favorite for the title. I think in the end we'll have 3 drivers: Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, unless Kimi starts to win and win and win ... ahahahahahah

KL

PS: Kimi, we're still waiting for a victory! I hope he can reach it untill the end of the year!

52

All the pundits on Sky and BBC look a bit silly now, don't they?

they all decided to make Lotus Grosjean's team and demote Kimi to 2nd driver!!! That's if they mentioned him at all.

Now they discover Kimi is right up there, and he's doing much better than they realised.

I ask you, are they really such great experts???

53

There is undoubtedly a lot that we miss not being in the paddock every race, if ever. And I think there were a couple of times earlier on in the season where new parts were bolted onto Grosjean's car rather than Kimi's, which perhaps created a sense of Grosjean being a bit more settled into either the team, or back in F1, or both.

Perhaps Lotus had a bit of a double-take moment themselves when they suddenly realised exactly where Kimi's first-finish before finishing-first policy had gotten him in the standings. Or, perhaps it was just quite easy to be taken in by a youngster beating a seasoned driver with a name as a fast qualifier at his own game.

I think Kimi just took his time figuring out what he can do with the car and the tyres and how to work with the team and just kind of taking the results as a bonus along the way almost. In Silverstone it seemed to be better than it had been, in Hockenheim he was really pushing in the race and had some amazing overtakes and in Hungary in the second stint I think he showed what he'd learned in the first 10 races.

If mayberth's assertion above, that he's more comfortable on the harder compounds bears out (and Malaysia seems to support that), Spa could be his best qualifying yet. It being Spa anyway, he'll feel doubly frustrated if he can't win it 😉

54

As hard as it is for a Button fan to take it, I kind of agree.

What was Massa's score?

56

Massa's 4.5. He's last on the list.

57

Rosberg and Maldonado too high, Kovy too low but apart from that a pretty reasonable assessment...

58

Hmph, I personally think Rosberg has done all he could with a weak car. Imagine, if Schumacher was equal on points the team would be fighting for third in the championship.

59

Exactly what I was thinking, John.

60

Rosberg's rating should have been 5.5 @ least

61

James,would you have the same top 3 if you were rating the drivers?

62

I'll do my own after everyone's had their say

63

Wonder if the photo is a good indication of James's top three?

64

DOH ! wish I had thought of that lol

65

Hamilton is second on 8.5, Gazzetta noting that “if he had translated the three poles into three wins it would be a different championship.”

If they cared to do that, or consider relaibility issues, for Vettel it would be a very picture too.

I can't possibly rate either McLaren driver in the top three given their early season car dominance, and their lack of wins.

10 Alonso

8 Vettel

7.5 Webber

7 Hamilton

7 Kovalinen

6.5 Raikkonen

and the rest would be my order...

66

I guess it depends on what you mean by dominant. Red Bull was always there with the McLaren in terms of race pace early on, that's why Vettel was able to take advantage of the safety car in Australia ... b/c he was there with Lewis' McLaren the whole way. This was no dominant car a la the Red Bull the past two years. And then of course the rain played against McLaren in Malaysia, and to the Ferrari's strengths. Ferrari themselves (Pat Fry at least, though I'm sure the whole team knows it) have admitted that had Malaysia been a fully dry race, that there is no way they would've won it.

My analogy would be McLaren having some big calibre gun, and Ferrari having a harpoon gun. The first will always beat the 2nd, unless they both have to be fired underwater. Basically what you're doing is, even knowing the conditions, still saying "but you had the bigger gun"!

67

I think Hamilton deserves a higher score than Alonso.

McLaren's advantage at the start if the season was wafer thin...NOTHING like the "dominance" you suggest.

Lewis's position in the WDC has also been dented by his team's hiccups in the pits which is beyond Lewis's control.

Alonso has also greatly benefitted from Ferrari reliability when others have had some bad luck....Even Ferrari have admitted that they have been lucky with the rain improving their car performance relative to others and by extension this lucK has benefitted has Alonso!

68

I partly agree, also, Nando is the only driver in the Ferrari team this year with there full weight behind him, and only him. McLaren had two drivers.

69

LOL you're dreaming.

70

1.6 seconds is not exactly wafer thin when it comes to lap times at the beginning of the season. That's "Everest" huge!

Alonso knows how and when to use his tires. We've seen him hang back, then attack at just the right moments during a GP on numerous occasions and jump people. Alonso rallies the team and builds it up. Hamilton has not been able to do such a thing. He went backwards too many times and made mistakes. Alonso is a true GOD. Hamilton's still in maturity training.

71

Alonso 10

Vettel 8

Hamilton 7,5

Webber 7

Kimi 7

72

How could you possibly want Hamilton to challenge for wins at the start of the season with so many team mistakes? I mean, he does not put the fuel in the car, and he doesnt change the wheels of his car... all of those mistakes which cost Hamilton victory in Spain and victory chances in Bahrain, China (gearbox penalty), Malaysia and the puncture in Germany!

73

There was no way McLaren were gonna win in Bahrain ... too much rear tire wear there to be a factor. But a 3rd or at least 4th was doable in Monaco, and the Malaysian pitstop didn't help, though I think he would've had a hard time holding off Alonso and Perez if he'd been in front. I guess w/o the gearbox penalty that Hamilton would've finished 2nd in China, but that's how it goes.

74

and lotus 's pit stop is awfully slow for a top team that fight for win!!

75

Alonso, Raikkonen had suffered none of those

76

how you know driver has a say?? The only 1 that can observe the whole picture of the race is strategist...not driver!! Your comment is really funny

77

The difference is, the driver can have a say in strategy, so Raikkonen is also responsible for those mistakes and he also has his own qualifying woes. But the driver has nothing to do with refueling or changing tires

78

raikkonen suffer none of team mistakes??

Kimi could hv won if the team pitted him earlier to undercut vettel in bahrain!!

Kimi could hv been 2nd in shanghai if the team didn;t screw up with strategy results in tyre falling off the cliff!!

Kimi will qualify higher without kers issues in qualifying of silverstone, differential issues in canada etc

Kimi will not stuck in traffic if the team pit him earlier to undercut the traffic!!

Kimi should hv lapped faster in 2nd and last stint had the kers problem didnt exist and undercut lewis to win hungary gp..and in the end only recovered 50% of it~~

79

Hamilton was not worse than Alonso so far this season. While I saw nothing special from Vettel.He made some driving mistakes this season, too (e. g. Hockenheim) To give Lewis a 7 is pure bias,

if you imagine how much points McLaren threw away for Lewis with unneccessary penaltys and pit stop errors. Hamilton would be up with Alonso at the WDC table

80

Just remind me, which race was it Lewis won when he didn't have the quickest race car again?

Alonso by contrast....

82

The latest? Hungary

IMO even at Canada the McLaren was not the fastest car of the field,( Lostus was fastest in the race) but Hamilton had a better strategy and delivered a faultless performance

83

and lewis outqualify the field by 4 tenth~~ mclaren has good race pace as well, overall mclaren has the best car in hungary and they should win as hungary doesnt allow overtaking in general!! Lotus is just kind on their tyre...and lewis said he purposely slow down to nurture his tyre and try to destroy kimi 's tyre by running into dirty air!! Whenever kimi get close in S1, lewis will pull out from S3!!

84

You can say that about any driver genius.

85

Hungary. I think Lotus had the quickest race car that weekend.

86

I think you are being a bit harsh on Hamilton. He hasn't been too far off the car's maximum performance in dry qualifying all year.

In terms of mistakes that he has made, you could argue the set up choice in Australia was too agressive, but it could be something that Button found late in P3. Monaco was probably slightly out in terms of tyre management, as was Silverstone. Valencia wasn't a great effort on tyres or choosing fights to pick, but it is hardly a long list.

In comparison Vettel has done a better job in those areas apart from the Karthikeyan collision, but he has also struggled with car in qualifying at times. It is hard to tell, but it seems that Hamilton has worked around big problems that Button cannot.

Still, that's just my opinion. I think it is the best performance I seen from Hamilton in F1 all things considered.

Cheers,

Martin

87

I think Hamiltons performances in qualifying are exceptional, but his race day performances are far less so IMO.

RE: VET; Thought that Karthikeyan admitted that he got on marbles and had to steer into VET for that one?

88

The thing with Vettel and Karthikeyan is that Vettel created an unnecessary risk for himself. The HRT was up on a wet kerb. Vettel didn't need to leave so little space - he probably squeezed Nahrain as he felt he was being held up. The line was dry enough to go wider and the time lost would be fractional.

89

At qualy the driver can make the difference ( look Ham/ But)

But at the race the car , and how it works the tyres are more the limiting factor.

Don#t forget about all the time Lewis lost at pit stops, wich made him lose positions in the races .

90

for a guy that post fastest lap in worn out tyres while other failed to~~~ you ranked him 6.5?? hahahahahaha

91

Given the pace of the Renault they should have won races. Bahrain, Valencia and Hungary; all of which they arguably had the fastest race day car.

That's in stark contrast to overperforming Alonso who's picked up race wins when he didn't have the best car.

92

i aint knocking alonso but he won when his car was the best on the day. just look at the conditions. in a warm weather race hes best of the rest.

93

Actually seeing your post further down you make a good argument for Kimi slotting in with perhaps a 7.5 or 8...

94

and alonso performed well on wet weekend when he had the best car on raining days~~~ ppl been overexaggerate on his performance~~ he should achieve better resutls then in hungary (normal weekend), but he didnt~~ because the race condition differ~~

95

yea, they should~~~but they didnt have the fastest car on qualification!! And the team strategy and slow pit stops doesnt help at all!! Kimi did his job for driving as fast as he could, is up to the team to place him in a better position for wins~!!

96

I think what we need to bear in mind with anything like this is that the report could be subjective and potentially bias towards Ferrari. Perhaps not, what's your thoughts on this James?

97

If they put Massa in second place behind Alonso then I think you could safely assume bias but they haven't. The list seems pretty representative to me.

98

It could be extremes on both ends ... burnishing Alonso's score, while denting Massa's, b/c the reporters from GdS want to see their team win the constructor's title, which they won't do while Massa's there.

99

How can you say that!? Alonso is undoubtedly the best driver so far this season and Massa stands last in the report.

100

How would you make it objective given the variations in cars and race engineering support that each driver gets? It is impossible.

Assume and Italian bias and yes you might want to increase the gap between Alonso and Hamilton, but you'll see little argument with the relative order in any of the comments.

Cheers,

Martin

101

Perez rated lower than Rosberg, di Resta or Maldonado, and the same as Kobayashi, Kovalainen, Glock, de la Rosa, Pic or Petrov? That absolutely destroys any credibility this ranking potentially might have. Not to mention Button lower than Senna and rated the same as Korthikeyan. Sorry, but this is ridiculous.

102

I believe they are looking at what machinery each driver had available at its disposal.

Perez's car has been one of the fastest in the race all season so far, while di Resta's FI is not quite there.

We don't have to look at the results alone. We have to look at the results obtained in different cars.

103

Looks like the paper is forcing a Massa replacement discussion during the break. Not surprised.

104

No Hulkenberg?

I agree Massa has been atrocious, though his performance has been made to look even worse thanks to Alonso flattering the car's ability. I wouldn't have put Maldonado so high though, apart from a one-off he has been way too inconsistent to deserve to be up as high as di resta.

105

He's there, on 6, thanks

106

I feel embarrassed for Massa. He's a very endearing character and I strongly believed after his 2009 accident he would bounce back into his competitive form. That really hasn't been the case and Alonso is just massacring him at this point.

Maybe he'll still be in F1 in 2013 assuming he doesn't take a move down from Ferrari as too big a slight on his dignity or, for that matter, if anyone even wants him on the back of all these poor performances. I'd think it'd rather be neat to see him join up with Fisichella and race sports cars from here on out while still being part of the Ferrari family.

107

With all due respect, we've seen this before from Ferrari - Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello may not have been the top drivers in their day but both were quick drivers in their own right. Both mounted title challenges, after all, Irvine in 1999 and Barrichello in 2009. Yet put in the 2nd Ferrari seat alongside Michael Schumacher, both were comparatively nowhere - and yet, after Schumacher breaks his leg in 1999 Irvine suddenly finds form and comes within two points of the title. The only difference pre- and post-accident is that Irvine is the team's focus instead of Schumacher. Now we have Felipe Massa, a driver who came within one corner of winning the title and who was outclassing Kimi Raikkonen in 2009 in a pretty rubbish car, apparently outclassed by a driver he's beaten in straight fights before. Accident notwithstanding, something doesn't add up. Perhaps this is just my cynicism in overdrive, but I'm not that big a believer in coincidence and given the previous the Scuderia has in this area, I think it's more down to the fact they cannot (or will not) set up and run two cars competitively. One of the drivers ends up becoming favourite (in this case Alonso, in previous years Schumacher) and the other may as well write off any aspirations of winning the title. Martin Brundle actually joked at Silverstone last year that it was as if Ferrari made sure everything was spot on with Alonso's strategy and pitstops first and only then turned their attention to how Massa was faring - the saying about much truth being spoken in jest springs to mind. It's one of the reasons why I believe any frontrunning driver vying for the second Ferrari seat, as things stand, is effectively committing career suicide. They may get an equal chance at Red Bull or McLaren, but that doesn't seem to be the Scuderia's way.

108

Points well made.

I find myself defending Massa, because so many seem to glibly dismiss him. He appears to have had a torrid time over the pas 18 months yet still fnds the belief and motivating dig deep and improve.

But last on this list is not where he belongs. I think we sometimes apply contemporary tabloid culture to the evaluation of F1 drivers and it's so much more complicated than that. Anyway I am glad to see JA has lifted FM from the bottom of his list.

He needs to improve for sure, but if he does and stays within 10 sec of FA as he did in Hungary, he'll be there again next year, which will be, in my opinion a total disaster for his career.

It seems that no matter how fast you are, at Ferrari if you fall out of favour, fast just isn't enough. Even Michael Schumacher knows about that.

109

Irvine didn't suddenly regain form in 1999. Before Schumacher's Silverstone accident, Irvine was only 6 points behind him.

Massa and Alonso start the season as equals. Massa ends up in a position where he has to support Alonso in the championship simply because he ends up being so far behind in the standings.

110

Form and points are not one and the same. Looking at the qualifying times and race performances for both drivers, there is something of a pattern:

- Australia: Outqualified by Schumacher, 1.8s down on pole, wins after both McLarens retire and Schumacher suffers puncture amid other problems.

- Brazil: Outqualified by Schumacher, 1.2s down on pole, finishes a lap down. Schumacher 2nd.

- San Marino: Outqualified by Schumacher, 0.6s off pole. Retires with engine failure while running 3rd. Schumacher wins the race.

- Monaco: Outqualified by Schumacher, 0.4s down on pole. Finishes 2nd in the race, 30s down on Schumacher.

- Spain: Outqualifies Schumacher for the 1st time, 0.1s down on pole, but is overtaken in the race and finishes 20s behind Schumacher.

- Canada: Outqualified by Schumacher on pole, albeit only 0.1s down. Finishes 3rd behind safety car after Schumacher hits the wall.

- France: Outqualified by Schumacher, 6.7s down on pole in wet conditions. Recovers on race day but still finishes behind Schumacher.

Up to Silverstone, Schumacher had outqualified Irvine 6-1 and outraced him 5-2. More tellingly, Irvine was 14 points behind Hakkinen after the French Grand Prix. Yet he went on to win 2 grands prix in Schumacher's absence and led by 4 points going into the final round. Call it how you wish, but seeing as he scored almost double the number of points in the 2nd half of the season I'd call that an upturn in form of sorts.

111

Alonso puts the massa in massacre, huh?

112

I think he means

Alonso puts Massa in 'mascara'

🙂

113

If you look at some of the races such as the British and Hungarian races, Massa hasn't been too far off Alonso's total race time, often with a compromised strategy, so it isn't all bad. There are a lot of drivers who would struggle to keep Alonso within 10 seconds over a race when Fernando is firing.

I think the pace is there, but a lack of confidence has made a mess of his mind management, which leads to spins in Canada, for example. In a bad car he clearly doesn't have Alonso's talent, but there were always question marks with this.

114

its completely right to give alonso a 10, but i absolutely don't agree that massa is on the last place! its a shame to rate drivers like karthikeyan, pic or vergne better than massa - who had a fourth place in silverstone!!!

115

I agree with Andrew - Pic, Vergne and Karthekeyan (and Glock, DLR, Heikki and Petrov) have pretty much all done as well as their cars will allow, in some cases with quite brilliant performances. Massa's best result was an "OK" 4th in a race his team mate won.

116

... his teammate finished 2nd in, you mean. Red Bull 1-3 that day, Ferrari 2-4.

117

Thank you. This is my point, they're in rubbish cars so it makes it hard to judge just how well they are doing, but at no point can it be said that any of the 6 guys in the bottom three teams are doing badly. Certainly Karthekeyan lacks a few tenths in qualy but his race pace has been equal to and sometimes better than De La Rosa's.

Massa meanwhile has had two good races (Monaco and Silverstone, both times he was close to Alonso) and 9 races where he has absolutely been nowhere near his team mate.

118

Pic, Vergne and Karthikeyan have all been driving from OK to brilliantly, far better than Massa who has been badly underperforming for most of the year.

119

Karthikeyan is driving far better than Massa? So you think Karthikeyan, proven joke of a driver, would be doing better in Ferrari than Massa, proven race winner and WDC contender? Or maybe you were joking?

120

I think you're overthinking the criteria for these rankings. I believe the Italians went for chances grabbed, chances lost (due to the drivers' own mistakes) and overall comparison in pace over their teammates.

Given Alonso's performances this year I'm not surprised Massa is at the bottom.

121

Karthikeyan in a Ferrari and better than Massa?? Good point, illustrates how some Italian journalist is too full of himself as he tries to sway Ferrari's choice for next season, i.e., anybody but Massa. I too hope they make a change but ranking Massa last is what a child would do to make their point.

122

Massa should be rated higher. Karthikeyan should be rated much lower.

123

Obvious noteworthy scores

1. Vettel equal with Webber, after 2011

2. I don't suddenly think Grosjean is as good as Webber, Vettel and Rosberg. Raikkonen said at the beginning of the year "a good car makes things much easier", and while I think RG is very talented, he's not quite 'there' yet. Still plenty of time though.

3. The Italian media are not very forgiving of Button, given his 2011 performances.

124

Why do you mention 2011? I think this rating is down completely on 2012 performances.

Maybe we should rate Rubens too for his 2011 performance, right?

125

Because the implication is that Jenson himself has not driven well, as opposed to the car not being to his liking.

I'm not commenting on the rights and wrongs of that view; simply that JB's strong performances in the past haven't influenced the interpretation of *this* years performances.

126

If the gap between Jenson and Lewis narrows instead of widens over the 2nd half, then either Lewis will have totally bottled it, had more horrible luck, or else McLaren will have screwed up not favouring their leading driver to the extent they should've.

127

"Because the implication is that Jenson himself has not driven well, as opposed to the car not being to his liking."

You could argue that about any driver/car combination that's doing poorly, though, couldn't you? It really can't be used as a proper excuse.

128

who knows what the story will be at the year's end? He may be out of contention for the title, but I suspect Button will be much closer to Ham in the second part of the season

129

I totally Agree. Though Raikkonen and Hamilton should be on par.

130

Hamilton has 2 wins & 3 poles

Raikkönen not.

131

But Ham is barely ahead in the points.

132

How many pit lane mistakes and DNFs has Kimi had to endure? I personally think Kimi should have made more of the Lotus but given that it i his first year since his comeback he merits the 3rd position.

133

Have you watched the races?

German GP retirement due a puncture caused by debris from a collision of others- not his fault. 0 points

Valencia- taken out from Maldonado. = 0 points

Barcelona had to start last after a disqualification because of a team error. Cost him a poible win

Bahrain 3 slow oit stops

Malaysia 3 slow pit stops

China 5 grid penalty due to a faulty gearbox

Monaco bad strategy

Hamilton has lost a lot of possible points by mishaps and team errors, therfore he is further down the WDC than he should be

134

Hmm... Fascinating list however my rating list would somewhat differ as shown below;

1. Alonso ~ for his team leadership and keeping faith in the team during the dark times

2. Lewis ~ For being much more consistent last seen since 2007

3. Vettel ~ For showing better race craft this year despite having had to start much lower the grid

4. Kimi ~ For showing the old hunger (in his facial expressions) to win though I would say the Lotus has been the surprise package and not Kimi per se

5. Webber ~ For giving Sebi a real headache this year

6. Perez ~ For being the true surprise of 2012 in my book

7. Schumi ~ For that pole at Monaco & podium in Valencia (the rest has mainly been bad luck)

8. Jenson ~ For his strong performances whenever he's managed to get the setup right

9. Heikki ~ For continuing to punch above his weight

10. Maldonado ~ For that Barcelona win

and his good qualifying pace

11. Grosjean ~ For his good qualifying pace

12. Kobayshi ~ For his swashbuckling drives through the field

13. Hulkenburg & Di Resta ~ Hulkenburg for being better in qualifying & Di Resta the race

14. Massa ~ For keeping his head down and keep on pushing against the tide including the media such as Gazzetta dello sport

And last on my list has to be Narain for he's up against a 40 year old and still getting embarrassed not to mention for being a stubborn backmarker

135

Goferet- how often had Vettel qualified outside top 5 ??he has been in the fastest car many times this year & he f:up in Germany - def NOT 2nd! Both Raikkonen and Webber have been better - so far also!

136

Quite similar to my list at comment 22 - do I like agreeing with you... 🙂

I'm curious as to how far down the list you'd have Rosberg. He's ahead of Button in the championship with a much slower race car, if nothing else.

Cheers,

Martin

137

funny...kimi is the one so far with best racecraft~~!! Notice how vettel overtake button and got pushed out in hockeinham, while kimi just overtake schumacher by undercutting him form the inside on the same corner!!

138

It's a little hard to defend against a much quicker car like Raikkonen was at the time of his overtake on Schumacher. Thanks to DRS and dodgy tires, the racing might have more action, but more care has to be applied to making comparisons, especially based on past performances in diffeent eras.

139

oh really?? Vettel had a much faster car as jenson 's tyre fell off the cliff but he didnt manage to overtake him properly~~

141

JB did not leave any space for Sebastian to be on the inside that is why he tried it on the outside. Not to mention Fernando was doing that the whole race when he had Sebastian, JB or for that matter Lewis behind him in Germany.

142

For the most part I agree, though I think Button Ricciardo and Senna should all be on a 6 instead. Hulkenberg is missing.

143

i hope the team sort out the power steering precision that kimi wanted, it might means nth to others driver, but it means alot to kimi allow him to correct the direction so that the side effect of oversteer will be reduced (as ferrari engineers once confirmed)!! In heavy fuels, the precision demand is lower as the reaction is slower hence it was no big deal!! But, in low fuel qualifying, it will shows some effect!! ALl the best to Kimi!!

144

+ 1

145

I agree mostly, but i would argue that Raikkonen has done a better job so far than Hamilton has, his consistency after being away for 2 years speaks volumes to his maturity, and he has been fast from the start, unlike other comeback drivers...

146

HAMILTON HAS BEEN CONSISTENT, McLAREN HAVENT, AGREE RAIKKONEN HAS DONE A GOOD JOB THOUGH

147

caps lock was on im not shouting 🙂

148

1)Alonso - for mistakeless drive

2) KImi - Almost perfect bar qualifying where he still struggle with imperfect power steering to meet his precision demand

3)Vettel - Need to cool down more

4)Lewis - Start season with best car but failed to transform it into more wins!!( too many mistake which allow alonso to gain most)

5)Webber - well...2 wins speak for itself really, but lack consistency

149

McLaren's advantage at the start of the year was marginal...and this was soon closed up which also says something about how small that suppsed advantage was at the start. I

It has also been a story about tyres and understanding the sweet spot.. which is not necessarily about car performance per se.

ALSO note, Lewis has had some excpetional driving stints to preserve tyre wear and I think he holds the record for driving the longest with a single set of the new Pirelli tyre showing how much of a mature driver he has become apart from his natural racing ability!

150

Exactly how many mistakes did Hamilton make in 2012?

The way I see it every mistake was down to the team or just plain unlucky - the only possible 'mistake' was not taking Maldanado's recklessness into account when he 'rightfully' defended his position.

In the wet the Mclaren was 5th/6th best team at best.

You must be watching a different season.

151

Agree Hal

152

The ratings seem a bit silly to me.

Yes, I agree with Alonso but otherwise it seems to be based on points which doesn't make sense exactly.

Is Kovalainen not getting a similar performance from his car as Alonso (maybe not the Alonso factor of course) but he's extracting it's maximum in most races. Shouldn't he get a 9?

Webber has been very consistent with two wins and is in 2nd place but is on 7 while Hamilton is on 8.5.

I dunno - let's see at the end of the season.

153

+1 Spot on!

154

The one driver that is doing a poor job is Maldonardo despite is win in Spain. I would score him minimum of 4 as he has cost the team so many points since his win. The guy can't even drive his car during a demo run in his own country.

I hope the team see sense and get rid if him, harsh but true.

155

Agreed. As Maldonado has made the most driver errors he should be lower in the ratings

156

Given the spread of the field, ignoring Massa, who isn't listed (nor Hulkenberg) as I'm looking at it, I don't think Hamilton is 1.5 points behind Alonso when the total spread is 5 points. I would put Hamilton closer to Alonso than Raikkonen.

In racing performances, I'd say that Alonso has had slightly better race management, and probably would have avoided Maldonado in Valencia. Alonso's climbs through the field are a bit more meritorious than Hamilton's drive in Barcelona as he hasn't had the car advantage. I think Alonso's support for the team compared to Hamilton's occasional criticism is probably worth something, even though you cannot measure it.

Raikkonen has to lose something for his qualifying efforts and the Monaco debacle.

The Red Bull drivers are interesting to rate - do you mark someone down because their team mate is also doing a good job? In qualifying they are pretty even with a car that has had its difficult moments with a lack of consistency. Vettel has managed to avoid anonymous races where Webber has had a few. Based on this I'd put Vettel ahead of Raikkonen and Webber behind.

To me Rosberg has remained a bit of enigma. Apart from Hungary, it is rare that he has gone forward in the race. China was a well taken win, but equally there were lost opportunities with many qualifying errors.

For me Maldonado has the potential to be excellent, fast with a good sense for the tyres, but he has wasted too many opportunities, in a different way but similar outcome to Button. So despite the win, I'd have him in the bottom half.

Of the Force India drivers, I'd give Paul the edge at the moment, but Nico is the driver I'd pick for the future. di Resta might have beaten Vettel in F3, but in F1, I think he is more Brundle than Senna.

At the bottom end I have Massa ahead of Karthikeyan as Massa times has shown the required speed, and has been quite close to Alonso in some races despite second best strategies. Karthikeyan seems to me to be the slowest driver in the field and that is hard to overcome.

10: Alonso

9.5: Hamilton

8.5: Vettel

8: Raikkonen

7.5: Webber, Kovalainen

7: Grosjean, Rosberg, Perez

6: Di Resta, Hulkenberg, de la Rosa, Kobayashi

5.5. Button, Maldonado, Pic, Petrov, Schumacher

5. Glock, Ricciardo

4. Senna, Verge

3. Massa

2. Karthikeyan

157

Definitely agree that Alonso is too far ahead of Hamilton, he's been the driver of the year but he hasn't been on another planet from everybody else.

I'd probably go:

10: Alonso

9: Hamilton

8: Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen

7: Grosjean, Rosberg, Perez

6: Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Schumacher, Kovalainen

5. Button, Maldonado, Petrov, Ricciardo, Glock, de la Rosa

4. Pic, Petrov

3. Massa

2. Vergne

1. Karthikeyan

In general it's a lot harder to quantify the midfield/tail end runners than the guys at the front, but I think this is reflective enough.

158

Hi Andrew,

Your list is hard to argue with. Autosport in its reviews loves Pic, and given Glock's experience, you'd expect him to be beating Pic, which of late he isn't. I think rating drivers absolutely rather than relative to experience is the best way to go (otherwise Schumacher would be last).

Cheers,

Martin

159

Thanks. Pic is probably the driver on the grid that is most unknown to me, but I can't remember him doing anything of note in the wet qualifying sessions, some of the mixed up races etc. Glock isn't a top tier driver, and he's beating Pic albeit narrowly, so I slotted Pic in a point behind (I don't believe inhalf points :))

160

Vettel down to 8, Di Resta down to 5.5 or Hulk up to 6.5. Schumacher NEVER in the same list as Pic, Petrov and Maldonado. Should at least have 6 if not 6.5 (1 Pole and 1 Podium) You also need to swap Senna and Ricciardo then I would agree with your list 🙂

161

With Schumacher, the Monaco pole is another one that got away for Rosberg and he knew it. What this means is that the Mercedes was the quickest car. Michael had two good and one excellent sector and got pole, but there was more in it. In Valencia, if you take out the alternator failures and Hamilton and Maldonado crashing, Michael is only seventh. He got that far due to the safety being too early for a balanced two stop race. It was luck and strategy. It wasn't a bad drive from what I saw, but it wasn't remarkable either.

Schumacher was good in the wet qualifying sessions, but some races such as Spain and Hungary were pretty dire. After three seasons, Michael is really there because Mercedes wants his brand. Picking a di Resta or Hulkenberg would make more sense in terms of salary and results.

162

I think everyone agrees that Monaco is a drivers circuit, meaning that the difference a driver makes at this track is bigger than elsewhere. Every year since his comeback he was strong in Monaco - with the dreadful W01&2. He improved dramatically in Quali compared to year 1 and 2 and especially in the Wet he was very strong - again where the driver makes the difference. 3 bad races (Spain,Bahrain and Hungary)compared to an otherwise good season - I dunno thats not a 5.5 to me.

About the Valencia race - that made up for (some!) of the bad luck he had prior.

163

Alonso on top is fair. Raikkonen should be above Hamilton or equal atleast on ranking points. And Perez has done better than Maldonado overall. The Toro Rosso guys have been let down by the car else Ricciardo has done better than the rankings show - number of race places gained has been good. And how-so-ever bad Massa has done, he's not worse than Karthikeyan.. NK has been out-qualified and out-raced by a far bigger margin than what has happened at Ferrari.

164

James I take what you have to say a lot more seriously than what these Tifosi supporters have to say. It's all made to help support Ferraris decision to let Massa go ( which should be happened 2 years ago). If this is about drivers Only the picture should be a little different. I mean what a stupid statement to say if Hamilton converted his 3 poles to wins- when it was his team that failed him through pit stops. My points are :

1. Alonso 9.5 - I don't think anyone is perfect. (Hungary)

2. Hamilton 9.0 He would be leading bar team mistakes

3. Raikkonen 9.0 considering his absence is outstanding

4. Webber, Perez , Vettel 7.5. All have done good jobs but made crucial mistakes on occasion

5. Grosjean, Rosberg, Kobayashi 7.0 more than a few mistakes

6. Di Resta, Hulkenberg,Kovalainen, Glock,Del la Rosa, Pic 6.5 -showed some promise

7. Petrov, Schumacher, Maldonado, Ricciardo 6.0- some good some very bad or below average performances.( or both)

8. Button, Senna, Verge, 5.5 just not performed consistently

9. Massa, Karthekayan 5.00- should be doing better by now. If anyone is below 50%?they should not be here.

165

What did alonso do in Hungary that u didn't like. He finished 5th with the 7th fastest car on the day. To me it was another example of over achieving.

166

Sorry Irish con,[mod] spotting Fernando as 7th fastest. Contrary to your thinking way, at qualifying there were 8 makes of cars slower and in race 8 other makes of cars were slower than Ferrari. So 16 makes of cars (=32 cars) should be slower than him.. I guess it's enough to show your rubbish thinking way *&%+^''

167

Seriously what is going on here. Do the maths. 2 red bulls, 2 lotus's and 2 mclarens were quicker. That makes 6. So Fernando had the 7th fastest car in Hungary. Any wonder alcohol was invented.

168

If I hear Ferrari is the 7th or 10th or 20th or whatever fastest car one more time I will be sick .They got everyone believing their BS (that's what Ferrari do best)- it's the 3rd fastest car. At Hungary Button& Webber were out of the picture. Alonso did a good job taking 5th but with Kimis Kers problems I thought Alonso would keep him at bay ( glad he didn't). Maybe I've just come to expect great performances like his other races.

169

In Germany they had at least the 3rd fastest car (faster than the Lotus's), probably an equal 2nd fastest, in Britain the 2nd fastest car (a 2-4 finish to RBR's 1-3). In Valencia they had the 2nd fastest car. In Hungary sure, they had the 4th fastest car (a car is a car).

I'd agree that Alonso snuck a spot or two in Hungary. This year, when the spread in the field is so thin, the skill of each driver becomes of greater importance. As Alonso has said himself, only he and Hamilton have shown that they can win with a car that's not the fastest.

I have great respect for how Alonso has driven this first half. I like many others I'm sure thought that Alonso and Ferrari were in for a nightmare season back in Melbourne. Remember Alonso swinging his steering wheel at the marshal after he'd put it in the gravel at Melbourne qualifying? Seems like so long ago.

I've never liked and will never like how Alonso has been in the past with intra-team fracas, and during some petulant episodes (brake-testing a few people, gesticulating at Petrov in Abu Dhabi '10, etc.), but for the last season-and-a-half he's been great, noble, honourable. I hope he stays that way, even if the title race gets tight.

170

On Saturday in Hungary there was 3 different makes of cars in front of Fernando on the grid and when the race finished there was 3 different makes of cars in front of him. So it is a fact there was 6 faster cars in Hungary and if u think differently there is something wrong here. It's a total fact. Ferrari are right. The car isn't the fastest. It's weakness is in slow corners at the minute because they have built understeer into the car to protect the rear tyres. And Hungary is full of slow corners. Again il say it Fernando was driving the 7th fastest car in Hungary.

171

Scoring is all a bit subjective really as no uniform selection criteria is set. Consequently any averging from a poll will be statistically flawed.

172

webber has done a very good job so far and really deserves to be in a dual number two position with perhaps raikonnen although kimi has not done such a good job at all. at least he is giving it his best.

173

Pretty good list.

I'd have Kovalainen and Pic beside Di Resta and Maldonado. Both have done really good jobs this year.

174

1. Alonso & Hamilton ( Alonso has the better tem behind him)

2. Raikkönen & Webber ( both similar consistant, Webber has already 2 wins)

3. Grosjean & Vettel ( fast but error prone)

Rosberg

Schumacher

Kovalainen

Perez

Button

This is my top 10

175

Interesting piece.

I'm impressed that Kimi and Lewis' performances have been recognised by the Italian media,

Di Resta's high ranking and Button's Low ranking seem misplaced to me.

The ranking of Massa does seem to be forcing the issue a little regarding his place in the team.

James, out of interest, until now how have the Italian media portrayed Ferrari's commitment to Massa? in '09, '10, and '11.

Perez's low position is a strange one, I would have expected the publication to be looking to develop his profile.

No doubt the top 3 ranking for Lewis and Kimi will reignite the pre break talk of one of them moving to Ferrari. Since Ferrari should be gunning for the best two drivers available, and based on this years form they already have one of them!

176

I have a very strong feeling Ferrari will confirm Heikki Kovalainen as there new driver for 2013 at the Monza Gp.

177

I think that's a good bet. I'd love to see some movement in the driver market, however small!

The stability of line-ups at the Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes has been boring.....I like it when things are mixed up and re-assessed. I guess the last time that happened was Button to McLaren.

178

They've been reasonably supportive, but it's noticeable how that's suddenly stopped in the last few weeks.

You can read into that what you like, but I know how I interpret it

179

James, it looks like Ferrari are taking little notice of this poll, according to Stefano Domenicalli Massa is still their preferred choice to continue next year, provided he delivers results. Given his improvement in form before the season break, it looks like if this continues so will the status quo at Ferrari..

Are you as surprised as the rest of us?

180

Any rumours on who the replacement might be?

181

If you're only looking at current drivers replacing Massa there would only be 22 rumours.

182

With a grid of 24 drivers, a quick calculation makes me imagine there's probably around 23 rumours doing the rounds at the moment 😉

183

Thanks James.

Do you expect Ferrari will be in a position to announce the 2013 driver line up in Monza?

184

I will be surprised if Ferrari announce anything before the end of the season, unless it's to renew Massa for one more year. I think Massa could throw a spanner in the works for Alonso and Ferrari if he knows he's out of a drive with them next year.

185

Maybe, they like to do that, but this would be a delicate change, as was Raikkonen taking over from Schumacher.

So it could be later, even if they sign someone up before then

186

And I agree with you. 🙂

187

Rating any driver at the halfway point of the season is a fairly pointless exercise, and is clearly only designed to alleviate boredom during the shutdown.

188

Maldonado's too far up. Sure, di Resta's not been uniformly great but he's more or less got what may be expected out of the car fairly consistently. Maldonado's win in Spain - if it really happened and we didn't imagine it - was brilliant, but other than that he's been generally hopeless. The poor lad even crashes when driving on his own...

189

A rating of 5 from the Gazzetta dello Sport. The end of the Button to Ferrari rumors perhaps?

190

Love this list... I think it is spot on. Many will scream Vettel and Webber are not higher, but with lots of questions surrounding that car I think this list is very good. I don't want a list that simply ranks the drivers according to the standings anyway

191

1 Alonso

2-20 "the pack"

21-22 Button, Senna

23 Massa, he is just too plain slow to stay at Ferrari this long!

24 Kartikeyan, he is just too plain slow to stay in F1 this long!

192

Brilliant!

After Australia I really thought jenson had an amazing shot at the title this year, it's bizarre how poor he performed from China onwards.

193
Bring Back Murray

I'd have given Alonso an 11 !!

194

I would argue that Hamilton is worth a 9. That he isn't leading the championship is McLaren's fault, not his. You can hardly blame him for the number of rubbish pit stops he's had, or getting a puncture after a large accident that should have been cleaned up under a safety car.

No complaints with Alonso's score.

195

I'd divide it into four categories:

THE TOP - Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen

UPPER MIDDLE - Webber, Rosberg, Schumacher, Grosjean, Kovalainen, Di Resta, Pic

LOWER MIDDLE - Button, de la Rosa, Petrov, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Kobayashi, Perez, Maldonado, Senna, Glock

THE BOTTOM - Massa, Karthikeyan, Vergne

196

That makes an incredible amount of sense! Though I'm not sure I can agree with Vettel & Raikkonen in the top.

197

why kimi does not deserve on the top??? apart from quali, he is the best on pure race performance, often the highlight of the race~~ thanks to him, the boring hungary race has something to cherish for!! mark my words, the quali problem will be sorted b4 you know it!!!

198

pretty much there but i would swap maldonaldo with perez and kovy!

199

i think if if shcumacher hadnt had all the bad luck he be rating a bit better. over all hes drove better this year then his last 2 years. has matched and beaten nico on alot of occasions this season. no doubt whos top dog this season, alonso been super!

200

Dont forget,kimi was away from f1 for 2 years....

201

These rankings are based on performances this year. I don't think they should be taking away periods into account.

202

why?? other team has adapt to their drivers requirement for years while Kimi and Lotus admit they are still trying to understand each other in terms of setup, driving style etc since this is the first year they work together~~ and clearly the power steering wasnt precise enough for kimi!! You seems to hv some kimi issues james, which makes your comment laughable

203
Mike from Colombia

Generally agree with the order is we are talking about DRIVER performance.

Alonso has been basically flawless and Hamilton has only had one unfortunate episode dealing with the poor racecraft of a paydriver.

Alonso's performance in the wet gives him the edge over all others.

Senna should be lower.

204

"Alonso’s performance in the wet gives him the edge over all others."

Thanks to the car, not that don't agree with his rating, but the Ferrari is the best in wet conditions. Otherwise agreed... great performance so far...

205

Alonso has been very lucky with the weather and other things, the car was very bad, but he has not been driving it at 5 seconds a lap, or 0.5 seconds a lap faster than it is capable of, his fans just wish you to believe that...

Hamilton has done an excellent job with good car for Quali, but poor race pace, still getting podiums with what at times is the 5th or 6th best car, he is the man who deserves the plaudits.

Maldonado should be banned from F1, I cannot recall seeing a driver deliberately drive into someone before, sure Massa hits people, usually his teammates rivals, so they cannot overtake, but Maldo manages to do it when there is zero excuse other than incompetence plus stupidity.

206

"I cannot recall seeing a driver deliberately drive into someone before, "

Ummmm, Ayrton Senna on Prost, Schumacher on Hill, Vettel on Webber, Button on Hamilton, Vergne on ?

etc, etc

207

And you forgot the biggest one of all, Schumacher on Villeneuve Jerez '97.

208

Schumi on Hill/Villeneuve/ Barichello last year to name a few- Dog Acts from the lowest driver ever!

&

As for Jenson he is a clean driver usually but he definitely felt threatened by Lewis and moved over on him in Canada 2011- he was not honest when he said he didn't see him- I I saw his face. Lewis flat strap out of the corner was passing on the outside easily when JB moved over there was no way he could pull up -Before he meets his maker Jenson will own up to that I bet you!

209

Button on Hanilton? When was that? And don't say Canada 2011, please.

If you get hit up the a**e, it's not your fault - except on the road in an insurance scam.

210

Interesting exercise, I broadly agree with most of the table but Button is clearly under-rated and Maldonado, Senna and Karthikeyan should be lower down.

My scores are :

10 – Alonso

9.0 – Hamilton

8.5 – Raikkonen, Grosjean, Webber

8.0 – Vettel, Button

7.5 – Rosberg, Di Resta, Schumacher,

7.0 - Perez, Kovalainen

(Heikki really should be in a good car!)

6.5 – Kobayashi, Hulkenberg

_________________________________________

Drivers Below Should be in a Better Car :

_________________________________________

6.0 – Glock, De la Rosa

_________________________________________

Drivers Below, Probably OK, but Jury is Still Out :

_________________________________________

5.5 – Petrov, Ricciardo

5.0 – Vergne, Pic

_________________________________________

Drivers below Should be Replaced for 2013:

_________________________________________

4.5 - Massa

4.0 - Maldonado

3.5 - Senna

2.0 - Karthikeyan

The guys at Grove have produced a great car but neither of their drivers are worthy of it for very different reasons. Maldonado may be fast but, Oh Dear ! His latest antics in Venezuela beggar belief !

Can anyone seriously argue that Karthikeyan

deserves a place anywhere near F1 ?

211

Button an 8.

Vettel an 8 and Grosjean an 8.5?

Can't disagree more.

212

Are u serious. Jenson on a 8. No chance. He has been as bad as massa this year.

213

Bring back Eddie Irvine, at least he was driving the colour of car of choice!

Martin Donnelly wasn't, however.

214

YEAH BUT hamiltons contract is being renewed like buttons was last year. look how the team used his early pitstop in hungary to make vettle cover to help hamilton. politics can play as strong as abilty in f1

215

If Vettel was faster, he should've jumped Button after the first stops. He didn't. 100% Vettel's fault for getting stuck behind Button to begin with. Tried to win the race at the first corner, and lost a place.

McLaren and Button did Vettel a favour by pitting early for the 2nd round of stops.

216

I love conspiracy theories. They add a good chuckle to my morning reading.

217

That's just plain and simple nonsense. It does explain why his rubbish performances in Spain, Monaco, and canada and his very ordinary ones in Malaysia, Valencia, Hungary and Bahrain.

218

It all seems like a fair rating but I would personally rate Pérez a little bit higher, a 6.5 and maybe even a 7. I think he should be ahead of his teammate at least. As for Maldonado I don't think he should be so high. Yes he won a race which brings him up a lot, but he hasn't scored since and has made some rookie mistakes.

At first the standings looked harsh to some people (Button, Webber) and generous to others (Petrov, Pic), but upon reflection it's a very fair rating.

219

Massa on 4.5 and last is a deliberate dig by the list maker. He's had a tough season but at least he has shown some sparks of revival. In comparison Narain Karthikeyan has had a torrid season, consistently in last place, also out-qualified 11-0 and having made a number of idiotic maneuvers. Massa has struggled but Karthikeyan shouldn't even be driving an F1 car. There are also others having disapointing seasons

My take:

9.5 – Alonso (there's no such thing as perfect)

8.5 – Hamilton

8 – Raikkonen, Grosjean (on balance I think the guys are neck and neck)

7.5 - Webber (has had a very consistent season)

7 – Vettel, Kovalainen

6.5 - Perez, Kobayashi, Rosberg

6 – Button, Hulkenberg, Di Resta, De la Rosa, Maldonado

5.5 – Schumacher, Senna, Glock

5 – Ricciardo, Petrov

4.5 Massa, Pic, Vergne

3.5 - Karthikeyan

220

On what balance are Grosjean and Raikkonen "neck & neck" ?? Kimi is 1point from 4th.Romain in 7th. Kimi has finished every single lap of every race with no big mistakes, and been on the podium more often.Qualifying counts for 0 .Nice guy with hugh potential but he's got a little way to go to be like the Iceman.

221

What I love about this list is that it's not based on the actual championship points and on that basis qualifying certainly does count for something. The reason I say 'neck and neck' is that Kimi and Romain are both having massive seasons but need to be judged differently.

I put the championship points difference down to Kimi's excellent race craft and experience and credit to him for that. But you can't expect a rookie (SIC) to be at that level just yet. Romain has had four retirement mostly but not all his fault.

Serious credit must also go to Kimi for being back on the pace so quickly after being away. His race pace has been phenomenal.

That said a world champion should really be able to beat his less experienced teammate over a qualifying lap. Romain has shown incredible speed all season and can on his day match Kimi for race pace.

Remember too that Romain grabbed Lotus' first podium of the season in Bahrain, albeit match immediatly by Kimi the following race.

Romain's low point IMO was Germany, way off the pace all weekend. Kimi's red face moment had got to be the mistake in Oz qualifying putting him out in Q1.

So, all things considered I'll stick to my initial judgement, neck and neck with one caveat: the momentum is very much Kimi to produce a big second half of the season. I'm excited to see what's to come.

222

Race craft is still very important, this is F1 you are always going to race with others on the same track, an extreme example is Maldonado who could surely use some race craft. Alonso is also leading the championship right now because of excellent race craft. So you can't completely ignore it.

There where races like Valencia and Canada for example where Kimi had to back off on the fist lap costing lots of positions but he still finished the race at the end and scored points, if he just went for it then he would not have scored any points. Kimi could improve qualifying there is no doubt about it, but not everything in qualifying was down to him either. In Autralia the team send him out late, and didn't tell him that he wouldn't have time for a second lap, it was more a communication error. He had deferential problems in qualifying in Valencia, 5 place grid penalty in Malysia. In Bahrain Permane himself decided that Kimi shouldn't go to Q3. In Silverstone Kimi's Kers wasn't working. When Kimi has been out qualified by Grosjean he always ends up in front of him in the race, you get points on Sunday not on Saturday. But Grosjean has been doing an excellent job there is no denying that. They are a good pair for Lotus.

But at the end of the day if it wasn't for Kimi then Lotus would not have been in contention for the WDC right now. If the team consisted of Grosjean and Senna then one wouldnt have thought that Lotus had made such a huge jump.

223

Kimi was 2nd in Bahrain, Grosjean 3rd.

224

I wrote an epic reply fully explaining how you are wrong.

I cancelled it when I realised it had gone on for about as long as all the other replies put together.

But be so kind as to consider yourself corrected 😉

(the punchline was: they're closer than you would expect on paper from a past world champion and a near-rookie. But not exactly neck and neck. That in itself might be enough to convince people to consider it neck and neck though I guess 😀 ).

225

Remember too that Romain grabbed Lotus’ first podium of the season in Bahrain ....??

Romain was P3 in Bahrain, remember who was on P2 podium ?

226

romain got lotus 's first podium in bahrain??? didn;t kimi finished 2nd in bahrain?? and in last race how kimi trash romain in pure race pace alone?? kimi isnt that far off romain in qualifying, you will learn that in Spa mark my words

227

I agree that if they were to race alone on a track they may be neck & neck (on average, with slight advantage to Kimi, though). The main difference, that has given a significant advantage to Kimi, is that he understands more that to get awarded points you have to finish the race, and for that you do have to first survive first few laps, and then pace yourself to get the maximum result. I belive that is one of the sources of Kimi's tentativeness on many occasions, specially at the beginning of the season, when he knew nothing about the tires and little about the car. It did, howerver, helped him to finish all the laps and to collect enough points to now be considered for a champion, which is kind'a a long shot, but still quite achievable.

228

There is no neck & neck . Kimi pulled away from him at Hungary at put 10sec .He is quicker.

229

Michael Schumacher's 2004 season was almost perfect. 😉

230

Without making my own I would agree with this list the most. I am not a Massa fan, but as it appears that Massa is a big story in the article, I would comment that he does not deserve the last place, but he is not far off. I would maybe give him 5 in this list. I would also maybe lower Maldonaldo to 5.5, and maybe give Schumacher 6, but would not argue much leaving them where they are here - it would not make much difference anyway.

231

I would give the followinf ratings:

1. Alonso 10

2. Hamilton 9

3. Raikkonen 8

4. Vettel 7.5

5. Webber 7

1. Alonso has been at his best form this year - I do not see any mistakes from him at all this season. He does get a perfect 10.

2. Both Hamilton and Raikkonen had their fair share of mistakes ansl also their teams contributed equally if not more to their misery. Hamilton's team botched their pit-stops at least in a couple of races adding more pressure to Hamilton's driving. So without those pit-stop mistakes and Maldonado crash, he would have been close to Alonso's points.

3. Raikkonen's team strategy has been pedestrian sometimes (China, Bahrain) and also their pit-stops were slower than their rivals making him lose a few spots every time he stopped in the pits. But due to Raikkonen's below-par quali performance, Hamilton would be ahead of Raikkonen slightly.

4 and 5. Vettel should be ahead of Webber as Vettel lost a victory due to car failure. Also his quali was a bit better than Webber's. And both have not performed as well as Hamilton or Raikkonen even though their pit-stops were better and having possessed of a car somewhat superior to McLaren and Lotus (overall).

232

No arguing with top marks for Alonso, he really has driven brilliantly. I would also agree with the marks for Lewis and Kimi, the lost wins for Hamilton were not his fault don't forget. I wouldn't have Maldonado as high up as that, one good race doesn't merit joint 5th. There is also no arguing with Massa being placed rock bottom, I can't think of a more lop sided driver pairing then Felipe and Fernando. Schumacher never destroyed any of his team mates so convincingly, definitely out of Ferrari, and probably out of F1 altogether.

233

The 10 should be given to perfect scores... 10 victories out of 10 races for example so Alonso, even if he was the best, so far, should get a 9 max. I know, the car wasn`t perfect, bla bla... this is a Team Sport not tennis so 9 is enough for ALonso. The rest is fair, with some exceptions like: even If i`m a Schumacher Fan, the 6 is too much, a 5 would be the mark he deserves with Senna not deserving more than a 4, considering the enourmous deficit in speed he has compared to his venezuelan teammate. Maldonado was in the position to score much more this year: Australia and Valencia being 2 races where he basically threw a lot of points straight to the garbage. A 4 would also be the mark for the indian

234

Yes it is a Team Sport but they are rating the Drivers.

235

Mostly agree, however I would put Kimi and Lewis neck-in-neck for 2nd as one has shown brilliant racecraft while the other in qualifying.

10- Alonso

8.5 Raikkonen/Hamilton

8.0 Vettel/Webber/Grosjean/Di Resta

7.5 Perez/Rosberg/Kobayashi/Moldanado

7.0 Kovalainen/Senna/Schumacher/Hulkenberg

6.5 Button/Petrov

236

I find little to disagree with there. I think Felipe deserves more than 4.5 / 10.

Sure, his performances have been disappointing, especially if you go by where he stands in the table rather than analyse what happened on a race by race basis, but on his day he's been close to Fernando, and for that alone I'd give him a 6.

If any driver deserves a 10 it's Fernando. He's shown a dogged perserverence again this year. Forever consistent, reliable and tenacious.

I'll award:

10 Alonso.

9 Kimi, Hamilton, Grosjean

8 Webber, Rosberg, Vettel, Di Resta

7 Hulkenberg, Schumacher (he's been unlucky) + Kovy who has seemed solid.

6 Perez, Maldonado, Kobayashi, Massa, Button

5 Glock, De la Rosa, Pic, Petrov, Senna

Vergne, Ricciardo, Karthikeyan

Those drivers on 5, I've not really seen enough of their racing to know whether that score is warranted, but logic dictates a top team would have them signed up if they were 8s or above.

237

Generally agree with the list but, as others have said, Maldonado is too high and Kovi is too low.

As a Kimi fan, I'm delighted to see him rated so highly but I expect him to be a lot stronger in the second half of the season as the steering is to his liking (and has been since Germany). Grosjean has done well but I think he'll be blown away in the remaining races.

238

Here is my list, with a few comments.

I put Schumacher above Rosberg because MS has put in some really great drives, it's just that he has had every technical failure Merecedes have experienced befall his car. A part from the win in China, Rosberg hasn't been particularly impressive. Maldonado is the same.

Consistency is everything; Alonso and Webber (and Raikkonen as well I suppose) have generally been the best in this regard.

Kovalainen has done exceptionally well considering the quality of his car. He deserves a drive with a better team.

1: Alonso

2: Webber

3: Vettel

4: Hamilton

5: Raikkonen

6: Grosjean

7: Perez

8: Kobayashi

9: Schumacher

10: Rosberg

11: Di Resta

12: Button

13: Maldonado

14: Hulkenberg

15: Senna

16: Ricciardo

17: Kovalainen

18: Petrov

19: Glock

20: Vergne

21: Pic

22: De La Rosa

23: Massa

24: Karthekeyen

239

I dont see any justification for Webber & Vettel to be above Hamilton. He is within 7 points with more DNFs and compromised races from team errors and a poor Car in the wet. I do agree Webber above Vettel though (just).

240

This list really looks like it's been complied by a semi-objective Red Bull fan (who just can't find a way to justify not putting Alonso on top) rather than a fully objective F1 fan.

241

No, I am not really a Red Bull fan of any kind. I am a Ferrari and Mercedes fan. I don't like McLaren though so I suppose I am not objective in that regard.

But really at the end of the day, the only list that counts is the points table. Everything else is just speculation, opinions and judgements (which is what this whole article's forum is about).

244

@ Martin

Hahaha you know what they say, great minds think alike.

I’m curious as to how far down the list

you’d have Rosberg.

-------------------------------------------------

Whoops! Forgot about Rosberg.

Okay I would put him 7th just ahead of Schumi (in 8th) for his win in China was pretty impressive & not forgetting how he pushed Webber in Monaco.

245
Val from montreal

Schumacher deserves an 8 at the minimum .... He's qualified in the top 4 , how many times ?? With that [mod] of team ( mercedes ) that he is with he should of been easily in the top 4 by now in the wdc stantings if his car and team would be up to par ...,

246

He has driven well sometimes. Then other times he's ran up the back of Senna, and at Hockenheim cued up in the wrong grid- then incurred a penalty for speeding in the pits. You have to look this on balance.

247
Matthew Cheshire

The list is pretty much useless. Such a sujective appraisal is only useful to incite subjective fan debate.

The drivers and teams only care about championship points. This means nothing to them.

What would be useful would be an alternative points table with mechanical failures, collisions by others, gearbox penalties and team pit problems adjusted out.

Obviously no easy task, but the result would be far more interesting than a media beat-up.

248

True.

249

Yeah, I think there should be something like take the best 8 results of the first 10 races for the drivers ... I mean for Massa, what can he do about Kobayashi running into him in Valencia? Nothing. Or Vettel's blown alternator? Why should that have any bearing on his driving prowess? Even the pitstops are a constructors-centric facet, that have nothing to do with the drivers' ability.

250
Pulkit Tripathi

Hi James,

please answer it, if luca de montezemolo, leaves Ferrari for political ambition in Italy then only Kimi can be nack in Ferrari for 2013-2014 or there is no way of Kimi back in Ferrari

251

I don't think Alonso would enjoy a radio message that says "Kimi is faster than you".

Alonso might be the most complete driver but Kimi is definitely faster to the levels of being scary.

So, not a pleasant position for Alonso to be in (with a faster teammate) and not a pleasant place for Kimi to be in for he hates politics and where there is Alonso there are politics in abundance.

252

Never say never, but Montezemolo is Ferrari's representative on the F1 board, in his own name, so even if he gets Italia Futura elected into political office he won't be far from Ferrari

253

I was wondering about the interesting statistic that those top 3 drivers have not appeared on the podium together.

Could it be that Alonso only makes it onto the podium when the others have a problem (albeit usually in first place)?

254

Alonso was the driver of the first half. He made others, those who usually enjoyed a better car performance look like little childes.

He made Button cry, Vettel angry and Hamilton desperate.

255

I think Schumi, could be 6.5 arguably because he suffered a lot of more problems(than others) that he can't control.

But it is not unreasonable to rate him 6.

Not a big fan of Alonso but he should be 11 out of 10 this season.

256

Too arbitrary to rate drivers from different teams against each other when one doesn't have all the information, that's why we have a points scheme for everyone to live and die by. After that, the team bosses end-of-season rankings is worth looking at, but that's about it.

Within teams, personally:

* Can't disagree that Alonso has been so far beyond Massa.

* Hamilton has got the better of Button but not by anything like so much as suggested.

* Raikkonen might or might not be the "the most beautiful surprise of the year", but he is the surprise we might have guessed at (and hoped for), and Grosjean is the surprise we might not dared to have guessed.

* Webber matching, perhaps surpassing, Vettel is also a pleasant surprise after last year and I look forward to the ongoing tussle.

* Rosberg rates mediocre because or despite (not sure which) he manages some results beyond his own or his car's failings (not sure which), and Schumacher just disappoints.

* Perez and Kobayashi remain a pair of curiosities and I wouldn't know how to rate one over the other -- too different, too variable, and hope to see plenty more of both.

* Maldonado is hard to evaluate and disturbing in his approach; rightly or wrongly I've noticed little of Senna to enthuse about.

* and the rest I observe too little of with the coverage I follow this year.

By the way: is it not a little nonsensical to say from Gazzetta's scores "Ferrari's Fernando Alonso coming out on top, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton" ? ... it is hard to believe they intend scores of 10 vs 8.5 to signify "just ahead" when the bulk, twenty, of the field are seperated by only two points.

257

Really!!! Schumacher disappoints..!!! I guess Merc has disappointed him more than anyone else. heres a stat for you:-

Schumacher Beat team mate in race 4/5

Races finished by Schumacher 5/11

5 races finished by him and he crossed the line 4 times ahead of Rosberg. Given the fact if Schumacher did not had to suffer so many reliability problems, perhaps he would have been ahead of rosberg in driver's standings .Rosberg had only two weekends to remember, that of china and monaco. otherwise he is more or less anonymous in the weekends.

258

I would rate Lewis Hamilton a full point higher (9.5) due to the early season cock-ups of his pit crew and overall problems (here and there) along McLaren's pit wall command post. I reckon Hamilton's 40 point deficit to Alonso can, pretty much, be directly attributed to McLaren's mistakes.

Otherwise, I'd rate Vettel (8.0) along with Räikkönen (8.0) Grosjean (7.5) Rosberg (7.5) and Webber (7.5)....

259

9.5- Alonso

9 - Hamilton,Raikkonen

8.5-Grosjean, Vettel

8-Webber,Perez

7.5-Rosberg,Schumacher

7-Button,Pedro,Heikki,Maldonado

6.5-Di resta,Hulkenberg,Pic, kobayashi

6-Senna,Vergne,Ricciardo,Petrov,Glock

5.5-Massa

5-Karthikeyan

260

10 – Alonso

9 – Raikkonen, Grojean, Kovalainen, Webber

8 – Hamilton, Vettel, Perez

7 – Rosberg, Schumacher, Pic, Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi

6 – Glock, De la Rosa, Petrov, Senna, Ricciardo

5 – Button, Vergne, Maldonado

4 - Karthikayen

2 – Massa

261

James, it's only a semi-serious comment, but I wonder if Fernando's biggest weakness is the effect he has on his team mates?!

With the notable exception of Hamilton, all of his team mates end up under performing to the point where it harms his team. Some that come to mind are Fisichella,, Grosjean and now Massa. These drivers have been seriously quick when NOT partnered with Alonso, but actually seem to be slowed down when sharing a team with him. Kimi - who is also scarily quick - seems to have had a very positive effect on Grosjean and Massa.

Does Alonso actually harm your chances of a top spot in the Constructors Championship? I mean according to La Gazzetta, Kimi and Grosjean have been stronger than Fernando and Massa (15 vs. 14.5)

262

I think that's a fully-serious comment, and bang on! Alonso is a very strong personality, and he ends up doing the heads in of his teammates (with the notable exception of Hamilton, as you noted). But who knows how Hamilton would've fared had the team principal been Flavio instead of Big Ron?

263

Good comment Guillermo. I agree with Antii also on this!

264

Very interesting observation.

265

Very interesting point, though I don't know if Grosjean can be used as an example here because he had a very tough spot to come partner Alonso in the middle of the 2009(?) season. He is better prepared this time. However, it is quite well known the Kimi is very unpolitical and may thus guarantee a more balanced intra-team atmosphere than Alonso, who is known to have demanded the number one status during his times at Renault and McLaren. If the team agrees to such demands, I can easily imagine it having a negative impact on the other driver.

266

It was a cheeky comment, so yes, I know it's unfair on Grosjean, but I just keep searching in vain for an explanation of Felipe Massa's decline in recent years. Seriously, now that Mark Webber has regained his pre-2011 pace, this has to be the biggest mistery in F1.

How could a driver that competed against, and often beat, team mates like Schumacher MkI and Kimi, look so hopeless now?

For what it's worth, I would keep Felipe under contract, send him to Sauber for a year of rehabilitation and put Perez in the other Ferrari. If he's the real deal, he'll shine through, otherwise, swap them back for 2014 (or bring Vettel in!) I still think that a fast Felipe is Fernando's best team mate.

267

Certainly plenty of evidence of that

268

I guess we'll find out next year? 🙂

269

Didn't Trulli outperform Alonso before being sacked in 2004? Grosjean and Piquet were rookies... So you're left with Massa, Fisichella. 2 out of 6 teammates.

270

10- alonso

9- raikkonen

8- webber

7- vettel/hamilton/grosjean

6- rosberg/perez/button

5- schumacher/Di resta/kovalainen/kobayashi

4- hulkenberg /maldonado

3- senna/ de la rosa/massa

2- vergne, ricciardo/pic

1- karthikayen

So far this year, based on race craft and natural speed or skill, for me a true measure rather points which is influenced more by equipment and it reliability. Schumacher should be up there but he is still stubborn with how to used the tires and new fuels rules. I was expecting more from him since his return. I think for him its just a matter of time and luck. To either win or retire.

271

Alonso - 9.5

Kimi/Lewis 8.5

Vettel/webber/ 8

Perez/Rosberg/Grosjean/Maldonado/kovalainen 7.5

Schumacher/Di Resta/ Hulkenberg/Kobayashi 7

Button/Pic 6

Senna/Ricciardo 5

Massa/Glock/De la Rosa/Petrov/Vergne 4

Karthikayen 3

272

For months i tried to post with my other mail that i always used and í couldn´t.

I had to change email, could you tell me why?

273

Hi James, seeing all the comments and reviews from other websites, its absolutely certain that Alonso has driven (until now) a season of epic proportions. Can you remember the last time when a driver so convincingly outperformed the car and other drivers and champions on the grid?

The most recent I can think of was Robert Kubica in 2010. Hardly made a mistake, always got himself into a position to capitalise on others mistakes, scored in all the races except those with car failures and took podiums when the season was dominated by front runners.

I would be interested to know some other drivers who you think have performed at the same level......

275

senna 1993, totally agree. season review well worth a watch.

276

Schumacher 1996 in a dog of a Ferrari, Schumacher in 1997 and 1998 against the far superior Williams and Mclarens,

Prost in 1986.

277
Tom Haythornthwaite

I've never been a Massa fan but he's not *that* bad. Surely he's better than all of Di Resta Hulkenberg, Pic, Kobayashi (this year), Senna, Vergne, Ricciardo, Petrov (this year), and Glock. OK, I know that's not saying much...

By the way I agree with the defences of Schumacher. I never used to be his fan but he's earned a lot more of my respect this time around.

278

[mod]
Alonso has driven well no question and it's easy to put him first. But Di Resta ahead of Schumacher and Massa dead last....

These lists while a bit of fun,, are an insult to intelligence. The season is only half ways there so lets see how part 2 goes. For me the only list that's counts is AH's in Autocourse on Christmas day!

279

I agree with several others that nobody is perfect and Alonso, great as he is, should be on 9.5. Hamilton should get 9, as he is having his best season since his first two seasons. Raikkonen's comeback is a revelation, and I'm rooting for him to win a few. Needs better quali and strategy. Webber and Vettel should be up there with him on 8 as they're both race winners. Not sure Rosberg should be as high as he is; I'd put him on 6. Button, disappointing though his season has been thus far, is a race winner and has a couple of 2nds, and should be in with those on 6, all of whom have had some bright spots and disappointments. There's no way that Senna should be rated higher than Button and I'd put him on 5. However, I hope he comes good, as he comes across as personable, intelligent, and articulate, and he tries hard. Yes, Massa has been a disappointment, but he is making an effort to get over whatever is his problem. I'd put him on 5 and Ricciardo with him. I'd put Vergne (crashes a lot), Karthikeyan (should not be in F1 anymore), and Maldonado (although gifted the Spanish GP pole and used it to good effect, is a danger to himself and others, despite Sir Frank's denial of this) on 4. Any I did not mention I'd leave as they are.

280

I'm going to use an American style table.

Driver of the year: Alonso

Best performer: Kimi

Best up n coming driver- Grojean & perez

Likly title contenders: Hamilton & Alonso

Worst performers: Massa & Button

Worst driver: Maldonardo

I like how the further down I read on the page the list of driver's are similar to the F1 point standings. I think most have missed the point and the Italian mag which assesed them on an overall performance.

281

I would not rate Alonso that high, he has just been lucky too many times, with the rain and problems for other drivers like in Valencia. Take Hungary for instance where was the performance of a TRUE master. The car has evolved only because Ferrari use their car 'no. 2' Massa for testing the upgrades, which is a huge benefit given the ban on in season testing. We all know the ruckus he created at his time at McLaren, all he wants is the #1 driver spot in the team and Ferrari(as history would support) are glad to give him that.

In my opinion, Alonso should be on par with Kimi if not lower, what we saw from Kimi in Hungary was a class act, who would believe he has been away from the sport for 2 whole years.

The Order should

KIMI, ALONSO

Hamilton

Vettel

Webber

Grosjean

282

According to me, Kimi's return was strategically well planned. He knew he would be intensely scrutinized on his return. There were questions being raised on Lotus hiring him and whether he would be 'motivated' enough to deliver. There was intense pressure on Kimi as well as on Lotus.

So, what I can gauge is that Kimi designated the first half of the season for consolidating his return and also to acquaint himself with tires and DRS and everything that had changed since he had left. And having done so remarkably. He has designated the second half of the season for his signature spine-chilling speed and breathtaking assaults... the prelude to this was Germany and Hungary.

Under these format of approach no wins are plausible. But, if anyone here even remotely thinks that this is the maximum Kimi has to offer... Think again.

He is only going to get more Lethal.

P.S. In the era of DRS and KERS, Qualifying has become nothing more than a pissing contest, so what Kimi is losing out on (a good starting grid position which would've been crucial earlier and means not so important now) he is making it up in the race... and making it up immaculately.

283

For luck to favor someone, he/she should be first in a position to be favored. Fernando was NOT lucky in Malaysia. It rained and it rained for everyone. His car was fast in those conditions and others cars were not. So is he lucky because others were not fast?

If other have problems doesn't mean the guy who wins is lucky. Why was Kimi not in 2nd place when Vettel retired in Valencia? Oh you know why cause Fernando was faster than him in 1st stint and passed him in pits.

If you think what you saw from Kimi in Hungary was a class act then in your dictionary what Fernando did in Valencia must be a god's act rite!

Fernando was not UNLUCKY in Silverstone nor was Mark LUCKY. Mark was FASTER than Fernando and that's why he won.

284

I presume you missed the essence of my comment. What I was trying to imply is that people, especially Alonso fanboys have this notion that he has been outperforming the car and taking it to new heights or adding 1 sec or 2 secs to it, which is false. That is all I wanted to highlight.

Coming to your argument:

1. If you watched Valencia with Live Timings by your side, you would have noticed that in the initial laps Kimi had Maldonado running ahead of him and overtaking that guy requires extreme caution(we have all seen what transpired with Lewis). When Alonso came to overtake Maldonado, his tyres were dead, due to defending from Kimi(again live timing helps here) so that overtake was made easy. On the outlap Lotus released Kimi in traffic that compromised his outlap(it was a 1.44) which was also helped by Lotus not having the best pit-stop equipment.

2. What Kimi did in Hungary was once again one of the best stints we have seen this season, that was also on 'used' softs. Now please dont raise the argument that the car made it possible, Romain could barely manage the same performance(and he is no slouch, like Massa).

3. People keep saying the Ferrari is the 5th fastest, 7th fastest, 20th fastest.... that might only be true in qualifying, in race trim with heavy fuel loads the car is pretty competitive and not that hard on the tyres either.

4. Why you take the spotlight to Silverstone is beyond my comprehension, I cant recollect talking about it. We saw some good strategy from Red Bull there and they had the disputed parts put on as well.

285

Indeed, lets just enjoy the great season! 🙂

286

After reading your latest comment, I do think I missed the essence of the 1st one. You mentioned "Fernando being lucky too many times" caught my eye.

Anyway, It's true that "Alonso fanboys have this notion that he has been outperforming the car and taking it to new heights or adding 1 sec or 2 secs to it, which is false."

People who say this are definitely new to the sport. Even I am a so called Alonso "fanboy" (have been one from 2003) and how I look at the situation is that Fernando is maximizing whatever he has to the limits and Ferrari are doing a great job on the track side.

Lewis is also doing that but McLaren are letting him down and that's exactly the case with Kimi. Lotus are not doing a great job on the track side.

I do not believe in luck in life but I believe in chances. That's what I was trying to explain in my earlier post. Fernando has taken his chances and has been rewarded. But that's what has made this championship so much fun. Isn't it!

We all love the sport and this time it is F1 which is actually winning.

By the way, your comment about Maldonado in Valencia really cracked me up - "overtaking that guy requires extreme caution" :-). He will be a real force in ruining someones chances of winning the championship this year 😛

287

I follow/support Alonso and Hamilton most closely so I want to comment on them.

The fact is, Alonso has made 1 mistake and Hamilton has made zero (I concede that his defence vs. Maldonado was robust, but it wasn't a driver error).

Hamilton's only questionable lack of conversion to race win has to be Aus - he was for the most part, unable to match Button. Spain was the team's fault. The car has been temperamental and performed poorly in a mid first half slump which I think amplified Alonso's brilliance.

I would give Hamilton a 9, he has maxed the car's qualifying pace on all but a couple of occasions and got the most out of it in all but a couple of races.

Alonso has been brilliant and is beating his team mate in even more of a dominant fashion than Hamilton. He has seized every opportunity, taken advantage of all conditions and driven very strategically. I give him 9.5 as 10 = perfection and should not be given lightly.

288

I would have thought that Ricciardo would have scored higher than hi team mate Vergne. In a totally underperforming car, he has been more consistent and faster than his Vergne.

James - Can you do an article why there is such a difference between Red Bull and Torro Rosso?

289

Performance wise you mean, or in the rankings in this piece?

290

Wow everyone's beating up on Karthikayan.

I think he's done a respectable job with the car he had.

James do you also feel NK shouldn't be in F1?

291

You can't say someone "shouldn't be in F1" unless they are patently not up to the job or are a danger to fellow drivers.

Karthikeyan is what he is, that second seat in the slowest team has never been a comfortable place to be throughout recent F1 history.

292

With all due respect to other opinions, I truly feel that people have been over-critical of NK without realizing his situation. He is not a first rate driver by any stretch of imagination. But he entered F1 well past his prime. There was a time when NK could have given the likes of Button and Davidson a run for their money in junior formula( Notably British F3). When these people made it to F1, Narain was running from pillar to post in India for some sponsor. Unfortunately, F1 was not big in India at that point in time. Finally, when he entered F1 in 2005; he had lost quite a lot of his sharpness after wandering around for 3-4 years in irrelevant racing series.

Just to remind, in his first ever test with Jordan in 2001, he was just .5s off Jean Alesi.

I am not a fan of NK, neither am I biased by nationality. Just think that he doesn't deserve all the flak he gets. And, the incidents he was involved in this season were not his fault. We all have discussed that umpteenth number of times.

P.S.: I have never understood people rating Karun over NK. May be because he speaks better English 🙂

293

10- Alonso

9 – Raikkonen

8.5- Hamilton

8-Webber,Perez,Vettel

7.5- Grosjean

7-Schumacher,Heikki

6.5- Button,Di resta,Hulkenberg,kobayashi

6- Rosberg,Petrov,Glock

5.5-Massa, Pic, Vergne, Ricciardo, Senna, Maldonado, Pedro

5-Karthikeyan

Massa's career is circling the drain. After the highs of 2008 (Hungary and Brazil being two great drives) and an impressive 2009 in a bad car he has fallen badly. In 2010 he got on the podium, produced a great drive in Germany and could match Alonso on occasion. In 2011 he fell away badly but was still given the thumbs up when he out qualified Alonso (only once did he out race him in China). Now it has reached a stage where he is given the thumbs up for being close (but still behind) Alonso either in qualifing or in the race! Well being close but behind doesn't win you races.

He needs to move teams and Ferrari looking at the points he has scored may as well stick someone else in to see how they will perform. Can't do any worse than Massa in the last 2 years no podiums and beaten Alonso in 1 race.

Alonso has been cut above everyone else just getting everything out of the car at every stage. Kimi is back at his best with only his speed on a Saturday needing to improve. Lewis has had a good talking to himself over winter and seems less rash. Webber and Vettel have pretty much matched each other. Button is a disapointment unable to work around the car's issues. Rosberg has had one great race and that is it. Schumacher has speeded up but has had bad luck (less said about Hungary the better). Toro Rosso boys been pretty much useless and Senna and his 'RAMMING SPEED!' teammate more or less the same.

294

august is a long month

forgive me, fellow f1 nuts. i've been dosing up on olympics and now when i hear ALONSO i think first of the great peerless jessi alonso, right wing, spain handball team. bronze medal 2012.

vamos!

295

9.5 Alonso

8.5 Hamilton

8.0 Raikkonen, Vettel, Webber

7.5 Grosjean

7.0 Rosberg

6.5 Schumacher, Perez, de la Rosa

6.0 Maldonado, di Resta, Hulkenberg, Senna, Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, Pic, Ricciardo, Button

5.5 Massa, Kobayashi

5.0 Vergne

4.5 Karthikeyan

THOUGHT: Is it worth doing a separate list for qualifying and race performances? Could see some interesting fluctuations.

296

Always averse to give out perfect scores.

9.5 - Alonso

8.5 - Hamilton

8.0 - Kimi

7.0 - Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Grosjean

De La Rosa

6.5 - Perez, Kobayashi

6.0 - Button, Di Resta, Schumacher,

Hulkenberg, Kovaleinen, Pic, Ricciardo

5.5 - Maldonado, Senna, Glock, Petrov, Vergne

5.0 - Karthikeyan, Massa

De La Rosa is a consummate pro, always gets out of the way in a smart fashion. Any progress they make will be largely down to his feedback. As for Hamilton, he has driven as well as could be expected, but was let down early on by the team. Pic has to be ahead of Glock, and Ricciardo ahead of Vergne. Massa has had a few incidents out of his control, but over 11 races in a red car, he needs to have more than 25 pts.

297

Rating seems fair. Agree at 90% for the placings. The 10% is reflected on some of the postings above.

298

There is no denying fact that Alonso has driven immaculately but we need to remember Ferrai F1 team is one man team first comes Alonso then comes Massa where as the other teams Like Mclaren Lotus are two man team i mean both the drivers get a equal chance and the car is made to suit both the drivers not one.

Alonso/Hamilton- 9

Kimi/Vettel- 8.5 (qualifying issues for Kimi)

Schumacher/rosberg/perez/button-7

Di resta/kovalainen/kobayashi-6

Massa/hulkenberg /maldonado -5

senna/ de la rosa/massa-4

vergne, ricciardo/pic-3

karthikayen-0.5

299

Raikkonen deserved a higher score than Hamilton. The effort he put up a tough fight against other champs while preserving tires longer than some competitors.

Senna didn't deserve a higher than than Button. They should be the same.

Kovalainen definitely should be higher at 6.5 so that they are on par with Maldonado. It is only the very slow Caterham that holding his performance back.

Karthikeyan should be rank way lower, super slow driver he is.

300

The Lotus was from the beginning one of the fastest cars. It's the easiest on the tyres and best at longruns

The Lotus drivers both have failed to get a win with the best car at several GPs. They should have got at least one or two 1&2 if they had delivered to the potential of the car

IMO noone can rank Raikkönen higher than Hamilton regarding the cars performances

Grosjean has showed the Lotus qualifying speed & Raikkönen the long run speed. If someone could combine both drivers , this hypotethic driver whould lead the WDC by a margin.

301

Lotus has not been the fastest. They were fast in Bahrain but then again Red Bull where also fast in that race. They where fast in Valencia but then again Red Bull was faster. They were fast in Hungary but then again no one really knows with Lewis, if he could have gone faster or not. Just look back one race before Hungary - Germany there is no way they where the fastest there. Ferrari, Red Bull and Mclaren where faster. Germany is actually a very good example to show that Lotus isn't always that fast, Kimi was on the same stint as the leaders but he was 15 seconds behind them in clear air and he couldn't match their times. They have been fast at some places but no one can can really state that one car is comprehensively faster then the other.

302

I wrote ONE of the fastest wich is true. Look at Grosjeans qualifying results. And Lotus has always very good long run times at FPs. And they have strong race pace at ervery race

303

Interesting observation. Truly agree that this hypothetical driver would be leading WDC. However, there is this idea that this hypothetical driver needs to do just the opposite in quali and race - perhaps rendering only one half of this drier to shine in each format. Of course you could have a driver who could do both these in some weighted format (like 1.2 times better than Kimi in quali and 0.9 times of him in race) and thus end up still a bit higher than where Kimi is now. Just a thought.

304

Did you ever stop to think he's driving 100% in Quali ? & the car is not quite as quick, because either he OR Romain would have a pole by now!

305

Until people understand that the same reason a car is gentle on its tyres is the same reason it cannot reach peek operating temperature in quali.& therefore cannot be fastest over a single lap,Then you cannot say this car is fastest because both Red Bulls have qualified higher more often and so too have Mclaren (Lewis mainly), & Ferrari occasionally.It's very hard to win races from 5- 10 position with cars that are faster & have world champions in them.Even though they have come close on 4 occasions with slower pit stops/ strategies ! I think Lotus with the mods at Hockenheim & Hungary are starting to qualify higher and will soon win poles and races. People also forget Raikkonen is one of the best qualifiers F1 has ever seen and it won't be long before he shows this again.

306

who told you that??? the car isnt a good qualifier at the beginning, and only in hungary they shown some improvement!! your comment is really laughable~~ Mclarne was clearly the best car at the beginning...and rightly so until now!! Lotus was only good on tyres, it also pose problem in qualifying to get heat into tyre for 1 lap pace~~ and the car is completely useless on wet.......

307

Alonso 9

Webber & Raikkonen 8

Vettel & Hamilton & Grosjean 7.5

Perez & Kovalainen 7

Kobayashi, Di Resta & Maldonado 6.5

Glock, Petrov, Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Rosberg & De La Rosa 6

Pic, Button, Senna & Ricciardo 5.5

Senna, Vergne & Massa 5

Karthekeyen 4.5

I would place Raikonen and Webber higher and also Perez and Kovalainen higher. for the rest agree with the scoring only except that I have Karthekeyen places as last as he is an embarishment for F1.

308

I am just waiting for your Rating,James

i know it will be fair and square 😉

309

Despite being a Ferrari fan, I think the original rating is slightly biased towards Ferrari - tribute paid to Alonso and, in contrast, Massa pushed to the back to highlight supremacy of Alonso this year.

I think I mostly agree with Top 3, but the rest is not clear cut to me.

This is my version:

10 – Alonso

8.5 – Hamilton

8 – Raikkonen

7 – Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Grosjean

6.5 – Di Resta, Perez

6 – Schumacher, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, Kovalainen, Glock, De la Rosa, Pic, Maldonado

5.5 – Senna, Button

5 – Vergne, Ricciardo, Massa, Petrov

4.5 Karthikeyan

310

Here is my choice:

10 – Alonso

9 – Webber, Vettel

8.5 - Hamilton

8 – Grosjean, Raikkonen

7 - Rosberg, Schumacher, Perez

6.5 – Di Resta, Kovalainen, Kobayashi, Button

6 – Hulkenberg, Pic, Petrov, Senna,Maldonado

5.5 – Glock, De la Rosa, Massa, Vergne, Ricciardo

3 – Karthikeyan

311

I'd probably rate Hamilton with the same score as Alonso.

Alonso has a great advantage in that Ferrari is and has been a 1 man team. Alonso has all the best engineers and resources behind him. Focussing on him 100% and stroking his ego.

Contrast with someone like Hamilton who doesn't have 100% backing of McLaren and he has to share the best resources with Button because of team philosphy. Furthermore Hamilton has to compete with a WDC as a teamate and this takes valuables points away from him e.g. Button Australia race win.

Alonso & Ferrari have just been consistent where others have had issues for one reason or another. Take Hamilton, he would be leading the WDC had McLaren not been so poor operationally with pitstops losing him P1 and other track positions, underfulled car losing P1, gearbox failure, tyre failure.

When the others don't have problem, Alonso is found wanting, see Hungary for example a normal dry race, where was he? Nowhere.

He should still be ranked at the top but not alone if one separates the drivers from the team errors.

I seen an article on another website, McLaren had 8 (out of the 10 races so far) consecutive race weekend operational errors that lost Hamilton track position.

312

I agree with most of James' rating except Hamilton's 8.5. I will give him an equal 8 with Kimi. I feel that mainly because LH has yet to take full advantage of his natural talent as well as the equipment.

I disagree with others giving Kimi 9. He has a much faster car than Alonso most of the time and still no win.

313

Contrary to everyone's belief that Lotus is the fastest car out there, it is wrong. Car wise I think there are two categories in 2012 the first being the fastest and the second being the most consistent over a race.

The Fastest

1. Mclaren (fastest yet inconsistent)

2. Redbull (trying to find that holy grail and yet second fastest and reasonably consistent)

3. Ferrari (all weather consistent and third fastest)

4. Mercedes (Occasionally the fastest yet the most inconsistent)

5. Force India (sixth in Speed but with high level of inconsistency)

The Most Consistent

1. Lotus (fifth fastest but the most consistent car on the grid)

2. Sauber (seventh in speed and second most consistent)

Apart from these two there are no notably consistent cars.

And the way the tires are playing a role this year The Consistency has become equal and if not a more important factor. And that is how Lotus doing it.

314

Read the story - it's not my rating, It's Gazzetta's!!

315

Surely Maldonado loses points for crashing in a demo run this week?

Also, i'd say most people would rate Ricciardo higher than Vergne yeah?

316

Tom. Agree with your second point. But we are both Aussies! I am also amazed so many people have rated senna equal to or above Ricciardo. Senna has seriously under performed in a fast car. The toro rosso is a crab of a car. But maybe I should remove my eye patch.....

317

James,

I actually think they shouldn't even rate drivers in cars that are not performing. That means HRT, Caterham, Toro Rosso, Marussia and even Force India drivers don't get put in the mix. The drivers in these teams only get a chance to show their ability in the wet and even that's hard with the calibre of other drivers on the grid. But I rate drivers who have won a Grand Prix this year (especially this year!). So Button is not as low as what Gazzetta dello Sport have. A win is a win. OK it also shows you have a good car but you still have to get it over the line first. So I rate it on the wins you have with two exceptions

1 Alonso 3 wins

2 Webber, Hamilton 2 wins

3 Kimi no win strong podiums excellent in races

4 Vettel 1 win but strong podiums

5 Rosberg, Button 1 win

Honourable mentions to Perez and Grosjean

I don't rate Maldonado it's not that he can't drive it's just he has no respect for people who pass him (ugly driving). As for Massa love the guy but he has just beee plain bad.

I know some people will say Vettel had a DNF so should be higher but Webber had a 5 place grid penalty and a diff problem. Most driver have had at least one issue out of their control.

So there you have it the Good the Bad and the Ugly.

Thoughts James?