F1 Summer Break 2015
Mid-season F1 driver rankings
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Aug 2013   |  11:29 am GMT  |  514 comments

The influential Italian sports paper Gazzetta dello Sport has today published its rankings of the F1 drivers for the season so far.

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.

It’s also interesting to compare with their marks last year.

For example last year, Alonso came out with a 10, due to having won three races in an open season; this year he merits an 8, with the mistake in Malaysia weighing him down. Meanwhile in a stark assessment of Ferrari’s other driver, Felipe Massa was at the bottom of the table last year, this year he is close to it, keeping company with Vergne and Pic one point ahead of Gutierrez.

Top of the class this year is Sebastian Vettel with a perfect 10, whom Gazzetta compare with Alain Prost – whose four world title Vettel may match come the end of the season.

The citation reads: “This year he seems like Alain Prost, when it seems the right moment to settle, he does so without trying to win at all costs. He’s running away with it and it’s hard to imagine him not getting a fourth title.” It’s an interesting view, given that in Malaysia he couldn’t stop himself from trying to win, especially with Fernando Alonso out of the reckoning that day.

Kimi Raikkonen is second with 9, credited with having reinvented himself after running out of steam with Ferrari in 2009. One mark against him for not mastering qualifying this time around.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are tied on 7 points, Hamilton pulled down by having taken time to get on top of the tyres. It describes his Hungary win as a turning point. Rosberg gets credit for matching Hamilton on the whole and winning two races.

Jenson Button gets a nod with 6.5, due to extracting points from “one of the worst McLarens in history”.

Here are the ratings:

10 Vettel
9 Raikkonen
8 Alonso
7 Hamilton, Rosberg
6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta
6 Hulkenberg, Webber, Bianchi
5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez
5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

Do you agree? Give us your mid season driver rankings in the comments section below. We will pick one response at random later this week and they will win a limited edition JA on F1 T shirt (for more information click JA on F1 T Shirt

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  1. Sylvester says:

    If Kimi has 9 points for a reason he has not mastered the art of qualifying, Vettel should not be given a 10 either, for he still does not deal with traffic, the way hamilton, alonso or kimi.

    webber at 6 points seems to be Unfair.

    1. JackL says:

      Well said. Why is Alonso consistently rated so highly? How can he be the most complete driver on the grid if he’s a terrible qualifier (compared to Vettel and Hamilton)? Wouldn’t that make him a little incomplete?

      1. Grant H says:

        Last year alonso was the best driver on the grid in terms of what he achieved with a less than great car

        This year he’s been fairly average on the whole so I would not rate him as high as that

        This is a Italian paper and no doubt is a little biased toward the red team! If a uk paper repeated this I’m sure Lewis would be higher

      2. fausta says:

        He puts the car ahead of where it should be. The Ferrari isn’t a good qualy package.

      3. Tim says:

        He puts the car ahead of where it should be…

        With respect that is a physical impossibility. No driver, however good, can exceed the limits of the car. They may be able to extract the maximum performance from the car, but it is impossible to out perform it.

      4. Arnie S says:

        Why ALO so high? Because it’s an Italian newspaper, just like British press tends to rank HAM and BUT slightly higher than their capability. And the fanatic RAI fans seems to think he’s the best driver ever.

      5. Tony says:

        I think the Italian bias thought is a little simplistic otherwise why is Massa so low when he’s out qualified his team mate a couple of times? Also, the Italian media are more critical of Ferrari than anyone else. Ferrari not winning is always treated as a crisis in Italy and the team from Monty down cop plenty of flak.

      6. Aneesh says:

        So who is the best driver in your unbiased opinion? Van Der Garde?

      7. Arnie S says:

        It wasn’t my intention to say anything regarding who’s the best etc, just a humble attempt to explain that supporters and/or nationalism gives extra scores to their “own” drivers.

        I personally like RAI, because of his personality (No, I’m not a Finn), and in my “unbiased opinion” I think the current top four in WDC is in a league of their own.

        As an amateur, and given everyone equally good cars, that would support their respective driving style, I believe the pecking order would be:

        - ALO
        - VET
        - HAM
        - RAI

        Then, who can deny that HAM is most likely the fastest in quali. Who can deny that VET and ALO is the most ruthless and that ALO can slash through a field of cars that RAI can’t dream about. Who can deny (that of these four)RAI can maintain his tyres the best.

        Unfortunately (Aneesh :))VDG would be a mile off this list.

      8. Andrew R says:

        Arnie S, i think you quite easily forgot about Suzuka 2005 and other plenty races that Raikkonen proved how he can ” slash” thought the field of cars pretty nicely.Raikkonen is known by many to have amazing pure driving talent.Do not forget, he drives in an inferior team ( compared to the big 3 ) and yet he manages to stay there, thats the reason why some people consider him the best.

    2. Carlo_Carrera says:

      Vettel had trouble getting past Button in one race because of a tight track and he was in a slower car in a straight line.

      Vettel has shown he can cut through traffic as well as anyone in several other races last year and this year. Remember him passing both Rosberg and Alonso in Bahrain this year?

      Hamilton had trouble being held up in traffic at several races this year and has admitted as much. Kimi couldn’t get past Vettel in Germany even when his car was faster. Alonso hasn’t passed hardly anyone on track this year.

      Vettel is clearly driving better than anyone else and deserves to be at the top of the rankings. Thus he gets a 10.

      1. Doobs says:

        Take a point off for “teamwork” I would.

      2. Geee says:

        Now that’s a good point(no pun intended)!

      3. Carlo_Carrera says:

        If you do that to Vettel you have to do the same to Hamilton. Remember Rosberg was forced to stay behind him in Malaysia.

      4. SteveS says:

        I’d add a point to Vettel’s score to reflect the fact that, unlike Alonso, Raikkonen, and Hamilton, he does not have an obedient teammate moving over for him on command.


      5. Erm? Ferrari definitely have a number 1 (Massa is practically Alonsos butler), Red Bull ordered Seb to stay behind Webber and he disobeyed the order. McLaren and Lotus are really the only teams that don’t tend to play driver 1/2 (although now Kimi is realistically the only one for the championship they are putting a bit more a preference on the Finn rather than the “crashey one” (my girlfriend referred to him as this and its stuck)

    3. Quade says:

      I also don’t understand how Ricciardo can be behind Grosjean, Button, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Webber. Or why Rosberg is tied with Lewis for that matter.
      Even Ferrari feel that Alonso is under-driving this season, I honestly don’t see how he could be placed above both Lewis, Di Resta and Ricciardo.

      1. Sebee says:

        Because Rosberg has won twice vs. Lewis once – I think that would be good starting point. One of those is a drivers skill circuit – Monaco. Those two wins vs. one are evened out by points standing of Lewis being higher currently. Makes sense.

      2. KRB says:

        Hungary is also a driver-skill circuit (perhaps only 2nd to Monaco, maybe Singapore in there as well). Plus Rosberg inherited the win in GBR from Hamilton’s and Vettel’s (and Webber’s) incidents.

        What rating did Lewis get from GdS last year? He’s 32 pts up on last year, and thru 10 races has the same number of wins (1) and podiums (5). In a new team and car.

        Vettel has done really well, but a 10? Did Alonso get a 10 last year? That I could see, but even then it’s always hard to give out a perfect score. The Red Bull car has been better this year, in relation to its rivals, than in 2012, at least thru the first 10 races. He’s done the business though in the car, and he’s racked up the 2nd most points over the first 10 races since the advent of the new scoring system (only beaten by his 2011 score).

      3. matthew says:

        one of the wins was gifted to nico after lewis got a punture and vettel a dnf.its 7-3 to lewis in quali and races.so how can they be tied 7-7?also nico was behind lewis in the races he did dnf in.

      4. Quade says:

        Sorry, none of that makes sense.
        Please read what I wrote again, sir.

      5. Sebee says:

        Really? You were wondering why Rosberg is tied with Lewis. I put a theory forward.

      6. Quade says:

        But the theory doesn’t make sense.

        Ok, here’s a practical test; if you were the boss at Merc which of your drivers would you be backing now to do the business for the WDC?

        I’d say that your choice would be the higher rated driver.

        I also mentioned Grosjean, Button, Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Webber and Alonso. Not just Lewis and Rosberg. Don’t you think where these other drivers are positioned is unfair too?

    4. Spinodontosaurus says:

      He dealt with traffic pretty well in Bahrain I seem to recall…

      Agree though that Webber on only 6 is somewhat harsh, as are Massa and Sutil’s ranking.

    5. The whole credit / rating system is utter nonsense. Is it based on math / science formula or some journalistic perception?

      How do you really rank the drivers which are left out of the director’s TV focus? Some of them really have to deal with inferior cars and try to drive the hell out of them.

      I’m not buying anything except the current points standing.

      1. gregmon says:

        thy are biased and they even blamed Lewis for the tyre troubles… stupid myth!

      2. KRB says:

        Didn’t you know that Lewis finally figured it out for Mercedes late Friday night in Hungary? It came to him as he was catching up on Breaking Bad, getting ready for the new season! ;-)

      3. Steve says:

        But the current point standing is also largely depends on the cars as well.

      4. Tim says:

        Shhhhhhhhush. Don’t spoil it for all the posters who imagine ‘their driver’ is the one making all the difference.

    6. +1 – seens more of a popularity contest, other than the recognition that Button has done relatively more with less – and not sure that Massa should be so far down, having been a lot closer to and even ahead of FA in quali at times and seems to be racing reasibably well, too – even compared with last year at this time.

    7. eamon says:

      Why do people always bring that up for every tiny mistake Vettel makes.

      He is excellent in traffic as good as those 3 but of course he will make mistakes as he is not perfect, but neither are the other 3 who make just as many mistakes in traffic as Vettel does.

      1. Elie says:

        You just hit the nail in the head – no one perfect so 10 cannot exist

      2. Kirk says:

        But this is not absolute, is relative, so if he has done it better than the other guys he deserves 10.

      3. blackmamba says:

        A driver can get a 10 for performing at highest level that is humanly possible. Vettel has done that, and I look at it this way. If it was Senna, Prost, Mansell, Schumacher at their peak, could they have done any better. For me the answer is no, so yes Vettel warrants a 10. I see people bringing inability to overtake in Hungary, but that was a car deficit not Vettel.

        Same thing with Hamilton. Seems like he has been scored in accordance with the Merc’s brutality on tyres. But that’s not a driver deficit, it’s the machinery he has got. He has only made 1 glaring error in Monaco and yet he is ranked below some drivers who have made a few errors, or in Kimi’s case a few bad qualifying sessions.

      4. David C says:

        Maybe he came out at 9.5 or rounded to a real number 10. Lol its just someones opinion and SV has done very well, if not for an engine failure he would have another win and 25 points.

        The drivers seem to be ranked in a decent enough order although I would have ranked PDR a with the merc pairing even though i really dislike the guy after all his moaning!!!

      5. David C says:

        Sorry there was a typo there i ment to say 9.75

      6. Elie says:

        And you guys think that a guy does the the most perfect humanly possible drive every time he gets into a car ??
        You also believe that being in a WC team has nothing to do with it??.
        If you work on that basis Alonso was a 12/10 last year. Im no fan but I have him 9.5.

        To say someone is a 10 you are saying there is no room for improvement. Any driver knows there was always something they could have done better. And to say its relative- how do you know the Bianci in a Marussia hasn’t done an equally impressive job.

        I give you all a 2/10 for your relatively ill measured answers and lack of reasoning :-)

      7. Anil says:

        I believe Vettel has had more incidents with traffic in the last 15 races combined than Alonso and Kimi have combined during the same period.

      8. 69bhp says:

        why 15 races? The rating is for his performance in 2013 and there have only been 10 races so far. Or has Vettel’s driving been so perfect this year that you need to dredge up last year’s races just to try and prop up your argument?

      9. SteveS says:

        Sure, but you also believe in the tooth fairy!

        The last 15 races …. I notice that “15″ number was very carefully chosen so as to exclude Alonso’s crashing out in the Japanese GP.

        Here’s a genuine fact for you: Vettel has the record for the most races without crashing out, going all the way back to the start of 2010. Alonso crashed out in Malaysia this year and Suzuka last year. One of these drivers is prone to costly mistakes, but his initials are not SV.

    8. dean cassady says:

      Goodness gracious, no reason to get all steamed up about it.
      Of course Gazzetta has their particular slant on which driver is where in the pecking order, just everybody else! No biggie.
      This serves as a starting point, for… all this discussion below; so it worked!
      If you don;t like their ratings, then put your own in, and why (if you feel like it).

      deancassady’s mid-season rankings:
      (mine in terms of packages)

      9.5 Vettel-Red Bull
      9.5 Kimi-Lotus
      9.0 Lewy-Mercedes
      8.0 Alonso-Ferrari
      7.5 Webber-Red Bull, Rosberg-Mercedes, Grosjean-Lotus (in that order)
      7.0 Di Resta-Force India, Button-McLaren, Perez-McLaren, Bianchi-Marussia, Ricciardo-Toro Rosso, Vergne-Toro Roso
      All of the above, fully earning a seat at the pinnacle of motor sport
      6.0 Bottas-Williams, Sutil-Force India, Massa-Ferrari
      5.0 Hulkenberg-Sauber
      4.0 VanDerGarde-Caterham, Gutierez-Sauber
      3.5 Maldonado-Williams, Pic-Caterham
      1.5 Chilton-Marussia

      Next, in reply, I will describe why.

      1. dean cassady says:


        1. Vettel-Red Bull:
        Sebastian has rarely put a tire wrong. He is equal or better than the rest at taking advantage of every opportunity on the most consistent basis, and it shows in the points.
        I’m a big Webber fan, and not endeared to the blockhead munchkin, but facts are facts, he’s drove as well as anyone, and he’s well-atop the standings.
        Be all that as it may, rarely putting a tire wrong is not the same as never having put a tire wrong, thus 9.5
        Maintaining competitiveness; there is little to expect that Vettel won’t be racing for wins for the rest of the season, and getting, usually, podiums at least.
        2. Kimi-Lotus:
        Out of the box, this year, there were none of the adjustment issues that Kimi-Lotus had last year, and the results showed it, winning the first race. Kimi has equalled Vettel in minimizing errors, and maximizing opportunities, but the car has lacked the qualifying pace of the Red Bull, and of course the silver arrows; so equalt to Vettel, except that minor point about being about 40 points behind in the championship.
        Trending upwards steadily, still has qualifying challenges, because even if they can match the vettel-Red Bull one-lap, Mercedes looks to dominate for the rest of the season.
        3. Lewy-Mercedes:
        In the second quarter, Lewy should get a 9.5, but in the first quarter, he would be closer to 8.0-8.5, though expectable, coming into a new team.
        The Lewis-Mercedes trajectory, after Hungary, is a straight line to the top; Lewis-Mercedes is the prime challenger if overall pace is confirmed in Spa.
        4. Alonso-Ferrari:
        The frustration is palpable, and spilling out into the media. Few doubt Fernando’s capability to win, but it is clear that he is not getting the machinery to compete, and challenge for victories, every race; anything less is intolerable for Fernando. That being said, he’s cracking a bit under these stresses, and should have scored better than he has.
        Trend: Alonso-Ferrari is wallowing, and losing out in the development war; in reality, if they can’t be on one of the top two steps in Spa, they should shift all development to the 2014 car, after Monza!
        5. Top Team Number 2s: Webber-Red Bull, Rosberg-Mercedes, Grosjean-Lotus:
        There, but not quite; clearly outperformed by team mates. Some may challenge Grosjean’s inclusion, but he has the steepest favourable trend of the three, and of anyone below in the rankings; without the blatent prejudice of the penalties against him in Hungary, Grosjean would have been racing to the flag for the win; I am expecting a Grosjean win, in the next three races.
        Rosberg seems emotional fragile, and I expect Lewis to accelerate the gap between them, starting at Spa.
        8. Logjam of the brightest in the mid-field (and further back): Di Resta-Force India, Button-McLaren, Perez-McLaren, Bianchi-Marussia, Ricciardo-Toro Rosso, Vergne-Toro Roso.
        I can’t really understand why Di Resta is not getting an avalanche of praise for his driving this year; while Sutil has flashes of success, Di Resta has had flashes of disappointment; he would be my first pick for either a Ferrari or Red Bull second seat.
        I can’t see anything to choose between team mates Perez and Button, or Vergne and Ricciardo, and I am unclear as to why Vergne is left out of the party for Red Bull seat consideration, seems like due to marketability over pure performance criteria.
        The rising star on the grid seems Bianchi, but he’ll never get his due until he trounces a mid-field car team mate or delivers comparable performance to a top team, team mate.
        THE REST:
        Under performers, though if you look at the Autosport comparative between last year and this year, Massa is the most improved; yet not enough; he could be gone by the end of the year, and Ferrari should use the time to gamble on a lonshot, i.e. Di Resta, Bianchi, or even Grosjean.
        Bottas has been competent but in this year’s Williams, none would look inspiring.
        I don’t know why Sutil continues to pick up accolades, nor Hulkenberg, in another car that does not provide enough to make anyone look good.
        Gutierrez, similarly handicapped, and also pale in comparison to the last Mexican to come up via the same route.
        I’ve never seen what the big deal is about Maldonado, besides the cash injection.
        Of the rest of the bottom five, plenty has already been said.

      2. Rodrrico says:

        Whilst I more or less agree with your rankings outright, I must say that your belief that Rosberg is emotionally fragile is plainly wrong. Hamilton is the sook here. Just listen to any press conference with Hamilton in it from the last few races and you will see he struggles mentally more than any other driver (he would have us believe).

    9. tremur says:

      While I don’t like the[mod]t. I’d say that is unfair. The Red Bull is usually down on straight line speed making it harder to pass other cars

      He’s done a good job in traffic as far as I’ve seen.

      Please, anybody else beat this punk.

    10. Andy says:

      Webber should be higher especially after his top gear performance!

      On a more serious note, I have found the analysis and comparison of drivers’ and teams’ points and qualifying results on autosport quite interesting (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109254). It is definitely more useful as a gauge on performance than Gazzetta dello Sport’s (or indeed anyone’s) marks out of ten.

      Certain things of interest for example are that Ferrari have a high points total in 2013 than 2012 because of Massa’s quite significant improvement and despite of Alonso’s failure to match last year’s points tally (although Alonso is still clearly outscoring Massa).

      What is even more interesting, when comparing improvements in 2013 over 2012, is if you actually divide each driver’s (or team’s) points total in 2013 by the 2012 equivalent and then order the drivers (and teams).

      1. Sri says:

        Whoever did that report in autosport, goofed up big time. Qual avg for Pic, Perez, Ricciardo are incorrect. Check from the numbers in parentheses. You would expect one typo, but 3? There could be more, did not bother to go through the whole report.

  2. Spyros says:

    Broadly agree, although I think Massa deserves a bit more credit. Yes his last races weren’t much to shout about, but in terms of raw pace, he is much closer to Alonso this year — at least as far as the first halfs of the two years are concerned.

    Also, does Sutil really deserve to be a whole point below Di Resta?

  3. Thomas says:

    Just the usual rubbish with ratings. They give the drivers in the top teams high numbers and the midfield teams get lower numbers.

    Who is to say Ricciardo and Bottas havn’t been performing at 9/10 levels getting the maximum possible on their strategy and equipment? Theyve both been very standout in my view.

    Who is to say Bianchi isn’t performing on a 10/10 level? Di Resta has been impressive so far for me too considering he keeps losing out on Saturdays.

    Its just the usual confirmation bias that those in the top cars are extracting the most from their equipment

    1. Dale says:

      The truth is cream always rises to the top, the drivers who race in the top teams do so for a reason, those that can’t hack it are soon shipped off to lesser teams!

      1. Tim says:

        I take your point, but how do you explain Massa?

    2. JackL says:

      Its an Italian sports paper. What do you expect? If they can compare Vettel to Prost based solely on 4 championships, then anything is possible. Not saying Vettel is not that good per se, but you cant make the comparison based on numbers alone. Especially when Prost was partnered with the force of nature that was Senna and the best Vettel ever had for a teammate was Webbo.

      Bottas and Maldonado should at least get 8s.

      1. Rockie says:

        “Not saying Vettel is not that good per se, but you cant make the comparison based on numbers alone. Especially when Prost was partnered with the force of nature that was Senna and the best Vettel ever had for a teammate was Webbo.”

        How does this affect Vettel’s performance? should it be his problem Webber can not hack it?

        Have you asked this question off Alonso who is called the “most complete driver” due to Massa?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I agree about Prost, also he competed for championships in 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1990, with Renault, Mclaren and Ferrari respectively.
        I don’t much like Prost but to compare Vettel to Prost at this stage of his career is as ludicrous as Brundle thinking he was in Senna’s league!

      3. Sebee says:

        I think there are reasons for the comparison.

        Obviously the WDC count for starters. Don’t ignore who Vettel has won those against. The grid is rich. If he wins the 4th, then he also did his first 4 all in a row (he’s already only one to do first 3 all in a row), where it took prost 8 years to register that 4th WDC achievement. I think WDCs are a good measure of comparison hero.

        What we have to recognize here also is early Vettel start – Prost entered at 25 or so, Vettel has 3 WDCs already. We also have to factor that you’re looking in your mind at whole Prost carrier, we’ve seen just the start of Vettel’s. Prost also did things in different cars/teams, which Vettel is yet to do. We are yet to see where Vettel goes and what he does once he gets there. So while this achievement is not on his CV yet, let’s also not hold it against him that he has not gotten there yet. That’s a bit like punishing a smart kid for not being an MD yet. Saying that he’s staying in the top car is a bit silly – as Prost and Senna also wanted to be in a top car.

        Vettel has much to prove still. But let’s be honest, he’s not exactly done with F1 and we’ve not exactly seen all of Vettel’s carrier yet. What is factual is that everything he has done so far has set a new high-score in the F1 record book. That has to count for something.

      4. Timmay says:


        The comparison with Prost comes from his methodical points gathering and race control – not the number 4. Lol.

      5. Sebee says:

        The legend of Senna and that force of nature was tamed in 1992 and in 1994 due to the equipment. I don’t speak ill of the dead, but seriously – let’s not overlook the fact that Senna understood F1 perfectly, fought to be in the best car so that he could win.

        By the same token, why is that same desire by Vettel to be in the best car a bad thing? Perhaps he would jump teams to another team that figured out a trick and made a faster car. Instead, RBR stick as a team, develop, fight back like last year post Italy for example. Why is one a greater achievement than the other? Is it not actually easier to jump ship into a fast package than it is to face the mirror, pick yourself up and become the fast package when you’re not? Who planted this idea of WDCs in multiple taems as the only right way? Schumi took his entire Benetton team to Ferrari. So it was red instead of blue uniforms. Everything else was same. I find it funny how these myths are promoted.

    3. Simmo says:

      Completely agree with you. It doesn’t seem right that it is like this.

      Also, why Vettel is on 10, yet he has made some large errors himself (multi 21).

      1. Rich B says:

        multi 21 wasn’t an error, he knew what he was doing

      2. Denise says:

        The Multi 21 saga might just win him the championship, when it all comes down to it. IMO, right or wrong, you need to be pretty cut throat to be one of the greats.

      3. RodgerT says:

        It (multi-21) might not have been popular, but was hardly an error.

        Other than that what BIG errors has he made this year?

      4. Jake says:

        We are yet to see if multi 21 was an error.
        Mark only seriously challenged Seb a few times throughout the season. His replacement may challenge a great deal more than that.

      5. Tyemz says:

        Yes Multi 21 was a big error on Vettel’s part or am I the only one that seems to remember that Seb was leading the race on intermediates and was given the choice of when to come in for dry tyres as well as which tyres to use? He was the first driver to pit for dry tyres and lost a lot of time in the wet areas of the track which handed the race lead to MW. From then on, with the pre-race agreement in mind, he first tried to get the team to get Mark out of the way, -which Mark responded to by opening up the gap- and then he and the team ambushed Mark at the last pit stop.

      6. dufus says:

        Of course it was an error even if Vettel himself cant see it. He cheated. Tie one hand behind a drivers back and another goes past him knowing this is the case is cheating. Vettel did it against everyones instructions and over an ususpecting Webber. Add to this there was a code internal for this which Webber reminded Vettel of after the race. Im sorry but he is a cheat. Personally i cant wait till Ricciardo joins the team and beats him.

    4. John Mc says:

      Thing is, it’s much, much harder to perform well at the front. I used to agree with the point you’re making but not anymore.

    5. Richard says:

      I fully agree with this statement – it seems ridiculous to me that there’s so little difference to the actual F1 WDC points table at the moment (with Webber and Massa the only ones out of sync).

      I think the one true benefit of a Driver Ranking table rather than points table is that you can measure each driver on his own merit, rather than in the balance with other drivers over a given set of scores, such as the WDC points.

      This table does none of that, so quite rightly I would have expected to see Bianchi (categorically outperforming his teammate and showcasing his talent in slower machinery) to score very highly, with someone like Grosjean (hasn’t matched the car’s potential at any track yet) to be ranked much lower…

      I do agree Chilton seems to be a bit slow though… ;)

      1. Tim says:

        I do agree Chilton seems to be a bit slow though..

        I believe his Dad is quite quick at writing out cheques though.. ;-)

    6. Brendan says:

      +1 to that.

    7. Elie says:

      Very very true

    8. Jimbob says:


      I don’t agree either… Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Bianchi, Bottas, Ricciardo & Verge clearly all need to be marked better. And how can you put JB & RG on the same points? RG has been up and down all season whereas JB has been pretty damn consistent if not setting the world alight – He’s pretty much nailed his team mate which is something RG hasn’t been able to do even if I think he’s probably the quickest in the field on his day.

      Yup, don’t like the scoring at all basically. I can only agree completely with the top two and the very bottom 3.

    9. F1 Badger says:

      Fair point well made I’d say. There is some blurring of the lines but I generally agree. If it wasn’t for politics getting in the way I’d say there’s a few drivers there worthy of an RB of SF drive.

    10. Bruce Tran says:

      I totally agree with this comment.
      That ranking is hugely based on the Drive Ranking table at the moment rather than points that you can measure each driver on his own merit.

      It’s usual that a driver with a better car ranked higher.

    11. SteveS says:

      “Who is to say Ricciardo and Bottas havn’t been performing at 9/10 levels getting the maximum possible on their strategy and equipment?”

      Who’s to say that, given what they had to work with, Wigan and Aston Vila were not the two best teams in the Premier League last season? Sports simply does not work that way. You’re judged on your actual results, not on what somebody thinks you might have accomplished in an alternative reality.

    12. All revved-up says:

      Driver rankings cannot be scientific. And it seldom is in reality as well. So WDC points and subjective rankings are just a fun way to discuss about our favorites drivers.

      If F1 drivers were truly “the best” then we would see them dominate other forms of motorsport. Other than a few exceptions like Mansell and Andretti, very few become champions in other forms of motorsport.

      But it’s the combination of the driver and an F1 car that wins the WDC and WCC. If F1 were truly about finding out who is the best driver, then the sport would standardize the cars. But it is not. It’s about the team, the car and the driver.

      Hence these discussions about the best driver are inherently highly subjective. Take it with a pinch of salt, it’s fun reading. Take it too seriously, you lose the enjoyment.

      Unless one enjoys arguing just for the sake of it.

  4. They’ve been kind to Maldanado I think.

    1. Quade says:

      On the same level as Ricciardo? VERY kind.

    2. blackmamba says:

      They have been quite rude to Bianchi too. This is how I see it:
      1) Vettel – 10/10 added a streak of ruthlessness – a pre-requisite if you want to be one of the greats.
      2) Raikkonen 9/10 He is right up there with Vettel in every other area except for qualifying. That Lotus has had the speed at some races to be on pole.
      3) Alonso 8/10 some uncharacteristic mistakes in Malaysia and Bahrain costing a massive chunk of points else he would be right up there at the top – and needs to improve Saturdays pronto.
      4) Hamilton 9/10 Perhaps the fastest guy on the grid but the best way to judge him is look at Rosberg with three years experience in the car – leading him by 40 points and outqualifying him 7-4. All of Nico’s DNFs happened while he was behind Lewis. Needs however to improve car set-up to improve race pace when fuel goes in. 5) Webber 7/10
      6) Rosberg 7/10
      7) Massa 6/10
      8) Grosjean 6/10
      9) Button 5/10
      10) Di Resta 7/10
      11) Sutil 6/10
      12) Perez 5/10
      13) Vernge 5/10
      14) Ricciardo 7/10
      15) Hulkenburg 7/10
      16) Maldonado 5/10
      17) Bottas 6/10
      18) Gutierrez 3/10
      19) Bianchi 8/10
      20) Pic 7/10
      21) van der Garde6/10
      22) Chilton 1/10

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        He’s number 5, I assume he forgot to press return key

      2. Anthony says:

        Webber is #5 with a Score 7/10 after hamilton.
        its on the same line

      3. Simmo says:

        Webber is in 5th! He’s just not on his own line though :P

      4. Leigh says:

        Tucked in 5th?

      5. Simon Donald says:

        He’s hidden at the end of Hamilton’s entry

        5) Webber 7/10

      6. RodgerT says:

        He’s there. Just tacked on to the end of the Hamilton paragraph.

      7. MrF1 says:

        Position 5

      8. Drapz says:

        Number 5 7/10

      9. Doobs says:

        In fifth place.

      10. Glennb says:

        “No Webber?”

        5th…. ;)

      11. Jake says:

        Another DNF for Mark!
        (did not feature)

      12. gregmon says:

        n#1 to n#5 ratings do for me! I agree! Very fair.
        While in the mid pack and newbies, only Bottas and Bianchi have impressed me the most.

      13. It’s totally unfair to give the Marussia and Caterham drivers low ratings. The two cars are very poor, Vettel would struggle to get the cars in to point scoring positions.

        Also, I don’t think Perez has been that good, and he certaintly hasn’t been better than Button.

      14. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        I agree with Blackmamba more than with Gazzetta dello Sport.

      15. Mike says:

        I agree with the sentiments expressed here, in particular placing Webber and Rosberg higher and on the same rating

  5. Jonathan Kelk says:

    A bit shocked by them sticking Gutierrez alongside Van der Garde and Chiltton, a bit harsh I think.

    Here would be my marks (no half marks from me!)

    10 Vettel, Raikkonen
    9 Hamilton
    8 Alonso
    7 Rosberg, Bianchi, Sutil
    6 Ricciardo, Gutierrez, Webber, Hulkenberg, Button, Perez
    5 Grosjean, Massa, Maldonado, Bottas, Di Resta
    4 Vergne, Pic
    3 Van der garde
    2 Chilton

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Much more like it.

      Although I would put Vettel at 9.

      Hamilton equal with Rosberg at a 7 by James ?

      a) New team
      b) 4 poles, 7 front row starts
      c) 1 win – really 2 as Rosberg inherited Silverstone
      d) First “proper” Mercedes win and truly outdriving Vettel
      e) Clear gap between Hamilton and Rosberg performances now
      f) 40 points ahead of his team mate

      Alonso also seems to have a drop-off recently and gets an 8.

      Can’t work this one out at all.

      1. Mike from Colombia says:

        Sorry – I meant by Gazzetta dello Sport..!

        James is far too wise to come up with rankings like these !

      2. Colombia Concalvez says:

        +1 Hermano

      3. gregmon says:

        +100 mate.

      4. Grant H says:


    2. Optimaximal says:

      Why would GUT get a 6 when he’s persistently a Q1 drop-out (when DIR isn’t anyway), struggles to avoid crashing in races and has only just missed out on scoring once, whereas his team mate is regularly troubling the top 10?

    3. I will says:

      I think your rating is much better than gazette selling sport

    4. Nick says:

      And its a bit harsh you put Webber alongside Gutierrez.

      Webber is at least a 7 having to put up with underhanded team mates and a car that spits out problems right when he needs everything to come together.

      He’s done pretty damn good with what he’s had and shown some great skill and speed to get the points he’s had, and could’ve had Rosberg at Silverstone given one more lap.

    5. Tara says:

      I agree with your rankings the most out of the ones I’ve seen.
      That being said I would swap Perez and Gro. Solely because I’m not a fan of Perez.

    6. Carlo_Carrera says:

      Hamilton ahead of Rosberg? Are you kidding? Look at their results this year. Right now those two are dead even.

      1. Tim says:

        Apart from the 40 points difference and the out qualifying 7/3 you are right. Hamilton and Rosberg are dead even ;-)

      2. Carlo_Carrera says:

        If you look at poles and race wins they are dead even.

        Also keep in mind Rosberg has had two mechanical DNFs while Lewis has had none. And Rosberg was forced to stay behind Lewis in Malaysia costing him points.

      3. Glory Kodzo Dzramedo says:


      4. Tim says:

        I confess to being somewhat confused by your logic! If I understand you correctly, you are saying that only poles and wins should be taken into account when assessing the relative performance of team mates, is that correct?
        If that is your position, I have to tell you that I consider it to be a little odd. Surely relative positions in qualifying are relevant, not just poles. On a given day the car will only be capable of a maximum grid position and that won’t always be pole. But if one driver qualifies in 3rd and the other, say, 5th then the driver in front has still outperformed his team mate, hasn’t he? Same with race results, 3rd place is still better than 5th. Perhaps you would be kind enough to explain to me which part of your argument I am missing :-)

      5. Andrew M says:

        Yep, dead even.

        Except in qualifying.

        And the races.

      6. Carlo_Carrera says:

        Poles, wins and points are all that matters. Looking at that they are dead even.

        Rosberg has had two mechanical DNFs while Lewis has had none. And Rosberg was forced to stay behind Lewis in Malaysia costing him points.

      7. Andrew M says:

        “Poles, wins and points are all that matters. Looking at that they are dead even.”

        Poles – Lewis has more

        Wins – 2-1 to Rosberg, but you’d have to be the most blinkered Nico-ite to claim that he outperformed Lewis at that race.

        Points – Lewis has more. By all means adjust it for Nico’s retirements, but you have to factor in Lewis’s gearbox failure in Bahrain and puncture at Silverstone; net result is pretty negligible.

      8. Doobs says:

        I prefer Rosie for his better consistency, two wins and giving a position to LH when asked to by Ross.

      9. Jake says:

        The team order was to hold position, completely different to move over and let Hamilton past. Who is to say Hamilton would have let Nico past if there was not the team order. He had the pace, he was just marginal on fuel.

      10. Carlo_Carrera says:

        Lewis had used up all his fuel achieving his pace and was now in fuel saving mode. If he had to fight off Rosberg he would have run out of fuel and not finished. The team should have allowed Rosberg by so he could chase down Webber.

      11. Tim says:

        I prefer Rosie for his better consistency…

        You are right, Rosberg has consistently been behind Hamilton. Both in qualifying and the races.

      12. Richard says:

        Rosberg has not had a “proper” win yet. Monaco cars are kept behind because of extremely difficult overtaking, and he inherited Silverstone when Hamiltons tyre blew, and Vettels car stopped. Had Hamilton tyre not blown it would have been another “proper” win for Hamilton. If Mercedes have truly fixed the rear tyre issue then we will see how they measure up in the second half, but I think the scales have tipped in Hamilton favour now he has abetter understanding of the car.

    7. Basil says:

      Seriously? Gutierrez is an utter disappointment!

  6. Dan says:

    Alonso ahead of Hamilton….

    All things considered, new team and the difference he has made. Hamilton is ahead of Alonso for me.

    1. W Johnson says:

      Agree…..what has Alonso done to deserve an 8?? I recall a number of mistakes by Alonso in the first few races of the season.

      Contrast with Lewis Hamilton in new team and car and the number of pole positions and potentially a larger number of points were it not for the severe tyre degradation that the Mercs have suffered.

      This is an Italian Newspaper….of course they will put Alonso as a Ferrari driver near the top provided he doesn’t upset them!

      1. Denis 68 says:


        Italian newspaper, they grade the Ferrari drivers higher than they should be, particularly as they don’t even have an Italian driver in F1 to grade.

      2. Doobs says:

        And Massa drives for which team?

      3. Denis 68 says:

        Exactly my point

        They have graded Massa higher than he should be.

      4. W Johnson says:

        mASSA….enough said…even the Italian newspaper are clever enough to figure out that his performance does not rate a high ranking just becuase he is in a Ferrari.

      5. H.Guderian says:

        You mean ONE, right???

    2. Raul says:

      Agreed, look where Hamilton has dragged Mercedes unlike Alonso with Ferrari, yet Alonso is ahead. The whole rating biased.

    3. gregmon says:

      well said.

    4. David C says:

      Alonso had a great start to the season, all LHs form is recent and fresh (since testgate …. I know can open worms everywhere!!!! ) in the mind but FA has had some great drives this year.

      1. W Johnson says:

        Alonso also has made mistakes….which makes his ranking 8 hard to justify….even LDM recently questioned his motivation and Italian speak for “Pull your socks up”.

        Alonso should be ranked lower than Hamilton.

      2. David C says:

        Yes FA has made mistakes but so has LH such as Monaco, and driving that Merc this season all the P2 is the least LH should get at every GP so his quali isn’t that spectacular. I’d say they are close enough but FA had 2 great wins to LHs 1 so I’d be happy to have him just above LH. I guess Aswell the magazine is Italian so maybe they are a bit biased and your brittish so maybe you are too.

        Either way the only rankings that matter are the WDC rankings and everything else is just opinion.

  7. Dren says:

    I agree for the most part. I think Alonso is slightly higher than he needs to be. They are also a bit harsh on Massa.

  8. David B says:

    Webber on par with Bianchi and scored behind DiResta – bit harsh I think.

    1. Sven says:

      Why harsh? He isn’t driving a FI.

      1. Bryce says:

        Very harsh. Hard to qualify and race in a car that does not operate properly(kers, gearbox and start settings), fitted with only 3 wheels, or not fueled correctly.

  9. aezy_doc says:

    Hamilton is 40 points ahead of his teammate yet gets the same grade? What? Rosberg inherited the Silverstone win because of failures to other vehicles. I’m not saying he’s a bad driver at all – I think he’s decent, but surely Hamilton is doing the better job between the two esp. as he is in a new team? In a similar situation Perez is a grade below Button yet 20 points behind in the championship. I don’t understand their logic. I reckon it should be down to who is doing the job relative to the machinery they have and relative to their team mate. In which case Bianchi should be much higher than he is in the table and Chilton lower!

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Exactly my thoughts on Rosberg.

      As Andrew Benson pointed out – the bar was set low for Rosberg as Hamilton acclimatized to the team.

      For most outside observers it is impossible to conclude that Rosberg has matched Hamilton and is at the same level.

      So if Hamilton wins the WDC will he get pushed up to maybe a 7.5 ?

      10 for me is perfect and Vettel has not been perfect. Raikkonen is the real star so far this season.

      1. dimitris says:

        The marks are awarded for this year’s performance, not for the overall abilities of the drivers. Hamilton is a better overall driver than Rosberg, but this year they are about even so far because Lewis did take time to get acclimatized to the team. I would, however, rank both Lewis and Nico with Alonso in second place, while Vettel and Kimi should be ranked first. I agree Kimi is the star of the grid at the moment.His race craft is impeccable and his qualy problems are not due to his driving but mostly to the characteristics of the E21 and the exceptional one lap pace of Red Bull and Mercedes. A one second gap from the car on pole is not due to the driver but to the pace of the car. If he was behind for a tenth or a few hundreths, then one could say that he is not able to extract from the car the needed extra tenth.

      2. Tim says:

        The marks are awarded for this year’s performance, not for the overall abilities of the drivers. Hamilton is a better overall driver than Rosberg, but this year they are about even so far because Lewis did take time to get acclimatized to the team…

        I just don’t see how you can claim they are even. Despite Lewis taking time to settle in, he has outscored and, more significantly, out qualified Nico by a significant margin. There is nothing even about Nico trailing Lewis by 40 points and lagging behind 7/3 in qualifying.
        If it were the other way round, I find it quite hard to picture all the anti Lewis crowd being quite so sympathetic.

      3. dimitris says:

        Nico had two retirements and scoed two victories. That about evens the score. By the way, I am not a Hamilton hater, in fact I like Lewis a lot and I think he is an extraordinary driver.

      4. KRB says:

        dimitris, if Nico had scored in AUS it likely would’ve been 6th (8 pts), in CHN perhaps 7th (6 pts), and in Hungary a max of 4 pts. Also give him the extra 3 pts he would’ve scored if he’d taken 3rd in Malaysia … that’s 21 pts.

        Aah, but now also take away the incidents for Hamilton, Vettel and Webber in GBR, and Rosberg finishes 4th at best (-13 pts).

        In total, Rosberg up 8 pts from his current tally.

        On the flipside, add 13 pts to Lewis for a win in Silverstone (it’s an even bet whether he or Vettel would’ve won that day in a straight fight); remove the gearbox penalty for Lewis in Bahrain, after which he likely ends up 4th and two extra points, then give back the 3 pts for the Malaysian hold-station order.

        In total, add 12 pts to Lewis’ total.

        Who’s that you say has been hurt more by RCI’s in 2013?

        * RCI = Race Compromising Incident

    2. K says:

      Rosberg had 3 DNFs because of mechanical problems, Hamilton zero. And Rosberg was ordered to not pass Hamilton. And Rosberg is not performing well since they changed the brakes that suit Hamilton (every race since canada, Rosberg is complaining about the brakes and no oine defends him, while when Hamilton was complaining about the brakes before Canada everyone defended him). And they give Rosberg the worse pitstop strategy, see Canada.

      Nice contract Hamilton seems to have…

      1. Colombia Concalvez says:

        All 3 DNF where when he was behind Hamilton anyway so what is your point ?. And so what if Rosberg had to stay behind Hamilton, how many times did Massa had to stay behind Alonso ?. And the funny thing is you are no Rosberg fan

      2. gregmon says:

        nico is using the same brakes, he evn said at the times of canada that he was happy… making up stories…

      3. Anthony says:

        All 3 of his DNF has been BEHIND hamilton, and rosberg inherited Hamilton’s Silverstone win with the tyre blowout

        you can give Rosberg the Malaysia point if you want, but still hamilton was ahead when they told rosberg not to pass.

      4. aezy_doc says:

        I’ve not seen/ heard Rosberg complain about the brakes anywhere. Irrespective, my main point was that the grading system is inconsistent.

      5. Kingszito says:

        Point of correction, firstly, Rosberg is still using the same breaks he has been using from day one. Secondly, the breaks Hamilton was using while at McLaren was exclusive product for McLaren hence Mercedes can’t use the same. Mercedes/Hamilton are getting to terms with Hamilton’s breaks through setup.

        However, I would be glad if James can shade more light on this topic.

      6. Kingszito says:

        oops! I mean to brakes

      7. Moe says:

        K + 1
        Nice to get a balanced view.

      8. Poyta says:

        Pretty sure that they are running different brakes on each car and like pointed out earlier, all of Nico’s DNF’s were when he was behind Hamilton. In the first several races I would have agreed that they were pretty equal but the last few races Hamilton has been the clear stand out.

      9. Pekka says:

        +1, exactly what I thought

      10. KRB says:

        As noted above, if we remove all race compromising incidents from everyone’s slate in 2013 so far, then Lewis would actually gain more points than Rosberg … I calculated it as a +12 gain for HAM, and +8 for ROS.

        A DNF when you’re at best going to finish 8th (Rosberg was 9th when his engine blew in Hungary) and score a measly 4 pts – at best – ain’t the same as a DNF while leading and cruising.

    3. Andrew M says:

      Yeah, putting Hamilton and Rosberg on the same level makes no sense. After Monaco, sure, totally justified. Since then Hamilton has outqualified Rosberg at every race, outscored him, got kicked out of the lead at Silverstone (which Rosberg only won after Vettel retired as well) and won the Hungaroring where Rosberg was nowhere.

    4. alexyoong says:

      But Rosberg has qualified better, and had 2 race wins. But for failures he would probably have been ahead in the standings. I think he should be above Hamilton, especially given the widely viewed calibre of his teammate coming into this season.

      1. Tim says:

        Rosberg has qualified better?…
        Which championship have you been watching?

      2. Colombia Concalvez says:

        ”But Rosberg has qualified better” – please do explain. you sound a bit irritated that Hamilton is doing good in Mercedes

      3. furstyferret says:

        Rosberg has qualified better this season, have you been dreaming, apart from the 3 races were rosberg out qualified lewis, he is being shown up as the good driver he is, nothing more nothing less, rosbergs dnfs he was behind hamilton, add the points he lost, then take away the points from the brit gp win he lucked into, the gap is about right, and unless ham has terrible reliability in the second half of the season, rosberg is going to be totally embarrassed,

      4. Andrew M says:

        “But Rosberg has qualified better”

        Absolutely. In opposite world.

      5. Neal says:

        You know nothing my friend.First,Rosberg is trailing Hamilton 7-3 in qualifying and If he didn’t retire in Melbourne,He would have finished 6th or 7th,in china 5th or lower and in Hungary 9th so basically he would still be behind Lewis.So Nico would be 22 or 25 points behind instead of 40.Next time think before you act.

      6. Kingszito says:

        Which F1 are you watching? Hamilton has qualified better than Rosberg. Yes Hamilton has caliber, but Rosberg has been in the team for 3 consecutive years and had the current car prettily designed around him while Hamilton is relatively new in the team. Hamilton was leading Rosberg in all of his DNF. If Hamilton didn’t have tyre failure in Silverstone, one could argue that he could have won at Silverstone and Rosberg could probably finished in 3rd position behind Vettel.

        If Hamilton was the one who’s car was failing, most of you would blame it on his driving style, with theories of how he is hard on his car or how he cannot look after his car.

      7. Colombia Concalvez says:

        ”If Hamilton was the one who’s car was failing, most of you would blame it on his driving style, with theories of how he is hard on his car or how he cannot look after his car.” +1

      8. Poyta says:

        You can play that coulda woulda shoulda game on the other foot too, what would the standings be like if Hamilton didn’t have that tyre failure when has leading Silverstone? What would the standings be if Hamilton got pole in Monaco rather than Nico?

      9. alexyoong says:

        To clarify my point: Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Rosberg was on pole for all 3, won the third, then snatched Silverstone. For that significant period Rosberg was dominating Ham, pretty impressive. I am British, Ham fan, but think Rosberg deserves credit

      10. KRB says:

        He definitely does … Rosberg is no slouch, that’s for sure. But over the 10 races, Hamilton has performed better than him, there’s no question. Lewis likely would’ve won in GBR without the tire blowout … he was lucky to finish 4th after that, but even still, that’s 13 pts lost! That’s about the same as what Nico could reasonably have expected to score from his 3 DNF’s, plus he was the primary benefactor from Hamilton’s and Vettel’s incidents at Silverstone.

    5. Raul says:

      I don’t understand their logic either, no wonder their economy is messed up

      1. Doobs says:

        It’s just a bit of fun to keep the fans interested in the break. Lighten up.

  10. AlexD says:

    mostly agree, I would put Kimi and Vettel as 10

  11. Oli says:

    I always find the Gazzetta rankings to be, in my opinion, the least accurate of them all, and these numbers have served only to reinforce that conclusion.

  12. Sebee says:

    What is Webber doesn’t win in 2013, and that Malaysia win was going to be his last F1 win? ;-)

    As for rankings, basically they follow point standings – which is how we rank drivers in F1.

    1. Andrew M says:

      It’s certainly not how I rank drivers.

      1. Sebee says:

        So to you Alonso is about to rack up his 6th WDC?

      2. Andrew M says:

        Of course not, WDCs are WDCs. But the fact is that drivers can be robbed of points and titles through no fault of their own.

        (And not to want to suck up too much, but James presumably agrees with me, otherwise his year end rankings would just list off the championship table every year).

      3. Sebee says:

        It’s a team effort Andrew. You have to deliver as a team. You can’t just up the ranking on a driver when points are lost due to team error because by same token that driver has won points due to team magic.

        I assume you’re refering to Hamilton last year with his team challanges. However, we don’t know how hard Lewis is on the hardware. I’ve pointed out that his driving style could be ever so slightly more punishing on the hardware and a contributing factor to his failures. It used to be the case in years past, why can’t it be a factor today? Also, fact is that Hamilton is part of a team, and something about that team up last year may not have been working, and as a result it made his team nervous or twitchy. Was he distancing himself from the team knowing that he was heading out the door? When did Mercedes start messing with his head? Mid season? Last year? This is high pressure top of the food chain stuff we’re watching here. The slightest things make a difference to team dynamic Andrew.

        As for James and year end ranking – let’s remember that our host has a mendate to inform, entertain, occupy us finiky folks during F1 race outages. So clearly in the off-season, during the rare time when he gives us his opinion, it may turn out to be a bit contreversial. Not everyone may agree with it, and we discuss why we may or may not agree. It’s all part of the fun. Sure, Alonso or Hamilton may rank higher, but fact is – someone else may be drinking his morning milk from the WDC trophy. And in the end he who drinks milk from the WDC tropy is The Man.

      4. Andrew M says:

        I understand it’s a team effort, and the WDC for the year is fully deserving of that achievement, that’s what people drive for after all. And of course you have to acknowledge that driver and team performance are undeniably intertwined. But I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that the points table is the final arbiter on driver performance with no room for subjectivity whatsoever.

        As it happens I wasn’t talking about Hamilton last year, but as you bring it up it’s a good point. Hamilton lost a shedload of points last year that were through no fault of his own. This isn’t the 80s, you can’t thrash the hell out of a seemless-shift gearbox or cause the electronics to fail. I don’t blame Hamilton for any of those failures any more than I blame Vettel and Webber for their respective alternator failures. And it wasn’t just car failures, it was operational failures as well. Are you seriously telling me that you think the fact that McLaren underfilled his car for Spain qualifying or botched a seemingly endless number of pitstops reflects on Hamilton *as a driver*? That somehow Hamilton “distancing himself” from the team caused all these problems, and that if he’d been more pally with the pitwall after the race they’d have somehow remembered to put enough fuel in the car or how to operate a wheelgun?

        With regards to the WDC being “the man”, I agree, I don’t think for a second that our current WDC cares that people rate Hamilton or Alonso ahead of him, but that doesn’t mean it wont happen, nor that those rankings aren’t justified.

        Can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror and say that the points table of every season from start to finish reflects driver performance and ability for that year? If you think so fine, but I frankly think that’s absolutely ludicrous, and don’t buy it for a second.

      5. Sebee says:

        Agreed with your points Andrew.

        At the same time, let me put it this way. Why is Vettel frequently put down because his team gives him a great car while Hamilton is being liftend up while his team is not giving him a great car?

        My point is not to compare Hamilton and Vettel yet again. It’s been done. My point is that you can’t give credit to the driver for one thing and blame him for something else to take away for his equipment. I find it must be blended into a season effort, and points reflect that best.

        Hamilton was underfueled because they were pushing the weight of the car to get the pole. It was that close. It wasn’t his fault, but if it worked out everyone would have called Hamilton the hero, not the team for pushing it that far. If I remember, Vettel was underfueled on an occasion too.

        Clearly we are no fools and we know equipment is a big factor in F1. While I agree that ability and potential is not necesarily reflected in the points, other qualities are.

        This is a very subjective topic. I think we could attack it from many angles. With exception of Toyota and Honda, does the point table not usually reflect biggest budgets for example? :-)

    2. Random 79 says:

      ‘As for rankings, basically they follow point standings – which is how we rank drivers in F1′

      Incredible isn’t it? Thank goodness for newspapars, otherwise we wouldn’t have a clue ;)

      1. Sebee says:

        Webber is getting the shaft in his rating vs. his point standing. I guess they don’t feel he is doing enough in that fast car.

      2. Random 79 says:

        It’s true that Webber could have more points at this stage, but then again it’s hard to maximise the performance of the car when it only has three wheels.

        World champions or not it’s RBR that should be a 6.

      3. Sebee says:

        No argument here Random. RBR need to clean up the reliability on both cars ASAP.

    3. Elie says:

      How do rank teams and cars then Sebee…..

      1. Sebee says:

        Best package (car/driver/team combination) is usually at the top of the points standings. I think the point system in F1 is fine and reflects who the best is clearly. I fully agree with points ranking.

        Gazzetta would have been better to highlight perhaps the drivers who are “outdriving” their equipment this year. I’m not sure we have such a case on the grid however.

      2. Elie says:

        Thats right Sebee- team, car, driver. If your team is 4th and you are 2nd- then one would argue you have out driven your car because at the very least the average position between the two is 3rd.
        If your are a triple WC team and are 100 points clear of the next team and your 36 year old team mate quite often only a tenth off your pace and had he truly “equal” reliable car would probably take more than 2 wins from you. Then I would say at best you have driven to the cars potential.im not saying he and Mark especially aren’t good drivers Im just saying – they aren’t better than their equipment is- certainly in the case of Seb. To be fair Bianci has out driven his Marussia because he was often beating Caterhams when his team mate could not. Bottas Canada drive shows that he was out driving his car occasionally also, because his more experienced ( and successful) team mate struggled . That is how you must look at it.
        On the flip side you have people saying “wow look at that Grosjean who is really showing out his experienced team mate” when he being beaten 9 to 1.and out qualified 8 to2
        Too many people lack perspective.

      3. Random 79 says:

        Bianchi would have to be a candidate. Sure he’s not going to be winning any races, but he has impressed many.

  13. Blackmamba says:

    I would have thought Hamilton has done a better job than Alonso and is on par with Raikkonen. He certainly is miles ahead of Rosberg who has 3 years experience in the Merc, seeing as he is leading him by 40 points. All of Nico’s DNFs happened while he was behind Lewis. And Jenson is only half a point behind Lewis? Come on!

    1. Andrew J says:

      I’m not sure that you can use the points difference between Lewis and Nico as a justification for ranking Lewis higher. Nico’s had three car failures, and when his car hasn’t let him down he’s finished in the points. Lewis has finished every race, but one of those occasions he was outside the points after an appalling Spanish Grand Prix. That said, every points finish for Lewis has been in double figures, despite him being a little slow to adapt to the tyres, and bearing that in mind I’d tend to agree that Lewis should be a shade or two ahead of his team-mate – I think he’s in the ascendancy at the moment.

      1. Anthony says:

        All of rosberg DNFs has been BEHIND Hamilton. So even without his DNFs he would be behind

      2. Andrew M says:

        The points difference is fairly reflective of driver performance. Hard to say exactly how many points Nico lost through car failures and not passing in Malaysia, but it’s around 20 or so, certainly not the 40 he’s behind Lewis.

        Then, although Lewis hasn’t had any retirements, he’s had some reliability issues out of his control. He had a gearbox change in Bahrain (and still finished ahead of Nico), while his puncture in Silverstone resulted in a hefty points swing Nico’s way, around 20 in and of itself.

      3. Tim says:

        I take your point about retirements but Lewis has out qualified Nico 7/3. On that basis alone, I don’t understand how they can be ranked the same.

    2. SaScha says:

      True, Rosberg is overrared, too
      He was lucky in Silverston & had a really bad race in Hungary.
      Nothing to do with his dNF, he was making a lot of mistakes in the first laps.
      At all his dNFs he was behind Hamilton, and in the last 3 races he did nothing really special.

    3. formula says:

      +1000000000! Preach it!

    4. John Mc says:

      [mod] How on earth has he been as good as Kimi? Look at the errors Hamilton has made (eg the one he made backing up the Red Bulls too much in Monaco). Then look at the errors Kimi has made…. Errrrm. Yeah.

      - Please moderate your language..or we will – Mod

      1. Colombia Concalvez says:

        What special had Kimi done ?, in Germany he was helped by the team. Kimi has done nothing special, and he is bad in qualifying

      2. blackmamba says:

        Well, what counts against Kimi is the fact that he has been less than stellar in qualifying. Hamilton has made 1 error all year in Monaco, while Kimi has been consistently under-performing in qualifying. That Lotus has had the pace to be on pole in some races.

    5. eamon says:

      I think alot of people are suprised at how close Rosberg has been to Lewis and that counts against the Briton.

      But I think from Canada it has been far from close and Hamilton is now starting to stamp his authority on the team and I can’t see Rosberg challenging him more than a few times a year through the rest of their time together at Mercedes.

      1. Grant says:

        Lewis is adjusting to a new car, if leading his teammate by 40 points is a good reflection on Rosberg (who himself is a great driver), then many must secretly think Lewis is super-human…

    6. Doobs says:

      LH was nowhere early in the season. ALO’s been more consistent so deserves placing higher.

  14. Mac says:

    Almost agree, a few adjustments

    10 Vettel
    9,5 Raikkonen
    8,5 Alonso
    7 Hamilton, Rosberg
    6.5 Sutil, Button, Di Resta
    6 Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Bianchi
    5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Webber, Perez
    5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
    4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

  15. Steven L says:

    How can Vettel get a 10 when he could not pass Button ?

    Apart from a non fault tyre blowout at Silverstone, Hamilton would have won 2 races and has as ever, been the most impressive driver out there.

    Plus, James, Reports from the Finnish media saying that Kimi has signed for Ferrari ?
    I cannot imagine him agreeing to be number 2, or that anybody else would take Alonso, so we may, uniquely, have a genuine fight at Maranello ?

    1. James Allen says:

      My Finnish sources sticking to their line that a deal for Kimi at Ferrari will always be unlikely while Montezemolo is in charge

      1. Sebee says:

        I understand why Luca would hold a grudge. But business is business and Kimi at Ferrari makes more sense to me than at RBR. RBR have to take Daniel.

        Alonso and Kimi…that may be what’s needed in 2014 against this possible Mercedes issue.

      2. W Johnson says:

        You can understand why Luca would hold a grudge? WHY???

        Wasn’t it Ferrari that broke Kimi’s contract to drive for Ferrari to make way for Alonso that cost Ferrari £15million to Kimi to do nothing.

      3. Sebee says:

        Yes W, but they were hoping Kimi would go drive elsewhere. Meanwhile, he sat back in his 12M home and listen to Bach on his new $500K speakers – thanks to Ferrari salary.

        But in deed, it was Ferrari. And I say again, business is business. Ferrari could really use Kimi.

      4. Steven L says:

        Thanks, “unlikely while Montezemolo is in charge” is both illuminating and possibly prescient.

      5. Roger W says:

        nice word….

      6. Larry Thorne says:

        It is exactly like James says. And the story in the Finnish media was based on the story in the German magazine Bild, which said that Ferrari has made an offer to Kimi. There are no reports of Kimi signing the contract.

      7. Hussein S Lokhandwala says:

        As in, Luca wouldn’t ever re-hire Kimi, or Kimi would not work again for Luca?

      8. Dai Dactic says:

        Would have thought that the deal is also unlikely whilst Kimi ‘is in charge’ – unless he sees potential in making serious money out of a second premature forced retirement.

      9. H.Guderian says:

        YES… Very interesting (*IF* true).

      10. Elie says:

        Hi H.W.S, Wow..Kimi did say”.. some people might think my decision is stupid..” Im wondering now if this is it.
        I think if Ferrari want to change.They should drop both Fernando and Felipe take Kimi and Jules Bianci.
        Kimi is experienced and although most hardcore fans don’t want him to go back it is justification for the extraordinary mistake Ferrari made both with keeping Felipe and loosing Kimi. Kimi has proven time and again that he can work with anyone, Felipe, Montoya, Kovalienan, Grosjean. and both drivers can move forward with the team and there is no greater example than Grosjean at Lotus. Bianci is a star and would learn tremendously with Raikkonen. Whereas with Fernando he takes control and insists team mates are secondary- no doubting why we never saw Grosjean rise with him. Perhaps Fernando will go to Lotus- he is very familiar and very successful at Enstone- something he seems unlikely to achieve a Ferrari.

      11. KRB says:

        If any of that happens, it will be the biggest shift in the driver market in years.

        For the record, I don’t see it happening.

        Maybe Kimi to replace Massa, with Alonso staying. Alonso at McLaren? Never.

      12. Jon Wilde says:

        To what extent is Boulier tied to Lotus? He managed to bring Kimi back to F1, could he move to Ferrari as team principle and bring Kimi with him?

        Boulier should be held in high regard for the performances of Lotus in recent years.

    2. Richard says:

      Vettel’s car is set-up in a different way, to maximise corner speed using higher downforce, rather than higher straight-line speed. I think the Mercedes was clearly just a faster car in Hungary than the RBR, all conditions considered.

      Having said that, it was awesome watching Lewis nail Button immediately and having Seb get frustrated for a few laps…great racing!

      1. Jonathan says:

        Definitely awesome to watch!

        There is no way Vettel deserves a 10.

        We need to look at the way the drivers understand the size and positioning of their cars. Lewis got past Jenson easily because they both have a great feel for the size and relative position to another car. This was shown several times whilst both were at McLaren. Lewis can forget that when the red mist descends but when on form is brilliant.

        On the other hand Vettel simply does not have this skill and nor does Webber. When one looks at the 2 RB cars close together it is never clear if they can avoid hitting each other – and, of course, now that Vettel is showing some signs of learning this skill Webber could understandably choose not to allow Vettel to escape unharmed!

        The biggest difference between Lewis and Vettel is that Lewis had a very public period of growing up as an F1 driver. Vettel has yet to do this – it could well happen next year if the Mercedes engine is much better than the Renault unit.

      2. All revved-up says:

        +10 Hamilton’s overtaking instinct is just uncanny. His instinctive move on Webber at Hungary – off racing line long way round the corner just to get his car in time to stop Webber from turning into the next corner – is just sheer instinctive genius to watch.

        Vettel’s ability to drive at a high level and not buckle under pressure is his greatest strength. If Hamilton or Alonso had been turned around by Senna at last year’s Brazil GP, they would have had so much red mist – and would have crashed while over driving to catch-up. Only Vettel could have come back from that to win the WDC.

        That sense of the size of the car you describe – Vettel is very good, but Hamilton is better. Webber so so. Massa mediocre, and Grosjean is horrible. But even Hamilton made a mistake at Spa when he crowded into Kobayashi and left him with no where to go. Knowing where your car is on the track relative to another car moving at high speeds is a wonderful skill to watch.

      3. SteveS says:

        ” next year if the Mercedes engine is much better than the Renault unit.”

        What do you mean, “next year”? The Mercedes engine has been the best in F1 for the past few years now. Much of the “Hamilton is a brilliant passer” stuff stems from that fact. Put him in a Renault engined car and his ability to breeze past people would be severely curtailed.

    3. eamon says:

      How about we give him a 9.999 then instead so he loses .001 for not passing Button.

      Hamilton has been very impressive I will give you that but Vettel and Raikkonen more so especially Seb.

      1. Martin says:

        Or even 9.5 – no half marks were given so, 9.5 and above rounds to 10 out of 10.

    4. SONIA LUFF says:

      How does every one know that Lewis would have won at Silverstone, do you all have crystal balls ! He may have ran out of fuel or had a breakdown. His fans always come out with excuses like last year

      1. Andrew M says:

        You’re right, it’s not a dead cert, but it’s clearly the most likely outcome. Vettel was falling back towards Rosberg rather than catching Hamilton, neither car had significant tyre problems so it’s doubtful he would have fallen backwards a la Spain/Germany, and after the puncture he showed very fast pace.

      2. Tim says:

        I am a Lewis fan but I agree with you. All the woulda shoulda coulda stuff means nothing. The scores on the doors are the only thing that counts.

    5. **Paul** says:

      Indeed how could someone in the 19th fastest car (SV)in a straight line not pass someone with the 10th fastest car (JB) in a straight line… after all the chap driving the car with the fastest car in a straight line (LH) managed to pass him….

      The joys of speedtrap data !

      1. Rockie says:

        It doesn’t soothe there argument so they ignore that fact now with the faster car Hamilton couldn’t get past Alonso in Germany but it doesn’t matter.

      2. Tim says:

        Drivers decide how they would like their car set up for the race – agreed?
        SV chose the wrong setting, that is clear as he couldn’t overtake and was only the 19th fastest car – agreed?
        It was therefore SV fault that he couldn’t overtake JB – so what are you arguing about?

      3. SteveS says:

        “Drivers decide how they would like their car set up for the race – agreed?”

        No. They don’t.

      4. Tim says:


  16. hodo says:

    The top end i agree with however putting Grosjean ahead of Hulkenburg i find absurd. Agreed we have not seen any giant killing performances from the Hulk this season but the car is nowhere. He has put it up there on the very few occasions the car has been up to it. Grosjean on the otherhand has had maybe 3 decent races out of ten and for a guy with 2 full seasons under his belt in a solid top 4 team has no excuses for the rookie mistakes we are still seeing.

    1. Phil Glass says:

      Grosjean regards his move on Massa in hungary as his greatest racing moment. It’s a proud boast, except it occured entirely off the race track !!
      Spectacular yes, but sadly, off circuit.

      1. Denis 68 says:


        The really sad part about that is he still finished the race ahead of Massa even after serving a drive through penalty and a post race penalty for the Button incident.

        Really just confirms what a very poor job Massa is doing.

      2. Iestyn Davies says:

        If the kerbs are off-circuit, what are they there for? To look pretty? If it drives, it is fair game – see Silverstone and crushing the tyres by going past the kerb on corner apex. They’ve even put mini-kerbs in in places to stop cars simply using the tarmac run-off wholly as the track.

    2. KRB says:

      Fully agreed … Hulk’s driven better than Grosjean so far this year. Does no one remember Grosjean’s Monaco weekend?!?

  17. Monktonnik says:

    I agree with this assessment, broadly.

    I think that Rosberg deserves to be on the same level as Alonso if not higher. He has more poles and has won as many races.

    With 6.5 out if 10 it appears that JB is well regarded in Italy. I think he has had a good season, but under the radar with the car.

  18. Kam says:

    I dont see how high Kimi and Alonso are given how poor they are relatively qualifing.

    If they both sorted quali out, then they may be winning more or in Alonso case much better off in the results.

    Sure, overall Kimi is doing mega, but his 9 should be say an 8 – he is underperforming in a car that can win…

    1. Elie says:

      Kimi has out qualified his so called gun team mate 8-2 when everyone reckons he’s doing badly. He kept Seb at bay on tyres 32 laps old!- I don’t think anyone should underestimate his contributions in 2013.Ferrari are struggling in quali also . People must understand that not every car is perfect on Sat and sometimes great Sat car or horrible on Sund. Clearly Red Bull have good balance on both days !!!

    2. ie. says:

      Both Kimi and Alonso are out-qualifying their team mates quite comfortably (Massa had a run early in the season, and Grosjean has had a couple of good qualifyings with the new tyres, but still). It’s only speculation that someone could drive the car much faster over one lap, or that their cars could be set up for fast one lap runs while still maintaining their respective strengths in the race.

      1. Witan says:

        If you want to be a winner and a champion you need to out-qualify your competitors not your team mate unless he is both.

      2. ie. says:

        No, you don’t. To be the champion, all you *need* to do is have more points than anyone else after the last race. To win, you need to be ahead of everyone in the race.

        Qualifying is simply a tool to help achieve these ends. Of course every driver would like to have the pole in every single race, but sometimes that’s just not possible, and not least because of the differences between different cars. Not being able to out-qualify *faster* cars does not mean you’re not driving well; making the most out of your equipment *means* you’re driving well.

      3. Elie says:

        I would prefer to Qualify 10th and end up 1st or 2nd than qualify 1st or 2nd and end up 4th. Funny you get more that way too !

      4. KRB says:

        They’re handing out points on Saturdays now?

    3. Zinobia says:

      Hmm seems like you dont really follow qualifying, some cars are better at qualifying then other cars. Mercedes and Red Bull are clearly the best in qualifying. That mostly leaves Lotus and Ferrari drivers with anything from 5th and lower. On race day the Lotus or the Ferrari might again have the same pace as Red Bull and Mercedes, but it is difficult to get ahead of them when everyone has similar pace and they are starting out in front.

      Kimi and Alonso might perhaps not be the best qualifiers in the field, but they are top drivers, do you really think Webber and Rosberg would constantly be able to out qualify them most of the time?
      Rosberg’s average starting position has been 4th, Webber 5.1, Alonso 5.4 and Kimi 6.2.

      Better yet when Lewis and Rosberg suddenly starts going backwards while starting off from pole, do you suddenly think they are terrible racers? Or could the car perhaps have something to do with it?

    4. Doobs says:

      Lotus and Ferrari both have/had trouble getting tyres hot which may explain some of their relatively slow quali pace.

    5. Daninator07 says:

      The Lotus’ performance advantage in the race is a disadvantage in quali.

      Fundamentally the car is very easy on its tyres which is great in the race but doesn’t generate enough heat in the tyres for 1 lap pace esp when the car is at its lightest as well. This is also why the Lotus is difficult to drive in wet conditions.

      Similarly the Merc cars are the absolute opposite to the Lotus.

  19. Peter Wishart says:

    These rankings seem appropriate at this point of the season. Do feel sorry for Mark Webber. Low ranking not all his own fault.

  20. Dale says:

    What a silly list the Italians have come up with – Vettel 10 and Hamilton on 7?!?
    In addition Vettel like Prost? Did they not see the Webber incident?

    Sport is all about opinion though one would expect so called experts to have more sense than this.

    In my opinion, taking all factors into account I’d put Vettel and Hamilton as the top, after all expected Hamilton to have performed as he had and had his dreadful not fit for purpose tyres not let him down he’d be in a much better position in the championship and he’d be the Mercedes driver with the 2 wins.

    On Alonso, let’s not forget that he’s favoured by his team in a way few (if any) other current F1 drivers are.

    Well that’s my opinion!

    1. Jude says:

      “In addition Vettel like Prost? Did they not see the Webber incident?”

      This made me laugh. Do you even know what kind of things Prost did when he was racing Senna? He was no angel. That Webber incident was a child’s play compared to the stuff Senna and Prost did.

    2. H.Guderian says:

      Seems you “forgot” that Lewis is being favoured by Ross.

  21. Wes says:

    I think it shows how comfortable the first half of the season has been for vettel as with him a 10, alonso/raikkonen/hamilton/rosberg could all be no more than a 7-8 as all have made mistakes often sandwiched between decent drives. Kimi should have won a race, rosberg disappointing recently, hamilton issues with car early on, alonso brilliant starts/first lap and some races but qualifying massa has been closer

    1. Kirk says:

      Actually Kimi won a race, Australia.

  22. Wade Parmino says:

    It is an insult to Alain Prost to compare him to Vettel. Not only was Prost a much better driver, he is a better man. There has never been anyone else like Prost. He won races for four different teams.

    Vettel is a good driver no doubt, however his personality, driving, actions and attitude is nothing like Prost’s.

    1. Elie says:

      The most telling thing for me is how often did you ever see Prost clip anyone whilst driving1000+hp wild turbo cars. No one of the current drivers bar Raikkonen has that level of precision and speed in their driving. Button has the precision but not the speed, Hamilton/ Vettel have the speed but not quite the precision. Alonso comes close but still not always as sharp.

    2. Sid says:

      And it’s an insult to Vettel that you write this [mod]. F1 drivers are first and foremost drivers, the personality and actions follow later. And Vettel’s driving has been sublime, he’s shown the killer instinct of a multiple world champion, like it or not!

    3. Baghetti says:

      And that’s because he only drove for four different teams…

    4. Boris org says:


    5. Doobs says:

      Well said sir.

    6. SteveS says:

      What’s this obsession some have with drivers personalities? Or, more accurately, with what they imagine drivers personalities to be be? I follow a number of different sports and I’ve never heard anyone claiming that “Lebron is the best basketball player, because of his personality”.

      Sports fans rate sports stars on the basis of their abilities and accomplishments. If you want a competition where they rate the contestants *personality*, try Miss World or some other beauty pageant.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        As I did mention, Vettel is still not on par with Prost with regards to driving ability (which involves a lot more than pole positions and fastest laps).

        And as far as rating sportspeople goes, it is not just about how many goals they kick or races they win, but how they conduct themselves in attaining their achievements. Hence the term ‘sportsmanship’ (not to mention common decency). It is not merely about following the rules.

      2. SteveS says:

        I’m amused that you believe Prost (or any driver from that era, to be honest) displayed more “sportsmanship” or “common decency” then Vettel.

  23. Invif1 says:

    I would give more marks to hamilton and place him above Alonso. And a mark more for Massa.

  24. Andrew Carter says:

    I find that list pretty much tallies up with my own opinions, aboutthe only difference I’d make is that Vettel would be a 9 not a 10 for me.

  25. Van says:

    10 means near-flawless, which for me no driver has really achieved so far, so my ratings are:

    9 Vettel, Raikkonen
    8 Hamilton, Alonso
    7 Rosberg
    6 Button, Ricciardo

    difficult to rate the mid-lower order, but none stand out in particular.

    Don’t understand how Gazetto have rated Ros above Ham, other than the lucky win he picked up in Silverstone. Hamilton has outqualified and outscored Rosberg and would still have done so even without Nico’s unlucky DNFs. He has done an excellent job of integrating himself into the team and the settling into car.

  26. Dario says:

    Given the car Hulkenberg has I think he deserves a higher score.

  27. Simon Oram says:

    Generally agree with these rankings, although surprised at Webbers low score. Also good to see an Italian paper not being biased towards the Tifosi!

    A decent mention for JB too, it really is a dog of a car!

    I would also have maybe scored Ricciardo slightly higher in my opinion.

  28. JTR1 says:

    Thanks James for posting this. Hamilton’s rating is at least 1-1.5pts lower than expected. To be only 0.5 ahead of Grosjean and Button is a joke! I’m also very surprised that Alonso has been rated higher than Hamilton as he has squandered a lot of points this year.

    They also seem to think that Mercedes’ tyre woes are Hamilton’s fault and fail to recognise the difference between a car struggling with its tyres and a driver struggling. Rosberg has had the same issues.

    I don’t think Rosberg should be equal to Hamilton either as Hamilton has outqualified him 7-3 and outraced him 7-3 also. Rosberg was behind Hamilton in each of his three retirements and only won in Silverstone due to Hamilton and Vettel’s problems.

    My rating would be:

    10 Vettel
    8.5 Hamilton
    8 Raikkonen
    7 Alonso, Rosberg, di Resta
    6.5 Button, Bianchi
    6 Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Webber, Ricciardo, Bottas
    5.5 Sutil, Perez
    5 Massa, Maldonado, Vergne, Pic
    4.5 Van der Garde
    3.5 Chilton
    3 Gutierrez

    1. gregmon says:

      Great post!

  29. OJ says:

    It’s good to see that Button is in the top 10, it would have been extremely biased not to rank him in there. In my humble opinion, Button deserves top 5, no one in the field could have done a better job at extracting the maximum from the car at every opportunity. This season, Button is showing why he is an all-time great and if not for his own team’s reliability, poor pitstops and bad strategy last season that cost him the championship, Button would have been a multiple world champion. Hopefully, Mclaren can get it’s act together to demonstrate JB’s status as THE best driver in the sport.

    1. Tim says:

      Good one! For a minute I thought you were serious :-)

    2. Jonathan says:

      Oh dear – one extreme to the other! Somewhat exaggerated but there is some merit in what you say.

      This list is supposed to be about an honest ranking of a driver’s delivery of his ability. Bearing in mind just how equal Jenson and Lewis proved to be over 3 seasons if they are both driving as hard now they should still be seen as equal as their points difference would be down to the car. Taking that as a benchmark would make a good means of ranking them – which would make quite a difference to the overall listing.

      1. Kbdavies says:

        Where do people get the equal over 3 seasons nonsense from? If you beat your competitor in 2 bouts out of 3, how does that meake you “equal” over the 3 bouts?? Even by all the parameters used in F1, Lewis still came out on top most times – Poles, Races led at front, Race pace, Qualifying pace, etc. Adding up a point tally over 3 years is quite stupid; especially when it chooses to ignore everything else!

      2. Tim says:

        It’s a special points system, used only in ‘Jenson Land’ ;-)

      3. Jonathan says:

        Since you don’t understand I shall have a stab at explaining.

        Button is the only team mate ever to have beaten Hamilton over a season. They are different drivers but both have some excellent qualities. I’m sure even Lewis would say he learnt a bit about tyre preservation from Jenson.

        The whole reason for this article is that most people do not consider that the guy who wins the championship is always the stand out driver of a season – we have to accept that a car can make or break a champion.

        When it comes to 2 drivers in the same car it is a lot easier. At the level these 2 have been driving at a couple of positions here or there can and do make a significant difference to their points haul. Indeed you yourself do not claim that Lewis beat Jenson in all aspects. Compare McLaren with the RB pairing and there is a stark difference nobody would claim that other than the odd race here or there Vettel has completely outclassed Webber in pretty much all areas except for sportsmanship! One thing most people do accept is that over a season or more luck evens out. Therefore for Jenson and Lewis drivers to be so close we must accept that they are pretty much equal – or be so biased in our opinions that our views they are worthless.

      4. Kbdavies says:

        @Jonathan – Exactly hos does your epistle adress the question? How does beating your competitor twice out of three times make you “roughly equal”?
        So because Button is the only teammate to beat Lewis over a season makes them equal over 3 seasons? Amazing logic only blind Jenson fans could come up with – like they are “so close to be equal”. And on tyre perservation, you need to pay speacial attention to the 2012 season at McLaren before you claim Lewis “learnt something” from Button on the issue.

        Again, for your information, Lewis beat Jenson over all parameters that matter in F1 in their time together in the same team; he beat him on poles, fastest laps, race laps led, race pace and race wins. He also beat him 2 years out of 3.

        In fact, in what is widely regarded as Lewis worst year in F1, and Button’s best, they ended up with the same amount of race wins, and Lewis stilll annihilating Button on poles.
        Using a Vettel/Webber analogy is a moot point. Button being better than Webber (which i certainly don’t think so), has nothing to do with him being “equal” to Lewis.

      5. Tim says:

        Here is a link to JA analysis of LH v JB during their time together at McLaren – you may want to reconsider your, somewhat, simplistic method of simply adding their points over 3 seasons together and deciding it was close :-)

      6. KRB says:

        Guess Massa is better than Kimi then, seeing as he beat him in points over their 44 races (AUS07-GER09) together with Ferrari, by a score of 213-195?

      7. Jonathan says:

        Arguably at that point Massa was better than Kimi. Just because Massa has never returned to complete form after a spring smashed into his helmet it is not fair to say he was never any good. Don’t forget some still argue he deserved the title that Hamilton won – not something I agree with but he was still a challenger even after finishing the last race that year!

      8. KRB says:

        Well, not saying he was never any good, just as I’m not saying Button is no good. But even at the end of 2008, if you’d’ve asked me which Ferrari driver I’d pick going forward, I would always have picked Kimi over Massa. I think most would.

        Both Massa and Button are good, solid drivers. I just believe Kimi and Lewis are better than either of them, respectively.

    3. Kbdavies says:

      Button an all time great? And McLaren errors cost Button the championship last season? I’ll have whatever you are smoking please!

    4. JustGuessing says:

      That was great.

      Thanks for the entertainment.

    5. blackmamba says:

      Hamilton was in the same situation in 2009 and had 2 wins and 3 podiums by the end of the season. So I do not know where you get this idea that no one else could have done a better job than Button in this year’s MacLaren.

      1. SteveS says:

        The operative words there being “by the end of the season”. McLaren did a fantastic job in turning what was a worthless car at the start of 2009 into probably the quickest car on the grid by the end of it. It will be interesting to see if they can repeat the feat this season.

    6. wenner says:

      You are joking right ?

    7. Kingszito says:

      You mean Hamilton! Because McLaren let Hamilton down last season more than JB. However “if not” and “had it been” has no place in F1.

  30. Sven says:

    Mostly agree, though Hamilton and Alonso should be swapped. Alonso deserves a 7, Hamilton deserves an 8.

  31. JTR1 says:

    I’d like to change Vettel’s rating to 9.5 as he slightly under performed in Hungary.

  32. James Dilley says:

    When you start looking at all the races and the cars that the drivers have to deal with, this is not easy, but here is my take -

    10 Vettel
    9.5 Raikkonen
    8.5 Alonso, Hamilton
    7.5 Rosberg, Button
    6.5 Grosjean, Sutil, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo
    6 Webber, Bianchi, Di Resta, Maldonado, Bottas, Perez
    5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
    4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

  33. Thomas says:

    Who are these people who still can’t put Hamilton high in their personal ratings? He was flawless last year and still put down, and now once again apparently he has been outshone by both Kimi and Alonso? Please. Kimi has flunked his qualifying numerous times and has thrown away chances for the win. Alonso has been inconsistent and ragged. Hamilton and Vettel have been on another planet than the others this year, yet the pre conceived stereotypes of each driver keep coming through, without any real thought. Vettel/Perfection (hard to argue with) Kimi Mr Speed/Consistent and oh of course Mr Can-Do-No-Wrong Alonso. Lest we not forget Mr Car-breaker-tyre-destroyer who has been ‘run close’ by his team mate despite beating him 7-3 in qualifying and on Sundays. Watch the races, people.

    1. Zinobia says:

      Lewis should definitely be higher. He has done a good job. But lets also not get to carried away. Both Kimi and Alonso have out qualified their teammates 8-2, while Lewis is at 7-3. And it is always easier to start from the front, which is something the Mercedes clearly excels at. It is actually pretty difficult to judge because all of the cars had weekend where they were not so good and weekend where they were good. It is only Red Bull who is always at the top. Lewis also experienced a few races where looked a bit lost.

    2. Grant says:

      Haven’t seen anything amazing from Vettel though.

    3. Mike Martin says:


      You might want to add some “sarcasm tags” in your post/comment because not everybody will understand you are being sarcastic.

      Totally agree….nice comment.

    4. W Johnson says:

      Enjoyed reading your post.

    5. KRB says:

      A 7 is ridiculous, as is blaming him for not getting on top of the tires. Weak from whoever was doing the ratings.

      Only one driver has qualified in the top 4 at each race (before any pen’s), is joint first in terms of Top 5 finishes (w/VET), and joint second on points finishes (behind RAI). And in a new team and car to boot, one that was miles off last year.

      7??? You’re having a laugh!

  34. Dave says:

    Seems pretty accurate to me. Initial observation is that Webber may be a little low on the list. And, I expect the Merc guys to move up this list now that they are on top of the tires. Otherwise, it’s pretty much spot on, in my opinion.

  35. Felix says:

    I don’t agree with a few marks, but mostly they seem to be fair.

    Vettel definitely deserves a perfect 10 for his performance so far. Very consistent and nearly flawless compared to other drivers. Even the Malaysia incident takes nothing from his overall performance. If anything, I think it puts him up there with the likes of Senna and Prost. It actually reminded me of San Marino GP 1989, when Senna broke the pre-race agreement that he’d suggested himself and overtook Prost. Champions don’t become multiple champions by being good boys. It was a smart decision by Vettel. Ruthless, but smart. And have to say, that kid has some steel nerves to shrug off the criticism and perform so well, despite the controversy.

    A 9 for Raikkonen seems fair to me. He was mostly great in the races, but often wasn’t good enough in Qualifying.

    A 8 for Alonso might be too much. He’d made quite a few mistakes this year, which cost him many points, and had a terrible race in Monaco. 7.5 would be more fair I think.

    Hamilton deserves an 8. Yes, he struggled in the beginning of the season, being outperformed in qualifying by Rosberg and sometimes struggled with tyres when Rosberg didn’t. But he’s been good lately. Granted, Mercedes has clearly the fastest car in Qualifying and now might have the fastest car on the race days. We’ll see.

    Webber probably deserves 6.5, but then again, he was completely destroyed by his teammate both in Qualifying and race.

    Other marks seem pretty fair to me.

    1. Antti says:

      Many people have commented that Kimi has not been good in qualifying, which I find somewhat puzzling. The fact is, Lotus car is designed to be easy on its tires during the race, which inevitably means problems in qualifying (it becomes very hard to heat the tires to proper temperatures during the warm-up lap). Given that Kimi has beat Grosjean 8-2 in qualifying this season tells me that he has been quite strong in qualis. After all, Grosjean is very fast on one lap, his problems are related to his racecraft.

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I reckon Lewis has been better with the tyres than Rosberg, with the exception of Spain. Bahrain, Canada and GB support my case. I won’t even count Hungary because Lewis had clean air, even though he’s the one that made it happen.

    3. RogerD says:

      On VET: “that kid has some steel nerves to shrug off the criticism”

      I thought he lacked the courage of his convictions in his comments post-Multi 21.

      That he broke a pre-race agreement is a black mark.

      That he didn’t have enough cojones to just say “I won. Suck it up, you purse-carrying nancy boys” is a bigger black mark.

      He’s only young though (and probably over-protected). Perhaps his spine will straighten with more experience.

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah, shouldn’t have broken that agreement, but whatever. What I found weak was his “I was scared” radio msg after Mark forced him against the pit wall when he went to pass. Dunno if he was truly scared, or just playing team politics … either way if you’re gonna go thru with a move like that, don’t play the victim afterwards.

  36. dazzle says:

    I think Vettel would get a 9
    Hamilton and Kimi 8.5
    Rosberg 7.5
    Button, Grosjean 6.5
    Webber 6
    Massa 5
    And the rest as they are

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:


  37. AndyFov says:

    Andy Fov’s (size XL) Mid Season Driver Review

    9.5 Vettel, Hamilton
    9 Alonso, Kimi, Rosberg
    8.5 Di Resta
    8 Hulk, Perez
    7.5 Massa, Webber, Button
    7 Maldonado, Ricciado, Pic
    6 Grosjean, Bianchi, Bottas, Sutil
    5 Vergne, Gutierrez, Van der Garde
    2 My nan, Max Chilton

    1. Rayz says:

      haha, thats a bit harsh on your nan mate. she could well have chilton.

    2. Grant H says:

      Lol at max chilton if he’s in f1 next year he must have a lot of cash though I think bianchi is in a different league and is partly making him look like pants

    3. **Paul** says:

      I’d go with:

      9.5 VET
      9.0 HAM / RAI
      8.5 ROS
      8.0 WEB /PER / BIA / ALO
      and the rest.

      Vettel has performed in a leauge ahead of anyone else this season, plenty of times RBR isn’t fastest in qually, isn’t fastest in race trim. Gets the job done though.

      HAM & RAI have both made errors this season.

      ROS is a whsiker behind Lewis, take out his car issues and the “Stay in positon” Nico and they’d be within 15 points I reckon.

      1. Tim says:

        The problem you have with taking out Rosbergs car issues is that you are leaving Hamiltons in. Be honest, if it was the other way around and Rosberg was ahead by 40 points and 7/3 up in qualifying, would you really be saying they are only a whisker apart?

  38. SaScha says:

    Raikkönen & Alonso are vverrated.
    Vettel & Hamilton belong to the top
    Alonso 3rd
    Rosberg 4th
    Raikkönen 5th
    who dissappoints in qualifying

    1. ie. says:

      How on earth is Kimi 2nd in the WDC with such poor driving?

      You seem convinced that the Lotus is faster than it looks, and not understand that it’s only because of your personal bias. There is no faster Lotus on the track, no one showing there’s more speed in that car, even if you are so certain about it.

      Kimi has not only out-qualified his team mate 7–3 (only really losing over one lap after the tyre change but still out-doing Hamilton’s efforts, for example), but he has also averaged 6th on Saturdays. With 4 faster cars (that is, 2 Red Bulls and 2 Mercedes’) that’s just about where you’d expect him to be with his car. This is *far* from disappointing.

      1. Sascha says:

        Lotus is one of the fastest car, they should be leading the WDC if not for the many errors of the drivers. Grosjean shows the car is very fast in qualy and Raikkönes shows it’s the fastest car on race pace most of the time, only the drivers are unable to combine it. At Hungary Lotus was fastest IMO. KIMi qualified too bad & Grosjean made too many mistakes.

      2. Antti says:

        Your logic doesn’t make any sense. How is it possible that “Grosjean shows the car is very fast in qualy”, when Kimi has beat him 80% of the time in quali? Why is Grosjean so far behind Kimi in WDC points (biggest gap of any team mates) if the car is the fastest on race pace? Maybe it’s just that Kimi is making the Lotus car look much faster than it really is?

      3. Kirk says:

        I’m sorry but it seems you watch different races, I always watch them and follow the online timing and I can tell you, the Lotus is not the fastest car on race pace, probably just in Germany, they can get near the front because its tyre management, but for sure the RBR is faster and now the Mercs also. If Kimi has made so many mistakes why is that he has the record of continuos races scoring points?.

    2. Zinobia says:

      Mercedes and Red Bull are the fastest cars in qualifying. Ferrari and Lotus just dont have the pace to qualify in the front row.

      When the Mercedes drivers goes backwards in the races it doesn’t suddenly make them bad drivers, it is just part of the characteristics of the car. The same situation applies to Ferrari and Lotus in qualifying.

      1. unF1nnished business says:

        Agreed, this seems to be the key for 2013. It’s proving to be very tricky finding the right balance for qualy and race day, although I believe RB are closer on average than anyone else.

  39. Rayz says:

    10 Vettel
    9 Raikkonen
    8 Alonso, Rosberg, Hamilton
    7.5 Bianchi
    7 Button, Webber, Ricciardo
    6.5 DiResta, Bottas, Maldonado, Hulkenberg
    6 Pic, Perez, Sutil, Grosjean
    5.5 Van Der Garde, Vergne, Massa
    4.5 Gutierrez
    3 Chilton

    My changes include Bianchi getting a 7,5. I think he has shown exceptional pace at the back and has blown teammate Chilton to the weeds, despite Max having pretty much all pre-season testing to himself. Chilton clearly is’t quick enough for F1 and thus gets a 3.

  40. Random 79 says:

    Obviously the people at Gazzetta dello Sport have a bit too much time on their hands…

    I’ll be interested to see what Goferet makes of this :)

    1. goferet says:

      @ Random97


      Incidentally I agree with Gazzetta dello

      1. Random 79 says:

        10 Vettel
        9 Raikkonen
        8 Alonso
        7 Hamilton, Rosberg
        6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta
        6 Hulkenberg, Webber, Bianchi
        5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez
        5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
        4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

        I can’t say I do. I’m not going to bore everyone with my ‘official’ list, but…

        Hamilton and Rosberg would have been higher for sure, and what is this 5.5? Whether you agree with the rankings or not, why not have Ricciardo et al at a straight 5, Massa et al 4, with the others a 2 or 3?

        It’s just silly.

      2. Tim says:

        @ Goforet
        How do you rank Nico and Lewis the same?

  41. Niall Quinn says:

    hmm, somewhat agree. Here’s what it should really say:

    10 Raikkonen
    9 Vettel
    7.5 Hamilton
    7 Rosberg, Alonso, Webber
    6.5 Button, Di Resta
    6 Hulkenberg, Webber, Bianchi
    5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez, Grosjean
    5 Massa, Vergne
    4 Pic
    2 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

    1. Grant H says:

      More or less agree except bottas should be higher than team mate due to qually

    2. Arnie S says:

      RAI is to kind on the track to get a 10, he’s also to slow in quali

    3. Sascha says:

      Raikkönen on top?
      Undeserved, much too slow in qualy

  42. AuraF1 says:

    Bah, marks out of 10 are such a bizarre way of judging anything in sport. We have these things called ‘results’ in sports that are the only reason for entering the sport. And if you want to judge inter team and teammate rivalries up and down the grid you can just have a personal opinion. Awarding points is just a way of making personal bias sound scientific.

    I’m giving Webber more points because I prefer his haircut to Vettel and Jenson has a hotter girlfriend therefore double points at hot races.

    Sorry – my Internet cynic side came out there ;)

  43. Bart says:

    It doesn’t look like a thorough assessment to me as far as the midfield teams are concerned.

    Also, in my view, Hamilton’s been much better than 7/10, just look at his points score.

    And are we sure Vettel’s been perfect?

    1. Rockie says:

      To all saying Hamilton deserves higher had he not won in Hungary would you still rank him better?

      1. Bart says:

        And had Vettel not won title in 2010 and 2012, would anyone say today he’s one of the best?

        We are assessing drivers’ results (not just points scores) and not alternative reality…

      2. Tim says:

        But he did win in Hungary, didn’t he? Should we not count it as its inconvenient to your rankings? It’s a measure of the drivers performance during the first half of the season, therefore all the races so far are taken into account.

      3. Colombia Concalvez says:

        Had Alonso not won in Spain and China would you still rate him that high ?, [mod]

  44. alexyoong says:

    Button is being outqualified recently by Perez, who is no reputed qualifying whizz himself. I’m a JB fan, but I do think he struggles in these mediocre cars. I’m sure if the car was brilliant he would be dominating Perez, but he is not this season, given their respective experience.

  45. Joshua says:

    Oh Dear, Where do they get the figures from???

    I believe the below would be a better reflection

    9.5 Vettel – Agree should be top, but not flawless this year (multi 21)
    9 Raikkonen (qualifying), Bianchi – seems fantastic and/or max is terrible
    8 Hamilton – (new car, new team mate he has done very well..Tyres have been an issue)
    7.5 Hulkenberg, Maldanado, Bottas – Have perform to the car – difficult to place them…Di Resta – let down by team more than himself
    7. Button and perez, Sutil, Ricciardo – excelled and disappointed in equal Measure
    6.5 Grosjean, Webber, Massa – ok but the world has not been set alight and underperformed to their team mates.
    5 – Chilton & Gutierrez

    ? Vergne, Pic & Van der Garde, – I don’t think there has been enough coverage of these drives to give any meaningful number.

    1. K says:

      Multi21 was not a mistake, it was a true champion move of ‘I will win no matter what you say’. You think Senna would have listened to that teamorder when driving behind Prost?

      Entire race RBR tried to slow down Vettel and force Webber to win, Vettel gave them the 1 finger salute as he should have.

    2. Rockie says:

      What has multi-21 got to do with his driving strength this year.
      Why not go ahead and mention Hamilton benefiting from team orders as a reason to mark him down!

      1. Joshua says:

        It was unbecoming of a 3 time world Champion and “I” feel that he doesn’t deserve a 10 because of it. Its about more than what happens on track. He had an opportunity to show that the team come first and honour an agreement the team had made….he chose not to and I believe would act differently if he had the chance. You could also mention hitting Button in Hungary, mistake in qualifying in Monaco where he could have been on the front Row if you need other reasons.

        Hamilton – I believe I marked him 1.5 down (compared to vettel). Mistake in Monaco, poor tyre wear compared to Rosberg early in the season, which is team mate was faster and should have finished in front.

  46. Paige says:

    The Italian media’s ratings from year to year of Hamilton can never be trusted. If he was in Sebastian Vettel’s position, they would give him a 7 and denegrate him for having the best car and failing to win every single race. They have always had an axe to grind with him. It was not Hamilton who “couldn’t get on top of the tires”; it was Mercedes as a team, who have a car design that for three years running has been a tire eater. That line alone is simply too asinine to give their rating of him any credibility How the hell could they expect a driver new to a team to come in and fix this? If anything, Hamilton had trouble with the brakes in the first few races- a part of a new car he simply wasn’t used to, with which any driver would have problems. And despite this, he has roundly outqualified and outraced his teammate, has four poles, and scored by far the most impressive win of the year in the last race. He deserves to have at least the same rating as Raikkonen.

    Alonso should have a 7 alongside Rosberg. In my view, he has done nothing this year to go above and beyond the capability of the car- which he did last year. He has two wins this year in races in which the car suited the track and the conditions. His qualifying performances have been quite uninspired. Given their performances in the past in cars that were at least on the same level if not inferior to the current Ferrari, you can’t tell me that neither Hamilton nor Vettel would have gotten more out of the car in qualifying.

    Rosberg had a stretch of three good races in which he clearly outperformed Hamilton. That’s it. Aside from that, while he has faced some difficulties not of his doing, these difficulties are nowhere near enough to account for the deficit over the whole season in qualifying and racing that he has to Hamilton. Nevertheless, he’s put up good results, even if he has had a tendency to drop the ball when it counts most. I’d give him a 7.

    That’s all. The rest seem valid.

    1. SteveS says:

      “scored by far the most impressive win of the year in the last race”

      That’s objective!

      For Hamilton fans, EVERY win of his is the most impressive of the year, if not of all time.

      1. Paige says:

        Sure I’m a Hamilton fan, but that doesn’t mean I think everything he does is amazing. Quite frankly, I think he was subpar in 2011- at the very best. (To be more honest, I would say he was rubbish in 2011.)

        I’m also not beyond giving lots of credit to other drivers. I do all the time. Nico had a period this year when he just simply flat out beat Lewis and caused him to have to raise his game and figure out what was wrong. Alonso was clearly the best driver last year, and it’s hard for me to decide between his win in Malaysia or his win in Valencia as the performance of the year last year. There are things that other drivers are better at than Hamilton is. But I would argue that, over a single lap, no one is quicker right now. Still, he has more to do to reach the level of completeness of Vettel, Raikkonen, and Alonso.


    2. K says:

      Mercedes has the fastest car though so there goes your argument against Vettel.

      1. Paige says:

        Firstly, did you even read what the hell I wrote? Nowhere did I criticize Vettel. In fact, if you READ my last sentence, I say the following:

        “The rest (of the ratings) seem valid.”

        This of course would imply that I agree with GdS giving Vettel a rating of a perfect 10. And I do.

        Literacy is a skill that unfortunately the human race seems to be losing as it evolves. This is clearly true among the community of racing fans, and in this instance, it is certainly true of you.

        Secondly, I said that Vettel has the BEST car, not necessarily the fastest. One can have the fastest car over a single lap- which the Mercedes seems to be- but the car could wear its tires out over the course of many laps and not be as quick over a race run or with heavy fuel onboard the car. Thus, the best car overall would be the car that has the best balance of one-lap pace, tire conservation, pace over a long run, and also is consistently fast on a variety of track types and in a variety of track conditions. I don’t think many people would argue that the Red Bull this year has had the best combination of all of these factors, even if it isn’t the fastest over a single lap. You need to do more than win poles to win races in F1 in this new era. Your comment reads like that of a very elementary fan who has just started following the sport.

      2. Colombia Concalvez says:

        They develop it into the fasted car

    3. Kbdavies says:

      very well put!

  47. deane says:

    All the GDS rankings are very poor, not just F1. Among my Italian cousins they are something of a joke in fact. They tend to show the author(s) has/have less in-depth understanding of anything than their readers.

    I guess they work for low-brows titillated by the latest political and celebrity nonsense and other fodder.

  48. Alex says:

    I wholly agree, with the exception of Sutil, who seems to be to be highly underrated. I think he should at least be on par with De Resta, if not above him.

    The comment about Jenson’s McLaren made me laugh, well done JB.

  49. Rudy says:

    Subjective rankings are rubbish. Even the colour of your flag is taken into account! That’s why the Championship is about points, collected after every race. Vettel is now up there (like it or not) with RAI and ALO close behind. And for sure it is about top teams, money and what comes with it.
    This is not a celebrity contest or Mr. Nice catwalk, it’s about driving the best they can with the given machinery, involving right and wrong decissions from the team. Of course one must recognize an outstanding job by HAM (tyre test aside) and Mercedes. In the same line of success one must praise RAI for his consistency and dedication keeping Lotus up there with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari.

  50. Valentino from montreal says:

    I would give Alonso alot less than 8 ..

    Probably 6 or 7 …

    Monaco anybody ?

    1. Tim says:

      At last. The, seemingly, endless sessions with the therapist are starting to pay dividends – there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
      A driver ranking thread, and you have written a post that doesn’t mention Michael ;-)

  51. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Can’t say I agree on Hamilton. The guy is 10 points behind Raikkonnen and gets 2 points less? L..o…l. Totally agree on Vettel Though.

  52. Sarvar says:

    Since Aug 5 I ve been loving to read 13 articles compared to Nil on BBC F1, seems your colleagues over there have a must 4-weeks-office-shutdown as well, James))
    Fans prefer JA on F1, awesome!!

  53. Elie says:

    Vettel /Kimi – 9/10
    Alonso 8/10
    Hamilton/Rosberg/Botas/Bianci 7.5
    Di Resta/Button/webber 7.
    Hulkenberg/ Sutil 6.5
    Ricciardo/Maldonado/Pic/ Grosjean/ Perez 6.0
    Vergne/Massa/Guiterrez 5.5
    Van de Garde/ Chilton 5.

    I keep saying this but no one has been perfect at every race so you cannot award a 10. To me also if someone is below a 5- they should be dropped for reserve driver- and clearly that has not happened yet.!

  54. Colombia Concalvez says:

    Absolute bias. Hamilton has done a far better consider the car they had last year, they develop that into a frontrunner and are now 2nd in the WCC above the likes of Lotus/Renault and Ferrari who are far better on their tires than Mercedes-Benz. The whole stats is full of bias as usual. Had it be Alonso that had turn Mercedes around everybody would say how great, magician and bla bla bla. rubbish

    1. SteveS says:

      I’ll agree that Hamilton “turned around” Mercedes if you agree that Vettel “turned around” Red Bull in 2009. Deal?

    2. K says:

      Hamilton did not screw the car into existence. Mercedes engineers did. He has the fastest car over a lap and also now the fastest car in race. If he cant win the title with a superior car like this, it will be a joke.

      1. Tim says:

        I would agree with you if the Mercedes had been as fast throughout the season. However, sadly, it has taken half a season to get to this stage. If, and it’s a big if, Mercedes have sorted their tyre issues, then the Mercedes might have a sniff of catching the Bulls before the season is over. Personally I suspect the gap is now too great to catch up with only 9 races remaining :-(

      2. KRB says:

        Give me a break! Even if Hungary race pace performance held from here on out, the Merc isn’t a present-day FW14B! Vettel should’ve been on pole in Hungary, but was beaten to it by Hamilton by a tenth. In the race their race pace was even, with the Merc benefitting from their greater straight-line speed.

        If Hungary was the template for the entire season, I’d agree with you. But we’re 10 races in, and Hamilton’s 48 pts behind.

        The fact is if Hamilton wins the DWC, it will be the BIGGEST EVER comeback in F1 history, at 58 pts (after GER). And we haven’t even confirmed whether Merc’s race pace problems have been sorted … Hungary could’ve been a one-off. Hopefully not, but we just don’t know yet.

        With 9 races remaining in 2009, Vettel was behind Button by 25 pts, which equated to 2.5 race wins at that time. But Brawn fell off terribly in the 2nd half of 2009, the RB5 was the best car in the 2nd half, yet even there Button still held on.

        Hamilton is 1.92 race wins behind with 9 races remaining, but there’s no hint now of RBR falling back a la Brawn. Without a big swing in points at a race weekend (a HAM win and VET DNF) there will likely be no race for the DWC. And such a swing is just as likely to happen the other way.

      3. SteveS says:

        “Vettel should’ve been on pole in Hungary”

        This is absurd. The Mercedes was very clearly the quicker car all day long on Saturday in Hungary, just as it has been clearly by far the quicker car in qualifying all season long.

        “the RB5 was the best car in the 2nd half”

        The MP4-24 was the best car in the second half, as can be seen by Hamilton getting more poles and more points than anyone else in that time.

      4. KRB says:

        Hmm, I think I’ll side with Seb himself, who said he could’ve and should’ve got pole.

        “… clearly the quicker car all day long on Saturday …”

        You do realize we’re talking about one-tenth?!?!! You really are just as bad as any blind Hamilton fanboy. Diametrically opposite, but equally foolish.

        The RB5 scored 79 pts in the last 9 races of the 2009 season. The MP4-24 scored 58.

        In those same 9 races (that I used in my original post), Vettel scored 45 pts to Hamilton’s 40.

      5. SteveS says:

        “The RB5 scored 79 pts in the last 9 races of the 2009 season. The MP4-24 scored 58.”

        Yes, which explains why Kovalainen is no longer an F1 driver.

        “You really are just as bad as any blind Hamilton fanboy.”

        I’m as bad as you are, in other words? Ouch, you wound me.

        “In those same 9 races (that I used in my original post), Vettel scored 45 pts to Hamilton’s 40.”

        And in the last eight races (that I used I my post) Hamilton scored 40 points to Vettel’s 37. He also had four pole positions to Vettel’s (and RB’s) single solitary one. The claim that the RB was a better car then the McLaren in the second half of the 2009 season is not supported by the facts.

  55. Paul Leeson says:

    I would agree with their scores, no amendments required, I do feel for Felipe being marked down but sympathy doesn’t alter the fact he’s been pretty lacklustre and i think those scores seem to have been arrived at with a pretty much objective and well reasoned examination, leaving percieved status (Webber) and wishful thinking (Kimi) out of things mine would be the same.

    10 Vettel
    9 Raikkonen
    8 Alonso
    7 Hamilton, Rosberg
    6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta
    6 Hulkenberg, Webber, Bianchi
    5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez
    5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
    4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

    How about yourself James, would you have scored them similarly ?

  56. Louis says:

    Come on ! Bianchi only 6 and behind Grosjean ?

  57. Zinobia says:

    I agree with the rating in general although for the drivers I would place Vettel first, he has hardly anything wrong or had a bad race, in his worst race he was still 4th. Kimi I would place second, but not because of his qualifying. Lotus just isn’t as good in qualifying as Red Bull and Mercedes, Kimi has out qualified Grosjean 8-2. So he is doing a good job there. I would place Kimi second because he had a bit of an anonymous race in Malaysia eventough Lotus isn’t good in the rain, although he still finished 7th. And I would place Lewis 3rd, as he had a few more anonymous races, Spain stand out where he didn’t score a point. He was obviously new to the team and he first had to learn how the team worked a bit, but it seems like he has now really found his form again in the last few races. Alonso should be in 4th place because of his mistake in Malaysia and some other anonymous races like Monaco.

  58. Fernando Cruz says:

    It is hard to judge Bottas for two reasons:

    1 – the car is bad, not allowing him to show how he would do more near the front – would he outscore his team mate on points and consistency?

    2 – the car is bad, not allowing Pastor to show the speed he showed last year in qualifyings – would Bottas do so well on Saturdays in comparison with his team mate with a car as good as last years’s? Honestly, I think Bottas would be clearly beaten by Pastor with the 2012 car, just like Bruno Senna was beaten…maybe not by the same margin, as Bottas doesn’t lose any FP1 and has total support of the team, which translates into handling pressure better…

  59. hero_was_senna says:

    Considering the cars at their disposal and the races run, I would put Vettel top with 9/10 simply because I believe Alonso last year drove an incredible first half of the season. One that media and observers generally agreed was the most incredible run they have seen in years. Vettel doesn’t come close, but he has scored the maximum points available generally.

    Considering how close he was to Rosberg in the first few races whilst he adapted to the car and team, I would place Hamilton 2nd on 8.5. Since Canada he has qualified ahead and would have won at Silverstone bar the tyre failure.

    Kimi I would place on 8 but 3rd in the listing.
    Alonso 4th for his mistakes and his poor performance in Monaco.
    Fifth, I think Di Resta has driven some great races recently after being handicapped by qualifying issues.
    As for JB, his new team-mate has put him under pressure this year, I don’t believe he deserves a 6.5 rating.
    Massa, its about time Ferrari done the right thing and put him and us out of our misery!

    1. Tim says:

      Completely agree :-)

  60. SteveS says:

    I agree with their rankings on the whole. Seems a bit harsh on Webber to put him below Grosjean, Button, and DiResta though. I’d give him a 6.5 or a 7.

  61. Ruse says:

    10 -
    9 Raikkonen
    8 Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton
    7 Rosberg
    6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta, Webber
    6 Hulkenberg, Bianchi, Ricciardo
    5.5 Vergne, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez
    5 Massa, Pic
    4.5 Gutierrez
    4. Van der Garde, Chilton

    1. Rockie says:

      Ain’t life grand Vettel on same score as Alonso and Hamilton would like to have some of what you having!

  62. Kris says:

    Not sure how they rank Hamilton and Rosberg equally. Hamilton has been at least Alonso’s equal, and certainly better than Rosberg.

    Hungary was perhaps the most-ruthlessly efficient drive of the season. Not a foot wrong and, due to stops and mixed strategies, not simply a case of leading home from the front,

    1. K says:

      So Hamilton did 1 race like Vettel did 20 times? Getting pole with fastest car and then winning it by controlling the pace in front. How was this a legendary win like some Hamilton fans want to paint it?

      1. Kris says:

        I think I made that clear… Because it wasn’t simply a case of leading from the front and controlling. The difference between Hamilton and Vettel in the race wasn’t just the car. For proof of that, look at practice, qualy and the fact there was almost nothing between them at the end of the first stint. The difference was Hamilton’s ability to get past drivers on other strategies when it mattered. Button is just one example, but it wasn’t the only one. Had Hamilton expended several laps getting past Webber on both occasions, Vettel might have been right back in play. But he didn’t, he got past on a track on which it is notoriously difficult to overtake. Not to take anything away from Vettel’s wins this year but, for the reasons above, I stand by my claim that Hungary was the most ruthlessly efficient win of the season. And there’s a difference between saying that, and saying the win was legendary.

      2. Siobhan says:

        agree with you.. there was a least 2 wins this season (one by Vettel and one by Alonso) done in completely the same manner and were deemed boring and “usual” for these drivers. How it is legendary when Hamilton does the same thing?

      3. KRB says:

        Because Vettel should’ve had pole in Hungary, and from there likely would’ve won. When most in the pitlane are impressed with HAM’s pole lap (i.e. implying it was down to him and not the car), you’ll forgive me if I value that collective opinion over yours.

        Just as in Austin last year, Hungary was a shoulda-been-Vettel-win taken away by Hamilton.

      4. SteveS says:

        “Vettel should’ve had pole in Hungary”

        That’s absurd.

        “Just as in Austin last year, Hungary was a shoulda-been-Vettel-win taken away by Hamilton”

        By that logic Montreal this year was a “shoulda-been-Hamilton-win” taken away by Vettel.

      5. KRB says:

        No, not by that logic. I don’t think anyone watching that race in Montreal would say that that was a race that Lewis should’ve won, seeing as how Vettel pulled away easily from the entire pack, and the rate at which Alonso caught Hamilton in his Ferrari.

        But Vettel should’ve won in Austin, with the pace that RBR had shown the entire weekend. It was crazy enough that Hamilton was able to split the Red Bulls in qualifying (actually hurting himself by having to start on the very dirty side).

        You don’t think Vettel knows he should’ve won in Austin, or in Hungary, or in Canada 2011? Of course he does.

  63. Bayan says:

    What I think. Massa should be higher. Also, Bianchi and Sutil should be higher. Vettel has improved so much from last year (visibly) and he is still improving. It really is a bit scary to think that with the right machinery, no one will be able to touch this guy in the near future. If only the renault engine had a bit more power, he could really attack on the straights (can’t always get what you want eh). Hamilton is at the right place but will definetly be higher by the end of the season (if the last race really was a turning point). Rosberg should be higher even though points don’t show it. Alonso has been getting those points even with is increasingly looking like another dud ferrari so I would put him as a 9 (not 10 due to some mistakes and most times a no show in qualy IMO).

    10 Vettel, Raikkonen
    9 Alonso
    7.5 Rosberg
    7 Hamilton,
    6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta, Bianchi, Sutil
    6 Hulkenberg, Webber
    5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Perez, Massa
    5 Vergne, Pic
    4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

  64. Luis says:

    My personal ranking would be like this:

    10 Vettel
    10 Raikkonen
    7,5 Alonso
    7 Hamilton, Rosberg, Bianchi
    6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta, Sutil
    6 Hulkenberg, Webber, Massa, Ricciardo
    5.5 Bottas, Perez
    5 Vergne, Pic, Maldonado
    4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

    RAI is driving at least on the same level as VET, with a lower tier car.

    ALO is not as brilliant as he’d been on 2012.

    People are going too harsh on MAS – considering that he’d outqualified ALO several times – and started showing lower performances as tires had changed, directly impacting Ferrari performance as well

    BIA is on a brilliant rookie championship

    MAL is taking a punch from BOT, despite scoring Williams’ single point so far

    SUT and DIR are on a similar performance level.

    RIC, despite not being stellar, deserves a better ranking

    1. Rockie says:

      “RAI is driving at least on the same level as VET, with a lower tier car.”

      Just a figment of your imagination Kimi had a faster car in Germany and he couldn’t get pass Vettel.

      “ALO is not as brilliant as he’d been on 2012.”

      Problem is people are not having the reliability problems like they had last year hence he’s not lucking into podiums

  65. Racer89 says:

    I would give Kimi 10 same as Vettel and definitely put Hamilton ahead of Alonso.

  66. All revved-up says:

    10 Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton
    9 Raikkonen
    7 Rosberg
    6 Button, Hulkenberg, Webber
    5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez, DiResta
    5 Massa, Vergne
    4 Gutierrez

    In F1 but not F1
    10 Bianchi
    8 Pic
    6 Van der Garde

    In F1 to have a good time award
    100 Chilton – my daddy’s rich, I’m in F1 you’re not, and the bumper sticker on his Marussia says “my other ride is three F1 babes”

    1. hodo says:

      My wife is literally going into labour about to call the hospital and i just started laughing out loud, thanks for tension breaker haha!

      1. All revved-up says:

        Thank you. Your comment made my day.

        Wife going into labour, but first things first – check out latest F1 discussion. As it should be . . . for a hardcore F1 fan.

        I salute you, Sir!

        btw – boy or girl? If boy, did you name him Kimi?

      2. hodo says:

        Haha we were willing the time away while waiting to go to hospital. Its a girl! My friends who watch f1 did suggest that as it works as a girls name haha couldn’t do it! Name still to come! Cheers

  67. wenner says:

    IMO put Vettel and Raikkonen both on 9 Points, neither has been perfect so far but they are closer to getting max out of their equipment consistently compared to the others who are more hit and miss.

    Hamilton will miss the points lost in Spain, Monaco and Germany at the end of the year. Reminds me of Vettel in 2009, Alonso in 2010 or Raikkonen in 2012. All in new teams with a car that has potential to win the WDC, but they left too many points on the table in the first half of the year.

    My prediction for this list is Hamilton will leapfrog Alonso and Sutil will do the same to his teammate come end of the year.

  68. Rob Newman says:

    Well, I always trusted Autosport … Italians could be biased.


    1. Antti says:

      To be honest, when it comes to driver rankings, I’ve often found Autosport to be very biased (not talking about this particular analysis you linked to).

    2. K says:

      And British could not be biased? LOL.

    3. Danguole says:

      Totaly agree! I like italians, but not when it comes to business :D

    4. Phil Glass says:

      If you like bias you may find Andrew Benson’s very un-generous appraisal of Raikkonen amusing:
      see latest article on BBC site

  69. jeevan says:

    I agree with most of the ratings

    I had found it weird when recently, many websites revealing the drivers’ review , had said Hamilton was the second best driver until mid season..He has won a race now and getting poles but that does not necessarily mean that he has performed exceedingly well..Kimi and Alonso have definitely done better than Lewis..

    Still,I would give Lewis a 7.5 rating..He has done better than Nico , atleast…

  70. jeevan says:

    My mid season ratings:-

    10 Vettel
    9 Raikkonen
    8 Alonso
    7.5 Hamilton
    7 Rosberg
    6.5 Webber, Button, Di Resta
    6 Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Bianchi
    5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez
    5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
    4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton

  71. shri says:

    My take without the markings;

    - Vettel and Kimi have done great.
    - Hamilton also done very well apart from initial acclamatization to new team.
    - Alonso not as sharp this year.
    - Rosberg – sharp and to potential of car but nothing exceptional
    - Button – seems better than average
    - Grosjean, Di Resta and Riccardo – have both hits & misses
    - Webber – not to potential of RB. If Vet can do it why can he not?
    - Perez, Sutil and JEV – Average
    - Massa – poor and deserves a boot
    - Hard to figure out the rating of sauber, williams caterham and marussia drivers as the cars are struggling to keep pace and their race is almost always compromised but still Hulkenberg and Bianchi have stood high.

  72. John in San Diego says:

    I think it’s a fair assessment. We are just now starting to see some things that may yet change the face of the season in the 2nd half, e.g. Hamilton getting on top of his car and delivering the win in Hungary. More to come in this department I think.

  73. Dan says:

    The italian ratings seems OK to me. As a Kimi-fan I agree Kimi could have master some qualifyings better. In my bleak opinion sitting behind my desk :-)

    1. Phil Glass says:

      to be fair to Alonso and Kimi, some cars take several laps to find optimum, others don’t.

  74. Rayz says:

    Right ok, I have a new definition for insanity:

    Insanity – Anyone who thinks Max Chilton deserves more than a 4/10 for his performances so far in 2013.

    Max is as slow as Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen are fast.

  75. gregmon says:

    OMG! Outrageous…if Alonso can have 8/10 after these ten races, Lewis for the maturity developed so far should deserve at least the same or even 8.5! Not fair… Mamma mia!

  76. docjkm says:

    Already a system that works… WDC rankings. And it comes with history, and a trophy.

  77. APL4D says:

    I watch a lot of F1 and have done since early 1990. Doesn’t the fact that Maldonado won Spain 2012 show that all the drivers are good and capable of fast driving over a whole weekend. It’s just the machinery that separates them. The only proper comparisons are between team mates and then take errors into account. This kind of rating is merely speculative and reminds me of Premiership-style hype. I know what I like to watch and it’s the likes of Hamilton, Montoya, Senna and flashes of Alonso and Raikonnen from 2005-6. You can keep your Prosts amd Buttons – they do nothing for me.

  78. Grant H says:

    This is rubbish hulkenberg has had a pants season

    Maldonado and bottas tied I don’t think so, bottas has out qualified many times

    I’d have thought both mclaren drivers would be placed the same

    Ham is out performing nico on the whole

    Alonso has had an average ish season so far not on same level as 2012

  79. On the Rosberg DNF point a more objective perspective is to look at what points those DNFs cost him – I think there were 3 DNFs so far form positions 7,8,9, – something like that – so we are talking about losing 10 points. Lewis’s tyre failure at Silverstone alone cost him 13 points (difference between 1st and 4th, assuming he would have won had the tyre failure not happened). And of course the swing to Rosberg of Silverstone was more than 13 points – if you assume Lewis had not had the failure and won and Rosberg came second, the points gain to Rosberg v Lewis from Silverstone was 20 points. The point is (and this is never the case in F1 of course) that if Lewis and Rosberg had both enjoyed zero technical failures Rosberg would be even further behind Lewis than he is now, so its not right to point at his 3 DNFs as being evidence he has had all the bad luck compared to Lewis.

    ps Rosberg is a very good driver, clearly, just saying its wrong to go on about his DNFs.

    I think Kimi’s score is quite generous given his qualifying performances.

    1. Roger says:

      And I think Hamiltons is quite generous given his race performance after such good qualifying.

    2. SteveS says:

      “I think there were 3 DNFs so far form positions 7,8,9, – something like that”

      Ha ha, he was running third in Australia when his engine failed.

      1. KRB says:

        Oh c’mon, now yer being misleading. He was only 3rd (and HAM 2nd) at the time b/c of uneven pitstops to those they were racing with. Rosberg was running effectively 6th in AUS.

  80. Richard says:

    I take it all with a pinch of salt as so much is dependant on the car. If they all had the same car then it might be possible to understand relative performances, but there are so many variables, with Vettel so far having the advantages. Hungary was Mercedes first “proper” win, Silverstone might have been, but tyres failures put paid to that. Perhaps they would be better comparing cars since that has the biggest effect on scoring, but as it is such ratings/rankings are meaningless.

  81. Samir says:

    Had Hamilton won the British GP, which on form seemed within his grasp, would he be ranked above Rosberg? That, and if not for the untimely safety car in Monaco, he could easily be 2nd in the championship. My point being that driver ratings should be granted after correcting for factors outside a driver’s control. Vettel deserves #1. For #2 I would be tempted to insert Lewis, very closely followed by Kimi, then Alonso and Rosberg.

  82. Richardd says:

    No wonder that it carries weight only in Italy

  83. Grant says:

    I’m yet to see sintilating drives/maneuvers from Vettel.

    I guess for most ‘experts’ out there taking a fast car home is a 10, in which case a very boring 10 indeed.

    1. Glennb says:

      Contraversy aside, Vettel’s move on Webber in Malaysia was pretty decent ;)

    2. Samir says:

      opening laps at Bahrain in case you forgot Monza ’11?

  84. Basil says:

    I agree with their ratings, very sensible. Let the ramblings of butt-hurt armchair-experts ensue..

  85. Grant says:

    Midfield drivers should first get a seat in the Lotus before being considered by the top three.

    Otherwise just too risky.

  86. the silly season also extends to ‘rankings’ such as this. the entire exercise is futile and IMO, is rubbish.

    all i can say is that i am thankful that we are past the holiday halfway mark and racing will resume in ten days or so.

  87. JB says:

    10 Vettel and Raikkonen
    Both of them are fully committed every race to salvage more points than the car or tires allow them. These two are 2013′s role model F1 drivers.

    9 Hamilton
    He is always an emotional driver but the Hungary win proves to us and, more importantly, to himself that he can get on top of it. I find he is growing faster in Merc than he has ever been. Certainly stagnated at the time in Mclaren.

    8 Alonso and Webber
    Alonso has not shown the level like 2012 or 2007. Perhaps exhausted from last year’s lost. Compared to Vettel, Raikkonen; I feel Alonso is only giving 80% to Ferrari as he is tired of it all.
    Webber has also been demotivated after Msia. Now that Webber has secured a seat in Porsche, he is just gonna do a borderline job to finish the year.

    7 Perez, Bianchi, Maldonado, Sutil
    These guys push hard. Highly committed and hungry to do better than others. Often, I find them pushing over the limited and paid the price. However, that is the type of driver you want to be in a team, i.e. one that takes the extra step to make sure everything is at the best possible manner.

    Disappointments – Grosjean, Button, Massa, Chilton
    It is difficult for me to rank the rests of the drivers because they are mostly in a slow car and do not get much TV coverage. However, it is easier to find one that has done worse than normal and I can remember these four.

    I was watching the Sky’s F1 show and at the end of the show they voted for Hamilton and Vettel for SPA win. That’s so ridiculous! “roll-eyes” We all know Kimi and Schumacher are King of SPA.

  88. Lexus says:

    How can Rosberg be equal to Hamilton. .Rosberg has been in the team for 3 years and knows the ins and outs.

    He won Monaco because no one can overtake there. Hamilton lost places because of pit stop and safety car.

    Hamilton was on his way to winning Silverstone on merit with Rosberg slipping back when the tyre blew out. It took a second car failure for Rosberg to win that race.

    It could be said that Rosberg has not won a race this year through racing merit. It was due to characteristics of race track and others misfortune.

    This is what JA wrote for Hungary “.. The German was fastest in both Q1 and Q2. Rosberg had not been outqualified by a team mate here since his debut season 2006, but Hamilton put clear daylight between himself and Rosberg when the talking stopped at the end of Q3.

    And JA also wrote …It is Hamilton’s third consecutive pole position – the first time he has managed that – and the 30th of his career.

    Then what about Silverstone qualifying. This is what Vettel said …”Either Lewis found a shortcut or he has something special around here,” said Vettel.”It was a phenomenal lap, not in our reach today. I had a good lap and was close with Mark. We did what we could.

    I will purchase a copy of that Italian magazine[mod]

    I also note the similar agreement with its ratings by other posters. What can I say. Facts comes after opinions nowadays.

  89. PJ says:

    As many have already indicated Webber should be at least a 7 if you take into account when his car was on 4 wheels, had sufficient fuel in the tank and Kers was working !

  90. JohnBt says:

    Nah, I don’t buy into the ratings at all. Too much prejudice and salt in it.

    Further more the coverage for midfilders and below did not give justice to drivers.

    Hamilton should be above Alonso for a start.

  91. Rod Aguirre says:

    If Button or Alonso, or even Raikkonen or Hamilton had been driving the red Bull, they’d have a perfect ten.
    This ranking has no validity in view of the current F1 situation, namely, that the best car will win 90% of the time.

    1. SteveS says:

      The insistence that whatever car Seb Vettel is driving is always “the best car” is starting to look like desperation.

      1. Tim says:

        I asked you this question on a different thread and you have yet to respond – maybe you didn’t see it :-)
        If the Red Bull has not been the best car to be driving for the first half of this season, then logically there must be another car which is superior. Perhaps you could tell me which car that is.Remember, you cannot switch cars for different races, one car for the season only!

      2. SteveS says:

        You need some remedial logic lessons, as your underlying assumption is flawed. It’s always possible that there IS no “best car” for a season. (as opposed to for a race) The Ferrari was the “best car” for the first five races of the season. Since then there have been different “best cars” on a race by race basis. The RB was best in Montreal, the Lotus was best in Germany, the Mclaren in Hungary.

        Now it’s your turn. Can you explain to me why your position does not boil down to “Any car in which Vettel is winning is the best car by definition”? Do you have a definition of “best car” which is objective and driver neutral? If so, what precisely is it?

      3. Tim says:

        First let me be clear, I am not trying to rubbish SV. He is an exceptional driver and the car does not drive itself – but without the right equipment a driver is nowhere, absolutely nowhere (take JB in the Honda and then the Brawn as a good example).
        Now, to answer your points. I simply cannot agree with you when you state ‘there is no best car for the season’. Here is a definition of best, which may be helpful to you in understanding my point: ‘Of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality’.
        For a car to be the best, it doesn’t mean it has to be on pole for every race and win by 30 seconds. It means it is the best, or most desirable overall car, across all the races and conditions. So when it doesn’t have the pace for a win, it’s still capable of 3rd or 4th place. As opposed to, for instance, the Mercedes which has race winning pace at one track and then out of the points at another. On that basis, I would say the Red Bull has clearly been the best car so far this season. Now, I know I keep asking you and you don’t answer, but can you think of a different car (to the Red Bull) that would have been better, or more desirable, and enabled SV to deliver better results so far this season? If you cannot suggest one, then you have to accept that SV has been driving the best car. That doesn’t mean SV is not a great driver but, it is an acceptance that were it not for the Red Bull, he would not be leading the WDC by such a margin.
        BTW, do you really, truly believe the Ferrari was the best car for the first 5 races of the season and the McLaren!!, the McLaren!! was the best car at Hungary??? – I guess if you do, then we may be quite far from common ground – all the same, I would be interested to read your justification for this stance.
        I hope I have addressed the points that you raised and look forward to you, finally, answering my question :-)

      4. SteveS says:

        I made a typo above, I meant the Mercedes was the best car on Hungary, of course. (If Lewis can mistakenly drive into the McLaren pits, I’m entitled to make that mistake …)

        “So when it doesn’t have the pace for a win, it’s still capable of 3rd or 4th place.”

        That’s certainly a point of view. Of course it’s a point of view in which the driver is assumed to be completely meaningless. If a car wins, it is because the car “has the pace for a win”. If a car finishes fourth, that is because the car was capable of that finish.

        If Schumacher trounced the opposition in 1995, it’s only because the Benetton was the best car, QED.

        “.. look forward to you, finally, answering my question”

        I did answer your question, and at some length. Your not liking the answer is not the same thing as it not being answered.

      5. Tim says:

        Sigh….. why won’t you simply answer the question – is it because you cannot?

        One last time (more in hope than expectation), here is the question that you continue to avoid answering:

        If the Red Bull has not been the best car to be driving for the first half of this season, then logically there must be another car which is superior. Perhaps you could tell me which car that is. REMEMBER, you cannot switch cars for different races, ONE car for the season only.

  92. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    What about teams? For me:

    1. Red Bull
    2. Mercedes
    3. Lotus
    4. Force India
    5. Ferrari

  93. Paul J says:

    I think Maldonado should be one spot further up, just for having scraped a point out of that awful Williams at Hungary. That car is only just outpacing the Caterhams.

  94. C Lin says:

    James, we fans would like to know your rankings of the drivers, please!

  95. RogerD says:

    Using a baseline number of 6/10 for a driver performing in line with my expectations of car / team. Good drives, surprising quali / race gets more points. Mid & lower field guys are harder to rate ‘cos they’re rarely covered.

    9 VET, HAM
    8 RAI, ROS
    5 MAS, MAL, BOT
    4 PIC, VDG, CHI

  96. Hudson says:

    I have no problem with the first 4, but I think to put Button and Di Resta above Webber is wrong. I would put him just behind Hamilton and Rosberg. He hasn’t done particularly well, but also he had a few issues with the car as well. And some of the mistakes weren’t for his lack of trying.
    I would also put Massa at the bottom. The guy is driving a Ferrari and should do much better! At the moment he is being blown away by Alonso all the time. He has never been the same ever since his accident all those years ago.

  97. James Clayton says:

    I have come up with a similar, though slightly simpler way of ranking drivers.

    Basically each driver gets a number of points based on the position he finishes each race, with 25 going to the winner…. all the way down to 1 for the person who comes in 10th place. Drivers who have failed to score a point are ranked in order of their best finishing position.

    It seems quite effective and the guys at formula1.com have been kind enough to dedicate a page to my system. It can be seen at http://www.formula1.com/results/driver/

    1. Glennb says:

      Between you and me, this just might catch on James ;)
      You could even take it a step further and award ‘teams’ points based on the same system [rubs chin].

      1. Random 79 says:

        All you need now is to shave your head and get a fluffy white cat to stroke and you’re set ;)

    2. Random 79 says:

      Lol :)

    3. Rob Newman says:

      The point is, that shows only what a driver achieves on a Sunday. But there is more to that. If you look at the Castrol Driver Ranking, (which has changed to something else now) gives a different view:


  98. Doobs says:

    Why would Vettel get full marks? He has the best car without any of the problems RB had initially last year, and a team he can walk all over. He’s done nothing more than what you’d expect. Seven out of ten from me.

    1. Rod Aguirre says:

      I agree Doobs.

  99. Manas says:

    9di resta

  100. Sylvester says:

    @ Carlo_carerra

    May be this is how Italian press would welcome future Ferrari driver. With pending rumors of Vettel moving to Ferrari, they are giving him a heads up from now.

    May be .. May be not :)

  101. Glennb says:

    I think that Vettel should be at the top but not a 10. Alonso is too high up the list but this is to be expected. Massa is too low on the list but this is also to be expected. Hamilton should be higher than Rosberg but it’s more fun listening to the HAM uber-zealots with them equal ;)
    JB and Webber should be even. Kimi’s about right.

  102. Martin says:

    My observations on the season so far have been that the Mercedes drivers have rarely both had clean races with car set ups that they like. I believe the adaptation for Hamilton is a non-issue. The real thing is that the Akebono calipers that McLaren has exclusive use of are what Hamilton likes. It is the same thing as Bianchi having to put up with a Cosworth engine.

    Since drivers are ultimately tasked with scoring as many points as possible, a good way to judge them is to determine whether a better result was achievable in any race. After that it is a case of whether there is any evidence of underperformance.

    With Vettel, the only better result I can imagine is if he could have avoided being passed by Hulkenberg in China in early stages and that allowed him to get second rather than fourth. Webber’s only better result in either qualifying or the race is in the UK when Vettel’s car failed while he was leading.

    With Raikkonen, Monaco, Germany and Hungary were races where Grosjean gave indications that more performance was in the car.

    With Hamilton there have been races where he’s been anonymous, such as Bahrain and only made places because Rosberg, Webber, Button and Perez raced each other to the point of self destruction of the tyres. There was nothing really point to Hamilton saving the tyres. The Monaco safety car error was entirely his fault. The car appears to have a narrow set up sweet spot, but Hamilton seems to make it larger than Rosberg.

    Alonso tripped over Vettel in Malaysia, but in general in the races he has comprehensively out-paced Massa while using his tyres less. Monaco looked poor, but he was compromised by rubber build up in the front wing.

    I’d have these three at roughly the same level and a reasonable gap behind Vettel.

    I wouldn’t have Rosberg with this grouping, largely as there hasn’t been a race where you could confidently say he got the maximum from the car. In Monaco he did enough. In Malaysia he paced himself while the first three were less conservative. In Spain qualifying was very good and the race was much better than Hamilton’s, but that is one of the few that I could say was a complete effort.

    Grosjean seems to me to be the driver making least use of his talent as his speed is right up there.

    Hulkenberg has made a few errors, leading to driver throughs, but for me he has edge on the other drivers looking for a ride in a big team.

    Vergne hasn’t received much support from the comments I’ve seen here. I’ll add that his best results seem to take advantage of wet circuits, such as in qualifying. In those races I was more inclined to mark Ricciardo down than to boost Vergne as the car seems to have an affinity for wet whether, a bit like the Williams.

    1. Yago says:

      Hi Martin,

      I tend to agree with your comments, but in my view you are giving here Vettel too much credit. The Red Bull had the potential to win in Monaco and Hungary, and in both cases Vettel was beaten by drivers in probably slightly slower cars. In both cases in my view he should have taken pole and win the race from there. He touched twice with other cars in the first corner after the start, and damaged his front wing in Hungary. He has been over aggressive at some points. It did not take championship points away from him, but if he continues that way it certainly will.

      On the other hand, I agree on Raikonen and Hamilton completely, but you almost don’t comment on Alonso. He did two errors: the one in Malaysia (comparable to either one of the touches Vettel has had) and opening again the DRS in Bahrein, when he was told not to do so. In those two races of course he did not get the maximum of the car, but it was by isolated mistakes, not by a lack of peace in qualy or the race. His only weak race was Monaco, in the sense that he should have fought harder. But then maybe he could have had a DNF and we would be saying now he should not have fought. The three races he was outqualified by Massa (in Australia it was due to his DRS not opening in the main straight, and he was beaten by thousands while the DRS effect is worth tenths), he still extracted the maximum from the car, obviously with the exception of Malaysia.

      So I agree Vettel has been reasonably better than HAM and RAI. The comparison with ALO though, he has been better also because Alonso did the DRS mistake, and because Alonso’s wing did not resist a slight impact, while Vettel’s wing and rear right tyre did resist. Even in Hungary Vettel’s front wing could have ended on the floor after his mistake, as Alonso’s did in Malaysia. So things are a bit more complex, and in pure driving terms I do not think Vettel has been any better than Alonso. And again, for me Alonso has driven at a higher level than HAM and RAI.

      However, it’s great to read your posts.


      1. Martin says:

        Hi Yago,

        Firstly, thank you for the compliment. I’ll admit I hadn’t noticed you on the site recently, but then I’ve probably been reading fewer comments as this site has become more popular.

        I’ll start with an aside on a comment on a recent post asking James to do a feature on why Alonso and Raikkonen have lost a couple of tenths of speed in qualifying compared to 2005. James noted it was an interesting idea. To me the idea is founded on an unproven premise based on armchair speculation. Now a journalist such as Mark Hughes will stand near a slow corner and observe which drivers are doing what, but the changes drivers make of the years are dominated by the changes in the cars. So when one post recently said Hamilton is the fastest driver. No argument. I took it to mean a baseless claim as we really have no data.

        All that is a long way of saying I have no real reason to mark Alonso down on outright qualifying speed based on the evidence put to us. From vague memories, there have been a few races where the team thought a few more tenths might have been available, but that is about it. With the exception of Monaco, where there was nothing Alonso could do, I felt his race pace was as good as could be expected. Malaysia and to a lesser extent Bahrain reduce his marks a little.

        For me Vettel is the qualifying benchmark in F1. Hamilton has some tracks that suit his style well such as Hungary, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, but he is often a bit weaker at tracks with predominantly fast corners. Hamilton said in 2008 that “Heikki is amazing in fast corners”. I don’t think much has changed there. So little time is made up it doesn’t matter much anyway, and it often costs more in tyre wear than it gains. Vettel, though, to me doesn’t have weak and strong tracks or corners. It is just a matter of anticipating the grip level correctly and he rarely gets it too badly wrong. He knows when he has, and is willing to say it, more than most drivers.

        This year I’ve also noted comments from other sources coming out, such as in Autosport with an interview of F3 team boss in 2005. There was a lot about his approach to learning having dominated Formula BMW. There have been recent comments too about how he does so much work on the details out of the car to get everything right.

        On a site like this, Hamilton’s relatively unscientific, “I just want to go fast” approach wins more fans than a driver who is seen as benefiting from Newey’s skills as much as his own. I find the comments on Hamilton bringing speed to Mercedes and being the real cause of McLaren’s lack of performance interesting in wondering about the people who make them – if they have so little appreciation for the technology why not read something with better racing?

        Overall I’m coming to the conclusion that the benchmark for the complete driver isn’t necessarily Alonso. His experience is still an advantage, but Vettel has become so good at winning, and he is strong in all areas, including annoying British F1 followers (fanatics might be a better word than fans).

        Hamilton is a great driver, but as much as he wants to be the next Senna, he’s much more like Mansell in driving. Which isn’t a bad thing, as Mansell was often more impressive than Senna in races. Great racing instincts especially around car positioning in slower corners.

        It might be ‘brand Hamilton’ that I’m seeing when he does Mercedes-Blackberry technology pieces with Nico (we get them before Australian races), but I’ve never got the sense that he strong grasp of F1 engineering – he is intuitive at best, and not really technical. I’m also got few memories of him having a strong strategic sense of how a race is going – the only way to get a good result is to find a performance advantage. A fast racing driver, but not really the complete package – for some the romance of this make it all the better – so not really a 10/10 driver unless you allow a lot of rounding up.

        Back on Vettel, I thought his wins at Bahrain and Germany were right up there for the best of the season, for different reasons. Bahrain was a case of maximising the package and Germany was a race that with the help of the safety to retain track position he was able to then stay ahead of the Lotus cars with a really carefully managed yet really fast drive. I believe in Hungary Mercedes through luck or skill found the right set up for the race day conditions. Q3 might have been better for Vettel, but I believe the Mercedes was still the faster one lap car, as it has been all year really.

        Just briefly on Kimi, my sense is that he does what works for him, rather than doing everything. He’s particularly in his car set up needs more than the other top drivers, so to me, like Hamilton, he is ineligible for a 10/10 score as a driver. It might make him a better person, keep him happier and bring more fans though.

        Hopefully you got some value of that – your comments made me think about this a bit more. It is a weird form of entertain.


  103. Jude says:

    Thank you so much for the article, James!
    Can you tell me the date of the LGdS’s issue? I’m curious now and want to read the original.

  104. Matt W says:

    I know it’s just a bit of fun, but it’s completely pointless. The only rankings that matter are the official championship standings and to be honest I think they perfectly reflect each driver at present.

  105. Mike says:

    Raikkonen is the driver of the season so far. I just want to see Kimi put it on pole like he used to at Mclaren- then I would genuinely believe Vettel is not going to romp away with it.

    1. Paige says:

      I think Kimi has probably lost a couple of tenths from the McLaren days. Mind you, he can certainly win pole, but age has taken some speed from him- as it does everyone. I doubt Hamilton and Vettel will be as quick when they are Kimi’s age as they are now.

      At the same time, I’m not so sure that the Lotus really suits his driving style. He’s someone with a gradual turn-in who has always needed a grippy front end, and I suspect that the Lotus is a bit on the understeery side. Grosjean, on the other hand, is someone who really wrestles the front end with his steering input, and an understeery car would suit him more. This could explain why he is sometimes able to put a lap together when Kimi isn’t, as he did in Hungary.

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      Not going to happen, he just doesnt seem to have that blinding one lap pace like he used too. I think he’s better in the races than he used to be though.

  106. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    Alonso 6,5 and negative perspective

  107. ShaBooPi says:

    I generally agree with the list. In general Italians I feel are very fair when assessing and we can see this with them listing Alonso with an 8. Their assessment is a lot more accurate than half the commenting [mod]. Interesting to see what the second half of the season will bring. I’d be more interested if they ranked chief designers…let me guess who has a ten every season.

  108. Roger says:

    Well, the list was pretty much what i expected it to be. Vettel and Kimi on top

    I can not understand that English Formula 1 fans is all about Hamilton?? He is good but not that good.
    Put Kimi, Alonso, Vettel and hamilton in the a GP2 car and let them do 50 laps at Spa.
    In the same car they all is equal but do not think that the winner would be Hamilton.
    Far from it. It would be Kimi, Vettel and Alonso. And in that order

    1. James Allen says:

      Who’d be on pole?

      1. Yago says:

        Alonso xD (yes I know very few of you would agree, but I am pretty sure! xD)

      2. KRB says:

        Is there really any doubt anymore? There shouldn’t be.

    2. Taps88 says:

      i seem to remember hamilton and alonso where in the same car in 2007. please telme who won that battle?

      1. Kbdavies says:

        Good answer!

    3. Joon says:

      I agree, I fail to see what so special about Hamilton, yes he is good. But not the best by a long way. Also belive he would come last of 4 in a GP2 race and by a long way.

      The ranking was about right, I would pin Rosberg up 0.5

      The biggest problem with Hamilton this year is it’s like he fails to see that he need to take it easier the first laps of the tires coming out of the pit if he want them to last. But no he has to set top of the line time already in the first sector and after 2 laps he’s destroyed them completely
      Last race was the first time I noticed him taking it a bit easier since he had a god safe lead and voile no problems putting out good lap times for the hole stint. Seems like the guy can’t even handle pressure yet after all this years.

      1. KRB says:

        So wide of the mark on so many levels. Likely no use trying to reason with someone still peddling the ol’ “tire abuser” claptrap, but I’ll rise to the bait.

        Joon, would love to see your empirical evidence that Hamilton goes all out on new tires and kills them in the first two laps. If anything, it was clear in Bahrain that Lewis was easing the tires in more than Nico after pitstops.

        Outlap times in Bahrain:

        10 /1:58.735
        21 /1:56.883
        34 /1:55.784
        45 /1:55.240

        11 /1:59.366
        23 /1:58.325
        39 /1:57.299

        Hamilton’s outlaps were on average over a second slower than Nico’s in Bahrain. Nico went P1 to P9. Lewis went P9 to P5. And you didn’t notice?

        Source: FIA Race Lap Analysis BHN 2013 (http://bit.ly/17tHbqL)

        You’ll forgive me this …


    4. Kbdavies says:

      @Roger, i think you need to see some of Lewis’s GP2 races!

  109. Roger says:

    I am an old Formula 1 fan that have been watching the races since the late 1980`s and i still can not get used to Hamilton..

    He is good, but not as good as many here wants him to be..

    1. Martin says:

      I feel in driving ability and style Hamilton is equivalent to Mansell, always trying to drive flat out in races. Any thoughts on that?

      1. matthew says:

        tell me what lewis did wrong last season?and in what races did lewis wear his tyres out quicker than jenson last season?i remember jenson getting through tyres quicker than lewis last season.
        this tyre eater thing has no solid evidence to back it up.and this season nico hasnt been better on the tyres overall,eventhough he should be used to nursing tyres,considering how long he’s had to nurse them driving that merc,over the years.
        after the first 6 races it was 3-3,now its 7-3.lewis has outqualified nico 4 times in a row now,and nico hasnt come close to lewis in the last 4 races,it hasnt even been close.

      2. Martin says:

        Hi Matthew,

        I believe you misunderstood my comment. You may not know the the mid 80s to early 90s period well, but a simplistic analogy would be to say that Senna generally raced in a similar way to Vettel in a 2011 Red Bull – start at the front and manage the gap. Senna was generally regarded as being harder on tyres and fuel than Prost. Mansell had many fewer pole positions and generally had to pass cars more often to win.

        In driving style, both Hamilton and Mansell turn into a corner earlier than Senna would.

        Some people will make various arguments about natural talent, generally to demean Mansell. Whatever the truth, Mansell with better reliability in 86, 87 and (more marginally) 91 could have been a four time world champion. So comparing Hamilton to Mansell is hardly a harsh comparison.

        With the Pirelli tyres, the old concept of being hard on tyres is not the major part of tyre management. The tyres have a temperature window in which they have to be maintained or else they either cold grain and wear significantly because the driver wasn’t using them hard enough, or they would cook themselves, become harder and the lap times would fall away. Every stint in every race is different and the driver needs to adapt to all the factors to get the optimal stint speed. No driver is going to be perfect at this and mostly we are not going to be able to tell if a driver has left three seconds on the track in a 15 lap stint.

        With that in mind, there are occasions where drivers get a stint in a race wrong and fall back a lot. It is an area where Vettel and Alonso for me are the best in the field in avoiding this. With Hamilton there are the odd occasions where he’s taken too much out of his tyres. The first and last stints in Valencia last year. Hamilton’s second stint on mediums in Germany was another. China in 2011 in the first stint he nearly lost a race he eventually won falling from second to fourth and Valencia again was another. Spain this year might be an example, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was set up related.

        Just because Button’s style is smooth, it doesn’t mean it is easy on the tyres. The path he takes around a corner tends to be longer and so to achieve good lap times his peak apex speeds need to be greater.

        None of this is straightforward with only one factor at play. Hamilton is an excellent racing driver – one that Mercedes with all the data analysis it does was willing to pay a lot of money for – but that doesn’t make him (or Mansell or Senna) perfect.

    2. TimW says:

      Watch the on board of his quali lap at Silverstone this year, quick hands, amazing commitment and belief. I thought it was very special, and not the type of driving I remember seeing from the others, especially through sector 1. I know Lewis has his share of completely ott fan boys, but he has his “haters” as well. I think he is the quickest out there, maybe Fernando is still a smidge better at reading a race, playing out strategies etc, but speed will always out in the end!

      1. Martin says:

        Hi Tim,

        My $0.02 worth is that since Hamilton was only 0.15 seconds quicker than Rosberg in the first sector and 0.03 seconds quicker than Webber, there’s no way you’d see the difference between the two without overlaying the frames or the data.

        Fast hands in this instance are generally not a good sign, but in this case it was probably Lewis trying to rotate the car quickly – I didn’t rewatch the footage.

        Looking at the sector times your premise doesn’t stand up in another way. At tracks like Barcelona and Silverstone the tyres weren’t giving their best for all three sectors. The Mercedes has such a performance advantage that the drivers are able to be conservative in the first two sectors, which reduces errors, and then have a massive gain in the third sector while the other drivers are struggling. So on some of these tracks the drivers aren’t flat out for the entire qualifying lap if they want the best time as it takes too much out of the tyres. Mercedes worked this out during testing when it was slow in sector 3 at Barcelona. Perez also sussed this out and got into Q3 in Barcelona.

        When the drivers get to this level and are successful they have reflexes and brain speed of sufficient capability to drive the cars. They train hard so that they can concentrate for an entire race so one lap is not an issue. For some corners, especially short slow corners, technique matters a lot and can show differences between drivers if you look at the timing – Hamilton vs Button in Singapore and Abu Dhabi are examples. But overall the top guys are really close to each other when they get everything right. This generally involves predicting the grip level in corners correctly as it increases and judging the wind correctly.

        Hamilton has a few attributes that help him, being quite small but still musclar. The lighter weight helps the centre of gravity relative to heavier drivers, reducing weight transfer and brings possibly two tenths over someone like Webber. Peak brake pressures when stopping at 300 km/h are often not great enough to lock the brakes at that speed and it is only later in the braking phase that the driver needs to modulate the pedal. Strength helps make a small gain in braking, including being able to come off the brakes smoothly.

        Who’s the fastest driver in F1? I don’t know. With the current era cars, Hamilton is generally quicker than Button. It seems that way with Rosberg. For me, in 2007 with Alonso it was a little circuit dependent. Hamilton often went lighter on fuel in 2007-2009 than his team mate. On tracks like Abu Dhabi and Singapore I’d certainly take Hamilton. Barcelona, Spa and Monza I’d go for Alonso. Hamilton seems to have fewer qualifying sessions where he isn’t quite there than Alonso, so on balance if I wanted a qualifying driver I’d take Hamilton.

        Vettel is harder to judge as his benchmark has only been drivers not really up to F1 and then Webber. To me Vettel has no weak tracks. Darren Heath, from what I’ve heard him say and have read, really rates Vettel through the places like the Suzuka and Austin esses. Peter Windsor has said the same thing. A lot of this is the ability to be smooth with the hands and feet in fast corners. Heath notices it in how he tracks the drivers through his camera. By report, Hamilton is not at the same level. It could be that the car hasn’t quite been there for him, and smooth doesn’t always equal fast, but over seven years in F1 there tends to be little details that come up repeatedly over time.

        There are others to consider – Bianchi is supported by Ferrari for his speed rather than his racecraft. Hamilton, while winning the GP2 championship was comprehensively out qualified by Piquet Jr. That might have been car set up or the oversteering nature of the cars.

        What many who follow F1 don’t realise is that Hamilton in liking an unstable rear of the car is using that to get rid of the understeer that comes under braking as the tyres struggle to slow and turn at the same time. To be fast in oversteering car the driver generally needs to force the car to understeer with the car’s oversteer eventually cancelling that out. Which is what Alonso did with the Renault in 2005-06 when Martin Brundle would constantly go on about him liking an understeering car. Then in 2007 he stopped driving like that.

        Anyway, this is all part of why I like F1 as there is so much to understand and so many areas of speculation.


  110. Random 79 says:

    Codemasters spends millions of dollars creating a game for us to play as some of our favourite F1 legends: Less than 100 comments.

    Gazzetta dello Sport spends five minutes to come up with a dodgy list of driver rankings that basically mirrors the championship rankings: In excess of 300 comments.

    Says something doesn’t it?

    1. Dai Dactic says:

      Says a few things actually . . .

      F1 is all about entertainment and personality now.

      In the digital age we tend to live vicariously, expending as little effort as possible.

      Expounding on others’ perceived merits is easy – learning and perfecting a skill is not . . .

    2. Kbdavies says:

      Yes. Says F1 is about real people – the fans, the engineers, the drivers, their personalities, the passion, the sport, and everyones competitiveness on any F1 related issue. It is not about some silly computer game; no matter how much was spent developing it.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Fair point, even if this particular F1 related issue is just as silly :)

  111. Kbdavies says:

    What really baffles me is that this is James Allens’s site, and last time i checked, he was an F1 journalist. If so, why are we not debating Mid-Season F1 Driver rankings by James Allen, rather than Gazzetta dello Sport biased hash job on the issue??
    If i wanted to comment on Gazzetta dello Sport opinion on the topic, surely, i would be reading their website, and not jamesallenonf1.com.

    1. KRB says:

      I think last year James followed with his own ratings in a subsequent post.

      Patience! ;-D

  112. Stewart says:

    Bit harsh on Button to only give a 6.5 even when u say its the worst mclaren even, shoul at least be a 7

  113. Mitchel says:

    As per last year, this is my formula for sub-ratings:

    CQPF (Car Qualifying Performance Factor)
    CRPF (Car Race Performance Factor)
    CRF (Car Reliability Factor)
    TSF (Team/Strategy Factor)
    HTHF (Head to Head with teamate Factor)
    RCF (Race Craft Factor)
    LF (Luck Factor)

    And these are my marks for the top two:


    CQPF, 4
    CRPF, 4
    CRF, 4
    TSF, 4
    HTHF, 5
    RCF, 3
    LF, 2

    Equals = 26 out of 35. or 7.4/10


    CQPF, 5
    CRPF, 2.5
    CRF, 4
    TSF, 4
    HTHF, 3
    RCF, 5
    LF, 0

    Equals = 23.5 out of 35, or 6.7/10

    1. Random 79 says:

      LF for Webber?

      I’d suggest -∞ ;)

      1. Mitchel says:

        Spot on!

        I like him, but in my rankings he doesn’t do well at all!

        He has a Barichello-esque clumsiness that brings him down- when luck isn’t giving him a kick in the balls…

      2. Random 79 says:

        Clumsiness is an unusual word I don’t remember ever having seen before…so I looked it up on Dictionary.com

        Clumsiness (kluhm-zee-nes): Red Bull Pit Crew

      3. Random 79 says:

        Not to belabour the point, but also:


        1. ungraceful, ungainly, lumbering, lubberly. 2. unhandy, unskillful, maladroit, inexpert, bungling, bumbling, heavy-handed, inept.

      4. Mitchel says:


        That performance stuck in my mind- he’d qualified 2nd and Vettel started from the pitlane.

        Also, I never understood the super-high rating for Vettel- he went into the back of Ricciardo and lucked out with every safety car. Yet it’s regarded as his finest race!?

      5. Random 79 says:


        He went into the back of Ricciardo, he’s been into the back of Webber…I think he just like driving into Aussies ;)

  114. Rishi says:

    Yes it is a bit of an unscientific way of doing things but its all good fun at the end of the day.

    Mine would probably go like this…

    9 – Vettel
    8 – Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton,
    7.5 – Rosberg, di Resta, Bianchi
    7 – Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Button,
    6.5 – Massa, Vergne, Sutil, Webber, Bottas
    6 – Grosjean, Pic, van der Garde, Perez
    5.5 – Maldonado
    5 – Gutierrez, Chilton,

  115. mike says:

    This forum is on meltdown, relax people it’s just ratings.

  116. DJ Illusive says:

    Vettel 9.5 – by default, since he’s the pts leader but .5 deducted because RBR is still the best car.
    Hamilton 8
    Kimi 8
    Alonso 7.5
    Rosberg 7
    Webber 6.5
    Massa 6
    Grosjean 6
    Riccardo 5.5
    Vergne 5
    DiResta/Sutil 5
    The Rest…irrelevant

    1. SteveS says:

      Bit of a circular argument there, isn’t it? Why is Vettel leading? Because he has “the best car”. How do you know it is “the best car”? Because Vettel is leading! It’s simply impossible to imagine a scenario in which Vettel is leading (or wins the WDC) and his car is described as anything other than “the best”.

      1. expertf1 says:

        steve so you are denying that the rbr has been the best car? maybe you haven’t been watching properly since 2010. which constructor has been on top since 2010? which car has had the most poles, wins and podiums? ‘how do we know vettel has the best car’ well because several statistics point towards that more than any competitor. there is a difference between qualitative and quantitative analysis. statistics are a quantitative analysis, ie numbers and last time i checked f1 was all about numbers.

      2. SteveS says:

        “so you are denying that the rbr has been the best car?”

        This year, yes.

        “maybe you haven’t been watching properly since 2010.”

        I have, but the topic here is the 2013 season thus far.

      3. KRB says:

        Uh, Steve are you saying “this year, yes, the RBR is the best”, or “yes, I am denying that the RBR this year has been the best”?

        Hint: the former is the correct one.

        If you deny that, then please explain which other car Vettel would rather be in?

        Because I can tell you for damn certain that Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Button et al would all gladly switch with him.

      4. expertf1 says:

        so steve, this season please telme which team is topping the constructors. i might like to point out that the best car is not all about qualifying- it’s about the best package all round. by that i mean it qualifies near the front, has good race pace and it is reliable. on all three counts i think you will still find that the red bull scores highest or to be more specific, sebastian’s red bull. mark suffers kers failure almost every race, botched pit stops the list is endless.

      5. SteveS says:

        It’s strange, “expertf1″, that year after year Vettel (but not Webber) tops the standings, and people feel justified on that basis in claiming that the Red Bull car is therefore “the best”. As I pointed out, that argument is circular. Taken seriously it means that for every year in the history of F1 the winner has always driven the “best car”, because otherwise he would not have been the winner.

        Which is fine if you’re willing to apply that rule to all drivers, but in practice the only one it ever gets applied to is Vettel. Why the double standard?

      6. expertf1 says:

        steve that’s why i based my argument on the constructors. simply put, the red bull has won the constructors for the last 3 years and is leading the 4th. if you want some hard core evidence, please go through detailed analysis in relative car performance since 2010 from practice to race day on the fia website.
        as for the double standards- i am just stating the facts. mark has had more mechanical failures than vettel otherwise he would have been up there and my simple question is: why the kers failure every race, wheels falling off etc etc? only on mark’s car?
        seb is a good driver but defnately not the best in that grid. thats my opinion

  117. Kimi says:

    BUT and PER can have the same ranking and Mark Web can be much higher

  118. johnpierre says:

    Mr. Allen

    First let me say that I have been a big fan of your website for some time and quite often leave comments and appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with you and your other readers.

    I produce a blog about F1 as well and have a small yet devoted number of followers. One of the topics that keeps coming up for the fans that live in the U.S. (where I reside too), is the issue of popularity here in the States and why F1 has yet to make inroads despite the history that it already has.

    I plan on writing an article/post about the the movie Rush due out in September. I was granted access from Ron Howard’s publicist to as much collateral information as I need when I write my piece.

    The article that I have in mind will not revolve around the movie as such but instead I will use the movie as a backdrop to discuss this very issue of F1 in the States and the possible impact a well known storyteller might have in this regard.

    To accompany this I would like to also run a piece about F1 in the U.S., why it has not quite worked out as F1 would have liked, what mistakes if any were made in the past, and what is a way forward to achieving this goal.

    You are very well respected and your opinion and insight is invaluable and it would be a great honor if I could interview you via email for this up coming article.


    I realize that this is an unorthodox way to send a request, But I was not able to find an email address for you.

    1. James Allen says:

      No problem, I will drop you a line

    2. Martin says:

      Hi John-Pierre,

      I’ll be interested to see your blog. I’m in Canberra, so I dont have a strong understanding of the US, but I’ll be curious to see what your measures of success are.

      The first year I followed F1 was 1985. That year the US had one race in Detroit. However, just three before there were three races in the US. I suspect the financial “rules” of F1 have been completely re-written since then, with the licencing fees being at a level that is difficult for many to afford.

      I sensed a generaly reluctance to allow F1 and CART/Champcar to use the same circuits. For a while the CART series cars had more power than F1 even if they would have been slower around a road course due to the extra weight. I remember when Montreal started hosting CART or IRL races it was a unique situation.

      One other point that might be worth considering is where talent pool for NASCAR comes from. The south eastern states tend to dominate the race locations, but do drivers come from everywhere? Clearly many IRL drivers are seeing NASCAR as a step up, at least in terms of money and prestige. If the motor racing focus is on sedans across the country then the idea that first you at home then you go international doesn’t work as there is no next step.


  119. Luke G says:

    Agree with the sentement that the drivers in the faster cars are being over rated…

    In truth, Pic and Bianci have been splendid, outclassing their cars and team mates most of the year. The Williams pair have actually been performing at a higher level than their positions suggest too.

    Honestly, no one in the top 5 teams have really impressed me consistently at all this year. Vettel is looking better than he is due to a significant car advantage, not to mention the undoubted favourability he enjoys internally… Vettel is 8/10, nothing more.

  120. Mike84 says:

    Would like to see their ranking of the teams also. Such as:

    5. Ferrari – “we’re STILL remaining calm and analyzing what’s happened”

    1. Random 79 says:

      Fortunately I have a source inside of Gazzetta dello Sport who was happy to leak me their official team rankings due out next week:

      10 Red Bull
      9 Mercedes
      8 Ferrari
      8 Lotus
      7 Force India
      6 McLaren
      5 Toro Rosso
      4 Sauber
      3 Williams
      2 Marussia
      1 Caterham

      Incredible really. If you didn’t know any better you’d think they just cut and paste the team standings and then just sort of reversed the numbers ;)

  121. expertf1 says:

    i think hamilton should be higher than alonso, because he hasn’t made as many mistakes. also vettel hasn’t been perfect so he can’t get a 10, he couldn’t overtake in hungary and made contact with jb. as always vettel is less impressive in the midfield. my opinion.

    1. aveli says:

      so long as an instrument used to measure characteristic, anyone can be put at the top or bottom. it’s only meaningful to the person who compiled it because only they know how they came to those conclusions.

    2. KRB says:

      The contact with JB was a definite mistake, a needless one, and a costly one at that, as he then had to back off to cool the engine. So yeah, with just that alone a 10 should not be possible.

      Still, he’s racked up a great score over the first 10 races … 17.2 pts/race is a great score, and it’s over 19 pts/finish.

      And if you believed Steve S, all in a tank of a car! ;-)

  122. dufus says:

    You know a more interesting survey would be “who has got the most from their car and their team” taking into account hardware failures, poor pit stops and poor team strategy along with drivers cars damaged or drivers taken out of races through no fault of their own.

  123. Darkalman says:

    I dont see why JEV is so poorly rated. Only one DNF this year was his fault the other three were out of his hands. Despite this he still consistantly finishes higher and has more points than ricciardo! Both this year and last. There must be more going on behind the scenes for red bull to prefer ric because the points say differently.
    Qualifying pace not withstanding, but qualy isnt nearly as important as race pace the last few years. Stick JEV in the lotus and i think we’d see magic happen.

    1. Mitchel says:


      Good race pace and more points- what’s not to like?

  124. Roberto says:

    Hamilton & Rosberg should be top 2nd even if their car was a dog during some races, they have qualify very well all year and drove to the limit of the cars (or tyres to be more specific), so they have raced better than ALO and RAI.

  125. TimW says:

    The problem with theses out of 10 rankings is the top guys always get flattered. If a driver gets pole and wins the race, it would be churlish not to give him a 10, obviously he has delivered the maximum possible. But what if he won by 10 secs and he could have won by 20? If he won by stroking the fastest car on the grid home, by driving well within himself and the cars capabilities, does that deserve a 10? If a driver in a dominant car makes a mistake and loses half his lead, ultimately it doesn’t matter, but a midfield driver making the same mistake could lose 3 or 4 positions and look like a fool. I don’t read the Italian press, but when I have seen a similar system in British F1 magazines it’s always the winner who gets the 10, never a driver in a midfield car who has maxed out his machinery, has driven the perfect race, but only finished 7th.

    1. APL4D says:

      Agreed. +1

    2. Martin says:

      Hi Tim,

      I agree with your general point, but at least in Autosport Edd Straw does spread the 10s out where he thinks it has merit. Pic got a 10 last year for Hungary, as one example. Vettel’s wins this year have been no better than 9s for various reasons – e.g. a little time lost in qualifying, or brushing the wall in Canada and running off track at turn one. Edd certainly rates Hulkenberg this year.


      1. TimW says:

        Hi Martin,
        I will be honest I stopped buying Autosport a couple of years ago. I’m glad that they are “spreading the love” a bit! I think he’s right about Hulkenberg as well.

  126. Kieran says:

    I fail to see how the gap between Vettel and Hamilton is exactly the same as the gap between Hamilton and Chilton.

    1. Random 79 says:

      It’s very scientific.

  127. Aaran says:

    I would put Paul higher , force India have bad budget in comparison to the a teams. He has done so well, despite the unlucky team mistakes off track. Remember Paul beat vettel when they were team mates back in another Motorsport, I forget which.

  128. JPS says:

    I know this is something they like to publish but it’s pointless. Most of the top drivers won junior series to get into F1. So they are all at a high standard. It’s the car plain and simple that is the biggest factor. How many F1 champions or constructors have been one by an inferior car… not many. Put them all into the same car and then we will know. All of this is just guessing.
    I will admit occasionally you get a driver who just shines like Senna at Monaco when he out qualified Prost by over a second in the same car. But most of the top drivers in this years championship in my opinion are pretty equal. The cars are not. thought James?

  129. Marcelo Leal says:

    Vettel on top, I agree. With a car that had severe tyre problems at the start of the season, he is still first in the WDC, with poles and mature races. But the rest of the list is just non-sense…
    Alonso and Kimi had the best cars at the most races in this start of the season. Two really, really bad qualifiers, and Kimi is yet worst in overtakes. That’s why he has so many races in the points, as he does not take any risk. And you need to be able to overtake. He picks a fifth place after the start, because of a 8th in the qualifying, and after pit stops, clean air, one last stop, etc… Third. This can be anything, but not F1 for me!
    Hamilton tied with Rosberg?? Let’s talk about business man.. Hamilton had zero experience with the car, was changing the steering wheel controls for God sake! And even with Rosberg having three years on the team, hamilton has 4 poles, one win, is 7-3 in qualifying, and years ahead in the championship.
    Coincidence Lewis leaving McLaren and the car going that bad? Not for me… Hamilton did know the effort he was doing last year to make that car perform. I always said that people were ranking McLaren performance on Lewis speed, now Lewis is not there, and McLaren simply does not have a car anymore. What was the average grid position for JB last year. Places and places behind LH. He has double the experience than Checo to deal with a bad car, and is tied with him.
    Alonso? Lewis need to start qualifying 10th, and come to second, third.. so, everyone will say that he is out performing the car… ;-)
    Who had mor poles in 2007 (rookie year of LH)?
    Lewis or Alonso?

  130. Dan says:

    Put Bianchi in Vettels car for a race distance. You cant grade drivers when their equipment is worlds appart.

  131. Dan says:

    how do RB have one car that never dies and another that seems like it was assembled at 4.55pm on a Friday night?

  132. Stephen Taylor says:

    9.5 Vettel , Raikkonen
    9 Alonso Hamilton
    8..0 Rosberg
    7.5 Webber Grosjean
    7 Riccardo, Vergne Button, Hulkenberg, Bianchi and Diresta
    6.5 Perez , Sutil
    6 Bottas , Maldonado , Massa
    4..0 Pic
    3.0 Guttierez , Van Der Garde
    2.0 Chilton

  133. Louis says:

    I don’t like all the stats and stuff..
    That’s not like you a F1 driver, otherwise Schumacher will be the best ever, which is not the case.
    There is two drivers at the top, one very, very gifted and one very smart, and that’s Hamilton and Alonso, there is a mid-category between the top and the second category, with Vettel ans Kimi.. I found very strange and a bit stupid, to say Hamilton will come far behind Vettel, Alonso and Kimi on a race distant in the same car, that’s not true, and for those who don’t know, Hamilton smashes Vettel in F3 euroseries.. We tend to banalise Hamilton’s performance since he is in F1, the guy dominated Alonso who was in his prime for his rookie, are often do you see that kind of magic ? We have in front of us a generation of pure talent with Lewis the lead guy in that terms.. I’m french/Kiwi a I discovored F1 when I was 13 teen, in ’08 at Monaco, where he put a senna esk performance, and since than, i read all it’s possible to read about F1 and his history, thought at the beginning I was a king of fan boy Hamilton, as the year passed by, it’s not the case anymore, still I got a special feeling about this driver, but I’m totally capable of being impartial, and what makes a driver special is the feeling when you see him on track, driving fast.. When i was like 5 or 6 years old, I remember wanting to watch Walker Texas Ranger, sunday afternoon, but once all two weeks, there was F1 with the Schumacher years, and I didn’t fell in love with the sport a that time, because Schumacher didn’t give that special feeling on track, it was cold driving style, a bit german in that sense, but very efficient.. Nothing, no emotions what so ever, in my feeing, that’s how you rate a driver, old school way, not at looking at his stats… Bianchi gots that little magic, and he will prove it when, hopefully, he gets a good seats, why not a great red seat.. Anyway, I’m intimately know I’m right, Lewis is very special as Alonso, Seb and Vettel a special too, but i bit less that those two, know I hope Bianchi’s going to prove sooner or later, have some really good feelings about him, he’ll be a futur star, if we give him a chance.

  134. chat says:

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what
    you’re talking about! Thanks


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