Some unfinished business
Suzuka 2014
Japanese Grand Prix
Battle of the team-mates – Who is coming out on top?
Scuderia Ferrari
XPB.cc
Posted By: Editor   |  07 Aug 2014   |  5:49 pm GMT  |  130 comments

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s rivalry at Mercedes has dominated the headlines during the first half of the season, but there have been a number of other fascinating inter-team battles – with some surprises about which driver is coming out on top.

The two biggest surprises are at Ferrari and Red Bull. Much was expected of the pairing at Ferrari, with double world champion Fernando Alonso lining up alongside the returning Kimi Raikkonen, the last man to win the world title for Ferrari.

However, the battle has failed to materialize with Alonso comfortably holding the upper hand. The Spaniard has scored 88 more points than Raikkonen and outqualifed the Finn nine times in 11 races.

“It’s been a difficult year, but that is life,” said Raikkonen. “It is a case of putting things in the right order for me and unfortunately we have not managed to do it here and there.”

Alonso has the benefit of having spent four seasons with Ferrari and bedding himself into the team while Raikkonen returns having left the team in 2009 and enjoyed two successful years at Lotus.

While Alonso had two podiums to his name, Raikkonen’s best result is sixth, which he managed in the last race in Hungary, although he was on course for a podium in Monaco after a collision with Max Chilton.

Alonso, Massa, Raikkonen

This season, the cars are more of a handful to drive with more torque from the engine, less aerodynamic grip and the tyres are less aggressive and it seems that Alonso has simply adapted better to the changes than Raikkonen.

Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo

Any keen observer of F1 asked to predict the points tally of the two Red Bull drivers after 11 races would have been hard pressed to offer a ratio of two wins and 131 points for Daniel Ricciardo, compared to no wins and 88 points for four time world champion Sebastian Vettel. And it could have been worse; Ricciardo opened his season with second place in Australia but was disqualified for Red Bull infringing fuel flow regulations.

True, the German has had three retirements and the lion’s share of problems with reliability, especially on the Renault power unit, which has been one of the disappointments of the season so far, both in performance and reliability.

But Ricciardo has had two non-scoring weekends and of the seven races they have both finished, Ricciardo has been ahead on six occasions; only in Germany did Vettel get a stronger result.

Red Bull’s director Helmut Marko told this website candidly during the Austrian GP weekend that Ricciardo is beating Vettel because by trying always to make the car do what he wants, rather than adapt himself to the car and its foibles, he has not matched the young Australian. Marko described Vettel as a “perfectionist”.

Recently there have been signs of the old Vettel coming back strongly, but Ricciardo has a lot of confidence now.

The battle between them in the second half of the season, on many Hermann Tilke designed tracks where Vettel has excelled in the past, will be fascinating.

Over at Toro Rosso, the Italian team have had a mixed year. While they have often managed to get a car into Q3, the team have been unable to follow that through in the races thanks to poor reliability.

Jean Eric Vergne, Daniil Kvyat

Both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat have scored points in four races, but Vergne edges it by 11 points to six.

However, it’s still an impressive performance from Russian Kvyat, who entered his debut season with very little mileage and went on to score points in his debut race, becoming the youngest ever Formula 1 driver to finish in the points and taking the record from Sebastian Vettel.

The Russian does not have the pressure of Vergne, who must perform to save his seat after two unspectacular seasons with the team, and his mature approach to racing and ability to give good feedback to the team seems to be paying dividends.

He will also be buoyed by the fact Daniel Ricciardo was promoted to the Red Bull seat for this season – something that he will be keen to prove he is worthy of.

Vergne, meanwhile, knows he needs to deliver, having been overlooked for Ricciardo as Mark Webber’s replacement.

The Frenchman has had five retirements in 11 races this year, and while he has shown glimpses of form, such as when he ran as high as second in Hungary and was able to keep up pace with those around him, he cannot string a good run of results together.

Adrian Sutil, Esteban Gutierrez

Sauber are enduring a difficult 2014 and are on course for their worst-ever season having yet to score a point. The car started the season well off the pace, but has improved of late and is now challenging just outside the points.

While Adrian Sutil started the season the stronger of the two, it is Esteban Gutierrez who seems to be gaining the upper hand in the inter-team battle.

Gutierrez was comfortably overshadowed by Nico Hulkenberg in his debut season last year, with many questioning how long he would last in the sport, even with his significant sponsorship backing.

But while erratic at times this season, such as when he collided with Pastor Maldonado at Silverstone or when he hit the barriers at Monaco, throwing away a vital points finish, he has got his act together in the last few races and is outperforming Sutil, who himself has six years of F1 experience.

In the four races which both cars have finished, Sutil has finished ahead three times, but with his experience, the team will have expected more from him in terms of results, and more crucially points.

In qualifying, Gutierrez heads Sutil 6-5 and is still only young at 22. He perhaps lacks the confidence in his ability but appears to be cutting out the mistakes.

And he will also be keen to contest his home race in Mexico when it returns to the calendar next year – something which could have inspired his improved recent form.

Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg

At Force India, Nico Hulkenberg is once again proving that he is one of the most consistent drivers on the F1 grid. The German scored points in the first 10 races and only saw that run come to an end when he and his team-mate Sergio Perez collided in Hungary.

Hulkenberg obviously knows the team well, having spent a year in the race seat in 2012, but his talent is showing through, particularly in Malaysia, Bahrain, Monaco and Canada where he finished an impressive fifth punching above his weight.

Perez, on the other hand, is in his first season with the team. While he scored the team’s only podium of the season with an impressive drive to third in Bahrain, his other results have been far more erratic.

Hulkenberg’s consistency means he’s seventh in the drivers’ standings, one place and just 19 points behind defending champion Sebastian Vettel. He has 69 points to Perez’s 29. Has Hulkenberg done enough to prove he deserves a seat at a top team next year?

Featured Video
ferhorsepower
Horse Power – Shell & Ferrari’s journey to 2014
Featured News in ferrari
MORE FROM Ferrari
LATEST FROM THE SCUDERIA FERRARI COMMUNITY
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
130 Comments
  1. Gaz Boy says:

    Perhaps Mr Vettel having a difficult season is to be expected, it happens to everybody in motor sport. Every driver has had a “slap in the face” season after a great one. A good analogy is Michael in his latter Ferrari years: dominant in 2004, a bit player in 2005.
    Having said that, perhaps that 2004/2005 Michael analogy isn’t that neat, because Michael was coming towards the end of his Ferrari career and was in his mid to late 30s. Also, Schumi always had the edge of Rubens, so in terms of team-mates he was always dominant. Seb is only in his late 20s, and is certainly not at the end of his career, so for him to be out-driven by his team-mate is somewhat surprising, but there you go.
    Having said that, Australia and New Zealand have inherited the Mother Country’s characteristics of determination, grit and resilience, so its not surprising that Danny Boy has not intimidated and overwhelmed – whether its Damon, Jenson, Jonsey, Bruce and Denny, Jack B, Our Nige, there’s something about the straight talking no nonsense approach that pays dividends in F1……..

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      PS Very unflattering picture of young Kyvat! Won’t be used as an inspiration as an oil painting……………………

      1. Arne Scholte says:

        You had me laughing there:)

    2. Monktonnik says:

      I agree that Vettel is having a wobble this year, and will turn it around at some point. You don’t win four WDC’s on the bounce then forget how to drive. Ricciardo is seriously impressive though.

      I always thought that 2005 was about the tyres, which really didn’t work on that Ferrari.

      1. MS says:

        Vettel had a superior car for all 4 WDC’s, RIC will embarrass him in the years to come and prove the quality driver he is.

    3. goferet says:

      @ Gaz Boy

      Interesting both Alonso and Lewis lost to their teammates in their 26th year i.e. 2007/2011.

      1. RacingFanatic says:

        Hehe goferet you really are shameless with your stats/numbers :P I love it though !!

      2. tim clarke says:

        yes! love live Goferet! Stat-Man! my only disapointment is “where are the other teams?” in this article. i’m a Ferrari and Bulls fan, but i really do want to hear about everybody….Max, Kayumi, Jules, etc…

      3. Rishi says:

        Haha nice try but, pedantically speaking, the exact fact you’ve used is a bit tenuous. Firstly, and technically, none of the drivers were “in their 26th year” (except for Alonso from January to July 2007). When you turn 26, you technically enter your 27th year.

        Secondly, only Lewis was 26 for the whole of the 2011 season because of when his birthday is (early January). By contrast, Alonso only turned 26 midway through that season in 2007, while Vettel actually turned 27 midway through this season, so was in effect a year older than Alonso was when he lost out to Lewis in 2007.

        Definitely you could argue strong similarities between the three years: all had won world titles at young ages (or, in Lewis’ case, a world title) – they had even broken each other’s “youngest ever” records; all had established themselves as top drivers within their own teams and within the wider sport; and all of their defeats to team-mates were not forecast beforehand by the media and public. But none of this was quite what your comment says.

    4. goferet says:

      @ RacingFanatic

      Lol…

    5. Neil Jenney says:

      Sebastian need not worry. Keep the current gap constant, win the last race with a non-finish for Daniel, and he will overtake his team mate in the standings despite being dominated to this point.

    6. sarcosuchus says:

      Trust you, “Gaz boy”, to turn any random topic into a cringeworthy exaltation of the “superior Anglophone race”. The “grit and resilience of the mother country”… honestly!

      I mean, “Ricciardo”, the name can’t be more Italian. He *looks* Italian… I’ll bet any amount of money that you grew up in apartheid South Africa. I can pick you from an (imperial) mile away, boet!

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Blimey, did I advocate “superior Anglophone race?”
        I think you’re deeply mistaken. When I referred to the Australian and New Zealand grit and determination, it’s their mental attitude of not giving up and not being intimidated by anyone that I so admire – and yes, you could say that straight talking no nonsense approach has been passed on from the UK. It’s a mental attitude thing – you’re not born with it, you’re taught it: “Son, don’t be intimidated by anyone, no matter what their reputation is. They are only human after all.”
        As for Danny Boy, he does have an Italian surname, but his mum and dad made a conscious decision to leave behind the poverty stricken crime and corruption of Italy for a better life in low corruption, excellent health, education, infrastructure and prospects Commonwealth of Australia. Go figure on that one!
        I think a large chunk of Danny Boy’s success is that Australians have a mental toughness where they fear nothing – even 4 * WDC.
        For the record, I’ve never been south of Morocco and Egypt, which is a good few thousand miles away from South Africa, and I was personally glad when UK and Commonwealth countries boycotted South African products in all their form.It was a horrible regime, much like present day Russia, and I dislike that political system as well.[mod]

      2. sarcosuchus says:

        Gazboy, in many of your posts you always go overboard with the pro-English bit, to the point where I’m sure even most English people would cringe. Not being intimidated by someone is NOT a uniquely English/Australian trait, if it is that all. Do Maoris strike you as easy to intimidate? Or maybe Palestinians: 15 year olds standing meters from Israeli heavy armour, armed with only stones while bullets whizz by their heads?

        Your generalization of Italy as corrupt and poverty stricken reveals ignorance and a propensity to unjustified notions of superiority, to be honest. Its simply not the case across the whole country. Read up on it, or actually visit the place, and you’ll see that there is a great difference between north and south Italy. Should one play that same generalization game on Australia and extrapolate the squalid conditions that Aboriginal live in, to be a representation of all of Australia? Take a look at the superinjunction case revealed by wikileaks, and come back and tell me there’s no corruption in Australia.

        Think about it, how then did Ricciardo’s parents all of a sudden, upon arriving in Australia, suddenly and instantly become imbued with anglo-sensibilities and start teaching that to their son? Dont immigrant parents tend to want to pass on their own sensibilities from their homes to their kids?

        I wont go on about it, except to say, its annoying to read through posts, and continuously come across these jingoistic (unjustifiably so) blatherings about Britain that honestly have a touch of racial superiority to them. Its ok in the context of F1 to wave one’s flag (Hamilton fans versus vettel fans etc). But taking shots at random and in general against other cultures simply because they’re not your own, that’s just not on. There are other BNP forums for that, I’m sure. Here we have an international readership and not every one wants to witness this virtual self-pleasuring over the greatness of the british nation everytime something positive happens that is remotely linked to Britain.

        I’m not knocking Britain, I have friends and relatives there, spent some years there and some of my greatest memories happened there. But, lets ditch the generalized cultural superiority. Its obnoxious.

      3. James Allen says:

        We have had many similar posts

        GazBoy – please omit this component of your posts in future -Mod

      4. PeterF says:

        @Gaz Boy & sarcosuchus

        I am South African and my wife is Russian, your [mod] comments about our countries and cultures is not appreciated. Kindly stick to the subject of F1 which you may actually have some knowledgeable and welcome insight to share.

      5. PeterF says:

        @ James Allen

        When people publicly stereotype nationalities, countries, languages etc of any people, they are being [mod] and without fail they are doing so out of their ignorance. I find it strange that you would determine that naming such attitudes and mindsets for what they are to not be acceptable and [mod] out naming such for what they are.

      6. James Allen says:

        I understand but it is an emotive word and we don’t allow it here. Sorry

        We try hard to keep comments like the ones you are reacting to under control, but with 1,000s to moderate every week it’s not easy. That said we are onto this and will be much tougher in future

    7. littleredkelpie says:

      How anyone could turn the talents of a young Italo-Australian into an opportunity to flatter the English beggars belief.

  2. Daniel says:

    “Hulkenberg scored points in the first 10 races and only saw that run come to an end when his team-mate Sergio Perez collided with him in Hungary” with him???

    Radio Transcript:
    Nico Hulkenberg to Brad Joyce – I crashed into Checo.
    Brad Joyce to Nico Hulkenberg – Copy that, Nico.
    Sergio Perez to Gianpiero Lambiase – I think Nico hit me.

    1. Daniel says:

      Much better…

  3. goferet says:

    For sure thanks to Mercedes advantage over the paddock, 2014 has been a teammate battle and it has been fascinating to say the least.

    First off at Mercedes, Rosberg has been a revelation as not only has shown Schumi wasn’t past his best on his comeback but also he has proved that he’s one of the fastest drivers over one lap.

    Over at Williams, we have had the emergency of Bottas not only as a driver that’s pretty quick over one lap but also one with a calm head and nice race craft.

    As for Ferrari, it has been a total domination by Alonso and if Kimi didn’t struggle against Massa in 2008 and 2009, the fans would have been completely shocked >>> and with Kimi being the oldest driver on the grid, I think we may seen the best years of the Iceman.

    The biggest surprise teammate battle of the season is the one over at Red Bull, for never did anybody suspect Vettel would struggle with the new car.

    Having said that, the second half of the season will be crucial as Vettel has tended to be stronger in the second halves and in the last few races, Vettel seem like he’s re-discovering his one lap pace and as Webber found out, it’s very difficult to beat a Vettel on pole or front row.

    The only positive in Ricciardo’s favour is he appears to have more luck than Vettel at this moment in time.

    Last but not least, the teammate battle at Mclaren has also been a surprise for despite having been hand picked by Ron Dennis and being much younger, Mini-mag hasn’t got the upper hand on Jenson like Vettel did to Webber in 2009.

    Special mention to the likes of Hulkenberg, Kvyat for doing a good job in their respective battles.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Agree about the Iceman, he is a busted flush in F1 competitively speaking – but Kimi and his manager has negotiated himself a huge wage packet for his services over the years, so at least he doesn’t have to worry about his pension pot.
      I suspect the Iceman may end up in DTM or BTCC in a couple of years time………….that would be great, seeing Kimi attacking the Chicane at Thruxton and the Bomb Hole at Snetterton…….make it happen Iceman!

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        No doubt, Kimi and his manager are legends when it comes to signing lucrative deals.

        As for where Kimi will end up, I believe the Iceman is more of a WRC bloke than a DTM one.

        As for the bomb hole, for some reason that reminded me of Silverstone 2014.

      2. Monktonnik says:

        It will be better than me spinning at the thruxton chicane on a driving day!

        [mod] I’ve never bought into the Kimi hype. I think Ferrari were wrong to let him go and pay him off, particularly as Massa was injured, but they absolutely should have put Hulkenberg next to Alonso this time around, instead.

    2. Dan says:

      Huh? Rosberg a revaletion…

      Lewis has basically whooped him on track, Rosberg has used all of Hamiltons data to get faster, which is fine.

      But Lewis was totally dominating Rosberg, then Monaco happened and that really got to Lewis, he has made a few mistakes since along with the huge bad luck with reliability, which has allowed Rosberg to get his poles and victories.

      In a more competitive season, Lewis would be streets ahead in the championship, but this season is unique as Mercedes are basically guaranteed a 1-2, as long as they have no reliability problems.

      Let’s face it, Riccardo’s two wins have only come because Mercedes had reliability problems the first time and them totally messed up a certain 1-2 in Austria with terrible strategies. (Not 3 stopping both cars)

      1. goferet says:

        @ Dan

        Those are fair points for it’s true Rosberg is lacking in the wheel to wheel racing department.

        But were Rosberg has surprised the fans is in qualifying for that has always been Lewis’ strongest point but Rosberg has been able to make Lewis crack and that’s when we begun to see the mistakes.

      2. Random 79 says:

        That’s true – for now for any team to beat Mercedes it would be because of a failure / mistake, but the point is that it was still Ricciardo that got the wins and not Vettel.

        It’s also true that Ricciardo is leading him in the standing for a few reasons (such as reliability) so I’m looking forward to seeing how they compare in the second half – we’ll see if Ricciardo can keep the edge :)

      3. forzaminardi says:

        I think in so far as the Rosberg/Hamilton battle is concerned, it has panned out as many predicted – with Hamilton on balance ultimately the faster of the the two, but that potential dominance is undermined by mistakes and by losing his composure now and then. Probably in his favour we’d have to say Hamilton has lost more in terms of reliability and so on but that’s not Rosberg’s fault. I’d say Rosberg has 90% of Hamilton’s speed but is always there or thereabouts and won’t get upset when he’s beaten. Hamilton has it in him to be faster each and every time they are on track, but a mistake from him is more likely to set him wildly off-course, and he’ll waste energy making a mountain out of a molehill if Rosberg does sneak ahead – as we’ve seen.

        It will be interesting to see how Hamilton get back on the wagon after the break. Hungaroring qualifying probably didn’t make him feel a whole lot better but the race turned out to not be too bad. Potentially, if he gets back to prime form, he can carry on as he was earlier in the season and we’ll look back on Rosberg’s 2014 season as a ‘what might have been’ for him rather than the really close run thing it is now (barring the double points finale, of course…!).

      4. kenneth chapman says:

        @ dan, you seem to be writing off ricciardo’s performances without taking into account his prowess in racecraft allied to a tasty turn of speed. firstly you need talent to be in the right place when opportunities arise then you have to have the speed and acumen to take advantage of that position. those elements are unique as spoken of by highly placed individuals in F1 racing circles.

        even hamilton himself has acknowledged ricciardo’s talents both on and off the track, similarly alonso as well. these two guys are exceptionally placed to give an unbiased opinion which i value far and away more than idle speculation designed to bolster one driver versus another.

      5. f1 fan says:

        i think even hamilton used rosberg’s data, how else do you explain hami’s radio exchanges “nico is taking that corner in lower gear”,”nico is braking earlier” and so on

        Also, every time merc had reliability issues with either car hamilton was behind rosberg on track, so you cannot really blame it on reliability, hamilton choked under pressure and made mistakes few mistakes. Lets be honest we all expected hamilton to dominate rosberg all the way, in that sense rosberg is definitely revelation.

      6. Thompson says:

        @f1 fan….

        Not quite right.

        Monaco, difficult track to overtake – Rosbergs pole was gained by Hamilton’s pole lap being compromised, maybe. It made the difference in the race. Also the team working as a team (aiming for a 1- 2 did no allow for strategies allowing real racing.

        Canada – Hamilton did make the pass but again compromised by total brake failure.

        Austria – again strategies did not allow for real racing (even though Hamilton’s fuel usage would have allowed him a more aggressive final stint)- the cars were turned down to the same settings, surprised no one picked up on this.

        since then Hamiltons qualifying sessions have been compromised through no fault of his own ( the inexplicable spin while brake testing on a straight, which Hamilton took the blame for in qualifying was never clarified, catastrophic brake faulure, engine fire – damage limitations being the order of the day.)

        The last race again marred by the teams lack of strategic flexibility may have cost Hamilton the race from a pitlane start

        Rosberg is right his consistency & reliability and arguably ‘better team support’ has left him still in the lead of the WDC but does not the full story tell.

        2nd half of the season should be interesting between these 2.

    3. Stephen Taylor says:

      You’re right about Vettel that aside from 2011 he never seems to start that well but then hits top form just after the summer break. Suzuka Yas Marina Spa Monza Marina Bay and Interlagos are all circuits where Seb has won the race on more than one occasion. I’m sorry to all you Ricciardo fans out there because although Daniel has driven exceptional I feel Seb was driving within 60% of his potential this year so far and I think we’ll see the 4WDC’s full potential after the summer break and Seb will go on I think to comfortably beat Daniel in the Championship in terms of points. Alonso will continue to beat Kimi although I do expect the Iceman to be closer to his teammate. . Also James in what way is Alonso’s hammering of Raikkonen a surprise? After all Alonso has been there since 2010 and Kimi has only just gone back there this season so the outcome so far is the kind of one I ( a Raikkonen fan) had been fearing and expecting to happen with a big difference in points as we now have.

      1. BigHaydo says:

        If Vettel is driving at 60%, I think there’d be some very serious questions being asked of his commitment to the team. He would be letting down the hundreds of hard-working people at Milton Keynes and Viry, as well as the special task force that was established to find more speed for car #1.

        The reality is that if he was at 60%, he wouldn’t be qualifying for the races! 2014 has been a prime opportunity for Vettel to silence his critics that say he can only win in the best car, but on every forum I read they are only getting louder. He could have pulled a Senna 1993 or Alonso 2012, but this level of performance is eluding him – in fact we are seeing more driving errors this year than last.

        And to say that he should have an advantage over Ricciardo at the late-season tracks is a tad disingenuous: Vettel might have won here in an RB8 or RB9, but you’re forgetting that Ricciardo put in a respectable points scoring streak in a Toro Rossi STR7 & STR8 at the very same circuits… I’m not expecting the current situation to change.

      2. Pete Mitchell says:

        Both RBR drivers are at 100%. Ricciardo is simply able to drive this spec car faster than Vettel. No doubt vettel will improve and possibly leap above Ricciardo however it proves beyond a doubt Ricciardo when it comes to adapting, is king in that garage at the moment.

      3. Andrew says:

        Haha, you haven’t come to terms with Ricciardo being faster yet then!

      4. Luis Pastilla says:

        @ Stephen Taylor

        If you are a KR fan, please don’t be swept along with the “Alonso crushes Kimi” talk.
        If the two were on equal terms, maybe. But in the present situation, a very unfortunate frustrating situation, I can not say that anyone has crushed anyone. Except that Ferrari has crushed the hopes of many with the whole philosophy of design car they followed till now.

        Ferrari still have a front suspension system that all abandoned, except Ferrari. (pull rod).It takes a very long time to make small changes to front set up and makes the front unpredictable. That has made problems for Kimi, but Alonso and his crew have long experience of it and Alonso drives opposite style to Kimi. The F14T is more how Alonso likes it and he is doing a very good job. I bless him.

        But when Ferrari resolve the issues and give KR comfort in the car, then we will see who beats who. So I have no worries, except that I fear Alonso leaves Ferrari before Kimi thrashes him. :)

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        @ stephen…..you may well be right when forecasting vettel’s fight back. i have been expecting him to come back hard for some time now, a position i have called many times in my posts. the fact is, he hasn’t really done it has he?

        i have followed ricciardo’s career for quite some time now and i always knew [hoped] that he would be uber successful given the right car to perform in. i always expected him to take at least one season to really click within red bull but his early successes have been largely un expected!

        as you have predicted vettel should be comfortably ahead by the end of the season. the fact is that if he is not ahead by quite some margin, giving that he has 4 X WDC’s in his hip pocket, then something is dreadfully amiss. for me this is the most important element going forward through the remaining eight races. both championships are well and truly locked away now in the mercedes trophy cabinet, given no bizarre events of an unknown nature.

      6. KRB says:

        Hmm, well he had also won at Bahrain a couple of times before, and he got beat by Ricciardo there (even after a 10-place grid penalty for RIC).

        Korea and India are gone from the calendar, two tracks that Seb likes. It will be interesting to see how they each fare in BEL, ITA, and especially around Suzuka (Seb 4x winner there).

        Ricciardo, in the last 5 races, has basically the same amount of points as the two Mercedes drivers. He’s doing a great job.

        Oh, how good do those 18 pts from AUS, and 12 from MAL, look now? Instead of being outside the 50-pt window of the top 2, he’d be right in there.

        The gap right now is 43 points. Seb can close that no doubt, but it’s going to be very tough. I personally wouldn’t bet on it.

      7. Steve W says:

        If Vettel really had been driving at 60%, I think the team would have put him on “gardening leave” by now.

    4. J N H says:

      I find it odd that anyone expects a rookie driver to beat Jenson Button when Lewis Hamilton never did better than finishing one place and 24 points ahead in 2010. In the last decade the only team mates to outscore Button were Hamilton and Barrichello, even then they also had seasons where they were in turn beaten by him.
      .
      To expect a new driver to just drop from space and beat someone as consistent as Button strikes me as wishful thinking, hand picked by Big Ron or not. Comparing to Vettel isn’t especially fair either, Vettel joined Red Bull as a race winner entering his third season of Formula , he joined Red Bull with more wins than Mark Webber (that is to say, one).
      .
      If Mclaren give Mag the chance they didn’t give Perez I’m sure he will shine, but Mclaren have to give him a car that can actually win first.

      1. goferet says:

        @ J N H

        I guess the fans were sold the dream of Mini-mag being the next Lewis so we were sort of expecting a season similar to 2007.

      2. J N H says:

        @Goferet, that was a somewhat unique situation though. Both drivers were new to the team in 2007, they both dropped into more or less the fastest car, both got more testing time than they do now and then Alonso did Lewis a massive favour by completely destroying his relationship with the team.
        .
        Button is a far more stable character than 2007 era Alonso, even with his persistent moaning he’s unlikely to do so much damage that the team effectively declare him irrelevant to their efforts.

    5. kenneth chapman says:

      @ goferet….must take issue with your statement that, ‘the only positive in ricciardo’s favour is that he appears to have nore luck than vettel’ are you serious because, if so, then i can only assume that you have not been watching or reading about this years racing

      1. Rohind says:

        The ideal thing to say would have been ‘ Ricciardo had more luck than Vettel. But he also made use of this luck and used his opportunities well to deliver good performances’

        He had luck in terms of getting better strategy than his team mate ( who he was trailing in both the races he won). But that is only job half done. he still had to put in brilliant performances against the likes of Perez, Rosberg, Hamilton and finally Alonso to get that 2 race victories.

      2. goferet says:

        @ kenneth chapman

        Aah I mis-spoke.

        What I meant to say is Ricciardo’s ace card is he has more luck than Vettel in reliability and strategy.

        Apart from that Ricciardo also has good race craft and can overtake so he’s making things work out for himself.

      3. Krischar says:

        @ Luis pastilla

        “But when Ferrari resolve the issues and give KR comfort in the car, then we will see who beats who. So I have no worries, except that I fear Alonso leaves Ferrari before Kimi thrashes him” – Really Do kimi have what it takes to drive Alongside Alonso? BIG NO

        All the excuses such as car have pull-rod suspension, car is designed for Alonso. Ferrari favours Alonso. Kimi has not been looked after. wet weather races. brake-by wire system. Car does not have front end. car is understeery. have been given time and time again. These drivel excuses do not make any sense or connotation anymore. Kimi is a experienced pilot in the grid. So irrespective of the car which ferrari provides him he should be able to deliver the results at least some useful points. Kimi has not managed to do anything. And when you get beaten by a wizard. Kimi should have no problems in saying yes i am not good enough and my team-mate is from a different planet. Yet kimi himself and his fantical fans throw excuses one after the another just to buy some time and stay way from the mortification.

        Time to retire Kimi. you got beaten by massa and grosjean. Yet people here expect you to topple the conqueror of formula 1 Fernando Alonso? Funny world indeed.

      4. kenneth chapman says:

        @ goferet…i hope that when you say you ‘mis-spoke’ you weren’t referencing hilary clinton’s definition of the same excuse?

        even the ‘good luck’ scenario doesn’t really hold all that much aqua pura either. if you recall he lost 18 points in his first race as a result of team actions that had nothing to do with ricciardo’s racing. even with the reduced fuel flow it was forecast that he would’ve taken 3rd place, or 15points. bad luck, no? then there was his unsafe release and the drive through penalty that cost him 4th place/12 points and a subsequent 10 place grid penalty in the next race. so at this stage he has lost a potential 30points and as a result others have gained points due to his exclusion. if we tally this all up then ricciardo would have 161 points on the board. so in summary ricciardo has had a fair share of ‘bad luck’ but he is still smiling!!!!!! and why shouldn’t he?

    6. Mark V says:

      If this season is proof of anything, it is that one season in Formula One is proof of nothing.

      Since last season: Major changes to the cars. Changes to the tires. Reliability and setup problems related to the new technologies. Many drivers switching teams. Financial hardships for some teams, etc etc… IMO there are still too many variables and too short of an assessment period to say for sure whether it is a driver’s skill and adaptability or simply luck that explains why they are getting along better or worse than the others. IMO it would have been more surprising if there HAD NOT been a shakeup in how some drivers got along, because it happens to every driver at some point.

      Having said this, I have to say you contradict yourself. You say Rosberg is proving that Schumi wasn’t past his best, but Vettel is unlucky to be struggling with the car while Raikkonen IS old and so must be past his prime? (FYI, Kimi is still nearly a decade younger than Schumi was in his last season when he got pole at Monaco)

      1. goferet says:

        @ Mark V

        The point I was trying to make about Schumi that he was so talented that despite being past 40, he was still able to keep Rosberg honest.

    7. dufus says:

      “The only positive in Ricciardo’s favour is he appears to have more luck than Vettel at this moment in time.”

      Really ?
      Ricciardo is making his luck and capitalising on opportunity.
      He is better than Vettel this year and there’s no reason to think that will change.

      1. goferet says:

        @ dufus

        But it’s also true that Vettel has had more problems with reliability and strategy.

    8. littleredkelpie says:

      Staggering that you think the “only positive in Ricciardo’s favour” is his apparent luck. Unbelievable. There seems to no shortage of one-eyed arm-chair experts on this forum that will predict Vettel’s ultimate triumph over Ricciardo for as long as it takes to come true – no matter how many races, or seasons, they have to ignore or write-off as simple luck in the meantime. It will almost be worth waiting the months or years necesaary just to hear you/them all cry “I told you so” when Vettel actually wins something again. pathetic.

      1. Thompson says:

        Lol…. What it must have been like being a Webber fan.

        Imo the RB is a better car than many believe – the engine too is better than many will admit.

        Their careers are almost exactly the same in F1 – both graduated from Torro Rosso – both jumped into the RB running, out racing the established teammate…… It’s uncanny.

        Vettel out front is phenomenal, in traffic he is getting better – he can overtake.

        Will he catch Dan?, maybe, that’s what I’m waiting for, to see how Dan copes and see if the genuine smile turns into a fake smile through gritted teeth.

        So much pressure on Dan to keep smiling, being nice almost has much has Hamilton had to stay a cute ‘rookie’.

        Pressure……. Lol.

        This battle is a fascinating one.

    9. TheElf says:

      How much did he struggle against anyone when he was at a lowly Lotus?
      Including Fernando & Felipe.. I think people maybe a little surprised come 2015 if the car is ok.
      Same way when he returned in Winter 2012 all the rubbish talk stopped.. Ok he may/not win but hes not washed up either

    10. Bruno says:

      Magnussen is in his rookie season, Vettel had already been in F1 for 1.5 year before the start of 2009 season. And Button is a (much) better racer than Webber.

  4. Andrew M says:

    My winners:

    Mercedes – Hamilton
    Red Bull – Ricciardo
    Ferrari – Alonso
    Williams – Bottas
    Force India – Hulkenburg
    McLaren – Button*
    Toro Rosso – Vergne*
    Lotus – Grosjean
    Marussia – Bianchi
    Sauber – Sutil*
    Caterham – Kobayashi

    Asterisked ones are the ones I’m least sure about.

    1. Dan says:

      I agree on all

    2. RichB says:

      agree except I’d swap Vergne with Fiat

      1. Random 79 says:

        I bet Vergne would like to swap into a Fiat ;)

      2. Andrew M says:

        Probably the one I’m least sure about. Kvyat has done well and probably been more eye-catching, especially for a rookie, but Vergne has put in some pretty good drives himself, and he’s had a lot of unreliability, so he gets my nod.

    3. Monktonnik says:

      There was a similar article over at planetf1 which shows the stats on all the battles.

      At Mclaren, based on those figures, JB is in front and it looks like one of the more clear cut battles.

      Avignon said that, he has had some shocking qualifying sessions, as usual.

      1. Andrew M says:

        Maybe I’m being a bit too hard on Jenson, but I just expect more from him against a rookie. Apart from Melbourne Magnussen hasn’t really looked the part at all, and Jenson isn’t really blowing him into the weeds.

    4. Carl Craven says:

      Button is easily on top of his team mate come race day, and Hamilton is still behind in the title race. I agree, Hamilton is the better driver at Mercedes by a small margin, but your logic fails if you asterisk Button. He’s easily beating his team mate on the track.

      1. Andrew M says:

        You can argue about the results but there’s no inconsistency in the logic at all. My findings clearly aren’t just based on where drivers are in the points standings, if they were there’d be no debate about any position whatsoever.

        I do agree though that Button is the least deserving of an asterisk, maybe I was a bit harsh on him.

      2. RichB says:

        I’m a JB fan but I wouldn’t say easily, remember Austria? Kevin did a far better job in Germany too, if Massa hadn’t collided with him he would’ve finished comfortably ahead of JB.

    5. Pkara says:

      Agree with your table :-)

    6. Matthew Cheshire says:

      Good list. But the stand out is the use of Asterisks and not “asterixes”. Thank you.

    7. Sasidharan says:

      Add an asterisk on the first entry too.

      1. Andrew M says:

        No need, with unreliability Hamilton would be ahead, unless you’re one of those crazy people that seem to think Hamilton has the ability to break software with his driving style. Also, due to the amount of coverage the Mercedes battle has gotten, we know every single detail of virtually every session that has gone on so there’s no mystery or missing data; the main reason I have trouble putting Sutil ahead of Gutierrez for example is because frankly I’ve barely seen either of them all year.

    8. KRB says:

      I’d put in Van der Garde, in place of Sutil or Gutierrez. Both race drivers have been simply awful, if you ask me. Not F1 quality.

      1. Andrew M says:

        I guess, but to be fair Sutil has shown some pedigree in the past, and I doubt van der Garde brings enough wedge to replace Gutierrez.

  5. MENDEZ says:

    Good article but on the Force India quote “when his team-mate Sergio Perez collided with him in Hungary”…it seem your blaming Perez for the incident….not good.

    1. BoogWar says:

      The article said “collided WITH”. Not into. I can see no blame apportioned in that sentence…

  6. Irish Con says:

    It seems to me that every year in the last 10 years or so alonso is in the top 2 of best drivers of the year and this year seems no different to me in another dog of a Ferrari.

    If Daniel was in that red bull last year do we think he would beat vettel? Personally I think seb would still of beaten him. Some drivers just gel with some cars well and seb and the 2013 red bull was a match made in heaven. A bit like Kimi in the 05 McLaren, alonso in the 06 Renault, Lewis in the 07 McLaren, massa in 08 Ferrari and kubica in 2010 Renault.

    1. Rohind says:

      Performance of this year does not undo the brilliant performances in the last season by Vettel and Raikkonen.

      It is difficult and inaccurate to say Ricciardo and Alonso might have fared better than Vettel and Raikkonen in last years car. Regulation changes suited few drivers better than the others.
      I personally dont see how that RB9 could go any faster with any other driver as the pilot.

      Remember Singapore last year. Vettel finished more than 30 s ahead of the second placed car. This was after safety car cutting all his lead with just 15 laps to go

  7. Kev says:

    I have to say i am a fan of JEV. I hope this is not his last season in f1. Even if he was to leave toro rosso i hope he can get another seat at a force india or sauber maybe. When you see the form of Ricciardo now at Red bull its not inconceivable that JEV would also also have the beating of Vettel. I may be wrong but i do believe that JEV outperformed Ricciardo in their time as teammates.

    1. Rohind says:

      It would be difficult and inaccurate to extrapolate results like that, considering how regulation changes suited few drivers more than the other. We have no way of knowing until unless we see them in the car.

    2. TJ says:

      You’re in fact very wrong. Ricciardo had more top 10′s, more points and smashed vergne in qualifying over their 2 years as team mates.

      1. Kev says:

        I do not beieve that red bull should have picked JEV ahead of Ricciardo. I understand why they picked Ricciardo and he did always have the beating of JEV in quali. But i always believed that JEV had better race pace than Ricciardo and after checking the standings it was only 1 point that seperated them in their two seasons together. I admit i was wrong in my previos post as i did believe JEV had more points

    3. RacingFanatic says:

      Whilst they were roughly the same in terms of results at Toro Rosso, Ricciardo proved himself to be a much much faster driver (one of the fastest in the field) when he needed to be (ie. when he tested for Red Bull), that is why Red Bull chose him.

    4. kenneth chapman says:

      yes kev, you are wrong.

  8. sennaQLD says:

    One eyed i might be,but all up its DR.on a side note the kids at his old Go Kart club in Perth will be F1 fans for a while.Such a buzz at the Tiger KC on a GP weekend now.

  9. Grant H says:

    What about bottas, i said last year hes a WDC in the making,

    Would also like to see what bianchi could do in a top team, when kimi gives up that would make a good line up at ferrari with alonso

    1. James Allen says:

      Separate story on Bottas coming soon

      1. Suku says:

        Waiting for it. TT is the new flying Fin.

  10. ferggsa says:

    For me:

    ROS – HAM, closer than expected, still think Lewis has a speed edge but hope Nico wins, just to have a new WDC

    RIC – VET, not expected, Sebastian has the problem, a bit like Lewis, of not having had to climb up the ranks much before becoming WDC and now there is no way but down

    ALO – RAI, way off, Kimi should be much closer regardless of the poor car and rule changes

    VER – KVY, still awaiting judgement, but poor JE always has to fight tough guys to keep his seat

    SUT – GUT, think Esteban will keep improving and end up stronger

    HUL -PER, closer than expected on track, way off in points (where it counts)
    Nico seems more mature and consistent if not spectacular, but I think he could have been WDC in a Brawn, RBR or MB, needs a chance in a better seat
    Sergio looks the opposite still, question is if this will improve or not, he has to avoid tangling with others (whether it is his fault or not) to keep his seat (same goes for Massa), if he had not had contacts with BUT in Monaco, MAS in Canada, VER in Silverstone and himself in Hungary he would be up there in points

  11. don says:

    I ‘ll go out on a limb and predict Vettel will outperform Dan and win several podiums by the end of the season.

    I think he has been taken out to the shed by Dan and his detractors but IF his bad luck is for the most part gone, he will turn the tables and prove he can beat the best without a dominant car.

    It’s now or never Seb!

    1. Dr T says:

      I’m a huge DR fan.

      That said, it’s sad (probably not the right word) to see Vettel having such a rough year. It doesn’t matter how good the RBR was in 10-13, he still got to the world championship. No one talks down the achievements of Schumi.

      Vettel wil be back at the top sooner rather than later

      1. buzzzzzzzz says:

        It’s great to have the man [mod] at the back!

        He will learn more from this year than the last 4 put together.

        So far he has shown he cannot adapt to a new car.

        At least ALO and HAM are renown for wringing the neck of a dog of a car and getting results out of it.

        For 4 time WDC to be shown up like this is pretty poor form!!

      2. Lockster says:

        “No one talks down the achievements of Schumi.”

        That’s because half of Schumacher’s victories and a chunk of his championships were won with inferior cars (1994 & 2000 in particular), because he won multiple titles with two separate teams (has anyone else ever done that?), the fact that he took the Scuderia from an embarrassment to THE dominant force in F1 history, and not to mention that he decimated EVERY teammate that he raced against…

        Vettel has only ever won championships in cars that have been the fastest in that year and when finally given a slower car and a chance to bolster his “legacy”, he is getting beaten up by his far less experienced teammate.

        Do you still wonder why no one considers Vettel on the same level as Schumi??

      3. Matías says:

        @lockster: Fangio did, 5 times :D

  12. bmg says:

    Interesting article James, I noticed you did not give Ratings.

    Could I ask why?

      1. Random 79 says:

        Lol :)

      2. Jd says:

        Most excellent response.

        Come on, why do we need to rate the drivers on some scale? We’re not watching movies here.

      3. Jd says:

        Not sure if you’re joking or not. I was.

        To be honest, how would we even quantify how they all fit in to the ratings. There are so many variables. As far as straight facts go, you covered it perfectly.

        I hope that by the end of the season we have a completely different picture. Not that I favour any driver, just that I want to see as much of a mix up in the second half of the season as we got when we came in to this year (barring the two at the top who will probably stay there for the rest of the year).

      4. bmg says:

        My top ten,
        Alonso 9
        Ricciado 9
        Hamilton 8.5
        Rosburg 8.5
        Bottas 8
        Vettel 7
        Hulkenburg 7
        Perez 7
        Massa 6
        Vergne 6

      5. KRB says:

        Is a “pagelle’s” post coming though? That’s almost a tradition now, no?

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      My ratings for each driver so far out of 10
      Vettel 7
      Ricciardo 9
      Raikkonen 6
      Alonso 9.5
      Rosberg 8
      Hamilton 8
      Grosjean 7
      Maldonado 4.75
      Button 7.5
      Magnussen 6.5
      Hulkenberg 7.5
      Perez 6.5
      Massa 6.25
      Bottas 7.75
      Vergne 7
      K

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        oops accidentally clicked send
        So to finish off then
        Kyvat 7.5
        Sutil 5
        Gutierrez 3.15
        Kobayashi 6.5
        Ericsson 2.25
        Bianchi 8
        Chilton 3.05
        that’s it
        Do my fellow JA on f1 readers agree with me please reply . So to summarize then Alonso is my star man of the season so far where as Ericsson is the biggest flop of the year up to now in my view.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Aside from the two Mercedes drivers (their car makes it difficult to compare their performances to the rest) I think it’s a toss up between Ricciardo and Alonso, so good call there.

        As for Ericsson I have to keep reminding myself who he is – completely anonymous.

      3. H.Guderian (ALO Fan) says:

        Maybe Raikkonen 3.0

    2. JohnBt says:

      Amongst all the team mates I’m gutted for Kimi as he must improve for the second half of the season. Am hoping he comes to terms with car, but also noting he has been absorbing quite a bit of gremlins though.

      Vettel had his fair share of bad luck too and Ric sure is driving well but deserving too. If Vettel does not catch up with Ric by the end of the year he’ll be receiving a lot of slugging from anti-Vettel fans. And his world titles will not sit well with him too.

      Bottas been very outstanding and Massa knows what he’s gotta do as Williams are having their best cars from years of drought. So no excuse for Massa.

      Most impressive rookie has to be Kvyat.

      1. JohnBt says:

        Sorry hit the wrong button.

  13. TheyDontMakeEmLikeThey UsedTo says:

    James Allen wrote: “Any keen observer of F1 asked to predict the points tally of the two Red Bull drivers after 11 races would have been hard pressed to offer a ratio of two wins and 131 points for Daniel Ricciardo, compared to no wins and 88 points for four time world champion Sebastian Vettel. ”

    Maybe so when it comes to points differences James, but one very enlightened F1 observer (myself) wrote this in September 2013:
    “RIC will be challenging VET in no time – on track – in 2014…you heard it first here”

    and this,
    “Ricciardo = Equal to or quicker than Vettel IMO”

    and, re: Raikkonen or Ricciardo at Red Bull, who would you prefer?
    “Ricciardo, because I think he will surprise quite a few people, including one named Sebastian”.

    It wasn’t rocket science either. It is just the lack of attention given by most “F1 observers” to those drivers nearer the back of the grid. Not to mention the fact that barely anyone believed Webber or Horner when they said that RIC would give VET a run for his money. Ahhh, the incredulity…

    Regarding Raikkonen’s poor pace and performance compared with Alonso, that was ALWAYS on the cards too, and not rocket science either. Kimi has always been ultra-sensitive when it comes to car balance and behavior, whereas Fernando has shown time and time again that he can perform in anything.

    Nothing too shocking here…

  14. holy says:

    Kimi performance is embarrassing, no amount of reasons can justify being so far from Alonso, he is not a rookie, he is a champion with huge experience, his inability to adapt is a serious weak point in the current F1.

    And there is Vettel, 4 times champion, the whole team arround him and Ricciardo is beating him easy, this year puts in perspective his titles, not that anyone didn’t know that he had rockets anyway.

    1. Jd says:

      You say it like Daniel is the hated stepchild, getting no support. Daniels side of the Garage is 100% behind him, as is Sebastian’s side. The management are behind both of them too, just in case you’re wondering.

      1. Jd says:

        By the way, they weren’t rockets. They were invisible rails :P

      2. holy says:

        even worse, under equal treatment Ricciardo is destroying Vettel, the 4x champion.

    2. YouWho says:

      [mod] There are several exact reasons why Raikkonen is struggling in Ferrari compared to Alonso and those reasons dont exist in any other teams in F1. Also he was leading in Barcelona before the team put Alonso ahead & he was leading in Monaco before Chilton punctured his tyre behind a afety car.He quite often beat everyone in a lowly Lotus only last year.
      Ferraris problems are very well documented and its not the work of a few races to adjust Alonsos unconditional no1 status for 4 years and a car built solely around him which also the exact reason they are not winning
      Then you mention Vettels problems for the same reasons above for Alonso- which is not true for Vettel because Red Bull do no work like Ferrari had around an unconditional no1 for 4 years. [mod]

      1. James Allen says:

        Do not insult other posters. If you do comments will be deleted

      2. YouWho says:

        James, fact of the matter is I did not insult anyone. I asked this person “to do some more research with some balanced posts here – then comment” but if you find that offensive then I will certainly decease

      3. KRB says:

        @YouWho: “… then I will certainly decease.”

        Whoa there, that’s a little drastic! I think you meant you will cease and desist.

        I know English is an orgasnic language, but sinceriously folks, the madnous must end!

      4. TheElf says:

        Meant “Cease” ..but “Decease”, “Done””finished” “ended”, Caputt, Goodbye from this forum. This site has hidden agendas

    3. H.Guderian (ALO Fan) says:

      Just perfect!!!

  15. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

    *sigh* I guess I have to correct this one _again_ ;)

    It’s INTRA-team if you’re going to be comparing team mates.

    I (still) blame DC, who loves to use “inter-team” in commentary when that’s exactly the opposite of what he means.

  16. Ben says:

    I have never been sure in what people saw in Sutil and this season has just backed that up even more. Gutierrez is inconsistent but at least he shows glimpses of speed and he seems to bring money to the team. Sutil as the lead driver should be comfortably beating him at this stage of his career but he just seems to complain constantly. His only impressive results at Force India seemed to be through long stints in a tyre friendly car and holding up others. I don’t see him as a guy who will help the team to build the car around him like with Hulkenberg last season either. Di Resta comfortably beat him last year on points and although there were also concerns about his character working with the team, I think he would have at least scored a couple of points so far.

  17. Shri says:

    Lewis – Nico : Closer than expected. Would have been interesting if Lewis did not have so many reliability problems.
    Alonso – Kimi : Margin much wider than expected
    Daniel – Vettel : Reverse was expected. Surpised
    Hulk – Perez : As expected. Hulk continues to wait for one big team to call him
    Sutil – Gui : Dog of a car
    Vergne – Kvyat : Kvyat has certainly raised eyebrows

  18. Krischar says:

    James i believe you could have done an Individual summary team wise Instead of a collective peice? Your thoughts…

  19. Krischar says:

    Here it is,

    Mercedes – Lewis
    Ferrari – Alonso by a long shot
    RBR – Dan Ricciardo
    Mclaren – Kevin Magnussen
    Lotus – Grosjean
    Williams – Difficult to call. Too close, ues Bottas shades it at the halfway mark
    Force India – Too close too call
    STR – Kyvat
    Marussia – By a country mile
    Caterham – Kobayashi
    Sauber – Close too call

    Top three of the Season
    Alonso
    Lewis
    Ricciardo

    Bottom Three of the season
    Pastor
    Vergne
    Kimi

    Best Three Teams
    Mercedes
    RBR
    Williams

    Worst Three teams
    Ferrari
    Mclaren
    Lotus

    Best Young Pilots of the season
    Bianchi
    Bottas
    Kvyat

    1. Krischar says:

      Marussia – Bianchi by a By a country mile

  20. YouWho says:

    James please correct your statement -Raikkonen did Not crash into Chilton. Im still perplexed that so many people do not understand that Chilton ran into Raikkonens rear tyre at the chicane behind the safety car in Monaco and cost him 3rd place.! It just adds to his incredible misfortunes and team problems this year.

    Also there are growing pitlane talk of Luca Di Montezemolo is about to announce his leaving Ferrari- joining the merger of Alitalia & Etihad as a director any day now. Appreciate any update you have on this.

  21. jon says:

    I hate to defend Vettel because he is such a brat but I can put aside his personality issues and appreciate his talent as a driver. By the end of the season, I expect a lot of the trash talking about VET will end as with Kimi.

    Does Dan adjusts to a car better than Vettel as many here say. It’s no secret the car’s setup is to RIC’s liking and not to VET’s. So in reality RIC hasn’t had to do much adapting at all while VET has had a hard time. But he is getting better each race.

    Dan IS faster up until now but speed isn’t everything. It will be very be very interesting to see how Dan handles the pressure IF in fact Vettel steps up his game and finishes ahead of him.

    Some say Vettel was lucky to have such a good car and doesn’t deserve the 4 WDCs? So IF HAM wins the WDC this year, since he is in by far the best car we can say the same about him. He is lucky to have such a mediocre team mate!

    I’m excited for the upcoming races for I feel VET will do much better and expect some intense dog fights between him and Dan.

  22. T N Esq says:

    Very interesting James… but how about doing a similar assessment on team managers? I’d love to hear your opinion on Monica at Sauber, for example. My mind is already made up on that front!

  23. Rishi says:

    Aw I thought the comparison between the Force India drivers was a bit harsh. Undoubtedly, Hulkenberg has been the better driver over the season, and extremely consistent. But after the opening couple of races, I wanted him to take the season by the scruff of the neck and show Ferrari & McLaren that they erred in not picking him. Yet for me that didn’t really happen, and since then Perez has kind of come back at him and outperformed him at a fair few races (Bahrain, Spain, Canada & Austria particularly; Hungary they were about evens). The points difference, for me, flatters Nico a bit (though it emphasises the need for Perez to make sure his superiority translates into points where it happens). Overall, I’d still rate Hulkenberg as the better prospect, because he is a more consistently high performer, while Perez has more of a streaky brilliance. Having said that though, there are still races where he is a bit inconsistent and you kind of think “what happened to ‘The Hulk’ today?” and end up a little bit disappointed.

  24. Krischar says:

    Ricciardo versus vettel is not a batte at all this season. Hands down Ricciardo have chastened his new-team (Illustrious 4X WDC vettel) quite easily. I am amazed by the potential and the quality Ricciardo possess. Perhaps webber.M should have retired or moved to some other team even before 2013. This would have provided some battles and scuff for the WDC back in 2013. I do not deride webber yet he has failed massively against a average pilot with Fastest package at his helm.

    Ricciardo on the other hand have just braced the fight at the sharp end of the field and blazed his team-mate. Ricciardo certainly have all the basis covered to become a WDC sooner in the F1 world.

    Of the new and fresh talents, Kvyat. Bottas and Bianchi looks very promising. All these pilots have surely exceeded the expectations of the team and fans at the half-way point this season.

  25. kenneth chapman says:

    i have just finished reading horner’s latest apology for vettel’s poor performance to date. we have all been fed the line that vettel hasn’t been able to adapt to the new PU and the new characteristics of its driveability. we are now being fed the line that the poor little ‘petal’ is tired and has subsequently lost his mojo as well! really?

    excuses excuses etc etc etc. i have been a severe critic of vettel for a very long time and to be quite honest i dislike the chap immensely but, that said, he is no slouch behind the wheel, but a 4 x WDC should be talented enough to master the new car quicker and better than his team mate based simply on his experience on the track and within the team which in case anyone has forgotten was built solely around him. marko emphatically stated that quite some time ago.

    i still think though that vettel will be back right up there at season finale. if he is not then serious questions would need to be asked about his mid term future within the RBR team.

    .

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH Scuderia Ferrari
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer