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

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

you’re talking about! Thanks

2

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.

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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?

7

James,

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?

8

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.

9

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

10

It’s very scientific.

11

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.

12

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.

Cheers,

Martin

13

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.

14

Agreed. +1

15

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.

16

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.

17

+1.

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

18

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.

19

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.

20

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! 😉

21

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.

22

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

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

23

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 😉

24

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.

25

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.

-johnpierre-

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

26

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.

Cheers,

Martin

27

No problem, I will drop you a line

28

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

29

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

30

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”.

31

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.

32

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

33

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?

34

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.

35

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.

36

“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.

37

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

38

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,

39

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:

Vettel:

CQPF, 4

CRPF, 4

CRF, 4

TSF, 4

HTHF, 5

RCF, 3

LF, 2

Equals = 26 out of 35. or 7.4/10

Hamilton:

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

40

LF for Webber?

I’d suggest -∞ 😉

41

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…

42

@Mitchel

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

43

http://www.f1zone.net/news/abu-dhabi-grand-prix-driver-ratings/16568/

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!?

44

Not to belabour the point, but also:

Synonyms:

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

45

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

46

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

47

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.

48

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

Patience! ;-D

49

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?

50

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.

51

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

52

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 . . .