2009 F1 driver rankings part 2: 15-6

How should we rate Massa, who only raced half the season?

How should we rate Massa, who only raced half the season?

We began the countdown of the top drivers of 2009 yesterday looking at the least impressive racers of the year.

Today we cover the other drivers who failed to make it into the top five – with more of your comments and ratings of the class of 2009.

15. Giancarlo Fisichella

Fisichella’s pole position for Force India at Spa was surely the great upset of the season. And he came oh-so-close to opening the team’s points account with a win. He had threatened to get the job done earlier in the season, finishing a ninth at Monaco with eighth-placed Sebastien Bourdais in his sights.

More would surely have followed had he stayed at Force India but the lure of Ferrari proved too great. However Fisichella struggled with the F60, particularly under braking as we saw when he crashed in practice at Monza. He failed to score a single point for the Scuderia.

So remember his season for that wonderful weekend in Spa, and not for the damp squib which was his switch to Ferrari.

He had the race of his life, then moved to Ferrari and reminded us all why he had ended up at Force India in the first place.
Ned Flanders

14. Timo Glock

As was widely expected, Glock was usually behind super-qualifier Trulli on Saturday. But on race day he often moved up the field – indeed he gained an average of almost four places per race.

He deserved much better at Malaysia where – just like at Brazil last year – he benefitted by going a different way to his rivals when the rain fell. He passed Nick Heidfeld for second on lap 32 when the red flags came out, but was dropped to third place by the count-back rule.

Glock did get a second place at Singapore by avoiding the kind of mistakes made by Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso.

If it wasn’t for Japan, he may have scored a few more points. Passed Trulli at Bahrain at the start. Should have won but the team put on the wrong tyre compound on his second stint and ruined his race.
Chalky

13. Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen had a disappointing final year with McLaren

Heikki Kovalainen had a disappointing final year with McLaren

Rating Kovalainen is a tricky job because we know new parts at McLaren usually went to Hamilton. But how much was this a refection on Kovalainen’s driving, and how far was it the cause of he gulf between him and his team mate?

In truth, probably more the former than the latter. He rarely looked on a par with Hamilton with a notable exception at Shanghai where Kovalainen kept the car on the drenched track while his team mate had several spins.

He scored points steadily in the second half of the season when the MP4-24 came good, and it’s fair to say he wasn’t quite as cavalier about finishing races as his team mate could be. He never made it as far as the podium, though – something Hamilton managed five times.

He did have a few good races when the car was really at its worse in particular at China. But when the car improved Kovalainen really didn’t put in the performances. Perhaps the cars doesn’t really suit him, but he could have at least gotten it to the podium at particularly Valencia and Monza but he lost out to Raikkonen in a much slower Ferrari. He also did well in qualifying a few times during the year. It cant really be easy to be pared up with perhaps currently, the best driver in the field.
Zenobia

12. Jarno Trulli

Started the season brightly with top-four finishes in three of the first four races. With a better strategy at Bahrain and without a qualifying penalty at Melbourne it could have been even better.

Despite suffering more than team mate Glock did from the wild swings in performance of the TF109 from track to track, Trulli still amassed more points. Getting beaten by rookie Kamui Kobayashi in the final race was a blow, however.

Best wine-producing F1 driver again. A couple of very strong drives, and a couple of occasions when he had a winning car. Shame they didn’t coincide. Appears to have gone mad, I hope we haven’t seen the last of Jarno’s Photo Casebook.
Bullfrog

Don’t you mean “whine?”
Penelope Pitstop

11. Nick Heidfeld

As ever, you get the fiercest arguments over whether a driver was better than his team mate when the two are very closely matched (think of Alonso and Hamilton in 2007, for example). It’s been pointed out by a lot of people on this site that although Kubica generally gets more column inches, Heidfeld out-scored him this year.

But if this list were a simple ranking of the drivers in order of how many points they’d scored it would be a rather lazy and simplistic one. Heidfeld might have scored more but for me Kubica showed more potential, and benefitted from a little less good fortune.

Heidfeld rode his luck to take a (half-points) second place at Sepang. Unlike Kubica he was able to use BMW’s KERS at the beginning of the season, but this was soon dropped entirely.

It was slim pickings from then on with the troublesome F1.09. His strong suit was his impressively consistent finishing – and a record run of 41 classified finishes on the trot which only ended when Sutil crashed into him.

Another season where he drove great while almost not being noticed at all.
SaloolaS

10. Robert Kubica

Yes, Heidfeld scored two more points than he did. But Kubica had one more mechanical failure and was eliminated from a likely second place at Melbourne.

While it’s true Kubica often didn’t get as much out of the F1.09 as Heidfeld did when the car was at its worst, he could be relied upon to do better when the car was closer to the front.

He was especially impressive at Interlagos, where he got his BMW ahead of Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn on pure pace. It was one of the few occasions when he looked like the driver who topped this chart last year.

There were days when he couldn’t beat Heidfeld – and vice-versa. But on balance for me Kubica edges it as the better of the two BMW drivers this year.

Terrible car and terrible luck. Could have done a lot better.
Pedal to the Vettel

9. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen hit a purple patch after Massa was injured

Kimi Raikkonen hit a purple patch after Massa was injured

The curious thing about Raikkonen’s season was how he came to life after Massa was injured in qualifying at Hungary. Suddenly Raikkonen was getting regular podiums – plus his customary victory at Spa.

Did Raikkonen up his game during Massa’s absence? Or was he flattered by comparison with less talented team mates – or, to put it another way, would an uninjured Massa have had the beating of him?

After Ferrari halted development on the F60 Raikkonen’s form dipped again at the end of the season, with a particularly disappointing final race at Yas Island.

The middle part of the season shows he still has the potential to be one of F1’s most formidable drivers, if someone can coax it out of him more regularly. Having him sat on the sidelines when there are plenty of F1 cars he could race is a waste of talent.

Was poor to begin with but had an incredible second half of the season in what was a very difficult and underdeveloped car, as demonstrated by Fisi and Badoer.
RandomChimp

8. Felipe Massa

It was a tough start to the season for last year’s championship runner-up with no points in the first four races, partly thanks to a pair of car failures. But from then Massa’s results reflected the consistent progress he and Ferrari were making: sixth, fourth, sixth, fourth and then third at the Nurburgring.

Then came that sickening crash at the Hungaroring which brought his season to an abrupt end.

Early in his recovery he was told team mate Raikkonen had finished second at Hungary. Massa replied that meant he would have won if he’d raced. We are left to wonder what might have happened, and whether his injureis and enforced absence from the cockpit will have blunted his edge.

Was on course to finish fifth in the title race after out-performing his team mate.
David A

7. Nico Rosberg

In his fourth season of F1, Rosberg reached new heights of speed and consistency – for which he has already been rewarded with a promotion to the championship-winners for 2010.

Though he got some stick for frequently topping practice sessions yet never translating it into pole position or a win, Rosberg brought his car home in the points for eight races in a row and single-handedly scored enough points to put Williams seventh in the constructors’ championship.

Yet he managed to go the whole season without reaching the podium. His mistake coming out of the pits at Singapore cost him his best chance of a top-three finish, but that was one of few significant errors from Rosberg this year.

Pushed to the limits, outclassed his team mate.
sato113

6. Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello withstood pressure from Button to win at Monza

Rubens Barrichello withstood pressure from Button to win at Monza

Barrichello came on strong in the second part of the season but he’d already lost a lot of ground to Jenson Button.

He was fortunate to salvage second at Australia after a poor start and a collision with Mark Webber.

Further slow getaways at Istanbul (losing nine places) and Spa (ten) meant he squandered the hard work he did on Saturdays. He was usually stronger than Button in qualifying – managing an average starting position of 4.5 to Button’s 5.7.

But despite staying in contention for the championship until the penulimate race he only beat Button four times in the 15 occasions both drivers finished. Two of those were his victories in Valencia and Monza, both of which were impressive – particularly the latter where he withstood race-winning pressure from his team mate.

I can’t believe he is still so hungry after so many years. Let down by his race pace a few too many times.
Sharon

Read the first part of the list here: 2009 F1 driver rankings part 1: 25-16

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161 comments on 2009 F1 driver rankings part 2: 15-6

  1. That is rubbish, how is massa ahead of kimi

    Load of junk man

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2009, 19:27

      Because over the nine races they did together Massa was the better driver. And I don’t think anyone doubts Massa is a better driver than Fisichella or Badoer.

      Raikkonen and Massa fared similarly in qualifying and their finishing rate was the same. But Massa generally finished higher, reflected in the fact he scored more than twice as many points as Raikkonen.

      • Roland said on 26th November 2009, 20:24

        Keith you miss the fact that Kimi’s retirements (Spain, Nurburgring) occurred by and large after the introduction of the double diffuser (after Barcelona), when the car was half way capable of scoring points. Massa may have missed a few with retirements in China and Australia, but we’re talking minor points not podiums. Kimi suffered from bad strategy – in Malaysia with the unsuitable tyres, in silverstone where he got to Q3 (unlike Massa) but got stuck behind Nakajima for two stints whilst Massa waltzed to fourth with no traffic to perterb him. Turkey he got a bad start from the dirty side of the grid despite outqualifying Massa on his ‘home’ circuit with more fuel.
        I really don’t think there was much between them, despite what the points tally suggests. The fact is Raikkonen had the lion’s share of the bad luck and suffered from mechanical failures when the car was competitive.

        • Patrickl said on 26th November 2009, 23:31

          Indeed.

          His car broke down so often it just wasn’t funny.

          He was keeping up with Massa in Germany even though the engine wasn’t running properly and then Sutil rammed into him.

          First two races the cars failure was masked by an untimely end of the race, but Raikkonen ended up in the pits instead of the finish line.

          The thing is. You don’t see Kimi fuming about it on TV. So the uneducated fans think it’s ridiculous that Raikkonen is eating ice cream.

          Indeed maybe that is ridiculous. He should have been throwing stuff around and cursing at everybody for messing up his car yet again.

          I guess that what Italians call detached personality. They expect you to freak out when something goes wrong.

        • Senor Paz said on 3rd December 2009, 3:27

          Roland,

          That is rubbish, Massa was on course for a podium finish in Australia when his engine failed. Actually you should watch the start of that race again, just brilliant opening few laps for Felipe (unlike 2008).

          And to say that he ‘waltzed’ to fourth in Silverstone from 11th on the grid is just laughable. You presumably see no merit in Felipe outpacing Kimi in the first stint with more fuel on board either.

          It is true that Kimi beat Felipe in Q3 with 2 extra laps fuel in Turkey, but why the hell did he finish the race ninth while Felipe finished sixth? I’ll tell you why, just watch the start of that race again.

          Kimi’s victory in Spa was most impressive – no one disputes that – but I think it’s only fair to judge two competing pilots when they’re racing together. Who knows what Felipe would have done in the second half of the season when Ferrari clearly improved?

      • not really true, Taking into account mechanical failure and monaco, you are wrong. They were pretty equal, plus the strategy massa had on most races was significantly better. I doubt whether massa was in line for a victory this year also.
        As for the likes of Hamilton and Alonso in the top five, Alonso was next to no-where all year all be it in a dog of car. But the ferrari was also pretty rubbish. However we all know how bad the ferrari was to drive and kimi hauled it onto the podium many times. Lets not forget Hungary, Spa, Valencia, monza, monaco and if it wern’t for webbers move at brazil he could of had another podium.
        Lets remember Australia where Hamilton CHEATED! Monza where he through it in the wall and the many spins at malaysia. Lets be fair the Mclaren was the best car arguable for the later half of the season.
        I think your opinions are really bias and based on selective memory.

        • Patrickl said on 26th November 2009, 23:32

          Hamilton didn’t cheat in Australia. He lied to keep his rightful place.

          It was bizarre that he managed to get on the podium with that car. Credit were credit is due.

      • Soumya Banerjee said on 17th May 2010, 14:59

        How was Massa the better driver if Ferrari’s wrong choice of tyres for Kimi in Sepang and all those unreliabilities did him in? Load of crap.

  2. Keith, again, what do you have against Kimi?..and I think Heidfeld should be ahead of Kubica..

  3. Dennis said on 26th November 2009, 13:17

    Kimi should have been above Massa I agree but no way Kimi did anything better than Alonso. Kimi had a good car in the middle of the season which allowed him for good results. Alonso had a terrible, dreadfull renault from the start ’till the finish of the season and still managed to get that dog of a car in Q3 most of the time, so he didn’t just smash his teammates but he put a car that’s worth place 14 or lower in the top 10 multiple times. Also Singapore, where he finished third in the underdevelloped renault? I mean come on. Kimi didn’t do anything special ad besides Massa his teammates were probably even worse than the ones Alonso had.

    Also I disagree with Heidfeld below Kubica. Heidfeld is a different racer, he’s not the spectacular superfast driver Kubica is, he’s the consistent driver who you don’t see all race and still finished 5-3rd and since consistency is definetly a key, I’d put him above Kubica this year.

    As for the driving this year: 1 Vettel 2 Hamilton 3 Button 4 Alonso and 5 Webber. Just my 2 cents. He won 4 races, a feat Red Bull didn’t accomplish once before he joined and he’s shown great potential and speed. Consistency is still a bit lacking but so is Hamilton’s (crashing in the final lap and some other mistakes he shouldn’t have made) so I’d put Vettel above Hamilton this year, especially since he destroyed Webber most of the time (and Webber is way better than Kovalainen). Also Vettel has shown great progress, most mistakes were in the first half of the season, the second half he was unbelievable. Button was pheanominal the first half of the season. He didn’t make any mistakes and the fluent driving style he has is really great. Alonso, as I said above, respect for the way he’s been pushing. Webber was OK but good outclassed by Vettel almost all the time in Qualifying and in scoring/racing as well. Also note the way he trashed his RBR into the wall when they were suffering from bad breaks whilst Vettel finished with the same car and the same problem.

  4. GooddayBruce said on 26th November 2009, 13:21

    Fisichella is an odd one isn’t he? When he first started out he was absolutely one of the fastest and most exciting young drivers out there but he just never followed through on that promise with real success.

    I was discussing with a friend drivers greatest wins, each driver has his day of days and I think it says a lot about Fisichella that his days of days have not been wins, Spa 97 and 09 spring to mind (and all at Spa – never noticed that before)

  5. Wow. Well, this is probably unnecessary to say because 40-something people have already pointed it out but I also think Kimi has been ranked rather bizarrely low.

  6. Melanie said on 26th November 2009, 14:01

    You mention Hamilton who managed to score 5 podiums. Yet Kimi is ranked 9th while he also managed to score 5 podiums in a much slower car. Kimi managed to outscore Webber, Button and Barrichello in the second half of the season in a much slower car. That should perhaps tell something even if Massa wasn’t there. Ferrari’s last update on that car was in Germany, throughout the year the car was about the 4th to 6th fastest, Kimi did a remarkable job with that car. It is incorrect to say that he wasn’t so good in the last races. Kimi did a remarkable job in qualifying at Brazil, and could even perhaps have scored a podium if Webber didn’t drive into him and if his car wasn’t set on fire, but still he managed 6th. At Abu Dhabi it was clear from free practice that Ferrari and Renault were properly the slowest cars.

    Kimi also wasn’t so bad in the first part of the season he had engine problems in China. He retired from the Spanish and German Gp, while he suffered from Ferrari strategy more then once but perhaps more notably in Malaysia and Silverstone. At Turkey kimi broke his front wing at the start of the race, so he lost too much time. In Bahrain and Monaco where Kimi didn’t have any problems he did a very good job, he also outqualified Felipe throughout the year. He didn’t do nearly as bad in the first half of the season as some people seem to imply. Perhaps it should also be noted that Kimi was fuelled heavier then Felipe ever single time they both made it to Q3 (just like Heikki), while at the same time he also always pitted fist, this makes the strategy of going heavier virtually redundant. It seems to point to the fact that Kimi’s car was most likely over the minimum weight, especially in the first half of the season.
    So for me personally Kimi was one of the best during the season, the Ferrari engineers even praised him a lot for many of his drives, and they should know what constitutes an exceptional performance in the F60, better then most.

    Timo Glock surely deserves to be higher then Heikki in the very least. He scored more then one Podium while Heikki wasn’t able too, with a good car in the end.

    It is also difficult to really rank Rosberg, he was very consistent but he often had quite a good car during the season, yet he wasn’t able to score one podium, while Kimi scored 5 for example.
    The same principal also applies to Alonso, his car was very slow in the last races, but during the year the Renault was often just as fast as the Ferrari’s. It wasn’t one of Alonso’s best seasons by his high standards.

    Wasn’t Kimi ranked higher in the first half of the season rankings? How could he now be ranked lower after some of his performance in the second half of the season?

    Oh well, I guess it is always very difficult to do these rankings, and people will never really agree on the rankings. :)

  7. Pedel to the Vettel said on 26th November 2009, 14:17

    Thanks keith for quoting me my ego has grown 1000x now and my dad just keeps telling me to shut up :p

    • Pedel to the Vettel said on 26th November 2009, 15:00

      I agree with these picks you have keith i would of rated Roseberg higher, maybe in the top 5 only because he always was able to overtake other cars and get into the points with a half decent car all season.

      but rank 7 is a good place none the less.

      IMO with the top 5 left i would have this:

      5th:Hamilton-He only started to do well when his car was sorted, at the start of the season he was as good as Luca Badoer. He also lied in Australia to gain points so he doesnt deserve to be in the top 3 let alone the top 5. He should be DSQ like Piquet jnr because the only difference here is Hamilton kept on driving after he lied Piquet jnr didn’t. A cheats a cheat nothing else.
      “If this was a entertainment top 25 i would put Hamilton number 1 without a doubt for pushing alot, nothing else.”

      4th:Alonso-Was performing better then Hamilton at the start-middle of the season until the Mclaren was finally sorted. Alonso still managed to get a podium and points with the 5th worst car on the grid for the overall season. And the only driver to get his car to the maximum (Jackie Stewart said that.)

      3rd:Vettel-Outperformed Webber 80% of the time but his lack of experience being at the front didnt help his season with the mistakes and cracking under pressure. it didnt help with all the cars to take over for him were 99% of the time KERS powered aka impossible to overtake.

      2nd:Webber-Could of done better then Vettel but kept on getting in trouble with the stewards ruining good chances to get on the podium. Should of been second this season not Vettel.

      1st:Button-Solid all season how can he not win this? he was calm and controlled 85% of the season, he had his chances took them all the time. Both Red Bulls failed at doing this when it mattered, thats why he won the season, and not with the help of the double decker diffuser “period”.

  8. Robert McKay said on 26th November 2009, 14:47

    The problem is it’s very easy to slag Button off for a poor second half of the season despite being excellent in the first half, and likewise it’s very easy to note how Raikkonen was excellent for the last third of the season but was mediocre for most of the first half.

  9. Massa was in a good shape, but his crash in Hungria…

  10. Kubica I still believe should be lower than Heidfeld. Yes, he did when the car was up to it, but that was only a few occasions. I would describe Kubica’s year as lazy. And Rosberg should be ahead of Barrichello.

    • Agree with describing Kubica’s year as lazy. He wasn’t even frustrated with performance of his team which was completely opposite to previous season when he was trying to pull up whole team to fight for highest prize (and we know what BMW did). It wasn’t spectacular year of him but I’m convinced he will be back in 2010 only if he’ll get decent car (not necessarily the fastest). I hope that Renault will not reach the bottom next year.

  11. adz2193 said on 26th November 2009, 16:38

    Fair enough, Hamilton smashed his team-mate and scored some good results in the second half of the season, but its a shame that he has made it into the top 5 in a way, some drivers such as Raikkonen, BMWs, Rosberg had poor cars at some races and this has dragged their rank down, and although yes Hamilton was indeed blindingly quick in the second half of the season compared to his team-mate, lets remember Australia – liegate, Shanghai – 3 or 4 spins, Silverstone – another spin in a poor performance, Germany – all or nothing at the first corner lunge, Italy – crashed away a podium.

    If Button, Barrichello, Webber, Kimi had made this many errors, we would be lining up to complain about how they deserve to be put down the list against drivers like Kubica and Heidfeld!!

  12. Hotbottoms said on 26th November 2009, 16:40

    I don’t completely agree with the top 5 Keith has picked but in my opinion they should be in the following order:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Webber
    4) Hamilton
    5) Alonso

    As I’ve said many times before, I think Button is a second-rate driver, but this season – I must admit – nobody else Keith has picked to top 5 was better than Button. I still can’t believe Alonso made it to top 5 and Barrichello didn’t.

    • I don’t think anyone would have got 26 points out of the R29 other than Alonso. He has been on form every race of the year. Its only because he has had a very bad car is why some are not noticing him.

    • adz2193 said on 26th November 2009, 17:00

      If Alonso was driving for Brawn this season, he would have more than 1 pole, 2 wins and 3rd in the championship to his name, almost certainly. Likewise, in the Renault Rubens would still have beaten Piquet and Grosjean, and perhaps bagged a podium, but not as many points as Alonso over the season.

      • Hotbottoms said on 26th November 2009, 18:28

        And your comments are based on the following facts: (fill in here)?

        Alonso is like Rosberg. They both seemed very good this season but no one really knows if they were, because they didn’t have good team mates to compare with. Piquet and Nakajima are disasters and Grosjean didn’t get any testing. Also, Alonso had his teams full support, Grosjean and Piquet didn’t get that kind of luxury.

        • adz2193 said on 26th November 2009, 23:54

          Where are your facts then my friend?

          I was just stating my opinion, which I’m sure is the purpose of this section :)

      • If Alonso was driving for Brawn this season, he would have more than 1 pole, 2 wins and 3rd in the championship to his name

        If Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Kimi, were driving for Brawn this season, they would have more than Button, and if Webber, Kubica, Heidfeld and maybe Rosberg, were driving for Brawn this season, they would have at least the same than Button.

  13. Patrickl said on 26th November 2009, 17:00

    Lol, Keith really hates Raikkonen. Bizarre to put one of the top 5 performers of 2009 on 9.

    • I’m sorry, but it does look like that. How can a driver who scored 1 point less than Hamilton in a much slower car in the second half of the season and by virtue of this outscored every other driver on the grid, be classed so much lower than the same Hamilton? That reeks of bias, either for Hamilton or against Raikkonen, or a bit of both. Similarly, while Alonso may have driven to better results than his car should have allowed, so did Raikkonen (and equally perhaps Massa of course).

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2009, 19:18

      Well I’ve put my reasons for not rating him as highly as you do about as plainly as I can. When he had a decent team mate (Massa) he was usually not as impressive as him. He did have a patch of good results but not having Massa there to compare him against makes it difficult to rate him much higher. The drivers that are ahead of him impressed me more and/or in different ways.

      I don’t hate Kimi Raikkonen, but if you believe I do there’s not much I can do to persuade you otherwise other than point out I have been sympathetic about him in the past as well as critical: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/05/07/being-kimi-raikkonen/

      • “After Ferrari halted development on the F60 Raikkonen’s form dipped again at the end of the season, with a particularly disappointing final race at Yas Island.”..what?Ferrari had halted development since Germany, in July..he had the same car since July, yet he managed podiums and a win, at one of the most driver-skill oriented circuits in the world, and the best on the calendar..it’s not like he had the fastest car in a drag race..HE was the one who got the first points and podium for Ferrari this season, not Massa (not bashing Massa, I think he’s a hell of a driver)..in Brazil the guy had high-concentration petrol in his eyes for most of the race, yet he raced to the finish, and in the points, again, with one of the least developed cars at that stage..I’m not saying he should be at the top of the list, but I am saying that you do have a grudge against him, and for what it’s worth I think you should at least come clean (“come clean” is too harsh, but you get the point) and say why you dislike him so much instead of making weak and irrelevant (and at some level, pathetic) arguments against him..you saw Fisico have that blinder of a race at Spa, how many points has he racked up in the subsequent races at Ferrari?..anyway, if you put Kimi so far back why is Alonso in the top 5?because he kept his mouth shut this season, not having bad-mouthed Hamilton, Britain’s national hero?..I’m sorry for not being too impassible and objective, but some of your ranking criteria is a bit odd to say the least..and I’m not the only one saying it

      • Patrickl said on 26th November 2009, 23:49

        I’d expect you to see the difference between a failing car and a failing driver, but from your rank I can only assume that you made up your ranking looking only at the race results.

        There was a reason why Kimi was performing poorly during the first half of the season (car failures, strategy failures).

        Kimi outqualified Massa during the races they were together and seeing how qualifying is Massa’s real forte I’d say that says a lot already.

        In the races where both cars made it across the finish, Raikkonen was ahead of Massa twice (Bahrain, Monaco) and Massa ahead of Raikkonen twice (Turkey, Silverstone).

        I wouldn’t know where to rate Massa cause he simply didn’t do enough races. He made some pretty stupid mistakes, but also had some nice drives. He also suffered from several car and strategy failures. The whole first half of the Ferrari season was a mess. Hardly something you can rate the drivers on.

        Either way, when the car and the strategy finally did start working, Kimi took a whole slew of podium places and even a win. Often fighting against several faster cars all through the race.

      • Wizzer said on 27th November 2009, 7:21

        Fernando and lewis had decent team mates? Did they had 4 car failures?

  14. theRoswellite said on 26th November 2009, 19:54

    “…his customary victory at Spa”…???? (this sounds like a clue to finishing a bit higher than 9th)

    General Comment: Don’t remember a season with such inconsistent performances, especially Button, but also Barrichello, the above mentioned Kimi, even Vettel had some very “off” races. Nico never lived up to his Friday/Saturday pace (though that was always suspect of course). Even Fisi was at the front in a “poor car”, and then at the back in a “good car”, all explainable to some extent…but still unexpected. (And for me, I always thought Jarno displayed a generous amount of equanimity, over his career, and then there was Brazil…what was that all about? (job insecurity?)

    And if you talk about overall team performance, which we aren’t I know, BMW gets to ride-the-donkey-into-the-sunset. WOW, at the end of last year they were going to challenge for the championship, and at the end of this year they were out the door…even managing to lock it after leaving…no return possible even under a new name. Ignominious exit.

    So, Keith, kick Nico, a favorite driver of mine, down a bit, and Kimi up a touch. (Looking forward to the top 5.)

  15. Sharon said on 26th November 2009, 20:16

    I was disproportionately excited when Keith quoted me in the memorable moments article, and now another one! Thanks Keith, you have now made my day twice this week!

    No one is ever going to agree on these rankings; personally I just enjoy reading other people’s opinions if they are well thought out and eloquent, which the majority here are :)

    • David A said on 26th November 2009, 20:37

      He quoted me in both of these rankings bits too! :)

      • wow you were quoted by someone who doesn’t know how to be fair, excellent, great news!

        • Sharon said on 26th November 2009, 22:50

          I take it you don’t agree with Keith’s rankings then theo? Kimi fan by any chance? I don’t agree with them all either, but I don’t feel the need to call Keith’s character into question just because we have a difference of opinion about F1 drivers’ performances over the last season.

          • adaptalis said on 27th November 2009, 4:56

            I don’t agree with them all either, but I don’t feel the need to call Keith’s character into question just because we have a difference of opinion about F1 drivers’ performances over the last season.

            Totally agree. I find some comments above rather offensive.

        • David A said on 27th November 2009, 0:34

          wow you were quoted by someone who doesn’t know how to be fair, excellent, great news!

          Look, I don’t agree with Keith ranking Kimi down at number 9 either, but give the hard-working Keith Collantine a break, since he’s entitled to his own opinion.

          • Keith is in no way claiming that this article is stating facts, merely that this is his opinion as to how the drivers ranked this season. Several commentators on this site would do well to learn the difference between facts and opinion.

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