Start, Valencia, 2011

2011 half season driver rankings part 3: 5-1

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Here are the top five drivers of the year so far.

Agree? Disagree? Share your verdict in the comments.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Valencia, 2011
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Valencia, 2011

5. Nico Rosberg

Beat team mate in qualifying 8/9
Beat team mate in race 4/7
Races finished 8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate 292/463

Rosberg continues to impress at Mercedes. He’s the only driver outside of the top three teams to have made it into Q3 at every race this year.

His biggest weakness this year has been starts, which has left him dropping behind his team mate on more than one occasion.

Despite that regular points finishes have put him seventh in the championship, just 12 points behind Felipe Massa. Two races away from his 100th Grand Prix, and still without a win to his name, he must be wondering what he could do with a better car underneath him.

A shame to see him in an uncompetitive car, and has had some impressive pace (e.g. China) and tried some brave laps (Qualifying 3, Britain). I’d like to see him in a more competitive car, be that a Mercedes or not.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

4. Jenson Button

Beat team mate in qualifying 3/9
Beat team mate in race 2/7
Races finished 8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate 176/475

Now in his second year at McLaren, Button has been closer to Hamilton on raw pace this year but is still typically a couple of tenths behind in qualifying.

He demonstrated his sensitive touch for slick tyres on a damp track in brilliant style in Montreal, where he chased down Vettel to snatch a sensational last-lap victory.

Button has often been able to make his tyres last longer than his rivals, allowing him to make fewer pit stops, which paid off handsomely in Malaysia where he took second place.

Holding second place in the championship until his Silverstone retirement, his aim at the start of the year was to improve his qualification performances. He has done, slightly, but his racecraft is good as ever. Has kept his head down, brought in the points and the best win a lot of us have seen in a very long time.

Jenson Button 2011 form guide

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011

3. Lewis Hamilton

Beat team mate in qualifying 6/9
Beat team mate in race 5/7
Races finished 8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate 299/475

Hamilton’s driving this year leaves you in little doubt that he is a driver who operates so close to the limit he is prone to exceeding it.

In Monaco and Canada he was aggressive to the point of wild. In the latter, a mis-judged passing move on his own team mate ended his participation in a race he might have won.

Properly restrained, his take-no-prisoners approach to racing combined with his raw speed make him one of the most formidable drivers in F1. He was simply unstoppable in China, rising above an early strategic setback in a manner that seemed to be beyond him in Monte-Carlo.

At Silverstone his early-stint performance in the wet part of the race – first on intermediates, then on slicks – showcased Hamilton’s driving at its very best.

Still quite fast, but needs to learn when to be aggressive and when to bide his time. I think the hype’s gone to his head.

Lewis Hamilton 2011 form guide

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011

2. Fernando Alonso

Beat team mate in qualifying 9/9
Beat team mate in race 4/6
Races finished 8/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate 347/463

At Valencia Alonso said he’d driven the best seven races of his career up to that point. His two since then have been pretty impressive as well – splitting the Red Bulls for second at Valencia, and beating the pair of them at Silverstone.

Choosing between him and Vettel for driver of the year so far is not easy. Alonso’s made a couple of errors here and there, including brushes with the McLaren drivers in Malaysia and Canada. Aside from that, and a lacklustre performance at Shanghai, he’s been in excellent form.

These may not have been his greatest nine drives ever – there are plenty more great Alonso performances in his back catalogue. But he has begun 2011 as he ended 2010, back at the peak of his powers as he was when he won his world championships.

Amazing as always and he’s really having an awesome season, taking everything out of the car. The championship seems to be more or less decided, but if anything goes wrong for Vettel it’s probably Alonso who would take advantage of it.

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011

1. Sebastian Vettel

Beat team mate in qualifying 7/9
Beat team mate in race 9/9
Races finished 9/9
Laps spent ahead of team mate 545/551

It’s easy to write off Vettel’s achievements this year as being simply the product of having the best car. But no-one can doubt he has made the best use of it.

His margin over his team mate has been simply crushing – a fact which makes Red Bull’s attempt to impose team orders at Silverstone all the more unnecessary.

Such has been the scale of Vettel’s dominance that he hasn’t had to do much in the way of battling for position, other than occasionally passing drivers who pitted after him. While he’s led an incredible 78.9% of laps so far this year, his team mate is yet to hit the front, and it’s not as if Webber’s doing a particularly bad job.

Perhaps this flatters him – after all we saw two disastrous attempts at overtaking by Vettel last year. But it’s not as if he’s going to pull over and give the others a chance to lead, is it?

At Spain and Monaco he withstood a barrage of pressure from quicker cars without flinching. His only significant mistake of the year came in Canada, as he strove to keep Button far enough behind that he couldn’t zap past him with DRS.

And even then he was able to maintain his record of starting and finishing every race in the top two places.

Almost totally flawless. his Prost-like cruise to victory in Valencia was for me his most impressive win. Utter domination and control from start to finish, a truly perfect race. Has the car, knows the tyres, confident and if that wasn’t annoying enough for everyone else, he’s so damn likeable. Making hay whilst the sun shines is a prerequisite of a champion and it’s been a long summer for Vettel, but still he works hard.

Sebastian Vettel 2011 form guide

2011 F1 season

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Images ?? Mercedes, McLaren, McLaren, Ferrari spa, Red Bull/Getty images

141 comments on “2011 half season driver rankings part 3: 5-1”

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  1. Well it was obvious who was going to be first, great to see Fernando in 2nd though. I firmly believe he has, like last year been the best driver on the grid. Before Silverstone he was sticking that Ferrari in places it had no right to be in. God help Vettel if the Ferrari turns out to be a consistent race winning car from now on otherwise the lead of his may be cut down fairly quickly.

    1. I’d like to quote the spanish fans here: Fernaaaaaaannddoooooo Aaaalooooonsooooo!!!

      Just kidding, but I have to agree and I think Keith could have put him in first place if it wasn’t for hitting Hamilton this one time. Could have won in Monaco and was going for a result in Canada and even in China he was driving just fine, just nothing really worked out for him there. If he qualifies in front of Massa again then he already wins the teammate comparison for the season in that category.

      After all it is ok to see Vettel first but I hope from now on the Ferrari will allow Alonso to take that position off him.

    2. Don’t count on it. Even if Fernando won every single race for the rest of the season as long as Vettel finished behind him every time he would still win the championship with a margin of 22 points.

      1. unless webber gets bored of vettel and crashes into him. :D

      2. Don’t count on it. There is a very small probability Sebastian (great driver) is going to win or finish second in all of the 10 remaining races. Last year all drivers had 2 or more DNF -or DNF in the points-….
        I am not saying Alonso will win the championship, just saying Vettel will have probably 2 races without any point.. At this stage of the current season only the RBR drivers still have scored points in any single race.

        1. I know i know. He will have a DNF or two, but so will Alonso, so that will even it out. I know that the likelihood of Alonso winning every single race and Vettel being right behind is close to nothing. It was just my way of saying that even if the Ferrari suddenly is the quickest car, it is out of their hands now. Except of cause if Massa can suddenly get back on the horse and start taking a hell of a lot of points off Vettel, but that seems a bit unlikely.

    3. It was a pretty obvious top 5. I was unsure who was going to be put 3rd and 4th with the McLaren’s though.

      I thought it would be hard to split them but seeing the stats are actually 5/7 6/9 in Hamilton’s favour surprised me.

  2. I agree with everything apart from Button, he should be ahead of Lewis. But it’s your choice! Good to see Alonso 2nd though.

    1. I agree, Jenson before Lewis for me to. He has been more consistent in my opinion.

  3. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    19th July 2011, 9:24

    I know all the comments on here are going to be about Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton, but I do want to say how much I agree with Rosberg being in the Top 5.

    He’s beating his 7-time World Champion team mate again and showing that all he needs is the machinery to enable him to fight for victories. He’s clearly got the pace and the skill to take on the established front-runners and I so desperately want to see him take his long overdue first Grand Prix win.

    With the unfortunate loss of Kubica, Nico’s the one guy other than Kobayashi who I’d love to see fight for a Championship. I really hope that happens soon because it’d be a tragic injustice for such an underrated driver to not get the results his ability and his efforts are deserving of.

    1. That was spooky – I hadn’t even seen your comment before I wrote mine!

    2. ILoveVettel
      19th July 2011, 9:34

      I have been a big fan of Rosberg since his starting days with Williams. But I have to say that he has made some serious errors while being in contention of a win… The pit lane exit in Singapore(2009?) springs to mind.

    3. Coefficient
      19th July 2011, 12:08

      I think you may well get your wish next year. I’ve hear rumours that this year’s Merc car was built as a test mule for advanced concepts that are destined for 2012, in a highly refined and advanced state of development of course. Should be interesting.

      1. hope so, but they said that last year…

    4. With the unfortunate loss of Kubica[…]

      Hang on mate, he’s not dead just yet!

  4. Feels as good as a COTD :)

    I would have had Rosberg 6th but fair play to the lad.

    1. Well you would know as you’ve had that many :P Or are COTDs starting to lose their novelty now that you have by far got the most? ;)

      1. Or are COTDs starting to lose their novelty now that you have by far got the most?

        I feel like blurting something about how lucky he is, but I suppose it isn’t luck. It’s skill in its purest form. ;)

        1. His keyboard is surely better than yours, must have found a loophole in the rules…

          1. +11. LMAO

        2. You make your own luck with COTD.

          1. It helps if you are in a time zone that allows you to comment on an article early.

      2. Never.

        bg, I have a magic flexi-keyboard and my computer hot-blows. You can make your own jokes about me spewing hot air ;)

        1. Haha Icthyes! :D

  5. Rosberg to me is the new Button – technically very good if unspectacular, level-headed, doesn’t have any real weaknesses in his driving, and has shown potential to do great things if given a winning car. Also, he has been in a lot races without a win due to being in good but not great teams, just as Button was before Hungary 2006.

    If I was running one of the top three teams I would be looking to maybe replace the second driver with either Rosberg or Kubica (if he can return without losing any of his speed).

    1. I feel like your last sentence sums it up well .. he would be a great number two but he is by far not exciting or spectacular enough to be a number one. On a great day I’d still rate Schumacher as the number one in his team even when Rosberg solidly brings home the points. If he is unlucky people won’t say he is the new Button, but that he is the new (and improved) Heidfeld .. and thats a lot less flattering.

      1. not exciting or spectular enough… maybe not in that car. but rosberg is fast enough, and that matters most. he may not be as exciting, ala button, but he probably has more raw speed, as demonstrating by outqualifying a 7 times world champion 8 to 1 this year in a car more designed around schumacher.

  6. Agree with your rankings. Alonso has been amazing, but you couldn’t possibly put him in front of Vettel, even if Sebastian does have a faster car. Webber hadn’t really threatened him up until Silverstone, but the fact he hasn’t won a race yet people with slower cars than him have reflects poorly on his season.

    But I tend to agree that Alonso has driven many of the best races of his life this year. I actually think Alonso may be at the prime of his F1 career. He’s extremely consistent and seems a lot more laid back this year – or at least he appears to be in his interviews.

    The gap between Red Bull and everyone else is robbing us of what I believe could be (believe it or not) much more exciting races. Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton are in my opinion the top three drivers in the field, with Nico Rosberg waiting patiently to prove his worth. And then there’s Jenson, who doesn’t seem to qualify well, but always makes his strategy work and ends up there or thereabouts by the end of the Grand Prix on Sunday, which is really all that matters in the end – you don’t get points on Saturday. But those aforementioned top three are almost inseparable, even if they have different styles.

    Vettel is a smart driver; he can manage his tyres, yet still drive just fast enough to hold off his rivals, and not even DRS has stopped him this year. But he can also instantly make himself the quickest driver on track if he needs to, as we see in qualifying. Whether that’s down to Red Bull’s pace or his own skill, we don’t yet know, but I’d say it has a lot to do with the cool-headed driver at the wheel. You only have to compare him to his team-mate to come to that conclusion.

    Fernando is a good all-round driver. He seems to excel in race conditions and hasn’t appeared to get into trouble at any stage when it comes to passing people. He’s also a brilliant qualifier, and often puts his car amongst the Red Bulls at tracks where they were expected to be blown away. He also has the ability to pick up the pace almost instantly when he needs to.

    Hamilton, on the other hand, is not as well rounded as the other two, but his fearless driving style and unrelenting pace make him one of the most revered drivers out there. He often gets himself into trouble, but he more than makes up for it with the occasional. His results aren’t consistent, but his pace most certainly is.

    But I should say that this is entirely my own opinion, and none of what I’ve said is fact, just observation.

  7. Disagree with Keith’s comments on Rosberg. Schumi has been on par with Rosberg on race pace. Even if you look at the last race Schumi’s pace was a little faster than Rosberg (both on more or less similar strategy) during the race (even though Schumi was relatively stuck behind Heidfeld for the second half of the race) and Rosberg in clear air. The problem with Schumi has been qualifying where he seems to not get the single lap together without error. Mind you in the earlier races Schumacher was hampered by one or more issues(DRS) in qualifying whereas Rosberg did not seem to have those problems. Schumi has definitely improved from last year

    1. I rather think the problem for Schumi has been not just qualifying, but also misjudgements due to possibly overdriving the car in the races.

    2. Schumacher s pace in Silverstone wasn t that good in later stages of race, cause Heidfeld moved on and Alguersuari closed the gap to him… And starts are difficult for Nico not just this year as its written in the article, he struggled in that area also last year… This is probably his biggest problem… True, that he has very often a quiet and anonymous race, but overall he is delivering and that s what counts at most…

      1. The issue is how can Rosberg be ranked so high compared to Schumacher, when Schumacher has beaten him in nearly half the races?

        I thought Schumacher’s ranking was about right, but Rosberg is too high.

        1. However, to me the issue is when was the last time one could say MS’s teammate has beaten him in over half the races, aside from last year that is?

          Obviously for NR the comparisons are to a 7-time WDC, and the fact that MS has only just now started to match NR’s race pace bodes well for NR…NR has outqualified him strongly, and leads him in points still after a season and a half of MS’s return…not good enough for a 7-time WDC, but even without the comparison to MS, NR still stands best of the rest just 12 points behind a Ferrari.

          So I agree completely that NR would at this point be fun to watch in a competitive car, and even though I am tempted to say he has everything to prove yet in terms of holding it together in the mental game once he is truly fighting for wins with a capable car, the fact that he is handling MS quite well might be such a confidence boost for him that he is growing into the position of ‘win-fighter’ as we speak.

          1. I was ready to argue, but I like your explanation.

  8. As good as Vettel has been, I hope some of the other drivers can start to pile on some pressure. I’d like to see him pushed to make mistakes such as the one in Canada when pressured by Button. The only man that’s close to doing that at the moment seems to be Alonso as Ferrari start to get their act together.

    I wish McLaren would pull their finger out. I’m a Lewis fan and I’m finding them very frustrating at the moment, even with Button they’re making silly mistakes. It was good to see Lewis race with a good head in Silverstone, showing some quality driving at the start, quite annoying he was running out of fuel though – but he did handle it well.

    I just want things to start going wrong for Redbull, like silly gearbox failures or bad sets of tyres. Unlikely to happen though, I can dream.

    1. do not despair my friend, RBR dominating part of the season is about to be over…wait and see, or watch more conveniently:)

  9. I think Keith seperated the top 2 very well. Both have been very consistant but Vettel hasn’t had a ‘lacklustre’ race yet and hasn’t had race damaging collisions with any other cars. On metronomic consistency, I’d give to Vettel too.
    I think you could’ve tossed a coin between Button and Hamilton too, but Hamilton tends to be ahead when both are running so I see the logic in that one.
    And Rosberg quietly going about his business again this year, often being best of the rest. Schumi has upped his game but Rosberg is responidng.

  10. I agree with the first 2.

    Vettel, without a doubt, he has been absolutely brilliant. His slip in Montreal was probably a sign of pushing too hard to keep Button behind, I doubt it was the pressure. He withstood Alonso in Monaco for so many laps while his tyres were clear off the cliff.

    Alonso is driving as well as he ever has. He has comprehensively thrashed his teamate. He has extracted every ounce of performance out his car for over 4 seasons now. Forgetting is of track shenanigans, he is the best out there just now, no doubt, pure class. Hopefully he will pick up a few more wins this year. The title is completely out of reach unless Vettel and Red Bull suffer some kind of catastrophe.

    I would have put Rosberg in 3rd. He has been top notch all year, pushing hard in a car thats very clearly off the pace. His starts have been the weakness, and has made life rather difficult for him. He’s kept Michael in the shadow an put on some great races. Would like to see him in a Ferrari!!

    I dont think Lewis has a good season so far. He doesnt seem right in the head, way to emotional behind the wheel. I would rank Jenson ahead of him. Being aggressive is great entertainment, but it doesnt necessarily win you race give the current set of rules. He’s not a kid anymore and if he doesnt get his head screwed on straight, I wont be surprised if he remains with his single WDC title.

    Jenson has class all year. He has driven to the strengths of the car and his style, scores some great results and has made great progress in bringing the car closer to his liking. Still a few tenths off Lewis in qualy, but he’s driven some very good races.

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Rosberg
    4. Jenson
    5. Hamilton

    1. His slip in Montreal was probably a sign of pushing too hard to keep Button behind, I doubt it was the pressure.

      But isn’t that exactly how the pressure manifests itself? He isn’t just going to say “I can’t handle this anymore!” and just park it at the side of the track. If he had dealt with the pressure better he wouldn’t have pushed too hard to keep Button behind, he would have pushed just hard enough.

      I agree with everything else in your post, I’m just interested in how you define ‘not dealing with pressure”?

    2. I doubt it was the pressure

      Vettel had to push because if Button had been within one second come the hairpin, it was game over for Vettel as Button would have just flown by.

      Judging by the rate Button was catching him and how Button most likely would have been within that one second, I’m quite sure it’s safe to say it was a mistake under pressure.

      1. Vettel had to push because if Button had been within one second come the hairpin, it was game over for Vettel as Button would have just flown by.

        That’s the interesting thing about Vettel this season – he didn’t have to push on the last lap at all. His WDC lead was and is large enough that he doesn’t have to take unnecessary risks to win races at all costs.

        The safe (i.e. boring) option would have been to simply let Button past, accept a safe second place and maintain a huge points lead. Instead, Vettel pushed as hard as he could and lost control – he was actually very fortunate to recover the car and could have easily found himself out of the race.

        A minor point I know, but how often have fans complained about the “cruise and collect” mentality of some previous champions?

        1. The clever thing to do would be to let Button pass, and just stay within a second, then win! Not that I want that to happen..

          1. anyways, with the DRS it would’ve been easy for button to overtake vettel or vettel to overtake button

  11. Congratulations…Hamilton only on 3rd position behind Alonso. I’m impressed to see that ;)

    1. I am amazed too! Aparently crashing into other drivers isn’t a weakness for Hamilton, infact its a strength (

      he is a driver who operates so close to the limit he is prone to exceeding it.


      I mean really? I’m not a Button fan, but Button if he didn’t have the pit crew screw up on him, would be AHEAD of Hamilton in the standings, yet Hamilton as done better?

      Dear goodness, if any other driver crashed, say Petrov, Maldo etc.. even in their first year it’s a sign of struggling and not producing results. When it’s Hamilton it’s because he is so good that the laws of physics aren’t leneant enough for him.!!!

      1. + a million :). My sentiments exactly.

      2. Thats a lot of if, IF Hamilton hadnt retired in canada he would have won.

        Look at the stats, when both are running hamilton is ahead in the race, and ahead on qualy. Only a mistake in monaco/silverstone from McLaren prevented him from qualifying better at all the races

        1. Anthony. not a lot of if, it’s one. IF the pit crew did their job then he wouldn’t have DNFed.

          Canada was a racing incident (I think Buttons more at fault), but a racing incident non the less.

          Hamilton is faster than Button when they are both running normally. That has been proved in many races in their short time together, but this year Hamilton has spent nearly half the GP’s mucking around and not under normal circumstances.

          It’s one thing to be faster than your teammate on pure pace, it’s another thing to use it.

          Fact is, after 9 GP’s
          Hamilton 109 points
          Button 109 points

          Hamilton has been fast but very patchy.
          Button has been slightly slower (3rd to Hamiltons 2nd in Spain), but consistant.

          Cancelling out the results they have the same, the left over is:
          Hamilton 2 4 4 8
          Button 3 3 6 6

          (Both 1 2 4 6)

          Hamilton is faster when consistant as shown by the spread of results. Button is far more consistant, all between 3 and 6. Hamilton’s are between 2 and 8. Both have one 1 so it’s relaly 1 and 6 for Button vs 1 to 8 for Hamilton.

          Hamilton’s DNF was 50/50 share of blame
          Button’s was 0% share of blame

          2007 season
          109 Hamilton
          109 Alonso

          ./…. 110 Raikkonen ;)

          1. I was kind of surprised to see Hamilton at 3rd since I put him on 5th on my list without feeling harsh about it. The amount of crashes he has had this year just doesnt deserve 3rd in my book. His crying about the stewards does not help either, he seems to forget that almost every contact results in a visit to the stewards yet he just wants to walk away from every incident like its no problem.

          2. Couldn’t have said it better. And thank you for taking the time to do it well.

  12. I am supprised you cll it that close between Vettel and Alonso actually. Sure in the last 3-5 races it might have been close between them, with Vettel having the advantage of the better car.

    But if we take the first half of the season, Vettel made hardly any mistakes when it mattered and got amazing qualifying laps out of the car despite some setbacks, where Alonso did have some glitches. He is very clearly ahead of all the others though.

    I feel Button and Hamilton are really close, almost died in 3rd. Sure Button is a bit slower, but he used what was available better, and could have finished on the podium in Silverstone as well, staying 2nd in the championship. Hamilton had a very strong start, then got in a run of probably mind trouble from wanting it all right now. But Silverstone showed he is close enough to get back in league with Alonso and Vettel.

    I agree with the great job Rosberg is doing, shame Ross did not manage to do a better job with the car.

    1. I am supprised you cll it that close between Vettel and Alonso actually. Sure in the last 3-5 races it might have been close between them, with Vettel having the advantage of the better car.

      I’m not. Alonso has been great in every race so far this year. Only his car let him down at the start of the year.

      1. No he hasn’t.
        Do you remember when he buried his front wing in the back of Lewis’ McLaren? That surely wasn’t great. Or his bad starts compared to Massa at the beginning of the season. Alonso has been really good, but he has occasionally been beaten by his team mate. Vettel hasn’t when the points are handed out, and i will eat my own shoes if Webber isn’t a better driver then Massa. Based on that i think it is quite easy to call which driver has had the better season so far.

    2. @ BasCB

      So d’you reckon Hamilton or Vettel would do better in a Mercedes?

      1. I think Hamilton would. Vettel would maybe get a great qualifying position, and get all the speed out of it but Hamilton would be able to take the car to places that amaze in the race. A bit like some of Kubica’s races (and perhaps Rosbergs podium runs?) last year, I think.

      2. Not consistently, but I’m convinced they would occasionally stun us with some brilliance. The Schumacher of 15 years ago would have also and even the Schumacher of today has done more memorable things in that car than Rosberg (and obviously more things to forget aswell). I’ve been a “fan” of Rosbergs for a long time and I think he is one of the best drivers and probably even 5th but some just have this tiny little bit more .. something special. But I sure hope he can prove me wrong in the future :-)

      3. Not sure. I think Hamilton might get it in places it doesn’t belong during the races right from the start and be first to win in it.
        But I thing Vettel would work quitly away at getting the car better and getting ahead in Qualifying to eventually get pretty impressive results more often and end up on top in the end.

    3. I agree with the rankings.
      Vettel finished ahead of Webber in every race, and his only mistake was on a drying track in Canada.
      Alonso excelled with the car he has, but he has been beaten two times by Massa and crashed into Hamilton in Malaysia.
      Hamilton is still the fastest of all the others, so third place is deserved even if he has had two “bad” races.
      Button is very close to Hamilton but he is generally slower on pure pace.
      Rosberg is very good as he is consistently the fastest of “the rest” and deserves 5th place.

  13. I know comments for the guy are either hot or cold, but I struggle to see how Hamilton can get third when he has displayed two performances this year that border on idiotic.

    1. In Hamilton’s defence, he was pretty spectacular in China, Barcelona and Britain. I dont think you can place Jenson at #3, he has been really poor at qualifying, and other than Canada, has done nothing out of the ordinary this season.

  14. I agree with this top 5. But I think that people sometimes overrate Rosberg. He is quite strong driver in many areas, but doesn’t have champoion’s mentality, he lacks that spark, that Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso has. Yes, he is beating Schumacher, but maybe Schumi is not that strong as others consider.

    Vettel is doing a fantastic job this year. Remmember, how many mistakes he made last year? This year he shook off ‘crash kid” nickname, that Whitmarsh gave him. Would be interesting to see Alonso or Hamilton as his team mate.

  15. BaronVonAwesome
    19th July 2011, 10:15

    Hamilton no.3???

      1. Indeed, he is having a great season. His mistakes in Monaco and Canada don’t suddenly mean he hasn’t been.

        1. Sure, but how is this any different to how Mark Webber was doing this time last year, and from memory he was getting a bit of a hammering on here.

          1. I think it was Vettel getting a hammering on here, due to Turkey, Hungary and Belgium.

        2. Sure they do. It’s not about being fast, it’s about finishing ahead, and if you’re driving like a tool every second race then you won’t finish ahead often enough.

          I’d have had Hamilton back 5 or 6 places. Quite simply, he is over driving. He’s faster than Button. Button knows it, you can tell that Button doesn’t expect to beat Hamilton in a straight fight by the way he’s always looking for the ‘alternative strategy.’ But Button is ahead in the Championship, because hamilton keeps binning it and getting in trouble with the stewards for driving recklessly. That’s all you need to know.

  16. The perpetual F1 ranking problem: Whether to say that a quality driver in a car which is miles faster than the rest is doing the best job out there. In 2009 when Button did the same thing Vettel is doing now, we all said it was down to the car, in 2011, its down to Vettel. I’m confused.

    While Vettel has been mighty, I’m still far more impressed with Alonso who is dragging everything he can and more out of the 150 (silly symbol) Italia.

    1. Honestly, I think it’s the other way round. People were praising Button’s “smooth driving style” when he won it in ’09 but now a lot people don’t give Vettel the credit he deserves because they think that it’s solely down to the car. The reality is that the RB7 is much more dominant than the Brawn ever was but when you compare his efforts to his team-mate’s, you really can’t discount Vettel’s achievements.

  17. Id have given Button over Lewis actually.

    1. I think if you take say, just the last few races, then for sure. And generally I’d agree. But it is so close to call and Hamilton, mistake prone as he has been, has done some massive laps.

    2. I agree. Jenson’s consistency more than made up for Lewis’ speed this year. In fact, I believe that (to this date) this is Hamilton’s worst season ever. He was more “mature” in 2007!
      He clearly has the potential to be on top (not as 2011’s champion anymore, but as the top driver), were not for that bitter foe he has on the track with the initials LH.

  18. Keith sorry to ask maybe I’m just not paying attention or understanding but why do most drivers have #/7 (ex. Hamilton Beat team mate in race 5/7) but Vettle is the only one 9/9…?

    1. because it compares only races were both teammates finished. And the Red Bulls are the only ones to do so in all races so far this year.

  19. id have rosberg above hamilton and button. he gets more out of his car then the mclaren drivers do out of theirs.

  20. It’s funny to see the Hamilton and Button comparisons because i think despite the fact Lewis has out performed Jens in most races it’s Button who most people would say is having the better season so far.

    1. Yeah, people only remember bad races, and LH has had monaco/canada one after the other, followed by the slump in performance by the McLaren.

      When the year is over, we will all see who’s the better driver year-round (as last year).

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