Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2012

2012 half-term driver rankings part one: 24-11

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which drivers have excelled so far in 2012? The F1 Fanatic half-term driver rankings start here.

This is my rating of how each of the drivers have performed this year.

F1 Fanatic readers were invited to share their own views on each of the drivers and a selection of those appear below.

24. Narain Karthikeyan

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Hockenheim, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 0/11
Beat team mate in race 0/6
Races finished 7/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 67/437

The statistics speak for themselves: Karthikeyan has been consistently beaten by team mate de la Rosa.

He did finish ahead on the road in Malaysia, after de la Rosa had picked up a drive-through penalty, but Karthikeyan later received a penalty of his own and dropped back behind in the final classification.

He’s qualified eight-tenths of a second slower than de la Rosa on average. It’s reasonable to question whether HRT are equipped to provide two cars of similar performance – only Karthikeyan’s had to have extra cooling holes cut in it in Hungary. But this is about the most that can be said to explain away the substantial gap in performance between the two.

Not one of the best 24 drivers in the world. Probably not one of the best 100. I don?t expect much.

Narain Karthikeyan 2012 form guide

23. Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Valencia, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 2/11
Beat team mate in race 5/8
Races finished 8/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 229/536

Petrov’s switch to Caterham was confirmed so late the team had already run Jarno Trulli during testing. He’s settled into the team since then and has fared better against Kovalainen then Trulli did, though that isn’t saying much.

Petrov has placed ahead of Kovalainen in races where both have finished, but Kovalainen seems to have bore the brunt of the team’s reliability problems. In qualifying, Petrov has been no match for him.

Anonymous in the Caterham, has done little to trouble Kovalainen, but could have got a point in Valencia.

Vitaly Petrov 2012 form guide

22. Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 0/11
Beat team mate in race 0/10
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 15/672

At his best, Massa does an acceptable job as a number two driver, finishing within seven seconds of Alonso in Bahrain, Britain and Monaco. But these days are becoming all too rare.

He spun away a chance of a good result in Canada, and in both Spanish races the only cars behind him belonged to Caterham, HRT and Marussia. It was hoped a change of chassis would improve his performance in Malaysia – he finished a minute and a half behind his team mate.

With a dismal 15% of Alonso’s points haul so far, the question should not be whether Ferrari will replace Massa, but why they haven’t already.

The form is slowly coming back but he is being decimated by Alonso. If he doesn?t lose his seat at the end of the year I?ll eat my hat.

Felipe Massa 2012 form guide

21. Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 2/11
Beat team mate in race 4/9
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 321/638

Vergne gave Ricciardo a run for his money in the opening races of the year. His sole points finish came in Malaysia, where he bravely stay on intermediates until the rain fell hard enough to bring the safety car out.

But he’s struggled in qualifying, often not making it out of Q3, and was beaten by both Caterhams in Canada. His collision with Kovalainen during the European Grand Prix was completely unnecessary.

Can?t seem to qualify well at all. Granted this year’s Toro Rosso is a dog of a car, but the difference between him and Ricciardo in qualifying are night and day. Vergne typically does better on race day, but hasn?t shown much potential beyond gaining a few places from a miserable start. Maybe with more Malaysia-like conditions he?ll achieve more, but probably not.
Matt (@AgentMulder)

Jean-Eric Vergne 2012 form guide

20. Charles Pic

Charles Pic, Marussia, Mugello, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 4/10
Beat team mate in race 2/6
Races finished 8/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 214/522

Given his lack of pre-season testing, Pic has driven very well in his first season of F1 so far. He’s out-qualified and out-raced Glock in the last two races.

The two rookies who occupied his seat before him both lost their drives after a single season. So far Pic looks capable of bucking that trend.

Doing rather well, has been outperforming Glock lately and seems to be a rather quick, reliable newcomer. The Marussia makes it somewhat harder to judge, but I think the guy has potential.
Nick (@Npf1)

Charles Pic 2012 form guide

19. Timo Glock

Timo Glock, Marussia, Barcelona, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 6/10
Beat team mate in race 4/6
Races finished 9/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 308/522

Is the grind of being at the back of the grid finally starting to wear Glock down after two-and-a-half years of it?

Glock has jumped at his rare chances to impress – holding off Kovalainen in Malaysia and almost dragging the Marussia into Q2 in the wet qualifying session at Silverstone.

But the rest of the time he seems increasingly frustrated by his car and his situation.

For someone who has been in F1 for as long as he has, he barely betters his younger and inexperienced teammate and has struggled to take the fight to the Caterhams, let alone take the Marussia up the grid.

Timo Glock 2012 form guide

18. Pedro de la Rosa

Pedro de la Rosa, HRT, Barcelona, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 11/11
Beat team mate in race 6/6
Races finished 8/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 370/437

De la Rosa went into the first qualifying session the year having completed a total of 13 laps in the F112. Nonetheless he out-qualified his team mate and has continued to since then.

He’s taken the fight to Marussia when the opportunity has presented itself. It’s hard to ask much more of a driver in the worst car in the field.

Doing what is expected of him, seems to be carrying HRT and is dominating Narain as expected. Solid but unspectacular.

Pedro de la Rosa 2012 form guide

17. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Melbourne, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 9/11
Beat team mate in race 5/9
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 317/638

A great final lap in Australia saw Ricciardo pick off two cars for what so far have been his only points of the season.

He’s consistently beaten Vergne in qualifying and took a superb sixth on the grid in Bahrain – this was unfortunately followed by a less than stellar start.

Of late he’s tended to hold the upper hand in the races, but there were close battles between him and Vergne at Silverstone and Hockenheim. Neither has stood out as an obvious candidate for Red Bull, but it’s still early days.

Slightly better than Vergne, mostly due to super qualifying performances. Sixth in Bahrain was mega but blew it on lap one. Toro Rosso need to find more pace for him and Vergne to shine.

Daniel Ricciardo 2012 form guide

16. Bruno Senna

Bruno Senna, Williams, Hungaroring, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 3/11
Beat team mate in race 5/8
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 218/511

Neither Williams driver has scored as much as they should have done with the FW34 so far this year. Senna’s problems have usually started in qualifying, where he has been almost six-tenths of a second slower than Maldonado on average. In Spain he put the car in the gravel in Q1.

Starting in the midfield has sometimes led him into trouble – he was hit from behind in both Spanish races while running long in an effort to regain lost ground.

But on other occasions he’s got his head down and brought the car home and has finished in the points six times to Maldonado’s two. He finally reached Q3 for the first time in Hungary, which he will hope is a sign of things to come.

Significantly slower than Maldonado in qualifying but not much difference in race pace. Needs to improve qualifying to get consistently into points. I was honestly expecting more from him but it needs to be noted he is driving his first year at Williams compared to Maldonado.

Bruno Senna 2012 form guide

15. Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 8/11
Beat team mate in race 3/8
Races finished 9/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 293/511

No-one can seriously call Maldonado a second-rate pay-driver any more – his consummate victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, withstanding pressure from no less a driver than Fernando Alonso, blew that label away.

Instead his detractors now call him a crash-prone liability. And on the strength of the year so far it’s been hard to argue with that.

It beggars belief that the same driver who dazzled in Spain could commit some of the monumental blunders in the races that followed and fail to score any further points since then. His collisions with Perez at Silverstone and Hamilton in Valencia were careless at best, cynical at worst.

But his clash with Perez during practice in Monaco is the most troubling incident so far. As with his incident with Hamilton at Spa last year it looked very much like a piece of retribution, and that sort of thing simply must not be tolerated on a race track.

A win is a win is a win, and I have given him full credit for it. But was it his twin brother driving in Barcelona? Because he has practically nothing to show for us outside of that weekend, wasting dozens of points for Williams. His (quite frankly) ridiculous driving has knocked him down a few notches for me as well.

Pastor Maldonado 2012 form guide

14. Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Bahrain, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 5/10
Beat team mate in race 3/6
Races finished 8/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 194/507

Kobayashi has had a fair start to the season but has not been able to hit the same heights as his team mate. However fourth place in Germany (following his promotion due to Vettel’s penalty) was a new personal best for him.

He looked set to do even better when he lined up third on the grid in China, but went backwards at the start and only just came home in the points. He had a scrappy race in Valencia too, tangling with Senna and Massa.

Poor results and not showing the speed of Perez. Some sparks of the Kamui that thrilled people in 09 and 10 but he doesn?t seem like the same driver.

Kamui Kobayashi 2012 form guide

13. Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Valencia, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 5/11
Beat team mate in race 4/9
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 264/576

There has been very little to separate the Force India drivers as the race and qualifying scorelines show.

Hulkenberg has achieved the team’s best result so far, fifth in Valencia, and it might have been even better had his KERS been working – as it was he was defenceless against Schumacher and Webber in the DRS zone late in the race.

He impressed in the wet qualifying session in Germany, setting the fifth-fastest time. But a mistake while defending from Senna at Silverstone cost him a points score – something the team are finding it increasingly hard to come by.

Has also been consistent for Force India with a stand out result in Valencia and some strong qualifying sessions. Appears to have caught up to speed and is matching his teammate. A strong and intriguing battle of the Teammates at Force India. Both Hulkenberg and di Resta have kept Force India in touch with the fundamentally faster Williams in the constructors’ championship.

Nico Hulkenberg 2012 form guide

12. Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Monaco, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 9/11
Beat team mate in race 3/8
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 307/536

Caterham remain slightly too far behind the midfield to be regular contenders, but whenever the opportunity to join the battle has presented itself, Kovalainen has usually been the one to take advantage.

Although his race finishing rate is strong, a series of technical problems have prevented him from finishing higher. He remains the best prospect among the not-so-new teams for a points finish if the cards fall their way.

Kovalainen has been his consistent yet unlucky self. His performance in Monaco was a good reflection of why he probably belongs in a better car

Heikki Kovalainen 2012 form guide

11. Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta, Fernando Alonso, Bahrain, 2012

Beat team mate in qualifying 6/11
Beat team mate in race 5/9
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 312/576

Di Resta has been slightly more consistent than Hulkenberg, leading him home by small margins in Malaysia and Monaco.

He has also grabbed points with some shrewd last-lap tactics. A burst of KERS helped him snatch tenth place in Australia, and he resisted fierce pressure from Alonso to take a season-best sixth at Bahrain.

Although I?ve been increasingly impressed with Nico Hulkenberg, di Resta has to rank above him for his consistent points-scoring over the first eight races of the season. His car is not as high up the pecking order as it was last year, but he?s done a respectable job of hauling it into the top ten on multiple occasions nonetheless.

Paul di Resta 2012 form guide

The F1 Fanatic half-term driver rankings will continue next week. Have your say on the drivers so far in the comments.

You can also read what other F1 Fanatics had to say about the drivers in the forum.

Driver rankings

Browse all driver ranking articles

Images ?? HRT F1 Team, Caterham/LAT, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Toro Rosso/Getty images, Marussia, Marussia, HRT F1 Team, Toro Rosso/Getty images, Williams/LAT, Williams/LAT, Sauber F1 Team, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Caterham/LAT, Sahara Force India F1 Team

146 comments on “2012 half-term driver rankings part one: 24-11”

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  1. No-one can seriously call Maldonado a second-rate pay-driver any more

    Actually, they can – and I’m one of them. On the day he got on top of the tyres, optimised his strategy and kept his head cool. How many times has he done that in his entire F1 career? Yup, once. Countless stupid, ridiculous and, worst of all, dangerous manouveres are tainting his racing career. He has had two points finishes, one more siginificant than the other.

    Of course, people dont win races by accident, but he is given far too much credit. I would say Maldonado is a good driver on the day, but not a great. He’s a dangerous person who needs to use this break to take a good look at himself and his attitidue. You can see when he’s going to make a completely moronic manouvere before it happens, ruining the race of others, his own and the team’s (who need all the points they can get in this championship).

    My criticism of him on this website is well documented, I’ve made several posts disgusted with his lack of respect for others.

    Otherwise, I agree with all of the comments of the drivers and largely agree with the positions assigned to them. Good article.

  2. Matt (@agentmulder)
    10th August 2012, 21:28

    Interesting. On the podcast I do we constantly criticize Massa for his lackluster driving, but in the end Keith rated him even lower than myself.

    Either way, it goes to show you the longer Ferrari keep him, the more harm they do to their WCC standings. At this point, they’d lose nothing sticking their reserve driver in for the rest of the season.

  3. One thing on the maldonado front that isn’t entirely related to f1, and has nothing to do with his form this year):
    I heard, a few years ago that he almost killed a marshall at Monaco, in a yellow flag zone.
    I only heard this on an internet forum, so it may not be entirely accurate, but if anyone can verify it, then that would be helpful.
    Additionally, could the person who does post a link to the website for a ‘report’ or something like that?

    1. @jamesf1 @xjr15aaag Here is a quote from an unknown source… on a forum, I know :P


      In addition to “proof” that Autosport edited their original report on the matter after, allegedly, Pastor’s father rained money from the sky like manna:


      And the article that those first three posters reference, where it is clear that the article had at one point stated, “lifetime ban” :


      Maybe it sounds like I have an axe to grind, and I understand that it’s also reasonable to say, “No, Autosport published a rumor before getting facts.” But I am more inclined to believe that money did the talking in this case.

      1. If it were any other driver, the decision to personally pay for the marshall’s rehabilitation would have been seen as a great humanitarian effort. But because Maldonado is unpopular, people interpret it as a hurried bribe to unjustly allow Maldonado to continue racing.

        1. Well, it sort of was; according to the forums, one of the marshalls said that his colleague was severely injured, and that he was given a lifetime ban, until Hugo Chavez agreed to compensate the marshall.

    2. I read about this as well. Pastor was suspended for 8 races after that, and he was allowed to race at Monaco the other years because his father agreed to pay for the treatment of the marshall. I read the history here http://bandeiraverde.com.br/2012/08/07/o-mal-do-lado/ (it’s in portuguese). But the history was told by the german newspapper Bild this year around the time of the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix. (i found these also http://www.yallaf1.com/2012/05/23/maldonado-lucky-to-be-in-monaco-after-nearly-killing-marshal/). His suspension is clear here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Formula_Renault_3.5_Series_season. So i believe that the history is true.

  4. I’d like to point to those that complain because their favorite driver is lower thant they think should be (or think n°21 should be n°22 and so on) and feel obliged to attack Keith personaly, I find it amusing that Keith’s analysis is close to the average F1Fanatic forum user analysis as beautifully calculated by magon4 http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/groups/f1/forum/topic/2012-driver-rankings-half-season/?topic_page=5&num=15#post-70986

    So really, no hugely controversial stuff here. Just glad to read the judgement of a far more knowledgeable F1 fan than I am. (short : take a break people)

  5. I think Vitaly Petrov deserves to be higher than twenty-third. Heikki Kovalainen might be out-qualifying him, but he is much closer to Kovalainen in the races than Jarno Trulli ever was, and he has beaten Kovalainen on occasion – but he did have a slow start to the season, and a few mechanical retirements early on handed good results to the Marussias and the HRTs, so his results have been slightly skewed.

  6. My Prediction for Keith’s top 10
    1. Alonso
    2. Webber
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Kimi
    6. Grosjean
    7. Rosberg
    8. Button
    9. Perez
    10. Schumacher

    1. Oops.. small mistake.. revised one:
      1. Alonso
      2. Webber
      3. Vettel
      4. Hamilton
      5. Kimi
      6. Grosjean
      7. Button
      8. Rosberg
      9. Perez
      10. Schumacher

    2. Exactly how it should be.

    3. I think Vettel and Hamilton have driven better overall than Webber, and quite honestly Button should be way down the pecking order for those horrible results he had, for which there was no excuse (Hamilton won a race in that period).

  7. Great Analysis Keith !

  8. Massa, Laps spent ahead of team mate 15/672

    That is an amazing stat ! Massa really has no right to be in F1.

  9. Carlito's way
    11th August 2012, 17:56

    How can Maldonado be behind hulk, do resta, kob and, my lord, even Kovalainen? The hate this guy gets from the British press and fans in general is just astonishing. If a guy don’t fit into the mould they think a good driver should be or behave they can’t help themselves but hate on the guy. It’s just unbelievable!!!

    1. Matt (@agentmulder)
      11th August 2012, 18:34

      For the record I am not British, and so by you’re assertion my views on Maldonado are 100% objective.

      I am a bit confused by your statement. You say “If a guy [doesn’t] fit into the [mold] they think a good driver should be or behave they can’t help themselves but hate on the guy.” The “mold” of a good driver isn’t some subjective thing. A good driver does not hit people every race. A good driver doesn’t ignore yellow flags and seriously injure a marshal. A good driver doesn’t need to buy his way into a seat.

      Nico and Di Resta have brought home solid points in a lackluster car, Kobayashi had a collision-filled race in Valencia, but other than that has kept his nose clean, and Hekki continues to wring the car by it’s neck. What has Maldonado done? He won a race, full credit where it is due, but beyond that he has wasted points opportunity after points opportunity. Not only that, but he is wasting these opportunities in a car that could do much more, and for a team which is trying to come back from a dismal 2011.

      Beyond all that, this is Formula 1. We watch to see the best drivers in the world (in your words, those who fit the mold of good drivers) compete in some of the most sophisticated cars on the planet. If I wanted to watch dangerous driving and racers bashing their way to victory I would watch NASCAR.

      1. Matt (@agentmulder)
        11th August 2012, 18:34


        *your, not you’re

        1. Carlito's way
          12th August 2012, 0:52

          Jeez this guy so dramatic! Injure a marshal, Ignore yellow flags, what are you on about? Someone get this guy his medicine. Maldonado just can’t be below any of those guys, if anything his drive alone in Barcelona would put him above all of those clowns I mentioned earlier. Remember we are judging performance on the first half of the season. He has demonstrated good qualifying performances and taken his chance for a W when it presented itself. Kob shoul be above Mald just for keeping his nose clean? Like I said, people just let the hate cloud their judgement And focus on the negatives and ignore the positives. By the way, making a passing comment ‘yeah sure he won a race’ it’s not acknowledging the positives. As if winning a race in f1 was the most trivial thing in the world. Whatever way u spin it, Maldonado just deserves more credit than people give him, and definitely deserves on the strength of the first half of the season performance to be above di resta, hulk, kob and kov. One last thing, theres a reason kob is at the back of the grid. Nice guy and all, he just couldn’t cut it among the big boys, as far as I am concerned he deserves to be where he is. @agentmulder

          1. Carlito's way
            12th August 2012, 0:54

            Edit: Kovalainen deserves to be st the back of the grid, not kobayashi

          2. Maldonado has been choatic, inconstant, dangerous and stupid this season. He has thrown away truck loads of points through silly, unecessary collisions (Australia, Valencia, Silverstone) and apart from some strong qualifyings and his race win definately not maximised the potential of what is a very good car.
            The last part of my statement can’t be said for some of the other drivers you have mentioned (Di Resta & Hulkenburg for example). They have been performing very solidly throughout the season and maximising their opportunities (something Maldonado has failed miserably at). And attempting to insult @agentmudler for his quite rifghtful opinion & factual evidence (regarding his hitting a marshal incident). Lastly, calling professional racing drivers – who are definitely worthy of being on the F1 grid – “clowns” is just disrespectful.

          3. Carlito's way
            12th August 2012, 22:59

            Hey here we go, another self righteous, high horse rider, over zealous Internet basher. Dude the only thing failing miserably is your ‘argument’ making sense. Digging out mistakes from lower categories to justify yourself is just sad. Nick heidfeld crashed into a medical car, alonso ignored yellow flags in brazil causing a huge pile up in his Renault days, kobayashi run over his mechanics, so what? These guys are no lesser drivers for those mistakes. It’s part and parcel of learning. Have some perspective and please realise that you contradict yourself when you say he has failed to maximise his opportunities, the guys hit a racing win with a less than great car. Yes he has been involved in lots of incidents, but there’s something to be said for that as well. The guy is fighter, and that my friend you can’t teach. Don’t even know why I waste my time with someone who manages to contradict himself in the space of ten lines, but there you go.

          4. Yes he has been involved in lots of incidents, but there’s something to be said for that as well.

            I would love to find out if you’d still feel that way if you ever end up financing your child’s karting career or so, and he wrecks his karts, while he could have scored some decent points. There’s a fine line between being a fighter and being a wrecker, and Maldonado is currently leaning on the wrong side of it.

            I think one of the reasons people say he has thrown away a lot of points, is because he’s quick. It’s also plain obvious that with all the incidents, he’s not using the potential of his car, nor his own abilities.

            I’m also not sure why you’re moving back and forth between regular and meta-communication, or arguing, but ‘you’re wrong, but why am I even arguing with you’ is not exactly what people would call a level-headed argument either.

          5. @npf1
            As you said it yourself, Maldonado is quick, and he fights for his positions. I would take that kind of driver any time of the day over a safe, steady pair of hands. A quick fighter driver has more potential to achieve more over the long term. Think James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Keke Rosberg. All quick and fighters on the track, with a fair bit of mistakes and incidents too. But thats just part of make them good. Now think for instance, David Coulthard: safe pair of hands, quick (ish) scored wins when the car allowed to but ultimately just not good enough for WC. A lot of people on this website seems to prefer the latter kind of driver. Not me.
            People are not giving Maldonado the credit because they are focusing on his incidents this year, They are failing to see great qualifying performances and a race win in a midfield car, just for the sake of jumping on the hate bandwagon, which I steadfastly refuse to. Let me ask you this: imagine for a second Pastor, was called Paul. Did not have a major financial backing, and scored a totally deserved racing win in a midfield car holding back the best driver on the grid today (Alonso). Now imagine he was British. Do you honestly think he would be sitting in 15 on the mid year drivers reports, behind the likes of Heiikki Kovalainen?

          6. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend

            They are failing to see great qualifying performances and a race win in a midfield car,

            Both his strong qualifying performances and his win are mentioned in the article.

            Now imagine he was British.

            Oh please spare me the endless whingeing about nationality.

        2. @keithcollantine
          Yes the strong qualifying performances are mentioned in the article, but completely ignored by everyone else.
          As far as nationality goes, its the first time I mention it, so i don’t get the ‘endless whingeing’ comment. Its not just nationality though, the fact the kid has financial backing just rubs people up the wrong way. Whatever way you say it, I am sure you will come to recognize that Pastor deserves better than 15.
          Lastly picking out a line of a comment is not representative of what a person is trying to convey, and therefore unfair to comment on.

          1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend If you don’t like how you’ve been quoted I’m afraid it’s only because it’s unclear from your comment whether you are complaining about how I’ve rated the drivers or other people’s responses to them.

            Suffice it to say that I believe I’ve justified placing him 15th and it seems you have choose to ignore the reasons I’ve given and claim I’ve only put him there because he’s not British, which I obviously do not think very much of.

            I am sick of the “endless whingeing” about nationality which you have added to and are part of. See the first page of comments for other examples.

            I am sure you will come to recognize that Pastor deserves better than 15.

            No I won’t or I would have placed him higher. Perhaps he will do better in the second half of the season and deserve a higher rating then, but not now.

          2. I would take that kind of driver any time of the day over a safe, steady pair of hands.

            As I’ve said, there’s a line between a fighter and a wrecker, and he’s on the wrong side of it now. He’s been compared to JPM in the Dutch F1 media, but right now, he’s looking more like NASCAR JPM, than ‘why is this guy beating Schumacher in his prime’ JPM. The drivers you listed were not known for failing to score for 6 races in a row, while easily being able and having the car, to score.

            People are not giving Maldonado the credit because they are focusing on his incidents this year, They are failing to see great qualifying performances and a race win in a midfield car

            In my view, because those incidents have cost him more points than his qualifying performance or his win has got him.

            Let me ask you this: ‘…’

            I don’t care. Even if he’d pay my rent, I’d still think he needs to get his act together, stop being in incidents too often and be in the points and be a fighter. Nobody is telling him to become the next DC or Olivier Panis.

            strong qualifying performances

            Do not get you any points. How many drivers have we had in the past 10-15 years who were great in qualifying, but couldn’t keep their car in the points?

            It’s also easy to proclaim band-wagoning, ‘h8ers’ and what not, but in reality, ‘pay driver’ or not, I was impressed by his win and started to reconsider my views on him. Then he went on and made a mess. I wasn’t a fan of JPM at the time, but if he manages to impress some more, South American fans will consider him the new JPM, who was at some point more popular in Brazil than Barrichello.

  10. The thing that I disagree with most is the placing of Caterham team-mates. 12-23 seriously? maybe 14-19 would be a fair assessment of their relative performances.

    Also even if Perez is ranked 10th, the gap between Perez and Kobayashi is too big. And that’s without mentioning the comment by @hairs which, I am sorry to say, is as far from reality as the pole from the equator. Poor results?! Give me a break

    That said, I don’t dispute that those are the drivers who don’t deserve to be in the top 10. My rankings would be:
    11)Di Resta
    21) Vergne
    22) Glock
    23) Massa
    24) Narain

  11. Should just promote the idea that most of articles are the authors opinion to avoid all this nonsense. Cause in the end no matter how informative your decision was, it is still an opinion.

  12. second part please!

  13. People have to realise their will always be discretions over ranking drivers and in reality you can only rank team mates in the same car for an accurate result

    I’m sure Keith is stating his validated opinion and has foreseen the debate this would cause anyway

    Of the 24-11 drivers without going through all of them all I can mention is the drivers I think that would be good in a top 4 car:

    Ricciardo, Perez, Di Resta and possibly Kobayashi and Hulk

    1. Carlito's way
      12th August 2012, 23:05

      I really don’t see Ricciardo doing anything stellar, people really buy into what the media feeds them. Guy has shown decent performance, but needs more time. Actually there’s no evidence so far that he’s any better than buemi or alguersuari ever was. The jury is still out as far as I’m concerned.

  14. I think my only grievance is with having Massa so low down the list. I think he’s been better than he was last year and recently he’s been much better. Other that that this is a good snap-shop of the season so far.

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