Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013

2013 F1 season half-term driver rankings: 5-1

Driver RankingsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the final part of the mid-season rankings, here are the top five drivers of the year so far.

5. Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Sepang, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying 6/10
Beat team mate in race 7/10
Races finished 10/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 361/606

The MP4-28 has proven an embarrassing step backwards for McLaren: having had the fastest car last year they find themselves languishing behind five other teams on pure pace. That has left Button with the unenviable task of trying to drag the car towards respectability.

He’s usually done this by relying on his knack for making tyres last, allowing him to make fewer pit stops than his rivals. In China he exercised considerable self-discipline to make a two-stop strategy work, yielding a fifth-place finish. In Spain he used a three-stopper on a day most drivers opted for four, climbing nine places from lap one to finish eighth.

Button has suffered some ill-timed misfortune. In Malaysia his two-stop strategy had him on course to challenge the Mercedes for the final podium place until the team botched his pit stop.

In Monaco a chance of a better qualifying position was wrecked by a faulty fuel pump, though he stayed out of trouble in the race to finish a useful sixth. And inattentive backmarkers cost him fifth in Germany.

Button has usually succeeded in wringing the most from his unco-operative chassis. But as we’ve seen before the very trait that helps him keep his tyres alive in the race can work against him in qualifying. Canada and Britain yielded little, but Hungary gave some cause for optimism about the second half of the season.

Jenson Button 2013 form guide

4. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying 6/9
Beat team mate in race 7/7
Races finished 9/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 411/460

Separating the top four drivers was not easy: all have performed consistently well and made few mistakes. Having Alonso, who headed this list at the end of last year, down in fourth seems harsh.

But he must be marked down for that double-fault in Malaysia, where he compounded his error of hitting Vettel on the first lap by failing to pit for a new front wing, with predictable and disastrous consequences.

Compounding one error with another was unusual for a driver who seldom lets an opportunity slip through his fingers. Victory on home ground in Spain was Alonso at his best: a superb triumph which began with him picking off Hamilton and Raikkonen at the start then piling the pressure on Vettel and even coping with a slow puncture as if it were a minor hiccup.

Alonso’s other win came in China, where it was not so much the straightforward DRS pass on Hamilton that secured the victory as his rapid progress through traffic during his second stint. Unfortunately in the next race a DRS glitch cost him a likely podium finish.

He bolstered his points haul with second places in Canada, which was the best he could realistically get on the day, and Australia, where he might have had the beating of Raikkonen.

Once again Ferrari are not making the progress with the car they envisaged. Alonso has found it increasingly difficult to qualify ahead of the Lotuses, reducing his strategic options which has made life more difficult in recent races.

Fernando Alonso 2013 form guide

3. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying 7/10
Beat team mate in race 5/8
Races finished 10/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 309/549

Hamilton’s move to Mercedes set tongues wagging when it was announce but the move seems to have reinvigorated him, despite some teething troubles with the W04. Much as Raikkonen never really got comfortable with his Lotus’s steering last year, Hamilton has been unhappy with the braking on his car.

While he grappled with that we had the unusual sight of him being beaten to pole position by his team mate on three occasions. However Hamilton is now winning the qualifying battle at Mercedes and has racked up more pole positions than anyone else.

That only one of those resulted in a win can largely be put down to the rough treatment the Mercedes gave to its tyres earlier in the season. This was particularly extreme in Spain, where a bewildered Hamilton plummeted ten places and finished twelfth. That was the only race this year he didn’t finish in the top five.

Hamilton had the good grace to admit that his first podium for Mercedes in Malaysia would not have happened had Rosberg not obeyed orders not to overtake him – something other team mates would not have done, as events in the same race made clear.

His first Mercedes win might have come at home had he not been one of the drivers to be struck by tyre failure. His subsequent fight back to fourth was highly impressive. With three pole positions in a row and the W04 looking stronger than ever in race conditions, the second half of the year looks very promising for him.

Lewis Hamilton 2013 form guide

2. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying 8/10
Beat team mate in race 7/8
Races finished 10/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 385/548

Thanks partly to his car’s reliability but also to his own consistency, Raikkonen has finished every race in the points so far this year and is currently Vettel’s closest challenger in the championship.

Although he is yet to repeat the victory he opened his season with, five second place finishes have kept him in the thick of the championship chase.

As with Alonso at Ferrari, Raikkonen has a car which is stronger on Sundays than Saturdays – he’s only qualified inside the top three once so far. But by exploiting the strengths of his car over a race stint and making the passes he needs to, Raikkonen has often made big gains when it matters: he climbed from seventh to first in Australia and eighth to second in Bahrain.

In Monaco he salvaged a point by picking off three cars in the last two laps – yes, he had the benefit of fresher tyres, but still this was Monaco, not the easiest place to make such gains.

There’s not much you can take away from Raikkonen’s efforts this year. He was a little careless in Malaysia and Canada where he picked up minor qualifying penalties, and he had an odd collision with Perez in China where he seemed to expect the McLaren driver to move off the racing line for his benefit.

But usually when points have been left on the table it’s been due to circumstances beyond his control – as in Canada where he was delayed by brake problems, high fuel consumption and a slow pit stop.

Kimi Raikkonen 2013 form guide

1. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013

Beat team mate in qualifying 10/10
Beat team mate in race 8/8
Races finished 9/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 508/571

This has the makings of Vettel’s best championship campaign so far. He’s consistently been in the hunt for victory and with Mercedes now the team to beat on Saturdays he’s not always been able to rely on qualifying on pole position and staying there.

Early in the season Red Bull had similar concerns about tyre life as Mercedes’, though not as serious. Vettel gambled on an alternative strategy in China, opting not setting a time in Q3 and start on the medium tyres, and fought his way up from ninth to fourth.

In Bahrain he passed Alonso and Rosberg before DRS was activated to get himself into the clear air he needed, securing his second win of the year. Germany saw potentially his best drive so far this year, as he weathered severe pressure from both Lotus drivers despite a temporary KERS glitch.

His controversial move in Malaysia provoked howls of criticism from some, but from the point of view of a racing driver it was perfectly justifiable. Vettel has won two of his three world championships by less than the seven points he gained by defying team orders. And even if that weren’t true, expecting him to extend to Webber the same courtesy his team mate denied him at Silverstone two years ago is completely unreasonable.

Vettel’s position in the championship would be even stronger had he enjoyed the kind of reliability some of his competitors had. Had his gearbox not failed while leading at Silverstone his points lead now would be equal to more than three race wins – a sobering thought for his rivals. That race aside, he’s finished in the top four at every grand prix, and dominated a team mate who is much more of a threat than a Grosjean or a Massa.

Sebastian Vettel 2013 form guide

How the rankings are produced

This is a ranking of how drivers have performed in the 2013 season so far, irrespective of their form in previous years. Among the data referred to in producing the rankings are notes on each driver’s performance at each race weekend, compiled data on car performance, direct comparisons between team mates and each driver’s form guide.

Over to you

How do you think each of the drivers have performed so far in 2013? Should any of the drivers be higher or lower? Give your view on how they’ve done so far in the comments.

Driver rankings

Browse all Driver Rankings articles

Images ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Lotus/LAT, Red Bull/Getty

141 comments on “2013 F1 season half-term driver rankings: 5-1”

  1. Could not agree more.

  2. Yeah, totally agree with the top 5.

  3. I had probably had Hamilton 2nd and Räikkönen 3rd, although I’m glad you rank Kimi as 2nd :-) Vettel is definitely the driver of the season so far.

    1. @diceman Same here, I had Raikkonen 3rd, but I certainly don’t mind him being 2nd instead :)

      1. I would have had Hamilton 2nd, Alonso 3rd, and Raikkonen 4th (IMO he wasn’t as great as people make him out to be).

        Also, I would have put Rosberg ahead of Button. For the rest, the list is pretty good.

    2. I would also tend to go that way @diceman, although its pretty close for me in the top 3 with Alonso close behind those 3.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    16th August 2013, 13:05

    I agree with the top 4.
    Rosberg has been better than Button this season, with multiple pole positions and two wins.
    Sure Button hasn’t had the machinery at his disposal, but Rosberg has driven better in my view.

    Button 5, Rosberg 4 for me.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      16th August 2013, 13:06

      Button 5, Rosberg 4 for me.

      **Button 6th, Rosberg 5th**

    2. I would have Button behind Rosberg for those same reasons… but overall, I’ve had no real qualms with the rankings top to bottom.

    3. Would have to agree with you. the top 4 seems fine, but I dont think Button belongs in front of Rosberg.

      Rosberg has gotten the better of Hamilton in a few quali sessions this year, and there were Sundays which Rosberg looked like the quicker driver. Button has never really matched Hamiton in quali or on pure race pace either.

      1. @todford Hardly a fair comparison – Button hasn’t had a car capable of coming close to Hamilton’s qualifying or race pace. If he had managed to get close to Hamilton with the car he’s got under him at the moment, I’d say he’d deserve to be in the top three!

        1. @mazdachris I think @todfod meant when Button and Hamilton were teammates

          1. Oh right. Well this is a report on driver form from this season, not previous seasons. How they performed as teammates is irrelevant.

          2. @mazdachris

            Agree. But what can you use as a common yardstick to compare Button’s performances and Rosbergs?


          3. @todfod you don’t need a yardstick. The point is that it’s looking at individual performance. It’s seeing how well each driver is doing this year, not coming up with a list of who you think is the best driver. As @keithcollantine points out, it’s not based on any information from previous years. He’ll have looked solely at things like consistency of laptimes, mistakes made, how each driver is doing relative to his teammate to determine how close each driver has got to the performance potential of the car. How they have each performed in previous years has no real bearing on how they’ve performed this year. Otherwise you’d just automatically assume that Alonso is always about the same as Hamilton and any difference between their results is just down to the car. That’s very clearly not the case – Alonso was absolutely flawless last year, whereas this year he’s clearly making more mistakes and lacking the kind of consistency he’s shown in previous years.

            What you’re doing is simply asking whether or not Button is as good a driver as Rosberg, but it’s a nonsense question. Driver form fluctuates, goes up and down. If you look at Rosberg he’s been very inconsistent, and has made a few mistakes. Button has also made mistakes, but I think looking at the data overall, has generally dropped less time relative to his teammate. That’s why I think it’s correct that Button is above Rosberg in terms of how they’ve performed this year.

          4. If you look at Rosberg he’s been very inconsistent, and has made a few mistakes. Button has also made mistakes, but I think looking at the data overall, has generally dropped less time relative to his teammate. That’s why I think it’s correct that Button is above Rosberg in terms of how they’ve performed this year.

            @keithcollantine got the ratings spot on.

    4. I would like to agree here, but I cannot. Rosberg has superior machinery vs. that of Button, and yet Button has been more consistent than Rosberg. Though Button has about half the points as Rosberg, he has not qualified better than 7th, whereas Rosberg has not qualified lower than 6th (bar Germany through his team’s fault). For that, I would have to give the nod to BUT over ROS.

    5. @tophercheese21 agreed completely – Keith has actually made some very valid points in which to justify Button’s positioning but I’d still have Rosberg slightly ahead (just for the way he has managed to hold himself against Hamilton against what many thought he would).

    6. well obviously @keithcollantine had to please major chunk of his readership with majority button fans, what else did you expect ? Rosberg with 3 poles and 2 wins had to be ahead of button.

      1. @f1007 The popularity of the various drivers had no bearing on this whatsoever. You can see a list of links to the data I used at the bottom of the article.

        1. Rosberg has been a better driver than Button this season. In pretty much every area.

          Remember the days when the merc was weak like Spain he put in a decent performance rather than no points like his team mate.

          His 3 car failures are the reason he is behind his team mate.

      2. @f1007

        Rosberg with 3 poles and 2 wins had to be ahead of button.

        By that logic we could just as well look at the points table.
        Rosberg has had better results, but he is also driving the fastest car. Very much unlike Button.

        1. +1
          On the note of Rosberg having a faster car, I’d advise people saying he ought to be higher than Button choose their words carefully. People often say Vettel should be ranked lower than other drivers given the superiority of his car, so if fair is fair then it makes sense to accept the same being applied to Rosberg. Button has been over-driving the McLaren race after race. When Alonso did the same last year, it was to universal praise.
          Don’t get me wrong, Rosberg has been very impressive this year, but he’s looking a bit less quick now that Hamilton is getting up to speed in his Merc. I think 6th is a well thought out spot for him.

        2. well thats just common sense :D … but seriously, what has rosberg done wrong, retirements were not his fault. if it weren’t for perez’s 2 retirements both times when he has overtaken jenson on track and was ahead of him, jenson would be 5 on 5 against team mate in races. In the team mate comparison you say its too close to call for both merc and mclaren, button’s highest pos is 5, when hes doing nothing more than his team mate, its difficult to see how button can be ahead of rosberg. hope we are not simply placing point leaders of top 5 teams in top 5 ?

          1. But it’s done on actual results, not on might be, would have, possibly and potentially. Button for example, actually has DOUBLE Perez’s points and yet posters are determined to say that “on balance Perez is driving better” Only Button Massa and Raikkonnen have achieved that statistic this season. I really care not who wins – I care for racing! This Fan stuff- it’s new and alien to me to be honest and I don’t get it.

          2. @baron first of all you lose credibility when you say massa has done better than alonso. All i am saying is its not exactly clear how the rankings is done, you say it too close between merc and maclaren to call between team mates, if that is the case i don’t see what button has done more compared to rosberg, i am just not seeing it.

          3. Ooops @Alonso_fan you are quite right, that as a typo and was supposed to read “Alonso” Keyboard smashed. I consider Alonso as the best all rounder and has been or a long time. AS regards the Button/Rosberg thing, I would have thought on balance that Rosberg would have shaded it, however, it’s the actual performances achieved with random elements such as car superiority factored in Keith is far more capable of judging this stuff and I know he will apply non-partisan common sense to these discussions, which can be a rarity! My one beef with many comments about JB for example, is that they tend to be grossly unfair, distorted and seem to have come from a time when, oh, never mind. I wanted to say, that You cannot possibly say that one guy is driving better than his team mate if he only has HALF his points, no matter how any of them might have been achieved. That goes for every driver in every team. It is not logical in any way to try and factor in what-if random events to prove a theory based on a gut feeling. Hope you understand my position, I love everyone – even Germans :)

  5. you have to say, the top 5 have been pretty consistently the same since 2009, with Webber in and out of the mix.

    Cream rises to the top, or “drivers with the best cars get more attention”? Some midfield candidates like hulkenberg might think so.

    1. @hairs – Vettel (2008 Toro Rosso), Alonso (2009 Renault), Kubica (2010 Renault), Rosberg (2010 & 2011 Mercedes), Hulkenberg (2012 Force India).

      They all broke into the top five of these rankings with midfield cars.

      1. Well, they were mostly either race-winning cars or drivers, but I see your point. I tend towards the view that the top 5 (or top 7-8 certainly) haven’t really changed since 09 thigh. Kubica dropped out, kimi dropped back in, but nobody’s really moved up the ranks from the lower reaches to any significant degree, with the possible exception of perez going to McLaren.

        1. Impressive performances become more spectacular and more rewarding when the driver has better machinery to demonstrate with. I’m sure several of this years lower ranked drivers like Bianchi and Hulk have the potential for greatness, but without a means of delivering it they just have to bide their time and rack up the experience. They will no doubt be in top 5s in years to come ;)

  6. Webber’s stats are poor because of Redbull’s experiments on his car and compounded by little bad luck. It is no wonder finger boy’s stats better than others. If Redbull treat both drivers equally then the stats would be totally different.

    1. @alokin

      Webber’s stats are poor because of Redbull’s experiments on his car and compounded by little bad luck. he has never beaten his teammate on merit in 2013.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        16th August 2013, 13:25


      2. Completely agree. Sure Webber has had bad luck blah blah.. but there is no way he woud match Vettel even if everything went perfectly for him

    2. @alokin

      Webber’s stats are poor because of Redbull’s experiments on his car

      What evidence is there of this actually happening?

      1. The same there is for the claims Massa’s 2012 was sacrificed to test parts for Alonso.

        1. So, none.

          1. The difference being that both Massa and Ferrari confirmed that last year, which hasn’t been the case with Webber and Red Bull this year. So you’re wrong.

          2. fragrantgimp – Well, if that was the case, then @npf1 is wrong, since he dared to suggest the scenarios were the same.

        2. it was true though. in the last few races in 2012, massa often outqualify Alonso with old parts. And alonso claim afterward that the new part wasnt working and the old 1 was better. LOL

    3. If Redbull treat both drivers equally then the stats would be totally different.

      @alokin Yes, the same way Alonso has some preference in the team, and Hamilton in Malaysia too, and Raikkonen too…
      These are top teams who know who has the best chances to fight for the championship. And sooner rather than later the 5 top drivers prove everybody they deserve that “premium” treatment

    4. I don’t see how Red Bull treating both drivers the same would have changed the stats. All it would have meant that there were no teamorders that favored Webber, but Vettel negated that anyway.

  7. Though I might not have had Button in 5th, that’s a good summary of their seasons so far.

  8. Still don’t understand why people blame Alonso for staying out with a broken wing in Malaysia, when it was clearly Ferrari’s fault who made the decision for the gamble.

    1. Although you are right, he could have overruled the team’s decision, therefore he was partly to blame.

    2. @wallbreaker

      people blame Alonso for staying out with a broken wing in Malaysia, when it was clearly Ferrari’s fault who made the decision

      Not according to Alonso, who said he made the decision jointly with the team:

      Alonso defends decision not to change broken wing

      1. Keith, can your verify if the black and orange flag still exists in F1 or not. Genuine question. The last time we saw the black and orange flag was Italy 2009 when Kubica had a damaged front wing. Why did Alonso not get a black and orange flag and be forced to pit on safety grounds? (Also, why has this flag made no appearance in four years?)

        This wasn’t a regular case where a superficial element is knocked off; the core structure of the front wing was partially detached from the nose. In those moments where they were deciding whether to pit or not, Alonso was acting in the best interests of Alonso and Ferrari were acting in the best interests of Ferrari. Who was acting in the best interests of the welfare of the drivers?

        1. @kodongo

          Keith, can your verify if the black and orange flag still exists in F1 or not.

          Yes it does.

          Why did Alonso not get a black and orange flag and be forced to pit on safety grounds?

          Presumably because the window of opportunity to deploy it was so narrow. After all the stewards had no reason to assume Alonso wasn’t going to pit for repairs until after he went past the pit lane entrance. A few seconds later he crashed.

          Also, why has this flag made no appearance in four years?

          Can you think of any examples when it should have?

          1. Can you think of any examples when it should have?

            To me, clear examples of black/black and orange flag situations include: DRS failing open (Schumacher 2012, Alonso 2013) and circulating on track with one wheel not properly attached (Alonso, Hungary 09, completed 2/3rds of a lap; Webber, China 13, almost completed a whole lap).

            Presumably because the window of opportunity to deploy it was so narrow. After all the stewards had no reason to assume Alonso wasn’t going to pit for repairs until after he went past the pit lane entrance. A few seconds later he crashed.

            I disagree with this. In my estimation, the black flag/s should be proactive not reactive. You say the window to black flag opens when the team/Alonso decides not to pit; I say the window opens when it becomes clear the car has a dangerous amount of damage. F1 should be making every effort to minimise the time spent on track with a dangerous car by making the decision themselves instead of waiting to see if the team makes the right decision and intervening if they don’t. He should have been black and orange flagged to enter the pits at the end of lap 1. Imagine at Monaco, if he had the same damage and chose to stay out, then on lap 2, went sliding into other drivers at Sainte-Devote or Nouvelle Chicane.

          2. @kodongo I’d have to go back and check but I believe in most of those examples the car stopped or pitted very quickly anyway, with the possible exception of Alonso at Bahrain. In which case it’s possible they simply hadn’t noticed – it certainly took the television commentators a while to spot it (though as I recall some people on F1 Fanatic Live mentioned it a couple of laps before he came in).

      2. Alonso was obviously defending the team. He couldnt even see his front wing, all he knew was it was still working.

        1. Alonso would have felt he was way to slow, since he was so much slower then anyone around him.

      3. Well, he made the decision jointly with the team but he had not the best information about the damage, was the team who knew how damage were in the front wing. He just relayed on his team.

  9. Top 4 is perfect and i can hardly see any other order there. Putting Alonso 4th is not harsh. Keith didn’t even mentioned his Monaco performance which was the worst race from him. This year Alonso can’t blame it all on the car, he wasted some good points himself.

    1. True… the worst hit in alonso championship hopes was in malasya hiting vettel from behind on the start, Alonso had speed to win that race, and be so much closer in the championship hunt right now

    2. And let’s not forget about Bahrain, where he made the mistake of opening DRS again,even though the team told him not to use it, as Domenicalli confirmed himself. He lost many points there, too.

      1. When did Domenicalli confirm that Ferrari instructed Alonso not to use the DRS and he ignored it ? He was told not to use it after the sec time it failed and he did not use it for the rest of the race as far as I can remember…

        1. Look at the link in my previous post. He told it to BBC.

          “He admits Alonso was told not to press the DRS button again, but says it was a “normal” reflex reaction to the beep the drivers get in their ears when the device is active and can be used.
          “I don’t want to go into these things because it seems we are making accusations,” Domenicali says. “We as a team did a mistake. Full stop. And it was very unfortunate because it was a race where easily second place was there. Easily.”
          So they told him not to use it. It was Alonso’s own fault.

  10. Ideally Kimi -3 , Lewis -2
    Kimi gained more points than anybody else in this season because of team orders and still there is no mention about it. Lewis benefited only once.

    1. how misleading.

      Lotus team orders were fine because the decision was made so that their faster driver wasnt compromised by teammate. Many teams had did similar stuff.

      Mercedes ‘s one is cute. The faster driver was asked not to overtook the slower driver.

    2. Lewis had a slow start this year, he could’ve done better in the first few races. Kimi has been on form the whole year.

      Regarding team orders, the case with Lewis was that he was actually slower than Rosberg at that point but still Rosberg was ordered to stay down. When Grosjean has been made to let Kimi pass Kimi has always been significantly quicker and it has always been the sensible thing to do. On both occasions he was also able to (or would have been able – as in Silverstone the team made a mistake with the strategy in the end) for the win in the end which Grosjean couldn’t do. Kimi isn’t getting unfair advantage though: in Malaysia Grosjean was faster and was allowed to finish ahead of Kimi.

      1. “Lewis had a slow start this year, he could’ve done better in the first few races.”

        If i message you my adress, can you send me some of what you’re smoking?

        1. he was absolutely spot on.

          get a clear picture what you are smoking before asking others.

          1. Yeah, Lewis, out qualifying and beating his teammate in the opening races of a brand new season in a brand new car and team, could have done better…

            lol, wheres that pipe… throw me some of your stuff duuuuuude.

          2. N – You were the one accusing the championship leader of being crash-prone the other day. I think you already puffing the stuff you claim he has.

      2. In both cases when Kimi was lead through by Grosjean, he was actually the driver who was in front from the start but the teams strategies for Kimi made him lose places unnecessarily. If they made the right calls from the start then Grosjean would never have been in front Kimi to start off with.

        All of the focus is on Lotus whilst in Germany Mercedes also told Rosberg to let Lewis through as he was holding Lewis up.

    3. That’s true, but in Germany Grosjean’s chances of victory were over when the safety car came out and in addition Raikkonen has fresher tyres; it would only make sense to let Raikkonen through and fight for the win, especially when he’s a championship contender unlike Grosjean. On the other hand, Rosberg would have probably passed Hamilton for 3rd place a Sepang were it not for Ross Brawn and what makes it unacceptable is the fact that it was only the 2nd race of the season where it’s too early to decide WDC contenders and the fact that Rosberg was most likely faster. No disrespect to Hamilton though, if anything props to him for admitting that Rosberg deserved the podium more.

    4. Agree’d, Bizzare.

      And to mark him down because of having braking ‘issues’ (equating to what .090 of a second in Monaco) in a new car with new equiptment is even more suspect. But whatever, i come to this site for news updates. ;]

    5. No I do think that was correct positioning – Lewis was slightly slower to get up to speed and had a pretty torid race in Spain relative to his teammate so I’d have Räikkönen slightly ahead (for now: Hamilton definitely appears to be gaining momentum).

  11. I’d swap Hamilton and Alonso, and Rosberg and Button. Other than that I doubt I’d change anything. These rankings have been a real treat during the painfully quiet summer break!

  12. Whichever order people disagree with, until now I haven’t seen anybody disagreeing about the top one, Great feeling for Vettel fans as me!

    1. I consider myself a Vettel hater to be honest… I hate that he’s a PR puppet, and that has the luck to have a team that’s “in love” with him and is a jerk with the other driver… but man, on track, he might have a good car, but you have to deliver, and Vettel has delivered a great performance… He is beating badly a Elite field with Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Roseberg…. not for everyone

      When it comes to driving… He deserves the Top 1 so far, he’s doing a great job

    2. Don’t speak too soon, we haven’t heard from everyone yet (I won’t mention names). People can try but they can’t deny the genius of Vettel!

      1. Now you’re overating… I wouldn’t say genius… he makes a few mistakes… Like last year in the last race when he almost blew his championship when he tryed to close on Bruno Senna… He was so lucky to not get damage in suspension and that the exhaust hold on for the entire race…

        1. @oliveiraz33 I don’t think overtaking is particularly his strong point relative to say Alonso or Räikkönen but in that particular incident I put both at equal blame at best – Senna was very advantageous dating up the inside of three other cars completely blind at the start. Vettel shouldn’t have been so presumptuous that nobody would be barrelling up the inside and so shouldn’t have turned in quite so “normally” but it was more towards Senna’s fault IMO. Racing incident as both lost out (Senna more so).

          I wouldn’t necessarily say he was “lucky” though – the rear suspension is actually quite strong when hit face-on. The exhaust possibly but they turned the engine settings down accordingly so it should have held theoretically in the condition it was in but absolutely a heavier contact would’ve resorted in perhaps unsurmountable damage, so I suppose in that respect he may have been lucky.

        2. @oliveiraz33
          Every driver makes mistakes. Even the best of them make a few mistakes here and there. I don’t think anyone will deny that A. Senna was a genius in the car. But he also crashed into people here and there.
          That said, I don’t think the one with Senna was bad. Yes he could have avoided it, but then how on earth is he going to expect Senna to try to dive down the inside of 3 cars in one corner?

    3. It is a good sign I agree – a welcome change from normality :)

  13. I agree with that ranking except button on p5!

    No question Kimi deserves to be on p2. I like the comparison between him and Lewis in terms of feeling comfortable in a new car. Based on that, we can expect an even stronger Lewis in next season !

  14. Agree with the top 4.
    I don’t think Button has outperformed Rosberg this season so far though, I’d definitely have him below. However in a car that’s not as good as last years, he’s definitely driving better.
    I think Alonso definitely hasn’t shown his class as much this season, but he has still been incredibly good this season.
    I also think that Hamilton and Raikkonen could probably be either way around.
    Finally, Vettel definitely deserves the number one spot. I don’t think he’s put a foot wrong this season.

  15. Hard to disagree.

    Good to see you point out that you feel Webber is a stronger challenger than Massa and Grosjean, as I believe he is.

    I would also like to say I think the top 4 here are separated by very small margins. If Vettel had made a couple of mistakes or Alonso had made 1 DNF less it could be very different. I think Hamilton’s criticisms are rather quite understandable considering the new team environment he finds himself in.

    But I certainly agree with every single one of these rankings.

    Id like to ask Keith what he feels Hulkenberg has done this year that Ricciardo hasn’t from the earlier list I missed till now. But I may have missed my chance.

    1. @infi24r I’ve not really got anything further to add to what I already wrote on the pair of them:

      2013 F1 season half-term driver rankings: 10-6
      2013 F1 season half-term driver rankings: 22-11

  16. I think the top5 is spot on… I think hamilton is sharing the spot with raikkonen top in number 2…. Vettel is way ahead of everyone in number one, he’s just killing everyone… Alonso is good on 4th… The car is slow, but he could be closer to 072004054788ettel if he didn’t do some mistakes…

    1. @oliveiraz33 That’s an odd typo, looks almost like a mobile phone number.

      Also, I wouldn’t say Vettel is killing everyone. I’d certainly say he’s been the best, but I think it’s much closer than that.

      1. I just phoned it and Paul di Resta’s aunt answered the phone…

        1. Was she pleasant?

      2. LoL…. No idea how it hapened, F1Fanatic website doesn’t allow me to modify the post :/.
        It was written on the PC not even on the phone

        I think Vettel has been killing everybody because lucky or not, we are half season, and I think he has 90% of chances of becoming world champion again… he’s in great momentum..

        1. @oliveiraz33 agreed, if taking opportunities is what wins you titles these days then he’s in good stead. He’s done that better than anyone so far.

  17. I guess I’m less partial than McLaren than I thought, because I agree with your rankings mostly, apart from Button and Perez. If you’d told me I’d rate Vettel as the best driver of the season (so far) and see many others finding the same a year or so ago, I would not have believed you though.

  18. I’m sorry but I just can’t see why Button deserves to be in the top 5, especially when NR’s won two races. Button’s complaints about Perez’s driving in Bahrain was also pathetic.

    Superb on his day but my word, Mansell reborn when things don’t work out perfectly for him.

    1. @joshgeake

      Button’s complaints about Perez’s driving

      …have no bearing on how good Button’s driving was, so I haven’t considered them.

  19. Got my prediction spot on :)

  20. At first I took issue with Button being where he is and Rosberg not being top five. After Monaco, people were saying that Rosberg was proven to be among the best beacuse beating Hamilton showed that Schumi was not as shop-worn as we thought. But in the end it’s not a clear case. As for Hamilton, I’m inclined to give him more credit for coming into a new team, with a new car, designed for two other guys, and doing so well. But it’s probably not enough credit to get past Kimi, who has been excellent this year, and Vettel, who is just steamrolling Webber more than usual and is also being consistent even when he’s not winning.

  21. Fair rankings and definitely on Button despite what those who dislike him feel.

    1. I think he deserves the 5th place, and doing a good job against a over-hyped Perez

      1. Over hyped? Both of them are not worthy of being McLaren lead driver – ability-wise. But then, I guess McLaren are taking step down if they actually believe so.

  22. Completely agree with top 5.

  23. Hamilton should be 2nd.

  24. I have to agree with every single choice Keith has made in this ranking. This season is a real challenge for Vettel. His Red Bull never was the fastest in the race trim, now it’s not the fastest in qualification, yet he managed to take significant lead in the standings. Whether you like him or not – he earned every bit of this one.

  25. We are one blown PIRELLI tire away from Hamilton being clearly in 2nd place and only 33 points behind Vettel. I bring this up because unlike other problems with either the driver or the team, this was totally a Pirelli problem and should not have happened and affected the season.

    Had Lewis been able to finish Silverstone with a win as he was obviously on the way to doing, then we’d be arguing over whether Lewis or Seb should be number 1 because RB has a better car for racing.

    And yes, I realize I’m a total Hamilton fan, but I still think that is a break that should not count against him. Hell, Alonso really deserved the WDC last year and had not Grosjean taken him out in the giant crash he caused, he probably would have won it. But we forget that and act like Seb is the second coming when he’s clearly driving the best car on the grid. He’s a good driver, but he has a lot more to work with.

    1. Valencia 2012, Singapore 2012, Abu DHABI 2012, Brazil 2012, Spain 2012…

      Alonso gained nearly 100+ points just because of others retiring due to mechanical failures and crashes… In particular Lewis Hamilton… Search alternative history and see that Alonso in real was out of the title fight… Also, did you forget Vettel’s Alternator in Valencia, the people really forget this…

      1. Sorry

        *28 points

    2. @daved – Number one still wouldn’t be a debate. “If” Hamilton had won in Britain, he’d be 35 points behind Vettel, despite Vettel losing at least 18 points with car unreliability in that same race, where he was only 2s off the lead.

      I would have had LH at 2, but much closer to Raikkonen in 3rd, than Vettel in 1st.

      1. Yes, but you guys are forgetting that there is a reason I’m picking out that tyre failure for LH: That had nothing to do with Lewis or the team and their own reliability problems. That was a third party that should not have their mistakes affecting the results: Pirelli.
        Also why I was giving Alonso the hypothetical benefit of the Grosjean incident from last year: again, he had nothing to do with Grosjean being an out of control moron.

        And Vettel’s alternator? Again, that is the team trying to get to cute and making the alternator too light which caused the failure. That is an RB decision and they also got the advantage of the lighter component so when it fails…that is on THEM, not an outside factor like Pirelli or a doofus like Grosjean who can’t control himself.

        1. @daved – What alternator? It was a gearbox failure. We are rating drivers, not teams. Last year for instance, Hamilton lost out with a few reliability issues, and the potential lost points were always taken into account.

          Thus when factoring in points lost, you take both reliability issues and outside factors into account, so long as the driver wasn’t to blame. And in that case, Hamilton would be even further behind in points.

          1. Oh so actually, RB, decided to run the alternator so light for them to make the car “faster”…. But if you read the alternative history of 2012, without mistfortunes, without fault of others, Alonso should have been out of the title race after Abu Dhabi. While Hamilton and Vettel go for the fight in Brazil where Hamilton won. :)))

          2. I was using the 2012 alternator failures as an example of something selected by the team. Not something forced on them by a 3rd party. I could have used the same example with the gearbox failure this year….it is still a choice selected by the team.

          3. As for your other point: Yes, we are rating drivers so perhaps we should skip this discussion and go to Indycar (or any other spec series) and compare drivers so we can also take the team out of it???

            Yes, I know it’s arbitrary that to include the team in this comparison, but if we don’t take out ALL team failures, all 3rd party failures, all wrecks caused by other drivers AND somehow take out the difference in cars….I don’t know how to rate drivers.
            Besides, the difference between this discussion is like the difference between judging figure skating and the 100m dash: One is an opinion and the other is fact.
            We’re all just expressing our opinions here :)

        2. Do you even know where the Alternator is situated?? It was an Engine Component and it wasn’t Produced by Redbull. It was Produced by Magnetti Marelli for Renault in 2012. They Used it and it was the Same 3rd Party failure as you made of for Hamilton. Also in British GrandPrix it was due to Glitch on Gearbox.

          1. No, there is a difference: Pirelli tires are mandated for all teams by their contract with F1. The alternator was selected by RB because they wanted the characteristics of that particular alternator…lighter = faster. Whether they produced it in house or out of house, it was still their specs and their choice. So it is on the team, not a 3rd party they had no choice to use.

          2. @daved – But neither a gearbox failure, or a tyre failure can be considered the fault of the driver. And Keith didn’t actually use the tyre failure against his standing, as your first post suggested- he suggested that would have won the race, and said that his fightback to 4th was impressive.

          3. @daved
            How can you explain the Problems of Romain who also got halted in the same race after Vettel’s retirement and Jerome Di Ambrosio who has KERS failure in the Italian GP through out the race. Do Lotus also making their car Lighter = Faster.

          4. @Dizzy-A,
            As I said above, I don’t know how to take the team out of it unless we decide to rate drivers in a spec series (and truthfully even then, the team plays a part).

            And I wasn’t suggesting that Keith held the team or Pirelli failures against Lewis, but neither did he give him credit for a win in Spain. To me, that win would have made a big difference in the standings…again, just my opinion.
            I’m not saying that my opinion is more valid that Keith’s. In fact, I’ll gladly admit that he knows F1 better than I do. That’s why I love this site so much…he does a great job of fair coverage and sharing knowledge.

  26. Although I’m rooting for Alonso it’s hard to disagree with Keiths assessment of the season so far, once again great work Keith! I hate to say it but kuddos to Vettel for being so consistent and fast, I cannot remember a race this season where he was not in contention for the win…….

    To all who are disagreeing with his list, the season still has 9 races left, for all we know at the end of the year the order could be completely the other way. Take a chill pill ;-)

  27. China was Kimi’s fault?!! Perez pushed him off track:

    1. China was 100% Raikkonen’s fault. Perez stuck to his racing line and had no reason to deviate from it.

      Had that not been the case I’m sure the stewards would have given Perez a penalty. But Raikkonen was the cause of the contact and as he was the one who suffered for it there was no reason for a penalty to be issued.

  28. Don’t find Button any impressive this season, yes car is a dog, but he keeps on coming up with “I don’t know why I slow” statements and they relegated him in my ranks to a mid-field driver. Personally I find Rosberg is by far more worthy judging by his performances against his teammate and all the bad luck he had with technical issues.

    1. he keeps on coming up with “I don’t know why I slow” statements

      I’m interested in how they performed, not what they said.

  29. I don’t agree with Vettel being top spot. He is quick and when he gets the chance to win the race, he dominates them instead, BUT he did show is prone to errors when he has to fight his way out of situations and when that takes too long. Like damaging his front wing in Button’s back, or sliding and gliding behind Kimi.

    Solely looking at the driver’s performance, Hamilton as Kimi should be respectively 2 and 1. Neither has put one single foot wrong until now on track. Also the criticism that Hamilton being beaten by rosberg on occasions, is very ‘wild”: first of all it doesn’t do justice to Rosberg, who should have been higher up the ranking, and second of all ignores completely the fact that of all front runners, Hamilton was the only who didn’t enjoy a stable environment and had to adapt to a new car and a new team. Is it something negative when he has to go through that and ultimately does that in a small timeframe, showing how adaptable he is?

    1. @turbof1 – Kimi had the incident in Monaco with Perez, and was nowhere to be seen in Canada or Malaysia, Hamilton was very poor in Spain, finishing outside of the points. The front four teams have been close on performance, yet those two still trail Vettel by a distance. Keith chose the right number one, hands down.

      1. Kimi colliding with perez was a race incident. I don’t blame either of them for it; just an unfortunate turn lf events.
        Hamilton was nowhere in Spain because his tyres just get shewed away. There was nothing he could have preventef to do that.

      2. The incident in Monaco wasn’t Kimi’s fault, he still did a good job afterwards to get a point from that race. Malaysia wasn’t a good race granted, but Kimi still finished 7th. In Canada Kimi had big break issues. For long parts of the race Kimi’s front breaks wasn’t working at all, Canada is circuit were breaks are very important. He also didn’t have enough fuel and he had to drive conservatively. Lotus also made a mistake during his pitstop, and he lost a few seconds and a few places. With all of these issues he still managed to finish in front of Grosjean. Lotus was struggling in Canada, because Pirelli issues harder tyres for Canada then what was expected.
        Lewis has done a great job, he has really been on it in these last few races. The differences between the top drivers are very small.

        1. @turbof1

          Kimi colliding with perez was a race incident. I don’t blame either of them for it; just an unfortunate turn lf events.

          Well, Button running wide and catching SV out, causing the most minor of contact could also be seen as an “unfortunate turn of events”.

          Hamilton was nowhere in Spain because his tyres just get shewed away. There was nothing he could have preventef to do that.

          Teammate finished six places ahead.


          Malaysia wasn’t a good race granted, but Kimi still finished 7th.

          Fair enough. My main issue was with Andy was using a race in which Vettel still finished 3rd, to justify him only being only the 3rd best driver of the last ten races. @Turbof1 must be taking “you’re only as good as your last race” to the extreme!

          1. No I do not. I am basing myself on the mistakes the drivers made, because there really is little to choose between. Vettel made some more errors then the kimi and hamilton. That those errors happened in one doesn’t matter: they were made in the first half of the season, that is what counts. I also find your judgement sincerely lacking on that, implying I only consider the last race.

          2. Considering rosberg finishing thay race further up ahead: hamilton did the same to rosberg one race before. It depends on where you fall back in grid when the tyres go off. With tyres that went that fast off for them, it was more a lottery where they would finish. Hamilton didn’t do anything wrong (nor did rosberg in bahrain). If your tyres get eaten away by the car, and your teammate lucked in a bit more with set up, then you can’t stop it. Nothing to do with Hamilton.

          3. @turbof1 – Mistakes aren’t the only criteria for judging a driver though. You can have races where you don’t make any major errors, but still don’t perform particularly well. As you said, Hamilton didn’t necessarily have any contact or mistakes in Spain, but his performance and result absolutely counts against him (no, it can’t be swept under the rug because of any “lottery”).

            Vettel made some more errors then the kimi and hamilton. That those errors happened in one doesn’t matter[…] I also find your judgement sincerely lacking on that, implying I only consider the last race.

            Well, haven’t you effectively said that they were in one race? I also didn’t consider Kimi’s contact in China. Wasn’t that another error? In fairness, his finishing result there was still to his credit.

          4. Yes, that I grant you: Kimi made that error (it slipped my mind).

            And what else as criteria would you use other then errors? Everything else is subjective and like you are experiences now very much up to debate. There is no proof whether or not Hamilton was or wasn’t to blame for the bad results in Spain (and yes, in my opinion with how the mercedes was very vulnerable for small environmental changes, I find it a lottery). There is proof however, that Vettel ran in the back of Button (clearly an error) and that Kimi was in the wrong in Malaysia. There is very little to debate on that.

            Well, haven’t you effectively said that they were in one race? I

            No, apart from the above piece you quoted, I didn’t said they were in one race actually. You just made the assumption by yourself I was only looking at one race.

          5. @turbof1

            And what else as criteria would you use other than errors?

            A driver’s good performances and results? If an Olympic hurdler wins gold, but hits more barriers than the silver medalist, do you say the guy in 2nd was better?

            There is no proof whether or not Hamilton was or wasn’t to blame for the bad results in Spain

            The proof is in his 12th place (and one lap down) finish, which Keith has obviously highlighted. His teammate, the best barometer, didn’t finish 11th or 13th. That isn’t up for debate.

          6. But what is the proof for the bad result? My statement took the result as the consequence. You only turned it upside down in your statement. Anyway, if that is the case then what is Button doing in the top 5 anyway? His results surely are much worse then the likes of rosberg and webber?
            You assume to much based on the number. Even Keith doesn’t do that, hence why last years best driver choosen by him was NOT Vettel.

            His teammate, the best barometer, didn’t finish 11th or 13th. That isn’t up for debate.

            If we take that same comment here, the opposite would have true for Rosberg in Hungary (before the point that he had to retire). That’s just short sighted: Rosberg was pushed off 2 times in the first lap, by no fault of his own. Similarly, it can be assumed that Hamilton had issues beyond his. That assumption has no less value then the contrary. If we only looked at the number this list would have been useless. Very luckily most people here look beyond that. Maybe you should too. Your example of hurdling is weak btw: there simply is no penalty for hitting the hurdle, so it isn’t on itself an error to hit it. If the gold medalist hit 10 barriers with his foot slightly and the silver medalist only one but tripped over it, then sure he deserves to win. His technique was better. But if the silver medalist never tripped, should have gone for gold, but somebody next to him falls and comes into his trajectory, then you have a debate, even though the numbers say otherwise.

          7. Anyway, if that is the case then what is Button doing in the top 5 anyway? His results surely are much worse then the likes of rosberg and webber?

            I didn’t agree with Button being in the top five- but it’s obvious that Mclaren do not have a car capable of challenging the top four teams- resultantly, they have no podiums, or even 4th place finishes.

            You assume to much based on the number. Even Keith doesn’t do that, hence why last years best driver choosen by him was NOT Vettel.

            Because a) Hamilton lost a significant amount of points compared to Alonso and even Vettel with misfortune, b) the Ferrari was deemed to have lacked race pace throughout the season in comparison to Mclaren and Red Bull, with Alonso rarely leaving points on the table, in comparison to Vettel and Hamilton, and c) Vettel didn’t win or lead or win the title comfortably.

            All three factors are not the case in 2013. None of the top four drivers have necessarily been denied the championship because of unreliability. Ferrari’s race pace is far better than it was last year (esp. in the first 4 races). Vettel is now leading the championship comfortably, as he’s been more consistent than last year.

            Rosberg was pushed off 2 times in the first lap, by no fault of his own. Similarly, it can be assumed that Hamilton had issues beyond his.

            Difference: Rosberg actually had contact that wasn’t his fault. You’ve had to assume something else happened in Spain.

            If we only looked at the number this list would have been useless. Very luckily most people here look beyond that. Maybe you should too.

            Oh, I did. That’s why I would have had Hamilton above Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso (like you, actually), despite only being 4th in the standings. Everyone (bar one who went for Alonso) still had Vettel at 1. Why? Because he’s been very consistent, and delivers the best results on merit, despite the frontrunning cars having close pace.

            There are simply more ways to rate a driver than their mistakes, so when you say Vettel should be rated third because of minor “mistakes” in Hungary, that is to overlook the fact that he’s crushing his teammate, and hasn’t underperformed in any particular race, like Hamilton in Spain, or Raikkonen in Malaysia.

        2. Ok, fair enough. We are basicilly starting to say the same things; it’s getting more about semantics. I don’t think Hamilton could have done better in Spain though; he just struggled all race long due his tyres going away. Rosberg had the same problem in Bahrain. That makes me believe those situation weren’t so much driver dependent, but more about lucking in the set up. Up until then Mercedes still didn’t had a hold on the tyres.

          I kind of disagree with Vettel being on the top spot, yes. I don’t have anything against him, but I don’t feel he should be there. In all of the races he won, he didn’t had to show too much of his qualities at all: drive and dominate. Hamilton’s win on the contrary was one he had to make 3 cricital overtakes on a track that deemed to be difficult to overtake. It’s all about perception, and I do respect others their opinion on it (even though I haven’t made that exactly clear), I simply don’t agree with it :P.

    2. You are pointing mistakes from only one race and this is the race where it was almost impossible to overtake with RB9. Yes, Vettel could have made flawless race just driving behind the other cars, try to overtake them on the straight and fail because of the top speed disadvantage. But this was no good for him and he tried to find place to overtake on a track where this is really hard. I can hardly see this as flaw. I know for certain that Romain got much credit for this in the same, even though his overtakes didn’t succeed according the rules.

      1. Would it have made it a difference if damaged his front wing in australia and lost his temper in brittain?

        He eventually passed Button btw; he could have done that without putting his cascade inside button’s rear wing. He could have passed kimi too if he was patient enough and didn’t locked up several times. Kimi’s tyres were gone in the last 2 laps; with less abused tyres vettel would have got passed him.

        Don’t get me wrong either: Vettel is a top class driver and certainly deserves his place in the top 3. But with so little to choose between any of the 3, you need to look at such things. Hamilton was until now faultless in his approach, kimi one fault. Spain was in terms of results a one-off for Hamilton, but just be honest and think about how much really was down to him and how much down to the car.

        1. @turbof1
          I agree with you most of the time, but you just leave the impression that you are looking too closely into one driver mistakes and you easily ignores those of others.

          Hamilton was until now faultless in his approach.

          That’s simply not true if you are taking into account things like

          locked up several times


          I’m not going to dig into the archives to prove you wrong, but Hamilton is far from faultless when compared to Seb this season.

          1. Sure everybody can lock up sometimes. No issues with that. I was getting into that Vettel really was loosing his temper behind Raikkonen. It wasn’t just locking up; he was sliding and gliding all over the place. He just didn’t have the patience.

            Hamilton indeed has the tendency to lock up a few times during a race. But that is spread out. He doesn’t loose his cool, stays calm and by that doesn’t abuse his tyres. It’s always of course better not to, but locking up once or twice normally isn’t going to hurt your pace. That’s contrary to Vettel, who really took the life out of tyres. Which is a shame; he showed in Bahrain he could keep his nerve and do the job properly.

  30. David not Coulthard (@)
    17th August 2013, 8:54

    I think Perez should’ve been closer to Jenson, but I ust say it’s hard to disagree too much with your ranking.

  31. Button in 5th what a joke. His driving has been on par with the car this year, no more no less. That’s my criticism with Button. He’s a driver who only does well if the car is exactly to his liking. He can’t drive around problems. He is only aged of Perez this gear because Perez is still new on the team and finding his feet. In fairness neither of them is top leading driver material but at least Perez will continue to improve whereas Button, well…

    1. Not *aged* I meant beating

  32. This is just an attempt by the Button apologist to raise his stock,but the facts tells a different story,first of all he seems to given handicap points for not having a competitive car,so by that standard Bianchi should be right up there since he been trouncing his teammate consistently by a second.and by the same token shouldnt Vettel be deducted points for having a car to challenge for pole and victory at every race.what about Kimi,several underwelming qually performance,which he himself has admiited, and couple race where he has underachieved.
    Button benchmark, is a teammate who hasnt had a decent race result in almost 20 races,and could have easily be on par with Button,if he wasnt so inexperience and hotheaded.As for Button result theyve been almost all gifted by Massa poor peformance,grojean inconsistency and a few Merc Tire problems.In fact Button couldnt have done worst even if he tried.proof of that is while the media has been hailing improvements ,their race result and qualy position has remained the same.As we have come use to Lewis is being penalizse for not instantaneously getting use to the Merc and demolishing a very credible Rosberg.though through out these teething issue at no point has he been behind Rosberg or been convincely outdriven

  33. Im a pretty firm believer that Hamilton is the best driver in F1 and on the planet, with Vettel being a very close 2nd and Alonso and Kimi millimeters behind in some order. But Vettel has a very clear car advantage over everyone save his teammate. As much as i like Webber, he is obviously a second rate driver compared to those 4 i just named. Thats why its always a wipeout when comparing the two RedBull drivers. Grosjean and Massa are also very average (for F1) drivers. The only real ‘challenger’ to the top 4 is Hamilton with Rosberg. And even with it being a new everything for Hamilton, he has beaten Nico pretty consistently. The only real way to settle it would be a spec series or all four of them on the same team, both of which would never happen. Vettel gets a ton of credit and deservedly so being a triple world champion. But RedBull always make sure to take advantage of their advantages. While Ferrari and McClaren when Lewis was there consistently did not. This isnt ‘hating’ on Vettel because obviously he is a great driver. There is a clip on youtub of the entire finale of 2012 in Brazil in onboard and to watch Vettel push in wet conditions constantly over the traction limit and keep control was awesome to watch. From my eyes i just think Hamilton is genius behind the wheel. But the differences are picking between Bach, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

    But Keith great site and spot on ratings. Im an Black American and this is an everyday read, awesome job

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