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

Driver Rankings

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

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

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  1. Could not agree more.

  2. Trido (@trido) said on 16th August 2013, 13:03

    Yeah, totally agree with the top 5.

  3. Diceman (@diceman) said on 16th August 2013, 13:03

    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.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 16th August 2013, 13:06

      Button 5, Rosberg 4 for me.

      Edit:
      **Button 6th, Rosberg 5th**

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 16th August 2013, 13:12

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

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th August 2013, 14:03

      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.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th August 2013, 14:14

        @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!

        • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th August 2013, 14:17

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

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th August 2013, 14:25

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

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th August 2013, 14:32

            @mazdachris

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

            Hamilton

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th August 2013, 14:40

            @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.

          • Traverse (@) said on 16th August 2013, 14:48

            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.

            +1
            @keithcollantine got the ratings spot on.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 16th August 2013, 14:29

      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.

    • @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).

    • 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.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th August 2013, 18:55

        @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.

        • 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.

      • Mads (@mads) said on 16th August 2013, 21:51

        @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.

        • Brian (@bforth) said on 16th August 2013, 23:42

          +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.

        • 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 ?

          • Baron (@baron) said on 18th August 2013, 17:32

            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.

          • @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.

          • Baron (@baron) said on 18th August 2013, 20:10

            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. Hairs (@hairs) said on 16th August 2013, 13:06

    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.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th August 2013, 13:17

      @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.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 16th August 2013, 15:10

        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.

        • Tom (@newdecade) said on 16th August 2013, 15:42

          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. AlokIn (@) said on 16th August 2013, 13:07

    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.

  7. David-A (@david-a) said on 16th August 2013, 13:08

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

  8. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 16th August 2013, 13:09

    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.

    • Matthijs (@matthijs) said on 16th August 2013, 13:19

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

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th August 2013, 14:03

      @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

      • Kodongo (@kodongo) said on 16th August 2013, 15:50

        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?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th August 2013, 16:13

          @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?

          • Kodongo (@kodongo) said on 16th August 2013, 17:20

            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.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th August 2013, 18:41

            @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).

      • Breno (@austus) said on 16th August 2013, 17:22

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

      • IDR (@idr) said on 17th August 2013, 8:31

        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. V. Chris (@vasschu) said on 16th August 2013, 13:10

    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.

    • oliveiraz33 (@oliveiraz33) said on 16th August 2013, 14:18

      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

    • Lance (@lancelot) said on 16th August 2013, 18:22

      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.

      • 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…

        • Lance (@lancelot) said on 17th August 2013, 16:09

          Look at the link in my previous post. He told it to BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/23162974

          “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. AlokIn (@) said on 16th August 2013, 13:16

    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.

    • Kanman1 said on 16th August 2013, 13:38

      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.

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 16th August 2013, 13:44

      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.

      • “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?

        • Kanman1 said on 16th August 2013, 13:55

          he was absolutely spot on.

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

          • 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.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th August 2013, 2:43

            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.

      • Angelia (@angelia) said on 17th August 2013, 7:42

        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.

    • David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 16th August 2013, 13:45

      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.

    • 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. ;]

    • 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. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 16th August 2013, 13:36

    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. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 16th August 2013, 14:05

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

    • oliveiraz33 (@oliveiraz33) said on 16th August 2013, 14:21

      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

    • Traverse (@) said on 16th August 2013, 14:57

      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!

      • oliveiraz33 (@oliveiraz33) said on 16th August 2013, 19:35

        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…

        • @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.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 16th August 2013, 22:04

          @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?

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

  13. andy2k12 (@andy2k12) said on 16th August 2013, 14:07

    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. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 16th August 2013, 14:13

    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. Thomas (@infi24r) said on 16th August 2013, 14:21

    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.

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