Which team has the best driver line-up for 2014?

2014 F1 season

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang, 2013Just two teams in the F1 field will begin the 2014 season with the same driver line-up they had last year.

Mercedes have kept Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on board having described the pairing as one of their key strengths last year.

The only other team to have retained its 2013 squad is Marussia, where Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton begin their second season together.

The most eye-catching change in the 2014 roster is surely Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari. Together with Fernando Alonso the Scuderia is fielding two world champions for the first time in over 60 years.

In other major changes four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel is joined by Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull. And McLaren have promoted one of the three rookies in the field to their team in place of Sergio Perez.

But which team has got the best driver line-up this year? Compare them and cast your vote below.

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2013Owned the 2009-13 rules generation, the beginning of which coincided with his arrival at Red Bull. After a perfect second half last year he could start 2014 with his tenth win in a row.

Sebastian Vettel biography

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Jerez, 2014His trademark grin may be stretched to breaking point as he changes up from Toro Rosso and prepares to take on a four-times world champion. Qualifying, a strength of his, will be a key battle.

Daniel Ricciardo biography

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2013Never seemed to get settled in the W04 last year, but in his second year at Mercedes there should be nothing to keep him from getting the most out of what is expected to be a competitive car.

Lewis Hamilton biography

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2013Fared well against Hamilton last year particularly on their points tallies, considering Rosberg’s reliability woes. That raised his stock higher, but he still has ‘off’ days.

Nico Rosberg biography

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014There’s rarely anything to fault in Alonso’s driving, though he had some indifferent qualifying performances last year. In Raikkonen he faces his toughest team mate in seven years.

Fernando Alonso biography

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014Mirrors Alonso in many respects at the wheel: consistent, quick and error-free in the races, but qualifying isn’t his strongest card. That’s probably the only vulnerability in Ferrari’s squad.

Kimi Raikkonen biography

Lotus

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Yas Marina, 2013Just when it looked like he was never going to get his act together, Grosjean delivered a string of assured, clean and above all fast drives at the end of 2013. And not a moment too soon.

Romain Grosjean biography

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Interlagos, 2013His speed is not in question, particularly on street circuits, but Maldonado can be as impolitic on the track as he is off it. Might have benefitted from the tutelage of the now-missing Eric Boullier.

Pastor Maldonado biography

McLaren

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, Melbourne, McLaren, 2013The most experienced driver on the grid and very much a known quantity. One-lap pace is not his forte; coaxing the best from his tyres over a race stint and judging mixed conditions is.

Jenson Button biography

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Jerez, 2014The pressure is on for Magnussen to ‘do a Hamilton’. He showed speed and maturity in Formula Renault 3.5 next year, now he needs to transfer that as McLaren regroup following a dismal 2013.

Kevin Magnussen biography

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Jerez, 2014Although he’s changed teams a lot this highly-regarded drivers is beginning his third season with Force India so should get comfortable quickly and resume his late-2013 giant-killing.

Nico Hulkenberg biography

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Force India, Jerez, 2014Time to bounce back after being cut loose by McLaren following a season where he was not quite on-par on several counts. There’s still potential in Perez, though, as his later drives showed.

Sergio Perez biography

Sauber

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil, Sauber, Jerez, 2014Was shaded by Paul di Resta last year. But although he’s not in the top percentage for pure speed he has become a more dependable driver and will be a regular points scorer if the car’s up to it.

Adrian Sutil biography

Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013There were few highlights in his bruising debut season alongside Hulkenberg. With the advantage of team knowledge over Sutil he must get on terms with his new team mate quickly.

Esteban Gutierrez biography

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne, Bahrain, Toro Rosso, 2013Soundly beaten by Ricciardo in qualifying last year, he needs more Canada-quality performances to retain the backing of Red Bull with many young talents snapping at his heels.

Jean-Eric Vergne biography

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Did a good job of juggling two championships last year and his nationality can’t have hurt his chances of landing a seat. But he has a steep learning curve in front of him.

Daniil Kvyat biography

Williams

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Williams, Jerez, 2014His ejection from Ferrari was overdue, but although Massa has rarely looked like the driver of 2008/09 since his Hungary crash his experience will be of great value to Williams.

Felipe Massa biography

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Hockenheim, 2012Supplied Williams’ best results despite a poor chassis last season. With a year’s experience under his belt this promising talent could be quite a handful for Massa.

Valtteri Bottas biography

Marussia

Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Jerez, 2014Ferrari’s development driver will benefit from Ferrari power this year which should give him a greater opportunity to show the potential that was occasionally glimpsed early last year.

Jules Bianchi biography

Max Chilton

Max Chilton, Bahrain, Marussia, 2013Well off Bianchi’s pace much of the time as they made their F1 debuts together, but did gradually get closer to his team mate. Stability will help him make gains but don’t expect miracles.

Max Chilton biography

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Jerez, 2014His last season for Sauber in 2012 was his third full year yet there were still several careless errors. But he brings experience – and his celebrated overtaking bravado – to Caterham.

Kamui Kobayashi biography

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Jerez, 2014Started his single seater career well but then spent an underwhelming four-year stint in GP2. On his best days he looked like a potential F1 driver but there weren’t enough of them.

Marcus Ericsson biography

Over to you

Which team has the best driver line-up for 2014? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Which team has the best driver line-up for 2014?

  • Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo (4%)
  • Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg (23%)
  • Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen (67%)
  • Lotus: Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado (1%)
  • McLaren: Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen (2%)
  • Force India: Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez (3%)
  • Sauber: Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Williams: Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas (1%)
  • Marussia: Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton (0%)
  • Caterham: Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson (0%)

Total Voters: 572

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Find the updated driver line-up for 2014 so far including test and reserve drivers here:

2014 F1 season preview


Browse all 2014 F1 season preview articles

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, McLaren/LAT, Force India, Sauber, Williams/LAT, Marussia, Caterham/LAT

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109 comments on Which team has the best driver line-up for 2014?

  1. DavidS (@davids) said on 8th February 2014, 4:17

    Ferrari, easily.

    Will they win either championship? Maybe.
    The team dynamics are unknown at this point, and we don’t have the faintest clue what the respective pace of the cars are.

  2. Fixy (@fixy) said on 8th February 2014, 13:07

    Lewis and Nico. Fer and Kimi are also very strong, hard to pick only one of them, but I have faith in Mercedes this year.

  3. quads said on 8th February 2014, 14:22

    Redbull

    I think the deciding factor will be (putting package performance/reliability aside – driver skill is not a deciding factor for drivers title as we have seen a few times in the last four years), which (top) team manages to limit their drivers from taking points from each others. Historically, redbull has been a master in that regard – making sure VET gets always best treatment from the team and WEB an obvious #2 drivers (or backup if you like), that is supposed to pick up the rests below the table.
    With VET having four titles, and Ricciardo being mostly grateful to have been given the chance to race for RB, there is no question that he is supposed to, expected and WILL be an even bigger #2 than what WEB ever was.
    The story will be different in the few other top teams, with regard to this, hence the RB driver lineup will be the most “harmonic” and given a couple of tenths advantage over the others´packages will be unbeatable.

    On the skill side, the team that have the best driver (given historical facts) is Ferrari. RAI is probably, at worst 4th best driver on the grid – so the Ferrari lineup should be the best, skill-wise.

  4. Spencer White (@jojobudgie) said on 8th February 2014, 19:36

    Ferrari.By a long way.Mercedes in second followed by Red Bull(all Vettel – not to take anything away from Dan)then FI.

  5. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 9th February 2014, 21:56

    In my opinion Raik is a spent force so Merc have best pairing. If Ferrari don’t give Raik a 10/10 car he’ll lose interest.

  6. Hoping for a 2007 or 2008 championship style year.
    If the cars are that close and reliable.
    It will be Lewis Hamilton’s pairing. followed by whoever make up ferrari.

  7. matty55 (@matty55) said on 10th February 2014, 22:38

    Im going for Mercedes. Ferrari have two very experienced very talented drivers but as teammates sparks will fly and fly high.

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