Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014

2014 mid-season F1 driver rankings part one: 22-13

Driver rankingsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings are being produced for the tenth time this year, and as usual they began with a review of how the field has fared at the mid-season point.

Here are the ten drivers in the bottom part of the list – look out for the rest in two further articles to be published later this week.

22. Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Monte-Carlo, 2014Key stat: Completed the fewest racing laps of any driver so far – 466 of the 698 which have been run.

Sporting Ronnie Peterson’s helmet design in Monaco, Ericsson produced the best performance of his short F1 career to date, and gave Caterham their highest-ever finish with 11th place. Yes it was aided by retirements, but also by several of his rivals making the kind of errors he avoided, which is particularly impressive given the car he has to drive.

But that was the sole highlight of a rookie campaign which has otherwise left a lot to be desired, even when allowances are made for the serious shortcomings of his machinery. We’ve quickly grown accustomed to the sight of Ericsson climbing from the cockpit of his Caterham, for which Renault’s persistent reliability problems have only been partly to blame. Qualifying has been a particular problem – he crashed in Malaysia, Monaco (taking out Felipe Massa) and Canada – and binned it just seven laps into the last race.

21. Max Chilton

Key stat: Record run of consecutive finishes for a rookie ended in Canada – when he took out his team mate on the first lap

It’s not immediately obvious whether a year’s experience has helped Chilton raise his game all that much. He continues to be a safe pair of hands for the most part – with the obvious exception of Canada – but otherwise doesn’t distinguish himself with speed in qualifying or races.

When the chequered flag falls Chilton can usually be found a considerable distance behind his team mate and not that far ahead of Ericsson. It was telling that even when Bianchi limped home with a badly damaged floor in Hungary, Chilton still couldn’t find a way past his team mate.

20. Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Key stat: The only driver to be issued three penalty points for a single incident, when he flipped Gutierrez in Bahrain

The same old Maldonado mistakes persist – the careless collision which put Gutierrez on his head, the clumsy spin into the barrier during qualifying in Spain. But the greater impediment to his performance this year has been the dreadful unreliability and unsympathetic handling of his Lotus.

Because of that he has been unable to set a time during Q1 on three occasions and sidelined with technical failures during races four times. He didn’t even start the race at Monaco, which is usually one of his strongest circuits. But team mate Romain Grosjean has been similarly afflicted by Lotus’s problems, and he has had the car running and finishing in higher positions.

19. Adrian Sutil

Key stat: Has finished ahead of Gutierrez more often than he has finished behind him, and vice-versa in qualifying

Sutil had a lot of trouble getting the Sauber beyond Q1 in the early part of the season, and the unco-operative chassis has rarely been a willing partner in the races either. Much of the first half of the season was an unrewarding grind, punctuated with notable lows in Monaco, where he crashed out, and Austria, where a communications error meant he was accidentally told to stop.

But a glimmer of hope appeared prior to the summer break. With FRIC now banned, Sauber seem a little more competitive, and Sutil came within a second of scoring their first point in Hungary.

18. Kamui Kobayashi

Key stat: Equalled Caterham’s best ever starting position – 14th – in Australia

After a year away, Kobayashi’s fan-funded comeback has produced only disappointment thanks largely to his uncompetitive car. Even in China, where he put one over Bianchi in the final laps, he had the incredible misfortune to be robbed of the result because the chequered flag was shown too soon.

In Monaco Bianchi caught him by surprise at Rascasse and pulled off a pass which eventually gave Marussia a valuable two-point lead over Caterham in the constructors’ championship. The team may rue Kobayashi not being a bit more aggressive on that occasion, but more often than not it’s been the car which has let him down.

17. Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Key stat: Gained more places on lap one than any other driver: 26 (an average gain of 2.4 places)

Gutierrez has shown Sutil the way in qualifying and would probably have scored Sauber’s first points in Hungary had his energy recovery system not failed. Some poor luck also explains which his finishing record is not quite as good as his team mates – the collision with Maldonado in Bahrain, and Sauber’s pit error in Austria.

Yet it’s hard to shake the impression that, though the C33 is undoubtedly one of Sauber’s worst cars, it is capable of more than either of its drivers have extracted so far.

16. Felipe Massa

Key stat: Has retired on the first lap on three occasions

Massa has missed out on several points-scoring opportunities due to misfortune: he was blameless when he was hit by Ericsson during qualifying in Monaco, in his last-lap tangle with Sergio Perez at Montreal, and in the start-line crashes at Melbourne and Silverstone. But that’s not the whole explanation for why he has less than half his team mate’s points haul at mid-season.

On other occasions having started well he simply tried to make too much of the advantage, leading to tangles with Fernando Alonso in China and, most dramatically, with Kevin Magnussen in Germany. But most worrying for Massa are the increasingly common days when Valtteri Bottas has been just plain quicker than him.

15. Daniil Kvyat

Key stat: Toro Rosso is the only team where each driver has finished in front of the other the same number of times

There’s very little to choose between the Toro Rosso pair, and that reflects very well on the latest product of Red Bull’s junior driver programme. Despite a disrupted testing programme, including one day at Jerez when he didn’t get on the circuit at all, Kvyat scored in three of the first four races on unfamiliar tracks. He then used recent circuit experience to good effect at the Red Bull Ring, lining up seventh on the grid, only to be sidelined by one of Toro Rosso’s many car problems.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing – he ruined his race in Germany with a rash move on Perez, and the Hungarian weekend was a complete write-off. But he has more than justified Red Bull’s surprise decision to promote him.

14. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014Key stat: Sixth in Hungary was his best finish so far – Alonso has only finished lower than that once

Niggling problems during practice have been a feature of Raikkonen’s season so far, and that can’t have helped his qualifying and race day performances. But even making allowances for that, and the inevitable adjustment period involved when a driver switches teams, Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari has evoked more memories of his poor 2009 campaign than his 2007 championship victory.

At times it’s seemed as if his F14 T had been fitted with a Magnussen magnet, but while the McLaren driver bore responsibility for their tangles in Malaysia and Bahrain, the Monaco collision was down to Raikkonen. This began a poor run of races which included tenth places at Montreal (where he spun) and the Red Bull Ring, his nasty (and self-inflicted) smash at Silverstone, and a bruising encounter with several rivals at the Hockenheimring.

However he was happier with his car’s handling in Germany and that served as a springboard for his best performance of the season so far in Hungary, where he finished sixth despite being eliminated in Q1 due to an error by his team. Better days seem to lie ahead.

13. Jean-Eric Vergne

Key stat: Has the most retirements due to car failure of any driver: five

It’s a case of deja vu for Jean-Eric Vergne – at the mid-point of the season he’s had more mechanical failures than any other driver, which also happened last year. This has plainly affected his ability to score points, such as in Malaysia where he reached Q3 but had a power unit problem at the start of the race.

Car failures aren’t the only way he’s been let down by his team. In Spain a wheel came off his car during practice, leading to a grid penalty, and in Monaco having qualified seventh a pit release error led to a penalty. Wet weather conditions seem to bring out the best in him, as in Hungary where he got ahead of Nico Rosberg at the restart. Kvyat is certainly keeping him honest but Vergne narrowly has the upper hand at the moment despite his many misfortunes.

The next part of the rankings will be published tomorrow.

How the rankings are produced

Among the data referred to in producing the ranks 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 these ten drivers have performed so far in 2014?

Have your say in the comments.

Images © Caterham/LAT, Lotus/LAT, Sauber, Ferrari/spa

118 comments on “2014 mid-season F1 driver rankings part one: 22-13”

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  1. I’ve been waiting for this Keith, and your ratings seem to be incredibly fair so far. They do differ slightly from mine, however, but that just comes down to personal opinion really.

    I did think long and hard about my ratings and my 22 are posted below:

    22: Ericsson
    21: Maldonado
    20: Chilton
    19: Gutierrez
    18: Sutil
    17: Perez
    16: Raikkonen
    15: Massa
    14: Kobayashi
    13: Bianchi
    12: Magnussen
    11: Kvyat
    10: Vergne
    09: Button
    08: Grosjean
    07: Vettel
    06: Rosberg
    05: Bottas
    04: Hulkenberg
    03: Hamilton
    02: Alonso
    01: Ricciardo

    I look forward to seeing the rest of these!

    1. Rosberg ahead of Bottas and Hulk. He has only made minor mistakes while Bottas crashed in Australia and Hulk took out Perez in Germany/ Hungary.

      1. minor mistakes ??? Rosberg jumbled that qualy in Monaco ….. mistake or not

    2. @craig-o I´ll just use your text, since I wouldn´t want to word it any differently, and change some little things in the ratings:

      I’ve been waiting for this Keith, and your ratings seem to be incredibly fair so far. They do differ slightly from mine, however, but that just comes down to personal opinion really.

      I did think long and hard about my ratings and my 22 are posted below:

      22: Maldonado
      21: Ericsson
      20: Chilton
      19: Gutierrez
      18: Raikkonen
      17: Sutil
      16: Perez
      15: Kobayashi
      14: Magnussen
      13: Massa
      12: Bianchi
      11: Kvyat
      10: Grosjean
      09: Vettel
      08: Vergne
      07: Rosberg
      06: Hamilton
      05: Button
      04: Bottas
      03: Hülkenberg
      02: Alonso
      01: Ricciardo

      I look forward to seeing the rest of these!

      1. How the hell can Button be placed higher than Hamilton?

    3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      12th August 2014, 15:32

      @craig-o – Here are my rankings for the season…

      22: Ericsson
      21: Chilton
      20: Maldonado
      19: Sutil
      18: Gutierrez
      17: Kobayashi
      16: Raikkonen
      15: Massa
      14: Perez
      13: Button
      12: Bianchi
      11: Magnussen
      10: Grosjean
      09: Vergne
      08: Vettel
      07: Kvyat
      06: Hulkenberg
      05: Rosberg
      04: Bottas
      03: Hamilton
      02: Ricciardo
      01: Alonso

      Put simply – if you’re in the top twelve you’ve impressed me at some point this season.

    4. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      12th August 2014, 23:54

      I bloody love these!

      22. Ericsson
      21. Chilton
      20. Maldonado
      19. Sutil
      18. Gutierrez
      17. Bianchi
      16. Kobayashi
      15. Jean Eric-Vergne
      14. Massa
      13. Raikonnen
      12. Kyvatt
      11. Perez
      10. Magnussen
      9. Grosjean
      8. Button
      7. Hulkenberg
      6. Vettel
      5. Rosberg
      4. Bottas
      3. Hamilton
      2. Alonso
      1. Ricciardo

    5. @craig-o These are my rankings halfway through the season:
      22: Maldonado
      21: Ericsson
      20: Gutierrez
      19: Sutil
      18: Chilton
      17: Kobayashi
      16: Raikkonen
      15: Perez
      14: Massa
      13: Magnussen
      12: Button
      11: Vettel
      10: Bianchi
      09: Grosjean
      08: Kvyat
      07: Vergne
      06: Rosberg
      05: Hulkenberg
      04: Bottas
      03: Hamilton
      02: Ricciardo
      01: Alonso
      The bottom four drivers are rubbish.
      Chilton needs to stop driving slowly and start being aggressive.
      Raikkonen and Vettel have been disappointing this season.
      Massa needs to improve his consistency.
      Magnussen has potential but needs to start using it.
      Anyone in the top 10 has impressed me so far this season.

      1. Can’t be bothered doing them all but here’s my top 10:
        1. Ricciardo
        2. Bottas
        3. Hulkenberg
        4. Alonso
        5. Rosberg (has been slower than Hamilton but has made no mistakes)
        6. Hamilton
        7. Bianchi
        8. Massa (has had a lot of bad luck)
        9. Vergne
        10. Kvyat

  2. a sad day/season as a Swede and Kimi fan…

    Here’s hoping for the second half of the season and next season turns out better!

    (I’m expecting Bottas high up on the list though, so I have that to look forward to at least)

  3. Raikkonen ahead of Massa? I don’t agree with that.

    Raikkonen on average, has qualified nine tenths behind Alonso and has yet to finish ahead of him in a race situation. Massa on the other hand, has been on average, less than a tenth behind Bottas and the pace between the two drivers are fairly close more often than not – certainly closer than that at Ferrari.

    Canada he spun himself, Silverstone it was his mistake which took himself and Massa out. Rookie mistakes really. I personally think, Raikkonen should be lower down.

    1. Raikkonen on average, has qualified nine tenths behind Alonso

      Does that take a Kimi’s Q1 time in Hungary against Alonso’s Q3 time? If so, 2 or 3 tenths of that average comes purely from Ferrari telling him he was safe in Hungary. Granted, it is still a big gap.

      1. Ignore the ‘a’ in my first sentence.

      2. I believe that should be 0.695 seconds, not 9 tenths.

    2. @conmcdonaghf1 I make it a smidgeon under seven tenths, comparing their lap times in like-for like sessions (e.g. not comparing Q1 vs Q3 as @matt90 mentioned).

  4. I’d argue that Gutierrez does not deserve to be placed ahead of Kobayashi, but then I am being extremely biased.

  5. Raikkonen should be lower.

    I hope Toro Rosso don’t drop Vergne for next season. He’s a talent who’s been very unlucky. But I have a feeling somebody younger will take his place next season. Hope he gets a seat somewhere else.

    1. Have to agree with you there, I rate Vergne quite highly, I wouldn’t say he’s world champion material but i’d choose him over Sutil, Chilton, Gutierrez, Erriccson, Massa, Kobayashi, Maldonado, and probably Button.

      1. A genius on a wet track (plus a really nice guy)

    2. I agree.

    3. @jarnooo Sadly, Vergne is on his last legs. After 2.5 years, Marko’s trigger finger gets itchy..

      PS. IMO, he would make a great ‘Renault’ works team driver alongside Grosjean, with Pic as reserve and upcoming talent Ocon as test driver. Plus, we could get shot of Maldonado. I hope Renault reads this…

  6. Agree with pretty much all of these, though maybe I’d switch Raikkonen and Kvyat around. As I say, for everything else I totally agree.

    Ericsson has definitely been the stone-wall worst driver on the grid, with Chilton being easily the next worst. Maldonado has been absolutely demolished by his team mate. In-fact, all three of these guys are getting beaten heavily by their respective team mates.

    Koboyashi has been also unremarkable in the unremarkable Caterham, but has simply battered his team mate, as you’d expect one to do against a rookie.

    Gutierrez hasn’t exactly been good, but he is out performing Sutil for the most part, and there seems to be more to come, though how much is questionable.

    Massa has been a huge disappointment. Yes he has had some good performances, but he’s got himself caught up in so many issues that it’s starting to get a bit worrying that it may continue all season.

    Raikkonen I think has been the disappointment of the season. So much was said before the season started of the Alonso/Raikkonen battle, but it has been an absolute slaughter in the way of one man. As I said, personally I would put Raikkonen bellow Kvyat, simply because he is a rookie and doing very well.

    Both Kvyat and Vergne could occupy the same spot in the table for me. Vergne does edge it though for some great performances. Whilst Kvyat has been the standout rookie, he’s also made a few mistakes, rookie mistakes, but mistakes all the same, where as Vergne has been as solid as he’s been for every season he’s been in the sport.

    Sutil has been very unremarkable again, and as Keith says rightly, very poor in qualifying. Whilst Sutil has had the upper hand in races, the fact his team mate is only in his second year makes you think Sutil really needs to pull his finger out.

    It’ll be interesting to see who’s in the next section. I imagine the likes of Grosjean, Perez, Button, Magnussen and Bianchi to be there, Bottas maybe as well.

    My top 5 so far are:
    5. Hulkenberg
    4. Rosberg
    3. Hamilton
    2. Ricciardo
    1. Alonso

    I think this season there has been a definite top 2, and there’s probably a 3-6 including Bottas, which could all be rotated into order. (So that would be HAM, ROS, HUL, BOT) for any order from 3-6. Button 7th.

  7. Usually don’t disagree with Keith’s rankings but I definitely have a different opinion on a few of those…

    1) Maldonado was the worst driver on the grid. Considering the number of years he’s spent in the sport, he drove worse than a rookie. And he has been comprehensively destroyed by his teammate.

    2) Felipe Massa hasn’t been that poor. He made some 1st lap and last lap errors (Canada), but he has been the only driver other than a Merc driver to take pole this year, and has been pretty close to his highly rated teammate on numerous occassions. I would place him at #13 at worst

    3) How on earth is JEV in front of Kvyat??? Kvyat has been far more impressive in the race and quali. He has made a few rookie errors, but there is no way he deserves to be this low. He has been more impressive than Magnussen in his rookie year

    1. For me the 22 to 13 would look like –

      22. Maldonado
      21. Ericcson
      20. Chilton
      19. Sutil
      18. Guttierez
      17. Jean Eric Vergne
      16. Kobayashi
      15. Raikkonnen
      14. Magnussen
      13. Massa

    2. I think your opinions of Maldonado and JEV are skewed by their car’s failures. The amount of times Maldo hasn’t been able to put in a time in quali of even start the race is very high and JEV, as Keith pointed out, has had the most unreliability in the race than anyone.

    3. @todfod

      Considering the number of years he’s spent in the sport, he drove worse than a rookie. And he has been comprehensively destroyed by his team mate.

      I understand where you’re coming from but their level of experience doesn’t have any bearing on my rankings. There are plenty of difficult variables to assess as it is without also making allowances for their career histories!

    4. How on earth is JEV in front of Kvyat??? Kvyat has been far more impressive in the race and quali

      @todfod JEV is ahead of Kvyat on world championship points, despite having the greater share of mechanical misfortune. He has outqualified the Russian 6-5. Vergne has a narrow, but clear lead on laps led (222-193). In the four races they have both finished, the score is 2-2 as to who finished ahead.

      What metric are you using to conclude that Kvyat has been “far more impressive”?

      1. @todfod @tdog The statistics speak for themselves there… You also have to remember this is Jean-Eric Vergne who definitely gave Daniel Ricciardo a run for his money, and the latter hasn’t turned out too badly…

  8. I think it’s a fair standing, in which, I mostly agree. Kvyat may need a place higher in my own opinion, but has he done better than Raikkonen, it’s difficult to judge.

    Magnussen and Perez certainly sits 12th & 11th respectively, there.

    1. Has he done better than Raikkonen? Definitely.

  9. Who’d have thought that the former Ferrari duo of Raikkonen and Massa would be rated at 14th and 16th best on the grid before their careers were over…(although it is just an opinion rating)

    Agree for the most part although in defence of the heavier drivers in some teams (Ericsson, Sutil, Vergne) i would tend to rate them a bit higher on the basis they have been losing time to their team-mates for at least part of the season. I also think Massa is a few places low (but only a few) although it depends how you view his various collisions….

    1. Indeed it makes you wonder just how much quicker the Ferrari was in 2007 / 2008 with Kimi/Massa behind the wheel for them to compete with the McLaren in the hands of Alonso/Hamilton.

      1. I don’t think it does. Times simply change.

      2. I think it’s fair to say that Massa/Raikkonen were performing at a much higher level in 2007/2008 than the first half of 2014. Massa has been on a downward slide for a long time, but Raikkonen’s drop-off was much more sudden. I expect Raikkonen in particular to improve significantly in the second half of the season as he gets the car in his preferred working zone.

      3. I think Alonso has improved, while Massa has gotten worse. I wonder if Raikkonen is simply having a bad moment, in a generation that doesnt suit him, in a bad car (not that I rate him as highly as Alonso).

  10. Maybe a tad surprising to find Massa as far down. On the other hand, he is in a car that is at least the 4th fastest this year and on occasions clearly top 2, and he has let us down with ill-judged moves that reminded us more of Hamilton tangling with Massa at almost every second race (impression not reality) in 2011 than the driver he was at his peak, or even in part of the last season after it was announce he would be replaced.

    Also I am inclined to exchange Kvyat and Kimi, because the latter has achieved less and threw away more with a car that is better than the young Russian has in his rookie season. But its by small margins and does not really make a difference in the grander picture

  11. i would have had raikkonen lower (too many silly errors). i’m glad massa is down there too. button and magnussen must scrape into the top 12 – neither have been consistent enough. vergne and kyvat could conceivably be higher than the mclaren pair.

    1. Raikkonen’s only costly mistakes were Australia Qualifying and Silverstone Race, his spins in Canada were caused by engine settings according to Ferrari (

      His season hasn’t been brilliant but could look a lot better without Magnussen, Chilton and constant late first pit-stops which again and again put him on the back foot and reverse his early progress as he struggles to qualify higher up the grid.
      Australia: Genuinely out-classed by Alonso
      Malaysia: Magnussen hits him at start, shows great race pace that may have seen him fight in top 5.
      Bahrain: Race Pace a match for Alonso, just never got in a position where he could fight after a slow start (no bad luck here really)
      China: OK that was bad. But, being unhappy with the front end never helps at Shanghai
      Spain: Given inferior strategy to Fernando so loses inter-team battle
      Monaco: Hit by Chilton under SC, granted he throws away the 2 points he could’ve got later but without Chilton, he was on for podium
      Canada: Was directly behind Alonso before stops, then loses positions and time during pit stop phase, engine setting problem later causes spin
      Austria: Pits on average 0.8s slower than Alonso’s, like in Canada, unable to progress due to late pit-stop calls and then slow stops
      Silverstone: Error causes crash
      Germany: Late pit-stop calls yet again halt early race progress, two minor knocks to his front-wing loses him pace
      Hungary: Bad call by Ferrari in Hungary, yes he was slower than Alonso, but was not slow enough to qualify 17th, still recovers to 6th matching Alonso’s pace during the race.

      Even if more things had gone right for Raikkonen, Alonso would still have outclassed him, but I just want to highlight that the points don’t tell all of the story.

  12. Suprised with Keith’s rankings, usually I don’t disagree with him but not in this case:

    1) Didn´t expect to see Kvyat or Vergne so down in the rankings . For me so far both have been clearly more consistent and matured than Magnussen, Raikkonen, Grosjean or Massa (Kvyat has been more impressive than Magnussen in his rookie year) and on the same level as drivers Perez or Button.

    2) Although Bottas has the upper hand on Massa, the Brazilian has driven far better than Raikkonen (also fewer mistakes) so can´t understand why he is bellow in the rankings.

    My ten drivers in the bottom part would be
    22. Ericcson
    21. Chilton
    20. Maldonado
    19. Sutil
    18. Guttierez
    17. Kobayashi
    16. Raikkonen
    15. Magnussen
    14. Grosjean
    13. Massa

    1. Grosjean 14th, the guy got two eight places in a trolley with a lucky dip brake pedal.

      1. Couldn’t put ut better

  13. Everyone has their own order and opinions on this so I won’t argue with this. I do think the Toro Rosso pair have done a good enough job to make my top 12.

    22. Ericsson
    21. Chilton
    20. Kobayashi
    19. Sutil
    18. Maldonado
    17. Gutierrez
    16. Raikkonen
    15. Magnussen
    14. Massa
    13. Grosjean

  14. I fully agree with Chilton’s ranking but I read an interview with him a couple of months ago (in Motorsport Aktuell) where he claimed that he often got worse equipment than Bianchi. Given Marussia’s tiny budget, it sounds plausible. I cannot know how much impact it has actually had on Chilton’s performance but probably it makes him look worse than he actually is.

  15. For me there is no way Raikkonen should be higher up the order than Massa.

  16. Gutierrez ahead of Sutil, at least he deserved that.

    Vergne ahead of Kvyat, they are both equal but Kvyat is more impressive.

    Raikkonen is past his best, maybe his back has affected him worse.

    I’d predict, 1 HAM 2 RIC 3 ALO 4 BOT 5 MAG


      Mercedes saw the same reasons like yours about Lewis Hamilton thats why they are offering him 70 million Euros for a new drive contract. link above:

    2. MAG? Are you serious?

    3. No way Hamilton has been the best, he has been grave mistakes in quali all year and his reliability troubles have been exaggerated by his fans.

      He has only one more retirement than what Rosberg has, quali problems don’t really affect the results other than perhaps cause him to lose the battles with Rosberg. Besides, a lot of those can be associated to his inability to adjust to a different brand of brakes – the ones Rosberg’s using seem to be quite reliable.

      I’d say giving it to either Alonso or Ricciardo is the only option. Neither have made any mistakes AND both have been lightning quick and beat their WDC-winning team-mates by wide margins.

      1. *has been making

  17. I’d put Raikkonen lower and Kvyat higher, but otherwise it’s a pretty good ranking.

  18. I agree that Räikkönen should be lower, definitely lower than Massa. @conmcdonaghf1 explained it very well.

    My rankings for the 13th-22nd:

    13. Massa – made a couple of errors (e. g. bogging down on GB grid, Germany start) and… um… strange accidents (China start, Canada finish).
    14. Magnussen – some decent results (Australia podium, Germany comeback), but again a couple of errors and though these were rookie mistakes, he was generally slower than his teammate which is mostly not true for my top 13.
    15. Bianchi – been the sharpest when it was most necessary to score those first Marussia points, but was more crash-happy than in this rookie campaign.
    16. Räikkönen – low-speed spins here and there, hugely disappointing compared to Alonso (with whom he battled for the 2005 WDC) and an inability to adapt to the car. May see the light at the end of the tunnel post-FRIC.
    17. Sutil – I can’t really judge him, has not been spectacular. Monaco crash comes to mind, slumping behind the not-very-highly-rated Gutiérrez in quali pace does not bode very well for him.
    18. Kobayashi – nothing spectacular again, missed a beat at the worst possible time in Monaco, nice move on Bianchi in China, crashed in Australia, beat team-mate regularly… Up-and-down.
    19. Gutiérrez – great quali pace, but not much more. Maldonado give-and-take in Bahrain and GB the highlight in a negative sense.
    20. Maldonado – countless errors and mistakes really. Been on pace with Grosjean in raw terms – which saves him from finishing last – but… just too many errors, raw pace is nothing if you can’t finish.
    21. Chilton – not much to say.
    22. Ericsson – same.

    1. Regarding some of @keithcollantine‘s picks, which I have not included above:

      Kyvat – his only two really error-prone weekends came at the end of the first half of the campaign, but was dependable and very quick despite being a rookie otherwise. Ranked him 10th.
      Vergne – two things stand out mistake-wise as well (Malaysia crash, poor starts), generally on pace with Kvyat, so I think this is one of the closest team-mate battle of 2014 beside the Hamilton-Rosberg one. Ranked him 11th, I think he got unlucky with Ricciardo and Kvyat as his team-mates in 2013-14 (I ranked Ricciardo 1st).

    2. How many times has Bianchi crashed?

      1. I think four times.

        With Vergne in Malaysia after the start, with Sutil in Bahrain in the early phase, with Chilton in Canada after the start and with Maldonado in Hungary in the early phase.

        I feel like he was at least partly to blame in two of these (Malaysia, Bahrain).

  19. I can’t believe Ferrari pays Kimi 22m for this kind of performance, unreal.

    1. I would gladly do the same he’s doing for a fifth of the money… but ferreri never listen to my phone calls :D

    2. Yup, utterly ridiculous. Fourteenth is still relatively mild, but for the rest Keith’s list is very similar to mine.

    3. I cant believe Ferrari are paying a driver more to do worse than Massa!

    4. They don’t, the money comes from Shell.

  20. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    12th August 2014, 15:18

    I’m slightly confused about Kvyat’s ranking. Yes, he has been mistake prone, but his first ever taste of anything more powerful than a GP3 car was little over a year ago at the Silverstone test, and despite the fact that he had never driven a GP2 or FR3.5 car, he has been sublimely quick in the most volatile and premature F1 cars on this generation: a Q3 appearance on his first ever visit to Monaco reeks of future stardom. There has been none of the “warm up” period Tost can be quoted as saying on Kvyat’s announcement over Da Costa (a driver Franz hinted he would have expected to be quicker in the short term), he was close to JEV’s pace from the first round. For a rookie scarcely out his teenage years to be endangering the career of a teammate of whose illustrious junior career saw him once linked with F1 stardom is a brilliant effort: as Horner said, he is clearly rookie of the year so far.

    1. @william-brierty As I mentioned to @Todfod earlier in the comments, whether they are rookies or not has no bearing on their ranking.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        12th August 2014, 21:35

        @keithcollantine – Surely that’s an erroneous method of ranking then, with performance in motorsport so experience dependant. What is impressive about Max Verstappen and what is likely to prevent Palmer from making the step up to F1 depends on their performances versus their experience level. I don’t see how any system can rank performances validly without crediting Kvyat for coping with these highly unpredictable cars despite having little experience with anything more powerful than a GP3 car.

        1. It’s not erroneous at all. Its like me taking up oil painting, and then being in the same league as Van Gogh because the critic has taken into account the fact I’m an amateur. That’s erroneous.

          Kvyat will get better season upon season and so will his ranking no doubt.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            13th August 2014, 10:10

            @john-h – But whilst in F1 a fast lap is a fast lap no matter what its origins, art is deemed meritorious versus the artist’s heritage and broader portfolio: Q.E.D. you are not comparing apples with apples. And anyway, your point is mute, if said oil painting was produced by a child or merely someone with no artistic training, it would be a sensational undertaking; it would not however be valuable without a broader portfolio behind the artist, thus making the painting the F1 equivalent of Maldonado’s sole victory: a “flash in the pan”.

          2. @william-brierty

            whilst in F1 a fast lap is a fast lap no matter what its origins,

            Haven’t you just contradicted yourself? I thought you were arguing that we should take an individual driver’s context into account?

            if said oil painting was produced by a child or merely someone with no artistic training, it would be a sensational undertaking

            Of course, but it doesn’t necessarily make the final artwork any more meritorious.

            And Q.E.D.? There’s no proof to be had here, and even if there was Gödel would probably disagree with us anyway!

          3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            13th August 2014, 18:06

            @john-h – A fast lap is a fast lap, and a nice painting is a nice painting, but its perception can be modulated by the background of its creator, so a Q3 appearance from Monaco newbie Kvyat is comparable to me, a political history graduate, painting something Michelangelo would be proud of. However art has a further component not shared by F1: value. A piece is deemed artistically valuable or meritorious as a matter of opinion versus an artist’s heritage and broader portfolio of works, many of which would be interlinked, however the value of a mid one minute sixteen at Monaco is ultimately modulated only by the decimal places after it; although of course the quality of the car and the experience and background of the driver has an impact on how it is subsequently perceived. Ultimately we are only comparing apples with apples to some degree; the nature of which I am sorry for not explaining fully previously.

            As for Q.E.D., or quod erat demonstrandum, is merely means “I have demonstrated thus” and is not merely the monopoly of mathematics, but also common in history journals and other essays.

          4. Ok, thanks for explaining @william-brierty.

        2. @william-brierty I’m not saying we can’t ever appreciate a driver’s efforts in light of their level of experience. There have been many occasions where a driver’s rookie status has elevated an excellent performance to something really special – Magnussen at Melbourne this year, Alonso at Suzuka 13 years ago and so on.

          But the intention behind this series of articles is to rank the drivers based on who’s been the best this year. Nothing more than that. Not ‘the best driver having taken their experience into consideration’. Not ‘the best driver having taken age, reaction times, level of education or anything else which might affect their performance into consideration’. Just who was best.

          And, as I say, disentangling driver performance from car performance is tricky enough as it is without making things even moe complicated by throwing other variables in.

          1. @KeithCollantine I agree with that, if we start to take drivers’ experience or expectations into account, then we risk ending up with placing Chilton ahead of Alonso like the Guardian did last year:

          2. @girts Ha! I’d forgotten about that…

          3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            14th August 2014, 14:18

            @keithcollantine – Point taken; so these rankings are essentially a kind of supergrid if each driver had the same car? Alonso will be looking good for the top spot then…

            @girts – Gorgeous example there of what happens when you hand the mainstream press something as three-dimensional as F1 when they proceed to hand the story to a traditional ball ‘n’ bat sports journalist. Therein Sky Sports, get conventional “sports presenters” Lazenby and Brooks away from the cameras and keep Brundle, Crofty and Kravitz in the limelight…

          4. @william-brierty Agreed, I actually do not think that professional F1 journalists would agree to the Guardian’s “alternative” rankings even if they considered experience to be a factor. As for the “sports presenters”, swapping jobs might be interesting for them but not so good for spectators / readers because, as you say, F1 is far too complex. I have been following F1 for 18 years but I’m still learning…

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