Start, Red Bull Ring, 2017

2017 driver mid-season rankings: 10-5

Driver RankingsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Who have been the ten best drivers of 2017 so far? Here’s the F1 Fanatic verdict – keep an eye out for the final part tomorrow.

10. Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Silverstone, 2017

Nico Hulkenberg

Beat team mate in qualifying 10/10
Beat team mate in race 4/6
Races finished 9/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 320/418
Qualifying margin -1.02
Points 26

Given the quantum leap Renault has made during the off-season, Nico Hulkenberg should perhaps have more to show from his season so far than five points finishes. However it was clear in the opening races the RS17’s race pace wasn’t quite on a par with its much improved qualifying performance.

The upgrade introduced at Silverstone – which Hulkenberg got his hands on one race before his team mate – helped change that. He rewarded the team immediately with fifth on the grid a best-of-the-rest sixth in the race (ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s delayed Ferrari).

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He’s had a few incidents though not all of his doing. He should have finished higher in Hungary but a gearbox change penalty and a slow pit stop left him behind Kevin Magnussen who then pushed him off the track. But Baku was a missed opportunity to claim a long-overdue first podium.

He may deserve to be higher but there’s only so much credit you can give for annihilating the guy at the bottom of the list. Expect bigger things from him after the summer break with Renaut’s rapidly-improving car.

9. Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monaco, 2017

Kimi Raikkonen

Beat team mate in qualifying 3/11
Beat team mate in race 1/10
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 169/608
Qualifying margin +0.2
Points 116

The first races didn’t go well for Kimi Raikkonen. He was consistently out-qualified by his team mate who was beating the Mercedes drivers while Raikkonen struggled to split them.

He went up a gear when the ‘European season’ began and since then has performed better in qualifying. A couple of first-lap tangles, for which he was blameless, limited his points-scoring capabilities.

It’s added up to a substantial championship deficit which is now adding up more quickly as Ferrari appear to operating a ‘Vettel first’ policy. As yet they’ve stopped short of actually ordering Raikkonen aside, though they’ve had few opportunities to, which also says something about Raikkonen’s driving.

And the fact remains he has a race-winning car and hasn’t won anything with it yet. It’s all well and good complaining about the team’s approach, but Vettel showed last year he wouldn’t meekly follow Ferrari’s tactics if he disagreed with them. Would Raikkonen dare be so bold?

8. Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Monaco, 2017

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Beat team mate in qualifying 6/11
Beat team mate in race 5/5
Races finished 7/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 357/395
Qualifying margin +0.04
Points 35

Sainz was one of the stand-out drivers of the midfield last year. He still punching at or above the Toro Rosso’s weight, but a few errors have taken the shine off his season so far.

These included a careless collision with Lance Stroll in Bahrain. And his wild first-lap crash in Canada, which eliminated the other Williams, looked like something his team mate might have done.

However the points tally makes it inescapably clear which Toro Rosso driver is pulling their weight. Every time both cars have taken the chequered flag Sainz has been ahead.

He was superb in Monaco, finishing ‘best of the rest’ behind drivers from much quicker teams and staying ahead of the recovering Lewis Hamilton. In China he was the only driver who persuaded his team to fit slick tyres before the formation lap, and survived a hairy opening lap on a damp track to take a fine seventh place.

7. Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Sergio Perez

Beat team mate in qualifying 9/11
Beat team mate in race 8/10
Races finished 10/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 532/661
Qualifying margin -0.18
Points 56

The tension is building at Force India. Sergio Perez has done fine work for the team over the last couple of seasons and the first half of this one in racking up the points finishes.

So he was understandably furious about his tangle with team mate Esteban Ocon in Azerbaijan. Perez was on course for a strong podium finish at the time, perhaps even better with a little luck.

Although Perez has clearly been the quicker of the two Force India drivers so far, it hasn’t been by much. Canada was very telling: with the two drivers on slightly different strategies, Perez refused to consider letting Ocon through even when the team offered to swap their positions back again if Ocon failed to make further progress. Contrast that with how Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas handled things in Hungary, with the higher stakes even higher between the two championship contenders.

But with Ocon keeping him honest, Perez has delivered a strong first half of the season which looks set to ensure Force India repeat their excellent fourth position in the championship from last year.

6. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2017

Daniel Ricciardo

Beat team mate in qualifying 4/11
Beat team mate in race 1/3
Races finished 8/11
Laps spent ahead of team mate 64/249
Qualifying margin +0.43
Points 117

With five podium finishes to his team mate’s one, plus a fortunate win in Azerbaijan, it may seem harsh to place Daniel Ricciardo behind Max Verstappen. But Red Bull’s poor reliability has accounted for much of that difference – Ricciardo has usually been shaded by his team mate in terms of outright pace.

At times it’s seemed like the pressure from his team mate is telling. Qualifying crashes in Australia and Azerbaijan were atypical of a driver who normally keeps his nose clean.

However he’s battled hard with a steadily improving car. At Silverstone the RB13 let him down in qualifying but he clawed his way back through the field in the race. (That Silverstone stoppage is one reason why the qualifying margin figure above is somewhat misleading. Based on eight representative sessions Ricciardo’s average deficit is actually 0.07s.)

He was in excellent form in Austria too, passing Kimi Raikkonen and resisting Lewis Hamilton at the end of the race. And that three-for-one pass in Baku, which ultimately won him the race, was vintage Ricciardo.

5. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2017

Fernando Alonso

Beat team mate in qualifying 9/10
Beat team mate in race 2/3
Races finished 5/10
Laps spent ahead of team mate 270/318
Qualifying margin -0.42
Points 10

There is nothing new to be said about Fernando Alonso’s plight. Despite the disadvantages of Honda’s under-powered and unreliable engine, he’s consistently dragged the MCL32 into places far higher than it deserves.

His superb sixth place in Hungary was an obvious high point. But Alonso’s been in the hunt for points on many occasions without reward – he’s spent over half of his 421 laps on track so far running inside the top ten.

He was up there at the first race in Australia before dropping out due to floor damage. His car let him down in China too when he was running well in tricky conditions.

Spain promised great things as he qualified ‘best of the rest’ behind the Mercedes, Ferraris and Red Bulls, only to tangle with Felipe Massa at the start. And on many other occasions the car simply hasn’t gone the distance.

Over to you

Do you agree with the rankings for the 16 drivers featured so far? Which other drivers should be rated higher or lower?

Have your say in the comments and look out for the final part of the mid-season driver rankings on F1 Fanatic tomorrow.

142 comments on “2017 driver mid-season rankings: 10-5”

  1. Sainz and Kimi are too high in the overall list, but considering that, this is roughly right. I think Hulk is having a better season than both really from about Ocon down to Perez there is not much in it, and let’s not forget that Kimi really ought to have two race wins, which is the same as Bottas. I think F1 is very strong at the moment when the likes of Hulk, Ocon, Perez and Sainz are all very evenly matched to be the average performers of the field.

    Glad to see Ricciardo being put in the right place. People won’t like that though, Keith ;-)

    1. agree with that above @hahostolze , but also seen why youve arranged it like that keith – fairs fair.

    2. @hahostolze
      So Daniel Ricciardo being P6 is correct on the basis that Verstappen has lost results through mechanical issues. Yet Raikkonen should have won a race where he closed on his teammate due to Vettel having a mechanical issue?

      1. You’re reaching

      2. Surely you have to complete races to be considered for a ranking. It does not matter how well you go in practice or qualify, if you don’t finish the race then at best you can be considered to have untapped potential. But apparently results don’t matter to the F1 Fanatic website.

        1. If you wanted to list of how everyone has finished each race, just pull up the current WDC Points list. This list is about driver rankings, not finishing position. You can have a spectacular drive and have a flat on the last lap, that puncture might diminish your points, but it doesn’t erase the previous 60+ laps of great driving.

      3. Harsh on ric is a understatement keith!!!

  2. Hulkenberg P10 is a bit unfair,the Renault isnt that great car(lacks downforce,it only heats the tyres quickly) & 4 places between Ocon & Perez is too much.If we count what happened in Canada,Hungary & Baku between them(Perez had a role in all 3 of them),they should have been closer.I was surprised to see Kimi in the top 10 in the first place,but i fully agree on Ricciardo & Alonso’s places.

    1. hulk should be ahead of raikkonen and sainz although really we are in the dark about how good he is because none of us can be sure the renault has made a quantum leap, as you say. he is trouncing palmer, more so than any other team mate pairing so i think he should at least be ahead of raikkonen who is being trounced by his team mate.

      bottas has been tidy but not better than perez or alonso. i think perez has been quietly outstanding and i would probably have had ocon in the top 10 at the expense of raikkonen. finally, verstappen may have been quicker than ricciardo on the whole but i think DR has performed better i.e. made the most of the hand he has been dealt.

      1. In most races when Verstappen had a DNF,he was infront of Ricciardo,so thats why he ll be in the top 4.Ricciardo seemed to struggle with the car till the big upgrades of Spain & his qualy form isnt that good this year.As for Bottas i agree that he has been tidy,not that impressive like he was with Williams,but if he didnt have the Dnf in Spain,he would have been 3 points behind Ham.His stability is impressive!

    2. Completely agree about the Hulk ranking. I honestly don’t understand how Hulkenberg is actually rated lower than Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz. Sainz has been far less impressive this year, and Kimi was utter rubbish at the opening 5 to 6 races of the season. The only mistake that Hulk made all season was in Baku, where his driving error cost him a potential podium position. Other than that, he’s been pretty spot on all season.

      If I were to rank them it would be
      #10 Kimi
      #9 Carlos
      #8 Hulk

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    17th August 2017, 11:52

    Sainz is way too high.

    1. Sainz?

      Verstappen in the top 4. Laughable.

      1. A driver that is 50 points behind his team mate and 11 points in front of a car that has been 0.824″ slower throughout qualifying this year is not objectively a top 5 driver.

        1. Hes also clearly faster than his teammate and often compete with cars thats 0.5 faster than his car. You have to watch the races to see that however.

          1. I never said Daniel Ricciardo should be on the top 5. They both have their shortcomings this year.

            Look at it the other way around, the next driver in the championship standings, Pérez, is outqualifying his teammate 9-2 and holds 55% of his team’s points.

            Sure, the kid is spectacular but not really that effective. Also, we don’t know how many of his mechanical DNFs are the result of his own decisions in the car, It’s a situation similar to that of Raikkonen and Coulthard when they were together at McLaren when in 35 DNFs out 102 race starts for the team Kimi suffered 22 of them.

        2. Ricci…is that you?

          1. You read this blog to, Max?

          2. too*

        3. @faulty, on the other hand, we are talking about a driver who has also suffered from a higher retirement rate than his team mate, and in several occasions Ricciardo was one of the primary beneficiaries of Verstappen’s retirements.

          In both the Canadian and Azerbaijani races, Verstappen was ahead of Ricciardo on track and lapping quite a bit faster than him at the time that he retired (in Canada, for example, Ricciardo was on average 0.5s a lap slower than Verstappen). It is quite possible that it would have been Verstappen who won in Azerbaijan instead of Ricciardo, given he was ahead on track and all of the drivers ahead of him hit problems, whilst in Canada he probably would have been on the podium instead of Ricciardo.

          If he’d picked up the win in Baku instead of Ricciardo, and if he had taken 3rd place in Canada instead of Ricciardo, then Verstappen and Ricciardo would have the same points haul of 107 points (Verstappen gaining 40 points and Ricciardo losing 10).

          1. Guybrush Threepwood
            18th August 2017, 3:23

            Not if you include Verstappen not taking Ricciardo out when Ricciardo was ahead of him :) either way, I think Max has been the quicker driver and once he tames his aggression will be great but Spain and Hungary still demonstrate that he doesn’t have the measured aggression of Ricciardo this season which has cost him.

          2. Ms Appropriate
            18th August 2017, 4:40

            And if he hadn’t ploughed into Ricciardo in Hungary?

          3. But we don’t know how many of those retirements came from his own driving.

            He evidently made a mistake in the launch procedure in Hungary, from which his frustration got the better of him. But we won’t know how many of the retirements came from a mistake of his or from one his mechanic teammates.

      2. VER above RIC? That’s hilarious. Not only VER is crashing into people whenever has a chance, he is also destroying his car pretty much every second race. I guess we like “sore losers” around here.

        1. I know, it is a total joke of a website. If you are a team owner you are going to want the guy who finishes races, then podiums and then wins. You don’t care how they go in practice, or really even qualify if they have great race pace and race tactics to come through at the end – to earn points and $$$ for the team.

        2. Riiight…. Hungary was indeed his fault but give me him crashing into other people. And don’t say Grosjean, that was 2 years ago and hardly count as every change he gets.

          1. Examples of, i meant

    2. @rocketpanda I completely agree.

      The STR may not be as good as last season’s. Last season sainz was over hyped as well, easily beaten on race pace by Max then had to face a driver that had been demoted and had no experience of the STR. This season, Kvyat has made some mistakes and at crucial times has been nowhere but they are close in qualifying and also Sainz is known to hide behind reliability and then gloat under his team mates reliability woes, all of this seen through the perspective that his teammate is poorly rated. I think Sainz jr skews his market value and many people fall for it.

    3. Sainz too high and Ricciardo too low.

      Ricciardo and Alonso below Bottas is laughable. Sainz ahead of Hulkenberg is pretty damn ridiculous too.

      I agreed with most of Keith’s rankings from 20 to 10, but he’s really missed the mark with the top 10.

    4. I honestly don’t understand the dislike for Sainz Jr.
      Talent wise, I think he’s just a step lower than Verstappen (if not on par). I would even go as far and say that he’s on the level of Daniel Ricciardo.
      Carlos has contributed considerably to the success of Toro Rosso since joining the outfit in 2015; and since Max moved up to Red Bull, has carried the junior outfit on his back (comprehensively outracing and outscoring the erratic Kyvat). Sure, he may be a solid racer but not the best in qualifying, but you can say the same thing about Alonso.

      If anything, I think the young Spaniard has begun to overstay in STR. Which is why his skillset (and motivation) has staled and stagnated. It was similar to Bottas in 2015 and 2016, when people were praising him during his first 2-years with Williams (2013 and especially 2014), but started to question the depth of his potential thereafter. But now, under a new and more competitive environment, he’s “best of the rest” – just behind Vettel and Hamilton, and even beating them both from time to time.

      It’s right for him to sound-off and look for new opportunities where he can take his development as an F1 driver to the next level. STR is a young man’s team: at this point of 2017, Marko and Horner may see Sainz as talented enough to potentially replace Verstappen and/or Ricciardo, in case they decide to abruptly move on. But what’s stopping either one of the Red Bull figure heads from changing their mind and deciding STR needs a clean slate late into the year (see what happened to Jaime Alguersuari)?

      As for Hulkenberg, I’m beginning to lose faith. There’s a reason why none of the top teams have tried to recruit him (even for Renault, he wasn’t the team’s first choice). It’s been 6 1/2 seasons in, and still he has not made it into the podium, or even looked close to finishing in the top-3 even when he had a car capable of doing so (compare that to Perez, who scored multiple podium finishes when they were team-mates).

  4. I would place Ocon in 8th, right behind Checo, and push the other upwards…

  5. wow, I guess Hulks position went down after his dispute with MAG. If you give Renault the choice to swap Hulk with Sainz or RAI they will laugh at you. I don’t believe that those two can be better than him in Renault. Yes I believe Hulk can perform better than both in their own car.

    1. Hard to say. Hülkenberg is fast, but he’s no top driver. Sainz may be, but he is very hard to rate as Kvyat has been under-performing for ages. Räikkönen continues to disappoint, but I don’t think many other drivers would have done a lot better.

      1. How can people still look past Kimis underperformance.

        The only good thing he has done this year is one qualifying lap, thats on pair with the very bottom of this list.

      2. @f1infigures Completely disagree. I don’t think Sainz is a top driver nor does RBR. Hulk may be, but he’s tall and heavy and German (it’s clear that Germany still doesn’t care about f1, no f1 GP, they really only cared for f1 through Schumi) he failed to outshine Perez otherwise great f1 career.

        To me, Hulk 8th, Ocon 10th, Sainz would be 11th, Pascal 12th, Massa 13th, Romain 14th, Kvyat 16th and the rest I agree with, some small changes others, a big difference, namely Sainz and Hulk.

        1. @peartree This might be interesting to you. While I don’t think the rankings are perfectly accurate, I think they give a good indication of the relative strength of the drivers. Sainz does quite well in these models, because he beat Kvyat, who was close to Ricciardo, who beat Vettel, while Hülkenberg is doing poorly because he was beaten by Barrichello in his rookie season and after that he only managed to beat relatively poor drivers like Di Resta and Gutiérrez (who were both performing similarly to Sutil) before he got beaten by Pérez. I do think Hülkenberg has the ability to do better, but so far his results have been rather disappointing.

          1. That’s the problem @f1infigures Kvyat wasn’t close to Ricciardo, during their tenure, Kvyat had the largest inter team qualifying deficit on the grid, no wonder he got the boot mid season. He got good results on luck, one of them in malaysia he just beat ricciardo who had half a front wing missing. Its true that Hulks maiden season had only one highlight, his pole position, but since then he has delivered on his immaculate junior career cv. Di Resta was a good driver another with a strong junoor career cv and a massive weight and height penalty.

          2. @f1infigures another fact that has to be taken in consideration is the mistakes a driver has committed and to me thats the main reason why sainz should be lower.

        2. @peartree Kvyat outscored Ricciardo in 2015, which was quite impressive, even though it was mostly down to luck. Kvyat was bad in the first races of 2016 and he has never recovered from his demotion to Toro Rosso.

          I agree that Sainz has made too many mistakes this year to be ranked among the top drivers. Still, in the races he finished he was very strong, given that he outscored Kvyat 35-4.

    2. Michael, the thing is, with Hulkenberg we really do not have a decent objective measure of his performance in that car – Palmer is not a great benchmark at the best of times, and you sense that Renault really aren’t bothered about trying to help Palmer improve his performance (as has often been the case with second drivers at that team).

      It’s hard to tell whether Hulkenberg really is having a great season and maximising the performance of the car, or if his performance is closer to average given that Renault invested much more heavily into this car than the previous one, so it shouldn’t be so surprising that he is reasonably competitive this year.

    3. If you mean the argument Hulkenberg and Magnussen had after Hungary then no, that had no bearing. This is just about how they’ve performed on the track, not what they’ve said off it.

  6. Alonso is too low. Made no major mistakes this year unlike those above him on this list. Thought this was about the best driver, not best cars.

    1. Remains hard to judge a driver in a bad car. Erring on the side of caution.

    2. I think it is not just about ‘major mistakes’ either.

    3. Yes, Alonso is too low. The wider cars really suit him and I think he’s performing at a very high level. He definitely doesn’t belong to this 10-6 ranking list. :)

    4. The catch-22 situation with these rankings is often that it’s hard to make a case for good drivers in poor cars ranking higher because we don’t get to see the full range of their skills.

  7. There are more drivers on this ’10-6′ listing than I expected…

    1. I spent my lunch break trying to work out which 5 drivers haven’t been mentioned yet, got stuck at 4.

    2. more drivers on this ’10-6′ listing than I expected

      Yep, that Alonso yet again popping up above and beyond what’s expected ;)

  8. 10th for Hulkenberg? Who’s been 1 second quicker than his team mate in qualifying? And who’s only made 1 mistake this season, and has been constantly putting that Renault higher than it belondsg? Was expecting him to be at least 7th.

    1. @hugh11 From the article:

      He may deserve to be higher but there’s only so much credit you can give for annihilating the guy at the bottom of the list.

      At the very least, I would swap him with Raikkonen.

  9. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
    17th August 2017, 12:23

    Have to say after reading through your reasoning I can’t fault the list @keithcollantine 👍🏽

    1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      17th August 2017, 15:06

      Typo in the title though. Should read 10 to 5

      1. @offdutyrockstar You see, you put your mind to it and you did find a fault after all! Thanks for the feedback :-)

  10. Pfffff, laughable. I do not use this word lightly, I mean it. This is a bad joke.

    Circular logic applied to Hülkenberg – yeah, he’s destroying Palmer, but I ranked Palmer 20th because he’s being destroyed by Hülkenberg, therefore Hülkenberg cannot be that good, can he? His team mate is only 20th on the list, so …
    Honestly, the only thing Hülkenberg has done wrong all season was his crash in Baku. Other than that, he’s pretty much flawless, in contrast to the two drivers ranked ahead of him, for example.

    Fernando Alonso in fifth? Farcical.
    Hamilton and Bottas in the top 5 instead? Frankly, I don’t see why they should be there. Hamilton’s season is characterised by ups and downs, and he was nowhere near the car’s potential in Russia, Monaco, and Austria. That’s 3 races out of 11 in which he’s lost points due to his own shortcomings. He can be brilliant on a good weekend, but his season has so far been unconvincing.
    As for Bottas, I think his position in the world championship is flattering and not a true representation of his performance. He’s usually not on pace with Hamilton, other than on the latter’s aforementioned off weekends.
    Just for comparison: Last year, Nico Rosberg didn’t even make it into the top 5. My impression is that Bottas isn’t rated as Bottas, he’s being rated as not-Rosberg, a petty display of the middle finger based on personal disliking, nothing more.

    This is just a waste of internet.

    1. That Maclaren livery has really grown on me this season. Nice pic

    2. Nase, I really cannot understand why you would insult someone that put much effort in producing a list, only because you disagree with it. There are much more things in life to get angry about than a list of F1 drivers.

    3. @nase I think you are forgetting that VB is only in his first half-season of being in a win-capable car. He’s also the newbie on the team…LH as engrained there as any driver can ever be. And VB is within a shout. Not that I think he will surpass LH and SV.

      VB will have to dominate the next 2 or 3 races…at least dominate LH if not SV too, or else the math will dictate that Mercedes will have to continue letting LH by him to try to fight the Ferraris when a similar situation happens again. For me it was not the fact that LH, sounding somewhat regretful, gave VB back his position, it was that LH was handed the position to begin with and the plan was for him to leave VB in his dust. When SV leads, Merc is already favouring LH.

      I think the bottom line with VB is that he is doing extremely well having been parachuted into this great opportunity, and has only raised his game and his stock on the F1 market immensely. Even if the plan all along was for him to do his one year and go back to replace Massa at Williams, VB is now going to command much more attention going forward. Great career ahead for him.

    4. Victor (@victorandrei1999)
      17th August 2017, 13:26

      This is so true…. I cannot understand why Alonso is only on 5th. He is the one of the few drivers to do real overtakes thos season with that fantastic car. I mean… Bottas can’t be higher than Alonso, neither Verstapen.Hamilton and Vettel also did some mistakes and Alonso’s only mistake this year was to drive for McLaren…..so sad

      1. So this should only be based on who committed how many mistakes? Most F1 drivers will tell you that they make at least one mistake per lap. Rare is the perfect lap. They can all pick apart every lap and say where they lost a tenth here and a tenth there. As good as FA is, I don’t see how he could be placed higher than drivers vying for the WDC or knocking on the door. FA is being coloured by his car, as all drivers always are. Now if he was doing off the starts what Max has been doing for example? Sure, but FA’s car can only allow him small chances to impress. As it is 5th is awesome for that car.

        1. @robbie No, this should be based on who was the best drivers, nothing to do with cars, and in my opinion, Alonso has been better than Bottas by quite a bit. Perhaps even Hamilton considering how bad he has been on several weekends.

          1. @mashiat Hey fair enough…all the more reason FA should be at Mercedes next year then.

        2. Victor (@victorandrei1999)
          17th August 2017, 19:37

          I was talking about big mistakes like Vettel in Baku or Verstapen in Hungary not about small mistakes that cannot even be seen. All I am saying is that Alonso is maybe the best driver this season like in the last 5 or 6 years.

      2. 5th on a 10-6 list is pretty good

    5. Always worth remembering that this is a blog where Keith shares his opinion… No-one is saying these rankings are fact and as with the posts in the comments section, anyone is free to agree or disagree…

    6. Bottas isn’t rated as Bottas, he’s being rated as not-Rosberg

      Can’t argue with that.
      But how else you could justified putting Lewis on top two drivers if Bottas is far down?

      1. You couldnt. Keith likes Lewis and Bottas and therefor finds reasons to put them high. I think he should be a little more honest with himself if he does a ranking. This reads more like “hey i like this guy” and then a statsrecap and random highlight of the guy.

    7. Nase, your reply had me choking over my dinner. I am picturing a red faced guy shouting at his screen & foaming at the mouth! It’s only F1 mate, not an environmental human disaster. I have been with this site since the beginning although I don’t comment much, and @keithcollantine may be many things but a biased commentator, he most certainly is not. By golly though, he knows how to trigger the fans! I just knew the Hulkenburg placement would get a response, and you certainly didn’t disappoint!

    8. Harsh, but agree. Can’t believe how the Mercs or Max are ahead of Alonso.
      Vettel with the pressure of being at Ferrari and leading in not the best car is the only driver who deserves to be ahead of Alonso.
      Hulk at 10 is harsh too. Punished for being too far ahead of his team mate.

    9. Bottas isn’t rated as Bottas, he’s being rated as not-Rosberg, a petty display of the middle finger based on personal disliking, nothing more.

      I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

  11. ‘(That Silverstone stoppage is one reason why the qualifying margin figure above is somewhat misleading. Based on eight representative sessions Ricciardo’s average deficit is actually 0.07s.)’
    And Verstappen in China makes the up for that imbalance. 7-4 still representative.

  12. And his wild first-lap crash in Canada, which eliminated the other Williams, looked like something his team mate might have done.

    Savage. I love it

  13. @ Keith
    “Based on eight representative sessions Ricciardo’s average deficit is actually 0.07s ” I don’t think that accurate.
    Aus > Ric crashed
    Chi > Ver enginemode failure in Q1
    Bah > Ric + 0.1
    Rus > Ric + 0.2
    Spa > Ver + 0.4
    Mon > Ver + 0.5
    Can > Ver + 0.1
    Aze > Ric crashed
    Aus > Ric + 0.1
    GB > Ric engine failiure in Q1
    Hun > Ver + 0.02

    Over 7 races it’s Ric – 0.133 on average, but we can’t rule out the two crashed ofcourse.
    I already feel good Ricciardo isn’t smiling his way through this pole, but you’re still to kind.

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      18th August 2017, 3:28

      And either way it’s next to nothing between them in qual pace…

      1. Crashing can’t be a good thing though and 0.4 and 0.5 is a much bigger gap than acceptable for a driver of Ricciardo’s status. They should be no further apart than 0.3 sec each race, by that means Ricciardo really had 4 large flaws in quali.
        You gotta remember there are still a lot who will rank Ricciardo above Verstappen… while he’s been beaten on race pace quite badly.

        Perez and Ocon are close each race and I think Ocon does a very good job… losing, but staying very close to it’s expierenced team mate.

  14. Pushkar Yadav
    17th August 2017, 13:20

    Kim is too low….he has had massive bad luck in more than few races and he would have been a winner in Monaco and Hungry if not for Ferrari tactics. All this puts him to number 4 in points table. Deserves better.

    1. 4 in the points table, so…that makes him last of the top 2 teams? He doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the top 10 to be honest.

    2. He might have been hungry for Hungary (or maybe he didn’t give an f?) but the only reason he stood a chance there at all hadn’t to do with tactics.

      I mean, if it were not due to Ferrari tactics it wouldn’t have taken a car failure for Massa to win France 2008, right?

      1. Monaco’s more debatable though, of course

  15. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    17th August 2017, 13:24

    I think Hulkenberg’s rating is about accurate. He sometimes has been good, and sometimes not so good and sometimes really poor. If I am corrent, he collected 2 penalties in China. That was not a good race. Also, crashing into the wall in Baku looked very clumsy and completely avoidable. He just turned in way too early. I don’t think Hulkenberg has had that many stand out races so I still think 10th place is accurate.

    1. @thegianthogweed I think Hülkenberg’s season has been alright. Maybe Palmer makes him look better than he is, but last year Palmer was not too bad against Magnussen. However, Hülkenberg’s advantage over Palmer is larger in qualifying than in the race. He was outraced in Austria and in China he just finished ahead (after collecting a few penalties, but still). Baku was of course the biggest missed opportunity; he needs a lot of good results to make up for that one unfortunately.

  16. Apart from Raikonnen that’s way too high I’m quite ok with the ranking so far!

    I’d have put Alonso higher but with such a dog of a car his performance is hard to assess. Also, he missed a good opportunity at Monaco and while he shined superbly at Indy 500 it cannot be taken into account here.

    1. Also, he missed a good opportunity at Monaco

      Actually Monaco is a good case in point for Alonso’s performance this season. The experienced WDC who replaced him showed how poor the car was, and therefore how good Alonso’s performance has been so far this season.

      1. a WDC who hadn’t even sat in the car before ! hardly a fair comparison
        same problem for PDR

  17. HUL: ” But Baku was a missed opportunity to claim a long-overdue first podium ”
    Renault was to slow to score a podium in Baku.

    Perez and Sainz are too high. Force India is very competitive car in the midfield and Toro Rosso (on some sort of tracks too). Too many crashes of both and sharp battles with Ocon on Perez’s side.

  18. I like the mid-season rankings. At the end of the year, do this again, and compare against mid-season.

    1. @waptraveler That’s what Keith does every year :)

  19. It’s a shame they are still heavily based on what team the drivers drive for. Bottas in the top 5 and above Alonso… :D

    If Bottas drove just as well but in a Williams, he’d be bottom half. If Alonso was in a Mercedes, he’d be in 1st.

    1. It’s the same problem with every driver rating: you could have a perfect season in a Minardi, but would it be fair to rate you as the best driver?

    2. Absolutely spot on

  20. It looks good but I find it hard to put Verstappen atop Ricciardo or Alonso, even with reliability problems.

    1. I don’t know. I find Max awfully exciting to watch.

    2. Ranking Ric higher than Ver would be like ranking Rai higher than Vet… Verstappen outpaces Ricciardo over 75% of all quali’s and races.

  21. Who are the remaining drivers for 1-4? As for I remember Vet, Ham, Ver, ?

    1. Oh! got it. Bottas.

      So the line up would be Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen

  22. Räikkönen is too high on this list IMO. He’s definitely not in my top 10.

  23. Alonso again exceeding what is possible, by taking 5th place on a 10th-to-6th list. :)

    1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      17th August 2017, 15:54

      lol

  24. Great ratings Keith!

    My ratings are nearly the same:

    20)Palmer
    19)Ericsson
    18)Stroll(put him behind Kvyat as he was just plain slow and looked not ready for F1 until Canada.
    17)Kvyat. Speed’s there. Brains are not.
    16)Vandoorne
    15)Magnussen
    14)Wehrlein
    13)Grosjean
    12)Massa-put him above Grosjean because all the bad assumptions about him are made with relation to last year vs VB. But these cars are very different from last year and suit FM’s driving style much more. So it might be that he’s performing at a better level and certainly he had some impressive drives.
    11) Raikkonen. As much as I like him, he put himself into number 2 driver position at Ferrari by being rubbish in the first few races and only improving when it was too late. I expect more of him.
    10)Sainz. Because of 2 bad mistakes and not being able to out-qualify Kvyat decisively.
    9) Ocon-very impressive for a rookie.
    8)Hulkenberg-doing wonders with that Renault especially in qualy.
    7)Perez-deservedly best of the rest.
    6) Ricciardo-one lap pace is his trouble vs MV this season. Otherwise great as usual.
    5) Bottas-much better than most expected(not me!) but needs to find that extra still+ improve his lap 1 racecraft.
    4)Verstappen
    3)Alonso
    2)Hamilton-some bad races but when he’s on it there’s no one close.
    1)Vettel-when there’s a possibility of a title and the car suits him, he’s just relentless. Still would put him behind LH and FA in terms of overall ability but this half season he’s been the numero uno!

    1. 2)Hamilton-some bad races but when he’s on it there’s no one close.
      1)Vettel-when there’s a possibility of a title and the car suits him, he’s just relentless. Still would put him behind LH and FA in terms of overall ability but this half season he’s been the numero uno!

      @montreal95 I don’t get that. Exactly the sentence you write at Hamilton surely is true for Alonso and Vettel too, unlike any other driver on the grid right now. If one of those three have their best days nobody comes close, whilst others have their best days and one of these three still reaches that level. The very fact Vettel is ahead should tell you Vettel is at least on the very same level of Hamilton if not above.

      Hamilton is without a doubt one of the best F1 has ever seen but if I were to look for someone of the current drivers who is the entire package I’d put my money on Vettel anytime.

      1. @xtwl These 11 races Vettel is the best. For the first half of the 2017 season Vettel is above everyone. But overall, no. In fact of the current drivers I think Alonso is the complete package. He just doesn’t have Hamilton’s weakness in dealing with a car that’s not completely set up. Nor does he have Vettel’s propensity for brainfades and throwing his toys out of the pram when things aren’t going his way like 2014, 2016, 2010. Alonso’s weakness is off the track. The politics, the bad decisions, the burnt bridges. But on track he’s just about perfect, and he doesn’t let the off-track troubles(like Mclaren being in shambles) affect his driving. Best car on the grid or worst he’s getting 100% out of it. That’s my reasoning.

        1. @montreal95 I am perfectly open for discussion as to why one would see Vettel as not the complete package but saying he throws his ‘toys out of the pram when things aren’t going his way like 2014, 2016, 2010’ is just a terrible reason for your opinion. In 2014 he did nothing wrong but have terrible reliability along with the massive rule changes. People tend to look at 2014 bad just because Ricciardo was there to pick up the pieces, much like he is now with Verstappen.

          In 2010 he was young and it was his first challenge, no wonder he still had to grow, as was the case with any of the other two. In 2016 the season started full of promise but it was Ferrari not delivering resulting in him having to overdrive to get some points on the board as Kimi surely wasn’t doing it.

          Our opinion about Alonso is also very tainted by his now McLaren days. His comments about the engine although maybe being justified aren’t acceptable either. It’s basically Alonso saying he is having the races of his life, but we don’t know how good the car really is. For all we know in reality he is driving at his worst for years but the car can’t do much more,…

          Either way all three have a history of being in the wrong when they feel they’re being let down by the team, so hardly one thing to call out on Vettel his part.

          1. Yeah I still defend SV for 2014 in this way…it had to be so hard to come off such a streak with RBR, a car that fit like a glove that he was at one with, to the totally different 2014 format that saw him with nothing in a car whatsoever like what he had become accustomed. Had to have been ultra frustrated. That year DR hops into the best car/opportunity he’s ever had in a no pressure situation. Do poorly vs SV and it’s no surprise…do well and it’s gravy…can do no wrong.

          2. @xtwl You saying that my reasoning was terrible doesn’t make it so. It’s just another opinion, yours this time. You’re saying that Vettel did nothing wrong in 2014? I say that’s re-writing history. In a car that wasn’t exactly to his liking for the first time since the first half of 2012 he was beaten fair and square by Ricciardo. You can make allowances for Vettel being young in 2010 all you like but I don’t see it as a valid excuse. It was his 2nd year of having a front-running machinery, same as his team-mate and also I didn’t see Turkey/Spa 2010 type brainfades from LH as a rookie in 2007. China was as much the team’s fault as his own. In the first half of 2012, until Pirelli changed the tire construction he was trailing behind Webber, having annihilated him the year before in a car he says himself was his favorite. It(2011 RBR) suited his style perfectly, but that’s just strengthens my opinion that when things aren’t perfect he starts to panic a bit. Which brings us neatly to 2016. Kimi wasn’t bringing points on the board? It was Vettel who wasn’t bringing points on the board with his over-driving and crazy antics. Kimi beat Vettel in qualifying over the season and was leading him in points until very late in the season too. Kimi was driving to the car’s potential, especially in qualy, while Vettel’s overdriving only served to get him into trouble. Yes this was Ferrari’s failure first and foremost but 2016 proved again that once SV lets his head drop he falls further from the top over a season than FA or LH. LH may fall further for a race weekend but over a season it’s Seb who’s falling more.

          3. @montreal95 Now you’re wording is different making it more reasonable if you like. He surely has underperformed those seasons but for very valid reasons, much like no sane person would argue Hamilton was ‘bad’ in Sochi or Monaco, or Alonso is bad because he is not scoring podiums now.

            2014 is fairly simple as @robbie writes. That was a massive change. Almost the entire grid moved to a better car except for Red Bull. They came from an almost tailored speedmonster to a drama queen of a car. Also Ricciardo is no slouch, neither was he a real rookie. We’ve seen many top drivers switch teams and be there right away (Bottas this year, or Vettel in 2015 for example or Hamilton in 2013). 2014 was simply what 2011 was for Hamilton for example.

            In 2010 Vettel was still learning, he started as the youngest driver in the sport, and unlike Hamilton did not get millions of miles of testing before doing a full seasons let’s not forget.

            but that’s just strengthens my opinion that when things aren’t perfect he starts to panic a bit.

            And that’s just very bias, in the end all drivers prefer a car that suits their style. Or do you really believe Hamilton and Alonso are constantly driving cars they don’t like and still performing masterclasses? The very purpose of friday and saturday practice is get the car where they want. The trick is to still be fast when the car doesn’t suit them, which is another reason why these three are among the best, as they surely can do that.

            Kimi wasn’t bringing points on the board? It was Vettel who wasn’t bringing points on the board with his over-driving and crazy antics. Kimi beat Vettel in qualifying over the season and was leading him in points until very late in the season too. Kimi was driving to the car’s potential, especially in qualy, while Vettel’s overdriving only served to get him into trouble.

            Kimi was bringing in the points he was expected to, nothing spectacular. Ferrari and the world expected more from Vettel, especially after his brilliant 2015. Another winless season is not what Ferrari wanted so obviously they gambled with their best driver not always resulting in success, not with a passive and slow Kimi,…

            LH may fall further for a race weekend but over a season it’s Seb who’s falling more.

            I also think that’s not a correct statement either. Lewis has had a car that would finish second on its worst day for three years straight, something Vettel never had. Vettel racked up the podiums and wins from 2009 to 2013 every single year with a car far less dominant than Hamilton had in all three of the past seasons. So it’s hardly comparable as to when the car would be to their liking. Comparable runs are Sebs 2013 last 9 races, and Hamilton who manages to win 6 out of 7 in 2016, and another 4 straight at the end of 2016. When the car is to their liking second to none, but when it isn’t both will push for the best spot and don’t care for fourth or fifth and at times then things go wrong of which both surely have plenty of examples.

  25. I think the most difficult ones to rate ate Hulkenberg, Sainz and Perez, and with that their teammates. Palmer and Kvyat have been underperforming and thus are expected to be lower on the list. Their teammates have been delivering what is expected, and more, so in comparison with others deserve a top 10 spot. Ocon however has impressed many, and as @keithcollantine says, isn’t far from Perez. So it either surprises me Ocon is that low or Perez that high. I think it’s just the angle from which you look at it on how you order Perez/Hulkenberg/Sainz.

    In my opinion Kimi should be ahead all three, let’s not forget who is outpacing him,…

    1. Magnussen was almost on level to Palmer and he is almost on level to Grojean this season. Hulkenberg is destroying Palmer, but he was almost on par with Perez on F.I. who is a bit ahead of Ocon. That puts Hulkenberg/Perez/Ocon in a upper level. Kvyat wasn’t destroyed by Riccardo when they raced together and Riccardo is almost at Verstappen level. But Kvyat is very inconsistent, but when he is fast, Sainz is slighty ahead or close behind, that put Sainz right behind Riccardo, maybe at Perez/Hulkenberg/Ocon level. Massa was consistent slightly behind Bottas last year, but Bottas is very close to Hamilton many times this seasons (and a bit ahead in some races) that puts Massa in a better position right behind the top drivers (even not being one of them).

      Perez/Ocon/Massa/Hulkenberg are in a upper level, Kvyat/Grojean are faster but not consistent. Magnussen/Palmer are in the bottom.

      1. All this assumes drivers do not get better or indeed worse from year to year, which is not the case.

  26. Håvard Telhaug
    17th August 2017, 17:14

    I like Max but I do not understand why he is in top 4

    1. Cause he kind of has Ricciardo ‘the qualifying beast’ for diner…?
      7-4 in quali, leading 10 out of 11 races.

  27. Excellent work Keith. I think you are one of the most unbiase journalist in F1. Just telling it like it is. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks guys!

      1. So true and why it is baffling to me that some can suggest otherwise.

  28. I would have put Alonso ahead of Bottas, and maybe Hamilton. Reasoning would be that Bottas’ pace has generally been pretty average, the only races he’s shone have been with the softer tyres, which points more to Hamilton struggling with the tyres than Bottas suddenly finding outstanding pace. My top five would be:
    1. Vettel
    2. Verstappen
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5. Bottas (or Ricciardo, these two are about equal in my eyes)

  29. I am sorry but this rating is more than ridiculous. Verstappen deserves no higher than #6, if that. I would put Ricciardo at #3 behind Vettel and Hamilton and ahead of Bottas.

    1. Why? As Keith points out, and it’s not ridiculous it’s a fact, MV has outpaced DR on average. And has had way more unreliability that has hurt him at crucial times. Hard to see why MV 6th or worse and DR 3rd, unless you’re a DR fan. I really can’t see what DR has done for a 3rd other than luck into the attrition of others, with a few shining moments as well.

      1. @robbie Yeah like the blown engine last year at Sepang that cost Lewis the title oh wait…. In both cases the wrong driver is ahead Ros last year and Ric this year

  30. Yeah like why is Daniel Ricciardo on this list, sheesh !

  31. Like I said on the first part, this list has little to do with actual performances and all to do with fan biases for/against certain drivers. To find that three of Keith’s top four are Vettel, Hamilton and Verstappen corresponds closely to how many many fans each have and how loud-mouthed these are.

    Truth be told, in relation to the cars at their disposal the results achieved by Hamilton and Verstappen are nowhere near what should be expected of them. Look at what Hülkenberg and Alonso have gotten out of theirs! In comparison neither Hamilton nor Verstappen deserve to be in the Top Ten, but if they weren’t WW III would immediately erupt.

    1. Can’t say I agree. This is actually the ‘F1 Fanatic verdict.’ Nothing to do with fan biases for or against certain drivers. If so Kimi, who has a great following, would be higher up, as one example. I think Hulk and FA have been well placed, and of course the likes of LH and MV belong in the top ten. Especially with Max I do not see where you are coming from given how well he has done when the car has been healthy. In a car that is a distant third in the WCC.

    2. @ Hendrik,
      I get what you mean, points show what the drivers did achieve, you’ll find those on each F1 site.
      What we, or the team expect from the drivers is to qualify for maximum gridpositions and take as many positions in a race possible.

      if we take your example in quali
      Vettel 8-3
      Hamilton 6-5
      Verstappen 7-4

      Vettel and Verstappen are exactly doing what’s expected of them, outqualify their team mate on a regular bases
      Either Raikkonen or Ricciardo aren’t comparable to Palmer or Vandoorne, the level of the team mates is much closer.
      By that means Hamilton may be dissapointing.

      in races things level out
      Vettel, usually in front of Raikkonen and performance is much more consistant than his teammate
      Hamilton usually a killer on racing day, but Bottas seems to be strong
      Verstappen in front of his teammate 10 out of 11 races.

      To me it’s clear both Vettel and Verstappen belong in the top 4, on track they have prooven to be aheady of their team mates quite a bit. Hamilton and Bottas are rather equal although Hamilton just a tad bot stronger… in races though seems convincingly stronger than Bottas, who’s been involved in quite some first lap incidents as well.

      My top 4 would be Vettel, Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas… it’s pretty wel acceptable the lesser cars are often rated lower.
      Alonso in a top 3 car could have made a difference, Hulkenberg though isn’t top 5 driver to my opinion.

    3. Like I said on the first part, this list has little to do with actual performances and all to do with fan biases for/against certain drivers. To find that three of Keith’s top four are Vettel, Hamilton and Verstappen corresponds closely to how many many fans each have and how loud-mouthed these are.

      Obviously I haven’t taken how popular each driver is into consideration because it’s not relevant.

      If I had, Raikkonen would be at the top of the list as he was the most popular driver on the site the last time I checked.

  32. I have some sympathy for the view of some on here that Verstappen has been overrated and Ricciardo underrated. I think taking into account their strengths and weaknesses, they are very closely matched. I have noticed that in this list and in the end of season rankings last year that Keith, in my opinion has a tendency to rate Sainz higher than a lot of people would and also to rate Vers very (possibly too) highly. We have not seen the top 4 yes but I suspect Vers will be third which cannot be right.

    I think Ocon has done very well bearing in mind this is his first full season and I also agree with some that Hulkenberg has been treated a little harshly. I have no problem outside the top 10 really.

    I think Bottas has done really well considering where he was at the start of the season but not quite as good as Alonso. The cream has risen to the top! My positions are:

    10. Sainz
    9. Hulkenberg
    8. Raikkonen
    7. Perez
    6. Verstappen
    5. Ricciardo
    4. Bottas
    3. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    1. Vettel

    1. Actually on a little more reflection I would make 10. Ocon, 11. Sainz.

    2. To put Ricciardo in front of Verstappen is focussing on scored points only, it shows lack of intrest of what actually going down when it’s track time. Unfortunately Verstappen has done the least track time of all…but he mostly was in front of Ricciardo (all but once race Austria). In quali same thing 7-4. When both where actuall in the race Verstappen led 75%.

      If feel perfectly okay by people being a fan of Ricciardo or disliking Verstappen…but please tell me… what does Verstappen has to do to earn that respect he’s actually faster than Ricciardo. Reliability has taken him out of any comparishing when it comes to points, although Ric retired 3 times he was’t any close to the positions Verstappen DNF-ed from. ( Ric DNF-ed from P-last, 7 and 4, Ver DNF-ed from P4, 3, 2, 4 and 6).

      When it comes to taking risks and crashing Ric tops the score with two crashes and a near one in Monaco.. all three by his own fault. None of the DNF’s in the race of both drivers where their own fault.

      Ricciardo may have scored more points and podiums, but most of the position where gained by other drivers dropping away n front of him. In fact for the 5 times Ricciardo was on the podium he actually gained 3 positions (from the actuall grid) by overtaking, while 14 (!!) positions in front of him dropped away. Ricciardo was always there when others (cars) failed…

      Ricciardo got overtaken 3 times by Verstappen.

      To ‘think’ or ‘feel’ Ricciardo should be ahead isn’t gonna cut it, it needs one hell of a motivation to make it stand

      1. Well you certainly know you stuff don’t you. I think Ricciardo is at the moment the better all round race driver and is able to make the most of the situations he is presented with. Maybe he is better at looking after his car. However, no one is saying he is necessarily quicker than Vers which you have concluded from my choice. In fact the evidence is that, certainly over one lap this season, Vers is the quicker.

        Ric is of course older, has more experience and has had more luck this season but is it all down to luck? I think given time Verstappen’s career will probably eclipse Ricciardo’s but at the moment I think Ric has the narrow advantage.

    3. @phil-f1-21 and @loup-garou: I will not go into detail about why Ricciardo should be above Verstappen or not. What annoys me is that you and others dismiss the efforts @keithcollantine put into these lists with a simple

      cannot be right.

      or

      rediculous

      . Why is it so hard to accept that someone has a different opinion than you? And why do you get upset about it?

      1. No one is dismising Keith’s efforts. The lists are published as a subject for discussion and for debate. Otherwise why publish them at all? That’s what this site is about to some extent.

        All of the comments are based on individuals personal opinions.

  33. Always the same story with these silly rankings, the car should not matter therefore Alonso should be way higher than Bottas.

  34. 1. ALO (not the fastest but wise, steady, aggressive – in control at all times)
    2. RIC (same as above…)
    2. VET (great driver but childish behavior in Baku cost him points and could cost him WDC, still immature)
    4. HAM (car has to be optimal for him or he has been out of sorts, not the steadiest)
    5. VES (faster than those ahead but still a bull in a china shop, immature)
    6. BOT (good but ALO, RIC, VET and VES would be more of a headache for HAM)
    7. RAI (a lot of bad luck as usual – would give VET headaches if Ferrari let him)
    8. PER (very steady)
    9. Ocon (maybe as good or better than VES)
    10. HUL (great qualifier but has underperformed, frustration came to a head in Hungary )

  35. Daniel Ricciardo at number 6 hahahahahahahaha. Results count for everything and in an under performing car (probably the 5th best car on the grid) he has 5 podiums and a win, let that sink in for a second.

    Not that it count for anything but I would have the top 5 as…
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Daniel Ricciardo
    4. Sergio Perez
    5. Lewis Hamilton

    1. @macca: ricciardo has the 5th best car of the grid? Last time I watched 2.017 season it was mercedes > ferrari > (might be >> depending on race) red bull >>> rest!

      Agree with vettel and alonso among the top, don’t agree with ricciardo in front of verstappen, perez why not, hamilton has had off weekends, but 5th is too harsh, also there’s no bottas!

  36. Alonso is pivot 5th? What a daft, incompetent list.

  37. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    18th August 2017, 6:17

    It sounds like Palmer is dragging down Hulkenberg. Shouldn’t the same be said of Alonso? Should he not be #11 because Vandoorne is 0.5 seconds slower? Shouldn’t Alonso be 1.3 seconds faster than Vandoorne to be in the top 10?

    For me Hulkenberg is up there with Ricciardo and ahead of Perez (since he’s quicker than Checo and massively faster in an average car).

    1. I guess you just started watching F1 this season. Perez beat Hulk the last 2 seasons as teammates with the same car. Glad I could help.

      1. It’s strange that Perez achievements in F1 tend to be overlooked usually, I can’t pinpoint the reason for that but it happens a lot.

  38. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    18th August 2017, 20:02

    Here is my list contiued from the 11th to 20th driver listings:

    5 – Max Verstappen

    This may be difficult for some people to take in. The fact I am rating Verstappen behind Ricciardo. But the way I rate drivers is largely based on what I see. And Verstappen has been so unlucky that he’s missed a huge amount of races. He may have had great starts to most of these, but as he retired, we can’t really take it any further as we can’t guess the end result. It could have been great, it could have been poor. From his normal driving, it certainly is was most likely to be a good result. I may have quite possibly rated him and several other drivers in different positions too if it wasn’t for the amount of bad luck they have been having. Such as Massa, Kvyat and both the McLaren drivers. If you include everything such as practice, qualifying and the races they have been together, Verstappen generally has looked quicker. But it is the race that counts most. The 3 races they both finished. Verstappen was quite a bit better in China. Although, many did say it couldn’t be better. Maybe the position couldn’t but he did make a few mistakes and going very wide a few times when attempting an overtake. Nothing very costly at all but it wasn’t exactly flawless. But the first lap was very impressive. But it has to be said that the Red Bull is better than most of the cars on the grid when it comes to racing in wet conditions and that car is much better than the ones at the back anyway. So that start wasn’t exactly unexpected. That car has grip where others at the back simply can’t get it. But it was a mix of the car and Verstappen’s excellent wet weather driving skills that got him up near the top so quickly. In Monaco, his team mate did qualify some gap behind in qualifying but their race pace looked very similar. Ricciardo did get a good opportunity and he looked to maximize it. In the race, I think I can only say they were equal here. In Austria, Verstappen did look to be better in the race, but not by that much. Ricciardo had a very good recovery drive from starting at the back of the grid. So that is another race where they haven’t looked that far apart. But we have only had 1 full race where they both started close to each other and that was Monaco and they were about equal in the race there. Then in Hungary, Verstappen made a mistake and took out his team mate. That was more costly to the team in terms of missing out on championship points than Ricciardo crashing in qualifying on a couple of occasions. And as I said earlier, even though Verstappen has looked better in the starts of most races, I just don’t think that is enough to rate him above Ricciardo as we have had such a lack of time to see Verstappen on track. We have seen how well Ricciardo has done very often this year, and during the races, it almost always has been very good indeed.

    6 – Fernando Alonso

    This one was really difficult. The fact that the car is so slow most of the time and also hasn’t been working properly too hasn’t helped. I’m not sure he’s quite as good as many suggest. I think he looks better than he is because his team mate has been really poor this year. I certainly believe he is one of the top drivers but because of the lack of time I have seen him race, it is to difficult to rate him higher. It looked like people seemed to think his drive in Hungary was amazing. Well, it was very impressive but there is a reason why he finished much higher than normal. It was because the car was much better and suited to the track. The fact he got fastest lap proved this. If he suddenly got so many driver of the weekend votes for this, it is as if his driving has suddenly got better, which sort of means he may have been much worse before hand. I don’t think he did a much better job in Hungary than any other race really. When he’s been given the chance, he’s been very good and very consistent. Maximizing the potential of the car by the look of it. I personally think it was a little disrespectful of him to miss a race where it was quite possible he could have scored points here. But he did seem to want to do this other event more. If he wants to be in F1, I think he should race at every opportunity he has like most drivers do! I know that others think differently about this though But that aside, he has been very good this season.

    7 – Sergio Perez

    Other than Monaco, Perez has been very consistent this year. He’s had several races that have looked very strong. Others have just been OK but he really is good at scoring points incredibly often. He’s had Ocon pretty close to his level quite a lot this year but most of the time, has still shown he is the better driver of the 2. In Monaco though, he did have a very silly crash and caused Kvyat to retire. I haven’t really been following Perez that closely so I don’t have that much more to say. But I think 7th is a fair place to rate him.

    8 – Kimi Raikonnen

    I think Raikkonen has been nothing that special this year. But I do still think he is a very decent driver. But just maybe not the best for a top team. He hasn’t made many mistakes and often hasn’t been that far of Vettel. But the team do seem to want him. I have to say he has been good when when Ferrari have been better than Mercedes in qualifying as he has helped lock out the front row on a couple of occasions. In Monaco, he showed he was a tiny bit quicker than Vettel so he did beat him in qualifying. Britain was a race weekend that he probably was at his best over Vettel. Beat him in qualifying and looked better in the race too. Both drivers did have some bad luck near the end with punctures and he will almost certainly have got 2nd and Vettel will have been 4th. If Ferrari decide to to keep him, then they clearly will still think he is decent enough.

    9 – Estaban Ocon

    I think rating Ocon outside the top 10 was a little harsh. He has been incredible considering he still hasn’t done a full season in F1. He isn’t far off Perez’s level and has done a brilliant job so far. The only big mistake I can remember is the one in Baku. He maybe could have been more generous in Canada and given Perez a chance for the podium but perhaps he also wanted it! The team seemed happy with them doing what they did so I just though it was a good bit of defending from Ocon there. He has consistently been scoring points. He did have another rather poor weekend which was Monaco which both drivers in this team seemed to struggle in.

    10 – Nico Hulkenberg

    I pretty much agree with the rating for Hulkenberg. He’s been good but not so good too. So just about in the middle. I thought he was better last year than he is now actually. He got a penalty in China for overtaking under safety car conditions. Not the best thing for an experienced driver to be doing. I think he also may have got another penalty for something else that race but I can’t quite remember. Anyway, it wasn’t a good race. His other race that was clearly poor was Baku. That crash into the wall looked totally avoidable. If he’d done that in practice, it won’t have been quite as bad but that cost him what may have been a decent result. He just turned into the corner too early somehow like he expected the car to have less grip than it did. In other races, he has been good. Such as Canada, he was only slightly behind Raikonnen by the end of the race. He did a really solid job in 6th place in Britain too. He has indeed been beating Palmer by a simply huge gap in virtually everything. But I did rate Palmer last as I think he is a lot worse so this difference to me doesn’t necessarily mean Hulkenberg is doing a very good job. But most of the time, he has been decent.

  39. Bottas above Alonso is hilarious. Some of VB’s gaps to Lewis have been comical, he disappears for at least one stint each race, getting poles in the Mercedes when Lewis messes up is hardly difficult and he made another comical error in China. Also responsible for the Spain crash at T1 by braking like my Gran does. Only has to race 3 cars, 2 most of the time to be honest and only consistently beats one of them. Pure nonsense he’s been driving better than Alonso.

    Alonso has made zero errors, the only error free driver on the grid(No spins,crashes brain fades) and has spent half his racing laps in the Top 10 in a car that couldn’t even change gear properly until Spain. Crushed his team mate and in a race where apparently you couldn’t overtake, quelle surprise he passed someone. Again. Has been as impressive at the starts as Max, which gets Max into the Top 3, but in a far worse car. China for example he got 6 cars in lap 1 to Max’s 9. Driveability is what matters in the wet and we know the Honda had shocking driveability until Spain upgrade(After China) and the McLaren while a good car isn’t the RB so I know which one was by far the most impressive.

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