2011 driver rankings: half-season
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10th July 2011, 10:00 at 10:00 am #129620
Next week I’ll be giving my verdict on the top drivers of the season so far.
How would you rank the F1 drivers so far this year? Leave your comments and rankings below. A selection of the best will be used in the finished article.
Here are the last set of rankings from the end of last year:10th July 2011, 10:12 at 10:12 am #172414
Surely the No.1 currently has to be Vettel. He has not put a foot wrong, only slipped up once in Canada, was able to defend his lead nicely for a long time in both China and Spain (where he kept it).
I think both Alonso (2nd) and Massa (6th) are doing pretty good, but the Ferrari has been a bit further behind then last year. Who knows, they might even threaten the Red Bulls now. Webber has been a bit disappointing so far, but he looks like picking up pace now (5th). Button (3rd) is doing a very good job, he was close in China s well, but for the pit stop faux pas, and he was pushing Vettel in Monaco and off course his win in Canada.
Hamilton has been very fast again, but he seems to be a bit confused currently. Still he was the first to beat Vettel to the top step this year (4th)
Kobayashi gets in 7th for some very good drives for me, followed by Rosberg (8th), Schumacher 9th and Petrov 10th, as he keeps driving solidly despite Renault losing out after a strong start. The mid field is hard to judge for me, so I will refrain from doing so.
For the Rookies, I think Maldonado is doing OK, but not spectacular so far. But he is picking up pace. Perez started spectacularly and stays a hopefull prospect. DiResta is really showing doing top class racing in DTM can be an advantage, so I would see him as top rookie so far. Its hard to judge D’Ambrosio, although he has been showing some good speed in the car at times.10th July 2011, 10:20 at 10:20 am #172415
I’ll just do my top two for now because they’re the only ones I’m sure about
1 – Sebastian Vettel
Almost totally flawless. his Prost-like cruise to victory in Valencia was for me his most impressive win. Utter domination and control from start to finish, a truly perfect race. Has the car, knows the tyres, confident and if that wasn’t annoying enough for everyone else, he’s so damn likeable. Making hay whilst the sun shines is a prerequisite of a champion and it’s been a long summer for Vettel, but still he works hard.
2 – Fernando Alonso
Didn’t have the best start to the year, making a mistake in Malaysia and not appearing much in China, but he’s bounced back to drag the Ferrari where it shouldn’t be without throwing it around. The one man you don’t want to suddenly have a competitive car again, if Ferrari match Red Bull more often he may end up in a hard-earned 2nd place in the standings.10th July 2011, 10:23 at 10:23 am #172416
1 – Sebastian Vettel
2 – Fernando Alonso
3 – Jenson Button10th July 2011, 10:33 at 10:33 am #172417
1) Vettel – I don’t like him but no doubt about performance
2) Alonso – I still think he need better car
3) Button – I thought Ham is faster but he’s doing better this year
4) Webber – He was bad at the start of the season but recovering
5) Hamilton – China was great but he need to be calm and focus
6) Massa – bad start of the season but he has got better but still not enough to Alo
7) Nico – Good driver in worse-than-last-year car
8) Kobayashi – much better than last year. someone give hime better car
9) di Resta – the Best of rookie
10) Schumacher – Hmm….I don’t know why I place him here. fill from top, fill from bottom then this place was empty for him
11) Kovalainen – Better car!
12) Petrov – one podium finish but not enough
13) Perez – Good rookie
14) Heidfeld – not fater than Petrov? not good.
15) Buemi – Better STR
16) Sutil – His seat in danger
17) Barichello – I begin to think he’s loosing ground to Maldonado…
18) Alguersuari – back to back 8th is good but still remain to be seen
19) Maldonado – Monaco was good. others are not good.
20) Liuzzi – doing good job in the worst car
21) Trulli – retire is coming
22) Glock – disappointing…
23) d’Ambrosio – another di Grassi
24) Karthikeyan – no doubt
lower drivers are quite frustrating for me…medfield is not sure and I want to place 21, 22, 23 in same 21. or 23.10th July 2011, 11:09 at 11:09 am #172418
1)Vettel – Can’t be anyone else
2)Alonso – Really has taken it to Red Bull
3)Kobayashi – Been very consistent
4)Massa – Improved well
5)Button – Some great drives, some very average drives
6)Hamilton – Some great drives, some poor drives
7)Webber – Average driver being flattered by a great car
8)Kovalainen – Getting the best out of his Lotus
9)Heidfeld – Solid race pace, not as good in qualifying and has been very unlucky
10)Petrov – Solid qualifying, race pace could improve, also very unlucky
11)Schumacher – Some great drives, some poor drives
12)Buemi – Some very solid drives
13)Perez – Inconsistent, but he is getting that sorted out
14)Rosberg – Pretty dissapointing, a step back from a great 2010
15)Di Resta – Good qualifier, needs to improve race pace
16)Sutil – Great on his day, but such days haven’t come often enough
17)Alguersuari – Improving, but can he keep it up?
18)Maldonado – Good qualifier, needs to convert good starting position into good finishing positions
19)Barrichello – Hasn’t taken a firm lead over his team mate
20)Liuzzi – Making the best of a bad situation
21)Glock – Hard to rank, but D’Ambrosio has beaten him occasionally
22)D’Ambrosio – Been alright
23)de la Rosa – Did okay under the circumstances in Canada
24)Trulli – A great driver probably would have sorted out his power steering problem by now
25)Karthikeyan – Consistantly the slowest10th July 2011, 13:58 at 1:58 pm #172419
24) Jarno Trulli – Incredibly disappointing.
23) Narain Karthikeyan – Just very poor.
22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – Difficult to judge, but I don’t think he’s been good.
21) Adrian Sutil – Outclassed by PDR.
20) Rubens Barrichello – I would actually say that Maldonado has actually been better.
19) Pastor Maldonado – But only just.
18) Tonio Liuzzi – A remarkable P13 in Canada puts him here.
17) Jaime Alguersuari – A good showing in the last two, but overall quite average.
16) Timo Glock – Not bad, keeps putting the Virign in decent positions. Should be in a better car.
15) Sebastien Buemi – Better than Alguersuari, but not by much.
14) Nick Heidfeld – Apart from Malaysia, not stunning.
13) Heikki Kovalainen – Excellent qualifying, smashing Trulli so far.
12) Michael Schumacher – A wonderful drive in canada, but quite similar to last season.
11) Kamui Kobayashi – Impressive as usual.
10) Sergio Perez – Great start to his F1 career, looks a good prospect fro the future.
9) Vitaly Petrov – Wonderful in Australia, but he’s had an on-off season.
8) Nico Rosberg – Beating Schumacher, and some good drves in China and Turkey.
7) Paul Di Resta – For a rookie, I think he’s been excellent.
6) Lewis Hamilton – Wonderful in China, but too many mistakes and errors recently.
5) Felipe Massa – Much improved on last year. Really given Alonso something to think about this season, and has been the best starter this season.
4) Mark Webber – Some good drives, but he has the same car as the champion and is 80 points behind him. Amazing in China though.
3) Jenson Button – he’s taken the fight to Red Bull and has really outclassed Hamilton in my opinion.
2) Fernando Alonso – Today’s drive was top quality, and has wrestled the third best car into a win, two 2nds and a third. He has also been much improved on the starts.
1) Sebastian Vettel – Anyone who doesn’t put Vettel as 1st should be jailed for 18 years.10th July 2011, 14:13 at 2:13 pm #172420
23)Jerome D’Ambrosio-I thought he would mabye beat Glock but he has not even scratched the surface.
22)Jarno Trulli-Constantly slow failing to beat Kovalainen
21)Adrian Sutil – Failed to beat the rookie di resta.
20)Rubens Barrichello – very poor.
19)Jaime Laguersuari – very poor compared to last year.
18)Tonio Liuzzi – Very good drive in Canada
17)Pastor Maldonado – Faster than Rubens so far.
16)Timo Glock – much better than his team mate, good drives this year.
15)Sebastien Buemi – Better than his team mate but quite a slow season.
14)Nick Heidfeld – Can’t we just have Kubica back?
13)Heikki Kovalainen – Impressive, thrashing Trulli in qually 8-1.
12)Sergio Perez – Seems to work the tyres very well.
11)Vitaly Petrov – Apart from Australia he hasn’t impressed.
10)Michael Schumacher – Wonderful drive in Canada and scrapes past perez for me.
9)Kamui Kobayashi – very good driver to watch, but a lot of crashes.
8)Nico Rosberg – Had some very good drives this season, beating Schumacher.
7)Paul Di Resta – Just like Sutil last year, beating his team mate consisently.
6)Felipe Massa – Much better than last season.
5)Mark Webber – Good driving but as daykind said, 80 points behind Vettel.
4)Lewis Hamilton – Even though I hate him, he is an excellent driver. Too many mistakes though.
3)Fernando Alonso – Very impressive drive today, should finish 2nd in the championship.
2)Jenson Button – Stunning drive in Canada, outdriving Lewis this year.
1)Sebastian vettel – Not a bad season so far.10th July 2011, 14:41 at 2:41 pm #172421
1) Vettel – he’s been near faultless so far – 6 wins and 3 second places shows phenomenal consistency, and clearly is driver of the season so far.
2) Alonso – genuinely put in some great drives to keep up with the Red Bulls in Turkey, Valencia and Britain.
3) Button – largely error free, as he has been since last year and took a great win in Montreal. His pace has been better against Hamilton though.
4) Hamilton – Before Monaco, Lewis would have been an easy 2nd. But since then, he’s had several poor and scrappy races that have hurt his reputation.
5) Kobayashi – Very consistent points finishes up until Europe. One of the stars of Monaco with his career best placing.
6) Webber – Good in China and Britain, but hasn’t finished ahead of Vettel in a single race this season. He can almost be relied on to lose places at the start of a race.
7) Rosberg – Solid, consistent driver, doing a good job in the Mercedes, which is slower than it was last year. Stood out in Turkey and China.
8) Schumacher – Seems to be a lot closer to Nico this year, but is still too inconsistent. Hovers between great races, like Spain and Canada, to breaking front wings, like in Briatin and Europe.
9) Massa – Has seemingly improved from the end of last year, but is still nowhere near Fernando Alonso. Often incapable of taking points off his teammate, or the Red Bulls and Mclarens.
10) Perez – Has scored points only twice this year (three times including Australia), but it is refreshing when he tries alternate strategies to gain positions over the rest. Rookie of the year for me so far.
11) Di Resta – can’t make the top 10 with the number of incidents and lack of points so far.
13) Sutil – regularly put-qualified, but still picking up the points, which is what should matter.
24) Trulli – Scribe, don’t compare Vettel to this guy :P
– De La Rosa
– Ricciardo10th July 2011, 15:09 at 3:09 pm #172422
24)Karthikeyan – Out of his depth.
23)Trulli – Failing to beat Kovalainen, seems to have lost his spark, hang up your gloves Jarno.
22)D’Ambrosio – Not bad, but you can’t really tell can you.
21)Sutil – Stabbing people in nightclubs and being slow on the track are not the things he would have wanted for his 2011 season!
20)Alguersuari – Not living up to expectations.
19)Liuzzi – Doing the best he can with a painfully slow car.
18)Nock Heidfield – Brought in to lead Renault…and hasn’t. And for goodness sake would you shave and crack a smile sometimes! F1 is no place for emo kids!
17)Maldonado – Struggled to get to grips with F1, I’d be surprised if he makes it to the end of the season.
16)Glock – Doing a good job, but no one can tell because the MVR-02 is hopeless!
15)Barrichello – He hasn’t been great has he.
14)Buemi – Very solid, but he is a bit disappointing this year, hoped for a lot more from him, he has talent.
13)Perez – Impressive.
12)Schumacher – Canada reminded us of what he can do, but he still isn’t making it happen.
11)Petrov – Good in Oz, but that doesn’t justify him going any higher on this list.
10)Kovalainen – I’m tempted to put him even higher, because he is Getting everything he can and more out of the T128. Making Trulli look like a chump.
9)Kobayashi – We all know he can overtake, but he seems to be maturing very quickly this year, the real deal.
8)Rosberg – Solid as always, still has the better of Schumacher.
7)Di Resta – Rookie of the year for me so far in a car that isn’t as quick as we hoped it would be.
6)Massa – Improved, but he is still the forgotten man in my book.
5)Webber – You are being whupped boy! Sort it out!
4) Hamilton – Was having a great season up to a few races ago. Some uncharateristic errors have hindered a promissing season.
3)Button – I’d have put Lewis ahead of him going into Canada, that drive reminded us all of his class.
2)Vettel – He’s walking it, he has the best car by a week and he (based on today) has the support of the whole team. It’s impressive, but doing what you should be doing isn’t remarkable.
1)Alonso – He has been driving out of his skin in a car that isn’t really all the great, sign of a true champion (*vomits in mouth at the fact I just said that*).10th July 2011, 15:43 at 3:43 pm #172423
1: Vettel. He’s been just about flawless.
2: Alonso. Gives it 110% every lap of every race. Made a couple of tiny mistakes but that doesnt go against his supreme driving this year
3: Button. Seems more able to to qualify better and has been doing a solid job. Win in Canada was sublime.
4: Kobayashi. His racecraft has been brilliant and, other than today, has extracted everything that Sauber has to give.
5: Massa. Been much closer to Alonso this year than the stats may suggest. Driven with a lot more determination than he did last year, when he occasionally looked disinterested.
6. Hamilton. Started the season well enough but isn’t coping well with not having a race winning car when compared to, say, Alonso.
7. Webber. Some gritty drives but Vettel has totally shanked him this year.
8. Perez. Best of the rookies for me.
9. Rosberg. Quietly doing what he did last year – scoring solid points in an average car.
10. Schumacher. Shown much better form than he did last year, but he can’t seem to do it consistently enough anymore.
11. Di Resta. Very much outshone Sutil, but he’s making a lot of errors.10th July 2011, 16:44 at 4:44 pm #172424
1: Vettel. He’s been just about flawless. It isn’t the car, it isn’t that he’s been gifted wins as he’s had to work for them (Monaco and Spain) it’s just that he’s been insanely good. Webber has been nowhere in comparison but Seb’s really taken to the tyres and exploited almost every opportunity. He’s proving that not only can he bang out the poles when he needs to and direct the race from the front but he’s got a good head on his shoulders and may be one of the most complete drivers on the grid.
2: Alonso. Catalunya summed up his season for me: magnificent start where he dragged a weak car around that track with a pugnacity rarely seen but he finished one lap down. He’s working his socks up but it has taken a while for Ferrari to give him a car he deserves.
3: Button. Semms stronger this year but he did have errors in Canada where that win was a lot harder than it should have been. I felt he should have attacked harder in Monaco too but he’s been much involved this seaosn it feels.
4: Hamilton. I was very tempted to put him lower but his ridiculous pace saved him. He was great early season and that’s why he’s this high but since Monaco it just feels like he’s not quite getting the results he should be and his frustration is showing. He was very unlucky in Canada and incredibly sporting to congratulate the man that took him out of the race especially as it was his team mate.
5: Massa. Despite the qualifying battle Massa has been such a lot better this year. For the first three races it really seemed like he could turn the tables on Fernando. He was right in the mix for a podium (and dare I say win) at China. He could have had pole at Canada and a podium too. He has seemed more on it even if he hasn’t quite strung a result together yet. His strategy is often sacrificed to Alonso too as he has to wait until his team mate pits until he can but Fernando makes his tyres last so long that Massa’s running about with his tyres falling apart which really hurts him. It should be a fair way of doing it but I don’t think it is when Alonso manages things so well and if they scrap the track leader pits first system he might come more into play.
6. di Resta. Trouncing his much hyped team mate in qualifying but understandably making rookie mistakes in the races.
7. Webber. Has been nowhere compared to Seb. He’s not been that bad and has been unlucky with his kers but he’s never once finished ahead of his team mate and that says a lot.
8. Kobayashi. His qualifying is often poor but he’s racing incredibly well.
9. Rosberg. Solid but his starts are frustrating.
10. Schumacher. Driver of the race in Canada and at one point I thoought I’d gone back in time to 2002. He’s having a much better year but he really needs to outqualify Rosberg more often.
11. Petrov. It’s hard to rate Petrov because Renault have had a long walk to the back of the grid in some regards but I think he has much improved on last year. He’s more consistent but we still get the odd blonde moment.
12. Buemi. Does what he needs to and has usually had the beating of Jaime.
13. Heikki. Beating the quali master and helping drag the hideously green cars forward plus he does it with a smile while Glock and Trulli appear almost suicidal.
14. Perez. Doing a good job for a rookie and has handled things since Monaco very well.
15. Heidfeld. Quick Nick has neither been quick nor had his usual rock solid consistency. I’m very surprised but his podium was brilliant.
16. Rubens. I expected him to show up Pastor to the point where fans would scream “pay driver!” to his team mate but he hasn’t done anything remarkable this year except binning the car into Rosberg and every gravel trap at Australia.
17. I thought Pastor would be useless but he’s had the odd good showing. I like to reserve judgement on rookies because of the testing ban as it’s hard to judge and I can’t make up my mind if Pastor is rubbish with flashes of talent (Monaco, Silverstone qualifying) or talented but just taking a while to get to grips with F1.
18. Glock. Looks increasingly distressed at Virgin but whereas last year he showed his worth on track he hasn’t really featured this year but perhaps that’s just the car.
19. Sutil. Beaten in qualifying consistently by a rookie who came from DTM and then threatens his image and career with a scandal. His racing is doing a lot of talking but it’s mostly all negative. He needs to imrpove or let someone with some promise have the seat. Sutil’s been in F1 and not achieved anything or switched teams for far too long. Sutil please do something, anything!!!
20 Liuzzi. It’s hard when they’re at the back as they’re doing a mega job just by keeping the car on track but I can’t really rate them up at the top but I don’t feel they deserve to be this low. Liuzzi has been great and seems to be helping to pull this team forward.
21 Jaime. Apart from the last few races he hasn’t done anything. He doesn’t deserve to be so low but I feel all the other drivers have shown something more than him/
22. Trulli. I’d love to see that old quali magic but it isn’t happening. I think he is needed at Lotus for his experience and technical know-how but it would be great if he reminded us he was a racing driver. The only positive reviews I ever see about him are his wine.
23. Jerome. He was actualyl very close to Glock with their qualifying battle early on iirc but seems to have lost ground. I still stubbornly say he shows promise but he’s making me look an idiot at the moment.
24. Narain. I feel sorry for him that he found out he was fired over the internet but there’s nothing else to really say.10th July 2011, 17:56 at 5:56 pm #172425
1 – Vettel. Imperious. Really stepped up a level.
2 – Alonso. Consistently fast in a car that is not class of the field. A shame to think he’s not won a title for 5 years!
3 – Button. Arguably driving better than when he won the title. Has not perhaps been the quickest on occasion but has certainly been smarter than his team-mate.
4 – Massa. Not been as good as in the past, but certainly had some plucky performances and has done well despite being frequently compromised on strategy due to being the second-running driver
5 – Hamilton. Fluctuates between fantastic and frustrating. Looked at one point to be the only one capable of challenging Vettel, but perhaps his mind isn’t in the right place. Oddly enough the other British sporting talent to be managed by Simon Fuller’s XIX management is Andy Murray. Read into that what you will..
6 – Webber. Perhaps not as poor as the disparity between him and his teammate would suggest as Vettel has been astounding. Webbers poor starts have hampered him again this season however.
7 – Kovalianen. Hard to judge him in a car that is uncompetitive, but he has been plucky and is probably the best placed of all the somophore teams to be getting points.
8 – Kobayashi. Excelling and maturing. Perhaps not as crazy as he used to be and has tempered it a bit and seems like a very mature young driver.
9 – Rosberg. A shame to see him in an uncompetitive car, and has had some impressive pace (e.g. China) and tried some brave laps (Qualifying 3, Britain). I’d like to see him in a more competitive car, be that a Mercedes or not..
10 – Di Resta. Has come into the sport “cold” and has thoroughly trounced his team-mate in qualifying. Has been unlucky with some over-officious stewarding and perhaps needs to recognise when to pull his nose out. Otherwise he would really be hammering Sutil in the standings too.
11 – Perez. Arguably the best of the rookies, has made the least mistakes.
12 – Petrov. Really come on in his second season, lost a lot of the mistakes and can be very fast on his day. Perhaps Renault should have put Senna or Grosjean into that seat rather than Heidfeld..
13 – Schumacher. Better than last year, but it saddens me to see a titan of the sport struggling in a not-very-fast-car. I really think he should hang up his F1 helmet. If he wants fun there’s always DTM…
14 – Buemi. Solid and dependable. Perhaps would benefit from escaping the Toro Rosso “structure”. Beaten Jaimiae but that’s about it….
15 – Algusuari. Well I’m not his biggest fan but he did very little until Ricciardo was breathing down his neck. Reminds me in that way of Liuzzi last year..
16 – Sutil. Really struggling this season. May have more points on the board than his team-mate but that’s about it. He’s really not doing too well. Ace on street circuits but to be outperformed by a rookie who (7 Friday mornings excepted) has been racing tin-tops for 4 years is quite embarrassing. Coupled with an assault charge, does Hispania beckon for Adrian?
17 – Heidfeld. I used to be a big fan of Nick, but he’s had 10 years in F1, time to give the younger generation a shot.
18 – Maldonano. Was expecting a massive flop but he has had some sterling drives and great pace. Certainly erratic though!
19 – Barichello. Perhaps the same could be said as per Heidfeld and that it’s time for a younger generation, but I think that Rubens is good for Williams. Williams on the other and….
20 – Liuzzi. Never thought I’d say this but he’s had a good season. Hard to judge when in such a poor car but has out-performed some supposedly “faster” cars. Lot of respect for doing anything to stay in the sport, but I think his bolt was shot a long time ago.
21 – Glock. Needs Virgin to go faster or to get a move to a better team. A really decent guy and an exciting driver but we don’t see him in the bottom of the pack which is a shame.
22 – D’Ambrosio. Not seen much at all due to FOM only showing the plentiful action at the front. Outqualified a more experienced team-mate so that can’t be a bad thing. Unless someone else picks him up or like Glock, Virgin get faster he’ll probably do a Di Grassi.
23 – Trulli. A man who has Trulli lost his way. Such a shame, he was so fast once. Has made noises of unhappiness so probably won’t be seeing him for long.
24 – Karthikayen. Perennial back-marker. Don’t like to see anyone lose their job but anyone who gets consistently outqualified by Tonio Liuzzi can’t be that good…
25 – Ricciardo. Can’t say we’ve seen much, perhaps see him in a Toro Rosso next year.11th July 2011, 1:41 at 1:41 am #172426
24. Karthikeyan: Narain is constantly raising the bar for the pay driver stereotype: slow, back-marking rich guys whose sponsors earn them drive with the Formula One minnows. His performances against Liuzzi are evocative of pay driver Ricardo Rosset and Vincenzo Sospiri in the MasterCard Lola car, respectively.
23. D’ambrosio: His nickname, “Custard”, is fitting: he’s a sweet fellow but like the viscous treat he’s fondly named after, he’s slow. Really slow. He’s like his predecessor di Grassi except he has more money.
22. Trulli: Jarno Trulli: I speak of the driver who won on the challenging streets of Monaco, a man so quick he could outqualify cars much quicker than his on Saturdays and manage to keep them behind him the next day. Whatever happened to this guy? Every weekend, he’s constantly outpaced by Kovalainen, blaming power steering issues. Perhaps it’s because he’s lost the power; he’s lost the will to drive. Utterly disappointed for Jarno.
21. Barrichello: Williams has really hit a speed bump this season. In this decade, they’ve gone from title contenders to race winners to podium contenders to points contenders to midfield contenders, and now, they’re backmakerkers. Not even the experinece of Vovó Rubens can save them. He’s scored all four of their points but he would’ve been behind Maldonado in the standings had that red flag not come out in Monaco. He’s constantly outpaced by Maldonado, but while he can actually bring the car home in one piece, he’s not the title contender he was two years ago.
20. Maldonado: Maldy recieved a lot of flak after Williams’ decision to replace Nico Hulkenberg with Maldonado. I didn’t criticize them as vehemently as others, as I remakred, “Hey, this guy won GP2. He can’t be all that bad.” And I was right, sort of. Pastor is exceptional on Saturdays, blazing his teammate, Formula One’s unchallenged “Veteran”. However, come Sunday, he struggles to bring the car home in one piece or in the points. This being said, he had one of the most brilliant rookie drives ever at his “home” race in Monaco.
19. Sutil: He doesn’t deserve to be in Formula One. He’s been with the same team for the longest time now, and other than Monaco 2008, I can’t recall any strong drives from Adrian. I’ll admit he has strong race speed, but being shown up by Paul di Resta in qualifying is beyond embarassing. There are better drivers who deserve his seat, like Hulkenberg.
18. Liuzzi: He’s driving the wheels off his Hispania. Or so it seems. He’s easily outpaced Karthikeyan and d’Ambrosio, and he is proving the talent he had when he dominated Formula 3000 in 2004. Much improved from last year, indicated with his strong showing at Canada. It is still hard to gauge his talent, but with Ricciardo on board, we will all see his true speed in the HRT.
17. Nick Heidfeld: I honestly think Renault should’ve listened to Kubica by picking Liuzzi over Heidfeld. Renault wanted an exoerienced driver to partner Petrov, but that being said, Petrov is outqualifying him and seems to be faster. Nick has genuine race pace and his podium in Malaysia was a strong showing, but every week he seems to take a step back while the leadership reins look set for Petrov’s taking.
16. Glock: Timo Glock doesn’t deserve to be at Virgin. But he’s trying to make the best of it by beating everybody he can- including Trulli in the faster Lotus. Like Liuzzi, it’s hard to measure his speed but he seems to be doing an okay job. I bet he must be slapping himself all over for not signing for Renault in 2010.
15. Alguersuari: He’s been very quick as of late, but he’s been out in the first qualy session too many times and I still belive Buemi’s better. But he’s improving rapidly, and he’s come a long way since his nightmare début in 2009, so one has to give the kid credit for that.
15. Schumacher: He’s improved a lot since last year, shown by his remarkable Canada drive and his starts in wet races which often give him many race positions. That being said, he’s still being outperformed by Rosberg, and he’s caused quite some mayhem on the track- Petrov and Kobayashi are some of the victims.
14. Buemi: He has been extracting a lot of performance from the Toro Rosso, but Alguersuari is catching up- fast. He’s been solid and consistent, and he’d make a good number two at Red Bull if Webber decides to retire. He’s made it into the top ten at qualifying, but he needs to step his game up to stay ahead in the Toro Rosso driver war.
13. di Resta: I can proudly say Paul di Resta is among my favorite drivers. Why? He’s quick, determined, and did I mention he’s quick? His 6th place on the grid at Silverstone was stellar, and he’s been making Sutil want to stick broken glass in his own face. However, he is a rookie, and with that, he’s still learning the trade of Formua One. With learning comes mistakes, and he’s had plenty of those. Once he sorts out his little bugs and glitches, he’ll be landing that coveted Mercedes seat in no time.
12. Kovalainen: Heikki and Team Lotus have this great chemsitry which carries over to the racetrack. He easily outqualifies all of the drivers with the second year teams, and he got to Q2 in Britain fair and square. As the Lotus car gets more competitive, count on Heikki to deliver the team’s first point(s).
11. Petrov: Vitaly Petrov easily earns the “most improved” award this year following his brilliant qualifying speed. Jos Verstappen, who labeled him as “the worst driver [of 2010]” must be urinating his pants in anger because the Vyborg Rocket has been truly impressive along with the other sophmore drivers this year. He still makes some mistakes, but he’s had the upper hand over Heidfeld and he’s improved by miles- his Australia podium is his well-earned reward for this.
10. Pérez: I remember defending Sergio when many people labeled him as a pay driver, with his only excuse of landing a Sauber seat being his Telmex money. I now guffaw at these people, for Sergio has proven himself a bold drivers who can really make Jenson Button look bad at the art of tyre conservation. He’s got an able teammate in Kobayashi, and he is quickly learning Formula One. Like di Resta, he has his mistakes, as do all rookies, but he’s shown himself a great passer whilst being soft on the tyres. One of my favorite drivers, hands-down.
9. Webber: “PortuGoose, you put Webber in ninth?” you scream, but alas, I have. Sure, it’s tough being a team mate to the world’s number one driver at the moment, but one would think (or at least I would) that Webber would be way closer to Vettel, like in 2010. He seems to have taken a step back, and I might blame that to lack of morale after losing the 2010 title. He’s been disappointing; you’d think he’d have won a race by now (becuase Hamilton, Button, and Alonso have).
8. Massa: To be honest, I cried when Massa lost the 2008 title to Hamilton. After all, I’m Brazilian and I was twelve years old then. I’ve witnessed the transformation of Massa from championship contender to number two. It’s a little heartbreaking, actually, for lack of a better word. But on the bright side, he’s improving. Sure, he’s still in Alonso’s shadow and he hasn’t outqualified him, but you can’t deny Massa is doing better this year. He stopped blaming the Bridgestones, for once, and his qualifying is steadily improving. The favouritism towards Alonso has ruined his chances for podiums due to Alonso-favouring strategy calls, but all in all, he seems poised to return to his winning ways- soon. All he has to do is beat Alonso frequently.
I’ll do 7-1 later.11th July 2011, 7:34 at 7:34 am #172427
- Vettel: Absolutely dominant. Mistake-free apart from the last lap in Canada.
- Alonso: Has been putting the 150° Italia in places it really shouldn’t be. Potentially serious threat if the car keeps improving.
- Button: Hamilton is faster (just), but Jenson’s driving has been much better than his teammate’s on balance.
- Hamilton: Still quite fast, but needs to learn when to be aggressive and when to bide his time. I think the hype’s gone to his head.
- Rosberg: Still driving well, but I believe he’s struggling with a car that is not as competitive as last year’s Mercedes was.
- Webber: Where has mid-2010 Mark Webber gone? Pace is still there, but racecraft seems a bit lacking. I suspect he’s slowly becoming disillusioned with RBR.
- Kobayashi: Has driven very well in a Sauber that’s much improved over last year’s. Probably the most consistent driver who doesn’t have a top-tier car.
- Pérez: Best of the rookies so far. Quietly getting the job done.
- Massa: Has shown flashes of competitiveness, but really overall should be much closer to Alonso. Needs to work on his race pace.
- Petrov: My Most-Improved Driver of 2011 so far. A bit sad that Renault GP seems to have fallen backwards after being so strong earlier in the year.
- di Resta: Handling his much more experienced teammate Sutil handily. Needs to cut down on mistakes, but the pace is there.
- Schumacher: Much improved over 2010, but needs to cut down on the collisions. Drove brilliantly in Canada though.
- Kovalainen: Consistently getting the most out of the best of the backmarking cars.
- Heidfeld: Rather disappointing so far, being outdone by Petrov. Not doing the job he was brought into Renault GP to do.
- Barrichello: Still has the talent, but not being done any favours by the utterly disappointing FW33.
- Maldonado: Not doing badly for a rookie. Has been respectably close to teammate Barrichello; had a great Monaco race ruined by an over-ambitious Hamilton.
- Buemi: Doing a decent enough job. Bettering his teammate overall, but only by a bit.
- Alguersuari: Struggled in the early races, but has come on form of late. I suspect both he and Buemi are a bit better than the STR6 allows.
- Liuzzi: Doing fairly well in arguably the worst car on the grid.
- Glock: Difficult to be impressive in such a slow car, but I don’t think he’s doing particularly badly.
- d’Ambrosio: Has been close enough to teammate Glock to be respectable.
- Trulli: Has struggled all year, being completely overshadowed by Kovalainen. Perhaps time to hang it up?
- Sutil: Being thoroughly outshone by rookie teammate di Resta. Why has he been rated so highly again?
- Karthikeyan: Only here because of Indian money. Doesn’t deserve to be in F1.
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