24. Karthikeyan – He’s been beaten by de la Rosa every time both cars finished a race, i.e. 6 times. He had experience with HRT from last year, whilst de la Rosa had his previous appearance in a race weekend with Sauber in 2010.
23. De la Rosa – He couldn’t have achieved better results with an HRT, but there should be young drivers more deserving of a seat than him.
22. Bruno Senna – He’s scored points 6 times – Maldonado only twice – but, unlike his team mate, he hasn’t won a race. He has made too many mistakes, and although he’s been beaten by his team mate on only four occasions, his ups and downs go from really low to medium-high.
21. Pastor Maldonado – His ups and downs go, unlike his team mate, from really low to really high. His pole and win in Spain were amazing, but he’s done absolutely nothing before and since then. His crashes and penalties are not something we should expect from an F1 driver.
20. Timo Glock – From a driver with his experience, I expected to see his rookie team mate clearly beaten: it hasn’t been so. Before, Glock was giving all he could, but now, knowing he can’t go further than the 21st place, usually, his efforts are just enough for that position.
19. Charles Pic – Not exactly the most impressive driver in GP2 last year, I thought he was going to make a fool of himself this year. He has done better than expected, and he beat Glock, who is/was highly rated, on several occasions.
18. Daniel Ricciardo – His greater experience with F1 cars than his team mate should have meant that he would have beaten Vergne more often and by greater margins, however it hasn’t been the case usually.
17. Jean-Eric Vergne – He’s a rookie, he’s made some mistakes but overall he has been satisfying, considering the car he is driving.
16. Vitaly Petrov – He has been in F1 since 2010, and as he changes to an inferior car he gets beaten, consistently, by his team mate. Not a good way to start re-building your career.
15. Heikki Kovalainen – He keeps improving the car’s potential in qualifying – he’s made it into Q2 more than once this year, if I remember correctly. He’s not keeping up with his race pace, but it’s hard to tell what happens as FOM never keep an eye on him or his team mate.
14. Felipe Massa – It’s 6 races since he – he also admitted it – started being competitive in the F2012. However, Monaco and Silverstone have been the only occasions in which he’s managed to pull out a good performance. Usually bad qualifying results compromised his race before it even started, and, despite his great starts, he didn’t make many positions up, if at all.
13. Michael Schumacher – Bad luck can only be associated to him this year, however he has also made several silly mistakes when the car was going – like in Spain and Hungary. He’s scored a podium, but other than that? Nothing.
12. Nico Hulkenberg – Started beating his team mate at around a quarter of the season. He had only driven in practice in 2011, so it’s comprehensible that di Resta was the quickest of the two to start with. Still, apart from the 3 “new” teams and STR, he’s the driver with the least points of all.
11. Kamui Kobayashi – Perez is not an easy team mate to cope with. His exceptional performances have put Kobayashi under pressure, but he hasn’t managed to copy his results. 4th at Hockenheim was amazing, but the rest of the season wasn’t.
10. Paul di Resta – Continues to look very calm and consistent in the races, but without a one-off exploit it’s hard to rate him higher.
9. Jenson Button – 3 podiums in 11 in what is, or has been, possibly, the best car on several occasions, isn’t enough. Especially after his great 2011, and after winning the season opener, I was expecting more than 7th place from him.
8. Nico Rosberg – When the W03 has been good, i.e. in China and Monaco, he took it to pole and win before, then to a second place. He’s consistently scored points since then despite Mercedes dropping down the order, behind RBR, McLaren, Renault, Ferrari and Sauber.
7. Romain Grosjean – He may be nearly a rookie, but he’s had some great showings, like in Hungary and Europe. However, with a few mistakes at the start of the season, he lost many points and now lies 3 positions behind his team mate.
6. Sebastian Vettel – He’s the only driver in the top four to have won only once. He still has his speed, as his 3 poles demonstrate, but he no longer has the advantage he had last season, and he’s not achieving the results we thought were easy for him to get.
5. Lewis Hamilton – Very consistent, he has only two retirements, one of which wasn’t his fault and cost him plenty of points.
4. Sergio Perez – Nearly scoring Sauber’s first win is pretty amazing on its own, but achieving a second podium 5 races later is even better. Sometimes, most notably in Hungary, Sauber have not been competitive, but you couldn’t ask for much more from a driver with one year’s experience under his belt.
3. Mark Webber – Two wins, including one from pole at Monaco and one stolen to Alonso at the end of the British GP. Not bad, certainly, but he could, and should, have achieved more in the other races.
2. Kimi Raikkonen – After Alonso, and tied with Webber, Raikkonen is the most consistent driver so far, scoring points 10 times out of 11 races. Having missed two years of F1, he was immediately up to speed, and despite some bad moments, like his qualifying in Melbourne, his season has gone pretty well thus far, as he achieved 5 podiums, one less than Alonso and the same as Hamilton. When the car was competitive, Kimi brought it as high as possible, and when it wasn’t he brought it as high as possible anyway.
1. Fernando Alonso – For how bad the F2012 looked in Australia, a 5th place was not bad. A win at the next round was better than anyone could expect. Scoring points in the remaining 9 races, two of which won, and with three further podiums, giving him a 40-point advantage on his closest rival in the championship, in a car whoch, despite its upgrades and improvements, still isn’t the best, is enough to make him number one on this list.