Best of the rest
4th July 2012, 3:12 at 3:12 am #131603
OK. So it’s pretty much become a well-accepted fact amongst most F1 fans that Hamilton, Vettel, and Alonso are the three best drivers in Formula One today. Virtually 99% of all non-biased fans would agree on this. In what order these drivers rank from 1-3 is very debatable and is down to personal opinion. You can make a strong case in favour of any of these three drivers.
Button was certainly a part of this group at the end of last year, but this season for him has been abysmal to say the least, much more for a driver with his reputation. Hell, Massa’s done better than him and out-scored him Bahrain onwards.
So, who do you think is the #4 driver in Formula One at the moment?
I am expecting the front-running candidates for this thread to be Webber, Rosberg, Raikkonen and Schumacher.4th July 2012, 3:25 at 3:25 am #204675
@kingshark was Button really? I’d argue that 2011 Button still wasn’t part of the top 3, or even 4. It’s just that an underperforming Hamilton skewed perception.
I’m personally of the opinion that an on-form Kimi Raikkonen is 4th, and probably we’d even have to change the “top 3” to “top 4” including Raikkonen then. When he is off-kilter, it’s another matter, and I see Rosberg/Webber filling the void. I rate both of them just about equal.4th July 2012, 3:30 at 3:30 am #204676
Yes, I think Raikkonen is every bit as good as the other 3 when he wants to be, but probably not at the moment, so I’ll put him 4.
Then Webber, Rosberg and Button in no particular order.4th July 2012, 3:54 at 3:54 am #204677
I’d argue Button, when happy with the car, is better than a Webber or Rosberg – but when he’s out of sync with the car, like now, then… “not really” is an understatement.4th July 2012, 8:38 at 8:38 am #204678
We’re already starting to talk about drivers being good when they’re “on form”, when they “want to be”, or when they are “happy with the car”. The top three drivers rarely, if ever have those caveats applied to them, which I suppose is what sets them apart. But is there really not a fourth driver who can get the most out of a car no matter what?
I can’t say that there are any outstanding candidates, but that’s what we should be thinking about when trying to make this decision. As well as raw speed, of course. Heikki Kovalainen is one of the most consistent performers around but I don’t think he’s even in the top ten in terms of pace. I suppose I would have to nominate Nico Rosberg. Romain Grosjean is looking very promising as well, but I think it’s a little early to comment on his consistency, especially with the mistakes he made at the beginning of the season.4th July 2012, 11:22 at 11:22 am #204679
Rosberg for me, no doubt at all.4th July 2012, 12:10 at 12:10 pm #204680
Grosjean is getting there…..4th July 2012, 22:46 at 10:46 pm #204681
I my personal opinion, based on current form this is how I list the best drivers after the top 3:
4 – Rosberg
5 – Raikkonen
6 – Webber
7 – Grosjean
8 – Schumacher
I’d argue Button, when happy with the car, is better than a Webber or Rosberg – but when he’s out of sync with the car, like now, then… “not really” is an understatement.
Not being happy with the car is no excuse for underperforming as badly as he is now. Hell, three weeks ago Hamilton won the race with the same car Button finished 16, a lap down.
One thing that distinguishes the top three from all other, is that they can optimize the maximum out of any car they’re given. Button can’t do that, he only performs when he has a perfect car underneath him. Webber is good, but not quite as good as the top 3. Raikkonen when motivated (but too bad he often isn’t) is on the same level as Vettel imo. Rosberg is getting near the top 3, and so is Grosjean.5th July 2012, 2:19 at 2:19 am #204682
@kingshark I wasn’t saying it was an excuse – I was saying that Button has too small a sweet spot (in terms of car balance) to truly be considered anywhere near the top 3 names you’ve mentioned. ie I was completely agreeing with you.
I think Webber is quite underrated at times. He’s very inconsistent at times, but when he’s on it, he’s REALLY on it. I mean, fighting for the podium and/or victory in 2005 and 2006 Monaco in that sh*tbox Williams? Putting the 2004 Jaguar almost on pole in Malaysia? That has to count for something. Personally I think when he’s on form, he’s maybe in the top 5. Not very close to the top 3, but still in the top 5, if that makes sense. but he’s too inconsistent usually. I mean, spending all those laps stuck behind a Force India in Barcelona, one week before a fantastic Monaco performance.
A bit like Raikkonen in that sense – in that he’s mentally inconsistent. Mind you I still rate Raikkonen above Webber (on form Raikkonen beats on form Webber, off form Raikkonen beats off form Webber).
I realise that Rosberg is a popular choice around here – but I just still don’t see it. I’ve never been truly convinced of Rosberg sadly.5th July 2012, 3:10 at 3:10 am #204683
I do believe that in that Rosberg is a lot like Webber in that matter. He might be inconsistent, but when he’s on it, he’s on it. Charging from dead last to 7th in his début race, even setting fastest lap. Fighting the Red Bull’s and Mclaren’s for the win in China 2011 with a clearly inferior Mercedes. Nearly winning in a Williams in 2008 which was probably the 7th or 8th fastest car that season. Scoring 3 podiums in 2010 with the 5th best car (yes, slower the Renault).
Rosberg out-scored Kubica in 2010 when Renault was faster than Mercedes throughout most of the season. Yet Kubica is constantly rated amongst the best drivers on the grid, but Rosberg is average?
Massa, he was rated amongst the very best drivers in 2008. Yet nowadays no one even rates him in their top 15 anymore. Oh boy, how times have changed. Webber, yes I consider him close to the top 3, but not quite there; he’s too inconsistent. Button’s sweet spot is too small, and he is poor when driving slower cars and he’s incapable of adapting. Raikkonen, well as we all know he’s entirely dependent on motivation.5th July 2012, 3:56 at 3:56 am #204684
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