F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings 2012: Your views wanted
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29th November 2012, 12:41 at 12:41 pmKeymaster
Who was the best driver of the 2012 season?
As usual I’ll be producing my own ranking of all this year’s drivers for the 2012 season review.
Share your ranking and comments on the drivers here and I’ll use a selection of them in the finished series.
Here’s the rankings from halfway through the season:
2012 half-term driver rankings part one: 24-11
2012 half-term driver rankings part two: 10-6
2012 half-term driver rankings part three: 5-3
2012 half-term driver rankings #2: Lewis Hamilton
2012 half-term driver rankings #1: Fernando Alonso
29th November 2012, 13:32 at 1:32 pmParticipant
For some reason I do not believe #1 will go to anyone other than one driver – and IMO deservedly so.
1. Fernando Alonso – other than an ill-fated attempt on overtaking on the marbles in China, has been flawless and demonicly opportunistic the whole year. Started to wane a little towards the end of the year, but can’t say I blame him. It must be mentally taxing to be on the ball the entire way.
2. Sebastian Vettel – His consistency, in my view, has been underrated. Other than P6 in Spain and Brazil, as well as two P5s in Germany and Shanghai, one of which was due to a post-race penalty, he has always finished in the Top 4. His only non-scores have been due to a collision with Karthikeyan, and 2 alternator failures. Significantly, before each incident causing non-scores, he has also been in the running for the top 5. Mark was only ever more competitive in China, Monaco and Silverstone. Impressive, to make someone as quick as Mark Webber look so slow at times.
3. Lewis Hamilton – His year is an extremely unfortunate one – in a way that reminds me of Raikkonen’s 2005, and Vettel’s 2010. Always out in front, but always breaking down. Was always there and drove beautifully, on par with Vettel, generally getting the maximum from the car except for a few situations.
4. Kimi Raikkonen – A stunning comeback, and arguably one of the best the sport has ever seen, especially considering he had to contend with new tyres. Hasn’t quite been his old self in qualifying, but has been absolutely on it in the races. To finish all bar one of the racing laps all year – truly stunning. The reason I still put him down here, is that he has, in my view, had some near misses which I think would have been won if it was the old Kimi driving.
5. Jenson Button – Has had a typical Jenson Button year. On fire when the car’s right, and lacklustre when the car hasn’t been there. A mid-season patch that is, frankly speaking, quite embarrassing for a world champion.
6. Nico Hulkenberg – Has shown real class and talent in a car that is arguably bottom of the midfield but one (Toro Rosso). Stunning in the wet. Showed a real explosion in form after he got used to the Pirelli tyres, including a fantastic almost-victory in Brazil, as well as a run of points from Suzuka to the US. His drive in Korea, fending off Grosjean for 40 odd laps and pouncing on Grosjean and Hamilton slowing each other down, was worthy of Fernando Alonso.
7. Mark Webber – In somewhat typical fashion, has shone at tracks he likes, and been lacklustre at tracks he doesn’t like. Outperformed by his teammate by a total of 102 points, and only really convincingly put one over on Sebastian in Silverstone, Monaco and China.
8. Michael Schumacher – a stunning pole in Monaco showed that the old man still has what it takes, and to be frank, had it not been for terrible reliability, would have had the beating of Nico Rosberg. Has made his highly-rated teammate look like a rookie whenever the heavens opened.
9. Romain Grosjean – Supremely quick, supremely talented. But he has to work on his spatial awareness when there are more than one car around.
10. Pastor Maldonado – His speed was put beyond doubt throughout the whole year, but has to work on lifting that red mist that is stopping him from reaching his true potential. Contact with Perez in Monaco smacked desperately of Spa 2011 with Hamilton, and were it not for on track recklessness would have had several more podiums. To his credit, cleaned up his act towards the end of the year, with highlights in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
11. Felipe Massa – an extremely good run of form at the end of the season might prove to tell that the 2008 Felipe Massa is back. But lacklustre results before that which were really not fitting of a Ferrari driver.
12. Kamui Kobayashi – Has outdone highly rated teammate Sergio Perez in qualifying all season, and has been the only Sauber driver to achieve a podium on pace and not by a good strategy gamble. Undoubtedly would have been in the fight for another podium had he not been taken out at the start at Spa.
13. Nico Rosberg – Except for his maiden victory in Shanghai – really an anonymous season of being outperformed by the old master. Has looked mighty ordinary whenever the rain has come down.
14. Jean-Eric Vergne – Sadly couldn’t capitalise on a good Monaco showing. Has been lacklustre in qualifying all year, but has shown good race craft and pace.
15. Paul Di Resta – duly outdone by his teammate, except for two good showings in Bahrain and Singapore. I still find him to be a bit of a “Jenson Button” or “Sergio Perez” – his best showings have not come about through pace and race craft, but have come about through clever race management. Only in Singapore was that mould shattered. Looked ordinary otherwise.
16. Bruno Senna – really disappointing. Even with Pastor spending half of the races walking in the pit garage, has only two-thirds of his teammate’s points haul. Low point of the season undoubtedly is a Q1 exit when his teammate qualified P2 and was promoted to pole.
17. Sergio Perez – for someone so highly rated, I’m quite disappointed. Except for Malaysia, his podiums have all come from lucky strategy gambles. Generally outpaced by Kobayashi, who is not known for raw pace.
18. Daniel Ricciardo – has shown better qualifying pace than his teammate, but really hasn’t stood out either. His defence of Michael Schumacher perhaps is a possible highlight, and his good qualifying of P6 in Bahrain. Really is so low not due to his own doing – but because the field is so strong nowadays.
19. Glock – a fantastic performance which, in normal conditions and a non-attrition race, nabbed hi P12. Underrated little driver, this.
20. Kovalainen – Great drives again all year, though somewhat waned towards the end of the season.
21. Pic – best rookie Marussia has hired so far.
22. Petrov – towards the end of the year has had a better showing than Heikki, and considering the way Heikki has been performing these last two years, that’s saying something.
23. de la Rosa
29th November 2012, 13:35 at 1:35 pmParticipant
#1 Alonso/Hamilton- Dont have to justify my case for Alonso, but i feel Lewis drove a superb season and was flawless,this by far was the best seasons driven by these two. Hamilton done everything perfect that was in his control, but unfortunately external factors such as RELIABILITY and TEAM ERRORS is what cost him the title
#2 Vettel-Very worthy trimple champion, hung on in there when Red Bull were not so quick at the start of the season, and made the most of it when they had the car to beat.
#3 Raikkonen- A very very solid season from the 2007 champion, done what Schumi failed to do in 3 yrs, a comeback victory, and had plenty of excellent podium finishes.
29th November 2012, 14:03 at 2:03 pmParticipant
1. Alonso – Has been strong all year and was very unfortunate to not win the title
2. Hamilton – Similar to Alonso, generally strong all year
3. Vettel – A great year again, although slightly underwhelming in the first half of the year
4. Raikkonen – A great comeback year
5. Hulkenberg – Slow start, but was fantastic from Valencia onwards
6. Webber – Solid in the first half, but went back to 2011 form in the second half
7. Schumacher – Was great up to Monza, he was disappointing in the Asian rounds, but had a solid final race
8. Button – Disappointing considering how well he did in 2011. Some great performance, but also had some absolute stinkers
9. Grosjean – A season of two halves – Great in the first half, very disappointing in the second half
10. Perez – Some very strong drives, some very poor drives and disappointing after Singapore
11. Kobayashi – Similar to Perez, although Perez seemed to get more out of the car a few times
12. Rosberg – Disappointing season, some strong performances, but didn’t live up to expectations
13. Massa – Back on form in the second half, but was nowhere compared to Alonso in the first half
14. Maldonado – Threw away too many points from needless incidents, but was strong in the final races
15. Di Resta – Decent season up until Japan where he dropped of the radar afterwards
16. Glock – Hard to rate, but he did the job he was expected to do once again
17. Ricciardo – Not bad, but I didn’t really see what was so good about him
18. Pic – Performed admirably compared to Glock
19. Kovalainen – Good once again, but Petrov got the better of him during the final races
20. Petrov – Looked decent in the final rounds, nothing spectacular before then though
21. de la Rosa – Generally solid all season
22. Senna – Got many points finishes, but had a few silly incidents and didn’t get much out of the car
23. Vergne – Not a great season, I don’t how he’s any better than Buemi and Alguersuari
24. Karthikeyan – Slowest all year
25. D’Ambrosio – Not great at Monza
29th November 2012, 14:14 at 2:14 pmParticipant
29th November 2012, 14:21 at 2:21 pmParticipant
24 – Narain Karthikeyan
Generally unremarkable, Karthikeyan was consistently beaten by de la Rosa in races where both of them finished.
23 – Pedro de la Rosa
Although de la Rosa has been generally solid, and has generally outpaced Karthikeyan, he’s been nearly invisible as well.
22 – Vitaly Petrov
Petrov has been very anonymous in the Caterham, and has been roughly equal to Kovalainen in terms of results – behind in qualifying, ahead in races.
21 – Jean Eric Vergne
Vergne’s qualifying form is rather poor. Although the car isn’t anything to shout about, that he’s frequently dropped in Q1 says about as much regarding one-lap speed. At least he’s partly made up for it with some good race pace.
20 – Heikki Kovalainen
Drawing generally even with his teammate in terms of combined qualifying and race pace, Kovalainen has the edge for some gritty drives, like in Monaco.
19 – Charles Pic
Rookie Pic has been quite the match for his vastly more experienced teammate, suitably impressive for a first season.
18 – Timo Glock
Experienced and dependable Glock has gotten the most out of the Marussia car, and from his duel with Pic at Spa, he still has that racing spirit.
17 – Daniel Ricciardo
Both Toro Rosso drivers have been generally unimpressive all year, but Ricciardo has been the better of the two, consistently ahead in qualifying and races.
16 – Bruno Senna
Senna made a number of errors, like his spin in qualifying for Spain, and was generally outpaced and mediocre for the greater part of the season.
15 – Pastor Maldonado
Maldonado earned his all-important breakthrough win, but failed to capitalize on the car’s potential with a string of controversial incidents and endless penalties.
14 – Kamui Kobayashi
Aside from his podium in Japan, and a general uptick in form to the end of the season, Kobayashi has been relatively average all year.
13 – Paul di Resta
There were some flashes of brilliance from di Resta this season, including his career best 4th place in Singapore, but he’s been generally overshadowed by his teammate.
12 – Sergio Perez
While his performances have been decidedly lackluster since the announcement of his McLaren contract, Perez’s podiums still stand as showcases of his potential, more so given how he was able to chase down Alonso in Malaysia.
11 – Nico Rosberg
Rosberg’s maiden win was definitely a demonstration of his outright ability, which has unfortunately gone unfulfilled due to the late-season lack of pace and competitiveness of the Mercedes W03.
10 – Felipe Massa
While Massa may have been woefully off the pace at the beginning of the year, he’s made good since, finding some semblance of his former self toward the season’s end. Through races like Brazil, he’s cemented his role as a solid number two driver.
9 – Romain Grosjean
Grosjean has done well, showing impressive speed and race pace, especially in Bahrain and Britain, but he could have attained better results had he not been so over-eager and incident-prone.
8 – Michael Schumacher
He’s been hampered by reliability problems, disappointed by a dog of a car, and on occasion made the avoidable mistake, but Schumacher has shown some return to his previous self with his “pole” in Monaco, and other sound performances.
7 – Nico Hulkenberg
Hulkenberg has done very well, outperforming the relatively capable di Resta, and scoring some solid points finishes throughout the year. His race in Korea, and his brief stint leading the Brazilian GP, show that he does have front-running potential.
6 – Jenson Button
Contrary to his reputation, Button has been anything but consistent, especially with his mysterious mid-season slump. Still, his quality drives to the podium, like Belgium and Brazil, show that he retains some good form.
5 – Mark Webber
Webber was the faster Red Bull driver in the early stages of the season, at times looking in championship contention, but this drive seemed to evaporate in the second half of the year with some poor showings, especially in Abu Dhabi.
4 – Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen’s comeback has been a modest success. Even after his sabbatical, he’s managed to acclimatize to F1 in 2012, pull off an outstanding performance in Bahrain, earn the pivotal comeback win in Abu Dhabi, and secure 3rd in the championship standings.
3 – Sebastian Vettel
Far from the dominance of last year, Vettel’s championship campaign has been gritty, or at times ragged, but his imperious performances (such as over the four race stretch from Singapore to India), and his recoveries in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, prove that he is indeed a deserving triple world champion.
2 – Lewis Hamilton
Let down by mechanical and operational errors more often than not, Hamilton has moved past his error-prone 2011 form, and produced no shortage of consistent, mature and measured performances. That he has the most pole positions of any driver this year is a testament to his sheer pace.
1 – Fernando Alonso
Alonso was able to extract the most out of the equipment he was given, and turned his unfavoured Ferrari into a viable vehicle for his world championship campaign, losing only by the slimmest of margins. His storming performances in Malaysia, Valencia and Germany, as well as his frequent charges to the podium, leave little doubt in my mind that he is the driver of the year.
29th November 2012, 14:45 at 2:45 pmParticipant
1. Alonso – Really fantastic job all year long.
2. Hamilton – Really unlucky not to have chances for the title.
3. Vettel – Not so consistant until Singapore.
4. Raikkonen – Great, especially as it was his first season in 3 years.
5. Perez – Great until Monza, then he was probably stressed
6. Button – Had a bad middle part of the season, but good on the others.
7. Hulkenberg – Really impressed me in the second half.
8. Webber – Good first half, but he was dissapointing since then.
9. Schumacher – Very good comparing to his 2 previous seasons, but had a bad car in the second half.
10. Grosjean – Had problems in the starts, but otherwise his was very fast.
11. Kobayashi – He hadn’t such a big gap to Perez but he hadn’t some impressing results (except Japan).
12. Massa – Very slow start, but he was the good old Massa since then.
13. Rosberg – He had a few good results but nothing more.
14. Maldonado – Really fast, but he needs to think twice about his moves.
15. Di Resta – He wasn’t like last season, very mediocre.
16. Pic – He was very good, especially for a rookie.
17. Kovalainen – Much better than Petrov in the first 2/3 of the season.
18. Glock – Didn’t do bad, he really helped Marussia to improve.
19. Petrov – Very bad at the start, very good at the end.
20. Ricciardo – He didn’t do anything spectacular.
21. Senna – Quite solid, but slow.
22. de la Rosa – Helped HRT, but didn’t have good results.
23. Vergne – Not so great, I expected him to improve.
24. Karthikeyan – Last all year, should be out of F1.
29th November 2012, 15:41 at 3:41 pmParticipant
1. Alonso – his best year ever, considering the limitations of the car
2. Vettel – another very strong year, the end result speaks for itself
3. Raikkonen – drove as well as he used to, very strong, great personality for F1
4. Hamilton – reliability problems held him back
5. Button – Mr consistency
29th November 2012, 16:08 at 4:08 pmParticipant
I’m only going to do a top 3 for now but I might come back and do more later.
1. Fernando Alonso:
Alonso’s season has to be considered as one of the greatest ever by a driver in Formula 1. His wins in Malaysia and Valencia were probably the best of his career and other than Suzuka it’s very difficult to point to weekend where it would be have been possible for him to have scored more points by driving better. His season wasn’t perfect, he was at least partially to blame for that turn 1 clash with Raikkonen and was out-qualified by Massa twice. But total perfection over a 20 race season is probably impossible and Alonso came closer than anyone else has done in modern-times.
2. Lewis Hamilton
A sensational season from Hamilton which has to be seen alongside 2010 as his best season yet in F1. Constantly undermined by pit-stop errors, poor reliability and bad luck he was never able to mount a title challenge despite McLaren having produced a car that was frequently the fastest. Other than a moment of madness tweeting telemetry in Spa he very rarely seemed like the distracted driver of last season, and in nearly every race extracted the maximum out of the car.
3. Sebastian Vettel
When the Vettel/Red Bull combination is on form they are unbeatable, and Vettel made the most of the late season performance of the car to take the title. Vettel is an incredible driver but at the same time he was also more error prone this season than Alonso and Hamilton. He overtook Button off track in Germany, forced Alonso off the track in Monza, crashed twice on his was back through the field in Abu Dhabi and had a horror opening lap in Brazil for which he was mostly to blame. Is he a worthy world champion? Definitely. Was he the best driver this year? No.
29th November 2012, 16:50 at 4:50 pmParticipant
1)Alonso-Been amazing all year just a pity his car wasn’t.
2)Hamilton-He’s had the pace most of the year but the car has just been unreliable.
3)Vettel-He’s been his 2011 self when he dominated Japan, Korea and India. I wouldn’t say he’s the best though because his car has been the best out of all of them.
4)Raikkonen-It’s great to see him in F1 again. I expected a bit more and a lot of people overrate his win Abu Dhabi. He inherited the win from Hamilton but he did keep the pace throughout and he is the only driver to not retire from a race.
5)Button-I’m not sure what to say about Button. He’s been good, I mean if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have won three races. But he had a lot of problems early on whether it was him or the car I don’t know.
6)Massa-Part of me feels he shouldn’t be this high up because of his early season performance but the last few races showed what he can really do. I hope the old Massa returns.
7)Grosjean-Granted he did cause the pile up in Spa and he’s been in quite a few collisions but he’s qualified better than Raikkonen and he’s challenged the big boys on more than one occasion.
8)Hulkenburg-His performance in Brazil prior to colliding with Hamilton is enough to put him here and his performance has been good all round. I can a new Vettel forming in him.
9)Kobayashi-He’s scored on more occasions than Perez did which I think is more important than the number of podiums. I hope he gets a race seat next year. He deserves it more than Perez.
10)Perez-Perez did score more points than Kobayashi but that was from three podiums. He only scored on four other occasions that were 6th or below. Kobayashi on the other hand got one podium but he scored on 8 other occasions that were 4th or below.
11)Rosberg-For a driver that has won a GP he is rather far down on this list but the Mercedes hasn’t helped. He probably could have been better but with a car that worked so well and then did so poorly it’s hard to tell whether he would have won another race. I like to think he could have done.
12)Webber-I have nothing to say with him. He hasn’t dazzled me nor has he made me think he shouldn’t be on the grid even if he has won two races that was the car not him.
13)Di Resta-Compared to Hulkenburg he hasn’t done very well and you would think after two years with the team he would be better than the new kid. Saying that I can see the next Hamilton in there it’s just going to take longer to come out than Hulkenburg.
14)Senna-His qualifying has been poor but I think that is down to losing out on practice sessions to Bottas. His driving has been better and I haven’t seen any bad blood from other drivers about him. Compared to Maldonado I think he deserved a race seat more.
15)Schumacher-A disappointing end to his career. The Mercedes didn’t help matters but his driving hasn’t been what we all loved years ago.
16)Maldonado-Maniac, well in the first half anyway. Second half, better but not enough to win me over.
17)Vergne-For a first season in a car that hasn’t been very good he’s done well. Could do better but that is the car more than anything I think.
18)Ricciardo-I expected more from a driver that has already done half a season. It doesn’t matter if the car was terrible he still had the experience.
19)Kovalainen-Solid drives from him all year and at one point I thought he could grab a point for the team. I can see him not being on the grid next year though but he has the experience that Petrov or Senna don’t have.
20)Glock-Being able to make a car get into 12 place without the use of Kers deserves some merit. He needs a better car.
21)Petrov-Even though he did get 11th in Brazil for Caterham his performance has been poor compared to Kovalainen.
22)Pic-He has certainly surprised me this year but he isn’t ready for F1.
23)De la Rosa-I wish I could say more about him but the car prevents me from doing so.
24)Karthikeyan-Do I really need to say it?
29th November 2012, 17:26 at 5:26 pmMember
My Top 10
1. Vettel :(at the end of the day he is the world champion and that is all that counts. Two amazing races in Abu Dhabi and Interlagos right from the back of the grid, showed his unbelievable talent and finally put an end to the ridiculous notion that he couldn’t overtake.
2. Alonso : ( Amazing all year, probably deserves number 1 down to his pure consistency, but the records will show he finished 2nd in the championship. My Highlight of the year was being at the European GP in Valencia. Seeing Fernando pull off one of the best victories in his career. Amazing day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YaDqLC0pU4&feature=g-upl
3.Lewis Hamilton : Lewis showed his unbelievable talent throughout the season but was incredibly unlucky with so many car failures. Seems to have matured as a person and all round a more likeable character in my opinion. ( i know, the tweet in Spa, but hey we all make mistakes. Going to be riveting watching him in a much slower Mercedes next year.
4.Kimi Raikkonen : Bar a hic-up in Qualy at the first race of the season, Kimi has been fantastically consistent. Probably should have had at least 2 victories, Bahrain as well as his win in Abu Dhabi. If Lotus can deliver Kimi a slightly faster car next year then he will be a major contender for the title. (Should get number 1 in any Most popular driver award, what a character)!!..
5. Jenson Button : Another steady if unspectacular season from Jenson. Seems too dependent on having the car absolutely perfect for his driving style, unlike Lewis who could drive a rusty nail. Will need to vastly improve his qualifying performances if he is going to mount another title challenge. Next season will be key for him with Sergio coming into the fray.
6. Mark Webber : Mark a bit like Jenson had a steady enough season with a couple of amazing wins thrown into the mix, Monaco and Great Britain. Must get demoralising for Mark when he puts in a belter of a lap in qualy only to see young Vettel beat him by a few tenths. Will have to regain the consistency he showed in 2010 or else will forever be looked upon as Sebastian’s Bridesmaid.
7. Nico Hulkenberg : Nico in my view has done a sterling job all year, and could have been topped off with a spectacular win last weekend only for the safety car period. Ever before the Hulk entered into Formula 1, he was well known in motorsport circles as the next big thing, maybe even the new Schumi. For this reason I think it is a shame that he will have to put up with another season in a 2nd rate car , the Sauber. This guy deserves a seat with a top seat. Martin Whitmarsh & Ron must have been asking themselves last Sunday “ Why didn’t we sign this guy instead of Perez?!!”..
8. Pastor Maldonado : Aside from the penalties which everyone associates him with, I couldn’t have been more happy to see Pastor win this years Spanish gp. For a year and a half we had to listen from gutter journalists and so called experts telling us he is only a pay driver. How many times did they mention he won the GP2 championship?!! Pastor at times this year showed speed that I believe only the very best can match. Put Pastor in a Ferrari or McLaren and he could fight for championships. Extremely talented if a bit rough around the edges.
9. Sergio Perez: Sergio had a very strong start to the year. Should have taken victory in Malaysia. Had 2 very good podiums in Canada and Monza. This guy is very talented and probably would have been further up in my ranking only for his stuttering and blundering run of races at the end. Ever since he signed for McLaren he has been outshone by Kamui and has been involved in some very stupid incidents’. Incidents and accidents which will not be acceptable for McLaren. Still has a lot to prove.
10. Michael Schumacher : The king is dead, long live the king. How fitting was it to see Michael give Sebastian a lending hand on Sunday. People always said Michael was a cold , machine like character. However ever since his return to the sport we have seen a much friendlier and relaxed Schumi. A driver who paradoxically is now more loved than when he was at the height of his success. Why do I have him in my top 10 ahead of Kamui or Nico who won a race. Well History means a lot in Formula 1, and I think a lot of people would be lying if they said they weren’t delighted to see Schumi gain a fantastic pole in Monaco and the much deserved podium in Valencia. As I said above with Alonso, I was at this years European GP and seeing Fernando, Kimi and Michael on the podium together was a day to savour. The King was back!!!
29th November 2012, 18:06 at 6:06 pmParticipant
1. Alonso – Maximised car that wasn’t regularly as quick as the Red Bulls and the McLaren. Arguably only made two mistakes all season long, consistently finishing on the podium even when it looked like he wouldn’t be able to.
2. Hamilton – Perhaps tied with Alonso for first and was greatly let down by poor reliability and pit stops despite driving impressively all season long, making few errors. Massive improvement over 2011 horrorshow.
3. Vettel – Did the maximum with the car he was given and was let down by poor reliability on numerous occasions. A few scrappy moments but dispelled the rumours of his lack of overtaking ability with some great comeback drives.
4. Raikkonen – An excellent comeback to the sport and pretty much picked up where left off. Consistent all year long though perhaps could’ve won another race considering the car certainly had the potential to.
5. Hulkenberg – Did extremely well considering he’d had a season out. Showed good potential all season long and extracted the maximum out of the car given to him.
6. Button – Bar the win in Australia, he never really looked like a title contender due to struggles with the car. Did regain his form after the summer break and produced some very strong drives.
7. Kobayashi – Highly intelligent overtaker and showed he could deal with high pressure situations and mix it up with the big boys. Was only just beaten by Perez and deserves to still be in the sport.
8. Schumacher – Definably the best season of his comeback. Was regularly fighting for poles and podiums in the first few races but was let down by major reliability problems. Unfairly forced out of the team considering he showed everyone that despite his age, he had more left in him
9. Webber – Looked decent in qualifying against his younger team-mate. Certainly had the edge over Vettel in a few races but spent most of them behind other front runners.
10. Perez – Had a few strong races but only really got podiums due to having a poor qualifying and therefore taking risky strategies. Had an extremely poor end to the season after being signed by McLaren.
11. Rosberg – Showed good speed at the start of the season when the car was on the pace but regular mistakes during hot laps arguably cost him poles. Only really beat Schumacher due to better reliability.
12. Maldonado – Had a number of incidents and looked erratic at the start of the season. Matured a lot towards the end of the season and showed his great one lap pace and ability to deal with pressure from front runners.
13. Massa – Had a shocking start and failed to get into Q3 on numerous occasions. Regained his mojo back towards the end of the season but only ever look faster than Alonso 3 times all season.
14. Petrov – Matched his highly rated team-mate during qualifying and the races. Did well to keep it on track at Brazil to show the team why he should be retained for next season.
15. Glock – Had his strongest season driving for Marussia but was kept honest by Pic at times. Showed his experience by delivering a great result at Singapore with a damaged car.
16. di Resta – A good opening race and 4th at Singapore were his only real highlights. Was beaten by Hulkenberg more often than not considering the German had been out for one season.
17. Kovalainen – Was matched by his less experienced team-mate and looked error prone at times. Main highlight was holding off Button at Monaco.
18. Grosjean – Had fantastic one lap pace but his lack of spacial awareness caused him to be involved in multiple incidents. Received a ban for Monza but showed he hadn’t really learned from it two races later at Japan.
19 . Ricciardo – Was regularly faster than Vergne in qualifying and the race but had fair share of bad luck. 6th on the grid in Bahrain was his main highlight.
20. Pic – Kept his much experienced team-mate honest a few times and made few mistakes considering he was a young rookie in a bad car.
21. Vergne – Had poor qualifying sessions multiple times but showed some decent race pace. He only really out-scored Ricciardo due to him usually being the main beneficiary of the Aussies poor luck.
22. Senna – Was often out qualified and out raced by his team-mate at almost every Grand Prix. Had consistency but lacked speed and often looked quiet error prone.
23. de la Rosa – Could do little more with what he was given to drive but did well to out qualify a Marussia on several occasions.
24. Karthikeyan – Was light years behind de la Rosa, never mind the rest of the field.
29th November 2012, 18:30 at 6:30 pmParticipant
N/A. D’Ambrosio — Solid at Monza, but that was just one race
24. Karthikeyan — even by HRT standards he’s slow, though still consistent.
23. Vergne — awful qualifying form puts him at a major disadvantage in the races.
22. De La Rosa — invisible all season, though he did keep the car on the road.
21. Glock — I’m amazed his head hasn’t dropped yet, but he was better than last season.
20. Senna — Slow all season when Maldonado was at the front. Rightly replaced.
19. Maldonado — He won, but should have done so much more with what was a good car.
18. Petrov — Closer to Kovalainen than Trulli was, but Heikki still has a major edge.
17. Kovalainen — More anonymous than last year, but still strong. Deserves his seat.
16. Ricciardo — Not champion material, but solid enough all season.
15. Pic — Has outperformed the car all season, deserves his chance at Caterham.
14. Di Resta — Outgunned by Hulkenburg, but clever enough to get good results.
13. Perez — Fast but raw. Great podiums, but rash later on. The jury is still out on him.
12. Kobayashi — More dependable than Perez. Would be an asset to most teams.
11. Rosberg — Drove at the same level as the car. Great in China, faded badly later on.
10. Grosjean — Like Perez, he’s fast but wild. Deserved his ban after that shunt at Spa, but could be a very solid driver if he calms down a bit.
9. Schumacher — The old master goes out after a decent season. Not at his best, but got more from the car more often than Rosberg. Happy retirement Michael!
8. Massa — Rapidly becoming the untimate no. 2 driver. Fast but loyal, and deserved his podiums late in the season. Will be more useful to Ferrari next year.
7. Hulkenburg — Has massive potential. His drive in Brazil was the finale to a dependable but fast season. Sauber have unearthed a star in him, I’m sure of that.
6. Button — As sensitive as ever, Button struggled for consistent form. Winning in Brazil and being lapped by Hamilton in Canada summed up his season.
5. Webber — Always in Vettel’s shadow, but plugged away behind the scenes and delived a couple of stunning victories. A solid year.
4. Hamilton — A vast improvement over 2011. Deserved far more than he got and was let down badly by his car. Could have been champion but for that.
3. Raikkonen — A stunning return. Completing all but one lap in an entire season is an incredible achievement, and he should be a contender next year. Always thereabouts, meaning he picked up the pieces to win in Abu Dhabi, but still deserved more.
2. Vettel — Absolutely imperious when it mattered at the end of season, but strong throughout. His drive in Brazil will go down as one of the greatest. A deserving champion, but you can’t escape the feeling Alonso did more with less.
1. Alonso — In a car which was never top of the pile, Alonso took the title to the wire through sheer consistency. Made very few mistakes all year, and always got the maximum out of the car and then some. He’ll have his year given time.
29th November 2012, 18:35 at 6:35 pmParticipant
Top 5 from second half of season:
Top 10 from the overall season:
4: Kimi Raikkonen
5: Charles Pic
(Number 5 is questionable, but no-one has really stood out in the season, with the exception of the 5 mentioned drivers over the course of the season.)
29th November 2012, 18:38 at 6:38 pmParticipant
1. Alonso – I don’t think anyone can fault him too much this year, bar Suzuka perhaps. As mentioned before, to be 1.5 seconds off pole in Australia to only finish 3 points behind in the Championship, which arguably was the fault of Romain Grosjean definitely does him justice to how incredible his season has been.
2. Hamilton – I am not a fan of Lewis, but even I have to appreciate how good he has been this year. A lot of his better races were taken away from him through no fault of his own, which I think combined with his 7 poles shows how good he has been.
3. Vettel – I’d have preferred Alonso to win the title, but 4 back-to-back wins and 6 poles, and coming back to win the title after his chances looking not great after his DNF in Monza.
4. Raikkonen – The battle for fourth was close, but over the whole season, despite only the one win, Kimi was very good. His consistency was second to none, and only fell short of completing every lap by one. Finished 3rd in the Championship with one win and quite a few podiums. Showed all the doubters (And Schumacher) that he is as good as he was.
5. Button – Despite a few dodgy races mid-season, Jenson was generally pretty good. Scored three wins and his first podium for McLaren with a dominant performance in Spa. Still amazing in tricky conditions and surely will be somewhat of a force next year if the team builds around him.
6. Webber – Generally more consistent than those below him, so is deserving of a higher place, not to mention his two wins and various podiums he’s had this year.
7. Perez – Despite his lack of points in the tail end of the season, he’s been pretty special this year with three podiums and some near misses with the elusive first win.
8. Hulkenberg – I wasn’t sure if this high up was right or not, but considering he was at the forefront of my mind, I guess he does. Pretty consistent all year, and showed his ability once again in Brazil.
9. Rosberg – His first win this year, but unfortunately the performance of the WO3 wasn’t good enough to let him continue that form.
I might be able to decipher the rest of my rankings later, but now I can’t decipher who deserves what, especially with Grosjean and Maldonado.
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