In light of the discussion about the best driver pair, I thought more about who could still achieve what, potentially, in Formula 1. Not in numbers, but overall, in racecraft, strategy, out right speed and all there is to being a good F1 driver.
If they were all seated in the exact same macinery and tyres and were to race each other in 20 races, and if they all had say 7 years (arbitrary) experience in F1 at the time, who would your Top 10 be at the end of such a hypothetic season?
Here are mine, for starters:
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Sebastian Vettel
3. Fernando Alonso
4. Pastor Maldonado
5. Nico Hülkenberg
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Sergio Perez
8. Adrian Sutil
9. Kimi Raikkonen
10. Jules Bianchi
Button would narrowly miss the Top 10 in my book, followed by Massa, Webber and Grosjean.
Massa benefitted a lot of the fact that Ferrari actually treated their drivers equally during the years he drove with Kimi. Massa is in relatively big troubles whenever the car doesn’t suit his driving style and Ferrari made the cars more Massa in mind because Kimi on the other hand can adapt better to a worse car – this applies to 2009 especially. I also have a feeling that Kimi wasn’t quite comfortable with Ferrari’s organization – resulting to worse performances and culminating into Ferrari abandoning him for Santander’s money/Alonso. This also benefitted Massa I think.
Also taking Massa’s relatively poor performances with Alonso (especially last season) into account.
Besides, as I was making my list I completely forgot that Massa even exists and the list is totally biased anyway.
1. Sebastian Vettel (currently he doesn’t even have 6 full years of experience)
2. Nico Hulkenberg
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Fernando Alonso (experience is really his greatest asset over Vettel/Hamilton)
5. Kimi Raikkonen
6. Valteri Bottas
7. Sergio Perez
8. Jenson Button
9. Charles Pic (presumably has some talent given that he’s the only Marussia driver to get a 2nd full season in F1)
10. Daniel Ricciardo