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29th November 2013, 2:03 at 2:03 amParticipant
Not going to do a full ranking, but will point out certain drivers.
1) Vettel – Without a doubt, absolutely dominant, in true morale crushing form. Who cares if its the car? The guy has extracted the maximum out of the car and tyres. Made very few mistakes all year…nothing more to say really.
2) Hulkenberg – He has outperformed his car all year. Dragging an utterly poor car into the point in the early part of the season was very impressive. With the car improving in the second half, his ability to take the fight to the likes of Alonso and Hamilton was a showcase of his true capability.
3) Grosjean – A year ago, this would have been a joke. He has made such huge leaps in his consistency, that, that in itself will warrant mention this far up the list. Proved his talents in the second half the season, the only one to really push Vettel towards the end. And if it wasnt for bad luck, could have had a few more podiums I feel. With amount of pressure that was put on him, for a fairly young chap, he has come through with flying colours when it would have all too easy to keel over and pi$$ himself.
Worth a mention
Rosberg – Glad that people are finally taking him seriously. Its been close between him and Lewis all year.
Bottas – Essentially outdrove his more exeprienced, former race winning teamate. Duly proved his ability once Williams abondoned their coanda exhaust at the last couple races. Look forward to him a quick car, should be top drawer
Alonso – Started very strongly, but literally had no answer to Vettel and Red Bull in the second half. Season was poor by his standards. Sunday performances were excellent, but his Saturday performances were very poor. The car itself was poor in the second half, and you never got the feeling that Alonso was never in his 2012 form. Frankly, I feel that he lost some motivation towards the end of the season.
Poor (by their standards)
Hamilton – Not impressed by him at all. He hasnt gone into Merc and dominated as one would expect from someone with the ability of Lewis. He doesnt seem to have the ability to set the car up to his liking, and he hasnt seemed comfortable all year long. His statements such as “I wouldn’t care if I didnt win the championship again” doesnt sit well. Hamilton seems to have lost a lot of drive, out of the 2 Merc drivers, Nico looks more like the World Champion..sadly, Lewis seems a bit lost.
Massa – Good to see that he’s finally got the Ferrari monkey off his back. Team orders or number 2 driver aside, Massa has been poor. Hs quali performance compared favourably to Alonso’s, but this with the latter performing poorly on Saturdays. The fact that he has less than half the points of his teamate shows how poor a season he’s had. We will find out if it was him underperforming in the Ferrari, or if Alonso was overperforming soon enough, when he teams up with Bottas in 14.
Button – A little controversial, but I feel he has had a poor season. It was nice to see him finish on a relative high at Interlagos, but those highs have been few and far between all year. We can agree that Mclaren has had a poor car, but he hasnt stamped his authority on the team or his teamate. In short, he has failed as defacto “team leader”. With his wealth of experience, and as World Champion, I cant get the feeling that he has pushed the team hard enough. Both Button and Whitmarsh almost seemed to be resigned to the fact that they had a poor car, and that they had little hope in improving. Obviously, this is based on what we see and hear from their public statements. Mclaren needs someone like Vettel, Alonso or Schumacher to drive the team forward. Were they expecting that of Button? Dont know..but it doesnt appear that there is anyone in Mclaren that fits the bill.
11th October 2013, 0:41 at 12:41 amParticipant
Eddie Jordan reckoned Alonso will be at Mclaren Honda a couple weeks ago…and he’s been pretty accurate with his hunches so far.
Its not a stretch of the imagination, but I doubt its a done deal. Fernando appears to have built a little empire at Ferrari, which is reflected through the various changes in their tech hierarchy. There has been a lot of talk about a performance related clause in his contract, which could have come into play because Ferrari have not produced a particularly good car over the years. Alonso’s team could have done a framework agreement of sorts with Mclaren, whereby if Ferrari dont perform in 2014, then he’s outskis and off to Woking. Ferrari have not transitioned well into the era of simulators. Perhaps with in season testing returning next year, their fortunes might turn. Couple this with a new wind tunnel, they could be on form.
Lets be honest, Mclaren need Alonso more than Alonso needs Mclaren. The team looks very limp, there is a major lack of drive in the team, and what they need is somebody uncompromising, ruthless and competitive like Alonso.
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