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4th December 2014, 8:29 at 8:29 am #287934
@debaser91 Okay, that might have been a little harsh on my part. But still, I expected better of him this year, even if his car was terrible2nd December 2014, 8:22 at 8:22 am #287908
Before I start please note I will not be ranking either Andre Lotterer or Will Stevens on account of their very brief appearances this season. However, I will say that I was particularly impressed with Stevens, making his debut with minimal testing, with a team that only just made it to the actual event, and putting in a decent showing, qualifying just over half-a-second off his vastly more experienced team-mate Kobayashi, and holding his own in the race (wheel-to-wheel with Alonso on your debut isn’t bad!)
Anyway, here we go properly….
22. Esteban Gutierrez:
Granted, the Sauber C33 was probably one of the worst cars to come from the Hinwil-based team, but Gutierrez failed to put in any performances of note this year, which is particularly disappointing given the promise he showed in GP2 and GP3. The fact his best finish was 12th at Albert Park in a race that featured 7 retirements and a disqualification says it all really…
21. Max Chilton:
Thoroughly outclassed by his team-mate Bianchi, Chilton had yet another anonymous season in Formula One. Even with the troubles Marussia were suffering (just getting to Australia was a challenge according to a recent interview with Max), Jules showed the car could be dragged into half-decent positions, even making Q2 on three occasions. He won’t be missed from the grid next year
20. Kamui Kobayashi:
You might be surprised to find Kobayashi below Ericsson on this list, but the fact of the matter is, Kamui should have been vastly better than his rookie team-mate this year. Giving up a factory GT drive with Ferrari to trundle round in the worst car on the grid was a poor decision to start with, and then spectacularly binning it at the first corner of the first race, and taking a hapless Felipe Massa with him, rather set the tone for the season. Whilst his pace was usually quicker than that of Ericsson, he certainly did not look like a driver embarking on his fourth full year of Grand Prix racing.
19. Marcus Ericsson:
Arriving from 4 years in GP2, where he had scored some decent results, I had my doubts surrounding the young Swede’s appointment to Caterham race driver this year. He wasn’t the worst choice, but he wasn’t exactly the best either… His season panned out like I expected, with very few standout moments, although leading Kobayashi home to 11th place at Monaco was a highlight.
18. Adrian Sutil:
The second-half of one of Sauber’s dullest line-ups in history, Sutil plodded along through the year as if he was out on a drive to the shops for a pint of milk. The only moments where he really stood out was when he crashed in Monaco, a race where Sauber had a rare chance at points, and his frankly stunning qualifying performance at CoTA (9th) before being taken out by a wild Sergio Perez.
17. Pastor Maldonado:
Well, we all knew this was coming, didn’t we? Ever since his cash-fuelled move to Lotus, the curse of Maldonado has plagued the entire team at Enstone. Incident after incident after incident ensued, which was made even more frustrating by his occasional good turn of pace in an absolute dog of a car. A GP2 champion he may be, but you wouldn’t know it from his performances this year. If he can fill in the gaping chasms in his racecraft, given a half-decent car (which he may get with Merc power next year), he could regularly score points like his team-mate Grosjean, who at times put in Alonso-esque drives to get that E22 into the top 10
16. Kimi Raikkonen:
I strongly disagreed with Ferrari’s signing of Raikkonen for the 2014 season, especially since Ferrari once famously paid Kimi to
race for them, and instead championed Nico Hulkenberg as a worthy candidate for the drive. Alas, my calls went unheeded, and the bafflingly popular Finn duly took up the seat alongside Alonso, and was absolutely trounced. Scoring just 34% of the Spaniard’s tally, and woefully off the pace at times, Kimi just did not turn up this season. Granted, from Hungary onwards, his performances improved, but whilst Alonso was busy troubling the Williams & Red Bull cars, Kimi was often dueling for the lower points-paying positions. A strong performance at Spa, finishing 4th and frankly out-classing Alonso is the only redeeming factor from what was otherwise a very mediocre season. I expect 2015 will be his final year in the sport.
15. Jean-Eric Vergne:
The writing was on the wall for JEV ever since Daniel Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull. Still, an astonishingly young rookie team-mate shouldn’t be any bother, right? Unfortunately for the Frenchman, Kvyat rather exceeded expectations, and whilst the final results may not show it, the young Russian was frequently grabbing the STR-related headlines. Vergne didn’t have a bad season to be honest, but the performances that Marko & co. expected of him weren’t there regularly enough to save his seat.
14. Kevin Magnussen:
After Ron Dennis swooped back into control at McLaren, disposing of Whitmarsh and Perez along the way, this young Dane found himself driving for one of the sport’s most famous marques in his rookie year. The bar had been set high by a previous McLaren rookie (more on him later…), but I think few expected him to match that standard, especially given how different the sport was compared to 2007. Whilst he may have been out-performed by his super-experience team-mate Button, for a rookie Magnussen was remarkably quick & showed no fear when it came to fighting with the big boys of the sport, even if it occasionally drew the eye of the stewards. I fully expect McLaren to retain him for next season alongside Alonso, even if the stats may swing in JB’s favour. Keep an eye on “KMag”, he’s got a lot left to give yet…
13. Romain Grosjean:
The affable Frenchman was one of my standout drivers of this season, dragging an extremely uncompetitive Lotus into the points on numerous occasions. I sincerely hope he is rewarded for his efforts this year with a vastly improved car next year. His performances at the back end of 2013 show he has enormous talent, it’s just a shame that his current machinery doesn’t really allow him to show it.
12. Sergio Perez:
After being unceremoniously dumped by McLaren last year, I was pleased to see the quick Mexican picked up by Force India, and with Hülkenberg alongside him, the team actually had one of the most exciting line-ups on the 2014 grid. I will be honest, I did not expect him to keep Nico as honest as he did this year, out racing the German 7 times in the 15 races they both finished. The infamous Montreal and CoTA incidents are obviously a black mark, but on the whole it was a solid season. Force India made the right call in re-signing him for next year.
11. Jules Bianchi:
9th place. At Monaco. In a Marussia. Says it all really…
…but if I was going to add a bit more, I would say that again, Bianchi outperformed the machinery he was given and ran rings around Chilton. If the Monaco result and backing from Ferrari wasn’t enough proof of his talent, he ran as high as 4th in the treacherous conditions at Suzuka before his fateful accident.
10. Daniil Kvyat:
The reaction to Toro Rosso’s announcement of GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat as a driver for this year was incredibly negative, with cries of “pay-driver” coming from those who don’t follow any racing outside of F1, to “he’s too young” from those outside of Helmut Marko’s brain.
Put into a car that wasn’t bad, but wasn’t brilliant either, the Russian performed extremely well (well enough that it got his team-mate fired!). Mechanical retirements, especially in Abu Dhabi after running in 5th, blighted his season & his final points tally of 8 does not reflect his ability. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how he progresses!
9. Nico Hülkenberg:
After being horrendously overlooked by the top teams during the silly season, Hülkenberg found himself back at Force India for 2014, and it proved to be a very fruitful pairing. Finishing in the points in every race up until a clumsy bit of driving in Hungary put himself and team-mate Perez out of the race, the young German once again had a stellar year in an average car. Lost a bit of momentum to Perez after Hungary, but still picked up solid points in the last few races of the year. How long before someone gets him in a top car? (2016, I hope)
8. Felipe Massa:
What a difference a year makes! Massa well and truly came back to life with Williams after years of playing second-fiddle to Alonso at Ferrari. Whilst his season got off to a slow start, frequently being out-shone by Bottas, he kept racking up the results, and three podiums, two coming in the last two races, show that Massa is well and truly back to his former best. Did someone say only non-Mercedes driver to qualify on pole this year?
(Totally not-biased at all…)
7. Jenson Button:
Another solid season from one of the most dependable drivers on the grid. Despite a shaky European season, partly thanks to McLaren being rather left behind in the development race, Button found great form towards the end of the year and if he does end up leaving F1, he can hold his head up high.
6. Sebastian Vettel:
Again, what a difference a year makes! After dominating Formula One for the last four years, Vettel was brought back down to earth with a Renault-based bump as his Red Bull team struggled with the power unit package provided by their French partners. Vettel seemed to struggle all year with the new car, and certainly wasn’t helped by some ripper performances from his new team-mate. Podium in Malaysia the obvious highlight being the quickest non-Mercedes runner and without having to rely on problems for the Silver Arrows. The long-rumoured move to Ferrari finally came about, and I really hope that he shines with his new team to prove he isn’t a one tricky pony (or should that be bull?)
5. Valtteri Bottas:
Touted as a future world-champion, Bottas was absolutely mega this year. 6 podiums and 4th in the championship with rivals such as Alonso, Vettel and Ricciardo is a proper achievement, regardless of whether he had the best PU of them all. If Williams can keep up their fantastic form, Bottas could well be on the top step numerous times next year.
4. Nico Rosberg:
Few predicted that Nico Rosberg would cause Lewis Hamilton quite as much trouble as he did. Frequently outqualifying the driver many labeled as “the fastest in F1”, Rosberg came of age this season as he embarked in his first title fight in top-flight motor racing. Making the most of Lewis’ issues and taking commanding victories in Monaco and Brazil, as well as a stunning drive in Canada to finish 2nd with 160bhp less than his rivals showed his championship material. Cracked under pressure on a handful of occasions, but it would take a brave man to bet against him being just as fast, if not faster next year.
3. Lewis Hamilton:
11 wins, 16 podiums, 7 fastest laps. It was a fantastic season for Hamilton, but not one without its faults. When everything was working, Hamilton was practically untouchable, but when problems began to arise, he seemed to lose focus. I refer to Belgium when Lewis just seemed to lack motivation, despite the race being far from over, and still with a chance of bagging a few crucial points. Yes, his race had been ruined by the infamous lap 2 collision (a racing incident in my opinion), but with a championship on the line you do anything to push for points. Otherwise, one of Lewis’ finest seasons, as evidenced by the well-deserved championship win at the end of it all.
2. Fernando Alonso:
What is left to say about Fernando Alonso? Dragging his Ferrari, and seemingly the whole team with him to frankly unbelievable results, Alonso has cemented his position as the best in F1 right now. Responsible for almost 75% of Ferrari’s points haul this year, he embarrassed Raikkonen & certainly leaves Ferrari looking like they’ve performed much better than they actually have. McLaren have played an absolute masterstroke getting him onboard for 2015.
1. Daniel Ricciardo:
Could it have been anyone else? Undoubtedly the star performer of this season, crushing his 4-time world champion team-mate & taking a trio of emphatic victories. Formula One may be in financial chaos, but at least with guys like Ricciardo, Bottas, Kvyat & Hülkenberg, the driving talent of the future looks good!
TL;DR Chilton & co. a bit rubbish. Kimi mediocre. JEV under performed. Solid rookie years from Kvyat & Magnussen. Bianchi outstanding. Massa reborn. Vettel surprisingly poor. Lewis edges Merc battle. Alonso, Ricciardo mega!7th June 2014, 8:48 at 8:48 am #262424
I went to the Jerez test in January.
Whilst the new engines are quieter than the screaming V8s and V10s of old, they are far less harsh on the ears, meaning you can stand closer to the track without feeling like your eardrums are bleeding, which is great for people like me who nerd-out over mid-corner vehicle dynamics, and also enjoy snapping F1 cars in action!
What’s also nice is that (at least at Jerez), the 3 different engines all had a distinct sound, with the Mercedes-powered cars offering a gruntier, high-volume note, the Ferrari, a more subdued, 80’s-esque sound, and the Renault with its whistling turbo as the drivers picked up the throttle [The turbo sound is much more apparent on the Renault-powered cars].
As mentioned above, you now get a whole bunch of extra sounds to enjoy too. Tyre squeal, gear changes etc… (Can’t comment on crowd noise as there wasn’t much cheering at a test day!)
A quick note on the “TV” sound: I don’t think F1 Broadcasting has yet found the sweet spot for capturing the sound of these cars, although the cars sounded much better on TV in Spain/Monaco, than they did in Australia.
Personally, I like the new sound of the F1 cars, although, as I’ve said before:
“If the racing’s good, who cares about the noise?”10th January 2014, 17:02 at 5:02 pm #24737427th November 2013, 20:40 at 8:40 pm #24554427th November 2013, 20:38 at 8:38 pm #245670
I’ve been watching F1 since the late-90’s. For much of my childhood I was a huge Schumacher and Ferrari fan, so when Schumi decided to retire at the end of 2006, naturally I started supporting his team-mate at the time, Felipe Massa, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
Felipe holds a personal record in being the driver to have made me cry the most. Once in 2008, after the Brazilian Grand Prix in which I basically shouted at the TV for 2 hours, with a brief period of wild cheering, followed by bitter disappointment and tears.
I then cried again after hearing of Felipe’s Hungarian qualifying crash in 2009. As I was away camping I only heard about the crash through a text from my Dad saying that he’d been in a very serious incident and had “life-threatening” injuries.
I have many fond memories of Felipe and Ferrari. His first win in Turkey ’06, his very dignified championship loss in 2008, bouncing back from his crash to out-qualify Alonso in Bahrain 2010, and many many more.
Whilst I am a Ferrari man at heart, I will continue to follow Felipe as he embarks on a new career at Williams20th October 2013, 14:00 at 2:00 pm #230008
Maldonado seems fairly sure he’ll be racing next year
Roughly translates to: “I’ll be in F1 next season proudly representing Venezuela, hopefully good news soon”10th October 2013, 13:40 at 1:40 pm #229931
I’ll just leave this here:
EDIT: Perhaps even more intriguingly, Calado has since removed that tweet…22nd September 2013, 20:58 at 8:58 pm #241934
The CCTV footage the FIA used to investigate the incident has appeared online
(Via @brandonseaber on Twitter)8th May 2013, 18:43 at 6:43 pm #236315
Not really a fan of the new ART livery, rather liked the one they were running!8th May 2013, 13:22 at 1:22 pm #23631026th April 2013, 7:59 at 7:59 am #21318825th April 2013, 14:19 at 2:19 pm #21318222nd April 2013, 16:47 at 4:47 pm #213179
Tio Ellinas confirmed at Marussia
Tio will also run at the Young Drivers’ Test later this year with Marussia17th April 2013, 21:51 at 9:51 pm #195481
F1: Fernando Alonso
GP2: James Calado
GP3: Carlos Sainz Jr.
WSR: Antonio Felix da Costa
IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe
MotoGP: Valentino Rossi
WRC: Sebastian Ogier
DTM: Mattias Ekström
WTCC: Yvan Muller
BTCC: Jason Plato
NASCAR: Kasey Kahne