2012 F1 driver rankings: half-season


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    @necrodethmortem Overall Cirith Ungol, Exodus, Mercyful Fate, Destruction and Omen are better bands than Pantera, it was just an odd exception to the rule :P


    Adam Blocker

    24- Narain Karthikeyan- simply the worst driver on the grid.
    23- Felipe Massa- Teammate is leading the world championship, while he has yet to score a podium, and usually loses out in fights with the mid-field teams.
    22- Bruno Senna- Is being demolished by his teammate, rarely in the points, in addition to a very poor qualifying record.
    21- Jean-Eric Vergne- except for a good start in Australia and Malaysia, has rarely had a good moment. A bad driver in a bad car.
    20- Daniel Ricciardo- Slightly better than Vergne, but overall the same situation.
    19- Timo Glock- Frequently out-qualified by Pic, who he should be consistently beating.
    18- Pedro de la Rosa- Occasionally out-qualifys the Marussias in an inferior car, has valuable experience that is being contributed.
    17- Michael Schumacher- If he was not a seven-time world champion, many people would be doubting his place at Mercedes. With the exception of a lucky podium in Valencia, has done nothing except crash.
    16- Charles Pic- Is always close to (if not faster than) his much more experienced teammate in qualifying, and occasionally takes the fight to the Caterhams in the race.
    15- Vitaly Petrov- Has shown good race pace, even though he has consistently been beaten by Kovalainen in qualifying. Could do with out so many collisions.
    14- Nico Hulkenberg- An average driver with an average team, so he goes near the middle of the rankings.
    13- Pastor Maldonado- Would be much, much lower without his (fluke) victory in Barcelona, rarely misses an opportunity to ruin someone else’s race (in addition to his own).
    12- Paul di Resta- Marginally better than Hulkenberg, an overall average driver.
    11- Heikki Kovalainen – Great qualifying performances, occasionally taking the fight to the lower midfield teams in the race. Deserves to be further up the grid.
    10- Nico Rosberg- Has had a very inconsistent season, but has two great results in China and Monaco.
    9- Jenson Button- Another driver with an inconsistent season, with a huge slump from Bahrain to Silverstone, but he does have some good results, and is starting to turn his season around.
    8- Kamui Kobayashi- Consistently unlucky, but even so is having a great season, even though a bit overshadowed by his teammate.
    7- Sebastian Vettel- Has had a very consistent season, of not great results, but not bad ones either. A little bit below the standards of a double-world champion.
    6- Kimi Raikkonen- Is very unlucky not to have scored a win by now, he stepped back into F1 after two years away as if he hadn’t missed a single race.
    5- Romain Grosjean- Essentially a rookie, who qualifies 3rd in his first race since 2009, has exceeded all expectations, and could even win a race before the end of the season. If he could reduce his retirements he would be even higher on the list.
    4- Mark Webber- Beating his double-world champion teammate with incredible consistency with two wins and five fourth places, never seems to put a foot wrong this season.
    3- Lewis Hamilton- The 2007-2008 Hamilton is reappearing. A dominant victory in Hungary, and a fantastic win in Canada, in addition to three poles. Would be even higher in the WDC standings had it not been for debris in Germany, and Maldonado in Valencia.
    2- Sergio Perez- Has exceed the wildest expectations of anyone. Two podiums in a Sauber? What he showed in Malaysia is exactly what he can do when all of the cars are equalized. He just has a knack for saving his tyres and getting the most out of them.
    1- Fernando Alonso- Leading the WDC by 40 points, but not with the best car. He won Malaysia in a ‘dog’ of a car, won his home gp in Valencia, and dominated in Hockenheim. He is showing that he deserves to be a 3-time world champion. (This coming from a non-Alonso fan)



    @Antonio_Nartea – No it isn’t.

    Yes, I accept he was abysmal over the first few races but;

    This season there have been realistically 4 teams faster/on pace with Ferrari (Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Lotus) and some not far off the pace (Williams, Sauber), whereas in 2011 there was only McLaren and Red Bull. So considering the significant increase in competitivity, he’s not done too badly :-)



    24: Narain Karthikeyan: While the FIA hasn’t been too supportive of the whole “consumer car” thing in the past, they seem perfectly content to allow GP2-pace drivers/cars on the field.

    23: Timo Glock: Constantly outperformed by his rookie teammate, never does anything noteworthy besides complaining about Pic.

    22: Bruno Senna: I was easy on the guy last year, and gave him a pass since it was his first time in a proper F1 car. I thought he’d improve, and I was wrong. His performance is nowhere near what that Williams is capable of, and when he’s not slow, he’s finding new ways to ruin Williams’ weekend.

    21: Pastor Maldonado: After intentionally swiping a competitor, and his incidents in Silverstone and Hungary, it’s a wonder this guy isn’t set upon by the other eleven teams. I ranked him above Senna because, unlike Bruno, Pastor does have moments where he shows genuine pace and talent. If someone can get his red mist under control, he could be a contender.

    20: Felipe Massa: Constantly outperformed by his teammate, and every other sharp end driver. While Alonso has scored points in every race, Felipe has only scored in half of them. Alonso currently leads the championship, Massa currently leads the Torro Rosso pair… on a good day.

    19: Charles Pic: Doing an impressive job for a rookie. Keeping his much more experienced teammate honest, and occasionally nipping at the Caterhams.

    18: Pedro de la Rosa: Outperforming Narain, which isn’t a hard ask, but also out-qualifies the Marussias on occasion. Not bad for a 40 year old driver.

    17: Jean-Eric Vergne: Can’t seem to qualify well at all. Granted this year’s STR is a dog of a car, but the difference between him and Ricciardo in quali are night and day. JEV typically does better on race day, but hasn’t shown much potential beyond gaining a few places from a miserable start. Maybe with more Malaysia-like conditions he’ll achieve more, but probably not.

    16: Daniel Ricciardo: Flip everything I just said about Vergne. Ricciardo qualifies well, but falls back in the race. True, JEV has twice the points (a massive 4), but those were acquired in a race with weird conditions, while Daniel’s were achieved in a normal race.

    15: Vitaly Petrov: Petrov is performing well enough in the Caterham. He’s been able to keep Hekki honest on a few occasions, despite the Finn’s experience.

    14: Michael Schumacher: While he doesn’t deserve total blame for his on-track woes (Mercedes seem to have given Michael the “B” car) he has had his share of facepalm moments. He followed up a great race in Valencia by dreadful practice sessions in Germany and Hungary. From anyone else, I’d say the rain caught them out, but this is Michael Schumacher. He’s a seven time world champion, driving for a team that, at one point this year, could win races. For him to crash because “he got distracted” wouldn’t cut it with police on a highway, and won’t cut it it Formula 1.

    13: Heikki Kovalainen: Put the Caterham into Q2 on merit, and can take the fight to a struggling STR. If Caterham ever find their pace, Heikki will be there to take the fight to the midfield.

    12: Nico Hulkenberg: Seems to be a more “extreme” version of Paul. Nico has better races, and worse races. At times he can outpace his teammate, but he lacks the consistency to bring home the points when a race isn’t going his way.

    11: Paul di Resta: He has the consistency Nico lacks, but not much else. He’s a safe pair of hands who brings home points more often than not, which is noteworthy considering the sharp end now consists of 3.5 teams (Ferrari being the .5).

    10: Kamui Kobayashi: I absolutely adore Kamikaze Kamui, but he suffers a bit where consistency is concerned. Like the Hulkenberg / di Resta dynamic, I feel Kamui tends to be the more “extreme” driver of the pair. He can take the car beyond it’s limit, but he can also fall off the cliff come the next race. Hopefully he can find that bit he’s lacking, because he is one of the sports most exciting drivers for sure.

    9: Nico Rosberg: Nico has shown he can take the fight to the top, with a dominant victory in China, and a solid P2 in Monaco. Unlike Michael, Nico brings home points more often than not (again, in all fairness, Nico’s car never seems to be the one that breaks.) His performances of late seem to be lacking, however that may be down to the car more than the driver. Mercedes seem to be constantly slipping in the development batle, and with their DDRS not being all it was made out to be, their “ace in the hole” has turned out to be nothing more than a joker in disguise.

    8: Jenson Button: Mr. Tire seems to have lost his edge this year. After a blinding start he utterly blew it in Malaysia, only to secure second in China. It took seven races for Button to see another podium, which is strange considering the early pace of the McLaren. More disturbing, Button has been out of the points four times this year, with no retirements. I wonder if what Button is experiencing with the 2012 Pirelli tires is like what Webber went thorough with the 2011’s. Whatever the reason, Jenson is out of touch this year. He’s scored decent points in the last two races, and hopefully he can turn things around.

    7: Sebastian Vettel: Vettel impressed last year with a dominant, mature performance. While much of it was down to the RB7 being an amazing machine, nobody can say Sebastian did not play a major role in the Red Bull dominance of 2011. His (apparent) maturity even won me over, and I’m no fan of Red Bull or Vettel. This year, he threw all that in our faces. From the “Gurke” moment in Malaysia, to his whining in Germany, to the petulant messages in Hungary, Vettel seems to have thrown his maturity out the window. He’s been outraced by Webber, and in sat in third not far ahead of Lewis and Kimi. This year we are seeing the true Vettel reemerge. When the car is perfect, Seb is unstoppable. Now with race conditions and temperature playing a massive role, the car is rarely perfect. Vettel is still one to watch for the championship, however he is proving race after race that the early comparisons to Ayrton and Michael were premature.

    6: Romain Grosjean: RoGro is interesting to watch. The guy has genuine pace, there is no arguing that, but he follows up good races with utter farces. He is Formula 1’s win-it-or-bin-it driver. He’s right up there with Massa and Senna for “pray you aren’t near them on lap 1” status. Next race, he turns this all around and puts in a blinding performance. The guy needs to check himself more on lap 1, and realize unless it’s Monaco, Hungary, or Abu Dhabi he won’t win the race by going Banzai Mode out of the gate.

    5: Mark Webber: Webber seems to have found the form he lacked in 2011. He’s outperforming Sebastian, brought home two victories at two vastly different tracks, and consistently brings home points even when the car isn’t up to task. If he keeps this up, he could be a genuine challenger for WDC.

    4: Sergio Perez: How Perez does what he does with that Sauber is beyond me. He’s smooth, easy on the tires, aggressive when he needs to be, cool when he needs to be. He drags that Sauber up well beyond what the car should be able to do. This kid is going places.

    3: Lewis Hamilton: Unlike Button, Hamilton seems unphased by McLaren’s drop in performance. This year, he’s outperformed his car more often than not, been able to keep his tires fresh, and (miracle of miracle) has mostly stayed clear of the steward’s office. Despite his good performance, Hamilton still seems to lose hope too quickly if a race is going away with him. That aside, this is a return to form after a dismal 2011, and if McLaren have sorted their pit stop issues, look for Hamilton to take the fight to Alonso.

    2: Kimi Raikkonen: Two years away, get outqualified by teammate, beat teammate anyway, would win if team didn’t make stupid strategy calls multiple times, could win WDC one year after Lotus was barely faster than Williams and Caterham. It is okay.

    1: Fernando Alonso: Mr. Eyebrows takes that Ferrari places it should never be. What more do I need to say?



    @girts, I completely agree with your list and the motivation, though you should change ‘Canada’ to ‘Valencia’ in a few places.


    Bradley Downton

    24. Narain Karthikeyan
    Narain is there because of money. End of. He has little to no talent and is being comprehensively beaten by his teammate. He needs to go, give a young driver a chance in the car, at least it would be experience, albeit not worth much!

    23. Felipe Massa
    Possibly the disappointment of the season. Has been totally outclassed by Alonso. He has time to turn it around, but every time it looks like he’s close to it this year, he then falls apart again.

    22. Timo Glock
    He’s been beaten on a fair few occasions now by his rookie teammate Pic, that’s poor form.

    21. Jean-Eric Vergne
    Both Toro Rosso drivers have underperformed. Granted the car is poor, and not developing well, but Alguersuari and Buemi were dropped for these two?! I prefer Vergne, and while he’s ahead in the Championship, Ricciardo has performed better.

    20. Daniel Ricciardo
    As above, he’s clear of Vergne on the fact that he’s out-qualified and out-raced him a fair bit.

    19. Nico Hulkenberg
    Neither Force India driver has impressed me. When the car is poor, they’re both poor, when it’s not, they’re still not amazing. Hulkenberg is behind because that’s how it is in the Championship, and there’s not much else to seperate them.

    18. Paul di Resta
    As above, di Resta has had a few better races, hence why he’s ahead in the Championship, but there really is nothing between them.

    17. Pedro de la Rosa
    Has totally hammered Karthikeyan, and is starting to fight amongst the Marussia’s in a car that failed to qualify for the first race, great job!

    16. Vitaly Petrov
    Has matched his highly rated (in the sense of the team he’s at) teammate, Kovalainen, at times. Solid job.

    15. Kamui Kobayashi
    Has really disappointed me. The car has been very quick on many occasions, but the team, and Kobayashi in particular haven’t produced. Has been outclassed by Perez most of the season.

    14. Charles Pic
    Beating his experienced teammate Glock on many occasion, certainly worth a mention. Brilliant job from him.

    13. Pastor Maldonado
    Yes, I’ve put him this low. His win was incredible, a truly fantastic drive, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that his only other points finish was an 8th place, and he’s made a lot of mistakes in races that have cost him and the team an awful lot of points. He’s still proving to be very hot-headed, but calm his temper, and sort out the mistakes, and he could be very good.

    12. Jenson Button
    His season fell apart, it’s coming back together, but unfortunately not in time for the mid-season rankings.

    11. Bruno Senna
    Yes, he’s this high! Senna has been a lot more consistent than Maldonado. He has made a lot of mistakes, but they have mainly been in practice, with 1 or 2 in qualifying. His mistakes have not cost the team as many points as his teammates have, and I honestly think Senna will be ahead in the WDC come the end of the year.

    10. Nico Rosberg
    I, along with many others thought that his win would be a turning point, but he’s gone back to the Rosberg of the last two years. Consistent, but nothing special, with the exception of his 2nd in Monaco, though he’d probably have finished lower had it not been Monaco.

    9. Romain Grosjean
    I was critical of Grosjean the first time around, and really didn’t think he deserved another chance, but he has really grabbed it and ran. I really didn’t like him in GP2, but I’m growing to Grosjean, and actually supporting him now. He’s done a fantastic job, and would be higher had he not made so many first lap mistakes earlier in the year.

    8. Heikki Kovalainen
    Once again, the class of the bottom 6 by some margin. Now on par with the STR car’s in the races, a little more development from the team and Kovalainen will be firmly in the mid-pack, and could possibly pick up the team’s first point later this year in an eventful race.

    7. Michael Schumacher
    Has really turned around from the last two years. I have put Michael higher than Nico because I think, in the WDC, he should be. He has been VERY unlucky with reliability issues and such, but has done a fantastic job personally.

    6. Sebastian Vettel
    Now he doesn’t have the quickest car, he doesn’t look invincible. Vettel has kept his head down (mainly) and got on with it this year. A solid job, but not stand-out.

    5. Kimi Raikkonen
    Kimi, Kimi, Kimi… should be in the top three, but that win eludes him. This is mainly down to the team, but he has shown a bit rusty at times, such as Qualifying in Australia, and not going for the lead on Vettel in Bahrain.

    4. Sergio Perez
    Wow. Perez has been incredible. Comprehensively beaten the rated Kobayashi and has certainly to shown to everyone (apparently with the exception of di Montezemlo) that he is worthy of the Ferrari seat next year.

    3. Mark Webber
    I’ll admit it now, I’m not a huge Webber fan. But he’s been impressive this year. He’s beating Seb, and he’s taken it to Fernando at times.

    2. Lewis Hamilton
    Has been quick, and has not made that many errors this year. Has been let down by the team but his personal performances have been strong. Can still take the title fight to Fernando if McLaren keep up strong development.

    1. Fernando Alonso
    Along with everyone else, need I say more?



    @adrianmorse Thank you very much for reading my post and pointing out the mistakes. I’ve corrected them now. I’m not sure why I had ‘merged’ the Canadian and European races into one big Canadian GP. Maybe I just find it hard to acknowledge that Valencia was able to produce such an exciting race :S


    Vincent Ouwehand

    24 – Karthikeyan – Driving chicane, should not be on the grid, but is because of his payments to the team.
    23 – De la Rosa – Man is capable of driving, but still is on the grid for the same reasons as Karthikeyan
    22 – Glock – Just not good enough, which is supported by the fact that Pic out qualified him several times and out raced him at least once.
    21 – Massa – Ever since his head trauma he never got back to his old level, which was nothing more then second driver at Ferrari. Time to move on if he has some dignity.
    20 – Petrov – Could do a lot better in my opinion with a not great qualification record vs Heikki
    19 – Pic – Good for a rookie but consistency lacks. Does outperform his “experienced” teammate Glock and could thus proof to be better in the future.
    18 – Kobayashi – Since last year his performances are not what you would expect of an overtaking specialist. Would love to see him do better, but stuck here at 18 for now.
    17 – Vergne – Not sure about him yet, he is a rookie, shows consistency, albeit slow. Could be the car
    16 – Ricciardo – Not sure about him yet, he is a rookie, shows consistency, albeit slow. Could be the car
    15 – Senna – Crashes lots occasional good performances, obviously misses open wheel class experience in his younger years. The 10 year “no racing” gap after his uncle died visibly hurts his career now.
    14 – Schumacher – Retirements and a bad season start, still has some speed left and obviously is at Mercedes GP to help build the team with Ross Brawn.
    13 – Maldonado – Had some good races, some bad races and slowly slides towards a Hamilton season (crash…crash…crash…crash…it’s all because i am Venezuelan)
    12 – Hulkenburg – Slowly picking up the pace and becoming more comfortable in the car. The man has talent, now all he needs is a car that works for him. Given time he will climb the ladder i suspect.
    11 – Di Resta – Inconsistent, but since his team mate is just as inconsistent i chalk that up to the car. Solid season for the rest.
    10 – Kovalainen – Outperformed car and teammate again with 2 Q2 appearances. Man deserves a better team, but seems to thrive in the Caterham team.
    9 – Button – Sometimes i feel sorry for him, he tries hard, doesn’t (publicly) complain, but cannot find the speed in the car.
    8 – Perez – Outperformed Kobayashi in a surprisingly strong Sauber scoring 2 podiums. Definitely a big talent for the future.
    7 – Rosberg – His car is not up to snuff, otherwise Rosberg would be up front more. Skilled, clever, fast, assuming he has a car that can.
    6 – Vettel – Not as good as his last 2 seasons but still won a race. Now that he is not in the front he is not so impressive in driving either.
    5 – Grosjean – Proofed the critics wrong about his first go in F1, put him on 5, but really, 2-5 could he changed at will.
    4 – Webber – Seems much happier with this car and seems to drive around issues better then his teammate. Solid season and definitely a contender for the championship.
    3 – Raikonnen – This is how you come back from F1 retirement; Schumacher, make notes.
    2 – Hamilton – Should have won more then he has, team let him down, but he shows them the same curtsy as they showed him last year. Man seems to be in the right place mentally and takes joy from driving his car.
    1 – Alonso – Amazing how he can make the Ferrari perform in the beginning of the season. The car was ugly (all are), slow and a dog to drive, but Fernando still managed to get to lead the championship at summer break. I just wish i could have put Hamilton here, but what Alonso did is just a bit more then i wish he did.



    1 – Alonso – without doubt, the driver of the season so far. Intelligent, fast, opportunistic. He is having the season every driver dreams of having.

    2 – Hamilton – fast and consistent. Undone by team mistakes quite a number of times so far.

    3 – Vettel – Has lost his qualifying mojo this year but he is still doing very well in races. Overtaking doesn’t seem to be a problem like 2010. Without the alternator failure in Valencia, the penalty at Hockenheim, the cucumber incident at Malaysia, he would have been much higher in the championship.

    4 – Perez – A couple of rookie mistakes here and there but fast for the most part. The most improved driver since last year, definitely.

    5 – Webber – Back to his 2010 form. Doing well on the tracks he traditionally tends to excel at – Monaco, Silverstone. But he has been off-pace in few races for inexplicable reasons (Bahrain, Valencia). Somehow, I see the season slipping away from him in the second half.

    6 – Kimi – A good comeback by the World Champion. But he should have won a race by now. Has seemed tentative in wheel-to-wheel driving ( in Hungary vs Romain was an exception) which has cost him points

    7 – Heikki – Monaco. Where he kept Jenson behind him for God-knows how many laps, and through the pit stops. Has caused a headache to Vergene when it comes to qualifying many a times. This is a driver that Ferrari should get.



    24 a Karthikeyan – just brings in the money.

    23 – Timo Glock – Should have a better grip and understanding of a car that has been built around him after being in the team for 3 years.

    22 – Vitaly Petrov – Nothing to note at half season.

    21 – Ricciado – Considering previous race experience in f1, he’s not setting the world alight – but that maybe due to his car.

    20 – Vergne – His car is probably hindering his performances.

    19 – Massa – if your teammate is winning a championship, you have no excuse not to be challenging for podiums – which he isn’t.

    18 – De La Rosa – has out shone his car and bought invaluable experience to the new team.

    17 – Pic – been consistent and out qualified experienced team mate – should stay on for another season and could make his way up the grid.

    16 – Maldonado – he may have won a race, but consistently irregular performances.

    15 – Kovalienan – Been strong in a car which should be better by now.

    14 – Shumacher – His car has failed him more than him failing his car.

    13 – Senna – despite early season Roumers – has been consistent and nearly out scored Maldonado despite his race win. Blew his best chances though.

    12 – Di Resta – Been strong in a good car – but for me hasn’t left a lasting impression.

    11 – Kobayashi – A good car yet we’ve seen less of him this season – but strong 4th in Germany could lead charge.

    10 – Hulkenburg – great 4th in Germany and show stronger performances than his team mate in many races.

    9 – Button – won the first race but been sliding down a slippery slope ever since, but is finding his feat again.

    8 – rosberg – is falling away now but been good in a bad car at many points, and has won a race this year.

    7 – Vettel – moaning a lot this year as not winning as much – but expect him to comeback strong

    6 – Perez – showing great promise for the future.

    5 – Grosjean – been fantastic in a second coming and has had some hard luck

    4 – Webber – consistency is key to him challenging for the title and leading Vettel – which should be his aim for this year

    3 Kimi – Been outstanding and has led the team well – could be an outside for the championship and hopefully will win a race.

    2 – Hamilton – despite his team and car failing him- has always had a calm head and been great whenever in whatever session, another driver hit by hard luck.

    1 – Alonso. The worst car at the start – and won the 2nd race. Has proven he is the best driver on the grid in a car which no one rated.



    24 Massa. Alonso has been brilliant which makes him look worse but he makes the Ferrari look like a mid grid dog. Cannot handle an unstable car, Silverstone apart, a disasterous set of results.
    23 Senna- Raw pace seriously lacking, despite a couple of good results, but when Maldonado put it high up and he’s mid grid, it is worrying
    22 Vergne- Qualy pace seriously needs work and though the Toro Rosso is uncompetitive, shouldn’t be beaten by Caterhams as often as he has been. Shown promise in the wet though.
    21 Karthikeyan- Most memeroble moment so far goes to him for being 10th at the rain delay in Malaysia and then got in the limelight for colliding with Vettel. He’s slower than his teammate but not the worst driver this year for me, he’s done ok.
    20 Ricciardo- Slightly better than Vergne, mostly due to super qualy performances. 6th in Bahrain was mega but blew it on lap 1. STR need to find more pace for him and JEV to shine.
    19 Button- A great start but way too inconsistant. 0 points in 4 races from Bahrain to Canada is horrible. Struggled to get the right balance.
    18 Glock- Marussia need to give him a better car but Pic is beginning to get the better of him, has his motivation finally gone? Was superb at Monaco though, and almost beat Kovalainen to 13th after the Finn’s late stop.
    17 Kobayashi- Poor season to be honest, a couple of good results paper over the cracks that he’s increasingly inconsistant and getting into trouble more than he should.
    16 Petrov- Good teammate for Kovalainen, pushing him hard and briefly ran 10th near the end in Valencia. Qualypace could still improve a touch but he’s not doing himslef any harm at Caterham
    15 de la Rosa- Solid as you would expect but in the HRT its hard to shine. Can only beat who is your teammate and he’s murdered Karthikeyan.
    14 Maldonado- A brilliant win in Spain aside and he’s blown way too many points for me. The car is very quick, he is very quick but needs to have clean weekends, but better to be quick and error prone than just slow.
    13 Schumacher- Desperately unlucky with several DNFs, mostly not his fault, but a couple of poor weekend have hurt him, such as Hungary (his worst ever?). Brilliant pole in Monaco and a podium in Valencia are highlights.
    12 Pic- Impressive rookie season and is now putting Glock under serious pressure, amazing race in Hungary but needs a better car
    11 Kovalainen- He still stand out as the best of the backmarker drivers, dragging the Caterham to Q2 occasionally but the car needs a scond per lap for him to shine more. Was great at Monaco though holding off Button
    10 Grosjean. Blinding pace but inconsistant, too many DNFs to mount a title challenge, but he’s done his career no harm in his 2nd chance.
    9 Hulkenberg- Getting on terms with di Resta and has pulled off some impressive qualy results lately, especially in the wet.
    8 Perez A couple of standout results in the Sauber and the talent is showing through. Still could be more consistant but the car seems to be hot and cold.
    7 Rosberg. Took a brilliant win in China and has been pretty consistant in the Merc, but its speed is now tailing off. Still a good 11 races though
    6 di Resta. In a Force India which is normally 8th best, he has regularly knocked in useful points. Hulkenberg is now matching him but Paul has the points
    5 Raikkonen- Despite being out-qualified by Groshean his races have been excellent and he’s been ultra consistant with only 1 non score. Dark horse for the title with the Lotus. Win still elusive though.
    4 Webber- Closed the gap to Vettel and is ahead on points and just about neck and neck on pace. Consistant scoring with 2 great wins
    3 Vettel- Despite a tricky start and un-Vettel like qualy results, his race pace has been excellent. Only blips are the drive thru in Spain and the ‘overtake’ on Button in Germany. Bad luck in Malaysia/Europe.
    2 Hamilton- Most consistant qualifier, but for bad luck, he’d be right up there with Alonso’s points tally
    1 Alonso. Simply superb, maximised results at just about every race, took superb wins, has not missed a beat all season.



    24. de la Rosa – I’m sure he’s brought some technical expertise to HRT, but his pace has been erratic.
    23. Karthikeyan – A quick look at the standings actually shows him ahead of Pedro! Narain has actually given the team its best finish so far this year, and that’s why I’d have to rank him ahead of the veteran.
    22. Pic – He’s looked good lately, but he is still being beaten by Glock this season as a whole.
    21. Glock – That said, Timo has been disappointing. He turned down a Renault (now Lotus) seat for this – but he hasn’t really coalesced the team around him. He’ll need to do better if he wants to get considered for better seats again.
    20. Ricciardo – For someone who should be beating JEV (based on experience both in and out of F1), he’s just not getting it done. A home points finish aside, he’s been forgettable this year.
    19. Vergne – He’s been more than a match for Disco Dan this season – but he’s ahead in the standings, and that’s what counts at the end of the day.
    18. Petrov – He’s been a much tougher teammate for Heikki than Trulli ever was. But Valencia aside, he’s hasn’t really been delivering the same results as Heikki.
    17. Massa – Had he scored as many points as Button so far (who himself is having a bad year), Ferrari would be right with Red Bull at the top of the WCC. Instead, they have a mountain to climb despite Alonso’s comfy WDC lead. As much as I love Felipe, his form is not deserving of a Ferrari driver anymore. If I were him, I’d consider retiring – or at least moving to a new team. If he leaves it any later than this year, no other F1 team may want him when Ferrari do drop him.
    16. Kovalainen – His form has been great this year – a few Q2 runs, the occasional tease of a point. There’s lots of rumors linking him to Massa’s seat. A second chance would be great, but would it play out like Grosjean’s has? Or would it play out like a certain Giancarlo Fisichella’s once did?
    15. Senna – He has been better than others say – taking his Williams to the points more often than not. I see him as a poor man’s Nick Heidfeld – very consistent, but seemingly lacking that last 5% needed to win.
    14. Hulkenberg – His star has lost a bit of its luster to me this year. While he has given Force India its best result this year, he hasn’t been as consistent as di Resta.
    13. di Resta – See Nico Hulkenberg. I see this pair to be competing for the Mercedes seat that Schumi will eventually vacate. But unless one of them has a truly standout moment, someone else may beat them to that seat.
    12. Maldonado – A win is a win is a win, and I have given him full credit for it. But was it his twin brother driving in Barcelona? Because he has practically nothing to show for us outside of that weekend, wasting dozens of points for Williams. His (quite frankly) ridiculous driving has knocked him down a few notches for me as well.
    11. Kobayashi – In most seasons, he would be looked at as a hero for what he’s been doing with the Sauber. But as it turns out, it’s still not enough… Still, I’d love to see what he can do with a faster car.
    10. Button – He was easily in most people’s Top 3 last season. But what has been going on this year? Some say the new nose McLaren introduced in Europe affected his form. But as a World Champion, he should be doing better in what is a very competitive car.
    9. Schumacher – He’s the new Mark Webber – quick (VERY quick on his day), but unlucky (VERY unlucky on occasion). Spain aside, all his DNFs were not his fault – and he’s lost a lot of points due to it. Still, his performance at Valencia was one for the ages. Lucky, yes, but given his bad luck the rest of the year, it just cancels out. Let’s hope he’s saved up enough good luck for his 300th GP, which (like all his other major career milestones) is at Spa.
    8. Rosberg – He’s finally gotten Mercedes the win it should’ve had a long time ago. But when his car is nowhere on pace, he seems to be nowhere in the race. A little more effort from both team and driver would go a long way.
    7. Perez – He reminds me of another young Latin driver from a decade ago: a certain Fernando Alonso. Still prone to the occasional error, but takes his car to heights it has no business to be in. His Sepang and Montreal podiums are a good sign of the future. If it is indeed true that Vettel has not signed anything with Ferrari, I say they can do a lot worse than getting Sergio to replace Massa.
    6. Grosjean – Talk about redemption. He has taken his second chance with both hands – and then some! He’s been beating Kimi on Saturdays, and has shown bundles of pace. Now if he can just avoid those Lap 1 collisions…
    5. Hamilton – He hasn’t been this consistent in years. In fact, the last time he was this consistent was 2008… and look how that ended. A great result at Spa would do wonders for his title bid.
    4. Vettel – He’d be just 10 points behind Alonso in the standings if his car hadn’t betrayed him in Valencia. That said, the defending champ is looking more like his 2010 self than his 2011 self. But remember – he also won that 2010 championship.
    3. Raikkonen – Don’t call it a comeback: he’s been here for years. He is definitely the dark horse of this championship. And even if he doesn’t win it all, his pace and racecraft may make him this year’s kingmaker anyway. 3 podiums in the last 4 races – and Spa is next!
    2. Webber – Sometimes, it feels as if he and Button swapped places in the offseason. Last year, Mark was nowhere near where he should be, while Jenson was having the season of his life. This year, it’s Webber who’s best of the rest behind Alonso. But he needs to step up, pronto: he’ll need to do better than his recent 8th place finishes if he doesn’t want Seb, Lewis, and Kimi overhauling him in the standings.
    1. Alonso – Remember when he won at Sepang? And we all thought that his win there just saved Stefano Domenicali’s job at Ferrari after the horrible car they had at Melbourne? Who would’ve thought even then that he’d be leading at the summer break – and by 40 points at that? If he ends up winning this title, it’ll be the most impressive example of driver-drags-car-to-title-glory ever – yes, even better than Prost in ’86.


    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Mark Webber
    6. Sergio Perez
    7. Nico Rosberg
    8. Romain Grosjean
    9. Heikki Kovalainen
    10. Jenson Button
    11. Kamui Kobayashi
    12. Michael Schumacher
    13. Nico Hulkenberg
    14. Paul Di Resta
    15. Pastor Maldonadoi
    16. Bruno Senna
    17. Daniel Riccardio
    18. Pedro de la Rosa
    19. Charles Pic
    20. Timo Glock
    21. Jean Eric Vergne
    22. Vitaly Petrov
    23. Felipe Massa
    24. Narain Karthikeyan



    24. Pastor Maldonado Drove an admittedly flawless weekend in Spain giving Williams it’s first win since 2004. But can’t make up for his incidents in so many other races. Has only scored in one other leaving him barely ahead of his underperforming, podium-less teammate in the points.
    Has been a magnet for crashes including unforgivingly driving into Perez on purpose. Has thrown away many points in what has been the most competitive Williams in years.

    23. Narain Karthikeyen Has been exactly as expected. Consistently behind de la Rosa by a big margin and often coming home last. Hasn’t shamed himself but hasn’t shown he deserves to be in F1 either.

    22. Jean-Eric Vergne Has struggled in an uncompetitve Toro Rosso, especially with qualifying. Is often a lot faster in the race and has more points than his teammate but has probably been thrust into F1 too early.

    21. Timo Glock Has seemed to take a step backwards with every year he’s been at Virgin/Marussia. Appears to have lost motivation and is having big troubles with the car. Had Marussia ahead of Caterham for a while but has struggled for form.

    20. Felipe Massa While his teammate leads the World Championship with three wins and three further podiums, Massa is yet to finish higher than 4th and only has the equivalent of one race win worth of points. A little over 1/7th the points of Alonso says it all.
    Has been much closer in the most recent races giving hope for the second half of his season.

    19. Bruno Senna In what has proved to be race winning machinery which has more often than not been capable of podiums, hasn’t finished higher than a rain assisted 6th in Malaysia and has only progressed to Q3 once. Needs to drastically improve his qualifying and avoid incidents in races to extract the potential of the Williams.
    Despite lack of pace, is admirably close to Maldonado in the points.

    18. Daniel Ricciardo Has struggled in a Toro Rosso that is off the pace. Has consistently outqualified his teamate and has put in some astonishing quali performances in Bahrain and Australia. But despite strong qualifying, has often fallen back towards Vergne in the races and is sitting behind his teammate in the points.

    17. Vitaly Petrov Is doing a good job for Caterham, hasn’t quite been the match of Kovalainen in quali but has raced cleanly and has been surprisingly consistent. Doing a better job than the preceding Trulli

    16. Pedro de la Rosa Has been a good acquisition for HRT. Has pushed the car ahead of the Marussia at times which is a very strong achievement in itself.

    15. Charles Pic Charles has been doing an understated but very strong job for Marussia. Of Timo’s three teammates so far, Pic has been the strongest. Hasn’t made too many rookie errors in a first season which can only be more difficult in a Marussia. Doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

    14. Jenson Button Started the season with a superb win in Australia and looked like he would continue his 2011 form, but fell into nowhere for a few races and hasn’t been close to matching Hamilton for a while. Has quickly lost touch with the championship leaders and needs to regain his Australia/Germany form fast.

    13. Kamui Kobayashi Hasn’t had many standout races for the last season and a half but has developed into a fairly consistent racer who still has a flair for overtaking.

    12. Paul di Resta Hasn’t had the results in a Force India which isn’t quite at the pace expected of it and exhibited by it’s midfield rivals. Has continued to be as ultra-consistent as his reputation suggests and leads his tight intra-team battle with Hulkenburg.

    11. Nico Hulkenburg Has also been consistent for Force India with a stand out result in Valencia and some strong quali sessions. Appears to have caught up to speed and is matching his teammate. A strong and intriguing battle of the Teammates at Force India. Both Hulkenburg and di Resta have kept Force India in touch with the fundemantally faster Williams in the WCC.

    10. Michael Schumacher Has been a horror season for Schumacher. Has retired more than he has finished with a string of technical problems and unusual mistakes. But has shown that his pace is perhaps the strongest of his comeback with his prior to penalty Pole at Monaco and first comeback Podium at Valencia. Has matched and maybe outpaced Rosberg recently, being especially impressive in recent wet quali sessions.

    9. Nico Rosberg Made a few mistakes early with a competitve Mercedes but was superb in China and did a great, consistent job in a slightly off pace Mercedes after the win. Recently, Rosberg has been unable to drag what has become an uncompetitive Mercedes higher than it deserves, and has become seemingly anonymous.

    8. Sergio Perez Has been super impressive in just his second season. Almost snatched victory in Malaysia and has shown some tremendous pace in a strong Sauber. Scoring two superb podiums and sitting quite nicely in the Driver’s championship, he has only been let down by a few rookie-esque mistakes.

    7. Heikki Kovalainen Has done the now usual Heikki job for Caterham that we’ve seen for the previous two seasons. Has taken advantage and got results, including Q2 on merit, whenever he could. Restored Caterham to 10th in the WCC.

    6. Mark Webber Showed great consistency with a string of forth places early in the season and two superb wins at Monaco and Silverstone. Has had some strong comeback races but has lost some ground recently. Has hit back after a less than stellar 2011 and has been the equal of his teammate in both quali and the races. Only two notably weak races in a strong season which sees him sitting second in the WDC.

    5. Romain Grosjean Has been the surprise of the year. From low expectations, he has equaled the pace of his world champion teammate Kimi Raikkonen and when he has finished the races, he has one of the highest averages. Has been involved in a few too many first lap incidents, which if he could have avoided, may have seen him competing for the WDC. Unlucky not to have a win, after exhibiting race winning pace at several Grands Prix so far, most notably Valencia.

    4. Lewis Hamilton Unlucky to be so far back in the WDC. Was consistent but failed to capitalise on his pace setting McLaren early in the season, mainly due to team errors. Has had a couple of strong wins combined with a couple of erratic performances. Overall, a much improved Hamilton for 2012.

    3. Kimi Raikkonen Hasn’t always quite nailed his Qualifying, but his Race pace is always phenomenal, meaning he has potentially missed out on several wins in what is a very fast Lotus. His comeback has already resulted in several podiums and he is undoubtedly still in contention for the Championship. If he and the team can piece together a mistake free weekend, where they can iron out minor strategy and quali issues, then Kimi and Lotus may finally get that elusive win.

    2. Sebastian Vettel Simiarly unlucky to be so far behind Alonso. Struggled somewhat early on, but has been much closer to his best recently. Has had a good start to his championship defence.

    1. Fernando Alonso The standout, no argument or debate. No one has been at the level of Alonso this season, he was stellar salvaging points early on in an uncompetitive Ferrari, including his unlikely and astounding win in Malaysia. Was already leading the championship before Ferrari had solved the major issues with the F2012. One of the most impressive starts to a season I have seen. Will be unlucky not to secure his third championship if he can keep this form up.



    24. Narain Karthikeyan, driving for his nation and sponsors just to have an Indian presence within F1.
    23. Jean Eric Vergne, has scored more points than his team-mate but still hasn’t impressed me at all (compared to Jaime from last year)
    22. Vitaly Petrov, outclassed by Heikki just tells you the guy isn’t anything special but decent driver.
    21. Timo Glock, young team-mate is putting him to shame recently.
    20. Daniel Ricciardo, has good pace but come race day I don’t see anything special in him.
    19. Felipe Massa, dreadful season for the Brazilian. Out shined by Alonso in every category. Showed some glimpses of improvement but even that looks to have faded.
    18. Pedro de la Rosa, much better than his team-mate. Only negative about him was that he criticized the Monaco track layout.
    17. Pastor Maldonado, if he didn’t win that grand prix in Spain, then I would have rated him dead last. He is a walking time bomb on the track and is actually a danger for all other drivers in the grid. Fast but not talented as Toto Wolff would have you believed.
    16. Charles Pic, good talent but needs a better card to really show some skills. Also he’d be a PR disaster for any top team. Guy needs to man up and talk like a male, I can’t say whether a French girl is speaking or something every time he gets interviewed.
    15. Kamui Kobayashi, has been lacklustre compared to Perez this year. He is the most orthodox driver in the grid, misses apexes and is a bit too aggressive, often that makes him come slower than Perez even on quali days.
    14. Bruno Senna, good driver but nothing special again. He needs to be in the top 10 for a few more races especially with a fast car under him.
    13. Nico Hulkenberg, he has been out of touch from race days for a year so yeah wasn’t expecting wonders just yet but still his pace alone should let him outscore his team-mate but he is very inconsistent.
    12. Jenson Button, only ranked higher than Massa because of his 1 win and a few podium positions. He has been woeful come quali day and yes Lewis has absolutely humiliated him on the grid, especially by winning the race in Canada while overlapping his team-mate.
    11.. Michael Schumacher, so unlucky with his car’s unreliability. But a podium this season was a massive accomplishment and should be a good morale boost.
    10. Paul di Resta, decent driver, more like Button and not impressive pace wise but still a decent haul of points in a very disappointing Force India car.
    9. Heikki Kovalainen, he is on fire this season. I think he deserves a shot in a top car again.
    8. Romain Grosjean, blazing fast of a driver. A bit too aggressive even for my taste and decision making wise, he isn’t that good. But I have been very impressed with his improvement. I think his drives show that Heikki deserves a second chance.
    7. Sergio Perez, takes extremely good care of his tyres. A great driver when you play the right strategy and he has it all to be a great racer. Much better option than Massa for Ferrari.
    6. Nico Rosberg, drove well in the first part of the season but his car has hampered any further progress. He is patient and matured which I respect but he has been naughty at times as well. I think he needs to improve his race craft though.
    5. Mark Webber, even with 2 wins he’d rank lower than Vettel because he is inconsistent and he hasn’t showed a champions drive all season just yet I was impressed with him in the British Grand Prix and the fact that he is ahead of Vettel in the standings, means he is having a good season but nothing special.
    4. Kimi Raikkonen, no win and still lacks the killer mentality when it comes to passing the top drivers. He still has his old skills and all he needs is his confidence back. Only way to get that is to win a race pretty dominantly and I can see him doing it with Lotus in the coming races. What a driver and maybe a true competitor for the title this year.
    3. Sebastian Vettel, respect the fact that he doesn’t give up. He is still fast in qualifying and probably the only threat for Lewis pace wise for the next 5 years. He has improved his race craft but I am not impressed with his whining all season. Complains too much and if he called Lewis “stupid”, then we know who is the real “stupid” here. He is still not one of the top 2 drivers in F1 and lags behind Alonso & Hamilton because he truly needs a dominant car to really shine.
    2. Lewis Hamilton, impressive in race and qualifying. He gives it all in the grand prix, he has been unlucky too many times but I think he has made up for his team’s mistakes. He can win the WDC if he gets a better car (in terms of saving the tyre life). He needs to become a 2 time world champion to really reach Alonso’s level and this should be the season to do it. I still think he’ll come short this year yet again because McLaren cannot really take good care of the tyres and really struggle on rainy days.
    1. Fernando Alonso, in contention to reach Senna’s level of 3 time WDC and yeah he is absolutely brilliant. He gives it all he can and its a joy to watch him. A true motivation for all.

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