Top ten drivers of the season (so far)

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    Sir Teukka

    So, we’re at the halfway point of the 2014-15 Formula One season and I thought I’d love to see people’s opinions on who have been the best drivers so far.

    I put top ten in the title, but feel free to rank as many drivers as you wish.

    My top ten goes as follows:

    1. Rosberg – Clearly in the best car, but has also beaten everybody but his teammate in every race (not including technical issues). Leads the championship and hasn’t made many mistakes.

    2. Hamilton – Also in the best car and losing to his teammate, but he’s had more issues with his car and is still very close in the championship. With a little more luck he might even lead.

    3. Alonso – Has taken an average car (at best) to a podium and has had consistent points-finishes throughout the season. Beating his world champion teammate comfortably.

    4. Ricciardo – Is third in the championship, which is the best anyone can do, considering the Mercedes pace.
    Is also the teammate of reigning four-time world champion, who admitted Ricciardo’s been doing a better job.

    5. Bottas – Was in a tight battle against Massa in the early part of the season, but has gone to a whole new level lately. Three consecutive podiums and first one to beat a Mercedes.

    6. Hulkenberg – Quietly doing an excellent job once again.

    7. Vettel – Has struggled a lot with the car, but has also been unluckier than his teammate. Still, not where he should be in the standings.

    8. Button – Almost took the McLaren to a podium in Silverstone. Been consistent and done pretty much what’s possible with the car.

    9. Magnussen – After a podium in his first F1 race, things have gone downhill. A few mistakes and nothing spectacular, but a pretty solid rookie season so far.

    10. Grosjean – Lotus has been the biggest disappointment this season. 8 points is good considering the struggles they’ve had. Has also been consistently faster than his teammate.

    What do you think?



    I’m looking at how the drivers perform, not their cars. No way either Rosberg or Hamilton has been the best all things considered, so my top 10 is like this:

    1. Daniel Ricciardo – surprise of the year, won a race and is beating his 4-time champion team mate
    2. Fernando Alonso – doing everything he can to get points in the Ferrari, have been far ahead of Raikkonen
    3. Nico Rosberg – few mistakes, championship leader
    4. Valtteri Bottas – three podiums in a row is very impressive, he is definitely doing much better than expected
    5. Nico Hulkenberg – very solid, gets points every time
    6. Lewis Hamilton – makes too many mistakes, but has still done well to win 5 races
    7. Jenson Button – frequently beats team mate Magnussen in the race when it matters and have taken as many points as possibly really. Kind of underrated this year I think, but he is indeed behind in qualifying
    8. Jules Bianchi – points in Monaco, doing well generally and kicking Chilton’s ass once again
    9. Sergio Perez – almost the fastest driver in the field on a good day, but there are too many bad drives in between. However, some good ones gives him the #9 spot
    10. Kevin Magnussen – showing speed and doing well for a rookie, but I expected more tbh



    I’m sorry but no way has Rosberg outperformed Hamilton so far this season. Apart from his two mistakes in qualifying, pushing too hard in Austria & Bahrain, and his mistake in qualifying at Silverstone (a very easy mistake to make), he’s been pretty much flawless.


    Craig Woollard

    My top 10:

    Ricciardo: A win, several podiums, some brilliant overtakes. Nuff said.
    Bottas: A shaky start to the season, but incredible drives in Spain, Austria, Britain and Germany.
    Hamilton: Awesome form in the first five races, somewhat dropped off since but still thereabouts.
    Rosberg: Ahead of Hamilton in qualifying, almost ahead in the races. Definitely giving him a good run.
    Alonso: Vintage Alonso again this season.
    Vettel: Somewhat outshone by Ricciardo in qualifying, but had some poor luck and poor strategies in races.
    Hulkenberg: Scored in every race, demolishing Perez in qualifying, not much else needs to be added.
    Grosjean: Really done well to drag some Q3 performances and good points in that woeful Lotus.
    Vergne: Improved his qualifying, hugely unlucky in the races. Should have more points through no fault of his own.
    Kvyat: Top rookie so far. Made very few rookie mistakes and like JEV, has had some bad luck.



    My list:

    1. Daniel Ricciardo – Has done what no-one expected him to do. Brilliant job all the season.
    2. Fernando Alonso – Very Alonso-like season. Doing whatever is possible with that Ferrari
    3. Lewis Hamilton – A bit faster than Rosberg
    4. Nico Rosberg – A bit slower than Hamilton
    5. Daniil Kvyat – Very impressive rookie. I thought his F1-debut came a bit too early, but he has proven me wrong.
    6. Nico Hulkenberg – Usually gets the most out of his car, but I thought he would be much better against Perez than he has actually been.
    7. Valtteri Bottas – Has been brilliant during the last 3 races, but the first 7 were just ok IMO.
    8. Sebastian Vettel – Seems to get all the bad luck in Red Bull, but still, Ricciardo has beaten him in almost every race where both of them finished.
    9. Sergio Perez – Has been much better against Hulkenberg than I expected.
    10. Romain Grosjean – Doing whatever is possible with that Lotus.
    11. Jenson Button
    12. Kevin Magnussen
    13. Jean-Eric Vergne
    14. Felipe Massa
    15. Jules Bianchi
    16. Kamui Kobayashi
    17. Kimi Räikkönen
    18. Esteban Gutierrez
    19. Pastor Maldonado
    20. Max Chilton
    21. Marcus Ericsson
    22. Adrian Sutil.


    Theo Parkinson

    1. Ricciardo. Exceeded all expectations and has been consistently brilliant. Was also the only driver up for it when the mercs hit problems.
    2. Hamilton. Its easy to forget that at the start of the year, he was unstoppable. Some of the best drives of the year in Malaysia and Bahrain but also some of the biggest blunders.
    3. Alonso. A typical Alonso season, a part from a few races where he has seemed a bit bored, he has been amazing. The only reason he is not higher is because this brilliance is the norm with this man
    4. Rosberg. Has been consistently good under pressure with impressive qualifying displays in Canada and Bahrain. He hasn’t realy done anything amazing so far this year and has made a few mistakes (Australia, China, Monaco qualifying) but has had enough luck and talent to get around them.
    5. Hulkenberg. Aside from Bahrain Q2,t this man has been very similar to Alonso. If he had the car, he would be talked about the same way as Bottas and Ricciardo.


    Bradley Downton

    1. Daniel Ricciardo – Has barely put a foot wrong and has beat his 4-times World Champion teammate.
    2. Fernando Alonso – A typically Alonso-esque season, solid and reliable, always extracting the maximum.
    3. Valtteri Bottas – Impressive and best of the rest recently but occasional mistakes mean not as good as top two.
    4. Lewis Hamilton – Has been the quicker Mercedes driver more of the time, but mistakes have been too frequent.
    5. Nico Rosberg – Has generally not been as quick as Hamilton, but has had his days.
    6. Nico Hulkenberg – An Alonso-esque season. Solid in car that’s looked mighty poor at times despite the awesome engine.
    7. Sebastian Vettel – Comprehensively beaten by Ricciardo and has looked more average than a 4-times World Champion should.
    8. Sergio Perez – Has been closer to Hulk than a lot of people expected, but still not as good.
    9. Jenson Button – A solid season in another car that isn’t good, despite a double opening race podium.
    10. Jean-Eric Vergne – Has been impressive in an average car and hugely unlucky, should have many more points.
    11. Kevin Magnussen – Close to Button but a few more mistakes, similar seasons but slightly more off the pace usually.
    12. Daniil Kvyat – Good season for the rookie but Vergne’s done better, and would be even further ahead if not for mechanical failures, although Daniil’s had his own.
    13. Romain Grosjean – Has done as best he can in a car that’s just shocking.
    14. Felipe Massa – In a car that’s surely second best, Massa keeps messing up and blaming others. Sad to say but he looks past it.
    15. Jules Bianchi – Has usually been best of the back-markers and to score points in a Marussia is beyond expectations.
    16. Kamui Kobayashi – Not brilliant, but has had the beating of Ericsson too. In a car that’s clearly the worst on the field, has done ok.
    17. Marcus Ericsson – Similar to Kobayashi, but not been as good.
    18. Max Chilton – Has sometimes struggled to beat even the Caterhams but has on occasions beaten Bianchi too.
    19. Pastor Maldonado – Miles behind Grosjean and has looked all at sea.
    20. Kimi Raikkonen – Has been so far behind Alonso most of the time he’s starting to look more like an out of depth rookie than an ex-World Champion.
    21. Adrian Sutil – The car is poor, but it’s being let down even more so by the drivers.
    22. Esteban Gutierrez – Same as Sutil, but not as good.



    1. Ricciardo – He is giving his 4-time World Champion quite a lot to think about. He’s proving he can race as well as he can qualify!
    2. Alonso – People thought he’d have a battle on his hands with Raikkonen, yet he’s the only driver not to have been beaten by a team-mate! As ever, he’s been Mr Consistent.
    3. Bottas – He’s another young driver doing a splendid job. He’s also been consistent and lately seems to have moved up a gear.
    4. Hamilton – It’s easy for people to forget he won four on the trot earlier in the season and has driven superbly in the races. He has made some mistakes in qualifying but the speed is there. I’m sure we’ll see it soon.
    5. Rosberg – He did well to halt the momentum which was with Hamilton until Monaco. He isn’t making too many mistakes and that’s giving Hamilton a real challenge.
    6. Kvyat – He’s rookie of the year so far for me. He isn’t making many mistakes which would’ve been expected from a rookie. He’s justifying Red Bull’s faith in him to put him in a Toro Rosso seat ahead of others.
    7. Hulkenberg – Another consistent performer. I would’ve expected him to be higher in this list before the season though. He hasn’t beaten Perez as easily as many thought he would. Still, an excellent job by him.
    8. Vettel – Despite being beaten by his team-mate, he’s still had some good drives. He’s had terrible luck, but I suppose it’s better he’s had it this year than any of the previous four years. He’ll bounce back.
    9. Button – I feel he is driving well. Qualifying can be a bit hit and miss, but generally has the beating of the promising Magnussen in the races.
    10. Perez – He’s had some great drives which he has provided throughout his career so far. He’s closer to Hulkenberg than many thought he’d be which indicates his impressive speed.



    1. Fernando Alonso
    Absolutely perfect, the only driver who thus far this season has performed faultlessly. Also is demolishing a WDC teammate.
    2. Daniel Ricciardo
    Apart from one poor qualifying session in Malaysia, he has been on the same level as Alonso. Biggest surprise of the season.
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    Up and until Spain or Monaco he was my #1. More recently however, his constant qualifying mistakes have dropped him to 3rd.
    4. Nico Rosberg
    He has been great this season. Only needs to improve his wet weather skills. Also his starts haven’t been great either
    5. Valtteri Bottas
    Another rising star this season. In the last 3 GP’s he has been consistently on the podium

    As for the rest:

    6. Nico Hulkenberg
    7. Daniil Kvyatt
    8. Sebastian Vettel
    9. Jenson Button
    10. Kevin Magnussen
    11. Sergio Perez
    12. Jean-Eric Vergne
    13. Jules Bianchi
    14. Romain Grosjean
    15. Felipe Massa
    16. Kamui Kobayashi
    17. Kimi Raikkonen
    18. Adrian Sutil
    19. Pastor Maldonado
    20. Marcus Ericsson
    21. Max Chilton
    22. Esteban Gutierrez



    I often read threads like this and feel Hamilton still suffers from his poor season in 2011. The last 3 years he has constantly been accused of making too many mistakes, when really he hasn’t made many. This season I can’t think of a single mistake in the races other than the collision with Button (the smallest of misjudgements).

    He has made up for all but 1 of his quali mistakes in the following race (Austria, having won Bahrain and Silverstone, and getting ahead of Rosberg in Canada before his breaks failed).



    1. Ricciardo
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. Bottas
    5. Rosberg
    6. Bianchi
    7. Button
    8. Hülkenberg
    9. Magnussen
    10. Vettel
    11. Grosjean
    12. Vergne
    13. Kobayashi
    14. Kvyat
    15. Massa
    16. Perez
    17. Räikkönen
    18. Chilton
    19. Ericsson
    20. Maldonado
    21. Gutierrez
    22. Sutil


    Nic Morley

    1. Daniel Ricciardo
    Exceeded expectations and very consistent. Beating four time world champion teammate. Only driver so far to win a race bar the Mercedes. Easy choice.

    2. Fernando Alonso
    Destroying Raikkonen and is always mixing it up with the Mercs and Red Bulls. Consistent as always.

    3. Nico Rosberg
    Championship leader while matching, if not bettering Hamilton. Personally has driven better than Hamilton this season. Hasn’t put a foot wrong bar China.

    4. Valterri Bottas
    If not for his shaky start to the season he would be placed in number 2. Lately has been very impressive. Some great overtakes, consistency.

    Behind Rosberg in championship due to some bad luck. However has made more mistakes and hasn’t driven any better than the drivers ahead of him.

    6. Nico Hulkenberg
    Has been in the points all season and ahead of Perez more often then not. A little anonymous sometimes but his consistency and speed is brilliant.

    7. Jules Bianchi
    Hopefully he gets a better drive next season. First driver to score out of the ‘new’ teams. Destroying Chilton. Heaps of potential.

    8. Daniil Kyvat
    Outperforming Vergne and has driven some great races. Can see him replacing Vettel when he moves on elsewhere.

    9. Sergio Perez
    Some great drives though a little inconsistent. Has matched the highly rated Hulkenberg at some races.

    10. Jenson Button
    Do not understand the critism he gets. Has driven better than Magnussen and scored the most points.

    Really from 9 down its difficult, only the top eighth have stood out to me.



    1) Bottas
    2) Rosberg
    3) Hamilton
    4) Ricciardo
    5) Alonso
    6) Hulkenberg
    7) Kyviat
    8) Vettel
    9) Massa
    10) Bianchi


    Keith Campbell

    1) Alonso – has to fight for every position and hasn’t put a wheel wrong yet. Contrast to Raikkonen just makes the car look worse and him look even better.
    2) Ricciardo – has surprised almost everyone with his performances this season. The qualifying pace isn’t that surprising, but also race pace and wheel to wheel he has been exceptional.
    3) Hamilton – not a perfect season by any means. Plenty of mistakes but with the WDC at stake and the lion’s share of bad luck has still marginally outperformed his teammate. Needs to cut out the mistakes to take the title.
    4) Rosberg – has challenged his teammate for pace throughout the season as he did last year, but still a tad reliant on mistakes or misfortune other side of the garage. If he keeps up the performances of the last 5 races then Lewis will have to be at his best to take the title.
    5) Hulkenberg – not so many headline grabbing performances but consistently getting as much from the car as possible.
    6) Bottas – impressive consistency and maturity and is now getting the results the car deserves. Very few errors and keeps his head in the right place. Needs to keep outpacing Massa consistently to be considered a future WDC contender.
    7) Vettel – a lot of bad luck has gone his way but even without it, his teammate has outperformed him in all categories. Not a terrible performance but not the level we have come to expect. His reputation could take a bit of a hammering if he can’t challenge his teammate in second half of the season.
    8) Button – pretty consistent if not outstanding, i think he’s doing as much as he can with the car and has outpaced his rookie teammate most weekends.
    9) Perez – some stand out performances in Bahrain, Canada and Austria. Has impressed with his speed on those occasions but needs to cut out the silly collisions and score consistently.
    10) Vergne – flying under the radar but doing a solid job despite a weight disadvantage to his teammate (not sure if the car is now below the weight limit). Perhaps another underrated driver considering how good Ricciardo is proving to be.



    1. Ricciardo – This year’s standout performer. When he was signed for Red Bull last year, everyone seemed to be whining about how Red Bull had only hired him to be a whipping boy for Vettel, and that they should’ve employed Raikkonen. Ricciardo has silenced his critics perfectly.

    2. Alonso – As good as ever. When you consider that there are at least 6 drivers with more competitive machinery, for Alonso to have finished lower than 6th on just one occasion is staggering.

    3. Hamilton – Driving errors have let him down on a couple of occasions, but he’s shown race-winning pace in every Grand Prix so far. Has definitely suffered the worst of Mercedes unreliability.

    4. Rosberg – Although he hasn’t made the same mistakes as his teammate, there have been some occasions where he’s been demolished by Hamilton. Nico hasn’t yet beaten Lewis in the same way that Lewis destroyed Nico in Malaysia and China.

    5. Bottas – A very disappointing start to the year for both him and Williams, in what seemed to be another year where Williams would fail to deliver following a promising pre-season. But since Austria Bottas has been near-flawless. Best of the rest behind Mercedes for 3 races in a row, and so far the only person to finish ahead of a Merc on track.

    6. Vettel – He owes his lowly championship position more to unreliability than anything else, but there have still been a number of occasions where he has exited qualifying before the top-10 shootout. Still, when his car has held together he has finished no worse than 6th, so he’s still getting the job done.

    7. Hulkenberg – Rock hard consistency, but yet to show the flare required to get on the podium. However, a very reliable pair of hands and has contributed to a huge chunk of Force India’s points haul.

    8. Perez – Hasn’t had the same consistency as Hulkenberg, and his “go big or go home” driving style hasn’t won him half as many points as Hulkenberg – but it’s meant he’s spent a lot more time running at the front of the race, and has come a lot closer to winning than his teammate.

    9. Kvyat – F1’s youngest ever point scorer is looking like another success story for Helmut Marko. It hasn’t helped that he’s been given one of the least reliable cars in F1, but he’s made multiple appearances in the top-10 shootout, and his rookie campaign has been more solid than either of the other rookies.

    10. Grosjean – I do feel sorry for Romain. In late 2013 he was the only man to consistently challenge the Vettel steamroller, and his efforts this year have deserved a lot more than a pair of 8th place finishes.

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