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Featured F1: Mid-Season Driver Rankings Part One

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Chris Stacey, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    Ric-Ves-Header.jpg The Formula One season is officially halfway through it's record-breakingly long season, so now is as good a time as any to take a look back on how well each driver has performed so far this season.


    Rio-Haryanto.jpg
    Having made his way into a struggling team in need of some immediate funds, Rio Haryanto has proven little, if anything, this season that suggests he's worthy of an F1 seat. It's always tough down the back end of the grid, so to take some crumbs of comfort from his time in F1 he was able to out-qualify his highly talented German teammate, Pascal Wehrlein, on four occasions, however outside of that, he's done very little to warrant the retention of that seat. Combined with the fact that his sponsors have failed to hand over enough money, Rio will likely look for work outside of Formula One despite being retained as a reserve driver for Manor.


    Felipe-Nasr.jpg
    Felipe Nasr's F1 tenure has so far been one of frustration. After a somewhat competitive first half of 2015, it would seem that very little has changed on the Sauber C35 since the beginning of 2016 and the team have openly admitted to not having brought any upgrades to the car this season since Winter testing. Yes. They are that strapped for cash.

    Early season complaints that the car was not working properly have only fueled speculation that Nasr wants out of the Swiss team, and despite a late and slight upswing in form, it's not enough to convince me that Nasr deserves to be higher on this list as he's been fairly consistently out-performed by Marcus Ericsson; a driver that few believe is in F1 on talent alone. Having said that, reliability issues and a team on the verge of bankruptcy is enough to distract most drivers from being able to do their job properly.


    Jolyon-Palmer.jpg
    In a way, I feel Jolyon Palmer should be rated higher as he has endured an incredibly frustrating season thus far. If he didn't have bad luck then he wouldn't have any luck at all. The Renault works team have arguably been the least reliable of the 11 in F1, however they've have managed to find some additional speed in the final three races before the Summer break. Unfortunately, Palmer was unable to capitalise on a strong race in Budapest, which would have seen him take his first points of the season, with a late spin that saw him relegated from the points.

    Car reliability has somewhat muddied the picture when comparing him to Kevin Magnussen, but he's largely been outperformed, especially in qualifying, where's he's received a drubbing at the hands of the Dane.


    Marcus-Ericsson.jpg
    Marcus Ericsson has been in Formula One for three years now. Did you know that? Don't worry, not many people do. Each year he gets my vote for the "Most Anonymous Driver of the Year Award", because he's probably the least discussed driver in F1. He also gets my vote for the "Joffrey Baratheon Resemblance Award" (Game of Thrones fans reading this will know what I'm on about), but that's a story for another time. But, credit to the young Swedish driver, 2016 has seen him put in some fairly convincing performances by out-qualifying Nasr on six occasions and beating him to the chequered flag on five occasions (when both cars are still running, of course).

    Whilst he'd no doubt be wanting to fight further up the grid, two twelfth places in Bahrain and Spain give him enough credit in my eyes to be ranked ahead of his Brazilian teammate, despite Nasr's late upswing in form.

    Esteban-Gut.jpg
    Esteban Gutierrez must be chomping at the bit for the second half of the season to roll around. He's been mightily unlucky to have a big fat zero in the points column considering he's driven very well to finish in 11th place (just outside the points) on four occasions in Spain, Monaco, Austria and most recently in Germany. His teammate was arguably always going to beat him, given that he's one of the more highly rated drivers on the grid in Romain Grosjean, but Gutierrez has to be annoyed that he's put in several strong performances and has nothing to show for it.

    Despite having out-driven Grosjean in several races this season, he's been utterly destroyed on Saturdays by the Frenchman and must improve his single lap pace if he's to be considered as a greater threat to more prestigious seats.


    Stoffel-Vandoorne.jpg
    Stoffel Vandoorne is not technically a full time F1 driver... Yet. But, his performance in Bahrain when substituting for Fernando Alonso was incredibly impressive. With minimal time in the car, Vandoorne was able to do what neither McLaren driver had done in the season leading up to that race, by taking a solitary point at a track that is billed as a weakness for McLaren-Honda.

    Here's hoping he can make his way to a full-time F1 seat in 2017. Formula One needs this young man on the grid as it would only serve to further bolster the best grid, talent wise, in F1 history. Obviously it's too soon to know for sure, but I have a very strong feeling that if Stoffel has a car that is capable of making podiums consistently, then he will be a strong contender for World Champion in the future.


    Kevin-Magnussen.jpg
    Kevin Magnussen (or "K-Mag" as he's more affectionately referred to as) has had an up and down 2016 season so far despite Renault being confined to the doldrums with poor engine power output and reliability and an even weaker chassis. After being harshly dropped from McLaren at the end of 2014, Magnussen was lucky enough to get a second chance in F1 with the newly entered Renault F1 works team, a chance that few ever get.

    Whilst the car hasn't necessarily been up to standard, his drive in Sochi was sublime. Finishing seventh to claim Renault's only points of the season. However, he's been touted as a future superstar in past seasons, it's time for him to step up his game, because even with a lone seventh place, I'm sure the first half of 2016 hasn't been what K-Mag was hoping for.

    Daniil-Kvyat.jpg
    Boy oh boy. Literally. This poor boy is still in the infancy of his F1 career and yet Daniil Kvyat appears to be on the brink of being spat out by Red Bull's ruthless Young Driver Program and left to pick up the shattered pieces of what remains of his career. He started the season with the big brother team: Red Bull Racing, and a brilliant drive in China saw him take to the podium for the first time in 2016. That was Kvyat at his best: Aggressive, fast and measured.

    Since then, it's been nothing but a nose-dive in form and career prospects. He clumsily ran into the back of Sebastian Vettel (former RBR Golden Boy) twice in Sochi which gave Red Bull the excuse they needed to demote him to Toro Rosso only to be replaced by Max Verstappen, the even younger "Wonder Kid". Kvyat would thus remain at Toro Rosso for the rest of the 2016 season and if his performances were any indication of his mental state, things are not looking good. He's been absolutely trashed by his - again, younger - and highly impressive teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., and on many occasions has looked on the verge of tears in post-session interviews.

    Germany however was a turning point for the young Russian. His qualifying performance was the lowest of the low, as he claimed that not even he knew what he needed to do in order to drive faster. But the race saw him finally start to build the slimmest of bases off which to build upon for the remainder of the season. He's got a heck of a lot more base-building to do if he's to remain in F1 in 2017. I truly hope he can rise to the occasion, because Daniil Kvyat deserves on merit, to be in Formula One.

    Don't agree with my rankings? Leave your responses below and let us know who you'd have placed in the 16-23 places for 2016!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  2. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Germany's greatest Indycar Fan. Staff Premium Member

    In my opinion, Rio should at least be rated higher than Ericsson, who has been the disappointment of the season. He looked like he was improving in 2015, but he's just gone back to crashing and mediocrity this year.
     
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  3. Where's Rosberg?!
     
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  4. Tobiman

    Tobiman
    Premium Member

    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  5. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Germany's greatest Indycar Fan. Staff Premium Member

    Probably no higher than second.
     
  6. I would certainly put Vandoorne higher up and probably Gutierrez. Gutierrez has beaten RoGro 5 of the 8 times they both finished and has been really unlucky.
     
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  7. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    My reservations behind Vandoorne's place is simply because we only have the single race to go off. So the sample size is just too small. But, I've tried to place him accurately based on my rankings :)
     
  8. I understand, but even such a performance has to get him above K-Mag who's season has been mediocre. In my opinion of course :).
     
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  9. Marcus Ericsson the 'Swiss' driver? Really?

    And I really think the results are a bit skewed, of course the drivers in the bad cars are going to look bad. Any of these drivers could probably replace someone like Massa and do a perfectly decent job.
     
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  10. Rob

    Rob
    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    For part two, if Verstappen is rated above Sainz, then someone aint doin' their homework. Based on a number of stats, Sainz should have had that seat with Red Bull. In fact, Carlos nearly beat the "better" car on more than one occasion, despite being saddled with a dog. And while both were at STR, Sainz beat Verstappen in every category. Furthermore, Sainz is not a liability (to my knowledge he has never had a "come to Jesus" meeting with Button). On the contrary, he's dead reliable. Ferrari will probably scoop him up and prove once again that they know a real driver when they see one. F1 should not be a popularity contest, although you might never realize it by the way the money acts.

    P.S. - Agree with the above rankings. Good insight. I think that Palmer is much better than his placement, but based on an errant move here and there, you just can't place him higher.

    P.P.S. - Keep firing those old geezers in F1 around 23 and up. IndyCar proves that age is not a liability, but an asset.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  11. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    Oops! Fixed!
     
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  12. I think Nasr is being underrated here.:thumbsdown:
     
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  13. Waiting for part 2 :p
     
  14. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    Oh I've done my homework, but I can't guarantee that you'll be happy about it haha.
    Verstappen is a Grand Prix winner on debut for a new team. Not that Sainz couldn't have done the same had he been put in the same position in Spain, but we can't really assess a driver based on hypotheticals.
     
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  15. On current form, perhaps kvyat could be lower at this stage; capable driver but the current run of form is awful and he'd be the first to admit that.
    Should do a lot better in the second half of the season, as he can get good results.
     
  16. My top 10 drivers in order:

    1: Hamilton
    2: Ricciardo
    3: Verstappen
    4: Rosberg
    5: Sainz
    6: Raikkonen
    7: Button
    8: Perez
    9: Vettel
    10: Wehrlein
     
  17. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Nasr 22nd. I harshly disagree with the ranking.

    The team openly admitted that the lack of resources made only possible to have 1 updated car and Ericsson had the advantage on the start of the season having that car, while Nasr has basically a car that resembled last year's car. But now the second half of the season, Nasr is driving MILES AND MILES BETTER than Ericsson so I still say this, Nasr in a better car is better than at least 60-70% of the field (Except for the front pack of course, but he can drive).

    He doesn't deserve Sauber.
     
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  18. Milos

    Milos
    Had things gone my way, who knows.. Premium Member

    Personally I'd put Palmer last. Magnussen below Vandoorne and Gutierrez also, Renault's lineup is imo weaker than Sauber. Also, Nasr should be higher up, at least above Ericsson!
    Curious to see the rest of the rankings :)
     
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  19. Hmm based on? I'll make the better stats italic..
    Season 2015:
    Verstappen 49 points
    Sainz - 18 points

    Verstappen 4 DNF
    Sainz 7 DNF

    If both finished, who was in front of who?
    Verstappen 6 times in front
    Sainz 3 times in front

    Highest finishing:
    Verstappen 4th (2 times)
    Sainz 7th

    2016 until Spain
    Verstappen 13 points
    Sainz 4 points

    Both 1 DNF

    Both were 1 time in front of each other.

    Only in qualifying Sainz was better.. Verstappen has to improve in Q.

    But Sainz was only trying to outperform Verstappen, and because of that he didn't perform that well (is what some people say).
    Well, if that's the case, he cannot stand the pressure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  20. Rob

    Rob
    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    My assessment is not based on hypothetical data nor does it call for speculation. I'm simply going on head to head records in the same car, since virtually everything else in F1 is tainted by machine, not driver. After eliminating mechanical failures (but not crashes) Sainz out-qualified, out-raced, and made up more positions than Verstappen when they were both at STR. And, frankly, the numbers were not even that close. After getting Kvyat, Sainz dominated that former RBR driver even more. I'm not sure *anyone* on the grid takes care of the machinery better or yanks more out of the equipment than Sainz. Just take a look at his rock steady (and often stunning points hauls) races this year. Why the media ignores him, I'll never know.

    As for these "stats" -- (my comments in ital.)
    Season 2015:
    Verstappen 49 points
    Sainz - 18 points
    (sure, plain as day, but this sole stat does nothing to give the complete picture, since it is dependent of one single factor -- finishing position -- which is no doubt one of many stats, but one of the few in Verstappen's favor. Two fourth places, Hungary, USA, created the gap. For instance, Sainz scored two points in his first race, Verstappen retired.)

    Verstappen 4 DNF
    Sainz 7 DNF
    (This is misleading. DNFs happen for many reasons. If we dig deeper, we find this:
    Sainz:
    BAH - Mechanical Failure, AUT - Technical Failure, GBR - Electrical Failure, HUN - Fuel Pressure Failure, BEL - Car failed before start, RUS - Brake failure, BRA - Car failure before start.
    Verstappen:
    AUS - Engine Failure, BAH - Electrical Failure, MON - At Fault Crash, GBR - Spun Into Gravel,.
    Sainz has made exactly one error in two seasons. We all know what Max has done. Practically all of these failures were while Sainz had a shot at points. Two of them prevented him from even starting. Point being...if the car does not fail, he will not either. The entire grid will tell you that's the opposite of Verstappen.
    Sainz' average finish was 12th and Max's was 10th, but the key here is that Sainz' took care of the car and was much more consistent, with no dramatic swings of fate, a nasty little quality Max carries to this day. So, you tell me if Sainz would have outscored Max in points if he had not been given a crap car.)


    2016 until Spain
    Verstappen 13 points
    Sainz 4 points

    Both 1 DNF

    Both were 1 time in front of each other.
    (Pretty even I'll say, but I'll grant you that Verstappen was marginally better in 2016. That said, what Carlos had done with the STR from Spain on -- more than three points per race -- is remarkable. And very consistent. Max has done well, but he's 4-4 vs. Daniel. In a Red Bull.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
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