2013 F1 Driver Review

27 Nov

Hello all,

In the light of reading other season reviews and being shocked by some such as the one by the Guardian which ranks Chilton above Alonso by placing him 11th, I will do my own. I begin.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL- Another super season from the German, I know we may be bored of it, but he keeps winning and always performs. Never really made any mistakes on track, with exception to Multi 21, which seriously damaged his reputation, but that’s life and history now. He has broken yet more records, but with the major rule changes, with Seb still be able to perform? 9/10

MARK WEBBER- A true legend of the sport. Maybe the best or at least on of the best never to win a title. Performed as about can be expected with motivation wearing thin, Multi 21 and a dominating team mate. Still collected some more silverware and had a memorable final race, showing what a great driver he was, and he will be truly missed by the world of F1. 8/10

FERNANDO ALONSO- Again a strong year for Alonso, and again let down by an underperforming Ferrari. He always pushes beyond the cars limit and if Ferrari can get a strong car, will be almost certain for a title win. However, his patience must be being pushed by the lack of performance from the car. Will having Kimi as a teammate affect him. Possibly. But I think he can cover it. 8/10

FELIPE MASSA- His time at Ferrari is over and now he is off to Williams. This move should restart his career as he has really struggled in the red since his 2009 accident. Put in some good races, but again, comprehensively out-done by the might and speed of Alonso. A real shame with the drive-thru penalty in Brazil, a podium was on. But he was always consistent and is a real asset to the Williams team. If the car is strong, bet on him to bring home the bacon.

NICO ROSBERG- Perhaps the most underrated guy on the grid. Ok, so podiums may not have been regular, but he was in the points in ever race he finished and took 2 memorable wins at 2 of the greatest tracks in F1, Monte Carlo and Silverstone. He is also a German we don’t mind winning. He proved he is more than capable against Hamilton and had it not been for his 3 unlucky retirements, would have outdone the Brit. In the right car, this man is a world champion in the making. I hope it works out for him. Drove brilliantly all year and made no noticeable errors. 9/10

LEWIS HAMILTON- The racing driver/pop star crossbreed was strong this year, but has now got a really strong teammate of a similar age who will push him to the limits. Lucky to out do Rosberg this year, but next year will be tougher. Still moans a lot at the team, which is a horrible defect in his personality. Moaning every now and again-acceptable, every second, no. But he raced well, scoring in all but 2 of the races all year and unfortunate not to have more than 1 win. But a much better driver now away from McLaren and proved leaving was the right choice. 8/10

KIMI RAIKKONEN- The Iceman drove well, with 1 win and 7 other podiums to his name this year. I think he is enjoying driving at the moment and will be hopeful of a faster car at Ferrari next year. However, he will be expected to perform and Alonso will be no push over. Had to miss the last 2 races, but didn’t change much. 8/10

ROMAIN GROSJEAN- A mixed bag this season, with a poor start to the season. However, from Korea onwards, was one of the best performers and had the edge on Raikkonen. He didn’t smash into anybody either, a much needed change. Would have been higher if not for his poor early season form, but if he hits the ground running next year and Lotus have a good car, could be one to watch. 7/10

JENSON BUTTON- Hmmm. Not the season either he or the team wanted. But this is motorsport. He was often in the points, which shows his consistency, but at times he seemed to lack motivation, which is understandable in such a poor car, and also doesn’t seem to have the outright speed as many other drivers have. But he continues to perform and given a good car next year, will be the man to get McLaren back. 7/10

SERGIO PEREZ- Fair to say he didn’t get what he wanted from McLaren. He had some good races and also some real shockers. I don’t think he is quite the talent some people think he is and under pressure, seems to crack easily. Has more outright speed than Button, but his race craft is far from world class and I don’t think he would have brought home any wins even if the car was any good. Perhaps one of the disappointments of the year. 5/10

PAUL DI RESTA- Not the best season. The year was off to a great start, but when the car’s performance dropped, so did Paul’s. His run of 5 retirement, most of which were his own fault, put question marks over his true ability. He had the measure over his teammate and is a good driver, but is he a future F1 champion? I don’t know. He is fast, but off the track he rarely smiles, and he character never seems happy, which may count against him. But still consistent as always and if he gets a drive for 2014, will have to have the season of his life if he is to fully prove his worth in F1. 6/10

ADRIAN SUTIL-Far from the best comeback ever. Drove solidly, but had more than his fair share of bad luck. However is the full package really there? Is he the guy you want over the likes of Hulkenberg, Pic and Bottas? I don’t think so. He was a great driver, but he star is beginning to fade and if he is in F1 next year will need to really wring the best from the car. Maybe a move elsewhere will kick start him again, because he is a good driver and an all round nice guy, who has now fully eliminated his old habit of crashing. 5/10

DANIEL RICCIARDO- The most jolly man in F1. Red Bull are gunna love him. He has really matured as a driver and his speed is noticeable. Even when the car is poor, he gets right up there and rarely puts a foot wrong and is more than happy to be a team player. He will hopefully really push Vettel and it would be great for him to prove the critics wrong. A good season and was stunning in China. 8/10

JEAN-ERIC VERGNE- An interesting view. At the beginning of the year he was really good, but slipped away to become an also ran. Only scored 3 times, and although the car wasn’t great, Ricciardo got it home in the points 7 times. Had a cracker in Canada, with a 6th place finish, but he is a yoyo performer, good one day and bad the next.. Next year he must prove his talent or may find himself without a seat. 6/10

NICO HULKENBERG- This guy has masses of talent, which none of the big teams seem willing to take on. The car was poor at the start of the year, but Nico knuckled down and got on with the job. And he raked in the rewards. He took a fantastic 5th in Italy and produced the drive of the year to hold off Hamilton to take P4 in Korea. If he doesn’t get a top team seat next year, then I don’t know what it will take for him to ever get one. His talent is being wasted in midfield teams, this guy should be winning races. The issue? F1 is all about money now, not talent, so drivers like Hulkenberg miss out. 8/10

ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ-An also ran. A big disappointment. After being rated so highly had 2 good races all year and brought home just one points finish. Ok, the car wasn’t great and he is a rookie, but everyone expected at least a little more. He was no match for Hulkenberg and I can only see him in F1 because of the money he brings. On a positive note, a really mature drive in Japan for P7. 3.5/10

PASTOR MALDONADO-Probably the most hated driver in F1 at the moment. The chap does have the speed and talent, as proven last year, but he is so inconsistent that it s a question as to whether to sign him. He brings lots of money to the table, but is he a champion of F1. I doubt it. And criticising the team, especially accusing them of sabotage is a horrendous crime of motorsport. Should never had said anything like that. The car was bad, yes, but instead of being against the team, should have worked with them. But he did bring the car home a lot more and often had the measure of his highly rated teammate.  It seems his only hope of a seat in F1 now is with Lotus. 5/10

VALTERRI BOTTAS- The problem with being so highly rated nowadays is it so often counts against you when you fail to perform. Bottas was solid, but was only ever twice stunning. His qualifying in Canada and the race in Austin. Apart from that it was a quiet year. But he gathered the mileage and experience and he and the team will really bounce back in 2014, and he will learn a lot from Massa. 5/10

CHARLES PIC-This guy is underrated, underestimated and not given enough credit. He is one of the few drivers on the grid with real potential and talent. It wasn’t a brilliant year, but again Caterham failed to produce a car that could score. But he was always pushing and working hard. I really like him. I think is could be a driver of the future. At the beginning of the season, he was the only one of the Caterham duo to take the fight to Bianchi. In Japan, it was him versus Chilton. And Pic didn’t have it easy. On the first lap he had a drive-thru penalty. Then more issues occurred, including a puncture so that within 5 laps he was 40 seconds down on Chilton is cars of equal pace. 48 laps later he was 20 seconds ahead. Incredible. He made up 60 seconds on a car that was of around abouts the same speed. That is a world class drive. He didn’t make mistakes, and whenever there was a result to be had, he had it. In Brazil, he took the fight to the Marussia’s for 10th in the constructers, and was racing strongly and well ahead of Van Der Garde before a suspension failure. His only downfall? Little sponsorship. Which is a shame as this guy is a truly talented driver. 8/10

GIEDO VAN DER GARDE- I must say, he exceeded my expectations. The first few races were very poor, with him finishing last in 5 of the first 8 races. But after this he improved and even out raced Pic a few times. A solid debut season, but to remain in F1 beyond next year, if he is there next year, he must out race his teammate more. Pic soundly outclassed him, especially early in the year and Pic is the more dependable for getting the result, but Giedo is worthy of a seat in F1 and if he is here is 2014, I back him to do really well. 7/10

MAX CHILTON- A solid season. But not great. Mildly good. Truly dominated by Bianchi, he finished last in 12 of the 19 races this year, only out doing Bianchi once. But he qualifying in Japan was really strong and he did finish every race, so he never threw it in the wall. But there is little else to say. He is not amazingly quick and doesn’t really offer a lot to the table. But he is a nice guy and British, and any British driver in F1 is good. But does he deserve a seat in F1 next year. Would be nice, to see any improvement, but against other talented drivers, I have to say no. But lets see. 3/10

JULES BIANCHI- Shot onto the scene with some amazing performances, especially in Australia and Malaysia. This guy has got the speed to do really well in F1, and he gets another shot in 2014. But for him to get a good seat, he must retain that level of performance all year, as he did drop off in 2013. But he has talent, and hopefully he will make his way up the grid. I think, if Marussia are to score, he is the man for the job. A really good debut season. 7/10

This is what I think. Feel free to discuss whether you agree or not. Hope you enjoy.

Tom

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