F1 in Review: 2013 F1 Driver Rankings

With the F1 season now done and dusted, we rate the drivers based on the performance throughout the second half of the season.

They will be ranked based on our earlier half term report and how they fared after F1 returned from the summer break.

Note: Heikki Kovalainen is not included after driving in only two races in place of Kimi Räikkönen.


22. Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado Pastor Maldonado Pastor Maldonado

Mid-Year Ranking: 19th

What a wretched second half it’s been for Maldonado. He struggled to beat his rookie teammate Valtteri Bottas, and stooped to a new low when he accused his own team of sabotage. It’s a worry that his money has secured his arrogant attitude another drive in F1, undeservedly near the front of the grid partnering Romain Grosjean at Lotus.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Williams Renault FW35
Qualifying: Maldonado 7 – 12 Bottas
Race: Maldonado 9 – 5 Bottas
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 18th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 10th Best Qualifying: 13th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 1 Retirements: 3


21. Charles Pic

Charles Pic Charles Pic Charles Pic

Mid-Year Ranking: 18th

Pic started off the season on the front foot, seeing off the challenge put to him by the 28-year-old rookie teammate Giedo van der Garde.

However, his form slumped and he found himself struggling to head the intra-team battle in the second half of the season, although he did finish in front of his teammate in both head-to-head qualifying and race finishes over the course of the season. Unfortunately for Pic, he may find himself out of a drive as Heikki Kovalainen confidently told press in Brazil that a deal is close to being done.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Caterham Renault CT03
Qualifying: Pic 11 – 8 van der Garde
Race: Pic 8 – 4 van der Garde
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 20th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 14th Best Qualifying: 18th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 0 Retirements: 4

20. Giedo van der Garde

Giedo van der Garde Giedo van der Garde Giedo van der Garde

Mid-Year Ranking: 21st

It was hard to split the two Caterham drivers simply because neither of them shone when the team needed them to. Van der Garde only just places higher than his teammate Pic because he was able to challenge the Frenchman on a regular basis in his first F1 season.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Caterham Renault CT03
Qualifying: Van der Garde 8 – 11 Pic
Race: Van der Garde 4 – 8 Pic
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 22nd
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 14th Best Qualifying: 14th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 0 Retirements: 4


19. Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil Adrian Sutil Adrian Sutil

Mid-Year Ranking: 12th

Adrian Sutil has to be one of the biggest let-downs of the season’s second half. He surprised many getting to grips with the VJM06 so quickly in pre-season testing after a year out of the sport, and even leading the Australian Grand Prix for a few laps (albeit on a different tyre strategy). But when the second half came around it was like Sutil ran out of gas, placing ninth twice as his best finish.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM06
Qualifying: Sutil 8 – 11 di Resta
Race: Sutil 4 – di Resta 8
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 13th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 5th Best Qualifying: 7th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 29 Retirements: 6

* Sutil retired from 2 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


18. Jean-Éric Vergne

Jean-Éric Vergne Jean-Éric Vergne Jean-Éric Vergne

Mid-Year Ranking: 15th

Given the harsh environment of the Red Bull family, we wouldn’t have been surprised if Vergne was dropped in order for a new driver to come aboard the team.

It’s tough to say but look at Sebastien Buemi and Jamie Algersuari for an example; they took a while to find their feat in F1 but recorded some strong results towards the end of the season before getting the boot. Vergne seems to be driving defeated ever since Ricciardo was promoted to partner Vettel at Red Bull, finishes like 17th, 16th and 15th during a driver market shuffle doesn’t do your prospects many favours.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8
Qualifying: Vergne 4 – 15 Ricciardo
Race: Vergne 5 – 6 Ricciardo
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 15th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 0 Best Qualifying: 7th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 13 Retirements: 6

* Vergne retired from 1 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


17. Sergio Pérez

Sergio Pérez Sergio Pérez Sergio Pérez

Mid-Year Ranking: 13th

Many would argue that it was stiff of McLaren to let Pérez go after one season. However this wasn’t their fault. McLaren’s hands were tied, like Red Bull they too have a young driver program to nurture young talent and bring them into Formula 1. Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh had an agreement with one of the lower teams to place star pupil Kevin Magnussen in their seat and on the grid. This ‘absolute deal’ fell apart when the team principal backed out, according to Whitmarsh.

The end result was to sign Magnussen to McLaren and get rid of Pérez. Perhaps it was a tough decision, but if Perez had been a bit more consistent and scored a few more points, he might have saved his seat. He fell 24 points behind teammate Button and only just outperformed him in the head-to-head qualifying stakes – hardly a ringing endorsement when Button has a poor one-lap record.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
Qualifying: Pérez 10 – 9 Button
Race: Pérez 6 – 13 Button
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 11th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 5th Best Qualifying: 7th
Fastest Laps: 1 Points: 49 Retirements: 2

* Pérez retired from 2 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


16. Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta Paul di Resta Paul di Resta

Mid-Year Ranking: 10th

Di Resta endured a shocking return from the summer break, retiring from Spa, Monza and Korea.

With the Force Indias struggling on the updated Pirelli rubber, he only managed two points scoring positions which came in India (8th) and Abu Dhabi (6th) – both on the back of monster opening stints.

Mix those results with no sponsorship backing and a poor attitude towards the car and you have a driver struggling to remain on the grid in 2014.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM06
Qualifying: Di Resta 11 – 8 Sutil
Race: Di Resta 8 – 4 Sutil
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 12th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 4th Best Qualifying: 5th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 48 Retirements: 6

* Di Resta retired from 2 Grand Prix to-date in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


15. Jenson Button

Jenson Button Jenson Button Jenson Button

Mid-Year Ranking: 11th

Given the car beneath him, Jenson Button hasn’t scored too badly the second half of the season, although it did seem like both McLarens and some other teams were lost amidst the domination by Red Bull Racing.

His approach to a number of race weekends let him down, however the last two races in the United States and Brazil saw a happier Button, perhaps because the season was almost over. A season’s best finish of fourth in Sao Paulo may reinvigorate the 2009 World Champion for the challenge ahead of 2014’s new regulations.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
Qualifying: Button 9 – 10 Pérez
Race: Button 13 – 6 Pérez
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 9th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 4th Best Qualifying: 6th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 73 Retirements: 1

* Button retired from 1 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


14. Max Chilton

Max Chilton Max Chilton Max Chilton

Mid-Year Ranking: 20th

Chilton didn’t really raise eyebrows like his teammate Jules Bianchi did the first half of the season, but the second half saw the young Brit break the record of being the only F1 rookie to finish all races in a season.

The record alone didn’t get him this high on the list; he has improved quite a lot since the start of the year, where he was always trailing teammate Bianchi by quite some margin. Now he’s closed the gap and even out-raced him on a few occasions.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Marussia Cosworth MR02
Qualifying: Chilton 1 – 17 Bianchi
Race: Chilton 2 – 14 Bianchi
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 23rd
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 14th Best Qualifying: 16th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 0 Retirements: 0


13. Esteban Gutiérrez

Esteban Gutiérrez Esteban Gutiérrez Esteban Gutiérrez

Mid-Year Ranking: 22nd

From last in the rankings to 13th. That’s not a bad jump for the Mexican rookie who has improved a considerable amount since the start of 2013, netting three Q3 appearances and a solid maiden points’ finish at Suzuka.

Unfortunately he still played second fiddle to star teammate Nico Hülkenberg. His recent form has Sauber interested in retaining him for another year, and with his teammate off to Force India in 2014, the youngster could still be kept on board at the Hinwil-based team.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Sauber Ferrari C32
Qualifying: Gutiérrez 1 – 18 Hülkenberg
Race: Gutiérrez 3 – 12 Hülkenberg
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 16th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 7th Best Qualifying: 9th
Fastest Laps: 1 Points: 6 Retirements: 3

* Gutiérrez retired from 1 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


12. Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi Jules Bianchi Jules Bianchi

Mid-Year Ranking: 14th

Bianchi continued his impressive debut season, continuously battling the two Caterham drivers when Marussia started to fall behind Caterham in the latter part of the season.

Quite a few times Bianchi out qualified both Caterham drivers and his teammate (although beating Chilton was rather more expected); his consistency and speed earned him a well-deserved extension on his contract with Marussia.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Marussia Cosworth MR02
Qualifying: Bianchi 17 – 1 Chilton
Race: Bianchi 14 – 2 Chilton
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 19th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 13th Best Qualifying: 15th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 0 Retirements: 3


11. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas Valtteri Bottas Valtteri Bottas

Mid-Year Ranking: 16th

Had a better second half than first, highlighted by scoring his first championship points with a brilliant weekend in Austin. He showed us how competent he is behind the wheel of an F1 car by convincingly beat his teammate Pastor Maldonado in his rookie year. His passing move on Esteban Gutiérrez in Austin provided us with one of the best overtakes of the year.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Williams Renault FW35
Qualifying: Bottas 12 – 7 Maldonado
Race: Bottas 5 – 9 Maldonado
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 17th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 8th Best Qualifying: 3rd
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 4 Retirements: 2

10. Kimi Räikkönen

Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen

Mid-Year Ranking: 3rd

Räikkönen had a rather inconsistent second half-year year after F1 returned from its summer break. He managed to get on the podium twice but also retired two times.

More worryingly, he was regularly out-qualified by his teammate Romain Grosjean, whom he led 8-2 before the mid-season break.

Fair enough, he may not have wanted to give 100% to a team that failed to pay him a euro for most of the year, but he’s still a racing driver competing for wins and shouldn’t be beaten the way he was by Grosjean.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Lotus Renault E21
Qualifying: Räikkönen 10 – 7 Grosjean
Race: Räikkönen 8 – 4 Grosjean
Grands Prix: 17 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 5th
Wins: 1 Podiums: 9 Best Qualifying: 2nd
Fastest Laps: 2 Points: 183 Retirements: 2


9. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo

Mid-Year Ranking: 8th

Ricciardo’s performances all year proved enough to promote him to Red Bull Racing, and by only making one or two slight mistakes in the second half of the year ensured his victory over Jean-Éric Vergne by seven points. He equalled his best finish of the season at the team’s home Grand Prix in Italy (7th).

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8
Qualifying: Ricciard 15 – 4 Vergne
Race: Ricciardo 6 –5 Vergne
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 14th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 7th Best Qualifying: 6th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 20 Retirements: 5

* Ricciardo retired from 2 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


8. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso

Mid-Year Ranking: 5th

Alonso had a decent run of podium and points finishes during the second half of the season, although his Ferrari’s lack of qualifying speed in saw him start too far back to challenge Vettel’s dominance at the front of the field.

Hopefully a better attitude and being seriously pushed by new teammate Kimi Räikkönen next year will propel him back to the winners’ circle on a regular basis.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Scuderia Ferrari F138
Qualifying: Alonso 10 – 8 Massa
Race: Alonso 15 – 1 Massa
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 2nd
Wins: 2 Podiums: 9 Best Qualifying: 3rd
Fastest Laps: 2 Points: 242 Retirements: 1


7. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton

Mid-Year Ranking: 4th

Hamilton qualified well throughout the last nine races, although never seemed to capitalise on his starting positions. He only had the one podium finish – a third place at Spa-Francorchamps after he had qualified on pole. A sombre approach towards most race weekends could have resulted in poor results, that or the cars setup which always seemed to be not quite right.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04
Qualifying: Hamilton 11 – 8 Rosberg
Race: Hamilton 11 – 11 Rosberg
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 4th
Wins: 1 Podiums: 5 Pole Positions: 5
Fastest Laps: 1 Points: 189 Retirements: 1


6. Mark Webber

Mark Webber Mark Webber Mark Webber

Mid-Year Ranking: 6th

A season plagued with unfortunate mechanical errors saw Webber’s final year in Formula 1 dominated by Sebastian Vettel. KERS always seemed to go missing during a race which meant he was vulnerable to overtakes, and not able to challenge anyone in front after he had one of his poor starts off the grid.

Despite his problems, the last three races of his career resulted in podium finishes (he was also on track for a second place in India before mechanical problems put him out of the race). He also put in a few great qualifying laps to prove Vettel didn’t have the entire pace, getting his RB9 on pole in Japan and Abu Dhabi. After a tough year Webber still managed third in the Championship.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Red Bull Racing Renault RB9
Qualifying: Webber 2 – 17 Vettel
Race: Webber 0 – 15 Vettel
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 3rd
Wins: 0 Podiums: 8 Pole Positions: 2
Fastest Laps: 5 Points: 199 Retirements: 4

* Webber retired from 1 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


5. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg Nico Rosberg Nico Rosberg

Mid-Year Ranking: 2nd

Even though the championship standings show Rosberg two places down on his teammate Lewis Hamilton, they were both evenly matched throughout the whole season.

However Rosberg’s second half of the season proved much more consistent than the Englishman’s; this was highlighted by a second place finish in India and third the following race in Abu Dhabi.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04
Qualifying: Rosberg 8 – 11 Hamilton
Race: Rosberg 11 – 11 Hamilton
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 6th
Wins: 2 Podiums: 4 Pole Positions: 3
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 171 Retirements: 3

* Rosberg retired from 1 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


4. Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa Felipe Massa Felipe Massa

Mid-Year Ranking: 17th

As soon as Ferrari announced they would not be retaining Felipe Massa after eight years of service, he finally broke free from Alonso’s services and starting driving for himself.

The results spoke for themselves. He regularly out qualified Alonso (he beat the Spaniard 5-4 in the second half of the season) and showed great race craft on Sundays, a fair improvement on his very poor performances from the first half of the year.

His return to form attracted the interest of Williams who chose him to replace the Lotus-bound Pastor Maldonado.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Scuderia Ferrari F138
Qualifying: Alonso 10 – 8 Massa
Race: Alonso 15 – 1 Massa
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 8th
Wins: 0 Podiums: 1 Best Qualifying: 2nd
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 112 Retirements: 2

3. Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg Nico Hülkenberg Nico Hülkenberg

Mid-Year Ranking: 9th

We all know it, Hulkenberg is a star. It’s not like he’s had one or two races to raise a few eyebrows in the paddock. Almost every race he’s putting the Sauber higher on the grid than where it should be, and fighting with the likes of Alonso and Hamilton for grid positions, successfully.

Compared to his first half of the season, he’s stepped up his driving to another level. Which is such a shame because he’s entering his peak as an F1 driver and all he can do is fight for points; he should be fighting for wins and a championship.

All we can hope for is he continues his trait of staying with a team for a year and score a top drive in 2015.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Sauber Ferrari C32
Qualifying: Hülkenberg 18 – 1 Gutiérrez
Race: Hülkenberg 12 – 3 Gutiérrez
Grands Prix: 18 Non-Starts: 1 Championship: 10th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 4th Best Qualifying: 3rd
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 51 Retirements: 2

* Hülkenberg retired from 1 Grand Prix in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


2. Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean

Mid-Year Ranking: 7th

I labelled Grosjean’s year very inconsistent in the last rankings. It just goes to show how much one can improve in just a few months.

He has found his rhythm within the team and it just seems that everything comes together on a race weekend and just works. Once branded a ‘first lap nutcase’ by Webber, he’s now a consistent driver capable of winning a Grand Prix, although we’re still waiting for that to happen.

Next year he’ll take over the number-one role at the team and be expected to deliver once again, and I’ve no doubt he can see off the challenge from Pastor Maldonado next year.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Lotus Renault E21
Qualifying: Grosjean 7 – 10 Räikkönen
Race: Grosjean 4 – 8 Räikkönen
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 7th
Wins: 0 Podiums: 6 Best Qualifying: 3rd
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 132 Retirements: 5

* Grosjean retired from 1 Grand Prix to-date in 2013 where he was classified as a finisher due to having completed over 90% of the scheduled race distance.


1. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel

Mid-Year Ranking: 1st

When it comes to a driver of the second half let alone the season, no one can take the number one spot away from Vettel. After the summer break no one had the privilege to stand on the top of the podium other than Vettel, he did not put a foot wrong in any race. At times he was so dominant that he finished half a minute in of the rest of the field.

He and Red Bull Racing have been accused of making the sport boring and at times unwatchable, but since when was it a crime to dominate at a sport? Schumacher did it for five consecutive years and didn’t receive the hate put towards Red Bull, nor did Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or Usain Bolt. It’s up to the teams to put the fight to Red Bull and Vettel in 2014.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Red Bull Racing Renault RB9
Qualifying: Vettel 17 – 2 Webber
Race: Vettel 15 – 0 Webber
Grands Prix: 19 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 1st
Wins: 13 Podiums: 16 Pole Positions: 9
Fastest Laps: 7 Points: 397 Retirements: 1

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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