Who are our top-ten-ranked drivers midway through the 2013 F1 season?

As the Formula 1 paddock puts its feet up for a couple of weeks, the mid-year break afford us the opportunity to pore through the statistics and evaluate the form of the twenty-two drivers over the first ten races of the season.

In an exclusive two-part series, our correspondent Josh Kruse ranks the top-ten drivers in the ‘Class of 2013’ – click here to see his rankings for 11th to 22nd


10. Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta Paul di Resta Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta has certainly stepped up his game this year, perhaps showcasing his skills to possible future employers, making it no secret he’s eyeing a seat at the Prancing Horse.

A contributing factor has to be Adrian Sutil’s return to the team. A loss to a former teammate – who was sidelined for a year – is out of the question for the Scot, and he’ll need to continue his good form to stay in F1.

He’s on the right track, with a best finish of fourth in Bahrain and a steady 13 points ahead of teammate Sutil.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM06
Qualifying: di Resta 5 – 5 Sutil
Race: di Resta 4 – 3 Sutil*
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 10th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 4th Best Qualifying: 5th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 36 Retirements: 2

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


9. Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg Nico Hülkenberg Nico Hülkenberg

It turns out that what most people originally thought was a step sideways, has in fact been a step backwards for Sauber’s Nico Hülkenberg.

Hülkenberg jumped across to Sauber from Force India, filling the vacated seat left by Sergio Pérez. At the time, Sauber were ahead of Force India, with a few podiums to their name as well.

But a considerable turnaround has seen Force India rise and Sauber plunge, racing inconsistently and struggling for points. Their current situation has forced Hulkenberg to out-perform his C32 in order to carry the team and be the sole point scorer, all the while dogged by speculation that he is set to quit the team over apparently not being paid.

The German has a best finish of eighth, compared to his teammate Esteban Gutiérrez, who has only managed eleventh. For a driver of his enormous talent, he deserves far better than this.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Sauber Ferrari C32
Qualifying: Hülkenberg 9 – 1 Gutiérrez
Race: Hülkenberg 5 – 1 Gutiérrez
Grands Prix: 9 Non-Starts: 1 Championship: 15th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 8th Best Qualifying: 10th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 7 Retirements: 1


8. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo is certainly making all the right noises to attract attention from Red Bull. He’s improved his race performance, equalling his teammate in races and excelling in qualifying sessions, managing to participate in each of the last four Q3 sessions.

He impressed the sister team so much that he earned himself a run in the Young Drivers’ test at Silverstone, essentially defeating Vergne in the running to fill Webber’s soon-to-be-vacated seat. 

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8
Qualifying: Ricciardo 7 – 3 Vergne
Race: Ricciardo 1 – 3 Vergne*
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 14th
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 7th Best Qualifying: 6th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 11 Retirements: 3

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


7. Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean

Even though Romain Grosjean’s year has been inconsistent, it still rates better than his 2012 season, a year littered with amateurish mistakes and first lap errors.

He’s proven time and time again how fast he is, especially on a qualifying lap. Towards the end of the first half of the season, the Frenchman proved to be a real threat to his teammate Kimi Räikkönen and the Red Bulls.

He challenged his teammate for second in Germany, although team orders got the best of that battle. He was also on track for another podium finish and a possible win in Hungary if it weren’t for an unfortunate punishment by the Stewards.

The only problem for Grosjean is the points vacuum, Räikkönen. He has only beaten him on one occasion in Malaysia and outqualified the Finn twice. And with Kimi proving to be the team’s only realistic hope for Drivers’ Championship honours, the stats are likely to remain that way for the rest of the season.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Lotus Renault E21
Qualifying: Grosjean 2 – 8 Räikkönen
Race: Grosjean 1 – 7 Räikkönen
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 8th
Wins: 0 Podiums: 2 Best Qualifying: 3rd
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 49 Retirements: 3

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


6. Mark Webber

Mark Webber Mark Webber Mark Webber

Mark Webber’s swansong year in F1 has been dominated by a run of bad luck, similar to half of his career.

In the teammate battle, the Australian has struggled more than usual. Given his qualifying prowess, it’s shocking that he’s yet to beat Vettel on Saturday afternoon, or beat him to the chequered flag (Vettel’s DNF at the British GP doesn’t count).

Despite the fact he hasn’t technically beaten Vettel, he’s still been a valuable asset to the team, collecting much needed points to hold of the strong advance of close rivals Mercedes and Lotus.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Red Bull Racing Renault RB9
Qualifying: Webber 0 – 10 Vettel
Race: Webber 0 – 8 Vettel
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 5th
Wins: 0 Podiums: 3 Best Qualifying: 2nd
Fastest Laps: 3 Points: 105 Retirements: 1


5. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso

Currently third in the Drivers’ Championship standings with two wins this season, Fernando Alonso’s reputation of ‘relentless’ has somewhat worn off at the latter part of the first half of the season.

Perhaps it’s Ferrari’s fault for not keeping up with the likes of Red Bull or Mercedes, and it’s a fact he’s been a bit vocal about of late, much to the Scuderia’s chagrin.

But that didn’t stop him last year when Ferrari started the season off well over a second off the pace. Regardless, he’s done well to go into the summer break third, just one point behind Kimi Räikkönen and 39 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Scuderia Ferrari F138
Qualifying: Alonso 7 – 3 Massa
Race: Alonso 7 – 0 Massa
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 3rd
Wins: 2 Podiums: 6 Best Qualifying: 3rd
Fastest Laps: 1 Points: 133 Retirements: 1


4. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton

For someone who wasn’t expected to accomplish much this year, he’s certainly made a mark on the championship.

Put aside the controversy surrounding tyres and ‘Testgate’ and Mercedes are having a strong year. They seem to have fixed their tyre wear issues, and are making regular appearances on the podium.

Since joining the team, Hamilton’s had this work cut out for him, with a very impressive Nico Rosberg challenging him for pole positions and wins. Hamilton has the edge in qualifying, but in races Rosberg has won twice to Hamilton’s solo win in Hungary. The second half of the season looks promising for an intense battle between the two.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas FW104
Qualifying: Hamilton 7 – 3 Rosberg
Race: Hamilton 5 – 3 Rosberg
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 4th
Wins: 1 Podiums: 4 Pole Positions: 4
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 124 Retirements: 0


3. Kimi Räikkönen

Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen

It’s been another stellar year so far for the flying Finn, continuing his impressive point scoring streak and placing himself second in the Drivers’ Championship standings at the halfway point of the season.

He’s been on the podium six times and his lowest finish came in Monaco, where he had a collision with Sergio Perez which caused him to pit.

After re-joining 13th, he made up three positions in two laps to finish tenth. Räikkönen has also dominated his teammate Romain Grosjean for the second year in succession, and is up for a potential seat at Red Bull Racing in 2014, which would make for a thrilling partnership next year.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Lotus Renault E21
Qualifying: Räikkönen 8 – 2 Grosjean
Race: Räikkönen 7 – 1 Grosjean
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 2nd
Wins: 1 Podiums: 6 Best Qualifying: 2nd
Fastest Laps: 1 Points: 134 Retirements: 0


2. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg Nico Rosberg Nico Rosberg

Even though Nico Rosberg currently occupies sixth position in the Drivers’ Championship standings, two places down on his teammate Lewis Hamilton, his season this year has been terrific, minus a few early-season DNFs as a result of technical failures. Had he have seen the chequered flag, he’d undoubtedly be higher in the points standings.

He scored Mercedes’ first two wins of the year at Monaco and Silverstone, and has placed his F1W04 on pole three times in a row in Bahrain, Spain and Monaco. He’s also proved that Michael Schumacher hadn’t lost any of his talent – like many thought – last year, as he’s taken the challenge to Hamilton just as he did to the seven-time World Champion.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas FW104
Qualifying: Rosberg 3 – 7 Hamilton
Race: Rosberg 3 – 5 Hamilton
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 6th
Wins: 2 Podiums: 2 Pole Positions: 3
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 84 Retirements: 3*

* Rosberg has retired from one 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

Many said it couldn’t be done, winning the championship four times in succession, but Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is currently proving them wrong.

He’s 38 points clear of closest rival Kimi Räikkönen, and showing no signs of slack as we enter the summer break.

He takes number-one spot in our mid-season rankings because of his tenacity towards achieving his goals, even going to the point of defying team orders and unremittingly passing his teammate for a win in Malaysia, showing no remorse in the aftermath.

It’s traits like this that make a successful champion, regardless of opinion. Vettel’s so far dominated Webber in what is the Australian’s final year in F1, holding a perfect record in qualifying and only losing out to him once on Sunday (and that was because of a DNF). With races such as Japan, Singapore, India and Korea still to come – all of which have been the German’s stomping grounds – it’s hard to see Vettel drop the ball and lose his lead.

THE VITAL STATISTICS
Team: Red Bull Racing Renault RB9
Qualifying: Vettel 10 – 0 Webber
Race: Vettel 8 – 0 Webber
Grands Prix: 10 Non-Starts: 0 Championship: 1st
Wins: 4 Podiums: 7 Pole Positions: 2
Fastest Laps: 3 Points: 172 Retirements: 1


Youth Without Borders

Josh Kruse
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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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