Formula 1 Power Rankings: 5 Best Winless Drivers

Oliver VeseyContributor ISeptember 16, 2013

Formula 1 Power Rankings: 5 Best Winless Drivers

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    There are 22 drivers competing in Formula 1 this season, nine of them have secured a Grand Prix victory in their career, leaving the remaining 13 without a win.

    These power rankings rate the top winless drivers, based on ability and form.

    Before the top five are revealed here are two drivers who just missed the cut and deserve an honourable mention:

    Adrian Sutil  

    The experienced and effective German is highly regarded in the paddock, but he is being out-performed by his younger teammate. 

    Jean Eric-Vergne 

    The young Frenchman certainly has potential, especially when it comes to race pace. However, his poor performances in qualifying see him miss out on the top five. 

5. Sergio Perez

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    'Checo' arrived in F1 in 2011 and before he had even started his first race, people had already written him off as a 'pay' driver as he is financially backed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

    After two impressive years with Sauber, including two stunning second-place finishes, Sergio Perez proved everyone wrong and secured a move to one of the top teams in McLaren.

    His season hasn't been the best, largely due to the major issues with the McLaren package. However, at times he hasn't helped himself with some careless and over-aggressive driving, even incurring the wrath of teammate Jenson Button.

    The fact that Perez has only scored 18 points, 30 points less than Button, further evidences that despite his undeniable talent he still has a lot of learning to do. 

    As soon as McLaren turn up with a competitive car he should be challenging for victories, but at this stage of the season it appears unlikely that will be this year. 

4. Romain Grosjean

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    In 2009, Romain Grosjean replaced Nelson Piquet Jr at Renault for the last seven races of the season. He wasn't able to display his ability, finishing the season without a point and promptly losing his drive.

    To his credit he came back strongly and won the GP2 title in 2011, which led to Lotus awarding him with another shot in F1.

    Since returning he has five podium finishes, and has proven that he is worthy of his seat. It hasn't been all plain sailing in his comeback though, and a series of first-lap crashes last season gave him a reputation for being a reckless driver.

    Although he has largely eliminated these errors more recently, he has only beaten his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, five times in 30 attempts. This indicates that he still has a long way to go before establishing himself as an elite driver.

    Four consecutive points finishes show he is on the right track, and considering the pace of the Lotus this season, he has as big a chance as anyone else to be the next driver to get his maiden victory in F1.

3. Paul Di Resta

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    Paul Di Resta's talent has never been in doubt, having made a positive start to his F1 career and steadily improved since his debut in 2010.

    He was on the shortlist of candidates to replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren at the end of last year (SkySports), but it is this season that he has really started to show that he is a true top-class competitor.

    He has out-performed his more experienced teammate, Adrian Sutil, throughout the first half of the season, and is currently sitting 10th in the championship in a Force India.

    However, after scoring points in seven of the first eight Grands Prix, he has now gone four races without a point and must get back to his best form if he wants to secure a move to a top team. 

    The Brit is still yet to stand on the podium, after recently coming so close with a fourth-place finish in Bahrain, although one suspects that he won't be waiting for too much longer. He will surely move onto bigger and better things in the future.

2. Daniel Ricciardo

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    Having excited throughout his time in the junior categories, Daniel Ricciardo was signed by the Red Bull driver academy. In 2012 he was given his first full season with Toro Rosso, where he showed glimpses of what he was capable ofparticularly in qualifyingbut was narrowly out-scored by team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

    It had been recognized that the more impressive of the two teammates would eventually have a strong chance of being promoted to the senior Red Bull team, but during 2012 neither driver truly showed their superiority.

    This season it has been a different story; Ricciardo has come into his own with a string of outstanding performances, leading him to be rewarded with the coveted seat at Red Bull, replacing Mark Webber, for next season.

    He is not the finished article yet, but with his natural speed and maturity beyond his years we can expect a fruitful F1 career from the Australian, who should be challenging for race victories as soon as next season at Red Bull.

1. Nico Hulkenberg

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    When Nico Hulkenberg signed for Williams in 2010, big things were expected of the talented German, who won titles in every category he entered as a junior. He had just secured the GP2 championship at his first attempt, becoming only the third driver to do so (after Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton).

    'Hulk' failed to disappoint in his debut season, securing Williams' first pole position in five years. Remarkably, he didn't keep his seat, which was offered to the more financially appealing Pastor Maldonado.

    So he signed as a test driver for Force India in 2011 and once he got a race seat with them for 2012, he took the opportunity with both hands by beating teammate Di Resta in the championship.  

    He was in the running for a move to McLaren at the end of last season, but ended up settling for a move to Sauber, and whilst he has performed impressively with his new team, outscoring his teammate by 17 points to 0, the car has been very disappointing.

    Hulkenberg is the best driver on the grid without a win, he is constantly linked with the top teams and looks capable of claiming the title one day. He is the current favourite (Daily Telegraph) to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus next season.