Ranking the F1 Grid by Performance in First Half of 2013 Season

Fraser Masefield@@fmasefieldContributor IAugust 22, 2013

Ranking the F1 Grid by Performance in First Half of 2013 Season

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    During what has seemed to be an interminably long midseason break, I’ve been running through every driver on the grid and evaluating their performances over the course of the opening 10 races.

    In doing so, I’ve marked each driver on the basis of temperament, qualifying and race craft and summarised their season to date.

    So, in order of the current championship standings from first to last, here’s a look back at my take of how each driver has performed.

22. Max Chilton

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    Summary: Has been comprehensively outshone by teammate Bianchi but stacked up favourably against fellow rookie Giedo van der Garde. Consistent if uninspiring.

    Highlight: Passing Van der Garde on the penultimate lap at Monaco for 14th.

    Low point: all that went before at Monaco, including a gearbox change before qualifying and punting Pastor Maldonado into retirement.

    Average mark: 6/10

    Click here for Max Chilton’s full midseason report.

21. Giedo van der Garde

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    Summary: A real mixed bag in his first-half term, and he may need to raise his game in the second half of the season .

    Highlight: The last race in Hungary where he qualified ahead of both Marussias and finished 14th.

    Low point: A rookie error in Canada that saw him chop across Mark Webber’s front wing.

    Average mark: 6/10

    Click here for Giedo van der Garde’s full midseason report.

20. Charles Pic

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    Summary: I expect Charles Pic’s performances to keep on improving, and he looks in a stronger position to hold onto his race seat than his teammate.

    Highlight: Finishing ahead of both Marussias and his teammate at Silverstone

    Low point: Losing his front wing in Malaysia when Jean-Eric Vergne was released straight into his path.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Charles Pic’s full midseason report.

19. Jules Bianchi

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    Summary: It's hard to say anything bad about Bianchi’s debut half term. He has out-qualified and outraced his rivals on the majority of occasions, and it will be intriguing to see how the Caterham-Marussia battle of the Frenchmen continues.

    Highlight: A competitive battle with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams in Malaysia en route to 13th place.

    Low point: His German Grand Prix ending in a fiery blaze before his pilotless Marussia slid back across the track.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Jules Bianchi’s full midseason report.

18. Esteban Gutierrez

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    Summary: While he’s some way shy of teammate Nico Hulkenberg so far, he’s been sparring well with fellow rookie Valtteri Bottas, and the pair have been fairly evenly matched, although it’s fair to say the Sauber has been slightly the more competitive car this season.

    Highlight: Finishing just one place shy of his first ever Formula One point in Spain.

    Low point: Slamming into Adrian Sutil in China after carrying far too much speed into his braking point.

    Average mark: 5/10

    Click here for Esteban Gutierrez’s full midseason report.

17. Valtteri Bottas

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    Summary: Has stacked up favourably against his teammate in a very competent start to his F1 career.

    Highlight: A stunning qualifying performance in Montreal that saw him third on the grid.

    Low point: The race that followed, excessive tyre graining leading to a disappointing 14th.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Valtteri Bottas’ full midseason report.

16. Pastor Maldonado

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    Summary: Has generally been outshone by Bottas in qualifying and not demonstratively better on race pace. The second half of 2013 will be fascinating.

    Highlight: A first points-scoring finish of the season for the Williams team in Hungary.

    Low point: His qualifying performances where he has been outgunned by his rookie teammate on six occasions.

    Average mark: 6/10

    Click here for Pastor Maldonado’s full midseason report.

15. Nico Hulkenberg

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    Summary: A difficult season for Hulkenberg in one of the less competitive machines he’s had to drive. But he’s easily outpaced and outscored his teammate, and that’s all he can do relative to the other competition.

    Highlight: Back-to-back points finishes in Britain and Germany.

    Low point: Being punted into retirement in Canada by Giedo van der Garde.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Nico Hulkenberg’s full midseason report.

14. Daniel Ricciardo

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    Summary: Clearly a very quick boy in an average chassis but needs to convert that promise into more points against a speedy teammate.

    Highlight: A brilliant seventh-place finish in China but is the biggest highlight to be announced in Belgium?

    Low point: Retiring from his home Grand Prix with an exhaust related problem.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Daniel Ricciardo’s full midseason report.

13. Jean-Eric Vergne

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    Summary: While Daniel Ricciardo has received all of the attention, Vergne has quietly gone about his business and arguably been the better driver.

    Highlight: Holding off Paul di Resta to finish sixth in the Canadian Grand Prix.

    Low point: Back-to-back collisions in China and Bahrain albeit hard to apportion blame at Vergne’s door.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Jean-Eric Vergne’s full midseason report.

12. Sergio Perez

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    Summary: Gave himself a 6/10 for his efforts so far on his team's last press release, and it's probably a fair reflection.

    Highlight: His sixth-place finish in Bahrain.

    Low point: Almost barging teammate Jenson Button off the circuit to achieve that sixth-place finish.

    Average mark: 6/10

    Click here for Sergio Perez’s full midseason report.

11. Adrian Sutil

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    Summary: Unnecessary comments about Lewis Hamilton aside, I’ve been impressed with Sutil’s showing so far after some troubling times. I expect another close tussle with his teammate in the second half of the season.

    Highlight: His bold overtaking moves on Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in Monaco en route to a superb fifth.

    Low point: His tendency to speak his mind too often. Should be keeping a lower profile on previous form.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Adrian Sutil’s full midseason report.

10. Paul Di Resta

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    Summary: Spectacularly lost his cool with his team in Canada, and but for three qualifying horror shows, he could have been much higher up the table. Strong race showings in adversity have shown exactly what a good racer he is.

    Highlight: Being pipped to his first podium finish in Bahrain.

    Low point: His ill-advised rant at his own team in Canada.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Paul di Resta’s full midseason report.

9. Jenson Button

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    Summary: Has gamely stuck to his task in his most uncompetitive chariot for years. Eighth in the standings looks like his most optimistic outcome.

    Highlight: Leading in China before eventually finishing fifth.

    Low point: Being barged aside in Bahrain by his wheel-banging teammate.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Jenson Button’s full midseason report.

8. Romain Grosjean

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    Summary: Only two podiums seems a poor return for a man with one of the best cars. Needs a much stronger second half of the year or it could be curtains.

    Highlight: His podiums in Bahrain and Germany.

    Low point: Old habits resurfacing in Monaco when he ploughed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo.

    Average mark: 6/10

    Click here for Romain Grosjean’s full midseason report.

7. Felipe Massa

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    Summary: A poor first half of the season means he’s in serious danger of losing his Ferrari seat, and that may well be confirmed soon.

    Highlight: His one and only podium so far in Spain.

    Low point: A disastrous Monaco that saw him sit out qualifying before crashing heavily in the race at Ste Devote.

    Average mark: 6/10

    Click here for Felipe Massa’s full midseason report.

6. Nico Rosberg

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    Summary: Two excellent pieces of work so far. If Mercedes have their tyre issues fixed, there's surely more to come.

    Highlight: A flawless drive in Monaco that saw him take victory 30 years after his father at the same venue.

    Low point: A misjudgment by his team in qualifying at his home Grand Prix that saw him miss out on Q3.

    Average mark:  7/10

    Click here for Nico Rosberg’s full midseason report.

5. Mark Webber

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    Summary: Has suffered some appalling luck so far. Things can only get better.

    Highlight: Almost surging to a third British Grand Prix victory after a terrible start.

    Low point: Vettel disobeying team orders to deny him victory in Malaysia.

    Average mark: 7/10

    Click here for Mark Webber’s full midseason report.

4. Lewis Hamilton

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    Summary: If Mercedes have now got to grips with the Pirelli tyre in race conditions, he could be right in the mix by the end of the season.

    Highlight: A brilliant first win for Mercedes in Hungary.

    Low point: A massive tyre blow out at Silverstone that cost him the chance of another home victory.

    Average mark: 8/10

    Click here for Lewis Hamilton’s full midseason report.

3. Fernando Alonso

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    Summary: My driver of the year so far. That he’s been so good in such a car and is still frustrated must be frightening for the competition.

    Highlight: Delighting his beloved home crowd with a brilliant victory in Spain.

    Low point: His only DNF in Malaysia and a DRS problem that cost him an eternity of time in Bahrain.

    Average mark: 9/10

    Click here for Fernando Alonso’s full midseason report.

2. Kimi Raikkonen

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    Summary: Having a blinder of a season and the Lotus E21 seems ideally suited to his driving style. I expect more podiums to come and perhaps the odd win, but ultimately, I see someone else as top of the class this season.

    Highlight: His season-opening victory in Australia that provided a springboard for five further second-place finishes.

    Low point: Wanting to punch Sergio Perez in the face after the McLaren driver crashed into him in Monaco, as reported by the BBC.

    Average mark: 8/10

    Click here for Kimi Raikkonen’s full midseason report.

1. Sebastian Vettel

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    Summary: Top of the class and well on his way to a fourth successive drivers’ title. Can anyone stop him?

    Highlight: A driving masterclass in front of his home fans in Germany.

    Low point: Malaysia for obvious reasons!

    Average mark: 8/10

    Click here for Sebastian Vettel’s full midseason report.