Ranking Formula 1's Top 5 Drivers on Current Form
With only two races remaining in what has been another long Formula One season, you would be forgiven for thinking the drivers are already winding down in preparation for a well-earned break.
But with the drivers’ title already sewn up, the dominant Sebastian Vettel shows no signs of slowing down in his hunger for more wins, and there are many other drivers still with plenty to play for.
Taking the last five grand prix results from the F1 calendar, here are the top five drivers on current form taking into consideration points scored, qualifying and race pace and the machinery at their disposal.
The average qualifying positions over the last five races have been rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
5. Fernando Alonso—Average Qualifying 8th, Points 48
Although Alonso has continued to struggle in terms of qualifying pace over the last few rounds, he has made up for it with his race pace and strategies that have seen him drag his Ferrari to positions beyond its potential.
The Spaniard continued an impressive run of three straight second place finishes in Singapore to keep his slim title hopes alive and has picked up points in every round bar in India where a first lap contact with Jenson Button compromised his race.
He should have done enough to secure second in the drivers’ standings.
4. Kimi Raikkonen—Average Qualifying 8th, Points 49
Like Alonso, Raikkonen has struggled in terms of qualifying over recent races and has also been eclipsed by the race pace of teammate Romain Grosjean.
The Finn followed up a third place finish in Singapore with second place in Korea where he took advantage of a mistake from Grosjean. Raikkonen looked set for another podium in India before his tyres grained dramatically in the closing laps, leading to a radio exchange that has strained relations with his soon to be former team.
Further misfortune befell Raikkonen in Abu Dhabi where he was relegated to the back of the grid for a floor infringement before retiring on the opening lap.
Although he has reneged on his threat to boycott the final two races, it remains to be seen how motivated he will be to finish the season on a high.
3. Nico Rosberg—Average Qualifying 3, Points 55
One of the revelations of recent grands prix, Nico Rosberg has carried the Mercedes challenge to its rivals, and teammate Lewis Hamilton has struggled to match him.
Over the last five races Rosberg has averaged a grid position of 3rd and has really stepped it up in terms of race pace, especially in India and Abu Dhabi where he claimed a second and third place finish.
His recent run of form means he’s now only seven points behind Mark Webber in the drivers’ standings and 16 behind teammate Hamilton who must now be looking anxiously over his shoulder.
2. Romain Grosjean—Average Qualifying 7, Points 57
But for a disastrous qualifying in India when he opted for just one run on prime tyres in Q1, Grosjean has held the whip hand over teammate Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying and has also outshone him over the last three races.
Although an engine failure scuppered his chances for a podium finish in Singapore, Grosjean followed up with three successive podiums in Korea, Japan and India and a fourth place finish in Abu Dhabi.
1. Sebastian Vettel—Average Qualifying 1, Points 125
Following his dominant victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the record-breaking Sebastian Vettel has now won every one of the last seven races.
In doing so, the all-conquering German clinched his fourth successive drivers’ tile and has matched Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven wins on the bounce.
Vettel has also qualified on pole position for four of the last six races. Should he win the final two races of the season he will match Alberto Ascari’s 60-year-old record of nine wins on the bounce.