2008: The Drivers and Constructors Performance Rankings

Chris RowlandsCorrespondent INovember 7, 2008

Hello, and welcome to what must be the one millionth performance rating article on Bleacher Report. Before we start, I will say that these rankings are based on my own personal opinion, which means they are more likely to be wrong. I am also going to omit Super Aguri and Prodrive, seeing as one went bankrupt, and the other lied about participating.

Here we go, constructors first:

10th - Honda

This would seem to be the obvious choice, while they are now an established team, for two years they have been nothing short of abysmal. If I were to be fair to the team, the car has been ignored for the best part of six months, when it was decided that effort should be given to the 2009 car. It is for this reason that I predict they will do much, much better next year.

Finish this season - 9th

Predicted finish next season - 6th

9th - Williams

What on earth has happened to Williams? They have one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid, and (10 years ago, at least) a decent car. They have been going backwards at a pace Eddie Jordan would be proud of. I can only imagine them getting worse next season, and Rosberg and Nakajima must be thinking of jumping ship.

Finish this season - 8th

Predicted finish next season - 9th

8th - Force India

If it wasn't for an unfortunate incident near the end of the Monaco GP, Force India would not have finished on 0 points. If we consider that the car would have not been developed properly, because of constant managerial changes (Jordan to Midland to Spyker to Force India) then the drivers have an excuse. Force India also have one of the best line-ups, Sutil is easily as good as Vettel; and Fisichella, well, he won a race in a 2003 Jordan. Enough said. Still, I can't see the car improving fast enough.

Finish this season - 10th

Predicted finish next season - 10th

7th - Red Bull

This was a lukewarm year for Red Bull, with Couthard's last race epitomizing their season as a whole. They were beaten by their sister team, who were supposed to be rubbish. Webber is a great driver, and Vettel can hopefully keep up his spectacular form. Except this season to be a one-off.

Finish this season - 7th

Predicted finish next season - 7th

6th - Renault

I know what you're thinking. "Why put the team who won two races and has a former double world champion in 6th?" Well, that's exactly it. They have Alonso, and Renault have two constructors championships. They should have done better. The car was unreliable—12 retirements between the two drivers. They will do much better next season, now that Alonso has been confirmed for another year.

Finish this season - 4th

Predicted finish next season - 4th

5th - Toro Rosso

This was a good season. The form they displayed will not be repeated next season, with Vettel leaving for Red Bull. The fact that they won a race is enough to put them here anyway, but the first half of the season did not impress me at all. It woud be nice to see them do as well next season, but I feel it is unlikely.

Finish this season - 6th

Predicted finish next season - 8th

4th - Toyota

This was the first time they performed well since joining F1, and it is about time. Supposedly the richest team on the grid, I expect similar results next season. They also have the best driver nickname - Tim O'Glock - given to him by Eddie Jordan (at Jordan).

Finish this season - 5th

Predicted finish next season - 5th

3rd - Ferrari

As a Brit, I generally support my home drivers. I also have a slight aversion to Ferrari, but this season was a bit topsy-turvy. Räikkönen is world champion, but he was invisible for most of it. Massa was meant to be on his way out, and pretty poor at driving. He nearly won the championship, and was definitely the best driver for the last few races. I am not going to predict the top three for next season - it is just too tight. At least they were the best team.

Finish this season - 1st

Predicted finish next season - 1st-3rd

2nd - McLaren

They did well, but Heikki let the side down. He is a good driver, but his first two seasons have been lukewarm at best. Hamilton did well to win the WDC, but they were not the best team of the year when you compare results to expectations.

Finish this season - 2nd

Predicted finish next season - 1st-3rd

1st - BMW

By some miracle, they became championship contenders. They faded towards the end, but nobody expects Robert Kubica to be leading the Championship at any point. What makes them top though, is the promise they are showing for next season. They abandoned development on 2008 after Canada, yet they were still quite competitive. Next season they could win, and I can't imagine a better winner than Robert Kubica

Finish this season - 3rd

Predicted finish next season - 1st-3rd

Now, onto the drivers. Well done, if you are still awake, have a cookie. I won't do predictions for drivers, the Driver's Championship is too volatile for me to feel confident about how correct I will be.

20th - Jenson Button

I like him, but he was completely invisible this season. He better improve next year or we will forget about him.

Finished - 18th

19th - Giancarlo Fisichella

He was outperformed by his much younger teammate, "Fisi" is still a good driver, he just had a bad season.

Finished - No Points

18th - David Coulthard

A sad thing to see him go. He had a fantastic career, but you could tell he was not fully in it this year, being mediocre for extended periods. The paddock will miss him severely.

Finished - 16th

17th - Adrian Sutil

Could have finished fourth, were it not for an unlucky mistake from a talented Ferrari driver. Sutil spent most of the season being beaten up by Ferrari, Singapore and Monaco being the main examples.

Finished - No Points

16th - Kimi Raikkonen

I imagine I will get a lot of hate for this, but World Champions do not perform like this. He was invisible, yet he is in a Ferrari. Outperformed by Massa. However, he is very talented, and he will do much better next season. I guarantee it.

Finished - 3rd

15th - Sébastien Bourdais

I know he is a rookie, but compared to his teammate, this was not a great season. Luck did play a major factor. I doubt he will improve much next season.

Finished - 17th

14th - Nelson Piquet Jr.

He was average in an improving car. I admit it must be hard to have Alonso as your teammate, but he is better than his results show

Finished - 12th

13th - Kazuki Nakajima

When he was awake, he was good. However, he didn't seem to be awake mush. He could do a lot better, but the car limits him.

Finished - 15th

12th - Heikki Kovaleinen

Unlucky. So, so unlucky. Even so, he was still average. He has the potential, he just needs to realise it.

Finished - 7th

11th - Rubens Barrichello

No, I haven't gone insane. He regularly beat Button (not a difficult feat this year) and even got on the podium, in a Honda. He is also the most experienced driver in the field, but still going strong.

Finished - 14th

10th - Mark Webber

An average season form one of the most outspoken and unluckiest drivers out there. If he gets a good car, he will do well. No one seems to want him, which is the problem.

Finished - 11th

9th - Jarno Trulli

Both Toyota drivers did better this season, in an improving car. Toyota should be doing better though, hey have the resources.

Finished - 9th

8th - Timo Glock

Kept up with his more experienced team-mate. Tim O'Glock will always be remembered for the Brazilian GP, even though he did absolutely nothing wrong.

Finished - 10th

7th - Nico Rosberg

A great driver in a not so great car. If the Car gets better, he will continue to get the most out of it. Has the potential to win a championship.

Finished - 13th

6th - Nick Heidfeld

He's getting older, but now he has the car, he is doing an admirable job as 2nd driver. It may not be ideal, but now that he is scoring, I doubt he'll mind.

Finished - 6th

5th - Fernando Alonso

Finished on a very high note. Expect him to carry that on next season. A good, if not annoying. (To a British fan, at any rate. I bet Spaniards feel the same about Hamilton as I do Alonso. Hooray for blind patriotism!)

Finished - 5th

4th - Sebastian Vettel

It's getting harder to rank them now. Let's face it, he won a race in a Toro Rosso. He scored in 6 of the last 7 races, coming 9th in the other one. He better hope Red Bull have a good car for him, he is going to be a champion one day.

Finished - 8th

3rd - Robert Kubica

He could have been in contention if the car had been developed. Watch out for him next season, he could realistically expect a few more wins next year. The Canada win was a great highlight of his skill under treacherous conditions, and also brought to my attention the possibilities of Formula 1...on ice!

Finished - 4th

Join 1st - Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa

Yes, you caught me; I do not have the balls to separate these two. Hamilton won the championship, but did anyone expect Massa to run him so close? I thought not. Massa certainly did better towards the end of the season, and Hamilton was lucky to come fifth at Brazil.

Hamilton does seem more likely to keep up his form through to next season, but I am so good at predicting wrongly that I have just signed off any chance Hamilton had for winning the championship.

If you are still awake, you are my new best friend! Thanks for reading, and I expect lots of comments saying how wrong I am!


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