2011 Drivers Rankings Pt1

After reviewing the teams its time to rank the drivers in a completely different order to their championship results. This is a hard task as some teams have simply been racing themselves this season while others have had constant fights through the field. But here we go:

15. Vitaly Petrov – Renault – WDC: 10th
In his second season the money bags Russian found himself without his former team leader due to crashing in a rally pre-season. He was put up against Nick Heidfeld who he only just managed to outscore by 3 points, however “quick nick” managed to only last 10 races before being ousted from his seat. A maiden podium in the first race was a geuine highlight but failed to make an impression in the following races to capatilise on the cars speed.

16.  Sergio Perez – Sauber Ferrari – WDC: 16th
Started very well but suffered after his Monaco crash where he showed a lot of maturity in sitting out in Canada. Has come out and bravely stated it took him till Hungrary to recover, but was the start of the show in Austrailia with the tyres. Looking forward to a second year with the squad and fully deserved but its hard to place him much higher when his team mate outscored him (30 points to Sergio’s 14) and wasn’t regarded as having that strong a year.

17. Sebastian Buemi – Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari – WDC: 15th
Although he started well in a Toro Rosso that wasn’t quite on the pace as soon as his team mate got his head round the tires he was outscored all the way home. Failed to get the team to overhaul Sauber in the constructors championship. He was in the points as many times as his team mate but failed to capitilise with a headline drive to haul in some more points. Is now without a drive for next year as Torro Rosso have plonked for Ricciardo and Eric-Vergne.

18. Bruno Senna – Renault – WDC: 18th
Parachuted into the car in place of “quick” Nick Heidfeld as the cars performance tailed off. Great speed in qualifying but lacked the race craft of his great late uncle even if he appears to have some of his real raw pace. Good effort and quite surprising for many of us watching this year.

19. Rubens Barrichello – Williams Cosworth – WDC: 17th
A poor season from the Brazilian veteran (the most experienced man in F1) could be the book end in the longest career in the history of the sport. Hes come close to the championship on more than a few occasions and has won countless races. Humbled by his rookie pay driver team mate and failed to get into Q3 at any point this year during Williams worst season ever. He has shown glimpses of the old Rubhino, with a few drivers into the points in the crazy races and a sterling effort in qualifying at home.

20. Pedro De La Rosa – Sauber Ferrari – WDC:  20th
Its hard to know where to put DLR this year, only one race for Sauber this year in place of the injured Perez he promptly jumped in the car for FP2,3, Quali and the race. He brought the car home 12th in that mental mental race in Canada. His team mate did manage points but it was a safe pair of hands and it could be why HRT are fielding him in 2012.

21. Pastor Maldonado – Williams Cosworth – WDC: 19th
This position is so low in the table for debutant Maldonado not due to the Williams being rubbish – which is was – but to do with two incidents in particular. The first was turning in on Lewis Hamilton (yes he did, go and look at the footage again) and loosing himself his first points and the second was swiping Lewis post quali in Spa, which I think in days gone by would have seen him have his license suspended – which it should of done – idiotic. Redemable features have been a good showing against Reubens and illegally funding the team by not getting the parlimentary go ahead for his PVDSA sponsorship which has kept the team in Grove running this year.

22. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – WDC: 6th
There have been 5 drivers this year at the front and then theres been Massa, the 2008 World Champion of about 35 seconds. Long gone are those days of near triumph with the Scuderia as he was embarresed by his team mate this year. Yes its Fernando Alonso but still no podiums and a glut of 5th places the best (only achieved by either having a run in with Lewis Hamilton or by someone else retiring). Nothing redemable this season at all apart from a few nice qualifying appearences which showed he still has some raw pace locked in there somewhere. Another season this bad we’d start to wonder what Badoer could do given this much time in the cockpit.

23. Timo Glock – Virgin Cosworth – WDC: 25th
Im sorry why does everyone think Timo’s done a great job this year?? his rookie team mate may of been seen off most days in quali but come race time his partner picked up the goods. The car was rubbish, but I dont think Timo was THAT good.

24. Jerome D’Ambrosio – Virgin Cosworth – WDC: 24th
A tough rookie year for the Belgian driver who managed to keep Timo Glock honest from time to time and beat him in the standings. However he’s been dumped for next season for another rookie and there was THAT spin in the pits which er… erm… oh dear.

25. Daniel Ricciardo – HRT Cosworth – WDC: 27th
A surprise this season was seeing Daniel Ricciardo, not because he arrived mid-season for a seat – that was quite expected – it was where he turned up. The latest Red Bull wonderkid was parachuted into the HRT in place of Narain Karthikeyan and impressed in qualifying right from the off. However he was consistantly out-raced by his experienced team mate but the miles will certainly help him along the way. To be fair its been the lack of hilariously bad drives this year that sees Ricciardo so low in the standings.

26. Jarno Trulli – Team Lotus Renault – WDC: 21st
There are times when you’re beaten by a team mate (see McLaren) and there are times where there is a gulf so wide your future is threatened. This is the latter. Beaten all but twice in qualifying by Heikki, the former quali master has been truely embarresed (nice pun) this season despite pipping him in the standings (due to the way it works outside of the points). Failed to escape Q1 all year while his team mate started to take the fight to the mid field.

27. Narain Karthikeyan – HRT Cosworth – WDC: 26th
Once again HRT fielded an Indian driver (this time a driver that last raced 5 years ago in F1 for Jordan) and them promply dumped them after 1/2 the season. Failed to make an impression on his experienced team mate unlike his successor. However he redeemed himself with a solid drive in India, despite the pointlessness of trying to return down here. These two have proved  Mr Mallya with all the ammunition he needs as to why he hasn’t fielded home grown talent (or lack thereof)

28. Karun Chandok – Team Lotus Renault – WDC: 28th
Last in both the standings and this ranking, the former HRT driver made a one off appearence in Germany in place of Jarno Trulli as the Italian continued to struggle with his power steering. However the Indian didn’t impress at all, finishing 2 laps down on his team mate after a mediocore qualifying session. A sign should of been him not getting past turn 3 in FP1 at the first race of the year. Id assume this will be the last we see of the popular Indian driver, however he does have a wonderful career in broadcasting ahead of him.

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