Want to admit, that I'm just sharing my opinion on the drivers, not picking up who is best/worst. It's up to you to pick the best after reading current list.
By current standings:
Fernando is the toughest compatitor by a long margin today, that is a common knowledge. He is in his prime and much better than in his WDC 05-06 years. But the other side of his strong personality - demand of total leadership within the team, which can lead to a difficulties. He is a natural leader who is not going put up with any kind of a competition on/off the track. As it was said many times before, the only time Alonso faced a really strong parter brave enough to challenge him - Fernando has become too irritated and distracted and turned racind into one long personal revenge.
Mark by my opinion, despite beign a good racer and a mature person, lacks a bit in every aspect as a racing driver. If you take all the veirtual parameters that are important in F1 today, he will not be the best out there in any of them. Lacks raw pace (has been pretty good at the times, but there are quicker guys today), lacks consistency (you never know how he will perform next weekend), pretty good in racecraft but not perfect, and often struggles to provide clean and effective overtaking/defensive moves.
Really hard to say, as RBR is a really hell of the car for a third year in a row. Something tells me that Seb irritates too easy and too much when things don't go his way. Still there are some questions about his abilities to provide strong and clean fight with equal compatitors when machinery provides zero advantage. Bloody fast over a single lap and was really a class of his own lst year, but 2012 season brought back old doubts.
Unfortunately I consider Lewis as one of the weakest drivers mentally. Any sort of the off track life can distrakt him to a level of a fast but average driver. His strongest year was his debute when he provided a pure miracle on track - the only time when nobody had any kind of expectations from Lewis so Hamilton was totally free from pressure. Pure and absolute talent, blinding speed, but it is too easy to influence on his form.
Well Kimi is a kind of driver you'd love to have if it was just about pure racing without all this show stuff. He is only interested in races, hates politics and can provide you these extra-tenth needed for a front row. But years in Ferrari have brought one uncomfortable question - how often is Kimi trully motivated and up to speed. His passion about racing as well as desire to fight only for victories for can be both an advantage and disadvantage - bar his debute season the only time he barely could fight at the front was 2009, which considered by many as his worst year.
I believe that Crofty during Hungary weekend said purely right thing about Nico - if the car is good enough for 7th place he will bring you the 7th place. Nico seems to be not that cute on the track, which is good for him, he is consistent, fast, clean, but you rarely see him doing any sort of miracles. Achieved a Vettel-esque win in China, but something tells that Mercedes was just awesome that day.
Well, being a Jenson fan even I have to admit, that this balance thing has become more annoying than ever. Although this excuse was forced by forums, JB indeed uses it too often. Still a member of the elite "intelligent driver" club. Wich is forced by forums as well.
With Romain you have an easy bet - if he makes it through the first lap he will get a pretty outstaning result. The trouble is that not colliding with anybody or anything is a real difficulty for a frenchman. Despite a noticeable lack of racecraft RG has got an important quality for an F1 - blinding speed.
This was a top-8 drivers, so I think other drivers don't need that accurate analysis, will make it brief.
Perez. A case of a driver who just needs more expirience, which will save him from the lack of consistency.
Kamui. Same as above.
Pastor. Bloody quick. End of. A little less attractive version of JPM - f***ing Montoya at least was fun to watch and listen, especially on the f***ing radio.
Michael. Difficult to say what has changed in Schumacher. He's become much more likeble but it seems he lacks the confidence of the past days, something that Alonso has gained with age. Michael tries to prove his comeback was worth it, but sometimes it looks like does not believe in it himself.
di Resta . No miracles, no disasters. A difficult driver to evaluate because of the constant enormous hype in the british press.
Massa. Lets leave a poor Felipe alone, ok?
Senna. Lacks speed.
Hulk. Not that spectacular.
JEV and DR. Really difficult to judge as the guys seem to be a kind of a cars' hostages. JEV is plain slow in qualy, DR has failed to perform when he could and sould to (Bahrain). Too young, too green.
Kova. Something tells me Heikki will crack under the pressure again if he gest a top-ride. Sadly.
Petrov. Vitaly started really late in open-wheelers, thus the lack of pace. Don't think he will ever gain some extra-speed with the expirience.
The rest 4 driver hard to call as their cars are a bigger question.
Well that's all. Enjoy, will be glad to hear your opinions. Try not to be that harsh as it is my first ever aanalysis here. Thank you.
Edited by sofarapartguy, 03 August 2012 - 11:59.