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Drivers who have changed your opinion this season


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#1 Spillage

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:54

A pretty self-explanatory thread - with two races to go and both titles wrapped up, I got to wondering how the drivers have performed this season, as relative to how I expected them to perform.

 

For me, the biggest surprise is Rosberg. I didn't expect him to hold up to Hamilton nearly as well as he has, but he's generally held the upper hand since the summer break and currently sits just 16 points behind him in the standings, notwithstanding the fact that he's had a couple of mechanical DNFs. Indeed, his performance has been so strong relative to Hamilton that 2013 has also seen me re-evaluate Michael Schumacher's comeback  :p

 

Of the rest, I think Vettel has usurped Alonso as the best driver on the grid, Ricciardo and Bianchi have been a lot stronger than I was expecting (as difficult as it is to evaluate the performance of a Marussia driver), and I always suspected Grosjean had the talent he has shown, but worried he lacked the confidence to show it. So I've been pleasantly surprised by his strong end-of-season form.

 

It is difficult to name any drivers who have performed worse than I expected them to - Perez and Maldonado haven't really looked as explosive as they did last season, but both have been pretty strong and I still think they have the potential to develop into world class drivers. I didn't really expect Sutil to be as average as he has been, particularly not after his strong performance back in Melbourne. Webber has been dominated utterly by Vettel, but I suspected that was going to happen anyway.

 

So anyway, I'm interested to hear what you all think - and please don't feel you have to stick to F1!  :wave:



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#2 TomNokoe

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:56

First we had the team mates comparison thread, now this! :rotfl:  Yes yes yes Rosberg has done well this season.



#3 motorhead

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:00

Hulk, Ros and Bottas comes to my mind



#4 bub

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:06

Van der Garde has been a bit better than I expected.

Massa since he got dropped by Ferrari has been better than I thought he could be at this stage in his career.



#5 noikeee

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:07

I thought Grosjean's confidence was shot for good. I'm stunned it has come back in this 2nd half of this season and with a great level of consistency. He might not be a lost cause after all.

 

Always thought Rosberg wouldn't be far off from Hamilton but still he managed to beat my expectations a bit.

 

van der Garde has developed into someone mildly competent over the course of the season, which is more than I expected as well.



#6 SpartanChas

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:14

I wasn't totally sold on Hulk until the last couple of races. Really can't wait to see him sign for lotus now.

I'm still a massive fan of Lewis but this season has been a disappointment. The last few races he seems to be way off his best.

#7 purplehaireddolphin

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:14

I know youll all laugh at his, but Chilton has done better than I thought he would. On several occasions he got pretty close to Bianchi, even though (yes, I know he's a rookie) he had more F1 experience than Chilton



#8 noikeee

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:21

I know youll all laugh at his, but Chilton has done better than I thought he would. On several occasions he got pretty close to Bianchi, even though (yes, I know he's a rookie) he had more F1 experience than Chilton

 

I agree he looked amazingly hopeless at the start of the season and has progressively come closer to Bianchi. This has made me question Bianchi quite a bit more actually...



#9 Jimisgod

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:25

Grosjean went up in my estimation. Still not a champion-elect like I feel Hulk to be, but he is competant.

Rosberg proved himself to be Hamilton level (thus Button and Alonso level) he did beat Schumacher pretty comprehensively.

VDG and Bianchi did well for newbies.

On the downslope:

Maldonado struggles to look better than the rookie Bottas... Perez hasn't matched Button... who himself isn't carrying Mclaren well.

#10 Owen

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:31

Grosjean. It was a long (and rather painful) learning curve on spatial awareness but he's convinced me he can fight at the very front now - consistently.



#11 maximilian

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:42

Webber - he's just been miserable this year, but I guess that's what happens when you are out of motivation.  Not a fitting farewell tour, because I would rather remember him at his peak when he could keep up with Vettel.

Bottas - I expected more from him, despite being a rookie.  I really thought he would make an impact in his first season.

 

Not:

Perez - pretty much did as I expected.  Still perplexed with the McLaren decision to hire him, when they could have made a much cooler choice.

Grosjean - always looked for him to be as good as he is now... and even better.

Gutierrez - always felt it was a waste of a seat.

 

And: how many more times does poor Rosberg have to prove himself?  The poor guy gets no respect, despite being consistently excellent.  I think it's time we group him with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton as one of the top tier drivers for good.


Edited by maximilian, 05 November 2013 - 13:43.


#12 sennafan24

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 13:46

- Seb had found a consistency that makes me rate him as a great driver, when before I thought he was just a very good driver akin to Mika or Mansell. His standard of performance has gone up in my book as well, its rare you will find a performance as strong as Germany.

 

- Rosberg I thought was a bit of a mystery before 2013 began, now I know a lot more about him due to his partnership with Lewis. I think could be in the top 5 drivers on the grid, and better than at least 2 former WDC's with his pace and standard of performance.

 

- Perez I am now not sure either way whether he was flattered by the Sauber in 2012, or he is just wildly inconsistent or struggling with his new surroundings. Either way, I am not quite as high on him as I was a year back, although he has been better as of late.

 

They are the main ones, there are more I may post later.



#13 Ferras

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:00

Now that I think about it, none of the drivers has changed my opinion abut them.

I kinda knew Gutierrez and Bottas would show nothing, even though, Bottas qualy in Canada was impressive. Can't say anything about the other rookies since they are driving super slow cars. Hulk and Gro have been always in my top list and they are delivering now. I predicted Rosberg would be on par with Hamilton.

 

Edit:

Sebastian Vettel is driving on a really high level of performance. I always said/think he was really good but what he's been doing this year is impressive. He's definitely the one who changed my opinion


Edited by Ferras, 05 November 2013 - 14:07.


#14 dreamer

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:04

I always liked Hulkenberg so nothing changed.
I've come to respect Nico Rosberg this year!



#15 EthanM

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:10

Grosjean for the better

Perez for the worse



#16 Alfisti

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:16

Grosjean has gone better than i thought, more consistent than i thought he could be these last half dozen races. 

 

Chilton has gone better than I expected, was told he was absolute rubbish but after a tough start is causing Bianchi problems. 

 

Surprised people feel Webber is going so badly, even if he retained points for the two recent races the car blew up he'd be pushing Alonso for second in the WDC. I think he has had a far better year than 2011. 



#17 BRG

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:18

 

So anyway, I'm interested to hear what you all think - and please don't feel you have to stick to F1!  :wave:

Robert Kubica has surprised me in rallying.  I thought he was just the usual racing driver playing at it, but he has shown real ability despite lacking experience in the sport.  He coped really well with his first gravel events.  The WRC2 title is a bit of a joke in terms of competition, but to win it in your first proper year of rallying is still an achievement.

 

As for F1, they have mostly panned out pretty much as I expected.  Maybe Rosberg has proved more of a match for Lewis than expected.  



#18 michaelmyers

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:19

I expected more from Valtteri. Although it may just be that my expectations where a tad bit too high. He hasn't made any plunders yet and is constantly on the pace of the race winner Pastor. And I bet that the dog of a car he's driving isn't exatly helping.

#19 Raven8

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:21

dissappointed with both McLaren drivers

Hülkenberg was not bad



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#20 sennafan24

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:43

dissappointed with both McLaren drivers

Hülkenberg was not bad

Jenson has not been half bad this year with what he has been given



#21 st99

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 14:47

Van der Garde has surprised me, in fact (don't kill me :p ) I think he has been better than Bianchi this season. At first Bianchi was obviously the best of the backmarkers but since then VDG has progressed a lot and Bianchi has somewhat stalled.

 

I always thought that Hülk was the real deal so no changes for me there.

 

I also rate much highly Rosberg after this season and Bottas has been also very impressive being able to outqualify Maldonado that often.



#22 KirilVarbanov

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 15:10

Hulk -  :up:

 

Perez -  :down:

 

Rosberg -  :cool:

 

Grosjean -  :clap:



#23 mastermind

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 15:32

I was expecting Grosjean to be sacked at the end of this season. Seems he has started to realise his potential though, glad to be proven wrong!



#24 V3TT3L

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 15:44

The only notable change was Jenson failing as the captain of McLaren  :well:

 

Rosberg deserves a mention for faring well against Schumy and now Lewis.  :up:

 

Hulkenberg giving a hard time to the midlelanders  :up:



#25 William Hunt

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 15:56

Van der Garde has surprised me, in fact (don't kill me :p ) I think he has been better than Bianchi this season. At first Bianchi was obviously the best of the backmarkers but since then VDG has progressed a lot and Bianchi has somewhat stalled.

 

Utterly ridiculous. The two worst (not bad but worst of current crop) drivers in F1 are without a shadow of a doubt Chilton & van der Garde. They are both nowhere near Bianchi.

 

Just look at the stats (from the other thread):

 

Bianchi/Chilton - Practice (31-11), Qualifying (15-2), Race (12-3), Fastest Lap (11-5)

 

Pic/Van der Garde - Practice (22-17), Qualifying (10-7), Race (9-4), Fastest Lap (10-5)

 

 

And keep in mind that Charles Pic is 5 years younger as Giedo and that he completely trashed Giedo in the first half of the season. Only in the second half of the year van der Garde started to perform. Same for Chilton: he only recently got closer to Bianchi. But strange  thing is that F1 fans seem to have a very short memory, they only remember the last couple of races.



#26 Winter98

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:13

Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Rosberg all fit that category.



#27 sennafan24

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:21

The only notable change was Jenson failing as the captain of McLaren  :well:

 

Can I ask for you to expand on this please, I am interested why you think this.



#28 Disgrace

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:31

After a brief spell where my faith dwindled, my opinion of Grosjean has returned to the level of anticipation when he first arrived.

 

Chilton has secretly had a good season; he's finished every single race and not caused any trouble.

 

Gutierrez also looked out of his depth in the early flyaways but he has now earned another season in my eyes.



#29 Britophile

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:32

The only notable change was Jenson failing as the captain of McLaren  :well:

 

I don't think that's a fair assumption. As far as I can see he has been performing well with the equipment he has been given and has been beating Pérez pretty regularly, more often than not. You get the odd qulaifying / race where Pérez's aggression pays off (Bahrain) but he is still no match for Button, especially if you take into account that JB has seemingly lost interest in this year quite a long time ago. He will be 34 in a few months, doesn't have much more left in the sport than 2-3 years tops so he has no time to waste with such dog of a car like this year's McLaren. He has been given far too much subpar machinery throughout his career already.

 

Pérez on the other hand is an error prone youngster who hasn't run the learning curve I hoped he would by now. At the moment I don't think he is deserving that Macca seat.



#30 DaddyCool

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:32

Rosberg has been really underrated in his career (so far).

 

I'm wondering whether the Alonso-Raikkonen pairing is really better than Hamilton-Rosberg (even as a Kimi fan).



#31 Atreiu

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:34

I haven't changed my opinion on Rosberg, he remains solid and unspectacular. His main virtue is showing the team exactly how competitive the car is, he'll never mask a car with incredible drives and somehow beat the odds. Like Ralf Schumacher at Williams. I am however puzzled by Hamilton. If neither Nicole nor McLaren are problems to his happy bubble, why does it seem as if he returned to a 2011 like form? Seems he had been alternating between being on and off from one weekend to the next (and off most of the time in the second half of the season). I can only guess the frustration at Vettel's and Red Bull's success has literally eaten into him. Which is a pity.

 

At the same time, Alonso's season was very little like 2012, despite starting off with a much better car. I haven't changed my opinion on him, but I also didn't elevate him to the same heights the press and fanboys did ever since he moved to Ferrari. Him being more error prone and less effective make me think the frustration is starting to get him as well.

 

I never got why McLaren got Perez instead of Hulkenberg last year.

 

All in all, my opinion on drivers hasn't changed much.



#32 Britophile

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 16:35

Rosberg has been really underrated in his career (so far).

 

I'm wondering whether the Alonso-Raikkonen pairing is really better than Hamilton-Rosberg (even as a Kimi fan).

 

I honestly believe that the Hamilton-Rosberg pairing will still be strongest one on the grid next year.



#33 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:27

Af few positive and negative surprises for me.

 

Rosberg performed surprisingly well to me, he didn't have his usual slump in a season. Performed steadily all season. Grosjean especially after the summer break, looks ready for a role as team leader now.

 

Negative surprises are Gutierrez for example. After his achievements in junior categories I expected more from him.



#34 Watkins74

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:30

Grosjean. After Monaco I said they should fire him immediately for all the WCC points he was losing but he has really turned it around.


Edited by Watkins74, 05 November 2013 - 17:30.


#35 Jackmancer

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:36

Since last season I believed in Grosjean, and happy he's going strong now.

 

I'm a bit disappointed by Hamilton, Webber and Massa, surprised by Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Van de Garde.



#36 Gorma

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:42

No real surprises this season.



#37 Exb

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:53

Grosjean has done much better than I expected, although he showed speed last year, his racing instincts seemed to be lacking, and at the start of this year he just looked like he was being too careful, and therefore slow - I didn't think he would be able to put it all together but am pleasently suprised, he is doing a great job at the moment.

I am a little bit dissapointed with Felipe Nasr's season, I had high hopes for him in GP2 this year and thought he would have a good shot at the title and the chance for an F1 drive next year but it just hasn't happened for him.

#38 Tsarwash

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:59

Utterly ridiculous. The two worst (not bad but worst of current crop) drivers in F1 are without a shadow of a doubt Chilton & van der Garde. They are both nowhere near Bianchi.

 

Just look at the stats (from the other thread):

 

Bianchi/Chilton - Practice (31-11), Qualifying (15-2), Race (12-3), Fastest Lap (11-5)

 

Pic/Van der Garde - Practice (22-17), Qualifying (10-7), Race (9-4), Fastest Lap (10-5)

 

 

And keep in mind that Charles Pic is 5 years younger as Giedo and that he completely trashed Giedo in the first half of the season. Only in the second half of the year van der Garde started to perform. Same for Chilton: he only recently got closer to Bianchi. But strange  thing is that F1 fans seem to have a very short memory, they only remember the last couple of races.

It is Pic's 2nd season in F1 and Van der Garde's 1st. I would have expected Pic to have beaten him over the first three or four races, which he did. There has been 11 races where neither retired, Pic won the first six, of the last five, VdG has won three and Pic two. This does not suggest to me that VdG is 100% worse than Pic currently. They seem to be matching each other at the moment.

 

On Topic, I'm pleasantly surprised that Perez and Pastor are performing badly this year, because I dislike both drivers style of driving, which I think belongs in a less prestigious racing series than F1. Rosberg comfortably saw off MS, so I shouldn't have been surprised at how much he is matching or beating Lewis at some races. But I am a little. I am actually surprised that Max Chilton is just about holding his own, I really thought he was going to be a hopeless poster boy. And I'm incredibly surprised at Massa's excellent pace since he got fired. If he had performed like this in the first half, he would likely still have a Ferrari contract. 



#39 Nemo1965

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 17:59

I thought Grosjean's confidence was shot for good. I'm stunned it has come back in this 2nd half of this season and with a great level of consistency. He might not be a lost cause after all.

 

Always thought Rosberg wouldn't be far off from Hamilton but still he managed to beat my expectations a bit.

 

van der Garde has developed into someone mildly competent over the course of the season, which is more than I expected as well.

 

Grosjean: seconded. Van der Garde: just had a lot of very, very bad press. At the beginning of the season somehow he was singled out as THE 'undeserving' pay-driver. Mind you, I never thought and still don't think he is good enough to be a real top F1 driver. But he was never as bad as he was depicted. Perhaps especially the English press shot arrows at him because Chilton is ofcourse much more of a 'undeserving paydriver. Van der Garde won the WSR 3.5 title, some GP2 races on merit... 

 

PS: A nice example how Van der Garde was hated at the beginning of the season: at the moment I am driving a lot in the F1 2013 mod for GP4. In this game, every race Van der Garde drops out with a technical problem. Every race! 

 

Rosberg is as good as I thought he was - and again he has suprised a lot of people. 



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#40 Shiroo

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 18:03

Grosjean and Hulkenberg.

That's why I pray to god, that they will both end in the same team. I would love to see fierce battle between 2 really fast rather young drivers.



#41 Anderis

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 18:05

I'm slightly surprised how one-sided battle there is at Red Bull. I always considered Webber as a driver who is unstoppable few times in a season but Vettel dominated him completely this year. I don't know if should I consider Vettel as a positive surpirse or Webber as a negative surprise. Is Vettel THAT good (read much better than other so called top drivers) or Webber is no longer a driver he used to be?

 

Slightly disappointed by Perez. I expected to see some more flashes from him.

 

Slightly disappointed with di Resta being unable to improve his consistency and maintain steady level of performance throughout the year.

 

Slightly disappointed with Massa. He was very good in the second half of the 2012, even matching Alonso, now again he has less than half of Fernando's points. I consider this as a poor achievement.

 

Positively surprised by Gutierrez. I expected him to be dominated by Hulk, but the amount of races he finished within 10-12 seconds of Nico was quite big.

 

Grosjean, Rosberg and Hulkenberg all do pretty much what I expected from them.



#42 engineblock1

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 18:10

This season has convinced me Lewis Hamilton has lost his mojo, I would not rate him in the league of Alonso & Vettel. He is faster than both FA and SV when all the stars are aligned, however, he lacks adaptability ability Alonso has, or for instance, Raikkonen also possesses it.

 

The guy who has impressed a lot is Romain Grosjean. I always thought of him a random rookie who just lucked into F1 and will be soon left without a drive. The way he has matched Kimi overall this season has increased my appreciation for him. Moreover,



#43 Cesc

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 19:05

Van der Garde has been a bit better than I expected.

Massa since he got dropped by Ferrari has been better than I thought he could be at this stage in his career.

 

It's Massa better or simple Alonso is noy qualifying ok...once in the race, Massa is as good/bad as always to Alonso.



#44 ANF

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 19:22

+

Ricciardo: He really stepped up his performance when Webber's retirement was announced and the Red Bull seat was vacant. That impressed me a lot.

Massa: Likewise, Massa has been so much better since he was sacked by Ferrari. I was certain his F1 career was over, but now I'm not so sure.

Gutiérrez: He looked absolutely ridiculous the first few weekends, but he seems to have come to terms with everything in the second half of the season.

Pic: I don't know why, but it finally occured to me that he is quite a good driver. Would be nice to have him in a better car.

Grosjean: Good to see him overcome the mishaps from last year. I knew he had the speed and ability.



Pérez: I was expecting a bit more of him. On the other hand, it's his first year at McLaren, the car was terrible, and Button is the team leader...



#45 Zoetrope

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 19:28

Perez  :up: - I expected he would get smashed by Button (despite Button's horrible 2012), but since the summer break he actually scored more points than JB and driving some good races. Definately still not a top driver in making in my opinion, but also gained some respect.

Rosberg  :up:  :up: - Trailing Hamilton really closely and I don't think Hamilton is having such bad season. Beating Lewis fair and square on some races is a hugely impressive to me.

Maldonado  :down: - Perhaps Bottas is that good that he is keeping him honest, or perhaps Pastor lost some motivation (he is surely fed up with dog of a car), but I expected more from a race winner!

Grosjean  :up:  :down: - His recent performance is great and looks more solid than Kimi, but the first part of season was disappointing. Perhaps he was just learning a new way to drive, a new approach, but I will wait for 2014 to see if he can have great races from the go and no more clashes.

Hulkenberg  :up: - To be honest I couldn't see his brilliance last year against DI Resta. A better driver, yes. But it was only untill now, when succesful defending against the likes of Hamilton and Alonso coupled with consistent, good race pace confimed him as a top driver.

But the biggest winner in my eyes is...

Sebastian Vettel  :up:  :up:  :up: - He proved he can do wonders with amazing accuracy and consistency. Something that was lacking in his previous seasons, especially 2012. Despite having the best car, this is the year when I don't feel bad for him winning the title. Simply the best driver won.



#46 sennafan24

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 19:40

Maldonado  :down: - Perhaps Bottas is that good that he is keeping him honest, or perhaps Pastor lost some motivation (he is surely fed up with dog of a car), but I expected more from a race winner!

 

I agree with most of what you wrote, but disagree here.

 

The Bottas hype was massive at the start of the year, and by a slight margin Pastor is doing better head to head. If Pastor closes it out in the last few races, I would say he has impressed more than digressed this year.

 

The car is not very good as well, its probably the 3rd weakest on the grid, yet Pastor is the one who got a point out of it, and nearly got another one in Abu Dhabi. Only in Canada qualifying has Bottas impressed to a massive degree.



#47 totgate

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 19:51

I must say that i have changed my opinion about Vettel. I really think he is "the real deal" Some of his drives this season have been truly remarkable. Ok, i know he is in a fantastic car but Webber have an equal car and he is nowhere near Vettel....



#48 Fatgadget

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 19:58

Button :down:

Perez :down:

Rosberg :up:

Vettel :up:  :up:

Webber :mad:

Groesjean :up:

Hamilton ):

Alonso :lol:

Massa :clap:

Hulk :up:  :up:

Kimi :rotfl:



#49 jannyg

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 20:01

My opinion has changed on Daniel Ricciardo. 

 

Before I wasn't too sure about him, there was loads of talk on here about DR being the next best thing but I just couldn't see the fuss.

 

This season that has all changed, he has obliterated Vergne and often puts the car on the grid ahead of faster cars. He's an aggressive defender and races hard. I expect a maiden pole/podium/win next year (I know Vettel will be his teammate)



#50 Sin

Sin
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Posted 05 November 2013 - 21:34

Lewis Hamilton... I now like him...