A) Vettel Alonso Räikkönen Rosberg Hamilton Hülkenberg Grosjean
B) Massa Button Perez Webber diResta Sutil Ricciardo Bianchi
C) Everyone else
Granted, it's hard to judge drivers in back marker teams, so me lumping most of them in tier C might very well be premature.
As for the rest, the plusses and minuses represent how my opinion has changed over the course of this season:
Alonso - This season, Alonso either isn't motivated, or he's getting old, I dunno, but he's missing that certain something. He's still very much up there among the best, but he doesn't seem to deliver stand out performances anymore.
Massa + He has been a very positive surprise for me. His main problem is that he doesn't always appear to be able to be 100% focused throughout a race, but speed wise he's up there with the best.
Vettel + I always rated him despite all the detractors, but the way he's dominating at will this season has finally put him among the all time greats, RedBull be damned.
Webber - He has disappointed. Granted, he's driving next to one of the very best of this generation, if not of all time, but given his car, he should have fared better. I still put him in tier B, but only barely.
Rosberg = I've always rated Rosberg, in fact I always liked him to the point that I feared that my opinion would be biased...I'm glad that he proved his worth this season. In terms of raw speed, I still see Hamilton slightly ahead, but in terms of race craft, Rosberg is top notch.
Hamilton = He started out better than I thought he would, but his performances have been somewhat flaky as of late, so overall he has delivered what I thought he would. But I see room for improvement there, which is good.
Hülkenberg + His performance during the second part of the season has been nothing but phenomenal. He's definitely carrying that car. It's interesting how my opinion of him has improved over the years. I thought he was hopelessly overrated back when he was at Williams, but slowly my opinion has turned around to the point that I'm putting him in the top tier this season. Sometimes it's nice to be proven wrong.
Button - He was certainly disappointing this season, while
Perez = did pretty much as I expected. Both suffered from a bad car though, so that has to be factored in I guess.
Räikkönen - I did expect more of him, despite him having a decent season overall. I guess he appears to be a fair-weather sort of driver, because as soon as the Ferrari deal was announced, his performance seemed to wander off, just like in 2008 when Massa beat him and he didn't seem to be interested anymore. I think he will go down as the Finn who could have been as good as Mika or even better, but who lacked the work ethic to do so. Still, he's tremendously talented, so tier A for him.
Grosjean + I always saw the raw speed in Grosjean, but I thought that his personality would be in his way. In that sense, he was the opposite of Räikkönen in that he was always over-motivated which often harmed him (similar to Perez I might add). But he seemed to have gotten over this, maybe him becoming a father had something to do with it. Be it as it may, he has to be reckoned with now.
diResta = apparently the grumpiest guy on the grid, but he's still doing a great job with that Force India.
Sutil = a very much underrated driver in my opinion. He's not phenomenal mind you, but he delivers and in the rain he can actually carry his car to places where it otherwise wouldn't belong. Plus, he's literally a throat-cutting bad-ass.
Bianchi = again, hard to rate a driver in a back marker car. Still, as far as I can tell he has given some very solid performances and I would like to see him in a quicker car.
Ricciardo + I think Ricciardo really has come into himself this season. I wasn't impressed with his previous attempts, but especially since being confirmed as Vettel's team mate for next year, he seems to have (re)found his speed.
Edited by thomin, 14 November 2013 - 02:48.