Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Vote for your 2014 F1 Driver of the Year

2014 F1 season review

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Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014I’ve already chosen my top drivers of the year – now it’s time to find out who was yours.

It was a season dominated by Mercedes which saw Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to the championship. The only other driver to win a race was Daniel Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel finally lost his championship crown and left Red Bull to join Ferrari – replacing Fernando Alonso, who moves on to McLaren.

Two drivers claimed their first podium finishes in 2014: Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen. Also on the rostrum this year were Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Were any of these your driver of the year? Was it someone else? Cast your vote for 2014 Driver of the Year below and have your say in the comments.

Who was the best F1 driver of 2014?

  • Will Stevens (1%)
  • Andre Lotterer (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (1%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (5%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (9%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (33%)
  • Nico Rosberg (2%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (43%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)

Total Voters: 765

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Pass of the Year

The voting is still open for your favourite overtaking move of the 2014 season. Review the ten nominees here and vote for the best pass of the year:

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2014 F1 season review

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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155 comments on “Vote for your 2014 F1 Driver of the Year”

  1. Jules, we’ll never forget you…

    Thoughts and prayers from France.

    1. I think you missed the point of this poll

      1. Think you missed the two points Bianchi scored in a crap F1 car, that he destroyed his team mate once again this season, and the fact he pays a heavy price for driving one of those cars.

        1. Of course he did a brilliant job but the fact is that is not the point of the poll.

          1. @wpinrui

            Sorry, but this is exactly the point of the poll. The poll is to gain a wide range of data to see who the fans feel was the best driver of 2014. If someone wants to select Bianchi because of his brilliant drive in Monaco and often outpacing his team mate then so be it. There’s no right and wrong. The whole idea of this poll is to collect the data on peoples opinions as everyone will think differently and judge the drivers in different ways.

          2. How is it not the point of the poll?

        2. you should write: ‘I vote for Bianchi as I think he was the best driver’.
          not just ‘my thoughts and prayers are with Jules’ etc.

          1. @sato113

            They don’t have to write anything. Their first word is Jules, which clearly shows who they’ve voted for. Putting ” I vote for Jules as he was the best driver” seems a little pointless, as the point of the poll is to vote for your best driver, so a simple Jules clearly explains who they’ve voted for.

          2. Sometimes I wonder about the age level in this forum. Stop being a bunch of keyboard warriors and either stay on topic or go play with your dinky cars.

            This bickering is utter nonsense. Seriously!

  2. I think any of the top three has a case for being number 1 (that being Hamilton, Alonso or Ricciardo). So in the way I usually do things, I’ve voted for the one I think will get the least votes of the three and have gone for Alonso.

    I don’t believe Ricciardo would have beaten Hamilton this year, but I do believe Alonso would have, but I can still see why Ricciardo is ahead of both, simply because his performance relative to himself was far beyond what was expected. I believe that in equal machinery (assuming the same drivers still have the same issues with their cars), that Alonso would have come out on top, with Hamilton in second and Ricciardo in third.

    1. Great point. If they were all in the Mercedes, Alonso would have won the title. Would Ricciardo? Possibly, possibly not.

      1. Not sure that’s true. Even as a rookie in 2007, Lewis was able to deal with Fernando pretty well. A lot more experience under the belt for both of them now, so it would be interesting to see. And RIC would be an interesting add to that mix…I’d LOVE to see them all three try it! :)

        1. I don’t understand how people still bring that up after what? 7 years! Quit beating the dead horse. In those 7 years, so many things have changed that could create many different outcomes and people still believe it is a valid argument in proving that Hamilton is the better driver. I fail to see how that can be relevant after so long and thought that I should provide some things to consider before using that argument for another 7 years.

          – Alonso was not any more established at McLaren than Lewis had been when joining the team.
          – Renault used Michelins when Alonso won his two titles, while the McLarens used Bridgestones.
          – Since 2007 Bridgestone has been replaced by Pirelli.
          – Refueling has been banned.
          – Aerodynamics had changed a lot in 2009
          – Change in powertrain, fuel limit, and fuel flow
          – Introduction of KERS, and ERS
          – F1 cars have grown longer, and heavier

          Everybody knows that different things affect different drivers, and it is impossible to determine whether or not Hamilton is still able to match Alonso. The regulations have changed too much since then, and we don’t even know how much either one of them has developed since 2007.

          Just put 2007 to rest.

          1. “Put 2007 to rest”? Why when it is the only measure of Hamilton and Alonso as team mates. You can sing on about how Alonso performed better in that Ferrari compared to Lewis but fact is they did not have the same machinery. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Hamilton couldn’t have dragged that Ferrari to better championship positions or vice versa for Alonso. That does not even include how Alonso was the undisputed number 1 at Ferrari as well whereas Lewis had a team mate who was allowed to challenge him for position. So as a result the only accurate comparison that can be made is that of 2007 when Lewis the rookie out did Alonso the reigning and double world champ to second in the championship. Talk about being a die hard Alonso fan who does not like to face reality.

          2. Indeed the one thing we can say for certain is Hamilton is a much more mature and improved driver since 2007 (it was his rookie season); he would destroy Alonso now.

          3. His point Davej was that he does not believe that it is still a relevant reference point.

            My personal opinion however, noting that yours is just as valid, is that don’t think that Hamilton would have beaten Alonso this year. I believe Rosberg is some way off the level of Alonso.

            Which is not to say Hamilton isn’t faster, just that Alonso is likely to have scored more than Rosberg.

          4. Davej, I’m not sure you’ve read my comment. I never stated that Alonso is better, and never sang about his performance at Ferrari. In 7 years, many things have changed and that it could have swung into Alonso’s favor as much as it can swing into Hamilton’s favor. I just think that bringing 2007 into the argument and then completely ignoring 2008-2014 is rather poor. At this point you can’t really say Driver A > Driver B until they’re in the same car again.

            Sam, don’t you think there are more people other than Hamilton that could have become more mature and and improve their driving?

          5. Do me a favour, Alonso was a 2 time reigning WDC Hamilton a rookie and he bested him. 7 years on and Hamilton has grown a lot more than Alonso. Remember but for Mclaren strategy blunders pitstop incompetance and mechanical gremlins Hamilton would be sporting 5 WDCs right now.

          6. @AmbroseLane
            “Do me a favour, Alonso was a 2 time reigning WDC Hamilton a rookie and he bested him. 7 years on and Hamilton has grown a lot more than Alonso.”

            There is no evidence to suggest that Hamilton has grown more than Alonso in that period. It’s your opinion, and there are many that don’t share it. I won’t deny that Hamilton did marginally best him in 2007, but I don’t even believe Alonso was as good in 2005-2006 as he was in 2010 and onward.

            “Remember but for Mclaren strategy blunders pitstop incompetance and mechanical gremlins Hamilton would be sporting 5 WDCs right now.”

            Hardly 5, I’ll give you 3.

          7. I am surprised that people never bring Tarso Marques into this kind of discussions (for the benefit of the younger F1fanatics, he was Alonso’s teammate in 2001, his rookie year at Minardi).
            Minardi didn’t score any points but Marques was 22nd in the championship and Alonso 23rd. So, yes, Alonso was beaten by Marques, who managed a 9th position while Alonso’s best was 10th (nitpickers will tell you that Alonso consistenly outpaced Marques and always finished ahead of him when both got to the flag, but that’s hardly relevant).
            Considering that nobody in their right mind would rank Marques even in the top hundred F1 drivers, and that he beat Alonso, the inescapable conclusion is that Alonso is utter rubbish as a driver, and if he ever won anything it was purely blind luck.

          8. “Remember but for Mclaren strategy blunders pitstop incompetance and mechanical gremlins Hamilton would be sporting 5 WDCs right now”.

            This kind of reasoning is highly fallacious. If you change just one thing in favour of your guy, he comes out best. But there are other things not favoring your guy that might also have changed. Like, “Felipe Massa would have won the 2008 WDC instead of Hamilton were it not for the dreadful incident with the fuel line in the Singapore pitstop”. True, but it proves nothing.

      2. You can’t possibly justify that statement. It’s not backed up by history (2007), or any other statistic that I’m aware of.

        There’s absolutely no useful data to back up such a sweeping statement, and more than a little bit of evidence to contradict it.

        1. Alonso bested Hamilton in very equal machinery in both 2010 and 2013, and he even beat Lewis in 2011 despite driving a slower car; so to believe that Alonso would have won the WDC in a Mercedes regardless of his teammate is not so far-fetched IMO.

          1. In 2010, Alonso had 252 points to 240 for Lewis. Lewis had 3 DNFs to Alonso’s 1. I don’t know the details of the DNFs. Alonso beat him, but not by much.

            In 2011, Hamilton was behind by 30 points, but again had 2 extra DNFs. Hamilton led Alonso 3-1 in wins.

            2013 was not equal machinery. McLaren couldn’t even beat Lotus that year.

            They are very close drivers. To debate between them would never solve anything. The only thing is to hope for a season where they can go head to head in equal cars. Maybe 2016.

          2. @henryshakespeare

            In 2010, Alonso had 252 points to 240 for Lewis. Lewis had 3 DNFs to Alonso’s 1. I don’t know the details of the DNFs. Alonso beat him, but not by much.

            Monza was Hamilton’s own fault. He had a 50/50 accident in Singapore. In Hungary his engine blew up.
            Alonso just shades Hamilton overall in 2010.

            In 2011, Hamilton was behind by 30 points, but again had 2 extra DNFs. Hamilton led Alonso 3-1 in wins.

            Of course Hamilton won more races, the McLaren was a clear better car that year (look where Button was). Lewis scored less points because he crashed by himself in Canada and Belgium. In Brazil, he had a gearbox problem.

            2013 was not equal machinery. McLaren couldn’t even beat Lotus that year.

            Lewis was in Mercedes in 2013, not McLaren

            They are very close drivers.

            I agree that they are very evenly matched drivers. I’d give Lewis a slight edge in speed, and Alonso is maybe a little bit more consistent. There isn’t much in it.

          3. Yes, Lewis was at Merc in 2013 of course. That’s just me not thinking.

        2. Di Resta >>>>>>> Vettel, backed up by history of course.

  3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    18th December 2014, 12:27

    Have to say, my knee-jerk response was to place Lewis top, but Keith’s review won me over. Although Hamilton delivered more on-track entertainment than any other driver, his bad dip in form between Monaco and Spa rule him out for the number one spot. Both Alonso and Ricciardo performed consistently at a very high level: I voted Ricciardo.

    I hope Lewis sorts out his mind-management next year. The drought has ended, he should make the most of it.

    1. his bad dip in form between Monaco and Spa rule him out for the number one spot

      Monaco 2nd
      Canada DNF (retired from 1st)
      Austria 2nd
      Great Britain 1st
      Germany 3rd (brake failure in Q1 led to start in P20)
      Hungary 3rd (engire fire led to Pit Start: P22)
      Spa DNF (hit by team mate whilst in 1st)

      So the sequence of seven grands prix, where he has been touched three times by mechanical failures and once more by his clumsy team mate is enough to offset the fact he won ten of the other twelve grands prix?

      1. Exactly, Kodongo. To bounce back from those misfortunes shows the true value of Hamilton. Most other drivers would have cracked.

      2. Monaco – if he faster then he should able to overtake Rosberg (he had a lot of laps before the eye issue)
        Canada – if Rosberg can nurse his car why he cannot
        Austria – qualifying mistake
        Britain – qualifying mistake, if Rosberg have no issues its likely that he will win rather than Hamilton
        Germany – he should’ve been 2nd regardless the strategy that Merc offers
        Hungary – he should be able to overtake Alonso
        Belgium – racing incident
        I agree with @thegrapeunwashed even though I’m the one who criticised the rankings, but now I know that Keith is right to place Hamilton 3rd

        1. Monaco – Because Monaco. It’s the most difficult track to overtake on in the entire calendar
          Canada – Partly because Hamilton had been running in the hot turbulent air behind Rosberg (IMO due to Rosberg flagrantly cutting the final chicane to recover from his own mistake) which overheated his brakes more than Rosberg
          Austria – Hamilton’s fault
          Great Britain – Win
          Germany – Started P20 and he should have been second?! Third is still a pretty great result
          Hungary – Even in the Mercedes, being at different points in tire phases counts for a lot
          Spa – Racing incident that everyone who has a clue places firmly at Rosberg’s feet.

          So of those races, the only one where Lewis can really be critisised for the result is Germany. And he was third. Three meager points than the second you think he should have come.

          1. Yeah, but sometimes you need to be excellent, not great, and he should be able to maximise every opporpunity

        2. Monaco – if he faster then he should able to overtake Rosberg

          After reading this I will excuse the rest of the post because you are clearly ignorant of F1.

          1. No, no Hulkenberg can overtake Magnussen on portier @realstig, last year Sutil overtake Alonso at Loews

          2. @deongunner those are the exceptions rather than the norm. Anyone who has watched F1 for a few year will tell you that it is impossible to overtake in Monaco particular if it is the same cars, tires, engine settings etc. The only opportunity that Lewis had was during the pitstops, but the safety car ruled that out. You may not like Lewis but please try to be reasonable and apply your mind.

          3. @realstig

            No, it’s not impossible. It’s just very difficult.

            He didn’t pass him. It’s not an invalid criticism just because you don’t agree.

          4. @realstig criticizing is diffrent than dislike,,and as @mike said overtaking in Monaco is not impossible, I also said before Sutil overtake Alonso in worse car, and then why Monaco is designed if you impossible to overtake, yes it is difficult but that is the challenge to test driver ability to overtake.

    2. Bad dip in form? 2nd, had just taken the lead when his brakes gave up, 2nd (mistake in quali), 1st (mistake in quali, but was catching for the lead even before Rosberg retired), 3rd after starting last, 3rd after starting last, was in the lead when he was taken out. A dip in results, a couple of errors crept in, but far from a bad dip in form.

      1. Canada, pushed too hard & blew his brakes, ROS was prob smiling as HAM overtook him, knowing that the brakes wouldn’t take it & it was just a matter of time. Patience ain’t a Hamilton strength it seems ;-)
        Austria, beatn by teammate.
        Britain, got lucky, ROS retired.
        Germany, barged his way through field using DRS, lucky safety car.
        Hungary, got lucky with a safety car. DR round the outside!
        Spa, needlessly squeezed ROS (again!) when he didn’t need to (ego over ambition?) & ROS showed him that’s NEVER happening again.

        = DIP IN FORM

        add spinning off in Brasil too, even just a few years ago that was a sandtrap, and a guaranteed retirement, not just a nancy cement runoff. Top drivers know their limits. Would have loved to hear all the brake excuses etc (its not him its the car etc etc) if that sandtrap was still there lol.

        1. Canada: He was probably smiling after blatantly cheating when he cut the chicane – attempted to make the corner would almost certainly have lost him the lead.
          Austria: Fair cop
          Britain: Was gaining rapidly on Rosberg before the gearbox problem started. Didn’t need luck, and he had his own share of bad luck over the season.
          Germany: The same DRS everyone else had. Lucky safety car to compensate for unlucky safety car in Bahrain. Also, there SHOULD have been a safety care when Sutil span.
          Hungary: Raced from the pit lane to 3rd and you’re saying it’s all down to the safety car? Wow.
          Spa: Hamilton did not squeeze Rosberg – there was plenty of room. Suggesting otherwise implies a lack of understanding about racing works.

          Brazil: sure it was a mistake, but the sandtrap was not there – every driver was aware of this fact, so they could afford to push slightly harder than normal. Lewis was also taken by surprise by the need to stay out 2 laps longer than Nico, rather than the expected 1.

          I think’s a clear that I disagree with Keith’s analysis on this, but at least his is rational about it…

    3. It’s really sad when the “bad dip in form” is based on “only” scoring 2 third places (from the back of the grid), 2 second places, and a first place, and two retirements due to mechanical problems.

      If that’s “poor form”, I’d hate to see what it takes to win you over. Most drivers would consider that the best season of their career, AND WOULD BE RIGHT.

      So why is it that Hamilton is expected to perform at a much higher level than any other driver on the grid?

  4. Ricciardo, I seriously never expect Ricciardo to beat Vettel like this, plus he’s always the only one who capitalize Mercedes problems and take the wins. Alonso and Hamilton also had amazing year, but they fell short for my DOTY picks

    1. Yeah, I don’t think anyone expected it either, I predicted that maybe with some luck Daniel would beat him on qualifying very often but in the races Vettel would dominate him, that happened several occasions with Vergne when he was in Toro Rosso, but obviously we were all very wrong.

      1. While I didn’t expect Vettel to be dominated like he was, I’ve always had a suspicion that Vettel is overrated. Even in his dominant runs in 2011 and 2013, I always maintained the position that Alonso was the best driver on the grid.

        One thing I noticed about Vettel is that, whenever there was a weekend where Red Bull had a car about equal to the others, it was very rare for him to win.

        2009: Bahrain, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Singapore
        2010: China, Turkey, Belgium, Singapore
        2011: China, Canada, Silverstone, Germany, Hungary, Japan
        2012: Monaco, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, USA
        2013: Monaco, Hungary

        Above are 22 examples of where Red Bull had a car which was roughly equal best with one or two other teams across the weekend, and not once did Vettel win in any of those instances; and it’s not as if those examples are exaggerated, you have to admit even if you are a Vettel fan, that Red Bull had the car that could have won if he’d done a better job.

        Now let’s look at the flip side of things: How many races in Vettel’s career has he won, where he genuinely did not look to have the best car that weekend? Monza 2008 obviously, Spain 2011, Bahrain 2012, Singapore 2012 (inherited from Lewis), Bahrain 2013 and Germany 2013. Other than that? I can’t think of any. That’s 5 or 6 races out of his 39 wins where Red Bull might not have been the best car.

        Why is it, that whenever Red Bull were on the same level as Ferrari and McLaren in a race (Canada and Germany 2012 are perfect examples of this), Vettel almost always lost to Alonso or Hamilton? Out of the enormous sample size we have, it can’t just be a coincidence. With Alonso, at least one-third of his wins were without sitting in the clear-fastest car of the weekend. With Vettel, this is barely 15% tops.

        1. Interesting @kingshark. I would also note that Bourdais had his best weekend at Monza 2008, and had the second fastest race lap, however he lost a lap at the start (else he might have been near the podium). Golden Toro Rosso low drag/Ferrari engine/Newey new parts combination?

          2011 – EBD wasn’t banned when it should have been, a U-turn under pressure.
          2013 – Setup rules were not enforced – a tyre change U-turn under pressure.

          Without those two changes, we might not have seen a dominant period for Vettel, instead just consistently grinding his way to the title like in 2010/2012. In 2013 he was already odds-on favourite to win at the time of the change, so why RB didn’t also move to the 2014 car is beyond me.

        2. @kingshark I agree that he is a little bit overrated. Alonso drag that 2012 Ferrari which is almost 1 second slower than Red Bull into the same level. And in 2011 and 2013 I think that Vettel should have win atleast 15 races. But 2015 will tell the whole story

      2. The fact is that Vettel has never, once, lead the WDC unless his team lead the WCC. By contrast, Alonso lead half the 2012 WDC when Ferrari were nowhere near the WCC, and Hamilton won the 2008 WDC when McLaren lost the WCC to Ferrari.

        To conclude my post above, to me, Vettel has always been overrated. He’s been flattered by an average teammate who was rubbish on Pirelli tyres (Webber) and the best car for 4 consecutive years. He’s not a “bad” driver, per se, but anyone who thinks he is a legend and in the same bracket as Schumacher is kidding themselves, Vettel is a Hakkinen calibre driver, nothing more.

        Hakkinen, like Vettel, I also consider to be overrated, because he too was flattered by Newey’s rocketships from 1998-1999. When he didn’t have a good car, Hakkinen was often out-performed by his teammate (1997, 2001). However, the difference between the two was that Mika had to wait a long, long time before he finally got a Newey rocketship in 1998 fast car. Vettel got his first a Newey-rocketship when he was only 21.

        1. This is a very good point… At this point in time, it would be fair to rank Schumacher-Alonso-Hamilton as the best of each recent generation, with Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Vettel as their principal rivals that were beaten into second place. It would be interesting to see if we add Ricciardo and Bottas to that list in future.

        2. @kingshark Alonso also finished third in the standings in a car from the leading constructor in 2007 behind both his teammate and a driver from the next highest scoring constructor.

          1. @jerseyf1 So did Hamilton? They tied.. and were 1 point behind Kimi. The cold, hard fact is that Alonso was 2 tenths faster than Hamilton in qualifying that year… and how many points did he lose from his FIA penalty at Hungary?

            The fact also remains that Lewis had the best debut season since the pre-war era, but you could also say it was overdue – he could have been driving from mid-2006, and would have if it was a Red Bull in charge, rather than McLaren.

            Also, with any team orders or driver management that year, McLaren would have sewn up both titles, but it still would have been close between the top 3 anyhow. I looked at the season again and came to this conclusion:

            Alonso should have won with most wins, Hamilton should have been second with most podiums; Raikkonen in contention as best Ferrari driver overall, with a late charge, possibly just one point behind the McLarens and Alonso winning on win countback. But the season is so close, that the result is always swung by just one or two factors.

          2. @jerseyf1 Interestingly, under that scenario, Alonso vs. Hamilton at Brazil for 3rd place could have been a battle to decide the title between the two McLaren drivers!

    2. I thought Ricciardo would be thrashing everybody else in the poll right now, but it’s not far away from Hamilton. Similarly, I really thought Alonso would be closer. Just felt curious.
      To sum up, my vote goes to Ricciardo. A tremendous job, proved himself in what’s definitely not the best RBR ever, and having Vettel by his side. Here’s hoping RBR can build a winner next year and Danny is there challenging the Merc boys. Same goes for McLaren and Ferrari, though it’s gonna be hard for the latter.

    3. See, I expected him to beat Vettel… because I think that Vettel is overrated. He’s very fast, but that isn’t enough (in fact, he’s faster than Alonso, who is consistently rated as “a better driver”).

      I expect Ricciardo will win a world championship, unless the curse of the senior driver strikes him at Red Bull (the older driver never does well at Red Bull).

      1. Any ‘facts’ to back up your conclusion that Vettel is faster than Alonso or just at least that Vettel isn’t fast enough?

        I didn’t like his domination one bit and that Alonso lost to him. But you don’t win 4 titles just by turning up in the car. Webber was nowhere near him in the standings despite having similar machinery.

    4. When Vettel came onto the scene, some characters in the pits labelled him the new Senna. Such a comparison is, of course, absurd. For if it is not, then we reach the truly absurd conclusion that Riccardo is superlative beyond words. Accordingly, we must reassess Vettel: either he had an off-season or he was flattered by his machinery cf. Hill and Villeneuve. Either way, this puts Riccardo’s efforts this year in quite a different light. Further, we must remember that Riccardo had no pressure from outside the team (he was not fighting for the WDC and had no weight of expectation being almost a rookie) nor from inside the team (given Vettel’s form).

      Hamilton was sensational this year. He was a good as he usually is. The real difference was his consistency and his maturity.