Poll 2018 CTA Driver of the Year


World Champion
Thought now the season is over i thought i post the 3rd annual CTA driver of the year & find out who will join Daniel Riccardio 2016 winner & Lewis Hamilton 2017 winner, as 2018 winner. As our forums driver of the year. I would prefer a top 10 but you can do a top 5 if you dont have the time for 10. Or if you thought we had 14 useless drivers :D & like F1 your top driver gets 25pts 10th gets 1pt & after everyones who wants to vote has voted, ill keep the vote open til end of the calendar year & driver with most points. Will be 2018 CTA Driver of the year

As i always say i dont mind how you get your top 10. it can be top 10 in championship or the top 10 pound for pound. However I just feel its a great way to get everyone's opinion on how the 2018 grid fared this season
Oh....I love creating lists. Lets start the controversy:

1. Hamilton. I think he is the best driver in F1 right now. Not a lot of errors this season either.
2. Alonso. Still clearly one of the three or four best drivers in F1. Still looked very good.
3. Vettel. Made a lot of mistakes, but in the end, I still consider him one of the top three drivers out there. He does lack the consistency of a Hamilton and Alonso, and I don't think he is as fast as Hamilton, but on a good day, he is still pretty hard to beat. He is moody and pig-headed at times.
4. Verstappen. Made a lot of mistakes...haven't counted them but maybe more than Vettel. Still, clearly faster than most of the rest and extremely determined. I am not sure he is as fast as Hamilton/Alonso/Vettel. We shall see. He is very pig-headed and I don't that will change.

Then there is a break to "best of the rest" and the less obvious choices. The candidates are Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Gasly and Raikonnen. I haven't sorted out how I would rank those eight among each other, in part because I haven't taken the time to look at their comparative qualifying and race performances.
I would have to say we all know how well the top guys did but apart from them the stand out driver for me was Charles Leclerc. He did things with that Sauber he shouldn't have been able to and I can't wait to see him at Ferrari next year.
yeah sorry Greenlantern101 that was assumition upon my part. yeah same as last yr post your own top 10 & ill work out the points

in case you want to see 2017 poll
OK....took a few moments to look at the best of the rest here (my first four choices were Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Verstappen).

Now, just annoy people, I actually do try to evaluate driver performance by comparing their performance with their teammates. I tend to use three comparisons, 1) the qualifying duel (which I consider the most meaningful), 2) the race duel (how many times...when both cars finish, does one car finish ahead of the other), and 3) points scored (obvious). Maybe we will see something more mathematical from olegg. Now, this is an imperfect measure of relative performance between drivers, but I think has more value than just opinionating.

So, for example, lets compare Perez to Ocon to Hulkenberg. They conveniently raced against each other in the same car for multiple seasons. Can't get a whole lot more objective measurement than that.

Perez versus Ocon

................Qual.............On Track.........Points
2017........13-7.............11-6..................100 - 87
2018........5-16..............5- 9................... 62- 49

Perez versus Hulkenberg

................Qual............On Track............Points

1. In the case of Perez vs Ocon, there is a big difference in 2017 compared to 2018. Ocon got better. I therefore tend to lean on the 2018 comparisons over the 2017 ones.
2. In 2018 Ocon outqualified Perez 16 to 5, beat him on the track 9 to 5, but Perez outscored him. I therefore rate Ocon over Perez, even though I think highly of Perez as a driver (as a person is a different subject). So Ocon over Perez
3. Now compare Perez to Hulkenberg. Not much to choose here. Hulkenberg was a better qualifier, their race performance was the same. In 2014 Hulkenberg had the edge, since then I would give Perez the advantage. It is very close.
4. I would argue that Perez had an very slight edge over Hulkenberg as of the end of 2016. Now, if someone wants to make the argument that Hulkenberg moving to Renault has re-motivated him and he is now better than Perez, then I think that is a reasonable argument. But right now, I still rate Perez over Hulkenberg. Perez does have an ability to get points, only being beaten in that category in one season out of the last five. Perez has had a particularly difficult season with a challenge from an aggressive teammate, the team going bankrupt, and he being in the middle of it all. He has had to deal with a lot more challenges than just driving.
5. As Ocon in 2018 was better than Perez, and Perez and Hulkenberg from 2014-2016 were about the same then I rate the drivers relative to each other as:
a. Ocon
b. Perez
c. Hulkenberg

Next discussion...how do they compared to Verstappen and Ricciardo.
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My list is as follows:

1) Hamilton - Say what you like, he hardly put a foot wrong this year. It shows that when he's challenged on the track but not in the head he's unbeatable. Get to his head in some way with the old mind games and he crumbles like a short crust pie that's been baked for an hour too long but try and take him on without the psychological advantage and you've got no chance. A worthy champion.

2) Charles Leclerc - Ferrari have a problem next year. They're going to have to cope with two drivers who want to win and are both capable of it. Will Leclerc accept playing second fiddle to Vettel or will he have to face a season of "alternate strategies" and "covering off Mercedes" which somehow takes him down the order but doesn't affect his team mate? After years of watching Kimi not be arsed, his arrival at Ferrari will be a breath of fresh air. He did things in the Sauber this year that were far better than the car was capable of.

3) Daniel Ricciardo - Gets the nod over Max because it was mostly bad lack that cost Danny this year not being a bit of a plonker like his team mate. Get the best out of the car when ever he could get the thing to the finish.

4) Max Verstappen - OK, he's far too hot headed and it's doubtful if he calms down, he may not be as quick but he's entertaining and the sport needs entertainers right now. 5 top three spots in the last 5 races showed a big improvment. The big question is, will the Honda help or hinder RBR and Max next year??

5) Seb Vettel - Let himself down a few times and let down by his team a few times but not a great year for Seb. Too much time on the radio moaning and not enough time driving the wheels off the car. From mid season it was a one horse race for the title and it wasn't a prancing one. Towards the end of the season, he and Ferrari weren't even the second best team on the grid.

6) Sergio Perez - The only driver from any team besides the top three to actually see the Podium from anything other than the ground up. He's never going to get a top drive but he's a good driver and deserves his place on the grid.

7) Kimi Raikkonen - Yes, every race weekend he gives the impression that he can't be bothered but there were more than enough times in the car when funny things happened to him when he looked like he was the faster of the two Ferrari drivers. He won a race.

8) Fernando Alonso - Toward the end of the season, even I stopped laughing at him. It was a bit like watching a top athlete being made to run the 100m with his laces tied together. The only driver on the grid to out qualify his team mate at every race. If only he was more likeable. He remains a double world champion.

9) Kevin Magnusson - Another driver who got on with the job, often did better than the car was supposed to be able to do and finished ahead of his team mate more often than not. Will never get the credit he's due.

10) Valtteri Bottas - Both RBR drivers won a race, both Ferrari drivers won a race, Hamilton won plenty of races and then there's Bottas, the odd one out. Granted he had to hand over a perfectly good win to his team mate and never found himself in a place to get it handed back but his report card reads must do better. He did just enough to justify his contract.

That's my top 10.
finally I have time to give my top 10 hurrah, potentially controversial but hey thats opinions. no point if it all comfortable

1) Hamilton - Just like last year easiest choice of the whole lot, 5 time world champion now alongside Fangio & Schumacher. I would say he is driving better than he ever has, that Singapore pole was perfection & bar Canada Q3, I cant think of a mistake he's made all season. when you consider that a mistake shows he been absolutely faultless.

2) Verstappen - in 3rd best car for the majority of the season. he had very dodgy start of the season but he matured, he's taken it on board, proven in Austria when he thought better of it on 1st lap & reaped the rewards. then to finish 4pts of raikkonen & 2pts ahead of bottas. is outstanding. that guy is like Hamilton when he started we knew he'd be world champion its just when

3) Vettel - I had to remind myself post Russia that only 3 weeks prior front row lockout on home turf. he was favourite to win the world championship. then Ferrari just seemed to implode. I said at the time vettel cost himself the title when he impatiently tried to take Lewis when if he'd been patient. he would've won the Italian gp

4) Hulkenburg - I have to put him here because a championship is over 21 races. he was the F1.5 champion 69pts beat everyone even with 7 DNF's compared to his closest rival Perez 1 DNF

5) Leclerc - outstanding driver, back in march I embarrassingly fangirling over him when discussing his dominant F2 title win :sick::D. but watching that, I knew he was a special talent but sometimes it doesn't transfer look at Vandoorne. that race in Baku that Q2 lap in rain to progress & abu dhabi if he hadnt pitted under VSC. he not Riccardio would've lead the race

6) Raikkonen - I think he driven his best season for years 3rd in championship 12 podiums, amazing pole at monza & my fav moment of the year when he took his "final" win. gave me so much joy. as I can be a romantic when it comes to sport. & he lacks motivation at times but at times he more than matched Vettel

7) Riccardio - 2 wins a great opportunistic win in shanghai & his overdue win in Monaco, where red bull were the class of the field. lovely guy with horrendous luck, the points he lost where pretty bad. but was too often overshadowed by his teammate

8) Alonso - outqualified Vandoorne 21-0, 26 straight since 2017 Malaysian GP & in 1 of the worst cars on the grid, he still outscored Ocon Gasly Leclerc & Grosjean. he is highly decisive. ive had my ups & downs hated him in 2011, but slowly he grew on me, im sad to see him go. he should in the top 3 teams for the show

9) Perez - 2nd in Formula 1.5 championship & podium at baku only guy in B championship to achieve that feat. some great results over the season. in very tough finatical circumstances

10) Ocon - a victim of the glass ceiling in F1 as its a shame that a guy of his talent cant find a place of the grid, as he shown he has the same potential as Verstappen & Leclerc. some good results 4 6th places & that fantastic 3rd on the grid in Belgium
So continuing on the "best of the rest." I had ranked the top four as 1) Hamilton, 2) Alonso, 3) Vettel and 4) Verstappen. Then I ranked 1) Ccon, 2) Perez, and 3) Hulkenberg relative to each other, but....not relative to anyone else. So the question is, how do they compare to Verstappen and Ricciardo. None of them have raced in F1 on the same team with these two. On the other hand Hulkenberg has raced against Sainz who raced against Verstappen who raced against Ricciardo. We are reaching here...but it is better than nothing. So the comparisons:

Hulkenberg versus Sainz

............Qual...........On Track.............Points

Verstappen versus Sainz

.............Qual.............On Track.............Points

1. Hulkenberg performed better than Sainz.
2. Verstappen performed better than Sainz.
3. The question is, did Hulkenberg perform better than Sainz than Verstappen performed against Sainz?

This last question actually hard to answer. Hulkenberg definitely outqualifed (16-9) Sainz while Verstappen mearly matched him (12-11). This is part of the reason why I say "I am not sure he [Verstappen] is as fast as Hamilton/Alonso/Vettel." There is a quantitative underpinning to this statement, be it right or wrong.

On the other hand, while Hulkenberg outqualified Sainz, outraced him and outpointed him, Verstappen only scored more points than him (by a significant margin 62-22). So one could make the argument that Hulkenberg is better than Verstappen (as would be Ocon and Perez in my construct).

Now, I don't accept that argument. In part, I do believe that Formula One management and team owners know something about F1 and their drivers. They clearly plucked Verstappen from Toro Rosso, moved him to Red Bull and gave him special treatment. I think there is an underlying reason for this, and it is not because of Verstappen's warm and engaging personality. Also, both Sainz and Verstappen were still learning F1 in 2015/2016. Driver's do improve over time. Verstappen's experience has been very positive and supportive, while Sainz experience has been very much less so. So, I do rate Verstappen over Hulkenberg (and Ocon and Perez). That is a judgment placed over the numbers....but the numbers really don't answer that question.

On the other hand, where does Ricciardo place in this ranking. The only active driver he has raced against is Verstappen (and Vettel). So lets compare them:

Verstappen versus Ricciardo

..............Qual........On Track...........Points

1. Ricciardo outperformed Verstappen in 2016, including outqualifying him 6-11.
2. Verstappen took charge in 2017 and 2018, including outqualifying Ricciardo 13-7 and 15-6. As much as people like to talk about favoritism, qualifying is about as clean of a straight up clean battle as we get. This is why I tend to lean on that, as it is less influenced by dynamics inside the team. Verstappen is faster than Ricciardo in 2017 and 2018, both in qualifying and during the race.
3. Probably most interesting is how Verstappen went from being outqualified in 2016 6-11 to outqualifying Ricciardo 28-13 over the next two years. This is part of the reason why I don't entirely accept the Verstappen/Sainz comparison is I think that Verstappen had continued to up his game.
4. So Verstappen over Ricciardo.

Unfortunately, there is no way to really compare Ricciardo to Ocon/Perez/Hulkenberg/Sainz. I would clearly put him above Sainz, but.....is he above Hulkenberg? Is he above Ocon, who I rate at the top of that pack? We will find out next year, when he is teamed with Hulkenberg. That is part of the reason why I was happy he went to Renault. Now we get to find out just how good is Ricciardo compared to the other drivers.

So....is the relationship 1) Ricciado/Ocon/Perez/Hulkenberg/Sainz or is it 2) Ocon/Perez/Hulkenberg/Ricciardo/Sainz? I lean towards the first construct, but really don't know. We will know for certain next year.

Next up, Grosjean and Raikkonnen.
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1. Hamilton
2. Vettel
=3 Ricciardo
=3 Verstappen
5 - Leclerc
=6 Ocon
=6 Magnusen
8. Gasly
9. Bottas
=10 Perez
=10 Ericsson

Last one is controversial I know but compared to his previous seasons Ericsson has been on it this year.

I understand why people have put Alonso in their lists as he is clearly one of the best drivers on the grid but this is about this season and frankly I think he's been phoning it in since about mid season.
I understand why people have put Alonso in their lists as he is clearly one of the best drivers on the grid but this is about this season and frankly I think he's been phoning it in since about mid season.

Thats why i love doing this top 10 as you get seen how everyone rated the season. Im sure we all have our "him that high/low" or "Wouldnt have him in there" as it makes me revaluate my ideas & there are no wrong opinion. If someone genuinely believed sirokin was driver of the year & explained it. Im fine with it
My top three


Vettel didn’t really make many mistakes, that was exaggerated due to Hamilton’s brilliance this year.
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