Hard to argue with these lists, pretty good summation of driver performance. Like teabag, I'd have Ricci and Valtteri up there with Lewis, although I think I'd give Nico an extra apertif for outqualifying Hamilton.
Hmm, am I the only one not yet convinced about Bottas? If I recall there was another young Finish driver called Kovaleinen who impressed in some under par machinery but couldn't cut it when he got in to a decent car. Yes, he's faster than Massa, but Felipe is coming towards the end of his career and was never Premier league anyway.
I am not convinced about Bottas, but he does seem to have put in some good drives. But when one team is ahead by a second a lap and that is ahead of the third car by half a second it is difficult to judge the real quality of the drivers.
Now, when one driver completely outdrives his teammate, who has been rated by some as the best ever, for ninety five percent of the season it makes you wonder about just how good any driver is.
Ricciardo- Without a doubt the biggest surprise of the season, came in to Vettel's house and wiped the floor with him. I don't recall any mistakes either and he was the only non-Mercedes driver to win races. I'm a Hamilton fan but I would make Ricciardo my driver of the season if pushed.
Hamilton - If you look back to the predictions made by pundits at the start of the season many of them were backing Rosberg to take the title due to the perceived complexity of the rules plus the focus on fuel/tyre management. Hamilton blew that theory out of the water by consistently being faster than and beating Rosberg in the races whilst using less fuel.
Alonso - He absolutely decimated Raikkonen, 'nuff said. We all know what Alonso is capable of and he delivers it every year. GP2:
Bottas - Pretty much always there or thereabouts, keeping Mercedes honest. Maybe not quite at the level of the top 3 and Massa did come back at him in the tail end of the year, but he's a talent that will be around for some time I think.
Button - Although there were several times during the season when it looked like Magnussen could outpace him, Jenson invariably brought home the goods. Unfortunately for him, one of maybe only two drivers on the grid who could push him out of his seat is looking for a new home.
Rosberg - His record against Hamilton in the races this year is poor but boy did he push him close. Also had the measure of Lewis in qualifying this year. GP3:
Hulkenberg - A bit under the radar this season but he was still doing a very good job. Some periods in the season where it was Perez who was getting more consistent results but comprehensively beat him in the championship.
Massa - He had more than his fair share of bad luck but generally Bottas had the pace on him for most of the season. However, Felipe will be encouraged by his late season form.
Kvyat - He may have been beaten by Vergne in the championship but Kvyat came in as one of the youngest drivers to ever race in F1 and was instantly quick. Plus it was enough to convince Red Bull to give him Vettel's seat.
Vergne - Overlooked by Red Bull again and now looking at a testing role at best, which is unfair on him. However, this was Vergne's third season in F1 and if he really wanted to convince Red Bull/someone else of his star potential he needed to blow Kvyat out of the water. Vergne picked up Toro Rosso's best results but Kvyat more or less had the measure of him in raw pace straight away.
Magnussen - Has pace but extended his elbows out a little too far on too many occasions, which saw penalties rob him of the spoils from some good drives. Will be a shame if he doesn't get a seat to refine his skills next season.
Perez- Although he was quite significantly outscored by Hulkenberg, I think Perez had a pretty good year and Force India have really sung his praises during the season. Especially after a disappointing experience with McLaren I think he did well to get back on track this season.
Bianchi - His season ended in tragedy but he picked up Marussia's first points in Monaco, an incredible achievement. It's very difficult to know where to place drivers who had crap cars, he could be further up this category.
Grosjean - Again, difficult to judge considering how terrible the Lotus was but he's (at the very least) a decent driver and convincingly beat him team mate. Clio Cup:
Vettel - Ouch, what a bad year for Vettel, only very rarely did he have the pace to beat Ricciardo. He's still a multiple WDC and has plenty of time to turn it around, but for 2014 I can't place him above here.
Raikkonen - Never seemed to get comfortable with the Ferrari and was absolutely destroyed by Alonso. Calls that he's a waste of space and should retire are premature though, those people are forgetting how well he did at Lotus. He's never quite been the same driver since he won the WDC, though.
Ericsson - He was getting beaten by Kobayashi (at least in qualifying) by quite some margin for most of the season but eventually he did manage to turn it around and in fact he picked up Caterham's best result of the season at Monaco. Just about did enough to deserve a second season in my opinion, and Sauber might give him a platform where he can actually show what he can do.
Kobayashi - His glory days are behind him now I think, although it was nice to have him back around. Had the beating of Ericsson most of the time but he is vastly more experienced. Demolition Derby:
Maldonado - The Lotus was an absolute dog, but Maldonado only made it look worse. Lots of penalties and incidents as we have come to expect from him. There's a proper driver hidden in him somewhere, which maybe a year in a decent Lotus could bring out, but he should have already run out of chances by now.
Gutierrez - Anonymous year in a Sauber doesn't help his cause but not enough of an improvement in his second year to warrant retaining a seat in F1 in my opinion.
Sutil - He was pretty good once upon a time and his height/weight won't have helped, but he's neither young enough or fast enough now to deserve his seat.
Chilton - Nice enough chap but still miles slower than Bianchi.