Rookie Championship 2013


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
As we have 5 confirmed rookies on the grid this season with a possible 6th still to come I thought it would be useful to keep track with a rookie championship this season. I thought the fairest way to do it woukd be to have a rookie quali championship, a rookie race championship and a combination of the two to get an overall champion. As we may end up with six rookies I though I would revert to the classic point scoring system as follows:

1st = 10pts

2nd = 6pts

3rd = 4pts

4th = 3pts

5th = 2pts

6th = 1pt

These will be awarded to the rookies for the order they come in Qualifying and the race. The overall championship will of course be the two totals combined. Just to clarify there are no points in rookie championship for turning up. In order for points to be awarded the rookie will have to post a lap time in quali and will have to be a classified finisher of the race. Also to clarify any driver joining the grid who has not raced in a Grand Prix prior to the start of the 2013 season will be elligable to score points.

Unlike previous years it could be a close battle. Our contenders are as follows:

Valtteri 'Man Friday' Bottas - Williams

Williams are saying he's not really a rookie due to his 14 Friday p1 appearences last season but as he's not raced in any GP he clearly is. More than likely most peoples favourite for rookie of the year his potential certainly showed through in his two years as Williams test driver and his top notch record in other Formulas but with two years of no racing is he a little race rusty? We all saw with Romain Grosjean last year that being quick doesn't always translate to good results. Add to this the expectancy on Bottas shoulders and will the young Finn be able to cope with it all? Has a very fast but accident prone team mate and is driving for a team who are used to winning but if we go on last years form the Bottas does not have the quickest car in the rookie field although some say with a bit less crashing it could be. Clearly the bookies favourite though.

Esteban 'Loco Motion' Gutierrez - Sauber

As Guti steps up from test driver to fill the shoes of his fellow countrymen Perez in the Sauber race seat the majority of us muttered the words Pay Driver under our breath. We were right of course, he is there because of Saubers big Mexican backing but then again so was Perez and lets be fair to Gutierrez here, he actually has a much better junior record than Perez did. It might not have worked out for him in GP2 (although he didn't do too badly) but he has pretty much won every catogry he's raced in previous to that and has always been at the front. Like Bottas, Gutierrez has been Sauber test driver for the last two years but unlike Bottas he hasn't had any Friday running time. He has been racing in GP2 though so shoukd be sharp on those wheel to wheel duels. Gutierrez is lucky enough to probably be in the quickest car in the rookie field but is also unlucky to have the teammate with the most talent which could lead to him being put to the sword confidence wise. If he hits his stride though he should certainly give Bottas a run for the rookie championship and if that Sauber is as good as last year coukd be the surprise package of 2013. All aboard the Loco Motion! Cho Cho!

Luiz 'double zee' Razia - Marussia

The man with two Z's becomes Brazils second F1 driver by ousting Timo Glock with sponsorship money. Again to be fair to him he did finish runner up in GP2 and at times looked impressive although it has been suggested that rather than a glimpse of things to come this was Razia at the peak of his abilities. Unless Marussia have made massive strides forward that they are hiding in testing then we shouldn't expect Razia to challenge our previous contenders but he does however have an oppotunity to be best of the rest and in a year with so many rookies this could concrete him to the grid. He's joined Marussia at a time they are on the up. They pushed Caterham to the last race of the season last year, they now have a kers system and Pat Symonds is finaly allowed on the pitwall. We also know Timo Glock was very excited about how the car was developing and being as he was a grumpy sod that can only mean good things. Razia has the advantage of going up against a rookue team mate he know he can beat too. His disadvantage of course is the cosworth engine and the fact he could very well be adrift at the back of the grid no matter how well he drives.

Max 'the caution' Chilton - Marussia

Its quite clear from GP2 last year that the new brit in the grid comes from the school of Johnny Herbert style racing where the mentality of keeping it in the road to pick up the pieces whilst everyone else crashes out rules over all. Not the most exciting to watch but after seeing some of the drivers last year could very well be an advantage in rookie school. If all the others start wheel banging then Max could swoop in to pick up the pieces. Having said that the whole F1 thing could be a rush of blood to the head and he could go at it like a bull in a china shop. Like Razia he has the advantage of coming into a team who is on the way up confidence wise if nothing else and Max can expect a season long duel with his team mate.

Giedo 'freaky deaky dutch' Van Der Garde - Caterham

He's from Holland isn't that weird? Giedo is our oldest rookie on the grid and after years of pushing for an F1 drive has finally landed one all be it mostly due to funds. After offering 7 million Euros for the HRT drive in in 2011 his sponsors landed him the Caterham test drive last year and now finally a race seat. He is not without his plus points though as he was once highly thought of by Mclaren and won junior formula. All if this was four or five years ago though and he seems to have been treading water in GP2 for a while. However age and maturity could be his advantage here in rookie school add to that the renult engine in the back if his Caterham and he certainly has the package to beat Razia and Chilton but can he use it?

*possible entry*

Jules 'white wine spritzer' Bianchi - Force India (maybe)

Ferrari don't do rookies but if they did they'd probably be the best rookies in the world. If Jules Bianchi gets the nod at Force India then there is no way we should under estimate the fact he's been leading Ferrari acadamy for years now and certainly is on their radar as a possible Massa replacement. Bianchi has been rated highly ever since he started single seater racing but hit a stallung point when he failed to take the GP2 world by storm. His 2011 GP2 season was especially poor although he won some prude back in 2012 with a decent season in the 3.5 world series finishing as runner up by a whisker. He akso has F1 experience with pkenty of time with Ferrari and carious Friday sessions for Force India last year. There is no doybting that if Bianchi gets the nod for the drive then it would make the rookie championship a very interesting three way battle for the title. He would have the disadvantage of not having preparation time but the advantage of having a Ferrari druve to be aiming at. Could be a dark horse.

So those are the runners and riders. Feel free to use this thread for you comments and predictions. I'll be updating it with results after every Grand Prix.
Nice idea.

The two Marussia and the single Caterham driver though are at a severe disadvantage so it's going to very much be a table of two halves.
I was wondering whether you could incorporate the difference between team mates some how, one point per place difference in qualifying and the race, for example (either positive or negative). You then come in to issues with some rookies having rookie team mates and some having established and highly regarded team mates like Hulkenberg, and you'd also have to figure out how to deal with DNFs.
I did consider trying to put some leveller system in but then I thought that the real F1 championship doesn't have that so it might over complicate the whole thing. Even without Bianchi I think its worth doing though as Gutierrez and Bottas should be pretty close.

I'm going to sit down and apply the system to last years rookies and see how it would have come out. You would have thought Grosjean would be clear winner but I have a feeling that due to the high amount of non finishes he might not have had it all his own way in the 'race' championship.

Lets remember that if Bottas and Gutierrez take each other out at the first corner they score 0 and one of the Marussia/Caterham drivers scores a big fat 10. Might keep them in it a little.

Anyways worth an experiment. It only works since we have so many rookies this year.
Ok last years stats are as follows:

Qualifying championship:

Grosjean = 176pts - 16 wins
Ricciardo = 128pts - 4 wins
Vergne = 92pts - 0 wins
Pic = 61pts - 0 wins

Race championship:

Ricciardo = 130pts - 6 wins
Grosjean = 104pts - 10 wins
Vergne = 104pts - 4 wins
Pic = 59pts - 0 wins

Overall Championship

Grosjean = 280pts
Ricciardo = 258pts
Vergne = 196pts
Pic = 120pts

So Grosjean did win the overall title but has the Toro Rosso boys to thank for taking points off each other otherwise he'd have thrown it away. Ricciardo takes the race championship with some ease and Vergne showed his quali really let him down. Pic never stood a chance really but interestingly he did pick up 3 second places in the race including one on merrit in Brazil.
Just for interest's sake, if you add/deduct one point up to a maximum of five for each place difference between team mates then you get the following adjustments:

Grosjean -41
Ricciardo +14
Vergne -14
Pic -25

Grosjean -7
Ricciardo +26
Vergne -26
Pic -6

Grosjean -48
Ricciardo +40
Vergne -40
Pic -31

And the adjusted overall standings would be:

Ricciardo 144
Vergne 90
Grosjean 63
Pic 34

Grosjean 169
Ricciardo 154
Vergne 66
Pic 55

Ricciardo 298
Grosjean 232
Vergne 156
Pic 89

Anyway, I look forward to following the progress of this over the season, whichever system is used. And your system is nice and simple which is always good!
Almost as if they wanted to make me look stupid not only has the rookie championship not increased to 6 contenders it might have gone down to 4!

We still have our Bottas/Gutierriez battle at the front though.
Ok so Bianchi does join the party but Razia makes way for him to do so. Can't see him joining the battle for the rookie title but his rep says he should beat Chilton and VDG. We'll see.
So round one of the quali goes to Bottas and round one of the race goes to Gutierrez.

Gutierrez does look like he has the quickest car and to be honest I don't even think he had a great race today but he kept out of trouble. Bottas did the same bur has to be hoping the Williams finds some pace from somewhere even if he did blitz his team mate. Bianchi looks a class above the other two rookies but unless that Marussia has some big upgrades to come then he'll be running on his own for most of the season. Chilton got a bit fiesty towards the end and put a move on VDG. VDG had an eventful quali and couldn't keep with his team mate in the race.

Quali result:

1st - Bottas - 10pts

2nd - Gutierrez - 6pts

3rd - Bianchi - 4pts

4th - Chilton - 3pts

5th - Van der Garde - 2pts

Race results:

1st - Gutierrez - 10pts

2nd - Bottas - 6pts

3rd - Bianchi - 4pts

4th - Chilton - 3pts

5th - Van Der Garde - 2pts


1st - Gutierrez - 16pts

2nd - Bottas - 16pts

3rd - Bianchi - 8pts

4th - Chilton - 6pts

5th - Van der Garde - 4pts
So all 5 of our rookies finished again and it was pretty much a reverse of last weekend with Gutierrez taking the quail win over Bottas and then Bottas taking the race win over Gutierrez. Bianchi continues to sit in the middle with a third in both although in quail he wasn’t that far off Bottas and looks like he might spring the odd surprise on his two front running competitors. VDG bumped his rep up a bit, despite being last again in the quail, come race day he was running in front of Bianchi until about quarter distance before slipping back but unlike last week he held of Chilton for the 4th place.


Quali Championship

Gutierrez – 16pts
Bottas – 16pts
Bianchi – 8pts
Chilton – 6pts
Van Der Garde – 4pts

Race Championship

Bottas – 16pts
Gutierrez – 16pts
Bianchi – 8pts
Van Der Garde – 5pts
Chilton – 5pts

Overall Championship

Bottas – 32pts
Gutierrez – 32pts
Bianchi – 16pts
Chilton – 11pts
Van Der Garde – 9pts

So it looks like its going to be closely fought at the top between Bottas and Gutierrez with the two of them having to be sure to be on form so as not to be picked off by Bianchi. Bottas hasn’t quite come in at the pace we thought he would and Gutierrez seems to be quicker than expected. Will be interesting to see how this one develops.

Good work...

Bottas is showing up Maldonado... and but for the terrible first lap in Sepang could very well have scored a point

Esteban is settling in nicely...

Bianchi... now there is a man who will be driving for a midfield team next season if he keeps this form up...
Well none of the rookies are really lighting up the front are they? Bianchi's rep takes another up though finishing only ten seconds off the bwck of a Williams!

All the rookies were out in Q1 but Bottas topped the list by pipping Gutierriez. Bianchi got his usual third with Chilton beating VDG again.

Race wise Gutierriez becomes the first rookie to score a bit fat zero with a DNF leaving Bottas to take the win but he had to look over his shoulder for Bianchi who was only just behind and is starting to look in the running for rookie wins. Chilton beat VDG again in their own private scrap.

Quali championship:

Bottas - 26 points
Gutierriez- 22 points
Bianchi - 12 points
Chilton - 9 points
Van Der Garde - 6 points

Race championship

Bottas - 26 points
Gutierriez - 16 points
Bianchi - 14 points
Chilton - 9 points
Van Der Garde - 8 points

Overall championship:

Bottas - 52 points
Gutierriez - 38 points
Bianchi - 26 points
Chilton - 18 points
Van Der Garde - 14 points
Bottas takes quite an easy double win in the quali and race whilst Gutierrez had an awful weekend. He has by far the best car of the rookies but is falling back into the grip of Bianchi. Bianchi himself didn't have a great weekend by his standards with the Marussia not looking as good as its been. He still landed 3rd in both quali and race though with little threat from VDG and Chilton. VDG finally got the best of Max in quali but after hitting Vergne on the first lap he ended up a long long way back.

It leaves the championship like this:
Quali championship

Bottas 36pts
Gutierrez 28pts
Bianchi 16pts
Chilton 11pts
Van Der Garde 9pts

Race championship:

Bottas 36pts
Gutierrez 22pts
Bianchi 18pts
Chilton 12pts
Van Der Garde 8pts

Overall Championship:

Bottas 72pts
Gutierrez 50pts
Bianchi 30pts
Chilton 23pts
Van Der Garde 17pts

With the Caterham looking much better with the upgrades we should see VDG come into play more from Spain onwards. I also have a funny feeling Gutierrez will not make the end of the season. I guess we'll see.

Any thoughts?
So after coming for a bit of criticsm three weeks ago Gutierriez sweeps into Spain and cleans up and unlike before not just by luck. Really good performance by him race wise and he was really unlucky to miss out on points by a car length. He does have a Fastest Lap to put in his scrap book though.

Whilst Gutierrez got a 1st in both race and quali Bottas landed a 2nd in both quali and race but hardly set the world alight more down to his poor Williams than anything else. Bottas will have to watch out that he doesn't slip into the clutches of the other rookies.

VDG had a weekend of up's and downs with the up being that he out qualified Bianchi and Chilton and the down being losing a wheel during the race and ending up with a no score.

Bianchi lost his front wing at the start of the race and still managed to claw back the time he lost and finish a good 30 seconds in front of team mate Max Chilton who is starting to look more average.

Quali Championship:

Bottas 42pts
Gutierrez 38pts
Bianchi 19pts
Van Der Garde 13pts
Chilton 13pts

Race Championship:

Bottas 42pts
Gutierrez 32pts
Bianchi 22pts
Chilton 15pts
Van Der Garde 8pts

Overall Championship:

Bottas 84pts
Gutierrez 70pts
Bianchi 55pts
Chilton 28pts
Van Der Garde 21pts
So whilst the rookie championship is ticking along its not exactly setting the world alight, Bottas picks up another double win from doing what he's been doing all season really - doing what's expected of him without being spectacular. After the good form of Spain Gutierrez reverted back to the distinctly average and had an awful quali where he really should have done better. He dragged it back in the race somewhat nearly sneeking another fastest lap but still finished as the bottom midfield runner.

VDG was seen to be having nose bleeds he was so high up the grid this weekend but still dudn't manage to beat Bottas. He has drawn level in the qualu champ with Bianchi though. Unfourtunatly as seems the way VDG stuffed up all his good work in the first few laps which his why he's rock bottom of the overal and race tables.

Chilton finished without excitment apart from his run in with Maldonado but his team mate and everyones favourite dark horse Jules Bianchi had s nightmare of a weekend and is our first rookie to score a double zero as he did not set a quali time and did not go the race distance.

Quali champ table:

Bottas - 52pts
Gutierrez - 42pts
Van Der Garde - 19pts
Bianchi - 19pts
Chilton - 16pts

Race championship table

Bottas - 52pts
Gutierrez- 38pts
Bianchi - 22pts
Chilton - 19pts
Van Der Garde - 11pts

Overall Championship

Bottas - 104pts
Guttierrez - 80pts
Bianchi - 41pts
Chilton - 35pts
Van Der Garde - 30pts

Bottas is 4-2 up on wins over Gutierrez in both race and quali

Not sure if anyones following this or not but would love to hear what you think on the topic and format etc. Also feel free to discuss the rookies.
I'm following it, it's difficult to take much from it when there is so much difference between the cars though. I guess the Bianchi, Chilton and Van Der Garde comparison is interesting and Bottas is ahead of Gutierrez in what is probably a worse car.
I agree with you sushifiesta about the performance difference meaning its not effective as I'd like. Will look at that for next year and also look at doing some sort of comparrison championship for the softmores(2nd yearers) as think that would be interesting.

I think it does show Bottas is doing a better job than he's getting credit for as he has finished in front of the Sauber 4 times out of six in both quali and race.
There was the suggestion I had before about adding/taking away points based on the difference between team mates. I'm not sure whether it really does the job (still favours drivers in good cars, DNFs cause big swings and it doesn't take in to account the quality of the team mate) but it maybe gives some extra bias towards driver over car.

With the system as I described above, Bottas currently gains 13pts, Bianchi gains 9pts and Chilton loses 9pts, Gutierrez loses 29pts and Van der Garde loses 7pts. Which would make the overall championship:

1) Bottas, 117pts
2) Gutierrez, 51pts
3) Bianchi, 50pts
4) Chilton, 26pts
5) Van der Garde, 23pts.

So Gutierrez loses so much (mainly from qualifying) that Bianchi almost overtakes him for 2nd and Bottas is left with a huge lead. You have to factor in how good you think Hulkenberg is, how many times Maldonado has binned it and how competent you think Chilton is though.....
So Bottas streaks to another double win with an eye catching performance that got him into the top ten in quali. He sank back in the race due to dry conditions but he was still easily at the head of the rookies and extended his lead over Gutierrez even more. Estaban didn't look too bad in quali but he can count himself lucky at getting points in the race as his crash came so late on he was a classified finisher 7 laps down.

Bianchi was back to his normal form after the nightmare that was Monaco and even inherited a 2nd place in the race. He is getting ever closer to the back of that midfield pack. A word for Max Chilton who is doing a fairly good job to be dicing with the Caterhams and bringing the car home this season.

What can you say about Giedo Van Der Road Block this weekend? Hit Webber and Hulkenberg under blue flags and off screen he even spent a lap holding up Bianchi when he was being lapped by him. He usually does ok in quali but his races have pretty much been disasters. IMO that Caterham is actually a better car than the Marussia and he really needs to start taking advantage of that.

quali championship:

Bottas - 62pts
Guttierrez - 48 pts
Bianchi - 23pts
Van Der Garde - 21pts
Chiton - 19pts

Race Championship:

Bottas - 62pts
Gutierrez - 41pts
Bianchi - 28pts
Chilton - 23pts
Van Der Garde - 11pts

Overal Championship:

Bottas - 124pts
Gutierrez - 89pts
Bianchi - 51pts
Chilton - 42pts
Van Der Garde - 32pts.
Top Bottom