07 November 2009

Amended best-guess grid 2010

*indicates far from certain, alternatives/explanation in brackets)

Brawn - Mercedes
1. Jenson Button
2. Nico Rosberg

Red Bull *Renault (Mercedes blocked by McLaren, Ferrari unlikely due to previous strife)
3. Sebastian Vettel
4. Mark Webber

McLaren Mercedes
5. Lewis Hamilton
*6. Kimi Räikkönen (Heidfeld, Glock, even Kovaleinen)

7. Felipe Massa
8. Fernando Alonso (not sure which way around the numbering will go)

Toyota - *will not exist, nor be directly replaced

Sauber Qadbak Ferrari
9. Nick Heidfeld
10. * (Kobayashi, Bortolotti, many others in with a chance here)

Williams Cosworth
11. Rubens Barrichello (had Toyota not left, he'd have had the number 14 he started his career with)
12. Nico Hulkenberg

*Renault (likely to stay, but not certain)
14. Robert Kubica
15. * (Grosjean, di Grassi, Kobayashi, Glock)

Force India Mercedes
16. Adrian Sutil
17 * (Liuzzi, Glock, Trulli, Kovaleinen)

Toro Rosso Ferrari
18. Sebastien Buemi
19. Jaime Alguersuari

Lotus *Cosworth
20. * (Sato, Davidson, Klien)
21. * (Trulli, di Grassi, Kovaleinen, AN Other)

US F1 *Cosworth
22. * (Danica Patrick, Scott Speed, Marco Andretti, Wickens)
23. * (Fisichella, De La Rosa, Gene, Trulli, Bourdais)

Campos Meta *Cosworth
24. Bruno Senna
25. * (De La Rosa, Gene, anyone Spanish, anyone else)

Manor/Virgin *Cosworth
26. * (Paffett, Davidson, ...)
27. * (Petrov, Soucek, ...)

For most of the new teams, all names are in the hat. We'll see come January who's going where.

Auto Motor und Sport's driver rankings (and my own)

Auto Motor und Sport have ranked the drivers in the 2009 championship. Their order is reporduced below - for details visit the link above. Bracketed drivers were not included in the ranking (I've brought them into their would-be place) since they competed in less than 1/3 of the season:

(Kamui Kobayashi)
1. Rubens Barrichello
2. Jenson Button
3. Sebastian Vettel
4. Nico Rosberg
5. Mark Webber
6. Felipe Massa
7. Timo Glock
8. Kimi Räikkönen
9. Fernando Alonso
10. Lewis Hamilton
11. Nick Heidfeld
12. Jarno Trulli
13. Robert Kubica
14. Adrian Sutil
15. Heikki Kovaleinen
16. Sebastien Buemi
17. Nelson Piquet
(Tonio Liuzzi)
18. Giancarlo Fisichella
19. Kazuki Nakajima
20. Sebastien Bourdais
21. Jaime Alguersuari
22. Romain Grosjean
(Luca Badoer)

Personally, I couldn't agree with their assesment. With Luca Badoer taking last place, my ranking of the other 24 is as follows:

1. Lewis Hamilton (dragged his awful car to the front, outshining his teammate throughout)
2. Nico Rosberg (comprehensively better than his teammate, he almost dragged Williams to 5th in constructors, alone)
3. Jenson Button (superb, unbeatable with best car, weak without it)
4. Sebastian Vettel (superb in Malaysia and Silverstone, he failed to take advantage of the best car for 60% of the season)
5. Rubens Barrichello (narrrowly outdriven by teammate when car was at its best, he returned the favour when times were tougher)
6. Kimi Räikkönen (string of podiums mid-season ended by Ferrari's development switch to 2010 car)
7. Felipe Massa (season was just coming good when it was horrifically cut short)
8. Kamui Kobayashi (superb in Abu Dhabi, dangerous in Interlagos, clearly the best newcomer)
9. Robert Kubica (some excellent late-season drives camouflaged a bad year)
10. Jarno Trulli (consistently slightly better than his teammate, with pole in Bahrain the highlight)
11. Timo Glock (drives in Malaysia and Singapore in poor car worth mention, but he didn't take advantage of the good car he had until Spain).
12. Mark Webber (only took advantage of a superb car on two occassions)
13. Fernando Alonso (Renault gave up developing their car, but Fernando was outshone by Hamilton and Raikkonen in similar situations)
14. Sebastien Buemi (points on debut and at finale, made the most of his car and saw off a more experienced teammate - as Rubens Barrichello did in 1993).
15. Nick Heidfeld (drove very well in Malaysia, otherwise hardly noticeable)
16. Giancarlo Fisichella (superb in Belgium, otherwise mediocre)
17. Adrian Sutil (a few good races couldn't disguise a poor year)
18. Heikki Kovaleinen (comprehensibly outdriven by his teammate, like most drivers below)
19. Tonio Liuzzi (never outshone his teammate, but which replacement did?)
20. Romain Grosjean (more consistent than his predecessor, but not spectacular)
21. Nelson Piquet jnr
22. Jaime Alguersuari (in the course of a few races, he was nearly matching his teammate)
23. Sebastien Bourdais
24. Kazuki Nakajima (His team-mate finished the season with more points than any Toyota powered driver, yet Kazuki didn't manage a single point).
25. Luca Badoer