2008 Formula 1 – Wolf’s Driver rankings – Part 1 – 22nd to 16th

Anthony Davidson, no longer on anyone's radar ?

Anthony Davidson, no longer on anyone's radar ?

It has been a week since the grand 2008 F1 season finale, it is about the time to begin the evaluations here. Not everything went according to pre-season predictions, some teams did better some much worse than expected (or hoped). But let’s forget about the cars and focus on the drivers here. This is the part one of my 2008 Formula 1 driver rankings, positions 22 to 16.


22nd, 21st – tie Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson

These 2 guys occupy the last 2 positions by default. They only made it to the grid in Australia in the last minute. They had only 4 races in a bad car and no chance to showcase their skills. They have the honour to be the only 2 drivers not to finish the 2008 season. While Anthony Davidson seems to have been forgotten by the F1 team principals, Takuma Sato is still in the running for the 2008 seat with Toro Rosso.

20th Adrian Sutil

Why both Force India drivers have been retained by Vijay Mallya is not too clear to me. A year ago Sutil was the hot property tipped to join McLaren, this year he could not even match Fisichella who seldom does better than his team mates… He had his moment of fame in Monaco but that was too little in my opinion. Thumbs down.

19th Giancarlo Fisichella

I did believe that Fisichella’s signing by Force India was a smart thing. Vijay Mallya praised Fisichella’s development input and perhaps that is something they still need for next year. On the track however he did not show too much. He was marginally better than Adrian Sutil but should he measure himslef against Sutil ? Fisichella is the guy who asa Renault’s “new number one” planned to fight for the drivers title back in 2007 after Alonso left for McLaren…

18th Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet was long my candidate for the coveted 20th place but the late season performance surge elevated him at least above the Force India drivers in my rankings. He is the only driver outqualified by his team mate on every occasion and the fact that his team mate is Fernando Alonso is not an excuse. The F1 seemed to be out of his league for better part of the season and he should consider himself lucky to have kept his race seast for another season. He did improve towards the end of season though and that was perhaps that light at the end of the tunnel Briatore was waiting for.

17th Jenson Button

From the front pages of racing magazines to obscurity, that is what happened to Jenson Button between summer of 2006 and now. Having to drive dog of the car Honda for 2 consecutive seasons sure does not help. But I would at least expect him to do better than about to be fired Rubens Barrichello. If last year was bad, this one was even worse. The only excuse probably is that Honda did not care that much about this season …

16th Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen is for me the biggest disappointment of the 2008 season. I seriously expected him to give some hard time to Lewis Hamilton this year but he never came even close. Yes he won a race but that is not enough for a guy with a championship winning car. When somebody has the fastest or almost fastest car on the grid, that somebody simply can’t finish 7th in the drivers championship…

Whom would you place into bottom 7 ? Which one of the drivers above you think should not be there ?

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Sergio MNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Sutil’s year review. This year with a strong team mate has been a nightmare for him.

    About Kovalainen, I would like to think it’s not too easy be the second driver in a team focused in Lewis. It was McLaren choice, so I’m not surprised that Heikki did not made a better perfomance.

    Oh, Nelson… maybe there’s no a “Briatore driver” avaliable for next year hahaha But Lucas di Grassi deserves a chance. Grosjean will improve his skills with a second year in GP2

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I would really like to know how it looks inside McLaren :-) the tabloids brought some rumours about Kovalainen not being happy with his no. 2 treatment. Kovalainen himself however rubbished such suggestions … who knows at the moment he seems to be the not so perfect no 2 – he does not take too many points away from the no 1 but does not bring enough for the team to win the constructors title …

  2. blokeNo Gravatar says:

    I am not sure I would place Heikki so low, perhaps Bourdais would fit here better but that is matter of opinion

  3. BenNo Gravatar says:

    I am not sure I would place Heikki so low either, though I agree he was a big disappointment.
    No to me it would make more sence having Coulthard there. Couldhard was totally out performed by Webber this year, and was involved in several accidents that had both him and other drivers retire.
    Couldhard has had some great years before like Button, but I think he sucked this year in comparison to most others.
    My buttom 7 would be.
    22. Sato, who in my opinion drove worse than Davidson in the few races we saw them both race this year.
    21. Davidson
    20. Sutil
    19. Fisichella
    18, Piquet
    17. Coulthard
    16. Button

  4. camNo Gravatar says:

    Every time Button has a bad race I just watch his 2006 Australia pole lap and hope that he still has the will to succeed if he’s given a half-way decent car in 2009.

  5. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    For me the gratest disappoitment of the season was Kimi Raikkonen, he finished the season high in the drivers table. He was the Worl Champion by carom, but seems with one title he’s more than happy and this season he didn’t do much to deserve this place… I wouln’t settle him in the end of the ranking, but not really high. what about a 10th place???

    Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video:

  6. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Although we had great season it was quite difficult to pick only 5 drivers between 20th and 16th places. There were several more candidates and some only just did not make it :-) you will see when 15th to 10th comes up later today :-)

  7. [...] started my 2008 F1 driver rankings yesterday with Part 1, here comes Part 2 covering the ranks 15 to [...]

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