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 ?