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F1 2012 Season Review - Drivers Part Two

Posted: 05/01/2013 00:00

Continuing the countdown, with drivers in places 14th to 7th.

The statistics listed on each are numerical data of the following: Championship Position / Championship Points / Best Result / Non-Finishes

14. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
Oh how the mighty have fallen. This is a guy who has not won a race since Brazil, 2008 and since then, Ferrari have won 10 races and largely underperformed compared to the other Ferrari car. His dreadful start to the year saw many expecting a replacement for 2013. He did manage to put in some sterling performances, but one feels it's his last time racing in red next year.
7th / 122 / 3rd / 1
2013 Prediction: He drives for team Fernando, so his best ever result will be 2nd. But he won't get there. Enjoy your last year at the Scuderia.

13. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
I have grown tired of reading about the slating of this young Frenchman. He is a very quick and talented driver but also very much the rookie. Having said that, he absolutely deserved the one-race ban he received at Belgium that nearly decapitated Fernando Alonso. As soon as he learns to hone his race craft he will be a formidable opponent.
8th / 96 / 2nd / 7
2013 Prediction: Time to prove himself. If he cuts out the wild racer in him, he could be a genuine title contender.

12. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
Nico is a man who just gets on with it, deals with any situation that is put upon him and is a driver you feel is going places. He put in some strong drives in 2012, and despite some rawness (he should have won in Brazil) there is a lot of potential there for the future. He opted to drive for Sauber in 2013 - a sideways move, but Sauber is powered by Ferrari engines, and they may have a vacancy in 2014...
11th / 63 / 4th / 2
2013 Prediction: A solid year, podium finishes and maybe a win if luck comes his way too.

11. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
The comeback reaches an end and after three years, an eighth world title was not forthcoming. Moment of truth time - it was a big ask from the outset, but I'm glad he gave it his all. Sport isn't all about statistics, and whilst his race-to-win ratio may have taken a battering, the important stats remain - seven world championships and 91 race wins. There were moments of genius from Schumacher this year (qualifying on pole at Monaco), but equally moments of stupidity (crashing out in Spain and Singapore). Schumacher should never have retired back in 2006 - if he hadn't, I have no doubt that he would be an eight or even nine times champion. But it's now time to enjoy retirement.
13th / 49 / 3rd / 7
2013 Prediction: What can a man with a wealth of £510m do in retirement?

10. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber)
So the top 10 starts with the very popular and talented Japanese driver who is sadly without a drive for 2013. Kamui had a great season, with solid drives and scored good points - his best result being third place at his home race at Suzuka with the crowd chanting his name on the podium - he deserved the result and to be on the grid...even his Japanese fans raising $1m to help fund a drive did not work!
12th / 60 / 3rd / 4
2013 Prediction: Positions himself well to get a drive in 2014.

9. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
One of the most talented drivers in the sport whose achievement record does not portray his actual ability. But 2012 brought that first F1 win of his career, and three years into an affiliation with Mercedes has seen him be the clear number one driver in the team - quite a feat when his teammate has been Michael Schumacher.
9th / 93 / 1st / 3
2013 Prediction: Rosberg will thrive with his 2013 teammate, Lewis Hamilton joining him - it'll be his best season yet.

8. Sergio Perez (Sauber)
The star of the season. Every year there is a driver from the lower ranks of the sport who excels and shows the potential future of F1. In 2012 it was Sergio Perez. Stunning drives in Malaysia to hunt down and nearly pass Alonso in the wet, and also compete well with Lewis Hamilton at Monza - both times finishing 2nd in the race. After the Italian race, he would score no points, but a seat at McLaren awaits for 2013.
10th / 66 / 2nd / 6
2013 Prediction: Will outperform the much more experienced Jenson Button...

7. Pastor Maldonado (WilliamsF1)
I have an absolute love/hate thing about Maldonado. I love him because he brought winning glory back to Williams with an excellent drive in Spain. But that is all. He is a dangerous driver on track and one who needs to earn respect. When being interviewed on his manoeuvre on Hamilton in the European GP which resulted in Maldonado taking Hamilton out, Maldonado said, "I'd do it again - he shouldn't get in my way." Maldonado does come with heavy Venezuelan money, he is arrogant, he is erratic, and he has a lot to learn. But he is exciting to watch and F1 needs strong personalities. He also won - in a Williams.
15th / 45 / 1st / 5
2013 Prediction: If he can calm down, he will finish in the top 10. That's a big "if" though.

 

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