Who is the most talented driver in Formula One today? After seeing who I chose, vote to let Motorsport.com know your pick!
In the following story, I decided to tackle a question that has no true answer. It's all about personal observations combined with facts and sprinkled with a little bit of bias (or a lot in some people's case).
I did not compile this list with the most successful drivers in Formula One today; that would have been too easy. Instead, I looked at what each of the current drivers have done with the equipment they have. and added into that what I think they are capable of.
It's difficult to judge the worth of a driver when they have the best team, but it becomes perfectly clear when they aren't in the perfect situation.
Enjoy and let me know who you think is the best in the poll at the bottom of the story!
10. Jenson Button
Jenson is former Formula One World Champion, but hasn't won a race since 2012. That can of course be partly attributed to the struggles McLaren has faced recently. If the team were to right te ship, Button, at 34 years of age, could still be a threat for the title.
9. Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri has had a very impressive 2014 with Williams. Last year, he rarely failed to get the maximum result possible for the struggling Williams team. Now, they are fully capable of getting podium results and that's just what Valtteri has done. He has three podium finishes within the last four races and has scored multiple points in every GP he has completed this year (10 out of 11).
8. Kimi Raikkonen
The curious case of Kimi Raikkonen. He's been able to win races for McLaren, Ferrari, and Lotus, but since his return to the 'prancing horses,' he's done nothing but struggle. Some say it's because he has no desire to perform anymore, others just believe he's lost a bit of his edge. I was thinking these things too, that is until I saw him at Monaco. That circuit is the true test of a racer, and he drove an impeccable Grand Prix before contact (not of his own doing) pushed him down the order.
7. Jules Bianchi - Originally No. 7 prior to tragic Suzuka crash
Definitely a future World Champion. The guy scored multiple points in a Marussia, need I say more? When Raikkonen was injured at Silverstone, Bianchi stepped into the Ferrari and tested it. At the end of the day, he was the fastest man there. His worst finish in the last four races? 15th. Pretty solid when the car under you should be struggling to place inside the top twenty.
6. Sebastian Vettel
The four-time champion is only sixth on my list for a couple reasons. He won those titles because he is a good driver, yes, but also because he had the best team and engineers. He doesn't seem able to take a car that's not to his liking and do anything with it. To me, that's how you truly judge a driver. Red Bull has fallen off this year and while his teammate Daniel Ricciardo has already won two races, Seb has yet to lead a single lap.
5. Nico Hulkenberg
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Put this guy in a top-tier ride and he will be a World Champion. Nico's been able to carry teams throughout his entire career and has scored points in every GP this year before he was knocked out of the Hungarian Grand Prix by his own teammate. If he were to put in a stronger car, he would certainly become a constant threat for the win.
4. Nico Rosberg
The current championship leader has a Vettel-like situation around him, but he's been able to prove his worth when Mercedes wasn't even capable of getting podiums too. In 2013, he won at one of the most challenging tracks in Formula One history, Monaco. In 2014, he did it again. This year, he has the best car in the field and isn't wasting the opportunity.
3. Daniel Ricciardo
As stated before, Ricciardo is showing what kind of driver he really is this year. Two wins, five podiums, and considered the best of the rest as Mercedes runs away with most the glory. To put it in perspective, the Mercedes team has won nine of the eleven races run this year. The only two races they lost, Daniel Ricciardo won. As he continues to progress in his career, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Aussie take over the number one spot on my list.
2. Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton has been racking up the wins since his debut in 2007. He was able to dominate at McLaren, and he's doing it again at Mercedes. The last two Grand Prixs, Hamilton started 20th or worse. He went on to finish on the podium in both races. Now that takes talent. If it weren't for bad luck and mechanical gremlins, he would be running away with the 2014 title.
1. Fernando Alonso
Alonso has to be one of the most solid drivers ever in Formula One. 32 wins, two titles, nearly a hundred podiums, and three seasons as the second place finisher in the World Championship. Ferrari has endured a dismal year in 2014, but Alonso has that ability that I spoke of before to carry the car. He nearly won the Hungarian Grand Prix, leading with less than three laps to go in a car that shouldn't be doing any better than fifth.
Fernando Alonso, in my opinion, is the most talented driver in Formula One today. Who do you think is the greatest driver we currently have competing? Vote now and let Motorsport.com know your thoughts!