2014 In Review - Part 1 - The Drivers

Part one of my season review focusses on the in-car heroes, our drivers who've fought with
everything they've got to prove that they are the best. Each driver is scored out of 10 G's (Gawne Points) for those who listen to my radio show :)

Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes
GBR | Championship Position 1st

World Champion of 2014 with 11 wins really does tell a big part of the story of this year. Lewis has been in devastating form on sunday afternoons getting the better of his team mate on multiple occasions, often when starting behind. Lewis has defied expectation as being the driver consistently driving within the limits of the fuel use, tyre wear and getting the best out of the new regulations for the year. He has shown that he isnt just the hard core racer we all know and love to watch, but an intelligent, humble and more measured competitor. Only marked down from a full score due to his sometimes lacklustre performances on a saturday afternoon.

SCORE| 9.5G's out of 10

Nico Rosberg | Mercedes
GER | Championship Position 2nd
Our championship runner up this year has provided us with a fantastic battle which has gone down to the wire and the final showdown in Abu Dhabi. Nico deserves a lot of credit for proving that he can match Hamilton and beat him, especially in qualifying where many would put Hamilton down as the quickest driver over one lap. Yes there were questionable moments in Monaco Qualy and the Belgian race but all in all Nico Rosberg has proved he is one tough competitor and a worthy challenger for the title,

SCORE | 8G's out of 10

Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull Racing
AUS | Championship Position 3rd

Daniel was the new boy in the world champions team, but he came and wiped the floor with his four time champion team mate. The only winner not driving the Mercedes, Daniel has really come of age in 2014. He has thrilled us with his defiant overtaking and his stunning racecraft. Very much one of the stand out performers of the year. In fact many drivers would have been destroyed by the highs and crushing lows of the fuel flow issues in Melbourne, but Dan never let anything get to him and continued to push relentlessly and has earned his position of team leader for 2015.

SCORE | 9G's out of 10

Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull Racing
GER | Championship Position 5th

After four consecutive world titles, Sebastian really came back down to earth with a bang. He struggled to get a grip on the new regulations which meant that the car wasn't as well suited to his driving style. Sorely missing the blown diffuser and mid corner downforce that had propelled him to the crown last year. Sadly as the season drew on, the void between Seb and his team mate grew, and Vettel realised he'd have to move on to improve peoples perception of him. So Vettel had a tough last year with the team that have given him so much, the occasional petulance let him down but hopefully with a new challenge in '15 we'll see a rejuvenated seb

SCORE | 5G's out of 10

Valterri Bottas | Williams
FIN | Championship Position 4th

A stand out year for the young Fin, With multiple visits to the podium, making the most of the neat Williams package he was given. His racecraft is great to see and surely we are witnessing the first steps of a future champion. Valterri comprehensively beat his much more experienced team mate and should be very proud of his year.

SCORE | 8.5G's out of 10

Felipe Massa | Williams
BRA | Championship Position 7th

After so long at Ferrari, it was great to see Felipe getting a chance to show that he has not lost his speed or racecraft, and that all he needed was a chance to be given equal machinery and a chance to step out of his team mates shadow. Whilst Felipe didnt have the greatest year, he certainly proved to be a safe pair of hands. he certainly had more of his share of bad luck and did end up getting caught in some silly incidents, without these the gap to his young team mate would have been much much smaller.

SCORE | 6.5G's out of 10

Fernando Alonso | Ferrari
SPA | Championship Position 6th

Put simply, the Ferrari was a bad car, It was never looked like it could even be developed into a challenger but as usual, the ever consistent Fernando Alonso managed to hustle the car into places it frankly shouldn't have been. He dominated his team mate again and has made us all desire to see him in a competitive car. His internal battle with the Ferrari team hierarchy which eventually sealed his departure has marred what would have gone down as another battling year for Fernando.

SCORE | 7.5G's out of 10

Kimi Raikkonen | Ferrari
FIN | Championship Position 12th

Kimi has has a bad year. The Ferrari was poor, and it was an even poorer car in his hands as it was never developed for his driving style. As the season grew old he closed on his team mates performance, but this has to go down as a learning year to start his second tenure at Ferrari

SCORE | 5G's out of 10

Jenson Button | McLaren
GBR | Championship Position 8th

Jenson actually had quite a good year considering the pace of the car he was given. He dominated his team mate in the points tally and his racecraft proved to be impeccable as always and as Fernando at Ferrari managed to drag the car into positions it really shouldn't have been in. Jenson deserves a lot of credit as it is his hard work that has kept McLaren ahead of Force India in the constructors championship and earned the team a big difference in prize money.

SCORE | 7.5G's out of 10

Kevin Magnussen | McLaren
DNK | Championship Position 11th

Kevin had an OK season as a rookie, he made everyone take notice with a fantastic first GP in Australia but then seemed to struggle more and more as the season wore on. Of course he had a difficult car and when the car worked he invariably did well. Kevin lost out to Jenson on racecraft which is where the points difference between him and his team mate was created. As a rookie, with all of the pressure of coming into such a big team he equipped himself well and shouldn't be ashamed of a great effort. More in car learning required so its sad that he wont be in the race seat next year.

SCORE | 6.5G's out of 10

Sergio Perez | Force India
MEX | Championship Position 10th

Lost out in the points table to his team mate due to a lack of inconsistency and some bad luck. Sergio had a better year than his previous one in the McLaren and had flashes of brilliance such as his podium in Bahrain. Deserves another year in the sport and has got a good opportunity next year with Force India. He will however need to run his team mate a lot closer to prove his long term worth.

SCORE | 5G's out of 10

Nico Hulkenburg | Force India
GER | Championship Position 9th

Made the most of the Mercedes power and had a very good year. He beat his team mate fairly comprehensively and once again put himself in the shop window. Sadly never getting the opportunity (after discussions with Ferrari). Of course you have to wonder how many chances he will get but he thoroughly deserves to be in a top team. However if Force India keep improving like they did this year, he could well find himself a little closer to the sharp end of the field.

SCORE | 6G's out of 10

Jean-Eric Vergne | Toro Rosso
FRA | Championship Position 13th

Jean-Eric has had quite an interesting year, he needed to bounce back after being overlooked for the Red Bull seat, and he did so fairly well. Blighted by reliability issues he managed to pull out some good results and consistently beat his team mate. The Frenchman must wonder what he has done wrong as he was then overlooked again for promotion to the big team as his rookie team mate Kvyat got the nod. A fighting finish to the year ensured he stayed in contention to keep his seat but then the young driver programme spat him out as it has many drivers in the past. It'll be interesting to see if Toro Rosso made the right decision when they field two rookies in Australia 2015.

SCORE | 6G's out of 10

Danil Kvyat | Toro Rosso
RUS | Championship Position 15th

A great rookie year for the young Russian including a spectacular qualifying performance on home soil. Didn't do enough to beat his team mate but managed to show enough potential to get the call up to replace Ferrari bound Vettel in the big sister team. his hard work and flair certainly impressed many. Danil didnt really struggle to get used to F1 and all in all had a very impressive year.

SCORE | 7G's out of 10

Romain Grosjean | Lotus
FRA | Championship Position 14th

Lotus provided Romain with a very poor car this year,  starting late and hampered by the Renault power train issues there was very little chance to debug and prepare the car for the season opener. Romain however kept his head and worked hard. In the end he scored the majority of the teams points with two 8th place finishes in Spain and Monaco.

SCORE | 6G's out of 10

Pastor Maldonado | Lotus
VEN | Championship Position 16th

With the poor Lotus it was always going to be a tough year for the team. Pastor struggled with the car more than his team mate and had quite a few more incidents. His only real highlight of the year was the two points he scored in Austin. A year to forget for Pastor, and the team.

SCORE | 3G's out of 10

Adrian Sutil | Sauber
GER | Championship Position 18th

Sauber's first pointless season. Adrian had a poor year and looked to struggle with the car at every event. Of course the car was bad and the engine was underpowered but there was just no inspiration from the German. Personally I wasn't surprised that he has been replaced for 2015, my only surprise is that both Sauber drivers made it through the whole season.

SCORE | 2.5G's out of 10

Esteban Gutierrez | Sauber
MEX | Championship Position 20th

As with Sutil, he didn't have the machinery to show his worth but didn't inspire confidence either. Esteban is a likeable chap but sadly he just didn't perform.

SCORE | 2.5G's out of 10

Jules Bianchi | Marussia
FRA | Championship Position 17th

This is the difficult part of the review. Jules had a great year prior to his accident and scored heroic points at Monaco which catapulted the team to 9th in the constructors championship, a place they'd subsequently keep until the end of the year. Jules showed every bit his promise as a future star however sadly his tragic accident is the headline event of the season. #ForzeJules

SCORE | 8G's out of 10

Max Chilton | Marussia
GBR | Championship Position 21st

Max never quite had the measure of his team mate but drove well (barring Canada) and did very well to keep his head against the backdrop of financial turmoil. After Jules' accident Max bravely drove the Russian GP. Deserves a shot in a midfield team to see how he'd in the closer pack.

SCORE | 6G's out of 10

Kamui Kobayashi | Caterham
JAP | Championship Position 22nd

Kamui was overtaking in the pit lane in the first test showing his character and what we'd missed whilst he was away. Sadly we didn't see that much flair in the races as the Caterham was so slow it was right at the back with mostly only his team mate to beat, which he did easily I should add. Not a classic year for Kamui but he was faster than his team mates!

SCORE | 5G's out of 10

Marcus Ericsson | Caterham
SWE | Championship Position 19th

Not a great debut year for young Marcus. He struggled badly to get used to the Caterham and we only saw his true colours for his last few races with the team. In the grand scheme of things its easy to look back at how much slower he was against Kobayashi and then Lotterer, However it's clear to see he was only just finding his feet when the rug was pulled from underneath him. We can't really judge him fully until we've seen how he does against Nasr in the Sauber in 2015.

SCORE | 3G's out of 10

Andre Lotterer | Caterham
GER | Championship Position 24th

Showed a good account of himself considering his relative inexperience.

SCORE | 4G's out of 10

Will Stevens | Caterham
GBR | Championship Position 23rd

A great debut amongst difficult circumstances. Deserves a chance to prove his ability.

SCORE | 4.5G's out of 10