Mazepin is the last, Bottas and Perez failed. 10 worst drivers of the first part of the F1 season
Throughout the season, your author subjectively assigned ratings to the pilots, and during the summer break, we traditionally sum up the average points based on the results of the first half of the championship.
Introducing the top ten in the consolidated ranking for the first eleven races.
- 20. Nikita Mazepin (average score – 4.6 / total – 50.5)
- 19.Nicholas Latifi (5.1 / 56.5)
- 18.Yuki Tsunoda (5.3 / 58.5)
- 17. Valtteri Bottas (5.7 / 63)
- 16.Kimi Raikkonen (5.8 / 63.5)
- 15. Sergio Perez (6.0 / 66)
- 14.Mick Schumacher (6.1 / 67)
- 13.Lance Stroll (6.1 / 67.5)
- 12.Antonio Giovinazzi (6.2 / 68.5)
- 11. Esteban Ocon (6.2 / 68.5)
20. Nikita Mazepin (average score – 4.6 / total – 50.5)
You didn’t need to be a prophet to understand that in the 2021 season Mazepin will be driving the worst car on the starting grid, and his only real rival is his teammate. And in this duel Nikita – no matter how you count – lost nine times out of eleven.
At the beginning of the season, the Russian could not find a common language with the new chassis in Bahrain and only in Monaco received a new car – and even that was several kilograms heavier than his partner. But even taking these factors into account, the Russian himself almost certainly counted on more. The latest races indicate that Nikita is on the right track – we hope that in the second half of the 2021 season, the fight with Schumacher will be more intense.
19.Nicholas Latifi (5.1 / 56.5)
For the second year in a row, the Canadian driver remains in the shadow of George Russell and cannot possibly get ahead of the Briton in qualifying. In 2021, when Williams added, the gap became even more obvious: Russell had ten times in eleven qualifications in Q2 or Q3, Latifi once. It was in Imola – at the start, Nicholas broke through to 12th place, but slipped on a wet track, and on his return bumped into Mazepin.
At the same time, Nicholas has had good weekends. The Canadian, we recall, was ahead of Russell in Hungary, and before that he lost quite a bit to George at the Monaco Grand Prix, although, unlike him, he played for the first time in an F1 car in Monte Carlo. Nevertheless, these are too rare bursts of speed to get rid of the stigma of a rent-driver.
Tsunoda’s car after the crash in Imola
18.Yuki Tsunoda (5.3 / 58.5)
Tsunoda in the first half of his debut season was primarily remembered for obscene escapades against his racing engineer. And this paddock would have forgiven the young Japanese not without pleasure, if not for the second problem: frequent and completely unforced accidents. For half a season, Tsunoda crashed the car four times – in Imola, Baku, Le Castellet and, more recently, in Hungary.
At the same time, Tsunoda has not yet demonstrated any outstanding speed. The only thing that saves the Japanese is that his partner is Pierre Gasly, an experienced pilot who proved his talent with success last year. Yuki, on the other hand, has so far proved only that he cannot keep his mouth shut – in Hungary he demanded that Gasli “dump” out of the way.
17. Valtteri Bottas (5.7 / 63)
Finn has his worst season for Mercedes in 2021. Only in Monaco, Valtteri managed to get ahead of Hamilton, and in the rest of the races, he looked on the head weaker than his partner. Already at the second stage in Imola, the Finn was so bad that he got off in a collision with George Russell’s “Williams”.
The lowest point was the start of the race in Hungary: Valtteri completely failed, missing the entire composition of Red Bull and Lando Norris, and then carried them all out, blocking the wheels on wet asphalt. With this, the Finn, of course, helped Mercedes in the fight against Red Bull, but Valtteri will not be able to do this all the time: no spending limit will cover the repair of the car after each Grand Prix.
16.Kimi Raikkonen (5.8 / 63.5)
The season is also difficult for another Finnish veteran, Kimi Raikkonen. At times, the ex-champion holds good races, often wins back positions in the first lap, but in the qualifications Raikkonen looks weak all year and loses to Giovinazzi more and more. Alfa Romeo has already declared Kimi’s speed on one lap to be their number one priority, but is it really just a matter of settings?
Kimi, always distinguished by pure aerobatics, this year began to make mistakes that can not be explained by anything but inattention. Raikkonen did not calculate the loss of downforce behind Giovinazzi in Portugal and rammed his partner’s car at full speed, and at the end of one of the races in Austria did not notice Vettel, sending the German out of the blue into the bump stop. Does Alpha really need such an ex-champion?
15. Sergio Perez (6.0 / 66)
Perez was hired by Red Bull in the hope that the experienced Mexican would become a more confident support for Verstappen than the young Gasley and Albon, and Cheko partially lived up to these expectations. So, in 11 qualifications of the season, he got into the top 4 five times – Albona managed it only once last season.
At the same time, Sergio makes too many mistakes, and in comparison with Verstappen the problems look catastrophic. In general, Perez is closer to Max than the Dutchman’s previous partners, but the picture is spoiled by the British Grand Prix spoiled in the sprint, the failed Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix and other unexpected mistakes. But were his predecessors much more stable?
Mick Schumacher at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
14.Mick Schumacher (6.1 / 67)
Mick is the best rookie in the first half of the season. In the younger series, the German did not reach the level that allowed him to realize the potential of the car from the first season, but in the battle with Mazepin Schumacher leads 9-2, and against the background of Tsunoda he looks like a much more adult and restrained racer.
Nevertheless, Mick’s performances cannot be called ideal either. Schumacher hits cars too often and missed two qualifications due to accidents, and in Imola did not keep the car in safety car mode. Given the speed of “Haas”, not to say that these mistakes were too expensive for the team, but in terms of repair costs, cooperation with the German is becoming less and less profitable.
13.Lance Stroll (6.1 / 67.5)
Stroll very cheerfully started the season and in the first four qualifications of the season three times ahead of Sebastian Vettel. But as soon as the German got used to driving a new car for himself, Lance again found himself in the shadow of his partner, began to make mistakes. So, the Canadian crashed the car in qualifying in Baku, performed very poorly at the Austrian Grand Prix, and knocked Leclair and Riccardo off the track in the first corner of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The progress of the Canadian should be noted, he performed well at the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna and Styria, he still has an excellent start, but for the third consecutive year Lance remains the obvious second driver in the team. And we still do not remember the 2018 season, in which Lance lost in qualifiers to debutant Sergei Sirotkin with a score of 8-13.
Nikita Mazepin, Antonio Giovinazzi and Mick Schumacher at the Austrian Grand Prix
12.Antonio Giovinazzi (6.2 / 68.5)
Giovinazzi played the first half of the season with dignity, although Alfa Romeo has finally slipped into outsiders and is not able to compete for points in sheer speed. Even individual mistakes, such as the accident in Baku, can be forgiven against the background of regular victories over Raikkonen.
The problem is that even to this level, Giovinazzi moved for more than two years, and now Antonio is the oldest pilot on the grid among those who have never been on the podium. And it’s not a fact that the 27-year-old Italian will have enough victories over Raikkonen to renew his contract with the team for the next season.
11. Esteban Ocon (6.2 / 68.5)
For Esteban Okon, winning the recent Hungarian Grand Prix was a major career success – and the Frenchman is doing great this year. It was not without problems, the car did not always behave properly, but the worst – as with Stoffel Vandorn – did not happen: Esteban looks worthy when paired with Fernando Alonso, who has become accustomed to driving.
After a quarter of the season, when Alonso began to outstrip Ocon in qualifications, and Esteban himself was eliminated in the first segment twice in a row, it seemed that the Frenchman “fell down” and would remain in the shadow of his partner. But at Silverstone, the rider got a new chassis and regained confidence, for the first time in several weeks he was faster than his partner in qualifying and won the race.