The 2018 Formula 1 season is well underway, and every race this year has been crazier than the last. In anticipation of the Barcelona GP coming up this weekend, I felt I would rank my top 5 drivers so far this season, along with a dishonourable mention or two.
5. Kimi Raikkonen
Just because Kimi is at the bottom of this list doesn’t necessarily mean he’s by any means an untalented driver. He’s one of the esteemed few to have won a world championship, in fact. But so far this season, his performances have been a little… boring. That’s rather consistent with his personality, though. Kimi has a deep-seated hatred for press conferences, advertisements and the like; basically any part of being a driver that doesn’t involve driving. Plus, he ran over his own mechanic’s leg on the third race of the season. Not a great way to start his most recent campaign with Ferrari.
4. Daniel Ricciardo
The Honey Badger is easily my favourite driver so far this season. He’s had a couple decent races so far, not to mention a spectacular win in China. Ricciardo is known for being wildly entertaining both on and off the track, and he has made a name for himself by performing unbelievable overtakes on whoever happens to be in front of him, even if it’s his own teammate (ahem).
3. Valtteri Bottas
Bottas is easily the most underrated driver of the modern age. He also happens to be the second half of the seemingly unstoppable Mercedes-AMG team. Unfortunately for him, his teammate just happens to be the great Lewis Hamilton, and as a result, he tends to get ignored, no matter what feats he manages to pull off on the track. This is quite unfortunate, because he is massively talented. The Finn has two second place finishes so far this season, and if it weren’t for an ill-fated final lap in Shanghai, he likely would be leading the points board at this point in the F1 calendar.
2. Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton is far too big a threat to be ignored, no matter what year it is. After his teammate suffered a puncture on the last lap of the Baku GP, he was able to take not only first place at the race, but also the lead in points on the board. In fact, Hamilton has only managed not to make a podium once so far this season, and that was in Bahrain, where he placed fourth. He and Vettel have a fierce rivalry brewing this season, as they are both in contention to win a 5th world title. I’ll happily be taking bets on who will win it first, but my money is firmly placed on someone else on this list.
Dishonourable Mention: Max Verstappen
Good old Mad Max. No race is ever boring thanks to him. So far this season, he seems to be playing the part of human cruise missile, as he has so far collided with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and even his own teammate Daniel Ricciardo, only managing on one of those occasions not to end his or someone else’s race. I’m thankful for him, though. He’s made this season massively entertaining. All eyes will be on him in Barcelona this weekend, as we all watch to see if he will finally make a podium and hopefully rack up some points for the despairing Red Bull Racing team.
1. Sebastian Vettel
Why is Vettel my choice to win the championship? It’s simple: he’s consistent. He has so far had two consecutive first place finishes this season, and if it weren’t for Mad Max in Shanghai, he likely would’ve had a third. Not only that, but he’s won 4 consecutive world titles starting in 2010, at which point he was the youngest driver to ever score a point, win a race, AND win a title. I might even go so far as to call him the new Michael Schumacher. Brave words, but when you consider the evidence, it makes sense. I’d be willing to bet a good amount of money that he’ll beat Hamilton to the elusive 5th title. Two more, and he’ll have matched Schumacher’s record.
Who’s your favourite driver? Comment below!
Title image: wired.com
Image 2: f1i.com
Image 3: ABC.com
Image 4: the daily express
Image 5: classic 105
Image 6: Grand Prix 247
Image 7: RFI.com