Even though the best drivers are usually hired by the best teams, the cars massive influence on the result can still create a significant error in the official standing. One obvious example was Fernando Alonso finishing #11 in the final 2018-standing behind Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez. I think most fans will agree this standing painted a very flawed picture of Alonsos strength.
It's impossible to split the results in two parts, so the drivers part of it stands out clear and undisputable. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to have an opinion about it. And it doesn't mean, that this opinion can't be based on the available facts. That's where ratings come into the equation.
Even though ratings of drivers strength isn't the undisputable truth (neither is the official standing), they often provide alternative ways of estimating the drivers "real" position in the Formula 1 hierarchy of strength. And new ways of looking at thing is very often interesting.
Enough talk. Let's get ready to rumble...
I like numbers, statistics and Formula 1, so I've made an alternative standing based on available information about races, drivers and teams, and when this is exposed to a few statistic tools the result is a Drivers Strength Standing adjusted for the cars estimated contribution to the results.
Please notice the word "estimated", as the following rating doesn't claim to be a scientific 100% correct rating. Such a rating doesn't exist. But I believe it does come a long way towards an unbiased rating of the drivers current strength.
|Top 20%||Max Verstappen||64.9|
|Inside Top 10||Valtteri Bottas||54.8|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||50.1|
|Outside Top 10||Lando Norris||47.2|
|Bottom 20%||Pierre Gasly||39.8|
1) I believe that Lando Norris will pass Daniil Kvyat during the upcoming season, and that the reason for Kvyat currently being slightly ahead is experience.
2) I also believe we will see a driver like George Russell move upwards in the strength hierachy as he gains experience. His position in the rating might be less interesting than the distinct difference between him and teammate Robert Kubica, who unfortunately didn't succeed with his attempted comeback.
3) It surprised me a little that both Verstappen and Leclerc has passed Hamilton, but it's a close fight at the top.
4) Ferrari has just let the fourth strongest driver go and replaced him with the ninth strongest. It doesn't seem to make sense, but remembering Toto Wolffs words about the importance of a Wingman it might make sense anyway.