The F1 points scoreboard at Hungary, 2014 versus 2013

Leave a comment

Formula One is through the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, the 11th round of the season, and now hits the three-week summer break.

The Hungarian GP sent the 2013 season into its summer break a year ago as the 10th round of the year – Austria was added for 2014 to add the extra round.

Anyway that in mind, this offers a golden opportunity to see who’s either gone up or down in terms of points scored through the first half of the season.

Here’s the breakdown:


  • Daniel Ricciardo, +120 (131 2014, 11 2013)
  • Nico Rosberg, +118 (202, 84)
  • Valtteri Bottas, +95 (95, 0)
  • Lewis Hamilton, +67 (191, 124)
  • Nico Hulkenberg, +62 (69, 7)

Three young stars and the pair of Mercedes teammates headline this group; all but Ricciardo have a Mercedes power unit in the back of the car this year as well. Bottas hadn’t scored at all last year – he only did so once, in fact, at the 2013 United States Grand Prix in Austin – while Ricciardo’s jump from Toro Rosso to Red Bull and Hulkenberg’s from Sauber to Force India have also paid dividends.

Ricciardo compares favorably to his predecessor at Red Bull, Mark Webber, at this time frame last year. While Webber had 105 points and was winless through Hungary last year, Ricciardo is on 131 with a pair of victories. That number could be higher too, had it not been for the 18 points lost following his Australian Grand Prix disqualification from second place.


  • Jenson Button, +21 (60, 39)
  • Sergio Perez, +11 (29, 18)
  • Jules Bianchi, +2 (2, 0)
  • Pastor Maldonado, -1 (0, 1)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne, -2 (11, 13)
  • Fernando Alonso, -18 (115, 133)
  • Felipe Massa, -21 (40, 61)
  • Adrian Sutil, -23 (0, 23)

Button and Perez have improved upon where they were as teammates with McLaren a year ago. While Bianchi’s gotten on the scoreboard, Maldonado and Sutil have dropped off – although neither has had a car worth much of anything this year. Vergne went scoreless after Hungary a year ago so looks to improve upon that in the second half. Meanwhile ex-Ferrari teammates Alonso and Massa have driven even better, most of the time, than their results would indicate. The fact Alonso hasn’t sustained a massive points loss given the machinery at his disposal is nothing short of miraculous. 


  • Romain Grosjean, -41 (8, 49)
  • Sebastian Vettel, -84 (88, 172)
  • Kimi Raikkonen, -107 (27, 134)

In a word, ouch. While Vettel has still scored regularly and Grosjean at least has the excuse the Lotus-Renault has been a rough package this season, Raikkonen has been made to look awful in his return to Ferrari. Lotus was at 183 points combined through 10 races a year ago with Raikkonen and Grosjean – a year later and that number is 8. Williams, by contrast, now has 135 points whereas a year ago at this time they had 1. Shows the value of a good power unit.


  • Esteban Gutierrez, Max Chilton (both scoreless)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (wasn’t in F1 in 2013)
  • Kevin Magnussen (37 2014, no 2013)
  • Daniil Kvyat (6 2014, no 2013)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0 2014, no 2013) 

Gutierrez and Chilton have a combined 60 starts between them (30 apiece) and a single score in their F1 careers – Gutierrez’s seventh at Suzuka last October. Kobayashi was highly unlikely to score in his Caterham this season while the three rookies have generally impressed this season.

F1 Preview: 2018 Australian Grand Prix

Photo: Getty Images
Leave a comment

Save for two occasions, in 2006, and 2010, the Australian Grand Prix has served as the season-opening event for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 1996, and this weekend’s event will be the 21st time that the city of Melbourne has kicked off the Formula 1 campaign.

The 2018 season is the fifth one of the current hybrid power unit era, the second season of the current aero regulations, and the second under Liberty Media’s guidance.

Last year saw titans Mercedes AMG Petronas and Scuderia Ferrari duel for supremacy for most of the season before Mercedes distanced Ferrari late in the season to take the constructor’s title and the driver’s title, with Lewis Hamilton, who is now tied with Sebastian Vettel on four world championships apiece.

Four drivers on the grid have Formula 1 world championships to their name: Hamilton, Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Fernando Alonso. Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley also has a world championship to his name as a two-time titlist in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

So, what can viewers expect from the 2018 curtain-raiser in Australia? A handful of things to watch are below?

2018 Australian Grand Prix – Talking Points

Does Anyone Have Anything for Mercedes?

Only on one day during pre-season testing did a Mercedes driver lead the way – Lewis Hamilton was fastest on the final day of Week 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

However, all indications were that was by design, with the team focusing the majority of the second week, if not the entire second week, on long runs with their W09 EQ Power+ chassis.

Such a decision is an ominous one, in that it indicates the team is very comfortable with the amount of speed in the car and did not see a need, or desire, to show their hand during testing.

With that in mind, the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas may yet again have the best and fastest cars, and the team looks poised to potentially make it five constructor’s and driver’s championships in a row.

Ferrari and Red Bull Look to End Mercedes Reign

The biggest threats to Mercedes are undoubtedly Ferrari and Red Bull, the only other teams to win in 2017.

And both teams displayed a lot of pace during testing, particularly in the “one-lap speed” category. Ricciardo set a lap record around the Catalunya circuit during the second week, only for Vettel to supplant that mark later in the week. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen led the way during the final day of testing.

It is unknown how that pace will translate over the course of a race distance. Mercedes appeared to have an edge on both Ferrari and Red Bull over long runs and race simulations, but there is also a theory that neither Ferrari nor Red Bull had their true long-run form on display.

Still, if a team is going to knock off Mercedes, it will likely be either Ferrari or Red Bull.

McLaren on the Rebound?

Put simply, the previous three seasons for McLaren F1 Team were a bit of a disaster. Their partnership with Honda yielded point totals of 27 (2015), 76 (2016), and 30 (2017) in a three-year venture that was defined by poor reliability and underwhelming power.

The relationship hit a boiling point last year and both entities parted ways ahead of the 2018 season, with McLaren signing a new power unit deal with Renault.

Testing went better than in previous years, though the team continued to battle reliability problems. However, all issues appeared to be minor, needling issues rather than more significant, foundational problems, as the other Renault teams (Red Bull and Renault Sport F1 Team) had solid runs with few reliability issues.

The car does appear to have speed in it, so if the reliability problems are behind them, McLaren could be in for a rebound season.

Stuck in the Midfield Again

Formula 1’s battle amongst the midfield is set to be as fierce as ever as a host of a several teams have a chance at being “best of the rest.”

Sahara Force India has been the frontrunner from the the midfield teams each of the last two years, finishing fourth in the constructor’s title in both 2016 and 2017, though if the steady conflict between drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez continues through 2018, it could hamper their efforts significantly.

Renault Sport F1 Team and Haas F1 Team look to improve on their 2017 form, while Toro Rosso is in a new partnership with Honda power units…and has experienced a surprisingly smooth pre-season as Honda’s 2018 platform looks significantly better, with the team enjoying a solid run of testing with few, if any, reliability problems.

Williams Martini Racing and Alfa Romeo Sauber appear to be at the back of the pack entering the season, but both could battle for points finishes if those ahead of them falter.