Welcome to the 2017 edition of the AutoSportsNation Formula One driver rankings. After the retirement of last year’s champion, Nico Rosberg, there will be a new champion in 2017. With the completion of the first race of the year – the Australian Grand Prix – one would think it would be a cakewalk to compile the driver rankings…and it is.
Sebastian Vettel won the race and clearly had the best drive of the day – outfoxing the Mercedes team [much to the dismay of Toto and his pet, Lewis Hamilton] – and fending off the wild Dutch teenager, Max Verstappen. The second spot has to go to Valtteri Bottas, in the unenviable position as Hamilton’s butler, yet still able to come through in a solid ride for the third spot on the podium ahead of Vettel’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen and Verstappen. The third and final spot in the first rankings of the year must go to Esteban Ocon of Force India, who made an impressive late move to beat out Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg for the final point – his first-ever in Formula One.
The first Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award of 2017 goes to the only person it could go to – Kevin Magnussen of Haas – who collided with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson on the opening lap in what was the only non-mechanical mishap of the day. Magnussen later left the race with a suspension issue…hmmmmm, wonder how that could have happened.
The inaugural Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award of the year is presented to the Red Bull pit of Verstappen who responded “too fast” – when Verstappen asked what the fastest lap time was so he could try and eclipse it.
Last year’s Lewis Hamilton Doofus Award has been renamed as the Bernie Ecclestone Doofus Award in honor of the well-received forced retirement of the former chief crusty barnacle and the first winner goes to the Australian Grand Prix officials themselves for a miscommunication that allowed fans to invade the track after the race but before the cars were off the track. Oopsy-daisy! Little too much Foster’s maybe?
2017 ASN Formula One Driver Rankings [after Australian Grand Prix]
1] Sebastian Vettel – three points
2] Valtteri Bottas – two points
3] Esteban Ocon – one point
2017 Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award [after Australian Grand Prix]
1] Kevin Magnussen – one point
2017 Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award [after Australian Grand Prix]
1] Red Bull pit [Verstappen] – one point
2017 Bernie Ecclestone Doofus Moment Award [after Australian Grand Prix]
1] Australian Grand Prix officials – one point