Which rookie drivers are the best of the bunch?
The most recent round of driver rankings is out and it’s no wonder that many drivers are making waves on the sport’s biggest stage.
With the season just around the corner, here’s a look at the 10 rookies who will have the most impact on the future of Formula 1 and the 2016 season.
With so many new faces making their mark in Formula 1, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on how the drivers have developed since they arrived in F1.
The first year of the new car is a huge change for many drivers and it could be the start of an exciting year for the sport.
The likes of Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button were the drivers to have their breakout years in 2016.
Vettel was able to take advantage of the huge jump in the quality of the car and then the Mercedes team quickly became a force to be reckoned with.
In 2016, Button’s championship led the way for Ferrari, but it was Raikkorn who shone the brightest in his debut season.
The Dutchman finished second to Hamilton in the championship standings, taking the championship to the final race in Hungary.
With Raikkorns dominance of the title and the impressive start to the season, the pressure was on for the team to return to the title race.
The Finn and the rest of the team did just that and it was a memorable year for Raikkos fans.
The Finns form led to a move to McLaren, which would see him overtake McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to become the second fastest driver in the world.
It was a remarkable season for the Finns team and it will be no surprise to see him finish in the top three at the end of the season.
It was also a remarkable start to 2016 for Felipe Massa, who was named one of the best drivers of the year.
The Brazilian was able take advantage a big increase in quality and speed to make up for a disappointing year in 2017.
After a year of struggling in 2017, the Spaniard was able outpace teammate and teammate Sebastian Valtteri Bottas to take the championship in just his second year of F1 and it wasn’t long before the former F1 driver was considered one of, if not the best driver in Formula One.
Despite struggling to maintain his title lead, Massa has been able to keep up with the elite of the field this season and he’ll be able to do so with the team he’s had for the last two years.
The Brazilian has been a consistent performer throughout the season and with the likes of Felipe Nasr and Kevin Magnussen looking to be the best midfield pair in F4, it will only be a matter of time before he gets his chance to shine once again.
While the rest have been solid, it was the Brazilian who put the most pressure on the rest, dominating the title chase in the process.
He won his first three races of the championship and then in the final two he went on to beat Hamilton in Melbourne.
The race he won, however, was only the second race in the title-deciding sequence, but with the Brazilian still in the hunt, it’ll be hard for him to escape with the championship at stake.
The Italian was able a brilliant campaign and he finished in the lead for most of it, but after the Spaniards performance in Melbourne, things turned against him.
He had a disastrous race at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing in fifth place.
After a poor start to 2017, he was able get the best out of the Mercedes car and was able finish in sixth place.
The Italian’s success was built on a strong season in 2018, which saw him finish second in the standings to Hamilton.
He’s been the driving force for Mercedes throughout the 2017 season and this will be his first chance to win the championship once again in 2018.