Formula Blog: Post Season Detox
9pts, 15th Place: Pedro de la Rosa: Arguably the most memorable performance fo the year was de la Rosa's in Bahrain. The amount of time he spent swerving around the back of Mark Webber's Williams meant he probably covered a complete race distance before Alonso took the chequered flag.
12pts, 14th Place: Narain Karthikeyan He made a terrific start to the season looking as though he'd be more suited to rallying. This meant he almost became the new Sato, but then Sato became the new de Cesaris and Karthikeyan nearly became the new Frentzen after he fell out with his team. Once the season was properly underway Monteiro made him look slightly amateurish and his season petered out to nothingness.
14pts, 13th Place: Robert Doornbos He immediately went into the Minardi team and looked a match for Albers. Of course, the best thing about him getting the drive were the obvious "Double Dutch" jokes. He produced some strong drives and certainly looked a deserved F1 driver.
20pts, 12th Place: Felipe Massa On occasion he showed glimpes of real class, unfortunately most of the season he looked very average. At least he seems to have more or less overcome his addiction to spinning wildly every third corner. And he must have done something right to get a Ferrari drive, though that something may just be his choice of manager (Jean Todt's son Nicholas Todt). It's hard to predict anything for him next year other than being trounced by Schumacher. Presuming Ferrari produce a decent car he might be able to stand on a few podiums though.
22pts, 11th Place: Giancarlo Fisichella: Every bit as good as Alonso is there was no way you'd have predicted Fisichella would be shown the way quite so comprehensively by the young Spaniard. You'd have thought he'd have managed more than three podiums for a start. His finishing position in this championship would have been much lower if it weren't for a pro-Fisi bias from the author. Sadly this bias has gradually slipped away over the course of the season after mediocre performance after mediocre performance, culminating with things being thrown at said Author's television during the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. Hopefully next season Fisichella will recover his form, you can't help but feel that without that bad run of DNFs in Malaysia, Bahrain and San Marino his whole year would have been much more impressive. And he had the edge over Alonso at Barcelona and Silverstone but was let down in the pit lane.
22pts, 10th Place: Christijan Albers In my opinion he's the rookie of the year. He generally had the measure of his teammates, he was sooner on the pace than Monteiro, drove enough races to be properly judged (unlike Liuzzi) and wasn't so mind bogglingly wild as Karthikeyan. Thankfully Midland have actually managed to do soemthing good by signing him up for next season.
22pts, 9th Place: Jarno Trulli Perhaps he deserves to be higher. He's been pretty fantastic. The only trouble is that he always looks so amazing in qualifying that his race results are disappointing by comparison so you never get the feeling he's done a good job. Also he needs a haircut.
24pts, 8th Place: Juan Pablo Montoya It took a while for Montoya to recover from his "tennis injury" (possibly the worst excuse ever) but when he did he was spectacular, though not necessarily in a good way. Brazil was an incredible drive, for the second year running he beat Raikkonen in a duel. Trouble was the other eighteen (sorry, sixteen) races where Raikkonen was leagues ahead, not to mention ridiculous moments such as: that stupid pile up in Monaco during practise, running a red light in Canada, spinning off during qualifying in Germany, swiping Pizzonia at Spa. And other incidents such as the Suzuka crash (probably not his fault in the most part), being clobbered by Webber at the Nurburgring and being the driver to find the errant drain cover with his sidepod at Shanghai.
At least so far in his McLaren career he doesn't seem to have called his team "a bunch of wxxxers" as he famously did during the 2003 French Grand Prix when they robbed him of his chance to beat Ralf Schumacher. But then, at McLaren they wouldn't use the term "wxxxer", they'd probably go for something like "one who participates in an activity using their right hand to stimulate their reproductive organ to a state of orgasm".