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Top 200 Drivers of 2021 (Part I)

by Sean Wrona

After finishing my stock car ratings at the end of the 2021 NASCAR Cup season, I then proceeded work on an overall top 200 drivers list for all of global motorsport for the year, hoping to complete this series of articles by the end of 2021, but I didn't quite make it. A year and a half ago, I posted my description of my planned book on the top 1000 drivers in racing history where I would award 100 points to the top-rated driver of each year, 70 for the 2nd best driver, followed by 50, 30, and 20 points respectively for the 3rd-5th best drivers, 10 points for the elite drivers outside the top five from 6th-25th (classified as E), 5 points for E- drivers ranked from 26th-50th, 3 points for C+ drivers ranked from 51st-100th, 2 points for C drivers ranked from 101st-150th, and 1 point for C- drivers ranked from 151st-200th. I am still planning to evaluate drivers' individual season performances by this method and now that my typing book has been released, working on this project is going to be one of my primary goals.

As you know, I previously did rankings of the top 100 drivers in global motorsports in 2015 and top 100 IndyCar drivers of all time in 2016. In retrospect, I can see that there were many things wrong with both of these lists, especially the latter, where I overrated drivers with short-lived dominance and underrated drivers with long careers if they didn't have electrifying peaks. I have learned from both of those and I'm going to try not to repeat those mistakes here. Drivers will be ranked solely on their performances in races in 2021. However, I will use context from previous seasons when necessary to analyze the current season performance.

In this series of articles, drivers will be ranked in reverse order. This article will start with a list of drivers I considered (some only momentarily and some more seriously) before ultimately rejecting them, followed by a list of my ten last cuts (who I perceive to be the drivers who had the best cases among the "bubble" drivers) and lists of the C- and C drivers in alphabetical order. I will only be ranking the top 100 drivers in 2021, and I will only be ranking the top 25 drivers for all previous years that I rank in retrospect. Outside the top 25, I think the distinctions are much too small to separate drivers except on tier levels so I will not be doing that except for current seasons. Since I suspect it may take me several years to complete my rankings for all years and complete the book, I will rank drivers for 2022 and 2023 similarly to how I am doing here. In my second article, I will list all the C+ drivers ranked from 100th to 51st, while my third article will list the E- drivers ranked from 50th to 26th, and my fourth and final article will list all the fully elite drivers in the top 25.

For the major league racing series, I primarily considered consistency, dominance, raw speed, comparisons with teammates, and versatility across multiple racing series. For most series, I simply used championship results to determine consistency. To measure dominance, I calculated wins, TNL, lead shares, poles, average percent led, and races with the most laps led. For speed, I calculated each driver's speed percentile (the average percentage of drivers that driver beat throughout the season), the number of fastest laps, and the number of races where each driver had the fastest average speed. Although I used to calculate speed percentiles and average speed by taking all laps within 5% of each driver's fastest lap, I don't really like that anymore since it can often provide an inaccurate perception of both oval races and road course races that switch from wet to dry; instead, I now calculate race speeds by taking the median lap time for all drivers on green-flag laps (among drivers who completed three or more laps in the race), which I think is probably more accurate than what I was doing before. Finally, I calculated teammate records for drivers in single-driver series based on only the races both drivers finished (to get a better perception of which driver was faster) and I used my open wheel and stock car models to calculate each Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula E, Super Formula, and NASCAR driver relative to my models so I could see which drivers had the strongest and weakest performances relative to teammates, and there definitely were some surprises. For sports car racing, I tended to rank teammates or drivers who shared the same car based on their speed percentile and average percent led; drivers who were both faster and more dominant than their teammates were generally ranked higher, which allowed me to determine which drivers on a sports car team were really carrying the weight and which drivers were not. I eventually intend to do rankings for touring cars, sports cars, and rally cars in addition to the open wheel and stock car models I have already completed, but I won't be doing that until after the top 200 list has been written. And I want to finish my open wheel model and include all the 20th century drivers I didn't have listed on it first, since I do suspect many of the '90s drivers in my open wheel model were significantly underrated because many of their teammate comparisons are missing.

For the drivers who made my top 100 list, I will provide a "stat line" for the drivers in major league racing series, where C is the championship position, S is the number of starts, W is the number of wins, TNL is the number of terminal natural leads (races where the driver was the last driver to take the lead on track, which defaults to the polesitter if there were no on-track lead changes), LS is the number of lead shares (defined here), P is the number of poles, LM is the number of races where the driver led the most laps, FL is the number of fastest laps, FR is the number of fastest races, APL is the average percent led, SP is the speed percentile, and R is the rating (for open wheel and NASCAR drivers.) Where relevant, I will list certain drivers' rankings within some of these statistics for each series, especially the teammate-based driver ratings. For example, here is Kyle Larson's stat line:


I obviously was not able to obtain all this information for all series. NASCAR doesn't let fans see lap times, so for average speed, I used their Green Flag Speed statistic. For Formula One lap times, I used racefans.net. For most series, I tended to use either their series's website or their timing service's website. I occasionally used the new, modern timing website Timing71 as well, which is where I got most of my data for IndyCar and Supercars lap times, although it wasn't as useful for a lot of other series. I also used lap charts and when I could video footage to determine when there were legitimate on-track passes for the lead as opposed to unnatural passes in the pits and so on (I was surprised and pleased that Super Formula, Formula E, WTCR, BTCC, and pretty much all sports car series had all their races easily available on YouTube this year, especially considering that Formula 1 and IndyCar do not.) This wasn't helpful for all series obviously as I did include several minor league series on my list, for which less data are available, not to mention that I did include some rally car drivers and drag racers, for which a lot of these statistics aren't even relevant since drivers are racing one-on-one or one at a time and elements such as "laps" or "passing" don't really exist in the same way, but I do think this is effective in comparing the drivers in most major leagues to each other.

Honorable Mention

These are drivers I considered ranking in my top 200 but ultimately rejected. I will just be listing them and not providing any commentary below, except for the ten drivers who were my final cuts. I do think these drivers had some merit this year, even though some I removed from consideration pretty instantly while others I deliberated on for much longer.

Alex Albon
Julien Andlauer
Marc Basseng
Mirko Bortolotti
Colin Braun
Antti Buri
Ron Capps
Nicky Catsburg
Jamie Chadwick
Paul-Loup Chatin
Conor Daly
Ryan Dalziel
Jehan Daruvala
Cameron Das
Paul di Resta
Matt DiBenedetto
Austin Dillon
Luca Engstler
Antonio Fuoco
Nestor Girolami
Gus Greensmith
Maximilian Günther
Ferdinand Habsburg
Jack Harvey
Andre Heimgartner
Jan Heylen
Ryo Hirakawa
Laurents Hörr
Rob Huff
Scott Huffaker
Stephen Jelley
Kasper Jensen
Takamoto Katsuta
Leon Kohler
Brodie Kostecki
Nicholas Latifi
Dennis Lind
Raffaele Marciello
Michael McDowell
Scott McLaughlin
Thomas Merrill
Norbert Michelisz
Christopher Mies
Adam Morgan
Norman Nato
Tristan Nunez
Tom Oliphant
Pepe Oriola
Spencer Pigot
Senna Proctor
Ben Rhodes
Carlos Sainz, Sr.
Sena Sakaguchi
Takuma Sato
Bryan Sellers
Robert Shwartzman
Alexander Sims
Dani Sordo
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Will Stevens
Tony Stewart
Gabriele Tarquini
Dan Ticktum
Tim Tramnitz
Oliver Turvey
Matthieu Vaxivière
Kenta Yamashita
Jason Zhang

Final Ten Cuts

Starting here I will provide a sentence or two of commentary about why I placed each driver where I did, although my write-ups will be significantly longer once I get to the top 100 drivers.

Aric Almirola: Unlike Michael McDowell, he did earn a well-fought victory at Loudon after making a clean pass for the lead and he did so in a year the rest of the Stewart-Haas team went winless; however, his teammate rating was well below 0, he had a losing record against rookie Chase Briscoe, and he barely had a winning record against Cole Custer, and I certainly wasn't listing them.

Bill Auberlen: He won two IMSA GTD races and two Michelin Pilot Challenge wins, but he lost both championships and I had already decided not to list most of the drivers who beat him in those championships.

Matteo Cairoli: He was the fastest regular in the World Endurance Championship's GTE Am class, but he hardly ever led there and only won one race across all three series in which he competed.

Pipo Derani: On the surface, it seems like he should be a lock because he won the championship in IMSA's most prestigious DPi class alongside his teammate Felipe Nasr, not to mention that he was clearly one of the best sports car drivers in the world about five years ago. However, Nasr destroyed him in all statistical categories in 2021: 1.95 lead shares to 0, 2 TNL to 0, 4 poles to 2, 4 races leading the most laps to 0, 3 fastest laps to 0, 2 fastest races to 0, 18.6% average percent led to 7.0%, and a speed percentile of 85.72% to 49.39%. Nasr was faster than Derani in every race and Derani having a below average speed despite driving for the championship team is worthy of criticism. I might have listed him anyway if he'd been on the winning 24 Hours of Daytona or 12 Hours of Sebring team because I acknowledge those races are probably more important than the IMSA championship to begin with, but Nasr and Derani were shut out of all four marquee endurance races.

Jack Goff: While driving for the worst team in the British Touring Car Championship, Team HARD, he scored almost three times as many points as the drivers of the team's other three cars and I know BTCC fans consider him to be one of the leading underdogs in the series. I suspect his year might rate really highly whenever I do a touring car version of my teammate model, but there doesn't seem to be quite enough substance there for me.

Kevin Hansen: The little brother of rallycross star Timmy, he finished 4th in both the World Rallycross Championship and Extreme E, which featured most of the same drivers, but he only won one race across both series and there were only six full-time entries in World Rallycross and nine full-time entries in Extreme E.

Côme Ledogar: Although he won the 24 Hours of Spa overall and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in class along with a couple other wins, I feel he was primarily carried by faster teammates like Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Nicklas Nielsen, and Mikkel Jensen in those races.

Rob MacCachren: He won the SCORE championship and Baja 1000 yet again, and after I realized that he actually won Baja overall when I erroneously thought Alexander Rossi had, I considered him strongly while evaluating Rossi, but I decided the series was too niche also suspected that at age 56 he wasn't in his prime.

Aiden Moffat: The highest-ranked BTCC driver I didn't list, but finishing 8th in points with 1 win isn't especially impressive when you consider that his teammate Ashley Sutton won the championship and five races.

Simon Pagenaud: Like Derani, excluding him seems shocking at first, but he failed to win or even really contend in both his IndyCar and IMSA starts. When you consider his IndyCar teammate Josef Newgarden was the fastest driver there, his IMSA teammate Felipe Nasr was the fastest full-timer there, and his IMSA co-driver Kamui Kobayashi was the fastest driver in both IMSA DPi and WEC Hypercar, that's pretty disappointing.

Robin Shute: He won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb for the second time, but as in the case with MacCachren, I ultimately decided that it was too niche to deserve a spot on the list proper. The Daytona 500 is way more important than either the Baja 1000 or the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and I didn't list Michael McDowell. Granted, I do think MacCachren and Shute are better at what they do than McDowell is, so maybe this was a mistake.

C- drivers (200th-151st)

Here are the 50 drivers I ranked in the C- tier, reflecting the 151st to 200th best drivers of the year. I do not rank the individual drivers in this tier but simply list them alphabetically. I tried to include representation from pretty much every discipline of motorsports here.

Brady Bacon: He won the USAC Sprint championship for the fourth time and earned five victories, but Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Justin Grant both won more often and were more dominant.

Tom Blomqvist: Even though he finished last among full-timers in the Formula E championship this year and failed to win a race in WEC, in his sports car starts he had the fastest average speed among LMP2 class full-timers including being the fastest driver in class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Sébastien Bourdais: His season highlight was obviously his 12 Hours of Sebring overall win, but his IndyCar season wasn't as bad as you think either; he was actually the eighth-highest rated IndyCar driver of 2021 in my teammate model, ahead of the likes of Marcus Ericsson, Simon Pagenaud, and Alexander Rossi, and very close to Scott Dixon. I may actually be underrating him here, but it's true that his IndyCar season was very nondescript.

Chris Buescher: If you've been reading me for long, you had to expect this one. He was the highest-rated NASCAR driver in my model, although I have not placed him higher because I suspect that is more because Ryan Newman was bad than because Buescher was good.

Thiago Camilo: He finished 3rd in Stock Car Brasil with 5 wins while his teammate César Ramos went winless. I suspect I may be underrating him as I do think the series has more prestige than I think, as evidenced by how many big-name Brazilian drivers like Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Tony Kanaan, and Nelson Piquet, Jr. are finishing out their careers there.

Dan Cammish: One of the BTCC's biggest stars was inexplicably fired after a mere three races in 2021, but he did post a higher average speed in those races than any of the full-timers; afterward, he returned to the Porsche Carrera Cup and won the championship again, but he used to dominate that series significantly more than he did in 2021.

Matt Campbell: He won three IMSA races in the GT Le Mans class, including the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans and was the most dominant driver on his team although Mathieu Jaminet was faster. He also finished third in the WEC's GTE Am class championship; although he failed to win a race, he was the second-fastest regular in the class behind only Matteo Cairoli.

Nick Cassidy: Although he only finished 15th in the Formula E championship as a rookie, he ran better than that as he had a winning record against highly-regarded teammate Robin Frijns, was 7th among FE drivers in my teammate model, 5th in average speed, 8th in average percent led, and won 2 pole positions.

Sheldon Creed: While he failed to advance to the Final Four in the NASCAR Truck Series, that's become such a crapshoot over the years that it doesn't really matter to me. I initially chose Ben Rhodes instead, but ultimately decided that Rhodes's championship alone was not enough to place him above Creed when Creed was the most dominant driver in the series with an average percent led of 22.4% to Rhodes's 4.5%; he even beat John Hunter Nemechek's 18.7%.

Robert Dahlgren: Although he's won the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship before, he never quite dominated it like he did in 2021 when he claimed 11 wins in 18 races.

Louis Delétraz: While his teammate Ye Yifei was clearly the team leader, he did win the premier title in the European Le Mans Series alongside him and he was also the TNL in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class; he would have won the race had the car not broken down on the last lap while Ye was in the car.

Indy Dontje: He had a remarkable drive at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the GTD class where he won, had the fastest average race speed, and passed eventual Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood for the race lead. Although it was his only IMSA start and season highlight, he did rank second in average percent led in the class, which is itself notable, since 106 drivers made an IMSA GTD start in 2021.

Chris Dyson: The former ALMS champ won a dominant Trans-Am championship with 7 wins in 10 starts, snapping Ernie Francis, Jr.'s streak of four consecutive Trans-Am overall titles and seven consecutive class titles; however, the series isn't as prestigious as it used to be in previous decades.

Philip Ellis: In addition to being one of Dontje's co-drivers in the aforementioned 24 Hours of Daytona win, he also won one DTM race and possibly would have won another had he not been ordered to pull over at the Norisring to help his teammate Maximilian Götz back into the championship.

Erica Enders: Although she lost the NHRA Pro Stock championship to Greg Anderson this year, she finished 2nd in points and 2nd in wins with four; I ultimately decided to take her over Ron Capps, the Funny Car champion who only won twice.

Philipp Eng: He won one race in the inaugural electric touring car series Pure ETCR, and considering Mattias Ekström, Jean-Karl Vernay, and Mikel Azcona were all there, it was fairly competitive. Additionally, he was the TNL in both the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans in IMSA's GTLM class.

Maro Engel: Dontje and Ellis's other teammate at Daytona, he was the TNL and led the most laps in the GTD class in that race in addition to finishing 2nd in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup with four victories.

Jaxon Evans: He finished second in Porsche Supercup with one win and was Campbell's teammate on his WEC team; however, Campbell was significantly faster there.

Broc Feeney: The 19-year-old won four races and scored four second places in nine starts in Super2, the Supercars feeder series; upon Jamie Whincup's retirement, he will be the teammate to 2021 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen for 2022.

Santino Ferrucci: In his part-time IndyCar deal for Rahal, he had a better average finish than all but the top four drivers in the points standings and he also set the fastest lap at the Indy 500 and had fairly respectable performances in a second-rate NASCAR Xfinity car; having said that, he didn't really contend for the lead anywhere and Graham Rahal beat him in every race he finished.

Antonio Giovinazzi: Although he didn't really have any particularly special moments, he did nearly match Kimi Räikkönen in both speed and teammate record, and he shockingly rated 7th among F1 drivers in my teammate model, but I think that has more to do with Räikkönen's past success than his ability in 2021.

Esteban Guerrieri: Weirdly, he finished 6th in WTCR without winning a race or even leading a lap while all three of his teammates won despite finishing significantly lower in points; however I still listed him and did not list them because he was the third-fastest driver in the series and he did dominate all his teammates soundly.

Ross Gunn: He finished third in the IMSA GTD class as a rookie with 3 wins and was the second-fastest regular in the class behind only Laurens Vanthoor. He also set the fastest average speed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE Am class.

Brendon Hartley: He was both the slowest and least dominant of the six Toyota Hypercar drivers in the World Endurance Championship this year; he also won neither the WEC championship or Le Mans. Having said that, I still don't think he was bad because Toyota's WEC team has very high standards for driver selection to begin with.

Daniel Hemric: Although he only won once, what a win it was. Unlike Ben Rhodes, Hemric delivered a well-fought clutch performance in the NASCAR Xfinity finale that itself probably deserves a spot on this list, but his overall season is better than you think too as he was the second-most dominant season regular and he actually had both a higher average percent led and a winning teammate record against the vastly more hyped Ty Gibbs (I still think Gibbs was better though.)

Lee Holdsworth: The perennial Supercars journeyman dropped to Bathurst-only for 2021 but won the race alongside his co-driver Chaz Mostert, and he was both nearly as dominant and nearly as fast as Mostert was; considering Mostert had one of the greatest Bathurst 1000 performances of all time, I think Holdsworth's is probably worthy of top 200 placement by himself considering he wasn't very far behind.

Norbert Kiss: He won a dominant European Truck Racing Championship with 11 wins in 23 races, essentially matching his 2015 season (19 wins in 40 races) for dominance.

Corey LaJoie: Although you might be surprised, he was the 14th highest rated driver in my NASCAR teammate model, nosing out the likes of Alex Bowman and Tyler Reddick, and he also had a greater teammate record against Justin Haley in NASCAR Cup than A.J. Allmendinger in Xfinity, who won a Cup race mind you. I do think all those drivers (except Haley) were better and think LaJoie's performance was inflated because Haley was essentially a rookie, but I also think he wasn't very far behind them.

Alex Lynn: Although he finished only 12th in Formula E this year and had a very weak teammate rating courtesy of a 2-5 loss to his teammate Alexander Sims, he also had 2 TNL (tied for most in the series) and was 4th in lead shares.

Charles Milesi: He won the WEC LMP2 championship alongside his teammates Robin Frijns and Ferdinand Habsburg and he was the fastest driver on the team and 3rd fastest overall; however, he didn't really make as many crossovers as many of the other LMP2 drivers did, so I decided to take a lot of drivers who doubled up in LMP2 and Formula E over him.

Miguel Molina: He was on the winning European Le Mans LMGTE class team alongside Matteo Cressoni and Rino Mastronardi, but I am most impressed by him because he was more successful in his WEC crossovers, having 2 fastest laps and 2 fastest races in the LMGTE Pro class in WEC, although he was significantly slower than his teammates James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi overall.

Yvan Muller: Like Esteban Guerrieri, he had a high WTCR championship placement in 4th without winning a race; unlike Guerrieri however he wasn't the clear team leader as Muller's nephew/teammate Yann Ehrlacher won the championship. Admittedly, Muller played a support role for Ehrlacher so he might have been able to do more if he was competing for himself.

Kazuki Nakajima: Much like his co-driver Brendon Hartley, Nakajima was the 5th-fastest and 5th-most dominant of the six Toyota WEC drivers, and he wasn't even close to the other four in dominance although he was close to Mike Conway in speed. He was the fastest driver at Algarve, but he was also the slowest of the six Toyota drivers in three races, more than any other driver. Additionally, as in the case of Hartley, he neither won the championship or Le Mans.

Zak O'Sullivan: He was staggeringly dominant in British Formula 3, which was renamed GB3 mid-season. His margin of victory in the championship of 535-381 was fairly absurd and he did it in his first year in the series at the age of 16. In 24 starts, he had 7 wins and 6 second places.

Hiroki Otsu: The Super Formula rookie delivered an electrifying performance in the second Motegi race winning from the pole after leading qualifying by four seconds in the rain; however apart from that, his championship-winning teammate Tomoki Nojiri utterly dominated him in every other race.

Toshiki Oyu: He finished 5th in Super Formula, one spot ahead of Otsu. Although he failed to win, he did set two fastest laps and was the 2nd highest rated SF driver in my teammate model because he utterly dominated Naoki Yamamoto, who had won two of the last three championships.

Nick Percat: He finished 7th in Supercars with 1 pole and 1 fastest race, and he utterly dominated three journeyman teammates, but I do admit he is definitely one of the most borderline selections I did include.

René Rast: Somehow he was the fastest driver in Formula E this year despite finishing 13th in points and failing to lead a lap - the series was an absolute mess this year. He also had a winning record against FE legend Lucas di Grassi and ranked 6th among FE drivers in my teammate model, but di Grassi certainly had a much better season regardless.

Alexander Rossi: Although his IndyCar season was completely forgettable, I was initially going to list him in the C tier because I thought he was the first driver to win the 24 Hours of Daytona and Baja 1000 in the same year; I later found out that he only won Baja in class and not overall and that he was also the slowest driver on his winning Rolex team, hence I dropped him to this tier, but I still chose him and Sébastien Bourdais over Simon Pagenaud, who I feel all had similar IndyCar seasons, because at least Bourdais and Rossi had marquee sports car wins.

Grégoire Saucy: He dominated the Formula Regional European Championship as a rookie with 8 wins in 20 starts and seems likely to be one of the favorites for the Formula 3 championship in 2022.

Mick Schumacher: It's hard to know how to evaluate him because Nikita Mazepin was so weak. His fellow F1 drivers rated him as high as 10th, but I think they likely wouldn't have if he'd had a different last name. He did beat Mazepin badly enough to earn a positive teammate rating, but he still only rated 15th among 20 drivers in my model, ahead of only Mazepin, Nicholas Latifi, Yuki Tsunoda, Sergio Pérez, and Daniel Ricciardo, and it would be hard for me to argue he was better than Pérez and Ricciardo either as I don't think he'd have won in those cars.

Yuhi Sekiguchi: He won the Super GT championship alongside Sho Tsuboi and also finished 3rd in Super Formula, doubling up in the two premier Japanese series much better than most other drivers, but he only won once in Super GT, failed to win in Super Formula, and had an exceptionally weak teammate rating.

Daniel Serra: He finished 2nd in Stock Car Brasil this year more due to consistency than raw speed as he won one race while his teammate Ricardo Maurício won seven races but only finished 5th in points; however, Serra did have impressive accomplishments in other series, as he was the 2nd fastest driver in the GTD class in the 24 Hours of Daytona, only narrowly losing out on a frantic battle with Maro Engel and he also finished 4th in the WEC GTE championship as Molina's co-driver; however, all three of his AF Corse teammates in the class were faster than him.

Kevin Thomas, Jr.: He won nine races in the USAC Sprint Car championship, nearly twice as many as the champion Brady Bacon, but he failed to win the championship, failed to be the most dominant driver (as Justin Grant and Logan Seavey both beat him there despite fewer wins), and he did not win in the other premier USAC divisions.

Harry Tincknell: He was the fifth-fastest driver in the IMSA DPi class, winning the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, where he was faster than both of his teammates, and he set the fastest average race speed at Mid-Ohio.

Yuki Tsunoda: Although I think Ross Brawn was wrong in declaring him to be the best rookie in years, as his teammate Pierre Gasly beat him by an incredible margin of 13-2, Tsunoda wasn't as far off in raw pace as that implies as Gasly was the faster driver in 12 races to Tsunoda's 7, and Gasly's speed percentile of 54.25% wasn't that much higher than Tsunoda's speed percentile of 47.34%; if Tsunoda can ever gain consistency to match his speed, he'll be competitive.

Dilano van't Hoff: In his first year in open-wheel cars, the 17-year-old won the F4 Spanish championship with 10 wins in 21 starts and also won five races in the F4 UAE championship, losing that championship by only a single point to Jarno Trulli's son Enzo.

Jüri Vips: The Red Bull F1 prospect finished 6th in his first full Formula 2 season with two wins at Baku and beat fellow F2 rookie Liam Lawson in the championship; I do think Lawson is better as he had a winning teammate record in F2 against Vips despite being 1.5 years younger not to mention all of Lawson's DTM success, but I think Vips was nonetheless good enough for the list.

Bubba Wallace: He delivered himself and his 23XI team their first win at Talladega and also set the fastest lap at the other Talladega race. It's hard to determine whether 23XI's equipment is as strong as Joe Gibbs Racing at this point, which makes this difficult to evaluate (we'll know more in 2022 when we can compare him to Kurt Busch.) However, he was strong on the superspeedway tracks in general as he was only one of four drivers along with his boss, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano to take the lead on track in all four superspeedway races.

Pascal Wehrlein: Although he finished 11th in Formula E and failed to win, he was 4th in my teammate model, but like Chris Buescher, I think that is more because André Lotterer has declined than because Wehrlein is especially great. Having said that, he was listed as the winner of the first Puebla race before he was disqualified and he was TNL at the 2nd Rome race (I definitely don't count "attack mode" passes as natural in any way.)

C drivers (150th-101st)

A.J. Allmendinger: He seems to be doing his utmost to lift Kaulig Racing up to powerhouse status almost single-handedly; despite not even winning a race until 2019, he tied Austin Cindric and Kyle Busch for the most wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year even though the Kaulig equipment was probably nowhere close to Penske or Gibbs in speed. He also delivered the team its first Cup win; although it was certainly an utter fluke, I still think it's a genuine accomplishment and he did clearly have speed in that race even though he probably shouldn't have won.

Michael Ammermüller: He and teammate Mathieu Jaminet finished 2nd in the ADAC GT Masters and won the most races with four but I don't think the series is as prestigious as either WEC or IMSA and it was the first season since 2016 that Ammermüller did not win a championship in something.

Greg Anderson: He won his fifth NHRA Pro Stock title and first in 11 years, winning more races than any NHRA driver this year except for Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence.

Scott Andrews: He won three out of four marquee races in IMSA's LMP3 class, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona, 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, and Petit Le Mans. He was also the second-fastest driver in the class behind only his co-driver Felipe Fraga; however, this class was also very shallow overall and unlike Fraga, he didn't show much in his WEC starts.

Lucas Auer: He finished 5th in points in DTM with two wins and certainly would have won a third had he not been ordered to pull over in the finale at Norisring to support Maximilian Götz's title run.

Oliver Bearman: The 16-year-old won both the ADAC (German) and Italian Formula 4 championships winning a combined 17 races in 39 starts and also won a race in GB3 (the former British Formula 3), where he was relatively evenly matched with the aforementioned Zak O'Sullivan. Like Grégoire Saucy, he's a likely Formula 3 championship favorite for 2022.

Christopher Bell: While he was clearly the worst Joe Gibbs Racing driver this year, for a 2nd-year driver, he was closer than you might expect. He had many great moments on the 750 tracks and was particularly fast on the short tracks and road courses; however, he struggled to lead except for the Daytona road course race, where he was admittedly the 2nd best and significantly benefited from Chase Elliott's wreck to end his four-race road course winning streak.

Alex Bowman: A very close miss. While I'd almost never exclude a driver who won 4 Cup races from a top 100 list, Bowman significantly benefited from flukes and circumstances all season long, beating his teammates out of the pits to win at Dover, inheriting the lead after Kyle Larson blew a tire on the last lap at Pocono, and spinning out Denny Hamlin at Martinsville. Rare is the driver who wins 4 races despite making only 5 on-track passes for the lead. Considering how dominant Larson was and Hendrick generally (Bowman only rated 15th in my teammate model), I decided to leave him off. But he's still not a hack, Denny.

Craig Breen: Although he remains winless in the World Rally Championship, he earned two second-place finishes in a year for the first time ever, had his best points finish in 8th, and added another 2nd place in the European Rally Championship for good measure.

Dane Cameron: While his car was too slow to be a regular race factor in the IMSA DPi class, as he had a speed percentile of 39.18% while his teammate Olivier Pla had a speed percentile of 36.98% and he failed to win a race, he was the third most dominant driver in the class with an average percent led of 11.36%, behind only the top two points finishers Felipe Nasr and Ricky Taylor, and beating Nasr and Taylor's co-drivers.

Agustin Canapino: He won his second championship in Súper TC 2000 with four wins. While I don't know much about this series, I do know enough to know that it's prestigious enough that he should be on this list.

Ross Chastain: In his first season in a competitive NASCAR Cup car, he was pretty close to Kurt Busch in speed and consistency for much of the summer and definitely had some highlights, outdueling the favored Tyler Reddick to earn the first transfer spot in the All-Star Open, finishing second in the inaugural Nashville race, and having a brilliant drive in the rain at COTA; he rated 11th in my teammate model ahead of the likes of William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Alex Bowman.

Pierre-Louis Chovet: He finished second in the F3 Asian championship, which wouldn't ordinarily be worthy of this high a placement, but when you consider that he only narrowly lost the championship to F1-bound Guanyo Zhou and won six races to Zhou's four, it's clear he shouldn't be considered that far behind.

Austin Cindric: Despite failing to win the Xfinity title, he was clearly the dominant driver in the series with over 1,000 laps led and he easily scored the most points over the entire season despite Daniel Hemric outdueling him in the finale; he was also fairly impressive in NASCAR Cup taking the lead in three different races as a pre-rookie, including making the first pass for the lead at COTA and Road America, even though he had few strong finishes in Cup.

Will Davison: Although normally I would list the 4th place Supercars points finisher and 3rd fastest driver on my top 100 list, he failed to win while his teammate Anton de Pasquale won six races despite finishing behind him in 6th in points and having a slightly slower average speed. de Pasquale was the second most dominant driver with 18.0% average percent led, while Davison's APL was a paltry 2.1% in comparison.

Marcus Ericsson: Some people consider him the breakout IndyCar driver of 2021 (even though it's clearly his teammate Álex Palou), but I see his season as something akin to Alex Bowman's on steroids. Both of his wins probably ranked in the top five stupidest IndyCar wins of the last decade, as he only won at Detroit because Will Power's car broke on a gimmicky fake red flag to ensure a green flag finish, and he only won at Nashville because the wreck he caused sending Sébastien Bourdais airborne allowed him to go off pit sequence and win on strategy; he had no natural leads all year. To be fair, he was the fastest driver at Mid-Ohio and was very close to Scott Dixon in speed, teammate rating, and head-to-head record, so his season was definitely solid, but I still don't take him very seriously yet.

Mitch Evans: Although he finished 4th in Formula E, that overrates his performance because he failed to win in a year 11 drivers did, his teammate Sam Bird beat him in every category except the points standings and fastest laps, and he only ranked tied for 14th among Formula E drivers in my open-wheel teammate rating for 2021, which is very disappointing for a driver who entered the season as the highest-rated Formula E driver ever.

Antonio García: He won the IMSA GTLM championship alongside teammate Jordan Taylor with four wins including the 24 Hours of Daytona and 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, but it was a very weird year for the class as there were only three regular cars entered; having said that he, Taylor, and Nick Tandy didn't suddenly become worse just because they had less competition. Although García was faster than Taylor and Taylor was actually the slowest of the four Corvette drivers, he beat García by large margins in most of the other key statistics, so I placed Taylor in the top 100 and García just outside.

Ty Gibbs: One of the most dominant NASCAR prospects in years, he won a staggering 20 stock car races in 2021, claiming the ARCA championship with 10 wins in 20 races, sweeping all 4 ARCA East races and both ARCA West races he entered along with 4 NASCAR Xfinity wins as a part-time Xfinity pre-rookie, including winning his first-ever start on the Daytona road course, becoming the first driver to win on his series debut since Kurt Busch in 2006 and the first driver with no Cup experience to do since the series's founding in 1982. This is the kind of minor league season that might be worthy of top 100 placement, but I refrained because JGR equipment has made several average or worse drivers like Erik Jones, Ryan Preece, and Daniel Suárez look good in Xfinity races and also because the much less hyped Daniel Hemric beat him in terms of both his teammate record and average percent led in 2021.

Justin Grant: One of the most versatile USAC drivers of the year, he tied Tanner Thorson for the most wins across the three main USAC divisions with 12 and he was one of only three drivers along with Logan Seavey and Tyler Courtney to win races in USAC Sprint, Midget, and Silver Crown this year. Having said all that, he did not win any of those championships this year, finishing third in all of them, did not win the most races in any of these divisions either, so I ended up choosing Courtney and Seavey over him for the top 100 list because both of them had a higher average percent led in all three divisions than Grant did. To be fair, when also including non-USAC wins, according to The Third Turn, Grant had 19 wins to Seavey's 17 and Courtney's 16, so they are arguably very close, but Seavey and especially Courtney impressed me more.

Niclas Grönholm: The son of rallying legend Marcus Grönholm, Niclas won three races in the FIA World Rallycross Championship this year, tying him with the champion Johan Kristofferson for the most. He also beat his teammate Krisztián Szabó 5 races to 4, but Szabó tended to finish higher in the races Grönholm didn't win. Although I find the championship prestigious, it's hard to say a third-place championship finish is especially prestigious when there were only six full time cars, and I didn't list Kevin Hansen, who he narrowly beat.

Ayhancan Güven: Probably the closest thing Larry ten Voorde had to a rival this year, he finished 3rd in Porsche Supercup with 1 win and 2nd in the German Porsche Carrera Cup with 4 wins. Having said that, ten Voorde utterly dominated everyone in both series to such a degree that I didn't really think any drivers from either series except for ten Voorde should be considered for the top 100.

Dennis Hauger: In a battle of the Red Bull prospects, Hauger beat Jack Doohan to win the FIA Formula 3 championship; both drivers had four wins in their second season after extremely mediocre 2020 campaigns. I might have listed Hauger in the top 100 if he had been a rookie because the truly great prospects tend to be the drivers who win the championship in their rookie seasons, but Hauger did not so I placed him here instead.

Mathieu Jaminet: He won both the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans in the GTLM class co-driving with Matt Campbell; of the six drivers to drive the #79 car, he was faster than all of them with the exception of Kévin Estre, although to be fair, he only won at Road Atlanta because Estre pulled over in the one-off #97 car to allow Jaminet past. However, Jaminet had several other key accomplishments which most of his drivers did not have including winning the 24 Hours of Dubai overall, winning a race in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup alongside Campbell, winning a race in the Nürburgring Endurance Series, and finishing second in the championship alongside Michael Ammermüller in the ADAC GT Masters with four wins. He had probably one of the best seasons among drivers I didn't include in the top 100.

Mikkel Jensen: He was the IMSA LMP2 champion alongside Ben Keating with three wins in seven races, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, and he had a higher speed percentile relative to his class than any other full-time IMSA driver (94.18%) as well as a higher average percent led (31.08%). He also won an Asian Le Mans race and was the fastest driver in the WEC race at Algarve in the GTE Am class, but he failed to win there. Ultimately, I just decided both the IMSA LMP2 and Asian Le Mans Series were too shallow in terms of competition to justify listing Jensen on the top 100, but if you disagreed with me, I wouldn't argue the point.

Brad Keselowski: He had clearly the most invisible NASCAR Cup season of his career since his 2011 breakout only managing one win in a rather forgettable Talladega finish and he only ranked 17th in my NASCAR teammate model this year; having said that, he still belongs in this group as he was just behind Tyler Reddick and just ahead of Christopher Bell, both of whom were placed here. I figure he kind of threw this season away to focus on his move to Roush, making this more of an aberration than anything else; granted, the fact that NASCAR has been moving away from intermediate races and towards road courses does not play to Keselowski's favor since he is a great intermediate driver and one of the worst road course drivers among major Cup stars.

Michael Kofoid: The 19-year-old phenom won the USAC Midget title in only his second full-time year in the series, winning six races and posting an average percent led higher than any of the other full-timers in the division; overall, he won at least 24 races in all classes according to The Third Turn. Having said that, he hasn't really crossed over to the Sprint or Silver Crown divisions yet, which is why I left him off the top 100.

Nicolas Lapierre: He didn't really have a chance to do anything in the World Endurance Championship this year because racing an Alpine against the dominant Toyotas is like bringing a gun to a knife fight. However, it was not for lack of trying, as he did set a fastest lap, lead the most laps at Algarve, post a higher average percent led than Brendon Hartley in a slower car, and pass Mike Conway at the start of the Bahrain 8 Hours. In his sole IMSA appearance at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the LMP2 class, he set the fastest average race speed, indicating he's still a very strong sports car driver even though he doesn't have fast enough cars to win.

Kevin Magnussen: After he and his long-time F1 teammate Romain Grosjean both lost their Haas rides, both made the decision to come to America with Grosjean racing in IndyCar and Magnussen racing in IMSA. Both had impressive rookie seasons, but I think Grosjean's was better. Magnussen was the 3rd fastest IMSA DPi regular of the year behind only Felipe Nasr and his co-driver Renger van der Zande, but van der Zande was still the team leader, as he was faster 6 races to 3, including being the fastest overall driver 3 times while Magnussen had no fastest races. van der Zande was also more dominant than Magnussen, but Magnussen wasn't far behind, and he did collect his first IMSA win at Detroit.

David Malukas: I have always considered Indy Lights to be a shallow series (at least since the original CART-era Indy Lights series folded after the 2001 season), and I wouldn't always even list the Indy Lights champion in my top 200. However this year, both Kyle Kirkwood and Malukas were significant enough standouts for me to place them much higher than I ordinarily would. After Kirkwood became only the second driver to win the first two rungs of the IndyCar ladder as a rookie since the Road to Indy was introduced in 2010, he was expected to win the Indy Lights championship in a runaway. While he did win it, it wasn't a runaway as Malukas managed to win seven races to Kirkwood's ten, led the points standings for a while, and was still alive entering the final race. Considering Malukas is also three years younger than Kirkwood, I wouldn't be shocked if he surpasses him someday, but Kirkwood was definitely better in 2021.

Ricardo Mauricio: He led the Stock Car Brasil series with a staggering seven race wins while his teammate Daniel Serra who beat him in points only won once. However, that probably inflates Mauricio's performance since five of his wins came in sprint races where the starting grid was determined by a field inversion. He would have most likely done better in the championship though if he hadn't been inexplicably replaced by António Félix da Costa for the Interlagos round, who did win the Interlagos sprint race himself. da Costa is certainly a better driver, but that's certainly an obnoxious thing to do to a championship-contending driver regardless.

Christopher Mies: He won the ADAC GT Masters championship alongside teammate Ricardo Feller. I had Feller in this position instead of Mies until right when I was writing this because Feller had a lot more accomplishments outside this series in 2021 than Mies did, but then I looked into them more and realized that Feller's wins were amateur class wins in extremely shallow classes while Mies had already won this championship before, leading me to the conclusion that Mies was clearly the linchpin of the team and Feller was along for the ride.

John Hunter Nemechek: Even though he was not racing in NASCAR Cup, I would say Nemechek had a performance comparable with a low-tier Cup Chase driver in 2021. He rated 13th in my NASCAR teammate model this year, right behind William Byron and ahead of Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman. Most impressively, he managed to finish ahead of Kyle Busch 3 races to 2 in their shared truck starts. He was clearly the best NASCAR truck driver of the year even though he lost the title due almost entirely to bad luck and even though Sheldon Creed was more dominant. While most of the truck field was not good, Nemechek deserves a Cup ride.

Travis Pastrana: He won the inaugural Nitro Rallycross Championship in a tiebreaker with Scott Speed as he had two wins to Speed's one. Both drivers beat Timmy Hansen by a single point, and when you consider that Hansen tied Johan Kristoffersson for the FIA World Rallycross Championship only losing on a tiebreaker. Both of them also beat rallycross stars like European Rallycross champion Andreas Bakkerud in all three races they competed, and they both beat Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott in one-offs as well. Although I definitely don't think this series is as prestigious as the World Rallycross Championship, it's clear that Pastrana and Speed were both top-notch rallycross drivers this season.

Will Power: He still clearly has some speed as he dominated the 2nd Indy road course race and would have won at Detroit as well had the race finished under caution like it should have and he was actually the 4th most dominant IndyCar driver of the year, just nosing out Álex Palou and Pato O'Ward in average percent led. However, not only did Josef Newgarden defeat him by a mindboggling margin of 12-2, he lost to the very mediocre Simon Pagenaud in the championship and in their teammate records, and only barely nosed out Scott McLaughlin 8-7. He was only ranked 50th among open wheel drivers in my model and was only just barely above 0, thereby explaining why I did not include him on the top 100.

Graham Rahal: Rahal however was an extremely close miss and one of my last cuts from the top 100. He was the 5th highest rated IndyCar driver in my model this year behind only the obvious top four and ahead of Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson as well. However, it was rather typical for him because as usual he dominated Takuma Sato while hardly ever leading, and ultimately I decided he didn't lead enough for top 100 consideration and chose Romain Grosjean as my last IndyCar driver on the list instead.

Kimi Räikkönen: Perhaps this is overrating the Iceman in his final season and he should be moved down to the C- tier. However, both he and his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi were surprisingly higher rated in my teammate model than you might expect, and Räikkönen was the better of the two, although not by a massive amount as Räikkönen only beat Giovinazzi 10-8 in races and 10-9 in speed. Still, he was rated higher than drivers like Scott Dixon and Carlos Sainz, Jr. for this season, and right behind George Russell, but weirdly Giovinazzi was actually rated above Russell. I don't know what to make of any of this, but I think it's enough to say both were decent at least.

Tyler Reddick: Probably the most exciting NASCAR driver to watch this year give or take a Kyle Larson, Reddick took chances that most NASCAR drivers wouldn't take but it often resulted in finishes that didn't match how well he ran. However, like Larson in earlier years, he was still good at still getting consistent results in those races rather than crash DNFs, which were enough to propel him to his first Chase bid. The problem with his season was that despite how often he ran in the top five, he hardly either led or finished there, but that doesn't reflect how he ran. He clearly had speed, as evidenced by his pole (in a year only seven races had qualifying), two fastest laps, and setting the fastest average speed at the Charlotte roval. However, I suspect his true breakout will not come until next year as he was only the 16th highest rated NASCAR driver in my model in 2021 and I expect that to change for 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo: Although he did pass eventual champion Max Verstappen on the start at Monza and led the remainder of the race, his season was rather lacking in other highlights as his teammate Lando Norris beat him by a massive 14-6 margin. Since Norris still doesn't have that high of a teammate rating compared to most of the drivers of his caliber, Ricciardo had the 5th lowest driver rating among 2021 F1 regulars, but I definitely think he was better than that since I think my model is underrating Norris's actual ability. Don't get me wrong though: the win is still something of a big deal because McLaren hadn't won for nine years prior to that, but I think Norris's race at Sochi was a lot more impressive even though he didn't win it.

Daniel Rowbottom: The second-year BTCC driver had a significant breakout, finishing 9th in points, winning a race and two poles, and only losing to his three-time championship-winning teammate Gordon Shedden 14-11. He also won the Jack Sears Trophy, the BTCC's rough equivalent to Rookie of the Year, but it's a little more complicated because drivers remain eligible for the Trophy as long as they had never recorded a podium finish before, so perhaps it's something more akin to the Best New Artist award at the Grammys where established artists are occasionally nominated if they had never had mainstream success before.

Gordon Shedden: Speaking of. Although most touring car analysts rated Rowbottom higher than Shedden because they were so evenly matched and Rowbottom was much less experience, Shedden did narrowly beat Rowbottom in most statistical categories and is probably still the better driver, but maybe not for long. He had 2 wins to Rowbottom's 1, 1.67 TNL to Rowbottom's 1, 1 pole to Rowbottom's 2, 1 race leading the most laps each, 3 fastest laps to Rowbottom's 2, 5 fastest races to Rowbottom's 1, and slightly higher speed percentiles and average percent led. Clearly he was still a little better, but probably not as good as he was. Granted, he was coming back to the BTCC after a 3-year hiatus when he raced in WTCR instead, so maybe he was a little rusty.

Scott Speed: See Travis Pastrana.

Lance Stroll: He was probably the most overrated F1 driver in my open wheel teammate model this year because he actually beat Sebastian Vettel 8-7 in finishes, but Vettel was clearly the better performer as he was faster in 12 races to Stroll's 8. Since Vettel was so high-rated based on his championship power run in the early 2010s, Stroll ended up being the 5th highest rated driver in my model behind only Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris, and Ocon, which is ridiculous (and Ocon is also overrated because he was also largely being judged by Alonso's past accomplishments rather than his current ability.) Granted, Stroll was fairly crash-prone with three crash/damage-related DNFs, which probably makes his season worse than it looked by my model since it doesn't consider DNFs. Regardless, even though I think Vettel was better, Stroll was still pretty solid.

Kody Swanson: The most dominant USAC Silver Crown driver in history did it again, winning his record 6th championship and four races and averaging 29.1% led despite not starting one of the ten Silver Crown races that season. His 34 career wins are now well past second-place Jack Hewitt's 23. However, the reason he doesn't seem to get the hype of a legend like he deserves is probably because he doesn't compete much in the USAC Sprint and Midget divisions and didn't have a great deal of success when he did. While most USAC stars have a ton of wins in more minor leagues, he only had eight wins across all series according to The Third Turn, and that relative lack of versatility compared to other USAC drivers is why I left him off the top 100.

Tanner Thorson: Thorson is almost the exact inverse of Swanson as he has a recent history of dominance in both the USAC Sprint and Midget tours yet minimal participation or success in Silver Crown. Regardless, he tied Justin Grant for the most wins across all three divisions with 12 and he won the most races in the USAC Midget division with 7, just barely surpassing champion Michael Kofoid's 6 (Kofoid however was more dominant with a higher average percent led.) He also won 5 USAC Sprint car races and 4 other races, but he did not seriously contend for either the USAC Sprint or Midget titles.

Giedo van der Garde: The ex-F1 driver failed to win in the World Endurance Championship's LMP2 class, but it was not for lack of trying because he had the third highest average percent led of the 77 drivers who competed in the class behind only Filipe Albuquerque and Robin Frijns. He was a fantastic starter, taking the lead from the polesitter in the class on the opening lap three times, led the most laps at Portimão, and was the TNL in the 6 Hours of Bahrain. I suspect he was let down by his teammates Job van Uitert and Frits van Eerd who hardly ever led and were both slower than him.

Stoffel Vandoorne: Although he only finished 9th in the Formula E championship while his teammate Nyck de Vries won it, they were far closer than that implies. Although de Vries did beat him in wins, lead shares, and TNL, Vandoorne had 3 poles to de Vries's 1, was slightly faster and slightly more dominant than de Vries, and matched him exactly in terms of races having led the most laps, fastest laps, and fastest races; de Vries's teammate record against Vandoorne was only 5-4. However, since Vandoorne was higher rated in my model, that meant de Vries was substantially higher in my teammate model this year. Vandoorne was also good in the LMP2 class in the WEC as well, averaging the 6th highest average speed among regulars in the class and setting the fastest lap and fastest average race speed in the 6 Hours of Bahrain but failing to win. Ultimately, I decided to exclude him because of the championship difference between him and de Vries and his WEC winlessness, but he was a very close miss.

Rinus VeeKay: It was a tale of two half-seasons for the driver who entered 2021 as the fourth highest-rated IndyCar regular in my teammate model. For a while, he seemed to be a potential rival to Pato O'Ward, Colton Herta, and Álex Palou's "Best New Thing" status, particularly after his impressive, well-fought win at the Indy GP, the Ed Carpenter Racing team's first win since Josef Newgarden's heroic Iowa win in 2016. However, shortly after a second-place finish at Detroit, he injured his clavicle in a cycling crash and it wrecked the rest of the season to the point he looked like one of the worst drivers in the second half of the season; he ended up losing his teammate head-to-head with Conor Daly this year, which I definitely would not have expected based on their ratings entering this year. If he can return to his pre-injury 2021 form, I still think he has great potential.

Jean-Eric Vergne: The former two-time Formula E champion had his worst ever championship finish in the series in 10th. While he wasn't too far behind his teammate António Félix da Costa in most categories, tied him in wins and only finished two positions behind in the championship, he only beat him in one category leading the most laps in two races to da Costa's one. Having said that, I would still expect him to return to his usual form in future seasons because this was the weirdest Formula E season in history, and I'll explain more why almost none of the statistics in that series make any sense in the top 100 proper.

Sebastian Vettel: Although he's probably never going to have a fast enough car to win in F1 again, he did still distinguish himself somewhat this season, winning the inaugural title for best overtaker, although he himself pooh-poohed that accomplishment as he felt it was merely an indication of him qualifying worse than he should have, which is probably correct. Considering his reputation, losing his teammate head-to-head to Lance Stroll is fairly shocking, although he did beat him by one position in the championship standings. He did have one great race at Baku, where he finished second, giving Aston Martin its first ever podium in F1 history, although considering Sergio Pérez did get a win and a second-place finish for the team's predecessor Racing Point, I'm not going to tout that so hugely. I think he is still good, but I also think he is no longer great.

In my next column, I will rate the drivers in the C+ category from 100th to 51st. That should be coming at some point within the next week. Thanks for reading.

Sean Wrona is the Managing Editor of racermetrics.com, the Webmaster of race-database.com, the winner of the 2010 Ultimate Typing Championship at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, and the ratings compiler and statistician for the Mensa Scrabble-by-Mail SIG. He earned a master's in applied statistics from Cornell University in 2008 and previously digitized several seasons of NBA box scores on basketball-reference.com. He is the author of the upcoming Nerds Per Minute: A History of Competitive Typing. You may contact him at sean@racermetrics.com.