The 2014 Formula 1 season may have had only three race winners, but there were a number of good and great performances up and down the field.
We saw a close inter-team battle for the title between the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers, while Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas made themselves household names with a number of excellent drives at the expense of their more experienced team-mates.
Although they did not make the top ten, Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat all performed admirably during 2014 were all unlucky to miss out on the top ten list.
The Checkered Flag now takes a look at who DID make the top ten Formula 1 drivers list of 2014!
10) Jules Bianchi
Jules Bianchi took Marussia’s first and possibly only ever points by finishing ninth in the Monaco Grand Prix, but ended the year fighting for his life after a horror smash in Japan.
The Frenchman remains in a critical but stable condition in a French hospital after losing control of his car in the worsening conditions at Suzuka, but his performances before that fateful day were a mark of a talented young driver with a long career ahead of him.
Bianchi had the knack of being able to put the Marussia where it shouldn’t ought to be, and on three occasions during 2014 managed to take his car through into the second part of qualifying, mainly taking advantage of the weather conditions at Silverstone, but was fantastic particularly in Hungary where a superb last gasp lap was enough to beat Kimi Raikkonen and knock the Scuderia Ferrari driver out early.
But his outstanding performance was reserved for Monaco. Starting from a lowly twenty-first, the Frenchman pulled off a great pass on the Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi that would ultimate enable him to finish inside the top ten in eighth, but was ultimately classified ninth after a five second penalty for starting the race from the wrong position on the grid.
His future was being laid out for him; he was being mentioned as a future Ferrari driver, and had been a long time member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. However, he is lucky to be alive after his Suzuka nightmare. All we can hope for is that Bianchi makes a full recovery from his injuries.