editors have come together to compile a list of what we think is the definitive Top 100 riders and
drivers in motorsport this year.
Over the past few days we have counted down from 100, now it is time to reveal the top 10, including our overall winner…
Click here for 100 - 76 countdown
Click here for 75 - 51 countdown
Click here for 50 - 26 countdown
Click here for 25 - 11 countdown
10. Sebastien Buemi
1st in the World Endurance Championship
2nd in the Formula E Championship (ongoing)
Proving there can be life after Toro Rosso, Sebastien Buemi stamped his mark as one of the best sportscar drivers of his generation by anchoring Toyota's success in the World Endurance Championship. Paired with Anthony Davidson (and initially Nicolas Lapierre), the Swiss driver proved reliable and fast throughout the year, with standout moments including his incredible pace at COTA early on and the ability to function as a duo, rather than a trio, when Lapierre was dropped. This is even more impressive when you consider this is just his second season of sportscar competition, while he has also found time to win a race in the new Formula E Championship in 2014. F1 may have been the pinnacle, but 2014 was Buemi's breakout year.
9. Marco Wittmann
1st in the DTM
It's very difficult to dominate the DTM, such is the parity of the category – whole grids can be split by mere tenths at times -, but Marco Wittmann reeled off a convincing title win with what seemed to be relative ease. One of the least experienced drivers in an accomplished field, Wittmann's second season in the DTM with BMW began perfectly with a race win, followed by another at the Hungaroring. When two more came at the Red Bull Ring and Nurburgring, Wittmann was away and clear, sealing the title early and leaving his bewildered rivals well adrift.
8. Nico Rosberg
2nd in the F1 World Championship
In the year that saw Mercedes sweep all before it with its remarkably dominant W05, Nico Rosberg was always destined to engage in a tight head-to-head with Lewis Hamilton for the title. Different drivers but closely matched, Rosberg may have lacked Hamilton's ambitious race craft, but he did almost everything he could to play to his own advantage of rarely putting a wheel wrong, particularly over a single lap. In the end, it would be that race craft that would let him down, his five wins paling into comparison with Hamilton's 11, but 2014 showed had the pace of a champion with the right car. Unfortunately for him, so did his team-mate…
7. Jose Maria Lopez
1st in the World Touring Car Championship
One of motorsport's surprise packages of 2014 was Jose Maria Lopez, who stepped into the World Touring Car Championship and swept all before him. Granted, he had the dominant Citroen C-Elysee at his disposal, but Lopez was a winner in his first race driving a front-wheel drive touring car against a four-time title winning team-mate. Around circuits he didn't know, Lopez kept on winning, showing a flair for clean driving (unlike his team-mates at times) and an ability to get the maximum from the car. In short, there aren't many drivers who can claim to produce a record-breaking campaign in their first season of racing in a world championship series…
6. Valtteri Bottas
4th in F1 World Championship
What a difference a year makes? A rookie season that yielded just a single points' finish to a second campaign that bore six podiums and a run to fourth in the standings. Granted, the Williams of 2014 was a light-year ahead of its 2013 predecessor, but Bottas grasped the advantages of the machine beneath him to reveal himself as a hugely adept racer. Just two non-scores would blot his copybook and when he finished he often finished well. It was enough to see him end the year ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso… a remarkable feat for both himself and for Williams!
2nd in the MotoGP World Championship
Valentino Rossi's 2014 resurgence produced his best on-track results since a seventh MotoGP title in 2009, a performance that thrilled fans who had feared they had seen the best of 'the Doctor' following a spate of 'lean' years. Spurred on by a shock change of crew chief, the oldest rider on the grid (after Colin Edwards's mid-season retirement) more than doubled his podium tally relative to last year and racked up 58 more points. To put that into perspective, Marquez scored 28 points more than last year on the way to his title defence. Jorge Lorenzo lost 67 points relative to last year and Dani Pedrosa minus 54 points. Although Rossi only scored two wins, he was runner-up on six further occasions. A remarkable turn of form for arguably one of motorsport's most popular figures, Rossi is keen to prove there is more where that came from in 2015…
4. Sebastien Ogier
1st in the World Rally Championship
In a sport where even the tiniest of errors can be dealt the harshest of punishments, Sebastien Ogier's dominance of the World Rally Championship in 2014 was a masterclass in action. His second consecutive title for VW, Ogier saw off his competition with relative ease, notching up eight wins in 13 rallies, proving as adept on asphalt as he is on gravel. The Polo may have been the car to have, but Ogier rarely looked troubled in 2014, keeping those errors to a minimum to set the standard. In fact, the only shame is that his dominant predecessor Sebastien Loeb isn't competing to make it a fight…
3. Lewis Hamilton
1st in the F1 World Championship
Now the most successful British driver in terms of F1 wins, Lewis Hamilton's 2014 F1 season may have had its ups and downs, but they were lofty enough for him to wrap up a second world title. Controversies and ill-timed technical issues aside, Hamilton showed on enough occasions in 2014 why he is considered one of the greatest drivers of his generation, with some sparkling overtaking moves and marvellous recovery drives where necessary. Dominant car or not, Hamilton was the one to extract every ounce of its race performance more of the time…
2. Daniel Ricciardo
3rd in the F1 World Championship
There was a point in 2013 where many were doubting Red Bull's decision to overlook more seasoned drivers in favour of Daniel Ricciardo… but twelve months on, the Australian has established himself as a star of the sport. Unflustered by being paired with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel or the fact he completed just a handful of laps during Red Bull's disastrous pre-season testing, Ricciardo gelled with the occasionally troublesome RB10 and delivered 110 per cent in 2014. All-but-demolishing (and demoralising) Vettel, Ricciardo may have needed the odd dose of luck to challenge the Mercedes, but he was always the one to capitalise, his three wins in Canada, Hungary and Spain as deserved as they were entertaining. Furthermore, he rarely put a wheel wrong in 2014 and came of age with some remarkable passing manoeuvres and superb tactical nous to firm his status as F1's new wonder boy…
1. Marc Marquez
1st in the MotoGP World Championship
So Crash.net's Motorsport competitor of the year is… Marc Marquez! Valentino Rossi may have won the hearts of MotoGP fans following his return to form in 2014, but it was Marquez that was the runaway winner in only his second season. Following his record-breaking turn in 2013, the landmarks just kept coming in 2014 as Marquez sprinted to a remarkable 10 consecutive wins at the start of the year, this despite missing two of the three winter tests due to a broken leg. Slips at Misano, Aragon and Phillip Island aside, Marquez was at a different level to his rivals for much of the 2014 season, his spectacular riding style and apparent comfort of riding from the front or in the pack – as his rivals did the maximum to defeat him -, showcasing a rider that is still seemingly getting better and better...