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Vote for your top 5 drivers of the season
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Nov 2009   |  7:06 pm GMT  |  945 comments

With all the talk of how well Jenson Button might match up to Lewis Hamilton in equal cars and whether Kimi Raikkonen is too talented to drop out of F1, I thought this would be a good moment to invite you to vote for your top five drivers of 2009.

Choose the five drivers who you think did the best job in 2009.

Do Vettel’s mistakes put him below Button? Did Alonso punch above his weight in a poor car? Does Raikkonen’s second half of the season make up for the first? How do you rate Webber’s and Barrichello’s performances?

To my mind the three criteria for judging are; how high were the peaks, how consistent was the performance level and what did they make of the machinery they were given?

Please send in your entries by clicking the comment tab at the end of this post. Anyone who selects the same top five order as me will receive a signed copy of my new book, “F1 2009: A revolutionary year” – a review of the year, which comes out next week and is based on the best of the blogs from the season, plus some new material linking it all together and a foreword from the man in the news at the moment, Ross Brawn. Photography, as ever, is by Darren Heath.

The competition is free to enter and we will announce the winners a week from today, on 24 November.

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945 Comments
  1. Top Five Drivers of 2009, thinking about relative car perfomance as well as the world championship.

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Sebastien Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

    1. Tommi says:

      1. Lewis Hamilton
      2. Kimi Räikkönen
      3. Jenson Button
      4. Sebastian Vettel
      5. Rubens Barrichello

    2. Ok, since others appear to be explaining their choices, I’ll include my reasoning…

      Alonso – An absolute dog of a car, possibly the slowest of the lot towards the end of the season, and still managed to scored 26 points and finish in the top half of the championship. Only a double champ could do that.

      Hamilton – Similar to Alonso, completely out drove Kovalainen (who may not have set the F1 world alight, but who is no slouch). Pretty much the slowest car in the field at the start of the season, but consistantly scored and finished ‘best of the rest’ at the end.

      Button – a wobble mid season, but the first half was superhuman.

      Vettel – great driver, can see many years of Hamilton v. Vettel on the cards, though a couple of ‘experience-gaining’ errors cost him at critical moments this year – he’ll be stronger for it though.

      Rosberg – Quietly scored an awful lot of points for Williams – 34.5 to Nakajima’s 0. 7th in WDC in a bottom half car is quite impressive.

      Barrichello would be close behind, though the number of times he lost critical time in races on cold tires cost him, and Webber also would be close for some great drives, especially with his lack of pre-season training. Kimi? Well, a little too hit and miss this year, it was only after Massa was injured that he came alive.

      Well that’s my tuppence worth – I suspect that all of us could argue into the small hours about this season… shows what a cracker it was.

      1. James Allen says:

        One of the top F1 engineers also put Alonso top, when I asked him. Interesting choice.

      2. Ahlapski says:

        This is a difficult one, because quite a few drivers did a very good job. Here is my list:-

        1. Jenson Button – you must have done a pretty good job if you win the World Championship regardless of the circumstances. He is lucky to have a head start, but rules are rules. If the authority said it’s ok then it’s ok. ( BTW I am not a Jenson fan.)

        2. Lewis Hamilton – Simply the most talented driver on the grid, and still improving.

        3. Fernando Alonso – Carried the whole team for the last two years.

        4. Nico Rosberg – I choose Nico over Vettel because generally the Williams is a slower car than RBR. I like to see Vettel in a Williams in 2009 and score the same number of points Nico did. He will be a force in Mercedes next year.

        5. Sebastien Vettel – He could have been champion if not for his mistakes and bad fortune. Still young, a promising driver.

        Thx.

  2. Ash says:

    1 Jenson
    2 Vettel
    3 Rubens
    4 Lewis
    5 Webber

    And Kobayashi as rookie of the year.

    1. kurt says:

      Thats the one in my book!

      Good luck with the Comp, Ash!

  3. Jacob Tyler says:

    In no paticular order

    Button
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Rosberg
    Raikkonen

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m afraid that’s an invalid entry, Jacob. It says quite clearly in the post that the order has to match mine if you want to win a signed book

  4. Maks Podzigun says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  5. Matt Walker says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel.
    2. Lewis Hamilton.
    3. Jenson Button.
    4. Kimi Räikkönen.
    5. Mark Webber.

  6. AJE says:

    Vettle
    Button
    Rubens
    Hamilton
    Kimi

  7. Charles says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  8. joel says:

    1. button – didn’t make too many mistakes
    2. vettel – a couple of mistakes and poor reliability lost him title
    3. webber – coming back from that injury
    4. hamilton – would be higher if it wasn’t for lying
    5. barichello – great season but too many mistakes, great entertainment.

    1. Phil says:

      Hi Joel,
      Comment on Hamilton silly James was asking for best drivers not political comments.

      Agree with your order mostly though>
      1. Jense, Who thought he would ever make it, brilliant
      2. Vettel, German good without needing to cheat
      3. Lewis, crap car amazing talent to score so well in the second half of the season
      4.Webber, knackered leg and past it but still drove some cracking races
      5. Rubens, similar comment to Jense but unlucky as usual

      1. Scott King says:

        Phil yours could be considered equally as silly. Webber past it but not Rubens? How is bogging your car down at the start unlucky?

      2. joel says:

        fair comment, but i still think how good a sportsman you are and how honest you are is part of what makes you good at your sport.

  9. JimR says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

  10. Jodie Kemp says:

    Top 5…

    Lewis Hamilton
    Jenson Button
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Sebastian Vettel
    Rubens Barrichello

  11. Alex says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Niko Rosberg
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Jenson Button

  12. Daniel Gomes says:

    1 – Jenson Button
    2 – Sebastian Vettel
    3 – Lewis Hamilton
    4 – Rubens Barrichello
    5 – Mark Webber

  13. Dave McAlister says:

    My top 5 based on those criteria are:

    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Button
    Vettel

  14. Ruskers says:

    1 – Vettel
    2 – Button
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Glock
    5 – Alonso

  15. Tuan Pham says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Alonso

    Props to Kabayashi. I wonder what would’ve happened if he raced the entire season.

    1. Anthony says:

      I agree, hope he gets a seat next year

  16. 1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL
    2. MARK WEBBER
    3. RUBENS BARRICHELLO
    4. JARNO TRILLU
    5. KOBAYASHI

  17. Chris Hellmund says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Giancarlo Fisichella

  18. Tibet Fonteyne says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Webber

    Hamilton beats Raikkonen because he managed to make up about a second a lap to compensate for the car in the start of the season (Barcelona, Turkey). Button is first because eventhough he had a bad middle part of the season, his start was superhuman. Vettel was simply quicker than Webber on multiple occasions, but Webber beats Rubens because he did what he did despite his injury…

  19. Ronald Ooms says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Button
    3.Hamilton
    4.Barrichello
    5.Rosberg

  20. Melanie Bentley says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    4. S Vettel
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  21. Rebecca says:

    1 (best). Hamilton: He started with a monster but kept at it. Very few drivers could have taken that beast and helped turn it into a race winner and had he not dropped out of the last race he would’ve ‘won’ the second half of the season I think.

    2. Vettel. Very consistent.

    3. Webber. He showed flashes of brilliance, particularly in mid-pack battles with the likes of Alonso.

    4. Barrichello. Achieved well despite a plethora of mechanical problems that his teammate didn’t have – that had to be frustrating. Not always consistent but again with flashes of brilliance.

    5. Raikkonen. Similar to Lewis, he achieved well with a so-so car, particularly without the development that the McLaren had at the tail end of the season.

    As it doesn’t include Button (I’d probably place Alonso, Massa in the races he achieved, and perhaps Sutil for effort in the face of a steaming pile of steel, ahead of him) we clearly won’t match up.

    Additionally, thanks for your updates, James! They’ve been fabulous.

    1. Richard Mee says:

      You’re not an ex-girlfriend are you?… it’s the only plausible reason why Jenson would be that far down the list.

      1. Rebecca says:

        Haha! No. I just don’t rate his driving style. I can see passion for driving… when he’s OFF the track. On track I see no passion, no spark, and none of the flashes of brilliance that other drivers have shown in inferior cars. Button excels in doing clean loops of the circuit when he’s got the best car, but sinks when he has to fight or when he doesn’t have the best car. He’s clean and efficient, I’ll give you that, but in my eyes that makes someone good and not great.

        The only time I’ve ever rated him was in… I believe Brazil this year.

      2. ahlapski says:

        I think you are wrong Rebecca. I wonder if you actually watch any of the races. (I have to stress that I am not a Jenson fan.) In a lot of the races during mid-season, Jens actually fights quite hard for the lower positions. He did a lot of overtaking, which is more than could be said for some other drivers.

        It is the car that is not fast enough. Also as Ross Brawn points out; for Jens to be fast he needs his car to be set up a certain way to fit his driving style. If something that is not right, he will tell the engineers to fix it, but he does not drive over it. That is his style. And with the in season testing band; this was hurting him bad. When the car isn’t quite right.

        This is the reason I prefer Hamilton; he is much more adaptable. He is simply the most talented driver on the grid.

        Back to your comment; “Vettel. Very consistent. ” If he were, he would be Champion not Jens. The thing is, regardless of circumstances, if someone who wins the World Championship did not do the best job, I don’t know who did.

        Thx

      3. krad says:

        Plus I cant see how its possible for anyone to realistically rate Rubens above Button when button beat him.

  22. Nimish says:

    Jenson Button
    Lewis Hamilton
    Nico Rosberg
    Sebastian Vettel
    Kimi Raikkonen

    1. CS says:

      1) Button
      2) Hamilton
      3) Vettel
      4) Barrichello
      5) Raikkonen

  23. Jeremy says:

    My choices for 2009 are:

    1. Button
    2. Webber
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Barrichello

  24. Paul Holt says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kamui Kobayashi
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  25. Michael says:

    My selection would be in this order.

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

    1. Michael says:

      Can I also point out that you currently don’t have a limit on number of entries. I suggest this changes so that everyone doesn’t just add every driver in every conceivable order just to get a free book :P

  26. Oliver Drew says:

    OK, here’s my top 5…

    1. Button – won the WDC, brilliant start to the season and recovery. Most consistent driver of the season.

    2. Hamilton – fantastic performance in a poor car. Really grew as a driver.

    3. Vettel – quick but inconsistent. Key mistakes really cost him.

    4. Barrichello – poor start (compared to Button) but recovered and challenged. Back to his best

    5. Raikkonen – fast in a midfield car all season long (surely he’ll be on the 2010 grid?!)

    1. Matthew H says:

      If he’s the fastest of the 2010 grid, I’ll buy you a house! ;)

      1. Oliver Drew says:

        Who? If it was Raikkonen…then unfortunately I won’t be getting a house!

    2. Matt Smith says:

      1. Hamilton
      2. Button
      3. Vettel
      4. Barrichello
      5. Webber

  27. Axel says:

    Top 5:

    1. Sebastien Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Fernando Alonso

  28. Will says:

    1 Button
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Barrichello

  29. Will says:

    1. Hamilton
    -Dogged when the car was at its worst, sublime when it was at its best. Threatening Alonso’s ‘most compete driver’ title.

    2. Alonso
    Always got the feeling that he was doing the absolute best the Renault was capable of. Considering it was often considered the 6-7th fastest car, and sometimes worse, 9th in the standings is an acheivement.

    3. Button
    Flawless in the first half of the year, and even though qualifying was poor in the second half, his race pace was always superb. Great overtaking too.

    4. Vettel
    He and the RB5 were probably the fastest overall package, and there were mistakes, but maybe not as many as people are making out. He had some bad luck too, and on his day was unbeatable.

    5. Raikkonen
    If he drove in the first half of the year like he did in the second, he’d probably be no.1. He’d probably still have a job too.

  30. Rob A says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Barrichello
    5 Webber

  31. Christian says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Webber

  32. Andrew says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  33. Jan says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

  34. ShaneG says:

    1. Button (WDC)
    2. Vettel (put up the good fight, more to come)
    3. Barrichello (oldest but not slowest)
    4. Webber (good on ya)
    5. Rosberg (consistent)

    Honorable mention to Hamilton.. had it not been for LieGate, he would be on the list. Grew as a driver by leaps and bounds. Next year will be interesting to say the least.

  35. Jason says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  36. Niko says:

    I suppose it would be dishonest to second-guess your own choices James, so I’ll stick to principle!

    1 – Hamilton
    2 – Button
    3 – Vettel
    4 – Barrichello
    5 – Rosberg

    Hmm…I thought I would have put Alonso in there!

  37. Retro says:

    1. Vettel. Raw talent.
    2. Webber. Awesome season.
    3. Kobayashi. Rookie of the year.
    4. Räikkönen. Because of the last part of the season.
    5. Hamilton. Because of the last part of the season.

    Rubens and Button dropped because it was all about the car. Even Nick could have won WDC..

    1. phil says:

      What? You drop the Brawn guys from your list and put Red Bull 1 & 2!! Now that was the fastest car and they won nothing

      1. ahlapski says:

        I agree, the RBR guys did not do that good a job this season. I they did they would be Champion.

        Remeber this is to rank who did the best job in 2009.

      2. ahlapski says:

        I agree. This is to rank who did the best job in 09. If they did they would be Champion not Jens and Brawn.

        Thx

  38. Dougie says:

    My Top 5 (as also sent to @NobleF1)

    Button
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Webber
    Kobayashi

  39. RobPullar says:

    1) Button
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Barrichello
    5) Webber

  40. Gusz says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Webber

  41. Will says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Webber

  42. George Wilson says:

    1. Button – won the world championship, and recovered well at the end of the season

    2. Vettel – hard to believe it was this kids second full season – would have put him above Button but for his mistakes

    3. Hamilton – not a fan, but have to say I was impressed with him at the end of the season

    4. Webber – lovely bloke, great to see him come good. Below Hamilton as he was a fair way from his team-mate in the end.

    5. Barrichello – as above!

  43. Lisa says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Kimi
    4. Button
    5. Barichello

  44. Christelle says:

    No particular order:

    Vettel
    Barrichello
    Button
    Webber
    Hamilton / Raikkonen (tied for 5th place)

  45. Ross Evans says:

    1. Jenson
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg

  46. Marcin Pohl says:

    1. Rosberg
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Buemi

  47. Toga says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Rosberg
    4. Alonso
    5. Hamilton

    The maxim that the table never lies is as good a starting point as any, and I use it to get the first two of my list but no more, as third and fourth place in the drivers’ championship were significantly outperformed (c. 55/45) by their teammates. Third and fourth in my top 5 are men who scored 100% of their teams’ points, which is no mean achievement however dubious their most immediate competitors’ credentials may be. Hamilton comes next, for his performances once his team found their 2009 feet. Raikkonen misses out: although he finished only a point behind Hamilton, he was outperformed by Massa for the first half of the season. Barrichello and Webber also fall short, mainly because they were both clearly number two in their respective teams (each only had one or two significant triumphs over their teammates during the season).

  48. Jasper says:

    1. Button
    6 wins, the most points, no question! Made the most of the car when it was the fastest and picked up the points when it wasn’t.

    2. Vettel
    4 wins, 2nd highest amount of points! All 4 wins were flawless unbeatable performances. The mistakes were what let him down.

    3. Hamilton
    Two wins and scored the most points in the second half of the year. Wasn’t really that impressed in the first half of the season when the car was poor, the Renault was similarly bad and yet Alonso scored more points up until Germany. His wins were flawless, but I still think his best season in F1 was 2007, it was certainly his most consistent. I think having a strong teammate in Alonso pushed him to get the best out of himself, I think he really needs that in a teammate to be at his best.

    4. Raikkonen
    1 win that was really flattered by KERS, but all his other results, from the podium in Monaco onwards were pretty impressive, and he seemed to get the best out of the car, particulary once Massa was injured unfortunately.

    5. Alonso
    No wins, but should he really have scored 26 points, a podium, 2 fastest laps and a pole position in that car? And besides Button’s great overtaking moves and the KERS equipped Hamilton the other main source of overtaking seemed to be Alonso.

    That’s my opinion anyway, thanks for such great coverage through the year James and here’s to 2010!

  49. Jackson says:

    1) Hamilton
    2) Vettel
    3) Button
    4) Barrichello
    5) Alonso

  50. martin says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  51. Peter M says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

    I so want to put Kimi on this list, but who would you bump? If I have it wrong I suspect it is because of #2 and #3.

  52. Stefan Zwinkels says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Barrichello
    5 Webber

  53. Dave P says:

    1 Jenson
    2 Vettel
    3 Rubens
    4 Lewis
    5 Webber

  54. Vikkie Souter says:

    1) Hamilton
    2) Barrichello
    3) Vettel
    4) Button
    5) Massa

  55. Ahmed Youssef says:

    Hmmm… i need to think like James Allen…

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Barichello
    5. Webber

    Oh, and please, someone sign Kobayashi!

  56. Andres says:

    1.Hamilton – Had a dip after lying gate but then recovered, rallied the team around him and won twice. Amazing

    2.Raikonnen – With the worst Ferrari of the last 10 years, had some amazing drives even after Scuderia stopped developing the car.

    3.Vettel – Mounted serious challenge but made silly mistakes with the car that was always a challenger from the word go.

    4.Barrichello – Went beyond what was expected of him and challenged Button for the championship. Unfortunately the dips were all baking related and that will always define hima as a second tier driver.

    5.Button – Peaked during first half of the season with the best car of the field. Had a full half season dip that was both car and driver related and still clinched the championship so deserve to be the 5th best driver in the season.

  57. Tim Horton says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Nico Rosberg

  58. Wintermute says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Kimi Raikonen
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  59. Phil says:

    I’ll go for:

    Button
    Lewis
    Kimi
    Alonso
    Vettel

    1. Phil says:

      BTW, that’s in order from top (best)

  60. StephenR says:

    1, Vettel
    2, Hamilton
    3, Raikkonen
    4, Button
    5, Barrichello

  61. Andy says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Alonso
    5. Kobayashi

  62. si says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Rubens Barrichelo
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Mark Webber

  63. George says:

    Mine would be:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Räikkönen
    5. Kobayashi

  64. Callum says:

    Based on your criteria:

    1)Button
    2)Vettel
    3)Hamilton
    4)Webber
    5)Raikonnen

    It was close between alonso & raikonnen, but I think Raikonnen regained some of the reputation he had lost over the last year or 2 by coming on strong

  65. Chris says:

    1 Jenson
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Webber
    5 Barrichello

  66. joe,sydney says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Raikonen
    5. Webber

  67. CRT says:

    1 – Jenson Button
    2 – Sebastian Vettel
    3 – Lewis Hamilton
    4 – Rubens Barrichello
    5 – Mark Webber

  68. René Mellerup says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Rosberg
    3. Barrichello
    4. Button
    5. Massa

  69. jonas says:

    1 Jenson
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Barrichello
    5 Webber

  70. Rupert says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  71. Robert says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  72. Andys says:

    1 – Lewis Hamilton
    2 – Jenson Button
    3 – Rubens Barrichello
    4 – Sebastian Vettel
    5 – Mark Webber

  73. Aaron James says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Rubens
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  74. Steve JR says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Rosberg
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton

  75. Zarooch says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Seb. Vettel
    4. Rubens Barichello
    5. Jenson Button

    And yes I know, my list won’t be the same as James, so no book free book I guess. I’ll buy it anyway.

  76. George says:

    Well, here goes:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

    …that was harder than I thought

  77. chetz says:

    1.Lewis Hamilton

    2.Kimi Raikkonen

    3.Sebastien Vettel

    4.Jenson Button

    5.Adrian Sutil

    am pretty sure wudnt match up with the final list.. cos kimi is at 2.. cant help it..both lewis n he drove monster trucks this year…not F1 cars.

  78. Randall says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Mark Weber
    5. Kamui Kobayashi

  79. Dan_G says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

  80. Ankur Prakash says:

    1. S Vettel
    2. J Button
    3. L Hamilton
    4. M Webber
    5. N Rosberg

  81. martin_tf says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Barichello

  82. Nick says:

    1. Hamilton – Out performed the car turned season around
    2. Button – Cracking start looked untouchable then midseason tail off
    3. Vettel – Fast but sporadic
    4. Barrichello – Turned back the years in second half
    5. Kobayashi – Explosive

  83. mfelat says:

    1 button
    2 hamilton
    3 vettel
    4 raikkonen
    5 barichello

  84. Brian Hendrick says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Massa

  85. Ian Lawrence says:

    Hello James,
    My top 5 would be:
    1: Jenson Button
    2: Sebastien Vettel
    3: Lewis Hamilton
    4: Fernando Alonso
    5: Kimi Raikkonen

    Great blog too BTW!

  86. Ramy says:

    Hi, here is my vote James.

    1- Button
    2- Vettel
    3- Hamilton
    4- Barrichello
    5- Rosberg

    this is considering all the points you mentioned in your text.

    cheers,

  87. tarun says:

    1 jenson
    2 vettel
    3 barrichelo
    4 raikkonen
    5 hamilton

  88. Luke Potter says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Fernando Alonso

  89. James McNulty says:

    My top 5,

    Jenson Button
    Lewis Hamilton
    Sebastian Vettel
    Mark Webber
    Nico Rosberg

    Thanks for all the quality inside info. Roll on 2010! Ps any info on Lotus? Do you think they will be on the pace, better still do you think they will have a mock Lotus 25, 49 or 79 livery?

  90. Chris says:

    1) Hamilton – Pulled the McLaren to the front in second half of the season
    2) Button – consistency throughout the season
    3) Vettel – Future WDC, made a few errors
    4) Webber – Great comeback from his out of season accident
    5) Raikkonen – Drove well in a skittish Ferrari

  91. Janet says:

    My Top 5 are as follows:

    1- Lewis Hamilton
    2- Sebastian Vettel
    3- kimi Raikkonen
    4- Jenson Button
    5- Rubens Barichello

    Honorable mention: kamui Kobayashi

  92. onyx says:

    1.Button-easily ‘driver’ of the year in terms of being the driver we all took an interest in and was mighty in those first few races
    2.Hamilton-probably the best out there now after a lack-lustre season from Alonso
    3.Vettel-fast but a few errors and when did he actually overtake anyone(another Massa in my book,fast out front)
    4.Rosberg-a decent job in not a great car
    5.Sutil-would be winning in a top car

  93. LMW says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

  94. Fulveo Ballabeo says:

    1. Button: World Champ. 6 wins. Consistent points. ’nuff said.

    2. Hamilton: Look what he did with that car (particularly vs. Heikki). Made most of 2nd-half comeback.

    3. Alonso: Consistently outperformed equipment.

    4. Vettel: The real deal. Effort undermined by inconsistency.

    5. Webber: Breakout season.

  95. Érico says:

    1 – Hamilton. Had a torrid and terrible start to the season (together with McLaren), but he picked it up, had many strong races and finished the season as a force to be reckoned with, lifting McLaren to 3rd in the WCC in the meantime;
    2 – Massa. He drove for only the first half of the season in a poor car and had plenty of bad luck (like his DNF at China), but his grit, speed and maturity were evident and worthy of praise. Once more he prevailed against Raikkonen and lead Ferrari;
    3 – Raikkonen. Was it Massa’s absence or a new found fighting spirit? We don’t know. But he also had a fantastic second half of the season and put the car where it didn’t belong. Fisichella went from pole and podium in a FI to slow and embarassing at his side;
    4 – Button. Worthy champion, made the best of the car and then played it strictly by the book.
    5 – Vettel. So good, so fast, so young. if it weren’t for some mistakes and misjudgements, could have put a real fight against Button.

  96. zemaverick says:

    1.Button
    2.Vettel
    3.Hamilton
    4.Kimi
    5.Rubens

  97. steph90 says:

    I’m trying to guess James picks now rather than thinking of my own!:P
    1/ Button
    2/Hamilton
    3/ Vettel (too many errors though)
    4/ Alonso
    5/ Raikkonen

  98. Dan Hager says:

    1.Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  99. Elliot says:

    1- button
    2- vettel
    3- hamilton
    4- webber
    5- barichello

  100. Luke Robbins says:

    1. Button.

    2. Vettel.

    3. Barrichello.

    4. Raikkonen,

    5. Webber.

  101. Simon says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Barrichello
    5. Roseberg

  102. Malcom says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

    Honorable mention Sebastian Buemi

  103. Kav says:

    I doubt this is your selection but for me it was:

    1. Raikkonen (I’m not a fanboy blindly voting for him, but his car was rubbish and unreliable in the beginning of the season, and average for the rest and rubbish again at the end, and the fact he got 5 podiums including a win when his car was maybe 4th or 5th best at Spa, and was close to scoring a pole at Monaco, and also was just one point behind Hamilton who had a car able to fight for the big points after Silverstone)

    2. Massa (This isn’t a sympathy vote, and its impossible to judge whether he would be able to achieve Raikkonen’s result if he weren’t injured but the fact is he scored a huge 22 points in that rubbish Ferrari, and before his injury he was the one who impressed me most)

    3. Hamilton (His car was not worth mention at the beginning of the European season, but when the car came good he was great, taking as many poles as the two top title contenders had all year! Seeing Hamilton come alive showed the title contenders how its done, fighting for podiums and not just settling for small points)

    4. Fernando Alonso (I think people give Alonso too much credit sometimes, but this year despite not being seen, he managed to get a large amount of points despite having a horrible car)

    5. Rosberg (I wasn’t sure whether to choose him as I was largely impressed at his consistent form, although his car was far superior to the Renault and Alonso wasn’t too far off in the points.. and I have a feeling if Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton, or even Vettel, they would have forced that car to win or atleast get a few podiums, it wouldn’t even have a choice in the matter. But his team did let him down when the car was at its most competitive so I’m sure if it weren’t for that he’d have scored a lot more points.)

    The BMW drivers deserve a mention as their car was as bad as the previous Honda’s for most of the season, and they proved at the end of the season that they bring the points in when the car is good enough.

    Disappointment of the year was seeing Massa injured, I wanted to see if he could force a car to win even if it weren’t the best. We were robbed of that.

  104. LEA says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Button
    5. Barrichello

  105. Subbaraman V says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rubens
    5. Kimi

  106. Dave Chapman says:

    1) Button – Scored points in every race apart from one when he was taken out by a rookie. Performed some magic overtakes through out the season and aprat from a few issues in quali never put a foot wrong

    2) Vettel – Great season had the fastest car on the grid for most of the season but the lack of experience let him down. far to many mistake to be the best and struggled to overtake all season long

    3) Alonso – Still the most complete driver on the grid made the best of what renault gave him .Was great to watch and will be fantastic next year in a ferrari

    4) Barrichello – Poor start to the season but came back strong in the middle part of the season but never really got the better of Jenson on race pace should have won more races this season

    5) Hamilton – Poor car at the start of the season and made far to many mistakes. Showed his ture colours early on when things were tough and he started to turn against his team but turned it around late on when he had more horse power than everyone he was racing. should have scored alot more points than he did must do better if he gets Button as a team mate next year

  107. Dan Hager says:

    In no particular order

    1. Button – won the championship
    2. Vettel – solid improvement
    3. Hamilton – seriously fast at end of year.
    4. Rosberg – for consistent finishes
    5. Barrichello – for sticking up to Brawn and winning seeveral races.

  108. Claudio Nunez says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Alonso
    4. Button
    5. Vettel

  109. Dean Coulter says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

  110. Bill Baars says:

    1. Hamilton – With great factory support, dragged that sorry chassis up the field; champion of the second half of the season.
    2. Alonso – 26 points with possibly the worst chassis. His teammates scored…0
    3. Raikonnen – Badoer and Fisichella demonstrated how difficult it was to drive the F60, but Kimi was outpaced by Massa.
    4. Button – Did what he needed to with a car that was miles ahead.
    5. Vettel – If only the double diffuser been declared illegal. But he also committed too many mistakes.

  111. Jimmi C says:

    I agree with Mr Davies at the top of the page.

    1. Fernando Alonso
    He wrung the neck out of a dreadful car and achieved results that he had no right to. Still, for me, the best overall package as a driver.

    2. Lewis Hamilton
    Everyone behind the scenes at Woking deserves a large slice of Hamilton’s praise for teaching a real dog how to walk and then run this season. But I think Lewis has really matured and he may end up exchanging his raw, blinding pace for something more rounded (like Alonso.) Less haste, more speed!

    3. Jenson Button.
    For the first part of the season he had the best car, but he also dominated Barrichello. For the second part he went to pieces (which no mere mortal can begrudge.) I doubt he could’ve done what my top two achieved in their respective cars though.

    4. Sebastien Vettel.
    Wins personality of the season hands down.

    5. Nico Rosberg.
    Because Kobayashi only raced twice. Another one who rode a lame horse faster than it deserved to be ridden. I really hope he gets his debut win next season and maybe pushes for the championship the season afterwards.

  112. Rick Hayes says:

    Top for me:

    1: Alonso, Still in a League of his own.

    2: Barrichello, Many people wrote him off before the season started, but despite being the oldest on the grid him drove like rookie full of fight, speed and fire in the belly.

    3. Vettel, Yes he made some mistakes but it was only his second full season and his performances were stunning at times.

    4.Webber, If things had worked out a little different for him he could of been right in the Title fight in the End. Plus the little testing and recovering from a broken leg were two more reasons why he stood above others.

    5.Button, His first half of the season was superb, although the second half was less so, but I believe it was self inflicted pressure rather than a loss of talent.

    For me Mclaren’s staff were the bigger hero in that team than Hamilton. He’s still makes poor calls and mistakes including the lie-gate with the stewards. Plus on the occasions where Heikki matched him in qualifying with a car that was often up to 6 tenths slower.

  113. josh cordon says:

    1. Hamilton

    2. Button

    3. Vettel

    4. Barrichello

    5. Alonso

  114. Brandon Merrell says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Rubens Barichello
    5. Mark Webber

  115. Adam Harwood says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Weber

  116. Neil Kenward says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  117. Andrew says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  118. Dom says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Webber

  119. Jeffyfish says:

    1) Lewis Hamilton
    2) Adrian Sutil
    3) Jenson Button
    4) Sebastian Vettel
    5) Nico Rosberg

  120. Jamie Kirkland says:

    1. Button
    2. Kimi
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Barrichello

  121. Paul says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Alonso

  122. Don says:

    1 – Button
    2 – Hamilton
    3 – Buemi
    4 – Vettel
    5 – Raikkonan

  123. Pat says:

    Badoer
    Grosjean
    Nakajima
    Piquet
    Bourdais :)

    That’s gotta be worth a book !!

    1. Pat says:

      No seriously….

      1) Button
      (Made the most of his car when it was quickest, scored points in every round it wasn’t & he wasn`t punted off in – Then recovered from a disasterous qualifying session by putting it behind him & putting in a World Class performance when it mattered gaining 9 places with some great overtaking manouveres to win the F1 WDC).

      2) Hamilton
      (Kept his head down when his car was poop focussed with the team on putting it right then outscored every one in the second half of the season)

      3) Vettel
      (We forget how young this driver is – 2nd in WDC although Monaco & Turkey blotted his cop book).

      4) Webber
      (Showed great character and steel to recover from his broken leg off season and put in some stealthy drives to regularly pop-up very near the front at the end of races).

      5) Rosberg
      (Single handedly scored all of Williams` points in a car that wasn`t really up to it this year).

      1. Keith says:

        If Pat wins, does he/she get a book for each of his/her entries? If so can I have one……

  124. Supratim Chaudhury says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  125. Nathan says:

    1. Button

    2. Barrichello

    3. Hamilton

    4. Vettel

    5. Webber

  126. 1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Raikkonen

  127. Yasir Shah says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikonnen
    5. Barrichelo

  128. Babur says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton

  129. 1. Button: 6 wins in 7 races and enough skill to make sure he made it home to never relinquish the lead in the championship, a season ending podium and one in Monza that is often forgotten as Hamilton and Barrichello dominated in Italy.
    2. Vettel: Obviously the new rainmaster, but still young and prone to mistakes. His wins were solid.
    3. Hamilton: Like Alonso last year, found form in last half of season and outdrove the car, even though it got pretty good anyway.
    4. Barrichello: His wins were brilliant, both at expense of Hamilton, but the “old” guy still has it, Button was worried for a while when Rubens closed the gap considerably.
    5. This is a tough call, Sutil showed wonderful promise many times and was usually a statistic courtesy of Raikonnen, but Fisichella claimed first points and damn near won with the Force India at Spa, a memorable drive on a track he’s done well at, but his Ferrari lack of performance could boil down to his certain track ability, he should have gone better in Brazil where he won his first race ever. So not them, Webber’s two wins were solid, but he did very little to back them up, so not him either, Kobyashi who should be given a Star Trek uniform as he shares his name with Kirk’s infamous no-win situation Kobyashi Maru, was a stand-out rookie, easily overshadowing Grosjean and Aguilisari (sp?) and deserves to drive for someone. Kubica did a great podium run at Brazil, but the BMW was useless all season. Alonso despite his team’s ineptness and the ousting of Flav, completely destroyed his teammates and had a brilliant pole, and a well deserved podium, and the inevitable Ferrari seat. Raikonnen won in Spa because there was a safety car and he had KERS, and without it, Fisichella won in a Force India, a few podiums may be ok, but not enough to stay at Ferrari. Massa never really got going when his accident occurred, but they kept him, he will be a star, last year was proof. So of Raikonnen, Massa, Kubica, Kobyashi, or Alonso, it has to be Alonso, only 5th because his car sucked, or he’d be 1st.

  130. Paul Howard says:

    Button – champion on a rookie team – no more needs to be said

    Vettel – a future champ, who outdrove a very good teammate

    Hamilton – took a very slow car and delivered some really consistent and solid results, esp. in 2nd 1/2 of season

    Rosberg – a respectable point total in any car, delivered in a Williams. Just compare to his teammate for validation of the exceptional aspect to his season.

    Sutil – I debated about Alonso in this spot – but if not for some unfortunate luck, Sutil would have had an amazing point total, in a Force India nonetheless. A great season nonetheless.

  131. El Shish says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens
    5. Mark Webber

  132. Huggy says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  133. John says:

    1. Lewis
    2. Jenson
    3. Sebastian V.
    4. Barrichello
    5. Mark

  134. Euan Thompson says:

    1.Jenson Button
    2.Lewis Hamilton
    3.Sebastian Vettel
    4.Fernando Alonso
    5.Mark Webber

  135. RPJ says:

    1. Hamilton – ‘monstered’ a bad car, genius (gets my vote for the doughnuts a Silverstone alone!)
    2. Button – quick and consistant (mainly!)
    3. Raikkonen – out performed an underdeveloped car
    4. Vettel – quick, but a little inconsistant
    5. Webber – came a long way from his accident, great drive in Brazil that has been overlooked a bit.

  136. Mikko Haarala says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Sutil
    5. Rosberg

  137. Dave K says:

    1: Button
    2: Vettel
    3: Hamilton
    4: Webber
    5: Barrichello

  138. Robert Stokes says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  139. CMR says:

    1. Jenson Button – He is World Champion
    2. Lewis Hamilton – Won races with a horrible car
    3. Sebastian Vettel – Brilliant with mistakes
    4. Rubens Barrichello – More than just driving
    5. Kimi Räikkönen – Enigma, but so fast

  140. Lizzie says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Raikkonen
    4 Hamilton
    5 Barrichello

  141. Jenson Button
    In the first half of the season Jenson made the most of the car and, crucially, made no mistakes and had Rubens on the back foot. The last two races reversed the decline in his reputation mid season.

    Lewis Hamilton
    Reinforced his reputation as the hardest tryer on the grid with his uncompromising effort to get back to the front. Surely the fastest man in F1. A similar poll for manufacturers would surely put McLaren at the top of the list for their achievement in turning a real dog into a multiple race winner.

    Rubens Barichello
    Many good performances but Rubens made one or two crucial mistakes and let Button build up too much of an advantage in the first half of the season.

    Sebastian Vettel
    Had he and the team made fewer mistakes, Sebastian would have been ahead of Rubens. Watch this space.

    Kimi Raikkonen
    Like Lewis, hampered by a pretty poor car which Ferrari abandonded in the second half of the season, unlike McLaren. Kimi did wonders with it – but only after he knew he was almost certain to lose the drive.

    In case you thought I had forgotten him :

    Fernando Alonso
    His undoubted skills shone through on a few occasions but nothing like often enough to displace the others on this list.

  142. Rob Collins says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Webber

  143. JB says:

    1. RAI
    2. VET
    3. HAM
    4. BUT
    5. BAR

  144. David Young says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Seb Vettel
    4. Rubens Barichello
    5. Mark Webber

  145. Sian Carter says:

    1. Button – for a brilliant start and continued consistancy.
    2. Webber – for overcoming serious, career-threatening injuries, and still keeping Vettel honest.
    3. Hamilton – for his never-say-die attitude and dealing with that dog of a car early in the season.
    4. Vettel – his inconsistancy cost him a higher place.
    5. Barrichello – off pace early in the season but came on song half way through.

  146. Jacob molenkamp says:

    1)Button
    2)Vettel
    3)Hamilton
    4)Barichello
    5)Webber

  147. 1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Barichello
    5. Hamilton

  148. Craig says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Webber
    4. Alonso
    5. Glock

  149. Silverstoned says:

    peaks, consistency, machinery, bearing in mind that the trick is to guess James’s list:
    1- Button
    2- Hamilton
    3- Alonso
    4- Vettel
    5- Raikkonen

  150. Jackie says:

    5. Barrichello – Did well to take the title fight to the penultimate race of the season. However he was in a car that was clearly the class of the field in the early stages and failed to capitalise.

    4. Webber – Fought back from a very nasty injury to become a title contender and take his first victory.

    3. Vettel – Was in the best car during the 2nd half of the season but made to many mistakes to be champion, this season!

    2. Hamilton – Had a car that was clearly a dog early on, although it did improve greatly during the later half of the year. The first part of the season is best forgotten; however in the 2nd half Hamilton proved that form is temporary, class is forever.

    1. Button – Trounced the opposition in the first 5 races, and put in some fighting performances during the rest of the season. Finished it off with champion’s drive in Brazil and, after all, the table doesn’t lie. Jenson Button, World Champion.

  151. Seb says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Sebastian Vettel

    1. Seb says:

      Thats wrong, my list is actually:

      1. Fernando Alonso
      2. Jenson Button
      3. Lewis Hamilton
      4. Kimi Raikkonen
      5. Sebastian Vettel

  152. Mahendar Jain says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Button
    5. Barrichello

  153. Josh H says:

    1) Hamilton for dragging a dog of a car up to the front of the grid.

    2) Button – great start to the season in undoubtedly the best car but fell away terribly in the second half of the season.

    3) Vettel – If it wasn’t for the Renault he would probably be world champion.

    4) Kimi – Ferrari might have given up but Kimi didn’t. Would be a great shame if this season is the last we see of him in F1

    5) Barrichello – Pushed Jenson hard but didn’t have the pace early in the season due to break issues.

    Special mentions to Kobiyashi, Webber & Fisi

    Worst drivers of the year Luca Badoer, Piquet & Heikki

  154. TheNewNo2 says:

    1) Hamilton

    2) Barrichelllo

    3) Webber

    4) Vettel

    5) Massa

    I omit Button because while his first races were exceptional, he really pissed me off with his whining. Anyone can drive a good car quickly, but it takes true skill to drive a not so good car quick, and he utterly failed that test.

    1. TheNewNo2 says:

      That and that awful beard.

  155. Mark Edwards says:

    Based on driver performance, effort and commitemnt and circumstances, regardless of points scored.

    Top 5 are

    1 Alonso
    2 Button
    3 Hamilton
    4 Vettel
    5 Barrichello just edges Webber for 5th

  156. Navillus says:

    1. Button

    2. Vettel

    3. Hamilton

    4. Webber

    5. Raikkonen

  157. Soroush says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  158. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastien Vettel
    4. Fernando Alonso
    3. Rubens Barrichello

  159. Henrik says:

    1. Lewis – a few mistakes, but the best raw pace;
    2. Jenson – struggled a bit in qualis in the second half, but racepace was consistently good and basically no mistakes;
    3. Sebastian – fast on a consistent basis, but like Hamilton, a few mistakes;
    4. Kimi – generally good, including some very impressive drives, with a few dips here and there;
    5. Fernando – probably as good as always, but that special icing on the cake (memorable top drive like Fuji in’08) has been missing this season.

  160. Coco comley says:

    Hamilton – improvement over season, must be a race engineer’s wet dream
    vettel – flawed genius, his wet weather driving was awesome
    button – first six and last but one! Rest was too “Ginger”
    kimi – when he can be bothered
    webber – because he reminds me of eddy Irvine!

  161. Seb says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Sebastian Vettel

  162. Ali says:

    Here is my top 5:

    1) Jenson Button
    2) Kimi Raikkonen
    3) Lewis Hamilton
    4) Sebastian Vettel
    5) Nico Rosberg

  163. Richard says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Alonso

  164. Xiaogang Mao says:

    My top five in 2009 are:
    1.Sebastian Vettel
    2.Lewis Hamilton
    3.Jenson Button
    4.Fernando Alonso
    5.Niko Rosberg

  165. Steve says:

    My top 5 would have to be:

    1. Jenson – did everything that was asked of him, won in the first half of the season, brought it home in the second half

    2. Lewis Hamilton – Very impressive second half. His lie-gate experience can’t be forgiven though, and that’s what keeps him off the top

    3. Vettel. The only driver to really take the challenge to Button. However, his numerous mistakes at the start of the season (Melbourne, Sepang and Monaco) rule him out for the top spot.

    4. Webber. Has finally come of age this season, winning his first race, gaining pole positions. However, he was inconsistent at the start of the season.

    5. Barrichello. A mature season, whilst not matching Button’s heights, he has had an impressive season late in his career.

    Drivers who missed the cut: Raikkonen – he was anonymous until Massa’s accident. The early season lack of application was unforgivable.
    Rosberg. He missed the top 5 since he missed the podium all season. He was presented with a fast car, particularly at the start of the season, but failed to capitalise.

  166. Paul says:

    1. Raikkonen – Clearly the Ferrari was a very difficult car to drive and yet he did pretty well.

    2. Hamilton – He definitely got a lot out of a car that was not so great.

    3. Vettel – without mistakes, no one was better.

    4. Button – mistake free to start and consistent enough from the middle to win the WDC.

    5. Barrichello – even with the problems he had he still was there in the end.

  167. Stephen Russell says:

    1. Vettel – His drives in Japan and China were stunning (quali in China when he had 1 lap per session and nailed pole was amazing!)
    2. Button – Had the best car at the start but so did Rubens, while in other years they were even for pace, given a gd car Button produced)
    3. Raikkonen – Won a race when his car was a dog all year and when his team had clearly given up on the year. The fact his team mates after Massa were so bad shows him up even higher. Also his win at Spa was achieved in a car that was clearly not the fastest.
    4. Webber – To come back from the dreadful injury he suffered last year was incredible, to win 2 races and push his very talented team mate soo hard was also very impressive. If only button hadnt got that lead at the start of the season what a really exciting championship it could have been!
    5. Hamilton – Won twice and could have been twice, but his car was developed extremley well, they didnt give up like Ferrari. Start of season liegate deserves to count against him

  168. John says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  169. Zvonimir says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Kobayashi

  170. Rory Alex says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Alonso

  171. Kenny Carwash says:

    1. Button
    2. Barrichello
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Webber

  172. My 5:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  173. fakeru says:

    1.Nico Rosberg
    2.Lewis Hamilton
    3.Sebastian Vettel
    4.Jenson Button
    5.Rubens Barrichello

  174. My 5:

    1.Hamilton
    2.Button
    3.Vettel
    4.Barrichello
    5.Webber

  175. Tim Lumley says:

    My selection would be in this order:

    1. Button

    2. Vettel

    3. Hamilton

    4. Webber

    5. Barrichello

  176. Bloke says:

    1. Button – overtaking, 6 wins, consistent points
    2. Vettel – wins,pace, but too many mistakes
    3. Barichello – life in the old dog yet
    4. Webber – recovery from injury, Brazil
    5. Hamilton – great turnaround, but cant deny he lied.

  177. Jiong Yang says:

    1.Sebastian Vettel
    2.Lewis Hamilton
    3.Jenson Button
    4.Kimi Raikkonen
    5.Fernando Alonso

  178. Conor mclarnon says:

    1 jenson b. Still don’t rate him but did good job dis year
    2 s vettel. Flashes of total brillance but few costly mistakes
    3 f alonso. Dragged Renault higher than it really should have been does the man every make a mistake
    tied for 4th between kimi r and l hamilton. Both dragged dogs up the grid but both made more mistakes than alonso. Kimi in Spain and oz and Hamilton in china Monaco silverstone monza come to mind.

  179. AlexD says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – I do not like him, but he was consistently faster that his team mate, he extracted maximum from the car, he was constantly fighting and he was always on the edge.
    2. Kimi Raikonnen – I was shocked by his performance this year. He was as fast as you can only be, no mistakes, pure focus and impressive drive. Spa was just one great race
    3. Button – great start of the season, but he was overshadowed by Rubens and could have lost his WDC, but had enough points in his bag and was lucky that RBR was not so reliable
    4. Vettel – he was great, but he is a poor overtaker. He made some mistakes and I was not so impressed with his starts and his overtaking.
    5. Alonso – managed to do some great racing in probably the worst car

  180. Lady Snowcat says:

    I don’t think so James…

    I am pretty certain that my ideas and your ideas won’t co-incide…

    For example you’ll certainly have Lewis higher than I would have…. in line with almost all your voters so far…

    I think if you awarded points for how good the car was relatively speaking and how it was suited to a driver’s style… and take those points away from the final WDC positions you may get somewhere close…

    But everything is always perception… otherwise known as smoke and mirrors… can we suggest it is more scientific than that?… but then smoke and mirrirs are scientific aren’t they?…

    And in the end, who knows,I may be wrong?… and you may get things exactly right… and agree with me…. but I think not…

    1. Stevie P says:

      Blimey! You only have to list your top 5 of the year Miss Snowcat, if they match James’s 5 you’ll get a book. He’s not going to put you over his knee, if your lists don’t match.

      And yes, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion (from their own perceptions) – even the person that had Fisi at No 5.

      So here’s my opinion…

      My top 5:-

      1, Button – WDC, dominant when the car was great; kept it together (just!) as the pack closed in and the immense pressure built.

      2, Vettel – really should have been WDC; too many race mistakes. Confirmed his undoubted talent though.

      3, Webber – fought well alongside and against his team-mate; first wins too for the Aussie. Shame about the accident pre-season, messed him up big-time.

      4, Hamilton – only just though!! Car was a dog to start with but kept racing. Yes he lied, but I feel young ‘uns will tow the party-line – he’s learned from that (I hope)!

      5, Rubens – Should have done better early on, when the car was well ahead; but great to see there’s life in the old dog (ha ha, he’s younger than me – just!). I didn’t like his emotional outbursts, but I can understand where it came from and the “blah blah blah” still makes me smile.

      Kimi? Anyone who’s enjoying an ice-cream, when a race might re-start… err, hmmm!?!? I like his laidback ways… but he only came alive when he realised Alonso was in with a sniff of his seat. [I don't think we'll see him next season]

      Alonso? Well, he may have driven the wheels of the car… but you expect that of him. Keeping his tinder dry for 2010 in a scarlet car, me thinks.

      Massa? A much better job than Kimi, until his unfortunate moment in Hungary.

      Ok, I’ll get me coat… ;-)

    2. Dean says:

      HAHA!!!!…Bravo!

  181. Dean says:

    Button – Rags to riches Champion

    Vettel – Champion in waiting

    Raikkonen – Scored the 2nd most points of the latter season yet drove a dog of a car.

    Hamilton – Same as Kimi, however, the car was still developed throughout the season

    Barrichello – Always a bridesmaid never the bride

  182. Declan says:

    1. vettel
    2. button
    3. alonso
    4. fisichella
    5. rosberg

  183. Fernando Sandrini says:

    1 – Button
    2 – Raikkonen
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Vettel
    5 – Alonso

  184. Jonathan Chan says:

    1. Jenson Button – The driver with the most points, redeemed himself after second half slump with stunning drives in Brazil and Abu Dubai
    2. Lewis Hamilton – Wrang the neck out of the
    the Mp4-24, but made some silly mistakes in Monza and Monte Carlo
    3. Sebastian Vettel – Stunningly quick, patches of brilliance, areas of immaturity
    4. Kimi Raikkonen – Kept Ferrari in the fight for 3rd despite car developement being haulted for next season.
    5. Kamui Kobayashi – From Sushi to Gold, showed Roman Grosjean & Nelson Piquit Jr how to drive an F1 car and show up your expierienced team mate. Hope he finds a drive!

    Just for fun – Second Choices – (It was tough not to pick these guys)

    1. Roman Grosjean – Added value for spectators, synchronized spinning at every race.
    2. Heikki Kovalainen – Lewis 6 podiums – Heikki – 0 – Enough said.
    3. Nelson Piquit Jr – R.Grosjean made Nelson look good
    4. Luca Badoar – How not to forefill your Ferrari dream by being 3 seconds off the pace each race and assume you’ll be in the points in Monza.
    5. Kazuki Nakajima – Outshone, outdriven and outhussled by his rookie friend from Japan. P45 – Sign here please.

  185. maria jose says:

    los 5 mejores pilotos son:
    1.Alonso
    2.Rosberg
    3.Barriquelo
    4.Wettel
    5.Button

  186. teamworkf1 says:

    1- Kimi Raikkonen
    2- Lewis Hamilton
    3- Kimi Raikkonen
    4- Lewis Hamilton
    5- Heikki Kovalainen

    1. Ginger says:

      Interesting choice at number 5. Why?

  187. btjones says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

  188. Metin says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Button
    3.Webber
    4.Raikkonen
    5.Kobayashi

  189. Stu says:

    Based on your criteria and that we have to guess who you picked.

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Barrichello

  190. Martin says:

    1: Button
    2: Hamilton
    3: Vettel
    4: Webber
    5: Rosberg

  191. Mike Pinto says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  192. Steven says:

    My top five would be:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – an amazing season given the dog of a car.
    2. Jenson Button – consistant and showed blinding speed
    3. Vettel – drove well but made some mistakes
    4. Barrichello – didn’t produce the speed when he needed it the most
    5. Raikkonen – drove well in a Ferrari that was not being developed

  193. Edward Smith says:

    1.Lewis Hamilton
    2.Seb Vettel
    3.Jenson Button
    4.Nico Rosberg
    5.Kimi Raikkonen

  194. raffamuffin says:

    My personal top 5 are:

    Button,
    Hamilton,
    Vettel
    Barrachello
    Wehher

  195. kuilis says:

    Button
    Hami
    Kimi
    Seb
    Rubens

  196. Sublimeuk says:

    1. Button – You only get to be WC if you are better than the rest

    2. Hamilton – Drove above and beyond the capabilities of his equipment

    3. Vettel – Got much better lap times out of the same car than MW

    4. Sutil – Made the most of his car when he could

    5. Buemi – Quietly consistant

  197. Phil says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Räikkönen

  198. SD says:

    1. Button
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Rosberg

  199. Ed says:

    1. Alonso

    2. Hamilton

    3. Vettel

    4 Button

    5. Massa

  200. Andrew Cecil says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

  201. Meeklo says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Rubens
    4. Kobi
    5. Button

  202. Padeepa says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Button
    5. Rosberg

  203. Nick Tabbal says:

    1 Button
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikonnen
    5 Barichello

  204. Al (21prods) says:

    In my opinion, considering the three criteria, top five drivers of 2009 would be:

    1. Button (who could expect him to become WDC when Honda pulled out?).
    2. Barrichello (same reasoning, except that he did not make it happen).
    3. Alonso (poor car, incredible he got a podium).
    4. Hamilton (he got to the top as soon as the car got into grips).
    5. Raikkonen (that car seemed undriveable, as Badoer and even Fisichella proved)

  205. Brian says:

    Jenson Button
    Lewis Hamilton
    Rubens barrichello
    Sebastien Vettel
    Fernando Alonso

    I know in F1 we can never use “IF” Vettel could have comfortably covered Jenson to the tittle had it not been for reliability. Everytime Jenson had a bad race, the Red Bulls did badly apart from reliability headaches.

  206. Eaun Taylor says:

    1. Jenson Button

    2. Sebastian Vettel

    3. Lewis Hamilton

    4. Rubens Barrichello

    5. Nico Rosberg

  207. Peter Wright says:

    1. Button
    2. Lewis
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi
    5. Nico

  208. Ian Chilton says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  209. FC says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Alonso

  210. Peter Williams says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  211. Ben Brouard says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  212. Myles Jee says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Barrichello
    4. Webber
    5. Fisichella

  213. Adam G says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Rosberg
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Alonso

    Honourable mention: Raikkonen, Massa, Trulli, Glock

  214. VV says:

    1. Button.
    2. Vettel.
    3. Hamilton.
    4. Barrichello.
    5. Webber.

  215. Anthony says:

    -Lewis Hamilton (made the most out of a bad machinery, beat teammate)
    -Jenson Button (high peaks/consistency)
    -Sebastian Vettel (high peaks)
    -Kimi Raikkonen (made the most out of a bad machinery)
    -Nico Rosberg (consistency, beat teammate)

  216. Ben says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Alonso

  217. Ian Blackwell says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Seb Vettel
    5. Rubens Barrichello

    Honorable mention : Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber

  218. Ashley Grimshaw says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Webber
    4. Vettel
    5. Barrichello

  219. Japanese Sage says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Barrichello
    4 Webber
    5 Rosberg

    Special mention for Kobayashi the best new driver in 2009. I am pleased he has found a new career following his one off role in “The Usual Suspects”

  220. Rich Cooper says:

    My top 5 are as follows..

    1st Lewis Hamilton – that car was a dog & he never gave up, he was on the limit & over it.His best season so far

    2 = Jenson Button – a tale of two half seasons, the first half was sublime, the second the pressure got to him in quali, however he did two great races to end the year .

    2 = Sebastian Vettel – very consistant , apart from a couple of errors because his lack of experience.

    4th Mark Webber – His best season yet & two fine wins, especially when you consider his health at the beggining of the year.He wil be stronger next year

    5th Barrichello – Once he caught up to Jenson in mid season he was match for anyone.

  221. Paul says:

    1. Hamilton – overcame the worst possible start to the year to destroy his team mate and stay ahead of the development of a donkey to turn it into a 2 time race winner.

    2. Vettel – So fast when on it, needs that final polish to be a great.

    3. Button – Grasped the once in a lifetime opportunity with both hands, then overcame the nerves to haul himself out of a slump that would have broken a lesser character.

    4. Webber – lifted himself to a higher level, because he had to. Kept Vettel honest all year.

    5. Raikkonen – Generally brought it home higher then his grid slot until development tailed off in the last 3rd of the season. Would love to see him recapture the win or bust spirt of Imola & Nurburgring 2005.

    Barrichello & Alonso did well but not enough to make this top 5.

    Honerable mention to Rosberg, Glock, Kubica & Hiedfeld for keeping the head down and pushing for some, little or no reward.

  222. Paul says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Button
    3 Vettel
    4 Barrichello
    5 Rosberg

  223. Brian Parkin says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Seb Vettel
    4. Niko Rosberg
    5. Mark Webber

  224. Paul says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Button
    3 Vettel
    4 Barrichello
    5 Rosberg

    :-)

  225. muckymuck says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

    I wanted to say Hamilton first since he’s shown he can take a mediocre car and do something with it (Heikki didn’t do much with the same car). But end of the day I think Button deserves first – even during the 2nd half he made some key moves to keep the points coming.

  226. R. Adams says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Weber

  227. Michael says:

    1. Jenson Button – won the World Championship. Had a brilliant start and was consistent enough when the other cars caught up in development.
    2. Kimi Raikkonen – Once Felipe was injured he was the go to guy at Ferrari. He was able to drive a car that lacked pace and was not being developed but still managed podium finishes.
    3. Sebastien Vettel – A bit inconsistent but still when he was on he was on and drove the heck out of the car. Even when he was in engine damage limitation mode he still pushed the car hard and never gave up.
    4. Fernando Alonso – The car was a dog all year but he managed to squeeze that car into the points more than expected.
    5. Rubens – Impressed with his attitude of not wanting to take a back seat to Button and push to the very end and stay in the title hunt.

  228. Phillip Horton says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

  229. Robert says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  230. John says:

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonnen

  231. Joe Williams says:

    1. Button – consistency when required and some great drives when possible.

    2. Vettel – put in some brilliant performances, shame about the engines.

    3. Hamilton – pulled a decent season out of a horrible start.

    4. Barrichello – got fire in his belly and took the fight to Button.

    5. Kobayashi – balls the size of melons.

  232. Alias says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Massa

    Since Mclaren’s big turn around in Germany, Raikkonen has managed to only score 2 points less then Hamilton, that is quite a feat if you consider the car he was driving. But throughout the year Hamilton and Raikkonen really stands out as the only drivers who consistently placed their cars in places it didn’t belong. Raikkonen pips Hamilton because he didn’t make any mistakes while doing so. But they where really the stand out drivers of the season.

    Vettel had a good season for his age and experience, but he still made a few mistakes. However he was very fast. Button had a good year especially in the beginning of the season, he looses out to Vettel because of Vettel’s level of experience and youth. Barrichello also did a very good job for a veteran. But Massa was really doing well with no mistakes, until his unfortunate accident.

  233. Japanese Sage says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Barrichello
    Webber
    Rosberg

    New driver of the year Kobayashi, pleased he finally has a new career following his role in “The Usual Suspects”

  234. Pete says:

    1. Jenson
    2. Rubens
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Vettel

    I don’t know really…but if I start to doubt whether I’m going to win, can I request a “huissier de justice”?

  235. Curro says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Rosberg
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

  236. Craig says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastien Vettel
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

    Special mentions:

    If Kobayashi is making Sushi next year it will be a shame for F1, he deserves a chance.

    Well done Barrichello for his epic performances this year.

  237. Graham says:

    1. Button

    2. Hamilton

    3. Vettel

    4. Ruebens

    5. Alonso

  238. Gavin Bayliss says:

    1. Badoer
    2. Nakajima
    3. Kovalainen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Grosjean

  239. Pedro Andrade says:

    1- Button
    2- Hamilton
    3- Vettel
    4- Barrichello
    5- Raikkonen

  240. Micheál Breen says:

    Hi James. I’ve read this blog several times a day all season but I’ve never left a comment before. I want to thank you for what has been an amazing resource. This blog is much more insightful than any other online coverage and beats the television and specialist coverage of F1 as far as I’m concerned!

    My Top 5

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Raikkonen

    I also must make it clear that until this season I didn’t particularly rate Lewis. His inherent speed has been clear from his first race in 2007 but his first two years he was blessed with an amazing car and made plenty of mistakes. The way he bounced back from Liargate this year and wrestled a dog of a McLaren to poles and victories it really didn’t deserve impressed me tremendously. I also think he has grown as a man and I think he will very hard to beat in 2010. Je

  241. adrian says:

    1. Button

    and then no-one else really shone, this year. In the best cars, Vettel and Barichello made a lot of silly mistakes. Webber was outshone by Vettel and had some really lacklustre races. Hamilton, I still fail to be particularly impressed with – he had some good races but he had some really scruffy ones as well. By the second half of the season, the Maclaren was top-3 cars and it some circuits probably the best car.

    2. Raikkonen (very decent performance particularly in the second half of the season in a Ferrari that seems to have been horrible to drive).

    3. Kubica (outshone a truly awful BMW – in Brazil especially – and never threw his prams out of the basket)

    4. Vettel (haphazard, but some dominating performances)

    5. Barricello (kept pressure on Button especially with v. good quali, but race performances seldom matched up to qualifying)

  242. Yos says:

    Hello james here is my top five list, but i wish i could put joint third Hamy and Raiko and joint fourth Rosberg and Webber with Rubens 5th.

    Vettel
    Button
    Hamilton
    Raikonen
    Rosberg

  243. Richard Bell says:

    1. Button – Won the most races, scored points every race he finished and overtook more than anyone. Buckled under qualifying in the later races but never through it off the road and always raced well.
    2. Vettel – Made the mistakes that cost big points unlike Button but drove like a future champion.
    3. Lewis – Dragged the car further up the grid than it deserved to be proving he’s still the best. Stuffing it Monaco and Italy didn’t stick with his “I’m going to cut out the mistakes” promise he made at the season start though.
    4. Rubens – Too slow at the start of the year and made mistakes, but being in such good form after 17 years he deserves a big trophy.
    5. Webber – Finally a winner, stood up to Vettel well, could put him 4th but Ruben’s got it because is such a nice smiley chap I don’t want to disappoint him

  244. BRIAN says:

    1. HAM
    2.BUTTON
    3.KIMI
    4.VETTEL
    5.ROSBERG

  245. Chris says:

    Hi,

    My 5 drivers are:
    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Rosberg
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Vettel

  246. Antoine says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  247. Hezla says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Kimi
    Hamilton
    Rosberg

    Just under top 5
    Rubens
    Webber

  248. Josh says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3.Vettel
    4.Webber
    5. Barrichello

  249. Oddur Jonasson says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Fernando Alonso

  250. Seb says:

    1° Lewis Hamilton
    2° Jenson Button
    3° Sebastian Vettel
    4° Rubens Barrichello
    5° Nico Rosberg

  251. Paul McEvoy says:

    (1)Hamilton- true defending champion despite poor car in early season
    (2)Vettel- some mistakes but awesome, the new shumi.
    (3)Alonso- rang the neck of midfield car, one of the greats.
    (4)Button- made most of early car advantage but showed cracks in middle season, Brazil excepted!
    (5)Rosberg- Williams will miss him big time, better than his dad!

  252. holguin30 says:

    1 Button, super consistent and incredibly fast in the rain, plus the best overtaker

    2 Hamilton, Bad car great performances, just ask Kovalainen

    3 Fisichella, very small team, continually punched above its weight

    4 Sutil, will be a world champion one day

    5 kovayashi, very exiting to watch

  253. Rich Gibbons says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  254. Elliott says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

    I have enjoyed the blog immensely all season James, many thanks!

  255. Frank says:

    Following your criteria the order has to be:

    Jenson Button
    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Rubens Barrichello
    Kimi Räikkönen

  256. Pat says:

    No seriously

    1) Button
    (Made the most of his car when it was quickest, scored points in every round when it wasn’t & he wasn’t punted off in – then recovered from a disastrous qualifying session & put it behind him to produce a World Class drive in Brazil gaining 9 places with some great overtaking manoeuvres when it mattered to win the WDC)

    2) Hamilton
    (Kept his head down when his car was poop focussed with the team on putting it right then outscored every one in the second half of the season)

    3) Vettel
    (We forget how young this driver is – 2nd in WDC although Monaco & Turkey blotted his copy book)

    4) Webber
    (Showed great character and steel to recover from his broken leg off-season and put in some stealthy drives to regularly appaear very near the front at the end of races)

    5)Rosberg
    Scored all of Williams’ points in a car that wasn’t really up to it season.

  257. Chris Leonard says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Sutil
    5. Webber

  258. Thomas says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

  259. randy says:

    best drivers of 09 1 button 2 vettel 3 webber 4 hamilton 5 barrichello 6 raikkonen

  260. Frederik says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Rosberg

  261. Gavin Cameron says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Button

  262. Josh says:

    1. Button, 6 wins out of 7 races, scored in every race except Spa when he was punted out. Even took the championship, eventually and agonisingly.
    2. Vettel, took to the big team seat fantastically with 4 race wins and 8 podiums. Stunning pace at Silverstone and Suzuka.
    3. Lewis Hamilton, matured from an arrogant child to a hard fighting winner in only half a season. Two very well deserved wins for team and driver.
    4. Raikkonen, patient second half of the season performance in a car that was clearly very difficult to race and prematurely finished being developed. The only race he stood any chance of winning, he won.
    5. Barrichello, out paced by JB for most of the season but beat him when it mattered in Monza. Race pace was inconsistent but he still squeezed the championship out until the penultimate race. Scored plenty of points.

    Best of the rest: Webber, 2 well deserved wins but spent too much of the season behind his team mate. Performances like Suzuka made you wonder where Vettel found so much speed that Webber missed.

    Highly Commended: Rosberg, missed out on early season opportunity with a double diff car but persevered and clearly matured to collect a great points haul. He should do well at Mercedes.

  263. Andrew says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Button

  264. C. Rodriguez says:

    1. Jenson button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  265. Demetrios says:

    James,

    first off, kudos on your website and the material you post. Your insight, commentary and overall content of your website is outstanding. I read your posts daily, whether in-season or off-season.

    My top-5 drivers for 2009 are:

    1. Kimi – 38 2nd-half points only 2nd to Lewis, and in a car w/out any developments in last 4-5 races; 1 amazing race win at Spa where RBR was supposed to dominate
    2. Lewis – 40 2nd-half points, 2 race wins; inspired McLaren team to not give up and continue development of car … and it paid off
    3. Alonso – 26 points in a crappy car all season borders on the miraculous
    4. Nico – in the points in 11 of 17 races; no DNFs (even Lewis in the reliable Mclaren had one)
    5. Heidfeld – 19 points in a crappy car, of which 13 came in the last 6 races, after the team had announced their withdrawal from F1; now that’s a fighting spirit !

  266. Andrew says:

    Given the criteria, I’m going to have to go with:

    1) Vettel — consistent (outside the first two races), amazingly fast, and made the most of a good car.

    2) Button — obviously a good driver no matter what he’s driving, but too inconsistent to take the number one spot.

    3) Alonso — continues to show why, no matter how much I want to dislike him, he gets my respect.

    4) Hamilton — as many others have pegged: seems to have grown as a driver and made the most out of a mediocre ride.

    5) Barichello — Suddenly 36 doesn’t feel that old.

  267. Rob says:

    1 – Alonso
    2 – Vettel
    3 – Raikkonen
    4 – Hamilton
    5 – Badoer :-) ok ok… Rosberg

  268. Roonmastor says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

  269. Stephen says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  270. Alexr says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  271. Shagrathian says:

    1 – Jenson Button – Won the WDC. That’s good enough.
    2 – Lewis Hamilton – Brilliant performace with such a slow car. Also getting better and better.
    3 – Sebestian Vettel – Fast but inconsistent.
    4 – Nico Rosberg – Consistent.
    5 – Kimi Raikkonen – Consistent performance with a poor car. But I believe if Felipe had been continue to race, he would’ve outperformed Kimi.

  272. Brendan Shanks says:

    1. Button – it seems so long ago, but he dominated the first third of the season, and made it good at the end to win WDC
    2. Hamilton – absolutely made the most of his car, even if he didn’t get points for it (Monza, Abu Dhabi)
    3. Vettel – first teammate to outshine Webber, and had a strong finish despite engine woes
    4. Barrichello – figured out his brake problem and showed he still had the will for a championship fight
    5. Raikkonen – his string of podiums and wins in a lousy car while single-handedly leading Ferrari were classic Iceman

  273. pete says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Vettle
    3 Button
    4 Rosberg
    5 Massa

  274. KORraN says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  275. chaostheory says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen – loved his driving in Spa, Monza and Brazil;
    2. S. Vettel – young, raw talent; interesting to watch him growing as a driver – without any controversies like in Hamilton case;
    3. Rubens Barrichello – watching him winning in Valencia with dedication to Massa – very moving ;)
    4. Lewis Hamilton – did a great job all year (except Australia, lets forget about that) – whether his car was bad or very good. He was annoying as a person in 2007 – 2008 but is wiser now…
    5. Jenson Button – for his 6 wins & a title he needs to be here, but he is lifeless to me as a driver…

  276. sunama says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Raikonnen
    4. Vettel
    5. Barrichello

  277. Race1 says:

    1) Hamilton – Struggled with the worst McLaren for a long time
    2) Alonso – Demonstrated time and time again his talents both in and out the car!
    3) Button – He did have to win those races!
    4) Vettel – Coming of Age year?
    5) Raikkonen – He OWNS Spa!

    As for worst? – Piquet Jr…

  278. Rob Thorpe says:

    Hmm, difficult one isn’t it when everyone’s not in the same car… :)

    Before I come up with my order I’d have to say this season I was impressed with Hamilton after the Malaysian grand prix when he really put his head down and got on with things.

    Also Rosberg, Vettel and Barichello did very well despite all of them making some mistakes. Of course, Raikkonen did well in an underdeveloped car, and a couple of the Toyota drivers put in some good performances.

    But I’d have to give full marks to Button for doing what was necessary under a lot of pressure and some great overtaking moves all season.

    My top 5 for 2009, is therefore:

    1 – Button
    2 – Vettel
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Barrichello
    5 – Raikkonon

  279. Patrick Caselli says:

    1. Hamilton (can drive anything)
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello (bad, bad temper)
    5. Webber (blocking twice is always better than once)

  280. Thomas says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Nico Roberg
    4. Kimi Räikkönen
    5. Lewis Hamilton

    Button is my top pick because he was world champ, because he did some super driving both in the fastest car and when the car was slower than others.

    Sebastian was just so dominant at times. I would put Lewis up there instead if not for his poorer start to the season and the liegate scandal.

    Nico has just been super consistent over the year. Should perhaps have accomplished more in the earlier races with the third-forth fastest car, but his stock should be high after this season.

    Kimi seems to have lost his edge over Massa somewhat – but then again we could question whether there ever was an edge. No doubt he found something when his teammate was injured, and really hit an impressiv run of form in the second part of the season. If he’d kept that form in the first part he would be my number 1.

    Lastly Lewis. Impressive perhaps, but not as much as Kimi. The McLaren was slower than the Ferrari in Melbourne, but they did a lot more development over the season and ended with one of the fastest two cars. Liegate was a big black mark for him, one that seems easy forgotten after a couple wins.

    Honorable mention to Rubens, who still got it, and Nick Heidfelt who I would love to see in a Mercedes next year.

    un-honorable mention to Sutil who in his 3rd(?) season still hasnt figured out F1.

  281. Vinay says:

    1. Vettel – Should have won the GDC. but for the extremely strong Brawn in the first part.

    2. Button – For holding his own

    3. Hamilton – Making the most of a bad car

    4. Barrichello – For keeping up the pressure on Button

    5. Kimi – For being the most consistent in the later part of the season with a dog of a car

    6. Webber

  282. Tarek says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Alonso
    4. Vettel
    5. Button

  283. Pat says:

    No seriously

    1) Button
    (Made the most of his car when it was quickest, scored points in every round it wasn’t & he wasn`t punted off in – Then recovered from a disasterous qualifying session by putting it behind him & putting in a World Class performance when it mattered gaining 9 places with some great overtaking manouveres to win the F1 WDC).

    2) Hamilton
    (Kept his head down when his car was poop focussed with the team on putting it right then outscored every one in the second half of the season)

    3) Vettel
    (We forget how young this driver is – 2nd in WDC although Monaco & Turkey blotted his cop book).

    4) Webber
    (Showed great character and steel to recover from his broken leg off season and put in some stealthy drives to regularly pop-up very near the front at the end of races).

    5) Rosberg
    (Single handedly scored all of Williams` points in a car that wasn`t really up to it this year).

  284. Alex M says:

    1 – Hamilton
    2 – Kimi
    3 – Vettel
    4 – Button
    5 – Alonso

  285. David Faria says:

    1. Jensen Button – Stunning first half of the season, got things done when he had the opportunity. Despite the fact he couldn’t qualify in the second half of the season he still raced like a world champion in what was no longer the fastest car on the grid.

    2. Kimi Raikkonen – Start of the season wasn’t as dire as everyone seems to suggest, Monaco weekend standing out. Then dragged a car which was getting no better whilst all the others improved to four successive podiums and a great win at Spa.

    3. Lewis Hamilton – Some incredible highs, combined with some lows. Raced very well getting back to winning ways in Hungary and Singapore but also stuck it in the wall at Monza.

    4. Sebastian Vettel – Very fast and did well to keep championship challenge going as long as he did, but some crucial mistakes when Button was making none arguably cost him the championship.

    5. Fernando Alonso – Very frustrating year for the former champ, quietly did his best all year round but couldn’t drag an outstanding performance out a poor car in quite the way Kimi or Lewis managed.

    Rubens just misses out because of early season errors, and lack or race pace.

    Nico’s errors cost him dear, unlike Rubens his race pace was superb.

  286. Tom - Australia says:

    I’m going for the booby prize!

    1: Luca Bad Slower
    2: Sebastien Bored Hey
    3: Piquet Jr (the Piquet name is an insult in itslef)
    4: Roaming Grosjean
    5: Heck he’s Slowerthaniam

  287. 1.Lewis Hamilton
    2.Jenson Button
    3.Sebastian Vettel
    4.Rubens Barrichello
    5.Fernando Alonso

  288. Alper Bozkurt says:

    My top 5 are:

    1-Jenson Button
    2-Lewis Hamilton
    3-Sebastian Vettel
    4-Nico Rosberg
    5-Mark Webber

  289. Pat says:

    Apologies if you have this already my browser crashed as i hit he submit button last time.

    1) Button
    (Made the most of his car when it was quickest, scored points in every round it wasn’t & he wasn`t punted off in – Then recovered from a disasterous qualifying session by putting it behind him & putting in a World Class performance when it mattered gaining 9 places with some great overtaking manouveres to win the F1 WDC).

    2) Hamilton
    (Kept his head down when his car was poop focussed with the team on putting it right then outscored every one in the second half of the season)

    3) Vettel
    (We forget how young this driver is – 2nd in WDC although Monaco & Turkey blotted his cop book).

    4) Webber
    (Showed great character and steel to recover from his broken leg off season and put in some stealthy drives to regularly pop-up very near the front at the end of races).

    5) Rosberg
    (Single handedly scored all of Williams` points in a car that wasn`t really up to it this year).

  290. Pat says:

    1) Button
    (Made the most of his car when it was quickest, scored points in every round it wasn’t & he wasn`t punted off in – Then recovered from a disasterous qualifying session by putting it behind him & putting in a World Class performance when it mattered gaining 9 places with some great overtaking manouveres to win the F1 WDC).

    2) Hamilton
    (Kept his head down when his car was poop focussed with the team on putting it right then outscored every one in the second half of the season)

    3) Vettel
    (We forget how young this driver is – 2nd in WDC although Monaco & Turkey blotted his cop book).

    4) Webber
    (Showed great character and steel to recover from his broken leg off season and put in some stealthy drives to regularly pop-up very near the front at the end of races).

    5) Rosberg
    (Single handedly scored all of Williams` points in a car that wasn`t really up to it this year).

  291. StaffsSteve says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  292. Matt B says:

    Button
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Barrichello
    Kobayashi*

    ok – only 2 races but he made much more of an impact than any of the other new drivers

  293. Lin Morris says:

    My Top 5:

    1) Jenson Button – I still don’t think he’s in the same league as Hamilton, Alonso & Raikkonen but this season saw the best driving in his F1 career along with a really decent car.

    2) Sebastian Vettel – a few mistakes here and there but still plenty of good driving with probably the best car on the grid overall.

    3) Kimi Raikkonen – I’ve chosen Kimi over Hamilton purely because the Ferrari was absolute garbage all year but he still drove the hell out of it!

    4) Lewis Hamilton – rubbish first half with a bad car but drove his heart out 2nd half. He’s great to watch.

    5) Rubens Barrichello – The fire’s still not gone out, he’s a racer through and through.

  294. Richard Rothrock says:

    My top 5 drivers in the following order:

    Rubens Barrichello
    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Jenson Button
    Mark Webber

  295. 1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Rosberg
    5) Button

  296. Dan Staisey says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Robert Kubica
    5. Fernando Alonso

  297. Enzo says:

    1. Jenson
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5- Rosberg

  298. Patrik Beyls says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Fernando Alonso

  299. MIKE LEA says:

    OK my top 5

    1. Hamilton: has demonstrated, in my opinion, that he is the quickest driver in F1 and his drives this season were excellent. Exploited KERS very well.

    2. Alonso: the Renault was a dog, but he still hauled it into the top 10 qualifying regularly and would have nabbed a few more podiums but for poor reliability. A class act.

    3. Vettel: made a few mistakes, but given his lack of experience, he did a blinding job and destroyed Webber in qualifying, pretty impressive.

    4. Button: excellent when the car was the class of the field and maxed it out. Was far less impressive when the car dropped off the pace a bit, but his drive in Brazil was outstanding. Poor qualifying let him down too often, though.

    5. Raikkonen: In terms of pure pace, I reckon he might be as fast as anyone in F1, Hamilton perhaps ahead. He put in some stunning drives in a Ferrari that wasn’t shown much love by the development team. His laid-back, anti-PR persona also provided endless laughs! He should be in a top car next year…….

  300. Trone says:

    1 Button: Flawless during the first half of the season, good, smart and lucky enough during the second half.

    2 Räikkönen: Despite the awful car and high-level politics to smoke him out, top performer since the team shifted its focus on him.

    3 Vettel: With a little bit more patience, flawlessness and car reliability, he would have won the title.

    4 Hamilton: Kept the spirit high when the car was the worst ever in his career, delivered the goods during the second half of the season.

    5 Rosberg: Outperformed his teammate and showed consistency, although he did not excel quite as much as he could have.

  301. Ryan Hinds says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Timo Glock

  302. Craig Welker says:

    1 Button
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Barrichello
    5 Raikkonen

  303. Edward Mackenzie says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  304. Kurt S. says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Alonso
    5. Raikkonen

  305. Paul says:

    Badoer
    Bourdais
    Grojean
    Piquet
    Fisi

  306. 1. Hamilton
    2. Barrichello
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Vettel

  307. Mercy says:

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

    Vettel is close but made too many mistakes for me…. I hope I’m close to James’ choices! ;)

    As they say, great minds think alike!

  308. Stephen Gardner says:

    My order for 2009 is;

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Raikkonen

  309. 1)button : blistering perfect start and finished the championship in brazil with a stormer.
    2)kimi : fantasic run of rusults in a car they stopped developing while putting up with an uncertain future.
    3)vettel : poor engine and reliability hampered his charge
    4)hamilton : matured as a driver on and off track and will be stronger for it
    5)barichello :found a new goove and delivered, shame about the poor start to the season

    now james about that book……

  310. John MacMicking says:

    Mine are:

    Hamilton
    Webber
    Vettel
    Rosberg
    Alonso

  311. Michael Kind says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  312. Eric says:

    1. Hamilton – The most consistent when you account for the fact he was driving a bad car. He absolutely maximised his machinery on every occasion. He also had the highest peaks and won twice in not the fastest car.

    2. Button – Very consistent and maximised the performance of the car when he needed to to get the job done. Fluffed it a bit too much at the end of the season to beat Lewis as the best driver.

    3. Vettel – Very high peaks but some needless mistakes and he wasn’t that consistent. His mistakes differ from Hamilton’s because in Lewis’s case, he was pushing a bad car to maximise the rewards – Vettel didn’t need to push as hard, and should have been more mindful of the long championship.

    4. Raikkonen – His second half of the season was very impressive. Arguably as impressive as Lewis’s. He won in not the fastest car at Spa and consistently drove well in the remaining races. He also DID drive well at the start of the season. Remember Monaco and Ferrari’s first points?

    5. Alonso – The hardest of the bunch to pick but he clearly maximised the bad Renault package, drove very well all year and exceptionally well in Singapore. Comparison to his team mate’s performance shows where the car should have roughly been…

  313. Qiang says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Koboyashi
    5. Kubica

  314. Ross Dixon says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  315. Roger says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Button
    3 Hamilton
    4 Rosberg
    5 Raikkonen

  316. Christian Romby says:

    1: Hamilton
    2: Alonso
    3: Button
    4: Vettel
    5: Kimi

  317. Steve W says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  318. Richard says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  319. James Nicholson says:

    1st – Jenson Button
    2nd – Sebastien Vettel
    3rd – Lewis Hamilton
    4th – Mark Webber
    5th – Rubens Barrichello

  320. Arya says:

    1) Sebastian Vettel- He showed immaturity on occassions, he showed impetuousness. But he showed a lot of class, oodles of attitude and loads of craft. His impetuses might have cost him the title but Sebastian has trully arrived. Laying Webber to waste in qualifiers speaks a volume for the talent of this man.

    2) Jenson Button- You can’t ignore the WDC and that gets him a place here.
    3) Lewis Hamilton- As many issues as I might have with him, I can’t deny the performance of this guy. He was sublime in second half of the season. Only blip has to be him requesting to quit the race.
    4) Mark Webber- Rotten luck doesn’t seem to have left Webbo completely. Apart from couple of mediocre performances, he was very good. Abu Dhabi will be a testimony to it. He incurred few stupid penalties though.
    5) Kimi Raikkonen- I just feel Ferrari fired him at a wrong time. He was outstanding in 2nd half of the season.

  321. jw1980 says:

    1-Button
    2-Vettel
    3-Hamilton
    4-Webber
    5-Barrichello

    James,

    a challenge I would like to set you would be to name your top 10 drivers of the decade. Very difficult to give a top 10 of all time but for the decade it should be easier as direct comparisons in most cases can be made.
    In my opinion 1 and 2 would be easy (Schumacher and Alonso) but thereafter it gets harder. Hamilton is right up there but has only raced in three seasons. Likewise Hakkinen’s greatest years were in the previous decade whilst the best of Vettel is surely yet to come.
    This would make an excellent report in the run up to Christmas and I am sure other readers would enjoy this one.

  322. Dani says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Rosberg
    3. Button
    4. Alonso
    5. Webber

    Note: Hamilton DSQ from contention due to lie-gate

  323. J. R. says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    4. Mark Weber
    5. Adrian Sutil

  324. John says:

    1. Jenson Button – world champion, more overtakse in one season that most have in one career

    2. Lewis Hamilton – put the lying scandal crap behind him, overcame a poor car to win repeatedly

    3. Sebastian Vettel – were it not for Red Bull’s engine reliability, we may have had a different WDC. Freakishly fast and amazing in the wet.

    4. Rubens Barrichello – consistently out-qualified his teammate and rejuvinated his career with two popular wins.

    5. Mark Webber – won his first two career races, and played the “Barrichello” to Vetel’s “Schumacher” just fine, as the more consistent elder of the duo. May have been higher in my list if it weren’t for some poor qualifying performances.

  325. DC says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

    I know these won’t be James’ picks, but I’d rather say my opinion vs. going for the book. Sorry, James.

    1. James Allen says:

      Good for you. No problem

  326. Dulait says:

    It’s all too easy to forget Button’s sublime start to the campaign where he was utterly dominant, and for that reason he tops the pile for me

    1. Jenson Button

    2. Fernando Alonso

    3. Sebastian Vettel

    4. Lewis Hamilton

    5. Nico Rosberg

  327. Keith says:

    1. Button – when all is said and done he won the championship. Nobody gave it to him. Still the smoothest driver in the paddock.

    2. Hamilton – a dog of a car to begin with. Fantastic skill later in the season.

    3. Vettel – The brilliance of an upstart.

    4. Alonso – Beginning to really see what all the fuss is about. Cant wait to see what he does at Ferrari

    5. Webber – Considering he almost didn’t start the season, he’s a consistent battler with lots of raw talent.

    Honourable mentions should go to Barrichello, Glock and Kobayashi

  328. Chantel says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton.
    He started the season with a horrendously slow car, mid season he turned things around, whereas Heikki in the same car still wasn’t able to compete. In the second half of the season he won more point than any other driver.

    2. Sebastian Vettel.
    He was very unlucky this season, but still remained in contention until the penultimate race.

    3. Koybayshi.
    The only rookie that drove like he deserved to be there.

    4. Rubens Barichello.
    His chances of winning the Championship were effected by Brawn politics.

    5. Heidfeld.
    Just making up numbers

    Jenson doesn’t make the list as he completely lost his nerve after the first opening wins. He won the Championship because he was in the best car, not because he’s a great driver.

  329. Matthew W says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Sebastian Vettell
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Rubens Barichello
    5. Mark Webber

  330. Nathan Johno says:

    1 Webber – some amazing driving moments this season
    2 Button – Great start to the season but was lacking a bit later on
    3 Vettel – very quick, with more maturity will be world champion
    4 Hamilton, his car let him down this year but he also made silly mistakes that are simply driver error
    5 Barrichello – A bit of a dream season for him, closer then he’s been for a long time to winning he championship, very consistent.

  331. Chris says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  332. Jameson says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

    Without the engine problems, I believe Vettel would have been the WDC–he was only 12 points shy.

    Button did a stellar job in the first half of the year, and, save one DNF, he consistently scored points at every race.

    What an utterly impressive performance in a midfield car this season from Hamilton. Top notch.

    Barrichello out qualified Button throughout most of the year, but couldn’t translate it into more race wins due to a few errors and bad luck. I believe he was more than integral in getting the car setup.

    Webber did great work with the Red Bull this year. Only two retirements, and one “testing” session. There were a few sketchy moments from him–the side swipe of Barrichello being one of them.

    Runner up. Raikkonen. I love the guy, and I felt bad for him being stuck in half a car all the while being pushed out of the door by Ferrari. It was classy of him to just race–like he always does.

  333. Tim says:

    1. Button.

    2. Vettel

    3. Hamilton

    4. Webber

    5. Barrichello

  334. Daniel says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Barichello
    5) Raikonen

  335. Maria says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Rubens
    Webber

  336. jon smith says:

    1.hamilton 2.raikonnen 3.albers 4.vettel 5.kobleasi

  337. Bob says:

    1. Button- you don’t win 6 races and the WDC without being number 1.
    2.Vettel- I think this is close between Hamilton and Vettel. Both drove quite well, Vettel just had better machinery.
    3. Hamilton- anytime the car was close he would run up front. Should have won a 3rd race
    4. Barrichello- ran strong in the second half and was a legitimate threat to his teammate. May have won had his brakes been sorted sooner.
    5. Raikkonen- he had a hard year- the car was way behind to start, and just when they had Ferrari closed the gap a bit, they pulled the plug.

  338. Aaron James says:

    1. Vettel – gotta remember how young he is, and how awful that Renault engine was to him. Had he been driving with a Mercedes engine it would have been a very different year.
    2. Hamilton – so many standout drives in an uncompetitive car. Annihilated his teammate.
    3. Button – won the championship, in the season’s (overall) fastest car. Didn’t do it with much style, but he did it. Which is something few drivers have managed.
    4. Barrichello – extremely underrated. At 37 years of age, the level of his performance, particularly when Brawn lost the advantage its early adoption of the double diffuser offered was very high. His experience setting up the car, ironically, probably helped Button to his title.
    5. Massa. Not Raikkonen? I think it’s telling that Raikkonen suddenly looked great when Massa wasn’t there to be benchmarked against. Read that again. Benchmarked *against* Massa? Who’d have wagered on that in 2007?

  339. Damien says:

    My top 5 for the season are:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen, drove a dog of a car the whole season. Seemingly the only guy who could drive it

    2. Jenson Button, although he had the best car early, he done what he had to do and finished the season statistically a better world champion than Lewis Hamilton

    3. Sebastian Vettel, a year of some sheer brilliant drives with the odd mistake. We can only wonder if the title battle was lost because of Red Bull’s Renault engines.

    4. Lewis Hamilton, in same situation as Kimi but McLaren continued to develop the car the whole season and finished the year with arguably the best car on the grid.

    5. Sebastian Buemi, may be a surprising choice, but the guy is super talented and finished the year with more points than Adrian Sutil who had a car capable of pole positions while Buemi had probably the worst car on the grid.

  340. 1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

  341. Mav says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  342. Alex Thompson says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Button
    5. Raikkonen

  343. Neil Williams says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Alonso

  344. CARLYS says:

    1. raikkonen
    2. kimi
    3. kimi raikkonen
    4. iceman
    5. james hunt

  345. Rachel W says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  346. Russell Hales says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

  347. Amritraj says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Button
    3.Hamilton
    4.Rosberg
    5.Raikkonen

    Dropping Webber and Barrichello as they finished nowhere near their team-mates in equal machinery.

  348. Oliver Binder says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  349. Peppers says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  350. Peter says:

    1. Vettel – considering age, experience
    2. Kimi – poor car, 4xtimes winner in Spa!
    3. Webber – coming back from injury
    4. Button – great guy in a great car, but still to prove stardom
    5. Hamilton – good drives if the car was good or the best, still big mistakes

  351. Nathan Smith says:

    1) jenson button
    2) lewis Hamilton
    3) seb vettel
    4) mark webber
    5) kimi raikkonen

    James, long time reader, first time poster. Love your blog, and miss your commentary. You always got far too much stick for it, but how people are eating their words now!

    Will be ordering your book soon. 2009, what a year.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks very much for that, Nathan. We’ll be going right through the winter here on JA on F1

  352. haman says:

    jenson
    lewis
    vetel
    ruben
    kobayashi

  353. Conor Bevan says:

    1 Jenson
    2 Vettel
    3 Rubens
    4 Lewis
    5 Webber

  354. arthur larner says:

    my selection

    1 button

    2 hamilton

    3 barrichello

    4 vettel

    5 webber

  355. Gareth says:

    1.Lewis Hamilton
    2.Sebastian Vettel
    3.Kimi Raikkonen
    4.Jenson Button
    5.Timo Glock

  356. Louis Suddaby says:

    1. J Button
    2. L Hamilton
    3. S Vettel
    4. N Rosberg
    5. F Alonso

  357. Dominic says:

    1 Raikkonen
    2 Button
    3 Vettel
    4 Barrichello
    5 Webber

  358. Joe Sumegi says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

  359. Chris says:

    My top 5:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Alonso

    Excellent blog James, all the best for the off-season!

  360. Ben Moore says:

    1.Button

    2.Vettel

    3.Hamilton

    4.Barrichello

    5.Webber

  361. Bennah says:

    1) Button
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Barrichello

  362. David H says:

    1. Alonso – always on it, always fast
    2. Hamilton – ditto and never gave up
    3. Button – so few mistakes, deadly overtaking
    4. Vettel – great speed let down by mistakes
    5. Webber – the season he deserves at last

  363. Bjorn Schultheiss says:

    1 Sebastian Vettel, should have won the title if it wasn’t for the double diffuser.

    2 Mark Webber, some great battles this year, but he was clearly outperformed by his team mate.

    3 Jenson Button, His second half was disappointing compared to his team mates performance.

    4 Lewis Hamilton, his end of the season reminded me how difficult he will be to beat next year.

    5 Kimi Räikkönen, drove a car that was out performed by a force India to victory.

  364. Nick says:

    1. Hamilton. For not giving up and pushing the car beyond its limit at every opportunity.
    2. Button. Gotta be in the top 5 for being WDC
    3. Vettel. When he is on it he flies.
    4. Kobayashi. The best rookie since Hamilton IMO, I hope he is on the grid in 2010
    5. Alonso. For never giving up and squeezing every last bit of performance from an underperforming car

  365. Charlie B says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Sebastian Vettel

  366. Chris G says:

    My top 5 would be:

    1: Button – was a class above the rest for the first half of the season, didn’t bin it all season and only really had 2 sub standard _race_ drives (Valencia and Spa). If his latter season quali woes hadn’t materialised he’d have cake-walked it.

    2 Lewis – really showed his quality and came back from a poor start to the the season (both car and Melbourne-gate) to really shine

    3: Vettel – although he suffered from mechanical woes more than most, he also made too many mistakes to really justify any higher, peaks very high, consistency not quite there yet.

    4: Webber – highs not quite as impressive as Vettel and usually occured when Seb had issues, but a bit more consistent.

    5: Alonso – consistent as ever in a relatively poor car, the car perhaps never really gave him the tools to reach any big highs this year though.

    Rubens misses out because of his early season, despite having demonstrably the quickest car he didnt really make the most of it and on occasions did his best to part ways with his front wing at the earliest opportunity which isnt really fitting with someone of his experience. Latter season he picked it up, but I think that was partly JBs qualifying that flattered him a little, as even in the second half its hard to name more than a couple of races where he actually outperformed Jenson on race day.

    Kimi misses out because of his inconsistency in the first half of the season.

  367. Alexander says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Button
    4. Vettel
    5. Alonso

  368. Budvar says:

    1. Alonso – 8 points finishes in a very poor car. Finished off two young drivers careers.
    2. Rosberg – 11 points finishes in an average car. Bossed his team mate but that mistake in Singapore was very expensive.
    3. Vettel – very impressive in qualifying. 15-2 vs. Webber is the definition of quality. Made too many race mistakes this year.
    4. Hamilton – never gave up when the car was useless, made the very most of it when it improved.
    5. Raikkonen – Was sublime in Belgium and finishing second to Hamilton in Hungary landed me a 200/1 bet. Enough said.

    It really wasn’t a great year for driver performances, but that’s what made it so very interesting.

  369. Richard says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Sutil

  370. Alen says:

    1. Button
    2. Barichello
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Webber

  371. Sam Heather says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Alonso

  372. 1 – Vettel
    2 – Hamilton
    3 – Alonso
    4 – Raikkonen
    5 – Button

  373. stevphen farral says:

    vettel
    button
    hamilton
    webber
    glock

  374. Bo says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Raikonnen
    5. Button

  375. Damo says:

    For me it’s:

    1) Hamilton
    2) Button
    3) Vettel
    4) Barrichello
    5) Webber

  376. Dave B says:

    My Top 5

    1. Button – 6 wins and only one non-points finish

    2. Vettel – good wins but a couple of mistakes cost him

    3. Hamilton – brilliant finish to the year but tainted by Melbourne and binning it at Monza.

    4. Webber – a good season especially when taking his injury into account.

    5. Glock – great drive in Australia, 2 podiums I’ve been impressed by him this year

  377. Jodum5 says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

    Skipped Button because he really made a mess of his championship.

    No Raikkonen mention despite some great work because we don’t know how he would’ve performed with Massa fit.

    I wanted to include Kobayashi but couldn’t find room.

  378. Steph says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  379. C.M. says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Räikkönen
    4. Button
    5. Barrichello

  380. Daniel Wooding says:

    1. Jenson Button

    2. Mark Webber

    3. Lewis Hamilton

    4. Nico Rosberg

    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  381. StJimmyL says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  382. jocker12 says:

    1.Button
    2.Hamilton
    3.Vettel
    4.Webber
    5.Barichello

  383. Tony Kulla says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Webber

  384. Colm says:

    1. Alonso – because even though he was driving a rubbish car, he didn’t give up.
    2. Barrichello – for making middle aged men look good, and also not giving up.
    3. Button – for providing a riveting start to the season.
    4. Kobayashi – for showing amazing spirit, talent and aggression. (Hope to see more of him.)
    5. Fisichella – for making Spa such a great race, and getting his dream ride. (pity that didn’t work out)

  385. Fil says:

    1. Rosberg
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikonnen
    4. Button
    5. Vettel

  386. Kyle says:

    Here’s my own top-5:

    1. Button – absolutely made the most of the ultra-competitiveness of the Brawn while it lasted. Brutally efficient in delivering the results up until Turkey, then continued to score points in every race he finished as the Brawn edge tailed off a bit. And what about all those overtaking moves, all season long!

    2. Vettel – Could, maybe even should, have been world champion, all factors considered. Crashes and errors in Australia, Malaysia, Monaco and Turkey as well as the engine troubles he faced cost him that chance. But nonetheless, four wins is an impressive return; and the only win he should have got that never materialised was in Turkey, which is an impressive conversion record. (Arguably Singapore, too, but given the controversy surrounding his drive-through, we’ll leave that to one side.)

    3. Hamilton – wrung the neck of a poor car all season long, with varying degrees of success. Some of his results when the McLaren was perhaps among the worst cars on the grid were astonishing – Australia and Bahrain are good examples – then as the McLaren pace picked up, he capitalised brilliantly. Lie-gate, Monaco Q1 and Monza (understandable as the latter was, given the pointlessness of 3rd place without a WDC to play for) mean he slots behind Vettel, though.

    4. Raikkonen – Suffered from a poor start to the season; his only drive of any real quality prior to Massa’s accident being a podium in Monte Carlo. Post-Massa, however, Kimi came alive with a string of four podiums in a row which the Ferrari had never looked capable of. The question is, why did it take Massa’s accident to wake Kimi up? Or was the upturn in form simply the result of a timely evolution of the car which Massa never got to benefit from?

    The final top-5 place is a tough one to call. For me it’s between Barrichello, Webber and Rosberg. They all did well with their equipment – but each will feel they perhaps could have done more.

    5. Rosberg – Showed great consistency with a long string of points finishes during the European season and has, for the most part, maximised the potential of an unspectacular Williams – Singapore apart. This is the “great peak” that he needed from this year, which was ultimately left lacking; and it’s why 5th best is the most he can hope for this season.

    For brevity:
    1. Jenson Button (Brawn)
    2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
    3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
    4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
    5. Nico Rosberg (Williams)

    Honourable mentions: Mark Webber, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Kamui Kobayashi

  387. Jon Wade says:

    1. BUTTON – Consistent throughout, it took 6 races before we saw a mistake from Jenson. Although he wobbled towards the end, he put in some gutsy final drives to seal the deal.

    2. VETTEL – Ultimately it was his mistakes from inexperience early on that cost him the title, but he made his mark as a a major talent and will be one to watch next season.

    3. HAMILTON – Losing forth place through disqualification in Australia wiped out a remarkable finish in an unremarkable car. From that point on Lewis has visibly matured as a driver & showed us why he’s the out-and-out fastest driver on the grid.

    4. WEBBER – Despite suffering a major pre-season injury, Webber proved his critics wrong & kept his highly regarded team mate honest right up until the closing stages of the championship.

    5. BARRICHELLO – Demonstrating that he’s lost none of his hunger for racing, Rubens put in some solid mid season drives. If he’d had the brakes his driving style needed earlier on, he might have clinched the title.

  388. Daniel says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen

  389. Jonathan says:

    Button (for the wins)
    Vettel (ditto but too many mistakes)
    Hamilton (His car should never have won 2 races)
    Barichello (Would have been higher if not for all the whining)
    Webber (finally a winner, just needs to be fast every weekend like Vettel)

  390. Peter says:

    1. Hamilton

    2. Button

    3. Vettel

    4. Webber

    5. Barrichello

  391. Aluap says:

    1. Button
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. Kimi R
    5. Vettel

  392. Darren says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

  393. Malcolm46 says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Sebastien Buemi

  394. Edd says:

    1) Button
    2) Webber
    3) Hamilton
    4) Vettel
    5) Barrichello

  395. RobbM says:

    1 – Button (he did win the damn thing)

    2 – Hamilton (he started with a flee bitten dog of a drive to purring mutt,maybe only FA could’ve done that.)

    3 – Vettel (okay he made mistakes but he never gave up the fight and put on the pressure)

    4 – Rosberg – (he raced that car past its best on almost all occasions)

    5 – Webber – (Coming back from that injury in a team that prefers Vettel really impressive)

    James your blog is a fab piece of work, thanks for the insight into what’s going on behind the headlines.

    Cheers

    Rob

  396. Tom Power says:

    Button, some jittery moments but you only have to score more than anyone else.
    Vettel, get rid of the silly mistakes and he’s top
    Hamilton, dragged the dog around quicker than anyone else but Oz misdemeanour marks him down
    Webber, on his day capable of easy winnings but not as fast as Vettel
    Barichello, maybe should have won more but that Button is darn good

  397. Manos says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  398. Will Clark says:

    1 – J.Button
    2 – Vettel
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Alonso
    4 – Raikkonen

    Cheers

  399. Fausto Cunha says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

    That´s my top 5, no doubts about the first four , some doubts about the 5ft driver, very close between Rosberg, Rubens and Webber.

  400. Adam Taylor says:

    1, Button – Dominated team-mate 1st half and more consistent

    2, Vettel – more consistent than Webber

    3, Hamilton – Pushed the car beyond its limits to allow it to achieve a respectable positions (17th to 3rd in Brazil)

    4, Rosberg – Dominated team mate scoring all of the teams 34.5pts

    5, Alonso – Same as Rosberg, dominated team mate scoring all of the teams 26pts

  401. david z says:

    1. button
    2. vettel
    3. hamilton
    4. barrichello
    5. raikkonnen

  402. John S says:

    For me:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Reubens Barrichello

  403. Ginger says:

    1. Button – it has to be.
    2. Hamilton – best season yet! Despite the car, team orders!?! and the mistakes at Monaco and Monza
    3. Vettal – Now leads a team and despite mistakes he won 4 races and future WDC
    4. Webber – Breakthrough year and given the bad injury in the close season he did very well.
    5. Rosberg – Shame about the mistake in Singapore but very consistant despite the lack of competition in the team.

    Can I have my book please?

  404. Ian says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    3. Nico Rosberg
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  405. Aryan Ameri says:

    1 – Jenson Button
    2 – Sebastian Vettel
    3 – Lewis Hamilton
    4 – Mark Webber
    5 – Rubens Barrichello

  406. J says:

    Throwing my lot into this: -

    1) Button
    2) Hamilton
    3) Raikonnen
    4) Kobayashi
    5) Alonso

  407. Melanie says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Vettel
    5. Barrichello / Webber

  408. John V says:

    In my opinion this season was a poor season. Ok, it was good to see new challengers for race wins, but the fact is only Button, Vettel, Webber and Barrichello had cars capable of winning the drivers championship, but none of them were consistant enough to make it an entertaining, close, tense battle. Therefore my drivers of the year are:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – In terms of getting the best results from what their car was capable of he was driver of the season for me. He drove the wheels off his car whether he had a chance to win the race or not.
    To of finished on the podium by merit this season would’ve been an acheivement, but if it wasn’t for his brake problem in Abu Dhabi he would’ve ended up winning as many grand prixs as Vettel, who many people rate highly and who was in a car capable of winning the championship.
    Even so, he still won as many grand prix as Webber and Barrichello (who were in race winning cars for most of, if not, all season).

    2. Jenson Button – I don’t think Button as a driver is anywhere near the level of Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen, and he proved that by only just mananging to win the title despite a massive headstart (in terms of a superior car and a massive haul of points) in the first half of the season.
    His second half of the season also backs up my claim – His car was still capable of winning in the second part of the season (as Barichello showed), but the fact he couldn’t shows he didn’t have that good a season; but the reason I’d give him 2nd place, is because he was the best of a poor front running pack (of Brawns and Redbulls)- he collected the most points.

    3. Nico Rosberg – Again I don’t rate Rosberg in the elite class of drivers, but he showed this season that hes decent. In terms of car capability to results, he done well. I think he should’ve been able to win a race this season (probably would of done in Malaysia had it not been for the rain), but he collected a fairly good bucnh of points, and had a good run of races at the back end of the year, which seems to have earned him his seat at Mercedes GP next season.

    4. Sebastien Vettel – I think if this guy was the real deal (as many people think) he would’ve won the title this year. Although his car was not as good as the Brawn at the start of the season it was still one of the best of the rest, and from Silverstone onwards it did argubably become the best car on the grid. But he collected an average of less than 5 points per race, and that to me is not the form of a top driver, considering his only real rival was Button. But again, of a poor season he was the 4th best in my eyes. He drove well when he was on pole (apart from Turkey).

    5. Rubens Barrichello – I don’t know what Rubens was doing the first half of the season. He had a reliable, lightning quick car, but couldn’t get the results it was capable of. I think because Jenson was showing what the car could do, it put pressure on Rubens to deliver, and he seemed to be crumbling to this pressure, but he came alive in the second half of the season, and his drives in Valencia and Monza particularly stand out. He showed Button up at a number of grand prixs.

  409. Karl Woodham says:

    1 Lewis Hamilton
    2 Sebastian Vettel
    3 Jenson Button
    4 Kimi Raikkonen
    5 Rubens Barrichello

  410. GP says:

    1) S. Vettel
    2) L. Hamilton
    3) J. Button
    4) K. Raikkonen
    5) F. Alonso

  411. Cláudio Alegria says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Felipe Massa
    4. Jenson Button
    5. Sebastian Vettel

  412. Andrew Tierney says:

    My top 5:
    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  413. Med says:

    Badoer
    Nakajima
    Piquet Jr
    Grosjean
    Alguersuari

    That book’s as good as mine

  414. tamzed ashraf says:

    1 – Button
    2 – Vettel
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Rosberg
    5 – Webber

  415. 1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  416. Bruce says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  417. Mathieu Peter Bewers says:

    In this order:

    1. Rubens Barrichello – consistent, smooth and still knows how to win after 17 seasons.

    2. Lewis Hamilton – kept his head above water after Aussie and drove to 2 superb victories.

    3. Jenson Button – quick but not as consistent, still drive like a champion when he needed to

    4. Sebastian Vettel = very quick, pulled away into the lead so far in British Grand Prix

    5. Mark Webber – has had his share of good fortune at last, and he’s taken it!

  418. Ad says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

  419. Doug says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Buemi (Honorable mention as nobody had mentioned him at time of writing – did a great job. Was on the pace quickly and put in some very good drives towards the tail end of last season)

  420. 1. Hamilton – Started the season with the slowest car on the grid – did not lapse into a whiny funk – rolled up his sleeves with the team and hauled that car all the way to the winner’s circle. And by the way, I am not a fan of L.H. – but the facts are the facts.

    2. Vettel – Fast, fast, fast but still young and sometimes foolish.

    3. Webber – very nearly as quick as his team mate and better race craft – his consistency kept him neck and neck in the points with Vettel all season.

    4. Button – a sublime first 1/3 season – but in the quickest car by far. Out-qualified and out-raced by his team mate – and half of the rest of the grid – the last half of the season.

    5. Barrichello – had his best year yet – got more consistent performance out of the car than did Button.

  421. Pol Espargaro says:

    1. JB
    2. LH
    3. SV
    4. RB
    5. FA

  422. Belty says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Button edges out Barrichello

  423. Graeme Nesbitt says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  424. Femi Akinz says:

    1. Jenson – After all is said and done, he delivered

    2. Sebastien Vettel – Came of age

    3. Lewis Hamilton – Great second drive. I am a huge fan but wonder if he had been a bit more careful could have had a long shot at the title (Australia, Monaco, Monza, may be Abu Dhabi ~ 35pts lost)

    4. Mark Webber – Kept Vettel honest

    5. Kimi Raikkonen – Would have been 3rd but first half of season was shoddy

  425. Giulio says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Lewis
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  426. Shaq says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikonnen
    4. Roseberg
    5. Button

  427. HR says:

    We all know that if we swopped the drivers into different cars the order would change completely, ranking drivers is ‘scientifically’ is impossible.

    So what they did with what they had.

    Jenson: won most races and the Championship.

    Lewis: A racing genius. Had to explain but you know it when you see it.

    Vettel: Long term will be Lewis’s biggest challenger; the rivalry will become the centrepiece of F1.

    Rubens: Sometimes faded when the going got really tough (Brazil), but what a (mostly) happy racer.

    Webber: Broke through with two wins and looked good winning from the front.

    Biggest disappointment, Kimi; How on earth can anyone get excited by a driver who blows so hot and cold?

  428. Adam says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Webber

  429. Myles Woerner says:

    1) Button
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Rosberg

  430. CH Ling says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  431. Nic Maennling says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Button

  432. DaveCS says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Alonso

  433. David Worsley says:

    Sweet.

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  434. Paul says:

    1 – Button – He won the championship
    2 – Vettel – If not for a couple of mistakes caused by his youth he probably would have won the championship
    3 – Webber – Recovery from injury and closer to his team mate than Rubens, his win in Germany was probably most dominant of the season. (I know some will argue Button in Turkey was better, but don’t forget Webber had a drive through to contend with)
    4 – Barrichello – Came good toward the end of the season, but missed out early wins
    5 – Hamilton – Fanastic couple of wins against the odds

    And as for Kimi he is just too inconsistent.

  435. sidewaysbob says:

    Top 5

    1. Hamilton – came of age, turned a season around, never gave up.
    2. Webber – came back from massive accident to double wins, and stuck up for his principles when Flavio got crusified.
    3. Button – took all the chances presented to him and rode his luck.
    4. Vettel – missed the top spot with inconsistancy, but improved over last years maiden victory.
    5. Barrichello – proved there was life in the old dog yet.

    Bottom 5.

    1. Trulli – fell asleep race after race with a car that should have won. He does still make nice wine apparently
    2. Kubica – Whinged all year, so much so that BMW left. will fail at Renault too. never once showed any spirit.
    3. Raikkernen – Only perked up when team mate almost died. Then faffed around not really bothering and has no seat for next year. Won becuase he pressed the KERS button at the right moment.
    4. Kovalainen – Should have delivered some results, failed like he failed at Renault.
    5. Alonso – becuase he had the Ferrari contract in his pocket 12 months ago, let Symonds and Flav get nailed, refused to admit he didn’t really win in Singapore last year. He didn’t really look like he tried in the Renault this year. was treading water until 2010 season.

  436. Konstantin says:

    My top 5 drivers:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Lewis Hamilton

  437. The Apricot says:

    Button
    Webber
    Hamilton
    Rosberg
    Vettel

    Honourable mentions:

    Massa – performed well with a fairly poor car prior to his accident.

    Kobayashi – executed a slick transition to the demands of F1; drove with plenty of flair and aggression.

    Alguersuari – simply for having the audacity to lose the back end of the Renault at Piquet corner!

  438. Don says:

    1 Button
    2)Vettel
    3)Rosberg
    4)Webber
    5)Kobayashi

  439. Vince T says:

    1. Button – results not so good in the second half, but made hay while he could, and made the passes when needed

    2. Webber – but for some mistakes from the team, could have been a different story in the title fight; always on the pace if the car was quick

    3. Vettel – critical mistakes in Australia, Monaco and Turkey, but otherwise almost always on the pace if the car allowed

    4. Hamilton – epitomised the phrase ‘never give up’; rewarded nicely with two victories as a result

    5. Rosberg – probably had the Williams qualifying and finishing higher than it should have; given the equipment, the results to match his flashes of brilliance will come; costly mistake in the Singapore pitlane

  440. KenN0898 says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  441. Cockney James Hunt says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    He shone in a v. bad car – comprehensively spanking his highly rated team-mate

    2. Kimi Raikonnen
    He won in a car even multiple GP winner Fisi found completely undriveable. Single-handedly salvaged Ferrari’s reputation this year

    3. Jenson Button
    The highs were absolutely sublime, but he also has it in him to be ‘a bit crap’

    4. Sebastien Vettel
    The milky bar kid. But is he a wheel to wheel racer?

    5. Fernando Alonso
    Nobody does it better

  442. Russell Wykes says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  443. Trevor Yates says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  444. Ned says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  445. Dermot Keelan says:

    1. Raikkonen – drove that Ferrari to positions it had no right to be in – especially in Spa.

    2. Hamilton – came on in leaps and bounds – punched well above his car’s weight.

    3. Jenson – won WDC but mid-season wobble was most worrying

    4. Barrichello – back to his best but still the bridesmaid.

    5. Rosberg – comprehensively outclassed his teammate and got better as the season went on…pity about not taking advantage at the start of the season, and the crash in Singapore!

  446. Rob says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

  447. Jagan says:

    In no particular order

    Vettel
    Webber
    Button
    Hamilton
    Rosberg

  448. Alex says:

    5th – Barrichello. Beaten by Button when it really mattered – i.e. when the car was capable of consistently racking up wins and podiums, and the big points that come with them. Very competent, occasionally excellent, but outclassed over the course of the season by his team-mate.

    4th – Hamilton. Struggled when the car was uncompetitive, but came alive when it did to put in some hugely impressive performances. Perhaps parallels can be drawn with Button’s season in that respect. Would have ranked higher, but for that sorry sequence of events in Australia. So little to gain, so much was lost.

    3rd – Webber. Beaten by Vettel in the end – but his championship challenge to Button was, for a time, as credible as any. To come back from thos kind of injuries and compete as he did was, without trying to patronise, a magnificent achievement in itself.

    2nd – Vettel. The man doesn’t excite me on- or off-track as yet, and that Monaco error sticks in my mind, but it’s undeniable that his awesome potential is well on the way to becoming awesome ability. A very impressive season that could have been even better.

    1st – Jenson Button. Drove beautifully in favorable circumstances, wobbled disconcertingly as the pressure hit home… but Brazil was truly an inspiring performance. This season turned me from a casual Jenson fan into a front-rank cheerleader for his cause. The man was pure class.

    (On a side note, I find it baffling that Alonso’s season was ranked so highly by so many – a season spent collecting minor placings in a mediocre car doesn’t deserve greater recognition than any of the five men mentioned above. I can’t help but feel they say these sorts of things to solidify their ideas of themselves as ‘F1 purists’ who see the game for what it really is – or they’re just regurgitating the received wisdom that he’s the best ‘pound for pound’ driver and so will always deserve the greatest recognition.)

    Anyway! Thanks for the blog, such a lot of content for no investment whatsoever except time. Excellent work.

  449. Manfred says:

    The drivers I think did the best job in 2009 are:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Kobayashi

  450. Hutch says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  451. Chris says:

    1: Button
    2: Hamilton
    3: Vettel
    4: Raikkonen
    5: Barrichello

  452. Rahul Seth says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    2) Hamilton
    4) Alonso
    5) Barrichello

  453. Jon Doe says:

    Forget about my or our top five drivers. Lets talk about your top 5 drivers, James Allen.
    1. Button.
    2. Hamilton.
    Lets see if any other British driver was in F1 this season…ummm no. So, you’d go with Rosberg, Vettel and Webber, not necessarily in that order just to fill in the blanks. Because of your ” special” relationship with Hamilton, you might even make him 1st on your list. You might even put Alonso in your top 5 at Rosberg’s expense, just to balance it out and not sound too biased.

    1. Jon Doe says:

      Just to add one more thing. Those who actually give credit to Hamilton for turning around Mclaren should put Fisichella first on their list. If Hamilton turned around Mclaren’s fortunes, LOL! then Fisi did an even better job with less than half the budget and facilities available to him. That being the yard stick, Fisi should be ahead of Hamilton, but oh no!! He is not British!

  454. Jason says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  455. piotr says:

    here’s my top five:

    1. Jenson Button – just as smoothly as he secured the title within the first seven races of the year driving supremely, he also proved to be self-critical, by saying after the Brazilian Grand Prix “I think I deserved it (the title) today” after few great overtaking moves during the race. So, even though he’s not usually on my top whatever drivers list, then still he did a bloody good job, to clinch the title, taking full advantage of this fortunate stroke of fate, which wasn’t his best friend over the years at all.

    2. Rubens Barrichello – emotional season by the emotional man. He kept gaining confidence and mental strength in most difficult moments of the season, in which Button seemed to crack a bit.

    3. Sebastian Vettel – for consistent (even if somewhat dull sometimes) driving almost throughout the whole season, and also for criticising himself (“I’m an idiot, I’m very, very sorry”) after taking out my favourite Kubica, thus giving away 6 crucial championship points.

    4. Mark Webber – for winning his first ever GP, making it 2 just before the end of 2009 campaign and keeping up to Vettel’s pace despite a injury-related handicap at the first part of the season. Great fighting spirit.

    5. Nico Rosberg – I do have a problem to judge it correctly. Did Rosberg squeezed everything possible out of the Williams’ car or rather did he failed to exploit full potential of it? One way or the other, whether it was due to his talent or great car underneath him, he did good job this season.

    Great one-off performances worth mentioning:

    1. Giancarlo Fisichella – for inspired fight with Räikkönen’s KERS advantaged car in Belgian GP

    2. Robert Kubica – for brave qualifying in Brazilian torrential rain in dry set-up car underneath him and faultless race, proving that since the Australian GP he took it easy this year and only being provoked by his team principals’ discontent after Saturday in Interlagos, he showed what he’s really capable of.

    3. Kamui Kobayashi – rookie of the season

    Not mentioned for right reason:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – the way I see it, there’s no such thing as great sportsman who’s lying. Hamilton did so as a current World Champion, which is even bigger blow to his reputation and therefore despite few brilliant drives later on this year he cannot be mentioned among top five men.

    2. Kimi Räikkönen – even as “The King of Spa”, he shouldn’t be allowed to gain few positions by using the run-off area route at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. That is pure cheating. Besides, we won’t ever know how good his driving this year really was having no comparison with Massa’s performances since Hungary. Mind you Kimi was trailing 9 points to Massa’s 22 till that point of championship. So using Kimi’s expression his starts this year was at peaks only “nice”.

  456. Rob says:

    1 Button
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Barrichello
    5 Webber

  457. Zing says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Räikkönen
    5. Barrichello

  458. Becken says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Webber
    5. Vettel

  459. Justin Holden says:

    1: Raikkonen (never gave up trying with a total piece of a car)

    2: Vettel If the car wasn’t typically Adrian Newey AKA unreliable and fragile he would have been this years world champion

    3: Ruben Nver gave up trying and also had the Brwan on the pace, if it wasn’t for Button giant head start I think Ruben would have taken the title

    4: Lewis constantly pushed hard, must say his attitute only really chnaged once the car became competive

    5: Rosberg picture of consistany

  460. Konstantin says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Webber

  461. Andrew says:

    1: Hamilton – he started the season with a dog of a car and developed it into a car worthy of the championship fight and entertained us with absolutely great driving.
    2: Raiklonen – great performances from a car that had it’s development halted.
    3: Vettel – his consistent speed was stunning to watch.
    4: Alonso – getting FAR more out of his car than it was capable of.
    5: Kobayashi – his stunning performances straight away in contrast to other highly rated drives who couldn’t perform.

  462. Benjamin Sy says:

    Top 5 2009 drivers:
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  463. Angus says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Button

  464. michael c says:

    1 Hamilton 2 Webber 3 Raikonnen 4 Glock 5 Fisichella at Force India

  465. Thyraeus says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Alonso

  466. Paul Sivyer says:

    1. Niko Rosberg
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Jenson Button

  467. Murray Little says:

    Here’s my assessment:

    1. Hamilton – good perf in poor car
    2. Vettel – good perf
    3. Button – a little inconsistent
    4. Rosberg – good places in poor (not rich team) car
    5. Heidfeldt – good and consistent

    ____Murray

  468. Joel Morrison says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  469. Munafmtl says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

  470. Tony G says:

    1.Vettel- blisteringly fast throughout the year will learn from his mistakes.
    2.Hamilton – probably the best driver in the second half of the season demoted to 2nd on my list because of “liegate”.
    3.Button – used his car brilliantly when it was on song and drove a storming race in Brazil
    4.Webber – probably knobbled from giving Vettel a better run because of his Tasmanian injuries but amazed me with his pace in Germany, whenever has a driver won a race after a drive through penalty before?
    5.Barrichello – whinged too much for my liking but his wins at Valencia and Monza on KERS tracks were brilliant

  471. Evan says:

    1- button
    2- Hamilton
    3- vettel
    4- raikonnen
    5- webber

  472. ptrx says:

    Hi!

    1. Jenson Button – he only failed to score at Spa

    2. Sebastian Vettel – one win less than Jenson

    3. Lewis Hamilton – impressive when car allowed

    4. Nico Rosberg – fast and consistent

    5. Rubens Barrichello – fast and consistent considering some strange tactics from his team, beats Kimi which didnt look that impressive when Felipe was racing.

  473. IR-ONE says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel.
    2. Kimi Räikkönen.
    3. Rubens Barrichello.
    4. Jenson Button.
    5. Mark Webber.

  474. Vicente Vega says:

    1.- Jenson Button
    2.- Sebastian Vettel
    3.- Rubens Barrichello
    4.- Marc Webber
    5.- Nico Rosberg

  475. Colster says:

    1. Button – he won! Awesome first half and despite some qualifying issues still consistenly scored points in the 2nd

    2. Vettel – Outqualified Weber 15-2.Could have won but mistakes and reliability let him down.

    3. Weber – Pushed Vettel and the Brawns whilst coming back from injury.

    4. Barrichello – Some great drives and consistent qualifying performances. Pushed ‘the Button’ all the way.

    5. Hamilton – despite Liargate he’s proven his pedigree in an inferior car. Outqualified Kovvi 12-5 and vastly out scored him 49-22.

    Special mention for Kobayashi – really livened up the races! I’m sure we’ll see him next year.

  476. Nick says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

    Although Rosberg and Kimi are also worth a great shout.

  477. Carlos Yau says:

    My selection of top 5 drivers of 2009 are:
    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

  478. Bayu says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Button
    4. Vettel
    5. Sutil :)

  479. barry says:

    1.Button
    2.Vettel
    3.Barrichello
    4.Weber
    5.Raikkonen

  480. F1_Gal says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  481. Ed says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Barrichello
    5. Hamilton

  482. Tonksy says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Webber
    3. Alonso
    4. Button
    5. Vettel

    Great website James – thanks

  483. James Pickering says:

    1: Jenson Button (dominated early season scored vital points when car was not as fast)

    2: Sebastien Vettel ( Some stunning drives, had bad luck, but make few to many silly mistakes)

    3: Lewis Hamilton (Caught lying to stewards but amazing drives with a car that from beginning of the year did not have hope of winning.)

    4: Mark Webber (GP winner this year some great drives. Was more consistant then vettel but not sure as quick. Did not have beat vettel as he has done with team mates past)

    5: Rubens Barrichello ( Out classed beginning of year by button but in second half was able drive around problems with the car better then button, 2 great wins.)

  484. BRIAN says:

    1. HAM
    2.VETTEL
    3.BUTTON
    4.KIMI
    5. BARRICHELLO

  485. Skanda says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Lewis
    4 Barrichello
    5 Webber

  486. Brian Martin says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Button
    4) Räikkönen
    5) Barrichello

  487. sam says:

    1. Haminton (I don’t support him, but he showed that its the “driver” that makes a winning car)

    2. Kimi (The gap between Fisi and Alonso were narrorwer in 2006 which shows how difficult it is to drive F60)

    3. Vettle (a contender that never gives up, not even when it’s all over)

    4. KOBAYASHI ( see Jame’s Article – F1 finds a new hero in Kaumi)

    5. Alonso (Despite having an awfull car, he kept trying and trying)

    With almost retired driver finishing higher in second part of the season, I don’t think Button got the best out of his car consistently.

  488. Ajayrious says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Sebastien Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Jenson Button

  489. Gary C-G says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  490. Hussein Lokhandwala says:

    Hamilton – Sublime 2nd half of the season, was always within a sniff of a result if the car was there or there abouts.

    Raikkonen – Good recovery considering early season woes, drove consistently well with an ‘undeveloped’ car. Spa win obviously the highlight, but he appears to enjoy a track advantage there.

    Vettel showed fantastic speed and confidence, including converting 1-lap Q3 runs into commendable grid slots. Only made mistakes expected of one so young, no shame in that.

    Button very strong 1st half performance, good overtaking instinct all year, shame about his 2nd half qually woes and questionable mind management.

    Webber, silenced all the naysayers, went a lot quicker then a lot of people said he would, considering the injury. I’m sure he would have liked to have been closer to Vettel more of the time, but his perennial bad luck has not yet deserted him. Took the wins when the car was there.

  491. Neil Barr says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Mark Webber

  492. Joe Angers says:

    1: Barrichello – was a lot more consistent than Button. Was always competitive with the Brawn, and dealt with the Brawn’s weaknesses a lot better than Button did during that mid-season stretch

    2: Vettel – Proved that his first win was no fluke, and took the fight to Button in a car that frankly didn’t deserve to be as fast as it was.

    3: Button – World Champion. Came out gangbusters at the beginning of the season, but lost a lot of steam post British GP and could not cope with the Brawn’s weaknesses during that stretch.

    4: Hamilton – made a go of it with a pig of a car. This is the kind of season that really test a drivers mettle, and Lewis passed with flying colors.

    5: Glock – Incredibly fast when he wants to be, but inconsistent. More often than he would give his more experienced team mate a serious run for his money.

    Joe A.

  493. Frenchie says:

    Hi James, that’s a bit unfair. You’re asking us to share your opinion to win the competiton!

    I think your top 5 probably is:

    1. Button (consistency and most wins)
    2. Hamilton (learnt how a world champion should behave after lie-gate, got his team around him and was flamboyant at times)
    3. Alonso (for destroying two teammates and putting this pig of R29 on the podium)
    4. Vettel (excellent pace but not enough overtaking moves)
    5. Webber (achieved two wins with 1.5 legs)

    My top 5 is more like:
    1. Button (can overtake several times during a race).
    2. Hamilton (can overatke at times)
    3. Kubica (as above)
    4. Vettel (did overtake in Brazil but can do better)
    5. Kobayashi (what a rookie! and yes, he too can put daring moves).

    Nelson Piquet Jr’s top five:
    1. Nelson Piquet Jr (would have done better than Alonso with the same car. LOL. Provided most of the 2009 entertainment with crash-gate)
    2. Sebastien Bourdais (he managed to get points before his dismissal).
    3. Kazuki (who managed not to get sacked despite lack of points)
    4. Alguersuari (same as Kazuki with less races under his belt)
    5. Grosjean (same as Alguersuari with even les races).

    1. Frenchie says:

      Hi James, after second thoughts, I’d like to reshuffle my Top 5 a wee bit:

      1. Button
      2. Hamilton
      3. Vettel
      4. Webber
      5. Alonso

  494. Peter Mohabeer says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

  495. Praveen says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Rosberg

  496. Nuno says:

    Ín my opinion, the 2009 top five were :

    1- Hamilton

    2- Vettel

    3- Button

    4- Rosberg

    5- Raikkonen

  497. Rahul says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barichello
    5. Raikkonen

  498. randy leach says:

    1. button
    2.vettel
    3.barrichello
    4.hamilton
    5.rosberg

  499. Prakash says:

    My Choice
    1. Vettel – Really proved he can drive and has a mature mind. Did a mistake banging into his team mate early on in the season but matured very fast to remain in the reckoning

    2. Barrichello – To me a huge discovery this season. This man almost got fired then got beaten by his team mate every single day till the time his brakes worked and then he showed all the young guns how to drive.

    3. Button – Kudos to him for keeping his cool and not loosing it at the last minute. It must have been very very tough for him to keep his head down, but that is exactly what he did. Perfect

    4. Hamilton – What stood out for Hamilton this year (i believe that he is the man with the real potential to break Shumi’s record)was the fact that he stood by his team when the chips were down. When his car was not performing up to any standards he did not come out and crib about his team, did not say that the team was not doing well, did not say that the team did not support him. He has shown great character this season and this alone shows that he has the potential to be one of the greatest drivers ever. Am a huge Schumi fan (every other driver pales in front of him for me) but am sure that the red baron would also respect him a bit more after seeing his season.

    5. Giancarlo Fisichella – I cant believe force india could get into the points and that too in such style. He has to be one of the key reasons for this to happen. He did not loose hope and kept his head down and when he got a chance he drove like a true racer. This was his last season in F1 but am sure that the circus would remember him for his drives and this season would stand out no doubts

  500. john says:

    top five drivers of the season:

    jenson button
    lewis hamilton
    rubens
    vettel
    webber

  501. Kenny says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

    Honorable Mention: Kamui “Kamikaze” Kobayashi

  502. Rob Silver says:

    First post, my take?

    1) Hamilton
    2) Rosberg
    3) Button
    4) Alonso
    5) Vettel

  503. Ben Tompkinson says:

    Here’s my top 5…

    1. Lewis Hamilton – kept ploughing on with a rubbish car at the start – never gave up.

    2. Jenson Button – he has the raw talent, and was just waiting for the right car.

    3. Rubens Barrichello – I don’t think he’ll ever be World Champion – but mainly because whatever team he is with won’t let him!

    4. Felipe Massa – I think he would have been right up there would it have not been for the “spring” incident

    5. Mark Webber – Mr bad luck – give him a 10 minute head start and he’d run over a drawing pin and get a puncture.

  504. Liquid says:

    Hamilton
    Button
    Vettel
    Alonso
    Rosberg

  505. Till says:

    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Button
    Barrichello

    To get results in a poor car is class. I’d like to have added Alonso to the list, but there weren’t really enough results…

  506. 0000 says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Webber
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Button

  507. RON says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Koba
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Massa

  508. 1)Vettel
    2)Button
    3)Barrichello
    4)Webber
    5)Kobayashi

  509. Ninad says:

    1. Jenson Button- There are doubts whether he is deserving champion or not but still he drove consistently winning races while his car was good. And consistently finished in points in all races other than Spa.

    2. Rubens Barrichello- He was good in qualifying, participated in all qualifying session other than Hungary Q3. But lacked race pace to his teammate in most races.

    3. Sebastian Vettel- Was superb on his day, almost unbeatable. But couple of mistakes early in season cost him good shot at title.

    4. Mark Webber- Matched his teammate and was even looking better untill Spa. Then 4 non point scoring races cost him.

    5. Jarno Trulli- Did very good. As usual did better in qualifying. Had 3 chances of win this year but somehow things did not work- Bahrain- strategy to put onto hard tires cost him., Belgium- lost front wing on lap 1 had better fuel and pace than Fisi and Kimi, Brazil- again lap 1 crash. But overall good drive.

    6. Kimi Raikkonen- Podium and KERS assisted win but how he would have fared with Massa around. No one knows.

    7. Lewis Hamilton- Made couple of mistakes like Monaco qualifying crash, Germany lap 1 then Monza last lap which cost him podium or win in all those races. Also involved in liar gate scandal. But drove good as car got improved.

    8. Nick Heidfeld- Good consistent drive. Outscored Kubica. Plus some brilliant calls like Malaysia gained him podium.

    9. Nico Rosberg- Consistent points score but cost team a podium or likely win at Singapore.

    10. Fernando Alonso- Got most out of car including podium but not a single champions driver that we wanted to see.

  510. Red Chen says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Hamilton
    6. Barrichello

  511. Murray says:

    Hamilton – poor car held him back first half
    Button – could’ve done better after the flying start, but mostly outperformed Barrichello anyway
    Vettel – a couple of mistakes, but the car wasn’t up to it early which cost him.
    Webber – as good as Vettel
    Raikonnen – He’s probably as relieved as all get out to get away from Ferrari. He went there with the usual BS “I can finish my career here etc”, won his championship with a little help from Lewis and Fernando, but Ferrari’s responsible for doing his head in. When he was at McLaren, he was always on.

  512. Robert says:

    1) Hamilton
    2) Vettel
    3) Button
    4) Webber
    5) Rosberg

  513. Shdadoz says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton (His drive at Monza was phenomenal)

    2. Rubens Barrichello (He drove with his hart and sole, I have never been happier for a driver to win a race. Accept for Lewis last year at Brazil).

    3. Kimi Raikkonen

    4. Kamui Kobayashi

    5. Mark Webber

  514. Jonathan Cheung says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Seb Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  515. Long Nguyen says:

    My top 5
    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  516. Pete Schnabel says:

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg
    3. Alonso
    4. Vettel
    5. Hamilton

    P.S. could you sign my book? :)

  517. Colin says:

    1. Button – champion obvious
    2. Vettel – so fast
    3. Hamilton – brilliant with a bad car
    4. Raikkonen – found form when Ferrari needed him most
    5. Barrichello – woulda coulda shoulda

  518. Aghurri says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Kobayashi

  519. Satish says:

    My list of 2009′s best drivers…

    1 – Rubens Barichello
    2 – Mark Webber
    3 – Fernando Alonso
    4 – Lewis Hamilton
    5 – Nico Rosberg

  520. Kade says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

  521. Jared O'Brien says:

    And my top 5 for 2009 are…

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  522. mick says:

    here’s my top 5
    hamilton
    webber
    kubica
    rosber
    barichello

  523. Keith Lipski says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Alonso

  524. Bryan R says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

  525. Brian says:

    Hamilton – 4th in Australia (later DSQ’d) and rather dominant in the last half of the season (ignoring the mechanical that got him at Abu Dhabi) as soon as he got a car that was even remotely capable. Flattered his car more than anyone else in 09.

    Button – 6 wins in 7 races is hard to argue with. Mid season slump, but Brazil and Abu Dhabi showed him to be seemingly back on his pace. Only failed to score when he was collected at Spa.

    Vettel – Always a threat on track. Couple accidents and/or mechanicals hurt him more than his rivals, but was still able to snatch second from Rubens in the closing races. And when he won, he generally had a dominant drive, if not weekend.

    Rubens – Late-season charge against his teammate kept him 2nd in the championship until nearly the very end when bad luck in Brazil reared it’s head again.

    Kimi – I really wanted to say Webber, but I think Kimi’s late-season drives against his fill-in teammates proved what he was doing with that miserable car. Shame he didn’t show up until after Massa’s incident.

  526. Paul says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  527. graham says:

    Lewis
    Seb
    Jense
    Webbo
    Nico

    James, I am counting on that book by Christmas… OK?

  528. Mark D. Johnson says:

    1) Lewis Hamilton
    2) Sebastien Vettel
    3) Kimi Raikkonnen
    4) Jenson Button
    5) Phillipe Massa

  529. Balashanker says:

    Top 5 drivers of the year:-

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  530. Ben says:

    1. Hamilton (just never gives up, even with a bad car. Compare his results to Heiki’s and that says it all)
    2. Glock (missed the last 3 when the car was good and still only just behind Trulli on points and bought the car home every race he started)
    3. Kimi (I think he’s driven better this year than when he won the title!)
    4. Button (perfect the first half of the season so he gets in, but as the car dropped off, so did he)
    5. Kobayashi (great debut and followed it up next race)

    Vettel misses out because he really ought to have taken the title with that car. Webber we all know is a class act, and I think he ought to have won more this year. Rubens has driven better in paste seasons and while Alonso should maybe be in there, but his team mates were so crap this year, who knows how well he did!

  531. Nic Brady says:

    1.) Jenson Button
    2.) Rubens Barrichello
    3.) Sebastien Vettel
    4.) Mark Webber
    5.) Lewis Hamilton

  532. Doug Evans says:

    1. Lewis
    2. Buttun
    3. Vettel
    4. Rubens
    5. Kimi

  533. JamesW says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

    Given your criteria then JB has to be first. The peaks don’t get any higher than winning the WDC. He was consistent – only one DNF and that wasn’t his fault. He was unbeatable when the car was the best on the grid, and kept racking up the points when it wasn’t.

    Vettel is lower because he could have done better. The Red Bull was good, and a few more points here and there could have made the difference. Still, when he was good he was very, very good.

    Hamilton made the most of what was a dog of a car at the start of the season. It did improve, but I think the driver made the difference when it did pick up wins. Where was Heikki in the second half of the season? Great drive to 3rd from near the back of the grid in Brazil too.

    I expected Webber to get thrashed by Vettel. He was beaten, but not by that much, and in the German GP he was unstoppable. Considering his pre-season injuries, then he did very well.

    Finally Raikkonen for somehow getting that Ferrari to the top of the podium at Spa, and generally putting in a good set of performances after Massa’s misfortune.

    Barichello misses out because he squandered far too many opportunities. He should have been first or second in the driver’s championship, but ended up third. Getting beaten by Button in Spain, despite having the superior strategy, summed up his season.

    Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to Kobayashi too. He provided more excitement in two races than three quarters of the grid managed all season.

  534. Vince says:

    1. Hamilton – he didn’t have a good car at the start but when the car came good, he delivered (bar Monaco which I consider his only real mistake of the year)
    2. Button – whatever it is, he was mightily impressive in the first part of the season. I find it hard to believe any driver would have done a better job. He was found wanting in the 2nd part of the season but he hung on in there, collected whatever points he was capable of and did whatever was needed to clinch the title. I doubt he’ll ever be considered one of the greats but he got the job done this season.
    3. Vettel – made a few mistakes but totally out-shined Webber, although the qualifying comparison isn’t as clear cut as the numbers made it out to be. He’ll be a force once those rough edges are polished off.
    4. Kimi – nothing spectacular at the start of the season but really came on strong towards the latter part.
    5. Alonso – he almost became the invisible man of 2009 but he did have his highs where possible good results escaped him a few times by bad strategy calls, tire falling off and such. But he was consistently putting the Renault into Q3, so he takes my final top 5 spot.

    1. Robert says:

      What about Monza?

  535. Teresa says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

  536. Matthew H says:

    1 Vettel (he’s a baby remember? )
    2 Button (did what he should have done with that car, excellent over taking, pipped by vettel as you just wouldn’t expect vettel to lay it down like his dd for his age)
    3 Rubens
    4 Webber (v good, considering his leg saga, could do a bit better though, shown up by Vettel)
    5 Lewis (What a come back, but we know he’s an awesome driver)

  537. Andy says:

    1. Button,
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello,
    5. Heidfeld,

  538. Anders says:

    1 – Button
    2 – Barrichello
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Rosberg
    5 – Glock

  539. Tom says:

    1. Vettel
    Staked his claim to the WDC
    2. Hamilton
    Who know’s who’s the quickest, but he’s the most exciting in my eyes
    3. Button
    Got more from the car than Rubens and produced the goods, won a drive at McLaren
    4. Rosberg
    Looked really on it, the surprise performer of the season
    5. Kimi
    Rode the crap out of the Ferrari, even when he was fighting a losing battle

    There is no way that James won’t pick Alonso tho! ;o)

  540. Steve N says:

    1.Lewis Hamilton
    2.Jenson Button
    3.Kimi Raikkonen
    4.Sebastian Vettel
    5.Rubens Barrichello

  541. khan says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen

  542. Matt F says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Alonso
    5. Webber

  543. bg f1 fan says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Rosberg
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

  544. Pierre says:

    My Top Five
    1/ Hamilton
    2/ Raikkonen
    3/ Vettel
    4/ Barichello
    5/ Button

  545. Dulait says:

    It’s all too easy to forget Button’s scintillating start to the season when he was utterly peerless, and for that reason he’s top of the pile for me.

    Kimi doesn’t make it, simply due to the fact that he was outshone(again) by Massa for the first half of the season and although he strung together a series of podium finishes in the second half of the season, the lack of a sufficient benchmark as a team mate tells us little about his respective performance. Based on the preceding evidence, Massa may well have been winning races regularly in the updated car.

    So top 5 for me:

    1. Button
    2. Alonso
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg

  546. Rob J says:

    My selection
    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Fernando Alonso

  547. Michael Grievson says:

    Button -
    Kimi –
    Rosberg –
    Reubens
    Vettel

  548. Baart says:

    here is my top 5 drivers of 2009

    1. Button – he had incredible hi and lows, but he manage to win the 2009 Title

    2. Hamilton – from zero to hero, and it looks like he never lost his faith

    3. Vettel – very fast and he almost win

    4. Kobayashi – he had no respect even for a Champion in a last race

    5. Alguersuari – feast learner

  549. Radoye says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Raikkonen
    3 Alonso
    4 Vettel
    5 Button

  550. Tore says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Barrichello
    3.Button
    4.Alonso
    5.Hamilton

  551. andyb.wrc says:

    There isn’t a “Best 5″ – there’s only a “least bad 5″.

    Webber – threw away a championship
    Vettel – threw away a championship
    Barricello – threw away a championship
    Button – just held on to a championship.

    None of these guys could have fronted up to a championship like Lewis vs Kimi, Lewis vs Massa, Schumacher vs Alonso.

    Best driver of the year: Rosberg

  552. Amritraj says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Raikkonen

    Dropping Barrichello and Webber, as over the season. they have been nowhere near their teammates in equal machinery.

  553. Craig says:

    1) Rubens Barrichello – Still got it after all these years in the sport

    2) Sebastian Vettal – Prooved he will be a champion in the future

    3) Lewis Hamilton – Never gave up even though he had a bad car at the start of the season

    4) Mark Webber – Finally got his first win, afterb that he came alive.

    5) Jenson Button – A brilliant start to the season, but when his car was no longer the best, his performances went sour. But still had a stunning drive in Brazil

  554. Mile says:

    Strange season and no obvies No1, but choice would be:

    1. Vettel, very fast in fast car, few mistake’s, but noone had a perfect seson
    2. Button, champion, but 2 times had a gift from Ross (Spain, unneccery extra stop for Rubens, and few races later when Rubens let him pass for third or fourth, cannot remember) plus very bad second part of the season.
    3. Massa, he was the best from the big guns before accident
    4. Kimi, feonomenal drives in the second part of the year
    5. Hamilton, when he get quick car, drowe like champion, but few mistakes, espacialy Monza almost make me drop him from a list.

    -Rubens, failed to acihve equale tretman with Button from the start, that cost him a title, and this was his only chance;
    -Webber is off the list because he was properly beaten by Vettel, but part of the guilt shoud be on the team, he was just on 2 or 3 races lighter then Vettel in Qualifaying, and thats for me favoring Vettel from the team, something i don’t like at all;
    -Truli, steel starting backwards, shame;
    -Alonso, had a few chanceses in uncompetitive car, didn’t capitalize on them;
    -Sutil, very fast, but too much mistake’s in the racees;
    -Rosberg, underperformed in qualifaying, plus mistake in Singapure, too much for the place on the list;

    -Kobayashi would be number one if the criterium is who exited me the most, i hope he will be on the grid next season, and on the next top five list.

  555. Kevin Purcell says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  556. Daniel Shires says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  557. jago says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Webber
    Barrichello
    All were good and all made mistakes. Would have switched Hamilton and Vettel if not for Oz incident.
    Button to stay at Brawn for 2010……

  558. Alex says:

    1. Hamilton – Sure, he didn’t win, but he was against the odds and fought for it the whole way. Getting into another scandal wasn’t wise but that doesn’t reflect on his driving. Compared to his team-mate it’s clear he got everything that car was offering.

    2. Button – He didn’t win the championship without reason. The Brawn was the most competitive car in the pack but it still took skill to convert that into a championship victory.

    3. Vettel – Perhaps he could have done more, but clearly the Red Bull wasn’t quite as competitive as the Brawn, especially in the beginning of the season during the rear diffuser imbalance. It’s easy to forget, though, that this is Vettel’s second season in F1 and he put in a great performance which may have been champion-worthy if the car were a little more reliable.

    4. Raikonnen – Rarely in more than a strictly midfield car Raikonnen showed he still has pace. Whatever issues went behind his inconsistency over the past two seasons can’t occlude that.

    5. Rosberg – Podiums were elusive but he was _consistently_ quick, much more so than Nakajima which suggests how much he achieved with the machinery he had under him.

  559. DK says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikonnen
    5. Barrichello

  560. Jon Wilde says:

    1 – Button
    2 – Hamilton
    3 – Vettel
    4 – Raikkonen
    5 – Webber

  561. Paul Luksza says:

    My top 5:

    1. Button – only 1 non-points finish all year. Qualifying at Spain was my highlight, unforgettable performance.

    2. Hamilton – blistering pace in a relatively poor McLaren. Also grew as a person after the liegate incident.

    3. Vettel – some great performances; also some silly mistakes. His time will come.

    4. Rosberg – maturing nicely as a driver; plum drive for next season.

    5. Webber – flashes of brilliance and slightly handicapped by off-season accident. Fight with Vettel next year should be one of the season highlights.

  562. Derek Lorimer says:

    James,

    Some interesting responses here. Great idea.

    Here is my list

    1 Lewis Hamilton
    2 Jensen Button
    3 Sebastian Vettel
    4 Mark Webber
    5 Rubens Barrichello

  563. Den says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  564. Vlad says:

    1. Button
    2. Webber
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barrichello

  565. Zhenya says:

    1. S. Vettel.
    2. J.Button.
    3. R. Barrichello.
    4. K. Raikkonnen.
    5. M. Webber.

  566. Andy says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  567. Jim Belfast says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  568. James Bignell says:

    Hmmm tough one. After due deliberation my top 5 are as follows.

    1. Lewis Hamilton – based on what he did with what he was given to drive.
    2. Sebastian Vettel – have forgiven him the mistakes of youth.
    3. Jenson Button – hasd he won a race in th second half of the season he would be higher up the list.
    4. Rubens Barrichello – great to see the old man still has it.
    5. Mark Webber – had he been fully fit at the start I believe he would have been far closer to his team mate.

    Thanks for the site James, it has been an excellent read all year.

  569. Blackacre says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Barrichello
    4 Hamilton
    5 Webber

  570. RADEK KOWALEWSKI says:

    1. LEWIS HAMILTON
    2. FELIPE MASSA
    3. SEBASTIAN VETTEL
    4. JENSON BUTTON
    5. RUBENS BARICHELLO

  571. Halgovern says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barichello

  572. Yeti says:

    1. Vettel (could match the Brawns even without double diffuser)
    2. Button (perfect first half of the season)
    3. Hamilton (even with a slower car could pick up points)
    4. Barrichello (outperformed Button in second half of the season)
    5. Raikkonen (Did the best he could in a car nobody else (bar Massa) could drive).

    P.S. I already ordered a copy of your book. :)

  573. Jonathan Henthorn says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg
    4. Glock

  574. Mike Monji says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Rubens Barichelo
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Sebastien Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

  575. balint says:

    1, Vettel
    2, Barrichello
    3, Button
    4, Rosberg
    5, Hamilton

  576. MikeR says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Button
    5. Vettel

  577. Vince says:

    My post seems to have disappeared – it was telling me that is was waiting for moderation but now it has completely gone off the radar. Apologies if this is a repeat post. My top five based on 2009 (without the lengthy reasons this time):

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Fernando Alonso

  578. Chantal says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    =3. Hamilton
    =3. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  579. Glyn says:

    hmmmmm…

    1)Vettel – he will be one of the greatest
    2)Raikkonnen – performed latter season in a car not being developed
    3)Hamilton – outperformed the car and his team mate
    4)Button – awesome car but some mistakes
    5)Barrichello – again awesome car and really pushed button

  580. Finn says:

    1. Vettel
    Moved to a new team and proved himself against an able team mate. Made some mistakes, but also lost points to reliability issues. But for reliability, he probably would have been WDC.

    2. Barrichello
    He made the Brawn work and gave JB so much help with set-up. He had his share of bad luck and some low-point races, but he was the linchpin in Brawn’s season.

    3. Webber
    Coming from his injury and facing Vettel as a red hot F1 property, Webber had a very good and determined season. His attitude spoke volumes.

    4. Alonso
    The Renault looked like a boat when it was first launched and it didn’t get any better throughout the season. He got more out of the car than any other driver would have done.

    5. Rosberg
    34.5 points from a Williams was a top effort from Rosberg and the team. He clearly has a lot of potential and with Ross as his mentor next year he should at last have a chance to mature into complete F1 driver.

  581. Greg says:

    1 – Jenson Button
    2 – Sebastian Vettel
    3 – Lewis Hamilton
    4 – Rubens Barrichello
    5 – Mark Webber

  582. parthi says:

    It has to be…

    1. Luca Badoer
    2. Nelson Piquet Jnr
    3. Roman Grosjean
    4. Kazuki Nakajima
    5. Sebastian Bourdais

  583. Pip says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastien Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Nico Rosberg

  584. Tim says:

    Ok here we go:

    1. Jenson Button
    Was unbeatable and made Rubens look decidedly second-rate at the start of the year. Even the mid-season slump contained points finishes. The drive at Brazil was the best of the year (although Hamilton at the same race was probably even better). SHowed how to overtake, was honest about the pressure, maximised the opportunity he was given.

    2. Lewis Hamilton
    A much better driver now than when he won the WDC. If it wasn’t for the lying at Melbourne he may well have been top. Destroyed Kovalainen, kept the pressure on the team to develop the car. Two race victories, best of all over the second half of the season. Easily demonstrated why he is, with Alonso, the best driver in the F1. Good luck next year, Jesnson…

    3. Sebastian Vettel
    Only his second full season in F1. High point was Chinese GP: one flying lap in each part of qualifying, dominant win. Too many mistakes through the year cost him the title (Melbourne, Turkey etc). Just edged Webber who is nobody’s mug. Kept the fight going all the way to the end. Will be WDC within 3 years (at Mercedes GP in 2011 or 2012).

    4. Mark Webber
    Was in no way fit enough to really be in the car at the start of the year. Many feared how he would fare against Vettel, and he proved he can easily race with him. Textbook win in Brazil, great drive at the Nurburgring.

    5. Rubens Barrichello
    Incredible career with the WDC almost within his grasp after so many years. Far too many mistakes at the start of the year. His outburst against the team didn’t help. But showed that he can setup and hustle a car like few others.

    Was very difficult to choose between Lewis and Jenson for the top spot.

    Great blog, read it all through the day, which doesn’t help my productivity.

    Thanks James for keeping us entertained and informed through the year.

    1. Ahlapski says:

      I am sorry but LYING has nothing to do with doing a good job in the car…..

      1. Tim says:

        Ok calm down. For me, in my opinion, its the one thing that stopped him being the driver of the year.

  585. Robert says:

    1. Button – Most wins, most podiums, Won with the best car, scored with a good car.
    2. Vettel – Out performed Webber – proved he was genuine first rate team leader and title contender
    3. Barrichello – Showed he still had hunger and race winning potential. Failure to make most of start of the season superiority cost him 2nd place.
    3. Hamilton – Apart from Lie gate and Monza would have been above Vettel. Wins and podiums in average car.
    4. Raikonnen – WIns in an poor car – was supreme at SPA. Showed real hunger.
    5. Glock – solid points, podiums and outperformed Trulli

    1. Robert says:

      1. Button – Most wins, most podiums, Won with the best car, scored with a good car.
      2. Vettel – Out performed Webber – proved he was genuine first rate team leader and title contender
      3. Barrichello – Showed he still had hunger and race winning potential. Failure to make most of start of the season superiority cost him 2nd place.
      4. Hamilton – Apart from Lie gate and Monza would have been above Vettel. Wins and podiums in average car.
      5. Raikonnen – WIns in an poor car – was supreme at SPA. Showed real hunger.

  586. rumbert says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Barrichello
    5) Webber

  587. My drivers for this season on performance.

    Jenson Button
    Rubens Barrichello
    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Nico Rosberg

  588. **Paul** says:

    1. Jenson Button: Most consistent person on the grid IMO. Maximised his car where possible at virtually all tracks. Won the WDC with a car that was fastest at 7 tracks, but not even the forth fast car at other tracks.

    2. Sebastien Buemi: Worst car on the grid, virtually always made places up in the race and got 4 points finishes. Great showing.

    3. Fernando Alonso: Awful car that Renault did little to develop from the mid-point of the season. Fernando really pulled out some stunning drives to get it into the points, to gt a podium in it must have felt like a win.

    4. Lewis Hamilton: His attitude was as bad as the car until Hungary, then a turn-around for both and he was driver of the season for the 2nd half of the year.

    5. Sebastian Vettel: Should have won the WDC, had the best car over the entire season made silly errors that cost him. Put in some stunning, if irregular, drives though, hence 5th.

  589. Nadiah says:

    Ah. For me it’s…

    1. Button – even though he mysteriously dropped his form mid-season, he’s still got enough to be champion!

    2. Vettel – mistakes do happen, but otherwise he’s very great. Can’t wait to see more of him next year.

    3. Hamilton – did his best in a car that was so bad early in the season. Yeah, that’s partly ’cause of the team but still…

    4. Räikkönen – did quite a good job in a car that had its development stunted two-thirds into the season. Don’t mind to see him leaving F1 [but only because I'm not ever willing to see him in another kind of F1 overalls after he's been in Ferrari ones...]

    5. Webber – rated him fifth partly ’cause I don’t fancy Barrichello much and partly ’cause he was out of the championship too early.

  590. Kristian says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – Grew up a lot this year, transcended the car
    2. Jenson Button – Great drive to the championship, but a dodgy 2nd half of the season
    3. Seb Vettel – Great drivers for a young guy, but still mistakes
    4. Rubens Barrichello – Found a new lease of life once in the groove.
    5. Timo Glock – Some great performances in the Toyota

  591. eric bhoy says:

    1. button – of course the world champion for this year and with the most overtaking moves this season
    2. raikonen – solid second half of the season with a car supposedly already frozen in terms of development
    3. vettel – despite numerous errors, still performed spectacularly this year
    4. hamilton – great 2nd half as well
    5. barichello-showed us that he is still brilliant

  592. Leonardo says:

    It’s easy if you have the best car so for me the best drivers are the one that can produce results that’s just not possible for the car.

    1. Alonso – I don’t know he can qualify the R29 inside top 10.
    2. Kimi – Getting podium results even with not having the best car.
    3. Button – Finally didn’t drive and collect and gambled, overtaking of the year for me.
    4. Vettel – beating Webbo after being promoted to parent RBR team.
    5. Hamilton – Drove brilliantly when the car got better. Should have not called it “a dog of a car” though

  593. Tim says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  594. oli jones says:

    1. Button
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton

  595. Codrut says:

    Hello

    The top five should be like this:
    1. Vettel – he was the quickest all the season and he lost the championship only because they didn’t have the double diffuser in the first races
    2. Button – because he won the championship, but he should be more consistent if he wants to keep it
    3. Hamilton – because he is quick and he managed to win with a car that was 2 seconds slower at the start of the championship, he provided the right input to the engineers
    4. Raikkonen – he is maybe the quickest of the pack and he managed a good second part of the season; he needs to be more consistent and provide more information to the engineers (or maybe he needs a great car already developed)
    5. Barrichello – he showed the others that he is still a great driver and he could have win it but he is mentally the second driver (reminiscence of the Ferrari years?)

  596. Mattij says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Räikkönen
    4. Barrichello
    5. Kobayashi

  597. russ parkin says:

    jenson
    barrichello
    lewis
    vettel
    koybayashi

    koybayashi was brilliant if not short lived.

  598. SKF says:

    Hello from France,
    My ranking
    1) Raikkonen : Run at full with the poorest car
    2) Hamilton : The same but profit by all season car development.

    Talent has made the job.
    Now wath to do with a good single seater:
    3) Vettel : Strong and unifier
    4) Webber : Injured a the start of the season strong and Fast especially on the wet track..
    5) Button:Obviously WC

    Cu

  599. russ parkin says:

    jenson
    barrichello
    lewis
    kimi
    kobayashi

    imagine if kobayasi raced all season . no fear

  600. 1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Kamui Kobayashi

  601. Arne Skog says:

    Top-5 in alphabetic order:

    Button
    Lewis
    Rubens
    Vettel
    Webber

    Outsider – Fisi and Kimi – Fisi did not really make it, eventhough the performance in Spa was magnificent. Kimi made the best out of his car, but still not good enough to be on top-5

  602. Raymond Mullan says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Rubens Barrichello
    6. Kimi Raikkonen

  603. Andy Will says:

    My Top 5 would be

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Barrichello
    5. Hamilton

  604. Niallo says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Raikonnen

  605. Peter Laughlin says:

    My top five:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Rubins
    5. Lewis

  606. Jamie says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  607. joseph grace says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  608. Luke says:

    Hi James,

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebatian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Nico Rosberg

  609. Pawel says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Barrichello
    and hmm
    hard to vote
    Raikkonen
    (but I would prefer Kubica – I’m Polish too;)

  610. 1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Vettel
    5. Rosberg

  611. Mikael says:

    Leaving out the cars they had, considering only the drivers:

    Raikkonen
    Alonso
    Massa
    Hamilton
    Vettel

    Not sure of Rosberg, no one knows how good the car really was.

  612. Steve says:

    Top 5 Drivers:

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Barrichello

  613. John Wilson says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – for throwing everything at an awful car beginning of season, growing up as an individual and man and coping (IMO VERY well with the scandle) and towards the end of season winning showing true class. 100% every race.

    2. Jenson Button – his domination at the start cannot be ignored and the last two races of the season showed his true class once more.

    3. Rubens Barrichello – Almost Always second to button at beginning of season and i think very unlucky on occasion to not score more points. Middle to end of season was dominating…

    4. Sebastien Vettel – Very quick and no doubt future WDC winner. Inconsistency let him down…

    5. Mark Webber – Recovering from his injury and finally getting a well overdue win and generally doing a solid job all season.

    P.s. would like to include Kobayashi but not in for long enough to compare. Kimi good as ever at the end but his general attitude and poor start really let him down. Rosberg would be number 6 for me and Fisichella for that ONE drive in force india, sublime.

  614. agusn says:

    To sumerize the three criteria for judging:
    -how high were the peaks,
    -how consistent was the performance level
    -what did they make of the machinery they were given

    OK, here’s mine …
    1. Vettel – Some mistakes, but very consistent. Helped developing the car really well.
    2. Alonso – Still determined in a really poor car. Pushed R29 to the limit. Developed well before Renault stopped it.
    3. Raikkonen – Scored well without the development that Lewis had (especially after Massa’s accident).
    4. Button – Consistent enough. Exploited to the max the advantages of Honda’s magical car.
    5. Rosberg – Consistentently delivered what the car capable of in the mid.

  615. RC says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen

  616. Dominic Donald says:

    Jenson Button – did everything asked of him
    Lewis Hamilton – smashed his team mate again
    Kimi Raikkonen – propped up Ferrari on his own
    Sebastian Vettel – good but too many mistakes
    Rubens Barrichello – excellent fight back

  617. Jeremy W says:

    (This is just a gut reaction, not a long-considered list.)

    1. Lewis. #1 when the car was (finally) behind him.
    2. Kimi. Did better than drivers who were in better cars in the 2nd half of the season, and won at Spa in the 7th fastest car.
    3. Jenson. Lost his cool head after he no longer had the fastest car; I think everyone’s forgotten about the double diffuser advantage he enjoyed in those first races.
    4. Ruebens. Really stuck it to his team mate after mid-season.
    5. Seb. Won more than Mark, but still too many rookie attributes. Lewis was a far better, more mature rookie in his first year.

  618. Veny says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Barichello

  619. Dan says:

    1. Jenson Button – World Champion, most race wins, most podiums, most points, most overtaking, some of the best race performances, BUT some of the worst qualifying 2nd half…

    2. Lewis Hamilton – To score 2 wins in that car, beating all comers at Hungary and then staving off Vettel in the much superior RBR in Singapore is testament to how good this guy is… He’s matched his aggression with maturity and that is now a lethal combination. Had he been in Jenson’s Brawn, he would’ve had back-to-back champs this year at a canter. Lie-gate has tainted him a bit, but I think he’s come out of it a better man for it, he needed to have some tough times to grow up and snap out of his fairytale career a little bit…

    3. Sebastian Vettel – A future world champion ‘for sure’… He is so quick it’s unbelievable! He may have had probably the best car this year, but he did make the most of it when it was. My only criticism, and it’s one that can’t elevate him above the top 2, is his lack of overtaking nous and determination to pass on-track. When you think of how Jenson and Lewis have battled with drivers on-track, and the number of successful overtakes they have made, it puts this doubt over some aspects of Vettel. Does he just wait for the pitstops? Can he only win from pole? This year it seemed like it, and that doesn’t bode well for the new full-tanks era. He can’t rely on jumping people at pitstops, and he can’t rely on fuel-adjusted poles… If he can work on these aspects whilst retaining his speed, he’s onto something special…

    4. Rubens Barrichello – An indian summer for Rubens, but he also managed to bring up flashbacks of his early career, fast but wild… He scored two excellent victories, outpacing Hamilton in Valencia, and dominating in Monza (one of his finest ever wins), but he was poor in the 1st half of the season when it turned out to count most for Brawn. Turkey, Spain, Germany and even Australia weren’t good enough for what the car was giving out. If he could perform at his peak more often he would’ve really challenged Jenson, but then he wouldn’t be Rubens!

    5. Mark Webber – It was hard to choose between Raikkonen and Webber, but Raikkonen’s days off were too obvious. Webber was soundly beaten by Vettel and that’s really the first time Mark’s had to deal with that, but coming off the back of his broken leg he was really determined to do well for himself this year, and winning his first GP was fantastic and such a release for him. Some of his driving was solid rather than spectacular, but he was always in the top drivers on any day, and his Brazil drive was very calm and dominating, if he can keep winning boringly he’s doing well!

  620. Bison says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – For turning a dog of a car into a race winner. His development skills went a notch up this season, and he still has the mind of a race evidenced by his last lap crash at Monza – too few drivers would have taken that chance.
    2. Sebastian Vettel – He consistently converted almost every pole position into a race win, been the most exciting to watch when on song. I see him as the second fastest driver in F1 behind Lewis and a future champion.
    3.Mark Webber – Proved his critics wrong and showed he has a lot of gas in him. This season I saw a driver I didn’t know existed in him.
    4. Nico Rosberg – He was the driver that punched above his weight this season I wished Williams had a better car for him. His consistency was great as well.
    5 Kimi Raikkonen – He gave his 100% till the end in a hopeless car. Though he knew Ferrari might be dumping, he still gave his best I rate him highly as a professional.

  621. Paul Lewis says:

    1. Button – great start, great finish.
    2. Hamilton – dragged a poor car right to the front.
    3. Rosberg – consistent throughout, if a little unlucky not to have scored more points.
    4. Barrichello – solid performances all year, particularly mid season
    5. Buemi – 6 points a very good return

  622. Mat Francis says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Massa

  623. Erik C says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Massa
    Hamilton
    Rubens

  624. Lewis Adams says:

    1. Button

    2. Vettel

    3. Hamilton

    4. Barrichello

    5. Webber

  625. carlm21 says:

    My top 5 drivers from the 2009 season are;

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Rosberg

    Breaking News

    Kimi will not be in f1 next season.

  626. Jorge Pedrera says:

    Ok, my choices are:

    1.- Alonso
    2.- Raikkonen
    3.- Hamilton
    4.- Barrichello
    5.- Kobayashi

  627. Paul says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel.
    2. Lewis Hamilton.
    3. Jenson Button.
    4. Rubens Barrichello.
    5. Nico Rosberg.

  628. N Smith says:

    1. K Raikkonen
    Found last update to his liking, awesome thereafter. It’s a myth he was poor before-hand: podium in Monaco, team errors in Spain and Malaysia (whilst 4th) and out-qualifying Massa from MON to NUR.

    2. L Hamilton
    Steped up another level this year – but was out-performed by Heikki in quali a few times when the car was poor eg Britain and then there was lie-gate.

    3. F Alonso
    Usual brilliance in out-performing the car, easy to ignore given how far back it often was.

    4. J Button
    Worthy champion, got the wins when he could but falls behind other champs as the nerves got to him in quali when it mattered – as Abu Dhabi showed.

    5. S Vettel
    Just beating Rosberg and Massa. Wins were supreme but gave away far too many points.

  629. alex says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikonen
    5. Rosberg

  630. Sniffer says:

    1.Button
    2.Hamilton
    3.Vettel
    4.Barrichello
    5.Webber

  631. fran says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamiliton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Alonso

  632. Ali says:

    1. Raikkonen – out performed the car and dragged it to a win and points when no one else seemed to be able to drive it at all.
    2. Button – did enough to bring home the championship in a car that didn’t develop quickly enough through the year.
    3. Rosberg – out performed his car and his team mate
    4. Vettel – too many mistakes meant he was second in the WDC when he could have won it.
    5. Alonso – dragged a rubbish car into the points and further up the grid than it had any right to be.

  633. SplinterBoy says:

    1 – Button
    2 – Hamilton
    3 – Kimi
    4 – Vettel
    5 – Webber

  634. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

    1. Jenson Button- To call anyone other than the world champion the best driver of the year is just foolish, for starters. Button easily wins the “consistency” category in James’ criteria; I don’t know how a driver can be more consistent than to score in every race but one (that one being a race in which he was knocked out on the first lap in a wreck not of his doing). Also wins the “highest peaks” award in James’ criteria, as quite clearly he couldn’t be touched in six of the first seven races. (Sure, the BGP 001 was clearly the class of the grid during that time, but he was clearly on his best form during that time, as well.) By simple arithmetic, Jenson is King of 2009.

    2a. Sebastian Vettel- His peaks were incredible and enough to put him in 2nd place, in both the championship and in the ranking of best drivers of 2009. Sure, he was quite erratic, but I struggle to name a driver other than Button who didn’t this year.

    2b. Lewis Hamilton- He made some really costly errors in Monaco and Monza, and he had very ragged drives in Shanghai and Silverstone. But his peaks were enormous, with grand wins in Hungary and Singapore and four poles. He also had a very nice beginning of the year with four points finishes (one taken away for liegate) with a car that clearly wasn’t up for scoring points. He also indicated that he’s developed some technical aptitude, given how far McLaren came with the MP4-24 relying on his feedback with no testing.

    4a. Rubens Barrichello- Demolished his world champion teammate in qualifying in the second half of 2009, and really outperformed him generally after he resolved his braking issues at Silverstone.

    4b. Kimi Raikkonen- Got the absolute most the F60 would give in the second half of 2009. The first half of the year wasn’t terrific for him, as he was beaten by Massa, but he did have a whole load of bad luck that compromised his results. It’s a real shame he won’t be on the grid next year, especially given the run of old Kimi he gave us in the second half of 2009.

  635. Rich says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

  636. Ollie Holland says:

    1) Jenson Button
    2) Lewis Hamilton
    3) Nico Rosberg
    4) Fernando Alonso
    5) Kimi Raikkonen

  637. Al (21prods) says:

    James, I do not know if my previous message was sent or lost. Anyway, here I go with my top 5 of 2009:

    1. Button. WDC says it all. The situation before February 2009 underlines it.

    2. Barrichello. Almost the same as Button, though he did not make it happen. Sorry Rubens, I think you missed your best shot.

    3. Alonso. The car was poor is simply an understatement. Incredible he got onto the podium even once.

    4. Hamilton. Top class, though some silly mistakes (Monza comes to my mind now). Incredible how he and McLaren progressed as the season went by.

    5. Raikkonen. An impossible car to drive (ask Badoer or Fisichella about it) and yet he almost clinched 3rd position for Ferrari. Kimi, you should have taken McLaren offer, how can I become a McLaren fan again if it continues being LewisTeam?

    I feel I should include Vettel and Webber, it’s just that these five have performed slightly better considering the circumstances. Of course, it’s just my opinion.

    Congratulations James, your blog is a must for me!!

  638. Tomo says:

    Top-5, in order:
    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Alonso
    5. Button/Barrichello (tie)

  639. Aghurri says:

    1. Hamilton; the most interesting thing to wait is his action; no matter how bad/good his car. Even in low fastest time he could finish better than driver had higher fastest time/lap. When he started from behind, it promised an overtaking to spectator.
    2. Button; with any reason the WDC deserved a high respect.
    3. Vettel; a combination of his young age and his trivial mistakes put him in this (3rd) place.
    4. At the highest curve of his inconsistency, Raikkonen put himself in podium with a true champion stylish.
    5. Kobayashi achieved spectacular point, by considering the chance that he got to race.

  640. Tom Weaver says:

    Hi James,
    The top 5 I think you’ll pick are:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Fernando Alonso

    I think the first 4 are clear cut. Something tells me you’re going to include Alonso over Barrichello.

    Rosberg had a good season, but I think mistakes like Singapore will edge him out of the top 5.

    Raikkonnen had some pretty stella highs (Spa), but some pretty dismal lows (icecream in Malaysia).

    Glock had a few good showings, as did Trulli, but neither would rate top 5.

  641. Simas says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Kimi Raikkonnen
    4. Seb Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

    First four are all fantastic drivers, was very hard to give them priority. I’d love to put Kobayashi somewhere, but he still needs to prove himself. Sorry for Massa, he can be very fast, but I haven’t seen him overtaking anyone like the top 4 do.

  642. Dave Nichols says:

    1. Button
    2. Webber
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Alonso

  643. David T says:

    1. Jenson Button – No explaination needed
    2. Nico Rosberg – Constantly scored points in the lesser Williams
    3. Fernando Alonso – How the hell did he score 26pts in that Renault?
    4. Rubens Barrichello – Gave an admiral challenge for the championship
    5. Lewis Hamilton – Kept at it and reaped the rewards in the second half of the season.

  644. Martin says:

    An interesting set of opinions – some thoughts to be largely ignored…

    Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso were the drivers that dominated their team mates. Rosberg was consistent, but didn’t have any great results (he blew his best opportunity).

    Post Silverstone, the McLaren was a better car than the Ferrari. Crediting Hamilton with reworking the aerodynamic concept of the front wing to fix rear grip might be a stretch, but Monza excepting, when the car was good he got a result.

    Still on development, Renault had a car that was good enough for the fastest lap in Germany and a light pole in Hungary. Given Renault’s progress relative to Ferrari in the remaining races, could Alonso have led setup in the wrong direction?

    Besides Valencia, Rubens didn’t really have a better Sunday than Jenson, i.e Jenson often ended his chances in qualifying. Wining the championship in the best car overall, and only winning races with the best car, means that the two drivers never really out-performed the car. It was very rare that a Brawn was holding up another car.

    Vettel’s edge over Webber, which seemed to come down to maximising the tyres, either over one lap or some race stints, is tainted slightly by the question of Webber’s injury. The gap wasn’t big most of the time, but Vettel had much better highs. Webber’s wins had Vettel out of position after qualifying.

    Massa and Raikkonen are an interesting study. Up to accident, Massa had a slight edge, including on points. Massa was one of the most impressive in the wet in China until the car broke, and was close to Raikkonen on the later’s best days and often well ahead on the others, e.g. Silverstone. The bloggers here love conspiracies against Raikkonen, but I think Massa should be marked up.

    Based on the criteria, as the only driver to win without the best car in the race, and a generally very consistent season in a difficult car.

    1. Raikkonen

    For being better than the best, but missing part of the season. (Ferrari is retaining him for a reason).

    2. Massa

    With four wins, and always consistent speed in races and a large qualifying edge over his team mate.

    3. Vettel

    Winning the championship (this tops the highs), out-shining his team mate, but marked down for being very set-up sensitive.

    4. Button

    Two wins, four poles, delivered when the car was there, which was often in the second half of the year. Monza was passion over logic. Got new bits before his team mate, but deservedly so.

    5. Hamilton

    Notable others:
    Webber: Did little that was exceptional, but there were few under performances.
    Rosberg: The highs weren’t great enough. The vibe from Williams was that Nakajima wasn’t quite F1 standard for pace, which on a tight grid hurts a lot.
    Alonso. High on talent and entertainment, but there were few highs – Bahrain and Singapore.
    Barrichello. Was a lot like Kovalainen, close to his team mate on Saturdays, not quite there across a stint and that makes the difference.

    Heidfeld and Kubica. Regularly closely matched. Need to study the driving, not the results to work out if they did a good job all year.

    1. Steven Pritchard says:

      Button had new bits before his team mate? Did I miss that? Or did you mix the title on 3. and 4.? :-D

      I agree about Rosberg. He reminds so much of Jarno Trulli in that he qualifies and is fast over one-lap, yet seems to fade during the race.

  645. George O'Donnell says:

    This is how I would rank the top 5:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – had consistent pace to challenge for wins, and would have had a realistic chance if he hadn’t have made a few mistakes. But he’s young and one would expect mistakes, but his pace should worry rivals in future seasons.

    2. Jenson Button – great start of the season, didn’t cope so well with the pressure but ultimately he did enough, and a deserving champion.

    3. Lewis Hamilton – like Vettel, Hamilton showed flashes of brilliance in terms of pace, and showed maturity after Australia and when he had a very slow car.

    4. Mark Webber – Somewhat overlooked compared to Vettel, but his race pace was great, and the two wins were great. After his preseason accident he did a stunning job in 2009.

    5. Rubens Barrichello – should have done better at the start of the season, but he took his wins when the Brawn car was not so impressive which the new World Champion failed to do. We saw his hunger not just to race but to win as well.

    Although I haven’t included these two in the list, I think they deserve a shout. Nico Rosberg in an underpowered Williams-Toyota achieved the maximum he could pretty frequently, and this was a great achievement – sure Alonso is a good driver but he was nowhere near as consistent as Rosberg. Second is to Kamui Kobayashi for two excellent drives at the end of the season – holding off Jenson very well in Brazil, and then a very mature drive on his 1-stop strategy to outscore Trulli in Abu Dhabi.

    Interestingly also, my top 5 drivers finished in the top 5 places in the championship, albeit in a different order.

  646. Stuart says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  647. 1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  648. Gwyn says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  649. Robert says:

    1.vettel
    2.hamilton
    3.button
    4.raikkonen
    5.rosberg

  650. Mawchi says:

    1 Jenson Button
    2 Sebastian Vettel
    3 Lewis Hamilton
    4 Mark Webber
    5 Rubens Barrichello

  651. Ross Evans says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  652. James, given your criterion, ‘who did the best job’ you have to say Jenson did. The whole point of F1 is to win races and championships, so the driver who wins the WDC is unarguably doing ‘the best job’.

    So,
    1. Jenson B.
    2. Lewis H. (Never stops trying)
    3. Sebastian V.
    4. Mark Web
    5. Nick H.

    I’m probably not alone in wondering where Kobayashi might have been in a Red Bull or Brawn.

  653. Tom Fraser says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Vettel
    5. Rosberg

  654. 1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Raikkonen

    Hamilton really impressed, getting his head down and (after a hiccup in Australia) fighting to get his car back to the front and by the second half he was incredible. Vettel fought tooth and nail all year long and though he sometimes pushed too hard, he was more versatile than Button who was excellent but somewhat limited by car/track variables on the day.
    Webber stepped up and showed everyone what we’ve all been waiting to see and Kimi was just Kimi and this was demonstrable in the second half.

  655. ethone says:

    1. Kimi Räikkönen
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Sebastian Buemi

    Kimi has done a magnificient job with a Ferrari that was apparently impossible to drive for both Badoer and Fisichella. He only scored one point less than Hamilton!
    Button did great at the beginning of the season but slumped, only to come back with some good and unexpected racing ability late in the season.
    Vettel has shown incredible speed in some races but has made too many mistakes.
    Hamilton has driven the car as fast as it would go a lot and outpaced Kovalainen in a way that should end the career of the latter.
    Buemi has done good in the Toro Rosso for his first season, he outpaced Bourdais and Alguersuari easily and managed to bring home some points.

  656. Bill Nuttall says:

    1 Jenson
    2 Vettel
    3 Rubens
    4 Lewis
    5 Kimi

  657. subrajit maity says:

    1.Vettel
    2.hamilton
    3.button
    4.webber
    5.barrichello

  658. Stratos Filalithis says:

    Hi James,

    My personal Top 5 (and hopefully yours as well) is:

    1. L. Hamilton
    2. J. Button
    3. S. Vettel
    4. R. Barrichello
    5. F. Alonso

    Keep up the good work ;)

  659. Rob says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Hamilton

  660. Steven Pritchard says:

    1. Button. Dominated the first half of the season, wobbled for a few races, then produced a last couple of storming races. Apart from a few mistakes in qualifying, his consistent race pace was exceptional. Also demonstrated that he is a racer bar none.

    2. Hamilton. Proved that he can drive in a poor and help develop that poor car into a good car. A few too many mistake from over-exubernace to merit top placing

    3. Raikkonen. Not one of my favorite drivers really, but he demonstrated a fighting quality this year which deserves mention. Needs to get back to reality with regards to salary demands.

    4. Vettel. When he’s on it he is very quick! Far too many mistakes from him and the team to merit a higher place. Needs to work on consistency.

    5. Barrichello. Still fast even off his stair lift! :-) Lacked some early consistency and let his latino level passion for his sport creep into his rather off-hand and brutal comments.

  661. Dex says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Webber
    5. Button

  662. Oster says:

    To each his own, but just to add some perspective when i see so many people leaving Rubens out.

    Rubens was shafted so many times this season.

    1. Thrice he had the start problem for no fault of his.

    2. He was further compromised by the grid- penalty at 2 more races.

    3. One of his brakes ceased to function in China during the race where he had outqualified Button with a heavier fuel load

    4. His aggressive strategy in Bahrain was compromised when his front wing adjustor failed during quali on his final run. Button and he had set identical times in Q2

    5. Botched fuel-stops in Nurbugring as well as Singapore.

    How many issues did Button have over the season? 0 i think.

    Add to that

    1. Button had to rely on Rubens to help him sort his car out

    2. The second half of the season Rubens just destroyed Button by almost always out-qualifying him in a heavier car and going well in the race. Its just a pity that the car went a bit lemony then

  663. John Griffiths says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Reubens Barrichello
    5. Kimi Raikonnen

  664. Gareth says:

    Hi James,

    The more I try to think of my top 5, the harder it actually becomes!

    1. Button. Very few errors on either Saturday or Sunday throughout the season. Mr Consistent in terms of car performance and won the WDC. Awesome.
    2. Hamilton. Yes he made some crucial errors in and out of the car but he wrung the damn thing’s neck even when it was a dog and McLaren’s third in the WCC is almost entirely down to him.
    3. Vettel. First year in a WDC challenging car and he came second. Very good job and Sebastian has made himself one of the most likeable and personable drivers on the grid. A few errors cost him the championship but he wins the personality of the year for driving Kate’s Dirty Sister!
    4. Webber. His string of 9th places from Hungary onwards damaged his campaign but to do so well coming back from injury was a great season for Mark.
    5. Raikkonen. MIA till Ferrari really needed him and suddenly there was the old Kimi wringing the neck of the F60 and getting a string of unlikely podiums and a great win.

    I think I would put Rosberg and Barrichello just outside the Top 5. Rosberg was very consistent but I have a slight nagging feeling that there should have been a podium or two in that Williams and I can’t see how they didn’t happen apart from Rosberg’s mistake in Singapore. Was it a lack of pace from car or driver?
    Barrichello took half the season to come alive as well and really should have scored higher earlier on. His rant after Germany rankled with me. But he did put in some great drives such as Valencia. And the bow and arrow routine when he got out of the car was very funny.

    1. Ahlapski says:

      Hi,
      Oh yes, I almost forget LH is Third in the Championship. Which isn’t bad is it? considering the car he had in the start of the competition.

  665. NigelF says:

    1. Jenson Button (World Champion!)
    2. Sebastion Vettel
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  666. Mark says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  667. alex says:

    1. Lewis.
    2. Vettel
    3. Jenson
    4. Rubino
    5. Rosberg

  668. Alan Davies says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Felipe Massa

  669. Dave Walker says:

    Ok, here we go, this ain’t easy being a Robert Kubica fan with the season he has had

    1. Button – world champion, says it all

    2. Barrichello – tough choice between him and Vettel, but he made less mistakes than the young German

    3. Vettel – superb drives in Silverstone and Suzuka, future world champion in the making

    4. Webber – a defining season for the Aussie, his first wins in F1 and some stonking podium drives and fastest laps throughout the year.

    5. Hamilton – This was a tough choice between Hammy and Rosberg, but Hamilton did the maximum he could with such a poor car in the first half of the season and he responded brilliantly in the second half of the season with 2 wins and could’ve had more (Abu Dhabi)

  670. Lycanthrope says:

    1) Hamilton
    2) Vettel
    3) Button
    4) Buemi
    5) Massa

    Just to be different :-)

  671. AlexJ says:

    1. Button-He’s world champion so he has to be number one! He also delivered some great drives over the first half of the year
    2. Webber- Came back from a potentially career ending injury to a race winner and championship contender
    3. Kimi- a class driver who rung out every last bit of a lame ferrari and also conducted himself very well over the alonso to Ferrari furore!
    4. Vettle-Matured immensley from a race winner to contender and team leader. Still had a few mistakes which lost him the championship but he’ll be back in 2010
    5. Reubens- Many people had written him off this time last year, but he proved that experience counts and helped greatly to develop the Brawn and push Button.

  672. David Plews says:

    01) Jensen Button
    02) Lewis Hamilton
    03) Nico Rosberg
    04) Sebastian Vettel
    05) Mark Webber

  673. Melatonina says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Nico Rosberg
    4. Kimi Räikkönen
    5. Lewis Hamilton

  674. KenN0898 says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens Barrachello
    5. Mark Webber

  675. Craig Campbell says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  676. GQsm says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Rubens Barrichello
    4. Sebastien Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

  677. Rob Edgar says:

    1-Hamilton
    2-Alonso
    3-Raikkonen
    4-Button
    5-Barrichelo

  678. John B says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikonen
    4. Vettel
    5. Kubica

  679. [kame] says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Kobayashi
    3. Webber
    4. Rosberg
    5. Vettel

  680. Rik says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  681. AndrewJ says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Nico Rosberg

  682. AMc F1 says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Barichello
    5. Alosno

  683. Neal Rayner says:

    Piquet FTW ;)

  684. Arcturis says:

    1. Jenson Button – if he won the last 5 as opposed to the first 5 his achievement would be seen for what it was – remarkable and a worthy WC
    2. Reubens Barichello – pushed JB all the way and maybe was the quicker driver over all
    3. Sebastian Vettel – did he and the team make the most of a great machine? seriously good season until the end
    4. Lewis Hamilton – got better stronger and dare i say less of a toerag? Now understands what life is about when you give your best and get nothing – hope he remembers when the good time roll again
    5. Kimi Raikkonen – a complete dog of a Ferrari and he manged to extract every last howl out of it – best racer in the field

  685. David Hodge says:

    1. Button. He won the WDC at the start of the season with consistency and after his wobble mid-season brought it home.

    2. Alonso. More often than not dragged a Renault Clio Diesel into a points paying position.

    3. Raikkonen. Outperformed the car, most bizarrely at the end of the season when a) he had been sacked and b) Ferrari were supposedly not developing it.

    4. Vettel. Would have been higher if consistent. However, clearly a WDC in waiting.

    5. Glock. Matured this year and put in some pretty good drives. If only he could qualify like Trulli…

    Honourable mentions for Hamilton who once he had the car also had the results and Kobayashi for showing how a rookie really does it. Hope the latter gets a drive for next season.

  686. Scott says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Rosberg
    3. Button
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

  687. My top five are as follows:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Button

  688. Steve Jones says:

    My 2009 top 5:

    1. JENSON BUTTON:
    The most points, the greatest number of race wins (6 of the first 7 reaces), joint highest number of pole positions (with Hamilton and Vettel: 4 each). Sure, it’s possible to say that Button had the best car for the first half of the year, but he made the most of it, getting every bit of performance from it and completely outclassing his team-mate while the Brawn had the edge. The highs were very high, and there were very few absolute lows – Button only failed to score once. He wavered mid-season, but recovered well to control his points lead against drivers who had nothing to loose and could simply go for it. but for me, what makes Button’s performances this year stand out were his overtaking moves – not just in Brazil but season long, and not just against mid-fielders but against the best on the grid, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Kubica. If Button’s season was reversed with a car deficit in the first half, and a barnstorming performance in the second half, discussions of whether Button is a worthy Champion would not even have arisen. Barrichello’s second-half of the season does not trump Button’s first half, and Vettel’s highs are offset but some costly mistakes.

    2. LEWIS HAMILTON:
    Four pole positions, two victories, and the second highest points hault from the second half of the season in a car which was never the class of the field speaks volumes about what Hamilton achieved in 2009. His pole lap in Abu Dhabi was mesmerising, and his wins in Hungary and Singapore commanding. Although his season started under a cloud, it was mightily impressive how he turned things around. To me, his overall performance this year was a significant step up from his Championship-winning year.

    3. SEBASTIAN VETTEL – Vettel’s 2009 season reminds me a little of Hamilton’s in 2008: dominant displays and commanding drives, but marred by some very costly errors: the race-ending crash with Kubica in Australia, spinning out in Malaysia, crashing at Monaco, and the pitland speeding penalty in Singapore. Against that, four poles and four wins are mightily impressive – China and Japan in particular – but unlike Hamilton Vettel had the best car on the grid from Silverstone onwards, and on several occasions beforehand. Rating him third might seem unfair but there’s almost nothing to choose in my opinion between Button, Hamilton and Vettel this year.

    4. NICO ROSBERG:
    Totally dominated his team-mate and scored all of Williams’ points. Not spectacular and never made it to the podium, but very consistent and impressive.

    5. MARK WEBBER:
    Two great victories in Germany and Brazil, and a great pole at the Nurburgring. Had the upper-hand on Vettel for good chunks of the season, and it was particularly impressive the way he drove so soon after breaking his leg. But costly errors in Australia, Bahrain and Italy also crept into his season.

  689. Simon says:

    My top 5:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  690. Ben says:

    1. Jenson Button
    Put the season on shuffle and there would be no dispute about this. However, whilst he began to hold back in qualifying later in the season his races – Brazil and Abu Dhabi in particular – were nothing short of sensational. He finished in the points in every race, apart from the one in which he was Grosjeaned out of it.

    2. Fernando Alonso
    To be honest, Alonso wasn’t on my initial top 5 list when I drew it up in my head as – Craashgate aside – he hardly drew much attention to himself so didn’t stand out. However, looking back at his results he consistently finished in the points in a car that both Piquet and Grosjean proved was virtually impossible to keep on the track. He regularly got through to Q3, where he was beating faster cars on one-lap pace.

    3. Lewis Hamilton
    In my opinion, 2009 has seen Hamilton emerge as the most complete driver on the grid. His pace has never been in doubt, with probably only Kimi able to challenge him in that department, however following a nightmare start to his season he has been transformed from just being a supreme talent to being a complete package.

    However, this ranking is of the season as a whole and consequently the dark phase of his season has to be taken into account. Australia is obviously one black mark on his report card, as was sticking it in the wall in Monaco. However qualifying 5th in Bahrain in a car that should not even have got past Q2 was a sign of things to come.

    The second half of the season was Lewis Hamilton’s – and he could have dominated it even more than he did. He was robbed of a win in Abu Dhabi, a podium (and possible victory had he got in front of Barrichello) at Germany, and third at Monza. I don’t actually hold the Monza incident against him – he had nothing to lose and it has been a long time since we have seen a driver continuing to push with 110% until the chequered flag.

    4. Sebastian Vettel
    Vettel is a driver who has simultaneously disappointed and impressed me. I have yet to see him pull off an overtaking move that have got me to leap out of my seat and his only victories – bar Abu Dhabi where Hamilton retired – have been from pole.

    However, when he has been on pole there has been a reason for it. He has been so much faster than anyone else – including his team mate. He is also one of the two best wet weather racers in the sport. There is no doubt that when everything is right for him then no one can touch him – however this quality is uiltimately why I only have him fourth. I have not yet seen him go out and take a victory that he should not have won; I have only seen him dominate in a dominating car. The Red Bull has been the out and out fastest car of the season – it was keeping up with the Brawns before it even had a double diffuser, once implemented they should have cruised right up on them but somehow they faltered.

    5. Mark Webber
    Choosing between Mark and Rubens was incredibly difficult. However, in the end I gave the nod to Mark because of his bike accident and his performance in Germany. Vettel had just come away from a dominating victory at Silverstone and was expected to do the same his home Grand Prix. However in that weekend Webber dominated Vettel by a far bigger margin than Vettel ever managed over him. Whilst Hamilton could have beaten him had he not had the puncture and got ahead of Rubens, that would have only been due to the controversial drive through penalty that Webber was given at the start. However, in the end it was of no consequence. Webber was so fast that weekend that he was able to absorb the 20 odd seconds it took out of his lead.

    Also worth noting:
    Kamui Kobayashi
    After every man and his dog complaining that the lack of testing makes it impossible for a rookie to come in mid season and perform Kobayashi came in and provided the two most memorable Toyota drives of the season.

    Felipe Massa
    Achieved the same number of points as Heikki despite competing in almost half the number of races. Had more than double the number of points that Kimi had going into the Hungarian GP.

    Rubens Barrichello
    There is no doubt that Rubens’ experience was a big factor in the Brawns being able to set their car up better than the Red Bulls. However , as much as I like him, Rubens attitude displayed at the end of German GP was inexcusable, even if it is understandable. I actually predicted the move to Williams at that GP after Frank Williams refused to criticise him and made excuses for him. The combination of Rubens and Hulkenberg is an exciting one, and I predict Williams to have their best season since 2004 as a result – and I think that Barrichello will play a fundamental role in achieving it.

  691. Eoin Keane says:

    My top 5:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  692. Joao Ramalhao says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichello

  693. Jason C says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Button
    4. Alonso
    5. Kobayashi

    Notes:
    1. Hamilton despite being shown up as a liar, his driving seems to have come on a lot this year in a changing car.

    2. Raikkonen in a plainly difficult to drive Ferrari took it to places it should never have been.

    3. Button dominated early in the best car, fell away, but then came back in Brazil with a super drive to get the championship.

    4. Alonso – hard to judge because of the bad car and bad team-mates, yet seemed to be on it all season despite being down the back most of the time. I could just have easily given him my #1 slot.

    5. Kobayashi – only 2 races, but what races they were. Big things to come.

    This is a very difficult one James – I don’t think I stand a chance at matching your top 5, because I could have put my top 4 in any order. Also under consideration were Glock, Sutil, Buemi, Rosberg. Rosberg should have got some better results in that car imo, and it’s a bit harsh me not putting Vettel on that list, but there you go. It’s a top 5 not a top 20.

    I’ll probably change my mind in an hour anyway.

    1. James Allen says:

      It is really tricky this year, isn’t it?

  694. bruce z says:

    1. button
    2. vettel
    3. hamilton
    4. raikonnen
    5. barrichelo

  695. Nick Thornton says:

    1 – hamilton
    2 – vettel
    3 – button
    4 – barrichello
    5 – webber

    drive of the year – kubica in brazil, stunning…

  696. Vinod says:

    1) Button – He is THE Champion

    2) Vettel – Error prone but.. Chinese GP is proof enough he is a top dog!

    3) Hamilton – just look at the results

    4) Kimi – Fisi and Badoer showed how difficult the Ferrari is to drive yet he got the results. Remember this was despite the news that he was going to be sacked.

    5) Alonso – He got a podium finish without his teammate crashing – didn’t he ;)

  697. PeterR says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  698. CharleyW says:

    Very similar to Tom Weaver @ 12:23…

    I think you’ll choose:

    1. Button – WDC. He won didn’t he?
    2. Vettel – pushed Button nearly to the end and showed his already-established team-mate up.
    3. Hamilton – for being 3/10 faster than Hokey-Kokey all season, and putting in numerous podiums and two wins in a rubbish car. Awesome.
    4. Rosberg – for seriously out performing his team-mates all year.
    5. Alonso – probably the best driver on the grid, getting some decent results in Renault’s worst ever car and obliterating two rookies in the process. Next year’s WDC?

    1. James Allen says:

      And what would you choose?

      1. CharleyW says:

        The above! And I reckon you will think alike. For one thing, I wouldn’t especially credit Rubens or Mark like other people are. Quick drivers and nice guys for sure, but not quick enough. They were shown up. Every season drivers talk about what they could do if they had a car with potential. For sure, you need at least two ingredients to be WDC… a capable car, AND a capable driver. Well, this time they got their capable car and they didn’t make it pay. They were each beaten by their team mates, which disqualifies them from any top-5 list (in my humble opinion).

        And then there’s no way you can have a top-5 list without recognising Alonso or Rosberg who both obliterated their team mates. I have a hunch that you’ll agree (I hope)!

  699. Charlie says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  700. Aya says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Kimi Raikkones

  701. YUSS says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Button

  702. Charlie Causey says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettle
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Sutil

  703. PJ says:

    1 Kimi
    2 Kimi
    3 Kimi
    4 Kimi
    5 Kimi

      1. PJ says:

        bad is a too light word for it indeed.
        and now we keep on going with the crap in the media about him while waiting for his new adventures.
        F1 has lost a lot IMO.
        finally not that bad for him though…

  704. Glen D says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Glock

  705. George May says:

    Top 5:
    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  706. Nevin - Brighton says:

    my top five as follows:
    1 – jenson button
    2 – lewis hamilton
    3 – seb vettel
    4 – nico rosbeg
    5 – kimi raikkonen

  707. Nikhil says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Kamui Kobayashi
    5. Lewis Hanilton

  708. George May says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Barrichelo

  709. Bill Ware says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Vettel
    5. Alonso

    Too often a driver’s ability is confused with that of the machinery at his disposal. But that is what makes the ranking process so entertaining. I think Raikkonen’s ability was clearly defined when race winner Fisichella couldn’t even properly qualify the Ferrari, let alone score any points. And although I personally think Hamilton is a spoiled, whiney, mollycoddled, deceitful twit I have to admit he too showed his talent with a less-than-competitive car. It will be interesting to see how he and Button compare next season.

  710. Mario says:

    1.Button
    2.Vettel
    3.Hamilton
    4.Raikkonen
    5.Barrichello

  711. Derek Nettles says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Alonso

  712. Desdi says:

    1. Jenson Button – WDC. Nuff said.

    2. Kimi Raikkonen – doing what shouldnt be possible with a crap car. And not making a fuss about it either.

    3. Vettel – put up a good fight against the Brawns.

    4. Barrichello – Nice to see the old guy can still win races.

    5. Lewis Hamilton – Brilliant at times. But liegate and how he handled being a backmarker puts him in 5th.

  713. beans661 says:

    1.- Vettel
    2.- Webber
    3.- Button
    4.- Alonso
    5.- Glock

  714. Chris Jepson says:

    1. Jenson Button – not only a great championship drive but THE most gorgeous champ ever too!
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Mark Webber
    4. Kimi Raikonnen
    5. Sebastien Vettel

    Can’t wait for 2010, So come on Bernie give us what we want – a British GP. I suspect Siverstone will be absolutely packed, as we’ll all be wanting to see the Dream team – Mclaren.

  715. Simon A says:

    OK James, but I have asked Santa for the book as a christmas present anyway. Website is dying as well by the way. You are just too popular.
    1 JB
    2 LH (better than the car)
    3 SV
    4 MW
    5 RB

  716. Ali Unal says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

    I had written my post earlier but I think it was deleted accidentally. Anyway, here is my Top 5. I’d love to get one copy of your book James. I hope it could be shipped to Turkey. I’ll be ordering as soon as it’s on shelves.

    Cheers,
    Ali

  717. Alistair Blevins says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Nico Rosberg

  718. Kunal says:

    Kimi
    Kimi
    Kimi
    Vettel
    Rubens

  719. Greg says:

    I would have to go with:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Alonso
    5. Barrichello

    Based primarily on consistency and relative machinery.

  720. Oris says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel.
    2. Jenson Button.
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Räikkönen
    5. Rubens Barrichelo

    Kimi Is the Best…..By far But……But….But

  721. Sean says:

    My top five this year in the following order:
    1.) Vettel
    2.) Button
    3.) Hamilton
    4.) Alonso
    5.) Raikkonnen

    I’d like to note that I still regard Alonso as the best and most complete F1 driver with Hamilton very close in second.
    The best upcoming driver is no doubt Vettel.

  722. Daniel Ng says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barichello
    5. Raikkonnen

  723. enzofan says:

    1.Button
    2.Vettel
    3.Rosberg
    4.Hamilton
    5.Alonso

  724. Billy Patterson says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Barrichello
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton

  725. aurinko says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Jenson Button
    5. Nico Rosberg
    and Kamui Kobayashi as the rookie of the year.)

  726. JanK says:

    1. Webber – amazing comeback after his accident, he was very quick and very consistent
    2. Button – he managed to use 100% of the car’s potential, he drove smart and fast
    3. Barrichello – not too shabby for a granddad!
    4. Vettel – he reminded me of Hamilton in 2007, passionate and aggressive, sometimes a bit too aggressive
    5. Raikkonen – I will really miss him, silent and calm, but deadly quick. I feel really sorry for Luca Badoer and Fisi, because Kimi really made that car look fast.

  727. phil says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  728. Bernardo Bercht says:

    Here goes my list:

    1 – Sebastien Vettel

    2 – Jenson Button

    3 – Lewis Hamilton

    4 – Kimi Raikkonen

    5 – Fernando Alonso

  729. Gary Dann says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonnen

  730. Sergey Yarotsky says:

    1.Button
    2.Vettel
    3.Hamilton
    4.Rosberg
    5.Raikonnen
    6.Webber/Barrichello :)

  731. Michael says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Webber
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Rosberg

  732. Yining says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Alonso
    5. Button

  733. Adam Jassat says:

    1. Sebastien Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Mark Webber

  734. Apostolis says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Alonso
    5. Raikkonen

    And, James thank you for the terrific website and insights. I used to visit 3-4 F1 related sites, but not anymore. I get all the analysis and context that I need here!

  735. Mark Crooks says:

    1 Lewis
    2 Jenson
    3 Vettel
    4 Webber
    5 Kobayashi

  736. Richard Dreyer says:

    As reigning champion of the James Allen competition I thought I’d give it a go:

    1. Button – Made the most of early opportunities, clinical overtakes at important times, brilliant ‘qualifying laps’ just before his pit stops on a number of occasions. If he hadn’t put the cherry on top with his drive in Brazil would be lower.

    2. Hamilton – As liegate doesn’t have anything to do with his driving performance, he deserves to be this high up. He won the second part of the season, was the best of the non-Red Bull and Brawn cars and was always entertainingly aggressive. Crashing in Italy is almost a positive because it showed how even with a sniff of second he wanted to chance it.

    3.Vettel – Possible champion if the Renault engine had been more reliable, but a couple of driving mistakes cost him dear. (Australia with Kubica and when he went on verge and Button overtook, was it Turkey?) Sublime when out in front, hopefully more scraps to come in 2010.

    4. Webber – Came back from a big preseason accident, great 2 victories, how often do you win after having a drive through? But overshadowed in qualifying by Vettel, which used to be his forte. Poor middle/end when the slim championship hope fizzled out, before strong races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

    5. Rosberg – Consistent in a so-so car, would be higher if he hadn’t made a mistake in Singapore or made more of Williams’ early double diffuser advantage. Okay, Nakajima’s not the best but to accrue every point, each 34.5 of Williams’ score, is pretty impressive.

    Very difficult not to put Raikkonen, Alonso and Barrichello in there but there just isn’t enough space! Barrichello didn’t make the most of his early opportunities, Alonso was consistently good but he was too mired in the midfield to hit as many peaks as last year (although of course one of last year’s peaks was fake) and Raikkonen’s KERS button helped him to his only victory too obviously to warrant 4th or 5th in my list. I really liked Kobayashi but after only two races you can’t have him in the top five, surely!

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for entering again.

  737. James Foreman says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonnen

  738. Madhu says:

    1. Button
    2. Raikkonnen
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Barrichello

  739. Simon says:

    1. kimi
    2. alonso
    3. massa
    4. sutil
    5. vettel

  740. Kevin Conway says:

    1. Vettel – because he never gave up. Although he didn’t win the championship this year, he has proved to everyone that he will eventually.

    2. Hamilton – because he matured a lot, especially after liegate. he got his head down and managed to do a lot with a bad car.

    3. Raikkonen – really came into his own in the second half of the season with a great run of podiums. His win at Spa was a true champions drive. I for one will miss him next season.

    4. Barrichello – after all these years, he showed that he still has what it takes to win. His technical skills are second to none but most of all, he’s one of the nicest guys in the sport.

    5. Webber – after breaking his leg over the winter, he finally got some luck and showed what he can really do. His two wins we’re as commanding as anyone else’s this year.

  741. Vignesh S says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosburg
    5. Alonso

  742. Nick says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Kobayashi

  743. pasq pappano says:

    1. Alonso 2. Button. 3 Vettel 4 hamilton 5.Webber

  744. Jon Bayliffe says:

    1 Jenson Button
    2 Sebastien Vettel
    3 Lewis Hamilton
    4 Rubens Barichello
    5 Robert Kubica

  745. Mathieu says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Alonso
    5. Raikkonen

  746. Ivana says:

    1. Kimi
    2. Kimi
    3. Kimi
    4. Kimi
    5. Kimi

    For the obvious reasons.

  747. Jessica says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Kimi
    4. Rubens
    5. Lewis

  748. JFK says:

    1.Button
    2.Vettel
    3.Hamilton
    4.Webber
    5.Barrichello

  749. Jake H says:

    1: Button
    2: Rosberg
    3: Hamilton
    4: Barrichello
    5: Buemi

    Was gonna put Kimi p5, but thought you’d go for something unusual :o

    Vettel, also, but let’s wait and see :)

  750. G says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  751. Robert George says:

    1. Button – more than quick he showed he can race. Proved me wrong.
    2. Hamilton – feedback helped turn round a dog of a car. Impressive for someone so young.
    3. Vettel – confirmed the talent. Mercedes for next year ? I bet they are having a try ……
    4. Kimi – for the Cornetto ice cream in Malaysia – and the 48 points.
    5. Kobayashi – 3 points 2 races. Best rooky start for quite a while.

  752. Amol Joshi says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Lewis Hamilton

  753. Anita Cameron says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Webber
    5. Sutil

  754. gazzap says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barichello
    5. Raikkonnen

  755. Laurence H says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Kobayashi

  756. Tom Hitchings says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  757. Jonathan says:

    1. Button
    2. Lewis
    3. Barrichello
    4. Vettel
    5. Raikkonen

  758. bob.s says:

    hi James this is not as easy as you think when it comes to it but here go’s

    1/J.B for Brazil
    2/Vettle better engine would have been champ
    3/Reubens B the old man done well
    4/Alonso crap car driven well
    5/Kobiyashi (sorry if spelt wrong)
    some one to watch closely

  759. Paulo M says:

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Vettel
    3. Kobayashi
    4. Massa
    5. Hamilton

  760. Samantha While says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Mark Webber

  761. Kenneth C says:

    1. Hamilton- Gained the most points of anyone in the second half of the season.
    2. Kimi- was given a dog of a car all season yet managing to pull off a coup to take a win ahead of a faster car not too mention most points in second half bar Hamilton
    3. Button- World champ, won when it mattered the most i.e. when competitors were caught sleeping
    4. Vettel- had second most number of wins but made several rookie mistakes
    5. Webber- had 2 wins nad 6 other podiums but was out performed by Vettel

  762. grat says:

    1) Sebastian Vettel
    2) Jenson Button
    3) Lewis Hamilton
    4) Mark Webber
    5) Kimi Raikonnen

    Honorable Mention to Kamui Kobayashi
    Sportsman of the year to Rubens Barichello

  763. Roberto says:

    Button – World Champ

    Rosberg – Consistency with a medium car

    Vettel – Fast and he was the pilot that got most from his car when problems hindered his practice time.

    Hamilton – With the help of his team he was a main contender on he second half of the season

    Alonso – Never underperformed with a dodgy car

  764. ChunkyChopsNZ says:

    1. Rosberg
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Button
    5. Raikkonen

  765. Tommi says:

    By the way, if Kimi was incosistent, what was Button? Or Rubens? Webber? Kimi’s last part of the season showed us best driving we’ve seen at this century.

  766. John K says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Rosberg

  767. Lobo says:

    1. Jenson Button: World Champ – enough said -
    2. Kimi Raikkonen: 48 points with car that was going backwards
    3. Fernando Alonso: beat his teammates consistently and drove the Renault to places it didn’t deserve
    4. Sebastian Vettel: when inspired nobody could touch him
    5. Mark Webber: fought all the season against a formidable teammate

  768. Uppili says:

    Here is my top five for the year.

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  769. Steve_P83 says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettell
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

  770. caanan says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  771. Jerry says:

    1. No doubt Sebastian Vettel. Supreme when he had the car, OK he made a few mistakes but what cost him the title was bad luck and Button’s fluky dominance at the start

    2. Lewis Hamilton – F A N T A S T I C. This guy has grown on me. Much more mature this year and superb driving.

    3. Nico Rosberg – Had a bit of a weak ending to the season but was probably the most consistent driver of 2009. If it wasnt for the mistake in Singapore, he could have had a win or at least a podium

    4 – Alonso – Outperformed the Renault time after time, never gave up and in the end managed to drag the milk float he was driving to the podium. Great entertaining driving despite rubbish car

    5 – Kimi Raikonen. How many podiums in a row did he amass once Massa’s unfortunate accident? Great driving from the former champ. Took a rubbish car and stuck it right at the top Alonso esque style

    Button doesnt deserve to be in my top 5. Over rated, over hyped one hit wonder. Hamilton will destroy him next season and show him up to just that

    Roll on 20210 and Alonso for the WDC ;-)

  772. David says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

  773. Paul says:

    (just to be clear on the order….)

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Nico Rosberg

  774. Matt de P says:

    1. Webber
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen

  775. Monika S says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Kimi
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Hamilton

  776. Brad Hood says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Barrichello
    4. Kimi
    5. Sutil

  777. Steve says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Barrichello
    4. Button
    5. Kobayashi

  778. David Brown says:

    1 – Jenson Button
    2 – Sebastian Vettel
    3 – Lewis Hamilton
    4 – Rubens Barrichello
    5 – Mark Webber

  779. dank_ross says:

    Third attempt now as for some reason my previous attempts have vanished into thin-air!

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Robert Kubica

  780. Jamie Thomas says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Rosberg
    5. Barrichello

  781. Pierre says:

    1- Hamilton
    2- Vettel
    3- Raikkonen
    4- Button
    5- Barichello

  782. Si Johnson says:

    1 – Vettel
    2 – Button
    3 – Hamilton
    4 – Barricello
    5 – Fisicella (that took balls to do)

  783. Eazzy says:

    1.Button
    2.Hamilton
    3.Vettel
    4.Barrichello
    5.Webber

  784. john g says:

    1. button
    2. vettel
    3. hamilton
    4. barichello
    5. webber

  785. Morris Mao says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Kimi
    3.Hamilton
    4.Alonso
    5.Button

  786. icemann says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Hamilton
    3 Button
    4 Webber
    5 Barrichello

  787. Graeme Walker says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Alonso

  788. swayze says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  789. Mr Anderson says:

    1.Lewis Hamilton
    2.Jenson Button
    3.Rubens Barrichello
    4.Kimi Raikkonen
    5.Sebastian Vettel

  790. June says:

    1.Button
    2.Hamilton
    3.Vettel
    4.Raikkonen
    5.Barrichello

  791. UnicornF1 says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Mark Webber

  792. Steve Evans says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Rosberg

    Thanks for the blog James, it’s been a real treat this year. Always well written articles coupled with behind the scenes snippets, it’s an F1 fans delight! Keep up the good work and hope to hear your voice on the box once again.

  793. Rick J says:

    Hi James, my order is:
    Hamilton
    Raikonnen
    Button
    Vettel
    Webber

    Thank you for a great season’s insight and reporting.

  794. Toby says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Jenson Button
    5. Mark Webber

  795. Relativity says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Webber

  796. June Lee says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Webber

  797. Shortbus says:

    Gotta win a book for having that name! Classic

  798. Sujay says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Kimi
    5. Barrichelo

  799. Lee R says:

    For some reason my picks don’t seem to find their way onto the blog – I have posted (or tried to) twice now – hopefully this will be 3rd time lucky.

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Kimi
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

    6. Kobayashi!

  800. Good luck sorting through these choices James.
    836 at current counting.

  801. Jimbob says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

    I’m pretty confident that your top 3 will be some permutation of Button/Vettel/Hamilton, it’s the 4th and 5th positions that are the problems!

  802. Alan says:

    1. Button – 6 from 7 aint’t bad
    2. Vettel – worked it baby
    3. Hamilton – once the car worked
    4. Buemi – we expected little, he delivered a lot
    5. Kobayashi – grabbed and throttled the chance he was given

  803. Gis says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Rubens Barichello
    3. Nico Rosberg
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Marc Webber

  804. Scott P says:

    You often hear “It’s not the driver, it’s the car they have under them.”

    But for me, it’s all about taking the opportunity a good car gives you and pushing that as far as humanly possible. And so, my order is as follows:

    1 Jenson Button – Unprecedented start followed by the tenacity of a champion once the other teams began to catch up.

    2 Sebastian Vettel – Awesome drive and future champion. With the teams all shook up at the start of the season, was one of the very few to really show their mettle.

    3 Rubens Barrichello – Only out of the points once in the entire season. Mr Consistent but also Mr Unlucky.

    4 Mark Webber – four second place finishes and two grand prix wins. Can’t doubt it was his greatest season. Admirable recovery from ‘that injury’.

    5 Lewis Hamilton – If the season started in Hungary, we would be looking at a very different end of season standings. Showed true class to come back from disappointment on and off the track early in the season.

  805. Martin Donaldson says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Rosberg
    4. Button
    5. Vettel

  806. Chris A says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Button
    3.Hamilton
    4.Raikkonen
    5.Barrichello

  807. Rahma says:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Sebastian Vettel

    HE’s the man on every race in formula one.

    f1 without him gonna suck

  808. Sam says:

    This is not based solely on anything other than just 09 performance.

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  809. Pujan Doshi says:

    Hmm, this is very, very tough. It’s been a strange season, where I think the best drives have come from people in non-competitive cars. The drivers used to fighting at the front of the field have suddenly been mixing it up in the midfield, and many of them have proved their worth and justified their expensive salaries. The drivers at the front, on the other hand, have been brilliantly quick at times, but have also made mistakes – far too many of them, in my mind, to be considered as the actual best drivers of the season.

    My views on this (as others have said, I’m sure they will disagree with yours, but I just wanted to toss my opinions in the mix) is as follows:

    1- Lewis Hamilton. Not only was he consistently outperforming his teammate, he drove the pants out of his car and was always driving it to the limit – as seen by the last lap sparring in Italy. He made very, very few mistakes, and most remarkable of all, he rallied an entire team around him in a way that only Michael Schumacher has done in the past. He pushed the team and as a result, the McLaren went from being one of the worst cars on the grid to a race winner. Never before have I seen a team’s fortunes change as dramatically over the course of a season as this, and I give Lewis a lot of credit for this.

    2- Fernando Alonso. The Renault was probably the most consistently slow car on the grid. Fernando still pushed it into potential point scoring opportunities. 100% of the teams points were scored by him. Enough said.

    3- Nico Rosberg. Same reasons as Alonso.

    4- Jenson Button. The second half of the season was faulty, but Jenson had a Schumacher-esque first half of the season. He was just consistently faster than EVERYONE else and made no mistakes.

    5- Sebastian Vettel. He made far too many mistakes for me to rate him higher, which is a shame because when he was quick, he was ON IT. Faster than Jenson is a weaker car, for an extended period of time.

    Honourable Mentions:
    Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen did a good job in a poor Ferrari. His second half of the season was much better, but how much of that was down to an improved car that is better suited to those tracks and how much was down to Kimi, we’ll never know, as without Massa in the other car, there was no true measuring stick for Kimi to go against. He made few mistakes though, and was consistently pretty fast. I just think that the levels of his pace were exaggerated a bit by having Badoer and a struggling Fisi partnering him.

    Rubens Barrichello. Rubens overcame his early struggles to really master the car and beat Jenson consistently in the seasons’ second half.

  810. Adrian Setterfield says:

    1. Raikkonen – Outperformed his machinery and team-mates
    2. Vettel – Truly fast, would be best if it weren’t for his errors
    3. Webber – Driving with that injury was amazing – carrying 15k more than vettel
    4. Button – Start of the season was flawless, did just enough in the second half
    5. Barichello – Poor start to the season and out-performed the champ in the second half

  811. Nathan says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  812. Aaron says:

    1. Button
    2. Barrichello
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg

  813. Mee says:

    1. Räikkönen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Buemi

  814. Fuller says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  815. Glen says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Räikkönen
    5. Barichello

    Cheers,
    Glen.

  816. Estophile says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  817. John says:

    Difficult call as the field has never been so close , but on top of this list I put drivers, who delivered more than the car they drove seemed to allow:

    1. Kimi Raikkonen (poor car, good job)
    2. Fernando Alonso (poor car, good job)
    3. Lewis Hamilton (always pushing, good car or bad car)
    4. Jenson Button (WDC, what else to say)
    5. Mark Webber (took the fight to Vettel and never gave up)

  818. three4three says:

    This is take 2 as the last attempt seems not to have worked:

    Lewis Hamilton
    Jensen Button
    Rubens Barrichello
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Mark Webber

    Was gonna put Kobayashi for 5 but then remembered Webber’s race in Abu Dhabi.

  819. Vignesh S says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Rubens
    5. Rosburg

  820. Subbaraman says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi
    5. Rosburg

  821. Andy says:

    1. Button. WDC and dominant in the first part of the season.

    2. Vettel. Number 1 challenger to Button, suffered from Renault engine blowing up too often. Second most wins and podiums.

    3. Hamilton. Brilliant second half of the season, could’ve had two more podiums (even a win), brought McLaren back from a difficult start of the season.

    4. Räikkönen. Like Hamilton, brilliant second half even with a car that wasn’t developed anymore + great at Monaco. To win with a dog of a car is something only the greatest can accomplish.

    5. Webber. Great recovery from the accident during off-season and was fighting for the WDC. Took his well-deserved first win (+ another later on!). Most fastest laps and second most podiums, both tied with his highly talented team-mate.

  822. Heeltoer says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5.Kimi

  823. M__E says:

    Alonso – double world champ for very good reason such a talent.

    webber – 2 first wins and a very consistent season for hime mixing it for the championship contenders.

    Hamilton – got humbled, credit to him he really did do the best at all times as the car allowed him to (sometimes beyond!)

    Raikkonen – solid performer and with such a dog of a ferrari, killer 2nd half of season but then ferrari turned off development.

    Barrichello – solid solid drive more consistent than his team mate all round, he gave it such a fight, sorry for u rubens unfortunately no fairytale ending!

  824. Andrew says:

    For anyone who cares, I wrote a script and pulled the data from this page, and the current consensus amongst all votes appears to be:
    1) Button
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Barrichello

    -=A=-

  825. Daniel Neves says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5. Barichello

  826. Jason Baker says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  827. Neal Brown says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  828. Paul says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikonnen
    4. Vettel
    5. Rosberg

  829. Daniel atkins says:

    Button
    vettel
    kimi r
    Rubens
    alonso

  830. Simeon says:

    1. Button
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Vettel

  831. johnpierrer rivera says:

    hey alan, great little exercise:

    1. button – for the simple fact that it was his break-out year, he won the championship, an when all was going south in the second half of the year, he didn’t let it get away from him. in fact, although his results didn’t reflect it, his resolve was at its best culminating with the smashing drive in brazil.

    2. vettal – what more can be said about wounder boy, had he made just a couple less mistakes, and with just a once more of luck, vettel would of been our champion. can’t wait to see him take the fight to hamilton, button and alonso.

    3. barrichello – second only behind his team mate in that he scored points in very race except 2, (button scored points in all but one race). rubens was supper consistent, and showed the way to victory on two occasions. but i would say that he is #3 in my book because of the way he keep his composure in the beginning of the season while button was receiving all the attention. he just keep his head down, (barring one weekend whenhe lost his temper with the team) and got the job done, and made a the championship exciting up to the penultimate race on his home turf.

    4. hamilton – once again you have to respect any driver that has a dog of car and just keeps his head and heart in the game. and then to post the most points in the second half not to mention 2 race wins (should of been 3, not for mechanical reasons) is good enough argument to be in my top five.

    5. webber – this undoubtedly was the most difficult choice for me. several drivers could of populated this spot. not least of which are alonso (always ring every last bit a performance out of a car), roseberg (who is finally maturing as a driver and impressed with good consistency), kimi (just look at fisi to understand how poor the ferrari in the second half), sutil and timo (both had good drives and would of had more points it they could get saturday right). but webber finally gets my last vote because of his incredible come back to drive against the boy wounder (clearly the team is more behind vettal then webber) and claim his first two wins in F1 despite the horrible accident he was involved in during the winter break. the fact that he was driving with a good amount of pain at the beginning of the season, never complained and also made a good run of it, is very inspiring. had he not had such rotten luck from valencia to suzuku the final standing would of be quite different. but that is formula one for you…

  832. Rob O'Connor says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber
    5. Barrichello

  833. Patrickl says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Sebastien Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

  834. Victoria Quinn says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Barrichello
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

  835. Monktonnik says:

    I think he gas shown plenty of fight this year.

  836. Richard Colyer says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Rosberg

  837. JP says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

    I think you have to have webber and vettel together. They were so close all year

  838. Brian Dooley says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg

  839. Geoff says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Alonso
    4) Hamilton
    5) Rosberg

  840. F1 Kitteh says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Alonso

  841. 1 in 6.37 million says:

    1. Kimi Räikkönen
    2. Jarno Trulli
    3. Kamui Kobayashi
    4. Nick Heidfeld
    5. Adrian Sutil

  842. Aleana says:

    1: Jenson Button
    2: Sebastian Vettel
    3: Lewis Hamilton
    4: Rubens Barrichello
    5: Fernando Alonso

  843. Anna says:

    1: Hamilton
    2: Button
    3: Vettel
    4: Alonso
    5: Barrichello

  844. Lethal M says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

  845. JP says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Barrichello

    Webber and Glock come in next, the drivers were up one week and down the next! (however the top 5 here were more or less on the ball the whole time)

  846. Andrew Derlien says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

    Thanks for the commentary years James, always managed to build up the drama. Loved the way you called the start at Monaco 2002! :P

  847. Marcus says:

    Alonso – pig of a car, way better results than anyone else would have got, and no complaining
    Hamilton – car was so bad at the beginning of the year it was hard to tell how good he was, but as soon as the car showed ANY potential he was all over it
    Button – tapered off in the second half, but when he had the car advantage he made THE most of it, which is more than RB did and all you can really ask, and some terrific overtaking moves all year
    Vettel – so fast when he was on it, but still some ironing out to do
    Webber – typically not as fast as Vettel, but more consistent, could still be a pain in Vettel’s side next year…

    1. Marcus says:

      just to clarify:
      1 Alonso
      2 Hamilton
      3 Button
      4 Vettel
      5 Webber

  848. Jamie Cottage says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barichello
    5. Webber

  849. Andrew Derlien says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Hamilton
    4. Rosberg
    5. Webber

  850. Jake Pattison says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Webber
    4. Alonso
    5. Raikkonen

  851. Blythy says:

    1. Mark Webber – Never failed to deliver imo.
    2. Jenson Button – Awesome first half, very conservative second half.
    3. Lewis Hamilton – He put that car in places it had no business to belong in.
    4. Sebastian Vettel – Quick, and good in qualifying. I reckon would have been left for dead if Webber was fully fit.
    5. Rubens Barrichello – Had a few too many tech problems, but he was on top form this year.

  852. Stephen Hill says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Räikkönen
    5. Kamui Kobayashi

  853. Floyd B says:

    My top 5 drivers of 2009

    1) Vettel
    2) Button
    3) Hamilton
    4) Kimi
    5) Webber

  854. Bhavesh says:

    So looking at the contenders boys

    Rosberg – Didn’t do enough with a car that at the beginning of the season should have been at least following the Brawns home.

    Alonso- Great effort based on Quali times alone this man was immense however the car was a dog and in the races he had no choice but heading backwards. He’ll be back next year and I can;t wait

    Hamilton – Simply awesome but one or two big mistakes. Monaco was there for the taking in Quali but binned it when he should have been saving he big push for the next part of the lap. Italy was just silly.

    Massa – Was transcending the car until that spring had he continued in the same vein for the remainder of the season he would have been a contender for the top three

    Rakkionen – Not at his best in the first half of the season but still good enough to keep Massa honest, came alive towards the end of the season and seemed to be driving a different car to his teammates. Kimi literatly was taking his car to places it had no place to be in the second half of the season and rescued Ferrari from what could have been there first winless season for over a decade.

    Webber – Some great drivers got him back in contention for the championship and then fell away again after big mistakes in practice. Should have been in the championship fight towards the end of the season.

    Vettel – The new Wunderkid still not the polished article but some of his performances just left everyone including his teammate for dead. Unfortunately made some fundamental errors in his race performances.

    Barrichello – Had two great races Valencia, Italy, but just didn’t bring his head to all the events. The Nurburgring was a prime example, was leading then fell back to a mid points position. Should have done better with the equipment at his disposal

    Button – Finally proved his worth with 7 wins of the highest quality but then suffered in qualifying. His race performances however never let up and he finished in the points in every race he finished. Its what championships are made off.

    So the top 5 drivers are

    1) Hamilton (Despite Italy!!)
    2) Button
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikkonnen
    5) Alonso

  855. 1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  856. David and Kath says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Mark Webber
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  857. Peter Freeman says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikkonen

    Hamilton consistently did the best with the least, then did the best of everyone with only ONE of the best cars. Clearly Hamilton did better than anyone else with what he had, consistently. Alonso did less with more in the first half… Mark my words, Massa is going to beat him next year!

  858. Wolfgang says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Rubens Barichello

  859. verstappen says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Barichello
    4 Hamilton
    5 Raikkonen

  860. John says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  861. Alan Wood says:

    Difficult to choose, with everyone being to close.

    1. Button – WDC, what more to say
    2. Vettel – kept within a few point of Button despite car troubles at times.
    4. Webber – Good recovery from a broken leg to being a real contender
    5. Hamilton – Started in a bad car, and just kept getting better

  862. halifaxf1fan says:

    1.sebastion vettel
    2.lewis hamilton
    3.jenson button
    4.fernando alonso
    5.kimi raikkonen

  863. Andrew says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  864. Aneurin Venables says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton- for the way generally he worked so hard on his car to improve it, i was never a huge fan of lewis’s but this season he has proved to be a real leader

    2. Jenson Button

    3. Sebastian Vettel

    4. Fernando Alonso

    5. Rubens Barrichello

  865. Freeman Tang says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Fernando Alonso

  866. Gabe says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Webber

  867. MG says:

    Hi James, my top 5 are:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Barrichello
    5. Raikonnen

  868. Christopher Theodoratos says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen

  869. Kalogeropoulos George says:

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen

  870. Xristoforos Bakas says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg

  871. antonios says:

    1)Hamilton
    2)Button
    3)Vettel
    4)Raikkonen
    5)Sutil

  872. Mat says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Barrichello
    5. Webber

  873. Alex Monroe says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  874. James says:

    1 Vettel – great job all year
    2 Webber – great to finally see him in a front running car
    3 Button – world champion but not convincing
    4 Sutil – often overlooked, very good in the wet and had couple of very strong performances this year
    5 Kobayashi – fought with championship leaders convincingly in both races he competed in

  875. Mike Holland says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Button
    3

    1. Mike Holland says:

      1 Hamilton
      2 Button
      3 Webber
      4 Vettel
      5 Rosberg

  876. Nazdakka says:

    1) Jenson Button. WDC. Imperious until Silverstone, got the job done with a middling car after that.
    2) Sebastian Vettel. Came of age this year, has going from promising new boy to proven contender.
    3) Lewis Hamilton. Showed that he can also drive bad cars.
    4) Mark Webber. Matched his highly rated team-mate up until the end of the season.
    5) Nico Rosberg. Trounced his team-mate, showed that he can consistently score well.

  877. Kyle says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Barrichello
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg

  878. Jon says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Rubens Barrichello

    Cheers for a great year of updates and insights!

  879. Thomas says:

    After Germany, before his accident, Felipe had 22 points and was fifth in the drivers’ standings after the Brawns and Red Bulls. Kimi had 10, Lewis 9 and Heikki 5. They were all driving pigs of cars but Felipe did it the best. And Rubens, for all his bad luck, pushed Jenson – with all his good luck – right up to the end.
    So:
    1 Massa
    2 Rubens
    3 Lewis
    4 Jenson
    5 Vettel

  880. Jon S says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Rubens Barrichello

  881. jbstans says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Kimi Raikkonen
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Sebastien Vettel
    5. Nico Rosberg

  882. Jez says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Button
    5. Rosberg

  883. Phil says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – started with arguably the worst car and finished first behind Brawn/Red Bull
    2. Jenson Button – Peerless first half with the best car before he got the wobbles and Red Bull caught up
    3. Sebastian Vettel – mistakes cost him but a great season nevertheless
    4. Kimi Räikkönen – achieved things with the lame horse in the second half that few could match
    5. Fernando Alonso – finished up with arguably the worst car all season and still scored decent points and destroyed his teammates

    A tricky season to judge and a great insight on the blog has made it even more enjoyable. I still miss the rapport you and Martin had commentating though.

  884. Pete Walker says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Rosberg

  885. Rob says:

    1) Button – The champion always deserves it.

    2) Vettel – A very promising talent, I believe with better luck this season he probably would have been champion.

    3) Hamilton – A good year for Lewis, he had negatives with Australia but dragged a dog of a car up and more or less consistentley outshone Heikki with two wins and with what could have been a third in Abu Dhabi.

    4) Raikkonen – A strange year for Kimi, a bad start perhaps but a lot of it was him being unlucky, after Massa’s accident he drove like a demon with an ever slowing car.

    5) Barichello – This was the hardest of the five to choose, very close with Webber and they were equal on victories. However I feel Barichello shaded it, his start to the season was poor but a lot of it was him stalling on the grif and race strategies. He impressed me with the way he pressured Jenson in the second half of the season and he’s doing all this at a grand age of thirty seven.

  886. Carol L says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Fernando Alonso

  887. Julian says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Fernando Alonso

  888. Geoff says:

    1 Button
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Rosberg

  889. Andrew says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  890. Björn says:

    Interesting to see how varied the choices are.

    For one more variation I’d say:

    1 Nico Rosberg
    Amazingly consistent this year despite an odd mistake (see no.3). Why would Williams not let him go last year for any $ and Brawn make him no. 1? I would even tip him for no.2 next year.

    2 Fernando Alonso
    Always thought he was overhyped and only started to impress me last year. This year was his best. He’ll do wicked stuff at Ferrari next year – if Massa will let him.

    3 Lewis Hamilton
    Made a few mistakes (some of them big ones) despite a good car in the end. This was his learning year.

    5 Jenson Button
    He won. Outscored his teammate most of the time (one who is a well known figure). Didn’t give in. Still, had a 1sec head start. Next year’s challenge will be a blast.

    4 Sebastian Vettel
    I somehow think he didn’t do much better this year than last (which was very impressive). Still, he was second in the championship. Maybe the F1 learning curve is 4 years?

    Thanks for sharing your opinions this year. Your site is a must-read.

  891. Jarek says:

    Correction:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Rubens Barrichello
    5. Mark Webber

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