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Who were the Top Five Drivers of the Year? A producer’s view
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Who were the Top Five Drivers of the Year? A producer’s view
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Nov 2010   |  10:22 am GMT  |  135 comments

I asked JA on F1 readers to name their top five drivers of the year by Monday 29th November, the prize for the first ten entries which match my choice of top five will win a signed copy of my 2010 season review book, “Five rivals, one Champion”.

We’ve had almost 700 entries so far; some very entertaining ones and some very well considered.


For a bit of fun I have also asked one or two friends in and around F1 for their Top Five and today is the turn of Manish Pandey, (left of picture) the writer and producer of the new Senna movie.

Here is his choice:

1. Fernando Alonso
Did not have the fastest car anywhere this year yet, had it not been for a poor strategy call, still almost took the title. Made a few mistakes (eg false start in China, Monaco qualifying shunt) but the ‘strongest head in F1′ fought back against the dominant Bulls and resurgent McLarens in a mighty way.

2. Sebastian Vettel
Could have won seven or eight races, had it not been for mechanical problems, and would have been my number one driver but he has still not overtaken anyone, other than off the start line, to win a race – and his incidents with Webber and Button still leave me wondering whether he can race for a win rather than dominate from pole.

3. Lewis Hamilton
Mightily fast, Lewis dominated the middle part of the season. But those accidents at Monza and Singapore and cooking his tyres twice in Brazil take the edge off his season for me.

4. Jenson Button
He was supposed to have been blown away by Lewis but, despite several engineer changes, was right there until Brazil despite his ill fortune in Monaco and Belgium. Might not have been as rapid as his teammate but those early strategy calls and that brilliant race in Abu Dhabi confirmed his class.

5. Mark Webber
Very fast all season but lucked into a couple victories and rather lost his head, when all about him people were keeping theirs – or was it the ultimate in Prost-like gamesmanship? Either way, the end of the season let down the first two thirds (he was neither on pole, nor did he win, any of the last six races).

Do you agree with Manish? If you haven’t already done so, put down your top five below.

The 2010 Season Review book is published on Monday and orders will be sent out early next week.

For any readers who would like to come along and have a chat about the season, I will be doing a book signing on Thursday December 9th at 5-30pm to 7pm at Motor Books, 13/15 Cecil Court London WC2N 4AN Phone +44 (0)20 7836 5376.

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135 Comments
  1. Andrewshouldbeworking says:

    Much as I’m a one eyed Hamilton fan, I’d find it hard to disagree with the above

    1. PaulL says:

      I agree with the producer’s views, however I ascribe no blame to Hamilton for “cooking his tyres” twice in Brazil. I think F1 should, to a high degree, be about attacking – qualifying laps one after another in the race. The day we are criticising someone for racing hard is the day F1 is a lesser thing.

      In the 80s you can understand it because that was the best tyre technology available and fuel stops were banned for safety grounds. I see no reason why with today’s technology and the viability of refuelling to think that drivers should have to look after their equipment.

      1. Wayne says:

        Suprises me that there is consistently no mention of Heiki….? Surely a driver can excell without having to be in one of the top cars? This is the best driver afterall not the best car……..

    2. Christos Pallis says:

      I’m a McLaren fan but would disagree with Button in the top five, i wouldn’t even put him 6th. The top 8 in my eyes that all had a great season would be:

      1. Alonso – most consistently brilliant
      2. Vettel – fastest thing all season
      3. Hamilton – As always drove like he stole it
      4. Webber – cos he almost did it
      5. Kubica – just please give him a better car!
      6. Rosberg – one more mistake than Kubica
      7. Button – Great on race day, needs to sort Q3
      8. Kobayashi – what a legend, most exciting driver of 2010

      I think a great idea for the future of F1 would be for drivers to set up a sponsorship web page where by people can go donate to their sponsorship. Based on that i think loads of people would have donated to the Kobayashi fund this year and money would help his cause to move up into a better team. Almost like a fans way of investing into producing a more exciting grid, i would easily justify £20 if Kamui could be in a Ferrari next year! all it takes is 100,000 fans to do the same and he’s suddenly got decent backing. How awesome would that be- Kobayashi for 2011 Ferrari World Champion, i can dream :)

  2. Andy says:

    I disagree. In my opinion, Kubica and Rosberg done better than Button. It’s easy to finish in the top 5 with a fast car and when Mclaren started to struggle with the upgrades, Button was no where.

    My top 5 :

    Fernando Alonso
    Robert Kubica
    Lewis Hamilton
    Sebastian Vettel
    Nico Rosberg

    1. Carl Craven says:

      Many races including the last 2 crossed the line less than 1 second behind Lewis.

      1. Grant says:

        Point well made Carl.

        Button is dissmissed a lot on this forum. However, he is a great driver in race conditions. Very close to Hamilton at the end. He has certainly overtaken more cars this season than Vettel, who overtook no-one. If he can overcome his qualitying problems next season he will be at the front.

      2. Andy C says:

        I’m one of the few that agree with you both.

        Jenson definitely needs to give himself more of a chance next season in qualifying.

        I particularly love the justifications when he has won. It’s all down to luck you see. Every single time.

        I think he is one of the more intelligent drivers for keeping his tyres in the dry.

        Hope he does better in quali in the coming year. He will hopefully be able to fix that over the winter.

        Ross brawn last season said when he got a car to his liking he was excellent. Ross brawn, what does he know ;-)

      3. Andy says:

        Reply:”Ross brawn last season said when he got a car to his liking he was excellent. Ross brawn, what does he know”

        So do all drivers. Give Yamamoto a car fast that suits his style, he can be world champion too. But drivers like Schumacher (before his come back ), Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica and Vettel can take an unbalanced car and put it where it doesn’t belong. Those are top drivers for me.

  3. altersrill says:

    Again no Kubica? Can’t take it seriously then.

    1. Flintster says:

      Sorry but Kubica who! where was he all season! No where – couple of good races that was it…

      1. what series have you been watching?
        out performed his car all year, made zero mistakes and proved himself a top drawer pilot. No mistakes, name one other top driver that managed that?

      2. Flintster says:

        bazza had a fair crack! My point though Kubica didn’t nail it this year, it wasn’t stunning, all credit some crackin races, i.e. Monaco

      3. Andy C says:

        Usually dragging the Renault well up into the top ten.

        He was brilliant at Monaco.

        Can you only be brilliant if you drive for Ferrari, mclaren or redbull?

      4. Flintster says:

        well only Ferrari! Lets be right! Ha…fair comment ref Monaco

  4. Lau says:

    My top five have to be:
    Mark Webber:
    He has improved so much in the last two years, from a driver no-one really care about who had never one a race to a real fighter. In the last two years his form has improved so much – last year he won two races, this year he won four with another six podiums!

    Kamui Kobayashi:
    He may have failed to finish in eight of the 19 races, but he has tremendous talent which we saw in full at the Japanese GP. His overtaking moves at the hairpin had everyone on the edge of their seat, but he pulled them off with skill and talent!

    Jaime Alguersuari:
    He had an awful start to F1, with criticisms coming at him left right and centre, but he blew us all away by finishing, not coming last and placing above his teammate. The rest of the season was pretty abismal for him, and failed to finsih in the majority of races, but this season he has improved a hack of a lot, even getting points on the board, and whats more, he had only failed to finih two races. And whats even more impressive is that he is only 20!

    Nico Rosberg:
    How can you not give him recognition after this season. He has the most successful team mate in the sports history. The pressure on him to prove hemself and do well has been huge, but he has not succumbed and instead almost always finished abve Michael. He has real, real talent, just hasn’t got a car to prove it. He scored three podiums this season, Michael scored none.

    Nico Hulkenburg:
    He hasn’t had the best rookie season, but has slowly improved each race. Of course no one really cares about this, because the highlight of his year had to be that pole position at Brazil. Its still beyond everyone how the hell he managed to beat Sebastian Vettels wicked qualifying record and get grid position by over a second! In a Williams! He may rarely show it but he is a kid with real talent!

    1. Lilla My says:

      I like the fact that you appreciate the performances of the drivers that are normally left out in standings like that (it’s normally all about the top 5-10 drivers of the WDC standings), but do you honestly think that Alguersuari, Hulkenberg or Kobayashi did better than Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel or Kubica?

      1. Lau says:

        Yes. Its stupid to think Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton are the best. Hamilton was incosistant, Vettel can put his foot down, but as a driver he is impatient, inconsiderate nd selfish. Alonso is just a plain idiot – how he acted towards Petrov at the end of the AD GP was absolutely disgusting – Alonso wasn’t good enough, so he blamed Petrov for it, and that is not cool, and no way for a driver to act who is a two time world champion. How can anyone suggest Alonso to be one of the best drivers after that?

        Jaime, Nico H and Kamui are all virtually rookies, all very young and yet have given some outtanding performances this season, except unlike the front runners, they don’t have good, consistant cars, unlimited budgets, experience in F1; considering that, they have done pretty damn well for themselves, and I think if you were to put anyone of them in Hulkenburgs, or Kobayashi or Alguersuaris shoes, they wouldn’t do nearly as well. And come on, get a grip on reality – Hulkenberg BEAT VETTEL to the pole in Brazil. In a WILLIAMS. I am still stunned by it now – that is talent, he beat Vettle in a Red Bull – its not humanly possible to do that but somehow he did, and it wasn’t by a few thousandths of a second like you would expect but by over a second! Vettel got owned!

      2. Dave C says:

        Hmmm so I suppose it wasn’t only Vettel that was ‘owned’ in qualifying at brazil you can add Hamilton, webber, alonso, kubica… Oh sorry the entire field, I suppose that’s how a wet setup forca drying track can get you pole but get you nowhere in the race.

      3. Jon says:

        Hulkenbergs pole was circumstances and luck. He took advantage but it wasn’t a normal qualifying and it wasn’t a repeatable result for Hulk. It was flash in the pan. It shows his potential though. Everyone got owned that day, not just Vettel. Hulk is not 1 second quicker then the entire field. ;)

      4. Galapago555 says:

        “Alonso is just a plain idiot”

        I thought that the rules of the blog stated that not comments containing profanities or ad hominem attacks (abusive language and attacks on individuals, etc) would be allowed…

        James, maybe you could inform us on what kind of insults and abusive language are allowed and what not.

      5. James Allen says:

        That’s just the wrong side – must have slipped through mod

      6. Lilla My says:

        In Brazil Hulkenberg “owned” everybody, including Webber (who had actually the same car as Vettel. So why do you think Vettel is so much worse than Hulkenberg if beaten in Brazil, while Webber is on top of your list, if he also lost the quilifying in just the same car as Vettel’s?), Alguersuari, Rosberg and Kobayashi, who you still consider to be better than him. It was one (great) performance, but due to conditions (it still shows that Hulkenberg has potential) and he couldn’t transform it into a good race result anyway. And I don’t like your comments about Alonso – they are quite abusive in my opinion. I thought that we should judge drivers’ performances and base our standings on their racing results (in comparison with the cars the drivers had) and not abbusing a driver because he acted in a unsporting manner here or there. So if you use some “driving” arguments and prove that this or that driver is not good enough because of his skills, that’s fine, but calling somebody “a plain idiot” because you don’t like his personality (yes, I know he’s a controversial figure, but that’s not the subject here) is just an unfounded plain abuse and is absolutely irrelevant to the topic.

      7. Richard Bell says:

        I presume he’s not interested in James’s book.

      8. Lilla My says:

        Haha. You never know! We must wait till tomorrow to see James’ list. It can still surprise us! ;-)

      9. James Allen says:

        That’s right. Tomorrow I’ll put my list up.

    2. Galapago555 says:

      You forgot Karun Chandok and Christian Klien.

    3. JD says:

      It’s not unusual to prefer the young guns and underdogs over the established stars. This tendency appears in other sports. For example in American baseball, some fans think that Stephen Strasburg is better than CC Sabathia.

      When a driver is placed in a high-pressure situation, like Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton were, their flaws become obvious. There is no perfect driver. Not to say that mid-pack drivers don’t feel pressure, but it is nothing compared to competing for the title.

      To rank Webber over the above three contenders ignores the fact that Webber wilted from the pressure in the last three races. He even admitted at Abu Dhabi that he could not match Vettel. By the time the red lights went out, he was already a beaten man.

  5. jakub says:

    Can’t agree with that. How you can militate drivers who were outpaced by their teammates on regular basis? Give Webber and button average car and they would be nowhere.
    If not vettels reliability issues webbers dream title would be over halfway midseason.

    1. MR says:

      Button was in his first season with Mclaren went through multiple race engineers and still finished basically a race win behind his team mate. Button was not outpaced by Hamilton on a regualar basis either, yes Button struggled in quali but their race pace throughout the season was very similar. If you give any driver bar Alonso an average car they would be nowhere, look at Hamilton at the start of last season.

      1. Mark m says:

        The mclaren at the start of last year was anything but average it was as good as a forti from the 90′s

      2. MR says:

        Kovalainen is a pretty average driver and he finished 5th and 12th in Shanghai and Bahrain, if the car was really bad he would of done worse.

      3. Kodongo says:

        How would you explain Alonso’s 2008 and 2009 from the man who apparently can make silk purses of sow’s ears? Hamilton finished the season on a 14-1 qualifying run against Button and Button was ahead of Hamilton for only 4 races this season: Australia, China, Monza and one other that slips my mind. The gap between them was 35 points after Spa. Hamilton’s misadventures in Monza, Singapore and Japan the gap was reduced to three before Lewis opened it up to 26 by season’s end.

      4. Richard M says:

        2008 Alonso finished 5th overall which is pretty good in the Renault, 2009 scored a podium and might of got a victory if his wheel had not come off, he also made no mistakes and his three retirements were not down to driver error.
        It was actually 13-2 not 14-1 and in Japan if Button had been on the option tyres he would of outqualifed Hamilton there as well, however its not really the point as Button himself said he struggled in qualifying this season and I said that he mostly match Hamilton in race pace not qualifying pace. So if Button does sort his qualifying out which could happen because of the new tyres then he could definitely challenge Hamilton next season.

  6. Jeff Gomes says:

    Top 5 F1 Drivers:
    (1) Vettel
    (2) Weber
    (3) Alonso
    (4) Rosberg
    (5) Kubica

  7. melonfarmer says:

    Sorry Manish, I don’t agree :-), there was more to F1 2010 than #1 & #2 of the top 3 teams!

    1. Vettel – would have walked it without early car failures. Crashes in Turkey and Belgium (both his fault entirely) were due to the frustration of not having a commanding championship lead. The right man won.
    2. Alonso – I thought he was nuts at Silverstone to predict he’d win the championship, but so nearly did it. Outsmarting McLaren at Monza was balanced by Abu Dhabi tactical error. Instructing team about tyre choice in Korea while keeping it in a straight line showed incredible spare mental capacity.
    3. Hamilton – pushed like “heck” as ever, bad luck in Spain balanced by 1st lap mistake at Monza. May reflect at the end of his career that he would have won more by compromising (Singapore), but not his style (thankfully).
    4. Rosberg – certainly put Schumacher in the shade, but on the receiving end of some poor manners from MS (Belgium & Suzuka). Absolutely the right decision to leave Williams.
    5. Kobayashi – Sauber took a little while to get over their rescue trauma, but what an overtaker! Amazing how many pundits started pubicly doubting him, then lavished praise later in the season – hypocrisy is alive and thriving in the F1 paddock!

  8. Frankie says:

    This honour has to go to Vettel who made the least errors of the top drivers, suffered unbelievably bad luck at the beginning, along with superb skills at the end. Winning the WDC without his team mate contributing to his points total.

    Alonso made so many mistakes at the start of the season,lucky to emerge even with a chance. Just imagine the ban if he had collided with Massa in the pit lane and blocked the pits? How many bad races were saved by safety cars? When was the last time you saw a top driver jump the start or end up facing the wrong way after the first corner, able to resume undamaged? As mighty as Alonso’s second half of the season was, overall he is in no way the driver of the season.

    Hamilton kept shooting himself in the foot and realistically had a very good chance of winning the WDC. What was noticeable was his dominance of Button as a racer. THE talent on the grid who demonstrated to both Alonso and Button, who the boss is with identical equipment.

    Button showed that speed is not everything and that using your head or just taking the obvious tactical choice can win you grand prixs. No slouch and I can’t think of another driver better suited to give the team the best shot at the WDC without the diva.

    Kubica would have been ahead of Button but there is no substitute for wins. Excellent performances with lesser equipment. Webber should have been up here, did a lot of good things. When you have such an extraordinary good car and whimp out when the pressure goes on, you really have to question the drivers qualities.

    1. AlonsoKing says:

      Hamilton did not dominate Button. And this “racer” meme is just that, a meme. It’s a dodge. It’s a way of avoiding the reality that Button showed himself as a true match for Hamilton this year and proved it where it really matters. In championship points. Hate to burst your bubble mate, but Hamilton did not outshine Button in any significant way this year.

      1. AlonsoKing says:

        Oops, read your comments about Button after my post. My bad.

      2. Nando says:

        The point about Button while he hung on for the majority of the season he was never a real contender.
        Hamilton was always pushing to the maximum and on the edge, Button was just steady eddie collecting points .
        He deserves credit as the Mclaren design ethos didn’t really suit him but he was allowed to go his own way particularly in the 2nd half of the season.

      3. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        Hamilton has Button well under control. Button has only outperformed when Hamilton has encountered problems.

        Jenson knows this and Lewis surely does not consider him a threat.

      4. AlonsoKing says:

        Nando, agreed. The McLaren design ethos was an issue for Button all season. However, he was indeed a real contender right up to the penultimate race in Brazil. His style may not be thrilling to watch all the time, but he stayed in the WDC and made a go of it against a teammate (LH) who was supposed to blow him away. In the end it doesn’t matter whether your “on the edge” or not. What matters is how many points a driver has at the end of the season. If Button can do as well as he did this season with a car that was essentially designed for Lewis. One has to wonder how well he’ll do next year when the issue of the McLaren design “ethos” is not in fact an issue at all. 20111 should be a definitive year for Button, Hamilton, and McLaren in general.

      5. Andy C says:

        Let’s remember that jenson suffered overheating at Monaco due to the bung still being in the sidepod.

        Then at spa seb drove into his sidepod.

        I don’t think the design ethos was wrong, I think where Lewis was better was in getting on top of the blown diffuser handling before they got the retardation working. Lewis can drive a skittish car with a lose backend whereas jenson seems to like a planted car.

        I think in summary, Lewis had a great qualifying season this year. Jenson needs to improve, but racewise they are very evenly matched over a race distance.

    2. Damian J says:

      Your comments about Alonso are spot on. Loads of errors by Alonso in the first half of the season but everyone just want to remember the last few races of the season. Alonso also had the second fastest car.

      Compare that to Hamilton whose performances were spotless in the first half of the season and in the third fastest car for most of the season was able to capitize on Alonso’s mistakes.

      1. AlonsoKing says:

        Damian, Hamilton’s performances were far from spotless in the first half of the season. Button took the first two wins of the season in Australia and China. So the McLaren was capable of winning as Button proved, yet LH didn’t deliver. This was not the “third fastest car” by any means. Lewis did begin to shape up with his win in Turkey, but his early 2010 campaign was wrought with errors and under achievement.

        Alonso had a better 2010 campaign than Hamilton and it wasn’t down to a better car. Hamilton made a solid go of it and was exciting to watch as ever. But in the end the WDC standings tell the tale. Alonso 2nd, Hamilton 4th.

      2. Jonty Winship says:

        Take off Alonsos 7 gifted team order points and Alonso was 5 points ahead of Hamilton with a significantly faster car for most of the season!

        Jenson made good calls which along with a (fair) bit of luck earnt him wins. That’s not going to happen very often so point gap not representative in my eyes between jenson and Lewis.

      3. AlonsoKing says:

        Alonso 2nd, Hamilton 4th. Nothing else matters. Mike from Medellin, Hamilton does not have Button “under control” in any way. In fact, it’s Button that has Hamilton “under control” it seems. Hamilton was supposed to “annihilate” Button and it never happened. It never even came close to happening and Hamilton had a car that was designed for him.

      4. Jonty Winship says:

        Jenson is no doubt a class driver but we’re talking about the best of the best here.

        Don’t forget no refuelling was supposed to give Button an edge which arguably it did.

        Lewis is the best driver on the grid in equal cars in my opinion closely followed by Fernando.

        Whether Vettel improves on race day enough to close the gap remains to be seen.

        All makes for a great future for F1..

      5. mtb says:

        Some people seem to only want to remember the races that Hamilton won, and ignore the five consecutive race weekends where he made five unforced errors!

      6. Damian J says:

        Some also are keen to forget Alonso’s nightmares in Canada, Monza, China, Valencia and Silverstone!

      7. mtb says:

        I thought that Alonson won at Monza, but I could be wrong…

      8. Damian J says:

        My correction…. Alonso’s nightmares were in Monaco along with Canada, China, Valencia and Silverstone!

      9. mtb says:

        Despite these “nightmares” he finished ahead of Hamilton in the WDC – deal with it!

      10. Damian J says:

        Not forgetting the gift of 7 free points from Massa and a better car.

      11. mtb says:

        He still would have finished ahead of Hamilton without those points AND he has been voted driver of the year by the team principals (without Ferrari’s vote). The team principals think that he drove substantially better than Hamilton

  9. type056 says:

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

  10. Joe says:

    1) Webber
    2) Vettel
    3) Alonso
    4) Hamilton
    5) Kubica

    Webber might not have had outright speed the entire season, but he was usually not very far off it and was the most consistent with the least errors. Not to mention he managed to overcome most peoples belief that he wasn’t a serious title contender and without the emotional support of his team.

    Vettel is blindingly fast, but his ability to overtake (or lack of) in a race means he cannot occupy the top spot.

    Alonso lead a brilliant second half of the season, and showed everyone he could actually take the championship despite his largely poor first half. Mistakes in Melbourne, Monaco, China, Silverstone, Spa and Abu Dhabi were disappointing for a driver of his calibre.

    Hamilton was great to watch, and I love his never say die attitude. He is definitly one of the greats in my opinion. However he also let himself down in Singapore, Monza, and Japan. But a great season for him nonetheless!

    Kubica was very impressive! His ability to mix it up with the big boys was fantastic, and his laps around Monaco were simply stunning, so much so that he beat a Red Bull to P2 on the grid! Considering all this in a car that was certainly not the most competing was great to watch.

    1. Sim says:

      1. Webber made more mistakes than Vettel and Hamilton, count them race by race and you will see. Only Alonso made more mistakes than Webber from all the title contenders. Vettel made 4, Webber 6, Hamilton 5, Alonso 7.

      2. Vettel started most times on pole or 2nd, 3rd. Overtaking anyone on those positions is much harder than when you start 10th in between a Williams and a Force India. Name 1 amazing overtake by Webber for instance this season against a Mclaren or Ferrari. You can’t. He just got angry because Hulkenburg in a much slower Williams in Monza didn’t let him pass and whined about it for 5 laps until Hulkenberg made a mistake.

      In fact the only ones who did amazing overtaking were Hamilton (starting out of place) and Kobayashi (tire tactics and well, banzai spirit), no one else. So that argument against Vettel is hollow.

  11. David Ryan says:

    I think if we’re going to talk about victories lucked into – as Manish does with Webber – then we should also factor in Bahrain and Korea for Alonso and Turkey for Hamilon as well. None of those would have happened but for misfortune befalling the lead car after all.

  12. Robyn says:

    “…rather lost his head, when all about him people were keeping theirs – or was it the ultimate in Prost-like gamesmanship?”

    I’d have loved it if he had elaborated on this a bit…

    Anyway, it’s not that I can’t see the reasoning behind his top five, but I just can’t rank Alonso as high as number 1. Okay, I can’t say I get putting Button ahead of Webber at all. But other than that, I can see his reasoning!

  13. AK says:

    I have to disagree on two points with Manish.

    Firstly, Alonso definitely had the fastest car in Monza!

    Secondly, there is no way that Webber was worse than Button this year. Button, a World Champion, never had faster race pace and hardly ever had faster qualifying pace than his teammate. Plus he was ‘gifted’ a couple of race wins due to strategy calls that could have gone either way. The same accusation was leveled at Webber by Manish so I don’t know how you can ignore it for Button. Webber made a couple of mistakes but he pushed his teammate all the way and was generally very close to him in both qualifying and the race, even in his patchy period at the end of the season.

    1. Emma says:

      I don’t think you can call getting the right fall of a strategy decision being ‘gifted’ a win. It took insight and guts to make some of the calls Button and team made, and it was great that some of them paid off.

      1. AK says:

        In Australia he made the call because he didn’t have much to lose as his intermediates were going off a cliff and he was going backwards. Then Vettel’s car broke down and at the same time, Red Bull cocked up Webber’s strategy and put him way down the order when he should have been behind or in front of Vettel. There was two gifts to Button right there.

        In China, everyone but Button, Kubica and Rosberg made bad strategy calls, in particular, Red Bull again. They could have and should have at least split their driver strategies and quite easily won the race. That’s Button’s second race win handed to him on a plate.

    2. SuperOsnola says:

      I don’t think so. Button’s McLaren was faster than the Ferraris.

      1. AK says:

        No it wasn’t. Ferrari was on pole and Button could not shake off Alonso and Alonso easily took him at the pit stops. Ferrari were faster though maybe not by great deal, but at least a tenth or two.

  14. Tim. says:

    (1) Alonso
    (2) Rosberg
    (3) Vettle
    (4) Weber
    (5) Kubica

  15. Lilla My says:

    This is a much more “standard” top 5 than the one you presented previously James. I think the Frank Dernie’s 5 was more “controversial” with Rosberg 2nd. I like this one much better though I still do not agree that Vettel was a better driver than Hamilton (they both had a few unforced and “stupid” mistakes, but Vettel’s mistakes, no matter how great he was in the last few races, seemed worse to me as they were costly not only for Vettel himself but also for other drivers – like the crash in Spa with Button). Button definitely did a much better job than he was generaly expected and was the most errorfree driver from the top 5, but I wouldn’t still consider him to be better than Webber.

    On a different note: I’ve read today (yet again – this silly season is really boring) that Kubica will replace Massa in Ferrari. I, myself, don’t quite see this happening, but do you think Ferrari would want to get Kubica now? My way of reasoning is that Ferrari functions way better when they have drivers no. 1 and 2 and that’s what they have with Alonso and Massa now, while it wouldn’t be that easy with Alonso and Kubica. I don’t see any of them willing to become no 2 and I don’t know if they can cooperate. I’ve heard that they move along quite well with each other, but I somehow get a feeling that if they became teammates that sort of a friendship would end fast. So do you think that Alonso-Kubica pair would work for Ferrari (no matter if in 2011, 2012 or 2013)?

    Off topic: I was also thinking that it’s not a good time for drivers now – I mean there are so many talented drivers nowadays and the competition is really tough, while there aren’t that many seats in the top teams available (Mclaren seams fine with Ham-But pair, if Webber retires after 2011-12, there will be one place in Red Bull and the Ferrari situation is a mystery to me). It can be difficult for someone out of the top three teams to get a top seat to be able to show their true potential (like Kubica or Rosberg, if Renault and/or Mercedes don’t catch up with the top). Such a level of competition is great for us – funs, but can be difficult for the talented drivers who don’t have a top car seat.

    1. Carl Craven says:

      Button and Webber were both beaten by their team mates, and while Webber in undoubtedly the fastest car on the grid for the last two years had a better shot at the title this year than Button he was rarely as close to his team mate in the second half of the season as Button was to Hamilton.

      And I say it again. Last race of the season says it all. Button crossed the line 0.8 seconds behind his team mate. Where was Webber when he had the chance to actually win the title?

      1. Lilla My says:

        Yeah, you’re quite right about Webber – he totally lost it in the last 2 races IMO, as if he gave up. Button was my biggest surprise of the season – and a positive one. I always thought he was a flawless and consistent driver, but didn’t expect him to be that close to Hamilton. I must say I like him much more after this season than after 2009. Even though he won the title in 2009 and not in 2010. He may be the slawest of all the title contenders, but he still did a really good job. In my top 5 I put Webber in 5th, but it was a really close call between Webber and Button. I stick to what I picked, but you’re way of reasoning might be convincing ;-).

  16. jamesdudson says:

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

  17. zvoni says:

    Vettel and Webber definitely not! They had the best car for the hole season and the former dumped more then 90 points when all he had to do was to bring the car home. The best drivers are those who continuously managed to perform above the limits of their cars, even if they made some mistakes exactly because of the need to push hard. So Hamilton, Kubica, Rosberg, Kobayashi, Sutil.

    1. Johnny86 says:

      So according to you alonso didnt perform upto the limit of the car but the others you mentioned did?? I am curious as to what is the basis of your point. Surely its not the teammate performance is it.? So are you an engineer at ferrari who had access to their telemetry datas?? Do shed some light on it.

      1. zvoni says:

        I said “above the limits”. If I made list of those who performed “up to the limits” of their cars Alonso’s name would have been on it, as opposed to, for instance, Weber and Vettel who would be on the third list, “bellow the limits” of their cars. As for the rest of your reply, sorry, I wasn’t aware all the people sharing here their, you might possibly agree somewhat very biased opinions, were engineers at Ferrari or any other team.

    2. Jon says:

      The problem with your criteria is that it’s impossible to know how much is car and how much is driver. For all you know, Webber could partner Kobayashi at Sauber and whoop his ass like he did Rosberg at Williams. Vettel certainly would. Hamilton and Vettel will be on the limit no matter what car you put them in, you can count on that.

  18. Flintster says:

    James, Of topic – Any news on Lotus! Theres talk that LOTUS GROUP are buying the share in Renualt and they will be badges as true Lotus….! Thats going to confuse the general fans isn’t it. And what will Lotus Racing name there car now….? All abig confusion by the sounds of things…

    1. James Allen says:

      That is their intention, also Lotus to sponsor the team, hence the Lotus Renault.

  19. mo kahn says:

    Completely Agree. But would differ on Button’s front.. he was by the revelation this year.

  20. Born 1950 says:

    Seems to me that’s a telling comment regarding Herr Vettel “…has still not overtaken anyone, other than off the start line, to win a race…”

    So when the question is how well drivers have done, for me it’s not just about finishing positions. When the relative performance of the cars is factored into the equation and skill, ability and sheer entertainment are the only parameters being considered, I’ll go for…

    1) Hamilton
    2) Kobayashi
    3) Rosberg
    4) Kubica
    5) Alonso

    I’d have put Alonso two places higher, but I don’t like his unsportsmanlike attitude when he loses.

  21. Will says:

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

    Hamilton probally had both the drive of the season in China and the qualifying lap of the season in Belgium, all the top drivers bar button made costly errors, and hamiltons were highlighted further by coinciding with Mclarens drop off in the developmeant race, but that doesnt take away from the racing spirit hes shown all year.

    Rosberg has really shown his talent this year, he racked up a tally of points double that of his legend of a team mate, and only two behind massa who was in a much faster and further developed car, i expect Schumacher to come on strong next season, and with mercedes looking to have a strong standing with their car next year both of their drivers may well be right up their fighting for the championship

    Vettel is fast, really fast, but he has much more to prove, leading from pole and controlling a race is one thing, racing your way to a victory is a whole other matter and he has yet to show this, and even when he has had to carve his way through the field it wasnt exactly silky smooth. Still a deserving world champion and with his ridicolous speed alone he is likely to win another.

    Alonso was ruthlessly consistent through the second half of the season but he made way too many unforced errors to be considered the best driver of the entire season. Brilliant win in Singapore, why vettel pitted on the same lap as him in a much faster car is beyond me, but that race is probally the second best drive of the season.

    Button was consistent throughout the entire, never made a single mistake in a race, cant even think of any occasions when he’s even ran wide or missed an apex, i think hes proved hes a worthy champion, the brawn may have been the dominant car but it was this consistency that won him the title.

    Only problem with creating a top 5 drivers list is theres too many top drivers and you end up having to be quite subjective about it, you could create a vastly different list depending on how you view the season. webber, kubica, kobayashi and a couple of others could also easily slip into anyones list. Most promising driver though i must say is Kobayashi, this kid is awesome, even if he never wins a title he shall be providing some great entertainment throughout his career.

  22. Dominic J says:

    1 Alonso – outperformed his car.
    2 Vettel – unluckiest of big 5 yet still won
    3 Rosberg – made Schumi look foolish
    4 Kubica – often threatened the big 5
    5 Kovaleinen – nearly always best new car, occasionally threatened Toro Rosso, Williams and Sauber when circumstances allowed.

    Hon menshes – Hamilton, Button, Sutil, Barrichello and Kobayashi.

    1. Jon says:

      Barichello lol

      1. Dominic J says:

        Why not Rubens? He scored twice as many points as his teammate. 4th in Valencia was no fluke.

  23. Richard Bell says:

    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Alonso
    Kubica
    Heikki

  24. Neal Brown says:

    My top five:

    1. Webber – did brilliantly to cling on when his team was supporting Vettel

    2. Alonso – as much as I hate to admit it, the Spaniard drove well this season, picking up victories with a poor car.

    3. Vettel – fantastic driver, let down by the frailties of his car and his mind.

    4. Hamilton – fast, aggressive but errors resulted in two consecutive non-finishes when he really needed to score.

    5. Rosberg – consistently quick in a poor car throughout the season.

    1. Jon says:

      C’mon Neal, get real. Vettel wasn’t let down by anything because he ended up winning the championship.

      1. Neal says:

        How many poles did he get? How many did he convert to wins? How many points did he lose due to car failures and moments of stupidity?

        Vettel should have won the Championship by miles!

  25. Jon says:

    The “needing to overtake someone in order to win a race” criteria that some have for Vettel is simply ridiculous. This is F1 we are talking about here, not NASCAR or MotoGP. Overtakes are rare in F1 even at the best of times.

    Hamilton is a GREAT overtaker, but did you see how he was at overtaking in Abu Dahbi and Brazil when he didn’t have a straight line advantage? He was hopeless. Every overtake a Redbull driver has done in the last two seasons has been with lower straight line speed. Downforce is all well and good except it doesn’t help you overtake unless it’s very rare circumstances. Webber’s overtake against Massa around the outside in greasy conditions at Spa was downforce related but most times it actually hurts you, the drag that is. Having an apex speed 10k’s quicker in a fast corner doesn’t help when you are in the turblance.

    Vettel has overtaken cars before. He will overtake cars again. It won’t be like if he overtakes for the win, it will be magic compared to overtaking for 4th place.

    I am a Webber fan but c’mon lets get serious here. Vettel can overtake and he has shown plenty of times he can win races. “Winning by overtaking” is circumstances more then anything else. Like most overtakes in F1, some circumstances allow them, some don’t.. it’s not like MotoGP where there is steady overtakes every race on every circuit.

    1. Jon says:

      Hamilton has had the Mercedes engine and a top line car (straight line wise anyway, and in his worst season, the car still flogged everyone in Hungary that season).. has this flattered him and his overtaking reputation? Oh yes. But he’s still a very good overtaker. He showed that GP2.

      Give him a non KERS car or a Renault engine and he wouldn’t seem so flash though.

  26. Jon says:

    It’s hard to give a top 5, I think most people’s lists are quite accurate. It’s all in the right ball park. I just want to say I was really dissappointed with Button this season.

    There was a lot of selective attention when commentators or media noticed Button especially towards the end of the year. First of all, I never expected Hamilton to whoop his butt. I thought he could hang close, I didn’t expect Schum to whoop Nico either.

    What I did expect of Button was to be closer to the pace during the weekends. The car wasn’t the best but look where Lewis was. Button was always in his shadow. Except for 2 strategy calls in the wet, lotteries.. and for a stonking drive in Monza that was the REAL Button! Shame it only happened once all season though. He was firmly on the pace both in qualifying and the race.

    His qualifying was horrible this season, very patchy. It was even patchy in his WDC season at different points. The race pace though is where people say he is redeemed but too often he also drifted back from Hamilton. It wasn’t like he was always on his gearbox. There were times when he seemed close in pace, but too many times just seemed off the pace. Similar to JPM in 2006.

    It was his first season with McLaren so let’s wait and see. Overall it wasn’t that bad but week in week out, he was the weakest of the top 6 drivers only ahead of Massa IMO.

    3 or 4 more drives like Monza and I would have said he was ahead of Webber.

    1. Richard M says:

      Button did struggle at times in quali this season but his race pace was right up there with Hamilton’s, and apart from Korea he never moved down in a race from where he started (discounting Monaco and Spa). He was the only driver out of the top 5 to not make an error in a race all season, and up until Abu Dhabi he was always in title contention and within touching distance or ahead of Hamilton in the table. Considering also that this is his first season with the team in a car not designed with him in mind plus going through multiple race engineers he has had a very good season and if Mclaren design a good car and Button gets his qualifying sorted out which is looking good with the new tyres then Button could definatly be WDC in 2011.

      1. DC says:

        I think one fact that is overlooked is that Hamilton had twice as many DNFs this season and still finished more than a whole race win ahead on points.

        So Hamilton effectively didn’t have to turn up to 3 race weekends and he’d still have finished ahead of Button.

        That doesn’t make Button’s season look so good.

        Hamilton made more mistakes and had worse reliability and when that happened, Monza aside, Button got more points because of it. when Button had bad luck, Hamilton was already ahead on merit and it didn’t add to his points haul.

        There are many ways to view the stats but Hamilton took Button to the cleaners this season in my opinion. The gap was bigger than between Hulkenberg and Barrichello and the Hulk lost his race seat!

      2. Richard M says:

        It is not a coincidence that both Hamilton and Vettel suffered more mechanical failures that their teammates it is because they are more aggressive with their car which can extract extra performance out of it but it also puts more stresses through it which causes more failures. So Hamilton benefits from his driving style that at times he can extract a bit more speed out of the car than Button but this style also has disadvantages in which it can lead to more DNFs, while Button is less aggressive on his car and thus finishes more races, so you cannot praise all of the pluses of Hamilton driving style and ignore the disadvantages you have to take the rough with the smooth. So you cannot use his DNFs as an excuse. Also the comparison of the Hulk and Barrichello is a bad one because Button and Hamilton were scoring points higher where there is a bigger gap between points and the Hulk was also not really dropped because of performance but because of money.

  27. earnst says:

    1.alonso (there is not a complete package other than him for now)
    2.vettel (really young fast guy)
    3.rosberg ( did very well this year but another year is need to confirm)
    4.koboyashi (same with vettel a little more car control but a little bit slow on pure pace)
    5.kubica (still something missing to be on top)

  28. Chris Orr says:

    Yeah, it does easily slip the mind that Vettel didnt overtake anyone to win and in the pack was a bit average.

    Im a Hamilton fan, but I wouldnt exactly call Singapore a mistake, just racing, but Monza was a bit of an over eager brain explosion.

    With Alonso, having the second fastest car in a few places and a bit of luck, certainly helped him.

  29. Kev says:

    Have to agree with most of his selection bar Button. I would have Button below Webber. If Webber lucked into victories, then Button probably had one of that kind too.

    Webber to be placed higher than Button simply because he had to go through problems inside his team and various controversies affecting his concentration. Button had nothing like that and hence can occupy 5th spot for all his exhibits throughout the season.

  30. Teri_hartley service station says:

    my top 5 drivers of 2010

    1.Nico Rosberg
    I think its close but Nico gets my number 1 this year for just blowing Schumacher out of the water all season all the talk pre season is would he be able to handle being number 2,could he be as quick as schumacher,could he handle the big team presure, well Nico my boy tick all three boxes,kept his head down and just outpreformed the car all year
    2.Mark webber
    except for the im number 2 driver moaning (sorry mark grt year but not needed in my opinion) this guy exceeded all expectations (come on peeps who had mark in their championship predictions pre season)?
    ok so end of season reaults curtailed off but still a stunning year and from what we all saw on tv a top man!!
    3.Robert Kubicia
    This guy has got alonso running scared in my opinion(yes i know they are really close friends) but you know what they say, keep your friends close and enemies closer,robert did an amazing job in an average car(althought the renualt development was very impressive mid to end season) and his race lap times were out of this world for consistency,this is why alonso is scared of him and i dont beleave he will ever get a drive in a ferrari while alonso is their.
    4.Lewis Hamilton
    ok so he made alot of mistakes but he is here for one reason and one reason alone he had the balls to try and overtake,i think mcclaren and most of the paddock have been surprised by the relationship that he has struck up with his teammate button and with no driver politics problems in the team they can focus hard on the development of the car(my early tip for next year the mcclarens will be very quick).
    5.Sebastian vettel
    why only 5 i hear people ask? well the boy might be quick when all is going well but i have yet to see him come through the field with any conviction,his decision making is poor in overtaking situations, but wow he is very very quick and a big congrats from my household for winning the title,

    in all it was a poor year for most of the elite drivers too many mistakes from all them that resulted in an exciting years championship,But i would like to thank the whole f1 community for the great year you gave us and roll on 2011 have a great winter peeps march will be here soon enough and james u lucky or unlucky so and so 20 races to travel too next year? mmmm side thought what is your thoughts (james) on 20 races and the strain it will put on everyone involved within the f1 world?

    1. James Allen says:

      I posted on this soon after the Russian GP was announced last month.

  31. Alanis Morissette says:

    For me, withut question:

    1) Heikki Kovaleinen – sheer Finnish class. I honestly believe he’s toying with the entire field, playing a superb long game to lull them into a false sense of security. Then one day, he will show his hand, and lap the entire field three races on the trot.

    2) Vitaly Petrov – more than just oil money, his end of season performance showed the grit of a gladiator

    3) Sebastian Buemi – I’m not sure I’ve seen a more outrageous talent then this kid since I first saw Andrea De Cesaris.

    4) Sebastian Vettel – the world champion. Need I say more? Well, yes. This man had to cope with a team mate, constantly sniping, making him feel like he was the favoured child by his parents. Have you any idea how hard it is to feel like that – for people to say you’re only there for your bonnie looks and German smile. No. No you don’y. Seb does though. And he still ended up WDC.

    5) Nick Heidfeld – to come back to the racing after having to endure the metronomic intensity that is the role of a pirelli test driver, and show his true brilliance once This again….all i can say is it will be a complete travesty if he doesn’t find himself on the grid next year. The unsung hero of F1.

    So that’s me. You can keep your Alonso, Hamilton’s and Kobayashi’s. Unlike most I’ve delved, deep, deep into the data and really worked to discover the gems of the grid.

  32. rafa says:

    again:
    1. vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. webber
    5. button.
    those were the final standings In dwc no? Nuff said i guess

  33. Jonty Winship says:

    My vote would be
    1 Alonso due to his complete out performance of his team mate.
    2 Hamilton best until he took too many unnecessary risks (with hindsight!).
    3 Vettel clearly the best car limped over the line! Very quick on Saturdays but Sundays are not his strong point unless he gets out in front after the first lap.
    4 Webber closer to Vettel than most expected.
    5 Rosberg also outperformed his team mate and showed he can really overtake!

    However my prediction on what JAs list would look like would be;
    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Webber
    4 Rosberg
    5 Hamilton

  34. Damian J says:

    James,

    Will you also do an award for the driver with the most number of ridiculous tantrums in 2010?

    I guess we all know would win that award!

    1. mtb says:

      Yep – Lewis!

      Big sulk in Australia, another one in Abu Dhabi – both complemented his behaviour in Hockenheim last year.

      1. Christos Pallis says:

        Funny that could be Lewis, and i’m a fan. Both of the best two drivers on the grid are the two that do throw their toys out the pram on too many occasions – Lewis and Alonso – love em or hate em

      2. Damian J says:

        One can try to make slurs about Hamilton BUT most will remember Abu Dhabi for Ferrari’s abysmal race strategy and Alonso’s unsporting behaviour. Captain sulk strikes again! Perhaps Alonso thought he should be entitled to win the WDC because he drives in a red car?

      3. mtb says:

        One can consistently choose to ignore facts, but the facts remain – Alonso finished second in the championship, whereas Hamilton could only manage fourth place.

      4. Damian J says:

        Those facts also include Alonso’s free gift of 7 points from Massa! And second is meaningless as history doesn’t record losers only winners! 2010 will only ever be associated with Redbull.

      5. mtb says:

        Keep digging!

  35. JF says:

    Not a bad assesment. I would say that the car however is the most predomenant factor. Its hard to judge drivers on equal grounds when they all have differnt machinery. At the bottom end of cars (basically Willams down), I would argue that the car is limiting so can’t really see much difference between drivers. I would argue that drivers such as Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica, Shumacher (alphatbetical order) maybe Rosberg extact a bit more from a car than others. Vettel is OK but got what the car deserved rather than exracting more.

  36. Nando says:

    Think the criticism of Vettel not being able to overtake is a bit unfair, the red bull flexi-wing made the car unstable when it got close to another car. Webber managed a few overtakes but he also crashed a few times when attempting them.

    1. Christos Pallis says:

      I think the jurey will have to remain out on Vettel’s ability to overtake. However, the Redbull despite it’s pace advantage over the field would not be an easy car to overtake with. Look at the facts, all most all overtaking comes at the end of straights into braking zones and the Bull was not that fast down the straights, It’s strength of carrying speed through corners is not condusive to overtaking in modern F1. Chasing others through corners usually means that advantage is lost due to dirty air, we all used to hear about teams saying they would compromise their aero levels in Quali to give a better straight line speed for race conditions?!?! McLaren did most of the competative overtaking at the sharp end of the grid this year and that was down to their straight line speed advantage in the early part of the season. Vettel’s overtaking needs a bit of defending when you take into account the relative strengths of the RB6 but lets see what the future brings!

  37. Qiang says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Kubica
    4, Rosberg
    5. Hamilton or Button (draw)

  38. For Sure says:

    I dont agree with him at all. The irony part is that a world champion is ranked no 4 because he is closer to his teammate than expected. It does sound funny doesn’t it.
    And Alonso no1? He inherited 2 wins, Bahrain, Korea and everyone saw what happened in Germany.
    He made more mistakes than Vettel and I dont see why some people think he did a better job than Vettel.

  39. Nickjay says:

    Having followed F1 for 30-odd years, this season has contained many magic moments and to have 5 Championship contenders was fantastic.

    Notwithstanding Seb’s excellent and deserved win, the jury is still out, for me. I think the real winner is Adrian Newey for producing the fastest cat, which gave Vettel the tool to run away from pole.

    Lewis was undoubtedly fastest, in the not the fastest car. But Jenson, in “Lewis’s Team” and expected to be blown away, did a superb job.

    Fernando is undoubtedly an excellent driver, but unfortunately is in danger of becoming a “Schumacher”, with Ferrari only capable of supporting one driver. If he had won the Championship, it would have been tainted because of Germany and Team Orders. His petulence is annoying and his attitude to Petrov summed it up for me.

    Schumi, showed his fire hasnt gone, but it puts it into perspective that, without a car specifically tailored for him, he was unable to deliver. I hope that bothe he and Nico get cars built for them, next year.

    Mark was disappointing, I so wanted him to win after all his hard work. The pressure got to him after his throw away in Korea, shame.

    I therefore look further afield for my top 5 and include Kobyashi, Rosberg, Rubens, who all did fabulous jobs in developing and and dragging under-performing cars into decent finishing positions.

    After much consideration, on balance, my top 5 are

    1 Nico Rosberg
    2 Sebastian Vettel
    3 Jenson Button
    4 Kobyashi
    5 Rubens

    Cant wait for next year.

  40. Ashton Chan says:

    This is tough, there are ups and downs for every drivers in the field. I have to agree every post here have their strong and insightful points. Nonetheless, i’m gonna give it a shot and see who stands out more this season.

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Reminds me of Kimi Raikkonen where mechanical reliabilities play a part but without a doubt, a very quick driver on raw pace. Facing his more experienced counterparts, he kept his cool and deliver in the end.

    2. Robert Kubica – He practically brought Renault back to contention after an appalling last season from them. Best of the rest from RedBull, McLaren and Ferrari, often taking the fight to them. But his stunning consistency record of challenging the top teams with an average car has really boost his ranking.

    3. Fernando Alonso – One of the best packaged driver out there today. Though the car and the team has a part to play for his end result, his mistakes earlier this season are just not his usual character. Eventually put his head down and show what people has expected of him, but it’s a little too late.

    4. Mark Webber – Surprisingly quick and consistent this season, at least for the first part. But when everything is working fine for the teammate, he simply does not have the edge.

    5. Nico Rosberg – Both him and Michael Schumacher are in a new car this season, but he manages to adapt and bring out the most of the car. His adaptability and keeping Michael in check has given him a profound confidence.

    Although I’m a McLaren Fan, both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button did not make the cut for the top 5 ranking. Lewis breaks when the pressure mount. Jenson just seems comfortable running 2nd to Lewis.

    All in all, an exciting season to the end and I can’t wait for the next one!

    And thanks Allen, for keeping us on track with your insightful details. Great job!

  41. Robert says:

    1- VETTEL
    2-ALONSO
    3- HAMILTON
    4-WEBBER
    5-ROSBERG

    On a completely unrelated note James, I’m interested about the re-introduction of KERS next season and particularly the McLaren version. Do you know who owns/distributes the unit that was in use for McLaren during 2009? I am under the impression it was developed by Zytec but who decides which teams can and cannot use the system (or updated version)??

    1. Andy C says:

      It was a mercedes unit. I saw a webcast with norbert haug last season.

      I believe mercedes, mclaren and force india will use the same unit.

  42. momo says:

    its easy to be fast when the car is working very well.
    alonso.
    rosberg.
    kubica.
    hamilton.
    vettel.

    1. santiago says:

      I almost completely agree. Maybe Hamilton a little higher but the drivers you have chosen showed real class, specially when compared to their team mates. Vettel should have won by miles with that car, even with mechanical issues

  43. Rubens says:

    I think none of title contenders was the best this year.
    1-Rosberg.
    2-Vettel.
    3-Hamilton
    4-Alonso
    5-Kubica

    I think Alonso doing better than anyone on final rounds is weighting too much for some people with short memory, regarding the whole year he wasn´t as good as Seb or Lewis, and WDC standings would have reflected that if he has had the same mechanical reliability than them.

  44. Tom P says:

    Vettel: from 1st half funk to 2nd half redemption. thought after Spa his WDC dreams were done.

    Kubica: carried the team on his back with his steady mid pack placings.

    Rosberg: didn’t let the Schumacher “legend” affect him one bit. if the Mercedes were a better car……..

    Alonso: from the “gift” that was Germany through Brazil, Alonso had a perfect run in a not so perfect car.

    Hamilton: if not for his and Mclaren’s brain fade at times, he might well been champion.

  45. Carl 21 says:

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

  46. tom-b says:

    I think if the season had been turned around and the results were in reverse (i.e. Dubai last race of the season), we would all be saying a lot of different things right now. Alonso has made some bad mistakes this year but peoples memories seem a lot more forgiving (and possibly forgetful) than when it comes to Hamilton for instance where he “threw away the title” with his mistakes as they were much later in the year.

  47. Narasimha says:

    Hii My order is
    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Kubica
    5. Hamilton

  48. tom-b says:

    p.s.

    James, great blog, been reading it all year, great information and very insightful.

  49. Alexbookoo says:

    My top 5:

    1 Vettel – he was the fastest all year and he would have won the title much earlier if his car hadn’t kept falling to bits. It’s true that he didn’t manage to overtake many people without bumping into them but this season no one has been perfect. He won the title on Saturdays.

    2 Alonso – people say he’s the best, and he is annoyingly good, but he made silly mistakes.

    3 Kubica – consistently strong performaces in a car which he and Renault pushed up the grid race by race. He seemed to lead the team forward, a bit like Hamilton last year.

    4 Webber – excellent in the middle of the season, he would have been world champion if he hadn’t had such a quick qualifier for a team mate, yet he managed to finish third in the fastest car.

    5 Hamilton – he’s still the most exciting driver and was stunning at times but couldn’t quite put the full season together.

  50. agusn says:

    My reading from JA’s mind:
    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Webber
    4 Hamilton
    5 Rosberg (Kubica & Button are close in this pos)

  51. Jeroen says:

    My opinion:

    1 Robert Kubica
    2 Nico Rosberg
    3 Fernando Alonso
    4 Sebastian Vettel
    5 Lewis Hamilton

    The first two of my list we’re great this year but desperatly need a topcar that can help them win races.

  52. Colster says:

    Top 5:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Weber
    Rosberg

  53. Low says:

    1. S Vettel
    2. N Rosberg
    3. F Alonso
    4. M Webber
    5. L Hamilton

  54. Paul Mc says:

    Can’t really argue with his selection there. Interesting to read his take on Vettel. Massa was always great at leading from pole but he seemed to fade away when he was in midfield.

    Looking forward to seeing the Senna movie.

  55. Spence says:

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

  56. sebna says:

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

    Based on this season performance.

    Kubica 1st as it is plain simple that if he would be given Redbull, Mclaren or Ferrari car he would have secured championship very quickly.

    Very similar situation with Rosberg.

    3rd for Hamilton for becasue he made mistakes same as 4th and 5th places but at the same time he was pusing over the limit of the car putting his in competition with cars bettter then his.

    4th – for Vettel as his mistakes are born from his inexperience.. he is going to fix them soonish or fail badly.

    5th – Nando he is good but he is getting old or childish (not sure which is worse) by letting things to distract him enough to ruin his championship attempt. Too many mistakes without any good reason.

    Hope that helps ;) and I am open to discussion :)

  57. Guy S says:

    my top five drivers:

    1. Alonso: never gave up, and kept his changes of a third world title going with a strong second halve of the season.
    2. Webber: Red Bull a Vettel team? that did not stop him from having a great season.
    3. Vettel: world champion but as Manish Pandey says has not overtaken anyone!
    4. Button: some good drives, great strategy calls and was not “blown away” by being new at mclaren
    5. Rosberg: teammate to michael schumacher, but that only motivated him more!

  58. Mike Misgerett says:

    In some sort of hazy perception of driver-to-car performance ratio less poor performance at times:

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

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