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Who were the Top Five Drivers of the Year? An insider’s view
Who were the Top Five Drivers of the Year? An insider’s view
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Nov 2010   |  10:04 am GMT  |  166 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 we have the veteran Williams, Benetton and Toyota engineer, Frank Dernie. Here is his choice:

1. Sebastian Vettel
Made some mistakes early on – what can we expect from someone so young and inexperienced, kept his head and kept learning to the end to win. Exceptional.

2. Nico Rosberg
Outperformed the car and Michael all year, very few mistakes. His performance deserved more but car not good enough.

3. Mark Webber
Nearly made it, unexpectedly great season.

4. Fernando Alonso
In my opinion Alonso has been the best driver for many years but this year he made too many errors.

5. Lewis Hamilton
Good effort but mistakes whilst trying a bit too hard to compensate a car which was never quite as good as the opposition.

If you haven’t already, give me your top five in the comments section below. Entries close on Monday 29 November at 12pm UK time.

The book is published on Monday and all orders will be sent out then. Every copy ordered through the JA on F1 site will be signed.

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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  1. Mick says:

    Alonso scored more points and wins than Webber in an inferior car, yet you rated him behind?

    Rosberg just got a few podiums, hard to rate him with no real benchmark.

    Vettel made just as many mistakes as Alonso and was beaten too many times by his team mate.

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

    1. PaulL says:

      Agree with you

    2. Ross Dixon says:

      Agree completely. I think Hamilton and alonso are very very close

    3. Phil Waddell says:

      Rosberg, no real benchmark? Don’t you think you’ve missed something?

      1. Tom Johnson says:

        He’s missed nothing at all unless you believe Schumacher 2010 is on par with Schumacher early naughties. Rosberg just like Kubica has never been tested yet are right up there in the heads of some, but not me, in 2008 Kubica had a car as good as Hamilton’ this year but was only able to stand on the top step once as a consequence of team orders on the other hand Hamilton won three times and made one major mistake plus a couple of understandable offs. Alonso’s first half was much worse than Hamilton’s second, but you’re as good as your last race I suppose. As for Vettle mistakes galore, it’s a pity this engineer doesn’t cut Hamilton the same slack for being just as inexperienced, not that Hamilton needs to worry about the opinion of some ‘veteran’.

    4. Joao says:

      “Vettel made just as many mistakes as Alonso and was beaten too many times by his team mate.”

      What about Alonso in Germany???…

    5. Mer says:

      Vettel was beaten by his teammate many times? So why wasn’t the teammate champion?

      Mark only beat Vettel on performance 2 times in 18 races, rest were thanks to mechanical failures/DNFs.

      It seems Alonso fans are now gonna obsess about Vettel, like they did about Hamilton and make up stuff as they go along.

    6. Keno says:

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

      What matters in F1 is speed, Vettel and Alonso were able to get the most of their cars. Never mind the mistakes they did. Hamilton and Kubica were outstanding in race performance imo. Webber was more consistent than Vettel, but slower.

  2. Jack says:

    Fernando didn’t make that many mistakes did he? Especially compared to Vettel! And if Rosberg’s going to be in there for outperforming his car then surely you have to put Kubica in there as well?

    1. Jack says:

      and my top 5

      1st. Alonso
      2nd. Vettel
      3rd. Hamilton
      4th. Webber
      5th. Kubica

      1. adam h says:

        inferior car?? yes against one that was UNRELIABLE! [mod]

    2. Ben says:

      I am not particularly fond of Vettel, but I am getting fed up of this constant “Alonso made fewer errors than Vettel, and Vettel had a faster car so should have won earlier” blinkered argument.

      Signficant Alonso mistakes in 2010:
      Start at Australia
      Start at China
      Qualifying in Malaysia
      Crash in Monaco Free Practice prevented him from qualifying
      Poor qualifying in Turkey
      Poor mind management in Valencia
      Not conceding illegal overtake on Kubica in Silverstone
      Crashing in Spa

      Total: 8

      Significant Vettel mistakes in 2010:
      Crashing in to Webber at Turkey
      Start at Silverstone
      Restart at Hungary
      Crashing into Button at Spa
      Qualifying in Singapore
      Following Alonso into the pits in Singapore

      Total: 6

      Race result affecting mechanic issues, Alonso:
      Malaysia, engine (- 2 points)

      Total: 1 (2 points lost)

      Race result affecting mechanic issues, Vettel:
      Bahrain, engine. (-13 points)
      Australia, wheel nut. (-25 points)
      Spain, brakes (-6 points)
      Turkey, (suspension, I think) in qualifying (-25 points)
      Korea, engine (-25 points)

      Total: 5 (94 points lost)

      The question isn’t “Who are the top 5 drivers in Formula 1″ – Alonso and Hamilton would top that list easily – the question is which drivers put in the best performance in 2010. And while Alonso put in an incredible comeback in the second half of the season, the reason he needed to put in that comeback was entirely due to his own making. Alonso had a scrappy season overall, one of his worst since last being WDC in fact.

      1. Lockster says:

        Bravo, one would think that your post was difficult to argue with, but inevitably there will be many that still want to argue the point.

        I was going for Webber the whole season, and was therefore negative about Vettel, but you have to acknowledge how he handled the last quarter of the season, he was truly inspired and I had to grudgingly admit the he probably deserved the title in the end.

      2. Jack Semmence says:

        yeah but look at what those mistakes actually are, Alonso’s, for the most part, are relatively minor, or had consequences much larger than you’d expect for such small mistakes. Vettel’s were often ridiculous though, and not things you’d expect from a professional racing driver. Spearing into his own team mate in particular, was such a stupid thing to do, and was entirely his fault.

      3. Ben says:

        You need to look at the cause and not be blinded by the bang.

        Spearing into Webber was a consequence of the mistake, not the mistake itself.

        The mistake he made was overtaking on the wrong side. It put him on the marbles so when he applied the brakes he lost traction on his front wheels which unbalanced the car and put him into Mark.

        There is a case that Vettel should have seen that coming, but on that basis then so should Mark, who could have moved over by about half a metre once they entered the braking zone. Vettel would have still have lost control and gone off, but Mark would have avoided the collision.

        Alonso’s errors in Australia, China and Monaco were all neutralised by a Safety Car and would other have been far more costly.

      4. Jack Semmence says:

        some of alonso’s errors were minimised by the safety car yeah, but think about how he got screwed over by the safety car in monaco, and how he often bore the brunt of a steward’s decision

      5. Ben says:

        The safety car saved him in Monaco. He got a free pit stop thanks to it, which allowed him to finished 6th when he started in the pit lane!

        I assume you mean Valencia.

        So lets look how the safety car affected Alonso this season:

        Australia: neutralised his first corner spin, allowing him to finish 4th (+12pts)
        China: neutralised his drive through penalty allowing him to finish 4th (+12pts)
        Monaco: neutralised his pitlane start (+8pts)
        Valencia: penalised him when he was running in 3rd, probably would have got 2nd as Hamilton had a damanged front wing (-14pts)
        Silverstone: Drive through penalty would have brought him out behind Liuzzi without the safety car, puttin him 12th, and still out of the points (-0pts)
        Hungary: Would have finished 3rd without a safety car, +3pts)
        Belgium: Crashed out of race independently of safety car -0pts)
        Japan: Safety car did not affect his position. (-0pts)
        Korea: Safety car did not affect his position. (-0pts)
        Brazil: Safety car did not affect his position (-0pts)
        Abu Dhabi: Safety car cost him 4th place (-6pts)

        Total: +21pts total gain. 4:2:5 (Gain:Loss:Neutral)

        So, I think we can say that on balance, Alonso’s season was helped, not hindered, by the safety car.

      6. F1Novice says:

        or Alonso was getting more out of a car that wasn’t really worthy of that pace.

    3. Mer says:

      Vettel made 4 mistakes the entire season, go count them race by race. Alonso made 7, Hamilton 6, Mark 6.

      From all the contenders it was Vettel who made the least mistakes. But you all think it is more because those 4 were blown up by the media and add to that the mechanical failures he had for the DNFs and there you have the reason disinfo is spread like the truth, as you did.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Give Hamilton the car Se had during the season. At what point would he have won the WDC? Do you seriously believe he had waited until the very last race, and the big mistake made by Ferrari/Alonso, to clinch the title?

        Vettel is good. I voted him as #1 driver of the season (as the youngest ever WDC, what else?) But he is the one and only to have crashed his car into his team mate’s, and afterwards, publicly accused his team mate of being “mad”.

        Can’t imagine the storm of abusive comments if the drivers involved where just other two, with red cars…

      2. Mar says:

        If Hamilton got the same mechanical failures as Vettel and Hamilton made the same mistakes he made at Mclaren this season, answer is yes, he would be in the exact same position as Vettel. Vettel lost more than 85 points only by mechanical problems, Hamilton just 18 (from all the contenders the least).

        Vettel and Hamilton are equal, like it or not.

        And if you remember, Vettel was attacked by all sides, a true witch hunt throughout the entire season, so why you say if red cars did it they would be all over it?

  3. Tim says:

    1. Webber – For pushing through the battles within his team and surprising everyone.

    2. Vettel – Had he not made early mistakes he would have wrapped up the title by Korea. But the quickest driver out there.

    3. Kubica – For showing that if he had a competitve car, he would be up there with the rest. Beat his team mate all season.

    4. Alonso – For his run towards the end of the season

    5. Koboyashi – For the entertaining overtakes week in week out, regardless of his track position.

  4. Andrew Murdoch says:

    It’s all fair enough but I think special mention has to go to Robert Kubica and Rubens Barrichello.

    Barrichello scored more than double the points of his highly rated team mate and Kubica blew his team mate away.

    It’s obviously difficult to compare them to the top guys with cars that don’t quite cut the mustard but they both did a fantastic job this season too.

  5. Kenny Overmeyer says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Mark Webber
    3. Nico Rosberg
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Robert Kubica

  6. altersrill says:

    Surely Kubica deserves a spot in top 5.

  7. Nikko2 says:

    I have a feeling that Rosberg is going to be a real force to be reckoned with. Seems to show some real top drawer characteristics:

    1- Always delivers in the race
    2- Deliver the goods in Quali
    3- Has done this in cars that are not the class of the field
    4- Has handled the pressure of being the 4 to schumachers 3 with aplomb

    If Mercedes give him a car anywhere near the front I am certain he will deliver in spades.

    I am not to keen on comparisons with other drivers. ie. the next Senna or Prost. It always struck me when Schumacher came on the scene how consistent he was in that Bennetton. I get a similiar gut feeling with Rosberg.

    As a big Hamilton fan he worries me more than any other out there.

    1. sender says:

      Now, this is a good post and interesting thinking.
      I have also praised Rosberg for his drives this year and somehow can’t understand why almost nobody mentions him as a very good driver.
      Some say that he is good but no Alonso or no Hamilton. I think that it is impossible to conclude that. We have not seen him in a good car.
      A lot of people are praising Kubica, but Rosberg is just as good.
      I think that Rosbergs best quality is his consistency. If Mercedes will support him and see what he can do, he will certainly be a driver to watch out for. Of course, a lot depends on other things and circumstances in the team.

      1. Simon says:

        Nico is certainly quick and consistent. My only gripe with him is that he seems to crack under pressure. Both times that he was leading the race and had the win in his grasp he committed mistakes.

      2. Aussie Fan says:

        Webber beat him when they were teammates…

  8. Robert Leon Felix says:

    1 – Mark Webber. Drove brilliantly and adapted expertly & quickly to a changing car.

    2 – Fernando Alonso. Cool, calculating and quick. In equal cars, my money is on him to win.

    3 – Michael Schumacher. Most improved driver on the grid this year. Forget the past & the hype, he got his head down and studied.

    4 – Lewis Hamilton. Never say die attitude and approached every race as if his life depended on it.

    5 – Seb Vettel. Lightning fast and would be no.1 if he converted Pole into Win more consistantly.

    1. rob says:

      Leaving aside everything one else Robert, Vettel beat Webber in the same car but with far more points lost due to mechanical issues.

      And he’s WDC.

      How can you possibly place Webber above him?

      1. Pargo says:

        Because Vettel can’t pass anyone!

    2. Damian J says:

      Didn’t see much of Alonso being cool, calculating or necessarily quick in the first half of the season but I remember him getting ‘hot’ doing alot of whinging, particularly in Valencia!

      1. mtb says:

        I remember Hamilton doing a fair bit of whining during races this year as well.

        Last week a quote was attributed to him regarding Vettel having some “additional” team-mates in the season finale.


      2. Damian J says:

        Keep digging!

    3. DK says:

      Michael Schumacher. Most improved driver on the grid this year ….?

      I don’t think Michael stand a chance to win rookie of the year ….. :)

      1. Robert Leon Felix says:

        I placed Webber above Vettel because Vettel didn’t achieve his full potential and REALLY should have “man’d up” and admitted he was wrong to crash into Webber. Vettel deserved the WDC because he got the most points but he should have dominated, he had the speed & the package!

        Although Alonso is not my favourite driver I honestly think, with the same machinery, he’d win the WDC ATM.

        I didn’t say Michael was the best ‘rookie’ I said he was most improved driver ;-]

  9. Dan says:

    Only 6 words for Mark’s whole season? Come on!

    Totally agree about Alonso. His massive 105 laps and being fastest in Pirelli testing was very classy…

  10. Philippe Zacca says:

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

  11. Ish says:


  12. Stats says:

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

  13. alfred shepperd says:

    Nico Rossberg??? really??? He beat a washed up ex-(fill-in-the-blank…depending on weather u like him or not, ill leave it to you) in a defending championship works team that finished in fifth…

    1. Ben N says:




      Hmm, I am picky today! Not sure you can call Schumacher washed up… in a car that better suits him, with tyres he has to get to grips to with everyone else, I think he’ll be force next year.

      He did well in the races following Singapore.

      Also, as I said, Mercedes finished 4th, not 5th.

    2. Aussie Fan says:

      wow way to swallow a media headline without even chewing!

  14. RaceKid says:

    Nico Rosberg #2?

    Sorry James but he threw away a race win. He cracked under pressure when he should grab it.

    1. James Allen says:

      Frank’s list remember..

      1. Ben N says:

        Struggling to think which race he could’ve won this year… bar Korea, which i’m certain isn’t the one you’re talking about as it was Mark’s mistake.

        Can you help me out!?

        I also don’t think Rosberg belongs at No. 2… rather I think Kubica deserves that spot. Rosberg should be top 5 though I feel.

      2. Ben N says:

        Unless you mean China… which I wouldn’t say he could’ve won… 2nd was on the cards though!

      3. RaceKid says:

        Yes I was thinking about China. He was leading that race and if he stayed in front of Button who knows…

      4. RaceKid says:

        Ooops my mistake

  15. Kishan says:

    I would say it was alonso considering the car he had. If Ferrari had not have made the blunder on the last race then he would have been comfortably 1st inthis category as triple world champion. The. We would be saying can he actually exclipse micheal??????

    Question do u think he can eclipse micheal? If not how many world championships do u think he will have when he retires. I place my bets on maybe 5 definitely 4. What do you think?

    1. Lilla My says:

      I think that if only Ferrari could give Alonso a winning car (even not the totally best as we’ve seen this season) then he’ll be dreadfully dangerous. I don’t think it’ll be easy for anybody to beat MSC’s record, but Alonso can definitely win 2 or 3 WDCs more. I’d love to see that happening actually. I think he’s a right match for Ferrari – a passionate driver, who cares about each race and who can be a strong leader outside of the track. Even the Alonso’s alleged desire (I’m still not convinced if that’s entirely true) to be no. 1 is in line with Ferrari’s politics. Next season’s car should be made to his likings and should suit him even better than the F10, so I think if Ferrar’s cars continue to be competitive, then the Fernando-Ferrari combination will dfinitely be dangerous in the coming seasons.

      1. Damian J says:

        “…if only Ferrari could give Alonso a winning car (even not the totally best as we’ve seen this season) then he’ll be dreadfully dangerous.”

        And one could say that about a number of drivers such as Hamilton.

        Alonso had a far better car and still he didn’t win. Perhaps he made too many mistakes in the first half of the season!

      2. Lilla My says:

        He definitely did make too many mistakes at the beginning of the season, but I think he won’t do that any more. I think that at the beginning of the year he put way much too much pressure on himself, because he was driving for THE Ferrari (and after two bad seasons he finaly got a decent car) and he was overdriving the car, ’cause he was just trying too much and wanted to win too much. Yet once he got used to it, he became faultless (second part of the season). So now, that he’s “used to” driving for Ferrari, he won’t make all those silly mistakes (that’s how I see it of course).
        And you’re right that most of the drivers will win in a dominant car, but Alonso is capable of winning in a car that is not absolutely the best (and that’s what I wrote above). He almost did it this season. So my reasoning is that Alonso (who’s comfortable and happy now at Ferrari) in a car that is 1st (that’s quite obvious), 2nd (or even 3rd from time to time like Ferrari was this year) comfortable at his team (like now he’s at Ferrari) is a dangerous beast. And that’s not something you can tell about all (or even most of) the drivers. Alonso and Hamilton are definitely the ones that can win in a nondominant car. Maybe also Kubica but he still has to prove himself.

        My general point was that, IMO, Ferrari and Alonso is a good match and if only the car is not a total disaster (yet doesn’t have to be the best), then they will be a force to recon. The same goes with Hamilton and McLaren :).

      3. Lilla My says:

        And I don’t agree that Ferrari was far better than McLaren. It was better in general, but not by far. McLaren was much faster in the mid-season when Ferrari seemed to totally lose the ground (e.g. Turkey?), then Ferrari had a good comeback, while McLaren seemed to stop in their development (or the upgrades didn’t work rather), but McL was still quite competitive. So I think Ferrari was in general a bit better, but not as much.
        “Better by far” is something we can say about the Red Bull.

  16. Brad says:

    Coupled with some mistakes and mechanical failures, could’ve had the championship wrapped up by Japan. The maturity of his drives after Spa really impressed me, he’s like Kimi when he’s “on it”. Absolutely Brilliant! The maturity of the young man in the last 5 races were simply remarkable. a Fully deserving world champion.

  17. Liz Cole says:

    1) Vettel
    2) Kubica
    3) Alonso
    4) Rosberg
    5) Barrichello (generally consistent in a poor car!)

  18. Brad says:

    I agree with the order btw, good top 5 choice

  19. Matt F says:

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

  20. Érico says:

    That is a horrible list.

    - Webber shouldn’t even figure. He was dominated by his teamate, inherited wins and points all year long, while driving the best car, and barely held on to 3rd in the WDC. He crashed alone under pressure at Korea and never beat Vettel after Spa. To put the cherry on top, he was completely out of form and had a miserable weekend at Abu Dhabi, while Vettel rose to the ocasion and secured the title. The one time Webber had to win, his qualifying was poor and his race was horrible.

    - And what is so special about Rosberg beating a retired driver back in action? Okay, it’s Schumacher. But to say he was the 2nd best is preposterous.

    - Hamilton made one mistake at Monza and was bumped out of the race at Singapore. He muscled the MP4-25 into contention and finished the year with being overall faster and more competitive than a WDC teammate. And yet he’s only 5th?

    1. PaulL says:

      Hamilton drove the car that finished 2nd easily in the constructors and came in 4th.

      He had a good season but not his best and deserves no better than 4th in the top 5.

      1. Kodongo says:

        The constructors championship doesn’t tell the whole story. Since Germany, Massa has simply lost all his motivation and become a Ferrari ‘pawn’. Even as a McLaren fan, I expected him to be mega at Brazil (given his 3 podium run 06-08) but he didn’t show up there either. Ferrari became Scuderia Fernando for the last part of the season.

      2. PaulL says:

        I think it’s a cop-out suggesting Massa couldn’t have performed better because of the Germany row.

        He wasn’t fast enough all season, maybe it was the tyres sure, just like Button wasn’t able to find his set up for most races.

        I don’t think there’s any good argument that Ferrari was a better car than McLaren in 2010.

    2. Joao says:

      I agree with you. Everyone is saying that Hamilton makes to many mistakes, but i can only rememeber one this year: Monza!
      He drove brilliantly, outperformed the car and gave such a show all the year.

    3. Brian M says:

      Agreed. But you need to factor in the fact that Webber wrote the introduction to the book. I don’t know what to say about James putting Rosberg ahead of Alonso though…

      1. James Allen says:

        Pay attention – this was Frank Dernie’s list!

      2. Nando says:

        Hard to see James putting anybody above Alonso :).

  21. FD says:

    1. Hamilton – Brillint overtaking and always managed to score heavily on race day without unusual strategy.
    2. Alonso – Commendable fightback
    3. Kubica – Only missed out on P3 once and excelled at tracks which emphasise driver skill (Monaco, Spa, Suzuka)
    4. Webber – Defied all by being there untill th every end.
    5. Kobayashi – His attitude and skill has added enormously to the entertainment value and remind us all why we love F1!

    1. PaulL says:

      No Vettel top 5? Don’t think Lewis deserves #1 though on overtaking alone quite possibly.

  22. Jake says:

    very strange choice… Webber finishes behind Alonso and only two points ahead of Hamilton with no mechanical issues in a far superior car, yet has apparently done better than both… ok then

  23. Jesterrr says:

    Ok I’ll have a punt;

    1. Fernando Alonso. In his first season with Ferrari he came within a whisker of winning the championship in the 2nd or 3rd best car on the grid. Sure, he had the advantage of the full team’s support at the expense of Felipe Massa but it was by so thoroughly dominating his team-mate that he established his position at the top.

    2. Sebastial Vettel. With more reliability in the car and a wiser head on his shoulders he could have won the championship much sooner. Yet on the whole he was the fastest driver all season and fought hard at the end for his win.

    3. Mark Webber. In the face of no small level of adversity Webber proved to us all that he’s got the skill and the determination to be a tittle contender. While perhaps not quite as quick as Vettel a bit of luck one way or the other could easily have seen him take the title.

    4. Nico Rosberg. Few people would have wanted to be in Nico’s shoes when it was revealed that he was going to be racing alongside Scumacher but he took the challenge head-on, out performed his team mate so thoroughly, and brought consistent points finishes all season.

    5. Lewis Hamilton. Lived up to his reputation as a risk-taker and performed far better than he had any right to in this season’s car. For the championship to be a mathematical, if not pratical, possibility in the final race despite flying Red Bulls and Ferraris speaks of this man’s skill.

    1. Damian J says:

      So because Alonso, as one of only two drivers dominates in his team. Is that any justification for top driver of the year??

      It says more about Massa’s poor performance than Alonso’s dominance as there have been several races where I don’t think I have heard Massa’s name mentioned more than a couple of times.

      1. mtb says:

        As someone else pointed out, Alonso was runner-up whereas Hamilton finished fourth – deal with it!

      2. Damian J says:

        Based on 7 cheating points that should have gone to Massa…so not really! Ferrari for most part had a stronger car so Alonso should have had far more points for his eforts but then again it was an error strewn first half to the season – remember?

      3. mtb says:

        Final championship standings

        1. Vettel, 256 points
        2. Alonso, 252 points
        3. Webber, 242 points
        4. Hamilton, 240 points

        Subtract the 7 points from Alonso’s tally that you object to, and he would have finished the season with 245 points. By my reckoning, he would still have been runner-up. Can you prove otherwise?

        Hamilton made five unforced errors in five consecutive race weekends in the second half of the season. In terms of his championship challenge, these cost him dearly.

        Time to deal with the facts!

      4. Damian J says:

        Hamilton did not make 5 unforced errors. Perhaps it’s your wishful thinking and lack of appreciation for Hamilton as a top F1 racing driver.

        Deal with it!

      5. mtb says:

        Damian J

        I wish both yourself and Hamilton all the best in 2011 and beyond!

        Oh, and thanks for all of the backhanded compliments throughout the year!

  24. Pete Furtek says:

    Jenson Button – didn’t make a mistake all season.

  25. Stephen Russell says:

    1. Vettel – Mistakes when overtaking but his temperment at the seasons end was outstanding – consistently the fastest in quali and dealt with all of his mechanical failures in good spirit.

    2. Alonso – The Ferrari wasnt good enough to win the title yet Alonso got within 4 points. All of this whilst driving for a new team, and now challenged for the title in 3 different teams, highly impressive.. who was the last person to do that! Got unlucky early season at Valencia and Silverstone, but what a come back from Germany on!

    3. Kubica – Destroyed his teammate and his performance at the 3 big driver circuits (monaco, Spa, Suzuka) was outstanding. Def out performed his car

    4. Hamilton – Fighting for the title again but mistakes in Monza and Singapore, followed by letting Alonso past in Korea and Brazil. – Still a great overtaker and drags the car around when Button cant

    5. Rosberg – Made Schumachers come back season look even more pedestrian by having the measure on him at most circuits. Let down by a poor car and an unreliable car.

  26. James Knipe says:

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

  27. Tony Salles says:

    Rubens Barrichello should be on that list.

  28. Alchemy says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    As Alonso testifies, the person with the most points in the championship is the deserving champion. Vettel made the least mistakes, kept his chin up in the face of adversity a overcame the reliability woes of the renault and the strong opposition from his team mate Mark Webber who was the bookmakers favourite. To top it off he appears to be a humble and very nice guy on top of it!

    2. Fernando Alonso
    F1′s Prince of Darkness started well and then made a few errors. However, it’s not how you start but how you finish. Alonso did the maximum and outscored all his rivals in the second half, he rallied the team behind him. If the team had not made the strategy call in Abu Dhabi then Alonso would have won the championship by 4 points which is the exact points difference due to team orders (7 points less 3 points for 2nd place had team orders not been given). Nevertheless, he has every reason to be proud for his 2010 driver performance.

    3. Mark Webber
    Like him or be indifferent – He lead the championship and rose to challenge Vettel for the title. He showed he has title contender material within him. Without his driver skill and performance, Red Bull would not be the winning constructor and Mark would not have coveted the position of being the bookmaker favourite for the driver’s title.

    4. Lewis Hamilton
    Beat the former World Champion Jenson Button (qualy and race) in the same equipment and drove the wheels off the car to finish a solid 4th. He also beat Massa whom should have finished above him given the speed of the Ferrari.

    5. Nico Rosberg
    I wanted to give this to Jenson initially due to the obstacles of having to adapt to a new team and the pressure of retaining the title. However, he was comprehensively beaten by Lewis in the same car and thus this goes to Nico for doing a great performance on a less-fast car with a formidabble competitive team mate in Michael Schumacher.

    If there was a top 6, then I would include Robert Kubica. But there aren’t so here’s my top 5!

  29. Sultan Alzoubi says:

    1. Alonso: for batteling from what was the third best car in the field and nearly got the title

    2. Vettel:
    3. Kubica
    4. Hamilton
    5. Rosberg

  30. Tim. says:

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

  31. snafuracer says:

    If they were all in the same cars, I would put my money on Alonso. He made a single driver mistake – in Monaco, yet he finished 6-th after starting from the pit. Any chart is subjective, unless it’s derived only from numbers, not by impressions.

    1. StallionGP F1 says:

      The only reason that happened was he was in the pits early and gained places when others stopped he did not overtake anybody

    2. Damian J says:

      Made a few more mistakes than Monaco!

      1. mtb says:

        In the latter stages of the season Hamilton seemed to be suffering from some sort of complex whenever Alonso was on his tail – see Korea and Brazil ;)

      2. Damian J says:

        The only complex most people saw was that held by Alonso at Valencia after his tirade of outbursts over the radio to pit about Hamilton. Clearly fixated with Hamilton’s race than his own. Even Kobayashi managed to overtake Alonso on a circuit regarded as being difficult for overtaking!

        Alonso’s personal difficulties were not helped by his own ineptitude at passing back markers in Canada with both Hamilton and Button sweeping past Alonso like a knife through butter!

      3. mtb says:

        Most commentators view such incidents as the storm in a teacup that they are and look at the season as a whole. Unfortunately many fanboys get caught up with trivialities such as these, and lose sight of the big picture. The fact of the matter is that Hamilton made five unforced errors in five consecutive race weekends, each of which proved detrimental to his title campaign.

        Incidentally, Kobayashi proved himself to be a fine driver so there is no need for anyone to denigrate him.

    3. DK says:

      And his overtake in Germany was brilliant, most mentioned move from mid season onwards …. :)

      1. mtb says:

        Yep, as good as the move that Hamilton made on Kovalainen at the same circuit two years earlier – but it is convenient for many people to overlook this fact. ;)

      2. Damian J says:

        Conveneient for those who twist the facts to make light of Ferarri’s blatant rule breaking on team orders!

  32. Edward says:

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

  33. tank says:

    S. Vettel
    R. Kubica
    F. Alonso
    M. Webber
    N. Rosberg

    Will we be able to order a (signed) copy of your book after your announcement of the winners? ;)

    1. tank says:

      wondering why comment isn’t moderated yet… hope I get a fair go for the comp!

  34. Chancey Gardener says:

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

  35. Chris says:

    How many years does vettel have to be behind the wheel of an f1 car before he is called experienced? He has plenty of experience. He just makes a ton of mistakes…it would be nice ifpeople stopped making excuses for him. No other driver gets the kind of slack vettel does. Its truly irritating.

  36. Peter Leonard says:

    I love Webber. But I get really annoyed by people saying he is driver of the year and a deserving champion. Being a nice Guy isn’t enough to win a world championship.

    Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton Kubica are all in a different league. Whoever has the best car out of these will win the championship for the foreseeable future.

  37. rob says:


    I can’t understand the Webber rating at all. He had by far the best car this year because he didn’t have any of Vettel’s reliability problems.

    And yet Vettel would have beaten him by a huge amount of points if he was similarly lucky with mechanical issues, alonso did beat him with an inferior car and hamilton would have too if he didn’t have mechanical DNFs in Spain and Hungary.

    What do you think?

  38. richie675 says:

    Hamilton, Button, Alonso, and many others, all transcended a car slower than the opposition. Both Webber and Vettel, in the most superior machine we’ve seen throughout an F1 season in some time, we’re each beaten by the other too many times to be be a resounding ‘driver of the year’. In my modest opinion, the driver’s of the year are as follows:

    1. Fernando Alonso – too many mistakes, but to be so close in a car that was so poor for half the season is something truly special

    2. Jenson Button – incredible season that would have seen him outscore his WDC teammate but for Vettel and his own team’s mistakes in Spa and Monaco respectively

    3. Lewis Hamilton – you get the feeling that Lewis’ mistakes were a sympton of trying too hard, yet he majestically stayed in contention in a car quite simply off the pace far too often

    4. Robert Kubica – in a car that generally failed him when it counted he caught the eye countless times, not least to outqualify Webber in Japan

    5. Kobayashi – left us in no doubt that he is one of THE driver’s of the year, with a skill under braking that seems to make comments about difficult overtaking appear quite ridiculous

  39. Hi JA. I’m not sure about the order but the top 5 drivers are quite straightforward to me.

    1/ Alonso – over performed his car almost all year, Massa very rarely got close, did he make any mistakes (the team did, but Nando himself?)?

    2/ Kubica also hardly put a foot wrong, made Petrov look ordinary which I don’t believe he is.

    3/ Vettel struggled for consistency early in the year but finally got it together – a huge number of poles, plenty of wins and 3 ‘should’ve been’ wins stolen by mechanical failures, and he really did manage to focus and pull it together when it mattered – unlike webber.

    4/ Hamilton’s first half of the season was phenomenal, until Monza. Blindingly fast, no mistakes, keeping up with the Red Bulls in a far inferior car. And not through strategy or wiles like Button but through sheer determination, speed and skill. Fell apart towards the end but amazing all the same.

    5/ Webber, defied all the expectations and at seasons midpoint was really the man to beat – very dominant wins in Spain and Monaco over Vettel, and great wins the other two – just as fast as Vettel for the first half of the season.

    1. Damian J says:

      It seems that you are weighting your answers by the more later races in the season. Had the order been reversed, one would only be remembering a steady series of errors by Alonso! And where Hamilton had a much stronger run of results.

      1. Kirk says:

        I’m trying to weight the whole season evenly. Alonso was quite consistent, and as I said I don’t recall him making any errors all year. He was not competitive in the first half of the year simply because his car was inferior.

        Kubica also had a better first half of the year than second half – podium in Australia, excellent Monaco pace, etc.

      2. mtb says:

        It is convenient for some people to ignore the second half of the season!

        McLaren had the jump on Ferrari in the first half of the season, but lost its way. To compound the situation, Hamilton made a sequence of unforced errors. And then there was his decision to use the rear wing with the smaller elements at Monza – Martin Whitmarsh effectively said that following the route that Button took was a no-brainer, yet Hamilton chose to go ahead with the set-up that produced an inferior level of performance. This raises serious questions about his technical skills.

  40. Robby says:

    1. Alonso: more capable in a less-competitive car
    2. Vettel: he is the world champion, showing strong performances all year long, but often paired with dumm mistakes.
    3. Webber: tough year, not bad for a number two driver
    4. Barrichello: impressive in improving the Williams
    5. Kubica/Rosberg: out-paced their teammates and showed some good performance against the real title contenders. More to come from these guys!

    I also saw some good racing off Sutil, Kobayshi and Alguersuari. Very interesting to see how they perform in better cars.

  41. Matt says:

    1. Vettel – he won and so must be first. He made mistakes but had it not been for the car breaking on him he’d have won comfortably and this may have been compounded by that fact he’d have been leading the championship from the early rounds. Quali performance speaks for itself, could have easily had twice the race wins.

    2. Hamilton – never had the car and still came very close. Had to push and this cost him but it so easily could have gone the other way. Class act.

    3. Webber – was expected not to be able to beat Vettel then was expected no to beat Vettel. Beat Vettel on several occasions. Didn’t get the title, but he also should now not have to worry about the title ‘journeyman’

    4. Rosberg – Got the job done.

    5. Button – although he’s not as fast as Hamilton in quali or the race he didn’t disgrace himself – and this was contrary to what people assumed pre season. Two race wins.

  42. Gunner says:

    1)Vettel – Buttons (Oh yes he is!)
    2)Alonso – Pantomime Villain(He’s behind you Buttons)
    3)Webber – Prince Charming (not bad for a #2 frog)
    4)Kubica – Fairy Godmother (wise,intelligent sprinkled the R30 in fairy dust, but would look awful in a frock)
    5)Kobayshi – Giant (fi, fy, fo fum, I’m going to over take…hmm, everyone! – Rookie of the year)

  43. Jo Torrent says:

    I don’t see how Webber was better than Alonso or even Hamilton.

  44. Andy W says:

    My Choices are

    1. Hamilton – Impressed me early in the season with his maturity and the way he is becoming far more of a thinking driver rather than an out and out racer. Was unlucky with a couple of bump related DNFs, bumps that we have seen many a car carry on from with no problems.

    2. Alonso – Dropped a few howlers early in the season, then put himself under pressure early-mid season, but came back incredibly strong in the 2nd half of the season to come within a whisker of claiming his 3rd WDC.

    3. Vettel – Earned his first WDC crown in a titanic struggle, numerous poles and fastest laps show his raw speed. However he still needs to up his game when it comes to actual racing, he really hasn’t shown me anything when it comes to applying and taking pressure or overtaking.

    4. Kobashi – Great rookie season for this young Japanese driver, he has shown that he is a born racer able to take care of his car and tyres. Give him a top seat and I am sure he would be in the hunt for the title.

    5. Webber – Has shown great determination this season to prove that he belongs in a top car and racing for the title. He could easily have slid off the back of the pack but kept on fighting despite his head going down over the allegations of favouritism at Red Bull.

  45. AlonsoKing says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Weber
    4) Vettel
    5) Rosberg

  46. Pawel says:

    Does this article suppose nobody put correct order of best drivers yet?
    For sure book title “Five rivals, one Champion” is misleading because altough Kubica was out of chances for championship, he deserved for Drivers’ TOP FIVE this season.

  47. number says:

    where did Kubica go then?

  48. brum55 says:

    My top 5

    Alonso – stunning drives, even the one with mistakes he made great recovery drives. Finished ahead of a Red-Bull.

    Vettel – two huge collisions with rivals but still could have won 8GPs but for reliability

    Lewis – Brilliant up till Monza before pushing too hard and making some big errors at crucial stages

    Webber – surprised everyone, one of the most consistent but didn’t have his team-mates speed in the end.

    Rosberg – did brilliantly against his team-mate where he was no doubt brought in as a number 2. Kept his head down and ended the season as the number 1 (Proved when Schumi let him through in Brazil)

  49. Chaz says:

    And I don’t care if he won every race or made the best comeback, a cheat is a cheat is a cheat…

  50. Sebee says:

    Did you see the Bernie news?

    Seems he was right about Sao Paulo – it is safer than London.

    My 5
    Seb. Web, Rob, Nico, Alonso.

  51. Femi Akinz says:

    Seb Vettel or Vebull as my mate calls him – Errors in Silverstone, Turkey and Spa can be discounted by the errors of others who committed about the same number. When all is said and done he beat Webber well and delivered the title.

    Hamilton – His run in the early season was impressive as was his spa qualy and Suzuka qualy.He won’t be pleased about Korea but more so Interlagos. All about guts and glory and I am curious about him in an all dominant car. Might need to ensure the personal life is balanced.

    Nando – The jump start was not to be expected of someone of his caliber as were the errors in the rest of the season but boy did he deliver in the second half. Combine his second half with Lewis first half and title won. His drives in Singapore and Monza were classy. I am still curious as to why he didnt he even try to throw one up Petrovs side. Surely Petrov would have backed down.

    Webber – His first stint in Hungary was perhaps the stint of the season. Clearly feeds off being the underdog. Perhaps he played his cards in Brazil wrong. Its damning that he couldn’t beat Vettel even once between Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Did he reach the ceiling of his mental and driving ability

    Kubica – Extracted the maximum from the Renault and never wasted an opportunity to bring it close to the top where possible. I am still unconvinced about his overall ability to perform under a championship microscope but you can only drive whats in front of you.

    Special mention for


    1. StallionGP F1 says:

      some serious analysis here a lot of thought has been put into this and vebull lol

  52. Mac says:

    1. Kubica (fast, consistent, clever,few mistakes)
    2. Hamilton (fast, consistent, adopts to circumstances, some horrible mistakes)
    3. Vettel (fast, consistent, fails if not first in qualifying, some horrible mistakes)
    4. Webber (quite fast, consistent, clever, adopts to circumstances, some horrible mistakes)
    5. Rossberg (consistent,few mistakes)

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      I think that yours is an objective and well considered ranking.

  53. mo kahn says:

    1. Alonso – First Season at Ferrari

    2. Button – First Season at Mclaren

    3. Schumacher – Comeback after a decade (in F1 terms) Combined with his Age.. should be number one actually.

    4. Nico Rosberg – First Season at Mercedes

    5. The Hulk – Début season and made Williams Noticeable… even Nico Rosberg, Webber, Barrichello, when they drove for Williams couldn’t do what he did.. Simple and Straight.

    6. Kobayashi – By far the most exciting driver

    7. Hamilton – Driving beyond his car and sometimes his abilities.

    8. Jamie Algesuari – Driving beyond his car and still a the youngest of the lot.

    9. Vettel – Very fast but downgraded cos even a donkey can win in Adrian Newey Designed Car in its full glory, also cos despite having Adrian Newey Designed car in full glory, he just only managed to scrape winning the championship.

    10. Webber – For his drives in Silverstone and Hungary.

    Sorry couldn’t mention Kubica.

  54. F1 dingo says:

    1. Vettel, 10 poles, equal no of victories, out performed his team mate and won a deserved drivers crown. Yes made mistakes, but those aside had he had Mclaren/Ferrari reliability he’d have won the drivers crown much earlier.
    2. Alonso – looked nowhere after Turkey but brought the pracing horse back strongly.
    3. Kubica – totally outperformed his car and may rivals when he had no right to do so.
    4. Rosberg – comfortable outperformed his partner when he couldn’t really win either way. Even after adapting the car to Michael’s style (allegedly), still out-classed Schumi. i don’t recall any of his previous team-mates doing this.
    5. Button – don’t underestimate his performances in his first season with a new team with the added pressure of being defending drivers champion. No-one gave him a chance against Hamilton but was still in the title race up until the pen-ultimate race.

    As a caveat, yes Hamilton and Webber are great calls and both had very good seasons. But bottom line, Webber was beaten by his team mate and Lewis made costly errors when it mattered most.

    Rosberg in a Ferrari with Massa going the other way to drive with Schumi would be very interesting – shame Kimi didn’t join Renault.

    1. Femi Akinz says:

      When does a mistake matter and when doesn’t it. I guess Alonso’s mistakes didn’t matter as they came at the beginning of the season. In that case, the points he gained dont matter as well?

      1. F1 dingo says:

        Fair comment. I think every driver made mistakes this year. It’s only my opinion, but in my mind Hamilton/Webber made mistakes when it really mattered, ie. primarily when they were leading the drivers standings.

        However, all top 5 drivers made mistakes and you could make a case for all of them making up the top 5 in various spots – just my thoughts that’s all.

  55. grandy says:

    1. S.Vettel
    2. F.Alonso
    3. R.Kubica
    4. L.Hamilton
    5. N.Rosberg

  56. Divesh says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel, best on pure speed alone.
    2. Alonso: dogged fightback in 2nd best car in 2nd half of the season.
    3. Kubica: Carried Renault on his back the entire season, only missed out on Q3 in the very last race.
    4. Hamilton: Some breathtaking drives and pushed hard all the way. Showed he has speed edge over Button.
    5.Kobayashi: Rookie of the year and pulled off some of the best overtakes of the season. Many people thought Heidfeld would beat him but Koba beat both his experienced teammates with some aplomb

  57. hot dog says:

    What? Where is Kubica?

    My top list:

    1. KUBICA
    3. ALONSO
    4. VETTEL
    5. ROSBERG

  58. theRoswellite says:

    Sounds easy, but when one factors in the superiority of the RB6 things become…..a bit fuzzy around the edges.

    So, without any defensible reasoning I submit:

    1) Vet the Jet. He did it when it counted. Just as often as he ventured a touch over the line, he stepped up to the void and held it all in place. Sometimes in sports simple talent separates the best from the rest. This is one of those times.

    2) Alonso. His talent is unquestioned, as is his penchant for the cynical land of team orders and victory through coronation. Ferrari’s treatment of Massa left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth and the entire matter can certainly be laid at Fred’s feet.

    3) Webber. He held on to the dream almost to the end. There was just that one spin, that self-inflicted wound, and certainly the scar will never totally fade.

    4) Kubica. His performance, especially in the early races, was so dominant with regard to his teammate that the gap was sometimes staggering. How long till he finds a spot in a winning team?

    5) Hamilton. That was the world champion he consistently relegated to some distant grid position, some lesser finish. Can anyone pass like Lewis? Of this top five, he may have the most verve, and of course that inner spark is the true mark of a champion. If I was to pick a team, he would be on it.

  59. Chaitanya Netkalappa says:

    It is, I think, the correct 5, but in the wrong order. I honestly don’t see how Alonso is 4. He made fewer mistakes than all but Nico and was faster and ended up higher than Webber in an inferior car. How does Webber get 3? He should be 5, below Hamilton.

    If you must put WDC up at 1, then surely it should be Alonso/Rosberg 2/3 then Hamilton then Webber.

    1. Nando says:

      Sometimes not making a mistake can be a mistake. Too cautious at the end of the season, his wait and see approach failed.

  60. Antonio Palmiotto says:

    To me, Vettel was the best.He deserved the result. Thereafter,i’d rate Hamilton, since he’s delivered some brilliant performances this year, but in my opinion threw away the championship in Monza.Rosberg and Kobayashi put in consistent drives as well, and finally i’d rate Hulkenberg.

  61. Carlonso says:

    Difficult to see how Rosberg gets in the top 5 (definitely top 10) in terms of racing alone. Hasn’t been tested in a competitive car yet shows great promise. Definitely in the top 1 for dealing with Schumacher and the shenanigans that come with it…
    My top 5:
    1.Alonso – Ferrari paid off Raikkonnen to get him in pronto, and for good reason.Built a team and the second best car around him and single-handedly (forget germany)almost won it for them. If it wasn’t for bad strategy in the last race would have become a legend. The thing is, he already is one…I’m expecting him to win a hat-trick of titles with the Scuderia…

    2.Kubica – made a pig of a car look competitive and gave Renault the excuse of looking competent. Has handled taking Alonso’s mantle brilliantly. Quite simply a magician.The only one that can match Alonso if given the right car.

    3.Vettel – the youngest ever WDC was bound to make mistakes, but when it mattered he delivered. Had by far the best car however and his racing prowess while not leading is still called to question, hence not number 1.

    4.Hamilton – probably the most naturally gifted, yet psychologically flawed. His mistakes proved costly and, now at this stage of his career, unacceptable,hence not top 3.

    5=.Button – Moved to McLaren like a duck to water.No longer Team Hamilton – an achievement in itself. Pro-active as opposed to re-active as his teammate seems to be when it comes to car development,but that’s more down to experience. Downside is his narrow field of optimum performance, but when on song he can mix it with the very best.

    5=.Webber – cop out to have a joint 5 but there you go.Deserves a mention for courage – for recovering from his leg break and to take on Red Bull politics.Alas, blew his chance when he had it and his demeanour afterwards suggested anything other than a prospective world champion.Great season however.

    To be applauded:
    Kobayashi – mad and glorious to watch.Breath of fresh air.

    Kovalainen – Relatively, was the most lively and enthusiatic of the new team racers.

    Barrichello – grace has followed with age. a true ambassador and effective with a car that seldom competed.

    Showing promise:
    Alguersuari – first full season and was competetent enough with flashes of intent.Must raise the bar higher next season however.

    Hulkenburg – painful to lose the Williams seat in the manner in which he did, but money talks.Thought he had an indifferent season until Rio. That pole is a trivia pursuit question in the making and for a win at a wedge he should be re-signed…

    Rosberg – Waiting to see the true grit and determination that ran through his father.Unfair to make any judgements but has all the ingredients.Don my cap to a man who can put Schumacher in terminal shade, which leads me to…

    Mass(a)ive thumbs down:
    Schumacher – The years between Hakkinnen and Alonso winning the titles were the years I nearly gave up watching the sport – It became a procession. Watching him now is like watching a dad at his teenage son’s party dancing and chatting up his son’s girlfriends – uncalled for and cringe worthy.

    Massa – Respect to him to be racing after his accident, but did nothing to take points away from Ferrari’s rivals. Forget Germany for a moment – during the whole of the season I would go as far to say he compromised both Ferrari and Alonso in winning either titles.

  62. David says:

    Here’s my list:

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

  63. Mer says:

    1. Vettel, anyone who doesn’t put this 23 year old talent on number 1 is biased, period. All the negative media he got was mostly hot air. All the other contenders with much more experience made more mistakes than Vettel, yet no one focussed on theirs as much. vettel’s was blown up, repeated over and over in the articles and people now actually believe he made most mistakes, while he made the least of all the contenders, go race by race and count them. There was a huge anti-Vettel campaign going on this year by the media (yes, filled with Webber friend’s, no one can deny this), an actual witch hunt…and he shut them all up with pure speed and determination.

    2. Kobayashi, racer pur sang, exciting, fast, a thril to watch. He got Sauber lots of points they don’t deserve with their car and management, my opinion. Overtaking is racing, not driving behind another and then demand they move over and give them the fist after the race like alleged “world champions” do. Why people like Massa and Webber have a seat in fast cars while driver’s like this are around…?

    3. Hamilton, same type of racer as Kobayashi. Fast, takes risks like a true champion should, on the edge. The car wasn’t fast enough after Spa so he pushed it over the limit which cost him the title.

    4. Alonso, he is the most balanced driver out there at the moment, although I still think Schumacher is on top, but he can’t show it in the car he has. He can do something special in the car when needed, like Vettel and Schumacher can. Problem with Alonso is his nasty character, displayed again in Abu Dhabi. Everyone talking about the fist, yet no one talks about him actually driving Petrov off the track while doing the fist thing and Petrov makes a sharp move to the left which intimidates Alonso enough to go away. Alonso should get a 10 grid drop, first race.

    5. None of the others impressed me with their driving, except Kubica maybe but I have a feeling he gets better material than Petrov. People say webber, but all he did was get beaten badly by a 23 year old teammate and picked up points because of mechanical failures, DNFs while stabbing his team in the back in public. Fastest car, none of the mechanical failures his teammate or other contenders had, only managed 3rd, not bad for a second driver.

  64. Malcom says:

    Regarding consideration that should be given to Vettel, becsuse of being so young. That standard and consideration too bad, surely wasn’t given to Hamilton in his first year at the age of 22.

  65. Malcom says:

    Sorry my list

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

  66. Lilla My says:

    I’ve put my 5 already under the previous post on this topic, so I won’t do it again (especialy that after considering and reconsidering it, I would not change a single position, it’s still: 1.Alo, 2.Ham, 3.Vet, 4.Kub, 5.Web for me). But I don’t agree with the top 5 presented here. Considering the speed of the cars the drivers had, I don’t think either Webber or Rosberg did better than Alonso and Hamilton. Also Vettel made plenty of mistakes and whith such a fast car it’s “strange” that it took him 19 races to get to the lead of the WDC. He’s a deserving WDC, no doubt about it (great, mature couple of last races), but he should have sealed the title earlier (even with all those mechanical failures). IMO he still needs to grow up a bit and learn some racecraft.
    Moreover, if Rosberg is on that list, I think Kubica should be even more. Renault was a worse car than the Mercedes and Kubica managed to snatch a few podium finishes. I think that Rosberg had a very good season and I think that given a fast car, he can pose a threat to others, but I don’t see him being better than Kubica, and for sure not better than Alonso, Webber and Hamilton.

    Apart from that – can’t wait for your book, James. Hope it won’t get too long for it to get to my place of living!

  67. For Sure says:

    1. Vettel, he had the car but the gap wasn’t as huge as Brawn 2009, Jenson Lewis, Alonso all of them win a few races each. So the package wise, it would be unfair to just put it down to the car. And its a huge task to get the best out of the best car THAT consistently, just ask Mark Webber.
    2. Nico, I am Schumacher fan but he has done enough to convince me that he is up there with the best.
    3. Mark Webber, sometimes you may be not equipped with x amount of skills but if you have determination and work very hard you can match the best. He just demonstrated that in this season by overcoming the adversity.
    4. Alonso – his performance in Malaysian GP reminded me that Schumacher’s 94 Spain where he stuck in 5th gear and finished second. I think he out-drove Vettel in Singapore with an inferior car. But the problem is that he made far too many mistakes. He was in the hunt for that long because of Red Bull reliability issues.
    5. Lewis – he didn’t give us any “wow” factor which you would expect from a driver like him. Jenson was a lot closer then anticipated. It wasn’t his best season.

    1. For Sure says:

      Opps I got the same list as James haha.

  68. zarooch says:

    For me top five drivers are:
    1. Vettel
    2. Kubica
    3. Alonso
    4. Rosberg
    5. Kobayashi

  69. For Sure says:

    I know Michael Schumacher is not expected to be in No 5 and I myself was disappointed with his performance.
    But after all we are just fans who doesn’t know what he did.
    But Prost comments surprised me.
    “What he has done is already very good – almost exceptional. The target to be world champion [in his comeback] was really impossible”
    “What he has done, I think only he could have done it. But maybe the target was a little bit too high.”
    That is something may be the fans need to understand because we are talking about one of the greatest all time driver and I don’t think they are close friends.
    So after all Michael did a solid season considering all the circumstances.

  70. franc says:

    #1 Alonso – Only top driver to finish ahead of his teams constructors position. Also, only “top 4 team” driver to finish 4 positions in front of his teammate in the drivers champ. Team lost him the Drivers champ.

    Teammates, in equal cars should be within a few points of each other, but they are not. Good bye Webber, Button, Massa, Schumacher. By eliminating drivers that finish behind teammates, Rosberg ends up 4th & equal the team, Kubica ends up 5th & equal the team and Barrichello 6th, again equal the team standing.

    1)Alonso – betters team 1 position, 2nd driver, dog of a car early on, beaats teammate big time
    2)Vettel – equals team, 1st driver, best car though
    3)Rosberg – equals team – 4th driver if teammates eliminated, not the best car, good drive though
    4)Kubica – equals team – 4th driver if teammates eliminated, great team
    5)Barrichello – equals team – 5th driver if teammates eliminated, great gritty drive
    6)Hamilton – 1 position behind team, 4th driver (actual)

    1. Damian J says:

      Beating your team mate Massa by a large margin says far more about what happened to Massa than Alonso especially after the Hockeheim team orders. No wonder he didn’t bother performing after that.

  71. Jameson says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel. He went on quite the roller coaster ride this year. Three utterly dominant races ruined by mechanical failure. He cracked a bit under the pressure of playing catch up during the European tour, but he put it all back together after his scrap at Spa. He take the championship in spectacular fashion at the final, nail-biting race.

    2. Mark Webber. Proved that he could push not only himself and his car to the limit, but also his younger, quicker teammate. By the middle of the season Webber looked to be the favorite to take the championship after stringing together some magnificent races during the early European rounds.

    3. Lewis Hamilton. A pure racer at heart, and no list is complete without him at or near the top. Hamilton always pushes his car to, and often beyond its limit. A few crucial mistakes, and bad luck with suspension failures after what looked like minor contact took him out of key races, and also realistically out of the hunt.

    4. Robert Kubica. I made a deliberate effort to more closely watch to watch Kubica race this year, and I was quite simply amazed. His races are always so consistent, and almost entirely mistake free. Kubica did amazing work with the fifth, but in his hands often the fourth quickest car on the grid.

    5. Jenson Button. Smooth, and consistent. By his own admission, his qualifying performance was lacking, but his races were very solid. His consistency kept him in the hunt, and was only outside of the points once (excluding accidents).

  72. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    With the exception of Rosberg, Frank Dernie’s rankings seem to be based on performances in the second half of the season.

    It seems that these rankings are always formed on weighting bias on the last 6 races. I remember the way in which Button’s first half of 2009 seemed to have been forgotten when it came to assess last year’s overall performances.

    I think that Kubica has made that Renault finish in positions much higher that it deserves. He should surely be in the top 5.

    Kubica seems a wasted talent and it’s a shame that his friendship with Alonso may ultimately prevent him from being at Ferrari.

    In terms of PERFORMANCES for 2010 it has to be:

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

    In terms of speed and talent it should be:

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

    1. Peter Leonard says:

      I agree with you here.
      but it really is hard to see past the fact that someone has a good car.

      personally I don’t think Button deserves to be world champion. He has little raw pace and isn’t that amazing at overtaking. His beat asset seems to be ‘taking it easy’.

      Webber isn’t that great either.

      I also don’t think vettel is much other than in qualifying. Put Hamilton or koby behind him in a fast car and see what happens.

      Alonso is pretty special but his personality ruins it for me.

      I really want to see kubica, Lewis, kobayashi, Rosberg in the best cars. would be very interesting.

  73. Bryan Bento says:

    Top 5

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

  74. D. says:

    So Webber gets a 3rd-place vote from the Williams engineer, essentially for achieving over low initial expectations ? I would counter that he actually under-achieved considerably, having had the fastest car for the whole season, having had a considerable points lead in the late rounds (even though that lead was more due to lack/circumstance than skill), and ultimately (and as I predicted on this site 4 races before the end) blowing it ? Come on people, just get around to the fact that the likeable Aussie just doesn’t have it.

    1. Steve says:

      I think a lot of people miss the point of these lists. The idea is to give your top 5 drivers based on their performances for the 2010 season, there is no ‘wrong’ answer.

      Realistically there are 5 drivers who had a decent dig at the 2010 WDC and all of them, including Sebastian, have moments they can look back on and see they probably ‘blew it’.

  75. type056 says:


  76. Nando says:

    Alonso best driver of the last few years? He might well of been on paper but he didn’t show it in 2007, 2008 or 2009. At least Schumacher was developing the Ferrari during his barren years.

  77. Ahmed says:

    1) Vettel. Overshadowed by his teammate for a period during the middle of the season. Supreme in the last few races

    2) Alonso, supreme speed and determination. Public persona could do with sone work.

    3) Webber, massively improved. Real fighter

    4) Hamilton, electrifying to watch as always.

    5) Rosberg, got his head down and just delivered the speed.

  78. Rob G says:

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

  79. BurgerF1 says:

    1) Vettel – blindingly quick and consistent qualifying, and strong end of season performance when it mattered most (lack of reliability aside)

    2) Alonso – 2nd half of season was brilliant in a car not up to snuff compared to Red Bull. Blew his team mate (what’s his name?) away. Would’ve been WDC but for a poor team strategy call. Made a few too many mistakes this year, but still sneaks past my number 3.

    3) Webber – lifted his game remarkably compared to what it had been in years past. Was a bonafide contender. Can’t help but feel he let team politics get to him too much, and that he ran out of steam a bit at the end.

    And now it gets tough: Hamilton? Rosberg? Kubica? Kobayashi? But four doesn’t go into 2 unless you’re driving a Minardi 2-seater so here goes:

    4) Hamilton – wrung the most out of a relatively poor McLaren, which never did come on song. Made a couple of silly mistakes which didn’t help, but the real test was the consistent way he outperformed Button (a stiffer test then what Kubica had to contend with). Hauled that car up the grid and race results table with what has become his trademark style.

    5) Rosberg – his full weekend consistency and relatively error-free driving over the whole season edges him out over the other two. Having a Schumacher comeback going on in the garage next door could’ve unsettled him but it didn’t, and he got on with his job, and totally eclipsing MS in the process. That kind of consistency, coupled with a competitive car will earn him a WDC.

    Honourable mention:

    Kubica – he did do some magic with that Renault didn’t he? Hard to tell his relative pace as Petrov was hardly a good benchmark. One also wonders how much of what we saw was just him putting to good use some stunning developments by the Renault team.

    Kobayashi – if the list were down to generating excitment during a GP event due to over-taking, he’d be at or very near the top. Very fun to watch, but he needs more consistency over the whole weekend and less errors, to get into the top 5. Hopefully, Sauber can provide him a better car too.

  80. Rafael says:

    I think Alonso’s mistakes could be put down to two things:

    (1) “Ring rust”, having not headlined Formula 1′s main event (i.e. fought for the championship) for 2 years.

    (2) Overdriving and overcompensating for only having the 2nd fastest – sometimes 3rd fastest – car of the season.

    Given those circumstances, the Spaniard was actually exceptional given how he still managed to put up one hell of a fight(back) and place the F10 higher than where it really should have been more often than not. The same could be said about Lewis Hamilton’s 2010 campaign.

    As for Frank Dernie’s justification for making Vettel no.1, he’s right: Seb is just 23 years old and has only been in F1 for 3 1/2 seasons, so the rawness of his talent is, although frustrating, understandable.

    As for Rosberg, I’m not so sure… He was good, but he went up against a “rusty” and somewhat aged Michael Schumacher. I think Kubica deserves the top 5 honors more than he (Rosberg) does, to be honest.

  81. Greg Hall says:

    1. Sebastien Vettel
    Won, and deservedly so.
    2. Mark Webber
    So close, maybe surprisingly.
    3. Robert Kubica
    Great performances, despite a poor car.
    4. Kamui Kobyashi
    Most entertaining driver of the year.
    5. Jenson Button
    Didn’t think he’d push Lewis as hard as he did!

  82. Enigma says:

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

  83. Owen Li says:

    Cannot agree more!
    1.Vettel is WDC apart from all the miserable affairs,no luck.
    2.Rosberg outperformed Schumi,has overtaken Lewis Hamilton,and finished ahead consistently
    3.Mark really threatened Seb well.
    4.Fernando was perfect in the last part of the season.
    5.Lewis was perfect in the middle part of the season

  84. Rov says:

    Discounting hamilton’s 30 + points lost due to mechanical issues when comparing to button seems a tad unfair don’t you think?

  85. Pete Furtek says:

    My top 5 drivers. Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg, Button & Kubica.
    Simple reason being is they put their respective cars far further forward than expected. This seasons’ Red Bull was a class act with it’s raw speed and with both Vettel and Webber having such an advantage one would have thought that the championship would have been wrapped up long before the end of the season. Congratulations to both Vettel and Red Bull for pulling it off, but these drivers added the real spice to the season making it 4 drivers going into the final round with a decent shout of the title.

  86. Matt Wil. says:


    the mistake procedure is simple and clear. So according to no-mistakes:

    5.Safety car

    Vettel only managed to mantain his pole position in all races. Of course, there are others who fight to win races with bad cars and bad positions at starts.

  87. m blane says:

    whos the best driver overall? who was the best driver in 2010? lets weigh it up with what car was fastest? who done the best job with inferior car? so many variables, heres my take, best driver overall, alonso. best 2010 driver, vettel, best car, red bull{by a mile}, who done best job in inferior car, alonso.for 2010 its vettel, alonso, hamilton, webber, kubica. best 5 drivers overall, alonso hamilton kubica vettel webber.

  88. Larry Simms says:

    I love these justifications for Vettel’s screw-ups, such as Frank Dernie’s:
    “Made some mistakes early on – what can we expect from someone so young and inexperienced…”
    Since at least 2 years ago, people have slated Lewis Hamilton for his mistakes, but today Vettel’s mistakes are excused because he is “so young and inexperienced.”
    Hamilton has raced in 71 GPs, Vettel has raced in 62.

  89. Slawek says:

    Vettel tottaly unproven driver. Would have to see him passing other drivers (including some on hard tracks like Monte Carlo – Alonso did a few or Abu Dabi – like Kubica and Roseberg DID), Would like to see him defending against oponent with better car – like Kubica does all the time , come back in a strong position after poor quali and many other things like coping with own team supporting his teammate not him. I cant even say if he belongs to first 10 without it. Weber I like him personally but this is not who do we like , but who has skills. Mark is at the end of his career when suddenly everybody call him one of the best when he drives Red Bull. Kobayashi has got 32 points in his rookie season in pretty hopeless car (excelent passing- much better than one day wander – Nico Hulk – that some call him one of the best already to my astonishment. Yes – 32 points in poor car in his rookie season – delivering some nice spectacle to fans , especially countryman during Suzuka.

  90. Megan says:

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


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