Home boost for Ferrari?
Monza 2015
Italian Grand Prix
Name your top five drivers of 2011
News
Red Bull
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Dec 2011   |  3:57 pm GMT  |  713 comments

It’s that time of year again, where we need to establish the Top Five drivers of the year, in descending order, with your Driver of the Season at the top.

This is the third year we’ve run this popular competition.

Once again the first ten entries which match my selection, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2011: Vettel Steals the Show, which is due to be published on December 13.

You have just under a week to give us your answers in the comments box below – the closing date for entries is Wednesday December 7th.

It was a pretty one sided championship, but how do you judge what Vettel did in comparison with others who had slower cars and still got great results?

There were some very strong performances this year from drivers throughout the field.

We want to hear what you think about the five drivers who you think did the business this year, with a line or two about them (please no 1,000 word treatises!!). Here’s a hint – if you want to match my selection you’ll need to take into consideration the whole grid, not just the front running guys who made the podium.

It was a different kind of racing year, with race strategy proving far more important than in recent years and that meant that it wasn’t all about the guys at the front – the midfield drivers had a chance to shine.

Please submit your answers in the comments section below.

The prize is a signed copy of my 2011 Review book, which is a limited edition, large format soft paperback. This is the third year we have done the book and it’s a cool collectible – a great way to look back on the behind the scenes stories and the races which made up the year. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve forgotten of the way the stories threaded along.

I’ve written loads of linking copy which gives a hindsight perspective on the key stories of the year like Kubica’s accident, Hamilton’s penalties, the horse trading over the blown diffuser ban, Button’s new contract, the takeovers of Virgin and HRT and much more.

I’m delighted that Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has written the Foreword, following on from Ross Brawn in 2009 and Mark Webber last year. Among other things, Horner writes about the state he found the team in when he joined soon after the team had been bought from Jaguar,

“F1 is a niche business you need to be fast responding and self-critical as you are judged every two weeks as you compete through the year. The team lacked technical leadership and that’s where the first focus was placed and who better to do that than Adrian Newey?”

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won or you just want to make sure you secure your copy before it sells out, as it did the last two years, you can order one here for £9-99 plus postage. Deliverable pretty much anywhere in the world. Click HERE

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
713 Comments
  1. Marco says:

    Sebastian Vettel

    Jenson Button (I think a worthy mention goes to Fernando Alonso given his results with an uncompetitive car)

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Marco says:

      ups. here is the full list

      Sebastian Vettel

      Jenson Button

      Fernando Alonso

      Jamie Alguersari

      A. Sutil

      Total votes:
      0

      1. TB says:

        1. Vettel
        2. Alonso
        3. Button
        4. Rosberg
        5. Di Resta

        Total votes:
        0

      2. Jordan says:

        1. Button
        2. Alonso
        3. Vettel
        4. Alguersuari
        5. Schumacher

        Total votes:
        0

      3. kerbrider says:

        Vettel
        Alonso
        button
        alguesari
        webber

        Total votes:
        0

      4. Horno says:

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

        Total votes:
        0

      5. Amadis says:

        1. Vettel (grudgingly but he did finish first)
        2. Alonso (showed again why he is such a great driver, the best currently)
        3. Button (did much better than expected and overcame Lewis’ “home court advantage”)
        4. Sutil (the best outside of the top four teams)
        5. Webber (because he is such a likeable person and performed better than Lewis, a huge underachiever

        Total votes:
        0

      6. APUNOC says:

        The winner is simple, it can only go to one person, someone who has almost always beaten their teammate, thrashed them in qualifying and quite frankly has raised question marks over their teammates ability even though they have a contract for next year. KOVALIANEN

        Kovalainen – Thrashed his teammate, raised doubts of Trulli’s ability and hence contract. Thrashed Virgin and HRT, outraced a Williams in one race and a Renault another.
        Button – Beat Hamilton, in McLaren. In 2009 you would have been called an insane fan for that kind of remark. Some great races and was consistantly on it. Sure Hamilton had the better when Hamilton focused, but that rarely happened. Button was consistant and strong.
        Vettel. won the championship but had the best car, and with Webber at the well of the limping KERS-less, bad luck ridden number 2 car there wasn’t really a match. Everything looks amazing out front, but had some bad spots in it, made mistakes when he was under pressure. Canada and Germany to name two. Was able to win through being the first in and drove away into clear air. Defending mostly limited to DRS being ineffective at races. Also had quite a bit of luck (see Monaco).
        Alonso – Dragging the Ferrari around. 3rd best car by a long way. Won a Gran Prix in style. Always edging the car into the top few despite the car having problems. Lapped in Spain yet fought on to win a GP not that much later. Smashed his teammate.
        Webber – 5th. Not consistant, but when he was on fire, he flew. Drive of the weekend in Malaysia, 10th in lap 1, finished the lap 9th, finished the race in 4th, on the back of 3rd! Agan in China, driver of the season IMO, from 18th (Q1 quali), to the podium. A few more laps and even Horner was saying that Webber was looking like winning the Gran Prix… from 18th! Move over Kimi in Suzuka 2005. Drive of the Season and hence gets a top 5.

        Honourable mention – Sutil – some great drivers and even though the BBC think Di Resta is the greatest thing since sliced bread, Sutil thrashed him in the end and proved he is top midfield driver

        I doubt yours (JA) will be similiar at all, I’m guessing from the title it will begin with Vettel, but hey I’m not a fan

        Total votes:
        0

      7. James Allen says:

        Doesn’t matter whether you like a driver or not, surely it’s about objective view of who did the best job? Or are you not capable of an objective view?

        Total votes:
        0

      8. legend465 says:

        Good post APUNOC. Driver of the year has to go to Vettel though, getting the better of his awesome teammate. But totally agree – not a fan of Vettel either.

        Also, James, APUNOC acknowledges Vettel in his Top 5, so there is some degree of objectivity. I say Vettel is my driver of the year, however I will never be a fan of his, after his behaviour after being beaten fair and square by Mark Webber last year. Exactly why I am not a fan of Alonso, after his behaviour after being beaten fair and square by Lewis Hamilton.

        APUNOC correctly acknowledges some of Webber’s drives through the field this year. China 2011, Webber’s drive was arguably the greatest drive of all time. The guy was about 12th half way through the race about one minute behind the leaders, and finished on the podium, almost winning the race, with no safety cars, no weather intervention, and only one retirement on the grid (a Toro Rosso I think). Surely one of the greatest drives of all time, if not the greatest by far. Lapping about 3-4 seconds faster than the rest of the field at various stages in the GP.

        My TOP 5 of 2011:
        1. Seb Vettel
        2. Fernando Alonso
        3. Heikki Kovalainen
        4. Jenson Button
        5. Nico Rosberg

        Total votes:
        0

      9. David A says:

        @ legend465 – Hamilton did beat Alonso fair and square in 2007 (Hamilton 2nd on 109, Alonso 3rd).

        Webber did not beat Vettel in 2010 (Vettel was champion, Webber was 3rd).

        Total votes:
        0

      10. Martin says:

        I like your argument – it is unlikely to win you a boook though. The Kovalainnen-Trulli argument could also be made about Alonso and Massa as Felipe has been publicly told to improve.

        Rating Button as second while noting that Hamilton should have beaten him only stacks up if you think Hamilton is on a completely different level to every other driver. If you look at Button’s wins, if Vettel hadn’t erred in Canada, Hamilton similarly in Hungary and then Hamilton getting a puncture in Suzuka, you end up with Button only winning with a bit of fortune.

        Cheers,

        Martin

        Total votes:
        0

      11. C Manuel says:

        Vettel
        Button
        Alonso
        Sutil
        Heikki
        In order from 1.5

        Total votes:
        0

    2. Ade says:

      1. Vettel
      2. Button
      3. Di Resta
      4. Alonso
      5. Schumacher

      Total votes:
      0

    3. Andrew says:

      1. Vettel
      2. Button
      3. Alonso
      4. Kovalainen
      5. Alguersuari

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Steve Mc says:

        Good shout, Andrew!

        Total votes:
        0

    4. Brett says:

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

      Total votes:
      0

    5. SNB says:

      Vettel
      Vettel
      Vettel
      Vettel
      Vettel

      Almost a perfect season , not another single sole was even close to beating him.

      And that hurts being a Webber supporter

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Couldn’t agree more, there’s no way Alonso’s a more solid and faster driver than Seb right now, the speed and consistency of this boy is a class above, also a mention to Jenson Button who came alive after his hugely impressive win at Montreal, a truly classy driver that far exceeded most expectations and completely humbled Lewis Hamilton. So here’s the top 5:

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

        Total votes:
        0

      2. Martin says:

        You raise an interesting question in my mind – often these lists only ended rating racing performance – or if you like a heavy bias to the race over qualifying.

        The reason I mention this is that Red Bull worked out that the position in the first stint of the race was key to setting up the race, and therefore qualifying performance and performance on full tanks were key. (Normally, different things, but with DRS design, now possible). Anyway, Jenson was generally pretty average at getting to the end of the first lap well placed. Given that he had the second quickest car and that Webber had qualifying and starting issues, I think it is significant black mark against Button that he was only in the top two at the end of lap one in four of 19 races. That just isn’t good enough when it is basically fundamental to winning. From there he drove excellent races, but fundamentally, he was shooting himself in the foot in a similar way to Webber.

        Total votes:
        0

    6. Andrew C. says:

      hi;

      1. Vettel –
      most of the drivers on the grid would love to have his bad days

      2. Button
      started the season well, dealt with the drama and circumstances like a true professional. i suspect he was the most watched pilot by the other drivers

      3. Alonso
      drove to expectations but not much sensational about his year

      4. Kovalainen
      his passing record on race starts is quite good and managed to finish a few races touching the glass ceiling

      5. Rosberg
      you don’t beat your team mate and make the best post-race YouTube videos ever without something extraordinary.

      honorable mention –
      Barrichello. it will be a long time before another racer even touches his marks of laps completed, race participation and continued excitement.
      DiResta. some fine moments.
      Heidfeld. finished 11th in the season championship in half the races. good plan by Renault???

      thanks again James!

      regards,
      Andrew C.

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Max Smoot says:

        Andrew C.
        Good to see that Heidfeld’s 11th place held up. He would have taken that team to more points and hence more end-of- season euros. Offsets the money brought by Senna’s backers.

        Total votes:
        0

    7. Simon Willan says:

      1. Vettel. Won the championship, massacred his team mate and made very few mistakes.
      2. Alonso. Made Massa look average and made a very ordinary car look good – including a win.
      3. Button. The first person to beat Hamilton in equal machinery.
      4. Di Resta. Rookie of the year, showed real class and enough potential to secure his future in F1.
      5. Kovalainen. His contribution to Lotuses’ 10th place was huge, out qualified the qualifying specialist and showed the confidence he so lacked at Mclaren.

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Martin says:

        An interesting choice in Di Resta – at what point do we disregard inexperience? He drove a lot of smart races and could have results similar to Button’s. The 9-10 qualifying record against Sutil hides the edge that Adrian had in the second part of the season in particular. The lack of one lap pace relative to Sutil (who was smashed by Hamilton in the same F3 team, generally slower than Fisichella in qualifying) is something he will need to address in my view. Given that Paul had the best finishing record in the season and yet got less than 2/3s of Adrian’s points, you clearly put a strong weighting on being a rookie.

        Cheers

        Martin

        Total votes:
        0

    8. Antonio Palmiotto says:

      Vettel
      Button
      Alonso
      Perez
      Alguersuari

      Total votes:
      0

    9. Louie says:

      1 – Button
      2 – Schumacher
      3 – Vettel
      4 – Kovalainen
      5 – Rosberg

      Total votes:
      0

    10. Miemie Taylor says:

      1- Vettel
      2- Button
      3- Webber
      4- Alonso
      5- Shumacher

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Miemie Taylor says:

        Vettel; is the greatest driver since Michael Shumacher, Button; is a great driver he just needs a better car, Webber; is fast but is no good at starting, Alonso; has the guts but the car needs to be faster, Shumacher; is simply the master but needs a faster car.

        Total votes:
        0

    11. Chris says:

      Here you go:

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

      Total votes:
      0

    12. Collin says:

      Jenson Button
      Sebastian Vettel
      Mark Webber
      Nico Rosberg
      Michael Schumacher
      Paul Di Resta
      Adrian Sutil
      Lewis Hamilton
      Kamui Kaboyashi
      Timo Glock

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Kshitij says:

        And Alonso?

        Total votes:
        0

    13. Kev says:

      Top 5 in my opinion

      1. Vettel (Not a fan but he was unbelievable this year)
      2. Alonso (won a couple of races, few podiums in a car that was slow and did not deserve a top 3 finish. Great job!)
      3. Button (What a win and a great race in canada, very strong season)
      4. Di Resta (Had to go with a Force India driver, great season for the team and are getting better. Even though Sutil scored more points. Di Resta in he rookie season just pips him.
      5. Kovalainen (maybe not everyones choice…. but he’s now one of the top drivers in F1. Was tempted to put him higher. Getting the Lotus-Renault into Q2 on 2/3 occassions. In a car that wasn’t fast enough. Had good race pace and outperformed the car and his teammate.

      Total votes:
      0

    14. Jo says:

      Button, Vettel, Rosberg, Di Restaurant & Webber. All for totally different reasons!!

      Total votes:
      0

    15. dawn says:

      vettel
      button
      Alonso
      Di Resta
      Rosberg

      Total votes:
      0

    16. Jamie says:

      1. Vettel – consistency, control and speed throughout races and qualifying.

      2. Button – Undoubtedly one of his if not his strongest year in formula1. Runner up in championship and 8 podiums in last 9races with 3 great victories.

      3. Alonso – The Ferrari wasn’t capable of winning a race but he stormed to victory at Silverstone. He outperformed the car in races and had good race pace in comparison to the front runners.

      4. Di resta – Tricky one between Di resta and Sutil. Sutil had a sluggish start to the year but achieved some very good results towards the end and showed some strong qualifying performances. Di resta just takes it for me though, as its his first season in formula1 and his performance in singapore arguably one of the most mentally and physically demanding circuits was excellent – 6th place.

      5. Kovalainen – Out-qualified his team-mate consistenly and out-performed his lotus car. He overall had good race pace and is moving his lotus team forward. It was hard choice between him and Perez for 5th spot.

      Total votes:
      0

  2. Dave says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Dave In NZL (now Aus). says:

      Fernando
      Sebastian
      Jenson
      di Resta
      Jamie

      Total votes:
      0

  3. DMyers says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  4. Rana says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Kobayasshi
    Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  5. Jamie says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Kovalainen
    Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Momo says:

      +1

      Total votes:
      0

  6. Michael Williamson says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Perez
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  7. Kit says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Arsen says:

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

      Total votes:
      0

  8. Jens Jensen says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    He may have had the best car, but he got into that Red Bull through hard work at Torro Rosso and in junior series. Scarily dominant on the track, nice guy off it.

    2. Jenson Button
    Beat one of the fastest drivers on the grid, Lewis Hamilton, using a mix of patience and raw speed. A superb race in Canada and great overtakes in other races.

    3. Fernando Alonso
    Ruthless, aggressive, cunning and always fast. Managed to get podiums even when the car was way off the pace.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen
    Great attitude and still fastest of all the “new” teams. Motivated and fast enough to get the car closer to the midfield than any other backmarker.

    5. Paul di Resta
    A fantastic race in Singapore and a great qualifying in Silverstone were the highlights of his season. Extremely mature on and off the track. Often outshone his experienced team mate, Adrian Sutil, in his rooky season.

    Honourable mention: Sergio Perez, who was quick in qualifying. A future star, which is confirmed by Ferrari’s interest in him.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. **Paul** says:

      I agree with this top 5.

      Vettel had a very good car, but so did Mark, and the Mclarens were faster than they appeared in a good few races. Winning at Monza with one of the overtakes of the season on Alonso with pretty much the slowest car in the speed traps was amazing – as was his qually lap. Other highlights would be the Suzuka qually lap, getting pole in a slower car that day.

      JB, great to see him do so well, I backed him to be comparable with Lewis when he moved to McLaren. Nice to see that my insitincts about a drivers talent and pace aren’t totally shot! Great drives in mixed conditions, the real master of wet wether races in F1.

      Alonso, beating both Webber and Hamilton in a Ferrari which wasn’t as good is an amazing feat. Part of me questions if he should be 2nd in this list, but JB, I’ll say not as Jenson hasn’t had an entire team focused around him. Pound for pound the best driver on the grid IMO.

      Heikki – Absolutely brilliant from him. After his McLaren years where he was always given 2nd best and a poorer strategy (his opinion not hearsay!) it’s great to see him doing so well. I hope they have a good car next term so he can make use of it.

      Di Resta, Paul has had a sensational first year in F1. Sutil is no mug, to come in and beat this guy on the track as often as he has done is impressive. Fingers crossed his experience from this season will result in an improvement next season.

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Julian says:

        Alonso finished behind Webber.

        Total votes:
        0

      2. Martin says:

        Hi Paul,

        Personally, I find it interesting that Button is second on so many lists. If we start with your statement on Alonso – pound for pound the best driver on the grid (often made by people with more expertise than me, such as team engineers that James speaks to) – and we consider his season, there were few qualifying sessions or race where he didn’t maximise his results (Sepang comes to mind). If the team gives him 100%, that is part of the package he brings, just like Lewis’ emotional swings. In my view he sets a very high benchmark this year.

        How does Button compare to the best pound-for-pound driver? The immediate reference point if Hamilton, who when focussed about Fernando’s level depending on who’s arguing. Hamilton was usually faster in qualifying – there is almost surprise when Button is quicker. There were occasions where Hamilton had significantly better races than Button, which by nature means that Button was below what could be achieved.

        There is a further point that I’m not sure is entirely McLaren’s fault. Jenson often gained a lot of ground late in the race. In terms of winning races, the positioning prior to the first stops is usually critical. If you are at the front, you can control the race, stopping early to get a gap, or stopping later to cover tyre wear scenarios later in the race. Button was generally pretty poor at being well placed at the first stop (1st once, 2nd three times in 19 races – I think I’m excluding Japan due to Hamilton’s puncture). To me that wasn’t good enough when it was basically fundamental to beating Button.

        Compared to Kovalainnen, who dominated his teammate in qualifying and then started well, I don’t think Button quite matches that standard or Alonso or Vettel. Still in my top five, but not the top three.

        Cheers,

        Martin

        Total votes:
        0

  9. cory says:

    vettel
    button
    alonso
    di resta
    kovalinen
    but not in that order

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Allen says:

      What order then?

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Alistair McDonald says:

        Ooh, James, is this a hint? Is your choice a permutation of these five?

        😉 (I’ve already voted…)

        Total votes:
        0

      2. andrew.cocos says:

        Random :)

        Total votes:
        0

      3. Rob Newman says:

        The winning order … ie. your selection :)

        Total votes:
        0

      4. Cory says:

        Button
        Alonso
        Vettel
        Kovalinen
        Di Resta

        Total votes:
        0

  10. CJM says:

    Vettel – for raceday consistency, and qualifying brilliance
    Alonso – for demolition of his team mate, and race day performances
    Button – for his nous, for out scoring Hamilton, and even showing greater speed on occasion
    Hamilton – still the most exciting driver out there. Shame about the mid season drop off though.
    Di Resta – as the rookie of the year. Consistently performances throughout. Could have done even better but for some strange strategy calls.

    Total votes:
    0

  11. Tim Van Poucke says:

    Top: Fernando Alonso
    2. Michael Schumacher
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Heiki Kovalainen
    5. Jerome D’Ambrosio

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Bolton says:

      Schumacher ahead of Vettel?? Surely not!

      Total votes:
      0

  12. Andy Bird says:

    1) Sebastian Vettel
    Had the best car (just), but made full use of it to dominate the season.

    2) Jenson Button
    Consistent, mighty in changeable conditions (as always) & won a fully dry race too.

    3) Fernando Alonso
    Always challenging McLarens & Webber despite slightly inferior car.

    4) Nico Rosberg
    Comprehensively beat (a much-improved) Schumacher again.

    5) Heikki Kovalainen
    Delivered everything that could be expected, given the car at his disposal.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Pete says:

      Rosberg beat schumacher! What!! Only because of schu’s 4 dnf….

      Total votes:
      0

  13. Muhammed Patel says:

    Thanks for yet another great competition James!

    My five:

    5. Paul Di Resta
    4. Jaime Algusauri
    3. Fernando Alonso
    2. Jenson Button
    1. Sebastian Vettel

    Total votes:
    0

  14. Jomar Eldoy says:

    1. Vettle
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Webber
    5. Kovalinen

    Total votes:
    0

  15. Dabet M. says:

    Alguersuari… It was just his season (considering he was driving a TR). Great season by the Spaniard.

    Button… Even thou I still believe Alonso is a more talented driver, JB showed that his driving style was superb. That Canadian GP was a blast. He had just a great season.

    Kovalainen… Sadly this folk didn’t picked up points this season, but what a job he did many times showing how behind was JT.

    Sutil… He was just incredible in that slow SFI, he did a great job through the season, considering the high pressure he had with all the media talking wonders about PdR.

    Vettel… Just did the job as it should be every time you have a winning car.

    I’ll give a special mention to Alonso… superb driver and to the rookie Perez… watch out for this kid.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Sergio says:

      I agree with you about Perez and don’t forget another Mexican who likes me the most: Esteban Gutierrez. Mexico has 2 very talented drivers.

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Dabet M. says:

        Gutierrez is a better driver than Perez in my opinion, no doubt about that. I hope EG gets waaay more testing done, because even as a reserve driver his hands haven’t been behind the steering wheel. EG was in Mexico when SP had that bad crash in Monaco, How is this possible?
        It will be great seeing driving Boltas, Vergne and Gutierrez in a near future.

        Total votes:
        0

  16. Peter Bakalor says:

    This will take some analysis! To me Vettel, Button and Alonso are in the top 5, but choosing the other two is really going to be hard. I hate dropping Mark, but he wasn’t at that level this year IMHO, and Lewis was too inconsistent (I’m approaching this as based on this year’s performances, not whom I think are the best 5 drivers out there). Maybe it’s easier to work through the obvious drop offs and see who is left? This will have to be a more thoughts later exercise for me.

    Total votes:
    0

  17. George Wilson says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Alguesuari

    Total votes:
    0

  18. abulafia says:

    In that order:

    1. Sebastian Vettel. Dominant, record-breaking year, hardly a fault all season long, demolished his team-mate and the entire field. Demorilizing performance for the opposition…

    2. Jenson Button. His performance in 2011 validated his 2009 championship and gave it credibility. Out-performed Hamilton (something that not even Alonso in Hamilton’s rookie year had achieved). His racing throughout the year was aggressive and calculative, in measured doses. Excellent job.

    3. Fernando Alonso. He got the best out of the car and comfortably beat his team-mate. His determination and skill has never been in doubt – however, his car developping skills will come into focus in 2012 if Ferrari fail yet again to improve their performance and properly develop the car throughout the season.

    4. Adrian Sutil. Came back from a difficult start of the season, having problems adapting to the Pirelli tyres and also having to endure the constant over-hyping of Di Resta by the British media. He managed to turn it around, produced two 6th place finishes and helped the team to their best ever finish, scoring double the points of Di Resta. He was also the highest placed finisher outside the top eight. Although there have been questionmarks on his technical ability to develop a car, the fact that the team has been improving season by season steadily is a testament to the opposite.

    5. Heikki Kovaleinen. He utterly destroyed poor Jarno, who was often left fighting with the HRT’s and Virgins while Heikki took the fight to Williams and Sauber. He helped the team secure the valuable 10th place in the championship and, most important of all, he never lost his determination and drive despite fighting at the back of the grid. Deserves a better drive, and I hope Catterham reward his loyalty with an improved technical package next year

    Honourable mention: Perez, very good rookie season – Alguersuari, impressive race performances but quali pace lacking a little bit

    Total votes:
    0

  19. Top 10 Drivers 2011

    1) Vettel – Simply on another level compared to the rest of the grid. Only driver to visit Pirelli HQ, was pounding around Abu Dhabi within days of 2010 title triumph so he could understand 2011 tyres. Reads races superlatively, has the right equipment but makes 110%use of it and seemingly never makes a mistake.

    2) Button – Workmanlike start to the season before growing further in confidence post – Canada and delivering superlatively in second half of season. Superb victory in Suzuka but highlights were arguably through the field drive at Spa and making Hamilton and Schumacher look like they were driving in a lower formulae in Monza.

    3) Heikki Kovalinen – Team Lotus package didn’t quite live up to the pre season expectation, but Heikki routinely dragged the Team ahead of much better funded and grounded rivals thanks to some stunning starts and early laps, taking Team Lotus to places it had no business being. Destroyed Trulli who is supposedly a better qualifier who sought refuge in power steering issues. SOle reason why Team Lotus are now benefitting from being 10th for second year running.

    4)Paul Di Resta – Overshadowed his much more experienced team mate for much of the season. Given testing is at such a premium and he was learing tracks for the first time he was remarkably self assured in both qualifying and races, hence his likelihood of being retained for 2012 and perhaps moving on to Mercedes in the future such is his high stock.

    5) Jaime Algusuari
    Almost Joint last position as impossible to separate from his team mate as they were all season and reason why Torro Rosso don’t know which to retain for 2012. Routinely ran clever strategies to drag car up from a Q3 exit on Saturday to a strong points finish on a Sunday. Algusuari edges it for slightly better finishes and more race action on Sunday afternoons.

    Great work in 2011 James, thanks very much

    Total votes:
    0

  20. Beth Weatherhead says:

    Vettel, Webber, Button, Alonso, Kobayashi

    Total votes:
    0

  21. Anthony says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Jaime Alguersuari
    4. Fernadno Alonso
    5. Nico Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  22. Marlon says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Kovalinen
    3. Button
    4. Sutil
    5. Perez

    Total votes:
    0

  23. Tes Macare says:

    My top 5 drivers

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

    Regards from holland.

    Total votes:
    0

  24. Steve R says:

    Di Resta
    Button
    Vettel
    Rosberg
    Senna

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Eleanore says:

      Glad to see I’m not alone in honestly wanting to include Senna in my own list. For a team that’s basically been developing backwards (not to mention managing both their cars and their press abominably), I think he’s shown a lot of promise.

      Total votes:
      0

  25. dirty harry says:

    5. Alguersuari
    4. Perez
    3. Alonso-made miracles with a bad Ferrari, deserved third place instead of Webber
    2. Button-very consistent, great decisions and a bit of luck
    1. Vettel-trashed the oposition with a superb car

    Total votes:
    0

  26. Rafael says:

    My top 5 for 2011 would be:

    (1) Sebastian Vettel – Yes, he had a superior car advantage, but he gave nothing away and maximized all opportunities. Last year, if many thought (including myself) he was somewhat lucky to steal the championship in 2010, this year he was simply on another level. He is a worthy double world champion, and surely this is only the beginning! At 24, he’s already a great. “The people’s champ!”

    (2) Jenson Button – It’s pretty tight for me between Button and Alonso, but I’ll give it to Jenson since he had more points, more wins and he beat the other Red Bull. This year, Jenson really stepped up his game and proved that he’s the real deal. He may not be “mega-quick” nor is he the best qualifier, but he is one hell of a fine racing driver, always making the most of race day.

    (3) Fernando Alonso – He made the most out of a dodgy car, and there’s no denying his heart. Fernando was outstanding this year, dragging his slow Ferrari into grid positions and podium/points finishes that it didn’t deserve. His drives in Spain, Italy, UK and Abu Dhabi (to name a few) were exceptional. Here’s to hoping Ferrari can give him a title challenger for next year.

    (4) Sergio Perez/Paul di Resta – Solid 1st season from these two: they are talents to look out for. Here’s to hoping they continue to get better and get the opportunities they deserve down the road.

    (5) Michael Schumacher – It was great to see flashes of the old Schumi in a lot of races this year, and it looks like the “old man” is getting his touch back. He didn’t quite finish ahead of Rosberg (another great performer of 2011) in the standings, and he was thoroughly beaten in qualifying, but it’s simply outstanding to see Michael put up a fight. I do hope he gets all of his old magic back, in what could be his final (take 2!) season, next year!

    Total votes:
    0

  27. Raymond Yu says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  28. Samantha Farish says:

    Lewis Hamilton
    Sebastian Vettle
    Jenson Button
    Paul Di Resta
    Heikki Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Rob Newman says:

      Hamilton fist? This is a wind up isn’t it? :)

      Total votes:
      0

  29. Daniel Mawby says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Webber

    Total votes:
    0

  30. Sam Bishop says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Sutil
    4) Alonso
    5) Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  31. 1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Paul di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  32. James D says:

    1. Vettel – Not much of an explanation needed. Quick and intelligent, able to go faster than his rivals and manage his tyres better.

    2. Alonso – Possibly his best season in F1. Able to fight McLarens and Red Bulls in an inferior Ferrari. 4th in the championship was not justice for his brilliant driving.

    3. Button – Fantastic consistency in the second half of the season with all those podiums.

    4. Kovalainen – Get this man a better car. Rebuilding his reputation after poor time at McLaren, destroyed Trulli and towards the end was challenging drivers from established teams.

    5. Sutil – Considered Rosberg, but he was closely challenged by Schumacher. Then I thought Sutil. He came alive towards the end of the season when his seat was under threat. 6th places in Germany and Brazil were the highlights, 9th in the championship a strong showing. Despite being the higher Force India driver, I’d still go for di Resta and Hulkenburg next season as they have poor potential and wouldn’t take long to regularly beat him IMO. Hope Sutil gets a seat at Williams though.

    Total votes:
    0

  33. Dan Alderson says:

    my top 5 would have to be.
    1 – Vettel – hardly put a foot wrong all season. Very impressive
    2 – Button – only other to really challenge Vettel all year and drove to some great wins and keeping calm under pressure. Canada is a prime example of that.
    3 – Di Resta – For a first year I think he did brilliantly and helped prove that Force India are stronger then ever before.
    4 – Sutil – Again a strong drive to finish in the top 10 in the driver standings.
    5 – Webber – overshadowed by Vettel but he never gives up!

    Total votes:
    0

  34. John Nicholas says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Di Resta
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

    1. John Nicholas says:

      Vettel – for a near faultless season, with some astonishing qualifying performances.

      Alonso – for dragging a recalcitrant Ferrari into finishing positions his teammate came nowhere near achieving.

      Button – for a season that mirrored his metronomic 2004 campaign, for shading his illustrious teammate and of course, Canada.

      Di Resta – for looking like a driver that has been in F1 for years, not months.

      Kovalainen – for making Team Lotus more serious than they deserved and getting them the coveted 10th spot. Deserves a drive for a top four team again.

      Total votes:
      0

  35. James says:

    My top 5

    1) Vettel. If he isnt the top man on everybody’s list, then they have to have been living under a rock for the enterity of the season! He hasnt really put a foot wrong all year, has dominated from the front for much of the season, worst classified result was better than Felipe Massa achieved all season, 4th. It’s a domination on par with the likes of Schumacher in 2002. Driver and car in sync.

    2) Button. Probably will feature as many other people’s number 2 as well. He’s got on top of the car, tyres, DRS and all the other gubins this season to comprehensively beat his team on the race day and come second. He has won some of the finest races this year, and 2011 is argueably his beat season yet. He got the better Hamilton overall, who got overly frustrated. Could be an outside bet for championship contender next year?

    3) Alonso. He got the clear maximum out of the car. Given that his most frequented qualifying spot was 5th, it’s fair to say he couldnt get any more out of the car. Mclaren and Red Bull were that little bit to far out of reach in qualifying trim. Only a mistake from the four in front gifted a higher qualifying place. He out qualified his team mate quite convincingly. Also, his pace on race day has been excellent. Vettel didnt really have an answer to his pace in Silverstone, and his starts have been amongst the best this year.

    4) Heidfield. A suprising one here, but I think he deserves more credit than he is given. He was parachuted into Renault after Kubica’s awful rallying accident and started very well. However, once he started falling down the points positions, Renault quickly fell out of love with him. The thing is, Renault gave him a dog of a car, one that caught fire twice with him at the helm! F1 is a harsh business, but I dont feel that Kubica would have been able to have got any more out of the car than he did. I think we’ll always remember Nick as the Unlucky German. A champion that never was perhaps

    5) I’ve got to put a rookie in the top 5, and for me Perez edges di Resta. Sure, Paul has been impressive this year and has sized up quite well against his team mate. However, I feel that many Brits and commentators look at him with rose tinted glasses and give him more credit than he’s worth. He’ll probably win races one day, but he hasnt impressed me this year tbh. Perez, however, didnt pretty well! Scored quite often, and came back from his accident in Monaco quite strongly, even though he himself felt that he probably wasnt race fit for 4 or 5 races after. Top marks to him, he’s got the pace, he’s got the tallent and will most likely be in a Ferrari one day.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. madmax says:

      Same order as mine only I have Kovalein were you have Heidfield and I 100% agree with the Di Resta comments “I feel that many Brits and commentators look at him with rose tinted glasses and give him more credit than he’s worth.” The BBC is getting a bit of a joke were Paul is concerned.

      Total votes:
      0

  36. CTP says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  37. 5. Heiki Kovalainen
    – Managed to get into Q3 several times and really helped Lotus to show they are improving.
    4. Nico Rosberg
    – A solid unassuming season, occasionally punched above his weight.
    3. Paul Di Resta
    – Amazing rookie season, even managed to stay in the race after being forced to evade Hamilton. Solid performances and very few rookie errors.
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    – Simply untouchable, but not really put under much pressure on track.
    1. Jenson Button
    – Was solid, calm, the only guy to make Vettel make a mistake. Handled pressure well and was just sublime in changeable conditions.

    Total votes:
    0

  38. Daniel Petherbridge says:

    1: Vettel
    2: Button
    3: Di Resta
    4: Alonso
    5: Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  39. typee056 says:

    1.Alonso
    2.Button
    3.Vettel
    4.Schumacher
    5.Perez

    Total votes:
    0

  40. tigeraid says:

    Vettel was great, but Vettel drove the perfect car. Button won three races in a not-so-perfect car and beat his worshipped-like-jesus teammate.

    I can’t in all honesty put Webber on this list, he was a shadow of his previous year’s self, like the fight had gone out of him (unless he got a good jump on the start.)

    So…

    1. Button (did the best with what he had, also had more competitive passes all season than anyone except maybe Schumacher.)

    2. Vettel (champ)

    3. Alonso (car was crap but put it places it had no right to be in)

    4. Hamilton (when he wasn’t an erratic bonehead, he was brilliant)

    5. Rosberg (again out-scored and out-ran a 7-time world champion in equal equipment–even if Schumacher passed a zillion cars this year.)

    Total votes:
    0

  41. Stephen Richardson says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Schumacher
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  42. George Davies says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Button
    3 Alonso
    4 di Resta
    5 Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  43. Scott says:

    5.Michael Schumacher
    4.Seb Vettel
    3.Nico Rosberg
    2.Mark Webber
    1.Jenson Button

    Total votes:
    0

    1. christos pallis says:

      what? webber 2nd¬ what season were you watching!

      Total votes:
      0

      1. James Bolton says:

        Webber and Rosberg ahead of Vettel? You’ll have to justify that choice…

        Total votes:
        0

  44. Andrea Richardson says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Di Resta
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  45. Kris Grantham says:

    Top 5 drivers of the season.
    1) Sebastian Vettel. Outstanding in all areas. His record this season speaks for itself.
    2) Jenson Button. Completely outperformed Lewis Hamilton and had some outstanding drives, Canada and Monaco stand out.
    3) Fernando Alonso. Outdriving his car. His victory at the British GP was an outstanding effort and his starts have been awesome. Compared to Massa’s performance in the same car, He’s been excellent.
    4) Paul Di Resta. Rookie of the year no question.Very professional and very quick. Consistently in the top 10 shootout and consistently beating his more experienced team-mate.
    5) Heikki Kovaleinen. While not the fastest, I think his performances in qualifying compared to Trulli and his very good race-pace has to see him counted up there. Mixing it with the midfield on occasions too, I think he has to be in the top 5.

    Total votes:
    0

  46. Arnie S says:

    1. Seb Vettel
    Self explanatory
    2. Jenson Button
    Well deserved
    3. Nico Rosberg
    Outscores Schu, and shows he is a top driver
    4. Adrian Sutil
    Has made FI to a midfield team
    5. Heikki Kovalainen
    Has lifted Team Lotus from the backmarkers to a lower midfield

    Sorry Webber, Alonso and Hamilton, but regardless of that you are driving outstanding cars, you have not had outstanding performance

    Total votes:
    0

  47. Iwan says:

    In no particular order

    Vettel
    Yes he was in a uber dominant car, but the way he went about taking control of the season deserves respect.

    Alonso
    Often dragged the car higher up than what it should’ve been.

    Di Resta
    Fast from the off, though not consistent enough. But given how little these guys test I’d have to say I was impressed.

    Kovalainen
    Consistent, fast and ready to pounce. Seems a lot more relaxed than ever before.

    Glock
    Deserves a better seat to prove himself as the potential winner he is.

    Total votes:
    0

  48. gonzeche says:

    From both drivers and constructors final standings, it must be Vettel, Button, Alonso, Sutil and… then it gets tough to pick out out one of the Perezs, Di Restas or Algersuaris for they all have hade highlights mixed up too often with very intranscendent performances (proving those highlights to be highly due to race circumstances i.e. tyre and strategy choices). It is also hard to say on the grid’s lower end. Heikki sure did well, but would that have been different with an Alonso or a Kobaysashi (just to name two) in such a car? Does this really qualify for the season’s top five? At the end the best were in front for a reason other than the car only (as their team mates results show…)

    Total votes:
    0

  49. 1) Sebastian Vettel
    – Second world title in a row and totally dominated the season. What more can you say!

    2) Jenson Button
    – First team mate to beat Hamilton. He didn’t try to compete with Lewis on pure speed and drove to his strengths. Great racing and overtaking displayed all year

    3) Fernando Alonso
    – Outpaced Massa all year, got the best out of a clearly slower car and often wedged himself in-between the McLarens and Red Bulls. Made some cracking starts and raced well

    4) Nico Rosberg
    – Got the better of Michael again. Went wheel to wheel with the maestro and often came off better. Definitely got the best out of the car.

    5) Adrian Sutil
    – Shaky start to the season, being out qualified by rookie Paul, but then came back very strong in the second half. Drove some great races and showed a good turn of speed in qualifying. Finished best of the rest outside the top 4 teams.

    A special mention goes to Heikki Kovalainen. Constantly blew Trulli away again. Made some awesome starts and raced brilliantly to get himself amongst drivers in much better equipment. Looking forward to seeing what he can do next year in a hopefully much improved
    Caterham.

    Total votes:
    0

  50. Jeanette says:

    1. KOB
    2. PER
    3. HAM
    3. WEB
    4. BUT
    5. MAS

    Total votes:
    0

    1. RAY says:

      Massa!?

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Ian says:

        Massa is your biggest problem with that list?!

        How about the fact there is #3 twice, and the Vettel doesn’t even make the top 6!

        I could go on…

        Total votes:
        0

      2. Jeanette says:

        lol.. massa was meant sarcastic 😉

        Total votes:
        0

  51. Christopher Lewis says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel- I kind of speaks for itself, it was a season of supreme domination with Schumacher/Senna like driving..record poles, numerous victories, and robotic efficiency coupled with pure aggression and skill (please see move on Alonso in Monza)

    2. Jenson Button- Jenson’s driving this year would have been worthy of a world title in any other season..cool, calm and collected throughout the year. Stand out performance obviously Canada, drive of the year (maybe decade). Another stand out is Abu Dhabi, to show the pace he did and finish as well as he did with that KERS problem shows the measure of the man. (ps, he beat lewis)

    3.Fernando Alonso- Considering the car was clearly well off the pace for the majority of the year, compared to McLaren and Red Bull, he consistantly preformed, keeping up with the front runners, finishing on the podium in half the seasons races, and taking a great win (some what fortuitous as Red Bull slipped up in pits) at Silverstone, shows hes still the top man when the cars on song

    4. Heikki Kovalainen – I have went with Heikki in 4th Place this season for the simple fact that he was brilliantly consistant and streaks ahead of those around him in the slower paced cars. He absolutely trounced Trulli in the same car, showing time and time again that he could mix it with the midfield. I expect a very strong season from him in the new improved Catherham team next year.

    5. Paul Di Resta – It was a toss up between the Force India drivers for my 5th place. Sutil had an extremely good season finishing in 9th in the championship, with some great end of season results; however Paul, in his rookie year, was the stand out. He took to F1 like a duck to water, consistently fast in race pace, and showing in silverstone, that he could nail quali when the car was on tune. For a guy to come from DTM ito F1 and perform as he did is nothing but brilliant. #FUTUREWORLDCHAMPION

    P.S. a thank you to the Sauber drivers for some of the more exciting driving this year.

    Chris

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Jon W says:

      Pretty much my list, although I would be temnpted to put Rosberg in for Di Resta.

      Total votes:
      0

  52. 1 – Sebastien Vettel – yes he had the best car, but unlike 2010 his season was almost faultless. You can count his mistakes on one hand: Germany, Canada, Abu Dhabi (not even his fault!). He was in another league to his team mate.
    2 – Fernando Alonso – to finish ahead of Hamilton and just 1 point behind the Red Bull in an obviously sub-standard car is one hell of an achievement.
    3 – Nick Heidfeld – Came into the team very late and went into the summer break as team leader. Unlucky to have been dropped. Highlights include last to 8th at Spain!
    4 – Jenson Button – Canada was his greatest win of his career and he finished ahead of Hamilton. Enough said.
    5 – Paul Di Resta – There or thereabouts all year round in his rookie season.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Jon W says:

      Heidfeld ahead of Button – seriously?

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Rob Ratcliff says:

        Quick Nick! Love it

        Total votes:
        0

  53. Mojo says:

    Vettel and Button are the two drivers that stand out for me this season. Vettel for obvious reasons. Button because he did what nobody expected, beating his overrated team-mate with brains and mature driving. Reminds me of Prost and Lauda.

    And Maldonado and Petrov have proven that ‘pay drivers’ can actually drive.

    Total votes:
    0

  54. Vince Warrington says:

    1) Button – Looked comfortable all year, compared to his ragged team mate. Consistently put the McLaren in places it had no right to be in, and seemed to be unflappable.

    2) Vettel – Yes, he had far and away the best car, but he made Webber look distinctly average. Put him anywhere near the front of a race and he’ll invariably win it.

    3) Kobayashi – Matured, but kept his raw pace and overtaking flair and drove some sparkling races in a very average car. Less ‘wild man’ this year allowed Sauber to beat Torro Rosso.

    4) Senna – Yes, Senna. He got into the car after it was at its early-season best, but always pushed on with it and made Petrov look average in comparison.

    5) Kovalainen – Proved he’s still worthy of a big team by being far and away the best Lotus driver, indeed the best driver in any of the ‘new’ teams.

    Total votes:
    0

  55. Sam Jessop says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Without a doubt an utterly dominant season. Anyone who thinks it’s all down to the car need only look at Webber’s tally of wins this year.

    2. Jenson Button – Managing to get the best out of a poor design and to overcome the alladged star of the team has been highly impressive. Almost needless to say Montreal was the most impressive drive of the year.

    3. Fernando Alonso – Almost silently managing to finish consistanly in the worst Ferrari in years. One win hints at the lack of competitiveness but this supposed prima donna just got on with scoring good points regardless.

    4. Adrian Sutil – Finishing way ahead of the also impressive di Resta, a solid season that looks like being not quite enough to save his seat. It would have been nice to make use of the Q3 time though.

    5. Bruno Senna – After Renault gave Heidfeld the heave ho the detractors were quick to point out what a bad decision putting Senna in the car but his performances in qualifying have been mighty impressive. I’m sure a second year in a good car would see firm improvements but that looks unlikely to happen.

    Total votes:
    0

  56. Justin Bieber says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Alonso
    3.Button
    4.Paul Diresta
    5. Jaime Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  57. Jorge Bautista says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Rosberg
    Hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  58. Rupert Richardson says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Sutil
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  59. Adnan K says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. J Button
    3. F Alonso
    4. M Webber
    5. Paul Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  60. Andy says:

    1. Vettel
    Yes he had the best car but his performance in qualifying was superb, world champion and beat his team mate by 134 points.

    2. Button
    Not the best at qualifying but his race craft was, in my opinion, the best of anyone on the grid. Canada was incredible.

    3. Alonso
    The car was not the best, but I think he got more out of it than anyone else would have. Always gave it 100% and more.

    4. Di Resta
    Was beaten by Sutil towards the end of the season, but for a rookie year, a great job being only 15 points behind his team mate.

    5. Maldonado
    Another rookie, in a poor car. He only scored one point but his team mate only scored four.

    Total votes:
    0

  61. Scott says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Sutil
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  62. Tin Smith says:

    1. Seb Vettel, Finger wagging aside, imperious this season, not a fan but credit where it’s due.
    2.Jenson Button, First team-mate to beat Hamilton at Mclaren, even made Flav eat his words, which is no mean feat.!!.
    3.Alonso. Constantly over achieving in the 2011 Ferrari,which will remain forever forgetable.
    4.Paul Di Resta, Outstanding in his rookie F1 sseason.
    5. Bert Myllander, His performance at the Canadian GP was only beaton by Button in a McLaren…!!!!

    Total votes:
    0

    1. build says:

      OK, I laughed, thx.

      Total votes:
      0

  63. Simas says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Hamilton
    5. Oh, it’s a tough one,… the best of the rest. I say Rosberg.

    Total votes:
    0

  64. Seán Craddock says:

    1- Jensen Button: In my opinion a better season than his championship winning year. In a car that was not the best for the most part, he delivered great results, ahead of Hamilton, and some cracking races with Canada being a highlight.

    2- Paul Di Resta: Rookie of the year, points at his first Grand Prix, and got better results than the experienced Sutil.

    3- Daniel Ricciardo: Unfortunately didn’t get much media attention driving a HRT, but he had some good results. Finished ahead of Lotus, Virgin, and his experienced teammate a few times. I also don’t recall him making a driver error

    4- Adrian Sutil: The other Fi driver I know, but he had a good season especially in Brazil with great overtakes. Finishing ahead of all 3 Lotus Renault GP drivers in 9th place in the standings.

    5- Rubens Barichello: A very tough season for the Brazilian but he kept his spirit, very consistent and shows real passion. Hope he gets a seat next season

    Total votes:
    0

  65. sam w says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Di Resta
    Hamilton – a dreadful season by his standard but every win was a superlative drive.

    Total votes:
    0

  66. Jasper says:

    1. Alonso – still for my money, perhaps slightly begrudgingly, the all-round best driver on the grid – he did amazingly well to secure 10 podiums in clearly the third best car this season. Don’t know how he does it, and if Ferrari deliver him a better car for 2012 he’ll be hard to stop.
    2. Vettel – what is there to say that hasn’t already been said? Over one lap or over a whole race, this guy knows when to turn it on and how to drive to win. Proved he can overtake and deservedly a two-times champion.
    3. Di Resta – for a first season in F1, to end up finishing with the most completed race laps should be highly commended and he clearly has the temperament to be successful. May well end up at a top four team before long.
    4. Alguersuari – for a man that may have considered himself lucky to still have an F1 seat at the start of 2011 and after the first few races, a good handful of points finishes in a difficult car to drive showed fantastic commitment and effort.
    5. Button – nearly went for Sutil here but JB nicks it as he was the one who managed to get closest to Vettel as well as achieving where Alonso and Kovalainen failed in being able to beat Lewis Hamilton in the same car; next to his incredibly consistent race guile and tyre management.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. StallionGP F1 says:

      What a myopic comment about Alonso how is he the all round best driver in F1,when the race is on pls follow live timing and you would have a different opinion i hear people say this am always amazed this season for majority of the races only @ drivers standout Vettel and Button Alonso the development driver could not help Ferrari with there problems on the hard tyres for an entire season so how is he the best all rounder, the last time Alonso a championship Hamilton had not even stepped into an F1 car I think people like webber and hamilton made alonso appear better than he his this season

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Mingojo says:

        I wonder why Lewis has finished the last two years behind Fernando.By the way, drivers give feedback to the engineers, Alonso doensn’t caliber wind tunnels, etc…

        Total votes:
        0

  67. Triana says:

    1.Fernando Alonso
    2.Sebastian Vetel
    3.Jenson Button
    4.Jaime Alguersuari
    5.Nico Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  68. David says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

    1. build says:

      I reckon James may well agree with you although I went with my own choices.

      Total votes:
      0

  69. celeste says:

    1.Vettel, a class on his own
    2.Button, constant and efective
    3.Alonso
    4.Webber
    5.Heiki

    Total votes:
    0

  70. Robin Schneider says:

    1) Vettel: his qualifying abilities are amazing. He hasn’t let fame and glory get to him and he will still get better with age and maturity.

    2) Alonso: out performed his car more often than not and my guess is that he had the biggest performance gap of anyone on their team mate.

    3) Kobayashi: Controlled aggression and put his car in the right place to overtake rather than using bully tactics which more often than not end up in a crash.

    4) Button: there is no doubt he has rattled Hamilton and is consistently surprising his critics.

    5) Sutil: Out performed his team mate and it’s a pity more ex-champs are coming back into the sport as it’s reducing the chance of drivers like Sutil and Kobayashi to show their worth..

    Total votes:
    0

  71. AA says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Di Resta
    5. Perez

    Total votes:
    0

  72. Dan Orsino says:

    1 – vettel
    2 – button

    no 3rd

    joint 4 – alonso, hamilton
    joint 5 – kobayashi, di resta

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Dan Orsino says:

      sorry I misprinted:
      – vettel
      – button
      – alonso
      – kobayashi
      – schumacher

      Total votes:
      0

  73. zombie says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Schumacher
    4. Button
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  74. Dave Aston says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Button
    3 Sutil
    4 Kobayashi
    5 Schumacher

    Total votes:
    0

  75. Andrew Derlien says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Di Resta
    5. Hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  76. Lawrence says:

    Vettel – Simply the best of 2011
    Button – Outscored Hamiliton – who’d guessed?
    Alonso – Another driver wringing out the car
    Sutil – Top 10, better than expected
    Di Resta – Great rookie season

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Geoff says:

      Same here:

      1. Vettel
      2. Button
      3. Alonso
      4. Sutil
      5. Di Resta

      The top 3 were easy, the last 2 were not, until I stopped forcing myself to choose which of the Force India drivers to include.
      Close 6,7,8: Rosberg, Senna, Kovalainen

      Total votes:
      0

  77. Mark J says:

    Vettel – Taken the preperation of an F1 driver to another level. Results reflect this.

    Button – Proved he is one of the best drivers on the grid and the Brawn year was not just the car. Beat Hamilton fair and square.

    Alonso – Drove above the cars capabilites and got results to prove it.

    Kovalainen – In a pretty average car managed to duke it out at times with established teams when the opportunity was there. Beat Trulli at Monaco (no mean feat).Got some confidence and speed back after a tough time at McLaren.

    Sutil – Tough one for the final place. Last drive of the year was a blinder managing to beat Rosberg. Pulling a decent move in the process. Finally got some much needed consistancy after seasons of breaking wings and wheels. He is quick and deserves a drive, just a shame he can not set up a car if what is written is to be beleived.

    Also mentions to Alguersuari, Glock, and Webber. Webber was alright this year and deserces a mention for pulling off some great moves. Alonso at Eau Rouge has to be the move of the year. Shame DRS played a part the next lap…

    Total votes:
    0

  78. Rob Newman says:

    1. Vettel – The complete package
    2. Button – The lucky driver
    3. di Resta – The best new comer
    4. Kobayashi – The entertainer
    5. Kovalainen – The best of the rest

    Total votes:
    0

  79. Ravi Govin says:

    Hi James,
    Enjoy reading your website.

    My Top 5 drivers are:
    1. S Vettel 2. J Button 3. F Alonso 4. H Kovalainen 5. L Hamilton.

    Hamilton had his Top 5 moments and some Bottom 5 moments but overall its hard to ignore the excitement he brought to the races. He generates more excitement than any other driver both while he overtakes or with the failed overtakes. Take him away this season will be a Yawn. I would say he has generated more fan interest in the sport since Shummi did.

    I couldnt put Mark Webber there since he had a car that should have challenged Seb for the title but constantly failed to be a factor in the races at the top. He totally underachieved in the best car. Maybe he was deflated after losing 2010 title.

    Ravi

    Total votes:
    0

    1. james says:

      They were obviously two different cars. Appalling pit stops, appalling strategies, appalling reliability etc. etc. I don’t think it was Weber who underachieved.

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Ravi govin says:

        Even then it shouldn’t have taken him till the last race to win his first of season aided by dubious gearbox issues to vettel.

        Total votes:
        0

  80. BeardyGuts says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  81. Michael says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  82. Malcolm says:

    Vettel – Simply the best

    Alonso – Gave it everything pretty much every weekend

    Button – A couple of off-the-pace weekends but his best season

    Sutil – ‘Best of the rest’ behind the big 4 teams

    Kobayashi – A bad patch in the middle of the season let him down

    Total votes:
    0

  83. Merlinghnd says:

    Vettel – top of his game all season
    Alonso – just awesome in any car and never gives up
    Button – smooth and determined when the going gets tough
    Hamilton – he did win 3 races this season and if he had stayed out of trouble, how many more??
    Rosberg – he beat Schumacher again this season and certainly had pace if not overall results. Interesting potential, maybe another Button in the making.

    This is a top 5 competition but if it was Rookie of the Year would say Di Resta shades it over Perez.

    Total votes:
    0

  84. John says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Di Resta
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  85. James, would it be possible to tally all of the votes for each of the drivers of the day, and then come up with a total sum for the year?

    That would be interesting to see.

    Even though Vettel dominated, I would bet that his total sum of votes would not top the list.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes we’re planning to do that

      Total votes:
      0

      1. If you want, I can email you my spreadsheet…

        Total votes:
        0

    2. Couldn’t wait for the reply.

      1) Button – 21522
      2) Hamilton – 13065
      3) Alonso – 12975
      4) Schumacher – 9532
      5) Vettel – 8514
      6) Webber – 6531
      7) Kobayashi – 3512
      8) Alguersuari – 3107
      9) Heidfeld – 2561
      10) di Resta – 1893
      11) Sutil – 1271
      12) Perez – 776
      13) Kovalainen – 764
      14) Maldonado – 573
      15) Buemi – 357
      16) Rosberg – 244
      17) Massa – 183
      18) Petrov – 47

      Note 1: there was no vote for the Australian GP, so a few drivers, notably Petrov (podium) and Perez (6th before DQ) missed out on many potential votes. Hamilton and Vettel would have also likely received more votes for this race.

      Note 2: There was an “Other” option for Malaysia with 668 votes, and many comments below for Webber deserving a nomination.

      Now, calculated with points instead of votes (most votes gets 25 points, second-most gets 18 points, etc, using the F1 system):

      1) Button – 238
      2) Alonso – 235
      3) Vettel – 200
      4) Hamilton – 155
      5) Schumacher – 133
      6) Webber – 121
      7) Kobayashi – 87
      8) Alguersuari – 86
      9) Sutil – 66
      10) Perez – 53
      11) di Resta – 40
      12) Rosberg – 40
      13) Heidfeld – 33
      14) Buemi – 26
      15) Kovalainen – 25
      16) Massa – 12
      17) Maldonado – 10
      18) Petrov – 6

      Number of nominations:
      1) Vettel – 16
      2) Alonso – 14
      3) Button – 12
      4) Webber – 9
      5) Hamilton – 8
      6) Schumacher – 7
      7) Kobayashi – 7
      8) Alguersuari – 7
      9) Sutil – 5
      10) Perez – 5
      11) Rosberg – 5
      12) Buemi – 3
      13) di Resta – 2
      14) Heidfeld – 2
      15) Kovalainen – 2
      16) Massa – 1
      17) Maldonado – 1
      18) Petrov – 1

      From all of these breakdowns, it’s obvious that the fans preferred Button’s under-dog performances this year. Vettel showed that he was consistent all year in terms of impressing James enough for nominations. Alonso was also surprisingly close to Hamilton, given that this is an English-speaking blog (a bit of sample-bias, perhaps, but also a testament to the objectivity of the fans that frequent the site). It’s a shame there was no vote for Australia, although it wouldn’t have changed the top end of the field much.

      So congrats to Button… the people’s champion!

      Total votes:
      0

      1. James Allen says:

        Wow! Thanks for doing that! As you say it’s in English but a fully international audience from the main F1 countries

        Total votes:
        0

    3. StallionGP F1 says:

      Vettel was never driver of the day

      Total votes:
      0

  86. Irish con says:

    1 vettel
    2 alonso
    3 button
    4 kovalainen
    5 sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  87. Enigma says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  88. John says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Paul di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  89. Jon williams says:

    1 vettel
    2 button
    3 di Resta
    4 alonso
    5 rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  90. Henrik says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Heikki Kovalainen
    5. Adrian Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  91. Martin Nash says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Even though he was in the fastest car he was able to make a respectably quick team mate look average. He also made quick laps in qualifying where it matter (Abu Dhabi & Brazil from recent memory)

    2. Fernando Alonso – Drove his Ferrari to the maximum and beyond. Even though most races he wasn’t fast enough for victory he was always THERE to give the Mclarens & Red Bulls something extra to think about.

    3. Jenson Button – Drove as good as his championship year and beat a quality team mate.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen – Performed much like Alonso but the other end of the grid.

    5. Paul Di Resta – Very consistent for first year and often matched team mate Sutil. Rookie of the year.

    Total votes:
    0

  92. madmax says:

    1 Sebastian Vettel
    Had easily the best car as 5 or 6 fastest laps from team mate Webber also shows but Vettel was flawless pretty much the entire season.

    2 Jenson Button
    A hard call between him and Alonso but I went for Button because the team isn’t built around him unlike the Spaniard. Button’s best performance in F1 and along the way beat a team mate Alonso didn’t. Some great performances particularly Canada.

    3 Fernando Alonso
    Punched above his weight and had battles with cars that should have been well ahead of him. (Webber) Like Vettel he dominated his team mate.

    4 Heiki Kovalien
    Great efforts in a rubbish car and has a new lease of life since leaving McLaren, something I think Massa could have if he left Ferrari.

    5 Sergio Perez
    Very very tough last one but I gave to Perez on being easily the best rookie, although Riccardo was handicapped by not starting at the beginning of season.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. madmax says:

      My list is based on achievement over the year rather than who would be the best if they were in the same car which would look very different!

      Total votes:
      0

  93. Pox says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  94. Jonno says:

    1. (Best): Vettel: has to be, after that season, he may have had the top car, but the points margin (122 – almost 5 race victories) equals domination.

    2. Button: A better season arguably than his championship year, and the drive of the season in Canada. Ended up comfortably beating Hamilton, an achievement few predicted 2 years ago.

    3. Alonso: Close to beating Button (I can easily see it argued the other way round), and certainly outperformed the car: you just look at the domination over Massa all year.

    4. Kovalainen: In all but two races (excluding retirements) he was the best of the new teams, and even starting beating some of the back end of the midfield towards the back end of the season. Nearly always the fastest in qualifying too – I look forward to what Caterham can achieve next year … points?

    5. Sutil: Can’t really remember the start of the season very well, but was certainly impressive recently – especially Brazil. Beat the Renaults (Petrov & Heidfeld+Senna) into the top 10 in the drivers, despite two early podiums for them, and even beat Mercedes in the odd race.

    Exclusions:
    Hamilton: Some great races, but over the season, his worst so far. Big fan, and hopefully he’s firing next year.

    Webber: Too big a gap between him and Vettel. But deserved the win he got last week

    Di Resta: Quite hard to choose between him and Sutil. A good debut season – and Force India have quite the nice problem with drivers! Its a little odd, as I’d probably pick the Hulk and DiResta next year, despite putting Sutil in my top 5!

    Total votes:
    0

  95. Kenny says:

    Alonso, Vettel, Button, Hamilton, Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  96. Eoin K says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  97. goferet says:

    1) Vettel

    Was supper consistent, paced himself while ahead & never made any big mistakes + destroyed his teammate’s self belief!

    2) Alonso

    Out performed his car, got all the podiums for the team & was close to clinching 2nd in the championship

    3) Jenson

    Beat his highly rated teammate, took the fight to Sebastian in some races but some of his podiums are hollow in my view

    4) Heikki

    Out qualified & out performed Truilli but since we haven’t seen much of him, can’t say much about him

    5) Sutil

    When his career was on the line, raised his game in the second half of the season & gave the team it’s best finishes (6th) twice

    6) Riccardo

    The Rookie came in and in a couple of races was matching & beating the veteran Luizi

    7) Hammy

    For despite the fact he has had a bad season, he still managed to win 3 races & never gave up even the times he found himself out of position

    Total votes:
    0

  98. Paul says:

    1) Vettel – Dominant force throughout the year
    2) Button – 3 magnificent wins, beat Hamilton in the standings on merit
    3) Alonso – Coaxed far more out of the poor Ferrari than anyone thought was possible
    4) Kovalainen – Another excellently consistent season as he dragged the Lotus around rather quicker than anyone else could manage
    5) Di Resta – Highly impressive debut season, could’ve been even better but for some questionable strategies from his team.

    Total votes:
    0

  99. Dave Deacon says:

    Button – Canada! WDC but for Newey
    Alonso – even though he gave up publicly
    Di Resta – rookie deserves a better car
    Sutil – for pulling his socks up
    Weber – for putting up with being so obviously stuffed.

    Total votes:
    0

  100. 1. Kimi Räikkönen

    Total votes:
    0

  101. Juanjo says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Sutil
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  102. Charles Littlewood says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Nico Rosberg
    5. Paul di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  103. Skan says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Di Resta
    Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  104. drarpad says:

    VET
    BUT
    ALO
    DIR
    KOV

    Total votes:
    0

  105. 1 – Sebastian Vettel: Near flawless drives from Melbourne to Brazil.

    2 – Fernando Alonso: Close to Vettel, did more with less but the WDC tips #1 to Vettel

    3 – Jenson Button: Finished 2nd overall with some great drives, really close to being #2 on this list. Vettel is WDC and I am a long time fan of Alonso.

    4. Kamui Kobayashi: Finished 12th, car deserved 14th & 15th, while prone to making mistakes he also has moments of brilliance.

    5. Adrian Sutil: Kept his nose clean and finished above the car’s natural order despite all the machinations of Mr. Mallya.

    The important thing for me in measuring a driver over a season is to see, at the end of the day, if the driver was able to drive above the capability of the car he was given.

    Total votes:
    0

  106. vvipkho says:

    Vettel
    Kovalainen
    Button
    Trulli
    Webber

    Total votes:
    0

  107. Lily Fenton says:

    1. sebastian vettel
    2.nico rosberg
    3. sergio perez
    4.Jaime Alguersuari
    5. mark webber

    Total votes:
    0

  108. Ikhine says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovaleinen
    5. Alguesuari

    Total votes:
    0

  109. Andrew Goffin says:

    1) Sebastian Vettel
    2) Jenson Button
    3) Fernando Alonso
    4) Lewis Hamilton
    5) Heikki Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  110. Oli says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Di Resta
    4. Alguersari
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  111. Baghetti says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  112. Steve says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Kobayashi (position improvements in races)
    D’Ambrosio (reliability)
    Kovaleinen (overachieved in under peforming car)

    Total votes:
    0

  113. JF says:

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

    These are the guys who really consistently got the most out of their respective cars, whereas for the most part, their team mates did not.

    Total votes:
    0

  114. Vladimir Grebennikov says:

    1. Vettel. This one is quite obvious
    2. Button. ‘Want to succeed in a wet race? Then follow Button’
    3. Alonso. Struggling with the not-so-good Ferrari and still reaching top spots.
    4. Kovalainen. Best of the last. I think with a bit better car he would beat all the middle group.
    5. Schumacher. I’m rooting for Michael since 1994. This year he looks much more like the Red Baron than he did last year.

    Total votes:
    0

  115. Anja says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Alonso
    Schumacher
    Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  116. meltwaterfalls says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Di Resta
    4. Alonso
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  117. Bader Hussain says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Kovalainen
    3. Button
    4. Alguersuari
    5. Kobayashi

    Total votes:
    0

  118. Alistair McDonald says:

    1: Vettel (I mean . . he whipped Mark)
    2: Button (Some really great drives, just needs to nail qually)
    3: Alonso (driving the wheels off that dog of a Ferarri)
    4: Rosberg (Maturing nicely, still ahead of MS)
    5: Di Resta (A great start to his career, I believe FI were sandbagging him towards the end of the season)

    Total votes:
    0

  119. Anand R says:

    My top five:
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    Undoubtedly the best performance by a driver-team combination in the last decade since Schumacher-Ferrari domination in 2002/04. Unfair to attribute his domination just on the car and Adrian Newey. Interesting to read reports on how he travelled to the Pirelli factory, identifying the need to adapt to the tires before any top driver thought of doing so. (I remember Lewis was fitness training in the mountains and Jenson in Hawaii during winter last year while Vettel must have been strategizing on the best way forward with Pirelli)

    2. Jenson Button
    Has to be his best season, even better than championship winning ’09. To finish ahead of a driver of top calibre like Webber in the 2nd best car is top performance. Also, finishing ahead of Hamilton earns him an extra point. Win in Canada stands out head and shoulders above, probably the best win of the season across all races. Also, is a good team player.

    3. Fernando Alonso
    The best driver on the grid on current form, wanted to put him above Vettel and Jenson, but those two did an incredibly good job and warrant a higher position (as indicated even by the points table). My favorite for next season as long as Ferrari are less than 0.3-0.5 sec off Mclaren’s/Red Bull’s pace.

    4. Kamui Kobayashi
    Deserves 5th place only for ensuring 2 points in the last race to ensure Sauber finish ahead on STR in 7th place. Oh, how many millions of dollars are those 2 points worth. Imagine him crashing out of Brazil GP, Alguersuari would have finished 10th and the two teams would have been locked on points. Also, pulled of some scintillating overtaking moves with the exception of Canada (Massa) and Spa (Hamilton).

    5. Adrian Sutil
    Unfortunately “woke” up only in the second half of the season. But decent, error free drives ensured his TEAM finished in 6th comfortably, almost finishing 5th.

    Total votes:
    0

  120. Alessandro Forconi says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Kovalainen
    4. Di Resta
    5. Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  121. Euan says:

    1) Sebastian Vettel – easy choice. Thrashed the whole field time and again. I was at Monza and it was a privilege to watch him overtake Alonso and then pull away from the field at an extraordinary rate.
    2) Jenson Button – Vettel’s most consistent challenger. Took three fantastic victories and on most occasions extracted the most he could have from each race. But for back to back mechanical failures would have finished an easy, rather than close, second in the championship.
    3) Fernando Alonso – Regularly put a car on the podium that had very little business being there. Made many outstanding starts and kept with the pace in the early stages of races, but was often let down by the Ferrari’s hatred of hard tyres.
    4) Heikki Kovalainen – Destroyed Trulli in qualifying and the races, regularly finishing half a lap ahead of him, even if only one place ahead. Even managed to dice with the occassional Sauber or Williams. He was the most overtaken driver in 2011, what’s extraordinary is that he managed to find himself in a position to be overtaken.
    5) Adrian Sutil – Struggled at the beginning of the season, but came into his own with two sixth place and two seventh place finishes, not to mention four elevenths. His drive in Brazil in particular was outstanding. Deserves to find a seat somewhere next year

    Total votes:
    0

  122. Phil Waddell says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Perez
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  123. Jie says:

    1 – Sebastien Vettel – pretty much faultless throughout the year.
    2 – Fernando Alonso – almost always on the limit of his car and occasionally outperforming it.
    3 – Jenson Button – smooth and collected and beat his highly-rated teammate.
    4 – Paul di Resta – did well in his rookie year and performed admirably against a more experienced Sutil
    5 – Heikki Kovalainen – did his magic in the Lotus and held his own convincingly against the tail end of the midfield in the race, especially at the last few events

    Total votes:
    0

  124. vassy says:

    1. S Vettel
    2. F Alonso
    3. J Button
    4. A Sutil
    5. Paul Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  125. 1 – Vettel. Outgrew the erratic performances of 2010 to dominate with racecraft and unbelievable statistical dominance over his team-mate. Although he had all the cards, he rarely failed to play them perfectly.
    2 – Button. So-so beginning, but the stellar drive in Canada was a catalyst for a second half where he dominated the rest of the field (and regularly challenged Vettel) with confidence and remarkable consistency.
    3 – Alguersuari. A very lacklustre first half saw immense pressure on the 21 year-old from his team. Superb drives in Valencia, Italy and Korea saw him ultimately dominate his team-mate and prove himself against previous inconsistency. At 21!
    4 – Sutil. Pressured by team rivalry and reputation for poor development skills, he nonetheless drove the team’s points haul and finished 9th. More than any other mid-pack driver made the most of the car on offer again and again.
    5 – Alonso. Difficult to judge: did he outperform the car, or Massa underperform? Nonetheless, hugely consistent and few mistakes compared to those drivers around him and regularly throwing a spanner in Mclaren/Webber strategy calls.

    Total votes:
    0

  126. Rajko says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Sutil
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  127. Jeremy J says:

    1/ Vettel – Unstoppable, no one could touch him
    2/ Button – Only person to really pressure Vettel in the races on a consistant basis.
    3/ Rosberg – Outclassed Schumacher, no mean feat.
    4/ Kovalainen – Consistantly outperformed the car
    5/ Alonso – Dragged the car with him kicking and screaming, great result at Silverstone.

    Total votes:
    0

  128. Foaad says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Rosberg
    Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  129. andrew.cocos says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  130. Jon Rapley says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel

    Vettel has driven at a different level to anyone, getting 110% out of his car, driving smoothly and cleanly, while breaking records and being very cooperative with the press.

    2. Jenson Button

    Canada saw a new era for Jenson Button. Like Vettel, he has been driving smoothly, avoiding trouble while scoring points and podiums consistantly. Lewis Hamilton has also admitted that Jenson has been doing a fantastic job.

    3. Fernando Alonso

    Alonso has been very consitant, very realistic, very fair and has scored around double the points that Felipe Massa has, while having driven a car that hasn’t been particularly good to Ferrari’s standards.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen

    Since The beginning of the season, Kovalainen has outpaced Jarno Trulli in qualifying and most of the races where he had no mechanical problems. As Kovalainen himself explained, he is a lot happier with Team Lotus (to be Caterham from 2012) than with Renault and McLaren. Kovalainen has made it to Q2 or gotten within under a second behind other midfield teams on several occasions in qualifying, while also making brilliant starts and finishing ahead of established teams such as Williams and Sauber, something which started in China and triumphed in Korea. He will be a big threat to the mid-fielders providing Caterham build him a competitive car for 2012.

    5. Jaime Algersuari

    Algersuari didn’t have the greatest start to the season, but when his seat was under threat, he picked his game up, scoring many high points positions since Valencia, while also having beaten Sebastien Buemi in the points standings. Algersuari entered Formula One too early, but now, he is just right for the Formula. Very big improvement.

    Total votes:
    0

  131. jeffrey says:

    1- Sebastian Vettel
    2- Jenson Button
    3- Fernando Alonso
    4- Kamui Kobayashi
    5- Michael Schumacher

    Total votes:
    0

  132. Rich in Norway says:

    1.Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Jamie Alguseri
    5. Paul di resta

    Total votes:
    0

  133. Murray A Nix says:

    1 – Vettel. Even the most hardened cynics can’t argue with statistics and facts.
    2 – di Resta. Rookie of the year. Kept his head down and wrestled the best out of the car and did what he was asked. A future champion.
    3 – Butto. Outshone Hamilton with consistancy, maturity and focus throughout the season to the extent it was easy to question often if they were in the same team/car.
    4 – Rosberg. Personality wise, he annoys me. But this is not a popularity contest after all. He’s constantly outshone Michael and that could never be regarded as an easy feat.
    5 – Toughie. A split decision really. Alonso for his ontrack manouevres and getting the best from an underperforming car that has struggled throughout the year with grip issues and lack of compatibility. Senna for the enthusiasm hs brings to the grid and, of coursd, the namd.

    Total votes:
    0

  134. BillC says:

    For me

    1 JB – OK I am a Fan of his since the Williams days and was therefore not worried about his entering the “lions den” but sublime driving, control and strategy – should have won Monaco as well.

    2 SV – Had the best car, but certainly exploited it unlike MW, great chap and comes over very well in interviews, BUT if i hear “that is what I am talking about” “ring a ding ding” or see that F*****g finger one more time I may not be able to restrain myself

    3 FA really great drives and has the ability to get more out of mediocre car than any one else

    4 PdR Great Rookie Season – I predict great things for him – and yes I am a Brit – so sue me.

    5 Now this the tricky one – NH got the points in the early races but did not impress – BS did impress once he took over but did not get the points and HK did a great job for lotus. For me BS gets my 5th Vote..

    MGB

    Total votes:
    0

  135. Paul Rodríguez says:

    1. Sebastian – simply flawless
    2. Jenson – beating Lewis must feel sooo good…
    3. Fernando – for never giving up
    4. Heikki – hunger and consistency
    5. Paul Di Resta – Championship material

    Total votes:
    0

  136. Arron Timson says:

    1.Button-first team-mate to beat Hamilton
    2.Alonso-Showed his pure talent in a pretty poor car
    3.Vettel-Best car and fully extracted it’s speed
    4.Di Resta-great rookie year,showed his potential
    5.Kovalainen-put Trulli to shame and out performed his car pretty much every race

    Total votes:
    0

  137. McKormick says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Alonso
    3 Button
    4 Kovalainen
    5 Kobayashi

    Total votes:
    0

  138. Ajit says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  139. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  140. Neil McLaughlin says:

    1 button 2 alonso 3 vettel 4 di resta 5 kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  141. ronmon says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    di Resta
    Kobayashi

    Total votes:
    0

  142. Phil J says:

    By offering a prize for matching your selections you’re skewing the results, somewhat. My top 5 are:
    Button
    Vettel
    Alonso
    DiResta
    Rosberg

    I think your selection will be more like:
    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Kovalainen
    Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  143. Cole says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  144. Steve says:

    For me, it has to be
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Adrian Sutil
    5. Paul di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  145. Nic Maennling says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Suti
    Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  146. Ritesh Tendulkar says:

    1. Vettel: Had a string car but look what Webber did with it.
    2. Button: Made best use of the car and conditions. +1 for Canada
    3. Alonso: Out-performed the car. very strong drives despite tyre heating problems of the Ferrari
    4. Kova: lifted Lotus/ Caterham /whatever it is called now from new backmarkers to a midfield team
    5. Jamie Alguersari

    Special mention; Kobayashi

    Total votes:
    0

  147. KGBVD says:

    1. Vettel – Absolutely unmatched
    2. Button – Cooler heads often do prevail
    3. di Resta – Rookie unequalled.
    4. Kobayashi – Matured and worth millions in points to Sauber.
    5. Alonso, – Brilliant on his day, in a Ferrari truck.

    Total votes:
    0

  148. Number says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – RB7 was at the sharo edge every race, but it was him that made the difference when it was needed, so he won some race which he “shoulnt” have (like spain or monaco).

    2. Fernando Alonso – he just never stops. I dont like him as a person, but you gotta admire him as a driver. I know Button had very good season, but Ferrari was weaker car, and Alonso still managed to be quite close.

    3. Jenson Button – I found this season to be his best since 2004. While watching races, he something looks just smarter than rest. He drove smart whole season.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen – After those 2 bad seasons with McLaren, Kov is driving that Lotus (Caterham) really good. Also managed to outqualify a Williams!

    5. Adrian Sutil – mr. Sutil had a slow start to a season, had some trouble with broken glasses and human necks, but he drove really really good in 2nd half.

    So thats my top 5, but that being said, the standard of driving is really high in most teams. On the whole, Torro Rosso, Sauber and Force India have got really good drivers. Ill be sad if Jaime or Seb have to go from TR…they drove really good, a shame that mr. Buemi didnt have much luck lately.

    Total votes:
    0

  149. Adeel Mehboob says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  150. Greg says:

    vettel
    alonso
    button
    sutil
    alguersari

    Total votes:
    0

  151. Ed says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Perez
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  152. Bennio says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Had the best car, but was consistently fast and made the fewest mistakes.

    2. Jenson Button – Made some mistakes in qualification, but more than made up for it during the races. A very impressive season.

    3. Fernando Alonso – Made very few mistakes and pushed the car to 100%. Did some amazing starts.

    4. Lewis Hamilton – Had a slump during the latter half of the season, but also won 3 races and ended the season on a high.

    5. Nico Rosberg – Did what he could in this year’s Mercedes and drove solidly. Sometimes slower than Schumi but made fewer mistakes.

    Honorary mention – Heikki Kovalainen. Crushed his team mate during qualification and drove impressively during the races.

    Total votes:
    0

  153. mohamed south africa says:

    1.vettel
    2.button
    3.alonso
    4.di resta
    5.hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  154. Dan says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Di Resta
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Dan says:

      1. Vettel – Fantastically consistent and exceptionally fast driving – the best car alone doesn’t tell the story as he destroyed Webber
      2. Button – Seems to have reached a happy place with his driving. Not as quick on a single lap as Hamilton (generally) but race pace has been very good.
      3. Alonso – Outperformed an under par car
      4. Di Resta – Good rookie season
      5. Kovalainen – Showed his quality, hope he gets a car capable of pushing on next year

      Total votes:
      0

  155. GS says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Sutil
    5. Alguesuari

    Total votes:
    0

  156. Arcturis says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  157. Chris says:

    1) Sebstian Vettel
    2) Fernando Alonso
    3) Jenson Button
    4) Nico Rosberg
    5) Adrian Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  158. Adam says:

    1. Jenson Button
    Beat a better car (Webber’s Red Bull) and supposedly better driver (Hamilton). Classy, consistent, and surprisingly quick all season.
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    Even with the best car, you cannot ignore the dominance over his team mate, and his qualifying performances.
    5. Fernando Alonso
    Beat a better car (Hamilton’s McLaren) and dominated his team mate.
    4. Paul Di Resta
    Rookie of the year. Sutil scored more points, but Paul was on the pace from the start and got some great results.
    5. Heikki Kovalainen
    Dominated his experienced team mate and impressed with his energy and enthusiasm at the back of the grid.

    Special mentions also for Perez, d’Ambrosio, Sutil, Alguersuari.

    Total votes:
    0

  159. Jit says:

    1. Vettel – didn’t put a foot wrong, proved he could race as well as drive very fast. A truly magnificent season.

    2. Button – super consistent and improved his qualifying pace over last year. Always making up positions in the race with some exceptional overtaking. His wins Canada, Hungry and Japan show he is part of the elite in F1.

    3. Alonso – again so consistent always getting the most from his car. Beat Massa comprehensively and made the most of the opportunities given, and less errors than last year.

    4. Kovalainen – although we didn’t see much from Heikki I think he always got the most out of his lotus beating Jarno (a qualifying master) 15-2 in qualifying and making some superb starts.

    5. Hamilton – Some of his wins, (china, germany) were amazing and always fast in qualifying. But some unlucky collisions (some were his fault) and lack of attention on track let his mid-season down. Think he will come back stronger next year.

    Mentions to Sutil for a great end to the season to finish 9th, if only his early season was so good. Also Kobayashi for a superb start to the season but faded near the end. I think we also found two great rookies in Di resta and Perez who showed they have very bright futures in F1. Cant wait for next year!

    Total votes:
    0

  160. Gav says:

    seb vettel
    jenson button
    fernando alonso
    paul di resta
    Nico Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  161. Matt says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  162. K says:

    Vettel, Alonso, Button, Kobayashi, Sutil and Alguesuari.

    Rest did nothing spectacular.

    Total votes:
    0

  163. Robert Lujan says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Andy says:

      Sutil?

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Robert Lujan says:

        Hoping against hope I think. I really hope he can do well in F1 and not just be a middle fielder. I mean the man plays classical piano and very well I have seen!

        Total votes:
        0

  164. Tom says:

    1. Vettel

    2. Button

    3. Alonso

    4. Alguersuari

    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  165. Maneesh says:

    1) Button (consistent , a thinking driver , stepped up his game )
    2) Vettel (totally dominated in the best car on the grid)
    3)Alonso (made ferrari look faster than it was)
    4) sutil(though not good in the first half of the season, but got around 40 odd points in the last 10 races , nearly caught renault)
    5) Schumi (bad in qualifying but still one of the best racers out there)

    Total votes:
    0

  166. Luke Potter says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Schumacher
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  167. Lilla My says:

    Top three is easy. The other two drivers are much more difficult to pick IMHO.

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. di Resta
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  168. AlexOfAlexia says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Rosberg
    Alguersuari
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  169. AdrianP says:

    Top three are clear but the order is very difficult: top three VET, BUT, ALO. All of them got the maximum out of the car, were consistent and trounced their teammates in terms of points.
    How to separate them. VET slipped up under pressure in Canada. BUT made almost no mistakes. I don’t remember any mistakes from ALO. BUT transcended the car in Canada. VET invariably awesome in qualifying (still convinced the Red Bull have some special Q3 trick). BUT below par in qualifying. ALO always there or thereabouts. I’m going to go for

    1. BUT (flawless season, with some real stand-out moments and basically the best wet dry/wet driver out there)
    2. ALO (again flawless season, sometimes transcended the car, always gets the maximum day-in-day-out)
    3. VET (superb qualifying and made the best of the best car, consistent, but rarely pressured)

    For the last two slots:

    4. SUT

    and

    5. KOV

    Total votes:
    0

  170. Josiah says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    5. DiResta
    6. Schumacher

    Total votes:
    0

  171. Pip bowers says:

    Button
    Webber
    Schumacher
    Di resta
    Hekki

    Total votes:
    0

  172. TJS says:

    in a season where it was even more about the car (few people finished more than 1-2 places away from where they should, given the constructors order), i’d have to say:

    1. vettel – made it look way too easy, when it absolutely is not
    2. alonso – to score 4th or better in 15 races, driving the 3rd best car is incredible
    3. button – made the most of his teammate’s misfortunes
    4. kobayashi – scrappy, but some amazing racing at times
    5. alguesuari – nice consistency in races to slowly gather points

    Total votes:
    0

  173. Neil Jenney says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  174. Paul Lewis says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Sutil
    Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  175. Lea says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Di Resta
    5. Senna

    Total votes:
    0

  176. alexbookoo says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Button
    3 Alonso
    4 Alguersuari
    5 Ricciardo

    I admire Ricciardo and Senna for coming in half way through and being able to perform in a situation where many others have failed.

    I think Sutil and Di Resta did well but the Force India was quite quick by the end and they weren’t spectacular. Alguersuari, on the other hand, pulled out some extraordinary races. Alonso was consistently quality, Button surpassed himself, but no one can deny Vettel’s dominance.

    Total votes:
    0

  177. Sakai says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  178. Gannet says:

    1) Vettel
    2) Button
    3) Alonso
    4) Kovalainen
    5) Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  179. betpusher says:

    1 – Button
    adapted to new Pirellis in 2 minutes after tests start, gorgeous mind, great overtaker, smooth driver, critic-conditions-master. The one who could overwhelm that team-mate. No way, he’s been number one this year. MIND.

    2- Vettel
    Almost Perfect. On an aeromobile. In the History now for having cracked Monza again. In that way. KYNKY.

    3- Alonso
    Things change, tyre change, rules change, style of driving HAS to change.
    And even with a bad-born car he’s always there. MAN-OVER-MACHINE.

    4- Perez Mendoza
    Is not easy go so faster in qualyfing more than that team-mate and at same time be gentle on tyres so to plan 1pit strategy. Monaco could have been very interesting with checo in. FUTURE.

    5- Alguersuari
    For beeing with his tororosso the mirror of a Season in which a race-pace-setup could overturn everything you see in qualyfing. DIDACTIC

    Total votes:
    0

  180. Sergio says:

    1.- Alonso. McLaren had the second best car. If you know about F1 and you can imagine the Spaniard, not in a RB but in a Mp4-26b, you can bet that Vettel “walk in the park season” would be another story. Something like “Running and sweating in the park”.
    2.- Vettel. Excellent season. Everything under control and no mistakes at all. Germanic precision. However I m one of those people who thinks Webber has been deactivated by Marko & Horner.
    3.- Button. The perfect measure of a team. You get all that you have.
    4.- Kovalainen. If Kovy had 10% of “sex appeal” of Kimi Raikkonenn, probably he would be fighting for the top. His Macca season with a clear n1 as a team mate ruined his career.
    5.- Alguersuari. He is 21 and he has proven to withstand the pressure better than more experienced drivers. Jaime has had more pressure this year than the World Champion…and he has beaten Buemi.

    Total votes:
    0

  181. Michael S says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Di Resta
    Kovalinan

    Total votes:
    0

  182. Jamie Green says:

    1. VETTEL – Who else?? What a fantastic year from a fantastic driver. Best car or not, he has been outstanding this year. One of the best single lap qualifiers of all time, IMO. And a top top guy.

    2. BUTTON – He may lack the speed over one lap and he is very sensitive to car setup but as a racer, he is brilliant especially in change-able conditions. No-one thought he’d out score and out perform Lewis.

    3. ALGUERSUARI – Next 3 places could go either way! Everyone doubted him when he made his debut at Suzuka in 2009, but he has shown this year he’s the real deal. A slightly shaky start where he was out-performed by Buemi, but an awesome end to the season. A future driver at Red Bull IMO.

    4. ALONSO – Mr Consistency. Give Alonso any car, he’ll perform to a consistantly high level. Came very close last year doing just that. Outperformed Massa comprehensively in almost every race. He looks at home with the Scuderia. As a Vettel fan, I think Fernando is the one who can spoil a treble next year!!

    5. DI RESTA – Extremely difficult to choose a 5th driver as there are several candidates! I’ve given the place to Paul, due to his very mature 1st year in the sport. Sutil is definitely no push over and even although he finished behind him in the standings, he’s proven to be a very tough test all year for his more experienced team mate. And, Paul and I are from the same town in Scotland!!

    Total votes:
    0

  183. MrAngry83 says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  184. Mark Rodway says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel. Almost certainly the best car, but superb controlled aggression to deliver an almost unblemished season.

    2. Jenson Button. Came out a convincing winner in the Mclaren garage and surprised a few people this year with his pace and consistency to be considered a genuine top tier driver.

    3. Fernando Alonso. Always there, even with a car disadvantage. Super quick and solid.

    4. Paul di Resta. Quick and solid rookie season.

    5. Adrian Sutil. Responded well to the serious threat of Di Resta to come on strong and prove his worth in the second half of the season.

    Total votes:
    0

  185. David A says:

    1. Vettel – anyone who didn’t put him here is kidding themselves

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

    Total votes:
    0

  186. sammy says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Rosberg
    Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  187. Arjen says:

    Sebastian Vettel
    Jenson Button
    Fernando Alonso
    Paul di Resta
    Heikki Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  188. John Bob says:

    1 – Vettel – Just for his near complete dominance. Had huge luck at points, but he always put himself in the right place at the right time to get that luck with his near endless stream of pole positions.

    2 – Button – As the only person to really give Vettel a consistent challenge in the second half of the season. If he can sort out qualifying next year, he could be a big contender for a 2nd WDC.

    3 – Alonso – Consistently out drove his car, race in race out. To be regularly battling with Webber in a much slower car just shows.

    4 – Kovalainen – As with Alonso, he out did his car. Breaking into Q2 a couple of times, and also getting some great starts before the lack of pace saw him drop back. If Caterham can give him a decent car, I expect points in 2012.

    5 – Di Resta – Possibly the best rookie from the last two seasons. Had a dry patch after the first two races, but aside from that matched up quite well to Sutil, and helped to chase and very nearly catch Renault.

    Total votes:
    0

  189. Grant says:

    1. Vettel – At first I had a hard time liking him this year since he was so unbeatable but when the dust settled I have to tip my hat to a truly gifted and dedicated driver

    2. Button – Consistent and persistent. He is always able to make the best of any driving condition or car malfunctions. He has a controlled attitude and is just a really likable guy

    3. Alonso – Will always push to get more out of himself and his car even when the odds seem impossible

    4. di Resta – Great rookie year showing dedication and building consistency.

    5. Schumacher – After all the pre-season talk he arrived with a fizzle but managed to come roaring back showing that despite his advancing years he is still competitive. He made for some very interesting races this year.

    Total votes:
    0

  190. grigved says:

    my top five ..
    1 Sebastian Vettel
    2 Jenson Button
    3 Fernando Alonso
    4 Paul Diresta
    5 Nico Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  191. Tiga says:

    1. Vettel (obvious)
    2. Button (got the best possible result out of every situation)
    3. Sutil (under-rated, most successful of the non-big-team drivers by a margin)
    4. Perez (Quick out of the box for a rookie)
    5. Alonso (always got on with the job with what he had and surprisingly in contention by great race-craft)

    Total votes:
    0

  192. Andy says:

    1. Vettel, world champion, complete domination.

    2. Button, surprise of the year as far as front runners go, there weren’t many who thought he would beat Hamilton. Ahead of Alonso because two more victories.

    3. Alonso, was way ahead of his team mate, the first comparison point. Took everything out of his car.

    4. Kovalainen, destroyed his team mate even more thoroughly than Alonso. The only driver for the new teams who was able to put at least some pressure to the more established teams.

    5. Rosberg, still better than the 7xWDC, what better measure of skills is there.

    Total votes:
    0

  193. PasqualeMendiza says:

    1. Vettel (for utter domination, nobody else can possibly be put ahead of him, regardless of the machinery he was in)
    2. Alonso (for being so close to Button and Webber, in an inferior car)
    3. Button (for besting Hamilton, and Webber in a much better car)
    4. Kovalainen (for being so far ahead of the other ‘bottom 6’ drivers, and consistently outstanding qualifying/starts)
    5. Rosberg (for consistent qualifying performances, and regularly getting the car finishing as high as he could)

    Total votes:
    0

  194. Inder says:

    1) Vettel
    2) Button
    3) Alonso
    4) Kovalainen
    5) Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  195. grigved says:

    James which is your favorite race this season ?

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Allen says:

      Canada was great, Spain was very tense at the end, I think Japan was great too. Monza was pretty special

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Aussie Rod says:

        …um, China and Turkey?

        Total votes:
        0

  196. Richie says:

    1 – Vettel
    2 – Button
    3 – Alonso
    4 – Di Resta
    5 – Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  197. Jose Arellano says:

    5.- Kovalainen
    As tony said “The team has brought out the best of him”

    4.-Alguersuari
    From Q1 to points finish

    3.-Alonso
    Extracting water out of stones (mexican proverb)

    2.-Button
    Beat Hamilton. positioned himself pretty well in Mclaren

    1.-Vettel
    Pole position record. 122 points cushion.

    Total votes:
    0

  198. Mario says:

    1. Vettel – best car yes by a mile but he still put Webber in the shade by a big margin
    2. Alonso – third best car yet wrung the life out of it and made Massa look clumsy
    3. Button – close call with Alonso but his tire management was extraordinary
    4. Hamilton – should have done better with his car
    5. Sutil – he proved his worth his worth in F1
    6. Buemi – the pass master was exceptional albeit too far back to make a splash
    7. Rosberg – made the most of his car and made Schumacher look his age
    8. Webber – should have done much better, Vettel coped with the Pirellis, so should have he
    9. Perez – quite the impression this rookie made at times
    10. Kovy – earned his place at Lotus and really made Trulli look bad at times

    Total votes:
    0

  199. Dom says:

    1. Vettel – makes it look too easy. Would be good if he and Alonso’s careers at Ferrari overlaped
    2. Alonso – extremely good race pace from the Fezza.
    3. Button – drove brilliantly all season – I didn’t think he had it in him but I stand corrected. I still think each Mclaren driver showed up the others inconsistancy over the year and demonstrated why Vettel is so good but fair play to Jenson for beating Lewis fair and square.
    4. Kovalainen – some brilliant races – reminded me of his pre-Mclaren form
    5. Di Resta – rookie of the year.

    Hon mention: Hamilton – brilliant on his day but there weren’t all that many and so many incidents.

    Total votes:
    0

  200. nick says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Alonso
    3.Button
    4.Kovalainen
    5.Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  201. Alex_D says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  202. Werewolf says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel. Imperious all season and never looked likely to fail. Top car but utter dominance of team mate Webber showed true speed.

    2. Fernando Alonso. Always on it and destroyed team mate Massa, adding further weight to the belief he out-performed a mediocre machine.

    3. Jenson Button. Some great performances and much improved consistency latterly to shade the quicker but less thoughtful and more erratic Hamilton.

    4. Jaime Alguersari. Several great drives from disadvantageous grid positions and a new-found maturity. The season’s most improved driver.

    5. Heikki Kovalainen. Emerged very much as team leader, showing top form in races and qualifying, significantly reducing Trulli’s market value in the process. Great strength and team spirit from a driver in a tricky position.

    Total votes:
    0

  203. Yew Liang says:

    1) Vettel
    2) Button
    3) Alonso
    4) Sutil
    5) Heikki

    Total votes:
    0

  204. Felipe Massa says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton

    For sure I voted my hero Lewis for his non aggressive style of driving and for sure I will now win JA’s signed book and next year the hearts of the tifosi when I for sure beat Alonso and for sure I don’t know why I keep saying for sure.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. build says:

      You forgot “To be honest” … among others.

      😉

      Total votes:
      0

  205. B Martin says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Hamilton
    (for fun) 6. Heidfeld (points per race much higher than teammate)

    Total votes:
    0

  206. terryshep says:

    The top three choose themselves: Vettel, Button, Alonso. The difficult part is the next two.

    I don’t know how to decide whether a driver is doing more than the car, we don’t really know exactly how good or bad any car is. We tend to judge them on where they appear to be against their peers. Consequently, it’s hard to judge Nico Rosberg properly. I feel that this is a driver with great potential but I can’t tell if he has simply done a steady job this year, or risen above the car.

    That’s just one example, has Algersuari simply extracted the full performance from his car, as he is hired to do, or has he done something remarkable?

    I think racers tend to drive or ride as hard as they can, they want to beat everybody in sight, so I’m going to assume that Adrian Sutil was driving a well developed car and getting the best out of it in the later races, rather than advertising his abilities. So, my pick is:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Sutil
    Kovaleinen

    Total votes:
    0

  207. Ben Arellano says:

    1. Button.
    2. Alonso
    3. Vettel
    4. Sutil
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  208. Nazdakka says:

    Seb Vettel
    Jenson Button
    Paul Di Resta
    Heikki Kovalainen
    Kamui Kobayashi

    Total votes:
    0

  209. Thejesh says:

    Vettle – Made others to know how worthy champion he was by dominating the entire season with Great WINS and RECORD POLE positions.

    Jenson – Whenever there were opportunities arise he was there to pick those precious WINS

    Alonso – Won race with an AVERAGE car which was no where had the performance of PODIUM finish

    Sutil – He showed lot of maturity in his drive. Will be a good assest to the team and can be WORTHY CHAMPION if right package is given

    Kovalanin – Consistent & Improving performance by this guy. Next year he will take the fight to Mid fielders

    Total votes:
    0

  210. Ralph says:

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

    James, are you asking for our top 5, or to guess your top 5?

    If it’s the former, you might be unintentionally weighting the fan’s preference, some of whom might be trying to second guess your preference.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Allen says:

      As I said, tell us what you think – you can do both if your top five is different from what you think mine will be

      Total votes:
      0

  211. PASQ says:

    1. VETTEL, near perfect, make best use of car and comfortably beat team mate.
    2. ALONSO, outperformed car and team mate, if had got second in championship, one of the most incredible achievements I’ve seen in last 20 years of following F1.
    3. BUTTON, outperformed Hamilton, no mean feat! Great calculating wins with second best car.
    4. ROSBERG, very difficult to gauge, but did well against a truly formidable driver in same car.
    5. KOVALAINEN, incredible desire and commitment to a near impossible job, but out qualifying trulli on so many occasions should not go unnoticed.

    Total votes:
    0

  212. Eric says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Rosberg
    Hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  213. David B says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  214. Damian Renolds says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Sutil
    5. Buemi

    Total votes:
    0

  215. Dan says:

    Vettel – magical ability to find crucial tenths on Saturday, bossed the majority of Sunday’s races. Fast car or not displayed qualities of a champ time and time again.

    Di Resta – rookie performance of the year. Closely matched his vastly more experienced team mate despite frequently running sub-optimal strategies.

    Kovalainen – Applied real pressure to the midfield teams all season, pushing them in both races and qualifying. Relishing the responsibility of transforming Caterham to contending team.

    Button – clearly in the form of his life. Able to match the still impressive single lap pace of Hamilton and was able to deliver the race pace of the McLaren more consistently.

    Alguesuari – must’ve been under immense pressure half way through season yet maintained composure and delivered the goods on Sunday

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Kal says:

      I don’t know what season you British fans are watching but Di Resta was anything but close to matching Sutil. He was easily beaten in most races.

      People around the world say Perez was the rookie of the season and DI Resta was nothing special, especially considering having the best car out of the rookies.

      Total votes:
      0

      1. madmax says:

        100% agree Kal. Can people who voted Di Resta just take 5 minutes to look up how he did against Sutil over the season then compare how Perez or Riccardo did against their team mates.

        Total votes:
        0

      2. Dan says:

        Opinions are like iPhones; everyone’s got one ;).

        As I said in my initial assessment, Di Resta quite often was on a less than optimal tyre strategy compared to Sutil. Sutil has also been around for more than a few years and should be pretty comfortable driving that FI by now. I actually think Sutil had a decent season as he’s flattered to deceive in recent years.

        I also think Di Resta has had to deal with the pressure of expectation to a greater extent than Ricciardo and (less so) Perez. Force India were a contender team and results were expected from Di Resta from the off. In my eyes he delivered with a number of incredibly mature drives.

        Total votes:
        0

  216. Kenton Corey says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  217. Sam White says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  218. Adil Desai says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. DiResta
    5. Perez

    Total votes:
    0

  219. Alexander says:

    Vettel, Button, Alonso, Alguersuari, Sutil.

    Top three are pretty self explanatory, Jaime did real well despite the pressure of racing for his job. Toss-up between Sutil and Kovalainen, went with Adrian for no particular reason. Kamui might be considered, but his mid-season was probably too mediocre to make the top 5.

    Total votes:
    0

  220. Perdunoff says:

    1. Pedro de la Rosa (for his heroics in Canada)

    2. Tonio Liuzzi (also for his heroics in Canada)

    3. Jérôme D’Ambrosio (a cool customer)

    4. Sergio Perez (not bad at all)

    5. Rubens Barrichello (for trying hard, still, quitting in 2009 after a couple of wins would’ve been better; I remember how he said a few harsh words about Irvine back in 2002, at least Edmund finished his F1 adventure with a podium).

    The rest I didn’t follow.

    Total votes:
    0

  221. Hitul Mistry says:

    1. vettel
    2. button
    3. alonso
    4. perez
    5. di resta

    Total votes:
    0

  222. Stuart Harrison says:

    Wow, I don’t envy you the task of collating all the entries! Good luck with that!

    My top five drivers of 2011, chosen primarily for entertainment value and producing exciting racing.

    1, Button – Had a fairly average start to the year but kept things clean with his team mate and drove some excellent races in the latter half of the year to prove 2009 wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

    2, Hamilton – Ever the entertainer, fighting for every scrap of tarmac, who started with a great season, pretty much the only driver to take the fight to Red Bull but suffered in tangles with Massa, but bounced back in the last few races.

    3, Vettel – The man you love to hate! Drove a pretty much faultless season, but the lack of any serious competition leaves people in doubt over whether he can actually race if put amongst traffic.

    4, Alonso – Some sublime starts from him in Spain and Italy helped flatter a car that was by no means a front runner; Alonso’s pure driver ability put him where his car could not.

    5, Alguersuari – Inconsistent, but often placed his car in the points after terrible qualifying sessions. Deserves honourable mention!

    Total votes:
    0

    1. David A says:

      Hamilton ahead of Vettel and Alonso? Which season were you watching?

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Stuart Harrison says:

        As mentioned at the top of the piece, I ranked by entertainment value. We barely saw Vettel on the TV coverage other than the first and last laps of the race. To me, that’s pretty much zero entertainment value whichever way you cut it. Hamilton, on the other hand, produced edge of the seat racing in just about every Grand Prix even with some questionable moves arising as a result.

        If you want to rank by performance, then just go by the championship standings and there won’t be any debate! But for me, regardless of Vettel’s dominance of the season, he doesn’t deserve as much credit as those who brought genuine joy to my F1 weekends, which this year was Hamilton and Button. They are the stand-out drivers of the season, pulling something out of the bag when you least expected it – Hamilton in China is one of the finest GP wins, I never cease tiring of watching that GP again. And Button in Canada produced one of the most nail-biting races in history. How can Vettel hope to top that? I’d argue he can’t. Certainly not this season.

        When one driver or one team is utterly dominant it isn’t “fun” to watch as a partisan observer. What makes sport interesting is a close match – a slight mistake or flash of genius making the difference between winning and losing. For me, Hamilton provides a never-ending stream of both and that’s why he ranks at the top of the list for me this year (and just about every year he’s been in F1). Vettel on the other hand is just consistently good, which for me equates to consistently boring.

        All IMHO :)

        Total votes:
        0

      2. David A says:

        Ok, though there is a huge difference between being entertaining and being the best- which Hamilton certainly wasn’t.

        Total votes:
        0

      3. Stuart Harrison says:

        But it’s impossible to say who was the best when they’re not in equal machinery (or with the same team – I’m sure strategists and pit crew have noticeable impact on results).

        The only way you can judge who is “best” is to give them all identical conditions to race in, which you’re never going to get even taking turns on an empty track (wind conditions might change between two runs, or later runs get the benefit of the extra rubber put down).

        So what it boils down to (for me anyway) is who is it that brings you back week after week to keep watching? For me, this year at least, the McLaren duo of Button and Hamilton produced far more entertainment than the rest of the field put together. All Vettel did for 95% of the seasons was “Start in front, stay in front, cross the line first” which is all very skilful but about as dull as watching paint dry.

        This is a sport, derived (if you want to take it that far back) from Gladiatorial combats in ancient Rome, the purpose of which was to entertain the masses. Button and Hamilton were this year’s best entertainers. Hence, best sportsmen. Hence, best drivers. QED.

        This sport would be terminally dull if everyone finished the race in their starting positions, without any overtaking, any mistakes in the pit-stops, any mechanical failures. No-one would watch on Sunday as the race would be over on Saturday. So, why do we watch on Sunday? To see how the race unfolds – to see overtaking, to see people fighting for positions, pushing the car beyond the limits of mechanical and aerodynamic grip, to achieve what mere mortal spectator can only dream of. To be entertained. Vettel is not entertaining! His achievements this year rank him among the greatest drivers of all time (if not the best in terms of skill alone, this remains to be seen), but that doesn’t make him entertaining. In fact, it harks back to the Schumacher era when I stopped watching F1 as the races became too predictable and the season was over halfway through. I really don’t want to go back there, so I’m backing the two drivers who managed to take multiple victories off Vettel this year.

        If Vettel is the best – then surely someone who can beat him in inferior technology is better?

        Sorry, that got quite long :)

        Total votes:
        0

      4. David A says:

        While I am aware of the entertainment factor of F1 and other sports, the other important factor is winning (or getting the best result possible). After all, they don’t show up just to have a good time. Hence I still believe there is a big difference between being the “most entertaining” and being “the best”.

        In football for instance, Blackpool were considered an entertaining team in the Premier league. They entertained with plenty of high scoring games. But they finished 19th and got relegated. I considered them to be one of the most entertaining teams to watch, but not one of “the best”. The two factors are separable.

        Sure, the Mclaren drivers have been entertaining. Like Canada for instance. But a lot of people tune in with the question “who can stop Vettel?”. I think that if you’re so likely to win that people need to think like that, or celebrate when he gets a puncture, then you’re the best. Which I think Vettel has been this year.

        No need to apologise, debate is healthy” :)

        Total votes:
        0

  223. Craig Taylor says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Schumacher
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  224. 1) Sebastian Vettel – Can’t deny his record setting performance. He made the best car look better and destroyed his teammate by 134 points.

    2) Fernando Alonso – Best combination of talent, aggression and brains in the third best car. Dominated his teammate by 139 points, even more then Vettel. Dragged his car to places it did not belong. Let down by poor Ferrari strategy and slow pit stops as well.

    3) Jenson Button – His star has risen greatly this season. Smooth, cool and consistent. Beat his all star teammate.

    4) Lewis Hamilton – Despite making some major mistakes during aggressive pass attempts he had 3 wins. 6 podiums. 2nd fastest in qualifying. If he gets his head back to together he could go straight back to #1.

    5) Heikki Kovalainen – The World Champion of the new teams, dominated in that class as Vettel did with the established teams.
    _____________________________
    6) Nico Rosberg
    7) Michael Schumacher
    8) Adrian Sutil
    9) Paul di Resta
    10) Kamui Kobayashi

    Sad to say but it is time to retire:
    Webber, Massa, Trulli, Barrichello

    Total votes:
    0

  225. Ian says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Di Resta
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  226. Lade says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Nico
    5. Alguesuari

    Total votes:
    0

  227. Richard D says:

    1. Vettel – Barely put a foot wrong all season. Can’t just be the car; look at Webber’s results.
    2. Di Resta – Good solid rookie performance.
    3. Button – Not too hot on qualifying but has shown his skill at overtaking.
    4. Algesari – Has brought the Torro Rosso home with some unexpected results.
    5. Alonso – Has been up the front challenging despite the Ferrari being a bit of a dog.

    Total votes:
    0

  228. VV says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  229. Luke Hornsby says:

    1) Vettel

    2) Button

    3) Alonso

    4) Sutil

    5) Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  230. simon whishaw says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  231. Bruce says:

    1. Button
    2. Alonso
    3. Vettel
    4. Di Resta
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  232. Gregory says:

    1. Trulli
    2. Trulli
    3. Trulli
    4. Trulli
    5. Trulli

    Total votes:
    0

  233. christos pallis says:

    Okay this is really hard this season. Top three i think are a given and in that order also pretty much a no brainer but the rest of the few good drivers are all with very up and down seasons.

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso

    Then its not so simple

    Hamilton although incoinsistent did win some races in a car not as good as a redbull and boy does he try.

    Kovelinen had a great season but is in a back of the grid car so how much does that actually show us.

    Rosberg was anonymous this year but always punching in results.

    Derista and Sutil were both great at times in a car that justifed where they were performing i.e. not really outstanding.

    Perez showed potential and some good performances.

    Soooooo
    4. Hamilton
    5. Kovelinen

    it’s a real tuffy this year

    Thanks James for all your articles this year, i love this site. Best and most well informed on the web. Plus thanks to the other people who comment, some really good insight and points raised through the season.

    Thank you

    Total votes:
    0

  234. Mark Payne says:

    1 Sebastien Vettel – He outdrove an already excellent car and made most races secure within the opening 5 laps. A deserved world champion.
    2 Jenson Button – Outperforming Lewis Hamilton consistently in the same car is no mean feat, even if Lewis was poor. The only man who came close to halting Vettel’s charge.
    3 Fernando Alonso – Given the relative weakness of the 2011 Ferrari Alonso’s 10 podiums and victory at Silverstone highlight his quality.
    4 Nico Rosberg – Another strong campaign from Rosberg. Incredibly consistent only two retirements and two non-points finishes where he finishes (where he finished 12th and 11th twice).
    5 Paul Di Resta – Easily the best rookie this season, he’ll need to avoid a rocky mid-season next year if he gets a deserved second year with Force India though.

    Total votes:
    0

  235. Andy says:

    1. Vettel – thrashed a good team mate in the best car, bit like Mansell caning Patrese in 92, but better! His starts and opening laps were the stuff of legends, utterly soul destroying for his opposition.

    2. Alonso – hardly ever had a bad moment or a lacklustre performance this year, always got the max out the car, constantly on it, amazing starts, impressive to the end.

    3. Button – shaded by Alonso because although Button had a great year, he was still found wanting on a few occasions earlier in the year, unlike Alonso IMHO.

    4. Kovalainen – never gave up, always fast in a slow car, beat the once great qualifier Trulli comprehensively. Despite being in a new team, he was always committed and delivered everything he could.

    5 Hamilton – although some drivers had much more consistent seasons, Ham still won 3 races and his highs still set him apart from many of the rather merely good drivers.

    Total votes:
    0

  236. Ben says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    He may have had the best car, particularly one designed to dominate in qualifying, but it takes a dominating performance to achieve 11/19 wins, and only one finish off of the podium.

    In the same car, his competent team mate finished – on average – 2 places behind him and only beat him once. He had the second best performance of a driver against his team mate of the entire field, when judged by finishing position. When you consider the calibre of Webber, and the perforamce advantage their package had over the field, that statistic is mightily impressive.

    Only the very best drivers in the history of the sport have achieved seasons like this, and as a result there is no contest for this position.

    2. Fernando Alonso
    I suspect the vast majority will award JB this position, however Alonso flattered the car he was driving. He achieved 10 podium finishes, one more than Webber who was driving a much faster car and only one less than Button who was driving a car that had better race pace in the majority of the races. His drive in Abu Dhabi stands out as one of the greatest of the season, he had no business finishing ahead of Button or Webber in that race much less preventing Hamilton from having an easy afternoon.

    The other thing to consider is his performance against his team mate. Alonso obliterated Massa this year, yes, some of that is down to Massa’s poor form but that oly accounts for half of it. Alonso finished an average of 3 places ahead of Massa, this is higher than any other driver pairing, for the majority of the field, it was less than a 1.5 place average difference. What is more significant is the gap beneath the Ferrari to Mercedes. Ferrari was the slowest of the three front running teams, yet the team behind they did not trouble them. This meant, to finish an average of 3 places ahead of Massa, Alonso routinely had to finish ahead of faster McLarens and/or Red Bulls.

    3. Heikki Kovalainen
    While Team Lotus were the only new team to make a significant step forward this year, the gap to the field – particularly in qualifying – was still significant, which only makes the qualifying achievements of Heikki Kovalainen. On several occasions he capitalised on the misfortune of the “column A” teams to put himself in Q2 and on one occasion even achieved it on merit.

    Jarno Trulli is no slouch, particularly in qualifying where he made his name early in his career. For Heikki to have such a good record against him in qualifying speaks for itself – and while Jarno Trulli may mention the steering wheel, it should be pointed out that they both had the same equipment. Heikki finished an average more than one place higher than Trulli did. Given that they did not have the pace to challenge the teams in front, that is the maximum he could be expected to achieve.

    4. Jensen Button
    When I started to reflect on 2011, my initial reaction was to put Button 2nd, as I alluded to earlier.

    Let me get it off the bat straight away that I think Button had an excellent season, I would even say his best season in Formula 1, because he kept the momentum up throughout the season, unlike his championship year where he faded once the Brawn lost his advantage against the rest of the field.

    However, it should be pointed out despite his team mate having a bad season (by Hamilton’s standards it was his worst performace over a season in the sport) he didn’t actually obliterate him. I was shocked to find out that Button and Hamilton were the closest drivers when it was averaged “number of places team mate finished ahead” – when both drivers finsihed, Button was on average half a place ahead of Hamilton (both mean and median) only two driver pairings had a closer mean (Algersuari/Buemi and Barrichello/Maldonado), but no driver pairing had a closer median.

    The reason for this is that Button had some races where he was off of the pace. He also put in some terrible qualifying performances, which usually accounted for the races where Hamilton finished significantly ahead. While Button’s highs were as good as any of the driver’s I have listed above him, they were not as consistent, and for that reason I have listed him fourth.

    5. …..

    At this point it becomes a little difficult. The four drivers stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field in terms of their performances this year.

    None of the team mates of any of the drivers above can qualify as they did a significantly worse job with the same equipment.

    Of the rest of the field, Alguersuari and Buemi were fairly evenly matched, both had up and down seasons and neither really stood out.

    Kobayashi out performed Perez over the course of the season with one of the higher places-ahead-of-teammate, however Perez was in his rookie season and his Monaco accident impacted on his race fitness.

    Rosberg also had a big margin in this regard over Schumacher, being on average 1.23 places ahead when both cars finished, however Schumacher finished, on average, half a place higher and did finish ahead of Rosberg roughly the same number of times he finished behind.

    Heidfeld failed to perform enough against Petrov, who in turn was slower than Senna whose excellent qualifying performances were let down by rusty race craft.

    Barrichello did not demonstrate the same performance against Maldonado that he had done against Hulkenberg, and Maldonado’s performance was inconsistent as well as demonstrating road rage on more than one occasion.

    I was going to go with Sutil for this position, as he had an excellent end to the season and was the only driver outside of those in the top 5 teams to have an average finishing position in the points, however the problem I have is that his performance only picked up when he realised his seat was on the line and needed to prove himself to his employer and/or potential other employers. I am not sure I feel it is right to award the 5th best driver of the year to someone who was coasting when he thought he race seat was safe.

    So for 5th place, I find myself making an unexpected conclusion:

    5. Daniel Ricciardo
    Initially, I was not too impressed with his performance, as he was beaten by Narain Karthikeyan at the Indian Grand Prix, however I later found out this was due to a pit stop that put him over 40 seconds behind Karthikeyan which he managed to close to 1 second before making his second stop. Taking this into consideration I would say that Ricciardo put in the best performance of any of the rookies.

    I know that many people will go for Di Resta, however Di Resta was firmly beaten by Sutil over the season, and while Di Resta was solid and consistent, he was not spectacular. He was also often outpaced by Hulkenberg in practice sessions.

    Perez’s season was blighted by his accident as it’s possible without it he would have been closer to Kobayashi, however Kobayashi had a fairly poor season compared to what he achieved last year.

    Ricciardo beat Liuzzi in the same car, and what is more impressive is that he stepped into it mid season. Liuzzi had more experience both of F1 and car specific knowledge of the Hispania. So for Ricciardo to take the fight to him and achieve better results (he beat him 4-1 when both finished, and finished ahead of one of the faster Virgins on two occasions) That is very impressive, and is a performance that will have been missed by most because of the fact it was in a Hispania.

    In summary:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Kovalainen
    4. Button
    5. Ricciardo

    Total votes:
    0

  237. Deane says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Kovalainen
    Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  238. LA Hill says:

    1. Vettel – The best in this season
    2. Button – Surprisingly good
    3. Kovalainen – Trashed his teammate, attitude that deserves faster car next year
    4. Alonso – Better than his teammate
    5. Schumacher – Surprised me with his improvement comparing to last year. Seemed faster than Nico in many races.

    Total votes:
    0

  239. Skanda says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  240. Marcus says:

    1. Vettel – trounced a team-mate who was not racing badly
    2. Button – two years after everyone said he’d be destroyed at Mclaren, beat HAM by over 40 points!
    3. Alonso – if not for his cars fatal weakness on Medium/Hard tyres, could have managed second.
    4. Sutil – first few races were ragged but he rose to the challenge of his rookie team-mate to make him look very average by the end.
    5. Kovalainen – the only one of the ‘newer’ teams to pop up amongst the mid field consistantly. Caterham should be scoring points next year.

    Total votes:
    0

  241. ChrisJones says:

    1 – Vettel: He may have had the best car, but his consistency and focus was second to none. Deserved the championship in 2010, and certainly in 2011.

    2- Alonso: Drove the wheels off of a poorly designed car. He is in my opinion the best driver on the grid, the whole package. His results this year relative to his teammate (who outperformed Raikkonen and Schumacher on occasion as teammates) given his car performance speak for themselves.

    3 – Button: He has always struggled with a bit of a slower reputation, but Button’s flashes of brilliance this year show he has always been a world champion, just didtnt get the car he needed until 2009. Beating Hamilton is no small feat, especially in numerous cases this year where Button beat Hamilton strictly on pace.

    The last two were the most difficult. I think most people have vettel, Alonso and button in their top three, but the other two is I think where most peoples opinions vary.

    4 – Kovaleinen: Heikki showed this year that he deserves to be in a better car than any of the new teams can offer. While Trulli has made a joke of this year, Heikki has taken the fight to the mid-fielders on numerous occasions, the only driver with the new teams to really do so this year. I can see why Fernandez wants to keep him.

    5 – Webber: Although Webber didn’t accomplish nearly as much as he should have this year, he was always one of the most exciting people to watch on track, often putting in some great drives due to poor starts or quali performances. The RB7 is not designed to race in a pack, it is essentially designed for qualifying laps. Webbers difficulties with the Pirellis (and his KERS) often caused him to be fighting in the pack, in a car not optimized to do so. I think Webber deserves a mention in the top 5 if for no other reason than his pass on Alonso at Eau Rouge. I have a picture of that pass in my cubicle at work. To me that is one of the greatest, ballsiest passes I have ever seen. The fact that he pulled it on Alonso makes it even more impressive. That kind of respect between drivers is something special.

    Thanks James for all this years news, it has been great.

    Total votes:
    0

  242. JP says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  243. Spinodontosaurus says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Kovalainen
    3. Sutil
    4. Button
    5. Vettel

    Total votes:
    0

  244. Harry Gilbert says:

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

    Rosberg is a very close sixth, but I don’t think he proved himself significantly better than Schumacher this year.

    Total votes:
    0

  245. saleh alfakieh says:

    1-Jenson Button
    2-Lewis Hamilton
    3-Paul Di Resta
    4-Mark Webber
    5-Heikki Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  246. Ewan Marshall says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  247. Patrick Byrne says:

    Alonso – Has left the occasional histrionics behind and matured into a stunningly capable F1 driver. The best strenghts of Button and Alonso in one package – intellegence, pace, adaptability, race-craft.
    The best?

    Vettel – He’s gotta be up there hasn’t he? He’s improving all the time and learning from mistakes. When he crashed out in the penultimate race he went straight to the data logs to try figure out what went wrong then went to the prat-perch to soak up any other useful info. When Ham crashed out in Canada he went to hang with celebrity hip-hop buddies. Says it all…

    Button – Perhaps the new tyres/rear-end stability play to his strenghts? Probably least mistake-prone driver in the sport, very clever and happy in his own skin.
    That inner confidce has raised his game.

    Di Resta – Was up to speed straight away – always a good sign. Sutil had to raise his game to match and beat him towards season-end. Would have rated him higher if he kept on top of AS. Seems technically knowledgeable.
    Needs to lighten up though…very serious, dour persona won’t help his career in the modern age. A bit ttom much media-traing and too much time listening to JYS’s old waffle!

    Senna – OK…I like the guy for a number of reasons. But was quick straight away and did enough to prove many doubters wrong. I also think Petrov is an under-rated benchmark…

    Total votes:
    0

  248. Janis1207 says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  249. Patrick Byrne says:

    ^^^^^
    Meant to say ‘best strenghts of Button and Hamilton’ above

    Total votes:
    0

  250. Jacques Martaine says:

    my top 5 would be…

    1. Alonso / given that Ferrari pretty much wrote off the second half of the season, he still managed some brilliant podiums and showed real fighting spirit. I rate him as the best driver in formula one overall, although not necessarily the out and out quickest…

    2. Button / a superb year with some excellent wins and a convincing lead over Hamilton in the points. He uses his brain during a grand prix and isn’t afraid to take a risk. Only area to improve is qualifying…

    3. Vettel / outstanding and much more consistent than 2010. In no way do I denigrate his skills by placing him at 3 on my list, but the two ahead had inferior machinery and had to work far harder for their results. Vettel made few mistakes and destroyed Webber. He could be very difficult to beat next yr…

    4. Hamilton / too many tangles with others (esp. Massa!) and a tendency to let the red mist overwhelm him. But, when he kept his cool, he delivered some titanic drives. I still think he is the fastest driver in F1, but that is not enough to assure him of the ‘best driver’ tag. He makes my top 5 because his highs were so impressive, esp. China. If only McLaren could build him a car that matches Red Bull, if only he could sort out his private life, if only he took on-board some mind management lessons from Jenson…too many ifs in other words!

    5. Rosberg / another season in which he annihilated Schumacher in qualifying. It was much closer in the races, but he beat Schumi in the standings and managed to avoid slagging off the team in public for a shocker of a car. Still so difficult to judge how good he is…will Schumacher ever be able to recapture the old form on a regular basis? Either way, Rosberg is team leader, on pace if not PR, at Merc…

    Total votes:
    0

  251. BurgerF1 says:

    1. Vettel (or Ve-TEL as they say in Scotland)
    Made great use of a dominant car, and comprehensively outperformed a very good team-mate in Webber. If he does the same in a less dominant car, then he’ll be one of the true greats in the sport.

    2. Alonso
    Out-drove the car the majority of the season. Highly aggressive and successful starts and consistent races elevated him above at least one McLaren and one Red Bull quite often. Outperformed Massa, but I don’t think that’s saying much. Has cemented his #1 position at Ferrari which will bode well for him in the seasons to come.

    3. Button
    Got his “Happy Place” set-up early in the McLaren camp and beat his WDC winning team-mate at the final tally. His drives were at times spectacular (Canada) to mature and strategic. He’s showing a depth of race craft I really didn’t think he had. It will be very interesting to see how Hamilton and Button manage the situation next season.

    4. Perez
    A great rookie season against a more experienced and also highly regarded team-mate. End of the season performance dropped off a bit, but I put this down to the car more than the driver. Recovery from Monaco accident was impressive and mature. Needs to take another step forward next year to gain that coveted top team drive. Would be helpful if the Sauber team could make a real step forward and have the funding to develop the car throughout the season; they always seem to drop off that little bit in the second half.

    5. Kovalainen
    The best of the rest by far took Catherham very close to the midfield on occasion. Out qualified Trulli often enough to make me wonder why Trulli is considered a qualifying specialist. It didn’t really change much when Trulli got his new steering system.

    On a general note, it’s my understanding that the weight-split regulation for the cars will be lifted next season. I think this will have a profound effect on how drivers are able to individualize the set-up of their cars. Any thoughts?

    Total votes:
    0

  252. Chris says:

    1. Vettel, results speak for themselves could not do much better than he did.
    2. Alonso, some smooth aggressive moves, many points more than the car deserved
    3. Button, a year where for I lost all the negative prejudice I had about his past in Williams & BAR/Honda. Was a bit lucky to have Hamilton on his worst year though to shine the way he did
    4. Alguersuari, have you noticed how many great starts he has done? His point collection was also excellent almost double the ones of Buemi. Could be an interesting choice for replacing Webber in 2013 or a chance in an upper midfield team
    5. Sutil, although he is not often mentioned or noticed he delivers solid results quite consistently during the years and 2011 was not different. Much better in effectiveness than his new team member who is clearly talented

    Total votes:
    0

  253. tim says:

    1) Button
    2) Vettel
    3) Alonso
    4) Kovalainen
    4) di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  254. Emanuel says:

    1. Vetel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Schumacher

    Total votes:
    0

  255. Torn says:

    1. Vettel – self-explanatory, superiority in Q and some very strong race performances.
    2. Button – became McLaren’s number one by his own right and managed to defeat the Seb couple of times.
    3. Alonso – Brought some podiums with a car that most of the time was not capable of delivering such results.
    4. Kovalainen – a midfield driver with certainly not midfield car. Splendid job.
    5. di Resta – in my opinion the best rookie of 2011.

    Total votes:
    0

  256. S-D says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso (close call with Button, but Alonso was just so consistent in qualifying as well as during races)
    3. Button
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  257. CartRider says:

    My top five is:

    1. Vettel – it does him justice. Even though we know that his car was superior to the competition and that he had the status of #1 driver, his achievements this season speak for themselves in comparison to Webber, and Webber is the baseline for Vettel since he had the same car. Also, I remember Webber had the fame of one of the fastest qualifiers when he did wonders with Jaguar, but Webber is bleak in this component against Vettel;

    2. Alonso – was the best performer squeezing everything from his Ferrari. And he made Felipe look uncompetitive;

    3. Button – he beat Hamilton, which I did not expect him to be able to do. That says it all;

    4. Schumacher – just looking back at the season I do not remember Rosberg shine (except in Belgium), while Michael had several strong showings;

    5. Hamilton – still was a formidable competitor despite some decline. I am sure the experience of this season will make him stronger. Fortunately for Hamilton, he was taught some modesty this season.

    Kudos also go to Sutil.

    I do not understand people who say that Senna showed himself a fast driver. He was generally slower than Petrov in races, sometimes struggling to overtake even Lotuses. Of course, he joined the team in the middle of the season, but he is not a novice – he had almost one year of experience with HRT last year. In short, Senna is one of those very few drivers who do not deserve a seat next year, IMO

    Total votes:
    0

  258. tyresmoke says:

    My list

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

    1. tyresmoke says:

      must add that #5 was the hardest position. Alguersuari wins out over Sustil and Rosberg, who I both think could have extracted more out of their packages, especially Sutil. Jaime’s ability with the 8th best car on the grid shows some true potential for another Spanish race winner in F1.

      Total votes:
      0

  259. Andrew Carter says:

    1.Vettel. Amazing in qualifying, blisteringly fast at the start of races to break any one elses challenge. Did the business.

    2. Button. A little shacky in qualy at the start of the year but proved his very fast and very intelligent. Consistently the only guy that could take the fight to Vettel over the second half of the season, and probably lost a couple of wins to McLaren mistakes.

    3. Alonso. Dragged that Ferrari into fights with McLaren and Webber when it probably didnt deserve to. Made a few mistakes though.

    4. Kovalainen. Consistently tried to take the fight to the modfield with the Lotus, and in the last few races looked like he was getting there. Annihalated Trulli with or without the uprated power steering.

    5.Rosberg. Difficult choice this as everyone else had a very up and down year or was just plain bad, but Nico was had more ups than downs and his lows werent that low.

    Total votes:
    0

  260. Grigory Arauz says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    DiResta
    kovvi

    Total votes:
    0

  261. markdartj says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  262. PaulL says:

    1. Vettel
    Showed blinding speed and far fewer mistakes of his own this year.
    2. Button
    Put a marker down within his own team.
    3. Alonso
    Ten podiums and a win in only the third fastest car.
    4. Kovalainen
    Hard to measure, but very consistent and motivated.
    5. Di Resta
    Stood out a few times in his rookie season.

    Total votes:
    0

  263. Martin Harris says:

    1. Vettel – peerless
    2. Button – at the top of his game
    3. Alonso – extraordinary drives in lacklustre car
    4. Hamilton – poor season? still managed three wins!
    5. Kovalainen – probably got as much out of car as Alonso

    Total votes:
    0

  264. William Wallace says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  265. DB says:

    I believe in the system:
    01 Sebastian Vettel
    02 Jenson Button
    03 Mark Webber
    04 Fernando Alonso
    05 Lewis Hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

    1. james says:

      Well said. Totally agree.

      Total votes:
      0

    2. Aussie Rod says:

      So by that rationale Massa was 6th best driver on the grid of 24?

      The system doesn’t tell all.

      Total votes:
      0

    3. Stuart Harrison says:

      Unfortunately ‘the system’ isn’t adjusted for car performance! Check out how many people are voting for Alguersuari or Kovalainen. And Massa is the 6th best driver in the field? Ha! And to think he had the cheek to suggest it was time for Barrichello to retire.. I wouldn’t be surprised if Massa doesn’t get the boot halfway through 2012.

      Total votes:
      0

  266. Niall says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Webber
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  267. tomtyl says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  268. Richard D says:

    1. Vettel – Reminiscent of the halcyon days of Schumacher at Ferrari. An exceptional performance (that for the good of F1 he hopefully won’t repeat next year!)

    2. Button – Became a real class act as the season wore on, growing into the de facto Mclaren number 1. Gave us a race to remember in Canada.

    3. Alonso – Very close to Button in wringing the car for all of it was worth, destroying Massa every time. The one race he had the chance to win – due to the diffuser debacle – he did.

    4. Kovalainen – Really needs Caterham to reward him next year with a decent car. Often had a great start and mixed it with the midfield in the early laps before the inevitable fall back.

    5. Schumacher – Flashes of the old maestro were back, although his poor qualifying tended to flatter his later races up the pack.

    27. Webber – Great bloke but so many other drivers could have brought a bigger fight to Vettel, and given us a semblance of a championship.

    28. Massa – Again, a nice guy (finishing last) but just not worthy of a race seat at Ferrari. That these two are still in these seats next year is an absolute disaster.

    Total votes:
    0

  269. John S says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Di Resta
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Alonso

    Total votes:
    0

  270. Victor Leung says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  271. Ross says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  272. Mad Marz says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Perez

    Total votes:
    0

  273. Ross says:

    James when are you appearing on Talksport to plug the book?

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Allen says:

      Friday 9th December at 1-30pm to review the 2011 F1 season.. I may mention the book!

      Total votes:
      0

      1. The Gunner says:

        I’ll listen if only to hear Hawksbee and Jacobs feign a modicum of interest in a sport that isn’t football.

        Total votes:
        0

      2. James Allen says:

        Sure they will. They love a bit of F1 every now and then!

        Total votes:
        0

      3. Ross says:

        I only listen to those two on TS but enjoy your section when you are on with them.

        Jacobs is not an F1 fan but he does have impressive knowledge of US sports so its unfair to say they only like football. Paul Hawksbee is an excellent presenter with a wealth of knowledge on most things.

        Given F1 popularity in the UK I am surprised TS do not have a regular weekly F1 show. Would certainly make a lot of season during the summer when they are reduced to talking about pre season football. I enjoyed the one off show you did with Eddie Irvine.

        Total votes:
        0

      4. James Allen says:

        They did have one last season, sponsored by LG UK, post race Sunday nights with Eddie Irvine

        Total votes:
        0

      5. Ross says:

        sense not season! When do we get an edit button!

        Total votes:
        0

  274. Laura says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Di Resta
    5. Kovalinen

    Total votes:
    0

  275. Sebastian Vettel
    Jenson Button
    Fernando Alonso
    Nico Rosberg
    Adrian Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  276. Chris Woodward says:

    1. Vettel
    Destructive, dominant, untouchable. A bona-fide record breaker and mega-star, he won’t fade for a long time to come.

    2. Button
    Consistent and showing himself to be one of, if not the most intelligent racer in the field, and with a superb win in Canada that was easily the best of his career, Button had an excellent season and often looked like the only man capable of being on the same continent as Vettel.

    3. Alonso
    In a car that never looked like scoring well, he took it by the scruff of the neck and hauled it up the field. In lesser hands the Ferrari would have looked what it was – ordinary.

    4. Alguesuari
    After a sluggish and, in all honesty, rubbish start to the season, from Canada onwards he always looked like scoring points in an average car. Poor qualyfing became irrelevant as he consistently made progress in races, finishing decisively ahead of his teammate.

    5. Di Resta
    Has (unconfirmed!) kicked his teammate out of Force India with a superb rookie season in F1. Scored in his first two races before a lean spell until Singapore, his decent qualifying pace and excellent points tally for the second half defies his inexperience and makes him a star for the future.

    Total votes:
    0

  277. Joe S says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  278. Paul Bates says:

    1 Vettle = Outraced team mate & broke records(even on Top Gear)
    2 Button – silenced critics, kept cool to take 2nd place and beat F1’s best driver (Hamilton).
    3 Alonso – started to respect him more & on podium with an inferior car
    4 Rosberg – constantly showing that he is potentially a WDC & our racing Shumi
    5 Hamilton -won 3 races and despite the ups & downs still showed a masterclass of driving.

    Total votes:
    0

  279. Dave Cooper says:

    1. Vettel. Has to be number one.
    2. Button. Very strong all-round performer.
    3. Alonso. A real fighter. Never gives up
    4. Kovalainen. Out-performed the car.
    5. Hamilton. When focussed, almost unbeatable.

    Total votes:
    0

  280. Nick says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Di Resta
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  281. The Dark Side says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  282. DK says:

    1.Vettel – destroyed his team mate in all races, outstanding qualifying performances, faultless driving
    2.Alonso – always squeezed maximum out of his Ferrari
    3.Button – very confident in his driving, on par with Vettel in the second half of the season
    4.Kovalainen – pushed the lotus to it’s limits
    5.Rosberg – usually finished qualifying and race in best possible position

    Total votes:
    0

  283. Richard Craig says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    Utterly dominant and the youngest double
    World Champion. Nuff said.

    2. Jenson Button
    Probably had his best ever season (yes, better
    than his WDC winning year) and has, I
    believe, claimed No. 1 status at McLaren.
    Put it this way, I don’t expect Hamilton to be
    at McLaren in 2013, whilst Jenson will be.
    Button for WDC in 2012? Yes please!

    3. Fernando Alonso
    His talent transcended the deficit between Ferrari and Red Bull. To finish ahead of Webber and Hamilton (who had the respective best two cars on the grid) is all down to his talent. 2012 is a make or break season for him. After the upheaval of 2007 and the written off years of 2008 and 2009, Fernando didn’t sign up to Ferrari to have three seasons without a title 2010, 2011 and – potentially – 2012

    4. Nico Rosberg
    Outscored Michael Schumacher again and extracted the maximum – more or less – from the fourth best car on the grid. Will be disappointed he couldn’t beat Massa in the standings, which would’ve been possible if he’d had better luck.

    5. Paul Di Resta
    Although he didn’t beat his teammate, he was strong in the first half of the season, needs a bit more racecraft. If he is retained by Force India alongside Hulkenburg – who is highly rated based on his junior formulae career – he will need to do better, well he will need to beat him if he is to get a Mercedes seat in 2013.

    Total votes:
    0

  284. mallikarjuna says:

    1.vettel
    2.button
    3.alonso
    4.di resta
    5.kovalinen

    Total votes:
    0

  285. Trent says:

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

    I suspect this has already been picked 10 times, but I didn’t have the patience to scroll through all the posts

    Total votes:
    0

  286. James Nicholson says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  287. Liam smart says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Algersuari
    Alonso
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Liam smart says:

      Sorry, my spelling is atrocious – alguersuari and kovalainen! Not my awful spelling of them

      And button for outperforming Hamilton, Vettel for smashing it this season, alguersuari for really stepping up and outperforming his toro rosso, alonso for smashing his massa and he is just supreme in all aspects, and kovalainen for doing such a good job for lotus and for performing significantly better than trulli almost consistently and taking the team to 10th (plus his attitude is respectable)

      Total votes:
      0

  288. miniac says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Di Resta
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  289. Charan says:

    1. Vettel – lets see how good he is without the blown diffuser
    2. Button – Matured over the years into a consumate
    professional but lacks in outright pace
    3. Alonso – relentless monster – what else can anyone say
    4. Lewis Hamilton – Button hangs out and trains with Lance
    Armstrong, Lewis spends time with
    rappers – need I say more – hopefully
    this year was a wake up year
    5. Adrian Sutil – I think di Resta was better but Sutil has
    more points and I need to win the book
    :)

    Total votes:
    0

  290. navaro72 says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Button
    3 Vettel
    4 Sutil
    5 Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  291. Cain says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  292. Ron Grable says:

    Button
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Rosberg
    Hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  293. Khan says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Alguersuari
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  294. Andrew Tierney says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Schumacher
    Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  295. Pau says:

    I guess it is

    1.- Vettel
    2.- Alonso
    3.- Button
    4.- Schumacher
    5.- DiResta

    Total votes:
    0

  296. kers says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Button
    3. Vettel
    4. Schumacher
    5. Alguersari

    Total votes:
    0

  297. mattw says:

    1) Vettel (Well, it has to be doesn’t it?)

    2) Button (Only guy to consistantly take the fight to Vettel. I’ld give Button the nod over Alonso because Button beat Lewis in equal cars)

    3) Alonso (Could almost be equal second, great attacking season in a car not quite as fast as the ones he was racing)

    4) Lewis (His drives in China and Germany stand as some of the season’s finest, plus the only non Red Bull pole of the year – but sometimes he just wasn’t at the races)

    5) Rosberg (Dominated Schumacher for a second year running)

    Total votes:
    0

  298. Iain says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Perez
    5. di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  299. Dave B says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Rosberg
    4. di Resta
    5. Webber

    Total votes:
    0

  300. gremlin says:

    1 Button , relatively to his team mate
    2 Alonso , relatively to his car
    3 Vettel , can not be out of this podium
    4 Perez , for his performance as a rookie, outshining Kobayashi on many occasions
    5 Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  301. Yos says:

    vettel
    button
    alonso
    hamilton
    kovalinon

    Total votes:
    0

  302. Philippe Zacca says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Alguersuari
    5. Sutil

    Total votes:
    0

  303. Craig D says:

    Even if correct, I expect this combination to have occurred 10 times already!

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Kovalainen
    Di Resta

    Reasons covered perfectly well by others!

    Total votes:
    0

  304. OukilF1 says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Button
    3.Alonso
    4.Di Resta
    5.Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  305. Laurence H says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Alguersuari

    I think the first three pick themselves, the rest of the pack is much harder to judge. KOV was consistently the best of the bottom teams and was the only driver to approach the midfield. ALG had some great qualifying and race drives into the points which just edges him, in my opinion, ahead of Perez, who I was also considering for 5th spot.

    Total votes:
    0

  306. Grabyrdy says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Button
    3 Alonso
    (that’s the easy bit, looks again at photo – it must be between Perez, Di Resta and Kova, why not Webbo, he didn’t do that badly, neither did Nico … oh all right …)
    4 Perez
    5 Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  307. Aussie Rod says:

    Vettel – Easy no 1
    Alonso – Extracted everything form the Ferrari, dominated his teamate
    Button – Great 2nd place in the championship, but was out-qualified too often to be top 2
    Kovalainen – Outstanding in the Lotus
    Sutil – Best of the ‘rest’ outside the big top 4 teams. A very good year.

    Thanks for the great coverage this year James, very enjoyable reading your website every morning!

    Total votes:
    0

  308. Rhys says:

    1. Vettel – Its one thing having a fast car, its other being able to dominant in the fashion that he did, especially in qualy and over Webber.

    2. Button – 3 fantastic victories, including that win in Canada, along with his form in the second half of the season and against Hamilton, proved that his 2009 World Championship was no flash in the pan

    3. Alonso – Always a danger to the Red Bulls and McLarens even though his car shoudlnt have allowed it to happen.

    4. Kovalainen – Put in some great displays in a car that is still behind the midfield and showed his passion and enthusiam regardless of being at the back of the pack, with no chance of points.

    5. Sutil – Just shades it over Di Resta due to his all round stronger performances, especially for a guy who may not even have a seat for 2012.

    Total votes:
    0

  309. mo kahn says:

    2011

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

    2012

    1. Kimi
    2. Kimi
    3. Kimi
    4. Kimi
    5. Kimi

    Bring on 2012 :)

    Total votes:
    0

    1. christos pallis says:

      Kimi Kimi Kimi… Are Renault or Lotus or Renault Lotus GP getting their magic dampers back next season! They will not make a car capable of his talent. I’m shocked Kimi bothered to come back with any team outside the top 4 because there is a bit gap to the rest and i fear it will get even bigger with Fota collapsing!

      Total votes:
      0

      1. mo kahn says:

        Kimi coming back counts, somewhere he won’t be wrung and drained out by team politics. Mclaren is Lewis and now Button obsessed, Ferrari is Satander in disguise and Alonso influenced, Redbull is Vettel driven.

        I think they ought bring back Flavio and poach back Symonds. I think what these two would bring is the Balls factor to the team, which is needed by every team… Look at Ferrari, they lost out the Balls factor when they lost Jean Todt and Ross Brawn.

        Kimi’s natural talent is second to none, he would’ve been a 2008 champion if Ferrari didn’t strategically throw their weight behind Massa, the same way Ron Dennis strategically threw his weight behind Hamilton in 2007. I think Kimi loss of pace was mainly due to what was happening outside the car then on the inside.

        He is a care-a-hang, not-much-of-a-talker kinda’ guy and his natural talent in terms of speed is phenomenal, what he needs is a politics free environment, he doesn’t ask much from his team, unlike others, the least that he deservedly seeks is an environment free from politics and these strategic games which are played unjustly by these big three teams.

        I don’t expect him to win the world championship next year, all F1 needs is a driver named Kimi to set the F1 world alight through his sheer speed factor.

        He is politically incorrect, doesn’t suck up to media, he just drives the wheels out of the car and returns to his ice creams and vodkas… By far the most genuine characters in Formula one… Thrilled to have back a man who doesn’t have to try hard :)

        Total votes:
        0

  310. Mariusz Luczak says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Rosberg
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  311. Ben says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    The most dominant season we’ve seen since Schumacher’s romps in the early 2000’s. Never put a foot wrong and always delivered when it counted.

    2. Fernando Alonso
    The Ferrari was made to look competitive by Alonso where in reality, it was probably closer to Mercedes than McLaren.

    3. Jenson Button
    Superb season by Button. His victories were all stunning drives and he comfortably beat Hamilton, something that looked impossible just 3 years ago.

    4. Adrian Sutil
    Sutil really had it taken up to him by a rookie at the start of the season, but by season’s end he’d stood up and comfortably beaten Di Resta. He deserves a shot in a good car.

    5. Mark Webber
    Many thought Mark was the best driver in 2010, yet most have said he’s under achieved in 2011. Where as in actual fact he’s scored more points in 2011 than what he did in 2010. In fact his points tally 2011 would have won him the title in 2010.

    Total votes:
    0

  312. Anil says:

    1. Vettel – Can’t really argue with this one, he destroyed his team mate and never really made any mistakes.

    2. Alonso – A load of podiums and a win in a car that was clearly the 3rd best in qualifying and never the strongest in the race. His best season alongside 05/06.

    3. Button – Never the fastest over a lap but his tire management and racecraft was superb. Whilst Lewis got involved in loads of incidents he kept his head down and just raced. His best season.

    4. Sutil – The guy came 9th in the driver’s championship. This is an incredible achievement considering he was driving the 6th best car. Massively deserves a shot in a better car.

    5. Kovalainen – In race conditions he was often staring at the back of much faster cars, which is amazing given how much performance they were missing through an underdeveloped EBD. Deserves to be the driver to score their first points.

    Great season for Schumacher as well. Despite 5 retirements he was absolutely on it on the fast tracks and showed superior race pace to Rosberg numerous times. If he can sort out his qualifying he’ll be just fine.

    Total votes:
    0

  313. Richard Trange says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  314. Morton says:

    1. Button
    2. Hamilton
    3. Di Resta
    4. Webber
    5. Schumacher

    Total votes:
    0

  315. The Gunner says:

    Maldonado
    Massa
    Trulli
    Liuzzi
    Webber

    Total votes:
    0

  316. The Gunner says:

    No, seriously

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Di Resta
    Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  317. Cliff says:

    Vettell – Given the best allround car, but he still had to deliver results. Some say that he won the WDC because he was in the best car, but the level of consistency shown during qualifying a on Sundays confirms that the boy’s ‘Special’

    Button – Didn’t get embroiled in all the noise around Lewis Hamilton and like Vettell Button was delivered regular points.

    Alonso – Top quality drives in a car that was clearly not on the pace of the Red Bull or the McLaren.

    Sutil – Whilst everyone was talking about his rookie team mate he kept his head down and delivered the points

    Alguersuari – Kept his head down whilst rumours were circulating about his future culminating in a strong second half of the season.

    Total votes:
    0

  318. The Gunner says:

    Would kinda like to see a ‘worst 5’ too, though :)

    Total votes:
    0

    1. James Allen says:

      Tell us yours…

      Total votes:
      0

      1. Iain says:

        1. Maldonado

        By a long way.

        2. Trulli
        3. Rubens
        4. Massa
        5. Webber

        Total votes:
        0

      2. Ross says:

        Ahhhh this is much more fun.

        1) Trulli
        2) Massa
        3) Maldonado
        4) Glock
        5) Hamilton

        Total votes:
        0

      3. 69bhp says:

        Massa
        Petrov
        Maldonado
        Trulli
        Webber

        Total votes:
        0

      4. Aussie Rod says:

        This sounds like fun… here’s mine.

        1st – Massa
        2nd – Daylight
        3rd – Barrichello (only 4pts all year!)
        4th – Trulli (demolished by Heikki)
        5th – A tough one… but I would say Kobayashi for not building on his great 2010 and generally being shown up by Perez

        Total votes:
        0

      5. Dave Aston says:

        Didn’t Kobayashi score twice as many points as Perez?

        Total votes:
        0

      6. Syn says:

        Worst: Massa
        then…
        Trulli
        Maldonado
        Webber
        Schmacher

        Total votes:
        0

      7. Torn says:

        1.Williams team.
        2.Hamilton. Yes, the almighty Lewis. The number of really stupid unforced mistakes this year was remarkable and as I’m completely neutral about him I’cant simply forget about it.
        3. Massa. From bad to worse with a touch of frustration.
        4. Trulli. Hopeless, but expected.
        5. Webber although I still don’t believe his team didn’t “help” him with those poor starts. And those magically improved when Vettel had the title in the bag.

        Total votes:
        0

      8. quest says:

        Worst:

        Senna
        Trulli
        Massa
        Webber
        Maldonaldo

        Total votes:
        0

  319. ferggsa says:

    1. Vettel. Outstanding qualis (even when not expected) plus good starts allowed him to sail away in clear air and avoid fights, keeps #1
    2. Button. Precise and focused, goes from #4 to #2 (assuming 2nd driver in 2nd fastest car)
    3. Alonso. True fighter in spite of equipment disadvantage, goes from #5 to #4
    4. Alguersuari. Kept his cool and drove fast when needed, helped by strategies, goes from #16 to #14
    5. Rosberg. Just because he is able to beat the best ever driver (MS) consistently, goes from #8 to #7

    Special mention to Sutil(gained 2), Kobayashi (gained 1) and Heidfeld, who almost beat his teammate with only half the season
    I think DiResta (lost 2)and Perez (lost 2)did very well considering they are rookies
    It is difficult to evaluate Kovalainen or Glock, because they are not shown on TV and there are few comments afterwards

    One question for you James, regarding clear air
    Is it possible that running in dirty air affects RedBulls more than other cars?
    My impression is that when Webber lost places in the starts and ran with the pack he had a hard time coping, once positions and gaps were settled he could again go for fastest laps, (which he won this year)

    Great work as usual, keep the news coming through the winter

    Total votes:
    0

  320. Alex W says:

    Webber*
    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Rosberg

    *Webber only makes the list this year because of his singular stand on the Bahrain GP, not a driving skill but still made him the top driver for me. He may just have saved F1’s international reputation, but we will never really know!

    Total votes:
    0

  321. Milton says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Sutil
    4. Alonso
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  322. ZanteX says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Sutil
    5. Kovalainen

    Honourable mention to di Resta, Kobayashi, Rosberg and Alguersuari.

    Total votes:
    0

  323. Keith Holtham says:

    1. Vettel – A champion’s drive no doubt – yes he had the equipment and the luck but he saw off Webber (this year) – and matured as a driver and person.

    2. Button – Beat Hamilton both on the track and psychologically.

    3. Alonso – Destroyed Massa, and drove above his equipment.

    4. Ricciardo – In a minnow team showed his potential as a star of the future coming in mid-season

    5. Kovi – Effectively ended Jarno’s career with his speed and racecraft.

    6. Di Resta – would have been higher had he finished the season as strongly as he started it, would be good to see him move up into a tier 1 team.

    Total votes:
    0

  324. Eric says:

    1.Vettel
    2.JB
    3.F.Alonso
    4.Paul Di Resta
    5.Nico Rosberg?

    Total votes:
    0

  325. DJR says:

    Vettel – Needs no explanation, a hugely dominant season in comparison to his very quick team-mate.
    Button – Drove better this season than he did in 2009. A more competitive McLaren and he would of been fighting for the championship.
    Alonso – The Matador was hungry, determined and relentless. All the reasons he absolutely destroyed Massa’s soul and spirit.
    Kovalinen – Some incredible feats in a 3rd slowest car in the field. 2012 could be a big year for him.
    Sutil – Had a somewhat slow start to the season, but finished up 9th in the drivers standing, beating the three Renault drivers, and comprehensively beating Di Resta as well.

    Total votes:
    0

  326. Ginger says:

    1. Vet – It has to be
    2. Alo – Out performed the car consistently
    3. But – Beat Ham – enough said
    4. Kov – Consistently good all season
    5. PDR – Rookie of the year

    Total votes:
    0

  327. Tom Power says:

    Vettel, Alonso, Button, Algesuari, Hamilton. It’s with surprise I find myself putting Ham so far down the list but his moodiness really annoyed me this season. Algesuari just seemed consistent this year and I’d like to see him next to Vettel.

    Total votes:
    0

  328. Rishi says:

    After reading James’ hint I wondered whether I should tweak my list but have sensibly chosen not to. Bit surprised at so many votes for Heikki Kovalainen on here; he’s been quick (dominated Trulli) and is a nice guy but I’m not sure he’s done anything out of the top drawer (Jarno hated the car!). Lots of drivers inconsistent results-wise over the season – partly reflecting the competitiveness of the midfield (different cars quick at different times) I suspect though maybe that’s what has led me not to put them in Top 5 much. Admittedly it’s difficult to assess those in the “New for 2010” cars but rather than Heikki I’d give a good shout to Jerome d’Ambrosio. Anyway here goes…

    1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL
    2. JENSON BUTTON
    3. FERNANDO ALONSO
    4. MARK WEBBER
    5. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER

    I quite like going all the way to 10, which yielded…

    6. LEWIS HAMILTON
    7. ADRIAN SUTIL
    8. NICO ROSBERG
    9. PAUL DI RESTA
    10. KAMUI KOBAYASHI

    (Honourable mention to Sergio Perez as well as as the aforementioned d’Ambrosio of course).

    Total votes:
    0

  329. Kevin Loo says:

    1. Vettel. He was just on another level to everyone else this season, including his team mate. Always had that extra speed for Q3, and even when he wasn’t leading, kept his cool and drove for maximum points. This is how you win a World Championship.

    2. Button. Out of all the drivers, I think Jenson adapted best and fastest to the new Pirelli tyres. He made them work, and used his experience and accumulated knowledge to make the right calls on tyre choices out on the track. Totally put into the shade his highly rated team mate, and seemed to galvanise McLaren around himself.

    3. Alonso. Showed why he is a double world champion, instead of a man who nearly won one. Picked up the 150th Italia and threw it around the track. Made the most of the Option tyre while he could, before the Ferrari’s weakness on the Prime would penalise him. Arguably made the 2011 Ferrari look better than it was.

    4. Kovalainen. Took the Lotus with him into Q2 a few times. Totally outperformed his team mate, even in qualifying – an area that Trulli has a reputation of being a quick lap specialist. Of all the drivers in the bottom 3 teams, Heikki was the one that I wished to see driving a faster car, to see what he could do with it.

    5. Schumacher. Firstly, for his racing at Monza. Was hugely entertaining. Secondly, for reducing his deficit to Rosberg from 70 points in 2010, to 13 points in 2011.

    Total votes:
    0

  330. Fran says:

    1. Jenson Button
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Paul Di Resta
    5. Jamie Alguesuari

    Total votes:
    0

  331. John tsoutis says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Kovailanen
    Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  332. Tommy boy says:

    Button
    Vettel
    Sutil
    Alonso
    Kovalinen

    Total votes:
    0

  333. Dave says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Di Resta
    5. Webber

    Total votes:
    0

  334. veeru says:

    alonso
    alonso
    vettel
    button
    di resta

    Total votes:
    0

  335. Chris says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button

    these 3 were outstanding – a cut above the rest as for 4 and 5

    Rosberg
    Di Resta

    Rosberg did as he did last season, quietly picked up results with little fuss or fanfare – but quite consistently. Di Resta had a good season for a rookie against stiff competition in the mid field.

    Total votes:
    0

  336. Eoin Leonard says:

    1st: Vettel – Untouchable all year.

    2nd: Button – Out-performed car by a long way!

    3rd: Di Resta – Some awesome drives by the rookie

    4th Alonso – Out-performed car every mile of the way

    5th Kovalainen – Superb!

    Total votes:
    0

  337. Alex says:

    1. Vettel – as much as i can’t stand him after 2010, he did dominate quali and the races.

    2. Alonso – Beat nearly everyone in faster cars at some stage of the year, and had some great scraps with Webber (spa)

    3. Button – Showed ingenuity and ruthlessness this season to beat Hamilton.

    4. Webber – only for his move on Alonso through eau rouge and for his race in China

    5. Rosberg – Beat a seven time world champion. nuff said.

    Honourable mentions to perez, kovalinen (sorry about the spelling), senna, ricciardo.

    Total votes:
    0

  338. JR says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Alguersuari
    5. Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  339. Kiran says:

    Vettel – Had fastest car but his utter demolition of Webber and everyone else showed his class. Calm head as well.
    Alonso – The Ferrari was fastest car in 1 race but he pulled that thing kicking and screaming up to the podium on a good few occassions. Those wiley eyebrows still hold ultimate talent
    Button – Beating Hamilton aside he made the most of any driver out of the new tyres and still showed great pace while runing longer than everyone
    Sutil – Overshadowed by his rookie team mate early on but showed in the end his qualitywith a load more points. Qauli in Brazil was mighty
    Alguesuari – The TR developed a lot and he made the most of it’s supreme straight line pace. Good strategies helped.

    Total votes:
    0

  340. Wu says:

    1. Button – He beat his (suppusedly) superior teammate not only in points but in overtaking too. Also experienced one of the best drives in recent years.

    2. Alonso – Ok, Massa gave him an easy ride again this year, but his speed was still at a high standard despite knowing early on it will take a miracle to win.

    2. Vettel – Was hard for me to split those two up, so I didn’t. Vettel made the championship look easy, and if Vettel IS Schumi Jnr. then this kind of proves it. He was unstoppable. It’s a shame his teammate struggled this year, because the championship could have been closer with 2 number one drivers.

    4. Schumacher – Rosberg beat him this year by a rather flimsy margin compared with last year. But the amount of spectacular drives from Schumi, and great race pace for most of the season gives him this. Qualifying and over eager passing moves stopped him dominating his teammate. Even with his rubbish qualifing he would have finished ahead of his teammate if it were not for those few silly, but rather big mistakes.

    5. Di Resta as the best rookie. Sutil wasn’t bothered for most of the season which makes me slightly cynical about the excitement around Paul. He’s a good driver, and has potential to become bigger, but I must admit none of the new drivers have that ooomph that the world champions have. Yes, I even include Raikkonen in this.

    P.S. The qaulity of drivers we have is scary. I seriously had trouble seperating most of the drivers for number 4/5. Perhaps my top 3 should count instead of top 5.

    Total votes:
    0

  341. formulasfera says:

    Hamilton for his 3 wins

    Hamilton for his only pole-not-Red Bull

    Hamilton for bearing criticism and favoritism

    Hamilton for bearing holders on-track

    Hamilton for fighting in Korea as his best and never giving up!

    Total votes:
    0

  342. Taypicala says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Di Resta
    5. Perez

    Total votes:
    0

  343. Anthony says:

    1. Vettel: Best car, but little mistakes and took the oportunity 100%, utterly destroyed his team mate.
    2. Jenson Button: Great consistency with a string of podiums, only downside is weak qualy. Beat Hamilton, which is no easy feat.
    3. Fernando Alonso: Destroyed his team mate, great consistency often beating one of the faster McLarens/RedBulls. Great starts too
    4. Lewis Hamilton: Patchy season, but the highs were too high as always, Great drive in Germany/China/Spain. Needs to cut the mistakes.
    5. Paul DiResta: Simply the best rookie since Lewis Hamilton, beat the more experienced and very fast Adrian Sutil the first half of the season until he had to up his game. Very fast in qualy.

    Total votes:
    0

  344. Right then, here goes;

    1: Sebastian Vettel
    No surprise here. Yes he had the fastest car on the grid, but he capitalised on it, totally dominated his teammate and annihilated the competition. Ruthless, clinical and (almost) faultless performance from Friday morning in Melbourne right through to Sunday afternoon in São Paulo. A worthy winner.

    2: Jenson Button
    Claimed second in the driver’s championship through consistency – something in which his teammate was severely laking this year. A couple of exceptional drives ensure him his spot in second on my list.

    3: Jaime Alguersuari
    Based on points tally, the second most dominant teammate vs teammate performance of the field. Although out-qualified by Buemi 12-7, he grew stronger as the season progressed, whereas Buemi faded. Would (and should) make a formidable number-two to Vettel in 2013.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen
    Unquestionably the winner of the “tier 2” class. Solid performances in every race in which the car didn’t let him down and probably the most consistent driver on the grid. If he isn’t the first new-team driver to score points then it will be a terrible miscarriage of justice.

    5. Fernando Alonso
    Another season where Fernando has exceeded the abilities of the machinery with which he was provided. The fact that we got what was expected from him is the reason he makes my top 5. The fact that we didn’t get just a little bit MORE than we expected from him is the reason he misses out on 4th.

    Really couldn’t make that any more concise sorry, don’t hate me. :(

    Total votes:
    0

  345. Rich C says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Heidfeld
    Sutil

    Considering:
    their finishing positions
    ignoring the non-finishes
    how badly they beat their team mates
    if they beat superior cars

    Total votes:
    0

  346. Rich C says:

    However, considering only their performance relative to team-mates, and if they beat superior cars:
    Alonso
    Heidfeld
    Sutil
    Vettel
    Kobayoshi

    Total votes:
    0

  347. Frank says:

    1. button
    2. Vettel
    3. alonso
    4. jaime
    5. paul

    Total votes:
    0

  348. Liam in Sydney says:

    1. Vettel – although he had the best car, he all but trounced his teammate and destroyed everyone else. This season was not so much the car was that much better than others, but Vettel maximised the resources at his disposal and made almost no mistakes… all season long. Remarkable.

    2. Button – by season end he had put his more aggresive and some would argue more talented teammate in the shade. It goes to show what an experienced driver can do when he likes the way the tyres perform and when he can bring some wily racecraft to the table… something his teammate generally lacked.

    3. Perez – an impressive performance for a rookie to drive so conservatively on the high wearing tyres, but still come home in the points on numerous occasions. He would even have scored more points had he had the opportunity… given he had a huge crash at Monaco. A better rookie season than DiResta given PDR had many years of F1 testing under his belt.

    4. Schumacher – couldn’t quite get 100% pure speed in Quali, but put together quali-laps during the race to rapidly improve in the races relative to Nico. No one started races better than Schumi – if it wasn’t for his poor start in Australia, he would have doubled the next best starter in terms of cars passed on the opening lap during races. One can readily see that Schumi is slowly unlocking the secret of his car’s chassis and the way it uses it’s tyres. He will be even stronger in 2012.

    5. Kovailinen – In one of the worst cars on the grid, he made the most of his opportunities, tried to stay out of trouble to ensure he finished, nary dented the car, and maximised his performance given the overall lack of resources. This was surely Hekki’s best season as a driver, but a real shame it was in a car that almost no-one saw it.

    @ Gunner post 315. Hilarious!! :)

    Total votes:
    0

  349. Mao,Xiaogang says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Hamilton
    Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  350. Ricky says:

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Kovalainen
    5. di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  351. Colin says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  352. Jack Aitken says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Button
    3. Alonso
    4. Alguersuari
    5. Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  353. Leen says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  354. Tony G says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Rosberg
    6. Hamilton
    7. Sutil
    8. Senna
    9. Schumacher
    10.Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  355. Wonn says:

    1. Vettel 2. Alonso 3. Button 4. Schumacher 5. DiResta

    Total votes:
    0

  356. Robert Gunning says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Mark Webber
    5. Nico Rosberg

    Total votes:
    0

  357. Dj says:

    * Vettel – he’s the champ isn’t he ?
    * Button – he’s taking over as the number 1 driver in mclaren 😀
    * Alonso – he outperforms the car every single time
    * Kovalainen – he outperforms HIS car every single time. I’m a big Jarno Trulli fans, but I do think that he should retire now, the way he’s blown away to pieces this season by Heiki
    * DiResta/Perez – I can’t decide. These two perform exceptionally well for a rookie. Put Jamie Alguesuari into the mix, and it’s a tough thing to choose for the final spot. But I have to go with Perez, with him beating Kamui on several occasion, and racking up points for Sauber when it seems out of the question.

    Total votes:
    0

  358. Aryan says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Kovalainen
    5. Sutil

    Di resta gave Sutil a very good run for his money, and I think he has much more potential than the German, but in 2011, Sutil was still the better driver.

    Total votes:
    0

  359. Bludd says:

    1. Vettel – almost faultless, nailed the tyres
    2. Button – his best season yet, Canada was amazing
    3. Alonso – won in a car which didn’t work on hard tyres
    4. Rosberg – some good drives, beat Schumi again
    5. Hamilton – rocky year, but some great victories and drives

    Total votes:
    0

  360. Matt says:

    1. Vettel – Completely dominant
    2. Button – Bested his team mate, ultra-consistent
    3. Alonso – Extracted so much more from the Ferrari than Massa
    4. Kovailanen – Consumate team leader performance for a developing team. Never gave up.
    5. Webber – Not his best year, but you’d prefer him in your car more than most, pulled some great passes, and did well considering he frequently wasn’t free to exploit the mid-corner pace of the RB7, stuck behind someone else who he couldn’t pass down the straights. Hoping next years’ car suits him better.

    Total votes:
    0

  361. Gamal Liranzo Tavarez says:

    1) Sebastian Vettel
    2) Jenson Button
    3) Fernando Alonso
    4) Nico Rosberg
    5) Heiki Kovalainen

    Rookie of the Year: Paul di Resta.

    Total votes:
    0

  362. JB says:

    OK, just a quick scroll through to gain some opinions of the public. Here is my top5:

    1. Vettel – no doubt about this one because despite driving in the benchmark car, he really set a NEW level (a very high bar) for others to catch up.
    2. Alonso – The never give spirit and ALWAYS pushing the (uncompetitive) Ferrari to great heights.
    3. Button – The big surprise that he systematically plan his way and has paid off and end up being better than Hamilton (overall).
    4. Perez – He is very consistent and making the most out of the Sauber package. Moreover, the recovery from Monaco itself is seriously impressive.
    5. Di Resta – Although a lot of mistake being a n00b, he has proven that he is faster in many occasions compared to his team mate.

    James Allen, do you agree with me? :)

    Total votes:
    0

  363. alan blanco says:

    Vettel
    button
    webber
    alonso
    hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  364. build says:

    James,
    Doubt I’ll be even close to your picks, I think it’s a very personal thing, but here goes …

    1. Fernando Alonso
    Alonso has been a bit of a Terminator this season, relentless, sector after sector, lap after lap. Almost scary.

    2. Sebastian Vettel
    Consistency is the word. Not as perfect as Alonso but *damned* good, although I would have liked to see an inspired performance like his STR days, a fight with Button in Canada might just have pushed him to the top.

    3. Jenson Button
    Inspired, intelligent races but not in all of them, however he was always there or there abouts.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen
    Heikki was the Alonso of the rear of the grid. Consistent, tenacious and even relentless. Hopefully he will be terrorising the midfield next year. Other drivers must be saying “I’ll have what his having”.

    5. Adrian Sutil
    Consistent with a couple of inspired drives and more importantly on the money with 9th in the WDC.

    5th I found rather difficult. It was between FI, STR and Sauber drivers. They all had a couple of inspired races. Consistency counted but who can remember the why’s and wherefores of all the races, I can’t so I had to go with my gut and pick Adrian Sutil, although I must admit to a pointless dislike of the boy. Judging by the number of votes for DiResta I’m obviously wrong.

    I’ll add that the grid these days is lacking characters. Apart from Button and Webber they are a very bland bunch. We need characters on the grid, blokes like Rosberg, Mansell, Lauda, etc to inspire the fans. Woops, I’ll call the nurse and take my teeth out, it’s time for my medication.

    beers,

    Total votes:
    0

  365. Santiago says:

    Vettel – had the same car as Webber, did an almost perfect season on it! it’s no luck, pure talent..
    Alonso – showed why he is one of the best drivers on the grid, the car was third, he was constant podium finisher
    Button – showed he has matured as a driver and that with the proper car he can fight for a title again
    Di Resta – rookie of the year, had a great car, was right on Sutils tail all season, great driver
    Perez – He showed a great talent on tyre management, speed, and out qualified Kamui very often.. did a great job all season..

    Total votes:
    0

  366. Zack says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Kovalainen
    Alguersuari

    Total votes:
    0

  367. 69bhp says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  368. For sure says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Button
    3.Alonso
    4.Schumacher
    5.Paul Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

    1. For sure says:

      You may ask why Schumacher is there when his teammate isn’t who out-pointed him. The reason is that Nico is the point guy at this stage where as Schumacher took more gamble, since he isn’t fighting for championship he might as well gamble. Some of the heights he reached were incredibly entertaining. In Canada, he went from p18 to p2 in 20 laps window or something like that. In Spa, he started at 24th and finished 5th thanks to safety car but still that was awesome. And that Monza race.

      Total votes:
      0

  369. tim says:

    Worst pouters of 2011

    1) Trulli
    2) Massa
    3) Hamilton
    4) Heidfeld
    5) Alonso

    Total votes:
    0

  370. Mark V says:

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

    My picks are based on an admittedly unscientific combination of overall standings, how well the driver did compared to their teammate, and something rather vague and indefinable that we could label the “it” factor.

    Total votes:
    0

  371. Erik says:

    1) Vettel – The best driver in the best car delivered dominance throughout the season.

    2a) daylight

    2b) Button – Comprehensively outperformed Hamilton and took the battle up to Vettel in the second half of the season.

    3) Alonso – Performed miracles in a car that was uncompetitive compared to Red Bull and McLaren

    4) Webber – Very very consistent, but unspectacular, season. Although many haven’t rated Webber he finished on the podium on 10 occasions in 2011, retired once, and everything else was top 5 (not bad for a #2 driver!)

    5) Kamui Kobayashi – Ten top 10s in the Sauber is no mean effort, although his overtaking heroics of 2010 were somewhat dented by the introduction of DRS.

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Blaize says:

      “4) Webber – Very very consistent, but unspectacular, season. Although many haven’t rated Webber he finished on the podium on 10 occasions in 2011, retired once, and everything else was top 5 (not bad for a #2 driver!)”

      last part made me almost choke on my dinner lol

      Total votes:
      0

  372. john says:

    got to go for

    vettel
    button
    webber
    di resta
    schumacher

    Total votes:
    0

  373. Sam says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Button
    3) Vettel
    4) Di Resta
    5) Kovalainen

    Alonso – I can’t fault him for driving the absolute balls off that Ferrari and never giving up.

    I have to admit i didn’t really notice the quality of Button until this season – What an intellegent racer – Made the best out of every opportunitiy even if his qualifying wasn’t lightening quick.

    Vettel was amazing in qualifying and on race days but had a pretty stand out car for the majority of the year. I only really remember one instance of seeing him having to race other drivers this season (Monza)so hard to judge where he stands in those quarters to be honest.

    Di Resta has proven himself a star in the force india and hope to see him have another great year in 2012

    and Heikki blew me away with his efforts this season.

    Total votes:
    0

  374. jumpstart says:

    1/ Vettel
    the easiest way to justify failure is to say that VET had the fastest car – when in fact he hadn’t, quite a few times this season
    what about that magic qually boost button that McLarens suspect him of pressing?

    2/ Button
    all my respect to this gentleman, turned into the biggest threat to the leading car when not in the lead
    no forgiveness for the final lap in Canada as from a RB fan

    3/ Alonso
    unbelievable starts in a car that seemed to have aerodynamics of a brick this season

    4/ Kovalainen
    always nice to see a man sorting out problems and finding his own right way, hope to see him leading Caterham up through the midfield in 2012

    5/ Alguersuari
    thought of Schumi but 5th place in an amateur vote for a 7-times world champ is of little value
    selected Jaime because he really made many stop thinking of him as of a rent driver in 2011
    hope Dr Marko shares my opinion

    Total votes:
    0

  375. quest says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Heidfeld
    Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  376. Chiranjeev says:

    Vettel
    Button
    Alonso
    Sutil
    Hamilton

    Total votes:
    0

  377. karthick says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Button
    Kovalinen
    Di Resta

    Total votes:
    0

  378. RichTea08 says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

  379. CMR says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Paul di Resta
    5. Heikki Kovalainen

    Total votes:
    0

  380. Syn says:

    1. Vettel – supreme in all departments
    2. Alonso – outperformed the car
    3. Button – tenacious and deceptively quick
    4. Alguersuari – a charger
    5. Kovalainen – the fire still burns

    Total votes:
    0

  381. Rdw says:

    vettel
    button
    alonso
    kovalinen
    di resta

    Total votes:
    0

  382. Carl Sheen says:

    Vettel – Perfection in the best car
    Button – Relentlessly consistent
    Kovelainen – “Dominated” the new team battle
    Sutil – Outshone early on by rookie team mate but pulled out some great drives later on and finished well clear of Di Resta
    Alonso – consistently outperformed his dog of a car

    Total votes:
    0

  383. Triangle says:

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

    Total votes:
    0

    1. Triangle says:

      I can’t see a way in which JA won’t put Hamilton in top 5, wasn’t sure whether to put him before or after Alonso

      Total votes:
      0

  384. Mike J says:

    Well, just home from work on a Friday night in Australia and I’m already behind by 401 votes. James, always a problem with these polls being listed overnight our time, some of us have to work during the day!!

    Now I’m doing a ‘Webber’, poor start and lets hope I make a 3rd or 4th place!

    1. Vettel – can’t go past him. Sure, he was in the best car, but he got the best out of it, and more. He matured greatly from last season and always found the tremendous speed over 1 lap in quail when it counted. Then just controlled the races from the front. Passing at Monza and Spa made a lot of his ‘knockers’ think again.

    2. Button – Tremendous season and out drove and out thought his champion team mate. Great drives in Canada, Belgium, Japan and Monaco. Quiet perseverance and never say never approach got him second in the WDC.

    3. Alonso – Always put his car in the races where it should have not been. Still the class driver of the field. Hope that Ferrari can deliver a car worthy of him. Ruthless and aggressive and always fast. Managed to get podiums when the car was way off the pace.

    4. Webber – he has a lot of ‘detractors’ which rate his season poor however he did score more points than last year, had KERS failures in quali in the first 5 out of 6 races and again in Canada (SV had 2 during this time), had poor starts only improving when RB changed back to 2010 setup (why so long?), made up 24 lost places at starts, still finished 3rd in WDC, had fantastic battles with Alonso and pass of the year, plus DHL Fastest lap award. I can’t leave him out o the 5

    5. Sutil – Slow start to the season but came home ‘on fire’. Drove very well in the end and it was mainly due to him that secured Force –India 6th place in the WCC and beating a ‘highly’ regarded team mate who gets a lot of praise. It will be interesting to see how DiResta performs in his second season, just like Kamui.

    Total votes:
    0