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Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Dec 2012   |  5:17 pm GMT  |  793 comments

It’s that time of year again. Time for the readers of JA on F1 to rank their Top Five drivers of the season and for us to formally launch the new book JA on F1 2012 – The Year of Living Dangerously, which is published today.

And, as per tradition, we invite you to rank the drivers into a Top 5 and post your answers below. We will be giving a signed copy of the new book to three readers’ selections that match mine. These will be picked at random from matching entries.

I will publish my own Top 5 selection here on the site in a week or so.

This was an amazing year for drivers, with some quality performances up and down the grid. As always it’s tricky to compare drivers who had race winning cars with those in the middle and at the back of the grid, but that is the challenge. It’s going to be one of the toughest choices we’ve had to make.

We are really pleased with the new book, JA on F1 2012 – The Year of Living Dangerously, which is published today priced at £10.99. I’ve been in the offices of our e-commerce partners Grand Prix Legends today, signing the books and they look great.


As with the three previous books in the series, it is a selection of the best posts on JA on F1 from this year, linked together with plenty of fresh content, putting the stories and the season into context.

It features stunning photography from F1′s premier snapper Darren Heath as well as a range of behind the scenes stories, race reports and analysis from the year, which can be read and enjoyed now as well in years to come.

Its a 256 page large format paperback and signed copies are available to order via our online shop. Don’t take too long over it, though. It’s a limited edition book which has been on pre-sale for a couple of weeks and we’ve sold almost half of them already!

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793 Comments
  1. Karatanthala says:

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

    1. Malcolm says:

      ” DITTO “

      1. Rayz says:

        1. Alonso
        2. Raikkonen/Vettel/Hamilton
        5. Perez/Hulkenberg

        I dunno how peopple can choose between Ham/Rai/Vet. I thought they were all equally superb.

    2. Antonio says:

      Alonso
      Vettel
      Hamilton
      Hukelberg
      Raikonen

      1. Wayne says:

        Alonso
        Hamilton
        Raikkonen
        Vettel
        Hulkenberg

      2. JTW says:

        seconded

    3. Jim says:

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

      1. Nero says:

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

      2. **Paul** says:

        I’ll go with:

        1.) Vettel, pulled back a massive Alonso lead, and made more on track overtakes than anyone else this season, 2nd fastest car overall this term, 2nd most reliable of the top teams also.
        2.) Hamilton, great effort from Lewis, without his car issues he would have battled Seb for the title and probably won as McLaren had the fastest car, but least reliable and that cost him.
        3.) Alonso, Didn’t do anything wrong, but retirements and the quickest car off the line really flattered him a bit. 3rd fastest car, but the most reliable, how many points did he pick up from simply having a car which didn’t break down?!
        4.) Raikkonen, Completion of laps stats alone says he’s gotta be up there, but to come back to F1 and be so quick immediately just shows his talent.
        5.) Hulkenburg, blew Di Resta out of the water, has the skills to win a WDC I reckon. Great effort from Nico, a nice guy too…

        BTW -

    4. Bjornar Simonsen says:

      Took the words out of my mouth! :)

    5. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Great! Hulk is angry and getting bigger!

    6. Alex says:

      Fernando Alonso
      Sebastian Vettel
      Lewis Hamilton
      Kimi Raikonen
      Nico Hulkenberg

  2. Duncan says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikonen
    4. Perez
    5. Massa (came on at the end and supported Alonso very well)

    1. Steven says:

      No Lewis Hamilton, even at number 5?

      Can i ask why you wouldn’t put Lewis in your top 5?

    2. Rich B. says:

      massa in, no lewis. please say you’re joking?

    3. Daniel Hale says:

      No Lewis Hamilton?? Really?? No, really!?

    4. Stephen says:

      Massa? Perez?!!!! No Hamilton? Think we must live in a parallel universe :-)

      1. Timmay says:

        He had too many retirements and lost points this season!

  3. Tay says:

    Sebastian Vettel
    Fernando Alonso
    Lewis Hamilton
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Nico Hulkenberg

    1. Geno says:

      I like this list. I might swap Lewis and Kimi but it it close. Definetly Seb on top. Alonso should lose points for constantly saying what a piece of @#%# the Ferrari was. The guy was 40 points ahead 1/2 way thru the season!

      Someone should mention Ferrari was saying a year ago how they were coming out strong, having started the 2012 car early… blah, blah

      1. kfzmeister says:

        Look at the rest of the replies in this article. Alonso wins it by a land slide!! Lol

      2. Carlo_Carrera says:

        Everyone has been snookered by Alonso saying the Ferrari was a bad car. It wasn’t that bad he just couldn’t beat Vettel.

        Vettel drove the best because he won the WDC.

      3. Geno says:

        Yes kfmeister but Vettel won the one that counts! LOL

        I agree with Carlo also… Alonso played the political game all year. Oh, woe for me, as I have a slow car. Not very complimentary to your team.

        Plus perhaps Ferrari sacrificed a bit of speed for great reliability. That was IN Alonso’s favor. All in all Vettel one fair and square from a 40 point deficit and deserved the trophy. Alonso, two-time WDC, Vettel THREE-times WDC!

      4. Dante says:

        Alonso only said the car is crap to motivate his team in pushing for updates.

    2. Carlo_Carrera says:

      Me too.

  4. Chris says:

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

  5. Gul says:

    1st – Lewis
    2nd – Alonso
    3rd – Vettel
    4th – Kimi
    5th – Hulkenberg

  6. Dean G says:

    1) Alonso – most podiums, not the best car

    2) Vettel – deserving champion

    3) Hamilton – one of his best years as a driver, lots of bad luck

    4) Raikkonen – consistent, fast, scored a win

    5) Hulkenberg – showed he was driver who should have replaced Hamilton.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      +1

      1) Alonso – most podiums, not the best car

      2) Vettel – deserving champion

      3) Hamilton – one of his best years as a driver, lots of bad luck

      4) Raikkonen – consistent, fast, scored a win

      5) Hulkenberg – showed he was driver who should have replaced Hamilton.

      Please don’t copy…

      1. AussieRod says:

        +1 for this list and the brief explanation as to why.

      2. Adam says:

        LOL – please don’t copy, after you just copied.

      3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        LOL, U got it

      4. Rich J Betty says:

        Glad to see quite a few people have agreed with my top 5! Even more glad to see Hulkenberg getting so much recognition from so many people – I feel he deserves it!

        1.Alonso – Regardless of whether the “badness” of his car was exaggerated, this was something brilliant – just 3pts off, and the car was surely NOT close to the Red Bull.
        2.Vettel – still deserves the title.
        3.Hamilton – almost faultless. Dominated Jenson.
        4.Raikkonen – beaten by Grosjean on speed, but his racecraft and consistency was of the highest level.
        5.Hulkenberg – Looks to be even better than I thought, and I rated him. Only a matter of time before he becomes a winner, I’m sure. Titles too hopefully. And he seems a real nice guy to boot. :)

    2. Stephen says:

      100% agree.
      Just gutted Mclaren signed Perez instead of Hulkenberg.

  7. kowa says:

    alonso
    vettel
    hamilton
    webber
    button

  8. Andrew Carter says:

    Tough call this year, 5th place in particular was very difficult to determine.

    1. Fernado Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenburg

    1. Ez Pez says:

      Very Easy for 1-4 but like you say number 5 is a tricky one, id vote :
      Alonso
      Hamilton
      Vettel
      Raikkonen
      And Petrov
      I know i went a bit Rouge there with Petrov, but he impressed me this year, and the only other 2 to get it would be Perez and Hulk… Whom everyone else has gone for!

      1. Tm says:

        +1 with Petrov, especially in the second half of the year. However personally I would switch Lewis round with Seb

      2. Andrew Carter says:

        Petrov? Given that he’s largely been outpaced by Kovalainnen, who has not had a steller year himself, that’s quite a surprise.

    2. Grabyrdy says:

      Alonso (fantastic job in a moderate car)

      Hamilton (without McL’s balls-ups could – should – have won)

      Vettel (raised his game when car came to him)

      Button (good start and good end, and untouchable at Spa)

      Raikkonnen (he’d say himself that he could have been more aggressive early in the season. If his car’s up to it next year he’ll be a real contender)

      I’m a great fan of the Hulk too, and think McL missed a trick taking Perez, but think some of you are a bit too “Brazilian” in your choices.

  9. Jonathan Kelk says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Raikkonnen
    3. Vettel
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hulkenburg

  10. Geoff says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    hulkenburg

  11. Monza01 says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Button and Webber joint 5th

  12. ed24f1 says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  13. Eric says:

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

    There really wasn’t much between the top 3 drives this year they were effectively tied on performance.

    Alonso consistently out-drove his car all season and made very few mistakes (and I’m not an Alonso fan).

    Hamilton also drove flat out and maximised his performance every race and was let down by his car and team which prevented him from winning the championship in the best car on average all season.

    Similarly, Vettel maximised what he had and won when he had the best car and drove well when he didn’t in the early season.

    Raikkonen was consistently very strong all season and didn’t make any mistakes that I saw. His performance was not far behind the top 3, or even equal to it all season.

    Perez also had some amazing highs considering his relative lack of inexperience. He drove very well when the opportunity arose.

  14. rats says:

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

    1. Chris says:

      Ok, I’m a HUGE Button fan, and even I don’t see how he could possibly have been the 3rd best driver of the year! Any justification for this?

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Possibly because he won 3 races at very different points in the season? It was surely worthy of a mention. I’d also say it was one of buttons worst years when he went spectacularly off the boil when the car changed and he totally failed to adapt.

        I think though, on balance, you have to accept that a multiple race winner had something about them in any given season. Especially a year when winners were spread out.

      2. Hal says:

        So why put button ahead of Hamilton?

      3. rats says:

        Chris thanks for reply.
        Its based on Quality overtaking against top teams only with pretty much the same tyre wear.
        OK Fernando doesnt really deserve top spot with that criteria but such a gritty performance over the year I made a more emotional rather than rational decision there!!! But Vettel Button and Raikkonen definately do Jense shades Kimi as he did take 3 wins.
        Sadly Lewis cost McLaren $10 million the last race by being too ‘bull headed’ and keeping his car in the firing line of an accident trajectory that was far too easily avoided by backing off a few feet, if he could just take a leaf out of kimi or Jense’ book he will be more formidable.

      4. Chris says:

        Hamilton was consistently fast all year and only had 2 DNFs that were pissiy his fault (brazil was likely a racing incident). Button struggled through a lot of the season in a car which Hamilton was getting poles with.

    2. Paul says:

      Button third, hmmm can’t reason with that myself…

  15. Jim McMillan says:

    1- Alonso
    2- Vettel
    3- Raikkonnen
    4- Hamilton
    5- Hulkenberg

  16. Spyros says:

    Well I already ordered mine, so I guess the pressure is off.

    My choices are:

    1. Alonso: Made the most of a problematic car, and nearly won

    2. Hamilton: Much, MUCH improved attitude from the year before, letting his talent shine through. Kept his nerve even after bad luck. I hope he features more in next year’s championship than everyone is afraid of

    3. Vettel: Newey-genius aside, coming back in the championship as he did was interesting, even if he was fairly lucky in his come-back drives

    4. Massa: In all the excitement near the end of the championship, plus Ferrari’s play with the seals, a lot of fans seem to have missed the point with this guy: he out-qualified his illustrious team-mate a few times, on merit, despite occasionally having lower-spec parts. I hope he has a good start next year.

    5. Raikkonen: It was either him or Webber, or Button. Sometimes we completely forgot about him in the race, but unlike the other two candidates, he got back after a two-year sabbatical, was immediately on the pace and showed plenty of fighting racecraft. What more do you want?

    1. krischar says:

      Massa 4 ? Out qualified illustrious team-mate ?

      How many times massa out qualified alonso ? 17-3.

      Come on stats do not support your logic. I had to contend my chuckle after reading your post

      why fans need to remember a driver who has performed poorly for the last 36 months ?

      Ferrari never gave massa lower spec parts. In fact ferrari updates and wind tunnel problem had not helped alonso.(ferrari brought many updates – Nothing worked and this was quite evident since singapore)

      You can hope for good start from a poor driver. Reality only suggest another 20-0 or 18-2. Get real

      1. Spyros says:

        I put Alonso on No1, didn’t I?

        Ferrari were able to do their seal breaking because Massa outqualified Alonso. And a week later, he did it again. No lucky breaks with traffic, either: In Sao Paolo, Massa was faster in all three qualifying sessions, and just in case people claim it was all to do with setup, at various times in the wet during the race, he was still as fast as, if no faster than, Alonso.

        This from a driver who two months ago everyone KNEW was being replaced at Ferrari! Now I’m sorry, but that’s interesting to me.

        We’ll see how things go next year, as you wrote.

      2. Sergio says:

        For me Ferrari / Alonso they failed in two last races with 2012 car setup. You can see how Alonso struggled with his wheel more than he use to (wet & dry). But one of the highs of Fernando is his ability to handle those undriveable cars so he maintained some competitiveness, but not enough to win the championship.

      3. **Paul** says:

        Sorry but I have to pick you up on this. Massa has stated previously that new parts go on Alonso’s car before his, his car was sometimes an iteration of two behind that of Fernando’s, especially when Ferrari had a limited supply of parts. It’s what you would expect to be honest, and as Massa needs to fight for his Ferrari seat it wasn’t hard to make him accept it.

    2. James Allen says:

      Thanks for your order!

      1. Spyros says:

        You’re most welcome! It’s great to see the large format of the book in that picture, too. I’m looking forward to it.

    3. Rich B. says:

      massa, the man who was over 140 points behind his team-mate after the 14th race and ferrari tried to replace with webber, you put 4th. genius.

      1. Spyros says:

        Yup, same guy who outqualified Alonso in the last two races, when he was fighting tooth and nail to win the championship.

        Let me put it another way: since he and Alonso got Ferrari ahead of McLaren in the constructor’s points, the two of them are a better driver combo than Hamilton and Button… in theory. It’s a bit of a stretch, given McLaren’s unreliability, but it shows how unjustly Massa has been underestimated by most.

      2. Rich B says:

        he out qualified Alonso in the last 2 races.
        you’re right, that makes up for the 17 times alonso beat him.

        if alonso scored the same amount of points as massa, ferrari would be 5th, that shows you how bad massa was.

        its a bit of a stretch given mclarens unreliability? that’s more than a bit.

        have you noticed how many other people put massa?

      3. Spyros says:

        Rich B:
        Yes, Massa took an unexcusably long time to get comfortable in this car. That’s why Alonso is in No1 and I put him 4th.

        Still, he and Alonso beat McLaren. Just.

        As for how many other people rated Massa… don’t worry, I have no trouble finding friends.

  17. RFG says:

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

  18. Stuart says:

    1) Raikkonen
    2) Hamilton
    3) Alonso
    4) Hulkenberg
    5) Vettel

  19. Justin says:

    1 Alonso – lost title by 3 points with 3rd or 4th best car depending on the weekend, only 1 DNF of his own doing.
    2 Vettel – really strong finish to the season, came on even stronger as the pressure mounted, and what more can you say than 3 straight titles at 24 years old?
    3 Kimi – finished every single lap, won a race, and 3rd in points after 2 years away. Very good at avoiding incidents like Lap 1 evasive manuver in Brazil
    4 Hulkenberg – Matched and then outperformed DiResta and was consistently ahead for the second half of the season. Solid the entire year.
    5 Lewis – Could have (probably should have) won the title, lost 3 wins and more than 100 points due to mechanical failures, also lost a pole in spain due to team error, performed well despite all the drama surrounding his future all season, did have that odd twitter saga.

    I also considered Perez, but he did so poorly in the last 6 races, Pic, improved a lot and seems to have matched Glock, and JEV, hard to know if he was really better than ricciardo or just benefiting from more new tires since he went out in Q1 so frequently, kind of also applies to Perez, but went with Lewis considering all the disappointments and distractions he dealt with this year.

    1. Martin says:

      I might be a biased Australian, but the feeling I have is that Red Bull / Torro Rosso had Ricciardo ahead of Vergne over the season. Points do not always give the whole picture. I wouldn’t have considered either as being a top five shout – not that that means you cannot mention them.

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        Actually, it doesn’t win you the book, but I reckon picking the next 5 is more difficult and interesting than the top 5.

        After Fernando, Lewis, Seb, JB and Kimi, I’d have to put the Hulk, and then
        - Webbo for his 2 wins
        - Perez for several drives

        Then it gets really complicated. We can’t tell from here who was outdriving his car. We need input from JA and others.

        Rosberg had one dominant win, then nothing much, Maldonado ditto, Massa was really really on it at the end of the season, as several of you have pointed out, Heikki was great in the first half, then faded, Pic’s done a good job, Paul DiR was in the mix with the Hulk until the last few races, the TR boys are probably fairly even, but, as last year, how can we tell how they stack up ? Can anyone ?

        Very much looking forward to Bottas, if all the rumours are correct !

  20. Antti says:

    I think the clear top 4 drivers were Sebastian, Fernando, Kimi and Lewis, but performance-wise they were so close to each other that it’s hard to put them in any order. Best to classify them in the order they finished in the points then. Hard to say who the fifth should be, will go with Hülkenberg now.

    So my top 5 would be

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso.
    3. Räikkönen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hülkenberg

  21. Irish con says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Lewis
    3 vettel
    4 Kimi
    5 the hulk.

    For me they was the top 5 and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who has them in a slightly different order.

    1. KRB says:

      Agreed. The best year of driving from both Alonso and Hamilton (their best years I mean). Vettel always grabbed useful pts, until the car was sorted, then he took off. Kimi was ultra consistent. Hulk saw off Di Resta thru the 2nd half of the year.

  22. Scott says:

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

    1. Curro says:

      Same:

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

  23. Andrew says:

    1) Alonso – almost won the title, despite rarely being in the fastest car
    2) Hamilton – was unlucky not to be fighting for the title
    3) Vettel – made few mistakes and delivered when he needed to
    4) Raikkonen – very strong comeback year, but didn’t always perform in qualifying
    5) Hulkenberg – was very consistent and was unlucky not to have been on the podium in Brazil

    1. Andrew says:

      “Hulkenberg – was very consistent and was unlucky not to have been on the podium in Brazil”

      He was lucky to finish in Brazil.

      1. Mitchel says:

        +1

        Can’t believe how much credit the Hulk is getting!

      2. Rich J Betty says:

        Nor me, but I’m quite glad as I always felt he was under-rated. He was expected to come in to Williams and end Rubens career, and be exactly as Hamilton was. Then everyone was disappointed when that didn’t happen. But read between the 2010 lines and I think he actually did well.

        I often think it’s Hulkenberg who puts in the stand-out performances, but di Resta hasn’t had those kind of high points…

      3. Andrew says:

        I’d say he was unlucky that the safety car came out and wiped out the huge lead that he and Jenson had at that stage of the race. And, like a lot of people, I think the drive through penalty that cost him a podium was also harsh.

      4. Rich J Betty says:

        Gotta agree here. All he did was put a wheel slightly wrong on a damp and tricky track – He didn’t go flying into Hamilton in Sato style. I feel Hulk has been too heavily criticised, as I know I would have done the same thing (if I was ever that fast)!

    2. Rich B. says:

      sliding off track then taking out lewis is bad judgement, not luck.

      i still put him 5th though.

      1. trullifan says:

        To be fair to hulk lewis would never have been close to him if not for the safety car. Hulk might have won bresil without the safety car.

      2. Rich B says:

        yes, but he still made mistakes

      3. Tm says:

        +1 trullifan, I can’t understand why people cannot see that!

      4. Andrew says:

        The safety car is irrelevent it’s just a matter of luck. It could have poored down with rain forcing Button and Hulkenberg to pit but it didn’t so they were lucky in this regard.

        The fact remains that Hulkenberg spun his car whilst leading the race and then crashed into the race leader a few laps later. That’s two HUGE errors that shouldn’t be ignored.

  24. Raj Shekhar says:

    1. Fernndo Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Nico Hulkenburg

    1. gordon says:

      Alonso
      Vettel
      Raikkonen
      Hamilton
      Hulkenberg

      I’m sort of uncomfortable with this choice. I would like to put Perez in.

      1. Raj Shekhar says:

        Almost equally matched both of them – Perez 10th with 66pts and Nico 11th with 66pts. Perez had 6 DNFs to Nico’s 2 and Nico, i would say in an inferior car vis-a-vis the Sauber was more consistent. Also, Perez made some really good climbs up the order but also showed much more immaturity with some of his racecraft than Nico who was not spectacular but much more aware. Its the same thing as a very good Hamilton in an unreliable Mclaren vs a steady Raikkonen in a reliable Lotus.

        Tough b/w these two but Nico just shades it a bit overall for me.

  25. manu says:

    1. Vettel – deserve title

    2. Kimi – car fall off pace in 2nd half of the season. 2 year break and finished 3, need more explanation>

    3. Alonso – overhype his car as bad which isnt the case

    4. Lewis – fastest car all year long. nth special

    5. Hulkenberg

    1. JEZ Playense says:

      Same!

      1. Vettel had some amazing drives, and deserved the title.

      2. Kimi had a slower inferior car -especially in the second part of the season- yet despite this and his two year absence, he won a race, finished every race in fact and regularly stood on the podium.

      3. Alonso – true and steady some great rives though failed to dominate his team mate towards the end of the season

      4. Hulkenberg clearly a future star.

      5. Hamilton. Most improved of the top drivers -after the last seasons fiascos he needed to do something. Still very fast when on form and credit to him.

  26. Nick says:

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

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      Petrov!?

      1. Nick says:

        He jumped into the car after missing the opening tests, was widely labelled a useless pay driver from many quarters, yet beat his well experienced and highly regarded teammate (who had spent the 2 previous years with Caterham) over the course of the season both in qualifying and on the track.

        He also brought home Caterhams highest ever finish in Brzail to seal 10th place in the constructor’s championship in difficult conditons and under high pressure. In my view he couldn’t have done any more this season. Just because he’s in a lower team doesn’t mean one should overlook him. A great performance.

      2. Mike says:

        Thank’s! Fully agree!

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        Errr… Kovy beat Petrov 14-6 over the year in qualy, and the number of times he was more than 0.5s up after the sessions is quite high. Also it was Kovy that was running 8th early on in Brazil and it was a slow stop that dropped him back.

        Kovalainnen wasn’t as impressive this year as he was last year, but he still out performed the solid Petrov over the course of the season.

      4. Misty says:

        to Andrew Carter: Ohh really? First of all its 13-7 in qually. And the second is Petrov outraced Kova 10-7 at the races when they both finished. It could be 11-7 but Vitaly didn’t take a part at Great Britain GP (where he won qually) since his engine died as you probably remember. He had 3 DNFs against Heikki’s 1 DNF, but still outraced him. So saying that Kovalainen out performed Petrov is simply not true.

      5. Nick says:

        Oops, I meant to write over the course of the season in the races and AT THE END of the season in qualifying… It was 13-7 over the course of the season, but 5-2 in the final seven races, in Petrov’s favour.

        It’s clear that once Petrov got a handle on his Q performance he was more than a match for Kova. Maybe Kovalainen had a bad year, but there’s no denying he’s a decent driver, with a race win to his name. He destoryed Trulli in the last 2 years, another driver held in high regard.

        It is for this reason that I put Petrov in 5th place. Despite all the negetive comments about him being a crash-happy, pay driver. He’s established himself in a new team against an arguably top 10 driver, despite having very limited running.

        Hope to see him on the grid next year, and Kova for that matter!

  27. Matthew Smith says:

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

  28. Velena says:

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

    1. Martin says:

      get real son!

  29. Darryl Finch says:

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

  30. Steve says:

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

    If it was for the second half the season then Massa would be a contender, but his first half was dismal.

  31. Matthew says:

    1. Raikkonen – amazing comeback, and a threat from beginning to end for the championship
    2. Vettel – Another title, and some brilliant drives. He truly is at the top of his game, and a more likable champion is hard to find.
    3. Alonso – My dislike for his character does not overshadow my admiration of his skill. He put the car into a position it should never have reached or deserved.
    4. Perez – not the fastest or most consistant, but great racecraft overall. Some mistakes to be sure, but always one to watch on raceday.
    5. Glock – a crappy car and rarely observed on raceday. But he drove well all season and was a threat against the faster Caterham’s.

    1. Chris says:

      I just read that post to my 24 yr old son. His response: ‘that’s either someone having a joke, or a kid’. Couldn’t have put it better myself!

      1. trullifan says:

        why?

      2. Matthew says:

        It is not a joke or a kid (presuming the latter refers to a child as opposed to a second way of saying ‘making a joke’). It is my legitimate feeling on the top 5 drivers overall. If I was attempting to make a joke I would include Ricciardo on my list, or perhaps the underwhelming Button (I wouldn’t be so cruel as to include the perennial punchingbag Karthikeyan).

        I must admit curiousity as to what about my selection you and your son find so amusing. Presumably it is not the top three finishers in the championship. Is it the inclusion of Perez? Glock? The absence of Hamilton? Some other factor? I would be more than happy to explain my selections – or lack thereof – in more detail if you, or any others, so wish. Though in the future you may find it of more benefit to post a constructive comment, as opposed to a meaningless remark that ultimately boils down to a “lol stupid list”; a waste of your time in writing it, and everybody else in reading it.

      3. Chris says:

        Go on then, explain Perez for me please. I know he had some good races when the teams were understanding the new rubber and the Sauber was extra kind to it’s new shoes early doors but that is all I have seen from him this year. He also gifted Nando a win at the Malaysian race, in my opinion anyway.

      4. Tm says:

        +1 haha good reply, it made me laugh. I agree with your top 5

      5. Frederik says:

        Wow:)

      6. Heinzman says:

        Harsh on RIC, he was better than JEV

      7. Matthew says:

        With great pleasure, Chris.

        Simply put, his pace on raceday was the deciding factor for me. This year Sauber had a good car, but not a great one. Qualifying was often difficult for both Perez and Kobayashi, particularly the second session. But despite often finding himself starting 14 or 15, Perez made it count when it came to the race. In Australia he went from 22 to 8, despite the last-lap incident with Rosberg. The race in Malaysia speaks for itself; even after the switch to slicks he was quicker than Alonso, and came close to victory even after his minor off. The same can be said of Montreal; tyre wear be damned, 15 to 3 is nothing to sneeze at.

        I won’t deny that Perez had a streak of inconsistency following the announcement he was going to Mclaren. But this, in my view, was in reaction to the naysayers who say that Mclaren will struggle next season. Perez is a smooth driver, but he tried to drive like Hamilton to silence the critics. This obviously backfired (particularly in Japan and I believe Abu Dhabi, when he collected Grosjean and Webber), but even the mighty Alonso and Vettel had their share of incidents (Alonso’s start in Japan, where he did to Raikkonen what Grosjean did to Hamilton in Spa, arguably being the moment he threw away the championship).

        Overall, I feel that Perez’s performances this season were stellar. He placed his car into positions where it did not deserve to be on multiple occasions. Some have denigrated these performances as being down to tyre strategy. But if you do not manage your tyres, you do not finish well. Perez took his strengths and applied them; and he did well because of it. It is because of this that he makes my personal list of the top 5 drivers this season.

      8. Bradley Sargeant says:

        Is there a need to be so bitchy? Let the guy have his opinion. He gives good reason for his selections. You call him a kid? I am assuming by the fact you have a 24 year old son you must at least be in your 40′s and to be honest it sounds much more like your post was written by a kid bully in a playground

        Don’t make this site become a bitch fest like most other motorsport forums

      9. Nocticronilux says:

        Your 24 year old son can’t read?

      10. 69bhp says:

        Haha I like this one!

      11. RodgerT says:

        Best possible response to that post!

  32. LP says:

    Vettel – Won the championship, well deserved.

    Hulkenberg – Lots of high positions during qualifying and race.

    di Resta – Overshadowed by his team mate, Paul put in some excellent performances.

    Raikkonen – Excellent driver, always has been. Will be competing for the championship in 2013.

    Maldonado – Despite his negatives, he’s got pace.

    1. Andrew says:

      I don’t see how di Resta could be in anyone’s top five when he was beaten by a driver who had taken a year out and only scored two points in the final six races.

      As for Maldonado, apart from that win in Spain and some strong qualifying performances, what he do to warrant a place in the top five. He’s clearly very fast, but with that car, I feel he should have done much better.

      Finally, what more could Alonso and Hamilton have done this year?

  33. sajid mahmood says:

    1.Fernando Alonso
    2.Sebastian Vettel
    3.Kimi Raikkonen
    4.Lewis hamillton
    5.Nico Hulkenburg

  34. Steven says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi
    5. Hulk

  35. DennisF1 says:

    1: Alonso
    2: Raikkonen
    3: Vettel
    4: Hamilton
    5: Massa

  36. Edward Russell says:

    There seems to be a lot of consensus here.

    I’ll say

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

    The top 4 in my list were collectively in a different league to the other 20 all year though.
    NB. I’m not an Alonso fan; but he was consistently remarkable.

  37. Enigma says:

    Alonso Hamilton Vettel Raikkonen Hulkenberg

  38. Simran says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton – Would have won with a doubt baring the mechanical failures
    2. Fernando ALonso – Drove beautifully in a Week car
    2. Kimi Raikkonen – An awesome come back
    4, Vettel
    5. Button

    1. Ez Pez says:

      Alonso’s F2012 was he ‘Weekend’ car! Lol ;)

    2. Stardust says:

      Perfectly put! Here here !

      Vettel looked ordinary to poor until Newey magic stepped in. Webber looked far more adept in the car Pre Magic – sad for the sport that such an ordinary driver is a 3 times champ !

  39. Hak says:

    1) Alonso -> once again brings the best out of a car that wasn’t the best. Great leader and used his brain for alot of the races.

    2) Raikkonen-> 19 out of 20 races in the points in comeback year, challenged for podiums and some unbelievable overtakes, great dive craft.

    3 Vettel -> just misses out on 2nd, won 3rd world championship for me his last race not giving up has made me like him more. Kept his cool.

    4) Hamilton-> got the most out of his car, let down by the car failures/team calls. Had he finished his races could of been challenging for the title.

    5) Webber much improvement in qualifying, consistent just missing didn’t nail it in the races.

  40. craigmclean says:

    1. Fernando Alonso (Nearly won the championship despite being in a far inferior car to the Red Bull for most of the season)
    2. Kimi Raikkonen (Back in F1 after 2 years out, and even in a car that wasn’t worthy of fighting for the title managed to get 3rd in the overall standings!)
    3. Sergio Perez (2 2nd places in a Sauber is incredible, although he tailed off towards the end of the season he showed just how talnted he can be!)
    4. Nico Hulkenberg (After a year out, came back to easily outshine strong team-mate di Resta and I feel podiums are likely for him next season!)
    5. Lewis Hamilton (Stayed strong despite so much horrible luck, breaking down in the lead twice and getting Astroturf stuck in his car and taken out of races, could have been champion had that not happened)

  41. Chris says:

    1. VETTEL.
    2 ALONSO
    3 HAMILTON
    4 PEREZ
    5 RAIKKONEN/HULKENBERG

  42. Sherryy says:

    1. Hamilton – Best driver of the year!
    2. Fernando
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi
    5, Button

    1. Martin says:

      Is that why you put him first

    2. Hal says:

      Closest to my list although I would put Alonso & Hamilton equal 1st…Vettel a close second followed by Kimi & Button.

  43. meg says:

    Happy to go with the standings in the WDC table, namely Vettel, Alonso, Kimi, Hamilton and Button.

    Amazed that the UK journo’s still can’t grasp the magnitude of the ‘Vettel factor’.

  44. Tibet says:

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

    I’d say close between Hamilton and Alonso; bad luck for one bad car for the other but as Alonso was the one who kept it in the championship I’ll give it to him.

  45. Garriel says:

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

  46. richard says:

    1-Alo
    2-Vet
    3-Rai
    4-Ham
    5-Mas

  47. Simmo says:

    1. Alonso – Didn’t always have the fastest car under him (was second best at its peak), but still always delivered to get podiums.

    2. Vettel – While he didn’t impress me in a car which was nothing special, he made the most of the fastest car once again, and brought the speed out of it.

    3. Hamilton – Sorry for him losing over 100 potential points this season, mainly from reliability, meaning he should have been in contention up until Brazil, when he drove an amazing season.

    4. Raikkonen – Took hardly any time to regain speed, amazing racing, completely faultless all season (except going the wrong way in Brazil), completing every racing lap, but one (because of the Brazil incident), and scoring points in all races but one.

    5. Massa – After a bad start in a bad car, he scored 2 podiums, and had speed towards the end of the season, backing Alonso up whenever, playing the real team game.

  48. Maks says:

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

  49. NoFingers says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonnen
    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Vettel

  50. Benji says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Hülkenberg
    5. Räikkönen

    Kovalainen would certainly have come 6th.

  51. Rufio says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Massa

  52. Dougel says:

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

  53. The Catman says:

    Well I doubt I will win a copy of the book as I suspect Alonso will figure more highly than in my selections, but here’s mine:

    1 Kimi – after a two-year layoff to win a race, have a number of podiums, finish 3rd in the WDC, and complete every lap bar one (and that was only due to out of date knowledge in Brazil), in a middle-funded rank team was exceptional. Put Schuey’s three year return in perspective.

    2 Sebastian – Three WDCs in a row, in a car that wasn’t the quickest for chunks of the season was pretty good going. Only in Valencia was the car utterly dominant and he didn’t even win that one.

    3 Lewis – Arguably the only driver to consistently challenge Vettel for outright pace. Could easily have won more races than Vettel if McLaren hadn’t suffered from unusual reliability problems.

    4 Fernando – I don’t fully subscribe to the view that the 2012 Ferrari was a dog. Yes, it lacked dry qualifying speed but was much nearer the pace on Sundays. Reviewing the early races Filipe couldn’t get a decent setup and suffered some awful luck, but towards the end of the season was probably the quickest Ferrari driver but was having to play second fiddle.

    5 Pastor – very difficult choice as Jenson (won 3 races in style but had some nightmare times), Sergio (should have won in Malaysia if Sauber had brought him in a couple of laps earlier), Nico H (should have won in Brazil without the safety car, to end a fine second half of the season) and even Romain (could easily have won in Valencia, was very fast until the pressure of numerous incidents made him over-analytical), all had a number of impressive performances, but putting Williams back in the winners enclosure and a string of strong performances often (but not always) let down by the car puts Pastor at number 5 for me

    TC

    1. Dan says:

      Challenge Vettel?

      Hamilton is the outright fastest driver on raw pace, Vettel was very lucky this year, with Lewis being the polar opposite.

      1. The Catman says:

        Yes, of course, Vettel has been lucky for all his championships, wins, poles and fastest laps

        TC

  54. Jeb Hoge says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Button
    Vettel
    Raikkonen

    1. KRB says:

      Button?!? Reminds me of that Sesame Street song: “one of these things ain’t like the others; one of these things, doesn’t belong!”

      Last year, sure. Not this year.

      1. sheffieldchap says:

        why not button this year? he won 3 reaces and had some other strong performances besides. he did have a dip over the summer, but still did well and deserves to be on that list more then webber or massa. i really think peoples personal feelings towards driver clouds their objectivity…

      2. Jeb Hoge says:

        Check the stats. Button finished two points behind Hamilton this year, and in most performance measures, they’ve been very evenly matched. http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/hamilton-and-buttons-head-to-head-record-at-mclaren/

        Button’s been “The Quiet Man” of F1. I’ve always thought he was paired well with Hamilton.

      3. Hal says:

        Look past the stats and you will see Hamilton completely dominated (bar a few races).

        Hamilton had more DNF and at least two possibly three from certain wins. Barcelona – he looked untouchable. Button’s mid season was utterly shocking (the worst I have seen in a while).

      4. Sascha says:

        IMo Button does not belong in the top 5 this year. He had the fastest car, and less DNFs and team errors than his teammate, but was not able to use it. The stats are faltered massiveliey in Buttons favour because of McLaren inaptness and bad reliabillity on Lewis side

  55. Daniel MA says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Alonso
    3 Hamilton
    4 Räikkönen
    5 Pérez (Would’ve been Hülkenberg but, who’s going to McLaren, had 3 podiums and more points? in the end results DO matter)

  56. Sultan Alzoubi says:

    1- Alonso
    2- Vettel
    3- Hamilton
    4- Raikonnen
    5- Hulkenburg

  57. john culbert says:

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

  58. Jag says:

    1. Lewis
    2. Fernando
    3. Kimi
    4. Sebastian
    5. Webber

  59. Pukka Bass says:

    1. Hamilton (Put absolutely no foot wrong all year and so unlucky that you just have to laugh.)
    2. Alonso (Obviously sensational but mistake in Japan cost him)
    3. Raikkonnen (Brilliant despite two years away)
    4. Vettel (Excellent control but extraordinarily lucky with the car developments and the safetey cars/rain in Abu Dhabi and Brazil. Made many mistakes as well, Malaysia with Karthikeyan, Italy with Alonso, Brazil 1st lap, Germany last lap)
    5. Massa

    Button and Webber had periods where they were very good but the rest of their season was a shocker.

  60. Jason Coles says:

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

    Alonso by miles for me, fought for the championship until the very last race in what was fourth fastest car on the grid. A remarkable achievement.

  61. Chuko says:

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

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I did the same ranking

  62. Rach says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Kimi
    Hulkenberg

    There really is little between the top 3 and I believe they are all brilliant. Kimi only needs to improve his quali and then he as we know from the past can join them. Hulkenberg by the end of the season shows he is the next likely star. I still like Perez but think mclaren maybe wishing they hadn’t reacted so swiftly. That being said if the sauber is a dog hulkenberg could be forgotten
    quickly.

  63. Satishkumar says:

    1. Vettel – drove from 24th to into the points in 2 of the last 3 races. Exceptionally talented but also overcame challenges when it mattered the most.
    2. Raikkonen – 2 year sabbatical and came back and drove brilliantly. Some overtaking moves like on Schumacher at Spa or Force India at Austin were superb.
    3. Alonso – drove consistently. Dispute the not-the-best-car theory considering he got preference for everything in the team.
    4. Hamilton – drove very well this year. 3 wins lost when leading due to bad luck. Should have really been in the title hunt.
    5. Perez – the two podiums he scored showed he is super quick and does have some racecraft.

  64. MentalStr says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettle
    4. Button
    5. Raikonen.

  65. David Roberts says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  66. David Morton says:

    1) Alonso

    2) Hamilton

    3) Raikkonen

    4) Vettel

    5) Webber

    1. brian drian says:

      Exactly!

  67. Anthony says:

    1. Alonso (speed with no mistakes in a very bad car; most other drivers would have got frustrated and had at least one accident whilst trying to push the car beyond its capabilities)

    2. Hamilton (oh what might have been)

    3. Vettel – fantastic season, and some great results but too many mistakes (crashing behind the safety car) and petulance (Kartikeyan etc) are not what I look for in a champion.
    4. Raikkonen – what a comeback, would be great to see him back on top form; I think there is more to come. I like his style and the fact that on any given Sunday there is the possibility that Kimi will outdrive everyone else on the grid.

    5. Massa – another great comeback; to drag your career back under such pressure, and play a significant part in a championship is a mark of a mentally strong man. It is possible that the Ferrari development program made the car easier to drive (at the cost of absolute top speed) and thus bought Felipe’s performance closer to Alonso’s, but the only way to know is see where they are at next year. Hopefully he has now recovered his confidence and the pre-accident speed is back.

  68. Frans says:

    Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel in no particular order for the first three. The other two definitely not Webber and Massa. If Button didn’t go to the wrong direction in curing his tyre problem, then I would definitely give him top 5 spot.. he’s definitely in front of Webber and Massa. Other candidate is Raikkonen, but his qualifying isn’t really good, thus ruin his potential to finish higher. Perez, although got a couple of podiums, but mostly through different strategy.. without that, Kobayashi result would look a lot better compared to Perez. Hulkenberg definitely doing an excellent job, but I only remember him at the last couple of races.. need to review his result for the earlier races. Definitely not the HRT, STR, and Williams pair.
    So… the 4th and 5th spot in my mind is between Button, Raikkonen, and Hulkenberg.

  69. Lars says:

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

  70. Bones says:

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

  71. Colin Scrivener says:

    1. Fernado Alonso
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastion Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Jenson Button

  72. Chromatic says:

    as per driver standings shown alongside here:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Button

  73. Dren says:

    Vettel – He won

    Kimi – Amazing race craft, how many times was he wheel to wheel in corners?

    Hamilton – Oh what could have been, his best performance to date.

    Alonso – He had a good year in a good race car. The car wasn’t so great in qualifying. He made good stops and managed consistent podiums when others were having tire problems early on.

    Hulkenberg/Button – Hulk came on strong in the second half of the season as I expected him to do. Button had a roller coaster season, with some very impressive victories.

  74. David says:

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

  75. Helen Chisholm says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Hulkenberg

  76. Lazy Andy says:

    1- Alonso
    2- Hamilton
    3- Raikkonen
    4- Massa
    5- Vettel

    1. KRB says:

      Massa ahead of Vettel?!?! Tifosi much???

      1. Lazy Andy says:

        Yep, I firmly believe that on a level platform Vettel isn’t the whole package… Massa used his tools as well in the second half of the season, it’s just that the tool wasn’t good enough!!

        A Tifosi… I have 2 feet firmly planted in the maclaren camp of disappointment!! I wanted Button in fifth but all I could remember were his excuses for not performing!

      2. Rach says:

        Ok so what do you think of mark webber then? Just remember that he was offered massa’s drive and turned it down. This webber guy has been beaten soundly in the 4 seasons that they have been paired together.

        Just to clarify I love massa and really hope he returns to his 08 form and before. He is genuinely a great guy. However, I just dont get this vettel bashing, I know he has a great car but his relentless results over so many seasons show me he is good.

  77. 1. Alonso – Stunning performances from the car he was given at every race.
    2. Hamilton – Stunning performances from the car he was given at every race.
    3. Raikkonen – Clawed his way back to the top after a prolonged absence reminding everyone he is awesome.
    4. Vettel – Won the championship, in the best car.
    5. Kobayashi – I just like him and I think his podium in Japan was well earned. I think he was punished for his qualifying performances throughout the year. At every track that was suited to Sauber, he would out qualify his teammate, make it to Q3 and be hamstrung by antiquated tire regulations in the race while Perez was made to look like a hero (Perez admittedly drove very well too).

    5th could have gone to any number of deserving drivers (Button, Weber, Hulkenburg, Maldonado [yes, Maldonado], etc…), but I simply like Kobayashi. I really hope someone picks him up next season, would be a tragedy to lose him over lack of sponsorship. I am honestly surprised that some Japanese firm hasn’t stepped up to back him.

    1. Chris Chong says:

      I agree with this list, although I would’ve put Raikkonen ahead of Hamilton in 2nd, simply because he’s been a very safe and very quick pair of hands / feet this year.

      I’ll admit I’m quite biased with regards to Kobayashi and I do think he could’ve done a bit better this year, but his epic drive in Japan sealed the deal for me.

      Unlike Perez, who mostly got lucky with alternative tyre strategies, Kamui got that podium on sheer pace and had to manage his fading tyres against a very quick Button towards the end of the race. That was a very high-pressure situation and he didn’t crack. For that he earns my respect.

      And in the last race in Brasil, he showed us why we all came to like him in the first place, with his many overtaking moves. His botched attempt at passing Schumi in the closing stages is forgivable because he nearly pulled it off, and wasn’t close to wrecking another driver’s race ala Hulkenberg.

      Plus, he’s a likable guy, which is a bonus.

  78. Alberto Martínez says:

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

  79. Gon says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Hulkenberg

  80. krischar says:

    1. Fernando Alonso (Greatest driver in the history of F1)

    2. Lewis Hamilton (Flawless all year and dynamic / Quick as usual)

    3. Sebastian Vettel (Another championship and record)

    4. Nico Hulkenberg

    5. Kimi raikkonen

    1. Monza01 says:

      You mean greatest driver during the period you have been glancing at F1.

      Nobody with more than a superficial and recent knowledge of the sport would ever have make such a statement about Alonso.

      You have obviously never heard of the names :
      Fangio
      Moss
      Clark
      Ascari
      Nuvolari
      Senna (Ayrton not Brunno)
      Schumacher(Michael)

      To name but a few of the greatest drivers (in no particular order).

      Alonso just might scrape on to a list of the top 10.

      1. Krischar says:

        I have heard all the names you mentioned here. I have not seen the races though. (Before 1999)

        However from what i have seen over the last 13 years. I have not seen anyone being as good as Alonso. I know the amount of hate people have towards alonso. Yet Fernando is simply stunning to watch all day / season long

        I am pretty mindful about my choice. Yet The genius is (Fernando alonso)

  81. Cookie says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Jenson Button

  82. Hazel says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Nico Hulkenberg
    4. Charles Pic
    5. Pastor Maldonado

  83. BW says:

    1. Alonso. Self-explanatory, as stewards used to say explaining their decisions.
    2. Hamilton. Definitely most unlucky, but brilliant at times.
    3. Raikkonen. Not only consistency, but so many old-fashioned moves.
    4. Vettel. Self-explanatory after Top 3.
    5. Kubica… oops, just missed him so much in such a great season. No. 5 was really hard.. let it be Perez.

  84. Philippe H. says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    His car had the speed for the championship, but not the reliability. But he drove better than ever (better than in ’07-’08). He lost the championship.

    2. Alonso
    Great year to prove he’s a great, altough I don’t believe that his Ferrari was realy that awful, it had a great race pace. It was however, a dog of a car in the first races (other than in wet conditions). Deserved the Championship as well. Almost got the championship his car didn’t deserve

    3. Vettel
    the combination vettel/red bull is always a force to be reckoned with. They started out slow, people tend to forget that Mark Webber was outscoring Vettel in the first half of the year. Vettel started to shine when Newey showed his magic again. But he’s very efficient, he always delivers when the car is the way he likes it.

    4. Hülkenberg
    Showed some very strong performances, f1-fans will know this. Deserved his moment in Brazil, where he showed his skills to the whole world. Petty that he made a mistake that took Hamilton out and eradicated his chances of a win/podium.

    5. Räikkönen
    Great comeback year, but…
    He had a very nice car. The Lotus was better on the tyres than other top cars in a lot of races. Left wins on the table due to poor qualifying. I Hope he has a strong year in 2013.

    * Felipe Maasa: Not top 5 because season ended to early. Showed great driving at the end of the year after what can only be described as an abominable start of the year. Hopes he continues do drive like he did in the last part of the year. He can challenge for the WDC if he does.

    1. Kieran says:

      +1

      Great choices. I’ve always wondered throughout the year why Ferrari have been critical of the pace of their car. Sure enough it hasn’t been the fastest in quali, but it certainly has been one of the strongest in terms of race pace throughout the season, and importantly the most reliable.

      Hamilton has had probably the fastest quali car also with strong race pace but has put in a performance this year that was almost faultless, and would no doubt have been a championship contender with Ferrari and Red Bull’s reliability and lack of pit stop/operational errors.

      Vettel has had a comparatively poor year compared to the last 2 years where he has been so dominant over his teammate. We’ve also seen many mistakes from Vettel this season

  85. Alessandro says:

    1. alonso
    2. hamilton
    3. raikkonen
    4. hulkenberg
    5. perez

  86. Janis says:

    1. Vettel
    He won. And the foundation for this win he laid at the beginning of the year with a car which was not the fastest. And endured bad luck and psychological games at the end of the season.
    2. Alonso
    Amazing at the beginning of the year, but slipped at the end when Massa was beating him.
    3. Hamilton
    He finally came of age and performed as he should.
    4. Raikkonen
    Always there or thereabout. Incredible consistency.
    5. This last of the 5 is a tough one, but Schumacher. Could have put there Hulkenberg, Maldonado or Massa, but then, they all made mistakes. Schumi endured the year without a moan despite terrible reliability and poor car. And never gave up.

    1. krischar says:

      When massa has beaten alonso ?

      Austin / Brazil

      What about the rest of the season ? where was massa from Australia to Austin ?

      Alonso never slipped. It was ferrari who slipped at vital point since singapore (Had alonso slipped ferrari would never had chance to fight for WDC in the last couple of races)

      What foundation vettel laid at the start of the season? can you please tell me ?

      Vettel was beaten and out paced by mark webber (9-11) all season until Hungary (Before the summer break)

      RB8 started the season with quick car (They were only behind mclaren) Since singapore RB8 was the quickest car in the field

    2. Clear View says:

      Shumi made plenty of mistakes and some poor decisions too.

  87. Patrick says:

    I think this is quite simple this year:
    1 Vettel because he won the championship and was very consistent.
    2 Alonso because he came second in the championship and was also very consistent.
    3 Raikkonen because he cam third in the championship and like Alonso didn’t have the best car and drove with the same maturity and consistency.
    4 Hamilton who unreliability aside, when the thin ran he drove his heart out.
    5 Hulkenburg who in my opinion was the most oustanding of the also rans and I think he deserves a better drive than Sauber can give him at present.

  88. f1ftw says:

    oh c’mon guys, stop that alonso f*ggotry.
    i can’t listen his (or finger’s) whining anymore.

    my TOP5:
    5. Petrov ([mod] that stigma about being “PD”, he’s a solid runner. almost in points at Interlagos)
    4. Nice (first Mercedes F1 victory after all)
    3. Raikkonen (leave him alone)
    2. H.A.M. (what about new album, dude?)
    And the winner is…
    1. Mr. Newey. He’s PRO even during the podium ceremony.

  89. Axel says:

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

  90. Jonathan Kirkham says:

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

  91. [MISTER] says:

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

  92. F1fan4life says:

    1. Alonso (obviously)
    2. Hamilton (barely made it to 2nd)
    3. Raikkonen (poor in qualifying or he’d be higher)
    4. Vettel (above average driver in a team that spends the most, follows the spirit of the rules in designing the least, and hypocritically accuses others the most)
    5. Hulkenberg (deserves a drive in a team that can fight for podiums)

    Honorable mention for Perez who has lost the plot since getting the McLaren seat. Alonso would massacre him in a Ferrari so in a way it’s good he’s up against Button who is a class below Alonso.

  93. DK says:

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

  94. Mark Wolski says:

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

  95. Craig says:

    Alonso
    Kimi
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Button

  96. Mario says:

    1-Hamilton
    2-Alonso
    3-Vettel
    4-Raikkonen
    5-Hulkenberg

  97. Fareed Ali says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Perez

  98. Philippe Zacca says:

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

  99. AENG says:

    Seb
    Kimi
    Ferdi
    Lewis
    Hulkemberg

  100. Laurence H says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Perez

  101. Kumar Mani says:

    1. Fernando Aloso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Felipe Massa

  102. ferggsa says:

    1. Alonso. He almost won the WDC with a difficult car
    2. Vettel. Delivers when required and very good qualis, improved “in the pack” driving
    3. Hamilton. Much more mature driver, better than the team (and team mate)this year. Only put him behind Seb because I want the book
    4. Raikkonen. As Alonso, performed better than his car did, consistent and fun. If you consider the team/car he probably should be above Seb and Lewis (but I want the book)
    5. Rosberg. (There goes my book!) Again, ended much higher than his car allowed, plus was against MS for 3 years, and he did quite well with speed, ability and even grace

    6. (I know nobody asked) Perez first half of the season, Hulk for the second half. Can´t wait to see them in their new teams
    7. Maybe Petrov, Glock but hard to tell from TV

    As usual, thanks for the site James and keep the news coming

  103. Joseph Simmons says:

    Top 5 F1/2012 drivers
    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Button

  104. Gui59 says:

    Hamilton
    Raikonen
    Alonso
    Vettel
    JEV

  105. Anil says:

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

    Mighty tempted to have put Kimi higher but overall I think Ham, Vet and Kimi all had equally good seasons, with the cars and misfortune separating them.

  106. Dave says:

    1) Fernando Alonso
    2) Lewis Hamilton
    3) Sebastian Vettel
    4) Kimi Raikkonen
    5) Sergio Perez

  107. TimeShift says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Viettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Perez

  108. Steven says:

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Kimi
    Massa
    Vettel

    I was very impressed by Massa in the last 4-5 races, he showed his old speed. He was a perfect support driver in Brazil. Perhaps Ferrari can give him an equal chance at the beginning of next season, but I doubt it.

    1. krischar says:

      Ferrari gave massa enough chances and showed their support towards massa ever since 2006

      I do not know why people here says massa should be given more chances. Though ferrari made him as NO 2 driver. They gave him best shot at the title in 2008 (F2008 was miles quicker than rest of the field) Yet massa blew it

      Massa was slower than schumi. He matched / Outpaced raikkonen (Fair enough). Once again he is slower than Alonso

      I appreciate ferrari’s patience towards massa

      People here need to smell the coffee and accept the reality rather than simply blame ferrari for massa’s failures.

  109. Chris says:

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

  110. Vickyy says:

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

  111. 1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Kimi
    5) Hulkenburg

  112. sam w says:

    ALO
    HAM
    VET
    RAI
    HUL
    honourable mentions also to BUT and GLO

  113. Werewolf says:

    I’ve not played this game before, so here goes:
    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenberg

    The top three are close. Alonso made the absolute most of his circumstances and achieved an almost completely error free year. Vettel was rarely off form and blinding and his best but just loses out, I think, because of a couple of mistakes (the faster car does not denigrate a great performance). Hamilton was also stunning on occasions, particularly in qualifying, but there were a couple of anonymous races.

    Raikkonen, I think, is in a gap of his own. A great comeback with terrific race consistency and some outstanding drives but qualifying was sometimes disappointing. That leaves Hulkenberg as ‘best of the rest’ really, mainly down to consistency, improvement and, until Brazil, staying out of trouble.

    Button was very impressive at times but he did go walkabout with his set-up issues; Webber had highlights but was often merely professional; Perez was also eye-catching at his best but too much inconsistency costs him the final place, I think; and Massa really only came good towards the end, which was good to see. Of the rest, I guess Kovalainen deserves credit and hope Grosjean can harness the speed and jettison the errors because le garcon est rapide!

    1. James Allen says:

      Mais pas encore confirme pour 2013…!

      1. ferggsa says:

        Monsieur Allen, combien du langues vou parle?
        Just curious, English of course and you’ve mentioned Italian before

      2. Werewolf says:

        Now that’s a French tease if ever I heard one! Have you heard any whispers? Despite the massive raw speed and race-winning potential, accidents plus ban plus change of leading sponsor could equal precarious position, especially with Pic in at Caterham and that team’s new Alpine-Renault tie-up, to which the name Lotus must imply marketplace competitor.

  114. Seán Craddock says:

    1st Hamilton
    2nd Alonso
    3rd Vettel
    4th Pic
    5th Perez

  115. HJ says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Hulkenberg
    Räikkönen

  116. anon says:

    In order,
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Perez

  117. Kashif says:

    1. AlO
    2. VET
    3. HAM
    4. RAI
    5. MSC

  118. Sam White says:

    5 Hulkenberg
    4 Raikkonen
    3 Hamilton
    2 Vettel
    1 Alonso

  119. Kenny says:

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

  120. Carl says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3.sebastian vettel
    4. Kimi raikkonen
    5. Sergio Perez

  121. Jim Clarke says:

    1. Lewis
    2. Alonso
    3. Kimi
    4. Vettel
    5. Perez

  122. Colombia Concalvez says:

    1. Hamilton – Simply the most complete racer, and he does not need a NO. 2 teammate just to look good like the other dude

    2. Vettel – Had his up’s and down’s and bad luck but he still won

    3. Raikonnen – Not much to say

    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Maldonado – when calm he can do some pretty good things

    1. falonso says:

      Hahaha, that was a good one!
      Any evidence, maybe results to support that Hamilton is the most complete racer, more complete than let’s say the other dude? (who by the way must have had a terrible season, not doing anything remarkable at all nor taking any other drivers out, wether calm or not – definitely much worse than Maldonado!)
      Hahaha. Sorry, I can’t stop laughing!

  123. Chris NZ says:

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

    Seems most people are fairly consistent on the top 5 drivers of the year.

  124. Yos says:

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

  125. Jen says:

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

  126. Grabsplatter says:

    1. Alonso. To lead the championship at all, never mind lose out by three points in what was never better than the third fastest car shows just how good he is. Despite the actions of both Alonso and Hamilton during their time at McLaren, Alonso is now very much becoming an authority figure in F1, both on, and off the track.

    2. Raikkonen. Seriously consistent on his comeback. Spent most of the year looking like he should’ve had a win behind him in what was, again, certainly not the fastest car. If we’d still been on the old points system, he might have “done a Keke” and become champion with only one win. Was Lauda’s comeback year as good?

    3 Vettel. Showed in the last two races that he can perform from the back, contrary to the opinions of many. Seems to have got past his stint as F1′s “crash kid”, but still some worrying moments (pushing Alonso onto the grass at Imola, for example). Still surprisingly young when you consider what he has acheived. We might well have another ten+ years of him to come!

    4. Hamilton. Showed much improvement from last year. The teenage angst style largely replaced with some maturity. Probably deserves to be higher up the list, but that move to Mercedes seems to be right up there with Fittipaldi’s move to his brother’s team, or Hill’s move from Williams to Arrows. Would a top three driver really make such a move volutarily?

    5… Dunno. Hulkenburg and Maldonado could be in with a shout due to a couple of great drives, but didn’t seem to turn up for most of the season. Perez and Di Resta also. Webber was a bankable No.2, as always. Button had some great moments, but not enough. Massa was nowhere for most of the year, although he did end very well indeed. Did anyone else really stand out over the whole season?

    1. Steven says:

      You have to rate drivers on their driving, not on decisions that didnt affect THIS season. His choice to change teams does not diminish his driving ability or his driving this season. To me Lewis should be #1 on everybody’s list based solely on his driving this season, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

      1. Grabsplatter says:

        A very important part of being a good driver is doing your best to make sure you are going to be in a car that can win. That rule is as old as the hills. Could Fangio have managed what he did if he’d moved to a low-midfield team? Would Schumacher have won as many championships if he’d moved to Minardi? Obviously not. Fittipaldi’s move to his brother’s team all but finished his career. Remember, he was the youngest ever F1 champion when he first won the WDC. However, anyone might wish things had been different (personally, I like the guy), his career after that point was that of a journeyman. His skills were never allowed to shine again. As I say, I cannot see how any driver that could be justifiably put into this year’s top 3 would have put themselves in LH’s situation. My own all time favourite driver, the almighty Nuvolari, rarely had the best car. As a result, the records show him as an OK driver. Nothing more. It’s the only thing I think he could fairly be criticised for.

        I’ve simply tried to be unbiased and give an fair judgement from the evidence of the past year. I know that Hamilton fans tend to be a bit keen to promote their favourite at all times, but your suggestion that he should be everybody’s number one is laughable. Sorry, but he had a much faster car than Alonso or Raikkonen and didn’t do as well as either of them, and Raikonnen hadn’t driven an F1 car for years!

        Still, as you point out, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

      2. Yos says:

        I didn’t know who Nuvolari is, can you say why he couldn’t land in a top team? Maybe he wasn’t that good otherwise he could have got a good car. As for Hamilton yes he had a much faster car but what would you do with a car that breaks often or what can you do when your team lets you down? Hate him if you like but at least put your facts straight please.

      3. Grabsplatter says:

        Erm, I’m not sure where this will end up as I’m trying to respond to Yos’s response to me, and there isn;t a reply button on that post. Anyway, you say you don’t know who Nuvolari was. He was widely considered to be one of the greatest pre-war drivers. Usually, he was driving cars that weren’t that good, hence his statistics don;t look too good, but he was well known for putting cars in positions they had no right to be in. In one of the last German GPs before the war, he managed to win in an outdated Alfa, against the best that Mercedes and Auto-Union could throw at him, and they had won nearly every GP for some time. This race went down in history as one of the most embarressing moments for the nazi regime prior to the war. They had all their press there to report a victory for the reich, and this little Italian, in his almost obselete Alfa beat them. When it was time for the podium, the Germans had to admit that they only had German flags, and the German anthem. Nuvolari simply told them that they could borrow his Italian flag, and his record of the Italian anthem which he always travelled with for luck. Google Tazio Nuvolari. He was a legend, and there are very many great stories of him. One of the reasons Enzo Ferrari loved Gilles Villneuve was that he reminded him of Nuvolari with his desire to win, no matter what.

      4. meg says:

        It wasn’t his decision to leave McLaren. McLaren booted him out! And he didn’t have anywhere to go but Mercedes.

        Mind, he is a mighty fine driver, I agree. And he always finishes in or around the middle order so no complaints from me.

      5. Grabsplatter says:

        McLaren booted Hamilton out? Seriously? They made him a very good offer to stay, which would have meant him still being one of the best paid drivers, and he turned them down. This was all reported here!

    2. Philippe H. says:

      Imola :p?

      1. Grabsplatter says:

        Sorry, Monza. I knew it was wrong, but couldn’t think why. An early “senior moment”.

    3. The Catman says:

      Damon Hill only chose to drive for Arrows after his contract with Williams wasn’t renewed for 1997.

      TC

      1. Grabsplatter says:

        I remember it well, but it did his career no favours. In fact it did look like he was going to go the same way as the end of his father’s career. Was that move to Arrows really the best thing Hill could’ve done? Surely even taking a year off would have been better, as there might well have been a better drive available afterwards. As it was, he went to Arrows and everyone got used to him being at the back of the grid. Reputations are very fragile in F1. Well, the good ones are!

      2. The Catman says:

        I don’t think that at the age of 36 taking 1997 off was really an option. I think Damon retains a good reputation, World Champion in 1996, moral champion in 1994, and almost won for Arrows in Hungary

  127. Dave Pyett says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Button (tough call this one as a few others merited 5th but buttons 3wins edged it for me)

    I also think credit should be given to Pedro de la Rosa. Did a decent job in arguably the worst car to have been in F1 for many years.

  128. Adeel Mehboob says:

    Vettel, alonso, hamilton, raikonen, perez

  129. Petra says:

    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Webber
    Massa

  130. George says:

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

    Perez and Maldonado both had several very impressive races, but they also had some extremely poor mistakes, so two consistently good drivers take their places.

  131. Rufus Matthews says:

    Alonso – At the start of the season the Ferrari was well off the pace so for Alonso to score good points and indeed make his way to the championship lead was amazing.For his 3 wins in Malaysia, Valencia and Germany he was right at his best. At the end of the season the Ferrari was at least only the 3rd fastest car but for Alonso it was always on the podium. To come close to being champion as he did with such a car must make you driver of the season.

    Vettel – Although I put him 2nd I feel Vettel is a deserving 3 times world champion. The Red Bull struggled at the start of the season but Vettel put in good results and picked up points. To me he showed himself to be a good wheel to wheel racer. As in 2010 when things didn’t go smoothly he kept his head down and scored good points. When his car was the best on the track he exploited its potential to the maximum. Of course two alternator failures lost him a lot of points and it is likely he would have won at Abu Dabi without the penalty that dropped him to the back. Both in Abu Dabi and Brazil his comeback drives were worthy of a champion.

    Hamilton – Outstanding all season and really plagued by the very worst luck. He won 4 but it should have been 6 and he should have been challenging for the title.As a fan the races in Montreal and Austin stand out for me. There he was at his absolute best and nothing was going to stop him winning those races. Many times we have seen his fine wheel to wheel racing skills and truly this season was Hamilton at his best for us to enjoy. I hope Mercedes can make him a car to challenge for wins next season for to be up there is where he belongs.

    Raikkonen – I’m a big fan of Kimi and seeing him back and doing well this season was great. Over the season he was Mr consistent and he made very few mistakes as in 2007 when he took his championship. For me his stand out races were Bahrain, Hungary and Abu Dabi. In those races he really connected with the car as he does when he is at his best. All season he showed good race pace and fine wheeel to wheel skills. To be wheel to wheel so often with so few accidents is the mark of an excellent driver. Lets hope he can deliver a similar performance next year.

    Button – A strange season for Button which started perfectly, ended perfectly and went wrong in the middle. The wins in Australia and Spa were Button at his best and in Brazil he showed that he is still a specialist in tricky conditions. I think as team leader at Mclaren next year he needs more consistency in order to emulate 2011 which was by far his best season at Mclaren.

  132. Karla George says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Webber

    Tough call in such a great year. Alonso for wringing results from an inferior car. Vettel for proving his skills at Abu Dhabi & Brazil. Lewis showing much better attitude (despite mid-year wobble) should have been 3 way fight for WDC. Raikkenon for showing comebacks don’t have to disappoint. Webber for good mid-season form, but nostly for his ever entertaining, no PR bollocks Aussie Grit attitude.

  133. Thomas, Canada says:

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

  134. B.Ware says:

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

  135. iceman says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  136. DB says:

    My opinion:
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Raikkonnen
    Button

    My guess for James Allen’s opinion:
    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Raikkonnen
    Vettel
    Button

    1. kowa says:

      i don’t think so.Alonso is going to be the wise choice, and the right one if you ask me.

  137. Dan says:

    1. Hamilton
    Quickest driver, but the car let him down.
    2. Alonso
    Impressive intelligent fighting all way to the bitter end.
    3. Raikkonen
    Stunning comeback in a not-so-top-car.
    4. Vettel
    Worthy champion, this year thanks to the team, read Adrian Newey.
    5. Pastor Maldonado
    More champion-material than any other of the midfield-drivers (Perez included).

  138. Harvey says:

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

  139. Peter says:

    1. Alonso – 2nd in a car that wasn’t the best
    2. Raikkonen – Good come back season
    3. Hamilton – Good return to form
    4. Hulkenberg – Return to finish well
    5. Perez – 2nd in Malaysia

  140. Peter says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenberg

  141. Guillermo says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Hulkenberg

    However, some drivers deserve a special mention due to the sheer speed they showed on some occasions:

    Perez (Malaysia and Monza)
    Schumacher (Monaco qualifying)
    Maldonado (Spain and Singapore)
    Grosjean (almost any qualifying session in the first half of the season!)

  142. Bav says:

    1) Hamilton – wouldve been world champ had it not been for pit stop errors and car reliability.
    2) Vettel – didn’t have the best car at start of the season and still git good results. Drove the field in Abu Dhabi and brazil which were great drives to his 3rd and well deserved championship.
    3) Kimi – the iceman finished 19 of 20 in points, provided great entertainment. It not the big 3…it’s the big 4 as thus guy is also one of the elite.
    4) Alonso – yes he took it to the last round but the car wasn’t as bad on race day as he went on and still goes on about. Stop whining please!!!
    5) Webber – Although he’s been beaten by Vettel 3 years running to the wdc, atleast he doesn’t back down like a girl the same way Massa has these past few years to his team mate. Webber can hold his head high and has the respect of the other drivers. Massa will always be known as a number 2.

  143. Barnaby says:

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hulkenberg
    Raikkonen

  144. madmax says:

    1 Alonso

    Perhaps his only mistake was pushing Kimi off. Massa was faster in the last couple of races so things might change next year at Ferrari if there are no big changes on the car.

    2 Hamilton

    Flawless and dominated Button. If was my list and not James would say he was no.1

    3 Vettel

    An easy no.3 and very close to the other two but was a bit closer with his teammate.

    4 Raikkenon

    Never put a foot wrong but really hard to rate his comeback because of the unknown quantities of his teammate and thus car.

    5 Hulkenberg

    His performance in Brazil was very very impressive.

  145. Richard says:

    1- Alonso
    2- Vettel
    3- Raikkonnen
    4- Hamilton
    5- Hulkenberg

  146. Tolga YILDIRIM says:

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

  147. F1 Bobby says:

    Hard to split Hamilton and Alonso, interesting that this year’s WDC is lucky if he’s third in the list….

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

  148. Galapago555 says:

    1.- Alonso. It’s been his best season by far.
    2.- Hamilton. Loads of bad luck, he should have been much closer in the title run.
    3.- Vettel. Youngest ever 3 time champ, his car was superb on the second half of the season but he delivered and didn’t crash under preasure.
    4.- Raikkonnen. A fantastic comeback. Looking forward to see him next year.
    5.- Hulkenberg. Consistently putting his car on the top ten.

    1. **Paul** says:

      Just to be different mate, I went with:

      1.) Vettel, pulled back a massive Alonso lead, and made more on track overtakes than anyone else this season, 2nd fastest car overall this term, 2nd most reliable of the top teams also.
      2.) Hamilton, great effort from Lewis, without his car issues he would have battled Seb for the title and probably won as McLaren had the fastest car, but least reliable and that cost him.
      3.) Alonso, Didn’t do anything wrong, but retirements and the quickest car off the line really flattered him a bit. 3rd fastest car, but the most reliable, how many points did he pick up from simply having a car which didn’t break down?!
      4.) Raikkonen, Completion of laps stats alone says he’s gotta be up there, but to come back to F1 and be so quick immediately just shows his talent.
      5.) Hulkenburg, blew Di Resta out of the water, has the skills to win a WDC I reckon. Great effort from Nico, a nice guy too…

      Tough call for number 1 spot though, I nearly put Lewis there, but then changed it back and forth a few times, in the end Seb got the call based on the number of overtakes and the fact he took the youngest 3 WDC title. RE: Alonso, exceptionally good year from Fernando, but if we start to remove some of the bad luck elements from races then I don’t think people would perhaps be raving as much about his performance. Plus the Ferrari wasn’t nearly as bad as people made out. It was often 2nd on race pace, had reliability that put others to shame and was easily the best starting car in the field. Great driver Alonso, yes, but hard to judge some of this season, as situations flattered him.

      I still rate Alonso and Vettel as the two best in F1 though, and I expect they’ll battle it out again next year.

  149. Jose Arellano says:

    1.-Alonso
    2.-Vettel
    3.-Hamilton
    4.-Raikkonen
    5.-Perez

  150. james o'brien says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    vettel
    Raikkonnen
    massa

  151. FerrariFan says:

    My Top 5 are

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonnen
    Hamilton
    Button

  152. type056 says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  153. Kurtis says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikonnen
    Hamilton
    Perez

  154. Adelaide says:

    01. Fernando Alonso
    02. Sebastian Vettel
    03. Lewis Hamilton
    04. Kimi Räikkönen
    05. Jenson Button

  155. S-D says:

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

  156. krischar says:

    1. Fernando Alonso (Massive Fernando Fan, Love his skills)

    2. Lewis Hamilton (My another favourite driver, always quick and exciting)

    3. Vettel

    4. Nico Hulkenburg

    5. Kimi raikkonen

  157. Rich B. says:

    alonso
    hamilton
    vettel
    raikkonen
    hulkenberg

    far easier to choose than last year

  158. r0ssj says:

    1:Alonso
    2:Hamilton
    3:Vettel
    4:Raikkonnen
    5:Hulkenberg

  159. 1 alonso

    2 raikonnen

    3 webber

    4 hamilton

    5 vettel

  160. Daniel Hale says:

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

  161. Lenny says:

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

  162. Dirk says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Räikkönen
    3. Perez
    4. Vettel
    5. Rosberg

  163. Paul says:

    1-Alonso
    2-Hamilton
    3-Raikkonen
    4-Vettel
    5-Perez

  164. BR says:

    1. Hamilton – his best year so far, IMHO. Sad to think of him at the mercy of Mercedes in 2013.

    2. Raikkonen – brilliant consistency after two years away, and some great drives.

    3. Vettel – hard to argue with the champion. Some great drives back through the field.

    4. Alonso – brilliant at times, thought he made mistakes and seemed off-form in the final races.

    5. Hulkenberg – comprehensively beat his team-mate, and almost won in Brazil.

  165. deane says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Räikkönen
    Perez

  166. John says:

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

  167. eric weinraub says:

    The best driver is not simply having the best car and not screwing up! To me the best drivers is a combination of competition against your teammate, the field, and how the driver managed the car….

    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Nico Hulkenberg
    3. Fernando Alonso
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Pastor Maldonado

    6. Vettel
    7. Schumacher
    8. Perez
    9. Button
    10. Rosberg

  168. Matt Devenish says:

    1-Vettel
    2-Alonso
    3-Hamilton
    4-Raikkonen
    5-Maldonado

    Vettel for the four wins on the trot and becoming only the third back to back triple champion. Car advantage or not, he literally took the bull by the horns and produced when it was most needed. Rode his luck, but also did well when the car wasn’t at it’s most competitive. Without reliability issues may have won the title sooner.
    Alonso for utter determination and taking a car that shouldn’t have been a title contender to within 3 points of the title. His decisive overtakes were astonishing when he knew a single mistake would rule him out of the championship.
    Hamilton for putting a nightmare ’09-’11 behind him and showing fierce pace. If it wasn’t for reliability he would have been closer come the end.
    Raikkonen for proving me wrong; finishing every race, being quick and most importantly winning, in a completely different formula from the one he left at the end of ’09.
    Maldonado for comprehensibly beating Senna and taking the opportunity to win when it presented itself and generally being entertaining – who knows what he’ll do next!?

  169. Scott says:

    1:Alonso
    2:Vettel
    3:Hamilton
    4:Raikkonen
    5:Webber

  170. Stephan says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Alonso
    3 Raikkonen
    4 Vettel
    5 Perez

  171. Michael says:

    1 Hamilton
    2 Alonso
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Hulkenberg

    Hamilton did his bit towards 7 race wins. He didnt make it to the championship but I dont think anyone can argue that he would have been in the mix had he had better reliabilty.

    I think Mclaren were hasty at snapping up Perez. Hulkenberg seems the better choice. Time will tell.

  172. Alec C says:

    1 – alonso
    2 – hamilton
    3 – vettel
    4 – raikkonen
    5 – button

  173. Mike Capon says:

    HAM
    VET
    ALO
    RAI
    HUL

    Driver. Not car. Not team. Not PR…..

  174. Nick says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Maldonado (that win in Spain was a bit special)

  175. Nathan says:

    1-Alonso
    2-Hamilton
    3-Vettel
    4-Raikkonen
    5-Hulkenberg

  176. Absolument! says:

    My Top 5 of the year is :

    1 Sebastian Vettel
    2 Fernando Alonso
    3 Lewis Hamilton
    4 Kimi Räikkönen
    5 Pastor Maldonado

  177. Rene says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Kimi
    5. Hulkenberg

    Most entertaining: Kimi as always.

  178. Shakers97 says:

    1. De La Rosa – would have been WC if it hadn’t been for a rubbish car and a lack of talent
    2. Senna- best film of 2012, struggled to regain 80s form
    3. Kobayashi – best Japanese driver on the grid this year
    4. Pic – no wins, no poles, no points but got a Caterham contract for 2013 – result
    5. KarthIkeyan – best Indian driver on the grid this year no question

  179. Husker says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Sergio Perez

  180. Doctor Necrosis says:

    1.- Alonso
    2.- Kimi
    3.- Hamilton
    4.- Vettel
    5.- Massa

  181. Calvin says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Räikkönen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Button
    5. Hulkenberg

  182. Stuart burton says:

    1 alonso
    2 raikkonen
    3 Hamilton
    4 vettel
    5 hulkenberg

    Top site all year round again James, thank to you and the team, roll on 2013!

  183. Miha Bevc says:

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

  184. Ben James says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Kimi Raikonnen
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Felipe Massa

  185. Clear View says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenburge

  186. Int says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Perez
    5. Maldonado

  187. Val from montreal says:

    Michael Schunacher , Vettel , Raikkonen , Alonso and Hamilton ….. In that order !

  188. Chris says:

    Alonso (pains me to say it)
    Vettel (he was the world champion)
    Kimi / Lewis (hard to separate these two)
    The Hulk

    Just to be different (and interesting), top five teams;

    Red Bull (best car, best team)
    Lotus (good to see them back)
    Sauber (Did very well)
    Maurussia (lets not forgot our friends at the back)
    Williams (great to see them win)

  189. Clemo says:

    1. Alonso , no explanation needed, fantastic driving all season.
    2. Raikkonen, good race craft, very consistent
    3. Hamilton, excellent driving, can only think of the odd driving or judgement error
    4. Vettel, great driving but also driving errors were noticeable and could have been more costly in terms of points had he not had a lot of luck
    5. This one is really difficult and there are quite a few contenders but all a long way back from the top 4. I like webbers driving and he was let down by reliability but his starts are too bad to be 5th, others Rosberg, hulkenberg , are a bit hit or miss so I’m going with ……
    Button, as he’s not always fast, and he likes the car to be just right to get the big points but you can trust him not to do anything daft on track.

    Thanks for a great site with insightful articles that have added to the enjoyment of this season …just hope next year is equally good, unpredictable and as nail bitingly close as this one was

  190. SD says:

    1. Hammy
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Vettel
    5. Schumi

  191. PabloNeuquen says:

    1-Vettel
    2-Alonso
    3-Raikonen
    4-Button
    5-Hamilton

  192. Joe_in_Miami says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Maldonado
    4. Raikonen
    5. Pic

  193. Rich says:

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

  194. Stuart Harrison says:

    Apologies for not reading all hundred-odd previous posts before popping my selections up!

    A firm Hamilton fan and Vettel detractor, I can’t help but be seriously impressed by Vettel’s performance this year – he has simply been sensational at times. Alonso somehow managed to stay in the fight without the fastest car at any point during the season.

    Perez has been close to bagging wins at times with a midfield car, and Raikkonen has had an incredible comeback season. Maldonado and Hulkenburg deserve honourable mentions, just missing out on the top 5.

    1, Alonso
    2, Vettel
    3, Hamilton
    4, Perez
    5, Raikkonen

  195. Mike J says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Ricciardo

  196. kers says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  197. Ray says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Räikkönen
    Button

  198. paoloc says:

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

  199. Colombia Concalvez says:

    It really baffles me why so many people put Alonso on the NO.1 spot while the Ferrari was not really that bad

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Second guessing James, who we know has been mightily impressed with Alonso this year. They want to win the book!

      1. James Allen says:

        It has to be your own choice not second guessing me!

    2. Jordan says:

      Please check qualifying grid spots for the Ferraris. Also check the places made at the start by the red cars. Then you will see the the ferrari was not very quick.

  200. Andy Bird says:

    1. Hamilton – consistently brilliant, only 1 mistake (Valencia), but let down by car & team
    2. Alonso – consistently brilliant, only 1 mistake (Suzuka – he moved over on Raikkonen), but under performed in qualifying for last 2 races
    3. Vettel – mainly brilliant, but too much complaining abut back markers
    4. Hulkenberg – outperformed Di Resta, showed McLaren he should be Hamilton’s replacement
    5. Raikkonen – incredibly consistent, occasionally brilliant

    1. Andrew says:

      “only 1 mistake (Valencia)”

      The mistake of assuming Maldonado is a professional racing driver?

      If that is your definition then surely it was also a ‘mistake’ to assume Hulkenberg knew what he was doing in Brazil or Grosjean at Spa.

  201. gari says:

    1. Vettel
    1. Alonso
    1. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Perez

    Before I get slated, I’m a Kimi fan. Just my opinion on the year.

  202. AnthonyH says:

    1-Alonso
    2-Hamilton
    3-Raikkonen
    4-Vettel
    5-Hulkenberg

  203. Bryn says:

    1-Alonso
    2-Vettel
    3-Raikkonen
    4-Hamilton
    5-Hulkenberg

  204. Mr Sixx says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Perez (could have been Hulkenberg but he had one chance to make it to the podium and blew it, Sergio didn’t… 3 times

  205. Cedgy says:

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

  206. Gareth peters says:

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

  207. Cedricbaum says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    4. Hulkenberg

  208. dk says:

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

  209. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    1) Alonso / Lewis
    2) —–
    3) Vettel
    4) Maldonado
    5) Raikkonen

  210. Robert N says:

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

  211. Sarvar says:

    1. VET
    2. ALO
    3. RAI
    4. HAM
    5. MAS

    James,
    Did you finish signing them within a day?)))

    Happy upcoming holidays!!!

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes. Took a few hours, though!

  212. A.Green says:

    Using the “hip” Alonso method of rating:results don’t count, just the myth you create and potential you show. He gets beaten to the number one spot by Hamilton who had a far worse season due to bad luck and missed points.
    Maybe we should through the HRT guys also in there, imagine if Nartikan and PDLR had a good car..they could have been contenders..

    So
    1 Hamilton
    2 Alonso
    3 Pedro de la Rosa
    4 Nartikan
    5 Kobyashi just because…

    My real list:
    Vettel He kept it together in the end.
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Kimmi
    Kobyashi, just because…

    1. Sean Hardman says:

      That’s a great couple of lists. Well done.

  213. Michael Weston says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikonnen
    5) Hulkenberg

  214. Chris Drimba says:

    Alonso
    Vetel
    Button
    Webber
    Resberg

    1. Jason says:

      Seems that ability to spot talent is closely related to ability in spelling.

  215. Deeyavid says:

    1. Alonso – Almost champion in an inferior car.
    2. Hamilton – At times at least equal to Alonso.
    3. Vettel – Eliminates all doubts as to his skill.
    4. Raikkonen – Did what Schumacher couldn’t…
    5. Maldonado – Flashes of brilliance, should mature in time.

  216. Hansb says:

    1-Alonso (Best driver on the grid in probably his best season yet)
    2-Hamilton (Might have been champion if his car and team were not at fault so often).
    3-Vettel (very fast driver but not a faultless season)
    4-Raikkonen (great comeback)
    5-Hülkenberg (difficult to point a nr5 but I feel he had a great season)

  217. R Martin says:

    1 Alonso (amazing job all year in a mediocre car)
    2 Vettel (worthy champion)
    3 Hamilton (the highs were so high, above even Alonso, but the lows of his own making drag him dwn to 3)
    4 Raikkonen (who would have thought a Lotus would be in it so close to the end?)
    5 Webber (didn’t set the world on fire, but Seb would not hae made it 3 out of 3 without him)

  218. db4tim says:

    1. Fernado Alonso
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenburg

  219. Nazdakka says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Perez
    Hulkenberg

  220. wiz says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso.
    3. Räikkönen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hülkenberg

  221. Brad says:

    1.Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hamilton
    4. Kimi
    5. Hulkenberg

  222. Marc says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Perez

  223. Sebee says:

    Lewis – on the cover, so you must think highly of him
    Vettel – champion
    Alonso – runner up
    Kimi – consistent
    Button – McLaren’s man from now on

  224. 1.- Raikkonen (what a come back)
    2.- Alonso (nearly won with the F2012)
    3.- Vettel
    4.- Hamilton
    5.- Perez

  225. Brian Dooley says:

    Clear cut that the below are the top 5. However the order is the difficult part! I’ll go with:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Hulkenberg

  226. Ghayth says:

    1-vettel
    2-Alonso
    3-Hamilton
    4-raikkonen
    4-perez

  227. Lindsay says:

    Sebastian Vettel – 281 points
    Fernando Alonso – 278 points
    Kimi Raikkonen – 207 points
    Lewis Hamilton – 190 points
    Jenson Button – 188 points

  228. Victor says:

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

    The same names keep just coming back.

  229. Steve Zodiac says:

    1. Lewis Hamilton, the fastest and always gives 100%
    2. Fernando Alonso, not a fan but he impressed this year, pity about the gearbox thing though, not a good feeling.
    3. Jenson Button, yeah I know but apart from when he lost his way a bit mid season has compared very well to Lewis considering his(Lewis’s) raw speed.
    4. Kimi Raikkonen, really started to like his style this year
    5.Charles Pic, back end teams always ignored but he seemed consistantly quicker than his team mate.

  230. Farainen says:

    1.Alonso: made two mistakes that ultimately cost him the title in Australian qualifying and the Japanese start. He probably doesn’t have Hamilton or Raikkonen’s pure speed, but he manages to be at the top of his potential 95% of the time. One might wonder what his results would have been like had been vettel or kimi in the other car with the same status in the team.
    2.Hamilton: Can’t remember him being as faultless as this year, it’s a shame that when he finally started avoiding other cars, his team failed him. Amazing speed as always.
    3.Raikkonen: Showed everyone that he has never lost it. If he improves slightly in quali he will be unstoppable. In the race, very few can match his speed and racecraft.
    4.Vettel: Always there when the car is dominant, less so when it’s not. Enough to grab the title though.
    5.Hulkenberg: Picked up speed slowly but surely until completely eclipsing his ambitious teammate. Lot of potential there.

    1. Mingojo says:

      It’s funny your comment. Lewis always talks about Alonso’s pure pace. Perhaps, If Ferrari would build a faster car, Fernando could prove how quick he is.

      1. Farainen says:

        one could argue just the opposite. I remember Alonso acknowledging at some point this year that he wasn’t the fastest driver, and that he admired Hamilton’s speed. I’m neither Hamilton nor Alonso’s fan, and I honestly don’t care what they say about each other, I just base my opinion on what I have been observing for the past years, in both practive and the race,and I’m not the only one to admit that Lewis’s one lap speed is phenomenal, whereas Alonso has the edge in the race pace.

      2. Mingojo says:

        In the last five years, Alonso didn’t have a car able to performance well in qualy. The last time that happened was when he was in Mclaren and we know what happened there (Lewis got the most of the time the last lap in Q3 among the Mclaren drivers, that year was an important factor to get pole). Regarding Alonso’s coment he said ‘I might not be the faster…’ in English ‘might’ shows probability, not certainty. In my opinion, they both are phenomenal drivers, and love their approaches to racing. I wish Vettel, Lewis and Fernando get really good cars with similar performance to see and enjoy great racing.

  231. Liam S says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikonnen
    Hamilton
    Perez

  232. oukilf1 says:

    1-Alonso
    2-Vettel
    3-Raikkonen
    4-Hamilton
    5-Hulkenberg

  233. Cenutrio says:

    1. FA
    2. Vetel
    3. Kimi
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hulkenberg

  234. Sankalp Sharma says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Sergio Perez

  235. Max says:

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

  236. Thomas Conway says:

    1. Hamilton – made less mistakes than Alonso and was the better relative qualifier (Alonso spun in Melbourne and many times didn’t improve in q3) and had to fight vs Button and a flailing team compared to Alonso who had 100% support. Had everything and everyone against him all season (even on this comment section people rank him down because of bad luck – which is not his fault.) but kept his head miles better than Alonso (which is very important). Had to deal with break ups with girlfriend and changing teams yet rarely faltered, whereas Alonso cracked under pressure when Vettel wasn’t given a penalty in Japan. Challenged faster RB’s and probably dealt with 2012 Pirellis better than anybody. Showed lightning speed in the wet when the car actually worked (Q2 in Germany and UK, early stages Malaysia).
    2. Alonso

    the rest made far too many mistakes. Kimi had a terrible first half of the season, comeback or not it was still bad, people only remember his 2nd half. Vettel made so many stupid mistakes all season long and looked terribly ordinary in the beginning when the RB8 didn’t suit him.

    Special mention to raw pace of Maldonado and a few good drives from Hulkenberg. Kovalainen solid too but went missing frequently.

    I can see a case for Alonso-Hamilton, but anything else is proposterous.

    1. Antti says:

      Kimi had a terrible first half of the season? By my count, he had 4 podiums and was 4th in the WDC by the midway point, had challenged for the win in Bahrain (4th race of the season) having started 11th on the grid, all after two years absence and in a car that finished 5th in WCC the previous year. At that point of the season, he was also the one who had made up most positions during the race relative to the starting position, at least of the leading drivers. If that is terrible, you must’ve had extremely high expectations of him!

  237. alexdhq says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Raikkonnen

  238. jeffrey says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkönen
    3. Vettel
    5. Massa (for the end of the Season and for keeping his head up while working for Alonso)

  239. J.J. Jameson says:

    1) Karthikeyan
    2) Grosjean
    3)JE Vernge
    4) De la Rosa
    5) D’Ambrosio

  240. Andy says:

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

  241. Marybeth says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Alonso

  242. Matt says:

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

  243. El Mago says:

    1.- ALONSO
    2.- VETTEL
    3.- HAMILTON
    4.- RAIKKONEN
    5.- BUTTON

  244. cmscot says:

    1: Alonso. Superbly consistent all year. Strong in races in terms of both pace and tactics.
    2: Hamilton. Super fast and consistently so. Let down by his team or he would probably be WDC.
    3: Vettel. Once Newey had worked his magic then Seb could work his. Needs to move to a non-Newey car to have a real shot at greatness though.
    4: Raikkonen. Great consistency. Seemed to get on top of the tyres a lot quicker than all these boys who’ve been on Pirelli for a while which is a hell of an achievement. c.f. Schumi for the scale of that task.
    5: Tricky – could be Hulkenberg, or Button, but I’ll plump for Perez, faded at the end, but some really outstanding performances at the start of the season.

  245. absolude says:

    1.Vettel
    2.Kimi
    3.Lewis
    4.Alonso
    5.Hulkenberg

  246. Gruntr says:

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

  247. Ryan Eckford says:

    In no particular order,

    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Fernando Alonso
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Pastor Maldonado

  248. rvd says:

    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Vettle
    Hamilton
    Button

  249. Joe S says:

    Tough choice this year, but -

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Perez

  250. Spinodontosaurus says:

    1. Hamilton (Flawless)
    2. Vettel (Shaky start to season aside, brilliant)
    3. Alonso (Outstanding all season, but seemed to crumble when it mattered most)
    4. Schumacher
    5. Hulkenberg

    I’m sorry, I just can’t put Raikkonen on there, not when he was being so overly conservative the entire season with track limits, and leaving masses of time on the table in the process.

  251. Cobalt says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vetel
    4 Raikonnen
    5 Perez

    Hulkenberg is the perfect example of the bad memory people have with F1 only remembering the latest result. Where was Hulk during the first half of the year???
    I expect Perez to shine next year with a car that doesn’t goes down at the end of the year.

  252. Joad Lopez says:

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

  253. DM says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikkonnen
    Button

  254. Brace says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. (one empty space)
    4. Vettel & Raikkonen

    As good as Vettel and Raikkonen were, they were comfortably beaten by their teammates on more then few occasion.

    1. Antti says:

      I counted Räikkönen beating Grosjean 18-2, maybe I was looking at the wrong statistics?!

    2. Brad says:

      It looks like you’re comfortable with just putting in an entry and not being serious about actually winning the price

  255. Matt says:

    1-Alonso
    2-Hamilton
    3-Vettel
    4-Kimi
    5-Hulkenberg

  256. Denise says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Glock

  257. Jack says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Perez

  258. Sensei.GT says:

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

  259. Matt Shea says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Perez

  260. Andrew says:

    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Rosberg

  261. Mike from Colombia says:

    If you take the team out of the equation

    1) Hamilton – did not put a foot wrong all year
    2) Alonso – superb job in the first half of the season, but was then surprisingly troubled by Massa in the last few races
    3) Raikkonen – consistent, solid results, superb comeback but did not show devastating outright pace
    4) Vettel – lacklustre first half but then reaped results once Newey came up with the car. Benefited heavily from Hamilton retirements.
    5) Hulkenberg – solid showing

    Special mention. Maldonado. Bad boy of F1 and previously considered as only a pay driver. Pulled off some superb qualifying performances.

  262. Sam says:

    1- Alonso
    2 – Hamilton
    3 – Raikkonen
    4 – Vettel
    5 – Hulkenberg

  263. Rishi says:

    A lot of consensus around the names this year, the debate mostly focused on order. My selection (made before reading the comments) is:

    1. Fernando Alonso (no season is flawless, the Ferrari – by mid-season – was pretty competitive in race trim, but there were stil some truly impressive drives from Alonso in 2012).

    2. Sebastian Vettel (a cigarette paper between him and Lewis Hamilton for 2nd place. A fantastic last few rounds and worthy champion. Also feel that – over the whole season – McLaren was faster than Red Bull).

    3. Lewis Hamilton (a very strong season – back to his best. For all McLaren’s speed, their reliability woes and early-season pitstop mistakes did let Lewis down this year)

    4. Kimi Raikkonen (tremendous consistency, impressive racecraft after three seasons out, still had a tendency to be too passive in some races but overall a successful comeback)

    5. Nico Hulkenberg (a slow start but got stronger and stronger. A really impressive end to the season)

    ALSO DECIDED TO DO A 6-10.
    6. Mark Webber (started brilliantly but faded after Silverstone win. Not all his fault admittedly).

    7. Sergio Perez (some really impressive drives, though season overall was inconsistent)

    8. Paul di Resta (started very strongly but Nico consistently on top by season’s end)

    9. Jenson Button (three wins, good points haul, but rarely seemed to match Lewis)

    10. Romain Grosjean (inconsistent, yes, but let’s not forget some very good drives)

    P.S. Delighted to see Felipe Massa end the season so strongly. Would have really liked to have put him on here, and hope he continues his good form in 2013.

    P.P.S List like this shows how difficult it can be to evaluate the drivers of the slowest teams. No doubt evidence can be made in favour of one or more of them (being in Top 10 if not Top 5).

  264. Fardeen Sau says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Perez

  265. Gregory says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Raikkonen
    3 Button
    4 Vettel
    5 Maldonado

  266. J. S. says:

    The top four are not tough choices for me.

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

    The last spot is between Button, Grosjean, Rosberg, Perez, Hulkenberg and maybe one of the backmarkers–can’t really tell how well they drove. I’ll go with Rosberg because he qualified well, drove consistently the whole season, won a race, beat Schumacher most of the time and didn’t make mistakes.

  267. Garoidb says:

    1. Alonso – by a mile
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Kimi
    5. Webber

  268. Kevin says:

    This is easy, it’s so obvious I can’t believe you all have it WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!
    1. Karthikeyan, I know why no-one picked him, that name is the DEVIL to spell. But seriously, this guy is the Kim Kardashian, (not near as hard to spell) of the field, he’s here but no-one can really say why, like Kim, I’m sure it’s a money-centric proposition.

    2. Pedro de la Rosa, Come on, he has 4 names and half of them don’t even need capitalization, how cool is that? But he along with his team mate get top honors on just being able to run most of the races and manage to stay almost invisible. Kar,,, umm the other guy from HRT only finishes above PdlR because he was so good at being invisible that Rosberg, a MUCH easier spelling task there,completely didn’t see him and did a Mark Weber over his head. Those two are no-brainers.

    3. Vitaly Petrov, not a name I am used to spelling being from the states and all, but one I find quite intuitive. This guy raced all year and I heard his name mentioned like twice. I heard Kovalainen, spell check doesn’t even believe that one, mentioned several times a race and VP finishes above him in points, he performed way better than he got credit for.

    4.Bruno Senna, come on, he almost scored as many points as his dopey team mate whom I’m pretty sure was driving figure 8 races in the mid-west before he got launched, now that’s funny, into F1 by billionaire dictator uncle Hugo. Bruno did this despite Maldonado winning a race, though PM did manage to run into virtually everything(one) he got close to. That was pretty entertaining.

    5.Roman Grosjean, probably should rank higher but I couldn’t do it since he seemed to stop so often on the first lap. Of course ha managed to make that partial lap wildly entertaining since he was often stopping on top of another car. Now I don’t watch racing for the accidents but in RG’s case I’ll make an exception. (Wonder what he’s gonna do THIS time!?!?!?!)

    I know, maybe this is a little off the beaten path but there ya go. I bet I had to watch a lot harder to see these guys being brilliant than others did whom voted Vettel etc…. Hardcore baby.

      1. Lee Gilbert says:

        He deserves a book for that alone James

      2. Kevin says:

        Thank you very much Sir! I’m just sort of surprised more folks didn’t jump on the bandwagon, go figure.

    1. Brad says:

      Lol, love your post Kevin!

      1. Kevin says:

        I appreciate that Brad, it seems so obvious….. Thanks again

  269. Colin B says:

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

  270. Priceless says:

    1. Alonso: Showed class in a car which was underperforming.
    2. Vettel: ’12 World Champ
    3. Kimi Raikonnen: Ended the season third. Impressive return back after sabbatical from F1
    4. Sergio Perez: Podium finishes and raw speed and skill
    5. Felipe Massa: Started not so great but got back into the rhythm in the second half and ended season with a podium finish.

  271. James says:

    Lewis – outrageously fast, outrageously unlucky
    Nando
    Seb
    Kimster
    The Hulk

  272. Yak says:

    1. Hamilton – I don’t particularly like him, but he drove pretty much flawlessly all year. If he hadn’t had so many problems with his team and the car’s reliability, he’d have had a very good shot at winning the title.

    2. Vettel – Third WDC in a row, and 100 or so more points towards their third consecutive WCC title than Webber. Drove pretty well all year, was let down by the car a couple of times, but pulled a couple of pretty big efforts in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

    3. Raikkonen – Got in the car again and was competitive pretty much straight away. Drove very consistently all year, kept out of trouble, scored points at every GP except one. Got one win in (although really, it should probably have been Hamilton’s), told his engineer to shut up, and gave us a hilarious detour at Interlagos. Can’t ask for much more than that.

    4. Alonso – Drove fairly consistently, took advantage of the opportunities given to him to keep scoring points. Put in some impressive drives in wet conditions. Almost think this should be a combined Alonso/Massa entry, as Massa showed later in the season that there was nothing superhuman about Alonso’s driving.

    5. Webber. Not a stellar year, but a couple of wins (and Silverstone was a particularly good one), and some decent results. Didn’t think he was really up for the WDC, and the car problems and incidents didn’t help there.

  273. binhost says:

    Vettel
    Kimi
    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Hulk

  274. Tim W says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Kimi Räikkönen
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Michael Schumacher

  275. Nick Ward says:

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikonnen
    Webber

  276. Nick says:

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

  277. Don says:

    oops sorry hit return prematurely in my last comment :D

    here’s my Top 5…

    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Button

  278. John Gill says:

    1) Hamilton
    2) Alonso
    3) Vettel
    4) Raikonnen
    5) Perez

    OK 1-2-3 sounds like a big difference but actually LH, FA + SV drove brilliantly for most of the season. They all had purple patches and I feel it’s somewhat splitting hairs. I’ve given the nod to LH because of his results + driving despite season sustained pressure regarding his future, retirements and pit jobs. Lots of people have gone with Hulkenberg but I feel Perez deserves it for his performance in the early+mid season, not just the [incendiary] fag end.

  279. Elie says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Sebastian Vettel
    5. Nico Hulkenberg

    The front 3 were failtless all year. Never at fault in any racing incident .

  280. bearforce1 says:

    1. Vettel – Champion. Great driver from pit lane and last place to podiums. Proved all the “can only win from the front” old whiners wrong.

    2. Kimmi. If this is what he does in a Lotus in his first year come back after such a long break away. Look out next year or when he gets a competitive car.

    3. Alonso. Lots of effort never gave up. Why I say he is third is because Massa did have the better of Alonso when it mattered most, at the end. Alonso did get a little narky towards the end when the pressure was on him, wish he had stayed classy.

    4. Hulkenburg. He really should be a McLaren next year. You hear this MW, big mistake, you should have taken the HULK.

    5. Hamilton. Drove really well this year. Still mouthy but his personality problems caused less interference with his racing I think.

    I would have put Massa in fifth because of his recent form despite the mental torture he suffers being number two at Ferrari but this is for the whole year not just the end or parts of the year. Big ups for Massa though.

  281. Lynn says:

    Points don’t lie.

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

    1. Elie says:

      Neither do fast cars and teams over $300M to spend. This should be purely about the driver

  282. Diego P says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Button

  283. Bruce Tran says:

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

  284. Paul says:

    1 – Alonso – Did much more than he should with the car he had, almost champion with the 3rd car at times, most of the times 4th or 5th.

    2 – Hamilton – He drove his best season, with consistent driving all around, smarter in decisions (Except one decision), only to be let down by team mistakes, weak mid season development and reliability

    3 – Vettel – I struggled between Vettel and Hamilton, but i decided to give Hamilton the nod (and Alonso too) because we are talking about the driver and not the Driver/Team pair. Still Vettel drove strong races when the car under performed, very good fights when things went bad and delivered when he had the car to do it. The last race is a summary of this season. He made more mistakes than the previous here and seemed at races to be on the edge compared with the cool kid we used to see.

    4 – Raikkonen – Extracted the best of the car most races, super consistency, i felt he could be champion again in the right car.

    5 – Hulkenberg – Very strong races all over the season, i think the year off was not good for him, and i expect him to be better next season.

    Honorable mentions:

    Maldonado – Sometimes brilliant, sometimes a mad man.

    Perez – Good performances and lack of consistency, relies too much on his tire preservation. Lets see next season if it’s what the car asked for or it’s is only style.

    Massa – A better 2nd part of the season, can this mean we could see again the man that was almost champ? I’m not expecting him to fight with Alonso for the wins, but can he at least finish close behind him?

  285. Timo says:

    1. Alonso
    Third best car over the season — he finished four places ahead of where his machinery should have got him

    His only mistake of the season — swerving all the way across the track in an effort to squeeze Raikkonen at the start of Japan — possibly cost him the title

    2. Raikkonen
    Fourth best car over the season — he finished four places ahead of where his machinery should have got him

    Amazing the number of times he has avoided contact during the season, demonstrating brilliant reflexes and a pragmatic mind.

    Four stunning overtakes: on Kobayashi – Melbourne, Hulkenberg – Germany, Schumacher – Spa and Brazil

    His relatively mediocre qualifying performances possibly cost him a real shot at the title.

    3. Vettel

    Brilliant combination of Machine and driver — particularly in Abu Dhabi and Brazil. Copybook blotted by a couple of costly mistakes — while lapping Karthikeyan, tangling with Senna at the start of Brazil

    4. Hamilton
    Great pace. But made a couple of major errors: showed poor judgment trying to overtake Maldonado in Valencia and choosing set up in Spa. Even in Brazil, he left himself open to being taken out by Hulkenberg.

    5. Hulkenberg

    Solid performance — mixing it with the big boys often with a mediocre car. Had the Brazil win until unnecessary safety car period lost it for him.

    1. F1 Bobby says:

      Interesting that you blame Hamilton for two crashes in which he was a passenger. Considering Maldonado’s temperament he should have let him go in Valencia, I grant you that, but it wasn’t his ‘error’, ditto Brazil…. Ham was 9/10 this year; only Alonso is a legitimate alternative for driver of the year.

      1. Jonathan Kelk says:

        I had the same order as Timo (comment #9), and for me Fernando, Kimi and Seb have been so awesome, as has Lewis, that just the twitter messages were enough for me to put him 4th. Those 4 have just been so incredible.

        Yes Lewis deserves to be higher than 4th, but so do the other 3!

      2. Elie says:

        This isn’t about tweeting its about driving

  286. Dave Aston says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Alonso
    4. Maldonado
    5. Perez

  287. Jim Dee says:

    Hamilton. Perfect drives all season. Awesome qually too!

    Raikonen. 3rd Place in that car on a come back year serious respect.

    Alonso. Managed the car very well. Driver of the year doesn’t need an assistant (Massa)

    Vettel. Well he won. Some mistakes when the pressure was on but he still won 4 in a row.

    Perez. For fooling McLaren into thinking he is ready for the big team.

    Vetted

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      I love that comment about Perez !

      1. Rich J Betty says:

        I think the Mexican stash of cash has probably got a bit to do with it too. :)

  288. Chapor says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikonnen
    Perez

  289. Brian says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Massa

  290. ryan says:

    Always tough when deciding a top 5 considering so many factors are outside the drivers control.

    started with these “finalists”

    Raikkonen – faultless all year. Hard to believe he has ever been away.
    Alonso – relentless. In no way was this a contender in any other drivers hands
    Hamilton – unlucky. could of should of…
    Vettel – nowhere until the updates mid-season, then absolutely dominated.
    Maldonado – unpopular but scored some stellar results and grid positions on many accasions
    Ricciardo – dominated his much fancied team mate. true pace hidden by an under performing car throughout most of the year.
    Perez – giant killing performances.
    Hulkenberg – consistent, but only really making a headline in the final round. last impression rememered, i guess.

    thus, ….my ultimate top 5 for 2012

    1. Alonso
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Perez
    4. Hamilon
    5. Vettel

    1. Jordan says:

      Had Perez not bombed in qualifying in Monza, he would have been on the options like the rest of the top ten. And most probably would not have won in Italy.

      His true talent will be shown in 2013 when he isn’t one stopping to make up places.

  291. Robert Gunning says:

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

  292. Mitch says:

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

    1. Sein says:

      Laughing out loud. Sour grapes.

      1. Elie says:

        Ha Yes ! no Vettel or Raikkonen

  293. Matthew says:

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

    Perez just pips Hulk based on pre-McLaren signing performances.

  294. Anish says:

    1. Alonso,
    2. Hamilton,
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi,
    5. Schumacher

    I hope James agrees with me :) , however the fifth spot is dicey, I want to put schumacher there because he did show his class time and again despite the car a 3rd rate car for most of the 2nd half of the season. Button was also had some good drives.

  295. AndrewB94 says:

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

  296. Mitchel says:

    1. ALO
    2. HAM
    3. VET
    4. RAI
    5. PER

  297. Jomar says:

    1 VET
    2 ALO
    3 RAI
    4 HAM
    5 BUT

  298. yugin says:

    Webber and Button in the top 5? Rubbish. They were nowhere for much of the season. As for Massa- well, I am a big fan of his and I realise how much of an achievement it was for him to come back so strongly in the last few races, but this is for Top 5 of the entire year. Hence, my top five:

    1. Alonso, without a doubt. To those ranking Vettel as top- Alonso scored virtually the same number of points as Vettel in a car that was clearly inferior throughout the entire season. Made no mistakes (bar qualy in Australia), very consistent, and had more podiums than any other driver.
    2. Hamilton. Extremely quick all year. Did have the best or joint-best car for a good part of the season but without the various retirements and problems he could have won the WDC by quite a margin.
    3. Raikkonen for being instantly quick and showing little signs of rustiness after coming back from a two-year break. Put in a similar performance to Alonso, and could have even challenged for the WDC right till the end had his car had the same average performance of the Ferrari (bearing in mind that the Lotus was some way off the pace for a good part of the season).
    4. Vettel. Couldn’t beat Webber in the first half of the season but performed when he needed to and when he had the car in the second half of the season. Showed signs however of cracking under pressure, with many mistakes such as with Karthikeyan in Malaysia, Ricciardo/ Grosjean/ Senna in Abu Dhabi, Senna again in Brazil, and Button in Germany.

    1. Paul J says:

      You only put in four in your top five, after such a lengthy intro!

  299. Luke says:

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

  300. forzaminardi says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Raikkonen
    3) Vettel
    4) Hamilton
    5) Hulkenberg

  301. Martin says:

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

  302. Neshaen says:

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

  303. Simon Donald says:

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

  304. Jake says:

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Webber

  305. Enzo says:

    -Alonso
    -Hamilton
    -Raikkonen
    -Vettel
    -Massa

  306. Lee Gilbert says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Lewis
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi
    5. Hulkenberg

  307. abashrawi says:

    So James, are we shooting for our top 5 or yours here?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yours of course; that’s what we call for in the post

  308. Chris says:

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

    In writing this I feel slightly unadventurous, but Alonso is a clear winner and Vettel can’t come anywhere but second. Hamilton was let down by his car not his talent this year, and would have won but for mechanical issues, and Raikonnen’s comeback was a storming success. For the fifth spot the choices are limited. Button had a miserable middle season, Webber faded badly, the Mercedes’ drivers were poor all year, and only Perez of the middling teams, save perhaps Hulkenberg, really showed any promise. For results alone, Perez gets 5th.

  309. rey cruz says:

    vettel
    alonso
    raikkonen
    hamilton
    button

  310. Snowy says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Raikkonen
    4) Hamilton
    5) Grosjean

  311. sheffieldchap says:

    i’m thinking
    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Button

  312. Daniel Rodriguez says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Perez

  313. Leigh Barratt says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Nico Hulkenberg
    5. Charles Pic

  314. Martin Nash says:

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

  315. Aman Bains says:

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

  316. PB says:

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

  317. Rupert Richardson says:

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

  318. James says:

    -Vettel
    -Raikkonen
    -Alonso
    -Hamilton
    -Hulkenburg

  319. Jamie says:

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

  320. clyde says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton

    HUGE GAP

    3) Vettel
    4) Raikonnen
    5) Hulkenberg

    1. Paul J says:

      This is the perfect list!

  321. Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Perez

  322. ALONSO
    VETTEL
    RAIKKONEN
    HAMILTON
    PEREZ

  323. Jonathan L says:

    This is so tough after such a close season.

    1. Vettel – hugely impressive run of form in the last third of the season in a season where one driver rarely dominated. Yes he had a good car, but so did Webber.

    2. Alonso – also hugely impressive, but in he last few races when it really counted his form dropped off and he was outpaced and significantly helped by Massa.

    3. Hamilton – Should’ve been a Championship contender but for pitstop and reliability issues. But was occasionally unprofessional off the track.

    4. Raikkonen – It was like he was never away. Consistent, quick, and a race winner.

    5. Button – Overcame early/midseason problems to come back fighting. Finished the season only a couple of points adrift from Hamilton.

    5th place for me is very tight between Button then Massa with a strong comeback at the end of the season, Hulkenburg who gradually improved throughout the season and showed he is still a master of the Brazilian GP in mixed conditions, and possibly Webber who certainly had a better season than last year.

    In my view Perez, Kobayashi, Maldonado and di Resta were all quick on occasion but lacked consistency; the Sauber drivers in qualifying, and Maldonado and di Resta in the races. They all need to do a better job in 2013 (if they all get the chance).

    Those are all just my couch potato views though. What do I really know? :)

  324. Martin says:

    Alonso – Maximised his equipment and made the most of his opportunities. Difficult to appreciate the magnitude of what he achieved this year. To always be in an inferior car and still always be performing at 100% shows what a special year he has had. His mental strength is his biggest asset. Was backed up by great track side team work (pit stops, reliability)
    Hamilton – Was super quick and consistent, had a great car speed wise but reliability and team errors cost him dear. Team and him were not on the same page for most of year which didn’t help them.
    Vettel – Mirrored his car. average when car was average, brilliant when car was, finished the race when car did. Didn’t maximise car at beginning of year was out performed by team mate.
    Raikkonen – Although he had a competitive car all year and at times the fastest he will know it could have been better. Having said that his wheel to wheel combat and consistentcey was great and at times blindingly quick.
    Webber – Another year of what ifs for Webber. Outshone Vettel at beginning of year but with bad reliability with kers and gearbox and lack luster performances and being taken out by first lap nutter, could have really been in with a shout. Lost his mojo after Japan because he knew it was all over for him.

    1. Elie says:

      How on earth was the Lotus the quickest car ? It never once qualified better than 3 and often 5-8 in either drivers hands. The only time was when the weather was warm and it looked after its tyres on Sundays-where it was great. It lost touch with top 3 (even FI to some extent) and only won at Abu Dhabi when hamilton retired. Over a season it was probably capable of 3rd had Grosjean not crashed so much.
      But….your entitled to your opinion

      1. Martin says:

        That was due to them struggling to get heat into the tyres over a single lap. In race trim you cannot deny the car was quickest at a few tracks. I never said they were quickest all season but trust you to try and twist my words but hey your entitled to your opinion!!

      2. Elie says:

        “and at times the fastest”- that’s what you wrote- it was Never the fastest

      3. Martin says:

        Ok we seem to have a differing of opinions. I believe at tracks like Bahrain,Britain,Hungary etc they had the fastest race car. Granted it was never the fastest car for qualifying. Just because they didn’t win those races doesn’t mean there car wasn’t the quickest at these events. Question is did kimi and his team maximise the potential of that car, the answer is no.

      4. Elie says:

        You really believe that Lotus were quicker than Red Bull at Bahrain, & Both Red Bull and Ferrari at Silverstone, and also the Mclaren at Hungary..it’s is abundantly evident that the Lotus lacked the downforce of the top 3 teams ALL year and hence why it was very fast in a straight line earlier on – but also the reason why it did not heat up its tyres- Kimi definitely had a chance at Bahrain because Of DRS and top speed but its anyone guess whether he could hold Seb off the following few corners, Silverstone – they just could not heat up the tyres and at Hungary Lewis was 1/2 sec quicker than everyone and just cruised to the finish despite Kimis super effort to hunt him down. The E20 was a fantastic car when the tyres got to about lap15 on each set ( just look at JA race analysis)- but again conditions had to be hot for that to happen. By lap 15 – Red Bull , Mclaren even Ferrari – were already gone- you cannot win races that way. When Lotus switched to Coander exhaust they gained downforce but lost speed the Net gain was about3/10 tenths but even before Singapore Red Bull (DDRS & suspension tweaks) and Mclaren were 8/10 quicker than Ferrari and almost a second to Lotus. The telling story for me was at Spa ) Kimis fav circuit) when Kimi drove his heart out and the car was sliding everywhere and was challenged by Hulkenberg and Schumacher- I think that was a Herculean effort by Kimi just to get 5th. & many people including his engineers viewed that as one of his greatest drives of the year- so that’s not really telling you Lotus believed that car was a winner does it !-I’ve watched F1 for 30 years and Ive not seen a better driver than Raikkonen- Probably this year Alonso and Lewis are minutely better – but hey he’s been out the sport 2 years and worked the team that was 8th last year.

      5. Martin says:

        I respect you for being a fan for so long and your opinion. Its funny I really believe that the Lotus at certain races was the fastest race car. I’ve enjoyed our debate but Maybe we should agree to disagree.

  325. robert says:

    1.Alo
    2.Vet
    3.Rai
    4.Per
    5.Hul

  326. ~A says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Roikkonen
    Nico Hulkenberg

  327. Nicole says:

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

  328. Jb says:

    Wow, the number of response is huge! I stop reading after 100+ comments.

    1. Alonso – no need to explain. Despite i hate his political tactics and allowing team to have Massa give way.
    2. Vettel. He brought the results home.
    3. Raikkonen. His 1st year comeback and he is 3rd place in championship! With a car that is 3rd fastest.
    4. Maldonado. This guy has speed, hunger for wins, and desire to improve and he has improved a lot this year.
    5. Hamilton. Aside from a lot of bad luck. He is back to his old self again. I gave him 5th because he only reach the level of 2007-2008. Imo, he has not learn anything new. Still terrible with tires and only had 1 fastest lap despite having THE fastest car all year. kimi had 2 fastest lap.

    Other worthy mention is hulkenberg and schumacher. The hulk has shown performance when it counts. Quite the opposite to his teammate who falters under pressure. Schumacher has been an inspiration for a man of 40s keeping up with young guns of 20s. His cheer commitment is to be respect by all.

  329. Qiang says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkinen
    5. Hulkenburg

  330. Sergio says:

    1) ALONSO
    2) VETTEL
    3) HAMILTON
    4) HULKENBERG
    5) RAIKKONEN

  331. Dmitry says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Vettel
    5. I don’t know – all others were just driving around from my point of view. Let it be Button, it doesn’t matter

  332. Jan1 says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Räikkönen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hülkenberg

  333. MJSib says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Hulkenberg – for finally showing us that over hyped Paul Di Resta isn’t the superstar the British press make him out to be

  334. DaveM says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Ricciardo

  335. I got it right last year, but just missed out on the top ten so here we go again.

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

  336. Geenimetsuri says:

    1. Alonso – Best driver overall.
    2. Räikkönen – Incredible comeback.
    3. Hamilton – Fast, faster, Hamilton.
    4. Vettel – Best driver for the fastest car.
    5. Button – Always the underdog. Interesting to see his performance next year.

    Top four are clear. For fifth I chose Button, because he really is a good driver despite all the flak, but it could’ve been late-season Massa or Hulkenberg.

  337. Vanessa says:

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

  338. Ben Dickson says:

    Lewis Hamilton
    Fernando Alonso
    Kimi Räikkönen
    Sebastian Vettel
    Nico Hulkenberg

    This is my list, rather than my attempt to guess the prize winning list. It was different prior to Austin, with Alonso in the top spot, but his performances in qualifying in the final two races showed him choking when it mattered. Plus, for the second time in three seasons he behaved unsportingly when losing the championship in the final races (his gestures to Petrov / instigating the green flag controversy on Twitter) Hamilton (who didn’t feature in my top five list last season) had driven as flawlessly as Alonso all season (just in a faster but much less reliable car) and his race in Austin sealed the deal.

    Vettel (my top driver for last season) showed that his magnamous nature from last year was solely a function of having a car in which victory came easily – he returned to his 2010 attitude when things went wrong. Kimi, on the other hand, came third in the fourth fastest car on the grid which could be argued as the performance of the season, although he was regularly outperformed by Grosjean in qualifying which is why I put him third.

    [mod] the top four should be unaminous across all voters, just in a different order. It is fifth place where the difference is to be made up. I went for Hulkenberg, because once he got to grips with the Force India he made Paul di Resta look like he was driving a lower series car.

  339. oliver Langford says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Button
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Perez

  340. Harsha says:

    My Opinion
    1. Alonso = For his Supreme performance over entire season
    1. Vettel = For one of the Best Relentless pursuit for P1 over the Most part of season when he didn’t have better equipment and proving he was having skill which equals Fernando and Lewis
    1. Lewis = Bad Luck Bad Luck Bad Luck but Still managed to get most of points to put him self in the contention
    1. Kimi = Should Say THE BEST COMEBACK for any one in F1 Delivered the goods which he had through out the season and Made Some Breath taking overtakes
    2. Pastor Maldonado = Half Wrong Half Right He has the Skill to find a bit more tenths in Q and also he was a bit Consistent in second half
    than first one.

  341. Tom says:

    1 – Lewis Hamilton – he didn’t put a foot wrong all year. McLaren let him down badly.
    2 – Fernando Alonso – He would be 1st but for being outperformed by Massa at the business end of the championship battle. Pressure?
    3 – Sebastian Vettel – gotta hand it to the guy, kept his head and brought it home.
    4 – Kimi Raikkonen – What? He was away?
    5 – Sergio Perez – Proved he’s one to watch at McLaren. Tailed off badly towards the end but couldn’t think of anyone better over the whole season.

  342. Alberto says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Hulkenberg

  343. Josh says:

    Alonso
    Räikkönen
    Hamilton
    Perez
    Hülkenberg

    Would put Vettel in as a deserving champion but luck defidently went his way in the end of the season in a car that became the best. Other drivers did well and were consistent or shone on one occasion but just weren’t there. Examples: Maldonado, Petrov, Glock, Rosberg, Grosjean.

  344. David says:

    1: Alonso–fast, consistent, dogged, team leadership
    2: Vettel–delivered under late season pressure
    3: Hamilton–very fast; a new level of superiority over his teammate
    4: Raikkonen–consistently quick across a variety of tracks; impressive for a first-year return
    5: Perez–raw speed; demonstrated high potential multiple times

  345. Erik says:

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

  346. AfterLife says:

    1.Fernando Alonso
    2.Kimi Raikkonen
    3.Nico Hulkenberg
    4.Lewis Hamilton
    5.Felipe Masssa

  347. sjd1992 says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Hamilton
    3) Raikkonen
    4) Vettel
    5) Hulkenberg

  348. Mike from Colombia says:

    Could we maybe have another thread with the question:

    “Who were YOUR top 5 drivers of the year?”

    The temptation on this thread is to second guess James’s preferences!

  349. Alfonso says:

    My drivers of the year 2012:

    1. Alonso.
    2. Hamilton.
    3. Vetel.
    4. Raikkonen.
    5. Perez.

  350. Marc B. says:

    ALO
    VET
    HAM
    RAI
    HUL

  351. Eamon says:

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

  352. Jarno says:

    1. RAI
    2. HAM
    3. VET
    4. SEN
    5. ALO

  353. Marc says:

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

  354. Bradley Sargeant says:

    1) Alonso – Was faultless all year and dragged a car that shouldn’t have been anywhere near challenging for the title to winthin three points of winning it.

    2) Vettel – Got the job done and finished as WDC albeit with the best car, but still had to deliver the points and made decent comeback drives

    3)Hamilton – Hard to chose between Hamilton and Vettel for 2nd, I think it was one of Lewis’ best seasons, didnt do an awful lot wrong and invariably delivered when he had the car t do so only for the car/team to let him down. Could easily have been WDC with less mistakes from the team.

    4) Raikkonen – Showed he has lost non of his speed and actually looked better than he did in 2008 and the begining of 2009 at Ferrari. Super consistent, Won a race brilliantly, probably should have won in Bahrain. Great season

    5)Button – Not his best season but still bagged three great wins, struggled to work his tyres in the middle of the season but when he did get them to work he was fighting for wins. Needs to make sure he is able to get the most from his tyres if he is going to challenge in 2013

  355. Highwaystar says:

    1. Hamilton – Performed the best throughout consistently. Did not make a single mistake this year except for the setup at Spa and in the changing conditions of Brazil. Held his nerve superbly when his car and team gave up on him, a lesson the reigning champion can use.

    2. Alonso – drove really well, but lost my first place because he did make mistakes, and the Ferrari being a bad car is bogus. It was only bad in Qualy under DRS.

    3. Raikkonen – superb consistency, but was outpaced by Grosjean many times in Qualy.

    4. Vettel – Peaked at the right time of the season, synchronised with his team’s peak. Had tremendous luck to gain positions when he wanted to, really threw tantrums when he couldn’t deal with backmarkers and with not winning in general.

    5. Button – had some good races, but struggled tremendously with a car Lewis could drive all the way to pole on many occasions.

  356. Alex says:

    So difficult because there have been so many outstanding performances this season!

    1 – Fernando; racer of the year
    2 – Lewis; qualifier of the year
    3 – Kimi; most consistent,brings the car home
    4 – Seb; I agree that he deserves a lot more respect than he gets,but I still have to put him fourth…

    …top four out performed their team mates by a lot.

    5 – much more difficult…

    1st half of season – Perez
    2nd half of season – Hulkenberg

    Probably gonna go for the Hulk :-)

  357. Anna says:

    Hamilton- flawless all year, would have won but for team errors and unreliable car
    Alonso – consistent and always in the hunt with a car that rarely qualified well.
    Vettel- in the best car but did the job and answered a few questions(overtaking)
    Raikonnen- grat return to form
    Hulk- struggled with fifth, I guess he wins out over the other contenders.

  358. Fardin Heydari says:

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

  359. Robby says:

    Tough to make a choice between the champion and the driver who did more with a non-winning car. Although, I pick Vettel as no1 (world champion for 3 years in a row, fantastic comeback in the second part of the season and more race wins)

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso

    My number 3 is Lewis Hamilton. Without team mistakes (pitstops, reliability) and collisions (Maldonado) he would fight longer for the title. Kimi was very consistent, very impressive in his comeback year but not really a championship contender so I place him in 4th position.

    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonen

    Number 5, a lot of drivers deserve this place. Hulkenberg proved a lot with the midfield Force India, Perez had sensational drives to the podium and forced a transfer to a top team. Maldonado was very fast in quali with a slow Williams and won the first GP since long time. Button struggled part of the season but proved in difficult and changing conditions he is still one of the top drivers. I would also like to mention Grosjean, for his speed. Don’t forget he’s still a rookie. I will not pick him for his start/first lap mistakes. So my ultimate choice go to Perez, closely followed by Maldonado.

    5. Perez

    1. Elie says:

      Do you think cars have something to do with it ?

  360. Adam says:

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

  361. Richardc says:

    As always the top three, Alonso,Hamilton then Vettel. Then you have Kimi and Hulk. Great season for the top three. Any one of those would have won in the RBull. Genuinely worried for Mcl next season. As everyone knows Button and Chico do not qually well therefore could be hard for them. The pace was there look at LH performances! I will love it ifLH can get the Merc to the front, then lets see Whitmarsh giving that stupid grin in all his interviews!!

  362. Txarly says:

    1.-Alonso: 13th podiums, F1is not only to be the fastest, you must be fast driver but use you brain in difficult races conditions. He had a non good car in saturdays despiste that he flighted to the end. He is a combination of few historical f1drivers. The best.
    2.-Hamilton: the fastest over one lap, he knows must learn a lot of things forma ALO. That is one of the Readin he us leaving McLaren. He must prove himself leading a new tema as Mercedes. Good move for me.
    3.-Vettel: the champion, strong drive (you have to do it) when his car was the best
    4.-Kimi: good comeback, better than anyone thought
    5.-Weber: second driver of the strongest team and the driver can not show his drives because Red Bull preferences (Vettel)

  363. Ben Brouard says:

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

  364. Michael Attard says:

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

  365. Athlander says:

    1) Vettel
    2) Alonso
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Hulkenberg

  366. Jesse James says:

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

  367. Nick says:

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

  368. Rudy says:

    Ok, here we go…
    Fernando Alonso
    Sebastian Vettel
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Lewis Hamilton
    Jenson Button

    Great job throughout the season James! The site is fantastic, keep up the good work.
    Season Greetings from Canada.

  369. yeahyeah112211 says:

    1. Narain Karthikeyan
    2. Paul Di Resta
    3. Jean Eric Vergne
    4. Charles Pic
    5. Pastor Maldanado

  370. Josh says:

    1. PER
    2. RAI
    3. BUT
    4. WEB
    5. MSC

  371. Dion says:

    Without a doubt your all wrong and I’m right…
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Webber

  372. Attila says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Räikkönen
    4. Vettel
    5. Hülkenberg

  373. Nahar Abdul Rahman Sabri says:

    1. Fernando Alonso.
    2. Sebastian Vettel.
    3. Lewis Hamilton.
    4. Kimi Raikkonen.
    5. Sergio Perez.

  374. my tuppence says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Perez

  375. Dylan Reynolds says:

    Fernando Alonso
    Sebastian Vettel
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Lewis Hamilton
    Nico Hulkenberg

  376. David Walker says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastien Vettel
    3. Kimi Raikkonen
    4. Lewis Hamilton
    5. Felipe Massa

    Hard call between Massa/Button/Hulkenberg/Perez/Maldonado/Kobayashi for last spot but Massa edges for me with his second half season performance.

  377. DMyers says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. There are a few contenders for 5th really, but nobody stands out.

  378. James Showalter says:

    In order:

    ALO – Ferrari would have finished 3rd in constructor without him
    VET – He finally proved it’s not just Newey
    HAM – Dennis gives him the car, Dennis wins constructor
    RAI – Put Lotus on his shoulders
    HUL – Dennis’ second-biggest mistake of 2012

  379. Lojen says:

    What I think, and what James actually thinks are 2 different things, so going with what I believe James will think:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Perez

  380. Kay says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Massa
    Perez

    1. Elie says:

      Your top 3 are spot on Kay-but comeon.. where was Massa for the first half of the year (great end I know) ???

  381. Pierre says:

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

  382. GlastoEls says:

    ALO
    VET
    HAM
    RAI
    BUT

  383. vicnsi says:

    So, I noticed recently that in the 2012 constructors standings several teams swopped places compared to last year (new team numbers in brackets):

    Ferrari ( 3, 4 ) moved up
    ahead of McLaren (5, 6 )

    Lotus ( 7, 8 ) moved up
    ahead of Mercedes ( 9, 10 )

    Sauber ( 11, 12 ) moved up
    ahead of Force India ( 14, 15 )

    Williams ( 16, 17 ) moved up
    ahead of Toro Rosso ( 18, 19 )

    Caterham maintained 20,21

    Marussia ( 22, 23 ) moved up
    ahead of HRT, now defunct – but whose numbers would now have been ( 24, 25 )

    http://www.fia.com/news/fia-2013-formula-one-world-championship-entry-list

    Anyway, my personal top five drivers would be:
    1) Alonso *
    2) Hamilton
    3) Raikkonen
    4) Perez
    5) Hulkenberg

    * Obviously Vettel is world Champion, and deservedly so.

    1. vicnsi says:

      btw James, I’ve decided to treat myself to just the one Xmas present this year – and have now ordered your book!

      I HAVE been “living dangerously” this year, on a tight and very skinny budget! ;-)

      1. James Allen says:

        Thanks for that. Hope you enjoy it

  384. Matthew says:

    Alo
    Ham
    Vet
    Rai
    But

  385. Rolo says:

    1- Alonso – I don’t think some people realise just how good this bloke is, such a shame his car was never quite up there
    2- Raikkonen – Brilliant return!
    3- Vettel – Hung in there and did the biz, but HOW lucky??!
    Would like to give him a special mention in dispatches as he is great with the fans.At Spa on the thursday he signed stuff for much longer than the other top drivers and happily signed the underside of our Ferrari caps and shared a joke about it in great humour. Proper little gentleman!
    4- Hamilton – Drove very well, unlucky, unnecessary tangle with Maldonado at Valencia, still some maturing to do.
    5 – Hulkenberg – Shame he won’t be at Ferrari next year!

  386. Sein says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Kimi
    5. Hulkenberg

  387. mofs says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Raikkonen
    4) Hamilton
    5) Pic

  388. JB HAM says:

    1. Hamilton – drove better than VET & ALO
    2. Alonso
    3. Vettel
    4. Kimi
    5. Hulkenburg

  389. mexicobob says:

    So, is the best driver the one who made the least number of mistakes? Is the best driver the one who got lucky a few times (Sergio, Pastor, Nico R) and capitalized on that? Is the best driver the one who comprehensively beat his team mate? Seb won obviously, but made lots of mistakes but had some bad luck with reliability, also one of the slower cars through the speed trap. Felipe’s return to form showed up Fernanado a little in the second half of the season. Mark faded. Jenson didn’t suffer the bad luck Lewis did but went off the boil mid season. So…..
    1. Kimi, really only one mistake, finished third in an inferior car, comprehensively beat his team mate after two years out.
    2 Lewis, no mistakes to speak of, was pretty much always ahead of Jenson and only for bad luck (possibly the most of any driver in 2012) was not in the hunt at the end.
    3 Fernando, drove well but was bettered by his ‘toasted’ team mate near seasons end and qualified poorly.
    4 Seb, pulled it off but was not mistake free and also suffered bad luck.
    5 Nico H, bettered his talked-up team mate and drove his best yet towards the end of the year.
    Cudos to Petraly and Charles who also stood up well to their team mates.

    A great season, no?

    1. JB HAM says:

      Grosjean was faster than Kimi. A rookie. So how you have Kimi as #1?

      1. mexicobob says:

        Romain was only consistent when it came to crashing. Kimi, most laps completed, one victory, arguably only one big mistake (Brazil),
        scored in all but one race, third in the championship. I don’t think F1 is all about being fast and yes, Romain did out qualify Kimi on a number of occasions but rarely converted that in the race. Hope that satisfies.

      2. Kimi4WDC says:

        Massa was faster than Alonso. Your point?

      3. Elie says:

        10 quails each ? & Kimi more than twice the points, never touched anyone ! And finished 3rd—uhhumm honestly – what have you people thinking!

  390. Andrew says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Raikkonen
    3) Hamilton
    4) Vettel
    5) Maldonado

  391. paxdog57 says:

    Fernando Alonso
    Seb Vettel
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Lewis Hamilton
    Nico Hulkenberg

  392. Jim Howell says:

    1) Vettel
    2) Alonso
    3) Hamilton
    4) Massa
    5)Raikkonen

  393. Phupinder Roopra says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Perez

  394. Phupinder Roopra says:

    1) Alonso
    2) Vettel
    3) Hamilton
    4) Raikkonen
    5) Perez

  395. mvi says:

    1. ALO
    2. HAM
    3. RAI
    4. VET
    5. HUL

  396. Nick_F1 says:

    1) Alonso – did very good job
    2) Vettel – I think he quite close to what Alonso did, managed to get down 40 points
    3) Hamilton – good but just not lucky year
    4) Schumacher – very good improvement through the year but as Hamilton was very very unlucky with Merc’s car and team
    5) Button – it seems he requires help (tyres) from a team to get back on track as for the results – almost the same as for Massa (tyres), if no attention from the team he wouldn’t get back on top …

  397. Matt H says:

    1. Vettel – made the most of machine in key times and held his cool in extremely tense circs.
    2. Alonso – beast! Clinical and drove superb all season but just fell short of vettel took points consistently but buckled in key race Japan and quali.
    3. Hamilton – not a foot wrong but machine let him down in 3rd due to champ position alone and mclaren unreliability.
    4. Kimi – mr consistency behind Alonso but qualified poorly at times missed opportunities earlier in season when lotus were up there.
    5. Hulkenberg – unsung hero for me out scored race winning Williams cars and only just behind Perez in what I feel is a slower force India which looked tricky to drive at times.

    There’s my 5 chaps and lady’s please post my copy James as soon as this is posted ; )

  398. EDM says:

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

  399. Richardd says:

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikonnen
    Perez

  400. Triangle says:

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

  401. eurasica says:

    My top three

    1.Romain Grosjean – Very good at qualifying when nobody is around him.

    2. P. Maldonado – Cold blooded latin. Best race-craft in the field.

    3. M Schumacher- Best comeback.

  402. Peter Harkes says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Hulkenburg

  403. Mike Wessel says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Raikkonnen
    5 Button

  404. Andrew Munro says:

    1. Fernando Alonso

    All year, he was at his relentless best. He got the best out of the Ferrari at pretty much every race, coming through adversity to score strong results more than once (Valencia and Monza spring to mind immediately). Even after Red Bull hit their stride, he did the most to minimise the gap to Vettel to keep himself within distance should they slip up – regrettably for him it was not to be. Only negatives would be the very costly misjudgement in Suzuka, a few tactical missteps (Canada and Silverstone) and being outperformed by Massa on the home stretch.

    2. Lewis Hamilton

    After a very difficult 2011 in which he was put in the shade by Button by the year end, he bounced back in the best way possible. Took the most pole positions out of everyone all year, outqualified and outraced Button and, if not for the well documented reliability and operational errors, would have been right in the title hunt. His wins in Montreal and Austin were classic Hamilton – charging to the front and passing his rivals to seal the victory. Mistakes were few and far between, unlike 2011, he managed to keep himself clear of scrappy incidents, although he was involved in three crashes I think he was blameless for all of them (others will doubtless disagree). Deserved more in his last year at McLaren.

    3. Sebastian Vettel

    The world champion had a mixed year by the very high standards he set in 2011. At his best, he was a match for anyone on the grid – he was imperious on the Asian stretch, he demonstrated he can fight his way through the field (in Belgium and Abu Dhabi, and to a lesser extent Interlagos), and by the end of the season he was comfortably outperforming Webber a la late 2010-2011. He also lost a certain victory in Valencia through no fault of his own. However, there were more than a few occasions where Webber comfortably outperformed him in the first half of the season (at the half-way stage you’d have to judge them about equal), and there were several misjudgements along the way – the crash with Karthikayan, overtaking Button off the track, the penalty after the dice with Alonso in Monza. Even his comeback drives had their moments of controversy, such as the comings together with Senna in both Abu Dhabi and Brazil. He’s certainly a deserving world champion, but he didn’t quite have the consistency of the top two this season.

    4. Kimi Raikkonen

    When Michael Schumacher struggled on his comeback, many suggested that it was due to the fact F1 moves so quickly these days, any time away from the sport renders it too difficult to catch up upon your return – Raikkonen blew that theory out of the water. After a steady start to the year, he finally showed what the strong Lotus car could do with a podium in Bahrain, and continued to post strong results for pretty much the rest of the year, culminating in a third place championship finish and that win in Abu Dhabi. The only real down side was a sense of what might have been – poor qualifying (compared to Grosjean) and strategy calls robbed Raikkonen of potential wins in Bahrain, Spain and Hungary, which could have turned him into a very serious title contender. Very interesting to see what he achieves in 2013.

    5. Sergio Perez

    The fifth place is the hardest of all, and there are a lot of contenders. For me it’s between Perez and Hulkenburg. Hulkenburg was putting di Resta firmly in the shade by the end of the season, culminating in some solid points finishes and the drive in Brazil, ultimately ending in the disappointing crash with Hamilton with a potential victory in sight. However, I’’m going to go for Perez – he tailed off towards the end of the year, but I’ll forgive him that given he knew he was leaving the team for next season. His highs were higher than Hulkenburg, with podiums in Malaysia (where he could have won with better strategy), Canada and Monza. When the McLaren drive came up he was the clear choice to replace Hamilton; I’ll be very interested to see how he stacks up against Button next year.

    1. Hal says:

      Good post.

  405. 1. Hamilton -bad luck/team errors,should have been no1
    2. Raikkonen -back from retirement and still strong
    3. Perez -just give him a good car!
    4. button – winning when other struggle
    5. vettel – the champ, but would not win in an inferior car…

    Alonso out – I do not like drivers that want to win with team orders/ or in the boardroom…

    1. …. and my no 6 is GROSJEAN.. everyone is ruling him out but I solemnly predict that he will, at least. DOUBLE his point tally next year. maybe more…

    2. Brace says:

      May I add for Button, struggles while his teammate is winning?

  406. Adam T says:

    1, Alonso
    2, Vettel
    3, Hamilton
    4, Raikkonen
    5, Hulkenburg

  407. dave mingay says:

    ALONSO
    HAMILTON
    VETTEL
    RAIKKONEN
    WEBBER

  408. Ben Mallison says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Hulkenburg
    5. Pic

  409. David Plews says:

    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Perez

  410. Sudha S says:

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

  411. Dominic J says:

    1) Alonso – great season in an only “good” car (although Prost got fired for complaining less about a worse Ferrari)
    2) Vettel – pretty consistent and would have won by miles with a reliable car/alternator
    3) Raikkonen – welcome back, we’ve missed you!
    4) Hamilton – see Vettel.
    5) Hulkenberg – only really strong in second half of season, but the driver of the last few races.

  412. Craig D says:

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

  413. aveli says:

    hamilton
    rosberg
    alonso
    vettel
    raikkonen

  414. Steven hoath says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    perez

  415. Jenni Royston says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Hulkenberg
    5. Rosberg

  416. Will Gooding says:

    1. Fernando Alonso – Sheer class, delivered against the odds results every race, whether competitive or not.

    2. Sebastian Vettel – Delivered the win when he had the car, was in the points when he didn’t, went under the radar for most of the season but still got the job done.

    3. Lewis Hamilton – Absolutely awesome form this year, amazing qualifying performances, quite possibly would have won the WDC if the car wasn’t so poor on the reliability front.

    4. Nico Hulkenburg – Had a tough year pitted against Paul Di Resta, and had the better of him, especially during the second half of the season (no easy task). May have made a bit of a sideways move to Sauber but definitely has the potential to fight at the front given the right car.

    5. Kimi Raikonnen – The reason I don’t rate him above Hulk is because he was generally outshone over 1 lap by Grosjean over the first half of the season, but found his feet post Hungary and from there on in was nearly always challenging for the podium. Great comeback year, will challenge for the WDC next year as long as the car is quick out of the box.

  417. corvette says:

    1 alonso,vettel,raikkonen,hamilton,bottas
    2.-
    3.-
    4.-
    5.-
    :)

    1. Dominic J says:

      Bottas – nice choice. For some reason I have a suspicion that more or less any pair of superlicence holders would’ve scored more points than Maldonado/Senna in that car, but a Barrichello/Bottas blend of experience/youth/(admitted lack of $$$) would’ve been better, I’m confident. Fewer broken wings, at least!

      1. corvette says:

        spot on maldonado should drive for red bull who gives you wings :)nice that you also have seen bottas talent it will be interesting se him against maldonado next year

  418. Tim says:

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

    Tim

  419. Frank says:

    Top 5 driver?

    1. Kimi
    come on…

    2. Vettel
    3rd time WDC, always fighting from the very start. He actually fights Webber, Lewis, Kimi, Alonso, Button, Massa,…….. So this is just great.

    He is still learning and in a couple of years he will come close to Kimis skills.

    3. Schumacher
    Had a good end of 2011 end bad 7 races at the beginning of 2012…. fastest lap in Monaco…. Rosberg was slower in 2012….

    4. Hamilton
    Without pressure he is fast, but throw it away in 2007 in Sao Paulo and 2010 in Monza and Singapore, and almost in 2008 under pressure in Sao Paulo again.

    2011 he said a woman was responsible of his bad season… Not too convincing…

    5.Massa
    since Suzuka “much quicker” than the alleged best driver in the field….

    =========
    6.Alonso
    yeah… a lot of whining, complaining, cheating, even after the chequered flag in Sao Paulo. Lost to Massa in the last 5,6 races…

    7.Button
    Jenson scored more points than Lewis in the last three years.

    1. FforFerrari says:

      Fernando is usually 0.3 seconds faster than Felipe.

      You are right in saying that Massa was clearly faster than Fernando at the tail end of the season.

      But I would attribute this more to the upgrades on the car. Fernando had all the upgrades (new floor, wings etc), whilst Massa was still driving the older spec car.

      The upgrades worked dismally and one has to wonder if Ferrari had not messed around with the car, if they would have finished further up. The older spec car seemed to be excellent in the race. In Austin, this was a good example because Massa stormed through the field, whilst Fernando (in 3rd) was 40 seconds behind the leaders at one point during the race.

      The “downgrades” is why I believe the development team of Ferrari just got it all wrong.

      It seems if you are a Kimi fan, you usually are not a Fernando fan. Perhaps it’s got something to do with Fernando displacing Kimi in 2010.

      Although I must say that Kimi has used social media (particularly online videos) extremely well to find his voice and reach out to his fans.

  420. Albert says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Nico Hulkenberg
    5. Kimi Raikkonen

  421. drarpad says:

    VET
    ALO
    HUL
    HAM
    RAI

  422. aveli says:

    sorry i forgot to justify my post above;

    hamilton because he performed like he could take on any teammate and beat them fair and square, no tactics! outqualified the whole field only to be let down.

    rosberg because he took on the 7 times world champion and left him standing.

    alonso also left his non champion teammate standing albeit with a bit of alonso spice (tactics).

    vettel because he was untouchable up front but his non champion teammate was close in his wake.

    raikkonen didn’t only leave his non champion teammate standing but he regularly mixed it with the front runners after a two year lay off. he knew what he was doing and was left alone to do his thing.

  423. Richard D says:

    I’ve scanned the lists and unlike the last couple of years people’s top 4 are consistently the same drivers, which I’d go along with. Those top 4 were by far and away the best drivers. 5th place is hard though! Perez had it for me at the start but Hulkenberg has come on at the end of the season. So…

    5. Hulkenberg: After a quiet first half really came on towards the end. Could Mclaren be wishing they’d backed him instead of Perez?

    4. Raikkonen: Mr Consistency. It was like he had never been away. Brilliant season.

    3. Vettel: Didn’t make many mistakes and proved that he can fight his way through the pack. Joined an exclusive club of triple world champions and though statistics may not tell the whole story he deserved the title.

    2. Hamilton: As a Hamilton ‘fan’ this season has been infuriating. He was let down by his machinery rather than himself this year, and probably the last time in a while when he can be counted as a title contender.

    1. Alonso: Had a few qualifying issues at the end of the season but had squeezed out all the points Ferrari could give. If he had won it would’ve been the first title won by a driver in what was not considered the best car for a while, so to get as close as he did makes him my number 1.

    However I would go along with that top 4 being in any order as they all showed moments of supreme skill. Bring on 2013!

  424. Aaron James says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Perez
    Hulkenberg

  425. David H says:

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

  426. Shez says:

    Hi,

    My top three are very close, but here it is.

    Hamilton: Drove incredibly well in qualifying and was generally very quick at all the races. There where certainly a lot of factors at play in the Mclaren team this year, which makes his driving all the more impressive

    Vettel: He did it again, a triple world champion. He produced when he needed to. I think we take him for granted. His race craft in amongst traffic still looks a little suspect, but those four back to back wind where very impressive.

    Alonso: For sure his car wasn’t the outright fastest, but we shouldn’t forget that he has the entire team built around him. He was still very consistent and drove very well all year.

    Raikkonen: Fantastic comeback, again very consistent. He had some wobbles in qualifying and maybe should have scored a few more points. Race craft was very strong.

    Hulkenburg: Coming back from a season out and went up against an established and hyped team mate. Yet he came through and got stronger and stronger as the season went on. Firmly putting Di-Resta in the shade.

    That’s my five as of now, but as I say the top 3 are so so close.

  427. Jon Wilde says:

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

  428. French Steve says:

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

  429. Andrea Baroncini says:

    1. Sebastian Vettel: the most winning pilot in the season and the winner of the title

    2. Fernando Alonso: he made the best his car could permit and also some more

    3. Kimi Raikkonen: third in championship in the year of the come back with the fourth classified team

    4. Lewis Hamilton: a lighting in qualifying but not always so fast during race (in some cases also because of his team i suppose)

    5. Nico Hulkenberg: very impressive in the second half of the season

  430. Arcturis says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Raikkonem
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hulkenburg

  431. Angelina says:

    Seb Vettel
    Kimi
    Ferdi
    Hami
    Hulk

  432. Jimbob says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenburg

  433. Michael Spitale says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Button

  434. John says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Raikkonnen
    Hamilton
    Hulkenberg

  435. Michael Prestia says:

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

  436. PM says:

    1) Raikkonen
    2) Alonso
    3) Vettel
    4) Hamilton
    5) Perez

  437. Panagiotis says:

    Alonso
    Kimi
    Pic
    Perez
    Lewis

  438. Rich C says:

    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Kimi
    Massa

  439. Jorge Gaviria says:

    1-Vettel
    2-Alonso
    3-Kimi
    4-Hamilton
    5-Perez

  440. Johnty says:

    1. Fernado Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenburg

  441. Rafael says:

    (1) Alonso
    (2) Vettel
    (3) Raikkonen
    (4) Hamilton
    (5) Perez

  442. PK says:

    1. Hamilton – Appeared to get the most in both qualifying and races

    2. Vettel – He may have been in a stronger can than Alonso, but he didn’t underwhelm the car. Was on the pace in both qualy and races.

    3. Alonso – Solid throughout, but contrary to popular opinion, I just didn’t see the lion performances that everyone kept on about. Underwhelmed at the later stages of the season (Korea, Brazil and a number of qualy sessions.

    4. Hulk – Seemed to take that next step – against quite the fancied team mate.

    5. Schumacher – Though the points table doesn’t do justice – when the Merc was strong he was having his way with Rosberg (except China). If he had Nico’s reliability he would be in everyone else conversation as well.

    First one of the bench – Raikonnen – consistently strong but not consistently overwhelming the car’s ability. Before Grosjean became a pattern of destruction, it was he who was fancied being the shining star of Lotus’ early season form. People have tended to forget that as the season wore on.

  443. Bayan says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Kimi
    Hamilton
    Hulkenberg

  444. H says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Hilton
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Massa

    1. H says:

      I meant Hamilton at 3- Oops

  445. Bollo says:

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

  446. Andy R says:

    Top 5 for the season should be, in this order:

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

    then
    6. Webber
    7. Massa
    8. Hulkenburg

    (top 8 for the points position if the season were one race)

  447. Matt Batt says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Kimi
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Perez

  448. Yasser says:

    1- ALO
    2- VET
    3- HAM
    4- RAI
    5- MAL – yes he’s a madman , but remember his speed in quali compared to senna

    1. Martin says:

      So your saying that over a season of 20 races Maldanado was the 5th best driver on the grid out of the 24.

  449. Jay Dodah says:

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

  450. wickerman says:

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

  451. Bollo says:

    Brian Leveson
    Steve Coogan
    Gerry McCann
    Rebekah Brooks – 2nd last
    Rupert Murdoch – last

    sorry James – couldn’t help myself

  452. Bryan Bento says:

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

  453. Stephen Taylor says:

    My top 5
    1 Alonso
    2 Hammilton
    3. Kimi
    4 Vettel
    5 De la Rosa

  454. Syn says:

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

  455. Stephen Taylor says:

    My top 5
    1. Alonso
    2.Hamilton#
    3 Kimi
    4. Vettel
    5. De la Rosa

  456. Lars J says:

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

  457. Stephen Taylor says:

    My 6-10 would be
    6.Hulk
    7. Button
    8. Perez
    9 Massa
    10.Rosberg

  458. cometeF1 says:

    1) Vettel, hard to argue with him being the champion at the end.

    2) Kimi, incredible come back, 3rd in the championship, great close racing, truly a feast to the eyes.

    3) Alonso, great overall season and l can see why he is the top choice of many if not most, but to me him leading the championship but for the last few races and finishing 3 points off, was also due to the bad luck of others, not just his driving.

    4) Hamilton, could/should have been his season but turned out not to be. I feel that he did not do as well as he should have during the early part of the season. My thoughts anyway.

    5) Button, 5th is not so easy to pick. 3 wins and 3 2nd places finish do it for me for my choice. Marc

  459. Bastosman says:

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

  460. Pedro Andrade says:

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

  461. Raymond YZJ says:

    For some reason I do not believe #1 will go to anyone other than one driver – and IMO deservedly so.

    1. Fernando Alonso – other than an ill-fated attempt on overtaking on the marbles in China, has been flawless and demonicly opportunistic the whole year. Started to wane a little towards the end of the year, but can’t say I blame him. It must be mentally taxing to be on the ball the entire way.

    2. Sebastian Vettel – His consistency, in my view, has been underrated. Other than P6 in Spain and Brazil, as well as two P5s in Germany and Shanghai, one of which was due to a post-race penalty, he has always finished in the Top 4. His only non-scores have been due to a collision with Karthikeyan, and 2 alternator failures. Significantly, before each incident causing non-scores, he has also been in the running for the top 5. Mark was only ever more competitive in China, Monaco and Silverstone. Impressive, to make someone as quick as Mark Webber look so slow at times.

    3. Lewis Hamilton – His year is an extremely unfortunate one – in a way that reminds me of Raikkonen’s 2005, and Vettel’s 2010. Always out in front, but always breaking down. Was always there and drove beautifully, on par with Vettel, generally getting the maximum from the car except for a few situations.

    4. Kimi Raikkonen – A stunning comeback, and arguably one of the best the sport has ever seen, especially considering he had to contend with new tyres. Hasn’t quite been his old self in qualifying, but has been absolutely on it in the races. To finish all bar one of the racing laps all year – truly stunning. The reason I still put him down here, is that he has, in my view, had some near misses which I think would have been won if it was the old Kimi driving.

    5. Jenson Button – Has had a typical Jenson Button year. On fire when the car’s right, and lacklustre when the car hasn’t been there. A mid-season patch that is, frankly speaking, quite embarrassing for a world champion.

    6. Nico Hulkenberg – Has shown real class and talent in a car that is arguably bottom of the midfield but one (Toro Rosso). Stunning in the wet. Showed a real explosion in form after he got used to the Pirelli tyres, including a fantastic almost-victory in Brazil, as well as a run of points from Suzuka to the US. His drive in Korea, fending off Grosjean for 40 odd laps and pouncing on Grosjean and Hamilton slowing each other down, was worthy of Fernando Alonso.

    7. Mark Webber – In somewhat typical fashion, has shone at tracks he likes, and been lacklustre at tracks he doesn’t like. Outperformed by his teammate by a total of 102 points, and only really convincingly put one over on Sebastian in Silverstone, Monaco and China.

    8. Michael Schumacher – a stunning pole in Monaco showed that the old man still has what it takes, and to be frank, had it not been for terrible reliability, would have had the beating of Nico Rosberg. Has made his highly-rated teammate look like a rookie whenever the heavens opened.

    9. Romain Grosjean – Supremely quick, supremely talented. But he has to work on his spatial awareness when there are more than one car around.

    10. Pastor Maldonado – His speed was put beyond doubt throughout the whole year, but has to work on lifting that red mist that is stopping him from reaching his true potential. Contact with Perez in Monaco smacked desperately of Spa 2011 with Hamilton, and were it not for on track recklessness would have had several more podiums. To his credit, cleaned up his act towards the end of the year, with highlights in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

    11. Felipe Massa – an extremely good run of form at the end of the season might prove to tell that the 2008 Felipe Massa is back. But lacklustre results before that which were really not fitting of a Ferrari driver.

    12. Kamui Kobayashi – Has outdone highly rated teammate Sergio Perez in qualifying all season, and has been the only Sauber driver to achieve a podium on pace and not by a good strategy gamble. Undoubtedly would have been in the fight for another podium had he not been taken out at the start at Spa.

    13. Nico Rosberg – Except for his maiden victory in Shanghai – really an anonymous season of being outperformed by the old master. Has looked mighty ordinary whenever the rain has come down.

    14. Jean-Eric Vergne – Sadly couldn’t capitalise on a good Monaco showing. Has been lacklustre in qualifying all year, but has shown good race craft and pace.

    15. Paul Di Resta – duly outdone by his teammate, except for two good showings in Bahrain and Singapore. I still find him to be a bit of a “Jenson Button” or “Sergio Perez” – his best showings have not come about through pace and race craft, but have come about through clever race management. Only in Singapore was that mould shattered. Looked ordinary otherwise.

    16. Bruno Senna – really disappointing. Even with Pastor spending half of the races walking in the pit garage, has only two-thirds of his teammate’s points haul. Low point of the season undoubtedly is a Q1 exit when his teammate qualified P2 and was promoted to pole.

    17. Sergio Perez – for someone so highly rated, I’m quite disappointed. Except for Malaysia, his podiums have all come from lucky strategy gambles. Generally outpaced by Kobayashi, who is not known for raw pace.

    18. Daniel Ricciardo – has shown better qualifying pace than his teammate, but really hasn’t stood out either. His defence of Michael Schumacher perhaps is a possible highlight, and his good qualifying of P6 in Bahrain. Really is so low not due to his own doing – but because the field is so strong nowadays.

    19. Glock – a fantastic performance which, in normal conditions and a non-attrition race, nabbed hi P12. Underrated little driver, this.

    20. Kovalainen – Great drives again all year, though somewhat waned towards the end of the season.

    21. Pic – best rookie Marussia has hired so far.

    22. Petrov – towards the end of the year has had a better showing than Heikki, and considering the way Heikki has been performing these last two years, that’s saying something.

    23. de la Rosa

    24. Karthikeyan

  462. Dean V says:

    1 Vettel
    2 Alonso
    3 Hamilton
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Kobayashi

  463. Ben Dziekan says:

    VETTEL- Easy to forget the Red Bull was far from the quickest car for the first 1/3 of the season.
    ALONSO- The F2012 didn’t deserve to be fighting for the title, particulary early in the season
    RAIKKONEN-most consistent performer of the year
    HAMILTON- Let down by Poor reliability
    PEREZ- Breakthrough year, faded at end of season

  464. steven says:

    1. Hamilton – best year of his career and probably would have won the championship if mclaren had operated on the same level as him

    2. Alonso – consistently delivered more than the ferrari was capable of and showed true grit and race intelligence, plus those starts. tough call between him and lewis for the number 1 spot.

    3. Vettel – kept himself in contention all season and showed an improvement in racecraft.

    4. Raikkonen – the iceman returneth! great comeback year for him, some of the best overtakes of the year, always aware of what’s going on around him. hilarious to boot.

    5. Hulkenberg – showed this year that he was much more deserving of the seat at mclaren than perez. a real talent

  465. Philip Taylor says:

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

  466. Scott says:

    1. Alonso. Outdrove his car and very nearly took the title. ‘Nuff said.

    2. Hamilton. When his car worked and his team didn’t screw up he was in dominant form. Should have won the title.

    3. Vettel. Made up for a poor start with some incredible lights to flag victories and some stunning comeback drives.

    4. Raikkonen. You wouldn’t realise he’d ever been gone!

    5. Perez. A bit patchy but as a rookie that can be expected I suppose. Malaysia and Monza drives were top class.

  467. Frrazzk says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Lewis
    3. Fingerboy
    4. Iceman
    5. Hulk

  468. John says:

    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Kimi
    Alonso
    Hulkenberg

  469. Vino says:

    1 – Alonso
    2 – Vettel
    3 – Kimi
    4 – Hamilton
    5 – Nico H

    Button/Perez/Rosberg/Webber are next

  470. dean cassady says:

    vettel
    raikkonen
    alonso
    hamilton
    webber – major contributor to the constructors’championship, wins, support for drivers’ championship (in his own way), and good alround geezer

  471. Marcus in Canada says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikonnen
    Hulkenberg

  472. Jeffrey says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenburg

  473. Pietro says:

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

  474. Birol says:

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

  475. dodi says:

    1. Vettel (no doubt he is the best)
    2. Alonso (just because he got WDC no.2 otherwise he should has been in the lower position)
    3. Hamilton (he won most races other than vettel)
    4. Raikkonen (he has never been given up and he is the only one finishing all 20 races of the season)
    5. Massa (he hasn’t lost his old racing capability obviously as we all saw toward the end of the season. Why? Find what he said at http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/104688).

    Massa or Webber, not so easy to put in no.5.

    1. dodi says:

      Sorry, correction:
      4. … all 19 races of the season).

  476. Les says:

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

  477. Paul Lewis says:

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

  478. alex says:

    Sorry James i know this isn’t the topic
    but are you planning on make a post about the
    book Adam Parr released.
    Nobody is really talking about it but it seems that are some good stuff on it.
    Again sorry for posting this here.

    Alex

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, just reading it now

  479. KC says:

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

  480. Onyx says:

    My top 5 are the drivers who really excited me this year..
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Maldonado
    Hulkenberg
    Grosjean
    Gone right off Alonso with all his stuff about fighting both Vettel and Newey and how its a miracle they fought to the end!Button is great on his day but thats only about 3 or 4 times every year.Webber is just a good No2.Massa is never going to win another Gp ever.The jury is still out on Perez..has he got the speed?Think Mclaren jumped in too quick as they were upset Lewis decided to leave.They should have signed the Hulk who made Di Resta look a bit shabby in the second half of the year.Pastor and Romain have their faults but its never a dull moment with them and fundamentally they have speed like Hamilton and Vettel.I mean is Alonso actually quick any more??..Roll on 2013!

    1. Martin says:

      Your top five is different I will give you that.

  481. Richard says:

    Alonso
    Raikonnen
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Glock (Let’s not forget his p12 in Singapore shall we)

  482. F1 Kitteh says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Button

  483. Vadim says:

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

  484. Timmay says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  485. ROBERTO MARQUEZ says:

    1 Fernando Alonso
    2 Sebastian Vettel
    3 Lewis Hamilton
    4 Kimi Raikkonen
    5 Pastor Maldonado

  486. Sid says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Sebastian Vettel
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenburg

  487. Owen Brooker says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Perez

  488. Gabe says:

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

  489. Darkman says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Räikkönen
    5 Button

  490. JW1980 says:

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

    Special commendation to Hulkenburg.
    These six miles ahead of the rest.

  491. 21prods says:

    1. Alonso (incredible what he did with that dog of a car).
    2. Hamilton (without McLaren errors he should have won his second WDC)
    3. Vettel
    4. Raikkonen (he rediscovered his speed)
    5. Di Resta

  492. Mike says:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Raikonen
    3. Alonso
    4. Vetel
    5. Petrov

  493. Adrian Relf says:

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Raikonnen
    Vettel
    Maldonado

  494. JR says:

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

  495. bbobeckyj says:

    1 Alonso. (I’m reluctant because he obviously doesn’t compete on equal terms with his team mate, but he got the result nonetheless.
    2. Raikkonen. A couple of poor qualifyings were his only low points, but I think he got the best out of the car possible on each Sunday.
    3 Hamilton. I can’t remember him making any major mistakes all year. But there were a few too many anonymous races for the car he was driving, Bahrain, Great Britain, maybe more.
    4 Vettel. Too many races where he just didn’t show himself to be that great at the beginning of the year, and too many mistakes, and couldn’t competently pass a back marker while for comparison Raikkonen was stunning passing Schumacher or Di Resta.
    5 Hulkenburg. The largest ratio of points versus his teammate of anyone not above.

    1. Martin says:

      How doesn’t Alonso compete on equal terms with his team mate?

    2. Mitchel says:

      Your Hulk stat doesn’t add up- bigger gap between MSC and ROS surely?

      A 17 point gap isn’t too big a deal. Plus it’s misleading- HAM and BUT separated by 2 points tells a very small fraction of the story of the season, as do other team mate points comparisons..

      1. bbobeckyj says:

        I didn’t say the points difference. I said “The largest ratio of points versus his teammate of anyone not above.”

        Rosberg 5.47
        Hulkenburg 3.71
        Schumacher 4.08
        Di Resta 2.55

        This is the average amount of points each driver scored when he finished the race (excluding retirements), I’ve seen a lot of talk of ‘x’ driver was faster but car failures cost him etc etc. Or such as, ‘…But, if Grosjean didn’t crash all the time, he would have beaten Raikkonen because he was faster…’
        (And no he wouldn’t have.)

        So I did some simple divisions for each driver this year, in an effort to isolate the driver’s ability, and remove anomalous results.

        5.47/4.08 = 1.34 NR/MS
        3.71/2.55 = 1.46 NH/PD

        Full list if you’re curious.
        Vettel 15.61
        Alonso 15.44
        Räikkönen 10.35
        Hamilton 13.57
        Button 11.75
        Webber 10.52
        Massa 6.42
        Grosjean 8.72
        Rosberg 5.47
        Perez 4.71
        Hulkenburg 3.71
        Kobayashi 4
        Schumacher 4.08
        Di Resta 2.55
        Maldonado 6.42
        Senna 2.06
        Vergne 1
        Ricciardo 0.52

  496. alan blanco says:

    vettel
    alonso
    hamilton
    raikonen
    hulkenberg

  497. Dylan says:

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

  498. Paul Hallett says:

    #1 Alonso and Hamilton tied, for Alonso drove a good car brilliantly, and Ham drove and brillaintly unreliable car brilliantly.
    #3 Vettel – He is the WDC
    #4 Raikonnen – Amazing return, consistently fast, and consistent.
    #5 Tricky one; I’d have said Maldonado if he weren’t so dismissive of other drivers safety, so have to go with Hulkenberg.

  499. pao says:

    In no particular order.

    Alonso – for carrying an average car faster than it deserves
    Raikonnen – for showing that that he still knows what to do when left to it
    Vettel – for the hat trick
    Hamilton – for doing racing hard, fair and finally showing maturity
    Maldonado – for the entertainment of utter speed and latin red mist

  500. MW says:

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

  501. cjf says:

    Alonso
    Rosberg
    Hulkenberg
    Raikkonen
    Senna

  502. Ralph says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikonnen
    5. The incredible Hulk

  503. radohc says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikonnen
    Perez

  504. jp says:

    1.alonso
    2.lewis
    3.kimi
    4.vettel
    5.hulkenburg

  505. Marcin says:

    1. HAM – Except for maybe the tangle with MAL, didn’t do any wrong and absolutely shone
    2. VET – showed his racer credentials, but benefitted from HAM misfortune
    3. ALO – pretty awesome all year, but benefitted from everyone’s misfortune
    4. RAI – great driving, but no pressure
    5. HUL – beat the pants of DiResta

    #5 was a tough one, and I would have also put in MAL for his speed and increasing maturity in the second half, and GRO for his speed but he lost his head a bit too often – shame really.

  506. a.s. says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Hulkenberg

  507. Mike says:

    Alonso-Vettel-Hamilton-Raikkonen-Button

    1)Alonso – Car was not great, but better then anyone gives credit. Totally overlooked are Ferrari starts, they were monsters – Massa was good, too. Alonso’s only mistake in Japan cost him dearly.

    2)Vettel – was extremely lucky with some contact at the end of the season, but still was superb. Consistent early, opportunistic when his car was right later in the season, got away with a couple of nicks late, and that section of track was green in Brazil was not only green on lap 4, but also lap 3.

    3)Hamilton – Edges Kimi for number of wins (including Montreal which I attended!). What if… Seems that phrase comes up with Mclaren too much in the last 20 years. Not cause of Lewis leaving, but something about Mclaren’s culture no longer consistently maximizes its results – something is missing, be it vision/passion/personality or whatever, I am not sure. There is a fire missing, now Lewis is missing (Button will be a good leader for Mclaren), and Lewis wasn’t considered for higher due to twitter/maturity issues.

    4) Raikkonen – The best wheel to wheel racing I remember came from Kimi this year. Consistent early with flashes of amazing speed. Qualifying was a weakness this year and needs to improve. That is what primarily kept Kimi from competing for a couple more wins. Still has some amazing car control and the quote/soundbite of the year.

    5) Button – This one was close. didn’t realize how close Button finished to Hamilton – that raised my evaluation. Perez had three great races, but pressed too hard in others trying to repeat that and made mistakes, in the end barely edging Kobayashi. Hulkenberg finished solid but blew his chance for spectacular at Interlagos (I was there, too!). His greatest accomplishment may have been to finish Di Resta’s chances to ever get a top seat. Jenson could of been higher if not for getting lost at the end of the first half of the season. Three classic wins for Jenson this year clinch #5 (meaning McLaren swept the two races I attended this year with his Brazil win).

  508. Gate 21 says:

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

  509. Arya says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonen
    5. Nico Hulkenberg

  510. Kevin L says:

    1. Alonso – for heroics and sheer consistency of running his F2012 so close to the Championship
    2. Vettel – for maximising his chances and seizing the opportunities presented to win his 3rd Championship
    3. Hamilton – for sheer brilliance. Would have challenged for the Championship but for circumstances outside of his control.
    4. Raikonnen – also for sheer brilliance *and* consistency. Shows how to make a come back to F1. (Sorry Michael!)
    5. Hulkenberg – again for consistency in performance. Perseverance over the last couple of years after being dropped by Williams. Great reward in his new Sauber seat.

  511. Daniel G. says:

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

  512. kimberly says:

    alonso
    vettel
    hamilton
    raikkonen
    idk haha

    *vettel didnt have the fastest car of the season. the mclarens were faster. he just had a FASTER car than alonso. i absolutely hate ferrari for planting the seed of doubt in people’s heads about red bull and vettel

  513. kfzmeister says:

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

  514. P. Schnabel says:

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

  515. John says:

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

  516. adityafakhri says:

    1. Fernando Alonso
    2. Sebastian Vettel
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Räikkönen
    5. Nico Hülkenberg

  517. Fernando Alonso says:

    How about biggest under performers compared to their cars / opportunities:

    1st: Webber (6th in the RBR – Really!)
    2nd: Massa (Alonso is really not that good, Massa is just terrible post Hungary 2009. Not nice but hey this is F1.)
    3rd: Button (can only do well with a 100% PERFECT balance. Must really annoy Macca engineers when they hand him one of the fastest 2 cars on grid yearlong.)
    4th: Senna (everyone wants this guy to succeed, to be fast. Quite simply, he is just not fast enough.)
    5th: Maldonado / Grosjean (very fast, but lost too many points for their teams with useless race instincts. Learning lessons at a snails pace unfortunately. Fast cars and opportunities down the toilet.)

  518. Kimi4WDC says:

    1. Vettel – He was pretty much in every situation possible this season. Yes, he had his errors and emotions were running hot. But over the season he did just enough to win in such a competitive grid.

    2. Raikkonen – I think many people don’t realise how much Kimi actually contributed to the results Lotus got this year. He was not tentative or conservative as his wheel to wheel action shows. He dragged that car to the final results. Yes, Lotus was very fast in couple races, but unlike Ferrari, they chocked too much during the race and did not match the development of the top three.

    3. Alonso – Similar to Kimi, but unlike Hamilton, he enjoyed all the luck he could ever have that put him into great position half way through the season. Hard to say what would have been if Ferrari was faster, they literally would not have improved their position as the competition kept crashing out of their way.

    4. Hamilton – Feels like it would have been more or less rather easy Championship for Lewis. But it seems gods think he is not yet ready for his second title.

    5. Maldonado – He simply impressed me. On many occasions during the race where he was not shining, car was plagued with mechanical issues. But when it didn’t he was shining. Also notice that most cars that were not that impressive when not starting on first two rows, with such little gap between the cars this year, it is very hard to overtake with such little advantage.

    Can’t wait for 2013!!!

  519. azlie says:

    1. alonso
    2. vettel
    3. raikkonen
    4. perez
    5. maldonado

    cheers james!

  520. Panayiotis says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Perez

  521. YL says:

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

  522. Arnie S says:

    1. Grosjean
    2. Karthikeyan
    3. Pic
    4. MSC
    5. Petrov

    Ooops – Sorry wrong list.

    Here’s the correct one:

    1. Alonso – Yes I admit!
    2. Vettel – Of course
    3. Raikkonen – not for the pace, but for consistency
    4. Hamilton – Not really there all the season
    5. JB – When conditions gets mixed up – Here’s Johnny!

  523. Sascha says:

    1. Hamilton- flawless season let down by the car
    2. Alonso- great season, but not flawless, got beaten by massa last 3 races
    3. Vettel- despite title, made some mistakes
    4. Raikkönen- great comeback, but not always fastest
    5. Hülkenberg- beat di Resta convincingly, was very fast

  524. MelB says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Hamilton
    3 Vettel
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Pic

  525. J.Maxwell says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Räikkönen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Hulk
    5. Petrov

  526. tom says:

    1. S. Vettel
    2. F. Alonso
    3. L. Hamilton
    4. K. Raikkonen
    5. S. Perez

  527. McHarg123 says:

    1= Alonso
    Alonso has simply driven one of the best seasons of any driver, in the entire history of the F1 world championship. Enough said!

    2= Hamilton
    Lewis had his best season in F1 to date. This actually should have been his second F1 title. Unfortunately McLaren really let him down, plus luck wasn’t on his side either. He qualified in the top three 16 times out of 20 races (Taking penalties into account). He also ensured 7 Pole positions

    3= Vettel
    Vettel didn’t just win the title in the last part of the season. He won it over the course of the whole 20 race season. Strong podium positions at crucial races, most notably Abu Dhabi.

    4= Hulkenberg
    Out of all the drivers outside the top four teams he is the man who ended up with the most points finishes (11). Stunning performances in Brazil, Spa and Korea.
    5= Raikkonen
    He has been very consistent. He has scored points in every race this year apart from the Chinese GP, standing on the podium seven times (including his victory). All after a 2 year break to follow rallying.

  528. Alex W says:

    Ham – very clean and fast, near perfect ontrack this year.
    Alo – very clean and fast, made 1 mistake ontrack.
    Vet – very clean and fast, made 1 mistake ontrack, did not dominate teammate in qualy.
    Kimi – very clean and fast, made 1 mistake ontrack, did not beat teammate in qualy.
    Schuie – for a guy that raced agains Prost and Piquet, it’s incredible that he still had the pace to get a pole*, podium, and make Rosberg sweat. He was able to match it with the best of 2 great eras, F1 will miss the Red Baron.

  529. Tony says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Räikkönen
    Hulkenberg

  530. Jem says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonnen
    4. Vettel
    5. Massa

  531. ADF says:

    OK folks, Lewis, Fernando, Sebastian and Kimi are automatically excluded because they have been on a different level to the rest of the “mere mortals” occupying the grid.

    Here’s my Top 5 (excluding the great 4):

    1) Mark Webber
    A bit biased, I know but the real stuff-ups behind his fall from contention were incidents he could’ve avoided. Monza and Abu Dhabi, he was too hot-headed and rash. Other than that, we saw him match his 3x Champion team-mate (and beat him) in the early half, before matching him and then losing out.
    Highlights? Win in Monaco, actually finishing in a respectable position in Australia, qualifying laps in Silverstone and Hockenheim, a shock pole in Korea, outqualifying Vettel at Abu Dhabi.
    Lowlights? Pushing too hard in Monza, destroying his tyres. Gearbox penalties. And being aggressive in Abu Dhabi, before karma got him. And Austin…that retirement costed him 3rd in the standings.

    2) Felipe Massa
    I’m a big fan of him. His season wasn’t that bad. If the championship started at Monaco, he would be better placed in the standings. He matched Alonso at times, and beat him (either on luck or on pure pace) at times too.
    Highlights? Being held up by Alonso in Monaco, taking his first proper podium finish in Brazil and crying his heart out.
    Lowlights? The disastrous opening rounds making him fear for his future.

    3)Kamui Kobayashi
    Consistent, but often in the lower positions relative to his team-mate. But the standout was that his only podium was achieved via pure pace (and a bit of luck), whereas his team-mate did well strategically (but no denying Perez is a talent). How? Look at the qualifying stats for a better (but not accurate 100%) representation of genuine pace.
    Highlights? The podium.
    Lowlights? His team-mate beating him on the basis of strategy.

    4)Michael Schumacher
    Long live the King. His laps in Monaco and Silverstone were astonishing, his qualifying pace when the MGP-W03 was competitive was a taste of his previous success. And his podium was done on pure pace and strategy; didn’t he pass Mark for the position?
    Highlights? Qualifying laps throughout the year, the podium
    Lowlight? Being retired again, disqualified from pole.

    5)Charles Pic/Vitaly Petrov
    Why did Glock and Kovy have comparatively average seasons? Their team-mates matched them at times, and they put in superb drives to show that they can drive an F1 car.

  532. Martin says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Raikkonnen
    5. Perez

  533. Anup Kadam says:

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

  534. Leandro Guimaraes says:

    Sebastian Vettel
    Fernando Alonso
    Lewis Hamilton
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Nico Hulkenberg

  535. Holly says:

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

  536. PCAB says:

    Fernando Alonso
    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Kimi Raikkonen
    Jenson Button

  537. Gary Neville says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Webber

  538. Euan says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

  539. ArunasNesvarbu says:

    1. S. Vettel
    2. F. Alonso
    3. K. Raikkonen
    4. N. Hulkenberg
    5. T. Glock

  540. Spoo says:

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

  541. Mark H says:

    I’ll go with:

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

  542. Mr Anderson says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Button

  543. Michael C says:

    Fernando Alonso
    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Kimi Raikonen
    Jenson Button

  544. FVee says:

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

  545. Peter Cotton says:

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

  546. Khan says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Perez

  547. Xandor says:

    1. Alonso.
    2. Räikkōnen.
    3. Vettel.
    4. Hamilton.
    5. Petrov.

  548. Mutahir says:

    My top 5 are
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Kimi
    Perez

  549. Hamza says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Kimi
    Hulkenburg

  550. Mutahir says:

    My top 5 are,
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Kimi
    Perez

  551. Emanuele says:

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

  552. Paul Leeson says:

    1/ Vettel. What can anyone say, he got the job done, and did so with some great fightbacks, he really is a new standard by which to judge the others.

    2/ Raikkonen. 2 years out and came back like he’d never been away, 7 podiums including a win and some absolutely superb racecraft.

    3/ Hamilton. A near faultless season but did make a couple of small errors that should have given better results.

    4/ Fernando. Again a couple of small errors that affected his standing, and the almost constant moaning about not having the best car, Not exactly the most sporting of drivers either.

    5/ Hulkenberg/Massa. Both made great progress, in the case of Massa one could argue the he should never have been below his best, but he did well to make up ground and had some great drives, Hulk also made some good progress throughout the season, and firmly stamped his mark at Force India, unlike DiResta.

  553. David B says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Button

    To be honest I don’t think there was much to choose between V,A or H, so I’ve gone with Champ Order. But I would have given them =1

  554. Paul J says:

    1. Alonso

    2. Hamilton

    3. Vettel

    4. Raikkonen

    5. Hulkenburg

    Good luck everyone!

  555. Chris says:

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

  556. Tim G says:

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

  557. Vipin says:

    1. FERNANDO ALONSO

    2. KIMI RAIKKONEN

    3. LEWIS HAMILTON

    4. SEBASTIAN VETTEL

    5. FELIPE MASSA

  558. Deeren Patel says:

    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Maldonado

  559. Gaspar says:

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

  560. Stefan says:

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

  561. Matt says:

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

  562. rijole says:

    Vettel
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Perez

  563. Pabs says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vettel
    Button

    1. Nsoollz says:

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

      It was very close between the top drivers, even Michael had a good season had he not had so many mechanical issues.

  564. Adrian P says:

    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    4 Raikkonen
    5 Button

  565. CTP says:

    Raikkonen
    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Hulkenberg

    but i have no problem with anyone that prefers alonso or hamilton to be #1.

  566. hippyneil says:

    I am saddened by the lack of Nico Rosberg in this thread. He deserved much more attention than he got this year, especially if we’re talking about outperforming car and teammate.

    1: Lewis, Fernando and Seb tie up top three. All awesome drivers for different reasons. There’s nothing to separate them in terms of ranking to be frank.
    4: Ice Cold Kimi showed why people love him.
    5: Princess Nico Rosberg because he finally won a race and showed Micky Cobbler up to be less than average.

  567. unF1nnished business says:

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

  568. Ral says:

    1. Vettel – The press keeps going on about the Ferrari not having been the fastest, but the Red Bull wasn’t always the fastest either.
    2. Alonso – Well documented effort, although saying he was also racing Newey is discrediting his own team’s technical potential a bit, isn’t it?
    3. Räikkönen – Amazing consistency, just lacking a couple of tenths in qualifying in his return
    4. Hamilton – Amazingly on it all season long, very few if any points lost due to his own actions
    5. Hulkenberg – improved all through the season and in my eyes probably proved that ultimately he’s the faster driver compared to Di Resta. Also much more consistent than Button or Webber. Or Perez, Grosjean, Maldonado, Kobayashi.

  569. christos pallis says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Rikkonen
    Perez

    tough one between Perez and Hulkenburg, even Maldanado deserves a mention for his speed on more than a few occasions.

  570. Will Clark says:

    Fernando Alonso
    Sebastian Vettel
    Lewis Hamilton
    Kimi Raikonen
    Jenson Button

  571. Brooks says:

    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hulkenberg

  572. Teddy says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Kovalainen

    1. George says:

      Kovalainen- um Ok! You know he’s not guaranteed a drive for next year. oh and its Caterham not Mercedes or Sauber.

  573. Andyc_f1 says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Kimi
    Button

    Alonso – achieved an unbelievable feat with possibly the ugliest Ferrari (barring the “orange” early schuey car)
    Hamilton – perhaps his best year IMHO, but had too many issues with car etc
    Vettel – nowhere at start of season, great comeback
    Kimi – proved all of the doubters wrong. Confirmed as a top F1 driver, despite the break.
    Button – a strong season without reaching the heights of last year. Still proved he is a class act.

    Dissapointed Lewis has gone to merc. Time will tell how inspired or risky that is. I look forward to seeing checo at Woking next year. Predicting the new mclaren will be there or there abouts. Top 2 car.

  574. messrine says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Raikkonnen
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Perez

  575. Ben says:

    1. Alonso – for driving like a machine all year
    2. Vettel – for winning the championship in what was probably the second best car
    3. Hamilton – could have won the championship without reliability problems.
    4. Raikkonen – drove spectacularly well in his comeback year.
    5. Hulkenburg – for demolishing Di Resta, who was considered highly before this year

  576. Mark Taylor says:

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

  577. luqa says:

    Vettlel
    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg

    Hamilton should’ve walked the championship with the fastest car. Vettel fought tooth and nail the whole season scrounging every point he could. Alonso played the slow car game when towards the end of the season even Massa was beating him. Raikkonen very steady all season in a relatively fast car. Hulkenberg, after finding his feet again after a year off drove the wheels off the Force India into positions it had no right to be.

  578. Srinivas kata says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Vetted
    Peres

  579. aditya-now says:

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

  580. Gautam says:

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

  581. JohnO says:

    1. Alonso
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Vettel
    4. Perez
    5. Hulkenberg

  582. KRKR says:

    My Selection is :
    1- Vettel
    2- Alonso
    3- Kimi
    4- Hamilton
    5- Webber

  583. nenyim says:

    1.alonso
    2.hamilton
    3.vettel
    4.massa
    5.kimi

    masser over kimi as he realy did show souch good form in the later 1/2 over the year…only 2 be pull’d back my the team 4 alonso

  584. Mika Helin says:

    1. Vettel
    2. Kimi
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5. Hulkenberg

    First of all, WC is WC. And Seb sure earned the title as the end of the season was really strong for him. He did what he needed to do. Also we have to remember that Red Bulls fight, unlike Ferraris, between each other as well.

    Kimi was superb. I could have never believed he will actually win a race after 2 years sabbatical, and especially in a mid team like Lotus! Not to mention to finish 20/20 races (only driver in the world ever to do so), score points 19/20 races!! Schumi is not happy for these facts, I am sure. Next year champion? If the car is good I believe so.

    Alonso, well…good season, but as already mentioned it seems Ferrari only has 1 driver. And Ferrari wasn’t as slow as they wanted people to think. Also Ferrari plays dirty games sometimes. But a good year anyway for Fernando.

    Hamilton is really fast, but makes too many mistakes. He should learn something from Kimi, and he’d be a champion again.

    Hulkenber is finally getting there where people were expecting him already few years ago. Good end of the season.

    And 6th would have been Heikki Kov.

  585. SS_37 says:

    Alonso
    Hamilton
    Hulkenberg
    Raikkonen
    Vettel

  586. George says:

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

    Special mention to both Hulkenburg and Perez. Mark my words in 5-10 years these two will be like the Alonso and Vettel of the F1 grid.

  587. Dan B says:

    1 alonso
    2 hamilton
    3 raikkonen
    4 vettel
    5 button

  588. SavasSasmaz says:

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

    Keep up the good work James!!

  589. Luke says:

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

  590. Merlinghnd says:

    Not sure if it is too late.
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hulkenberg
    Maldonado , he did win a race after all!!

  591. Chris says:

    Alonso – Can’t help but wonder where he would have come if he didn’t have the luxury of Massa doing everything to help Alonso – something that none of the others have, but nevertheless he does and he used that advantage incredibly well.

    Hamilton – Can’t think of a single mistake this year – Being critical might have been wiser to let Maldonardo through in Valencia and made a mistake on set-up in Spa but other than that destroyed button in qualy.

    Vettel – He won the championship – hauled back a decent gap to Alonso – was fairly lucky though.

    Raikkonen – Amazing comeback year – only driver to finish every race and his ability to race closely with others, see ahead and avoid collisions very well. Vettel Brazil – great racing with Hamilton coming out of the pits in Suzuka had nowhere to go with Alonso.

    5th is tough as all the contenders made errors but I think Hulkenberg deserves it – most improved of the season probably predict him to be in a front running car in 2014 maybe replacing Perez or Massa if Vettel stays put.

  592. Zhenya says:

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

  593. Steve says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen
    Perez

  594. Deeren says:

    Alonso
    Vettel
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Hulkenberg

  595. Adam says:

    First, let me say that I am too lazy to do any statistical research to back up my ranking. I am indulging in pure armchair judgement. I don’t even know what it’s like to drive a race car. I hope, James, that you are a little more thorough than me and give us more compelling reasons for your rankings than mine (or anyone else here, for that matter).

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

    Vettel: I have no special affinity for Vettel. I know little about him. But it’s absurd that the youngest triple-champion in history is being so overlooked in this thread. Second? Third? No, my friends, first. His winning seems as inevitable as all the great athletes’ in history. You know in your gut that if his practice is any good, he’ll probably take pole and win the race.

    Button: I’ve been a Button fan since the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix. His mechanics left the bung on his intake. When they stuck the cameras in his face after his car overheated, he calmly told them that “we” left the bung on. Most other drivers would throw their mechanics under the bus. This is the kind of leadership that got Button and his pit crew the fastest stop in the history of the sport. He also holds the record for most overtakes in 2012. If only he could qualify more consistently…

    Hamilton: Prima Donna though he is, he’s got a fire to win that put him ahead of Button this year. I honestly hope he establishes a better relationship with his engineers and mechanics at Mercedes than he did at McLaren. He used them poorly.

    Raikkonen: Don’t like him much either. Nothing ever seems to ignite any passion in him. But he consistently outperformed Petrov, who’s no slouch. Frequent overtaker. Difficult to pass. Put an OK car in the top five consistently. He’s like a robot. Or Darth Vader.

    Alonso: Whatever nepotism there is in F1 seems to be concentrated on Alonso. Would there be so many fans here if he weren’t driving for Ferrari? Would he even survive in a team where they didn’t feed his teammate to him intravenously? He obviously has talent. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have placed second in points this year. But number one? I think not.

  596. Robert says:

    1Alonso
    2Vettel
    3Kimi
    4Hamilton
    5Hulk

  597. stop2sin says:

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

  598. Daniel says:

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

  599. Shadow_AS says:

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

  600. OscarF1 says:

    My top five would be something like this:

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

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