When we were fab
Budapest 2016
Hungarian Grand Prix
Readers’ Top 5 driver vote – update
News
Readers’ Top 5 driver vote – update
Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Nov 2009   |  8:33 pm GMT  |  159 comments

The JA on F1 reader competition to name your top five drivers of the season has been a big success so far and we have had 870 entries in the last few days.

The competition runs until next week and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 24th. For those who missed it first time around – anyone who names the same top five drivers of the season, in the same order as me will get a free signed copy of my review of the 2009 season, ” F1 2009: A revolutionary year”.

There’s a limited print run of these books and, as one reader pointed out, with Brawn’s name and colour scheme set to disappear due to the Mercedes takeover, this book, with their car on the cover, will be a bit of a collectors’ item.

It’s generally agreed that this is a really hard year to judge who did the best job. To help you out with your choices. Autosport.com released the results of the team principals’ vote and their collective top five is as follows:

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

Meanwhile the authoritative Mark Hughes, my old buddy who used to help me and Martin Brundle in the commentary box, has gone for this top five:
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Jenson Button
3. Sebastian Vettel
4. Mark Webber
5. Robert Kubica

Kubica? Not many have gone with him. Interesting.

Good luck!

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

159 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

Really you need to consistent over the whole year to be one of the top drivers. Kubica wasn't, he really gave just two outstanding performances and the rest of the year he struggled to beat his team-mate Heidfeld.

2

ye but if you think of the car he was in all season he has done well. ok australia his team made a great call on tyres but part from that and brazil bmw sauber hasnt worked well anywhere else! as a true driver he had got his head down and gave 110 percent every race

3

James - I've pre-ordered your book... do I get that copy free then? 🙂

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Jenson Button

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Mark Webber (for the leg)

5. Fernando Alonso

4

My Personal Top 5:

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Rubens Barrichello

5

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

6

vet

but

ham

web

bar

7
Cockney James Hunt

Neither list mentions Mr. Kimi. Stastically he had a pretty strong season, but clearly the paddock has issues. I know people say he's prone to lapses in focus, but he's not been at the centre of a Spygate, Liegate or Cheatgate incident either. So, honestly, what's the problem with Kimi Raikkonnen?

8

You are quiet right, but when people place Hamilton above Button and Vettel, for no qualified reason, its only expected.

9

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Mark Webber

5. Rubens Barrichello

And Jenson by a clear margin, too - absolutely peerless when his car allowed; consistent and combative when he had to be. No mistakes worth the name in any race, all season. A perfect championship.

10

How Buemi has made so few appearances I'm not sure. Given what was possible with his car (which was overall the worst on the grid this season) I think he out achieved virtually everyone on the grid.

Hamilton certainly isn't driver of the season. His attitude at the start of the year was terrible frankly. Whilst Vettel had the car to win the title this year, his issue? He can't overtake people. Putting either of those people as the number 1 is a mistake in my view.

Kubica was solid, he almost made my list in place of Vettel.

11

Looks like this comment will never see the light of day? lol !

12

I am amazed Alonso is on the list? That is on reputation only..... Lewis and Kimi both had dog cars and both made podiums somehow with them.... Yet, Lewis ranks #1 and Kimi is now where to be found... just silly

13

Pundits can get it wrong is the message here, and my guess is JA's list will be different from the above.

James, I've wanted to ask this for a while, do you know if any of the drivers read your posts on here?

14

1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Hamilton

4. Kimi

5. Alonso

15

1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Hamilton

4. Barrichello

5. Webber

16

Kubica is an interesting choice. He's been a massive dissapointment this year in my opinion. I don't see how he could be rated in the top 5 when he's been beaten by Heidfeld over the season.

Alonso seems a quite unusual choice as well. It's very difficult to tell just how well he's driven this year as the only yardsticks to judge him against have been a rookie and Nelson Piquet.

17

Why is Hamilton first and Kimi not even mentioned? After all Kimi finished just 1 point behind Hamilton. While Ferari was faster than Macca at the beginning of the season it was the other way around at the second one!

And Kubica 5th? This must be a joke! He was beaten by his teammate.

18

I guess we just need to remember that this is the british media, we know how much they like to hate kimi 🙂

19

Extremely shocking to see Kimi isn't up there! He was absolutely stunning to watch with that dog of a car! And to be completely honest, Alonso actually didn't impress as much this year (I am a FA+KR fan).

20

Think the main reason kimi isnt up there is not many of the team bosses like kimi's attitude and this is perhaps a big factor in him not getting a drive for next year.

Alonso was quite good this year, the renault was simply too slow and yet he still managed to get into q3 most of the time and drag the car into the points. He had a lot of bad luck

As bad as the ferrari was it was still better than the renault if you had time to adjust to it imo.

21

Curious.

Alonso barely registered on my radar this year.

I'm struggling to think of any reason Alonso or Kubica would place above Kimi? 48 points in that dog of a Ferrari was a good effort.

22

I wonder where is that .4 second advantage that Alonso claimed to bring to a car with his much talked about expertise at tech development.

23

I think it's because Kubica is highly over-rated. He's done precious little and Nick has outscored him over the past couple seasons - too much hype, not enough delivery.

24

Interesting that Mark Hughes' list suggests a serious McLaren-RB battle next year.

Given that your original 3 criteria were: "To my mind the three criteria for judging are; how high were the peaks, how consistent was the performance level and what did they make of the machinery they were given?"

For the peaks, you have to go with Button & Vettel (Vettel getting higher peaks, but Button getting more of them), with honourable mentions to Rubens & Webber.

The consistency is harder to judge with nobody truly consistent. For all the lambasting he received, Button did well to keep the points ticking over throughout, and he probably just takes this from Rubens. Vettel was a little too inconsistent here, while Webber was more unlucky than inconsistent. Rosberg gets a glance here too.

As for use of machinery - without a doubt Lewis pulls this one - although the team obviously helped at improving the machine under him too.

Combining in an entirely unscientific way, I reckon:

Button

Vettel

Hamilton

Rubens

Webber

25

I guess not many people went with Kubica because Heidfeld has mostly matched him this season (even finished ahead in the standings), apart from the very impressive race in Brazil and the mess that was Australia we haven't seen much of him.

26

Hello James, here is my top 5

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Rubens Barrichello

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Sebastien Buemi

27

I hope I can enter here:

1. Jenson Button

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Rubens Barrichello

I cannot believe that the team principals and Martin Brundle did not have Button as their number one. Driver of the year, guiding a car that was clearly behind in the 2nd half of the season to a championship victory.

28

Tom, here is the Martin Brundle list taken from? The list in the blog is that of Mark Hughes....

29

Slightly controversial list - but bear with me...

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Kamui Kobayashi

4. Jenson Button

5. Adrian Sutil

Hamilton kept a level-head as the reigning World Champion when the championship was accelerating away from him. He clearly drove the tyres off his Mclaren, and he really showed he learnt a lot in from his unusual lower positions on the grid. The grit of a true World Champion (...and I'm not blindly pro-Lewis, for the record!)

Vettel put in some stellar performances, but is still not the complete package. Shades of Schumacher. He'll be a consistent world champion in the right car.

Kobayashi was electric, and reminded us all what an F1 driver should be. Focused. Fearless. F...very good indeed.

Jenson - quite low on the list for his weak latter half of the season, and his first half of the season being based pretty much on the rear diffuser. (*ducks rotton tomatoes*)

Adrian Sutil is an accident-prone driver, yes. But that will pass. He has the exact same fearlessness as Jacques Villeneuve, that makes him electric to watch. His performance at Spa was fantastic.

Webber almost made my list - just edged out by Kobayashi's superb performances. Great to see him win his first victory, much overdue, but he seems to have missed the World champion boat.

Barrichello didn't quite hit the mark for me. He drove competently in a car that outpaced the field. No true brilliance. 1 or 2 great drives, but not enough to place him in the top 5.

30

Interesting how Alonso is #4 on the principals' list. What did he do that Kimi didn't?

Here's my top 5

1)Vettel

2)Hamilton

3)Raikkonen

4)Button

5)Barichello

31

Turn up at every race!

32

This is baseless and ridiculous.

33

There can be few people that would not rate Kimi as one of the, if not quickest drivers around. It's great seeing him throw the cars around! However, he puts in the fastest laps when they can have very little impact on the final results. This must have been frustrating to his Team Principles. Prior to Massa's accident he had scored 10 points to Massa's 22. It could be argued that up to that point, Kimi simply was not interested. The car was not good, but Massa made the best of it. The question Kimi should answer is why he comes alive so late in the race? Also, why he appeared to 'get his head down' after Massa's accident? I would suggest that Kimi's approach did not help his case with Ferrari. I will miss Kimi, but not his attitude.

My comments may be (in your words)baseless and ridiculous, but it is Kimi that provides the evidence.

34

I respect Mark Hughes for the fact that he's followed F1 closely/passionately for so long, but I find some of his analysis flawed.

http://www.itv-f1.com/Feature.aspx?Type=Mark_Hughes&id=42678

Monaco 2007 - "Hamilton's unfinished business"

On an old issue for example, he wrote an article about Monaco 2007, using various research to suggest "that Hamilton was the quicker driver throughout – and by a significant margin. Alonso’s performance was faultless, but that only translated into victory because of circumstances outside his control" . Now I'm not going to re-argue the whole thing, but almost all of his argument is centered around direct comparisons of practice laps and qualifying. He didn't mention for example, that IN THE RACE (which is the show of true hand - if I'm right) Alonso opened out a 9 second lead in the first stint before losing a net 3 seconds in traffic (luck or skill, who knows?). If we're going by raw pace, would Hamilton have been able to close down the 9 second lead (or even traffic-affected 6 second lead) with his supposed 5 laps extra fuel? (I say 'supposed', he DID have more fuel, but do we know it was 5 laps?)

Alonso re-opened the gap out to 10 seconds at one point in the 2nd stint before possibly cooling off the pace because the team had ordered the drivers to maintain position.

In my own analysis, Mark Hughes has selectively scrutinised one-lap performance in practice/quali (where Lewis may have been faster), and ignored direct comparisons in the race itself (maybe Alonso put more into his race setup?).

http://www.itv-f1.com/Feature.aspx?Type=Mark_Hughes&id=42662

Turkey 2008 - "Kovalainen's win that got away"

Again he looks at qualifying speeds and fuel-loads, making only vague reference to Massa/Ferrari's possibly superior race pace, and also failing to factor in Heikki's notably poor race pace (sadly for him). It was the same at Monza 2009, on paper he could have won, but he didn't have the race pace.

http://www.itv-f1.com/Feature.aspx?Type=Mark_Hughes&id=43648

Valencia 2008 - "The Valencia challenge"

Mark predicted that Valencia would "offer three genuine overtaking opportunities". Of course he's allowed to be wrong, but before we think of him as very much an "authoritative" analyst, bear in mind another example of where he wasn't right.

As for Mark Hughes' top 10 - I am an autosport.com subscriber so I read it, it was ok, but I think he's ill-considered putting Kubica in 5th whereas Heidfeld is not top-10. Comparatively

- Kubica out-qualified Heidfeld 11-6 which isn't a surprise.

- In the instances both drivers were classified finishers Heidfeld finished ahead 7 to 5.

- Heidfeld had 6 points scoring finishes to Kubica's 5.

- Heidfeld scored 19 points to Kubica's 17.

Again, I wonder if Mark Hughes has overlooked race performances for one-lap speed.

And lastly, my top 5:

1. Button

2. Vettel (would have been #1 but for mistakes)

3. Hamilton (impressive season though I find it hard to analyse more exact true performance because of more varying car performance than other teams and the struggling teammate)

4. Alonso (similar)

5. Rubens (just ahead of Webber because he kept a lot of self-belief and his high points were great drives).

35

I totally agree, I think his reports are massively flawed. Especially in the case of that Monaco '07 report, like it or lump it, Alonso had Hamilton well beaten! He set the fastest lap, he built a significent cushion to cover Hamilton before each pit stop, the best part of 10 seconds and then cruised the last stint. A lot of Mark Hughes' articles seem to be very biased towards Hamilton and often tend to downplay Alonso's performances. If anything I would find analysis by OctoMum more informed!

36

That's not entirely fair, the fact that Alonso set the fastest lap is completely irrelevant since Hamilton was brought in very early for both his stops, he never had the chance to run on low tanks with the favourable tyres, which is when fastest laps are set. Yes we know for certain that he had 5 laps more at the first stops, the FIA weigh-in confirmed it, they said so on their website in the report on the team orders investigation. I agree though, that it is unlikely that Hamilton could have closed down a 10.8 second lead by running 9 laps longer, particularly when at the first stops he actually lost ground to Alonso, although he did have to lap one car. But on lap 28, when they both had clear air, Hamilton was only just over a tenth faster, when he needed to find over a second. Alonso had him beaten, bu not "well" beaten. I don't think there was much to choose between them in terms of ultimate pace, but Alonso was able to deliver his pace more consistently through the race. But this definitely wasn't the race where Alonso really stamped his authority over Hamilton. For me, that race was Monza, where he absolutely destroyed him in just about every aspect with no disavantage to Hamilton by being brough in early. He had a pretty big gap at Malaysia too, but I'll give Hamilton the benifit of the doubt on that one because he was only in his 2nd race and he had to spend much of the race holding off Ferraris, which does slow you down. But then, there were weekends where Hamilton had a big pace advantage over Alonso, like Bahrain, Turkey, Fuji and Brazil. I think the fact that they ended the season with the same points total was fair.

37

I think Monaco is where Alonso really stamped his authority on who was the better of the two drivers (at that time). It's just a shame that internal affairs at McLaren cost Alonso a real shot at the title that year.

I don't think Alonso gets a fair shout in the British media normally (I think James is pretty fair about him though). I'm sure it's because he's not Hamilton or Button, and although I'm British and support Jenson many of my friends (die hard F1 fans who travel to races abroad with me) don't support the Brits, if anything Jenson and Lewis are possibly the most two disliked drivers amoungst us. I think the media automatically assume that F1 is like football and people support the home drivers. That's just not the case, with most of my British friends supporting Massa, Raikkonen and Alonso. Taking into account those people I've met abroad it's a similar case as well. We're probably the exception to the rule though and I feel that the majortiy of the F1 press is written for those who don't attend races, but just flick the TV on once a fortnight and tune in for the race.

That's why I love this blog, the posts are great and not really aimed at the prawn sandwich brigade of F1.

38

Vettel 1st and 3rd seems consistent, but Hamilton 1st and third?! Granted, he had a crappy car for part of the season, but he barely beat Raikkonen to the top five in the driver's standings by only one point while Raikkonen also had a crappy car, but for MOST of the season. Ferrari stopped development on their car halfway through the season while McLaren never stopped developing theirs.

Interesting indeed. Did those guys draw their picks out of a hat? A distinctly British hat?

39

1 Button

2 Vettel

3 Hamilton

4 Rosberg

5 Heidfeld

40

Hi James,

My top five drivers of 2009 are as follows:

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Rubens Barrichello

If my top five are not the same as yours and i am required to buy the book, will it be available to purchase on this site or amazon?

I look forward to an interesting read.

Regards,

Rory from Oz

41

You can click on the link on the right (book cover) to purchase. Thanks for your support

42

top 5:

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Jenson Button

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Mark Webber

5. Felipe Massa

43

I was a bit confused by Kubica at #5 in the Autosport rankings too. Sure he battled well with a less than great car, but aside from Brazil, no better and not even as well as the likes as Raikkonen and Alonso. Potential clouding the judgement of the reality perhaps?

44

My top 5 are

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Rubens Barrichello

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Lewis Hamilton

45

1.button
2.vettel
3.Hamilton
4.webber
5.raikkonen

46

James,

who checks through the 870+ entries? That's a big task!

Any chance you can do a top 10 of the decade before Christmas? This would be a very interesting article.

47

Why would anybody vote for Kubica ?

His stock has gone down faster than almost anybody's this year, beaten by the unfancied Heidfeld, he just tries to keep himself noticed with a few dodgy agressive moves.

Talking of which, Webber showed why he will always be a number 2 driver with a ridiculous number of stupid "don't mess with the tough guy" incidents, hitting other drivers, usually in the first corner or two. How many times ? Four times out of the last 6 races from memory.

Like Alonso, Kubica and Trulli, Webber is a driver who tries to make up for a lack of talent and speed by using aggression.

Kyobashi and Sutil have really shone at times and deserve mention in this list far more than Barrichello, Alonso, Kubica or Webber.

48

A few thoughts concerning your post.

Well, to begin with I must say that also in my opinion kubica wasn't in top 5. But still, I would not put him in the same line especially with trulli. Secondly, I cannot understant why so many people pick fernando in top 5 either. But still, I am far from qualifying him along with trulli or webber in the same group.

Talking more about kubica you should bear in mind that he outqualified heidfeld largely this season. And judging him only by race performance, where he had many problems (burning engines, brakes problems) which were not present in heidfeld's case, just isn't fair.

One last thought about webber with regard to kubica. If you put robert in the car that mark was given this season, he would have done a marvellous job out there. In my personal opinion it was red bull who had the best car and should have achieved both championships. They didn't because of their (relatively poor) drivers.

49
Attakorn Saiyasombat

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Nico Rosberg

50

Clearly your friend Mark is biased for Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton does not deserve to be in the top five drivers this season.

Remember? Lewis cheated in australia in an effort to get a podium. He lied about it to the stewards and only confessed when he was left with no choice as the evidence against him was incontrovertible.

Cheaters should always be at the bottom of the list.

51

Both Senna and Schumacher are regularly rated as all time greats though.

Cheaters are faster apparently.

52

The schumacher cheated in 97 before he became great. At that time there was no excuse for it. He already paid his dues for that offense. Senna only had allegations of cheating nothing proven. Hamilton's act is relevant for this season and therefore does not belong to the list for this season, and that is what this topic is about. Fact is he tried to steal a podium. got caught and got someone else punished.

53

Hamilton was disqualified, he paid his dues for his offense like everyone else. Schumacher is rated as a great based on his whole career which contains many controversies right until the last year of his career. I don't see how the timming of the offense is relevant here. Senna admitted to crashing into Prost , of course only when the WDC was safely in the bag. I'm not a fan of cheaters, but if you look at these lists, you'll notice when people compile them, only the driving, the talent and results count, despite the frequent condemnation of lack of sportsmanship.

54

Don´t realy agree with their first pick, in both cases Vettel and Hamilton won less races than Button and made much more mistakes.

Jenson year was very good, is the driver with more wins, more podiums, only one dnf.

His last victory was so long ago that many people doesn´t even remember that he won 6 races.

I selected Hamilton and Vettel to my top 5, because thay had good years but in my opinion, Jenson are the nº1 of the year.

55

My pick?

1. Jenson Button (World Champion, six wins and a stellar showing in Brazil)

2. Lewis Hamiliton (Triumphed over a lousy car in the first half of the season and a Royal mess in Australia. Quite possibly the 2010 World Champion)

3. Rubens Barrichello (A race winner again and the ideal wingman for Jenson's Championship year)

4. Sebastian Vettel (Too many mistakes but managed his engines well late on and pulled out some stunning quali laps with limited running)

5. Kamui Kobayashi (Demonstrated rookies CAN enter F1 and get right on the pace. Take note Grosjean et al)

56

First off, it took quite a bit of browser hopping and internet magic on my part to finally negotiate my way here to post on this (I am assuming) most recent JA article. Bummer on the unreliable software/server combo, man. To ensure reliability, will it soon be announced that "James Allen on F1" has been bought in whole or in part by Mercedes next year? 😉

All joking aside, despite the first year growing-pains and hassles, I feel this site still has been a total hit. Even despite his (misguided :P) love for British F1 teams and drivers, James still has the best in-depth F1 site going.

However, while having every post moderated before it gets posted seems to be a good way to assure maximum safety and consistency, it also interrupts the steady stream of candid discussions found on other forums, no matter how controversial or even repugnant. Surely there must be an intermediate compromise between the free-for-all of most forums and the serious nature of a comments box type set up on sites such as this.

But now that James has proven himself in the web world, I suspect there will be a proper forum next year, even though that could introduce a whole new set of crazy problems....but I guess such are the risks of getting into the cyber mosh pit with one's own audience, eh James?

Anyway, all dreaming and kidding aside, I have been meaning to ask James this question for ages (and it is probably no more of a relevant question now, given this most SILLY of all Silly Seasons): Is it really all a bunch of b.s? Can we not trust what ANYONE in F1 says?

Are the people who constantly get quoted in the media simply very candid speakers whose words get twisted and bent totally out of shape, or are they all pathological liars who have made their entire lives out of b.s-ing both the public and their own bosses? I am surely not the first F1 fan to feel like his favorite sport has been taken over by shady "Carnies" in recent years.

57

Buck, not sure what you are on about here. As to your question about comment moderation, the whole point of this site is that we have a proper debate going here with no name calling or swearing dragging it down and it will stay that way. Many posts get in excess of 100 sometimes, 200 comments so people obviously appreciate that. Also, for many media professionals in the sport, the comments provide a useful barometer of fan sentiment. They don't want to wade through misspelled garbage written by trolls.

58

Sorry, in hindsight I should have limited my comment to under a dozen or so topics randomly generated in a stream of (medicine altered) consciousness haha. Lately I have been following this site religiously and in my rambling way I was trying to congratulate you for an excellent job here.

I now understand why you wouldn't want an open forum as they do rather regularly deteriorate into the web equivalent of shouting matches, and besides this site is meant to showcase your writing, not ours.

I am still interested in your take on this confusing but highly entertaining silly season and what it's like for you to decipher between what is actually going on behind the scenes in F1 and what is merely games playing and/or showmanship. Care to share a bit about your job, the process of researching and building a story? I'm sure many here would be interested in how you do it, perhaps in a dedicated article, or is there some of that in the book? Thanks.

59

"Even despite his (misguided ) love for British F1 teams and drivers, James still has the best in-depth F1 site going."

Buck, I couldn't have said it better myself...

In spite of that, this site is the first one I open everyday at work...

60

Thank you, James, it's a relief to know your trustworthy intelligent journalism will be supplemented by concise understandable comments from witty knowledgeable adults. Mosh-pit yobs and txtrs begone!

61

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

62

For me right now judging pure talent, the best drivers are:

1.Vettel

2.Hamilton

3.Raikonen

4.=Alonso

4.=Massa

Pd. It is true that kimi is not consistent but he drove superbly this last part of the season.

63

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

64

Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, Button and Rubens in no particular order.

It's hard to rank them, Hamilton made too many mistakes than he cares to admit. Vettel made some costly mistakes as well, and he didn't trash webber or anything. Button and Rubens, well, you know it's the car. As "flawless" he was in the first half season, getting beaten by Rubens in the second half is just a bit embarrassing.

Alonso is impossible to rank this season, didn't do anything extraordinary with that car, a real lemon apparently. Piquet and Grojean are not proper yardsticks.

65

1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Hamilton

4. Rosberg

5. Webber

66

1.Button - Consistent throughout the year and made hay whilst the sun was shining.

2.Vettel - Crucial mistakes that eventiually cost him the WDC

3.Hamilton - Persisted whilst his car was improved...not to mention the Austarlian GP when he ended up having to rebuild his reputation

4.Webber - Simply because I never rated him but he won me over 'big-time'

5.Barrichello - helped steer the team when they looked to be loosing their way!

67

J Button

L Hamilton

S Vettel

M Webber

R Barrichello

68

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastien Vettel

3. Mark Webber

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Rubens Barrichello

69

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Fernando Alonso

70

Hi,

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Raikkonen

5. Barrichello

71

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Kimi Raikonnen

5. Nico Rosberg

72

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Rubens Barrichello

This was a lot harder to compile than I originally thought it would be.

For me Jenson's first half of the season was as good as any World Champions, in the points in all but one race, superb.

Lewis drove fantastically in a car that was nowhere near the pace at the start of the season and redeemed himself on the track after a rocky start in oz.

Vettel put in some stellar drives but also made some silly mistakes which cost him dearly.

Kimi deserves a mention for quietly getting on with it this year in a difficult car and showing once again that he is a Spa Master.

Rubens I felt had the edge over Webber to make the top 5 (Webber had too many non-points finished) and it was great to see him win again in F1 showing that age is just a number.

It was easier to find reasons for driver not to make the list as the season had high and low points for most of them, but hopefully I've chosen them all for the right reasons.

73

1. Hamilton

2. Button

3. Vettel

4. Barichello

5. Rosberg

74

Isn't it obvious that British journalists are bit biased when it comes to Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. When hamilton crashes at Monza on the last lap they go on saying he was pushing on the last lap. I still think button wouldnt have won the car had it not been the Genius - Ross Brawn. He is the best and I m sure Jenson is going to regret his decision of moving to Mclaren.

75

I can't really get into this 'rate the driver' thing. However...Too many variables to consider. Lewis, Webber, Kobyashi, Alonso, Button, Barrichello - all impressed me at v

1. Hamilton - It kills me to admit this. I think he is a two-faced, sneaky, manipulative, back-stabbing Uriah Heep. However I do believe he drove the wheels off that McLaren all year, even when it was a pile of poo.

2. Webber - Yes, Webber! Was always on Vettel's tail, sometimes outshone him, and all despite coming back from serious injury, perhaps being the less favoured driver and being close to 50 years old (well he's been around for AGES...early 30s my ass...)

3. Vettel - When he was good, he was very, very good (etc.) Too many mistakes and he sucked at Monaco. If he's the 2nd coming however, how good is Di Resta who beat him in F3? And why the hell is he not in F1?

4. Button - quite good when car is to his liking but his driving style seems very inflexible. Great overtaker, may benefit from the rule changes.

5. Heidfeld - I just put him in because despite matching and beating some some VERY good teammates throughout his career, he has never had a competitive car. I want to see him in a Merc, not Schumi. I think he'd beat Rosberg and surprise a few people. So there...

I've left out Alonso. It's hard to judge a driver when the car is so dreadful and the team is disintegrating. I was disappointed with his starts however - is it just me or did he always lose a place or two? I think he's been punching the clock waiting to get the hell out of a sinking ship.

I've also left out Massa who was superb up to the crash.

76

1. BUTTon

2. Vettel

3. Barichello

why mention anybody else?

I agree with Jed's comment re: Lewis. Sounded a crybaby when the car wasn't working, to me calls into question his sincerity when he thanks the team in interviews after he wins.

77

I remember Martin Brundle saying last year that Jenson was probably driving as well as, or better than most but won't make a drivers top five because his car wasn't good enough for it to show.

This year his car was good enough and we were able to see how good Jenson is.

Brundle mentioning that Jenson was " one of the best overtakers " in the business, but wasn't this because his car was a rocket, when it wasn't such a rocket, did we think the same ?

By the same thinking, Lewis had a poor car at the beginning which improved as the season progressed, making him look better to a casual observer as he went along.

Whilst Button had a great car at the beginning, making him looking awesome at the beginning and look progressively less awesome as the season neared the end.

Finally, Raikkonen had a difficult car all season, but performed very well, making him worthy, also Alonso.

So my top 5.

1. Lewis

2. Rubens

3. Kimi

4. Rosberg

5. Vettel

78

My top 5:

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Mark Webber

5. Kimi Raikkonen

79

I run an Australian F1 forum called Oz Autosport Community and for our official season review we surveyed senior members and collaborated the results to came up with the following top 5...

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Rubens Barrichello

The full 8500 word review can be read at http://australianautosportcommunity.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=297&p=4478 I hope some of you check it out as I'm very proud of the job we did.

My personal top 5 was as follows...

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Jenson Button

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Felipe Massa

5. Kimi Raikkonen

80

My top 5 F1 drivers:

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Kimi Raikkönen

4. Jenson Button

5. Sebastian Vettel

81

Top 5 Drivers for 2009:

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Rubens Barrichello

Let's hope we see Kimi in 2010 in F1.

82

Hi James,

My pick is:

-Vettel

-Button

-Hamilton

-Raikkonen

-Webber

83

Typical British media list.

84

completely agree.

85

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Rubens Barrichello

4. Mark Webber

5. Jenson Button

86

My top drivers are

Lewis hamilton

This guy put a dog where it should not be and when the car improved he was that good that he scored very consistently. He is certainly going places.

Jenson Button

He was unbeatable when the car had no real challenge.

Vettel

He has become progressively arrogant and made too many silly mistakes...however he showed webber who was in control.

Rubens

Wish they had changed those brakes before silverstone. We might have had a different champion.

Nico Rosberg

Should have done better, but he was consistent.

87

My top 5:

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Kimi Raikkönen

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Mark Webber

88
Guilherme Sampaio

Hello James. Here is my top 5:

1. Kimi Raikonnen (excelled on a mediocre car)

2. Sebastian Vettel (another solid season in his path to stardom)

3. Lewis Hamilton (apart Australiagate, brilliant)

4. Fernando Alonso (sames as Kimi)

5. Jenson Button (took a leap of faith by believing in the Brawn project and won his first WCP, but remembered me how average he is in the 2nd par of the season: showing why he just won it now)

Honorable mentions:

1.Rubens Barrichello (age, what age ?)

2. Kamui Kobayashi (the heir of Takuma Sato ?)

3. Timo Glock (deserved more than he got of his Toyota)

4. Nico Rosberg (same as Glock, let down by a Williams team which can do the talk, but can't do the walk)

89

1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Hamilton

4. Buemi

5. Heidfeld

90

My top 5
jenson button
sebastian vettel
lewis Hamilton
Rubens barichello
mark webber

joe tanto, I'm a little bemused to see your comment. I happen to respect what martin brindle says as he has done what nobody else on this forum is likely to have done and driven an f1 car.

The simple fact is the car makes up a large percentage of any drivers results.

Truth is probably half the grid could win a lot of races given the right machinery, but those that get the chance have to take it when it's there.

91

Sorry to bemuse, don't disagree so much on your points, don't mean to belittle Jenson. I'm delighted he is WDC, but he isn't in my top five, definitely in my top six though.

Oh well, guess I will have to buy the book, after all there is no way James won't have Button in his five. 🙂

92

Not sure if it went thru:

Button

Vettel

Hamilton

Rosberg

Barrichello

93

Hi James, my pick is:

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Barrichello

5. Rosberg

94

Mark hughes must have a soft spot for kubica as he made him number one last year for his top ten. He likes to write about how the other drivers fear him etc etc, and he is quite right too. His autosport list was good and makes sense to me.

lists can be quite boring though. I would like to someone write a driver review in a fun way like a school report. Headmaster Mosley perhaps?

95

James

I remember listening to yours and Martin Brundle's commentary during ITV coverage of 2006 and 2007 season and how your voiced acknowledgement of Kubica's talent was usually left unsaid or treated with a doze of scepticism by Martin back then. I really appreciated your voice. Then came even better season of 2008 and recognition for Kubica's skills was shared evenly between you two, I guess. We unfortunately lost your brilliant insights and was forced to listen to “tidy” comments from Mr Leggard from 2009, so it's hard for me to judge your current opinion about Robert, but I can certainly say, that Martin Brundle's decision to put Pole in his Top 5 reflects just how his opinion on Kubica's potential increased since 2007.

I do agree, that taking for consideration whole season, Kubica shouldn't be mentioned within Top Five, as in my opinion his performances was hugely affected by a disappointment with this dog of a car, which was so proudly presented in February by BMW Sauber. That's why I didn't put Kubica in my Top Five. I believe we were able to see Kubica's potential and full commitment only in Australia and in Brazil this year. Especially his outstanding qualifying results in wet Interlagos raised few eyebrows. While McLaren was hugely criticised by Eddie Jordan for the risky strategy, which resulted in Hamilton's P1 departure in his dry-weather set-up car, Kubica brought his car all the way through the rivers of rain water to finish in eight place. How arrogantly from the weather conditions point of view his car was set, became apparent when during the Sunday race he could keep Webber's Red Bull pace, which we all know wouldn't be possible in normal circumstances, as Newey's car was probably the quickest car of the season and BMW Sauber's one of the slowest most of the season.

Someone already said that only engineers can objectively judge driver potential by analysing their driving data. How can you say then, that Kubica is an over-rated driver when it was written somewhere before (was it your post, James?) that engineers used to make jokes by showing to Hamilton Kubica's driving data, knowing that they are so evenly matched, that Hamilton won't be able to differentiate his own from Kubica's. How can you say Kubica's only avarage driver, when both Hamilton and Alonso pointed the Pole as the most complete rival out there?

I find it quite funny to see how people's choices are dependent on their (or James's ...) preferences rather than objectivity. They rate Heidfeld higher, saying that he outscored Pole (by 'massive' two points by the way) forgetting what the score would've looked like, if for example overambitious Vettel didn't take Kubica out in Australia.

Heidfeld was strongly backed by Hinwil team back when decision had to be made, who of them two – Villeneuve or Heidfeld – should make way for Kubica's outstanding free practice results. The fact that ex-World Champion was thrown out, proves not only BMW Sauber principal's conclusive data reading but also a level of support for German within this team. I think Heidfeld stood tall to the difficult task of matching young Pole and did even better against other high-profile team-mates in the past. He's a journey driver for sure. But what a dull journey it is ...

Hopefully time will prove Kubica's exceptional talent. He still has six years deficit compared to Nick Heidfeld's career in Formula1.

96

Of course most of the questions above were addressed to your readers, not you in person James, as for example I cannot recall you saying that Kubica is an over-rated driver.

97

1. Hamilton

2. Button

3. Vettel

4. Kimi

5. Reubens

98

1. Hamilton

2. Vettel

3. Button

4. Kimi

5. Kubica

99

Still amazed Alonso is on the list. His reputation is still good I guess. yeah he put the Reno in the top 10 when his team mates couldnt but that was Piquet and Grosjean! Come on man. Raikkonen was hardly destroyed by Felipe and destroyed Fisico who is better than Piquet and Grosjean.

100

My top 5:

1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Hamilton

4. Barrichello

5. Webber

101

My pick is as follows,

1. Hamilton

2. Vettel

3. Button

4. Webber

5. Alonso

102

1.Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Barrichello

5. Webber

103

Hi James,

Here's my top 5

1. Jenson Button (he won the WDC afterall)

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Rubens Barrichello

5. Mark Webber

Cheers

Henri

104

No surprise seeing Hamilton put in the list, after all this is a British website so what else to expect. My question is, if Hamilton is credited for turning around a dog of a car, which in my opinion he clearly had nothing to do with, then why not have Fisichella on the list? He did an even better job with less than half of Mclaren's budget and expertise. It was neither Hamilton not Fisichella who had anything to do with the development of their cars and hence they should have no place in the top 5.

105

Well, I don't know where you get this idea, cos most people think McLaren pulled off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the sport's history. Hamilton played a part, but I don't see people giving him most of the credits. and if you read Mark Hughes' article or people's comments here, you will see people put him on the list because of his driving, not development skills. I don't know what you're on about.

106

Button

Vettel

Rubens (easier to spell)

Hamilton

Webber

I know there isn't a rookie compo but this guy deserves a mention,

The usual suspect that is

Kobayashi

107

My top 5 Drivers for 2009 are:

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Rosberg

5. Raikkonen

108

1. Lewis

2. Button

3. Vettel

4. Kimi

5. Alonso

109

1. Hamilton (outdid his equipment)

2. Button (WDC, most consistent)

3. Webber (expected Vettel to dominate him, plus that broken leg & shoulder...)

4. Vettel (a few mistakes but clearly a future champion)

5. Barichello (gave Button a run for his money in the 2nd half of the season)

110

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Kimi Raikkonen

3. Jenson Button

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Nico Rosberg

111

James you will surely have Kimi Raikkonen in your top 5. I don't agree with the 2 predictions above.

112

1. Button

2. Alonso

3. Raikkonen

4. Rosberg

5. Hamilton

113

1. Barrichello - more consistent than button

2. Vittel - had a great season

3. Hamilton - brilliant job in a poor car

4. Button - was passenger in a great honda car

5. Webber - great considering this leg problems

114

Well my skills as 007 tell me:

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Felipe Massa (yes he started better than Kimi)

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Mark Webber

115

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Jenson Button

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Rubens Barrichello

116

1. Vettel

2. Kimi

3. Lewis

4. Button

5. Kobayashi

117

1. BUTTON

2. HAMILTON

3. VETTEL

4. WEBBER

5. BARRICHELLO

118

1.Button

2.Hamilton

3.Vettel

4.Raikkonen

5.Hmmm... Barrichello

119

James, great blog, it's become one of the first F1 websites I visit each day.

My top 5 are:

1. Button

2. Hamilton

3. Vettel

4. Rosberg

5. Webber

121

In no particular order, the five who gave me a multitude of reasons to watch the races.

Button

Vettel

Hamilton

Barrichello

Raikkonen

Honourable mentions to

Mark Webber (perhaps should have been among the five above!), Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi.

122

Hi James

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Barrichello

4. Webber

5. Hamilton

the first 3 explain themselves; Webber is a top bloke so deserves to be in the first 5. Lewis threw his toys out of the pram (cockpit) but woke up and did really well once he'd got his head around not winning every week. Alonso is tainted with all that Renault stuff so cannot be in the top five next year. (at least Lewis owned up to his misdemeanours....)

123

My go

1) Vettel

2) Kimi

3) Jenson

4) Lewis

5) Massa

124

1. Vettel

2. Barrichello

3. Button

4. Hamilton

5. Webber

125

1) Vettel - still rising...

2) Massa - it will be interesting to see how his recovery goes...

3) Barichello - probably the most consistent F1 driver over the last 10 years. Always in the mix.

4) Kubica - Posted some ridiculously good results out of a slew of mediocre cars

5) Hamilton - Hard to judge his overall abilities because his rise was so meteoric

126

1) Luca Badoer

2) Nelson Piquet

3) Romain Grosjean

4) Sebastien Bourdais

5) Kazuki Nakajima

Just kidding.

Really...

1) Jenson Button

2) Lewis Hamilton

3) Mark Webber

4) Sebastian Vettel

5) Nico Rosberg

127

Hi james. why not kubica?

just curious to hear your thoughts as i am a huge kubica fan and i thought he did well in not such a good car

128

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Raikonnen

5. Rosberg

129

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Weber

5. Massa

130

My top 5 drivers for the year are:

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Kimi Raikkonen

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Mark Webber

Regards

Alan

131

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Jenson Button

4. Kimi Raikonen

5. Mark Webber

132

My Top 5:

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Rubens Barrichello

5. Kimi Raikkonen

133

1. Button

2. Hamilton

3. Webber

4. Vettel

5. Kimi

134

1. Hamilton

2. Button

3. Vettel

4. Barrichello

5. Webber

P.S. Sorry Rubens if I spelt your name wrong!

And Kobayashi for rookie of the year.

135

James

My top five drivers this year

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Barrichello

5. Webber

136

Ok James, here is my top five:

1. J. Button

2. L. Hamilton

3. S. Vettel

4. R. Barichello

5. K. Raikkonen

137

Season 2009

1. Button - most points in the end, so this is obvious

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Raikkonen

5. Barrichello

138

Not necessarily my view but I'm expecting James to have some sort of anorak list anyway:

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Webber

4. Barrichello

5. Raikkonen

number 5 could have been Kobayashi also for bringing some oomph to otherwise dull proceedings, I just don’t see how Raikkonen’s charge in the 2nd half can be ignored

139

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Barrichello

5. Webber

140
Christian Hepworth

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Baricello

5. Raikonen

141

1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Hamilton

4. Alonso

5. Kobayashi

142

Fantastic website.

I've been really struggling with my order but here goes:

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Rubens Barrichello

5. Mark Webber

143

1. L. Hamilton

2. J. Button

3. S. Vettel

4. R. Barrichello

5. K. Raikkonem

144

1. Hamilton

2. Button

3. Vettel

4. Barrichello

5. Raikkonen

145

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Rubens Barrichello

146

1 BUTTON

2 VETTEL

3 HAMILTON

4 HEIDFELD

5 KOBAYASHI

147

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Rubens Barrichello

5. Nico Rosberg

148

1. Vettel

2. Massa

3. Alonso

4. Raikonnen

5. Hamilton (places lost for lying)

149

1.-Button

2.-Hamilton

3.-Vettel

4.-Raikkonen

5.-Rosberg

150

My Top

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Raikonnen

5. Webber

151

1. Jenson Button

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Nico Rosberg

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Mark Webber

152

1 Button

2 Vettel

3 Barrichello

4 Hamilton

5 Rosberg

153

1. Hamilton

2. Button

3. Vettel

4. Barrichello

5. Raikkonen

154

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Webber

5. Barrichello

155

My order:

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Barrichello

4. Hamilton

5. Raikkonen

Honorable mention: Kobayashi

156

1. Hamilton

2. Button

3. Alonso

4. Vetel

5. Rosberg

157

1 - Button

2 - Vettel

3 - Hamilton

4 - Barichello

5 - Raikkonen

158

1. Button

2. Vettel

3. Barrichello

4. Hamilton

5. Kobayashi

159

1.Vettel

2.Hamilton

3.Alonso

4.Webber

5.Button

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer