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My Top Five drivers of the Season
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My Top Five drivers of the Season
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Nov 2010   |  2:27 pm GMT  |  287 comments

I’m delighted to say that the JA on F1 2010 season Review Book is published today. I’ve offered a signed copy to the first ten readers whose Top Five drivers of the Season match my choice.

We’ve had a great response from readers sending in their Top Five, with just under 1,000 entries. Thanks to everyone for taking part.

The 2010 season was really enjoyable for fans and insiders alike. There was quite a buzz in the paddock all season with the various battles going on between teams and between team mates too.

When compiling a Top Five list, the considerations I use are; what were the driver’s peaks, in terms of outstanding performances. Similarly what were the troughs, in terms of costly mistakes or underperformances. I also look very closely at consistency across the season.

Then I also take into account the performance of the car and how that stood relative to the opposition. That means looking at the relative pace of the cars through the season and the results that were achieved with it.

No driver achieved a faultless season – the pressure was very high, the level of competition was intense and so they all made some mistakes. But there were some outstanding performances across the board and unlike last season, where it was hard to fill the top five positions, this year there were probably eight to ten drivers who had really good seasons.

There is no room for favouritism in a list like this, nor any points for historical achievement; this is all about who did the best job in the 19 race F1 season.

With that in mind here’s my Top Five.

1. Sebastian Vettel
Vettel came of age in 2010, winning the world championship in a tense season long battle, despite the fact that it looked at times as though the title had got away from him. His record of 10 pole positions tells you that he had the fastest car this year, which is undoubtedly true, but also that he used it to good effect and invariably got the job done on Saturdays.

He didn’t always get it done on Sundays for a variety of reasons, but his race performances were consistently strong. The wins in Malaysia, Japan and Abu Dhabi were really good and he showed that he can dominate a weekend, which is what you need to do when you have a car advantage. His main mistakes were clearly in Spa, where he took out Button and in Turkey, which was more debatable given Webber’s part in it, but he took himself out there and cost his team mate a probable win.

His weakness was impetuousness, the start in Silverstone, the botched pass in Spa and I agree with Alain Prost’s assessment that winning the title will probably make him calm down a bit

He suffered quite a bit from reliability problems on his car, particularly with the engine. He would have won in Bahrain, Australia and Korea with better reliability and that would have made winning the title rather more comfortable.

It was a tough championship to win and he got the job done, you can’t take anything away from him there.


2. Fernando Alonso
It was very hard to decide whether Alonso should be ahead of Hamilton and no doubt this will prove an emotive issue among some readers. Alonso had a slightly faster car for most of the season and finished 12 points ahead of his great rival.

The reason I put him ahead is partly because he passed Hamilton twice on track in the final races, showing his intent. Then also because of his five wins and five podiums, to Hamilton’s three wins and six podiums and partly because he seemed to me to be more of a force throughout the season. Apart from Turkey, where he struggled, he was always competitive, always pushing.

His peaks were mighty, that last gasp qualifying lap in Abu Dhabi was pressure driving at its best, so was the win in Monza. I also thought his pass on Massa in the pit lane in China showed what a competitor he is. It set the tone for the season.

He made some big mistakes, which is uncharacteristic of him and which showed him struggling at times to cope with the emotional pressure inside Ferrari. He only got on top of that once the team had sided with him in the infamous team orders decision in Germany.

One of Alonso’s worst mistakes was the crash in practice at Monaco which compromised his weekend. There were others, like Spa and the jump start in China. But the real damage to his title hopes was done in a series of races in early summer where he fell foul of the safety car. In Valencia he was very hard done by, in Silverstone he was pushing his luck by passing Kubica illegally and tried to stall for time, then very unlucky that the Renault retired so he could not give the place back.

There were some bad team mistakes, like misjudging timing during qualifying in Malaysia and of course the infamous call to pit in Abu Dhabi.

He hasn’t made many friends this season and has probably lost a few fans as a result of his attitude at times, which was a bit disappointing for anyone who knows him, but he remains F1’s benchmark driver and he edged it over Hamilton this year for me.


3. Lewis Hamilton
Lewis drove very well at times this year, his wins in Montreal and Spa were brilliantly crafted in particular.

Many people expected him to bury Jenson Button this year, but that didn’t happen – he finished 26 points ahead, which is the equivalent of a race win, more or less. His average grid slot was P4 to Jenson’s P5.5 (not counting Malaysia, which gives a skewed reading) and he was usually, but not always, the faster driver. As you’d expect he was faster especially when the car was a bit unstable, after the difficult introduction of the exhaust blown diffuser in the summer.

He provides a lot of entertainment for F1 fans, his overtaking all year was tremendous, but it was often due to qualifying below where he should be, mostly the fault of the car or team, but not always. The McLaren didn’t develop as strongly as in the past, which held him and Button back and Lewis found himself fighting without the right weapon quite a few times. But he always gave it 100%.

He was a consistent points scorer but also, like Vettel and Alonso, he had a very dominant run, in his case the six races from Monaco to Germany, where he scored 108 points, averaging 18 points per race. Vettel did 105 between Italy and Abu Dhabi, while Alonso did 111 in the same period.

He made some strange mistakes this year, particularly the costly accidents with Massa in Monza and Webber in Singapore. He also allowed himself to be overtaken by Alonso twice in the closing stages of the season. And another point against him is the way Button outsmarted him in Australia and China as well as on set up in Monza.


4. Mark Webber
If you had asked a couple of years ago, few people would have said that Webber would fight for a world title right down to the last round. The Australian is a great competitor but had always seemed to struggle to match his speed with consistent points scoring. That all changed this year as he went on a run in the spring and kept on scoring big points. It reminded me very much of Nigel Mansell who also came good in his mid 30s. The question now is, can he do it again next year?

It cannot have been easy to operate this season in the Red Bull environment, where everything is controlled from Austria and they so clearly have the team set up for Vettel for the future. But it would be a mistake to think that this is the whole story; Red Bull is a different beast from anything we’ve seen in F1 before and part of the game for them was the decision to let the drivers race each other at all costs and all the attention that drew. You have to admire them for that. The decision not to prioritise Webber in Brazil, as most race teams would have done, was fully vindicated by Vettel winning the title at the next race. It could so easily have cost them the title.

Red Bull was the biggest story of the year and if it hadn’t been for Ferrari team orders, it would have been pretty much the only story this year. That’s the way they like it.

So Webber’s regular cries for help and barbs about being a “Number two driver”, although genuine, were all part of the game.

In terms of peaks, his performances in Spain, Monaco and Hungary were as good as anything anyone managed all year. He was more consistent than the others, except when it counted in the last three races. Up to round 17 he averaged 13.7 points per race. If he’d kept that going in the final three races he would have won the title with 260 points. However he let his average slip to just 7.3 points. One of the main reasons for that was crashing in the rain in Korea.


5. Robert Kubica
It was a very close one between Kubica, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button and if I was carrying this list on, I’d put them in that order. The reason I’d put Kubica a fraction ahead of Rosberg is that he finished just six points behind in the table in a car which was slower for most of the season. I’ve checked the data with various engineers and the Mercedes was faster on the whole.

His peaks were higher too; his driving in Monaco was sublime as was his nouse in Australia where he finished second to Button. He was always on it, basically.

There were some limited peaks in car performance like Monaco, Spa (where they got the F Duct) and Suzuka. But for most of the season he was carrying the car.

Another factor in Kubica’s favour is his performance in races relative to qualifying position. Whereas both he and Rosberg did consistently well at finishing ahead of where they qualified, a key indicator of a top driver in an average car, his positional gains were greater.

To be fair that’s partly due to Rosberg hitting a glass ceiling – not being able to compete with Red Bulls, Ferraris and McLarens, but it’s also an indicator of what Kubica was managing to do with the Renault

Both drivers murdered their team mates this season, Kubica by a bigger margin but then he was up against Petrov, whereas Rosberg had Michael Schumacher to contend with.

We’ll go through the Top Five lists from fans and the first ten that match the list above will be contacted for us to send them a signed and personalised copy of the book.

And please be sure to let me know your thoughts on my list in the comments section below.

All photos by Darren Heath

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1

Hi,

How can Vettel be number 1 when he did his best to lose it in a car that was 1 second faster than anyone else? And Alonso #2?

These guys made more mistakes than Hamilton all season.

Mark Hughes from Autosport top 5 is far more balanced.

1. Hamilton – out drove the car

2. Kubica – out drove the car

3. Alonso – out drove the car but too many mistakes

4. Vettel – did his best to lose, very poor poles to win ratio conversion. You just know Hamilton or Vettel would have had this season dead and buried long time ago. Struggled against Webber who is not tier 1. Webber actually looked favourite for this WDC, not Vettel.

2

A lot of people are praising Robert Kubica. I agree he had a very good season and some superb drives.

The problem is, he has no reference point to be judged by. A rookie pay driver alongside him makes it hard to judge the speed of the car. It also made more comfortable because he did not have the pressure that comes from fighting for the championship, nor the pressure from a teammate.

3

“The reason I put him ahead is partly because he passed Hamilton twice on track in the final races, showing his intent.”

James, Hamilton made an error in Korea and gifted 2nd (and possibly a win); McLaren was vastly inferior in Brazil

4

James, regarding the reason and justification you put Alonso in front of Lewis. I agree with the point that his performance this year was perhaps a bit but better than of his closest rival’s. But it seems to me that in those two cases, when Hami was passed by Alonso, the reason was not Lewis’s fault but huge difference in cars’ performances in those particular cases. And in my opinion Lewis is a bit but anyway quicker than Alonso in pure speed, just by 0.0.. or 0.00.. but quicker than him. But I guess that ratio: Alonso’s (consistence x speed) is better than Lewis’s (consistence x speed).

And not to judge emotionally and by private preferences and likes, there are science-based researches concluding: reaction time drops proportionally with age, and perhaps that natural law is an issue among F1 drivers too. Since Lewis is 4 years younger than him, that can be a case. And again, perhaps there is kind of peak period in each drivers career when ratio: (consistence x speed) is supreme, and it can be said: mature Alonso is in its supreme peak now.

5

James,

For once I totally agree with your top 5 drivers choice. lol.

Wishing you & your family a Merry Christmas!

6

Hi James, many of your blogs have been excellent I must say.

But when you cite Alonso’s overtake of Massa in the pit lane, or Massa’s enforced hand-over of a certain victory in Germany as reasons to rate him higher than any driver, let alone Hamilton, you lose me completely and utterly.

Clearly, Alonso had the team at his disposal from very early in the season at Ferrari.

Meanwhile at McLaren, who in 2007 had to have a Spanish FIA inspector in their garage to ensure that Alonso was given equal treatment (anyone remember that?), Button and Hamilton have been a credit to the sport insofar as neither has been given team favouritism, enabling Button to show he is more than a flash in the pan, and proving that Lewis actively welcomes competition within his own team but still comes out on top on merit.

Yet you completely ignore the equal ops policy at McLaren and instead seemingly criticise Lewis for not trouncing his team-mate.

I have no doubt that if Lewis had the entire team at his disposal as Alonso did, he would now be enjoying a higher final position than Alonso in what you admit was for much of the season an inferior McLaren car, and that Lewis might conceivably be a 2x WDC.

You also ignore Alonso’s extremely poor final race, a real anti-climax, which cannot solely be blamed upon the Ferrari pit crew alone, especially within a team that prides itself on being one big family (albeit one with a big brother and a little brother).

7

Well each to his own opinion…

8

I am struggling to see the balance in this article.

Things that have to be considered, in a top driver of the year competition is the position of the driver, relative to the performance, and some may say budget, of the team. To put this into perspective, one has to wonder why Vettel is out in front when he clearly had the fastest car in every race of the season and yet still managed to drive this down to the wire. At some races, the car was clearly over a second a lap faster, yet still the leader at the final race of the season was Alonso, in, clearly, the second fastest car on the grid. It’s actually astonishing that you’ve come to this conclusion. The fact is, this is Vettel’s 4th season in F1; he is no rookie. Alonso made an awful lot of mistakes at the start of the season (and end) and yet is second. Webber is no great driver, but did overdrive himself into position, despite appearing as the teams de facto #2 driver. However, he didn’t show that famous Australian mental toughness when it was required and I can’t understand him in the top 5, down to being in clearly the best car. I find it quite absurd. Hamilton did very well, with the car he had, but made a couple of race ending mistakes (Singapore, to me, was less his fault) and had a few reliability issues in, what started the season, a slower car than the other ’top’ teams. Rosberg had a stellar season, as did Kubica. I think Alonso also ‘bullied’ his way to a win over Massa, which still rankles amongst genuine F1 fans and I just can’t pick him at #2.

Arguably, Hamilton had the better season than most for consistently qualifying, and finishing, above his weight division. Kobayashi also performed in a higher division than his weight, as I believe with Rosberg and Kubica. These, for me, are the stars of the season. You can see why Button is omitted, despite his start and end to the season.

It’s hard to take you seriously James when you post stuff like this. Rationally, and logically, you simply cannot come to the same conclusions. Vettel clearly had the quickest car all season, by a very comfortable margin; it’s almost akin to congratulating Kim Jong-il for his latest landslide victory at the polls. I would have thought Alonso, Hamilton, not to mention a couple of others would have been smoking their cigars in Europe, rather than in the desert in November.

What a shocking season this would have been were it Schumacher in 98 being given the RBR.

For what it is worth, and yes, I can see how tricky it is. I’d have Hamilton, Rosberg and Kubica in my top 5 with Alonso and Vettel. I’d have Vettel a lot lower because of the above.

9

Hello James,

You will probably recognize me as a regular, intelligent poster on here. I came to look at this article after seeing quite a bit of uproar about it on other forums and F1 related sites, thinking it was just the “usual” people going a bit over the top.

Having read the article however, I must say that your analysis of Alonso and Hamilton respectively and the way you have gone about it has left me with a rather bitter taste, more so than anything else I’ve ever seen you write. Please read on to find out why:-

Firstly, you immediately start an Alonso Vs Hamilton issue when evaluating Alonso, rather than leaving that to the end, or indeed putting that at the start of Hamilton’s justification. By doing this, you over-shadow the individual analysis and justification of your driver positions and just start a whole Alonso Vs Hamilton argument. With your acknowledgment of the fact that this is a sensitive subject I’d have thought you’d of put better thought into the structure and arrangement of your analysis of the drivers respectively. Saying that in your defence, it feels like you are so worried about people getting upset that you spend almost the whole of not just Alonso’s section but also Hamilton’s, trying to justify why Alonso is ahead of Hamilton. By doing that, in Alonso’s thread you are often being positive about him and negative about Hamilton and then in Hamilton’s section you are being negative about him, whilst still feeling the need to bring up Alonso positives.

If anyone says to me, or said to me in the past that you are bias towards Alonso then I’d laugh and say it was rubbish and I still stick to that so don’t worry. However, what I would say is that as a neutral reader, your article has very much come across pro Alonso – and that is just my honest opinion.

I think that if you are going to do a review of the top 5 drivers over the WHOLE season then you need to really consider the whole season and you, in similar fashion to many other analysts have decided to semi-forget that Hamilton was unbelievable for the first 2/3 of the season, up until Monza. He did not make a single notable mistake and completely out-drove his car. Compare this to Alonso who made A LOT of uncharacteristic errors. From Monza on-wards I agree Alonso drove better than Hamilton but he also had a much better car for most of those races.

A few individual points I’d like to highlight:- The two times “Alonso passed Hamilton”, I think it is worth recognizing that Alonso had a faster car and especially at Korea, the McLaren was having significant problems with its brakes locking at the end of the long straights, Lewis noted this right from the start of the race and just look at how Jenson was handling it! Quite frankly, Lewis did well not to go off many more times and he was having to brake significantly earlier than those behind (also the reason why Rosberg got him) – therefore I don’t think you can really hold this against him. At Brazil, fair enough Alonso pressured him into a mistake, but what about the times this season where Lewis overtook Alonso at Canada (twice) or at races like Malaysia where Hamilton stormed through the field when Alonso got stuck and couldn’t overtake in a faster car at that time.

Quite frankly, to try and use over-taking as a feather in Alonso’s cap, when Hamilton for the majority of the season was far superior to the whole field in overtaking, is absurd.

You said:- “His overtaking all year was tremendous, but it was often due to qualifying below where he should be, mostly the fault of the car or team, but not always. “

So when exactly did Hamilton qualify below where he should be due to mistakes of his own? Let me think, Australia and erm. . . oh wait, there are no other occasions! Now onto Alonso, when did he have a poor qualifying session? Monaco (didn’t qualify), Turkey, Spa, Suzuka (underperformed). I’d certainly say that if you then look at the remarkable qualifying sessions of the two where they out-performed their car then you’d have more positives to Hamilton – look at performances at Spa, Silverstone, Singapore, Suzuka, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, etc.

My point is that in a fair equal assessment, it is not OK for you to pick fault in one driver for a particular area (without also looking over the positives) whilst completely brushing over it for another.

Another thing is that one KEY element you have left out of your analysis is the misfortune of the drivers. In this respect, in a direct comparison between Alonso and Hamilton, Alonso had near bullet proof reliability whereas Lewis lost 30+ points through reliability and if not for this bad luck alone he would be ahead on points.

Finally, I’d like to say that categorically, Singapore was not Hamilton’s fault and at worst it was a 50/50 incident. I’m pretty sure EVERYONE including yourself acknowledged this and therefore why do you and other journalists still decide to use it as a “fault” in Hamilton’s armoury of this season? If you want him to be boring and never over-take then so be it, but F1 as a sport would be much worse for it and therefore I suggest you ALL stop giving him so much stick about incidents like that because I have seen it in so many other sports where brilliant talents have been ruined. A great example is in cricket right now – Kevin Pietersen is not the same player that he was during his early England career because everyone had such a go at him for being “too aggressive”, and he has thought about it so much and tried getting more technical and now he just isn’t the same player. If the media get on to Hamilton so much every time he has a “racing incident” then the same may happen to him.

You know what is so bemusing about this whole subject is that EVEN I, find it very difficult to choose between Hamilton and Alonso, in terms of who should be ranked ahead for 2010. I can’t even really decide myself and if you’d have put Alonso ahead and justified it in the right way, with complete fairness then I’d of not even had a bad word to say. I really think you should take this feedback on board for the future as I completely love reading your column and have never had a bad word to say about you up till now, so hopefully this will be the last.

10

Thanks for your comment. I’m surprised that you think I would be pro Alonso or pro/anti- anyone really. Some journos like to carry a candle for certain drivers.

I take as I find, constantly re-evaluate and try very hard to express myself in as balanced a way as possible.

Common sense tells you that it is possible to believe, after studying the information carefully, that Alonso did a better job than Hamilton or vice versa – without that being a biased view. I knew I would have to pick my words carefully because some people take offence at the slightest thing when it comes to these two drivers.

Frankly I find that really tiresome, it’s one of the worst thing about being in F1 media at the moment. Things are so polarised between fans of those two.

I run an intelligent site for people like you to gain insights, have fun participating in the various things we do and in the vibrant comments section. If I think Hamilton has done a better job than Alonso in a race/ championship – or vice versa – then I will say so and I will do it in as balanced a way as possible and I really don’t care whether people get worked up about it on other forums.

11

James,

Great points by Luke A.

Here’s hoping that you take on board what he said.

It seems that you and others are blinded by a second half season with Alonso’s improving performance when McLaren were struggling with their EBD from Silverstone. Up to that point McLaren were taking podium points and wins points when they were only expected to come third!

Hamilton was faultless through most of the season as you know but has a few hiccups towards the end of the season and he is seen as many making too many errors. That was two less than five or six errors by Alonso in the first half of the season!

12

I think the only way to stop all this heated discussion on who drove better, etc, between Alonso and Hamilton is to put them back in the same team and then it will be much simpler!

13

I’m not blinded by anything. I saw the season close up from pre-season, to Bahrain to Abu Dhabi

14

On a rather amusing side note James, if the guys on here need to lighten up then I think this is absolutely hilarious!

http://www.planetf1.com/off-on-f1/6545160/Planet-F1-s-Very-Own-Wikileaks

F1’s very own Wikileaks!

Take a quick read, im sure it’ll have you in hysterics.

I personally love these two (please note these are not real quotes!):-

Mark Webber on Seb

“Seb’s a good guy to have around the team. You never know when you’re gonna need someone to scare the children off. Talk about trick or treat, him and Sebastian Buemi could make a fortune hiring themselves out at Halloween.”

——–

Felipe Massa on Fernando

“I have cousins like Fernando who always need to get their own way. But they are six and seven. There’s a joke at Ferrari that no-one will go to McDonalds with Fernando any more in case he gets the wrong toy in the Happy Meal…”

15

Thanks for the reply James. Regarding:-

“I’m surprised that you think I would be pro Alonso or pro/anti- anyone really.”

I didn’t at any stage say that you were being pro Alonso, in-fact, I said this:-

“If anyone says to me, or said to me in the past that you are bias towards Alonso then I’d laugh and say it was rubbish and I still stick to that so don’t worry. However, what I would say is that as a neutral reader, your article has very much come across pro Alonso – and that is just my honest opinion.”

So essentially I was saying that whether intentionally or not, most likely the former, your article has come across as being bias towards Alonso. I’m sure after reading my pretty in-depth analysis of your comparison of the two you can understand that it is conceivable to foresee why it could be interpreted that way and that if it were structured differently it wouldn’t ‘light the fire’ so much.

I do however completely understand what you are saying regarding Alonso and Hamilton and how it is such a sensitive subject and therefore is tiresome to analyse, while trying not to upset anyone. I would like to note though that personally I do not really have this huge thing against Alonso like many Hamilton fans and I actually have more respect for him (in terms of his driving skills) than any other driver on the grid at the moment.

I guess the who qualified better, who overtook better and who raced better is all completely up for debate and there is not a huge margin between them. Equally, Alonso finished slightly ahead of Hamilton and had a slightly faster car on average so on those terms they are pretty much equal. What I would say tips it in Hamilton’s favour (personally for me) is that he lost significantly more points through mechanical failure and if Alonso had of suffered similar issues or Hamilton had not, then the result would have been different.

To show that im not bias on this I would use the same theory in placing Vettel ahead of Hamilton, simply because he had even worse luck than Hamilton and even though he had a faster car, he probably just edges it. That is saying a lot when I rate Alonso more than Vettel.. so you see im going by the facts and not by personal opinion.

16

Whilst I don’t like the final list, I can see the arguments.

To be honest I am disappointed not to see JB in the top five, and surprised that he is nominally in seventh position. His qualifying has been poor, but his racing has been very good. In general he has made up positions, performed some great overtakes and won two great races (very nearly three but for the damage in turn 1 in Monza). The real key for me though is that I don’t think he has made any significant errors in any of the races and remain strong mentally throughout, unlike all of the other main title contenders.

You could say the same about Kubica and Rosberg, but they didn’t win any races (and surely Australia would have been a possibility for Kubica?) and they comprehensivley out qualified their team mates. JB was shown the way home in quali by Lewis, but he still only finished 26 points behind. To me that means he made better use of his Sunday afternoons.

I know that he isn’t everyone’s favourite driver; but where would he be if he qualified better than Hamilton in say three more races? Not WDC but probably higher on everyone’s list.

17

I repeat: Koba is much better than hamilton. very, VERY, better. The british appeal and worldwide hipocrisy make him almost like a god. In fact, him is nothing more than a fool.

If you dislike the truth ,then let you eyes wide shut, or still watching F1 by hamilton’s onboard.

Remember: mcladren 2007, don’t forget that!

18

I completely disagree with hamilton’s position in the very list. His biggest mistakes, like amateurs do, put him on back of the very real top 5: VET;ALO;WEB;KUB;BUT;KOB. Yes! Kobayashi, who eliminated De La Rosa, and did the show in some races. As well, Koba? in a Sauber?. And hamilton doesn’t anything without your kers or F-duct. What a shame for him. Crap! kers will be back next year, for hamilton’s happiness, and his fans.

19

Well,I’m one of the winners 🙂

I look forward to reading the book.

20

YOU are indeed! Well done!

21

Lets also not forget Alonso new to the team so had a disadvantage compared to most others. Button should have been in the top 5, for his very steady and consistent driving. To be new to the team and only finish 1 win behind Lewis was very impressive, although he is a step behind Lewis as a driver.

22

Hey James,

Same list as your, just off by one position swap. My list was:

1. Vettel

2. Alonso

3. Webber

4. Hamilton

5. Kubica

Any chance of a consolation prize? 🙂

Anyway James, keep up the great work. I’m looking forward to the book!

23

No list can be perfect. Its always hard to justify anyone’s top 5 but good job JA u made it a bit pure. Warm ragard for technical insights on website though.

24

James I am pretty sure I did one of the first 10 correct predictions can you confirm this?

Also would like to say this is easily the best F1 website and is keeping me going through the F1-less winter, great job.

25

Thanks. We’re checking the lists

26

Cannot disagree with this assessment.

27

Hi James, i have to say i like reading the feedback/ forum as much as your articles. So much passion! I love how loyal and bias most people are about there favourite drivers. This is what F1 is about to me and something that is really lacked in Australia.

28

At last, James’s results are published!

Thank you for the little competition. It adds a bit of excitment at the end of the season.

I’m glad we share the same top two analysis and four out of five overall. But since it doesn’t match exactly, I have ordered your book today.

For once, I am going to stand by my initial choice and keep Lewis as 6th in my list.

We can hear Martin Brundle and many other pundits (Peter Windsor etc) claiming Lewis Hamilton is a superlative driver and so on and so forth but he grossly underdelivered in 2010.

I remember the days he’d utterly dominate the F3 Euro and GP2 and did impress me hugely in 2007 against a double world champion. Since 2008 though, and despite winning the title that year, he appears to me less focused on his driving and on his strengths. It is almost as if he was concentrating more in areas where he lacks rather than letting his team do the work for him.

Clearly, in 2010, I was expecting him to crush Jenson in Team Vodafone Lewis McLaren Mercedes. And that didn’t happen. The two uncharacteristic errors in Monza and Singapore, the dropping of the pace in Korea, the lack of confidence in Brazil over the radio despite setting purple sectors in the race did not reflect a strong performer. If anything, I feel Lewis performed worse than he did in 09.

Anyway, this is just my thought and am sure a lot of Lewis fans will think I’m insane.

For me the top five drivers remain Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Kubica and Button in that order for the reasons I mentioned in the original post (which too long to be posted here again).

29

Can’t argue with those choices. Now can we do the 5 worst drivers this season? 🙂

1. Massa
2. Petrov
3. Schumacher
4. De La Rosa
5. Yamamoto

30

Brilliant Call Paul. Just thinking….

31

All this nonsense about personality, integrity etc. This is F1 not a personality contest. Senna, Prost and Schumacher have done far worse than Alonso this season. OMG he shook his fist, ban him for life!

Hamilton has overtook a saftey car and his punishment cost him nothing. Had he won the WDC, would it have been a bigger injustice than if Alonso won? Of course it would but no one complains because its our Lewis.

Vettel also significantly damaged his rivals Webber and Buttons bids, was their a public apology? Where was the integrity!!!

32

There is a difference. A huge one.

Alonso whined he couldn’t get passed a rookie, he cried the rookie in another team didn’t just let him pass like he was Massa or something 😉

That’s just pathetic, no matter how much a fan you are of Alonso, surely you cannot be serious in defending that cowardly behaviour?

33

He had just lost the WDC – he was going to be upset. He admitted afterwards that Petrov drove a great race.

He is a bad loser, no question. But you show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser 😉

34

dang! i got the top five right, but i placed Kubica on 3rd. 🙁

35

it’s not just about the driver though. Sure vettel was winning and taking poles in the fastest car, but it takes skill and talent in itself to do that all season long. A driver’s performance is always relative to the car

Generally, I agree with JA. I personally would have swapped Webber and Hamilton, as Webber had some outstanding mid-season wins and was consistent all season long. Hamilton, while fast, was too erratic to hold up a championship fight. But overall a fair analysis i think. Well done to JA for this blog, great stuff

36

I think much of this list is towards where they finished in the Championship and the car. I think Kubica should be a lot higher for reasons already given, Rubens drove the best he has ever and worked the team well and considering the equipment, he exceeded its potential.Kobayashi drove very well and I wish he was in a better car, reliability aside, A great drive from him. Button should be up there as he made so few mistakes and had the challenge of a new team and car to work with. Webber broke under pressure in the last few races, Vettel made a lot of mistakes through out and I’m not sure he can overtake, but was fast all season, Alonso had a poor mid season, but got back on in it and dragged the Ferrari to the front. Lewis made a lot of errors which cost him the Championship.

Kubica.

Alonso.

Kobayashi.

Vettel.

Rubens/Button/Lewis/Webber

37

These are interesting choices; certainly Alonso second raised an eyebrow. While he may have the talent to be an F1 # 1, integrity is lacking – and that is important also in a champion. The consensus in our family is that we are pleased, but not overjoyed, for Vettle. Webber, on precedent, would have made for a more rounded champion, but the dice fell where they did, at the end of a really wonderful season of racing. We enjoyed every moment of the F1 season and your commentary and blog were a great and helpful supplement to the on-goings on track. Best of luck and we all look forward to reading you next year.

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