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Who is your Driver of the Season?
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Who is your Driver of the Season?
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Nov 2010   |  4:41 pm GMT  |  699 comments

All year we have been running a Driver of the Day survey after each Grand Prix, but it’s that time of year again, where we need to establish the Top Five drivers of the year, in order, with your Driver of the Season at the top.

Once again the first ten entries which match my selection, will receive a free signed copy of our review book of the season; James Allen on F1 2010: Five Rivals, One Champion, which is due to be published on 29 November. This will also be the closing date for entries.

Unlike last year there are many drivers who had really strong seasons. No-one was error free – the pressure of the competition was too high for that – but the way I see it we had more outstanding performances than we have seen for a long time. In no particular order I’m thinking of Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Rosberg and Kubica, Barrichello, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, even Petrov and Alguersuari, although they were rather more erratic.

We are looking for your Top Five, in descending order, of drivers who shone in 2010. Please submit your answers in the comments section below.


I’m delighted to say that Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who challenged for this season’s F1 world championship, has written the Foreword to the book.

The Australian led the title race for longer than any of his four rivals this season, but ultimately lost out to team mate Sebastian Vettel in the final round at Abu Dhabi.

It’s a great Foreword, a very honest appraisal of his season, here’s an extract,

…”Personally, I think I can be satisfied with my results. I enjoyed a purple patch at the start of the European season when I won back-to-back races at Barcelona and Monaco and was going for the trifecta in Istanbul prior to the collision. Silverstone was a fantastic moment for a couple of reasons and I was also very happy with some of my drives for second places, especially at Spa in those tricky conditions. Of course there were lows too, such as Valencia and Korea, and sheer frustrating ones like Abu Dhabi but that’s what elite sport is all about – repeatedly testing yourself at the very highest level against the very best in the world. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s what we get out of bed for!”

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1

1. Vettel

2. Alonso

3. Hamilton

4. Kubica

5. Webber

2

5. Jenson Button

4. Mark Webber

3. Sebastian Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

1. Lewis Hamilton

I have rated the drivers on the following:

1. Will Power

2. Hunger to Win

3. Belief to Succeed

4. Motivation

5. Killer Instinct

6. Mental Toughness

In order to emerge as the best, it is pertinent to face tides on each sides. I have rated only the championship fighters, since the rest of them were in a totally different league. The championship is what counts. The drivers fighting for it are at the highest level of competition.

Jenson Button: Even though he was not trounced by Hamilton in Alonso fashion, he was nevertheless defeated by the Brit. Having initially led the season, never looked like the man who had the vision to win the championship. Attack was blunt, counted on consistency at a mediocre level. Reason being, the car not to his liking. Failure to adapt.

Mark Webber: The Iron Man of the season. If not for Seb’s incredible speed, we would have seen in Webber a phenomenal champion. Took on Seb for a good part of the season, but could not sustain it in the end. Lost out of steam, and was never back at the levels of Silverstone/Spain/Monaco in the final 6 races of the season. That was his undoing.

Sebastian Vettel: Sometimes I wonder who won the WDC this time. The RB6 or Vettel ? Its a tricky question, with an even trickier answer. Its Vettel. Outpaced his teammate in a strong and more resurgent Webber. Took on negative press. Thwarted it. Showed his brilliance right when it mattered the most. Had the cover of his rear guard, brought the team closer to himself, made them believe in his championship winning abilities. Delivered in the end, but in car where it should never have taken the last race to win. The target should have been achieved much earlier. You never throw away your chances, especially when you dominate the qualifying like Senna used to do.

2. Fernando Alonso: The rise of the Spaniard. Back in a competitive team, and falls short of expectations in the first half. Took time to get back to form, and when it happened he hit the home run(almost). Clearly the second fastest package after Valencia, Alonso and Co. took some time in getting their feet together. And how well they did it! Owned Massa. Brought the team right in his grips. Won at Monza, the most crucial victory of the year, and maybe his Ferrari career. That victory sparked a string of outstanding podiums, coupled with important victories at Singapore and Korea. Took the fight to the Bulls, but was painfully unreliable in the first half of the season. Consistency went for a toss, and immaturish errors in China, Silverstone and Monaco made him and his team suffer. Picked up the pieces in Korea and Bahrain, not the kind of victories which maarks a champion. Got very close due to such lucky points, but nevertheless, believed in himself to win. And very nearly made it!

1. Lewis Hamilton: If there is something about out pacing your car, then Lewis Hamilton fully deserves the title for this year. In having the 3rd fastest car, he was ahead of atleast one Bull Driver till Brazil, the penultimate race of the year. Took the fight to the title till the last race in the worst championship contender car. Out performed the incumbent World Champion, and took some inspiring victories in Istanbul, Canada and Belgium. Not to forget the amazing storming drives in Australia and China, where he did a Senna. Maximum overtakes in the year. First Non Red Bull Pole Sitter. Soaking victory in Belgium fighting for the championship against the strongest opponent at that time. Mistakes in Monza and Singapore ultimately proved too costly, costing him the championship right in the end. Had he not lost those 24 points, he would have been a 2 time champion right now. But the same can be said for the 3 reliability issues he faced. 18 crucial points lost in the penultimate lap in Spain, too much for the championship. It would have been a miracle had Lewis Hamilton won in the end, and he fell short by only 16 points, the difference between the top three in one single race.

3

1. Hamilton

2. Kubica

3. Rosberg

4. Vettel

5. Alonso

4

1. Alonso

2. Hamilton

3. Kubica

4. Rosberg

5. Vettel

5

5. Alonso

4. Hamilton

3. Vettel

2. Rosberg

1. Kubica

Kubica and Rosberg were flawless compared to other drivers and generally performed very good. Those two were the best drivers of the season imho. Robert was more convincing.

Vettel was very fast and won the WDC, that’s why I’ve put him in 3rd position despite the fact that he had clearly the best car and he needs to mature (imho)

Hamilton was more mature than before (if we forget about the “hoon driving” drama and some comments on team radio) and as fast as always. On other hand he made many mistakes.

Alonso made more mistakes than he should. Team orders didn’t help. At least he recovered in the second half of the season.

I was also considering Kobayashi – he was the best rookie, but he needs to work on his qualifying performance.

BTW I wasn’t trying to match your judgement.

6

I forgot – no one was error free, that’s true. They are humans, not robots 😉

But Kubica for example lost 3 points due to his mistakes (pitstop in Belgium), while Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber lost many more (including race wins).

That’s why I wrote that Kubica and Rosberg were flawless compared to others.

7

1 kubica

2 vettel

3 rosberg

4 button

5 alonso

8

I’m not sure if this is in time for the deadline but my top 5 are:

1. Alonso

2. Vettel

3. Kubica

4. Hamilton

5. Kobayashi

I would almost put Rosberg & Kobayashi tied for 5th place but I had to decide!

9
Neil Supermario Padley

1. Vettel

2. Alonso

3. Hamilton

4. Rosberg

5. Webber

Role on the new season

10

1. Vettel

2. Alonso

3. Webber

4. Hamilton

5. Kubica

11

1 – Alonso

2 – Vettel

3 – Kubica

4 – Webber

5 – Rosberg

12

1. Kubica

2. Vettel

3. Alonso

4. Hamilton

5. Rosbert

13

I´d said,

1. kubica

2. vettel

3. alonso or hamilton

4. hamilton or alonso

5. webber

14

1. Webber

2. Kubica

3. Hamilton

4. Vettel

5. Alonso

15

1. Kubica – Brilliant at Monaco, Spa and Suzuka. Made Q3 in all but the last race.

2. Vettel – Deserved to dominate the season in the dominant car but for reliability issues. Some driver errors like the accidents with Webber and Button but I have to give props for trying to overtake the same car or an f-duct equipped Mclaren.

3. Rosberg – Dominated Schumacher. 3 podiums. Didn’t necessarily outperform the car but put it where it deserved to be almost every race. Was denied a possible race win by Webber in Korea.

4. Alonso – Very poor start to the season but made some WDC drives later on; it’s a long season so picking up regular points/podiums is better then being too aggressive.

5. Hamilton – Was leading the WDC standings but Mclaren started falling behind Ferrari in the 2nd half of the year. Made 2 big driver errors that cost him dearly but still managed to finish only 16 points behind Vettel in what i’d consider the 3rd best car.

16

My top 5 would be:

1 – Alonso

2 – Webber

3 – Vettel

4 – Kubica

5 – Kobayashi

Alonso – Best recovery from mid season in a new team and scored most points in that time.

Webber – Although he had the fastest car all season he didn’t have the full support of his team

Vettel – for wining the WDC (still yet to see some brilliant,not fast, driving skills form him)

Kubica – In a practically new team and car with all the baggage from last year and still managed to put that renault where it didn’t belong.

Kobayashi – Outstanding showmanship and some hairy overtaking maneuver

17

first of all my own ranking

1. F.Alonso

2. R. Kubica

3. S. Vettel

4. M. Webber

5. L. Hamilton

and as a bonus results for the first 150 votes plus my own

(using 5,4,3,2,1 points system)

1. S. Vettel : 604

2. F. Alonso : 533

3. M. Webber : 365

4. R. Kubica : 267

5. L. Hamilton: 234

6. N. Rosberg: 121

7. J. Button: 66

8. K. Kobayashi: 51

No points for M. Schumacher and F. Massa, some points for Rubens and Heiki

Considering the difference in the car winning potential between Red Bull and Renault ( 250 : 82 ) R. Kubica might be the top driver of 2010.

18

1. Alonso

2. Vettel

3. Hamilton

4. Webber

5. Kubica

19

OK, by way of preface, I emphasise that we’re supposed to be talking about *driver* of the season. So we have to make some allowance for the speed of the car in which they find themselves. This impacts mainly on the Red Bull boys given that they undoubtedly had the fastest car of the field, by a margin which normally sees a runaway championship. This was especially true in qualifying, where Red Bull more or less owned the front row of the grid. So Webber and Vettel started off with a massive shoe-up.

With that in mind:

(1) The number 1 slot goes to Kubica, who has hardly put a foot wrong all season and has put in some stunning drives and qualifying performances in what was at most times the fourth or fifth quickest car. Lots of champagne performances *and* more or less completely error-free?

(2) Next is Alonso: he goes to a new team and truly destroys his teammate (even if his teammate gives him a helping hand from time to time…). Maybe he really does bring four-tenths and this time he kept it in his own pocket. Many more mistakes than is normally the case with Alonso (the extra pressure? getting used to a new car? bad calls from the pit wall?) but in the second half of the season was absolutely relentless.

(3) Given how good his good days are, Hamilton will almost always be in a list like this. Had a real purple patch mid-season, but then a series of really sloppy errors (a feature which he still hasn’t eradicated).

(4) Button. Very difficult to call whether he should be above or below Hamilton. Alone of the top drivers almost completely faultless (just one shocker of a race: Korea). Always moving forward on race day, but real trouble in qualifying. The analysis is not easy but there is a case to be made that his pace over a whole race is better than Hamilton’s if one could leave qually aside. Unfortunately for Button, qually is part of the race weekend, though. Which driver would have been most likely to have sewn the title up by mid-season in a Red Bull (with a guaranteed slot at the front of the grid). My money would be on Button.

(5) Vettel (but only just… he nudges out Rosberg for me). A few races where he ticked all the boxes, but some extraordinarily clumsy driving as well. When he’s out front, he’s uncatchable. When he’s not, he doesn’t seem to be able to overtake without playing dodgems. All the top drivers (apart from Button, Kubica) have made several big mistakes, but Vettel’s have looked the most amateur.

So Webber doesn’t make the list. Is that really right? I think so, just about. He’s finished third in the points in the quickest car on the grid. There were a few stand-out performances (Monaco, Silverstone especially) and that’s reward in itself, but at the end of the day he hasn’t got what he should have done out of the car he had.

20

1. Kubica

2. Kobayashi

3. Rosberg

4. Alonso

5. Vettel

21

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

RK has to get a shot with a front running team as soon as possible. With Webber seemingly backed into an untenable position in the team, why not Red Bull in 2011? Fantastic speed, superb overtaker, impervious to media nonsense, and the biggest balls on the grid – deserves the chance to prove what many suspect, that he is the best of the lot.

Although Vettel made mistakes, they all seemed to be borne out of frustration at events early in the season, and as it progressed, that robbed him of the comfortable position he really should have been in since race one in Bahrain. With 10 poles he was surely the stand out driver of the championship contenders. Having won it this season I expect a much more composed Vettel next time out.

Rosberg outclassed Schuey all season and got the Merc on the podium or thereabouts consistently. Very impressive season in my view.

Hamilton, with Kubica and Kobayashi one of the best overtakers on the grid by far. After a couple of unrepresentative results early in the season, he dominated Button for pace at almost every race. Like with Vettel, mistakes tend to be borne out of frustration, though as a former champion he should be more in control on that front by now.

Webber had a great season, no doubt. There is something that rings true about his statements on not having the emotional support of the team, and this clearly affected him in the last three races. I doubt he will ever get a similar opportunity, and from the position he was in one could argue that he bottled it massively. However, the drives at Monaco and Silverstone alone make him a definite for the top five.

22

1. Rosberg

2. Kubica

3. Alonso

4. Hamilton

5. Vettel

23

1. Vettel

2. Kubica

3. Alonso

4. Hamilton

5. Webber

24

1. Alonso

2. Hamilton

3. Webber

4. Vettel

5. Kubica

Vettel would be higher if he didn’t crash into people while overtaking them every time.

25

1.Alonso

2.Vettel

3.Kubica

4.Hamilton

5.Webber

26

1. Kubica – perfection, bravery, intelligence, charisma

2. Hamilton – the will to win, fortitude, tenacity, aggressiveness

3. Webber – experience, consistency, emotional stability

4. Alonso – strength of character, a winning personality

5. Kobayashi – the desire to fight, fantasy, perseverance

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