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Fan’s favourite “Stars in Average cars” revealed
Fan’s favourite “Stars in Average cars” revealed
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Dec 2010   |  1:07 pm GMT  |  21 comments

We’ve had a great entry to Stars in Average Cars competition, with some very amusing top five lists.

The emphasis was on entertainment here, the once we liked best we’ve selected below, together with some choice Darren Heath images.

Each will receive a signed copy of the JA on F1 2010 season review book. And now I think that’s enough lists…


Aaron James’ list
1. Kobayashi- a terrifying mix of Takuma Sato’s bravery and the racecraft of Ayrton Senna, Kobayashi has set this season’s F1 season alight (well it was his engine alight for the first few races!. I have no doubt if given a race winning car, He would be up there with them.
2. Kovalianen- really proved his worth this season. The Chirpy Finnish Flyer was definately an A-Class driver in a B-Class car, and I cannot wait until his exploits in 2011.
3. Bernd Maylander- his race performance at the Korean Grand Prix deserves huge recognition given the car wasn’t of a standard spec. Oh no…..wait…..
4. Kubica- Sure he didnt win a race but Ive chosen Kubica for 4th because he was one of the A-Class in all but machinery. Wrung the renault car out completely.
5. Barrichello- another steady performance from the brazilian veteran. The question is this- what will come sooner- F1 retirement or zimmer frame?

Patrick Britain’s list
Rather than a simple top 5, I chose to go with 5 winners of different categories.
Most Consistently A Headache To The Top Teams:
Robert Kubica – Only 6 points shy of Rosberg in a Renault that wasn’t quite as strong as the Merc. Some brilliant drivers at places like Monaco really proved what everyone already knew, put Kubica in a top car and he will be brilliant.
Most Amazingly Awesome:
Kamui Kobayashi – Not much needs to be said about Kamui, everyone has seen the highlight reels. Suzuka was obviously his strongest race, but overall excitement was never far from Kobayashi, on or off track. The interview where Kamui said that his secret for overtaking was “I am Japanese I have small eyes – so I can’t see the others guys,” may have been the off track quote of the year.
The New Rainmeister:
Nico Hulkenberg – Ok, so maybe one qualifying session doesn’t make you a rain expert, but that lap in Brazil was magic. It may seem a stretch, but I would rank it as the 2nd greatest pole lap ever behind Senna’s mega lap in Monaco.
The Driver That Would Be Impressive If He Could Just Stay On Track:
Vitaly Petrov – Huh? What? I hear your confusion, stay with me here. Looking back, the rookie really showed speed at times, getting close or even equaling his highly regarded teammate at times. If Petrov would keep the car on track, we would be talking about him as the most impressive rookie of the season. I look past that small blemish since I don’t have to repair his damage and say that he is a guy to watch if he can retain his seat at Renault.
The Driver Who Did The Most, With The Least:
Karun Chandhok – Another baffling choice I am sure. However, Karun had two 14th place finished in his abbreviated season, granted they were heavily due to attrition. Let’s take a wider look at this accomplishment. HRT was the slowest car all season and not only did he put in a rather tremendous drive in Monaco only to have Jarno Trulli end up on his head, but he was a very consistent runner that was pulled from his seat far too early. Karun had virtually nothing to work with and outperformed many drivers with more.

SJM’s list
1) Kubica, did anyone really think he would be as good as this in this years Renault? We knew he was a good driver but questions over the Renaults competitiveness remain (even still when comparing to petrov) but he was class and im including in this list as his car wasnt a top fielder, in my opinion.
2) Kamui “Leeroy Jenkins” Kobayashi. Started slowly with some DNFs but outshone his teammate and put some excellent individual drives with Japan being a highlight. Hope Sauber give him an improved car to see what he’s really capable of with such a car.
3) Rubens Barrichello. 2nd top in the midfield drivers with 47 points (10th overal) Started the better at Williams at the beggining of the year and had some ‘interesting’ scraps with his ex-ferrari team mate but avoided a major shunt with some superb driving in Hungery. Although he was at times shown up later in the season by his team mate…
4) Nico Hulkenburg. Unexpected Pole in Brazil stunned the Paddock, F1 fans and the entire world. Started slowly but his talent showed in the 2nd half of the season when he got to grips with the car and would be criminal not to have a car next year.
5) Heikki Kovalainen. Best of the new teams drivers over the races and his & lotus’s best finish got them that much wanted 10th in the WCC. Few mistakes from him and got on with the job when his car wasnt on fire or having Aussie’s flying over him.

Mike Lea’s list
1. Kubica. He was very consistent this year and always seemed to bag plenty of points in the Renault. Some of his qualifying performances were particularly good, esp. Monaco front row. I’m pretty sure he could win a championship in the right car……
2. Rosberg. Not many people expected to see him thrash Schumacher, but he did! He was very quick in qualifying and quickly established himself as the Mercedes de facto team leader. Schumacher was starting to match him at the end of the season, but Rosberg had double the points. He was clearly gutted that the Merc wasn’t a winning car, though, and I’d like to see how he performs in a truly top-rank motor.
3. Barrichello. He seems to have been racing in F1 since time began, but still gets the job done. It must have been a bit of a letdown trading a winning Brawn for a midfield Williams, but he kept his foot to the floor all season. And he beat the Stig! ‘Nuff said!
4. Kobayashi. Without this bloke, some of the races would have been absolute snoozefests! He really goes for it and that’s what we want to see. He’s a bit wild, but for a man with so little experience, he was brilliant in the second half of the season. Maybe Japan’s best ever F1 driver?
5. Hulkenberg. He started off a bit slowly and didn’t seem to handle F1 very well. Williams probably read him the riot act and spurred him into action. He then developed into a consistent performer and that pole in Brazil was spectacular. It says a lot about Williams’ fall from grace that the team have had to sack him to chase a pay driver. If they had the dollars in the bank, they would surely have snapped him up for a second year.
I think Glock did the best job of the new teams’ drivers. How he kept his composure together when Virgin gave him a car with an insufficient fuel tank……mind you, after all the pain and hassle I’ve suffered thanks to Virgin Trains in the UK, it did bring a smile to my face!

David’s list
Nico Rosberg looked good for Mercedes-Benz,
And at season’s end had many new friends.
He was faster than Michael,
And that is no trifle!
He’ll be WC before his career ends.
Robert Kubica had another fine year.
He drove consistently without fear.
He qualified well
While the team started to gel –
But next year is another frontier!
Rubens is Rubens — Rubens is evergreen,
To the fountain of youth: that’s where he’s been!
He’s still got the passion
To drive in a fashion
That gives eye-popping moments on my screen!
Kamui is crazy, but not like he was –
He still has the skill to give us a buzz.
With his ducking and diving
and committed driving,
We’re glad Sauber lets him do what he does!
Karun Chandhok did not get to drive
Every race, so why’s he my “five”?
He was great with the mic,
and James knows what that’s like –
He was outstanding with Ant & Dave on 5-Live!

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SJM seems to be a fan of World of Warcraft.


Surely it is a bit much to be claiming the Hispania is an “Average Car”…

There should be a special extra catagory: stars in god-dam awful cars that would struggle to keep up with the Safety Car let alone a McLaren 2 Seater….

The top 3 for this would clearly be:




(Bruno doesnt get a mention after being outqualified by Yamamoto!)


All of these guys were not in ‘average’ cars though… Some cars were far below average…


Saying that Kobayashi had the racecraft of Senna is cringeworthy. He is an exciting driver and he deserves praise but I would be absolutely shocked if he is one of the stars of the series in a few seasons time. He is brave and a good overtaker, and had some good races strategy wise but let’s wait and see what else there is.

Rosberg and Kubica were definately standouts. Hulk’s qualifying in Brazil seemed more like a one off then anything else. I didn’t think he was a standout over the whole season. Didn’t think Heiki was that impressive either, he really only beat Trulli and Glock. The rest were rookies. Heiki is the new Fisi? Good in a crap car, crap in a good car? Rubens was solid, which for me was a surprise, he’s not getting younger but the fight within him is as strong as ever.

To be honest, I don’t think there were many standouts this season, in the lesser car teams. Rosberg and Kubica were great though. You also have to consider that Rosberg went against the grain of his team similar to Webber in Redbull. It will be interesting to see how he goes next season. Merc’s hopes hinge on Schumi and the car being more suited to the Pirelli’s. Once Schumi retires, whenever that is, I believe Rosberg will get and deserves the Vettel role in the team.


and if he dosen’t shape up vettle be driving for them by that time


I agree….

Karun was great while commentating the free practice sessions and his knowledge is mind blowing good. He must sit there watching re-runs at night as I’ve never heard anyone pluck so many facts out of a hat! He’s a cool cookie, but I doubt he would get a drive at Force India next year as Mallya likes the attention back home, which is a shame.

Kubica is fast and everyone knows it, so why has no top team employed him? I would like him to team up with vettel at RB or Alonso at Ferrari, just to see the sparks fly in the garage as he would for sure beat them and he seems not to care to much about the politics of F1, he just wants to race.

Rubens is the star of the paddock for me. He never refuses an interview when he’s on the grid, I think he had as much coverage on the BBC as the presenters and now that Schumacher is still racing at 42, I think we could have him around for a few more years yet. Oh, he showed everyone he has balls by passing Schumacher when he was trying to put him in the wall. Classic!


It used to be a big mystery why Kubica isn’t in a top team, but isn’t anymore. His manager said in an interview lately, that he chose Renault, because they agreed to allow him to take part in rallies. Teams like Ferrari, McLaren or RBR would not allow it. Reanult are okay with it as long as it doesn’t interfere with GP schedule. Rallying is Robert’s passion and he’s damn good at it, just follow his results – in a little S1600 FWD Clio he outperforms most AWD S2000’s.


Intersting… but all flawed. They all missed 1 driver, someone who never put a foot wrong, a highly paid driver, who didn’t even have a car as good as the HRT….

Kimi Raikkonen

2nd highest paid F1 driver (Alonso only higher), his C4 isn’t as fast as the HRT, and every F1 GP this year he never once put a foot wrong.

Sure he may not have exactly ‘raced’ this year in F1, but given that he is the 2nd highest paid driver paid by one of the top teams in F1 and didn’t even have to show up, he obviously did (justing adding 1+1 here) a brilliant job.

Glad Kovi showed up on the list, and Petrov. A bit suprised everyone there missed Senna having a worse car than his teammate and being beaten in a few races by someone he comprahensively smahed in GP2.

p.s. and yes, it was a stretch to say hulkenbergs lap was that good… I’m sure if Hamilton or Alonso or Raikkonen had been in that Williams and stuck it on pole there wouldn’t have been as much fuss. It was good, but also a great suprise, and the mere fact that he couldn’t keep up at all in the face despite easily pulling the fastest lap time in quali showss that his car was just more setup for the wet conditions than the others and hence in the dry it failed.

Yes he is a rookie, but if you manage a lap a second faster than a red bull and then can’t pull away, let alone stay with them in the race, then it’s due to other factors.


David’s list

lmao +1


I see that many people still think that a driver can outperform his car; extract more than its maximum… sorry but that’s stupid.

All what a pilot like Kubica did, was perfectly doable by his R30. The good drivers try to extract the maximum from their cars. They can sometimes reach 98 or 99% of its limits but 100% is almost unreachable.

And Kubica is a very good driver…

CJ the 2cnd, probably...

and your point is…..?


My point is: very people are underestimating the R30 and over-estimating Kubica.

Kubica is ‘just’ a very good driver who is able to drive his car, a very good car, at its limits. No one can out perform his car.

If he does a 1:13.450, that means his car is perfectly capable to do 1:13.450 or even a 1:13.000.

The problem is, there is no 2nd good driver in Renault who can confirm or beat Kubica’s level and show Renault’s real level.


Great lists, especially David’s exceptional effort with limericks! Unfortunately in my greed for free stuff I totally overlooked the stipulation that lists should be entertaining… better luck next time!


I would have to agree with anyone that puts Karun in their top five. He drove half a season and finished ahead of his team mate Bruno, who drove all but one race, and both Virgins.

Not only that, but his whole persona and the way he deals with the media. Other drivers would have moaned to the press when they were taken out of the car, and even more when they knew they weren’t going to get back in.

He has proved that he not only has the driving ability to be in F1, but he also has a very good attitude that would sit well with team managers and sponsors alike. Personally I hope that he can secure himself a drive for next season.


I have to agree. A top driver and a genuinely nice bloke, as anyone who listened to him on 5 live would agree 😛

The man definitely deserves a drive and I would quite happily buy the man a beer too 😛


Nice. But I think that Bernd Mayländer should really take the first place – he was absolutely flawless and always delivered. There was no other driver out there who made less mistakes than Mayländer.


Great read chaps, well done to you all and to JA for selecting some top posts!


Sorry forgot to mention the images – just how good is Darren Heath! The guy could take a photo of paint drying and make it a thriller. Every picture this guy takes has layer upon layer……

Looking forward to that unconventional, inspired, summative, ephemeral yet decisive photo of Lewis’ championship in 2011!

Keep ’em comming DH.


And he always had the lead.. 😉


hmmm, he actually let Lewis pass him in Valenci. That was rather something big.

But Nico Rosberg – this guy was very careful – no mistake, plus he had some podiums!


Theoretically Lewis did pass Bernd. However, he was later penalised for that move as it was illegal. Therefore, I assume it wasn’t Mayländer’s mistake or fault after all. Thus, I still think Bernd Mayländer drove quite perfectly throughout the whole season :).

As for Rosberg – you’re right, he really did a great job. I only hope next year’s Mercedes is a good car, so Rosberg can finally win a race.

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