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 F1.com 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.
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!
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!