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Name your top five drivers of 2011
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Dec 2011   |  3:57 pm GMT  |  713 comments

It’s that time of year again, where we need to establish the Top Five drivers of the year, in descending order, with your Driver of the Season at the top.

This is the third year we’ve run this popular competition.

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 2011: Vettel Steals the Show, which is due to be published on December 13.

You have just under a week to give us your answers in the comments box below – the closing date for entries is Wednesday December 7th.

It was a pretty one sided championship, but how do you judge what Vettel did in comparison with others who had slower cars and still got great results?

There were some very strong performances this year from drivers throughout the field.

We want to hear what you think about the five drivers who you think did the business this year, with a line or two about them (please no 1,000 word treatises!!). Here’s a hint – if you want to match my selection you’ll need to take into consideration the whole grid, not just the front running guys who made the podium.

It was a different kind of racing year, with race strategy proving far more important than in recent years and that meant that it wasn’t all about the guys at the front – the midfield drivers had a chance to shine.

Please submit your answers in the comments section below.

The prize is a signed copy of my 2011 Review book, which is a limited edition, large format soft paperback. This is the third year we have done the book and it’s a cool collectible – a great way to look back on the behind the scenes stories and the races which made up the year. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve forgotten of the way the stories threaded along.

I’ve written loads of linking copy which gives a hindsight perspective on the key stories of the year like Kubica’s accident, Hamilton’s penalties, the horse trading over the blown diffuser ban, Button’s new contract, the takeovers of Virgin and HRT and much more.

I’m delighted that Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has written the Foreword, following on from Ross Brawn in 2009 and Mark Webber last year. Among other things, Horner writes about the state he found the team in when he joined soon after the team had been bought from Jaguar,

“F1 is a niche business you need to be fast responding and self-critical as you are judged every two weeks as you compete through the year. The team lacked technical leadership and that’s where the first focus was placed and who better to do that than Adrian Newey?”

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won or you just want to make sure you secure your copy before it sells out, as it did the last two years, you can order one here for £9-99 plus postage. Deliverable pretty much anywhere in the world. Click HERE

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1- Vettel

2- Button

3- Alonso

4- Hamilton

5- Webber


1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Di Resta

4. Alguersuari

5. Kovalainen


1. Vettel – not my favourite but brilliant in quali and not far from brilliant in the races.

2. Jenson – really got the most out of the Mclaren

3. Kovalained – by far the best of the rest, looks like he’s ready to move back to a better team.

4. Alguersuari – think he even impressed himself!

5. Alsonso – just look at the difference in positions and performance in races between him and Massa.


1 Vettel

2 Alonso

3 Button

4 Hamilton

5 Webber


1) Vettel- A dominant performance all year long, yes he had the best equipment but he kept a clear head and extracted the maximum from it time and time again which put more presure on his rivals. He also made Webber look average, not an easy thing to do at all!

2)Button- Performed admirably this year and asserted himself as the number one driver at McLaren something that not many expected when he announced his move to the Woking based team at the end of 2009. His drives in Canada and Japan particularly were world class.

3)Alonso- Consistently produced solid results in a car that was no match for the Red Bull or McLaren. The victory at Silverstone was the performance of a double champion.

4)Kovalainen- Outclassed team mate Trulli at Lotus this year and got the car close to some of the midfield runners by the end of the season. His qualifying and race starts were a joy to behold at times in 2011.

5)Sutil- Cut out the silly mistakes that have blighted some of his previous campaigns. He responded well to the challenge of having the talented Paul Di Resta as his team mate and by the end of the season was outpacing the works Mercedes pair of Rosberg and Schumacher on a regular basis.


1. Vettel – Outclassed the whole grid this season.

2. Button – Stand out race for me was Canada. Definitely no. 1 driver at McLaren.

3. Rosberg – Solid season. Out performed his team-mate plenty of times.

4. Sutil – Another solid season. Good results all round for Force India.

5. Di Resta – Superb rookie season. Hoping he gets a seat in 2012, he deserves it.


1) Vettel

2) Button

3) Alonso

4) Sutil

5) Kobayashi


Vettel (obviously the best; added maturity and lost no speed), Button (Smart, smooth and fast; got what he could), Alonso (results that looked better than the car deserved), Kovalainen (commitment and smart, quick racing in a tough spot), Rosberg (quietly effective in a second-tier car while in the Schumi vortex) and DiResta (good show for a rookie, against a decent teammate).








1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Alonso

4. Alguersuari

5. Kovalainen


1. Vettel – Seriously who else?

2. Alonso – Destroyed Massa and hauled the car up on the podium far more frequently that it deserved to be there

3. Button – Beat Hamilton fair and square over a season. Very few, including me ever foresaw that

4. Kovalainen – 3 Q3 appearances in a car scarcely worthy of a place in the top 20 on top of a demolition job on Trulli render his talent worthy of another stab in a top drive

5. Sutil – An indifferent start to the season, before which he put the highly rated Di Resta firmly in the number 2 spot as the season wore on and the pace of the Force India improved. Trumping Rosberg’s Mercedes on genuine pace in Brazil was a highlight.


1) Sebastian Vettel

2) Jenson Button

3) Fernando Alonso

4) Heikki Kovalainen

5) Jaime Alguersuari


1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Paul Di Resta

5. Heikki Kovalainen


The list is simple this year:

1: Vettel

For total domination this year

2: Button

Everyone thought he will be blowing the second fiddle. Everything went right, and an attitude of an winner

3: Kovalainen

Never thought I’ll rank a racer in a backmarker team this high. He showed this year how to beat the team-mate. Again, it is also about attitude.

4: Rosberg

Pretty solid drive all year and kept Shu behind. Well done!

5: Buemi

For most overtakes 2011


Jenson Button

Sebastian Vettel

Fernando Alonso

Paul Di Resta

Michael Schumacher


1. Vettel

2. Alonso

3. Button

4. Hamilton

5. Kovalainen


I find driver rankings (including the WDC) irritating, and wonder why we bother. We know there are many factors that contribute to race performance, much of it to do with the team not the driver. Strategy may have played a greater role than in recent years, for example, because of the added factor of tyre degradation – and that strategy will have been decided mainly by the team not the driver. So I don’t believe you can rate drivers objectively (as JA has said we should) on a standalone basis, especially when team orders are in play (we know Alonso has a built-in advantage over Massa, for example, but unless you’re one of the strategists how can you know how big an advantage that is? We can only guess).

And if we were to rank team performance instead, we know that teams have different resources (like Ferrari’s larger slice of the F1 pie) so it’s practically impossible to compare their real performance either.

Those who follow F1 for a living must surely know that the WDC and the WCC are a farce, in sporting competitive terms. But titles keep casual fans happy, and most casual fans seem to be men, and we men seem to relate better to numbers than to descriptions – hence the desire to produce rankings. Journalists like them because it creates copy. But, given their experience, they must surely know that you can’t rank drivers or teams in any meaningful way unless you openly declare the criteria by which you’re judging them. And I imagine a lot of the people voting here will be using totally different criteria from JA and each other, and may be ignoring factors that have inhibited drivers from performing well this year.

So – by saying this is a waste of time, I guess I don’t get the free book? 🙂


1. Vettel

2. Button

3. Alonso

4. Kovalainen

5. Hamilton


1. Seb Vettel

2. Jenson Button

3. Paul Di Resta (Rookie)

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Mark Webber


Sebastian Vettel

Jenson Button

Fernando Alonso

Paul Diresta

Bruno Senna


1. Vettel

2. Alonso

3. Button

4. Di Resta

5. Schumacher


1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Paul di Resta

4. Fernando Alonso

5. Nico Rosberg


1. Seb Vettel (Who Else?)

2. Jenson Button (The Only One IMO who took the fight to Vettel)

3. Heikki Kovalinen (Consistently the best of the worst, Hope Caterham up their game in 2012, Kovalinen will surely score them points if we get a mad Canada race)

4. Paul Di Resta (Solid Rookie Season, newcomers might of thought he was a seasoned Veteran, few mistakes cost him dearly, an example, the crash in Canada)

5. TRICKY! Sergio Perez (Another Solid Rookie Season, took Kobayashi on, who sadly has lost a little shine, with all the new rules. Made a comeback from that awful shunt in Monaco, bemused Pirelli with his one stop run in Melboune!)


Alguersuari (Upped his Game)

Kobayashi (Not at his best, but still lovely to watch)

Sutil (Upped his Game, great 10th Place finish overall)

Alonso (Destroyed Massa)

Schumacher (Besides Brazil, made up a place at the start)


Formula 1 is all about results and this = points.You win points from many many factors comming together. A few examples, a very good car,designer team, driver talent skill & determination passion and a bit of good luck too.

1.Sebastien Vettel.

2.Jenson Button

3.Mark Webber

4.Fernando Alonso

5.Lewis Hamilton

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