F1 Winter Break
The moments that made 2011
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Dec 2011   |  3:37 pm GMT  |  110 comments

As 2011 draws to a close, it’s a good moment to reflect the good, the bad and the “only in F1” moments of the year.

I’ve laid out some of my personal favourites below, please let us know what yours were.

The Good
Jenson Button winning in Canada after running last, hitting Hamilton and Alonso and seeing Vettel spin off in front of him on the last lap.

Sebastian Vettel’s pass on Alonso at Monza… wheels on the grass

Alonso’s starts in Barcelona and Monza which lit up both races and showed his hunger.

Michael Schumacher in Canada, showing all the old quality, the seven times champion rolled back the years in the driving rain, just missing out on a podium.

Lewis Hamilton’s win in Germany, probably one of the best of his career and the product of some time spent away from promotions and other distractions. His pole lap in Korea was pretty special too.

The final laps of the Spanish Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel managed to judge the gap to Hamilton coming onto the main straight, knowing that to get it wrong would mean Hamilton would nail him with DRS and KERS.

And finally it was great to see that Great Britain has honoured Nigel Mansell with a CBE and Adrian Newey with an OBE. One would hope that before too long Ross Brawn and John Surtees will be recognised for their outstanding achievements as Britons in a global sport by receiving knighthoods – maybe in 2012.

The Bad
Kubica’s injury in a rally accident, Pastor Maldonado deliberately drives into Hamilton at Spa, the indecision over whether the Bahrain Grand Prix would or should go ahead, the multiple spats between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, especially Singapore where Massa tried to talk to Hamilton but was rebuffed, Williams finishing the season with only 5 points, less than 1% of the total points scored by champions Red Bull.

“It could only happen in F1” moments of the year
Top teams get hot under the collar about “hot blowing and cold blowing diffusers”, Ferrari and Red Bull pull out of the F1 Teams Association, leaving great uncertainty among the other teams about their bargaining position in the next F1 contract talks, Hamilton linked with Red Bull after dropping into the team hospitality in Canada, the Gribkowsky bribery and corruption trial relating to the sale of F1 commercial rights, Heidfeld’s sacking in Spa and his appearance in front of the cameras in the Spa paddock, Renault’s radical exhausts setting the car on fire twice, Petrov losing the plot in a rant about his Renault team, Austin almost loses its US Grand Prix franchise while still in mid-construction in a dispute over money and contracts, F1 TV rights in the UK going to pay channel Sky, despite clauses in the Concorde Agreement about Free to Air TV.

My favourite moment of 2011 however was the JA on F1 premiere screening for fans of “Senna” at London’s Curzon Mayfair Cinema in June, with the film makers, Manish Pandey and Asif Kapadia as well as Prof. Sid Watkins, Martin Brundle, Jackie Stewart, Terry Fullerton and many of Senna’s mechanics and engineers all speaking about the great man. It was an unforgettable night.

It’s been a fantastic year for JA on F1, with over 1.3 million active users coming to the site from all over the world, with an 80% return rate, leaving over 60,000 comments as the site continues to grow in reach. The UBS Strategy content has been enjoyed by over 8 million fans in 8 different languages.

Together with our main partners UBS, Shell and TAG Heuer we’ve done a lot to reach out to fans; sending fans to Abu Dhabi, to the British Grand Prix, to three FOTA Fans Forums in the UK, Canada and Italy.

Wishing all JA on F1 readers a very Happy New Year and the very best of luck for 2012. Thanks for all your support, interest and your insightful comments.

We have some great plans for the site next year so keep checking in!

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I would just like to thank James for this website and all of his work reporting and promoting F1.

I have to admit that this is not always my first call for F1 information, but I do know that when it appears on this website info is FACT

My F1 moment of the year is my own lost weekend - Lemans 24 (I watched 20 hours of it including the tightest of battles to the line) followed by F1 Canada (I watched all of it) and loved every momnet.

F1 in 2012 will be the same as it always is - always changing, always remaining the same. Weather in the UK (and other countries) it is a BBC or a Sky year still remains the same

Lets do it all again in March


Still can't forget Webber's pass on Alonso at Spa. Overtaking at Eau Rouge in full-flight, still no idea how he pulled that one off.

Great driving and awareness from both drivers on that one, credit to them.


Mark pulled that one of because Alonso used his brains, backed off while on cold tryes/brakes/etc and prevented them both being killed.

If it was up to Mark, it would have ended in a tragedy. Most stupid move in F1 of the last decade.


You have to be joking,Both drivers showed their class,remember a couple of years ago when racing was boring and no one over took anyone, now it maybe a little contrived at times but never boring, good ballsy racing by men not afraid to have a go.


[mod] Surely Formula one is all about decent drivers going wheel to wheel at high speed. Its called racing. It was a heart stopping moment alright. I'll grant you that.. but come on.. You cant complain when action that impressive is dished up and beamed live into your home for you to enjoy!!


Hi L,

Webber pass was one that he had to make, irrespective of which tyres who was on because his RB7 and his style of driving was destroying any chances he had when ‘in traffic’. He knew, with Alonso, that both had respect for the place and each other. Pity other drivers this year didn’t do the same.

As Brundle put it in his BBC column - ”……What would have happened if they had touched? Is there any point in my career where I would have done that? Would Webber have done it without modern safety cells and large run-off areas at the top of the hill? Whichever way you look at it, that pass was spectacularly impressive, skilful, and brave. Webber may not have won a race for more than a year but he won my eternal respect for that one….”.

I think that sums it up pretty well which a lot of others agree to. Your second para is pretty baseless and not the MW most know.


Whilst I do not disagree with the sentiment we do need to consider that this is the F1 we have today (and this coming year) and Drivers need to take advantage of it... not back off from a move because it might lead to an accident.

It was one of the great moments of the race, managed by two professionalal drivers working within the constraints, that today tyres and rules, provide to the racing environment.


I think the most stupid moves of the last decade have been Lewis hamiltons collisions with massa and jenson and the one at monaco


No, the most stupid move in living memory was Alonso deliberately running his teammate Hamilton off the road at the same spot in Eau Rouge when he was at McLaren.

If the sport was properly run, he would have justifiably had a long ban, instead, the sport was largely policed by Mad Max Moseley who was running a long bitter vendetta against McLaren and Ron Dennis.


None of those endangered anyone getting killed, while Mark's did for both as some ex-F1 drivers also mentioned.

It was silly, he would have gotten Alonso at the end of the straight anyway with the speed advantage and DRS.


Alonso just left pits on hard tires. webber had better straightlinespeed as he followed normal lap compared to alonsos exit from pits which is closer to eau rouge.


And a Happy New Year to you!

Bravo for a wonderful website for insights and opinions during the F1 season.


mvi, I agree with you. This is a brilliant forum for F1 fans across the world and a steady source of insight and information. James thank you for adding to the spectacle and my enjoyment at following F1.


The good: Webber's pass on Alonso at Eau Rouge. Respect.

Wishing you all the best for 2012, hoping we can catch up in Melbourne or Singapore.

The book arrived in Sydney on the last working day before Xmas - excellent planning! Thanks again for a fantastic year on JAF1!


Webbers pass on Alonso in Eau Rouge


Thanks for a great site and colomns. Would be great if some of the the competitions could be open to everyone and not just the UK as I'm sure "the rest of us" make up quite a big percentage.

Other than that, its been great reading your views.


Loving it! Love what you do for f1 and us the fans!

Thank you for your f1 sports coverage in 2011, James!

In fact you too deserve an award for sports journalism!


I´ll second that. Being used to spanish sports journalism -there are exceptions and good and bad, but you know where I´m coming from-, JA does the kind of job that many around here could derive a lesson or two. Objectivity and love for the sport itself not the hype, being prominent.

happy new year to y'all.


I fully agree with your proposition and I would like to add on the list the pass of Webber on Alonso at Eau Rouge in Spa. Pretty hairy one.

Season's greetings.


Webber's pass on Alonso at Spa was brilliant but Vettel passing Alonso at Monza was the best.

Very Happy New Year to JA and all JA on F1 readers!


I agree, these were probably the two best passes of the year. Vettels was a stunning pass given the low gear ratios he ran at Monza, two wheels on the grass around the outside of Alonso - amazing. It's also worth noting that passes such as Marks on Fernando and Lewis's on Fernando in Germany were done when cars had warm/cool tyres respectively, which lessens the impact somewhat IMO. Seeing cars with equally worn tyres pass each other is a rather rare event nowdays!


You forgot Webber's pass on Alonso at Spa. Nerves of steel and great judgement by both drivers.


Aussies aren't allowed public acknowledgement of their abilities, you know that. Besides, if Mark was given any kind of official accolade for his overtaking (or anything to do with actually driving in F1) could you imagine the uproar? It'd be preposterous! Vettel and Hamilton fans (the loudest, I wonder why..) would go completely nuts.

That's why I like Brundle, he goes against convention and actually calls a spade a spade.


Webber himself would rather have had a better season overall than be nominated for best pass on a website.



Maybe I'm biased but mark webber's pass on Alonso at spa was the highlight for me! Happy new year


Webber vs Alonso up eau rouge. I had to change my pants after that one.


Well I just about agree with all your highlights there JA on F1 and in some ways, it's been a remarkable year.

To add to your points, I would say my highlights have been;

The Good

1. Pirelli tyres giving teams a headache in the first half of the season

2. DRS making overtaking finally possible especially on notorious non overtaking tracks

3. Funny situations during this season e.g. The Chubby marshall that fell over twice during the Canadian GP + Mr. Bean's reaction in India

4. Jenson + Lewis going wheel to wheel in Hungary without touching

5. Jenson beating Lewis in the WDC = Good story to tell our grand kids in the future on how this inter team rivalry will pan out

6. Charlie Whiting finally getting rid of everything & anything to do with diffusers.

7. The battle at the front during the Monaco Grand Prix

8. Vettel improving his overtaking skills

The Bad

1. Vettel running away with it + Ferrari having problems with the hard & medium tyres.

2. Pirelli getting more conservative as the season wore on

3. Losing the Turkish Grand Prix

4. The safety car being over used e.g. In Canada

5. Tilkle giving us another dead beat race track in India

6. Too many penalties dished out left, right and center.

7. Red Bull being hypocrites by forbidding Webber to race Vettel at Silverstone

8. Lewis & Alonso's relationships coming to an end.

9. Teams getting allowed to change tyres during the Red Flag at Monaco

10. Too few wet races on what turned out being the second warmest year in the UK

My only could happen to F1 moments

1. The BBC selling the fans down the river

2. Pedro De Rosa getting a drive at the ripe old age of 40

3. Whitmarsh taking swipes at Hamilton at every given moment

4. Bernie consoling Vettel right in front of the cameras after he retired in Abu-Dhabi

5. The Senna movie not getting a nod for an Oscar

6. Sutil, Buemi & Jaime losing their seats while Webber, Trulli & Massa keep theirs

7. JA on F1 driving a Ferrari road car at Maranello


WHAT?!!! 1.3 million active users on the JA on F1 site that also has a UBS report that goes out in 8 different languages ---> WOW!!! Now that's bonkers, congratulations!


WHAT?!!! 1.3 million active users on the JA on F1 site that also has a UBS report that goes out in 8 different languages —> WOW!!! Now that’s bonkers, congratulations!

Yes, James! This puts many TV F1 broadcasts to shame. Well done!

Now all you need to do is to license (non exclusively, otherwise pricey) F1 live video streaming on your site (I'd pay for that and so would many more I'd warrant) and you'd become a leading F1 broadcaster yourself.


I would put DRS in 'bad', but agree onevrything else.


So we've had the good and the bad, but were's the ugly?


Thanks for the great content throughout the year, James. Your website is always one of my first priorities when I want to catch up with the world of F1, which just so happens to be every day!

Looking forward to carrying that tradition on into 2012, which will no doubt be a cracker for us F1 fans.

My favourite moment of this year has to be Webber's pass. I didn't see it live as I was at the race, but everyone was talking about it after and watching back when I got home confirmed everyone's comments. A proper battle by two proper racers.

Happy New Year to you and all your readers!


Highlight: Button's tenacity in Canada.

Low: BBC selling out

Loved the review book - great read!

Many thanks for the columns and the strategy reports - it's great to have another viewpoint and one which is so well argued.

Happy New Year!


From those stats it makes this site feel less of a small blog and more of a worldwide sorta thing. Which makes it extra nice when i have a couple of times received a reply directly from the man who writes the content, wouldnt get that on many other sites.

Nice one, cheers James.


Congratulations, James, on building such a successful site. It doesn't happen by magic but by hard graft. (Do your wife and family ever get to see you?)

Anyway, long may it continue.

Along with the '1.3 million active users' I'll be back checking to see what you think throughout 2012.


best of, the announcement of kimi coming back


The good: Webber and Alonso at Eau Rouge, Brundle and Coulthard in the BBC commentary box and Vettel at Ascari (just a great, timeless image perfectly caught by the camera).

The bad: The Hamilton soap opera, F1 to Sky.

Only in F1: Toro Rosso's firing of Alguersari, Williams retaining Maldonado, FIA's indecision over engine mapping around British GP, Sam Michael allowed to move to McLaren providing he wears civvies (thus drawing attention to himself) and does not speak to the media.

And lastly, knighthoods, too, for Sid Watkins and Damon Hill, the latter's work for charity being highly commendable but his stint as president of the BRDC was a hugely successful watershed securing a long term future for the British GP for one zillionth of a squillionth of the cost to the taxpayer of the Olympics.


Only in F1: Ferrari/LdM not learning the commercial lessons of F1 history by splitting from FOTA.


Knighthood to Ron Dennis! 🙂


Happy New Year to James and all contributors to his fantastic site. Keep up the great work as I for one will be even more reliant upon it next year. Here's to a great 2012!


I know Vettel did have the best car, but I found it impressive to see him in qualifying, squeeze out a couple tenths after the checkered flag over and over. Nigel's record year had races where he had pole by 2 seconds not 2 tenths. Just my 2 cents.


+1 for Webber's pass on Alonso at Spa!

One low point for me in some ways would be thanks to DRS, Button's win in Canada,(despite it being exciting in many ways) imho, can never be regarded as being in the same class as Kimi Raikkonen's win at Suzuka in 2005.


Best F1 analysis site on the web, bar none. Two visits a day, 365 a year. Maximum respect and many thanks James Allen.


JA, thanks for the insights though quality writing. We have enjoyed you down here in Australia on the One telecast and hope that it continues into 2012. Big ups!

Also big ups to all the other F1 fans who took the time to post, your comments are read!


James - thank you for a great job this year - I find the site is the best out there - always really insightful & covers a fascinating range of topics from a very balanced viewpoint.

Totally agree with everyone that has said Webber & Alonso in Spa - one very memorable & impressive move.

Here's to a (somehow) even better F1 2012!



US fan here in Chicago... You are my go to site for F1, your book arrived here in Chicago in under 10 days (nice fulfillment operation) and my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the FOTA Fan Forum in Milan.

Thank you for doing what you do so well, and looking forward to meeting you when the Austin or NYC races are realized.


James, a great effort in 2011.

I think your site provides a great niche for the average F1 fan that wants to learn more and from a trusted source. Your writing lends itself to this. I imagine that to be purposeful. It also appeals to the die-hards like myself by adding extra opinion and perspective on things we probably already found out about. It's a fine balance but you've nailed it.


You know, I was really confident that John Surtees had been knighted! About two years ago. It turned out he was given an OBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours, but I thought he'd got something more recently - shortly after his son died. It seems my memory is playing tricks.

Ross Brawn would be a worthy knight and, complex character he may be, but Ron Dennis is another candidate too.

Not sure what I can add (Webber v Alonso at Spa aside) here but will note that Jenson Button's win in Canada could probably come in the "only happens in F1" category as well as "The Good"! As someone of Indian origin/ancestry with family in the country it was also nice to see an inaugural race there - indicative of the growth India has enjoyed over the past decade particularly, though sadly real poverty remains and many challenges remain to be overcome of course.

Thanks for providing us with another set of enjoyable and informative posts to read in 2011 and Happy New Year for 2012!


I am also surprised that James did not give a mention to Ron Dennis as a top candidiate for a knighthood.


I'm not holding my breath for a knighthood for Surtees. There was a concerted campaign to get him knighted in '08 but all he got was an upgrade from MBE to OBE.


Funniest moment of 2011 would have to be that track marshall at the Canadian GP taking a tumble.


yes, webbers pass on alonso was one of the all-time great passes in F1 history and should rank number one for '11. also webbers great drive in china!!! 18th to 3rd place. a few more laps and he would've done even better. another great moment.


I have to also vote for the Webber pass on Alonso at Spa. I took the deepest breath ever while watching that live. Brundle and Coulthard cringed as well.

Best (scariest) overtake I've ever seen.


Thank you James for all the hard work. Many of us don't post here very often, but it doesn't mean that we don't check in regularly.

Here's to an exciting 2012 season!


Thanks for a great site - leaves thye ITV years in the dirt. It will become even more important to many of us who cannot afford the BBC rip off cost.

I think Button's Canada drive was the drive of the decade+. That alone is worth a WDC and no car adavantage to help shows what a stunning driver he trult is. Pity he did not get a top drive at the outset. I think Williams made an huge error there.

Whatever, 2012 promises to be very interesting at McLaren. I think Button will remain consistent. Kimi will be interesting but I think, like Schumacher, he will have a year filled with excuses. People unavoidably change with time. You see it in music - people have their period of talent, then spend thirty years or more living off it...

I hope Sky flops with the F1 TV and it comes back to free. Advertisers like HUGE audiences.


Thank You James and Happy New Year and to all


Some great overakes for sure this year, but what is clear is that the best drivers Alonso Webber Button etc , can race without taking each other out- generally of course:-).

This to me is 2012 biggest challenge- get the drivers to respect each other so we can race!


Webber’s pass on Alonso at Spa. Defientely the standout for me. And Webber's drive in China for me was equally as good as Button in Canada.


Just joining the throngs of minions to thank you for your ongoing contribution to us and the F1 world. Goods: Webber v Alonso @ Eau Rouge (can't say he didn't trust the car to be at it's best to try that, eh conspiratists?); Vettel's increased maturity/single mindedness; JA on F1; Button outscoring/outperforming a less than convincing Hamilton; Alonso getting more out of his 'Red thing' than it probably deserved; JA on F1; Tyres bringing the art of racecraft back to F1; oh, and JA on F1. Bads: Hammy's brain; Canada's drainiage system; DRS (or the tyres, not both in one season); stewards determining 'racing incidents' out of F1 thru blame apportioning; the 'one horse race' we ended up with (which wont be next year, gods willing. Only in F1: Senna Movie; Driver dramas; Ferrari allegedly obtaining RB front wing, then making sure everyone saw they had with the volume of 'flex' their next version had (!); Vettel's 10 minute answers to simple interview questions.

Thanks again for everything you do and give us JA. Cheers.


Oh yeh pass of webber on Alonso at Spa. It doesn't get better than that. Pure commitment is an understatement. Would guess there maybe only 2 other drivrs currently in F1 that would of even attempt that move. One he passed and another driving the same car. Also Hamilton at his angriest.


You forgot the battle for 2nd between Hamilton and Webber. It was masterfull of Hamilton on the slower car, and they both drove very cleanly.


Most fans consider that one of the many robberies of the DRS, Hamilton slipped... Webber pounced... Hamilton pushed his little button and sailed back past and uses his hp advantage to keep webber bottled up. Yawn...


Oh, I see. You mean the DRS Webber used to stay closed to Hamilton i the first place, right? That DRS, that ALL cars can use? The real battle happened in the in-field, AFTER the DRS zone.

Hamilton hater...


Gurji, my reply wasnt for you, it was for devilsadvocate.


I agree David A, Hamilton won extremely well and defended against DRS for most of the race when it was used again him.

Maybe its down to driver not to allow these situation to occur and simply use DRS zones more strategically (as it wasn't Hamilton's fault he had greater straight line speed to use full potential of DRS and fought magnificently to hold off Webber in slow turning 2 and 3 Sector corners).

Im not sure on Canada point, seeing as though DRS is not usually allowed in wet, but it may have come back on when the track was drying im not sure - but yeah, thats my general point.

It wasn't a Webber love-in on any bias against anyone, just me trying to unpick the potentially 'unfair' moments when DRS was used, in my opinion in the last F1 season.


"Fair enough David A, Hamilton did drive blinder especially after all pressure and understated celebration after claiming pole.

My point is fact that DRS hindered Webber in both Korea and Abu Dhabi where he made a pass before DRS zone which was unfortunate.

My suggestion would sort of be a plaster solution to cover up a flaw in DRS in my own opinion. Maybe Webber should have thought a bit more in the race to use DRS, agree not Hamilton's fault since he kept Webber at bay when DRS was used on him.


And if we were to take it further, that same button was what Webber used to "rob" Schumacher of a podium in Canada, after MS passed him in the wet without that button.

Webber lost to Hamilton in Korea, simple as.


[mod] my own a opinion was a fair one.

By the way, Lewis happens to be a big idol in F1 to me for a variety of reasons, his working class background, mad overtaking (GP2 Turkey or Kimi @ Monza anyone??) and doing us Brits proud with his big heart. All Pre DRS! DRS should be an equaliser not to disadvantage a faster racer in my opinion.

Btw, Hamilton also adores my phone homescreen and I am dying to be his teammate on F1 2011 (console fans will feel my frustration!) and you sir have no idea who I support anyway!

I would like to end on a sour note on such a good site so i hope, as this is only my second post, it encourages more browsers of the site to get involved its well worth it even just from time to time to post on a topic that interests you (like Hamilton with me!!) 🙂



who know's if this is relevamt, but maybe DRS should not be allowed for a driver who has been passed legitimately in the same lap before the DRS zone.

The thinking behind this would be that a DRS zone should only reward clearly faster drivers held back my aero problems stuck behind a slower car.

Surely Webber passing Hamilton meant he deserves to retain his lead and not sacrifice his race just because he did not race artificially and should have waited until next corner.

Great website James - first time poster, regular reader.


OOPS! I forgot to say that I was talking about the Korean GP


Happy New Year to James and all the F1 fans worldwide - here's to a good year of healthy competition and exciting racing!



Have loved the insight and detail you bring to the sport on this site. As F1 gets ever more complex we need you to continue to interpret what is going on. Great stuff. Keep up the good work.



Wonderful website.

Highs: Jenson shutting up his doubters by matching/beating Hamilton,Alonso etc.

Webber at Eau Rouge.

Lows: Being shafted by the BBC/FOM over free to air. Hamiltons unwarranted penalties.

Kimi coming back, the only good thing he ever did was telling Martin Brundle he was "Having a sh*t"! on live tv


Many thanks James for a great site, visit nearly every day. No rumor just facts backed by facts, love it.

Jenson to be WDC in 2012 if Mclaren get its act together from the start of the season is what I am predicting this year, you read it here first folks as usual!


One of the biggest shames of the season for me was the Red Flag conditions at Monaco allowing a change of tyres for Vettel.

That race was building up to be possibly one of the greatest Monaco GPs ever with Vettel approaching his tyres falling off the cliff and having to defend Alonso and Button on much fresher rubber.


I think you need to go and re-watch that race Vettel's tyre falling of the so called cliff was just something people believed would happen. Also Alonso was not making in roads on Vettel I maintain and believe if there was no red flag Alonso would have taken himself and Button out of the race because he already had a moment going into the chicane after the tunnel and also piscine and Vettel then was just maintaining his course.

just a fact he managed d tyres so well as lap after lap we kept hearing his tyres were gonna fall off the cliff the next lap.

Funny enough mclaren engineers in order to get fans like you distraught said his tyres would have gone off in the next 2 laps before the end of the race, sour grapes.


It will be interesting to see if some drivers of the top teams trying to go with just one tire change in Monaco next year now that Vettel has basically done that last year. Maybe Button the tire wisperer will want to prove he can do the same ?! LOL


I agree- it was shaping up to be a classic


Ironically, F1 survives on such sill decisions - keeps the fans talking for years!


Congratulations James on a great site for F1 last year and all the best wishes for this year.

Favourite this year was Canada with the stars of the show Button and Schumacher.

Least favourite was the BBC/Sky fiasco and worse even was all the spin put out concerning it by team principals, Ecclestone and BBC treating F1 fans like idiots who will believe anything.


Happy New Year James, and the same to all your contributors and fellow posters.

I can't help but think back to Michael Schumacher's combative Monza and Ross Brawn's radio messaging... gripping stuff. I hope that wheel to wheel racing continues to feature in the sport and that it doesn't get too sanitised!



My highlights were seeing Schumacher near the front at Monza, and his drive at Spa, Vettel's pass on Alonso at Monza, Kobayashi's drive in Canada (and the picture of him having a shot of Tequila after the race), and overall Vettel's brilliance all year. Him watching the race at Abu Dhabi from the pitwall, as opposed to getting an early flight or sulking in his room, sum up why he's number one. Lowlights were not seeing Kubica in action, the incredibly boring Lotus/Renault naming argument, and the constant speculation on Hamilton's state of mind. Thanks for a great website, I hope you all have a great 2012.


Thanks for all the hard work on the great website this year James. See you in 2012!


My "only in F1" moment is the whole of the Canadian GP - great, great race, but if you scripted a film like that the "expert reviewer" would tell you you'd gone way overboard!

Good : Jenson's win in Japan - a country that had seen so much bad luck, saw a race won by someone with a genuine connection to the place. I'm with many others on the Webber/Alonso overtake too - very nice bit of driving.

Bad : Some occasionally inconsistent stewards decisions and the childish spat between Massa & Hamiliton.

Loved this year's JA on F1 book - I have them all and each is better than the last. It would be lovely to see a short (half-page ish) review of each driver over the season and the same for each team/car in next years... I hope you realise this site is going to be hugely in demand for those of us who want to know what's happening next year without going near the world of Sky..

Happy new year to you, your team and the readers and contributors.


Thanks. That's a really old idea for the book. I'll make a note of that


Brilliant summary JA, you need to be on the Presenting or commentary team again.........


Good - Schumacher being his old self in Canada especially. His stern defending against Hamilton was probably better to watch. Hamilton would have loved to race against Senna - well he kind of got his chance in Monza and he hated it. So much in fact his team had to push him on to attempt to catch up to Fernando after Schumi let him through.

Bad - SKY deal. Seriously, what on earth happened there? After all that moral campagning by the Beeb News, the sold out so hard. They blocked a reasonable bid from Ch4 for godknows what reason. There's some underhanded dealings in this, and there has to be some kind of investigation into it.


Most bizarre would be Hamilton's depressed interviews.


Thanks for everything James. Easily the best F1 blog around. Genuinely interesting insights and features.

Keep up the good work in 2012.


Sutil's spin and recovery in qualifying. I think it was Australia.


Vettel on Alonso at Monza

Schumi on Hamilton at Monza

Webber on Alonso (Spa and Singapore)

Hamilton on Alonso at Nurburgring

Hamilton and Webber in Korea (the lap where they were wheel to wheel)

All these battles made possible by Pirelli. (I know there were more)!


I am surprised that no one mentioned this but surely Rowan Atkinson at the Indian GP is highly worthy of a mention in all three categories....

But seriously folks the good is Pirelli for their courage, the bad for DRS and the ugly would have to be reserved for all the airtime wasted about shirts on the beeb.

Happy New Year and long live GP2.

Carlos Fernandez

Hello James, great article as always and Happy New Year!

I post this here since I don't know where to contact you. I've been having trouble accessing your website for a few weeks now and I believe there are a few others too, the problem might be limited to people using Safari but I'm not sure, I also have problems accessing this site on my iPhone. I can access every few days but the rest of the time I get the "Page Not Found" message. A thread was started on the Autosport Forums about this but quickly removed. Thanks.


We're not having any tech problems, it maybe overseas network problem? It's not our end in any case


Webber V Alonso at Spa. Balls of steel, both drivers.


My best two experiences were the two mentioned and organised by you - the Senna premiere at the Curzon, Mayfair and the Fans Forum at the MTC. Thanks for the opportunities.

I like this site for it's generally positive outlook and following. It certainly seems to be embraced by all sorts of F1 fans.

You should broaden out into other motorsport as most of us like some other form or other.

I enjoyed this year's F1 season in particular for the midfield battles. Remember to keep covering them as you can jolly well bet Sky won't and the BBC won't have the wiggle room anymore.

My hope for next year is that Adrian Newey goes through a bit of a midlife crisis and starts obsessing with windmills or something. As long as no other team steals a ridiculously wide margin in his place. Oh and that Vettel's pointy fingers lose all pointiness.



good - webbers pass on alonso into eau rouge

bad - the only beneficiary of the tv switch

is murdoch - shame on bernie


Thanks for a first rate site James. It's always my first stop for F1 news. I also enjoy the 'comments' facility as I have learned so much from fellow fans. Here's to an exciting 2012!

James will you be making any predictions prior to the beginning of the new season?


"..especially Singapore where Massa tried to talk to Hamilton but was rebuffed"

As far as I remember, Massa tried to interrupt Hamilton when he was giving an interview. How is that considered Hamilton rebuffing Massa. Massa acted like a kid under pressure trying his best to pass the blame.


It started before that in a pit garage before they came out to the TV crews


2011 season was far, far, far below 2007, 2008, 2010 seasons, because the whole thing was over after 4/5 races.

After about June 2011, the season became about think about if McLaren can improve in 2012.

Two overtakes named in a whole season as the 'highlights' tells it's own story.


JA. Thanks again for a great read this year and also to all of your contributors. Your website is the only one on the net that I always read. Not just your columns but from the majority of contributors come some excellent posts and great opinions. It is always interesting to get that one ‘extra bit’ of info and insight that you just don’t get readily anywhere else. A pleasure to read and be part of.

For highs and lows. Whilst I’ll admit Webbers move on Alonso into Eau Rouge was pretty ballsy stuff there were many great memories of the year which you list.

The maturing of Vettel in all aspects was very impressive to me yet the internal meltdown of Hamilton was the downside of the year.

And of course we were robbed of Kubica and what could have been.

Thanks all, Happy New Year, bring on Melbourne!!

(any plans in the making James for your readers down here in Australia for the Melbourne GP??)


Second that Mike J. JA, please let us know if you are planning anything Down Under in March.



Forget the wheels on the grass (VET vs ALO), What about WEB on the outside of ALO through Eau Rouge!


I've read half of the comments above and noticed quite a number of people mentioning Webber v Alonso at Spa was the best, or one of. I gotta agree with this one.

However, what I'm more interested in is why didn't JA think this was one of the highlights of the year?! =)

Simon Milliship

James - the best F1 content and journalism on the web. Congratulations. Please take the massive picture header off your site - and/or do a mobile version. It is a killer download when browsing on the phone for zero viewing value. You used to have a great mobile site - then it disappeared.


Webber/Alonso at Eau Rouge - admire the stones.

Coultard and Brundle in the commentary box - great raport.


Excellent year, excellent blog - keep up the good work Mr. James, and I wish to you an even better 2012...

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