Debate: Best of the rest?

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This year’s absorbing championship battle, with up to four drivers still realistically capable of winning, takes attention away from some excellent performances up and down the entire length of the grid.

Here are a few of the drivers that have impressed me the most this year.

Which driver outside the top four do you think is doing the best job?

Nick Heidfeld – A comfortable fifth in the championship and usually well clear of team mate Robert Kubica.

Nico Rosberg – The vanguard of Williams-Toyota, regularly in the points and qualifying strongly too.

Heikki Kovalainen – After a troubled start has overtaken team mate Giancarlo Fisichella in the points standing and is the only driver not in a McLaren to have finished every race.

Jenson Button – Carrying the disastrous Honda, has wrung two points finishes out of it and driven impressively but to no avail at the back at the grid on several occasions.

Adrian Sutil – Has seen off his more experienced team mate, was fastest in the wet practice at Monte-Carlo and appears to have cut out the rookie mistakes.

Photo: BMW

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Debate: Best of the rest?”

  1. I would agree that Heidfeld has been the most impressive of the old guard. Of those with a rookie team mate, only Nick has been better than the young ‘un every time. Everyone tells me he could never be a world champion but I think that’s what I call “Damon Syndrome” – Damon didn’t look and sound like a champion but he did it anyway. And I see no reason why Nick should not do the same if BMW gives him the car to do it in.

    Rosberg would be my other pick. He seems to get better with every race and, considering he was obviously quick right from the start, that makes him a serious contender for future honours.

  2. Nick and Nico have been outstandning, byt here is two other picks:

    Markus Winkelhock, leading a race in a Spyker is impressive, if a bit flattering.

    Takuma Sato, scored 4 points in a Super Aguri, and overtook a McLaren in Canada.

  3. Good choices. Besides Nick and Nico, which are recognized by everybody, I would say Kovalainen is the most improved driver, considering how he started the season.

  4. What about Jarno Trulli? He’s destroyed team-mate Ralf this year, and always manages to get the Toyota in the top 10 while Ralf wallows in 18th
    Takuma Sato, definitely, and Kovalainen is underrated.

  5. Niko is the best choice

    He drives midfield car at the limit and is the best guy after 3 fastest teams.///

    Nick is doing a great job tooooo. But his BMW, is fast and stable in the cornenrs, which u can’t say about Williams ///

    Heikki is doing way better job than Fiziko.
    He improves race after race . . .

  6. I think BMW can give Nick the car to go all the way.If he can stay as focused as Mario is on the championship I honestly think they could pull it off.If not with BMW I’m confident Nick could be in the top three with a good car.

    I have also enjoyed watching what Nico can do with an average car-this guy is a smart driver,and fast.

  7. “On the other hand, Nico is my teammate – and he is for me at the moment the strongest qualifier in the entire paddock. He is very impressive. He just doesn’t make mistakes. You know, every qualifying he nails it. And it’s very impressive.”

    This is what Wurz said about Rosberg, and I think he got it spot on with Nico’s qualifying… Most of the race weekends Rosberg is there among the top from Friday till quali.

    Nick Heidfeld is the silent achiever, all he needs is car that is half a second closer to McLaren and Ferrari and he will right there in the mix.

    Kovalainen – Briatore would be stupid not to keep him for next season. He started the season badly, but now is a confident improving driver.

    I’m a fan of Sato, I am not sure if he will have again chance to drive a top car, as he had in BAR in 2004, but I wish I can see him again mixing up with the front cars

    Sutil did not convince me yet… Yes, he has been better than his team mates, but not that much better, and his team mates, Albers, Yamamoto are not exactly F1 stars …

    I do not know what to make of Trulli. He outperformed Ralf big way so far this season, but has it been for his superior skills or for Ralf inferior driving this year ?

  8. Kubica. He’s hell of a driver considering the circumstances and his age.

  9. All your picks have impressed me this year. If I had to pick one, though, it would be Rosberg. Nobody has established quite such a huge margin over an experienced, respected team mate. And I don’t think – in all fairness – Frank’s car really belongs in some of the places Nico manages to get it.

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