2010 F1 driver rankings part three: 8-4

2010 F1 season review

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The 2010 F1 driver rankings continue with the next five drivers in the list.

This part includes Mark Webber and Jenson Button among others.

Read on for the next part of the driver rankings.

8. Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Half-term ranking: 11

Barrichello had a consistently positive season which, though short on headline-grabbing moments, showed he is still a force to be reckoned with even after 300 starts.

Starting afresh with a new team, he helped push Williams in the right direction and they made clear progress throughout the season. He took particular pleasure in helping them snatch sixth in the constructors’ championship after scrapping with Adrian Sutil in the final race.

His landmark 300th start at Spa was a bit of a disaster. He ended his race by harpooning Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

But one race earlier he proved his mettle by going wheel-to-wheel with Michael Schumacher, scraping past the Mercedes while avoiding what could have been a horrendous accident.

A surprise of the season. Gutsy battles with Schumacher and some really good performances in a midfield car. He’s breaking longevity records for a reason.

Rubens Barrichello 2010 form guide

7. Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2010

Half-term ranking: 5

Button could have made it a five-way fight for the title in the final race. But hopes of retaining his championship fizzled out in Korea as he floundered in the tricky conditions and finished out of the points.

He excelled in similar circumstances earlier in the season, grabbing opportunistic wins at Melbourne and Shanghai to lead the championship.

But he was consistently a couple of tenths off team mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying. Worse, he failed to reach Q3 in Britain, Hungary and Brazil.

He responded to these problems by taking a different tactical approach at some races. It paid off magnificently in Monza, where he came close to winning in a car with a quite unorthodox set-up. But risking the hard tyres in qualifying at Suzuka did little to help his cause.

As ever, his driving style was clean and he kept errors to a minimum, in stark contrast to some of his championship rivals. But it wasn’t enough to retain his 2009 crown.

Has generally been slower than Lewis. Often disappointed by dropping out of Q2 or by moaning on the radio: practice without ‘lack of grip’ or ‘massive front locking’ just would not be the same. Where he lacks in outright pace, he makes up with sensibility – he was the only contender who could not be blamed for having thrown away points.

Jenson Button 2010 form guide

6. Mark Webber

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Half-term ranking: 4

Webber seriously rattled his team mate in the middle part of the season with wins at Spain and Monaco. He was leading the next race at Istanbul before that infamous clash, and kept up the momentum with another win in Silverstone.

This was the bedrock of his championship campaign. He kept the pressure on Vettel by winning again in Hungary.

But when Vettel hit back Webber could do nothing to respond. Over the final five races of the year he trailed Vettel for all but three laps – and those were only when Vettel pitted before him.

Webber enjoyed markedly better reliability than Vettel during 2010 – the conspiracy theorists would have howled had it been the other way around – but although Vettel had the label “crash kid” attached to him, Webber was no less error-prone.

He tangled with Lewis Hamilton at Melbourne and Singapore and had a monumental accident when he misjudged Heikki Kovalainen’s braking point at Valencia.

We now know Webber was nursing an injured shoulder when he crashed out of second place in Korea. This was the moment when the championship slipped through his fingers.

With four wins it was undoubtedly a strong season for Webber. His pole position at Sepang, using intermediate tyres while his rivals stuck with full wets, was one of the best of the year. But Vettel ultimately had enough of an edge over him.

I never expected him to push Vettel as hard as he did. Ultimately succumbed to the pressure of the title fight, but probably came out of this season as a much more highly rated driver.

Mark Webber 2010 form guide

5. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2010

Half-term ranking: 7

Rosberg was the unsung hero of 2010. With all the attention focussed on the occupant of the other Mercedes it was easy to overlook what Rosberg was doing.

He consistently got the best out of the W01 and took it to some great results early in the season when the car was at its best relative to the opposition.

He led convincingly at Shanghai and beat Vettel in the wet qualifying session at Sepang. Rosberg brought the car home on the podium in both races.

At the end of the year he was just two points behind Massa in the championship – and little more than misfortune kept him from scoring more.

Wheels came off his car in Hungary and Japan. In Korea he passed Hamilton and was running fourth behind Alonso when he was taken out by Webber. Another podium finish or possibly even a win was on the cards.

Other than running wide in China and losing the lead I’m struggling to think of any other major errors he made. Ever consistent, even when the Mercedes was at its worst mid-season, he also has the pleasure of being the first person to have beaten Michael Schumacher over the course of a season.

He beat Kubica in the championship and he nearly beat Massa. Driver of the season without a doubt for me.
Dan Thorn

Nico Rosberg 2010 form guide

4. Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Half-term ranking: 2

Monte-Carlo, Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka: the three tracks on the F1 calendar where a driver can really make their presence felt, and the three tracks where Kubica excelled in the Renault R30.

He split the Red Bulls on the grid at Monaco, was in contention for victory at Spa, and had got up to second at the start at Suzuka when he lost a wheel.

Naturally, he had his team mate comfortably handled – often out-qualifying Vitaly Petrov by more than a second.

It’s a testament to Kubica’s performance that he was often a thorn in the side of the championship contenders – notably Alonso (at Silverstone) and Hamilton (at Abu Dhabi). Will he finally get a car he can challenge regularly for wins with in 2011?

Took the Renault to positions it didn’t deserve to be and made almost no mistakes. He was majestic in Monaco. I believe he will be fighting for the title next year.

Robert Kubica 2010 form guide

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2010 F1 season review

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Keith Collantine
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129 comments on “2010 F1 driver rankings part three: 8-4”

  1. Deserve ranking for Webber, he simply didn’t take his chance. Button also, just hasn’t got the pace compared to Lewis.

    1. And both had a lacklustre last 3rd of the season.

    2. Agree. I Button and Webber dont deserve a ranking higher than 7 and 6 respectively. I cant wait for the top 3 to come out.. I think I nailed the ranks 1 to 8.

      1. Webber says the shoulder injury didn’t slow him down, but I don’t believe him. His form lump corresponded with the injury. In 2009 he was slow at the start of the season also when he was recovering from injury.

        One thing that makes Webber such a good driver is his focus on fitness. It’s been his hallmark, only Button could claim to be as fit. Take away that fitness, and you take away his edge. I guess the only way to see if I’m right will be to watch the start of next season. I reckon though that when Webber isn’t crashing his bike he has the edge on Vettel.

        1. How can you say Webber only deserves 6 position. If things had gone only the slightest bit differently in Abu Duabi, he could have been champion.

          Some one who is in the hunt for the championship in the last race should always be in the top 3.

          My list would look like this…
          1. Alonso
          2. Vettel
          3. Webber
          4. Hamilton
          5. Kubica
          6. Rosberg

          1. I think Webber and Button were classified correctly. Of the top drivers, Webber had the most collisions in which he was wholly or partially to blame. It is just that his car survived more of them. Button had the fewest errors of the top drives, and so he was not trying hard enough.

          2. Some one who is in the hunt for the championship in the last race should always be in the top 3.

            Not if there were 4 drivers in the hunt!

            And by slightest bit differently, you’d be talking about finding six tenths in qualifying? Or do you mean that things would have been different if he actually decided to turn up to the event at all?

        2. @Daniel. There wasn’t a slump in his form. he made a mistake in Korea, and the rest of the races he was getting beaten by Vettel.. who was just quicker than him even without the injury.

          1. What is a form slump if it isn’t going slower and making uncharacteristic mistakes?

            He didn’t make those kinds of mistakes in the midseason, and right before the injury he was at least as fast as Vettel. Vettel only beat him consistently after he injured himself.

  2. I believe he will be fighting for the title next year.

    If Lotus can get up to the fight, then yes, and I hope so, for Kubica more than for Renault/Lotus.

    1. I hope they can fight for wins soon too. There is an enormous amount of talent going to waste here…

  3. Barrichello(0x WDC) beat Schumacher (7x WDC), with an inferior car, nearly being killed, and took revenge for those 6 years (2000-2005) when he played second role, demonstrating what he was capable of doing but he never was allowed to do.

    1. That must have felt just as good as beating Sutil to clinch the 6th spot for Williams. He really showed what a quick and experienced driver can do for a team.

    2. NewBoyLewisFan
      21st December 2010, 16:32

      Comment of the day!!!!

    3. Beat him in the rankings, not the championship.

      1. There’s always a schumi lover in the room isn’t there!?

        1. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

        2. There has to be, to keep things under control.

  4. With five wins it was undoubtedly a strong season for Webber.

    That’s supposed to be four wins. And thanks for the mention. ;)

    1. Well, he would have won Turkey, if not for Vettel taking both of them out of contention ;-O

    2. Thanks rfs, fixed it.

  5. I honestly think Rosberg and Kubica did much better than Vettel this season: had they been in the RB6 they would have won the championship much earlier.

    1. Hard to say. My dream team wars would be: Vettel – Kubica, Rosberg – Alonso. Unfortunately is there is no chance for it to happen.

    2. Can’t really say that. Vettel looked magnificently consistent in the STR in 2008, much like Rosberg and Kubica this year.

      1. Yes, but why does his car keep breaking when his team mates doesn’t? Earlier in his career Webber had the same thing going on. I think maybe he has learnt to be more mechanically sympathetic, and Vettel hasn’t yet.

        Sure there is an element of luck, but it can’t just be luck.

        1. Vettel’s style is particularly harsh on the car in comparison to Webber; that’s the reason. It’s not bad luck, if you abuse a race car, it will break.

          1. Unless you can show cause and effect for what Vettel’s supposed to have done and how it’s broken the car, I don’t buy it.

          2. There is an article out there somewhere that I think Dnaiel is refering to. It was someone saying in early 2009 about throttle use and then again earlier this year, someone, I think Newey said that Vettel is harder getting back on the throttle, I think he was talking about it in terms of getting the blown diffuser to work for vettel.

            Interestingly Webber has recently said on ‘Warnie’ (horrible show btw), that he doesn’t believe in luck and you that you make your own chances. INteresting comment comming from someone who has been in the wars with badluck for most of his f1 career and now is getting better luck in terms of reliability of the car. Daniel is correct, the harder you use something and less forgiving you are to it the more likely it will brake. Webber had the problem and has learnt to drive around it (newey said webber has an excellent ability to drive around problems that vettel is yet to gain). It will be interesting if and when vettel picks the skill up.

            As for the list, I don’t agree.

            Webber is apparently a min of 4 places lower than Vettel. Vettel drove in force india’s twice, button and his teammate webber. He also never led the championship and many of his points were because he was half a tenth ahead of webber in qualifying and got the better start. Yet he only finished just ahead in point overall.

            Rosberg had some peaks but nothing like WEbber’s Spain or Webber’s Monaco and he never showed anything like Webber’s ability to pull out the gap in Hungary.

            Yes Webber made several mistakes, but lower than Rosberg and alot lower than Vettel? I highly doubt that.

            Hamilton I’m suprised he’s pu so hgh, yes I understand that your british… :| And yes he usually had a worse car than the RB’s, but he also finished bechind both of them in the WDC and made several large errors like the other drivers (monza, singapore [he admits to] and suzuka). He also barely beat Button, whom you rank as 7 (and most people don’t think is brilliantly fast, yet hamilton seems to be a synonym for speed).

            My top 8
            Barrichello – had a few patchy bits
            Rosberg – a few great moments, and destroyed a mamed schumacher… a very maemed schumacher. But some great performances and consistancy
            Button – Showed some great skill and was able to run with hamilton for most of the season
            Hamilton – picked up many dropped points, was good, but didn’t really show the big gap over button that most people were expecting, and ruined his own chances like other WDC contenders
            Kubica – Monaco, Suzuka. When he had a chance hs showed it. But several times was also beaten by petrov….
            Webber/Vettel – Together, both made stupid errors (Korea, Valencia/Turkey, Silverstone, Belgium). Vettel won the WDC, but did make a massive hash of several races and I don’t think anyone else in the top 5 had a race as bad as vettel’s Spa race. Vettel did also run into his teammate. Meanwhile Webber was running around yelling at his team half the season, lost focus at the end and lost it for himself like the others. Vettel slightly more over points, but he also made way way way too man ontrack stupid performances. Webber had some great races but lost it mentally at the end.
            Alonso – crys like a baby, many people hate him. But damn can he do well. Pulls the team in behind him, comes from all the way back and nearly wins. Faster than the other 4 in the 2nd half of the season. Alot faster

          3. Rosberg had some peaks but nothing like WEbber’s Spain or Webber’s Monaco and he never showed anything like Webber’s ability to pull out the gap in Hungary.

            Did Rosberg have an RB6?

        2. i agree with this webber used to drive like vettle very aggressively at jaguar and williams but lately his style has become alot smother and if you cant notice that you havent been looking closely enough (take his monaco pole very smooth not aggressive).
          I think vettle has had some bad luck but webber had 2 overheating engines (Germany, Brazil) that he managed to the end of race. ultimently vettle is faster but i think webber lost the champ in the first 3 races.

    3. @Victor. If Vettel had a car as reliable as Mark’s he would have probably wrapped up the title as early as Korea.

      1. But don’t you find it ‘intersting’ that two years in a row vettel has had more problems driving the same car as Webber (only two years they have been together), and in both years he has also nearly ran out of engines while Webber hasn’t.

        Yes, there is a certain amount of luck, but Vettel is still lacking the ability to drive to the car and not just push the hell out of it like jr formula cars.

  6. Keith you… why must you draw it out like this! :P
    suppose it keeps us guessing, I’m eagerly anticipating the concluding chapter!! :D

    1. I believe it’ll be Vettel in 3rd, Alonso in 2nd and Hamilton in 1st.

      1. McLarenFanJamm
        21st December 2010, 17:17

        I don’t really think the top 3 matter which order they come in. They’re so evenly matched in terms of pace and ability to dominate the opposition when on top form. There will no doubt be huge debate about who should get what position but realistically, there’s really not much to choose between them and all 3 of them can claim to be #1

        1. I think I agree with you on that. The 3 best drivers this year were those 3.

          Alonso did a lot to get a not completely on the pace Ferrari in contention in the first 6 races. He won in Bahrain after pushing Vettel and seeing him drop Back. In Malaysia and China he drove pretty good, although it was only needed after team mistakes, technical problems (clutch) and his own mistakes. In Monaco he also had to recover from that. After Germany he started to drive like we saw he knows how and was great on track.
          Hamilton was good with overtaking in the first races, but a bit more thinking would not have hurt. Then he had painfull technical problems and made some mistakes himself. Vettel had a lot of technical issues early on, then he punted Webber out, let it get to him until he punted Button out before he drove the last 5 races to finish first. But he did not make any overtakes on track after his Silverstone recovery drive.
          A hard call, I think I would go with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton (1-3).

      2. I think what detracts from Hamilton is that his errors all happened at once and towards the end of the season. Across the entire season he may well be top. I previously didn’t think Vettel deserved it considering the number of points he threw away but he changed my mind in the last 4 races, as did Alonso (to an extent) in the few races before that. Very hard to split them.

      3. I think Alonso 3rd because of the Team Orders debacle.

        Hamilton 2nd because he just didn’t quite clinch it and did make a couple of silly mistakes.

        Vettel in 1st wouldn’t be a surprise, he had his off days but he stuck in there to win the WDC after all!!

        1. Vettel didn’t throw away 3 wins, his car let him down. 8 possible wins, also in silverstone Hamilton slashed his tire. 9 Possible wins, 4 thrown away due bad luck.

  7. I think the same, Victor. In my opinion he was just a little better than Webber, and with such superior car it’s nothing special.

    For me Hamilton, Alonso, Kubica and Rosberg were the best drivers from 2010.

  8. I just get the nagging feeling that Kubica is just a better ‘Fisichella’. The only time we saw him remotely in any championship fight was in 2008, and we saw how he faded in the second half of that season…although some may say the BMW lost interest.
    Personally I think he ‘may’ be a tad overrated, I would very much like to see what he does, and how he drives with Championship pressure.

    1. We know that BMW gave up on 2008 midway through the season to focus on 2009. If they hadn’t, who knows what could’ve happened.

      I think Kubica’s very good with a strong car, but not so good with a car that isn’t quite performing – you can see this in 2009 when he couldn’t beat Heidfeld regularly, and also at some points in 2010, particularly at the end of the year.

      1. So in your opinion another ‘Button’. Both smooth drivers, rarely make mistakes….Kubica may be a bit faster, but when the car isnt up to par they do seem to struggle.
        All that does is confirm my suspicion that he isnt up to par with the true talents of the sport….Honestly I cant wait to see him in a ‘big’ team, I think everyone would be a bit surprised at his performance.

        1. And Hamilton was that strong in 2009 with a car that isn’t quite performing? No, he wasn’t. And Alonso, and all those supertalents need a strong car to perform. So they all are not the true talents of the sport? Pity. We have no talents at all.

          1. erm, Hamilton won 2 races, came 5th in the championship and had a car on par with torro rosso for the first half of the season.

          2. @velvet_demon – In a similar vein to Jake’s reply, Alonso had a weak car in 2008 and yet: won 2 races, came 5th in the championship and had a car on par with torro rosso for the second half of the season.

          3. I hardly think Singapore counts…..

          4. Sigh, just get the point I was making against velvet, Mike…

        2. Ehrm…Kubica’s a smooth driver? Well…words fail me.

          1. @Jake, you’re right. Indeed Hamilton hadn’t a winning car for the first half of the season. 9,12,13,16,18 – guess what these figures are? Someone should help you? Hamilton’s 5 consecutive race finish places in mid-2009.

          2. I’m a little confused as to your point. 4 of these 5 were in the first half of the season. The last one is Germany, the first race in which the mclaren was competitive, in which Hamilton was unfortunate to get a puncture whilst battling for the lead.

      2. @ed24f1. Lots of people say that Heidfeld was better than him in 2009 only because he finished with a higher points total. But we all forget that he probably would have atleast come in 2nd in Melbourne if Vettel hadn’t crashed into him. Plus the weight of the KERS system was affecting him way more than it was Heidfeld.

        @Sammy. There is no way Kubica is another Button.. he has way more pace, aggressiveness and talent than Button does. Button is consistent and takes care of his tyres, but he is not an out and out racer like Kubica, Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

        1. @Jake, it’s as simple as that. It was you who gave Hamilton’s 2009 performance as an example in opposition to any other driver in a bad car. Did Lewis drive brilliantly in a crap car? Hardly to say 13th or 16th places were excellent but he did what he could. Apparently in the first half of 2009 he couldn’t do anything more. Later there was significant change and he started to succeed. Why? Maybe because in the second halve of the season he got a better car? Am I wrong, didn’t you start to develop a thesis that driver X or driver Y driving in weak cars should have fought for wins because Hamilton did it?

      3. What a waste of time, effort and money – twice – from BMW!!

        Once for giving themselves a championship winning oppurtunity from all their hard work before and up until a point in the 2008 season, then they make it meaningless, and a waste of effort by cancelling development and chance to win midway through…

        The second waste of time and money came from the hugely vast sums of investment poured into 2009 development, along with thousands of man hours for what…

    2. You can’t take away credit from Kubica for what he did on 3 “drivers tracks”. Especially Monaco, whole weekend fastest only lost to Webber in Q3 and got to eager for win at the race start. Renault deserved something like P7-P10

      1. wot do base ur theory that they only deserved P7-10 on. It can’t be the performance of his team-mate as we have no idea how he was performing compared to where the car should have been.

        Thats the problem with kubica this year, we just don’t know whether it was him seriously outperforming the car or Petrov seriously underperfoming it.

        1. I agree that there is problem with Kubica’s team mate. Are you saying that P2-P3 was natural pace of Renault and all the result below that is due Kubica poor performance? I seriously doubt it. I rather believe that Kubica found something special where it was possible to bring this car to P2 or P3.

          1. The other thing that makes this hard to work out is that cars have different characteristics. Their development pace at different times in the season also has an effect.

            Sometimes a team will focus their development toward particular tracks where they think they have the best chance. Monaco is a favourite for this because it is so different to other circuits. I think sometimes the Renault was a good car, other times not.

            As for Kubica, I don’t think he was ever worse than the car. He was good, no doubt about it. But it’s hard to judge how good he was.

          2. i believe the car was faster than the mclaren at monaco, and with alonso out, he really should have been getting P3 or 4. Yes, he did very well but i think its exagerated. I think its the same all season

        2. jesus, man! take a look at onboard kub monaco 2010. he was driving like a devil!!! outperforming car for sure! if someone doubts, someones blind.

          1. i dont doubt he outperformed the car. what i doubt is the extent to which he did so, which is difficult to judge because of his rookie team-mate.

  9. Gonna call it now:

    3- Hamilton
    2- Vettel
    1- Alonso

    1. 1 – Vettel
      2 – Alonso
      3 – Hamilton

      I suppose you could argue to change Ham and Alo, but it seemed like Ham had a few too many mistakes because he was driving a bit too hard at the end because he was down in the points. Alonso seemed nearly perfect toward the end, except for the last race of course….

      1. I would say:
        1 – Alonso (but only in terms of performance on track)
        2 – Hamilton
        3 – Vettel

        1. I’d agree with that.

          If it hadn’t been for Monza I would have Hamilton and Alonso the other way around.

          Vettel is quick (single lap or when out in front with a superior car) but not above Alonso and Hamilton. I don’t think Vettel could of done what Alonso and Hamilton did in their cars.

    2. This.

    3. ham made so many mistakes… fun to watch but it is not mature driver :/

      1. What mistakes exactly? Apart from sometimes braking too late (Monza and Valencia), he hasn’t made many errors at all. From the title contenders, only Button made fewer.

  10. has to be
    1. Ham
    2. Alo
    3. Vet


    I trust keith won’t stick with all other analysts and feel they have to put Vettel first just because he won the championship

    1. I don’t think Keith would do that either, but Vettel has a pretty strong case for #1 other than the championship. Dominated Saturday and made up for his mistakes on sunday. He would have cruised to a title without the reliability issues. Handled the stress of the teammate issues and mostly out-drove a far more experienced teammate and field of drivers.

      1. we have to remember the dominance of the car though. Yes he outpaced Webber, but give me a top 5 (in these rankings) driver that wouldn’t?

        1. Well, I know 2006 is a bad example… But I think your underestimating Webber.

          1. I said before the season started Webber was better than people gave credit and would be close to Vettel.
            Webber did make some mistakes I didn’t expect which was disappointing, and did seem to fall apart the last 1/3 (how much was the shoulder, not sure)

  11. no, i think it would be VET, ALO and HAM

    1. I would rate it in that order as well.

      #3.Hamilton wasn’t as spectacular towards the end of the season. He made quite a few mistakes.. and was intimidated when Alonso was chasing him in Korea and Brazil. People might blame it on the car, but those were the only 2 corners he went wide on in those 2 races… and ironically it was Fernando in his rear view mirrors.

      #2.Fernando looked unstoppable since in the 2nd half of the season, and kept his cool up until a strategic blunder lost him the title in Abu Dhabi.

      #1.Vettel would have wrapped this season up ages ago if it wasn’t for reliability issues. But the way he stepped up to the plate in the last 4 races was commendable. Absolutely flawless weekends to wrap up the title.

  12. Roseberg took the opportunity of keeping his head down & race flat out while everyone concentrate on Schumacher. Me too is finding it hard when he made a mistake? Give him a right car in 2011 I think he just may get under Schumacher’s skin!

    1. Yeah, honestly Rosberg had a way of impressing, but without ever taking the limelight. He was almost Prost-like this season.

  13. who was 3rd at half-term?

  14. I’d have Rosberg in 2nd or 3rd, Dominated him team mate and his final points total is a miricle. Alonso was the stand out driver of the year and cant see Hamilton or Vettel getting it over him.

    Calling it
    1st – Fernando Alonso
    2nd – Lewis Hamilton
    3rd – S Vettel

    1. I’m going to guess at what appears to be the least popular combination:

      1. Alonso
      2. Vettel
      3. Hamilton

      At the end Hamilton seemed resigned to the fact he didn’t have the best car. Alonso by contrast never accepted that and kept pushing.

  15. I think everyone continues to give Kubica more credit than he deserves. Despite an absolutely killer qualifying at Monaco, he didn’t win anything! I’m sure he would be at the top in a better car, but the fact is he isn’t there yet.

  16. McLarenFanJamm
    21st December 2010, 17:25

    The top 3 are all so closely matched. Alonso and Hamilton are like polar opposites, when Lewis was on his strong run in mid season, Alonso fell away, and then as Lewis fell away toward the end Alonso hit his best form. Vettel was strong throughout the season, always fast and had it not been for reliability and racing incidents (Istanbul, Silverstone, Spa) would have won many more races.

    Out of the 3, whoever gets #1 is worthy of it.

    As a side note, my personal ranking would be:
    1. Ham
    2. Vet
    3. Alo

    But I am biased towards Lewis ;)

  17. Button drove a fine race at Monza praise where deserved. But I’m afraid the 2 wins in Australia and China were just luck other than out-right pace.

    Why Does Webber have a lower ranking than Button Webber was fighting till the end and won more races.

    1. with a car as about half a second faster the whole season. Plus webber is above Button anyway!

      1. Well even if they had the same car I rank Webber higher than Button. I think Mark would have him.

        1. well it appears keith agrees so i dont get ur original question. i happen to think button would win

        2. Button had a similar car to the RBR in terms of pace last year. Actually it fell away towards the end of the year, and he still managed to wrap up his WDC, whereas Webber couldn’t.

  18. Very fair ranking.

  19. I think Nico should be ahead of Kubica personally. Nico and Robert both had a great advantage over their team mates with the lack of testing and they both put in a fine job so it’s hard to really pick between the two and judge where exactly their pace is.

    However, Kubica made a silly pit error in Spa and threw away second place, was outqualified by Petrov in A. Dhabi and made an error in Brazil qualifying. I know it doesn’t sound like much but Kubica did really suit the R30 (usually he moans a lot but he barely complained this year) while Nico made less mistakes and worked so hard in a car that didn’t suit him so I’d place him higher than Robert.

    Button’s about right but I really think he had a good season. In Monza his set up wasn’t just bang on but he was genuinely quick and gave a great drive, in Brazil his race was utterly magnificent, he made the wrong strategy choice at Suzuka but his qualifying lap was great on the prime tyres (a big shame he couldn’t sort out his qualifying speed more often), at Spa he was driving very well and was taken out through no fault of his own and arguably his campaign could have limped on a little longer without that incident and his two wins early in the season were very classy. His race pace was usually fine against Lewis but I hope he sorts out his qualifying for next year.

  20. I’m going to guess it goes…

    3. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    1. Alonso

    1. yea, crusing around collecting DNF wins should get a number 1 rank. WOW.

      1. In both Bahrain and Korea, Alonso was catching Vettel even before anything afflicted his car.

        You simply cannot deny that unlike Massa, Alonso extracted the maximum from the F10. That’s how he took excellent wins from pole at Monza and Marina Bay. That’s why he was up there with the much faster Red Bulls, ready to pounce.

    2. I think that’s what it might be. But then again, I don’t think Vettel really belongs in the top 3. I’d put Kubica up on him simply because I think anyone could have been that level of competitive in such a dominant car.

      And I attribute his Saturday dominance to his car because let’s face it, many Saturdays Mark wasn’t that far off either. And if Webber’s 6th, well then that says something about Vettel.

  21. Expecting a little controversy at relegating Kubica from the Top 3 but I agree. His second half wasn’t like his first. I think Singapore summed up his season well: capable of doing great things, but the circumstances behind them shed a lot of light on the truth of the matter (on superior tyres in Singapore to do all that overtaking, crazy races in Melbourne and Shanghai, lost a gifted second in Belgium)

    1. Agree 100% Icthyes especially with ” I think Singapore summed up his season well: capable of doing great things, but the circumstances behind them shed a lot of light on the truth of the matter”.

    2. I agree with you as well. Kubica is a great driver and he has it in him to be WDC, if the team give him a car to do it with.
      But he does need the circumstances to be right to do it, not like Hamilton, Alonso and the Schumacher of old who are able to get there or therebout despite the equipment.

    3. I don’t agree one bit with you. Well, I do about you saying the first part of the season wasn’t like the second, but this would be because of development slowing down on the R30, in favour of the R31.

      And you do know why he was on fresh tyres for the last few laps of the Singapore GP, right? It’s because he got a puncture; he actually lost out on a place. Before his puncture, he was 6th. He finished 7th.

      Talking of these crazy races, howcome Hamilton breezed past Massa and Rosberg, but not Kubica? Them two have superior cars, as well.

      And in Belgium, he was on the pace with the top runners. His position wasn’t gifter, however, and so what he made a mistake? Everyone else did, too, which shows how hard it was to drive in them conditions.


  22. Not sure about the last 3 places all three of them deserve/don’t deserve in certain respect for the number 1 driver of the year.

    Hamilton done well with Jenson to get the maximum out of the car to match the red bulls across the season, more so than what vettel and webber did with the RB6. When people were saying at the start of the European circuit campaign that Lewis would surely fade away from red bull he defied them and was showing really good form shown from last season, he was looking to take control of the season after winning at spa. But sadly for him his nerves got the better of him and had horrible luck at monza, Suzuka and of course Singapore by his best friend webber… He did try to claw back his chances of another world title with a bit of luck in Korea and a solid 2nd in Abu dhabi pushing vettel most of the way.

    Alonso showed he was already number 1 in Ferrari winning Bahrain with vettel’s engine going in front, he was already out shining both Kimi and Schumi from the past and putting massa into the history books unable to answer back. He showed what ever Lewis could overtake on the circuit, he could overtake just as many even at the most impossible overtaking circuit of Monaco, seeing Alonso do that showed that he wouldn’t roll over, not without a fight. Yes the team orders at Hockenheim dented his chances for the number 1 driver slightly but don’t deny the fact that he is the most complete driver on the grid and took the title to the wire with vettel and webber.

    Yes vettel had the best car, yes he made silly mistakes and yes he should of nailed the title sooner than what we saw this season. But we saw the youngest world champion ever out perform a driver who had 10 years more experience than him and still beat him to the title in the same car, 2 British world champions working together gunning for the title with a good overtaking car and a double world champion who knows what it takes to win a world title more than once… he still beat them when it counted.

    Nerves of steel vettel had to win at the final race, go back 3 seasons ago Hamilton chocked under the pressure and lost the world title to Kimi, next season he nearly does it again. For vettel’s age he did a damn sight better than most other drivers in the past. Forget talking about when Kubica gets into a better team and when Rosberg gets a title winning car, when this young German has another 2-3 seasons in F1, nobody will be able to stop him not even a 3 driver team of Kubica, Lewis and Alonso I believe won’t be able to keep up with him. Vettel is like the Lionel Messi of F1, how good will this kid get?

    If vettel is judged because of his overtaking ability in this verdict, then Hamilton should be judged on his nerves, just like jenson should be judged on his qualifying skills and Alonso’s temper problems when something doesn’t go his way.

    My verdict:

  23. For me Vettel is third and Alonso pips Hamilton mainly due to Singapore. Producing a Grand Schlem is special but in the second fastest car is unheard of. Also no one thought he would dominate Massa the way he did.

    Vettel’s mistakes when Webber was winning and ahead in the WDC was what puts him in 3rd. Despite his mechanical problems this was still his title to lose and he just scraped home.

  24. I think Webber deserved a higher spot. He kept super quick Vettel in check at certain parts of the season and was beating him nearly the whole season on points. This was despite Vettel being the favourite within the RBR team. I know it’s a tough call considering how well Rosberg and Kubica did. I would probably put Webber at least above Hamilton. Alonso definitely has to be put ahead of Vettel, even for the simple fact that he had a slower car throughout the year and almost beat him. Not easy to rank them though…

  25. I think it’s been great for Nico that MS has overshadowed his work – and to come out of the season on top is surpeising, given all the mind games the older German was playing…

    However, I wonder how hhe will cope in the pressures of a championship battle – when all eyes are on him. Hopefully quite well. ;)

  26. Sorry to say but this ranking is and never will be objective.
    Keith, if you were not English I don’t see you setting HAM in top three.
    Similarly being Polish I can’t agree that KUB has not deserved to be within top three.

    Just stick to Season Driver Standings. As simple as this.

    1. I take your point, but it makes for an interesting read. And even if you don’t agree with the order, he at least tries to justify his decision.

    2. Correction: any ranking of individual performance isn’t and never will be objective, but that’s not really the point anyways. Too many people confuse differing opinion with ‘objectivity vs bias’.

    3. Hamilton is in Keith’s top three because he watched the 19 races of the 2010 F1 season.

  27. Disappointing that Kubica and Rosberg are rated so low. One of them should be in the top three instead of Hamilton who underdrove the McLaren this season.

    1. don’t you love it when people make up completely unrational “facts”

      1. I think the word you’re looking for is ‘irrational’

      2. Alonso in a lesser car dominated Lewis in the second half of the season and finished the season in second place. Lewis finished a faaster car poorly in fourth and shouldn’t be rewarded with a top three ranking.

        1. But the Mclaren clearly lost its way in terms of development after Silverstone. If anyone was underdriving, it was Button. Hamilton absolutley was one of the top three, along with Vettel and Alonso.

          1. Yes but Hamilton was a key part in the development process testing and giving feedback. His practice crash also cannot be over looked as it prevented key updates from being used.

          2. You can’t use that to claim he wasn’t in the top three drivers, as the rankings are clearly based on what happened in qualifying and races. And Alonso wasn’t above crashing in practice either.

            Hamilton did as good a job as Alonso throughout the season.

  28. I think the biggest compliment you can give to Nico Rosberg is that he has made a name for himself as Nico Rosberg, not the son on the immensely popular former World Champion from the 1980’s.

  29. Webber and Button are where they should be. Rosberg is not. I used to think he was overrated, but he was excellent this year. He had the pace, the dealt with a difficult and radically changing car. He had a supposendly decent teammate.

    The comparison between the remaining three will come down to who had the least daft errors, because they were are all pretty brilliant on their days. They all had cars that were excellent at some point.

    For this reason I think there was a good case to put Rosberg at the top. He was very quick, he didn’t complain about the weight balance, or whatever, he dealt with his teammate. He didn’t make significant gaffes. As proof, he finished right behind Massa in the Ferrari in the tables. So put him in a Ferrari, and think of what would have occured.

  30. One thing makes it difficult to compare Kubica/Rosberg to Hamilton/Alonso/Vettel. First two had undoubtedly great seasons, but they were not really in title fight. OK, Nico was second after Chinese Grand Prix ahead of top four of final standings, but at that point of the season it was very difficult to judge who’s fighting for the title. Kubica was sixth at best. It was around Canada when top five started to build a lead to the rest of the pack.

    My point being that when you are in the title fight the pressure is so much bigger than when you are not, and that’s why the top guys of the standings should be top of the rankings. Therefore I agree about Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, listed in alphabetical order, being in top 3.

  31. Craig Woollard
    21st December 2010, 22:11

    Rosberg and Kubica should have been higher, they were in my rankings…

    But now:

    1) Vettel
    2) Hamilton
    3) Alonso

  32. I was really glad to see Barrichello do as well as he did this year. Same goes for Rosberg who many, many people here derided last year for no other reason than his looks (humble pie, anyone?). Kubica proved that he’s in pure control of his car 99.9% of the time and that he can race with the best of them. Seems to me like people who keep saying that he’s not that great have for some reason decided he isn’t and that’s just that because they say it is (see: Rosberg, Nico, low opinions for no good reason, above).

    It couldn’t really be anyone else than Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso in the top three. There’s no way that either Rosberg or Kubica could be ranked as high because although they both did great, neither one was performing under anything remotely close to the pressure faced by those three.

  33. @Bleu, but Kubica was in title fight in 2008, he could easily win if only BMW didn’t stop car development, absolutely no pressure from his side back then, just moaning and sorrow for what his team decided.

    Remember guys how Hamilton hold his pressure in 2007? Having superior car he lost because of it. But now he matured a lot and act like totally different person, that’s really good.

    And yeah I think just like few other people here that Rosberg should be ahead of Kubica, he have better car at the start of the season than RK but still being number 2 in shadow of his “great” team mate he did more than anyone expected.

  34. I think Button was much better than both Webber and Vettel – didn’t make so many so big mistakes.
    And Vettel was only a bit better than his teammate – to me just one spot up the ranking.

    Yes, some Vettel’s mechanical problems cost him a win (while Webber made only mistakes), but I see it other way – worse car’s reliability was part of the agressive winning design and ability of driver to take care of such a car. Webber did care better.
    There is not much interesting in Vettel’s wins starting from pole positions. But races like Turkey, Hungary or Spa gave much clear view about his skills. He could blame only himself for all his troubles in those races – his mistakes were actually unthinkable for top driver – like, let’s say, Alonso.
    However Webber also made as many mistakes plus was slower than Vettel and this ultimately cost him a title.

    And my top 1 for 2010 was Alonso.

  35. Alonso shouldn’t be number 1.

    Every driver suffers from frustration, but Alonso suffers it the most significantly. Even despite that, 3 of Alonso’s wins have been gifted – Twice by Vettel’s reliability niggles and once by ‘coded’ team orders. Possibly 4 at Monza – Remember Button lost some downforce after Alonso hit his rear wing at the start of the race, but that’s probably me being picky. ;)

    I can’t argue with Singapore though, just a simple domination from start to finish.

    A racing driver has to be fast and consistent, but a true racing driver also has to race with other drivers, and race well with them. If thats the case, then with what we’ve been left with, Hamilton and Vettel should be the top 2.

    1. Wow, Bravo. I am not getting enough adjectives to appreciate ur post. Anything which can be incurred from ur post is that u hate Alonso. As simple as that.

      Favour ur fav driver but by keeping all facts in mind brother.
      U r all picky in ur post.

  36. Alonso’s singapore was Lewis’ Spa

  37. I dont care that your 3 is Vettel, Hamburger and Alfonso, but Webber in 6th??? ***

    His drive in Monaco was a classic for one. He lead for a big part of the season. Far too much has been made of the performace diff between redbull and Ferrari and McClaren – we know for a fact they possessed a significant horsepower advantage on some circuits. Webber nearly pulled off something no drivers ever done – driven not around his car but around his teammate to win a championship.

    Know one knows how good a benchmark that russian dude is for Kubica or even how good a benchmark grandpa schumacher is for Rosberg. We do know the year before the Brawn car was the leader of the field.

    Actually I’m surprised Hamburgers so high up – driving into Massa was a pretty big clunker, his Spa win was about 15cm away from a horror in the wall effort.
    He can’t be higher than 3 surely?

  38. Can’t put Alonso #1 after he failed so dramatically at the start and very end of the season. He had a great racing season in between, Monza being the highlight.
    So. I’d put Vettel #1 because of his consistency in qualifying and his overall pace. Points off for crashes especially with Webber and Button, but all the top 5 had similar lapses in the season, including Hamilton. No points deducted for mechanical failure or a flat tyre at Silverstone.

    1 Vet
    2 Ham
    3 Alo

  39. One thing which we arent considering is the weight of expectations.
    Before the season began, everyone hinted that one of the drivers from RedBull/Ferrari/mclaren would win and to be more specific, it was Vettel//Alonso/Ham who would go on to win the title. You agree or disagree, there is far more pressure on a person to do well and win sitting in a fast/very fast(RedBull/Ferrari, Mclaren) car than on a person sitting in a decent car (
    Mercedes and Renault).
    Driver under less pressure can use every inch of the track and not worry abt crashing but the guys who are tipped to win races need to be very careful.

    I am a diehard Alonso fan but then too, I would keep Vettel at #1 coz he had the PRIVILEGE of driving the superfast car. He defeated his teammate despite many mechanical failures.

    #2 : Alonso. Its not easy to be on pole and winn races when the other side of ur garage doesnt want u to. Yes, I am talking abt massa/Rob Smedley. When Alonso got his win in Germany, he had to make sure that he needs to deliver since team is showin faith in him. There comes the pressure and he delivered and how. Noone is pointing out this but the pole in Singapore was the highlight of the season .

    #3 : Ham. was good but pressure got the better of him

  40. Cmon, Hamilton no.3 (since Alonso and Vettel would have to be no.1 and no.2).

    His season wasn’t really that spectacular, even when he had a car that was near the Red Bulls and Ferrari weren’t in the equation yet. His second half of the season was mediocre. Crashing into Massa at Monza and that run in with Webber in Singapore, how can two very serious errors put him above the bulletproof consistency of Kubica and Rosberg, and still well ahead of Webber (who, while he had a few mistakes and his end of season form wasn’t as good as Vettel, but that purple patch mid-season should surely count for something.)

  41. it has to be vettel, 10 poles (more than half of the races!) 5 wins and the title.

    there is simply no other option, he was the quickest driver all season and the worrying thing is that if he learns from his mistakes he could walk away with the title next season.

    i think he alonso and hamilton are the most talented drivers on the grid and rightly deserve to be in the top 3.

    as much as i love hamilton, he made too many silly errors so would have to be vettel / alonso / hamilton for my top 3.

    great set of articles, even with the suspense!

  42. IMHO Webber should have been at least 4th…

  43. In another discussion I argued that this “injury” Webber claims to have suffered would be used by his appologists to try and blur the fact that he was beaten fair and square by Vettel – which reinforces my view that Webber made it up to have an excuse, despite his claims to the contrary. I got a litani of indignant responses saying that nobody was going to use it that way. And now Keith just come up and does just that by linking his fall in performance (a.k.a. being beaten by Vettel) to the supposed broken shoulder. The guy a is a superhero, you know? Performance suffered a little, but he could still drive entire F1 races with a broken shoulder. He either has super body resilience or the super power of convincing people that whatever crap he says is true.

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