2010 F1 driver rankings part four: the top three

2010 F1 season review

Posted on

| Written by

It’s time to name the top three drivers of 2010.

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are the final three drivers in the 2010 rankings – but which one comes out on top?

Read on to find out.

3. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2010

Half-term ranking: 3

Vettel’s late-season chase to the crown was the stuff of script-writers.

In Korea, after yet another car failure, it looked like it was all over. But by winning three of the final four races – and thanks to Ferrari being preoccupied by his team mate – Vettel pulled it off.

He was cursed with unreliability in 2010. Vettel was leading in Bahrain, Australia and Korea when his RB6 faltered, leaving him with 12 points instead of 75 from those three races.

That wasn’t the end of it. More car trouble in Canada, Spain and Turkey (qualifying) held him back. Earlier this year I calculated he’d lost 48 points due to unreliability – and that was before Korea.

To his credit, he never let his frustration get the better of him in the form of outbursts directed at the team. It was just as well, because he made a two major blunders of his own, colliding with Webber in Istanbul and Button at Spa.

Both these mistakes were born from overtaking attempts which went wrong. Even with a world championship under his belt, Vettel has not yet shaken off the impression that although he can win from the front with aplomb, racing for position is not his thing. His fight back through the field at Silverstone was scrappy at times.

Vettel’s raw speed has never been in doubt and, armed with an RB6, he was a fearsome proposition in qualifying, taking ten pole positions.

The stark fact that he scored half that number of wins leaves the nagging feeling that he made hard work of this world championship.

However his performance under pressure can’t be faulted. Whether in the rain at Korea, or after being pipped to pole by Nico Hulkenberg in Brazil, it seemed nothing could faze Vettel in the crucial final four races.

He got the job done in a clinical fashion that was supremely impressive for someone earning the title of youngest ever world champion.

You can’t argue with ten poles, five wins and the championship. Very unlucky with reliability, but lots of silly errors meant he snatched the championship rather than dominate it as he perhaps should have done.
Dan Thorn

Sebastian Vettel 2010 form guide

2. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2010

Half-term ranking: 6

The best driver of the second half of the season? Unquestionably.

Alonso went on the hunt for a third world championship having asserted his supremacy within the team at Hockenheim. His F10 became a much more competitive car after the addition of an exhaust-blown diffuser in Valencia.

Over the final nine races we saw him back at his 2006-vintage best. Singapore was an undoubted high point, stealing a win from the faster Red Bulls with a brilliant qualifying lap and a faultless drive under pressure.

He won at Korea having managed his tyres to perfection. It was a shame we never got to see whether it would have been enough for him to take on Vettel had the Red Bull driver’s engine not failed.

In Brazil he delivered a masterclass in restrained aggression, patiently wearing down Nico Hulkenberg to make a critical pass.

If he’d driven like that all year then he would have been champion. But for whatever reason he did not seem to be firing on all cylinders in the first half of the season.

His Ferrari career got off to a dream start with a win at Bahrain. But several of the following races were marred by costly errors.

Bizarrely, he jumped the start of the race in Shanghai. At Monaco he was fortunate to salvage sixth after crashing in practice.

Clearly, he was very unlucky in Valencia. But he was the architect of his own demise in the next race at Silverstone, failing to yield position to Robert Kubica having gone off the track to overtake the Renault driver.

To win races you need to do more than just be fast – sometimes you have to overtake people as well. There were times in 2010, such as at Silverstone, when Alonso’s racing savvy appeared to have deserted him.

Similarly, the Hockenheim debacle might have been avoided had he capitalised on a chance to pass Massa earlier in the race.

These were blips in an otherwise very impressive season which included a quite remarkable performance in Sepang where he coped with a transmission glitch throughout the race before the car failed a few laps from home.

In the end he came within a bad strategy call of winning a third championship title. If he can carry his late-2010 form into 2011 his opponents have a lot to worry about.

Like Hamilton (who I’d say he shares the title for the best overall driver on the grid today) he didn’t always have the fastest car but he pushed it to the absolute limit.

His first half of the year was fraught with mistakes but after the controversial German victory, he cleaned up and virtually dominated the last half.

Fernando Alonso 2010 form guide

1. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2010

Half-term ranking: 1

Having led the drivers’ championship in the middle of the year Hamilton hung on grimly despite having a car that patently wasn’t up to the job in several races in the second half of the season.

The arrival of the reigning world champion in the second car fazed him not one bit. He was usually the quicker of the two by a few tenths and sometimes in qualifying his car was half-a-dozen places or more ahead of the McLaren with the number one on its nose.

On the rare occasions he did start behind Button it usually didn’t last long, like at Melbourne where he passed Button soon after the safety car came in on a damp track.

Hamilton remains the most combative driver on the grid, the one most likely to a take on a rival instead of getting stuck behind them.

He won in excellent fashion at Canada, taking advantage of Alonso being boxed in behind leader Sebastien Buemi to pass him for the lead.

A fine drive at Shanghai yielded second place after a string of passes, taking Vettel along the way. But similar drives at Melbourne and Sepang were less well rewarded.

More points were lost with car failures at Spain and Hungary, plus his gearbox gremlins in Suzuka.

Back-to-back wins at Istanbul and Montreal, plus second places behind the Red Bull drivers at Valencia and Silverstone, marked the high point of his season. But as McLaren fell behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the development race there were times when Hamilton could only watch the other championship contenders drive away.

At times he tried to grab a bit too much. There were minor errors in Korea and Interlagos that were plainly born of over-driving. He flirted with disaster at Spa on his way to an excellent wet-weather win.

More seriously at Monza he threw away a vital opportunity to take points off the Red Bull drivers by tangling with Felipe Massa on the first lap.

Still on other occasions he was downright unlucky – particularly whenever Mark Webber was involved, as at Melbourne and Singapore.

This year’s world championship was remarkable in that drivers from three different teams had cars that were good enough to win races. Picking the best driver – the fastest, the best racer, the one who beat a strong team mate, the most dependable – is inevitably subjective. The margins between the very best are razor-thin.

Lewis Hamilton gets the nod this year because whatever state the track or his car was in, he was unrelenting in his pursuit of success and was always the driver who wrung the maximum – and sometimes a bit more – out of his car.

I hate to admit it but Hamilton was pretty impressive this season, his best by far, regardless of the result.

Unfortunately for him the car lagged behind in the later stages of the season. After Silverstone it was quite clear for me that he was favourite for the title, but McLaren struggled with development on the EBD front, and its new rear wing came too late to make any difference.

As expected he has beaten Jenson, while maturing more and more with every race (with the exception of Monza, but I guess that everyone has the right to make a silly error once) and getting more complete as a driver. If McLaren gets the MP4-26 right, expect him to be a contender, as he always have been.
Guilherme Teixeira

Complete F1 Fanatic 2010 driver rankings

27. Sakon Yamamoto
26. Lucas di Grassi
25. Karun Chandhok
24. Bruno Senna
23. Vitaly Petrov
22. Christian Klien
21. Vitantonio Liuzzi
20. Sebastien Buemi
19. Pedro de la Rosa
18. Jarno Trulli
17. Nick Heidfeld
16. Felipe Massa
15. Nico Hulkenberg
14. Heikki Kovalainen
13. Michael Schumacher
12. Jaime Alguersuari
11. Timo Glock
10. Kamui Kobayashi
9. Adrian Sutil
8. Rubens Barrichello
7. Jenson Button
6. Mark Webber
5. Nico Rosberg
4. Robert Kubica
3. Sebastian Vettel
2. Fernando Alonso
1. Lewis Hamilton

Who do you think was the best driver of the year? Have your say below and vote for the best F1 driver of 2010 here.

Lewis Hamilton 2010 form guide

Images © Red Bull/Getty images, Ferrari spa, www.mclaren.com

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

424 comments on “2010 F1 driver rankings part four: the top three”

  1. I wondered when i saw Lewis on first pole, however I think it’s quite a good example to have him on “pole position” :)
    but my mind are focus on Kubica :)
    great job Keith.

    1. Not exactly going a great distance to get rid of that ‘British bias’ tag keith!

      1. What bias can there be when in true fact Hamilton was indeed the most menacing of the top drivers.

        1. I didn’t realize this was rating of the most menacing drivers! jk

          No really, this article and the comments show how close of a season this was. There was no true stand out dominant driver the whole year like we’ve seen in some of the past seasons. It makes for a more interesting season for sure, but it also leads to more debate of who was the best…I don’t think there was a ‘best’ this season and all of these guys (+ maybe, Webber, Buttn, & Kubica) were phenomenal and all of these guys made mistakes.

          I disagree with Keith’s rankings, but I also think his rankings are fair and that it really comes down to many factors and some personal opinion to say who is best and what even qualifies for best. Who cares even if Keith is a little biased, it’s his blog and his opinion.

        2. Vettels the most menacing, as take 1 look at him and you will be off the track :)

      2. Not exactly going a great distance to get rid of that ‘British bias’ tag keith!

        I write what I think.

        1. I agree with you Keith – Hamilton was the one driver you could reply on to get 100% fromo the car over the course of the weekend and the “mistakes” he made, Monza and Singapore for example, were from trying to pass people , exactly what we want! Lsistening to him plead to start the race in Korea was great. Alonso for the record was also fantastic – his 2nd half of the year was amazing but for me as well Hamilton just edges it.

        2. As much as I would like to think that this decision was made without a bit of bias, I can’t. Why? Well, this is a British website, and there have been articles on here before that were heavily biased towards Hamilton. I would definitely put Hamilton 3rd, Vettle 2nd, and Alonso 3rd, as thats where they really belong.

          1. And I can’t be biased as I’m a pole that lives in America so there are no favorites here.

          2. this is a British website, and there have been articles on here before that were heavily biased towards Hamilton.

            Such as?

            The thing is, some people are inclined to scream “bias” whenever they read something they don’t agree with. I remember people complaining I was ‘anti-Hamilton’ for writing this after Valencia:

            Did Hamilton try to stop Alonso getting in front of the safety car?

          3. jimscreechy (@)
            22nd December 2010, 21:00

            I tend to ignore the posts that shout ‘bias’ as they tend to surface from individuals whoose fan focus have not emerged on the top step. Still, quite a good article, and pretty fair assesment. On half the days in the year there is but a hare’s whisker between the top three, and you could rotate the places on the podium between all without losing a dime. One thing I do have to agree with ‘Our Nige’ about is Hamilton’s ability to wring the neck of nearly any machine he’s given which isn’t so true of the other two. He fairly consistently punches above the weight of the machinery he’s given and just gets on with driving it on the limit… or past it on some occasions. The guy could drive the wheels of a shopping trolley.

          4. @ Polishboy.

            I am a Texan, living in America, and all bias aside I found Hamilton the most impressive driver of the season by far. Had he been in an RB6 he would have dominated the entire field. He had a worse car and more DNF’s than any of the other title contenders by season’s end yet was still there giving it his all, because he still had an outside chance. He wasn’t favored by his team, didn’t have to rely on team orders and didn’t loose his head under pressure with Monza being a sole exception to that.

            I really get tired of everyone assuming the British media is biased to British drivers and teams. I have many British friends(yes even though I live in Texas) and feel that this is not the case. It isn’t the nationalistic, jingoistic, hail Britannia days of the Victorian Era any longer. Cut the Brits some slack.

        3. Then why bothering receiving our comments.

          1. What’s one got to do with the other?

        4. I think everyone pretty much knew who you were going to place as top driver. Not at all surprising, and actually quite humorous.

          1. Well said.

          2. Very well said, i should read every comment more often, its quite entertaining. :)

        5. i agree.
          Let’s not forget, that he chose schumacher to win this year’s title.
          Do you think the kaiser would be able to get it in 2011?

          1. Guys, do you like this site? Because if you don’t you are welcome to leave. Personally, I’d have put Hamilton 2nd, but regardless, he’s a fair contender for driver of the year. He was way better than Vettle who simply put the fastest car on pole and the flag. Put a car that was clear third on pace in contention all year.

        6. Keith, you are so biased. I mean come on, Hamilton!? How dare you put him as the number one driver in your opinion. You should have picked my favourite driver. And lets not forget the fact that you are British!
          Shame on you Keith.

          (winking face indicates I’m being sarcastic for those poor souls who can’t tell) :)

          But on a more serious note, when you cry bias, the only bias you are showing is your own.

          Keep the articles coming Keith, I need something to read over the holidays :)

        7. Really you think Hamilton deserves first place after so much mistakes.McLaren clearly enjoyed the advantage of having fully working F-duct unlike Alonso.He too made mistake. You left guys who took 5 victories? Too British :(

      3. Biased is an understatement! Hamilton shouldn’t even be in the top 5 this year. Once again he showed absolutely no composure at the tail end of the season.

        FYI, my number one would be Alonso. Taking the third fastest car (not surprising that the British media rarely acknowledges this) to within a whisker of the championship. His achievement is all the greater for it being his first year with the team. And his so called “early season mistakes” don’t compare to Hamiltons:

        He messed up in Monza, terrible qualifying and DNF.

        He messed up in Singapore, DNF.

        He messed up in Valencia, safety car, and should have been punished.

        He messed up in Silverstone, puncturing Vettel’s rear right, and should have been punished.

        He messed up in Korea, running wide and letting Alonso through.

        He messed up in Brazil, running wide and letting Alonso through (again!).

        He messed up in Belgium, was only luck that saved him from that wall!

        Entirely predictable that you’d put him No.1 but totally wrong.

        1. Taking the third fastest car (not surprising that the British media rarely acknowledges this)

          I don’t agree it was the third-fastest car as I explained earlier: 2010 in stats part three: car performance

          1. laird, i think your biased against Hamilton. Why? are you Spanish (my experience shows they hate Hamilton)

          2. Ah each to their own. I can respect it especially given you probably knew the reaction it was going to get. Thing is guys, it isn’t that black and white, its merely Keiths opinion.

            I personally would have chosen Kubica, but thats simply my opinion.

          3. Why? are you Spanish (my experience shows they hate Hamilton)

            Really? Congratulations on adding stupid fuel to the fire.

        2. About half of those examples were in any way fair. Singapore was a racing incident if not Webber’s fault in my opinion. Valencia is debatable. The Silverstone accusation is ridiculous. In Belgium he wasn’t the only one to make mistakes, but it was clearly more than luck that saved him- he controlled the car well enough to keep it out of the wall and had built up enough of a lead to come out still in 1st.

        3. i’m going to have to disagree
          but i’ll agree that the mistake in monza was avoidable.

          Singapore was just unlucky (look at webbers wheel at the end of the race ;)

          In valencia he was punished-drive through and yet still got a 2nd place i think.

          The incident at silverstone was so unbelievably small, it’s not possible the contact caused the puncture-it was a racing incident.

          Brazil and korea were minor mistakes

          and while everybody fell off at belgium, only he recovered to finish 1st after pulling a gap enough to keep him in front when he went off

          He made a few mistakes, as everybody else did, but minimised some of them with good driving and skill.

          Oh and by the way keith-great set of articles

          1. punished in Valencia? hahahaha

            They let him race for 20+ laps to make sure he got a 20+ seconds lead and then they “punish” him ;)

        4. Well, he did a better job at keeping it out of the wall at Spa than Alonso did.

          I agree with the other replies, I believe you’re being too biased against Hamilton. Needless to say Lewis did make mistakes, Monza being one of the more obvious ones.

        5. Alonso equally messed up many times as well using your criteria.

          He messed up in Spa, terrible qualifying and DNF.

          He messed up in Silverstone with a rallycross overtake of Kubica.

          He messed up in Brazil and Abu Dhabi when his car was second fastest by qualifying behind Lewis and taking himself out of contention to jump the Red Bulls at the start.

          He messed up in Canada, tripping up over Buemi (who was actually in 1st place) allowing Hamilton to pass. For good measure, he then tripped up over Karun to allow Jenson to nail him.

          Whenever his amazing overtaking skills wouldn’t suffice, he resorted to conducting traffic with his right hand (or fist).

          You talk of no penalty for Lewis at Valencia (where he received a drive through), whilst neglecting to mention no sporting penalty for flagrant team orders.

          He ran with a de facto number 2 driver for half the season whereas Lewis was up against a reigning WDC.

          Take off the blinders!

        6. The problem with the argument against LH on the basis of errors is that all his rivals made at least as many serious ones as he did.

          I just re-watched Melbourne and realized that Alonso was mostly culpable for his turn 1 collision with Button, he just crowded him out and paid the price. His unforced Spa crash was shocking, he dropped it in Monaco, jumped the start in China, got so overwrought about the news of Hamilton’s P2 in Valencia that he allowed himself to get passed by a Sauber, was the architect of his own downfall at Silverstone, and the radio transcripts showed he was a key part of the brain trust that got it so horribly wrong in Abu Dhabi.

          Vettel had high-profile mistakes at Spa, Turkey and Hungary, but had even more bad luck with mechanicals, was clearly the fastest package of the year and clearly deserved the WDC.

          Webber was shocking in Melbourne, not only did he hoof LH off from behind near the end, he also completely outbraked himself at turn 3 fighting with LH and took them both off, letting Massa through, he was not completely blameless for his collision in Turkey (not for blocking in the first place, which was fine, but for keeping Vettel pinned so hard to the white line even when he was 80% through…GP2 stuff), dropped it completely in Korea, simply hoofed LH off again in Singapore, and of course ran into Kovalainen in Valencia. Webber was actually very lucky to survive his collisions in Melbourne, Turkey and Singapore, and go on to score points on all 3 occasions.

          Of the drivers in the top 3 teams, only Button made fewer errors than LH or Vettel, but his final result is a perfect demonstration of where LH would have been if he had not been serially taking risks in trying to keep up with a vastly quicker car from RBR.

          In this regard, Hamilton and Alonso both have mitigating circumstances for the errors they did make, in the sense that they were chasing a blue thing that was 10mph (not kph!) quicker in corners like the new Abbey sweep. In that situation, you have to take risks all the time just to compete. LH had mechanical failures in Spain, Japan and Hungary and still finished ahead of Button on wins and points even though Button can only point to Monaco for a mechanical DNF.

          If you have to resort to pointing at Singapore as an example of a Hamilton error, or claiming that his running wide at Korea was a serious mistake (when his team mate wasn’t even running in the points and was also flying off the road – clearly the McLaren was simply outclassed that day), then you are vastly overstating your case. As for Valencia, where LH missed the SC cut-off by something like 2m from the aerial view, well. You might as well start criticizing his choice of girlfriend (and I do).

          Hamilton and Alonso are both candidates for #1 because they both outperformed their rides in many races. Vettel deserved the WDC but arguably should have made fewer errors given that he did have the fastest car by a mile. The clincher for me between Hamilton and Alonso is that (a) LH is clearly inside FA’s head, as we saw from, for example, FA’s radio transmissions in Melbourne, and his entitlement-based meltdown in Valencia, (b) on balance, Alonso’s errors were more egregious than Hamilton’s, as described above, (c) drives like Canada, Spa, Melbourne, Sepang and China from LH were at least as impressive to be as drives like Korea, Brazil and Monza from Alonso, both of them being serially brilliant in any case, and (d) one of Alonso’s wins was simply gifted to him by his team-mate.

          It’s a close call, both were incandescent at times, and both made errors, but for me, Keith’s analysis is spot on and Hamilton was the class act of the year. The fact that it’s a close call in the first place is the reason I watch F1.

          1. Very well said. I’m glad to have seen Alonso back at his best in the last part of the season and hope he continues driving like that (minus team orders though), but before that he just wasn’t as good.

          2. @Sean, and it’s well written and considered comments such as yours that help me get through the drivel that can be posted.

            Great analysis Keith, of all the drivers and I’d have to say spot on. Thanks for sharing with us!

            All the best in the new year…

          3. Yeah, my coment of the day Sean, very nice analysis.

          4. Seriously well put, Sean. I tip my hat to you sir:)

          5. Alonsos win at Korea was also given to him by vettels engine failure

          6. So when people point to mistakes made by Hamilton they are overstating their case which is what you are doing blaming Alonso for:

            1) Being squeezed in Aus by Button and Schumacher,

            2)Not being able to control a car that had been smashed into by Barrichello in lap 1 for a whole race in Spa

            3) Not knowing the strategies of Petrov and Rosberg whilst racing the Red-Bulls and McLarens and not knowing the tyres would ‘come back’ despite no evidence suggesting so.

            Also your reasons:
            a) Hamilton is in Alonso’s head, Korea and Brazil would show that maybe you got that the wrong way round.
            b) In China and Monaco, where Alonso made his two biggest errors he scored 12 pts in both. In Italy, Singapore Hamilton scored 0 pts in both. I.e. Hamilton’s mistakes were more costly
            c) Matter of opinion. But the big difference was at the start of the season McLaren were the only team with an F-duct. At the end of the season we saw Hamilton struggling against Hulkenburg and Kubica despite an engine advantage.

            I agree with d) Germany was embarrassing.

            Despite the above I do rate Hamilton very highly and hope to see many battles between him and Alonso for years to come. They could well be their generation’s Senna/Prost.

          7. great post!

          8. Yeah Brum55, your post rather nicely highlights why I liked Seans so much.

            Yours contains a happy disregard for the concept of opinion, a blatant agenda and a one sided slant on events resulting in the outcome that you set out to get before you even started writing your post.

            At least his appeared a neutral analysis, an it’s amazing how people can be accusing Keith’s incredibly neutral analysis of bias.

          9. Very nice analysis, it perfectly desribes why I was swayed by the arguments to vote for Hamilton in the end, after first inclining to vote for Alonso.

        7. jimscreechy (@)
          22nd December 2010, 21:11

          Laird- “Third fastest car?” Are you sure you have been watching the 2010 season and not recordings from some previous era? I really think you need to look at the stats objectively and put your driver/team based prejudice to one side.

          The Ferrari was fairly conclusively the second fastest car of the 2010 season in spite of what that twit Tim… whatever his name from Mclaren said. Personally I think he was just trying to save face by making rediculous post season claims that didn’t amount to a hill of beans and that anyone with a passing grade in Kindergarten math could see through. Perhaps you have been influnced by his shoddy mathematics and politician-like doubletalk.

        8. Laird, you make me laugh dude, calm down.
          Alonso and Hamilton both did well. You don’t have to give a powerpoint presentation.

        9. I’m pretty sure Hamilton didn’t even touch Vettel at Silverstone, i think he just went wide and got a puncture. You must really hate Hamilton laird, and why? he’s just another good racer in F1, theres not exactly any bad ones. Anyway, this is Keiths website and he can write what he wants, if you don’t like the website then don’t bother posting a comment. There always someone who has to be anti-something.

          1. MGP W01, i think your biased against Alonso. Why? are you English(my experience shows they hate Alonso)

        10. Well said Bro. I doubt Keith will reply you.

          1. I already have replied to him.

        11. No insulting, but when you said ‘bias is understatement’ you didn’t need to say “FYI…” cuz it’s too clear to maybe all.

          One curious thing though is why Alonso fans are always saying Ferrari the 3rd best car when they can say 4th best car behind even Renault when Alonso was stuck behind a rookie driver and could not overtake hime only because Renault was too good a car for so called- forever, world best driver Alonso? Really wondering…

      4. so you’d rather he made Alonso no.1 simply to get rid of any bias doubt?

      5. It’s a blog, not a newspaper. If you don’t like what he writes, you don’t have to read it, y’know.

      6. We Want Turbos
        22nd December 2010, 22:29

        Just to make the point, the “british media” tend to be overly critical of their sports stars, however as I mentioned yesterday, what about how Keith reported the liegate scandal. Alonso was in my opinion 3rd best with Kubica 2nd and Hamilton 1st his only REAL mistakes where Monza and Suzuka. Singapore was a racing incident, unlucky.

      7. In 2008 Hamilton took a title. Do you remember who topped the F1fanatic’s ranking then? The guy who finished in 4th and no, he wasn’t British at all :)
        As for today’s order – personally I think there was no strong leader this season, it was very close between front guys but Hamilton in 1st place is not controversial for me. Mature, consistent. Very few errors but unfortunately the costly ones.

        1. exactly what I was going to say

      8. What bias, Lewis had to fight for the points he got more than any other driver. His car wasn’t the fastest, his team clearly tried to hamper him and help Jenson, plus all the other crap that he has to put up with from certain ‘fans’ and the media…

        Without Lewis, this season wouldn’t have as exciting as it has, and that goes for the last three seasons too.

        Fully deserves his No1 ranking, nice one Keith. I think Webber should have been higher up. I would have ranked him ahead of Vettel.

    2. How can you think about Pole position without thinking about Kubica?


      1. How CAN you think of Kubica for pole? Good driver, not got the car, He didnt even get the best out of that car. Period.

        This for alot of people is bias, everyone has they’re own opinion. I for one agree with Keith. Im British. Go on use the bias card, see if I care. If another driver HAD been better, i’d say. Vettel deserved the championship… Still Biased? I have my reasons for thinking that. But not always does the best driver win the championship.

        Give up crying to mama and suck it up.
        Watch the season back, again, and see who impresses you. Its hard to keep a complete opinion on the races when they are so spread out.

        1. You missed the joke.

          Kubica is Polish. So no matter where he is placed he is in Pole position. Get it?

          1. Ah i see what your getting at – Its hard to potray a joke through meansd of social networks! Sorry!
            And the rest wasnt directed at you…. To the rest

  2. Controversial!

    Personally I actually agree with you, although I think I would have swapped Seb and Fernando.

    The records say Fernando won 5 races… but in fairness he was gifted one by his team-mate (Germany) and two by Vettel’s misfortune (Bahrain and Korea).

    I admire his determination, stating in Britain that he’d win the WDC (so very nearly…).

    Although Hamilton went off the boil following Belgium, his start to the season was far better than his results show. He was immense in Australia and should have been at least second.

    A good ranking and all in all… give or take a few, I agree with you. Afterall, this is a personal ranking and you will never make a full ranking to suit everyone. Leaving out personal preference I think you’ve made a cracking effort!

    Cheers Keith.

    1. You’re welcome Ben, thanks!

      1. I knew this “it’s a British site” would come back if you put Hamilton number one.

        For me, it could have been any of these three in any order. Mistakes wise though I think Hamilton made the least.

        Next year I think he will be champion.

        Great list as always Keith.

        1. Yep. As soon as I read Hamilton as number one I knew there was going to be trouble! :P But I admire you for writing what you think Keith, knowing all the trolls would snap you up for doing so. But I agree, Hamilton was probably the best driver of 2010 along with Alonso. Such a tough call between the two, although I’d probably have Kubica in at number 3. But you can’t argue with Vettel’s championship! If that didn’t win him 3rd place, nothing will!

          Even with a world championship under his belt, Vettel has not yet shaken off the impression that although he can win from the front with aplomb, racing for position is not his thing.

          Very well put, Keith! If F1 were like rally, he’d be untouchable. But it’s not. That’s why I don’t think he really deserved his championship this year. As much as I wanted a Red Bull to win (preferably Webber), they both made too many mistakes in what was by far the best car of 2010 to be champion. Webber learnt this the hard way, whilst all of Vettel’s ridiculous errors have gone unpunished. Actually he has been rewarded… From this, he will not learn. I can’t see how this will help a young driver in desperate need of a does of maturity, to actually mature. I expect to see the same, impetuous driver we saw this year, in 2011 again. Drivers like Hamilton and Alonso score consistently and their mistakes are forgiveable, but Vettel’s aren’t. Both of them have had tough seasons in the past to make them the drivers they are whilst Vettel hasn’t had a thing go wrong for him in his short career in F1. Surely that can’t be good for his development? It might take more than a single tough season to build Vettel into a multiple world champion, unfortunately.

    2. Yes Ben. Lewis Hamilton whould has parked his car if the front running car blew up.

      1. Yes Ben. Lewis Hamilton would have parked his car if the front running car blew up.

      2. I don’t believe I mentioned Hamilton at that point… although I see what you’re saying.

        My point was that Alonso’s record of 5 wins is, in purely my opinion, more flattering than reality. Not to say anything against Alonso, who drove very well this year.

        1. Thanks Ben.My point is atleast Alonso was in a position to take the top spot whenever the Red Bulls gave way. IMHO it should be Vettel or Alonso. I am no Alonso fan, and i like Lewis too for his peerless overtaking skills. :)

  3. While this is a good list, your bias towards Hamilton really shows here, no matter how good he was, he was definitely NOT better than Alonso or Seb.

    1. he was definitely NOT better than Alonso or Seb.

      I’ve explained why I think he was, why don’t you explain why you think he wasn’t?

      1. I have to shout subjectivism. You are clearly bias towards a British driver. Hamilton was not even close the best driver this year. Kubica and Nico were a lot better, as well as Fernando and Seb.
        You cannot name a driver that made so many mistakes this year the best driver in F1. You try to blame most of them on bad luck but that’s not true. Ham is not at all a calculated driver and that’s why he gets in so much trouble. And the safety car passing in Valencia was a rookie mistake.
        Outside of Great Britain, nobody thinks that Ham was the best driver this year and that is why I have to say that you are subjective.

        1. I don’t think Keith is biased – Hamilton completely deserves to be in 1st place. It could’ve been Alonso or Vettel, but they’ve both been great. And Hamilton made less mistakes than most people think.

          BTW Keith, looks like we agree very much – my top 7 rankings on the forum only differ from yours with Kubica and Rosberg: https://www.racefans.net/forum/topic.php?id=836&page=3#post-14031

          1. But they’ve ALL been great*

          2. yes, mistakes:
            HAM- Singapore, Monza, Korean restart
            ALO- Monaco practise-qualy, Spa, China, Britain (cutting corner)
            VET- Turkey, Spa

            so VET actually only had 2 obvious clumsy moments.

          3. @sato113:

            Don’t forget Hamilton’s practice crashes at Hockenheim and Suzuka – also parts of a clumsy second part of the season for him.

            Also, you can probably add Melbourne as a mistake for Alonso – I think the turn 1 crash was his fault.

          4. @ed24f1 It was the fault of the stupid mirrors in the place the drivers could barely see them.

            @sato113 Singapore wasn’t really Hamilton’s mistake – and you can’t compare Alonso’s jumped start and Hamilton’s Korean restart with Vettel’s crash in Turkey – it was way more costly. You can’t compare a mistake that cost someone a place or two with a mistake that cost someone a victory. So Vettel may have made less mistakes than, say, Alonso, but it cost him way more.

          5. @enigma well actually, if alonso hadn’t jump started at China he could have won.
            if he hadn’t crashed in monaco practice, he could have got p1 and won.
            HAM could have won Korea if he hadn’t gone wide at restart.
            so they were all very costly mistakes.

        2. Which Nico? There were two of them…

        3. I wish people would stop saying Brits are biased because of their nationality. We’re no more biased because of this than any other person of any other nationality. (I’m going out on a limb here; but I bet you’re either Spanish or Italian….oh, the bias you display)

          Kubica had a good car and a bad teammate; ergo, he looked good. He didn’t look so good, however, when he was beaten by Quick Nick in two of the three seasons they were teammates. Would one of the very best drivers in Formula One have suffered this fate. I don’t think so.

          Nico (Rosberg) is good: certainly not great. Beating Michael Schumacher is not much of an achievement, any more, as I predicted at the start of the year. Schumi’s too old; he’s lost his speed. Many people, pundits even (perhaps for vanity) say that drivers don’t lose their speed; they lose the need for speed. If that’s the case, why don’t we wheel out Sir Stirling Moss or JYS? Formula One is a protean sport: it’s constantly changing. Drivers improve; a new generation always comes to replace the slower, older one. Schumi belongs to a past generation. He’s old enough to be Rosberg’s dad…

          ‘You cannot name a driver [Hamilton] that made so many mistakes this year the best driver in F1.’ And yet you suggest Alonso or Vettel who made many more mistakes than Hamilton.

          You don’t like subjective points. Ok. Try this. Lewis Hamilton beat the reigning-double world champion, Alonso, in his first ever season. Name one other driver, in Formula One history, who has achieved this. Lewis was leading the championship from his fourth race until the second to last race.

          It’s an objective fact that Lewis beat Alonso in his first year, as described. There’s an excellent objective fact for you to point at Lewis’s being better.

          1. No it’s very subjective. If you look at the results they tied on points.


            Saying he beat Alonso is a subjective viewpoint as the objective viewpoint shows they tied.

          2. Ham beat Alonso in his first season because he had THE HOLE TEAM supporting him, contrary to Alonso. It’s hard to fight against everyone, don’t you agree?
            I’m not saying Hamilton isn’t a great driver but he wasn’t the best this year.
            I believe Kubica was the best because he had an inferior car although some suggest that was not the case but it was. He made very few mistakes and at Monaco where the driver is more important than the car he had a brilliant drive.
            Just watch his driving technique. He is very fluid with very few corrections of the steering wheel. He is always in control and he is a very calm driver.
            And no, an not Italian nor Spanish nor German, but I still believe Seb and Fernando were better than Hamilton this year.

          3. I’d give Alonso number 2 because he learned to adapt this year. He (and probably Button) was by far the kindest to his tyres while also being very competitive. Plus at Sepang he drove the whole race without second gear.
            He is a great driver and the fact that he managed to overcome the points deficit to the Red Bulls and take the fight to the last race is a testament to his ability.

          4. Well, they were tied on points. But Alonso demonstrated in Valencia that he felt beaten by Hamilton and had let him get into his head, effecting a race two years later!

          5. Oh, stop this “HOLE TEAM” supporting Hamilton nonsense.

            They didn’t, and if there was any reason for you thinking so, then it was Alonso’s trademark childish, petulant behaviour at the Hungaroring that cost him support.

            No it’s very subjective. If you look at the results they tied on points.

            You don’t even know how F1 points work. If two drivers are tied on points, then countback is used to determine who is ahead of who. Using this, Hamilton was 2007 runner-up with Alonso 3rd. Therefore according to official F1 regulations, Hamilton DID beat Fernando Alonso in his rookie season.

        4. I think part of the reason Vettel is behind Hamilton is that when he did make an error it often ended up being costly for others- i.e. Button and Webber. Admittedly a couple of Hamilton’s moves could have gone the same way. But they didn’t. That meant Vettel became the target of several people’s frustrations, and that helps to make his mistakes more severe.

          People who use Hamilton’s error in Spa seem to forget the fact that he built up an impressive enough lead that he could afford such a mistake (in conditions where he was far from the only person making them).

          Unfortunately Hamilton’s fade in performance came towards the end (whereas Alonsos was at the start), when the other contenders were at their best, and that has made people forget his brilliance in the early and mid season

        5. Of course it’s subjective. So are all of our comments. Keith is ranking drivers based on who HE thinks did the best job. If any of us make that list it’s subjective too. Most of the blame for mistakes/crashes are subjective too, so there is no way to correctly put weight on one incident compared to another. The bottom line is that Seb is the World Champion and these lists are just opinion and to provide interesting reading during the off-season. I personally don’t agree with every driver position in this article, but I think the article and the facts were great to read and I think everyone should maybe kinda get off Keith’s back!

        6. Hey Amo, I’m in Texas. Yes Texas, and I think Hamilton was the best driver this year.
          Sorry dude.

        7. Im not british, Im from Latin America. And I think Hamilton is the best.
          Now your comment is void.

        8. Why can’t people just admit that everyone in F1 is a good driver. How would they get there in the first place. If your complaining about Alonso making mistakes your biased against him, if your complaining against Hamilton your biased against him. Everyone is saying everyone is biased against someone.

          Lets just face, they all made mistakes but they are all great drivers. Keith, you couldn’t exactly said that in pole/1st is Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel could you?

          It’s his opinion and just let him have it. All you people who complain about him can just leave the website.

          Just because its funny watching everyone argue, (joke) i completely disagree with everyone and i think that Sakon Yammamoto was the best driver!!!! he was better than everyone.

      2. I agree it must have been a close call ranking these 3.. but there is no way Lewis belongs at #1.

        So since you wanted reasons, instead of us just calling it bias.. here goes..

        “At times he tried to grab a bit too much. There were minor errors in Korea and Interlagos that were plainly born of over-driving.”

        They weren’t due to overdriving.. he went wide cause he couldn’t soak up the pressure from Fernando. He only went wide on those 2 corners when Alonso was close on his tail.. he never repeated those errors for the rest of the race. If it was overdriving, he would have gone off on those corners later on in the race when his tyres were in worse condition.

        “Lewis Hamilton gets the nod this year because whatever state the track or his car was in, he was unrelenting in his pursuit of success and was always the driver who wrung the maximum – and sometimes a bit more – out of his car.”

        That is rubbish. I cant name one track where the Mclaren was the 2nd fastest car on the grid, and Lewis won. You might argue Turkey.. but we all know that was a gift. As compared to him, Alonso actually managed to put the Ferrari on pole and win in Singapore. This is something Lewis hasn’t accomplished this season.

        While Lewis made an error less than Fernando and Sebastian. There are a couple of errors that went unnoticed.. such as his inability to set the car up correctly for Monza (a circuit where Mclaren was the quickest, as proved by Jenson’s only front row quali). He also was rewarded for his error in Valencia. Just as Alonso’s FP3 shunt in Monaco was looked as like a mistake, similarly, Lewis crash in FP at Suzuka should be considered as a mistake as well.

        Its hard to chose the #1 driver for the season, but by no means was it Lewis.

        1. As compared to him, Alonso actually managed to put the Ferrari on pole and win in Singapore. This is something Lewis hasn’t accomplished this season.

          How about Canada?

          1. Mclaren was the fastest car in Canada. No doubt about that, you might argue that RBs were, but they screwed up their quali and race by going on hard tyres in Q3.

          2. Quite tricky to decide: RB should have been quickest in quali – but went awry on tyre strategy. You could also argue Alonso only lost out in the race due to mistakes in passing slower cars.

            In Singapore, RB would have been fastest, but Vettel clipped the wall in quali, and then trundled around and settled for 2nd in the race.

          3. McLaren bought poleposition there ;)

        2. Well it wasn’t Alonso. Any driver needing to phone in for help passing a team mate is *never* worthy of driver of the season. Can you seriously imagine Senna complaining on the radio because he lacked the skill to drive past Massa in the same car? Or Hamilton for that matter. Too much pride. Alonso also bottled the last race, kind of crucial. (You could say Ferrari helped lose it, but isn’t he supposed to completely run the garage, even down to the soft drink vending machine, from his cockpit, just one of his amazing plus points?)

          Vettel would get my vote, only he never proved he could pass a competitive car on track. Yet he finished in style under pressure, unlike Webber, so he gets my number two.

          Hamilton number one sounds reasonable in a season where no driver was anywhere near flawless. Ask non-national fans who the best drivers were (in Brazil for example), and you’d get two names: Hamilton and Kobayashi – the two who regularly provide a show when others are content to drive home safely. Also Hamilton and Button managed to compete without descending into on track mayhem or internal lobbying to gain advantage. Both came out of the season well for that reason alone.

        3. Spot on. I wrote something like this later on but this was better.
          There was no question about the mid year review Lewis was #1 but his performances after Spa were flat. If he were to out-drive his car, than he would have finished over a race win ahead of Button who was driving a car that wasn’t set-up to his liking all year in a new team.
          Of his 3 wins Button was 2nd twice and in Spa he was taken out of 2nd despite having the wrong set-up.
          In China Alonso was last due to jump starting but still finished ahead of both Red-Bulls. In Monza he was 8ths faster than Massa on their first runs in Q3 and generally had the biggest margin to his team-mate of the top 3 teams. In Singapore achieved a Grand Schlem despite only driving the 2nd fastest car. That was the clearest example of out driving your machinary for a whole weekend for a very long time.

        4. They weren’t due to overdriving.. he went wide cause he couldn’t soak up the pressure from Fernando. He only went wide on those 2 corners when Alonso was close on his tail.. he never repeated those errors for the rest of the race. If it was overdriving, he would have gone off on those corners later on in the race when his tyres were in worse condition.

          He went wide cause Lewis’s tyres were graining badly and after alonso passed him he slowed down and was like half a minute down on alonso?

          That is rubbish. I cant name one track where the Mclaren was the 2nd fastest car on the grid, and Lewis won.

          Canada? Well you might argue that mclaren were the fastest, so wasnt RBR the fastest overall in the season too ? vettel shouldnt get the #1 either. also remm alonso passed him while getting out of the pits and lewis got his position back. So it wasnt exactly a gifted victory.

          such as his inability to set the car up correctly for Monza

          Actually, it was as the speedtrap showed he was the fastest. He was in the turbulent air of Webber i think ( dont remember) which didnt let him get a pole, and a needless mistake which forced him to crash out which meant we never found out whether it was his inability or not.

          He also was rewarded for his error in Valencia.

          HE was given a drive through penalty. someone who was awarded was alonso who actually bought first place from massa for 100000$.

          Yes it is debatable and looks very biased as both the driver and the website is british. but again it was Lewis who passed both vettel and Sutil ( i think ) in China, passed alonso in canada, re-passed button when was passed by in Turkey. m taking all these names because they were title contenders.
          Yes, he has his share of mistakes, but there’s no denying he gave a solid performance throughout the season. He always has been a point of discussion in every race. Hence he qualifies to be #1. and not because he is british.

        5. @Todfod.You should thank Keith he did put Jenson Button on second spot.

          1. @Todfod.You should thank Keith he did put Jenson Button on second spot.

            @Todfod.You should thank Keith he did not put Jenson Button on second spot. Typo i guess.

      3. Soumya Banerjee
        22nd December 2010, 12:12

        I will..the way he got passed by Alonso on-track in the 2 out of the last 3 races says it all. Also with a massive car advantage,couldnt pass Hulkenberg in Brazil and Kubica in Abu Dhabi,despite having a tyre advantage as well. He is good,but not good when it counts…also those insipid qualifying performances in Australia,China and Italy.

      4. Well I was going to explain but other ppl seem to have explained it very clearly already. Not going to bother saying the same things all over again ;)

    2. keith isn’t bias. It’s you who are bias. You’re a fan of Alonso! So, you are bias mate.

      1. Uhh, I never said I was a fan of Alonso… In fact I dislike Alonso with all my heart but he still was a better driver than Hamilton this year. Oh and just to make it clear I’m a Massa fan.

    3. +1

      I don’t know about any “Hamilton Bias” but, my god, Hamilton was definitely not the best driver this year.

      1. So who do you think was?

        1. Come on now, he was out on lap 1 at Monza, crashed again in Singapore. Ran wide in Brazil, etc.

          Seriously, it was Alonso 1st, Hamilton 2nd, Vettel 3rd.

          1. Going out on the first lap at Monza was no worse than Vettel crashing into Button or Nando’s mistakes.

          2. geemac come again? Chucking a wheel out was a stupid mistake but a mistake that cost him non the less.

            Vettel crashing into Button was stupid, it was wet, he swerved, couldn’t control the car and drove into Button. Completely different.

            BTW I am worried that you think Hamilton should be 1 while Button down in 7. Hamilton wasn’t really in with a title chance after Brazil, name only, Button ditto but one race earlier (you could argue due to the parts not working in korea).

            1 to 7 is a massive gap and Button in a new team that was centered around Hamilton drivinga car that was originally designed for Hamilton (atleast in the first stages) ended up rather close. I wouldn’t say thats a 1 vs 7 gap there.

          3. unoc VET hitting BUT, it wasn’t wet. BUT said in the interview afterwards. VET turned to sharply in the braking zone.

          4. unoc…despite being a fan of Lewis, I think Alonso was the most impressive driver this season. I was just commenting on the fact that you raised the Monza mistake as a reason for Hamilton not to be number 1. I’m raising equally valid reasons for both Vettel (Spa, Silverstone) and Alonso (Monaco, Spa) not to be rated number 1.

            I do actually feel that Button should have been rated higher, definitly higher than Webber and perhaps higher than Rosberg, because he came out and won two races and was in with a (mathematical) shout of the WDC until the second last race of the season when no one gave him any chance of winning a race this season.

          5. Saying Alonso was the best makes far less sense than saying Hamilton was. He had preference within his team, had a faster car and was gifted 3 wins.

          6. Alonso did a JUMP START!! for the love of god not even sakon yamamoto does that!!!

        2. I think it is Vettel or Alonso. But not Hamilton Definitely.

        3. @Adam Tate Yes Adam, Lewis Hamilton would have parked his car if the front running car blew up.

      2. @ Stephen: So who do you think best driver? Your idol? name it mate. :)

      3. You, like so many others, are only looking at the table. A driver who finishes tenth in the championship could well be the best: it all depends on how good his car was.

        1. Maybe. Any fair evaluation has to take into account the pressure of competing for podiums, wins and the championship itself though, which is why I think it’s right that the nominations for best driver are ‘skewed’ towards those in the top teams. Admittedly they’re also the most visible but the pressures are much greater too over the course of a season (individual drivers lower down the grid might be under serious pressure for a few races to hold down their team places, for example).

    4. If you care to look through any of the previous articles throughout the year you will find that, like many of the sensible posters, Keith is very impartial to all the drivers. Everyone has an opinion on certain drivers, and nobody’s list will be exactly the same.

    5. no matter how good he was, he was definitely NOT better than Alonso or Seb

      So it wouldn’t matter if Hamilton drove perfectly, it would be impossible for Hamilton to be better than Vettel or Alonso?

      That’s getting a bit metaphysical for me…

      1. While Lewis did have a good season, he definatly wasn’t the driver of the year.

        I can’t help but think there is a little bit of British bias here.

        I’ve explained why I think he was, why don’t you explain why you think he wasn’t?

        Because he made to many mistakes that cost him the championship. For example his first lap incident at Monza or his to ambitious overtaking attempt at Singapore.

        1. his to ambitious overtaking attempt at Singapore.

          I’m always reluctant to penalise drivers for trying to overtake because, after all, that’s what we want them to do.

          For Hamilton, Monza was clearly an over-ambitious move.

          But Singapore was completely different. If it hadn’t happened the race after Monza I think people would be more inclined to see it the way it was – a racing incident where neither was really at fault.

        2. I still think the majority of the blame for the Singapore incident lies with Webber. He had the inside but had failed to get alongside Hamilton, so it was more down to him to avoid the collision. Hamilton placed himself on the outside identically to Kubica on Sutil but got taken out. It was a risky move but only because Webber didn’t seem to have the sense to yield.

        3. well.. The overtaking move in singapore was not entirely his fault is it? He took chances and so did mark. And it was mark who was lucky that time and came out unharmed?

          As for monza, yup, that’s his mistake.. But come on, who doesn’t make mistake the whole season? :)

        4. @Macca
          Can you stop with this nonsense regarding Hamilton’s exit it Singapore. Hamilton had passed Webber, not totally admittedly, and Webber crashed into him attempting a wild repass. How anyone can state otherwise when there are slo-mo replays from various angles is beyond me. Cars on the racing have never been obliged to “leave room”.

          1. Hamilton had passed Webber, not totally admittedly

            I’m sorry, I didn’t relize that drivers only had to get halfway pass and there opponent then has to give them the position.

    6. On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hamilton, for once, given the credit that he deserves.

      Vettel only just won the title with by far the fastest and best car on the grid. He had a Schumi-car; he should have won it schumi-style (2002; 2004).

      Alonso had the second best car and would have won the title had he not made half a dozen costly and stupid errors (a jump start, crashing when there was no point pushing so much, etc) in the first half of the season.

      Lewis is no: one because he alsmost won the title, and took it to the final race, with the third-fastest car. The McLaren was consistently around half a second per lap slower than the Red Bull all year; at Hungary, it was whole seconds slower. Lewis had unreliability and poor strategy from the team. He only made one mistake all year: he couldn’t have made any more with that car and still take the title down to the wire; Alonso and Vettel could afford to be far more scrappy and still finish ahead.

      I’m pleased with this ranking. There’s been too great a tendency, I feel, in past rankings, to vote for car and not driver. Kubica and Vettel are often praised to the rafters. But they have both had their machinery underestimated and their team-mates overestimated (some of whom may have beaten them more often than not; but we forget that….) Hamilton beat the reigning double world champion in Hamilton’s first year. Hamilton is the best. He’s also the most exciting; one of the few drivers who really tries to overtake.

      (I watched the 2007 season review yesterday. Lewis overtook Kubica and Alonso into turn one and kept Alonso behind for a whole stint; the only reason Alonso beat him in his first race was because McLaren decided to give him more fuel: I wonder why they did that; for the same reason I wonder why Lewis was brough in 5-7 laps early at Monaco…when Alonso won…From the third race on, way before the drivers’ relationship failed, Hamilton was clearly ahead. Hamilton led the championship from round four, way before the drivers’ relationship failed, and held the lead until the final race, round seventeen; and we all know that if that rather strange failure hadn’t happened (I wonder if Max could enlighten us)and that inexplicable strategy at China, Lewis would have won. Lewis is the King of Formula One.)

      1. To be fair Vettel would have ran away with it if not for a few car failures (even ignoring all his cock ups).

      2. HAHAHAA

        Alistair, you are hilarious. Clearly the number one fan boy of this site.

        Hamilton didn’t win the title in 07 because he was a rookie and wasn’t good enough. He made rookie mistakes.

        Just like he did this season.

        So keep watching your F1 review dvds and deluding yourself. Because that way you’ll soon forget that Hamilton may have won the title without “stupid errors”.

        1. Give me some examples of those ‘rookie mistakes’ or accept that you’re wrong.

          The only ‘errors’ I rember him making were sliding out at China when his tyres were completely gone, almost bald. I don’t count this as an error on Hamilton’s part: I think any other driver would have slid-off in those circumstances; and they wouldn’t have been able to defend against Kimi so well. The error was McLaren’s in keeping him out so long. Then we come to Brazil. One of the Ferraris brake-tested him into the Senna S; Alonso did the same into Descida do Lago: it’s not surprising he took avoiding action and went off. The real error was the gearbox gremlin, which was certainly not Lewis’s error. I’ve never seen that happen before in over two decades of whatching this ‘sport’…It’s almost as if someone didn’t want him to win.

          You can mock me all you like; but here are the facts which no can dispute. The Formula One record book will always show that Lewis beat Alonso in 2007: he finished ahead of him. They will also show that Lewis led the championship from his fourth ever race, long before Alonso threw his toys out of the pram…Alonso simply wasn’t good enough.

          1. Alistair. We are talking about their performances in the 2010 season, and not 2007. You dont see Alonso fans mentioning the 2006 season to show that he is the absolute best. As spectacular as Hamilton is, there is no way he was the best driver of the 2010 season.

          2. Todford, says you, I might say differantly. It’s silly to say that Hamilton couldn’t have been the best driver of the season because this is a subjective discussion. Personally I was initially inclined to go with Alonso, but Keith, an a few other reasoned opinions changed my mind. AN nothing changed BECAUSE THIS IS ALL OPINIONS.


            Dammit internet!

        2. So keep watching your F1 review dvds and deluding yourself. Because that way you’ll soon forget that Hamilton may have won the title without “stupid errors”.

          Doesn’t really work like that though does it?

          Vettel could have won more convincingly without errors. Alonso could have won without errors. Hamilton could have won without errors. Webber could have won without errors. A pattern emerging here.

          You say it like he was the only one who made these ‘stupid errors’. If you’re removing Hamilton’s errors to give him extra points which would mean he wins, then really you have to remove the errors of the others or you’re just picking and choosing to create the outcome you desire.
          You can’t use hypothetical scenarios to argue who was the best driver this season.

          In my opinion the best driver could have been anyone one of the top three, just a case of swings and roundabouts. There is no concrete answer to this question, so stop trying to create one.

          It’s a guess, and no more than that, that you consider F1 to be boring and tedious at times, with a lack of overtaking, as do most people. However, you want Hamilton to stop making the mistakes he does when he is pushing hard. Giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

          1. Minus bad use of the block quote :-)

    7. We are all biased. We are all influenced by our preferrences, patriotic feelings, dislikes and emotions. When I talk about Webber, for instance, my total dislike for the men certainly influences my opinion of the driver. I can even Massa among the top current F1 drivers at times – I am Brazilian, I can’t help it. In the years I have followed F1 through the eyes of the British media, my only problem with my British friends is that although they are as biased as anybody else, they like to affect a hollier than thou attitude and pretend theirs are totally rational and balanced views. Although most will agree that the top 3 drivers are those chosen by Keith, objectively differenciating between them is virtually impossible (different cars, all made mistakes, all where lucky and unlucky at times and all had outstanding performances now and then). In a circunstance like this, and having to come up with an order, one cannot criticize Keith too much for being swayed a little by his allegiance to King & Country.

      1. I appreciate the spirit of your comment but “swayed a little by his allegiance to King & Country”? No, my allegiance is to myself!

        1. Oh.I doubt it.

          1. So do i…

    8. I happen to agree with Antranik. Not that I’m upset about it, it is completely normal to be biased towards your fellow countrymen, the problem is to try to say your not biased when you are.
      It is not possible to think that Hamilton was the best driver of 2010 with the mistakes he did this year, Alonso, Webber and Vettel are above him in my ratings.
      This is Keith’s blog so he can say that Sutil was the best driver of 2010 and the only thing we can do is to express our disagreement, and reasons why we think he is not right.
      One reason is bias, is the first thing that come to mind when you read that Hamilton was the top driver in this season, the same season when you saw him asking if Button would be allowed to pass him as if he were afraid of his teammate, let’s not forget he showed us again this year that he has a tendency to degrade the tires a lot quicker than a lot of his oponents, and the most important reason, he even wasn’t on this year WDC podium.
      The big problem with Lewis is that we never going to know if he is as good as his car portrays him. Like a lot of Schumi haters say, and unfortunately for those haters (80% Lewis’s fans), the phrase defines Lewis F1 career so far: “Is easy to win in the fastest car on the grid”.

      1. Firstly, how can you determine Keith is biased? If Keith was Spanish and put Alonso as number 1 would you say he’s biased or because you agree with the decision made he’s not biased?

        It’s possible to prefer one driver over another and still be objective about the situation. One way of doing this is by giving reasons as to why a driver should or should not be the best driver of the year. To ensure objectivity you can justify your reasons. Keith has done all of this and has to do so on a regular basis for this blog therefore improving his ability to analyse stats and situations.

        As mentioned you can disagree with Keith’s opinion but saying his opinion is wrong because he is biased is not justified, unproven and if I were him I’d be insulted that the efforts made to express an opinion are being countered with ‘you’re wrong becasue your biased!’

        I could agrue that everyone that says Keith is biased towards Hamilton because he’s English are biased against Hamilton becuase they are not English. The opinion would be based on nothing more than speculation but a lot of people seem to be doing that these days.

        It is not possible to think that Hamilton was the best driver of 2010 with the mistakes he did this year, Alonso, Webber and Vettel are above him in my ratings.

        That sentence makes a good example. What mistakes make did Lewis make that make it impossible to think of him as the driver of the year? How are these different to the mistakes Fernando, Mark and Sebastian made?

        This isn’t aimed directly at you Macca but this just so happens to be point down the page where I got fed up of all the talk of bias. Rant over.

  4. kubica should be in the top 3.. 2nd or top perhaps.

    1. Maybe, but he has to prove it and I hope he will get chance to do it. This year drivers who had chance to prove themselves were Alonso and Hamilton and they confirmed being absolutely on top.

    2. Agreed, both Kubica and Rosberg outperformed their machinery this year and made fewer mistakes than the top three.

      1. Eh, they wern’t under the same preassure. An both threw away possible wins, so meh, not the same.

  5. Really ridiculous decision… but i know this is an english fan website.

    Hamilton best driver in 2010?

    You don’t remember Monza or Singapur?

    You don’t remember Hamiltons luck @ spa when he nearly crashed at the end of the race?

    There are two drivers who deserve to be on 1st place.

    Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg.

    Robert drove brilliantly without big mistakes, only in Abu Dhabi he didn’t reach Q3.

    About Rosberg I don’t need to say something. He won against M. Schumacher and Nico was just fabulous at so many races!

    Oh dear, come down to earth your Hamilton freaks. He isn’t so special as you might believe..

    1. i know this is an english fan website.

      No it’s not. This is a site for F1 fans.

      See here for a breakdown of where F1 Fanatic readers are from: https://www.racefans.net/forum/topic.php?id=437 (Two-thirds non-British, by the way).

      You don’t remember Monza or Singapur?

      You don’t remember Hamiltons luck @ spa when he nearly crashed at the end of the race?

      They’re all mentioned above.

      1. 2/3 non british may be true.
        but most comments on this site comes from
        british people. since its their mother tongue.
        im pretty sure that the majority(of those 2/3) of this site just read the article but dont participate.

        so there is defintely a bias. we wouldnt notice the bias if we were british :)

        1. I write what I think and if people agree or disagree that’s their choice.

          I don’t write things to appeal to a particular audience, wherever they’re from or whichever driver or team they support.

          So in that spirit why not tell me who you thought was the best driver this year, instead of just complaining that some people don’t agree with you?

          1. i would switch hamilton with alonso.
            he really pushed the car limitations.

          2. @Keith:
            Most discussed post yet? :D

          3. Oh no, miles off! I think one of the post-Belgium 2008 ones had over 600 comments. But that was back in the days when there were fewer articles on the site.

        2. But I am not British at all, and I do not see any bias (except from some posters, who are complaining of bias).
          This is a pretty weak argument as it is not really based on anything but you not agreeing with Keith’s rating.

          Look at the posters making most comments and retink what you are saying.:

          These users have posted the most comments in the last 30 days:
          * BasCB (240)
          * Prisoner Monkeys (213)
          * US_Peter (202)
          * Fixy (127)
          * wasiF1 (115)
          * Mike (106)
          * bosyber (98)
          * Ned Flanders (94)
          * Calum (85)
          * Todfod (84)
          * Icthyes (81)
          * sato113 (77)
          * David A (76)
          * VXR (71)
          * dyslexicbunny (58)
          * Hamish (55)
          * Steph (49)
          * Maciek (49)
          * Jarred Walmsley (48)
          * damonsmedley (47)

          I am pretty certain that the first 3 of them are not British, and a lot of the others are not British.
          Sure, there are a lot more people visiting and commenting, but to assume most comments are from “British” posters is pretty rich.

          1. Gees, I post that much?

            For the record, I live no where near England.

          2. ok this is silly.

            you just picked a bunch and assume like me that they are british or not. its better
            just to drop vague arguments using random numbers.

            but the british bias on this site
            is undeniable. since its f1fanatic.co.UK :)
            its ok for me.

            so many times ive followed the live blogs. which i love. i dont want to pick any specific quotes from there. but if you follow them you will notice the bias :)

          3. racingtier – you’re reading far too much into a domain suffix. It has no bearing on what’s written on the site or who can visit it.

          4. Keith, it would be very interesting if you were to put a poll asking which country we are from. Given that you now have to be registered to vote, I believe you’d be able to get a good image of where your regular readers generally come from. I believe we are a few from France, that there are quite a lot of people from Poland, Italy, Spain…
            I’m sure people actually taking the time to say how english-biased this web site is actually outnumber the English readers who take the time to write!

          5. Haha, I believe I am the highest placed contributor on there English. I may be mistaknen, bit I believe the people above me are Dutch, Bangladeshi, Australian, Italian and American.

            So please shut the *swearword* up with all these bias accusations

          6. Tango – that information is already available via the data posted on the forum (above). And asking people where they’re from is not necessarily the most accurate way of finding that out.

          7. Well geez Bas. Thanks for telling me why I haven’t made any progress on my doctoral work… Jerkface… :-D


            I used to top this list, why do I care?

    2. schumi should be in top 10. :(

      1. LOL. Thats a good one. Wait you were joking right?

    3. Ham deserve to be # 1.. He’s a real racer!! :)

      1. …you mean a real Brit.

        What’s wrong with you guys over there in GB? I understand a bit of bias against your own, but this is just too much.

        1. I don’t know whether you’re saying people are “biased” against or in favour of British drivers. And to be honest I’m not interested.

          Instead of complaining about what others think, why not tell us you you think should be top?

          1. 1. Alonso
            2. Hamilton
            3. not Vettel

            Alonso was 47 points behind at Silverstone and entered the last race in the lead.

            If that doesn’t make him the driver of the year I don’t know what does.

          2. I don’t think you’re biased at all , Keith, drivers like Hamilton, or for that matter Button, always have a couple of arguments up their sleeve for anyone to call them the ‘best drivers.’ It’s totally natural. I’d have called you biased if you called Anthony Davidson or DC after Ham 1st and But 2nd, but you didn’t. Nonetheless, for a few reasons I’d say that Hamilton doesn’t belong at No. 1.

            I think you rankings were a bit inclined to follow “the table” i.e. your best drivers were the ones in the best cars. Well, in my opinion, Hamilton, Alonso, and Vettel all did rubbish job in the cars they’ve had. Vettel had a magnificent car that murdered every other on almost all circuits bar perhaps Monza, Spa and Montreal. Which are only 3 out of 19 races where the clear majority was inclined to help Red Bull walk it. Vettel and Webber proved inept to do just that with the former barely clinching it.

            Both Vettel and Alonso were plagued by mistakes, some of them silly. Moreover, Vettel damaged other drivers’ chances in his overly brutal, senseless racing. Many people forgot to mention Silverstone where he simply shoved people aside when passing. I remember his pass on Sutil, which DID totally involve a premeditated collision, and disrespect towards formula 1. You are penalized for those things even in F1 2010 game.

            Alonso did not show the spirit of a double world champion for many races. He should have got past Petrov. His title was on the line and yet he was helpless. He has got stuck behind slower cars on a number of occasions this season and his silly mistakes in Spa and Monaco don’t help his cause either. He was often glorified for his overtaking on Hulkenberg in Brazil and Virgins in Monaco, but come on, how much slower were these cars?

            Hamilton does not really deserve to be above them either. He drove excellently at some races but made ridiculous mistakes in others. A champion requires composure. keith, you’re right to say that he was overdriving in an inferior car, but one does not make a good driver if he crashes the inferior car all the time. Buy that I refer to Monza and Singapore of course. It is a dream toi witness a driver like Hamilton trying to seize podiums against the likes of Red Bull, but if its plain impossible, then you’ve got out your head down and bring points home. If Hamilton was a tad more considerate and thinking as Button, he would’ve capitalized on his rivals’ mistakes. Instead he racked up his own to match theirs.

            For those reasons i think none of these deserve to be No. 1. Instead, what about Kubica (excellent drives in Reault and very few personal mistakes) or Rosberg (best of the rest) or even Kobayashi (the only driver capable of overtaking in Abu Dhabi when champions Ham and Fernando faltered).

            I’d put the three of them as my top three. Error-prone and inconsistent Ham, Vet and Alo belong somewhere else.

    4. Cut the cr@p with Kubica and Rosberg.

      Yes, they’re both good drivers, but you need to see them under pressure, which you didn’t this year.

      Pressure makes all the difference for these guys. They’re all (apart from Sutil) pros.

      1. Robert Kubica seemed to withstand the pressure well against Hamilton in both Australia and Abu Dhabi. Silverstone, well he did get overtaken by Alonso but Alonso used more than the track to make the move.

        Nico Rosberg is a bit of a strange one to be honest. I think he’s becoming the next Nick Heidfeld – unspectacular but gets the job done. Some races where he finished high up, I thought, how the hell did he do that?

        1. That’s not the kind of pressure he’s speaking. Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel were all under the presure of becoming WDC and it’s nowhere near to trying to beat a team for 4th spot. No offence, but that’s the way it is.

          I’ve been following Keith for what two years now and I always felt that he sometims can’t help showing bias towards British drivers. I’m OK with that but it just gives a wrong impression to the readers.

          Hamilton is very fast and determined racer and I rate him very high, but not this year. Out of WDC contenders, the only one who didn’t inherit a race win was Vettel. What is more, three of them were robbed from him. Yes, he made mistakes but hey, who didn’t? Everyone got their fair share of bad luck. 2010 season had lots of examples if you go out and try to find a driver who made mistakes. Vettel was just too good on the day when matters. So:

          1. Sebastian Vettel
          2. Fernando Alonso (for making the most of a car which was seemed to be a third fastest car)
          3. Lewis Hamilton
          4. Mark Webber
          5. Robert Kubica

          1. Thanks for clearing that up.

          2. Although, there’s nothing wrong with inheriting a win. You have to be in a position to take advantage, which may require serious skill. In Spain Vettel had problems with the car and Alonso took his place because he was very close behind.

          3. Well put it this way,

            Hamilton would have won the title if it wern’t for his notable mistakes, his mistakes being in Monza and 50/50 Singapore

            Alonso would have won the tittle if it wern’t for his mistakes, his notable mistakes being in China, Monaco, Spa, Silverstone, Canada and Australia.

            Hamilton would have won the title if it wern’t for his mechanical faliures, Alonso however had the joint best reliability of the title contenders.

            ALSO, you may note that Keith says, Alonso was definatley the driver of the second half of the season, this is undeniable and no ones denying it however these rating are a reveiw of theseason the whole season. While it does matter that Alonso made up 47 points from Silverstone, it also matters that he fell that far behind.

            Also this whole Bias thing Keith supposedly suffers from, https://www.racefans.net/2008/11/21/2008-f1-driver-rankings-part-3/ why not check that out guys?

  6. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
    22nd December 2010, 10:38

    Yeah, really controversial. I have a question. How much of the Fernando’s first half errors were because he was overdriving his car?

    I would only disagree about Lewis, because he really seemed to fade away under pressure, and that’s a real issue for a Formula 1 pilot.

    Anyway. Cheers, and Merry Christmas.

    1. Roger Carballo is right.

    2. Whatever the reasons for Alonso’s ‘errors’, they were still errors and can’t be ignored. Moreover, when we say ‘errors’, we’re not talking about running wide and letting a faster car by who was going to get by anyway. Alonso crashed, needlessly, in Monaco. He jumped the start: what a rookie error. He overtook a car off-track and supidly pushed his luck: he should have given the position back immediately and tried to repass after one or two corners. I’m surpised he made this mistake, given how vocal he was after Spa 08.

      Lewis faded away when his car went from second/third best to clearly third best. At Hungary, he was over a second slower than Alonso, and over two seconds slower than the Red Bulls. It’s amazing he was still in contention for the title at the final race with that car.

      Lewis is great under pressure. He did amazingly well in 07 despite being a complete rookie in a competitive car (not the best), with the best second driver in formula one as a team-mate, with the FIA allegations, etc. In 08, he won the title despite getting more penalties in one season than any other driver, despite racing two Ferraris when his teammate couldn’t help him, despite having Alonso publically say he would help the Ferraris, despite many drivers being against him, he kept it together in the most extreme pressure to win the title in the wet in the final corner.

      Alonso, in contrast, is terrible under pressure. When Lewis started beating him in 07, he didn’t accept it, like Jenson has done; he started making massive errors (e.g. Canada) and even blackmailed the team into giving him no: one status despite being behind Lewis in the championship and being unable to consistently beat him. Let’s not forget that Alonso let Renault the first time complaining that the team didn’t want him to win; that Fisi wasn’t doing enough to help him.

      1. Lewis is great under pressure.

        When it mattered in 07 and 08, he almost threw away the his hard work on both Brazilian races. And he cracked twice this year when Alonso was trailing him.

        Alonso, in contrast, is terrible under pressure.

        He dealt with it in 2005 and 2006 when Raikkonen and Schumacher were bearing down on him for the title.

        1. Eh, I’m not sure I’d say Hamiltons China 08 win looked particularly like a man under preassure.

          This Hamiltons a choker thing is a pundits cliche, Brazil 08, well the team went too conservative with him, he drove a fairly awesome race under preassure, an was therefore in the right place to take advantage of Glocks tyre call.

          Also in 07, the team kept him out too long in China and his car went in Brazil, thats not Hamilton choking.

          An Alonso, handled the early season preassure badly, handled the late season preassure spectacularly, what does this say about the man?
          Don’t know, not a pychologist.

          1. Even before his car failed in Brazil 2007, he made errors off the start line, and going through the opening lap that dropped him down a lot of places from where he started.

            It proved that sometimes Hamilton does crack under pressure too.

          2. It’s far too easy to form a view based on the last few races of the season as they are fresh in our minds and damn, seasons are long these days!

            For me, Hamilton was the stand out performer in the first half and Alonso in the 2nd. The only errors Hamilton made were in the 2nd half and happened to be very close together and so this seems to have stuck in some peoples’ minds. By the same tolken, the errors made by Alonso in the first half have also been overlooked by many calling for Alonso(after the first few races i thought Alonso had lost the plot…).
            You need to stand back and look at the season as a whole which is what Keith has done very well. For me it’s really close between Alonso and Hamilton.

            I’d probably sway towards Hamilton given some of his performances, his team mate and his style of driving.

        2. I’d argue that in 08 he did brilliantly under pressure. He didn’t panic when passed by Vettel and was able to bring it home.

          I would’ve driven into Vettel trying to regain the position.

          1. That is partly true, but I was really countering Alistair’s vision of Hamilton being much better under pressure than Alonso.

    3. Soumya Banerjee
      22nd December 2010, 12:18

      Perfectly put.

  7. I don’t know why, but i’m laughing hard now, well i know why, all Alonso’s fans will come here to attack you lol. Hope you survive Keith!!

    I personally agree. Alonso did a great second part but he had his team and massa’s team with him since Germany. He had it easier than the other guys ( Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button). And at the start Alonso made, IMO, more stupid mistakes than Hamilton did.

    Almost T-boned Button in australia
    jumped the start in China
    Crashed in FP3 in Monaco caused him a posible win
    crashed with Petrov in turkey but was lucky to finish the race.
    Spa was embarrassing

    He did make a lot of mistakes (or more) just like Vettel and Hamilton.

  8. Lewis has only on disadvantage over Fernando – mental strenth or let s say keeping cool under pressure, mostly when the season s finish is near… He has a great quali and race pace, he is a brilliant overtaker and he also shows excellent performance consistency (being faster everywhere)… He only needs to deal better with pressure when it counts at most, because that is a very important ingredient of a champion… If he can better in that, he will be unbeatable… That s my opinion about Lewis… And btw. I would put him also above Alonso and Vettel, but fe was Kubica an overall star of the season (not his fan, btw)…

    1. How many mistakes I have done… :o
      “only one disadvantage”
      “but for me it was Kubica”

    2. Sorry but at this season’s finale it was Alonso and Ferrari – qualifying P4 and fretting about Webber instead of sticking to their podium grabbing strategy – who cracked. If he’d delivered as Hamilton did Abu Dhabi he’d be champion.

    3. “Lewis has only on disadvantage over Fernando – mental strenth or let s say keeping cool under pressure, mostly when the season s finish is near”

      You are absolutely right. I saw Lewis’ mental strength in China 2007, Interlagos 2007, Brazil 2010 and Korea 2010. These were all perfect examples of how Lewis didn’t crumble under pressure towards the end of the season.

      1. Sorry to burst your Alonso bubble but ready what he said carefully,

        Lewis has only on disadvantage over Fernando – mental strenth or let s say keeping cool under pressure, mostly when the season s finish is near

        he said disadvantage..not advantage!!!.

        1. Ready = Read *

        2. My bad. Next time ill ready more carefully.

          1. Corrected the mistake before your “ready” post lol.

  9. Totally agree on the first 3 drivers, but i would placed webber a little bit higher, he was after all the second driver of Red Bull

    1. Hi Eddie!

      I think Webber is a very interesting part of the rankings… where do you put him? He drove some excellent races, made some terrible mistakes and just missed out… but then so did four other people (except Vettel who does not fit the 3rd point!).

      I think 6th is about right… he was driving the best car, without Vettel’s reliability issues and really should have taken the title. Although, he does come out of the season better off than he entered it, yet I don’t see him being a force next year.

      He drove very well though (ignoring the broken shoulder!). He should be proud of his season.

      1. hi ben! maybe 4th place would be better, there were not much to choose between the two redbull drivers this season, well Vettel won the championship, so one place up from webber is good.
        In my view Andrian Newey is an unquestionable number 1 ! This man made it possible for Vettel to win the championship and even Webber to have this strong season. They both driving a very good car, but Vettel wasn’t so much better than Webber, so 6th place is a little harsh considering vettel’s 3rd

        1. Personally, and I can see where others dispute this, I think Vettel outdrove Webber massively this year. At Spain and Monaco Webber really was the cream, nobody would have beaten him, full credit. But other than that, Webber only stayed in the mix because:
          1) He was driving the fastest car which kept him within reach of Button, Hamilton and Alonso… and…
          2) Vettel was desperately unlucky, put this alongside the fact that he was his own worst enemy, you have to say that without a combination of his mistakes and his poor luck he would have closed off the championship for at least 3 drivers by Brazil, let alone Abu Dhabi.

          1. What Ben N said really, dominant car, two race purple patch, self destructive teammate.

            Webber wern’t that great.

    2. Completly agree, Webber deserves higher then a measly 6th. Nearly everyone was writing him off at the start of the season. But no, he had his best season to date taking 4 wins which were all quite dominant. Sure he had his noob moments but he also had his own team against him, well I should say mostly on his idiot teamates side.

      This is what annoys me is that Hamilton is #1 and Webber is #6 :/

  10. Keith don’t give in to this Ferrari and Redbull fans. They are crying now, lol.

    1. I hate Redbull and I hate Ferrari, I also wouldnt pick a favourite between any of the 2010 championship contenders. So without and bias in any way I completly disagree about Hamilton topping this list.

      1. Hmmmmm. pretending not a fan :) Keith, I’ve got one here crying! lol

        1. What is this c..p? First you accuse someone of lying, and then you throw in our most esteemed editor’s name, as if he would support you in this.

          For the record, I totally agree with Ham as #1, but not with labelling disagreement as crying (Unless of course it really is, as in “how could you SAY that… blablabla)

  11. I can’t agree with Hamilton being first. There was too many mistakes, too many ordinary drives, not enough wins or fighting for wins. This wasn’t Hamilton’s year.

    In my opinion it would be either Kubica who produced better results than his car was capable of and brought the fight to the Mercedes almost singlehandedly or Vettel who was untouchable when he kept his focus, no ordinary drives for him.

    I agree with Alonso being number two, although I didn’t expect that after the first half of the season.

    1. Many of you are making unsubstantiated claims: what are these ‘many mistakes’ which you accuse Lewis of having made. I see only Monza, where Lewis was unlucky to retire: we’ve seen contact like that go unpunished before. I don’t count running wide once or twice, when you have problems, and letting a faster car past who would have got by anyway, as ‘errors’ worthy of the name. I’m thinking about jumping the start, crashing into your team-mate, crashing in practice totally needlessly, etc. Those are errors worthy of the name.

    2. I don’t really get all these people that talk about how Kubica produced better results than his car was capable of. His teammate was a rookie so we have no way of really knowing if he was driving amazingly well or if the car was fast!

      1. Well, at the end of 2009 that car was rubbish and the team was about to fall apart so although they improved it I don’t believe it was close enough to top 3. All those crashes killed Petrov’s reputation but like somebody said he will improve or die trying and with those few good races in 2010 maybe he will surprise us in 2011?

  12. I dont agree with really any of the rankings. I wouldnt have put Hamilton on top, he was gifted a win in Turkey, he won fairly in Canada, won in Belgium but nearly crashed out. He crashed into Massa at Monza, got into a tangle with Webber at Singapore (debatable).

    But then again I dont know who I would have put first as no one overly impressed me this season, the top 4 contenders all made noobish mistakes.

    Vettel – Showed his imaturity, crashed into alot of people, very impetuose.

    Alonso – Stole a win from Massa at Germany, also gifted wins from Vettel at Bahrain and Korea, whined alot to.

    – Noobly crashed a few times.

    Of course these are just my opinions :)

    1. Interesting points!

      Glad that rather than just disagreeing you stated why!

      I don’t think you can say Hamilton was gifted a win in Turkey, the two cars in front (whom you could argue he may have overtaken) took eachother out… Jenson and Lewis, who then duelled for the win, did not take eachother out… I think Lewis deserved it.

      He got too flustered in Monza and I think in Singapore it was a racing incident, he misjudged it slightly, but I wouldn’t say he was at fault. These mistakes took the championship away, but those 2 mistakes were exaggerated in the way it was consecutive. Alonso, Vettel and Webber all made more than two mistakes, but they were spread out, so they weren’t concentrated on!

    2. I’m not sure I agree with the ranking but I think everyone’s being a bit harsh on Hamilton for Monza. It’s the first lap, there’s always a big squeeze and it’s a totally different scenario to the rest of the race.

      You’ll probably say ‘a good driver will stay out of it’, but in that case they will probably lose a lot of positions (we saw this happening to the champions a few times, notably Webber). The drivers can’t see much, are squeezed into corners surrounded by cars, and ultimately don’t know how other drivers will react/what they will do. There’s only so much a driver can do to look after themselves without being walked over.

      1. I meant ‘drivers leading the championship’, not champions

    3. I have to agree. I think all of them have had their silly errors at one point or another.

      Vettel was usually the quickest on track, but he was driving a qualifying-rocketship. The races he won were commanding though, and when he had mechanical issues at Bahrain and Korea, he was on a roll aswell.

      It’s always difficult to rank drivers because of the performance of the different cars. People should relax a little when it comes to rankings like these.

    4. Soumya Banerjee
      22nd December 2010, 12:24

      Which is why Kubica has been the best.

  13. Actually I wonder how much was due to the equality in McLaren for them to fall behind the development race. They have really different styles of driving and revel in different cars. Although, I do think that Hamilton more often than not went for his team mate setup… I also think that this season Hamilton showed, at times, a certain lack composure, blaming the team for not putting him in the same strategy as Button, despite those being decided on the fly. Overall, I do think that you made a valid point in your rankings Keith and I agree with you in the end. Good job!

  14. I read this site regularly but never commented, but had to about this. Hamilton? Seriously?

    Sorry but top five absolutley maybe even top 3 but number 1? No. He was good and credit where it’s due he stuck with it relentlessly but I think he just got outgunned by Alonso and Vettel this year. I’d probably have put them two above him but those three are probably in a class of their own from this year.

    Have to say Kobayashi, Kubica, Alguersuari, Button and Rosberg also impressed me.

  15. Actually, I was going to vote for Alonso in front of Hamilton. But after reading your arguments, I agree with you and will vote him for best driver.

    Alonso was very good, he showed he still is the driver that won the WDC in 2005/2006. He did have to overdrive the car and himself a few times in the first half of the year, and needed the support of the team including his team mate to get there. And he lost points in Silverstone through stupid thinking after losing his cool in Valencia as well.

    Hamilton on the other hand won the fight with a highly motivated Button for supremacy in the team, improved his driving and kept going even after his own mistakes, luck and the car were letting him down.

  16. Interesting. Didn’t anticipate Hamilton being top-ranked but I suspect this year’s championship would have been very much a one-horse race if he had an RB6 at his disposal.

    Thing is without the two accidents in Korea and Monza (latter was his own fault) he could well have been very much in a position to win the title with what was at times the third fastest car. Apart from those moments I think he’s driven very well this year.

    1. this year’s championship would have been very much a one-horse race if he had an RB6 at his disposal. Same goes with Alosno, Rosberg, Kubica. Come on mate.

  17. I thought Hamilton’s first half of the year was poor. He didn’t really turn up until six or seven races in. But you put him at the top of your half-term rankings too so clearly you don’t agree…

    Then he went off the boil again after Belgium. Part of that was down to the car but it’s undeniable that he was feeling the pressure when he made that costly Monza mistake and that questionable 50/50 move in Singapore.

    I’d have put Alonso on top. He made his errors in the first half of the year too, but he was practically untouchable in the second half. His incredible head for pressure is what sets him apart from the rest of the field – that’s been illustrated in other seasons as well as in 2010.

  18. Bombarding this site with comments today!

    Anyway… I think regardless of this season, ignoring cars and any (some people’s favourite word) “bias”, these three, Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel, in some order are the best in F1 at the moment.

    The fact that Webber and Button could stick with them is to their credit, but these three, and maybe Kubica are probably the fastest in F1.

    1. Is it just me who thinks Hamiton is overated. And also Kubica, sure he took a win at Canada but was down to pure luck. He also was very good in qualifying this year, always mixing it with the top teams… but so was Webber in his Williams and Jaguar days.

      1. I think Hamilton takes alot of stick that he doesn’t deserve to be honest. Whenever Kubica’s car suits the track he is always right up there… how many times did you see Kubica in the wall or minus a front wing… you can’t say that about most other drivers. The only Kubica mistake I remember wasn’t even his fault… his team released him into Sutil in Hungary’s pitlane!

      2. No mate. you are not alone. Hamilton is definitely overated atleast this year.

  19. Taking into consideration all those three drivers, setting the “right” order will always be debatable.

    Vettel showed an impressive late charge, showing enormous focus and determination, that lead him to becoming the world champion. But his racecraft seems to need some improvement.

    Alonso’s second half of the year was much better – taking his Ferrari to the last race fight seemed impossible after Silverstone, but it happened.

    Hamilton was always there until final races, but it was mostly him who made his fortune in Monza and Singapore, leaving him practically out of contention in last two races.

    All of them showed great drives last year, all of them made some mistakes, all of them were unlucky at some point of the year.

    So getting the consensus is not possible :)

  20. In my list I would have put Lewis third, Alonso first and Vet 2nd.

    To me, Alonso was the only driver on the grid to push the car beyond its limits. He was punished a few times for it, but look at how close to winning the WDC it got him. I also admired how he was always motivating him team, even in the darkest of times.

    Vettel is my number 2 because he won the WDC, and for that he deserves credit. Not the best overtaker and he was in a car that was at times over a second a lap quicker than the rest. IMO his engine blew because of how he drove. He needs to turn the revs down every now and then.

    Third is Lewis. He just didn’t really do anything notable. He won races where top speed was critical, which was no surprise. He is quick, no doubt. But unless he is given the quickest car, he shows very little “magic” on the track.

    PS, I am bias. So no need to point it out.

  21. Hamilton, a very well deserved 1st place.
    I’d rate a sporting driver like him above the likes of Vettel any day.
    Despite being aggressive he wasn’t as much of a threat on track.
    Moreover comparing him to Kubica and other promising drivers is not justified, he earned his place to get into a better car. The day Kubica drives alongside in a faster car, the comparison would be justified.

  22. Hmmm. I know Hamilton kept it together at Spa when others didn’t, but he wasn’t on that kind of form since. Crashes at Monza and Singapore also took away #1 from him for me. Yes, it may or may not be his fault, but one must also know when to back off as much as when to attack. And he didn’t beat Jenson by as much as he could’ve (and should’ve) this year. Not that I’m underestimating Jenson – but this is Lewis’ team, after all.

    I personally think Vettel is #1 – he IS world champion after all. But I would also have been readily convinced to see Alonso or even Kubica as #1. I don’t see much reason why Hamilton is #1.

  23. These personal rankings are always controversial somewhere or other, but I think you have really struck a particularly controversial one here Keith.

    Firsly I should say I have really warmed to Hamilton this year and have become a good fan of his going forward, and I’m also a big fan of McLaren… I don’t care much for Ferrari and Red Bull, I have a respect for Alonso, but am very much undecided on whether I can like Vettel… I think in time it will come, we’ll see.

    Although a fairly predictable top 3, and that’s not a complaint at you Keith, just that I feel they are a no brainer in most peoples opinions. I do however feel the order, in my personal opinion, is a little out of whack. I agree that Alonso should be 2nd, the grit he showed in the first half to get that car up front, and then the tremendous fightback in the 2nd half is stuff of legend.

    However, Hamiltons fight backs in the first half of the year were born of his own mistakes (mostly) and then there was those three races that saw his title lead drop dramatically.

    That aside though, when you consider that, unreliability aside (keeping driver mistakes), Vettel would have walked this championship and it would have been done and dusted probably before Korea… sure his overtaking needs work but, as ever, there wasn’t a lot of people overtaking this year, so at least he was giving it some, and I think we’ll see an improvement on that going forward too.


    3. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    1. Vettel (and it pains me to say it).

    But, that is just my opinion for the discussion, and I fully respect yours.

    Rankings 8-4 I think is pretty spot on, good work there… not fussed about the rest of the rankings, but I have my favourites in there.

    1. Actually, now that I have voted, in retrospect I give this year to Alonso… Vettel 2nd… Alonso in the Red Bull would have creamed this championship…

      hmmm… but then only if he & Webber could keep their toys in the pram ;-)

      1. Good point!

        Webber and Alonso are reportedly friends but i’d love to see them in the same team!

  24. A monkey can overtake in a Mercedes powered car, forget Lewis.

    1. Michael Schumacher, for instance…

  25. Amazing analysis Keith. I am a big fan of this website but I have rarely enjoyed an article as I did reading this one. Agree thoroughly. Well done.

  26. Personally I couldn’t choose between the three as they all drove like heroes at times, and like very average drivers, and on occasion even drove like donkeys.

    I’d have tied them for number one.

    Sadly, even if Hamilton destroyed everyone in 2010, the anti-Hamilton gang would say Keith is biased..

    1. Not sure what you mean, Michael. Surely if Lewis destroyed everyone, he’d easily be #1. But he’s nowhere near close that…

  27. Great list Keith, can’t argue with any of it, and you back up every decision.

    It doesn’t surprise me that having Lewis at no.1 brings out the accusative, rather unlettered comments.

  28. I dont agree with Hamilton being Number 1. He made as many stupid mistakes as Vettel. 1st lap idiocy at Monza. He could easily have avoided that, aswell as his clash with Webber in Singapore, which again was purely his own fault. So he has been taken out twice because of failed overtakes. That is exactly as many times as Vettel.

  29. I’m not really comfortable with this top 3 but then again I wouldn’t know to change it so I guess it’s right or at least not wrong.

    Hamilton did make some silly errors usually in practice then at Monza and Singapore was marginally more his fault but he was unfortunate he couldn’t continue. Then things went more his way at Turkey and Canada but he had some failures at Spain and Hungary so I think his luck balanced out over the course of the season. Hamilton still can’t really think when it comes to strategy though and I wasn’t impressed by his Australia outburst. I think this was his best season to date however and he put in a wonderful campaign and he was still in the hunt when really Vettel should have long sewn it up.

    The only person I feel that could challenge Lewis would be Fernando. Fernando had a poor first half but his second half was so utterly spectacular that perhaps it may edge Hamilton’s consistency. Consistency vs style? Lewis should probably still come out on top but if Alonso keeps that sort of form I’ll be a happy Ferrari fan.

    Seb’s season went too bonkers mid-season for me to argue that he should be higher. His first part of the year was glorious (Brundle summed it up right when he said “it’s ominous to think he could have won the first three races of the season” at Malaysia) and as he did last year, he showed how good he is at staging a fight back. He put in some overtakes too but his Vettel chops as Mag called them, crashing into his team mate, his mini disaster at Spa and his qualifying fluff at Singapore stops me from rating him higher this year. A deserved champion and all the drivers made mistakes but the other 2 in the top 3 were in worse cars.

  30. Younger Hamilton
    22nd December 2010, 11:41

    YEAH!!! LEWIS WINS dont care what anyone says about him but thats how it should be.

    1. Relax. Its not like he won the championship. LOL.

  31. Haha, I knew that the comments would be on fire for this one…

    I don’t think it’s biased at all to have Hamilton #1 – clearly the McLaren was not the fastest car but apart from his repeated whinging about “no grip” and his continued habit of slinging one up the inside where there is clearly not a space, Hamilton has had a great season.

    I’m not an Alonso fan and I think what the team did to Massa was despicable, but overall he would just edge it for me. His consistency in the second part of the year – in an improved Ferrari that was still not the fastest car – was really impressive and he’s absolutely got his mojo back.

    One thing though – well done for not doing the obvious and awarding Vettel #1. He had ten poles and the most wins… but still can’t seem to overtake and still threw away an astonishing number of points. He’s the new Raikkonen… :)

    1. Soumya Banerjee
      22nd December 2010, 12:30

      New Raikkonen? What do you mean? Raikkonen couldnt overtake?

  32. Keith, I’ve been reading you’re site for quite a long time, but this is my first comment :). I think Webber deserves to be higher – somewhere around 4 IMHO. I’m a Pole, but I woulnd’t put, as some suggest, Kubica in the top three – he was very impressive, but he had to cope neither with the pressure of fighting for the championship nor with a strong team mate, so it was easier for him to deliver. Rosberg, on the other hand, did really great – he had Schumacher on the other side of the garage and a car which didn’t really suit him. I agree with the top three and Vettel being 3rd, but I have a big problem with Alonso and Hamilton. I would actually put them together on the first spot (I’m a fan of both of them, however unbelieveable that sounds, though I started liking Hamilton only this year), as they both put up a fight till the end in cars that were so much inferior to the Red Bull and both had some outstanding races and entertained us a lot (and both made some stupid mistakes). Yet, if I had to put them in order, I would put Alonso in 1st and Hamilton in 2nd. Lewis had a great mid-season and he seemed to had matured a lot, while Alonso looked unlike himself, making those uncharacteristic mistakes. But when it started to really matter and the pressure increased, Hamilton let it get into his head, while Alonso became absolutely immune. And that’s why he’s my No. 1 – because of his ability to cope with the pressure, which is an important aspect of being a champion. We may argue that Alonso inherited some wins from Vettel, but he managed to be in a place to inherit it because of his driving (just like Lewis in Turkey). He also absolutely dominated Massa (when you compare Massa’s performances pre-Germany and post-Germany, you will see that his average qualifying result was actually a bit better after it than before it, so I don’t really buy the argument that Massa’s self-believe or whatever else was destroyed in Hockenheim – he was mediocre throughout the whole season and the bigger gap between the two Ferrari drivers after the German GP was caused by Alonso’s better performances and not Massa’s worse). Hamilton also lost his head a bit twice having Alonso behind him, which shouldn’t have happened (especially that, as it later turned out, one of them cost him a potential win – in Korea) which proves IMO that he somehow has Alonso in his head (I was so hoping for a direct fight between them in Korea and Brazil…). Alonso’s weakness on the other hand is that he (IMO) needs to know that the team is absolutely supporting him. Putting aside the team orders controversy (I didn’t like it, but I must admit that from the team’s perspective and drivers’ chances it was a right decision, though the manner was awful – Massa was nowhere near the championship fight and almost all his results that were better than Alonso’s were rather due to Alonso making life difficult for himself than Massa driving brilliantly. I quite like Massa and I was sorry to see him like this but he simply wasn’t up to it all year and not only after Germany), it was good for him to get the support as he absolutely flourished then, showing what he’s really made of.
    All in all – I think that Alonso and Hamilton were the top two drivers of the season, but the order may differ – we may find arguments for and against both of them. For me, Alonso pips Hamilton simply because of his ability to resist the pressure in the most important moments.
    Sorry for such a long post – I wanted to jusify my reasons.
    Great job Keith, thanks a lot for your work.

    1. Keith you asked someone to defend why Alonso is better than Hamilton. Do you like to reply?

  33. Hamilton was my choice as well. And I am neither British nor a Hamilton fan.

    Hamilton stayed in the title race until the very end and finished only 16 points (that’s around 6 points in the old system) behind the champion even though he drove only the 3rd fastest car. This is a fantastic achievement. Yes, he made a big mistake in Monza but if one is as combative as Lewis then some day something will inevitably go wrong. He could have avoided crashing into Felipe in Monza and probably the tangle with Webber in Singapore, too. But that’s just who he is, he made probably 50 or more successful passes this season and 2 passes that ended in crashes.

  34. well its Kieths opinion so using phrases like “seriously?” is just daft. I dont agree with him either but his reasons for giving Lewis the nod are fair.

    And hay its supposed to be a chat site so if theres no contention theres no conversation.

  35. I can only conclude that Keith, unable to follow his deepest wish of naming Button No. 1 with any credibility whatsoever, did the next-best thing and picked Hamilton.
    Lewis undoubtedly was himself in the first half of the season and I agree with putting him on top there. But Formula 1 is about winning, and it was Alonso who actually made a run for the top. And he did it in a car that did not have a clear-cut advantage at any one track all year. Hamilton was uncharacteristically flat at the end of the season. At any rate, I think few would argue that the sprint to the finish is when true champions show their colors. The result: Alonso.
    Don’t get me wrong, Keith, I love the site and tremendously respect the amount of work you put in. But Hammy? In an off-year for him? I think not.

  36. well said Keith..!

    i believe Hamilton is the only PROPER racing driver on the grid at the moment, along with Kobayashi. every race they constatly push and push. They race for positions, not wait for pit stops or whatever..
    I think as the rules change ove the next few year, we will see more and more from these two drivers as their driving talents will coem more into play rather than the whole downforce design of the car..

    1. There is no deny Hamilton is terrific in overtaking.He is a treat to watch. I love this guy who always manages to extract a bit more from any machine given to him. But No 1 in 2010? Oh dear.Even Lewis would be surpised.

  37. Before I start here I want to make it clear that I am a big Lewis Hamilton fan, therefore nobody can accuse me of being a Lewis-hater.

    Good analysis Keith, but I personally have to disagree, purely based on the fact of how many points Vettel lost due to mechanical/electrical failures. I know he made mistakes as well, but nobody has been anywhere near the perfect driver this season. As you say Keith, he lost 48 before Korea + 25 at Korea = 73. That’s a huge chunk of points.

    Alonso made some uncharacteristic mistakes early in the season, but he took 148 out of 200 points between Germany (Not opening that can of worms again) and Brazil, and just failed by a hair’s breadth.

    Lewis drove brilliantly at Candada, for 99% of the race at Spa, and his qualifying lap at Silverstone was just awesome. He made one big mistake at Monza, and for me there is a question mark over Singapore. Also his outburst at Australia was immature and childish, but those moments aside, he had a truly excellent season (mostly) showing his greater maturity and experience, and frankly got more out of the MP4-25 than he really should have, especially in the second half of the season.

    So overall my rankings would be:

    3. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    1. Vettel

    But the top 3 were all so close, any one of them could have been in any of the top 3 places.

    Great article Keith, fabulous website, I enjoy and appreciate what you do very much, thanks!


    1. i see what your saying about vettel losing point.. but to be honest i think it was the car that won him the title and not vettel himself..

      so does that mean Newey should be number 1 :P

      1. Haha, very good! But Vettel did still beat Mark Webber in the same car lol :)

      2. You say RB6 drove itself to checkerd flag? :)

    2. We still don’t have a long enough track record on Vettel to know if he is hard on machinery. I haven’t looked at all of the comparisons, but it seems he suffered a lot more mechanical failures than others using similar machinery. Time will tell if he was unlucky, or hard on cars.
      Also, we know he is less than brilliant on anything but an open track. We’ll see how he does with an inferior car, but I suspect it won’t be pretty.

      1. fair point and i guess time will tell. these next few seasons are going to ‘seperate the men from the boys’ so to speak..! :)

  38. It seems that people are very forgetful when it comes to these rankings. Lets not forget that only Webber led the championship more than Hamilton this season and Hamilton only had the quickest car in one race, Canada. When you look at the whole season, Hamilton doesn’t seem such a ridiculous choice, but Alonso certainly does.

    Hamilton was gifted one win in Turkey, Alonso was gifted three in Bahrain, Germany and Korea. Vettel had the fastest car (15 poles out of 19??) and yet only just scraped the title JV-style.

    As for mistakes, Hamilton made one clear cut mistake at Monza that took him out of the race. Singapore was 50/50 and Hamilton was unlucky to retire while Webber got away with it. Alonso made mistakes in China (jump start), Monaco (crash in practice), Britain (cutting corner overtaking Kubica) and Belgium (crashed out). Vettel’s record reads similar to Hamilton’s, one 50/50 crash (Turkey) and one clear cut error (Belgium). He did, however, cost himself a potential win in Britain after tangling with Webber on the first lap, and also lost out in Hungary due to a silly error behind the safety car.

    Hamilton had two mechanical retirements in Spain and Hungary, while running second and fourth. He also lost a place due to mechanical problems in Japan. Alonso had one mechanical retirement in Malaysia while running ninth. Vettel had two in Australia and Korea, and he was leading in both. He also dropped places in Bahrain and Spain due to mechanical problems.

    Lets factor in the speed of the cars. Vettel had the quickest car at almost all races and yet only just won the championship. Alonso had the third fastest car at the beginning of the year, but after Germany it was second quickest and was quicker in Italy and on par with the Red Bull at Singapore. Hamilton’s McLaren was second quickest in the first half of the season and quickest at Canada. It was then third quickest after Germany and never really improved. This reflects well on Alonso and Hamilton, not so well on Vettel.

    Overall, Vettel was flattered by his car, so for me, he’s out. Between Alonso and Hamilton, Alonso made more costly mistakes (four to two), Alonso was gifted three wins to Hamilton’s one and Alonso had lost far less to mechanical problems than Hamilton. The only reason Alonso and Vettel look better is because their success came at the end of the season rather than in the middle.

    1. couldn’t have said it better myself..

      Hamilton DROVE his car, where as Vettel and Alonso’s cars drove them..!

    2. You are spot on. Ecellent post.

    3. Ironic that you call people forgetful while you forget perhaps two of Hamilton’s most crucial mistakes – running wide at Korea and Brazil.

      And these are mistakes made at the business end of the season. It is pressure situations like these that differentiate true champions from the rest. Hamilton looked decisively toothless in the final part of the season. While the car was to blame as well, the 2 unforced errors which Alonso benefited were reminiscent of the 2007 Hamilton.

    4. Where was Mr.Hamilton when Alonso inherited 3 wins.Ashamed of inheriting a win and parked the car?

  39. TBH, I don’t think that there were any top ten drivers head and shoulders above any others out there this season. Could have put the top ten in any order.

    Barrichello, for instance, and by all accounts, got the absolute most out of the William’s this season, and you don’t stay on at William’s in your late thirties if you aren’t thought very highly of.

    Probably the most underrated driver of the season.

  40. The stark fact that he scored half that number of wins leaves the nagging feeling that he made hard work of this world championship.

    WOW, I’m guess you never watch the races?

    3 wins were gone because of a DNF or Car Failure. That would make it 8 wins. Silverstone, Hamilton slashed his tire…possibly 9 wins. Then you bring up turkey, which was Mark Webbers fault, 10 wins.

    Hamilton drove no better, monza, singapore were just as bad if not worse mistakes.

    You are reluctant to not penalize him for these mistakes, but then you penalize Vettel for his LOL.

    clearly, this is a case of the mancrush…Lewis satisfies your pr need with countless PC interviews saying the same thing over and over. you know absolutely nothing about F1.

    1. I have absolutely no idea what that last paragraph is supposed to mean but it looks quite funny!

      I mentioned in the articles that he lost several potential wins due to unreliability, so what’s your point?

      1. Keith if you count unrealiability then vettel should be at top spot.

  41. Under_Investigation
    22nd December 2010, 12:22

    This is a very difficult call to make… I would personally put Hamilton in 3rd because his few mistakes during the year came at a time where you can make no mistakes, and he will need to improve this if he wants to be world champion again.

    Alonso was impressive after Silverstone but he had a much improved car (better than the McLaren in most races), no pressure from his team mate, and in the first half of the season he had his fair share of dumb moments (jumping a start, crashing in Monaco quali, going off track when passing Kubica in Silverstone…).

    Vettel is my #1… yes he made stupid mistakes in Turkey and Spa but without the reliability problems he would have dominated the season and his team mate. And he delivered under pressure by winning 3 out of the 4 last races!

  42. Let’s face facts here, this is fundamentally a Hamilton supporters forum. So what should we expect?

    1. Get a grip mate, this is Keith’s opinion, no matter what he does, there is always someone who will disagree.

      Keith putting Lewis as Number 1 does not magically make Lewis the world champion, it is just a ranking of who he thinks was the driver of the season, There are many aspects that helped him form his opinion and for me I think Lewis was the most entertaining and fun driver to watch.

      The most pathetic showing from the other so called drivers was the whining in Korea, I was disappointed to hear them try to influence the race director to delay the race for longer, as Lewis justly pointed out, “it is a wet race , what do they expect? ” , I remember Fuji 07 and that was much worse than Korea.

      At the end of the Day, if you honestly believe this is a Lewis Fan club..then leave, its a free world and no one is forcing you to visit this site let alone comment on the writers integrity.

      1. Thank God. Formula 1 is not confined to Great Britain Alone.

  43. gotta agree as well.. in junior sports they always say “as long as you always try your hardest its ok”. Now that may not have much application to F1, but Hamilton was the only driver to keep pushing 100% no matter what the conditions.

    I used to hate Lewis.. he was cocky, prone to mistakes, and had it easy through the junior formulae. But this year he has turned from my least favorite driver, through to possibly my favorite just because of his tenacity and never say die attitude.

    When Vettel and Alonso had moments where they lost interest or got frustrated, Hamilton just kept pusing all season long.. He got the most out of the car, consistently beat his world champion teammate, and challenged for the lead as often as was possible..
    yep he was definitely #1

  44. The season was littered with stupid mistakes from all of the top drivers. Under slightly different circumstances this seasons results could have come out in a very different way indeed. Arguing as to who is best driver this season is a bit like voting in X-factor. Best of a bad bunch.

  45. This season saw some good wheel to wheel battle between Hamilton & Alonso who for sure & will be in 2011 the two best driver in Formula 1.With some new one coming & old people erupting we will have a season to treat us in 2011.

    1. can’t wait!
      its good to see that we have at least 3 drivers so closely matched at the front

  46. What a surprise…
    Can’t believe it :/

  47. i’m wondering …what are you taking about guys ….Alonso is #1 without a doubt .
    i mean, yes he wins he won in bahrain and korea because the redbulls were not doing very well -keep in mind it was his first race with his new team.
    but how about:
    1-overtaking lewis in brasil and korea
    2- from last to forth in Melbourn holding back lewis in the last few labs.
    3-from last to sixth in monaco ..bunch of overtaking in a hard circuit .
    4-no mistakes in monza.
    5-no mistakes in Singapore.
    6-valencia every one knows what happened and what lewis did
    7-overtook webber in the start and holding vettle in hungary brilliantly
    8-he has the third fastest car behind redbull and mclaren.
    9-he is the choice of the team principals, ahead of the 2010 world champion

  48. and lewis
    he crashed his car in monza and lose position in Melbourne another crash in Singapore
    and the most impressive number is he comes forth in the championship and according to the team principals he is not #1 or #2 as well.
    so how can he be #1

    1. lewis crashed in monza yes. silly maybe. but pushing for a position all the same. not sitting back hoping for something lucky to happen. it was proven than lewis did the most overtaking during the season.. he drove the **** out of his car all season, mistakes are expected. he is human after all. alonso showed his true colours to me after the last race by ranting at Petrov. childish.

      Vettel was driven by his car. if anything webber drove better than him.

      as for the team principals comment. you’ll find the same being said in alot of fair/equal garages..

      so long as you stay out of Ferrari’s ;)

      1. but pushing for a position all the same Yes other drivers crash when trying to find a way out of the circuit or driving backwards.

  49. Alonso the best. Lewis??? I would not have count him in top three.

    1. And here is an example of why forum voting is a pointless excercise.

  50. “This season saw some good wheel to wheel battle between Hamilton & Alonso”

    It did?

  51. I think I pretty much agree with the order apart from one or two rankings.

  52. firstly people who dislike Lewis,grow up,Keith is not been biased here,Hamilton was superb this season and we are all perfectly entitled to say what we want,it’s a democratic world.
    My Top 3
    1.Alonso-yeah he made mistakes alright in the first half of the season but when the pressure was really cranked up in the 2nd half of the season,he was there and drove superb races,taking 3 wins(not including that German farce)and held Vettel of superbly in Hungary.
    His team’s strategy cost him the title in the end.
    2.Hamilton-Had the 3rd best car after Silverstone and really did brilliantly to stay in the title hunt until the last race.would have been No1 had he not made such a stupid error at Monza and then that crash with Webber in Singapore although that wasn’t his fault.drove brilliantly in China,Spain(before disaster struck),Malaysia,Spa and Montreal.
    3.Vettel-I’m a fan of his but does not deserve to be No1 despite being the World Champion.
    He was blindingly fast in Qualifying all season and in some races drove beautifully especially Abu Dhabi of course and of course had some bad luck with reliability problems which cost him wins in Bahrain,Oz and Korea but this is part of the sport and of course needs to improve his overtaking,shocking attempts on Webber and Button this year and pretty much drove into the side of Sutil at silverstone,anyway he will improve next year and become an even better driver hopefully

  53. As someone said earlier its strange for Button to be 7th and Hamilton 1st, considering it was Button’s first season driving a car that was not suited to his style and was only a win away from Hamilton. So either Button should be higher or Hamilton should be lower.
    Also to say he wrung a bit more from his car is a cliche, performances vs Button would suggest this was not the case. 2/3 of Hamiltons wins, Button was 2nd and was taken out when 2nd in Spa despite being on the wrong set-up.

    To say that Hamilton should not be marked lower due to Singapore, not sure. F1 is all about judgements and he did not leave enough space to Webber. Essentially he was trying to make a fellow WDC contender slow down before the braking point of that corner. It was a move if attempted by a certain German I have no doubt you’d think was needlessly aggressive.

    Alonso was unlucky in Australia where due to being squeezed he was last in the first corner before battling to 4th, Valencia where by obeying the rules unlike Hamilton he was effectively punished and Belgium where he was shunted by Barrichello which effected his race performance.

    His worst race, Silverstone was not as disastrous results wise as Monza and Singapore for Hamilton and his drives through the field in Australia and China (after an embarrassing mistake) I think are underrated.

    It was clear from your McLaren vs Ferrari column, you were trying to justify Hamilton as the best driver of 2010. Also it is easy to forget that this was Alonso’s first year at Ferrari.

    Needless to say Hamilton had a good year but for me his best year is still 2007 by quite a distance. He had a great 4 race spell mid year. In the WDC he finished behind both Red Bulls, Alonso fished behind one.

  54. It seems strange that the guy who managed to inflict most damage eventually became WDC. Poor season with regard to driving standards. Not surprised FIA are cracking down.

  55. i bet
    put fernando in a red bull and i can guarantee 10 victories at least for him next season.
    redbull next season will be untouchable.
    but ferrari has the sole and history

    1. im sure he would but again that comes down to the car. hell you could put chandhok in the red bull and im sure he’d get at least 6 or 7 wins..!

      ferrari had the soul.. seems more like greed nowadays :\ they dont believe in winning they just think they should because they are ferrari..

      team lotus have probably been the most soulfull team this last season to me. i could see the belief they had as a team

      1. so why webber did not win the championship ? he has a red bull to .
        i believe alonso in a redbull is a combination of a car and a driver but vettle in a redbull is only the car because he manges to win only 5 races and alonso in a much slower car also wins 5 races
        let me explain:
        if vettle and alonso swap teams :
        vettle will win bahrain and monza and korea too but in win in Singapore and good result in Melbourne and Hungary i doubt, it’s impossible for him to get pole position in Singapore.
        put alonso in a redbull he will win Malaysia ,valencia, brazil, Abu Dhabi and japan too
        in addition to that a victory in turkey, Hungary and spa as well so this is 8 victories . comfortably a world champion .

        1. not really no. the red bull would no doubt break down :p

          fair comment about why didnt webber win but didnt webber lose out to mechanical problems than vettel..? i dunno i could be wrong..?

  56. vxr – do you even like F1?

  57. I don’t think Hamilton was the best driver in 2010. The F1 World Driver’s Championshipb standings show that Sebastien Vettel was the best overall driver this season. He made plenty of mistakes, but so did Hamilton and the others, but he delivered when he had to. His performance in Abu Dhabi, a race most tipped Alonso to claim his third title, emphasised that for one of tender years he has come along way.

  58. After reading many of these comments, I am disgusted at this personal attack on Keith. We come here for Keith’s opinion, seeing as it is his blog. If you don’t like his opinion, then go to your Alonso fan blog. However, after reading this site for over three years now I can safely say there is very little Hamilton bias. If you just want news, go to the Formula1.com website. If you want an opinion you agree with, find a blog.

  59. well i do think that the all top 3 are deserved to be the best of season, all with their own opportunities and bad luck, but numbers must be picked. Keith just stating his opinion, and so everyone. It is impossible and pointless to argue one’s opinion against another.

    I love this site, thanks Keith!

  60. Great Article Keith – I just wish it hadn’t degenerated into a wild debate over your alleged bias. Personally, I agree with your opinion entirely regarding Hamilton and regard Alonso as maybe the 50th best driver on the grid. ;-) But I can recognise my own bias and I hate Alonso for his actions in Hamilton’s Rookie year!

    Regadless of my own (horrific) bias, thanks for a great set of articles and to everyone else: KEITH IS WRITING HIS OWN OPINION. You don’t like it, start your own website and see how long before you are accused of bias. I’d prefer if people accepted that Keith has his opinion and simply posted their own with reasons. It would make the comments section so much more fun to read.

    Alonso (reluctantly!)
    Rosberg (MSc may not be the force he was, but…)
    Button (not as much slower than Ham as we expected)

    This post is already too long, so I’ll stop there.

  61. All of you who think that Keith should have picked someone else as his top driver of the year just to shake off some perceived British bias are politically correct vacuous gas bags. No one should change their beliefs or opinions for the sole reason to appear as unbiased.

    Keith, keep up the good work.

  62. What season are you talking about?
    Lewis had the worst season since coming in F1, and his performances were something between phenomenal and catastrophic…No.1? Get real man… RBR duo blew him away, and he made few beginners mistakes… Webber was outstanding, but little reserved in the end, Vettel the fastest and reckless, and Alonso… he played it dirty like always. The only one with clean sheet was Kubica.
    Can anyone get real and dump that Hamilton/British hype…? it’s getting stale…

    1. RBR duo blew him away

      By scoring a handful more points in a much quicker car?

      I can see why some people would argue for putting Alonso ahead of Hamilton – it was a close call between those two.

      But I would say both Hamilton and Alonso were conclusively better than both Red Bull drivers this year.

    2. ‘Lewis had the worst season since coming in F1’

      What, by being a championship contender until the very last race, by winning 5 times and gettong on the podium 6 other times?

      Did you forget 2009 or are you just mad that YOUR favourite driver wasn’t number 1?

      1. Also, not to mention that if it was the old points scheme, Hamilton would’ve come third ahead of Webber. It was that close.

  63. It’s good to see someone else rating Hamilton as the best driver. I don’t think it’s a matter of opinion (!): rather that the evidence is that he made the fewest mistakes while driving as fast as his car allowed.

    Comparing the public ratings to these though, it seems that the pace of the car may still have too much of a bearing.

  64. Sorry but with Hamilton at the top of this list F1Fanatic looses any credibility.

    1. I’ve explained why I think he was the best, why do you disagree?

      1. Some basic reasons:
        1. Hamilton benefitted from numerous steward non-calls in the first half of the season – weaving, pit lane racing, passing the safety car, Montreal pole lap.
        2. Second half collapse when pressure mounted, eg. Monza and Singapore (same pattern as seen in previous championship runs).
        3. Outqualified and outraced by closest competitor and benchmark from 2007, Alonso (and done in a slower car as per McLaren’s calcs). Alonso finishes 2nd, Hamilton 4th.
        4. Mistakes on track allowed Alonso to pass x 2 .
        5. Crash in practice prevented critical car development by team.
        5. Hamilton seemed to race without a plan or awareness of his situation. Alonso set a plan for podium finishes, Vettel visioned wdc victory. Hamilton, he likes to pass cars alot.

        Hamilton had a subpar year and was not as good a driver as Vettel, Alonso, Kubica. On par perhaps with Rosberg and Webber.

        1. Excellent halifaxf1fan.

  65. Lewis first? ha,ha,ha

  66. if vettle and alonso swap teams :
    vettle will win bahrain and monza and korea too but in win in Singapore and good result in Melbourne and Hungary i doubt, it’s impossible for him to get pole position in Singapore.
    put alonso in a redbull he will win Malaysia ,valencia, brazil, Abu Dhabi and japan too
    in addition to that a victory in turkey, Hungary and spa as well so this is 8 victories . comfortably a world champion .

  67. Pardon me if others have covered this above: I think that Vettel’s collision with Button in Spa was really not his own personal fault but due to a horribly oscillating front wing coming out of the wake of Button’s slipstream.

    I would place Vettel higher than Alonso for the past season – given the crass ‘move over’ order to Massa on the 1st anniversary of the day Felippe almost died in an F1 car and the arrogance of his gesture to Petrov after Abu Dhabi after he couldn’t get past.

    Lewis drove well – but to my mind no better than Kubica or Rosberg in their respective teams.

    1. after the race he says “i’m sorry it was my fault”
      he ruined his race and another driver’s race

  68. Keith I think you forgot to mention that maybe the reason why Alonso was having so many mistakes in the first half of the season could be dut to pushing the car to the limits, as it wasn’t that competitive on the earlier stages.
    Lewis is a fantastic driver, one of the best and I love seeing him but I’m not sured he is the top driver this year…

  69. Don’t get how you do it Keith. It seems people will only ever see what they want to see.

  70. Nice top 3, I was quite surprised to see Hamilton at the top but it does make sense seeing as it’s about the whole year, not just the second half which we remember the most.

    Also happy to be quoted in Alonso’s paragraph! :D

  71. Hamilton is a good driver but he did not deserve 1st position not that im biased towards anyone.I would rate the championship contendors according to how they drove:
    1 Alonso:The fact is true that he is the most complete driver on the grid .He controls the team,and even the situation on the track.He attacks when needed and defends when needed.
    2Hamilton:The best overtaker tied with kobayashi .He overtakes where nobody else can overtake.He is a great attacker but a poor defender :).He does make mistakes.
    3Vettel:The fastest driver of 2010 with the fastest car makes a good package and red bull got it.A fast driver but the worst overtaker.He needs to mature.
    3Webber:A good driver ,drivers maturely but complains alot that his team needs team orders.
    U may think im biased towards Alonso,and i like him but as a f1 fan i like every driver

  72. It’s a tough call and whilst I am not sure about the order what I would say is that Fernando or Lewis would have won in the Red Bull with races to spare. It’s a toss of a coin between Fernando and Lewis and arguments could be made for either.

    That said Lewis would have been ahead if he had a team mate that wasn’t allowed to race him in the 2nd half of the season.

    Fernando’s mistakes like the one in China and Silverstone were just stupid.

    Good article and 80 days to go!

  73. I think you could argue a case for either of Alonso or Hamilton to be 1st – who would win in equal machinery though? ;)

    If you split the season into thirds and compare the two: Hamilton won the first third, the middle third but Alonso dominated the final 3rd – Hamilton takes it 2-1.

    I want a traditional Mclaren V Ferrai next year. :D
    Then we can compare

    1. ‘who would win in equal machinery though?’

      Oh you!

  74. I have watched all but one of the F1 races since 1987, and very quickly dropped any interest in what nationality any of the drivers are. I love this sport, and found that some drivers garnered my respect and admiration more than others, purely through the way they drove.

    I enjoy these end of season rankings, as they allow individuals to attempt to look beyond the final results, by bringing together every single moment of the season. But the scope of the task is bigger than that. To accurately see the drivers’ performances in isolation from their wildly differing cars requires an eye on previous seasons, e.g. to help judge different teammate pairings.

    Keith has done an absolutely perfect job with this ranking. I agree with it in its entirety.

    The reason I love this website is because Keith reads every moment of this sport exactly as I read it, completely independently, and of course at a much higher level. He justifies his opinion with indefatigable logic. So it is a shame that there have become so many commenters weighing in with criticism without even bothering to justify themselves. Comment lists have ballooned in size recently, with quality becoming diluted, as this thread illustrates.

  75. Incidentally, I had a few thoughts on Hamilton’s errors:
    Monza: too opportunistic, but it was the first lap on a circuit that’s hard to pass on.
    Singapore: Either a racing incident or Webber’s fault. Though I did question why he didn’t try to bring it back to the pits.
    Spa: After the initial error of braking too late, a perfect recovery – seemed infinitely more composed than me and my heart attack, anyway. I doubt half the field would have kept it in one piece.
    Hockenheim & Suzuka Free Practice: The clue is in the name: it’s practice. Gilles Villeneuve applied a technique in his first F1 race weekend, of firstly going over the limit, recovering, then not going so quickly next time. He span 9 times I think, but never hit the barrier. This way, he learnt quicker than through building up speed. OK, so perhaps the consequences were different, but mistakes in FP (except in FP3 at Monaco…) should not be so criticised.

    Korea & Interlagos: The former was inevitable due to tyres anyway, but was a mistake nonetheless. The two suggest that Hamilton has not got over Alonso, just as it was clear on Alonso’s radio that he had not got over Hamilton.

  76. Had Alonso won this year, what position would you hae given to him ? Keith , could you please reply ?

    For me Seb is no 1. Bearin the weight of expectations of driving the fastest car and winning despite being so unlucky(He lost 3 wins due to RB6 being fragile).

    Now lets talk abt Alonso and Ham.
    Ham was gifted a win in Turkey and Alonso in Bahrain and Korea. If Ham was in Alonso’s shoes in Korea, would he not have taken the win. He would have.
    Credt goes to Alonso(Bahrain and Korea) and Ham (in Turkey) , cz they were in the position to win afte the leadng cars failed. Its not there fault.

    You say that sometimes drivers need to overtake to win than just to drive fast.
    What was Ham doing in Australia(he could not ovrtake Alonso for 5-6 laps) , Brazil and Abu Dhabi and Malaysia ( He could nt overtake Sutil).

    Like we all have our fav drivers, even Keith is having a fav driver in Ham but keith, you are not ready to admit this because you work in Media industry and you are to follow certain decorum.
    I have been following tis website for last 3 years and this is firs time your comments disappointed.
    The reason I am saying “dsppointin” is because not every blogger reads our comments but everyone who logs onto this website reads what you write and it it your responsibility to write the truth and back it with facts, facts which we readers can understand. I have given my comments with explainations.

    1. Not that he couldnt…its the drivers defended brilliantly. He was going to get Alonso, I think after the corner had Mark not hit him off…..Sutil just knows Lewis’s moves through their history together.
      Sometimes its not about just sending one up the inside, its about pouncing on an opportunity

    2. but …Lewis is number 1?!!

  77. I don’t really understand this obsession some F1 fans have with this or that person being “biased” in favor of a particular driver. Isn’t that just part of being a fan? I’m biased in favor of Sebastian Vettel; as a result, I probably interpret both his mistakes and his victories in a way that, say, the fervent Lewis Hamilton fan might not. And who cares? What real-world ramifications does that really have? In this particular story, Keith doesn’t claim to be reporting news; he’s giving his informed opinion as an “F1 fanatic,” isn’t he? At least, that’s how I interpret it. Because if he were just reporting news, Sebastian Vettel would have been #1. ;-)

    Hey, if you want to see some REAL British bias, check out these kids who wrote a song for Jenson Button! So blatant…

  78. Lewis was truly tremendous this season, but Alonso was also fenomenal. the problem is people, that this competition is very very long, so the performances DO change along the season. that said, I think all 3 drivers deserve the #1 spot. Lewis for outpunching many above him, Alonso for his magistral comeback in the end, and Vettel for keeping cool in the end and just making sure he got everything perfect. I mean, at Suzuka, Interlagos and Yas Marina he was NEVER threatened by anyone really. And let´s be honest, anyone of these 3 had it in them to be world champions. I say it´s a 3 way tie.

  79. My ranking:
    1. Alonso
    2. Ham
    3. Vet.
    The reason i put alonso ahead are:
    1.he was in a new team. He had to adjust to new environment and had to instill that belief in his team that yes ,he is their man. And in the first few races despite errors he made them believe that he was even better than schumi(source benson)
    2.i believe he was the only reason ferrari were still in the hunt in abu dhabi. He was given ultimatum before monza that one more mistake and no more car development and how well he responded. Showed his tremendous mental belief especially after what was said after silverstone.
    3. Winning a gran sceleum(wrong spelling) in not the fastest car is too rare.
    4. Biggest gap massa had against any teammate before.
    5. Making the team use team orders to his advantage(yes that gives him marks in my book)

    and keith your article about second fastest car was based on the assumption that the driver got the absolute max from the car. What if that was not the case? What if what mclaren say about their car being faster is true but their driver didnt get the max out of it . They would’ve known it from telemetry. Now this is just speculation on my part.

    1. I would have to say Ferrari were the only reason he was in the hunt by Abu Dhabi – what with his relative lack of success at Renault…

  80. Brilliant ranking keith. Ive also actually been watching the whole 2010 season and totally agree with you. Lewis was brilliant throughout this season, to split the Bulls in Spain was an acheivement…..to lose 18 points was cruel luck…..Added to his tally, it put him much closer than he appeared.
    People forget that overtaking Webber in singapore was somewhat crucial, as he knew his car wasnt good enough at that point and those extra points in third were important to have against your MAIN(at that point) WDC rival.
    Every race Lewis made an attempt to catch the driver in front of him, or at the front, kept it sane and pulled away, no mistake(except for changeable track conditions in Spa).
    Alonso was good, but this is a case of what have you done for me lately, it looks good because it was at the end of the season, but means absolutely the same as Lewis’ strong midrun at the beginning of the season.
    Keith is getting attacked because there are simply more Alonso fans who read this and felt the need to inject their accusations.

    1. Just to highlight how important DNF situations were for the top drivers that aren’t Vettel. If the following scenarios occured.

      18 points from Spain, add them on
      Hamilton is champion.

      25 points in Korea by not crashing and Vettel still DF, add them on
      Webber is champion.

      Had he stayed on track in Spa, and held position. Alonso is Champion.

      Such a close season!!

      However it’s not fair to compare like this…

      Since, if Sakon Yamamoto had won all his races – he would be champion.

  81. i wouldnt worry too much about most of the Alonso fanboys. I remember them from 2007, they went very quiet after that but have rejoined the party now their boy is getting better results.

    So the point is they are not F1 fans they are Alonso fans. Fair enough, thats their perogotive but they cannot be objective so why bother arguing with them?

  82. I haven’t agreed with some of the driver rankings this year, but the top 3, I agree with 100%.

  83. @antonyob
    All fans like different drivers some are biased towards one and the others to anyother .I am a Alonso and ferrari fan but im not biased towards anyone.All the drivers are equal except u know SAKON :) who is in a level of his own

  84. Personally im an F1 fan first and last. I want the Brits to do well but my first hero was Alan Jones, an Australian and there were long periods without any significant Brits in f1. Anyway it shouldnt cloud your judgement, i loved seeing Damon Hill win but i was in no doubt that he wasnt top level. The two things are separable. I just dont see it from the fair weather Alonso fanboys

  85. Here is how I would rate the drivers

    1. Hamilton
    2. Button
    3. Barrichello
    4. Hulkenburg
    5. Glock
    6. Di Grassi
    7. Sutil*
    8. Liuzzi*
    9-27. Everyone else.


  86. think i’ll be taking notes after each race next year. i’ve got a terrible memory, so cannot really contribute towards this discussion of driver rankings. and lol at keith being biased because he put a british driver at number one. you have to love narrow minded people.

    i’m british, and i really don’t care for hamilton at all. i don’t mind button, but i don’t jump -around shouting HOMG COME ON JENSON!!!111. i also don’t really care for the mclaren team all that much. i really don’t care for patriotism, either.

    i cheer on drivers based on merit – i’m also an ‘underdog’ fan – i was really gutted at poor de la rosa’s reliability woes. pedro out-qualifying schumacher at silverstone was a brilliant moment for me.

    so there you go, just because someone might be british, that doesn’t automatically qualify them as patriotic, or a lewis hamilton fan. -sigh-.

  87. This isn’t controversial at all. This is just someone’s opinion.

    Who gives a crap?

  88. My #1 is Kubica for getting the most out of that car. I’d rank Hamilton 3rd or 4th, because:

    Italy and Singapore (preventable) incidents
    Alonso got the best of him at the end of the season
    Did not crush Button the way Kubica and Alonso did

    1. Equally, Hamilton got the better of him for the first two thirds of the season and the first grand prix counts as much as the last.

      WRT to your second comment. Lets look at the level of opponent:

      Lewis vs. Reigning World Drivers Champion
      Fernando vs. Organised Number Two
      Robert vs. Rookie.

  89. jackbrockley. 229 people give a crap. and if you dont why read the article, then the comments and then comment yourself?

  90. What I disagree with isn’t any kind of British bias (which, I don’t think he has anyway), but that the car performance seems to sway things a lot in these rankings. I feel Kobayashi and Kubica were both at least top 5 with their performances this year. But as someone else pointed out, this ranking is all opinion. If you really want to do it in an objective way, then you simply put them in order of the WDC points. And that does not tell the whole story anyway. Like I said before, the cars come into play there, too. Still, I enjoyed this and I enjoy reading these reviews of people’s performance over the season. It’s a fun look back while we wait for testing to start.

  91. Well I had intended to read through all the comments but I lost interest in all the poopooing about British bias and arguments about whose mistakes were worse.

    I view the results more as tiers of driver than absolutes because you’ll never be able to objectively come up with a ranking scheme. I’m going to use the tier sizes as Keith used them though but you could make them different sizes.

    Tier 4: Yamamoto, di Grassi, Chandhok, Senna, Petrov, Klien, Buemi, de la Rosa, Trulli
    Tier 3: Hiedfeld, Massa, Hulkenberg, Kovalainen, Schumacher, Alguersuari, Glock, Kobayashi, Sutil
    Tier 2: Barrichello, Button, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica
    Tier 1: Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton

    Tier 4 is a combination of new drivers and poor car performance or poor drivers. 4 rookies, 1 lousy driver, and 4 vets.

    Tier 3 is mostly veterans. Some struggled this year like Massa. If these guys don’t show much, they’ll probably not have much future in the next 3 years. Hulk and Kobayashi were surprising standouts as new fish.

    Tier 2 could be a combo of mediocre drivers in elite cars or great drivers in mediocre cars. People argue that Rubens, Mark, and Jenson aren’t fantastic drivers while people have said the Renault and Mercedes just weren’t fast enough.

    Tier 1 is the elite. The drivers here all belong here. You could make a case to add Kubica and either replace Vettel or make this four drivers.

    I think it’s a little more interesting this way. Plus, the more interesting discussion is about where people landed. Is Schumi in tier 3 not good for him or expected after a hiatus? Is Buemi likely out next season? Is Kob an up and coming star?

    Is that not more interesting than poopooing about who’s number one or British bias?

    1. I couldn’t disagree with that assessment but personally I WOULD add Kubica to Tier 1.

      1. Well it’s actually Keith’s rankings as published per article. I just chose to view it in a different way.

        I actually think he should be in Tier 1 but I wanted to benchmark it with Keith’s results.

        1. The only problem is I can’t find grounds for arguing bia!! LOL

      2. Agreed, Kubica should definetly be in Tier 1. I’d also say Rosberg is somewhere in between those drivers. Mine would be probably 1. Alonso 2. Hamilton 3. Kubica 4. Vettel and 5. Rosberg. I think Rosberg did really really well this year, he was completely outperforming 7-times WDC no matter how you look at it. Schumacher was the Massa of the Mercedesteam and you simply can’t say it’s because he was just getting back etc. Rosberg is an impressive driver. Not as impressive as the top 4, but more impressive than Barrichello for instance, who couldn’t get to Schumacher or Button if he wanted to.

  92. joey-poey has a good point. And thinking about it there must be an algorithim to more scientifically gauge the drivers rank. Something based on your points vs your team mate but then their points have to be coreleated to previous seasons points vs the team mate they had then factoring in seasons of experience and of course what car you happen to be in…and now my head hurts a bit

  93. First off, nothing like a “who’s best?”/driver debate to get the juices flowing! I love it!! We are clearly all very passionate, if not unbiased.

    And we need not be unbiased. For me, even having a steady opinion of who was the best driver throughout this year in particular, was very difficult. All of the top drivers put in stellar performances at times, and equally miserable ones, at others.

    Full disclosure: I am an unabashedly vociferous Lewis Hamilton fan. There I said it.

    However, this year, despite the fact that I found himself and Kobayashi, the more entertaining drivers to watch, I struggle to say it has been his best season, or that he was the best of the lot.

    For every great drive (Canada ) there was a bonehead drive (Monza), for Lewis. For every scintillating performance for Vettel (Japan, among others) there were the equally forgettable mistakes (Hungary, Belgium) and just his plain bad luck (Korea, Spain, Australia, Bahrain). And then it is just so hard to appreciate Alonso’s skill and brilliance (Monza, Singapore), because sometimes we can barely hear the engine over the sound of him whining (Valencia, Silverstone, Hockenheim) zing!!

    But when I sat down and thought about it as clearly as I could, and factored in the good performances minus the bad ones, compensate for the car, and the bad luck, added in the spice for the fun to watch, I really had to come down in Sebastian Vettel’s camp.

    In the end, bad luck kept him from completely sewing this up as early as July. Think about it, Bahrain (engine), Australia (brakes), Spain (brakes), Turkey (I still peg this one on Webber, although I am willing to concede), Canada (something… still don’t know what he was “managing”), Britain (puncture, albeit self imposed), Hungary (safety car shenanigans, again self imposed) and Korea (engine). All races in which luck/reliability/x factors forced him from the lead or from a top 4 position.

    Yes, he was boneheaded in Belgium, and scrappy/sloppy in Britain at the start and while overtaking. Yes, he still needs to learn how to overtake (in my humble opinion).

    Sebastian Vettel may not have been perfect, but this year, he was the best of the equally imperfect lot. IMHO. Cheers

    and awesome, awesome year for you, Keith. You kept us all engaged and entertained. Kudos!!

  94. The three are great drivers, but Alonso was the best for far. I read this website often and always left with the feeling that speaks better of the pilots and British teams. Even so I think this is the best formula 1 website.

    My rank:
    1 Alonso
    2 Vettel
    3 Hamilton
    (I don´t gonna explain why, because I have no time!)

    Hamilton is a great driver, but I think the British press has too pampered him.

  95. I’m a big Hamilton fan, but he does not, in my opinion, deserve to be voted best of the year. He wasn’t always reliable and made mistakes. I think Kubica, Rosberg and Alonso we’re way better this year. Lewis drove a good year, but not great.

    But that’s just me.

  96. Fair play Keith, you put up a right top 3 on this article of yours,even with the worry of being called “British bias” from people who don’t know that Britain is one of few countries in the world which can be unbiased towards a fellow country man, just wanting to give a accurate estimate on who the best driver was. Vettel deserved to be third Keith and I agree totally with your choice and I’m a vettel fan. My brother is an Alonso diehard and my brotherinlaw is a Lewis fan and I accepted that both those drivers outperformed vettel because of the extra years they had in F1. Personally I would of put Alonso just above Lewis only because he pushed the car beyond it’s limit again just like last year.

    (I haven’t read the whole article yet Keith), but would you have put Alonso above Lewis if it wasn’t for the team orders… I’m not trying to say was that the “main” reason why he got 2nd but a factor to sway your decision, or was it because that since Lewis didn’t have the luxury in McLaren, got him that extra bit of respect from you to give him the number 1.

  97. How can Hamilton be 1 when he was not really a force in the championship at all apart from a spell in midseason, he got passed twice by Alonso in the last few races, Alonso and Hamilton both had cars which were about equal in speed over the entire season and yet Alonso won more races, had a realistic chance of winning the WDC come Abu Dhabi, and scored more points than Hamilton, but Hamilton is aparently the best driver last season. It does not add up.

    1. It is really quite simple. He is the top British driver, and driving for McLaren. How can he not be ranked #1 on this site.

  98. Race Who was Better
    1. Bahrain : Alonso
    2. Australia : Alonso
    3. Malaysia : Ham (Though we can argue that Alonso drove an iconic race)
    4. China : Ham
    5. Spain : Ham
    6. Monaco : Alonso
    7. Canada: Ham
    8. Turkey : Ham
    9. Valencia : Ham
    10. Silverstone : Ham
    11. Germany : Alonso
    12. Hungary : Alonso
    13. Spa : Ham
    14. Monza : Alonso
    15. Singapore : Alonso
    16 . Japan : Alonso (We can argue that Ham was good too)
    17. Korea. Alonso
    18. Brazil : Alonso
    19. Abu Dhabi: Ham

    Whosoever thinks that I am biased can post for the discussion

    Ham – 9, Alonso – 10 and Alonso had more points at the end of the season.
    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Ham
    Debate finished

    1. Alonso gets your Monaco vote despite knocking himself out of qualifying and finishing behing Lewis?

      [sarcasm]Well played, sir. You are a clearly a bastion of objectivity. [/sarcasm]

  99. Why don’t you just get it over with and rename this site McLaren Fanatic.

    1. Because it’s F1 Fanatic.

      Look, I’ve explained why I thought Hamilton was the best driver this year and you’re perfectly entitled to disagree. But if you don’t bother to say who you thought was better or why then it’s a pretty short conversation.

  100. seems like the people think different about Hamilton

  101. Page 7 of comments already. This is what I get for living in an out-lying time zone!

    What I have learned from the comments I had time to read is that most believe Keith Collantine is a terrible British chauvinist in a top hat and Union Jack-patterned vest. I don’t get the bias thing anyway. Keith pretty much slated Button here and Button has the national flag right there on his helmet. And, in my mind, Keith often has been quick to rake mud on Hamilton or play up his radio talk as loutishness.

    I don’t think it was clear cut, but there is little basis to find Keith’s verdict unsupported by the facts.

    Among these drivers, as they were all brilliant, we are really now just subtracting points for errors. It’s like the final of an Olympic diving or gynastics competition.

    In this regard, while they all made gaffes, Hamilton’s were less severe in form, though maybe not in result. His only critical errors were at Monza and and Singapore, the consequences of which were patently unlucky. I’ts absurd and ironic to ding him for going off in Spa, when the alternative choices crashed out of the race in spectacular fashion. Add to his column the McLaren’s shockingly poor reliability.

    Alonso’s slate of errors is worse. China, Monaco, Silverstone. And all of these were simply gratuitous.

    Vettel had only two major gaffes, but they were just epic. And they arguably showed a glaring lack of judgement and maturity. On the other hand, his car was not reliable, but when it was, he was devastatingly quick.

    So Hamilton wins on deductions. Vettel takes a closely fought second from Alonso.

  102. How can you know what the maximum a car has? And how can you get more than the maximum out of a car? This is just the same platitudes that Hamilton disciples bring out over and over again to explain away his choking problem and lack of race craft.

  103. Yes, Keith once again, I completely agree.

    Autosport ranked Vettel no1 and Hamilton no2, I don’t agree.

    Kubica 4th as well, and Alonso second, perfect.

  104. Can’t disagree with Keith’s assessment, of course Vettel was still the worthiest winner: he had the best car and drove brilliantly considering his level of experience. Compare Vettel with Hamilton, who has continued to shave off the rough edges every year, it is clear to me that Vettel will continue to improve. Alonso, really did look fantastic in the latter half of the season, but he was far too scrappy in the first half. Overall Hamilton looked to be the most consistently high-level performer, the clanger in Monza probably being the only serious error he made.

  105. Most people posting here may find it pertinent to read Peter Windors article on his website regarding 2010 drivers rankings.
    Though not perfect, the formula used seems be the best weighted to address these issues.

    It may be worthwhile to know that his article placed Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel equal number one.
    Seems dyslexicbunny posting above is on the right track!

  106. Keith is so pro-British that he ranked two Germans and an Aussie above Button.

  107. Alister you are one of the the few people on here who doesn’t talk out of their backside. Alonso was shown who is the best driver in 07. He got the bottom lip out and upped sticks when the rookie showed him who’s top dog. I also agree with you that the final race in brazil 07 was fixed and Hamilton wasn’t allowed to win the title. The reason being the SPYGATE SCANDAL!!!! Hamilton in my eyes is a 2 time champion and is easily the best driver on the grid. End of debate lol

    1. I thought this thread was regarding 2010. If we are talking 2007, I would have to tip Raikkonen as the best of that year.

  108. haha Hamilton No 1, what a joke!!!

  109. That is why Hamilton tipped Kubica when asked who is the toughest driver. He raced with him in the karting cups etc.

  110. ‘Bias’ has become such an easy throwaway smear: you just need to shout it and then instead of actually saying why it is you disagree, you can talk about how biased someone is, whether it makes any sense or not. Too many people are acting as if Keith was going around kicking their grandmas in the shins. It’s a ranking, guys. That’s it. It’s a good starting point for conversation, not a reason to blow your top.

    Aaaanyhoo, for my part, rankings are fun to read, but I don’t really feel a need to rank drivers one by one and I like Dyslexicbunny’s idea of thinking in ‘tiers’ rather than individual rankings. My gut feeling is that Hamilton and Alonso are the two most talented drivers and racers. Vettel is a very talented driver, but the racer part we’ll have to wait and see. I think Kubica and Rosberg showed that they have the potential to be on the same level as Alonso and Hamilton, but until we see them in top-tier machinery and against on-form teammates, it’s a guessing game as to just how good they can be. The part of this ranking that stood out as curious for me was Kovalainen not being a good deal higher. All in all, an excellent write-up that made for very interesting reading.

  111. Poor Keith.

    I guess with this many comments screaming bloody murder, this obviously isn’t a ‘primarily english’ website after all!!!

  112. The fact I’m posting this on the eighth page shows what weight Keith’s opinion carries. I can see the reasoning, although just like Alonso really wasn’t that great at the start of the year, Hamilton wasn’t that great at the end.

    I’d have put Vettel at number 1 probably, because he would have won the WDC by a distance were it not for his car faults.

    It’s very hard to judge though, and really, it’s a subjective opinion. If Keith was giving out penalties, perhaps then the people who cry ‘bias’ would need to be heard a little better, but this is a blog and these are opinions… but in the main F1 fanatic doesn’t do bias in my opinion.

  113. What can you expect from a Brit, of course Hamilton was going to be 1 on this website, what a RIDICULOUS decision.

    Alonso with about the same car had a killer second half of the season, won more races, nearly won the title, surely thats enough to put him in front of Lewis.

    Vettel won the title, made nearly no mistakes, but is 3rd?

    Lewis was nowhere to be seen at the end of the season, finished way down the table, and yet he is seen as number 1.

    I thought this website was interesting, but now i think its a JOKE :)

    1. “Alonso with about the same car had a killer second half of the season”

      What about his first half?

      To me, Vettel should be no.1, with a coin toss deciding Hamilton or Alonso at no.2

      1. His first half he was driving in a completely new team. Hamilton was doing well at that time but he also did make a lot of mistakes, not to mention he got really lucky passing a safety car and got away with it. I like Hamilton, he’s a good driver, but at the end of the day Alonso had more points than him because Hamilton made too many mistakes. If it’s a coint toss it should fall Alonso’s way, since he did something extraordinary driving a “grand slam” in Singapore where Hamilton just had great drives.

  114. Buemi is ranked 20th? I don’t believe it ! What a biaised Swiss site F1Fanatic is!

  115. Oh Hamilton first on this blog. Will the surprises never end?! :O

  116. I like Hamiltons attitude in a car….try as hard as hell to overtake anyone and anything in front of him, and of course as seen at times, this leads to mistake’s. I’m a fan of the type of driver that is willing to push hard and take opportunites, so I admire Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica and Koby….but that doesn’t make them number 1. Vettel is WDC, Webber had a great car and still came up short, Button had patches of highlights, Rosberg was great in a team with a 7xWDC. I don’t agree with Keith list, but he never asked for my approval, and thats ok. I believe that 2010 showed how close most drivers where inculding all the mistakes etc, and I hope that continues to 2011. My #1 was Ferrari and Alonso….but I’ve been a Ferrari fan and fan of it’s drivers since the 80’s…so that’s my bias point of view.

  117. It really annoys me when people accuse Keith of being biassed. “Bias” is simply a word flung about by fanboys who get stropy when their favourite driver isn’t worshipped.

  118. It’s amusing how some respond when a opinion is different than their own. Words like “bias”, British,Hamiltonlover, etc., when used as a response to an opinion can be seem as a reflection of insecurity or delusions grandiosity when another opinion is not accepted.
    Stop taking this forum beyond what it is, a common place to share thoughts and opinions.

  119. I guess this is your way of venting out your frustration Keith. I mean, hasn’t been a happy few weeks, has it?
    First Hamilton not winning the WDC. Then the team principals voting Alonso as the best. FIA repealing its ban on team-orders. And then more than 50% of the readers on your own website saying they agree with the FIA on that one. Then, the Mclaren chief designed saying that they indeed had the second fastest car – which of course reflected poorly on Hamilton.

    I agree with you that the gaps between the drivers have been razor-thin. But your own explanations for both drivers – Alonso & Hamilton – paint a different story to their respective rankings. For once, just read the 2 paragraphs you have written and don’t see the rankings.

    1. The problem with so many of these comments claiming that Keith is biased is that very often they cherry pick whatever results suit them best.

      “First Hamilton not winning the WDC.”

      Irrelevant. Hamilton is not and will never be F1 World Champion 2010 and Keith or anyone writing about it in a blog isn’t going to change that.

      “Then the team principals voting Alonso as the best. Irrelevant. Keith is not a F1 team principal and while he may take their opinion into account, he has no onbligation to agree with them.”

      “FIA repealing its ban on team-orders.”

      Extremely irrelevant. You don’t know if this was a factor or not in Keith’s decision making, but as Keith said, if Alonso was that could he could have passed Massa.

      “And then more than 50% of the readers on your own website saying they agree with the FIA on that one.”

      The most irrelevant of all your irrelevant comments. What does this have to do at all with who was the best driver.

      “Then, the Mclaren chief designed saying that they indeed had the second fastest car – which of course reflected poorly on Hamilton.”

      This is relevant, but also the most obvious case of cherry picking. Come on, Sumedh, would you really have taken Whitmarsh’s claim at face value if it hadn’t supported something you already believed? I doubt it. Also, Keith looked through the statistics and made a strong claim for Ferrari being the second best car. Yeah, yeah, I know. British bias. Maybe you just have to accept that reality has a British bias!

    2. Can’t put it better.

  120. Still think Kubica was the best driver this season… Very, very few mistakes

  121. For me lewis and fernando made one or 2 more errors than they should BUT every other occasion they were by far the best and fighting for wins in machines that really shouldnt of been anywhere near the red bull. esp in fernando’s case. there were times and turkey springs to mind where his ferrari was just slow.

    Him at the team did a great job to turn it around. i think it all gelled nicely once they realised that u give fernando what he needs which is a car in the ball park. not something radical. and he will do the rest. for the first 3 months they spent to much time trying to get the F duct right.

    lewis did great esp early on. for me mclaren tried to throw too many updates at the car tho. and never made good use of any of them. lewis ditching it in practice in germany and suzuka didnt help either.

    Id still put Fernando and lewis a cut above the rest. vettel may be champion and fair play to him but i still look towards alonso and hamilton

  122. Nice Article Keith! I respect your say who’s your best driver for 2010 and admire your guts expecting a lot of opposition and critisisms.
    For me, the most impressive this year is rosberg on pure performance without considering machinery and team descision plus outscoring his team mate with same car specs. Lewis for me still on my top 5 list together with Alonso, Kubica, and Vettel.

    1. My point exactly.

  123. That’s ridiculous. Lewis Hamilton (aka I collide when there is pressure for points) is better than the current champion and Alonso???

    British bias Keith…admit it. :-P

  124. Sorry Keith. You’re wrong. I’m not going to bother reading the article, but, you’re still wrong.

    1. If you haven’t read the article, how do you know I’m wrong?

      1. You are wrong because your opinion is meaningless, you cannot justify these type of articles.

        Even after reading all your explanations there is only one reason for your clasifications, they are made by your emotions and feelings, not by who really was the best in the field.

  125. Well, i think your all wrong… Sakon Yammamoto was easily the best driver, the skill he use to consistently finish in last place… pure magic

  126. Oh yeah, forgot this was a British blog :)
    No way should Lewis be first – he threw away vital points in the most vital moments plus was easily pressured by Alonso into two mistakes costing him positions. If this was a half-term ranking then yeah, he was the best but in the last few races of the season he was totally not himself…not aggressive, not trying any moves, disinterested at times. Not worth number one at the end of the season.

  127. Hamilton performance in the second part of the season was not the same as the first part. I would rate him first part nr.1 second part nr.3 total nr.2

    Maybe bad luck, bad car as Vettel but i expected a bit more in the end i felt dissapointed. It was if he lost the belief to became WC…

    Keith, I would more clear why Vettel is 3 Alosnso 2 and Hamilton 1

    Hamilton first part nr.1 second part nr.3 total nr.2
    Alonso first part nr.5 second part nr.1 total nr. 3
    Vettel first part nr.2 second part nr.1 total nr. 1.5
    So Vettel would be mine nr. 1

    Because Hamilton nr.1 in the second part is nonsense if you see his last 4 races

  128. Nevermind Keith. Next time Hamilton does well, wins a race or even a Championship, don’t mention him and just how well the others did. Apart from if that’s Jenson Button though, obviously.

    Seriously guys i’m sure if Keith wanted to write an article about all the bad things about Hamilton and his weaknesses he could quite easily write a lengthy one full of incidents videos and facts. Hell, he might have done already.

  129. Madness. A joke of bad taste. Villeneuve pt. 2 the best driver of the year? British bias yet again.
    I’m out.

  130. Well done kieth in sticking to your own fact based views rather than trying to avoid the ‘British bias’ label.

    In his first season lewis was exciting, but some mishaps he is slowly becoming less aggressive, thinking of tyres and the points. Still, he is the most exciting driver on the grid (and most talked about) and deserves the high ranking due to his push hard 100% of the time attitude.

    When Lewis crashed out in the first lap at Monza, I knew that the race would be BORING after that. alonso making the move in the pit stops was predictable.

    When lewis crashed out of Singapore, I knew that was intresting race over. as if button try and pass webber…

    love him or hate him, F1 would not be less intresting without him

    1. “love him or hate him, F1 would not be less intresting without him”

      Yeah, probably not. ;)

      It wasn’t dull before, was it?

  131. There’s only one 2010 F1 driver rankings:

    1 Sebastian Vettel 256
    2 Fernando Alonso 252
    3 Mark Webber 242
    4 Lewis Hamilton 240
    5 Jenson Button 214
    6 Felipe Massa 144
    7 Nico Rosberg 142
    8 Robert Kubica 136
    … and so on

    1. This is how it’s all worked out after the crashes, the breakdowns, the car advantage etc. Which is how it should be. Otherwise what’s the point in having a drivers championship?

  132. Interesting debate, I really am disappointed I didn’t get involved earlier. Hamilton is great driver who gets a lot from his car, something his teammate failed to do. I’ve never really had much time for Alonso, despite his prior 2 WDC titles, I believe his arrogance compliments his driving style. He owned the team this season, not only did Ferrari pay Kimi not to drive this year in order to have him, but they also would have paid Fernando a handsome salary determined to have a championship not knowing what Felipe would produce after coming back from his accident. That being said he did have some good drives although it would be unfair to rate him against Massa in his comeback season in a car that was built around Alonso. While the Rb6 was a dominant car this year, both drivers failed to capitialize on it’s performance, despite winning both titles. Mark Webber showed he can drive, yet seemed to be easily rattled when thing didn’t go his way, it he didn’t get off the grid well, his race tactics/patience seemed to go out the door. Same must be said for Seb, yes he is world champion, but he was dubbed crash kid for a reason and is yet to show he can really pass. I also believe he is quite brutal on the car and while they may not have all been “his” fault, I believe his reliability problems were created through his driving style, differing from Webber who I believe is a cleaner more experienced driver. This being said these two drivers were generally within 100’s of each other all year, the closest teammates over the year??

    All that being said I totally agree with Keith and I’m Australian for the record. Hamilton impressed me with his ability to maximize this years car and while he did make a few mistakes didn’t they all. Alonso well he basically owned his own stake of the championship and while the German Gp was a devastating result for F1, facts are facts, he was faster than Felipe. Vettel, well he won the title so you have to rate him, if for nothing else, pure speed. Kubica and Rosberg deserve their rankings as they drove some brilliant races in under performing cars and should be snuck in before Webber as I believe he didn’t win the championship due to his own driver errors ( and a few biased choices made by Christian Horner a.k.a Helmuts puppet ).

    Thanks again Keith, you do a great job.

    1. “Hamilton is great driver who gets a lot from his car, something his teammate failed to do.”

      Both drivers “failed” to maximize the potential of the car for various reasons.

      At the end of a season that’s worth 475 points, it’s not too bad to finish just 26 behind your team mate.

  133. Vettel won the WDC. Therefore he is the best driver of 2010. Can’t see the point in having a drivers championship if everyone and their dog is going to try to decide differently when the dust as settled. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Vettel is best.

    If Vettel lost points because he had breakdowns, well that’s tough, it’s a team sport afterall.

    And if he lost points because he hit things, well that’s where a driver loses championships. Fortunately he was faster than others where it mattered.

    TBH, either one or the other championship needs to be got shut of (my preference would be for the drivers title to go).

    Gotta laugh at the folk that say “Vettel’s car carried him”. This is F1, not GP2. If you want equal cars then go watch something else.

  134. All I hear is “your opinion does not align with my own, therefore you are biased and wrong”. GROW UP people! Keith, thank you for the great blog; your wonderful insights are always well thought out and defended, unlike so many people posting here today…

  135. I don’t suppose that it will surprise anyone that in the Spanish forums Alonso comes top and in the German forums Vettel comes top in pretty much every forum review.

    Please, can we stick with the official way of deciding who is the best driver, rather than belittling the achievement by making up our own?

    1. Seriously, you don’t honestly believe that the points table per se represents the ranking of driver performance. Do you really think that Massa did a better job than Rosberg this year? Did Luizzi do a better job than Kovalainen? At the least, it’s debateable.

      Let’s be honest, the points don’t control for things fans can focus on from closely following the sport and can weigh, e.g., relative car development; the way a driver lost points, not just whether and how much; thew way a driver won points, rather than how many.

      If you don’t see value in discussing the finer points of how the events of the season revealed the skill and character of the drivers, I imagine you take no interest in the sport beyond the checking the current points tables, in which case even watching the races would seem to be wasting 90 minutes to find out what you can learn in 1 second.

  136. All of it is a matter of opinion however like 2009 Fernanado Alonso was far and away the best driver in the field. Im certanly not biased as he’s not one of my top 5 favourite drivers at the moment but i find it impossible to say he was the best this season and

    1. It could easily be argued that the best driver in the field is Michael Schumacher if you use the right criterion.

  137. So, what is all this fuss the “fans” make about ‘their’ driver winning official WDC when it can all be sorted out to your own satisfaction by simply joining the appropriate forum? I’m sure that most Spanish F1 fans will be so much happier now that they’ve had an actual analysis done for Alonso’s season. It’s hardly likely you’ll see Hamilton at the top of one of theirs!

    No, the drivers championship doesn’t tell us which driver is best, but neither does analysing everything to the Nth degree. There are far too many variables happening during any one F1 championship to make any accurate assessment of who may have been the best driver during that period. How points are won can depend just as much on the team as it does on a driver, If not moreso. Ask Fernando about that one! How do we know that Trulli or whoever didn’t get every last ounce of performance out of their car better than any other driver? Can we do that scientifically or does a ‘best guess’ assumption suffice for some drivers? How much slower was Kubica’s Renault? It certainly seemed to take a big leap up in performance from last season! Maybe it was development? Maybe it’s that Alonso isn’t as quick as Kubica? Who knows?

    IMO there should be just one championship and that is the one where the ‘team’ wins it. You know, the one that RedBull won in Brazil?

    As for: ” I imagine you take no interest in the sport beyond the checking the current points tables, in which case even watching the races would seem to be wasting 90 minutes to find out what you can learn in 1 second.”

    Now that is funny, especially sitting where I am!


    3 hamilton
    2 alonso
    1 vettel

  139. Lewis Hamilton number one?!?!?! Well this is a British blog so I understand that you favor British drivers.

  140. Hamilton, the most exciting driver of the season. But not mature, making many mistakes, coud not make some passes when others made. Not the best for me.

    1. I’ll give you that he was the most exciting! But the ‘best’ ?????

  141. Anyway this is really just an article on a Formula 1 blog. People are honestly losing their minds over this and even if Keith was biased (which he clearly is not) he can write what he wants, and anyone who seems to persistently enjoy firing abuse at the guy should go and read another one. It’s ridiculous how angry people are getting. Grow up.

    1. Sorry that was supposed to be italics, not a strike.

    2. To be honest, I think Keith is only proud his articles provoke so much heated discussion. Nothing is so lame than writing a blog that no one cares about.

      What’s the point in making top list anyway, if it’s not to get people talking? There isn’t an absolute truth on the matter who was the best F1 driver this year so I reckon this article is here only to provoke discussion.

      Also, please read the whole article. In the end it says “Who do you think was the best driver of the year? Have your say below and vote for the best F1 driver of 2010 here.”

      It doesn’t say “if you don’t think likewise, please go away”.

      1. Unfortunately the current standings in the poll do little to dispel the fact that this is fundamentally a ‘Lewis Hamilton fanboy site’.

        TBH I only come on here because the owner does a pretty good job in other respects.

        1. So because most people who have so far voted Hamilton as the best driver of 2010 it means this is a ‘Lewis Hamilton fanboy site’ it has nothing to do with the fact that they might actually think Hamilton was the best driver of 2010.

          If Alonso was leading the voting would that mean this was an Alonso fansite?

          1. “If Alonso was leading the voting would that mean this was an Alonso fansite?”

            Do you really think that he would be leading the voting?

      2. Of course it’s good thing that it provokes discussion, that’s what it’s here for. And I do read the full article, i’m not just one of these guys who reads the headline, a couple of comments then rants away. It’s fine to disagree (I wouldn’t have said Hamilton!), I just think people are getting way too worked up about it and a certain few only seem to post on here to throw a hissy fit at Keith. Nothing against what Keith is doing.

  142. By the way, British drivers seem to be doing great in F1 Fanatic driver rankings:

    Number one drivers by F1 Fanatic:

    2010/2: Lewis Hamilton
    2010/1: Lewis Hamilton
    2009/2: Jenson Button
    2009/1: Jenson Button
    2008/2: Robert Kubica
    2008/1: Robert Kubica
    2007/2: Lewis Hamilton
    2007/1: Lewis Hamilton

    That’s 75% British drivers. Compared to team principal’s opinion on the best F1 driver (Source: Autosport):

    2010: Fernando Alonso
    2009: Sebastian Vettel
    2008: Lewis Hamilton
    2007: (Couldn’t find data, I guess Autosport only started asking team principal’s opinion in 2008)

    Which is only 33% British drivers.

    1. Sneaky use of stats. First of all we can’t compare 2007, so we can drop that out. That brings us to comparing 2 from 3 to 1 from 3. Not nearly impressive as your 33%v75% stat.

      Plus, autosport is using an entirely different system of ranking, asking 13 opinions and giving them points based on the real-life system. Keith is simply ranking them. And if you take the averages of each driver’s autosport race ratings, you get:

      1) Hamilton 8.21
      2) Kubica 8.11
      3) Alonso 8.05
      4) Rosberg 7.89
      5) Vettel 7.84
      6) Webber 7.47
      7) Barrichello 7.26
      8) Kovalainen 7.11
      8) Button 7.11
      10) Senna 6.72

      To be honest I’d be far more inclined to side with Keith, who could have made anyone he liked #1, than 13 people, many who have their own reasons for voting certain ways.

      Incidentally when the team principals did vote for a British driver, Keith went a different way.

      1. In my books 33% v 66% and 33% v 75% aren’t that different, but that’s your opinion. And I’m not saying Autosport’s ranking is the right one, I’m just showing you that this other respected ranking differs majorly from F1Fanatic’s (in fact Hamilton was only 3rd this year in Autosport’s ranking).

        “Plus, autosport is using an entirely different system of ranking, asking 13 opinions and giving them points based on the real-life system. Keith is simply ranking them.”
        Doesn’t make a difference really. Team principles choose their top ten, Keith ranks all the drivers.

        “To be honest I’d be far more inclined to side with Keith, who could have made anyone he liked #1, than 13 people, many who have their own reasons for voting certain ways.”
        But my point is that Keith is a British F1 fan and thus he’s more prone to pick a British driver number one driver than someone else. And I’m not saying that it’s wrong, we all have favourites whether we admit it or not. i’m only stating the obvious.

  143. I guess everyone thinks lewis isnt no.1 cause while everyone else improved over the 2nd half of the season as their car got better, mclaren started losing the development race and it looked like lewis wasn’t good enough.
    Comment 300!

  144. When you look back at all the driver mistakes that were made, particularly by Vettel, who also probably had the worst reliability. How many races did he not finish!? Then you’re really just picking from the best of a bad lot.

    Alonso made a jump start, wrecked his car for Monaco qualifying, lost a place to Kobayashi at Valencia and then hit the barriers at Spa. That’s not a driving God doing that!

    In the meantime 99.9% of people that watch F1 think that Vettel is the best driver, despite what a few members of the public get up to on F1 internet forums.

    1. Yeah, shame all insiders and experts seem to think Alonso is the better and more complete driver of the 2, this includes team bosses and drivers for cryin’ out loud. Vettel did drive well, but he too made his mistakes. He crashed into Webber at Turky and he can’t fight back whenever he gets behind. He’s just not as complete a driver as Alonso is. He is quick and doesn’t make too many errors, but he’s no Alonso.

  145. Oh yea the best driver Alonso- I forgot.

    Gifted a win in Bahrain.
    Couldn’t pass his team-mate if his life depended on it
    in australia.
    Malaysian Gp showed poor race craft- but all everyone saw was his gearbox.
    Shangai jump start
    Spain gifted 2nd
    Turkey – he was nowhere
    Canada – again showed poor race craft
    Valencia- couldn’t stop focusing on Hamilton so Kobayashi showed him how to overtake.
    Silverstone– Just poor racecraft
    Germany– Enough was enough, put his foot down and was granted #1 status for the rest of the year-Santander had paid after all.
    Hungary– Drove well.
    Belgium–wet race crashes out.
    Italian gp drove extremely well.
    Singapore drove extremely well
    Japaness gp drove well
    Korean gp drove extremely well, wet race performance ..surprise
    Brazilian gp drove extremely well
    Abu Dhabi gp came back to earth as a normal Alonso

    Notice how well he settled in, when Ferrari got 100%
    behind him.

    Keith please stop frustrating the Alonso fans.
    Please make him number 1 for life, so we dont have to hear them whine.

    1. Yeah you can say he settled in when ferrari got 100% behind him, or that he just needed to get used to the new team dynamics and the car! I mean, Hamilton was great the first half of the season but he got nowhere near Alonso who did some extraordinary things this season. Hamilton can only dream of a drive like Alonso’s in Singapore. He something that didn’t happen since 2004, when Schumacher did it in a dominant Ferrari. He drove a grand slam there and like you said, had a few other great ones. Hamilton did an “ok” season, but he did throw away a few races with rooky mistakes. Btw, in the Australian race he also drove extremely well. He fell back (admittedly by his own fault) but drove to Massa’s tale within half a race-distance. He was not allowed to pass Massa back then, this is a team-order that is overlooked by many. The races you vote as “pore racecraft” is when the Ferrari was falling back. He’s voted by the racers and insiders as best driver, if he can’t get that Ferrari to the front, no one can. He did, just took him a while to get used to the circumstances.

      As for Vettel being lower than Hamilton is also pretty lame. What the hell did he do wrong? Sure Hamilton is the more spectacular driver of the 2 and Vettel can’t overtake as well as Hamilton, but Hamilton made way more mistakes than Vettel did. Vettel lost 63 points just by pure engine trouble! Hamilton crashed several times and went out by his own mistakes. Really outrageous list.

  146. yamamoto , good enough for F1 FUNNY
    Red bull dont favour any drivers LAUGHABLE
    Massa to challenge Alonso in 2011 SIDE SPLITTING
    Hamilton driver of the year 2010 PRICELESS

  147. I would admit with many on here that Hamilton maybe wasn’t worthy of 1st. In my opinion he would come third after alonso and vettel. However based on my name it could be argued i have supportive bias to alonso, when in fact it is just my thoughts. There are approximately 1 million million million million ways of selecting the 24 drivers so the chance keith has ordered them exactly as you like is minimal.

  148. @ hotbottoms, well said I hadnt realised.
    @ Keith: Ive been avidly following ur site for the last year. Every weekend the site has been praising hamilton in one a or another and critisisig ferraris.Not a neutral ste then, which all good jounalistc ites should be. I ecided to come on the site half way through the winter to see f you had any interesting technical debates and info going on about the cars and their regulation changes for next season. instead all i found was 400 odd comments (mostly disagreeing with you) on a table whic unsurprisingly you put ermmm hamilton on 1st position. oh dear. never mind, I shall return in a few weeks, maybe, and hopefully thee will be something a bit more interesting and true to discuss

  149. i think the best driver of the season was webber. I could have chosen my favourite driver like keith did, and put alonso first, but i thought id decide based on my head and not my heart. so webber 1st, alonso 2nd, vettel 3rd, button 4th.

  150. Well we can see this is a British site now can’t we :) Hamilton was by NO means better than Alonso, made way too many errors in the second half of the season and threw his chances away after leading the championship for a while! He drove reckless at times and made way more errors than Alonso and Vettel. Come on!

Comments are closed.