Vote for the best F1 driver of 2011

2011 F1 season review

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Drivers, Melbourne, 2011

Who was the best F1 driver of 2011?

You’ve seen F1 Fanatic’s pick of the best drivers of the year, now it’s your turn.

Cast your vote for the driver who impressed you the most in 2011 and have your say in the comments:

Who was the best F1 driver of 2011?

  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Karun Chandhok (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (2%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (1%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (1%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (16%)
  • Jenson Button (28%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (4%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (44%)

Total Voters: 569

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We’re also looking for your views on the best pass of 2011 and the best overtaker of the year. Cast your vote in those polls here:

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2011 F1 season review

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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...

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132 comments on “Vote for the best F1 driver of 2011”

  1. Paul di resta best driver for me

    1. Archimedas (@)
      17th December 2011, 7:33

      Sadly he still havent got neither your nor anyone’s else’s vote

    2. My top 10 would be the same as that voted by the F1 Team Princiapls:

      1. Vettel
      2. Button
      3. Alonso
      4. Hamilton
      5. Rosberg
      6. Webber
      7. Di Resta
      8. Sutil
      9. Kovalainen
      10. Schumacher

      But if I was giving my award to the driver that made the biggest impact, I would agree with you, and give it to Di Resta.

      1. i think that button in no way should be in front of alonso.
        everyone is getting carried away with button winning ahead of hamilton. this was probably worst season from hamilton. people’s big argument is hamilton was never beaten by a team mate, until now. that is just bs, alonso had same amount of points in the first season, the hamilton had two seasons with heikki, and now 2 seasons with button. alonso probably would have trashed him this season, vettel also.
        Two best drivers this year were vettel and alonso, button comfortably third but alonso closer to vettel than button to alonso. button is a very good driver but not better than hamilton and certanly not better than alonso or vettel

        1. oh and i hate vettel (don’t know why, probably because he has the best car for 2 years), but that doesn’t stop me from saying that he was the best driver this year and that he is the on of the 3 best

          ALONSO FAN

    1. +1 No question

      Im a Lewis fan but he was not the best this year

    2. If you don’t vote for Vettel you’re kidding yourself.

      1. No way to ever know but my opinion is that if you trade cars Vettel and Button, Vettel finishes behind Alonso in the points.

        1. Yet I doubt Button would win 11 races or 15 poles over Webber.

          1. Take Webber out of RB and he’s looking for a drive at the back of the pack.

          2. @rocky – Webber did very respectably in the Minardi, Williams and Jaguar, so he isn’t that bad.

            Point is, the way Vettel has performed points to him actually doing better than either Mclaren driver if he was in their position.

          3. Yeah, it would be much more.

          4. @nixon – No, it would be much less, since it isn’t actually possible to get much more.

          5. You might be right, but we will never know.

      2. Let’s vote F1 MVP I’ll take Adrian Newey!

    3. This year most certainly he was.

    1. +1 Deffo!
      Best season he’s had, driving wise!

      1. Agree. JB had more of a challenge than Seb in terms of car and team. The blown diffuser deal skewed the contest – in Melbourne you could hear the Red Bulls on the throttle many metres before the Mclarens, or anyone else.

  2. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
    16th December 2011, 12:13

    If you didn’t vote for Vettel, why? (Honest question!)

    1. Because Button impressed me this season more than Vettel. He drove very good races, beats his team mate and shows a constantly good perfomance. Sure, you can tell the same about Vettel, but not in the way Button did it.

      There’s no doubt that Vettel drove an excellent season, but its not such a surprise for me. Maybe there’s a little bit sympathie in it, too. ;)

      My number two, by the way, were Kovalainen, because what he does with the Lotus was phenomenal…

      1. but not in the way Button did it.

        Yeah, Vettel only beat him consistently by a healthy margin the whole season.

    2. I was thinking the same… it’s quite hard not to vote for Vettel.

    3. Vettel absolutely amazed me in Qually, but JB really hammered the races and showed the best form of his career.

      I don’t feel that Vettel would have done as well if he wasn’t in the best Adrian Newey powered rocket ship. Button got the best and more out of the Macca, and really impressed me.

      I thought that Lewis would trounce him for sure. JB is just a better all around driver in my opinion. Vettel is a qually master.

      My 2 cents.

      1. Jenson couldn’t even find his pit box, lost the race lead, Vettel was ready to take it, epic fail JB.

      2. I don’t feel that Vettel would have done as well if he wasn’t in the best Adrian Newey powered rocket ship. Button got the best and more out of the Macca, and really impressed me.

        SV won the title by 130 points. Slow his car down, and Vettel still would have won it by some margin. And Button had more poor races and qualifying sessions. Vettel and Alonso got more out of their cars to be honest.

  3. This will come as a shock to many (I love being controversial); I voted for Vettel! He had the best car, but so did Webber, and Mark only won a single race. Vettel never backed down at any stage and even in his mid-year “form slump” (the one that the BBC invented) where he wasn’t dominating every race from lights to flag, he still looked as determined and relaxed as ever. I think his most impressive performances came in Spa and Monza where he convincingly squashed the hopes of anyone catching him and took the Red Bull to victory at circuits it struggled at last year.

    Alonso and Button were my equal second best drivers of the year and my Christmas wish will be for McLaren and Ferrari to catch Red Bull so we can see a proper title fight next year. With Button, Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton at their peaks, I can’t think of a more exciting line-up of top drivers. And you can never discount Webber. I hope he’s back to his best again next year too.

    1. @damonsmedley I think those two victories in Spa and Monza are Vettel’s best of the year. Autosport summed it up perfectly with a sub-headline on their magazine following the race, “How the slowest car won the fastest race.”

      Says it all!

  4. I voted Button.

    I admit that Vettel from another point of view was the best driver, he won the championship after all! His superiority was outstanding, you can really understand why people call him the ‘new’ Schumacher.

    But for me Button was the driver that made this year, although not a classic by looking at the standings, a very exciting year. He didn’t demolish his team mate like Vettel, nor did he destroy the whole field, yet I felt throughout the every race that if Button was there something exciting was going to happen. His drive through the field at Canada was just brilliant, at Japan after being forced nearly onto the grass (I know it’s debatable) but he drove quicker than the to be world champion to snatch the win, and then held onto the win from the ever present Alonso.

    I could name more examples, but really in my eyes he has gone from a great driver to a greatly greater driver. :/

    1. I dunno, Button had some dull races too. Especially early in the year when it looked like he was going to follow Hamilton again.

    2. Button easily stakes a claim to be this year’s most improved driver, if such an award were given out. But even then Vettel has a very strong claim to that too.

  5. F1 is incredibly difficult and for someone to make it look as easy as Seb has this year is purely masterful

  6. Vettel was in a class apart this year. Nobody could touch him in qualifying.

  7. fernando alonso. #1

      1. First of all I want to say that isn’t necessarily my opinion but a nice exercise. Lets say the constructors scores are the benchmark for how good a car is. Now lets go and norm all teams to the same score to even out the car differences. To get some sense of reality into it lets not scale all teams to RedBull but differentiate between performance groups (its basically a method I use in the bank where I work to find out the value of things). So here’s what we’d find as a result:

        Top Teams:
        Alonso 446points
        Vettel 392
        Button 351
        Hamilton 295
        Webber 258
        Massa 205

        Merc (put them as a single group)

        Kobayashi 50
        Alguersuari 46
        Sutil 45
        Petrov 37
        Heidfeld 34
        Buemi 27
        Perez 23

        If you’d scale all teams to RedBull Results would become interesting (but somewhat unrealistic I suppose):
        Alonso 446
        Kobayashi 445
        Alguersuari 409
        Sutil 400
        Vettel 392
        Button 351
        Rosberg 351
        Petrov 329
        Heidfeld 302
        Hamilton 295
        Schumacher 292
        DiResta 258
        Webber 258
        Buemi 240
        Massa 205
        Perez 205

        As I said, those scores only work in the limited world where WCC points represent the real strength of the cars which obviously isn’t true.

        Another argument for Alonso would be that his teammate got 46% of his points, Vettels teammate got 66% of his score but again, one could argue that Webber is better than Massa. If we’d count by how much drivers contribute to the teams total points the scores would be (pretty much the same as the ones I wrote above obviously, but I wanted to show you the numbers):

        Alonso 69%
        Kobayashi 68%
        Alguersuari 64%
        Sutil 61%
        Vettel 60%
        Button 54%
        Rosberg 54%
        Petrov 51%
        Hamilton 46%
        Schumacher 46%
        DiResta 39%
        Buemi 36%
        Perez 32%
        Massa 31%

        Of course those results vary depending on how good the teammates are, Button for example would rank much higher if he had Chandhok or something as a teammate but well, its just playing with some numbers.

        I guess it is fair to say Vettel was the best driver of the season but you can twist amd turn the numbers until they suit your point of view.

        1. Still need to factor in retirements and number of races participated- so to really equalise you need to work on “points per race finished”.

        2. You need to provide a HUGE amount more information as to how you’re normalising and weighting these figures before I’d give them much credence.

      2. Vettel did an awesome job (he really did), however he was also in the best car and was able to run away. I think if Vettel and Alonso swapped rides, that Alonso would have done a better job. As much as I am not thrilled with his persona, I feel he has been the most complete driver in terms of shear speed, reflexes, racecraft, determination, aggressiveness and grit for at least 2 years running. I think if he was in a Redbull he would not have just won, but severely embarrassed the entire rest of the field more than Vettel did. I like Vettel, but my #1 pick is Alonso for the year. BTW, that time I said I hate Ferrari I was kinda just being cocky (slightly tipsy ;) I don’t really hate any of the teams. Ferrari kinda fails for me in sportsmanship though. But I do respect them for hanging onto Massa in light of his last couple years.

  8. Vettel was imperious all year. Sure he had the car underneath him, but so did Webber. He’ll for sure become an all-time great

  9. Vettel won the Championship by a country mile, so surely this is a bit of a pointless question/pole?
    It should ask, who was your fave driver of 2011…

    1. I think that’s the question a lot of the voters are answering already,
      or “who was the highest finishing driver who’s team or persona I don’t hate?”

  10. Unquestionably Vettel.

  11. I think this one will be interesting.

    On the one hand, nobody has any doubt Vettel was the quality of the field, almost flawless in every respect, and a well deserved winner/champion.

    On the other hand, I think there are going to be a lot of people who will interpret this as best/”favourite” driver and in that case I think a lot of people might vote for Button. He wasn’t as flawless as Vettel (“no grip in qualifying” will be written on his gravestone), but he wasn’t far off. And when he did win, he won in the style we all like to see: battling on pure talent and determination, at the limits of what his car could give him.

  12. For me surely its adrian sutil. He came back well after facing lot of problems during the start of the season. He finished the season very strongly and surely deserve’s a seat in top 4 teams. Only good drivers can finish the season in a better way after a come back…

    1. i nearly voted for him. i quite agree

  13. Vettel – no one got near him all year long. His qualifying form was particularly awesome.

  14. Can we have another vote – for the second best driver of 2011?

    The % scores in this vote will give some idea, but it’d be interesting to see who’s rated as next best by all the people who voted for Vettel. It should be close between Button and Alonso, with one or two others in there too. A few people will think Vettel was second best…

  15. I voted for JB. Of course if you’re looking at pure stats this is a pointless poll, as there isn’t any question that Vettel shouldn’t get it, so for it to make any sense I think you have to interpret the question as meaning favourite as well. I don’t particularly dislike Sebastian, it’s just that when I feel excited about an upcoming race it’s never because I’m so keen to see what he’s going to do.

  16. Vettel was, hands down, the best driver this year. Makes it all the more surprising that I voted for Button :)

    1. Why yes, that is surprising, considering the poll is “best F1 driver of 2011”! But, then again, I’m getting the idea that a lot of people are not casting their votes with that in mind.

      1. I think I’m seeing a theme as well :/

  17. Best: Vettel
    Worst: Trulli
    Disappointment: Webber
    Surprise package: Perez
    Underdog: Kovalainen

  18. By any measure Vettel gave us a stunning show of intelligence, speed and bravery. Not to mention consistency, single mindedness and political astuteness.

    The only complete driver in f1 (bar Alonso) he out performed the car, good though it was and even finally nailed the only doubt held over him re overtaking. Im struggling to think of a better all round driver in the 33years i’ve watched F1. . Pretty much now flawless.

    ah hold on, i’ve thought of something, i heard him play guitar at Silverstone and it wasnt music to my ears.

  19. Sebastian Vettel for me, but I also think Button & Webber for some fantastic racing deserve the second & third spot for me.

  20. This is such a difficult thing to gauge. I voted Button because he was the only one of the best 3 (Vettel, Alonso and Button) to have beaten a very equal team mate. Vettel had by far the best car and was unchallenged almost the whole season because Webber couldn’t get the tyres to work for him, and Massa was a pawn for Alonso so it is hard to tell how quick the Ferrari would be in someone elses equal hands.

    Its a really close thing though.

    1. Vettel had by far the best car

      He had the best car. But several times during the year the Mclaren drivers made mistakes giving pole to Vettel, Even though they had the pace. And the Mclaren was strong in most races, especially as the fuel came down.

      I think Vettel is being under appreciated to be honest.

      I’m not really a fan. But I think he worked a lot harder than people give him credit for.

      If Vettel and been as inconsistent as the Mclaren drivers, we’d all be saying how great Button and Hamilton were to beat him.

      They for the most part did good jobs as well. But Vettel was close to flawless.

    2. it is hard to tell how quick the Ferrari would be in someone elses equal hands.

      If my mind is right, Massa was faster then kimi in 2008, and when he got his accident in 2009, he had more points than him. So im not sure another teammate versus alonso could beat him. Massa is not that worst……. stop bashing him he did some good performance in the past, I hope next year hes back at 100%.

  21. Kovalainen – he did so much with so little. Sometimes points don’t tell the full story.

  22. A shame that we cannot vote 25-18…-1 cause voting for the best driver has just an answer or two, but we are interrested about how people place the second, the third…
    but the blog is already incredibly great…

  23. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso obviously deserve a mention here, but it can’t be anything less than Sebastian Vettel as the top driver of 2011. He was sensational.

  24. I’m not sure that Seb Vettel was better than Nico Rosberg or Nano Alonso. All three got 100% from their car (and Kovalainen wasn’t far behind in that respect). Of course the Vettel/RB7 combo was miles ahead of the rest, but we are trying to subjectively deduct the car factor.
    But for me the driver of the season was Felipe Massa, the one who did the most to keep the loathsome one at bay.

  25. hahaha Massa!!! that is funny, thankyou, best laugh of the day.

    btw- 2 things, its not a personality contest and you didnt actually vote.

  26. This is the problem with polls like this, people simply vote for their favourite. Vettel should win by an absolute landslide after the season he’s just had but as I vote he’s only 25 votes in front of Button.

  27. Narain Karthikeyan (1 Votes)

    DId his mum vote?

  28. or worse, they vote for a driver who stopped a driver they didnt like! its like saying Basle are the best football team cos they stopped man utd from qualifying for the champs league.

  29. Vettel of course. Red Bull gave him the fastest car, and unlike 2010, he really did take advantage of having the fastest car this year.

  30. Has to be Vettel for me.

    The Red Bull may have been the best car but Vettel has just put in an amazing year which no one else came close to.

  31. Couldn’t note vote for Vettel. Though about Heikki and Button but couldn’t reason voting for them instead of Vettel when I only had one vote.

  32. I voted for Vettel but Button still impressed me!

  33. I just couldn’t decide between Button, Alonso and Vettel.

    All 3 of them did an excellent season. They’ve extracted the maximum of their cars, they’ve beaten their teammates quite often during the races, they might have done a couple of mistakes, but none really serious. They also managed to win races while the odds were against them (like Button in Canada, Alonso in Silverstone, Vettel in Monza). They really are the 3 top drivers of the season.

    As I couldn’t choose between them, I decided to make a choice a bit irrational : I voted Nico Rosberg. I’m sure Alonso, Vettel and Button will have a lot of votes, while Rosberg did also a strong season, but didn’t have as much coverage as he deserved.

  34. Gotta love the trolls that voted for Chandhok and Karthikeyan! No, wait…

  35. While its very easy to say that Vettel had the best car out there, its about car AND driver…if you put my gran in a red bull could she win the drivers world championship?! NO!
    Webber has had the same equiptment and been completely dominated as well. The only explaination is a truly sublime season by a promising young driver. He made several big mistakes (mostly in overtaking) last year, but has learnt from them and had a flawless year this year. His only mistakes this year have only affected him!
    Best overtake of the year in my opinion against Alonso on the grass at Curva Grande!

    1. Correct. I’ve got a very similar guitar to Jimmy Page – do I sound remotely like him? No chance.

      1. While I agree with you that with the same guitar you would not sound nearly as good as Jimmy Page, I dont see why that invalidates that if Jimmy Page would try to play guitar with a broken guitar it would sound bad no matter how good Jimy Page is. So this whole argument is faulty logic. Vettel had the best car and it influence the outcome, to could measure the quality of the driver you have to make comparisons between drivers with the same tools, and Alonso has been the one that has manage to excel more with the faulty tool he had.

  36. Easy. Vettel. He’s the only one where there is no reason to explain the vote and that’s why I voted for him

  37. Vettel – Combined Red Bull’s dominant aerodynamic package with his brilliance in Qualifying;Pulled it out of the bag when he needed to 99% of the time to fend off challenges from McLaren,Webber & Alonso.You wouldnt certainly be able to touch him with a great strategy behind him,Dry race & himself in his common position from the start; Pole Position!!!

  38. Nice to see that Sebastien Buemi’s ,Karun Chandhok’s and Narain Karthikeyan’s mothers have signed up to F1 Fanatic.

    1. they must have signed up themselves……..even their mothers would not vote for them.

  39. Even though Jenson had a fantastic year and Fernando showed his talent in an under performing car, what more could Seb have done to deserve driver of the year?

    1. what more could Seb have done to deserve driver of the year?

      That’s a familiar-sounding question — similar ones have been asked during Driver of the Weekend polls it seemed Vettel should have run away with but didn’t. And it seems the reasons for Vettel having only 44% of the votes right now are similar, as well!

  40. Vettel. Give me a reason why I shouldn’t have voted for him?

  41. I’m noticing a trend here.

    When someone votes for a driver that’s not Vettel, they immediately set out to justify why they didn’t vote Vettel before giving the reason for their preferred driver.

  42. Vettel.

    His worst races were the Nurburgring for 4th and Suzuka for 3rd. In Germany he couldn’t deliver. That’s one race he was ‘off form’. He was practically unbeatable in qualifying and managed to make the RB7 look almost as dominant as the F2002 in the races. On top of that he made Webber seem average.
    Vettel has only made a few mistakes and most of those few mistakes he made when it didn’t matter too much.

    Button had poor races in Australia, China, Turkey and Valencia.
    He has also had more poor qualifying sessions than good ones, each of which was paired with his famous “I wasn’t happy with the balance of the car.” or “I had no grip.” tag lines. He’s beaten Hamilton both in points and in race pace this year which is a great feat but there were numerous occasions where everybody thought Button could have done better.

    Alonso was 2nd best for me this year. He performed like Vettel, always at the top of his game every session of every race. There really wasn’t much between Vettel and Alonso this year. What made me vote for Vettel was the fact that Vettel was even more dominant over Webber than Alonso was over Massa.

    Vettel beat Webber 16-3 in quali
    15-2 in races (in which they both finished) (88.2% strike rate)
    and Vettel lead Webber for 918 out of 1030 laps (89.1%)

    Alonso was just a tad less dominant.
    15-4 in quali
    13-2 in races (86.7% strike rate)
    and 847 out of 1016 in front of Massa. (83.4%)

    1. Best analysis I’ve seen so far. A+

  43. very interesting bananarama certainly helps me understand why the banks are in s o much trouble. but all seriousness aside your work does help partially answer the age old question of what the driver adds to the basic speed of the car. Commonly you baseline performance against your team mate and unless they are obviously hopeless like Massa thats a good gauge of value. By any measure Vettel trounced his team mate and a very good team mate at that.

    1. For me, a driver can offer consistency. Thats the single biggest thing they can contribute, as the skill for any driver that takes to the grid these days is evidently there (to varying degrees).

  44. For me, Vettel, no question.

    Sure notable mentions go to Sutil, Alonso and Button, but Vettel was consistently brilliant all season (baring the one exception of Germany). The thing that made that such a big achievement was that he did this from the front, where the pressure is arguably at its highest.

    You could argue that Vettel is an easy choice to make considering he ended up WDC, and so of course had the best car-driver combination over the season. Its not just an easy choice for me, but the only choice!

    All this coming from someone who doubted his talents even half way through this season!

  45. Britalian Stallion
    17th December 2011, 12:47

    Keith, why don’t you create a page on the drivers who did not score points this year (Lotus drivers Trulli, Chandhok, Kovalainen – HRT drivers Liuzzi, Ricciardo and Karthikeyan – Virgin drivers Glock and D’Ambrosio) and what would have been their points tally had they been the only drivers in all the 19 races this year.

    Button for me was the best driver in 2011.

  46. Pedro de la Rosa, watched his entire race on the red button. Had he been in a Red Bull..:D :D

  47. I put my vote on Rosberg. Dominating M.Schumi, 7 time world champion..
    Beat team mate in qualifying 15/17
    Laps spent ahead of team mate 615/873

    Also want to say that Webber is not even a great driver..

    1. I agree. Also Massa.

    2. Rosberg may be good but seems not great……If he cannot win GP soon he will be the next Nick Heidfeld.

  48. There’s some here that seem to wish to separate the cars performance from the drivers to compare the drivers. I feel that this is a bit unfair, after all the drivers work all season in practice sessions and with the mechanics making sure that not only is the car in best trim for races but also that the team are able to develop the car effectively throughout the season.

    Vettel showed frequently this season that he was well able to during a race weekend work with the team to refine the car in a way that made not only his qualifying performance superb but also the race pace – even at tracks not traditionally strong for the team.

    It can only be that Vettel was the best driver this season in my view.

    1. oh my god, how can you say that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



      1. Zero, since that isn’t even a quote that you can verify.

  49. hastalaspelotasdeesperar
    17th December 2011, 14:56

    the best without a doubt vettel. He is a good qualyfier, good in the wet, in the dry, in the race, and beat his teammate clearly.
    Difficult call for second between button and alonso. Both beat their teammates, but even if hamilton had a bad year, he has more talent that massa, so i will vote for button, third is alonso.
    And after them what.? James allen put kovalainen, and then alguersuari. And i think he has a point, because neither webber or massa, and not even hamilton deserve to be considered a top five, with the bad use they did to their good equipment. They should be worried about loosing their jobs, like the rest of us.

  50. People who don’t vote for Vettel need a think. He dominated all season.

    1. People who don’t vote for Vettel are people who will never vote for Vettel. Even if he wins the championship in an HRT.

      If Button or Hamilton had the season Vettel has had this year they would have gotten 400+ votes by now. It’s sad but that’s just the way it is. Some ‘fans’ will never ever look at it from an objective point of view.

  51. The luckiest driver of the year goes to SEB VET. Lucky to have driven one of the best racecars of all time thus making him the best driver of the year.

  52. Keith could we just make a poll excluding the world champion cause its just too obvious that Vettel was the best driver this season.

  53. Undoubtedly Vettel. Never finished lower than fourth (in perspective there were 20 drivers on the grid who never finished higher than fifth) and dominated from the start until the end, picking up almost every record along the way. Genius in quali and so calm and confident in races. Hoping for a 3rd world title in 2012!

  54. lol
    Who voted for Karthikeyan?

    1. @Nixon Narain himself, probably.

    2. I almost did

  55. Sebastian Vettel. Vettel coped very well with the introduction of Pirelli tires while many including his teammate (who I regard very highly) struggled and put in some flawless laps in qualifying and paired that with flawless victory on Sundays. He proved those that doubted his overtaking skills wrong with brilliant moves on Alonso in Monza and Rosberg at Spa. The small margins in qualifying tell me that the car was not really as dominant as Sebastian made it seem. What a driver!

  56. It has to be Hamilton who, despite all the attacks he was subjected to, Massa’s vendetta, team strategy fiasco, still managed to win as many races as his team mate who supposedly had a wonderful season.

    1. I agree with you. Hamilton has to face, in every GP, Massa and his phycho-komplexes.

      1. you simply can’t blame Masse for all their collisions. You should re-think

  57. In my opinion Vettel was the best one to be the champion because he had the best (far away) car from every one, including Webber. But in my opinion the best driver was Hamilton because he has a car which was more close to Ferrari than Red Bull, and he is the only one who fights really hard with all his “weapons”. He beats Button in allmost all poles. Also Button in every GP the only thing he does is that “he has a problem”. Hamilton, on the other hand, try to win with everything that he got. More driving than speaking. And don’t forget his personal problems.

    1. agree. It’s only Hamilton who has challenged Vettel in a much superior car than him in Qualifying.

      1. @dam00r – While he did take 1 pole, don’t kid yourself that the Mclaren was so poor in qualifying. It was capable of a lot more from both drivers.

        1. No it wasn’t. Why was the RBR 1.5s faster in qualifying than any other teams? Because it is a much better car.. and Hamilton has driven the wheels off the McLaren. If he would’ve done that with the RBR, it would’ve been 1.7s faster..

          1. @dam00r – Where and when did you get that figure of 1.5 seconds? A desperate attempt to make the Mclaren and Ferrari drivers look better? Red Bull did not have such an advantage over Mclaren at any race this season. Hamilton too often made mistakes in qualifying (Hungaroring, Monza, Abu Dhabi) and did not maximise its potential. In short, he did well in Korea, but Lewis Hamilton wasn’t good enough.

          2. Melbourne: Vettel q3 time: 1:23.529 Hamilton: 1:24.307
            Catalunya: Webber pole(vettel 2nd): 1:20.981 Hamilton 3rd with: 1:21.961

            and on other circuits RBR was consistently 0.5s faster in Q3 than the next team for third position.. 0.5s is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGEEEEEEE in just one lap..

          3. @dam00r – Yet there were numerous weekends where car performance was a lot closer than the 0.5 you’ve changed your number to, and you’ll still see Vettel (and only Vettel’s RBR) getting ahead of Mclaren and making the difference. Like in Malaysia, Monaco, Hungary, India and Abu Dhabi.

            Even in Monza where Vettel went 0.5 quicker in Q3, he was 0.2 ahead after the initial run, but extended that to 0.5 on the faster track, and with Hamilton and Button making mistakes on their final runs. LH also threw away what should have been pole in Hungary.

            Hamilton put in a great lap in Korea, as well as Germany. He qualified well over the season, beating Button 13-6. But past seasons of his, like his first two saw him qualify far better.

  58. There is no real debate as to the driver of the year and that’s Vettel. A prime example of a driver, team and car in perfect harmony. Being the only driver on the grid to query Pirelli about the tyres shows his dedication to be the best.

    His sheer consistency in performances if you look at the whole course of the season has been unrivalled. The way he pulls that crucial gap at the start of the race is something I believe not many other drivers could have done.

    Who honestly would believe he (or anyone else) would go on to set new records in terms of pole positions as well as coming close statistically to the breathtaking dominance of Schumacher’s 2002 and 2004 seasons in a car much less dominant than those, which I never thought would be rivalled.

    And one thing not many people mention was that he still had great motivation despite wrapping up the title so early on, unlike Schumi and gifting Barrichello a few wins.

  59. The real value of the Ferrari in 2011 was displayed by Massa. Everything was far too easy for Vettel who was capable of a brilliant move only at Monza over Alonso in a 3sec xlap slower car. Button drove brilliantly and Hamilton is what it is: talent of a giant, personality of a kid. Nigel Nancy.

    Alonso was stellar and Button impeccable. These two were the best F1 drivers of 2011.

    1. themagicofspeed (@)
      20th December 2011, 19:50

      I agree. In terms of absoloute talent, Button and Alonso will be remembered long after Vettel has been forgotten about.

      Button, in my opinion, has really stepped up this year, it’s been better than his 2009 season because for the 2nd half of 2009, he was crud, nothing at all special. The first half of that season, taking 6 wins, saved his bacon later on.

      This year JB has hit the very top, and become one of the finest F1 drivers in history, as justified by some amazing drives this year. Him and Alonso are in a league of their own at the very top, with Vettel and Hamilton below – talented yes, fast – unquestionably – but not F1 legends.

    2. @pablofanques

      The real value of the Ferrari in 2011 was displayed by Massa.

      Then the real value of the Red Bull was displayed by Webber.

      1. Hey David, let’s put it this way. Do you truly believe the level of effort Alonso had to put into his Ferrari to get what he got out of it in 2011 was comparable to Vettel and his Red Bull? We still need to see how Vettel performs in an average car whereas we know already Alonso would be able to grab a decent place on the grid with any piece of machinery available. And this by the way goes for Hamilton too who has had the luxury so far to drive only for a top F1 team.
        ..and we all know that Webber this year was just too bad to be true (and personally I am pretty certain there is a lot of politics behind his poor display in 2011)..if the true value of Red Bull was displayed by Webber than Vettel should also be able to walk on water and restore sight to a blind man

  60. you must know Lewis then cos surely no one thinks they can know a personality from tv interviews?

    Has he a short temper or lots of patience? is he extrovert or introvert? does he like tv and a glass of wine or dinner partys? sure your dying to tell us

  61. themagicofspeed (@)
    20th December 2011, 19:44

    Alonso, because he has dragged a dog of a racecar to acheive the best result he could, taking the car to (and beyond) the limits of it’s potential. That must be a lot harder than driving the best car on the grid to win after win after win, just turning up, getting pole, winning and going home. Vettel has had an easy year, compared to Alonso who has spent the entire season fighting an abysmal car but still getting the max out of it. As much as i’d like to see him #1, Im not dissapointed with him because he got the maximum out of the machinery given to him.

    And ‘lol’ for the people who voted for Massa, Chandhok and Karthikeyan..

    1. It depends on what you do with your car. Vettel got the most out of his, Alonso got the most out of his.

      Reducing 11 wins to “just turning up, getting pole, winning and going home” is ludicrous.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        23rd December 2011, 22:49

        But thats basically what he did, 12 times. It got monotonous after maybe the 5th time. Some races this year I saw P1,2,3 and Quali results were Vettel P1 all the way, and didnt bother watching the race. I have better things to do, when Ferrari starts to win again I will watch every race.

        1. Just because it was monotonous to you doesn’t mean it was “easy” for him. He won to the extent that you find it boring and can’t be bothered to tune in. I can understand you not liking that, but it also surrenders your right to say anyone was better than him in 2011.

  62. Jenson is the man of 2011,no doubt .

  63. 1st Sebastian Vettel
    2nd Fernando Alonso
    3rd Jenson Button
    4th Nico Rosberg
    5th Michael Schumacher
    6th Heikki Kovalainen
    7th Adrian Sutil
    8th Paul Di Resta
    9th Kamui Kobayashi
    10th Lewis Hamilton

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