F1 Fanatic driver rankings 2011

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    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Button
    4. Sutil
    5. Kovalainen
    6. Rosberg
    7. Hamilton
    8. di Resta
    9. Kobayashi
    10. Perez
    11. Webber
    12. Schumacher
    13. Alguersuari
    14. Petrov
    15. Heidfeld
    16. Buemi
    17. Barrichello
    18. Glock
    19. Senna
    20. Ricciardo
    21. de la Rosa
    22. Massa
    23. Maldonado
    24. d’Ambrosio
    25. Liuzzi
    26. Trulli
    27. Karthikeyan
    28. Chandhok


    1) Vettel – Dominant. I cannot think of any other words that can describe him more highly.
    2) Button – Had a good year and highest scoring driver second half of the season and looked the best of the rest. Best drive is at Canada.
    3)Alonso – Very slow car but managed to get a win a Silverstone and podiums along the way. Drive at Abu Dhabi was exceptional.
    4) Di Resta – Very good rookie year and compleated most laps of anyone and shown his more experianced team mate up a few times. Singapore was a solid drive for him.
    5) Kovalainen – Performed admirally in a car which wasn’t quick enough. Talented driver and one which has matured into a great racer. On a personal note, should be in contention for a drive further up the field. Excellant performance in Brazil.
    6) Perez – Simmilar to De Resta, good rookie year and shown a good few drives. Car was slow towards the end of the season and unlucky to lose his points in Australia after a very clever drive. Was held back by the teams decision to try and do the minimal amount of stops per race. Good come back after his crash at Monaco. Best drive I would say Australia managing the tyres better than anyone else and although getting DQ’ed because of a rear wing design fault, had a very good race.
    7) Alguersuari – Proved the critics wrong again after being touted to be replaced. Good season from him I feel, did the best that he could and unlucky not to score more points. Good race at Korea.
    8)Buemi – Simmilar to his team mate, slow to start off with and then got quicker and quicker as he got used to the tyres. Unlucky that many races where hampered with problems with the car.
    9)Kobayashi – Good team leader and was quick in many races. Matured alot from the Kobay-crashy days and good driver throughout the year. Would say dissapointing because of the stratagys tried but solid drive from a car which was slowing down.
    10)Webber – Done nothing special all year but was still constantly up there in the points without being race winner until Brazil. Struggled alot with the tyres and then the demotivation of seeing his team mate dominate many GP’s. Good drive at Brazil and I felt he could of took Vettel is there wasn’t a gear box problem.
    11)Hamilton – Up and down year and good drives at China and Abu Dhabi come to mind. His mind wasn’t fully on the racing with off track antics taking the better of him. Was under red mist at times and was a platnum member at the stewards office. Took a few race wins but losing for the first time to his team mate in the championship will inspire him and was unlucky to have gearbox problem in Brazil. Hopefully he will calm down next year and reconcile with Massa so that he can be back to winning races not complaining.
    12)Sutil – Outraced in many races by De Resta and uncertanty about his race seat next year come to mind for a reason for his bad form. Had an excellant race at Brazil but a poor start of the year hasn’t been enough to secure his seat unfortunatly.
    13)Rosberg – Quick in P1-3 but lacked pace throughout the rest of the weekend. Very dissapointing for him and the team which every pegged down to be a contender.
    14) Schumacher- Simmilar to Rosberg in that the car under performed and many on going problems such as over heating hampered the season and wasn’t fast enough in Q2 many of times. Excellant starts are the only saving grace this season. Unlucky to not get his first podium of his come back at Canada.
    15) Petrov – Excellant start of the season but the car didn’t lose pace, the developments just didn’t make much of a differance. The car was a brave but foolish design and one which couldn’t help keep up the pace. Slowly dropped down the grid.
    16)Glock – fast drive in a very slow car and looked like he was struggeling to keep it on track. Is unlucky in some races not to do better but the car wasn’t fast enough for him. Slowed down towards end of the season but good drive none the less.
    17)Trulli – Power steering problems hampered his season and couldn’t get to grips with the tyres and looked past it in many races. Unlucky that his team mate was so much quicker than him.
    18)Barrichello – Hopefully not his last season in Forumla one as it was a disastor. The car just wasn’t there for him and he wasn’t on the pace. Good race at Brazil but it could be too mcuh too late for this legend of F1.
    19)Maldonado – Very poor and only got the seat because of money. He has been proven in lower formula’s that he is quick but he isn’t good enough. It could be because of the car, or because of the tyre situation but he was slower than slow. Needs to improve drastically to arrent a title of race driver not pay driver.
    20)Liuzzi – Poor car that failed to meet the 107% barrier numerous times but allowed to race anyway. Could be his last season also, failed to give any indication of speed and very poor Q1 pace.
    21)D’ambrosio – Only season in F1 and unfortuantly couldn’t get to grips with anything. Out raced many of times by the whole field and unserimoniasly booted out the the seat.

    I’ve left out many drivers that haven’t compeated a whole season such as Senna and Ricciardo but these two get a special mention because they’ve done well coming in mid season and setteling in. It’s worth a mention of the monstosity that was Karthikeyan, the less said about his season the better but I mentioned someone being slower than slow, he was slower than the medical car most races.

    Dan Thorn

    I have a top three, but after that it gets tricky because of the cars performance etc to really judge.

    1. Sebastian Vettel: Best driver all year by a mile. He did it all and dispelled all the aspects of his driving that some people were suspect about. His drive in Barcelona was absolutely top drawer, making critical overtakes after his pit stop and holding back Hamilton in a faster McLaren for several laps. Monaco was another lesson in calm driving to hold off faster cars, and his qualifying laps have been extra special. A real privilege to watch this year.

    2: Fernando Alonso: Always got the most out of his car. Made excellent starts, qualified consistently well, made some beautiful overtakes and gave Red Bull and McLaren something to worry about on occasions when Ferrari didn’t look at all competitive. His win at Silverstone was no doubt aided by the rule changes, but that shouldn’t detract from what was a fantastic drive.

    3: Jenson Button: Really stepped up this year. His previous weakness (his qualifying) has been much improved on, although still not perfect he more than made up for it with his determination, cunning, overtaking prowess and attention to detail. No-one thought he’d beat Hamilton, but he did, and did it in style: His win at Canada is one of the best drives I’ve ever seen and I’ll remember it for a long, long time.

    Now for the rest, in no particular order:

    Lewis Hamilton: Much has been said about his issues so I won’t go into detail, but it’s been a poor season for him. Even so, his wins in China and Germany were of the highest class – his driving skills have never been in doubt, only his mentality. It’s good for the sport that he seems to have got on top of whatever issues he had, because a Formula One without an on form Lewis is lacking.

    Felipe Massa: It’s been a funny season for Felipe. The results haven’t been there and on paper it looks like a dreadful season, but I actually think he’s driven better than he did last year. His pace has been closer to Alonso and on many occasions he’s been running in good positions only for bad luck/a compromised strategy so as not to interfere with Alonso/Lewis Hamilton to spoil things. that’s not to say he hasn’t made his own mistakes, but he rarely got a clean race. The one area I think he does need to improve in is in traffic. He’s a tough racer who can overtake and battle with the best of them, but sometimes I’ve noticed he gets sucked into the rhythm of the car he’s following and doesn’t pass, even if he’s faster.

    Mark Webber: Disappointing year for Mark, he’s been well and truly humbled by Vettel and it says a lot about his season that finishing third in the championship seems like a good result. He should have been easily best of the rest but he took too long to get to grips with the tyres (excuse the pun) and the McLarens and Alonso beat him more than they really should have done. Mark’s overtaking ability is as good as ever though, he’s had some mega battles with Alonso and for me, he’s the hardest yet fairest racer on the grid. His side by side duel with Hamilton at Korea was a lesson in how to race fairly and strongly.

    Nico Rosberg: An anonymous season for Nico, often stuck in the no mans land between the top three teams and everyone else. Great drive at Spa to take the lead early on and I think he’s as good as he ever has been, but unable to show it with the car he had. He beat Schumacher again in a season when his team mate appeared to be getting back to his best, an achievement that should not be dismissed lightly.

    Michael Schumacher: He’s getting back to his old self. A joy to watch in Canada, and his tactical KERS use in India and his clever strategy which helped him to jump his team mate was vintage Schu. It took him a while to get there though and he’s still a bit incident prone, but he’s on an upwards curve and looks as motivated as ever.

    Adrian Sutil: He started the season poorly and was well and truly outperformed by his rookie team mate. It looked as though his time was over. But then, he transformed, turned it around and well and truly dominated Di Resta in the second half of the year. He’s shown consitency to go with his speed – the one aspect of his driving that I always felt was lacking. Has given Force India a real headache with regards to driver choice next year.

    Paul Di Resta: Started the season brilliantly and never looked back. Excellent performances in Hungary and Singapore and showed maturity beyond his years, but I wonder if we’ve seen all he has to give. He hasn’t really shown the improvement over the season that I’d like to see from a rookie, nor the overtaking ability (how many front wings has he lost this year?). Whilst his team work is admirable, I have to wonder if he’s destined for anything more than becoming a solid number two driver to someone truly special.

    Kamui Kobayashi: The season started brilliantly for Kamui with a string of points finishes and mature drives. Then, for some reason, he became thoroughly anonymous and slipped into the midfield whilst his team mate got on top of him. His qualifying leaves a lot to be desired, and we haven’t seen much of his overtaking skills either. Managed to find some form by the end of the year, but I worry that he’s been found out.

    Sergio Perez: For me, the rookie of the year. No-one expected that he’d finish 7th on his debut and it’s a shame the team were disqualified. He then had a few rookie incidents but was improving with every race until his Monaco accident. I thought it was very brave of him to sit out Canada too, and it took him a while to get back to where he was but he had some strong drives as the team slipped behind the likes of Force India and Toro Rosso. Very impressed with his attitude and he seems like a driver who has a lot of spare capacity whilst he’s driving. He’ll only get better and I think he’ll assume the number 1 role in the team next year.

    Rubens Barrichello: A so-so year for Rubens. He’s had the odd moment of magic but often struggled against his team mate and made a few silly errors. He’s still got the fire, but whether that’s enough for him to have a 20th year in the sport I don’t know. I’ve got a feeling we’ve seen his last race.

    Pastor Maldonado: Has surprised me this year – in a good way. His race pace was nowhere in the first part of the season but he steadily improved to the point where I think, by the end of the season, he was performing as well as (if not better than) Barrichello. I think many (including myself) overreacted to what happened at Spa, but his temperament is one area I think he needs to improve on. His qualifying pace is very good and I’d be pleased to see him have another season.

    Vitaly Petrov: Much improved from 2010 and got the most of the Renault early on in the season. Even as the car slipped back he still drove well and hasn’t at all disgraced himself, but Renault management is having a bit of a funny phase at the moment and I’ve got a feeling he’ll be edged out, which is a shame.

    Nick Heidfeld: Unfair that he was dropped mid season, as although his qualifying was poor he’s a solid racer and I think he’d have faired better than Senna did. That said, he was somewhat outshone by Petrov and I think his time as an F1 driver has come to an end.

    Bruno Senna: The opposite of Nick – qualified well but looked a bit shaky in the races. With the promise of Grosjean on the sidelines, as well as other drivers looking for a seat there I don’t think he’s done enough to retain it. Doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

    Jaime Alguersuari: Took his time to get with it this year but when he did, he did so with a bang. Excellent second half of the season and looks to be maturing into a very solid all around package. Better than Buemi? I’m not sure, but I think he has brighter future. Just a hunch.

    Sebastien Buemi: Very unlucky in the latter part of the season with car failures just as it was coming good. He’s a very handy racer as his number of overtakes shows and he’s an alright qualifier as well. I’m not sure his technical abilities are as adept as his team mates but that’s a minor criticism. It’ll be a shame if he’s dropped, but we all know what Toro Rosso are like.

    Heikki Kovalainen: Super impressive season from the Finn. Done as much as could be expected of him (and a little bit more). We don’t see much of that end of the grid in races but I can’t fault him and whilst I don’t like the team, I want them to do well next year for Heikki’s sake, because he deserves a result.

    Jarno Trulli: I’m a huge fan of Jarno but even with his much publicised power steering problem, he was lacklustre at best this year. For the qualifying master to be outqualified 16-2 says all you need to know, and although he raced quite well he’s looked demotivated all year. I think the fact he appeared to get worse when rumours his seat was under threat came about shows it’s perhaps time for him to hang up his helmet. As a fan I don’t like seeing him like this.

    Timo Glock: Has done ok. Beaten by his team mate a few times and looked frustrated as well, but still performed where you’d expect him to perform. Nothing much to add.

    Jerome D’Ambrosio: Has done a fine job (certainly better than Di Grassi did) and it’s a shame he’s been ousted as he deserved more. Outqualified Glock on more than a few occasions and showed great form in many races, he’s surprised many. Doesn’t look like we’ll see him in F1 again though, which is a shame as he’s certainly worthy of a seat.

    Tonio Liuzzi: Been very anonymous, but perhaps most useful as being a benchmark for Ricciardo. He hasn’t driven terribly but there are other drivers his age who are either faster or more experienced who could fill a seat on the grid, never mind a promising youngster. He may be highly rated by his fellow drivers but he’s had enough cracks at F1 now. If he stays at HRT next year then fine, but if he goes, I won’t really miss him.

    Narain Karthikeyan: Done a very good job this year, I think he’s actually better than Chandhok. His drive in Spain with a burnt bottom was very determined and he really shocked everyone at India.

    Daniel Ricciardo: Great job for HRT, eventually getting the better of Liuzzi. It must have been a bit concerning for him considering how close Narain was in India, but he’s clearly a talented guy who’s going places in the future.

    Pedro De La Rosa: Did a fine job for Sauber at such short notice considering he’d never driven the car or practiced with the KERS and DRS. Is sure to be a great asset for HRT next year.

    Karun Chandhok: Yes, he’s a nice guy, but so is my Dad. Doesn’t mean he should be an F1 driver. Made some embarassing errors in practice and in his race in Germany, and I think the fact Lotus wouldn’t even swap him for Trulli in India says a lot.

    Tommo N7

    26 – Kartikeyan – Why was he even selected? Money. No talent at all, a 31 year old who hadn’t raced since 2005, glad he was dropped.
    25 – Massa – Second last because he performed so terribly for the car he was in. Didn’t manage a podium, not even a 4th, and was a mile off the top 5 and was closer to the Mercedes. Doesn’t deserve to be in a Ferrari.
    24 – Maldonado – Didn’t impress me one bit, a waste of space, shouldn’t be in F1.
    23 – Trulli – Why is he still here? Didn’t race well, in my opinion he should be replaced. Kovailainen can lead Caterham, and they can give a drive to someone useful.
    22 – Liuzzi – Seemed bland, good drive in Canada though.
    21 – d’Ambrosio – Not impressive, but good enough to stay in F1. Shame that Marussia replaced with Pic.
    20 – Ricciardo – Only had half a season, but wasn’t too bad. Hope to see him at Toro Rosso next year.
    19 – Barrichello – Again wasn’t impressive in a dog of a car. A part of me wants him to say, but the other says for him to go. If he doesn’t race next year, it’s bad of Williams not to say so before Brazil.
    18 – Heidfeld – Shouldn’t have had the seat in the first place, but did well to be 11th despite only doing 11 races.
    17 – Petrov – Great start, but fell away, mainly because of the Renault which i think was the 8th best car come the end of the season.
    16 – Senna – Only 8 races to proove his worth, but done ok, matched Petrov, but often performed poorer in the race.
    15 – Buemi – Not as good as his teammate, I think his time in STR is up.
    14 – Glock – Did well in the Virgin, doubt Marussia will improve anytime soon, so I hope he can get a seat at a better team.
    13 – Perez – Good start, good season, one to watch.
    12 – Sutil – Did quite well to finish 9th but didn’t really impress me. Hope Hulkenberg replaces him next year.
    11 – Alguersuari – Quite good, better than Buemi, hope he does better next year.
    10 – di Resta – Decent debut year, wish he’ll be in a good car one day.
    9 – Kobayashi – Good performance, I hope he and Suber continue to improve.
    8 – Kovailainen – Brillaint drives in the Lotus, I’ll be glad to see if Caterham can battle in the midfield next season as he desrves a car to match his ability.
    7 – Webber – Finished 3rd, way behind Vettel despite the same car. Only a easy win, needs to pick his game up.
    6 – Hamilton – A season to forget. Too many silly incidents, needs to find his 2007/08 form.
    5 – Rosberg – No podiums this year, and din’t do as good as last year. Nevertheless still peformed well. Like Kovalinen, needs a car to match his skill.
    4 – Schumacher – Finished behind Rosberg, but did way better than last year. Such a shame at Canada as he could have had a podium if not for DRS.
    3 – Button – Great year, nearly as good as 2009, shows he can be good, and out performed Hamilton.
    2 – Alonso – Decent year in a dismal car. Kudos to him for coming 4th, unlucky to be robed of 3rd in the standings.
    1 – Vettel – Obvious reasons. Dominant, hope he doesn’t run away next year though.


    1. Sebastian Vettel
    2. Jenson Button – Best driver 2nd half of the season
    3. Fernando Alonso – Got the best out of a car that wasnt as good as he showed it.
    4. Nico Rosberg – Improving, If Merc give him a worthy car
    5. Lewis Hamilton – When he was good he was very good, when bad he was very bad.
    6. Adrian Sutil – Bettered di Resta, but needs to perform like he did 2nd half of the season, all season
    7. Mark Webber – Roll on next season
    8. Michael Schumacher – Better then last year… im starting to like him too
    9. Heikki Kovelainen – If only TL had some pace, he’d threaten the point scorers at times. TLs best hope next season
    10. Paul di Resta – Best Rookie, performed well and like Sutil, should remain at FI next year.
    11. Felipe Massa – Not good enough, needs to find 2008/09 form.
    12. Jaime Alguersauri – Most improved driver? I like him and is performing well.
    13. Kamui Kobayashi – Blew hot & cold.
    14. Sergio Perez – Did well, next season should show some potential
    15. Sebastien Buemi – Not as good as his team-mate (imo) but not worthy of loosing a seat.
    16. Nick Heidfeld – Better then Renault gave him credit for, when not on Fire
    17. Vitaly Petrov – So-So. Better then 2010…… just
    18. Jerome D’Ambrosio – Didnt deserve to be dropped, I think he was better then Glock this year.
    19. Rubens Barrichello – Was it Rubens or the Car….
    20. Jarno Trulli – Stop Whinning… stop racing ??
    21. Timo Glock
    22. Bruno Senna – Didnt impress me, better qualifier then race day driver. Didnt justify Heidfields firing
    23. Pastor Maldonado – Oh Dear… NEXT!
    24. Daniel Ricciardo – Needs a good car for assesment, maybe next year?
    25. Tonio Liuzzi – Yea…..
    26. Narain Karthikeyan – well… na, cant think of anything.


    just from looking at other’s responses, there’s not much love for Maldonado despite how close he was to Rubens all season.

    For me,
    Top 3: Vettel, Button, Alonso
    Bottom 3: Barrichello, Trulli, Liuzzi.


    28 – karun chandhok
    had one race (germany) and had a really bad day, too.
    27 – narain karthikeyan
    no chance against liuzzi, who, as it turned out, wasn’t doing that well himself
    26 – pedro de la rosa
    one race (canada), but at least solid!
    25 – jerome d’ambrosio
    too many weak weekends (monaco, valencia, germany, hungary, spa, korea & abu dhabi), no real chance against timo glock – i didn’t think his rookie season was horrible, but i wouldn’t call it solid, either.
    24 – bruno senna
    on his best weekends solid (spa and monza), on his worst weekend (suzuka) not all that bad, but still not impressive in what i consider to be a pretty good field of drivers
    23 – pastor maldonado
    suffered in the beginning (melbourne, china and turkey mostly), had a couple of great performances (monaco, spa), was pretty good in korea. not bad for a rookie season.
    22 – jarno trulli
    is driving like someone who has no interest in continuing his career. maybe one of his worst seasons ever, and i do think the guy has some talent. horrible only at silverstone and abu dhabi, really good only in singapore and montreal.
    21 – felipe massa
    what a bad season for the brazilian, who showed in interlagos that he has really lost it. sad for him and his fans – he has had no outstanding race whatsoever, was really bad in india and horrible in spain – he did have some pretty good performances in sepang, china, monaco and canada, which is why he isn’t last place or anything like that.
    20 – vitantonio liuzzi
    one of the real losers of he season. started well humiliating karthikeyan constantly, and ended looking at the rear of ricciardo’s car too often. his career is in danger. great job in canada, weak at monza and singapore.
    19 – vitaly petrov
    didn’t really convince in his rookie season, and didn’t really convince me in his second season. suffered with the lack of development of the car, sure, but his own performances seemed solid at most and sufferable at times. really bad weekends in malaysia and singapore, his best two races were amongst the first three (australia and china).
    18 – rubens barrichello
    at least he ended it on a partially high note – but rubinho has had one of his worse seasons, not only due to the car. only one really good performance (abu dhabi) after 19 races is not enough for someone with his talent. he did only have one really bad weekend, at spa, so he was consistently mediocre.
    17 – daniel ricciardo
    really good showing as a rookie, he got better from weekend to weekend; i don’t think we’ve seen all the flashes of his talent yet, but suzuka and korea were pretty good weekends for him. ended on a lower note at interlagos.
    16 – nick heidfeld
    i think sacking him was a mistake and unjustifiable. he was doing better than petrov, but not “better enough”? in any case, heidfeld had at least 4 really good races, 2 of them being brilliant (malaysia, barcelona); he did have some bad performances and wasn’t good in qualifying, but at the end he was consistent as always.
    15 – mark webber
    horrible season for him, which is reflected in how the world media has dealt with his victory at interlagos – as a gift by vettel and rbr. no other driver was so dominated by his team mate, and having the best car of the field without really getting the results must have been tough. great in china, very good at interlagos, and good in montreal and at spa. horrible at his home race and weak at monza and in india.
    14 – timo glock
    opposite of webber concering team mate domination. he was strong at monaco and had some other really good races (valencia, silverstone, abu dhabi). had just a few bad weekends (china and interlagos). solid. i think he is very talented and could do a lot in a good car.
    13 – jaime alguersuari
    very inconsistent second season for the young spaniard, maybe not enough to keep his seat. one can count korea (excellent), valencia and monza (really really good showings), montreal, silverstone, hungary, belgium and india as really good races. but jaime also had some bad weekends at the beginning of the season and mostly in singapore, but also at suzuka. his ranking goes to show that the level was all in all pretty high this year.
    12 – michael schumacher
    at some point of the season, he was actually still in my top 6. but the last two races cost him a top 10 position – schumacher simply hasn’t been able to perform in a consistent manner. fantastics drives like spa and montreal (also great at monza) have constrasted with too many incidents and accidents leading to bad weekends. turkey was simply horrible, valencia, hungary & abu dhabi were weak. at the end, was once again clearly worse than nico, but improved compared to last season.
    11 – kamui kobayashi
    the very talented japonese started really well into the season and ended it very well – but a slump for hungary to india cost him his top 10 position in this, once again, competetive field. we love kobayahsi a la turkey, although malaysia, monaco and germany also showcased his talent. singapore and india were his worst moments of the season.

    10 – nico rosberg
    i pick him in my top ten for once again dominating schumacher in qualifying and delivering what was possible with his car most of the time. no brilliance from him this year (although great in china, turkey and abu dhabi), but only really weak once (at monaco). consistency was his name.
    9 – sebastien buemi
    i know people might not agree with me here, but i would make the case that buemi deserved a seat at toro rosso for next season. he was able to (slightly) beat a good alguersuari. he did really well in melbourne, turkey, monaco, spa and korea. hungary was a great example of his talent, and only two weekends were really weaker – china and germany.
    8 – sergio perez
    almost got the “best rookie” nod. i think he is a real talent and has shown it in various occasions or even moments. to start out in melbourne the way he did and to show it again at silverstone and suzuka. monza and india were very decent, and he only was a real disappointment in china and korea.
    7 – paul di resta
    not by much. di resta was less brilliant than perez, but he was able to show more consistency, which really impressed me because it was his first f1 season. there was not one weekend was dreadful. hungary and singapore were his best moments.
    6 – adrian sutil
    interlagos showed it – once more. people seem to forget fast and easily, but sutil has shown above average talent on many occasions in his career. he had some difficulty getting his season started, but performed strongly in 6 out of the last 12 races, which is really good. great at nurburgring and interlagos, sutil only had one really disappointing weekend – in canada. this guy should get a chance at a big team.
    5 – heikki kovalainen
    he was horrible for mclaren, but kovalainen has really shown his talent with lotus this season. completely dominating trulli, heikki has shown high motivation and concentration, incredible consistency and some really stellar performances at the back of the grid, mostly in china and korea, but also at sepang and singapore. not one really bad weekend!
    4 – lewis hamilton
    yeah yeah, people will say he was bad. but it wasn’t all that bad. best performance of the season in china. fantastic in spain and germany, really strong in australia, silverstone and abu dhabi, and why not korea. hamilton has shown his clearly above average talent. only japan an india were weak, in monaco he was able to divide opinion, in brazil he was nonexistent. but all in all, he still belongs to the top 4; and i forsee a future duel for years to come with young vettel.
    3 – jenson button
    some say he might have had his best season. i remember one at bar honda that might have been as good. and 2009 wasn’t too shabby either. but yes, montreal, spa and suzuka showed us a more mature, agressive button, beyond being simple the tyre whisperer. monaco and hungary were great, india and malaysia very good. only valencia, nurburgring and maybe korea will be listed on the down side. he did lose to hamilton in the numbers (people forget that), but he beat him were it counts – points!
    2 – fernando alonso
    yes, i do think he “outdrive” his car. or, lets put it this way – he got basically everything out of that red car this year. or was massa that weak? we’ll never no. but fernando could have finished in second place, and that is a testimony to his talent. hungary was his only weaker weekend. 14 races were clearly above average, consistently doing his best. alonso is probably the best driver out there in the last 6, 7 years.
    1 – sebastian vettel
    the red bull this year is far from being as dominant as the 92 or 93 williams, or the 2001 or 2004 ferrari. everyone could see that most pole positions vettel managed to get were pretty close, and the dominant ones were to his credit – analyzing webber’s performances. and the sundays weren’t to shabby, either. no doubt vettel was the mvp this season. my personal favorite performances were monza and monaco. and even interlagos was impressive, if you believe the gearbox problem. and i see no reason why not to.


    1. Sebastian Vettel – The slightest of misfortune or error from this guy gets people jumping out of their seats…In the most competitive grid in an age, he’s beating some very, very good drivers.
    2. Jenson Button – If he had won and Vettel retired in Brazil he’d have scored the most out of anyone in the second half of the season. For that he moved up to 2nd for me.
    3. Fernando Alonso – Continues to drag the mediocre F150 S*italia to places it really shouldn’t be going…
    4. Nico Rosberg – He’s done it well and he’s done it quietly – beaten the ever improving Schumacher again. Now he needs a car to do justice to his performances.
    5. Mark Webber – Bad starts and occasional dreary qualfying sessions have been the thorn in this man’s side this season. Apart from that, he’s been the most gutsy racer wheel to wheel out of the lot, and in a car pretty much designed from the bottom to give Vettel his second title, he remained a force during the race.
    6. Heikki Kovalainen
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Michael Schumacher
    9. Adrian Sutil – A resurgent second half to the season, but frankly the first was not good enough.
    10. Paul Di Resta
    11. Jaime Alguersuari
    12. Kamui Kobayashi
    13. Sergio Perez
    14. Sebastien Buemi
    15. Vitaly Petrov/Bruno Senna – If Senna can qualify the 9th best car on the grid in 9th place, and the 7th best car in 7th place, what would he have done at the start of the season? And Petrov is faded slightly int he second half, I feel that his enthusiasm has faded alongside the car’s development.
    17. Rubens Barrichello
    18. Felipe Massa
    19. Jerome D’Ambrosio
    20. Timo Glock
    21. Jarno Trulli
    22. Daniel Ricciardo
    23. Vitantonio Liuzzi
    24. Pastor Maldonado

    Colossal Squid

    1. Vettel – I can only repeat what everyone else is saying – He was dominant, getting everything out of both himself and the car at almost every opportunity. Peerless in qualifying and a racecraft that has imo become one of the top 3 with Alonso and Hamilton. A deserved second world championship, trouncing a tough team mate in Mark Webber to boot.

    2. Alonso – A never give up attitude, some brilliant attacking as well as defensive driving and the ability to drag his Ferrari to results it didn’t really deserve. One win and ten podiums says it all in the third fastest car.

    3. Button – Arguably driving better than ever, he was there and capitalised on every chance and half chance he got. Canada won’t be forgotten any time soon.

    4. Rosberg – Always there or there abouts after the big three teams lock out the major points positions. Beat his vastly improving 7 time world champion teammate.

    5. Kovalainen – I found his upbeat attitude and great performances in a bad car very entertaining. His performance in Korea stands out for me. Did all that he could do.

    6. Alguersuari – Some very impressive races from him this year, and he beat his team mate comfortably. A big improvement from 2010.

    7. Webber – Only one race win, right at the end. Still put in great performances like China and Germany. Suffered from his usual bad luck in the early parts of the season but was consistently on the podium.

    8. Hamilton – Occasional flashes of brilliance in China and Germany were marred by silly mistakes and unusual muted performances. He seemed to be constantly involved in needless incidents that took valuable points from him. Outclassed by Button this year in and out of the cockpit.

    9. Paul Di Resta – The best of the rookies, I look forward to seeing his talent grow now that he’s got a bit of experience.

    10. Schumacher – A greatly improved Schumacher. Still had a few dire mistakes (Perez in Singapore) and without those may have beaten his team mate. Nowhere in qualifying still.

    11. Kobayashi
    12. Sutil
    13. Perez
    14. Massa
    15. Petrov
    16. Barrichello
    17. Ricciardo
    18. Heidfeld
    19. Trulli
    20. Glock
    21. Buemi
    22. D’Ambrosio
    23. Senna
    24. Maldonado
    25. Liuzzi


    1. Vettel – As much as I wish he wasn’t, he just was in every way.

    2. Alonso – Consistently brilliant, getting far more results than the car deserved.

    3. Button – Best season yet, slightly flattered by Lewis’ poor season.

    4. Hamilton – May be controversial. Yes it was his worst season yet, but we are comparing that to 4 seasons of probably being number 1. He still got 3 brilliant wins (particularly China and Germany) and thoroughly outpaced Jenson in Quali (Jenson is actually slightly flattered by the head-to-head due to times Lewis didn’t put in his 2nd quick lap eg. Singapore, Monaco, Japan)

    5. Kovalainen – Driven brilliantly this year for me, absolutely thrashed Jarno and being the most overtaken driver this year shows how often he has got the car far further up the feild than it deserves to be.

    6. Rosberg – Consistent good Job, not much else to say

    7. Perez – great start to the season, shown great quali pace, a real shame about the Monaco crash putting him back when the car was at it’s strongest.

    8/9. Sutil/Di resta – difficult to seperate for me, both had good seasons, Paul has had a great 1st year.

    10. Alguesari – Some good races, particularly when fighting back, but shows quali should have been better.

    11. Schumacher
    12. Buemi
    13. Kobayashi
    14. Webber
    15. Petrov
    16. Glock
    17. Barrichello
    18. D’ambrosio
    19. Senna
    20. Massa
    21. Ricciardo
    22. Heidfeld
    23. Luizzi
    24. Trulli
    25. Maldonado – Disgraceful in Spa
    26. Kartikeyan


    1. Vettel – Almost always got the best out of his car, showed us he could really overtake when he needed to, broke the record for pole positions, flattened his team mate and made one significant mistake in Germany out of the whole season.

    2. Button – Proved everyone wrong, bringing home the most points the car could have achieved at almost every race, especially after Montreal. His overtakes were as clinical and risk free as possible in comparison to others, thanks to his perfect tactical use of the new toys, DRS and KERS.

    3. Alonso – Did exactly as was expected of him, got the most out of the car, won the only race he had a real chance of winning, took podiums when he shouldn’t have been able to, fought hard and again, trounced his team-mate. I’ve only picked JB ahead of him due to his errors in Malaysia (hitting Hamilton) and Germany (sliding off on lap 2 and leaving the door open for Lewis on the outside after the pit stops).

    4. Rosberg – I was surprised to find Rosberg so high up in my own standings but at the end of the day I couldn’t really find anybody who I thought had done a better job than him over the season. He’s still improving and seems to be bringing home the maximum points Mercedes are able to achieve each weekend, although we’re yet to see a truly inspired drive from him, which is worrying for a supposed top line driver in his 6th season.

    5. Kovalainen – It’s hard to gauge his performance given that his team-mate was clearly underperforming, and the pace of the car is a little bit in no mans land, but nobody is going to argue that the Lotus was outright faster than any of Williams, Renault or Sauber this year, and he has repeatedly managed to capitalise on any incidents and penalties to finish ahead of them in the race. As a team leader, he seems to be excelling and delivering on the potential of his debut season in F1.

    6. Hamilton – Despite having a poor season by his own standards, Lewis has still done a solid job at the end of the day. Three excellent wins and a stronger finish to the season have banished some of 2011’s bad memories, and we have to take into account his other stronger races – Australia, Spain, Valencia – but it’s disappointing that he isn’t up in the top 3 of these rankings where he belongs.

    7. Sutil – Despite struggling in qualifying earlier in the season, he delivered the points his team-mate squandered with rookie errors. His drives in Germany and Brazil were highlights, and every bit as good as many performances from the likes of Vettel and Alonso in recent years.

    8. di Resta – Rookie of the season, showed up well against his team-mate even when Sutil hit top form. Instantly made an impact on the sport, scoring points and reaching Q3 regularly with a midfield car, particularly in Hungary and Singapore. Could have been among the top 5 drivers this season if not for mistakes that cost him potentially big points in Canada and Britain.

    9. Schumacher – A much improved season from Schumacher. He needs to improve his qualifying pace, but has started well, delivered some very strong performances in the second half of the season, but still been involved in too many collisions, with Petrov in Turkey and Valencia, Perez in Singapore, and Senna in Brazil, which isn’t really good enough for the sport’s most successful driver.

    10. Kobayashi – Started the season well, but the mid season slump in form cost him a higher ranking. Often disappointing in qualifying but he’s made up for it with some very mature and consistent races and racked up an impressive points tally. Already looking like a solid F1 pilot for the foreseeable future.

    11. Webber – I can’t justify putting a driver in my top ten who has failed to win a race in the best car, without a failure for his team-mate. Webber has given us false hope of a return to form too often this season, only to slump to poor qualifying performances, and squander his better ones with poor starts.

    12. Alguersauri – Like Kobayashi, has trimmed out most of the rookie errors and delivered strong, consistent race performances. Albeit narrowly, he beat his more experienced team-mate and scored some solid points. Korea was a great drive, and was as good as even the top drivers would have achieved in the same car that weekend.

    13. Perez – A solid rookie season, showing maturity when he pulled out at Canada and speed in good measure. A few small errors have cost him points here and there, but he was fantastic in Australia, and outqualified his highly-rated team-mate frequently after recovering from his Monaco shunt.

    14. Barrichello – While many will blame the car, I think Barrichello was lacklustre at times this season. He had some good drives, but I was let down by his seeming lack of ability to lead the team forward out of the rut they were in and develop the car, as much as his lack of any spectacular performances on track.

    15. Glock – Like Barrichello, doesn’t seem to have been able to build the team around him and inspire them to perform like the very top drivers. It’s hard to gauge his performance as a great drive will yield 19th or 20th place, on the same day that a poor performance would simply leave him behind whichever HRTs crossed the line.

    16. Buemi – Having had 3 full seasons in F1, Buemi needs to be delivering some more special performances if he’s ever going to impress a top team, and he can’t afford to be beaten by another unproven driver like Alguersauri at this stage in his career. While he was usually close to his team-mate or slightly ahead, there were no particularly stand out performances that other drivers have managed.

    17. Ricciardo – An impressive first half season, he didn’t seem to make any major mistakes in races and managed to settle into the team and match/beat Liuzzi very early on. I was impressed by Ricciardo although it is difficult to make a conclusive judgement given the amount of technical issues his team are prone to.

    18. Heidfeld – I was keen to see Heidfeld do well, but he failed to lead the team and made too many errors. While he was unlucky in Hungary and had some good races like Malaysia, he was outqualified by Petrov too frequently for a driver of his experience. I have only placed him ahead of his Renault stablemates due to his slightly better race performances.

    19. Senna – Although he didn’t pull up any trees, Senna kept Petrov honest and beat him on occasion. He did well in qualifying at Spa, and the race in Monza, and was unlucky to have his race ruined in Brazil, but at the same time, errors like turn 1 in Belgium are costly. I placed him ahead of Petrov because I believe the Russian should have been able to blow him away given his greater experience of the team and the car.

    20. Petrov – I like Petrov, but without the podium finish in Australia, this would have been a very very poor season. The Renault was strong early on but he was poor in Malaysia onwards and troubled on occasion by Bruno Senna in the closing races. That said, he has managed to iron out his frequent crashes this season and delivered some solid, if unspectacular race performances.

    21. Maldonado – Disappointing for a GP2 champion. He was unlucky to lose his best result in Monaco, but 1 point all season, even in that Williams doesn’t scream “future world champion”. He seemed to be clumsy and even petulant at times, ignoring blue flags at Abu Dhabi, and his run in with Hamilton in Belgium.

    22. Massa – It might seem harsh to have Massa in 22nd place, but I can genuinely make a case for every driver above that they’d have scored more points with that Ferrari this year. He didn’t look like beating his team-mate all season apart from China, which was his best race in the last two years. He made too many costly mistakes (Hungary, India x2, Abu Dhabi) and has frequently finished 30 seconds behind his team-mate, even in races without incidents. His embarassing feud with Hamilton, despite not being entirely, or even mostly, his fault just added to a cringeworthy season in my opinion.

    23. D’Ambrosio – Hard to judge his performance but he seemed to struggle to fend off the HRTs a lot of the time, and didn’t get a foothold in the inter-team battle. Virgin saw fit to let him go and we didn’t see anything during 2011 that stands up against their decision.

    24. Liuzzi – Provided a safe pair of hands at HRT, but we will never know how well he really did due to the car’s pace. The fact that there was even a question over whether his mid-season rookie team-mate would out qualify him after just a few races speaks volumes for Liuzzi’s potential as a Formula 1 driver, unfortunately.

    25. Trulli – Struggled badly and was more than half a second off his team-mate’s pace all the time it seemed. The fact that he finished 40 seconds behind Kovalainen at the last race and was crushed by a team-mate who has already had his chance to shine and failed to take it at Mclaren leaves me and probably countless others questioning his and Lotus’ decision to sign an extension for next season.

    26. de la Rosa – Stepped in at the last minute and gave Sauber a safe pair of hands at Montreal, and always has a smile on his face in the paddock. Not much more to say.

    27. Karthikeyan – Was unimpressive in the early races of the season, but put in a solid drive at his home race, which is why he edges out his compatriot at the bottom end of my rankings. I find it hard to believe he will ever drive in Formula 1 again though.

    28. Chandhok – One race, one dreadful performance. If I remember correctly he was beaten by one of the Virgins at Germany… if not, he still crashed on his out lap in Australia in FP1, and finished a lap behind Kovalainen following a big spin in his only appearance in Germany. Given Trulli’s performances throughout the season, it says a lot that his team lacked the confidence to put him in the car in India due to their concerns over his performance.


    I’d do my own list, but @Electrolite‘s is exactly what I think, particularly the top 10 –

    1. Sebastian Vettel – The slightest of misfortune or error from this guy gets people jumping out of their seats…In the most competitive grid in an age, he’s beating some very, very good drivers.
    2. Jenson Button – If he had won and Vettel retired in Brazil he’d have scored the most out of anyone in the second half of the season. For that he moved up to 2nd for me.
    3. Fernando Alonso – Continues to drag the mediocre F150 S*italia to places it really shouldn’t be going…
    4. Nico Rosberg – He’s done it well and he’s done it quietly – beaten the ever improving Schumacher again. Now he needs a car to do justice to his performances.
    5. Mark Webber – Bad starts and occasional dreary qualfying sessions have been the thorn in this man’s side this season. Apart from that, he’s been the most gutsy racer wheel to wheel out of the lot, and in a car pretty much designed from the bottom to give Vettel his second title, he remained a force during the race.
    6. Heikki Kovalainen
    7. Lewis Hamilton
    8. Michael Schumacher
    9. Adrian Sutil – A resurgent second half to the season, but frankly the first was not good enough.
    10. Paul Di Resta

    I really agree with the analysis of the top 5 and the positions for Webber and Hamilton respectively – I’d rather a consistent and great racer over an inconsistent yet amazing racer.

    The rest is too hard for me to think of now, if at all! I may get around to it, but I’m only interested in the top 10 anyway!

    Adam Tate

    I’m only picking a couple. My top 3, one special selection, and then my bottom 3.

    1. Vettel. Nothing more needs to be said.

    2. Button
    His best racing to date. He was fast, consistent, cagey and made Hamilton look silly.

    3. Alonso
    I also think this was the best Alonso has ever driven. The 150 Italia isn’t anywhere as good
    as the F10 of last year, yet he scored more points. He only had one win, but most of his wins last year were inherited after Vettel had to retire or Massa moved over.

    Massa- I rank him somewhere around the top 10. I re-post what DamonSmedley has so aptly said.

    “Massa – Another disappointing season compared to his team-mate, but there were positives. He actually even outqualified Alonso! He was most impressive in China and Germany, but in Germany, he was let down by his mechanics when he was on course to beat Sebastian Vettel.

    He’s still recovering from his massive injury sustained two years ago, and really, he probably shouldn’t be driving again just yet. I missed him dearly when he was gone, but I think he could have done with a longer break. Sid Watkins said he should be fully (or as much as he ever will be) recovered by 2012 if I recall correctly, so if he’s not back to his best next year, I’m afraid he may never be. It’s so sad as it wasn’t his fault and I have a massive soft spot for him after all he’s been through. I’ll never really give up on him, but I can’t help but feel sorry for him. He’s not been amazing, but he deserves none of the criticism he gets. It’s really quite low. Some people are heartless.”

    Bottom 3:

    Trulli – He just seems content to stick around as long as possible, it’s a shame because he showed real promise with Renault in 04 and his sole win at Monaco. After years of the Trulli train, which even my non f1 watching sister knows about, he finds himself in the caboose with Team Lotus, where he was soundly trounced by Kovalainen again. It appears his seat is under threat and Caterham will only keep him for his consistency and experience.

    Karthikeyan – Just a pay driver like the olden days, Chandok has become the same.

    Maldonado – I’m not sure how he won GP2. It’s a shame Williams is willing to give Rubens the boot when Maldonado is only there due to oil money from a corrupt dictator.


    1.Sebastian Vettel – He’s simply the best, better than all the rest ! I have not one comment here, he was just flawless!
    2.Jenson Button – The only man who challenged Vettel from time to time this year. That’s why he is entitled to this position.
    3.Fernando Alonso – Did wonders with that Ferrari. I felt sorry for him when Webber took third in the standings.
    4.Lewis Hamilton – He had a troubled season, he was lost at times. But he still won 3 races in not the best car and is ranked high in such a list, and not only by me!
    5.Michael Schumacher – Much better than last year. He still makes mistakes, risks too much. But the old Schumi is still there.
    6.Adrian Sutil – With Di Resta’s impressive first races against his troubled start, I was concerned for him. But he grew stronger race after race and now I have to admit that Vijay Mallya and not Luca di Montezemolo should want three cars for each team!
    7.Jaime Alguersuari – Brilliant second half of the season. Hard to separate these two Torro Rosso twins! I have to admit I didn’t see a future for him at his debut, I’m glad the DJ proved me wrong!
    8.Sebastian Buemi – In the first half he was better, in the second Jaime was better. He was unlucky at times. Neither of the two deserves to lose his seat.
    9.Paul Di Resta – His main advantage against Perez, apart from the car, was his more spectacular style. Two good drivers gained by F1 this year, but Hulkenberg did better than both.
    10.Sergio Perez – Impressing debut season, the one stop at the first race was simply great! But he lacks consistency, just as his teammate.
    11.Nico Rosberg – Beaten by his very old teammate in the second half of the year. I expected him to be a future world champion, but his performances this year didn’t show any of this.
    12.Kamui Kobayashi – spectacular at times, but he had problems, especially in qualifying. His teammate beat him too many times and he is a bit overrated in my opinion.
    13.Nick Heidfeld – QuickNick lost the first part of his name this year, especially in qualifying. He did some great recovery races though, including a great podium. He shouldn’t have been treated the way he was by his team, but I can understand their urgent need of money.
    14.Mark Webber – a win, some poles, most fastest laps this year, third in the standings. A pretty big reward for someone who was destroyed by his teammate as he was. He is a good driver, but had a hugely sad season.
    15.Heikki Kovalainen – He did some good races in that Lotus. But I think he was not great.
    16.Rubens Barrichello – Good old Rubens reached the sad end of his not short at all career. He should have retired after last year, he would have made a better exit (that is, if he doesn’t stay next year!)
    17.Timo Glock – Ok, he had a dog of a car, but he did nothing to improve the situation. He seems to accept the situation as it is, and , given his reputation, he should have been further ahead of his rookie teammate.
    18.Jerome d’Ambrosio – Everybody expected him to be bad. He wasn’t. He even outqualified Glock a few times, if I remember exactly. I think he did well.
    19.Vitaly Petrov – A spectacular podium in the first race. Good qualifying pace, good defending. In spite of those, he had a difficult season, getting even ridiculous at times. He only beat Heidfeld by a handful of points.
    20.Bruno Senna – Had a few good outings, but generally he demonstrated he is in F1 only thanks to his name.
    21.Daniel Ricciardo – He was a rookie in a bad car. He did well against his more experienced teammate. But not impressive.
    22.Vitantonio Liuzzi – He wasn’t as much in front of his rookie teammate as he should have been. In fact, he was beaten by him quite often. He seems content only to be in F1. And let’s not forget Monza, where he made the biggest mistake I have seen in Formula 1! It seems unlikely we’ll see him again next year.
    23.Pedro de la Rosa – He did one race, he was decent. Not much to say here.
    24.Pastor Maldonado – He made a fool out of himself several times this year, the best example being his incredible gesture at Spa against Hamilton. He is fast enough in qualifying, but doesn’t have the brains for the race. If not for his money, out he would go!
    25.Narain Karthikeyan – I have nothing good to say about his performances.
    26.Felipe Massa – he was so bad! While his teammate shines in the same car, he rewrites history for Ferrari, claiming all the negative records.
    27.Jarno Trulli – I expected more from him, but he doesn’t belong in Formula 1 anymore.
    28.Karun Chandock – one race, awful performance. He wasn’t even in the car in India, which says something…


    My ten cents….
    10. Jaime Alguersuari
    Outscored his teammate fairly substantially, largely thanks to some good drives from low down on the grid. Looking through the numbers though he may just have been a bit luckier than Buemi?

    9. Paul Di Resta
    Great start to the year and his F1 career getting in the points for the first two races and just outside whilst his team mate was struggling. Then got a bit scrappy, losing/damaging his front wing too many times which may have forced him to be a bit too conservative later in the year. –

    8. Sergio Perez
    Unlucky to be disqualified from his first race and points in Australia. Hadn’t actually done as well as I thought he had looking back at this results, tended to beat Kobayashi in qualifying but would lose out in the race. I suspect that will come with experience.

    7. Mark Webber
    Consolation win at the end, but otherwise too slow compared to his team mate. Should have had more 2nd places at the very least.

    6. Nico Rosberg
    Beat Schumacher once again, particularly in qualifying. Couldn’t always stay ahead in the races, but I suspect he was largely doing a good job with the car available.

    5. Lewis Hamilton
    I have a feeling I pretty much wrote the exact same thing last year. Exceptional at times, horrid at others. Obviously a tough year for him so hopefully he can build on it for the future.

    4. Heikki Kovalainen
    Think I might be being too generous here but oh well. Much better than Trulli in qualifying, getting into Q2 where possible. Generally seemed to be the better overall in the races if the results do not quite back that up.

    3. Fernando Alonso
    Another great season full of effort from Alonso, but probably wouldn’t have that win to his name had the FIA not gone mad for Silverstone (though that probably shows that it was not entirely his fault he was not winning). Difficult to criticise his driving at all actually. Didn’t do a good job of getting out of JB’s way in Canada!

    2. Jenson Button
    Able to capitalise on his team mate’s downturn in form with some epic drives this year. Canada surely has to be one of the best F1 drives of all time. Hungary and Japan were exceptional too. Unlucky not to add to those wins at Monaco.

    1. Sebastian Vettel
    Not much else to say that hasn’t been said already I should imagine. Yes, his car was great and Red Bull have obviously got the formula for success down, but it’s still an incredible achievement to consistently deliver that level of performance.

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