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Who were the top 10 F1 drivers of 2010?

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Andrew Benson | 14:19 UK time, Thursday, 18 November 2010

Sebastian Vettel was crowned the youngest world champion in history after a memorable final twist at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but was he the best driver of the year?

It's a subjective question, and so difficult after such a momentous season that I have been wrestling with it for some weeks.

Does Vettel's pace in the dominant Red Bull mean he was Formula 1's top driver? How does that rank alongside the performances of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in inferior cars?

What about Robert Kubica's ability to mix it with the title contenders in the Renault? Or Kamui Kobayashi's attacking verve in the Sauber?

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Robert Kubica

Vettel is centre-stage among the class of 2010 - but is he number one in our list? Photo: AFP

Here is my list of the top 10 drivers of 2010:

10) After battling for the title with Brawn in 2009, it cannot have been easy for Rubens Barrichello, at 37 going on 38, to drum up the enthusiasm for a season battling to make the top 10 in qualifying with once-great Williams.

But drum it up he did, impressing the team with his technical feedback and producing some excellent drives that resulted in strong points positions when Williams had something of a purple patch mid-season.

The veteran Brazilian was outshone by rookie team-mate Nico Hulkenberg at times as the German found his feet late in the season.

Nevertheless, as he heads into an astonishing 19th F1 season in 2011, Barrichello clearly still has a lot to offer.

9) Kamui Kobayashi emerged as one of F1's most exciting talents with some all-action performances in 2010.

Overtaking is notoriously difficult but the Japanese simply went for it, finding unconventional passing places to liven up such races as Valencia and Japan.

There remain doubts about his ultimate potential, with Sauber drafting in the reliable Nick Heidfeld for the final five races of the season to give Kobayashi a benchmark to measure himself against.

But Kobayashi responded perfectly and gives all the signs of having a great future.

8) It all started so well for Felipe Massa, who out-qualified new team-mate Alonso at the first race of the season. But when Alonso passed the Brazilian around the outside of the first corner, it set the tone for the entire year.

Alonso trounced Massa in 2010, proving faster than him at virtually every race, and there is no doubt the Spaniard's relentless excellence got to the man in the second Ferrari.

There were some good drives from Massa - particularly his third places at Monza and Korea. But he will have to pull something very special out of the bag, not to mention rediscover his mental equilibrium, to reverse this trend in 2011.

7) Nico Rosberg convincingly beat Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher this year and, had he achieved that feat 10 years ago, there would have been no doubt he had emerged as a truly great F1 driver.

But the Schumacher of this year was not the same driver as before, as even the seven-time champion himself effectively admitted.

Rosberg drove a strong season, and some good races, and there are an increasing number of people in F1 who believe he is emerging as a top-class contender.

But until he goes up against - and beats - a driver of the highest calibre, it will be hard to tell whether he deserves to be considered as that himself, or whether he is nearly there, but not quite.

6) Not even Jenson Button probably expected to be leading the championship after winning two of the opening four races of 2010 and out-qualifying McLaren team-mate Hamilton 3-1.

Button's two victories in the wet in Australia and China owed a lot to clever strategic calls but that was not all. The sight of Button pulling away from Hamilton in China on a wet track and on tyres of comparable age proved once and for all that this is a driver of the very highest calibre.

After that, Hamilton got on top and stayed there but Button, who was rarely very far away in qualifying and often more or less matched his team-mate on race pace, provided a convincing answer to those who said he had gained his 2009 triumph more by luck than ability.

5) Mark Webber chose the name Aussie Grit for his Twitter account, and 2010 proved why. Expected to fulfil the role of an obedient number two at Red Bull, Webber went toe-to-toe with team-mate Vettel throughout the season and led him in the championship for most of it.

After a shaky first couple of races, Webber came on song when the season came back to Europe with dominant wins in Spain and Monaco that left Vettel bemused at where his team-mate had found such electrifying pace.

By mid-summer, Vettel had got his edge back, but Webber remained large in his mirrors, ready to take advantage of any mistakes. That he was able to do this despite suspicions that Red Bull were not perhaps being quite as even-handed in their treatment of their drivers as they insisted was all the more impressive.

But his challenge faded in the end, crashing in Korea and failing to make any real impact in the final two races of the campaign.

4) Did Renault's Robert Kubica perform better than any other driver on the grid when you consider the equipment he had at his disposal?

You can certainly make that case. No-one else can claim to have made so few mistakes while extracting what appeared to be the maximum from his machinery.

The Renault was not fast enough for Kubica to regularly mix it with the title contenders but on three occasions he transcended the car's limitations in a way only the truly great can - at Monaco, Spa and Suzuka, F1's three great drivers' circuits.

To qualify second in Monaco, third in Spa and fourth in Suzuka was a momentous achievement - and he backed that up by taking podium places in both Monaco and Belgium before being robbed of another when his wheel came loose in Japan.

There is still a slight question mark over a man who, in 2009, was not able to comprehensively overshadow Heidfeld at BMW. And let's not forget that Kubica was not burdened with the kind of pressure that the likes of Alonso, Vettel, Button and Hamilton were.

But put Kubica in a competitive car and all his rivals would fear him.

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3) Sebastian Vettel is a great talent and a deserving world champion but, considering the stunning pace of the Red Bull car, he should have won many more races and clinched the title much sooner.

The car's fragility did not help - failures in Bahrain, Australia, Spain and Korea cost him a lot of points - but the German also made a number of high-profile errors. He crashed into rivals in Turkey and Belgium, suffered a puncture following a red-mist moment at Silverstone and was penalised for misjudging the safety car in Hungary.

Ten pole positions and five wins speak for themselves to an extent but, as the (slightly) faster driver in comfortably the fastest car, they are to be expected.

Some of those pole laps were stunning, though, with Vettel possessing an Ayrton Senna-esque ability to pull that little bit extra out on his very final lap, no matter what the circumstances, while each one of his wins was a masterpiece of domination.

However, there have to be fewer mistakes, more wins dragged out of adversity and more convincing performances when he is back in the pack for him to be ranked above the next names on the list.

2) Had this article been written after the Belgian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton would have occupied the number one spot.

Up to that point, Hamilton had made not a single mistake worth the name and he was leading the championship in what had from the mid-point of the season been the third fastest car.

Hamilton had maintained his exuberant, attacking style and stunning natural pace and had mated it to a consistency that was making him a formidable competitor.

His fantastic victory at Spa - not forgetting the qualifying lap that earned him second on the grid on slicks in a shower of rain - confirmed him as the outstanding driver of the season to that point, notwithstanding the canny Button's two wet wins.

Suddenly, though, it all went wrong. Hamilton crashed out of the next two races in Monza and Singapore and when he crashed again in Friday practice at the next race in Japan his season appeared to be coming apart at the seams.

But then came one of the laps of the season - third on the grid at Suzuka in a car in which he had done just six flying laps before qualifying. It was a reminder of Hamilton's amazing talent. By then, though, as far as the championship was concerned, the damage had been done.

1) Fernando Alonso's first year with Ferrari started with a few shaky races and finished with a strategic mistake that cost him the title. In between the Spaniard did just enough to earn the right to call himself the best driver of 2010.

Early-season errors were born of trying too hard in a car that was not quite on the pace. Combine that with Ferrari losing their way for a while and Alonso was 47 points off the lead at the midpoint of the season.

But in a car that established itself as the second fastest behind the Red Bull, he recovered that margin by driving with a consistent, relentless brilliance that his rivals were not able to match. His victories at Monza and Singapore were stunning. Only Hamilton at Spa and perhaps Webber at Monaco can claim a performance of comparable quality.

That ultimately Alonso did not win a third title was only because of his team's error in Abu Dhabi. For the 2005 and 2006 champion, as he said himself, it was still a great year.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Definately agree about Fernando being the no.1, Alonso was very unlucky to miss out this year and I believe that he will be the man to beat next year he's a strong character and think the Ferrari will be right alongside the Red Bull and McLaren's next time out. Is Hamilton really ahead of Vettel though? I don't know. Hamilton did do a great job to keep his head up and battle to the end but Sebastian showed that he can match Hamilton for desire on the race track and now he has his 1st Drivers Title under his belt I think Vettel can be as good or if not better than Hamilton. Missing F1 already and can't wait until March 2011!

  • Comment number 2.

    Bit harsh on webber if you ask me, vettel was evidently quicker than him and backed by the team yet webber continued to produce more consistent results. Kubica a good driver in a bad car, but I dont feel he warrants the 4th spot

  • Comment number 3.

    I agree on that one lfcking, think Webber is surely ahead of Robert but he needs to join a 'Top 4' team to really show his potential?

  • Comment number 4.

    I agree that Vettel and Webber had by far the best car and should have walked away with this but Hamilton and Alonso showed their class by nealry stealing it. I think you have to have Vettel top, he won the championship, but I would have Hamilton 2nd as yes he made some errors but so did Alonso just his were earlier in the year so more forgotten. Plus he has a team were he is the ony one allowed to win and was given a win. For that he can not be top.

  • Comment number 5.

    I actually have to agree with this! I would have been disappointed if you went to put Vettel in number 1 n account for his championship win, the truth is, I don't believe he was the best driver out of them all, too many mistakes, he was lucky to come away with the championship. You reminded me of sme very good points throughout this, some that I had forgotten, like Lewis' 2nd place quali in Spa...stunning!
    Good read Andrew

  • Comment number 6.

    Have to disagree with Massa being in there. Truly a poor season from his point of view, and I'm sure even he would admit that.

    I really like the guy and hope that next season he is able to bring it back together and give Alonso something to think about, but I do not see how he can be in the top 10 drivers for the season - other than getting the pity vote because he was demoted to number 2 and had a win snatched away from him.

  • Comment number 7.


    It is inaccurate to portray Hamilton's DNF in Singapore as his own fault. It was a racing incident, though if anyone were to be attributed blame, it would have been Webber who used Hamilton as a braking aid.

    So, one mistake over an entire season in competitive sessions. Lead the Championship through the Summer and was less than a win away from the WDC in the 3rd best car of the year. Hamilton, driver of the year - no doubt.

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree with #2, Webber deserves recognition of what he did this year.
    It's good to see Kubica getting mentioned with the front runners, there's no doubt that with a competetive car he can win races. I just hope he gets the chance to show how good he is as at the moment I don't think anyone really knows.

  • Comment number 9.

    For all the praise being laid on Alonso, people remember his errors since he wasnt at the front when making them. Bumping into Massa in Silverstone and causing his puncture, JUMP starting in China, crashing in a free practice as well as in SPA, while Vettel's only real mistake was at SPA, even Stirling Moss admitted Turkey was a racing incident. hopefully if Vettel has better reliability next season, he would not need to take such risks and can lead from the beginning till the end.

  • Comment number 10.

    Why is Massa in there? Kubice for me has to be no.1 hes done extraordinary things with that Renault. Those saying having a go at Button last year look foolish Webber/Vettel had the fastest car ALL year not just at the tart like Button but failed to do a Jenson and just win when they were quickest consistently. Vettel was the best driver in qualifying though, 10 poles is sensational.

  • Comment number 11.

    Agree with Alonos as number 1. He won races that the car really shouldnt have won (Monza and Singapore). Think Rosberg should be further up and Kubica too but pretty much agree with all the drivers listed.
    Vettel cannot be no 1 in my view due to the number of errors that he made this year.

  • Comment number 12.

    Overall I have to agree. Though Massa being in there is not warrented as he vastly under performed, particularly after being told to move over. I hope he bounces back though because I like the guy.

    I'd also put Alonso at number 1 but making Massa move out of the way and his reaction to being held up by Petrov (and not even attempting a pass to my knowledge) leave a bad taste in the mouth. It seemed like he expected to be presented to him.

    I think Sutil constantly did well in the Force India, I also liked Alguersuari (though you can't possibly make a case for him with only 5 championship points) and Kubica constantly out performed his car but overall your list is about right.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think most regular readers of your blog wouldn't be surprised by Alonso heading the list, which is fair enough. He definitely had a stellar year and would have been a worthy champion.

    However I think your list is clouded by your bias towards the Spaniard. You quickly gloss over his early season mistakes as simply trying to hard in a car that wasn't competitive. But we did not see the same errors from Hamilton or Kubica. And some of the mistakes would have embarrassed a rookie driver never mind a double world champion, I mean jumping the start at China is not something you expect from F1's best driver. And to finish it off he produce a dismal race when the championship was there for the taking. Poor strategy or not top drivers make it work or at least provide more fight than a lacklustre effort that wouldn't have looked out of place coming from Massa.

    On the other hand Vettel suffered more points lost through car failures than anyone else. He made some mistakes but other than the Istanbul one none that I would classify as shockingly bad. And when he was put in a corner towards the end of season he responded with three brilliant victories, when even one mis-step would have ended his title hopes. For that plus his undoubted speed he would be my choice for the best driver of the season.

  • Comment number 14.

    Massa doesn't deserve to be anywher near a top 10.

    Fair play to him for his courage in returning from his accident but he has consistently failed to get anywhere near the pace his car deserves.


    And Alonso top? I dont think so, he is definately the best driver out there in terms of talent and ability but on performance this year no. If you go for pure speed then it has to be Vettel consistently, if it's for maximising the car then it has to be Kubica.

  • Comment number 15.

    7. At 3:27pm on 18 Nov 2010, Jamie wrote:

    It is inaccurate to portray Hamilton's DNF in Singapore as his own fault. It was a racing incident, though if anyone were to be attributed blame, it would have been Webber who used Hamilton as a braking aid.

    So, one mistake over an entire season in competitive sessions. Lead the Championship through the Summer and was less than a win away from the WDC in the 3rd best car of the year. Hamilton, driver of the year - no doubt.


    -------------------

    I think you can blame Lewis for Singapore, he made a silly move, you cant expect Webber just to move out of the way, there was no room for both of them, so you shouldn't try and overtake and expect the other guy to let you through.

    Lewis also made mistakes in Korea and Brazil, both times letting Alonso through.

  • Comment number 16.

    Massa would be second in the list of most dissapointing this season with Schumi as number 1. Fair play to the lad for coming back from such an accident but he is a shadow of the guy that nearly won the champ in 2008.

  • Comment number 17.

    i realy dont thimk kubica is that good he was beaten by heifeld in a couple of seasons,put him against the top hamilton and alonso he will be beaten there are no doubts in my mind.vettel ios deserving of 3rd ,webber 5th button 6th thet seem pretty fair alonso was stunning this year although i hate for what he stands for,hamilton a close 2nd

    without wishing my life away come on 2011,great job mr benson

  • Comment number 18.

    I still cant believe that Redbull won both Championships. The driver champion should really go to Alonso. He did what he said. But in 2011, if everything goes according to plan, it will be Alonso+Ferrari=Champions.

    There is no surprise, that Redbull won both championships. They got fastest car and most circuits suit the car. 10 poles in 19 races (52%) says how fast the car is. But Lewis and Alonso drove their uncompetitive cars very well and lead the Championships for sometime. But in F1, its all depends on Car like car:driver = 80:20.

    Really dissappointed that Mark didnot win the Championship if not Alonso.
    Anyway luck is Vettel side.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think 6th position is rather harsh on Button. A new car, new team and arguably the most competitive team mate in F1 he had a great first season. If Vettel didn't take him out in Spa with another of his all to regular mistakes then Button would have been far closer to the championship leaders. I expect him to be in the top 3 at least next season if Mclaren provide him with a competitive car.

  • Comment number 20.

    no way - sebastian was definetly the best driver of the year. He got 10 pole positions which is incredible, however he only won 5 races. Yes, he made a couple of mistakes (i.e. spa and then in turkey) however there was numerous races where he lost because of unreliability - bahrain, melbourne and then when he had severe brake issues in spain. He had the most speed out of anyone even though he did make some mistakes however ALL the championship contenders did! This means that in my opinion, and martin brundles i might add, he was the best driver of all season.

    1. Vettel
    2. Kubica
    3. Alonso
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton
    6. Button
    7. Rosberg
    8. Hulkenberg
    9. Kobayashi
    10. Barrichello

  • Comment number 21.

    13. At 3:46pm on 18 Nov 2010, qu103- wrote:
    I think most regular readers of your blog wouldn't be surprised by Alonso heading the list
    -----

    Agreed.
    I'm not surprised at all. Having read Mr Benson all year I think it's clear where his loyalties lie. Maybe that's also why Massa is unfathomably in this list, and not even the lowest one down!

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't think I can remember a season where all of the top drivers made so many mistakes. Therefore I am basing my decision on what the driver achieved in the car
    Vettel - Poor return for the number of poles (i know some wherent his fault)
    Webber - Great start but solidly outperformed by teammate in 2nd half of season and poor qualifying form
    Button - Outperformed by teammate for most of the season
    Hamilton - 2nd best driver in F1 in my opinion. In what was probably the 3rd best car, he was in the running for title until the very end.
    Alonso - As mentioned before, won races the car really shouldnt have been winning
    Massa - Pretty poor from him - only scored 2 points more than Rosberg, hope he can bounce back

  • Comment number 23.

    While I think Alonso is prob the best all rounder out there I think the top 3 drivers in F11 at the moment are Lewis, Alonso and slightly behind Vettel. But would I have Alonso in my team? No way! He doesn't want to be in a team he wants a team to just support him. He had that this year when the other 4 in the title hunt didnt. They had to BEAT their team mate by racing him! That's why you can not have Alonso top, he and his team cheated and were found guilty of it! If they had their way F1 tracks would have laybys to help them in races. ;)

  • Comment number 24.

    I completely agree with qu103 (#13). For me the best driver keeps his head on the race, can outperform the car and will never shy away from racing the guy ahead.

    Alonso only ticks one of these boxes for me.

    I'm a Hamilton fan and was about to wrote a paragraph explaining that only one competitive DNF to be blamed for, and fulfilling all the above criteria made him my driver of the season. But the final sentence of VAMOS's comment (#15) made me take off the rose tinted glasses.

    Gving away points in Korea and Brazil to Alonso of all people is also a big enough error for him to lose this mantle.

    The man who completes all the above criteria in my opinion is Kubica, I think as soon as he has a chance to shine in a competitive car he will be right up there.

    In short my top 4 would be..

    3 Alonso
    Equal 2. Hamilton and Vettel
    1.Kubica

    When those 4 drivers occupy the fastest 2 cars on the grid we really will be in for a classic season.

  • Comment number 25.

    I think Nico Rosberg is seriously being overlooked here.
    Again he has had an amazing season finishing in the points in 15 out of the 19 races.

    He comprehensively outperformed argubly the greatest driver ever to embrace this sport.

    Out of his four non points finishes. 3 were caused by sheer bad luck. He had 2 wheels come off in Hungary and Japan when looking good for a solid haul of points.

    In Korea he got collected by Mark Webbers spin and was looking extremely fast in that race pacing out Lewis Hamilton who eventually finished 2nd. He could of won that race but would of definitely finished on the podium.

    So I would say 35 points more could of been added had it not been for misfortune which would of put him a comfortable 6th in the Championship ahead of Felipe Massa who you have decided to put in at number 8.

    I would have Rosberg up there in a similar position to Kubica without doubt and I hope that these two drivers are given a chance next season to win races because they are both outstanding drivers.

  • Comment number 26.

    Taking the whole season in to context, for me Hamilton is the best. you can clearly see him pushing harder than most just to keep up with the top teams and that is precisely why he made a few mistakes towards the end imho.

  • Comment number 27.

    +1 for eagles2008

    I rate Rosberg very highly. Id love to see him in a more competitive car to see what he can do

  • Comment number 28.

    How about some credit for Heikki Kovalainen who did an awesome job for Lotus.
    Also a bit baffling to say Rosberg was only judged against Schumacher where as not pointing out Kubica only being judged against the hapless Petrov.

  • Comment number 29.

    Utterly Bizarre blog. Vettel would have won the championship earlier, barring reliability issues.

    The best driver (and team) of the year wins the championship. In this case, Vettel and Red Bull deservedly top both.

    I'm glad you made the point that this is subjective. Alonso had a great year. As such, he was the second best driver of 2010. His utterly pathetic fist-waving at the end of the grand prix marred his season for me. I felt a bit sorry for him losing the title due to a strategic error on the part of his team. That feeling quickly dissipated when i saw him gesturing at Petrov. Very poor indeed.

  • Comment number 30.

    p.s. ....

    I still cant believe that Redbull won both Championships. The driver champion should really go to Alonso. He did what he said. But in 2011, if everything goes according to plan, it will be Alonso+Ferrari=Champions.

    There is no surprise, that Redbull won both championships. They got fastest car and most circuits suit the car. 10 poles in 19 races (52%) says how fast the car is. But Lewis and Alonso drove their uncompetitive cars very well and lead the Championships for sometime. But in F1, its all depends on Car like car:driver = 80:20.
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I believe the first sentences of both your paragraphs are rather contradictory there!

  • Comment number 31.

    @25
    He comprehensively outperformed argubly the greatest driver ever to embrace this sport.

    So Schumacher cuddled F1!

    Maybe you meant he graced this sport?

  • Comment number 32.

    In truth I think there is very little between Vettel, Hamilton, and Alonso, however I do think Hamilton's errors were born out of trying to push what had become a difficult to drive McLaren after the blown diffuser was used only really coming good in the last race. Alonso came good in line with Ferrari's successful development of the blown diffuser at which point he had the second best car. Vettel is a very fast driver, and his qualifying is superb, but of course he had the fastest car by some margin. They all make mistakes, and as I've said many times before it is perhaps 90% car 10% driver, but when the car is good, the overall performance very often outweighs the sum of the parts.

  • Comment number 33.

    "That ultimately Alonso did not win a third title was only because of his team's error in Abu Dhabi. For the 2005 and 2006 champion, as he said himself, it was still a great year."

    As much as I agree with most of what has been written here, this statement is extremely inaccurate. Alonso drove brilliantly yes, but made several uncharacteristic, hight-profile mistakes (Monaco, Spa, China and others) which cost him bucket loads of points over the duration of the championship. So him losing out on the title certainly was not "only" because of what happened in Adu Dhabi.

    Similarly, Lewis was at one point in a commanding position in the standings but slipped down the order due to a string of DNFs, so I put the two of them very much in the same category in terms of why they didn't take it all the way. The only reason Alonso was still in it was because the Ferrari got faster and the McLaren slower as the season progressed. Ferrari

  • Comment number 34.

    How good is it that we have so many great, and potentially great drivers, in F1 at the moment.

    Rosberg - Outperformed arguably the greatest F1 driver of all time. How much Schumi has fallen will be shown over the next couple of years
    Kubica - Some stunning performances in a "slower" car
    Vettel - First championship of many?
    Alonso - Proved what a force he is and was unlucky in the last race to be undone by a tactical decision going horribly wrong
    Hamilton - A couple of decisive mistakes towards the end of year, but was always there or there about in a sub-par Mclaren. Also seemed to get on with Button.
    Button - Solid 1st year but can he step it up next year.

    And that's not even going on about Massa, Schumacher, Sutil or Kobayashi. These are great days for F1 and with the changes next year (no double diffuser, KERS, etc). Beats the hell out of the years of Schumi and everyone else way behind.

    Oh and Alonso wins for me but only by a squeak against Vettel.

  • Comment number 35.

    I totally agree with the comments re Massa, good to see him back, but astonished to see him in anyone’s top 10 for this year.

    My list would be:
    (Sorry if driver names are mis-spelt)

    10. Kovalainen (Best performance from a driver in the new teams, kept his head well and showed he belongs in formula one.)

    9. Barrichello (consistant, got good points, did a good job for his team.)

    8. Rosberg (might have been higher but tailed off near the end of the season.)

    7. Button (complained about the car a bit too much for me and only got what was expected out of the car, where as my top 6 did a bit more.)

    6. Kobiashi (drove the wheels off his Sauber at times and was one of few to provide real excitement with crazy over taking moves.)

    5. Hamilton (Again a little too much complaining in my view, still a good, if not totally consistant, season though. Also got more out of the car than his talented teammate.)

    4. Webber (stepped up this year and did much more than most expected of him, slipped three places on my list over the last four rounds of the championship though.)

    3. Alonso (Very little seperates my top three, not a big Alonso fan but the guy is a QUALITY driver.)

    2. Kubica (This guy is class, put him in a top car and I think he will be a champion. Far more points this year than that car should have been capable of.)

    1. Vettel (Yes he was number one driver for the team with the best car, but if not for mechanical failures he would have won the title by a significantly bigger margin, just edges out Kubica and Alonso for me.)


    Bring on 2011, another exciting title race could be on the cards.

  • Comment number 36.

    Of Alonso's 5 victories this season, 2 were a direct result of mechanical failure for Vettel and a third was illegally handed to him by Massa (who at least wasn't asked to crash his car - he should be grateful for that!).

    Everyone seems to agree that Massa had a bad season, but each in race that Alonso won Massa was also on the podium - except Singapore where Massa did very well to get from 24th to 8th. So it's hard to argue that Alonso really performed beyond the capabilities of the car - it just looks like he did well at the tracks where the car was good. According to Mr. Benson, that is 'expected'.

    So Alonso has driven as solidly as any of the other front runners, and made the best of opportunities as they arose. But if he had won the WDC it would be more down to Red Bull's misfortune and errors than any other factor. I don't see how that makes him the best driver of the season.

    Ultimately Vettel had it when it counted, and but for the engine failure in Korea would have won the last 4 races. A deserving champion and I think labelling him as 3rd best is very unfair.

    Personally I wanted Webber to win, but it's hard to say that Vettel did not deserve it in the end.

  • Comment number 37.

    Get real, the kid blew everybody's doors off, all year.

  • Comment number 38.

    As much as I dislike both drivers this season for being a)whingers and b) showing a distinct lack of ability to win races not gifted to them in ways other than open tracks or mistakes ahead, the top two is definitely Alonso and Vettel for their late season comebacks.

    Id say third is Webber followed by Hamilton and then Button.

    Kubica is massively overrated this season, and quite frankly Im getting sick of it. So is Rosberg. They had solid middle of the pack cars and snatched the occasional podiums and put in strong races. I dont think this is anything less than what you would expect from clearly the fastest cars behind the bulls, ferraris and maccas.

    Rubens has definitely impressed me this season, because at times Williams have been awful and Rubens seems to have risen above it.

    Generally I dont think this season has been as extraordinary as people like to make out. There have been at least as many boring, processional races as exciting or cleverly won races.

    As a Jenson fan Im disappointed he didnt turn his clever start to the season into something more, but he definitely exceeded expectations by utterly trouncing Hamilton at the start. Shame he followed Hammy quietly for the rest of the season. Next year Id like to see him beat Hamilton with raw pace alone, because its obvious to anyone who cares to look than he can on his day destroy any driver on the grid. Even precious Hamilton, Alonso and golden boy (who cant overtake for toffee) Vettel.

    I dont think this is a bad top 10 all in all though. Id have preferred:

    1. Alonso
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber
    4. Hamilton
    5. Button
    6. Massa (since he won in Germany but Alonso had a mar mar)
    7. Kubica (since he at least looked like he could luck into a win in Monaco)
    8. Rosberg (because of his podiums)
    9. Barrichello
    10. Kobayashi (for being exciting, if a tad overrated again)

  • Comment number 39.

    relative to their car...

    1. Fernando
    2. Lewis
    3. Robert
    4. Nico
    5. Marc
    6. Sebastian
    7. Barrichello
    8. Alguersuari
    9. Button
    10.Massa

  • Comment number 40.

    Some of your assessments I agree with BUT theres a few I cant make any sense of:

    Jenson Button:

    How can his 2 wins be down to 'clever strategy calls'?
    -They were nothing but simple 'gambles' because he was unable to match the front runners especially in one race in particular (australia) he was loosing positions - so he had nothing to loose by throwing the same dice....both cases were lucky as the weather conditions went his way. HOWEVER in Korea...button tried to throw the same dice again but the elements this time did not go his way and he had an embaressing race. Jenson just has one tool in his toolbox - the same pair of dice....he'll either pit way before the rest or way after the rest.
    And how can you say that he has matched or even been very close to Lewis' pace?? Surely you cant consider being over a second slower or even on a consistant basis being 4 tenths slower than his team mate - if you consider that as being 'close' then I have to question your F1 knowledge, or even more than that...your impartiality standards.

    I think with button , you guys (the beeb & media - thanks to all those steak dinners) try your very hardest to sprinkle as much sugar on top of button's season as from what we have seen...he has not stepped up to the plate considering hes suppose to be a reigning champion - hes always ducked out of fighting the front guys and instead gets schooled by the midfielders. Button has been the only one out of the 5 who doesnt usually take part in amogst the battles ahead. Thats part of the reason why he hasnt made many mistakes....its because he ducks out of battles..he takes less risk. And to be a real champ as Senna used to always say: TO be a winner and a champ you have to always take risks...its easy to just sit back and cross the line, but only a true champ goes out there and takes risks in every race in order to fight for victories.

    Robert Kubica:
    After Button....Kubica has to be probably the 2nd most hyped driver. Yes hes definately a good racer and I'd even class him way higher than Jenson - But Kubica has probably made more silly mistakes this season than alonso. A multiple number of pitstop errors, running Schumacher off onto the grass in canada - Yes it was Kubica's fault as how can Schumacher have 'pushed off' kubica onto the grass when Michael was on the outside of the corner?? That wouldve meant Michael had 'PULLED' Kubica onto the grass - which is impossible!

    Lewis Hamilton:
    Why do you beat Lewis up just cos he made ONE mistake?? YOu yourselves have said that he has been faultless through the 1st half of the season and his overtaking move in monza wouldve been applauded if it didnt result in that unusual damage - Before the race you all were saying that Lewis needs to be very aggressive in the 1st lap for any hope of a victory. In Singapore that was not his fault - he had approached that corner in front of webber - Webber was the one who had the view and couldve chosen to back off but he was too gung-ho - If it was the otherway around Lewis wouldve been blamed eitherway.
    - As you have alluded to ....Lewis' maturity and his more matured driving this season (less faults) should be recognised and applauded - But no you still consider if he made one or 2 mistakes (many less than the rest) and you guys still magnify those couple to make it sound as if hes still error-prone! Vettel, Webber, Alonso & Kubica have made many more silly mistakes but they get conveniently overlooked - whereas Lewis' get magnified! Lewis' crash in japan practice was not a big deal - And he more than redeemed himself by his performance through quali and the race which you yourself highlighted.
    The British press need to get behind Lewis equally instead of joining the button-fanclub - the fact that you guys treat these both like chalk and cheese is nasty, unpatriotic and downright unprofessional - That is the only thing ruining the coverage. They are BOTH british - remember that!

    Fernado Alonso:
    This is the most baffling! After all the petulance - which is so unsportsman-like, his hissyfits, his dummy-spitting, his idea of not having any competition is unbelievable! - How you guys can condone it is beyond me?! Yes hes a great driver but his character & temprement ruins it and has on many occassions tarnished the image of Formula 1. His terrible mistakes in the 1st half is way more than Lewis' in the 2nd half and also keeping in mind how alonso has acted even at the last race when gestating to Petrov was unbelievable! But you guys just dont seem to have any issue and you still put him in top spot??!!If you look at Lewis' and fernando's stats for this season you will find that: Lewis has driven more consistantly; given the better performances especially in the 3rd best car; made less errors; not been unsporting like alonso etc - Maybe alonso's rating is down to maybe ensuring the popularity of journalists with ferrari as we know that they have crosshairs for any journo who tries to critisize them or their drivers...especially if the journos in question are british?

    Lewis certainly has been the driver of the season by far. But for some reason...you may not seem to want to elevate him to that top spot possibly in fear of making it look as if button has done even worse than he has at mclaren. i.e. If you talk Lewis down and gloss over him...it will make jenson look better and closer - If Lewis is given the true recognition he has earned this season then button will look like a failed investment.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hamilton was driver of the year. One proper race mistake and a crash that certainly wasn't his fault in the subsequent race and that makes Fernando, Australian 1st corner, jump start in China and wall hugging crash in Spa, Alonso number 1? Not to mention that even with 4 DNF's and the third fastest car in the second half of the season, he still finished in 4th, two points behind Mark Webber in the R26

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm a bit disappointed not to see Kovalainen, Glock or Heidfeld (I know he only did a few races but he did a great job!) in there, but you can't have everyone I suppose.

    Also, I think Rosberg should be higher up.

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't agree with Alonso nr 1. The only driver he was able to overtake during a race was Massa in Germany. He is very consistent and probably a good motivator of his team, but he had 100% of the support from Ferrari. Webber was far more agressive in the middle of the season, as is usually Hamilton. I'd put Vettel 1,Hamilton 2, Webber 3, Alonso 4. I'm really afraid Kubica might not get a chance in a good car. He certainly deserves it. He may soon get Massa's or Webber's slot. Webber ahead of Alonso also for his grit within a red bull team that clearly favoured Vettel too.

  • Comment number 45.

    I generally agree with the listing, however, i notice the bias comments on Kubica, lest we forget, in three seasons with heidfeld as a teammate, he finished in two of the seasons behind him on championship points. So is kubica over rated or heidfeld under rated? Another point for the german, he was given the dregs of the engines left over from de la rosa and down on horsepower compared to kobayashi, so i wouldn't say the japanese has proven himself yet, but his style is good. Vettel is quick going round the circuit, like senna was, but also like senna, he's pretty rubbish at racing with other drivers, look at the way he chopped hamilton in the final race at the first corner. He doesnt leave enough space, he's a man who knows the racing line and that's it. Great in front, average in the pack.

  • Comment number 46.

    BTW.......

    Your assessment of alonso:

    'Early-season errors were born of trying too hard in a car that was not quite on the pace'.

    ------
    Wow...funny that you didnt apply the same for Lewis??




  • Comment number 47.

    Whatever Vettel is, he ain't no Senna by a country mile. If Senna was alive he's have something to say about a kid dancing around in a funny hat! I've never seen Vettel risk all for a win yet, only Alonso and Hamilton have dared that, in inferior cars.

  • Comment number 48.

    Agree Vettel should not be number 1 as he did make mistakes but still young.. I would have put Kubica and Koybiashi higher on the list

    Not a Hamilton fan but I would put him ahead of Alonso.. At the beginning of the season it seemed only Hamilton and Webber were doing the overtaking and risks.. Alonso benefited at least 2 wins from Vettel's reliability issues. In Korea, it seemed Hamilton was the only one willing to race and I was urging the race control to listen to him... We want to see a race not a procession behind a safety car

  • Comment number 49.

    I disagree about Alonso being no. 1, and to say he only lost the championship because of bad tactics in Abu Dhabi is just wrong, are you forgetting his mistakes in spa and Monaco. I think Vettel is the best driver this year because he did make mistakes, but he just had excellent pace and would have sealed the championship long ago had it not been for bad luck

  • Comment number 50.

    Great choice- Alonso- best driver of 2010 in a car that was never the best- ignore the stupid comments of the right wing press. Alonso is a great F1 talent with more to come.

  • Comment number 51.

    Judging by the weight of comments it seems Alonso was not the fan's choice of driver of the year i'm afraid, it would be nice to have a vote feature on the website to gauge things like this better

  • Comment number 52.

    Although getting the most points doesn´t automatically mean being the top driver in any given year, surely Vettel did enough to convince anyone that he´s a fantastic talent? It´s not as if he had no competition!

    In reality, Vettel made no more mistakes than any of the other 3 contenders, and (safety car apart)they were racing mistakes-like Hamilton¨s mistakes. From what I remeber, Alonso and Webber´s mistakes were more unforced errors. True, the Red Bull was very fast, but also very unreliable. Give Vettel some credit for his extreme youth, particularly for his approach in the last 3 races. Or is it because he´s German?

    Kubica did well, but it´s a bit like saying that Gilles Villeneuve was the best driver of his era. Worthy comment, but perhaps more emotional than rational, evidenced more by anecdote and incidents than consistent results. Kubica is consistent, though, and if he can raise the Renault team to be a contender next year, he´ll really have demonstrated his quality. I suspect that Kubica´s talent is very real, but that doesn´t always translate into success. Cue Jean Alesi.....

  • Comment number 53.

    Agree with most of Andrew Benson's top ten, but Massa doesn't deserve to be in there this year. Only stand out drive was Germany, he made far too many silly errors and couldn't get the most out of the car for most of the latter half of the season. My top ten, ambiguous as it will always be given personal favouritisms etc, is:

    10 - Kobayashi
    9 - Sutil
    8 - Barrichello
    7 - Button
    6 - Rosberg
    5 - Webber
    4 - Kubica
    3 - Alonso
    2 - Hamilton
    1 - Vettel

    Top three very close to call - all brilliant for the majority of the season, but made crucial errors at various stages. Vettel drove pretty much faultlessly in the last 4 races of the year when the pressure was really on - that's why I put him first.

  • Comment number 54.

    I knew you would pick Alfonso, but I can't fathom why. And the rest of your choices are built around the assumption that Alonso was number one, rather than taking an unbiased measured approach. Hence Massa is in the top 10!!! (If Massa is good and Alonso is better, Alonso is AMAIZING!) Also this reeks of championship standings (roughly) which is NOT the way to assess driver performance.
    Another 2 Alonso based rants:

    "That ultimately Alonso did not win a third title was only because of his team's error in Abu Dhabi."

    NO! All the teams made errors just because this came at the last race gives it no more significance. He didn't win because he wasn't good enough!

    "Early-season errors were born of trying too hard in a car that was not quite on the pace."

    How come Alonso's errors get justified whilst everyone else's is their fault, this is most unfair.

    My top 10:
    1. Kubica (He's simply the best, you mentioned last years championship to drag him down but if I'm not mistaken this is top 10 F1 drivers of 2010)
    2. Rosburg (He IS world class, the merc was not very fast this year)
    3. Hamilton (Perfect season bar 2 costly errors)
    4. Kovalinen (Beat all of his immediate competitors with a smile)
    5. Alonso (Excellent patch late on, early errors and foul play on Massa)
    6. Kobayashi (Bit dangerous when defending, excellent overtaker)
    7. Vettel (Many errors, should have won by more even with the mech fails)
    8. Barrichello (great in quali, weak sundays)
    9. Button (Did well against Hamilton, but weak quali and overall pace)
    10. Hulkenburg (weak start, but great end, should get a seat in 2011)

  • Comment number 55.

    Webber doesn't feature (this won't be popular). Although he is probably the most improved driver (maybe Algisuari) with the fastest car and no mechanical failures, he really should have won the championship, and he had far too many 8th's and thereabouts with no real reason why except a lack of pace.

  • Comment number 56.

    A fine article by Andrew Benson l must say. While l agree with him mostly, he omits a small point about the Hulkenhiem team orders and the effect that had on the scoring. Therefore, his estimation of Alonso being the best this year is flawed.
    Without the 7 points donated by Massa at the request of the team, the true complexion of the final race would have been so much different. Vettel could have won the WDC from 2nd position not needing to win the race.
    I personally would put Vetel in the nos 1 position because he won it inspite of all the mistakes he made and trailing in 3rd position going into Abu Dhabi. Hamilton in 2nd (points adjusted, Alonso would have only beaten him by 5 points inspite of being in a slower car) and Alonso in 3rd (because his immense talent fazed Webber and got him ahead of the pack).

    Benson makes an error of judgement in forgetting that it takes more than pace to with WDC. It take a steely determination and uncanny self belief as well. Vettel had these things on a day when it mattered when his opposition were wanting on this front.

    But Benson was right about one important thing, determining the top 3 drivers of the year is to a large extent subjective. We all have favorites.

  • Comment number 57.

    Unlike quite a few F1 comment boards, this has been (mainly) a pleasure to read due to the fact that a lot of the comments are well argued and not dripping in "X is better than Y cos I say so" arguements.

    #38 Phlegmatic and #40 SupaSix-1 stood out as I thought they were both very well reasoned arguments even though I disagree with almost everything they said! (No offence intended). They certainly made me reassess my personal rankings, especially about Kubica. I would have placed him first without doubt, and yet the point is well made that he has delivered exactly what I would have expected him to before the season. The proof will be when he is in a car that is expected to compete, and will he ever get that chance?

    As for the others it is difficult to rank one higher than the other. After all, what does it matter when the table is the only thing that matters (or is it?). Good to see some praise for Kovalainen who I thought did very well in the Lotus, and Kobayashi for purely selfish reasons of the entertainment he provided. And praise also to Hamilton for squeezing every last bit out of the McLaren; I am in no way his biggest fan, and have been very critical of him in the past, but this year I thought he performed very well indeed.

    So no list for me, as I would rather focus on the positives above rather than why I, a mere fan, thinks driver X shouldn't be in the top ten etc. Here's looking forward to a great 2011!

  • Comment number 58.

    The best driver is ultimately the one who who wins the Championship. Vettel made, eventually, the most of his equipment and chances.

  • Comment number 59.

    I agree with Alonso in number 1, but I would have Vettel number 2, Kubica 3 and Hamilton 4.

  • Comment number 60.

    There is no way Alonso can be considered number 1. As good a driver as he is, he doesn't overtake well at all. He had to ask Massa to move out of the way and I think the only other real overtaking move of the season for him was on Hamilton in Brazil.

  • Comment number 61.

    My list would be:
    10) Kovalainen, it was difficult to choose between him and Glock as both had several very good drives, however just as Vettel was the fastest driver at the front, Heikki was consistently the fastest driver at the back.
    9) Kobayashi, he is obviously quick and is entertaining. He has also curbed his wild edge a bit, something that Adrian Sutil, another contender for the top ten has not been able to do. He outpaced De La Rosa comfortably as a young up and coming driver should, but more impressively he outpaced Nick Heidfeld, who is very highly rated by many, including me. I know Heidfeld may have been a bit rusty, but by Abu Dhabi he would've been fine, and Kobayashi still outqualified him. Kobayashi is not afraid to take people on, I don't know if he has that extra something to win races, but for continuingly trying very hard this year he deserves to be in the top ten
    8) Barrichello, I think he made the Williams look better than it was, as I don't believe that over the course of the season it was a match for the Force India, but Barrichellos point scoring proved enough to beat them into 6th in the Constructors championship. I think it is a measure of how highly rated he is that he is being kept on by Williams next year instead of Hulkenberg. He has had the measure of Hulkenberg almost everywhere, including the race in Brazil before his Interlagos curse struck again. Unfortunately for him he seems to drive better in poorer cars than in good cars, possibly why he was never able to challenge Schumacher at Ferrari.
    7) Button, this may be a tad harsh, however I think that whilst he was escellent in both China and Australia, Lewis always had the measure of him in the dry. He didn't seem to want to push as hard, for fear of making mistakes, but consequently was only kept in the championship hunt by the mistakes of others. While his performance at Monza was admirable, towards the end of the season he always seemed the least likely of the drivers to take the title, as he particularly struggled in qualifying, leading him to make the odd tyre choice in Japan. A good year, but I feel the defining moment came when Hamilton beat him at Turkey, it was Lewis' first win of the year, and Monza aside Button never had the measure of him again.
    6) Rosberg, he has always impressed with his consistency and after China it even looked like if Mercedes got their act together he could be an outsider for the championship. He has consistently had the legs on Schuey, unfortunately it is difficult to judge just how far Michael has slipped from his glory days. I expect if Rosberg can get a win under his belt next year, more will follow soon after, similar to Webber, although Rosberg is of course much younger.
    5) Webber, Whilst he was fast early on, his mid season purple patch and Vettel's mistakes hid the fact that the young German had the legs on him at most races. Webber had a scruffy start to the season in Bahrain and Australia, but afterwards was impressive, particularly in Spain and Monaco. After being gifted another win in Hungary by Vettel he appearded to be riding the crest of a wave, but as Vettel got his act together Webber appeared to have no answer, losing his mojo at the crucial time, hence why he is so far down the list.
    4) Alonso, if you judge the title contenders by performances from Germany to Brazil, Alonso deserves to be number one for his relentlessness and forcing his fellow contenders into mistakes. He broke Massa psychologically in a way that the similarly gifted Raikkonen didn't because he knew how to work Ferrari around him. Massa clearly wasn't at his best this year, making Alonso's true performance hard to judge relative to car. His drives in Malaysia and Singapore especially were absolutely masterful, and he read the title race perfectly by stating that in the last 3 races a podium in each would suffice. He was correect in this judgement, but at the crucial moment in Abu Dhabi couldn't deliver. Yes Ferrari made a poor strategy call, and yes it is hard to overtake in Formula one, but what happened to the warrior who had forced many others into mistakes, but couldn't harry the rookie Petrov, known for his errors into a mistake. Had he done so with 10 or 15 laps remaining, he still may not have won the title, as Rosberg would have been a hard nut to crack. But the delivery wasn't there, and compare it to 2005 and 2006 where he did deliver under the biggest pressure and did have almost error free seasons, this year hasn't lived up to that reputation. He did well to fight so hard in the second/third fastest car, but he and Webber didn't deliver on the big day, whereas Vettel and Hamilton did, hence their higher ratings on this list.
    3) Vettel, clearly the fastest driver, he was let down at times by mistakes and car problems but was a deserving wimmer in the end. However I have to disagree with Martin Brundle that he was the most deserving, as Brundle would have said that no matter who won. Vettel got the maximum out of his car in qualifying, and was generally faster than Webber too. In the last 4 races when the pressure was on he was immaculate, but early season mistakes, most stupidly in Hungary led to him having to rely on a Ferrari error and a lacklustre performance by Alonso to seal the crown. He is a fantastic driver and as the seasons go by he will iron out mistakes, but in my opinion he is not top of this years list.
    2) Hamilton, many claim that he makes too many mistakes and that he loses his cool in the heat of battle. However this year has been the single most impressive of Hamilton's career. He made only 2 mistake damaging his chances of the title, namely the Monza crash, and letting Alonso by in Brazil. I don't add Korea to that list as by the end his tyres were so bad Alonso would surely have passed him anyway, so that was not a championship costing mistake. His most impressive performances came in Spain and Canada in my opinion, in Spain he showed the speed to keep the Red Bulls in sight, and would have taken second place but for a late race failure, and after seizing the intra team initiative in Turkey, he backed it up by outracing Alonso in Canada and leading home a one two. His consistent podiums revived memories of 2007, but this year was more impressive as each time he reached the limit of his car, beating some of his rivals who had faster equipment. I felt that what defined his new found mental calm was Abu Dhabi, where he and Vettel out of the title contenders lived up to the occasion. You could argue that he like Alonso failed to pass a slower car, but Hamilton appeared much closer to doing so. Also the man he was trying to pass was the no 1. driver of the season...
    1) Kubica, I understand where people are coming from in questioning how he would perform in a front running car, but I think it surely must be agreed that if he performed as well as this year then he would have won the world championship. When he did fight for the championship in 2008 he was notably almost error free, and was arguably under most pressure as he wouldn;t have been able to make up the gap that year if he did make a mistake, because he was in a slower car. Kubica is the new Alonso at Renault, and if Renault give him the car he will deliver what Alonso did: Wins and Championships. He was majestic on so many occasions, Spa, Monaco, Melbourne, Suzuka and Singapore notable highlights. He is an invaluable asset as Renault will know how good their car is, because Kubica will deliver what it can every single race. For the moment at least, he is the best driver in the world.

  • Comment number 62.

    I agree in most...however I think that Felipe shouldn't be on the list. He just hasn't had the pace and has spent a lot of laps staring at the gearboxes of lesser cars.

    I think that JB should be ahead of Kubica, and MW behind RK. Jenson's retirements this year bore from other problems. He was strong in Monaco had it not been for the plum of an engineer leaving a radiator cover in the side pod, and SV spearing into him at the bus stop in Spa.

    As for Alonso being number one, I want to agree...in part...but then you remember that in Monaco he destroyed his own race in Practice & in Australia he ended up behind Massa and couldn't get past, this was the driver who went around the outside of Schumacher at the 130R not 4 years ago! And subjectively, you could argue that Alonso was saved the embarrassment of the same situation in Germany had the infamous message not been passed to Felipe.

    On that same merit I think Lewis made some errors that he shouldn't have. I think in Italy he was wrong, but in Singapore it wasn't as bad he got on the wrong end of the incident & in South Korea he admitted that Alonso would have got him eventually anyway.

    As for Vettel, well...I know points mean prizes but I can't help but think he could have wrapped this championship up in Korea had he not made the mistakes at Hungary & Spa, which is a shame because I was all set to like him, but as the Red Bull driver story unfurled I increasingly sympathised with Mark Webber who had been there with Seb all the way without error, and even beat him 4 times with stunning drives!

    IMO my list is:

    1. Mark Webber (consistency until the last 2 races)
    2. Lewis Hamilton (fast in a lesser car, but not safe enough)
    3. Jenson (Exceeding expectations of being destroyed by Lewis back in January!)
    4. Fernando Alonso (Fast, consistent, but still making errors a double world champion relying on his team wouldn't make)
    5. Sebastian Vettel (Brilliantly quick but still imature & needing assistance)
    6. Kamui Kobayahsi (Exciting on race day, consistent on saturday)
    7. Nico Rosberg (Did well to overshadow Schumacher without gloating)
    8. Robert Kubica (Very good on his day, but Petrov isn't the yardstick)
    9. Adrian Sutil (Fast in a poor car compared to 2009...even if he did complain about reprimands even when he was clearly wrong)
    10. Nico Hulkenberg (Clever pole position in Brazil with the warm up lap, and consistency after race 4)

    It's ashame Heikki didn't make it in, because I think as a driver he has done well v Trulli who quite frankly is done in my opinion, if one of the new teams would have managed 1 point then that would have made them an underdog hero!

  • Comment number 63.


    HAAAAHAHAHA


    BUTTON & WEBBER who were thumped a good 3 tenths by their teammates all season long, above ROSBERG who was constantly blitzing the timesheets finished almost level with a Ferrari driver in a badly designed car and never put a foot wrong. Reason: He hasn't proven anything as his measure for comparison was an 'off-form' Schumacher (as if that's Rosberg's fault), Schumacher for who pre-season Andrew said "will surely beat his teammate", and who if he was beaten by say Jenson let alone convincingly Andrew and his clique would now be going bananas.

    And...HAMILTON above VETTEL the champion, because "there have to be fewer mistakes". Vettel three mistakes, Hamilton six or seven mistakes, Hamilton above Vettel because of the mistakes and the consistency. And also it's because Hamilton can come through the field, he has proven it with his 10kph extra down the straights you see, when he doesn't crash onto people or squeeze them off the road that is. Vettel can't, he always gets pole that's why, maybe he should try worse next year in order to convince Andrew, oh and he didn't overtake like 10 cars at Silverstone one of the worst overtaking tracks when he needed to. And finally it must be because Lewis is so much better to his tyres compared to Vettel which is so crucial these days, in fact probably one of the best of the pack in tyre management, sliding the rears & locking the fronts everywhere and then moaning on the radio about the mess he's made.

    Congratulations Andrew again you did not fail to dissapoint.




  • Comment number 64.

    It would have been so so different if they had adopted the rule of minimum of three pit stops per race per car.Webber would not have won at Monaco and other drivers like vetal would not have climbed to the top ....

    Role on next season with three pit stops per car per race so over taking can actually take place! we actually see who are the best drivers!

  • Comment number 65.

    I would slightly disagree in ranking Kubica lower than Webber. While Kubica had a technically inferior car to Webber he has maximized his chances in podium finishes even when Renault & other teams (the likes of Ferrari) least expected. This is how he even became the interest of Ferrari early in the season. Webber had the superior car ( the one that won the championship) & yet couldn't capitalize. Also Kubica never gave up (even when Renault shifted its attention to next year) whereas Webber allowed the psychological disadvantage of 'not being favored by the team' get to him & lost all initiative which is why I think he lost the championship.

  • Comment number 66.

    re: 13 and co.

    How predictable that andrew gets accused of being biased. what do you people think, he's being paid by the spanish government/santander or something. Or maybe he's Alonso secret brother/lover. Different people have different opinions, the author of this article thinks alonso was the best driver this season and looking at the responses its a view shared by quite a few others. He's weighed up the season as a whole, looking at perfomances/mistakes etc and come out with Alonso on top.

    BBC journalists being accused of being biased occurs in other sports as well and its tiresome. If benson had put Yamamoto or Bruno Senna as 1. then maybe you could accuse of him of taking a little present before he wrote this article. I think you can make a good case for Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Webber this season.

    Im not sure why Massa is in the top 10 i think Heikki would be more deserving, also think Kubica deserves his place but i'd maybe put him 5th. if he doesnt deserve to be in the top 5 then Petrov must be one terrible driver (apart from hungary/abu dabhi)

  • Comment number 67.

    Best drivers (separate from technological advantage) would be for 2010

    Button
    Hamilton
    Barrichello
    Vettel
    Kobayashi
    Webber
    Kubica
    Alonso
    Rosberg
    H Kovalainen

    Also rans

    Burami
    Sutil
    Hulkenberg
    Petrov
    Liuzzi
    Di Grassi
    Alguersuari

    With so many good drivers waiting for a seat in F1 they must do better or go!


  • Comment number 68.

    I stopped reading at Massa, what a joke.

  • Comment number 69.

    I agree with SupaSix-1. I think Hamilton was by far the best driver 4 non finishes and still only 16 points behind the winner. He finished in the points in every race he finished unlike Alonso 1 no points, Vettel 2 no points. your man must have had a drink or two before he wrote his piece. What criteria was he useing?

  • Comment number 70.

    Andrew you are spot on!Alonso should and would have been World Champion had it not been for the pathetic strategy of the Ferrari team!Alonso was by far the better driver and lok at the facts. Massa is not a shabby driver but where was he?How can there be such a difference between the 2?That's beause Alonso was draging that beast round getting the best out of it.Am sick of ppl saying oh he's number one in the team and Massa had to let him pass.Massa had to let him pass becuase Ferrari wanted to win both titles and Massa was never going to be the guy winning them both. Ferrari could see that! How many times was Schumacher let through by his team mate?!

    Vettel or Webber should have had the title sewn up months ago given the car but they didn't have the bottle!Alonso came back magnificently when others would have given up!Alonso potentially should have won 4 titles by now and not 2!Hamilton is overrated and we all know he won his only title by sheer fluke!

    Ppl don't like Alonso because he's a winner like Schumacher, like Senna!

    Because he has aggression and passion and the determination to be the best!
    Next year he has a great chance to win his 3rd title. why because if he can be this close in his first ever season with a car that was a bit of a dog what will he be like next year?!What would he have been like in a Red Bull!Ten times better than Webber and Vettel that is for sure. Vettel enjoy your title you didn't earn it you were gifted it!

  • Comment number 71.

    Sorry Andrew
    We can't agree that Massa was a top 10 driver
    He really had very poor pace considering Alonso had the same car

    1. Vettel
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso
    4. Rosberg
    5. Kubica
    6. Webber
    7. Button
    8. Barrichello
    9. Kobayashi
    10. Hulkenberg

    We decided to put the drivers into Wacky Races cars to represent the season
    http://www.f1planet.co.uk/wacky-races-2010/

    Regards
    f1 Planet Team

  • Comment number 72.

    It's a shame to say Alonso is the best driver of the year.Ferrari unlike McLaren they were behind one driver.He was second in the championship,but best driver doesn't do what he did in china,spa,silverstone,Abu Dhabi(bieng held up by petrov).For me Hamilton is the best driver of the year.Second Vettel for his outstanding pace,third webber.

  • Comment number 73.

    For me, top driver in 2010 has to be Kubica. With a poor car, he was absolutely brilliant, especially at the 3 greatest Formula 1 tracks: Monaco, Spa and Suzuka. He was really unlucky not to get pole in Monte Carlo, but for Webber's cracking lap. He would be right up there if he was in a great car. This should be the top 10:
    1. Kubica
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton
    6. Button
    7. Rosberg
    8. Barrichello
    9. Kobayashi
    10. Hulkenberg

    Glad Vettel won the world title. His pace was absolutely immense. 10 poles and 5 wins- excellent. Yeah, he made some mistakes, but without them and the reliability issues he could have won the title in the summer. But Vettel wasn't as good as Kubica. His consistent perfomances means for me, best driver in 2010. Will definitely win the world title as will Rosberg.

















  • Comment number 74.

    I strongly disagree with the inclusion of Massa.....and by what you say in the blog....so do you.

    I don't get the fuss over Kubica, he wasn't that much better than Petrov and I would like to have seen Hamilton in the Renault to see how good that car was....it was certainly quick.

    Hamilton was the driver of the year over Alonso. Hamilton made "honest" driving mistakes and had a team working for 2 drivers. Alonso had dishonest gains and a team devoted almost completely to his effort. With all that, Hamilton was only 12 points behind Alonso.

    The Red Bulls had the best car by quite a distance but both drivers had great seasons.

    Take out Massa and put Sutil in behind Barrichello.

    Watch out for Sergio Perez and Schumi next year.

  • Comment number 75.

    Is it the 1st April already? Damn, I missed Christmas. We are talking about the top 10, F1 drivers of 2010? I've obviously been watching a different season.

  • Comment number 76.

    2010 F1 Quiz for you:
    1) How many drivers did Hispania use this season? and who were they?
    2) Who came 10th in the constructor's table?
    3) What didn't Schumacher get for the first time when he has been racing?
    4) Who replaced Pedro De La Rosa?
    5) Who said 'Not bad for a No2 Driver' in Silverstone?
    6) What didn't happen at Brazil for the first time since 2004?
    7) Who was the first retirement of the season?
    8) How many races had rain during the race and which they?
    9) Which country had their first driver in F1?
    10) What was unusual about Virgin Racing's fuel tanks at the beginning of the season?
    11) How many Spanish drivers were there at the beginning of the season?
    12) Which race returned to the calendar this season?
    13) Which driver crashed out on the second-last lap in Spain?
    14) Which team withdraw from F1 before the start of the season?
    15) What were Hispania previously called?
    16) Which driver got hit by Webber in Europe?
    17) Who did Mercedes buy out?
    18) What milestone did Barrichello do in Belgium?
    19) What was the chassis of the all the cars this season?
    20 and final question: What countries are all the teams based in?

    ANSWERS TOMORROW
    PLEASE ANSWER THEM-

  • Comment number 77.

    Reading through the posts its clear there are a lot of 'this driver would be number 1, if only...bla bla bla hadn't/have have happened'. You could say that about absolutely anything in the sport and using that as an excuse for a bad season isn't really feesable e.g. Vettel would have won the title earlier had his engine not blew up in Korea etc. The fact is it happened and no amount of 'if only' would change the result. A better perspective would be, ok after the bad result what did he or the team do after to get back on it again and how did they deal with it and improve things.

    I think Vettel deserves the No:1 it just because he got on with the job, whilst everyone was fighting with each other, he was the dark horse that went from 'oh vettel has won' to 'vettel is back in this championship' and let the results speak for themselves. I admit his personality isn't quite my cup of tea with a bit of a chip on his shoulder when things dont go his way but on track he just motored.

    I think the McLarens let themselves down by not getting the upgrades on the car faster, they seemed to become disillusioned by how fast they thought they would be at a weekend and oh dear, uncompetitive again. I just hope they get it together next year and give either hamilton or button a good chance at the title

  • Comment number 78.

    This all sounds too much like "coulda", "woulda", "shoulda". I can say the same thing, but for different circumstances I'd be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, or the Sultan of Brunei.

    Ultimately the fastest driver won the Championship- he totally dominated his team mate in qualifying- never finishing out side the top 6 on the grid- being inside the top 3 qualifies 17 out of 19 times. To paraphrase MW, "Not bad for a German rookie".

    Did SV make mistakes- yes, as did all the other top contenders. To put Alonso on top is hogwash, his team mate was subservient to him, gifted him points,and was the major beneficiary of Redbull mechanical problems. FA should not have even been in the Championship race at the end. Where as MW was a real contender and fought tooth and nail against his team mate. There was no quarter given either way.
    Considering MW has always dominated his team mates in the past and always capable of outperforming his car with that special qualifying lap, and the fact the Renault is down on horsepower compared with Mercedes and Ferrari, the Redbull team performed fantastically. SV, despite his youth and odd mistake outperformed the rest when it counted- at the end of the season, when all the others were showing their nerves by making more and more mistakes.
    Even at Mclaren LH and JB competed more against one another.

    At best one could put FA down as equal second with LH.

    My list would read as follows: SV, equal second LH,FA, then MW, JB, NR, RK, HK, TG, KK, NH, NH, MS, RB, AS, FM etc

  • Comment number 79.

    Hmm, I think Red Bull did well but at the same time I feel they should have won the season earlier with the car they had. Obviously reliability issues are going to happen but I feel with the amount of pole positions and the huge advantage of the car they should have won earlier in the season.

    Lewis I agree was by far the best driver up till Monza but I cant really fault him for Singapore. I would prob put Lewis in the top spot cause I dont feel Alonso deserved the no1 slot. He drove well but was very fortunate at times and he manipulates teams to support him. This I think was one reason why Massa had such a poor season due to issues inside of the team.

    Quite a few mistakes all around. Kubica and Lewis impressed me the most. Webber I feel should be higher up the list slightly. If the struggles were in the team that he said then he did well to battle against them.

  • Comment number 80.

    Some tough calls,but I must agree Andrew's top 10 picks for the 2010 season.They are actually well thought out...Massa does deserve to be there.....being so close to death....and to go through what he went through....I,nore you don't know... Next year,he needs to find the fire he had before the terrifying accident...No,it was not stated,and is no excuse,it's a reality....

  • Comment number 81.

    I think if Alonso or Hamilton had been driving the red bull they would have wrapped up the title with a few rounds to go(not as team mates!!).

    Certainly think the top 5 are about right. Good article.

  • Comment number 82.

    Granted that it's all subjective, Massa in the top 10? I do not mean to pile on you but that is an extremely eye catching inclusion.

    From my point of view the top driver was a close call between: Fernando, Vettel, and Mark Webber right up until Abu Dhabi. Considering Webber and Fernando (for different reasons) fell just short of their goals I'd give the top spot to Vettel by default.

    Further back it's a harder proposition but Kubica, Kobayashi, Rosberg, Alguersuari, Hamilton, Barrichello, Button all had their moments.

  • Comment number 83.

    Im not sure how you can have Alonso as number one. He has made many unforced errors that you would not expect from a double world champion ie jump start in china, crash at spa ect..
    Like alot of people have pointed out, he has only won 2 of his 5 race wins on pure pace (the other 3 have been gifted to him). His unsporting attitude also makes him an unworthy number one.

    I think that overall Lewis Hamilton has had the best season, apart from his one error at monza he has had a great season easily out performing Button and outperforming his car (which was definatly the 3rd best all season). He has pulled out some stunning qualifying laps that his car was not capable of. McLaren let him and Button down with the car this year and had Hamilton been in the Ferrari or RedBull he would have comfortably won the chamionship.

    Also i think Kubica is a great talent but is seriously overrated. How can people possibly know how he would cope in a race winning car and fighting for chamionships. For me, he still needs to proove himself.

  • Comment number 84.

    Andrew

    I concur with pretty much all of your list, although I would probably swap Heikki with Massa. It's a tough job having your opinion around here when it comes to Fernando Alonso so kudos to you for laying it out for all to see. Sure, he made mistakes, as did all of the 23 (or is it 26??) other drivers this season. Alonso had mechanical issues just like his rivals, he made huge mistakes just like his fellow protagonists, but for sheer bullishness (excuse the pun), stubborness and never give up attitude you cannot deny Alonso the top spot here.

    Every track, bar Canada, has been suited to the Red Bulls this year which almost ratifies Alonso and Hamilton being ahead of Vettel and certainly Webber, regardless of how many times you are WDC if your car ain't quick enough you just can't win UNLESS your competition have mistakes/failures.

    Alonso was unbeleliveable in Monza and supreme in Singapore as was Vettel in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The only difference is that Ferrari should never have won those races..........

  • Comment number 85.

    1. Seb Vettel for being very fast while having to contend with an unsettling team mate.
    2. FA for being very fast in a not so fast car and continually getting the most out of the car.
    3. Rosberg for being fast in a dog of a car.

    Mark W last for being a poor second fastest Red Bull. Oh well at least he can forget being on the good side of Red Bull team orders next season.

  • Comment number 86.

    if it wasn't errors by vettel this title would have been in his pocket by singapore. thanks for bringing it to abu dhabi and taking it all

  • Comment number 87.

    Before I read this I did my own top 10 to see how it compared:

    1. Kubica
    2. Vettel
    3. Alonso
    4. Webber
    5. Hamilton
    6. Button
    7. Rosberg
    8. Kobayashi
    9. Barrichello
    10. Sutil

    Massa Shouldnt be on this list if i'm honest, truly poor season for him.

  • Comment number 88.

    What a lot of twaddle!F1 is about ultimate speed & Sebastian Vettel has it in spades as he proved in practicaly every 2010 race.A very deserving World Champion & definitely the class of the year run a close second & third by Hamilton & Weber but give me a break surely not the winging Spaniard!

  • Comment number 89.

    I have to disagree with your number one choice. Alonso had the one of the least problematic car this year (in Races) aside from his blow-up in Malaysia and the fact is that most of his points losses came from his own mistakes. You highlight the main 3 errors of Lewis and seb but seem to forget about Monaco, Melbourne, Belgium, Montreal which were all errors on fernando's part. I admit Vettel had the fastest car but really the majority of his points losses were not his fault, I mean was his puncture in Britain really the result of 'a red mist moment'?

    At the end of the day many people feel that it was a title that Vettel gained and Alonso lost, so how can he be considered the best driver. Who would I pick? Probably Kubica or, out of the title contenders, on sheer driving I would pick Vettel.

  • Comment number 90.

    I too do not think that Alonso deserves number 1 spot. Any driver that depends on team orders is not really worthy of the title "champion". His pace in the Ferrari was impressive particularly as he was new to the team; however, he made too many mistakes and was clearly too over-confident in Abu-Dhabi, saying he was 100% sure of the title. His unsportsmanlike behaviour to Petrov at the end of that race ony emphasises his flaws.

  • Comment number 91.

  • Comment number 92.

    Am amazed at some of the posts I am reading!Vettel and Webber were never going to be true champions!If you get to the last race of the season and you are relying on others to screw up despite haveing the best car what the heck does that say?!!

    In addition it was close between every other team mate in the top 3 teams bar Ferrari?Now why is that?Massa isn't that bad a driver.Clearly Alonso did a much better job because he is more skilled!I don't actually think ppl realise how strong a driver he is.His hand gestures at Petrov were at frustration at the situation he was in!He isn't a cheat as ppl keep saying.There was no evidence to say he knew what Piquet was upto.Once again Andrew is right.Alonso is the best driver out there end of!

  • Comment number 93.

    For crying out loud - whingeing? Bad sportsmanship? What about Webber and Vettel? I don't recall Fernando crashing into Massa and then making "my team mate is insane" gestures to the world!! Alonso had lost the WDC so of course he was frustrated, and the fact that he is so passionate about winning in F1 and voicing this is not a bad thing!!!

    If the only argument you anti-Alonso bandwagoners have of disparaging him is that he gets upset when things don't go his way then you've clearly missed the point.

  • Comment number 94.

    I totally agree with the majority of peoples reaction of the inclusion of Massa. For me he is a very average driver. My driver grid order is as follows:
    1. Vettel 9. Hulkenberg 17. Schumacher 25. Klien
    2. Hamilton 10. Alguersuari 18. Buemi 26. De la Rosa
    3. Alonso 11. Kobayashi 19. Trulli 27. Yamamoto
    4. Webber 12. Kovalinen 20. Heidfeld
    5. Kubica 13. Glock 21. Di Grassi
    6. Rosberg 14. Sutil 22. Liuzzi
    7. Button 15. Massa 23. Senna
    8. Barrichello 16. Petrov 24. Chandhok

  • Comment number 95.

    Alonso at number 1? That illustrates the fickle nature of the media. He was on form in a top car for the final few races, but his mid-season was appalling... Hamilton deserved the top spot this year as in 07 and 08, imo.

  • Comment number 96.

    Well thought out, Andrew. I would agree with your top 5 and maybe rate Massa a bit lower.
    Alonso was no.1 this year. It was a pleasure to see him drive that Ferrari at times.
    In response to some posts about Alonso:
    1. Some people mistake self-believe and confidence for arrogance.
    2. He did make some mistakes, but so did the others.
    3. Are you sure he owes his team-mate more than others? I think if Massa had been more competitive and managed to score a few more podiums and taken points of the rivals, maybe the final result would have been different. Would Vettel have been champion if Webber hadn't taken points of the other teams?

    And I also agree with Hamilton as 2nd. He did fantastically in mid season with an inferior car, but lost it a bit towards the end. And I am not only refering to the DNFs, but at the 2 occassions when he ran wide letting Alonso through.

    And yes. Vettel was great at keeping the lead when he got it, but didn't do so well when he ended a bit behind. So he still needs to prove that he can fight "elbow against elbow" with the other drivers. Hopefully, next year there won't be such a difference between top cars and we will get to see how he deals with that.


  • Comment number 97.

    well well...Andrew Benson is a known Hamilton Hater....and his blog through out the year reflects that ,yea there were the obligatory praise when Hamilton was perfect ,but as soon as he made a mistake alla Monza you were quick to jump all over him and twist the knife in,that weekend you did special article chronicling his whole week end to highlight his down fall

    Hamilton is the driver of the season by far ,because 1)HE had the third fastest car 2)Alonso in a faster car had the whole of ferrari devoted to him,something a supposedly expert should have factored in.....BUT BIAS IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE

  • Comment number 98.

    Massa? What the...?!

    I'm a huge Massa fan and even I wouldn't put him in the top 10!

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm struggling to accept Alonso as driver of the year. Sure, he made a remarkable comeback and won 5 times, but if you look at those 5 races, he really only won 2 of them - he was handed Bahrain, Korea (both when Vettel's car failed) and Germany! He won at Monza and Singapore in his purple patch, but I think Andrew you are really ignoring some pretty mediocre showings as others have pointed out.

    Vettel also made some mistakes of course, but in spite of those (and in spite of machanical problems that were not his fault), he still ended with more poles and more points. Yes, he acted like a spoilt brat at times, but he caught himself and upped his game to come back and deliver when it mattered most. You have got to be pretty harsh to knock a guy who managed that, down to number 3.

    Lewis was brilliant and frustrating in equal measure - but this was a big learning year for him. Having Jenson alongside is a management masterstroke from McLaren because he is Lewis' minder on and off the track. It might have been different if JB had found himself in front of Lewis more often, but Lewis' dominance in qualifying left JB cruising around directly behind Lewis in more than a few races.

    Webber? He definitely went up in my estimations, although in the end he lost the title that was his to lose after Hungary. I fear he is going to find it even tougher next year. Vettel is not going to keep making the mistakes he made this year and with qualifying so important, I struggle to see him getting this close again.

    In comments to a pre-season blog post I said I thought that by the end of it we will know:
    1) whether 2009 was won by Button or Brawn
    2) whether Lewis is great or just good
    3) whether Schumacher really is the best ever
    4) where Fernando Alonso stands
    5) if we have underestimated Felipe Massa all these years

    For me at least, Jenson justified his 2009 title win without underlining it. Yes, the 2009 Brawn was a great car but so was the 2010 Red Bull. Jenson was flawless in the first 6 races in 2009 and Vettel / Webber failed to exploit the same advantage this year.

    Lewis beat him though and that moved Lewis for me into the greatness-in-waiting room, where he is joined by Vettel. Alonso stays in that category too for me, behind Senna and Prost. Surely Jim Clark will be in that place too, but I never saw him or Fangio so I can't include them in "my list of all time greats".

    I know this is perhaps a bit spiteful, but I was pleased to see Schumacher evicted from the list of true greats this season. Michael never regained my respect for taking Hill out in the decider in Australia all those years ago. Senna on Prost and vice-versa? They were racers, refusing to yield. Schuey had already broken his car in a mistake all of his own when he took Hill out to stop him getting past. Trying the same on Villeneuve a few years later was cynical but that was and still is Micheal Schumacher. Disagree? Remember the move on Rubens in Hungary...

    Having Schumacher blown away by Nico Rosberg was all the sweeter for me as Keke was my favourite driver growing up. Nico is massively under rated, even now, but he seems super-consistent. Give him a winning car, but wait until Schuey has retired again - give that car to Kubica and make it fast!

    It is a shame to finish by putting down Felipe Massa, but it probably just goes to show that good guys come last in F1. Bruno Senna must be lovely :-)

  • Comment number 100.

    40. At 4:54pm on 18 Nov 2010, SupaSix-1 wrote:
    Some of your assessments I agree with BUT theres a few I cant make any sense of:

    Jenson Button:

    How can his 2 wins be down to 'clever strategy calls'?
    -They were nothing but simple 'gambles' because he was unable to match the front runners especially in one race in particular (australia) he was loosing positions - so he had nothing to loose by throwing the same dice....both cases were lucky as the weather conditions went his way. HOWEVER in Korea...button tried to throw the same dice again but the elements this time did not go his way and he had an embaressing race. Jenson just has one tool in his toolbox - the same pair of dice....he'll either pit way before the rest or way after the rest.
    And how can you say that he has matched or even been very close to Lewis' pace?? Surely you cant consider being over a second slower or even on a consistant basis being 4 tenths slower than his team mate - if you consider that as being 'close' then I have to question your F1 knowledge, or even more than that...your impartiality standards.

    I think with button , you guys (the beeb & media - thanks to all those steak dinners) try your very hardest to sprinkle as much sugar on top of button's season as from what we have seen...he has not stepped up to the plate considering hes suppose to be a reigning champion - hes always ducked out of fighting the front guys and instead gets schooled by the midfielders. Button has been the only one out of the 5 who doesnt usually take part in amogst the battles ahead. Thats part of the reason why he hasnt made many mistakes....its because he ducks out of battles..he takes less risk. And to be a real champ as Senna used to always say: TO be a winner and a champ you have to always take risks...its easy to just sit back and cross the line, but only a true champ goes out there and takes risks in every race in order to fight for victories.

    Robert Kubica:
    After Button....Kubica has to be probably the 2nd most hyped driver. Yes hes definately a good racer and I'd even class him way higher than Jenson - But Kubica has probably made more silly mistakes this season than alonso. A multiple number of pitstop errors, running Schumacher off onto the grass in canada - Yes it was Kubica's fault as how can Schumacher have 'pushed off' kubica onto the grass when Michael was on the outside of the corner?? That wouldve meant Michael had 'PULLED' Kubica onto the grass - which is impossible!

    Lewis Hamilton:
    Why do you beat Lewis up just cos he made ONE mistake?? YOu yourselves have said that he has been faultless through the 1st half of the season and his overtaking move in monza wouldve been applauded if it didnt result in that unusual damage - Before the race you all were saying that Lewis needs to be very aggressive in the 1st lap for any hope of a victory. In Singapore that was not his fault - he had approached that corner in front of webber - Webber was the one who had the view and couldve chosen to back off but he was too gung-ho - If it was the otherway around Lewis wouldve been blamed eitherway.
    - As you have alluded to ....Lewis' maturity and his more matured driving this season (less faults) should be recognised and applauded - But no you still consider if he made one or 2 mistakes (many less than the rest) and you guys still magnify those couple to make it sound as if hes still error-prone! Vettel, Webber, Alonso & Kubica have made many more silly mistakes but they get conveniently overlooked - whereas Lewis' get magnified! Lewis' crash in japan practice was not a big deal - And he more than redeemed himself by his performance through quali and the race which you yourself highlighted.
    The British press need to get behind Lewis equally instead of joining the button-fanclub - the fact that you guys treat these both like chalk and cheese is nasty, unpatriotic and downright unprofessional - That is the only thing ruining the coverage. They are BOTH british - remember that!

    Fernado Alonso:
    This is the most baffling! After all the petulance - which is so unsportsman-like, his hissyfits, his dummy-spitting, his idea of not having any competition is unbelievable! - How you guys can condone it is beyond me?! Yes hes a great driver but his character & temprement ruins it and has on many occassions tarnished the image of Formula 1. His terrible mistakes in the 1st half is way more than Lewis' in the 2nd half and also keeping in mind how alonso has acted even at the last race when gestating to Petrov was unbelievable! But you guys just dont seem to have any issue and you still put him in top spot??!!If you look at Lewis' and fernando's stats for this season you will find that: Lewis has driven more consistantly; given the better performances especially in the 3rd best car; made less errors; not been unsporting like alonso etc - Maybe alonso's rating is down to maybe ensuring the popularity of journalists with ferrari as we know that they have crosshairs for any journo who tries to critisize them or their drivers...especially if the journos in question are british?

    Lewis certainly has been the driver of the season by far. But for some reason...you may not seem to want to elevate him to that top spot possibly in fear of making it look as if button has done even worse than he has at mclaren. i.e. If you talk Lewis down and gloss over him...it will make jenson look better and closer - If Lewis is given the true recognition he has earned this season then button will look like a failed investment.


    -----

    Uh oh, seems there is a Hamilton Fanboy about eager to wind up every other drivers supporters as usual. Why don't you just admit you think Lewis is the second coming and the sun shines out his backside. I saw two errors rather than one, and Button gave him a good run for his money. The statistics will show what you don't realise has happened...

    1. Button led more laps than Hamilton
    2. Button made better strategic calls than Hamilton, completely outwitting him and Alonso in Monza. (Which he would have won if the team hadn't enforced a strategy that lost him the race.
    3. Button didn't swear at his team once all season
    4. Hamilton was on average only a tenth ahead of Button despite the latters poor qualifying.
    5. Button made up more positions in almost 70% of the races than Lewis.
    6. And most importantly, they both had two deserved wins, Lewis got lucky in Turkey with Vettels assault on Webber.

    Face up to the facts, Button is better than you think.

 

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